Monday, April 30, 2012

I have the sweetest and funniest husband

My husband and I have been together for 19 years. Married for 18. We have always been a very honest couple with each other and not a jealous bone between the two of us. While we have a lot of commonalities, we have a lot of different interests too. He does his thing. I do mine and sometimes we find things we both enjoy doing. One of those things is doing the class BodyPump at the gym. We go together twice a week. Well, we did until I got this shoulder injury. He's now gone three times on his own.

When we go to these classes, we see all sorts of people. In one class we see this one woman with a gorgeous body once in awhile. I'll tease my husband afterwards if it helps him work out better to have such nice eye candy in front of him. I also told him when we had one male instructor a couple of times that I thought he was hot and wondered what classes he usually taught (as he was a substitute). He just laughs and agrees, the man is good looking.

So, on Saturday, I had to miss BodyPump again. There was a sub and the sub was this good looking guy. He looks kind of like this famous actor. Recognize that face? Yep, Mark Harmon. Now who wouldn't want to take a class taught by someone looking like that? My husband said, "You'll be sad to hear you missed the good looking guy. Oh, and by the way, his name is Joe." I just laughed at my husband and feigned being extremely disappointed in missing the class. He then said, "Well, if you want to go to his classes. He teaches (some day of the week, I can't recall) at 5:45 am and on Sundays at some time I can't make as I teach Sunday School in Northern Virginia." (hmm... probably shouldn't quote something I can only half remember, huh?"

But then this is where my husband is so sweet. He's getting worried about this shoulder injury, so he went to ask the instructor after class if he knew of any sports medicine practices that might be able to help me. This instructor didn't, but pointed him to the front desk who then made a recommendation to a physical therapy group that works with sports injuries for a consultation who then would be able to point me in the right direction to either physical therapy, a surgeon, etc.

I love that my husband and I are confident enough in our relationship that we can tease in such ways and I love that we look out for each other too. We, like all other marriages, have had highs and lows, but our base has never been shaken which, of course, is what has helped us weather the storms along the way.

And I'm so glad that I've lost this weight - not only for myself, but for him. I can see much more clearly now how my health worried him. He deserved a healthy partner and I'm glad that I was finally able to give him that.

But, oh how he made me smile with his, "Oh, by the way, his name is Joe and if you ever want to take his class..." Confidence builds relationships. Glad I can feel confident in myself in all ways (or mostly all ways) now too.

Stats for 4/30/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 171.4

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Darn it! Darn it! Darn it!

Plan for today (besides making a cake and cleaning around the house) was to go to bodypump for the first time in two weeks. Yesterday's bodystep, as I said, went great. Then I did a bike ride to the grocery store and back and then to my son's school and back (30 minutes). While I was at the grocery store, my shoulder started to ache when I was pulling that grocery cart thing for the bike. Nothing bad, but I felt it. This morning I was tidying up after my teen and I picked up his monstrously heavy backpack and carried it to the other room - like 10 steps or so. My shoulder started aching just from carrying that backpack. It's still aching an hour later. Darn it!!!

I've given it rest. It's time to call the doctor. So, on Monday morning I'll call a sports medicine doctor to get this sorted out, darn it!!! I love bodypump. Like really love it. It's my favorite of all the fitness things I do and it's good for me, but right now any pushing or pulling or lifting of the shoulder hurts me. Like a deep interior ache. Moving the arm doesn't (well, now it does as it's re-injured), but adding weight - which of course strength training is all about, hurts it. Wah!

I guess it will be aerobics and running for now until I can get this sorted out. At least I can do that and not be on complete rest. So, once again, for the third time, my husband is going to bodypump without me (he had to miss two weeks for a shoulder injury too. One of a different type).

Well, it happens. Funny to me to have a sports injury as I was not a sports kind of girl and I've been so careful on this journey to take things slow and to do it smart - walking first, slowly building up strength and so on. But, injuries happen and hopefully this one is simple enough to deal with.

Stats for 4/27/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170.2
Total hours worked out in 2012: 78.5/250

Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm back at it (at least somewhat!)

Last night I intended to step, but I was exhausted and didn't have it in me to do step. But, I was signed up to do step today, so off I went.

I was a little nervous. I haven't done step in 2 weeks and it was a new release which everyone said was harder. Eek! Well, I have been walking throughout my 'lay up' and just hoped it would be OK. I was a bit optimistic and decided to keep both risers on under the step (something I had only done in the last month or so before the injury) and to do all the power/jumping which I had only started fairly recently too. And... it was no problem. At all. It was like I didn't even take two weeks off. If anything, I think this step routine is easier than what was previously. It's definitely easier on my bladder and that gives me more confidence to jump. It felt simply great. The half burpees and the full length pushups too.

I am now signed up to do bodypump tomorrow - the first time in two weeks and that one I'm a bit more worried about. I've done zero for strength training in that time and my husband tells me that it is tough. With weights it's much more difficult to figure out what weight to put on the bar and changing them mid-track takes so much time. I guess we'll just see and hope. I'll go a little lighter tomorrow and hope that it will feel just right and if I'm super lucky, I won't feel like I needed to drop the weights at all (not likely).

Ok, it's a quick one today as now I'm going to bike ride to the grocery store. We are out of all the staples - no milk, no veggies, no fruit. We are hurting in the fresh foods quite severely. I won't be able to get all we need, but well, I can just go tomorrow too. Another benefit of riding the bike - more trips.

I'm thinking of "maybe" riding the tandem solo to the gym tomorrow. That gym is right next to the grocery store. If I can ride that bike by myself, then my son and I might be able to handle it together. It's all uphill there and well, hard work on a regular bike. I don't want to have to walk the entire way there while pushing a bike with my son. My husband can drive there with my son and then my son and I can ride home together. That I know we can do as I coast almost the entire 2 plus miles home! If we can handle it together, then my summer grocery shopping trips can include the 7 year old (pulling the cart behind that bike instead of the single). Otherwise I'll need to leave him at home with my older son or mother in law. He could use the exercise too and he loves riding that bike. So... tomorrow I'll test it out solo first. Giving myself tons of time to spare so that I won't be late for class if I end up having to walk a lot of it!

Stats for 4/27/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.8
Total hours worked out in 2012: 78/250

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A bit bummed about starting over, but maybe there's an advantage?

I started walking and riding the bike yesterday and will do step tonight at home and then tomorrow will do step at the gym. I'm bummed though because my shoulder is still not quite right. My husband, who also had a shoulder injury, has been able to go to bodypump twice now. I've been out of that class for over two weeks and it's like I can feel the strength slipping away from me. On top of that, when I don't work out hard, my natural appetite suppressant is gone, so that means on top of not burning extra calories in a day, I'm hungrier and want to eat more in a day AND because I'm not exercising much/hard, I'm losing muscle mass. Every day that goes by, I freak out a little bit more inside. I've worked so hard to get to where I am with fitness and I've been laid up for what seems like forever.

I can finally do cardio (as long as I don't use my shoulder) as the headaches are finally, finally gone. Yesterday I walked three miles and rode my bike for 30 minutes and I feel good, but I haven't given anything a real test yet. I planned on doing step last night, but my older son had a band concert, so I had to go to that instead of the class. Just lots of fast walking yesterday.

But, while I'm bummed I'll probably have to drop my weights quite a bit in bodypump and can't move on with C25K, I got to thinking that maybe this temporary set back is also a way and time to get my older son to work out with me.

My older son is very thin, but he does nothing for physical activity. He has said a couple times that he would like to run, but he doesn't know how to pace himself and find ways to do it in a smart way. Maybe, if we do it together, we can do C25K together. That's if a nearly 16 year old can stomach running with his mom. He tried to do some running with his dad last spring, but he would quit and then my husband quit running too. They were running too much too fast. The C25K forces you to ease into running and teaches you to pace yourself a bit. Maybe... maybe. I can see. Him just sitting in the house day in and day out just can't continue. Being skinny does not mean being healthy.

So, step tonight in the basement. I'm going to do the reebok step as it's my favorite and I know it well enough to gauge where I'm at.

