Monday, July 30, 2012

The Miserable Mile (a fairytale)

Once upon a time there was a girl who desperately wanted to fall in love with the gym.  At times it seemed a hopeless cause and at other times it was fantastic.  However, in her mind there were always more important things to do like work and school and housekeeping.  And, there were certainly more interesting and less tiring things to do like watch television, read a book, take a nap, or go out with her friends.

Then one day she decided that maybe she should stop trying to love the gym and start trying to love gym-like things so she started walking, running, cycling, dancing, and swimming.  This was a much better fit for the girl's interests, but still she struggled to fit them into her busy life.

This was very confusing for the girl's husband because she was not the type of girl to put things off that were important to her and she always took on more challenges and tasks than necessary.  He felt if she really wanted to enjoy physical activities she would make it a priority so he supported her by declaring an entire summer to be devoted to her desire to exercise.  It wasn't that simple though because it was very hard for the girl to focus on only herself so she thought and thought about exercising, but she did very little about it.

Then the girl got a new job where she looked after twin girls in the morning to help their father get them ready for daycare.  You see, the man had Diabetes and ulcers and he had a very hard time moving around especially to chase after two young princesses.  The girl was surprised to find that it was not so easy to get two little ones ready in the morning now that she no longer had her 16-year old body and stamina.  She saw a glimpse into the future of her trying to get her own children ready for school and herself ready for work and she did not like how it felt.  So she thought about her summer goals and her future and what she could do about it.

Then she watched a documentary about super morbidly obese children (children who are 150lbs or more overweight).  She became inspired by their transformations at a weight loss camp and jealous of their results.  She saw their happiness and she wanted it for herself.  So she looked at one of the ways they measured their success at the camp - a timed mile long run.  This seemed the perfect fit for the girl's non-gym going days and past goal of running a 2km race.

She was shocked to learn the run times of the children in the documentary.  Most ran or walked it in 25 to 30 minutes, but the one child that reminded her of the man with twin daughters walked her mile in 1 hour and 22 minutes.  The girl could not imagine reaching the point where physically she would be unable to complete a one mile walk in a reasonable amount of time.  She thought about her previous run times and decided she needed to run a long, tiring, painful mile herself.  She fully expected it to be a miserable experience.

The idea of running a mile seemed daunting.  So much so that the girl drove the course first to truly get an idea of how long a mile would be because in her mind it was going to be a never-ending road.  She was surprised to find out how quickly the turning point came up.  This was do-able.

The girl laced her fancy new sneakers, plugged in her ipod (Ain't No Other Man, Be Somebody, Black Horse and a Cherry Tree, Dirty, Disturbia, and Mr. Brightside), set her stopwatch and set off running, or rather jogging, but she did it with enthusiasm.  She jogged, she walked, she jogged, she walked, and she waved at passing cars.  She jogged, she walked, she huffed and puffed, she walked some more, she jogged, she gasped, she walked, she got a stitch in her side, and she walked some more.  She continued this way for the entire mile.  Mostly walking with short bursts of jogging, a pain in her side, and a cramp in her feet.  This was definitely a miserable mile.  But she was happy.  She was out there and she was doing it better than she thought she would.

The girl arrived home, sweat dripping in her eyes, tunes blasting in her ears, breathing deeper and fuller, a little sore, but so content.  She looked down at her watch 14 minutes 14 seconds.  A long way off from a 5 minute mile, but nowhere near the documentary times.  Not bad for a first timed trial she thought, not bad at all.

The End

Saturday, July 21, 2012


So much for the summer of me.  After one really good week of working out 5 days a week I had two weeks where I did almost nothing outside of packing and unpacking boxes, working, and visiting my grandma in the hospital.  Even when I had time to go workout I was exhausted and lacked the motivation because I wasn't able to keep the routine.  Starting Monday for the most part I am working only one hour a day and have to drive into town where the gym is in order to do this (we are moving 15 minutes north) so I should be able to get my routine back.

It is no surprise that for the last two weeks when I haven't worked out I have almost regained the weight I lost in the first week, although I am surprised I've still maintained some weight loss.  That brings me to swimming.  I had a good chunk of time off on a day when Chris was home sick.  I packed and visited people and Chris urged me to go to the gym because it would make me feel better.  I kept putting it off and told him I would go swimming later.  When swimming time came I didn't want to go.  He bugged me until I went anyway telling me I would like it once I got there and in the pool.  I didn't believe him I was so tired.

I hopped in the pool and did 30 minutes of laps.  I felt good after the first one and was happy I went.  I felt sore after the second one - I forgot how many muscles you use when swimming different strokes.  I did front crawls, front breaststrokes, back strokes, just legs, just arms (that was hard) and I was happy with my progress.  About 20 laps and 5 minutes of treading water.  Next time I need to remember my goggles so I can swim faster.  I'm looking forward to swimming again this summer after our move on Wednesday.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

When Life Gets in the Way

I was doing awesome my first week of commitment to me and the gym.  I got my workout in everyday.  Then this week came and I hit a new low by not being the committed person I usually am.  I got back into the routine last night though with a late night dance workout alongside my ever supportive hubby and hit the dance floor again today after an extremely exhausting and unplanned day.

Working half days has not stopped my life from getting in the way of having "me time" and I am willingly letting it do so at the cost of my health.  But, the new change is that I'm grumbling about it afterwards.  So as annoying as my husband can seem when he asks me about my day at the gym (especially when I haven't gone) and when he encourages me to drag my butt of the couch and do the workout I had planned I certainly appreciate it - that is on the inside because on the outside I've been expressing a much bitchier and defensive attitude about it.

