Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Be inefficient."

I don't know if I ever told her this, (something I plan to remedy after I post) but my aunt once said something that has stuck with me through the years, until settling in my chest as I'm starting this whole fitness thing.

"Be inefficient," she said.

This is about a lifestyle change, a small one that can make a big difference in the long run.

What she means is that when you have the opportunity, being inefficient can make for a healthier you.

Instead of parking close to the grocery store, park out away from everyone else. Longer walk, farther to go.

Don't plan your trips for the quickest path inside. Walk around in circles. Walk more.

Do things in a way that makes you work for it. If you live close enough to something to walk, then WALK... sure, it takes longer. It's... inefficient.

Picking up fast food is as efficient as it gets. Making your own meals takes longer, and requires more effort.

So that's what I try to do. Whenever I can, I try not to be quick and in a hurry.

It's working.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Amazing how no exercise makes you feel ick.

I didn't exercise at all this weekend; it's been a steady stream of soloing at parenting, trips to the ER (husband has been very, very sick lately) and just plain being unmotivated. I got another "are you pregnant?" comment from one of the deli ladies at the grocery store.

I got to the gym this morning feeling unenergetic, and not really wanting to go. However, although I missed my last day of week 4, it's time for me to start the final week of the Trick or Treat Trot training plan. I think I'm actually going to modify it, because it's based on the premise that I'm going to be walking Friday/Saturday in my 5k, but I joined a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k on the 15th. So I might repeat my week 4 training, since I missed a day anyway.

On the eating front, it was also a pretty bad weekend. I was stressed, so I overindulged in some empty calories (stupid sodas.)

I pushed through my workout this morning, though, even though I REALLY didn't want to finish it. About 2/3 of the way through, I started to feel better, and the last half mile wasn't so bad.

I think I might try another walk this afternoon after I pick up Elisabeth from school, so I can get our blood pumping. Depends on the temperature, though. Though technically Fall has started... it's still in the low 90s outside, and with all this (much needed) rain we've been having, it's muggy as hell.

I wish my 6 year old could work out with me at the gym.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bad weekend gets worse

I've been posting over at my blog on Sparkpeople, but I keep forgetting to repost here! I won't just copy everything, but I will summarize what's been going on lately.

It's been a bad weekend, and a worse week.

It started out great; Friday was hard, for a variety of reasons; suffice it to say I was taking care of three kids instead of my usual two. ;) Saturday was awesome. I attended a writer's workshop (for free) and went to the Ocmulgee Indian Festival that evening.

Sunday though... Sunday went to hell. The girls were outside playing, as they do almost every day. All of a sudden, I hear one of my dogs raising hell, and my youngest daughter started screaming.

I go outside to see my 10 year old basset hound/cocker spaniel mix attacking my three year old. She was covered in blood, cowered, and he was trying to go for her throat. I snatched him off and tossed him off the porch, putting myself between her and the dog. My husband came out, and when he grabbed the dog by the scruff of the neck to carry him back to the back yard to be tied up, the dog bit him, too.

I took my daughters to the ER, and told him the dog was to be gone by the time I got back.

Countless hours later, I was back, the dog was buried in the back yard, and we managed to avoid stitches entirely. She's on a round of antibiotics. I hardly ate anything that day, so I was well under my calorie count.

Monday, I forgot to eat breakfast AND lunch. Not good. I did make an amazing pot of chicken and dumplings for supper, though, even though I didn't eat a lot of it. It was so good!

The problem with Monday was when animal control called and told me that they had to have the body of the dog for rabies testing.

My husband was at the hospital for a kidney stone. And collapsed on his way out of the hospital in a panic attack, so got stuck for a few more hours.

So I had to dig up my beloved pet, throw him in a trash bag, and give him to an animal control officer by myself.

I'd really, really rather not ever have to deal with a bloadsoaked child, exhume a dead pet, and do it all while dealing with an incapacitated husband in the hospital.

So... today. I ended up sleeping in, not taking my daughter to school or going to the gym, because my husband went BACK to the ER in the middle of the night last night because the kidney stone got stuck.

I also skipped my kickboxing class tonight because I couldn't leave my husband alone with my kids in his state.

So. I'm undereating, not exercising enough, and feeling like poo.

I do, however, have a plan.

I will attend at least two others classes this week. Tomorrow, I will do the ab class in the morning. I'll choose another class at some point... I think Zumba's Thursday, so I might try that out.

I will go to the gym tonight after the girls are in bed to do some crosstraining, probably on the stationary bike, maybe some strength training.

I will not kill my family for having a bad week. It's not their fault they need me.

On a bright note, I got a lovely necklace at the Indian Festival. It was handmade by a Native American, and it's got an eagle. I've always been very drawn to birds of prey. I don't want to be so presumptuous as to say it's my "totem", but it's also the subject of my favorite scripture, which I wear on a leather bracelet every day. (Isaiah 40:31, if you're interested.) It was also my dad's favorite scripture.

Anyway, here it is. I just love this necklace.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tomorrow is a DAY OFF.

