Sep 28, 2009

Weight Loss Week #3 in Review

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: I weighed myself on Saturday and the scale had actually moved. Hopeful that it was because of the DOMS because my soreness is gone. Made it all the way through the Start It Up program today (Sat) with a mile on the treadmill. All is well this Saturday. Tomorrow, Sunday, I only plan on doing my points system and taking a day off from the working out, which I hear is a good thing to do. Six days a week is great for me as it is!

MONDAY: Finished the Start It Up Slim in 6 program today -- just wanted to make sure one more time before I move on to the Ramp It Up program and get sore all over again. Finished that off with 1 mile on the treadmill, which I was able to up the speed on from 2.5 to 3. I had to turn it back down to 2.5 though to incorporate my arm toning exercises with the weights though.

TUESDAY: Found some bills that are going to be cutting it close today if put in the mail today. I also got hit with a $40 fee for a late payment last week, which is the first time I've every paid anything late in my life. Just don't seem to have enough time in the day to get it all done while working my me time in there. My son handed over the picture order form he said he had never received for picture day 2 weeks ago to discover there is no way to get them now. Hoping for retake day for him. Asked DH to blow-dry my daughter's hair before bedtime for her last night for her picture day today due to my heavy workload and desire to go to bed sometime before 4 a.m. She has awkwardly located waves and cowlicks that if blown dry the night prior still leaves her with silky, shiny, straight hair the following morning. He forgot to do it. She fought me this morning on trying to fix it up nice, so she too will be going for a retake day. I asked him to write the check to cover that, and I'm hoping he got that right because for the first time in our 7-year school picture history, it is made out to another name, the website address in fact. I started the Ramp It Up part of the Slim in 6 program, and it wasn't that bad. We'll see tomorrow or the next day if I'm sore or not. I didn't finish all reps of everything, but due to my arm-strengthening exercises on the treadmill the last few weeks, I was able to do all of the arm/band workout portions except for the rowing ones. I was able to do all squats, pliets, and lunges, but my arms crapped out on me so I had to take them out here and there. I had to pause the DVD twice to get a drink of water and to catch my breath. I did not do all of the abdominal crunches. My stomach muscles are the weakest muscle in my body having suffered a back issue during my last pregnancy and my spine being 7 degrees past normal setting, but I'll get there eventually. Followed that up with 1 mile on the treadmill with no arm strengthening exercises since that is now incorporated into the DVD. Off to work now.

WEDNESDAY: I did what I was supposed to do all day. Lost 3 1/2 pounds as of this morning this week, and then the evening hit.....I found lice on my daughter's hair. The best we can figure, since my daughter doesn't remember seeing the photographer open a new comb for her, was picture day at school. This is a first for our family and I would rather have my eyeballs scratched out then deal with this again, so fast forward to official weigh-in on Friday.....

THURSDAY: Thanks to last night's discovery, I spent the entire day cleaning and nipicking and dealing with grumpy children in shower caps with heads full of olive oil. I had 25 bags of pillows, linens, comforters, couch cushions, etc. at the laundry mat in the dryers there to kill any potential bugs. I also bought the RobiComb for $30.00, which seems to work. It detected and zapped about 15 of the critters on my daughter's head prior to the application of olive oil and so far everyone else is clean. Quite a day. I had an orange-melon smoothie for breakfast, and it all went out the window the remainder of the day, as I was just too busy. I had some candy here and there with the kids while I nitpicked, a salami sandwich for lunch while I nitpicked, and then pizza for dinner just prior to washing out the olive oil. I think I finished the day off with a 1-point large pretzel and mustard. Lots of pop too. No water today, no fruits, no get the picture.

FRIDAY: Is going well so far, counting points again, but typing this up early so I can keep being down to business and finish off what started the other night....more checking, another olive oil treatment for everyone, etc.

WEIGHT LOSS THIS WEEK: 3 1/2 pounds since last Friday.

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 7 pounds in 3 weeks.

LEARNED THIS WEEK: One crisis can throw you completely off course. Also, many things, some important, are going to slip through the cracks when you work me-time in without the help of an organized individual. lol.

