Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tomorrow starts a new week and a new month

And I'm back from vacation and everyone is healthy. What excuse do I have to not make this a great month? I am actually looking forward to going to the gym tomorrow and was a bit sad I can't squeeze it in tomorrow morning. My son has an appointment at 11 am which makes a 9:30 to 10:30 class pretty much impossible. Plus, I don't like that class for Zumba anyway as the studio is in the basement and is long and narrow, making it hard to see the instructor, but I wanted to go anyway! I'll have to do a class in the evening.

Which, of course means, I did not get derailed from vacation and family sickness. And I hope that also means that this is truly becoming a lifestyle change and not just a 'diet'. And while vacation was fun. I'm also ready to be back home doing my normal stuff, eating my normal foods and doing my normal activities.

And, as an update from yesterday, I realized I had stepped on the scale and read it wrong. I thought it read 190. No, it read 195. Kind of bummed me out this morning when I realized it as that means I didn't lose hardly anything this month, but then I cut myself a bit of slack. I had kids sick or half sick for 3 weeks and we vacationed for a week and I still managed to squeak out a small loss and I can just keep building on that next month. It's not like I fell off the wagon. I still lost. Some months will just be like that.

When I got home this evening, I stepped on the scale, fully clothed with sandals on and I weighed a pound more than I did in the morning, naked on the day we left for vacation, so it probably will mean I still managed a loss for the month (and for my whoosh 10 days), but a much smaller one due to less exercise and more food this past 2 weeks. But that is still good!

Getting really tired. Driving for 6 hours wears you out. Funny how sitting still for that long can do that to you!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Had a chance to hop on the scale

After a rough day of staying within my calories/ eating style yesterday, I had a chance to hop on the scale this morning. If that is correct, I've lost another 4 pounds while on vacation. Should be more if I were eating lower every day as this is the time of the month I tend to lose like gan busters, but I also haven't eaten above maintenance level and sometimes a bit lower. My husband says that the scale is not biased in my favor, he thinks, because it has him at weighing 176 and that would mean he gained about 5 pounds over vacation. And while he expects he gained a couple, he hopes not by that much. I'll know on Monday morning for sure, but that's feeling pretty good!

Today we are just hanging out with family in Connecticut. They have a backyard pool and so we a just about to jump in. PizZa tonight for supper. I just didn't realize how hard it would be to stay on target with diet while on vacation. Like yesterday, my husband's cousin baked a bunch of Subway cookies. I tried one of raspberry cheesecake cookies and my goodness are those dangerously delicious. I had two... That is 420 calories. That is like my typical lunch...ugh.. But... Tody is good so far. And on Monday we'll be back to normal.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Losing my double chin and gut, but getting saggy skin

While clothed, you can't see the saggy skin on my tummy. My tummy reminds me of pictures from the Saggy Baggy Elephant. My arms have bat wings, but the worst, I think, is my neck. With the fat gone around my chin (or most of it) my neck and chin is wrinkly. And not so much old lady wrinkly (though it is probably part of it), but loose skin wrinkly. I sure hope some oAttuat shrinks up!

Good night of sleep last night and now we are getting ready for brunch and a day at an old village and then off to Connecticut to visit family. Our younger son was whimpering last night because he didn't want to leave Boston. He had a really good time. Plans are, if possible, we will come back next year as this conference my husband goes to is every year. He went solo last year, but we said we would like to join him again if he goes again next year.

Arent you proud of me? I posted in the morning!

Stats for 7/29/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: ???.?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Packing up, the aquarium and MIT

Today was out last day in Boston. I spent the morning packing up. Now how it took an hour to pack up, I don't know. Getting things on ice that needed to be chilled. Putting things in proper places depending on whether it needed to be in the cabin of the car or in the trunk and so on. I did that, got the kids breakfast, showered, dried my hair, put on a bit of makeup, made sure the kids were dressed and clean all the while thenonly thing my husband did was to shower and use the toilet. Pretty typical.

Anyway, we got out of the room at 11 am and headed to the aquarium where I was meeting up with a mom friend and her kids. We discovered the train wasn't running at our area, so instead of one change, we needed to take a shuttle bus and two changes to get there making us late. Fortunately, her train was late too and we got there at the same time.

Of course, as is typical when two moms meet up with their kids, not much time to chat with each other, but it was still so nice to finally meet up. Great kids too.

My younger son, on the autism spectrum, though, was beginning to get overwhelmed. I don't know if it was all the people at the aquarium or the busy three days we've had. So that part was a bit difficult. Later when we got to just walking around, he was much better.

So, the next thing we did was to go to the MIT area. First we stopped at a highly recommended ice cream place. The little guy got one scoop of cake batter ice cream and one scoop of Belgian chocolate ice cream. Older son got blackberry ice cream and green tea ice cream and my husband got chocolate hazelnut ice cream and bourbon ice cream. I had the leftovers of my younger son's. Which, fortunately for my diet, there wasn't much left.

We walked to MIT and then we walked to a recommended pizza joint. It's a real hole in the wall, but great pizza. The pizza crust is cracker crisp and thin and then yummy and creative toppings. Little guy had plain cheese, I had on regular sauce, roasted potatoes, dried cranberries, crisp bacon and cilantro with mozzarella cheese. My older son had garlicky green olives with feta cheese and goat cheese over a garlicky olive oil sauce. And my husband had roasted thyme mushrooms, roasted red peppers, green peppers and over Rosemary tomato sauce and smoked mozzarella cheese. Soooooo good.

We walked back the 1.5 miles to our hotel and then got the rest of our stuff and drove to our next hotel. And here I am, sitting in the dark filling you all in on my day as my 6 year old won't fall asleep beside me.

Walked another 5 miles today (and probably more, but the pedometer wasn't picking up all my steps when I started wearing the lumbar pack around my waist, near the pedometer.

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: ???.?
Total hours exercised in 2011: 230
Total miles walked in 2011: 634/1000

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Another great day on vacation!

The kids (and us adults) got a good night's sleep last night which made it easier to have a great day. I was waffling back and forth about going on the duck tour or not after I saw the price tag. It would cost $79 for the tour and that's bare bones. That's without the $20 photo and without buying a whistle. We didn't do any of the extra stuff... It was hard enough to cough up the $80 for an 80 minute tour. But, the tour guide was really good and both the kids rally enjoyed it. My youngest even got to drive the duck boat once it was out on the river. That totally made his day.

Then we went to the Museum of Science. Again, another whopping price tag. I have gotten used to Washington D.C.'s free museums so it is shocking to see how much these things cost in other parts of the country! But again, it was money well worth it. Both kids enjoyed and if they enjoy, I enjoy too. My husband joined up with us around 4 pm and we stayed until closing.

Lunch there killed me. There were no healthy options and I was starving. I realized after lunch that if I ate nothing else for the rest of the day I would be OK! But that wasn't going to happen. For dinner we went to an Afghanistan restaurant and I had a delicious grilled chicken and grilled summer veggies over a green salad with vinaigrette- normal food for me. In the end, I ate at maintenance level today. Walked 10,500 steps too.

Tomorrow we are going to walk around Harvard and then go to the aquarium. There I will meet up with another cyber friend and her kids. I know we'll all have fun. Then, we will drive to Strubridge, MA. That has an early 19th century village. Should be fun for everyone, I hope and definitely a change in pace.

Squeaked this post in just in time!

Stats for 7/27/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6 Now: ???.?
Total hours exercised in 2011: 228
Total miles walked in 2011: 629/1000

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Loads of fun today!

Tried to post this morning, but had too many distractions. But we are here in Boston and had a great day of sightseeing in old historic Boston. The weather was perfect and I even had a chance to meet up with a cyber friend for the second time.

Eating is definitely a bit off. I'm missing greens big time and my carbs are too high. I never realized how carb heavy the restaurant diet is until I shouldn't have it! Of course, despite not trying to eat too much, my calorie intake is too high. I can feel it. 'm not going hog wild or anything like that, but foods are just heavier in general. Like for lunch I had a grilled chicken breast with fries. I could have skipped the fries, but I would have remained too hungry and i'm too cheap to order a full meal, eat one portion of it and so far nowhere we have stopped has had nice salad or nice vegetable options.

Tomorrow we are staying mostly in Cambridge except for the Duck Boat tours. The little guy should love that and it will be fun enough for the older one and I too.

Walked 12500 steps today!

Stats for 7/26/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now ???.?
Total hours of exercise in 2011: 226
Total miles in 2011: 624/1000

Monday, July 25, 2011

Vacation here we come!

Spent the day yesterday readying everything for our trip. A minor miracle we are ready and it's only because I worked all day yesterday on getting the laundry done, snacks baked, gifts for family put together (baked goods) and packing. It's a 6 day trip and a lot of time in the car, so it takes quite a bit more prep than a trip with flying.

Only got 5.5 hours of sleep last night and so I was happy to see any weight loss at all for this morning. Down another .4. Boy am I tempted to take the scale! But... can't and won't. I'll take my pedometer though to see how much I walk. That should motivate me too as I'll be burning a lot of calories too! I don't need the scale! I have packed a workout video and a set of hand weights though. I can do this!!! And still enjoy myself too!

