Saturday, March 17, 2012
So, on Wednesday I hit the end of my notebook pages for recording my weights and reps. I could have moved on to new pages, but carrying that and flipping pages, and some were tearing made me decide I needed a new option.
So, I did a quick little search and found an Android app. Woot!
Of course, being me, I've been trying to log all the back data. Whew, amazing to realize I've been going to the gym daily for two months now. Three days a week have involved weight training. That's a lot of data to fill in. I'm nowhere near done yet.
Even without the historical data, I was able to use it tonight and was pretty happy with it. I carried my phone around with me, picked the exercises as I did them, and entered the weight and reps for each set.
One fun little thing - it tells me what my 1RM is based upon the weight and number of reps. 1RM stand for 1 rep maximum and is the heaviest weight one could possibly handle for that muscle / exercise and do a single proper form repetition.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I seem to have a strong dislike for competition. Not against myself, mind you. I love competing against my personal best and excelling there. It's against others that I never like to compete.
Because the vast majority of competitions have one winner and many losers. If I should win, then a whole bunch of people lose. If I don't fight to win, and cause all those people to lose, someone else will win.
I noticed that this showed up in the Spark Team I co-lead. I've been trying to provide some Team Goals and Team Challenges. This month's challenges are steps (5,000+) and freggies (min. 1 each daily). I set the basic levels low because I want them to be inclusive of as many people as possible. And I didn't set it up to be a "who can get the most?" challenge or a "break into teams and see which one gets the most" challenge. Instead, I'd want to reward EVERY Teammate who accomplishes the goal.
In a similar vein, while I've joined a couple of challenges (10-minute fitness, 5k Your Way, and Team Leader), none of those involved competing against others. Ditto for the Team Goals and Challenges I choose to take part in.
This isn't new, either. I hated competing in school. Thinking back as I write this, I remember a third grade classroom game. We each were given a dictionary. The teacher gave us a word and we had to find it as fast as we could then raise our hand. I'd been reading since I was three, where many of the other students learned basic words in first grade. I won easily, multiple times, then quit trying and pretended to have trouble. It was SO unfair to the rest of my classmates. That's not even something an adult told me. No, the teacher never said "let others have a chance." It was purely my distaste for standing out that way and keeping others from winning.
Maybe that's part of it. Sometimes things seem to come too easily. When I can see others working ten times as hard as me to achieve the same goal, I hate to cross the finish line ahead of them and "negate" all their effort. Instead, I can seem to trip, stagger, sabotage myself and let them cross ahead of me - happy inside with the knowledge that I did well and not needing to be first across the line to know I could have chosen to be. They can wear the blue ribbon and I can be happy I beat (or could have beat) my previous best time.
Hence my title. It's like my motto for this life is a Non-Compete Clause.
For those unfamiliar with the term, that is part of a legal agreement when someone leaves a company that states they will not directly compete against that company for a period of time. An example might be a morning DJ not being allowed to go be a DJ at another local, directly competing radio station. He might be able to go outside the local area or work for one with a completely different audience (go from hard rock to country formats, perhaps).
Where does this lead? I've been having to fight the strangest urge to sabotage myself because my ability to lose weight has been so easy. Thankfully, I've been able to ignore the mental fidgets so far, but it is disconcerting to hear my inner voice arguing for eating more because I don't want it to frustrate others who don't have the same level of progress.
I noticed my ticker today and boggled. Somehow in 6 months I've hit 45 pounds down and halfway to my original goal of 160.
I'm almost back under 200. I remember 199 - 200 for two key points. One was 2 weeks past my due date with my oldest, DDb. I weighed 199 at the doctor's appt. the day before she was born and was amused that even pregnant I didn't exceed my "I never want to be heaver than 200" rule. (She was 8 lb. 15 oz. so I definitely dropped back down right after. =P ) The other was after I'd made my decision to gain weight - I remember my mother reminding me of my 200 rule and me shrugging and saying it didn't matter any more.
Why has it been so easy for me?
1) I've mentioned it before, but I am not an emotional eater. I do have issues with emotions, they're just not food-related.
