Sunday, March 11, 2012
i weighed in officially today and i'm down another 1.2 pounds from last week. i will NOT get upset at how slowly the scale is moving... with this ankle, i haven't been able to work out properly for more days than not, and i had to completely sacrifice yesterday's work out. and besides, the scale is going DOWN, who cares how slowly? i know, at this rate i won't be able to wear that dress to the wedding... but i'm not completely sold on that dress, anyway. [i mean, for the wedding. i already bought it. years ago.]
speaking of the ankle... i don't know why, i did nothing to it, but yesterday it decided that it would be a great idea to cause a lot of pain [only when i hold my foot 9O degrees to my leg... which is, you know, walking] and swell up. COMPLETELY unrelated to the previous ankle injuries, i was fully healed from them and they never felt like this. so, i'm hobbling around the house and trying to put as little weight on it as possible. my left leg is working its muscles and, it turns out, so are my arms. my stairs have railings on both sides [my grandmother was wheelchair bound and before she lost both her legs, she had difficulty walking so they installed a second railing on the stairs to help her get up them], so i'm using my arm muscles to lift myself up and down the stairs. thankfully, after two weeks of training, they're actually strong enough... i don't think i'd be able to do this if it was two weeks ago!
anyway, i'm getting quite the arm workout, it turns out, and my left leg is building muscle by carrying all my weight around as well. this ankle better heal fast, or my legs will be disproportionate! heh. well, i can't do any real full body cardio for the next few days at least [i can't even stand to do my kettlebell workout!] so i think i'm going to dust off my abs workout dvd and concentrate on that.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
so, i've been doing this seriously for two weeks now, this time around, and my hard work is already paying off. not in measurements or the scale [well, the scale DID finally move this morning, but it's too early for measurements to really change] but in other ways. last week, i felt like i was going to die after twenty minutes of cardio. yesterday, i did a full non-stop hour and could've kept going [i didn't because i didn't want to strain my ankle, but otherwise i would've]. that is a HUGE improvement in my endurance, and i love it!
yesterday was also a strength training day, and that came with a few nice surprises as well. i'm horrible at pushups, even modified ones, because of both a lack of decent arm muscles and a weak wrist [i've had surgery on it and doctors say there's nothing more they can do for it]. well, last friday, i only just barely got through the prescribed 24 pushups, and that was with breaking it down into five or six reps instead of the suggested two [and very long breaks in between!]. yesterday? i did them in two reps, no problem. well, i wouldn't say they were *easy*, but they weren't an impossible feat like last week. same with everything else: the superman, last week i could barely get an inch off the ground for a few seconds; yesterday, i was 3-4 inches off and held it for 15 seconds the first time, 1O the second.
my body's definitely getting stronger already, and i love it. i also feel my posture improving, i /feel/ taller. and i'm in such a great mood; i'd forgotten how wonderful it was to have endorphins running through me all the time! tell me again why i stopped working out?
i also realized something... unlike the last few years when i've set out to lose this extra weight, i think something's FINALLY clicked again. i don't know why it did this time and not all the other times, but it has. i didn't want to say something earlier in the week and curse myself, since that was still early into the journey, but i think i'm going to risk saying it now. what do they say, it takes three weeks to form new habits? so one more week and i'll have made this "working out and eating right" thing a healthy habit!
i've got a light cardio day planned today, i'm going to spend some time reconnecting with yoga. i love yoga and it's great for my back. actually, my chiropractor told me five years ago that if i wanted to continue walking for the rest of my life, i had to continue doing yoga. i haven't kept up with it always, and my back definitely suffers when i don't! anyway, i might decide to do some other high intensity cardio after it but i've got nothing concrete planned.
tomorrow's my weigh in and the scale's looking good!
