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Reflections on the last 8 weeks...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Not that I've been in short supply of this, but it is commanded by our BLC fearless leaders to blog about it, so blog I shall. This last 8 weeks have been a little different so I guess it's worth a moment or two of introspection.

Things I have learned:

-It is possible to maintain easily or even lose during 60+ hour weeks. All it takes is some commitment (and light at the end of the tunnel).

-It is possible to maintain easily or even lose eating out 90% of the time. Once you get over that restaurant food is somehow special, you make the same choices you would at home (lean meats, extra veggies, smaller portions, etc)

-It is really, really, really hard for me to cut my workouts just due to schedule constraints. I generally will cut out fun/relax time instead, and it's not really a voluntary choice or one I struggle with. I need my workouts.

-It is possible to maintain easily or even lose while nursing an injury for 2 weeks. It is necessary though to not treat that as a pass to stay inactive and eat crappy. You can strength train, walk, yoga, swim, and many other things that do not pound your feet.

-It is possible to maintain easily or even lose without tracking food. This is a big one for me. I didn't track for 2 weeks and I lost weight. As long as I listen to my body, I know what it needs. And I know one day of indulgence is not going to kill me. Heck, I lost 3-4 lbs over that 2 weeks. I went back to it because I felt my focus waining a bit so I decided I will keep up tracking daily until I decide I am done losing weight, or at least focusing on losing weight.

-When you're on a plateau for a few weeks, it's easy to forget all your successes before unless you have a handy dandy journal to look at. I've lost 9 lbs over the last 7 weeks, but it's hard to remember all those weeks ago when I was still fighting to get under 190, or even 200 and how far I've come from then.

-Sometimes, you just need some rest or to tell the structured workouts to piss off. Ice skating on Sunday was MUCH more fun than doing a normal workout, and it certainly wasn't easy.

-Sometimes, you have to choose between training as hard as you can and losing weight. Also, sometimes your body isn't quite caught up with your mind's idea of how fit you are (or even other parts of your body).

-Sometimes, you just have to be honest with yourself. Sure, I want to be fitter, and I love the new inner athlete and she just wants to do everything. I absolutely do not want to be one of those stick thin girls with no shape or muscle. The fact is, I am not yet happy with my size, and being as active as I am, I am more at risk for injuries. I need to take off at minimum 35 lbs before I even consider the weight loss journey done.

So, that's a look back, now to the future. I've gone from 210 lbs to 185 so far this year (25 lbs). As long as I hit 180 by July 1st (which I would actually love to do sooner, but who knows), I'm on track for 60 lbs this year (or my end of year goal weight of 150). I know now that I'll have a little party for myself at 170 (my original goal) but I can't see being happy in my skin in 15 lbs. There is still a lot of stomach flab, chin flab, and covering-the-tricep flab I want gone - as well as a ridiculously oversized top in comparison to my legs. As much as some weeks have been frustrating, through hell or high water I have gone down at least a steady 5 lbs a month or more since last August. There is no way to look at that and not be happy.

So as long as I continue on at this pace, I'll hit 150 by the end of the year. Woah! There are just so many things to be happy about now. I'm 6 lbs away from "overweight". 15 lbs away from my original goal. 16 lbs away the 160s. By the end of the summer I'll be at least another pants size down and be fitting into all the "skinny" college stuff I kept. I'm getting close to realizing my "ideal" of what I wanted to be again since my senior year of college. I can then work on my "ideal" of what I wanted to be again since my senior year of high school.

My mom asked me last time we talked if I was going to try for my gymnastics weight - and I'm not sure. 125 is only 60 lbs away - if I keep on with the 5 lbs a month I could do it in a year from now. I'm not entirely sure if I'll be truly happy with my size until then. And it feels like it's in reach.

Run went well yesterday, 2 miles was tough after 2 weeks off but I did it, and after a full body ST session too I was shakey and exhausted and felt good! Today is a lighter day with DDR and yoga, so that should be good stuffs. Off to do that. Happy Tuesday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEATHERHUSKER 5/22/2008 10:03AM

    great entry I enjoyed learning more aobut you and hope that we can talk more through the next BL challenge.

