Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: March 2018 (Page 1 of 2)

That’s not what I’m doing right now.

Spring has sprung.  The flowers are blooming, the trees are getting gussied up for the year, and the sun is actually warm and happy and shining instead of a dirty liar or just GONE for days at a time.

Kettlebells in the sun are the best kettlebells!

Spring for triathletes means that allllll the social medias are a-twitters (or a-grams, or a-books) about their 60 mile rides with stops for donuts and pizza and beer at the end.  Or maybe even the serious ones riding centuries or more (with or without the junk food stops) now that the weather is primed and ready for riding bikes all day.

And then, here I am, spending a majority of my scant 4-6 hours a week (like, less than the time of some of my long rides last year) training, with the vast majority of it indoors, lifting heavy things in the gym.  Do we still say FOMO?  Is that still a thing?  Well, either way, I have some major lust to be doing all that stuff again.  I really wanted to just take my bike and go for hours and hours.  I wanted to go find a pretty place in the country and go run until my watch ticks over to double digits.  I think the only reason I’m not compelled to swim lap after lap in the lake is that the temperature starts with a 6 and that’s cold for me but soon that will be a thing as well.

And, let’s be honest, I miss the other aspect of that – the refueling.  Stopping mid-long-ride for a Rudy’s chopped beef taco and a Coke.  Ending a multi-hour ride at Desanos for a pie and a pint.  Opening up a new bag of Baked Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles and cracking whatever’s cold in the beer fridge after a run that’s taken me from the morning to the afternoon.  Oh, how I miss Ironman training, if especially the “eat anything anything ANYTHING you want and not gain weight” aspect.

However, that’s not what I’m doing right now.

I spent the last 7 weeks in the gym lifting heavy as my major form of exercise.  My biking, running, and swimming were minimal, and I called it cardio instead of training.  It’s definitely not where I’m usually at this time of year, although, my spring training has varied so much over the last five years, I don’t know that there is a usual, but this is DEFINITELY not it.

While it also gave me a chance to let my cranky left leg heal up without pounding on it all the time, my body needed a reset.  I could run or bike or swim for hours without any real issue.  I just couldn’t do it very fast.  The limiter on both how far and how fast I was going was muscular, not endurance based.  I was having trouble getting my heart rate up and hitting paces because my LEGS didn’t want to cooperate.  The cue to stop running and biking was not when I got tired, but when my legs and lower back hurt too much to continue.  My form sucked on my run because I didn’t have the strength and flexibility to fully correct it.

Basically, staying out of the weightroom for a year and a half made me a fragile little flower that was only good at one thing – doing things slowly, for a moderately long time.  Because we are what we repeatedly do.

To paraphrase another oft-used quote – to do the same thing over and over and expect different results is madness.  While I really want to just go run pretty places at a comfortable speed and ride bikes with friends at a conversational pace from the morning until the late afternoon, THIS IS NOT WHAT I’M DOING RIGHT NOW.  There’s a big disconnect between that sort of training and standing on sprint triathlon podiums.  And while I want to just go play, my spring goals state that I should be doing a little more work than that.

And those goal are to have this kit see Cleveland Ohio for Nationals. 

The good news is that my body is responding to the stimulus.  I went out for my first team BSS brick workout of the year on Wednesday.  While I’m not *quite* where I was at the end of the season last year, my ability to ride my TT bike around 18 mph in traffic and then hold a 9:30/min mile for 2 miles after (with a few gears left on each discipline, this was going moderately hard but not puke pace) shows promise.  My endurance may suck right now, but I’m sharpening up for the shorter races quite nicely.

The most encouraging thing is not necessarily the paces, but the feeling.  My body feels strong as hell right now.  I was pushing 10 more watts last week than I was on that same ride last year.  My speed just sucked because it got windy and I also got myself a little turned around and had to slow down and backtrack.  Twice.  Because I’m dumb.  On the run, I was sucking wind, but my legs felt strong and capable, not like they were dragging to keep up, like they have the last year or two.  As my endurance grows back again, I have a feeling my speed will coincide this time.  And that’s exciting!

