Video Update: Phase 1 is Over! And abruptly, so is this video!!

Hey look! I found another video posting! Found this video from a week ago that I started but never finished. I had forgotten about it, but HAD to post it as, c’mon… that ending? Hilarious! Also I had some relatively important things (to me, anyways) to say, so… thanks for watching!

PS – I’m going to back-date it to when I originally recorded it for posterity.

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Quick Update: Weigh-In, Steps-a-palooza, and Pricey Sports Bras

Good day, folks! Thought I’d pop in to give you the 4-1-1 on my latest weigh-in results. Yesterday I weighed in at 213.8, down 0.8 lbs from last week. To be perfectly honest I was a tad bit “down” about it for a little while, considering the massive fitness endeavors I’ve been making, but I should know by now that my body doesn’t depart with the pounds in a reasonable way every week. That eight-tenths of a pound is honorable and I’m satisfied that I’m still edging ever-closer to Onederland!

On the subject of fitness endeavors, I’m tired! Last Friday my trainer informed me that 5,000 steps per day no longer held the challenge they wanted for me, so I was to increase that to 10,000 steps per day (above my formal workouts). And dag-nabbit, I’m nothing if not motivated to succeed! Who knew my motto would become that old cliché, “How high? 10k steps is no walk in the park. Well, to be fair, it IS technically a walk in the park, but a DAMN LONG ONE! My poor feet have been grumbling since Friday. Deservedly so, as according to Fitbit’s tracking I’ve logged 28 miles since then.

Maintaining these step levels is going to require constant vigilance. Yesterday, in addition to my 33 minutes on the Adaptive Motion Trainer at the gym (where steps didn’t count, grumble grumble), I also spent about 40 minutes on the treadmill, just trying to get my steps reasonably high. Then I still had about 3,000 more to do at home, where I spent a good deal of time walking in place while watching my stories on the teevee. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

Now that I’m throwing in some running along with my many walks, I’m finding my sports bras to be – shall we say – inadequate. I found a local store that sells the Enell brand so hurried over before my weigh-in yesterday to try some on. The Enell Sport was the clear winner among all the rest, but I walked out with a debt increase of $75 – FOR ONE BRA. Holy yikes. That’s a lot of green for some adequate chest compression! But I was able to jump without, well, I was able to JUMP – so there’s that. Hopefully the quality is true to advertising and it lasts – until I shrink out of it, that is!

Oh geez it’s nearly 10AM and I have a training appointment in an hour that I’m running late for!! Better motor. Thanks for reading!

Weigh-In Update, Six Months, and OW! My Legs!

Yesterday I celebrated six months since my Day 1 on the 20/20 Program by meeting with my dietitian and measuring my current weight. Happy to report my weigh-in showed me at 214.6 lbs, or a loss of 2.4 lbs from last week. I’m also happy to report that I ate a full breakfast yesterday before the weigh-in – another effort in breaking the bad fasting habit I had fostered over those first six months. This brings my total weight lost on the program to over 51 lbs, and the total from my high weight from sometime in July to over 57 lbs. Folks, that’s the most I’ve ever lost on any program ever! That’s serious business!!

Our meetings are less and less her advising me on nutritional methods, and more on me being awestruck by how the food thing is just WORKING. I don’t feel like I’m eating in a way that’s not going to be sustainable for the rest of my life. I’m eating foods that I enjoy, and getting a real feel for what “satiated” means. Fast food no longer has the grip on me that it’s held ALL MY LIFE, and I’m making huge strides in learning to prepare my own healthy and delicious meals. Okay, occasionally NOT so delicious, but nowhere near terrible – and they fuel me, which is what eating is, really. And I’ve dipped into the territory of eating out – which has frightened me in the earlier months of the program – and come away from the experiences with the realization that IT’S OKAY. Going out and having a nice steak dinner with mashed potatoes is not going to send me to the McDonald’s dumpster the next morning ravaging around for scummy leftovers, or grabbing pints of Ben & Jerry’s off the store shelves with a crazed look in my eyes.

