Monday, December 8, 2008

So, yeah. I screwed up. I'm horribly angry with myself and yet again I'm horribly angry with myself for being horribly angry with myself. I've been looking at pictures of myself and being horribly disgusted because I'm fat. There is none of the gleefulness or the gorgeousness that came from being confident with myself. I probably only weigh ten pounds more, which granted I'm very displeased about, but it isn't something to beat myself up over or the rather severe depression that's been kicking my ass lately.

I've got the winter blues, and we only had our first snow yesterday. It sucks.

I have to kick my own ass over this. It doesn't magically disappear and fix itself by stepping into a Weight Watcher's meeting. The problem is that I have not idea how to fix the brain funk that I'm in. I'm piss poor right now, to the point where I have to budget out where I drive, and unfortunately, going back and forth to the gym takes about an hour of driving time. I've been doing some stuff at home, but for some reason it is harder to work so hard to pound the emotional stuff out at home.The therapist lady's been booked up because of the holidays, and I haven't had a session for two weeks, and it scares me that I'm dependent enough on the sessions to get this messed up after two weeks. But I have an appointment this week.

Maybe it is the "official" winter blues. I really don't care. I don't think I'm severe enough to need to be on anti-depressants, as I haven't been this depressed since...well, last December. But the point is, I'm doing, short of the drugs, everything that should be helping me. The money issue's been kicking my ass all the sudden, though I'm as rich/poor as I've ever been.

So, yeah, sorry after disappearing for a few months just to return to have a freak out. Maybe this is what I need until I get my head on straight. Blogging is free, after the internet service and the laptop.

So, anyway. I've watched that show on the Style network, Ruby. I'll admit, the first time I saw it on the guide thingy, I thought it said Rudy and I was confused about why the women's style network kept showing the football movie that makes people cry. It's actually not as bad or unentertaining as I thought it would be. Ruby is an interesting person with a really cool personality. I'm not a diehard fan, but I'm also rooting for her and she kind of makes me happy beyond the fat girl happiness of "Well, at least I'm not as bad as she is."

Non sequiter alert: I've been doing some life changes. I'd been trying to get into grad school for library science. Even though I'm not a spiritual person by any means, I've noticed that life tends to work out in the end. So, I'd been getting the run around from a bunch of different sources. It was getting to be exhausting and I noticed that I was getting more and more lukewarm about the idea and getting signs that this might not be the best idea for me right now. The whole process is/was stressful. But in the meantime, because of my taking the gre and apparently doing well on it, I was getting contacted by various universities and collleges, after getting my scores, wanting me to go there. Now, mind, I didn't tell the GRE exam people to send my scores all haphazard. In fact, I strictly told them not to. But anyway, various colleges, including Columbia and McGill, calling me on the phone asking me to go convinced me that I'll probably turn out all right and I wouldn't neccesarily have to do a job that I was never sure about. So, now, the plan is to enter, in a round about way, the legal profession.

So, see, I haven't just been sitting around eating comfort food and feeling sorry for myself. I've been making Life Descisions. I've also been planning my bragging rights when the relatives start poking their noses in at Christmas time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Knock on wood. Knock on wood. Knock on wood!

So, I've been having a weird appetite lately. Ever since I've given a damn about what I eat, cookies have always been my kryptonite. I could be so on top of things and have all my good fats and vitamins and correct servings of fruit and protein and feel so absolutely in control of things, and then I'd remember that there are Keebler Fudge cookies in the cabinet. I'd try to resist it, I'd even go so far as to resist for a couple of days, thinking if I could just hold out long enough, I could break my cookie addiction, but like an addict, I would constantly be thinking about those cookies and how it woudl be so easy to eat them.

But for the past three weeks, I've not had any appetite for cookies. In fact, when I have any craving for something sweet, it's been for an apple or an orange. I see the cookies in the cabinet and they are perfectly good cookies. Bona fide Chips Ahoy or Nabisco Oreos, but when I contemplate eating them, in my mind they taste like stale cookies from the 99 cent store. Even when I'm at the totally awesome coffee shop down the street from me with the really good melty chocolate chip cookies, they still don't really appeal to me.

Maybe it is a case of changing an appetite. When I was younger I used to like pork chops, and now, while I'll eat them if someone's cooked them, I'd prefer something else. Hopefully.

Or maybe it is because of the changing seasons. It's starting to become fully fledged fall here, and while I'd expect that to mean that I'd be craving comfort food more, maybe fall is anti-cookie season. Though it makes sense my craving for apples all the time.

In any case, I've been knocking on wood so much I expect my knuckles to start bleeding any second now. I've needed a kick start for a while now, where my eating good and being healthy lasts for maybe a day. But now, I've had four good days in a row.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A quandry

There are many unanticipated problems with exercising. My current problem is morning breath. Mostly I like exercising in the morning. Like, shuffle out of bed, and get ready, and go, and wake up about twenty minutes into the work out. Alas, this means that I have to brush my teeth before I go. I mean, it's nothing serious, but my breath doesn't smell like roses in the morning. And I'm not a big fan of getting into the heavy breathing that accompanies exercising when I have to be breathing in and out stinky morning breath. Plus, I'm sure it wouldn't win my any friends in my kickboxing class.

But on the other hand, I have the tendency to occasionally get nausea when I brush my teeth too soon after I wake up or before I've eaten anything. And I suppose the easy thing would be to eat a few almonds or something and then brush my teeth, but I feel like I'm already pushing it with the getting dressed and putting contacts in with my early morning self. So basically I am postponing going out for a run until my stomach remembers that I brush my teeth every day and this is nothing to get freaked out about.

In happy news my best friend whom I've known since we were babies has gotten engaged. I very much approve of the guy and couldn't be happier, though it was kind of surprising at first because I still don't feel old enough to be having friends my age who are married. I'm in denial, even though technically I'm in my mid-twenties. Anyway, Best Friend asked me to be maid of honor, which I was even more surprised about and got weepy over and hyperventilated and now I think I've probably lost weight since she asked me from all the nerves. I've never really paid attention but there is a shitload of stuff to do.

I've never subscribed to the theory that a person should lose weight because of a specific event. I mean I've read over and over again that looking good in a dress simply isn't enough motivation to lose the weight and keep it off without giving up. But I've been rather short in motivation as of late, and it seems to be working anyway. Even in the period between when she asked me to be a bridesmaid and when she asked me to be maid of honor, I went for a ton of walks to work off the nervous energy and lost my taste for cookies. Cookies! The little round things which had previously proven to be my kyrptonite! And now with all the stuff I keep thinking I have to do, I haven't had much of an appetite. I mean, this can't hurt, I suppose.

Monday, August 18, 2008

'Ja miss me?

So yesterday I went kayaking. I love kayaking for many reasons. The primary one being that you know that feeling you get when you realize something unexpectedly cool is happening. Maybe the day starts off kind of blah and you are pretty much doing the same old same old and then a friend calls you to go out with them and you get a bit buzzed but not too bad and later on you do a one am run to the all night supermarket and get the stuff for s'smores along with baby carrots and exotic juice drinks which you intend on mixing with the vodka or rum but kind of just forget about it and just throw stuff into the fire, and when you think think about the boring run of the mill part of the day it seems ages ago, and that kind of makes the whole thing seem cooler.

Well, kayaking for me is like that. I live in Massachusetts, but I don't live in the particularly cool part. I live twenty minutes inland, which is okay, but you probably couldn't tell where I live apart from Michigan. I don't live in Boston, I don't live down the Cape, I don't live in the mountains. I live in the part where people live if they need to conveniently live kind of close to those places but don't want to deal with the possibility of not having an all night supermarket or worry about road construction being insane enough to kill you. It's a nice place to live and grow up in and I wouldn't want to leave here to move to the countless other places around the country that are convenient but not particularly interesting. Kayaking makes me feel like all those places you see in travel magazines that make you think everyone goes on vacations with hiking boots instead of their loosest jeans aren't really that exotic and are actually pretty accessable.

You look up places on line to kayak and the place I went to yesterday was fifteen minutes away, but I would have never knew it existed. There were all sorts of crazy inlets to explore and mazes of sawgrass. I saw a bunch of birds and some wildlife and what I swear is a UFO.

