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Made it to DC

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I think that was the smoothest flight, taxi ride, and check-in of my travel time here the past few years. It helped that I wasn't in a rush so I felt I could just take my time with each step. Also helped that my seat belt buckled without a problem. ;) Checked in at the hotel early and then took off to find the Eastern Market. They were supposed to have a farmer's market outside until 5pm today, so around 1pm I took off and walked the 1.5 miles using the GPS on my phone as a guide.

The market was great! I wish we had something like this at home. It was like a huge street fair with tons of vendors selling all kinds of things. And the samples...oh, the samples!! YUM! I hadn't eaten since 8am, so I ended up munching on a chunk of white peach, a slice of yellow peach, and a bit of garlic and chives hummus on a chip and a bit of medium fresh salsa on a chip. NOM! It was enough to hold me over...and the peaches were so friggin' amazing that I bought 2 to bring back to the hotel with me! (Yellow ones, not the white, which were kinda meh...) I then walked a little more and found the little flea market area. I'd already finished the water I had on the walk there and it's so hot out today that I needed something else, but I didn't feel like junk food or sugary lemonade or anything. I eventually passed by a stand and the words "Iced Green Tea" caught my eye. It was great. Just enough flavor to not be straight water, but not overly flavored. I added a bit of Splenda and it was perfect to cool me down and rehydrate me.

By then, I'd walked a mile and a half and it was HOT...and I still needed to go to the grocery store. Before I left the market I found a big mixed bag with two huge peppers (one red, one yellow) and a bunch of mushrooms for $4! It was exactly what I wanted! But I needed protein, and the walk back was LONG and I hopped on the subway and found my way back to the safeway near my hotel and got chicken breast, reduced fat sour cream, tortilla shells, low sodium taco seasoning, black beans puree (instead of refried beans), olive oil cooking spray - and my two "dirty" picks = a slice of triple chocolate mousse cake and some tomato basil bisque (SO good!). I walked (1/2 a mile maybe?) back and collapsed on the bed.

And now I'm bored.


Ate a peach. YUM!
Ate my slice of cake. Yeah,. that was pretty good too.
And now I'm just sitting here wishing I had the energy to swim but knowing my legs feel like jello right now...maybe later? to a good start. A two hour hike for healthy groceries.

Now what?! *lol*

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 6/27/2012 7:31PM

    I wish I was into this healthy lifestyle thing when I lived in Brooklyn. The Farmers Market in Union Square is amazing.

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JEREMY723 6/12/2012 5:06PM

    Did some comments get deleted? I'm just getting to your blog now and there's only one comment? What's up with that! I hope that you're having as good time in DC as you can!

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MUSOLF6 6/10/2012 6:24PM

    Glad you made it safely to DC. It sounds like you had a good time shopping. emoticon

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8-Week Challenge - Week 1 Recap/Week 2 Goals

Friday, June 08, 2012

emoticon The Beginning
Week ONE

June 1st - Weigh-in and take all measurements with tape measure and body fat % tool (should be arriving at my doorstep today). Probably headed out of town this night to head up to M'town for the wedding and to meet with my mom. -- (Food) 3279 (Workout) None

(Food) 2608
(Workout) 0
Net = 2608

2nd - Will be either traveling there and back or just traveling back after being at Mom's resort. There is pool access and MIGHT be access to a gym. If not, there are always roads to walk/run, although my foot hurts today and I won't want to stress it with a run if it doesn't feel good this weekend. (Food) 3279 (Workout) Swim or Run or Something

(Food) 3003
(Workout) 574 calorie lap swim at resort's fitness center lap pool
Net = 2429

3rd - No clue if I have to work at Kroger. Need to cook, clean, do groceries and coupon. (Food) 2821 (Workout) None

(Food) 2098
(Workout) 0
Net = 2098

4th - Back to work! And the gym (if needed). (Food) 1789 (Workout) ST (30m)

(Food) 2671
(Workout) 0
Net = 2671

* A little bummed I didn't do my ST routine, but I did use my lunch break to go grocery shopping for my lunches for the week which turned out to be a GREAT idea as my work food consumption was pretty good.

