Thursday, December 30, 2004

I (Heart) My Polar Heart Rate Monitor

So I did get the new heart rate monitor for Christmas. There are lots of things I like about it. The first is the size. It's made for women, so I don't have that huge wrist watch anymore. I love the calorie counter. It's exactly what I wanted! I can also set it to a zone so that an alarm goes off if I'm below (or above) my target zone. However, it's the calorie count that I like the best.

I also discovered very quickly that some days with Maya will burn more calories than others. I did an hour yesterday with an upper body concentration and burned almost 400 calories. Today I did 30 minutes with a core concentration and only burned about 98 calories. The upper body keeps my heart rate up, and the core exercises don't (as soon as I lay down, my heart rate plumments: this is a good thing actually, as a quick recovery is a sign of a strong heart).

My last evaluation, my resting heart rate dropped, and this is good too. It's now at 66. A lower resting heart rate means that my heart doesn't have to beat as often to pump the blood thru my system. I'm surprised that Maya doesn't track the resting heart rate, as I think it's a better indication of cardio than elevated. I'm not really sure what my goal for elevated heart rate is: that's something Maya doesn't tell you and it falls into a grey area for me as to which is better: higher or lower (I know that an endurance athlete: ie: Lance Armstrong, can get their heart rate up to almost 200 bpm during a race, and I don't think there's atheletes with better cardio conditioning than professional cyclists).

I will say that I think Maya is working me a bit harder. I'm really sore from yesterday's upper body workout. She's cut back a bit on the cardio and working me a lot harder with the weights. (maybe it's because I still can't do pushups... I think it's the extra 10lbs strapped to my chest). Maybe they'll get easier as I lose weight.

Today's Positive Comment:
I received my new bra in the mail yesterday and it fits!

Monday, December 27, 2004

New Year's Resolutions?

Nope, I don't do them. When I decide I need to do something, I don't wait until the first of the year to change a behavior. Saying that, I do have a focus that I'm going to try this coming year: A More Positive Attitude!

I spend so much time on this blog bitching and moaning "Oh, I'm not losing weight" that instead of whining and complaining, I'm going to try to keep my focus on the positives of what I've been doing. I'm going to do at least one positive in EVERY post. It may be a simple positive (hey, I didn't run over that asshole in my car today) , just as long as it's positive.

I'm going to start today (again, why wait until a specific day to improve your life, right?).

Today's Positive Comment:
I didn't gain any weight over Christmas

I put that into the catagory of a big positive. That's no minor feat. Luckily, I didn't bake cookies and we didn't do a lot of parties or other social obligations (one of the advantages of being a professional recluse is that you don't have much of a social life). So I didn't have a lot of tempting situations. I still had some treats, to be sure, but I didn't really binge like I've done in previous years (like last year....)

I'm going to kick up my effort a bit this week and next, too. I'm going to try a two week on, two week off plan. I'm going to continue with my 1300 calorie diet and daily workout with Maya every day as I've been doing (which is obviously what I need to do to maintain my weight), but to lose, I'm going to add an additional workout every day for 2 weeks, then back to my regular schedule for 2 weeks, etc. I don't think I can focus long enough to try to lose the weight every day, every week, etc until I lose the next 40 lbs. We'll see how it goes. I think by doubling my workouts bi-monthly, I can kick start the losing again.

Tomorrow is my next Physical Challenge with Maya. I don't expect any changes.

Saturday, December 25, 2004


Does being a tenacious game player help me with my weight loss journey? Actually, I never thought I was a tenacious person. Matt watched me play thru a section of Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy yesterday (stupid camera makes fighting a bit of a challenge: one of the worse cameras in a game that I've played... even worse than Legacy of Kain: Defiance*). Anyway, he mentioned how tenacious I was that I could keep playing the section over and over and over and over (damn, got thru the battle then fell into the lava pit on my way back to save and had to go thru the whole *&^%$$# process over again). For someone that always believed that she has a short attention span (did you see my UFO list?... which isn't even complete) I was surprised that someone thought that about me. I was completely flattered that he thought I had tenacity

Later that night I thought I would surf the Weigh Less web ring and saw how many people start a fitness blog and then stop (the first 4 blogs I hit hadn't been updated since October and I stopped looking at that point... so I'm not overly tenacious, eh?). It made me wonder if they stopped blogging about their weight loss or they stopped working towards a healthier lifestyle. (I always hope it's the first... as it's common in the knitting blogs: you see people start them, then they abdondon them, even tho' they're still knitting).

