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the Returning Vacationer

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Well, I wish the extra weight I came toting back from vacation was just souveniers, but sadly, some of it is stuck to my butt...it's not too much though...only 10 pounds or so, which should be relatively easy to drop now that I"m not eating pastry for breakfast and shaved ice (over ice cream for good measure!) for snacks every day! But I just can't seem to make myself enter the new weight on my ticker...the logic being that A) I don't want to see it there, and B) that my weigh in day is technically sunday, so I don't *have* to weigh in yet, and it might not be so bad when the official weigh in hits. Of course, I feel kind of slackerish not recording it somewhere, so I'm compromising by recording it here (where I don't really have to look at it). The morning after I returned, I weighed in at 234. There I said it.

Now back to my healthy fare and regular exercise plans!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAXFOCUS 7/9/2008 4:41PM

    I think most of us come back with some "extra baggage" when we return from a vacation. It is great to hear that you are back to healthy fare and regular exercise going forward. Hope you had an awesome vacation!

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APRILCORRINA 7/9/2008 3:40PM

    Well, I am pleased to say that it's highly unlikely that all 10 pounds are from calorie consumption--that's 35,000 calories OVER what you metabolize daily and I think even I, Queen Overeater, would have trouble doing all that in one week. I'm willing to be that it's mostly water retention from salt and/or the plane ride. Even so, it's nice to take a break from things sometimes and I probably shouldn't say this, but pastries and ice over ice cream sounds worth it! Here's to a happy weigh in on Sunday... See you tonight!

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Some adjustment required...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

OK, I admit it, I've gotten lazy when it comes to making healthy food choices. I've fallen victim to the siren call of the snack machine at work, talked myself into a pizza of epic proportions, made a gyroic effort at the little greek place at the mall, summited the frosty peak of gourmet ice cream, and made an entire KGB burger disappear...all in the space of about 4 days. Now if this were just a weekend of excess, I'd let it go without too much more thought, but I was looking at my food trackers from the last month or so, and this is pretty much the pattern...eek! Obviously, some readjustment is needed (though honestly, I think frequent re-evaluation and tweaking is the best route anyhow).

Every summer it seems I have this problem, and I think it's because I dramatically increase my activity levels (because, you know, it's hard to pedal in parka and mukluks up here!)...but seriously, when the weather gets nice, I spend all sorts of time outside playing, and I tend to use that as a justification for eating more, or making poor choices. It goes something like "well, I biked X miles this afternoon, so there's no way that this pizza will really derail me too much" and then I chase the pizza with a bowl of ice cream or some potato chips. And then I do it all again the next day. Or it might even be as simple as not watching my portion sizes closely enough, or not paying attention to how full I am and just stuffing myself anyway. (Like last night, where I went out to dinner w/ my hubby and his dad, then later that night I downed a couple cups of kettle corn, AND then a good 2 servings of potato chips. I don't even LIKE the potato chips!!!! wtf?)

So I think I need to readjust on a couple fronts.

First, I want to re-commit to my healthy eating strategies. Ice cream, pizza, restaurant hamburgers, and fried foods in general are all going to be occasional "treats" (meaning I'm not going to plan or rely on them for my regular meals, not that I"m going to use them as rewards).

I also think I need to make sure I'm not eating out of boredom (like last night's little binge--yeesh!). So I think I'm going to impose a moratorium on food in my living room. (I know, I've said this before, but I always give in after a few days...mostly because the kitchen table gets buried under dirty dishes, but since we've been keeping up on those, that shouldn't be a problem).

And finally, I need to firm up a more regular exercise routine. I've done well in the past with a bit more structured plan, so I'll start with that. Mostly I need to make sure I'm not relying solely on biking for my cardio, because sometimes when I bike I put forth a lot of effort and get a really good workout, and sometimes I take it slower and it becomes more of a leisure pursuit, which isn't really an ideal cardio candidate! I do plan to add running to my repertoire (which I don't think will ever become a leisure pursuit), but I'm a little worried about it's effect on my knees. We'll see; in any event, I need to add (and maintain) an alternate form of cardio to my regular activities.

So, three things to work on:
1) pay better attention to WHAT I'm eating and make better choices
2) pay attention to WHY I'm eating and not eat just b/c I'm bored
3) diversify my cardio and do it on a regular basis

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAXFOCUS 6/17/2008 11:36PM

    You've made a wonderful observation - frequent re-evaluation and tweaking is the best. So smart you are (sound like Yoda I do - forgive me I'm tired). You have a great strategy lined up for your 3 things to work on. I was worried about running hurting my knees but it is actually not too bad. I follow the C25K program and take it nice and slow - no need to go fast in the beginning. Best of luck to you.

