Friday, September 05, 2008
Here's a boring Thursday & Friday update.
On Thursday morning my weight was 147.4 (my scale). I went to the gym around 4:30 or 5:00 after having been at school all day, and I did my leg strength training routine. Then I was going to go for one of those fast hour-long elliptical sessions, but very soon I realized I was far too tired for that. So I did the hour, but I took it easy and barely made it over 5 miles. After that, I did stretching and abs, and then...I am crazy...I realized a Zumba class was starting, so I went to that and it ended at 7:30. So I worked out 2.5 or 3 hours!!!!!!! Then I went to Jess' and I was SO COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED. I fell into bed at 9 p.m.
Friday (today) I weighed 146.4 (Jess' scale, obviously) - WOW! I just checked my weight graph and saw a definite downward pattern over the past couple of weeks. This is amazing to me - before I tried this, I honestly thought I was going to GAIN weight eating in my "maintanence" calorie range. I used to think exercise didn't really have an impact on weight, but now I know that exercise DOES have an impact, but only if your eating is under control. I guess that's why they say exercise is so important for maintaining weightloss.
I am amazed that my metabolism is so high. As far as I can tell, if I'm still losing weight eating 2,000 calories a day, that means that my metabolism is high enough to burn MORE than 2,000 calories a day. I haven't done a search to see if that's particularly good or average or anything, but it seems good to me. Maybe I should research this!
Anyway, this week at school has been all about organizing my files and preparing to see students next week. Today being Friday, it was my last day to get ready. I was somewhat stressed about this and stayed at work twelve full hours - 7:45 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. I still wasn't ready when I left, but my mind was just DONE, and I can do some work over the weekend. Plus, Jess and I wanted to get to the gym this evening.
So tonight's workout was arms and then 15 minutes of speed work on the treadmill, followed by a very quick stretch. Jess never wants to spend a long time at the gym, and tonight I didn't either. I was impressed that I was able to squeeze in a full workout in less than an hour. My speed work was the same as last time - I felt a bit too tired to increase, but I will increase next time. I alternated between 5.5 mph and 7.5 mph, one minute each. My last speed interval was 8.0 mph instead of 7.5. It was enough to get me sweaty (and have that "I've worked out" feeling) in just 15 minutes. So far I haven't tried doing the intervals for any longer than 15 minutes...I bet that's why I like them so much!! I think I COULD go longer, but it would quickly grow to be a chore. I think that instead of going longer, I should just try to increase the speed... and save longer workouts for more palatable stuff like the elliptical or a class.
Anyway, I need to pick another recipe or two this weekend and go shopping and plan my meals for the upcoming week. I had all my meals planned out in advance this past week and it really helped - I don't have time or energy for that stuff midweek. I'm not sure what I'll make... I really loved the eggplant I made this week, but wasn't as crazy about the curry. Time to go and check Spark recipes!
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Yesterday was the first day of school AND we had another Red Sox game to go to. But I planned ahead to make time to work out. I packed two days' worth of clothes and meals so I wouldn't have to waste time going home (we stayed at Jess' last night) and I actually changed into my gym clothes in my office at school at 3 p.m. yesterday because I still hadn't decided whether I was going for a run outside or to the gym near the park. I was hungry...I guess being at school does that to me? (So much for eating nothing but my smoothie and coffee all morning - I was starving and ate some eggplant parm at 10 a.m.!) Anyway, so I stopped for a skim latte, got some quarters, and parked at a meter...brought what I'd need for the gym and the game, and got to the gym right across the street from Fenway around 4:30. I did shoulders/arms/elliptical/stretching/abs. It was so cool to be able to see Fenway Park while on the elliptical. The elliptical calculated things differently than the one I usually use - it told me I was burning more calories but going slower - 5.12 miles in an hour, but I kept my heart rate up and felt good, so I'm not worried. Someone who worked there was really nice and even lent me a towel so I could shower before the game. I made it to the bar where I had to pick up my tickets at 6:30, so I definitely got a full workout in. I felt pretty proud of myself for having gotten that workout in before the game!!!
At the game I was hungry so I had an iced coffee (half-caf) with skim and a beer - Jess got me a Sam Summer - not a light beer!! (It was my fault - I asked him for a light beer, but knowing that would mean he'd have to wait in two different beer lines, I told him, "What I don't know won't hurt me," but then I wanted to know and he admitted it wasn't a light beer...he said, "If you're just going to have one, it might as well be good.") The drinks were enough to take away the hunger pangs even though people all around me were eating yummy stuff like chicken fingers and fries, soft-serve ice cream, mini pizzas, big soft pretzels, Cracker Jacks... Any of which would have thrown my calories WAY over range, unlike a couple drinks. Anyway, that brought my total calories for the day just over my range - almost 2,300. So how psyched was I that this morning I weighed my lowest since April - 146.8!! I am totally losing weight on my so-called "maintanence" range. I will never go back to 1,500 calories again - no need!!! I feel SO much better at this calorie range. I am SO glad I decided to try this, or I never would have known. I'm losing about a pound a week this way, according to today's weigh-in. (Yesterday I weighed 149.6 though, so if you go by that, I haven't lost anything.) I was a bit under my calorie range on Monday because I wasn't that hungry and skipped an apple - I was in the 1,700s.
