Monday, September 10, 2012

Six weeks

Yesterday marked six weeks until my marathon, and there is something about that number that screams "do a challenge!" or "make some six-week goals!" Six weeks just seems like the perfect amount of time to focus on a goal. After thinking all week what type of "six weeks until my marathon" challenge I wanted to do, I actually came up with two things.

The first, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, is to give up peanut butter for six weeks--not forever, but six weeks. I've been eating way too much of it, and when I binge, I always binge on peanut butter or something with peanut butter in it. So I am actually kind of excited to explore new snack foods. So far, there have been no withdrawal symptoms ;)

The second, is something I never thought I would ever do--I actually signed up for Weight Watchers Online. I've written before that I had bad experiences with WW, and that I did their program on my own when I first started losing weight. Eventually, I found all kinds of flaws with the (old) program and decided to switch over to counting calories. I did try the new PointsPlus program for a couple of weeks when it first came out, but I didn't have luck with it, and I never tried it again.

Recently, Mary gave the new program a try, and it planted the little seed in my brain that had me thinking, "Maybe I should give it another chance, I have all the materials..." Another reason I decided to try it is because of marathon training--my appetite is all over the place. Sometimes I'm starving, even after eating all of my calories for the day, and sometimes I feel just fine eating the low end of my calorie range.

The one thing that I liked about counting Points rather than calories in the past is that there are "free" foods--when I did the program, it was most vegetables that were free. But with the new program, all fruits and most veggies are free. So on those days during marathon training when I feel like I'm ravenously hungry, I can really bulk up my meals with fruits and veggies.

Also, as I've mentioned, I have been feeling kind of out-of-control lately with my eating, and I feel like I need some structure, at least for a while, to get back on track. When I mentioned WW to Jerry, he got really excited about it. He said that he really misses when we used to count Points together. He was bummed yesterday to see that his weight is up about 10 pounds as well, and he said he wants to count Points again to get it back down.

Now, I know there is nothing magical about counting Points (or PointsPlus, rather)--it really is just a glorified way of eating less. But sometimes I like to change things up and do things differently to make it fun for me. Enter the six-week challenge. I'm going to give the program six full weeks (last time, I only gave it about two weeks), sticking with it as carefully as I can, and just see what the results are. I would like to lose 5-10 pounds in that time, but most importantly, I just want to gain back a sense of control.

I always do best with my eating during the fall and winter, so hopefully I can get back into my goal range. And then I need to come up with a good plan to stay IN the range instead of going up and down with 10-15 pounds. But for right now, I'm going to try embracing the program and giving it a fair chance. My friend Stephanie does Weight Watchers, and I was super inspired when I saw her recent before and after pictures. She looks amazing!! She reached goal this year, but continues to count Points.

So anyway, today is Day 2 and everything is going well. I got off to a rocky start yesterday, because my friend Danielle was in town (she's moving from Minnesota to Washington D.C. and was passing through) and my mom made dinner. I ate there, and then had not one, but TWO pieces of dessert. I did look it up and count it, but I used up a lot of my weekly points already.

I had an AWFUL morning as far as running goes.

Today, I had planned on doing an 18-mile run. Last night, I plugged in my Garmin to charge, plugged in my iPod for some new podcasts, laid out my running gear, mapped out my route, got everything ready so that the morning wouldn't be hectic. This morning, I woke up and got dressed in my running clothes, then got the kids ready for school. I left as soon as the bus picked them up, and drove the 20 minutes to park at the community center, where I start my run.

As soon as I pulled into the lot, I realized I forgot my Garmin at home. I was SO bummed. I thought about doing the run without the Garmin, but I really didn't want to. If it was just a six-miler or something, I would have run without it, but the Garmin gives me a whole timeline of my run, which is fun to have when I've run 18 miles. So I decided to go home and get it, and then go to the State Park instead (which is only 10 minutes away instead of 20).

So I drove home, grabbed my Garmin, and headed out to the State Park. I got almost all the way there when I realized that the heart rate monitor I put on wasn't working. I had put on an old heart rate strap because the new 910xt strap feels like razor blades under my boobs. Again, I could have just gone without it, but on a run as long as 18 miles, it's important for me to be able to monitor my heart. So I went back home AGAIN, switched out the strap, then went to the State Park.

As soon as I pulled into the lot, I saw this:
There was a sign next to it that said the trail was closed, and there were a bunch of trucks doing some sort of construction. At that point, I just screamed in frustration. It was already after 9:00, which is late to start a long run. In my pissed off state of mind, I just thought, "Fine--I'm just going to run 18 miles on the fucking treadmill!" Hahaha...

Got home, set up the treadmill and started running. I couldn't figure out why my pace was showing to be so slow even when I kept bumping up the speed on the treadmill. Then I realized that I had forgotten to turn off the GPS on my Garmin when I started running indoors, so it screwed up my pace. I didn't want to do all 18 miles like that, so I decided to just go outside, do a shorter run, and do my 18-miler on Friday.

I'm glad I at least got in a good run today, because I was just so frustrated and irritated by everything going wrong (made worse by PMS, I'm sure).
Screwed up treadmill splits

Outdoor splits
So I got in 66 minutes of running today. I'll run again on Wednesday, and then do 18 on Friday.

Wow, this post is way too long!


  1. Hi Katie - I'm a relatively new follower...just wanted to thank you (along with Carly and Krista) because it's been you 3 that have motivated me to start running! I have a lot to loose and been fighting what feels like a loosing battle for far too long now, but I figured reading your blog and going back to school - what better time!! (Not to mention you and Krista are roughly neighbours - I'm in Southwestern Ontario)

    Also - I tried the new WW program earlier this's very slow going I find - I did manage to loose about 15 or so pounds in roughly 20 weeks. Hopefully it has a speedier outcome for you!!

