Wowsers

Last night’s trip to the gym was great.  After my lackluster performance earlier in the day, I wasn’t sure if I would have a good workout in the evening either.  Would I have the energy to work it?  Or would I phone it in.

I worked it 🙂

Intervals for 30 minutes in which had me pouring sweat.  My little white towel was wet, and the droplets rolled down my face and bounced off my shirt and splattered onto the ground below me.  I never wear cotton shirts to the gym, I prefer those “stay dry” type shirts because they are lighter and they don’t stick to my skin when they get wet.  Cotton shirts just get wet, sticky, and heavy.  Ick.  It’s also fun to watch the sweat bounce off my gym shirts…I may be easily amused…

Anyway, I did my intervals and followed it up with a short jog on the treadmill.  No weights this close to weigh in…but I will do those tomorrow and Friday.

Here’s hopin for love on the scale tomorrow.

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TGIM!

Monday again!

This morning I got out of bed, spent a few minutes on my computer, waking up and becoming human, then we all got dressed and went to the gym.  My favorite machine was takenm which was kind of a bummer.  It’s one of the gym’s older ellipticals, and I like it much better than the new ones they got in about 6 months ago.  The new ones have built in fans and their own TV’s and everything, but their stride is kinda mushy and I have trouble making them go as fast as I want to.  They also don’t have an interval program.  I just like the old ones better.

In my gym, there are 2 old machines in the first row of ellipticals and the rest are in the very back row – far away from their wifi router.  If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time at all, you know I like to watch netflix while I work out…and the wifi signal isn’t great in the back of the room.  It’s about as far away from the front desk where the router is as you can get, and there are some walls in the way.  The old machine in the first row is optimal for my workouts.  Both of them were taken.  I had to mush along on the new ones, but I didn’t like it so I wasn’t inspired to work hard at all.  It was just kinda…blah.  I’m planning on going back tonight though, so hopefully I can make up for it.

I’m feeling snacky today, trying to keep the snack monster at arms length.  Remember the snack monster?

I feel like he’s after me today.  Nom nom nom!  Trying to figure out what to have for dinner.  I feel actual, physical hunger today so I figure it better be something with a lot of nutrition in it to keep me going with my two aday workout I have planned for tonight!

twoadays rock. Just sayin.

Yesterday, I decided to go for another twoaday.  Cardio in the morning, and then weights in the evening.  My eating was spot on, and I felt great, so I went for it.

The first thing I did was try to get a little jog in.  I have not tried jogging in quite a while because my left knee can be a bit of a stick in the mud, but since I am doing the warrior dash in only a few weeks now, I figured I better see how it goes.  I hopped on the treadmill and walked for a few minutes, then stepped off and tried to limber my knees up as best as I could before hopping back on and going for it.

Since all I really wanted to do was warm up before weight lifting and I had already done cardio for the day, I chose to run for 10 minutes at a pretty slow pace.  It went really well.  No complaints from the knee department.  I’m hoping if I warm them up right, I will avoid injury as much as possible.

For my ‘regular’ morning cardio, I usually hop on the elliptical.  I know I should cross train and try something else like the bikes or something, but I just really like the elliptical.  I like that the body motions are similar to running without the stress on my knees and feet, and I hope that somehow it is helping me prepare for the day when I can run for real (in about 80 lbs?).  Up until very recently, I had been doing steady-state cardio on it.  I set the incline on 10 and the resistance on 7 and just stay at that level the whole time.  It has been fun watching my average strides per minute go up :). 

Lately I have taken to doing intervals on the elliptical.  Mine are 4 minutes per “set” of low and high intensity.  For 2 minutes the ramp sits on a fairly low level and I go somewhat easy.  Then when it goes up to the higher incline (the resistance stays the same), I push HARD.  For 2 minutes I go as fast and hard as I can without tipping the machine over!  Then when the 2 minutes is up, the incline goes back down and I go easy and let my heart rate recover.

The time goes by much faster when I do this, and it really gets me sweating! 

Anyway, back to yesterday.  I did a little bit of running and then did weights for 35 minutes or so, I wasn’t really timing it.  I worked every muscle group, and that took a long time.  I know some people like to do arms one day and legs another day, but I kinda like to mix it up and do some arm stuff, then some leg stuff while my arms rest a little, then back to arms, then finish the legs.  It would probably help if I was more organized…right now you would just see me wandering around the weights looking lost ;).

