That feeling like I’m in a snowglobe…

Don’t let this be sad for you because it isn’t for me. It’s more of a “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,” type of statement. I miss some things and I wonder what you love about the things you do for fitness.

I miss…

  • Putting on tactical clothing to go for a run and feeling like a ninja until I have to top it with lights and reflective gear so I don’t get run over. Perhaps I need a headband that says “Undercover,” lol.
  • Stepping up to a barbell at the gym and thinking “nope,” but then setting it down only to hoist it up and surprise myself with a successful lift.
  • Seeing my dog, Aurora go crazy when she sees me in my running shoes getting ready to head out the door for a run.
  • Tethering myself to her and taking her for a speedy run and trying so hard to get a good post run selfie with her.
  • Working at getting more than 15 double unders on the jump rope. I even miss laughing about how badly I whip myself with the rope attempting.
  • Dragging out the foam plyo box at the gym and then jumping more after I work out to try to be less scared of the wooden ones.
  • Running with my “yak tracks” attached to my shoes so I don’t slide and feeling like a badass for getting out and running in the elements. Especially in the snow when it swirls like I’m in a snowglobe.
  • Being able to squat. There are a lot of things that involve squatting that I didn’t appreciate before.
  • The trail; The courses I’ve made myself over the years. Meeting up with a friend to run a familiar course and chat.

It’s funny how little things can bring me such joy and being excited doing them again can help me out. I’m fortunate that this isn’t a forever thing, but even if it was, I’m finding my way despite the limitations.

Thanks for reading! What little things do you enjoy? Let me know by adding a comment!

This is Aurora the speedy running partner dog. Yes, that’s a red nosed pitbull.

Not a Screeching Halt as Much as a Detour

I’m not big on identifying myself with one label or another, though. The best term I’ve heard from a coach was before my first half marathon. Erik, the guy that wrote the training program said that I was now an “endurance athlete.” That stuck with me. Without the ability to use my body, I’d feel like I was losing part of my identity.

So what happened?

I mention it in a post in December. It was plantar fasciitis that I didn’t take seriously enough. I was referred to physical therapy a month after cortisone shot proved ineffective at pain relief. I still wasn’t allowed to run. I was also told not to jump and that if I came to a place where there was an elevator and stairs, to use the elevator. I had 3 sessions of physical therapy in the rearview and I was doing my exercises as prescribed. I went an entire day without pain on Sunday, which was a first in recent memory.

Monday, I was working out. Upon walking from my wall ball target to a barbell, I felt a POP in my heel. I planted my feet to pick up the bar, I felt too tender to fully plant my left heel. I finished the workout, went home, rested, and babied my foot. I browsed the internet, which no matter how I looked listed “ruptured plantar fascia” as the cause of the popping. Most sites said it took people from 3-12 weeks to recover and it required a cast and/or boot to heal. I sobbed. I talked to my husband about it and told him that I didn’t want to go backwards in progress and that I was already restless not being able to run. He told me that by not seeing the doctor, I was only delaying getting back to running and being fully healed to work out like I want to. I started to look up “how to work out with a broken foot,” and saved many articles I found.

I went back to the gym the next day and did the workout very scaled down, but worked really hard. After class, I told my coach I was pretty sure I ruptured my plantar fascia and was delaying seeing a doctor. His reaction was encouraging and he agreed that not seeing the doctor would only make me go on longer with scaling workouts and not being at full ability. He said we could work around a cast.

So, I called the podiatrist as soon as they opened and got in before work. I brought my boot with me and left it in the car hoping they wouldn’t need it. They did x-rays to rule out a broken bone, then the doctor came in to examine my foot. He told me that 1/3 of my plantar fascia had ruptured. He could feel in the bottom of my foot that the area that was once very tight was now too lax. He explained that it was possible this was a blessing in disguise because surgery would have meant clipping that third. He listed things not to do and encouraged me to to continue working out because he said he could tell it was something important to me. Then, someone came in to put the cast on, went out to my car for me to get the boot, and sent me on my way.

I’ve been working out each day since. I’ve had a lot of core work and I like to joke that my right leg is going to be super strong after all of this. I’d poured through the internet looking at different things to do without use of one leg, but I haven’t had to use any of those. The coaches at my gym have found ways to keep me moving and strong. I’m grateful that when I spoke up about it, I felt encouraged and positive about my outlook.

Things haven’t been absolutely positive all of the time. I’ve gotten mad that I can’t bear weight on my foot. I hated that I couldn’t pick up the bar. I’ve been more tightly wound because I’m sitting down so much to keep my foot up. Honestly, I’ve been really excited that I finally know this will be coming to an end soon. I have finally gotten a peek at the finish line ahead despite having to pace myself to get there. I’m working on things to still get me to some goals while I put a couple others on hold. Maybe, I’ll finally get that first pull up. Maybe I’ll get famous. The odds are about the same at this point. (lol). I absolutely believe that my faith in God and that my positivity are propelling me forward in this and that there’s certainly a lesson to be learned by me from all of this. Probably more than one lesson. One good one is that pain is more than just for letting us know we’re human and we’re alive. It’s probably a sign that something needs to change.

