JENJESS48   53,380
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Rough Ride

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friday I took a small spill while riding my brand new bike. As I promised myself - and my fellow Sparklers - I got back on this weekend. Today, specifically. And it was rough.

First of all, it took me about a dozen tries and four minutes to even mount and get started. I kept overthinking and tipping over. I very nearly gave up and went back in the house. In fact, I would have if DH's buddy Mike wasn't over to help him with home repairs. I couldn't bear the thought of going in the house and admitting defeat or, worse, asking DH to hold the bike for me while I got on. That was far too embarrassing of a prospect. So, after much trial and error, I finally got started.

Everything went fine until I met a man walking his feisty rottweiler. I was pulling up to the intersection they were standing in when the dog suddenly started barking and lunged for me. I screeched and came to a halt. Usually I'm not at all afraid of dogs; I grew up with big dogs and know that usually their bark is far worse than their bite. But I already felt vulnerable on the bike and know that rottweilers can be a pretty vicious breed. The man apologized and explained that the dog almost got run over by a bike when she was a tiny puppy, and so is scared of bicycles and consequently gets aggressive around them. (Thus my fear of rottweilers versus, say, schnauzers.) He hollered at the dog and got her to sit, to my great relief. I remounted easily that time and got underway again.

But then I started speeding down a big hill. A steep gravel hill was the cause of the accident I had as a kid that kept me off bikes for 20 years. So I had a sudden vision of myself flying over the handlebars. I took a deep breath, told myself not to be silly, eased off the brakes (flashback to driving lessons: braking and steering are a zero sum game, so ease off the brakes to have more control), and coasted down the hill without incident.

Oh, how I longed to go home. But I didn't. I kept going. The next time this happened, though, I did head home. The ride took me a good 5 minutes, though, and I took the long way around so I didn't feel too much like I had chickened out. My ride, not counting the 4 minute mounting disaster, took me 18 minutes. I'm certainly not thrilled with it, but I'll take it.

I won't have another chance to take the bike out again until Friday and honestly, I'm glad for the break. I think doing something else for a couple of days will help me to regroup. But I need to ride on Friday, as DH and I are going on a cruise starting Saturday.

Something tells me that bike riding is going to be a medium to long term project in overcoming fear. And I don't like it one little bit. I almost never let my fears rule me or keep me from doing what I want to do. Coming so close to capitulating to fear is a rare and unpleasant experience for me. But I'm too darned stubborn to give in. I'll learn to ride smoothly and with confidence if it takes a year!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOTUSFLOWER 11/17/2010 11:44AM

    I'm proud of you for getting back on so quickly, and for going the distance.

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KITHKINCAID 11/14/2010 9:33PM

    It's going to get better! Have faith :)

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KT-NICHOLS-13 11/14/2010 3:23PM

    Good for you for getting back on!

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First Bike Ride

Friday, November 12, 2010

I bought a bike as my reward for dropping my BMI to overweight, from obese. The bike is a huge reward for a huge step, and will help me continue to lose. This is also a pretty courageous step: I haven't ridden a bike since a bad wipeout when I was 13. But I really wanted to try it, and I hate living hemmed in by fear. So, fears be damned. I bought the bike.

Today I took the bike out on a serious ride for the first time. And I was alone. I thought about running errands in the neighborhood on the bike, but decided to just tool around instead. And it was a good call. I'm still not a very confident rider, so venturing onto the larger roads to the post office and dry cleaner was a bigger challenge than I'm ready for.

Turns out I was smarter than I thought. I was heading slightly downhill towards a stop sign when I heard a car behind me and panicked a bit. I threw on the brakes, slid on some leaves, and tumbled off the bike. Luckily I managed to half jump off so that the bike didn't land on me. And I fell right by a steep slope covered in ivy (in lieu of a retaining wall). So I leaned into the hill and ivy, caught myself, and righted the bike without harm to either of us. (Yes, I was wearing a helmet. A cute pink one with little multi-colored starbursts. Thank God I didn't need it! Still, that little tumble proved to me why I wear it.)

