How the hell did that happen?

December 13, 2010

On Saturday I was at the local Y with Boy.  One of the decisions Dys and I (and mostly Dys) made recently was to pony up the dough for a family membership – because Boy loves to swim, and we don’t have regular access to a pool, and because all of us could afford to be more active.  Well, speaking personally, I’ve made a couple of trips with Boy in tow, and swimming laps is reminding me just how out of shape I have been recently.  Admittedly, though, the weight room and cardio room here beat the holy hell out of what the university offers.  Holy crap.

Anyhow, while on our way out of the combatives room where Boy let out a little stress by whacking some punching bags, we saw a digital scale.  Boy was interested.

Me, I’d weighed in at the doctor’s office earlier in the week.  I’d been reasonably pleased to weigh in at what I thought my weight would be – even though I was wearing a sweatshirt and a coat to boot.  (Have I mentioned that it’s been freekin’ cold?!?)  So I figured I was probably 5 pounds lighter than that, and that was reason to be excited.

But, what the hell.  I was dressed in workout clothes, which is how I usually weigh myself for exercise purposes.  So I stepped on the scale.

After a second or two, it stopped and displayed a number.

I got off the scale and got back on.  Same number.

I made Boy get on the scale and get off.  I got back on.  Same number.

I still maintain that the Y’s scale is a little light.  But the number that it displayed was one pound higher than the weight I always considered my ideal.  What I jokingly referred to in college  as my “fighting weight” – in the days when I’d have to gain weight to get there.

I guess a ton of stress is helpful in some ways, huh?  Heh.  Who cares.  I’ll take it!!

And use it as motivation to get back into the gym.  The numbers on the scale are still happier than the image in the mirror.  Time to move some of those pounds around!

Taking note

November 15, 2010

Okay, so I’ve not been the most dedicated of people to my fitness regimen in the last … well okay – ever.

I have been keeping with some regular attempts in the last couple of weeks though, so go me.  I haven’t gone nuts, hasn’t been daily or even every other day.  I have, though, tried for a solid 80% of the time to pay better attention to the food and drink that I’ve been putting in my body, drinking more water, not eating as late (well, maybe I should say “as close to when I go to sleep”) – along those lines.

It also has to be noted though that I’ve also taken to sucking down nigh a bottle of wine per week for each of those weeks.  Granted, it’s some great wine, but still – a bit out of my norm for alcohol consumption since, uh, freshman year of college?

So imagine my giggle today to see that I’d dropped 8 pounds in the last 2 weeks between doctor’s visits?

Apparently I need more wine, more chair dancing, less stress, good food, and more FUN in my life.  Who knew?  :)  It’s a small victory, but today, it felt bloody fantastic.  Not only was a due a little victory, but it was an affirmation of just trying to be better to myself, to actually care for myself, and seeing that pay off.

Go me.  :)


Stuck Like Chuck

September 4, 2010

What? Oh, hi! *Steps off scale*

Don’t mind me; I’m just a little obsessed distracted lately, as I come up on the three-month mark of my little journey here.

The first two months were really cool – well, cool is a relative term, as I spent most of that time trying to burn off calories in the sweltering Carolina sun. But I’d call it a successful period of time, as I learned to love walking in my neighborhood, was consistent with keeping track of everything I ate and managed to lose about thirteen pounds. I cleaned out my closet and was giddy every time I fit into something I hadn’t been able to wear over the past three years. Things were going well.

And then…screeeeeach – everything came to a grinding halt.

For the past month, I’ve remained steady at some number between 147 and 149 pounds. I have a digital scale, so I’m able to obsess note every day in my weight journal what number I am that day, down to the eighth of a pound. Or tenth? I don’t know – math is not my strong suit. For the first two weeks I was alarmed, then moved onto being amused and now I’m just confused. I know logically there’s been some fat replaced by muscle action going on. Something is shifting around in there, obviously, or I wouldn’t have been able to wear a pair of size 6’s the other day (whoo, that was fun).

I’m frustrated, but I haven’t given up. No, actually quite the opposite. If anything, I’m more determined than ever to somehow find a way past this and keep moving toward my goal. I’m more confident now with food choices and exercising is so much a part of my routine I feel weird if I miss two days in a row. I know the number on the scale isn’t the total picture. But still it’s…a little upsetting to see the same numbers day after day.

I’m going to try to kick it up a notch as far as switching up my work-outs, but if anyone has any advice, any tips, any thoughts AT ALL on this plateau subject, I’d be really appreciative if you could share.

