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Ode To My Socks

Friday, May 28, 2010

Yes, you read that right. I will now wax nostalgic about my wool socks. Cue mood music.

I love my socks, my wonderful wool socks. They cushion my zhushies (Mom's word for feet) as I take on the world; nary a blister to beat!

Here is a picture of my wild friends. I'd never associate with such colorful characters if they weren't so amazing.

I met my little friends, Smartwool PhD running socks, at City Sports. We became close rather quickly. I was ecstatic when I learned that they care deeply for the comfort of my feet, providing extra cushioning when I jog or walk, making sure that moisture stays away from my tender toes. Oh, how I adore my helpful hosiery! Here's a picture from when we first met:

Wooing my new-found friends out of the store was not as easy as I would have expected. One demanded $12.95; the other two, $15.95. At first I balked, but deep down I knew that they were worth the price and then some, because they were an answer to my blister-free prayers. I just know we're going to enjoy a long and supportive relationship as we spend countless hours jogging together towards the future.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSLUWOM 5/30/2010 10:15AM

    What a heartfelt tribute. Love the enclosed pics.

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MONTANA_ED 5/29/2010 4:59PM

    Awesome! Never have I heard of socks waxed upon so well. Good job!


emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/29/2010 4:59:40 PM

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JOKNOWS 5/29/2010 4:55PM

    emoticoncongrats on getting blister-free!

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MINIUM 5/29/2010 3:06AM

    emoticon You made me laugh!!!
Have a lovely day!

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LEASIM1231 5/29/2010 1:59AM

    I like the colors :)

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LMBARR1 5/28/2010 11:02PM

    Wonderful. Wouldn't it be glorious if all of life's problems could be solved so easily? I am so happy that something that caused you such grief is far behind you!

P.S. You know...I think you might be squandering a talent there...maybe you have more songs/odes on the horizon...

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MADDEELOU 5/28/2010 10:21PM

    Loved this! I love my running socks too. I have actually thought about trying to knit some running socks but I knit even slower than I run so I doubt I will ever get to it.....A big congrats on finish C25K W5D3. That is awesome. I still remember thinking the podcast guy was insane if he really thought I could go that long but I did it. Isn't it empowering? emoticon

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PAMNANGEL 5/28/2010 9:54PM

    That's so touching. ~~giggle~~. emoticon

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Signs of Progress

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Today is Day 1 of the Biggest Loser Summer Challenge. I submitted my starting data, completed my first official challenge, and feel good about this mini-journey within a journey that I am embarking on. Here's to losing pounds and inches!

Today, I also completed Week 6, Day 1 of the Couch to 5K training program. This included two five- and one eight-minute jogging intervals. I'm happy to say that my breathing continues to be easy, so I was even less winded at the very end of the jogs and I noticed that my heart rate did not go up quite as high as it has in the past. I think this may be signs of improved fitness. Gotta love it! I'm also happy to say that I wore my super-duper wool socks and have no new blisters. Whew!

Another achievement was "fitting" in my size 14 pants that are tucked away in the back of my closet. I noticed that my suit skirt was a little bit big when I went on my interview on Tuesday, so I wondered if I'd be able to wear a smaller size. The answer is yes and no. I can wear smaller than the size 18 suit skirt, but I cannot wear my size 14 pants yet. At least not out in public or if I want to breathe. However, I was able to put them on and zip them up, which I haven't been able to do in about a year and a half. So that's progress!

Feeling encouraged, I also tried on two tops (1X and XL) that I have never been able to wear. They were a little small when I got them, but I expected to lose a little weight. I haven't until now. But I'm still not all the way there yet. I can button both blouses, but the button pulls at the chest, so I'll try again after a few more pounds are gone. This is getting so exciting. It's like I'm moving out of an old wardrobe and into a mystical wardrobe that had been forgotten in the back of my closet. One day soon....

I hope that your journey to better health is also moving forward and that you experience personal victories, either large or small, every day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEASIM1231 5/28/2010 9:53AM

    Wohoo, exciting to hear that more clothes are fitting...that was my whole purpose for losing is wonderful to be able to put something on and it fit!

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LOSLUWOM 5/28/2010 7:50AM

    Smaller clothes....smaller you!!!!

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JOKNOWS 5/28/2010 6:34AM

    All those things are definitely signs of improved fitness. You are doing a great job. emoticon emoticonAnd good luck on your Biggest Loser Challenge.

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JAYJO64 5/28/2010 5:15AM

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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MINIUM 5/28/2010 12:11AM

    Well done! It must be such a great feeling to change clothes as you get fitter. emoticon

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MJDEVEREUX 5/27/2010 11:56PM

    A huge congratulations to you! I can't wait until I'm where you are. Keep up the great work.

