Thursday, July 3, 2014

She's Got Legs

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While I was at the gym yesterday I came up with a great blog post title. Unfortunately, I can't remember it. What good is genius with a bad memory?! LOL, oh well, it will have to be whatever probably-less-genius title I come up with for today.

Yesterday's lunch (I saved the egg for a snack later)
Things continue to go well around here. I'm finally taking action with regard to my food intake issues. Why didn't I just say "eating" issues? I've been doing this too long. Aaaanyway, yesterday was Day 2 of tracking my calories and I couldn't be more pleased with how that's going.

On Tuesday, my first day of tracking, I logged 1922 calories eaten. That's my daily budget of 1424 plus the 500 calories I burned at the gym. Yesterday I logged 1757 calories eaten, leaving 152 calories on the table (no pun intended). I could have snacked a bit more but I really didn't want to.

I'm not sure how long I'll track, if history is any guide it will probably be for a relatively short amount of time. I'll stop tracking when I'm back on track, cutting out the unhelpful habits that had crept into my daily routine. Of course I don't expect perfection, never do.

Speaking of...I'm having some mom-friends over on the 4th of July for a little gathering. It's a potluck and I'll be grilling chicken. And there will be alcohol of some sort. Calorie counting should be interesting. I'm planning to do the 4-mile Firecracker run that morning so at least I'll start the day with a calorie deficit.

Oh, here's a random thing...

Yes ma'am, those are my legs. I was walking out of a client's house yesterday when I caught this reflection in a mirror she has on the floor in her entryway. Not sure why she has the mirror on the floor but seeing my legs like this really caught my attention. Why? Because they look good! Not big like I always imagine (and see) them as. They actually look like normally sized legs. I had to snap a picture (fortunately my client was in the other room). I sometimes wonder if my body-size perception will ever catch up with reality. I'm not sure, but I think moments like this help.

Quick exercise recap. And a note to The Running Nurse, Ivayla, who asked for more details on my gym workouts. My whole routine can be found on the My Current Workout page under the What I'm Up To tab at the top of my blog. It might be slightly out of date but it's very close to what I do now.

Ok, so my exercise is going really well. Yesterday I went to the gym and did 25 minutes on the upright bike, level 8, followed by back/biceps/core work. I managed to get my whole workout done, arriving to my office with a whopping two minutes to spare! I worked until 7:30pm last night and fortunately I'd had the foresight to pack an energy bar to snack on, otherwise I might have fainted.

A new little issue is surfacing with my knees. They have been a bit twingy lately and yesterday at the gym they were outright aching. I don't like that at all. So I'm thinking about skipping the gym today...maybe, or if I do go, doing things that are easy on the knees, maybe the elliptical. I think chest/triceps are up for strength training so that's not too hard on them. And I should probably start icing them. I'll tell you this, if they keep hurting I'm getting myself into physical therapy ASAP. I can't have knee issues. Cannot.

Ok, that's it from me. Hope you have a fun 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

RMR Testing @VO2 Max Sports

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Another day, another set of numbers. This time I got my Resting Metabolic Rate tested at VO2 Max Sports in Berkeley. I want to tell you all about that but let me toss out a quick workout recap first. So far, the week has been great! I've been pulled in several different directions lately so to be logging any gym-time feels like a win.

So yesterday I went to the gym and rode the upright bike for 25 minutes...on. level. 9! Yippee! It was tough but I was tougher. Or at least tough enough to finish. I looked back in my workout log and the last time I did 25 minutes on level 9 was in February. I'm not sure why I dropped back down to level 8, must have been sick or something, and then the surgery. I'm also not committing to doing level 9 from now on, just going to see how I feel. After the bike I did chest/triceps/core. For the first time in forever I actually exercised for a full hour.

Today was a bit more rushed but I felt determined to do my full cardio so I started with a 3 mile run on the treadmill. Oh, but first...I get to the gym and I'm pulling my workout clothes out of my bag to change when, wait, where are my shorts?! No shorts. I did a quick assessment of the pants I was wearing and decided I could some type of workout wearing them.

Fortunately the material was thin and I figured, why not? Plus I liked the idea of not using no shorts as an excuse to skip my workout, reinforces my sense of self-efficacy. Besides, I was lucky, had I been wearing a skirt I don't think I would have tried. Depending on the skirt.

So I got on the treadmill and soon realized I should try rolling up my pants. Once I started running they were a little floppy around the knees but really they were great. I wasn't sure how long I was going to run and the first mile or so was a lot of back and forth but in the end I ran 3 miles at 1% incline in 29:03 (9:41 pace!). I varied the mph between 6.0 and 7.0, with the last .05 miles at 7.5mph! Man were my feet flying.