Also, just in the last week, my left knee/ankle/heel have started to cooperate.  It took a massage and then an adjustment and some new ankle strengthening exercises, but I think it’s gotten the hint that it’s triathlon season and it’s no longer welcome to hinder me.  Or, it’s that the chiropractor, stumped as to what the problem was, said “maybe it’s a little early arthritis?” to which my body said “hell no, we’re not that old” and fixed it’s malfunction.  Either way, I was a much happier person last week because of it.  I’ll joyfully go through a little bit of daily/monthly maintenance so I can play pain free.

My plan this week is recovery.  It sounds weird to me with such minimal training, but I feel a little beat up from the heavy weights.  I plan to mostly lay off the iron, with some short rides, runs, and swims to keep it fresh.  Next week, when I’m recovered from the race, I’ll start resuming a normal spring training schedule with a balance of both.

If I haven’t mentioned a race plan, it’s because I don’t really have one besides going as close to that sweet sweet pukepace as possible the whole time to establish some metrics via heart rate and watts and actually how fast I move from point A to B to build upon for the rest of the season.  This is a true “rust buster” race.

Actually completely pro #projectraceweight – almond crusted chicken, turnip mash, collard greens from Snap Kitchen.  So, so good.

I have the number 56 on my whiteboard at work.  It means 56 days until vacation, and I have 56 days left to be really strict with my diet.  7 down, 56 to go.

Last week was definitely an adjustment period.  1500 calories is challenging, but most days, it’s doable.  Snap Kitchen for most meals really helped the initial break in period, and helped us “blame” something else for our smaller portion sizes.  Don’t get me wrong, the food is actually pretty yummy and it was suuuuuper convenient not to have to do any cooking, but sometimes we’d just open up one of the meals and laugh at how small they were (before crying, because it’s our ENTIRE meal).

This was a pretty good representation of what I’ve been normally eating on a daily basis.  The exceptions were Thursday, when I had some drinks after work.  I had planned on it, so I just eliminated all my snacks that day, and ended up right at my 1500 calories anyway.  On Saturday, we had birthday celebrations.  I did my best to eat like a normal human being with what was offered, but I knew I was going to go over on calories unless I skipped dinner (and ending my day with cake at 4pm would set me up to feel flippin’ awful), so I sucked it up and called it a “maintenance calorie day” at 2300 (500 of that was dessert that if it wasn’t homemade by my family, I would have skipped, so I can pretty much see what I would normally eliminate to stay in my range).  Sunday, I was right back to it, so we’ll call it a successful week.

For funsies, the numbers went like this:

  • Average calories: 1646
  • Average Diet Quality Score: 22
  • Average Calorie Burn (per Garmin): 2346
  • Average Deficit: -700
  • Average Weight: 185.7

This next week presents it’s own challenges.  There are no family parties to navigate, but I am racing.  It’s so not an A race, but I definitely don’t want to go too low in terms of calorie consumption both the day before and the day of the race (but I’d also like to not to sabotage my weight loss efforts either).

So, my goal will be to eat normally today through Thursday.  Friday, I’ll eat my normal, pre-race routine of a normal breakfast, a turkey sandwich for lunch (somewhere on the way down to Katy, TX), and then grill up some chicken, potatoes, and a salad for dinner.  Honestly, I will probably be able to get by on around 1500 calories, give or take a little for snacks if I’m feeling hungry.

Race day will probably be the biggest challenge.  I’ll have my normal sunbutter jelly half sandwich in the morning with a coconut water and probably 1 gel and a little sports drink during (probably about 500 calories total).  The race is sponsored by a brewery, so I’m imagining there will be beer after, and that will be happening.  But I’ll try to limit it to ONE (~150 calories) even if they’re serving up all you can drink, because I can easily drink most of the calories I can eat in a day with good beer.  With these races, the food is always questionable – if its something AMAZING I’ll indulge but if it’s crappy lukewarm pizza or something, I’ll come prepared with a protein bar or jerky and nuts or something to have something down the hatch to rebuild (200 calories).

