Thursday, May 31, 2012

Out of Gas

I punked out on my run this morning. I tried out the Map My Run app, and I made it to 2.26 miles and started walking. I was almost home, but not quite. Then I came home and tried to do some arm toning and ab exercises, but without a real plan, I don't think I worked very hard. Then I took a nap on the sofa for about 20 minutes. Then I went upstairs and crawled back in bed with Pete for another 10. Then I was late for work.

Something cool did happen on my run. The Map My Run app alerts you when you hit each mile, telling you your pace. It took me 11:40 minutes to cover my first mile. I wasn't too surprised--I'm always creaky the first few minutes of my run--but that pace wasn't acceptable. So I picked it up. And at about 20:30 minutes, I was at mile 2. That means that my second mile took less than 9 minutes. Rock on! Apparently that pace took it out of me, though, because I quit shortly after.

I don't know what my deal is. I was really tired today. Maybe I'm not giving myself enough sleep. I also saw an interesting article in my inbox this morning: "The 10 Biggest Fitness Mistakes that are Making You Fat." Terrible title. But this snippet caught my eye. Maybe my problem is fuel?

I get side aches very easily, so right now, I wake up, allow myself 5 sips of water (no more, no less), and go. Maybe I need to try fueling up. It would have to be something small that packs a big punch. What would that even be? I mean, if I drink too much water, I'm cramping up. Huh.

Anyway, that brings me to my tips for dealing with side aches, which I promised weeks and weeks back (not that anyone is waiting with bated breath).

When I get a side ache, I deepen my breathing. I pack my lungs as tightly as I can, and then I breathe out as slowly as possible. I also check my posture, straightening up my back and tucking my pelvis in. I suck in my stomach, too. I've read that the reason for side aches is strain to the connective ligaments that hold your organs in place. Did you know that most side aches occur on the right side? This is because your liver is a heavy organ and the bouncing up and down of running puts a lot of strain on the ligaments holding it in. When you breath deeply, your diaphragm lowers, so the ligaments aren't stretched as much. I think sucking your stomach in helps too because you're using your ab muscles to help stabilize your organs. Another reason I really need to strengthen my core.

I've found in the past few months that I can certainly run through a side ache. Often I'll get them at the beginning of my run, but if I keep going, it usually subsides. Provided I haven't had anything to eat or drink beyond my 5 sips of water.

I'm going to have to work on figuring out this fuel conundrum.

Speaking of fuel, I have a recipe to share:

Shrimp-Stuffed Avocados.

(Serves 4, but I don't have the points value for that. If you divide it among three servings and ditch one of the avocado halves, it's 7 points plus)

Combine 1 Tbsp reduced-fat cream cheese (at room temp), 2 Tbsp non-fat mayo, and 2 Tbsp 2% milk (or light cream).

When it's mixed smooth, add 3 Tbsp diced cucumber, 3 Tbsp diced celery, 1 tsp minced onion, 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley (we used the dried kind because some us don't like having huge bunches of parsley rotting in their fridge), a dash of salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup cooked tiny shrimp.

Cover and refrigerate for an hour (or, you know, 20 minutes if you have problems planning ahead like us).

Cut 2 avocados lengthwise, remove pits, and lay each half on a bed of mixed salad greens. Fill avocados with shrimp mixture. Yum!
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In: 30 Pounds Lost and Work Out Room Pics

Well, 30.4 pounds, to be exact. I'm at 169.2 lbs. Awesomes! So good to be in the 160s, finally. I now officially weigh less than I did on my 17th birthday, 10 years ago. W00t!

OK, so I've got the rest of the pictures from our workout room. 

First, a few before shots...

Very early stages
After we did some cleaning out
When the room was solely dedicated to Little C (look how young he is!)

We still need to find a set of dumbbells and a bench (our Craigslist find fell through this weekend), but the room itself is done. We busted butt last night to get the curtains and artwork up, and at about 11:30pm I brought my camera in to take pictures and got a "change battery pack" message. There was no way I was going to wait for the battery charge, so I fired up the trusty iPhone camera.

