Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I can run a mile!

Last night, not only did I manage to finish out the day under points, despite the mini setback I had with the cookies, I also went to the gym. Yes, I'm completely serious! I have not been to my gym in months- we joined in August, and I went a few times in September and even fewer times in October. I'm pretty sure that's it. I want to start going 2-3 x a week, mostly for weight training, as well as spinning. Plus it is a good place to go if I'm dying to run or bike but the weather is a no-go.

Anyway, I couldn't lift weights last night because I am still resting up my sore shoulders for tonight's pole class, so I went with cardio instead. I have been ever-so-gradually building some jogging intervals into my walks around the neighborhood, and I have been able to string together some longer distances, although I haven't been measuring them consistently (a FANTASTIC site for tracking workout distances is which I am going to start using in my training program for the tri.) So, for a solid cardio workout, I started on the elliptical trainer (similar to my uphill trek in the first half of my outdoor walk/runs.) I did 30 minutes, on the "fat burn" setting which aims for 65% of your maximum heart rate (I was planning to do the "cardio" setting which is 80% but it seemed more tiring and I didn't want to overdo it on my first shot.) I exceeded the recommended for the most part, though, with an average HR of 126-7 throughout (was supposed to be at 119) and averaged a speed of about 4.5ish. It claims I went 2.18 miles and burned 300 calories.

Then I got on the treadmill for the running portion. A lot of my starting up has been running on slight downhill and on the flat, so I started flat for this time. I thought I could go 15 min. without stopping as I did one other time recently, but I wasn't sure if it'd be different than outside and again, wanted to start small, set myself up for success. Bottom line? I did it, and I was SO proud of myself! Now here's the funny thing- I ran a whole mile (1.1, actually)!!! And I ran for 15 whole minutes straight, on a 4.1 setting (burning 98 more calories,) and felt well worked out but not dying exhausted. I could have either kept going or gone faster, if I had to! Those are both awesome, exciting progress achievements! But the funny part is, saying it took me almost 15 minutes to run a mile sounds laughable. but I don't care, it was sweet.

Lessons from the gym for next time- sound for the tv would be nice, I need to remember my headphones. A lock for my stuff would be nice, I need to remember my lock. The cardio machines are equipped to read a Heart Rate Monitor so you don't have to hold on if you don't want to, I have to dig that up, too. The crowd size was pleasant at 8:45pm, and I didn't miss any time with my pumpkin, plus still had a bit of time and energy left to spare to watch a show with my sweetie when I got back. And the childcare is free now, so although I won't have any use for the pass I bought, I won't have to buy anymore if I do take him on a weekend (which I should, because he enjoys the toys they have there.) Excuses all gone!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Deciding to Remain Committed EVERY DAY is going to be a challenge...

Yesterday was Monday, and I like to start things on Mondays, so I decided to give the whole Points counting thing a go again. Did well, felt good. At one point during the afternoon, though, I strongly felt the pull to want to eat junk food, and I had to choose not to. That wasn't too tough, because my resolve was still fresh.

Today I've been feeling good about how I did yesterday, and feeding off that positive energy was continuing to do well. Then, about 1:00 however, I had the same junk food urge, only this time I acted on it. Hesitantly, mind you, but I didn't say no, and I didn't select something easy to only want in moderation. Result? I ate what the bag is calling 3 servings of those mini (VANILLA, not chocolate) Oreos, before realizing that was not what I wanted to be doing, and that it would take the good feelings away and make me feel sluggish and icky (and fat.) In a fit of redemption I opened up the bag and dumped them loose into my desk trash can before I could have a second thought about it. Damage? 9 Points, and since I've been doing fairly well otherwise and have a light dinner of grilled chicken breast planned, I'll be fine. Still, though, 9 points worth of healthy food can be rather filling and satisfying, and those definitely weren't.

Is every day going to be like that? Am I going to have that urge to eat junk so strongly EVERY day, and have to make the tough, right choice EVERY day? Sounds exhausting! Now I don't mean to sound negative, because that's not how I'm feeling, actually. Quite the opposite, I'm having a relatively constructive and interesting day at work, and I'm looking for an evening at home with my big and little sweeties. I just hope I am up to the daily challenge of fending off such ingrained, terrible habits long enough to make them less frequent and less compelling. I think with only 9 Points damage I'll call this one a tie. That makes my record since Monday 1-0-1. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Locked and Loaded (Registered And Committed!)