Unfortunately (or, considering this is allegedly a health blog, fortunately) one of the kayaks we use had a leak in it, and so the friend we went with has a two person kayak, so I took the single person working kayak intentionally, figuring I'd get a better work out and work my arms and torso more if I didn't have someone else to rely on. Alas, this pretty much meant I was constantly paddling for three hours to keep up. I was so tired yesterday afterwards that a few hours afterwards, after I showered, I decided that I didn't like the shirt I was wearing, but was too tired to make the effort to take one t-shirt off and put another one on.

I hope no crazy rowers will read this blog, or else they'd be thinking "Three hours! Pah! I could do that hung over in twenty foot waves with a malfunctioning paddle!"

But yeah, it was definitely an awesome day. Plus I only got a hint of a sunburn and a few bug bites on my heal. Score. At least I hope they are bug bites. At one point we got out of the kayaks to swim for a few minutes and I'm not a fan of swimming in places where I can't see anything. I'd suck at midnight skinny dipping. But anyway, I swear my foot touched something and I know I saw at least a horseshoe crab (it was a saltwater river). It could have been a sting ray or a man-o-war. If you don't hear from me, assume I've gone into shock and in a hospital.

That's another point for where I live. Convenient access to excellent hospitals, which presumably can rescue one from jelly fish attack.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Being all whiny

I really don't want to go to the Weight Watchers meeting. I haven't been there for three weeks, and I've gained more weight than I'm okay with because my pants feel too tight. There are going to be a bunch of cheery and optimistic people who have lost weight this week and are close to getting to goal, while I'm sitting there feeling bitter. But I'll go, and I'll probably weigh in, because I want to lose weight this week and I'd like to know about it next week. Better gain twenty pounds this week and lose a pound next week than gain nineteen pounds next week. The meetings have worked before and damn it if I'll give up because I'm being an idiot.

It's been humid as all get out, which hasn't been encouraging me to get outside and go running, because humid plus running plus girl who sucks at running equals terrible. I'd come up with something more witty but it is too humid. I'm well aware that if someone from Florida or Brazil or Mississippi were to visit right now, they would laugh long and hard at my discomfort. Just as I would laugh long and hard at their discomfort of below freezing weather in the winter. But, hell, I'm the one that has to run.

So, I'm off to get the bad news and get back on track.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Goals don't work. Ambiguity does.

So I've been away for a couple of weeks, in the sense that I have not posted and I have not really been paying attention to my health. I have a bit of an excuse for the first in that I was away in the beginning of July and it took me a few days to get my head on straight after traveling.

Part of the reason for not paying attention to my health is kind of good. I'm not all that ashamed of my weight any more. I'm not sure what changed, as I am in no way close to my ideal weight. Sometimes I look in the mirror and have a "Hey, I look pretty good" moment. Maybe other people don't feel that way and a few minutes later I feel like I'm probably just fooling myself. But hey, that's why I use the name Fooled. My goal was to fool myself into thinking exercise is doable, even for me, to fool myself into thinking that eating right makes me feel better, and pretty much fool myself into being a better person.

That and the Led Zeppelin song "Fool in the Rain" is one of my favorite songs.

But anyway, I've achieved, or at least, had achieved my goals. I'd do four hours of various forms of exercise during the day, because hey, why not. And goshdarn it if I didn't feel better when I did eat right. I had more confidence, which is one of my prerequisites for being a better person.

But I set out these goals, or at leas the health oriented ones, because my health wasn't good, or at least wasn't going to be good. A doctor scared me into not being such of an idiot any more, hence why I started eating right and exercising. And I started getting healthier, and lost weight, and I met goals, and ironically that was what derailed me for more than a few days.

I had confidence, I had done what millions of people hadn't been able to do, namely lost more than twenty pounds. I could no longer shop in the plus sized department. My body had shape now, instead of resembling a pile of raw bread dough. And these were the things I focused on. I focused on my successes.

I'm not saying that is a bad thing. It's a wonderful thing. If you don't acknowledged that you've changed, you'd probably go insane and spend most of the time you weren't at the gym curled up on the living room floor, completely drained because you hadn't eaten enough that day for all the exercise you had been doing.

But it can't be the only thing. It can't even be close to the only thing. For me, it probably shouldn't even be in the realm of the only thing. I started off because I wanted to stay healthy, and I wanted to have a long, uncomplicated life. That's what had kept me going. My weight loss stalled when I thought about what was coming next. When would I hit the next ten pound mark? When would I be one of those people who made it to goal? When can I wear single number dress sizes?

When I first got on this health kick, if that would even be the right term for it, I looked for a lot of information on just being healthy. That was the goal. I wanted to lose weight so I could be healthy. Don't think too much about being thin or being more attractive. That will come if I just focus on the health. I came across a blog talking about how to change your eating habits, and the woman wrote about vegetarians. She said that people who became vegetarians because of a moral reason tended to still eat a lot of junk food, because seriously, how much junk food has meat in it? But people who did it because of the health benefits were able to stick with it better and tended to not have the side effects associated with vegetarianism.

Somehow the point was that vanity was not a strong enough reason to stick to a lifestyle change. If you went into it with your main goal being to fit into a size 6 or to look good in a bathing suit, you probably wouldn't be able to stick to it. But if you went into because you wanted to be healthy or you were at risk for diabetes, you were more likely to stick with it. That resonated with me and when I focused on that, it worked, but ever since the first thought of "I want to lose X pounds by Y date" I've sabotaged my efforts.

My goals needs to be vague. I can't promise myself that I will reach my ideal BMI, my ideal weight, or my ideal clothing size, and I especially can't promise that I will have it by such and such a date. I can't do this with the goal of running the Boston Marathon or biking the Pan Mass Challenge and I can't seriously listen to people who, upon hearing my "crazy workout schedule" suggest such things. Whatever happens, happens, and I'll do my best in the mean time.

In other news, my grandparents are moving to senior housing, and the aunts and uncles are cleaning their stuff out of their shed and basement and old bedrooms, which is how I scored a thirty-three year old men's Schwinn ten-speed. The tires need to be replaced and the chain is loose, but the thing actually works. I haven't had a working bicycle since I was 10, because the next bicycle I got, the gear changer thingy didn't work and it constantly felt like I was pedaling uphill, which is not something an 11 year old is interested in. So I'm absurdly happy about having a bike, as I've been thinking about getting one for months now. Even though I haven't gotten tires yet.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Well, that makes sense

So I spent a while after my dismal attempt at second run tooling around on Garage Band, which has always been on my computer but I haven't been cool enough to use it, recording my own Couch to 5K running podcast. I'm not sure if you could actually call it a podcast, because I have no intention on uploading it to iTunes, because my voice sounds like a stuttering chipmunk on crack , which is sure to be detrimental when I actually use this "podcast." But I timed out the cues, and it didn't take me that long at all to figure out Garage Band and I didn't have to read most of the directions they told me to read. I'm sure Mr. Ullrey was much more technical at figuring out what the optimum beats per minute are, but I also have experience with the running interval so I knew what kind of song I needed when. I'm feeling kind of accomplished, even though Mac's whole selling point is that you'd have to be an idiot to not understand how these programs work. But I listened to it after I finished and it came out sounding not half bad.

Unfortunately I woke up having the worst ToM in years, and felt very nauseous this morning. Or it could be a stomach bug, in which case I'm going away next week and I don't want to be doing anything that could aggravate it, namely doing strenuous activity that could make me feel nauseous anyway. And if it was a stomach bug, it might account for why I failed miserably at physical activity this week. Or I could just be a pansy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tequila Legs

So, Mizfit wanted to know how my hump day was going, and not to whine or anything but I'm still frustrated.

I was debating on whether or not to do the yoga/pilates class today. I was very much leaning toward not doing it. I would be able to sleep later, for one. Plus, while I've benefited very much from yoga/pilates, it is not without its side effects. More often than not my legs feel like I've just drank too much teguila when I walk out of there. It also makes me feel very sleepy, probably due to the savasana resting period at the end. While there are days where there is nothing more than I'd like to laze around and feel like I just drank some tequila without the needing to puke, it does tend to be inconvenient. Namely on days when I am attempting to do a run that just kicked my ass a few days before. Having tequila legs while retrying asskicking running interval equals not a good thing.

What makes it worse is that I'm sure that even people who get sent home on the first day on The Biggest Loser could probably do this interval running thing.