*Tiptoes down the hall in a wide circle to avoid stepping on the scale again*

Post Vacation Report

August 11, 2010

Baskin Robbins’ double scoop of chocolate chip in a regular cone.
Nachos and Southwestern Egg rolls from Chili’s.
Chocolate & strawberry sundae in a waffle cone from an old-fashioned ice cream shop that serves real Hershey’s ice cream still.
Pizza and mounds of antipasto from Angelo’s.
Wild berry smoothie from McDonald’s.
Filet o’ fish & fries from McDonald’s.
Another Baskin Robbins trip.
Favorite pasta salad from Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar.
Burgers. Mac & cheese. Hell, even some beer – woowoo!

Let’s put it this way: I was NOT looking forward to getting on the scale this past Monday morning. Because like all best laid plans, or at least mine, the ONE thing I wanted to do for keeping vigilent while on vacation – bring my scale – I forgot to do. And while I did manage to get in some form of activity every day – swimming, walking, a six-hour back-to-school shopping marathon – I was purdy darn nervous at how much CRAP I’d consumed over the course of the week.

I’d hit the two-month mark Saturday, so I know what the pattern has been anyway. A little weight comes off, I fluctuate back up a half pound or so, stay the same for a few days, then a little more comes off. It’s been quite a SLOW (but steady I guess) process. So I couldn’t fathom the damage I’d done going so far off the rails as far as crazy food, not enough water and no calorie tracking.

But! I got on the scale like a brave little soldier and was shocked. I weighed exactly the same as what it was the day I left – 149.8. I had to step off and step back on a few times to convince myself. I know it’s shallow to be this happy over something as trivial as this, but seriously? I can’t help it. I finally feel like some of the work and sweat and more work is starting to pay off. I’m excited.

Six Week Update

July 19, 2010

More observations.

- As of this morning I’m down a little over eight pounds. Somehow I lost 2.5 pounds this week, but that’s more than the average, which has been more like 1 to 1.5 per week. I’ll TAKE. IT.

- I’ve heard for every ten pounds that goes you go down one size, give or take. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but I’m definitely back in size 10’s when before the 12’s were starting to get too tight. It’s so hard to see the small changes since you spend all your time with yourself that the clothes thing, for me anyway, is a really good indicator that shows me yes, something is actually happening.

- My rings are a lot looser and that’s been really exciting; for awhile there the wedding rings were leaving scary indentations I thought were going to be permanent.

- A couple of months ago I would’ve said we barely eat out, and whether I invoked Murphy’s Law or I just have a really twisted sense of what we do, it seems as though there’s been social eating EVERY WEEKEND since I started this. To deal with it, I’ve employed some interesting strategies: wearing clothes that start out restrictive before the meal and become downright painful if the meal becomes too large, increasing my water intake from just a lot to ridiculous, and conversationally steering people away from discussing what I am or am not eating.

- It is a special kind of torture on some of my evening walks when the breeze picks up the smell of beef cooking over a grill; it literally causes me to salivate. And on a morning walk the other day I actually smelled bacon, which was just sick and wrong.

- I’m finding I actually look forward to whatever exercise I’m doing on any particular day. My back doesn’t hurt nearly as much getting out of bed in the morning. My skin is breaking out a little from sweating so much, but you know what? REALLY not a biggie. I don’t know if it’s endorphins or what, but whatever it is, I feel really good. I don’t know why, but I’ve got back the feeling like I’m looking forward to something. I’m not quite sure what that something is, but it’s a really cool feeling to have.

One Month In

July 7, 2010

Today is the 30-day mark of my journey back to fitness and so it seemed like a good time to note some thoughts.

- I did some form of exercise for 30 minutes or more every day except for two. I’m pretty sure the last time I managed that was…uhh, never.
– I’m not following any sort of “diet”; all I’m doing is keeping my calorie intake to between 1300 & 1500 every day and trying to keep it balanced with a variety of fruit, veggies, protein, carbs and of course some fat. Just common sensical type stuff.
– I discovered I enjoy exercising outside a lot more than inside, and that’s saying something at this time of year – a time I usually leave the comforts of a/c only when absolutely necessary.
– Kelloggs Fiber Plus cereal and chewy bars are my new reasons for living. Seriously amazing.
– I still can’t hack oatmeal or skim milk.
– One cup of coffee in the mornings, water all the rest of the livelong day. On one occasion a Diet Coke and another day one glass of sweet tea. That’s my complete beverage report for the last month. Holy crap.
– I would rather go without mayo altogether than use anything “lite,” which is what I’ve been doing.
– Surprisingly (to me) that doesn’t apply to all things however; I’m totally fine with some lower calorie cheeses, breads, salad dressings and most shocking of all, Splenda replacing sugar in coffee. I know artificial sweeteners aren’t great but compared to other things I’ve ingested throughout my life, I’m pretty sure it’s quite alrighty.
– I confirmed what I pretty much already knew: My style of eating is I’m a grazer and not a pile-up-my-plater.
– I’ve lost a little over five pounds, which puts me at 155. I was hoping for six but after a week of being derailed with the whole thyroid debacle, I’ll take it. Damn straight I’ll take it, yee-haw!
– Physically I’m a little lighter. Emotionally I’m so much lighter I feel like a helium balloon that was accidentally let go by a sticky-fingered little kid who’s now hysterically crying and reaching for the balloon, but it’s too late because I’m already floating high above and away from the foul-smelling, steamy city and now I’m over rolling green fields dotted with sunflowers and daisies with a big goofy grin on my face and whistling Walking on Sunshine with…nevermind. Wow.