Stats for 4/26/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 171.8
Total hours exercised in 2012: 77/250 (should be around 84 hours by the end of this month which means I'm behind because of the injury! Wah!!!!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One of the reasons why we are so obese as a nation

This morning I walked my youngest son to school while he scootered on his scooter - pretending it was a segway. We live just under a half mile from the elementary school and because of the community we live in, there are sidewalks or paths that can safely get us there and a cross guard on the one street we need to cross that could be slightly dangerous (and I say slightly as it's not a very busy road).

We walk whenever the weather is passable and we have enough time (meaning he woke up early enough), so that means for this time of the year, we walk most of the time. In winter we rarely walk and that's mostly me. He would probably still like to walk.

Our walk there is beautiful no matter the time of year and since we can take several paths, it's never boring either. We can just pick a different route if we are tired with one.

Who could get tired of seeing this?

And this is the path I'm standing on while I snapped the above photo. I didn't take a step, just turned the camera:

Yet, of all the kids walking distance to school, I see 3-4 families walking and no one walks as far as we do and we don't live far!

Ok yes, many parents go directly from school drop off to work. I can understand that. I've been there and done that myself, but there are a lot of stay at home parents or work from home parents that I know who live walking distance and they drive. One family I know lives one block away and I've seen the stay at home mom drive the one block there and drive straight back home the one block. One block.

Childhood obesity is through the roof scary in statistics right now. Kids get driven to school. Sit in school all day with the shortest recesses ever, get driven home and 'maybe' have soccer or softball or swimming after school a few times a week for some parts of the year. I don't see many kids at playgrounds or playing in their yards. They are inside watching TV or playing on their computers. Just like their moms and dads.

What are we teaching our kids? And then there are studies showing how ADHD is increasing and they are linking it to kids being too inactive. Well, duh. Were kids ever made to sit still for so long? Where does that pent up energy go? Is our fear of our kids playing outside by themselves doing them more harm than good? What is a bigger risk? A kidnapping (very rare) or them dying young from heart disease or diabetes because of lifelong inactivity (not rare at all)?

And we've made it so difficult to be naturally active in this country. Where we live there is really no excuse. There are sidewalks and paths and everything is walking distance or bike distance - the schools (all of them - elementary, middle school, high school and even the community college), the library, the mall, and the grocery stores are all right there. But where we moved from? We couldn't walk anywhere safely as adults, let alone the kids. Plus, all schools were over two miles away. There was no choice but to drive. Much of America's burbs are like that - no sidewalks and no way to get from Point A to Point B in a direct manner. What do families do then? They have to drive!

Yet we wonder why we are getting so obese? It's right in front of our noses. We don't move enough and we are teaching our kids not to move either. If we just walked to school, rode our bikes to the pool and library and let our kids run around and play outside, they would be slimmer, more fit, happier and suffering less from ADHD.

Stats for 4/26/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 172.0

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The fruits of my labor from last year's gardening...

And work yet to be done!

Last year for the month of April and May I mostly worked in my garden for weight loss efforts. And those months were great months for losses on the scale. While I did plant several annuals for instant color, I planted a lot of perennials too.

My yard is big and it was a blank slate. The previous owner was in her late 70s and while she didn't really neglect it, she didn't really take care of the yard either. She hired someone to mow and trim the bushes and to throw mulch on the flowerbeds, but that's about it.

The first year we lived here we concentrated on fixing up the inside of the house - remodeling the bathrooms, kitchen and other small areas that needed attention. Last year I started in on the yard and while I made some great progress, I still have so far to go.

This spring has been an odd one. We had a warm winter, but the spring has been hit or miss. It was too early to plant, but was warm and tempting to be outside. Now it's finally getting warm enough to plant and I have a shoulder injury and the weather has been colder, windier and rainy. Just now taking photos, my shoulder started to ache. Seems I need to rest it a bit more, so I can start dreaming about what I want to do yet out there in the yard, but I think it will have to be step and running/walking for exercise right now.

But first let's start with the pretties in the yard - the fruits of my labor from last year.  First, this is what greets me when I step outside my front door. The smell is heavenly. A dwarf lilac in full bloom:

In front of it are two varieties of stone crop. My main objective with planting in the front yard last year was to disguise the ugly sewer pipe in the front yard. It's SMACK in the middle of the yard. The previous owner had an upside down flower pot on it, and that's it. So, I created this flower bed. It still needs to grow in more and needs more to fill it out, but it's on a good start. The smell - oh how I love lilacs!

In that same flower bed I planted three peonies. Here is one cluster of buds ready to burst open:
Looks like as soon as the lilacs die out, the peonies will be ready.  Behind all this, right in front of the house are the tulips I planted in December. They are beginning to bend all over with the three days of rain, but still so pretty. The azaleas behind them still haven't bloomed. Maybe the peonies and the azaleas will bloom at the same time:

Also in the front yard I planted a perennial hibiscus. It's just beginning to pop up. Well, I also planted last summer an annual hibiscus that was so beautiful, but the deer came and chomped down on the annual - ignoring the perennial. I'll stick to just the perennial this year. Live and learn:
My yard is big. I have this huge side flower bed that was just mulch all about for most of it and a few azaleas and a big rhododendron in the back. I started filling it with perennials last year. Here are a few of the perennials:

 A cute little pinflower with a bloom azalea bush in the background.

 A teeny tiny hydrangea just beginning to grow in.

 Two bleeding hearts and some hostas. Now, I would have taken a close up of the bleeding hearts, but they look better from a distance. We had a late frost and the hearts are all brownish and misshapen. No one wants to see a broken heart.

 One of the many hostas I planted around trees in the yard.

And my regular lilac bush. No blossoms this year - not a single one, but it's growing, so I'm going to hope that next year I'll see and smell the blossoms.

There is more! In the back yard there are three boulders. They are interesting, but there was nothing around them - nothing at all. My son likes to climb on them and sit on them, but they looked lonely out there. So, I planted all around them. Two peonies, a couple lavender bushes, some shasta daisies, some stonecrop, a little bush and an interesting dwarf tree.

 Here's the lavender - just beginning to filling. I can't wait to use some of it for ice cream and for making little pouches for the dresser.

 Two varieties of stonecrop. These two I bought for our old house, but they never made it into the ground. I had them growing in their nursery pots for two summers just sitting neglected in the back yard. They transplanted fine and love their new stoney home. Especially the one in the back. Of course, I lost the card for them, so I don't know their names, but they are pretty and cute and easy to care for.

 I had to get this one. A plant called Little Henry? Planted the sweetspire around the rocks my little Henry loves to play on? No blossoms yet, but it's growing just fine.
And the contorted filbert tree/bush is behind them - all interesting and funny looking. Again, another nice accent to the rocks.

So, that was the work from last year, but there is so much more to do! In the front yard I have a Bradford pear tree. I planted hostas around it and used some brick bedding that was around the yard, but the bradford pear grows these spindly volunteers every, single year. Believe it or not, this is just regrowth from this spring. I need to go out there with shears and cut all the volunteer trees back. What a pain. I'm hoping eventually the hostas will fill in and choke out the volunteer trees.

 Doesn't look very tidy does it?

The next two are the side yard. I put down some leaves to kill the grass back there this past fall., but I still have to dig some out. All those dark balls you see on the ground are sweet gum balls fallen from my neighbor's tree this spring. I hate that thing because you twist your ankles walking in the yard along there. Plan is to plant a tree, some ferns a few other things along there so that we don't have to mow and to make that neglected side and back of the house look less neglected.

 And then lastly there is directly behind the house, right behind this side yard. Last year I planted three fig trees in the containers running along the side. They love the spot as they quadrupled in size. I plan to keep them in containers as the root systems of figs can damage foundations. We'll see as they get bigger what I do with them, but look at all the figs developing this spring: But not a very pretty back yard view. Other big containers were tomato plants and the small ones were herbs. So, that all needs to be tidied up too.

The really big project though is that side flowerbed. What I discovered last year when I was planting the perennials was that the previous owner just kept having the workers adding layers of weed barrier fabric and mulch. I discovered at least three layers of fabric with decomposing mulch inbetween. Nothing can grow and spread through that, so I need to pull it all out. This flower bed is about 40 feet long and ranges from 12 feet to 20 feet wide. As I said, it's huge! On top of that, last year in one of the downpours, the timbers holding up the flowerbed tipped over on it's side. Now I have to deal with that too - do I remove them? Keep it on it's side and fill in? or what? As you can see - this will be the big project for this spring:

 See the cloth? That is just one layer of at least three - it's sloped so much that any rain just washes the top layer of mulch away.