I was already red-faced, breathing heavy, and surging with endorphins due to exertion. Add the fear, and I was a bit of a mess. So I stood there and tried to decide what to do. I could either walk the bike home or continue my ride. First I thought of my horseback riding experience. I am not a trained rider, but I learned on a greenbroken horse and am therefore very confident. I've been bitten, dragged, stepped on, and kicked. But every time I got right back on. So I didn't see why the bike should be any different. (It is different, though, because I've always trusted the horses I've ridden even when they're acting up. With a bike, it's just me and my own skill - or lack thereof.) Plus I'd earned that bicycle and spent a lot of money on it. That means I have to use it.

With some trepidation I climbed back on. I took the direct way home, which was still a 7 minute ride. Admittedly, I was relieved to hop off and head into the house. But I did it: I fell off and got right back on. And I'm proud of that. But I need to take the bike out again this weekend and prove to myself that it's really not that scary. That I can do this. This is going to be my fitness challenge for the WTF weekend special template.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITHKINCAID 11/12/2010 11:07PM

    Way to go Jen. Face those fears. Otherwise the bike will sit unused. And the next time you and Pat come to the city - we need to hit some trails together!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 11/12/2010 8:21PM

    Thank goodness you didn't need that helmet! So proud of your accomplishment. Enjoy the ride this weekend ...

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Fitness Assessment

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I am very luck y to have a quality gym at work and time on the clock to use it. I am even luckier that we have trained fitness staff available to us. Today I finally took advantage of it and did a fitness assessment. The assessment is pretty thorough and covers 11 areas; it's scored from "needs work" to "fair" to "fit" to "excellent."

First, the good news: I scored excellent in my resting heart rate (62) and push-ups (25). My systolic and diastolic blood pressure were both fit, at 127 and 83 respectively.

My bicep strength was fair, at 41 pounds.

Now the bad news: body fat (31.2%), aerobic fitness (22.4 ml/kg/min), back flexibility (28 cm), BMI (31), waist to hip ratio (0.81), and sit-ups (15 in 60 seconds) all need work.

I was surprised that I was rated excellent in anything at all, but resting heart rate kind of made sense. The push-ups were a big shock; I never thought of myself as having much upper body strength. And I was unpleasantly surprised by my low level of aerobic fitness and high waist to hip ratio. The trainer said I carry my weight through my middle, which is NOT how I think of myself. I tend to carry my weight in hips/butt/thighs and the bust; my waist is defined and definitely smaller. So this came as a blow.

The trainer said that I should focus on doing 4 30-minute workouts a week at 125 average heart rate. She said that would help with body fat, aerobic fitness, back flexibility, BMI and waist to hip ratio. We plan to meet again on 1 December to work on a more detailed workout plan, and I'm to follow her aerobic advice in the meantime. She'd also like to see me drop to 179 pounds, from 186.4, by 1 January. We'll do another fitness test on 1 February to see how much I've improved.

Bad as most of this news is, it's what I needed. I needed both a swift kick in the rear and a reality check. I've done a decent job with nutrition but I know that my workouts weren't intense enough. And here's the proof in cold, hard data. The good thing is that I have an improvement plan and support to reach my goals. And the opportunity to retest and document improvement. So overall I'm happy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMSOLO10 11/10/2010 10:48PM

    What a great opportunity you have there at work! to have a trainer set up a plan for you is awesome. sounds like you have several positives going your way one of them being your resting heart rate. that is so healthy for your heart along with a great BP.
Did you have to pass any fitness testing for your job when you started? My son is training right now for a position in HSD. He is a little concerned about the running but hopes he will have enough training time to achieve the level needed.

