Should I Get a Garmin?

So, I’m on day four of being “back on the wagon” and everything is going really well:

  • I’ve worked out every day (another run with my neighbor today!)
  • I’ve done really well with nutrition (I went a bit over yesterday – about 1500 calories – but I worked out hard and still felt hungry at the end of the night, so I figured my body needed it)
  • My weight is down again: 141.4 lbs this morning.

After running with Susan and her friend this morning, though, I’ve been really wondering if I should consider upgrading from my FitBit Charge 2 to a Garmin. I feel like all of the runners I know have Garmins, and they seem to have so much more functionality in terms of intervals, pacing, heart-rate monitoring, etc.

I’ve enjoyed my FitBit immensely since I got it (December 2016) and I thought it had a lot of cool functions and features, but in observing my friends and how they use their Garmins to actually fully control their runs (speeding up, slowing down, running in their ideal heart rate, etc), it makes me wonder if I am missing something.

Does anyone reading my blog have a FitBit or a Garmin and want to weigh in? Would using a Garmin improve my running and, if so, how?

Thanks for the feedback, guys!

~ Tori

Great Run!

At least one hundred times in the last three years, I’ve bumped into a neighbor in workout clothes and we’ve chatted about our mutual love of running.

Despite this almost daily interaction, we had never run together. I had often thought about suggesting it, but I was intimidated by her fitness level: she regularly competes in triathlons and, despite my Marathon success this past January, my weight gain has really crushed my self confidence.

A few nights ago, after we’d bumped into each other walking our dogs, she told me she planned to do an 8 mile training run Tuesday morning and asked if I’d want to join. I hesitated, embarrassed that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, but then told her I’d love to.

For two nights in a row, I panicked, worried she’d be so much faster than me or that she’d feel like she had to tone down for me to keep up, and I even debated canceling on her. I didn’t want to be that person, though, so when my alarm went off at 4:45am this morning to get ready, I got up, stretched, and put on my running clothes.

I met up with her and her friend, another super fit runner, and I could feel myself getting really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But they were so nice and friendly and excited to run together, I decided I would give it my all and hope for the best.

Nine miles later, we finished as the sun was rising over Lake Baldwin, and I couldn’t believe we were done. We talked the whole time and, except for a quick water stop, we ran the whole route. Because of the high heat and humidity, we committed to a 10:00 minute mile pace; and it felt perfect the entire way.

No pain. No stress. Just a beautiful run and great conversation.

I’m so glad I didn’t cancel, and this gave me the confidence I needed to know that my few extra pounds haven’t diminished my athletic ability or endurance. I can get this weight back off, and I can continue to get stronger and faster at the same time.

I can do this. We can do this.

Bon appetite, my friends!

– Tori

Trying Something New

Well, as much as I was ENJOYING the Dine N Ditch meal plan service, they unfortunately closed up shop just a few weeks in. Not a permanent close (I hope), but they needed to relocate their kitchen, hire new staff, and take a step back from the service for a few weeks to restructure the entire business model.

I was doing exceptionally well on the meal plans, dropping almost 10 lbs in my first four weeks, but after the deliveries ended and I was left to my own devices …well, you can imagine what happened.

Today’s weight: back up to 141.2.

Yikes. It’s hard to believe that just two years ago I hit my all-time low of 123.4, and now I can barely get (and stay) in the 130s anymore.

I know it has been a combination of factors: stress, overeating, and, shockingly, overexercising.

For those of you who have followed the blog a long time, you know I’m a cardio-junkie and, as my weight started to slowly climb at the beginning of 2015, I started to seriously step up my cardio, hitting more than 3 or 4 hours on some days.

Well, as I’ve learned, you not only can’t out-exercise a bad diet (or, in my case, a healthy diet, but in MASS quantities), over-exercising can actually sabotage weight loss by making your body freak out and think you’re fighting for your life on a daily basis. Hence my weight creeping up and up, even when my diet was in check. Yeaaaaaah, that fucking sucks, if you don’t mind me being frank. Ugh.

So, with less than 5 weeks until my 32nd birthday, I am trying to switch things up and break out of my rut.

