Saturday, May 31, 2008

Walking For The Mind of America with NAMI

I went to the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) walk this morning. It was chiiillly out there. It was at Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park, which is not all that far from the ocean. Brrr. Once we got moving it was alright but I could have used a faster pace to stay warm.

After the 5k walk I did something I never would have done before; I utilized the free massage/chiropractor tent. My left shoulder was bothering me and shoulder/scapula pain is an off-and-on issue I've had for years so I decided to go for it.

Why would I never have done this before? I was too self-conscious about my body. Lay on a table in public and let a man manipulate my limbs? I don't think so. But now? Sure! And let me tell you, it felt great! This very nice (and cute!) chiropractic student asked me some questions and then diagnosed some type of muscle issue. He then passed me on to an intern who did the treatment, basically some very painful massage in the muscle. It helped though. I'm thinking of seeing if I have any chiropractic coverage in my insurance to get this done regularly. By the time it was over I was feeling happy as a clam, see?These are the little everyday reminders of why I'm working to make, and maintain, changes in my life. But I do feel like my face looks kinda fat in that picture.

After the walk I went to Askew Grill for lunch with a good friend. I had the Thai Salmon Skewers with Roma tomatoes, broccoli, red onions and coconut cilantro jasmine rice. Can you say Yummy? And we had grilled sliced zucchini as an appetizer. Also yummy. Of course I drank good ol' h2o with that.

Then we went to Sports Basement. I had some items to return and needed a better nose clip for swimming. I want to share a couple of things I saw.

1. Tri shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. What? Will this make me a better triathlete? An employee saw me taking pics and asked if I was making fun of the products. I said it seemed silly and he said, "Triathletes are so crazed they see that word and they'll try it. They should have put Ironman on it and then it'd sell like hotcakes." We had a good laugh and I secretly wondered if I should buy some before my first tri.

2. This sign was next to the elevator as I was leaving. I got very excited and whipped out my camera. Even though I have yet to do a triathlon the excitement is there! This store had a Tri section. Most places have a rack, if you're lucky, so it was pretty fun to look at all the stuff. I refrained from any purchases other than my nose clip.

I'm off to make dinner. We're getting up bright and early to do our 30 mile ride so I'm going to bed early tonight. Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to make a menu for the week and then go grocery shopping. I'm striving for a good week and I do so much better when I have a menu. Happy Saturday all!

Friday, May 30, 2008

It's Fri-i-i-day

As you may have seen in my update last night I lost at weigh-in yesterday. I was pretty surprised by that. I weighed in and the receptionist said, "you're down 1.8". A second later he said, "wait, I miscalculated" and I thought - oh, here we go, a gain. "You're actually down 2.2". What?! So I went on the Weight Watchers community message boards and asked if anyone else ever has a loss that they think is a fluke. After all, I ate a lot of bacon, graham crackers, chips, etc while camping this weekend. Not to mention the vodka tonics. Anyway, one of the answers was this:
"Yes, often. Usually what happens to me in those weeks is I'm surprised at the loss I don't feel I "deserved" and then I go nuts trying to keep it a reality. I exercise more, eat better, drink more water, etc., just so I get to "keep" that loss. It's funny how we psych ourselves, isn't it?"

Hey, that's a good idea. I want to "keep" this 2.2 pound loss so I'm going to kick some ass this week to do it. See I'm worried that since my weight training has been nearly non-existent that maybe I'm losing muscle and that's why I had a loss. Plus I had on unusually light cycling clothes. Oh, and I had a really light lunch. Not calorie light, weight light, as in my food didn't weigh much. Yes, I'm that pathetic neurotic. Anyway, the point is I'm going to work hard this week to get back to my full (pre-surgery) workout routine (and tracking) so I can have a great week!

Alright, this is a multi-purpose post so on to the next thing. I have been calculating my monthly weight for a while. It was suggested in a meeting where we talked about dealing with gains. The leader said if we plot our monthly loss it can remind us that the gain is a moment in time but overall we're going down. Looking at my monthly log I had the idea to share it. Here it is, month-by-month since I started WW:

February 2007 = -2.2 pounds
March 2007 = -5.8 pounds
April 2007 = -5.6 pounds
May 2007 = -3 pounds
June 2007 = -4.2 pounds
July 2007 = -4.6 pounds
August 2007 = +1.8 pounds
September 2007 = -.8 pounds
October 2007 = -1.8 pounds
November 2007 = -4.4 pounds
December 2007 = -8.2 pounds*
January 2008 = -7.4 pounds
February 2008 = -3.6 pounds
March 2008 = -5.2 pounds
April 2008 = -6.2 pounds
May 2008 = -7.2 pounds

*the record so far and also the first full month of exercise (I started exercising on 11/15)
Well, there you have it. Did you notice I actually gained weight one month? In August '07. Yeah, not trying so hard at that time, I was hanging out waiting for my motivation to come back, and it did, in November. Keeping this log has helped me in difficult times, especially when I'm tempted to focus on one week. I've averaged 4.275 pounds lost per month. Slowly but surely.