5th - (Food) 1789 (Workout) 6am Lap Swim (2 laps, rest for 12 breaths x 10 = 400 yards)

(Food) 2967
(Workout) 492 calorie lap swim at the pool (I've progressed more than I expected)
Net = 2475

6th - (Food) 1789 (Workout) ST (30m)

(Food) 2540
(Workout) 170 calories from 24 minutes of ST on lunch break
Net = 2370

7th - (Food) 1789 (Workout) 6am Lap Swim (2 laps, rest for 12 x 10 = 400)

(Food) 2847
(Workout) 410 calorie lap swim (again, progressed more than expected)
Net = 2437

Weight on June 1st: 309.8
Weight on June 8th: 307.2
Body Fat % on June 1st: 47.1%
Body Fat % on June 8th: 47.3%

Average net calories for the week = 2441

Okay, so I guess I didn't do quite as bad as I had thought all week. Of course many of these are best guess estimates, but TDEE is supposed to be around 3300, my BMR around 2140, so I ate in between that on average every week, which is what I'm supposed to be doing.

So I'm going to try to stick to that number through the week. 2440 is a good number...let's see if it's MY number for weight loss right now.

I know my body fat % went up .2%, but I measured at a different time last week, so I'm not too awful worried about that.

A note on my weekly workouts -
I LOVE swimming and I'm so glad I finally have a place to do laps. Hoping I get some alone time in the hotel pool next week so I can keep it up. Only one ST session and three swims this week, but my body is SORE SORE SORE - especially in the legs, abs, and shoulders/chest area, which is probably a credit both to the ST AND the swimming I'm doing.

The plan for next week -
Keep it up! Try to average 2440 for each day in the week. Try not to be so hard on myself. Really enjoy my time and if I eat a little more, I know I have time to workout a little more as I will have a LOT of time to myself this week.


emoticon General Mode B2W
Week TWO

8th - Weigh-in and body fat measurements to be taken. LAUNDRY AND PACK!!! 5h15m at second job (6p - 11:15p). - (Food) 1789 (Workout) None

9th - PACK!!!!!! 5.5h at 2nd job (6:30p - 12a) - (Food) 1789 (Workout) Run

10th - Leave on the plane for DC around 10am. Hope to shop for healthy groceries for the week and get tons of fresh local veggies and fruits at the local farmer's market. Will be in the hotel most of the day after shopping for supplies. - (Food) 2821 (Workout) Swim (Week 2 - Day One of 0 to 1650 program)

11th - In DC, first day of training - (Food) 3279 (Workout) ST (30m)

12th - In DC, second day of training - (Food) 1789 (Workout) Swim (Week 2 - Day 2 of 0 to 1650)

13th - In DC, third day of training. May meet a friend for dinner or grab some sushi out in Chinatown by myself if she's unavailable. - (Food) 3279 (Workout) ST (30m)

14th - In DC, fourth day of training - (Food) 1789 (Workout) Swim (Week 2 - Day 3 of 0 to 1650)

15th - In DC, last day of training. Will be taking a flight back home and won't be home until around 7pm. There will be travel food this day as it is unavoidable unless I simply do not eat. Thankfully, DC airports have many choices, and some of them reasonably healthy. - (Food) 1789 (Workout) None

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JEREMY723 6/9/2012 6:56AM

    Sounds like you have it all planned out! I'm glad that you can keep track of it, I'd be totally confused:) I hope that you have a great week!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 6/8/2012 8:24PM

    Complicated plan but I know you got it! Keep to the plan!

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An Eye Twitchin' Good Time

Thursday, June 07, 2012

No, seriously, my eye has been twitching for and on anyhow. Honestly, the last time it twitched this much was Tuesday...which was the last time I swam. Maybe that means something, or maybe it doesn't.

Laps this morning in what I now have determined is a 25 meter pool (and if I'm wrong, I don't really give a crap *lol*). Just happy I got my butt out the door this AM to get it in. The pool in the morning is a joyous thing because I get it all to myself. I can't wait until my swimming workouts get a little longer, though, as I got to work this morning 20 minutes early. *facepalm* If you work a 10-hour-day, you don't want to add an extra 20 minutes onto it if not necessary, ya know?!

