Yesterday, I promised that I would share the training program I’m following today…and that I would also share how those of you who aren’t in the DFW area can also participate. I can deliver on 75% of that. Lemme ‘splain…
First, I’m following Hal Higdon’s 5K for Walkers program. You may ask why I’m not following Couch to 5K and it’s simply psychology on my part. See, Couch to 5K is ultimately designed to get you running. I look forward to that someday, but I’m over 300 pounds and my feet hate me. I won’t be running for a while.
Understand, I’m not being a slacker…even when I weighed 125 pounds I was a regular in the podiatrist’s office. My feet really do hate me. I was always bandaged up or going for physical therapy. Two foot surgeries and multiple stress fractures later, I’ve learned to be realistic about what I can put my feet through at this weight – because if there’s one thing that sucks, it’s getting yourself all motivated and ending up in a stress fracture boot for 8 weeks. That shit ain’t fun.
So the psychology of it all? If I was a grown-up, I could read Couch to 5K and just substitute the word “run” for “walk”…but that’s not what happens in my head. What happens in my head is something like this:
Everyone else is running and you’re walking. You can’t run because you’re too fat. What if you never beat this? You never should have let yourself get this big. Who does this? You’re ridiculous. You’ll never run. You’re a failure.
Welcome to my evil twin, ladies and gentlemen…that’s what will be going on in my head if I do the grown-up thing and try to just overlook the word run. I don’t give myself any credit for trying. I’m horrible to myself. So to keep that from happening, I do what I have to in order to avoid those destructive voices in my head…and I keep pushing forward.
I’ll do whatever it takes to keep that crap silent. Determination is what’s most important to me.
I’ll be posting my daily walking goal on my Facebook fan page every day, so if you want to follow along please do! I’ll also be blogging quite a bit about it here…you know I won’t shut up about it.
So for those of you who don’t live in the DFW area and can’t walk the Buffalo Boogie with us, don’t fret…you can train with us! And that’s not all…there is actually one more announcement I have to make this week, but I’m not ready to do it tonight – so stay tuned.
I’ll hurry it up as fast as I can. I should have it out by Wednesday night.
For now, you’ve got the link to the training program I’m using…and I’ll be back soon with the re-birth of a pretty damn cool project I launched a while back. You’re gonna love it!
It’s time to talk about something ugly…and I’m not talking about my Frankenpants. I’m talking about my first 5K, which shall forever be known in the Hot Mess Hall of Fame as “The 5K from Hell”.
This was back when I was just starting to wake up from all the crap the diet industry was feeding me, so I was really anxious to get the hell on the road to healthy. I was unemployed at the time, which makes things worse because an unemployed Dianne with too much time on her hands can be a scary thing. I’d already lost a little weight and thought I was the shit.
Strictly speaking, this wasn’t my very first 5K. I’d been to a few others, which were more like lazy walking 5K’s centered around fundraising events. Show up, get a t-shirt, sign a poster, stroll the track and chat with friends. Pretty easy.
The 5K from Hell was July 3rd. Here in Texas. Most of you already see what a horrendous mistake this was. Sure, a seasoned runner could tackle a 5K in the Texas summer heat with no problem, but a native Californian with over 200 pounds to lose? Not a good idea. I was dead set on this one because it was at a Fourth of July weekend festival and I’m patriotic to a fault. Yankee Doodle Badass.
On 5K day, I woke up ready to conquer the universe. It was going to be awesome! I was going to power through this sucker. My fellow walkers were going to be so supportive, cheering me on as I kept pace with those who had far less junk in the trunk than me. Chubby people sitting on the sidelines would be Inspired to get up walk at the site of me trudging with much determination towards the finish line. There would be unicorns and bunnies everywhere… and world peace…all because I kicked ass at my first 5K.
That’s not even close to what happened.
There were tons of runners and walkers present that day – so much so that the event parking was overflowing by the time we got there. My friend Brenda was with me, which is good because it’s important to have a witness/moral support when you go through shit like this.
