Monday, January 31, 2005

Lost Focus?

You know when I haven't posted for a couple of days that I'm not working as hard as I should. I'm not. I'm still not overly motivated and I'm barely making my 30 minutes a day minimum requirement.

I know that I need to get my butt in gear, but I'm not motivated and my endurance is still down. I'm not sure if I'm bored with Maya or just tired of the process (I'm guessing the later). I did weigh myself this morning before my workout, and I haven't gained any weight. So I'm doing enough to keep me steady, which is fine. I don't expect to lose weight at only 30 minutes a day.

My doctor's office is a "no news is good news" place. In other words, they never bothered to call me with my test results. Which means I've got to call, leave a message for the nurse so she can call me back. It's annoying. I guess we can safely say that either my cholesterol didn't change or it went down... they would've called it it had gone up.

I should also mention that my cholesterol numbers aren't dangerous, per se. They were just borderline and my LDL had tripled in 2 years, which is cause for concern. However, the numbers are in range and I also know that when I go off birth control pills, the numbers will drop some more. I'm just curious to see how the extra workouts and specific diet has changed the numbers (and I might add with out drugs).

Today's Positive Comment:
Even with cutting back my workouts, I was able to maintain my weight. By increasing, I should see a drop.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Is It Really 2:30 AM?

Man, I hate not being able to sleep. I go thru these periods of insomnia and they really are a royal PITA to say the least.

Part of the problem is that I lay in bed with thoughts that roll around in my head that I can't quite shake. Usually negative thoughts. Usually low self esteem negative thoughts.

So instead of laying in bed thinking about how sorry I'm feeling for myself, I thought I would get up and do something semi productive.

Part of me thinks that I'm feeling guilty because I really have been slacking a bit on my workouts. I'm just not back into the groove yet. I'm off schedule and my enthusiasm is down. Going thru the motions doesn't cut it.

So a little self motivating pep talk is in order. I can lose the last 30 lbs. I will be able to do more than 15 pushups (hey, I never thought I would be able to do 15). I will go sleeveless this summer! Maya says it's all about me, baby and she's right. I will not let other people's own low self esteem bring me down (and why do we feel that we need to put other's down to boost our own self esteem?). So what if I only lost 1 lb in January. No big deal. The weight is coming off. I've got to remember that and be happy that I no longer weigh over 200 lbs.

Today's Positive Comment:
I deserve to treat myself by taking care of my body and living a healthy lifestyle.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Almost there...

I'm definitely feeling a bit better. I do think I needed to tone it down for a couple of days and allow some of the soreness work itself out.

The problem is that it's hard to get back into routine. I've tried to be consistant about working out, but there's now the issue of how hard to work. Part of me doesn't want to push real hard and the other part wants to get my butt in gear. I'm going to "ease" back into harder workouts. Keeping the workouts a little shorter for a bit (15 minutes to 30 minutes a day) then slowly increase them.

I'm also going to work a bit harder with the stretching/yoga. I also need to make sure I'm drinking enough water. I'm a soda addict and I have a tendancy of drinking diet soda more than I really should. I also have been noticing that I'm not getting the fruits and vegetables that I should be. This is something that I actually really have to pay attention to. It's soup season so it's easy for me to add veggies to soups, but the fruit this time of year can be a bit of a challenge. (I like to make smoothies, but it's cold enough that a smoothie doesn't really sound appealling).

There does come a time when the whole process just seems to be too much of a focus. I think that's why I have so many ups and downs. I get tired of worrying about and tracking my food. I get tired of calculating portion sizes and if I got enough exercise. Some of it has become easier as I've now been doing this so long, but other times, I just think "let's just have grilled cheese sandwiches and canned soup for dinner". So we do, and I worry about making sure we eat right the next night.

Today's Positive Comment:
Tonight we'll be having a family favorite: Orange-Currant Chicken with Toasted Walnuts from Cooking Light (April 1997 issue). Might make some whole wheat couscous for with it.