Basically I’m really really happy.

On the Wagon

January 26, 2010

Okay.  Tiff’s back on the wagon, Kim’s back on the wagon, Steve’s training for another marathon, and bless her flexible heart, Crisitunity is actually getting paid to pull the wagon for some others.  (Way to go, C-Tune!  Yes, I thought that nickname up yesterday and thought it would make you cringe.)

And so, finally ashamed of my own suckitude, I’m back on the wagon with one wussy workout yesterday and more on tap.

Even though I really enjoyed Crisitunity’s post about chucking the scale and I intend to stick with it and skip the weekly weigh-ins I was doing in the fall, I did do one weigh-in yesterday just as a benchmark.  And to see how badly I sucked over the long Thanksgiving-New Year break, pigging out without a single workout.  The result?  Not as bad as I feared, but still not good.  196, or 7 pounds heavier than my lightest weigh-in in the fall.  I can do better, and I will.

SO.  I’m going to gradually try to cut back on teh nomz, particularly the Dove chocolates I tend to keep stashed in my desk, and less gradually work my way UP in the gym.  And instead of doing all cardio like last time, this time I’m starting out directly with resistance training and cardio combined.

Yesterday’s workout:

Dumbbell bench press:  1 warm-up set, 5 sets of 10 reps, medium weight
Barbell incline bench press:  3 sets of 10, light-medium weight
*I was feeling fine in my chest/triceps, but had a little twinge in my shoulders, especially the right, so I played it very safe with the weight on this set.

At this point, I’d planned to switch over and do deadlifts, but both of the barbell power racks were occupado.  So I took that as a sign that I should go back to my old split workouts, at least for a while, so I went with chest/triceps and did a light version of my old tricep workout.

Lying arm extension w/curl bar
close-grip bench press:  1 warm-up set, 5 sets of  10, light weight

(For those who don’t read Ads & Muscle & Ads & Ads & Muscle & Ads & maybe a little Fitness Magazine, “Superset” means you move from one to the other without resting between.  In other words, I’d do a set of the arm extensions and then just bench press the bar for a set.)

I finished up with one set of 20 straight-leg raises in the Roman chair.

Then I went for 30 minutes of cardio – all of the ellipticals were taken (the place was still pretty busy, I’ll give these folks credit for not being two-week resolutionaries!) but I didn’t cave to the instinct to wuss out, and so I parked my butt on a recumbent bike for a half hour.

So far, 15 hours later, only minor soreness.  Maybe all those push-ups during the break really did help.  Plan:  Back/biceps workout on Wednesday.  Random workout on Thursday – perhaps all-cardio, perhaps deadlift/shoulders.  Optional workout on Friday (whichever one wasn’t done on Thurs).

Rinse, repeat for the next, oh, six to nine months before I decide to change up the routine.  THAT’S THE PLAN.  YOU HEAR ME, SELF?

*Minor note:   Radiohead does not make for great weightlifting music…but it does make for pretty good cardio music.  Gracias again, C-Tune.  ;)

Not Just the Absence of Illness

November 29, 2009

Today’s message from DailyOm, a woo-woo website that sends me daily wisdom, is marvelous, and I’ll just quote it in full here.

Redefining Health: Throw Away Your Scale

Health is not a numerical concept and cannot be defined using statistics. Human beings, however, tend to want to quantify well-being into easily understandable figures. We feel compelled to ascribe numbers to every aspect of wellness, from the qualities of our food to our fitness levels to the physical space we occupy. As a consequence of social pressures, we turn our attention away from health and focus instead on the most contentious of these figures—weight—checking our scales to see how we measure up to our peers and role models. Yet each of us is equipped to gauge our relative healthfulness without any equipment whatsoever. When we have achieved a state of wellness, we feel buoyant and energetic. Some of us are naturally slim, while others will always be curvy. No matter what our weight, we can use the cues we receive from our physical and mental selves to judge how healthy we really are.

