Sunday, July 31, 2011

Feeling your feelings

Lyn from Escape from obesity talks a lot about feeling your feelings. This has always been a struggle for me. When things got rough, I always put my feelings aside, ignored them and tried to live my life as if the bad stuff never happened. I am sure that's part of the reason why I am overweight - I've stuffed myself with junk food and candy to avoid taking a good hard look at all those feelings looming beneath the surface.

Dark feelings looming beneath the surface
Image by nuttakit /

Lately, I have tried to do something about not just my weight, but my old-but-not-forgotten feelings as well. I have started going to Rosen therapy, which is a form of massage therapy that helps you get in touch with your feelings. I am also starting psychoterapy to work through some of the dysthymia (low grade depression) and anxiety that I've been batteling for far too long. My first day is tomorrow, and I'm scared to death - don't know quite what I'm scared about, though!

Anyways, when the twin terrors (as I've been told they are called in the rest of the world, in Norway, of course, we only call it the terror) hit, I woved to not let this experience add to the already overflowing collection of suppressed feelings. Instead of my initial reaction, which was to just stuff it all away, I decided to feel it all and work through it right there and then.

Image by m_bartosch / 

Consequently, I spent most of last weekend couped up in my living room, glued to the TV. I watched and listened to every single of the horrors that were told. I bawled my eyes out thinking of what those poor kids and their families had gone through. I even blogged about it. It feels like I was able to process at least most of the sorrow, and I'm hoping some of the shed tears were from old sorrows as well.

But there was more to this event than just sorrow. A lot of shock and fear, too, and those are not so easily dispelled by tears. Come Sunday, I was ready to let go of these feelings, too. I thought the best way to do that was through exercise. So I ran. First, I did the Cooper test at my old gym, to see how much I'd improved (I'll talk about that in another post). Later, I did a session of C25K.

It felt so GOOD! It was really what I needed to free some of the shock that had frozen my body and mind. Running, and I'm sure most kinds of exercise, can be the best form of healing. Often, we think of exercise as a means to reach our goal weight. But lately, I've started to value exercise for its own sake, for the good feeling it creates in me. I LOVE how strong I feel after a workout, how much more I appreciate my body, how it reduced my stress levels.

Even though I officially quit the challenge half way through, I DID succeed in losing 1 kg in 1 week. Half of that (the part prior to July 22) was due to hard work on my part. The other half - well, you just don't have the stomach to eat much when you're bombarded with heart gripping, real life horror stories like that.

Well, actually I'm sure it could have gone the other way, too. I could just as easily have turned to food for comfort. So it was just pure luck that my reaction led me away from food. Or was it? Could it have been that I didn't NEED comfort food because I was actually feeling my feelings instead of suppressing them? I hope it's the latter, because that would give me a new kind of power over binges. I'll never know for sure, but nonetheless I will continue to work through my feelings instead of hiding from them. I believe that will make me more equipped to reach my goal weight and stay there. Not to mention that I'll have a better life alltogether. Now, that is something worth fighting for! :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Changed perspective

All bets are off, I won't be finishing my one week challenge. It just doesn't seem important anymore. What happened, you might ask? A bomb, that's what happened. A real life bomb in my country, too close to where I live and work. And an even worse massacre to top that off. It's just totally unreal, Norway is a peaceful country. We're famous for our peace treaties, not terrorist attacks!

Although I work as far away as 7 km (4.3 miles), I could actually hear the explosion when it happened. At the time, I didn't think much about it, I just figured it was lightening. Because you don't really expect t a bomb to go off close to where you're at, do you? I didn't, anyways. So I didn't realize what had happened until I heard it on the radio a while later.

I just couldn't believe what I was hearing, and rushed to check the online newspapers. The pictures that met me there, were unreal. It looked like a warzone, like something that happens in other, more controversial (for lack of a better word) country. Not here, where I live. I wasn't physically close to where it happened, but psychologically it was just way too close.

It didn't help that, in order to get home, I'd have to take a bus through the center of Oslo. The situation was toally chaotic, the police kept securing larger and larger areas around the bombing, telling people to stay away and don't use their cell phones. When I found out that Oslo S (Oslo train station) was closed due to 'mysterious items', I decided not to go home. My bus would drive through that area, and I was not willing to take any chances.

Yet, I was shocked and scared and really wanted to get home and feel a little safer. I found a bus that drove a different route far away from the city center, and jumped on that. It would take a lot longer to get home, but it was well worth it to feel safer and get home. When I sat on the bus, I got a message saying that there had been shots on an island nearby. At that point, it seemed relatively 'innocent' (if you can ever called a shooting incidence innocent) and unrelated to the bombing.

When I got home and turned on the TV, though, the story was much more dramatic. AUF, the youth organization of a major political party in Norway, arranged a summer camp at Utøya. There were 500-1000 youths gathered there, and a man dressed as a police officer started shooting people. The scenes described just got worse and worse. Facebook and Twitter flooded with warnings like "don't call anyone at Utøya, someones is shooting and people are hiding". Some of the kids tried to swim off the island. There were interviews with families who had talked to their hysterical, screaming kids when the lines went dead and they hadn't been able to reach them since. These stories just etched themselves into me, I can't even begin to imagine this. I keep thinking about these families and the nightmare they must be going through.

