Saturday, June 28, 2008

Changes are Happening... Fast!

Well, here it is. My new do. I’m not completely happy with it, but I don’t hate it either. And it for sure looks a million million times better than what I had before. Part of not taking care of myself was letting my hair just grow and grow, and then wearing it up and back all the time. So I looked like I was bald, or like an Easter egg. Hair around one’s face is flattering, especially when you have a few wrinkles.
I’ve got to get used to the bangs, though. Haven’t had any of them since I was about 13, I think. I’m curious what it will be like taking care of it, how much work it will take. I’m pretty much a wash and wear kind of girl, so I hope it isn’t too hard. And the ponytail the stylist cut off is long enough (10 inches) to send to Locks of Love. I'm happy about that.

Now, here is another amazing change for me. My appointment was at 10 this morning, and I knew I wasn’t going to want to go to the gym right after and get my new do all sweaty, so I went before! Now this is incredible because not too long ago I would have used it as an excuse to not exercise today. But, I wanted to go. I figured I could fit in 30 minutes of cardio and still make it to my appointment after showering and having a smoothie.

And…..drum roll……guess what I did for that 30 minutes? I took a spinning class! Well, part of a spinning class, anyways. I was standing there looking at them. Are they called spinners? Anyways, I was standing there looking at them because usually the light is turned off in their special little room. This girl walked up to me and asked me if I was going to join the class that was just starting. I told her I only had 30 minutes and my knee was feeling kind of weird this morning. She told me, “No Problem” and said she always wears a knee brace herself. She also said she burns way more calories in spinning class than on regular stationary bikes. The way she put it was, “Oh those! They’re nothing. Pfft….These are much more like road bikes.” So I thought, “What the heck.” Training for real biking is what I’m doing after all.

It was kind of fun because everybody is doing it together and some people were chatting and laughing and there’s music. The leader adjusted my spinner bike (correct terminology. I looked it up) and away we went. I liked that there was a range of people there – from overweight like me, to really thin and fit, from in their 20s to well into their 60s, male, female, it was easy to fit in.

There was also a range of spinning fitness there, from the couple in their 60s, dressed in their bike clothes, racing away with what looked like perfect form and no fat to be seen, to a few who only stood up twice. I tried to stand when the leader said to, but could only last a few seconds, maybe 15, before sitting down again. Plus, there’s a whole art to transitioning from sitting to standing while you’re riding. At least I didn’t fall off, but I was wondering how many people do when they are beginners. It also took me a bit to figure out how to increase the tension on the bike, but I eventually did.

I’ll probably go back for another class soon, just to mix things up a bit. I’ve been reading how it’s good to change exercise patterns to kind of fool your body into working harder. I’m all for that. Whatever it takes to get the most out of the effort I’m putting in. I think I’ll stay put for the rest of the day, let my hair enjoy itself. Tomorrow I’ll go to the beach or the gym again.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Traveling to the Blues

I’m getting really excited! I’m going to the Portland Waterfront Blues Fest for the Fourth of July weekend. Lots of good music, including zydeco, which is just plain feel good, sexy, get up and dance, music. Since I didn’t go to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest this year, I’ll be able to get my hit of zydeco in Portland. How weird but wonderful is that!?

I’ve looked at the schedule of performancess and mostly the ones I want to hear start in the afternoons, so hopefully I’ll be able to do a little exploring of Portland and surrounds in the mornings. In my vision of the perfect day there I’ll get up, have a smoothie, go for a hike or bike ride for a few hours, shower and get ready for the fest, go there, listen, dance, laugh, smile, meet new folks, and generally have a blast, then go back to where I’m staying, take a nice long shower, have a healthy dinner with some interesting conversation, maybe a glass of wine or two, then fall into bed for a good sleep. Then wake up and do it all again the next two days.

Now, here’s where I’m a bit worried. Other than my usual nervousness about being around new people, I mean, but I’m just ignoring those pesky thoughts. I am. So, this is the first time I’ll be traveling since I started this getting healthy trip. I don’t know how to estimate calories or WW points well enough yet to feel confident about staying within the limits. Anybody have any suggestions of ways to keep eating healthy while traveling and eating at strange places? I know when I quit smoking preparation was the key to traveling successfully without blowing my quit.

