Diet & Fitness Update, Week #8

Well, I’d lost half a pound by mid-week, but managed to gain that back in the second half of the week. I know it was from eating too many carbs too late in the day, mainly — I’ve been lazy and opted to microwave some “reduced-carb” pasta in the evenings, instead of cooking meat and veggies. For those of you keeping score, that means I’m still at 210, after having flirted briefly with 209.5 on Wednesday.

I haven’t mentioned what I’ve been eating lately, so I guess I’ll throw that in, since it’s been fairly consistent. Breakfast = 3/4 cup oats with Splenda Brown Sugar Blend. Morning Snack = cottage cheese with blueberries. Lunch = lettuce salad with 2 Tbsp dressing (low-fat, low-carb). Afternoon snack = one large Golden Delicious apple. Dinner varies. Should be meat and veggies or salad. Ends up being low-carb pasta, which is what put my half-pound back on.

I also still haven’t really been exercising regularly. I take a few minutes here and there to do a wall-sit, or ten girly pushups, or some glute kickbacks, and I’m still taking my regular lunchtime walks, of course.

Now, this may or may not have been a poor late-night decision, but I did sign up with PUSH. With PUSH, you select a personal trainer, and PUSH sends you one DVD a month with two workouts by said trainer. The workouts are tailored to your fitness level and the equipment you have on hand, and each workout builds off the previous. The DVD also includes a cardio workout of your choice, of which you’re supposed to do 100 minutes a week.

PUSH costs $25 a month (plus shipping of one two resistance bands). I signed up for the shortest stint possible: three months. Hopefully, having my very own tailored workout by a supposedly light-hearted trainer will get me back into working out in the evenings after work. I’ve finally got the meals spaced out properly, so I’m not starving when I come home — in fact, I’m not even hungry until around 7pm. So, I should have plenty of non-hungry alone time to do these workouts during the week.

It does seem a little pricey… but Adam from Burning Twenty totally talked them up on his podcast, so I’m willing to give it a shot. We’ll see.

Incidentally, the Early To Bed and Early To Rise thing did not happen at ALL this week, for various reasons. I’m going to give that another go this week. I know I felt so much better during the first week of my diet, when I was actually getting up when my alarm went off, eating breakfast at home, actually applying some makeup (because I had the time), and generally waking up before I had to head out the door. If I could make myself get up even earlier, I could do some morning cardio, like going for a walk (or a walk/jog) when it gets warmer out. I remember that I used to secretly enjoy our pre-breakfast calisthenics in the Bluecoats. 🙂

So, that’s the latest, for anyone who’s interested.

Quick Diet Update

For anyone who’s been eagerly anticipating an update on my measurements (Sheryl), here’s a quick update:

I’m down to 209.5, which is a steady loss of a pound a week for the last two weeks. Before that, it was a little erratic, what with the weekends setting me back and all.

As for measurements: since starting this thing on January 16, I’ve lost a grand total of half an inch in my bust (hey! my boobs came back! wtf?), an inch and a half in my waist, one inch in my hips (finally!), half an inch in my upper arms, about half an inch in my thighs, half an inch in my neck, and maybe a quarter inch in my calves.

Since the last measurement, back on February 20: my boobs got half an inch bigger (musta measured ’em wrong or something); and my waist, upper arms, and hips have continued to shrink. Everything else has remained about the same or only changed by small fractions of an inch.

Next Thursday is the big two-month Weigh and Measure, complete with photos that my clamoring public will (hopefully) never see. But I’ll be zooming waaaay in using Photoshop, and trying to find new muscle definition in places where it may or may not be hiding. Then I’ll look at these people and wonder what their two-month pictures looked like…

Update, 11:15pm:
In a moment of late-night weakness, I decided to sign up for PUSH for a three-month stint. I’ve heard good things about PUSH. They send you one DVD a month (for $25 a month), which includes two workouts plus a cardio set. You do workout #1 for two weeks, then workout #2 builds on the first, then you get your next DVD. They also send you one of those resistance bands, which is cool. The workouts are also personalized to your fitness level and your preferences — if I’d said I enjoy, say, martial arts, the personal trainer I chose would include martial-arts-type moves in the workout.

We’ll see if this works out, or if I have chosen poorly.

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #7

Lost a pound! I weighed in at 211 before last weekend, was at 210.5 by Wednesday, and hit 210 by yesterday morning. I’ve been weighing twice a week instead of daily, and that makes me feel a little less depressed about my weekend gains. By Wednesday, everything has evened itself back out, generally.

