Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Diet Dilema

How does one "Diet" healthfully?

I am trying to "Diet" in conjunction with my exercise with the goal of loosing weight and trimming down my clothing size. The only way that I've ever known how to "Diet" is to count Calories and Fat. I have no idea what a healthy number for either of these is...I've always just tried to eat as few of both as possible when I diet, which is most likely not a good idea.

What is a girl to do when everything that "works" for people isn't healthy? In my head when I'm reading posts from people who are recovering from eating disorders, part of my brain is berating me for not having the willpower to do that. That yeah it might not be healthy, but it'll get you there, you can always start eating healthy once you loose the weight.

When I count the calories I eat on a normal day of "healthy" eating, the number shocks me. And I'm not talking a ton of food here, I'm talking small meals with maybe one or two healthy snacks. And yet somehow those numbers are always huge.

This is Day three of keeping a food journal and I'm already wanting to quit.
Yesterdays totals (Wednesday July 30th): Calories- 1412 Fat-31.9 Carbs-161.5 Protein-38.6

Exercise today was walking the two point something miles from Battery Park to Union Square. I really need to start hitting the gym more.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Workout, with a vengeance!

I feel much better today. Later last night, after posting I had a wicked vertigo attack, so I do believe that my negative state of mind was in part associated with the oncoming attack. Gotta love the human body. I would like to thank tokaiangel very much for her kind words about my state of mind last night , it's always good to know that there are people out there pulling for you. ^_^

Today I hit the gym hard. With a Vengeance!! I got there earlier than usual, and jumped on the treadmill. I warmed up for two minutes then ran steady for a full 30 minutes. No stopping, No slowing. I even managed to run a little faster on a little bit of an incline for the last two minutes. I cooled down for 5 minutes then hit the mats for strength.

This is my second time through week 5 of the Hundred Push Up Challenge, today was day 2 redux. I'm still just barely making it through the required sets. I feel fine up until the last "max" set. Then I BARELY eek out those last few push ups.

After the push ups I did a set of 25 "sensei mark specials" (I'm trying to work my way back up to sets of 50 of them) a set of 15 "toe touch crunches" with a 10 lb weight in my hands, 2 sets of 10 "ab choppers" (one set on each side), 2 sets of 15 side crunches (again one set on each side), 2 sets on each side of 15 triceps kick backs with a 10 lb weight, and 2 sets in each direction side squats.

I stretched for a while until the S.O. showed up then we hit the ellipticals. One thing I'm noticing now that I'm doing running on the treadmill before I get on the elliptical machines is how freaking tired I am by the time I get to the ellipticals. But I managed to keep myself moving at a respectable rate with the resistance up at 10 for 30 minutes, even if every minute felt like I was trying to run in knee deep snow.

I hit the showers and then we headed to Starbucks for my daily indulgence (a tall iced skinny vanilla late...mmmm.)

I started keeping a food journal yesterday, and over the course of the day I racked up a total of 1606 Calories, 47.7g Fat, 188 Carbs, and a measly 58g Protein. I'm going to report my daily totals here and hopefully that'll help keep me accountable.

The word for today is Rededicated.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm trying to stay positive

I'm so frustrated right now. I feel like most of my life is conspiring to keep me from reaching my weight loss goals. I try and eat healthy, and I try to work out and stay active, and yet, I'm still not loosing weight. I really don't want to resort to cutting my calories drastically, and I really don't have time to go to the gym more than I do, but I have to do something.

A friend posted pictures taken at my 30th Birthday Party back in May. I had lost weight by then, from my original weigh in of 178. I was down to around 160, which coincidentally is about where I'm stuck now. ( I'm at 157.8 lbs )

It was all I could do just to not burst out crying at those pictures. I look chubby, chunky, out of shape, fat, horrible. I put a picture down at the bottom left side of the page for reference...the best of the bunch.

And I know that's just how I would look if those pictures were taken today instead of back in May.

Two months and no progress. Two months and I still haven't had to go another notch in on my belt, and my clothes still don't fit well.

I'm going to start using a food diary asap. Maybe that will help me determine where my calories are coming from. I'm going to start trying to add in extra workouts somewhere. I just don't know where...between trying to move, my job and my freelance work, I honestly don't know where I can find more time, unless I give up some sleep. And I'm kinda attached to sleep.