Today's Swim Workout:

100m warm-up, various strokes
4 x 100m, rest for 12 between 100s
4 x 50m, rest for 8 between 50s
4 x 25m, rest for 4 between 25s
50m cool down and a good long stretch

Total distance: 850m
Total time: about 25 minutes

I think I've finally hit my grove here and I'm really loving it. I even love that I smell like pool the entire rest of the day because of my morning swims. It's like taking a little badge along with me that says, "I Worked Out Today!" and it makes me feel happy and proud all day.

Only little sour bit this AM was that I got a cramp in my foot in my second to last workout lap. I stretched as much as I could in the pool but it followed me to the showers. Took my entire shower to work the stupid cramp out of my right foot, but I'm sure the stretching (both in the pool and in the shower) helped a lot. Maybe I need to stretch a little more before my swim. I do a bit, but probably not enough. It still doesn't feel like much of a workout, so it just seems strange to think of it in these terms and worry about stretches, warming up, cooling down, etc.

As for my food. *sigh* What can I say? Every single night this week I've fallen apart and binged a bit. This is either because my eating plan isn't working physically for my body and I get really hungry OR because I'm mentally a wreck. I have a feeling it might be both. Making a few MINOR adjustments this week and just calling this week another week of metabolism recovery. It shouldn't mean a huge gain on the scale, but I don't expect a loss either. Would be nice to get a little bit, but I'm not holding my breath. Besides, who is to say that any loss I do get isn't part of this up-down-up-down plateau I'm on?

FYI people - plateaus are HARD.
One month is not a plateau.
Talk to me after 2 months and I might be able to hear you.
Come to me when it's 6 months or more and we can cry together.
A half a year is a long time to stick with something you feel isn't working. (Even though you know it is, just not the way you want it to.)

I thought of going for a run when I got home last night. I had already walked to the gym at lunch and got in a quick ST workout during my lunch break, but I had heard it was National Running Day and I thought it might be nice. By the time I ate my dinner and had my little bingefest, I totally forgot. Actually, no, I remembered, and pushed the thought away and stuck my butt on the couch and didn't move. For whatever reason, I wasn't mentally up for a run last night. (I think I was afraid I wouldn't be able to or it would hurt and I'd be back to where I was again. Going to have to get over this fear eventually (read: Saturday), but for last night I crawled into a ball and pretended I didn't want to run.)

As for my ST yesterday?
I have no program or plan.
Basically because I wasn't sure what equipment they had at this gym.
So I just went over to wing it and pulled out some sets on a Lying Leg Press Machine (okay, this thing is weird...more squat than leg press...but a squat on your back - I couldn't lift as heavy as my leg press with legs in the air, but it felt like a great workout), Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns, Ab Twist Machine, the two Hip Machines (you know what I'm talking about), and a few sets of Leg Extensions and Chest Presses. I'm a bit bummed that there is no squat rack at this gym, but I can work this for a bit and still get results, I know that.

Tomorrow is weigh in and measure day. Tomorrow will have been one week of trying. I did a lot of good this week, and some bad, but all this just means there is room for improvement. On the whole, I'd love to say my headspace is clearing up, but you can tell from yesterday's blog that it's really not...I'm just pushing through. I'm just hoping that if I stick to it for 8 full weeks, this plan will help me break the plateau. If not, I hate to say this, but I might be lost. I may take a month off and just let myself heal from the scars I've built up the past few months of hating my body for not doing what I'm trying to make it do. I might need some time to heal from feeling like a failure. And, let's face it, my body might just need a good long break to deal with itself so it can lose again. I'm not saying that's the plan. The plan right now is to stick to it these 8 weeks and see what happens...but I have "What if it still doesn't work?" in my head following me around daily.

