Sunday, November 09, 2008
It's that time of year again...time to book a vacation for February break! Every year Jess and I have gone to an all-inclusive resort in the Carribbean or Mexico in February, and the thought of being in a bikini on the beach is the most motivating thing for me possible. (But you already knew how shallow I can be.)
2/2005: Dominican Republic. First time in the Carribbean ever. Worked hard for about a month beforehand to bring my weight down from an all-time high of 183 to maybe the mid 160s for the vacation. Gained it all back during/afterwards.
2/2006: Puerto Vallarta. To be honest I don't really remember my weight loss story for this one...it was before I started seriously using SparkPeople, but after I stopped using an old diary. But I'm sure I dieted for it and I'm sure the weight loss didn't last.
2/2007: Cancun. I had joined Weight Watchers AND started seriously using SparkPeople about a month earlier, and was losing weight fast and was super-duper motivated. I brought my weight down from 167 to about 155 for the trip. On the trip I counted my WW points and continued to exercise and didn't gain any weight! And I kept working hard afterwards...until I hit starvation mode from working too hard a few months later and started gaining and losing in a wild roller coaster ride.
2/2008: Jamaica. I'd stopped going to WW and was now an old pro at SparkPeople, but I still hadn't figured out how to keep off the roller coaster. I'd gotten down to the low 140s for a wedding in December, quickly gained back to the 160s by January, and then got down to the low 140s again for the vacation. But then while I was in Jamaica I started binge eating hard core, reaching the mid-150s by the time I was back on the scale at home, and then gradually getting way back up to the upper 160s.
THE FUTURE: 2/2009: We're probably going to the Dominican again (different part! FYI, the DR is a great choice for a budget-minded traveler who wants to stay at a decent all-inclusive.) We looked at options last night - including cruises, which I've never tried, but it was impossible to find decent flights to the ports of departure for school vacation week - and found a resort that looks really good in Puerto Plata. Jess just wants to get the official OK from work before we book.
This time the back-story, weight-wise, is going to be ridiculously different. There will be no mad scramble to lose as much weight as possible the month beforehand. Rather, there is going to be a slow and steady and ultimately WAY more effective and permanent effort starting...well...it's already started! And it won't stop. Not through the holidays or at any point in time. I am going to keep doing exactly what I have been doing and I am going to be my fittest EVER in three months, when it's time to go. Even if my weight loss were to slow down to only two pounds a month, that's six pounds by February, and I'd be at 132. Heck, even if I stopped losing weight TODAY I'd be continually cranking it with the workouts, adding muscle and burning fat, and I'd still look my best ever in February!! I am soooo psyched for this!!!! (And I don't even dare to allow myself to dwell on it, but there is the distinct possibility that I will lose more than two pounds a month and get unbelievably hot by vacation.)
In other exciting news, Jess asked me to find out what size ring I wear. FINALLY.
I was 138.2 today, a bit higher than I'd hoped but whatever. I may not reach 135 by Nov. 19, which was my goal, but who cares. I went to Step Interval this morning, a class that combines step with strength training. Since I did Body Pump yesterday I tried to stick with light weights today (that was the advice an instructor gave me once when I asked if it was OK). I was literally thinking the instructor today was MEAN, she worked us so hard. I actually got visible sweat soaking through my shirt, which never happens!! After that class I stayed for a half hour class split half abs and half stretching. THEN, I hopped onto a recumbant bike for a little over an hour and read magazines, snacked on almonds, drank water, and listened to tunes on my iPod. If I weren't a little sweaty it would have been easy to forget I was working out at all! Finally I did another stretch, and after about 2 hours, 45 minutes, I came home.
Susan's tip to self: How to make a little snack of an apple seem substantial and take a long time:
1. Microwave a mug of decaf green tea.
2. Put half a tablespoonful (a tiny amount) of decaf coffee in the coffee maker, but use a normal amount of water. Brew a hot but very watery cup of coffee. Add soymilk.
3. Alternate bites of a very crisp, delicious apple (braeburn works well) with sips of tea. Try to finish both around the same time.
4. Drink coffee.
5. Pop open a pomegranate seltzer and chew some sugar-free blueberry gum.
6. Go pee about 700 times.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Anyone notice the Daily Spark article featured today?
It's about a study that showed that endurance athletes burned significantly more calories per day than sedentary people. Great article to come across just when I'm wondering why it is that I can eat so much and still lose weight!
Today I broke down and had a very small amount of decaf coffee at around 4 p.m. before the gym - it's Friday afterall. Man did it make a difference in my workout! Including my warmup and cooldown, I ran/elliptical-ed (half on treadmill, half on elliptical trainer) for 68 minutes and went about 7 miles! A good stretch and I was done.
While I was working, especially toward the end, I thought about a quote Smurfette put in her blog, that said that the person who can find a way to endure even when the effort gets painful is the winner. I thought to myself, sure I'm getting tired, but I can do this, and I am going to keep on pushing through!