I feel so empowered, and continued and LASTING success feels not like a supremely-difficult task to be slogged towards, but a genuine possibility. Not discounting the difficulties that I have/am encountering in this change process – they are plentiful and challenging – but giving myself the kudos that I really CAN and AM DOING THIS! I realize I may be in some weird second-honeymoon stage with this, but I’m grasping it tightly – holding onto all of the positive feelings. Hopefully not to squeeze them dry, but to let them feed the bigger positive feelings ahead.

<<Alert: Rant Ahead>>

One of the challenges I’m experiencing at present is the soreness in the lower half of my body. The 5K took a small toll, but by Monday I was feeling really good. My trainer decided to end our session on Monday with some squats. Ah. Yeah. By the afternoon I was slow. By Tuesday morning I was toast. My legs get DESTROYED by squats. Sitting and standing are THE WORST. Getting onto and off the toilet is a small agony where I must admit, I’ve been mumbling my trainer’s name, following or followed by a short string of expletives. Working out yesterday (40 minutes on the AMT doing intervals, bitches!!) felt okay, and I stretched a LOT afterwards, but a few hours later it was back to as bad as it was in the morning. Yuck.

My legs are HUGE, specifically my thighs. My thighs and my upper arms feel like the meatiest parts of my body. Sometimes I like to think that, for all the soreness, it’s ALL MUSCLE in those wide thighs. A girl can dream! In a few weeks I’ll be getting another DEXA scan, and be able to see with more clarity exactly how my body make-up has changed through these six months. But for now I need to finish my strawberry greek yogurt and get to the gym to give my trainer a piece of my mind crush yet another workout.

Weigh-In Update and 20-Week Measurements

Hi y’all! Betcha thought I had forgotten about this blog, as it’s been A WHOLE WEEK since my last update. Too long. Lots has been going on so I’ll get right to it.

This Monday my trainer surprised me with my 20-week measurements. I never know when these assessments are going to happen (to the specific day, that is), so it’s always a sort of happy surprise. It eats into my cardio time, but whatevs.

Initial 5-week 10-week 15-week 20-week Total
Weight 266 lbs 255.2 lbs 237 lbs 227.6 lbs 218.6 lbs -47.4 lbs
Blood Pressure 126/82 114/68 112/64 118/74
Neck 16″ 14.5″ 14.25″ 14″ 14″ -2″
Chest 54.75″ 51.5″ 50″ 48.75″ 47.75″ -7″
Waist 51″ 44.25″ 43″ 41″ 40″ -11″
Hips 57.25″ 54.5″ 52.5″ 51.75″ 50″ -7.25″
Right Arm (Bicep) 19″ 17″ 16.5″ 16.5″ 15.5″ -3.5″
Right Leg (Thigh) 36″ 30″ 29.25″ 29.5″ 29″ -7″

If you add up all the inches lost, it comes to 37.75 inches. That’s over THREE FEET, people! Believe me, I quadruple-checked my math, because I’m crazy-bad at it, but the figure is correct. That’s… well… astounding.  I’m holding my hands three feet apart right now and GEEZ that’s a lot of space.

At some point I’m due to have my official Phase 1 completion assessment which includes a DEXA scan for body fat measurement, some blood work, a few strength and flexibility tests, and an updated progress photo. Not 100% sure when that will be happening, as I’ve been “gifted” 4 additional weeks of Phase 1 by the program management. So it could be soon, or next month sometime. I’m really eager to see how my body fat percentage has decreased. I really hope I’ve preserved (or gained) lean or muscle mass and have mainly lost fat pounds.