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APRILCORRINA 6/17/2008 5:48PM

    "Gyroic effort"?! Brilliant! I've kind of been having the same issues you're talking about--my brother made his famous chocolate oatmeal no-bake (read: fudgy) cookies and I felt entitled to have as many as I wanted. I think my rationalization was something along the lines of "well, I never get to see my brother and I especially never get to have those cookies..." Yikes!

I am going to try some of the things you're talking about too--there's a class called Hip Hop Hustle at the Y on Friday nights that I think I'm going to try. Although I'm not the biggest hip hop fan around, it could be fun!

Anyway, thanks for the entertaining and well-written blog! I was definitely tickled. :-)

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SWIMMERYOGINI 6/17/2008 2:49PM

  Thank you for a great blog today and summarizing what MOST of us need to do after we've been sparking for a while!

Best wishes for success!

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Not just a depiction of Stalinist Russia...

Monday, June 09, 2008

"Burnt by the Sun" is one of my favorite movies...a tragic commentary on life in Stalinist Russia...unfortunately, "burnt by the sun" also very aptly describes the back of my neck, my shoulders, arms, cheekbones, clavicles, pretty much my entire upper torso and head. And the frustrating bit is that I was wearing 50 SPF sunscreen!!!!

Hubby and I went for a bike ride yesterday afternoon. It was just around 25 miles--we went up to downtown Minneapolis, had lunch, discovered the St. Anthony Main Theater's actual location (a heretofore elusive piece of knowlegde), then biked over to check out the Freewheel center on the greenway and then headed home b/c the clouds started looking like they might just rain a bit. It was great weather for biking--cloudy, breezey, not too hot, but pretty warm.

I was having a grand time up till we sat and sipped our coffee at the new Freewheel center (a nicely appointed pitstop, by the way, for any minneapolites reading this). Out of the sun and in the cool building, my skin started "pricking"...any of you fair skinned folks know the feeling I mean..."feel the burn" does not apply just to aerobic classes! At that point it was too late--I went from a tiny bit pink when we stopped there to increasingly red as we sat. Luckily the Freewheel folks sell sunscreen, so I was able to apply some working sunscreen, but the really frustrating thing is that I'd slathered up in sunscreen before we left home for our ride (though apparently to no avail).

In fact, I nearly had to buy a new tube of sunscreen before we left b/c I couldn't find the one from last summer (oh how I wish I hadn't found it now). I did find it, however, in the glove box in the car, where it has presumably resided since last fall--I usually only wear the Flannel-in-a-bottle 50 SPF stuff during the summer and switch to 15-25 SPF once fall hits. Lately I've been lax on sunscreen application, but the heat yesterday convinced me to dig the sunscreen out and put it on...unfortunately, I'm guessing that something about being superheated last summer and frozen much of this winter has had some affect on the efficacy of said sunscreen, because I slapped in on plenty thick, was out in the sun for roughly 2.5-3 hours, and am now doing my best impression of a well-cooked lobster. Obviously, I'll be investing in a new tube of sunscreen before my planned bike ride tonight.

I usually get a pretty bad burn about once a year (I know, I shouldn't--bad for you blah blah blah). Well, the good news is, in a week I'll be back to normal and militant about applying sunscreen, and the bad news is that by the time next summer rolls around, I'll be back to my lazy ways and repeat the cycle all over. At least it's not a terribly painful burn--I can still move my arms, wear clothes, etc. without a ton of pain--just general discomfort. Blah. Though I will try to be a bit more vigilant about the storage and expiration date of my sunscreen, too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAXFOCUS 6/9/2008 10:49PM

    So sorry to hear about your sunburn. That is not fun. I know a little how you feel. I went to the MN Zoo today and didn't wear a hat or apply sunscreen. I now look like a clown with my red nose.

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APRILCORRINA 6/9/2008 1:55PM

    Ooo, sounds like a nice bike ride though! Also, I know exactly the feeling you're talking about as I've felt it all too many times myself. I sometimes have the sneaking suspicion that no matter how much sunscreen you put on, spending a lot of time during the 10 am - 2 pm window (or whatever they say it is) when you're fair skinned often results in a bad burn. I can recall quite clearly a summer a few years ago when I went camping with friends and one of my friends and I applied sunscreen something like every two hours, didn't go swimming and still ended up really badly burned. Ew!

Glad to hear it's not too painful, at least! Have a good rest of the day, and see you this evening!

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Not my usual run around...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

So I think I've finally talked myself into picking up the couch to 5K program again. Iím not seeing the weight loss results Iíd like at the moment, so I think itís time to mix it up a bit. With all the biking I do, running sounds like a good option. I tried this running thing almost 2 years ago when I first started this weight loss scheme, and I failed miserably after my third repetition of week 1. I think it might have been a case of trying to do too much too soon and too strenuously coupled with being a tad overwhelmed by all the healthy lifestyle information I could get my hands on, and a general lack of patience for results. But whatever the reason, I gave up and swore there had to be a more enjoyable way to shed pounds.