Sep 24, 2009

Weight Loss Week #2 In Review

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Last weekend was a bad one. I didn't eat particularly bad things, rather I didn't slow down enough to eat but once a day. I still made that a healthy choice, but I'm sure it will affect my number drop this week. It seems it was a blur due to my hubbie working overtime on his days off. The poor guy hasn't had a day off in.....I don't even know without checking the calendar. Despite being as tired as he is, he wants this for me as much as I do - it's just remembering that during inconvenient times. I also had to take those 2 days off from the treadmill due to the blister on my right heel, but I used that time to locate my old stash of workout video (tapes and DVDs).

MONDAY: 2 miles and 50 minutes on the treadmill with hand weights and arm exercises. Blister is getting sore toward the end there. Jumped on the Soloflex and did some leg curls and extensions. Used to love doing those. Shorted myself 2 glasses of water. Dunno why, just can't get myself to drink it.

TUESDAY: I managed to get my workout in, transcribe Dr. JabberJaws (40 mins for 4 patients), and to take in my daughter's friend and her dog so that her parents could attend an out-of-town funeral. Whoo-wee. That dog barks more in 15 minutes than our dog has barked in the 6 years we've had her. It's ear-piercing. Owner said they never let it roam free and to keep it in it's crate. Yeah, well.....not if I'd like to hear myself think. I made it a spot in the back foyer with a doggie bed and it's own supplies by gating it in there on the tile floor, but the lil' bugger climbs out. When I put another gate on top of that one, he pulled it down onto himself. It's going to be a looong night with trying to get 2 yapping girls to bed on time on a school night and this am I going to get my work done and make sure it doesn't mark it's territory inside my house? If I lock it up, even in the garage, the whole neighborhood can hear it. Shorted 2 glasses of water again. Just don't feel like drinking it.

WEDNESDAY: It was a looong night, only 3 hours of sleep. Got my work done at 4 a.m. My youngest woke at 1:30 to play with the dog. I got him back to bed, took the visiting dog out at around 2 a.m. in the rain, brought him back in, put him in the room with the girls for some peace, and came down to try to finish work. Hubbie came home at 2:30'ish and found it had crapped in the living room. At 5 a.m. we found my daughter with every light in the house on playing with this dog in the living room due to its bark. Got them both back to bed to wake at 6:30 to get my oldest off to school to find the dog had crapped again in the living room. I let hubbie grab some more sleep, etc. so that the workout today came in at around 5 p.m. Yes, the friend and the dog were still here. In fact, they weren't picked up 'til almost 10 p.m., but hubbie dealt with it all so that I can do my thing. It only ate a couple of toys, but a small price to pay for some nonbarking time, so I call them sacrifices.

Today I started my Slim in 6 program, turned the background music off and played my own. As I expected, I didn't make it through all the reps Debbie (I think that's her name) and her associates do, but I made it through. What attracts me to this program is that there are little green bubbles off to the side of the screen, as well as a timer at the bottom of the screen counting down. Each time you complete a section, a bubble disappears working its way down and you can see that timer counting down. Just when you think you can't do another rep, you think "I only have 34 seconds to go, and you do it, or at least I do. I did better than I would have had I just jumped into this 2 weeks ago instead of working a tad on my endurance and stamina on the treadmill. Overall, I'm pleased I made it as far as I did. After the Start It Up Program section, I jumped on the treadmill for only 10 minutes until my blister told me to get off. I drank all my water today, all 6 glasses. I ate breakfast and lunch together because I missed breakfast for work. I try to keep my breakfasts and lunches real low in points anyway, so figured it wouldn't be a big deal to put them together.

My Holy Crap moment of the day was when I hadn't eaten any breakfast and hubbie had prepared chicken nuggets in the oven for the kids (the visiting kid is way pickier than my daughter, which I didn't think was even possible). I caught myself wondering how often I have done this in the past, despite this being the first time in the almost 2 weeks of counting my points....I popped the 3 uneaten nuggets into my mouth rather than throw them away.....5 nuggets is 7 points I discovered upon recording them into my log. So not worth it, and in fact, making note to not buy them, even when hubbie is in charge of dinner. I had fish and asparagus for dinner at bout 9:30 p.m. and finished just as the extra child and dog were picked up. I looked really scary at that moment with my bangs in ringlets and a sweaty V on my shirt with more in all the usual places. Egads. Oh well.