I kinda overdid it today, but in a good way.

It started out slow; I was tired and sluggish this morning. I dragged out of bed (late) and went to the gym. I walked for about 20 minutes, then got on the stationary bike. That was my first mistake; I rode for 25 minutes on that, but I pushed myself a little too hard. IT felt good, though.

All day, I had trouble eating, but I ate a huge lunch (more pizza than I should have.) tonight, I took a Kickboxing class... it was awesome, but the ab portion was just impossible... after the ab class I did yesterday, my abs hurt to much to even try, and I didn't want to risk injuring myself. The instructor kept telling me to try harder, but I just couldn't.

Tomorrow, I'm going to rest, recover, and heal. I can catch up on my 2 mile walk Thursday!

I am proud to report, though, that after lunch and dinner, my total calories for the day were 2,059 (over my goal by 127.) I burned 1,469 by exercising... so I think I offset the overeating a bit. ;) I'm not going to repeat this performance, though. I really overdid it.

Tomorrow I will rest, and stay away from the gym! I will sleep like a baby tonight. And hurt so, so much tomorrow.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Well, that's not what I expected.

One of the reasons I think I'm having such a high-speed initial weight loss is actually my caloric intake.

I'm actually having trouble meeting my goals! That's both exciting for me, and a little worrying. I've reached the point now where my stomach is adjusting to the lower portions. I'm eating much less per meal (If I had to guess at my caloric intake before tracking, I'd say I was eating at least 2,500 to 3,000 calories a day.)

But just now, I prepared a lunch on purpose... I measured and weight everything out, so that it was all one serving, as opposed to whatever I felt like I wanted. I even tried to cheat a bit (add another half serving of the tortellini) but I shook my head, and put it back. One serving, no more.

I made the meal. The spagetti sauce (one serving = half a cup) seemed like a LOT of sauce for the pasta I'd made, but that's a serving, so I added it.

Added my serving of cheese, too.

And.. I couldn't finish it. I ate 2/3 of the thing, and threw the rest in the trash. I was full!

That's just mind-boggling for me.

I'm a little proud, too. I just don't want to get in the habit of eating too little, you know? I've been consistently (for the last 3 days) coming up after dinner 60-80 calories below the minimum recommended by Sparkpeople. It's not a big deficit, but it's one I'm going to make sure doesn't get bigger.

Lord knows, at 204.6 lbs I can afford to lose the weight! I'll keep eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day when I get hungry, like I have been, to make sure I don't undereat.

Weekly Weigh-in

I dropped another 3.4 lbs this week! That's probably a little faster than is strictly necessary, but I'm overweight enough that I feel comfortable with it. It's not like I'm dropping 10 lbs in a week. ;)

So I'm down to 204.6. That's just... awesome. The gym membership is really paying off. I've been seriously watching my caloric intake, which is keeping me from losing progress to inactivity.

I did an ab class today, a half hour and man, she's good. I have trouble doing some of the exercises, mostly because she's got a narrow little trainer's behind, and mine is... not. It's a good bit larger. ;) So my hips often scream at the stress. I worked up a GOOD sweat today. Walked for 37 minutes (30 minutes on the 5k your way plan, then a 7 minute cooldown walk after the ab class. I'm planning on going to the kickboxing class tomorrow night.

I feel so good right now. I really am seeing measurable results, and that's just awesome.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and... well, that's it, really.

This has been both a good weekend, and a bad one. The bad first:

I haven't exercised since Thursday. Labor day weekend just screwed up my routine, and I gave in to the loving "encouragement" from my husband to just "take a day off." After my wonderful Thursday trip, I've done nothing. I feel sluggish and icky, and can't wait until the morning when I can run off my blues. I'm probably going to stay for an ab class, too, so I'll need to drop kiddo off early so I can have time to walk my 5k your way goal.

Now, for the good:

I've conquered the calorie mountain, all weekend! I planned ahead for a bad meal or two, and my net result is that I am STILL under goal for the day, which leaves me just enough room for a bedtime snack. :) I would skip it, but my tummy's a bit growly, so I'm probably going to fix myself a slice of toast or something.

I'm proud of myself... even though I helped myself to FOUR (count 'em) slices of pizza, I didn't eat the crusts (I didn't subtract the calories from my count, though, I had trouble counting calories from my salad at lunch), and my good choices early in the day gave my waistline some wiggle room.

I still don't believe my husband's insistence that I look amazing already (I mean, please, it's 3 lbs, not 30) but it makes me feel good.

What I'm waiting for? The comments from people I haven't seen in a while: "You look great, have you lost weight?"

I want to smile, and declare, "Yes, I did!"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Caloric Win!

I've added up all the calories from dinner (which is cooking) and even if I go a bit crazy with supper on the cheese, I'll STILL be dead on 1500 points. That's incredible for me! I really don't eat small meals. Sparkpeople has me on a 1580-1950 calorie diet. I actually need to eat a bit more than that to be healthy, but if I don't, I won't sweat it... lord knows, that cookie from last night will cover the difference.