Nevertheless, I elected to do it in addition to planning on doing the interval afterwards. I would stay alert during the savasana thingy, drink lots of water afterwards, and stop for a coffee on the way home. The second (third?) problem arose with the coffee. I'm a bit lactose intolerant, and it is worst in the morning. Surprisingly, I did not realize I was lactose intolerant until I started eating better. I just kind of assumed all those years that you were supposed to feel gross in the morning. I never suspected it was the milk I put in my cereal. I'm also not a big coffee drinker, and when I do, I tend to drink it in the afternoon, when I'm at work, when having a bit of milk in my coffee doesn't bother me. So I rarely drink coffee in the morning, and mostly drink it black when I do. But today I decided to go for an ice coffee, and without thinking, I got it with milk. Which made me feel not very well, especially as I don't drink much milk anymore, so I'm probably more sensitive to it than I used to be. So my run was delayed longer than I wanted it to be, because the longer I refrain from exercise the less likely I'll do it, and once I did get out there, I didn't feel that great.

So yet again, the run kicked my ass. Even worse than before, actually. It really aggravated me, because I could run for an hour straight on the elliptical at the gym and never get my ass kicked like this. If I ever felt like I really wanted to get off, I'd slow down for a minute or two and click through my playlist, and pretty quickly I'd come across a song from the Dropkick Murphys, or "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" by U2, or even "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen or "Canned Heat" aka the Napoleon Dynamite song , and it would be enough to drive me past that feeling. But even though the Couch to 5K podcasts are a godsend and the music is actually enjoyable, there isn't the insane energetic song when I need it. Maybe I need to actually get tech savy and record something for myself.

Monday, June 23, 2008

So, today's another week

So today kind of sucked. I hadn't blown it quite as much as I had last week, but I still didn't really watch what I ate at all, so I went up this week. I started the next level of the Couch to 5K but towards the end my legs just would not move any more and I almost sat down on the sidewalk right there. I'm just frustrated with myself.

But today is a different day. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do well this week. I'm going to actually try this week. What a novel idea.

Okay, other things, I guess. Last week, I was incredibly stressed out. I'm a pretty stressed out person in general, but for some reason it never really effects my sleep. So if I'm stressed out enough to be tired, you know it has to be bad. I was literally waking up every hour and a half or so with my heart racing. The reason why I was stressed out so much is that I'm in the midst of trying to apply to grad school. I'm definitely not pinning all my hopes on getting into grad school, and it won't be the end of the world, and that's the assumption I'm working on, and I'll go through my days, being stressed about getting into grad school but really not too bad. I mean, I don't feel stressed.

But boom, as soon as my head hits the pillow, racing heart and nightmares galore. I had an interview at the school last week. In case I haven't mentioned, I live about twenty miles outside of Boston and the school I'm hoping to get into is in Boston. As you may have also heard, the Celtics are the best team in the NBA. To celebrate this fact, Boston had a huge parade. Right at exactly the time I was having my interview. The only way to reach this school is through public transportation, which, of course, was packed. I had to walk a bit of a distance because the parking lot at the subway station was full, which normally wouldn't be a huge deal if I were wearing sensible shoes. But I was not wearing sensible shoes, I was wearing shoes that I bought at Kohls at 10:15 the night before when I had my obligatory "Oh shit, I have nothing to wear to this interview dealy!" moment. So, at the end of the day, even though I probably walked less than a mile, total, my feet looked like they had tumors on them. The blisters were so bad that I couldn't even think about putting on socks the next day, never mind workout sneakers.

To top it off, I couldn't even stay and watch the parade, because a. I was so tired from the constant nightmares, and b. I couldn't stand to be in those shoes a moment longer, and I didn't think being barefoot on the streets of Boston in a crowd of a couple of thousand was a good idea.

I didn't have the time on Thursday (the day of the interview) to work out, and Friday, I just couldn't even think of doing anything, never mind going out and running. But as stated, today is a new day and week. I didn't have nightmares the night before, and I did go out and run, though I wasn't entirely successful in what I had planned to do. So, today's another week.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Jogging is very beneficial. It's good for your legs and your feet. It's also very good for the ground. It makes it feel needed. ~Charles Schulz

I'm wicked tired. The only thing I can chalk this up to is running. This has never happened before, getting tired from exercising. I mean, if I get in one of my crazy phases and do three hours of it, yes, I do tend be so tired that I get pissed off at my body for being hungry and therefore making me do something energetic like feed it. But if I just do one, hour or less, activity, especially in the morning, I am always, and I mean always, fine. I get back home from the gym at 7:30 in the morning, check my email, take a shower, and watch sitcom repeats until I have to leave for work sometime in the afternoon, and once I finish with the shower, it's like I was never there. Oh, there have been the health benefits that you get from exercising, but that's more of a cumulative thing than a daily thing.

Running is hard, sure. I suck at it, sure, and I'm gasping for air in ways I only did before when we did cardio weightlifting (not sure if that is the actual term, but basically it is weightlifting! Energetically! And making you feel like you did ten minutes straight of jumping jacks! And wanting to scream swears at the instructor that you previously felt very amiable toward!). But I think this is all an effect of being a pansy ass wuss and I'm pretty sure I probably panted and gasped for air like this whenever I started exercising.

But now that I think of it, it might just be all that fresh air. Sort of like, when you spend all day sitting at the beach doing nothing more strenuous than carrying your blanket on the short walk from the parking lot to the beach and turning the pages of a novel, and yet, when you get home you absolutely can't wait to get to bed. I really don't get why the fresh air, which everyone alleges to be brisk! and energizing! is making me exhausted while when I go to the gym and breath in the cleaning supply fume infested air, I could just as well have been sleeping an hour after I leave.

Well, that was awfully rambly. And I really should sleep now, even though it is 9:30 at night and thus I fail as a twenty-three year old, because I tried to spell "awfully" as "offlely."

Monday, June 2, 2008


Weigh in Day. I went up a pound and a half. Which is highly surprising. I had been on vacation where nearly the only thing I ate, with the exception of some deviled eggs and cheerios for breakfast, was McDonald's, KFC, McDonald's and Zaxby's (which is a southern chicken fancy fast food place). The anxiety and depression reared their heads again after eating so much crappy food, which in turn triggered me to eat more crap. I also had gone to the movies and drank a huge bucket of coke and a bag of buttered popcorn. I'd been expecting gain at least three pounds and realistically twenty. So yay me. And yay nearly the whole container of Trader Joe's mini milk chocolate peanut butter cups that I've eaten between last night and this morning. Oh well.

I also have been keeping up with the running. I mean, I'm proud of myself for staying on program (occasional excess fast food and delicious Trader Joe's chocolate peanut butter cups aside) and keeping up with exercise in general, but honestly, I am so proud of myself for getting past that first day of running. Hell, I'm proud of myself for getting out the door and doing it. So go me. Oddly enough, even though I've been doing less strength training because the classes I've happened to cut out to do instead of running happen to be the ones that include strength training, I can definitely feel more muscle and feel more toned up. I mean, obviously I would feel it in my legs, and in my core to a certain extent. But I really feel it in my arms. Like, I don't even have to flex my arm any more to feel the muscles in my arm. Which really surprised me. I have no idea how that happens. I know my arms move when I run and I'm careful to keep them in positions which people say are best while running, but it isn't as though I am running with weights or anything. But whatever, I'll take it. Alas, I still have the underarm flab.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Time for some thrilling heroics (except really not)

Surely if the weather is this nice...or at least warm, that means God wants me to enjoy it and not waste it by running around getting all sweaty. At least, that's what I tried to tell myself this morning when I woke up. Except it was kind of dreary and only slightly warm when I first woke up and apparently had been raining that night before I woke up.

The pushy voice told me it was probably perfect running weather. I wouldn't get too hot, there'd still be water dripping from the trees that would feel nice, but it wasn't so cool that I'd start coughing my lungs out. And even if it wasn't perfect running weather, how would I know until I tried? My running sneakers, which also seem to have a voice, reminded me that I feel damn cool while wearing them (even if I do overpronate enough that if you start looking at them too long they look like orthopedic shoes), that I did spend a helluva lot of money on them, and they are just too damn pretty to spend their life in front of the kitchen door. So I ran. And I did the second week of the couch to 5K thing, and although it wasn't as bad as my first day and really wasn't too bad at all, I was very glad when I was done. I was also, however, very glad that I had done it.

