Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Baby Steps

I went to another weight watcher's meeting this morning. I think I'll usually go to the Tuesday one. I met another new member there, so maybe I'll have a weight loss buddy. She looked pretty fit to me, but she said she had put on about 20 pounds recently. Anyway, I have contacted my health insurance company because I can get a discount through them. Hopefully I'll have everything from them by next week so I can join.

After that I went and picked up a prospective tenant, showed her the place, and took her back to school. I literally had a fight with myself about whether I should go to the gym for another short workout or go home. If a cop had been following me I might have been pulled over for erratic driving, because first I turned towards home, then I changed lanes to go to the gym, then turned back towards home, and finally switched lanes again to go to the gym. I told myself that I was making changes and that if I want to keep on that path I should go. Changing habits - a hard deal, but can be done, I know this.

Well, my legs were still sore from Monday, plus did I mention the bruise TFH gave me on my arm when she was measuring my body fat??!! Even so, I followed her directions and did the elliptical machine first. Only 5 minutes, and still at setting 7, but I did it. 34 calories. Then on to the bike. I like the bike except for how it hurts my butt. I like setting my pace and minutes and watching the miles and calories add up. I think next week I am going to try the "random hills" setting and see what that is like. I did 15 minutes and a 2 minute "cool down" on that, and burned another 105 calories, so that is a total of 139 calories for today. Kept my heart rate around 150 for most of the time.

Baby steps, but at least they are heading in the right direction. I need to see some progress, either on the scale or in my clothes before I dare to start setting real goals. Hmm...maybe I already am setting goals, because I have been to the gym 4 times in a week, and I kind of sort of set a goal of engaging in some physical activity 3-5 times a week. The gym plus the boogieboarding Sunday, makes 5. Not ready yet to set a time goal, like 30 minutes or an hour at the gym, although I guess I will need to eventually if I want to see a real difference. Right now I am happy with 100+ calories each time and increasing amounts of time and calories burned. I am going to Kona Friday to see my friend Bonnie. She was just in the hospital with pneumonia, so I'm not sure how much activity I will get, but I want to see how I can help her. I'll be back Sunday, so I will definitely go to the gym Monday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Don't Want to Be an Endomorph..or an Apple

Well, I went to a weight watcher's meeting today to check it out. I liked the leader, and she is apparently the leader of most of them near me. She's upbeat, respectful of the group members, and prepared. I like prepared. She was friendly and introduced herself and handed me a little booklet before the meeting started. I like friendly, and booklets, too. I'm going to go to the one tomorrow morning to check out the group members there, and will most likely join one or the other. I'm a little apprehensive about counting all those food points, but I figure once I'm shown the secret of how to do it, I ought to be able to handle it. More numbers!!! I hope I don't have to change my eating habits too much, although I am sure some things will have to change. Otherwise I wouldn't be overweight, right???

Okay, back to numbers. I joined the Sparkpeople site months ago, and they are always sending me articles. Many of them very good. One of them today talked about weight loss goals, and how to determine them, based on a number of factors. One of them is BMI. And, yes, another number. This one was 34.3, which I think is what I had calculated before, but tried to pretend it was only 33 when Trainer from Hell told me it was 42 something yesterday. So, even though this is way too high, I am sticking with it because it is easier to reach an acceptable level from there.

Another of the factors they suggested in setting goals is considering one's body type. I had forgotten that I am an Endomorph, which means that I am shaped like a fruit. Currently like an apple, although more commonly like a pear when my weight is more reasonable. Being an apple is not good at all healthwise these days, although in times of famine it could be an asset, because we endomorphs tend to hoard the fat in our bodies quite efficiently. But, it makes it more difficult to lose weight. There is a delicate balance we must find in our eating habits. Eat too little and not often enough and our endomorphically prone bodies will hold onto every last smidgeon of fat, thinking we are about to starve to death. So, slow and steady is the name of this game I guess. And it also gives some explanation as to why I lost so much weight when I basically ate oranges all day long. Nothing to turn into fat, but gave me calories to function (hmm..they mentioned food turning into either fat or glucose in one of those articles. I'll have to find it again).