Ending on a happy note -- my hairs are getting cut on Saturday! Yay! It's been since February and I'm ready to go back to short for summer (also because it will make putting my swim cap on that much easier! *lol*). Honestly, I'm mostly just looking forward to them thinning it out and straightening it (as I haven't had time to do this in MONTHS!).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 6/27/2012 7:29PM

    Oy don't even talk to me about platueas. I feel ya there! I hadn't lost weight since December 2010. Finally I broke through! It takes hard work and sometimes it takes more but what that "more" is can be tricky!
PS. Here comes the comment bomb! BBbbrrrrrmmmmm ::BAM:: (that was a rocket flying in and exploding just so you know, lol)

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Soaked...and Random Thoughts

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

NOTE: This is a brain dump from someone who is struggling. Like most of my recent blogs, I guess. And I suspect that will mean that you won't enjoy reading it, so please don't feel obligated to. I know I'm not the most pleasant person to be around right now, but I'm hoping that I'll pull myself out of it soon. I will tell you though, all this mental crap is totally tied to the non-progress I feel on the scale. Whether you think that's wrong or right doesn't matter, because whether or not I like it myself, it's severely affecting my sense of self right now. I live in this society with all of you and my weight makes me akin to lepers by this society's standards - so it is any wonder that I feel that way sometimes?

Crazy stupid dream last night involving me, my husband, and some other couple who were hot and gorgeous (especially the woman). I woke up and tried to brush the whole thing off, but the one thought that woke me up just wouldn't leave me -- I will never look good naked. I ended up crying in the shower and while I dressed for work. Sometimes this is the battle I have with myself to continue. It's my "what's the point" moment. It's my "all is already lost" conflict in my head. This was a very difficult morning.

And no doubt part of my loss of confidence has been from my slip-ups each night this week. I must say that I'm doing much better right now than I was the past few weeks, but it's not the determination and drive and stick-to-it-ness that I once had and it's been weighing down my mind with guilt and shame. And each morning I get up and try to be better. Hopefully today will be the day I finally break through. Each day I hope that, but I really do hope my day is coming soon. Because I know if I keep trying each day, one day I will break my cycle again and pull myself back up and out and be on my way with the drive and determination I know I have in me. I just have to get through that first day and go to bed proud of myself.

I'll keep trying.
Maybe today.

Other things on my mind?

I had been seriously looking forward to going to the amusement park on Monday when I get back from DC, and then last night the plans started to change. Mom would rather do something else, and me? Well, just like a 5-year-old, I want all of it. I want to try to do both. The outdoor drama she wants to do on Monday and then the amusement park on Tuesday. This is the only thing I'll have this year resembling a vacation, so I really do want to enjoy it and make some great memories...but I can tell Hubs isn't really into it...and that makes me want to just forget the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, he's agreed to go, but little comments he makes tell me that he's only doing it because he wants to make me happy. This is a regular theme with us and I wish we could get past it because I always plan the trips and activities, and he never wants to do them, but he always has fun doing them just the same and brags about them to his friends when it's over. Yet, the whole time we're doing said activity, I worry that I'm not keeping him entertained and he'd rather do what HE wanted to do, which is always just relax and chill at home or something else I'd otherwise consider quite boring.

No clue on what we'll do yet, but my stomach is in knots over it.

Not only because I don't know what to do, but because even doing what I want to do is going to be scary for me. I haven't been to an amusement park since I was about 16 years old...and I gained a lot of weight between then and becoming an adult and just figured it was best if I didn't go. When we went to Disney World in 2004 before I started losing my weight, I actually researched which rides I might be able to squeeze into (and found a wonderful site for it!) but I'm not finding anything like that for King's Island and I'm terrified. I want to try to ride a ride - just one - just to see if I can. But I'm unsure.

