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I haven't updated since last July

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Okay, so it's been a while.

What has been going on? Well, I'm still working with my Coach and I've only maybe missed a handful of workouts since July. I am getting stronger. Right now I am working my way toward a real pull up. I started with a small, medium and large resistance band for assisted pull ups and I have worked my way from the large to the medium band. Sadly the cold has resulted in me staying indoors most of the time. I've been trying to get out and walk more. I miss hiking.

I gained 2-3 pounds over Christmas, which made me decide not to eat junk food for an entire year. I put together a pretty extensive list of foods that count as junk food. I focused on stuff that is a real problem for me to resist, like pizza and ice cream and things with added sugar. I'm paying myself (from our savings) $1 for every day I succeed, but only until I break the chain. So far I have gone 1 month and 13 days without junk food and I'm doing fine. Some days are harder than others but it's a lot easier than debating all the time whether I should or should not allow myself to eat something.

I weigh 170 pounds which is still 22 pounds less than I weighed In December 2012, but not really where I'd like to be. My remaining fat is kind of holding me back right now, impeding my flexibility and increasing my risk of injury when I exercise. Even though I haven't been eating junk food, I've still got a lot of bad eating habits and tend not to eat the most nutritionally balanced meals. Too much dairy, not enough vegetables, etc.

As far as the rest of life goes, I have an amazing job with a large community development corporation, I've been there about 3 months now and it has been a huge boost to my career. I am writing grants for large quantities of money. leading projects, and generally handling a lot more responsibility than I ever have. I love my coworkers and everything is good, though it is a very high-stress, high-pressure job most of the time. I am getting used to it. The commute is horrible. All of the snow we've been getting lately has made it worse. We got 11 inches today but at least my office closed.

Next Friday (1 week, 1 day) Dom is going to find out whether or not he is getting an internship for his clinical psychology Ph.D. You may recall we've already been through this twice and he did not match two years in a row. Here's hoping 3rd time's the charm! Yeah it's stressful because we don't know what's going to happen. If he does get an internship there's no telling what state it will be in, so I may have to leave my job. If he doesn't get an internship things are going to be incredibly difficult for both of us, so we are trying to remain optimistic. Thinking negatively just doesn't seem to be helpful right now.

Overall though we have been happy. We'll be celebrating 8 years of marriage in June. He's my beloved Squish Potato Pie.

I love my cat too, though I think he is starting to show his age now that he is around 10 years old. He's still pretty active but just a tiny bit less than he used to be. He's still a giant baby who doesn't want to do anything but snuggle.

Yeah, update. In a nutshell.

(Help! I'm in a nutshell!)

People who read this should update me on how they are doing. I've missed you guys.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TENNISJIM 2/14/2014 5:57AM

    Welcome back.

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MAURIZIA 2/13/2014 1:49PM

    So happy for the update. Sending positive energy to Dom for an internship.

Congrats on your job. I don't know that in this day and age there are any jobs that aren't high pressure. Even though I love what I do, the hours are so long...and once upon a time things slowed down in winter. Not so this year. I'm training a black woman who is going to expand our outreach into that community. Once she is trained, I will be doing the same for a Latina outreach worker. Both of whom will be under my supervision - plus my usual responsibilities - and may I add, no extra dollars for the extra efforts. :(

Like you, I'd like to be many lbs lighter than I started 2013, but I am 17 lbs lighter and now participating in a 5% challenge here at SP, which is helping me focus on foods and exercise again. In the first 3 weeks I eliminated 6 lbs, but had a tough food day yesterday. I believe it is all related to all the sn*w, ice, and cold this winter. You may remember I have SAD and I HATE sn*w!

That's my nutshell...back in I go. :) Hugs

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Fun With Pedometers

Friday, July 19, 2013

I got a new FitBit Zip pedometer, and it's loads of fun. It tracks steps, distance, and estimated calories burned. I love that it estimates my basal metabolic rate, so I get a reasonably accurate picture of exactly how much of a calorie deficit I have at the end of the day. The best part is the software it comes with - their online system gives you so much detailed information, like what parts of your day were the most active down to 15-minute increments! Lots of colorful charts and graphs, and even a food tracker.

This is only my 2nd full day with the pedometer so I am starting with little goals. I've been rather discouraged about a plateau over the last couple of weeks. This week has been tough because I've had to commute 3 hours a day for 5 days in a row, and the heat is killer with no air conditioning at work. The sitting and driving, and then more sitting, and then more driving is killing my back. But this morning I woke up and had lost 1 pound since yesterday! I wonder if the pedometer had anything to do with it? I definitely was more active than usual. I'm trying to deal with this heat by only going for short walks more frequently throughout the day. So like 15 minutes at a time. That way I don't get sick.

