Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Between the 30 day blog challenge and the BLC#20 RINGO weekend challenge, I missed two other things.
The first is this, my monthly goal review and new month goal planning.
The second is my three-month fitness testing and review of the "State of the Blue". I need to figure out which day to squeeze that into. When I first started it, I wasn't a member of the gym yet and my strength-training was simple body weight exercises from SP, so attempting some pushups and squats was mainly challenging in its own way. Now ... either I do all of them on the same day as my ST or on the rest day in-between. Oh my, oh my. I'm thinking I might put it off until Saturday - which is also more convenient for getting to the blood pressure machine at the pharmacy.
*Crosses fingers that another BLC#20 challenge doesn't make Saturday a super busy day*
With no further ado:
== September goals ==
1) Weight stably below 175 pounds.
-- Hit my new low of 174.5, bounced up, bounced back down and seem to be sticking, so !
2) Adjust calorie range and workouts.
-- I made the mistake of trying to adjust my calorie range first (changed my fitness setup expectation of calories burned). Then I went a tad overboard to meet all the challenge requirements and burned as much, if not more, than usual. My calorie range is raised back up and this time I need to reduce the workouts first, and eat lower in my range to compensate until I find the balance I want.
3) Track the main vitamins.
-- Added in all the vitamins and minerals I wanted to see. I actually seem to go over on a couple pretty often, and two are consistently under but could be more a matter of under-reported information in the Nutrition Tracker. (Specifically Magnesium and Potassium are under, which are very inconsistently reported on packaged foods - so I could be doing fine and not be able to tell. Iron and calcium tend to be over, but not so terribly so that I need to panic.)
4) Next chapter of 7 Habits and start on practical.
-- I finished reading the chapter. I've got a goal elsewhere to get through the Mission Statement which is built as part of the practicals. Then I got distracted and haven't looked at it since. I do actually have a very specific plan for doing this, but want to have an hour or more of uninterrupted time and full focus to do it.
5) Get registered for Oktoberfest and Turkey Trot.
-- I printed the Oktoberfest registration form, but have to wait for next week to write the check. Turkey Trot sent me one email, but I had a little trouble seeing if registration was open yet and didn't go back. Definitely want to get both of these done this coming week IF I don't have any surprise expenses (*mentally eyeballs DDa*).
6) Begin preparing for sleep at midnight as often as possible.
-- Do the last four days count? So, I did okay with this at first, but it's definitely lacking something as a goal - a target. Saying "as often as possible" was laughable, because I didn't bother to keep track of how often I did it. I will say that I probably did it about half of the time, and the last four day I was lights out at 11:30 pm as part of the BLC#20 challenge to get 7-8 hours of sleep, but it wasn't as often as possible. No more sleep goals for me for a while. I will avoiding staying up excessively late, but I've not had as much trouble staying asleep as I have the last four days that I went to bed early.
== October goals ==
1) Weight seeing new low of 170.5 at least once.
2) Reduce cardio on weight days to 20 minutes before (warmup) and 27 minutes walk home. Review difference at end of month. Adjust eating as needed.
3) Plan and make at least two meals in skillet and/or slow cooker.
4) See if I can beat a my 42:08 PR in the Oktoberfest 5k.
5) Have at least the bare bones structure of my mission statement together.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
22. What is your current workout/fitness routine?
Currently I do cardio every day and weight work three days a week -- Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
For cardio, my order of preference right now is Recumbent Bike, Elliptical, and Stationary BIke . I will on rare occasions use the Treadmill, but as I do not run, the Elliptical is a better option usually - and I prefer my walking outside.
For weights, I do a full-body workout all three days - most of it on machines , a couple things with dumbbells , and a few body weight exercises .
I always finish up with stretches , especially a couple that are good for calves and achilles tendons (which have really helped with my foot's plantar fascii).
In addition to that, I throw in walks. It's about 1.6 miles from the gym to home and I can usually walk that in 27 minutes (which includes getting stopped at a couple of lights and walking in small circles until they change). These aren't normally a deliberate workout so much as having the energy and deciding to enjoy the fresh air. The funny thing is it takes me only a couple minutes longer than the bus ride, so if I'd have waited more than a few minutes for the bus, I beat it home.
While that is my current workout routine, I'm actually trying to adjust it. The challenge is to find the right combination of changes and to decide which advice is most beneficial to listen to. Sometimes it can be confusing. For example, cardio first or weights first?
Seriously I just tried a Google search of this and the results were:
1) Weights first
2) Weights First
3) Separate days
4) Depends (muscle build = Weights, cardio endurance = Cardio, Burns Fat = Depends, Health = Doesn't matter)
5) Cardio first (but consider separate days better)
6) Depends (similar to previous one)
7) Depends on Condition and Mindset.