Avoiding these.  Because they are crack.

Once we get back to our campsite, I’m planning the attack two ways:

#1 – I plan to go for a little hike and hit the pool and I’m bringing some games and my painting supplies so I don’t just kick off the day with a beer at 9am when I finish and then continue doing that while just sitting in my camp chair.  And, if I do end up sipping stuff all day, I’m making some very diluted punch and having a bunch of non-alcoholic fizzy water options so if I want to catch a buzz I’ll need to stay very very very very hydrated!  Win win!

#2 – I plan to bring really healthy food as my only options.  Veggies and fruit and nuts and jerky to snack on.  Small steaks with potatoes and veggies for lunch (good high quality carbs and protein and nutrition for recovery).  Fish tacos with coleslaw on the side for dinner or pre-made chicken salads if we can’t be arsed to cook again.  I’m going to leave the chips and smores and all the other crap that’s just (delicious) extra calories without any nutritional value at home so I’m not even tempted.

And, if I end up going a little overboard anyway, it is just one day in the grand scheme of things and I’ll pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back to it again the next day.

Someday, the long days of training and the ability to make a few gluttonous food choices will return.  But, that’s not what I’m doing right now.  And I’ll be fine with it, if for only 56 more days.

Adjusted Reality Vlog #3 – Free Triathlon Speed!

Howdy campers!  I went above and beyond the call of duty and recorded TWO new videos yesterday about FREE TRIATHLON SPEED.

That’s right, these videos tell you how to go faster at transitions without hours of work and sweating or spending a bunch of money.  #winning for reals!

This first one (above) will walk you through how to practice transitions, what should (and shouldn’t) be in your transitions, and how to deal with bike check in the day before the race.

Gotta love the thumbnail for the second one.  I should probably wear one of those at all times…

The second one talks about how to navigate race morning and race day handling your transitions like a boss.

Debriefing myself on what went right/wrong/notes for next time:

When I pick a topic, I need to write it out, divide it in half, and then divide it in half again.  I have a whole extra video or two of content I didn’t record on different types of transitions and some other more advanced stuff, which I might record someday, but I need to cap the content at a reasonable time frame, and ALWAYS keep part 1 as short as possible (10-15 mins max).

Practicing beforehand was AWESOME.  I did one run through 2 days before.  I timed myself and decided to split my video after getting halfway through in 15 minutes.  Then, I did a run through of each video right before I recorded it.  I think I “ummmed” and “so….” ‘d a little bit less and stayed a little more focused.  I was also a little more on top of the visual changes that way.  At first I regretted not recording my practices, but I think I would have spent time agonizing over which one to use and wanting to splice them together.  This is one take video.

Still need to work on my mic levels.  I have everything as turned up as I know how and I even moved it closer to my face, and it was still *kinda* low.  Need the fabulous Zliten’s technical assistance before I do the next few.

Other things that went better:

  • Lighting.  I was less washed out on camera and the green screen worked BETTER.
  • More confident. I feel like this 4 days of eating healthy/less has made my face less puffy.  Even if it’s only in my head, I’m going with it.

So, I feel like at this point I’ve knocked out most of the obvious things that were crappy.  I have a process and I have a format.  Here are my goals for the next few:

  • Make a 5 minute tops video.  Figure out some sort of short bite size and useful content I can cover in 3-5 minutes.  I don’t want to completely abandon the longer format, but it’s a challenge to me to be informative and concise.
  • Space out a little less during my videos.  Practicing helped me “um” and “so” a lot less, but I could get better.
  • Figure out some of the advanced beginner you tube stuff.  How do I put callouts and links on my video (to my website, to part 1 or part 2 of the next video, etc).  GCN does a great job at this stuff.  I don’t need to be this awesome yet but being able to link part 1 and part 2 of these videos together would be sweet.