And here is the tipped over timbers. Ugh... my shoulder is aching just thinking about this project.

If and when I get to this, I will be working hours and hours and hours out there. That is a natural way of strength training. Good thing I have all the pretties in the yard to help me realize that the effort does have a nice payoff - eventually.

Stats for 4/24/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 173

Monday, April 23, 2012

The role of sleep in weight loss/eating right

As I said yesterday, I didn't get much sleep the night before and it resulted in way too much overeating yesterday. I have no idea how many calories I ate as I was nonstop nibbling on that cake it seems. I felt awful from the cake/sugar and from lack of sleep.

This morning I woke up and I felt instantly better with getting nearly 9 hours of sleep. I've been up for 2 hours and I'm already feeling I could take a nap (effects of sugar? effects of lack of sleep?) but I don't feel tempted to eat garbage, unlike yesterday.

While going to bed last night I gave myself permission not to weigh-in today. This morning when I woke up, I said to myself, "Go weigh-in. Remember it's all temporary." And so I did. Up 4 pounds from two days ago, but I also know most of it is water weight.

I lost control yesterday because of stress and lack of sleep. If that cake wasn't in the house, I wouldn't have had a chance to binge on it, but then I would have found something else in the house full of simple carbs - trail mix, pretzels, gingersnaps. There's always stuff around. The cake just made it easy. This morning I have no desire at all to dip into the cake (I have a small section left that was 'spare' that didn't have the mousse filling - the rest needed to be tossed).  The difference? I had sleep!

I've read numerous articles on how lack of sleep is a big reason people gain weight and I totally believe it. It's a big reason that I try really hard to get good sleep these days. It affects everything  - my mood, my decision process, my diet and my ability to talk myself into or out of exercise.

I posted about lack of sleep and links to obesity this morning on Facebook and a FB friend linked this article that was sent to her husband last week from a fitness group he's in:

It totally jives from my experience. And much of my married life I've been sleep deprived. I married a night owl, so if I wanted to spend any time with my husband, I needed to stay up, but that darn alarm clock would wake me in the morning, or a baby at night (both my babies were horrible sleepers for a very, very long time). I coped with sleep deprivation with eating crap/high sugar foods to make it through the day. That adds up. And it is a vicious circle like the article says. You then get wound up from the sugar of the day and then can't sleep well the next night. And then if the problem gets worse, obese people sleep worse because of their obesity. For me? I developed restless leg syndrome. It acts up when I'm sleep deprived. It won't let me sleep and then the next night I'm even more sleep deprived and then I have even worse restless leg syndrome symptoms.

That was why the very, very first thing I told my husband when I started losing weight this time was that I was not going to be staying up late and getting up early any more. I begged off the morning routine with our teen. I refuse to stay up and watch a movie with my husband until the wee hours any more. I just can't do it and function properly. And I think my husband finally believed me when I said I think it's what was causing so many problems - my wanting to please everyone by adapting to their schedules - eating when they were hungry, staying up with their hours just messed up my body's routine and as a result, I made worse decisions throughout the day and that led to weight gain.

So, when people ask, "How did you lose the weight." The first thing I say is, "I started getting enough sleep." And honestly, that is the biggest truth. The rest is so much easier if I'm not sleep deprived.

Stats for 4/23/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 172.6

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lack of sleep and cake? Bad combination

I had three hours of sleep last night and that was because we had a realllly busy day yesterday (and the day before) and I still needed to make my son's birthday cake. That staying up late meant binge fest today.

Yesterday, before we had to leave the house, I had the mousse done, the batter for the cake ready and the icing made, but none of the decorations.  My son wanted an Angry Birds cake and well, that takes time. I couldn't exactly tell him I didn't have time to make the cake, but man, did it lead to a bad day for me.

So, I stayed up way late and then today I ate cake, cake, and FROSTING and then a 'so-so' dinner. Cake frosting (especially Italian Meringue icing) is a trigger food for me, but to add stress and sleep deprivation to the mix? Oh. my. goodness.... I was so good for weeks and then BAM, a full out sweet bingefest today. It's been eons since I've done that and I know the biggest culprit is lack of sleep. I do not handle lack of sleep well at all.

The good news to it is that one bad day does not undo months of being good, but more importantly, I know why I got derailed today and why I went bezerk. Lack of sleep plus trigger foods equal disaster calorie day. In years past I wouldn't understand why I went crazy. Now I do. So, what do I do about it? SLEEP and get caught up so that I can get right back on track.

I don't even feel good I'm so full of buttercream today. Wow...

Stats for 4/22/12:

I have no idea as I didn't weigh in this morning!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Obesity and Autism

This has taken me a few days to be able to write about this because it hit me really hard when I heard it, but here it goes.

I think I've mentioned on here several times that my youngest son is high functioning autistic or what was commonly called having Asperger's Syndrome (the new DSM V is doing away with the term Asperger's it seems). So, on the scale of autism, he is at the tip top of the range with being very high functioning autistic. He spoke early. He communicates clearly. He is academically on target and so on. But, he has many classic austism traits - doesn't play with kids interactively, lines up toys instead of making up play, he talks but has difficulty making conversations and his speech is very repetitive and so on.

We suspected something wasn't quite right around the time he was two or two and a half and at almost four we got him tested and at the time he was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified. Huh? What is that? Basically, yes, he showed delays but didn't show enough symptoms of autism to get the label at that age. When he was 5 he got retested and this time he got the label of autism. By then I was ready for the diagnosis as it would mean he would get the help he needed in school.

My son doesn't need help with academics. He reads above grade level and does math at grade or slightly above grade level. What he needs help with is doing is work = starting and finishing. And I worry about his future, of course. I know academically he can do anything, but what life skills will he be lacking to be able to live independently and happily?

When I was pregnant with my son, we had an amnio done. I remember the day we got the call. They said everything looked good and we were having a boy. I remember getting off the phone and thinking, "Ok, all we have to worry about now is autism." By then I had met several families - highly educated families who had children with autism. I was terrified of it and terrified that they don't know what causes it.

After he was born, I took a lot of comfort in seeing that my baby gave me good eye contact and loved to snuggle. Phew, no autism signs. But was his need for touch too much? And why couldn't he sleep? I started looking into "why" when he was about 15 months old. He was walking late and while he could talk up a storm, he didn't call me "mama" - like I wasn't separate from him. He also had no interest in food at all. But nothing I could find seemed to fit his odd mix of developmental delays and it was all a big puzzle.

As he got older it became clearer and clearer we were looking at something on the spectrum and by the time he got the diagnosis, as I said, I was ready for it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt and still scare me. And I still ask "how did it happen?" Was it that I was 35 and my husband was 38 when he was born? Was it that he fell from the bed a couple times (rolling off) when he was 5 months old? Was it that my nutrition wasn't good enough? Was it that I was very overweight? That I had gestational diabetes with him? Or was it that he watched a bit of TV when he was 18 months old (Blues Clues)? Or that I just wasn't giving him something that he needed? WHY??? Did he have autism and was it something I could have prevented? Did "I" do this to him?

And no answers for the millions of us parents who have children with autism. One in 88 kids are born with autism now. One in 88!!! Is that a true increase? Or just an increase in finally diagnosing a problem that's been around for eons? I now can name several kids in school that were "odd" that didn't have a diagnosis. They were just different. How many of us have family members we call "eccentric" that really fit the definition today of autistic? There are just so many unanswered questions. And so many of us want to know, "Why my kid?"

So, the other morning while waking up, I heard this report on NPR: autism linked to obese mothers.  Read it please.  At least the article is saying, "this isn't conclusive". But does it explain my child? That and that my husband and I were over the age of 35? And I had gestational diabetes? Did I cause my son to be autistic?

That will haunt me for the rest of my life if this article is true - that my weight and diet and lifestyle is what led to my son having autism. I knew my weight was probably a big factor in me not getting pregnant for over two years. I was between 255-275 when we were trying to conceive. But if my inability - my unwillingness to lose weight is what caused my son to be autistic? Oh. My. God... How can I forgive myself? I might be responsible for this????

It took a health scare to finally get me to get my life in order. It wasn't enough for me that I was experiencing secondary infertility, but what if I would have known about the risks of being overweight and autism? Would that have gotten my act in gear a decade ago? I can't know and I fear probably not, but maybe I would have stopped trying to conceive out of fear.

