Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Not Happy

I'm so tired of this process. It took one holiday weekend to put on the 2 lbs that took me 4 weeks to lose. I'm back to 159 lbs and I'm in a super bad funk about it.

Matt is trying to be very supportive and I appreciate it, but I feel like a complete failure (just an other reminder that nothing I do is good enough). I'm so tired of being overweight and I do feel like I'm trying very hard to lose it but I just can't do it. I lose a couple then they come right back on (even if I'm exercising and watching what I'm eating).

So I had my progress evaluation with Maya today and apart from my weight being up, everything else was the same. The thing that I'm feeling the most positive about is the pushups. I could barely do 3 when I started working with Maya and now I can do 15 (tho' honestly it's probably only 13 as I don't think I had great form on my last 2). I know these are positives, but it also shows that I am working so why no more weight loss?

The weight loss is important to me. I can get the song and dance about being healthier is the goal, but quite frankly my over all weight is still too high. I'm barely below the obese level on my BMI and my body fat percentage is still way too high to be healthy. So it's great that I can do 15 pushups, but I'm still carrying around an extra 40 lbs.

I was looking at the Victoria's Secret site and I am envious of being able to wear their stuff. The largest bra size is a DD. I'm not even close to that. I'm tired of dealing with the specialty bra sizes (and even then, it's hard to find my size). I just want to be a normal size.

I just did a 30 minute workout with Maya (as I'm waiting to go out with a friend, but I'll do an hour later today either with Maya or on the treadmill) and it burned a whopping 153 calories. I'm exhausted and sore and I got to burn 153 calories. Woo-hoo.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Surviving Thanksgiving

First holiday of the season is over. Not sure about surviving, as my weight is up a little. We'll see what the actual number is on my Wednesday Weigh In.

I tried to be reasonable, but let's face it, Thanksgiving is about food indulgence. Apple pie with real ice cream, stuffing (with bacon in it) and lots of gravy. Luckily, the leftovers are basically gone and I can concentrate again on healthier cooking. I don't think I went hog wild, but I also didn't keep with my 1300 calorie goal a day...

I did continue to workout as normal, but I do feel that my enthusiasm is dropping again. I need to get motivated again and really push myself harder. I still enjoy working with Maya and she definitely pushes me harder than I can push myself, but I feel like on some workouts I'm just going thru the motions instead of really pushing myself.

I think I still have a high expectation on how much I think I should be losing. I really want the weight to come off faster. I really would like to see a 1 lb weight loss a week, and I'm no where near there. I'm sure I should be more careful about what I eat and working harder. Yes, I see a difference in my body, but even that has sort of stalled.

Maybe I'll do a self imposed "bootcamp" for 2 weeks and really focus on my eating and workout just to jumpstart the weight loss again. I don't think Christmas will be as much as a problem as Thanksgiving, as we don't do a lot of parties and I've stopped baking cookies (which is a shame, as I love baking, but my health comes first). I simply won't bring the crappy food into the house even if it is the holidays.

Today I'll think about a schedule for what I want to do (keeping the Yourself!Fitness as part of my regimine, but adding an additional workout) and think about my eating: maybe a specific food schedule planned out would be beneficial to help me get back on track.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Wednesday Weigh In

Ugh, my weigh in didn't go well this morning, as I'm up a little in weight. I'm back to 158 lbs (I know, that's not even a full pound gain, and a lot of things could cause it). I'm thinking that since I pulled back a little on my workouts (between the cold and a pulled muscle in my back) I've had to cut my workouts in half (I've only done one hour workout this past week, all the rest were 30 minutes). I'm also thinking that I've strayed a bit on the diet (Of course since I'm not tracking I wouldn't know for sure... that's why I've got to track).

There are definite times when I question whether this is all worth it. Like on Weigh In Wednesdays and my weight is up, or when I try to buy clothes. Ugh. I got my jeans from LL Bean and they don't fit. They look frumpy on me. So I'm going to try the relaxed cut down one size and the classic cut at the same size and see if they are any better.

