Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Security Breach.

After making the gym a habit again, I fell off track for a few days.

You see, I give myself the option, I have a rule. I MUST at least GO to the gym, scan my card and be ready to workout. That means changing into my clothes. If, after all of that, I still don't feel like working out, I can leave. It almost never happens and I generally put in at least a half hour of cardio on days I'd rather take a nap. However, there were a few days last week when I simply scanned and run.

However, my wonderful Manpanion joined me for BodyFlow on Monday, kicking me back into the gym habit. He's working on gaining more flexibility and BodyFlow is a wonderful combo of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates. It was nice to share fitness with someone, as this is something I typically prefer to do alone. I don't like being on someone else's schedule, having to leave when they want to leave or having to make them leave when I do, so a class was a perfect beginning for us. He doesn't belong to my gym, but I have a plethora of guest passes so let's see if he wants to come back.

I have a few goals for the week, the biggest one being such a simple thing: WATER. This winter I really struggled to get my daily water in. Even though winter in Minnesota is dry and cruel, I would much prefer coffee or something warm to water. Now that the weather is warming a little, it seems like an easy time to get back in this habit, so I've set a few goals. The easiest being that I must drink a full glass of water in the morning before I can have my coffee. That starts me off on the right foot every morning. I plan to continue this mini trick throughout the day, having a full glass of water prior to my morning snack, before lunch, before any other snacks and of course before dinner. That gets me pretty close to the goal right there.

I tend to not count the water that I drink during my workouts toward my daily goal of at least 8 glasses of water. Do you?

Last night I had a weird triumph. I went over to the Manpanion's house to share an old recipe with him for the "Taco Tuesday" tradition he is building with his son. My mom used to make us this giant pile of fat called "Taco Pie." It is the ultimate comfort food and it was very rainy and gross yesterday, perfect for comfort. We worked together to put all the elements of the pie together, popped it in the oven, read a book and when the table was being set, I opted to go home instead. I basically ate a bowl of M&Ms for lunch yesterday and KNEW that I could not resist the Taco Pie if I had tasted it. It felt strange to dip out of a dinner I helped make, but that's the beauty of living alone! I can go home!

And home I went. I had a dinner of two blood oranges and a mug of tea and I went straight to bed at 8pm, beaten with exhaustion. I'm proud of my choice, even though it stole away some time with the boys I like so much. One mini-step toward my goals that they support anyway.

Today, I've worked out a meal plan to help stay on track, my gym bag is packed and already in the car.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Laundry and a Rant.

Last night I stayed in to get a few things done around the house.

I organized my office, which has been a monkey on my back for a few months now. I've just been making piles of things that have no rhyme or reason and I can't find a damn thing when I need it, which is ruining my high efficiency. Tackled. Done. Organized.


I also had to do laundry, which ended up being a small NSV (non-scale victory) as it was 80% workout clothes and 20% underwear and the only pair of jeans that currently fit me. That means I'm doing a good job.

I made myself a little dinner.





Organic Field Day Linguine with Asparagus and fresh Parmesan. Poached Egg. Greens with oil and vinegar.




I also made it back to the gym today after my sudden rest day on Tuesday. I did some more strength training, but a faster version of my "real" workout. A different one. It involves many squats and lunges, but is just less focused on using heavy weights. It's more of a toning strength training session using a medicine ball and lot of my own body resistance. It was still difficult, especially on sore muscles, so I felt accomplished.




As I sat around in my PJs catching up on some blogs, I can't help but find myself outraged by the amount of weightloss bloggers using terms like "shameful" or "horrible" or any of these outright negative adjectives about being overweight. How do you think that feels to someone reading your blog who has not yet begun their journey to get healthy? You're basically telling all of us who are overweight that we should feel terrible for where we are...


Guess what?


That doesn't work.


Shaming and demeaning and beating yourself up doesn't get you any closer to healthy


You know what does? Loving where you are. Accepting it.


Appreciating your body for even it's simplest of functions like pumping blood or breathing air.


If you can't accept where you are, you'll never get to where you want to be. Acceptance and love gives you the power to make real change. You might think I'm stupid for saying that, but it's true. I know a thing or two about this after a decade on this journey.


Get positive or get out of my blogroll. I will be deleting many blogs in the near future if this trend continues.


Ending note: I accept all of you where you are. I wish you would do the same for yourself and everyone else.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Losing.

It's a gray day here in Minneapolis, which is a strange change from the delightful, sunny, 70 degree weather we've been enjoying over the last few days. It's not to be unexpected, of course, it is April, and we are expecting MORE SNOW this weekend, but for some reason it feels ominous.

I skipped the gym yesterday as my muscles were feeling explosive, ready to burst out of my skin at any second. Getting back into strength training is very important, though painful. I have lost so much muscle memory over the last year. It's amazing to me. But today I'll be back at the gym and back at the resistance training, working my way back up.

I had a mild slip up yesterday, ending my dinner within my calorie limits, but sneaking back into the kitchen and inhaling a bag of yogurt covered pretzels. No particular reason. I wasn't even hungry. It just felt like something to do.

I've been battling some emotional demons, feeling down on myself, and for whatever reason stress eating is still such a big thing. I stopped, with about 1/4 of the bag left, and put it away. I tucked myself in and tried to focus on what and how I was feeling. I didn't really get very far into it before I drifted off to sleep, but the little pieces I can remember landing on had to do with some fear and some lingering resentment in one of my relationships. I hope I can spend a little time thinking on it today, getting closer to the root and beginning the process of letting it go.