And I know this is one study and studies are always flawed and it will need to be repeated and repeated to really draw any conclusions, but now the bug is in my ear. My obesity might have caused my precious son to have autism. My inability to care enough about my own body and health could have forever impaired his life. That is a tough one to accept and it will be a heavy spot on my heart forever.

Obesity sucks the life out of you. Yet I allowed it to happen to me. I didn't care enough about myself to deal with it and that makes me sad to think about it. It makes me sad to think of all the people who never care enough about themselves to take care of themselves - ever. But when you start to realize that the weight just doesn't end with 'you' but your loved ones indirectly and directly, it becomes harder and harder to believe in 'fat acceptance'. And I'm saying that as a decades long fatty.

And if I'm responsible for the autism. I'm so sorry, sweet little boy (who turns 7 tomorrow). I didn't know. I really didn't know.

Stats for 4/21/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 168.8

Friday, April 20, 2012

Still healing and coming to terms with my weight

Little by little I'm feeling the stiffness in my neck going away. It's still there and worse in the morning when I wake up, but it's almost healed up. I think I'll give it this weekend to heal as we have a really busy weekend ahead of us. The shoulder is probably more iffy, but that would only exclude mowing and strength training. I should be able to walk/run and do step aerobics with a bum shoulder if I skip planks and mountain climbers, etc.  So, that, at least, is all good.

But this morning while getting dressed, I gave myself a really good look. My husband was standing there beside me getting ready too. I said, "You know, I don't think I have that much left." My husband said, "No, you don't. You're at a healthy weight now. If you want to lose a bit more you can, but it's going to be slow going from here. You're at a point like me - sure more can be lost, but it will be vanity pounds." He went on to say that a lot of what I see as fat is loose skin and not really fat and that I just need to give that more time.

And I see he is right. So, I think I will just keep working on getting more fit. Staying active and trying to turn fat in to muscle, but I will worry less and less about the scale. I do want to get a few more pounds down, but I'm not sure how much further I want to go.

Yesterday when I was at the doctor's office, he didn't say, "try to lose a few pounds to lower your blood pressure". He did the first time around. But then my doctor isn't very good, so who knows.

I'm just at this point where it's hard to know where to stop. I'm definitely not in danger of being too thin. I definitely can lose more. But, I'm also at a point where I'm at a healthy weight for my height and frame size. And I'm having to wrap my head around that a bit. And that is hard to do.

It's hard because of the vast differences between other people's weight. The vast difference between my husband's frame and mine. My husband who is more honest than I would like sometimes thinks that my weight is healthy. Yet, I weigh just 7 pounds less than him and he's nearly 7 inches taller. He is leaner than me. We both know that too. So it gets confusing.

It's hard when I see other people my height wanting to weigh so much less than I currently weigh. And I see people my height weighing 20-30 pounds less than I weigh and I wonder, "am I making up excuses to not lose more?" I think that's where I'm getting hung up. Right there - is this an excuse to quit where I'm at?

So, I guess what I'm going to do is to keep doing what I'm doing. Keep eating as I'm eating and keep pushing with exercise as I'm doing and see where I end up and try not to get as frustrated with the scale as well, maybe the scale isn't going to give up much more without me really dipping low into calories or exercising like mad. If I can't lose any more eating 1400-1500 calories a day and exercising 5 hours a week, then that's it. I'll call it 'over'.  But maybe it will still go down little by little until I stabilize - maybe this isn't 'over' but just a resting spot for now.

It's just so hard to know - especially with saggy, loose skin. I'm not 'tight'. And the scale is still high. It's just not easy to know.

Stats for 4/20/12:

Highest weight: 275 Now: 168.6

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Doctors do not know everything

It's funny how the older I get the less trusting I get of people - especially doctors. What I've come to realize is that general practioners are just that - generalists. They know a little bit about a lot of things, but nothing too much in detail. And, because they are forced to see a gazillion people a day to earn a living, they don't take time to read your charts so that when you have an appointment it isn't very thorough. That's been my experience at least.

So, today I had a physical and a followup for blood work. Physical was fine except for my blood pressure is creeping back up. It wsa 158/90. I asked if my headache could be affecting it and he said yes, to the top number, no to the bottom number. I filled out a form for the physical. He must not have even looked at it as he never even asked about my shoulder ache, headache or even the stress incontinence which was all mentioned on the form.

He asked if I had gotten blood work done (meaning he hadn't looked to see if he had ordered it or that it had been received) and I said yes. He looked and yes, it was there. He glances over it, says, "check, check, check, "Everything looks fine except you are slightly anemic. Blood sugars are fine. Cholesterol is fine. Everything is mostly fine." He made out a prescription for blood pressure meds (but thought I was still taking them as he hadn't updated my file from last April/May when I stopped taking them - and I've been to see him 2-3 times since then) and a lab order for 3-4 months from now to check on the anemia and thyroid.

No mention of my continued weight loss (I weigh about 12 pounds less now than I did in January). But he also didn't mention me needing to lose weight either.  No mention of my previous blood sugar issues - well, he did mention it saying, "We checked your blood sugar because you had gestational diabetes" Um, no, you checked it because last year it was registering as being diabetic and only the last time did it come back OK and you were verifying that it stayed better (and it did  - even better than before - fasting blood sugar was 83 and A1C was 5.1) Appointment done.

Well, I looked at my thyroid numbers. They are 4.2 The lab says anything below 4.5 is fine. The doctor thinks anything below 5 is fine. All new research (and it's everywhere online) says numbers should be below 3.0. The closest I've gotten is 3.3 before it shot up to 14 and has been around 4 for the last 4 months I figure. (I never got the results from the last check).

Thyroid is what messed up everything for me - blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol. All of it was haywire with my thyroid being haywire. So, I'm suspecting it's still what's causing the blood pressure issue. I exercise 5 hours a week. I have lost a lot of weight. Why is my blood pressure creeping up?

Well, then I found this: and the more I read about synthroid (especially generics) the more I realize that it's not working for me.

1. I am still having sexual side effects. Doctor dismisses it.
2. My thyroid level has not stabilized and has not gotten to where it should be.
3. My blood pressure is creeping up for no reason.

Instead of just giving me a script for blood pressure medicine, shouldn't we try to figure out if my thyroid might still be messing with my blood pressure? Why are they so quick to just give a pill?

So, tomorrow I will look for an endocrinologist. My husband's boss is a nurse who works with endocrine stuff, so I'll be asking her for a reference/ideas of where to look. Enough is enough of waiting on my doctor to figure it out. I need to be smart enough to know I need to do more for myself and not expect him to do more.

Stats for 4/19/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 170.0

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Making today a rest day to get over this headache and blood work

So my plan of doing exercise, but not strength training isn't working out well. I'm still getting these headaches and it bites. I have really strong motivation right now and I want to MOVE. And my body wants to move. I'm itching to move, but... it's not allowing these neck muscles to heal and that's giving me daily headaches.

Today I took it easy. I did some laundry. I ran some errands I needed the car for. I got my blood work done, and now I'll just be lazy.

I can feel it in my neck - it's stiff and not right. Today is day 5 and it's getting really, really old.

I hate being sidelined for an injury because it takes so long to build up stamina and strength and it goes away so fast!

To switch gears, I went to get blood work done today as I mentioned. For the first time in my life, I wasn't too nervous about it. It was unpleasant to fast this morning, but that's about it. I've been lucky the last few times with blood draws, so I was counting on it going well again today.

I got a bit nervous when I saw SIX vials to be filled. In days of yore that would have meant several failed attempts to get a vein and then when they found one, it would collapse on them and they would have to find another one for other vials. So far,  of the successful visits I only had to have one vial filled and it was without fasting.

But, she found the vein immediately, filled the 6 vials easily and off I went - one poke, no digging, all 6 vials and no pain as she got it immediately. It's a little tender now, but nothing major. That is a first in my life time to have it go that easily. And that right there is enough for me to keep at exercise. I never want to be tortured at the phlebotomist again!  Now to see how the blood work came out. I was being tested for everything - Vitamin D deficiency, thyroid, cholesterol, blood sugar, regular blood work up and urinalysis. Fingers crossed!

