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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351

    A Cautionary Tale

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    One year ago I weighed 148 and had 18.5% body fat.

    April 2010


    I looked pretty good, training was going pretty well and then my confidence took a hit and an old injury resurfaced. I suffered my way through the World's Toughest Half, in May of last year, just making the official time cut off of 8 hours.

    I have lots and lots of reasons, all of which seemed good at the time, for why I pretty much did not train the rest of the season and suffered my way through another Half Ironman, Barb's Race, in July. I was stressed, my quad hurt, it was too windy, too hot, too cold...whatever.

    I was eating three thin crust pizzas nearly every week and a small container of ice cream pretty much daily. Really, that's not that bad, a little daily indulgence of 250 - 300 calories. And it was thin crust pizza. By November 1, I weighed 155 and my body fat had jumped back up to 27%. When Shawna, my trainer, ran my numbers, I was shocked and p!ssed. It was only seven pounds, how could I have gained so much FAT! Well, it was seven pounds of fat, and my diet and lack of enough exercise were doing nothing to maintain my muscle mass.

    Pictures don't lie - Nov. 1, 2010.


    It's been six months. I have a training schedule that works for me. I've worked at getting my food intake more properly aligned with my needs. I've lost 11 pounds and now have 17% body fat.

    April 3, 2011




    I still struggle with my sweet tooth. Cake with good frosting is my weakness. I have an occasional pizza - every four to six weeks. We drink a bottle of good champagne every weekend.

    What I have learned is that losing weight is only the beginning of the race. Maintenance also takes work, focus and effort and in some ways is harder than the actual weight loss. It NEVER ends. It helps that what I am really focusing on is performing well in my Half Ironman event this year.

    I know it's easy to look at thin women and think, "It's easy for them, they've got good genes. They don't really have to work at this like I do." I know that's what I thought when I lost my initial weight back in 2000. Maybe it's true for some women. But I think most fit women are like me, they are working at it every day. Some days we have setbacks, or we indulge. But if you want to keep that fitness once you've got it, you can't stop the effort. That's why it's so important to find exercise you like and make nutritional changes you can live with.

    And really... Discipline is remembering what you want.


    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,617
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica View Post
    I know it's easy to look at thin women and think, "It's easy for them, they've got good genes. They don't really have to work at this like I do." I know that's what I thought when I lost my initial weight back in 2000. Maybe it's true for some women. But I think most fit women are like me, they are working at it every day.
    I have to work at it. Every, single, day.
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    oh Veronica, you're beautiful!! I am extremely impressed. I hope you can keep it up..
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Veronica, you look so awesome!!! You really are an inspiration. A couple of months ago, you shared some of this story and your most recent stats. I had already been toying with starting back with running, and it was that thread that pushed me over the edge. Thank you!!! Granted, I haven't been back to it long enough yet for it to be totally engrained, but I'm making progress. I feel like I'm getting back to my old active self bit by bit. I still need to up my bike mileage, but the weather refuses to fully cooperate. My yoga practice is improving and I'm feeling far fewer aches and pains than I was this time last year when my hip was giving me fits.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your story with us!
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Madison WI
    Posts
    280
    way to go! Very impressive

    FYI - my favorite way to indulge in pizza (b/c I love it) is a trader joe's whole wheat pita as the crust. I personally like pepperoni so I use turkey pepperoni. I toast it in the toaster oven on the rack and it tastes SO good!

    I am trying to lose about 7 pounds and it has been a struggle. I lost 35 a few years back and it takes a lot of work to maintain! I have been working to learn to eat sensibly by intuition after developing some unhealthy food issues through my weightloss and early maintenance.

    I, too have a sweet tooth and find it is a slippery slope to junk food-om!
    Alison - mama of 2 (8yo and 6yo)
    2009 Independent Fabrication steel Crown Jewel SE
    1995 trek 800 steel MTV