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LOTUSFLOWER 11/10/2010 8:21PM

    Great goals, and it's good to be assessed and see where you're at. You're strong, woman! The push-ups are always the hardest for me. emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 11/10/2010 8:13PM

    Here's me kicking you in the butt - emoticon


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BTRTHANEVA 11/10/2010 5:07PM

    Good for you for taking advantage of this assessment!

Think of today as your starting point. You received some information to help put everything in the proper perspective, from someone *in the know*. It's the awareness of reality and a plan to move forward with those defined goals that will direct you to successful results!


Now that you know what's expected - go for it! I can't wait to follow your journey!

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Discipline and Small Victories

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Late afternoon/early evening is always the hardest time of day for me. I work late, usually until around 8. So I work out around 6 or so then have a small snack before heading home; DH and I generally eat dinner around 9 then go to bed at 10ish.

This week especially, the time in between when my coworkers go home around 6 and when I go home has been killing me. Yesterday I didn't want to go to the gym. Today I went without a struggle but my snack proved the problem.

I grabbed what I thought was a 100 calorie pack from the snack drawer. Then I thought "Huh, this seems awfully big," so I checked the nutritional information. I bought the wrong box! The packets contain 210 calories, not 100! And I'd only budgeted for 100 calories (I've got turkey breast, roasted veggies, and boiled potatoes waited for me at home...drool). So I ate half the pack, folded up the package, clipped it closed, and put it back in the drawer.

And I'm really proud of myself. The way I figure it, these small victories of discipline over the little red devil are what makes or breaks my weight loss journey. Small, regular wins like this are going to eventually lead me to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight.

emoticon emoticon

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMSOLO10 11/2/2010 10:28PM

    Great job Jen! You recognized a problem area and were the conquering hero against that little red devil thats inside all of us.
May God bless your efforts in taking care of your body, His temple! emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 11/2/2010 9:57PM

    Man - you put it back? That's amazing. Seriously. I NEVER put 1/2 the package back. Way to go!

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PARAMAGIC66 11/2/2010 9:24PM

    YEAH!!!! Good for you. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRANPATTIE 11/2/2010 8:12PM

    What a victory for you. It's really hard to stop eating something you're enjoying and put it away. But you did it. I agree with you about the small things. I believe we always need to look for the small victories along the way...especially when we're struggling. If you become aware of the victories you have achieved, it makes it easier to keep on plan and not waste (or waist) those victories. Then you'll getting to the finish line all the quicker.

I'm proud of you! emoticon

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Fought that little red devil

Monday, November 01, 2010

emoticon Let's go to the gym!

emoticon I'm tired.

emoticon Let's go anyway. It'll make you feel better.

emoticon Nah, let's just run at home tomorrow.

emoticon That gym bag sitting in your cubicle isn't merely decorative.

emoticon Huh, that's interesting. I'm hungry. Hey, what's in the snack drawer?

emoticon You had a banana half an hour ago. You can have some crackers from the snack drawer after your work out - if you're even still hungry.

emoticon I'm still tired.

emoticon Just do 15 minutes on the stationary bike. If you're not into then, we can go back to the desk.

emoticon I forgot my iPod and the radio probably sucks.

emoticon Bring your magazine and ignore the radio.

emoticon But....

emoticon Let's go to the gym! Let's go to the gym! Let's go to the gym!

[five minutes later]


[fifty minutes later]

emoticon and the aforementioned crackers.

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SGRAY478 11/1/2010 10:40PM

    I love winning that war!

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KITHKINCAID 11/1/2010 10:32PM

    Yey! Good job!

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PARAMAGIC66 11/1/2010 10:01PM

    Good for you! I had to change my workout schedule and not go today. I don't like it. I feel like I am slacking. emoticon

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COURAGETOMOVE 11/1/2010 8:04PM

    I LOVE it when the lil red devil loses!

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SARA0246 11/1/2010 7:58PM

    That was a very fun blog to read... Glad you ended up at gym!


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MCCALI59 11/1/2010 7:57PM

  emoticon emoticon

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