Monday, January 23, 2012
So, biggest bummer of the day was we missed seeing West Side Story. Turns out she was in such a rush to plan to meet Friday night that we didn't finish planning for Sunday and neither of us realized we hadn't set a meeting point. So that vague "did I forget something" was right.
Cue this morning. I get up and head to the gym for the early workout. Forget my phone because I'd plugged it in rather than putting it in my pocket while packing stuff for the gym. Finish my workout, shower, get out and realize it's noon when we planned to meet ... and the tickets are at home. (I wanted to change out of gym shirt, so I didn't bring them with me.) But I have no idea where DDa is going to be.
I walk back and forth around the four stops she's likely to be at with no luck. After half an hour I head home, get the tickets, find she left a message on the phone ... in which she realized we hadn't set a place to meet. But she didn't say where she'd be, other than vaguely saying maybe she should come to my house, but not wanting to in case I wasn't there it would be wasted time.
About 10 minutes before showtime, I think maybe, just maybe, she remembered where it was going to be, so I head over there and get there about 5 minutes after it started. No sign of her.
Turns out, we kept just missing each other. She was at the theater for like 20 minutes ... and left a couple minutes before I got there. /facepalm
Even at the point I realize we're not going to make the show at all, I'm still looking because we were going to eat first - and undoubtedly she's hungry. (So am I. I had a fruit bar before the gym, and grabbed a second in my quick stop at home.) About 45 minutes more of wandering, I finally surrender and head home. Maybe she's given up and headed there?
Nope, not at my house. BUT, about 20 minutes later she calls from a public phone. I head back to meet her. She wants Chinese, so we head to what turns out to be a rather fancy restaurant (Chinese Bistro it said on the sign). We split the food, which was really good. I think they got the celery just right, soft but still crisp.
We decide to go see a movie instead (Sherlock Holmes 2). From there we walk to the church where she meets the rest of the choir to warm up for their evening mass.
So day not wasted, even if the broadway tickets were. Oh well. Got back home, grabbed my duffel bag and back out I went to get groceries.
Just finished icing my foot. It actually took all the walking "in stride" and wasn't more than a little tight. But I'm taking no chances.
Next weekend is definitely going to be quiet, though. I feel really tired and drained from this one. (Mentally. Physically I'm feeling pretty decent. I mentally recharge in solitude and I didn't have as much this weekend.)
Sunday, January 22, 2012
My story actually starts yesterday evening with hanging out with my DDa. We were finalizing plans for watching West Side Story tomorrow. Even though we'd be meeting Sunday, she decided she wanted to meet for dinner Friday night too.
No problem says I, but has to be after gym. I shuffle my weight training to Saturday so she's not waiting 3 hours for me in the rain, get her a coffee at Starbucks and she settles to read one of the books she checked out from the library.
I finish and we head to the nearby Johnny Rocket's to eat. Now normally I'd have a burger and shake, but a shake would have been a bit chilly in this weather and a burger didn't particularly appeal. So I had a grilled chicken club salad and an ice water. The entire dish of dressing they brought? Untouched. I don't really like much dressing on my salads, never have, and while eating the chicken first I totally forgot about it.
More of our time was spent going through her sketch book so she could show me all the more recent drawings she's done. (She's good if a little obsessed with doing fanart of a particular favourite webcomic.)
When I later got home and tracked, I was surprised to find that I needed to eat something more to meet my ranges. Normally those 990 calories shakes and 800-1600 burgers pretty much kill the tracker. The salad didn't. And the chicken helped the protein stay up. So a score there.
From there we headed toward her house. I think we got there around 10 pm, but we were talking and just kept talking out on the porch. She's doing rather well. Working for her aunt, she's discovered that she loves just how mindless filing is - she can be singing in her head, thinking about things, and doing it. So working is actually fun for her right now. And she's starting a college class this coming quarter/semester/whatever that has her excited too. Add to that she's expanding socially, becoming more extroverted, talking more, and I'm really happy for her.
BUT, I didn't leave there until just after midnight. I was almost to the Light Rail station when I had the bright idea to call and find out when the next train would come. Er ... at 5 am?! /facepalm
Called a cab rather than kill my foot with a more than 10 mile walk. (Just realized I didn't record the walking last night. It wasn't super speedy, but was nearly 1 mile to her house and 1 mile back. Oh well.)