Monday, January 24, 2005

I'm getting too old for this...

I'm definitely in a "body break down" period. I feel every muscle in my body is strained or at lease sore. Not fun.

The pinched nerve has passed (thank goodness: at least I can knit), but I'm having some hip flexor issues now. So I'm still dealing with the heating pad.

I'm pretty discouraged right now. I'm still eating right, but I've got to cut back on my workouts. I'm going to concentrate this week on some stretching (my theory as to why I'm having so many issues right now: I'm not stretching enough).

This is part of my cycle of weight loss. I seem to get into a groove, start feeling good about how hard I'm working, then I get some kind of painful injury (that strained groin at Christmas was not a good combo). It's a no win situation. When I try to pace myself, I don't lose weight, when I push myself, I over do it.

Oh well, lots of water, hot baths and the heating pad. A little yoga and some treadmill walking is on schedule this week. Hopefully, I'll be back on course next week.

Today's Positive Comment:
I can knit again!!!

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Ups & Downs

Yesterday I was feeling so positive. I was feeling good about my self. Today is just the opposite. what the hell happened? How can I feel all energized and happy then the next day crash into a ball of low self esteem?

It doesn't take much. I'm still having arm problems (and it's really really annoying me). I also posted on a knitting group a suggestion to help someone. The knitting police were immediately on my ass to say that I was wrong. The same knitting police that told me that I was using the wrong yarn for a project (altho' this person had never used the yarn or even looked at the pattern... but the knitting police are never wrong).

I also get frustrated at how slow my weight loss is. I see how successful other people are on the Y!F forum and instead of it encouraging me, it makes me feel like a failure. "I've lost 20 lbs since Christmas using Maya". Gee, it took me 6 months and a hell of a lot of work to lose 20 lbs. I know that everyone's different and I had already made so many changes to my diet, but I do get very discouraged at how slow this process is.

I'm so tired of being fat. I'm tired with how long it's taking. I'm tired of passing up crappy food. I'm tired of having to workout so much just to keep my weight steady. I'm tired of this being such a large focus in my life. I'm really tired of not seeing much results.

I started the Yourself!Fitness on October 1 (I think). That's 16 weeks of working out with Maya. At least 6 days a week, some times more. I've lost a whopping 9 lbs. I know that I should feel good about that, but I just wish that all this work would give me better results.

I know that this mood will pass, but right now I'm just wallowing in my own self pity. Probably because I feel like I can't do anything right. I guess I should workout. Maybe that will improve my mood. Sometimes that works (and sometimes it actually discourages).

Today's Positive Comment:
The sun is shining today.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Blogger Ate My Homework

Well, not my homework, but it did eat my earlier post. Which is why I don't use it for my knitting blog (but that has it's own issues... we won't discuss my opinion of Java right now).

Anyway, the arm is feeling much better now, thank you very much. Rest, drugs and a little heat seems to have improved it a bit. I did get some knitting done today (and hope to get some done tonight... might not work on the socks, tho). I also worked out with Maya. I took yesterday off completely (and of course she told me about it...). I did only do a 30 minute cardio workout (I was scheduled for 45 minutes upper body, but didn't think that was a good idea yet. We'll rest the arm an other day or so before we do all the bicep curls and tricep kickbacks).

It actually felt good. I felt like such a slug yesterday not working out. I was in a lot of pain, and knew I couldn't do much, but the lack of exercise felt really weird. Not quite decadent, more like I felt like I spent all day in bed eating junk food (which I didn't I might add).

I'm actually starting to feel like an "active" person. Maybe this spring I'll even start biking with Matt. We'll see. I won't ride on the road like he does... but that's what Valley Forge Park is for. He has a bike that should fit me and I've got biking shorts (as I do ride his trainer every once in a while... and let me tell you: you need biking shorts to ride a trainer).