Oh, and I was about to close, I'm realizing now that I'm smaller, I can see the bloat so much more on my body. My abdomen is bloated. My ankles and feet are thick. It's only a couple pounds, but I can SEE it without even needing the evidence of the scale! Scale just confirmed it!

Stats for 4/17/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 171.6

Monday, April 16, 2012

Finally getting my money's worth out of my bike

As you recall last spring I bought a bike, but sad to admit, I haven't used it much. But, that is changing!!!

On Saturday I used it to go to the grocery store to get groceries. Today, I ran all sorts of errands.

First, to refresh your memory. This is my bike: Novara Transfer. It is a great urban/commuter bike. It is a somewhat of a step through bike, has fenders, a rack and a chain guard. What I really love about it is that it has internal gears. The buddybike which is the tandem I have to use with my son has them and I'm telling you, once you have internal gears, you will never want to go back to regular shifters again. Why? because with internal gears you don't have to be pedaling to shift gears and there is very little risk of the chain falling off. I love that! Oh, and less upkeep too and I'm all for as little upkeep as possible.

Then, because I wanted to be able to ride my bike for errands - like to the library and such, I wanted a nice bag for the rack. I got this: Basil Memories bike bag. Everything is great about this bag EXCEPT that it has buckle and belt clasps to open and close which make it time consuming. However, I think I might sew some velcro on and that would solve the problem. It holds a lot, is secure and cute!

The real splurge though was getting this: The Burley Travoy. This picture shows it as you use it in the grocery store, but the handle unfolds and you can attach it to your bike. Here's more information: You really don't even feel like you are pulling anything as it's only 9 pounds and it comes off so easily. I truly love it, but... until this weekend, I hadn't used it since last spring! Which is ridiculous!

But today I did. Here is my whole set up. I even have a front basket (though I might be taking that off): Melissa's bike with Travoy, panniers and basket and this: another angle.

I had two swimsuits to return today, plus a pair of shoes that were too big and something for my husband to mail. Why not ride my bike to these destinations? So, I took off the trailer and put the 5 packages in the panniers hanging off the rack and set off. First to the UPS store which is about a mile from us. Now, that ride about killed me and it's part of the reason I've not ridden my bike much. Getting out of my neighborhood is no joke. It's all uphill and fairly steep. Last spring I had to get off the bike and walk up a block. This time I could make it, though barely, my heart was pounding big time and it was slow going, but made it I did. Then from there I went to the post office which is about 1.5 miles from the UPS store. That ride was pretty easy with small hills up and down. Then I went to my son's elementary school to volunteer which was about a mile back. Then home for lunch. After lunch I hooked up the trailer and rode to the grocery store.

Now this is where luck comes in play. On the way to the grocery store it is nearly all uphill. None of it is very steep, but it is continually uphill. I have the trailer, but it's empty and I can make it all except for one tiny little 20 feet section of very steep uphill. I tried to make it and almost fell over out of sheer stubbornness of not wanting to quit on the hill a second before I needed to. My goal is to get up that hill all the way by the time summer gets here (for real). But for now I had to walk those 20-30 feet.

I loaded up (and that little thing holds a lot). Today it was about 1/2 full and I didn't put anything in the panniers on the rack and I bought this: gallon of milk, quart of kefir, 5 lbs bag of flour, 2 frozen pizzas, 8 pounds of apples, a bag of clementines, 2 pounds of grape tomatoes, a loaf of bread, and two containers of salad dressing. Now I have some weight to the cart, but the ride home is nearly all downhill and nowhere am I in trouble of needing to get off and walk. And that is why I got the Burley Travoy. I really have no reason not to drive to the grocery store and come summer, the farmer's market which is about equidistant, will be another weekly destination.

All together I rode about seven and a half miles today which added up to a bit over an hour on the bike.  I also walked to and from my son's school twice which is about 1.75 miles total.  All of that exercise that was just part of normal, useful activity - not planned working out. Well, it was planned, but it wasn't a "let's go for a run" kind of thing, but "I have errands to run, let's do it without the car". I am going to do more and more of that too. Moving with a purpose just makes more sense to me than jumping around in a gym when you have a choice.

So, it was a good day. Muscle achiness in the neck is still there, but I didn't need to take anything for it! And you believe it? I forgot to weigh-in this morning!

Stats for 4/16/12:

Total hours exercised in 2012: 75.5/250

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sometimes all it takes is one comment

Yesterday was a very, very busy day. It was made even busier because I had been held up because of this darn headache I got. But it was also a very good day. I made a nice meal, rode my bike to the grocery store. Did week 1 day 2 of C25K and it felt much better yesterday than the other day. And then I got stuff for the auction wrapped up and got some baking done so I could contribute to the auction. I really felt good about my decisions and about where my fitness was and how I felt in my own body. I didn't think twice about wearing my bike shorts and fitness shirt to the grocery store. I don't feel like a whale any more and I'm doing something good for myself, so who cares?

Then this morning I was getting ready for the Sunday meeting. I couldn't decide on what to wear as the weather is changing from cool spring day to a quite a summer day, but in the end I decided on my consignment store find dress by Diane Van Furstenberg. My mother in law, like usually, checked me out head to toe and declared it looked very nice. And then, the comment.

She said, "This dress looks much nicer on you than your other dresses because you can't see your sloped neck in the back." (meaning my slight hump between my shoulders). "In your other dresses you look nice from the front, but in back you can see that hump on your back." And then goes on to say when she was young that she had a nice straight back, but that I don't and it's just the way I'm built.

It took two seconds to go from feeling great to feeling deflated. I felt so good in these jersey dresses - the ones where she says shows my 'hump'. They flatter my shape and my legs. My husband loves how I look in them and now she hits me with "in those other dresses you can see your curve at your neck."

Last month it was "You don't have a waist." Last fall it was commenting on how she could see my scalp on the top of my head. Last summer it was how she could see the stretch marks behind my calves. And before I lost weight, it was always comments about my weight.

Of course, I told my husband about it and his reaction was, "So? Why do you care what she has to say?". And I said, Because when I look at myself more critically, I see she is right. On all those things, she's not making them up." And she isn't. But I'm allowing her comments to affect me. Why?

I don't care about her opinion, but then, maybe that's what others think too? But then am I that critical of others? No. Are some people? Yes. Do I usually like such critical people? No.... Then who cares? And then I thought more.

This isn't about me... This is about her and her need to be critical. Her need to find something wrong. In how I look. In how I clean. In how people do anything. She looks to find mistakes. I think it makes her feel better to find mistakes and she has said about herself before that her biggest flaw is that she is too perfect. And perhaps that is true.

 So, I decided to try to put the comment behind me. How can I let someone's comment get under my skin? Why do I care? Why do I have this people pleaser side to me even with people I will never be able to please? Is it worth my effort to try? Who is it helping and who is it hurting if I let it affect me? So, I really am trying to shrug it off. I have come so far and if the worst thing she can say about my appearance is that a dress that looks mostly great makes my neck slope visible, then so what?

Stats for 4/15/12:

Highest weight: 275. Now: 170.8

Today would have been my father's 62nd birthday. Even though he wasn't a part of my life since I was 9 for the most part and not a positive person in my life, it's still hard to believe he has been dead for almost 20 years.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Strength training induced migraines

So, what I thought was just a strained muscle turns out to be most likely, muscle spasms creating migraine headaches.

Yesterday three times and the day before yesterday once or twice I had migraine auras. I've never had them before and they freaked me out. Good thing I have a doctor's appointment next week so I can talk with my doctor about it.

People who get migraines can have tons of triggers - muscle spasms in the shoulders/neck is one common trigger. It's the second time it's happened for me. So, I need to figure out how to not let happen again! I don't want to give up weight training as it's good for my body, but I can't risk getting migraines all the time either. They really suck.

Today was supposed to be a weight training day, but I woke up with a really stiff neck and headache and a funny feeling eye (migraine symptom for me), so I dropped out of the class for today. In its place I will do C25k and a bike ride - things easier on the neck muscles so they can get better. Seems ibuprofen works on relaxing that muscle in the shoulder/neck and then I feel better.

Seems it's something I do during crunches that strain my neck. I do everything they way they tell you - like don't grab the neck and to keep hands by the temples, but I can feel it sometimes getting tight and pulling. I think I'll need to find a way to modify them or just do planks instead because no way can I give up ab work completely as my tummy is my weak spot and a strong core is essential to a strong everything else.