Now, all of this and getting home was in pretty heavy rain. I did get my umbrella, smartly enough, by my sweats were collecting rain from the air and I could feel them heavy around my ankles even before we got to her house. Sneakers are also not made for that kind of rain for long periods. That might not have been quite so bad, though, until after getting out of the cab and walking toward my place, I hit a several inch deep puddle and completely soaked one foot.
The big problem? I need those sweats and the shoes to work out. Hence the emergency run to the laundromat before the gym.
My coats cuffs were still damp, my gloves were still damp, so I toss them in with the shoes (inserts pulled out and drying also) ... and set it for 20 minutes on Hi. Only to learn that putting nearly dry coat and gloves meant that once they were dry, they started to scorch. Which I found out when it finished and I pulled out a coat with marks on it from the metal innards of the dryer and the lining all withered and scratchy, and shrunken, slightly discolored gloves. Whoops!
Sweats and shoes were fine, so off to the gym. THAT was amazing. Today's workout just felt really good for whatever reason. Albeit sweaty. Good gracious, I never sweat that much. Literally, I kept having to wipe my hands for my initial 30 minutes on the recumbent bike, had to wipe down every weight machine I used (lower back was the worst for leaving little streaks), wash my hands at one point because they were sticky, and more hand-wiping while trying out the elliptical for 10 minutes. Yeesh. (On the plus side, this also kept me drinking - finished most of a 1.5 liter bottle through the time I was there.)
This gym has three or four different manufacturer's styles of weight machine. I learned today that I really really like one style that has this cam which can be switched to adjust the way the weight behaves during a set - even throughout, increasing to heavy at the peak of the motion, heavier in the initial motion. Doing 3 sets of 12, 1 at each of those three settings, just felt like I did a lot more with the muscles.
I'm still experimenting a little to find the weight amount that gets me just the right workout, lightly sore but not in pain, exhausted where the last few are tough but doable. All in all really nice.
My knees already seem better! I noticed this on the elliptical - I didn't even notice them, and they did whine a little at me the first time I'd tried it. Later when doing my stretches, one with a squat and stretching the inner thighs, they were mostly comfortable. That pleases me a lot!
Finally, gym finished, I decided to head to a local place, the Great Mall in Milpitas, to replace the coat. First place I checked was the Burlington Coat Factory. O_o One would THINK they had a huge selection of coats ... yes? No. I saw three or four clearance racks with coats in the very front and could not find much elsewhere in the store. Wandered the mall checking a couple places and finally found one with a coat I like at a price I was willing to pay. (Hehe, there was a $500 leather coat that was very very nice, but definitely not in my budget.)
Mmmmmm, it's a comfy warm coat. I like it better than the one I ruined.
Stopped in and picked up another pair of sweats at Lane Bryant. I couldn't even remember what size I'm wearing, so I had to have one of the clerks read the back of the ones I had on. =P Got a pair on clearance so that was nice. Picked up a couple of shirts for working out too at one last store, then headed home.
Oh, all this walking? I'm trying my best to stay off it when I can, and my foot has been feeling much much better. I iced it last night and kept it up, I'll be doing so tonight as well. Mostly it gets tight feeling, without any pain, and some calf stretches always help that quickly. Standing and walking is no longer awkward - I don't feel like I'm walking on lumpy socks. But until it's "all better", I'm treating it like it is still injured and needs care. I do NOT want to lose my ability to walk whenever I want.
So very nice day overall. Still need to head back out now to get groceries since tomorrow is booked up.
Stay warm and well (or get well) Sparkers!
Friday, January 20, 2012
Me and my analogies, here we go again.
When I have the spare time in a day, I like to go to SparkPeople's "Browse New Blogs" page and start reading a couple dozen of the newest blogs posted. Sometimes it's a person's first time blogging ever, other times they're an old hat. I read, and when I feel I can offer a cheer or an encouraging word or some advice that maybe might help, I do so.
Not to say I always have the right words. I do goof up on occasion.
Anyway, one recently prompted me to respond and in the process I compared this whole effort to lose weight, get healthy and fit, to how a child learns to walk. The analogy has stuck with me, so I decided I would try to share it here.
A baby begins the process of learning to walk with flailing arms and legs, twisting torso, lifting head. They must build up the simple strength to be able to support themselves. Once they have that, they start rolling over, and pushing themselves up. More strength, but also building control and coordination. There's more direction to what they're doing.