I THINK I'm the same size, if not smaller, than I was in high school when I was able to ride them, but then I'm not so sure about that because the size of jeans between 1999 and today have changed SO much with vanity sizing (don't kid yourself, they all do it now) - plus the fit is SO different nowadays so I have really no clue if this size is the same, even if my weight is still a bit higher. And I can buckle nearly every plane seatbelt now (the last time there was one tiny little turboprop - and I mean TINY - that required an extender, but just barely...I think I might be able to buckle them all now), so I'm thinking that's a sign that I might be able to ride without problem. But airplane seat belts are not roller coasters and that's like comparing apples to oranges maybe. So, yeah, I'm nervous because I could get there and try and then have to do the walk of shame. And I'm more scared about my soul being hurt than my pride. I can take the humiliation - I've lived with it most of my life and have gotten pretty good at toughening up and reminding myself that the people around me don't know me and I won't see them again so it doesn't matter - but I don't know if I could take the hurt to my soul from realizing I'm not as far along as I say I am.

But I want to conquer that fear.
Because I won't know until I try.
But I'm scared.

And next week is my DC trip and I'm both sad and happy that I'm going alone. Part of me thinks about all the sleep I can catch up on, about spending hours in the hotel gym doing whatever the hell I think might help me fall over the side of this stupid plateau. Time for myself is something I very seldom get, so a week of it should prove great for my mind, heart and soul, right?! Maybe. I'm scared I'll be bored out of my mind and sad that my Hubs and kids aren't there...that there isn't ANYONE to share it with. Because I'd love to make friends with my classmates and be invited out to drinks, but I never seem to be in the loop on these things and I wonder what it is about me that makes other people just not want to befriend me. Perhaps I'm just someone people don't care to get to know. The last time I was there I was invited out for drinks. The time before that, I simply wasn't. The entire group went, and I didn't go, and I can't remember if I rejected the invitation (because my kids and Hubs were there with me at the time) or I simply wasn't invited. And I'm starting to worry that I'm either not a good friend or else just not good at making friends.

I'm doubting myself a lot lately.
I thought I knew who I was and what I wanted, but...I'm a bit lost.

Nothing is going as I planned. And, boy, can I plan!
And I just don't know how other people do it.
How do they just let people in?
How do they make friends so easily?
How do they keep them?

I felt a part of something for a while, but now I'm back to feeling like I'm on the outside looking in.
I guess this is the mental part they tell us all about.
I feel like all I've done for 2 years is work on the mental part and I'm sick to death of being mental all the time. (pun intended)
I'm having a lot of self-doubt and I don't know how to feel okay with myself or proud of myself any longer.

When my weightloss stalled, I felt like my entire life came to a huge halt.
I was doing something great, and now I'm just spinning my wheels.

And I say all this not knowing what this week holds for me weight and body fat % wise but not having a lot of hope of good things because every single night this week I've fallen apart somehow. And if you want to move forward, you can't keep putting your tail between your legs and running back to the start every day. You have to keep moving forward by taking one step beyond the last one you took before - but lately I just feel myself retreating because I don't want to fight for something I can never have. I don't want to be disappointed yet again in life. Everything I was told to do to get what I wanted I have done. And every time it has ended in my crushed hopes and dreams. I was just hoping this was one thing I could actually win. But I'm so scared of failing that I'm not ready just yet to try to succeed. Because I don't want to be disappointed in myself. I don't want other people to be disappointed in me either. And I often feel like I'm just giving in to what they expected of me anyhow. No one expected this to last. No one thought I could break the cycle that started 2 generations ago without outside help, which many in my family have turned to. I'm the only one trying to do this on my own the hard way, and I'm the one who isn't having any success - which just may prove that they're right and there is no hope. Or it may just prove that I'm not up to the challenge.

And I'm feeling quite abandoned by friends both here and IRL. Which is probably my fault somehow because I disappointed them by not being what they wanted me to be. And I don't know whether I should just be okay with that - because why change who you are so that other people like you? But shouldn't we change the bad things about ourselves so that we become better people? And how can SO many people be wrong and I'm right? That's not usually the case. If 50 people are telling you that there's something wrong with you out of 60...well, maybe there's something to that.


I'm a friggin' mess!

ST workout today at lunch. No excuses this time. I have no love for it right now, but I will figure out a plan of action and will get in as much ST as I can on my break. Maybe that will help me make it over the hump.