I’ve decided I’m going to get my hair cut before I go. Kind of a risky move right before a trip, but I figure I can’t look much worse than I do now, since I always wear my hair up because it is so long. I’m hoping it's long enough that I can send it to Locks of Love, an organization for making hairpieces for kids with illnesses that cause baldness. I just colored it myself last week, but the stylist is going to see if she can maybe color it a little darker.

I used a virtual haircut site where you can upload your own pic to play around with styles and colors. It was fun, but since the choices were all celebrity cuts, they were mostly a little young for me. Some of them looked absolutely hilarious on me. I found a Jessica Alba cut I liked, with some sweepy bangs which I've never had and surprisingly, a light auburn shade looked really good on me. So, we’ll see. I might even get brave and post a pic of me after it’s done. If it looks good enough. Well, it looks like Charlize has beat me to the salon with the idea, but just so you have a general idea of what I'm thinking. I'll probably go just a little bit longer, though, so we don't look like twins.

Oh! Great news on my C25K progress!!!! I promised myself that I’d stay at the same walk and jog paces (2.9/3.8) until my heart rate stayed where it’s supposed to. Well, guess what? Today it only went over my limit twice, and both times went right back down within 20-30 seconds without my reducing the pace. Yippee!!!! So, this weekend I’m going to try 3/3.9 and see what happens. I think I already mentioned that I’m not going to increase the jogging time until I can sustain a 3/4 pace. Slow but steady progress. I keep eyeing the weight machines and think when I get back from Portland I’m going to start with a few of those.
Well, time to start trying on clothes for the trip. Kind of in an in between size. Most of my clothes are getting loose, but my skinnier ones don't fit yet. Lucky it's only for a few days.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When Two Plus Two Doesn't Equal Four

Well, after my oh so enthusiastic I’m in love with numbers post earlier this week, I am not so enamored of them right now. I was loving them so much that I created a whole Excel spreadsheet to track all the factors that contribute (or not) to losing weight. On it I’ve got current weight, daily calories eaten, base metabolic rate, calories burned, and weekly estimated weight loss based on those numbers. Then I’ve got actual weight loss, weight watcher points, and BMI.

I know this sounds geeky, but please understand that this endeavor really is new to me. Besides after having babies, I’ve never consciously tried to lose weight and have never been on a real diet in my life. And, given that in the first three weeks I only lost one pound, I think it is understandable that I have gone a little overboard in making this a Big Project, bringing in Science to help. Anyone who knows me personally knows that when I put my mind to something, I tend to go all the way with it. I want to be successful at this!

Well, I tried to add my xcel psreadsheet but can't figure it out. Oh well, just trust me it is complicated and very thorough.

So, guess why I’m not seeing the beauty of numbers so clearly this week? This week the numbers don’t add up, and I only lost 1.2 pounds. Okay, the main reason is the 1.2 loss rather than the 3 pounds of the past few weeks, but really, it’s not what it’s supposed to be! I know that this is within normal and safe loss range. But by my lengthy and detailed calculations, my estimated weight loss was 3.02.

I could see it coming because throughout the week when I weighed myself (obsessively, as I do) most of the time I wasn’t dipping below 189. So, really I’m surprised that the scale showed 188 this morning. Now, here’s where I have to listen to those wiser and more experienced in this little thing called losing weight. MauiShopGirl on SparkPeople, who is a Weight Watcher lifetime member, advised me earlier this week,
“Long term, non water weight loss doesn't usually happen at more than 1 lb per week so don't feel discouraged if you don't have a 3lber each week. Celebrate those weeks that are 0.5 lb, 1 lb or maintain.”

My initial response to even the anticipated smaller loss was to start slipping into that dark place of soothing my disappointment by eating. One of the major changes I’ve made in my eating I haven’t talked about at all up until now. That is eating in the middle of the night. When I’m alone, i.e., nobody’s in bed with me, I almost always have been eating something either before going to sleep and/or if I wake up in the middle of the night. I liken it to a baby with a bottle or breast.

Eat something so I can go to sleep. It’s soothing. And what is more soothing than carbs and cheese?