I sat glued to the TV most of yesterday. When I went to bed, there were 10 reported dead from the shooting incident. Survivors talked about 20-30 dead, so I feared that the number would rise. But nothing could have prepared me for the news I woke up to - at least 84 dead. EIGHT-FOUR! And they were all youth, some as young as 13-14 years. It's just unbeliveable! And none of the diseased are identified yet, there are SO many families in the dark, hoping and praying that their loved ones are safe. But for every mintue they don't hear anything, the hope grows dimmer.

And today, when we were finally feeling a little bit safer because the shooter (who is also suspected of the bombing) was arrested, the news came that there might have been two shooters. Which means that there might be a very, very dangerous person on the lose. And that we might not have seen the last of this.

Today there were also more stories from the survivors of the shooting. They talked about how the shooter pretended to be there to help them, but instead started shooting. They described him as cold and calm, having all the time in the world as he leisurely shot people. Some saw their friends being killed right in front of them. Others had to play dead among their already dead friends to try to survive. It is just crazy, horrible, unimaginable - a real nightmare that unfortunately is no dream!

In between all this horror, there are some bright spots. Facebook is flooded by support messages both from Norwegians and foreigners. A lot of people have changed their profile pictures to show their support. The blood banks have long lines of volunteers giving blood and in fact they now have so much blood that they are sending blood donors away. There are stories of great heroes - one young man who swam from the island taking with him his injured friend. He almost didn't make it, yet he never let go of his friend, saving both their lives.

I am sorry about this long rambling. I don't really feel like I have the right to write about this. I wasn't there, and as far as I know, I don't know anyone involved. But still, this has shaken me and touched something deep inside. I'm home alone and don't have anyone to talk to, so I just needed to try to put words to some of the horror, disbelief, sadness, fear, sympathy and shock that I feel. Thank you for listening.

If you wanted to read the story of someone who was actually there, you can read Prableen Kaur's blog. (It is in Norwegian, but you can translate it at It is deeply touching. I just cannot imagine how anyone could survive such horrors, let alone someone so young. I have no words, it is unbelievable. And, please, send your prayers to everyone hurt by this attack, and their families and friends. They are going to need it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

One week challenge

 Image by scottchan /

This week I've decided to challenge myself. I have a relatively empty week ahead of me, and my boyfriend is out of town so it will be just me and the cats. A perfect time to put in some extra effort!

My challenge for this week is to lose 1 kg (2.2 pounds). It should be doable, and it is within what is recommended for safe weightloss. I know it's going to take a lot from me (I'm not sure I've gone down that much in a single week before, except perhaps at the beginning when the weight loss always happens faster), but I think it can be done.

I know that the scale is not the best way to measure progress, it just varies too much. So I've come up with an alternative way to see if I've accomplished my goal. If I manage to have a calorie deficiency of 7000 calories this week, that's a success even if the scale doesn't agree with me. (7000 calories is roughly equal to 1 kg lost). I'll use my BodyMedia fit to see how many calories I burn and a food journal to see how much I eat.

My plan is to do this without eating less (I like my food! And also, I don't think it's a good idea to go too far down on calories. Right now I'm on 1600 calories a day and that works pretty well hunger and craving wise). Instead, I'll be moving more, doing house chores instead of watching tv. I though about walking more, but since I'm running I don't want to tire my legs too much. They need some rest, too! I'll have to check my exercise dvds for good workout ideas that do not include too much legwork. This will be the perfect time to experiment with my new hoola hoop! And I've always loved the punching part of the shred, so I'll definitely incorporate those into my regime!

EDIT: I forgot to tell you my starting weight for this challenge. Today I weighed in at 78.9 kg.
Wish me luck! :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I made it! :)

I did it! I managed to run the three minutes straight that week 3 of the couch 2 5K requires! I am SO proud of myself! :)

Before I started the session, I was convinced I wouldn't make it. I had almost worked myself up to a minor panic attack thinking how hard this was going to be. So I went pretty slow, I might not have been going much faster than a speed walker. But that's perfectly okay, I can build up the speed later. Right now I'm just focusing on my endurance, and I DID IT!

It just goes to show that you can do more than you think you can. It wasn't even as excruciating as I imagined. Don't let your fears hold you back! Pain is fear leaving the body, as Jillian would say.  And I did keep her in mind. I decided beforehand to make Jillian proud, and I think she would have been, but the most important thing is that I am proud!