Hopefully the food diary will help. Otherwise I'm out of ideas.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I'm repeating week five of the hundred push up challenge. Very unhappy with my workout today, just half an hour on the elip, the pushups and some various sit ups. Ran out of time at the gym.



Friday, July 25, 2008

Does stress count as cardio?

Today there was no time for the gym. I woke up early (for me) at around 1:00, after getting a grand total of 6 hours of sleep. I dragged myself out of bed, threw on clothes, packed up some stuff for the weekend, and headed out. After meeting up with the S.O. we went over to the Real Estate Agency to get started on this apartment hunt.

I guess everyone in NYC likes to do things at the last minute, because the agent was surprised we were looking so far in advance. I guess most of the listings they have right now are looking to get people in by August 1st.. I could never wait that long to figure out where I'm moving. The panic alone would kill me. So we have an appointment next Saturday to go look at a couple places. Here's hoping that we find the perfect place.

Meanwhile, all this stress and sleep dep is doing wonders for my weight loss I'm sure. This weekend I'm heading out to a weekend long party at a friends place, hopefully it will help add some much needed relaxation into my life.

Maybe I should shop around for a good Yoga DVD....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Keeping myself moving forward

Yesterday, after I had posted my blog and was getting myself all set up to charge full steam into the challenges in front of me, I found out that the apartment I thought I was moving into at the beginning of September had been rented out to someone else. A few hours of anger and panic later, and we once again have a plan and a way forward. My stress level is hovering right below "I'm going to give myself an stroke" but there is a plan and this will be ok.

To say that I needed my time at the gym today would be an understatement.

I ran for over half an hour today. Well, let me be more specific. I did a 5 minute warm up, ran for 20 minutes, walked for a minute, ran for 10 minutes, walked for a minute, ran for another 5 minutes, then did a 5 minute cool down. The last two sets of running I was to the "can't think can only try to concentrate on keeping myself moving" stage. That blissful point where the exertion of your body takes away everything else in the entire world. The last time I remember feeling that was at boxing, the time before that, in the dojo.

I used to get to that point almost every class at the dojo. And then after class I would collapse into sesea and meditate with the rest of the class, my pounding heart and deep breathing the only sound in my world.

Today was like that. It was wonderful.

I did my set for the Hundred Push Up Challenge, today there are eight levels to get through instead of the usual five, but the levels had fewer push ups. I was doing fine until the last set, which is the max rep set. I BARELY made the minimum 35.

On to the strength stuff. My arms were dead from the push ups, so I concentrated on sit ups. 20 "sensei mark specials", 20 ab choppers, 20 toe touches, 20 side crunches.Then I tried doing some of these:Straight Leg Bridge With Ball, I did 15 and stopped, partially because my butt was starting to hurt, but mostly because I felt REALLY silly.

I did some stretching, then when the S.O. got there, we hopped on the elliptical machines to do the 30 minutes to end my workout. Yeah, well I *tried* to do 30 minutes. Running is so much more tiring than elliptical-ing (is that even a word?) So much more tiring that I no longer had the energy left to do a full 30 minutes on the elliptical after that marathon on the treadmill. Sensing my flagging energy I attempted to compensate by upping the resistance level to ungodly heights, figuring I would make the most of whatever time I did manage to keep myself on the machine for. I managed to stay on for 20 minutes, plus a 5 minute cool only 10 minutes short of my goal. Not too bad, especially considering I was going at a level *10* resistance! (now is the part where you all oooo in admiration).

I am now chowing down on carrots, and realizing that my butt is very not happy about that resistance level...


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Makin Changes

I'm slowly learning the in's and out's of blogger's software. You'll notice I now have a list of *awesome* *amazing* *inspirational* blogs that I read EVERY DAY. (no I'm not kidding...I'm a little obsessive with the reading thing.) So! If you have, or know of a blog that's *not* on that list that you think I should be reading, let me know!

Also, you see, I'm a freelance Illustrator/Graphic artist in my "outside the gym" life (in addition to my night job working on magazine covers) and I've recently gotten offered a freelance opportunity that sound relatively promising. Not too much money in it, but tons of exposure, which could *lead* to alot of money. So I'm taking it. I'm a little worried because it's going to be taking up a lot of my free time for the next three weeks, and will most definitely eat into my time to do my *other* art type projects (I'm working on a comic for myself right now, which will have to be put on hold.)

I'm going to do my best not to fall behind on my fitness related activities, and I *most definitely* will not be giving up daily posting here. I'm just hoping it doesn't end up cutting into my gym time.