I am now registered for a sprint triathlon in August. Excuses can be NONE, because:
a) it is in MY OWN NEIGHBORHOOD, so the training will be in and around the actual route, near home, which is a huge advantage and comfort factor;
b) it is a sprint distance, and I have survived a full Olympic distance with inadequate training;
c) the registration is expensive and non-refundable, and if I waste it I will be killed (because it wouldn't be the first time and we can't afford to waste a dime,) and
d) I've actually been running some, and it feels good!
Not 5K yet, mind you, but the running stretches are getting longer, with fewer and shorter rests. I was so pleased with myself after Saturday's walk/run workout, and I know I can continue to step it up to where I can run a full 3 miles.

Now, the other two components are the swim and the run. Back when I did the Oly in Reston (which was my first- no easing into it for me-) I thought the swim portion would be the hardest to train for, because it was what I had the least experience in, and seemed the hardest. As it turns out, I trained my way into being able to swim a mile (back then) no sweat, and it was the bike that kicked my a$$. The sprint tri only has a 400 meter swim, which is about a quarter of a mile. As long as I start getting my butt to the pool on a semi-regular basis soon, that'll be no sweat. And the bike? Well, I hate long solo bike training, I much prefer to tool around my neighborhood. Well, guess what? THIS ONE IS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, so I will be able to tool around on the course, and see how it feels and work my way faster. How awesome is that?!

Needless to say, I am pretty stoked. And I have already noted that, as my friend pointed out, it would be a whole lot easier to do a triathlon if I wasn't carrying around almost two of my son on my back (who weighs 32 pounds.) Hopefully the training will propel me into better eating, now that I have eliminated the chocolate monkey! I am all psyched about it. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just in the Nick of Time!

Girl Scout Cookies were delivered at my office today, and apparently in a moment of weakness a while back I had ordered some. Fortunately for me, the chocolate ban came JUST IN TIME to avoid the Samoas. And let me tell you, I would down a whole box of those babies in half a day with no problem, left to my own devices. So, I paid for them, and promptly put them out for everybody else in the office. Case closed.

This morning I felt soooo much better than I have been, and I attribute it in part to the chocolate ban. Just since Sunday, without re-instating Weight Watchers yet, I was down a pound, just from NOT stuffing my face with chocolate all day. I just felt less puffy somehow. It's going to take a lot more than that to actually lose significant weight and get thinner/stronger, but it was a great first step in the ongoing saga of the "ever-hopeful-but-never-yet-dedicated-enough" dieter that I have been.

Psyched for my "dance" class tonight! ;)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A New Food Ban, effective immediately

The single, biggest, most frequent, most damaging, and hardest to avoid slip up for me is chocolate. It is my dearest friend, and my kryptonite. I have a lot of food allergies, and a lot of brands don't work for me, thankfully, but I am a hard core Hershey's girl. That town in Pennsylvania, where I have never even visited, has become the bane of my existence. In the last few years it has become a bigger and bigger problem, and is a huge contributor to my excess weight. Kisses are the classic go-to, but a couple of years ago when they invented "Kissables" (the Hershey version of M&M's, which I can't have anymore but were a huge high school addiction,) things got even worse. And I have recently rediscovered the fact that Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies work for me, too. I must have purposely forgotten about that wonderful piece of deliciousness, but unfortunately I remembered a couple of weeks ago. I haven't talked here before about how much chocolate or how often I eat it, and I'm not sure I'd even be comfortable putting it out there until AFTER I had cured the problem. But I will touch on it a little.

In the meantime, I will tell you what I have done. This is another thing I don't think I've discussed here before, but food bans is something that I came up with when it got so far out of control it was scary. And yes, I mean this in the literal sense, foods that I ban myself from eating, which I have actually only done twice in my lifetime to date. My first ban was/is a permanent one, which may sound kind of weird, but I'm being honest here. About 5 years ago, I permanently banned myself, for the rest of my lifetime, from eating another Hostess chocolate cupcake. Why? Well, did you know that you can buy them by the boxes of 12 or so? It started as a pack-a-day habit, that got worse when they had a several month promotion where there was a third cupcake in the pack. Then I became brazen enough to buy more than one pack at a time. And finally, the 12 pack, which were purchased often and rarely lasted more than a day and a half. I equate it with the same thing as being an alcoholic, and know there is no way I could ever handle them again. I came kind of close to letting myself have a pass to eat a pack them in the hospital with my son after his birth, because I was under a crippling amount of stress and it was one of the only things that looked good in the vending machine, but I talked myself out of it. Other than that one time, I have never again considered it an option, nor would I imagine any excuse that would be good enough.

