Friday, May 29, 2009

Part II of the Plan of Fat-Attack: Move That Hiney

I love to run. Not competitively, not fast, just go out the door and set it on cruise and crank out a leisurely 2 or 3 miles. Right now I’m too heavy to really enjoy it; I need to take about 15 lbs off the load my poor abused joints will be carrying, and condition myself again, before it’s the effortless pleasure it used to be. Back when I ran regularly it was my alone-time, attitude-readjustment and analgesic, all wrapped up in 30 minutes on the blacktop. If I was cranky, or my back was sore and tight from sitting at a desk, or I was overwhelmed from a day of office chatter, all I had to do was put on my sneakers and head out the door. I miss that. I want it back.

I also used to do situps, girl-pushups, leg-lifts with ankle-weights and some work with small dumb-bells every day. Of course, my eating habits were atrocious; I ate once a day and barely made it to 1,000 calorie most days. So this time I’m trying to take the weight off and get fit and trim while still eating like a human being, not a bird.

But I digress. The subject at hand is exercise. I’ve taken some stabs at re-establishing a running routine over the last 2 or 3 years, but always get derailed by one thing or another… the weather, work schedule, etc. After I have established a good excuse, I got lazy and take some time off from the exercise routine. I tell myself “A runner does not lose conditioning until a break extends beyond two weeks.” Well, my break would not stop at two weeks. And then when I finally decided to get back on track I’d have to start getting in shape all over again.

Bf gave me a gym membership for Christmas. It’s awesome and I love going to the gym. And it removes the weather excuse from my repertoire of reasons not to move my hiney. So right now my plan is to use the elliptical trainer until I’ve knocked my weight down a little, then I can start adding in some running again. I started a weight-lifting routine this week; I’m doing an upper-body workout and plan to do it three times a week. I have lifted two times so far this week. I’m not nearly as sore after the second one as I was after the first. I also stretch and do situps each time I go to the gym.

This is my first week of being re-dedicated to the routine. I’ll post any weight-loss weekly and changes in measurements once a month. I’m excited about the possibilities…. WHOO HOO!

As usual, I’m going to finish my coffee, make a smoothie and then start work. Have a fab day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Plan of Fat-Attack

Part I: Nutrition

I’ve joined Weight Watchers before, following the flex plan where foods are allotted a certain number of points per a copyright-protected formula, and you have a certain number of points a day to use. It’s a great program and I did experience a moderate amount of success on it before I lost momentum. I’m not a current Weight Watchers member but I’m using information I received when I was a member, and am now following the old Core program. It’s since been replaced by the Simply Filling program, which to my knowledge is very similar.

What I like about Core is the emphasis on healthy eating. There is an enormous list of foods that you do not have to count and can eat to satisfaction, primarily fruits, vegetables, lean meats, some fat-free dairy products and whole grains. The freedom from weighing, measuring and counting is an attractive component of the program. On Core I’ve explored new-to-me grains such as quinoa and steel-cut oats. I was already a fan of bulgur and the grain-like couscous, which are now staples in my diet due to the ease of preparation and their inclusion on the list of Core foods. Core also provides a weekly point allowance to use for non-Core foods, for example tortillas, breads, and of course chocolate!

A key element of Core is the hunger rating. You are advised to rate your hunger before and after you eat, and whenever you are considering eating. The goal is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied…. Not stuffed, just sated.

Some of my staples on Core are homemade smoothies with frozen bananas, fat-free yogurt and whatever fruit is handy; bean salads; baked chicken that I cut in strips/chunks to toss with salads, whole wheat pasta or a grain; the afore-mentioned whole wheat pasta; fruit fruit fruit and veggies veggies veggies. I drink 2 liters of water a day; I can go through one liter alone while at the gym. I’m thinking about increasing it to 3 liters a day to see if that makes a difference.

Some of the things I regularly spend my weekly allotment of points on are PB2, a fat-free powdered peanut butter that you HAVE to try if you haven’t already; agave nectar which has a lower glycemic index than sugar and a wonderful, smoky, maple-like taste; and Monster’s Moca Loca coffee-flavored energy drink which is fab but a whole 4 points and of course, energy drinks are not good for ya. But I have to say I have my best workouts when I drink a Moca Loca on my way to the gym!

