Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I know that a lot of people don't like going to the gym at lunch, because - well, if you sweat up a storm, going back to the office can seem kind of gross. And who has time to work out, shower, re-style the old hairdo, and re-apply a face full of makeup? I get an hour for lunch and my spin class? It's 45 minutes. NOT including the stretch.
I don't really have a problem with my coworkers seeing my hair wet, pulled back in a ponytail or some kind of clipped-up 'style' - except for one minor thing. Last week I hacked off over 6 inches off my hair. That means it's short now. And short hair can't be pulled back into a ponytail for the afternoon.
So here's my secret: dry or waterless shampoo. You can get it in an aerosol spray, but I really like this foam.
My post-workout routine goes like this: a quick hose-down in the shower (I don't get my hair wet), a few pumps of this product worked through the sweaty parts of my hair, and a vigorous rub of the towel over my head. This gets rid of any sweaty smell and freshens up my hair. I get dressed, spritz on some body spray (perfume can be too heavy) and then hit the damp sections with the blow-dryer and a big round brush. I flip the ends out or under, run my fingers through them a little, spritz with some hairspray and I look almost as good as new.
Some lip gloss, a touch-up of the eye shadow and a quick swipe of mascara and I'm out the door, back to the office.
I'm so thrilled that my new haircut works with my natural hair texture really well. It takes me no more than 10 minutes in the morning to dry and style it, which is fantastic. No more 'I'll look gross all afternoon' worries - and no excuses to miss a mid-day workout.
Monday, August 30, 2010
But the very worst thing I did this weekend? I didn't log in to WW online to track my points.
Writing down what I've eaten, no matter what the damage, is really important to me. It helps me face up to it and provides a mental checkpoint for me. But not logging in makes me feel guilty, and then I start avoiding the website, and the next thing you know, I fall off track entirely.
So if admitting where I've faltered is the first step to recovery, this is me fessing up.
I know I have to make a plan for my weight loss. I do much better when I have a strategy, a schedule. I have today's healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner planned out. I've already tracked my food. I have scheduled time to hit the gym for a spin class. I've got no reason to slack off today.
Tomorrow, the same. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Exercise. It's all penciled in, all ready to go.
This is what I have to do to succeed. I can't just wing it, I have to work at it. I'm not expecting a loss this week, but I'm not going to let that get me down. Are you with me?
Friday, August 27, 2010
Today I let that little voice nag on my nerves. I woke up on my bonus day off with a brutal red, sore eye and had to skip the gym. I couldn't read, I couldn't watch tv, I couldn't surf the internet. I was sad, I was disappointed, and three hours in to my pity party, I was starving. I downed a chocolate bar, a frozen entree, a diet coke - and I stopped. Eating a boatload of junk wasn't going to make me feel any better, was it?
I closed the shades, I put on some inspiring TV on the computer, and I waited until I could see again. Only 6 hours :)
And in that period of time, I thought a lot about myself. I'm not fat. I'm working on the happy thing. But the frumpy?
This is the Megan everyone sees on the outside. These are two examples of my day-to-day, regular appearance. Not awful, but not that inspiring. It's obvious I don't love the way I look. Pretty frumptastic!
But guys, that's not who I feel like. I catch myself in the mirror and I'm proud of my slimmer waist and long legs, but I just don't feel sassy.
This is who I feel like on the inside. And now it's what I look like on the outside.
3 more pounds and I'll have some new clothes. 40 more pounds and I'll have an entirely new body. But today, all it took was an irritated eye, a disappointing day, and 6 fewer inches of hair to get a whole new attitude.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Yesterday I went to a spinning class at my new gym.
My butt is killing me. I sat down on a cement step at lunch today and I almost yelped. But hey - a 45 minute killer cardio workout is worth a little suffering.
I've tried spinning before, at the YMCA, and this was definitely more intense. The room is tiny. TINY. The bikes are packed in. You're about a foot from your neighbours on either side, and in front and behind. The room is hot, the music is loud, and the energy is amazing.
I had a great workout, and was very impressed by the instructor. It felt like she was making eye contact with me the entire time (despite the 30 other people in the room) and at the end of the class, she asked me how I thought it was. This woman teaches one class a week, but she knew that it was my first time in her class. That made me feel special, not singled out.