First bad omen: we had to park so far away that we walked more than half of a 5K just to get to the starting line (in 90% humidity, thanks to the rain the night before). No matter. This was it. My day was finally here. It was 8 am, 96 degrees, and I was about to walk my first official 5K. Bring it.
The starter’s pistol fired and we were off.
It was incredibly hot and muggy, but I was bravely shrugging it off. Nothing was going to stop me from turning the page on the next chapter of my new healthy life. I had the road in front of me and nothing but old ladies and fellow chubbies behind me. I owned this day. Fuck yeah.
Mile marker 1 came along and I was ready for water. I didn’t bring my own because I thought water stations were pretty much a given at an event like this. Even the lazy-ass 5K’s I’d been to in California had water stations at every mile marker. No water? In Texas?? In the summer??? Really?
There was no choice but to press on. Just before mile marker 2, my heart rate monitor started beeping. (The kind runners wear around their chest, not the kind they make heart attack patients wear…just to be clear.) The wristband readout was blinking at me. 160. The normal max for me was 148, so the monitor was telling me to slow down. I continued to push forward. Fat girl on a mission…look out!
Mile marker 2. No water. No effing water. Brenda looks over at a group of spectators and yells “Where’s the water?” They just smiled at us vacantly and waved their American flags, cheering us on in what was now beginning to feel like the Yankee Doodle Death March. It was sweltering and the sun seemed to be getting stronger by the second. A toddler sat in a stroller, mocking me with his fucking juice box. There was more juice on his shirt than in his mouth. Cocky little bastard.
My heart rate monitor beeped faster. 170. One by one, the chubbies and the oldies started to pass me. By the time we got to the halfway mark, an old man with a flat ass bedecked in Texas flag running shorts shuffled past us. Not a good feeling. Plus, his legs were pasty white.
Then, finally, a water station. Overexcited Boy Scout volunteers swarmed us, extending countless cups of water, often with one or two fingers inside the cup. At that point, I didn’t give a crap if I found a booger floating in one of those cups…I needed the water. I drank as much as I could without stopping and trudged on.
180 on the heart rate monitor. Crap. I really needed to slow down. And then I heard a car engine behind me.
Brenda and I turned around to find a police car, lights flashing, and a city truck tailing us. Workers were jumping out of the city truck, grabbing up the traffic cones as soon as we walked by them. Effing awesome. Not only was I dead last in the 5K Death March, but I was now holding up the city from resuming its normal business.
Sensing my embarrassment, Brenda jogged back to the police car and asked if the officer if she could at least turn the lights off. Nope. Apparently, it’s a city law that all fatties attempting unrealistic fitness goals be followed by a police car with its lights on. You know…for public safety. Can’t have the fatties just get on the sidewalk instead, right? I kept walking, but deep inside I started wishing I could just disappear.
Pain set in. My arches, heels, knees, hips, and back were killing me. Every step hurt. I had trained for this 5K, but the combination of the humidity, heat, and desperately trying to pick up the pace were taking its toll.
188 on the heart monitor. If I had seen the Grim Reaper standing on the side of the road, it wouldn’t have surprised me.
An hour and 6 minutes after we started, I crossed the finish line.
Five minutes after that, I was in the back of an ambulance.
I had to tell Brenda to get me some help when I knew I was fainting. There was no place to sit and no shade. The heat was unbearable. Trying to save the remaining shred of pride I had left, I begged her to tell them not to come with the lights and sirens. A few minutes later, she came running back to tell me that help was coming. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw an EMT jump into an ambulance.
Me: Oh God, please don’t tell me they’ve got the lights going…please…
Brenda: Okay, I won’t tell you that.
Fuck. Lights and sirens a-blaze’in, here came my knights in shining armor.
The damn ambulance couldn’t fit under the “Starting Line” banner. I shit you not.
