Swam a Mile


Did you wonder where the healthy lifestyle/weight loss/weight maintenance blogger went? The truth is, I think about it ALL THE TIME. I think about what I should write, about what I should tell you, about things that I’ve seen and heard, and have an opinion about. I’ve even taken notes on some podcasts, and was going to review them for you. This American Life did a Fat podcast that was excellent. I could relate to so much of what the women interviewed said. Oh, and this week I watched the beginning of a new television show “This is Us” on the recommendation of two of my blog buddies, and I couldn’t even believe how much of the inside stuff they got on the overweight character. I don’t know if I laughed or was just speechless when they showed her getting onto the scale, and then pausing to take her earrings off (I HAVE DONE THIS) and then she stepped on the scale so gingerly that she fell backwards off of it (I STILL DO THIS. well, not the falling off. at least most of the time.)

But when it comes down to it, I just don’t want to write about it anymore. The longer time goes on, the less I think I know about it, especially weight maintenance. Back in the beginning of this year, I had a little rebellion. I was just too tired of keeping track of everything I ate. What would happen if I just ate like a normal person? What would happen? I would gain weight. Yep. So then I decided that I would just track everything. I really like LoseIt, and its almost fun for me to write down my meals for the day. But I just couldn’t restrict any more. And by that, I mean, I couldn’t  restrict enough to lose weight. So I set LoseIt to 1650 calories (which they thought would allow me to lose 1/2 pound a week hahahaha.) Eating 1650 calories every day was a lot more than I’ve consciously allowed myself for a LOOOONG time. That’s been going pretty good. Occasionally I’ll think, oh, give it the old college try again–just cut back by 200 calories. And I can immediately feel the rebellion welling up inside of me. If I force the issue, I end up eating MORE than I should. I just tell you all this to say, you have to know yourself.

In the meantime, I have kept a vigorous exercise regimen going. I knew I didn’t dare cut back on that, even on the days I felt “too fat” to go to the gym. When I am home, I keep a regular routine (and you all know I love my routines) of walking the dogs early in the morning three days a week (20-30 minutes). On those days I also do my physical therapy exercises plus some core exercises (also 20-30 minutes.) And then three days a week I go to the gym. For the summer I’ve been splitting my time between the stationary bike and the pool. I like “jogging” in the pool. It feels like real exercise, and its so nice to work out hard and NOT have knee pain. Somewhere towards the middle of the summer, I started enjoying swimming more, and started swimming longer distances. I thought I might make a goal of swimming a mile again. A mile in an Olympic pool is 175 lengths, and that has taken me three hours in the past. I think its been a couple of years since I did that. Saturday morning I was talking with my brother, who was on the Swim Team in high school, and I asked him if he thought it would be better to try to swim the mile on a cooler day (73 degrees,) or wait for a warmer day. He thought it would be better on a cooler day. So that was it.

I did go ahead of time to a special bakery to get myself a treat for swimming a mile 🙂 And here is how it always goes for me. The FIRST length, I think, Oh, I can’t do this. I’ll just do my 20 minutes and do some water jogging and be done with it. Then after maybe 15 minutes I think, well maybe I can make it for two hours. I’ll do the whole mile later. As two hours approached, I kept thinking about a lot of things–Shelley running her half marathons, Olympians training and training, Lori doing her 40 mile bike rides, my special treat waiting for me, AND the fact that if I stopped now I’d have to come back and swim this ridiculous amount of time AGAIN. So I just kept going.

Related to how I like counting my calories, I also like doing the math in my head–after 15 minutes, okay, one-twelfth done. Now, just five minutes later, one-nineth done. Thirty minutes in, about one-sixth done. Okay, I won’t bore you with any more of my math calculations 🙂 I wear a little lap counter on my finger and keep track that way. This year it took me 3 hours and 10 minutes. I didn’t practice as much as I have in previous years. And, as my brother pointed out, I’m older. I’ll take it. I am going to be 62 years old in December. I’m still overweight, but I’m not the same person as I was twelve years ago. I have a lot of healthy habits, and I plan on keeping those.


17 thoughts on “Swam a Mile

  1. Good Morning Debby….WOW!!!! When I read you went ONE MILE I sort of gasped. How do you do that?? Six or 8 laps in the pool just about kill me. Did you rest at all between these laps or did you just keep at it. Lady you are always challenging us. LOVE YOU. mickie

    • I don’t rest at all. I mostly swim side-stroke, just because I don’t like getting my eyes wet or water in my nose. I suspect it is an easier stroke. Sometimes I swim backstroke just for a change, and because it seems like it goes faster.

  2. I love this whole post – every single thing that’s in it. Maybe because I identify with so much of it.

    Congratulations on swimming that mile! I can’t even swim a lap so I have so much admiration for your achievement! I hope the post mile treat was fabulous.

    This Is Us is my favorite new show and I think probably the best to come on TV in a good long while.

    • Thanks, Helen! Just like Lori and Shelley ( and I can’t remember if you have the same experience) I wasn’t that hungry after the swim. I had a light dinner, and only ate half the treat. The other half is waiting for me in the freezer! But yes, it was fabulous. We have a bakery in the area that is really good–European style baking. Fortunately, it is a little out of the way. I don’t visit often 🙂

  3. YOU DID IT, YAY!!!!!!!! So proud of you and so happy for your accomplishment – that is a long time in the pool!!! I had to laugh at your thoughts in the beginning…not to be flip, but it reminds me of the stages of grief, and I experience the same thing when I start a long run, and then have to bargain my through it a lot of times.

