Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Good Choice, Some Good Fun and Bad Timing

Fair warning...I am writing this post after a couple glasses of wine.  Add to that the pms, and that I have a cold and let's just hope I can write in complete sentences. 

But before I tell you about the wine I want to back up a tad and tell you about my gym visit today.  I was on the fence about going, mostly because of having the cold and it leaving me feeling so tired all day.  When it came time to make a decision I decided to go but do a modified workout.  I planned to do a short run, 10-15 minutes, and then do weights.  Several minutes into the run I made a new plan.  I decided to follow Couch to 5k but instead I'd use the walk intervals to run at my current comfortable pace, 5.0mph, and use the run intervals to run faster, at 6.0mph.  So I ended up running for 25 minutes after all.  The good thing was I felt fine.  Having a cold didn't seem to be holding me back.

A buddy of mine showed up and she was feeling sort of bleh about her workout so I gave her a little pep talk.  Not that she asked.  Oh dear, I'm the "isn't this fun?!" crazy gym lady!  But it's so easy to start feeling like the gym is just another chore, another thing that we should do.  Ok, off the crazy lady soapbox.  For now. 

Anyway, after the run I hit the weights for chest/triceps/core.  I did my pushups, still holding steady at three sets of 4 on the floor and 4 modified.  Then on to the rest of my stuff.  I found myself getting bored with the dumbbell chest press.  I think it's time to move to a bench and do the press with a bar.  Even if it's just an empty bar (I think the empty bar weighs, what, 25 pounds?).  Maybe next time I'm at the gym I'll give it a try.

I came home and was making dinner when Miguel asked me what time I had to be at my thing.  What?  What thing?  Doh!  I almost forgot I had a dinner with the mother's club at 6:30.  And it was 6 and I was still in my workout clothes.  Quick shower and change and I was headed out the door.  I made it just in time.  And oh boy did I have a good time.  There were a mix of women there that I knew and I met some new women as well.  All of them were great fun, those ladies had me cracking up with laughter.  I'm sure the wine didn't hurt.  And boy did I eat.  Pizza, cheesy bread, fried calamari, sweet potato fries...there was an endless amount of food!  You know I have no willpower when I drink so I had a bit (or, maybe more than a bit?) of everything.  And after all that we shared a chocolate brownie sundae.  Yummmy! 

And all I can say is, thank goodness I went to the gym!  I would feel like a total slug if I hadn't worked out today.  Unfortunately my timing sucks though because tomorrow is weigh-in Friday.  I have a feeling it's not going to be the week I drop into the 160s.  But at this moment, I feel it was totally worth it.  Tomorrow, when my head is clear, when the wine has totally worn off and the stark reality of the scale is staring me in the face - well, hopefully the memory of the laughter and chocolate sundae will help ease the pain. 

Night all!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fat on the Brain

I just took a second dose of DayQuil so that makes it official.  I am definitely sick.  But so far it's still only in my head, no chest symptoms, which is good.  Though my buddy Katie, who is a nurse, pointed out that she's not aware of this symptoms in your head = workout, in your chest = rest theory of mine.  I don't remember anymore where I read it but I'm thinking maybe it's an old wives tale.  Or a new wives tale.  Oh boy, my head is buzzing a bit, I think I might have over done it a bit on the cold meds.  I think I'm skipping the gym today.  I can almost hear your collective, DUH!

Since I'm not exercising today I'll use this post to write about what's going on in my head (no, not the cold).  I think my mental self-image is stuck and I need to get it un-stuck.  I was overweight for so many years of my life.  I spent decades seeing a fat Michelle in the mirror.  In the several years before getting pregnant I finally made what felt like real (and permanent) changes to my body, and my mind seemed to be catching up to the idea that I wasn't fat.  Which is good.  Not just good, but absolutely mandatory if I'm going to keep the weight off.