So first, each of the four corners of the room...

And the awesome art work. Yes we printed these images from the Internet. Why do you ask?

The mirror, the padded floor (great for "get-ups"!), and Cosmo sniffing the fan...

The curtains I hemmed so they perfectly cover the window and skim the ledge...

And a few older project that I think are funny:

The reinforcement Pete added to my treadmill (after I bought it from a friend) so the tray would stop falling off...

the wood Pete added to Cosmo's kennel so the gate would slide in and lock easily...

Coat hooks he used to hang our snowboards (Pete's in the foreground, mine in the middle, my sister's on the right)...

And from this weekend: a stopper to keep the gate from slamming into the wall when Cosmo pushes out of it...

No silly, you face the other way when you're getting your cardio in!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Almost There

Good gracious, I love a long weekend. It was so sad to drive in to work today--especially with a car crash in the left lane. My commute was an awesome way to start the work week. Not really.

Pete and I spent a good majority of the weekend working on our workout room, but it's still not quite complete. I'll give you a sneak peek. 

It was fun to work alongside Pete for once, even if it meant two separate trips to Ikea. But I'd say it was a great way to spend a rainy Saturday.

Of course, Pete had to mod the Ikea furniture. It just isn't a Pete project unless he busts out the drill. :)

Tonight we plan to hang some curtains (which I have to hem), then finish moving the rest of our stuff onto the new shelves. We also want to print off some images for some frames we bought, but I'm not sure if we'll have time for that. There's puppy kindergarten tonight and Cosmo needs to be there so he can shine.

He is such a GREAT dog. We took him over to visit some friends of ours (OK, they're mostly Pete's friends, but I've sort of appropriated them), who have a roommate with three dogs. The last time Cosmo visited, things didn't go so well. Cosmo came in like he owned the place and the other dogs ran him off (into Pete's lap for the rest of the night). This time, there was a little bit of barking, but for the most part they just sniffed each other. Cosmo tried to get some of them to play, but they got loud, and since the roommate was trying to sleep, we had to break things up. It will be great to go back some time when we can let them go at it!

While we were there, I got stuck talking to the roommate's girlfriend. I like meeting new people, but this girl was annoying. She's the kind that just kind of talks over everyone else--not very interested in actually conversing, but more about saying all the things she wants to say. And her old roommate owns a Shiba, so she had to tell me everything she knew about them. I like hearing information, but it bugs me when people tell me things like, "Shibas are known to be very dominant," and "you have to be more stubborn than the dog is stubborn," and "He's going to get a winter coat." Yeah. I know. I realize my dog is only a puppy still, but we did do our research. I don't want to come off as a brat; it wasn't the things she was saying (honestly--we hear this stuff a lot), it was the way she was saying it. It's hard to explain.

Anyway, the point to my story is that she kept telling me that Shibas are very difficult dogs, tough to train. Everyone thinks that. But Cosmo has actually been a great dog. It was a snap to potty train him, he's quickly learned every command we've ever taught him, he does pretty well on walks, he doesn't bark (even when strangers come to the door), he doesn't dig in the trash or jump up on the furniture or try to steal food off of the tables, and he comes every single time we call him. Last night I was putting away laundry and I had Cosmo up in the bedroom with me. He kept getting bored and running off and every time, I'd call him back to me and he'd come right away. Every time. Even though I didn't have any treats for him. Even though I didn't pet him or praise him when he came back a few times. Honestly, the worst thing he does is steal socks. He's obsessed with them. But he doesn't destroy them, he just hides them. Mine. 

But enough about my beautiful dog. In addition to enjoying him this weekend, I also tried out a project from Pinterest. I made a racer back tank from an old T-shirt. It turned out OK. As good as you'd expect a project where you just use scissors. 

I'm loving the bra straps and the pasty, pasty legs!

