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!


For the record…

July 13, 2010

I was about to clear out my iPod’s timer log this morning when I decided to hold off.  I use my iPod as my stopwatch for my runs, and I hadn’t cleared it for several weeks.  I suddenly thought, “Hmm, maybe I should keep a record of this…

3.5 mile runs

June 23 0:44:14
June 24 0:42:20
June 30 0:41:11
July 2 0:39:49
July 7 0:40:49
July 8 0:40:57
July 12 0:39:27

6 mile runs

June 26 1:08:19
July 3 1:11:24
July 5 1:07:27
July 10 1:07:23

The 3.5 mile times are slow, definitely, but it’s also a seriously hilly 3.5 miles, so I’m comfortable with relative suckitude there.

The six-milers are somewhat deceptive, since I have to cross a highway and there may or may not be a wait involved there.  The six-mile runs essentially start with the hardest part of the 3.5 mile run, and end with a relatively long flat section, a long steady hill, and then another mostly flat (slightly uphill) segment.

Know what else makes a big difference?  The temperature.  It’s a hell of a lot easier to keep going when it’s 70 degrees versus 80…

But there ya go.  My times are now out there for the world to see whether I’m getting any better or just spinning my shoes.


June 28, 2010

Not a bad weekend around ye olde abode.  I started it off by getting up before dawn again on Saturday morning to go for a run.  At the last second, the talk I had with my ex-runner officemate re-entered my brain and I took a right instead of a left.  I parked my car on the other side of the park and instead of running 3.5 miles, I ran five.  My goal was anything under 1:15 – fifteen-minute miles – and I made it in 1:08 and change, having forgotten to start my stopwatch on time to begin with and having to wait for traffic lights to change twice, which I figure evens out in the end.  Close enough, at least.

I was definitely whipped but not completely out of commission, which was nice.  And a good thing, too, since when I got back to my car I realized that my extra door key that I carry while I run had fallen out someplace, so my keys were locked in my car.  I’d left my phone at home, so I had to walk the mile back home from the park and pound on the door until the dog barking at me got Dys  up to let me in.

Oh well.

Afterward, I showered and changed clothes and Dys and I went on a Wal-Mart/grocery run.  While at WM, I picked up a couple of sleeveless Under-Armour type shirts to run in.

In size Large.  Do you know how long it’s been since I bought anything without an X in front of it?  And while I’m still a little more bulgy in a few places than I’d like, they definitely fit.

I also bought a pack of white and black tank-top undershirts in size Large, and those suckers are definitely a little tighter than I’d imagined they’d be.  But still not grotesquely so, and I can still work on that a bit.  Dys asked if I was going for the Eric Northman look, and honestly it hadn’t even crossed my mind, but if it’s even bringing up the concept, then WIN.

Even in the ballpark of this guy is a compliment.

Having survived the five-mile run without serious complications, I think I’m going to succumb to my coworker’s suggestion and plan to enter the local Triple Crown.   A 5k (3.1 miles) on the last Saturday of next February, a 10k (6.2 mi) on the second Saturday in March, and a 10 miler on the last Saturday in March.  I think only the 10-miler is a real concern, and I have nine months to prepare for it.

Time to kick it up a notch, eh?


April 30, 2010

I called my scale a liar this morning. Then, I did the same thing to my tape measure.

I have kicked ass for the last four weeks, I haven’t missed a single workout, and I push myself a little further on a consistent basis. My eating, while not awesome, hasn’t been horrible either, and I’ve tracked it every day for a month and have made positive adjustments. Yet there has been no movement on the scale and no difference in inches. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

However, I have seen progress in other ways. When I look at myself in the mirror, I believe that my face seems thinner, my belly less poochy, my butt a little more perky, and there’s beginnings of definition in my calves and arms. My body feels stronger, more comfortable to me; it moves easier, I have more energy. I sleep more soundly at night.

Then there’s a WORLD of difference in something that’s harder to measure – my attitude, my discipline, and my self-image. I’m damned proud of myself for finally gaining the consistency that I’ve historically lacked in my exercise habits. Proud of myself for sticking to the plan without wavering. And VERY proud of myself for not allowing my disappointment in the lack of tangible, measurable progress derail my mood, my discipline, my outlook. I’m going to stick to the plan, keep on keepin’ on, and continue to strive for my goals.

So, to me, I’ve made a ton of progress.

How do you quantify progress, when the scale counters what, in your mind, your efforts should have achieved?

By Popular Demand

October 14, 2009

I put the camera in her hand this time.

MTAE, look away!  Look away!

Read the rest of this entry »

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?

Warning: Rant Ahead

October 8, 2009

Okay, so I just popped off and spewed a big fat rant on body image over on my blog.  In retrospect, that might have been better done here, because it’s perfectly appropriate for what we’re trying to do here.  All I can do at this point is link to it and beg forgiveness because it was done in the heat of the moment.

And said heat of the moment is still burning me the fuck up.