Fitness wise today was one of my "off" days, not going to they gym, but instead walking my way up Broadway from Battery Park to Union Square , which works out to be almost 3 miles.

I'm trying to get back to healthy eating, counting my calories and making sure I'm eating healthy food. I'm still plateaued at 159/158 lbs (depending on the day) and my body fat % is staying level again. So, back to watching what I eat, and hoping the weight starts coming off again.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Keeping Pace

Back to the gym today, for real.

I did a solid 20 minute run, with a five minute warm up and five minute cool down. I topped a mile. Somehow this is much more work, and feels like a much bigger accomplishment than the same distance on the elliptical machine..

I did day one of week five of the Hundred Push up Challenge. I had managed to do around 40 strait during my last test, so I was in the middle column this week. OMG WTF, it got so much harder this week! I barely did the 35 minimum for the last set. The last couple were BARELY eked out. I'm starting to worry that I'm going to end up having to repeat this week.

After that run, and the push ups, I did some light arm work and ab work (sensei mark specials, side crunches, and ab choppers) Stretched, and then about 20 minutes on the elliptical machine before realizing I was completely out of energy and hitting the shower.

I realized that I've never explained what a "sensei mark special" is. Well it's simple really, it's basically a modified set of crunches. First you start by laying down and holding your legs strait up, and crossing them at the ankles, so you're making an L out of your body with the long upper part being your legs, and the short lower part your torso. Now, you do a twisting crunch, touching your right elbow to your left knee, then another twist, left elbow to right knee, then two strait crunches. That's one. I usually alternate which elbow I'm using first so the second one would be left elbow to right knee, then right elbow to left knee, then two crunches.

Now do as many of those as you can. Lately I've been really weak and only been able to do about 20 before I have to stop and do the "omgi'minpain" face while trying to breathe without using my abs (which I've found is virtually impossible.)

I'm working my way back up to sets of 50 of those. Someday...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Replying to comments

Hey, I'm still trying to figure out this blogging software, and I haven't found a good way to respond to comments people leave.

Does anyone know of an easy way to reply directly to a comment?

In leiu of direct responses I would like to repost a link that was posted in my comments by Leslie from The Weighting Game

This scares me, because I do night shift work. My shift?? 7pm-5am (and they're thinking of shifting it even later)


Overtime week

No, not in a good way. Not in a fitness way.

This week I'm doing an extra shift at work. So I'll be doing a 50 hour work week this week. Because I'm not willing to give up any of my other after school activities (drawing group on Mondays, relaxing and stuff on weekends) that means that my workout time is seriously crunched. I did not go to the gym today. I did not do my pushups today.

I will go tomorrow and start week 5 of the Challenge tomorrow..

Again, I'm seeing my numbers decreasing, inexplicably (seeing how little exercise I've been getting and how horribly I've been eating) and yet I'm still feeling increasingly bloated. I wonder if I'm filling up with air...

More tomorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fitting into my skin

Today I woke up having one of *those* days. I was still in a funk from the night before, and I felt bloated and sluggish.

You know the feeling like you magically somehow gained 20 lbs overnight despite what the scale, which is obviously lying to make you feel better, says?

Yeah. That's how I felt.

I dragged myself out of bed and returned a voice mail from my S.O. saying he'd gotten out of work early, and wanted to meet up early. So I threw on clothes, grabbed the gym kit, and flew out the door.

I totally forgot to weigh myself this morning. *sigh*

At the gym we decided to just go for it and hit the treadmills for half an hour. I did a 5 minute walking warmup, then ran for fifteen minutes, walked for two, ran for five, walked for 30 seconds, then ran till the end of the half hour. I actually sprinted for the last minute too. I'm kinda proud of myself for that. I did a 5 minute cool down then hit the mats for strength.

I did day two of week four of the hundred pushup challenge, did 25 for my max set again. I did some extra arm work, and three sets of crunches: sensei mark specials, ab chops, and side crunches. I did some squats and then a lot of stretching.

After the workout we grabbed food and I totally blew my good work away with a turkey club wrap and a side of fries. I made up for that somewhat by walking from battery park to canal street before hopping on the subway to head to work.

It is DAYMN hot out there today folks.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My job is bad for my health

Between the fact that I work nights, work 10 hour days, and the fact that I am constantly offered foods that are very not good for my diet, I do believe my job is working against my weight loss goals.

