Weight loss roadblock. I know what to do, I am just a little confused right now.

That was the old me, but the bowl of snacks was bigger!

That was the old me, but with a bigger snack bowl!

I am having trouble losing weight I gained during my 12 months of off season.   This is not an easy task and is not for the faint of heart, but can be done!  I thought if I wrote my thoughts out here, on my blog, it would help me and any others work through the ins and outs of breaking down weight loss roadblocks.

There are 3 parts to this post.

Part 1: I know I’ve hit a weight loss roadblock, but how did this happen to begin with?
Part 2: Making a plan to destroy my weight loss roadblock.
Part 3: Mission accomplished, stop your weight loss roadblock from returning.


Now that is one heck of a road block!

Now that is one heck of a road block!

Part 1: I know I’ve hit a weight loss roadblock, but how did this happen to begin with?

Have you ever been at a spot in the year when there is a break in your training schedule or you are taking a lot more rest days then you normally would?  Do you also feel that you are having trouble getting out of bed? That it’s either too cold or too hot out or the sun either doesn’t get up when you do or it goes down before you get out of the office?   During this time do you eat too many good foods and too many of the bad foods?  Are you 5-10lbs heavier than your normal weight and 15-20lbs above your racing weight?

I DO and am exactly in all of those spots right now.  It seems too cold AND too dark, I am eating too many of good AND bad foods and am staying in bed way too long.  If my scale is correct, I am roughly 15lbs (who am I kidding, 20lbs) above my ultimate goal race weight. OUCH!

I’ve wondered “what’s wrong with me?” saying too, “this is not like me at all.”  hamberger helperI have talked to doctors and psychologists, asking “why am I not motivated and why can’t I be as strict and where is my stick-to-a-tive-ness that I am used to in my life?”  No doctor has an answer for me.  They either don’t know me or health and fitness and it’s tolls on the human psyche well enough to give me an answer that I can truly grasp on to. This lack of professional insight leaves me to think (and think too much) about why I have hit this weight loss roadblock.

From my experiences and extensive health and fitness reading I can say that too much of a good thing is never a good thing. (Now, now, I am talking about weight loss roadblocks, not money,  vacation, or love).

I have also learned the following;

;Consuming sugar makes one want to consume more sugar, if not burned up right away becomes a cushy bum or a nice set love handle.  Carbohydrates (lovingly called “carbs”) when eaten in amounts more than what the body can use as fuel, is broken down and the body stores it just in case you will use it later. Warning: it doesn’t burn easily after storage.

Sugar

Sugar

We can assume then that carbs if not used up during a workout or a hard work day, has the same effects as sugar. ie. Too many carbs make you crave carbs.

;Consuming fat and salt in large quantities has the same effect as sugar. So we can assume from the information above about sugar that these extra amounts of fat and salt not used during a workout or a hard day of work, are stored in the body.

;Laziness begets laziness, I am not talking about a person who doesn’t work, or who doesn’t clean, walk their dogs, play with their cats, clean their dishes, etc.  I am talking, fit laziness.  The “ah I can take a break today”, next day “I can take a break today”, next month ” I haven’t gotten off this chair to run in months, I can take a break today” type of laziness. I personally create a fear of pain or incapability. Here, I’ll explain, after I have had a bout of fit laziness, I get struck with fear that my chest will hurt if I start running again, or that I may not be able to jump as high during a HIIT workout, I essentially spook myself out of getting up and moving my fanny. Does that happen to you?

mmm, pizza.

mmm, pizza.

;Calories in Calories out.  We have all heard this phrase when talking about weight loss.  Yes, it is true, if you put more calories in to the body then you take out, like during a run or water aerobics, the extra calories will increase your total body weight. This concept seems so cut and dry, so easy pee-zee. What, though, if you have the body type that after 2 months of reducing your calories IN and increasing your calories OUT you find, your cloths fitting better, your family and friends noticing your hard work, but your scale, DOESN’T BUDGE! (Please note, I do believe that for most cases weight should not be a defining factor in health, but if you swim, bike, run or do all three you know that weight does matter. I digress…) If you didn’t know this yet, I’m talking about myself here people.

3 months of hard work then BOOM! I am 10 lbs lighter.

3 months of hard work then BOOM! I am 10 lbs lighter.