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Breathing, Blisters, Weight Loss, and My Interview

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rain was not in the forecast for today, at least not when I checked yesterday, but I got stuck in a brief shower during the one-block walk from the taxi to my interview. I really did not want to arrive wet and frizzy, so I tried my best to hide under my portfolio, but was only partially successful. At least it gave me and the interviewers an icebreaker!

I think the interview went pretty well. Not as well as my last interview, about which I still haven't heard back, but one promising sign is that it seemed like more of an exchange of information about the position and what I want from the job as opposed to an evaluation of whether I'll be selected. References will be checked, then we'll see what happens!

I was surprised that the interview was as short as it was, but the above comment may explain that fact. The benefit was that I was in and out relatively quickly, was able to catch the free bus home, change clothes, and walk to the gym in time for my yoga class. Actually, I was 15 minutes early so I decided to walk on the treadmill for 5 minutes to warm up, then jog for 5 minutes to get in a little cardio before class. Unfortunately, I wasn't wearing my normal wool running socks and got three blisters, dagnabit! I thought this problem had been solved when I got my new, larger shoes, but apparently the socks played more of a part than I thought. I'm going to the sporting goods store and buying three more pairs, which will put me up to six "specialized" socks. This isn't really a big deal except for the blisters on the balls of my feet that now need to heal. Who would have thought that wool socks could make such a difference?!?

I realized something else through my jogging, or at least I think that's what's caused the change. Since Saturday, I find that I can take complete breaths. This may not seem like a big deal except for the fact that I haven't been able to do this for my entire life unless I really tried and even then I sometimes couldn't. For my whole life I could breathe up to a point, then it was like I hit a block. I'd guess that I could fill about 90% capacity. When anxious, I found that if I could get that last 10% of lung inflation I would feel much calmer, but it took a lot of effort and I wasn't always successful. Imagine that I thought that was what it was like to breathe normally. For the last few days I have been able to get complete lung inflation with no block on my breathing for most of my breaths and EVERY TIME I TRIED! This is what it's like to breathe?? This is HUGE!

Last topic of the night...I had three weeks without weight loss followed by a sharp drop followed by almost two weeks of stable weight. Yesterday, out of the blue, I weighed 2.5 pounds less. Today I'm down another pound. I hope I keep this progress for tomorrow's weigh-in, but it just goes to show that weight loss is not necessarily a linear process. I know I didn't lose 3.5 pounds of fat in two days. It's much more likely that I have been losing fat consistently, but retaining water, then dropping the water weight when my body feels comfortable doing so. The human body is a fascinating "machine."


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon on having a GOOD interview, working out before your yoga class started, being able to have full breaths, and losing weight! emoticon

I would be interested in knowing the brand name of socks you use and where you purchase them. I plan to be a future runner and the idea of getting blisters does not encourage my desire!

Keep up the emoticon work! emoticon

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LMBARR1 5/26/2010 8:27AM

    I am so happy to hear that your plateau is behind you! I have been really doing the stair step thing lately w/my weight loss. Little loss, little loss, bigger loss, etc. It is discouraging on the little loss weeks, but exhilarating on the big ones! Nonetheless, I figured, that except for our cruise week, I have lost something every week since January 1. Even those half pounds add up! I am expecting to see a decent drop this week too! Congratulations! That little meter on your home page just keeps going down...down...down...!

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JENNYPENNY29 5/26/2010 7:28AM

    Good luck on your job process, and congratulations on being able to breathe! That IS huge, and another way to track progress. Yeah!

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JAYJO64 5/26/2010 5:36AM

    Fingers crossed for your interviews!

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MINIUM 5/26/2010 5:21AM

    Well done on everything - your interview, your jog, your breathing...! You're doing emoticon I hope the blisters will soon heal and that you'll get an anwer from those interviewers.
Have a lovely day!

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LEASIM1231 5/26/2010 2:38AM

    That is pretty amazing about the socks, I would've never guessed they could be so helpful!

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Fatigue, VO2 Max Test, and Couch to 5K

Monday, May 24, 2010

I've been a little confused, but still moving forward even in confusion. Last week I was feeling fatigued. Not just tired, but physically fatigued. Regardless, I kept up my workout schedule, hoping that it would work itself out.

On Friday, I did a fitness test at my gym. It is called a VO2 (volume of oxygen) Max test, which measures one's ability to use oxygen during exercise. In essence, it measures cardiovascular fitness. Turns out my cardiovascular fitness, according to the test, is below average. I was disappointed, because I've been exercising regularly since February. How unfit was I when I started? Then I thought maybe my poor performance was because the fitness trainer and I were talking during the test, or maybe because I was fatigued before I even started. Or I'm just not very fit cardiovascularly. Hmm.