For the next 34 (well, basically 33, since it’s 11:35 pm EST as I write this) days, I am going to drastically reduce my cardio (think 10-30 minutes per day, versus my usual 90+) and look to integrate substantially more strength training, yoga, and stretching. My body has been in a perpetual state of stress for over a year as I pummeled it with intense bouts of cardio, so now I’m going to try to give those slow-twitch muscles a bit of a break and focus on building lean muscle mass.

In addition, I’m attempting to modify my diet slightly, increasing my fat in take and leaning more toward a Ketogenic plan. Not full Keto – which involves like 70% of your calories from fat – but definitely hoping that incorporating more healthy fats, like avocado and coconut oil, will help with satiety and appetite control.

Yesterday was a rough start, only because I have absolutely no will power when it comes to nuts, so my “single handful” of almonds before bed turned into half of a can, but today’s been better:

Calories: 1,611
Carbs (total, not net): 72g (about 17% of my daily calories)
Protein: 136g (about 33% of my daily calories)
Fat: 93g (about 50% of my daily calories)

I prepped all of my food for the next two days (salmon and green beans, chicken and broccoli, shrimp and sauteed cauliflower, etc), so hoping that having quick, easy to grab meals will help me stay on track. I’m aiming for 1,350 calories per day, but happy as long as I stay under 1,700, as I am exercising pretty consistently.

Fingers crossed I can reset my system and get back into the 130s before I hit 32. I feel like it’s only getting harder with age, so I need to really get control of my weight now before it becomes an impossibility, you know?

Any advice, suggestions, or feedback is always welcome.

Bon appetite, my friends!

~ Tori

P.S. The photo is totally my dinner tomorrow night: shrimp sauteed with basil, garlic, coconut oil over a bed of chopped cauliflower and orange pepper. Much noms. Many yums. So delicious.

The Dopey Challenge: Committed!

On a masochistic whim, I decided to do something very, very crazy: I signed up to complete the Disney Dopey Challenge.

What is the Dopey Challenge, you ask?

It’s running 48.6 miles in four days: a 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon, and full marathon in a long weekend.

I’m not 100% sure why I decided to sign up …I just did it. It felt right. It felt like something I needed to do.

In January 2017, I’m dragging my husband and some friends to Walt Disney World to spend a weekend running, recovering, and potentially boozing (just a little).

What did I get myself in to?

Thus far, I’ve never run a marathon in my life. In fact, I’ve only run two half marathons, and only one was at a timed race. I’m running in the OUC Half Marathon in December, and less than four weeks later, I somehow think I’m going to run my first marathon – after running 22.4 miles the three days before.

*GULP*

Any suggestions for a good training plan (other than RUN LIKE HELL)?

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

A Confession and a Commitment

I have spent the last few months making excuses [to myself] for not posting on here. Lots of excuses.

“No one cares what I have to say.”

“There are more important things I should be working on.”

“No one reads this blog anyhow.”

“Blogging doesn’t really help me.”

Ultimately, though, I wasn’t posting on here for one main reason:

I’m embarrassed.

Why? Because I slipped. And not a little …I slipped right off the damn cliff.

I went from my all-time low weight (123.4 lbs back in June 2014), up to 132-133 in Summer 2015, to a whopping 143.4 as of Monday, April 25th, 2016.

I’m back over 140 lbs for the first time in almost four years.

I let my eating disorder take back over. Except, instead of my usual bulimia, it manifested itself as pure binge-eating, subsequently followed by hours at the gym.

While I realize 143.4 lbs doesn’t seem like much compared to the 218 lbs I used to weight, I have gained the weight while continuing to exercise 2 to 3 hours per day 6 to 7 days per week.

I understand nutrition and understand the logic behind eating healthy, and I will eat healthy for several days, and then I uncontrollably binge on food, even foods I’m not a fan of.

There are days I will eat three or 4-to-5000 calories and I can’t seem to make myself stop.

Unlike my teenage years, though, instead of purging with laxatives or vomiting, I tried to work out to burn it back off.

I’ve spent entire days at the gym.