Yesterday I took in about 1200 calories and burned off about 600.  I know there is no way to REALLY know how many calories one burns, but that is my best estimate.  I arrived at that by taking the estimate the cardio machines give me and knocking about 1/3 off because I think they overestimate my calorie burnage.  So for example if the machine tells me I burned 425 calories, I call it 300.  Then I consulted livestrong to find out how many calories I might have burned while lifting weights, and took some off that as well.  I don’t want to overestimate how many calories I burn and use it as free license to eat stuff so I am pretty careful about that.  So I netted about 600 calories in yesterday and my RMR is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000, so it was a pretty good day. 

Buuuuut all this super fun working out has a caveat.  The scale.  Building muscle and retaining extra fluids to aid in muscle repair shows when I step on the scale and it stubbornly stays at the same number it was on 2 weeks ago.  I suppose I could just stop working out and just starve myself and I would see that number dropping…but you know, it’s not really worth it to me to see lower numbers and have it really be as much lost muscle as anything else.  I will take my strong body over a lower scale number any day.   It’s times like this when I wish I did measurements though.

 

Whoops

The title of the post before the last one (the one about the food tv) brought me some….unsavory visitors.  Oopsie!  Needless to say, I fixed the problem and hopefully I don’t get any more spam.  This is why new commenters have to be approved…I saved you all from some very…well…interesting material. 

Yesterday was a really hard day.  I don’t know what it was.  Tom?  Hormones?  Something.  I was extra, extra munchy.  It started with a bowl of cereal.  I typically don’t even buy cereal.  It’s not good nutrition and I don’t like the way I feel after eating it, so I don’t give it to my kids to eat.  I normally make them a good breakfast that I hope will keep them full, sharp, and focused through their morning at school.  As a treat, I had bought some cereal and I gave it to them for breakfast yesterday.  It was a kind that I really like too though and I figured that since I hadn’t had any in….gosh….6 months or so….that I could have some, too.

So I had some, but as usual, it left me hungry a little while later.  So I made the worst mistake I could have made and stopped at the drive thru for my favorite breakfast treat which I also have not had in 6 weeks or so.  I knew it wasn’t worth it, I knew it would be a mistake….but I figured it would be okay.

Normally after eating that, I’m not hungry at lunch time and calorie wise, it all evens out.  Normally my calories for the day are between 500 and 600 after I am done with lunch, so it works out the same (even though I know it’s not the same, the drive thru food is bad bad bad and my usual break fast and lunch are faaaar more healthy).  So as usual, I wasn’t hungry at lunch time so I skipped lunch. 

But then in the afternoon, I had the horrible munchies.  You know the kind, where you find yourself constantly looking into the fridge or the pantry and then walking away empty handed, but coming back every few minutes?  I don’t know what my problem was, but I just wanted to EAT all day long!

And that is pretty much what I ended up doing.  Hubs offered me half of his bagel and I took it.  Not satisfied, I ate a dried fruit bar (figuring at least I would be getting some fruit in).  A little while later, it was string cheese.  A while after that, I shared a pouch of those itty bitty muffins with Kid3.  A while later I NEEDED another piece of string cheese.  Then when my kids came home from school around 4, I had a taste of their snack.

Then I started to panic.  I was freaking out.  I had a conversation with a friend online about it and I was in full panic mode.  I admitted to her that I was *this* close to giving in to “I’ve blown it” syndrome and ordering a pizza and chowing down.  I brought up my outlook calendar and was horrified to see how close my final weigh in for my contest is.  I felt like throwing up.  I was scared to put all this into my daily plate log, but I did, and found that the damage was not as bad as I thought.  Aside from being more carbs than I normally eat, and the extremely poor use of calories, it wasn’t THAT bad.  I was over the number of calories I normally eat by a teeny bit, but it wasn’t the extreme overage that I had pictured in my head.

Dinner was squash soup, and even though I wasn’t hungry, I ate some of it because it is pretty low calorie and packed with veggies.  I felt very yucky afterward, though.  My stomach is just not used to having something in it all day.  I realize a lot of people eat this way and like it…small amounts frequently…but my tummy likes to have 3 meals.  Grazing is not for me.

After things settled down, I went to the gym and did some jogging.  I did the same thing I did the other night, I walked .25 miles, then jogged .75, then walked again.  I intended to jog the last .25 to make it a full mile, but for some reason my chest was all tight and I couldn’t breathe.  I don’t know what is up with that, I’ve never had asthma but that’s what it was like.  I started to jog the last .25 but between that and the little tinge of pain I felt in my knee, I let it go.  I need to respect my knees, after all I am still very fat.  If I want them to be good to me and allow me to jog, I need to be good to them and listen when they say it’s time to quit.  I’m not nearly as sore as I was after my first run, so that is a huge positive!  I walked the rest of the time I was there, and I’m not beating myself up over it.