2) I'm not (nor have I ever been) anorexic, bulimic, or a binge eater. I don't suffer from depression or any chronic ailment that impacts my ability to eat as I please or engage in most activities.
3) I deliberately gained weight. While I was probably mildly overweight from about 19 (first pregnancy started) until a couple years after my divorce, I usually was around 175-180 at the top end. Only from around the late 90's did I start eating more food generally, eating more sugar, eating out more and doubling up what I ate. And even then, I wasn't consistent. I spent a few years bouncing around 195, a few more around 205, several in the 225 range, and a few more at 235. Only in the last couple years did I hit 240-245 and my highest ever of 250.5.
4) I didn't become completely sedentary. I walked to and from work daily - a 0.65 mile route - in about 12 minutes. When it was most stressful, I went walking on my 15 minute breaks and 30 minute lunches to clear my mind. At one point I was going up and down the flights of stairs in the building during my 15 minute break. I walked and bused everywhere, carrying loads of groceries.
5) I didn't yo-yo diet. Amusingly / sadly, I've done Slimfast shakes - not to lose weight but to boost my nutrition and/or be an easy breakfast. (In fact, a big reason I mentally could not buy into any of the weight loss industry was because almost every method had fine print that "combined with a exercise and an otherwise healthy diet". Well, no kidding, Sherlock. What do I need this product for if exercise and a healthy diet would already do the job?) This also means I don't have a long string of trying to lose weight and failing or losing it and regaining that linger as examples of what I'll do again.
6) I have no issues eating rationally around others who eat to excess. The owner of the company I work at is obese, quite possibly morbidly so. Our Christmas dinner's in years we've had them were at Maggiano's and involved a multi-course meal in which she pushed us all to eat as much as we could and ask for more so she could have leftovers boxed for later. I ate bread, one salad, a couple of meat entree's, a veggie dish, and a dessert. Peer pressure is just not a consideration.
7) I now live alone. I shop solely for me, I cook solely for me. My side of the family does not do holidays, nor do we meet up often. So family gatherings don't exist outside of me meeting up with DS and DDa. With them, I may eat more richly for that one meal, but I balance it to the day and week and stay easily in my average ranges.
8) While my "wicked" step-mother and family dinners around my father were the epitome of the clean plate club, obscure and distorted rules, and more, my mother was into Adelle Davis' book "Eat Right to Live Well" and taught me a love of whole grain bread and other such foods. And I naturally love vegetables. So even when "pigging out" and eating lots of sugar, I also ate plenty of protein and was more likely to add a salad to my order of a large burger and a shake than fries.
9) As mentioned before, I'd already spent the last year or two applying similar principles to my finances as I'm apply now to my weight. I strengthened my self-discipline and willpower, practiced my goal-setting, in that realm first.
10) I'm a spreadsheet gal. I track things all the time. In the MMORPG (World of Warcraft) that I play, I have records of levels in professions, levels in gear, levels in reputations, all recorded in spreadsheets so I can figure out which character might be able to use something. I have dozens of characters I track. I've tracked my food, every bite, for six months now without ever thinking it was extra work.
11) I have free time. Copious amounts compared to some people. I get up around 7:20 am, leave by 7:40 am, bus to work and start at 8:30 am. I eat lunch at work and get off at 5:00 pm, riding the bus to the gym. I work out 40+ minutes daily then head home. I clean my room, do my laundry and shopping, and go to the gym on the weekend. The rest of my time is used how I choose. I do fill it, but other than arrangements to meet with DDa or DS, it is purely filled at my whim. ( I ~LOVE~ my empty nest!)
Whew, okay, that went a lot longer than planned.
The key point of all that is this: PLEASE, OH PLEASE, DO NOT COMPARE YOUR PROGRESS TO MINE!
Unless all of those points apply equally to you, you'd be comparing apples to oranges. Or possibly apples to zucchinis - since at least apples and oranges are both fruit.
This has been absurdly easy for me so far. In fact, I keep edging my calories higher to try to keep from losing so fast. (Because SP uses sedentary as the baseline BMR, I think I burn more than they account for during my non-workout time.)
Yes, it could be as easy for others IF ...