On Saturday, I was supposed to run Week 5 Day 3 (20 minute jog) of the C25K program, but I was more fatigued than during the week so I decided to take the weekend off and recover. I did feel better today, but felt a little guilty blowing off my exercise appointment on Saturday.

Today I did my pilates class, then decided to walk on the treadmill. When I got on, I thought I'd run the VO2 Max test again, because I wouldn't be talking and wasn't feeling so fatigued. Well, I still scored below average, although fractionally better, so I guess this will be a new goal--to improve my cardiovascular fitness so I can attain an average VO2 Max score or better.

I was a bit disappointed with this news, but I decided not to let it get me too down. There's one way to get over it and that's to work on improving cardiovascular fitness. Today I was supposed to do a C25K training and contemplated starting Week 5 over again, but after the lousy test score I decided to go for it and see if I couldn't complete Week 5 Day 3's 20 minute jog. Well, I did it! I was pushing it, especially during the last minute and a half, but I kept putting one foot in front of the other until I reached my goal. Take that, VO2 Max test results!

Now, I'm all ready for bed and it is that time. Time to go to sleep so I can be well-rested for my interview tomorrow.

Good night.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MINIUM 5/25/2010 2:22PM

    Well down for getting a new goal - I'm sure you're bound to improve. You're already doing emoticon The best of luck for your interview tomorrow - I'll be thinking of you!

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LEASIM1231 5/25/2010 2:19PM

    That test sounds very interesting, I could like to try it sometime! Maybe you are a little sick and that is why your body is fatigued? I felt like that last week when I was sick...

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PC1004 5/25/2010 10:46AM

    I've done the VO2 Max test as well. I don't know how you could retake it on your own. When I've had it done you wear a mask hooked up to a machine to measure every breath in and out. For sure it wouldn't be accurate while talking to a trainer! Mine is also low, very low, for my age, but I've been following a "base builder" cardio program, designed to increase VO2 max. While it is one measure of cardio fitness, it is also looking at the percentage of fat vs carbs being burned during exercise. It's possible to incease that and to increase your cardio fitness, but it involves working out at lower levels than you would think. If you didn't get the information at the time of the test, you might want to look at

Don't get discouraged, it gets better! I'm due for a retest in about a month, but I don't need it to know that I have to work harder to get into the same heart rate zones. And energy levels are coming up too. emoticon

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JENNYPENNY29 5/25/2010 7:26AM

    I love that you keep going... don't let a test stop you from getting in shape... judge by your actual progress, like running!

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LMBARR1 5/24/2010 11:56PM

    Whoooooo HOoooooo You go girl! You have it in you to live YOUR best life!

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5 Things I Will Do to Stay Motivated During the 10-Week Biggest Loser Summer Challenge

Thursday, May 20, 2010

As a member of the Turquoise Titan Divas Team for the Biggest Loser Summer Challenge, I have been challenged to come up with a motivational list, so here it is!

1. Log on to SparkPeople daily to interact with others, read motivational articles, and remind myself that I am representing the Turquoise Titan Divas!
2. Hang my bathing suit on my closet door to remind me of the July pool party Iím going to.
3. Track my nutrition and fitness, being mindful of my daily progress.
4. Look at my vision board to remind myself of what I am shooting for.
5. Reward myself for each week completed. Rewards include:
- something fitness related such as an exercise DVD, a yoga block, a pair of new socks, etc.
- an afternoon movie
- a bubble bath
- anything else that would be a non-food treat

emoticon emoticon
Go Turquoise Titans!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PC1004 5/25/2010 11:52AM

    Great list! I think I'll borrow your non-food rewards idea. Feels sort of decadent to give yourself a reward for doing something that's ultimately a reward in itself! emoticon

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JOKNOWS 5/23/2010 10:03AM

    emoticonGreat list -- may even borrow a couple, esp. like visual of hanging swimsuit in plain sight as a reminder.

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WINDEE52 5/21/2010 6:11AM

    Great list! I just finished a challenge at work and we did partner teams. Knowing someone else was counting on me really helped (that and you have to pay every week you don't lose - I'm such a tightwad so that worked too!)

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JAYJO64 5/21/2010 5:50AM

    Good luck!


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MINIUM 5/21/2010 4:18AM

    Hello Turquoise Titan Diva!
I quite like your list, especially number 2 - that's an excellent visual reminder of what we're here for! emoticon

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LEASIM1231 5/21/2010 1:00AM

    Good luck on this challenge!

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GRANNYS5 5/20/2010 9:15PM

    emoticon emoticon Great list...

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JENNYPENNY29 5/20/2010 7:56PM

    Excellent list! I especially liked hanging the swimsuit up to look at. That is something that always motivates me - looking at what I want to wear.

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