Another number I ran across today was what I suppose is commonly known, and that it takes a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose a pound. Now, I was thinking more like 1,500, which I figured meant it would take me about 10-12 days to lose a pound if I kept slowly increasing my exercise and eating the same. At 3,500 it would take me nearly a month. That's not good. I don't have enough patience for that. So, as everyone says, I'm either going to have to step it up more exercise wise, or cut the calories. But not too much, and not so much that my endomorphic body thinks it's starving. I definitely do not want to turn into a watermelon shape.

Monday, April 28, 2008

No Pain Please

I took a break from machines and gadgets yesterday and went to the beach instead. I did my baby boogie-boarding for about 45 minutes. Baby boogie-boarding, for those of you who don't know, is what I call the easy kind I do these days. Not the swim out into shark-infested waters and ride waves of 6-8 feet of my younger years, but the push my board out past the little shore waves, alternate kicking around, floating, a little jumping over waves, and keeping my eyes peeled for something big enough to ride. All in water where I can stand up.

A few years ago I rediscovered the joy of riding waves and for a while I went almost every day, sometimes twice a day. In the process I lost about 35 pounds and felt great! The pic I have posted here is from those days. Also in that process I broke a rib, and then pulled the tendons in both elbows because I wouldn't give it up and was compensating with my arms because I couldn't lie flat on my board. Things went downhill from that point on. After surgery I was afraid I'd injure myself again, I was angry that I couldn't do what I loved doing, so refused to try any new form of exercise, and began packing the weight back on. Which eventually has brought me to this fat state of affairs.

But, this is about the journey towards fitness again. I have to remind myself over and over to not beat myself up over poor choices in the past, because when I do that I become paralyzed. Literally. I get stuck in that frame of mind and do nothing. Absolutely zero zilch nada nothing good for myself. Sooooooo.......yesterday I went boogie-boarding, and today I got a fitness assessment from a trainer at the gym.

I'm not sure what to think about it. She told me my weight (200.6 lbs), and my Yikes! BMI. She said it was 42, but every calculator I have used says it is 33 or so. Not sure where the difference lies, but whichever is correct, it is still in the obese category. How sad is that???!!!! She also focused a lot on the state of my joints. I'm not sure if that is because when I filled out some forms I truthfully mentioned both my past elbow injuries as well as the sometimes soreness I experience in my knees. I figured, WTH, I'm overweight, I'm getting up there in years, of course some of my joints hurt.

Well, that soreness is nothing compared to the pain she put me through! She had me lie down and rest the outer side of my leg on this hard foam tube while bending the other leg, while resting the rest of my weight on my elbow (Um, did she not hear me that my elbows are BAD??!!). Frickin' shots of red hot stabbing pain!!! and then slowly roll down a couple of inches and hold it, etc. etc. *DANGER! DANGER!!* #TOO MUCH PAIN! TOO MUCH PAIN!# *ABORT MISSION! ABORT MISSION!!* *NOW!! DO IT NOW!!!* And then made me do the same thing with the other leg. And each time she asked me how it felt and I said it hurt, she said "Good," in this soft little happy voice. Then I did the same thing with my inner thighs.

She gave me some story about my fascia needing to be loosened up and how I should do this every day. Yeah, right!!! When I decide to start wearing a full leather head mask, pierce both my nipples and connect them with a too short chain with little barbs on it, I will add this to my daily regimen. Okay, I found demonstrations of it here and here Notice that the first site is for men who want to become Navy SEALs, the second is on a site called Testoterone Nation. Nuff said? I just did some looking and found this exercise that does the same thing. Now that I might be able to handle. I like the sound of this site, "easy vigor". Easy vigor I can definitely embrace. I definitely do not, and never have, belonged to the "No Pain, No Gain" Fun Club.

