Friday, April 20, 2012

Good Mood Friday!

I have to start by thanking everyone for the positive comments about my progress pictures.  I will admit, I've been looking at them a lot.  I was actually taken aback by how I look.  I didn't realize I'm looking so trim.  And the muscles...I love the muscles.  So thank you for taking a moment to cheer me on.

So I got some much needed rest on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I didn't exercise, though I was active enough - playing with the kids and doing some work in our yard on Wednesday.  The sore throat that was threatening me never turned into anything.  I returned to the gym on Thursday, looking forward to a great workout.  Instead, it was a bit of a dud.  One thing is that I was in a big hurry and could only do a 20 minute run.  Almost the whole run felt hard.  If I'd run a bit longer things might have gone better eventually.  I usually do at least 25 minutes, which is a nicer time, though 30-40 I think is ideal in terms of that great running feeling.

During the run I noticed I was having a lot of negative thoughts - why is this run so hard?  this is not fun, I feel so heavy, ugh, etc.  I wondered if I'd had enough food to fuel my workout.  I'd eaten a good lunch but for my afternoon snack I just had 1/2 a banana.  That paltry snack, with a workout 4+ hours after lunch, was probably not enough food.  My weight training was fine, but also not revitalizing like it normally is.  I did legs, shoulders and core work and a lot of it just felt hard.  So I (again) made a plan to eat an AccelGel 15-20 minutes before my workout.  They are 3 points so I can use part of my APs I earn from the workout.  There is little worse than slogging my way through a workout when I should be powering through it!

I forgot to mention that on Wednesday evening I went out for a glass of wine with a friend.  She's getting ready to move out of our neighborhood (boo! - we will miss you Karen!!) so we're hoping to squeeze in lots of visits before she leaves.  I planned to only have one glass of wine and I stuck to that.  Then on Thursday evening my mother's club had a night out at Chevy's.  I wasn't planning to go but Miguel gave the green light so I went right around the kids bedtime.  I wasn't planning on drinking but the margarita smell did me in.  I ended up having two "skinny" margaritas (at nearly $10 EACH!).  They were made with organic tequila (organic, really?), agave nectar and lime juice.  Woo-hoo!  I've got some fun mommy friends (Hi Sara, Monique, Alison, Jackie, Erica, Laura...and on and on!).  Love you ladies!!

So I wasn't sure how all this drinking would affect the scale this morning.  But I hopped on with hope of at least not having a gain (I'd been teetering around 166 the past few days) when lo-and-behold - 164.4 pounds. Yes ma'am!  That's why I re-joined Weight Watchers, I knew it would help and it is, that's a 2.4 pound loss over last week.  Moving in the right direction.  It was a gorgeous day here today and I really wanted to wear capri pants.  All the ones I have now are size 8's from before getting pregnant with Marek.  I put a pair on, and while they were a bit snug, I wore them.  Yes!  Oh boy, I'm feeling good today.

I remembered to eat my AccelGel and then went to the gym after work and started into my usual 25 minutes on the bike.  Then I remembered this is supposed to be a recovery week so I cut back to 20 minutes.  I don't exactly know what I should be doing in this recovery week, is 20 still too much?  What about weight training?  Should I cut that back too?  If I do 3 sets normally but should I cut back to 2?  1?  I like this idea of a recovery week every 4th week though, sounds so logical and also a nice "easy" week every once in a while sounds good.  After the bike I did chest/triceps/core.  I'm still on a cloud when it comes to pushups, I can't believe I do real pushups!!

The other thing I did today was make a dinner plan for the week.  I hate that, "what's for dinner" thing at 5:30pm.  So this week we're having homemade pizza, salsa chicken, spaghetti and meatballs...I'm looking forward to having a plan.  Tonight I did the salsa chicken - shredded chicken, black beans, salsa verde, served with rice, veggies and a bit of avocado on the side.  It was pretty good, even more so because I was hungry and I knew it was healthy as heck. 

Tomorrow is a rest day.  I'm taking the kids to do a community park clean-up and then to their playgroup.  I should probably take a sandwich and some veggies and an apple, sounds like we might be out at lunchtime.  No idea what's on tap for the afternoon and evening.  But the weather forecast is for more gorgeous sun - hey, I bet that's why I'm feeling so good.  The promise of summer.  I'm loving it!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rest, Recovery and...Progress Pictures!!

