Saturday, September 22, 2007
Just got home from the mall, and yes, I fit into size 2 Abercrombie jeans. The weird thing is, I fit into every size from 2-8 and really didn't notice much of a difference. They were a little stretchy, I guess.
I bought a pair of size 4 khaki pants for work from New York & Co, and a size small blouse. (The XS fit better in most places, but gapped in the chest.) I also got real running shoes! And a long-sleeved running shirt, because my race is in October. Can't wait to try out my running sneex to see if I notice a difference - all the running I've done so far has been in WALKING shoes!
And of course I also got gum and coffee. :)
Was with a friend I hadn't seen in 6 months. She was shocked at my skinniness. We think I'm thinner than her now, but she refused to try on the same pants as me to find out for sure. She has ALWAYS been much skinnier than me.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
My session with the personal trainer was on Monday.
On Tuesday I just did cardio and I was tired (from lack of sleep, not from Monday's workout!). I had to stop running after 2 miles/18 minutes, and I did some fairly slowish elliptical after that to get a full hour including warmup/cooldown. Felt bloated and not great.
On Wednesday I did 15 minutes of the stairmaster fit test and earned an "average" ranking (I usually get "fair", so average was good! On treadmill and bike fit tests I fare better...) Then I did chest and back, the three exercises of each that she'd showed me. Including stretching it was about an hour.
Today, Thursday, I did 5 minutes of walking, then I stretched, then I ran 5K in 27:55, then walked 2 minutes. Then I did 3 sets of walking lunges, 8 on each side, and I wasn't embarrassed! In fact, a guy was doing them at the same time, we had to share the hallway like swimmers sharing a lane! They felt hard and good. Then I did the two different kinds of leg press type machines - one where your feet stay still and your upper body slides up and down the machine, vice versa on the other. I did 3 sets each on those. Then I used the 2nd of those machines to do calves, then the other two calf exercises she'd shown me, 3 sets each. Finally I did squats with the bar machine thing (I need to learn names for these things!) - 1 set each of legs wide, medium, and together. Then I stretched. In all it took 70 minutes.
I'm actually feeling GUILTY that I've only been doing 30 minutes of cardio, and that I'm not doing more muscles - abs every other day in particular. But I should keep in mind that with my old routine I was doing cardio OR strength training most days, so doing a little of each every day should give me the same amount of time overall over the course of a week. I still need to do longer stretches of cardio sometimes to train for my race, but that could be something I do on weekends when I'm less tired or when I've just had some coffee or am feeling particularly good/energetic. Otherwise, I know I need to just try to move more throughout the day to make up for any decrease in cardio my new routine might result in.
Just when I was starting to think my body was done losing weight, I'm wondering if all this new exercise might be the thing that sparks the pounds to start dropping off again. I just weighed myself after my workout, it was 8 p.m. and I weighed 138-point-something...usually I weigh about 3 pounds more at night than I do in the morning so I'm hopeful (but not too emotional about it).
Also, I just got _Making the Cut_ by Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser fame after learning about it from another Sparker's blog. I hadn't realized that it is specifically written for someone in my situation - someone who only has a little bit of weight left to lose, who's already in decent shape, and wants to push to reach her best. So that's pretty exciting...can't wait to start to read...I just only hope that what she suggests is something I feel I can do without a major overhaul, since what I'm already doing (especially food-wise) is going so smoothly. I don't want to spend a bunch of time every day preparing these annoyingly tedious meals where I end up needing to use only half a can of this or half a piece of that, because everything else will be wasted and plus I don't have that kind of time on a daily basis. I am loving the weekend batch-cook method. This weekend it's going to be some kind of take on the zucchini lasagna recipe that was featured the other day, and/or a whole-wheat pasta or spaghetti squash dish with homemade tomato sauce, and also I want to find a way to use the bulgur and steel-cut oats I bought. I'll look up recipes, but in general I'd rather try to stick with ingredients I already have then to go shopping since I just did a huge grocery trip last weekend. But maybe I'll buy a few things, we'll see.
By the way...I think I've been looking a little chubby lately... stomach and hips stick out in my gym tank tops, legs and ankles are thick, upper arms have a hint of what might be saggy skin from having previously been overweight my whole life. :(
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
My gym gives you one free session with a personal trainer with your membership. I have been going for about three years but only just made my appointment for last night. I had wanted to get my body fat percentage tested with calipers so I can make an informed decision about my goal weight. She didn't have calipers, but said I look like I don't need to lose fat, just tone up (trying to flatter me or being truthful, I wish I knew). I feel like I'm somewhat toned already - and considering how often she remarked on how strong my legs were and how I could already handle relatively heavy weights (such as 15 pound dumbbells for chest exercises), I'm not sure why she thinks I need toning more than I need to lose fat. Anyway, she thinks that if I call the Needham Gold's, they might have someone who could do the testing.
