Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fun runs, photo shoots, wild weekends and 'finales'... part one

Ohhhh my gosh, where do I even begin with the catch-ups on all the events that have happened recently!  It has been an INSANE whirlwind of one-after-the-other events, and I'm sitting here hellishly exhausted, but wanted to get it out before the manic workload kicked in bright and early tomorrow morning, with Christmas right behind it!!

So here goes...  (coming at you in two parts - figured you'd need a break in between as much as I do writing it, haha!)

My Super-Twin Lynda and I with our medals!!
WELL, after a few solid weeks of training, leading up to the Melbourne 'City to Sea' 14kms run, and having my focus so committed on my fitness for THAT event, I pretty much gave up on my weightloss goals. The body wasn't in the mood to entertain any of those shenanigans, and I was busting some serious tail in prep for my next major event without really seeing any downward-scales results! (super frustrating...) 

Busting-butt so much, in fact, that the same two-kilos kept creeping up and down, up and down on the scales for the past FIVE months - and very much doing my head in!!  BUT my fitness - and my 'reason' - was flying in leaps and bounds!
I was training consistently for weeks and weeks, with major sessions including a lap of Mount Panorama with 10kgs on my back, the following week with 12kgs on my back, and the following week after that, a double lap (over 12kms no backpack!!) - and that was on top of my usual routines!  I was fighting through hideous blisters, and pain through my joints - but I was pushing through it in a way I've never had focus nor drive before!

Heading to Melbourne, I was so primed for my 14kms, I set out to crack it in two hours - and was ECSTATIC when I came in under my goal - I ran longer stints, and pushed myself as hard as I could go. The body was fatigued BEFORE I hit Melbourne, but I was "in my zone" and I wanted that goal - and by god, the medal I walked away with for this one was well and truly earnt!!

* * * * *

A little TLC for the soul -
Great Ocean Road
Now that my major event was over, I collapsed! Quite literally... The body was exhausted, my head was in pieces... I wasn't quite "ok" - I'd been so brutally focused on my training, covering up all the gaps in my mindset and 'life' that wasn't exactly working the way I wanted it to... The frustrations of a body that was holding steadfast to the weight, and feeling like a "failure" (despite the intensity of my fitness)...  Just so many mind games, and I really didn't know where to start.

Taking my "focus" away, having already completed my major event goal, I felt suddenly VERY empty. Very deflated. And as my last blog post highlighted, very "lost" indeed... (can read that here).  The head was out of whack, and I KNEW that well and truly before I left for my trip away - it was my strategic escape-route - needed time out, to figure things out, and give myself a breather from my little world.

... but when you do that, you open yourself up to a world of hurt! It's all fine and dandy to "contain and compress" all the issues - but it only lasts until you take off that lid... and they all come flooding out again!

I sat on my butt (for the bulk part - albeit being a tourist!) and took some needed "time out" for the week after my Melbourne run - and gave myself time to just enjoy what I was down there to enjoy...  "Amy Time" - something I really haven't given myself in ages - a chance to reconnect with ME!

So busy appeasing everyone else, trying to do as much as I could for everyone else, and gloss over the things I really didn't have the energy left to contend with - my can of worms was well and truly open, and it was time to sort the buggers out!!

* * * * *
I went kayaking with the fams
... something I'd have never been
confident enough to do before!

A week of 'Amy Time' - and finding a sense of freedom and growth was a self-discovery I've never really had - and was a little overwhelming!

Realising I was a GROWN UP and could do whatever I wanted, when I liked, as I pleased... was a tad upset to realise I was still so "confined" in all my own expectations OR the expectations I believed I still had controlling me!

For an independent, "no-ties", single girl... I was really quite upset to realise how chained to pleasing everyone else I truly am! ... and for what?!  Was it me trying to acquire the acknowledgement of others, or was that me having a lack of self-worth and value still?!

Going out and "just being" or "just doing" all the things that others quite often take for granted - walking through the shopping centre (without being the biggest one there), going for a walk down the beach (in a pair of swimmers and boardies for the first time ever!!), even getting on a kayak and just DOING something that I'm so excited by... they were HUGE things for me! It wasn't a "holiday" - it was learning how to be AMY - "just as she is"... 

SO much running through my head...  Big wad of emotions inside, was just churning and churning...

Got to meet Kelly at the Geelong run -
one of my gorgeous Aim Trainers!
A week of 'no pressure' (but MUCH going on in the head...) - my little trip to Victoria was extended somewhat, to cater for a second running stint!

The Run Geelong - 12kms - exactly a week after my Melbourne - and I went into this one ON MY OWN (albeit with mum and dad chasing me around Geelong with a camera, haha!)  This time I was stronger, faster, fitter, not so fatigued! 

I SMASHED this run and loved every kilometre of it! My body and my head were much more aligned, and the only person I was doing this one for was ME - nothing to prove, no expectations, I was out there RUNNING and I was freaking LOVING IT!

I came in with another fabulous time, and felt so empowered by this circuit - I could FEEL my energy levels on the rise again, my body wasn't nearly as fatigued after the week's break, and I felt so bloody good afterwards! No medals for this one (boooo!) but I walked away a freaking champion after this one - I felt so good!

* * * * *

Hanging Rock
On our return trip, we stopped at Hanging Rock. It was just a few years prior that I'd stopped here with my sister under the guise that I was determined to climb that thing! It was only a few months after I'd started my weightloss, and I was still HUGE - I huffed and puffed and complained the entire way up that mountain, thinking it was ENORMOUS, and wanted to cry... Felt incredibly conspicuous and ridiculous - and didn't dare go to the top. I was in agony - bright red - sweating like a pig... oh my gosh, can still remember it so clearly!!

