Archive for the ‘ Status Update ’ Category

Weekly Update: It’s a Race, Not a Sprint

(Though my triathlon is technically both, but that’s another story.)

Without further ado:

As of Wednesday, June 15th:

Bust: 43.5″ (-.5″)
Waist: 35.5″ (no change)
Hips: 45″ (no change)
Right thigh: 23.5″ (-.5″)
Left arm: 12.5″ (-.5″)

Weight: 199.1 lbs (+.5 pounds since last status post)

This week: N/A
Since 5/9/11: -9.5 in/ -5.7 lbs

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, or even if I’m doing anything wrong, or if this is just how I am. I like that I’ve lost inches (even in my arms – the amount of flesh hanging from my arms is kind of ridiculous), but my weight jumped up 2 pounds after several days of either dropping or no change. And I don’t know what I did.

It’s pretty discouraging to think that one cup of tea with Splenda, or a little salad dressing from the work salad bar that might have something in it to make it sweet, or one too many walnuts can completely derail my body and cause me to stop losing weight.

It’s also highly possible that I’m a) totally overreacting and b) in desperate need of a little more patience. Just maybe.

One change I will be making: right now I’m not eating breakfast before hitting the gym, and if any one thing may have thrown me off, it’s probably that. Which means getting my groggy ass out of bed a bit earlier and eating something, preferably that’s high in protein. I could scramble eggs in my sleep, and I may be literally doing that soon.

And another: I’m going to start tracking more variables. I already record my weight, my workouts, and my water intake (which is 100+ ounces a day, most days), but it’s in my nature to want MOAR DATA. So I’m going to start keeping track of my meals, my, um, bodily processes, and, well, anything else that might be useful. My concern is that I’ll go too far (because I just might have a slightly obsessive component to my personality…maybe a little), but I think I’ll feel better about this whole process if I know I’m doing everything I can to ensure its success.

Otherwise, I’ll end up going back to french fries and coke and all the things I used to eat (*drool*), and that’s just right out. Dammit.

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Libra Chart for May and New Training Log

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This is my weight chart for May. I didn’t start weighing myself until May 9th, and not daily until May 16th. Each dot represents my actual weight that morning, and the red line is a trend line based on the average of the last 7 days. As long as my trend line is sloped downwards, I’m on the right track.

The dots that are above the trend line are the mornings after Cheat Days. As you can see, my weight takes a day or two to equalize, and then drops a little more.

Weighing myself in the morning has become a ritual I look forward to. It satisfies the fiddly, Type A side of my personality to have so much data laid out in such an elegant fashion. Plus, having a rough date for when I will reach my goal makes me giddy.

In other news, I decided to start keeping a log of my workouts. If you’re interested in knowing what I’m doing to get ready for my tri, here’s the Google Spreadsheet. I’ll be adding a link to the sidebar as well.

Weekly Update: Passing Milestones, Goal Adjustments, and Training

As of Monday, May 30th:

Bust: 44″ (no change)
Waist: 35.5″ (-1)
Hips: 45″ (no change)
Right thigh: 24″ (no change)
Left arm: 13″ (no change)

Weight: 198.6 lbs

This week: -1 in/ -5.2 lbs
Since 5/9/11: -8 in/ -6.2 lbs

It’s been quite a while since I’ve weighed less than 200 pounds.

All in all, a pretty good week. I modified my goal in Libra from 165 pounds to 185 pounds. I chose 185 because it’s the lightest I can remember being in recent memory, when I was restricting calories and working out like crazy. I got there and my weight didn’t budge, and I got discouraged and stopped caring (yet again). 185 is just a way post – once I hit it I’ll just readjust my goal and keep trucking. Libra tells me that at the rate I’m going, I’ll hit my goal by 7/28/11. And every pound I lose, that date moves up a little more.

Plus it makes the weight graph look much more manageable.

Last Week’s Goal: Water Consumption

I set a daily goal of 100 ounces of water a day (approximately half my body weight), and for the most part I’ve met it. I’ve found that if I drink 20 ounces of water at home, it sets me up for the whole day. I try to have hit my goal before I leave work, since I find drinking water in the evenings much harder than during the day at my desk. Weekends were also a challenge, but buying 50 oz bottles of water from 7-11 and sipping them all day definitely helped. The Hydrate app was a big help too, and it allowed me to accurately track my consumption and poked me when it had been too long between entries.

