Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I am pretty cranky lately. For one thing, I've got a giant knot in my right shoulder that has been hanging around since Monday afternoon. For another, I'm stretched way too thin. On Monday afternoon, I was struggling to get something done at work, but my resources were just not cooperating. At around 6:30, I started to realize that it was going to work out in any small-ish amount of time and I needed to get to the gym in a hurry if I was going to get in my run. And I was *going* to get in my run. At 5:00, I had told my work friend that I was going to be a while, so I completely understood if she walked out without me. She didn't take me up on that. By 7:00, I was all logged out and packed up, but it took another 30-45 minutes for us to actually get out of the parking lot because she was a) dawdling and b) wanting to talk. I finally had to say, "I need to leave now" so I could get on the road. It takes an hour to get home, so I didn't start my run until about 9:15, which is frankly ridiculous. I was about two minutes from the end of my run when the lights in the gym turned off. It's the gym's version of "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." And believe me, the gym people are on bar time. The clock in the gym is set about eight minutes fast. The one gym guy was hustling people out of the gym while I was on my last lap, so I yelled that down to him (I had the track to myself by that time) and finished up. I asked him about the time discrepancy and he told me that it was to get people out of the building by closing time. Evidently, some people try to really push that. At first, he didn't want to admit that their clock was eight minutes fast, but I think he realized that I didn't believe him.
The late start on my workout led to an extremely late night on Monday. I don't think I really got to bed until close to 2:00 AM. I did sleep before that. I have been falling asleep on the sofa a lot- go figure! I have no idea how long I slept on the sofa, but I think it was about two hours.
Yesterday, I woke up with an icky tummy so I sent an e-mail to my team and went back to bed. I was all set to blame underdone chicken for the stomach ache, but I suspect it was really just getting run down from too little sleep and too much activity. I slept like a cat yesterday. I was awake for about twenty minutes early in the morning (with the alarm), slept from 5:30-9:30 AM, had brunch, watched TV and did a little work remotely. Then I started nodding off, so I took a "nap" which was really sleeping from noon until 7:30 with a small wake-up break to determine that I'd rather sleep than call in for a meeting. I slept for about 11 hours on top of regular sleep. This morning? I still want to sleep.
My project at work keeps getting pushed back, which is great for my stress level, but makes me a bit worried about when I'm supposed to take vacation. I've used 24 hours out of 160. I've got most of it figured out, but I need to use five days between now and December. I mentioned my concerns to my boss and he replied, "There's a lot of year left to use it." Yeah. There was a lot of year at the beginning of the year, too, and I only used three days. And I'm probably going to be busier in the second half of the year than the first. My thinking is, I need to take that week as early as possible so that it doesn't get pushed out along with the project. Ideally, that would be next week. I'm just planning to stay at home, clean, pull weeds and get some rest, so the last minute nature of this doesn't bother me. You've heard of "staycations?" Well, I need a "sleepcation.'
In other developments, I'm running tonight. My knees are still pretty sore from running on Monday, but I'll deal with it. I feel better running than I do walking. Weird. Also, I totally fail at scale avoidance. I weighed myself this morning. Obviously, the scale is too easy to get to. I'm going to try putting it in the linen closet next. For the record, I lost a pound.
Monday, July 26, 2010
As part of my self-prescribed "reset period," I recently decided to cease using my scale until I return from Chicago on August 13. In reality, it's not a terribly long time from now (it's a measly three weeks), but it feels like an eternity. I'm such a scale addict. It's kind of ridiculous. I often weigh myself in the morning pre-shower and at night pre-sleep. So I weighed myself one last time on Saturday morning and put my scale up on its side. I'm hoping that will be enough. If not, I'm putting it someplace inconvenient to get to. My basement, for instance. It's already seeming to whisper in my brain, "Weigh yourself, Jenna! You know you're curious. Just step onto me for a second. It's not really *such* a bad thing to be addicted to..."
Apparently, I have an evil, thought controlling scale.
But the scale and the number it tells me is not important right now. What's important is that I stay consistent with my workouts and sticking with my nutritional goals. Last week was the second week in a row that I got my three runs in. That makes me happy. Hopefully, when I do step on that scale again in three weeks, I will have a lovely surprise. But if it's not the number I want to see, that's fine too.
In other news, my Mom's family picnic was yesterday. Over eight hours at a state park where the main event is lunch. Lunch is the first thing we do, and then there's all-day grazing that coincides with euchre, horseshoes, kids' games, and our crazy boat races. I didn't do any of those events, but I walked all over the place. I wish I'd been wearing my pedometer! I mostly stuck to green salads, veggies, fruit and baked beans for lunch. I also had a tiny scoop of macaroni and cheese, a bit of ambrosia salad and a fairly large piece of chicken (boneless, skinless grilled breast). My primary beverage was the giant pitcher of water I put in my cooler and used to refill my stainless steel security blanket. "Dinner" was not quite as virtuous as I allowed myself to hit the dessert section. Not particularly worried, though. It was a special occasion. I planned to indulge in advance and I was on my feet for most of the day.
Today it's back to the routine: carefully planned meals, lots of water and a run tonight. I may not exactly love it, but I love the way it makes me feel.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Last night I did my second strength training session this week and feel pretty good about it. I figured I was due for a weight increase, so I added weight to the exercises I was doing. I don't think I'm quite ready to do 15 reps for my now-20 pound alternating bicep curls, but I can do 12 with the appropriate amount of strain. I also did three ten minute sessions on the elliptical and experimented with the crossramp feature at one point. I'm curious to see if that really would exercise my butt and calves more when it's set more vertical.
So what I don't like is that even without wearing my heart rate monitor, I know my heart was elevated, I was sweating and I was working hard. Calories were definitely being burned. And yet, when I enter my fitness into the tracker, I only get "credit" for the time on the elliptical. Which leads me to another thing I dislike- my calorie goal and calorie reality are out of whack. I enter how many minutes I expect to do cardio per week and it gives me a calorie goal for the day. It also tells me how many calories to consume. Great! Love it! The problem is, the cardio exercises I choose burn more calories than the tracker expects. For my runs, I burn about 100 calories more than is planned. Half an hour on the elliptical burns more than twice what the tracker plans. Which would normally be a good thing (I think), except I always get that bright red warning message about burning too many calories and how it can send your body into starvation mode and prevent weight loss. Argh!
And I don't know what it's going to do when I start adding miles to my runs and they go from being measured in minutes to being measured in hours. Am I supposed to just figure out the difference between the planned calorie deficit and the actual deficit and just eat more to put some back- but then deal with the nutrition report telling me I went way over my goal for the day? It's a wee bit frustrating.
So, today. Today the plan is make myself an omelet, go to the gym and run for 2.5 miles, do a little shopping, shower, make lemon bars for my family picnic (tomorrow is a calorie minefield), and head to my sister's house to see her family and my parents. I'm debating shower between omelet and run. It seems pointless to shower, get sweaty and then shower again, but I feel stinky. I hate shopping stinky. I'm not a huge fan of shopping sweaty, but I will do it. I just don't want to be the smelly girl. Okay, shower it is!
Friday, July 23, 2010
This week has been pretty interesting. On Monday, I ran for 2.42 miles. On Tuesday, I did strength training and cardio. On Wednesday, I dragged my friend to the gym with me for another 2.25 mile run. She claims it made her run longer. She's been working out and losing weight a lot longer than I have. She lost 60 some pounds on Weight Watchers and is working to lose the last ten, but facing a plateau. She normally runs for 20-25 minutes (without stopping), but since I do run/walk intervals and base my workout on distance, it takes me longer. So that was good. Finishing up at BD's Mongolian BBQ was also good- healthy restaurant food where you control the ingredients is always excellent. The Mongo-rita I had, not so good.
Yesterday was supposed to be my golf league day, but there was a tornado watch for our county. We did tee off, but only made two shots before the sirens went off indicating that lightning had occurred within five miles of the course. This is the third week in a row that golf has been canceled due to the weather. I'm getting kind of tired of the whole "all dressed up with no place to golf" thing. When I change into shorts, slip on my golf shoes and put on my golf glove, I expect to actually golf!
Anyway, I decided to take it as a rest day, which didn't exactly make me happy. I don't like the loss of momentum be even one day. My carefully thought-out plan is Mon- run, Tues- cross-train/weights, Wed- run, Thurs- golf, Fri- cross-train/weights, Sat- run, Sun- walk and weights. I need to stay busy, even if it tires me out. When Kristin came over on Wednesday, she left chips, salsa and about a glass of cherry lambic beer in my kitchen. I unexpectedly found myself home at 6:00 PM. That's apparently too many hours between getting home and going to sleep, and I couldn't seem to keep myself from snacking on the chips and beer.
Here's how I could have spent that time instead (without the need for gym clothes):
- home repair
- play golf or Guitar Hero on the Wii
I've come to the conclusion that I can't have things like chips or cookies in my house. There's too much risk there.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Had another good day yesterday. I left work earlier than usual and managed to make it to the gym before 7:00 PM. I felt sooo much better starting earlier, though the gym is a little more crowded at that time. Last night was cross-training and strength training. I do eight strength training exercises, based on the SparkPeople generated "full body" workout. To be honest, it seems a little slight to me. When I made up my own full body workout, I was doing twelve exercises. However, I also wasn't doing them regularly and I was at the gym for close to two hours at a time. This may be fewer exercises, but it may also be more sustainable. I was still actively working out for an hour and fifteen minutes. I also did half an hour of cardio. I broke the whole gym visit into 10 minutes elliptical, four strength exercises, 10 minutes cycling, four strength, 10 minutes elliptical. I didn't get bored at all and I felt like I was working hard the whole time!
Afterward, I got a call from one of my best friends, wherein she told me what an unreliable and silly boy the man she's dating is being, and I issued a last minute invitation to stay at my house tonight. He had told her he'd drive her to the airport tomorrow morning, then at the last minute he said he couldn't do it. I live much closer to the airport, hence the invitation. I don't want to miss out on my regular run, so I told her to bring her gym clothes and we'll go for a run together. Luckily, this particular friend is an avid gym-goer and runner and we've been talking about getting together to run, anyway. I'm thinking run, dinner at Mongolian BBQ and then dishing about what an idiot her guy is. There may need to be a gin and tonic in this plan. Thank goodness for diet tonic water!
My commitment to my reset period has been paying off already, but I have to be careful about the mental angle. See, I had put on a few pounds when I was slacking off and last Monday, I was back up to 211.5. That's something I did *not* enter in tracking. I think I was trying to acknowledge that it needed fixing while still pretending that it didn't happen. Anyway, after a week of watching calories and getting in three runs, on Monday, my weight had dropped back to 207.5. Yesterday, it was 206. (Today it's back to 207.5, but I think there are other factors.) Five pounds in eight days is too fast to be reasonable. Now, some of it could have been water weight, because healthy food usually has less sodium. But I do NOT want to get so obsessed with the number on the scale that I cut too many calories for my activity level to keep making the number smaller. On the other hand, I do want it smaller. I'm so close to "One-derland" that I can taste it. I just expected to lose less than I have and I'm worried that I'm too excited by quick results. I know they're always followed by that depressing little lull.
Just to end on an up note, I wanted to describe the amusing and happy moment I alluded to in my status update. I don't know if anyone else does this, but I frequently have thoughts popping into my head like "That woman has a great butt. I wonder what kind of exercise she does to get that?" or "She's got great legs. I bet she's a runner." This morning, I was walking into my building behind two very well-dressed and fit women who were both wearing great pencil skirts and heels. That's a style combination that always seems to highlight great calves. I'm also wearing a skirt today, but it's fuller and I'm wearing lower heels. Our building is one of those standard glass and steel office buildings with huge expanses of tinted windows. You can see a reflection, but not with a lot of detail and it's dark, almost like a shadow. Anyway, I saw the reflection of a pair of outstanding calves below a skirt. They were long and muscular- obviously the legs of an athlete- and I was instantly jealous of that person, because I know I have good legs, but these were gorgeous! I assumed it was one of the other two ladies. Then I saw the reflection of the rolling laptop bag the woman was trailing behind her. And it had my lunch bag stuck to it. Hey, the lady with the great legs is me!
I think it just goes to show that we don't always see our bodies as they truly are. Any time I start thinking that I'm not seeing results, I just need to remind myself that when I don't know it's me, I think I look great! Maybe my reflection needs to sneak up on me more often! Hmmm... I wonder if I could accidentally stumble on my waist?
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