Today's Positive Comment:
I feel good. I feel like I have more energy and a more positive attitude about things (but that also may be from removing a negative source from my life...). Quite frankly, I feel happy. Okay, one little disclaimer: I was pretty whiney about the sore arm. It hurt and I was a little bitchy about it, but it's better now and I'm feeling very positive today.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Pain in the A**

Yep, I've pinched a nerve and I've got pain that runs down my arm. It's making it difficult to do much of anything. I'm going to have to take a break from Maya and do the treadmill, as I just don't have any strength in that arm.

At first I just thought I needed to take a knitting break (size 2 needles to knit socks can be a bit fiddley) but I haven't knitted for 2 days and the pain is still there (and it's the whole arm).

I didn't do my weigh in today as I'm headed out to the vampire's to get some blood drawn for my cholesterol check. I have mixed emotions about it. I want the validation that what I'm doing is working, but I also know that it's been my main motivation for the last 7 months to lose the 20lbs and to live a healthier life.

Positive Comment for Today:
I've lost 20 lbs since my last visit to my doctor's 6 months ago.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Monday workouts suck

So I had no desire to do my workout today. Just feeling pissy and not really in the mood to put on my workout clothes and then jump around and work hard.

However I did it. Once I got started, I was fine (until Maya had me do 4 sets of V ups). However, I had to increase the cardio intensity. Which is great (and I got a couple of new exercises out of it). The drawback is that today was flexibility and she only had me do about 18 minutes of cardio (out of the 63 minutes that she had me do). I burned a whopping 159 calories. That's not enough. The stretching felt great and my muscles thank me, but I need to burn about twice that a day to lose any weight.

So I'll do an other workout before dinner. I just hate taking an hour to workout and not burn enough calories. I'll probably do the treadmill for 2 miles or so (that will burn more than enough cals), but that's going to take me about 35 minutes or so to do. It's worth it and I do have the time, it's just I would rather be doing something else instead of working out. Oh, why doesn't knitting burn enough calories????

Today's Positive Comment:
Had to increase the intensity of my cardio workout and got 2 new exercises on the bench!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Food Spoilage

I went for grocercies yesterday and discovered that I'm fascinated by the way we Americans eat. We simply have too many choices in too large of volume and most of those choices are bad for us.

I hear the way we feel that it is our "right" to eat whatever we want. We want everything in large portions. We want what we want when we want it. We're spoiled brats when it comes to food. We "treat" ourselves daily, sometimes at every meal. We're completely opposed to making "sacrifices" to be healthy.

Don't get me wrong: I think food is one of the true pleasures in this world. I have a passion for tasty food and I love cooking. I've had to completely change my attitude towards food and how I cook. However, I don't think that I deserve to eat what ever, when ever I want.

I also know that practically every American kid hears "clean your plate". This is ingrained into us from as early as we can remember. We use food as a way to get children to behave. They're hard habits to break. I've really had to change my attitude about eating everything on my plate. Controlling my portions has been a big help with that. I try not to use food as a reward system (but there's still a little of that. No ice cream if I didn't workout... Matt won't drink a beer if he didn't work out).

Food is part of life and every holiday, celebration or social event has food involved. Those are the times I allow myself "treats", not every day or every meal. I will also say that I don't eat foods that I don't like. I think a lot of people think that "dieting" is about eating crappy tasting food. It's not. You can't change your eating habits and lifestyle by eating things you don't enjoy. It's about finding healthy foods that you do like.

It's not easy changing attitudes. My food tastes and choices have been long and slow in developing. Saying that, we do have so many choices here in the US that anyone can find foods that they enjoy that are healthy for them. It takes an open mind and the realization that you can survive a day with out a candy bar(1 candybar = 1 hour on the treadmill at 3.0 mph). It's about finding healthy recipes and using healthy cooking techniques. It's about discovering spices and seasonings instead of using fat. It's remembering that you don't need to eat meat and potatoes for dinner every night. It's about keeping an open mind and not concentrating on what you're not having, but rather enjoying what you do have.