I know that if I look at the scale for the first 3 months of a program I will see minimum scale movement, but day one of month 3 BOOM, I’m 10lbs lighter… we will talk more about that in Part: 2.

For now, knowing these 4 basic ideas helps me see HOW my road block was created.  It is true, I did eat too many gluten free cookies, cakes, and pies.  I did eat too many beef burgers and braised short ribs out, I did consume way too much wine and fancy drinks.

Come to think of it, no I didn’t run, cycle, swim or take fitness classes to burn up the extra macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) I am putting into my body. Knowing this allows for me to start down the path to destroying my weight loss roadblock.

Now that I have acknowledged that I have hit a weight loss roadblock and how it was created, my next post: “Weight loss road block. I know what to do, I am just a little confused right now.” Part 2: “Making a plan to destroy my weight loss roadblock” will bring us through proven ways to break down weight loss roadblocks and which way works best for me.

post-race contemplations- Iron Girl Triathlon 2013, Race Results

HI all, So. I completed my first sprint Tri – like I said I would! Go ME!

Who's Awesome? I am Awesome!

Who’s Awesome? I am Awesome!

The race was originally going to be a 1/2 mile swim, an 18 mile bike ride, and a 3 mile run. It actually turned out to be a little less of a swim, a little less of a bike, and right on with the run. Keeping that in mind, here was what I thought in my “pre-race contemplations” post. If you want to read the whole post, you can find it on this page.

finish 1

PRE-RACE (Plan C,Plan B, Plan A) REMEMBER – the swim and bike ended up being shorter…

Plan C (worst case scenario)
Swim 30 minutes
T1 5 minutes
Bike 50 minutes
T2 5 minutes
Run 30 minutes
Finish time 2 hours.

Plan B (middle of the road scenario)
Swim 25 minutes
T1 5 minutes
Bike 45 minutes
T2 5 minutes
Run 28 minutes
Finish time 1 hour 48 minutes

Plan A (pie in the sky scenario)
Swim 23 minutes
T1 4 minutes
Bike 43 minutes
T2 4 minutes
Run 27 minutes
Finish time 1 hour 41 minutes

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!!!!finish 2

I finished in a total of 1 hour 22 minutes and 20 seconds! I beat out all my plans! (Again, less miles covered, but not THAT much!)

Swim: 19:26 min.
T1: 3:55 min.
Bike: 31.44 min. (even with the 6-8 min. stop)
T2: 1:35 min.
Run: 25:40

Now that is called being prepared!finish yell 1

Iron Girl Race Day Recap… The Run

As I was saying… the sun was shinning and the wind was at my back. Man-was I pumped. You would think one would be tired after swimming in a typhoon and riding a bike through a wind tunnel! Just kidding, it wasn’t all that bad, it was behind me now. I was smiling, laughing, yes tearing up, and chatting with the ladies along the route.

The route was fast and flat, a small turn around and then head back to the finish!

I have to say, I was pushing it. Didn’t need that Gu I had in my pocket, I was running off of pure excitement, Joy, and adrenaline!

I chatted with one or two ladies who were passing me, we said things like “you are awesome, keep it up!” and “See you at the finish line!”

Before I knew it the run was over! What the heck, the whole race was over! The race that I had prepared for for how many months, swimming many times a week, running, more times a week, and trying to bike as much as mentally possible. It all paid off, can I tell you (you probably already guessed this) but I am tearing up right now! I probably will each and every time I re-read these posts.

The excitement, the exhilaration, the joy of going through the finish line is so amazing, everyone in their life must once feel the feeling of working hard to complete a goal and then completing it, and completing it well. It is a feeling of a life time, it is addicting and it makes you say – I am ready for another!

I finished, man did I finish! I was so pumped with adrenaline I think I talked with over 50 women and met the winner. She was so nice! Competing in a race or sport that you love makes you a happy person. I swear. As Reese Witherspoon’s character ELLE WOODS in Legally Blonde put it “…exercise gives endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands!”

Happy people just don't kill their husbands!

Happy people just don’t kill their husbands!

Up next… my race times and how they compare to my pre race goals!