Then I took up biking (really, this post is about running, I promise). I discovered I really like biking, so thatís been my main event for a good long time. I did try running again about 6 months after the first attempt (hubby volunteered to ride his bike alongside as I ran so I wouldnít be lonelyÖsweet, yes? yes, but, well, actually, all it did was remind me that I liked biking much more than I liked running and my running mantra became ďI want to be on a bikeĒ over and over). That running stint lasted two weeks.

Another thing that these two attempts have in common is a lack of overall planning and patience. I didnít have good running shoes for either attempt (something I have since invested in, but not used). I also didnít really have a good handle on calories, hydration, nutrition, etc. at either point, all of which Iím pretty confident Iíve got a much better grasp of now. Iím not saying Iím an expert or that I always make the right choices, Iím just saying that I have a better understanding than I did last time, and that I feel more confident in my ability to respond to my bodyís needs. I also went in expecting to see drastic results immediately (you know, something along the lines of a run or two equals lithe limber skinny meÖnot realistic, I knew, but I couldnít help being disappointed a bit by my bodyís unwillingness to magically morph into thin).

So back to the current attempt. This time, I have a few more things going for me. Proper equipment (yes, actual running shoes), and patience (I know how long it took me to get to the level I am at for biking. I would say Iíve gotten some much needed perspective on how to deal with my fitness/training expectations, and how to enjoy the process instead of being constantly disappointed). Iíve also got a bit more direct support this time around, as a friend of mine has also decided to take up the couch to 5K program at the same timeósomeone to commiserate with, yay!

So the plan is to do a trial run today after my BodyFlow class finishes and then officially start week 1 next week. I have no excuse for skipping a session, as I have tons of trails near my apartment, and an indoor track and treadmills available both near work and near home. (Do you hear that, self? No excuses will be accepted!) I will be taking the week of July 4th off, but thatís b/c Iíll be on vacation, and weíll be hiking, biking, and swimmingóI think Iíll have my exercise bases covered! So with that delay, Iíll be in tip top 5K form by the middle of August. Thatís the plan, anyhow. Weíll see how it goes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAXFOCUS 6/5/2008 3:37PM

    Good for you on starting the C25K program again! It sounds like you are set this time. I'm doing the program right now too. I had to redo week 3 and have redone week 7 and will redo it again next week. I love it! It is great that you have a friend starting at the same time. That will keep you motivated. Congrats on starting this again!

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Roasted Garlic + Chocolate Chips = Ice Cream?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Yeah, it sounds weird, but I love garlic, I love chocolate chips, and I love vanilla ice cream, and happily, Sebastian Joe's shares my loves! Hubby and I biked to the park for a picnic yesterday afternoon and discovered this phenomenal ice cream at Sea Salt. This place is fast becoming my favorite restaurant! I think I will be very sad to see them close for the fall...

In diet and exercise related news, I'm afraid I don't have much to report. After recovering from the extensive biking last weekend, a coworker shared his kid's mild stomach bug midway through last week, which became my excuse for indulging in chicken noodle soup and homemade parmesan biscuits the rest of the week (hint: the soup isn't the diet-breaker here). And to top it off, I didn't go to my regularly scheduled gym activities, despite the best of intentions.

I did keep my calories in check for the most part, but I feel rather slackerly nonetheless. This week is off to a good start, though, with biking and BodyFlow (yoga/pilates) class planned for after work tonight. (Here's hoping the rain holds off just a bit!)

So the plan for this week is 3 yoga-type classes (probably all BodyFlow), 3+ hours of biking, 2 weight lifting sessions of at least 20 minutes, and if I get really ambitious, a session with the elliptical on Thursday as well. And then maybe I'll have room for another garlic ice cream cone. We'll see!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APRILCORRINA 6/2/2008 12:45PM

    Garlic ice cream?! I've seen ginger and wasabi, but not garlic. How interesting! I think I'd like to try it, but am too uncertain to order an entire cone. Way to be adventurous! Weather permitting, would you and hubby like to meet Chester and I at the park for Sea Salt and perhaps some croquet in the nearish future?

I hate when pesky things like biscuits seem innocuous enough until you have 3 or 4 (at least, that seems to be my problem). I have this wonderful recipe for pumpkin rolls which I like to make with soup, which are healthful in theory until you get into multiple servings. Oh well, I think it's a living and learning type of situation.

Hope you're Monday's off to a good start, and see you this evening!

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