It's weird not knowing what fits you. I've spent my whole life knowing what looks good on me, and I assumed that since I had been this weight before the there would still be a consistancy on how things fit me. Not true. Since I'm doing more exercise than I ever have in my life, my body is changing it's shape. For the first time in my life, my full bust measurement is larger than my hip measurement. I've always had the hour glass figure, with my hips maybe a half inch to an inch larger than my bust. Not now; it's the other way around. (I haven't lost any inches in my bust in the last 20 lbs). So styles that I liked before (like the relaxed jeans to cover my fuller hips and thighs) don't fit me the same way they did before. I feel that instead of getting my body into a more traditional form (thereby making clothes shopping easier), I'm actually making it harder.

But then I remember there's more to this than the "shell". I'm not working this hard just to look good (I feel that's just a bonus). My concern is still my health and I have to remember that a little half pound gain isn't something to lose sleep over and they are only jeans. I mean, geez, I think there are more important things in life than how my jeans fit (but you wouldn't know that from this blog, would you?).

Anyway, I've got to focus a little better on my eating habits. With the holidays, it becomes more of a challange, but then Matt quit smoking while studying for the CPA (he figured if he could get thru the stress of that and not smoke, he could get thru anything) . So this is just one more challenge to deal with. It's what makes life interesting.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Diet

I spend most of my blog entries whinning or talking about my exercise. I guess I should talk about how I've changed in my diet.

Since this has been a really really long process (which is what most of the whinning is about) our diet has really changed. We've removed almost all junk food from our diet and I've been using lower fat cooking techniques for a while now. However, the cholesterol jump from my last checkup had us re-evaluate again and we've made a few more changes (I really don't see cheese as junk food).

I would say number one on that list is meat products. We are not vegetarian. I don't feel the need to completely remove meat from our diet. However, we've significantly cut how much meat we eat. Both Matt and I were raised in "meat and potatoes" types of households. It's not a dinner unless there's a slab of meat. It is a hard habit to break, but easier than I thought.

We eat beans a lot more often. There are several reasons I like beans better than meat. It's cheaper (I would be eating more beans based just on that). I don't have to worry about beans thawing in time for dinner (I'm well stocked in dried and canned beans so I can decide how much time I have to prepare them). They are high in fiber and great for my cholesterol. They're also very versitile and let's not forget yummy.

We try to have more fish and even some tofu occassionally. I love the Bocu brand of products, too. They've become my staple for lunch and we use the ground "meat" for dinner occassionally (they're great for sloppy joes and tacos).

Of course, we also try to focus on whole grains and lots of veggies. I still struggle with the cheese issue. I get low fat and even some non-fat cheeses and I hope this is enough, as I really don't think I'm willing to cut it from my diet. I'm hoping that the removal of other high saturated fats from my diet will help me lower my cholesterol and I can keep the lower fat cheese in my diet.

The biggest problem is snacks. I try to limit how many snacks I have, but it's hard to find tasty (and even fun) snacks that aren't full of sugar, salt or fat. I do limit how many I have and the Healthy Choice ice cream treats are just that: treats. Treats are not something I allow myself everyday.

I am seeing the sacrifice and hard work paying off (yes, I want it to be faster, but I am impatient), but I'm optimistic that I'll reach my 155 lb goal by Christmas. Maybe next Christmas I'll be able to reach my goal of 125 lb?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Wednesday Weigh In

I love this process... just as I change my attitude about how great it is that my fat percentage is dropping, but my weight is staying the same, I get a reversal.

Weight: 157.4 lbs (starting weight: 214 lbs)
Fat Percentage: 39.1% (starting fat percentage: 48%)

Not sure why the jump in fat percentage unless it's directly related to my cycle. Anyway, I'm thrilled to see the drop in weight, but I'm going to make sure I stay nice and hydrated and keep working with the weights and Maya. I really would like to see that fat percentage in the mid 20's.

I actually didn't workout at all yesterday and had a crappy workout the day before (I'm running a little tired with a bit of a head cold). Today's weigh in is a combo of sucess and disappointment, a good combination to help get me motivated to work harder today. I believe I'm scheduled for an hour of lower body workouts.

