How I dieted my way to gain 120 pounds
January 10, 2016
Even as a child I was aware that being on a “diet” was something adults did regularly. I remember my Dad having weight loss challenges with friends, my Aunt being a Weight Watchers coach, my Mom dieting when I was a child. I also remember the first time someone pointed out to me that I was chubby. I was probably 11 or 12, and had just gotten a new outfit that I was so proud to have picked out. It had a slight midriff top, and a friend pointed out my “fat belly”. I’d never thought of myself as fat until that moment. The first time an adult made me think about my body was when a teacher commented how I’d slimmed up over the summer between my freshman and sophomore years, asking if I’d gone on a diet ( no I’d gone through puberty). And I will never forget when my beloved German teacher commented about my senior picture – that the pose chosen was bad, made my arms look fat. I have been hyper sensitive to the size of my arms since.
It was probably in college when I first started “dieting” I remember have a sign in my dorm room that said “Remember 128”. The reference was to getting to the magical 128lb weight on my 5’7”frame. In hindsight I’m not sure when I was actually 128lb, but by college I was around 140pounds. The next few years led to things like the cabbage soup diet, skipping eating for days, and other less healthy attempts. I bounced around up and down between 140-160 pounds throughout my early 20’s. At one point a combination of stress, not eating, working too much, partying too much and overall generally bad lifestyle, did get me back down in the 120s. I was thrilled. Could not believe I was wearing a size 6, could borrow clothes from my petite friends. Looking at pictures of me at the time, I was the classic example of skinny fat. No muscle definition, bone thin legs, squishy in the middle. But I was a size 6, dammit.
That didn’t last for long. Within 4 years I was in the 180s. I will never forget visiting family in Hungary and one of them pantomiming gestures about how much weight I’d gained since my visit 2 years earlier. By thirty, I’d lost a bit and was bouncing around the 160s. Then the 170s. Enter the switch in conventional wisdom that said fat was bad, whole grains were good. Pasta was the healthy thing. Skip the bacons and eggs, eat bagels and muffins. I remember thinking even back then that if I ate a carb loaded breakfast, I was hungry and often binge ate the entire day. But, hey, that was the healthy way to eat. So healthy that by my mid thirties I was over 200 lbs and gaining. I began having random signs of what I now know were auto-immune related. My doctor just said I was getting older, and that some weight gain was normal (while ignoring my TSH at the very top of the “normal” range). At 38, I weighed 235lbs.
And discovered fen-phen, Atkins and Jane Fonda videos.
90 days of drugs, high fat low carb, and daily or twice daily aerobics with Jane, I was down 65 pounds. This was amazing. Then stories of adverse affects of the fen part of the equation started hitting the news. My doctor stopped prescribing it. I stopped the videos, the Atkins…after all why bother without the drugs. In an incredibly short period of time I was back at 200 pounds.
A few months later I was pregnant with my son. Got up to 250lbs during the pregnancy. Was relying on breastfeeding to lose the “baby” weight. Began to accept I was older, post pregnant would just have to accept gaining. After all it was what my doctor seemed to think was inevitable as I aged.
At 40 years old, being in the 200s was my new normal. As was shopping at Lane Bryant, or in the “women’s” department. Remember dreading teaching my son to ride a bike because at 250 lbs and out of shape I couldn’t run after him and push the bike. I made some half hearted attempts to lose weight. Bought a treadmill, surely that would be the answer. Tried the Seattle Sutton meal service. Tried Nutri-system. Back to weight watchers. Another round of Seattle Sutton. Each thing would knock off a few pounds and then it would stop. Nothing seemed to work. All the while, I became more and more sedentary.
And before I knew it I was pushing 50 years old and 260 pounds. Each time I dieted, I lost some, but then gained back more. Since college I’d been on and off diets nearly all the time. And somehow I’d dieted my way from 140lbs to 260lbs. I just knew something had to change.
Even if I wasn’t quite finished with dieting…..
Off Road in the City (part2)….or Indianapolis #mtb trails.
August 25, 2013
This week’s biztravel involved meetings all day Wednesday in Indianapolis and more meetings on Thursday at our corporate headquarters in Chicago. I was driving down to Indy on Tuesday and back up to Chicago early Thursday morning. Decided for this trip, I’d bring one of my mountain bikes, my full suspension Trek Lush. Unfortunately, the trip didn’t allow me to travel the extra hour south to the mountain biking mecca of Brown County State Park. However, I knew from reading threads on the forums at mtbr.com that there were a couple of trails in the Indy metro area, and fairly close to the hotel I usually stay at when in town. An added bonus is that Tania Juillerat, co-owner of Sub-9 Productions and organizer of the Midwest Women’s Mountain Bike Clinic, lives in the Indianapolis area. Even better she was available to ride on Tuesday evening.