This Week’s Goal: Thermodynamics and Triathlon Training

There’s a chapter in Four Hour Body that talks about the effects of temperature on the body’s ability to burn fat. Without getting too deep into the science of it, he and his test subjects found that cold exposure is an effective way to increase fat loss. Now, I’ll try just about anything once, and if exposure to cold can help lose weight then I’m all for it. I’ve started taking cold showers in the morning (actually, 1-2 minutes warm and then the remaining 5-10 cold, according to the instructions) which are an experience, to say the least, and tonight I’ll be putting a homemade ice pack across my shoulders and upper back for 20-30 minutes just before bed. I’m considering adding ‘drink at least 500 mL of ice water immediately upon waking’, but I flat out refuse to take ice cold baths – that’s just crazy. I shiver enough in the shower!

As for my triathlon, it is now 13 weeks away. I though it was 12, which was why I started back at the gym on Monday. But after actually writing the whole thing out, I’m a week early. It’s ok though – I figure this is just a breaking in period, and I’ll repeat the week #1 workouts twice. Plus it gives me a chance to really gauge how my ankle feels, and whether I’m going to be able to start jogging in order to get ready for my race. I’m using the training plan from Your First Triathlon, which is tailored for beginners and to last the 12 weeks right up until my race.

Weekly Update: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

As Monday, May 23rd:

Bust: 44″ (no change)
Waist: 36.5″ (+1)
Hips: 45″ (+1)
Right thigh: 24″ (no change)
Left arm: 13″ (no change)

Weight: 203.8 lbs

This week: +2 in/ -1 lbs
Since 5/9/11: -5 in/ -1 lbs

Well…I can’t say it’s not a bit disappointing to see inches go up instead of down – even though I’m pretty sure I know why the waist measurement, at least, went up. And though I’m down one pound, I was down three pounds just a day earlier.

So what happened? Two words: CHEAT DAY.

On the whole, this was a good week. I was much better about adhering to the specifics of the diet. Though I had decided it was ok to drink Coke Zero, I didn’t actually partake (and have not been really craving caffeine or sugar, which is PRETTY SHOCKING HONESTLY).

I had a mini-cheat on Friday: Truck Sliders from Gypsy Queen Cafe. I am totally unrepentant, and if you had eaten those sliders you would be too.

I made my first (and second) visit to Chipotle since starting and learned that, verily, Burrito Bols without rice are just as delicious as those with. And honestly, I was never really big on all that rice anyway. For me it was little more than a means of shoving more sour cream into my mouth. And I am perfectly capable fo finding other ways to do that.

This week I started weighing myself daily, and using  Libra to track it. It makes me feel like I’ve got a finger on the pulse of my body, so to speak. I got the idea from The Fat Yogi‘s post about the tips and tricks that have helped him lose 41 pounds:

2. Weigh Daily: Ignore what the pros say about weighing weekly. There is no research that shows that weighing weekly is better than weighing daily. Daily weights give you a running total of what direction you’re heading.

Also, I read The Hacker’s Diet quite a while back, so I was familiar with the idea that body weight tracked over time can offer an accurate picture of whether that extra pound or two is just your body’s normal fluctuations, or whether you need to reexamine your eating.

Which brings me to: Cheat Day. I had a luncheon to attend on Sunday, so I moved my Cheat Day so that I wouldn’t have to worry too much about what was on the menu. Mistake #1 was that I didn’t eat any breakfast (Poor Planning strikes again!).

[Actually, that’s Mistake #2. Mistake #1 was going to MEX the night before for a friend’s birthday and drinking way more than I intended and yet not getting drunk! Stupid weak drinks. If I’m going to consume those calories it should WORTH IT.]

As for what I did eat: an entire liter of Coke, a 7-Eleven corn dog thingy, the luncheon (crab cakes, the-salad-that-was-not-very-good, the-croutons-which-were, a yeast roll (which I wish I had eaten more of), two servings of rosemary potatoes, undercooked green beans, cake and icing, and a little bit of rice pudding), a caramel sundae from Dairy Queen, another 20 oz Coke, and 5 nuggets with sweet and sour sauce, fries, and an orange soda from Wendy’s.

Whew.

I woke up this morning feeling sluggish and bloated, so I was totally unsurprised at both my waist measurement and my weight going up 2 pounds. Mistake #23 of my Cheat Day was not drinking nearly enough water, something I’m correcting today as I restore my equilibrium. Which brings me to:

This Week’s Goal: Water Consumption

I’m drinking more water than I was, but I’m still not necessarily drinking enough day in and day out. So my goal this week is to drink at least half my body weight in ounces of water, daily. I brought an extra measuring cup in to work so I can track my water here, and I downloaded an app called Hydrate so I can track my water intake. So far, so good. Once I start drinking water it’s easy to keep it up, but remembering to keep going is an issue. Luckily, the app will remind me every 90 minutes between 9 am and 8 pm.