I've started to regularly make a recipe from SparkRecipes, Blueberry Oatmeal Protein Pancakes. I try to make breakfast my biggest meal of the day, and this pancake has a whopping 31.6 grams of protein! With a glass of milk it keeps me full for the entire six hours between breakfast and lunch.

I continue to look for work. I got some resumes out this week for some potentially fun jobs. I love working here, but I can't wait to end this miserable commute. Even NJ Transit into NYC would be better than this.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAURIZIA 7/20/2013 7:43AM

    Oh, congrats on your FitBit! I actually was thinking about getting one but they are expensive and didn't know anyone who had one. You're someone whose evaluation I would trust so now I have to check them out! :)

Oh, commutes are killers. Depending on where the Hope Bus is going, my commute can be 45 minutes one way (to the office) or up to 1 1/4 hours one way. Somedays I could just scream about it...or have the urge to pull into the breakdown lane and walk it for 15 minutes. I can't. I completely understand what it does to your bone structure. For me, my right knee begins to hurt at about the 45 minute mark...and my still not healed right shoulder just cramps from being in the same position. Is there a pillow, heated maybe, designed for cars, I wonder? That might help you. Sometimes I take my ice pack with me and throw it on my knee as I drive.

Have a happy Saturday! Hope it's cooler there than it is here!! Hugs.

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LAWANDMUSIC 7/19/2013 1:54PM

    Excellent post. Keep it up! ONWARD!!

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I Love Hiking, Volume I

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I love hiking. I really, really, really love it. I finally got out on the trail today. It was supposed to rain, but it only ever sprinkled. Everything was nice and wet and vibrant, but not too much mud. It was humid though. I was expecting only a few hills but it turned out to be pretty much constant hills, so I got a better workout than expected. And we were out there a good 2.5 hours, which is the longest hike, time-wise, for us so far.

It's like I could feel myself healing psychologically. All this crap I've been dealing with lately, none of it mattered. It was just an immediate experience of the wonderful wild beyond. Then of course I got home and realized I burned a gajillion calories. THIS is why I love the new nutrition tracker at SP - because after I put my hike into my fitness tracker, I knew just how many calories I had left today. (And it's some ridiculous number like 1,500.) It looks like I am ending today with a 1,000 calorie deficit.

That hike took a lot out of me, so I've been recuperating with Diablo 3 and some juice made with my new Nutri-bullet. My assigned workout today is actually pretty intense - 50 4-count flutter kicks, 50 chest-to-deck push-ups, 50 4-count overhead claps. I think I'm good and strong for it, though, even after all that hiking.

I was down another half pound this morning and that was before the hike, so I'm pretty happy with the way things have been going lately. I'm still feeling a vegetable deficit though - going to start working on that this week.

This week is going to be crazy, folks. My boss is out of town so I'll be holding down the fort by myself, and he asked that I come into the office all five days to be on call for my coworker who is running the kids' summer camp. Being in the office all five days means about 3.5 to 4 hours of driving every day for 5 days in a row. My back is going to be killing me from all that driving, I'm sure. Monday night I have to go get my knees X-rayed.

And Tuesday will be close to a double-shift, because I'm chaperoning the children to World Team Tennis in Villanova and won't be home until like 9pm. Mostly I'm there to express gratitude to our donor who is making the World Team Tennis thing possible for these kids. It's really neat what they are doing for them - giving them free tennis rackets and a free tennis lesson and then letting one of the kids make the first serve at the game. It's going to be an exhausting day, but also probably quite fun to see the children have such a unique experience.

My Coach has come around a bit, though I ended up not taking Aleve anyway (didn't feel I needed it) so the point was moot. He says training around knee injuries is relatively easy. He really wants me to see a physical therapist, so I'm hoping my doctor will give me a scrip for that after he looks at my X-rays. My Coach also asked me to get some ankle weights, so there went some more of my fitness budget! He had an interesting suggestion today about the knee pain - wondered if it had to do with my recent vacation and eating all that sugar. He says there's a close relationship between insulin sensitivity and joint pain. Food for thought.

And that's literally all she wrote!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CERTHIA 7/14/2013 2:44PM

    Inspiring post! Yes, I also love hiking, but I never get out as often as I should. It feels so healing and refreshing. Love the way the trees and grasses smells right after rain.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINWASH23 7/13/2013 6:21PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Arthritis of the Knees

Friday, July 12, 2013

I went to the doctor today about my knees, and apparently I have arthritis. He said it's common about 10-15 years after a knee surgery to develop this. He also sort of implied that it was really more delaying the inevitable and 10 years down the road it could be a lot worse. I told him I've been really active over the last 7 months, and he said all the high-impact activity was probably accelerating the process. So, for now I'm not allowed to do high impact stuff, like jumping/plyometrics, burpees, etc. I'm getting X-rayed on Monday.