In other news, I had another weigh-in on Tuesday, but this one has a bit of a story wrapped around it, so bear with me while I explain. See, the weather on Tuesday was forecast to be beautiful. Here in Seattle the winter months, or really all the seasons except summer, are pretty depressing. Overcast, rainy – it leaves us starved of Vitamin D and kinda moody. This Southern California girl, especially. So when the sun peeks out from behind the clouds it’s always a festive occasion. It had been a few weeks since I’ve been able to get out on my bike, so I decided that Tuesday morning, before my weigh-in appointment, I would take advantage of the dry weather and get some saddle time.

The thing is, usually on my weigh-in days I participate in a bit of “intermittent fasting”. That’s my delicate way of saying I don’t eat or drink anything before my weigh-in. I’m not a proponent of this behavior, but that’s what I did to begin with, and it’s been a difficult mental hurdle to not continue. Eating beforehand would add a few pounds to the scale, and I’ve regretfully been enslaved to the desire to see LOSS at that official weigh-in. But my desire to ride on Tuesday, I’m very relieved to say, overrode that disordered thinking and I knew that if I wanted to ride with any gusto, I was going to need to fuel myself. I ate my eggs and toast and tea, and hydrated plentifully, knowing that I would likely not show a loss from last week, and likely a gain.

Scenes from my Tuesday morning ride

Scenes from my Tuesday morning ride (click image for detail shot)

The ride itself was, while not as great as my first trail ride, still a solid effort. It felt HARDER this time. My legs felt heavier, and I could feel a sense of fatigue much more strongly. I’m guessing I had A LOT of feel-good hormones happening on ride #1 that made things feel better overall. I decided to not push things too far and turned around at about 3.25 miles, giving me a total of 6.7 miles (see my ride report on Strava!). The ground was also still wet from recent rains, and I spent a lot of time peeling earthworm bits from my tires, brakes, and other components once I got home. GROSS! I think the worst part of the ride experience was that I LEFT MY FITBIT ON ITS CHARGER AT HOME!!!?!??  What. A. Tragedy! All those thousands of steps, never counting for anything 😛 All that aside, I’m still eager to ride more, and hope the weather decides to give us some nice days a few times each week.

Now back to my weigh-in. The scale registered at 217, up 0.4 lbs from last week’s weight. Not as bad as I expected, frankly. Before my dietitian had a chance to ask me too many questions (if I happen to have a slow loss week, she has a tendency to gently grill me for possible explanations, which is one of my few pet peeves about the program – but, ultimately, I get it), I proactively told her about my morning activities. It was still a bit of a mind-game for me. Maybe I wasn’t explaining to her, but I was trying to explain to ME. In any case, I congratulated myself on making a decision based in HEALTH vs. in a numerical dependency.

A few more wins from Tuesday and yesterday: after my weigh-in I had lunch, which was the 20/20 Chicken Vegetable Pizza from the Pro Sports Club bistro. Usually I eat the entire thing for a total of 490 calories, but I was pretty satisfied after half so I asked for a box and kept the remainder for my afternoon snack. Then I treated myself to an hour-long massage, which was even better because I had a gift certificate for it, so it was  FREE! I love massages. For years I denied myself the luxury because I was worried about exposing my body to someone, but I’m over it now. Wednesday it was again gorgeous outside, and I smiled all the way to my gym appointment, played some basketball with my trainer, and tried to figure out what I would do with the rest of my day. NO WAY was I going to spend it all indoors.

Juanita Beach Park from a stroll in 2010.

Juanita Beach Park from a stroll in 2010.

I settled on taking the dog for a walk at the recently-renovated Juanita Beach Park at the north-east end of Lake Washington. It’s a gorgeous little waterfront park with paved walkways and a wraparound wooden pier that lets you lap onto the lake over and over and over. I got up over 13k steps. Wanted to get to 20k, but by the time I made five revolutions or so both the pup and I had had enough and waddled our way back to the car.