Iron Girl 2013 Race Day Recap… The Bike

Jogging out of the transition area, hit the line and jumped on my bike. The gears were too low, so (and here is where my user error occurs) I proceed to ‘cross my chains’ What? YES. Now my pedals would not move forward. Any of you out there that have had a 6 gear Iron Man quality bike know that when your chains cross, you are not going anywhere till you uncrossed them. I am not an experienced rider, if I were I probably could have stayed on the bike and shifted till I was in the clear, but I had to dismount. Not, though, before I gave a big smile to the camera guy and rode past him. Can’t have a bad picture, now can we?

bike pic 2

Dismounted, not many riders passed me, I clicked my gears and hand pedaled my pedals until I was clear to go, I think this took about 6-8 min off my time. Lesson Learned. And off I rode.

The wind was at my face, side, back, and other side, ( that is called ‘coming from all directions’, thank you narrator in my head) and I pushed. The view was so pretty, the Bay on one side and trees on the other, the sun was shining down and the sky was light blue. I was having an experience of a life time! I pretty much passed everyone, all you could hear was “passing on your left” as I passed each Iron girl. I hit the turn around and kept up the pedaling. “Passing on your left” was what I said, and “you go girl!”, “right on sister”, and a few other motivational phrases were yelled back to me. Before I was completed the bike I was passed by probably 3 ladies. I was pleased!bike pic 1

Into the transition I went, quick, quick. Pro-compression visor that matched my Pro-compression socks, CHECK!

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NUUN at the ready, Mike’s recovery drink and a GU and I was running out of the transition area. I waved to my parents and down the road I went.

The wind had died down now and at my back, the sun was shinning and I was pumped for the run!

Iron Girl 2013 race recap… The swim

When I last left you, I was watching the waves and the other swimmers head out to complete their Iron Girl task Accomplishment.

The course was a straight shot across a small inlet area. As I watched, I was shivering, both from shear terror anticipation and from the freezing cold wind. It was a chilly windy morning. I had decided against the wet suit and decided to wear x2 top and Castelli bottoms. It was a good choice for a few reasons. Mainly because it was easier in the Porta pot!

20131101-081508.jpg
Also because they didn’t ride up the entire race!

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My friend Kate and I realized that though the race was running late, I had only a few minutes till my age group started! Kate is 10 yrs my jr. and started a few waves behind me.

As quickly as I couldat the speed of a turtle in bare feet, on medium sized stones, I got myself down to the start and stepped into the water. (I noticed later that I cut my heal and my toe on that little jaunt, oh well)

The water felt warm compared to the air, I believe the race heads said the water was between 65-68 degrees. I was glad it felt warm and proceeded to get in up to my neck. My age group competitors were PUMPED! So, in typical Erin fashion I teared up and send out loud whoops and excited yells. (everyone was doing it, come on!) after about 15 min in the water, waves pushing and pulling, women yelling (and crying) with excitement- WE WERE OFF! The first part of my first Tri sprint!

The first things I noticed as I swam, one person immediately needed help, waves were all up in my face, and everyone was saying “sorry”, “sorry”, “sorry”. We were kicking each other or slamming arms down on others and simply letting the accosted know that we cared and didn’t mean it. Ladies can be so nice, when we want to be!

Back with my head in the water-Man, the waves were huge! I caught a few in the face and decided it was breast stroke/Tarzan swimming water. I swallowed more sea water than my share on the swim. I rounded the first marker and my fears faded. It was still very rough but I had a little heart-to-heart with myself.

I said “Erin. The only way you are getting out of this water is to swim!” So I did. (Gotta love those self heart-to-hearts they get me every time)

Girls were dropping like flys grasping for floats or help. I found out later some competitors threw-up or just out and out cried there way in. I have to admit I did choke on the water smashing into my face from time to time…and if I had my wetsuit on I know I would have felt nauseous.
I saw the beach and gunned it the best I could, trying to ride any possible waves to shore. Hit my hand one, two,three,four times to the beach got up and ran. I had made it safely to shore. I shook someone’s hand and gave a high five. Trying not to tear up (yea, it’s a thing with me) saw my parents

20131101-085035.jpgand with a huge smile and a wave I was off to the change into my shoes and hop on the bike.

Into the transition area I thought of all I’d read. Drink, shoes, wipe down, only get on the bike when allowed- helmet must be on or disqualification! Transition went so smooth and I was through the corral and on the bike.