And I got a good amount of exercise into the weekend. I didn't work out on Saturday, but that was OK because I snuck that run in on Wednesday, so I still got in 6 workouts. On Sunday I ran in the hot hot heat (77 degrees and I was dying. How do people do this in the South?). I made it to 25:30, and then I had to pause my C25K app and walk for a few minutes before finishing up the last 4:30. On Monday, I did the HIIT routine, adding triceps dips to the mix, then I walk/ran Cosmo. And today I ran for 40 minutes, 3.5 miles. I have to pick up that pace, but I think it'll come with time. I so could have kept going, too. It's so much easier on a cool morning (55 degrees). I really want to get to 4 miles, but first I have to find a good route (and an app that goes for longer than 40 minutes...need to figure out the Map My Run app). 

Other highlights of the weekend involved buying my first Size Medium shirt in who-knows-how long...

And running out of points on Monday night...
This is how you do dinner in under four points: frozen veggies, 3 ounces of chicken, point-free stir-fry sauce, and a banana.
OK. That's my update. How was your long weekend? Do tell!
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Friday, May 25, 2012

OK, So I Guess I Knew That

So I kind of wish that I'd held off on that post about energy systems and high-intensity interval training until I finished researching it and had a chance to get my thoughts straight. After doing some more searching on the Internet, I realized that, really, that article kind of told me what I already knew: strength training is necessary to make your body efficient at burning fat, and circuit training is more effective than lots of cardio. In fact, I've done circuits before. And when I had a gym membership, I always did weight training in addition to cardio.

I guess it seemed like new information to me because the article took a different approach to understanding exercise than I've seen--starting with how your body works and then revealing the best way to work with it. Most of the other information I've read, such as magazine articles, just said, "Do this! It's better!" I was so impressed by the explanation the article provided, the logic behind these facts, that I didn't realize it was drawing the same conclusions I already knew. Since that post, I've realized the information wasn't that revolutionary, but still very interesting and helpful.

I've also realized (or remembered) since that post that you can totally combine the strength training with the intervals. I need to get back to paying attention to my muscles. I am itching to tone up my arms! And that's what I did this morning.

See, Pete and I have a plan: this three-day weekend, we're going to build up our workout room. I'm SO excited (it's been a while since Pete and I tackled a room, and it's always a lot of fun), and I can't wait to post the pictures here. But until that workout room is completed and we're able to procure a set of free weights, either from Craigslist or a store like Second Wind, I've got to do my toning using good ol' gravity and my body weight (clearly, there's more than enough there to substitute a dumbbell).

This morning, I got out my yoga mat and did a routine I found on Youtube: 20 lunges, 10 "get-ups" (because I'm not up to a burpee yet...can't do the push-up part), and 20 spiders. I repeated this routine for four sets, and it was TOUGH. Definitely a great way to get your heart rate up and do a little toning, although I had hoped it would work my arms a little more. After I did the routine, I took Cosmo on a 25-minute walk, where we'd sprint for about 20 seconds, then walk for 1 minute, sprint, then walk, sprint then walk. I did not tire Cosmo out, unfortunately. That damn puppy is a machine.

And you know what? I think trying out all these different types of workouts (no-equipment strength training this morning, pilates last night, the plank earlier in the week, the ab blast last week, and varied paces and distances for running) actually is having an effect on my body. I may have only netted one pound of weight loss over the past 3 weeks (SERIOUSLY. SUCKS.), but check out how flat my profile is looking!

And. Also. Last night I found a tick on Pete's back. I'm not sure I'm still so thrilled to be living in what is essentially "the woods." UGH!! The little m-fer would NOT come out, even when I held about 10 hot match heads to him and tried to suffocate him with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball. In the end I had to take a tweezers and pull. He took a small chunk of Pete with him, but at least his head didn't stay under the skin. Poor husband!

Luckily, when I checked over Cosmo, he was tick-free. But really, BLECH!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In Part 2: The stats

I'm down 1.8 pounds, at 171 even.

It's a loss. I'll take it. But truth be told, I'm not thrilled. I really wanted to break the 160s. It was an unrealistic expectation (lose three pounds in a week), but it didn't help that I peeked at the scale this Monday and saw this:

Oh well. This is good. With any luck I'll reach my 30-pound mark next week (if I can manage to lose 1.4 pounds somehow), and then I'll be able to celebrate it in a meeting. Wouldn't have been as fun if I'd have hit it today when I randomly dropped by the clinic to weigh in.

