When I exercise there's a lot that goes on. I am reminded of how far I've come physically and mentally, and what I still need to work on.
Physically, I am reminded that I'm an active being, but I also have my weaknesses that I need to work with. I feel how far I've come, I've learned how I can push myself to squeak out that last few minutes of a particularly difficult interval, or I know when to ease up to let my body rest so I can get back to working even harder. Last night, with my trainer, I was reminded of how strong I am getting (hello! Did 45 push ups at a 30% incline! ::happy dance::) and how I can continually push to do my personal best, even if it's adding a pound or two of resistance, or finishing the set of 15 rather than leaving it at 12.
Mentally I have grown a lot - 90% of the time I look at food as fuel for my activity and I have made peace with the 10% of the time that what I consume is just for the pleasure and fun of it. I recognize that I'm in competition with myself, but enjoy the motivation I get from people who are doing just a bit better than me. I look for ways to be active, but also appreciate and (attempt) to acknowledge my body's need for rest.
Oh, and an interesting but unexpected measure of my success: having to print off a new chart with the LOWER body fat/caliper measurements. Yay! I realized that I was almost at the lowest measurements on the chart I had been using. Go me.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
When I exercise there's a lot that goes on. I am reminded of how far I've come physically and mentally, and what I still need to work on.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sounds better than ADHD Monday but that's about how my brain is feeling today.
Oh look! Air!
What was I saying?
Yeah, ok, here's my musings.
My hero: Talked to one of the co-workers who DID ride in the El Tour to see how it went. They had an intense, rocky start to the race. On the way to the start line, his wife's bike broke. As in essential parts of the bike ceased to be attached to the frame. Luckily this was before they started actually in the race and she wasn't hurt. After several frantic calls, a wish, a few prayers, and some scrounged parts, the bike was made ride-able again! And they did the whole 109 mile ride, even though they started 30 min. late. How cool is that?!?! They could have just scrapped all the time and training, but instead they kept pushing through. Took them 8 hours, but they did it. And it was wonderful, he said!
My snarky annoyance: People who are putting their health and wellness on the back burner because "it's the holidays." "It's just not a good time to start/continue a weightloss program!" Ya know, you're going to believe what you want to. It's either the perfect time or worst time to be on a weightloss program, depending on how you look at it. In fact, the holidays are really like any other day of the year, and those days are also the perfect/worst time to take control of your health and your life. Yes, there's many times I'm tempted to throw in the towel (right now, in fact (see the next item). It's sooo tempting to look at what I've done, say 'good enough' and just stop. But why, when I've barely scratched the surface of my potential. Why not plow through, despite minor setbacks (see the previous item)?
My frustration: I just want to feel WELL again! I know, I know, I just wrote about how I'm grateful for my sinus issues since I'm not sick otherwise. You know those annoying Mucinex commercials about giving mucus an eviction notice?! Well I have been! Repeatedly! Along with a few strongly worded letters from my immune system lawyers. And it's not budging. I went for a walk yesterday and felt like I was gonna die - my lungs were hurting, I couldn't quite get my breath, and my endurance was next to nothing. I realize that I can't expect all my health issues to go away at once. And hopefully next year it'll be clear sailing. But right now, I need to just acknowledge my limits and do what I can, but not really push anything... grrr... Stoopid body.
My happy: My mom is trusting me to make the stuffing and mashed potatoes ahead of time! This is a HUGE step for her. YAY me! AND I fit into a pair of pants that I have NEVER been able to fit into. They're still tight enough they wouldnt' be comfy for the whole day, but still. I have never, ever been able to put them on, let alone zip them up! YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
And I'm grateful for it.
No, really, I am.
I was talking with a couple of co-workers yesterday and the one was telling about her latest bout of pleurisy after she had the flu, and think she had something else around the same time. I remembered thinking, when I first met her, how healthy she was - a vegetarian, thin, tall, seemingly active. Apparently not.
I do understand that some people get the short end of the immune system stick. I thought I was one of those people, too: getting sick at the drop of a hat, staying sick.