People were scrambling everywhere now, trying to get the banner down and save the fatty. An incredibly fit woman with a generous heart and no visible body fat ran up to me and handed me her apple juice and energy bar. Great…now I’ve got skinny people giving me food. I looked up to thank her and saw two EMT’s running towards me with a gurney.
Sweet jump’in Jesus…make it stop.
Me (head between my knees): I’m not getting on that thing. I have some pride, guys.
Hero #1: Okay, ma’am, we have to get you out of this heat right now. Can you stand up?
Me: I don’t think so. Can’t you just check me out right here? I’m sure I’m just hyperventilating.
Hero #1: No ma’am, our equipment is in the ambulance and we need to get you cooled off.
Hero #2 (trying and failing to console me): There’s nobody left, ma’am. Everyone’s gone home pretty much.
Ouch. Point taken, Trapper John.
Every time I tried to stand up I would start to black out. I wanted to cry but I was more dehydrated than beef jerky. I had nothing left. I had to let them help me onto the gurney.
Me: Just give me the body bag. I don’t want anyone to see me.
Hero #2 handed me a folded white sheet – you know, the kind they usually drape over dead bodies. I put it over my face and they rolled me into the back of the ambulance.
Heart rate monitor: 192.
The two hunky EMT’s started putting those sticky electrode things on my chest…and then on my leg, which was even more embarrassing because I hadn’t shaved my legs. In my delirium, I apparently apologized for that because Hero #2 told me I needed to lighten up on myself.
Hero #1: What’s that beeping?
Me: My heart rate monitor…see? (I held up my wrist to show him the display.)
Hero #2: You know the ones you just wear on your wrist aren’t very accurate. You should get one of the monitors you wear around your chest.
Me: Yeah, I’m wearing it…you just can’t see it ‘cause I’m fat.
An hour later, the final diagnosis was dehydration. When I declined a one way ticket to the hospital, they told Brenda to take me somewhere cool and to get plenty of food and water. So we went to Razoo’s Cajun Café and I ate 2,000 calories and drank about five gallons of water and diet soda. (I hadn’t conquered my food demons yet).
That’s the 5K from Hell.
Not a good experience by any means. It was the lack of water that got me, but I wasn’t ready for an event like this. I joke about it because, let’s face it, some of this shit is just damn funny – but when I’m done laughing it off, there’s a little funky residue left over. The multiple failures of this day took the shine right off the fact that I finished. No matter what else happened, I finished that motherfucker…and yet that’s not what I’m left with. I’m left with the embarrassment and the failure of it all. And a cute EMT touching my hairy leg.
The memory of the 5K from Hell is one of my exercise demons. Find out tomorrow how I plan to get rid of it for good.
Do you have any exercise demons in your head? Have you had a less than stellar experience in the fitness world? Don’t leave me feeling all crappy with this demon lurking around.
As I announced on my Facebook fan page recently, I am going inactive on Fitocracy. Here’s why…
Although a worthwhile and arguably kick-ass idea, Fitocracy appears to be 90% iron pumping triathlon winning fitness ninjas and 10% fitness newbies. I may revisit my decision in the future, but after careful consideration and a few experiences that made me shake my head…I’m done for now. To those of you who followed me there and enthusiastically participated in our group challenges, I wholeheartedly apologize if I have disappointed you. I love you all dearly and I truly appreciate your support as I go through this process of attaining the healthy lifestyle I’m striving for.
Please allow me to offer the following evidence as I state my case…
Exhibit A: Naked people. While impressive, keep your naked ass off my computer – especially if I’m cruising for quests and challenges at work. People do post naked pictures of their expertly, if not overly sculpted physiques. I’m just not into that. At all.
Exhibit B: Fitocrats hitting on Fitocrats. Ya know…I’d go to the gym if I wanted to see that. Save the “Let’s get together for a romantic dinner of Muscle Milk” for someplace where the rest of us don’t have to watch.