Remember, multi-purpose post. On to the next thing. I went to the gym after work. I was having some motivation issues today, which usually happens when I finish work early and have to go home before I go to the gym. If I work out less than 3 hours after eating it usually bugs me, I'm burpy and just don't feel right. I was done with work only 2 hours after lunch. But I came home and fiddled a bit and then did something that usually gets me out the door - I put on my gym clothes. It kinda forces you to go once you're dressed for the occasion. I had the thought of riding my bike to the gym and then decided not to, but then thought, "why not? the weather's great, you have nothing but time." So I rode my bike, that's a pic of my bike in the rack at the gym. Sometimes these little victories are what it's all about.

Well, Miguel went to a baseball game so I've been hanging out watching the Scripps Spelling Bee and blogging. You know what time means...more wacky's my food today:

click for larger image

The "leftovers" are chicken & rice with a side of spinach from dinner last night. I don't know if I got enough fruits/veggies today but this is definitely an average day in terms of that. Dinner is wacky, Butternut Squash soup and frozen corn. That's what happens when I don't have to "make" dinner.

Alright, gonna wrap up this multi-purpose, slightly wacky, probably too long post. Oh wait! One more thing. Just kidding...Night All.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Is It Friday Yet?

Another day, another dollar. A dollar spent on cycling that is. So I have some news. Remember how I was saying my new (used) road bike, the Bianchi Brava, might be too small for me? Well, this idea ate away at me like a termite until I got it in my head that I needed a new bike, one that fit me exactly right. So I finally decided to go check out the options in my price range at Mike's Bikes yesterday after work. There's an incredibly knowledgeable helpful guy there, Richard Kaplan, to whom I'd been referred by a cycling colleague.

Richard got me on a few different bikes. After about an hour-and-a-half of riding different bikes and talking about what I like and don't like I settled on one. And it's a beauty. It's a Specialized Ruby Elite Triple. The "triple" part means that it has a triple crankset in the front, i.e. three "rings" on which to shift gears. Since I use the baby one quite a bit to get up hills I definitely wanted the triple, as opposed to the compact which just has 2 rings (but weighs less). Anyway, without further ado, here she is...

This baby is a Women's Specific Design, she's carbon throughout and Richard fit her to me so I can ride for miles and miles. Isn't she beautiful? I have to admit I'm partial to the red on my Bianchi, red just feels faster, but as bike colors go this dark blue is lovely too. As you've probably already guessed I spent way more on this bike than I intended. Well, how would you guess that? Anyway, more money. Miguel about died. He made me promise, without reserve, that this would be my last bike related purchase of the year. After he agreed that this does not include birthday or holiday presents for him I agreed.

Does a girl like me need a bike like this? No. But I might one day. And that was my thinking. I want to get a bike I can grow into, one I will be happy with for years to come. Maybe I over-bought, but I don't think so. And I love it. The first thing I did was come home and beg Miguel to go on a ride with me! Oh, and I got clipless pedals. Richard steered me toward Speedplay pedals, as they are super easy to get in-and-out of. I practiced getting in-and-out of them in the store and, though I have nothing to compare them to, I have to agree they are a breeze. The top image is the pedal and the lower one is the cleat (the part that goes on your shoe). I knew NOTHING about pedals but so far I'm happy with my choice. Everyone says you will fall at least once getting used to them but I don't know, hopefully with these I'll miss that fate.

So that means I got to buy one other thing. Shoes!! I picked a pair in the lower price range, this was definitely not an area in which I wanted to be spending big money. I really felt like these were the most comfortable I tried on though, and definitely the cutest. And looks matter people! So I'm all set with a new bike, new clipless pedals, new bike shoes (the latter two being a first-time experience for me) and I come home and go on a ride with Miguel. Yay!

We rode from our house about 7 miles down the road, which put us on a bit of a country road. This is part of the ride we had planned the Saturday morning I ended up in urgent care and couldn't ride. Like I said we rode about 7 miles out but the ride we had planned before is about 15. After doing this portion of the ride yesterday afternoon I now have no doubt I can do the full 15. Riding back home another cyclist came upon us and started chatting with Miguel. At one point they were both in front of me chatting away and I looked at them and just marveled at my life. Here I am, the sun low in the sky, the air perfect with trees and cows in the fields, riding along like a fit person. I took in the moment. Is this me? Am I doing this? Yes I am! I felt triumphant and glorious and healthy and alive!! Man, you can't buy that feeling.

So here's the ride we did:

So we're going to do the 30 mile ride on Sunday morning and I can't wait!!! My confidence with hills is just growing in leaps and bounds. It's not that I don't think hills are challenging, it's just that I now believe I can take a crack at them and have a chance of getting over them. I'm just not as scared of them as I was.