... IF all the obstacles that otherwise make it challenging did not exist or were eliminated.
Some of those obstacles can't be eliminated. Depression can't just be turned off until the weight is gone. Fibromyalgia might allow a few easier days, but when a flare hits, there's no magic pill to get rid of it. Whether mental or physical, those things slow one's progress down. As do injuries. As can some medications.
Even things that can, with a great deal of effort, be tackled - are still there to slow progress until they are. Mindless snacking, binges, clean plate habits, lack of portion control, heavy carb cravings, and so on.
DO NOT put down the progress you are making because you see others, like me, cruising along.
I agree completely that it is NOT fair.
Were there any way to take away the obstacles and difficulties that get in your path, you'd already be doing so.
BUT let me end with:
This is not a race in which only one person can win by crossing the finish line first. If it were, NONE of us would have any reason for being here. Because who knows who the first person to have to work to lose weight was. Probably someone in early history, maybe an Egyptian living on a diet of grain.
This is a journey in which every one of us has the ability, so long as we keep redirecting ourselves in the right direction, to someday eventually pass landmarks such as "overweight, not obese", "healthy BMI", "ideal weight", "average or better on fitness tests", "able to touch toes", and so on. Hundreds of thousands may have already passed those landmarks, millions may pass after you, but that won't diminish the excitement and thrill of passing it yourself. You'll get there!
Monday, March 12, 2012
No more teens! I started relatively young - though I managed to avoid the "teen mom" distinction by turning 20 a few months before my oldest was born. Her half-brother was born 20 months later and his sister was born 13 month later.
So here I am 42 going on 43, and my youngest is 20. I have no more teens!
Of course, I think the funniest moment of the weekend came talking to my DDa about her cousins. (My DS and DDa are the eldest grandchildren on both sides of the family.) Her closest in age cousin is 3 years younger than her. In doing the math, she came up with 17 and suddenly said "Dannnnng, I feel OLD!"
Sunday after I got back from the gym, I settled down with SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker and started plugging in the food I already had at work and home. Turns out I can get by without buying any groceries. (I usually get enough to last a little longer because of past issues with late paychecks and because if one thing tastes awful or goes bad, I'm not out of luck.) Already had my quarters for the laundry, so no stress there either.
AND ... I had totally forgotten about my savings account until I logged into Mint to rework my budget for March. Oh, hello there. Of course, my first reaction was to laugh at myself. My second was to say "Nah, not important enough." Since I already gave DS and DDa the heads up it would be off for a few days, I don't see it as vital. (I don't have a landline, but I do have internet. The phone's wifi connection should still be good too - and since both they and I have routers with wireless and our light rail trains offer wifi and their school offers wifi, I think we're set.)
The other thing I discovered is that I need to resubmit my federal taxes. Something didn't match (the previous year's numbers that they ask for as part of the electronic signature). I just don't check that email often enough.
It's funny, but something I realized about me this weekend is that I don't play head games about whether I'm going to get to the gym. I do play head games while I'm there to push for the time I want, increase my resistance or speed, add a little more weight and push for my full set of reps.
And while I have the inner whining about this or that hurting, being tired, I also have an inner reminding me that I've gotten this much done, what's five more?
Years ago I had some physical therapy for some sort of nerve pinch - the place was called MORE and they had T-shirts with the phrase "Just five more!" on them. When you have a therapist pushing you to do five more crunches, and then five more, and then five more, it does get to be a running joke. Had me giggling at the Personal Trainer when he said it. (Well, he said three, but still!)
The ooooof is TMI, so turn back now if girly talk isn't your cup of tea (though this isn't particularly gross =P ).
Ooooof is the best way to describe Sunday. Time changes don't get me at all. TOM does for one day. I don't know if it's how I'm eating / losing weight / working out, my age, someone around me I don't know about ... but I've gone from my usual cycle which was more like 31-32 days between to a mere 24 days between. This does NOT make me happy.
Thankfully, I don't deal with PMS, but usually the first or second day of the actual TOM is seriously draining physically. My lower back especially hurts, my joints ache, cramps are constant, I don't feel like eating much and my digestion seems off, and I'm tired and almost spacey. Literally I say it drains the life out of me that one day. The next day I'm back to normal or pretty darn close.