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SUNNIE_63 5/21/2008 12:53PM

    Again, you inspire me!! As I am closer to where you started, than where you are now, I think about your blogs while I am trudging along on my treadmill watching my Star Trek, ( my version of your secret weapon last summer DDR). I will be interested in and supportive up your continued journey of self discovery and reawakened fitness!! Good luck and carry on with the noble fight young warrior!!


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LOBO1978_2000 5/21/2008 12:24PM

    Great lessons learned.

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HOOPYLORAX 5/20/2008 6:54PM

    That is certainly an amazing set of lessons to pull out of 8 weeks. It is so cool that you've been able to keep going with all the stressors in your life recently. I am so proud to know you! I can't wait to say that I have completely awakened my inner athlete. She is still pretty groggy, but she's more alert than this time last year, that is for sure! Thanks for the inspiration!

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Back on track(ing)...

Monday, May 19, 2008

What a fantastic weekend! It was like something out of a vacation. Friday I indulged my fried shrimp craving at Saltgrass (with 5 fried and 5 grilled), and then we walked down to the new bar we found across the way (it's 10 mins away by foot, so dangerous), and had a lot of fun (maybe a bit TOO much fun, hehe). Next morning we got up and out and grabbed a sammich and soup for lunch and went shopping, and then instead of the day out at the lake like we had planned, the colder and overcast weather sent us to the couch for a movie watching marathon with a break for some yummy chinese food (shrimp with black bean sauce, veggie delight, a bite of orange chicken).

EDIT: I think I'm just going to look over my posts each week and do a week summary of how I feel, my progress, my high and low weight for the week, etc. If I'm tracking my food and exercise I think I can see trends there if I need.
Yesterday, we got up, got a bunch of errands and chores done, ate some moan-worthy deliciously grilled fish and veggies for lunch, and then went ice skating! I ice skated a lot when I was younger, so imagine my surprise when I get out there and start wobbling around like a newbie! I got my bearings after a while and was steadier but man oh man, what a workout. About an hour was all we could handle, shame really, because when we left the zamboni was smoothing the ice. I want to go back soon, and next time I will skate more! I also didn't want to mess up my ankles for my first training run today but I'm feeling fine, thank goodness. Then we sat outside in the beautiful weather and drank some corona lights (only 99 calories, yay) and played dominos. It was a most LOVELY afternoon. Then, some couch time and TV watching, BBQ'd healthy hot dogs and salad, more TV and laundry folding, and then early crash!

So as much as I was excited to get my sleep schedule back to where it was before, I was up today at normal time and feel awake and ready to go, go figure. I guess it does take about a month to make a habit, doesn't it? Well, it's nice to have the option of doing later or earlier hours, and it's even nicer to get off work now just after 5pm. I think I'm going to try to stick to these hours at least Monday and Friday (the days I plan to use the office gym) so I can be home about the same time as the fiance, and the other days we will carpool and both decide what time we'll go to work. It would be nice to not have to drive in everyday.

So today is the first day of week #1 of my training, I am going to have to fit 8 into 6 weeks if I want to do this race, but I think I can do it (I'm just using the schedule as a guide anyway). So this week I'm going to try to do this set schedule...

Monday: 2 mile run easy, full body ST
Tuesday: DDR, yoga
Wednesday: track 1.5 interval run, arms/legs ST
Thursday: off
Friday: 2.5 mile run easy, abs ST
Saturday: DDR/yoga
Sunday: off

Next week I will increase the mileage a bit, I just want to get back into what I was doing. I'll be listening to my body too, so if after 2 weeks off it's too much, I'll start slower.

