Wednesday, February 27, 2019

I should go back to swimming...

I used to swim...a lot. I wound up with a messed up shoulder, took a year off, went back to it only to discover that even after PT it was not healed enough, took another year off, and it still wasn't cooperating. So I started riding my bike.

I'd like to be outside riding right now. Instead, I'm looking out the window watching it rain, as it has been for a couple of days and how it will be for several more, and I'm grumbling like an eight year old who's been grounded from playing with her friends.

If the rain keeps up, I might as well give swimming a try again, and I won't even need to go to the pool.

My road bike has been rescued from the shed and brought inside, and it's up on a trainer. The treadmill is ready to go. Tonight I'll probably at least get on the bike to get some miles in, and either read or watch something on Netflix while I pedal. It'll do, but it's not as fun as an actual ride.

I'm still stuck in a plateau, my weight is not budging. It's not a big deal (other than my ego) and I know eventually I'll start to lose again, but I had this mental image of the weight I would be at when I participate in the St. Baldrick's head shave, and I'm 12 pounds from that. If my weight had come off as projected (bite me, MFP) I'd be under that weight by then.

I'm not losing 12 pounds in under two weeks, so I'll be doing it as a flabby mess again.

Next year, then.

But, yeah, I'm ready for the rain to stop for a few weeks.

Friday, February 22, 2019


All right. Not only have I committed to a 15K in January, I committed to a 60 mile walk in November. Three day, 60 miles, to raise money for breast cancer.

I fully intend to use my bike as a major part of my cardio work; I did the walk a couple years ago after using it for a good deal of my training, and it worked. This year, since I have to start jogging to get my pace down for that race, I'm counting on being in better shape for the walk than I was then.

I also intend to be a hell of a lot lighter. I'm at least 20 pounds lighter than I was at the last walk. If I can be 50 or more, I'll be ecstatic. At the very least, I wanna be buff.

I know, but I can dream.

And my feet already hurt, just thinking about it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

It's a process, and I hate it

Not the bike riding; I dig that. But the whole process of building better habits and getting into a shape other than round, and then not seeing scale results, sucks. If My Fitness Pal was correct, I'd weigh 10 pounds less than I do right now. I log all my food, I log my exercise, and when I click on "Complete" at the end of the day, it tells me how much I'll weigh in 5 weeks if every day is like the one I just logged.

My calorie intake is basically the same every day. My workouts are consistent. But the scale has not budged since the end of December, I think.

I've been super annoyed about that. I know I have things working against me, the total absence of growth hormone being one of them. I have a difficult time building lean muscle mass because of that, and muscle repair takes me a long time.

But still. I'm biking an average of 12 miles a day. I get my heart rate up. And the scale does not budge.

Yet...I am, clearly, building a little muscle. And I've had a few non-scale victories lately. Today I had one of them. For years, in any kind of women's clothing, I've worn a 2XL. But I grabbed a pair of track pants for today's ride and didn't look to see what they were until after the ride...and they're a pair of women's L that I bought by mistake last year.

They're comfortable. The waist isn't tight. The legs weren't squeezing my thighs.

So, that's something. I am making progress.

I was only able to get 11 miles in today, and might not be able to ride tomorrow because of the weather.

But...we're rearranging things in the room with the treadmill and rower so I can bring in my road bike and stick it on a trainer. At least I'll be able to get some sort of riding in on rainy or too-hot days.

And I need to make use of the treadmill. I decided to shoot for a 15 K race next January. My pace needs to be under 15 miles/minute and right now I'm probably at 17.

I can do it.

If I don't croak.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

I live in a small town; if I loop the major roads, I get less than 5 miles in. Some of that is kinda sketchy because of traffic, like every other person who lives here tries to drive on those roads 15 times a day, so I avoid it. Which brings me down to about 3 miles, if I go around in a loop.

Going up and down residential streets, I've found a route of about 5 miles that gets me from home to Starbucks, so on days I don't feel like pushing it, I ride there and stop for tea and then reverse the route to go home. Directly there, it's only 1.6 miles...which is fine if I just want to get out of the house. And on days I don't need a long ride, a sort-of rest day, I'll do that. Right there and back.

Lately, though, I've been riding a 1.6 mile loop from my house which doesn't put me in any real traffic, with only one sometimes-busy road to cross. That's the ride I push it on, keeping an eye on my heart rate and mileage.

I play music, get into a groove, and just go.

Today I headed out and the only thing I was thinking was that I was freaking cold and just wanted to get a few miles in. I stopped at 1.5 miles to stick another knit cap under my blinding orange one, and got back to it, hoping my fingers wouldn't freeze and fall off halfway around the next loop.

It was 45 degrees with a breeze. It totally might have happened.

After I added the 2nd cap, the only thing bothering me were my hands, so I decided to go for 10 miles and suck it up if it started to hurt a little bit.

On my 4th loop as I made my way down a street that's .5 miles into it, I heard a guy who'd been working in his yard yell out, "How many damned times are you going by?"

I raised my hands--5 fingers--though truthfully I was going 6, at least.

Then I wondered if I was annoying people by zipping past their homes and yards.

Then I realized I didn't care.

I ended today with 12.25 miles. Yesterday, 23.25. It'll have to do, since it looks like it's going to rain for the next 4-5 days and I'm a total weenie and don't really want to ride in it, especially if it's also windy.