And I've got more to say, but all the sudden I am very tired and my eyes keep shutting while I type this out so hopefully my hands have stayed on homerow, because I don't feel like typing this all out again.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 3

So I just finished my third run of week one for Couch to 5K. I never thought running would feel this good. I told the therapist that I didn't think I ever felt so good after I finished my run on day 2. Me! The kid always in last place in gym class and who loathed the idea of running with every fiber of my being, and getting cold sweats at the mere thought of the track team.

Of course, you can check back in with me next week or in three weeks and I'll probably be reading this and ready to smack my naive, optimistic self. And what I'm doing is better classified as brisk walking intervaled (I'm pretty sure that isn't a word) with slow jogging, but everyone has to start of somewhere. And goddammit, I liked it and I'm proud of myself, so so what if it isn't hard core running.

I'm going away for a few days to visit a friend in Tennessee, so while I hope I won't have to start off from scratch, I might have to do a fourth day of week one. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Couch to 5K Take II

So I did the second day of Couch to 5K yesterday. I'd been walking around on Monday and yesterday with zombie legs. But using the same (probably stupid) reasoning that got me to the gym on Monday, that warming up the muscles and stretching might make them feel better.

I took it fairly easier. Every time there was one of the running times I thought about not running too fast. It took two or three minutes off of my time, but it made a world of difference. I wasn't wheezing at all, my face was only moderately pink, and when the sonnofabitch told me that I should be feeling the effect of running but not be out of breath, that was actually almost true. Yesterday there was apparently a hurricane passing through so I was running face first into the wind, and I had just saved a trash barrel that had been rolling across the street and then had to run across a few streets during one of the rest periods, so I maintain I had a good reason for being out of breath. And I didn't need to spit even once. I also didn't collapse when I got home and was able to stretch out. I felt loads better after the run and energized. I wasn't hacking all day yesterday and I didn't need a nap any more than I usually do.

Another plus? I'm pleased to report that my legs are significantly unzombiefied. Though I also went to yoga to stretch out this morning, and I know that helped tons. So, live and learn.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Weigh-in Day and first day of Couch to 5K

I went up 1.6 pounds this week. But I was sick last week and lost more weight than I was expecting and it was that time of the month...Okay, in reality my gain this week probably had very little to do with these things. I tend to lose the week after ToM. And yes, I probably could have gone up a little after being sick, but I know very well the reasons why I went up. I had Wendy's double cheeseburger and fries with a Coke that claimed to be medium sized but was really probably the size of a Big Gulp. I didn't finish it. I got a breakfast sandwich at the place I get my coffee at with bacon and cheese and it was absolutely delicious but probably not worth it. I had two Trader Joe's bagel pizzas and then I went out with my friends and got a mint milk shake sort of thing with some sort of booze that I can't remember. However, I only had one potato skin, but I also had two pieces of crusty, buttery bread. Yesterday was Mother's day and I went to my grandparents, and that's kind of just asking for trouble, though I didn't do too bad. Lastly, my cookie addiction reared it's ugly head with a vengeance. On top of all that, I only exercised on Monday (which was a mistake and when my body reminded me that flu+step aerobics=stupid, idiot Fooled. It was about time I lived up to that name. I went to kick boxing on Thursday and I didn't do much better.

I have to go back to what I was doing before. I had been snacking on super healthy crackers from Trader Joe's with Laughing Cow cheese, but then I decided I was eating too much of that, so I cut down on that. Apparently there is an inverse proportion of laughing cow and crackers consumed to cookies. I'm not sure if I grammared that sentence properly, but whatever. So I loaded up on super healthy Trader Joe's crackers and laughing cow cheese.

I also went to the specialty running store around here. I didn't know there was one. I thought the closest one was in Boston. But I looked it up again and lo and behold there is one not far away at all. There was a very nice young man who fitted me for shoes and gave me some advice and gave me the student discount even though currently I'm not a student, and didn't appear to want to laugh at the fat girl who wants to start running. I spent more on the sneakers than I have ever spent on clothes ever, including a winter parka. I think. But as far as running shoes go, they weren't too bad, especially since I really do not want to be injured and go to physical therapy and not be able to exercise at all. And I figure if I really do start running instead of going to the gym so much, I'll break even pretty soon on saving gas.

I did the first day of the Couch to 5K program yesterday. I listened to the podcast with techno-y music and the guy telling you when to run and when to walk. He was a very nice man with a very un-annoying voice. However, he is a lying sonnofabitch because he told me I was almost done when there was just a little less than half left. I hate when people tell me I'm almost done when I'm doing something I don't want to be doing because then he'll say something like "Okay! Time for another burst of running!" And I'll be like, "You sonnofabitch, I thought you said I was almost done." And it would have gone on for another four intervals. And I would have hated him. It was a good thing I had looked at how much time was left so I could see where I should run next just before he announced that I was almost done.

He also told me, when I was three quarters of the way done, that I should be "feeling the effects of running but shouldn't be out of breath" and if I had the breath, I would have collapsed in front of the post office laughing, scaring the mobster looking guy mailing his documents, because I definitely was mostly out of breath. I also skipped the last twenty seconds of running because that was when I got to my house, and there was no way I could have asked my legs to run any more when the house was right there. I did, however, do the rest of the cool down.

I was coughing and hacking the rest of the day. Probably because of the fresh air and pollen. It reminded me of gym class in junior high, which coincidentally, was the last time I ran outside for more than the distance between softball bases. We had English after gym in junior high when we were doing track and field sort of things, and the whole class would be hacking away, annoying the hell out of the English teacher. I'm not sure why even the jocky sort of kids were still hacking after running. It must have been the weather. Anyway, yesterday, my face was dark red, like the first time I went on the elliptical. Once I finished the cool down, I almost had to crawl to the front steps and I sat there for nearly fifteen minutes.

I think I probably ran too fast. That's one thing I've heard that beginner runners nearly always do. I also think I didn't drink enough water before going out. I might have not warmed up enough or stretched. Actually, I know I didn't, because I'm having trouble getting up from the toilet this morning, I'm so sore. I also went to step aerobics. Quite willingly, because I figured it would help to warm up the muscles that were stiff. It actually did help, but I'm not too sure if I should keep doing what I did yesterday, if one of the selling points of running would be that I wouldn't have to do step aerobics and I have to go to step aerobics to recover from running.

I do know that I worked harder running that mile and a half or so than I do when I run seven miles on the elliptical. I was more whipped than I am when I do the super intense cardio kickboxing class. So if I can do those two things pretty well now. Not expertly, but pretty well, and I need to be challenged, I think I'll be in much better shape if I can keep up with the running.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

That's it. I'm going to start running tomorrow. Currently the gym is the furthest place I drive to, and last night I spent $46 filling up my rather small Pontiac Sunfire. I don't want to cut the gym out entirely. But seeing as I hate step, I might cut that out a little. I'm not exactly a fan of running either, but I can pick my own music and I like the idea of running better than I like the idea of doing step.

I've heard a lot of good things about this site, so I might try and follow that plan. I'm not so much a beginner in the gym anymore, but I am definitely a beginner as far as running. I don't know why, but I feel like I'd be winded running down the block, which is probably fifty yards away.

I'm currently trying to figure out how people manage to coordinate carrying water and an ipod and figuring out how far they are going. I guess I need a watch.

So maybe I'll log my distance/times here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Not exercising.

Inspired by this entry at unstarved, I did not exercise this morning. Okay, actually not. I legitimately had stuff that needed doing starting at 4:30 am and ending at 4:30pm. And I don't care, but I think I'm crazy enough anyway for getting up at 5 am for exercising. I'm not getting up any earlier unless...I really don't have an instance where it would be an unless.

I am also planning on not going to the gym tomorrow, because tomorrow is piyo, and I've done piyo thing when I am sick and it gets messier than when I do cardio. Nose running while I'm in a downward dog or forward fold. Engaging my core somehow tripping off a coughing attack. I'm feeling loads better. Really. Cross my hear and hope to die. And I probably won't hack my lungs out during savasana, but on the off chance, I don't want the spinners who come in afterwards to ruin their funky shoes by stepping on my organs.

