Sunday, September 19, 2010

Big time.

Bless me bloggers, for I have sinned. It has been three months since my last blog post... And this is what I've been up to...

Now that I've got that flashback to Catholicism out of my way... I can get on with this post. LOL. Indeed, it has been three months since my last posting. And what an amazing three months it has been.

Why amazing? Well, two weeks ago, I started back into my regular training routine with Sebastien. Indeed, we trained together over the course of the summer as I geared up and prepared for my 600km bike ride. But over that period of time, we focused on building my cardiovascular and muscular endurance for the intensity of cycling from Toronto to Montreal. This meant that I had to train in a very different way than I was used to -- we cut out a lot of the intense weightlifting, and minimized the high intensity work I was doing, to ensure that I didn't get injured. Without a doubt, all of the training I had done up until this past summer had gotten me well prepared physically and emotionally for the ride, but my training and my diet had to be fairly specific and tailored for distance cycling as a very particular type of activity.

All of this also meant that in some ways, I was going to have to prepare myself for the reality that my body weight would change... in other words, that I would gain back some of those dreaded pounds that I worked so hard to take off.

And I did.
Big time.

Two weeks ago, I stepped back onto the scale for the first time in over three months. And I wasn't impressed with what I saw. I didn't just gain back a few pounds... I gained back about 30 of them. Thirty pounds in three months. Not bad... sure, not bad if you're losing. But gaining? Seriously? Again?

But what was intriguing in that split second moment in time, when I stepped off the scale, I looked at the number, looked at Sebastien (who was likely prepared for me to punch the wall), and said...

"I just had the best summer of my life. I enjoyed every single one of those pounds."

And I did.
Big time.

Over the course of three months, I spent tonnes of time outside -- running, cycling, and walking the dog. I also spent fantastic evenings and afternoons sitting on patios, drinking good wine, eating food that was even better than the wine, and dancing my ass off. I rode my bike over six days to Montreal for an amazing cause, and met incredible new friends along the way.

I relaxed.
I had fun.
I lived.

And in the words of my trainer...
I chilled the F*$@ out.

So, chilling out meant that I put on a few pounds. It's not a huge deal. It really isn't. Sure, my clothes are a bit tighter (which I initially blamed on the dry-cleaner for shrinking my shirts). Certainly, I feel a bit heavier. But mentally, I'm confident. I'm strong. I know how I got to this place, and I know how to get out of it.

How did I get to this place? People have asked me: How, when you ride your bike to Montreal, do you still gain weight? Essentially, in preparing for my ride, I did nothing but cycle for endurance. I rode my bike outside. I did indoor spin classes. I ran... every once in a while. I hardly lifted a weight (one of the magic secrets to weight loss). And while I ate well, I ate a diet that was much more dense in carbohydrates that I had eaten in a long time. I also drank cold beer... ate great burgers... and fell in love...with Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Perfection Ice Cream.

But that's what summer is about, right? Barbeques. Sunshine. Ice cream. Relaxation. Did I mention, ice cream? Mmmm....

The other reality is that when you train in this way, coupled with a week of intense riding, and three weeks of 'recovery', because I was exhausted at a cellular level, that my body responded by hanging onto lots of calories... good and bad. And from that exhaustion, I made the smart decision to not run my half marathon next weekend, because I knew I wouldn't have the appropriate time to prepare.

And I also put on some muscle.
Lots of muscle.
Have you seen my legs lately???
I got legs... big time.

All that said, I'm ready to get back into the swing of my training routine. I'm looking forward to building more muscle and shaving the Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream from my mid-section. I'm excited about getting back to lifting weights at the gym, teaching even more challenging spin classes, and living life.

I'm back.
Big time.

This also means I'm back to blogging. Admittedly, I needed a break from the thinking... the processing... the writing about myself and my life. And I come back to this medium refreshed, revitalized, and rejuvenated in the knowledge that not only did I have the best summer of my life, but I also had the best year of my life. On this weekend, as I celebrate my 37th birthday, I reflect upon my accomplishments... my successes... my friends... my life.

And I loved every good, bad, challenging, emotional, messy, jubilant, celebratory, stressful, incredible moment of it.
Big time.

Absolutely, big time.

Kia kaha.
Stay strong.

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