I do believe that things happen for a reason (for the most part) and I think my slow weight loss program may have some purpose. Let's face it, I can't even over indulge on Christmas (tho' ham felt like an over indulgence, but I still kept it to a 3 oz portion... it's an ingrained behaivor now to know how much of something I'm eating). I still worked out today (yes, it was only 30 minutes, but that's 131 calories that I wouldn't have burned if I hadn't worked out). It may be taking me 6 years to lose 60 lbs, but I have definitely learned and corrected a lot things about my lifestyle in those last 6 years.

Being a mid-30's woman, I'm in an age group where weight is easy to put on and instead of gaining 10 lbs a year, I'm losing 10 lbs a year. I need to stop and take a deep breath when I get frustrated with how slow this is that most women my age are doing just the opposite. Yes, I still fall into the lava pit after I accomplished a major task occassionally, but I hit "continue" and just keep hacking away until I hit my save point.

*Let me just add that one of my all time favorite games is LOK: Defiance. I've played it about 11 times. It's just too bad the camera sucks.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Anyone Can Dance, That's The Law

Okay, I know I've been working with Maya too long when one of the songs on Yourself!Fitness gets stuck in my head for the rest of the day (hence the title of today's entry).

One of the things I've noticed since I've started using the Y!F is that I have a tendancy of selecting the same music (I like the Techno the best) and the same enviroments (Alpine Retreat: It's got the cyclist in the background) and I really need to mix it up a bit more. So I've been using the "House" music (the last music you unlock) and I've noticed it has more "singing" then the others. It's catchy and it really does help keep me motivated. I need the 20 minute extended Euro-disco version, tho...

In the positive re-inforcement catagory, I tried on the half finished MBKPE that I stopped due to a little issue with the bustline (not enough short rows for my well endowed figure). Well, I thought I would give it a try to see if I can wear it now and it looks great! So I'll take off the first sleeve (got a couple of gaps from when I picked up the stitches and Idon't remember how I did it... so I'll just do them both over again). I wonder how many other UFO's I have in my closet that I can now wear (or for that matter, won't fit?)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Further proof of my own failures

Self confidence is a tenuous thing. I had an evaluation with Maya today and as expected, I didn't see any improvement. My weight is around 157, as it's been since mid-November. Basically, it doesn't matter that I've increased my workouts, or watch what I eat: I'm stuck. As usual, what I'm doing isn't good enough.

I also thought I was going to finish up a vest for Matt today too, but I've failed at that too. He tried it on and the armholes aren't deep enough. So I've got to frog it back to add an extra inch to the armholes. I already had all the ribbing done, so that's a lot of ripping. I can't think of one knitting project that I've done that has been "right". Sleeves are knitted too long, or it's too big or too small.

I'm trying to think of something that I'm good at and right now I really can't think of anything. I think I'll watch some football and just wallow in self pity: something I am good at.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Holiday Plan

I have to admit, I don't have a lot of obligations for the holidays this year. We did go to an open house on Saturday and we'll go to one of Matt's co-workers place for dinner next week and I have Stitch n Bitch on Tuesday (we're having a little holiday party with cookies... that's a danger zone for me). So everall, the diet challenge of the holidays isn't really too bad for me this year.

What I decided I'm going to do is just not worry about the scale. I'm still going to work out as I've been doing and keeping my diet the way it has been, but I'm giving myself the holiday gift of ignoring the scale. I've got to stop beating myself up so much over the lack of weight loss and I think I need a break from worrying so much about why the scale isn't moving.

I also was thinking back to when I first started working with Maya and the weight came off fairly quickly. My enthusiasm was high and I actually did work out twice a day. My second workout is now being used up by video game playing. I think after the first of the year, I'm going to focus on adding a second workout 3 days a week. Again, I don't really think I can adjust my diet much more, but I need to move more (I forget how incredibly sedatary my life is).

I will miss baking cookies (sometimes it just doesn't feel like Christmas without sugar cookies)

Monday, December 13, 2004

It's a lonely business

I recognize that no one reads this blog, but it's more for me to focus on what I'm doing and have some kind of accountability. Sometimes, it does get a bit lonely as I feel that I'm alone in my struggles.

I see success on the Y!F forum and I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I'm not losing weight or body fat anymore. I've absolutely hit a wall. Again. This is a constant problem with me. I'll lose5-6 lbs and then it just stops. It discourages me and I lose my enthusiasm. Today is one of those days.

I still weight 157 lbs and I'm at 38% body fat. I haven't lost a pound in a month. Nothing has changed in my evaluation. I've even increased how long I work out (and asked Maya to increase the difficulty).