So she showed me some moves that I should write in my blog so I can remember them.
1. Lie down on a bench, 15 pounds in each hand, arms out to the sides and bent, palms forward, lift
2. Same thing but lying back at an angle instead of flat.
3. Lighter weight (10???lb), lie flat on a bench, arms out, slightly bent, palms facing up, bring arms together like hugging a tree.
1. Lat pulldowns - I need to have a wider grip than I'm used to.
2. The one where you sit on a bench and pull the cable back, the one I already was doing.
3. Hold a handle attached to a cable that comes up from the floor, standing bent over at an angle to the machine, lift it up with elbow pointing up and back like starting a lawn mower, switch sides.
1. Dumbells, bent then straight up, like I was already doing.
2/3. 5lb weights, stand, alternate lifting forward, then side. Or I could hold them palms down, elbows out to the side, lift under chin.
1. The one I'm used to doing, with the rope handle.
2. With dumbbells, arms up and hands together, keep upper arms straight up, lower hands behind head and back up.
3. ...can't remember!! :( I think it may have involved holding the cable coming up from the floor, (same as in back #3), but going from bent arm back to straight arm back?
Biceps: (she scolded me for usually skipping biceps!)
1. hammer curls (palms facing inward) with dumbbels
2. concentration curls (sit, line up upper arm with thigh, lower and lift
3. Lie back on bench (I think it was at an angle), keep upper arms by body, lower and lift weight with palms up, kind of like a 45 degree angle from body.
1. She strongly recommended walking lunges. Not as hard as I thought they'd be, but I'm still embarrassed about doing them. Recommended holding a bar weight across shoulders.
2. Use the squat machine (the one with a bar that doesn't come off, to the right of the entrance to the back room), put padding on bar so it doesn't hurt neck, do squats with butt sticking out and back straight, once with legs wide, once medium, once together.
3. Two machines that both seemed like leg presses to me but are apparently different...way off to the right in that middle room.
Leg machines - she said to skip quad machines, do hamstring machines (alternating sitting/lying), can alternate the leg press machine that I usually do with the one she showed me, skip the inner thigh machine but the outer thigh machine is ok.
1. "s*** kickers" - hold onto calf machine, squat down, lower and lift calves
2. use the calf machine as intended, or the seated one
3. use the leg press (the one in the middle of that middle room, not the one by the mirror), but with heels off edge to get calves
1. on stability ball, arms crossed on chest, don't need to lift very high
2. lie on ground, hold stability ball between legs, arms in V, lift to touch ball, lower.
3. the move sitting on the edge of a bench I'd been doing, but with a dumbbell between feet.
She said the oblique machine and/or the other move I'd been doing with elbow to opposite knee are both fine for obliques. She also might hold dumbbells in each hand and bend upper body to alternating sides, or do the same thing in the back room with the cables coming up from the floor on either side of you.
Anyway, she suggested that I do 3 sets of 3 exercises for each muscle, doing only a couple muscles per day (and of course never doing the same muscle 2 days in a row), about a half hour per session. I did them all yesterday so none today, but maybe starting tomorrow I could just do cardio + 2 muscles per day, every workout. There are 10 muscles to target if I really want to break it down..
But I think 9+10 go together, and 6+7 (especially since I can't necessarily remember which exercise is for quads and which is for hamstrings!), and possibly 8 too (and butt!), and then there are 5 upper body which could be broken into chest/back and biceps/triceps and shoulders could go with either one or both. I guess I will just try it out and see what I like and/or mix it up.
Food note - I had another binge on Sunday night, MUCH smaller than last weekend but still lots of food. It seems to be triggered lately by making a crockpot dish and realizing it's not going to all fit so then I start taking a bite or two of the barley or chickpeas or whatever and then I go into the mentality of "I've already eaten something off my plan, so what else can I get my dirty little hands on" and I ate all my dates - again cheating with the dates - I have now bought dates twice and both times gorged on them - they taste like chocolate to me. If I can't handle them responsibly I shouldn't buy them at all! I also kept sneaking tastes of my huge nut mix I was making (Market Basket didn't have the Planters unsalted mixed nuts I usually buy, so instead I bought unsalted peanuts and a bunch of nuts from the baking aisle - walnuts, shelled sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pecans, chopped hazelnuts, and whole almonds and I mixed them up. I call it the Planters mix on my nutrition tracker because it was too difficult to make it a food grouping and determine what decimal portion each serving is, especially since I'd eaten some of it already.)
