Saturday, March 24, 2012

I Believe

I haven't blogged since Wednesday!  When that happens it either means I'm veering off course, I'm too tired to blog or that I'm too darned busy.  In this case it's the latter.  I've been going this week and I've also made a fairly big decision.

First, to catch you up on my gym progress.  I have several "rules" for my gym attendance.  Maybe rules isn't the best description, guidelines might be more accurate.  They are:

1.  Ideally, attend the gym 5 days per week.  4 if that isn't possible.  3 is the bare minimum (unless I'm *really* sick).
2.  Do not go to the gym more than three days in a row (because I've learned that 4 days in a row does not make my body happy).
3.  If I do something strenuous outdoors (long run, long bike ride), that usually counts as a gym day.

Items 1 and 2 sometimes cause problems and they did this week (and last too actually).  So, for the second week in a row I broke rule #2 and went to the gym four days in a row. This decision included my gauging how my body was feeling and thinking I could do it without much consequence.  And I think that's true.  So this week I went to the gym on Sun, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri.  I am taking today (Sat) off and plan to get back to my somewhat normal schedule of Sun, Mon, Tue, Thur Fri starting tomorrow.  I'm supposed to go on a long ride tomorrow but rain is in the forecast so that's not likely to happen.

Anyway, to catch you up on my gym progress this week...on Thursday I started out with a 25 minute run on the treadmill. Set to 1% I rotated between 5.0, 5.5 and 6 mph.  In all I did just over 2.2 miles and felt happy with how I felt.  After that I did chest/triceps/core work.  Pushups, tricep presses, dips, dumbbell flies - you get the idea.  Core work included the plank and decline crunches.

Yesterday, Friday, I started with the upright bike for 25 minutes.  Level 7 felt a smidge easier so I'm moving in the right direction.  Then I did legs/shoulders/core work.  I had fun doing the jackknifes, I still really like those.  And lunges felt particularly good, my balance and strength have come such a long way since I started.  Ok, enough about all that...on to the big news!

A tiny bit of back story first...earlier this week it occurred to me that it's actually getting pretty close to the mother's social.  This is the big shindig my mother's club puts on every year and it's where I won the year gym pass last year.  And I'll need a dress.  And I want to look my best.  Soooo, I was newly motivated and inspired to work hard in the next 7 weeks (now 6.5 weeks).  As the days went by I decided what I really need is something to nudge me when I'm tempted to make poor choices.  And that led to me going back to Weight Watchers!

I went to a meeting on Friday and I have to tell you, it was like going home.  It was familiar and comforting, motivating and inspiring.  My official starting weight is 173.2 (I think) but I decided that for my blog's weight log I'm going to keep with my morning weight on my home scale.  That way I don't have to worry if I go to a meeting on another day, etc.  More important, my weight first thing in the morning, sans clothes, is better :) 

So I started tracking yesterday and I am quickly seeing why my weight yo-yo'd this month.  I've been eating too large of portions and the snacking was sort of indiscriminate and unmonitored.  Now that I'm entering it all in e-tools, and have to want to stick to the allotted points, it's hard!  I get 26 daily points plus 49 weekly extras.  Yesterday, on my first full day, I used 37 points.  I swapped 7 activity points (APs) so I ended up using only 4 "extra" points.  But I think if I always "eat" my activity points that makes it harder to lose.  On the other hand, I know I'm eating less than I was before so I expect I will lose in spite of eating my APs.  The only thing to do is wait and see what happens with the numbers and make adjustments.

Anyway, that's the big update.  I went to a kiddo birthday party this earlier today and WW helped me stick to one indulgence, a super yummy mini cinnamon roll.  And tonight I'm going to dinner at a friends.  She's making her famous risotto that I LOVE.  I think I'll stop off and buy a veggie plate to bring.  I plan to stick to one cup of the risotto and double up on the veggies and salad.  Let's see how that goes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My 5 Year BLOGiversary!!

Cue the confetti!!  I started this blog 5 years ago!  Wow.  I'm tempted to make a remark about not yet being at my goal weight but I'll refrain.  So...five years.  The only other things I've committed to for that long were a college education and marriage.  I think the blog needs updating.  I'm thinking of a new name too but I've been thinking for a good couple of months and can't come up with something that I like and that isn't already taken.  Fit Strong Mom is the latest thing rolling around in my head.  I don't know, but I do want to pretty up the page a bit.

Ok, into the heavy lifting.  Thanks for the advice and support about my post-workout food choices on Sunday.  It's weird to be so focused and doing well in the exercise department and have the food department be such a mess.  I'm seriously leaning toward joining Weight Watchers in the near future.  At first I thought I'd do online only to avoid yet another weekly commitment but then I had the idea to find a lunchtime one during the week so we'll see.  I just got so much out of the actual meetings.  By May it will be one year since I won the gym certificate.  June will be one year since I actually started exercising again.  I'd love to have that year roll around and be firing on all cylinders. 

So a quick gym re-cap before I head to bed.  I'm reading The Hunger Games (who isn't?) and it's a page turner!  Anyway, I took Monday off from the gym since I'd already exercised 4 days in a row.  Back to it on Tuesday (yesterday) when I went for a lovely 25 minute run.  My body was feeling a bit stiff and I wasn't up to running my (somewhat) usual 3 miles.  After the run I did legs/shoulders/core.  The run and workout were fantastic and I made all sorts of resolutions to clean up my eating.  And then didn't.