Spinning is great, because it's cycling. Have you ridden a stationary bike? You can do this class. You set your own tension and tempo. If you want to push, you can push; if you're looking for a recovery day, you can go a little easier on yourself.
If you're thinking about trying a spinning class, I say, go for it! When I started exercising more often in May, I prefered to do it alone, at home. Now I'm craving the rush from working out with other people, in a class atmosphere. I'm also really loving the treadmill - something I never, ever thought I would say.
I also did my measurements this morning, and since I begun this process, I've lost:
1.5 inches off my upper arms
2.5 inches off my hips
2 inches off my bust
7 inches off my waist (!)
2.5 inches from my left thigh
and went from wearing a tight size 18 jeans to a loose 16 (and I tried on my 14s in the closet, which I would bet I'll be in before September ends)
So while I had a fantasy of reaching my 10% goal (3 lbs away!) this morning, I knew it was unrealistic. I'll take what I've got and run with it - quite literally. See you at the gym!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I am a long, long, long way from one of these, but that's how I feel today.
Yesterday after work I headed to my new gym for my first weekday workout. I was really concerned that it would be packed, but it wasn't. I was also concerned that it would be full of buff workout bunnies (you know, the ones who are only there to meet guys) and morons (you know, meatheads, with their ed hardy t-shirts, who are only there to check out girls), which it was, but you take the good with the bad!
I also had an unpleasant run-in with someone I used to date. Awkward.
But I'm counting yesterday's visit in the Wins column, because I progressed to Week 3 of the Couch25K program. To say I was intimidated would be putting it mildly - this week moves from 90 seconds of running to a full 3 minute interval. Can I even run for 3 minutes? I don't remember the last time I did. And it certainly wasn't pleasant.
But after some positive comments from fellow WW'ers, I decided that I had nothing to lose. I'd try, and if I couldn't, I'd just stay at Week 2.
Well, I'm proud to say that not only did I complete it, I completed it without dying, collapsing, or otherwise limiting my ability to walk today. I am so proud of myself. In my opinion, there is very little that feels better than proving to yourself that you can stretch your limits.
What are you proud of today?
Monday, August 23, 2010
While I knit, I usually listen to audiobooks, but yesterday I wanted to watch something. We don't have a TV, so I streamed a show on my laptop.
Have you ever heard of How to Look Good Naked? Maybe I'm way behind, but I'd never heard of this British show - apparently there's a Canadian version, but I do so love the charm of UK TV.
It's kind of like What Not To Wear on speed, and, of course, the finale is nude. What a refreshing show! Everyone has body hang-ups, but everyone has a fantastic gift in their body that is worth celebrating. It was great food for thought as the weekend wound down, and made me all that more excited to celebrate my body by fuelling it with healthy, delicious, nutritious foods and do good things for my body, like exercise.
Because while losing weight with an end goal of looking hot is fine in my books, losing weight to be healthier, prouder and kind to your body is also important - and seems likelier to stick in the long run.
How are you going to celebrate your body today? I'm going to wear a cute new dress I dug up, power up with a treat of fresh seasonal fruit, and hit the treadmill. Week 3, here I come!
Friday, August 20, 2010
But since then, I haven't had a gym membership. I've worked out in my living room, or in the dingy basement 'gym' in our building. On the weekends, I pay the drop-in fee at Gary's gym to join him, which is $10.
But I've worked out the math in my head, and for the roughly $80 a month a gym membership will cost, I have to go twice a week to make it worthwhile. And as it is, Zumba costs me $10 a class - and the gym has free Zumba. And free yoga! And spinning.
I`ve decided, after three months of internal debate, that tomorrow is the day. Gym, I`m coming for you. It`s an investment in myself, my health, and my happiness.
But first, I have to make it through the evening. We`re going clubbing. The last time I went clubbing was probably in 2008, and I lasted about two hours before I yahonged up the nine Jagerbombs I`d had in the ladies`.
I`ve got no idea what to wear, I`m not even sure I`ll be able to stay up past 11:00, when we`re meeting my bro and his girlfriend, and I`m dreading being the fattest girl there. Guys, I`m not at my optimal clubbing weight. And I`m really not sure I`m okay with this.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
This wasn't code for I'm bored with my wardrobe or I want something new - it was code for nothing in my closet fits me.