I'll go back and update my Week 1 blog with yesterday's stats, which probably aren't very pretty. Hell, at least I swam, right?! I did something right, at least. *sigh* Too bad "not too bad" doesn't get me ANYWHERE these days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 6/7/2012 9:37AM

    Oh wow Esther this blog really hit home for me too. First, the friends thing and then the quote "When my weightloss stalled, I felt like my entire life came to a huge halt.
I was doing something great, and now I'm just spinning my wheels. " Yup and yup. Since starting back at school, I feel a little loss in the friendship world. My friends at home seem to have forgotten about me even though I'm home every weekend and I haven't made any real friends at school. Its not you, its just the situation I think. But I just wanted to let you know I feel ya. And as for the second thing, the stalled and weight loss, I feel that too! Sometimes I wonder why the hell I blog every day when I have nothing to report. My running had stalled, I'm not losing weight (and in fact gained) and I noticed blog comments declined (I almost feel lame admitting that I check that!). But I just keep trying. Life can't be up all the time. Things will turn around if you just keep pushing and you will find a new groove!
emoticon emoticon

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MANLEYSANDY 6/6/2012 2:29PM

    Ester, I think that 165 pounds of weight loss is a shining success. I think you are a wonderful mother and wife, true successes! Your are smart, a great writer, beautful, all successes!!! I read your blogs daily, you are in my prayers, I think of you so often and how hard you work on every aspect of your life and wish there was something that would make it all better! I am here if you need me!

All I can is, do what you feel is best for you, but you are a star and don't forget it!!

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TREP13 6/6/2012 1:56PM


I would tell you not to give up or give in but I know you won't because you're a tough cookie. A healthy cookie of course. ;)

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ARUNNINGKAT 6/6/2012 1:21PM

    Esther, I completely understand what you are going through. I experience some of the same things not only on weight loss but every area of my life. I can't begin to tell you the mental battles I have had with myself the past several months, mostly in the area of getting my life in order. My house is a cluttered mess, I am running behind most of the time, I am not making much progress on weight loss, my projects aren't getting done nearly as fast as they should and the worst part is that I often come home too tired and demoralized to do anything about it. And to top it all off, my husband and kids are brutal sometimes about my failings and that just makes it worse. The funny thing is that I noticed a few weeks ago when I had received some compliments from a few people right in a row that it immediately changed my outlook and I suddenly felt up to the challenges in front of me. SO, I am hoping that what I am about to say will help change your outlook, like other people have done for me. Esther, I don't know you very well, but I always read your blogs and I think you are amazing!! You are so smart, ambitious and determined. And you have the courage to pursue your dreams... a courage that not everyone has. You can achieve your goals! And I know you will! Before long you will look back and this time will just be a little bump in the road on your path to your fitness and weight goals. emoticon

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KATIE2POINT0 6/6/2012 11:24AM

    So, I'm pretty sporadic on here. One week I'm on, then I don't sign in again for like 3... I'm a disaster area. I also feel very out of the loop with the friends I had made on here but that is completely my own fault. That being said, I always read your blogs and check in on how you are doing because you are absolutely one of my favs from my days with AB. You are encouraging, kind, funny, inspirational... I could go on and on. I know you're in a dark place right now so it's easy to fall into beating up on yourself but don't think for a second people who meet you don't like you or you're not good at keeping friends. You're an amazing woman and you're doing an amazing job.

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ROMNEY3 6/6/2012 9:56AM

    emoticon just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Enjoy each day the best you can and start fresh each morning.

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MAGPIE17 6/6/2012 9:28AM

    E, I believe you can do this - not hope, believe. Don't overthink - when I overthink, I struggle. When I enjoy the process, I do a lot better. Hugs, hon. I'm sorry this is a tough time.

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VICKYMARIEC 6/6/2012 9:08AM

    {{{{HUGS}}}} Girl, we have all been there. There isn't a month taht goes by (and not because of TOM) that i don't cry myself to sleep because i'm always "just one of the guys" or taht my marriage had failed 4 years ago and now i'm in a place i NEVER thought i'd be. And sometimes i love my friends and sometimes i wish i could run away from them. I cry because i'm lonely. The point is, it's normal.

