Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Just a quick post because I need to get to the gym early before plans for the day [I rearranged my gym schedule this week so I wouldn't have to get up early on Saturday, and instead now I'm up early on Wednesday!]. Since it's the beginning of the month, I took my measurements and for once, I have some great results! My inches have been whittling down very slowly, which has been kind of disappointing, except in my belly/gut [not my waist/hips]. But not this month! Here are the losses:
waist: 1.25 inches
hips: 0.5 inches
thigh: 1.0 inches
upper arm: 1.5 inches [!!!]
belly: 1.5 inches
I'm really happy about the arm one. I'd lost pretty much NO inches in my arms since starting, which was expected [eastern European genes = bat wings forever] but still, not something I was happy about. So glad to see that's changing!
Overall, my inches lost look like this:
waist: 3 inches
hips: 2.5 inches
thigh: 3 inches
arm: 2.5 inches
belly: 7 inches
Seriously, all my weight loss has been in my belly. Not that that isn't awesome, but it was about time for other places to start losing too!
Okay, time to get ready for the gym. This afternoon, I'm meeting my brother's fiancee's parents for the first time [about time, the wedding's in a month and a half!]. Her father builds bikes, so I need to schmooze and get him to want to build a new bike for me. [For the record, both my brother AND his fiancee have already offered her father's services. But it's less weird if I actually know the guy! Also, the bike is my reward for hitting goal so I've still got a ways to go.]
July goals, I hit them all:
-bike 200 miles [I actually biked 281!]
-accumulate 2,000 fitness minutes [actual: 2,367]
-lose 6 pounds [actual: 6.3]
-lose a half inch in my arm [actual: 1.5!]
-be able to run on my ankle by August 1st [yes! Week 3 of 5K training!]
I'll come up with some August goals while I'm at the gym and write them up when I get a chance later. Have a great day!
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
In an effort to put a little more whimsy in my life, I put streamers on my bike today.
I've had these streamers for almost as long as I've had this bike [almost two years] and have never put them on. I finally made holes in the ends of my handlebars [although I made one too big so I had to superglue the streamers in the end] and am quite happy zipping around with the soft crinkling sound to accompany me on the bike path.
I don't care if people find them childish. I find them fun! And I like to make my bike fun. Just look at my rear fender!
I want to start a bicycle quidditch league. It's the closest thing to flying on brooms! Who's with me?
I had a good 21.5 mile ride today. I kept up an average pace of just under 14mph, which is faster than my usual but I still wasn't really pushing myself for most of it. On the return trip, though, a guy passed me on his bike. Well, I wasn't really working at it and he wasn't going to get away with passing me! So I kept pace with him for the next 5 miles [until he stopped for a break]. I felt maybe a little creepy staying right behind him, I could've passed him [or fallen back] but I needed someone to keep pace with. Looking at the route data now, we were riding 16-17mph for that stretch. I think this is my problem with why I don't push myself. I need someone to ride with to tell me that I *can* go faster. That's why I average a faster speed when I'm with my cycling group. Unfortunately, nobody from the group is around during weekday afternoons to go for 20 mile rides.
Anyway, despite the fact that I don't challenge myself nearly enough with regards to speed on my bike, I kept up with him and I was pretty proud of that. He didn't look like a ~super~ serious cyclist [read: wearing street clothes, didn't have clipless pedals, etc.] but he was still pretty fit. Maybe he was just out for a leisurely ride and wasn't pushing himself, but that's okay [to be honest, I wasn't really pushing myself either!]. It showed me that I can go faster and push harder.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Official weigh in yesterday. I was down 3.5 pounds which is really good. I'm not expecting to lose anything this week since that seems to be my pattern, but maybe that'll change now that I seem to have figured out the calorie situation [weeks I eat more, I actually lose. Weeks I don't, I stay the same or gain a tiny bit]. Still, 3.5 for the last two weeks is great. The only thing is... I was SO close to going from "obese" to "overweight". Just another half a pound to go.
Did my body test on the Wii this morning, however...
IT HAPPENED! I'm now overweight! Next step... healthy BMI! Okay, there are about 30 pounds between me and that but I'll get there soon enough!
Now I'm just waiting for my clothes to finish drying so I can go kick some ass at the gym. Week 3 of 5k training, BRING IT ON!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
I've come to the conclusion that I might be babying my ankle. I don't have any pain on it [aside from when I walk on it wrong, which is a side effect of trying to walk on the inside of it to avoid pain for the last five months] but still, I'm really hesitant to push it relatively hard. I spend *hours* walking around my house every day before concluding that it'll hold up to a workout at the gym. I ice it every morning, and often when I get back from the gym, even if it doesn't feel like it needs it. Every day I get on the treadmill to run, I have serious doubts that I should run on it at all. Even though I've now been running on it for a few weeks with absolutely no problems.
This fear is a little justified, and a lot not. In the first few months, I thought my ankle was healed, it felt fine, so I pushed it hard. Too hard, it turned out, and couldn't walk on it for days after an attempt to run. But it's been two months since my doctor cleared me for running, my ankle has definitely gotten even stronger than before... but every step I take, I'm extremely mindful of how I put it down and any pain I might [but don't] feel. I'm always tempted to just take it easy, stop running, only do cycling. Even though I don't want to. I'm just afraid of hurting it again, after it took SO long to heal.
