Wednesday, April 25, 2012
At work, conferences or "lunch and learns" happened the last five days straight. One is scheduled for tomorrow. The scent of fresh pizza wafts up over the dividing wall between the conference room staging area right into my cubicle. Do you know how tough it is to resist the tomato sauce and the siren song of crust? I don't care much for pizza proper but throw a warm bread product in front of my trail and I may consider bending down to pick it up.
I've been good in resisting most of the offerings. The salads get eyed up and today, when I left my bagged salad at home, I helped myself to the iceberg lettuce. No dressing needed and I avoided too many olives or cheese for fat. Out for my 45 minute walk over lunch, I was all good.
Then I came back. One last piece of veggie was being carried away and I pounced on it. Such a bad, bad girl.
Still under calories for the day, though!
Monday, April 23, 2012
My reward for pushing through plentiful exercise minutes (if not losing any weight...) are a pair of fancy yoga pants. I finally bought into the Lululemon hype, probably ten years at least since I first heard of them while living in Vancouver. Back then, they were a tiny little shop which sold expensive yoga clothes to the many yogis in the city. I lived near the Lululemon Outlet store and drove past another on my jaunts to Seattle. Never mind I might have bought some pants when prices were cheaper...
I finally jumped on board after having no success locating the Old Navy compression yoga pants in a tall. A cursory perusal of Google maps sent me off to the only Lululemon store in the city at a pretentious mall called "The Collection," home to the likes of Salvatore Ferragamo and most of Chicago's Magnificent Mile in a magnificently (expensive) mall. Cue a visit, trying on a few pairs, and questioning whether they really made my butt look that much better.
Piling and shrinkage are two classic problems with me and yoga pants of any kind. I avoided them for years because the inner thigh area should not resemble a beaten up berber carpet, and I don't have svelte upper legs the way I wish I did. I couldn't justify spending $98 new on a pair of yoga pants when I barely fork out that much for my favourite designer jeans at Nordstrom Rack. Speaking of, my second favourite pair developed a rip on the inner thigh in that same problem area, and I'm grumpy as there's no way to fix that sort of wear. I also don't consider Lululemon's "sale" price of $89 to be very exciting.
Cue eBay and a winning bid on a pair of black and white Groove pants in tall. Yay! $50 is still higher than what I cared for, but Old Navy was $35 + $7.99 shipping, so it works out to be roughly parallel. That's what I'm telling myself.
Now just to wait until this hot package shows up in the mail and I can finally avoid dreaded ankle showing at fitness class.
Monday, April 23, 2012
This weekend, the beau and I slipped through the doors of a swanky four-star restaurant for the city's restaurant week. We already knew the three course menu options in advance, partially because I set myself up to choose the healthier alternatives except that creme brulee. None of these meals would count, I told myself.
It's funny, but allowing myself the "time off" goes against the healthy eating article posted the other day. Call it willful ignorance, but as I tucked into that tail of Maine lobster, I decided not to concern myself about the calorie portions. I had a walk and lots of exercise opportunities to work off that bit.
I realize this morning accountability in all senses is important for all of us on our journeys. I knew what I was consuming and chose to finish the meal and my wine anyways. I didn't leave half the plate filled, though the restaurant actually made that easier because their portions were appropriate. Case in point: my beau got a filet of steak which amounted to about 3 ounces. The fat asparagus spears, the small mound of mashed potatoes, and the cluster of green beans all weighed in at exactly what I would aim for making my own dinner. Likewise, I wasn't eating a half pound of lobster. All said and done, the portion was probably about 3 ounces when clawed, torn, and forked out from its shell. The angelhair pasta underneath was similarly a modest swirl, and the gorgeously presented Mediterranean farro salad never exceeded what I'd consider to be an acceptable portion.
A luxury? Yes, this is never how I would dine at a restaurant on a regular basis: a) because it's expensive, b) I'm cutting back on restaurant dining, and c) lobster is a special treat, not an everyday food, as Cookie Monster might say.
