Friday, April 19, 2013
What a crazy Friday.
I woke up this morning to headlines that a MIT officer and one suspected Boston Marathon bomber was dead, and the other was on the loose. Friends in Boston were posting on Facebook that they were all told to stay home, and posted surreal pictures of empty streets or armed officers outside their windows. National Guard troops were on the way to assist in the manhunt.
I'm reading stories about how the dead bomber wrote that he 'didn't understand Americans.' I don't understand how anyone could explode devices intended to kill and maim innocent people. Indeed someone who doesn't understand Americans will never understand why we would be willing to shut down an entire city in order to find them. I hope they find the remaining guy alive. Not that I feel any mercy, but we need more information. The reason isn't important because it is nonsensical, but we have to know if there is a larger National Security issue.
I'm very impressed with how quickly the Boston police and FBI were able to narrow down the suspects from a "Where's Waldo" stream of surveillance videos and photographs. Once this is over, I am eager to read how they figured it out. Obviously posting the suspects' pictures spooked them, but the police didn't even know the guys' names until they got the ID off the dead one this morning.
In my more immediate vicinity, we got bad news regarding our neighbors. They are an elderly couple who retired here to coastal Georgia from Maryland. They wanted to escape the cold New England winters. We saw an ambulance at their house earlier in the week, and the husband was brought out on a stretcher. I stopped at their house this morning to drop off our telephone number in case they needed help with anything. The wife was home, and I asked her if everything was alright. She said no, unfortunately her husband was not alright. He choked on dinner, and she was unable to dislodge it, so she called 911. The EMTs were also unable to dislodge it, and they had to extract the blocking food with another method. He stopped breathing, and had to be resuscitated. He was still at the hospital today, and unfortunately, he will not be coming home. Her children arrived this morning, and they were taking him to a nursing facility. I told her to let us know if there is anything at all we can help with. She said once things settle down, she'd like to have me over for brunch. I told her I'd love that.
Today is usually TGIF, but it's not holding the same magic. I'm not sure what to do with myself tonight. I look at my movies and books, and I'm not seeing anything I'm in the mood for. Maybe I will hunt dragons in Skyrim.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
I should do a better job of keeping my progress photos up to date. The before pictures aren't quite at the start of my strength training program, but close. Here is where I am at to date in my body re-sculpting goal.
I am a pear shape, so my changes happen in my upper body first. I can see my arms and overall girth in my upper torso shrinking.
Biceps are appearing! Arm circumference is decreasing.
Belly bulge is smoothing out.
I've experimented with and recorded my diet and routines in various ways over the years, so I have a comprehensive catalog of what works for me and what doesn't.
Diet and exercise work in tandem. I've never been truly successful doing one without the other. If I diet alone, then I eventually lose muscle tone - use it or lose it. I also can't work off a bad diet. If I exercise but eat poorly, I keep my muscle, but it gets covered in an ugly layer of fat, despite the calorie burn.
What they say about 80% of weight loss being nutrition is true. What I eat makes a big difference in my fat level.
As a demonstration, here is an older before-after photo. The top photo is from when I followed a standard high grain, high carb diet. The bottom is after I switched to a low grain diet.
The only thing I changed was the quantity of grains I ate. I switched from having three grain or starch servings per DAY to less than three per WEEK. They just aren't any good for me. If I sound a little overzealous about the anti-grain train, it's because I got such big results with a single change in my diet. That tends to build enthusiasm.
Currently, the composition of my diet remains the same - unprocessed freggies and protein, and very low grain. I added a strength training routine, and with the beautiful weather we're having in the South, I've been eager to get outside to walk and cycle.
I increased the amount of food I eat because my activity demands more fuel. I'm very picky about my food choices, though. What I eat must have something nutritionally I need, whether that is protein, potassium, omega-3s, or other. I look at what's on my plate and think, "What nutrients am I getting?" instead of "How many calories is this?"
I am moving more, eating more, and losing more. I'm not messing with a winning formula. I'd say I'm running on 90% octane.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Yesterday was supposed to be a low intensity 'rest' day, but it became action packed. I took an easy 8.5 mile bike ride early in the morning and thought I'd call it done, but then DH came home and said he wanted to ride. I was so thrilled he wanted to exercise, I agreed to accompany him, even though I completed my miles earlier in the day.