I’m still doing the two-steps-forward-one-step-back thing, but at least I’m losing overall. As much as I’d like to meet my short-term goals, I think it’s more important that I’m embarking back on a healthier lifestyle. No, this isn’t me trying to make up excuses for why I cheat on weekends. This is me rationalizing that I’m being more good than bad, and that’s a good start.

I’ve really been slacking on the evening exercise, although I’ve been diligently walking for at least a half hour during my lunch. And it’s been pretty freaking cold out. Damn winter. Anyway, yeah. I worked my legs one evening, and I worked my chest and upper arms one evening, but I really wasn’t into it, and didn’t maximize my workout as well as I could have. I just kind of went through the motions.

I also haven’t been very good at getting to bed early and getting up early. I’ve been consistently late to work this week — don’t worry, I won’t get in trouble or anything. I just take a 45-minute lunch to compensate. The big issue for me is that I eat breakfast at my desk instead of at home, and it throws my food schedule off by a half hour or so. Then, when I get home, I’m ready to eat my late-afternoon snack, and it ends up being an all-out dinner instead. Then I don’t do my exercise, and, well, yeah.

So, the goal for this week is Early To Bed And Early To Rise. If I can re-establish that habit, then maybe other things will fall into place. If they don’t, I’ll just work on them next.

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #6

I officially need to rethink my weekends. They are slowing me up considerably. I regularly gain at least one pound over the weekend, usually more, and I need to take steps to avoid this in the future.

This morning, I weighed in at 211. I had been at 210.5 before last weekend hit. Gained one over the weekend, lost one-half during the week. This is unacceptable.

I also need to bump up my exercise. I did Dance Dance Revolution two days this week, for 20 minutes each day. This was a good start, but I need to make myself lift weights after the 20 minutes of DDR cardio.

There’s a very narrow time period in the evening in which I feel “motivated” to exercise. I come home from work, talk to Aaron before he leaves, say goodbye to him, change out of my work clothes and into comfy clothes, feed the cat, and contemplate my dinner. If dinner will require 40 minutes in the oven, like chicken, I’ll get that started and then start my exercise routine. If it won’t take very long to make, like fish, I’ll get right into my exercise and cook it afterward. If, however, I mistime my meals and end up being hungry when I get home, and find something quick to eat instead (like last night’s yummy tortilla pizza with a wheat tortilla and low-carb pizza sauce and mushrooms and just a little cheese), then it’s equal odds whether I’ll manage to do any exercise afterward.

As for food, I’ve rediscovered lowfat cottage cheese. Mmm. I’ve also been laying off the low-carb pasta, for the most part, although I have my occasional moments of weakness when I get home from work. Apart from that, things are pretty much the same. Oatmeal or Cranapple Crunch for breakfast, an apple or cottage cheese with fruit for a morning snackie, salad with tuna or chicken for lunch, some kind of random low-carb snack for afternoon snackie (when I eat one), and meat and salad for dinner — if I’m being good, that is. If I’m not being good, I might have low-carb spaghetti with low-carb cheese sauce and a spoonful of salsa. Or tortilla pizza.

The good news, though, is that my skin fits a little differently these days. Sounds weird, but it’s true. My boobs in particular have that pinchable flap of empty skin. It isn’t obvious at first, even in the nude — but if I pinch at the skin of my boob, or of my gut, there’s a good three-quarters of an inch of totally empty skin that I can pinch and roll around between my fingers. I have to believe that’s a good sign.

My fat also feels different to me. Less dense, and more… watery? Jiggly? I’m not sure how to describe it. It feels less substantial, at any rate. That could be my imagination, or the contrast of being able to feel muscle resolidifying under the layer of fat. In any case, it’s also a weird change.

I’m not giving up. I can stick to this thing. Eventually, my mind and body will get in a mutual groove, and the weight will come pouring off. Until then, I can’t go all wonky with a giant splurge-ariffic cheat weekend again. Salads and carryout containers for me. No Happy Rose Buffet. (Duh.) I can do this.

Go me. Rrrah.

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #5: MINI-GOAL #1

Bottom line: I didn’t quite make my goal of 209 by Valentine’s Day. If not for my ultra-depressed weekend of yummy binging, I might have made it. I ended up being only a pound and a half short of my goal, weighing in at 210.5 lbs.