I did go an try some jeans on yesterday. What a freaking disaster. A: I hate to clothes shop, B: clothes are hideous right now C: holiday crap is already jammed tightly into every store making it near impossible to move around and D: nothing fit (big ass and small waist do not make for good jeans shopping... I swear designers design for 14 year old boys instead of women). Not sure what I'm going to do. Probably just wear what I have for now. Maybe 5 more lbs, the 14's will fit a little better (16's are too large and the 14's are snug across my butt, yet too large around the waist). Maybe it's time to dust off the the ol' sewing machine (but I really don't like "homemade" jeans...)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Riding the Rollercoaster...

So I'm still sore from my Sunday workout (an hour upper body concentration), but I've also picked up a little bug (probably just a headcold, but I feel like I have no energy). I did a short workout yesterday, and didn't work very hard. I'll probably do the same thing today. Or maybe I'll just do a yoga workout.

I'm still feeling pretty good about my progress. I know tomorrow is weigh in Wednesday, but I've been spot checking and it looks like I'm down to 157.5 lbs.

This is a lot of work. There is no short cut or simple solution (like just not eating carbs). It takes a lot of physical effort and meticulous balanced eating. It's a slow (and boring) process. There are days when the workout feels great. I enjoy the hard work and feel good about the process, then there are other days when it's a challenge to even put the Yourself!Fitness program in the Xbox (when I would much rather leave Halo 2 in and be playing that). Saying that, in the 6-1/2 weeks that I've been doing the Y!F, I've missed a total of 2 workouts (with a 6 days a week schedule... and I "made" up the missed workout by working on my rest day).

To me this shows how I've really changed my attitude. I now know that there is no short cut. I can't just go thru the motions, but I have to really exert myself to see any kind of results. Next month I go to have my cholestrol re-checked and I'll know that I did my best to bring it to a healthy range. That will be the ultimate test and confirmation that I need to work like this to stay healthy.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Keeping it in perspective

Okay, I'm trying to be fairly active on the Yourself!Fitness forum as I think it's great to see how others are doing and to give my impressions of using this program. I'm keeping a little progress report on it and I updated it today with my evaluation from today. (I've now been using the Yourself!Fitness for 6 weeks).

I commented on the lack of weight loss in my update (only 4 lbs in 6 weeks) but my fat percentage is down to 38% from 43%... well, someone did the math for me and in fact, I've actually lost 9 lbs in 6 weeks, and gained 5lbs of muscle. Wow! I knew my body was changing, but I'm so focused on the scale that I just never bothered doing the math to see what I'm actually doing (oh, wait, that's right I hate math...).

The other booster to my self confidence today was I threw on a sleeveless top to workout in. I had to do a double take in the mirror. I'm actually showing shoulder definition! It won't be long before I'll go sleeveless in public! All those upper body movements in the cardio workout are definitely paying off.

So enough self pitying "oh, I'm working so hard and not getting any results" whining... well, at least for today!

In other news: Matt set up a profile and is working with Maya as I type this. He maxed out on everything but crunches, so Maya's working his core (but it was amusing to watch him try to get the steps on the cardio warm up... I think he would rather ride a bike.... oh, wait, he would always rather ride a bike).

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Wednesday Weigh In

Well, it's that time again!

Weight: 159 lb
Fat Percentage: 38%

I will also note that I do my fat percentage reading first thing in the morning, just so I'm consistant. Since my scale reads it based on my hydration level, this is actually the worse time of the day to check it. Since I'm dehydrated that early, I'm sure my fat percentage is lower than that.

I'm thinking I may do an interval check for 2-3 days (specific times of the day, say first thing, then at 11:00, 4:00 and 8:00) just to see how much it changes during the day. It would probably give me a better average then what I'm doing now.

Today is an hour long cardio workout. Something to look forward to (hmmm, I wonder if Maya would notice if I didn't use the step bench?)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Positive Reinforcement

Okay... I can't put it off any longer. I need to get some new jeans. I'm wearing the pleated LL Bean jeans I bought back in the 90's (when pleated jeans were still being worn). They're size 14's and are baggy. Now this could be the cut (those pleats do add some extra room), but I think it's time to go try on some sizes and see what I like.