Of the topics I have in front of me, I think Five Healthy Breakfasts for People Who Hate Eggs and Oatmeal is the most likely to be conscise, so that’s probably next.  Thanks for watching, reading, and/or playing along in my adventures in video! 🙂

#projectraceweight, take three

I am not an idiot.

A pizza-eating-sunglasses-inside-wearing giant dork?  Sure.  But not an idiot.

I mean, sure, I do stupid things.  I make bad decisions.  I go with the “feels good now” choice versus the “will actually push me towards my goals” choice more often than I’d like to admit.  Sometimes I eat birthday cake even though I KNOW I will instantly regret that decision (stomachache, calories, etc).  Sometimes I stay downtown and party with the band that we just met and go into questionable dive bars and play flippy cup with the bartenders instead of going home before sundown like a good little triathlete.  Sometimes I’ll go for the fun bike ride with the team instead of doing my speedwork.  Sometimes I binge watch a season of a show on Netflix I’ve seen five times instead of finishing a writing, movie, or art project.

However, I do these knowing full well that I am making the “right now” choice vs the actual right choice.  So, I’m not an idiot.  I promise.  I’m just GREAT at self sabotage.

Delicious, amazing, decadent self-sabotage.

I know the reason I haven’t been losing weight even if I’d rather bitch about it the last few months than actually DO anything.  My calorie output is approximately 2200 per day (and that’s improved from the roughly 2k or less I was seeing when the air was trying to kill me with either allergies or freezing temperatures), and I’m TRACKING 1800-1900 average per day, which means I’m probably consuming a little more than that.  Studies show that even dieticians under-track their consumption so I am sure I’m doing that too.  It’s just hard to be so meticulous.

Instead of getting batshit crazy and tracking every crumb (I just had a conversation with my husband about whether he should track his GUM intake since he’s on this crazy handbasket to hell with me this time…), I’m just going to aim for a lower number to make sure, errors or not, I maintain a deficit.  This week begins the attempt at 1500 calories average per day.   The last two months have been pushing an importance of #1 – diet quality and then #2 – calories.  Now, I’m reversing the order.  The most important thing is to stay as close to the 1500 number as possible.  Of close second importance is diet quality, but if one has to win over the other, calorie count is king.

This sounds like a very subtle difference, but it’s actually pretty significant in how I handle situations that challenge me vs my goals.  It feels a little bit dirty sometimes (I really want a bottle glass of whiskey, and I’m going to not eat dinner an apple so I have those calories).  In all honesty, it’s not the best long term solution, but it is the *only* way I lose weight that doesn’t make me go completely bonkers.

Not an apple, but about as many calories as a large one.

When I eat super clean, 1500 is plenty for nutritional purposes.  For example, yesterday I ate:

  • Breakfast (10:30am): 1 mug of green tea + 1 cup Greek Fage 0% Yogurt with 1/2 cup berries and 2 tbsp powdered PB (270 cal)
  • Lunch (12:30pm): Snap Kitchen Supreme Pasta (340 cal)*
  • Second Lunch (3pm): giant mixing bowl salad with lettuce, broccoli slaw, cucumber, tomato, corn, peas, pepperchinis, olives, reduced fat feta, and lite italian dressing (150 calories)
  • Snacks (4pm-8pm):  1/2 oz pistachios (75 cal), sliced apple with powdered pb and cinnamon (100 cal), corn tortilla with beans and lite jarlsberg cheese (175 cal)
  • Dinner (8pm): Snap Kitchen Shrimp Paella (360 cal)*
  • Before bed (10pm): Sleepytime Tea (0 cal) and a square of dark chocolate (40 cal)

*Yep, I’m making this week a no brainer by using a meal service.  I <3 Snap Kitchen when kickstarting something like #projectraceweight because it’s easy to eat healthy food that’s pretty flippin’ delicious.