I need to update my photo on the side for reaching 60 pounds lost, but not today. I'll have my son take a picture of me and when we come back I'll update it. I have another minor goal coming up too and I'll post a photo then too. When I lose 6 more pounds I will have lost 66.8 pounds which is how much my 6 year old weighs (he's a very tall and big (not fat, though, just big!) 6 year old. I want to take a photo with the two of us together as another milestone reached. Can't do that with my older son, though. Fortunately, I don't need to lose 135 pounds.

OK... off to get the car ready!

Stats for 7/25/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 194.8 (60.8 pounds lost)
Exercise total hours in 2011: 223
Total miles walked/biked in 2011: 618/1000

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Finally!!! Down 60 lbs!!!!!

Yes, I need that many exclamation points! I'm finally there. Ok, to most of you, it probably doesn't feel like an eternity to get here, but 3 weeks ago I was this close  to getting to 60 pounds lost and then I hit my monthly stall out. I was less than a pound away and then: nothing... just to wait out the stall out while my hormones made weight loss impossible.

But, those hormones can't do that forever and so finally, I've reached 60 pounds lost! Woohoo!!! And now, I also weigh the same as when I got married - the same that I weighed almost 18 years ago. I'm 6 pounds to getting to my college weight (or what it was most of college). I'm ten pounds from getting to my previous weight loss low. And 16 pounds from my high school graduation weight. Those are all attainable numbers now - all of them and that feels amazing!

And, since I'm nowhere near my monthly stall out yet, there's really no way I can get back over and need to put that slice of pizza back (well, unless of course, I eat a slice or two of pizza tonight and add some water weight).

Feeling good! Everyone's getting healthy and I'm having my monthly weight loss whoosh!  OK, off to Zumba!

Stats for 7/24/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 195.2
Total number of hours exercised in 2011: 222
Total miles walked/biked in 2011: 614/1000

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life maybe returning back to normal for real?

I jinxed myself a week and a half ago with saying life was returning back to normal after having a sick kid for 5 days. I had a few days reprieve and then another sick kid for a full week! It threw us off even more and this time it affected my workout schedule. I went from 6 hours working out in a week to two. But, this morning my son's coloring was better. I felt his head and it felt normal. To be sure, I had him take his temperature under the arm like I have the past several days. The other days under the arm it was 101.5 (equivalent to 102.5 if taken in the mouth). This morning it was 97.1. Yay!!!

We had breakfast and then I went to BodyPump. I was kind of tired this morning, but it felt really great to work out and I hadn't gotten weaker. If anything, the arm work actually felt a tad easier. The other workout I had done was a weights workout, so that probably helped. Tomorrow morning I'll do Zumba to get things back on track.

Our vacation was put on hold and had the possibility of being completely canceled, but with my son feeling better today, and us not needing to travel until Monday, it's looking more promising. We'll just flip-flop what order we do things. And, if I'm lucky, we'll make a trip up to Norwich, VT to King Arthur Flour. Only I would want to go to the bakery flour central! Me loves to bake bread!

Feel my mood lifting now that I know my son is feeling better and our lives are on the verge to returning to normal.

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 196.2 (New all time low and this close to losing 60 pounds!)
Exercise total hours in 2011: 221
Total miles walked in 2011: 610/1000

Friday, July 22, 2011

Well, mini vacation is put on hold and the irony

My son is still sick. We were supposed to leave for vacation this morning. Instead we aren't going anywhere at least for today and probably for tomorrow. The only possibility is that we could try to make Boston as my husband has to be there for a conference and then go to Connecticut the following weekend. But honestly, none of it is looking like it will happen.

Took my son to the doctor yesterday. He's been on an antibiotic for 3 days (two days yesterday) and the doctor said it could be that the antibiotic still isn't taking effect as sometimes it takes 3 days, but even she was skeptical. Only thing we can't rule out is mono. If it's mono, he might not be ready to go anywhere, depending on how he feels. There's really no question of 'but he might be contagious' because you are contagious with mono for at least 6 months after getting it, perhaps up to 18 months and since you carry the virus always, you could be carrying it and passing it all your life. It only spreads through saliva, so as long as he's not kissing someone on vacation and not sharing utensils and water glasses or containers, he won't pass it to anyone. So, it's really all about how he feels and since mono is a long, slow recovery, vacation might be out completely.

The irony of it all is that I was worried about missing my whoosh and exercise during vacation. I've only exercised ONCE this week! It's the longest I've gone without exercise yet. I think it finally caught up with me  - the interrupted sleep, the whacko scheduling and having a sick kid. I was so sleep deprived yesterday that I wasn't even making much sense and kept forgetting to do things.

I hope things return back to normal. My eating is fine, but exercise finally took a back seat after almost 3 weeks of sick kids. We had a few days reprieve and that's it. I just mentally worn out and need a vacation - Ha! Ha! Ha! So funny! Ugh...

Well, the good news, right on cue, the whoosh has started. Even a day earlier than last month. At least my body is being kind!

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 197.4

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Basically ready for our mini vacation

Yesterday I finished up everything I needed to do to get ready for our trip. Now it's just packing and finishing up the laundry (two loads left).

So much goes into planning a trip. You have to think about what you need to bring - the clothes, toiletries, entertainment for the kids, and since we have super picky boy, foods and so on. Then you need to think about your house. If you have a pet, what do to with it. If you have a garden, who to take care of that. And then little things like making sure you use up the milk and other perishable foods in the refrigerator, have things put away, laundry done, garbage out and so on.

Now my mother in law will be here, so she has the cats in mind and we don't need to worry too much about perishable foods, but some - like the HUGE bunches of chard I just bought need to be eaten. Yet, she isn't into yard work, so I had to get someone to water the potted plants. I still don't know what we should do for the garbage and recycling. Maybe I can ask a neighbor to kindly help her roll it out and back in (I know... this is something she SHOULD be able to do, but she doesn't seem to be able to).

And, I thought about what to do to keep up with my efforts with this new lifestyle. Now, if I were already at goal, I would probably relax a bit, but I'm not in the maintenance level of things. I'm in the active level of changing my lifestyle, getting more fit and eating lower calorie. Sure, OK, taking a week to be at maintenance is a choice I could make, but when you are on a roll and feel like you're in a good place, you want to keep plugging along, not put on the brakes and stop. There's always that lingering fear you'll never get geared up again. So, I am making plans on how to handle vacation while keeping on plan.

First, I will keep to my low carb meals, except I will indulge (a little bit) in a dessert if we stop for one). I will pack with us, cheese sticks, protein shakes and protein bars to supplement meals if I need to (like if things are too carb rich - like a sandwich lunch - I would skip the bread and eat some of those other things instead). I also decided to take a couple fitness videos with me. We are taking with us a portable DVD player, so I bought a couple of DVDs I can do in the hotel room or in the fitness center - one is Ripped in 30 and the other is 30 Day Shred. If I feel our daily activities are lacking, I can do one of these and feel I'm doing something proactive while on vacation. I'll try one out tonight to see how I like it.

I figure if I feel good about my choices and activity level, I will feel good about this vacation and when I come back, I shouldn't feel like I'm starting at ground zero again with the fitness classes especially. No one likes feeling all weak during a workout after they were starting to feel strong.

Of course, we're making all these plans to go when our oldest son is still sick. If it follows the same pattern as it did as our younger son, he should be feeling much better today and basically fine on Friday and perfect on Saturday. So far the viruses for both of them have played out exactly the same. It seems the sickness is a viral infection and then the little guy developed a bacterial infection. We're still not convinced the older one has a bacterial infection, but it's being treated for it, just in case (due to the white spots on the tonsils - which could be puss or lymphatic tissue).

Keep your fingers crossed that we actually get to take this vacation!

Stats for 7/21/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now 198.8 (third day in a row)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another one of those 'eh' days.

So, my day starts out early yesterday because both my kids were up early - and yep, my teen is still sick. We stayed upstairs until my mother in law and her guest were up and about downstairs which wasn't too hard to do as our family room is a nice place and there was food and drink for the kids up there too (we have a small fridge in the room).

Then I started to get ready to go to the BodyPump class I had signed up for. Well, first my little guy was dawdling. He was in the middle of his own made up game and didn't want to be interrupted. So, I waited. Then we went down, had breakfast, got my sick son to eat and drink and then got ready to go. But then I got waylaid by my mother in law's guest. Ugh, that guy can talk and talk and doesn't understand the social cues to stop talking and I'm not assertive enough with guests/friends to say, "I have to go now!"

I finally get out of the house and felt timing would be close, but I should make it. Wouldn't you know it, I hit every single red light on the way there. I get there and go to check in and I'm one minute late - my spot has been taken. For this class (and only this class) you need to check in no later than 10 minutes before the class starts. I checked in 9 minutes before it started. Ugh!!! The only good thing about it is that my son who loves that gym the most was OK with not going. Phew. So, instead we went to the grocery store which was what we were going to do after the gym anyway. I got everything we needed, or so I thought, and we went home. While I was putting everything away I realized I forgot the most important thing on the 'need to buy list'. I forgot peanut butter! Crap... we were completely out and my son eats it every day. So, after lunch for all of us, I set out for a second trip to the grocery store.