Exhibit C: Speaking in tongues. You know that feeling when you take your car to the mechanic and they check it out, then walk up to you with what looks like a grease covered apple wedger and say “Your squinky squank’s got malnagging boogle parts in it and they’ve all gotta be replaced”? You just stand there and blink, wondering what the hell they just said, right? Check out this actual update that showed up on my feed one day:
This has been driving me crazy all day. I read a t-nation post about avoiding Britany Spears syndrome, thick waist from isolating abs and obliques all day every day. He recommends a female, wanting to lose weight, carb cycle with a (c/p/f) 60/30/10, 10/30/60 split with high fat days are lifting days (ish) and the carb day is a rest day (4 day cycle). I have been doing a lean gains recomp for 6 weeks and have had good results. I want to start a cut but now I’m questioning my macros.
I must have read it 5 times, all the while wondering to myself how many Power Bars a person has to eat to get that jacked up. I can’t relate. I don’t want to relate. I don’t want to live in a world where “Britany Spears Syndrome” is a real affliction…so piss off!
Further, very soon after I became a “Fitocracy Hero” (thanks to all of you joining me there and winning me that extra badge) I was sorry to see several seasoned members posting whining about the fact that so many new people would be joining at the start of the new year…which was made even worse because Dr. Oz had decided to endorse Fitocracy. There was a lot of snobbery and eye-rolling going on at the prospect of having to deal with new members – something I thought was kind of shitty, for lack of a better term.
I don’t begrudge the Fitocrats their place on the internet and I completely applaud them for doing what they love to do, but I have to be around people I can relate to…and I can’t relate to them. I’m sorry if you’re disappointed…and I hope you forgive me. If it helps, I’m mentally wishing each of you to win a million hundred dollars and a lap dance from Hugh Jackman.
I’ll be back by Sunday to tell you all about The Path. I hope that sounds mysteriously awesome…because it’s supposed to.
Something’s happening soon and I’m not going to tell you what it is until it’s over. Frankly, I’ll be so busy zinging between feeling thrilled and feeling absolutely horrified that I just can’t handle anyone else watching me go through it until it’s done. And maybe not even then.
I’m going to be on tv.
Before you get all excited, it’s not for anything to do with my blog. That would rock, but I would still be just as freaked. Maybe someday I’ll be on tv because my awesome blog has inspired so many people across the land that the governor declares it National Hot Mess Princess Day…but that’s not what this is. This is because I’m an idiot fan of our local news show who posts too much on Facebook and got voted “Facebook Friend of the Week” – so they invited me down to the studio to meet the news anchors and get a tour.
That part’s cool, right? At least I think so. Many of you who have liked my Facebook fan page helped me win this invitation when I posted my frantic plea for people to vote for me. (Y’all totally blew my competition out of the water, too…you rock!) What I didn’t realize at the time, however, was that they don’t just invite you to the studio for a meet & greet. Nope. They also put you on the air.
As smooth, charming, and witty as I seem here in my little Hot Mess kingdom (chuckle) I’m really just a big twit. Especially when I’m feeling nervous. Or self-conscious. Seriously, when I’m nervous I could trip on a damn hair. I go from normal to blithering idiot in 2.2 seconds.
Don’t believe me? Let me take you back to 1984…when I was on tv the last time. Me and my BFF were camped out for “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” at the big swanky movie theater in our town. I’m a geek, ok? Shut up.
Every newspaper and local news station was coming out to report on us. It was very exciting. And then one reporter decided to interview us on camera. My BFF, a sun-shiny blonde with a big smile and nerves of steel did an awesome job being interviewed. Then it was my turn.
Reporter: “So do you think you’ll ever do this again?”
Me: (laughing nervously) “Oh, I don’t think I’ll be doing this again in the recent future!”
What. The. Hell???
…in the recent future.
Yes, I said that on tv. Yes, everyone I know was watching. Yes, it took a hundred thousand years for me to live that down. And I was cute back then! I had one ass, one chin, and no gray hair.