It's going to be a gorgeous day. I have a TON to do as I have an auction to finish getting ready, baking for the auction to get ready for Sunday, a Sunday school class to get ready and a graduation meeting to get ready all for tomorrow. Since I had a bad headache the last couple days, I didn't get as much done in advance as I would have hoped. Today I need to be Wonder Woman despite feeling kind of lousy with this neck strain and migraine masked by meds, but still making me feel bad.

Scale is up. Lucky me.

Stats for 4/14/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.4

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trying to figure out why I'm stalled out

It might not look like I'm stalled out with weight loss as every day I've dropped about 6 ounces a day for the past week, but I'm repeating the same month as last month - almost exactly. I have 3-4 more days until this menstrual cycle is over (remember I only lose weight in the 10 days before menstruation begins) and then I'll slowly gain or hold steady for 12 days or so and then gain 3-6 pounds with ovulation, hold that for a few days and then drop that 3-6 pounds and if all goes well, a bit more for true weight loss for the month.

So, today is April 13th. Remember on April 1st, when I did measurements and they came back as no change at all from last month that I predicted that this month would be a bust for weight loss. I was also going sky high on the scale for ovulation this month as my ovulation weight gain was added to 3 days of eating more carbs with a slice of cake on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of April.

I didn't take that no measurement change thing to ease up. If anything it made me push harder. I've added time at the gym. Started c25k and so on. Besides those three days of eating around 2000 calories a day (maintenance level), I've eaten around 1500-1550 a day otherwise. According to my gizmo, the BodyMedia Fit thingee, I should have lost 4.5 pounds this past month. So far I've seen a .2 net gain (I still have 2-3 days to lose for this menstrual cycle, but I won't see 4 more pounds disappear!).

This is the very first month that I can see no reason why I didn't lose some weight. I even checked my food intake more accurately by weighing foods, measuring out with a spoon to be sure I wasn't under estimating my caloric intake, and I haven't been. So what is the deal?

Does it mean I'll see a big whoosh next month? If so, why haven't I lose any partial inches at least with the tape measure? A standstill and I don't know why!

Maybe it's that I made room for a couple easter chocolates in my daily calories? (still kept within the 1500 calorie limit). Maybe it's because I upped workouts and my body is holding more water because of it? Maybe my metabolism is truly SLOW and I can't lose any more with what I eat and what I do? Perhaps I just need to accept 2 pounds a month at the most for weight loss from now on out? That I'm so close to being an ideal weight that losing any faster than that is unrealistic? (I can hardly imagine that as I still have a lot of fat).

I'm puzzled - truly.

Stats for 4/13/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 168.2 (.2 above my all time low. I 'could' have a new all time low tomorrow)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Oh dear, a bikini is not in my future

So, I had ordered a bikini in a style that I thought would flatter my figure as best as possible. Well, it's not so flattering. Basically, my tummy is tired - old - worn out and there is nothing I can do to pretty it up short of massive surgery.

My tummy has always been my trouble area, so I'm not surprised. Once upon a time I had hoped that with adding fitness I could make my tummy look like this: but that would have only been possible before kids and before being 42 years old.

I know it was a major disappointment for me when I lost weight the last time. I just saw the same shape me, just thinner. I had the same weak spots - the same paunchy stomach. The same big arms, the same wobbly inner thighs. Just smaller overall.

I sit right now the thinnest I have been my entire adult life and I'm working on 14 more pounds. I am not going to magically find some perfect body there waiting for me and all my efforts. Now I can accept that. It's OK. I've earned these stripes.  Someone posted this picture yesterday and I loved it as it's so true:

And if my stomach looked that good even with stretch marks? I would so wear a bikini. But I don't look like that and I won't look like that in 15 pounds. And that is OK. I will still look better in a swimsuit than I have for more than 20 years. I'll just need to find other ways to show off my progress which I'm very proud of.

On the weight loss forum I did share photos of myself trying on bikinis. Why? Because if we cannot accept our bodies as they are, then how can we tell anyone else to accept theirs? I'm not sharing it here as it's more public, but I'm not ashamed of my body. I did to my body what I did. I gained the weight. I had the babies. But I also shrunk it back up and I'm getting more and more fit and so I'm proud.

Stats for 4/12/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 168.8
Total hours worked out in 2012: 72.25/250

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Body Frame size

I got a little miffed today reading a thread on a forum about determining body frame size. It started as usually - people are measuring wrists, elbows, etc to try to determine their frame size. Then, as almost always happens, people comment on how they used to think they were 'big boned' only to find they were not as they revealed their bodies from layers of fat. This is a natural discovery. Some of us never were thin enough to know our build and others either comforted us by saying we were just 'big boned' or we thought it ourselves to try to soften the pain of being overweight as being bigger boned means you aren't 'as' over weight as you thought, right?

What pisses me off is when someone comes on and says that there is no such thing as big boned people. OK, semantics. Sure, it's not the bones that are necessarily bigger, but can anyone deny that people have different size feet even if they are the same height? Can anyone deny that some people have wide hips and other narrow and so on?

What pisses me off the most is that it is almost ALWAYS someone who has a very petite frame that makes a comment that frame size is irrelevant to weight. Or it's always a very fine framed person who comments that X weight is too much for X height. They think their size, their shape is the defining shape/size. It's NOT.

Is it as simple as "your wrist is this size, so you have this size frame"? No, I don't believe that. I think we are far too complex a being to fit such a narrow definition of small, medium and large. We might have big feet and small hips and wide shoulders, but in general, you can roughly get an idea of your frame size with a few body measurement tests (and using more than one is a good idea).

What angers me is this. I used to believe that all girls at 5'6" should weigh 135 or less and it's not true. Almost all the teen girls I knew weighed that or less, so I should too. No one, NO ONE until I was an adult told me that it was an unrealistic number for me. Or maybe they did and I didn't listen as how could it be true for everyone but me?

I feel strongly about this not for myself, but for some teenage version of me who might be looking at her big frame and thinking she's fat because she's 145 pounds at 5'6" tall. On the BMI chart she might be topping out (especially if she's muscular on top of her big frame - and don't you want your daughters to be fit?), and all her friends are weighing less on the scale than she is. She might feel she's fat when she might actually have the most lean body of all her friends.

Why do doctors continue to use ranges for heights/weights? And the dreaded BMI charts? Why not caliper tests or the bodpod test to determine body fat percentage and then teach young men and women what's the range for that and what is good and great and bad for body fat percentages - not just leaving them with saying, "Your body fat percentage is 25%" That might feel like way too much to a 20 year old young woman. She might leave thinking, "A quarter of my body is fat? I am so fat!" NOOOOOOOO 25% and under is GOOOOOOOD. Women have more fat and that's just the way it is. Why are we relying so much on that darn scale???

I sit here at 169 pounds. Yes, I have more to lose, but not 30 pounds more. 15 pounds more and more importantly, I need to keep improving my fitness and I need to keep working on lowering my body fat percentage.

So yes, we are all shaped differently. Not all men like tiny women. Not all women like big men. And that's a good thing - genetic diversity is what makes us strong! So I celebrate my big frame as it's a strong frame and it will probably help keep me safer from osteoporosis as I age. And I want us to celebrate all of our bodies! We were given but one, why compare and try to be something different than what we are? Large, medium, or small framed- we can be beautiful!

Stats for 4/11/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.4

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Starting c25k from the beginning

I decided I would start Couch to 5 kilometers from the beginning for several reasons. One, to prevent injury. Two, to find my pacing. And three, to get a faster pace so that when I actually do get to the timed parts, it will more closely resemble 10 minute miles. Though I still think that will take awhile to get there.

So, today was Week 1 Day 1. I got the iPhone app, C25K Free that you can select whatever week you want and it will give you alerts to run or walk. That was great. for Week 1 Day 1 it's a five minute warm-up of walking, then jogging 60 seconds, walking 90 seconds for a total of 20 minutes. Then, a 5 minute cool-down.

Simultaneously, I used the MapMyFITNESS app that used GPS to track (and time) my distance. I went 2.21 miles in 30 minutes. My minutes per mile were 13:53 counting my warm-up and cool-down.