Ever onward!
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Wednesday Weigh-In Part 1: New Running Gear!

I got to work today and realized that there was an all-company meeting scheduled during my regular weight watchers meeting. A departmental meeting right after means I won't be able to make the noon meeting either. Huge bummer, because I am really looking forward to weighing in today! So I'll be heading to the clinic to weigh-in without a meeting later this afternoon. I'll post my results then. In the meantime, let me tell you about last night...

So for the past few weeks I've had some pain on the outer edge of my left foot when I walk and run. I've also noticed that my feet get pretty stiff when I go from sitting to walking and it takes a good 20 steps before they loosen up. I was pretty sure it had something to do with my 6-year-old tennies and the amount of running I've been doing. Then, about a week ago, Pete and I were picking up some Chipotle (Barbacoa burrito bowl for me with rice, pinto beans, corn salsa, lettuce, sour cream and no cheese--12 points!) and we saw that there's a Running Room store in the same strip. After puppy kindergarten and dinner last night, I grabbed my old shoes and moseyed on over. 

The sales people were super friendly and expressed pure horror at the idea that I've been running in my shoes. They had me take off my shoes, roll up my pants, and walk for them so they could assess my gait (I overpronate, which means my feet roll in too much). They also looked at the wear pattern on my shoes, pointing out that they are completely collapsed on the insides. 

You can kind of see how my shoe collapses inward here
See the inside wall of my shoe hanging over the sole? 

I tried on three pairs. The first ones, Asics, were insanely comfy--like walking on a cloud. The second pair, Brooks, were still comfy and felt beefier. The third pair, Sauconys, felt roomier and squeaked when I jogged to the other end of the store to test them out. 

I decided to go with those because they're wider than the other two. I get foot pain when I go ice skating, snowboarding, rollerblading, and when I wear certain shoes. I thought it was because my feet are wide, but the salesman last night said that my feet aren't actually that wide--they're just shaped weird so that my foot doesn't taper as much as the normal person's; they stay wider closer to the heel. So a lot of pressure gets put on the middle part of my foot. Inneresting! 

The Sauconys are much wider at the narrowest part than my Nikes were!

Anyway, I was afraid that the shoes were going to be very expensive, since I was at a specialty store. And truth be told, some of the prices I saw on the shoe wall were preetty high. But I told them my budget, so they tried to stick to the more affordable shoes and those on sale. And the manager gave me my Sauconys for 20% off. How nice! They've definitely earned my repeat business!

I was so excited to take these babies out for a spin that I decided to run this morning even though I never have time to run on Wednesdays. I figured if I woke up at 5am, I could get my run in and still be off to work by 7. But when I woke up at 5:30, I realized I'd forgotten to bump my alarm back a half-hour. I was so frustrated, but I decided to be stubborn and still run anyway. I figured I could run one of my favorite routes in 20 minutes, so I set out. It took me about 10 minutes more than I thought it would, but I still made it to work on time (actually, about 10 minutes late, but no big deal). And my run felt amazing! I had no foot pain, until I took those shoes off and started walking around the house in my socks. I did seem to get winded earlier, so I think the shoes force me to use my leg muscles more, which is just fine! They may be ugly as sin (don't they remind you of a comic book?), but they're comfy as hell!

Adding these shoes to the running gear I picked up with my birthday money a few weekends ago, and I'm set!

In compression capris (this shot was taken before I got the new shoes, obvyusleh) my Echo Park Elementary T-shirt from 1995?

