Challenge Update – 2 months in

I’ve been really quiet, but that doesn’t mean I’ve totally fallen off the wagon.  I’m proud to say that July was a pretty kick ass month for me.  I’ve rocked my Super Summer Challenge sheets!  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go to Back to Her Roots blog and check it out!

In July I lost almost 8 pounds as well as several inches.  I drastically reduced my soda intake.  Like majorly, I was drinking several coke’s a day and now I’m probably averaging one a week.  That is many calories saved people!  I’ve been so happy with this challenge and how great it’s been at motivating me, that I’ve decided I’ll start a new very similar challenge at the beginning of September to get me through the end of the year.

So what changes have I made and what things do I really think the challenge has helped me with? There are lots of areas I think I’ve improved on, but these three are what have made the biggest impact in my opinion.

  1. As i mentioned I cut way down on the soda consumption.  I get 10 points for any day I limit myself to only one soda.  I get 50 points for each day I don’t have any soda.  And I get 75 points for no soda for a week. (that’s only happened once.)  Also, I get points for drinking at least 8 cups of water a day, that helps keep the soda at bay too.
  2. Planks.  I need to work on my core strength in a major way.  The challenge has really helped me with that.  I’ve set a reminder on my phone to do a plank every other day.  I’ve been pretty consistent with that and have even planked on the off days at time.  At the beginning I could BARELY hold a 30 second plank.  Now I can routinely hold a one minute plank and have worked up to 80 seconds so far.  Once I get up to a 90 second plank the point value goes up to 75 points!
  3. Tracking my food.  I get points for each day that I track EVERYTHING I eat.  I get more points if I stay within my calorie goal range.

This challenge is for body AND mind, and I haven’t done as great at establishing as many good routines on the mind side, that is something I will want to concentrate a bit more on for the fall.

Anyone want to join me for a fall challenge?  I could post copies of my fall challenge point sheets at the end of this month.

what’s up doc?

My annual physical exam was Thursday.

I was DREADING it. I don’t mind going to the doctor’s office. I quite like my doctor, and I don’t really even mind needles. What I didn’t want to face was the scale.
In the 12 months since my last physical exam I have lost and then regained about 30 pounds. Admitting that makes me really uncomfortable. I mean, it’s pretty obvious to people that know me that I’ve lost and gained a decent amount of weight over the last year, but for me to fully admit it and even give a number is pretty difficult.
Luckily, my doctor didn’t harass me about my weight. He knows that I’m working on it, and he left it at that. Once we got past the uncomfortable weight stuff, I was able to discuss some other issues with him.

Specifically we talked about my frustration with my running. The fact that though I’ve been running pretty regularly for about a year, I still get short of breath within minutes of starting to run, even when I run very slowly. (For you sticklers out there, I didn’t really run much at all for about two months over the summer, but other than that I’ve run/walk/exercised pretty regularly the other 10 months of the year.) At first I blamed my gasping and shortness of breath on me being really out of shape, because well, I was crazy out of shape. But slowly, over time, I started to wonder if there was something else going on. Then within about a two week time period 3 different people brought up the suggestion that perhaps I had exercise induced asthma (also called exercise induced bronchospasm). The more I learned about it, the more I felt it was a possibility that’s what I was experiencing.

So, back to the doc’s office, before I was even finished telling him about my breathing issues he was nodding his head. In that office they don’t have the equipment to do testing for a definitive diagnosis, but based on what I told him and my answers to other questions he asked me, he felt like trying out an inhaler was the way to go.

I picked up the inhaler and air chamber yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but definitely will on my next run. My doctor explained the air chamber is just a device to help ensure that I get the proper dosage into my lungs. It probably sounds weird, but I’m kind of excited to try it out. If EIA truly is my issue, and the inhaler helps, I feel like I could make huge improvements with my running. Wish me luck!

Anyone else deal with EIA/EIB? Do you use an inhaler? How helpful has it been? Is it a pain in the butt to use?