I've found it hard to receive his questions and comments and words of encouragement as support (which it truly is) and instead have felt like I'm reporting to someone, getting questioned and judged, and am being checked in on.  I don't know what the answer is to how I feel other than to continue going and as I become more proud and excited about what I'm doing the more I will enjoy sharing it on a daily basis.  We'll see what the future brings.

With tomorrow being another busy day I hope to do a gym day as I miss the treadmill (yes, miss it) and am excited to run again.  Having missed two gym days this week I also plan to go to the gym Saturday.  Next week my goal is to finally get out swimming so I'll see if that works out.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Is It Possible?

After one week on my new plan I have been reminded what I love and what I hate about starting up a fitness  and nutrition routine.  Some things have even surprised me to the point I am asking myself is it even possible?

Things I Love

  • losing weight
  • more energy
  • feeling better
  • doing more
  • trying new foods/eating more of the foods I already love
  • beating my goals

Things I Hate

  • higher metabolism means more trips to the washroom
  • feeling hungry (only because I'm burning more, not because I'm eating less)
  • not sleeping as well 
  • multiple showers in a day
  • getting sweaty
  • more laundry
  • not meeting my goals

Things That Surprised Me

  • feeling full sooner when eating
  • craving healthy foods
  • I threw out a chocolate bar and a donought because they tasted "too sweet"
  • I drank Coke Zero and liked it

Saturday, July 7, 2012

And the Results Are In...

After four days of workouts (2 at the gym and 2 at home), a healthier, but not skimpy mealplan change, and a lot of willpower the results of my hard work are in...

Drumroll please (rat-a-tat-tat)

I am down 4.2 lbs!

The details of my week are below if you care to see how I made this possible.

Meal Plan
breakfast: bowl of Special K with skim milk in it, banana, water to drink
snack: 100 calories (fruit or granola bar or cookies) water to drink
lunch: 6 inch turkey sub and white milk / 2 leftover taco wraps and water and ice cream with corn syrup / cheese omelet with two pieces toast and Coke / half can tomato soup made with skim milk and two pieces bread and Coke
snack (sometimes): piece of homemade pineapple carrot loaf / white cheddar popcorn / watermelon
dinner: 2 tacos and Coke / cod and green beans and a few spoonfuls of rice (not a rice fan) and water / steak kabobs with lots of roasting veggies and pineapple and water / dinner out: calamari and lighter portion of roast beef and mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding and gravy and roasted fresh veggies and Coke and apple crisp with ice cream (I went up in weight as a result of this dinner out)
Note to self: Not as successful as I intended with reducing the amount of Coke I drink.  Have now finished all Coke in house and will not be purchasing it with groceries this week.

Workout Plan
Gym Day: 26 minutes cardio - 11 minute treadmill (1 minute at 3mph, 1 minute at 5mph, 1% incline), 10 minute elliptical (level 10, 100 RPM), 5 minute recumbant cycle (3 minutes at level 10, 2 minutes at level 8, 70 RPM)
Dance Day: 18-20 minutes cardio - Just Dance 3 Sweat it Out Challenge plus more (6 songs)
Dance Day: 25-30 minutes cardio - Just Dance 3 Sweat it Out Challenge plus more (9 songs) - finished the whole week`s cardio dance challenge in 2 days!!!
Gym Day: 37 minutes cardio and stretch out - 15 minute treadmill (1 minute at 3mph, 1 minute at 5mph, 1% incline), 12 minute elliptical (level 10, 100 RPM), 10 minute recumbant cycle (5 minutes at level 10, 5 minutes at level 8, 70 RPM), stretch out on the stretching station

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Virtual Model

Update Day One: Day one of the gym I managed to complete 30 minutes of my 1 hour cardio workout.  I did everything at the same level I left off at months ago, but had to stop because it was one of those days when your body fights you the whole way.  Ever had one of those days where you constantly feel like you have to pee, but your body disagrees with you (likely some dehydration)?  That's what I had the whole time I was running, cycling, and on the elliptical.  Total uncomfortableness, but I was happy to stick it out for half the time.  I lost 2lbs overnight as a result of the workout and sticking to my nutrition plan.  I even resisted the urge to go to DQ, but it was hard.

Update Day Two: I chose to try out my Just Dance 3 Wii game.  It turns out is has a fitness tracker on it so I took up the challenge and completed 30 minutes of sweaty, but super fun dancing.  Again stuck to my nutrition plan.  Passed up DQ, but had some popcorn as a healthier substitute for my snack craving.

Chris and I had quite the informative discussion today.  I need to think about it some more and the I will post about it as we discussed goal setting, meeting our expectations, why we make the choices we do, how we view ourselves, and where we are at in our fitness mindset.  It's a lot to digest.  One piece that came from it was a recommendation to try out a virtual model to see the difference between where I am now and where I want to be.  I did this years ago for the purpose of clothes shopping so I thought it would be cool to try. Here are my pics.

Current Representation

Achievable Goal Weight

Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm Ready

T minus 1 sleep until I get my butt (and more) into shape.  I'm so ready this time.  I took my measurements today with a seamstress' tape and will weigh in on Tuesday morning before I begin my workouts.  I even created a tracking chart for my cardio workouts to keep on file at the gym for the next 2.5 months.  I've got my new running shoes, swim goggles, a nose plug, and a case of water.  I'd like to get a water bottle holder for my bike for when I get to lengthier rides, but otherwise I think I'm set.  I've also decided to buy Just Dance 3 for Wii for the days when I can't get outside or make it to the gym.

If it wasn't a holiday weekend I would stock my fridge with fresh veggies Monday night for my brown bag lunches.  That means Tuesday will be an expensive pre-made salad from the grocery store with a stop in later to pick up the week's groceries.  I think I'm on track.  Looking forward to posting the progress next weekend.

Here are my before shots.