So I woke up late, got breakfast and crawled right back in bed. I got up again around 2:30 because I knew I needed to get to the gym before they closed. (Thought it was 5 pm - turns out it is 6 pm. But better I didn't put it off longer.) Man, that was the LONGEST 40 minutes on the Recumbent Bike EVER.
I actually put my towel over the display at one point because what felt like 5 minutes was only a minute passed. Each ten minute segment was head games of "that's enough, let me get off now" and "no, we're here. we're doing the full 40". (Hence the earlier inner demon, inner cheerleader comment.)
Got home, climbed back in bed for a while, got needed things done (cleaned room, got some receipts dealt with and scrapped, laundry, eating), then crashed early for me.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Two weeks ago I popped in and got an eye exam. I knew I was slowly becoming farsighted because things with very small print got blurry pulled closer instead of clearer. I've also had a slight astigmatism since I had my nearsightedness address with an experimental procedure - since released - known as corneal implants. While I can see and read within more than acceptable limits, I'd like to see without the slight strain it involves.
Now, frames have definitely gone up in price since I last had to wear glasses (15 years ago?) and there was no way I was buying those two weeks ago with rent and storage and bus fare and more all end of month costs. So I put it off until today and, being DDa's birthday, we planned to have her help me pick out frames then go to see The Lorax.
(I don't have any insurance at all, so this is purely out of pocket expenses for me.) Perhaps I should have had them quote me frames + lenses + transitions (what makes them darken outside, lighten inside) beforehand, perhaps I should have decided I wanted more cushion, but I didn't. I had enough for those, groceries, and the movie.
Or, as our change of plans went, dinner instead of movie. Movie is put off. That's not the whoopsies.
The whoopsies was realizing that today being the 10th, my next paycheck on the 16th ... I had completely forgotten the cell bill comes due on the 13th. Eh-heh ... WHOOPSIES. I've texted DDa and DS and let them know we'll be without service from the 14th to the 16th, but I just felt so silly for thinking that was further away.
The tiredsies (okay, silly made up word, I know) is because I was expecting to be sitting through a movie. Instead, plans got adjusted and rearranged such that we wandered a good bit at the mall, wandered a good bit more, then I walked my DDa home. Pedometer called the total 10.5 miles, but that does include the gym - treadmill and elliptical - and general walking in the morning which was about 1/3 of that.
I did do a bit of calf stretching while waiting on the bus home and am icing and elevating my foot now. It's not badly sore or anything, but I could definitely feel the pull in the last bit of walking to get home. I wouldn't have tried the treadmill today if I'd expected to also be on it so much the rest of the day.
And one bit of randomity. One of the health food stores in the mall has a machine out front that can check body stats for a dollar. My DDa had done it earlier and we went back for me to do it later.
Weight: 208.5 lb (fully clothed)
Height: 5' 8.0" (not sure if it includes shoes or subtracts - usually I'm 5' 7.75")
BMI: 32 - Overweight (duh?)
Body Fat: 34% (hand holds to measure this)
Body Fat Mass: 71.2 lb (making my lean mass 137.3)
Weight compared to my home scale which I measure nude first thing in the morning is close enough to be comparable taking clothes into account.
Body Fat % my scale uses feet pads and, I already knew, runs high because of that. (Maybe things like calluses and temperature - but 44-45% doesn't match up with most of the Body Fat % calculators that have me put in measurements either.) The gym's hand version had also put me somewhere around 34-35%.
For my height, my ideal weight range is usually listed as 125 to 165 pounds. Which amuses me to compare those numbers to that Lean Body Mass of 137.3 because with 0% body fat, I couldn't reach the low end without lose notable amounts of bone and muscle mass. I'm not silly enough to even WANT that.