The one good thing we did was she showed me how to use the elliptical machine. Of course, little sadist that she is, she had me using it at an "average" pace and resistance. Maybe she wasn't listening to me, either, when I told her I hadn't done much exercise for quite sometime. You should have seen the cute little grin she had when she said, "We'll set it at ten minutes, but of course we won't do the whole time." She said we didn't have time today to show me how to use some of the machines I was curious about, but we did have time for her to try to sell me additional sessions. I thanked her politely for her time today, declined further sessions with a promise to keep in touch, and walked out feeling nauseous.

It's two hours later now and I think I'm going to go back and get a little cardio workout in - my pace, my way, without pain, maybe just a little bit of strain, and hopefully eventually some gain.

Back again from my playground (that has a nice fun ring to it. Maybe I'll believe it one of these days. Sounds much better than torture chamber). Actually, that should have been some loss up above. That IS what I'm going for, after all. Okay, I listened to the trainer and did the elliptical machine first. Set it on 7/20 difficulty level for 5 minutes. 31 calories burned (add the 17 from earlier). Then 12 minutes on the bike, 4 min/mile, 7-10/20 difficulty level. Sheesh, some people can run faster than that! Another 78 calories burned. I'm sure after a while I will be less focused on calories than other measures, but for now it is something I can increase day by day. 128 calories burned today!

My heart rate was hanging around 150-157, a little higher than recommended on the machines (140-149), but right about what I calculated from a site Michelle sent me to. It said start at 220 and subtract your age. Originally I thought it said subtract your weight, which would have made my target heart rate 20. I thought, "Hmm, Wouldn't you have to be almost dead to have that rate??!!" But, I figured it out, and it looks like I should be aiming for around 160-165. So, I learned a few things today. 1) How to use the elliptical torturer, I mean trainer, 2) just because a trainer is little and cute doesn't mean they are nice and sweet, in fact maybe just the opposite, 3) nobody can agree on numbers, 4) how to post links here, 5) there are more ways than one to make a person scream for mercy, as well as to stretch their TFL, and, oh!, 6) what a TFL IS! That plus the 128 calories burned makes this a good day so far.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Today was a new day, so I didn't let yesterday's excuses lead me down the "I knew I hated the gym and wasn't going to go, what was I thinking??!!" path. Nope, I figured out how to bring my ipod, glasses so I could read my ipod, id, keys, and pedometer, without any pockets, to the gym. Yes, they have lockers, but no, I can't find any of the 23 padlocks I have around here someplace.

So, I strolled into the gym, up the stairs, and straight back to the cardio machines, like I knew what I was doing. I stood against the wall for about 15 minutes trying to get my ipod tuned to a few of the TV stations. And one thing is clear. If I continue with this and can't get my own music to play, I certainly will catch up with the news. In terms of taking care of the boring factor, that is about a 3 out of 10. I get bored with that quickly too. Always so many unhappy events and conflicts. I sure wish someone would start The Good News Channel, with reports on kindnesses done, lives saved, cooperative ventures, those kinds of things. Maybe some funny spots, some parties, cute animals.

Okay, now to the purpose of Going to the Gym. I walked on the treadmill for 15 minutes at a 2.1 mph pace. No incline. Kept my heart rate up around 140 the entire time. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not. I know it's the target cardio rate for my age, but if that slow a walk on a flat surface keeps it up there that can't be good. I hope it improves over time. I know my mom had something wrong with her heart when she was a little older than I am now that made it difficult for her to walk up hills. Since I have been a little less kind to my body over the years than she was to hers, especially with the smoking, I hope this isn't a serious, permanent condition. Anyway, I burned 44 calories in that amount of time. And, yes, it did bother me that was all when in the same time yesterday I burned 100 calories on the incline bike.

So, did I stop there? I am very proud to say, "No I didn't!" I walked right over to an upright bike, climbed on, figured out how to set a few of the features, and pedaled on. I rode for 15 minutes, a pace of around 25mph (I think), maybe a little more. I again kept my heart rate up between 140 and 145, and burned another 66 calories. So that's a total of 110 calories. Not a lot, but it has to be good for me, keeping my heart rate up there.