To make it worth my trip, I didn't go for just the peanut butter. I also got the things we will need for our upcoming trip. Stuff for snacks, sandwiches and for the gifts we will bring. The family we are staying with always gives us something when we visit or they visit us. So, we need to do the same. Since baking/cooking is what I'm good at, I decided to bake and they love the stuff I make. That I'll do on Thursday.

OK, so home again. Checking on the kids and planning supper. Rain was creeping in so the plan of grilling went out the window, so I made pasta for the rest of the crew and just ate the meat and some veggies for myself. Now, the plan I had made for myself when I missed that weight lifting class was to go to a class in the evening - a cardio one, but a class at 6:30 pm is a hard fit. Especially with a sick kid, guests, husband not home and so on. I just couldn't swing it and I really didn't want to do cardio. Finally I remembered, "Duh, Melissa. You have videos for strength you can do in the basement." So, that was the new plan.

Putzed around with the kids in the evening. My older son was feeling worse, so when my mother in law got home she checked his throat - puss. Nice. So much for making him gargle with salt water to keep infections at bay. But, since my mother in law is a doctor, it saved us a trip to the doctor and pharmacy. She always has adult strength antibiotics at home and now that our son is an adult in size, it helps a lot.

Finally I got down to the basement and did the weight workout and it was tough! Well, like all weight classes, you can make it tougher by increasing your weights and I have gotten considerably stronger since I last did that video. That was nice to feel and see. I used to use 2 and 5 pound hand weights. Last night I was using 8s and 10s and for a few, 5s. I didn't need the chair to assist in balance and I was able to do all 50 of the girly push-ups for the first time and all the triceps dips. Of course, my arms felt like rubber after that, but they should.

At least I slept well last night. up a bit early, but slept well. I have a BodyStep class today, so I'm hoping nothing will derail me today. My older son is on an antibiotic now so he should start feeling better and otherwise I just need to start preparing for our trip. Starting with catching up on laundry. We really try (on these super hot days) to not do things in the heat of the day, so I'll start laundry this morning and continue in the evening when it's a bit cooler. Though it's all relative these days. It's miserably hot and getting more so! Yuck!

And, pretty sure that ovulation was yesterday. Yay!!! Now it means 3-4 more days of holding water and then the whoosh should start! Yippee!!!

Stats for 7/20/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 198.8
Workout hours in 2011: 220
Total miles walked/biked in 2011: 606/1000

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And here's the expected gain!

Right on cue, I'm up a bit to about a pound today and I expect ovulation today or tomorrow. That means I'm just about 3 pounds over my all time low, and compared to last month, I did do better with keeping the water weight to a minimum. My hope was not to go back over 200 pounds again and maybe that will happen if I ovulate today (and not tomorrow some time). That also means that I will need to shed these nearly 3 pounds of water weight before I start really seeing any new loss for this cycle. Of course, there has to be more water weight, it's just the unknown water weight for now. But, I will very likely not know what that is as I will be on vacation during that time! Argh!!!

We made hotel reservations for the first half of our stay last night (the latter half has been made for awhile) and I'm beginning to pencil in other plans. I hope to meet up with some cyber friends when in and around Boston. That would be great! My husband is also planning to meet up with a college friend who lives in Boston, but like last year his wife and kids are already in Croatia (where the parents are from), so it will just be this friend.

I am beginning to become excited about it. We haven't taken any trip at all for a couple years and with my youngest getting older and older our trips can become more filled and active and I remember us loving Boston. We went there a couple months after we were married.

Not much else. My younger son is all well. My older son seems to be on the mends. Going to a body pump class today after missing any form of exercise for 3 days. Eating was on target, but movement was not. But that's life working around being busy and sick kids. At least I want to get back to the gym. And so does my younger son. I even chose the class at his favorite KidSpace gym to make him extra happy. Stopping at the grocery store afterward too.

Stats for 7/19/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now 198.8

Monday, July 18, 2011

Getting our mini vacation planned

This Friday we are starting a mini vacation. We are going first to visit family in Connecticut. We will be there the Friday evening through the day on Sunday night. On Monday we will drive to Boston to and spend the day there or stop somewhere on the way there at some site. On Tuesday and Wednesday my husband will be at a conference in Cambridge, so the kids and I will be on our own during the day and then we can get together to do something in the evening. We'll come home on Thursday. So, really it's a 6 day trip.

Of course, this trip is timed to where right when I usually see the big weight loss. Normally, I would say that I would plan to not gain. A vacation spent at maintenance and then starting back up where I left off when we get back. Basically, making good decisions (like still keeping it lower carb with no rice, bread, pasta) and tasting sweets, but not over indulging. My guess is that we will be active all day so I won't worry so much about the missed exercise. Plus I'm sure the hotel will have equipment if I'm desperate for movement, but again... I'm not going to be anal about that.

Problem with this is my body's weight loss pattern. You all have seen it by now. I really don't lose an ounce for 2.5-3 weeks and then I lose everything I will lose for that month from post ovulation until my period, so 7-10 days. It's not some way of me mentally sabotaging myself by eating more for a few weeks and not exercising. I am extremely consistent. It's simply that  during my period I bloat, then I might lose a teeny bit of that and then I gain water weight for ovulation, hold onto that for a few days after ovulation (my body probably preparing/hoping for a fertilized egg to protect) and then when it's obvious I am not pregnant, it releases all the water weight it's been building up. I literally lose all my weight for the month in that 7-10 days and it usually works out to a pound a day!

I really don't know how I will mentally handle two months of no weight loss if I go too overboard on vacation. Because a day or two after vacation it will be that time of the month again and onto another stall out until the latter half of August. I know that shouldn't be that difficult, but it is when you are so good and so consistent to not get rewarded for that effort. Yep, rewards are important! And I haven't been able to change that pizza pie for over a month because I didn't quite get to 60 pounds lost this past month! I want to get down to two slices people!

So, that's what's on my mind. I'm trying to think of strategies to help me stay on track. Of course it helps that I really need to watch my simple sugar intake and knowing that I have another blood test in a month's time that will read my sugar levels over the last three months. Last reading was just on the cusp of perfect, so I would like to keep it that! That means to continue with the no pasta, breads, rice as always. That, for the most part, is easy to follow. Desserts. Now that will be tougher. It's vacation and we'll want to try new things. I have to decide will I eat some or taste some? Not sure. But more, when eating out or at family's, how do I control portion size? We don't eat at chain restaurants, so there will be no figuring out calorie counts ahead of time. I guess I'll just have to try to stick to the known - meat and veggies or beans and veggies. I should also take a cooler full of foods for my younger son and probably for me - some protein shake mix and protein bars. I can't think of anything else I can do right now, but I do want to have fun and enjoy -including good foods while also keeping some semblance of a good eating plan in place. Once I'm at maintenance, I won't worry as much about a few pounds gained during vacation as I can just take them off the next month, but doing that now just means stalling out or relosing the pounds I just lost and that's just too hard to deal with mentally right now. Staying focused month after month is trying at times.

Stats for 7/18/11:

Beginning 255.6  Now: 198.0

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Full Sunday, but a good Sunday for the most part

We had a brunch to get to on Sunday. We were looking forward to it, but waking up the crew was difficult this morning and getting out the door at a reasonable time was even more difficult. No way to post this morning.

We got there and I was a bit apprehensive about food choices. Brunch could be very carby and I don't need or want that, but it was great. There was Frittata with a slightly spicy salsa (super yum!). There was a nice fruit salad with some homemade granola (again yum) and there was sausage, cheeses, and more. It was very easy to get a good sampling of foods without going overboard on calories or carbs. I ended the day with just a tiny bit over my target calorie range and well within "can still lose" range.

While there my older son took a nature hike with a few people while my younger son and husband went out on the river in a row boat. My younger son had been looking so forward to it because he discovered about a month ago that he loves going out on the water in a boat. I could have done either, but really what I wanted to do was stay and chat with my friends.

I worry about that choice a bit because I could have been more active. I could have taken a hike or helped row a boat, but for today, I just didn't feel like it. I am active every day, but I don't get to chat with friends almost ever. Plus, I spend so much time with kids - day in and day out, having adult time with other adults is a rare treat.

Other people started to pack up and leave, but the boys were still having fun, so I just waited for them to switch around who was on the boat next and just soaked up the environment. It was a lovely day and I felt great.

Unfortunately, my older son came back from his turn on the boat not feeling well. He felt really tired and his throat hurt. When we got home we discovered he had a fever which is a bummer. It's probably what my younger son had last week, but hopefully it won't turn into an infection for the teen like it did with the 6 year old.