20131101-084918.jpg

With a ‘user error’ bike start, (uugh me) the bike went great.

The bike…Coming up.

Pre race contemplations, days before my first triathlon

So, here I am, the Thursday before my first triathlon on Sunday. I have trained for 3 months; where I

have completed 4 training open water swims.
1. 4th lake Adirondacks, NY (used wetsuit)
2. 4th lake Adirondacks, NY
3. Atlantic Ocean, Kiawah Island, SC
4. Blue Marsh Lake, Leesport, PA
(5. non-official, Hudson River Swim)

-completed 3x weekly swim sessions
-completed up to 50 miles a week runs
-completed not as many bikes as I should have but accomplished two 90 minute rides

I think I have the conditioning covered.
sbr 090501

Regarding the nutrition, I have had my ups and downs this summer. I lost some weight, regained some weight and am settling right in between at this point. I can’t say I am happy about it but I am lighter than when I started.

I met with my Personal Trainer Katie last week, she took my measurements. Yep, the slight weight gain increased my inches – BUT – my muscles are stronger and not as tight as I was 6 weeks ago. I am also running faster! My typical training run used to be between a 9:00 – 9:30 min mile for up to 6 miles. NOW it is between 8:30-9:00 min. miles for training runs up to 6 miles and that is after a bike or a swim. So, I have to say – I am happy!

Ok, so like I said, and like the title says “Pre race contemplations, days before my first triathlon” I have set the following goals and I am excited to see where I land on race day.

The event is 1/2 mile swim in the bay, 10 mile bike, and 3 mile run.

Plan C (worst case scenario)
Swim 30 minutes
T1 5 minutes
Bike 50 minutes
T2 5 minutes
Run 30 minutes
Finish time 2 hours.

Plan B (middle of the road scenario)
Swim 25 minutes
T1 5 minutes
Bike 45 minutes
T2 5 minutes
Run 28 minutes
Finish time 1 hour 48 minutes

Plan A (pie in the sky scenario)
Swim 23 minutes
T1 4 minutes
Bike 43 minutes
T2 4 minutes
Run 27 minutes
Finish time 1 hour 41 minutes

What ever I do will become my base line so I really, I just want to finish without my shirt ending up around my mid-section with my belly hanging out, my helmet be on straight for the photos, and I get through the finish line with a smile and a tear of joy!finish line

Now briefly, back on nutrition. oatmealIt is without a doubt completely unlike me to not have everything planned to the complete ultra second, my clothes, my shoes, my hair, my visor and my nutrition timing. But this go around, I guess since I am so wacked out because I have very little clue what to expect on race day, my brain went blank. So I am thinking I’ll do some Nuun, (Baby Nu-nu, as my niece and nephew lovingly call my Nuun bottles), two scoops of Mikes recovery shake, and a Gu gel just in case. I think I will be fine, it’s only 2 hours right? I’ve trained for much longer than that on less. Oh yea, I’ll eat oatmeal and a banana before race time.  The night before I think I will do some vegan mexican. Yea, that will work.i want my potty

I’ll talk more later about my big stress of this whole thing in another post. (Don’t get me wrong, I am loving every minute.)

I want my baby nu-nu.

I want my baby nu-nu.

So, what do you think? Are those reasonable plans? Any tips or tricks of the trade you want to pass on to me?

Returning home from my vacation in the ADK

As you know from the “Recap: My first open water training swim” post, you know I was just in the Adorandak Mountains. If you follow me on Twitter you saw that I was diligent in posting how I got up every morning but one to get my runs in, I swam like a good little Triathlon/Marathon training crazy girl.

I actually find relaxation from doing my daily workouts (relaxation and a sense of accomplishment really), so I make time even if it means waking at 5:30 am every morning, just so I can get my workout in. Call me crazy, but I love it!

The other things I did were, hiking, Rocky Mt. Trail head1going to a water park, water parkand white water rafting. (I also ate tons of ice cream!)

Training by the numbers the week I was in the ADK went like this:

3 hikes
2 open water swims (800 meters each time)
1 white water rafting trip on the Hudson River
34 miles run

Do you enjoy completing your workouts when you are on vacation? Does everyone eat tons of ice cream when they are are on vacation?