I definitely had a LOT of caffeine yesterday - the usual morning coffee, but then I had a Diet Coke midmorning, the latte before the gym, and the iced coffee at the game. At the game I was soooo fidgety. I also think I got fairly light, not-great sleep last night and I'm still fidgety this morning. But I need to take it easy because I needs me some serious deep sleep if I don't want to become a grouch.
I haven't had any more cases of heartburn since Sunday night...this might strongly suggest that it's NOT the caffeine that does it to me... and I've been eating tomato sauce and apples. I dunno what it is!
I'm so happy I'm at 146.8 today. YAY.
Monday, September 01, 2008
This stuff is really consuming my life...it's 7:30 p.m. and I've been working on it all day...and I'm still not done! My food prep started last night with the making of a very time-consuming, but very delicious recipe I found on Spark recipes...the eggplant lasagna...only I changed it a bit. I dipped the eggplant slices in egg and then in whole-grain cereal, and fried in olive oil. I made the tomato sauce with olive oil, onions, garlic, canned tomatoes and sauce, Italian seasoning, black olives, real red wine, and parmesan cheese. The cheese mixture was fat-free ricotta and mozzarella, parmesan, the leftover egg, and a little soymilk to make it creamier. The result is a cross between eggplant parmesan and lasagna (no noodles though). Yum! Big portions though... I turned it into six servings before I realized that means each serving is over 500 calories. Oh well, that's fine, I just have to balance out the rest of the day's calories.
Today I made another recipe...an Indian dish that calls for lamb but I substituted chicken. I'm not a lamb person myself, even though I made my boyfriend a lamb burger for lunch! This has chicken, lentils, olive oil, garlic, onion, ginger, lots of spices like curry and garam masala, canned tomatoes, baby carrots, and spinach and it's still in the crockpot...I'm about to empty it into five containers - this one is much lower in calories.
I've also been bagging nuts and cereal into single-serving size portions and making my breakfast smoothies for the week. Talk about time consuming!!
Last night Jess wanted to go out for pizza. Normally my two biggest vices are pizza and ice cream, but lately I haven't been craving them at all. However, Jess insisted this would be good for me to practice moderation, learn to live a little more normally while maintaining my healthy lifestyle, and he even suggested that I might want to eat a little pizza now so I don't go crazy on pizza sometime in the future - not that that's in my plans! But really he just wanted pizza and he wanted me to go out with him. There's a place nearby that has $6.00 large cheese pizzas, eat-in only, on Sunday nights. So I fiddled with my nutrition tracker and saw that I could easily fit the pizza in, we biked to the restaurant, and I had 2 slices and water. Jess was attempting to eat the other six slices but in the end got too full, so I got another half slice. I was pleasantly satisfied, not too full, not at all hungry, after 2.5 slices. But boy was I nervous that this was somehow "cheating" on my "diet," and/or that this was going to be the trigger that sets me off on a spiral out of control. This is what I mean by me needing to learn to trust myself. I should be able to handle pizza without fear, guilt, or anything other than rational planning into the food tracker and tight limits on how much of it I eat. I am stronger than pizza!!
Anyway, in the end it worked out fine, though I did have pretty bad heartburn last night - at least, I think it was heartburn, I'm not sure. I am going to start keeping track of when I have heartburn and what may have triggered it. Jess says tomatoes are really bad...and I was definitely taking little tastes of the tomato-heavy eggplant dish as I was cooking last night after eating the pizza, which obviously had tomato sauce on it.. the heartburn lasted until I fell asleep and was gone in the morning. It always happens at night.
In exercise news, let's see...Saturday night we walked to Fenway, about a five-mile walk...we were going at a fairly brisk pace and I was sweaty, until my joints started getting a little sore...duh, I should have worn sneakers, not flip flops. After the game we went out where I did a little dancing but too much drinking - in all, I had two glasses of red wine and three light beers. I didn't realize it at the time, of course, but that is WAY too much alcohol for me. In the future, if I'm drinking just to drink, I should stick with light beers only - anything else has too much alcohol and I will feel icky the next morning. If I'm drinking wine for the sake of the wine, I will stick with just a glass or two. That's it. I really don't think my body has any need for hard liquor. I think my tolerance is much lower these days with the calorie restriction and lower frequency of drinking.
So back to exercise...yesterday's workout, other than the very leasurely bike ride to the restaurant, was 45 minutes of chest, back, and stretching, and then 15 minutes of speed work on the treadmill, this time alternating between 5.0 and 7.1 mph, one minute each. (Just 0.1 mph faster during my sprints than the day before.)
Today's workout was GREAT. I realized just in time that because it's Labor Day the gym was going to close at 3. So I got there at 1:35 and did a shortened leg workout, including this really great new (for me) squat machine. But at about 1:55 I realized that I was going to have to stop strength training to try to do a 10K on the elliptical before the gym closed. So I got on that elliptical, and I worked HARD, and I completed that 10K - 6.21 miles - in 59:13 - YAY YAY YAY!!!!!!! I calculate that's an average of 6.29 mph or 9.54 minutes per mile. The gym was closing before I could finish my cooldown, so I walked home the long way - about 20 minutes.