(( IMPORTANT: I don't quite buy into that number though. I'm going to guy my body fat % is actually a little higher. Why? Because with a Lean Body Mass of 137.3, I would have to weight 169 - 174 to be in an 18-22% body fat range, considered healthy. I know that I haven't built up that much muscle yet, so I'd wager the hand measuring tool is underestimating the amount of body fat. Playing with numbers for me this is like daydreaming about how I'd spend $20 million if I won the lotto - fun, but nothing I plan my life around. ))
LOL, just realized I missed getting credit for this blog on the 10th. It's only 11:45 am here and the time change won't occur until 2 am (which will become 3 am). So why can I spin for "tomorrow"? Because SparkPeople rolls over nightly on Eastern time. I've noticed that before because I can't check my streaks after 9 pm or they show as one less than 100%. On the East Coast, it is already 2:45 am sprung forward to 3:45 am. Which is then adjusted to my Pacific time and assumed to be 12:45 am.
Good night Sparklies!
Thursday, March 08, 2012
At the gym on their "Bally TV", one of the things mixed in with everything else are inspirational quotes. After a few days I've seen and read them all, but for some reason one of them struck me again tonight in a different way than I've thought about it before.
I think it may have to do with something I wrote in response to a SparkFriend's blog that was still somewhat fresh in my mind. (Had to do with doing what we can right now rather than focusing on the mountain we need to climb and the cliffs we can't possibly imagine being able to scale.)
== Self-discipline is easy when you believe that you can do it. Clear your mind of can't. -- Samuel Johnson ==
Normally I hone in on that word I like so much - believe. The strength of my belief that I am able to do is what allows me to do so much.
Tonight I caught on the word can't and realized I've been skipping over the second sentence as not being necessary or not important or something.
"Clear your mind of can't" just sounds too ... something. If I can't do something, how am I supposed to just clear my mind of knowing I can't? In a way it is negating the reasoning of the person who believes they can't without providing any solution other than "believe you can". And while I think believing is important, I don't think it magically overrides natural law.
Of course, what it really depends on is what we're saying we can't do.
I can't fly by flapping my arms. No amount of believing I can will change that.
I can't go to the gym right now. STOP!
Now, wait just a minute. What's stopping me from going to the gym? I have feet. The gym is not that far away. I can put my sneakers back on and walk it in half an hour. It is not impossible. Why am I saying I can't?
The problem lies in my failure to clearly identify what it is that I can't do. I know I actually CAN get to the gym, but it closed at 10 pm and won't reopen until 5 am - and it's 1 am right now (.... go to BED, BLUE! Dagnabbit!) What's the point of getting to the gym? It's doing a workout. So CAN get to the gym is true, but CAN get a workout at the gym at 1 am is not. No amount of believing will get me a gym workout right now.
Now that I have my can't statement straight, I can turn things around. I don't clear my mind of can't. I clarify exactly what it is I can't, then turn it around and look at what I can. The reason for wanting to get to the gym would be to do a workout. But workouts don't REQUIRE the gym. Nor do workouts have to be done immediately if I plan tomorrow better.
* I can find and do a workout video in my room right now.
* I can play music and dance energetically.
* I can set my alarm an hour early and go to the gym before work.
* I can work out longer at my next workout.
* I can eat less this week based on how many calories I failed to burn.
* I can plan ahead so I won't get to 1 am and still need a workout in the future.
Some of those aren't the best or even good options for a variety of reasons. It's 1 am. I should be sleeping. No workout is important enough to get an hour less of sleep for me. But unlikely as I am to pick those choices, they are things that I can do.
In fact, there's a lot more that I can do than those I've listed. As long as I sat around telling myself "I can't go to the gym right now", nothing was accomplished. Once I clarified what it was that was impossible to do, I opened my mind to looking for what was possible.
This made me think of the Sherlock Holmes quote: "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
If we clarify our can't to be the impossible, we can look at the possible and the improbable, and find the truth of what we can.
Oh, and since it wasn't at all obvious, that was just an example. The gym for me is right next to my bus transfer point coming home from work. The only day I had an issue, I'd forgotten to pack my workout shirt and the sweater I had on wasn't workable. Home is 15-20 by bus, so I just went home, changed clothes, and went back and got my workout done. I've accidentally gone one stop past and walked back. Really, there is NO legitimate reason I should ever be saying "I can't get to the gym" in my current circumstances.
Get An Email Alert Each Time BLUE42DOWN Posts