I'm also back to counting calories. I've done ok without it, I've actually even took off about 4 lbs in the last few weeks (I weighed in at 184.8 this morning and saw 183.8 yesterday). I just feel my focus there waning if I'm not tracking and I don't feel good about it. So back to tracking, but with the knowledge that I'm ok with it too...that is a relief! I think I did just about as good as I would do tracking, with maybe a few extra bites here and there. Another few weeks of being good and vigilant, and maybe I'll see the 170's? That would be very cool. That would also put me into "overweight" territory and within 10 lbs of my original goal of 170.

Exciting times! Well, off to do a bit of producering, yummy salad lunch, more work, running, then dinner and relax. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to go back to reporting, I'll make that call today. Have a great Monday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOOPYLORAX 5/20/2008 12:08PM

    Glad your weekend was great, hon! Those mini-vacations are what make the rest of the week possible. & Your schedule sounds great. Go for it you amazing woman!

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OMG wheeee!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

They just told us today is the last day of long hours, tomorrow is a normal day and no work this weekend. I say - wheeeeeeeeeee!

That is all. Going home to do the happy dance some more, to celebrate that, the fact that I'm still hanging out at 186, and that I ran 9 minutes last night and my foot feels fine today. *dance dance dance*

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOOPYLORAX 5/16/2008 11:47AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

HOORAY! I'm doing my happy dance for you! Have a great weekend hon!

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LOBO1978_2000 5/16/2008 9:01AM

    Get your dance on! Woo Hoo

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Body Image and a Decision

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So I've made a firm decision. Monday it is back to food tracking and calorie counting, and back to aggressively pursuing weight loss (well safely aggressive at least), and trying to split the difference with running endurance training and strength training. In other words, my first priority is doing things that encourage the scale to drop safely, and secondary will be things that benefit my running training and strength.

Things going through my head... Flat out, I am not happy with the way I look at this weight. I am still 35 lbs away from what I will consider a final weight even at the top end of the scale. I see myself in pictures and in the mirror and while I definitely see progress, I also see how much further I have to go to really be content maintaining my weight. It would be a shame for these lovely muscles I'm developing to have to hide under the (smaller but still) large layer of fat I still have. I run a much lower risk of injury doing intense training when I'm at a lower weight. And frankly - I don't really care what time I run my first 5k at, I just want to finish.

But I still want to run, and I still want to do a 5k (maybe not the one in 6 weeks, but soon). I've been doing some reading, and apparently you can train for a race running 3 days a week with cross training, so I might work out my own schedule including 2 days of DDR/Yoga/etc. I am thinking:

Monday: 2-3 mile run on the treadmill, full body ST workout
Tuesday: 40 mins DDR and yoga
Wednesday: 2 miles intervals on the track, abs ST
Thursday: Rest
Friday: long slow run on the treadmill (30-45 mins), arms/legs ST
Saturday: 40 mins DDR and yoga
Sunday: rest

But we are also trying to start some dance classes too, which will make the days shuffle a bit. I might just have to make myself a checklist and check off what I do and pick and choose every day. So that would be:

1 - 2-3 mile run (easy pace)
1 - long slow run (30-45 mins, easy pace)
1 - 2 mile interval run
2 - 40 mins DDR
2 - 20 mins yoga
2 - Full body ST sessions

With the rules that:
-Interval run must be followed by either a day off or a non-running day.
-Interval run must be on the track.
-Each body part must not be worked 2 days in a row.

Anyone ever try to do a weekly fitness checklist? Fail miserably? Work well? I used to do this at work - make both a schedule but also a task list so that if I couldn't (or wasn't inspired) to work on the next thing on the list, I could jump around. I guess everything but the running and ST can also be superseded by other cardio like dance classes. But what seems to really take the weight off is DDR.

I am so very rambling right now. All I can really do is make a plan, jump in next week, and give it a try and adjust as I see fit. I really wish I had more time to work out but I really can't go beyond 5 hours a week with everything else in my life, so it has to be quality stuff.

