Sleep and Water

1 Sep

There’s something ironic about writing about sleep when its 12:30a. But there it is.

My homework for the week is to get to bed earlier (preferably be in bed at midnight) and drink more water. Yes, the water thing again. I love it when I do it, but for some reason I never continue it. I don’t understand.

Workouts have been going really well, and next week we are moving into a few weeks of focusing on increasing strength as opposed to endurance. I am really excited about it!

Weight wise, my weight seems rather disconnected from my actions these days. It went up for no reason, and I changed nothing and now it’s going down again. Someday I will get below 210, but until then, I’m pretty sure I’m losing inches. My clothes are fitting better in general, and my trainer said I looked smaller. I told him I liked him better than the scale, so I’d rather listen to him anyway.

His latest brand of torture is pilates. He’s working on his certification, and he’s practicing on me. As it turns out, I am NOT a fan of pilates. Why can’t he get certified in massage or something?

I feel like I’m more committed mentally to working out this time. I’m still not always terribly excited about going, but there’s less waffling about whether I’m going to go or not. Of course, at just two times a week, it’s hard to find excuses NOT to go. At some point I’m going to need to up the frequency, and that always seems to be met with some mental resistance.

I should probably go do that sleep thing, I’d hate to fail at my homework assignment!

Bananas and Vitamins

24 Aug

Another workout today. I love my trainer, even if he’s a sadistic bastard. He gave me more homework; now I need to take a multivitamin and eat a piece of fruit every day. This is the kind of homework I can handle, really. So far so good!

Our workouts are tightening up as I get back into things. I’m ready to go up weights next week, even after three circuits, they were pretty easy. And after next week we’re heading into a couple weeks of increasing strength which is my favorite. Instead of doing 3×15 of everything, I do 2×8. Because there are fewer reps, I can do much higher weight, and I can go up weights faster. After a few weeks of that, we’ll come back down for more reps again to increase endurance again. My trainer likes to cycle between a few modes to keep everything balanced and new.

After today’s workout, my trainer says I’m ready to work with the bar in bench press instead of individual weights. Have I mentioned how much I love bench/chest press because it makes me feel super strong? Switching to the barbell from dumbbells makes it all even better! Can’t wait!

Cardio improvements are going slower, but they are improving. And although I miss my best friend a lot, I’m finding that I’m eating a lot less junk food. I used to do a lot of social eating, and now that I’m not doing that, I mostly eat fairly healthy at home because that’s all we have in the house. Hopefully that will be reflected in some weight loss. I’m kinda sick of sitting at the 211.5-212.5 range.

Oh, right. I had to share this new move my trainer is having me do. I’ve been doing planks for a while, and on Tuesday and today he introduced new types of planks. Including one called the “irritating plank”. This involves doing a plank with your elbows on one of those bosu half-ball things. Not so bad (other than being a plank which sucks). But then while I’m doing that for 45 seconds, he’s taking a medicine ball and pushing me on the back and along my side. My response, “well I see where the irritating part of this comes in.” Seriously lame. My trainer laughs the entire time. See? Sadistic bastard.

Still here

22 Aug

Yep, I’m still here and still hanging in there.

My best friend moved to the east coast on Sunday, which obviously put me into a bit of a funk. However, I feel like I’m starting to come out of it to some degree. I have so much going on, that it’s hard to dwell.

My trainer wants me to focus on eating more fruit. So one piece of fruit a day. He doesn’t care what fruit, just as long as I eat something. So I’m going for bananas. They have the convenience factor that makes it REALLY hard to justify not eating them! When I am feeling peckish, I tend to go for bread or chocolate because it comes in a form factor that is quick, easy, and generally not messy. Fruit often requires some prep and can get kinda messy, so bananas seem like a good “no excuses” fruit. Maybe I can move on to other fruit in the coming weeks. 😉

I tried brussel sprouts for the first time since I was a little kid today. While they are not at the top of the list of favorite veggies, they were better than I remembered them.