Next thing we know, they're crawling around in some fashion. Even more strength, improving the control and coordination, and getting familiar with this whole moving around concept.
Now they start to depend on support, parent's hands or edges of tables, handles on drawers, anything in reach, and pull themselves up.
They start moving with the aid of the support, hanging on desperately.
Then one day they take that first tentative step, and another.
Soon enough, they're toddling about regularly.
Every single step along the way, they had frustrations and challenges. Even in the early stage of pushing themselves up, they collapse many times before both arms work in concert, both hands brace properly and they have the strength to stay up. Even when they've made it to walking, they fall now and then, and they still have running to figure out.
How does that compare to our journey to health, fitness, and weight loss?
We too have to progressively work our way there. We can't just push up off the floor on day one and walk across the room.
We start off building a little strength. A small success here, an easy change there. Once we get those in, we add another change or two. We start having to develop some coordination while we continue to get stronger. Trying to keep all the little changes we've made happening at the same time isn't as easy as it seems.
Life, our environment, doesn't always make it easy either. We may feel we've got it all together, we're holding ourselves up, and bang, the slippery floor of a lost job or a family argument or some other stress causes us to collapse.
We keep pushing, though, and soon we're feeling more coordinated, feeling some of those early successes. We're moving right along, zip and zoom. We can just taste and feel that goal.
We reach out wanting it now, our first attempts to try that standing up stuff. Maybe we're close to our goal. Or maybe we're not so lucky and we hit one of those plateaus, when all the stuff we've done so far seems to be getting us nowhere, when we really need the encouragement and support of others around us to keep us trying. Or, lacking others, support of solid information, clear goals, and other "furniture".
We get through that and find a way to get moving again, and we're close. We're on our feet, we're moving along. Never mind that death-grip we have on things around us, sure that if we let go we'll collapse. Insecurities may crop up, driving us backward a bit.
Finally, though, we're walking. We've reached that goal. And now the real struggle begins - to not just reach that goal, but to stabilize at it. Someday, we'll have surpassed just "reaching the goal" and find the point where we are naturally healthy and fit, where we don't have to consciously think about balancing as we take each step. For some it happens quickly. For others, they may have to revert to crawling for a while.
Now between those two, there are obviously differences - places where the analogy doesn't align.
A big one is that a baby doesn't swing its arms and legs around with the thought in their head that they want to walk like those big people do.
Nor does a baby doesn't spend its time hating that it can't walk yet. That's not even a consideration at first. Their goal, if one exists, is always just the next step in the process. Perhaps the first time they push up from a prone position is nothing more than a flex and a realization they can see more.
As adults on this journey, we tend to get far more focused on the end result - the final goal. The little steps along the way are are done SO we can walk. We generally have to have something impinge on us that being where we are now isn't good - a health scare, disgust at a picture, panic at going up another clothing size, a birthday looming or just past, a New Year.
Perhaps not true for every adult, but another difference is that some of us already knew how to live reasonably fit and healthy at some point - and let it go. A baby never has walked before, and doesn't even know that's what they're working toward until the last stage or two.
In spite of those differences, we can take a number of lessons from the progress of a baby:
1) Start with baby steps. Build some basic emotional and mental strength, even if the early attempts seem like clumsy flailing.
2) Never give up. Collapsing, falling down, trying and failing - they're all nearly inescapable parts of trying to learn and do something this big.
3) Take it in small stages. Get good at a few healthy habits, get good at keeping them all a regular part, before over-stressing about doing everything. If you can't get 10 minutes of exercise every day, 8 hours of sleep a night, and drink your 8 glasses of water, without messing up at least one, do just one until it doesn't take as much attention, then add another.
4) Just because you get to the end result does not mean the work is done. Maintenance, for some, is going to be a lifetime of regularly remember to keep all those habits in. There will be times we want to just quit working so hard and flop down with arms raised to demand mommy or daddy carry us.
5) Crying about a failure doesn't get us closer to the goal. Getting back up and trying again does.
6) Not everything we try has to be a certain way. Some of the habits we try to build just won't work for us. Some babies never use their legs while crawling, pulling along with arm power. They still get to walking someday. It might work for someone else, but we want what gives us strength, coordination, support, balance, and progress.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Calf stretches (thanks again to REALLY_ROBIN) and icing and minimizing walking are making a world of difference. At this point it still feels tight sometimes, but no pain. The tight is mostly in the arch area. I've also noticed the sole of my foot is hyper-sensitive to the arch support in my shoes as well as any wrinkles that get into my socks. (Princess and the pea kinda sensitive - feels way out of proportion to how small it is.)