When we got home we watched the Women's World Cup Soccer Final game which was another great game to watch. It was an unfortunate ending for the USA team, but I couldn't be sad either as it was a great victory for Japan too.

Then, of course, dinner, clean up, watering the potted plants and now finally at 7:30 pm here I am able to post. Phew! Busy, but a very nice weekend (minus my older son getting sick). No formal exercise this weekend, but that's a rarity and it happens. Eating was on target and Monday starts a new week starting with Zumba tomorrow morning. I have new dance friendly shoes to use for class! Yay!

I am beginning to realize though, that we are going on vacation for 6 days. Just  when I expect my biggest weight loss for the month. Going with no scale for that time will be a little weird as I love to watch the whoosh happen after being stuck on a number for so long, but I'll make do and can handle it. Just means I'll have a big happy surprise when I get home or an unfortunate one if vacation weight keeps me from losing as much as I normally would. I don't plan to go hog wild crazy while on vacation, but I also can't expect to see the same losses with food and activities being so different.

Stats for 7/17/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 198.0

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Happy Saturday one and all!

Woke up to a happy, smiling kid (so nice that he's feeling well) and a nice sunny morning. I went downstairs to get the bread that was rising out of the refrigerator and was surprised by how much it had grown overnight - wowzers! That's an active yeast! It's nice doing it's final rise and waiting to be popped in the oven.  I putzed in the kitchen and all the while the little guy chirped beside me. Such a sweet kid!

This morning I had wanted to get into a bodypump class, but they were all full, so that's a no go. I can mow the yard later today as it desperately needs it and that will do for exercise. The weather has been so unbelievably beautiful these past few days - low humidity and temps around 85. We took a spin around the lake last night and it was just gorgeous.

Not much else for today. I'm just trying not to repeat yesterday which was horrible until about 3 pm, but got better fortunately, but it wiped me out. I think I fell asleep instantly, like within seconds of my head hitting the pillow last night. Zonk!

Scale is cooperating with me still with not spiking up for ovulation. I think ovulation will be late this month. It was two days early last month and I'm extremely regular, so if it's off one month, it usually self-corrects itself the next month and signs are looking that way.

Have a good day! I sure plan to!

Stats for 7/16/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 197.4
Exercise total hours in 2011: 219
Total miles walked/biked in 2011: 602/1000

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ever have one of those days?

Good thing my eating and exercise are on plan or it would really be a doozy of a day, but man. I'm wiped out and it's all because of the kids.

So, OK, I wake up this morning feeling refreshed and happy and alive. Both kids were still sleeping so I got to breakfast with my husband, alone this morning - so nice!

Then my little one wakes up and he's all happy and I can see he's doing better and he eats a big breakfast. But then it starts; he is not wanting to take his antibiotic. Then he refuses to go to the bathroom and to get dressed. I'm trying really hard to get to the gym on time for class and he's doing everything in his power to make me late.

At the same time, I'm trying to wake up my oldest son. We have to chase him to bed every night and force him out of bed every morning. The plan was that he would go to the gym with me when I went. It took me 45 minutes to get him out of the bed and he's refusing to go to the gym with me and says he will do something else for exercise. I don't trust him. Initial reasoning for not wanting to go? Because it's too early. Um, the class is at 10:45 am! Too early??? So, I finally give in and tell him that he MUST ride his bike then like he promised and not just for a little bit, but at least an hour.

So, I get to the gym and now the reluctant 6 year old is all excited about going to the gym, argh!!! I take the step class and it's hard, but I'm doing it. I have to leave in the last bit when they do ab work and cool down because I have to get to my son's Occupational Therapy appointment. When I go to get my son from the KidSpace area, he's crying because he doesn't want to leave. Is this the same kid who was whining about going? Yep!

We come home and I find my older son's brand new, $450 bike sitting in the driveway - available for anyone to steal! What? I go inside and he's sitting in the dining room eating. "I was just going to eat a snack and go out again." Well, hello? How long do you think it takes for someone to steal a bike? We have workers all over the place from the electrical company these days AND we live just off a walking path and near the lake and there are people walking by all the time. I don't care where you live - a bike left out like that is begging someone to steal it!

OK, next. We eat a quick lunch and my older son wants to take a shower. "A shower?", I ask. "Weren't you going to go back out and ride some more. Like you just said?" Well, yes he was, but wanted to take a 30 minute break and wanted to take a shower inbetween.!

Alright, we go to OT. That was a horrible appointment. He whined between each transition. Didn't give as much effort and it really was a waste to be there. There goes 3 hours of my day.

So, what's next? Oh, yes, the farmer's market. That went fairly well except I'm still incredibly disappointed with the selection at the market. This is the worst place in 10 years for buying fresh produce. I'll need to find a farm stand somewhere for this year and join  a CSA next year. But, at least we found peaches and plums. Now to the grocery store.

The grocery store was fairly uneventful except for the hassle of the self checkout not working properly, like always, so it took longer than I would expect.

OK, finally home at 3:30 pm. I'm starving so I make myself and my older son a fruit/yogurt smoothie. And well, OK at this point the day gets better. I found my older son on the couch reading a book. He had ridden hsi bike to the library and gotten some books and CDs. At least some success there in getting him off his butt today and off the computer for a bit. Then, my younger son who is afraid to try new foods wanted raspberries and strawberries and milk for his snack. That made me smile because a month ago he wouldn't even try these foods and now he's requesting them. So, it was right then and there that I realized that all this parenting stuff does have it's rewards, but man... some days are just t.o.u.g.h.!!!

Next couple days I won't have time to go to the gym, but I'll mow tomorrow and the day after that we are going canoing! That will make up for the lack of gym time. Both kids are looking forward to brunch and boating! Should be fun!

And to continue my fun day, I forgot to post this! Doy!

Stats for 7/15/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 197.8
Exercise total hours in 2011: 219
Total number of miles walked/biked in 2011: 601/1000

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Noticing new muscles and realizing this is the longest I've ever stuck to it!

As I am smack in the middle of my monthly stall-out and actually doing fairly well with the mental side of it (I think losing 5 days to a sick kid helped with that), I started to realize that I've stuck with this for six and a half months already! And I'm showing no signs of needing or wanting to stop. It feels good and fits my lifestyle well. I was even able to stick with good eating and exercise when my son was sick. I've never been able to do that before! That kind of change in routine in the past would have derailed me at least temporarily. Now it was hard for me to step away when my son wasn't feeling well, but my health is important too. An hour and 15 minutes a day is not being a neglectful mother!

I realized this as I was laying in bed last night reading a book last night. I ran my hands along my thigh and noticed I feel muscle definition there (not visible, but can be felt) that I've never felt before. And the reason I've never felt it before (or at least since I was 15) is that I've never exercised for over 6 months straight before, ever in my life, at any age! I'm 41 and a half years old and this is the most I've exercised consecutively in all those years! Well... wait, that's probably not true. When in 9th grade, I did swim team for 2.5 months and then switched to cheerleading for boys basketball... but I still think we didn't practice every day during that basketball season. Only in the beginning to learn new cheers and sometimes throughout and then in the spring getting ready for the talent show. So, OK then I came close to exercising that long. (and it was after this time that I did my first weight gain). I was 14 and 15 during that time.... how sad is that?

Yesterday I did BodyStep. In the previous two weeks I did that class and then did BodyPump, but I am no longer doubling those classes up to avoid childcare issues and I'm trying to fit 3 days of weight training in a week, so Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday works better for me.  Anyway, it was a new release of the new routine. It is definitely tougher. There would have been no way to do that step class and then a weight class and partly because they add in some weight stuff with the cardio. At the end of that class I was dripping sweat on the floor (as was everyone else in that room). Wow! I could do it (minus the propulsion) so it's a good level for me, but I probably would have died if it was the new routine when I started BodyStep 3 weeks ago.

Today is BodyPump. Taking my two kids with me today. First time the little guy will be in the KidSpace in a week since he got sick. Older son hasn't been to the gym since Saturday, so he could use it too.

Oh, and I knew I would be up on the scale today as I had taco salad last night for supper. I made my own taco seasoning and I always make my own salsa, but it's still higher sodium than we usually eat and I knew it would reflect on the scale this morning as extra water weight. Yummy and nutritious though!

Stats for 7/14/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 198.0
Exercise total hours in 2011: 217
Total miles walked/biked in 2011: 594/1000

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I think someone said it out loud and weight training.

Yep, someone wasn't quiet about it, so now the weight that was going down, went up today. Oh well, just got to keep plugging along.

My son is feeling much better and I got a full night of sleep last night with no interruptions, so it should be a better day. I have BodyStep lined up for this morning and then I need to do some serious cleaning up downstairs (we have basically lived upstairs for the last 6 days) and then I must go grocery shopping. I have exhausted all dinner options for home. For the step class I will keep the little guy at home still, but will see if he's up for going to the grocery store with me later. He usually loves that.