When you throw away your scale, you commit to a lifestyle that honors the innate wisdom that comes from within your body and within your mind. It is logical to examine how you feel while considering your health—a strong, fit, and well-nourished individual will seldom feel heavy, bloated, or fatigued. If you have concerns regarding your weight, remind yourself that at its proper weight, your body will feel buoyant and agile. Movement becomes a source of joy. Sitting, standing, walking, and bending are all easy to do because your joints and organs are functioning as they were meant to. When you are physically healthy, your mind will also typically occupy a place of well-being. Mental clarity and an ability to focus are two natural traits of whole-self health. Surprisingly, promoting this type of easy-to-discern wellness within yourself takes no special effort outside of satisfying your hunger with nourishing, wholesome foods and moving your body.

The numbers you see on the scale, while nominally informative, can prevent you from reaching your healthful eating goals by giving you a false indicator of health. You will know when you have achieved true health because every fiber of your being will send you signals of wellness. When you choose to listen to these signals instead of relying on the scale, your definition of well-being will be uniquely adapted to the needs of your body and of your mind.

Good Oof

October 13, 2009

After that one badass week in which I worked out four out of five weekdays (skipping only the night of my son’s Cub Scout meeting), I then got sick and then got busy and so it’s been a couple of weeks since I went back to the gym again.  But all things considered, things have still gone pretty well.  I figured out that it was time for my skinny jeans again, and this weekend I actually put said skinny jeans on, and they rocked.  It was awesome.  (I almost took a butt pic for you ladies but we didn’t get it done.  So sorry!)

So given that I was reaching a point of happiness with the way this whole weight loss thing was going, I thought that this would be a good time to switch it up again, to quit doing an hour of cardio per workout and go back to some weight training with cardio at the end.  (Which historically I rarely do – typically I have done all weights and then gone home.)  Yesterday was the day I circled on the calendar for that.

First was the dreaded weigh-in.  Not so dreaded, since the one metric I was really interested in, my belt, was already telling me “pretty good job, bud!”  But still, an important part of the motivation.  After all, seeing the number “217” on the scale back in February made me so mad that I channeled my self-loathing into a TOO-hard too-soon workout that just about led to me passing out in the weight and/or locker room.  The number “201” in late June back around when we started this here blog was much more palatable but still not where I wanted to be.  Yesterday?  189.  My goal of 175 looks a lot more reasonable from here!

Then I went into the weight-lifting.  I had promised both Dys and myself that I wouldn’t be stupid this time.  And I kept that promise, even though two intimidatingly gargantuan gentlemen were present there for a while, which is usually a blow to the ego.  Luckily, all things considered, my ego is pretty much bulletproof lately.  (More on that on my own blog later today, barring disaster.)  So here’s my workout for the day:

Dumbbell bench press:  1 set, 20 reps, 25 pound dumbbells (warm-up)
5 sets, 10 reps, 45 pound dumbbells

Deadlift:  1 set, 20 reps, just the bar (45 pounds)
5 sets, 10 reps, 135

Roman chair straight-leg lifts:  2 sets of 20, 1 set of 10

Pretty doggone light, even by my weak standards.  But the deadlifting still took a lot out of me, which was a bit of a vindication from my above-linked argument with Dys.  Despite all my cardio training over the last six months, deadlifting still just stresses your body (and your heart) in an entirely different way, and the only way to train for it is to do it.

(As a bonus, I was deadlifting at the station in front of the mirror, and I have to say that I may still be a slightly-chunky geek, but I look pretty good in mid-deadlift with all those muscles under load.)

After that, 30 minutes on the cross-trainer and a slightly stiff walk back to the car.  I spent a little time in the evening sitting on the floor stretching my noticeably tight legs out, but otherwise I felt fine.  I took some precautionary ibuprofen before going to bed, but this morning I’m okay.  A little tight through the chest and hamstrings, and mah bootay is sore, but I can sit down and reach overhead without wincing, so I’ll take it.

I may or may not lift weights again this week – I may just stick with all cardio.  But the worm has turned, and I’m going to gradually build the weight training back into my workout, and we’ll see where that scale is come the new year, eh?

Weight Issues on Vacation

August 17, 2009

I was able to go for three runs on my seven day vacation.   All of them between 6-8 miles each and the same routes that I ran when I was in high school.  

Due to some “bathroom issues” that have plagued me since childhood, (information from my mother and sister regarding similar public bathroom issues for decades) I limited my food intake but a couple few evenings with former classmates increased my alcohol intake…tenfold.

After a week of being away from home, I still came back three pounds lighter than when I left…

…and that was after reintroducing myself my my “own” bathroom.


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