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,244
    Wow...you are truly an inspiration! Especially for those of us that are finding it difficult to get "back on track" (including myself in that bunch). Real quick, here is my story - back in 2008 I decided to do my first triathlon (a sprint). I trained using my own plan. I'm not really sure what my weight was for that first race, but if I had to guess...I'd say I was somewhere in the mid to high 140's. My sprint was on June 22, 2008...I did okay, finishing in 1hr, 30min. I had such a great time and was so proud of myself, that I immediately decided to sign up for another race...this time, an Olympic distance in August. My Oly was on Aug. 10, 2008...and in between my sprint and oly, I managed to drop down to a very muscular 138lbs. I too, have photos...and there is a clear difference in how I looked during both races. Flash forward to the present, I haven't done a tri since then...kind of "lost interest", I guess. My main focus now, is cycling...but I still do some running and swimming here and there. I weighed myself yesterday, and I am now 156lbs...I still have a fair amount of muscle, but I certainly don't look as lean as I did back in August of '08. I've been struggling ever since, to get back that lean, slimmed down "me"...but it surely hasn't been easy. Especially since I'm also 3 years older and everything just seems harder the older I get.

    Anyways...just wanted to share that. YOU ROCK, Veronica!

    Linda
    2012 Seven Axiom SL - Specialized Ruby SL 155

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Mississauga -a "burb" outside Toronto
    Posts
    648
    ..every single day.....it's really hard work, but your shared very poignantly what can happen and how easy it is to make excuses. Good for you V for sharing..it's easy to post the good stuff, much harder when we falter....


    "You can't get what you want till you know what you want." Joe Jackson

    2006 Cannondale Feminine/Ultegra/Jett

    2012 Trek Speed Concept 9.5/Ultegra/saddle TBD

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    Hey good for you for getting back on track. It's easy to let your guard down - I've done it many a time. I think you identified the key, though - only make changes you can live with forever. If you're doing the "beets and cottage cheese only" diet, you'll never make that last a lifetime.

    And there should always be a place for the good champagne ...
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,560
    You look great. Thanks for sharing your story.

    While I'm not a serious athlete like you are, getting "off track" can happen to anyone. It's inspiring and informative to hear about what's you've done.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    876
    This is inspiring, thanks! It's amazing how much food impacts our bodies. I can ride all day, but in the end, it really seems to come down to diet. I've finally learned to eat more mindfully and to stop when I'm full. That, combined with regular weight training, helped me lose seven pounds this winter. I feel great and crave healthy foods. I still struggle to stop eating in the evening when everything sweet calls to me. Slowly, but surely.
    Girl meets bike. Bike leads girl to a life of grime: http://mudandmanoloscycling.com/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    Hey - while not quite as lean as in the April shots, you look pretty d*mn fit in the November shot to me!
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    Quote Originally Posted by lph View Post
    Hey - while not quite as lean as in the April shots, you look pretty d*mn fit in the November shot to me!
    +1 to that!

    How much do you think being injured affected your fitness level? Was that as big a factor as the pizza?
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

    '10 Soma Double Cross DC, Selle An Atomica

    Slacker on wheels.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    151
    It is amazing when we learn what works for our bodies, we slack off, can't get it back and struggle to regain to maintain our previous success! I'm so in that group.

    Few years ago, I lost 47 pounds, just wanting to be healthy. I let go of having a preconceived number on the scale and found success in the gym and hiking, then added cycling. I made good food choices, felt awesome working out and really 'liked me'. I was in the skinniest skinny pants I ever wore and looked dang good (and that "number" was 135).

    Then I let it go ... dum-de-dum-dum-dummmmmm! Let in what turned out to be a not-so-great relationship, didn't keep up with what had been working for me, let that BF make decisions for meals and to be with him I gave up my cross training routine and only biked. Gained 10-15 pounds and those great skinny pants didn't fit even though I was riding 200-300 miles a month. Fast forward a year, not-so-great BF is out of the picture, lost the 10-15 pounds, but still can't get in those skinny-skinny pants even back at 135. Having trouble getting back to that cross training routine that worked before .... struggling to maintain any of my decent eating habits. Instead of letting "being healthy" guide me, I've focused on a number on the scale and size of pants, the frustration is, well, .... I'm really trying to get my head screwed back on "healthy".

    It never does end, but never giving up makes the difference!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    2,521
    Veronica - you look great - keep it up! I know you work really hard at it.

    It is very brave of you to tell the story of your gain, that is always the hard part, it is easy to show the after, not so easy to show the before! Great story and great determination. I know I'm proud of what you have accomplished!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Quote Originally Posted by redrhodie View Post

    How much do you think being injured affected your fitness level? Was that as big a factor as the pizza?
    It was all mental. I could have been swimming or biking. A stressful work day leaves me craving unhealthy foods and wanting to hole up in my "nest."

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

 

 

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