Remember, my cheese is your chocolate. So, for quite a while that was more often than not a tortilla and cheese or a sandwich. Mind you I usually added something healthy in there like tomatoes and/or lettuce, but don’t forget the mayo. Sometimes it was “a little leftovers”, translated: another mini dinner. And those of you who count calories or WW points know those attempts at soothing myself probably added up to 300-500 calories or 3-5 WW points. Right when I wasn’t going to burn them off. Remember, nobody in my bed. So, I have really cut that out. I mean, other than an occasional LCLW or a bowl of berries and yogurt, I’ve stopped eating in bed. And when I do eat those things, they do count. I meticulously add them the next morning to my previous day’s totals.

Well, last night when I woke up in the middle of the night I weighed myself sometime during those few hours, and I was still 189. So, what did I do? I made myself a LCLW and tomato corn tortilla quesadilla. Not as bad as what I would have eaten in the past, but still not a regular stop I want to make on this journey. So, then the dilemma was where to add the calories and points – to yesterday’s totals or today’s? Technically it was already today, but since I went back to sleep, it was also last night. I was going to add it to today’s, but while writing this, I decided to add it to yesterday’s since I hadn’t done my official Wednesday Weigh-in yet.

So, the revised estimated weight loss was 2.97, and since I forgot that last week I was 189.6, not 189 like I had in my head, my actual loss was 1.6 pounds. Now, that doesn’t sound so bad. The numbers still don’t add up, but I like that extra almost half pound. See how I'm already beginning to accept that every week isn't going to be a 3 pounder, even if the numbers say they should?

Still, I have to watch that “emotional eating” component now and in the future, and take the lesson my friend Michelle (who just finished her first tri! Yay, Michelle!) has demonstrated so well. If I keep doing what I know will contribute to a healthier lifestyle and weight loss, the pounds will come off. A setback or a small loss does not mean it's all over, the goal is to change my lifestyle and maintain that. That doesn’t mean, however, that I won’t keep tracking numbers, because I really do love them, those silly little predictable units.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's Not Rocket Science

No, it’s not, but it is science. I remember when I first started this and found out that it takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose one pound. I was a bit dismayed since at that point I was only burning about 100 calories during each playtime at the gym, and wasn’t even close to meeting my 1200-1550 calorie per day eating goal. At the rate I was going it was going to take about a month to lose one single pound!

There are so many different diets and weight loss products out there, all promising that if you follow their particular way of doing things, you will lose massive amounts of weight. But, other than the Hoodia pills I bought and immediately felt sick from, I just haven’t believed that there is some magic answer to it. I’ve figured that each weight loss miracle promise is just like each messianic religious leader; just trying to gather as many followers into their fold as possible. There were some smart folks, and I’d really like to know who they were, who figured out the calculations for real weight loss. Calories In – Calories Out – Base Metabolic Rate (more about this later) = Weight Gain or Loss.

Well, I’m happy to say that I’ve figured out how to make this particular scientific factoid work for me. Btw, I started writing this entry last week after another 3 pound loss, but it got deleted somehow, not even saved to drafts, and I have better things to do with my time than try to remember what I was rambling about.
So, anyways…I have adjusted so many of my food thingies downward in terms of calories and fat. I am a label-reading fool, and I am sure some store managers suspect me of trying to enjoy their air conditioning for free during these summer months, when actually I am just trying to make myself buy an ice cream treat. But damn, I just have not been able to make myself keep a dessert in my cart that has 2 grams of fat, no matter how good it looks like it’s going to taste. But, I think I might have to rethink that pretty soon. Just not yet.

I’ve also been slowly increasing both length and intensity of my cardio workouts. I think I mentioned that I’m doing the C25K program and have been walking 3/jogging 1 for 2 weeks now. Finally my heart rate is staying where it should, and soon I hope to get up to a 3 minute walking/4 minute jogging pace. I’m almost there. Once I hit that, then I’ll go to Week 2 of the plan. Plus doing the Random Hill biking, which I love, at level 10.

Since I’m going to the gym 5-6 days per week and burning over 500 calories each time, and also going bodyboarding a couple times a week, not to mention yard work, I am easily burning 3500 calories just with exercise. Then there are the calories eaten. I’ve been staying within the 1200-1550 goal (and 23 WW points) each day for about 2 weeks now. Since my Base Metabolic Rate (BMR) is over 2300 calories per day, that means that just being alive I’m burning more calories than I’m eating, to the tune of about 800 – 1100 per day, or 5600-7700 per week.