Friday, March 09, 2012
so, i managed to twist my ankle the other day, the ankle that had *just* recovered from a minor injury the week before. of course! it's not too bad, just a little sore but was twingey yesterday when i wasn't careful about how i stepped. so, i took it easy yesterday... or at least, on my ankle. not so easy on the rest of my body. [i'm a huge klutz and have had woefully weak ankles my entire life so i've learned lots of cardio to do that doesn't bother it.] sadly, i had to skip my "official" workout on ea active's 30 day challenge because it involved lots of jumping, but i got in a different workout instead. i also did 15 minutes on my fitness coach [i love these wii games!], that was at the beginning to just see if my ankle would hold up [it did]. and finally, towards the end of the day, i got a brief kettlebell workout in. altogether, i did 49 minutes of cardio! not bad for suffering from an injury.
i'm trying to work through some negativity i have. recently, every time i've set my mind to exercise and get fit, i've suffered an injury just as i was settling into a routine. the injuries are always just coincidental, i'm not working out improperly or anything, i just have a broken body and this is the norm, sadly. but something always pops up a few days into a new routine, when the routine is so new that it throws me off balance and i end up dropping /everything/. not just exercise, but also healthy eating and those habits i was trying to establish. as a result, it's another couple of months before i get back to exercise, usually with a few more pounds added on, and then the whole process happens again with a new injury. and i have this fear that it'll happen again, with this ankle. so i'm determined to just push through this little setback, do what workouts i can, and not give up just because of a small injury. because injuries are very discouraging, but i also know that this is the price i pay for letting my body lose what strength it had built up through exercise a few years ago.
as it is, my ankle seems to be feeling a *lot* better today, so we'll see how exercise goes. i don't think i'm up to jumping on it just yet, but maybe everything else will be fine.
[my best friend is suffering from torn ligaments in her ankle, she hurt her ankle the same way i did, so we've founded the "stupid ankles club" and have been sending each other complaints about not being able to work out properly. at least there's some consolation...]
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
yesterday, i took the time to organize my weight loss plan and goals. this is where the resources on sparkpeople really come in handy: i know /how/ to lose weight, eat less calories than what your body burns, but it's only one very small part of the puzzle. so, i sat down and wrote some short term AND long term goals, as well as a rewards system. [i've had people tell me that object rewards aren't proper motivators because we already have too much stuff. speak for yourself, this girl who's been unemployed for half a year and under-employed for the two years before that DOESN'T have a lot of "stuff" and certainly doesn't object to rewarding herself with something she's earned.] i also went around the house and put up a bunch of motivators. ready for some pictures? okay.
First off: pictures of family members, on my bureau. my family is plagued with health problems, on both sides. my father, that handsome man in the white navy uniform, was morbidly obese my entire life [this picture was taken years before i was born], something that played a huge factor in developing and dying from breast cancer. his sister, one of my favourite relatives, has a so far benign breast lump and has been struggling to lose weight to improve her chances of staying healthy. our family carries the BRCA2 gene [no clue if i have it, yay lack of health insurance!], and being overweight increases our chances of developing breast cancer by something like 4O%. i don't want breast cancer. that's pretty much my main motivation for losing weight.
in the small picture beneath my dad is my mom's family: her parents and brothers [no clue why she wasn't in this picture, hmmm]. my grandmother had diabetes, and complications from that caused her to lose both her legs when i was young. she also had a host of other health problems like heart disease. my grandfather is pretty much the sole exception to unhealthy behavior in my family: he stayed fit and active his entire life, barely slowing down for old age. he died a couple years ago at the age of 89, not from heart problems or anything, just from being old. until he died, he was still walking to the grocery store and living alone in his house [my house, now], perfectly fine. he died peacefully in his sleep. that's how i want to go, at a ripe old age, not prematurely like his wife.
in the dining room, right next to where i start my day with a healthy breakfast, is a calendar where i cross off every day i exercise [i started to write down exactly what i did every day but that got boring and besides, it was unnecessary since everything's logged onto sparkpeople]. this visual is extremely helpful for me: with really bad ADD and no job to keep me aware, i tend to lose track of the days and weeks. if i don't cross off every day i exercise, i will honestly think, "oh, i just didn't exercise yesterday, that's not too bad" but in actuality, it's been three weeks. [this has actually happened before. i have literally no grip on the flow of time unless i try really hard.] plus, it's satisfying to look back on a month and see how hard i worked!