I did the BodyPump weight lifting class yesterday and I'm noticing some interesting patterns. During the class we work one muscle group at a time, the quads, the chest, the shoulders, the biceps, the triceps, the abs. And for each of those groupings, the instructor will say, "Use your warm up weight, or double or triple your warm up weight" and so on. Well, after a few classes you learn what's good for you. What you want is to be able to keep good form always, but to also be able to do all the reps, but just barely.

Since there are so many reps, the weights are on the light side. For warm up, I start out with 4 kgs, plus the bar's weight. So roughly 9 pounds. For when we do squats, I use 9 kg or roughly 20 pounds. Then we go down to the bench and do presses over our chest. She says drop it a little from the squats weight, but I have to drop it all the way down to the warm up weights and I can barely do all the reps, so I go down to 9 pounds again. Then we get up and do more leg work where I increase it again to 20 pounds. Then we do triceps work and when we are on the bench doing triceps work, I stay at 9 pounds when we work both arms at once, but when we get off the bench and do one arm at a time, I use an 8 pound hand weight. I don't understand how I can barely do 9 pounds when working both arms, but can do 8 pounds when working one arm. There must be some other muscle group I'm using while on my back on the bench that makes it harder and needing to keep the weights lower. And, after every class, it's the triceps and chest muscles that are achy which means those are the ones that are getting more fatigued... very interesting.

Then we move to biceps work and you are supposed to keep the same chest weight, but that's too easy for me, so I up it to 20 pounds again (instead of keeping it at 9 pounds that is recommended). Then we do lunges. I am working very hard at keeping good form with lunges, but man is that hard. I skip the barbell for this one as I am still learning to do lunges without pain. I'm getting closer and yesterday I held two 4 pound weights by my side while doing the lunges, but man, are those tough!

So, since weights were yesterday, step class is today. They launched a new workout routine for bodypump and bodystep this week. BodyPump didn't change much, but the instructors say that the step routine has changed a lot. Including using hand weights? We'll see. If it's not cardio enough, I'll be disappointed as finding a good cardio class is difficult. There's spinning, but that fills up even faster than the BodyPump class!

OK, time to get ready to go!

Stats for 7/13/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now 197.6 (up .6 from yesterday for 58 pounds lost)
Exercise total hours in 2011: 216
Total miles walked/biked in 2011: 590/1000

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Life returning to normal after child illness

That I was able to fit in fitness and decent eating when I was stuck at home (minus the 1 hour and 15 minutes I snuck out to exercise Friday thru Sunday) with a sick kid is amazing.

I called before 9 am yesterday morning to get a doctor's appointment for my son. Had the appointment at 5 pm. Negative for strep infection, but he has a really bad ear infection and a suspected 'other than strep' throat infection. They gave me a prescription for amoxicillin which we started last night. Last night little guy went to bed at 8:45 pm and slept until 10 am this morning. He said nothing hurt, but something must have been bugging him for him to zonk out like that. Hid the antibiotic in his pudding last night and in his peanut butter and jelly sandwich this morning. So far 100% successful in hiding it. And we've learned he'll take a swallowable pill quite easily if he needs it for pain/fever.

I didn't get a chance to workout yesterday at all. And I'm waffling on going today. But I have a reservation and i don't want to give that up!

I don't even want to mention (so Shhhh....) that the scale has been slowly going down during my stall out time of the month. Still higher than my all time low, but so far so good in keeping the water weight lower this month! (Still a week to go, so we'll see).

OK, got to get ready to pump some iron! (I am going).

Stats for 7/12/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6 Now 197.0

Monday, July 11, 2011

I've said for years that the weight was the last hold on me

I don't want to say I had a troubled youth, because I didn't. But, my youth was difficult. First, I am the oldest of four kids and my parents, especially my dad, were very young when they had me (21 and 19). But, my parents were married, I was not an oops baby (born 10 months after they got married) and in that regard all was good. I was not physically abused and in the beginning, we had a fairly normal life.

My dad though, for some reason, really picked on me. I was a fairly picky eater and that was an issue. I didn't like any condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonaise, salad dressings, etc). Which means I didn't like potato salads and most pasta salads. I also didn't like eggs (the whites) or almost any milk product (milk, sour cream, most cheeses, yogurt, and cottage cheese). And then things like liver.

A tangent here, but not liking condiments actually has been a big gift. Who needs those things? Some things, with maturity, I learned were good - like yes, I don't like cottage cheese, but cottage cheese in lasagna is great and some salad dressings are yummy. And I now know that my dairy products issue is and probably always has been a lactose intolerance and was probably a milk allergy as a baby, small child. Even now, while I like more dairy, I can't have much or I get sick from it.

Dinner time used to be a nightmare for me as a kid. Not only was I being watched like mad about what I was eating or not eating, I was being watched for impeccable table manners too - "Don't chew with your mouth open." "Get your elbows off the table." "Cut your food." "Don't take such big bites." "Sit up straight." and so on. My siblings would be eating like pigs, but I had to eat perfectly because I was setting an example. Many a night I would be crying at the dinner table. Of course, the flip side is that I have really good table manners. In college when we had dinner etiquette lessons (mandatory), I knew and followed all the rules, but it was so wasn't worth the torture at the dinner table I went through as a kid.

My mom knew this was an issue and when my parents divorced, food battles stopped, but those first 9-11 years were rough.

While in many ways having my dad gone after the divorce was better for me (no more battles), other things  got worse. We lived in poverty. My mom was juggling single parenthood and schooling at the same time and I took on too much of that emotional weight. I wanted to. I wanted to be my Mom's support. I wanted to be included. I wanted to be grown enough, but it added burden.

And very early, I started to have an unhealthy relationship with food. Food was comfort. So, starting with puberty, I started to gain weight. Little by little, but it was coming on. At 15, I weighed 140-150 pounds. I was growing a lot that year too. By high school graduation, I was wearing a size 16 (today's 12-14) and weighed 178 pounds and definitely had a 'little' poochiness to me. In college I stayed around 185-190. And then with getting married, I kept going up - all the way to 275.

I was secretive about food. I didn't want people to know I was eating junk, so I hid it. After my failed weight loss attempt, I stopped doing that by coming clean to my husband about sneaking food, but also telling him NOT to tell me what I should and should not be eating - that by him trying to 'help' in that way, I found myself hiding even more. I needed the food to be out in the open.

That helped a lot actually, because then I didn't need to snarf a bag of oreos... I could have them there and eat them more slowly.

And I think, with time, and with counseling for a bit, and with just being more self aware, the emotional eating started to go away. Not as a decided action. I just didn't need it any more.  But I still overate.

Now the overeating was a coping mechanism for lack of sleep. AND I was carb addicted. I had worked through so many demons - feeling of being less smart. Feels of being less pretty. Feelings of being not worthy - all those things I was mostly working through and getting more self confident, but I still wore this badge of pain - my weight.

That is what weight is to most overweight people. You don't get very overweight - obese, morbidly obese (unless there's a medical condition causing it) by being mentally healthy. Something is eating away at you, so you eat away your life to cope.

So, while I had battled the demons that had gotten me fat. I hadn't battled the battle to make myself thinner.

For years and years, my weight was constant (or mostly constant if you take out pregnancy weight gains and losses and gains). And I knew that was a good sign after years of ballooning up. And twice I lost a chunk of weight and kept it off. So, I was winning the battle on the inside. With 20 years of gaining and gaining. I had 7 or so years of maintaining, but I was wearing the badge of PAST pain.

I know that in the United States many people are very overweight or obese, but not as much in the east and not as much with the educated and not as much with middle class. I would go to parties and always be the heaviest person - by quite a bit. I would go to a function at my husband's work and not a single person there would be overweight. Just me.  I hated that I was still wearing this badge of pain. I had come so far, but I still had to deal with this.

Now, I was afraid, very afraid. I was afraid of failure. To be honest, I didn't know if I could emotionally handle another weight loss failure. I had really only tried a few times and it had been 10 years since I attempted anything, but trying and failing was worse, it seemed, than not trying at all. My health finally forced me to do something and like is so often the case, the fear was much worse than doing.

Of course, I have no idea how life will be next year, in five years and so on, but I'm hopeful that I'm finally ready to shed this badge of pain I've worn my entire adult life. And where did this post come from?

Well, Saturday I had an oreo cookie. One oreo cookie. It was a new flavor, or one I hadn't tried before - strawberry milkshake oreo. Sounded yummy and I wanted to try one. So, I grabbed one. It is yummy and I was even tempted to grab another later until I read the calorie count. One cookie is 75 calories. Holy calories! 75 calories for one???? Do you know how many times I bought a package of oreos and ate the whole thing in one day by myself? Either that or I ate a bag of cheetos (not a small one, a big one) in one day. Eating like that almost every day for breakfast/lunch. Now I cannot even imagine doing that! Which made me realize even more that I've come a long way with my relationship with food and eating.

Stats for 7/11/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now 197.6

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Another week and with 6 hours at the gym

Missed the fourth of July, but on that day I worked hard around the house, so I'm not counting that as a 'rest' day exactly! LOL Tuesday was a rest day. I was just TIRED. But I did two classes on Wednesday, and one each Thursday through Sunday.