I wonder what studies are out there on the effects of working nights on ones metabolism. I *know* I suffer from sleep dep on a regular basis, if only so I can actually see sunshine every now and then...

*sigh* I think the depression is talking now, so Imma go back to the work I'm supposed to be doing.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Running vs. Elipticalling

Today was my first real day back at the gym. I've been putting off going back to the gym because I was afraid of what I would find when I got there. How weak had I gotten in my time off? The fact that I have not gained a ton of weight since leaving helps, but really, that could just be loss of muscle right?

I decided to fool myself today instead of facing the issue head on. Instead of my normal two 30 minute sessions on the elliptical machines, I decided to take a page from my workout adventures in Maine, and do my first half on the treadmill. Now I reasoned with myself, saying that I had been gone a while, and need to ease back into this. So I granted myself a reprieve and decided I would only run for ten minutes, since that was what I had been able to do while in Maine. I took a couple minutes to walk on the treadmill to warm up and slowly worked the belt up faster to a comfortable jogging pace. I upped the incline a bit and occasionally, as I got comfortable, upped the speed by tiny increments. I almost made it to a mile.

I did my strength and some stretching, arm work and squats, a bunch of sit ups, and holding the plank position as long as I could.

Then I jumped on an elliptical machine for the second half of the workout (well more than half as I only did 15 minutes total on the treadmill including warm up and cool down) and noticed something. Running on a treadmill is MUCH HARDER than working on the elliptical machine. I have to go MUCH faster on the elliptical machine to feel like I'm working as hard as I am on the treadmill.

So my workout has forever changed now. I'm going to work my way up to half an hour on the treadmill, half an hour on the elliptical. I'm only keeping the elliptical for now because I have really messed up knees, and I need to be nice to them.

Hopefully by next week I'll feel fully back into the groove. I still feel decidedly un-groovy.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Off my rythm

I did not go to the gym today. I did not go to the gym yesterday. But I swear I will go tomorrow. I'm just having a very hard time getting back into the rythm of life here in the city again.

I did do my push ups today. I'm on day one of week four. It was challenging, but I managed to do 25 for my final set, so I guess I wasn't that wiped out by it. I'm happy that I seem to be keeping pace with the program, despite my one week truancy from all the things I normally do that I deem "working out"

I'm still trying to catch up on everything I missed while I was away, but I swear I'll catch up on everyones blogs as quick as possible.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Back in the Big City

The vacation is over, and I'm back to the daily routine.

Exercise wise, the vacation did not go as planned. Family obligations took over my good intentions and Kayaks were not available for rent as we had hoped. We did do a lot of walking, and ran twice.

The first day we ran, I felt my body as heavier than ever before. We ran for a good long while before I needed my first walk break. I had forgotten my watch so I'm not sur exactly how long. We walked and ran (more walking than running) for the rest of the 3.6 miles, out and back through the woods, a long the paved road across the island.

I felt the run the next day. I didn't expect the ache across my ribs. We didn't do much moving at all that day. The day after that was spent doing a lot of running around and getting stuff done.

The second day we ran, I did much better at first. We ran for a full ten minutes, and got way farther than the first time. We later measured it out on the trip odomoter in the car, and we had ran for a full mile. We ran/walked the rest of the loop, and then on the way back, I had the inspired Idea to sprint across one of the bridges. About halfway across the bridge I felt this sharp pain on the inside of my hip. Every step shot pain from the inside of my hip to the outside of my hip, and down the inside of my leg. We walked the rest of the way back, and by the time we got home I was limping to favor my hip.

Two days and a lot of Advil later the pain was gone, and I'm still not sure what I did, but it resulted in me not getting a whole lot more exercise over the rest of the trip.

I finished off week three of the Hundred push up Challenge, but completely dropped the ball on even starting week four. So, I'm going to start week four tonight, when we hit the gym.

I'm convinced running is a better workout than the elliptical machine now, and I'm also equally convinced that I am not in good enough shape to be a runner yet. I'm going to start easing running into my routine, hopefully by the end of the summer I'll be able to do some running in Central Park before it gets cold.

I weighed myself this morning to see how I had done, since I had completely stopped watching what I ate while in Maine, and found that I hadn't done horribly. Not great, but no the disaster I was expecting.