I’m still struggling with staying on the program, or OP as the Weight Watcher crowd calls it. I make it to mid-afternoon or dinner-time with ease, but then I hit a wall. Part of the wall is bf’s desire for take-out, combined with my ongoing challenge of commitment. Two days ago I resisted a Wendy’s run, and to my surprise I survived… no passing out, no headache or crankiness, in fact I felt great. Probably because I felt so good about myself for dining on whole wheat penne and chicken with a side of baby carrots, followed by a small home-made strawberry banana smoothie for dessert. Knowing I’m making the right choices in health and nutrition is invigorating and empowering. I’m going to hold onto that feeling today, and concentrate on it when I hit that dinner-time wall. Wish me luck!

Now I’m off to make a smoothie, finish my coffee and type up some reports for work. Have a fab day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We're All So Pretty!

I was at a happy hour recently, a celebration for a friend and co-worker who had been promoted and would be moving to a different office. After an inconsequential, silly, pleasant conversation about three of us having green eyes, I announced “We’re all so pretty!” and waited for my companions to acknowledge this. It sounds silly, I know, and far from humble. But it is part of my plan to change the world, one moment at a time. I like to dream big!

A moment can creep up on you (okay, on me) where all I see are my imperfections, abandoned projects, and shortcomings. The trick, I think, is to accept my shortcomings as part of who I am, as things that can be changed. I am not perfect. I am a work in progress. My flaws are opportunities for growth, future steps to take as I follow the map to the better me. Each day, each moment is a chance to make a better choice, to take better care of myself, to show more love and kindness to myself and to the people around me.

No one is perfect. And so many people struggle with issues related to self-esteem and self-image, are overly critical of themselves, and have moments where they do not see the positive and the possibilities. So I put random positives out there: “We’re all so pretty!” and wait for the light bulbs to come on.

This morning my muscles are sore from yesterday's weight-lifting and I'm glad. It will remind me all day of a decision I made to improve my health. So now I’m going to finish my coffee, have a homemade fruit-smoothie, and head off to work. Have a fab day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Working on my Attitude....

Ok, yesterday bf and I went to his mom's for a big family party... I knew there would be fried chicken, etc., so I ate healthier stuff beforehand: steelcut oats for breakfast, three-bean salad with no oil for a snack, and chicken and fat-free cheese on a whole-wheat tortilla with a side of baby carrots for lunch. And thank goodness because there was indeed fried chicken, corn that already had butter in it, and mashed potatoes that I had taken a couple bites of before it was announced that they had real butter and sour cream in them. Sigh. I ate very little but then they brought out the gooey butter cake and I had 2 pieces. At least I have some successes to think about, and I guess I can just learn from the gooey butter cake incident. When we got home that evening I had whole wheat penne and 2 tsps olive oil tossed with more three-bean salad and chicken. I had taken the dog for a walk that morning, which is more of a work-out than it sounds because it was his first walk. He's a year and a half old and weighs almost 70 lbs; we don't usually walk him because we have a big yard, so we just take him out and play fetch with him for his exercise. So our walk was a little like the first part of an episode of one of those dog behavior shows, with him pulling against the leash and dragging me along until we came to an understanding. But then we walked past a fenced yard with another dog in it, and all bets were off. He really wanted to make a new friend, but I dragged him by the collar until we were clear of the chance for canine networking. So it was a walk AND an upper body workout, whoo hoo!