My plan for next week is an hour a day. Monday - Zumba, Tuesday - BodyPump, Wednesday - BodyStep, Thursday - BodyPump, Friday - BodyStep, Saturday - BodyPump and Sunday - Zumba. Of course, that's if my son feels better (might be making a doctor's visit tomorrow) and if I can get into the Tuesday and Thursday BodyPump classes since they fill up fast. I'll try. If not, there is a plan B.

And yes, my 6 year old is still sick. He refuses to take medicine, so he's been dealing with a low grade fever since Thursday. He basically lays on the couch all day. Today he seems to have a bad headache which is probably from the fever and lack of eating and slight dehydration. Fortunately, he is drinking, but it's less than optimal, but not so little to worry about needing an IV for fluid.

We thought maybe it was Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease as that's around right now and the fever and sore throat and lack of appetite all seem to fit, but no blisters have developed, which they should have by now (or about now - still a chance for them to pop out). Whatever the case, if he's not better by tomorrow morning, he'll go in to see the doctor.

My arms are sore today from the BodyPump class. Seems each class a different set of muscles gets sore. Interesting! Zumba this morning helped loosen them up, but my triceps are definitely feeling it!

Stats for 7/10/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now 197.8
Exercise total hours: 215
Total miles walked/biked in 2011: 587/1000

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My goal for this stall out period

So far this cycle, I have a new mental outlook with this 2.5 week stall out. A new goal! My new goal is to be able to maintain and minimize the weight gain for this stall out. Last month, with the end of the school year business and trying to figure out what exercise I wanted to do (finding walking getting boring and working out in my basement at night too difficult mentally to force myself to do), I went a little light. I tried to make up for lighter exercise with lighter calorie days, but in the end, I didn't lose as much last cycle as I usually do and I gained a lot more water weight than I usually do.

This month, with finding I love going to the gym and I love doing a mix of cardio and weight training classes, I feel refocused. Now, expecting and hoping for any weight loss during my monthly stall out is setting myself up for failure, but I can push myself harder during the stall out so that I can minimize the water gain and then, I should then see an increase in the big whoosh during the second half of the cycle. I know my body's rhythms now and instead of getting frustrated by them, I need to work with them.

With that, I'm finding I really love BodyPump which is a cardio weight training class. I don't know why they call it that because it does not raise my heart rate to cardio level. I am pushing myself to the point of failure with all the reps, but my heart rate stays around 85-90. During cardio workouts my heart rate is between 145-155.

Anyway, I love the weight training. So far I've done the class four times. The last two Wednesdays and last Saturday and today. If I can get signed in early enough, I would like to switch to Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of BodyPump and Wednesday and Friday of BodyStep and Sunday and Monday of Zumba and then throw in some tennis some evenings. That's 3 days a week of weight training and 4 days  a week of cardio - an hour a day. If I keep that up and keep up with my eating (which I don't tend to have problems with), then I should be able to keep the water weight gain to a minimum because I should be (I hope) losing weight at the same rate I'm adding on water weight - making it a wash on the scale for at least most of the stall out. Right before ovulation, I tend to gain 2-3 pounds, so I can't expect to erase all the water weight extra pounds on the scale, but I can sure try to minimize it!

Plus, it's been awhile since I took a slice of pizza away from the image on the side! I got so close last cycle (.8 of a pound), so I'm really motivated to get to 60 pounds lost this cycle plus more!

With other things, my youngest is sick. He got feverish Thursday evening. He probably picked something up at the Kidspace in one of the gyms, but what can I do? Yesterday when I did BodyStep, I had my older son stay home and watch him. At the time, he wasn't very feverish and was eating a little and drinking a little. I asked the little guy if it was OK if I went and he said yes. So, I had my older son sit in the room with him with his phone and instructed him to call me if anything changed or he needed me. The gym is 8 minutes away, so I felt safe enough going to one class. I had my phone in eye distance and checked between each song. When I came home, he ate a little and then took a cat nap. Today seems to be a repeat of yesterday. Nothing terribly serious, just some virus taking him out of commission. Unfortunately, we were invited to two parties for today. An adult party and a neighbor kid's party. We'll skip the kid's party (sending the gift over) and my husband will go alone to the other party (it's one of his coworker's party). So glad I got a chance to go to the gym today and yesterday though because otherwise I'm sitting around trying to keep the little guy comfortable.

Stats for 7/9/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6 Now: 197.8
Exercise total hours for 2011: 214
Total number of miles walked/biked in 2011: 583

Friday, July 8, 2011

Just for fun - figuring out body fat percentage and another nonscale victory!

Before I start, let me say I know that figuring out body fat percentage is nearly impossible. Even the most touted method for accuracy isn't overly accurate. It is all just estimates, but really, estimates are all that really matter.

So, with that cleared up that we are talking about estimates only, this whole thought process about body fat percentages started with an email from my husband. He sent a link to this: body fat chart.

He was surprised with what was considered OK for his age and gender and well, so was I for my age and gender. While I've looked at such things before, I didn't pay much attention. But, it is interesting what is considered acceptable body fat percentage as healthy. Take a peek:

My husband, at age 44, male of course, according to our body fat monitoring scale is green zone for fit. And well, I would have to agree with that. Again, I know our scale is not the end all be all for monitoring fat, but it usually gives him a range of 13-17 percent body fat and when you look at him (and yes I do see him naked),  you can see he is lean. He's 6'1" and 171 pounds.

For me, the range it has given me on the scale recently is 28-33 percent body fat. When I look at my body, I still see a lot of fat, but my husband points out that a lot of it is loose skin and he's right...I've lost more than I realize (and skin takes longer to shrink up). According to that, I am in the yellow zone for age meaning I have a healthy body fat level. What???? I weigh just under 200 pounds! That can't be healthy!

Then today I did an online test (Ok, yes, I know... don't believe everything you read on the internet, but every tool is a tool and  has some merit). Anyway, I used this site. It's UK based, so I just put I lived in greater London metro (can't be too different than DC metro area). Here's the link:

That test uses my height, weight, age, gender and body measurements (hips, waist, wrist, forearm) to calculate body fat percentage and it came up with 27% body fat for me and said it was a healthy body fat.

I see that and I'm a bit floored. I weigh 198 pounds. I'm a female and I'm average height (OK, a smidge taller than average). How is this a healthy body fat?

Yet, I can see muscle definition in my legs, arms and shoulders (not yet in my stomach). I can feel all my ribs through my clothes (but you can't see them even when I'm nude) and I'm definitely still heavy, but I'm in the healthy range of fat by almost any measure I read/find/test.

Which means that all my life as a teen and college aged student when I thought I was so fat by the number I saw on the scale was bogus. Now yes, I need to lose more. This is not a "Oh, I'm at a healthy body fat percentage so I can stop losing weight now". But my 175 is probably a very realistic end goal for me especially since I workout cardio and with weights. I'm extremely curious now as to what 175 will look like with fitness added (I was not fit when I weighed this in high school) and I wonder how i will feel. That is 28 pounds less than what I weigh now. I bet I will look fantastic!

And that takes me to another link. Someone posted this on a weight loss forum and I found it interesting. Now, it's a paleo diet site, but I don't think it's the paleo diet that got this woman to this shape. I'm not even saying I want to have this woman's physique. It just proves a point about numbers on the scale - they don't tell the whole story!  So, my 175 at high school and my 175 now should look quite different. In high school I wasn't very active. Now I am.

More about body size and weights. My mother in law and I are the same height. Well, now we are with her osteoporosis. She used to be about 5'8" tall. She weighs 170 pounds and has a pear shaped body. Her arms  and chest are super thin/small, then she has big hips/gut and then smaller thighs and legs. Basically all her weight is in her hips. And she isn't 'heavy', but for her, who has  always been thin her entire life, this is big. The irony is that I was doing laundry yesterday and was folding a pair of her jeans. They are a size 12 (she also has a couple size 14s in her wardrobe). She tends to wear her pants really tight, so I was curious. Would they fit me? And, I tried them on. They fit me perfectly! I'm sure I got an evil grin.... I wear the same size pant as my mother in law who weighs nearly 30 pounds less than me.

I say 'evil grin' because she has been pretty vocal about her dislike of my weight. More so in the beginning before she gained weight. She said I was fat when I got married to Sven. Said I was fat in a wedding I was in the summer before I got married. Basically, she's always been vocal about my size. So, to be able to wear the same size as my mother in law is a huge mental victory. Yes, she is almost 76 and it's an unfair comparison, but it's a mental victory to feel that I will finally wear a smaller size than my mother in law. Oh that will be huge! I'll probably always weigh more than she does, but I'm coming to terms with the number on the scale is not the best information to be looking at! I'm a big girl!