Now the weight loss thing...thats the part taht i really hate. And i read all of your blogs and i see what you are doing. That dang scale should be moving! I'll say what you told me - change it up (my summation!). The moment i changed my workouts and ate differently the scale started moving.

Know that you aren't alone. {{{{HUGE HUGS}}}}

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It Doesn't Feel Like Work

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

"Work" out. The term implies that some WORK must be done, some effort must be put into the equation. And, for most of us, work isn't exactly a fun thing we look forward to. That being said, I enjoy a lot of my workouts. I guess I'm just one of those lucky people who like working out. Or, better yet, I like the results of working out. I like how it makes me feel, I like the earned sweat, I like the pride in myself that bursts through my chest after a difficult workout I felt I couldn't survive but somehow did. I chase that high all the damn time - and it's helped me lose 157 pounds thus far, so what's not to love, right?!

Still, I tend to lean toward more hardcore workouts than workout light. Other than my yoga, most of my workouts require a lot of effort and end in a puddle of sweat. And I like it that way...I really, really do! It feels like I earned something and I can be proud of what I just did. Every time I get done with one of those workouts, I feel like I just kicked the @ss of everyone who told me I couldn't. It's my sweet revenge and I usually walk out of the gym with my head held higher than it was going in. (And it's pretty high going in because even just showing up at the gym is often a victory for me...that place can be scary and my frustration likes to get the better of, I think about all the people who AREN'T going to the gym and all the people I'm joining there and I realize I'd rather be like those I'm with in that hot, smelly place.)

So work out = work for me. I've liked it that way and it's gotten me this far.

Until now.

Swimming is...well, swimming just doesn't feel like work. Even as a young girl in the pool I wasn't one to simply splash around here and there and call it a day. I love doing laps and diving to the bottom and doing flips or whatever keeps me busy. Otherwise, well, it just feels like a bath to me. A pool or a lake is not a bath. I'm there to have fun and do something I can't do on land. In the water I can twist and turn my body in ways that would have me flat on my face on the cold hard ground.

Like running, swimming feels...magical to me. I always say that running feels like the closest I can get to flying with the birds. And swimming? Well, I imagine myself as a bit of a fish, a mermaid, or, better yet as it's my favorite animal, a penguin. I glide through the water. Well, I feel like I do.

What I think I look like when I'm swimming:

What I'm pretty sure I actually look like:


So this morning I swam part 1 of the 0 to 1650 program. The program is set up sorta like Couch to 5k, but for swimming. You go from swimming 0 yards to 1650 yards, or one mile, freestyle without stopping. This morning my task was to warm-up with 100 yards (5 laps in my pool) with any stroke. I typically just slowly go through the water switching between breast, back, doggy paddle, and sidestroke with a few strokes of freestyle thrown in. Those 5 laps are just warm-up and, for me at least right now, they just don't matter as far as form is concerned - it's all about function. After that warm-up you do the following:

3x100, with a 12 breath break between 100s (5 laps in my pool)
3x75, with a 10 breath break between 75s (I have to break this one up a bit more as I have a 20 yard pool - so I do 2x80 and 1x60, which is almost the same. That's 4 laps x 2 followed by 3 laps once)
3x50, with a 8 breath break between 50s (I have to break this up to, so I do 2x60 and then 1x40, which adds the 5 yards I missed in the previous and then levels out to the same distance)

All in all, it's 680 yards + the 100 yard warm-up = 780 yards (I'm not counting the warm-up yards though) total. Plus, I did another lap of cool down before stretching.

I worried about this the entire way to the gym (for me that's almost an hour drive!)...and then got to the last 2 laps and thought,! This is NOTHING!

Of course, had I thought harder I would've realized that my form was starting to slip, as was my breathing pattern, which meant I was getting tired. Plus, I wasn't pushing full force for speed as I'm working on distance right now - speed will come much later. But, still, at the end of my last lap I nearly took off again for more and had to stop myself. I can't get ahead of myself...that's the mistake I made with running and I won't make it again.

