Diet & Fitness Update, Week #14

Well, I forgot to weight myself before going ballistic on Chinese buffet and Outback for my birthday. When I weighed myself this morning, though, it showed that I’d gained two one and a half pounds since my last weigh-in. I’m OK with that; I’m guessing that everything will average itself back out in a couple of days.

I only managed to do one day of my PUSH workout this week, although I did enjoy the one time I did it. DVD #2 has me working with the resistance bands, finally, and I was definitely feeling it two days later. I feel like this is where I should have started to begin with, fitness-level-wise, but doing a month of more basic exercises to get me used to exercising was a good idea.

I’ve been continuing to eat whole wheat English muffins with natural PB (or sugar-free honey) for breakfast, although my snackies have been more sporadic. I get all into what I’m doing at work, and before I know it, it’s almost time for lunch. Oops. Oh, well. Lunch has been salad greens with canned chicken or turkey, sugar-free sweet relish, and salad dressing. OMG, I’d forgotten how much zing relish can add to stuff. Mmm. I’ve been being bad for dinner lately, though, and been making pasta salads — again, with the yummy relish and canned meats. I’ll turn my shit around for this coming week, though.

I’ve also been continuing my daily lunchtime walks, of course. Today I bought some special-for-work sneakers for walking, so I won’t wear out my nice work shoes (and so I can wear some of my cuter but more fragile shoes to work).

Oh, and I’m officially a “real” size 18 now, I think. I bought some new clothes at Lane Bryant today (thanks, Aaron, for the gift card!), and the size 20 dress pants I tried on were way bigger than I needed. I swapped them out for 18’s and didn’t try them on until I got home. They’re actually a little smaller than I’d like, but maybe I’m used to having some breathing room in my pants these days. At any rate, yay for smaller cute clothes.

(BTW, Sheryl? I feel SO LOST in Lane Bryant without you there to guide me to teh cuteness. Aaron’s a good sport, and wanders around behind me like I usually wander around behind you. Except I don’t know where I’m going, either.)

Still haven’t measured myself. I really need to do that. Blah.

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #13

Well, I guess being sick has its advantages. I stepped on the scale before this morning’s shower, and discovered that I lost three pounds this week! Holy crow. So, for those of you keeping score, I’m down to 206.5.

I can really only attribute this to eating light and not being hungry, thanks to being sick. I didn’t work out, apart from my standard daily 30-40 minute walk. I did eat a whole wheat English muffin with natural PB for breakfast every day this week. Good stuff. For the last couple of days, I’ve been eating a piece of fruit for my morning snack (banana or apple), either a salad or a low-sugar yogurt for lunch, and either another piece of fruit or a sugar-free pecan nummie from the vending machine for afternoon snackie. Dinner has been chock-full o’ carbs. Reduced-carb spaghetti with cheese sauce and salsa. Oatmeal with *real* maple syrup (purchased in Massachusetts). I did have turkey burgers one evening, and those were good. Overall, though, too little food during the day, and too carb-heavy in the evenings. I guess breakfast must have gotten my metabolism moving or something, though, because I did lose weight despite all that.

Oh, and did I mention that this cold has made food, well, go right through me? This might be TMI, but I’m sure my loose BMs haven’t just been from the sugar alcohols in the sugar-free pecan whatsits, or the one or two sugar-free Halls I’ll pop in a day. Nope, this is that special “being-sick” kind of experience. I’m guessing that might have something to do with the weight loss, too.

Don’t worry; I’ve been taking my vitamins as usual. I know that you can lose nutrients and crap (no pun intended), so I’ve been diligent as ever.

Not that I’m looking a gift horse in the mouth here. I’m tickled that I lost three pounds this week. I just don’t think it’s anything I did specifically. Besides getting sick. 🙂

I take three-month pics and measurements tomorrow. If the swimsuit picture doesn’t make me gag, maybe I’ll post it here. I make no promises, though.

[By the way… being sick makes it a lot easier not to sleep in on Saturdays. When you wake up at 9:00, and would *like* to go back to sleep, but sleeping is just too damn uncomfortable, it makes the decision to get up a lot easier. And, yes, 9am on a Saturday is early for me. I usually sleep in until 10:30 or 11:00.]

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #12

Holding steady at 209.5 pounds. This is good, really, considering that we went all ballistic on sushi and BW3 and yummy Irish food and beer during Anime Punch over the weekend of March 31st – April 2nd. I had mentioned that I would be pleasantly surprised if my weight held steady — and so I am.

Continuing to do my PUSH workouts. Still not doing cardio like I should. Walking briskly for half an hour a day.