So no jogging today.  As soon as I am done here, I’m going to load up a workout video from netflix.  If you have netflix, you should try it.  I stream them to my tv and work out 🙂  Then I think I’ll do a little yoga.

Even after yesterday’s freakout, the scale was gentle to me today.  According to it, I am officially down 30 lbs today.  I put my workout clothes on and shoes so I could simulate a weigh in at the Y, and it added 2 lbs.  If that number were my official Y weigh in number, I would have lost 15 lbs for the contest, or about 5%.  Their scale has weighed me lighter than mine in the past though, so I’m thinking that according to their scale it will be more like 6-7%…hopefully they use the same, super nice scale.  That’s a lot of weight to lose over the holidays!  Even if I don’t win, I think that is awesome.

Finally Better

I have finally been feeling better the last day or so.  I made it to the gym last night in spite of blizzard conditions (and I don’t use that term lightly).  The place was completely empty.  I was the only person in the cardio area.

When I go to the gym, I like to bring along my good friend

The gym has wifi, and I have the streaming app for the ipod, and I can watch whatever I want while I work out.  My gym is nice, they have cardio machines with their own tvs on them….but comercials bore me, and I usually manage to go when there are no shows I like on TV.  My Gym’s wifi has been funny lately though.  I haven’t been able to use their internet.  To combat this, I brought along this:

My friends, that is my mobile hot spot thingie…or as we call it at my house, the d00-dad.  Yup.  Brought my own wifi so I could watch my own shows.  Either I am a true gadget girl, or I’m spoiled!

I kinda figure that anything that makes gym time more enjoyable for me is worth it though.

Shake a Tail Feather!

Did you see over on the right, that I am 3 lbs away from my Christmas goal?  Three.  Pounds.  I really want to get that knocked out this week.  Aside from completing my “impossible” Christmas goal several weeks early, that will put me ahead of schedule for my Holiday Trimmings club goal as well…and I won’t lie…seeing a number that doesn’t start with a 3?  SUPER BONUS!

I have developed a plan that will see me through to a loss of 3 lbs this week (I hope!).  I plan to work out nearly every day.  I don’t need to work out super hard every day, I actually think that will hinder my loss this week because of water retention needed to repair muscle and all that fun stuff, but I want to get in some working out 5 days this week (Wednesday to Wednesday).  Let’s shake a tail feather, people!

Last night I wasn’t feeling like going to the gym.  I was tired, it was cold, and it had snowed all day.  Yuck.  I decided to skip it and spend the evening glued to my computer instead.  I don’t know what happened though because the next thing I know, I was upstairs changing into gym clothes.  Then I was in the car, driving to the gym.  While there, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 40 minutes on the treadmill.  Wasn’t enough, though.  I put my ipod away and did weights for another few minutes, concentrating on my arms since I figure between all the other stuff I did, my legs got a workout already.  Yes! 

Today, since Kid3 was off to preschool and I had some time on my hands, I decided to try something I had not done before.  I fired up the PS3 and the netflix app for it and searched for a cardio dance (aka Zumba) video to do at home.  I figured this would save me from my evening “Idonwanna” thing, and the one time I tried Zumba, I liked it, but the classes are so crowded and I felt like an idiot since I don’t know the moves.

To give you an idea of what that was like, picture a pig (like a human sized one) trying to do a latin or pop dance in front of the TV (which is showing 12 ladies all doing the dance perfectly in sync), arms and legs flying all over, half tripping, constantly looking puzzled and trying to catch up.  That was me.

I was confused at least part of the time, and the ability to coordinate my arms with my legs escapes me.  For now.  No one gets it right the first time.  I was wearing my HRM and I was surprised at how well this did at keeping my heart rate up, and how many calories my HRM told me I was burning.  I trust it.  It knows my height, weight, and how hard I am working, and it typically gives me lower values that the cardio machines at the Y.  It gave me a calories burned value of 250 for the 4o minutes I did, which is probably about right.  This is definitely something I will do again!

I am going to follow my existing food plan.  I don’t know if I could eat any less, especially since I will be going to the gym more.  My current plan is working well and I don’t want to mess with that, so I will continue eating 1000-1500 calories a day.  A typical day is around 1200-1300 but there are those days when I eat less, and sometimes I eat more.

The last thing I am going to do is I am taking a fiber supplement starting this week.  I don’t think this will help me lose weight directly, but I plan on taking it (it’s the kind you mix in water) right around my “snack attack” time of day.  Usually I get the munchies between 2 and 4 pm.  I’m not actually hungry (if I was actually hungry, I would eat something) but I feel like munching.  I got a really full feeling the first time I tried this stuff last night, so I’m hoping that by taking it at that time, I can squash the munchies.

