How Audible.com helped me lose a little over 20lbs….My guide for how I got my run back…

I am pretty sure that in my past life I was a sloth and that I maintain some of those sloth-like ways in this life. I admit w guilt that I have days where I lay in bed and do absolutely nothing- and we aren’t talking because I have a cold or flu…but because it’s a Saturday and I think this might be one of my favorite hobbies. It’s not that I haven’t led an active life for the most part- but I think part of why I have is because I know I could easily spend the days away in my bed doing nothing…

A little background. I played sports throughout my childhood, I settled on Volleyball as my favorite when I was 6 (as a sidenote- I learned how to play volleyball at our family friend’s house as they threw weekly volleyball/bbq parties and the group of adults was primarily made up of the cast and writing staff of “Almost Live.” Bill Nye taught me how to serve a volleyball and while he was a smart guy- we never had discussions about the physics of serving or centrifugal force and the only time conversations on gravity came up was when he asked if I was ok after I tripped over my own feet…but I digress). I loved sports as a kid- I was pretty good at basketball and I rode my bike EVERYWHERE in middle school and high school. I love sports as an adult-  I’ve done the Seattle to Portland bike ride 7.5 times- but after rehabbing from 2 fairly decent injuries/surgeries, and as I get holder… being a sloth sounds a lot nicer on the bones…if not motivated properly- I’ll do nothing.

Unfortunately, having been an athlete for most of my life- I eat like an athlete and my metabolism and body type resemble that of my Dad’s Hispanic frame vs My Mom’s “They called me Twiggy in High school” frame. That being said- I tend to carry my weight ok and I’m finally hitting an age where I am less judgmental towards myself for not being able to prance around in a teeny-tiny bikini. I do however like my body better when I feel strong. When I can feel a solid muscle in my thigh without flexing and I know that I can do a 7 mile hike without walking like Frankenstein for the next week and most of all- I can eat whatever I want without having to buy a new wardrobe because I’ve outgrown my current one- I feel the best about my physical self.

As my title indicates- I got my run back- as in- I did have it once and now I am trying to get it back. While I stated all of the sports and whatnot I did as a kid- I did not run…in fact…I avoided it as much as possible. I have calves that were built for jumping- fast twitch muscles. I think I averaged a 7 minute mile at the height of my athletic strength.  I first started “running” a little over a year after I compression fractured my spine when I was 28. My son was 3 months old when the injury occurred and after a crappy Dr and wrestling with what appeared to be the loss of an active life based on his diagnosis….I found a Dr who was actually a spine specialist for athletes and I started to get better and stronger and he encouraged me to start biking again. After not doing much for a year, biking the long distances I used to do was incredibly hard. Also- because I had fractured my lower back- riding a long distance or even a medium distance hurt my back.  I decided to start cross-training to regain back strength and I would go to the gym in the evening and use the elliptical. One night I ran into my very sweet neighbor, JenJen, at the gym and we became workout buddies. JenJen was the best workout partner- not only did I find it so much easier to get motivated to go workout because she was counting on me- but we pushed each other to get better. I swore up and down to her that I was NOT a runner…and while I was getting way better on the elliptical and my biking was improved and I was ready to challenge myself even more- also I think she called me a wimp and told me to suck it up and try…we would give each other a hard time and push each other and be the support we each needed and it worked- in no time we were running a 5k a month, planning the next and enjoying a workout buddy romance….and then she moved to Puyallup…and while I maintained it and was planning a triathalon and maybe a 10k in the coming year…it was never the same. Thankfully I found out I was pregnant w my 2nd kiddo so instead of slowly trailing off and losing my drive due to only being accountable to myself- I had a legitimate excuse.

I tried to start running again and get that excitement back after #2, I started walking a lot and while I started running again- it wasn’t strong and it was anything but consistent. I really had grown to enjoy running but when I had stopped and then had a baby in between- the learning curve for my body was discouraging and I just lost the drive. I started and stopped again several times over the next several years never really getting it back. I biked primarily and I was ok with that- although I missed the strength I had from cross training w running. And then injury #2 happened and I walked w a cane for almost a year before having reconstructive hip surgery. My strength and drive took a huge dive. As I’ve attempted several times to start doing something active several times over the last 3 years since surgery- nothing has stuck. I gained weight in my legs for the first time ever! My clothes shrunk as I grew and I felt defeated…maybe I just had to get used to the new, softer me. I tried changing my eating habits to lose weight. I started running here and there, but again- I was failing over and over to make something stick- or NOT stick- to my abs, thighs, butt…

Last spring, as I was looking over the hill at my 39th birthday- the mother to two amazing and wonderful, and BUSY kids. Spending most of my time with them going to dance classes, doing homework, cleaning, doing dishes and all the mom things and feeling a bit lost in not having time for myself to start doing the things that I missed doing. I started hiking again- but due to my schedule, not consistently. Great when I did it- but not often enough. I decided that I would start using my night-owl proclivities to have time to myself.