Continuing to eat five small meals a day. Breakfast has been cold cereal or a protein shake or one of our few remaining Slim-Fast low-carb shakes. Morning snackie has usually been an apple. Lunch has usually been lettuce salad with dressing. Afternoon snackie has been almonds. Dinner has been a little evil: Dreamfields macaroni and cheese, or wraps, or something quicker than baking chicken and steaming veggies.

So, not much to report this week. No big weight losses, but no gains, either. I’m counting that as a positive thing.

Next week: Weigh and Measure for the end of Month #3. Maybe I’ll share a swimsuit photo with the internets. Who knows?

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #11

This one’s a little overdue, so I’d better get it posted before I have to write two updates at once.

I did gain one pound last week, bringing me back up to 209.5 pounds. That wasn’t unexpected, though, since Aaron was on vacation last week and we ended up going out for dinner a few times. After my Friday weigh-in, we went off to the Anime Punch anime convention, where we proceeded to eat like crap, so I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I hold steady at 209.5 for Week #12.

Exciting things for last week:

  • Moved to Workout #2 on my PUSH DVD. Yay for side planks, floor dips, and other manner of bodily strain. I’ve been sticking with it, though, and can feel a bit of a difference already. Less shaking and quivering in the abs, slightly more endurance in the arms.
  • Did not eat any oatmeal for breakfast all week! Huzzah! Had yummy organic Apple Cinnamon cereal or a Slim-Fast Low-Carb Meal Replacement shake or… well, I think those were my two different breakfasts all week. Still no breakfast burrito.
    [Edit: I did make myself a peanut butter protein shake for breakfast one day. I didn’t use enough PB, though, so it was a little bland.]
  • Discovered almonds. OMG, Sheryl, you were so right. I can’t freakin’ stay away from the damn almonds now. I bring a baggie of them in my purse for my afternoon snack, and damned if I can’t keep my hands out of them. Good stuff.

This week, I’m focusing on lowering my calories again. I think I’ve been eating too many, perhaps. I haven’t been keeping track. I need to start doing that again.

This coming weekend, I’m hoping to get some whole wheat English muffins for breakfast. OMG, English muffins with natural peanut butter… Mmm, that sounds SO good.

Apart from that? Less than two weeks until I take new measurements and photos. (I should probably also take some measurements this week, actually.) Oh, and this time, I may just share one of my in-progress photos with the internets, as I just got myself a new swimsuit via mail-order. w00t! Size 18 Tall, black, underwire cups, pretty basic. But it’s made of this great, thick, stretchy Spandexy material that really holds my stuff in. Swear to god, I spent ten minutes just primping in front of the bathroom mirror, and that is so unlike me. And, holy crap, I didn’t have to order from the “Women’s” sizes! Sure, I still got an 18, but it was technically a Misses Long Torso, not Women’s. (The Women’s didn’t come in Long Torso.)

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for Tall / Long Torso sizes. I’m 5’10”, and I hate getting a melvin from my bathing suit.

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #10

Good news! I’m continuing my weight-loss trend. I’m down one more pound this week, to 208.5! This is my lowest weight since… *checks Excel chart* …well, since Thanksgiving. Holy crap.

Did two of my three PUSH workouts so far this week. I’ve still got today, though. Starting next week, I move on to Workout #2. Yay! I still haven’t managed to get my 100 minutes of cardio in, and I know that’s a major part of why I haven’t had quicker results. I do still walk every day for 30-40 minutes during my lunch break, although that doesn’t really count as cardio.

Last weekend, Aaron and I found the motherlode of low-carb goodies at Big Lots, so I’ve been incorporating shakes and bars into my diet. I still haven’t been getting up early enough to make that breakfast burrito that’s been calling my name (although I have managed to get to work on time two out of five days this week). So, breakfast continues to be oatmeal, because I can toss the ingredients into a Rubbermaid container, then add water and nuke at work. Morning snackie is one Slim-Fast low-carb shake. Lunch is pasta (yes, reduced-carb, but not always “low-carb,” and never that soy crap) and chicken or tuna. Afternoon snackie is a Slim-Fast low-carb meal replacement bar (and sometimes a CarboRite peanut butter cup right after my walk). Dinner is baked chicken and a salad, usually, or a couple of wraps with ham and lettuce and reduced-fat Hellmann’s (we ran out of Vegenaise).

This weekend, I’m hoping to make a pilgrimage to Claudia’s Whole Foods store to get some yummy health food. Almonds (OMG, those are hard to find with no oil in them!), whole-wheat English muffins (those would be yummy with some natural PB in the morning), crunchy natural PB (because the cheap brand of smooth PB I got last time isn’t all that), vanilla whey protein (for making my *own* shakes), Vegenaise, Annie’s Naturals salad dressings, maybe some more cold cereal, stuff like that.