Oh, and drinking more water.  That is something I have to really try hard to do.

I would really, really like to reach my goal this week.  If I don’t, it won’t be because I screwed up and blew it.  It’ll be because my body is adjusting to a different activity level, and I will for sure get it next time…but it would be so awesome to hit that goal in 6 days!

What Have I Done? (And Weigh In)

Last night I did not want to go to the gym.  I knew I had to, but I didn’t wanna.  It is cold outside.  Really, really cold.  I think it was in the low 20’s last night.  Yuck.  We had a warm cozy fire going in the house, and here I was thinking about going out.side. 

Finally I decided to just go.  I planned to go swimming.  Fab.  I put my suit on, got a towel, and checked my bag for the essentials.  Towel?  Check.  Shampoo and stuff?  Check.  Clothes to change into?  Check!  Goggles?…….goggles?   Dammit!  I just bought those goggles to replace the ones my dog recently chewed up, where the hell are they?  Hubster and I searched high and low.  Nowhere to be found.  I called the Y where I swam last to ask if they’d been turned in.  Get this.  The dude at the front desk actually laughed at me.  He laughed and said “We literally have a whole box of goggles here, you are welcome to come down and look for yours.”   Long story short, I went and they were there.

Okay, now for the “what have I done” part.  As I walked to the locker room, I passed a “weigh in here!” sign.  I remembered that the Y does a “Holiday Trimmings” club where you weigh in and promise yourself that you won’t gain any weight between now and new years and if you’re brave, you might even drop a few pounds.  The person who loses highest % of their weight wins a prize, and people who attend all 3 weigh in times get a prize too.  Hmmmmmm…..I mean, I’m already losing weight.  This is no skin off my nose, right?  On the other hand, I have to weigh in at the Y, with the help of the attendant who is likely a skinny athletic type who provably will throw up a little in her mouth when she sees my weight.  Another problem was the weigh in was from 5-8pm and it was a little after 8 so I would have to go and find someone to weigh me.  SHAME!!!

I stood rooted to the spot for a few minutes.  Do I grow a pair and do this?  Or do I let yet another chance to break out of my comfort zone slip away.  Do I or don’t I?  Do I or don’t I?  I went into the locker room, shoved my stuff in a locker and went back out to find someone to help me.

I DID IT!  I stamped on my fear and shame and did it. 

The only thing is, I was asked to set a goal for myself.  The lady said it’s about 6 weeks (The final w/i is January 11th) so my brain immediately spat out TWELVE POUNDS!  Yikes!  That may be a tad unrealistic to lose 2 lbs a week even though the holidays.  Oh well.  Adding that to my goal sidebar thing now I guess.

Okay so now after all that, my weigh in for today.  Super-dee-duper!  I am down 2.5 lbs for the week.  Yay!  I am one happy camper!

Thanks for reading, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Mixing Business With Business

Tonight, I had a little quandary.  I had a video game that we had rented from one of those dvd vending machine things, and it was my job to return it.  I put it off and put it off, and then when I went out to run errands, I FORGOT TO BRING IT.  GRRRRRR.

As if to add to my problems, I didn’t make it to the gym yesterday, or today.  Their hours kind of suck on the weekends, and we are usually very busy then, so this didn’t come as a complete shock.  Still, when there was but an hour before that magical time when the game had to be returned, I was thinking about when I would remove my behind from my computer chair and do this…and I had an idea…I could use the dog.  (For fun, I drew a picture of me having this bright idea.  Check it out.  That’s me, thinking about my game that I had to return, and the dog…and having a brain wave.  Yeah.  That’s a dog in the picture.  Use your imagination.)

See, when we got this dog, I was all happy that we were getting a dog with high excercise needs.  Horray I thought now I will be sure to take lots of nice long walks!  And for a while, I did.  I walked the dog every day. 

Then I started to skip a day here and there.

Then I started to ask the hubster to do it here and there.

And pretty soon I wasn’t walking the dog at all.

Disclaimer: Don’t pounce on me for not taking proper care of my dog, okay?  She gets LOTS of excercise.  I just do it the lazy way.  We play lots of fetch in our big yard.  She likes to play fetch, I like to be lazy, everyone wins. 

Anyway….where was I?  Oh yeah.  The game and the dog.  So yeah, I thought I would walk the dog down to the nearest DVD vending thingie.  I checked it out and it’s 2.6 miles round trip, but the kicker is, it’s uphill on the way back.  A steep hill.  I hate walking up steep hills.