In fact my total calorie deficit for last week when was 12, 571 calories. That’s a lot of frigging calories, don’t ya think????? If you divide them by 3,500, you get 3.59 projected pounds lost. And you know what? I lost 3.2 pounds. Pretty darn close. Not rocket science, but close enough for me. I’m trying to stay on my program: eat smart, move a lot and intensely, and the weight will drop. My stomach is still gross, I’m still wearing fat clothes, but I keep reminding myself I am moving in the right direction. I can move so much easier, I’m feeling more energized, and all the numbers are declining. Think I might treat myself to a skinny cow ice cream treat this week or next. Sometimes it works just to think about it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Consistency Counts

I'm definitely learning about the power of consistency. I've always thought that as long as one stays active in some way each day that it is the same in terms of staying in shape. I am definitely rethinking that. I'm beginning to understand that the specific type of activity one does contributes to different kinds of fitness.

For instance..... yesterday I worked HARD outside, spraying weedkiller on a 90 degree hillside, shoveling composted debris out of a drainage canal, and trimming out of control rhododendrons. Those are just two of the leaves.
Then I went to the beach and had a blast boogieboarding for the last hour of the day. These are both activities I enjoy for different reasons. The yard work gives me a sense of accomplishment, although it is never done for long. The boogieboarding is one of my passions - it just makes me happy. So I burned about 800 calories I think. It's hard to find the right activities on my fitness tracker that match what I'm actually doing. The day before I did some weedeating and then boogieboarding. So, I figured "No problem" that I didn't do any gym cardio for two days.
Wrong, oh New to the Gym Girl! Last week I and my heart rate were cruising right along on the treadmill, walk 3, jog 1 for 30 minutes. Then biking for another 20-30 minutes. Well, I couldn't believe what a difference a few days break made. My heart rate was going nuts again after the first three jogging intervals. So, I was a good girl and took the walking down a notch each time till my heart rate settled down, and then after the fourth interval, called it quits on the jogging. I was really disappointed, because I was hoping to up the pace this week. But, I was proud of myself for finishing not only the treadmill, but biking too. Again, I couldn't keep it up at the level 10 pace I had last week because of my heart rate, but I did for most of the tme. And burned over 500 calories! So, I just need to remind myself that as long as I am moving, it is a vast improvement over just six weeks ago. But, if I'm going to do any of us this seriously, like run a 5K ever, I need to keep on it.
On a good note in the consistency department, I'm continuing to eat within my calorie range and meeting my WW points total every day. I'm wondering if it's a bad thing to not use my 30 extra flex points, though, because I woke up really really hungry this morning. I'm also wondering if that had anything to do with how hard the gym workout was today. I guess I'll figure that out as I go along.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Having My Cheese and Spreading It Too

I have just discovered one of the wonders of the known world! My LCLWs are spreadable and LESS calories and fat than a Tbsp of Lite mayo!!!! (35/2 vs 50/4) How can this be????? I can now not only eat those little triangles of creamy delight as a snack, I can use them on sandwiches too! This is just too good to be true!!!

I mean, my cheese is another person's chocolate. Sometimes, well, alright, most nights, I just have to have some cheese before i go to bed. Now that I've found, and purchased, four beautiful rounds of LCLWs, I am such a happy camper. The other night I went on a little Laughing Cow binge. First I ate one, then I was craving another and thought, "Maybe if I have one with something else it will satisfy me," so I spread one on a piece of rye toast with a thin layer of deli turkey. Then, when that still wasn't quite enough, I had one more wedge. And you know what? It still added up to less calories and fat than one tiny little slice of regular cheese! I am in heaven!

And, it's working. I'd identified this cheese habit and cocktails as the cause of my going over my target calorie and WW point range every day. So, I altered the mix I'm having with my drinks and limiting the number of them, and I got rid of (okay, ate) all of the regular cheese in the house and bought LCLWs. Since I made those two changes I've stayed on the low side of my calorie range and kept within my WW points range. Which has led to a very happy state of affairs for what will be hereon known as my Wednesday Weigh-In. 192.4 pounds! yes indeedy, a 3.2 loss this past week!

