Friday, February 22, 2008

Motivation looks a lot like a bikini

In a couple months, my husband and I celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. It’s been a great 5 years, and we have a lot to be grateful for. There have been ups and downs, but many more ups than downs. To celebrate, we just booked a trip to a beach resort in Mexico.

Now there’s a reason to lose these last few pounds!

I tell ya, going to Mexico feels a liiiittle bit like a cop-out. Typically we like to visit places we’ve never been before; we like to go, see and do … we like to sight-see and learn and experience local culture and change hotels every night or two to see more of the countries we visit. Not this time – this time we are going to a region we’ve been before, we’re staying at one place all week, and we may never leave the resort. We talked about doing an interesting go-see-do vacation, and decided that isn’t what we need right now. This vacation is all about relaxing. As far as sightseeing goes … well … been there, done that, pass me a cocktail.

I can’t wait!

This upcoming vacation definitely gives me a motivation boost. Knowing that I’ll be in a bathing suit … knowing that I’ll be in PUBLIC in a BIKINI… that’s definitely going to keep me focused. Plus, most of my nice clothes will only fit when I’m at goal. And won’t it be nice to look at pictures of myself on our honeymoon and look at pictures of our 5 year anniversary trip and be able to say I’m the same size?

Heck, I may even be able to say I’m in better shape. We leave for our vacation exactly one week after the 5k I’m planning on running.

Yay! If I wasn’t focused before, I’m definitely focused now.

How are things going, you ask? I’m still on track in my “back to the basics” week. I drank all my water yesterday, journaled everything yesterday, and managed to make healthy choices eating out last night. Even after splurging a little on Tuesday night, I still have plenty of flex-points left for the weekend.

From an exercise standpoint, I finished Couch to 5k week 3 day 3 on Wednesday. It was hard but not impossible … it was easier than Week 3 day 1, but harder than Week 3 day 2. (Even though all three days were the same – isn’t it odd how the difficulty seems to vary even though the workout doesn’t?) Tomorrow will be much nicer weather than today, so I’m planning on doing my couch to 5k week 4 day 1 run tomorrow, along with a strength training session. I’m still on track as long as I do it before Sunday. I’m nervous about week 4 (it looks a lot harder than week 3), but I’ve surprised myself before doing these runs so maybe I’ll surprise myself again.

I’m going out to dinner again tonight, but based on what I hear about this place I should be able to make healthy choices. If all goes well I may even be able to get a little popcorn at the movies tonight and still be on plan.

All in all, things are good! The only challenge is that I still haven’t made it to the grocery store. To get my fruits and veggies in, I’m dipping into the cabinet and freezer … applesauce, edamame, and other frozen veggies are my friend right now. I’ve got to get to the store – I miss fresh produce!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Back to the basics check-in

Tuesday I mentioned that I needed to get back to the basics of the Weight Watchers program. Here’s a quick update on where I stand in my week of “back to the basics.”

  • I got aalllll my water in yesterday. I’m tempted to count activity points for running to the bathroom, I was peeing so much.
  • I journaled all my food yesterday, and I went back and journaled my Tuesday food intake, too. Looking at the numbers, Tuesday was not great, but it could have been worse. Thank goodness my husband and I split the cheeseburger and fries that we ordered Tuesday night. And thank goodness for flex points.
  • Yesterday ended up being a very good on-plan day from an eating standpoint.
  • Yesterday I blew off my evening plans, and went for my couch to 5k run (which I didn’t manage to do at lunch – stupid work). I was able to relax at home, eat sensibly, and watch The Biggest Loser which I’d recorded on the DVR. Unfortunately, I also had a great deal of guilt because I blew off entertaining a co-worker visiting from out of town. If it had been any other week, I wouldn’t have blown her off. But … I needed a night to relax. I’ll live with the guilt and the career fall-out. It’s not like I enjoy my job much these days anyway.
  • The scale FINALLY moved in the right direction this morning. The up up up up trend has been broken.
  • Tonight and tomorrow are both nights out. I have every intention of making healthy choices both nights. I'll keep you posted.

In short, getting back to the basics is going well. Yay!

Now I need to find time to get to the grocery store. Yesterday I ate the last apple and all the carrots and celery in the house.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Couch to 5k Week 3: In Progress

Alternate Title: “You’re going the wrong way!”

On Sunday I wrote about doing my Couch to 5k Week 3 Day 1 run, and how I got these crazy side stitches. Well, thanks to some great advice from Cami, I ran a side-stitch-free week 3 day 2 on Monday. Thanks Cami!

I’m extra-glad to rid myself of side stitches as I do more research into what causes them. It seems that as you go running down the road, you’re bouncing your guts all around. If you don’t get your steps and breathing just right, you stretch ligaments that hold your liver in place, which causes pain. Yikes! I need that liver for cleaning up my blood and creating its fat-breaker-downer stuff! I’m glad Cami helped me figure out how to jog without joggling my liver around.

Week 3 day 2 went really well – better than I expected given my discomfort on day 1. I’m due to run week 3 day 3 today, but I’m a little concerned about having time for it. I’ll have to run it at lunch time to fit it into my day. Let’s hope it isn’t raining.