Slow Carb Success…I Think

I finally bit the bullet and started the Slow Carb Diet from “Four Hour Body”.

Now, my timing was pretty crappy for all this because:

 1) I was “on my girly”, which meant I didn’t do measurements for the first week, as hormones would have completely screwed those up.

2) My first weekend (and cheat day) I was out of town, and discovered the unfortunate fact that doing this diet on the road without a plan SUCKS.

Plus, during my second week I did a copious amount of backsliding. I drank soda, ate candy, and had a cheat weekend rather than just a cheat day. And despite all of that, I still lost inches.  Surprised the hell out of me!

The Stats

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bust: 44″
Waist: 38.5″
Hips: 46″
Left arm: 14″
Right thigh: 25″
Weight: 204.8 lbs.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bust: 45″ (+1″, though I’m not counting it, I’ll explain why)
Waist: 35.5″ (-3″ [!!!])
Hips: 44″ (-2″)
Left arm: 13″ (-1″)
Right thigh: 24″ (-1″)
Weight: 204.8 lbs. (no change)

7 INCHES!!! I may have double and triple checked these measurements, not really believing my eyes. And then I just might have done a little happy dance.

About the bust measurement: I was being an idiot about how I was measuring that, so going forward 45″ will just be my base. (Honestly, I don’t expect that one to change a whole lot, but I could be wrong.)

Also:  notice my weight didn’t change. I attribute that to my backsliding behavior.

Seeing these sorts of results has rededicated me to following the diet to the letter. I almost had yet another Coke last night before taking these, and now I’m glad I didn’t. Plus, there are other strategies I haven’t added yet, such as proper bingeing (Cheat Day) techniques, supplements, fermented foods, and cold therapy (brr!).

My weight goal is 165, because it’s the lightest I can ever remember being post-puberty. This may be the first time I’ve ever considered I could actually pull it off.

Re:Dedication

Today marks exactly one month since I started exercising. In the past, this is the point where my resolve starts to crumble, just a bit. My diet starts to slip. I start missing the occasional workout. The phrases “just this once” and “it’s ok this time” and “tomorrow, I’ll be better” start popping into my head or coming out of my mouth.

This time is no exception. I missed my Tuesday morning workout and my whole day of workouts on Thursday, and Monday, Wednesday, and this morning I was late meeting my workout partner for morning weightlifting. Today, I was so late that he was on his way out of the gym as I was on my way in.

Despite all of this, I think I’ve made a lot of progress this month:

  • I’m definitely stronger. I started out barely being able to hold a plank position on my elbows for 15 seconds, and now I can do 3×30 with no problem. I’m squatted 105 lbs and benched 75 lbs this morning, and it felt really good. In particular, putting those 25 lb plates on the bar for squats feels awesome.
  • Despite setbacks this week, during the rest of the month I’ve been much more consistent getting up and getting to the gym than I ever thought I possible.
  • I love Spinning, despite the fact that it kicks my butt consistently every class. I love getting to the end of class and feeling both accomplished and totally tapped out.
  • I made myself get in the pool, and I’ve kept up with my swimming workouts (such as they are). Even though I usually have to rest between laps, it feels good just to be doing it.
  • I’m drinking a lot more water and eating a much better diet overall – lots of leafy greens and lean protein.
  • I’m sleeping better.
  • I’ve been keeping up with StrongLifts community, and my training log.
  • My pants are a bit looser. 😀

At the same time, I have some things to work on:

  • I haven’t been counting my calories or my macronutrients. I was good about it in the first week or so, but quickly lost interest.
  • I’ve only lost 3 lbs., tops. I’m not sure if this is because I’m eating too much, or I’m not eating enough. :/
  • I’ve yet to take “before” pictures.
  • As mentioned above, I’m missing workouts. Though it’s not such a big deal now, I’d like to not make it a habit. Next year I’ll be in training for triathlon, and too many missed workouts could affect how ready I am for the race.

It’s time to recommit and rededicate myself to achieving my fitness goals. I have three things I want to accomplish this weekend to that end:

  1. To reread Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, reassess my diet, and plan my meals for next week.
  2. To finally take “before” pictures.
  3. To commit to a set bedtime, and reassess how my alarms are set up in the morning. I think missing my morning workouts has more to do with staying up too late the previous mornings than anything else.

Overall, though? I feel pretty good. I’m making progress, however slowly. Up next – swim workout tonight, and…something tomorrow. Zumba? More swimming? Who knows. 🙂