It was pretty cool actually. I was wearing my iphone in an spibelt around my waist and it would chime and talk to me to start warm-up, to jog, walk, jog, etc. Then the GPS app would chime in and tell me I had gone 1 mile, two miles and told me my minutes per mile at those breaks.

I also could have been wearing my heart rate monitor, but I decided not to this time, but I will next time and, of course, I was wearing my bodymedia fit band which recorded my steps, moderate activity and vigorous activity.

All these gizmos running - two phone apps, a arm pedometer thingee and could have been a heart rate monitor too.

It's a start. Tomorrow I'll do the express bodystep and express bodypump and then try running again on Thursday (weather permitting).

Scale is continuing it's downward trend too.

Stats for 4/10/12:

Highest weight: 275  now: 169.8
Total hours worked out in 2012: 70.75/250.... today is the 100 day of the year too!

Monday, April 9, 2012

This running plan

So, now that I have it in my head to run, I have more thoughts. That of how nice it would be to have it as part of my exercise arsenal for times I can't get to the gym. I'm thinking mainly of our trip to Croatia this summer. Wouldn't it be great to take a run in the morning along the seaside? I wouldn't feel like I'm losing ground on my fitness on our 3 week vacation.  Sure, we'll be swimming and walking around that entire time, but nothing strenuous.

Of course, I'm making a lot of assumptions - like there'll be places for me to run, but there might be... hmmm... but that would also mean more stuff to bring and we are trying to limit our luggage. I'll have to think on this more, but for now, it's motivating me to keep trying despite that awful attempt on Saturday.

Today I did BodyPump and this evening I'll do BodyStep.  Those I can do really well now, but this running business? Holy Moly! But I guess it's good that I want to try again and that I'm not going to give up. I'll give it another shot tomorrow - Tuesday. It can only go better than Saturday, right? Ugh...

Amazingly, the scale was down this morning despite my slight pig out last night. Today I'm really not very hungry, so I'm going with it and eating light as I know soon enough I'll be fighting the famished feeling again.

Stats for 4/9/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 171.2
Total hours exercised in 2012: 69/250

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The good, the bad and the huh....

So, let's start with the 'huh'. Yesterday I decided, among everything else I was planning on doing (which was a lot) that I would try to run. I was going to be smarter about it this time. I was going to warm up my muscles first. I was going to stretch my muscles before running. I was going to follow a plan of running. Heck, earlier in the day I even broke down and bought Depends for better protection for any leaks I might have. I was ready.

Well, it started well. I did everything properly and then I started to run. It felt good, but I was leaking like mad - every single step for the first quarter mile (and yes, I had emptied my bladder just before starting).

It just started to feel all wrong and then I got to about three-tenths of a mile and I worried I wouldn't make it. At four-tenths of a mile I stopped. My heart was racing, my throat was sore and feeling constricted. I was running too fast or something, even though my watch said it was 4 minutes something for where I stopped and I'm not sure exactly how far I made it - I don't have tenths of a mile mapped out - just kind of figured in my head. It would have been close to a 5:30 half mile or worse.

I felt defeated and awful. I knew walking a quarter mile wasn't going to help me and I wasn't liking the feeling of a thickened pad in my underwear. I went home and asked my husband to join me in a walk - which he had planned to do after my run, but the run ended faster than either of us expected. I had planned to run 1.5 miles yesterday with breaks. I made it .4 - maybe. Ugh...

So, how did I find my pace the first time I ran and not this time? Was starting cold maybe keeping my pace slower whereas starting warm made me start too fast? Or was I even faster than last time? I wish I knew!

Now let's go to the good - yesterday, with all I had to do for getting ready for Easter, I did manage to walk 2.7 miles and watch a movie with my husband in the evening. I did a grocery store run, made dinner, made 4 loaves of Easter bread (froze two for next Sunday's Orthodox Easter), made the ham, boiled the eggs, made lemon curd and meringue cookies - a butt load of them, and helped my kids with coloring Easter eggs - oh and cleaned up after myself with all that mess (and it was a lot of mess!). Eating was clean too. Normally on busy days like that I would skip exercise. I didn't skip it. It didn't turn out as well as I hoped, but I didn't just throw in the towel. I took a brisk walk to get some movement in at least. And in the past, I would be running behind and too tired for a movie. I wasn't too tired. I was able to watch a movie. So, while my fitness isn't exactly peachy yet, I definitely manage my time better and have way more energy than even last year when I was already well on my way with losing weight and getting more fit.

But there is the bad too. I had a plan to not overeat today on Easter and I did enjoy a bit more than I should. I had a slice of banana bread and several lemon meringue cookies. In the end it's a maintenance day and way heavy on the carbs, so I'm sure I'll see a big jump up on the scale tomorrow. It was going great until about 7 pm. I guess the good is that I didn't devour any of the kid's candies from their Easter baskets, but I was surely tempted by the gourmet chocolate cream eggs! Egad!

Tomorrow is Body Pump and Body Step.

Stats for 4/8/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 171.8
Total hours worked out in 2012: 68/250

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day two of running and how I will handle Easter

I have decided to do the recommended running schedule for the C25K. (Couch to 5 Kilometer run) Since my fitness is not at the couch, I'll start on week five. If I have to repeat it for a week, so be it. Here is the link my friend sent me of the schedule:

Week 5 day one is this (I'm doing distance, not time):
  • Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
The other day I did Jog 1/2 mile, rest 30 seconds, jog 1/2 mile. If I throw in a longer rest with walking a 1/4 mile, I should be able to do another 1/2 mile in the end. We'll see. I'm still quite sore from running on Thursday!

And today is everything about readying for Easter. I have the ham boiling, then I'll boil the eggs in the water with the ham to give them more flavor. Then make cirnica (pronounced tseerneetsa) which is an Easter bread and then this evening ready the baskets and eggs for hunting outside (we fill plastic eggs for outside - not real eggs). That bread uses all egg yolks, no whites. I already have a container of whites in the freezer, so I'll make these cute little confections my mother in law had at a friends and raved over. I think it's a perfect Easter treat. Her friend sent her the newspaper clipping of this: lemon meringue cookie. I might have to have one of those cookies too - just to try, of course.

Last year, I just didn't give myself an Easter basket. I made one up for the kids and for my husband and mother-in-law. This year, I'll make myself a basket, but no chocolates, but a spring indoor plant and several spring bulbs for planting outside. The Easter bunny knows that I would much prefer that over chocolate.

For the day itself, I will have some Easter bread with breakfast (along with ham and hard boiled eggs) and then for dinner we'll have grilled lamb and grilled veggies - again, pretty easy to avoid the carbs that make my body go berzerk. Way easier to avoid overeating with Easter than the Christmas holidays.

Well, I need to be off. Ham is boiling and I have a ton to do.

Stats for 4/7/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 172.2
Total hours exercised in 2012: 67.25/250

Friday, April 6, 2012

Well I did it! I ran, but I also ate too much!

As I said yesterday, I've been in a funk for no reason that I can rationally think of. So, I decided to try running. It was a perfect day for it and I have the perfect 1 mile path just outside my door - quite literally, so why not?

I about gave up the idea twice. First because my teen was still in bed and I had no one to keep an eye on the 6 year old for the 20 minutes or so I would be out of the house. Then, I was baking and readying things at home since I would be gone in the late afternoon for my younger son's speech therapy. But, I got the teen up, got to a stopping point with the baking of the bread and so I went outside. The last 'almost quit' moment came when one of our older neighbors was outside mowing his back yard which backs up to the lake I was planning on running around. I didn't want to look stupid in my attempt to run in front of our 80 year old still very fit neighbor. But then I thought, "What are you afraid of?" And so I started.

I should have walked a bit first and definitely shouldn't have just 'started' but that's what I did. My plan was to run down past the boathouse to the dam and then turn around and come back to the little circle just behind our house. I've marked this before with my GPS gizmo to know that this is exactly 1 mile and it's mostly flat. As flat as it gets for this part of Maryland anyway.

Since I would be running to the dam and back it also gave me an opportunity to quit if it got too hard. I could stop at a half mile if I wanted and walk back to cool down.

So, I started running. It felt great at first and I wondered if my pace was OK. I said hi to everyone I passed to gauge whether or not I was pushing myself too hard or not. That lake is always full of walkers, bikers and runners, so I said hi to about a half dozen people to the dam and about the same on the way back.