Today's Positive Comment:
I maxed out on my crunches with my physical challenge today. I was able to do 60 crunches.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Matt and I decided to join the Blockbuster online service (stupid NHL lockout). So between the new releases and some favorite oldies that we've been watching, I thought I would take a look at some workout videos.

I never really did any aerobic dancing type stuff before Maya. I used cardio equipment or I walked. I have a couple of yoga workouts DVD's, but the music is just too soothing, so I pretty much stuck to a book when I started doing a little yoga.

Well, I have The Firm on it's way to me. I feel like I'm cheating on Maya. It's weird. I've been working out to Yourself!Fitness almost everyday since the beginning of October. The idea of using a different workout video is now sitting very weird with me.

Part of it I know is that I fear change. I like to know what I'm doing (yet I get bored easily). I probably won't get it until Saturday, but I'm curious to see what a different workout will be like (and I know The Firm is a cardio/strength training combo too). By no means do I plan to stop working with Maya, but it may be fun to do a different workout (sometimes it helps you appriciate what you are doing by doing something else).

Today's Positive Comment
I did an hour of cardio with Maya yesterday and was able to almost keep up. Burned 350 calories.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Vanity Vs Health

Matt and I were at the drugstore last night. While waiting in line, he picked up a couple of the "weight loss" books they had on display. He commented on that all marketing of weightloss books/merchandise is towards women. Basically, he theorized that men don't care about their weight.

My theory is a little different. I think most women, in general, worry about their weight due to vanity issues and men, in general, don't. Women care what size dress they wear or if their weight is up a pound or two. They don't want to look fat. Men don't seem to have the same concern about their physical appearance. It's a fact that women do spend more money on weight loss tools and are more likely to diet.

I think there's a very small percentage of both men and women (and I'm willing to bet it's equal betwee the sexes) who worry about their health instead of vanity. Sometimes it's a medical issue that scares them into action (as was with Matt... not his, but rather a family member who developed type II diabetes) or just a sense of "tiredness" of being unhealthy (which is why I started. I got tired of being tired).

Ironically, I now have more "vanity" concerns after losing weight than I did when I was at my heaviest. I think part of it is that I feel I'm working hard and eating right and I feel at this point my body should reflect that. Maybe it's also that when I was in the obese catagory, I dulled myself to my physical appearance and now that I'm only "overweight", I'm more aware of it. I'm not sure, but I'm certainly more self concious of my physical appearance than I ever have been before.

Today was a weigh in day, and not much surprise. I weight in at 155 lbs and 37% body fat. About the same. As I would expect. It really does seem to take me 2 weeks to lose one pound.

Today's Positive Comment:
I am lucky to have the time and money to be able to lead a healthier life

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Thank You!

Thanks to those who left me comments about my progress so far. It took a lot of courage to post the pictures, but I felt it was good for me. To see how far I've come and how far I have to go.

I will say that this is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It's easy to beat yourself up and say "how did I let this happen to me", but I now know I let it happen and I'm taking every possible step to keep it from happening again.

I've been sharing my story on the Yourself!Fitness forum, so I've been reviewing in my head a lot of what I've been doing over the last 6 years. This is definitely a journey and a long trecherious one at that. There are always obsticles in the way. With unintentional (and some intentional) sabatagers in the way.

I think the intentional sabatogers aren't so much not wanting to see me succeed, but rather don't want me to be more sucessful than them. When you start to make changes in your life and make a concerted effort to be healthy, there are some that are uncomfortable with it. I think there's a concern that you are judging them, or they try to justify to themselves that they don't need to be healthy. I'm not sure, but I will say that it can change personal relationships.

One of the things I've made a concerted effort is not to offer my old clothes to anyone. I used to get this: 'gee, I've lost weight, maybe you can wear the clothes that are too big for me now'. That's a complete slap in the face (whether it was meant to be or not). I got heavy due to my low self esteem and depression and those kinds of comments only made me feel worse.