I'm sure I've written about this before but I am convinced that the mental image, the feeling of being overweight or fat, is one of the reasons so many of us eventually relapse and go back to actually being overweight.  Think about it, if I make all these great changes, do all this hard work and lose all this weight, get fit, change my lifestyle etc - but inside I am still fat, I am still that big girl, I'm left with this feeling of not being there yet, of not having reached my goal, of perpetually being not good enough.  You're left with always striving to get "there" - to some magical place where you are thin and fit and feel good about your body.  But there can be here.  It's exhausting to be forever striving to get somewhere and yet never getting close, let alone arriving.  Who wouldn't give up eventually?  If I don't go through that mental transformation in addition to the physical one, I think that's a major red flag for relapse.

As I write this I am reminded that I used pictures of myself to shift my mental image when I lost weight before the kids.  I made a collage of "before" and current pictures and put them up on the fridge.  I think I need to do that again.  I took these pictures of me in my Gap jeans yesterday.  I didn't end up posting them because they are so fuzzy (and the kids hand prints are all over the mirror!) but I think I'll post one now next to a 2011 picture.   

This is a comparison of late February 2011, when Myra was 5.5 months old, to now.  These post-Myra pictures are probably the best representations of how I think I look in my mind.

And one from April 2011, when Myra was 6 months old, compared to now.

I can definitely see a difference in the top picture and also in the bottom picture, though less so.  I don't have a ton of pictures from the first half of 2011 but the way I look in these pictures is where my brain is stuck.  But seeing these images really helps.  I might have to put these up on the fridge for a while.  I need to start taking and posting more pictures of myself.  I think that will help get my brain in gear.

Thanks for humoring me as I stumble along this journey.  The kids are napping so I'm going to cuddle up with a blanket and hopefully get an hour or so of rest.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sniffle, Sniffle, Sneeze! and Gap Jeans

So far I've made it to the gym twice this week, Sunday and today.  I'm involved with my local mother's club and we have a ton of stuff coming up this week and next so gym-time will get tricky.  I just have to be flexible and do my best to squeeze it all in.  To top it off I started feeling a bit sick last night.  Myra has a runny nose and I think she passed me whatever she has.  I went to bed last night with a sore throat and today my nose was running a bit and I've been sneezing.

Miguel took the kids to daycare this morning so I could take my time getting ready for work with my cold and all.  I decided to get some of my too-small clothes down from the closet to see if anything fits.  I haven't gone through those clothes in a couple months so I thought something might fit or be close to fitting.  Boy was I surprised!  Remember these jeans? It was such a big deal when I purchased them back in June 2008 that I blogged about it. Actually, that post, titled I'm Here, is one of my all-time favorites.  It's all about my realization that, despite not being at goal, in so many, important ways, I'd arrived.  I was about 6/7 pounds lighter than I am right now. 

Anyway, back to the jeans.  They fit!  They are a little snug.  I know they'll be absolutely perfect when I lose a few more pounds.  But I was so astounded, so happy that I could even put them on I went ahead and wore them to work.  In case you don't recall (who would?) they are a size 8 pair of Gap jeans, the kind that are a bit like slacks.  So happy to be able to wear them. 

I'm moving forward in the physical department but I'm a bit stuck in the mental department. I want that I'm Here feeling back.  I don't feel that right now.  I still feel like a fat person.  I still feel big.  Maybe when I lose 10 more pounds and my stomach fat goes down a little I'll feel less big.  Geez, I hope I don't have some kind of pregnancy fat on my stomach that's never going to come off!  Please don't comment and tell me that happened to you, I don't think I'm ready to hear that.  I mean, I know my body is different after making two human beings but I don't want to hear that my stomach will pooch out forever. 

