I am going to start off today by thanking YOU for stopping by my blog. I am continuously in awe of how many people stop to read and/or leave a comment. I have said this before but I never feel like I am alone on my road to getting healthy. Thank-you for all your support and encouragement!!
Paying it forward: The mini challenge from Maren who is leading the Ready for Summer Challenge (RFSC) this week was about “paying it forward” as it relates to weight loss and this challenge. One way I paid it forward is telling my own story of obesity and my pursuit of better health and fitness within the health and nutrition unit I taught this semester to my non-science majors class. This is the first time that I have taught health and nutrition in this course. I know that in my college there are few courses offered regarding health and nutrition unless one majors in health, aspires to a medical field, or maybe athletic training. Most courses for non-science majors are crammed full of a plethora of important topics in science, but not health and nutrition. I am deeply committed to these two topics. I put one of Marion Nestle's books (What to eat) and a plethora of other materials from various credible resources at the center of our work. One of my challenges was creating an environment of trust and openness (this is a discussion based course) especially given that one of the students is obese. I am happy to report that the unit went really well. In our discussions they would mention how this topic permeated conversations with their friends and roommates and even spilled over into other class discussions. I learned with them, too, especially when they presented their research projects. For now, they have a license to make more informed decisions about their health and of course their nutrition.
In years past, I would never have taught a unit on health and nutrition. But not any more. I am committed to improving my health. I am guessing this will be the first of many, many more units to come! This unit was my most tangible way of “paying it forward.” I am not naïve enough to think that because of this unit that my students will maintain their health and fitness, but at least they are better informed as they make their own choices.
1. Weight loss: My weight loss goal is to lose 7 pounds. I decided that I will only report on my weight at the end of this challenge. Most of you know that I am a very slow loser. I do not want my focus right now to be on the scale, but rather on eating well and exercising. I suffer from scale distress. When I step on it and see that all that work has amounted to almost nothing, well, let’s just say I am not happy. So I have decided to weigh in only once for this challenge and that will be at the end. In the meantime, I know that I am making steady progress in my eating and of course exercise.
2. NSV (Non-Scale Victory): Overall, ride that 60-mile ride is the NSV goal that I am aspiring to. Total bike mileage for week 4 was 56 miles. Fewer miles, but more hills!
3. Exercise: As far as my three targets for this goal:
a. Improving my strength and stamina. I rode 5/7 days last week. I am now able to stay on the bike a good 40 minutes without a break. I did one 22-mile ride over hills on a very cold and wet day (37-41 degrees!). I also did hill work on two other rides as well.
b. My second target is to work on my cycling distance. As I wrote, I did get in one long rode of 22 miles.
c. Increasing my speed: My average speed this week was again about 12.5 mph. On the flats I can keep 14-15 miles steady now, too.
d. Cross training: I walked (3 miles) and did my strength training 5/7 days.
4. Nutrition: I stayed under 1500 calories on 6/7 days. The only day I was really over was the day I did the 22 miles. I am striving to find the right amount of calories to fuel my long rides. For me that means ingesting about 1000 calories (I burn about 1500) before and during my ride. I also don’t like to feel really “full” when I am riding that long. What is working for me right now are: Cliff bars (one), raisins, and sliced apples on top of my regular meal.
Overall, I believe Week 4 was my very best so far. I have to say that my upcoming challenge (Tour de Cure) on June 2 is really motivating me to stay on target with my eating. I really want to shed a few more pounds and even more before I do the Venus in August. I feel like I am in training!
Finally, enjoy a few pictures of my bike and I one early morning last week: