Thursday, June 23, 2011
Okay, so I've blogged before about how inaccurate a measure weight is for me. This week I decided to ditch the idea of a final goal weight in favor of other concrete and more realistic goals. I will declare myself as "in maintenance" when I meet the following goals, regardless of what the scale says:
Rework my eating habits so that a healthy, (mostly) clean diet is a fact of daily life.
Build a consistent and realistic fitness program that I can stick to and gets fitness results.
Drop to 24% or less body fat. I was at 27% in March and am pretty sure I've dropped since then. I think I can get to 24% or less by the end of the year.
Comfortably fit into size 10 pants. My pants are currently a mix of 12s and 14s, but trending smaller all the time.
Wear a 34C bra; this is what I wore through college and grad school. Oooh, I'm a 34D...getting close!
Be comfortable wearing the bikini I bought 8 years ago for my Miami trip. This is as psychological as it is about fit, and I'm nowhere close.
Be able to walk and move without my thighs rubbing together. The contact area has gotten noticeably smaller, and I call that progress.
Comfortably run a 5K.
I really like these goals because they are holistic and cover the whole range of what I am trying to accomplish. The scale measures only one thing and neglects the progress I've made in other areas. Changing my habits was critical. Letting my mindset catch up with my body and feeling comfortable in a bikini (gasp of terror!) would be a huge step for this recovering anorexic. Running a 5K will prove to myself that I am in the best shape of my life. And fitting into a goal size of clothes is a much more psychologically healthy size goal than focusing on a single number. Body fat percentage is far more accurate than weight or BMI in determining how healthy a person's body composition is, so I'm confident in using that as a measure of physical wellbeing.
I wanted to get to my goal weight by New Year's 2012. Looking over these 8 goals again, I think that I can achieve them all in the next six months or so. Wish me luck!
Monday, June 20, 2011
This weekend DH and I went to the beach on Maryland's Eastern Shore/Delaware. My previous blog was about me hyperventilating about planning the trip. Well, I needn't have worried. It was wonderful!
I planned the meals and the packing, and everything fit into the car nicely. We had a leisurely drive with the top down to Assategue Island, which is home to a herd of wild horses. Spanish ships wrecked off the coast in the 16th century and the horses on board swam to safety on Assategue. Their descendants still live there in peace; the island is a protected national seashore. We saw wild horses before we even got to the park's entrance. Super cool!!!
We parked the car and explored the dunes and the shore for a while. The scenery is unlike anything I've ever seen; the Caribbean and Lake Michigan are my only frames of reference. Rolling dunes and sand with grass growing in it were a revelation to me. We didn't stay too long there since we weren't camping or swimming, and wanted to stop in Ocean City before heading up to Rehoboth. But we saw more horses on the way out and I got a fantastic picture; I'll upload photos this weekend.
Next stop was a quintessential beach town and boardwalk: Ocean City, Maryland. We totally lucked out there, too: it wasn't too hot or crowded. The boardwalk was much more fun than I thought it would be, and a real blast from the past. We played skee ball and threw darts at balloons, winning stupid prizes. We looked at the goofy little rides and obnoxious t-shirts and decided to pass on both. However, we couldn't resist frozen custard or soft pretzels. Not the best nutritional choice, but it was my first time on a boardwalk and I couldn't resist.
After getting thoroughly hot, sticky, and tired, we headed up to Rehoboth, which couldn't be more different from Ocean City while still being a beach town and having a boardwalk. Ocean City is touristy, bustling, and alcohol-soaked. Rehoboth is a sleepy little town that just happens to be on the shore. It's much more family-friendly and laid back; I greatly prefer it.
DH and I unloaded the car and unpacked the groceries into our friend's parents' beachhouse, then went out for a lovely romantic dinner. Our friends were waiting for us at the house when we got back. They had their own key, and were happily relaxing.
Saturday was the big beach day. We packed up some lunch, water, sunscreen, and beach accessories and headed out late in the morning. Leah and I spent the most time in the water - and even did a 30 minute swim, yay cardio! - but DH came in for a little while. Leah's fiancee preferred to stay on the shore with his book. :)
I had to head in early, around 2, because I was quite burned despite bathing in sunscreen. Twice. My ancestors were built for forests and fjords, not sand and sun. And I got those genes - in spades. 3 hours is about my max for bright sun, and I hit it on Saturday. But I had a great time, so I don't regret the burn.
We explored some of the shops later in the afternoon, after it cooled down a bit, and then came home to make an awesome home cooked meal. Everybody pitched in; it was a real team effort with delicious results. Pork tenderloin wrapped in proscuitto then grilled, rice cooked in chicken stock, grilled asparagus, grilled cheese, and a salad of cucumbers and tomatoes. Simple, summery, delightful.
That evening took us to the boardwalk again. While Rehoboth's boardwalk had all the same stuff as Ocean City's, the vibe was totally different. I felt like a kid at the county fair again, surrounded by other kids chomping taffy and slurping ice cream, playing corny games and going on not-at-all-scary rides. Awesome. Our splurge of the evening was a funnel cake. Yeah, not at all healthy. But so worth it because it completed the experience. And sometimes that makes the calories soooo worth it!
Sunday we made another crazy homemade breakfast. Very nutritionally sound, mind you. But crazy because I drank too much caffeine (boingy! boingy! boingy!) and because we had too many cooks in a tiny kitchen. But we really enjoyed cooking together, and that's what counts. Plus we got a healthy, filling breakfast out of it.
My skin was still red and angry, so DH and I opted to skip the beach and head home early. It turned out to be a good call; we came home to a sick, angry (because he thought we'd deserted him forever) kitty. Bubba will be fine, he just has a little bug. In fact, we think he ATE a bug and caused his own problems, lol.
The weekend did not go precisely as planned. I ate more junk and drank a bit more than I planned. I did not get in ST or a run, but swam instead. And did TONS of walking. I gained .2 pounds, which I'm not pleased with but can live with. Would I change a thing? No way, Jose! Sometimes you have to let go of your rigid plan, go with the flow, and have some serious fun. And this was one of those times.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Weekends at the beach are a summer classic for most Americans. But not for me. I burn in about 15 minutes and have to be super careful about heat - I got heat stroke as a teenager and am therefore susceptible to new bouts of it. Also, and this is the odder part, I have hardly ever traveled to the beach in the U.S. Generally speaking, I know Latin America better than my own country: work pays for my trips abroad, but I'm on my own time and my own dime to travel domestically. I grew up in the Midwest and my folks never had the money for a 1,000 mile trip to the beach. And since moving to DC eight summers ago, I've just never quite gotten to the beach despite being within easy driving distance of both Maryland's eastern shore and North Carolina's Outer Banks. Go figure. But there you have it.
My husband's good friend's parents own a beach house on Maryland's eastern shore, and he and his fiancee have invited us up for the weekend. This is my big chance to see the Atlantic north of Miami! (Yes, seriously, lol.)
Yes, I'm super excited. But I'm also panicking a little. How much sunscreen will I need? Will our new convertible really hold it all? How many changes of clothes will I need? OMG, do I have summer/beach clothes that actually fit? What are we going to eat? Can I stay within my calorie range and sane eating habits? Will I have time to work out? What if it's too hot to go outside? What if it rains all weekend and we have to entertain ourselves indoors?
[takes several deep breaths, counts to ten]
Okay, let's stop panicking and unpick this problem.
Sunscreen: Prior experience has shown that spray sunscreen is a godsend. Pack several bottles of SPF 30 and 50 and reapply every 90 minutes or so. Do it up Latin style and go indoors at the hottest part of the day for an extended lunch break and nap. And for Pete's sake, wear your straw cowboy hat!
Packing space: There is some room in the trunk even with the top down, and the new windscreen covers the back seat so you can cram it full of stuff. You know how to pack efficiently, as does DH. (There are many advantages to marrying an Eagle Scout...) Make a list and pack carefully and everything will fit. I promise.
Clothes: One set of jammies, 2-3 swimsuits, one set of gym clothes, and two sets of super light weight street clothes per day oughtta do the trick. A raid on the too-small boxes in the basement and a couple of good picks at Old Navy last weekend should provide plenty of suitcase fodder.
Noms: Here, my dear, you have every advantage. DH volunteered us to take care of the food since our friends are providing the lodging. Yes, you were annoyed at first. But embrace it: this gives you a huge opportunity to eat right. You know that the other couple are super healthy eaters with very specific food needs. So: plan the menu to your liking, buy or pack what you'll need, and if people don't like it they can fend for themselves. You know everybody well enough to plan a super tasty, super healthy menu. Just suck it up and do it!
Workouts: Go for a run and do ST both today and Friday. That way you'll have all your workouts in before you even head out and won't have anything to worry about! Pack some gym clothes just in case you and Leah decide to go for a run together. (Missy Healthy Eater is also a runner and might want to go with you.)
Weather: You can't control it, so don't worry about it. Just bring some board games to play in the evening and/or bad weather, and you'll be all set. You can even bring some extra yarn and needles and give Leah that knitting lesson she's been asking for.
Orders received! Will do! (And will report back to my fellow Sparklers next week on how it went.)
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Today I am not feeling great. TOM and DOMS are a potent team, leaving me extremely fatigued and sore. To the point where I'm going to leave work early to run errands with DH. Mostly fitness and health related errands, actually: running store (15% sale this week because of National Running Day), gym equipment store (DH wants an elliptical), spice store, and optometrist. Probably more productive - and definitely more fun - than sitting at work today.
What has carried me through the day so far, and made my current pain very worth it, are the compliments I've gotten today. Two people commented that my time at the gym is totally paying off. One of them was MY TRAINER. Boo ya! She asked how much weight I'd lost and was a bit surprised that it wasn't more. I told her that I'm losing inches, though, and she said that it's clear and not to worry about the pounds since the results are both obvious and good. Take that, quads, and quit yer complaining! You're getting a rest day today, but we're back in action tomorrow.
LOTUSFLOWER mentioned in a previous blog that men have started opening doors for her now that she's shed weight. Men in DC always open doors; DC is technically the South and certain acts of chivalry are not optional. Instead we have what I call the distance ratio: the hotter a man thinks you are, the longer he is willing to stand still and prop open a door. The hotter you are, the further away you can be and still expect to have a door held for you.
Today I realized that my distance ratio has definitely notched up by a fair bit. For example, I can be several stairs down, not even on the landing, and men will wait for me to exit the stairwell. They smile wider and speak to me now (aka the chitchat factor). I also get looked at more in the hallways and cafeteria. I find this flattering, not threatening or annoying. My office and building are very professional environments and the guys never cross the line. They also don't mean anything by it. In fact, I'm pretty sure that they're generally unaware of the distance ratio and the chitchat factor.
While I'm making this journey to health and fitness for myself, it feels great to have other people notice the changes I've made. I can and do motivate myself until the cows come home, but I still find these compliments--both verbal and implied--a motivational shot in the arm. Yeah, I'm going to the gym tomorrow, no matter what my quads say.
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