My cardio is also continuing along well. I took a day off Monday and just did a little gardening, but I went six days straight before that and went yesterday and today. I'm continuing with the 30 minute 3 min walk/1 min jog at the current levels 2.9/3.7 until my heart rate and body tells me it's time to increase them. Hopefully by the end of this week or early next week. And doing the bike at a level 10, with occasional dips down to 8 for the steep hills. So, according to SparkPeople calculators I am buring around 550 calories each time (the machines at the gym estimate 350-375, but I like SP's estimates better). Yippee!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

I found the Little Laughing Cow Lite Wedges(LCLWs)!!! I usually breeze through Costco in about 20 minutes cause I know what I'm getting and that is that. But, when I went yesterday it was with the idea that I would read the label of anything I was considering buying. I must have been in there for over an hour, and the only samples I sampled were of some kind of vitamin water (0 calories) and a little piece of a granola bar (maybe 14 calories, because a whole one was 140).

Granola bars were on my mental list of things to buy, because I figured there might be times when I didn't have time to eat something healthy or I wanted a snack. But they all had at least 140 calories and I think 3-5 grams of fat. Since I am not much of a snacker, except at night before going to bed, and i already had my mind set on the LCLWs, I passed on the granola bars. I did get Special K with strawberries tho. I'm not much of a cereal person, but I remembered I liked them before, and a serving only has 100 calories and no fat, so I thought they might come in handy sometime. I think the milk is extra, but since I'm doing the lowfat soy milk thing I think that will be okay.Let's see.

What else new did I get? Oh yeah, a case of Crystal Light drinks - raspberry, orange, and lemonade (5 calories for 12 oz and no fat of course)... to go with my vodka. I think it might have been a mistake, tho, because they're really sweet. I guess if I mix it with sparkling water it will be fine. And that case oughta last me at least till I did get one 2 pack of cran-raspberry juice to go with the last of my pink grapefruit juice.

Then a lot of the old standbys - broccoli crowns, a big bag of spinach, 6 pack of colored peppers, a rotisserie chicken, salmon burgers and marinated salmon fillets (I know there is a ton of fat in salmon, but they say it is "Good fat", if there is such a thing, and I haven't been cooking with ANY oil lately, so I figured it was okay), and deli sliced baked turkey breast (60 c and .5 g fat for 2 oz). I looked for pita bread but couldn't find it, so got more rye bread. No Tortillas!!!! That is a major step for me. I did look at them, and the whole wheat wraps, and maybe next time I'll get the wraps. We'll see.

I'd read an article on SparkPeople about flaxseed and decided I needed some of that too. So, first I picked up a giant jar of ground flaxseed, but then I found flaxseed oil caps, and decided on them insead. I know myself, and that jar of powdery stuff would have gathered a lot of dust, and not much would have made it inside me. Even though I am sure it is really really good for me. I'm just not much of a sprinkler of that kind of stuff, although at one point in my life I added wheat germ to just about everything.

I saved looking for the LCLWs till last, because I knew how disappointed I would be if they didn't have any. But they did! I am just so happy about that, I can't tell you. I was getting really hungry even before I went, but I passed on all their food court stuff because everything except their berry smoothies has 700+ calories and a bunch of fat, but as soon as I got home I had one of those LCLWs. And, man are they good! Just like I remembered them. All creamy and cheesy. I think I have found the answer to my cheese addiction while getting healthy again. That and the jarlsberg lite cheese for sandwiches, although that just doesn't have the right texture to satisfy my cheese cravings, especially at night.

Oh sheesh, I know this manini (Hawaiian slang for little, acknowledging of it being inconsequential) examination of my food and exercise is more than anyone wants to hear about, but I am really working hard at this -trying to change things up so I get where I want to be. I guess nobody has to read it if they are too bored, and I am sure there are plenty of people who are. For some reason a lot of my sense of humor has disappeared as I get more serious about this. Duh! Serious = lack of humor in some circles. It will come back, I know it will. Anways...on to exercise.....

I've alternated the 3 minutes walk/1minute jog the past two days, and have been playing around with the pace. Keeping them both up as high as I can, but being mindful of my heart rate. Whenever it goes over the 85% of THR I slow it down, and as I go along during each 30 minutes I have to slow it down a little more. So, until I can keep it under the whole time I am going to TRY to not keep upping the pace. It's hard, though, let me tell you. Especially when I'm perfectly happy walking/jogging along at my slow pace and some little skinny girl gets on the machine next to me and stretches her foot up on the side bar and then starts jogging along like she's being chased by an angry fat woman, then starts jogging sideways, backwards, and I'm sure if she could, uspide down. Patience, Kristy, patience. So, my cardios have all been 55-65 minutes for at least a week now, because after I do the treadmill I go on the bike. I can't wait to ride a real bike again. I've always loved that.