I realized that this is only the 2nd time this year that I've been sick - the last time was the allergy/stress induced bronchitis right before the wedding (go me). So while I really dislike being sick, considering this is the biggest issue I've had, I think I'm coming out way ahead. It means I'm doing the ounce of prevention every day to keep myself healthy and if something gets through, then my system will be strong enough to keep it from totally wiping me out. (that's the theory & I'm sticking to it)
Friday, November 21, 2008
Anyway, why I'm sad... actually, I'm peeved.
Tomorrow is the El Tour de Tucson. It's a super huge deal lots of big names come from all over to ride, it's a spiffy thing. My trainer, Steve, is riding in it as are a few people I work with... minus one, who, IMO is using an excuse to keep him from doing something great. He's been training for the past several months and has really been looking forward to it. We've talked about our different cardio routines, how he's getting in shape for it, etc. Today, as he was leaving, someone said 'good luck tomorrow!'
"oh, I'm not riding."
"I couldn't do the course in under 6 hours, so I'm not going to do it."
Ummm... just do the 1/2 course.
(as he's trying to escape) "No, if I can't do the whole thing, I'm not going to do it."
And he walked out.
I have never been so disappointed in anyone before. This man, who was the first in his family to not only go to college, but to MEDICAL SCHOOL! He become a Doctor for cripes sake! is letting perfectionism get in the way of being a part of something really cool and really big. It may not be the Tour de France, but hey, it's still cool! And so what if he didn't do the last training ride in under 6 hours, he may do it tomorrow in 5 hr 30 min! But he'll never know what he was capable of now.
It's totally a case of quitting when you're steps from the finish line.
And it's been nagging at me for the last few hours. Not only was I dissappointed in him, but was also thinking of how many times I'd gotten so close to something, only to pull away. Or how many times I didn't even start. It may have been perfectionist/all-or-nothing thinking, or fear, or not knowing /how/ to start, or thinking I had to do it right rather than just doing something, or getting spending too much time looking in the rear view mirror of when I had tried and failed figuring it'd just be more of the same.
Yes, those same thoughts and doubts creep into my mind occassionaly, but right now, I just take them, and toss them on the fire that feuls me towards where I want to go.
We had our Thanksgiving potluck today at work - surprisingly there was a good balance of contributions. Instead of 75% desserts and 25% side dishes, there was about a 50/50 split. Whoo hoo! Considering the enthusiasm for potlucks has drastically waned of late, this was pretty darn exciting.
I'm not sure what mental shift has occurred in my brain, but instead of fearing and dreading the potluck, I had made my mind up before hand what I was having, and enjoyed chatting with co-workers instead of obessing on the food like everyone else was doing. I had horrid flashbacks to the potluck a few years ago - 1 dessert is ok, 5 is really, really bad. This year: 1/2 dessert is ok, after letting the salad, veggies & turkey settle... and get myself prepped for the gym.
Maybe it's the fact that my sinuses are slowly taking over my head (can I tell you how much I hate and despise my sinuses?! Seriously! I have managed to keep myself from getting all the little colds and flus that have been flying around the office, and my immune system is going great... except for this. Gah!) and nothing really looked as appealing as it may have been in the past. Or the fact that there were very few homemade options that it narrowed down the choices/options. I've become such the snob of late - if it's processed and/or store bought, why bother consuming the crappity calories?! I mean seriously - if this is a special occassion, why have something that's less than special?
It could also be that, despite my sinus induced laziness the last couple of days, I weighed in a svelte 170.8 (that's /almost/ in the 160's!!!), am down to 31% body fat AND put on over a pound of muscle this week! So yeah, feeling more determined than ever to continue on my happy, healthy way. To the point where I brought in my stuff to go to the gym afterwork.
Yes, I realize it's a Friday night. I'm a lame-o with no social life, k? And I figure that only the people who are serious or have equally unexciting social lives will be there so I won't have to fight for a machine.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I am a ROCKSTAR! Oh wait.. SUPAH-STAAAAHHH!
Today was rough. My head feel like it's gonna explode and my sinuses really hurt. Meh.