The splurge factors in to how I eat this week. I set up my menu in advance to know what I wanted to make. With my beau being out so many nights rehearsing for an upcoming show, my eating habits nosedived. I get home, peer into the fridge as though a freshly made meal is ready to pounce me, and proceed to eat either very little or a hodgepodge late at night. Not healthy, trust me. My personal trainer suggested never eating after 7:00 PM if possible, and limiting any sort of caffeine. I am trying to abide by that, coming up with options we can have on the go, reheat well, and taking the guesswork out.
Many options in the fridge make for a healthy meal: salads, veggies, fish that's prepped and ready to go. I'm making Coach Nicole's frittatas tonight for breakfasts through the week and tasty snacks. My late breakfasts of a Fibre One bar have to stop, especially when I have the power to wake up a little earlier or throw together something good.
Hurrah for a delicious meal and another on Thursday (our date night/celebration of many things) for Restaurant Week. However, I intend to keep my portions small, my choices sensible, and the fitness classes on the go.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Why did I have to see that graph? Iím not much on target for weight loss by the date Iíd prefer. In fact, Iím not sure I am losing much or reasonably fast at all.
I know the weight takes time to come off, more than it did to get on. I step on the scale once a week or so rather than living next to it, and I try to do the same times: when I get into the gym, before a workout, as something to motivate me. Well, itís motivated me to feel crummy and vaguely guilty for a lack of progress.
Itís worse because a very windy day in a skyscraper left me feeling unsettled and queasy until late last night, so no moonlight flow yoga or zumba for me. I didnít make it into the gym and the little voice in the back of my head is quietly disappointed in my inactivity. I want to see results in my own time, but done healthily.
The fitness schedule needs to be increased in magnitude and I need to put more effort into going to the cardiofit classes (cardio = melting pounds, I know it) and working on my strength training. Getting out and walking the dog more. Jogging, anything. Not seeing any effects causes me to get frustrated with myself. Self-doubt is sneaking in through the open back door while I ruminate, with a touch of gloom, on what I ought to do better.
Being hungry for days on end doesnít help either. Stomach shrinking or water intake arenít killing the cravings. So I soldier on, feeling frustrated, feeling like itís one step forward and two steps back.
Time to sweat.
Friday, April 13, 2012
I wanted to do better than I did yesterday.
The Crossfit class at my local YMCA sounds like a perfect mix for my rather diminished stamina and physical strength. It mixes cardio and strength training over an hour with the use of hand weights, stability bands, and music. From the official description:
"Cardio segments alternated with weights, medicine and stability balls, bands and more."
If only the reality matched that. The class leader announced to me, "Some of the trainers are more strength training oriented, but I am more cardio oriented."
I thought two months of steady walking at lunch hour and a year and a half of personal training (plus 6 months off...) would at least keep me relatively fit. Ha.
20 minutes in, I was pretty much dying -- partially because a wisp of asthma flared up just enough that it felt like I was drawing breath from a shallow pond of air. The other half was not knowing the routine, which meant being out of sync and fighting to catch up or not be going opposite to what the teacher was doing.
If I'm honest with myself, the asynchronized routine shook up my already fractured self-confidence and magnified the breathing issues. A trio of 8-12 year old girls peered in at us for a good 10 minutes; their presence was the straw that broke the camel's back. Bad enough I was already out of step, now I had them behind me giggling and whispering? In retrospect I'm sure their behaviour was fine, but unease has a funny way of magnifying paranoia into something else and feeding on nerves. The discomfort turns everything into a personal fear. They might be judging me. I'm already self-conscious, this makes it worse! Silly!
I should note - this whole mild asthma thing is new to me, a limitation I utterly hate, and I try to work around. Well, when it's stopping me from bouncing through a cardio class, maybe getting around it isn't an option. I never used to have these limitations for air capacity in my lungs until the atmospheric pollution of Chicago finally did me in.
I'm not happy with how the class turned out. I feel awkward and disappointed in myself, but that won't stop me from trying again tonight after being sure I've got an inhaler on hand (bleh...) and a place far away from the door.
Today's lessons: don't let your worry about others cloud you from your goal. And take health issues seriously.
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