This works out to about 1500 calories and 31 DQ points.  One off a perfect score – just can’t justify switching out that last dark chocolate square for a piece of fruit instead to hit that +1.  I’ll live with that.

I rode my bike for 45 minutes easy-peasy-like in the evening and got my 10k steps for the day with walks, burning approximately 2300 calories and with a -800 calorie deficit.  Day one done.  If I can do this 5 days in a row, I will mathematically have lost just a little over 1 lb.  If I can keep this up consistently for the nine weeks before I go on vacation, I can lose almost 15 lbs.

However, I know how this goes.  I need to have an escape hatch every once in a while.  Sometimes you have to splurge.  So, once a week, I’ll allow myself to take in closer to maintenance calories – or around 2000.  I can attempt to make that up, by eating a little less on the days around it, burning a little more (though my training schedule is pretty set and intentionally fairly consistent), or just accept that I’ll go a little slower.  If I eat 2000 calories once a week for the next 9 weeks, I’ll lose 13.5 lbs instead of 15.  However, that math is a great reminder that every little decision I make counts.  Passing on an order of fries once a week is the difference of 1.5 lbs of fat loss over two months.  That doesn’t suck.

My lovely french fry friends… it’s not you.  It’s me.  I just need some space.  We’ll be together again soon.

So, I embark on #projectraceweight for the third time (and many other times before that under a different name).  While it’s frustrating that none of them have actually succeeded, I’m starting a little lighter (186.0 today) and in better shape each time (I’m coming off six weeks of heavy weight training, BULKING, if you will, not couch sitting like the previous two years).  And that doesn’t suck either.

It’s easy to be weak willed when faced with a goal months away vs the chocolate cake in my face (one slip up can’t hurt, right?), so I’m going to write out all the reasons why losing that 15 lbs would be awesome, in no particular order.

  • I’d like all the clothes I have in my closet/drawers fit me, and not pick the same few things over and over.  I have some really cute clothes I can’t wear because of the extra spare tire I’m carrying around.
  • When we lost weight, we stopped snoring.  The snore monster is creeping back into the bedroom.  I’d like to stop waking Zliten up at night (and vice versa).
  • Actually maybe someday wanting to purchase a race picture instead of them making me barf.  It would be awesome to be proud of how I look on the course vs embarrassed at looking like a sausage in my team kit.
  • I’m sure this knee/ankle/heel thing could be much improved with less constant pressure and pounding from my bodyweight.  Being able to run pain free again would be worth saying no to every junk food in the world.
  • A free 30 seconds per mile running.  Just for saying no to the chips or seconds at dinner for the next nine weeks is totally worth free speed.  I just need to remember that junk food = slower runs.
  • Confidence.  It feels really vain to say, but I’ll feel less hesitant about being on camera, putting myself out there as a brand ambassador and health and fitness mentor, and maybe even asking for help and mentorship myself if I feel better about my body.

So key points for me to remember until May 20th:

  • Eat 1500 calories or less UNLESS it’s that special once a week splurge day IF you need it.
  • Eat good quality food 90% of the time.
  • Don’t eat random crap just because it’s there.  If you splurge, do it because you absolutely MUST HAVE THE THING and do that not very often.
  • This actually means a lot to you, so don’t fuck it up with self sabotage.
  • This is temporary and you are really good at maintaining your weight once you settle somewhere, so you won’t have to be this neurotic forever.

Like I said, day one is done.  And I didn’t fall face first onto a plate of french fries.  Day two has started.  Six-one more to go.

On Starting Things…

Last month, I had a nice long cathartic post about hiding my insecurities and fear behind apathy.

I’ll take “things that scare me but I do them anyway for 300$, Alex”.