Luckily, I'm married to someone who is very supportive. He's never critisized my weight, but he's been very encouraging to me during the process. He doesn't complain about the meal plan (having lost 70 lbs himself, he understand the importance of a healthy diet). He's put up with my tears, my pissy moods when the weight wasn't coming off fast enough. He's even rubbed down sore muscles. They say that you should do it for yourself, and that's partly true, but frankly it's for him. I made a commitement to him to spend my life with him. I want as much of both of our lives together. I also don't want to be older and unable to do things with him because I've allowed myself to have poor health.

Today's Positive Comment:
Today's a comment from Matt. He mentioned that it was a good thing that I was losing weight at such a slow pace, as I'm not getting the "skin flap" issue. Since it's been slow, my skin has time to react to the loss.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Warning: some images may not be suitable for young children or animals

Well, I finally got an update picture. I did a front picture, too, but the exposure was horrible. So we'll just go with the side view today. Anyway, the first pic is back in March of 2002 at about 198 lbs (not 100% sure, but I know I wasn't at my heaviest), the picture on the right is from this morning. It's good to see how far I've come, but it also shows that I'm far from where I need to be.

I'm very glad that I decided to do photos. I actually wish I had been a little more consistant about taking them. I wish I had done a halfway point (as I'm about 75% to my goal right now).

Other notes of sucess: heaviest weight I wore a size 22/24, I am now comfortable in a size 14. I now can see how much weight I've lost in my neck. As I said, that's just not an area that I was thinking of as being "heavy". My shoes fit better. An other area that I didn't realize the weight was affecting. I have short wide feet and as I gained weight, even wides were too snug.

All in all, not a bad progress report. I still have a long way to go, but I do feel pretty good about how far I've come.

Today's Positive Comment:
I used to look like the girl in the picture on the left. I now look like the girl on the right.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Well, the physical challenge was a mixed bag. I did obviously lose some weight (woo-hoo!) and I really jumped in pushups. I can now do 20 pushups. However, my crunches regressed just a bit (maybe a bloating thing?). I was only able to do 48 (I could do 50 the last challenge). All in all, I do feel like I'm progressing again.

I also did some measurements and I had the same mixed results. I've lost weight in my neck? Who knew that I carried a lot of weight there? (I've lost a total of 1" around my neck... just not an area that I think of for "weight loss"), my arms were the same, but I can see they are firm, so I'm building as I lose. My waist was up a bit (I put that down to bloating as well) and everything else stayed the same.

So weight: starting: 214lbs, current: 155.2 lbs, goal: 125 lbs
Fat percentage: starting 45%, current: 37.5%, goal: 22%

Those are really the numbers I'm tracking the most. I'm feeling very positive about my progress again and just need to stay focused. I do think that adding an extra cardio 3 times a week is necessary to lose weight. It really can be a challenge, but in the long run, it's going to be worth it.

Today's Positive Comment:
I can now do 20 modified pushups

Thursday, January 06, 2005

100 Workout with Maya

I have a physical challenge with Maya today after which I will have my 100th workout with Maya. I can't believe that I've been this consistant working out with her.

I will say I'm on a downward trend again. I weighed myself again this morning (for the evaluation) and weighed in at 155.2 lbs. My fat percentage is staying consistant, however. I think adding a few extra cardio workouts a week is helping (I think I'm averaging an extra 30 minutes 3 times a week). That puts my overall weight loss at approx. 59 lbs. Over 6 years. Hopefully it won't take me 3 more years to lose the last 30lbs. (but I'm willing to accept it taking 2 years....)

Anyway, as a reward to myself for my consistancy, I bought a new workout outfit. I've discovered that even tho' I workout by myself, I workout better if I feel I'm dressed nicely. So new shorts, matching bra and a tee are on the way to me.

I think part of my evaluation will be new measurements today too. I'm very interested to see my upper arm measurement, as I can visually see the biggest difference there.

I'll have the results of my evaluation tomorrow (or later today). I may even do an updated photo (yikes! now, that's a way to keep ya honest).

