Thursday, August 25, 2016

Weight, Life, and Ride Update

It's been several days since I last posted, so it's time for an update, right? I've just been busy with foster pets, family stuff, and back to school preparations. We've had some fun, too, like a day at the fair! I had this plan to eat some barbecued meat and onions on a salad. I didn't do that, though. I ended up sharing a huge plate of chili cheese fries and a funnel cake with the people I went with. As a reward, I got a realllly unpleasant digestive upset that has probably turned me off of fried foods forever. Yuck. But the fair was fun! I also got my stitches out. It bled a little but it seems to be healing okay.

I weighed in on Sunday as usual and was happy to see 242, down another pound! The biking helps, but I do need to watch my intake pretty hard to see regular losses. I've been thinking about doing AIP again to see if I can finally pin down what food may be triggering my rosacea... plus AIP was great for weight loss last time I did it.

Since I last posted, I've ridden another 15.7 miles on my bike. I pedaled out of Washington again and across the Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge over the Columbia River, back into Oregon.

This bridge also crosses Government Island in the middle of the river. Lewis and Clark camped here in 1805 and called it "Dimond Island" because it is shaped like a diamond. They ate some geese, ducks, and swans they hunted there with other men in their party.

After crossing the island, the bridge leads into Oregon.

Soon I biked into Portland (with lots of traffic) but bypassed the downtown area.

Portland has lots of concrete in the form of tunnels and overpasses, but there is still vegetation everywhere! It's my favorite big city.

Tonight or tomorrow I will continue east on I-84 across Oregon until I get to Idaho. It's going to take awhile! You can check my route and progress on My Virtual Mission: Fat Mom Across America.

Catch you later!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pushing Back

I have really been feeling the call of the couch the last couple of days for whatever reason... not wanting to get on the bike and ride at all. But I have made a commitment to myself and to those who support me here, so I let that feeling of complacency drive me to PUSH BACK and ride even more. Yesterday morning, I  did a couple of short rides with an hour break in between. Continuing on through southern Washington near Vancouver, I pedaled 2 miles, then another 2.1 miles through peaceful country settings (but on an Interstate highway).

Later in the evening, against the desires of my body which wanted to just sit down and chill, I got back on the bike. It was like:

me: omg. It is late, just read a book and go to bed.
myself: No, I want to ride.
me: No you don't! Besides, you already rode today! You can ride more in the morning. Take a break already.
myself: shut up. I am riding.
me: I don't wannnaaaaaaa
myself: Oh yeah? Watch THIS. (shoves the whining me into a box, duct tapes it shut, and gets on the bike).

Then I proceeded to complete my longest single ride yet... 7.5 miles, which took me 45 minutes. Yes, my feet went numb around 25-30 minutes, but I just hopped off briefly and walked around for about 1 minute (not included in my biking time) and got back on and kept going. I ended up here, much closer to the Oregon border.

My total for the day was 11.6 miles... my best day yet. I am working up to a 20-mile day and I feel certain I will get there. Today my knees feel a little wobbly but I am taking anti-inflammatories and getting back on the bike shortly.

Takeaway: Don't listen to your inner fool. Put them in a box and tell them to shut up and show them what you're really made of.

My leg is feeling fine, the stitches are coming out in a few days, and I am determined. Today's meals from the CSA box will include heirloom tomatoes with basil and mozzarella, freshly picked corn on the cob with butter, roasted green beans and carrots, and plums. Protein will come in the form of eggs from my neighbor's chickens, some fish I pick up at the store later and maybe a protein shake. Looking to get this weight off for the last time.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I Don't Want to Ride

It started yesterday. Have you ever had that kind of busy, emotionally and physically draining day where all you can think about is getting home, taking off your bra and plopping down with a bag of chips to watch mindless TV? (No? Am I the only one who decompressed that way??) Yesterday was that kind of day. Lots of driving, taking care of a sick kitten, taking a dog to the vet and going shopping and hitting the mall, meeting another mom and kids for a playdate. Getting things ready for school, paying the bills, and running errands. Then coming home to company for dinner but having to get back in the car again to take my daughter bowling with friends... and then having to go back and get her afterwards. Just total general Mom stuff... nothing huge... but it didn't give me time to let my brain relax or sit down and chill for a bit, at all. I even missed my usual quiet time in the morning having coffee because I was out the door by 6:45 meeting other rescue folks to help some animals. I'm not complaining... I chose this life and I do love it. But generally I love it more with an hour or two of free time in my day. I soooooo did not want to bike in between all of this... but I did it - twice.

Yesterday I did two rides of 3.7 and 2.4 miles, for a total of 6.1 miles. I did it grudgingly and muttered to myself a bit on the bike, but I did it because I am committed and I want better health for myself. And I want to reach my goal of getting this 3,035 mile ride across America done by my blog anniversary next August.

The scenery was pretty as usual, riding through Washington and passing by Martin Island on the Columbia River.

I do love the views here in the Pacific Northwest. It's pretty flat along this stretch of highway.

That was yesterday. Want to know how much I rode today? That's right, a bit, fat zero miles. Even though I was home for most of today, I did not feel like riding the bike AT ALL. I wanted to watch TV and eat chocolate bars all afternoon. But instead I am working on laundry and cooking and cleaning, more basic Mom stuff. I feel happier today and am still committed to getting on the bike before the day is over. I'll hop on after dinner and see how far I can get!

