Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I'll admit it, I haven't done cardio in weeks. Maybe a month. I've been busy with a huge project at work, working 12 to 15 hr days for about a month. And it's easy to skip cardio, just do some weights and squats at home, and leave it at that. And, of course, skimp on sleep at the same time. Wonderful combination.
We finally finished the giant project. Mailed it off on Monday, after a marathon weekend. Sooooooo happy to see it gone.
And I suddenly was exhausted. All those weeks of not enough sleep and too much coffee caught up with me. I went home early on Monday and napped for 2 hrs. Slept a full night. Napped again Tuesday after work.
But Tuesday morning, when I arrived at school, I walked. I signed in, and went for my 25 minute circuit around school - up and down stairs, up and down ramps, around and up the hill and down and around. And it felt GOOD!
I walked again this morning. 35 minutes today. I pretended I was Rocky Balboa as I ran up and down the steps in front of the auditorium. I said hi to people, who said "You exercising, Phebe?" - People who had seen me doing this last year, or earlier this fall, but hadn't seen me walking my circuit in a month or so.
And I realized how essential this walk is. Every morning, this walk energizes me. I wake up while I walk. I feel the cool air, and breathe deeply - before the sun is all the way up and heating our little island and making walking later in the day unbearable. My blood starts pumping, my lungs open up, and I get just sweaty enough to know I've done something. My thighs ache after the ten up-and-downs of my Rocky routine, but they feel alive. My calves feel strong as they propel me up and down the ramps.
Why don't I do this more often? Why do I let writing our accreditation study get in the way?
I need to remember how good this feels. I need to make this happen, each and every day.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
I was having breakfast at our usual spot today, and started thinking about this fitness and weight loss journey. I started on January 2, 2007; today is October 7, 2007. And in that 9 months and 5 days, I've lost 45 lbs. (Today made it the 45.) That's my halfway mark. And instead of thinking oh geez, another 45 to go - all I can do is marvel that I'm halfway there. 50% gone. Halfway to goal. Like a 50 yard play in football. Wow. How did this happen? It seems almost effortless. Not a big deal. I didn't go on a major diet. And yet, this is more weight than I've lost in my entire lifetime!
I was a chunky kid. By the time I was in 5th grade, I was taller than my teacher - but I was also in the "chubby" size of girls clothing. When I was 14, we moved 3000 miles from NY to WA, and I went from 140-ish to 180 (I'm an emotional eater). I graduated from HS at 180, where I stayed most of my adult life, give or take 5 lbs.
My last 2 yrs of college, I went on Atkins and in those 2 years went down to about 140 - I was a size 12, and while I now look back at those photos and realize how great I looked, at the time I felt I was sstill chubby. Mostly, I was still flabby in the middle. I was active, my arms and legs were shapely - but I'm built like women in Renaissance paintings, with the nice arms and legs and the fertile belly and hips.
I went off Atkins, and in 2 years I was back up to 180. Size 14-16. XL. I looked okay, not great - I could live with that. I exercised regularly, ate well, had great bloodwork and physical exams. This was just me.
Then I met DH. In 6 months, my cholesterol went up 60 points. I also gained 10-15 lbs. I struggled to lose it. Then, a few years later, I fell in Hurricane Lenny and tore everything in one knee. Two years and two surgeries later, I was up 40 lbs (after 4 consecutive months in a leg stabilizer). So there I was, 50 or so lbs larger than my usual adult weight. Up to a size 20W or so.
And in January, Notblushing convinced me to come over here to SparkPeople. I did. I slowly made changes in my life. Once a week breakfast at the coffee cart instead of more frequent visits. Banana bread (195 cals) instead of a scone (450+ cals). Skim milk instead of whole. Even mmore fruits and vegs than before (I've always been good about that). Smaller portions. Conscious eating. Cut out all fried foods (which meant mostly just no more french fries). Smarter choices at restaurants. Don't eat all the pasta in a restaurant serving. Be happy with two bites of dessert instead of stuffing down a whole slice of something.
And slowly I added exercise. Walk a bit. Then walk a lot. Then take a deliberate 2 hr walk, with hills. Or vacuum the entire house (takes 90 minutes). Just do something every day. I bought weights. I bought bands. I bought a ball. And I do something, every day, even if it's just crunches and yoga moves. Something.
And suddenly, here I am 45 lbs lighter. I have an entirely new wardrobe. I've never lost weight this quickly. Or this easily. And when I look back at these lifestyle changes, I realize that this WAS a big change - but it wasn't a dramatic lifestyle change. It was just tweaking in a lot of areas. It wasn't giving up whole food groups - it was just giving up things that I didn't eat much anyway.
I love chocolate. I think it's a basic food group. But I also know I'll eat a whole chocolate bar if it's there. So now, if I crave chocolate, I'll have a little and give someone else the rest. Or I'll buy a one-cup serving of ice cream, and eat it as two portions. Or I'll make No Pudge brownies.
I'm still eating. I'm just eating smarter.
And my body is so much happier with me! And my soul is so much happier with the mirror!
"How did you do it??????" acuaintances ask when they see me, such as at the party last night. "You look great, how did you do it? How much have you lost???"
I proudly answer, "I've lost 45 lbs, and all I've done is eat less and exercise more. And joined SparkPeople." And it really has been kind of easy!
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I'm chairing the accreditation team at school. Someone else had been the chair of this committee, but he didn't finish stuff up last year, and then he retired. And left no paperwork. No notes. No hard copy of anything. Just whatever the committees who did the work had stored on their computers.
We're in crunch mode - the accreditation self-study needs to be in the hands of the reviewers on or before October 24. So we need to mail things by Oct. 20.
I'm still trying to get all information submitted - which means endless meetings and trying to cajole others into writing what they need to write. I'm trying to make it easy. I give people hard copies of the forms. I email the forms. I carry the laptop computer so they can use their jumpdrives to get the forms. So this way, no one has to look up anything, or recreate the form - just type into the stuff I give them.
No one wants to do this. I get arguments about why wasn't this done last year? Well I don't know, I wasn't chairing the committee last year. The delay isn't from me.
Grown people. Professionals. Arguing, hoping that I'll capitulate and tell them I'll do their work. (Like I know what they do in the Math department to work toward student achievement? Like I know how many computers we have in the entire school?)
So I called DH and told him I really want to go walk off some of this frustration, and then reward myself with a big ice cream.
I think we're going to walk, and then just have a normal dinner.
But oh, chocolate would soothe my agitated soul!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
I have lost my tush. I have lost 40 lbs, and my tush went with them. Yes, I have returned to the barely-there white woman tush that I used to have.
I lived in Liberia, West Africa, and would often hear "De woman got no bum!" I currently live in the West Indies (on the island of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) and again, often hear "De woman got no bum!"
And then I blew out my knee in Hurricane Lenny, was in a brace for four months, had two surgeries in 2 years, and put on 40 lbs. Mostly in my hips and belly and tush.
It was a nice tush. Round and firm and shapely. Like a peach. DH loved that tush. I kind of liked it. It filled out pants and dresses, and looked nice. Unfortunately, the tush matched the belly and hips, so I looked like a pear from all angles. But the tush itself was nice.
Now it's gone. And with it, all its friends, those extra fertile hips and the perpetually pregnant looking tummy. Gone.
I don't miss the hips, I kind of like the athletic looking shape I see forming, with broad shoulders and slimmer hips. I remember that shape. I don't miss the tummy, I like having the front looking flatter and flatter.
But I don't like the flat tush. I miss my tush. I mourn the loss of my peach-shaped tush.
"De woman got no bum" is back.
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