Tomorrow school starts. I will be ready with food planned and mostly prepared through Saturday. I will make time for adequate sleep and will keep up my exercise schedule. I have to admit these things are probably a bigger priority for me than my job is right now. Tomorrow night we are going to Fenway AGAIN, and if I have time after school, I'll go for a jog in the city before the game. I love running in the city. :)
Finally, weight news. My weight is still higher earlier in the mornings...today it was 149.6 at 10 a.m. and then 148.2 an hour or two later. Tomorrow when I weigh myself around 6:30 a.m. I can't be disappointed if it's over 150 - it's just early. The lowest I've seen it was 148.0 yesterday. It's too early to tell, but I think I might actually be losing weight on my maintanence program. I've been doing this for almost two weeks and I started at 149.4. My weight bounces around too much to really tell, but it would be REALLY interesting if it turns out that I am losing at a rate of a pound every couple weeks or so. If that's the case, I could keep this up for the long term and get closer to my goal very gradually. Or I could lower to just 1,800 or 1,700 calories per day when I want to lose weight. I hate eating 1,400 or 1,500 calories per day and I'd rather not go back to that if I don't have to! Other than the heartburn, I've really felt fantastic on maintanence and I think my fitness level is improving fast.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
What a perfect healthy lifestyle Saturday it's been so far! I had already prepped my coffee maker last night, so all I had to do was roll out of bed, brush my teeth, throw on my gym clothes and press a button. I brought my coffee, breakfast smoothie, and two water bottles to the gym. Zumba was supposed to start at 9:00 but the teacher didn't arrive until 9:15. So coffee was done. Zumba went til 10:00, then I did arms, shoulders, abs, and stretching until about 10:45, during which time I alternated between sipping my smoothie and water. I had such high energy! Then I wanted 15 more minutes of cardio to make up for the 15 minutes I didn't get of Zumba. So, on Bruin's suggestion (thank you!) I decided to do some official speed work on the treadmill. I had sort of been doing it all along...every once in a while I'd burst out with some speed, but I decided to make it really deliberate this time. So, for 15 minutes I alternated between 60 seconds of 7mph, and 60 seconds of 5mph. It was a killer!! There are so many ways to expand upon this too...I could increase total time, do longer sprints and/or shorter recovery periods, go faster... but for now, this was enough to get the sweat flowing!
Now I'm about to have some lunch and do some grocery shopping. Tonight we're going to Fenway - woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)
PS - The bike ride yesterday was awesome. I could almost keep up with my brother this time - and I was on a heavier, slower bike. Then I did strength training at the gym and by bedtime I must admit I was quite tired and cranky and yes, even a bit hungry. Just because I eat over 1,900 calories a day doesn't mean I'm not still hungry sometimes!! It's not a big problem or anything, but I'm not trying to pretend like I'm this little dainty thing who has trouble getting my calories up so "high". I could EASILY chow down 5,000 a day, no prob. But I'm in control. Oh by the way, I had a dream last night that I was bingeing on cookies...does anyone else ever dream about binge eating?? What does it mean???
Friday, August 29, 2008
I haven't had a moment to blog until now. I'm at my brother's place and we're about to bike the MInuteman trail...that lovely, FLAT, paved path that's about 25 miles round trip from his place. Yesterday I was so busy I didn't even eat everything I'd planned and ended up somewhere between 1,400-1,500 calories for the day. Shopping all day always seems to reduce my appetite - I guess I'm having too much fun to worry about eating!! I got three pairs of shoes and MORE clothes. And now some of the size 10 pants I bought are already quite loose. Oh boy.
So yesterday I weighed myself a bunch of times and the later in the morning, the lower my weight. It went from 151.0 to 149.4!!! Then today the same thing happened...150.2 down to 148.6! So, on those days when I have to get going for work, I need to remember my weight will look higher but it doesn't mean I've gained. That's part of what happened the other day when my weight spiked up. I had to get to school and didn't have the luxury of weighing myself at 10:30 a.m. when it would have undoubtedly been lower. Also, TOM started yesterday so I know that's another reason my weight was up.
Last night's workout was pretty good. I did chest, back, abs, and stretching, and then did 65 minutes on the elliptical. My goal is to consistently be able to complete 10K - that's 6.21 miles - on the elliptical and treadmill in 60 minutes before my race in October. Last night I had only gone 5.84 miles in that time...so I have some work to do! Ideally I'd actually do it a little faster even, just to leave some room for error. I really would like to complete the race faster than last year (63 minutes), and especially faster than an hour... but so far I'm not even conditioned enough to do it AS fast as I did last year. I have about six weeks to go. I don't necessarily think I need to do most of my training through running...I am worried I'd hurt myself (and not enjoy it). I think as long as I can get stronger cardiovascularly (making up words again!) I'll be working toward the goal I want. Like even with the biking today...it's all about pushing hard for an extended period of time.
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