Posts Tagged ‘ exercise ’

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.

Advertisements

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. 🙂

I Suck at Beginnings

I have a tendency to just hop into things because I’m really bad at starting.  No preparation, no forethought, no real planning. Just do it, and figure the details out later.

That is, until the details become necessary. And then I get trapped by them – bogged down in endless choices that I can never seem to resolve.

That leads me to this blog – both its existence and its reason.

I’m not sure exactly when I got the bright idea to enter a triathlon. For that matter, I’m not sure when I decided I wanted to give “being healthy” another shot. I’m 31, a former smoker, and no stranger to the impulse for self-improvement. I’ve bought books, read blogs, gone to seminars, and generally thrown myself at the brick wall that is making myself into a “better” person, over and over and over again.

The line about insanity being doing the same thing and expecting different results is no less true for its overuse. I’ve been able to stick with an exercise program for a while in the past, and lost a bit of weight. But something always gets in the way – work, school, a lack of time, a lack of motivation. And the choices that do me the least amount of good always seem to be the easiest – go to the gym, or…stay home and play video games. Get up early, or….sleep a few more hours. Cook a healthy meal at home, or…order a cheesesteak or some chicken wings from the delivery place that so graciously stuck a menu in my door.

I knew that this time, I needed a goal – a *big* goal. You would think losing weight or being healthier were good enough goals, but apparently I don’t work that way. I need a finish line. I need something more concrete to strive for. I need competition – even if it is ultimately with myself.

And what better finish line than a triathlon?

Every time I think “I don’t want to do this anymore” or “I can skip just this one time” or “I can have this one treat and it won’t make a difference”, I remind myself that I’ve made a commitment to complete a triathlon, and that everything I’m doing is in service to that goal. And so far, it’s kept me going.

Which leads to the blog. I’ve been posting a training log in the Stronglifts community (which is the weight training plan I’m using), but I’m a talker, and I don’t necessarily think that’s the best place to blather on about my cardio workouts or my travails trying to find a sports bra that has any chance of containing my substantial mammaries. Plus, one can never have too many places to be accountable.

So, welcome, if you are reading this. Come along with me on this path littered with blood, sweat, and hopefully very few tears. Let’s see how deep the rabbit hole goes.