I might...try running tomorrow. Or walking. Probably walking. Or more likely, probably nothing at all. But I'm really itching for something. I was going to go for a walk this afternoon, it being the first nice day for about a week, but when I stepped outside, it appeared that all the pollen from eastern Massachusetts had collected in my lungs. So I settled for reading a book outside and scaring the neighbors by doing my best impression of my cat being sick.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Weigh in Day

So, I had a 2.2 lb loss this week. Which normally I'd be all, hey, freaking sweet. Except I had the flu this week, and I'm pretty sure that I can attribute at least a good amount of that loss to a couple of days where I went to bed early instead of eating dinner. I skipped a couple of days exercising because of the whole getting tired walking into another room thing, and it's also about to be that time of the month. Also, I think I put an entire box of Ritz crackers in my tomato soup the past few days. So honestly, I wouldn't have been surprised at all if I had a gain. So yay for having the flu! I think this flu is also the same one Jason Veritek, Josh Beckett, Dice-K, and Manny Delcarmen must have had. So my flu might have the same DNA as the flu that Veritek had. Which is another plus for this flu.

As mentioned, I skipped a couple of days of exercising. But I thought I felt well enough to go to the gym this morning, and just take it easy on myself. Today at the gym is step aerobics. I hate step aerobics so much sometimes it is all I can do not to walk out of the class. But today I was bond and determined to have a workout after skipping out for a few days and today being weigh in day. I was so tempted to make today be the day I start running. It was a beautiful morning for it. A little cloudy, cool but not too cool. But I was afraid I would stop too quickly, and the remnants of the flu would be aggravated by my allergies to trees sexing each other with pollen.

So I get to the gym, and I was getting winded rather quicker than usual (read: two minutes into the warm up), but so far so good. But then the instructor decided move around the bench. In circles. It wasn't like we were imitating the spinning teacups or anything, and honestly, going around in circles is generally one of my least hated things about step class. But honestly, by the fourth rotation, I had to go for a "water break" where I went to stand by the side for a minute so I could stop feeling like I was on a spinning teacup. I suppose I should have known better. How many articles and blog entries are there exercising when you are sick? But this is the first time I've been sick sick since I started exercising regularly. Well, you live and learn.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I still hate shopping

So, in a few weeks I am traveling down south to visit with a friend for a few days. I live in Massachusetts. Tennessee tends to experience summer way sooner than I get to. So that means my plan of not buying summer clothes until sometime in June is foiled. Unless I want to walk around with my jeans rolled up like I'm about to go wading and look like an idiot.

Shopping just takes time, even more so now. I still am not a hundred percent sure what size I am. For example, when I low carbed it a few years ago, I bought a size 14 skirt, which I remember at the time, was a bit snug, but it fit. Now, most of the things I try on that are size fourteen fit me, but the only way this skirt fits is if I pull it up far enough that there is a threat of indecent exposure. So I'm trying really hard to lose some weight, because other than an old pair of capris that are a strange color of denim, that skirt is the only thing that will fit me that I currently own. I'm not sure if I can fit into that skirt in three weeks, but I'm going to try.

I have other skirts, capris, cargo pants, but last summer, I had to walk around with my hands in my pockets so I could nonchalantly keep them from falling off. I'm sure that worked.

When I started exercising, besides yoga, my exercise of choice was the elliptical. It was pretty self explanatory, and I have bad knees, so I couldn't exercise to the point of exhaustion running on the treadmill like I could on the elliptical without jarring my knees. I kept track of how far I could run on the elliptical. I started out at 2.3 miles. By the next week I worked up to 5 miles. The next week I got to 7.5 miles. I eventually got up to 9.4 by the end of the next month. I would have gone further, but the machine makes you get off after an hour. I don't want to give up kickboxing or the ADD class. Step, I could do without, but I don't think I'll be dropping it. But I'd still like to get back to that sort of stamina.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Weigh in Day

I went down a pound this week. Exactly a pound. So that's cool. Everyone's been asking me how much weight I've lost recently and apparently I look way different, and I do feel different, like somehow my elbows feel smaller and my face feels smaller. Seeing as it has been about five pounds in the past couple of weeks, which, granted, is great, but it isn't a huge dramatic loss. I've been eating healthier than I have been and drinking a lot more water, so maybe that is it. Plus, whenever I lose weight, I always lose it in my face first, so I guess that more noticeable than if I lost it in my stomach or whatever.

Monday is my weigh in/Weight Watchers meeting day. Monday is also my go into work two hours earlier than any other day day. As such, Monday is the only day were it really does make sense, time wise, for me to take the six am gym class, because that's pretty much the only time I have to get a serious work out in. I also like going to the aerobics classes because it is nearly a guaranteed hour of working out, instead of me futzing around in the elliptical/treadmill/weight room and there's always the chance that Excuse Voice will talk me into getting off the elliptical and go home. It is a bit more difficult for Excuse Voice to talk me into leaving an aerobics class in the middle of it. And since I am getting weighed in that day, I feel like it is extra important that I get a worthwhile work out in.

The work out class that is Mondays at 6 am is Step Aerobics/Regular Aerobics/Strength Training, and in theory, each section lasts twenty minutes. Regular Aerobics is okay. I get kind of bored quickly but that's all right. Strength training is all right. I like muscles. But good lord, I hate Step. I'm tempted to find whoever invented step in the eighties or whatever and slap them silly for inventing something that makes me look like such a twit and has such a high risk of me tripping over my feet and spraining my ankle and not being able to exercise for months.

I'm the clumsiest person I've ever come across. No lie, I fell on my backside a few weeks ago while I was standing still. I have no idea how that happened. My ankle rolls out and so my twisting my ankle is pretty common. I've sprained my ankle badly enough that it had to stay wrapped for a few months and then I had to go physical therapy for another few months. And this happened while I was going down stairs. So you'll understand that I'm not exactly thrilled about an activity where the whole intent is to mimic a stair and upon said stair you are supposed to do semi-complicated maneuvers whose seeming intent is to make you trip.

I really have to take up running or something so I have an option on days where there isn't kickboxing or ADD aerobics.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Last night I went out with one of my best friends. We've known each literally our whole lives (if you don't count the year between our births). Growing up she was always tiny. Most of our lives, she's probably been too thin. She's gained some weight through college, like most people, and she just moved into an apartment with her boyfriend, and her life has been stressful the past few years, and as is prone to happen, she's gained some weight, and currently, according to her doctor, she's overweight now. I think she looks normal, or even smaller than normal, but whatever.

I personally like to shop alone. I'm in and out and I'm done with the mall with two hundred stores in it in less than an hour. But she lives to shop. And she's smart about it. She signs up for the credit cards so she can get the discount but then pays them off right away. Somehow she always has a coupon and she can always find something in clearance. She is a true power shopper, and most of the time, when we go out together, we end up at a mall.

I always felt depressed during these trips. She traipses off into American Eagle, or Hollister, or the little stores that were probably chains but that I'd never heard off, armed with coupons and her credit card that would guarantee an additional discount. Once or twice in our earlier expeditions, I'd find the biggest top in the store and attempt to try it on, only to find out my C cup boobs would look mashed up and going in weird directions, the shirt (which somehow was always a peasant shirt) would make me look pregnant, and the sleeves would be cutting off the circulation in my arms. Inevitably, it would take me several minutes to get the top off and hearing a ripping noise wasn't uncommon. My face would feel extremely hot and if I happened to be unlucky enough to pass a mirror in my state of severe disappointment, my cheeks would be flushed.

I would console myself by telling myself that after all, the same size in Kohl's fit me. The clothes in this store ran small. It was just ridiculous and if they were going to make people feel like shit by making them buy the next size up in clothes then I shouldn't be spending my money there anyway. And I would put on my calm, mellow face and watch my friend go through her power shopping and I might have a bag from the shoe store and a bag from Bath and Body Works at the end of the night, and try to ignore the fact that the number of stores that ran small was getting to be a much larger number than the number of stores that whose sizes ran just right.

So we went out last night, and she had a coupon for American Eagle, and it seemed like some of the clothes could probably fit me, especially as the peasant top isn't so much in style any more and thus I didn't have to worry about the pregnant-crooked-boob look, but none of the things that probably fit were anything I was particularly set on having. Even if they did fit, they wouldn't be flattering, and I felt my heart rate spike a little bit while in the store, possibly as a Pavlovian response, but we didn't spend too much time in there.