THURSDAY: Again let hubbie get some extra sleep. He has a dangerous job, so I can't help but put that priority up there once in a while, despite my desperation and goals. It is 1:18 p.m. and I haven't eaten anything but a taste of scrambled eggs to ensure they were cooled off for the little one (it's his reassurance). Got my morning workload taken care of while little one ate breakfast. So I'm going to wind this up quickly and get up there and figure out what to eat. Another day of the Slim in 6 Start It Up program and I finished almost all reps, but the lunges are getting my already-sore thighs today. Afterward I hopped on the treadmill for 25 minutes and 1 mile, stopping long enough to work my, ummmm, what are those muscles called again? triceps! That's it.....Are fat people allowed to refer to their muscles by name? It feels silly to do so, but they are there. In fact, I can feel my muscles in my abdomen, biceps, triceps, and thighs again. Motivation indeed. Actually, and I know it is soon, but I feel that I look a little less "round" than I did 2 weeks ago, i.e. my silhouette.

I'm trying to not care that the scale has only moved 1/2 pound so far this week when checking it today, but not eating enough and not drinking water are probably going to contribute. The important thing is that I've worked in the workouts each day for my health. I'm also secretly hoping it has something to do with the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) phenomenon I read about. This is where your worked muscles retain fluid to protect themselves and it is temporary. I'm also reminding myself that the WW leader waaaay back the last time I was a member had told me that if you are the type of person who wants to pull big numbers to stay motivated, then working out should come later because you may not see those big numbers when working out simultaneously. At this point, I don't care if my scale reads 230 pounds when I'm done, as long as I'm wearing jeans that are 12 sizes smaller - who am I kidding, wearing jeans again period.

FRIDAY: Hubbie let me sleep in, which isn't good for the girls waiting for their work from me, so I hopped out of bed and attached myself to the computer immediately. Afterward, around 11:30'ish I had my orange-melon smoothie for 5 points (should've been only 4 points, but I bought the wrong yogurt). I also weighed myself as my computer was booting up and it says that I'm up now 1/2 pound.

WEIGH IN: Up 1/2 pound from previous Friday.

WEIGHT LOSS TOTAL: 3 1/2 pounds in 2 weeks.

REFLECTION: I can see the problems I had this week. I skipped 2 meals a day for 2 days. I put 2 meals together on a day, and I know it is better to spread them out to keep my body fueled properly. I shorted myself a couple glasses of water a few days. I had waaaay too much going on around me. I am also severely lacking in sleep. I hopped onto the scale just before writing this about 1.5 hours after my last weigh-in this morning out of curiosity -- I had a BM and hoped my number dropped with it (Admit it, you've tried this too!) You won't believe this, but the scale says another 1/2 pound up from earlier, so I'm sticking with my original weigh-in, mostly because the time frame is consistent with my usual morning weigh-in time. My muscles are really sore today, and I'm hoping DOMS has something to do with that, as mentioned previously. On the upside, I've improved my heart health 5 days this week and strengthened my muscles despite not dropping numbers.

Sep 18, 2009

Week 1 - Weight Loss Adventures

So I officially began my weight loss journey in earnest last Saturday. I decided to use my old Weight Watcher's points tracking system and to commit to exercising once again.

I had my husband take photos of me from the front, side, and back. It was a monumental moment for me, as I avoid pictures of myself at all costs these days.

Firstly, I can't believe how deconditioned I am, so I decided to start on the treadmill. I've done 2 miles per day at a speed-walking/lazy-jogging pace while lifting 3-pound weights in various arm exercises to raise my heart rate and hopefully tone my arms simultaneously for about 15-20 minutes, as these boobs have never been amenable to bouncing of the jogging degree (there is no such thing as a sports bra to hold 'em steady). It is enough to make me sweat like a hog. I figure it is best to work my way into this by reconditioning myself to avoid the inevitable discouragement I predict I would feel when having to stop at half the repetitions (or less) than those in all of my workout videos.