When we stopped here for a picnic lunch on our trip home, I had no intentions of formally walking the track again.. it just "kind of happened..."  - and even now, I have this smile on my face, because I can't believe what happened!

Out fluffing around with my camera (as I always do!) I started to walk up to the rock faces for a little reminiscent squizzy. I was wearing a skirt, and three tops (I was SO cold, even on a great sunny day - curse of a smaller body not yet thermo-regulating itself properly!!) - and just some little ballet flats on my feet. I wasn't dressed appropriately for a 'workout' so didn't intend on climbing the mountain...

... which I only realised when I reached the first major summit of the climb! Not only had I walked the entire incline, but I'd climbed the rock stairs, ducked and weaved, and made it to the first main area without even meaning to!

To say it hit me with a little jolt of "OMFG" when I was up there taking my photos again is a bit of an understatement... I've been STRUGGLING in a really hideously, intense way with my self-perception and body issues the last six months, feeling like the girl I used to be, just in a smaller package (which the brain can't register)... and here I was, in that exact same place, just a few years later - and I'd barely broken a sweat!! 

My "reality" just started to kick in... I'm not that girl anymore. I'm not that size. I'm not that unfit. I'm no longer the big-girl hanging her head in shame, trying to camouflage her excessive breathing (and nearly passing out!) because she's ashamed of how unfit she is and doesn't want anyone to hear her panting...  I near bounced up that mountain, with a huge smile on my face, and the only time I stopped was to take my jacket off because I was FINALLY WARM!!!!

I had a little WOW moment... got back in the car, and we drove home...  It really didn't hit me until I put my 'before and afters' together when I got home - I'd forgotten I even had the photos from before (in my quest to never have photos taken, it's a wonder they exist at all!), and how funny that they'd replicated themselves a few years later with the 'new me' without even meaning to! I had a third little win on my Melbourne/Geelong trip, and all together, they were the catalyst for what followed....

* * * * *

Coming home from my Victorian trip, with a lack of new goals set in place... I felt a little lost!  I seemed to have stirred up quite the hornet's nest in my head though - the time out was great for the body, but the head was taking a beating! Not in a negative way - more in a "time to work this shit out" way!

Pitfall was bringing home my four-kilo-bloated-belly-baby!!!  I was DISGUSTED!!!  Bad enough I've been fighting the same two-kilo up and down gains, but the moment I saw the scales back up to 105kgs, that was it. There was hell to pay... and noone to blame but ME! I'd eaten hideously - out of my routine and comfort zone, I'd eaten anything that came even remotely close to my face - which included fish and chips, a chicken burger, copious amounts of cookies, ice cream, snacks... I even hoovered a pie on our way home. A PIE!  UGH!  I don't eat that shit anymore... !!!!

Any wonder I felt like an elephant when I walked back through my door?!!  Bloated, bad skin, hideously sick in the belly...

CONFESSION TIME: I haven't logged or tracked my calories or food intake FOR MONTHS!  Time-poor and then pure laziness kicked in. I hazard a guess that irrespective of still eating as well as I do, I was eating TOO MUCH - and that coinciding with the muscle-creation going on in my body - NATURALLY there'd be no movement on the scales!   I was literally maintaining - my fitness was through the roof, but my body was just maintaining itself - huge energy expenditure, huge calorie intake - it was just protecting itself!
... and if I take that even one step further... THAT is the maintenance mode I need to learn IN THE FUTURE!!  When I'm more in my goal-weight zone and happy with my size - THAT is exactly the ratio I'll be working on THEN!

... BUT (for now) - in weightloss mode - too much food and too much over-training CLEARLY doesn't work!

As soon as I got back home, I was back into it! Tracking my food, logging my cals... Nothing special or out of the ordinary in my food intake - I just "went clean" and started eating my allowance each day. The first week home, I did ZERO exercise - but stuck to my 1600cals a day... and within a week and a half, not only had I dropped my insane holiday-bloat, but I'd cracked that pesky "plateau" number that's been haunting me for FIVE MONTHS!!!   I lost a HUGE amount of weight in a seriously short space of time - something I've NEVER seen my body do, and hazard a guess I'd be lucky to see again!!!  7.5 kilos in a week and a half... one word: INSANE!!

I literally just shrug my shoulders with a stupified look on my face! How the hell I pulled that, I have no idea...  All I can assume is that MUSCLE IS KING!!!  That is what I've been working on FOR FIVE MONTHS - and I reckon as soon as I cleaned up my eating, the body kicked straight back into gear! 

There's alot to be said about "taking a break" and letting your body re-adjust itself. I like to think I know what's best - but fact of the matter is THE BODY is the driver - always has been - always will be! It knows me better than I know myself (haha) - and I really need to stop thinking I can overrule what it chooses to do sometimes!!  It's done it before - and no doubt will do it again - it's here to protect me, look after me, serve me...who am I to think I know better?!!  We're a TEAM - and we only work when we work TOGETHER!

A week after coming home from my holidays, I seemed to be back in the game! My eating was fabulous, my body finally responding... A week after my last exercise session (Run Geelong), and I hit a lap of my favourite old river circuit, just to "ease" myself back into the exercise...  (you can only live off "sheer dumb luck" for results for so long, haha)...

I SMASHED IT!!!  Not only did I smash the course 'in general' - but I added an extra couple of kilometres to my track and STILL made it back in just a couple minutes over my previous PB! Can't begin to even express how ECSTATIC I was to do that...

... and a few days later, I hit my old faithful Mount Panorama again... and SMASHED THAT TOO!!!

My body was fighting back!  My weight had dropped, I was back in double-digits, I was fitter, stronger, rejuvenated... even my head was cooperating for a change!

Did I dare say I was finally BACK IN THE GAME?!!

.... and then the Universe spun me around... we weren't done... !!

..... to be continued... !!  


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