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Cheating on the Wednesday Weigh In

Okay, I know I said I was going to weigh in on Wednesday, but since I haven't been weighing myself much over the holidays (I only weighed myself once for my fitness evaluation for the Yourself!Fitness), I was curious to see if the "didn't gain over the holidays" held firm from New Year's celebrations.

Okay, not only did I not gain, I actually lost a pound. I weighed in at 156.0 this morning. I'll also add that I am retaining water this week and expected about a 2lb gain (which is my normal increase). Looks like the extra work is paying off. Considering that I've been holding firm at 157 since mid-November I'm thrilled that the extra workouts are paying off.

Nothing motivates me more than sucess (and nothing discourages me more than failure) so I'm actually looking forward to my next evaluation (and I've been working on the pushups... maybe I can do one or two more?)

I also need to call my doctor to set up the blood work to see if my cholesterol has dropped (I'm guessing it has). Part of me really wants to know, but I'm also worried that if it has dropped, I may lose some of my incentive.

Positive Comment for Today:
Gee, I think that would be the 1 lb weight drop!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Helpful Advice?

Well, I was originally going to rant about people's well intentioned suggestions as to why I'm not losing weight. I had second thoughts, as I know their intentions were in the right place, but I'm a very defensive person and sometimes I don't take advice very well (especially when I've been doing this for 6 years).

So in the vain of trying to keep my posts more positive I'll talk about the great workout I had yesterday!

I have a confession to make: I over ride Maya when she suggests "flexibility". I know, I know, that flexibility is part of a good balanced workout, but I wanted to concentrate on burning calories. I also admit that I hated doing the exercises as I couldn't do a lot of them. Well, part of my "get back on track" is to stick with what Maya suggests, I did the flexibility workout. Matt came back from a quick jog (he can't ride for a couple of weeks due to a little surgical procedure) and did it with me.

Doing it with Matt forced me to hold the poses a little longer (having accountability is a good thing), but the part that amazed me is how well I did. I could do most of them (the planks still kill me... but that's a wrist thing which I think will get better as I lose weight). I also was surprised at how many calories I burned doing it (did I mention that I love my new heart rate monitor???). I feel that even tho' I've been working with Maya since October, I'm hitting a new level. I've had to up my cardio workouts, I'm using heavier weights on some exercises and I'm feeling really positive right now!

So positive that I'll be back to the Wednesday Weigh In this week (of course it's a water retention week... but maybe that's good?). I hope that I can lose 2 lbs in January.

Positive Comment:
Today's comment is actually from Maya. Saturday she said to me "well, I never have to worry about you showing up for your workouts".... I don't remember my last skipped workout. I think I've missed less than 5 workouts with Maya (I'm up to 96 completed... I'm scheduled for 6 days a week). I love positive reinforcement!!!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

An Other Year...

Well here we are again. A new start. A new beginning. Uh-hu, I feel the same way. It's the time of year when we look back and see what we've learned and look forward to see what we can learn.

I feel good about my acomplishments this year. I learned how hard I have to work to maintain and even lose weight. I learned that even losing weight doesn't necessarily mean good health (as my LDL numbers proved). I learned that I can focus on my workouts and fit them in and they can be fun (Thanks to Yourself!Fitness).

I also learned that no matter how popular Lance Armstrong is, professional cycling is not an accepted sport in the US (as OLN only televised the Giro de Italia and Tour de France this year and didn't bother with the Vuelta due to lack of ratings) . I learned that neither the owners or players of the NHL realize that it's lockout is hardly being noticed in the US (do they even watch ESPN? Have they noticed that no one cares that there's a lockout?)

I learned that I can not eat a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch everyday, but I also learned that I really really like Bocu products.

I learned that I can build muscle and lose fat. I learned that I can gain strength and balance. I also learned that clothes that are too big are not flattering... especially bras.

I learned that every day is part of the process.
Here's to 2005... where I'll probably have to learn all this again.