I’m pleased to say since then, I’ve faced some fears and have contemplated steps on others.  As I said, fear is totally okay, but inaction via paralysis by fear is not.  The cool thing, though, is I’ve found that just starting, just taking the first step in some cases, is enough to get the mojo flowing.  In gymnastics and diving, I would analyze, analyze, and analyze again before starting my routine or trying a new trick or a launching myself into dive, but when it was time to go, I would shut my brain off and just do it.  Go. Move. Execute.  You can’t think too hard, otherwise, you freeze up midair once you realize what sort of idiot thing you’re trying to do and land on your neck.  That’s not where you want to be.  You analyze, commit, then execute.

In life at 39 vs my daredevil teenage years, there’s obviously less immediate danger, but you still run the risk of proverbially freezing up and not taking chances and pursuing something awesome.

Caption says it all.

#wattagebrigade:

First, I applied for my first brand ambassadorship, and I was picked!  I am super excited because I love the brand (and the woman behind the brand is pretty awesome too), but my typical subconscious overthinks everything and almost stopped me.  I had to justify to myself that I was worthy of being a representative of a brand.  Me, with ~20-30 lbs to my race weight, who sometimes chooses bourbon over bikes, who’s not really training hard right now, who has less than 300 IG followers and 30-50 likes on posts.

But, I got myself to do it, I turned my brain off and submitted my application, and I succeeded!  Hooray!  I actually have another company I really dig that’s taking applications that I’m considering, and there are a few more that tend to open late in the year for next year.  Brands that I use already and love, that I like the company and their values.  I know it’s kind of a win win situation too, by sending me some free stuff, which is a relatively small investment, I’ll post about them on social media a lot because a) I have a bunch of their gear in my rotation and b) I’ll feel super warm and fuzzy about their company because they made me a little part of their team.

Video:

I love posting pictures.  I shy away from video.  I couldn’t really figure out what the difference was, until I realized that it’s the time commitment I’m asking the viewer.  You can appreciate a picture and a caption in a few seconds.  For a video, I’m asking for precious minutes.  I need to value myself as something that people will spend minutes vs seconds on to be really comfortable making a video and sharing it.

My first attempts at video have been wayyyyy too many minutes, but I put them up anyway.   I realize that I am not interesting enough to listen to for 28 or 36 minutes for the average viewer.  However, once I get better at it, I think I can be interesting enough for 5-15 minute content slices if I practice and focus and talk about things that are useful.  That’s my goal, and that’s where I’m going

I’ve gone from “video is haaaaaaard” to “I can’t wait to do this and practice more” and that’s super exciting to me.  This is definitely one thing where I really just had to start and now I’m kind of hooked.  Also, my husband bought me a green screen, a mic, and a light.  I have all this #sopro gear, how can I quit now?

Painting:

Here’s a place I’ve found some land mines, but thus far, I remain in tact and in the process.

I spent some time Sunday two weekends ago looking for photo reference from pictures that I wanted to paint.  In two hours, I went from “what the heck should I paint” to “OMG here are the 50 things I want to paint”, so that was a step in the right direction.  Then, I froze up a little bit.  How could I choose which to paint first?  I handed off my ideas to Zliten and he picked one for me.  Land mine avoided.

I immediately got started.  I enjoyed sketching it out with pencil, and then I started painting.  The background didn’t look quite right and I sat it down to dry before I did another coat and I didn’t touch it for a week and a half but I constantly thought about it.  It was the thing that I didn’t know how to solve.  I think I was intimidated by it being more difficult than I thought and I’m (still) scared that it won’t measure up to how awesome my photo was.  Huge land mine in my path.

I avoided painting until last night when Zliten sat down to paint minis, I reluctantly joined him.  I’m glad I did though, because after obtaining some new paints (better colors, more suited to the canvas) and finding some new techniques, I’m MUCH happier with my background.  I’m ready to take the leap and start painting the foreground now, which is also intimidating and intricate, but I have momentum.  I need to remember that I’m not a human printer and I can and should deviate from reality.  And that my first painting in many, many, many years that was not lead by an instructor and fueled by a bunch of wine may not be the masterpiece that lands me in a museum, AND THAT IS OKAY.