Had several panicked calls from the hubby about money, checked the account and had a minor freak out myself and did a few more frantic calls to this and that person.
I was so not in the mood.
Walked in the gym, was greeted with a chipper "how you doin?!"
Ya know, when you start from rock bottom, sometimes the only place to go /is/ up.
Worked out a lot of /my/ frustration, had a kick butt time, got to laugh a little and managed to annoy my trainer, all in 1/2 an hour! Go me!
Ok, I only annoyed him because I'm flexible. I commented that my triceps were annoyed, he tried to stretch my arm... "lemme know when it starts to pull"...
"Ok, too flexible for that one... how about this one? nope, how about this? Gah. forget it."
I had him show me a couple of leg stretches (I FINALLY get the IT band stretch! YAY!) Nope, again to flexy. Yes, it's a good thing, and interesting to see how some areas are more flexible than others on different people, but also is very frustrating when I can't get a quality stretch in an area that really, really needs it.
By the time I got home a couple of the bank issues were taken care of, or at least the processes were started, I took care of another one, and we're both feeling a bit calmer now. Just wish he wasn't in Houston. *sigh*
I know I've been complaining/commenting for a while that my clothes are getting too big and that I need to at least buy new pants.
Well, today (or at least tomorrow depending on my schedule) looks like it's that time has finally come. This may be a bit TMI, but I went in the restroom a bit ago and realized that I had pulled my pants down without unbuttoning or unzipping them. And these are pants that were freshly washed and put through the drier.
I know it's a nice problem to have - clothes being too big - but I've also realized for a while that it doesnt' look professional to have super baggy pants and I need to do something about it.
I so want to just order them from a catalog because we all know what happens when I go shopping ::rolls eyes:: but I can't find any that I like - looked at Chadwicks, Newport News, and New York & Co's site and can't really tell from the pictures if they'd work for me which means I need to go to a store.
A friend of mine suggested Fashion Bug, but I need to do my measurements first to be able to order the right size.
Anyone have any suggestions?!?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I know this may come as a shock, but I can get a bit uppity once in a while. I am finding that my uppity-ness is starting to reach a critical level of late... it's been on the rise since right before Halloween and I have a feeling it's going to be extra difficult to keep the Brain-Mouth filter in place.
Here's the thing: The office is starting to show signs of the 2 holiday spirits 1) the spirit of giving in the form of treats (store bought and homemade) cropping up here and there and 2) the cranky spirits of Diets Past, Present and Future. There have been MANY people walking around, grumbling about "bad time of year... oh I can't believe ::nom nom nom:: all the stuff you have ::munch munch:: at your desk! Oh I'm gonna ::chomp nom nom:: pay for this later!"
There's the snarky of me that so wants channel my inner Jillian/Dr. Phil and call people on their behavior.
"Oh, why are all these holidays so close together?!"
Yeah... funny how that happened this year... I mean, it seems like it's only been that way for the last, oooh, 50-100 years or so. Not much time to prepare for it!
::heading to candy dish again:: "I just can't control myself when there's food around!"
Wow... yeah, I understand. That impulse control thing is hard to deal with when you're 6 or 7. Oh wait... last time I checked you were an ADULT! Seriously!
"OH! There's cookies!"
Really?! What a surprise! Look, it's not like it's the Nobel Prize, eat it or don't. Just stop making a big deal out of it.
I get that it's hard. I get that there's things that are tempting. I get that life gets stressful, and food is used a lOT as a coping mechanism.
I also get that a lot of people act in ways that they wouldn't allow their children to do at home, let alone in public. (Wow. Was that my outloud voice?)
I also get that, in order to stop that behavior, and make peace with ourselves and with food, you have to stop blaming external factors and start looking at yourself for the problems, issues, /and/ solutions. Talk about scary.
Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living"... but does he know what scary things used to lurk in the dark recesses of MY mind? Seriously. But eventually, you get to the point where you have to start being a parent to yourself. It's not really about growing up, and it's not about being perfect. It's about acknowledging what you're really feeling inside, it's about learning a new, healthier way to be. It's about having fun without obsessing. It's taking a deep breath, picking one thing and working on it.