I got into an argument with my fitness coach because he didn't like me taking pain meds as the doctor prescribed for the inflammation. He says it's dangerous to work out on pain meds because you don't notice you're really hurting yourself until it's too late. The doctor also told me to use a wrap, and my coach doesn't want me using a wrap either, for the same reason. I know he means well but I was pretty annoyed - he is the one who said, ''I am not qualified to handle this, you need to see a doc.'' And suddenly he's telling me to ignore the doctor's advice? Ultimately my Coach agreed to me taking the meds as long as there is a 12 hour period between taking them and working out. That sounds ridiculous but it will actually work with my schedule. I'm undecided on the wrap.

Anyways, apparently you can be 30 and have arthritis. Who knew?

I've been eating in my calorie range since I started tracking again over the last four days, though I haven't been eating enough vegetables. So far I appear to be maintaining my weight, and that's a good thing. The weight loss will come with time and I'm fine with going slow.

Tomorrow morning I'm FINALLY going to be able to go for a hike! I am so excited. It starts at 9:30am and we're going to be travelling along a river. Just 3-4 miles and nothing to put undue strain on my knee.

This is the story so far.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAURIZIA 7/13/2013 5:45AM

    It's not often I don't know immediately what to comment when I read your blogs. Today is the first time, actually. I'm not sure if it's because I'm tired or I'm stymied by your coach's reaction. Hmmm. As someone pointed out, the meds reduce the inflammation in your knees so you can use them & not have to live with the pain. Isn't this about keeping/making you healthy and not so much about making you an Olympian? This coach has been so great for you. I have seen the changes in your movements - perhaps you need to find a physical therapist that can work with you to stay active without killing your knees. If you stress them, they aren't going to be there for you. I know firsthand with my shoulder.

BTW, my cousin was 5 yo when he was diagnosed with arthritis. As an adult, he just did what he wanted to do and he is now on disability. Not a path I want for you, my friend.

Not sure anything I wrote helps. I just want the BEST for you 'cuz you are a great woman. Good luck with the decisions.


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OOLALA53 7/13/2013 2:09AM

    Shouldn't your trainer be tailoring the workout so that you're not taxing your knees whether you can feel it or not? So that you can take the meds and not have to be careful of them? What about deep water exercise?

But I know how it feels not to want to give up moving.

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ALIHIKES 7/13/2013 12:08AM

    BUMMER, I also have arthritis in my knees. Gentle exercise like walking is one of the best things for it! And the medications can really help. They REDUCE the inflammation which means it really is better for your knees.

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IVYLASS 7/12/2013 11:10PM

    I'm sorry about your knees, but I do agree with your doctor's recommendations. I went for a massage once and the therapist tried to unload on my some holistic crap about my chemotherapy causing my stress, and I replied, "Well, it saved my life," and she shut up after that. Follow what the doctor says and if your coach won't work with you, it may be time to see a new coach.

Have fun on your hike...take pictures!

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7 months and counting...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I'm grateful I seem to have been able to turn this week around. It's been a rough couple of weeks. I've been struggling to be back to clean eating following vacation, dealing with depression and stressing out about the job hunt (I was offered a really good job and i had to turn it down because they wanted a 2 year commitment and we are probably moving next year due to my husband's internship... everyone says I should have taken it any way and just left but I'm not like that, and I know my next job could be dependent on a good word from this one.) I got nothing done Monday or Tuesday and was feeling pretty lousy about it. And my knees have been really sore. I've iced them every day after working out, but it hasn't been enough. I'm going to see a doctor about it tomorrow.

...But now I am back in action. I've worked hard to get my nutrition back on track and that has improved 100%. I am back down to my pre-vacation weight. It took 10 days but really that's not so bad. I am really, REALLY happy about Spark People's new fitness tracking integration that now automatically adjusts your calorie range when you enter your workouts.

One thing that has kept me going is my fitness. I did the benchmark workout earlier this week and improved my time from 14:40 to 12:30 over the last month and a half. When I get frustrated I try to remember how far I've come. Last week I dropped a size in my hiking pants, from 16 to 14. Heck, the fact that I even own a pair of pants specifically for hiking says something about how far I have come over the last 7 months.

The weight is coming off slowly. I am 15 pounds down from December. My Coach is happy with this. He doesn't want me losing weight too fast. I'm sort of getting impatient lately but I need to step back and remember that's not what it's all about. What it's all about is being stronger than I have ever been in my life.

It's all happening. I just have to trust the process.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDA! 7/11/2013 9:13PM


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