Today I went to the gym and spent 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, then stretched, did upper body work on the weight machines, and did some situps. This was the first time I’ve used the weight machines at this gym. I joined in February and got a free personal training session with my membership; I asked the trainer for a weight routine with the machines but she gave me a routine with the yoga-ball thingie and handweights instead… she said it was a big fat-burner. Well, thanks for listening to me and hearing my goals, but I like the weight machines and that’s what I know I will use consistently. I did the little yoga-ball handweight routine maybe 4 times before I totally lost interest in it. Maybe I should have stuck to it, ok, yes, I really should have stuck to it. But it’s hard enough to make yourself work out when you don’t feel like it, and then to have to be psyching yourself up to do something you hate? I know this weight loss thing is work, I know it takes commitment and consistency and discipline, but let’s not make it harder than it has to be. I love running, I love the elliptical machine, I love yoga, and I love the weight machines. I will do situps because I know they work. So thank you, kind trainer, but I have now officially abandoned the ball-thingie routine for the weight machines. And maybe sometime I’ll ask what they’re really called, too. Because I like them!

Going back to the gooey butter cake incident, bf’s mom made it especially for him because it’s his favorite. So she sent the leftovers home with us. I made a big case for sending it home with someone else, someone with kids maybe, but I was over-ruled. And maybe that was selfish of me but the reality is that I am the one who eats leftovers in this house, for the most part. I had a close call with the cake about half an hour ago, I actually started to get it out of the fridge but I made a pot of coffee instead and decided to drink some more water and update the blog while the coffee brews. So far so good, today. Again I say “Whoo hoo!”

I am really hoping this blog will help me with my dedication to weight loss this time. I get so lazy and am so incredibly good at making excuses for eating wrong and not working out. But I really want to do this. I want to get healthy and fit, and do it the right way, and then in a few (ok, several) months the fit and slim woman I see in my mind’s eye will be reality. I think I have to work on my attitude, on motivating myself more, on making this decision, this process, this goal MINE. Owning it and committing to it.

Here’s to me, and here’s to you, getting fit one decision at a time!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Beginning

I see a mental image daily, of myself performing the same tasks I'm actually performing, living the same life I'm living now, but I am thin, svelte, healthy. It's as if the last 3 or 4 years of gaining weight have been erased. I am the same person that I am now in this image. I have the same job, I come home to the same boyfriend, have the same friends, and am equally as happy as I am now. But I am slim, light, and fit. I started seeing these images in the back of my mind about 6 months ago, and I think now it's time to bring the vision into my reality.

I've been making attempts at regaining my fitness and figure over the last 2 or more years but in retrospect they were no more than practice runs, like someone jogging up to deep ravine they're going to leap across in order to gauge the distance and the necessary speed to propel them to the other side. I will make great strides and experience some success, and then I go off-track at some point and do not try again for weeks or months.

I have been interested in nutrition and fitness since my teens, and I love reading the success stories of others who struggle with weight loss. So I am joining the fold of weight-loss bloggers! I'm starting the journey today, not tomorrow and not next week. Today. Right now. So have a great day. Myself, I'm going to eat a breakfast of steel-cut oats with skim milk, and then take the dog for a walk. It's a beautiful day to start shedding the fat-suit.

Saturday, May 23, 2009



I'm 5' 5 1/2".

 11/11/2009    201.4       starting weight
11/18/2009     195.8           -5.6
11/25/2009     193.2           -2.6
  12/2/2009     191.4           -1.8
  12/9/2009     192.2          +0.8
12/16/2009     191.4           -0.8
12/23/2009     190.0           -1.4
12/30/2009     189.0           -1.0
    1/6/2010     snowed-in, missed WW
  1/13/2010     189.8           +0.8
  1/20/2010     187.2           -2.6
  1/27/2010     188.4          +1.2
    2/3/2010     190.6          +2.2
  2/10/2010     190.0           -0.6
  2/17/2010     188.6           -1.4
  2/24/2010     189.2          +0.6
  9/03/2010     206.0          +6.8
  9/10/2010     204.8           -1.2

Total Weight Loss:            +3.4 lbs.


I measure sporadically but since I'm seeing progress,
I may start getting out the old measuring tape once or twice a month. 

Date            R. Upper Arm, Waist, Hips, R. Thigh
11/21/2009      14.50          37.75   45.50   28.50
   1/1/2010      13.75           37.25   45.00   28.25
 1/13/2010      13.50           36.25   44.50   28.00  

Total Lost       -1.00            -1.50   -1.00     -0.50