By the way, I have a Cosmo running story to share:

On Monday, I couldn't bring myself to run in the morning (too tired), so I decided to go after work. I invited Pete and Cosmo along, figuring that since it's hard for Pete to keep my slow pace, he could run ahead with Cosmo, then walk, then run, etc. It all went according to plan at the beginning. We took my favorite route (out to Wescott, down it, and back). When we approached the corner of Lexington and Wescott, Pete ran with Cosmo up a hill to a field high above the sidewalk. I figured they'd cut across the field, and then meet me, but when I rounded the corner onto Wescott, they were nowhere to be seen. I kept running, thinking I'd run into them, but I didn't see them again until I turned up our street, where they were walking back my way. Turns out once they got up on the field, Cosmo flopped down and refused to move. Pete tried and tried, but Cosmo wasn't budging, so he scooped Cosmo up and carried him home. Pete said that when he picked up Cosmo, Cosmo gave him a look that said, "MY HERO!" :)

And some pics of the cutie...

His markings are starting to look really cool! Pete and I love the dark stripes on the sides of his neck!

He chewed up his Rabies tag the day we got it because he likes the grunge look. Kids.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Energy Systems - Whu?

I visit a number of blogs for inspiration. There are so many people trying to get fit, and I love reading their stories. I've been meaning to post a roundup of links for a while and I'm finally forced to do so as a preamble to today's post:

Whew! Think I got 'em all!

OK, so that was necessary because I got the subject for today's post from one of those blogs. And it's not even a recent post, but I just saw it today.

Are you still with me? I know I've distracted you with like a Million links to click. But if, by some chance, you're still reading this post, let me direct your attention to the true source of today's topic:

This article is fascinating reading. And if I still have your attention (even after link a-million-and-one), I'll try my best to sum it up: long sessions of lower-intensity cardio--like, oh, say, running for 30 minutes--isn't necessarily the best way to lose weight. In fact, it might stall your weight loss.

Basically, the crux of the article is that you need to do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to increase your metabolism, build muscle, improve performance, and make your body function better. Cardio is great for burning up fat stores, but it's not going to be very efficient at burning the fat unless you hit those anaerobic energy systems with non-cardio exercise sometimes. A lot of people out there focus way too much on cardio and do way too much of it, with little or no results. You can decrease the amount of cardio you do while increasing your results (weight loss) by incorporating more HIIT into your workout.

And that is definitely something I haven't done. This past week I've incorporated more strengthening exercises into my workout in the form of the plank exercise. You might even be able to consider it interval training, since I have to take brief rests between the different plank positions. But now I really want to come up with a HIIT routine that I can cycle into my workouts. I'm not quite sure how to do that. I don't have a gym membership or weights. I guess I could start with burpees, jump squats, and sprint/walk intervals, but I'm not sure that would give me a full workout--certainly not the 40 minutes of strength training recommended by this article. Pete and I have been talking about buying a weights set on Craigslist for forever and just this Sunday he suggested we try to find one this week, though. So maybe I could start as early as next week?

Looks like I'll be researching HIIT routines!

Oh, and if you're interested in getting your intervals on, there's a free interval timer app for the iPhone that I found today. Just search for "Interval Timer - For Fitness..." (your phone should be able to automatically fill in the rest of the search). Looks good!

Update: OK, after more research, I'm understanding this more. You replace cardio with HIIT for the most part. You do this in addition to your strength-training (I had thought strength training was combined with HIIT). Then, if you have a slow metabolism (Hello!) you can do some cardio. So, for example, I think I'll try to do strength training for 40 minutes, followed by a 15-minute HIIT routine (either intervals on the treadmill or something like this) 3 times a week. The other three days, I'll do my runs. When I get strength-training equipment, that is. :)
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Prom Night!

This weekend we loaded up the car and drove to Wisconsin to hang out with my mom's side of the family -- outside of a wedding for once! It was such a fun night!

We were there to celebrate a milestone for my cousin Mark. He's just made it 25 years since having a heart transplant, which puts him in an exclusive group of heart transplant survivors who have made it that long. He was only seventeen when he had the transplant, after being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy just a few months before. 