Adam from Burning Twenty had a recipe early on in his podcast for an apple-flavored protein shake, so I’m hoping to get the ingredients for that this weekend. Sounds yummy.

What’s the next step? I WANT MY BREAKFAST BURRITO, GODDAMMIT! I *will* wake up early enough at least *once* this week to make myself a damn breakfast burrito. Scrambled eggs (one whole, one white), a little Colby-Jack cheese, maybe some ham, maybe a little lettuce, definitely some salsa, and a wheat tortilla. Gonna be so good. Mmm.

Apart from that, I’m looking forward to moving on to the next workout on my PUSH DVD, and I’ll try the cardio workout again. Maybe I was just in a mood the one day I tried it last week.

Next weekend is the Anime Punch convention in Columbus. I need to plan ahead for potential evil eating. Maybe I’ll bring a resistance band and do some working out in the hotel room, or maybe I’ll make a concerted effort to step up the cardio this week. No matter how I deal with it, I will NOT let this weekend screw up my progress thus far.

Diet & Fitness Update, Week #9: Two Months

It occurred to me today that I never posted my weigh-and-measure from last week. So, let me throw that up here before I go do my PUSH workout for today.

I decided to count Thursday’s weight and measurements as my Week #9, instead of Saturday, because Thursday the 16th marked exactly two months on my fitness regimen. And here are the results:

Weight: 209.5 »» down three lbs from starting weight
Bust: 45.5″ »» down ½” from starting measurement
Chest (under the b00bs): 38.5″ »» down 1″
Waist: 44.5″ »» down ½”
Hips: 49.5″ »» down ½”
Neck: 14.25″ »» down 3/4″
Upper Arm: 13.5″ »» unchanged
Lower Arm: 10.5″ »» unchanged
Thigh: 26.25″ »» down ¼”
Calf: 15.75″ »» down ¼”

I still think I need to get myself a body fat monitor, though. (Maybe I’ll get one for my birthday…) These numbers still don’t really reflect the changes I’m seeing. These changes are slight, but noticeable to me. For instance, the fat on my abdomen — my gut, as it were — seems to be shrinking. I have a small pouch of empty skin beginning to form. And I’m happy about this. I’m not seeing the results I’d like… but in order to get results, I need to push myself more, and buckle down, and not coast along or do things half-assed.

I received my first PUSH DVD last Monday, and discovered that I may have underestimated myself on my fitness level. I marked myself as a beginner, and thus ended up with a first (and second) workout that involves no resistance at all, not even the resistance bands I received with the disc. The workout is relatively easy, compared to the ways I’d been challenging myself previously, although the upper body workout is challenging for me. I can see where the workout is going, though, and I’m willing to stick with it.

I’m also supposed to do 100 minutes of cardio per week, and I definitely didn’t reach that goal last week. For that matter, I only did the workout itself two of the three times I was supposed to. I’m going to work on improving both of those numbers this week.

I’ve been eating healthy, trying to stay from evening carbs, going a little heavier on the carbs for lunch. It seems to be working to keep me from afternoon hunger, especially if I eat a little smidge of my afternoon snack right when I get back from my after-lunch walk. Fools my mouth into thinking it’s had a snackie, I guess. I’ve also been keeping myself well-watered — in fact, I’m feeling a little odd without a water glass by my side right this moment. I could use a drink.

*goes upstairs and swigs out of the cold-water jug in the fridge*

As for my mood… I oscillate between being excited to lose the weight and get fit, and being depressed that I haven’t seen better results. Holding steady is certainly better than a slow gain, that’s for sure, but still. When it comes down to the moment in the morning when I know I should get out of bed and make some eggie-weggies, and maybe someday jog my ass around the block, I make the wrong decision and turn the alarm off and go back to sleep. Or, when I come home from work, I sit at the computer just a little too long and let myself get hungry before I start my evening workout, and then it’s all over. No workout, and possibly a less-than-stellar super-quick dinner.

I feel sometimes like my health and fitness is in a precarious balance. If I let myself slip, either physically or mentally, it’ll throw everything out of whack. I mean, I know I can always jump right back on, but it’s still frustrating to always need to be on guard. I feel like I’m thinking more about food now that I’m just eating to live than I did when I was living to eat.

But enough of this. My chicken is going to be done baking before my workout is done, at this rate.

I’m really not overly depressed or anything… I’m just… disappointed in myself, I guess. I expected more.

(PS – I read my diary from when I was ten years old last night. For my birthday, I got a purple jumpsuit from my best friend. It was a size 14. It didn’t fit. …Did I mention I was ten years old? And couldn’t fit into a size 14? Yeesh.)

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.