I fully credit my mountain biking to Tania. There is no doubt in my mind that if I had never met her, I would not be mountain biking. Period. Nor would I have the skills on a bike, any bike, that I do without her clinics. It is not possible for me to over praise the work she does bringing people (esp. women) into the sport of mountain biking, and being an advocate of BCSP, HMBA, IMBA……
Plus I just really like her.
For Tuesday nights’ ride Tania suggested we ride at Fort Ben, the two trail loops at Fort Harrison State Park on the east side of Indy. This is about an 8 mile trail system consisting of two loops. The original Schoen Creek loop and the newer Lawrence Creek loop. This year a connector has been opened between the two, allowing riders to easily combine to two into a single ride.
We began by parking near the main shelter and restrooms. Both to change into our bike shorts, and because there has been some smash and grab robberies out of cars in the more secluded trail parking areas. The Lawrence Creek loop was easily accessed via a short ride down a paved path. Both trails are fairly rocky, rooty with several log overs. Nothing too technical but between the rocks and such and the exposure to the ravine, more of an intermediate rider trail than Town Run (below).
Fort Ben reminded me much of Brown County, particularly the Lawrence Creek section. A bit more exposure than I am used to in Wisconsin (meaning the trail runs right along ravine drop offs, at times off camber). Nothing I can’t handle, but something I have to settle into. Tania naturally went into coach mode, reminding me to really look ahead on the sections with exposure, encouraging me to ride over the logs and through the rock gardens. The trails are well used by trail runners, hikers, and bikers with ped traffic going one way, bike the other. All groups were courteous to each other. And boy oh boy does Tania know everyone. We stopped several times to chat with other riders, Tania reminding them of future trail projects and work days, along with talking about the Brown County Breakdown in September.
Loved having an opportunity to ride with Tania, and afterward enjoyed a nice leisurely evening of dinner and beers getting caught up on family, all her projects and discussing how to get more women in mountain biking. Somehow despite having been to 5 clinics where Tania coached or organized (3 of hers and 2 at Rays), along with one of her race events, I had never ridden with Tania…barely had seen her on a bike. She spends so much time advocating for mountain biking, and works so hard at events helping other woman, that she doesn’t get to ride as much as I suspect she wishes she could.
Wednesday night, my meeting went late, and I was on my own to ride (versus riding Fort Ben again with Tania and her son). I wanted to give Town Run a ride knowing it sat literally behind my hotel (the X on both Strava screen shots). I’d been told there was a south trailhead off 82nd St. behind Bicycle Garage Indy (a bike shop) and headed first over there. New construction and retaining walls at the shopping center no longer allow access from the south. I headed north to find the north trailhead on 96th street. Drove by it a couple of times before I noticed the gravel road on the south side of 96th between Allisonville Road and Hazel Dell. Once I found the road to the park, I was surprised by the number of cars already parked in there. Lots of people out riding the trail. I got passed a couple of times, was aware of other riders, but never felt crowded or pushed for speed out on the trail.
Town Run Trail is a 7mile long hardpacked twisty fast flowy trail that utilizes going up down and around a river levee to create the speed and flow. Mostly smooth with some rocks and roots. Several man-made features from small log drops to a couple of larger drops, and a wall ride. All features has an easy line around them. In most places switchbacks and bermed turns take you up and over the levee, but there are a few spots of straight up and down the fall line. I enjoyed riding around this trail, would have loved to do a second loop if I’d had time.
The two trails are different, each fun. Would be great to have them both in my backyard to ride. Each brought smiles, challenged me in spots, made me whoop and holler in others. No doubt if I drive to Indy there will be a mountain bike along for the ride, even if I can’t get all the way down to Brown County State Park!
May 6, 2013
Boy was I right on Saturday night when I said I may have done too much too fast, and my body was telling me, “you need a rest day.” Before going to bed, I’d taken some Advil (which is rare for me as I really try to limit taking any drugs including NSAIDs, but I was sore!). And just crashed. More than 9 hours of much needed, deep, barely interrupted sleep. That felt great. I awoke feeling back like myself. Was calling the the trails hotline before even getting out of bed.
