Friday, June 6, 2008

We're Off to See the Wizard!

Whew! I lost at weigh-in. Thank goodness. .8 pounds isn't much but I'll take it. I started TTOTM this morning so that might explain the small loss despite my stellar (aren't I humble?) eating and activity this past week. Normally I start having cramps before-hand and that signals me that it's about to start but not this time, just seemed to come out of the blue.

So I was reading over my last few entries and was reminded that I wanted a loss this past week to insure my loss of the prior week stuck. Remember I had a 2.2 pound loss that I felt was sort of a fluke? Anyway, I'd forgotten about that until I read the entry and then felt so excited at my success of keeping those 2.2 pounds off. Yay!

I experienced some ironic insight yesterday. It happened when I was reading some of the comments to Crunching the Numbers, specifically those related to my complaining about other people telling me I didn't need to lose more weight. I realized I used to do that to other people all the time! I can remember one colleague in particular who used to tell me she was having a hard time losing weight (I don't know, I think she wanted to lose 5 or 10 pounds) and I thought she looked great so I was always telling her, "you look great, why do you need to lose weight?" Hmph. Exactly what I was complaining about. And it was because I was doing what Irene noted, seeing her through the lens of my own fitness and weight issues. Well, that realization just put me back in my place. I think I was just hearing those comments over and over and it made me a little irritable. I am now trying anew to see them as the positive feedback that they are. People are trying to tell me that either, a) I look really great, b) If they looked like me they would be happy and not trying to lose weight, or c) God knows but it can't be bad. Any of those are great compliments. On a funny note a very thin colleague asked me to tell her that she isn't "skinny" today. She's been very thin her whole life and has a complex about being called "bony" or "skinny" or any of those things. I guess someone tried to pay her a compliment today and said, "you're so skinny!" and it got the ball rolling. So I obliged and told her she's plenty curvy. But she is skinny. Life is funny.

Would you like to know what I had for dinner last night? Really? Are you sure? Check out my tracking from last night. Do you see all that food? Did I eat all that? Yep. So Miguel came home about 2 hours later with his own fast food. Did I eat one of his french fries? Yep. Did I take a bite of his double whopper with cheese? Yep. Did I take a sip of his soda? You know the answer to that. And that's what I love about Weight Watchers. You can indulge in crap like that and still lose weight. Fortunately I had eaten very light that day so I had a fair amount of daily points left, and I heartily dipped into my Weekly Points Allowance too. A 40.5 Point dinner. Good thing it was the start of the week and I had all my WPAs.

Want some proof that I didn't gain all my weight back overnight after that meal? I don't yet have a picture in my new jeans but this morning Miguel snapped a picture of me in my new white pants. We tried to get Messi to look at the camera but he ignored us. I was "working" from home for a couple hours this morning so that's why I'm on the phone. These are a size 8 too. Aren't they cute? I love white pants on a warm spring day.

I went to the gym today (thank goodness, right?) and proved to myself that my jogging 3.1 miles was not a fluke. I did it again tonight. My heart rate never even got into the 160's, which was cool. I jog at 5mph but I did the last minute at 6mph just for fun (I did that on Wednesday too). I listened to some great music and just generally reveled in my newfound ability. I wore my heart monitor and during cardio I burned 500 calories. Not bad. Followed that up with weight training (upper body) and core work.

So what's on tap for the weekend? Tomorrow afternoon we're going to see the 2008 offering of the mountain play, The Wizard of Oz. I'm really excited. We haven't decided yet if we're going to go for a bike ride in the morning and then drive to the play or if we're going to park in Mill Valley and hike up Mt. Tamalpais (where the Mountain Play is located). I'm leaning toward the latter. I like to mix up the activity and we haven't been on a hike in a while but Miguel is all into cycling now (he went on the 44 mile loop this morning and prepped me for when I'm ready to tackle it [and he fell! I'll post a pic of his clipless pedals induced scrape soon]). Sunday is up in the air, either a swim/cycle brick (heh, fancy tri terminology) or just cycling. Depends. Then to mom's to see my grandparents who are in town for a wedding. My mom's going to die when she sees me in my size 8 pants. She often tells me, "I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't say this but I'm so jealous".