I used to say I was built like a linebacker - trying to explain a large build. But that isn't true. I have a very womanly figure (still too fat, but womanly). I don't have a linebacker build. I just have a very large frame of a hour glass figure. And as a fat person saying  "large frame", I can almost see the eyes roll. Don't most fat people think they are just built big? Well, guess what - some of us are! Plus my younger son had to get his big body build from somewhere! It wasn't his dad! It's from me. Measure your wrists everyone - with a tape measure. What do you get? Mine is 7 1/8 inches. Very few women have bones of this size. Man men don't have bones of that size (neither my husband or older son do). So... I will always weigh more - period. And I'm trying to get it in my head that I can be fit and healthy at 175 where most women would feel fat and unhealthy at that weight.

Not saying I can't or won't lose more, but I'm starting to realize that this number might be a perfect number for me.

Stats for 7/8/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 198.2
Exercise total hours in 2011: 212
Total number of miles walked/biked in 2011: 576/1000

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A wrinkle in my fitness plan and knee pain doing lunges

Yesterday I did two classes in a row -BodyStep and BodyPump. For BodyStep I again added a riser to the step and it went went. I'm still avoiding most of the higher impact stuff for bladder control issues and because my heart rate is high enough, but I'm adding in bits here and there and it feels great! I followed that class with BodyPump and this time I upped the weights. I started with 1kg on each end of the barbell. This time I put two kgs on each end of the barbell. For the heavier weights, initially I was putting 2.5 kgs on each end, now I put 3.5 kgs on each end and I was able to do it fine. This morning I'm actually feeling less sore than the first time I took that class, so it was a good decision.

The two classes back to back work for me as they are two completely different routines - one is completely aerobic. One is completely strength and I don't think doing cardio before strength makes me more tired or weaker.

The first class starts at 9:30 am. The second class starts at 10:45 am. With the first class, you need to set up our mat, step with risers and so on. For the strength class I need the mat and step with 3 risers and then the barbell two to three sets of weights and clips and hand weights. So, it takes a wee bit to set up and to clean up after each class. I say this because that's where the wrinkle comes in.

With our gym membership we purchased the KidSpace option (it's not included in standard membership). It's a great deal and I'm not complaining for $5 extra a month we get the childcare which is a bargain. What I didn't remember or was unaware of was that there is a two hour time limit per day use of the KidSpace area. Now, for me normally this is no big deal. I do one class a day. Except on Wednesdays I do that double class. I do that for several reasons - one, for some reason, that BodyPump class isn't filled up immediately unlike almost all the other times and two, it's more convenient for me to make one trip into the gym than two separate trips in. Now, if the two hour long classes really only took 2 hours total, I might be OK, but of course, that's not how it works. What happens is taht I drop my son off a few minutes before 9:30 am and go downstairs to set up for class. Class ends at 10:30 (or a few minutes later) and then I have 15 minutes to go to the bathroom and set up for the weight class which means adding risers to the step, getting a mat, getting the barbell, getting the three sets of barbell weights and hand weights, putting it all together and so on. Class starts at 10:45 or a few minutes later and then ends at 11:45 am (or a few minutes later) and then all that stuff I got out, needs to be put away. So, yesterday I dropped my son off at 9:25 am and picked him up at 11:50. That's 25 minutes over the maximum time allowed. I got charged $5 per every five minutes I was late for a $25 fine. I was NOT happy.

And how do I fix that? I can't really change when I do the step class as they only offer that class twice during hours I can easily go - and I go to both of those classes Wednesday and Friday. I try to get into other BodyPump classes and they are full within minutes of opening up and since these are my favorite two classes I really don't want to give one of them up. Well, one option is to leave my son at home with my older son. My older son will be 15 in a month and is completely capable of watching the 6 year old, but of course my younger son would prefer to go to the gym with me. Or, I could try this (if it is allowed to check a kid out and sign back in). I could set up for the step class before taking my son up to class. That would buy me a few minutes. Drop him off and leave the class a few minutes early when they are doing the finally 4-5 minutes of stretches. Go up, sign him out, and then come back downstairs and set up (with him there) for strength class (and throw in a few stretches). See if he needs anything, chat with him a bit and then take him back up stairs a minute or two before the strength class starts and then leave that class a few minutes early during the stretches to check him out and then come back downstairs to put away my stuff. That way he would be in the class for 2 hours only or a few minutes shy of two hours. Seems a bit crazy, but it would only be until summer is over or when I go back to work (if work starts before summer is over). Now that I type it out - leaving him at home with my older son once a week is sounding more and more appealing!

Another thing that is plaguing me is that I simply cannot do lunges. I feel unstable, I cannot bend my knees properly and they hurt when I try. I think I'm doing everything correctly, but it just didn't work! I used to feel the same about squats, but I learned better form and now I can do them fine with no problem, but if something is hurting me with a single lunge, something isn't right. I keep looking and reading and trying to fix the problem, but I can't pinpoint it. Some sites suggest that for some people their body alignment doesn't allow for it, but it's probably more likely that I'm doing something wrong - no my knee is not surpassing my toes, my legs are wide apart and hip distance spread, but then I can't lower like at all - so strange!

And, that's it. Time to get some breakfast and to get ready for class! Dragging my older son to the gym with me today too!

Stats for 7/7/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 198.2
Exercise total hours in 2011: 211
Total miles walked/biked in 2011: 573/1000

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Water weight, feeling blah and planning ahead.

Those homemade little mini sausages (It's ground beef, ground pork and ground lamb with seasonings added - salt, pepper, garlic, parsley and a bit of hungarian paprika and egg.) must be very high in sodium. We ate the leftovers of it in a stew last night and my husband is up 4 pounds in two days and I'm up 2 pounds in two days and my rings are tight and my ankles are puffy. We are both just very sensitive to foods like that I guess. Plus, it's not our normal fare. We are very much a veggies and lean meats and beans family and the festive foods feel heavy on our stomachs. I guess in a way that's good because it makes me want to eat it less.

I was in a funk much of yesterday and I feel it again today. Darn hormones messing with my head. I'm hoping a good workout session this morning will get my mood lifted - it usually does. Of course, my super sleep deprived six year old seems to be finally sleeping in this morning and I will NOT wake him just to make a class this morning. I'm planning to do the double header of Body Step and Body Pump. First class is at 9:30. It's 8 am now and no sounds coming from the bedroom. If he doesn't wake up, I'll just do the second class and maybe pick up a class this evening. Him getting enough sleep is way more important because he's been driving me crazy with his crankiness and bad behavior the last several days. Good thing my schedule is still very flexible.

When the summer gets closer to finishing up, I need to start looking for a job. In many ways I am looking forward to it. I miss being in the workforce. I miss working with people and doing creative things and getting paid for it, but at the same time I worry about juggling everything. I have two kids - both with special needs in some way. My oldest has really strong ADHD and needs a personal secretary to keep him on task with school. My youngest is high functoning autistic (they are doing away with the term Asperger's, but basically, Asperger's) and has therapy appointments. My husband is gone from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm for work and then my mother in law lives with us and she doesn't help, but actually increases the work load for me. I do her laundry, cook all the food, do all the shopping, do all the clean up and have to do all the running of errands which has all increased by one when she moved in with us. She does take care of her bedroom, bathroom and living room, but she 'forgets' how to use the mop and vacuum and has to ask me every time how to use it and so on. And of course, we have a big house and big yard that I take care of too. I'm a bit worried about when and how I will fit in the gym when I go back to work. And even if the gym is out, fitting in working out in the basement.

And I think I worry because every time I have started a new job, I have gained weight. Every. Single. Time. Partly because I start eating lunch out of the house and I make worse decisions when I have more choices. Partly because my schedule gets so tight that getting good sleep falls to the wayside and with less sleep I make worse food decisions and feel less like working out. And partly because I just don't know what happens!

Because I know this, I want to get as close to my goal weight as possible before I start working. I want the majority of the weight to be gone because: A. It will be easier to find a job if I look better for two reasons - first I'll look better and second I'll feel better about myself which will show at an interview. And B. I think it will be more difficult to fit it all in once I start working and the journey will slow down.

Initially, when I started this journey, I wanted to work out at home, in my basement in the evening because that's all I'll be able to do once I start working. I won't be able to make a 9:30 am class. A 10:45 am class. Fitting in a 6:00 or 6:30 pm class will mean less time with the kids and around dinner time. So, the basement in the evening is where I went. But, I started to tire of that very quickly. I get tired in the evening and when you're already tired, who wants to exercise? I could say, "get up early in the morning and do it". I've tried that so many times in the past and sleep always wins out. I simply cannot give up sleep to work out. As it is, I tend to get too little sleep living in this household full of night owls, giving up even more sleep never works out.

So when do I fit it in? I think it will have to be after work! Which is why I realllllllllly want to find a job very close to home (no commute) and would love to maybe get into the school system where I can have hours similar to my kids' hours. Then I wouldn't feel as bad about taking a class at 6 pm or 6:30 pm. Chances probably aren't that great, but I can hope and try, right? And... I can't worry too much about the unknown right now because there's nothing I can do for it. I need to just deal with the now.

So, yes weight is up again this morning - darn yo-yoing with the water weight.