It was 1987, and Mark was very sick, but refused to stay home from his senior prom, which was being held on a boat. He donned a tux and joined his date aboard, even though his parents say he was noticeably weak. That night, a teenager died in an auto accident, and his parents donated his organs. His heart would go to Mark. The hospital called Mark's parents, and they spent an hour trying to get a hold of the boat. Eventually, they managed to flag it down on the radio, and it pulled in close to shore so that Mark could wade out to a waiting state trooper car in his tux. He went to the hospital straight from prom and underwent the transplant that saved his life. 

Twenty-five years later, he's married to my cousin Jamie, and father to two little girls.  He lives a completely normal life and loves chocolate. He is awesome. And so was the party Jamie threw for him--an 80's prom on a boat! Most people attending dressed up (the fun people, anyway). 

It was a BLAST!

Me, Pete, and my sister Abbie (and my cousin Kathy)
Pete and I decided to get the dancing started school dance-style
Pete and me on the boat

My cousin Matt in the shorts with his wife Brenda, and my cousin Jamie dancing with Mark

Mark and Jamie (Mark had a garter around his arm and Jamie was wearing an Olympic jacket of Mark's from the 80's (he was an AMAZING athlete in high school before the transplant)
Pete and my cousin Matt sharing a tender dance
Pete getting handsy and grabbing Matt's fanny...pack
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Friday, May 18, 2012


Quick challenge update: the last two-and-a-half days I've zigzagged my points exactly: 37 points Wednesday, 26 points yesterday, 35 points today. I ran at 4.5 mph for 15 minutes yesterday morning, then killed myself with the plank exercise (soooo hard). I felt amazing afterward. This morning I ran my 5K, then did my last day of 100 push-ups this week. My abs feel like they've been pummeled and my arms are absolutely dead.

Remember my post last week about my new softball team and how "...even though I'm not much better now than I was then, I'm coming off as a better player by the way I carry myself"?

Well that was a pile of B.S.

At last night's game, I discovered I'm still timid as hell. I actually didn't even play. We brought Cosmo to the game (so he could charm everybody by eating gravel, getting repeatedly tangled in his leash, and trying to swallow a softball), so we arrived late. As I watched our team play in the field for the current inning, I overheard a few members of the team and their friends criticizing poor plays from the sidelines. And I realized, "I don't want these people to be annoyed with me if I play poorly." I mean, I really like this group of people. I think they're hilarious. And I just didn't feel prepared to get out there and have a great game. So I didn't even try.

And the whole time I was annoyed with myself. It's this confidence thing, man. I know I can run. I know I can throw. And I know I can probably catch. But I picture myself out in the field, running for a ball, extending my glove, but not far enough. Or jumping for a ball, but not high enough. Or running up to meet a grounder, but being too timid to glove it. These are all moves I've done in the past. I don't get it. If I'm already lunging for the ball, why wouldn't I extend my glove that last few inches? It's like I freeze. And that type of missed play is the most vexing to onlookers. Last night, the spectators would get so disappointed: "She just needs to get her glove lower!" "There were three of them right there--why did they miss that?"

I suppose on some level it's tied to body image. But I honestly can't explain it. All I know is that I don't see this phenomenon happening to people who have been thin or athletic their whole lives. They know they can trust their body to do exactly what they want it to. They have this trust, this confidence.

I see it in Pete when he zooms around on his rollerblades like they are the only footwear he's ever used, while I'm slowly rolling down a hill, legs locked, butt out, hands in front of me, screaming for him to come stop me. I see it when he's plowing down a hill on his snowboard, while I ride my edge so slowly that I end up stopping early and have to limp my board along the last few meters of the hill. I saw it in our friend Brandon last night, who was running, jumping, rolling to the ball. They're not afraid to fall; they're not afraid to fail. I look at them and think, "I bet I could do that. If only I would."

And I have no idea how to make myself.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In: Oh Hell No.

Friends, I'm writing from a dark place today. I was up .6 pounds this week, which brings me to a total gain of .8 pounds since my awesome loss a few weeks ago. I weigh 172.8 pounds today. And I cannot handle it.