on the dining room table is a lovely centerpiece of oranges [or other various fruit], enticing me to both eat healthy and sit down at the table to eat. this tactic must be working: i took this picture about 24 hours ago and now there's only one orange left, plus i ate all three meals at the table yesterday! also, hey, there's my bike, waiting for the winter to go away so we can explore the bike path.
one more picture from the dining room: my ice skates. not only are they a great motivator for me, they also make a great decoration! [they'd probably be ~prettier~ if i took off the skate guards but oh well.] i've been ice skating for as long as i can remember, literally before i could walk. i had dreams of being a professional figure skater but i didn't have the patience for ballet [and nobody told me that i absolutely had to be good at ballet to be a figure skater... i was four, okay?], so i briefly turned to speed skating and now only skate as a hobby. still, i've kept up with it all these years, living in chicago was great for that because they had tons of outdoor rinks during the winter that were free as long as you didn't have to rent skates. so, while i was in grad school or working downtown, i went skating about once a week during the winter. this winter, however, i had to entirely pass the season by. i attempted to go skating once with my sister but i was, unbeknownst at the time, suffering from a protein deficiency that caused a *really* intense pain in my lower leg. so in two hours, i only got maybe a half hour of skating in because i could only skate a couple laps before having to get off and rest my leg [it got worse in a few weeks, to the point where i couldn't walk half a block, but i'm recovered now!]. anyway, it was sad to see the entire season pass me by, and i'm determined to not let that happen again. by next winter, i'll be ready for skating. and, my 5O pounds lost goal is to buy a new pair of skates, because these are getting old and need to be replaced.
and now we come to the clothes part of the motivators. those goals were all about getting my health back; these are more about the "looking good" part of losing weight. hey, i can be shallow at times!
i have a goal to fit into this dress, nicely, by september 21st [my brother's wedding]. it's a high goal, to do so i'd have to lose an average of 2 pounds a week, but i'm at least aiming for it. i first wore this dress in winter of 2OO5, to a friend's wedding, when i was around 16O pounds, which is a lot of weight to lose in 6 months or so. and hey, i might find another dress to wear that's even better! but at least it's giving me something to work towards.
jeans! okay, these are my "goal weight" jeans. they're a size four and to fit into them, i have to lose 12 inches in my hips. JUST my hips, i don't know about my thighs and anything else. anyway, they fit very comfortably when i was 135 pounds [yay tiny frame and absolutely no hips and ass whatsoever to speak of!]. i've been dragging them around the country for years because i'm stubborn. it's time to fit back into them. well, it's not time /yet/, but you know what i mean.
and finally, a bikini. because, like i said, i can be shallow too. i want to wear this again and look good. i don't care if people can see my stretch marks or scars [i have lots of other more noticeable scars that people never comment on as is, so i'm okay with visible scars]. i want to wear this for *me*. [sadly, i lost the top to the really adorable blue with white polka dots bikini i have... but maybe i'll find something to go with it by next summer.]
okay, now that i've spent two hours writing up all this, time to list my goals!
SHORT-TERM GOALS, for the next two months
-build up exercise to 2 hours of cardio at a time
-be able to run 5k
-work up to 15 pound kettlebell
-get heels to touch the floor during downward facing dog
-buy pair of jeans i feel comfortable in/don't muffin top out of [i only wear skirts/dresses because i feel REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE in jeans since i started gaining weight, but hopefully things will change with the numbers finally going down]
-fit back into size 4/6 jeans
-run a 1Ok
-complete a cycling tour
5: new sneakers
11 [5%]: charm bracelet
22 [1O%]: necklace
5O: new ice skates
86 [goal]: brand new outfit
one of the things i found while browsing sparkpeople was that a lot of people have a charm bracelet for their weight loss, they start out with the simple chain and just one charm and then add a charm every time they reach a certain weight/make a big accomplishment. i LOVE this idea, especially since it's really cheap. even if i lose a pound a week, every week, it'll take me a couple months to lose ten pounds every time. that's more than enough time to save up a few dollars for a charm.