I've gotten some really great comments lately and want to reply to a few...

Jesse - Thanks! I loved the point you made about how the lifestyle I want is about more than looking good. That is so true. And it's good to be reminded that that's the reason I want to lose more weight, to feel better and be a better cycler/runner/swimmer/etc, etc. Thanks again :)

Brooke - Hang in there! Those early weeks are killer but if I got through them, and I was so out of shape, you can too! And congrats on the bike :)

Shosh - Never forget what an inspiration you were to me when I started...and still are to me now! You rock sister!

Kristy - Thank you for encouraging me. But thank you more for taking the steps you're taking in your life. You can give me no bigger compliment than to be inspired. I love that quote you sent me. LOVE it. Thanks.

Flo - I think of that post you wrote about believing in yourself all the time. Thank you for all the valuable info and inspiration you share!

Irene - You really opened my eyes. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and share your wisdom. And you could give any high school girl and her body a run for their money I bet!

Matty - What Irene said happened to you exactly. First they give you a hard time and then they're asking you for tips. I really enjoy your tell-it-like-it-is posts. Thanks for big WOO HOO! I know you know how much that stuff means.

Jessica - You will get in size 8's too. I'm so happy you decided to give WW a try. Just keep it at, you won't always follow the program every week but it's sticking with it that makes the difference in the end. But you finished a marathon for crying out loud! You already know a lot about sticking with it. Thanks for the support.

Mich - Thanks for the "congrats!". I checked out Rachel Cosgrove's site, how incredible! I want to be just like her when I grow up :) I'm going to be following her blog.

Until next time peeps. Enjoy the Fin de Semana!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Crunching the Numbers

It started on January 21st 2008. The Couch to 5k Running Plan. It's a 9 week plan. It took me 19 weeks. But...cue the confetti...I DID IT! I jogged a 5k, 3.1 miles, at the gym last night! ::Applause:: ::Cheers:: Thank you, thank you. No, really, oh you're too kind.

Yes, I'm crazed with excitement over this. This is one of the biggest deals to me. I wouldn't have believed when I practically crawled into a WW meeting in February of 2007 that I'd get here. I jogged a 5k. I realized something when I wrote my blog yesterday. I wrote:
I told myself, "I'm going to jog 3.1 miles". I went for it but after about 1 mile I questioned if I could do it. I ended up jogging for 2 miles...
Even when I was writing it I wondered to myself, Why did I decide at Mile 1 that I wouldn't be able to do it? And that's what I did, I remember I decided, "nope, this is too hard, I won't be able to do it." So I thought about that several times between gym visits and when I went last night I decided that this time I will do it. I will not question my ability just because it's hard, I will not let my mind give up before my body does. Once I passed the two-mile mark (the longest I'd ever gone up to that point) I knew I'd finish. That knowledge, that belief, is powerful stuff. Nothing was going to stop me. By the way, I love how writing about the determination to jog 3.1 miles sounds like I'm talking about a marathon or something. But for me, well, you know.

Today is weigh-in Thursday. My home scale is hinting at me not having a loss. The funny thing is I've worked pretty hard this week, ate really well, etc. But that's how it goes sometimes. Because of the increase in activity maybe I'm retaining water. And maybe my home scale is not a good predictor and I will have a loss. I'll take anything. I had some points left over last night and was planning on stopping at the store for a piece of chocolate cake for desert. But after the gym I was too hyped to even think about it. I should have known. Maybe I'll get it this week.