The second ban was a temporary one, and it was just last year. It started around August or September, I think, and was through the end of 2008, and that was the aforementioned Kissables. The only thing more compelling at the time then Hershey's chocolate was Hershey's chocolate wrapped in crunchy candy. That started to spiral a little too far out of control (eating the big bags in about a day in a half, often) and I banned myself to the end of the year. Which I stuck with and beyond, and it was only recently I gradually delved back into them.

So today, during the second in as many days of a fabulously long and awesome feeling walking and running workout, I did some thinking. I've been struggling so much with roller coaster motivation, and the one thing that most consistently and quickly derails me is the desire to eat chocolate. And people all give the advice "not to buy" stuff that you are trying to avoid, and to get rid of what you have, but when I want it, I am perfectly happy to go buy it, and will even go to great length do do so if it is not immediately convenient. So today, I decided to institute another longer, (but still temporary) ban, that will be wider reaching. (Obviously this is due to recent eating behavior that I'm pretty uncomfortable admitting to the details of...) Effective immediately, I have banned myself from eating any kind of chocolate, with exactly three minor and very manageable exceptions. Jello Pudding cups, which we have in chocolate and vanilla layered flavor and are 100 calories (2 Weight Watchers Points) that I am not addicted to, Healthy Choice fudge pops, which are very satisfying as a frozen dessert and are only one Point each, and brownies made with black beans. Yes, you read that right, long story but it's a healthier and less sweet version of a brownie, that ends up being 2 points because of the high fiber content and much less sweet too, and I kind of like them but am definitely not addicted to them. Other than that, I will not eat another piece, bite, or mouthful of anything chocolate while the calendar still says 2009. 2009 is my year to lose this weight for once and for all, and even though the first month and a half are used up, I refuse to give in and not have this be the year. I refuse to be heavy through another summer of bathing suits, during the first vacation back to Vegas that we will have had together in over 5 years, or show up this weight to my 20th HS reunion in Oct. Desperate times call for desperate measures, cliche but true...

Why on earth would that work, you ask? How is it different than just trying to limit what you eat? I don't know, to be honest, but it does. I think fear is a big part of it. I am not addicted to anything "bad" like alcohol or anything else of that nature, but I equate my behavior with chocolate as a substance that I am abusing. As such, I feel like when it gets to that point, the rule is simply not breakable, and I think very carefully before starting one. So, I did that today, and now I am locked out of that problem, with no turning back. Hopefully that should free me a little more to truly succeed, because now my struggles will be with things that are less out of control. Not saying it will be easy, because there are plenty of other foods I am prone to chronically overeat, but they are not in the Hershey ballpark!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Going Diva!

So, last night was the first week of my Level 1 DivaFit class. And, just like the intro class I took last month, I loved it! I am definitely hooked. This class was a bit more "technical" than the intro, which was clearly aimed at getting your interest level up, but, although we only learned one spin (the same one from the intro class,) we are going to learn a new one each of the next 8 weeks. Love the music, love the ambiance, love the dance moves, what's not to love about working out in a dark room full of poles with thumping music and a glittery disco ball?! The workout was amazing, too. Since we were learning new moves and talking a lot, I didn't feel like I was working very hard at the time, and an hour FLEW by. However, when I got home and sat down, I realized I had exercised majorly from head to toe. I felt tired, stretched out muscles in my shoulders, back, abs, and legs, and it felt like they were more thoroughly worked than if I was just doing basic moves in the gym. The best part? Swinging and shaking what you've got while hanging on to a pole REALLY makes me want to look and feel my best. I think this will be a good diet motivator. That, and the fact that it will be a lot easier to hang 25% less weight from my fragile, previously injured shoulders! If you're looking for a new way to workout and feel good about yourself, this is it. And when you get to Level 2, you get to do the workouts in high heels, wheeee!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Too Long Away, Don't Feel Good Today...

So, despite a long absence from this blog, I've been having a lot of conversations with myself since my last post. They go something like this:

"Hi, self." "Hi." "How are you doing?" "Better in some ways, but not well enough." "Shall we resume working out and healthy eating soon?" "Yea, ok."

Actually, I did work out a few times in the last week, so all is not lost, but I had planned a big return today to more healthy food choices and counting Points, only to realize I do not feel well; that the almost illness I've been fighting off the last week has finally prevailed. And I'm letting that be a bit of an excuse on the food (tax stress was my preceding excuse this weekend.)

One of my 3-year old's favorite procrastination phrases is "not yet, but soon..." I leave you with that thought. My lapses have become shorter and less damaging, but I must return shortly!!