The good news is I have not lost all semblance of sanity and I'm not gorging on fast food or anything crazy.  I'll spare you all the food horror stories, I'm just making crappy choices (mostly late afternoon) and eating more volume than I really need (mostly at dinner).

Today my mom came to visit and stayed during the kids nap so I could go to the gym.  I did the bike for 25 minutes and then did back/biceps/core.  My lower back is still hurting off and on so I skipped any back extensions.  I think it was all the new core work I added that stressed it out.  It's almost back to normal, another week or so and I think I'll be totally pain free once again.  A hurt back is a big reminder of how precious the back is.  In the meantime I'll keep the ibuprofen going and be reasonable with the physical activity.

Speaking of physical activity...the metric century is less than 2 weeks away!  Holy bike lanes!!  I am at a total loss as to how things will go.  You might have noticed the near non-existent amount of training going on around here.  It's all gym visits and the upright bike for 25 minutes.  If the weather's nice (as in no wind) and the route is relatively flat I think I'll be fine.  I'm bailing if it rains so I'm not worried about that.  If it's windy and hillier than I'm expecting I might not finish.  I'm not putting any pressure on myself.  I know once I'm out there my stubborn-ness will kick in and I will want to finish, but if I don't I hope I don't cry about it.  Besides, a mere 7 days later I'll be running in a 10k.  A very hilly 10k.  At least I hope to be running.  The hills are no joke so we'll see.

Ok, that's it.  Happy BLOGiversary to meeeee!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

On the Upswing!

I am feeling a lot better, though I am surprised by how long that bad mood hung around!  Kristy, Alice, Meg, Irene, Ingi, Cherelli and Julie -  I appreciate the supportive comments and you guys give me good stuff to think about too.  I'm guessing my better mood has to do with a whole bunch of trips to the gym.  On Friday I went and rode the bike for 25 minutes.  Level 7 is still kicking my butt.  After that I did legs/shoulders/core.  For some reason shoulders were super tough!  Oh, and I'm doing these cool jackknifes/pushup things where you...oh I can't explain it, let me post a picture:

So you get into the plank position, only on the Swiss ball.  Then you shoot your butt in the air (I don't get anywhere NEAR as high as the guy in #2 gets, I'm more like an inverted V when I do it) and then back to plank, then do a pushup and then back to plank for 1 rep.  I did 7 reps on Friday, and that was in addition to 3 sets of 10 of the regular jackknifes.  I'm loving it!  Such a fun, new challenge. 

I almost forgot about weigh-in on Friday morning.  I weighed in at 172.6, a 2.2 pound gain from the previous week.  No mystery there - it was all the camping and birthday food.  Of course I found myself thinking maybe it's time to do WW again.  And after this weekend I should probably sign up.  Two more birthday parties and tons of "bad" food (hot dogs, cake, cupcakes, tacos, nachos - you name it, I seemed to have eaten it this weekend). Something is simmering in my brain though to make some changes.

Anyway, at least the exercise is on track.  Yesterday (Saturday) I went to the gym (after birthday party #1 of the day, one of Marek's friends).  I was lucky to have good enough weather for an outside run so I hit the road and ran 3 miles in 32 minutes!!  Oh yes, I am that fast.  I felt so. damn. good. after that run.  Then I did back/biceps/core for strength training.  I tried a one-armed plank (on the ground, not the ball) and that was cool, I held the normal plank for 10 seconds, lifted my right arm and held that for 10, then switched arms for a final 10 for a total of 30 seconds.  I liked it so much I did it twice!  I also did my normal two planks for 40 seconds each.  Oops, that's changed too.  I do normal for 20 seconds and then I lift one leg for 20.  For the second set I lift the other leg.  Fun times with the plank.

And I broke my policy of not going to the gym more than 3 days in a row and went today (Sunday).  I was supposed to do a long ride with a friend but she had to cancel.  I was already packed so I decided to go anyway, only on my own.  But when I got ready to get going it was windy and cold so I decided to just hit the gym instead. I ate an AccelGel when I started because it was almost lunchtime.  I did 25 minutes on the upright bike, level 7 is still really hard.  Then I did chest/triceps/core work.  I increased the pushups to 6 "real" ones and 2 smith machine ones, 3 sets.  I am getting so close to my goal of three sets of 8 real pushups!  And bench dips are getting more manageable too.  I am getting strong, and I love it!  Oh, and I did more of those jackknife pike pushup things, I did one set of 10 and it was killer.  Of course I like killer (sometimes).  I felt great after my workout. 

When I got home I was hungry.  Guess what I made myself for lunch?  Nachos.  Nachos?!  Really?  Chips, probably 2 cups of grated cheese, guacamole and sour cream.  I don't deserve any sympathy if I gain weight this week.  I bet if I were doing WW that wouldn't have happened.  WW is just a little nudge to do the right thing, make a better choice as they say.

Alright, that's it from me.  Please be impressed by all my working out and try to forget about all the junk eating.  I know that's what I plan to do :)