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."
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.
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
Go Turquoise Titans!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I have so many thoughts this evening. Some from feeling triumphant and some feeling somewhat defeated all rolled up in a confusing, tear-inducing mess.
- Today in yoga the instructor said, "Wow! Impressive" to me during one of the poses. After class she told me that she can really see the improvements I've been making, that I carry myself differently, more open and in balance. This really meant a lot to me.
- I completed C25K's Week 5 Day 1, which included 3 five-minute jogs. Yay!
- On Sunday, I completed C25K's W4D3 outside (as opposed to doing it on the treadmill with speed control and a handy water bottle and towel). My hubby and I did it together, which was really nice (even though he can run circles around me and actually literally did). I just charted our course and it turns out that we jogged/walked over 4 miles. Woohoo!
- I never knew how much pride and self-confidence I could gain through physical achievement either by increasing time, speed, intensity, flexibility, balance, etc. It seems like most days I accomplish something I haven't been able to do before and I am even more encouraged to continue improving my fitness level.
- On "The Biggest Loser" tonight the contestants completed a full marathon. I think that maybe one day I could do it, too. What once seemed utterly impossible now seems within the real of possible. I cried as each contestant crossed the finish line.
- A friend was laid off from her job today. I feel so bad for her. On top of that, it brought back so many memories and feelings of being laid off from work myself. I thought I had worked through a lot of these feelings, but here they are again.
- I still have not heard anything about the job I interviewed for. I know it is still early to hear, but the longer it is the less confident I feel about getting the job. I tell myself that if it is meant to be, then it will be, but I keep having to deal with this fear that just wells up and overtakes me. I talk it down and feel better, but then seemingly out of nowhere it wells up again.
- I think I'm feeling overly emotional today, which is never fun.
I don't know if there's really a point to this blog, but I feel less overwhelmed having written it, so for that I am thankful.
Now I'm going to go do the dishes, because life goes on.
Monday, May 17, 2010
I woke up this morning feeling unsettled. I had a dream where I was at a hub train station. I remember that I vaguely knew where I needed to go, but could not figure out which train would take me to my destination. I had a little time to figure it out before the next train was scheduled to leave, but I could not get on any train until I knew that the train I was boarding was THE train to take me to my destination. I felt immobilized. I did not want to make a mistake and board the wrong train. The dream then switched and I was in a hub bus station. I was waiting in line for a particular bus, but was not sure exactly where the bus was headed. I kept trying to ask people, but no one seemed to know the destinations of any of the buses. I started to panic. Hmm. I wonder what my dream means...
I have definite weight-loss and fitness goals with incremental goals and strategies to get me to where I'm going. But after waking up this morning, I wondered why I had not applied what I have learned on SparkPeople to my life in general. I can ride the waves of life, but I'd have a much higher likelihood of ending up where I want to be in the future if I knew specifically where I wanted to end up. If I had a more specific vision, I could also then set long-, medium-, and short-term goals to help me get there. In short, I need more than a vague sense of my destination so I can pick the right train. I need to know the path I should take so I can make sure I get on the right bus.
I was once told by a wise and kind person that each person has five areas in which to learn and grow as an individual. The five areas are: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social. To be a balanced person, the ideal is to have balance within and between these five areas. Since joining SP, I have a pretty good handle on what I need to do about the physical and how to go about doing it. My weight-loss and fitness journey, interestingly, has been helping me to grow and mature emotionally, and has given me insight into where I would like to be, which is at peace with my past and being a good parent to myself. That leaves the intellectual (which, for me, includes career), spiritual, and social. Figuring this out may take a little time, so I'm setting a goal to reflect daily until the end of this week and see what I can come up with by then.
Speaking of goals, last Monday I set goals for the past week. They were:
- complete all three installments of the C25K Week 4 program
- exercise each weekday and one Sunday -- 5/6 days complete
- eat within my calorie range -- successful 6/7 days
- finish reading the partial draft of my novel-in-progress so I can begin writing again -- not nearly complete
To keep me on track, I'm going to set a few goals for this coming week:
- complete C25K Week 5
- exercise daily M-Sa
- eat within my calorie range
- read at least a chapter a day of my novel's rough draft
- update my federal government resume
- apply for at least one new federal job
Here's to a joyous and productive week!!!
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