So pre-binge I was at a very happy almost-record low weight of 135.0 on Sunday. Monday morning, right after the binge on Sunday night (plus no exercise because I didn't have time), I was only up to 137.8 which is proof that the world does not end even after a binge/no exercise combo - the key is just containing the binge into as small a period of time as possible (I even cut it off mentally that night - otherwise would have considered going back for more) and getting right back on track ASAHP (H=humanly). Today, Tuesday, I was back to 136.6. I did about 26 minutes on the treadmills before my session last night and that included 3 minutes of walking warmup plus running not necessarily at personal-record-breaking speeds (and feeling more than usual like I couldn't wait for it to be over - was tired), then the training was about an hour but of course some of that was talking or watching her demonstrate. Then at Jess' I took 1 big bite of his Near East Parmesan cous cous. We both know that even "one bite" of something can set me off on bad habits, but it didn't last night. This morning he commented that it was nice my weight was down even after that bite! Really, I shouldn't be taking bites here and there of things that aren't on my plan, but my reasoning was that I was tired, hungry, and possibly ready to begin maintanence anyway.
Oh one more thing, the trainer said she doesn't count calories but thinks she eats around 1,500-1,800. She is 5'1" or 2" and 125 pounds - very low body fat and big muscles (and big fakies too!!), but she does seem to count "portions..." she said she eats some protein and broccoli every two hours - and "can eat as much as a man" - like a whole chicken. She used to do strength/body shows. She says you can't go by the scale. She also said she has a cheat day once a week. Oh, and I think I probably do more cardio than her, and for her 7 mph is a "sprint." Random ideas tonight!!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Reflection time... I am currently at my very best (so far!) in terms of my healthy lifestyle! I am thinner*, fitter, and more energetic than ever and I really have my methodology down so it's not a struggle to keep it up. (*I just checked my weight chart. There were precisely 2 days where I weighed less than I do today - 135... Once was in April when I weighed 134, the other time was in May when I weighed 132. I was in starvation mode though. I did NOT feel good or have energy.) My attitude is really good now too...my new habits are just part of my lifestyle, but when I do slip up I just get right back on track. I have realistic long- and short-term goals that I will adjust as I learn new info - such as my ultimate goal weight and how my body fat percentage affects it. I know I look good and I love to show it off. Last night I wore a 5-year-old sparkly halter top that never looked this good on me!!! And at the mall I squeezed into a pair of size 3 Hollister pants, although the 5s fit better. At Express I fit into size 4 pants and size XS tops.
Here are my habits, they're not really new any more, but these are the things I do on a regular basis in order to achieve my health goals (in no particular order):
*I take a few minutes each evening to plan what I'll eat the next day, making sure to meet recommendations for calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients. This process has become much faster and easier over the 8+ months I've been doing it.
*I have a grocery list on the fridge where I jot down things I've run out of or ingredients I need for a healthy recipe. At the grocery store I buy my healthy staples and a variety of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources.
*I exercise as close to every day as possible, always pushing harder, including cardio, strength training (never two days in a row), and stretching.
*I weigh myself every morning.
*I drink coffee almost every morning and delay breakfast as late as possible. (Once I start eating it's hard to make myself stop!)
*I drink lots of tea, seltzer, and water, and I chew gum, to fill the void that endless snacking used to take.
*I take lots of pride in my appearance and in the things my body can do now that it couldn't do before, especially running!!!
*I write in my blog and on my spark teams, and/or I read health books/magazines, because I know how very important it is to keep motivation high.
*Now that the school year has begun, I batch-cook 5-10 servings of a healthy recipe (usually in my crockpot) and put in tupperware containers. I also boil a few eggs at a time. This makes daily meal planning SOO quick and easy!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Today on the treadmill I did 5K in 27:48. Me-yesterday would have beat me-today by a minute and 28 seconds! Possible reasons:
*Not enough of a break between runs
*Today I ate right before running
*Not enough water?
*Jess thinks not enough coffee? But I doubt it
*My workout today was several hours earlier than usual...but I still got plenty of sleep last night
I plan on keeping lots of notes about my runs between now and the Big Race. Gotta figure out what works best.
Oh, another possible reason...I attempted 8.0 mph for a little while today. Maybe that wiped me out. Usually I never try anything faster than 7.5. I probably should have tried 7.6. Baby steps have gotten me this far...
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