I'm also worried about the transition to outdoor running. Right now I'm running on the treadmill, which is softer and has less impact than pavement. But I want to do a 5K or two in September, so I'll eventually have to start running outside. Definitely BEFORE those races, and preferably as soon as possible. But... when will I be ready for that? Will I know? I'm so terrified of trying to run on pavement, hurting my ankle again, and having to take another two months off from running. I don't want that. But how do I know my ankle's ready, aside from just getting out there and doing it?
I've ordered the Chi Running book from the library, which will hopefully calm some of my fears and help me run with no chance of ankle pain. I've heard great things about it, one of my WW buddies just started it a couple weeks ago and swears she's seen a huge improvement [and she's been running for a couple years now]. So, we'll see.
Anyway, aside from that, 5K training is going well, albeit on the treadmill. Tuesday, I had to modify week 2 day 1 a little [1.5 minutes running intervals instead of 2 minutes] but today I did the actual 2 minutes running, 3 minutes walking intervals. With an extra minute added onto the end because I could! For those curious, I've been running at 7.0mph [8.5 min/mile] which is pretty much my "happy pace". I've said before that I can't jog; I even tried going down to 6.5mph and that felt awkward to me. So yeah, I'm pushing myself a little with this pace but it's working for me. Besides, if I keep this up, I will beat my 5K PR by a few minutes. Even though it's been a few years since I was a "serious" runner, I think my body's remembering it. Now if only my lungs could remember it as well... [they're getting there, slowly but steadily.]
I realized, after Tuesday's workout, that I should probably do my running BEFORE the elliptical so my legs weren't tired before I even started running, so that's what I did today and it definitely helped. Five points for logic! Although now I'm torn regarding the elliptical at all... I couldn't get in my full 35 minutes today because my legs were tired, but that's okay. I did 18 minutes and still got a pretty good workout. I'm fine with cutting my elliptical time down, but I don't know if I should bother at all. On the one hand, I do enjoy the machine [it's my favourite, actually] and it's easy to burn a LOT of calories on it. On the other hand, I was using it mainly as a low-impact way to get my body used to the running motion before I could actually run. Now that I'm running, it's not as necessary, and I could use that energy to bike home [biking home from the gym has been HARD since I've added in running!]. Plus, I don't get an effective cool down on the elliptical so I have to jump on the treadmill and walk for ANOTHER ten minutes after it. Which is fine, I guess, more calories burned and all that, but... kind of annoying? Although today, I used that extra ten minutes [well, 11 because I was almost at the end of the album I was listening to] to up the incline a lot, which I don't do while running because running on a 1% incline is already hard enough.
So... yeah. I don't know if I should cut out the elliptical entirely for right now while I focus on running, or just scale it back, or what. I'm going to see how it goes with just doing 20 minutes or so. I'm not going to try to improve on the resistance level or my speed. I just want to keep my current levels stable.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I had my whole blog post planned out in my head while I was at the gym [does anyone else do that while they're working out? Just me? Okay then...] and now I have a completely different subject to talk about. When I got home from the gym, there was an email from my mom. My aunt, who *just* beat ovarian cancer [she was declared cancer-free just a month or two ago!], got abnormal results from a mammogram today.
Among the many, many diseases that run rampant in our family, breast cancer seems to be one of them. My father died of breast cancer when I was 15 [yes, men can get breast cancer too and I wish more people knew this!]. Now his sister may have it [she has to go in for more tests, of course]. She's had a lump for a few years now, but it's always been benign [up until now, I guess]. At least they caught it early, if there is anything wrong. She just had a full-body scan for cancer two months ago!
And with this, my mom's reminding us that we most likely have the BRCA2 gene and should get tested for it. That's all well and good... except for the fact that I don't have health insurance! At least health insurance policies have changed; when our doctor first brought it up with me, she told me that I could get denied insurance just for getting genetic testing done, even if it came back negative. Things have changed in the last 10 years regarding that, thankfully, but I still can't afford to get testing done.
THIS is why I'm motivated to get healthy. I may have the BRCA2 gene. I can't really do anything about that, one way or the other. Even knowing if I do have it doesn't mean much except that my chances of developing breast cancer are that much higher. But in the meantime, until I can afford testing [I wonder if that day will ever come], I'm doing everything I can to lower my risk of breast cancer. I'm getting down to a healthy BMI, I'm exercising regularly, I eat a whole foods, plant-based diet. I don't smoke [never have], I only drink alcohol very rarely these days [a glass of wine maybe once a month]. I can't do anything about my genes but I'm doing everything else I can to prevent this disease. Well, aside from having a child before I'm 30. Sorry, not happening [ever]. I don't want to pass my f---ed up genes onto anyone else.
Unfortunately, the odds may be stacked against me already... but I'll be damned if I'm not going to put up a fight.
In the meantime, I'm worried for my aunt [seriously, she does not deserve this after just going through ovarian cancer!] and hoping everything turns out okay. She's my favourite relative, and essentially the only relative I have left on my father's side. [Technically I have two other aunts but one's disowned/nobody's heard from her for over 20 years, and the other's a horrible human being and we only talk to her once every few years when she can put aside petty opinions like what colour my hair is at the moment (an actual argument two Christmases ago. She walked out of dinner and hasn't talked to us since). All my uncles are dead... nobody in my father's family lives past their 60s, it appears.]
So, yeah. There's that. Cancer sucks and it needs to leave my family alone already.
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