I know those of us on a weight-loss journey get lots of feedback about it, especially if we're really open about the process, which I am. I love all the support, encouragement, advice, stories...all of it. I'm excited about health and fitness and just love to talk about it. I have been getting some similar comments lately when people here that I have 20 more pounds to lose. They sound something like this, "20 more pounds? You don't want to get too skinny", "I get worried when people like you tell me you want to lose 20 pounds", "Why? You look great", etc. My mother, God bless her, is the worst in this area. I know that she is actually trying to be supportive and point out that I am fabulous the way I am right now. But I realized the effect these comments have on me is that I start to feel like it's not reasonable that I want to lose more weight. Does that make sense? But I know it is, I know what I look like without my clothes on. I have fat rolls around my waist still, there's way too much fat on my arms to wear a tank-top, etc, etc. I know I look great, not just compared to how I looked before but just in general. But I am not where I want to be. Now I know I have to be careful not to keep moving that bar of where I want to be farther and farther down the scale, but so far I am shooting for 145 pounds. That's only 5 pounds under the max weight for my height.

Also, I did some number crunching. I'm around 34% body fat right now. That's means I'm roughly 109 pounds of lean mass. If I shoot for 25% body fat, which is the suggested average for a woman my age, I'd be shooting for 136 pounds, 9 pounds less than my current goal. And what if I want to shoot for 136? Would that be so inappropriate? It's not like I'm talking about being underweight. I bet at that weight I wouldn't look bad in a bikini, is that ok? Am I allowed to want to look good in a bikini?

In the past I've struggled with this issue because I was never satisfied with where I was. But what if I can be satisfied with where I am and want to improve on it? What if I feel great at the weight I am now but want to firm up, lose some extra fat? We're not talking anorexic weight here. It's not until I get under 115 pounds that I'd be considered "underweight" and believe me I'm not going anywhere near that. I should wrap up this rant. Thank you all for listening.

And before I bid adieu, I want to remind you, just in case you forgot, I jogged a 5k yesterday! And I'm going to do it again on Friday. Because that's how I roll.

I'll update this post with my weigh-in tonight.

Update: Down .8 pounds. Yep, I lost! And thank goodness. A gain would have taken the wind right out of my 5k sails. And a woman in my meeting who I just love (Angela) got her 10% tonight and I was overjoyed for her. It's so fun to witness the success of others. Thank you all for the comments to today's post. I have a bit more to say about it, with a new insight, in my next post.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I'm Here!

I was driving along the other day when I had a sudden realization. I'm here. I'M HERE! For quite a while now I've been working toward a goal - a goal I didn't really believe I could accomplish. The goal was loosely formed in my mind as being in shape. So while I was driving I looked down at my legs and for some reason it hit me, I'm in shape. I may have 20 more pounds to lose to hit my goal weight, but physically, I'm in shape. I'm wearing a size 8, jogging, cycling, swimming, weight training. I weigh ~165 pounds and according to the BMI I am ~15 pounds overweight. 15 pounds. My goodness, I am here. I have really struggled in the past to appreciate where I am in the moment and it was really nice to experience that feeling.

So, can you tell? I'm back! That 30 mile ride was the beginning and going to the gym on Monday and doing my full gym routine sealed the deal. After my elliptical warm-up I hopped on the treadmill feeling strong and determined. I told myself, "I'm going to jog 3.1 miles". I went for it but after about 1 mile I questioned if I could do it. I ended up jogging for 2 miles, which at 5mph took 24 minutes. 2 miles! 25 minutes! Yes! That's what I did just before surgery. I wish it was a little easier than it was but I can't have it all. I'll be working on my jogging with the goal to get to 3 miles before the tri, but if I can't, that's ok too. After all, I'm Here. I followed that up with weight training, upper body.

There was a new trainer at the gym and he was walking around looking bored. I took the opportunity to pick his brain and ended up getting about 20 minutes of his time. He gave me a new obliques exercise (alternating elbows to knees while bicycling my legs) and he helped me work on my form on the side-lunges. We talked about my reps/weight concern and he said while training for the tri I should continue the low-weight/high-reps because building muscle endurance is more important than building increased muscle mass. I like lifting heavier weights but that makes sense to me. Maybe after the tri I'll up my weight. Unless I want to sign up for another tri :)

Did I mention I'm wearing a size 8 jeans? I found these great dark denim jeans at The Gap and they fit me great! I told myself "No more clothing purchases over $10." These were over $10, but not by much since they were on sale. I've been looking for a pair of dark denim jeans like this for a while. You know, the kind that are shaped more like slacks? I love them and when I wore them yesterday I felt like a million bucks. I wore a top that I purchased THREE years ago when I was trying to get in shape with Body for Life. It's seemed so small to me for so long and it finally fits. Of course, it's an XL. It's one of those tiny Ralph Lauren t-shirts. Sizes are weird.