But all through my shower I just kept asking myself, "Is this really enough? I mean, I'm not even tired...I could've done MUCH more! It only took me about 30 minutes and I was expecting at least 45 minutes today! Do I need to amp it up? Is this even a "work"out?" And then in my mind flashed pictures of all the great swimmers we know and love and I thought to myself -- "I don't think they were running to get into that good of shape." No! They were swimming! Lots of swimming built those bodies! Sure, there was more than likely some great cross training in there, but for the most part, their routines consist of swimming, swimming and, oh, yeah...more swimming!

And then my mind asked again if it was enough...because it didn't feel like work.


It SHOULDN'T always feel like work! DUH! Why didn't I see that before? I mean, I sorta did, but then again...I should be doing things I love doing. I'm not exercising to become a figure competitor. I'm not trying out for the Olympics. But I love training in things. I love swimming. So why the hell should I question whether swimming will be enough or not?

Does it make me want to do it again? HELL YES!

Does it get me excited about being active? Uhm, YES!

Does it make me want to do more, learn more, be better at it? YES! YES! YES!

So why the hell am I even questioning it in the first place? Because trudging my way through a stupid 45 minute class I hate but gives me a good sweat...well, that's short term. It's a way to lose weight - a means to an end - it's NOT something I want to do every week for the rest of my life. I'd rather do the things I enjoy. Where else in life can we just say, "Well, I want to." and have it be GOOD for us? Zumba is not greater than swimming. They are two different beasts. And, right now at least, the beast in me is a swimming fool! I don't mind the stripping of the oils in my hair. I don't mind the fact that I need lotion badly now for my dry skin. I don't mind water in my ears (okay, I do, but I'm fixing that). I love it. And I'm just going to enjoy it.

Who cares how many calories I'm burning?
Who cares if I'm going to lose 2 pounds this week from swimming alone?
I'm being active.
I'm getting better and better each time.
My stroke is improving (I think).
My breathing certainly is my stamina.
And I'm having a BLAST doing it!

I look forward to the next time I swim!
I hate off days. Tomorrow is going to suck because I'd rather be in the pool, g'd'it!

My love for workouts come and go, and I need each one and love each one for different reasons...but all that matters is I've found something that I love right now that's keeping me in the gym and making me want to fuel my body properly to support it.

Who says it has to be all work and no play?


emoticon What's your go-to FUN exercise or activity? How do you feel about being active vs. working out? Can it be called a "work"out if it doesn't feel like work?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 6/7/2012 9:29AM

    I love to swim also but don't have a gym membership with a pool :( I was always a water baby! Glad you enjoy it so much because this is something you want to continue doing because you love it, not because you have to!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 6/5/2012 11:29PM

    Absolute favorite - skiing, 2nd would be hiking
Love it!

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OFFDREA 6/5/2012 2:56PM

    I love those pictures!
I want to try swimming because I know it would be my fun activity. I don't really have one now, I mean I like working out but I wouldn't consider it fun lol

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GUITARWOMAN 6/5/2012 12:56PM

    I know this may sound weird, but I love the treadmill!

A brisk walk to nowhere, TV on (just about the only time I get to watch TV), no worries about wind, wet, or cold (the treadmill is in my basement), and cardio is done. That is my workout.

I also enjoy just walking--around my home, in the office--there is a feeling of real joy for me when I fell my body respond to my brain and just move out. It feels right!


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LOWFATFOODIE 6/5/2012 12:26PM

    Hike hike hike. I'm communing with nature not burning calories (realized I could skip my piddly 30 minutes of cardio those days though)

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MAMADWARF 6/5/2012 10:51AM

    I swam for quite a while beacsue I couldn't walk. I loved it...very peaceful. Then I quit my gym. But when I'm in water, I too love to do laps. It is very freeing. I feel his way about tennis, it is just so fun! And it amazes me I can do it and I keep getting better. To burn a butt load of calories is just benefit!

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BAYBELIEVER 6/5/2012 10:23AM

    Swimming is my fun activity too! And while it doesn't feel like work, it burns more calories than you would ever have guessed! Way to go!

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SARAWALKS 6/5/2012 9:35AM

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