Good news! I went to the doctor's today and my blood pressure decreased from 142/90 on May 21 to 136/80 today, and my weight went from 199.5 that day to 195.9 today. Now, my morning before I eat and with no clothes on scale says I am actually 194, but at least it is all going in the right direction.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Who Cut the Cheese?

I did..... and the sour cream, and the 2% milk, and the mayo. I've been tracking my food for the past few weeks now on Boy, that's a lot of work to begin with! Now that I have a bunch of foods listed in my favorites it's not so bad, but I don't see how someone who is working full time could possibly have time to track all their food, go to the gym, and spend time reading labels at the supermarket. I just spent an hour there and came home with 3 frozen dinners (because I was sick of my usual fare), some frozen juice bars, and a tub of nonfat cottage cheese. I was a label-reading maniac. Did you know that some "healthy" or "diet" frozen dinners have almost 400 calories and 9 grams of fat???? Most had at least 7 grams of fat, and 350 calories. I found a few with less than 300 calories and only 5 grams of fat. Those are the ones I got.

So, back to cutting the cheese....I love cheese - cheddar, jack, swiss, cottage, cream, feta, you name it, I love it. What I was noticing was that I've been doing pretty good staying within my recommended calorie and fat range every day, except for two things. Cheese and Cocktails. I've been staying wihin the recommended fat grams per day, so that hasn't been much of a problem. But, one teeny tiny slice of cheese is anywhere from 114 to 150 calories, and somewhere between 7 and 10 grams of fat! So, I'll be going along just fine all day - smoothie for breakfast. More on that in a bit. Lunch varies, but I usually keep it within 250-350 calories and not too many grams of fat, Dinner, same thing. So, at the end of the "Meal Day", I am around 1000 calories, give or take 100 or so.

Now, here's where things go downhill. I have a favorite cocktail - vodka mixed with cran-raspberry and pink grapefruit juices. I've altered them so that now instead of just vodka and juice I'm making them with orange-flavored sparkling water with just a splash of juice. So each one is now only about 70-75 calories instead of 120-125. I'm proud I thought of that little change. But, if I drink, say 3-5 of those babies that is 210-375 extra calories. So, I could still be in range for the day. Or I could have 2 slices of cheese either on corn tortillas (230+150=380) or a slice of bread (230+90=310) for the high end of the same amount of calories, with a whole lot more fat. The problem is, I've been doing both! And even sneak in an extra slice here or there.

So, I've decided I'm going to limit my drinks to 3-4, and get rid of all regular cheese in the house. That's meant I've been eating more cheese than I should, because I just couldn't bring myself to throw away the delicious Cheddar with Horseradish I bought last time i was at Costco, even though I knew it was going to be a problem. But, I'm excited about going to Costco this weekend and hopefully finding some lower cal/fat alternatives. I already have their Jarlsberg Lite, but I'm really hoping they have Laughing Cow Lite wedges or better yet, Bites. Those sweet little things are only 35 calories and 2 grams of fat and so so creamy.

Okay, so that's it on the food. Oh, no it isn't. Morning smoothies. I switched from 2% milk to organic unsweetened soy milk. That's 130c/5g fat to 80c/4g fat per cup. Lots of times I don't use a whole cup. I'm also using nonfat plain yogurt. I've gotten the calorie count down from 340-370 to 250-280. Also switched to lowfat sour cream. All these little steps will hopefully lead to fewer and fewer calories and fat. And you know what that means, right? A weight loss. Because I do care how much I weigh. I so hate lugging around these 2 big bags of rice everywhere I go!

How's the gym, you ask? You mean my new playground where I spend about an hour almost every day? Where all week I walked for 3 minutes, jogged for 30 seconds for a half hour? Where yesterday I walked for 3 minutes, jogged for one, for those 30 minutes? And then where I rode the bike on my random hill course for 20 minutes, most of the time at a level 10? And never even came close to reaching my max heart rate? Oh, it's just fine and dandy. How am I feeling, you ask? Like I can breathe better, like my heart is getting stronger, and like there really are some muscles hiding under the fat, thanks for asking. Yeah, me!