The treadmill is actually fun to do, and the time flies (45 minutes) doing it in front of a TV with my favorite music blaring. I guess I need something to look at, despite rocking out and getting funky.

It's important to note a few things about walking on a treadmill that I personally had never used until this point:

1. Trying to get down to the beat of your tunes can make you lose your balance but is big fun.
2. Reaching across your body in front of you, i.e. left arm reaching for the weight in the right-sided cup holder, can make you lose your balance.
3. Closing your eyes or turning your head, even for a millisecond, can make you lose your balance, and you should just forget about looking behind you altogether.

Family and scheduling conflicts are most definitely my biggest hurdles. This week my husband's job interfered, as did his habits, despite his promise of support; I had a few appointments myself; and I had a friend in need. My practicality tells me there is no reason to get up, shower, apply makeup, do my hair, come home, remove the makeup, sweat profusely, shower again, reapply, redo the hair, etc. I have to do it before I need to leave the house, which isn't always doable. Therefore, some of these exercise bouts occurred less than 12 hours apart, i.e. 10 p.m. one day, and 8 a.m. the next.

My husband took off to work early leaving me with a ton of work to do, so I pulled a really late night to work in both me time and work and burned myself out the next day, but I got back on and did it anyway; only 35 minutes rather than 45, while constantly talking to my 3-year-old and talking him off the step-ski-bike machine.

Meal planning is right up there with the aforementioned. Last night everyone was happy to be eating Sloppy Joe's (what they didn't know was that it was the WW version for 5 points). I made it at noon, tasted it, and couldn't tell the difference between it and the canned version my husband introduced them to. Neither could my husband or the boys, but my daughter, the pickiest and frequently whiniest child on the planet took one bite and decided the "crunchy things" ruined it. Sigh. The crunchy things were green peppers, and she focused more on the color than the texture, despite eating the other half of that raw green pepper with me earlier. I sometimes wonder if she simply takes joy in being difficult.

I completely ignored the mess that greeted me each day upon completion of my workouts/exercises, such as the "groceries" (a man's version of groceries), strewn across the counter, the dish-filled sinks, the toy-strewn house, etc. I figured hubby let that happen, so he can do this for me and handle it the next day if need be. The biggest problem with that mess is that it makes preparation of my more complex and fresh-ingredient recipes almost dreadful. During one particular day of mess and day of running children here and there, I did a trip to Wendy's choosing the better options for the points that remained for me that day.

My biggest fear is that the organizational freak within myself will win out over my desire to achieve this one particular goal for myself. It makes it very difficult to take me time when these things are gnawing at you sometimes with guilt. This is how I find myself today almost 100 pounds heavier than when I met my husband 18 years ago (an average of around 5 pounds per year), and to clarify, it is because I put myself last to tend to everything that *I* felt needed attention more, and the last time I ignored it, it turned into the mess I found myself having to deal with this past year before freeing up the issues enough to start this try. This can't happen. It is as simple as that.

So, the big reveal for this week, is that I walked/exercised for 14 miles on a treadmill and I lost 4 pounds. Not sure what happened there, as yesterday it was 5 pounds.....could be the hormonal issue that has arisen....maybe the two glasses of water I didn't manage to work in yesterday.....but either way, it is a loss.

ADDENDUM: Today, 1 day later, than goodness, I noticed that I'm in a lower points range for my current weight, so there I was eating 2-5 points more than I should have been for a couple of day. Better week next week!

Sep 11, 2009

I Remember September 11, 2001

Eight years ago today was my oldest son's first day of preschool. It was a co-op preschool, and since I was in charge of scheduling parents, I scheduled myself to spend this day with him working in the classroom.

The kids were loud and squirrely as they were exposed to the new school structure setting for the first time in their little lives. The father that was assigned to work with the teacher and I this first day received a cell phone call. I didn't even have a cell phone then. The look on his face was a little off, but all he said to us as he tried to find a radio station in the classroom was that a plane had crashed into a building in New York. I don't know if the classroom noise was just too high to listen to the radio or what, but he gave up on that as I glanced over periodically from the other side of the room and walked away. We continued about our day. It was a lot of fun. I still enjoy watching my children experience things for the first time as much as I did that day.

