Weekly Digest 47 and 48: A Tough Road.
Hey folks, it’s been a couple of busy weeks and I have been working hard to keep ahead of it. So I am going to bundle my last two weekly digests into one post. So this update covers from June 21 to July 4th.
Let’s jump right into how the weeks have gone from a weight loss standpoint. I have successfully confirmed that I am in a hard plateau again. BOTH of the last two weeks have resulted in no weight lost nor any weight gained. In fact, over the last month my weight has moved only 4/10th of a pound one way or the other. Essentially no change.
The Plateau Continues:
I have to admit, I am disappointed to be in yet another plateau situation. This has truly become a grind. But I am learning that I need to keep adapting my routine, watching my diet closely and continually doing things to break the routine. I remain positive that I have not gained any weight …and I am ever hopeful that I will start losing again and my body will adjust and the next batch of weight will come off like opening a tap! However …I know full well that none of that will happen without diligence and commitment. I need to watch that diet especially.
Despite the obvious disappointment of not seeing those pounds dropping off at a rate I would like, I am cognizant of other changes to strength, endurance, speed, muscle tone, etc. That represents more non-scale victories for me, and strengthens my resolve to stick to the plan.
It’s Happy Hour Somewhere…
One of my goals this summer is to make great utilization of the deck. It’s a fantastic place to pass time and relax. It’s spacious and the yard is great. So my goal is to open it up to friends on a regular basis and host a happy hour on the deck! To that end I had my first such event on Saturday the 29th.
It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed spending the evening with friends. The weather was humid and warm, but we lounged late into the night with the lights and lanterns at full glow, it was a pleasant way to pass the evening!
Cooking for the Crew:
One of the things I really enjoy about entertaining is cooking for people. Penzey’s Spices has a saying: “Love people, cook them tasty food.” I completely agree with that sentiment. That is one of my favorite ways of saying that I care. So with it being so warm, all the appetizers were cold. Vegetables and dips are always a big hit, so I made four different dips from scratch. I made a sesame sweet potato miso dip, roasted pepper hummus, Greek tzatziki, and a cranberry salsa. Additionally we had a meat and cheese plate, crackers, and I also made shortbread for a nice treat. It was nice …but, typically, I made too much! I blame my grandmother – she always cooked like she was feeding an army.
The shortbread part is always fun for me. The recipe is so close to my grandmother’s cookie brittle recipe that its only a little alteration that is required to put together a really nice shortbread. And really …everyone loves shortbread. Everyone. Even you who say you don’t like it – you’re just fooling yourselves. You actually do like it and just don’t realize it yet. Sooner or later you’ll come around.
Ok, I have kind of a big one to report. On Wednesday, July 3rd, I was in the last quarter of a 20 mile bike ride. My front wheel wandered off the paved pathway, and I am not entirely sure how that happened. But it did, and my attempts to steer it back up on the path led to the bike skidding on the front tire along the 4” lip of the pavement, and that led to the bike going over. I tried to save it with my left foot, but I was moving too fast and as the bike went down, I went over the front handlebars and impacted on the pavement….hard. Very hard.
I hit the ground knees-first, then hands (thank goodness for my gloves!) and finally my chest hit the ground. It was quite a blow and even though I did not impact my head, my mind instantly went blank. It was all I could do to just climb to my feet and take a moment to ask myself “what the hell just happened? …and why are you laying on the pavement?”
Before I could clear my head a couple bikers came upon the scene and realized I had taken a spill. They were nice enough to stop, and see if I needed an assistance. One of them asked me a few basic questions which I had to puzzle over a bit. The one I recall stumping me for a moment was “how far are you from home?” I had to think on that one a bit… I stammered out an “I’m not sure.” Seeing how that was not going to cut the mustard with these two I managed to expound and look at my bike computer, seeing I was 15 miles into a planned twenty miler – so I was able to give a cognizant answer. I walked my bike for about 5 mins just to make sure I was ok to continue, and to give me an opportunity to look it over and make sure it was still going to roll. With a rapidly swelling knee and five mies to go, I made my way for home.
Shock and Awe:
The suddenness, shock and surprise of the fall threw me off for the whole rest of the day. I was lucky enough to have some time planned with Linnea, so shortly after I made it home post-accident, she was there to make sure no brain fluid was leaking out of my ears. Thankfully I was ok ….just a bit shaken. On my way home I was unsure of how well I was riding. I put all my concentration on just keeping upright, moving and watching traffic. Once home, I could get some ice on the knee and then Linnea would be there in case I was dealing with anything more. Thanks Linnea! You’re always there when I need to be picked up and dusted off. Which, all things considered, is pretty often!
The Injury Report:
All right …let’s get down to the damage done with this bike accident. First off, my Torker T-520 is just fine. A few scrapes and scuffs on it, but it is still running flawlessly. It’s built to handle brutal conditions and even more brutal riders. I am SO glad it is solid and well-built!
