Hint Taken

December 24, 2010

I haven’t walked or done any real form of exercise in over a month. As much as I was looking forward to the weather cooling down, it only was a few weeks of walking outside before daylight became my enemy and as is often so easy, I lost motivation. Luckily I’ve only put 1 or 2 pounds back on, but I miss the feeling of getting off my ass and doing something.

Enter yesterday and a new foreclosure for us to clean out. To my surprise and wonder, included in the stuff the former tenant left behind was this:

Note: As much as I'd like to admit that's me, it's not

I’m taking this surprise windfall as a hint it’s high time to get my ass off the couch once again.


Neglected Nikes

November 1, 2010

I’m actually nervous to check and see when my last post here was. So I’m skipping it. Yesterday I finally managed to post on my own blog, describing how the past month flew by without the benefit of my taking time to appreciate it and of course the diet/exercise combo was the first casualty of the time-suck.

Why is that? I’m not sure if it’s that way for everybody, but with me, if there is an interruption in my routine or God forbid more than one, something in my tiny brain breaks and all of a sudden weeks have gone by without an entry in the food journal and nary a sneaker has been laced up. With of course the irony being that when things get stressful there’s not much better you can do for yourself than exercise. File that under D is for Duh, you Doofus-assed Dummy. 

I spent the entire Summer walking the neighborhood, sweating my ass off and salivating for the days of cooler weather. I enjoyed the walks enough then to know that they’d become downright blissful in the crispy, golden October afternoons. Then October finally arrived, all hell broke loose and the number of walks I managed was…ONE. Yes, things were crazy. Yes, there were many days I honestly couldn’t fit one in. But truthfully would it have been that hard to take just even a half hour for myself and just do it? Come on. Because – full disclosure – you know I watched more than one TV show during the month.

I’m not looking over the fact that my weight has stayed the same and not crept back up – I’m very, very thankful for that, because it damn sure hasn’t been due to any effort on my part. But since today marks the beginning of a new month, I feel like it’s a good time to recommit and make a promise to myself : no matter what else is happening around me, it can all wait for a little while. I know full well it’ll be there when I get back from my soul-refreshing, brain-cleansing, life-affirming WALK.

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*

Running Through

August 19, 2010

In all my obsessive reading about exercise and nutrition (like most of us I think, when I get into something I really get into it) I’ve come across a lot of information regarding plateaus. One thing that caught my attention is the fact that supposedly your first big one usually occurs around the point when you’ve lost roughly 10% of your body weight.

Guess where I am.

Logically I knew this was coming; emotionally it still pretty much sucks all flavors of ass. Figuring my vacation week into it, for almost three weeks now I’ve been fluctuating between 147 and 149. And while I know a two-pound range isn’t something to lose my mind over, it’s still hellishly frustrating, especially when I’m still doing all the things I’ve been doing all along that have met with success. I read these stories about people who get stuck for MONTHS ON END and it makes my blood run cold (how many calories does blood running cold burn I wonder?).

I’ve also been reading (obviously) up on ways to break through the plateau and I’m ready to deploy some stuff. Increasing and changing up the exercise. Increasing water consumption and decreasing salt intake. Playing around with the daily calorie consumption. It all makes sense and this is why I’m not panicking (yet).

The first idea is adding some running into my walks. While I hate it with the heat of a thousand suns, I’m pretty sure it’s a good idea. And I love the idea of it – the health and beauty benefits, the endorphin high, the self-satisfied and condescending tone you’re able to take when talking about how you “just got back from a run,” or you’re “looking forward to a good run later,” or any line where you can casually add the word “run” into it. My father-in-law runs five miles every morning and has for years. He’s in his mid-sixties and in very good shape for his age or any age. Well yeah but he also reads the Bible every morning too, so it’s probably not best to compare. So far I can’t claim to have actually “run,” but I’m working on it. In the meantime it’s more of a walk + jog = wog type thing. I plan to wog again tonight and weather permitting, quite a few more times over the next week, hopefully progressing into more legitimate actual running soon. Just writing that hurts a little.

But hey nobody said this was supposed to be easy, right? If it was, this blog wouldn’t exist and that would be sad. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to break on through to the other side of this little obstacle. Bring on the sports bras and shin splints.

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.

Vacation Strategery

July 28, 2010

Last year around this time I wrote a post about being nervous to break my exercise routine to go on vacation for a week. Turns out my fears were justified, as not only did I break routine as planned but then also proceed to fall off the wagon in a spectacular way. As in a ten-month break. Heh heh…oops.

THIS time however, I’m not worried. The progress and changes I’ve seen in the past month and a half are more than enough to keep my motivation intact and regardless of what happens next week, I know I’ll be getting right back to good habits as soon as I get home. But me being me, I can’t help but be a leetle bit wary and so in order to quiet the voices a little I’ve come up with a couple of ways to keep myself in check while I’m gone.

1. Grocery trip – I’ll be staying with my best friend whose house has always been a second home to me. I feel more than comfortable making a quick stop to the grocery the first night I’m there and stocking up on some things I’ve been eating to keep things at least somewhat consistent. Bonus: she’s also been working at losing weight lately (15 lbs and counting – woo, Grace!) so that we’re in the same mindset for being conscious about food right now. That always helps.

2. Restaurant eating – Obviously vacation = eating out, but I’ve gotten enough practice with this to know how to deal with it: If possible, don’t wait until I’m starving. Order salad (with the dressing of course on the side) and load up on that first. Don’t act like it’s the last good meal I’m ever going to have. No mental flogging if I decide to get a Coke with a meal. There are just certain things Coke makes perfect and I’ve made my peace with that.

3. Bottled water – Have you ever tasted Florida’s water? The flavor is a unique combination of chlorine and farts and unless you’ve lived there several years and have gotten used to it, it’s a very jarring thing. I’m buying cheap bottled water before my trip and will keep a bottle with me at all times. It’s been a challenge for me to drink enough of it on weekends, so this will also be a way to try and keep track and attempt to get enough every day.

4. Walking – I don’t expect to get an official one in every day, but I’m going to try to get at least couple in throughout the week. One thing I’m keeping in mind is that I won’t be sitting at a desk all day but will be more active anyway, and shopping burns calories too! Especially back-to-school shopping with a 15-year-old, damn.

5. Scale – This is probably going to sound psycho, but I’m bringing my scale. One of the most rewarding things about this has been seeing the numbers diminish and even though it doesn’t happen every day, it’s now part of my daily routine. I don’t expect to lose weight on vacation, nor is that my goal. But I think it’ll be a small way to make me feel like I’m still in control and it will eliminate the stress of coming home and weighing in that first scary time. Okay that still sounds insane, but if I can’t share with you guys who can I share with?

6. Fuggetaboutit – You may think these things are silly; I kind of do. But none of it will cost me a whole lot of time or energy and I feel a lot better about anything when I go in with a plan. However, regardless of whether any of these things make any difference whatsoever, it’s a VACATION. I’ve waited for it for a long time, I’m really darn excited about it and my first priority is to have fun. That’s one goal I know I’ll be successful achieving.

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.