So I've been carefully tracking my food since Thursday. I currently have 12.5 WPA's left and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them. Today is the last day of the week so I may have a candy bar or something like that. Or ice cream. Hmmm, what do I really want? I don't want to get too crazy as tomorrow is weigh-in Thursday. If my home scale is any clue I'm not going to have a big loss this week, and that's just fine. A small loss or staying the same will be alright. Since I increased my physical activity this week I might be retaining water, or building muscle, or have a 5 pound dumbbell accidentally lodged in my stomach. Whatever explains it, right?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My First Big Test

Well, maybe the wine ride was my first. So, my second big test then. What a day! Miguel and I hit the road by 9am and we got about 2 blocks away when I realized I forgot my helmet. Doh! Turned around and got it and then off we went. At about mile 5 I was warmed up, which is perfect timing as that's about the time we leave the "city" behind and start on the country road. To give a sense of the area I snapped a picture of some cows.

It was a bit chillier than I expected, the sun was out but the air was cool. We rode along, passing the Indian Valley Golf Course and then Stafford Lake. I learned how much more beautiful an area can be when you see it from the seat of your bike instead of through your car window. I conquered most of the hills without too much difficulty but there was one that kicked my ass. It started with a short, steep incline (well, steep for me) and just when I got to the top of that a long (only slightly steep) incline started. I was already breathing hard and my legs were burning. I made it about half-way up that long hill when I had to take a break. It took me quite a few moments to catch my breath. Whew! After that I was happy to hear from Miguel that we were done with the hills, until the ride home of course.

We stopped at a cheese factory and took in the surrounds. This really was a dream. Did I just ride here? Wow. After high-fives and big smiles we took a break and I ate a couple Shot Blox (Black Cherry so I could have caffeine). I was wearing my heart rate monitor and noted I'd burned about 700 calories.

After checking the bike computer I realized I miscalculated the distance and unless we changed our route the ride was only going to be about 23 miles, not 30. This was not acceptable. I asked Miguel if we could check out some of the side roads. We road down the road to Marshall for a bit and then toward Petaluma. After getting enough extra miles in we turned and headed home. Miguel is such a good sport.

The ride home was a lot easier than the ride there. We were flying on some of those hills! Our max speed was 35 miles per hour! That freaks me out a little bit. We got home around 12:30 but I know we weren't riding for all that time. The bike computer showed riding time was about 2.5 hours. My body didn't feel too bad. My butt was hurting sometimes during the ride but it felt fine as soon as I got off the bike. I'm going to take quite a few more rides and see if I can toughen it up even more before considering a new seat. So, how far did we ride? Check out the picture I took of the bike computer.

My heart rate monitor showed I burned 1640 calories. Whoa! And I was starving. But those Shot Blox really gave me a boost during the ride. I'll be having those on hand on all future rides for sure. Anyway, I was fantasizing about a hot bath when Miguel asked if we could run some errands before his soccer game (yes, he had a soccer game in the afternoon after our ride!). So we ran some errands and then I went grocery shopping during his game. By the time I sat down for dinner it was 7:30pm and I was really wiped.

Well, that was my big ride. I feel really happy and proud of this accomplishment. During the ride I made my next goal. I want to ride to Point Reyes Station from my house. Maybe even do a loop and come home through San Rafael. I'm going to do today's ride 4-5 more times before I tackle that though. It's just unbelievable what my body has been willing to do. I'm very lucky. So it's off to bed before the work-week. I'm already starting to look forward to next weekend!