I had a media event at work this morning (I do PR for a Museum) and I had planned out my outfit a few days in advance. I live in a world of casual-business-casual, so jeans are my wardrobe staple. But for an event like this, I like to look put together, so I planned to wear a black pencil skirt, a black camisole, a grey and black fitted blazer and a pair of red pumps.
I got dressed this morning and the blazer was a little baggy. It's supposed to be fitted, but I looked sloppy. I thought, Eh! Cinch that waist with a belt! So I grabbed my wide, red elastic belt and slipped it on.
It slipped off.
So much for that outfit. While I'm super pumped that an outfit that was a tight squeeze back in March now hangs off me like a burlap sack...it hangs off me like a burlap sack. So do most of my 'work clothes'.
I have a small selection of clothes that are still too small, but it's pretty much a formal dress and a couple sun dresses. Then I have racks of clothes that are now too big.
I currently have no dress pants that fit me, two pairs of jeans, and enough yoga pants to keep myself clothed for two weeks. Except I can't wear yoga pants anywhere that isn't the gym.
It's kind of frustrating, to be honest. There are some things I can get away with, but I'm really tired of wearing the same thing day in and day out! On top of that, I don't really want to spend a ton of money on clothes that hopefully won't fit anymore by Christmas.
3 more pounds to go until I can bust out that gift card for my 10% reward, and let me tell you, I am so ready.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
In sharp contrast to last week, this is how I felt this morning. Down 3.4 lbs! I'm 3.2 lbs away from my 10% goal and shopping spree-lette...yay!
You know those days when you just *feel* lighter? Today is one of those days. I'm fitting comfortably into the trouser jeans I couldn't even get past my thighs three months ago. I'm walking taller, standing straighter. I can see my cheekbones, which have been lost in the oh-so-adorable "Diefenbaker Cheeks" I've had since infancy.
John Diefenbaker, Canadian Prime Minister, 1957-1963
Last night I struggled through the second day of Week Two of C25K. It was so much harder than Sunday's workout, even though it was exactly the same. Whether it was beacuse the treadmill in our building's gym is kind of crappy, because I was working out after a long day, or the headache I had all afternoon, I fought for every single step of that workout. I kept promising myself that I could stop running if I really needed to, but I didn't have to. I won't lie, I do hope it gets easier!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
This weekend I started the Couch25K program. But I didn't start at Week One.
I've been doing the Week One intervals (1 minute running, 90 seconds walking) for weeks now. I've done that workout dozens of times, but I've never been confident enough to do Week Two. I don't know what my mental block was - fear of commitment to the program? Fear of pain, or being uncomfortable? Shame? Knowing that if I actually graduated past the first three workouts, I might actually have to admit to myself that this is something I want to do, even if I might not succeed at it immediately?
For whatever reason, I'd never graduated to Week Two. But now I have. I jumped right in, Gary on the treadmill beside me, doing 90 second running and 2 minute walking intervals. And it felt fantastic.
The night before, I had a dream that was really upsetting. I was back in school, and all of the kids in my class were making fun of me. The kids older than me were making fun of me, too. Then I was my current age, and they were still mocking me. Joking, teasing, taunting.
While I don't actually recall a lot of the teasing and taunting I experienced as a kid, I definitely was drawing on memory. Memory of how I felt as a pre-teen. What I thought the other kids were thinking and saying about me when I wasn't there.
When I woke up, I realized that I don't hate running. I hate feeling like I did when I was a chubby twelve year old: being last. Being slower than everyone else. Being different, and not keeping up, or fitting in. Letting my team down, or knowing that I'd be sitting on the bench.
I couldn't run as fast as the other kids, so I gave up, and for over a decade now I've been beating myself up about it. As a self-preservation technique, I've held myself back from trying a lot of things because I desperately want to avoid feeling like the last kid picked in gym class. I stuck to shame-free activities that, if I did manage to embarrass myself, odds are everyone else was, too.
Holy Hannah, this running thing is a lot bigger than I thought.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
You guys, your comments yesterday were amazing. You see that cute kid up there? That's me, and all those nice kids in the background? That's you, cheering me on. At least in my Saturday morning brain!
Blogging really does create a community, especially when you have a group working towards similar goals. I hope that someday I'll get the chance to return the favour and cheer each and every one of you on towards your goals - because I'm biting the bullet. Today, Couch 2 5K - tomorrow, the world! (Or a Running Room Clinic, or 5K race!)
(This seems like a really cute book - any parents/teachers out there heard of it?)