At the gym, my trainer has me focused on core and balance work, to strengthen everything that needs to be strong to have good form while doing more complex moves. I kinda suck at balance, but it’s amazing how quickly I’ve already improved. We are also doing interval cardio training to improve my “cardio base” which is useful for everything, really. Because of my knee issues, instead of doing speed intervals, we’re doing incline intervals. I’m down. I love hiking!

My absolute favorite though is the weight lifting. I think I like the chest press the best, which surprised me. But it just makes me feel SO strong. I’m already seeing improved definition in my upper arms, which is exciting.

I had a little mental breakthrough as far as working out goes. I used to hate it and how much time it took. But then I had this little mini-epiphany where I realized that really it’s prep work. In every craft ever, there is a lot of prep work before you get to the fun part. Well here, working out is the prep work and living is the fun part. By doing the prep work, I burn more calories, have more energy, and am better able to move throughout the rest of my day. For an hour or two of work, that’s a LOT of benefit! And suddenly I didn’t mind the time anymore.


7 Aug

I’m having one of those days…okay fine, weeks in which I’m constantly hungry. Not really hungry, but I just want to be eating. Which is of course the sign of emotional hunger instead of physical hunger, but none of my tricks are working. I’m mostly craving chocolate. So. much. chocolate.

Generally when I get cravings, I try to listen to them, and have some of whatever I’m craving so I don’t end up eating everything else BUT what I’m craving so I don’t give into my cravings. The problem is that this particular craving appears to be insatiable. There is not enough chocolate to fill this need.

Looking at what’s going on emotionally, I’m headed into a pretty big upheaval, and I’m sure I’m freaking out inside. And some on the outside. Eli still doesn’t have a job, and we’re running out of savings. He’s been trying really hard, and I’ve been helping him, but there’s just been nothing happening on that front other than a few interviews. A lot of times he’s been told that it was between him and somebody else, but they keep picking the somebody else. I’m trying to have faith — things always seem to work out — but it’s really hard.

On my job front, it’s difficult having such an unstructured job as this startup. I feel like I’m the only one putting any effort into it, because the other two people have another job. I don’t have the skills to do everything that needs to be done, nor do I want to be the only one working on it. It’s scary and unknown and I need my marketing/business person to help us get to a point where we’ve got at least some money coming in. And a game plan. We could use one of those.

And finally, my best friend for the last 7 years is moving to the other side of the country in a couple weeks. She’s been my social anxiety crutch (y’know, the person that you take with you to events so you’re not there alone) and my partner-in-crime, and I have no idea what I’m going to do when she moves.

Probably eat too much chocolate. 😐


3 Aug

I’ve been sick since Monday night. Went to the doctor yesterday and got some medication, and I’m on the mend now. So weigh-in had me at 211.4, but  that will likely fluctuate a lot as the week continues as my infection goes away and I get back to a place where I can eat.

I haven’t been able to work out this week either. Man, 2nd week and bam, already missing my workouts! Not an auspicious start.

I did get some cooking in again this week! Well, something new anyway. I’ve been cooking a lot more in general. I missed the farmer’s market because I was at the health center and getting meds and all that. But I made up some chicken tortilla soup which is SOOO GOOD. Good thing, too, because there’s about a bajillion servings of it, so I’ll be eating it for the next 10 meals or so. I actually froze half of it because I figured we’d get sick of it before we got through all the leftovers.

It feels really nice to cook. I’m really glad I’m learning how to do it. I feel as I learn more about it, I’ll be able to tone it even more healthy, but in general I know it’s already way better than what I eat at restaurants.

Categorizing diets

31 Jul

I never got a chance to post last week, but I was at 212. A modest loss, but a loss all the same. 🙂  I think this week I’ll be up, but this is a learning process, so mistakes will get made.

Last week I worked out with my trainer twice and went to yoga on Saturday. In yoga we had a different instructor than the one I’ve really come to like, and she had us do a stretch which totally messed up my back. I’ve had lower back issues for the last few years, and I should have known better and skipped the stretch. But I wasn’t really thinking about it, and man I’m paying now. Ugh.