Then we went into one of the smaller stores that is a chain but which I'd never heard of before, but nonetheless, my mind immediately slapped the "runs small" label on it. I was a bit annoyed, because as a general rule, I'm more or less in a state of being broke. Losing weight at this time of my life is good in that I'm still pretty young, my skin will adjust and not stay lose, I'll spend less time destroying my knees with the excess weight than I would if I waited a few more years, but bad in that I'm too poor right now to be replacing my wardrobe. Even though I haven't lost a drastic amount of weight for seven months now, I still only have a very limited amount of clothes that fit me. The smaller store was having a sale and the quality of clothes was good, better than American Eagle, so I decided to just look, and I immediately started seeing things that seemed like my size. But as soon as I started picking up things off the rack, I started feeling the anxiety.

I'd spent a good part of my life brainwashing myself into believing that the girl who I saw in photographs of myself was not really me. I did not really look that fat. That was just bad angle. But just as there were fewer and fewer stores that did not run small, there were fewer and fewer photographs that didn't have bad angles. But nevertheless, I felt like I wasn't that big, and thus I'd pick up clothes off the racks that probably anyone with eyes could see wouldn't fit me, but that I'd insist on trying on. As I was picking up clothes to try on, I started getting worried that I'd be picking up all these clothes and even though my size fourteen jeans (purchased at Kohl's, of course) were going to have to be traded in for size twelves in a couple of months, this store probably ran small, and even the few size eighteens they had in the store weren't going to fit. The extra larges looked like they were too big for me, but how was I supposed to know for sure without setting myself up for disappointment? And suppose I tried on the extra large shirt and it was too big, but my perception of myself is still so skewed that I think it fits and in reality I look ridiculous? As I was going over tops, and trying to figure the whole thing out, I complained to my friend that I just didn't know what size I was now.

Very reasonably, she asked me "What size are you wearing now?"

"Well, a large top, and fourteen jeans." Incidentally, as I said this, I kind of patted myself on the back for saying my size like it was nothing and not whispering it like I was at confessional. " know...sizes in different stores run like...small."

She gave me a look like only a person whose known you your whole life can, and said "Just try it on." So I grabbed a few large tops, and a couple of size fourteen capris along with their size sixteen counterparts just to safeguard my sanity.

They all fit. There was no running small. The size fourteens fit better than the sixteens, but I elected not to get them because I wouldn't be wearing the capris until June, and I think I'll not be size fourteen then, but shirts give me a bit of leeway. I was actually astonished that the shirts fit. Yeah, they kind of showed my lovehandles a bit. But I have lovehandles, and anyone looking at me knows that I'm not thin, so there's no use in trying to find a nonexistent shirt that hides them. One shirt was a smidge too tight, but since I am planning on losing more weight, I need a shirt that I can keep for a while through a couple of sizes. And honestly, I loved the way those shirts, even the one that was a smidge too big and the one a smidge too small, made me feel.

I remembered last year, about a month before I said to myself this is it, being in the same American Eagle looking into the mirrors and seeing a girl with bad skin and wearing dumpy clothes and wanting to find an ice cream stand or a shoe store because she was depressed because she yet again maxed out the sizes in the store she was in. I'll be damned if I have to deal with that ever again.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wherein I get a bit tangenty (this could probably be the title of very post from now on)

There are a few things I really don't get about this process. About three years ago, I went on a low carb diet. I know I lost some weight because I went down one or two sizes, but I didn't weigh myself until after I'd lost some weight. I do know that at the end of it, I weighed 194. I had just been low carbing it, and not really exercising except for once about every two weeks I'd push myself to get on the elliptical or something at the gym. So maybe the fact that I weigh 206 now and am a size smaller than I was back then has something to do with the exercise and some muscle mass dealy thingy whatsit. But I know I weighed less than 190 something in high school. I felt disgusting and fat and unathletic, which, truthfully, I was. But I'm pretty sure I weighed less, even though I don't remember ever knowing what I weighed. But I wore a size bigger than I do now, definitely couldn't get away with the things I can wear now, and couldn't even zip up my size sixteen jeans all the way and had to rely on a safety pin and longer shirts. But now I wear size fourteen jeans and pretty soon I'll have to go down a size.

I'll grant that my self esteem has probably been shot since I was seven years old. Exercising has giving me an unbelievable and probably unjustified boost in self confidence, so maybe exercising gives me a new body awareness that allows me to see that some clothes look good on me that my high school self would have shied away from. I also adhered to the big girl myth that clothes that touched your body were too tight, and thus, especially as far as tops go, I never wore anything that fit. So maybe I had a warped sense of what size I was. I distinctly remember, however, not being able to zip those size sixteen jeans up and knowing that none of the department stores had anything bigger and having to resort to a safety pin, and my mom seeing it one day. I felt so ashamed that I couldn't make myself better.

I am more active than I was back then. However, until junior year, when the neighbors would give my brother and I a ride, and senior year, when I had my own car, I walked back and forth from school everyday, which is probably over three miles total. I also did marching band and one season, winter guard (yep, I'm a full fledged geek), which, granted, isn't track but it did get me moving and lugging a fifteen pound saxophone around my neck for probably twenty plus hours a week ought to count as weight training. I played softball for two seasons. I had gym every year except junior year. I didn't eat healthily by any stretch of the imagination, which probably does have a lot to do with it, but I did do some activity. I'll allow that I am way more enthusiastic about my activity now, though. But it seems as though exercise shouldn't play as big a role as it seems to be in the way my clothes fit. I don't feel all that much stronger than I used to. I still can't do more than two or three knees up push ups, and even then, my form sucks (but currently my goal is to do a knees up push up that I can be proud of).

I know I have muscle, and not only that, muscle that's never been there before. I don't even have to flex my arm to feel it there when I'm bored and poking bits of my body to see what's changed. But it kind of seems like it is just hanging out and doing me the awesome favor of making my clothes fit better but not really making me all that stronger.

'Scuse me, I think I need to find someone to play me the world's smallest violin.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

You Are What You Eat

Right this second I am watching You Are What You Eat on BBC America. A nutritionist who has an appropriate personality for reality tv goes to an obese person's house. The obese person is generally obese because they eat take out for most of their meals, drink way too much, and not so much exercise. The format of the show is that the nutritionist shows them how much food they eat in a week, in an appropriately overcrowded table and everything looks disgusting and grows. There are usually close up shots of the obese person either in a bathing suit or in their skivvies. The nutritionist asks for a stool sample and usually goes over it with the person while holding a Tupperware container holding the "specimen" and in general there is berating of the obese person over the state of their sample in addition to the state of their skin and general smell of their sweat and things. She then puts them on a eight week detox diet.

I do think that the nutritionist is a bit extreme. But these people seem so dim that they probably need it. But there is a bit of an oh brother, way to be dramatic, there. But at the same time, I can't believe someone would dare to eat all of this, and I imagine that this woman and her show, dramatic or not, probably knocked some sense into these people. There is also generally a weigh in at the end of it and they've knocked of a considerable amount of weight.

But the thing that I really like about this show is that, yes, it helps to lose weight, but it focuses more on this is why you've gained all this weight, you're eating absolutely nothing that is healthy. I've read up on the nutritionist and there is some controversy over where she has gotten her training, but it seems like most of what she says is at least healthy.

When I started trying to lose weight, one of the things that helped was that I noticed that I felt better and could exercise better when I ate better. That was my main motivator. Yes, this is nothing new. All the magazines and health gurus say this. But seeing for myself the connection between eating well and feeling better in general really helped me stick to this lifestyle change. I really think that, even though the program is designed to shock both the participants and the audience, that going through why it was good to eat vegetables and fruit, and eating whole foods instead of processed, and how you eat food really does effect your overall health instead of focusing on the weight loss aspect really makes it a lot more helpful than Biggest Loser or Celebrity Fit Club.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


So, yes, I know I just posted like an nth of a second ago, but this has been bothering me all morning. And yesterday. And the day before. And pretty much for several weeks now. And that's what this blog is for. I've got an eating problem. It is annoying as all get out, but I've come to terms with it. There are some foods that I just can't eat because not only will I eat about half the package in one go and then the rest a couple of hours later, but I will go out and buy the same food item(s) the next day and repeat the cycle. I've come to terms with the fact only recently that I really can't eat cookies until I've got better control. But cookies make sense as a trigger food. They are sugary, they have fattening agents in them, they have so called "empty" calories, and unless someone is claiming they are diet cookies (and even then) they probably don't have much nutritional value. Cookies make sense for a trigger food.