Then you can join me on the sidelines making fun of the people that don't get it. ;)
I'm feeling back to myself. Finally!
Last week really was brutal - between the monthly blah time, feeling rather beat up after working out with the trainer, feeling run down in general, and then dealing with monster amounts of allergy crud (both the hubby & I were dealing with it after being silly and working outside in the wind over the weekend.) Ugh... sooo glad to have that behind me.
Yesterday I went to the gym in the morning - eased into it but felt good in general - and then had a really good workout with trainer Steve last night. I'm feeling sore, but it's that 'good' sore again. I'm constanty amazed that 1) I /can/ do it, and 2) even when I think I can't, I can squeek out that last rep.
The super awesome thing is, despite not doing much physically, I still lost .3% BF. Just goes to show that building the musckles helps burn fat/calories, even if you're not using them much. I did pay fairly close attention to what I ate, and since we were both not feeling great, we didn't drink much over the weekend. That's the one thing that I have to work on when the hubby is home - I've been been better at not joining him in having a beer each night. Usually on the weekend I'll have one or 2 with him, bit have been pretty good at not partaking during the week.
So overall, I'm apparently doing what my body needs me to do and all the baby steps I've taken are paying off. I can 'slack' a little (not much) when I need to, and still maintain or lose.
Life can happen, like I know it will. But I know I will make positive choices that keep me on track towards my goals. I can jump back into my routine without feeling like I have to start over because I didn't completely abandon it in the first place.
I think that's one of the big hurdles I faced, and a lot of other people face when going on the journey to improve health, lose weight, etc. I made the decision many, many times to lose weight, and I really wanted it - bad, but I wanted it to happen magically. I wanted to have all the skills and habits _right now!!_
Unfortunatley it doesn't happen like that. Changing years of thinking and ways of doing things is like altering the course of the wind... actually, no, it's like that little tiny tug boat that helps doc a HUGE ocean barge. It seems highly improbably, but with the right tools and leverage, that little boat can take control and help steer the barge gently but deliberatly and purposefully into port. There are course corrections along the way, but ultimately the goal is reached.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
No, not /that/ time of year, but it's about what I feel like.
I've spent all my time focusing on /not/ getting sick - specifically keeping my sinuses happy - that all my brain heard was 'get sick... in sinuses'.
Actually, I'm at that really annoying edge of... something. I'm feeling slightly run down, tired, and having much lower energy than usual. But it's not enough that makes me go 'oooh, I'm sick, I need to stay home and rest', but I'm not feeling well enough to keep up my normal routine, and that zaps my energy even more.
Vicious cycle, no?
Either way, I'm going to give in this week - canceling my appt with the trainer, taking it easy with exercise (keeping up with the lower intensity, 15-min a day cardio), and getting rest.
I'm trying not to think of it as a set back, more of just giving my body a rest so I can do even better in the long run. And it's also an experiment in tracking my food intake to make sure that I can at least maintain or lose when I don't have the cardio to offset the calories. So far I've been doing pretty darn good with my staying in my ranges, and even being a bit on the low end. We shall see how this all goes.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Or a super needy snuggly kitten. Or a kitten that snuck out as I was closing the door to the patio for the night without making a peep. I got woken up at 4:00 this morning with one kitten walking across my head and pawing for snuggles, and then scratching at the door from another kitten to be let inside (was chilly out last night!) and the third one obviously plotting ways to be rid of the other two. That combined with the start of wonky sinus season did not bode well for me this week.
I'm having a sinking suspicion that my attempts to avoid sinus issues isn't going so well. Part of the problem was spending an entire day out side in a cold, dusty, windy environment. I was hoping that spending only one day wouldn't have much of an impact, but it seems that it has. I'm being extra diligent with allergy medication and decongestants so fingers crossed. This, combined with my already waning enthusiasm for the SCA in general isn't helping, since 90% of the events are outside. And that's ok, since my focus is pretty much on myself at the moment (I'll just say I'm in a selfish phase. ;)
Since I'm feeling on the verge of sick, intense cardio is on the back burner this week, but easy/medium cardio isn't. I'll be back with Steve the trainer 2 times this week to keep up the musckle building goodness (HA! Down another 1/2% in body fat this week! Yay!!). It also will mean that I'm going to be extra diligent with tracking my food.
