Is THIS Bliss?!

Lorina's Blog

strength training

I gave up. And it was awesome.

Last summer, after faithfully logging my calories (most of the time) and exercising regularly (most of the time) for about six months, I was pretty damn happy with my results. I looked pretty good, I felt pretty good, and while I wasn’t as lean as I’d been a few years back, I knew that being that lean took a lot of work and dedication, and that the benefits of being leaner weren’t really all that great. Wearing a size smaller didn’t make me feel any better, physically or emotionally. I still saw just as many flaws and problem areas when I looked in the mirror. I still had to scoop cat shit out of the cat box. I still had to pay my bills every month. The sky wasn’t any bluer and the clouds were no fluffier. The only difference was that the tag inside my jeans – that no one saw but me – was a smaller number.

So, rather than continue to push towards a goal that really didn’t matter, I gave up. I don’t mean that I got so burnt out by logging and exercising that I said, “Fuck it,” became a couch potato, and ate a bag of Butterfingers a day. I just eased back a bit. I stopped logging my food. After doing it off and on for five years, I should have a pretty decent idea of what to eat. I stopped weighing and measuring myself. I ran a little less, especially after I bunged up my Achilles and had to rest for a few weeks. But the biggest thing I gave up was pressure on myself.

So, about 8-9 months later, what’s the result of giving up? This.

June 2015  to February 2016
I’m closer to my “goal body” now than I was when I was trying so hard to get there.

2012-2015-2016

I’m still not even sure I want to be as lean as the 2012 pic again. But I’m taking an attitude of “if it happens, it happens.” I’m not going to push myself too hard, I’m not going to weigh and log every bite of food that goes in my mouth, I’m not going to weigh and measure myself. I’m not going to give up chocolate and cookies and other goodies. I’m just going to continue to eat mostly whole foods and move my body in ways that feel good.

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Defeating Sneaky Ninja Fat

So there I was, happily maintaining my weight after a few years, and slowly but surely, my pants started getting tight. My shirts started getting tight. I looked in the mirror, and I looked fine. WTF was going on?

Sneaky Ninja Fat. That’s what. It lurks in the shadows, waiting for me to let down my guard, and then jumps onto my back and bum, where I can’t see it until it’s melded into my flesh.

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t ninjas. It was more the result of depression after losing my brother to cancer which made me get a little lax on the eating and lose all motivation to exercise, followed by a very painful lower back injury with a few rounds of steroids and several months of physical therapy where I could only do mild stretching and a couple miles on a recumbent bike. I started to get my groove back in October, and restarted Couch to 5k to ease back into running, but then winter weather, being busy over the holidays, and wanting to enjoy holiday feasts was a good excuse in November and December.

By January, though, I was ready to kick the sneaky ninja fat in it’s sneaky ninja buttocks. I got back on MyFitnessPal, eat 1500 plus some or most of my exercise calories (usually 17-1800 or so) Monday through Friday, and take the weekends and holidays off from logging. I tend to get a little overly obsessive about logging, so regular breaks keep me at least somewhat sane. As sane as you can be when you believe in sneaky ninja fat.

I don’t eliminate anything from my diet. Still have pasta, rice, potatoes, cheeseburgers, pizza, the occasional donut and a jalapeno cheddar bagel just about every morning for breakfast. I run 2-3 times a week (weather permitting – it was twice a week during the worst of winter) and strength train usually 3 times a week. Currently following Strong Curves beginner program.

I’m about 6 pounds from my goal weight now. Up until this morning when I took my pics, I thought I was going to have to lower that goal. Now, seeing what nine pounds did, I think six more pounds will be pretty much perfect. But honestly, I’m pretty happy with how I look right now. I know from the past that I can slowly recomp while eating near maintenance. I just have a pile of clothes that I’d rather be able to wear again than have to replace. I can zip some of my skinny jeans now. They just don’t look or feel very good at the moment.

Anyway, enough babbling. Here’s the photos. Watch the sneaky ninja backfat disappear…

Front View

Front View

Side View

Back View

The change is not as noticeable from straight on front or back shots. Because it’s a ninja. Also, I can’t flex without looking constipated or having an extra chin. I’m convinced that’s the most valuable asset a fitness model can have. Looking pretty while flexing.

Front Flexed

Back Flexed

I even felt good enough about myself to put on my itsy bitsy string bikini from before I gained weight. When I tried it on last summer, I looked like an exploded can of Pillsbury and wanted to cry.

Pink Bikini

But most of all, I’m happy with my fitness progress. I’m still a lot slower than I was before all this happened, but I’m getting back there. Considering that 8 months ago, I could barely walk and thought my running days are behind me, I’m really happy that I can now run 3.1 miles in the same amount of time I ran 2.1 in October. I’ve run 10k a couple of times in the past month, and shaved about 5 minutes off my time. And I know in a race environment (first 5k of the year is next weekend) I’ll be even faster.

Running

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In which she comes crawling back…

Hello? Anyone still there? I’m back.

When I last wrote, I was just about to turn 42. I was getting back into running and feeling good, trying to find a happy balance between being obsessed with fitness and being a sloth. Well, the fates had other plans for me, and I was forced to be a sloth for months.

Long story short, it was something with my Sacroilliac Joint, where the spine connects to the hips. It caused shooting electric jolts of pain from my bum down my thigh. It hurt to walk, to stand, to sit, and sometimes even lie down. Forget about running and lifting weights and all the other things I wanted to do.

But during that time, I was diligent about what I ate. I rejoined My Fitness Pal under a new name, since I’d deleted my old account, and begrudgingly went back to counting calories. Over the summer and into the fall, I slowly lost about 10 of the 20 pounds that had crept up on me. I began physical therapy, got a very painful injection in my bum, and began to heal. I even started running again in October.

That damn injection in my bum, however, was a steroid injection. I’d had a few rounds of oral steroids in the previous months, which made me hyper (so much fun when you can’t MOVE) and a bit gassy (so many burps!), but that’s about it as far as side effects. The injection, on the other hand, thought it’d play a nice prank on me and bring back those ten pounds I’d worked so hard to lose.

I know there’s people who say that medications can’t cause weight gain, only over-eating does. I’m here to say to them, “Fuck you.” I was logging, weighing and measuring everything I ate. I was keeping to the exact same calories as I was when I was losing. I didn’t suddenly become stupid and forget how to math. My weight jumped up ten frickin’ pounds in three weeks. I certainly didn’t have 350,000 extra calories in that time frame.

By then, the weather was turning suckass and the holidays were fast approaching. I threw in the towel. I wanted to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts and cookies and wine and not give a damn about calories for a few weeks.

I started up again at the beginning of January, as much as I hated being a New Years Resolutions Stereotype.  Since then, I’m down about 12 pounds, able to stop taking Vicodin for my back, able to do some (very careful) weight lifting, and have been running outside at least twice a week, which can be quite a challenge in the winter in the Northeast. I’m a lot slower than I used to be, but I’m still about 10 pounds above where I want to be and almost 20 pounds above my lowest weight when I ran the fastest, so I’m not expecting to be Speedy Gonzales. I started Bret Contreras‘ Strong Curves workout about 6 weeks ago, and will be taking a new set of progress pics next weekend.

 photo IMG_20150306_131018_zpseyzb94pp.jpg

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