    Glad you are enjoying This is Us – the writers obviously have some real-life weight challenge experiences. And I love your acceptance toward everyday eating (and humor at what the websites SAY you can eat vs what you know to be true).

    Beautiful picture of you. Post-swim, victorious. Love it!

    • Thanks Shelley! I’ve always remembered your post where you wrote about how you felt when you started running. I still feel that way just about any time I start any exercise. Just have to bargain with myself until I realize I want to do more!

      That was my exact thought about the writers of This is Us. And then I did think, well, maybe they were smart and asked for some input from the actress 🙂

  4. Bravo! ! mile is a really long swim! Love all of this post.

    I get annoyed at how MFP says I need to eat 1250 calories to lose 1 pound a week. Not gonna happen LOL. I’ll just go slow thankyouverymuch

    • Thanks Lori. I have done 1350 calories for LOOOONG stretches of time. Its not happening now or anytime in the near future.

  5. Holy Moley, 3 HOURS of laps? That is so awesome, congratulations! I wouldn’t have been able to walk afterwards… Actually I probably would have drowned somewhere partway through. I really admire you for accomplishing that goal.

    Love this post. I hear ya, the wonderful world of weight is such a constant presence isn’t it? Although I had a great deal of success a few years ago, I never made it close to my goal (not that I had an exact number). Since then I’ve had a partial bounce up, and my current goal is just getting back to where I was then. Because I FELT a lot better. You’d think that would be motivation enough but it is a struggle.

    • Yeah, I agree Jeannie. I know I would feel better if I lost some. But no, that is not motivation enough. Obesity is a complex issue. If I had written the post about the This American Life Fat podcast, I was going to title it “Obesity, Its a B#%ch”.

  6. Wow!!! Good job Debs!!! That takes some serious endurance and some mental pep talks!!

    So, did you like This is Us??? Are you gonna keep watching?? We might need to have a This is Us club on Facebook or something where we talk about the show afterwards! 🙂

    • I did like This is Us! I was pleasantly surprised that I could watch it on Hulu. I was all the way to the end of the first show before I figured out how all the different characters were related! If it stays this good, we will have to discuss 🙂

  7. I found out about your blog from TQS. I enjoyed reading your posts that I received via the TQS newsletter online. I know of what you speak on two fronts. I used to have an amazing blog where I wrote about my art doll making and other art. After 3 years, Apple ended the individual website that my blog was located on and I tried for 2 years to start again on Word Press and Typepad but just lost my mojo in that time and never got back to it.

    I started back with WW in May. I have been at goal three times over 30 plus years. I was doing so well and lost 20 pounds in a couple of months. Then had a big change in my life in August and have struggled getting back in the program ever since. I did start my exercise again but not tracking. Mentally, I’m not in the game 100%.

    So, sometimes the wind blows from another direction and we have to learn to work with it. I have to check my compass and make some corrections and not blame myself for things out of my control. I’ll be praying for us both.

    • Glad you found my regular blog! I hope you are able to start your blog back up. My mom has always been interested in art doll making, and so I am always looking at them myself.

  8. WOW! I am so impressed that you swam so long! I used to love swimming as a kid and tried it again 3 years ago or so but I didn’t like it as much as back then.

    I can relate to the math in your head, I used to do that on long runs back in the days.

    I hear so many good things about This is Us and thought it was on Dutch Netflix but it isn’t and I have to wait till some TV station picks it up or it comes to Netflix eventually.

    Again: congrats on swimming a mile, so well done!

  9. Hi friend it has been a while. I shut down my blogs because I just didn’t want all that out there and wanted to end that obsessing. Also, I admit I didn’t know this, but the band Pearl Jam uses PJ as their name also. I was getting a lot of Pearl Jam fans finding my blogs. that is kind of hilarious. I still check in on a few folks but I have no patience for most of the health weight loss blogs anymore. I have been in eating disorder therapy for over a year, and have adjusted in to a healthier attitude towards food and dieting. I eat for many reasons that have nothing to do with hunger and I am more conscious of this and able to stop. I also do feel guilty or shame as much for eating certain things. I think reading weight loss/ diet blogs daily really enhanced the ED issues. I still get a twinge when I look at my belly or thighs or hear a Nutrisystem ad. But I know I can’t maintain low calorie diets and I can’t sustain 7 hours of exercise every week. Surprisingly, my weight has maintained within 5 lbs of what it was 2 yrs ago. I struggle to eat only 4 carbs per day (rarely) that is recommended for my diabetes. I have not regained all of the 135 lbs I lost , but I’m still obese and always will be. I work out with a trainer once a week, have been doing a pool exercise hour a week and movement, weights, stretching between. Having more arthritis pain and I can’t imagine doing what I used to do on the Elliptical.

    I applaud you for the exercise you do . I hope you will give yourself grace so that you don’t guilt yourself over your choices and that you will let yourself enjoy what you want. Take care

    • oh , I made a typo. I struggle with feeling guilt and shame over things I eat at times. But I am more free of that now and I catch myself when it does start up.

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