After the treadmill I did legs/shoulders/core. Not enough time to finish my whole routine but enough to feel like I hit the high points. Here's a post-workout shot showing my pants.

With the legs rolled up you hardly notice they're not workout pants
So, there you go...two days of workouts in the bag. Now I just need to figure out when to get my last two in and also if I'm going to do the Firecracker 4-miler on Friday. Hoping I can swing it, I usually post a good time at this event, despite the mile long uphill section.

Ready for my test!
Ok, on to my RMR testing. I arrived at studio early in the morning because the testing requires that you fast, no food, no beverages except water (which means no coffee) and because it fit in my schedule. Michael and I chatted for a bit and then I laid down on the massage table. He gave me a clamp for my nose and then the thing to breathe into that was hooked up to the machine.

A couple minutes later the testing started and I just had to lie there quietly, sort of meditating while I waited for 12 minutes to go by. Easiest test ever. When it was done we went over the results.

My Resting Metabolic Rate was 1397. So that means if I laid quietly still for 24 hours I'd burn just shy of 1400 calories. But I don't lie quietly still all day, right? So you add to that the calories you burn doing your everyday activities like showering, walking to the car, carrying groceries, talking on the phone, making get the idea. The testing estimated I burn an additional 417 calories doing that stuff. Then you add exercise. For example yesterday I burned 573 calories at the gym, today 501.

And that, plus a bump in burning you get while recovering from exercise (which takes roughly the same amount of time as the exercise - ie, if you spend an hour exercising you will be recovering for an hour and during that time your body will continue to burn at a slightly higher rate as it settles down). So if I take today as an example I burned 1397 doing nothing, another 417 or so doing regular stuff and 501 at the gym. Grand total of 2313 burned today.

Starting off the morning armed with the RMR number I just couldn't help but track my calories. So I downloaded a tracker app and started plugging in my stuff. I forgot how powerful tracking is as a means to pay attention to what you're eating! The app gave me around 1400 as a daily allowance. This is based on a goal to lose 8 pounds - I had to choose something and 139 was close to what I was when I wasn't doing all this evening snacking and over-indulging. Of course if I stop the bingy/negative eating and don't get to 139, I'm ok with that. It's the unhelpful habits that I really want to change, not the number on the scale. I logged all my meals and snacks and then added in my 501 exercise calories (which I happily ate) and here I am, sitting in my living room and for the first time in ages, not snacking. Feels good.

So, what's the take home message? If you are lucky enough to be able to find out your RMR do it. Just find a reputable person NOT using the handheld tester, I read a bunch of reviews and those devices are WAY unreliable. Having numbers that are not pulled from a chart somewhere feels very empowering. I'm not simply hoping this is a good target for me, I know it is.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hard Run Thoughts

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Ahh, Sunday evening. Such a slow, leisurely time but with the dark cloud of Monday hanging in the air. I'm obviously not ready for the workweek to start. But I can't stop time, not without dying, so it's best I just stay in the moment...the Sunday evening moment.

I mentioned yesterday's run...ugh. It was only 3.5 miles but for whatever reason, I was struggling for most of the run. I was fine for about the first mile or so and then it. just. got. hard. But, of course, I kept running. I got to thinking about the different thoughts I have when I'm having a "good" hard run vs a "bad" hard run.

"Good" hard run thoughts:
You kick ass!
You're amazing!
You're working so hard, keep it up!

"Bad" hard run thoughts:
It will be over eventually.
You're not going to die.
You'll be glad you did it.

So yesterday's run was filled with the latter and all my thoughts were true. It was over eventually, I didn't die and I was glad I did it. Mostly.

Drove the convertible this weekend!
Other than that run the rest of my weekend was great, today especially. I started out the day eating a banana nut muffin from a batch I'd baked on last night. The kids love my baked yummies and I'm so glad I can make them for them instead of being afraid to have food in the house.

After breakfast I went out for a round of tennis. Yep, tennis! I played on the high school tennis team (my only attempt at athleticism in my entire childhood) but don't get confused, we sucked as a team and I barely got good just as the year was ending. But I love tennis and I've been wanting to play more. There's a local club that allows all levels of play on Saturday mornings so I might try and drop in there some time and check it out, time allowing of course. Time, always time.

After tennis I had some lunch and then went to the beach. It was HOT here today but it was nicer near the ocean. I wore a bikini and, unfortunately, did not put on enough sunscreen. My belly is burnt :o  All in all, today was a good day. My meals were a bit indulgent, especially dinner, but I know I can get back to my routine of eating tomorrow. And there's nothing like a trip to the beach to remind me why I want to get back to that routine. This body doesn't maintain itself, I have to work for it.