It was a great couple of days, and I’m keeping my head and mood up as much as I can. Things are going great on this path to health and wellness and I’m really proud of myself. I even signed up for my first 5K run/walk this weekend: the Kirkland Shamrock Run. The plan is to mainly walk, but jog or run when I feel I can. My goal is to get an 18-minute mile. Nothing extravagant but still challenging for me. I’ll make sure to do a complete write-up once I’ve completed it.

Weigh-In Update and Journey Into Jogging

I’ve a small loss to update you with here. Tuesday was my first day back to the 20/20 Lifestyles program after a brief medical hold (which had me skip two weeks of weigh-ins), and their scale showed me at 216.6, or a 0.6 lbs loss from last week’s home scale weigh-in. I’ll take it!

I’ve been feeling really good since last Friday’s bike ride. I was a little sore on Saturday, but by Sunday I was raring to go again and got myself out of the house for a 3-mile walk IN THE RAIN down in Redmond near Marymoor Park (view each leg here and here). It. Was. Awesome! It was only a little drizzly when I left the house, but driving over the rain turned heavier and more steady, but I wasn’t about to let my parade get… rained on?

Anyways, I had plotted a course before leaving that would take me to the 3-mile mark, round trip. I didn’t expect to make it all the way down in the rain, but the rain wasn’t really that bad. Sure, I got soaked, but I wasn’t too cold at the time – my jacket did an admirable job of keeping the wetness off my body. Listening to music definitely helped me keep up my energy. I picked a song (a particular fave of mine right now), and kept it on repeat the ENTIRE TIME. I think that means I’m a crazy person, but I’m okay with that. For those interested, it was “Paris is Burning” by Ladyhawke (embed below, at 2:26 is my FAVORITE PART – synth solo, so 80’s!).

Because the trail was pretty quiet and shielded from the public, I decided to push myself and try to increase my pace with some light jogging at intervals. I got to the point where every time the chorus came on I would trot into a jog for as long as it lasted. I would really love to be able to run at length, but I know now how big a challenge that’s going to be. I’m up for it, though!

Yesterday was my first day back with my trainer, and she put me on my favorite machine ever. Oh wait, scratch that, it’s maybe my second least favorite – the dreadmill. She started me off at an evil 3mph pace and an incline of 10. After a few minutes my heart rate still wasn’t in great territory, so she pumped me up to an incline of 15. It helped a little, but after a few minutes my HR was barely pushing into the 130’s. I decided to try some jogging, and started lowering the incline to 10. She asked if the 15 was too much for me, and I said, “No, but check THIS out”, and then I raised the speed to 4mph. I wanted to do 30 seconds at this speed. And it definitely worked at getting my heart rate up. Into the 160’s lickity-split!

After the 30 seconds was over I took a couple minutes to recover, then went at it again, increasing my pace to 4.5mph. I ended up doing a handful of these intervals, and by the end of my 35-minute workout I ran at 5mph for two minutes straight. That’s a personal record for me!!! At the lower speeds it felt like I was plodding along, holding myself back, and putting too much pressure on my lower legs. 5mph felt considerably better, with more of an even stride. I’m hooked! I’ll continue to push these times and see if I can’t get that to five minutes within the next few weeks. Or even a mile in one go!

During my workout my trainer brought up a local 5k that’s coming up next weekend, and asked if I’d like to participate in it with her – that we could walk, set a pace, and then jog for whenever I felt like I could. This got me super-excited. This would be my first 5k! This morning I received an email from her that she’d got the date wrong in her head and it turned out that she wouldn’t be able to make it after all. Now I’m bummed. Thinking about doing it by myself all the same. Or maybe I could convince my boyfriend to do it with me. Hmmmm.

Video Update: Illness and Urge Surfing

This week I put the “urge” back in “burger” and talk about how being sick makes me WANT TO EAT EVERYTHING. In other news, I’m down to 217.2 lbs!

PS – Wanna know more about Urge Surfing? Read a little more about it here, or even listen to the practice instruction here.