Stats for 7/6/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 198.2

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The day after a big meal day

I am so not used to eating like that any more. I tallied up what I ate and my caloric intake was as if I wasn't dieting. It was maintenance range. However, I ate a slice of my homemade bread with the cevapcici (a type of skinless, small, homemade sausage) and some mac and cheese. I also had dessert - a fairly light strawberry trifle and a touch of the ice cream I made. But that is more carbs than I ever eat and 1000 more calories than I usually eat. Because of it, I didn't sleep well (full stomach) and this morning I still feel like the food is just sitting in my stomach and not digesting. So while I don't regret eating for pleasure yesterday, but still accounting for it, I am also feeling I might not want to eat like that ever again if it makes me feel so bad afterward.

Interestingly, according to my food/exercising program, I actually burned more calories than I ate extra yesterday, so in the end, the day should be like any other day for calories in and calories out, but my body sure doesn't sense that right now! Wow... And I didn't even go crazy!

Plan for today is to put away the stuff from the party and to just relax a bit and hang out with the kiddos.

Up a pound on the scale, but it could be from so many things. Not going to stress about it.

Stats for 7/5/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6. Now: 197.8
Total exercise hours in 2011: 209
Total miles biked/walked in 2011: 565/1000

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

We are having a potluck party this evening, so we need to prep for that a bit, but we are mostly ready. I just want to do a wipe down of the bathrooms and run the vacuum around and then just prepping some food and getting tables and chairs set up. Nothing big.

My wonderful monthly visitor came today which, in a way, I'm glad. I didn't get to 60 pounds lost before the big stall out which means I won't have to battle with the blues if I gain a bit of weight near ovulation and would go OVER the 60 pounds lost and need to return that pizza slice.

I decided on no formal exercise today. I'm tired and have this work to do at home. Taking a break and going to the gym would just stress me out with not having enough prep time later, so no need to add stress.

Only other thing of interest is that I noticed my resting heart rate had lowered a bit more. Last night while I was in bed I checked it. 52 beats per minute. My heart definitely likes my new, healthier lifestyle. I wonder where it will settle?

Ugh... a little hard to wake up this morning. My 6 year old is a bit too much of an early bird!

Stats for 7/4/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 196.8 (58.8 pounds lost)*
Exercise total hours for 2011: 207
Total miles walked/biked in 2011: 561/1000

* Someone on the weight loss forum informed me that I had put 206 instead of 196. That, is because my brain hasn't caught up with my physical weight yet! So, now, 6 weeks later, I'm correcting it now that it's discovered! 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Seven hours at the gym this week!

How about that? That's not even counting the hour of tennis because that day wasn't really vigorous just a lot of standing around and picking up balls. One, I feel so great after that workout. Two, I love doing group classes and three, I want to be fit. Like a real fit person, not just someone who dabbles it. I want to be able to move and feel great.

Yesterday I did my second body pump class. It was a bit easier the second time, but my husband reminded me that I wasn't doing that class after an hour of step class. Oh yes, right! That might make a difference. I'm feeling it a bit in my hip flexers. This morning I went in and did Zumba and pushed myself harder. I was drenched.

Speaking of drenched: I go through so many clothes now! Seven workout outfits in a week! There is no way I can wear things a second time because while Dry Fit clothes keep me dry, it gets really stinky - faster than cotton does because it's polyester.

Not sure if I'll get a workout in for Monday. We are having an Independence Day potluck party at our house with Sven's colleagues from work. We can see the fireworks from the lake just down from our house, so that should be fun. Tomorrow is iffy on what I'll do. There is a BodyPump class at 8 am or a Zumba class at 9:30 am. Well, just tried to sign up for a bodypump class and it's already full. Guess it's Zumba at 9:30 am. That will make my son happier anyway - he loves going to that KidSpace the most. (The gym has classes until noon).

Other 'big' things is that my husband and I both agree, I'm the same size I was when we got married. Now, I felt HUGE when I got married, but I am very happy to be here again. I weigh a tad bit more yet, but with being more fit, I'm more compact than when I was unfit and 10 pounds lighter.

No change on the scale this morning, but at least the big drop stuck! I'm happy enough with that!

Huh, just realized, I haven't seen any of my husband's colleagues since the holiday party. I'm 60 pounds lighter now (actually 65 as I weighed 5 pounds more in the middle of the holiday season). Ah, that will feel great to not be the biggest person any more! Does anyone ever want to be the biggest?

Stats for 7/3/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 196.4*
Exercise total hours in 2011: 207
Totals miles of walked/biked in 2011: 561/1000

* Someone on the weight loss forum informed me that I had put 206 instead of 196. That, is because my brain hasn't caught up with my physical weight yet! So, now, 6 weeks later, I'm correcting it now that it's discovered! 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

So close to reaching 60 pounds lost!!!!

I woke up another pound lighter today. Wow!!! That puts me at 59.2 pounds lost. I am getting really, really close to hitting that mark, but will I make it before the big stall out? And will it stick even if I do make it?

I struggle a bit on what to do when I go back over a number since I do have a stall out and weight gain every month for about 17-18 days. I know it's water weight. I know it's temporary, but yes, it does make me weigh more. I'm going to say it's very likely I'll get to 60 pounds lost before the big stall out. Now I have to decide... do I keep the slice of pizza out while I stall out and gain for ovulation. Or, do I regurgitate it and put it back as I haven't fully earned it yet. I guess I'll have to see how I feel about it as/when it happens.

Also, I'm beginning to notice some loose skin. Not liking that very much. I see it on my stomach (my stretch marks from pregnancy are loose and wrinkly). And under my upper arms. Not surprising if I've lost 2" off my upper arms this month too. My hope is that this skin will shrink up some/completely because it takes skin longer to get smaller than it does for fat to disappear, but chances are I'll have sappy skin in my arms, stomach and inner thighs. We'll see how it goes, but exercising and weight training should help and that's all I can do. 

Yesterday I did Body Step and this time I added a riser to the step and you know what? That really does up the intensity! The workout was a perfect intensity workout with my heart rate around 150-159 the entire time until the adominal exercises and stretching at the end.

And going to the gym is already beginning to feel like the normal thing to do even though I've only done it for two weeks! I love it! And the hour goes so quickly when exercising in a group! Fun stuff!

Stats for 7/2/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now 196.4 (59.2 pounds lost)*
Totals hours exercised in 2011: 205
Total miles walked/biked in 2011: 553/1000

* Someone on the weight loss forum informed me that I had put 206 instead of 196. That, is because my brain hasn't caught up with my physical weight yet! So, now, 6 weeks later, I'm correcting it now that it's discovered!

Friday, July 1, 2011

6 months, half a year - where has this path taken me?

Yep, it's 6 months since I started eating better and two days shy of when I started exercising in some way. 6 months ago I had just gotten my blood pressure regulated with a high dose of blood pressure medication. Now I am off all blood pressure medications because I've gotten fit enough and lost enough weight to not need it. They were still figuring out my thyroid medication and that still might be the case, though it's close. Six months ago my blood sugar levels were at  uncontrolled diabetes numbers - now they are in the normal/average range. Six months ago I had high cholesterol. Now it's in the normal range. Six months ago I would get winded crossing a parking lot. Now I can do two hours of tough workouts back to back. And, I'm two pounds shy of losing 60 pounds. How could I not be thrilled with my progress? I am thrilled and very proud of myself.

I went from never thinking about doing active things, to wanting to do them. I have transformed most of my yard this spring/summer and will continue with that. I exercise 6 days a week and I look forward to doing it! I now ride my bike for pleasure. Play tennis for pleasure (last night was the first time in 15 years that I've played!) and I'm thinking/wanting to go camping - which is also very active. I feel like I've gotten my life back.

I wasn't really living 6 months ago. I was surviving. Now, I am living and it's getting better and better. I need to remember how I felt back then to remind myself to never, ever go there again! I just can't do it to myself, my kids or my husband. We all deserve better than that.

I am quite sore today from the BodyPump class I took on Wednesday, but nothing painful. Just that kind of "I know I worked out hard" kind of feeling. I'll do that class again this weekend. Today's plan is BodyStep and running errands and 'maybe' in the evening, starting on the side of the garage flower bed. The guy who did our gutters finally picked up his ladders so now I can dig there! Woohoo! I already have the plants. They just need to go in the ground.

And today is measurements day! I haven't changed much in the last two weeks. Remember, I measured myself during my big stall out and discovered I had lost an inch about everywhere even though the scale wasn't moving. The big place for getting smaller this month is my upper arms it seems!

Stats for 7/1/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 197.4 (58.2 pounds lost)
Exercise total hours in 2011: 204
Total miles walked/biked in 2011: 549/1000

Starting chest: 47"  Now: 43" (change since last month: down 1" for a total loss of 4")
Starting Waist: 43" Now: 35" (change since last month: down 1" for a total loss of 7")
Starting Hips: 50" Now: 44" (change since last month: down 1" for a total loss of 6")
Starting Upper Arm: 18" Now: 14" (change since last month: down 2" for a total loss of 4")
Starting Upper Thigh: 30"  Now: 25" (change since last month: down .5" for a total loss of 5")