The whole week is concerning, actually. Once again I saw an increase on the scale this morning. Unlike yesterday, if I look at my weight today vs. my weight a week ago, now I see a slight gain. Ack! Like I said yesterday, it’s time to get back to the basics and focus. But every single night this week I have to go out in the evening for one reason or another. Every night involves a food-related social events in restaurants I didn’t select. This is a rough week to try to get back to the basics.

Of course, if I maintain or gain this week, I can lose next week. I totally get it – this one week is not tragic from a big picture perspective. Life happens, and when it comes right down to it I wouldn’t want to give up weeks like this. I am trying to be patient. In time I will get to goal. But to be so close, and be moving backwards … it’s maddening!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Where Am I? (Volume 4)

Happy Tuesday! Time for the "Where am I in my weight loss journey" stats check for the Healthy You Challenge.

Let's start with the official numbers. The envelope please ...

Weight loss since last Tuesday: 0.6 lbs (137.8 vs. 137.2)
Well, I was aiming for losing 0.8, but 0.6 is a-OK. I'd been losing fairly quickly given that I'm close to goal. Losing 0.6 is completely respectable. I'll take it. I'll just aim to lose 0.2 or more this upcoming week, right?

Weight loss since fall 2007 (most recent leg of weight loss journey): 15.2 lbs (152.4 vs. 137.2)
I earned my 15 lb badge!
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Total weight lost (entire weight loss journey): 29.8 lbs (167 vs. 137.2)
So close, so close, so close to the 30 lb badge. Next week. I'll get it next week.

Exercise: I'd been having a hard time with exercise up until very recently. My current goal is 3x/week cardio doing the couch to 5k running plan, and then 2x/week strength training. Last Tuesday I couldn't say I earned my exercise badge. But this Tuesday ...
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Ta daaaa! I met my exercise goal!

I did the couch to 5k run on M/W/Sat, and did strength training Monday and Saturday. I'm on track for earning the badge again this week, too ... I did my run and strength training yesterday, as well.

All in all it wasn't a bad week; in fact, it was pretty good. That said, my scale numbers drifted down until Saturday and drifted back up through today. I don't pay much attention to one number on one day, but I do watch trends. I'm slightly concerned about this upward drifting. It might just be normal weekend weight gain combined with some water retention from the exercise, but it might be that I need to focus a little more.

In case it is a lack of focus, here's my plan for the week:
  • Meet my exercise goal again. That's 3x cardio via couch to 5k runs, and 2x strength training.
  • Eat on plan, and journal everything. I think I've been on plan, but I've been slacking on journaling lately. I keep a running total of points in my head, and generally it works OK, but it is much safer to write it down. It keeps me focused and helps me plan. I'm less likely to go over my daily points accidentally if I write down what I eat. So ... I've got to get back to journaling.
  • Water and more water. I suspect some of the upward drift on the scale is water retention. I'll fight back by being extra-focused on water. As soon as I finish this post I'm going downstairs to fill a pitcher to the line I measured years ago when I first started Weight Watchers. I'll do that daily, keep it in the fridge, and I'll make sure it gets emptied every day.

The last two bullets are very "back to the basics of the Weight Watchers plan" for me, which is exactly what I need when the scale isn't sayng what I want it to say. I'm not sure I have a scale issue here, but I'm not taking any chances.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to a great week. Hope you all have a great week, too.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Couch to 5k Week 3 Day 1 (aka, OUCH)

Yesterday I ran C25k week 3 day 1. This week includes warming up, running for 90 seconds, walking for 90 seconds, running for 3 minutes, walking for three minutes, and then repeating all the run/walk patterns again.

Weelll … I did it, but OW! I had the worst side stitches. They started during my first 90 second run, eased up some on my 90 second walk, then got REALLY uncomfortable during my 3 minute run. I kept going and worked on my breathing, but it didn’t ease up until I started walking again. Thankfully, by the time my next 90 second run the side stitch was gone, and the second 3 minute run was much easier.

I looked up the side stitch thing on CoolRunning, and it says that it could be that I was running too fast (maybe, but I ran more slowly this week than in the past because I knew I’d run for twice as long at a stretch), maybe I ran too soon after eating (I know this was not the problem), or maybe my breathing isn’t controlled and disciplined. I suspect it’s the last one. I need to do some homework on how to fix my breathing, because that side stitch quite frankly sucked.

Although I guess I should be grateful that I don't have runners trots or bloody nipples, which are both mentioned on the same page as the side stitch issue. Thank you, no. I'll pass on those other two.

Anyway, after the running I did strength training. I was at the gym so I got to play on all the machines – it made me realize how much I enjoy working out with machines sans trainer. I can get a good workout at home with my dumbbells and push-ups/sit-ups/planks/etc., but the machines are a nice change.

Today I’m pleasantly sore but not incapacitated. And I’m pleased to say that on Tuesday, when I check in for the Healthy You Challenge, I’ll FINALLY be able to say I met my weekly exercise goal.