I woke up this morning to my calf cramping up (ouch!), half hour later my stomach started hurting and then a headache...Ok, ok, I get it.  I overdid things a bit.  So I'm feeling good about the need for these two days off from exercise.  And I got some great feedback from my last post.  First, I learned from Deanne that Crossfit recommends 3 days on, 1 day off and even though I'm not doing Crossfit that recommendation sort of validates the way I try to do things - normally anyway.  Second, I haven't had any "recovery weeks" at allCherelli suggested I do a recovery week every 4th week.  I like that idea.  Now I just need to figure out what that recovery week looks like.  Less volume?  Less intensity?  Both?

Alright, on to the fun stuff.  With all my extra time today I snapped some progress pictures.  I don't have anything specific to compare them to but if you're curious check out my Before Pics for comparison.  You know, when I look at those before's like I'm starting to forget who that woman was.  It's actually feeling like that's not me anymore.  Weird.  Ok, on to pictures!  First up, a front and center shot. 

4/17/12, 166lbs, 35% body fat
What I feel the urge to do is pick apart the parts of my body that I'm not happy with.  But I won't do that.  No, no, no!  Instead I will point out my strong legs, the way my clavicle is poking out a bit, and my strong, broad shoulders.  Speaking of shoulders, I had a physical last week and got a referral to a physical therapist.  I started seeing one before but that stopped when I got pregnant and fell off the fitness wagon.  So I'm starting physical therapy again to find out the best exercises and stretches for my shoulders.

Look at that muscle!
Now, If I were to complain about a body part, which I am not, it would be my arms.  My whole adult life I have struggled with them being disproportionately large as compared to the rest of my body.  So today, I purposefully took a picture of my arm, in all its glory.  Can you tell I'm eating my spinach?  Alright, next up, a side shot.

The area under my chin looks better than it does in my mental image of myself.  And my calves look normal, again, unlike they do in my mind.  Next up, a back shot.

Now that I see the picture I wish I actually flexed a bit more.  In this case I just flexed a bit, thinking it didn't matter because my muscles would barely show, but they actually do show!  Though the main things I like about this picture are no fat rolls in my back and almost non-existent love handles.  Oh, and another cool thing, those running shorts I'm wearing...I bought them before I got pregnant and they fit again!  I don't know if I'd be comfortable running outside in them just yet but seeing these pictures makes me think the concern that I'm too fat to run in them is all in my head.

In fact, seeing these pictures makes me think that me being fat is mostly all in my head.  Of course I have fat on my body, my scale says I'm 35% body fat, but that doesn't mean I am fat.  In fact, why do we call ourselves fat?  Even when we're really, really fat, there's still more to us than fat.  That body fat % makes me want to do some numbers...

Weight:  166 lbs
Body fat:  35%
Pounds of fat:  58
Lean mass:  108 lbs  (166 lbs - 58 lbs)
Lean mass with 25% body fat = 144 lbs

Well, would you look at that?  144 pounds is right around my goal weight of 145.  Nice.  And just 21 pounds to get there.  Funny, for most of my life the thought of having only 21 pounds to lose almost seemed silly.  Why would someone worry about an extra 20 pounds?  Such a trivial amount.  I know it's not a trivial amount but at the same time my inner (former) fat girl can appreciate how friggin' awesome it is that I am now that person with 20 pounds to lose.  Well, 21 pounds.  

Before I finish I'll say a bit about my food intake today.  It's been really good.  I forget that when I don't exercise my appetite is actually a lot lower, so my points were enough.  Of course I could have eaten more but I am on a reduced calorie diet so that makes sense.  I had three points left after dinner so I used them to have a 1/2 cup of Brown Cow lowfat vanilla yogurt.  I cut up some strawberries and stirred them in...yum.  And as I sit here my body already feels a lot better.  I know with another day of rest I will be ready to get back in the ring.  Only this time with a plan for some recovery weeks and a fresh reminder of why working out five days in a row does not work for me.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Body Needs a Break

Damn, my body was not happy today.  On top of that I woke up this morning with a tinge of sore throat.  Now I feel a bit silly for exercising 5 days in a row last week.  How many times have I said that my body does not do well when I go more than three days in a row?  And I did five.  Ugh.  So I spent half the day trying to figure out what I should do.  What I wanted to do was exercise today and then take Tuesday and Wednesday off.  That way I'd get 2 days in a row off but keep on my schedule for the remainder of the week.  While I wasn't convinced it was a good idea to go to the gym today at all, in the end I decided to go but to take things light.  I felt proud of myself for getting out of the yes/no thinking and coming up with an alternative that seemed workable.  The other thing pushing me was being almost out of points and wanting to eat dinner.