When I got to halfway, I stopped, tied my shoe that had just come undone and looked at my time. Then I realized I could keep going and within 20-30 seconds I started running back. I again was trying to make sure my pace was maintainable and find my stride. I knew I was going slow, but I didn't want to have to stop. I passed by one of the same ladies walking her dog on the way back as I did on the way there and she said, "Nice day for a run." And I said back, "Yep, and it's my first time running ever." Which is mostly true as it's been about 14 years! She said, "Looking really good!"

I then rounded the corner of the lake and went over the little foot bridge and got to the benches and had about a hundred feet to go. I sprinted the last 100 feet or so just to really stretch my legs and feel I was running, not just slowly jogging. That got me huffing and puffing, but my time was about 11:40. I say about as it takes time to get the phone in and out of the pouch on my waist.

I came home and felt great. I had a drink of water and when I got up I could feel the hip flexors. This morning I feel it in my hip flexors and a wee bit in the back of my right calf and my left hamstring. While I exercise frequently, I use my muscles differently. My body was probably like, "What the heck did you just do?"

And, of course, one of the reasons I had been avoiding running was my bladder incontinence problem. I made sure I went pee before running and then wore a pad to soak up any leaks. And I did leak, but it is getting better. I used to leak with every step I took while trying to run. Now it's every few. I'll still probably need to have surgery, but I'm glad to see it's getting better. The pad contained the leaking for that short run and with running near home and short distances, I should be OK until I can get the surgery in the fall.

I think I will keep running in the mix of things. I'll do step M-W-F, strength training M-W and Saturday (with only sometimes being able to do Mondays) and then I can do a bit of running on Sunday- T-Th. I would like to make the 5K (3.1 miles) something I can do regulary and easily. With all these trails around me, it should be easy enough to do too. And now that the weather is cool with low humidity, easy too. When it gets to the heat of summer I can do it early in the morning. I love mornings anyway. Winter? Probably no... but that's OK, I'll find indoor things to do in the dark months.

But then I go and ruin my good day by eating a bit too much at breakfast and then eating 2 cookies in the evening while making the kids cookies. Made it a maintenance day in the end and kept the scale up this morning by eating carbs in the evening. I will never learn, I swear!

OK, but the funk I think is gone!!! That's something right there!!!

Stats for 4/6/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 173.6

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Exercise made me feel so much better! And today I will run!

To say I was in a funk the last few days is an understatement. I was on the brink of bawling for no reason. Like really weird, no reason to be unhappy, kind of funk.  The only reason I could think of that I was in a funk was that I was sitting around the house being mostly inactive and well, that's just not my cup of tea.

Having the kids home for break and with appointments during the week, my schedule has been thrown off and that included workout times. I just wasn't getting the movement I needed and that didn't give me the endorphins I needed to feel good. Add to that the scale going high again, even though I wasn't 'misbehaving' with food, and that doubly affected my funk.

But, I had a good workout last night. I did the 45 minute BodyPump express class (all muscle groups minus shoulders and lunges) and the 45 minute BodyStep class (all tracks minus the abs and one 'recovery' track). It was tough as I hadn't done a cardio class since last Wednesday (had done mowing, yard work and a strength training class). First success came in being able to do the full triceps track. For some reason my triceps are my weak muscle group. I can do the overhead extensions, but the triceps pushups and triceps dips kill me. When I started doing triceps dips last summer I could do 'maybe' a 1/4 of the track with my feet tucked way in (making it easier). Now, last night, for the first time I could do the full triceps section of triceps dips (had to wimp out on a couple triceps pushups yet) with my feet not so close to the step/bench. Felt like a huge victory.

Then in bodystep, I so wanted to quit about halfway through. I was tired and still feeling the funk of the day, but I forced myself to stay and to power through the rest of the workout. I knew giving up was just giving up to the funk I was feeling and the best way to break out of that funk was to break the funk which might also help break the trend on the scale too.  So.... I powered through.

Today, I feel much better. I got a good night of sleep and I got a good workout. I feel so much better, that I'm thinking today I will try to run. I'll first walk around the lake once and then try running to the boathouse and back (walking 1.3 miles, then running 1 mile). I don't know why I just feel this need to try this today. But it's like I want to prove to myself that I 'can' do it. Not sure I can run a mile, but it's flattish and I can always walk part of it if running is too hard.

Already signed up fro bodystep for tomorrow morning.

Stats for 4/5/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 173.6
Total hours worked out in 2012: 66/250

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm discouraged and wondering, "Why am I pushing for more?"

For the second day in a row the scale says 174. That is up 6 pounds from 2 weeks ago. In that time I have been mostly on plan and 'supposedly' never ate over maintenance calories and mostly ate under maintenance calories.

For this month I saw zero loss on measurements - which has only happened a couple times this whole journey and that happened during times I was more off plan AND slacking with exercise. And my big 'indulgence" was eating some frosting while making a cake and then for 2 days eating a single slice of cake? I mean, really? 6 pounds because of that?

Yes, I know.... it's mostly water. Yes, I know, ovulation just happened and that's when I gain weight the most, but seriously. I am right about back to where I was at 175. What is it with that number? it's like my body wants to be stuck at that number forever!  I had gotten out of the 170s for more than a week, so why?

And why am I pushing myself more? I'm healthy now. I look good in clothes. Why am I torturing myself over a few more pounds that seem so elusive?

But then what happens if I decide not to push myself harder? If I gained 6 pounds of water or fat or pee or poo - fact is, the scale is up 6 pounds with trying to stay on plan. Which makes me wonder, "is this really how I will have to be the rest of my life to keep the weight off? Must I really never eat more than 1500 calories in a day and exercise 5 times a week for an hour just to keep at 175?" Really???? That idea frightens me quite a bit. That is not a lot of food and it's a lot of activity.

My food yesterday came to just at 1500.

For breakfast I ate:

A grapefruit
A protein bar

For lunch I ate:

An apple
3 tablespoons of Peanut Butter
1 ounce of cheese

For a snack I ate:

2 cheese sticks

For dinner I ate:

4 ounces of grilled chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
5-6 cups of grilled green beans tossed in olive oil

For a snack I ate:

An orange

I had no formal exercise.

And that is a typical day. The day before I had a slice of cake - but I ate that cake instead of the protein bar.  The day before that I had a slice of cake and ate that in place of the apple and peanut butter. The cake was more calories, but not tons more. But carbs and me - oh boy....

So.... I'm frustrated. Very. I have strength training and a step workout tonight. I have to hope that the scale will read better tomorrow.

Today's food is the same breakfast as yesterday, sack was a single thin slice of ww bread with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, lunch will be 3 eggs and a piece of sausage, dinner will be a huge salad with lite caesar dressing and grilled chicken.

But seriously, if the scale doesn't come down this month out of the 170s for good, I might reevaluate pushing any more. It's taking it's toll these days.

Stats for 4/4/12:

Highest weight ever: 275  Now: 174

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Did you think I forgot about you all?

Somewhat unexpectedly, the past few days were very busy and on top of that, I lost access to this computer and I basically refuse to post on Blogger from my iPad since it won't allow photos and messes up all the formatting.

But here we are in April. April already? And the beginning of April is supposed to be when I do my measurements. Well, I did my measurements and nothing has changed from last month. Not a thing, so now I'm worried that I'll see no weight loss for this month either. I usually see the inches lost first and then the pounds on the scale.

Ovulation was yesterday, so I have a few more days to wait and see what (if any) weight loss I'll see for this month. Scale is up sky high though. Part of it is ovulation weight gain and part of it is eating too many carbs. I had cake the last two days and that adds water weight like no one's business (remember my massive holiday weight gain?). So... I will have to wait and see. Cake is gone and eating wasn't out of control, just out of balance between carbs, fat and protein. A bit high on Saturday and Sunday, but nothing extreme.

It's also about time for gardening to take over of much of my formal exercise. I have so much work to do in the yard. I spent 90 minutes yesterday mowing and picking up sticks. But the flower beds are a mess and need major attention and then I have to revamp the existing huge flower bed and build a new one at the side of the house (where now it's just a mess of nongrowing grass).

But, I'm back and hopefully won't have a three day stint away again! So unusual for me!

Stats for 4/3/12:

Highest weight: 175  Now: 174
Total hours exercised in 2012: 64.5/250