And was I done? Oh no, not yet. I thought I ought to try some of those machines that target specific areas of the body. So, having just given my legs a little bit of a workout, I decided to target my abs. I know they're in there somewhere, even though I haven't seen them for a while. I did 3 sets of 10 crunches (notice the easy way that gym talk slid off my tongue), and not even at the lowest weight. I tried a couple of other machines; another one for abs, and one for chest, but couldn't figure out how to work them, even after reading the directions. By then I was beginning to feel embarassed, so rather than let that get full blown, I headed for the exit. I still want to know why that girl with the sunglasses kept looking at me though.

On Monday I have my appointment with the trainer to let me know just how fat and out of shape I really am. Hopefully she will also have some recommendations for a plan, as well as be able to tell me how to use some of these machines. Thursday and Friday my pedometer seemed to be working fine. Today when I got home from the gym and checked it, it said I had walked 610 steps. Lying little piece of plastic!

My mission this afternoon is to go get some papaya starter plants from my friend Mike, and find somebody to take "before" pics of me before I get too skinny....lolol

Friday, April 25, 2008

Gadgets, Weather, and Excuses

Well, I had really good intentions again today. But! I got sucked into gadget hell. I decided I needed an "FM receiver with headphones" so I could hear the TVs at the gym, instead of just seeing them. Remember Reason #3 (I think) for Not Going to a Gym-I get bored easily.

So, I went online to look for one, having no idea what it was. I figured out I wasn't going to carry a big stereo component in there, and that basically an FM receiver was just an ipod with radio reception capability. Aha! I thought I might have one of those. I found the ipod I got for Christmas a year and a half ago. And sure enough, it does have that feature, although I have never used the thing because I didn't know how. All of you! Do Not Laugh!!!! While I was looking at the directions, I decided I might as well download some music onto the thing. That's what it's for, right? So, I put Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Buckwheat Zydeco on there, thinking that they are both pretty much "Get Moving" music.

Okay, that accomplished, easily if a little time-consuming, I unplugged it from the puter, put a battery in, put the headphones in and started pushing buttons. It started okay, I could even get FM reception and preset a smooth jazz station for practice in setting stations, but I can not get my music to play! I really need an under 40 assist here. All of that took way more than an hour.

I finally got dressed in my workout clothes, put on my pedometer, decided not to reset my pace length today, and then it started to rain - bigtime. I mean like I couldn't see 10 feet away. I looked at the weather forecast online and there was a flood warning. So, that is my excuse for not going to the gym today.

But! I did check out where there are WeightWatcher meetings close by and what my health insurance helps with. I also found out the local Parks and Rec gym has a fitness room that I'm going to check out this weekend because it's free.

I'd really like to get some pictures and a weight tracker on here, and I am sure I will eventually, but enough techno challenges for today.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Intention to Action - Forging through the Reasons to Not Join a Gym

Ok, so I knew if I put it out there that I intend to lose weight, get fit, whatever, along those lines, that it would get me moving. I hate to embarass myself in front of other people. If I say I am going to do something, I am going to do it. That's probably why I never took one single puff of a cigarette once I quit.

Of course that is one of the reasons I never really joined a gym before, too. I was afraid of being the butt of people's jokes, sniggers, or at least glances. Well, that and there being crime scene tape and a bunch of cops surrounding 24 Hr Fitness last time I went to check them out. Seriously. That bought me a couple of more months.

So, today I got up, went to the farmer's market, bought some fresh tomatoes, bananas and a sunrise (red inside) papaya. Hmm, at least I think it's a sunrise. I do know it's red. I decided not to go to the beach close to there, which is my usual form of exercise, and my first reason for not joining a gym. I'm an outdoor girl and I've always said, "I don't understand why people choose to exercise in a boring gym when they could be bodyboarding, surfing, biking, hiking, or doing something fun outside." Well, after going bodyboarding maybe 10 times in the past three months, I decided I really do need to consider an alternate means of exercise, and maybe one that is intense enough to really get myself back in some kind of decent-er shape.