Got ambitious about cooking brunch. Leftover steak, sautéed spinach, poached eggs, homemade Hollandaise. Great ingredients, great real food. Eggs from a local farm that pastures their hens. Kerry Gold Butter. Fresh lemons. Yum…. In future this before a ride, might wanna consider a touch of carbs.
The ride was going to be the first of the year for Hubby and Kiddo. I was feeling cocky because I’d been riding more all winter and of course this past week. That cockiness was quickly brought back to reality on the warm up loop of the Muir Brown trail. I couldn’t even clean the freakin’ teeny little climb. Holy. Shit. My legs were dead. Kiddo blew ahead. Hubby stuck far too close to my wheel. Told them both to go ahead on the White trail. They dusted me by Richards Revenge, even if I did clean my nemesis that 90 degree turn, rooty little pop up just past the gate. Decided to just take it easy and turn the ride into a photo shoot. Was thrilled when I got back to find a super pumped up Kiddo. He’d cleaned both trails. Not dabs, no stops. Now he’s excited to get some real training in. Hubby also had a good first ride. Traditional family post ride stop at LaGrange General Store. Perfect day ( well, maybe more perfect with less dead legs)
But also looking forward to today’s rest day ….
Proceed with Caution…
May 5, 2013
In typical Kim zero to sixty ASAP fashion, I’ve gone from months of slug like behavior to biking or lifting weights 6 of the last 7 days. And the strength training program is lower body dominant. I just returned from. Derby party and can barely move. Tired. Sore.
Over training is what lead to my shoulder issues. I feel so damn good when I am working out that I quickly go gung ho. It’s something I have to watch. The irony is i burn myself out, start feeling like crap and then forget how doing proper training or regular exercise Right now I’m just exhausted. I’ve been good about sleep, and food has been pretty spot on. Not trackin food now so have no clue to calories in, but dont hink im in a hard deficit. So far not in a bad place (as if one week of training could affect me that badly this quickly). In the past the first signs of over training are trouble sleeping. Probably a cortisol stress reaction. A year ago I ignored this sign and the ver increasing shoulder pain until that compounded the keep issues.
Plan now is to kick back and rest tonight, hopefully sleep in tomorrow. Sounds like the boys want to go ride the Kettles. Which is fine. I need to ride demon Bermuda and squash that demon. Neither Hubby nor Kiddo have been riding this year, so shouldn’t be at a fast pace, and will include plenty of rest. The big benefit of me doing my own rides is I won’t feel so much like we’re wasting the ride by not pushing. That feeling has lead to some less thn optimal attitude on family rides in the past. Imagine that, me with my bitch on. Never happens.
Did another strong curves work out yesterday. Oh. My. For what seems very easy simple, low key routines, they sure as hell activat the glutes (and hamstrings and hip flexor) with just enough big muscle upper body work to balance thing out. No stupid bicep o tricep isolation work (as I I need bigger upper arms. Yuck.) Great core work, too. Both typical abs but also back. Like it so far.
Today’s ride was to and from Kiddos baseball game with detours around The Mitchell and Fox Brook trails and an extension over to Calhoun and back. If I’m gonna ride pavement I do like this route. Was riding Coda, not a mountain bike. Realize I need some cadence sensors. I can tell since getting rid of Dolce (my roadie) I’m fallin back ino my less than optimal but nature 60rpm cadence as opposed to the 85-90 I’d worked so hard to cultivate. Just another thing to work on.
Getting my cook back on….
May 3, 2013
It’s funny how once I get active again, start doing more regular and structured conditioning, it’s easier to eat correctly. Which makes me feel better, which makes the conditioning easier, which….. you get it, a virtuous cycle.
So what have I done of interest this week. Hmmm, there’s been some grass fed steaks on the grill (and a lunch of leftover gress fed bone-in rib eye from last Friday night at Mr. B’s). But best of all was a Bolognese I’d made with half grass fed ground beef and half free range ground veal. Made it Monday night, and we ate it again on Wednesday night. Kiddo and hubby had it over gluten free noodles (I’m trying to convert them to paleo/primal, not having great success, just baby steps). I enjoyed it over spaghetti squash. I’ve finally figured out how to cook the damn stuff. From ‘Practical Paleo’ by Diane Sanfilippo (get it, you must). Just cut in half, scoop out seeds, rub a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet cut side down, into 350* overn for 40 minutes. Scoop out. Easy Peasy.
Hadn’t made the stir fry in a while. With all the veggies, spices and shrimp, we never miss rice or noodles.