The difference between the old me and the current me? The old me gave in and ate chips or candy bars and watched TV and skipped the biking. The current me says NOPE, and gets on the bike anyway. I am finally getting back into the mindset that i was in when I lost this weight the first time: the only option is to DO IT.

I will update my miles in the comments later and also on My Virtual Mission.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On The Road Again

The last day I biked was last Wednesday, the 10th. Thursday I injured my leg and got stitches, so I ended up waiting 5 days for that to heal enough to ride again. This morning was the first day I did not see any blood when I changed the bandages, so I got right on the bike and started with a short 1.7 mile ride to see how it felt. There wasn't any bleeding as a result, so I got back on and did another 3.5 miles for a total ride of 5.2 miles today. I might even get back on again this evening and do a couple more miles... we'll see! I'm very happy to be back on the bike!

I started where I left off, after having crossed back into Washington from Oregon onto I-5. There are lots of pretty evergreens and wildflowers along this route.

After awhile, the road runs alongside the Columbia River again. You can see Oregon on the other side (I'll go back across when I am closer to Portland).

The only town I went past was Kalama, population 2500, home of the tallest one-piece totem pole in the world. Here is another lumber yard full of cut trees near the Port of Kalama.

I hope to get out of Washington for good and cross back into Oregon sometime this week. My leg is feeling much better and I have lots of catching up to do on miles!

My eating has been good: mainly based on local produce. We are still getting our weekly CSA box (this week we had green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, melon, nectarines, and baby potatoes.) I also sent my kids out to the orchard to pick peaches, and got some basil, squash, and more tomatoes from a friend's garden. I picked up some pastured bratwurst, beef, and bacon from the Farmer's Market. So far today I have had black decaf coffee, a protein shake for breakfast, 2 slices of bacon with half a large peach and 1/3 of an avocado for lunch along with some unsweetened iced tea, and a string cheese for a snack. Tonight we will have roasted chicken and vegetables with some sliced melon for dinner. I feel good.

Thanks for all the support! One of my goals has been to follow along with Fat Guy Across America as he rides; he has not been riding for I believe 1-2 months but when he gets back on the road, I'd like to try and match his miles. I asked him how far his first ride back will be, and he said about 20 miles. I have not even done 10 miles in a day yet but my goal is to get up to 20 so I can follow along. He aims for 100 miles per week, so I am working up to that as well. You can always look for real time updates and follow my journey at My Virtual Mission: Fat Mom Across America. If you have joined me or will join me by choosing your own virtual journey, leave me a link to your Virtual Mission (or other site, if you are using something different) in the comments! It's free to use and very motivating and takes the boredom out of biking for me.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Injury Update and Weigh In

It's been 3 days since I got the sutures in my leg. It still hurts, but the pain is down about 75% and I can walk and take the stairs without too much discomfort. The bleeding has slowed down to just a few drops on each bandage change and it's looking pretty good. I was hoping to bike just a little, gently today, but after taking a look at it I am going to wait at least another day. It is just not all scabbed over, still has a bit that is dripping blood sometimes and I don't want to get it bleeding all over again. So another day or two to let it heal, and then I will be making up miles as much as I can on the bike.

My weight stayed the same this week: 243 pounds. I did get to see the endocrinologist last week and ask about weight loss surgery. She can't do my insurance referral... my primary physician has to do that. But she gave me the name of a surgeon and clinic she recommends and told me to go to one of their "information nights" to get more details about what's involved. She told me that some people have an underlying metabolic disorder that makes it very difficult to lose weight and easy to gain; she suspects that's what's going on with me. So I will check into WLS, but in the meantime I will keep following her diet recommendations (carbs come from mainly vegetables and some fruits, plenty of protein, little to no grains) and get back on the bike as soon as I am able.

I am at a point in my life where I want change. I have spent a lot of years pretty satisfied with everything: loving being a Mom, taking care of everyone, fostering pups and kitties, not working full time since my daughter was born. I've been in a complacent, comfortable little place in my relationships with everyone around me. I am in a house that I've loved for over 20 years, surrounded by big shade trees I planted when I bought the place, in a neighborhood that has been a true blessing for raising my children. I've been content to let things be the way they are for a long time, with the exception of trying to fix the whole weight issue. As my kids have grown up, married, graduated college, gotten jobs and their own places to live, I am starting to see things a little differently. Instead of everything I do being 100% about the kids, I have started to be able to let things be about *me.* I am finally letting myself be a priority too. All that energy I have put into taking care of children and teenagers needs a place to go. I funnel part of that into my youngest two, but then started putting it into volunteering in animal rescue over the past few years. I have loved that, too! But part of me is ready to channel that care-energy back into *myself.* I was driving a leg of a rescue transport last week and was thinking to myself... yes. I want to do this, to give back, to help animals in need. But I think when my current fosters find their forever homes, I am going to take a break. I need to put *all* that energy into getting myself better and getting what I want in life. I thought I had everything I could want, but actually, I am starting to think about changes: maybe moving to a smaller house in a different neighborhood, volunteering in different places than I currently do, joining a few local clubs for the socialization, going back to work... still as a biologist but in a different field than before. And most of all, getting myself into the best shape of my life, with vibrant health and energy. I think I deserve that, don't you? And I think I can make it happen.