I cut the limbs off a tree in my yard today, because I was sick of trimming it while reaching over a fence, and it doesn't produce anything to eat or smell good. I carted all of the limbs up the stairs with no problem at all. A few months ago I would have had to stop and rest and would have been breathing really heavily. I would have cut the whole thing down, but the chain saw was out of bar oil, and then when I got back I was too scared to play with it. Power tools that can maim really scare me. Not sure what I'm going to do about it. Maybe ask a neighbor if they will supervise me. But all that limb-lopping has to count for some strength-training, right?

Okay, that's it for me. No more weight lost this week, which is a little bit of a disappointment, but hopefully once I have cut the cheese for good, things will start moving in the right direction again. If you want to find me this weekend, I'll either be reading labels at Costco, at the gym, or playing in the ocean. Hope everyone has a fun, healthy weekend too!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

So Many Questions

Like, how do I make pictures smaller on here? Nobody really needs to see that buttery spray that big. I mean, what if it WAS that big? You'd burn calories just getting it out of the fridge and spraying it on anything. It'd be like a fire hose. One spray and you could knock the pan off the stove, or your plate off the table. And that smoothie would last you days. Or you could make a party out of it. Invite your friends, give them pretty straws and all slurp away together. Of course some of your shorter friends might need a stepladder to get their fair share.

Another question that came up yesterday for me was how do I set the treadmill for C25K intervals? I DID figure out today how to alternate running and walking on the thing. Yesterday I just kept it at the same pace (2.6) and jogged slowly every three minutes. That just didn't seem right, so today I walked at 2.8 and then every three minutes I set it up to 3.6 for 30 seconds. That seemed more like what it was supposed to feel like. But, what do I know since I haven't run for about 4 years?

And what does 2.6, 2.8, and 3.6 stand for? Are they measuring something? I'm sure they are, I just can't figure out what. Steps per minute? That can't be right. Miles per hour? Maybe. For some reason I can't convert things. Let's say I set it at 4 and that meant that I was moving at 4 miles per hour. How high would I have to set it to be running a 4 minute mile? 15? Not that I'm ever going to reach that level, but I've always thought of the four minute mile as such a great thing.

Anyway, these are things I think of as I walk along on the treadmill. Better than thinking about the great body the girl on the elliptical in front of me had today and how I will never look like that, or move like that either. Okay, enough of THOSE thoughts. Better to think about the fact that I jogged yesterday and today. Every three minutes. And my heart rate only once reached a dangerous level, and that was because I pushed the level up to 3.8 or 4 and jogged for a minute. So, hearing Laurel's voice in my head, I decided to keep it toned down. I am so impatient! I want to do it all NOW! I want to all of a sudden weigh 50 pounds less, not the 5 pounds I've finally reached. I want to run for hours not seconds. All in good time. I don't know whose voice that is, but it's what I have to remember. Just keep doing what I'm doing and my body and ability to move will improve.

Okay, another question. How often should I be doing these cardio workouts? Some things I've read say you should do some form of cardio 5-6 days a week, but others say you should take days off in between. So, I'm confused. I know I said I was going to hire a trainer soon so I could do some strength training, but yesterday I had a weird thing happen so I'm not sure if I'm ready for the machines. I did some crunches, first on this machine that you sit on and lean forward with, then on one of the benches. When I got in my car, as soon as I twisted sideways to sit down I had the most unbelievable pain in my upper stomach, like right below my bra line.

This is the third time it's happened. The first was when the TFH had me doing those leg things and when it hurt too much, I rolled over and got on my knees really quickly. The second time was a few weeks ago when I was going to the beach. I had felt something kind of cramp or tighten weirdly about 10 minutes before when I was putting on my bathing suit. Then all of a sudden it started hurting really really bad, like heart attack bad. And then yesterday. I think it is a muscle spasm because yesterday, during the third time I got out of my car to stand up because it hurt too much to sit, I felt a big bulge right there. Okay, I know TMI, but this is why I think maybe I'm not ready for strength training and those machines. Maybe I should get in a little better shape first? Does that make sense? Getting in shape to do strength training? Can women get hernias?

Anyways...I burned 270 calories between the treadmill and bike, and with cool downs, went 55 minutes. Big improvement over a month ago. THAT is the thing to remember. And I jogged. Did I mention that?