So back into the body image stuff - its odd to me that people can look in the mirror every day and just be disgusted and unsatisfied with my appearance. Even when I was HUUUGE I found things about my appearance to like and most days thought I looked good when I left the house. Sure I'd have an "I look horrible and I have nothing to wear that fits me and I am not leaving the house today" day every blue moon (usually when dressing up for a party or going out), but normally I thought I was pretty spiffy. Imagine my shock when I see photos and BAM, it is a realistic version of myself. Every unflattering angle and little bulge that I don't see when I think of myself is there.

I've still got issues with that. I see myself in the mirror and go "Wow, self, you are lookin' mighty hot today. Nice job, self!" and then see pictures of that day and go - "Woah, self, we didn't look like this in the morning, what happened?" It's been a while since I saw pictures from our frequent get togethers (because EVERYONE has a new camera we whip them out all the time) and when I finally did - there is NO WAY I can be happy with my body in the shape it is in now. I thought I was hot stuff dressing up in my red pants, and my black tank and black stripey hoodie, and when I saw the pictures of me sitting down, I was frankly disgusted. Apparently these nice toned legs I see are like flattened sausages, I have chins I didn't know existed still, and I look like I've got a giant water balloon in place of my belly. I guess I see this awesome goddess that I know I am, and then pictures make me question that.

It knocks me off my high horse for a few days and then I'm fine, but it did come at a crossroads this time. And surely enough, influenced my decision to make weight loss my priority. I can absolutely see my progress, and there are a lot of pictures I see where I love how I look, but it's those "ug" shots that make me remember I have a lot more work to do.

I guess I sort of see this as a three phased plan.
1. Figure out how to lose the weight and get on a plan to do so (check, hi there spark people).
2. Stick with it until I get to a weight where I don't feel I need to be smaller (between 125 and 150).
3. Continue to make goals and improve my fitness and tone for the rest of my life.

I need to make sure I finish up #2 and don't get distracted. That is what I must do. While I still think I can accomplish 5k training and still make weightloss progress, if I have to choose I will always default to weight loss. Because as much as I might want to improve my time through intense training - I will also do that through weight loss.

So done with today. People here are pissing me off. Just let the day end already and hopefully tomorrow is the last long day *crosses fingers*. Talk to ya later!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOBO1978_2000 5/15/2008 5:42PM

    Sounds like you have a good plan going.

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HOOPYLORAX 5/15/2008 12:26PM

    Glad to hear you've decided on a plan. Seems like a good one! And as far as the self-image vs pictures thing: get out of my head!! I am so there with you! Just this last weekend, my MIL was showing me a pile of digital pictures she's got on her laptop of the "kids" one was from about 2-2.5 years ago, when I was at my highest. I can remember thinking that I looked nice that day. I see the pictures now and I can hardly bear to look at them. I know I've lost over 45 lbs so far, but I still have just under 30 to go, and I still think I look pretty good when leave the house each day. Does that mean when I get the last 30 gone, I'm going to look at pictures of me now and cringe, too? :) I guess we should be happy we've got enough self-confidence to feel good about ourselves anyway!

Again, you are a major inspiration to me. I'm getting regular about working out again and I keep thinking to myself that if Quix can do it, so can I.

/ BTW, we (my husband and I) are joining that gym this weekend!

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AKASHA66 5/15/2008 4:15AM

    Sounds like you have a plan. Pictures are a bummer though, aren't they. Both husband and I found that out recently too. The only consolation is imagining the photo at the old weight--really scary instead of just scary!

I feel your pain, it seems at the moment, and for the last several weeks, no matter how much exercise and eating within limits I do, scales don't budge. It is really testing my patience. And I don't really want to drop below 1400 calories a day either....

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Winding Down...Hopefully...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Well, its looking like this should be the last week of crunch, we are all a bit crispy, my male officemate now has a nickname of Gretta, I see people going from bickering to giggly to bickering - and the work is getting done and the bugs are getting closed....we're close. My hope is we finish the week with a regular out Friday and no Saturday but I think I'm an optimist. We shall see.

