Praying for a Plateau

UGH! It never ends. I’m either gaining or losing and lately its been gaining. Two years ago, I started on the Eat to Live program and over the first 6 weeks I lost 40 lbs – I got down to 249lbs and I felt amazing. [dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”perspective-right” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]I feel like I’m either clawing my way down the scale or free falling my way up it.[/dropshadowbox]

It was the first time I had been below 250lbs since the first time I went above 250lbs. Then I got discouraged at a perceived lack of progress. The scale stopped moving down and just hovered at 250lbs for a few weeks.

Weeks turned into months and hovering at 250lbs turned into climbing to 260, 270, 280+… I put back on all the weight I had lost. I was discouraged. My “set point” for body weight appears to be 285lbs looking over the last 10 years. I was at one point as high as 330lbs but for the most part, 285 has been the mark.

Eat to Live changed the way I eat and the way I think about food. It had and continues to have an impact on my daily food choices. But I’m a food addict. I know not to eat crap and I do it anyway.

Back in Nov I started running again. I got in shape to run a marathon in Jan and I did it. I signed up for half marathons throughout the year and I started pushing myself to make good food choices. At the same time, I purchased the FitBit Force and have been using it to monitor my daily activity level and as a goal, I’ve attempted to reach all the daily FitBit goals (number of steps, calories burned, stairs climbed, active mins., distance traveled).

Through all these methods, I began again making progress on my health – getting my body weight down to 238lbs – an all time new low since gaining most of the weight when my first-born arrived 10 years ago. Then I failed. The months of running, eating healthy, hitting the stairs at 10:45pm and the treadmill at 11pm to ensure all green from fitbit by the midnight cut off had suddenly become overwhelming and I quit.

Without the daily exercise and healthy food choices, I found myself consuming an additional 1500-2000 calories a day AFTER 10pm. Time I was burning 500-1000 calories each day had suddenly become a free for all eating binge. Now I’m back up to 255lbs.

My back is in constant pain – which is new for me. Even at 330lbs, I have never dealt with back pain.  I feel like I’m either clawing my way down the scale or free-falling my way up it. I need a plateau. I’m begging for a new set point. A new weight that my daily activities and eating habits naturally maintain so that I can simply take a break from the fight.

When most people refer to having hit a plateau, they mean that even with the same level of daily activities and the same level of food intake, they are no longer seeing the same level of progress. I just want to focus on anything other than my food, my workout, my eating, my running… over and over and never endingly over struggle to get and stay healthy.

I ran barefoot for the first time – and set a 5k PR!

I’ve been reading the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. I’m about 90 pages from finished, so I won’t make this the book review post – but inspired by the over all theme of the book (barefoot running), I went on my first ever barefoot run tonight.

It started out well. I was running on the sidewalk but I jumped out on the street when the sidewalk was full of leaves and debris. I got about a quarter mile from the house and I stepped on a rock, rolled it under my foot to the soft arch and stepped down on it hard!

It hurt. A lot. BUT… I kept going. I was able to get to the long stretches of grass and that is where I found relief. Running on the grass while in my shoes is not a pleasant experience. Its difficult and slows me down. But running barefoot in the grass is amazing!

My feet felt great and I felt like I was running gently. I wasn’t pounding or smacking my feet down. I was traveling smoothly across the grass. It felt natural and pleasant. I was truly enjoying my run in a way I have never felt before.

When I past the first mile at 10:49, I knew this was going to be a fast run. When I had to come off the grass to the sidewalk or asphalt in order to cross a street, I felt myself slow down; cautiously, naturally.

Then I hit the grass and without effort or thought I found myself speeding up. Almost as if I needed to catch up to where I would have been before leaving the ground to the unnatural concrete and blacktop.

When I hit my second mile at 9:39, I knew this could be a new PR 5k for me. I started to think about that and found myself speeding up on purpose and then feeling the fatigue of that effort and then slowing down as a result. I started to doubt myself.

When I turned down my street, I left behind those long green havens for my barefeet in exchange for rocks, leaves, and sticks left carelessly on the sidewalks and in the streets by landscapers and a few neighborhood kids, who were likely bored waiting on their buss the day before. The pace was slower than I wanted; both from self doubt and caution to not press another sharp object into the arch of my foot.

I hit mile three at 9:56 and I pick up the pace for the last tenth of a mile. I finished with a 5k time of 31:33… that’s 35 seconds off my prior personal record! Of course I also am in better shape than ever before and I weigh a great deal less than I did when I set that prior PR.

Over all I’ll say barefoot might seem like a crazy idea, but if you can do it – you should. It truly was amazing!

This post sucks

Does every post have to be clever? I want to post everyday but I don’t because I don’t feel like I have anything entertaining enough, clever enough, worthy enough for anyone to take the time to read them.

Tonight I ate terrible at a business dinner. I’ve done very well during most of my business travel over the last several months. I’ve eaten salads and healthy options week in and out. But not tonight.

I had bread, wine based claims, more bread, a Greek salad, more bread, breaded fried calamari, two mojitos, two glasses of red wine, some more bread, stuffed leg of lamb, a glass of cognac, and an ice cream desert called a mud slide.

Altogether, my dinner was over 2150 calories. I went back to the hotel room and felt like a slob. I almost went to bed because when you over eat, you want to sleep. You get lethargic. But I didn’t climb into bed.

Instead, I got dressed, went downstairs and jogged, walked, and then I walked some more. But not enough. I still found myself over my calories for the day despite burning almost 800 calories before midnight.

Its 2am – I continued after midnight in order to accomplish my daily goals for Thursday. But now I’m actually exhausted.

See this post sucked…