I logged another 8.5 miles. I was exhausted. I told DH to let me know if he wanted this to be a regular thing so I don't end up over doing it. There are only so many hours in the day, and I have other things that need to get done. He said he wants to ride three days a week.
When we came home, I made dinner, but I was very fatigued. By bedtime, I was out like a light.
Today after lunch, I had an internal argument with my 2 year old self who was throwing a tantrum about whether to do the strength training workout.
"But I don't WANT to! I rode 17 miles on the bike yesterday, so maybe I should take today off."
"Bike ride isn't going to get you sexy flexy arms in a halter top."
"Oh, bring that up, will you? Fine."
I got into my workout clothes and lifted those weights.
I like that I can workout in my sports bra and yoga pants at home, which I would never do at a gym. I workout in front of a mirror, and I can honestly say I am liking how my body is shaping. I always see improvements in my upper body first. My arms and shoulders are going to look hawt if I can shred the fat off of them. One advantage of being a pear shape is maybe I can get Michelle Obama/Linda Hamilton arms early on. I'll just continue to wear my surfer shorts at the beach until the rest of me catches up.
I took a 5 mile walk afterwards, which was too much. My feet aren't quite ready for it, and they are blistering and sore. On the Walk to Rivendell challenge, I'm now 12 miles in.
According to the Eowyn Challenge website, Frodo and Sam are having a frugal supper at the edge of the birch grove. There are 6 more miles to go for the end of day one.
I got my butt kicked with 5 miles today. Frodo and Sam walking 18 miles a day is crazy!
I'm also feeling fatigued again. I won't be able to ride with DH tonight if he wants to, but I hope he'll go without me.
Tonight I'm grilling St. Louis style ribs. I love my BBQ grill. It tastes yum, obviously, but it's also not heating up my kitchen. Today the weather was in the low 80s.
Tomorrow I most likely will take a full rest day. I've gone a little overboard on the activity. Looking forward to an easy day sipping lemon granitas with stevia on my porch.
Monday, April 15, 2013
This morning I got my research paper back and I received a 97%! I made a few minor errors in my citation format. I talked with my professor after class about it so I know the correct way for the next time. He made a comment that he was very disappointed with the majority of the papers, and mine was one of the few that had proper citations. I used only books and scientific journals, but not web pages. The syllabus specifically said that five of the sources needed to be peer reviewed publications. The research paper was worth 30% of the grade, so it should have been taken more seriously. I spent several weeks reading my sources and taking notes. He is allowing people to rewrite their paper, which I think is exceedingly generous. I'm happy with my grade, so I won't have to spend any more time on it. I can focus on writing the two remaining papers for the end of the term.
I didn't do my NRoLL workout #3 last Friday because DH had time off work, so we spent the day out together instead. I did it today, and I worked through it fairly fast as I'm getting the routine down. While I still don't love strength training, I am committed to it. ST will shape my body, and what I eat will trim the fat. I have to do both.
I took a 2.5 mile walk around my neighborhood afterwards. With my cumulative miles on the Bag End to Rivendell walk, I am over the plank bridge.
On the scale of how far I have left to go, it is quite daunting!
This challenge is motivating me to walk farther than I might otherwise. I walked an extra couple of yards because I wanted to get over the bridge! I recorded approximately how many steps I took with my BodyMedia Fit device so I can estimate miles next time DH and I walk on the beach or waterfront. Middle Earth is counting on us!
After returning home, I got my lunch ready for the BBQ: southwest marinated flank steak and grilled veggies. I made a flaxseed tortilla yesterday intending to eat with this, but I decided I didn't want it. What would the wrap add nutritionally that I needed? I decided to forgo it, and just eat it the way it was.
Grilled veg and protein - very Paleo, eh?
Tonight is fairly easy going. There is homework, but I have plenty of time to finish it. Looking forward to my bike ride tomorrow, and maybe I will add another mile or two on my Rivendell walk!
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