So I'm on the second week of not counting calories, and y'know, it's a good test. I really do believe I can maintain my weight when it comes time because I know what's good, I know how to listen to my body and give it what it needs (and generally, when I'm feeling blah, I need to max out the veggies instead of anything else), and can stop when I'm full. That's awesome! But I'm not losing. I'm still stuck between that 186-188 range where I've been bouncing for 3-4 weeks). I'm bouncing a little lower (no more dreaded 189s) but I still haven't seen that one solid week of weight dropping to a lower range like I'm used to every couple (this is really the week where I thought I'd stop seeing 188 and 187). I think that when crunch ends, I will resume tracking Monday. Besides Saturday which was a little crazy, I think I've been between 1300-1600 every day (just so much SALT because I'm eating mainly takeout).

My ankle/heel is about 95% better. There is still a little soreness after I work out and in the morning, and sometimes it just clickclickclicks, but it's getting there. Yesterday I did a mountain climber random workout for 30 mins, intervals on the bike (I HATE the bike but my foot was a little sore after 30 mins), and killed my arms. Today I am going to give DDR a try (since it's mostly ball of the foot, not heel), and wear my ankle brace for good measure). I think as I work into exercise slowly its helping, and it's not like I was 100% pain free before (gymnastics makes for ankle problems, I'm more worried about the heel weirdness), so cross your fingers for me that I'll be running soon. I miss it badly and I know I've lost some cardio fitness in the last week.

I am looking forward to being back to my normal sleep schedule (being in at 9-915ish instead of 8) and having time to relax after work (yesterday it was sad, I was in bed 2 hours after I got home from the gym). I can't wait to be home at 6 and eat real food instead of takeout and actually be able to be awake long enough to see my fiance for more than an hour. I would love to be able to help with chores again instead of him having to do everything. Did I mention real food? I guess I'm really sensitive to it but OY I can't handle another week of takeout dinners. I want stir fry and chicken from our grill and fish and rice and homemade mashed potatoes without lard and brown rice and as many veggies as I can possibly eat. I've been getting in my required servings, but I was up to 7-9 servings some days before this crunch and I REALLY miss it. Huh, I miss veggies. Odd. But awesome.

I have had a few cravings that I need to indulge though. I've wanted a milkshake for quite a few months, and I keep putting it off. I think I'll buy some slow churned ice cream and some skim milk and make myself a healthy version and see if that does the trick, but I continually put that off because spending calories on sweets is really hard for me to justify because I am perfectly fine with one scoop of ice cream or a kiss or 2 or a sugar free popsicle. I also am craving fried shrimp something fierce, so I'm off to red lobster or saltgrass to have some, probably this weekend.

Today I indulged in another one of them, a top notch burger (think In and Out if you're west coast, or if not, a thin patty with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, ketchup, mustard and bun and thin cut fries - McDonalds-esqe without the disgustingness of Mickey D's). It was tasty, but not the magic I thought it would be. I also felt icky this afternoon after eating it, somehow like I was overfull and hungry at the same time. So I think that I probably won't be dragging anyone to get this with me any time soon. Am I really done with hamburgers? That was the last one I liked. I just can't justify the calories of thick ones, most kids meal burgers are just icky (Chilis was gross but the right size, Fuddruckers is an exception though). And a burger and fries is a burger and fries (I just can't do the burger and salad from a joint, and I don't get them often because of that), so I would accompany the 800 calorie monster with another 400 of fry goodness.

I am off on a tangent. Now time to wrap things up here and work, go home, DDR and core, and then try to see if there is time for a movie before I pass out like an old person before midnight :P.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOOPYLORAX 5/14/2008 2:05PM

    I've been craving milkshakes, too. I got it out of my system on Saturday, though it wasn't as healthy. Glad to hear your heel is doing better.

So have you made the decision yet as to whether you are going train hardcore and potentially stall the weightloss or are you going to exercise easier and continue on?

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LOBO1978_2000 5/14/2008 10:01AM

    LOl. I think we all pass out before midnight now in this age range.

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