What does not make so much sense is popcorn. Not only that, but light popcorn. I have trouble not eating an entire bag of popcorn. Not microwave popcorn, but this size. Back when I went through every week of gaining, I'd go through a bag of this every day. I don't know why I didn't eat microwave, but there we go. I'd justify it by telling myself that popcorn was a low points food and thus it must be okay (we'll ignore whatever the nutritional information says. I'm sure it's at least be a smidge better than regular Wise popcorn).

For a couple of weeks I've had a hold on it, where I've spread the bag over three days or so. But for the past several days, I've gone through one bag very two days, and today and yesterday I went through one a day. So it appears that popcorn will have to go the way of cookies, at least for a while, until I'm not such an idiot about a bag of sort of stale popcorn.

Now playing: Speechwriters LLC - Anodyne
via FoxyTunes

Not so yogatastic

So, Wednesdays are my yoga/pilates class day. I have a special fondness for my yoga/pilates class. It was the first sort of exercise-y sort of thing that I did actually tried to do on a regular basis. I had occasionally went to the gym after school, but mostly not. But after getting really annoyed about what a stressed out person I was, I was willing to try anything, including the yoga/pilates thing that people said helped. It actually worked, in a way, though I'm still stressed out. Going in and doing an hour class once a week without really changing any of your other habits isn't going to do squat. But it did help me talk myself into changing my other habits.

One day I went to the gym after classes on a Tuesday and did the elliptical and some of the weight machines, and found out the next day I did loads better in the class than I did on the days where I didn't go to the gym. So, I won't say that it became a habit but I was more likely to work out the day before.

I also had a hard time, in good conscious, eating a greasy breakfast at the commuter cafeteria after struggling through down dogs and planks, so that kind of encouraged me to eat well, on one day a week, at least.

But once I really did get serious about living differently, even if I couldn't talk myself into doing some exercise at least every day, I made sure I'd exercise at least on Tuesdays, so I could do better on Wednesdays.

I really respected the instructor, as well. She is a woman who is pretty much the antithesis of the perky little yoga instructor. She's friendly enough, and was the first instructor of any exercise class that I took that got right off the bat that the last thing I wanted was an instructor standing over me and telling me I'm doing it wrong. Huh. Imagine that. The very nonathletic person not wanting be the center of attention by the instructor drawing attention to to how nonathletic they are. And as far as the perky yoga instructor stereotype, she is five foot ten, is a former smoker, and while not a senior citizen, has a couple of grandchildren. If you saw her on the street you wouldn't peg her as a yoga instructor.

She was very encouraging, suggesting that I try another class, but I never did, because I did have experiences with instructors who were perky aerobics instructors who it seemed like went out of their way to make me feel hideously awkward and nonathletic. But one day she told me she was subbing for another teacher in the kickboxing class if I wanted to try it out. I tried it out, and that's how I gradually got hooked into getting up at five am nearly every weekday morning for no other reason to exercise.

The more I exercised, the more I did better at yoga/pilates, and the better I did, the better I wanted to do. The more weight I lost, the better I did. Probably because there was less of my body in the way and less weight to hold up in poses. And this is after fifteen pounds, not even 10% of my body weight.

Losing weight and being healthier was great, but doing yoga and pilates and finding I was getting better at it was the first measure of progress that I noticed. It was nearly immediate. I didn't have to wait to notice new muscles, I didn't have to wait to go down a jeans size, and I didn't have to look at the scale to see progress. I was eating better and I was exercising, and I only had to wait until Wednesday to see the proof.

Yoga isn't for everyone. I'm actually still not sure whether or not if it is for me, especially if I tried one of those hard core classes instead of the standard beginnerish one they offer at the Y. But even if I'm not yogatastic, yoga has helped me. Maybe in other circumstances, I'd have found something else that would have encouraged me like yoga did. But I'm really glad that I found something.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Why? Because it has to be.

So, I go to WW on Monday mornings. Apparently I have a hitherto unknown streak of masochism. Mainly it was because an acquaintance said that it was a really good meeting with a great group of people who are really supportive, and she was right. I've been going to these meetings ever since I started. I had to go to WW when I was fifteen, and I don't know if it was because I felt even more hideously awkward in a room full of middle aged woman and retirees who seemed to have no problems whatsoever and a leader who didn't seem to understand why this young had trouble losing weight than I as a fifteen year old overweight girl normally did. But now I have a totally awesome leader who lost her weight when she was about my age and she's incredibly supportive of everyone. She's very motivating. So even though I'm still in a room full of stay at home moms and I am usually the youngest in the room by ten years, I still connect with them and they ask me advice and I ask them advice. Good stuff.

But I can psych myself up for Monday mornings all I want to, telling myself that I'm better than those wusses who weigh in on Wednesdays, or better yet, on Fridays after being good all week, because damn it, I own up to what I did over the weekends. But all that psyching up doesn't stop the thoughts of "Ooooh. I had an order of fries and a beer on Friday. Maybe shaving my legs or wearing a non-padded bra will offset that."

Feel free to point and laugh.

But it is a way positive thing, even though recently I went through a two months spell where every single week I gained. It sucked sucked sucked. But I still left the meeting feel as though I could take every thing on. Obviously, I didn't, for a while, but hell, this is what this blog is for.

Which brings us to our next point. I went down today. I also went down last week as well, the first time in...well, two months. One of the women at my meeting who I always sit next to and knew I was having a rough time of it told me when we were leaving the meeting that "It's going to be a good week. And you know why? Because it has to be." And I'd been listening to a cd my friend burned for me on the way to the meeting with a song called "Good Day" by a band called Natives of a New Dawn, with the line "It's gotta be a good day. Why? Because it has to be." So I figure, it's a sign, and through a couple of different reasons, I did have a good week. I had my first loss in a while. And so when I came back the next week, I told the woman, who had her turn to have a bad week and was discouraged. So I told her that since her pep talk worked so well for me, I'd give her one in turn. And she came in today with a the same two and a quarter loss I had the week before.

So, it's going to be a good day. It's going to be a good week. It's gonna be a good life. Why? Because it has to be. No other options, here.

How's that for cheese?

Now playing: Natives of the New Dawn - Good Day
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, April 20, 2008

An anniversary of sorts

So, on seventeenth, I had my Weight Watcher's anniversary. I hadn't realized that until I noticed that there were news stories about the anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings, and that was the day I started WW. I remember this because I remember reading first hand accounts of the shootings on the BBC website and getting really sad and freaked out and angry. Being as I work at afternoons and nights and come home at about the same time everyone else is about ready to go to bed, there was no one around when I kind of just wanted a hug. So I went for my friend, Chips Ahoy, and then I stopped and put the package back and I told myself that I was not going to do emotional eating on my first day of Weight Watchers. People usually go through a super motivated period where they stick to the plan like glue with no trouble whatsoever, and I wasn't going to be so weak to only let mine last thirteen hours. And yes, I do feel terribly guilty, but I do kind of feel proud of myself for putting those cookies back on that first day.

Moving on. One of the things I love about exercising (yes, I actually did say loved. I can't believe it myself) as opposed to watching what I eat (which, in my opinion, is not fun at all and I can't imagine ever saying "I love watching what I eat" though I don't think I would have ever imagined saying "I love exercising") is that pretty quickly I realized the limits to what my body can do are way more flexible than what I would have judged them to be. Upon realizing this, it becomes that much harder to come up with excuses on why not to do things. It's like exercising has put this challenging voice in my head that constantly asks me "Why not?" when I come up with excuses for things. Last week my car was in the shop and I had to go to the bank two miles away. The voice that comes up with excuses and which has been living in my head much longer than the challenging voice tried to tell me to wait until someone was home who could give me a ride. I almost did.