We need the rain, but man, I am totally bummed out that we're getting so many days in a row of it. Like, I might have to actually do housework or something instead.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Here We Go Again...Redux

Yesterday, had anyone asked me if I'd had a blog titled Fat Kat, I would have scrunched up my nose as I considered it, and then denied that I'd ever written such a thing. It would have rung no bells, tickled no memory in the back of my head. I would have been surprised to see proof that I had, in fact, authored such a blog.

And then came today, when I was poking around things on Blogger, looking for comments connected to another blog that had been shuffled to moderation or marked as spam, and saw this in the list of blogs I either own or am a member of. So I jumped down the rabbit hole and pulled it up to read the archives...and finally had an inkling that these were things I had written.

And holy hell, it's all boring.

That doesn't mean I'll delete it; to the contrary, my first impulse was to resurrect it. My second was to delete all the content and start over, but then I realized it didn't matter. I might as well leave evidence of the journey I've clearly been struggling with for far too many years. Maybe in ten years I'll look back and realize I'd finally stumbled on the right track, or that I was never on the wrong one but focusing on the negative things.

The one thing I definitely wanted to change was the title. I grabbed onto Fat Kat because it was borderline clever--I'm fat and those are my initials, eh?--and I was actively trying to lose weight.

In the years since then I've come to understand that I don't want to wrap up my identity in a neat ribbon of negativity. Am I still fat? Sure. I'm overweight and I know it. But I also have so much more information under my belt, so to speak, and don't define myself by that anymore.

It came to me in the form of a doctor who listens, and who understands the hurdles that are in my way. She treats me for conditions I have as a result of a pituitary tumor, and understood before I did that much of my weight prior to diagnosis was likely related to interference of my metabolism by a tumor I didn't know I had. But still, I'd been in treatment for those issues for five or six years by the time I first saw her and was still fat. And I complained about it. I eat well, I exercise. I don't like this, not any of it.

You are not a number on a scale.

She said it as a matter of fact, not as something one says in order to placate someone. She meant it. She pointed to my blood work; it was damn near perfect. My blood pressure was good. My diet was not perfect, but pretty damned okay. I walked a lot, I swam, I was reasonably active. My weight was just a small part of who I was.

She didn't want me to ignore it, because it clearly bothered me. But there were things in my way; based on tests I'd had previously, I was an odd mix of insulin resistant with reactive hypoglycemia. Based on my verbal history, I'd yoyo'd my way into a screwed up metabolism that was not helped one bit by hypothyroidism brought on by the tumor. She reasoned that I pulled back a bit when I exercised, because I had legitimate fears of my blood sugar tanking and then passing out. I tended to overheat--my body doesn't self regulate very well.

There was a list of things wrong with me, but my weight was not one of them, not in the grand scheme of things.

I started looking at things differently after that.

I didn't gain back all the weight I'd previously lost, for which I was grateful. But then she took me off growth hormone--another tumor casualty--and she warned me that I would gain 20-25 pounds. There would be a loss of lean muscle mass that would be difficult to regain, and a shift in body fat. But the trade off to staying on it was cancer risks, which in my family is not a small thing.

I stopped taking it and gained 25 pounds. And I hated it, very ounce of it.

And I gave up, for the most part.

Later, there was another major shakeup in my life, one that both stilled a critical voice in my head and let loose a few others, and I might talk about those later, but for now...I was at a place I didn't really want to be but had come to accept, and if I was going to be there, I might as well have fun.

I started swimming seriously. So seriously that I injured my shoulder and had to stop for a while. It's been almost 3 years now, I think, and the shoulder never really healed.

There was training for the 3 Day, which I enjoyed. We bought a really good treadmill and it gets used once in a while.

What I wanted to do most, though, was get back to riding a bike. I bought a reasonable starter bike a few years back, but on one ride in not-too-hot weather, I felt myself getting lightheaded, and barely managed to stop before I passed out. I'd felt things creeping up on me a couple miles from home and headed in that direction, thinking I would make it, but a quarter mile away, I was out cold for a secind or two.

That's all, I think. Just a second or two. And I managed to get off the bike first. But I stopped riding because, frankly, I was afraid to. I stayed reasonably active, but I wanted to be on the damned bike. I stuck it on a trainer in the house, which was okay, but it wasn't riding. I wanted to ride.

Not my bike, but like this
Enter the electric bike. It's a heavy monstrosity, 60 pounds or so, but it has pedal assist and a throttle. I don't have to use the throttle--and I don't--but if I feel like I'm in trouble I can crank the throttle open and get home fast. It's everything I wanted--to ride, to be outside, to have a frakton on fun--and I feel safer.

I'm not stupid; I know some of that is all in my head. But I don't care. I feel safer. Feeling safer means I ride more often and go distances much further than I would have.

Where I used to ride 5-6 miles, my typical now is 15. I keep the pedal assist low so that I'm still getting a workout, but my knees don't take the brunt of the ride. I get excited about going for a ride and I get my heart rate up.

I'm under no illusions; I don't think of this bike as "cheating" (as some riders do) but I do have to ride longer and further to get the same benefit I would without the motor.

But I'm riding.

I'm having fun.

And, perhaps not so surprising, I've lost a little weight.

I'm counting calories; I keep it around 1200 a day, but I'm not obsessive about it...other than being in a 5 week plateau that's driving me a bit nuts, even though I know this will pass.


I'm not the Fat Kat anymore. I'm just a chubby middle aged woman with some issues that get in the way, but my interest is leaning more toward health and being active.

My weight will get there. I intend to ride my asterisk off, and enjoy the hell out of things while I do it.