Welcome to “Onederland”!

I DID IT!!! The last few weeks I’ve been going on and on and ON about a silly number on a scale, but I don’t care if it’s lame because getting under 200 pounds is something I never thought I’d be able to achieve at this stage in my life. AND I FRICKIN’ DID IT!!!

On Friday I hopped on the scale and it read 199.8 lbs, but I saw the digital display weight teeter-tottering around so I wasn’t ready to celebrate just yet. I climbed off, took a big breath in and out, reset the scale, and climbed back on. 199.6 lbs was its stable readout the second time around, and with that, I declared victory. I let out a raucous “Woo hooooo!” and then had to quiet the nerves of my dog, who was startled in the other room (lol!).

You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face!

I was of course eager to purchase my reward – I settled on the Canon Powershot S110. It’s a slightly older model with 24 frames-per-second HD video (it was cheaper, too – bonus!). It took me forever to navigate over to the shopping center, find the Best Buy (it was hidden underground!), pick up the camera and a couple memory cards, travel to another mall across town for another errand, and finally drive home where I could unbox the camera and get the battery charging. If you check out my video above (which I really hope you do because I am quite proud of this particular edit), you’ll see the new camera footage beginning at around the 3-minute mark!

Even after traipsing around (and maybe getting lost at) two malls, I was still at only 6,000 steps. Why am I paying attention to steps? Well, I always try to stay above 5,000 steps per day, but this past Wednesday I began Roni Noone’s #100kSteps Challenge – it’s basically to get 100,000 steps logged in my Fitbit within 7 days. At an average of 14,000+ steps per day, that’s a pretty tall order for me! It would certainly be the most I’ve ever had in a week. I had been kinda slacking off in the steps arena for a bit, so this challenge was a ripe opportunity to kick things back into gear.

I’m pleased to report that I’ve been KILLING IT with the steps so far! Each day, I’ve exceeded my required daily average.

I’ve been working HARD to maintain these step numbers. Dragging myself into the gym for long workouts when I wasn’t feeling it, going on a hike at Saint Edward State Park, parking a quarter mile from any entrance, walking around my living room – even emptying the dishwasher piece by piece instead of stacking types of dishes together (okay, the silverware is done in bulk – let’s not go crazy!). I can’t imagine doing this long term, but I can definitely manage it for a week.

So yeah, things are going well for me right now! The scale and I are taking a little break from our daily morning meet ups and I instead will only be weighing in every Tuesday. The push to Onederland definitely sent me a little loopy with the numbers, and I could use a mental respite from it for a little while. Next goal? Well, I have this challenge I’d like to successfully complete. If I can persist with the good numbers and come in at or over 100,000 steps for the week, I think I’ll pick myself up a teapot with an infuser for brewing loose leaf tea, as I’m quite fond of the new Teavana release of the Oprah Chai Tea.

But as for numbers on the scale, I have no real set goal. You’ll notice in my sidebar that I have an ultimate goal weight of 150 lbs – followed by a few question marks. That’s ‘cuz I don’t know where I wanna ride this train to just yet. I’m going to focus on little goals. Getting into the 180’s, then the 170’s, etc. But trying not to go too crazy about any of it. The important thing is that I’m feeling SO MUCH STRONGER and I have SO MUCH MORE ENERGY now that I’ve lost 70+ pounds from my highest weight. And I have a long way to go, so I know it’s only gonna get better the more I lose.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase an item that I’ve linked to here, I may receive a small compensation from the seller.
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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!

Adventures in Hiking: Saint Edward State Park

This morning I woke up feeling kinda blah, so I immediately set some goals to work on in order to make the day interesting.

My training went well. My trainer put me on the Woodway Treadmill and hiked the speed up to 3.2 mph. After a minute she noticed I couldn’t keep up (I believe she compared me to a small dog who had to run fast every few paces to keep up with her owner) and lowered the speed to 3.0 mph. A small reprieve. After a few minutes she asked, “You ready?”, and I should’ve known that she would make me run, as the incline was at zero. She bumped the speed up to 5.6 mph and off I went. I’m kinda sorta maybe working on being able to run a 5K (instead of merely walking with occasional bursts of running), so I’m happy for any opportunity to practice.

3_21_workout

Just LOOK at all them spikes! Afterwards, we did some “floor work” which consisted of some core exercises, including planks. I mentioned that I wanted to eventually get to one full minute. Maybe it was a good thing, but I didn’t try to keep mental count when I started and let her time it. When I fell onto the floor again, she commended me for getting up to 49.35 seconds. A personal best! I’d say that hour met all the qualifications for achieving Goal #1. I’m pretty sure I crushed it.

discovery_passOn the way home from the gym I stopped by a local shop to pick up a Washington State Parks pass, called a Discover Pass. Goal #3, achieved! I purchased it so I could scope out a local state park – Saint Edward State Park – that’s within walking distance of my house. 2.4 miles, to be exact. A little too distant to walk when I’d like to make an afternoon of hiking onsite, but I’ll work up to it eventually!

After lunch I laced up my dusty old hiking boots, packed up a backpack and my Boston Terrier, Benny, and we took a short drive to the park. The weather was perfect. 50 degrees Fahrenheit (on the cool side), but just as sunny as could be. The park is the site of a defunct Catholic seminary and Bastyr University. It’s 316-acres of both manicured grounds and wild forest butting up to the north-east coast of Lake Washington. I familiarized myself with the trail map available onsite and decided to take the Seminary Trail down to the waterfront.