The rest of my week is blur of multi-colored calendar items. Some of which are fun, some of which are a whole lot of work, and others are fitness related. I'm looking forward to Saturday, which will be a nice with "the girls" getting mani/pedis and drinking at a local watering hole. I plan to indulge in a diet soda, as the next day is another friend's birthday party, which mainly consists of the world's largest Bloody Mary bar. I'd far prefer to indulge in my mani/pedi and skip the booze Saturday to build up a delicious bloody on Sunday.

That's the plan for now, and hopefully I can stick to it.

I have been hitting the very top range of my calorie limits each day on SparkPeople. I think that upping up the fitness efforts I've been putting in over the last month is making me hungry. Which is to be assumed, I suppose, as I'm forcing my body to exert large amounts of energy, I need to replace that energy somehow.

I had a miniature epiphany yesterday, of something so simple. Given the low range of my calorie limits, I can eat 3 meals of around 300 cals, and 2 snacks at around 150 cals. Why didn't a realize this before? It's easy! Now I just need to actually plan around it.

I've been attempting to eat intuitively, just listening to what it is I *REALLY* want, and eating a reasonable portion of it. It's been working, but it is landing me in the top tier, and the scale is showing nothing, though I can already see that my clothes are a bit looser and my body is a bit tighter. It is time for me to start planning my meals. It is something that has worked for me in the past. I wanted to be less restrictive this time, but it's clear that in order to RE-lose the weight, I'm going to have to have rules, strong ones, and when the weight is gone is when I will work harder on learning to eat intuitively, maintaining my weight, rather than losing.

Losing is the hard part.

Well, maintaining is the hard part too.

Monday, April 11, 2011

UpLifting.

I did it.

I lifted. I lifted a lot. I strength trained HARD. I was sweating buckets and grunting and pushing myself harder than I have in a very long time. It felt amazing.

I'm sore as all hell, already, just 7 hours later, but I wouldn't trade it. I know that this is going to be the thing that jolts me back to feeling strong, and that's what I want and need right now.

I will admit, and confess, that I accidentally rewarded myself. Over-rewarded myself this evening. I went to a going-away party for a friend and didn't know there would be a free spread. I had a drink, which I had planned for, and passed up another though they were free. But the food I wasn't expecting. There was a cheese plate, my weakness. I try not to keep cheese in the house because it becomes a free for all, as if it will go bad in a matter of minutes and I need to eat it all immediately.

Overall, I didn't do too bad, considering the circumstances and how nuts I was known to go in the past (way back when). I tracked every morsel and I am now even for the day. I ate back every calorie I burned at the gym, and that's fine. Muscle keeps burning those calories and the more that I continue to strength train the more I am stoking my metabolism to make room for little guilty pleasures like a cheese plate.

I feel amazing.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Strength.

I just spent about an hour readying my Strength Training worksheets. Though I've quit Weight Watchers I am still a really big fan of their "Activity Worksheet." I've uploaded it in a .jpg form so that it can be shared. Simply click "Expand to fit page" when you go to print.




Using Fitness Magazine's online site, I found a whole bunch of new Total Body Workouts. When I first started losing weight, Fitness Magazine was my favorite thing to find in my mailbox. Each month I would have new routines to focus my efforts on, which always kept the results pouring in because I was never bored, continually switching it up and challenging/confusing my body at every turn.

Today I created 3 of these worksheets, each with a different strength training workout.

Since I've been back to the gym, I've been avoiding picking up the dumbbells again. Honestly, I couldn't tell you why. Strength Training was BY FAR the biggest catalyst of the change in my body; and not only that, I really enjoyed it. Feeling and being strong is such a giant piece of my personality. Perhaps that's where the intimidation steps in. I'm not as strong as I once was, and my fear is that I'll never get back there. It's irrational, then, of course, that I wouldn't begin to at least try to get there, as every single day that I avoid re-building my muscles is a day that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So.

These little sheets are color coded and ready for my use because after all, "failing to plan is a plan to fail."

Friday, April 8, 2011

Reminder.

I am doing an awful job of updating regularly.

The important part is that the "real" work is still getting done, and since my last update I've made a few important changes.

After many many many years and many pounds lost, I have decided to dump my unfulfilling relationship with Weight Watchers. Like any relationship, it was something that worked for me once, and despite exhausting all the options, no longer does.

I had joined SparkPeople many years ago to supplement my Weight Watchers membership, but never really used all the resources they provide... for free. Instead I continued to hand over my money to WW and follow their program, which is fantastic, by the way, for some people. But last week, after realizing I hadn't been tracking (because I told you guys) and hadn't logged in, hadn't used a WW recipe and hadn't been doing a thing in relation to WW, I decided it was time to cut the cord. Stop paying them for being my "back up." And I moved to SparkPeople full-time.

I have been following SparkPeople for about 9 days and it is new and exciting and helps me to keep track of things that are important to me: Fitness AND Nutritional Information. All of it: calories, fat, sodium, carbs, etc etc etc. No more counting "points" I know longer understand.

I have been charging full-speed-ahead with my fitness routine, promising 30 minutes of cardio daily and generally putting in at least 45 minutes at the gym. Sooner or later I'll increase that time, but for now I am doing due diligence to simply get to the gym whenever I can. I have been averaging 6 days a week and I am celebrating that accomplishment even as I type this.

Also, because it's April, just like last year I am participating in #30daysofbiking, a collaboration project of a couple friends of mine encouraging any and everyone to ride their bikes daily for 30 days straight. This helps me move a little bit more, doing something I'd already be doing, but having a goal to do it regardless of how I feel. It's the 8th and I haven't missed a day yet. Hooray.

Now that Spring is here, have you made any changes?