Anyway, back to today.  I read somewhere that if you have cold symptoms in your head it's fine to exercise but if they're in your chest you should rest.  Mine are all in my head so I went to the gym after work.  The upright bike was on the agenda so I hopped on for 25 minutes.  I decided it was time to move up from random level 6 to random level 7.  A few minutes after starting I wondered if it was a good idea to up the difficulty given that my last workout was a leg/shoulder day but in the end things went alright.  It was definitely a challenge.  The program had longer periods of the harder levels and none of the low levels that level 6 would give you periodically.  I finished up giving myself an imaginary pat on the back for a job well done.

Next up was back/biceps/core for strength training.  I did my usual bicep curls, assisted pull ups, and single arm rows and also the newer things I'm doing, the Swiss ball back extension and my new favorite, the jackknife.  I did 3 sets of the jackknife, 12, 10, and 12 reps.  I found out you can sort of cheat by letting your body drift back a little, it makes things easier, so I tried not to do that by keeping my arms straight but boy is it hard.  I was groaning a little and probably really red in the face.  Not romantic when it's happening at the gym. 

I finished up with some relaxing stretches and then high-tailed it home to make dinner.  The good thing was I made a huge batch of turkey meat loaf last night, with enough leftovers for tonight, so the bulk of the work was done.  I threw some sweet potato fries in the oven and voila!  I was starving and probably ate too much.  But who cares?  Because I wore my size 8 Gap jeans today and too much dinner isn't going to change that. 

p.s.  I just started feeling crampy.  Is it that time of the month again already?  Ugh.  A cold, a too-busy schedule and my period.  Where's my Super Woman cape?  I think I'll be needing it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Good Run

I forgot to mention that I got a haircut last week.  It was getting long and sort of sad looking so I had her go a little shorter than usual.  I am happy with it.  Sort of sporty looking.  I don't think the picture really shows the haircut very much but you get the idea.  My face still has that wide chubby look to it, I remember when I lost weight pre-kids it went away but I don't remember what weight that was.  I guess I'll just have to see when it happens this time. 

Anyway, Miguel was back in the family game early on Sunday so I was able to get to the gym.  The weather was nice so I hit the road for an outdoor run.  I had my heart rate monitor on but not the gps one so I couldn't see my pace at any given time.  I think this was a good thing, sometimes it's good for me to run by feel and not pay too much attention to the numbers.  I still glance at my heart rate now and then, which has a similar effect ("oh, too fast, slow down...too slow, speed up") but it's less complicated than the pace thing.  I probably do best when I don't look at any of these gadgets until the last mile. 

Anyway, I was running along and feeling pretty good, though breathing hard, when I realized I couldn't really "feel" my legs.  What I mean is, they weren't holding me back in any way.  The only thing challenging me was being able to keep up cardio-wise, if that makes sense.  My legs felt like I could run forever, which was a nice feeling, and one I haven't had in a while.  When all was said and done I ran 3 miles in 33 minutes.  An 11:00 mm (minute mile) pace is awesome!  The fastest I've ever done this run was a 10:46mm back in early January.   I need to beat that time.  I know I can do it, I just have to wait for the stars to align and then give-it-a-go. 

After the run I had legs/shoulders/core work to do.  I did my squats and then one of my new exercises for my shoulders with the medicine ball. I use the 10 pound ball and raise it overhead 10x and then reach out in front 10x and hold it for 10 seconds out in front at the end.  I did three sets.  Whew!  Killer.  I did a bunch of shoulder stuff yesterday actually, the lying shoulder thing and lateral raises.  I had plenty of time so I just kept tacking things on for fun.  Lunges, leg extensions, supine hip extensions on the Swiss ball - it was all there.  And I did the plank with one leg in the air again.  I'm enjoying pushing myself.  I want to get to the point where I can do more body weight resistance stuff but I need my body to get a little lighter first.  For example, I really hope I can do pullups one day.  But pulling up a 170+ pound body ain't gonna happen so that's for down the road, if ever.

I'll spare you all the food details from this weekend, including an encounter with a box of See's Candy from last night.  Suffice it to say the weekend is over and I will be tightening up the belt this week to try and compensate.   Happy Monday!!