  2. I think it's great that you're trying WW for a bit. Mary's post also made me think that I wanted to give it another shot, even if it was just for a month. I think I might in the near future.

  3. Wow, the marathon is getting so close- how exciting!

    I think giving WW another shot is a great idea, you have nothing to lose...ahem...except weight! Good luck, hope you like it!

    Oh and bravo to you on giving up peanut butter for a while. Dont think I could do it. I did, however, restrict myself to one serving a day. Usually with breakfast or lunch. It is working so far!


  4. Sorry you had a poopie happens but it'll get better and you'll kick that 18 milers bootay! That's great that you and Jerry are doing that together. Nothing like having your honey along for the ride!

  5. If you get tired of doing WW online or don't want to spend the money, I got an app for $2.99 that counts your points called 'my score plus' they say they aren't affiliated with WW but its pretty much the points plus system in an app. You have to be a member of WW, and connected to the internet for the Weight Watchers app to work.. this one works offline and only cost me three bucks!!

  6. I hope you do well with your challenges. Especially the peanut butter one, it's definitely something I love and would miss if I cut it; even temporarily. I hope you get back the feeling of control though!

  7. Exciting that it's 6 weeks to the marathon! Bet it will go fast :P

    I seriously hate when all you want to do is exercise, & it all goes wrong. Good on you for carrying through with it, rather than chucking in the towel.

    Cool news about becoming an online WW as well. I've been a member of the meetings programme since late Feb this year & have lost 14kg (30 pounds) so far, got ~6kg to go til I get to my goal weight. I love the support of meetings, and find the ProPoints system to be logical and easy to follow. I'm guessing the US one is pretty similar to the NZ one. I look forward to hearing how you find it :)

  8. Your "speed bumps" in getting your long run in really resonated with me. I had an entire DAY like that yesterday with everything...and I did NATO even workout because the Zumba classes I took over the weekend had wiped me out!

    I find that having 1 Tbs. of PB with breakfast keeps me in control. And I make sure to have a brand without any added sugar!

    Keep up the great work!

  9. Sometimes I go back and forth between calories and WW. Although I still stick to the old points system :)

  10. Hi! I'm a new follower as well. I believe I found your blog through Sparkpeople. We have a few things (several actually) in common so I just had to comment! 1) I am also completing a marathon in 6 weeks..but this will be my first. 2) I also decided that counting calories wasn't working for me anymore so I re-joined WW 3.5 weeks ago. I love the new program. I've lost 10.4lbs in 3 weeks and feel great. Granted I have about 70lbs to lose still, but it really did wonders to jumpstart my weight loss after gaining some back from losing last year. Good luck! I'll be rooting for you!

  11. That always helps when the hubby's on board with losing weight at the same time :) My husband and I are working on it together, too. BTW...we were doing the Mill City Suds Run (in Minneapolis) last Saturday, and I think I may have seen your brother??
    I wasn't about to ask him though...cause that seemed creepy ;)
    Better luck on your next run day!

    1. You totally should have asked... it probably was him! ;) He ran in a (very strange) costume. I'll post a pic on the blog later!

    2. That's too funny! His costume looked like a bed, with a blonde woman laying on him...? Seeing all the costumes is definitely a fun part of the Suds run ;)

  12. This is so awesome. I have been following your blog daily for over a year! I found it when I started my weight loss journey. And today, I was overly excited when I read that you were giving Weight Watcher's another shot. I joined July 2011, losing 70 pounds within a year, have met my goal weight AND now I am proudly a lifetime member!! Also, along the way I became a runner... because of YOU! So thank you! I'm so excited for you. I know that Weight Watcher's isn't for everyone, but it has certainly changed my life. I will forever be grateful.

  13. Happy to hear you've found something that excites you! Maybe that bootcamp class will go hand in hand with WW?!?

  14. Whoever meets you at the finish line in 6 weeks should be carrying a jar of your favorite peanut butter snack. Good luck!

  15. Good luck with the new goal- and I'm glad to see you are trying ww again. I love WW- it has helped me lose a large amount of weight (220 lbs) and take control of my life for the first time. That being said, I know it isn't for everyone and there are definitely some bad receptionists and leaders out there. Hope you like the new program and it can help you!

  16. Just one of those days! I did WW when points first came out and lost 40 pounds, then I tried to go back after they went to points plus but I had a hard time with it for some reason. I joined a dozen times in between (because I gained all the weight back x2!) and I love the meetings but for some reason I just can't make myself follow the program (and track) so I end up wasting money and not losing weight. I've been tracking on My Fitness Pal for a couple months now and that has been working out well so far but I have the occasional urge to go back to WW..I just don't know if I trust myself to pay for it again. Good luck!!! And for a really long time I couldn't keep peanut butter in the house because I would go nuts but within the past year I have been able to be relatively good with it. I live alone so I am lucky that I don't have junk snacks to contend with or I would have a serious problem!

  17. Aw, thank you so much for the kind words, Katie. :) It's kind of funny that you find my pictures inspiring, since it was YOU who inspired me to finally GET to that point. :)

    I hope both of your six-week challenges go great!! xoxo

  18. I'm excited that you're going to do PP! I've done pretty well on it in the past, but since having my third baby last November it's been harder to stick to. In the past year I've gone to meetings but haven't always followed the Weight Watchers program religiously. I even tried counting calories on SparkPeople but that didn't work out either. So since I'm paying for WW (I mostly like to go to meetings for the general ideas and such), I recently decided that duh, I might as well follow that program. There is something nice about it, I don't know. It's easier to me to count PPs instead of calories. There are a lot fewer to worry about! And the free fruit is a really nice addition.

  19. Just read this and busted out laughing. I love your blog.


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