When you take chances, you get to do cool things.  Like wear awesome hats.  And use the big adult weights to squat and deadlift.  Roar!

Lessons on asking humans for things:

Totally minor but I emailed our chiropractor for advice on what sort of massage to get.  My instinct was to just read up on it, but since she prescribed it to us, I reached out to ask advice.    She got back to me and specifically said sports massage not deep tissue, so I’m glad I asked.

It really hit me last week when I was having trouble with my deadlifts.  I got to 135#, and I felt like I could handle more, but I felt like I was going to drop the bar and couldn’t finish my sets and was frustrated.  My husband talked to our resident weight lifter at work ON MY BEHALF because my husband is reasonable and thinks to do that type of thing, and he suggested I use a mixed grip.  Saturday, I went to deadlift and I got myself up to 155# and found my limit but it wasn’t because of a grip issue.

I’m not going to stop there with the starting.  Here’s some examples of how I want to face some totally-minor-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things-but-subconsiously-holding-me-back fears in the coming weeks.

Baby steps into mentorship:

I know a few legit authors in my network or extended network.  I’m planning on reaching out to at least three of them by the time I complete my book (next month possibly?) and asking for advice on what to do next.  While my first instinct is to research the crap out of it myself, and I totally will – I have a non-fiction book lined up about just that, and I’ve found some great sites, but I’m forcing myself to reach out to people because I need to do that and I’d like to hear from folks I know that might give me more candid thoughts than something published… publicly.

For some reason, this one gives me less butterflies in the stomach than it did a month ago.  It’s time to conquer the dreaded ASKING FOR ADVICE/HELP dumb fear I have.

Very Small Baby Steps into Entrepreneurship:

I’m reading up on Angel Investing.  I got the book because if I ever decide to do a business that I look for funding, I wanted to know what it’s all about.  Of course, now I’m interested in actually looking into dipping my toe into it.  I don’t quite meet the income requirement to be accredited to do it myself, but I like the idea of joining a group and placing some bets with some disposable income.  I’ve joined one weekly list and I’ll be on the lookout for more.  If nothing else, I will be super prepared if I have to take meetings with them someday.

Weight Loss.  What?  Why is this on the list?

Let’s talk about losing weight and me playing psychologist with myself.  Obviously it’s difficult because it’s just HARD to be as good as I need to be to drop lbs.  The options I have in the real world are: a) be perfect (no junk ever at all) or b) sacrifice nutrition.  I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but that’s the only way I can get my calories low enough to maintain a deficit.  The last successful weight loss period – I gave up snacks.  It worked to take down some weight, but my snacks are healthy.  I eat fruit and nuts and veggies and occasionally some whole grains.  That sucks.  But…I did it before, regularly, for about two years straight.  I know I can do it again.  The logistics of losing weight are difficult, but doable.

However, let’s talk about the mental side because this is something I’m starting to realize may be holding me back.  As much as my conscious mind would give anything to be back at that 150-160lbs I was rocking 8-9 years ago, it also comes with some baggage, both external and internal.

Internally, if I’m that weight, I lose my excuses.  Maybe I’ll perform better.  Maybe it won’t be enough and I’ll just look good in my kit while still coming in 5th in my age group.  It’s nice to have the “well, I did well even though I’m still fat” asterisk, but it’s getting really tiresome.  I am really good at triathlon considering the weight I’m at, but damn, how much better could I be doing if I lost the pot belly?  Maybe not at all, and this is as good as it gets.  Am I scared to finally find out?