I am no longer that cute, oblivious young movie fan. I am a monstrously overweight chick who, in spite of her seemingly cool exterior, is really a nightmarish bundle of self-conscious bullshit balled up into a pair of plus sized pants. I do not want to be on camera.
I was on a work retreat in New York once and we did the NBC Studio Tour…and guess who was voted by her co-workers to be the weather girl on the NBC Nightly News set? Yours truly, of course. I got up on camera with that map of the U.S. behind me and the first thing out of my mouth was “Holy crap, my ass just eclipsed Texas!!!” (It’s true, it did…)
Yeah. And that was just in front of work people and not on the air. Imagine the damage I’ll do on live tv when I’m nervous. Holy shit biscuits.
Why can’t I just cancel? Well, I sort of had to cancel already because of a meeting at work on the day they originally invited me to the studio. I sent an email explaining my predicament and extended my heartfelt apologies…and they did the unthinkable: they sent a very gracious invitation to reschedule. So there’s that. Not to mention the fact that I beat out other viewers who would have had the opportunity to go. If I cancel again, I’m a Hot Mess Asshole. And why? Because I’m self-conscious? In the immortal scheme of things, who cares? No one knows who I am and no one cares. My last name isn’t Kardashian. (Thank God!!!)
I know in my head that none of this matters, but deep down in my heart lives that same 10 year old little girl who learned to get all her self-worth from her outer shell. That little girl will probably always be with me, but my 2013 goal of making exercise a consistent habit is going to do a lot to get her under control. Unfortunately we’re only 10 days into 2013 and I haven’t quite gotten around to shutting her up.
Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to go…and I’m going to have a great time. I’m going to enjoy the tour and face my fears and muscle through it – because nothing good happens from hiding in a corner. And nobody puts Baby in a corner! Okay, seriously, I can’t be serious.
Hopefully when this is done, I’ll be able to smile and say I had a great time. I’ll realize how stupid I was to put so much importance on so small a thing. And, yes, I’ll be back to tell you how it went. And no, I’m not telling you when and what channel. I’m not that big of a badass yet.
As you know, I’ve decided to make exercise a habit in 2013. 2012 was about getting the food demons in check, which I’ve done – so now I’m going after exercise. Keep in mind, I have the same love for exercise as I do for the Taliban: less than ZERO. In many ways, I feel like this is going to be a bigger challenge than my food demons ever were…so I’m gathering all the tools I possible can. Fitbit is one that I’ve decided to try (click here to read the original post about why I decided on Fitbit).
I’m still getting to know how it works, but so far I really like it.
Here’s a quick run down:
Set up is pretty easy. The packaging information gives you four steps to set up your device, including the set up of your free account on Fitbit’s website. It took less than 15 minutes.
I bought the Fitbit Ultra, which is the one that monitors your sleep patterns and stairs climbed. Normal retail price of this one is about $99, however I had a nice sized gift card thanks to my Best Buy Reward Zone membership…so I didn’t have to pay that much for mine. Unlike BodyBugg, there no monthly fee to use this device.
The Fitbit Ultra packaging contains the Fitbit device, a belt clip, the usb charging cord and stand, and the wrist band you can use if you want to wear it for sleep monitoring.
It’s interesting to me how small the device is. You can see here that it’s not even as big as a tube of lip balm. The device clamps onto whatever garment you want it to – even without the belt clip. In my opinion, the device is snug enough on it’s own. Judge for yourself, though!
After the set up process, I clipped it to my bra and immediately began wondering how it can the different between a step and just random movement. How accurate is it? How does it know? I had to find out in my very non-scientific way, so I did what any non-scientist would do: I shimmied my boobies like I haven’t shimmied in years, peeps. I’m fairly certain I achieved some kind of seismic activity. Then I reached down into my bra and hit the button on Fitbit that tells me how many steps I’ve taken. 0 steps.
Hmm…a good sign. I couldn’t fake it out with my giant boob dance. Cool.