The trail down was gorgeous. I started crossing the grassy grounds of the seminary into a wide, well-maintained (though occasionally muddy) forest canopy-shaded trail, heading about a mile down to a private shore on Lake Washington, accessible only by the park’s trail system. I spent about ten minutes just watching the water, feeling so happy I had ventured down. I’d been to the park a few times before but never got up the nerve to try one of the unpaved trails. I had no idea it was so beautiful and afforded such a pleasantly-peaceful experience.

I knew there were several loops available in the trail system, so decided to find one instead of double-backing on the trail I came up. After making a wrong turn that put me on some very wild trail for about an eighth of a mile, I doubled-back and found two offshoots. One marked as “More Difficult”, and the other marked as “Most Difficult”. As the trail I began on was designated as “More Difficult”, I figured I’d have an okay time with the former. The problem is that the trail, if I had remembered from the MAP, was marked as “Most Difficult” in spots. Awesome! But I was committed by the time I figured out that the path was more challenging, and Benny was a slave-driver an enormous help in getting me up the steep and scary path.

By the time we got back to the car I was well and truly DONE with the hike. It was a little over 2 miles round trip, and that was a perfect length for me considering the elevation gains and difficulty. I decided to give the RunKeeper app a try instead of my normal tracker, Digifit. I was excited to see the option to take photos during the walk, but afterwards found out that my heartrate monitor’s signal dropped early on. Not sure if my HRM’s battery is just wonky or if taking photos makes the signal drop (like it does with Digifit). I’m sure I’ll get around to featuring them both in a future “Appsperience” post, so I’ll troubleshoot that further before making any pronouncements. RunKeeper sure is prettier than Digifit, from someone interested in design elements. I digress…

So Goal #4 can be officially put to bed at this point. And a quick check of my Fitbit confirms that Goal #2 has been smashed as well, as I’m up to over 13,000 steps! My steps will likely be increasing over the next few weeks, as today I was informed that the head honchos of the 20/20 Lifestyles program talked about me during their “grand rounds” meeting yesterday and requested I push my daily step counts up from 5000 steps to 10000 steps (and that’s, ideally, above and beyond any I get during my “official” workouts). For an extra challenge, I guess. Because 5000 steps is too easy for me now, I GUESS. It’s a tall order, but I’m up for at least giving it a shot.

And with this post, I’ve completed Goal #5! I’ve made the most of my day and I’m mighty proud. Now to feed myself plenty, as I blogged right through my snack – whoops!

Upcoming Features

I love journaling about my weight loss experience at a general level, but there are many aspects that I’d love to delve deeper into. While “working out”, “eating right”, and having a “positive attitude” are the key aspects to my current success, each of those is fueled by myriad components.

Sustaining my efforts is a daily sourcing project. I spend time reading other weight loss-oriented blogs, reading articles and books oriented towards weight loss or the psychological issues surrounding perseverance, searching out success stories on all mediums (YouTube, web articles), looking up healthy recipes and cooking techniques (“how to use a food processor” is one of my recent Bing search field entries), and drooling over the latest fitness-oriented gadgets and downloading new apps for my smartphone. It’s like a full-time job!

I certainly run into a lot of junk, there’s A LOT of obnoxious pseudoscience to weed through! But occasionally I stumble across material that really feeds my initiative. A blogger who inspires me on some deeper level, writing that opens up a whole new way of thinking about things, or an app or piece of gear that makes working out or logging my meals a data-nerd’s dream. And now I’d like to spend more time sharing these finds here on the site.

I have a few features in mind that I’d like to announce. First is a series on a book that just keeps blowing me away. Even though I haven’t read it all the way through (though I’ve watched a lot of the available lectures online covering the material), it has opened my eyes to the tools to turn me into something I never thought I could be: a willpower machine! I’m talking about Kelly McGonigal’s The Willpower Instinct, which I’ve mentioned here before. Presently I’m just reading it through for the first time, but it’s also designed to be taken chapter by chapter and turned into experiments and projects to help one towards some goal. Once I get through it, I’d like to start at the beginning and share my experiences working through the chapters as relates to my weight loss experience in some way.

Another feature I’d like to explore pertains to tools – particularly websites and smartphone applications that aide my efforts. I’m a bona-fide gadget freak and have always been stimulated by various apps to increase my activity. It may have gone all the way back to using the Weight Watchers eTools online back in the day, but when I got my Fitbit things really took off. Since then I’ve probably downloaded and tried at least 20 different apps – some not-so-great, some FANTASTIC – and I’d love to share my “Appsperience” with readers. Heh. Maybe I just came up with a feature name!

And lastly, I’d love to promote bloggers (and vloggers) whose stories and sites motivate and inspire me. I know weight loss or healthy living blogs are a dime a dozen, but there are some online peeps who KNOCK IT OUTTA THE PARK on a regular basis. I’d like to share these select sites and highlight just HOW awesome they are. And of course if you have a site you think I should have a look at, you can always drop me a line!

So stay tuned for these few new features. I hope you find them interesting and informative. Now that I’ve mentioned them I’ll be more motivated to actually produce the content, so feel free to call me out if you don’t see something in the coming weeks! Take care!

Video Update: N.E.A.T., Gamifying My Fitness, and More!

In this week’s update, I talk about:

– increasing my N.E.A.T. (non-exercise activity thermogenesis)
– fitness trackers (fitbit and everymove.org) and the gamification of activity
– my successful weigh-in this week. 3 POUNDS DOWN!
– the surprising gift of 4 additional Phase 1 weeks on the 20/20 Lifestyles Program
my epic dog walk