Friday, August 13, 2010
I've been thinking about this a lot lately.
I think I want to be a runner.
I want to be one of those people who laces up their shoes over their lunch break and heads out with their ipods. I want to know that I can exercise anytime, anywhere, as long as I've got good shoes. I want to run in the early mornings when the world is calm and cool. You know, like meditating but not sitting still while I do it.
But runner fantasies aside, people who run have great bodies. It burns mega calories. It's hard, bone-mass building work. And without discrediting the amount of work running is, it seems like a great way to get a good workout in without spending nine hundred hours at the gym every week.
Plus, running seems like something that could develop into a habit, and then I could eat more nachos. Right?
But I am also so wimpy. I dislike being uncomfortable. And the big one: I hate running.
Deciding that I'm going to start running is taking me a really long time. I don't believe that everyone is a born runner - and I defnitely believe that losing weight will make it easier for me to run further and longer.
3 months ago I winced when I bought the 30 Day Shred. Well, I completed the first two levels and I didn't die. I've proven that I can do something even when I think it's really hard and will probably hurt and I might not love it, but it feels good afterwards.
What do you think? Should I stick with my dance-based aerobics and elliptical workouts on the weekends? Or should I bite the bullet and just Couch-to-5-K-it already?
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
This is pretty much how I felt this morning.
I know I over-did it on food this week, and under-did it on exercise. I wasn't expecting a loss. I was definitely expecting a gain - and so I wasn't surprised to see the scale up this morning: up 2.6 lbs.
Even though I anticipated a gain, it doesn't mean it makes me feel better about it. I'm end-results motivated, and no one wants the weight loss process to take forever! Sometimes I'll think about 'if I lose an average of 1.5 lbs a week, how long will it take me to get to goal? How about 2 lbs? What about .5 lbs a week?'
I like to look at my little graphs and charts and imagine that I can predict what weight I'll be at by Christmas.
But truthfully, I know that I can't predict that. I don't know what my body and the scale have in store for me each week. And that is really, really frustrating - but I'm accepting that. Because I have to!
The last time I did WW, I had a bad week. We had gone away to celebrate our anniversary at the Banff Springs hotel (seriously, you're going to want to google that!) and spent the weekend in the honeymoon suite, eating delicious gourmet food and indulging in their amazing Sunday brunch buffet.
When I got home, happy and relaxed, I knew I'd see a gain on the scale that week. So I didn't weigh in. I skipped it, thinking I'd make up for it in the week that followed and be down again.
I didn't step on the scale again for 14 MONTHS.
I'm proud of myself for knowing that I'd be up this week and still weighing in. I'm proud of myself for not freaking out, and for my initial response of 'oh, well! Zumba tonight, lots of water and veggies and healthy food this week, a few longer workouts and that number will be down again next Wednesday.'
It's been three months of WW, and I really do feel like the hurdles are getting less intimidating - not easier - but guys, I know I can do this. So can you.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Did I eat my feelings ole? Maybe a little bit, but I needed to eat dinner anyway. I didn't go overboard. I didn't necessarily feel better, either, but it's just food. It's not a remedy for the soul.
I've been in a serious funk for the past week. I didn't exercise at all last week - I did 30 minutes of Yoga on Tuesday, but that was it. And I felt like crap. So on Saturday morning when Gary dragged me to the gym, despite my desires to just sit on the couch and cry into my favourite coffee cup, I felt it. I felt a week's worth of lethargy. I'm still sort of feeling it. But sure enough, after the workout, I felt better.
Yesterday I was still funking a little, so I took some time for myself. I finished my book. I worked on a knitting project. I contemplated going to the mall to shop - shopping ALWAYS makes me feel better, no matter what size I am or what's going wrong in my head - but I knew that if I went to the mall, I'd head straight for the food court and the loving arms of the poutine counter. So I changed my clothes and did 30 minutes of hard, sweaty run/walk intervals in our chintzy apartment gym. And man, what a world of difference. I mean, I'm still a moody bitch - this is unlikely to ever change - and I'm still PMSing and I'm still going to pout because the weekend is over, but I actually felt BETTER. Gary and I played some chess, we watched a movie and ate (ww-friendly) pizza and went to bed early.
It's a new week. I woke up on the right side of the bed, I feel positive and I'm excited again. I'm going to try to remember how much worse I feel when I don't work out my stress and anxiety in a physical way. It's got to come out somehow, and it might as well come out as sweat and not tears, right?