I've been walking very carefully, not to avoid pain, but because the outside of my foot near the ball started to hurt a little - from rolling away from the tightness in the arch area. Which means placing my foot each step with mindfulness.
I think I just got extremely lucky with my timing - if I'd kept pushing much longer, it would probably have been much more serious and less responsive to proper treatment.
Oh, I also managed to twist my right ankle last night and go down on my left knee (skinned through dress pants, but thankfully no tear or hole in the pants) and palm. I'm a klutz sometimes and combine that with this not being the first time I've done that with my right ankle, and I know how to fall with a minimum of injury. THANKFULLY!
That right ankle was seriously sprained in my late teens at my mom's house. Used a crutch for a couple days. It's probably more susceptible for whatever reason - but has been strong enough to ice skate on, so just more willing to flex the wrong way, I suppose.
None of that is stopping me from getting to the gym each night. I have to admit I feel a little funny hobbling in there (well, more walking very slowly and careful). Gradually strengthening all the muscles around is the best way to get to a point where I'm less likely to injure myself - so long as I am very careful not to injure myself in the process.
The recumbent bike has surprised me because the program for fat burn I can manage 30-45 minutes of, but the cardio program makes my legs seriously hurt after 2-3 minutes. In spite of all the walking to date, I'm not ready for that ... YET.
Tonight I wound up on a normal stationary bike instead for my post-ST cardio (I do 30m before and some after) because 2 different Recumbent bikes refused to recognize my hands were on the HR sensors. *mutter* I'll be feeling that seat for a while. Oof!
It's nice because trying these different things gives me an idea of what I can't do yet, which creates a desire to get to where I actually CAN do them.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
So I have the hardest time comparing the pictures and really seeing much difference.
One problem is that I never really tried to make them exactly the same. Same outfit, yes. Same corner of my room, yes. But if you look where my feet and the gap under the door are, I'm different distances away. I set my camera to a 10s auto-timer and hurry across the room to get in the shot.
That's also why most of them are somewhat blurry. I don't think the camera really gets to auto-focus on me since I'm moving until the last second or two.
So, the very first picture from September has me closer to the camera, I think, than any other picture. Which makes September to October look like I've shrunk massively. November isn't as close to the camera as September, but seems closer than October - or maybe it's just how bright that one is with sun coming in under the door. December I'm back further again and it seems like my feet are a little more spread. Cue January and my feet are closer together and I'm a touch closer. (and FREEZING ... sheesh is my room cold tonight).
So I'm having a very hard time really seeing changes. Though I will admit there is one that is notable to me. I can see the improved toning in my thighs and the fact that my feet are closer together and yet there's a small gap between.
Beyond that, I have to just give up. I'll see what I think might be a change and then I go and see the reasons the difference isn't really there. -____-
I ~KNOW~ I'm doing well. One proof tonight was that I did 2 sets of 15 on an Abdominal Crunch machine and then another 3 sets of 15 crunches on a mat with my legs up holding a balance ball, mixed with 2 sets of 10 obliques using that balance ball. Four months ago I was luck to get 2 sets of 12 crunches done. THAT is the kind of progress that excites me the most.
Oh, and the numbers for those who aren't on the Teams where I've done "weekly" (monthly for me) weigh-ins:
My starting weight: 250.5 (as of 16 September 2011 - highest weight ever)
My Current weight: 217.5 (as of 16 January 2012)
Total lost to date: 33 lbs.
16 Sep 11 = 250.5
16 Oct 11 = 239.5
16 Nov 11 = 234.5
16 Dec 11 = 224.5
16 Jan 12 = 217.5
My SparkPeople report. I haven't bothered to adjust my goal weight or my planned date to reach it, but that's the red line. I honestly expect to hit some sort or plateau and have slower months when I lose no weight but gain fitness. For now, though, it's nice to see it under the red.
And my Hacker's Diet graph for the same period. I like that this one shows only the range I'm in rather than squashing it all at the top. The gray is the daily weigh-ins with lines between. The red is the trend line that is calculated. So even though today I was 217.5, my trend point is closer to 220. Which means my goal of being stably below 220 for January is well within reach as that trend is what I use to consider it stable as my daily numbers bounce up and down. (Hopefully it's not so small as to be hard to see.)
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