This last week I tightened up my workouts. I added two Ab(bie) Blast exercises and did three days of the 100 push-ups program. I ran a 5k on five mornings. I walked my dog, played in a softball game, and took walking breaks at work. I left 30 points on the table this week, but consumed what I thought would be enough of my weekly points. I tracked religiously and drank my water. So what. is. the. DEAL???

I've hit plateaus before. And usually I'm a little frustrated, but still plug along. But I've tasted too much success at this point; I'm addicted to losing. And it's been two long weeks since I got my fix. This will not stand.

I'm not a person who crumbles under pressure. So what did I do when I saw that number on the scale?

1. I grinned and bore it.

I clapped for the fellow WW members who had milestone weight losses. I listened appreciatively during the discussion while people gave their grocery shopping tips ("Shop in the outside perimeter of the store"). I masked my extreme frustration as my least favorite WW member interjected her "wisdom" about ten times during the meeting.
Judgmental side rant: Seriously, this woman is tall and thin and joined weight watchers because she wanted to lose a couple pounds (think under 10). When she hit goal, a FEW weeks later, she gave a big, weepy speech where she told us that she never had to work to keep the weight off until she hit the 40s and realized she'd gained a few pounds. Her eating was "out of control" so she decided to join WW to get some help. She dropped the pounds and "found [her]self." I'd say that she dropped to about 130 with a 5'7" frame. And that was that. 
Except it wasn't. Because she became a lifetime member, which means she gets to come to the meetings for free, so long as she stays within range of her goal weight. And she comes to every single meeting, speaking like she's an expert, telling those of us who have been part of the program much longer than her and who have lost much more weight than her how it's done. 
She's done nothing to me; I have no reason to dislike her; but I seethe when she talks. I'm sorry, but it's true.
2. I analyzed my past performance.

I hopped online and pulled up the charts and graphs you get when you use the online tools. This is why we track what we eat: when the going gets tough, we can look back and try to figure out WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON. This is what I noticed:

There's not a terribly strong correlation between the amount of weekly/activity points I consume beyond my daily points amount and my weight loss, although I did seem to have luck when I kept that amount around 50. Which makes sense because WW give you 49 weekly points.

I circled the weeks where I had a good loss

The zigzag pattern I made with my daily points consumption did seem to have an effect. If my zigzags were more severe (used a lot of points one day, and just at or under my daily points another day), I was successful. This is interesting.

Here's a successful week:

Here's an unsuccessful week:

3. I came up with a plan.

I'm going to use the zigzag pattern of a successful week and recreate it.

I'm going to change up my workout. I'll run the usual 5k 3 days a week, and the other 3 days, I'm going to run 15 minutes instead of 30, at a much faster pace. Then I'm going to do this plank exercise routine.

I'm still going to do my push-ups, but I don't think I'll return to the Ab(bie) Blast just yet. I wasn't a huge particular reason...just felt like it wasn't the most effective use of a workout.

If I don't lose this week, I'm going to beat my body into submission. This will probably include running and adding in three crossfit exercises.

If that doesn't work, I'm going to go absolutely ballistic. :)

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Monday, May 14, 2012

In the Backyard

I mentioned in my post yesterday that we got to spend some time in the backyard with Cosmo this weekend. Today I'm posting the pictures I took. The backyard is definitely starting to look great, thanks to Pete's hard work. He finished building the retaining walls and filling them with river rock.


I really wish I'd taken a good "before" picture, because you could see just how dramatic an improvement this is. Basically, there used to be way more rock than was necessary, with weeds sprouting up in it and a flimsy black plastic barrier barely containing it. Now we have an actual patio with two very neat sections of rock. And soon we're going to build planters to put in the rocks. I'm really looking forward to that project!

Now his latest endeavor is growing grass in the area that used to be covered by rock. While it grows, we're using a bridge he made to get from the patio to the yard so we don't step on the grass seed and kill it.

Oh, look! The puppy! :)

Love this action shot! I caught the ball mid-air! Oh, and in case you're wondering, that is a log cabin in the background. One of our neighbors thought it would be a fabulous design for their house. I think it's silly, but some of our friends really like that house. To each his own, I guess.

All smiles...until that leash tried to attack him...

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