(Oh, and I didn’t take pics of the scientific boob shimmy experiment. You’re welcome.)
WEARING THE FITBIT
I went about my day, mostly unaware that the little thing was clipped to my bra. You can’t feel it, it doesn’t interfere with anything. (Boys, you can clip it to your waist band or belt – although, personally, I think y’all should have to wear underwire undies just to keep shit real between the genders, but whatever. If you think underwire might be uncomfortable, just wuss out and put it on your waist or clip it to the front pocket of your pants. Wherever you put it, make sure you push it all the way onto your garment and you should be fine…it’s got a pretty good grip. Read the directions, use your best judgment. I barely noticed it.
Any time I want to see how many steps I’ve taken, I just push the button on Fitbit and the display shows me the number.
SYNCING FITBIT WITH YOUR ACCOUNT
Every once in a while, I would be back around my laptop and POOF my Fitbit would sync its data with the Fitbit website and my stats would update. Syncing didn’t happen every single time, but it did happen throughout the day. The online FAQ states that you should attach Fitbit to the charging cradle if you ever want to force a sync, which I did a few times the first day just because I wanted to see the update. The nice thing is that you don’t have to force a sync in order for the device to update your online account.
The online account is free and there is no monthly charge. Online, you’ll see the details of your activity – depending on which Fitbit device you have. Here’s a snapshot of just a portion of my online account yesterday:
There are mobile apps for iPhone and Android users. I downloaded the mobile app, thinking it would be handy to use when I’m away from the laptop for extended periods. I thought that’s what it was for…but Fitbit surprised me again.
There I was, sitting on the couch a few hours before bed time, when my phone vibrates. It was the Fitbit mobile app telling me “Almost there! You only have 287 more steps to take before hitting your goal today!!”
Seriously…eff’in awesome! Nudge, nudge, nudge, Dianne…get up off your ass and take 287 more steps please. And you know what? I did.
BODYBUG VS FITBIT: MY FIRST IMPRESSION
Fitbit’s price is easier on the wallet. Fitbit Ultra is $99. Bodybugg is $119 and $149, depending on which model you get. Also, Bodybugg doesn’t have a digital display, so if you want a display to see your steps, etc. then it’s another $50 and an extra device to wear (on your wrist…looks like an ugly black sports watch). Fitbit has a less expensive model for $49 that counts steps, but doesn’t track sleep or stairs climbed.
Syncing is wireless with Fitbit. My old Bodybug required a cable – although I believe they do have wireless syncing available now.
Unlike my old Bodybug, I can push a button on Fitbit and see how many steps I’ve taken. My Bodybug had to be synced at the computer before I could see my steps. As mentioned above, they have a wrist display that you can purchase separately…but Fitbit clips to your bra or your pocket and doesn’t require a wrist display.
There is no monthly fee required in order to sync my information to my account with Fitbit. Bodybug requires a membership fee. I do not like recurring charges of any kind and avoid them whenever I can. I figure the less I spend on crap like that, the more designer handbags I can put in my inventory. Priorities. 🙂
One last thing: Fitbit is very affectionate. I picked it up yesterday and it said “SMOOCHES” on the display. Adorable! I can always use more smooches. It probably seems silly to some of you, but think about it this way: I hate exercise with the fire of a thousand suns…and this little pro-exercise bugger got me to smile and take 287 extra steps. Before Fitbit, I would have kept on sitting.
Future blog posts will include more detail on sleep tracking and other features – so if you’re thinking of buying one, you might want to stayed tuned for that. For now, I can say that I’m a very happy girl. My money was well spent.
** I have not been compensated by Fitbit in any way for this blog post – in fact, they don’t even know I exist. This blog post contains my sincere opinions and experiences with the Fitbit device. I think it’s important to confirm for you that my purchase of the Fitbit tracker and my experience is my own…and that my opinion has not be swayed in any way by any kind of compensation from Fitbit. (And if Fitbit ever happens to read this…you’re welcome for the free advertising. LOL.)