And I stopped there. SparkPeople has a quiz with a True or False that says Cardio first. But they also have an article in which three different SP fitness experts give their own answers which, unsurprisingly, vary. I do like Nicole Nichols' start to her answer, though: "What I always say matters most is that you're actually doing both cardio and strength training". Get doing it first, fine tune it later. Which is pretty much where I'm at now, I think. I'm ready to start fine-tuning and working toward a more efficient (and hopefully effective) routine.
Had to get my little meditation moment on that. I do have general ideas of what I want to change:
I want to get less cardio, ideally scheduling an actual rest day when I don't go to the gym. I've been thinking about Saturday which would be active rest with all my normal running around - errands and fun both.
I want to challenge myself with two more of the cardio machines at the gym (ergometer and rowing machine), both of which I'd been hesitant to try while my upper body was so weak. I'd like to see what sort of cardio effort those would take for me. (I remember using the rowing machine 20-some years ago, but do I remember my form?)
I ~NEED~ to reduce the length of my cardio workouts on my weight days. This one's a certainty. I started with 40 minute cardio workouts, but as I got stronger on the elliptical or bike, I went longer. Now I'm regularly exceeding what some studies recommend of no more than 45 minutes on a weight day.
I would like to figure out a good way to swap my weight days from full-body all three days to focusing more on one area (arms or legs) on specific days.
I would like to expand the variety of weight exercises I do without completely losing the ability to track my progress. I really don't care for absurd looking moves like throwing medicine balls at the floor. But I want more options for my hamstrings than a lying leg curl machine and I want to make sure I'm keeping all of my arms, shoulders, chest and upper back in balance - not just the muscles I'm working most.
Well, there we go. I wonder what my answer to this question would be a year from now.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Oh my gracious, so many GOYBAD.
Trying to do more than a couple of those on TOP of all the other working out going on ... on TOP of the fact I tend to run music while I'm waiting on the bus, standing and dancing all the time. I truly am going to have to ease up after what this weekend challenge and my own decisions had me doing.
First, my 10 things I am grateful of:
1) that the weather was gorgeous this weekend
2) that I can, with words and SparkGoodies and sometimes just my pictures, encourage and cheer on others
3) ebooks - a constant book supply without stopping at the library
4) libraries - because there's still something special about turning pages sometimes
5) my best friend, even when he's busy and quiet
6) my health - I can't remember the last time i was sick
7) my imagination - I can daydream and fantasize without losing my grounding in reality
8) my ability to get things done when I choose to focus full attention on them
9) my job - even if I want to change, it is stable and pays more than my basic needs
10) my ability to not just get through a Cycling class, but to do it after a walk/run and follow it with a brisk walk home.
That last one ... I'm feeling tired today. There's a couple of reasons, not least of which was three days of walk/runs on the treadmill on top of outside walking on top of regular cardio workouts, and my ST on Sunday. Another reason was the getting to bed at 11:30 pm has not been working well. Every night I've been unable to sleep solidly, half-awake at 3 am and 5 am, tossing and turning. And the last is the monthly visitor showed up this morning.
Do I let any of that slow me down? Oh, no. I plan for an hour-long Cycling class (basically Spin, I think). But that won't be good enough. I need the walk/run too. So at 6 pm I start a 20 minute set of intervals of 4 mph walk and 6.5 or 7 mph runs, a minute each. At 6:30 pm, I'm in the spinning room learning how to get set up. Done at 7:30 pm. Maybe I could have actually pushed a little harder. I wasn't quite sure just how far to push it and be able to survive the whole class.
So, done right?
Oh, no, not yet. I'm going to walk home from the gym again too. Briskly, as usual.
Nope, still not quite done. I have a little ST to do for another square. Squat time. Ouchies. Why did I leave the leg ones for today?!
I may not have a rest day planned tomorrow, but running is definitely OFF the schedule. As I mentioned in my status one day, it has caused notable aches and twinges in my shins, calves and ankles (no injury, just fussy). BUT, the notably body part not mentioned - my knees - haven't complained AT ALL. That is a major win right there. The cycling class also didn't bother my knees.
I seriously credit strength training (quads - leg press/squat, hamstrings - lying leg curl, calves - calf raises). Strength training is about more than muscles. It's encourages bone density. It strengthens ligaments and tendons. Combine it with lots of stretching to maintain flexibility in the joints that need it (ankles and hips) and keep the muscles limber, plus the obvious fact of losing many pounds of weight, and my knees are rather happy campers.
Finishing off, I think the only minus for me from this challenge was that I did things I wouldn't normally do - but didn't really find many that I'd keep doing as a matter of course. The food I cut out all four days will be back in my normal routine tomorrow, my sleep schedule will go back to normal tomorrow, I'm not running again except as part of a future challenge, I'm not going to consistently eat fish. But, the plus is that I did do things for 1 to 4 days that I otherwise was not pulling off as a monthly goal (the sleep thing) and learned some things I am more capable of than expected.