So I got to the gym and due up on my schedule was 25 minutes on the bike followed by back/biceps/core work.  I got on the bike and was thinking of "taking it light" by lowering the level from 7 to 6.  But 6 still looked pretty challenging and I knew a challenge wasn't what I needed.  I was also reminded of a funny exchange I had recently.  I was talking with the owner of the gym, Mark, and one of the staff, Glenn, about the Cinderella Classic.  Somehow we got to talking about food...

Mark:  So, did you eat a bigger breakfast to prepare you for the ride?
Me:  Pretty much, I had a larger than normal bowl of Special K.
Glenn:  What'd you do, have 2/3 of a cup instead of 1/2 a cup?

Busted.  I never said I wasn't rigid.  So yeah, I happily decided to do level to 5.  And it turned out to be perfect.  I was still challenged a bit but mostly I was just cruising along at a fast rpm without much resistance.  After the bike I did my bicep curls, assisted pull-ups, etc.  I did the plank, decline crunches (now I'm doing them with a 10 pound weight!), etc for core.  I felt much better energy and mood-wise than when I'd arrived but was also still feeling a bit sore and tight, especially in my hamstrings.

So that's it, I'm taking tomorrow and Wednesday off.  Oh, the horror!  I have to watch my eating because I have almost NO weekly points left.  Staying within my daily points is a challenge.  But I'm not going to worry about it.  Worrying about possibly being hungry in the future is not helpful. In fact, it's sabotage thinking.  I know I can get all the food I need, I will make choices, no one is forcing me to do this.  If I am hungry, and if it is beyond normal between-meal hunger, I will eat.  Seems simple enough, right?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tight Hamstrings and Eating Sitting Down

Just a quick recap of my weekend.  On Saturday I ended the day with 3 leftover points.  And I didn't use them.  I think it being a day off from exercise kept my appetite down.  Though today was pretty good too, hunger-wise.  Maybe my stomach is adapting to eating less. 

I took the kids to the soccer field this morning to watch Miguel play.  So glad I have the energy and enthusiasm for these kinds of things now.  Though it didn't actually take much energy.  Marek ran around with other kids and Myra stuck close to me given all the people around. 

I'm enjoying the Beck book.  I followed her first recommendation, to do a list of the reasons why I want to lose and maintain my weight.  She suggests you read it twice daily so I chose to read it just as I'm leaving work and after dinner.  For at home days I chose to read it when the kids go down for their naps and after dinner.  Those are all historically risky times for me to start snacking.   I need to put a reminder into my phone to read it twice a day for the next six weeks.  It's like brainwashing!

The other recommendation I'm working on following is to eat sitting down.  She talks about how this raises awareness and satisfaction.  Mostly I'm guilty of this when I'm home, I'll eat my cereal or lunch standing in the kitchen while I get the kids their food.  Dinner is almost always at the table though, I'm a stickler for the family dinner.  I made a small exception for myself, which is that I can eat standing up if I'm eating raw fruits or veggies.  This is mostly so I can snack on the go without feeling like I'm doing something wrong.  Like I said, so far I'm really enjoying the book.  I am hopeful I can gain freedom from food battles, wouldn't that be awesome?!  It's hard for me to believe it's even possible but this Beck woman says it is.

So I went to the gym today.  The weather was beautiful and I started with a 25 minute run outside.  My hamstrings are really tight for some reason and it was noticeable on my run, though it was still totally doable.  After the run I had legs/shoulders/core work and I did my normal stuff - squats, lunges, shoulder raises, etc. 

When I was done and stretching I really focused on my hamstrings.  I'm not sure why they are so tight.  Actually, my whole body feels a bit sore.  I wonder if it's the five days in a row I did last week.  I also wonder if my body is trying to talk to me, telling me to back off a tad.  We'll see how I feel in the next couple of days, I might need to take an extra day off soon.  Two days in a row would probably be most helpful so maybe I'll go tomorrow and then take Tuesday and Wednesday off. 

Eating-wise things went well today.  I stayed within my points and had a fabulous piece of salmon with a salad for dinner.  Yummy!  All in all things are going well.  And now I'm off to bed for a full 8 hours sleep, perfect end to a great day!