Measurements as of 2/16/06:

Height: 5’10”
Weight: 210.5 –> down two pounds since 1/16/06
Bust (at maximum fullness): 45″ –> down one inch
Chest (just below bust): forgot to measure this one
Waist (one inch above navel, where my pants live): 43.75″ –> down 1.25″
Hips: 49.5″ –> down ½”
Neck: 14.5″ –> down ½”
Upper Arms: 13.25″ –> down ¼”
Lower Arms: 10.25″ –> down ¼”
Thighs: 25.5″ left / 25.75″ right –> down ½” left, ¾” right
Calves: 16.125″ –> increased one-eighth inch

Still not exercising as much as I should. Did Tae Bo Cardio on Monday (didn’t make it through the whole workout), worked my abs and chest on Tuesday, and slacked for the rest of the week. I’ve taken a 30 to 40-minute walk every day at lunchtime, though. My day feels totally incomplete without that.

My fat intake is a little elevated, and my carb intake is a little lowered. I’ve still been eating fish and chicken, staying away from burger, and eating vegenaise and other low-fat condiments and dressings. However, I’ve been eating major carbs just for breakfast, like oatmeal or my new Cranapple Crunch cereal. The rest of the day, I’ve been sticking with salad and veggies and meat.

So, that’s the long and short of it. Still eating well, still making an effort to be more active. Still coming to terms with the fact that this is taking a lot longer than I’d hoped… but still sticking with it.

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #4

This week’s report isn’t particularly good news. I started out the week on Saturday the 4th at 210. By yesterday, I was back up to 211.5 (and I gained back yet another pound during this weekend). I’m not going to make my goal of 209 by midweek, unless I do something drastic and unhealthy in the next two days.

I was still pretty gung-ho early in the week, and I did the Tae Bo Cardio workout on Monday. Tuesday, I did the Tae Bo Basic workout. The rest of the week I did absolutely bupkis. I made the mistake (apparently) of weighing myself daily this week, to track my progress toward my goal — and when I saw a complete lack thereof, I basically threw in the towel for this upcoming goal. Not what I should have done, I know, but man. I was just so freaking bummed.

Food this week was still good things, but my carb:protein:fat ratio went a little wonky a few times. As Sheryl predicted, I started getting tired of oatmeal — or maybe I’m just getting tired of the mushy-ass Quick Oats we got at a discount at Big Lots. This weekend, I ended up getting some sort of cranapple-granola cereal, so I’ll probably switch up breakfasts with that a little. We also got a new supply of real oats, so that’ll be a welcome change of pace, as well.

While we were at Claudia’s yesterday, replenishing my supply of Vegenaise and getting some breakfast cereal, we also bought some more peanut butter (because the MaraNatha brand we bought last time kind of sucks) and some more salad dressing. We got a refill of the Annie’s Naturals Artichoke Parmesan, and we got some other kind of citrusy-mangoey something-or-other. We’ll see what that’s all about later this week.

So, basically, this upcoming weight goal is a wash. I’ll still photograph myself and weigh myself and all that, but I’m really kind of bummed that I… well, I guess the root of my bumming nature is really that I do halfway OK during the week, but my weekends invariably end up being the one step back to my two steps forward.

I’m also apparently pretty easily defeated. Not that I’m totally giving up — not at all. I’m just, well… I thought that losing five pounds in five weeks would be no big thing. It’s kind of disheartening to see that it wasn’t as easy as I’d thought it would be, and that I’m so easily thrown off by a lack of instant results.

I’ll get back on it this week. Exercise and lots more water. I’m just kind of depressed about it right this moment.

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #3

I started out my week at 210.5 lbs, my weight as of Saturday the 28th. Over the course of the week, I managed to lose half a pound, but the journey there was kind of up and down.

I added some new food items to my diet this week, including Annie’s Naturals salad dressings on my salads and frozen blueberries in my oatmeal. I continued eating four meals a day, and branched out on Friday to start eating five: three full meals, two snacks.

Monday’s exercise was focusing on legs. Tuesday was Tae Bo Basic. On Wednesday, I tried something new and worked out my back. There wasn’t a very wide range of exercises I could do at home with only dumbbells, so I did ten reps each of supermans, tricep kickbacks, bent-over rows, side raises, and shoulder flys, all with my five-pound weights (except the supermans). As with my other weight workouts, I did the exercises all together with no breaks, then took a two-minute break before set #2, then a one-minute break before set #3. I really felt it the next day, so I opted to take a day off. I’m not used to my back being sore on purpose. Then, since I took a day off on Thursday, I lost my momentum and didn’t work out again on Friday.