I know that Matt is frustrated, but I think he's more frustrated by my mood rather than the lack of success. He just wants me to focus on the positive: to see how far I've come and how good the exercise is for me, even if I'm not losing weight. It's really hard for me to do. It's also a bit patronizing coming from someone who is an overacheiver (and has lost weight during my weight loss attempt, even tho' he wasn't even trying... the change in diet was enough for him to lose about 7 lbs since July).

This is part of my problem. I think for the first time in my life I'm very self concious of my body. I feel like the fat ugly wife next to him. I feel frumpy and unattractive. I really never felt like this before and I want to be as attractive to him as he is to me.

I'm beginning to feel overly obsessed with the weight loss (my life does revolve around it) and I don't have many that I can talk to about it. I do feel very alone with my struggles and just wish it weren't such a focus in my life.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Don't believe the numbers

As I've mentioned before, I'm trying to keep to a very regular workout routine and try to workout every day. I don't go at top intensisty every workout (I try to do 2-3 days at top effort) and I try to do a "rest day" workout: just something to be sure I'm moving. I've been using the Yourself!Fitness, even on my rest days (maybe only a 15 minute workout), but I decided yesterday to try something else.

I rode the stationary bike for 10 miles at a moderate rate (took me a little less than 40 minutes to ride 10 miles). According to the calorie count on the machine I burned over 500 calories. There's no way in hell that's what I burned. I didn't even build a sweat. It's no wonder that when I was doing that as my main form of exercise I wasn't losing the weight: I was using that as a guideline to how many calories I burned and it's way off.

One of the things I asked for Christmas is the Polar A5 heart rate monitor which is also supposed to track calories burned during a workout. Since I try to do a calorie in vs. calorie out formula to lose weight, I need an accurate calories burned.

All I know is that 30 minutes working with Maya at my max. heart rate only burns about 150 calories, there's no way that I burned 500 on a stationary bike going at a very moderate rate.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Don't get cocky now...

As I wrote yesterday, I'm trying to push myself a little more. Making the workouts a wee bit more difficult. Today was an upper body concentration. Again, no sweat on the aerobic warm up, but I felt cocky and thought I would up my hand weights to 5 lbs (I've been using 3 lbs). Well, there's no doubt that I worked hard... I'm feeling that burn!

One of the things that I have to be careful of is "going thru the motions". If given an opportunity, I'll always look for the easiest way to do something and that includes working out. I think I've been allowing myself to not work at full potential for the last couple of weeks and I needed to set new more difficult challenges. If I can ever lift my arms again, I'm sure they'll thank me for pushing them so hard today (especially when summer comes and I can wear sleeveless shirts).

Now I've got my physical challenge tomorrow and it should be a core strength concentration. Something to look forward to (I may do the stationary bike tonight since Matt will have to run on the treadmill as he couldn't ride today).

Monday, December 06, 2004

I guess that's why it's called "working" out

Whew, I've been increasing my workouts to try to hit an hour a day. Things have been a little hectic here and there and I haven't always been able to do it. When I have been able to do an entire 60 minute workout, I've been able to keep up, to the point that I even told Maya that the last workout was "no sweat". Well, she made sure it was a lot of sweat today.

I was done after 30 minutes and couldn't go on. Well, she had me burn 217 calories in 30 minutes. That's my normal burn for her cardio for 60 minutes! Whew no wonder I was beat! Now I have a new goal: try to finish her 60 minute cardio workout at my new difficulty level.

I am going to try to get an other 30 minutes in today (maybe not with Maya... I may spend some time on either the treadmill or the stationary bike) just to keep to my 60 minute commitement!

I do feel good about my progress. We'll see how my Wednesday Weigh In goes (tho' it's a water retention week and I can see a two pound gain). I'll just keep working and watching what I'm eating and hopefully I'll see some progress.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Okay, I didn't do my Wednesday Weigh in due to my Tuesday weigh in (for my progress evaluation with Maya), so I did it this morning. 156.6 lbs. What??? Why was it so off from Tuesday? I went from 159 lbs on Tuesday to 156.6 lbs on Thursday? (this is why I don't weigh myself everyday).

So, it looks like I am still losing weight, but it wants to scare me with a gain every once in a while to make sure I'm working hard enough. Actually, I think it has more to do with my lack of regularity (ooooh, gross). I have a little problem with constipation (and I thought the high fiber diet and exercise would help, but in fact it's not).

Good thing I didn't allow that little set back to discourage me (like a complete eating binge). I will say any kind of loss on the scale really motivates me. It's easy for me to get discouraged (I'm a low self esteem see myself as a failure type person), but positive re-inforcement can really get me motivated.

So I'm off to do an hour with Maya today (and I think the concentration is for the core... yikes!)