My mission for today was to get information about the two gyms I know of close to me. So, I went back to the Y to check out their gym again. The good news is they got TVs since I was there last. That's another reason I never joined a gym. I was afraid I would get bored. The bad news is that the gym manager basically told me that they are usually busy during the hours that I would most likely be there, so I figured I might be doing as much waiting as working out. I know me well enough to know that wouldn't fly.

Then I went home and downloaded a 7 day pass to 24 hr fitness. So funny, by the time it took me to put on my sneakers (another reason I never joined the gym - I Hate shoes, or at least my toes do) and drive the 3 miles there, Segundo was on the phone asking when I'd be in. Another reason I never joined the gym - I didn't want to be pressured into signing up for a year or more.
So, Segundo took me for a walk through, let me try out a few machines. After showing me how, that is. Really. The last stationary bike I was on was over 20 years ago, and I think the only times I've ever been on a treadmill were to take stress tests. Now that elliptical thingie - kind of like stairs, but I guess there are many ways to walk up stairs. Time will tell on that. Now Segundo never actually laughed, but his eyes did widen when I began to sweat only 2 minutes into each of them. I guess he was afraid at that point that I might die before he could make a sale.

So, he hurried me back down to his cubicle, talked me into signing a 2 month contract with no sign up fee and a free assessment with one of the trainers. I feel okay about it, because I can cancel it any time within the next week if it looks like it isn't the place for me, but I am kind of pissed at myself because he didn't give me my free week and even though I mentioned it, I didn't insist on it. As we were wrapping things up I got a call from a mainland insurance company who has not paid for my services to one of their members for 8 months, so I opted to take the call. I walked out of the facility while I was on the phone because Segundo and his co-workers were laughing loudly. I was so busy with my call I didn't have a chance to see if they were pointing at me, but it is very suspicious that they started laughing right after he walked away from me and while my back was turned. I'm going to be keeping my eye on Segundo.

Now, here is the really good part. After the phone call I walked back into the gym and actually did some exercise. Not a lot, but something. I mean, I had already accomplished my goal of the day, which was to find out information. I chose a bike because I wanted to do more than 5 minutes, which is what I was afraid was all I could do on the treadmill or elliptical. Okay, so this is so I can look back at how far I've come a few months from now. I did the bike for 16 minutes, 3.4 miles, and burned 100 calories. That sure doesn't sound like much, but it is a start.

The other thing I learned today is that spinning classes don't involve whirling dervish type dancing. And I was so looking forward to those.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


After quitting smoking a little over a year ago I've continued to gain weight...a lot of it. Now, I was on my way up already, but since I quit smoking I've reached an all time high. And not a good one. I broke the 200 lb barrier. It makes me want to cry just typing that.

I've been playing around with the idea of losing weight and getting back in shape. I've gone to a few sites, I've filled out some of the info on them, have even used a few of their calorie and activity counters. I've increased the amount of water I drink, I've changed some of my eating habits by eating more veggies, and hardly ever eating bread. But, I haven't gotten serious about it. I've asked myself time and time again what it will take for me to commit to changing my lifestyle, what I need to do to be successful at it (because I don't commit to anything unless I am determined to Do It Well. Period).

I've thought about what I did to quit smoking and how I could apply that to losing weight. What I figured out was that I set a date to quit, I prepared by getting a quit smoking aid, I found an online support site and got actively involved on it, I made up my mind that I would NEVER take another puff of a cigarette. I committed to it. All the way. I was scared, not sure I could actually follow through with it, but I made up my mind that I was going to give it a real try.

So, I decided today. I'm going to give this the best I can right now. My friend Michelle, who's lost almost 60 pounds, has reminded me that taking one step and sticking to it is sometimes the best we can do at any one time, so here is the first real step for me. I'm going public with this journey. I'm hoping that by publicly declaring my intent to lose weight, like publicly declaring I was going to stop smoking, that i will be committed to it in a way I haven't been up until now.

The name of this blog is corny to the max, but the other ones I wanted were already used, so I finally just chose this because I was afraid if I left in frustration it would take me another week or month or more to come back and announce this intention. And I wanted to get started NOW.

6:57:00 PM
by Kristy