Midweek, I weighed myself and was quite depressed to see that I’d actually gained a pound and a half. Sheryl suggested that I should measure myself, too — and I’m glad she did. Sixteen days into my new diet and exercise program, I’d lost an inch and a half from my waist, an inch and a half from my neck (?!), half an inch from my upper arms, and three-quarters of an inch from my bust. My lower body remained unchanged. But holy crap! I can definitely deal with minimal weight loss if I still lose inches.

My goal for the coming week is to ramp up the cardio. I want to shoot for two days of cardio, preferably three. I downloaded the Tae Bo Cardio workout on VCD, and from what I’ve previewed of it, I think it’s going to kick my ass. In a good way. I’ve also decreased my caloric goals for the week by about 200 calories. I’d been making my oatmeal with a little cream, and I’m going to lay off of that this week; that change alone should knock off that 200 calories a day. I’m also switching up what I’ve been eating for lunch and for dinner: more carbs for lunch (say, meat and rice), and fewer for dinner (meat and veggies or salad).

Hopefully, between the cardio and the more frequent feedings and the lower caloric intake, I should drop off some more poundage this week. Even if I keep only losing at the rate I have been, though, I should still make my goal of five pounds by Valentine’s Day.

February 16th = 2 days after Valentines Day = new pictures and new measurements. I have nine days to kick that ass.

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #2

I started out this week at 213, after my ill-fated Cheat Day on the 20th. Midweek, I was still at 213, which depressed me. Yesterday, though, I weighed myself and discovered I was back down to 210.5, which is definitely good.

I’ve continued to be good about eating my breakfast, and said breakfast has continued to be oatmeal. We found an extra-large box of Quick Oats at Big Lots last week, and while I prefer the regular Old Fashioned Oats better, these aren’t bad. They are, in fact, quick to make. Not that those extra two minutes really mattered in my day. Anyway, I’ve cut down on the raisins, though I haven’t eliminated them yet. I have started adding slivered almonds on occasion, and those are pretty good. They add a new flavor and texture. I’ve also rediscovered the Atkins Sugar-Free Maple Syrup that we had in our cupboard; it goes quite well on oatmeal, as does the sugar-free imitation honey (though not at the same time).

I’ve come to be so dependent on my breakfast that skipping it isn’t even an option; I’d rather be late to work than miss my oatmeal.

I’ve also been switching up my afternoon snacks. Instead of tuna salad, I’ve been eating an apple and some cottage cheese. I might need to switch back, though, as I seem to recall that my afternoon snack really shouldn’t have any carbs, and an apple most definitely has carbs.

In looking at my calorie ratios from last week, I pretty much stayed within 4% of my 40:30:30 ratio of carbs to protein to fat all week. Tuesday was a little off, though — too much fat (can’t have cottage cheese with my snack and vegenaise with my dinner, too).

As for exercise, I did fairly well this week. Monday was Legs Day: I compiled my own workout based on the premise of this Beginner Dumbbell Workout. Lunges, sumo squats, stiff-legged deadlifts, and calf raises all in sequence, followed by a rest, then repeat, rest and repeat. That was just about right, although my quads were sore for a few days and my hamstrings were stiff and sore for a few more.

Tuesday was Shoulders Day: Rear shoulder flys, front raises, shrugs, side raises, and presses all in sequence, as above. This needs tweaked for future workouts, though, as doing side raises and presses seem to work the same shoulder muscle. Having those exercises right next to each other does NOT work. I also need to throw some tricep kickbacks in there, as my triceps were feeling quite neglected. My shoulders didn’t start to feel sore until two days later, and the soreness didn’t last too long. Which was odd, because my last set of presses was damn near impossible. I expected to hurt a lot more than I did.

Wednesday was my slacker day; I didn’t do any exercise. Thursday I did the YOGAmazing Yoga For Abs practice, which was more strenuous for my fatigued upper arms than for my abs.

Friday, I finally pushed back the couch and did some more Tae Bo. This time, I got through the whole tape, only sitting out of one set of side kicks. And damn, did I feel GOOD after that workout. Breathing kind of hard, sweating just a little, but not like I was going to die or anything. Strangely enough, that workout seemed to work the soreness out of my shoulders and legs. The only thing that got sore was my lats — those muscles on either side of my back? Yeah. Every now and then yesterday, I’d just randomly say, “Damn you, Billy Blanks,” and Aaron would know what I was talking about. 🙂

I’m hoping to have lost more weight by next week’s midweek weigh-in, as I’m currently having my happy womanly time right now. I’m thinking that may have been one reason I didn’t seem to lose any weight during the first part of the week. We’ll see.