This one occasionally got harassed walking down the street.  And also needed a leg tan…

Externally – I’m fit but I’m not what you would call “smokin’ hot” to society.  At 180-something lbs, I’m not getting cat-called walking down the street.  I’m not getting ogled.  People aren’t commenting about how sexy I look while I’m just trying to put up a picture of me lifting weights in a modest tshirt and capris on Instagram.  When I was younger, I would have loved the attention.  Heck, when I first lost weight, it was kind of nice to have people look at my body and think positive thoughts instead of how similar it was to a beached whale.  Then, very very quickly, it got tiresome.  I realized recently that mayyyyybe there was a self-sabotage component going on here.  It has been INSANELY hard to lose this last 20-30 lbs I want to, almost as if someone is subconsciously throwing dirt back into the hole I’m digging.

Screw that person.  Screw what the world thinks of my body.  If attaining what I want means I have to stretch out and warm up my middle fingers for consistent use and watch a ton of Janine Garafolo movies to brush up on my sarcastic comments to use on internet trolls and catcallers, so be it.  Starting next week, I’m going to do my best to be as impeccable as possible with my diet for a full MONTH.  At least.  I’m going to make a running go at losing 10 lbs and see where I can go from there.  I would love a free minute on my 5k run and if I can take of the 30 lbs I’d like to lose, that would be a free minute PER MILE.  I would love not to feel like a sausage in my tri kit.  I’d love to actually consider purchasing the race photo package in advance knowing some of them might not actually look disgusting.

So, if I start putting crap in my mouth that I shouldn’t, I’m going to have a talk with myself about WHY, in my heart of hearts, that I’m doing this.  Obviously food is delicious, but I’m talking about a few months to a goal.  Why is this particular food more important than my goals?  Why am I sabotaging myself?  Can’t I avoid being an asshole for a few months while doing the things that let my body return to a healthy weight for the first time in almost a decade?

It’s time to start answering these questions and taking some action.

Adjusted Reality Vlog #2 – It’s my birthday!

Check out my second vlog in honor of me getting older!

In this episode, I talk about:

  • My husband got me very cool birthday presents, including a green screen – check out how #sopro I am in that preview pane!
  • Another cool present, we got accepted to be ambassadors for Wattage Cottage (and I got the news on my actual birthday!).  Check out that sweet hat and I show off some #sockdoping.
  • Then, I reminisce about the five coolest things I did whilst 38 – including becoming an Ironman, obviously.

I’m really enjoying doing these, and I’m going to keep at it.  I’ve already got the next few written out and I want to try doing one every 2 weeks, at least.

My notes to myself for next time:

  • 28 minutes is better than 35+, but let’s really try for 15 minutes or less.  On these one-take type videos, it’s hard to predict, but obviously, I need to narrow the scope of what I’m talking about.  And I think my next subjects do that (but we’ll see).
  • Mic levels – I’m using a new mic (another birthday present), and it’s a little quiet (it seems ok playing back on the PC, but I had to turn it up wayyyyy high on the PS4).  I’ll turn it up next time to be a little louder than I think it should.
  • Lighting – I’m also using a new light (yet another present, my husband wants me to be pro at this!), and it’s GREAT but washing me out a bit.  I think I’ll have to play with the settings.
  • Music in the background?  I’m trying to decide if it would add to the entertainment factor (i.e. not just me talking forever) or would just be annoying.
  • When I do live streaming at work, I practice a little more.  And I know what I’m going to say and ramble a little less.  I’m going to make sure and do at least one dry run without the camera on for each video, I think it will help me.

While these “my life yadda yadda” ones have been good to warm up with, I’m going to try and do a handful of more informational ones next.  So, if you have a preference between tips on your pre-race routine, setting up triathlon transitions, lifting heavy, or healthy breakfasts for people that hate eggs and oatmeal, let me know and I’ll make that one first!

Funny note: I started with a striped shirt on that day, but had to change, because the green screen was going CRAZY!

So, if you’re still reading (HI!), let me know if you have any feedback for me on what you like to see in videos.  Shorter?  Background music?  Hit me up.

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