But one thing I am scared of is weigh-in Thurday! Eek! I'll be lucky if I avoid a gain this week. My eating has just been out of control. That's how I was feeling up until yesterday's ride; blue and with no control over my eating. I hate it when it's like that. I think I'm back on track today though. It's the start of my WW week so I'm tracking and I WILL HAVE A LOSS NEXT WEEK! Shosh, if you're reading this, remember you're not alone. We'll get there eventually! I'll post my weight after the meeting.

Ok, this weekend is now jam-packed. On Saturday I'm doing the NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) fundraising walk. Click here if you'd like to sponsor me by donating a dollar or two. Anyway, that will be a leisurely social walk. Afterward I'm going to lunch with a friend I haven't seen in a while, which will be nice. As previously mentioned I'm going on the 30 mile ride on Sunday. All in all it's looking to be a fabulous weekend. Is it Friday yet?

Update: I lost! 2.2 pounds. Incredible. I kinda feel like it's a fluke (sorry Kristy!) so I have to work hard this week to keep those 2.2 pounds off. I'm very close to losing 70 pounds, plus I am very close to having less than 20 pounds to lose. Woo-Hoo!! Oh, and I rode my bike the 5 miles to the meeting, and back of course. Very fun. On the way home I could see my shadow on the ground and it was freaking me out to see myself like that, I can't believe that body is me! Go Me!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Camping and Biking @ Russian Gulch State Park

I like to go camping on three-day weekends. But you have to book the camping something like 6 months in advance to get a holiday weekend and I don't always remember. But this year I booked this Memorial Day holiday weekend at Russian Gulch State Park, which is about 2 miles north of Mendocino and right on the coast. This was my first visit to Russian Gulch but I've camped at other parks in the area. This is also the first time we've gone camping with bikes so we set up our tent and then took the bikes for a spin.

The weather was on the chilly side so I had on a few layers of clothes. We rode down a trail in the park and just explored the campground. I think we rode about 3 miles in all. Anyway, after cruising around for a while we went back to camp, cooked dinner and made a fire before heading off to the tent for a chilly night's sleep.

On Saturday we got up and made our typical camp breakfast. It's the only time I eat bacon and I'm sad to say I ate A LOT more bacon than I should have. But it was good. So off we go on our bikes to check out the area.

The road up and out of the campground was steep! I can't believe I made it up, especially after eating a too-big breakfast. Down the road from the campground a few miles we found a lighthouse. We rode around the grounds near there and the surrounds were just beautiful!

After the lighthouse we rode back to camp for lunch. We rode about 9.4 miles in all. And I realized I need to get over my fear of hills. Of course there are hills I can't make it up but I need to be willing to try, not just look at the hill and say "oh no, I can't make that."

After lunch we decided to do a hike and bike trail nearby. You bike a mile or so and then lock up the bike and hike to a waterfall. It was a really fun ride! The waterfall wasn't huge but it was still a beautiful area.

After our falls hike and bike we went back to camp and called it a day. On Sunday we rode on The Old Haul road, a flat, paved road that follows along the shore in Fort Bragg. The weather was nicer, the sun was out, and I just took in the view!

We decided to go out to eat for lunch instead of going back to camp and making sandwiches. We drove to Mendocino and parked our car and rode around town in search of a lunch spot. We found a little cafe - I had a chicken tamale and a rice/cranberry salad with a cookie and latte. I don't even want to know how many Points was in that meal.

After lunch Miguel wanted to go on another ride. To be honest I was feeling really tired and a little grumpy. I think the volume and calories (and fat!) of food I was eating was just too much and it was making me sluggish and tired. I really just wanted to go back to the tent and take a nap! An afternoon nap is always a bad sign for me. I agreed to go on the ride.

The ride was a little over 15 miles on an almost completely flat fire road. It followed Big River just across 101 from Mendocino. It narrowed at some points and there were a few obstacles but mostly it was not technical at all. I felt pretty tired during most of the ride. On the way back my left leg started to hurt. I'm sad to say the grumpy, tired feeling never really went away. Can you tell I'm feeling tired? The scenery was gorgeous but I was so happy when the ride was over.

Back to camp for a nice big fire and a light dinner. We packed up this morning and came home. All in all I had a great time and bringing the bikes added a lot of fun opportunities. I added up our riding over the weekend and we rode over 40 miles altogether! Next time I go to the area I definitely want to Kayak that river.

The only thing I'm dealing with now is the food issue. I had a gain last week and all the crap I ate this weekend might mean another gain this week. It's true I got a lot of activity but calories are calories and I'm pretty sure I put in more than I put out. Worse, I'm not feeling very motivated to change anything. If anything I just want to run to the store for some ice cream! That's not good. I just gotta get back on track with the eating routine tomorrow. It still hasn't gotten back to what it should be since the surgery. But one thing I've learned on this journey is that I'm not always going to be super-motivated. The trick is to mitigate the damage during low points and wait for the fire to come back.