But then that pushy voice came up and pointed out I had nothing else going on until someone was home to give me a ride to the mechanics, which would be a few hours at least. It would save time for whomever was going to be giving me a ride to the mechanics. We'd be saving gas. We'd be leaving less of a carbon footprint, whatever that means. And, the pushy voice continued, You didn't get to go to the gym that is ten miles away this morning. You also didn't go yesterday because you drank way too much wine the night before. And tomorrow is Saturday and you don't exercise on the weekends. A four mile walk is considered exercise, you know.

Excuse voice at this point is going "Ehhhh. We aren't the sort of person who walks two miles just to go to the bank." (The voices at this point have apparently decided I am important enough to use "we" when we are referring to me).

And then pushy voice, who is getting to be a bully, and one of those rare, smart bullies at that, says "What's the matter? You think you can't do it? You gonna collapse after the first half mile? You don't think you can make it?"

Excuse voice is, at this point, completely flabbergasted. You'd think after over a year of trying and failing to come up with good reasons every single weekday morning to stay in bed and not going to the gym, it would understand what was going on. But excuse voice, while resourceful and was probably the one that suggested drinking half of the large bottle of wine in the first place, is also pretty slow on the uptake, which allows pushy voice to gain momentum.

Pushy voice, having gained strength and intelligence from getting me to exercise, has also nosed its way into other parts of my life. When I look at my guitar and think I should really practice, but excuse voice whines that it doesn't want to, pushy voice demands to know what's the worst that could happen should I pick up that guitar? It has also cut down on my procrastinating tendencies, which is excuse voice's forte. When I tell pushy voice that I'll give the cat fresh food later, I clean up my dishes later, I'll clean the litter box later, I'll sweep the floor later, pushy voice has started to ask me "Why not now?" Pushy voice doesn't do this a lot, probably because this is uncharted territory for it, but it has started to nose in more and more. Which I'm pretty okay with, because procrastination can be pretty disruptive. Now, I suppose I better go practice that guitar.
Now playing: Dropkick Murphys - The Burden
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Objective Observer

So, my second post in as many days. I, for one, am amazed.

Nearly every single week day since last April I've been getting myself up sometime between five am and five twenty, try to find some clean gym clothes, brush my teeth, take a multi-vitamin, pushing myself out the door and driving to the gym ten miles away to take some sort of aerobic-y sort of class. Now, if I were an objective observer who was familiar with my lifestyle outside of health related concerns, the prior statement would make absolutely no sense to me.

First of all, the ungodly hour. As a general rule, it takes me two to three hours to have anything resembling intelligent conversation after waking up. However, I've found that if I'm half asleep, my brain is on autopilot and nowhere near awake enough to talk myself out of anything, including getting ready and going to the gym. Generally, by the time the first thoughts of "What the fuck am I doing? Why didn't I just stay in bed?" start trickling in, I'm either ten minutes up the road or twenty minutes through the class, depending on what I was doing the night before. The other, very wrong thing about the ungodly hour of exercise is that most days, if I chose to not do anything productive, I would not have any reason to leave the house until twelve-thirty pm, at the very earliest, for my job. Most days, two o'clock. On the rare occasion I skip working out, I've not gotten out of my pajamas until one in the afternoon. I try not to think about this too much.

The only way I can explain it is if I'm left to my own devices as far as exercise goes, I'll nearly always talk myself out of it. Even if I did what all the other work out advise givers say to do and schedule a time to work out and make it a priority, I'd still manage to talk myself out of it. I just can't give myself time to think about it. My brain is so very effective at coming up with excuses. I've also found that if I exercise first thing in the morning, my brain will forget that it ever happened in a few hours, and will maybe talk itself into going to the gym again on the days that I don't have to work.

Two. The clean gym clothes. I am a world class slob. I haven't read that book by that guy Oprah had on her show nor have I seen that episode (those episodes?), so you can read into that what you will. In any case, I do not like doing laundry. I've been able to live most of my life going through the day with one set of clothes, possibly another set if I was going to go out at night. Wearing gym clothes every weekday and sweating in them, as you can imagine, increases my laundry load.

Brush my teeth. My stomach is a weird animal in the morning and used to get upset if I even though of putting water in my mouth first thing. Never mind something that has a taste like toothpaste. It used to get even more upset if I dared to brush my teeth before eating something. However, I dislike breathing heavily through a mouth that is crawling with smelly bacteria whilst I am working out even more than my stomach dislikes the taste of peppermint in the morning, and over time my stomach has gotten over itself.

The multi-vitamin, while not entirely out of character to me, is still a vital part of the work out routine, as it either works in some unforeseen way or acts a placebo, because otherwise I am so ready to quit within two minutes.

Pushing myself out the door. As stated, I'm not a high functioning person at aforementioned ungodly hour. I'm the sort of person who will stare at the television after getting up and won't remember for a half hour to turn it on. I'm surprised I remember to leave the house after all this.

Going to the gym ten miles away and taking an aerobic-y sort of class. I'm a private person. I have a thing about people paying attention to me. An aerobic-y sort of class is basically inviting someone to call you out in front of a group of people and say "Hey you! You're doing everything wrong!" And the gym is ten miles away, when there is a perfectly usable gym called "outside" which is very convenient and which would probably afford me twenty minutes more sleeping time. I learned quickly that I did much better with structure. If I'm going to be awake at that time and doing something that requires intense movement, there damn well be someone telling me what sort of intense movement I'm doing, when to do it, and how fast I should be doing it. If I'm going to trick my brain into getting me to exercise, I'm certainly not going to let my brain be the one to decide which exercises I'm going to be doing. My brain will decide a quarter of a mile on the elliptical is damn well enough. Maybe if my brain is feeling really ambitious, we can do a few reps with the three pound weights.

As far as the gym being ten miles away, it is a Y, it is not a crazy crowded Y with intimidating types in a line a half a mile long waiting for the elliptical, and it is cheap. Plus, if I am going to drive ten miles I damn well might as well make it worth it. I've also been lucky enough to find a few instructors who are quick on the uptake and do not specifically call me out. They make general instructions which appear as though intended for the class but we both know are really for me, but allows me, in my active wear capris and old Hard Rock cafe t-shirt, to keep my dignity.

It is a bit discouraging to know that I have to do all these mind games with myself just to get me to burn a couple of hundred calories. But then I remember it isn't just a couple of hundred calories and it isn't just moving from the seven pound weight to the eight pound weight. Who knows, maybe one day I can break myself from my dependence on the gym. I mean, I can run nine miles in an hour on the damn elliptical. I've done a step/floor aerobics class, a kickboxing class, and a yoga/pilates class. All in one day, several times and thought nothing of it. This really makes objective observer me really confused. Who knows, maybe one day I talk myself into...running around my block. Le Gasp.

Now playing: Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson
via FoxyTunes

Friday, April 18, 2008

Starting out

Fine, not starting out. I've actually been at the whole eating healthy, exercising, trying to be a better example of a human being for a year plus now. But I guess you could call it starting again, seeing as I've been at a plateau weight wise and health wise for several months now. And I've always kind of wanted to do a health blog, so here we are. I doubt anyone will ever read this except for a rare few very bored people.

The title comes from the fact that I tend to be a stressed out person in general and when I was informed by my doctor that it would be a very good idea for idea for me to lose weight and just be healthier in general, the first thing I started doing was exercising. I noticed right off the bat that on the days I'd exercise, the stress would be a lot easier to deal with.

I've been on weight watchers for about a year now, and if I could get myself to consistently track food, I'd be golden, but I am nothing if not stubborn. But weight watchers, especially if you go to a good meeting and have a good leader, is an amazing thing. I started off with both and I lost thirty pounds. But I'm also a firm believer that any healthy weight loss program can help a person lose weight and be a healthier program in general.

I've also found that focusing on things like shooting for running nine and a half miles on an elliptical or working on trying to get to the next heavier dumbbell at the gym would be the times when I would be losing weight consistently and the weeks where I'd be a head case about making sure I would lose at least a pound that week would be the week where I'd lose a quarter of a pound or gain.

So this blog will help keep me accountable on two things. One, it will just keep me accountable. If there get to be too many entries in a row where I start off saying "I just ate a whole bag of extra buttery microwave popcorn and I feel like crap," I'll know, without a doubt, that it will be time to fix it. Two, if I get to be obsessive about the numbers game of weight loss, I'll be able to know when to pull out before I get too freaked about it all.