I’ve called out of work the day after a bad binge and spent a solid eight hours on the elliptical and stairmaster trying to undo the damage of my binging. Which, as you know, isn’t really realistic. Unless you are an Olympic athlete, you cannot work off over eating or bad diet.

I watched the scale slowly creep up, the pants get tighter (and eventually stop fitting), and I kept making excuses for myself, refusing to admit I’d lost control to my ED again.

How did this happen? How did I lose my footing?

I’m in a bad head space right now because I can’t stand seeing myself self-sabotage with diet when I work so hard to eat well and exercise. It’s like a tiny part of me is trying to destroy everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve, and that part of me shovels in food while the rest cries helplessly in the corner.

Fortunately, I’ve stopped lying to myself.

This week, I signed up for a meal delivery service to help me get me back to a healthy relationship with food. Five meals per day, six days per week — all prepared and catered to a healthy, clean lifestyle.

It’s a small step toward fixing the damage I’ve caused, but I’m hoping it will help me be more cognizant of portions, of my true motivator for binges, and it will take away my ability to count calories or stress over ingredients, as everything will be made for me.

I’ll try to post daily as I work to take back control of my weight, my health, and my life.

Bon appetit, my friends,

Tori

 

Join me on DietBet!

It’s been a while since I posted, mainly because I’ve been in a real slump with my weight lately.

I’ve never given up exercise (I still go to the gym 6-7x per week, religiously), but my diet has been downright disastrous, eating upward of 1700-2500 calories per day.

To help get myself back in check, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and sign up for a DietBet.

What is DietBet, you ask?

Basically, you commit $30 into a pool, vowing to lose 4% of your body weight in four weeks.

That sounds like a lot, but it’s actually quite doable:

200 lbs x .04 = 8 lbs.
8 lbs / 4 weeks = 2 lbs per week.

150 lbs x .04 = 6 lbs.
6 lbs / 4 weeks = 1.5 lbs per week.

You weigh in weekly, and a THIRD PARTY referee (i.e. no one you know or work with) confirms that the weight loss is legitimate via a couple of photos (fully clothed) of you on the scale.

***NO ONE INVOLVED IN THE BET EVER SEES YOUR PICTURES OR KNOWS YOUR WEIGHT.***

If you lose the weight, you don’t lose a penny of your original $30 investment, AND you split the pool (all the money of those who DIDN’T hit their goal) with the other dieters who succeeded!

The DietBet I joined is hosted by a very popular young woman on social media, and her last DietBet had a pool over $13,000. Ummm, yeah. The one I’m in has over $12,000 up for grabs, and more people are joining every hour.

I don’t know about you, but I’m very determined when I’m in a competition. Add money to the equation, and I’m downright married to the program. Anyone want to join this with me? We can hold each other accountable!

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

Combating the Office Job

One of the biggest challenges with having an office job is the 8-10 hours of sitting my body has to endure 5 days per week, 48-50 weeks per year.

Fortunately, I work in an environment where kinetic engagement is encouraged, with most meetings occurring on the move (we walk laps around the lake our building is situated next to) and an open floorplan that encourages us to make our space ours.

My amazing team surprised me on my birthday this year with a balance ball chair for my birthday, which has pretty much become my favorite thing on earth.

IMG_7185It came with a smaller ball, but I happened to have a spare balance ball at home, so I rotate between the smaller and larger depending on what I’m doing throughout the day.

As someone with ADHD, this thing is a lifesaver. The slight bounce keeps my extra energy channeled, and the unstable surface keeps my obliques and lower abs engaged (but not exhausted) throughout the day.

The smaller ball is easier to sit on (it fits the chair perfectly), but doesn’t challenge my core to balance as much, and I have to make an active effort to bounce to feel the effects. The large ball, however, is like sitting on a wild animal, and after a few hours I can feel every muscle in my back, shoulders, and abdominals getting tight and firm.

While this balance ball chair hasn’t helped me resist the office sweets and treats (darn that candy jar!), it has helped me stay focused and do something other than just sit and stagnate for the majority of my day.

Every little step counts, right?

Bon appetit, my friends, and happy bouncing!

~ Tori