The best part... while I'm sitting here waiting, my stomach is growling. That means I'm eating because I'm hungry... not because I'm bored.

I won't declare this a total victory yet... not until I survive from now until bedtime without overdosing on snacks. But I have THAT covered, too. I have 100 calorie packs of pretzels, cheese, all kinds of things that are low-cal and tasty.

And I'll be drinking water for the rest of the day, too.

Sesame Teryaki, 2 miles, & Calorie Counting

I'm going ot go ahead and warn you... this is going to get a bit rambly!

I'm on week two, day 3 of the 5k Your Way plan at Sparkpeople, and I happily walked 2.3 miles today. I really felt like I could do a lot more. I took the day off yesterday, pretty much from all exercise. I wasn't feeling well (my stomach kept randomly hurting. Not nausea, just hurting.) so I was lethargic and icky.

I woke up late this morning... I had a really hard time getting up. I think it's as much because I didn't exercise yesterday as because I was sleepy.

Anyway, I just felt... good. All morning, I've felt good. While I was walking on the treadmill, my usual 3.0 mph setting just didn't feel fast enough... I kept outrunning it! so I turned it up a couple of notches. 3.2 felt better. Honestly, I wanted to go even faster than that, but I figured that hurting myself would just be kinda stupid.

So I listened to music, and clocked just a bit of 37 minutes, and though I didn't actually want to stop on the 2 mi marker, I did anyway. :) Did a little bit on one of the weight machines, but I wasn't feeling that.

It's funny how that works; the harder you work, the better you feel. I can tell such a big difference in my energy level and breathing from a month ago.

I think my biggest challenge on this weight loss thing is going to be FOOD. I'm a snacker. Yesterday I was borderline on my calorie limit (I hit the 1,900 top mark.) I would have been fine... but I had to have that ONE big cookie before bed. I also had a lot of fast food, something I very rarely do. One of my favorite things in the world is to get breakfast at Burger King or Waffle house.. but I discovered much to my dismay that my beloved sausage and cheese croissanwich has 420 calories! That's just insane. That got me off to a bad start, and a trip to the hospital (appointment, not emergency) resulte in a trip to McDOnalds... that lovely southern chicken sandwich? 400 by itself. We won't even talk about those stupid fries.


Today, I'm off to a much better start. Instead of a trip to BK, I had a bowl of Special K. I made some Simply Asia sesame teriyaki noodles, and they were so fantastic, and filling. Surprisingly light on calories, too; a third of a package (which is almost more than you can eat) is only 300 calories. I spiced it up with some fresh sauteed mushrooms and broccoli to give it some nutritional oomph. It was REALLY fantastic, and super easy to cook. I wanted more, but much to my pleasure, I didn't eat more than my allotted serving. :) It's nice to know that a low-cal meal can be so filling. I've noticed that a lot about asian foods... they pack a lot of punch in the full belly department, without sacrificing your calorie count for the day.

I did learn something about caloric intake/calorie burning that I didn't really have solidified in my head. See, I had it in my mind that you need to work out at least as much as you eat... basically, you burn it off by moving. I guess it's the whole "you have to walk X amount of minutes to burn off that muffin" crap you see on shows like the Drs (I hate that show). What I realized (and please, don't make fun of me, I'm new to all this) is that you do have a substantial resting caloric burn rate. The personal trainer at the gym told me that, and Sparkpeople's mobile app tells me my basal metabolic rate is 2,069. That's with no activity, just sitting on my buns like usual.

So I suddenly feel better about those numbers on the treadmill at the gym! All I could see was that it said "140 calories burned" and get discouraged that it was so few.

Now I get it!

So what all this rambly-ness means is that I can do this!

I know, this is probably the most boring post ever, but I wanted to get all this down for future reference.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My nemesis: The scale

My first weigh-in at the gym was... not what I wanted to do. I walked in, stared at the scale, and walked right by into the bathroom. After that, I took a deep breath, stepped up, flicked the little doohickeys around and found:

I've lost 3 lbs!

Progress! Real, measurable progress. We won't even talk about non-measurable ones. I have more energy, am breathing better, and just plain feel better about myself. My mental health has improved, too. Having that time in the morning to myself is helping, a lot.


I also walked 1.75 miles this morning in my 5k Walking plan. I didn't do an incline today, and I probably won't do any cross training; while walking around in Atlanta during Dragon*Con Saturday, not only did I clock 6 miles of nonstop walking (up hills, stairs, etc), I turned my ankle a bit on a curb.

I don't want to risk a serious injury, so I'm taking is semi-easy. I'm not skipping any workouts, but I'm being careful not to hurt myself.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I hate feeling crappy

To my credit, I got up earlier than normal, took my daughter to school in time for her to get breakfast, and went straight to the gym. I haven't been feeling well since last night; my guts have been gurgly. I did manage to log 5 miles on the stationary bike before I just couldn't go on.

I hate days like this, but it could be worse. I got some exercise, and I'm sitting here snuggling my cat, who was quite angry with me last night.