I’ve been thinking about a post I want to make about diets. It seems like there are two ways of going about it:
1. Limit the types of foods you can eat – with the idea that you don’t have to worry about calories if you’re only eating specific foods
2. calorie counting or some other tracking mechanism which does something similar

Interestingly, last time I checked out Weight Watchers, they actually have two programs, one that follows #1 and one that follows the point system which is basically #2. There is of course those programs that combine the two as well.

Anyway, all this is to say that I’m trying to replace bad foods with good foods and go for #1. I’ve been avoiding #2 because I hate calorie counting, but I really think that if I want to be serious about losing weight, I will need to do #2. Perhaps as I change my eating habits I can move into #1, which would be a great place to be for maintenance. But wow, I hate counting calories.

I have a pretty messed up relationship with food. When I was a kid, we were homeless for 14 months, when I was in 5th and 6th grades. I never went hungry that I remember, but I know we had a lot of rice and beans because they are so cheap. We used to also get cans from the store in which the labels had fallen off as they were either free or heavily discounted (I don’t remember). My parents were great, they made a game out of it. I always loved when it was my turn to pick a “mystery can” and my parents would make a meal around it. However, it has left me with this ongoing feeling that being able to have ANY food is something that should be taken advantage of, because you never know when you’ll be back to rice and beans. Unsurprisingly, when we finally got stable surroundings and were able to get more food variety, I gained weight. I’ve been heavy pretty much since 7th grade.

Secondly, when I was fresh out of college, I began dating a guy who had lost a lot of weight. He told me he just had one meal a day, and made sure he didn’t eat very many calories in that one meal. I lost 85 lbs by eating < 600 calories a day. Of course, I also ended up hospitalized and with serious physical fallout, but y’know, SKINNY! So the reason calorie counting worries me is because it triggers the feelings of control and the mental crapola that comes with it.

I’ve seen a therapist for a few years now, dealt with a lot of my anxiety and control issues, but let’s be honest. It’s an ongoing battle. Trying to find a balance between listening to my body, not getting overly controlling, but not letting the food control me either is something I’m still trying to master.

Training and Cooking

25 Jul

I’ve made progress this week on the fruits and vegetable front, but it’s definitely going to be an ongoing battle. I enjoyed going to farmer’s market and getting fresh and super flavorful things. When it comes to snacks, I still gravitate to chocolate or bread over fruit, though. And veggies are just going to take some getting into. I do like the way I feel when I eat healthy, though. I am trying to remember that part. 🙂 Over all, the amount o crap I’m eating is definitely diminishing, so I call that a success!

I’ve been making homemade bread (no sugar, no random stuff, just 4 ingredients – flour, yeast, salt, water) and this week I tried cooking a meal. Man it takes a long time. But it turned out really well!

Chicken Parmigiana and french green beans (sorry for the crappy cell phone pic)

Homemade bread

I’m going to go to the farmer’s market again tomorrow and get some more fruit and veg for the week. I don’t get very much because we’re still learning how to work it into our menu, but I’m enjoying it so far.

So in other news…Today was my first day back with my personal trainer in a lot of months. It was great seeing him again! I think every woman deserves to have an attractive gay man follow her around and tell her how beautiful and strong she is. We took it easy since it’s my first time in a while. Lots of stretches, and lots of core stuff. I’ve been battling back pain for a long time, so my trainer wants to focus on strengthening my core and fixing my posture which helps with that a lot.

I love working with a trainer. Not just because he’s hot and lovable, but also because I’m kind of a form junkie. He’s great at explaining the right form for each move, and how it should feel, and I love it when I can FEEL that it’s right. It’s kind of cool being able to feel your muscles work in the way they’re supposed to. Of course, I say all this now, Thursday morning I’m going to be bitching up a storm. So it goes. Just like eating healthy, it always feels better afterwards than it does before!