Weight: 160 (up from 158.7)
Body Fat %: 32.9 (up from 32.6)

Now that I'm back in the City, I'm getting back to the routine. We'll see if the Holiday Weight Gain goes away ^_^


Thursday, July 3, 2008

mobile posting

Just a quick post to log that I did my pushups today, but not much else. I also ate badly, so today is a minus day. But the gym kit is packed and ready to go to Maine. Running here I come!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Perception is 9/10 of reality

Going back to yesterday I think tokaiangel made a really good point. I think it's just that I generally feel like rubbish right around now and it makes everything feel like so much more work. I also feel like I've gained a thousand pounds. I feel puffy and sluggish. My pants don't fit quite right and I swear I have a pudgy belly that wasn't there last week. The scale however begs to differ. It swears up and down that I have in fact *lost* weight, and my Body Fat % is holding steady. So maybe it really is all in my mind....

Today I did an *actual* work out, beating my time on the elliptical again, doing the 3 miles in 28:45. At the 30 minute mark I had gone 3.15 miles. Woot. The really cool thing? I did it all on a higher resistance level than I normally use. I never dropped it below 7, and when I did my "sprints" I was pumping it up to 10 for the full minute. I did mostly legs for my strength training today, since arms was yesterday, and I plan to go tomorrow as well. Reverse Lunges, Side Squats, and Calf Raises. Ab work was the "sensei mark special", sideways sit ups and bicycle crunches. I'm steadily increasing the number of crunches/sit ups I do per set as well. These are all good things.

I kinda wimped out on the second half of my cardio though, I just couldn't keep up the pace, so I compromised and pumped the resistance up to 10 and just slogged away at a slower pace. But I did manage to keep at it for the full 30 minutes, so I think I deserve a gold star for effort ^_^


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bonus Post

Since I updated before I left for the gym this morning, you get a bonus post today.

I totally wussed out on my workout today. I was short on time and did what I could before I ran out... but it was way short of my normal routine

Also, this is my 'female issues' week, and I swear that it affects my workouts. Things seem so much harder. I wonder if there are any studies out there about this phenomenon.

Anyways, so I did a measly 15 minutes on the elliptical machine. Yes, I pushed hard for those 15 but still, it's like half of half of a work out.

I did my set for the Hundred Push Up Challenge, and I was feeling it towards the end set. I only managed to do the minimum of 20 for the "max set". Although I did feel like if I rested I could have eked out a few more sets...

I only did minimal weights, one set of kickbacks with 10 lb weights, two sets of these "hammer curl/lifts" with 10 lb weights and some lunges. I only did the "sensei mark specials" for my abs, and then I was out of time.

So I'm going to hit the gym again tomorow since I was so miserably wussy today.


Vacation (not so)Fitness

Ok I've been MIA, and I'm going to be breezing through and out again soon. This is "Vacation Month" for me, a Quick trip up to the hometown for the S.O.'s High School reunion is behind me and a week and a half vacation trip up to Maine is looming at the end of the week. But I have a plan! While I'm in Maine I will be keeping a paper journal, and I will transcribe my Maine-y adventures in fitness when I get back.

Meanwhile, in One Hundred Push ups news, I managed to make myself do my pushups for the third day of the second week on Saturday in my parents living room (with my mother watching), and did the exhaustion test this morning. (although I think i go easy on myself in these exhaustion tests....) I did 25 strait.

Now, anyone else doing this challenge, can you tell me if I'm doing this right? I count my exhaustion test as, as many pushups as I can do with good form without stopping to rest. Is this the right way? Or am I selling myself short?

Saturday I also managed to make myself do 25 minutes on my parents elliptical machine of doom (tm) my normal sets of crunches (25 sensei mark specials, 10 sideways crunches on each side, then I did an extra set of 50 on the exercise ball they had just for fun), and a mini arm workout with 8 lb weights (cause that was all they had). The best part? I got to jump in the pool afterwards ^_^

So yeah it was a mini workout, but it counts. Unfortunately, now I'm all off schedule for this week, and we're leaving for Maine on Friday, so I've only got two good gym days available this week (I really do have to take a day off in between gym trips for my own sanity.)

The S.O. and I have been brainstorming ways to get exercise once we're up in Maine. So far we're renting Kayaks and going swimming, and I'm looking at having to face my mortal fitness enemy - Running. Any Running tips will be appreciated. Since I suck at it and will most likely hurt myself doing it.


Tracking Transformation: Where I stand now