At any rate, I’m well on my way to reaching 209 by Valentine’s Day.

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #1

First off: since I’m not technically doing Atkins anymore, I’ve changed the name of my Atkins category to Diet & Fitness. It seems to be a little more inclusive.

Now: on to the update.

When I weighed myself on Monday morning, I registered at 212.5 pounds. That was actually a pound and a half lower than the previous week, although I’m not sure what I did to lose weight during that time. *shrug*

Starting on Tuesday, I tried to follow the food plan Sheryl had e-mailed me. (Well, I did make an effort on Monday, but that Atkins-style lunch with Aaron really threw off my fat intake.) Breakfast was ¾ cup Quaker Oats, with Splenda Brown Sugar Blend and raisins. Lunches were mainly the dinner meat from the night before, with an apple or a salad. Afternoon snack was always tuna with Reduced Fat Hellmann’s (and sometimes onion and/or celery), and dinner was chicken breast or fish with a side of low-carb pasta.

Before you lambaste me, Sheryl, for my deviations from the diet last week (not that you would, but it’s fun to pretend):

  • Believe it or not, the only green vegetable we had on hand last week was salad greens. We’ll be attempting to remedy that during this week’s grocery shopping.
  • Hopefully, today we will be heading out to the whole foods store to locate some Vegenaise to replace the Hellmann’s. Even Aaron has admitted to curiosity.
  • The raisins in my oatmeal will soon be replaced with slivered almonds — again, with today’s grocery shopping.

In addition to changing my eating schedule and habits, I also began/continued exercising every evening. On Monday, I did the YOGAmazing “Yoga For Weight Loss” practice, which was surprisingly vigorous. On Tuesday, I did 50 jumping jacks before my Beginner’s Dumbbell Workout. On Wednesday, I really wasn’t feeling it, but I did 50 jumping jacks and 75 crunches, just so I could say I did something. I dropped the ball on Thursday and Friday, though, and didn’t exercise at all — although I did take a brisk 40-minute walk on Friday during my lunch break.

I weighed myself Thursday morning, and I had lost two pounds since Monday! Awesome.

What was not so awesome, though, was my horrific cheat meal — no, cheat DAY — on Friday. I had thought I could resist my department’s monthly potluck by planning ahead and bringing enough food to keep me sated throughout the day.

I was wrong.

At 1:30pm or so, after pretty much the entire department had ransacked the potluck, I ate the last sloppy joe, some Chinese salad (ramen noodles, vinegar, sugar, veggies), and a small piece of cookie bar. Then, that evening, a coworker took me to the dreaded Happy Rose Buffet as payment for helping him learn how to burn DVDs on his computer.

I weighed myself this morning. I’m back up to 213.

What a precarious balance I seem to have discovered. No cheat meals for me, apparently, and no skipping days of exercise. Not if I want to be successful.

Also: Later in the week, I began feeling particularly run-down when I got home from work. Not hungry yet, but tired. That’s why I slacked on my exercise. On top of that, after I ate my dinner, I found that I was craving carbs… so I ate a bowl of oatmeal for dessert. ::smacks hands::

So, I’m not sure if that was a result of me needing to follow the diet more closely, or tweak it, or just suck it up. In any case, this week will be better. More hardcore.

The more I focus on my health, the more I realize how fat I am. I’m looking forward to realizing how much more fit I am, instead.

Atkins, Take Two

I forgot to mention: Aaron and I went back on Induction last week.

We had both been gaining a little weight back (partially due to our repeated visits to the Happy Rose Buffet). I had gained back 12 pounds total from my lowest weight, but had gained it back slowly between January and May of this year, and stayed pretty steady after that. Aaron, however, finally hit a point last month where he decided he had to go back on Induction, and I gladly joined in. (I’m not good at doing Induction by myself. I’m too easily lured to the dark side.)

The first week, I lost 4.5 pounds. I was stoked. Then we went to visit Amy in Dayton, and I somehow managed to gain back two pounds over the weekend. I’m back to losing about a half a pound a day, though, so I’m going to lay off the daily weight check and go back to weighing weekly again.

I’ve been rediscovering old recipes this week, like the Mock Cream Cheese Danish, and finding new ones, like Hamburger Pie. OMG, so yummy. burger baked in the oven with a filling of cream cheese, mustard, and horseradish. It may sound weird, but it’s really, REALLY good. (Props to the Atkins All The Way podcast for that one.)

You know, Induction isn’t so bad. 🙂