Just like everthing other piece of clothing, I have a horrible time finding jeans to fit me. My problem is a narrow back. This makes bra shopping hard (as I need a fairly small number, yet I have a rather full cup) and jeans (and pants in general) have a tendancy of being too large across the back of my waist. There's a 12" difference between my waist measurement and my full hip measurement and clothes really aren't designed for that.

Instead of celebrating the new size, I'll try a couple of ill fitting pants on and get depressed. I will add that this has nothing to do with my size, as this has always been the case with me. I'm also short, yet long waisted.

Luckily I do sew and this can save a lot of frustration for me, but there are two problems. Sewing jeans is a royal pain in the ass. It's a lot of work and they always look "homemade", plus my sewing room is suffering from the "broken window effect"... I haven't been doing much, so it's become a dumping room for things that we don't know what else to do with. It needs a complete overhaul.

It still doesn't solve the jeans situation, but I think I'm going to have to take care of so I can sew up some easy (and comfortable) pants.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

12 Years Later....

Today is my wedding anniversary. I've been "legal" with my partner for 12 years now.

It makes me look back over our ups and downs (in weight) as I look at wedding pictures and see where we have been and how we are going.

The good news is that I can fit into my wedding dress. The bad news is that I wasn't at a healthy weight as a bride. The other good news is that Matt can't wear the suit he wore to our wedding. I believe Matt may have been at his heaviest when we got married. It's weird to see him at that weight now, as he's been going the other direction (unlike most men) since we got married. He was probably close to 200 lbs when we got married and today he weighs in at 138 lbs (with a 8% body fat percentage).

It's funny, in the 12 years since we've got married, my body has shifted it's weight. I've always had an hourglass figure (okay, so it went up to a 4-hour glass figure), but I always stayed in proportion. I literally gained exactly 10" all the way around. Today, as I'm losing weight I've noticed that it's not losing in the same proportions. My tummy is not reducing down as it did in my 20's and neither are my boobs. I'm also losing a lot more in my appendages (I've always had heavy upper arms, yet that's where I've seen the largest deficit since using Yourself!Fitness).

I have found some things that I don't like about Y!F, but overall, I'm still enjoying the program. The boredom factor hasn't hit me yet (and I've been using it for over 4 weeks now). I'm comfortable doing the aerobic moves (but I still have a couple of step bench moves that I'm struggling with).

I think I'm simply not doing enough activity to lose weight. The 30-45 minutes a day isn't enough for me to lose weight, but it's definitely what I'll be doing for the rest of my life to help me maintain my weight. I'm simply not active enough in my day to day life for that to be enough. I actually had stopped a second afternoon workout (as I thought I had been over training and got into a frustrated funk), and that's when I immediately plateaued again. So I'm back to trying to get a full hour in a day (not all at once, some days I'll do a full hour with Maya, but most days I'll split it up into two sessions).

So I look back at wedding photo and see two people that were completely unconcerned about their health. Today I see a couple who is constantly working to keep their lives in balance with enjoying the pleasures of food while keeping a healthy lifestyle. Our eating habits are so completely different today and working out is as much a part of our lives as brushing our teeth. We promised each other that we would spend the rest of our lives together, and we want those to be healthy, active lives for as long as they can be.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Wednesday Weigh In

Who's idea was this Wednesday Weigh In, anyway? Oh, ya, that would be me.

Eh, not much new:

159.8 lbs
39.1% body fat

Oh, look, that's the same as last week! Good thing I'm working really hard, or I may just be gaining weight! I did go back thru my FitDay records for the last couple of months (since July 1)

I've lost 10 lbs in that time period.
I've lost 2" in my bicep
I've lost .5" in my waist
I've lost 1.5" in my hip
I've lost about 3% body fat
All other measurements are the same.

It took 4 months for that to occur. I guess I'm just very very impatient. If I work hard, I want to see more results. It's like cleaning. I don't like to clean things that don't look like I cleaned it after I'm done. Or that immedietely needs to be re-done (like vacumming).

I am doubtful at this point that I'm going to hit my 150lb goal by the end of the year. I'll be lucky to see 155lbs. Again, I can't reduce my calories any more and I'm already working out as much as I can (and I'm trying not to burn out, it's easy to over do it when I'm enthusiastic and that actually can back fire).