In my realization that the only time I have to myself is after my kids go to bed and I’ve finished puttering around getting last bits of the day done, I decided that after 9pm most nights (10 or 11pm others) I can finally do something for myself! Going into this- I had no intentions of losing weight. After failing numerous times in years prior- I didn’t even set a weight goal. I didn’t weight myself when I started or on a regular basis. I happened to be weighed when I went into my regular Dr. appts and I didn’t need that stress and downer any more often! My goal was simple- I wanted to feel stronger and more like myself. I wanted to get out of the house and have some time to myself and I am lucky to have dogs, big ones that made this time a viable one, a much safer one for me to go out for these late night adventures. I have always listened to music to work out- I am a music junky and I have never thought to listen to something else to get me up and going. However, around this time, I had been on a huge podcast kick and had just started a trial for audible.com.

I love to read, I love the movies my mind makes up for what I am reading- I have an awesome imagination and I LOVE TO READ! I wasn’t sure if I would like my books read to me…so I tried it out w some books I already had read. I wanted to see if it would draw me in as much as reading the book myself had- would it give me as vivid of a mental movie?

I remember setting out w my dogs to try something new. I decided to listen to the book- It was already pulling me in and I had the same connection where I couldn’t put it down- and this was a book I had read several times prior to ordering on audible. I started out walking w my dogs that first week listening to “The Girl who plays w Fire” and was hooked.

In week two, I would start running a bit, warming up muscles that hadn’t been used in some time. I would extend my routes as I got more into the book- not wanting to end my time.

I lost my first 5lbs the first month (June) listening to all three of the “Girl w the Dragon Tattoo” series- I listened to part two and three twice and I still go back to listening to these titles when I don’t have another book to listen to- Lizbeth Salandar makes me feel strong and like I can conquer anything. Also- these books are written well and the reader on Audible does a great job reading it.

I went on to listen to Stephen King’s “Dr. Sleep” (follow up to “The Shining- which I listened to after) and then his 11/22/63, I listened to the first two books of the Waverly Bryson series- great summer fluff reading and “Team of Rivals” by Doris Goodwin because I’m fascinated w politics through the ages. While I wasn’t weighed again until September- I’d managed to lose another 18lbs. During the time between the first month I started this and September- I got to where I was running for 6 miles a day- various routes through out my area. I looked forward to my nightly adventures and getting back into my book. I enjoyed running w new friends in each of these books. I also learned there are some books that don’t work well for running at my chosen time….in my Stephen King kick- I had gone back to listen to “It” – a book that scared the crap out of me as a kid- but that I also really enjoyed. While I definitely ran faster- it was not healthy and I remember stopping my run one night, scared out of my wits that a creepy person was getting ready to jump out of the shadows, I changed the book back to one that made me feel strong.

I’ve had some lulls- as the weather changed to fall- running late in the cool nights in more layers took some of my motivation as did a cold that wouldn’t quit. I am back running again regularly, I just downloaded “Yes, Please” by Amy Poehler- I’ve been on a kick of these types- listening to one of my favorite titles “It’s Always Something” by Gilda Radner (My blog name is a nod to her and this book) and “The Pelee Project” by Jane Christmas. I love that when my body is going thru the drag of not wanting to push further- my mind convinces me to keep trying so I can hear “just this next part.” Also- running w dogs- they don’t really take “NO” for an answer…they start pulling their leashes out and I can no longer run around the house in workout clothes and my running shoes as they think it’s time to go.

I still listen to music sometimes when I run, but I credit Audible.com and soothing voices with giving me my motivation to get my run back and in the process- much needed me time, strength and endurance I had lost, and less sloth tendancies…who knew?

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~ by itisalwayssomething on November 5, 2014.

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