It’s Expensive Running To Stand Still

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Today in my part of the Lone Star State, it was a gorgeous day.  We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather we had today and went for a walk in the park near our place.

It would have been shameful to spend today inside–it was nearly 70 degrees out (unheard of for this time of year here) and sunny.  We made a loop around the creek you see in the picture above and then hung out watching the ducks and nutria that live there.  Even though my walk today didn’t count toward my total workouts for 2014 (the workout must be 30 minutes of continuous exercise per my standard for it to count), it was still a pretty good little walk, per Map My Walk:

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I hope there are more great weather days like this so I can get outside and do longer walks.  I didn’t have it in me today.  I wanted to run but wasn’t dressed for it.  Next time.

I still want to do a 5K the month of my birthday (March), so I need to get my ass in gear if I expect to finish it in any reasonable amount of time.  I wanted to do the one my school district puts on as a fundraiser for our educational foundation, but we will be out of town at a wedding that weekend so that one is out of the question.  I think I will look for one that happens the weekend of my spring break.  And as much as I hate the damned thing, I need to do more running on the dreadmill (thanks to Ron of Remember the Rain for that one!).  The last time I did any running was a couple of weeks ago.  I spend more time on the recumbent bike than the treadmill, but it’s because I love the bike.  I know the treadmill is a harder workout for me, but I feel more of a burn on the bike.  Maybe it’s because I force myself to work harder on the bike.  But if I am going to achieve my goal of doing a 5K the month of my birthday, I need to put the time in on the treadmill so that I can complete one successfully.  For me, success will be finishing in 90 minutes or less, with part of my race spent running.

January is fast coming to a close, and I feel like the Red Queen:  running as fast as I can to stay in the same place.  Looking at the data I’ve collected on my weight loss since January 8, I’ve lost just shy of 2 pounds so far.

1.8 pounds, to be exact.

This displeases me greatly.  I feel like I’m working my ass off to get nowhere.  Now, I know the people who know me would say that’s bullshit because they’ll say “OMG ARE YOU KIDDING?  You’ve lost nearly 140 pounds and 90 inches off your body!”

I know this.  Trust me, I see it every day in the mirror.  But my head has a hard time believing it.  STILL.

Perhaps it is time to clamp down on calories and re-examine how I do things food-wise.  Perhaps it is time to squeeze in more time for sleep each night during the week.    Perhaps it is time to reintroduce protein shakes (YUCK).  Perhaps it is also time to move things around in my schedule so that I can get to the gym more often.

The problem with this is that the things I could move are also things integral to my mental health:  weekly therapy appointments and weekly support group meetings.  The middle chunk of my week is eaten up with those two things, plus Rotary Club meetings.  The only days I have that I can carve time out of my schedule to exercise are Fridays-Mondays, and some weeks even that is tough.  I will be glad for spring break and summer, because then I can spend more time working on my fitness goals.   I’d like to work with a trainer again, but affordability is a concern.

As expensive as my healthcare has been so far this year, I simply don’t have room in my budget for the expense of working with a trainer.  I thought I’d anticipated my healthcare costs for the year well enough when I budgeted last spring for how much of my paycheck I was going to put into my flexible spending account, but apparently I did not.  Of the $2000 I put away, I have NOTHING left.  Want to know what sucks?

My plan year ends August 31.

That’s right.  August.  I’ve blown through over $2000 in healthcare costs since September 1.  I haven’t met my deductible yet.  Had my previous insurance plan not been eliminated, I’d have met my deductible a long time ago, but now my deductible is double what it was last year (from $1200 to $2400).   It’s nearly the end of January, and I’ve got to make it until September 1 before I’ll have flex spending funds again.  Guess it’s a good thing I’m working other jobs in addition to the already stressful full-time one I’ve got.  *sigh*

Needless to say I will be budgeting a little better (I guess?) come April when benefit elections take place.  It’s a delicate balance–estimating healthcare costs when you know that whatever you set aside for flex spending comes out of your paycheck, which means less money available for things like the power bill, groceries, student loan payments, gasoline to get to work, the phone bill, etc. etc., etc.

I will find a way to make this work.  I have to.  But I also have to find a way to make the time that I need to get enough exercise in to make all the shit I’m doing for my health as effective as possible.  There is only so much that controlling and managing my food can do for me in terms of weight loss.  Somewhere, somehow, I have got to find time to get more movement into my day, my week.  How I can do this and work as much as I need to in order to keep up this lifestyle, I don’t know.  I will figure this out eventually.  I just hope I figure it out before something gives.  I just don’t want that something to be me or my sanity.

Today was a good protein day, with 96 grams.  My calorie count clocked in at 906, which is the lowest it’s been all week.  My goal this week is to get my calories between 800-900 again, and to eat more fish.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Today’s food choices, from upper right: split the chicken shawarma plate with hubby (and had leftovers), hummus and rice; multivitamin and calcium supplements, iron supplement; half a cup of Mootopia chocolate milk; Jack Link’s beef jerky; salmon Oscar with snow crab meat in a beurre blanc sauce with sauteed green beans. Not shown: half a pita.

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4 responses to “It’s Expensive Running To Stand Still

  1. It is definitely a great day for an outdoorsy experience! We just thawed out from our freezy glitch on Friday here in Austin.

    I hear you loud and clear on the budgeting thing. Our plan hasn’t changed yet, but I predict we’re coming up to some changes in time for our September enrollment. Goodie, right?

    Here’s something to maybe think about. Is there any way you can start a garden or check out a community garden in your area? Even a little container garden can go a long way if you can keep one. As I’m getting better at it, my food costs are going down- but I’m still getting some really great food out of it.

    • Sadly, we don’t have space for a garden on our patio. Doing a CSA doesn’t make sense for us because we can eat so little produce we would end up wasting most of it, which defeats the purpose of saving money. We buy frozen produce and eat off of it, slowly, most weeks. When your stomach capacity is 6-8 ounces max, and protein is your priority, veggies take a back seat, unfortunately. That is one of the few things I miss about having a full-sized stomach–that I can’t eat a lot of veggies because there simply isn’t room for them.

  2. I’m preop and at 257 pounds I’m able to walk on the treadmill at a 6% incline for 30 minutes at a time at 2.8 MPH. I hope to improve on that as the weight comes off and I’ll eventually have the stamina to start a weight training program. How soon after your surgery were you able to exercise? What intensity/duration did you start with?

    • I didn’t start any sort of exercise until about 5 months out. I have had so much going on trying to juggle getting to therapy, group support meetings and my increased workload that adding one more thing to an already packed schedule was going to set me up for failure. I don’t get to the gym as often as I like and I’m fighting to find time in my schedule for it but it is tough.

      Post-op, all I did was walk. It was all I felt comfortable doing and really all I had time for. Now, I do more cardio than anything but I need to work on lifting weights and strength training.

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