22 Jul

I went clothes shopping today. This is something I have abhorred my entire life. My family was not well off, so shopping consisted of finding a few things at K-Mart and putting them on lay-away, and then getting teased about what I was wearing for the rest of the school year. My sense of style was terrible, and my body matured far faster than I did, so all in all, not the greatest set up for becoming an avid shopper.

About a month ago, I decided that at 37 years old, perhaps it was time to stop constantly dressing in programmer wear. Tshirt & jeans can only take you so far. Step 1 was finding a bra that fit (I knew mine was really sized incorrectly but didn’t realize it was THAT wrong) which went a long way towards making me feel better in my own skin.

A friend of mine who is also a bit bigger and loves shopping took myself and my best friend to the mall to show us how to shop for our body style. Turns out I’d been shopping in all the wrong places. The ones where my size was the very top of the range and so I left feeling like crap when everything was too small or they didn’t have my size. She took us to Old Navy and Torrid, and I actually enjoyed it! Shocking.

It was nice to find clothes that fit and I felt cute in. I found out that I actually look good in tank tops. Now if only I could get past my upper arm showing phobia!

So my best friend and I went shopping again today. It wasn’t quite as fun without our guide, but I still felt like I successfully found things that I look good in. I feel like I’m starting to learn how to buy clothing that flatters my shape, which feels really empowering.

The one downer is that today was filled with clothes that just fit WEIRD. Too tight and too loose at the same time, or they hung weird or whatever. It made me desperately want to learn how to make my own clothes. Clothes that fit feel SO much better. And now that I kind of know what types of cuts flatter my shape, I feel a bit more prepared to try making my own stuff. So we’ll see where this leads me. I’m not sure I’ll have time this month, but perhaps that will be next month’s project.

Weigh-In and Ruminations

19 Jul

It’s that time again, and I have lost more weight. I was at 212.4 this morning. Woot! That’s a loss of .8 lbs from last week. I’m pretty dang happy with that almost-a-pound given that this weekend I went to a reunion and a birthday party, AND on top of that, it’s the monthly God-I-hate-being-a-girl slog.

Overall, the not eating after 8p got a lot easier as the week progressed, and now it’s just a thing I do. I can tell it’s not quite a habit yet, but it’s getting there. And it seems super effective given that it and water has managed to offset a pretty impressive amount of crap.

To be fair, I’m also eating smaller portions and healthier foods in general, as drinking more water and not eating after 8p just make me more aware of what I’m putting into my mouth.

After reading most of that blog I linked previously, I’ve been thinking a lot about weight loss, and lifestyle changes. One of the things she said that really resonated with me is that it’s a process of replacing bad habits with good habits. I’d heard this before, but for some reason it really stuck with me this time. That’s part of what the “Skinny Rules” are doing. But there is also no one answer for everyone. So two weeks in, and I’m already planning to make some changes. Because a lifestyle change is about creating a lifestyle *I* want, not something someone else prescribes to me.

So I have been consider what it is that I do want. And it’s fairly simple:
* I want to eat less processed/more natural foods
* I want to eat more vegetables
* I want to eat more fruit
* I want to love exercise

Yep, that’s really all there is to it. I don’t want to restrict my carbs or give up white potatoes or whatever else is in the latest diet. Perhaps I’ll get there on my own, but for now I just want to move in that direction.

So I contacted my personal trainer, and I’m meeting with him on Tuesday. I’m going to continue drinking my water (yum!) and not eating after 8 because those both work well for me, and they feel healthy. And I’m still going to borrow some of Bob’s rules.

I went to the farmer’s market today and picked up some fresh veg and fruit. So my goal for the week is to incorporate more fruit and veg into my diet. We’ll see how that goes!

Inspirational Blog

17 Jul

I spent far too much time tonight reading this blog, but it just encapsulates so well what I’m trying to do with my weight loss. Focus on what I should be eating instead of what I shouldn’t be eating. Eat real. Don’t stress. Exercise more.

So many great things in here, I really recommend it. She lost over 100 lbs and has kept it off for over a year so far.

Now I should really go throw the stuff together for bread so it can rise overnight, and I really need to go to bed!