the bracelet also works as an anchor, which is why i might change my 1O% reward [but i might not, because i have no jewelry and also want to change that]. i had a necklace that i got for my 1O% in WW and loved it, and i used it as my anchor. i wore it every day and i could hold it whenever i felt tempted, or started to slip, or whatever. i eventually stopped wearing it... and now it's been lost for years. but anyway, i need a new anchor. the charm bracelet will probably work, but maybe a necklace as well?
i still need ideas for 75 pounds lost. it's a big number, one that i didn't lose [officially] at WW [i lost a bit of weight before joining], but it's also so close to my goal weight that i don't want it to overshadow that. so i need something to celebrate that big number, but i don't know what. suggestions welcome.
goal weight reward is pretty obvious: by then, i'll need new clothes. probably not a lot of new clothes, since i have most of my old clothes still from when i was at goal before [yes, i've been lugging about ten pairs of size four jeans all over the country for the last five years, i'm stubborn okay?], but one new, moderately expensive outfit would be nice. i'll most likely supplement my wardrobe up until that point solely with thrift store clothes [with the exception of, um, bras and underwear]. and i /love/ thrift store finds, but sometimes it's just nice to have something brand new. so that's my goal reward.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
working on building healthy habits. last week was "wake up at 9am every [weekday] morning". i failed one day [tuesday, i think? so it was still kind of new], i woke up at 9, turned my alarm off, and went back to sleep for an hour and a half. i kind of failed on friday and yesterday, but only because my alarm didn't go off! i swear. it was working fine the first four days but then the sound clip that was my alarm just... disappeared off my phone? IT IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. this is upsetting. it was a clip from zelda! anyway, instead of just defaulting to another sound, my phone decided that it would be best to just not ring at all. good thing i don't /actually/ have to get up for anything, like work or something, so sleeping in wasn't a big deal. and, it turns out, my body was already used to the new schedule so i woke up a half hour later or so.
today i woke up at 8am, but that's besides the point.
one thing i'm doing to help me enforce this habit is that around 11pm or so, i make a cup of tea, head to bed, and read a book [currently making my way through tamora pierce's tortall books... again... on my kindle] until it's time to go to sleep. by then, the tea has calmed me down, the cats are settled in, and the sheets are nice and warm for me! i usually go to sleep somewhere around 1am, so i get at least 8 hours of sleep. sometimes i go to sleep earlier. yesterday i didn't go to sleep until 1:15 because i was finishing my book.
but anyway, those two things have been very successful so far. now i'm adding another one to them: eat at least one meal a day at the dining table. i have this beautiful dining table, in an actual dining room, and i never use it except to sometimes pile crap on it [right now, there's a stack of cds]. and i know that sitting down at a table, instead of eating in front of the tv, makes me think more about what i'm eating and my body's hunger signals. so, i'm starting out with just one meal a day but hopefully i'll add a second next week, and then all three major meals will be eaten at the table eventually. this /shouldn't/ be so much of a challenge but i'm still, even after eight months of living here, used to not having any place other than my bed to eat [yay tiny apartments!]. [i don't generally eat in my bedroom anymore, but now the recliner in front of the tv in the living room has become my default dining spot.]
exercise-wise, i'm *loving* the ea personal trainer. i might actually shell out the money for this myself, when i have to return the library's copy. i'm doing the 3O day challenge and it's so relieving to actually have someone tell me specifically what to do instead of having to make up my routines myself. i also tried the balance ball dvd last night, but i only got fifteen minutes in [and five of that was focusing on breathing!] before my hip, which had already been bothering me, decided that that was enough for the day. yay old lady hips! anyway, so my exercise routine isn't yet up to the 2 hours of the olden days [and by that, i mean... last summer] but i'm getting there. i mean, those two combined added up to 45 minutes. we'll see what i can do today!
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