When I started writing this, I had something so different in mind. This is kind of just what came from my heart. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!

My little soft cast.
Of course I had to decorate the boot to my personal style.

Thoughts on Noom

I joined Noom at the end of September 2020. I weighed 179 pounds and set a goal to lose 34 pounds to end up at 145 pounds on my 5′ 6″ frame. Today, 11 January 2021, I weigh 169 pounds. Using the app, before the holidays, I weighed 163 pounds. I was still using the app in between. I just gained 6 pounds on the scale and most of it was fat. *I do body composition every 2 weeks with a store called Complete Nutrition.

The Basics

From the start, there were daily tasks in the app.

  • Weigh myself. I was asked to weigh myself daily at the same time. The intent was to take away the stigma of the scale.
  • Track my food. There was a calorie budget based on information given to the app upon signing up. My budget was 1200 calories per day with half of my workout calories added back if I logged a workout. The food diary was divided into red, yellow, and green foods. The basis for the color assignments was “caloric density,” or the volume of the foods in relationship to the calories they contained.
  • Read lessons based on the psychological aspect of weight loss. Each day, there was a set of lessons to read. Often, there was a larger theme to the lesson that went on for a week. Lessons included how to read food labels, how to deal with cravings, and other helpful things to assist with weight loss. I actually took notes and did some of my own research to help the information sink in. This part is basically dialectical behavioral therapy.
  • Take mini quizzes. These were set up to try to help the information sink in that had been learned. They tend to remind me of that often in the introduction to the quizzes.
  • Step Tracker and Fitness Encouragement: The app can automatically adjust steps and is helpful for people who are not regularly physically active. I did not find most of the advice particularly helpful since I was already active 6 days a week prior to getting the app.

A Goal Specialist and a Support Group with a Group Leader

The goal specialist uses private messages within the app to chat back and forth with a person individually. I would have a quick chat with her weekly and set small goals to help with my bigger goal. She would send me articles with lessons from Noom.

The support group was like a social feed dedicated to people on the app. I think we were matched based on where we were in the lesson plans. Some people posted daily, and some rarely. The lessons would encourage us to share things with the group, but I rarely did. Our group leader would post most weekdays with something that was to be interacted with. It was often a question posed like, “How do you plan to deal with challenges over the holidays?” Sometimes, she would post a helpful motivational photo along with her question.

Self Renewing Membership and Unhelpful Customer Service

Now I’ll share the reason I’m not on Noom anymore. I told my goal specialist I didn’t want to renew when the time came up [in May]. After my 7 day trial, I was charged $169 for 7 months that would automatically renew at the same cost and time frame. My request was sent and answered with a full refund and cancellation. I lost access to my group and my specialist, but could still view my lessons and my food diary. Confused, I got in touch with their customer service and explained the mistake. They apologized, but said I had to sign back up for the program at a discount for my troubles and they would cancel the automatic renewal immediately afterward. I signed up for a month, emailed to remind them to turn off automatic renewal, and received a refund and cancellation again. Upon telling them that this was a mistake, I declined to repeat signup.

My Conclusion

The program/application is somewhat costly, especially since the price is variable and not published anywhere. My cost was $24 a month, but I’ve known people to pay $20 per month. I found the lessons to be informative and helpful to me. There were some parts of the lessons that were annoying due to their repetition and attempts to be humorous. They use the word “nerd” often and themes from popular culture as attempts to be relevant or use entertainment to maintain attention. The cringe or eye roll factor at that and some typographical errors can take away from the lesson at hand. I didn’t feel like my Goal Specialist and I had a particularly meaningful relationship and I didn’t feel at all accountable to the smaller goals she gave me. I disagreed with the food journal colors and I felt like my calorie goal was too low. I tried to adjust my goals and Noom did not adjust my calories in the app. My hunger contributed to some of my slips back into eating binges. I got tired of supplementing with protein shakes, which could be anywhere from a green, yellow, or red food depending on the brand and flavor. Caloric density could be helpful in understanding which foods were more filling, but the colors used led me to feel “guilt” for eating red foods despite the necessity to eat them for nutrition. An example of similar foods with very different colors is grapes vs raisins. 100 calories of grapes is a green food and 100 calories of raisins is a red food. This is because the water content in the grapes makes them more filling than their dried counterpart. While this is helpful information, the system was flawed in other areas. They didn’t have the ability to enter and divide recipes and nor fully accurate listings of some foods.I have experienced a small amount of fat loss while using the program, but I was not 100% following it after about 6 weeks. I think Noom could work for people who have tried a lot of restrictive diets and need a brand new starting point. It might even help someone with disordered eating. It helped me with my relationship with food and my goal is no longer a number on the scale thanks to Noom, but the app wasn’t enough to keep me long term. I think it was helpful in stress management, but weight loss had proven to be complicated for the app to help me achieve.

Thanks for reading! I intend to continue tracking my food so I can ensure I’m getting the fuel I need for my fat loss and for my workouts. I wasn’t asked by Noom or anyone else to write this. I wanted to be open about my journey just as I always have been. Have you tried Noom? Other programs?

Carrots, Peppers, and Grapes are “Green” Foods
Naan is “Red,” but so is hummus.