As I've complained about earlier, the scales haven't been moving much lately. I finally got around to weigh in on my Tanita scale, and it confirmed what my body has been telling me - I was really bloated. I have in fact lost fat, but retained extra water. I found some herbs that help, and finally the weight is going down, and I can wear my rings again. My body also feels much better when it is not bloated. Hopefully this has moved me past my plateau and will make the weight loss journey a little bit easier. At least it is more motivating when you see the numbers move.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Week two and running outside

This week I went on a little vacation to my home town. My parent's house is halfway up a small mountain, and so we have great hiking trails just outside our doorstep. I brought the shred and planned to do a few sessions with it, but ended up skipping it in favor of long walks. Having great hiking trails right outside my house is something I miss, so I had to take advantage of it when I could! :)

One thing I didn't want to postpone, though, was my C25K. Now, my parents don't have a treadmill, but luckily there is a stadium with running tracks not too far away, so that's where I headed. And that's how I learned that running outdoors is SO different from running on a treadmill.

I hadn't really thought about the difference. I knew it would be harder to motivate myself to run when the weather was bad. But other than that, I didn't much think about the differences. However, once I tried it, I found out that for me, at least, it is harder to run outside than on a treadmill. Turns out the treadmill babies and shelters me.

First of all, when you're used to a treadmill showing your speed, it is challenging to know what pace to keep. I started out running way to fast and got tired and had to slow down. It did get better once I learned to start slower, so it just takes some getting used to. I still miss knowing how fast I run, I think it is too easy to slow down when you don't know your speed.

The other thing I hadn't given much thought to before I tried outside running, was that there would be other people around. Fit people. That brought out all my insecurities about being out of shape and being a failure. I feel like I SHOULD be able to run faster and longer (or even just run at all for that matter, right now I'm just jogging). Seeing all those fit people made me feel like a fraud and I felt totally out of place. I know this is something I have to work on, but for now I'm looking forward to running in my basement again.

Though running outside wasn't my cup of tea, I couldn't let that stop me from doing C25K. I've finished week 2 now, and it went pretty well. I have to say I'm a little bit (okay, more like a lot) worried about next week. I'm supposed to go from running for 1,5 minute to running 3 minutes straight. It feels like I've reached my limit now, and I have no idea whatsoever how I'm going to double my running time. My comfort is that others have made it, and so I can, too. Wish me luck! :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I've started couch 2 5K!

Actually, I've done more than start, I've completed the first week! I am so proud of myself! :)

Don't know why the woman is running
in her underwear... Image courtesy of
Image: digitalart /
Last week, I started out with the Cooper test. If you haven't heard about it, it's a simple test to gauge how fit you are. Run/walk as far as you can for 12 minutes, and compare your distance with this table (or a US/UK equivilant) to see how fit you are for your age. (EDIT: I didn't actually run the whole time, though I wish I was fit enough to do that. I ran as long as I could manage, then walked for a while, then ran a bit more. Hopefully C25K will make me fit enough to run the whole 12 minutes soon!)

I did this test back in January, when I started working out again. Unfortunately, because I used the treadmill at the gym back then, and our own treadmill this time, I can't actually compare the results with this time. Because apparently speed is different for each and every treadmill. :(

How annoying isn't it that treadmills don't run at the exact speed they say? That bugs me! So to see how much I've improved this last year, I have to go back to the gym and retake the test on the same machine. Of course, neither of these machines show the correct speed, so if I want to know exactly how far I run, I have to retake the test yet again outside, using a GPS and hoping that will be accurate. GAH!

Anyways, rant aside, I finished the test, and didn't do too well. I fell into the 'very bad' category, and I'm hoping and praying this is only because of my treadmill being faster than it says. My boyfriend and I agree that it seems to run a bit fast, so here's to hoping. The main thing, though, is that I now have a distance to compare to when I've completed the C25K program. That way I can see my improvements even more clearly.

After having finished the test, I think my brain shut down from exhaustion, because I got the brilliant idea to start the C25K program right there and then. Being totally exhausted from running the fastest I could, this was very hard. But I did manage to finish, somehow. (I can be VERY stubborn!)

The second time was easier, I was even able to squeeze in a level 3 of the shred afterwards! I finished the third workout yesterday, so now I'm ready for week 2, or so the programs says. I guess we will find out soon enough.

It felt really good to finally start, though. And I even experienced that famous runner's high! :) Not bad considering a few years back I couldn't even run a couple of seconds (NO KIDDING!). It feels totally doable, but I am glad I have almost finished the shred. I don't think I could have done both C25K and the shred together for an extended period of time. However, I AM going to incorporate strenght training into my workout week after I'm done shredding. Jillian has opened my eyes to how important strength training is. :)

Today was my third running session of week 1. I'll start week 2 next, and I'm kind of scared.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My July goals

I've seen a lot of bloggers setting goals, but it wasn't until I read Dawn's monthly review of her goals that I was inspired to start making my own monthly goals. I love the idea, and here's what I'm going to be focusing on this month.

1. Do a mindful meditation most days

2. Be active most days (go for a walk or play golf when on the days I'm not working out)

3. Finish the 30 day shred (only 6 workouts left of level 3!)

4. Do C25K 3 times a week

5. Buy one piece of feminine everyday clothing and actually wear it

6. Start the Beck diet solution program

7. Eat healthy most days