Scale Free Summer

Saying Goodbye to a Difficult Year

I wish I could say that 2011 was a fantastic year.  There were a lot of really good things that happened in 2011, which I will recap here. But honestly I have to say I am looking forward 2012 and hoping that it is a much better year for me, my friends and family that have struggled this year.

Winter

This past winter was a hard one for me. I was coming back from a running injury and that posed a lot of challenges for me in my road to staying fit. Not being able to run much depressed me. In order to maintain my fitness level I decided to switch to a new goal: cycling. In January I started biking on the trainer in the house.  I was able to find alternative activities while I couldn’t really run. I still swam, I was lifting weights at the gym on a regular basis, and we went snowshoeing a lot! I was glad that we were able to snowshoe and hike so much during the winter.

Not only did I find ways to stay active in the dark, long winter, I tried to distract myself from the disappointment of my injury as well.  I saw sports medicine doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists, I did exercises and yoga, stretching and Eastern Medicine. In the end, what worked was a $3 piece of rubber the doctor had me put in one shoe. Apparently one leg was shorter than the other and causing my IT Band issues.

I celebrated my 1 year blog anniversary. And I ended winter on a positive note: Michael and I went on vacation to sunny Arizona. I loved our vacation there! So much hiking! I swam outside! And the best part: I was able to run outside with no injuries. I was cured!

Spring

Spring arrived and I was happy to be running again. I took it slow and never really pushed myself too much when it came to running. I was just glad I was back at it. I was more focused on weight lifting, honestly. I grew to love it and I saw amazing changes in my body. I checked out Crossfit for the first time, and loved every painful minute of it!

I challenged myself a lot this last Spring. I did a much needed Sugar Detox, I tried the Slow Carb Diet (which didn’t work for me), and the biggest challenge: BIKING TO WORK. In order to train on the bike for the Portland Century I started commuting to work, weather permitting. I was tentative at first, and didn’t bike far. I was averaging about 15 miles round trip (driving half way there and then parking and biking to work).

Spring finished with us building raised beds in our yard and planting our first vegetable garden. It was fruitful and amazing to eat food straight from the ground. It was one of my favorite accomplishments of 2011.

Summer

June arrived, but the rain was still falling in Oregon. I was still able to bike to work a fair amount–but not as much as I would have liked. I got my very first pair of clip-in shoes and had to learn how to ride a bike all over again. I practiced biking all summer long, even biking to the gym, in preparation for the Portland Century:  Part 1Part 2The EndRecovery.

I went on a search for the best burger in Portland. My garden was thriving. I swam 2 miles for the first time, I was hiking a lot. It was a good, active summer.

I also celebrated my three year anniversarywith Michael. He surprised me with a surprise road trip, complete with clues! Mystery Road Trip: Part One, Mystery Road Trip: Part Two, Mystery Road Trip: Part Three. It was a wonderful time and the highlight of my summer.

One of the biggest challenges of the summer was going scale-free. It was hard at the beginning but in the end it was the best thing I could have done. It helped me get over my obsession with “that number” on the scale.

Summer ended with sadness, unfortunately. A coworker who had been battling cancer for less than a year passed away. The same day, another coworker’s young daughter was killed by a car. The whole experience made me question what was important in my life.

Fall

Fall was fast-paced and busy. It really did pass by in a flash and I felt like I missed it. Michael and I were busy traveling. My running was going great. I’d gotten my mileage up to a quicker pace and I was consistently running about 5 miles at a time. Then I started to have some issues again with my knees. I decided to try Spin class for the first time and fell in love with it! I loved the classes and being able to maintain my cycling fitness all winter was a huge bonus.

Winter

I welcomed winter with some happier thoughts. For once the winter months weren’t engulfed in rain. Portland was cold but dry in November and December. My hope is that the rest of the winter is a good one. I’m looking forward to the holidays, snowshoeing and celebrating my 32nd birthday in January.

QUESTION: How was 2011 for you? What were the highlights and not so great moments for you?

The End of a Scale-Free Summer

It began on June 1st–the start of an experiment. I was going scale-free for the summer. I was tired of giving that stupid little device so much power over my emotions. That number on the scale had the enormous potential of MAKING or RUINING my entire day. I had lots of anxiety about going scale-free. Would I gain a bunch of weight? Would this be a huge set back after how far I’ve come?

I was faced with a lot of challenges and temptations this summer. Road trips and lots of restaurant eating. I tried to make good choices when it came to eating out but there was a LOT of eating out. More than I would have liked, to be honest. But the food was good.

Speaking of good food…The annual Brewfest and a family reunion had good food. Celebrating my third anniversary with Michael involved food.

Even with all those temptations and food orgies, notice that I balanced them out with fitness. I swam two miles for the first time.  I was still committed to working out at the gym and I was commuting to work on my bike in preparation for the Portland Century. I biked, I swam, I ran, I hiked.  It is my opinion that continuing my normal fitness routine, plus the additional training, kept me on track.

Not to say it was all puppies and kittens this summer. I did struggle with going scale-free in the beginning. I was convinced I had gained about 10 pounds. I was sure I could see it when I looked in the mirror.  Sometime around mid-July I made peace with it. I honestly FORGOT about the scale and forgot about how much I weighed. I stopped wondering what that number was, or feeling like I had gained 10 pounds. I just enjoyed the summer. 

It was a refreshing feeling. Freedom. Freedom from feeling bad about myself based on a number. While I don’t think it’s wise to completely go scale-free for the rest of my life, I think I can go in spurts where I take a break from the scale. As it stands I’ll go back to weighing myself once a month if I feel like it.

So what was the outcome? What number was on the scale when I finally ended the Scale Free Summer?

I was 144.2 in June when I started this experiment.

After going Scale-Free for the summer: 144.4

Exactly the same as far as I am concerned. I might have fluctuated up and down a few pounds but I never saw it, so it didn’t happen. I ended exactly where I started in June. I am so happy that my experiment was a success. It gave me even more confidence that what I’m doing works– The affirmation that I needed. It proved to me that I’m secure in my routine, my habits, my life.

Where do I go from here? With the hard decisions I have about the gym situation, my hope is that my waistline is not affected by the hiatus. I will probably weigh-in for awhile until I figure out what my gym/workout decision will be just to make sure I stay on track.

QUESTION: Were you surprised by the outcome of my summer experiment? How often to you weigh yourself?