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Last night Gary and I met my parents and my brother for dinner. We were early, and hungry, and wings were on special. So we ordered some - 10 teryaki and 10 salt and pepper. We figured that my parents would arrive within 10 minutes, and they did, but my brother runs on his own special time so god only knows when he would show up.
My brother showed up about 40 more wings (and roughly an hour) later. Of course, I ate more than my fair share of them. I drank two pints of beer. And then I ordered dinner - a steak sandwich with mashed potatoes.
I ate myself sick last night. I went to bed with an incredible tummy ache. I don't even LIKE wings, but I was hungry. I hadn't been into what I packed for lunch so I snacked on fruit in the afternoon and arrived for dinner starving. The truth, though, is that I wouldn't have turned down the wings even if I had eaten lunch - I just can't bring myself to pass down food that is directly in front of me.
I could have asked everyone not to order them, but we were ALL hungry. Usually an appetizer is too expensive and we pass, but these were 20 cents each. I have a thousand excuses, but it boils down to smelling the food, seeing the food, and then eating the food - and not stopping.
Do you have any tips on how do deal with this situation? I can't live in a cave and I'm a social creature - and most of my social engagements take place at restaurants. Strangely enough, I can handle a buffet, I can handle cocktail parties, but if the food is directly in front of me I cannot resist.
I numbered your comments and used random.org to select a winner. The result?
August...I think that I am most looking forward to my 2 year wedding anniversary!! And...I am going to try one of those Zumba classes!!! That should be fun!
Courtney, can you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can connect you with your prize?
Thanks everyone for playing!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I observed something interesting this week when I looked back at my points tracker.
I sometimes struggle to eat all of my daily points, especially the two days before weigh in. This week, I tried very hard to make sure I did eat my DP's, and I also tried to split up my weekly points a little more through the week instead of either trying not to use them or using them in one shot for a big dinner out. I definitely didn't deprive myself this week - I ate french fries, ice cream, hash browns, pulled pork, beer - but I did watch my portion sizes. I really enjoyed my food this week.
I know that sounds like crazy talk, but it's going to be key for me in the long run. I also think it's interesting that I had a sizeable loss this week when I ate MORE, and sometimes when I stick to just my 29 points a day, I don't see much of a loss.
How was your week? What is your strategy when it comes to food? Are you a saint 6 days a week, and eat whatever you want on the 7th? Is it an 80/20 rule every day, or do you try to stay consistent with your calorie intake?
Monday, August 2, 2010
Setting monthly mini-goals is definitely helping me stay on track and motivated. I'm going to keep it up for the month of August, but first, a recap of my July goals.
1. 720 Minutes of Exercise - I exceeded this goal. By the end of the month, I had reached 810 minutes of exercise, which is an hour and a half more activity than I aimed for. I think that this goal was realistic and achievable, which is key for me, but it wasn't too low.
2. 3 Zumba Classes - I did go to 3 classes, once a week on Wednesday nights.
3. Finish Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred - I did Level 2 8 times. I was aiming for 10, but I just didn't get there. I'm okay with this, and I'm considering it a success. Even though I wanted to quit, I did power through 3 more workouts. I'm planning to move up to Level 3 this coming week.
4. Try 3 New, Vegetarian, Low-Point Recipes - Done! I had fun with this one. Ratatouille, Lime Biryani Salad, and Tortilla-crusted Quiche. I really like cooking and looking for new recipes, so this was an easy goal to meet.
This month, I'm aiming for 750 minutes of activity. I don't plan on quitting Zumba class OR the 30 Day Shred, but I'm going to try to trust myself a little more. This month I felt like not achieving my goals was a failure, but truly, any activity is good activity, and if I'm in the mood for yoga or running or strength training or swimming - I should just do what I'm in the mood for.
But that said, this month I would like to work on my flexibility, so I'm going to do yoga 4 mornings this month. It doesn't seem like a lot, but I'd like to give it a try and I do like doing yoga in the mornings. Maybe these 4 workouts will light a fire and I'll become one of those early-morning, up with the birds yogis. Or not...
And finally, I'd like to try 3 new low-point recipes. No vegetarian restriction this time, just 3 new recipes. I've got a few ideas, and I'm looking forward to sharing with you!