After the gym I went to the cheapo gas station selling for $2.19 a gallon only to find that they had RUN OUT of gas. What? That happens? Hehe. It was a first for me!
Anyway, it's only Friday night and I've already done my laundry, grocery shopping, and over half of my cooking for the weekend! Yay! I usually save all this stuff for Sunday and then stress out. This weekend I am making two of my favorite recipes I have found on this website - tuna/broccoli/spinach bake (adapted from the chicken spinach bake recipe) and Mexican lasagna. I'm going to eat very well next week!!!:):)
I hope I didn't come off as overly sensitive or whiny in my last couple blog entries. I SO appreciate the support and friendships I have with my health/fitness-conscious friends who read my blog!!!!!!!!!!
Have a FABULOUS weekend everyone!
Friday, November 07, 2008
I confess: I felt quite defensive last night as the comments started rolling in reprimanding my eating habits. I wrote a negative, defensive blog entry and then deleted it. I'm glad I didn't post it, because today, reading your comments back over, I realize you were all just trying to support & help me. I DO need to work on my eating habits - specifically, spreading my meals out better (though I am not sure I buy the commonly stated argument that going long periods of time reduces metabolism; I'm pretty sure I have a good metabolism!) However, I do think that my blood sugar, energy, and mood would all be more stable if I spread my food out better, and most importantly, I'd be able to have better evening workouts if I weren't tired and hungry. Today I am having a big meal at almost 2 p.m. and will have a couple snacks later...still no big eating late in the day, but it's progress. I get so hungry while I'm at work!
Another thing I am wondering about is my calorie level and WHY I need to/am able to eat so much more than so many other Sparkers? I do consider myself lucky, but also I can't help feeling a bit like a pig! Even when I eat 2,200 calories a day I'm still hungry! When I was overweight I ate a LOT more than that on a daily basis. I wonder...people who say they gain weight if they eat 2,000 calories a day...have they ever actually systematically tried this, eating 2,000 calories' worth of planned, nutritionally balanced, healthy, minimally processed food? Or do they just THINK they'd gain without ever having tried it??
I know people will say it's because of muscle, but I really don't have that much muscle. I can barely do one real (on the toes) pushup. Maybe I work out longer and more often than people who eat less than me!? But that's not necessarily it either, because I know a lot of Sparkers who are just as dedicated to their workouts as I am, if not way more than me.
Now for the boring daily stuff. Yesterday's workout was Body Pump (felt good, used heavyish weights), and then Zumba (felt OK but more and more tired toward the end). That's two hours at the gym in total, but really not two hours straight of heart pounding exercise. I did add extra calories yesterday and ended up around 2,180 for the day.
Today I weighed 138.6 which is over a pound more than yesterday, but that's what fluctuations are like! I will probably end up going to the top of my calorie range again today...but maybe I will run today (my most intense workout).
Thursday, November 06, 2008
This morning I hit another record low weight (not all-time low, but lowest it's been since late summer 2007) - 137.4. I have been wondering whether I will meet my monthly weight loss goal of 135 by November 19. That is just 13 days away, so to really be on target for that I should have been at 137.0 yesterday so I could have exactly two weeks to lose exactly two pounds. Can I lose 2.4 pounds in 13 days? We'll see. Does it matter if I'm a few days late? No, not really, but it would be oh-so-cool to then have a monthly goal of 130 for Dec. 19, my birthday. My weight has never been under 132 before, at least not since I was very young!
I have been eating in the middle of my calorie range the past few days and have been feeling quite hungry by the end of the day. If that happens again today I might add a little something to be at the top of my range. Since I work out at the end of the day, being hungry then really compromises my workouts. Yesterday I worked out around 6:45-7:45 p.m. I was on the stair climber for 45 minutes and was totally exhausted by the end of that, but wanted a full hour of cardio so I pumped out 15 minutes on the recumbant bike. It was a so-so workout which is rather sad because I had SO much energy at 8 a.m. that if I'd worked out then, I would have been able to do a fast jog. Working out in the morning really isn't realistic with my daily schedule, however. I already have to get up before Jess in the morning and struggle to arrive at work on time. I then have a lot of time to myself in the afternoons, since I get out of school at 3 and he doesn't get out of work until 6 or later. Sometimes we go to the gym together around 7 or 7:30, but more often I go by myself in the late afternoon. While I definitely see advantages of morning workouts, I will save those for weekends and during the week just try to have energy in the afternoons from consistent good sleep at night and adequate good nutrition throughout the day. I still definitely need to work on spacing my meals out better throughout the day. Today, for example, it's not even 1 p.m. yet and all I have left to eat for the whole day is a small yogurt!!!!!!!
You know what's cool? The fact that now I get to wake up every day thin and stay thin all day long. That looks so weird written out, but it's like this gift that took me months to give myself, but now that I've given it to myself I have it to keep every day, all day! I know I must sound full of myself, but for so long part of who I was was being overweight and now that isn't a part of being me anymore. It's an adjustment - one that I am happy to be making, but an adjustment nevertheless!
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