As I said above, it was a hard hit. I remember the left knee striking first and it was not pleasant. Surprisingly my chest also hit really hard and that was sore too. Catching myself with my hands helped save a lot more injury, but it did stress my back a bit. That has been a little sore for a couple days. Both knees were bruised but the left one was swollen up and heavily bruised. I think the pictures speak for themselves. Luckily – I think – the knee joint itself wasn’t harmed. As near as I can tell there is no tendon or ligament damage. It wasn’t a twist, it was just a straight fall. But that is still a lot of weight to come down on a bare knee at speed, so I guess I am not surprised by the bruising and swelling.
Needless to say, ice and ibuprofen were my friends for the rest of the night. Getting ice on the swelling right away helped a lot. I took the next day off and just moved gingerly around the house, finally doing some free weights later in the evening. Since then, I have been back on the bike and have been putting in the miles so it would indeed appear as though the joint is not damaged other than all the surface bruising and swelling.
Five Important Learnings:
I learned a few things from this bike crash.
One) is that I need to pay better attention to where I let that bike wander on the path and keep away from the edges. It clearly leads to no good.
Two) is that gloves are indispensable. My hands would be a mess right now if it weren’t for those gloves. My gloves that I use for biking are not even bikers gloves. They are military hard-knuckle gloves. Those that know me know that I am a bit of a klutz, so these kind of gloves provide good protection and they did their job. That said, biking gloves with padding on the palms is maybe not a bad idea either.
Three) is that people DO actually care some of the time. It’s easy to get jaded in this world where people are so focused on themselves and their lives – where sometimes it feels like nobody gives a damn about anything except what they want. But those two bikers that stopped to check on me and were seriously interested in making sure I was ok was a refreshing reminder that there are decent people out there. It renews my faith in people.
Four) Pavement hurts. From 1969 to 1972 the US landed on the moon 6 times. The last time, in 72, we discovered the moon was, in fact, not made of cheese! We have never been back. I am making the same decision about visiting pavement at a high rate of speed – I hope it never happens again.
Five) I got lucky. With the rate at which I hit the pavement (probably 12 mph), it could have been a lot worse. Things could have been broken. I am thankful for all the lost weight – that probably made a difference with the impact.
Ok, over the last two weeks my diet has not been awful. In fact I saw just one day where my calorie count was between 1600 and 1700. Another three days between 1500 and 1600 and the rest of the time it was between 1400 and 1500. Thats not bad at all. But if I am to critically look at what I am choosing to eat with an eye toward trying to analyzing where my diet can improve, I do notice a couple of standout items.
It’s in the area of snacks that I am noticing tat I still struggle to make good decisions. While I count the calories and seems to be doing a decent job managing totals, I think the choices still need to be cleaner. Typically, for me, items like peanut butter, crackers etc are what show up too often in my snack list. Its so easy to just grab a few crackers as I walk through the kitchen. Or scoop a little peanut butter with a piece of celery, or even just a spoon. Yes, yes the occasional bit of celery ends up in my peanut butter jar. Don’t judge!
So overall, I think portion control remains good, and governing caloric intake remains good – it’s just those momentary choices that need to improve. It comes down to making the healthy choice in that split-second when I am “feeding the beast”. It comes down to me – nobody else can do it for me.
I feel good about my exercise levels over these last two weeks. In week one I biked 45 miles, walked for 3.3 miles, and lifted weights one day. In week two I biked 45 miles and lifted weights for two days before I had the accident. After that I took a day off to finish the week.
The biking was going great until I wrecked. Most all of the days that I was riding, I was pushing pretty good and working hard at it. I can tell when I am feeling motivated because I work hard to maximize my workouts. Realistically, we can’t all be spending hours and hours in the gym or doing whatever it is we do to exercise. So we need to maximize the time we do have for exercising. I feel like that is a sustainable strategy, so I work to keep at it. I feel like I am successful lately. How that impacts my plateau, I can’t say for sure, but I know it’s good for my body …so when in doubt, be a hard-charger. Get up and get after it.
Well it’s hard to be able to come to any conclusions about my activities based on the results. Its good that I am not gaining weight, but perplexing about why I am not losing. I know that Linnea would encourage me to not over-analyze (as I am prone to do) and just keep my nose to the grind stone. She, very often, gives outstanding common sense advice. (Insert obligatory “You’re right, Linnea”) I think Ingrid would say the same. Lani, I know would, most likely, blurt out an expletive like a sailor and then give me sage advice creating so much of a whiplash effect I would have to think about it for a couple days before it all hits home. Such is the crazy mix of my support network. I love them all.
So my next adjustment will be to try a little protein loading to break things loose and hope that helps jolt my body back into weight loss mode. In the meantime, we keep slugging away and striving toward my goals. The road is unplowed, after all. Sometimes we need to put our heads down and break the trail ourselves. Until next week, my friends.