Working at preschool meant that we, the parents, cleaned up after class each day, so that is what we did. When finished, I placed him into his car seat, buckled him up, and headed home talking about his first school day (a whole 2 hours). I noticed there wasn't any traffic, which is odd, on the road we were taking. I turned on the radio and heard for the first time what most of the rest of the world had been listening to for a few hours by that time. My heart dropped in my chest and I started glancing at the skies as I drove next to our local airport. I had a feeling that it was going to happen everywhere across our country. I hurried home.

I walked in the back door to find my husband watching the TV who turned and looked at me with his mouth half open in disbelief holding our 20-month-old in his lap. I remember crying at the images of women and men holding hands and leaping to their deaths from the burning buildings. My heart was breaking for my children as I held them tight.

My heart still goes out to the families and loved ones of all those lost that day. I may not have ever heard the words Taliban or al Qaeda prior to that day, but I remind myself daily what they are and of the threat they represent to my children, their future, and our country.

I will never understand how any group, be it religious, social, race-oriented, etc. can classify another entire group into one sweeping generalization that it warrants attacks of any kind. I recognize their shortcomings, their ignorance, and that somewhere along the line someone failed them in raising a truly well-rounded/compassionate human being.

Sep 10, 2009

Bye-Bye Summer Vacation

In many ways, it is a relief, and in others, not so much. Is it just that I "like" to gripe? Nah. Each season has its pros and cons.

The kids are back in school now for 2 days. The summer running and madness has ceased only to be replaced with school running and mounds of paper. Right now I believe the quiet house to be the blessing simply because I'm more able to get down to work when needed, less fighting, noise, etc.

The hardest part and latest challenge being that hubbie's schedule has changed yet again to where we are both working until 2-3 a.m. Not good for our new middle schooler who needs to wake at 6:30. I'm struggling with fatigue and trying to find a new change in the work/home balance to accommodate avoiding sending one of the loves of my life off to school without a hug. We'll figure it out eventually. It's probably as simple as getting my body out of the wake-sleep pattern I've been in for over 10 years and shifting my work hours to very early morning instead, but it's proving a challenge. I live with this fear that those who subcontract for me will inevitably send the wrong file the evening prior or forget to return their work altogether thereby holding up my return to the client the following morning. Control issue? I don't think so, but I'm sure it plays at least a partial role.

Update on my goals...I spent the summer picking away at the basement. I managed to sort around a 20-year accumulation of toys, despite my oldest only being almost 12 (no thanks to my mother-in-law--I'll explain later. You see, we have his 11 years worth of toys, my daughter's 9 years of toys, and my toddler's probably 2 years worth of toys (as we recycled the others since he didn't couldn't tell). Garage sale is in my immediate future. I finally got the old spider-ridden, unfinished part of the basement completely cleared out and ready for my husband to stud out and drywall. Better yet, ALL of the workout equipment is sitting right here in front of me just waiting for me to begin achieving my personal goal of tending to myself and putting myself first. Hubbie expressed concern about how he was ever going to be able to use it since it is right here where I work, to which I responded, "Look at me. I'm a walking mess. How 'bout nobody question how something is going to work out for them and allow me to only worry about myself for a change? Six months is all I am politely asking for, which I will be taking regardless if necessary." He got it, and I'm thankful he can be so reasonable, (Note: "can" be). Three weeks ago I was all ready to begin, and one of my subcontractors took off for 3 weeks without notice. Can't begrudge her a trip seeing how she never takes any, but a little notice to plan backup help woulda been nice, so I spent the last 3 weeks eyeballing the equipment. Just as she returned, literally, I got a call for some nonmedical transcription work that is going to be a nightmare that I'm hoping I receive a call for in 2 more days to cancel (It's going to be extremely expensive due to the terrible quality and projected length of time to transcribe due taking a crack at it for a mere 5 minutes yesterday).

I can taste it - it's right there - literally ME time.