BUT!  I didn’t get to the gym all weekend so I figured I’d better face this hill.  As an added bonus, the dog will have gotten a walk.  The whole walking after dark thing didn’t bother me too much, I live in a pretty decent ‘hood and my dog?  It’s a 70 lbs German Shepherd, so I pretty much dare anyone to mess with me.  So, I put on a sweatshirt, leashed the creature up, pocketed the game, and made my way down there and back. 

Long story short, it took an hour and my fancy schmancy Polar HRM gave me a calorie burnage of about 300.  The dog got a nice walk, and we were able to work on our heeling and we even did some off-leash heeling and she did great.  Lots of business accomplished!  Dog walked?  Check.  Game returned?  Check.  Dog obedience work done?  CHECK!

Kinda helps take my mind off the fact that I’m worried I’m going to post a gain this week.  Stupid scale.

The Polar FT4 in Review

   

There she is ladies and gentlemen.  The FT4 comes in a couple of different colors, but this happens to be the color I got, so that’s what you get to look at.  Could be more stylish, but I think she’s pretty easy on the eyes.  I wouldn’t wear it every day, but that’s because the screen is so big (it has a lot of info to display!).  otherwise the color and everything are fine.

What’s in the box?  You get the watch, the chest strap, the transmitter, and a  basic instruction manual.  I say it’s a basic instruction manual because in it, it advises you to look up the full one online.  I find that kind of annoying, but whatever, the basic one has everything you need to know.

When you first take the watch out, you have to push any button on it to activate it.  Apparently once you activate it, you can’t shut it off.  I like this, because it means the battery hasn’t been wasted as it sat on the shelf.  Once activated, it starts to try to get to know you by asking questions.   How old are you?  M/F?  Birthday?  Height?  Weight? Those kind of things.  I imagine it’s like signing up for an online dating site.  Using that information, it calculates your heart rate training zone, and then asks you if you think that’s a good zone.  If you’re a more advanced user, you might want to tweak that.  Us regular old fatties are probably okay leaving it where it is. 

Time to don the chest strap!  The chest strap is comfortable, and I like it.  It’s mostly cloth and the transmitter snaps on and off.  It adjusts to fit a wide range of people, and I had no trouble adjusting it to fit me.  Once it’s on, you hit the start button on the watch and it begins to track your heart rate.  You push start again to officially start your workout.  You can toggle the screen to show your heart rate in large print, the number of calories it estimates you’ve burned, the duration of your workout, the current time, and a cool linear scale the shows the bottom of your zone at one end and the top on the other end.  Your current HR is shown with an arrow along that line, showing you at a glance how close you are to the bottom or the top of your zone.  Your heart rate can also be shown as a percent of maximum if you like.

I used it while I did some step aerobics and found that it worked pretty well.  Even though I don’t put much stock into these things, I have to say that the number of calories it estimated I burned was fairly accurate, when compared to going to a website like TDP and asking it how many calories I burned.  TDP would tell me that doing 20 minutes of step I might burn 400 calories when I know that’s nonsense.  My FT4 estimated 150 which I think was much more accurate, given that I didn’t think I really worked all that hard.  Obviously this thing uses a more sophisticated formula than most websites or even older gym machines that attempt to tell you the same thing.  I like.

There is a pause function if for some reason you want to pause your workout.  Since at the end it tells you how long you were in the zone, I suppose you might want to pause it if you walked to the drinking fountain or something and let your HR drop….I dunno.  Hit that button again and it stops your workout and gives you a summary.  Total duration, how long you were “in the zone”, # of calories burned, average heart rate, and maybe min/max HR…I can’t remember now.  It also stores this info so you can check your workout stats for the week, month….whatever you want. 

Overall, I like it.  It’s not the most high-tech HRM out there, but it’s not a good step up from the basic ones. 

Pros:

  • good looks
  • lots of interesting and useful features
  • accurate
  • easy to use
  • comfortable

Cons:

  • Price.  It’s expensive.  Order it online to get a decent deal on it.
  • The watch has kind of a short wrist strap.  Fits me okay but if yours is much bigger than mine…it might not.

In my opinion, this would be a great HRM for the first time user, or someone looking to step up from the basic one that only measures your heart rate.  My old one was like that.  It told the time, gave your heart rate (continuous), and had a stopwatch function.  That was it.  This FT4 is a lot more fun.

What about the FT7?  Well, the FT4 was expensive enough.  The FT7 looks like fun but I figured I better try to keep the financial bleeding to a minimum.  If you have the cash for the FT7 I’m sure you’d like that one too.

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