Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Sew what

I know I've only lost six pounds of the regained weight, but I must say it's already made a difference. It's no longer a struggle to get into my jeans and the focus on healthy eating has made me feel better in general.

But I still suck with the running. One three-miler last week and jack-all since then. Eight weeks to the half marathon and I'm still not feeling it. I really need to find a way to hobble the Sloth Monster that has taken hold of my motivation.

In other news, I'm up to my ears in work and yet I still find time to fart around. After I made the prototype ID tag (by the way, I have an entirely new design for it which I plan to sew up once I actually start running again), I made my first ever pillow. Then, a few days later, I made another to accompany it.
Jane Austen and Mr. Darcy.

They were simple sewing projects but I am super proud of them. You'd think I'd invented the wheel or something. I've got a slew of crafting projects in my head now which is not convenient since I've got a bunch of work to catch up on first. Oh, and get some running in too.

Stupid responsibilities.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Safety first

I have yet to make a definitive decision on my quandary. Option #3 is still quite tempting. However, I did run three miles yesterday and my weigh-in this morning revealed I've lost another three pounds (woo!).

Lately I've been concerned with safety. On Saturday there was an accident at the end of my block. I couldn't see exactly what had happened but the screams of an injured woman and the mass exodus of my neighbors out of their homes led me to believe that it wasn't good. I fully realized then that if I was hurt or incapacitated in any way, no one close to me would know about it. I immediately got on the horn to a friend who agreed to be my local emergency contact should anything bad happen and I passed on the appropriate contact info to my family and vice versa.

I also decided it was past due for me to carry some sort of ID with me when I run. None of my running clothes have pockets, so I never carry a phone or ID on me--the only exception being when I was training for my second marathon and I had a fuel belt. I looked into a Road ID, but the cost and the fact that my address and contact info change quite frequently were pretty big cons. Instead, I chose to make my own.

Say hello to the prototype Xenia shoe ID tag.

A few weeks ago I invested in a sewing machine. I used to be quite crafty in the states, but shelved all that when I moved to England and lived like a nomad. Well, no longer. The economy is shit and I'm on a budget. It's time to Make, Do and Mend. And Make and Do, I did.

On Sunday I went to the local fabric shop and rummaged around in the remainder bin and came up with a huge piece of vinyl and almost a meter of an off-white fabric that felt like a picnic tablecloth. I figured it might be somewhat water-resistant so went with it. In total, I spent £2.20 ($3.60) and I have enough material to make at least a hundred of these bands. Score one for frugality!

I wore it on Tuesday's run and it was great--didn't mess with my laces and it weighs virtually nothing. Besides neater stitching and more accurate cutting, I need to find a way to protect the open end of the vinyl from the elements. But for right now, everything's peachy. And like at Cheers, everyone will know my name.

Friday, 5 August 2011


The last time I ran was July 30th. The time before that was on July 13th. I’m supposed to be training for a half marathon in October. My training plan is not going so well.

There’s always an excuse why I can’t go for my planned run.
  • I went to bed super late the night before and need more sleep so can’t run in the morning.
  • I’m in the office during the day, so can’t run then.
  • It’s raining or it looks like it’s going to rain.
  • If I went for a run when I got home I’d have to wait ages to cook dinner and then eat it and I’m already pretty hungry when I get home.
  • I can’t run after I eat because that’s just painful.
  • And now it’s too dark to run.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

No matter how much I’d like to deny it, I know what’s at the root of all these excuses. Let me explain.

I’ve been avoiding stepping on the scale for a while. The last time I weighed myself was in April. The number was not great—I was only five pounds away from my highest recorded weight ever. But somehow I was able to ignore this threat and continued to live a life of sloth and gluttony. I’ve hardly done anything remotely athletic and I’ve been eating everything in sight, particularly anything made of bread and/or sugar.

I continued to ignore the sight of my bloated face in the mirror and the ‘shrinking’ of my clothes. But on Wednesday of last week I bit the bullet and stepped on the scale and saw what I should have expected to see. I’d reached my maximum weight again. Fuck.

All the work I did almost four years ago to shed 35 pounds has been wasted. I’m a lard-ass again. I’m seriously disappointed in myself.

But on that same day I managed to make myself proud. After a few minutes of self-flagellation and berating the scale for being such a know-it-all, I got off my butt and cleaned out my kitchen. All the junk food went in the rubbish bin. Then I went to the grocery store and stocked up on real food. I dusted off my old food journal and began recording what and when I ate. I concentrated on the positives—drink plenty of water, eat five fruit and vegetables each day and make sure I’m actually hungry before I put food in my mouth.

I weighed myself again this week and I was down three pounds. Well done, me!

But still no running.

The re-accumulated weight has made running an arduous chore rather than the joy it used to be. Running with the extra weight takes A LOT more effort and I feel it dragging me down every single step of the way. I haven’t run with a watch in ages, so I’m not bothered by my time. I was slow before so it doesn’t matter. What bothers me is that running isn’t comfortable anymore. I feel like Jabba the Hut with my fat rolls flapping as I huff and puff, red-faced, down the road.

The half marathon is in just over nine weeks. I have three options.
  • Option #1: I can take a loss on the £45 ($73) registration fee and not run the race.
  • Option #2: I can stop being such a self-conscious ninny, get back on my training plan of three measly runs a week and run that damn half marathon.
  • Option #3: Vodka and Chaka Khan.
So, Peanut Gallery, what say you?