It's such a delicate balance - eat just enough to fuel the body and activity, not too much, but not too little either. *sigh*
Friday, November 7, 2008
Totally want this for Christmas: http://www.fitnessanywhere.com/ (along with somewhere to hang it that I'm not worried about crashing in the ceiling)
And then want to take one of these classes: http://elasticwaist.com/2008/11/exercise-class-review-antigrav.php#more Cuz that just looks like so much scary fun!
The even stranger thing is that I'm really wanting to set up a home gym and actually use it. Or at least get more fitness-y things in the house, but not something that's only good for this or that muscle group. I'm like Alton Brown and love multi-taskers! :) The hubby has even commented about getting a pull up bar or something for when he's home (dude! I would sooo love to be able to do one pull up!) But then I'm torn - I really like going /to/ the gym, getting out of the house and to somewhere that's totally focused on exercise, but would like stuff at home, too.
So yeah, basically want the best of all worlds. :)
OH! And in awesome news, as of this morning, I officially hit the 30-pound loss!
To celebrate, I'm wearing a pair of size 14 jeans I haven't worn in forever!!! The same pants that will end up in the Goodwill pile when I get home. After wearing them for about an hour, I remembered why I didn't wear them often, even when I could fit into them before. LOL!!!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Yeah, this is me... NOT!
So, I've been dialing back on the amount of cardio I'm doing, but at the same time trying to do at least 15 minutes on my non-HIIT days. Nothing overly intensive, especially on days after my sessions with the trainer! (oy he's working me but it's awesome!)
I decided to make use of my NetFlix subscription and try one of the 'dance' workouts.
What a... humbling... experience. I know I'm not the most coordinated person, but a 30-something trying to do 'hip hop' moves on carpet at 6 am, before coffee... yeah, lets just say I'm glad the curtains were closed and the cats don't make it obvious they were laughing at me. I like to think of their chattering as being concerned for my health and asking if I was having standing convulsions and needing assistance, rather than telling me to just totally give it up. LOL!!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
So, I had my 3rd session with the personal trainer yesterday. Wow... and ow. Ok, not really 'ow I can't move' but more like 'dang he worked me a lot!' I told him at the beginning that the criteria for how hard I can work is dependant on me being able to drive my car home (I have a 5-speed, manual transmission). If I can't operate the clutch or stick shift, it's too much. Last night was pretty darn close.
We did a lot of upper body stuff - shoulders, triceps, upper back, and lunges... lots of lunges. /that/ hurt. Especially after a kick butt interval workout in the morning, my legs were a bit wobbly to begin with.
But by the end (and I'm sooo grateful I'm only doing 30-minute sessions!) I was shocked at how much I /did/ do, even with increasing the weights. Even better is today - I feel like I worked my muscles, and they're a bit tight, but I'm not OMG tired & sore.
We also talked about nutrition and he gave me a plan. I laughed. It had me at 1350 calories for the day. Considering I'm seeing results at 500-700 calories over that right now, I balked at it. And considering I burn about 300-400 calories per workout, that'd be super bad. So we worked on tweaking it and made comprimise - I'd bring my calories down 100-200 this week, and bringing down the carb range a bit, and see how I did. I'm all about burning calories to create a deficit, rather than eating less, and he was good with that.
This process has been interesting because I feel like I'm playing a dual role - as a client and potential trainer. I'm looking at how a trainer develops a plan for a client, and as the client, looking to him for guideance, making sure I have good form and am challenged with new exercises and increasing the weights, but not feeling /totally/ shredded at the end.
As far as the reduced amount of cardio for the month, my plan is HIIT workouts M, W, & F, and I'm trying to get in at least 15 minutes the other days. We'll see how that goes... and think I'll take a walk before lunch. :)