And now "This Bird Has Flown" (better known as Norwegian Wood).
Monday, October 01, 2012
( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
21. Did you or do you have any disordered eating habits - binging, purging, excessive calorie restriction or excessive exercise? How did develop (or how are you developing) a healthier relationship with food?
The closest I've come to any would probably be "binging", but what I do is more the kind of mindless finish the packet or wanting more than 2 cookies or one donut and eating several more servings. I don't have the secretiveness, the loss of control / inability to stop, or the post-eating guilt, so I don't think of them as binges in the sense of an eating disorder.
I'm having to be careful on the exercise too. I do limit my gym workouts to no more than 70 minutes of cardio, more usually 40-60 minutes, and 3 days a week of lifting. I had been planning to create a rest day in there and reduce my cardio on lifting days to 40-45 minutes, but didn't do so this past week. (In addition, I don't work out harder or longer to make up for overeating. If anything, I eat more when I'm hungry because I worked out more.)
Something not mentioned, and not really an eating disorder, is a food issue I did develop growing up. That was racing to finish my meals. If we wanted seconds, with six kids and two adults, we had to finish quickly because there was a chance any good food would be gone. If we wanted to escape the horror known as family time over dinner, we ate as fast as possible (until a rule was made that we couldn't leave until fifteen minutes after dinner started).
Even after moving out, I ate fast. I can eat like an assembly line, taking a new bite while still chewing several other bites and swallowing as they got chewed enough. (( There was some other stuff that went on due to my step mother's "health food" crazes, but none of those survived past moving out -- sneaking sweet foods, such as carob chips or brown sugar, and even stealing money to buy food outside the house. ))
The most important thing I do for my relationship with food is really and truly take the time to appreciate it. That's partly an effort to combat the feeling I need to race to finish my food. It's also because I feel it is stupid of me to say I love food, and then to eat it in a way that doesn't allow me to actually appreciate it.
Monday, October 01, 2012
Today's title is dedicated to the fact I was out more than I was home, and only now at 10:37 pm am I finally done with all the running about and settling in to finish off the last few things such as my list of 10 things I'm grateful for.
I am grateful that:
1) Salmon doesn't taste too terrible, so I was able to eat dinner just fine.
2) I don't have to eat seafood as a matter of course.
3) My KNEES haven't hurt at all from the running!
4) I got the big fat case for my smartphone, because I drop it plenty
5) I've managed to befriend the landlord's dog so well he follows me around now
6) Today was sunny and warm, perfect for all the walking I did
7) I have this room to rent, which costs me barely more monthly than a car costs some people
8) The laundromat wasn't too crowded, so I didn't have to wait on washers
9) Both the restaurant and the laundromat had the same game playing, so I saw most of it
10) My DDa's uncle/wife told her to spend the rent money (I gave her last month) to pay for her classes, so she's attending this quarter
So, yes, per the first item there, I went out to dinner and had Norwegian salmon steamed with ginger, on top of tomatoes, bok choy, asparagus and shiitake mushrooms. It wasn't terrible. I didn't have to choke it down. Which was a blessing. With that out of the way, it wasn't something I'd choose to have under normal circumstances. Beef has so much more flavor on its own, chicken absorbs the food flavors, while seafood tends to have a fishy aftertaste no matter what. So ... I don't hate seafood with the same passion I reserve for brussels sprouts and cilantro, but it still won't make a regular appearance in my meals.
Regarding the cilantro - interesting snippet I learned on that. Most people either love it or hate it. Those who hate it apparently lack the ability to recognize a particular "savory" taste. Without that savory taste, the bitterness is the strongest flavor. Those who can recognize the savory aren't overwhelmed by the bitterness. (Add to that the fact I do NOT like bitter foods at all, which is part of why I never learned to like coffee, and it's amazing I ever manage to enjoy Mexican food with the cilantro obsession some restaurants some have.)
And, slightly TMI, but my clothes to set aside today are bras. I've been wearing 38DDD normally and using my older 40DDD as my workout ones. Last week I finally picked up my order of 36DDD (had to special order - stores don't routinely carry them). It's been nice to swap to those for normal wear, and now that I've washed those largest ones, they're on the outs. Of course, this has only made me realize I also need to replace some other too large underthings. I only have 14/16, 16/18, and a few 18/20. I'm wearing 12s. The 18/20s will be tomorrow's sort out clothes.
Ending off here so I can get the last couple things done and meet my 11:30 pm bedtime. Fun has been had, a good habit practiced, a bad habit avoided, a treat has made me feel fine, and I've let go of something.
One more day of this ... and then NO MORE RUNNING.
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