Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: January 2009 (Page 1 of 4)

January’s Fitness Summary: We Can’t Have Nice Things…

So I broke the shocking news early January that I was so happy with my fitness regimen from Decemeber, that I was sticking with it for another month.  The (small) crowd dropped their jaws in shock and awe.  Now for the results, prepare to not be very surprised at some things, and perhaps more surprised at others…

To recap, this was the plan as of January 1:

-Day 1 and 3: 30 mins interval run, 15 minutes on Cybil, full body strength.

-Day 2: 60 minute run, yoga session

-Day 4: 60 minute DDR session, yoga session

By the end of the first week, the plan looked more like this:

-Day 1 : Intervals, cybil, and full body weights

-Day 2: Long run and yoga

-Day 3: Outside Run (about 3-4 miles), either DDR or cybil, and full body weights

-Day 4: DDR and yoga

The last week and a half, due to allergies/just needing a break, it is now:

-Day 1 and 3: DDR and yoga

-Day 2 and 4: DDR and full body strength

I cannot run and snot at the same time.

So this has taught me a myriad of things.  First of all, I cannot ever do the same workout for 2 months straight or I will subconsciously revolt and develop allergies so I just physcially can’t do it.  Secondly, even if I think that I’m handling the exercise regime well, I need to make sure and schedule light weeks and breaks every few months, even if it freaks me out because that nagging voice in the back of my head is saying that if I skip a week of runs something terrible is going to happen.

Thirdly, DDR, done at the intensity I do it, is just about as sweat inducing as running, but somehow less tiring.  I’d like to believe that the hour long DDR sessions actually burn the 1200 calories the game says I do at my weight, but I think it’s probably on par with an hour of running, which is about 750.  When I run, I need at least an extra hour of sleep and regularly get tired around 11:30 pm (even on non-running days).  This week, I’ve been seeing at least 12:30 if not 1am and been sleeping in a little more.  Totally fine for my schedule on studio days which start at 10am no matter what, but not for office days – I can go in as late as 10am, but I like to get there closer to 8 so I’m off earlier.  In summary, if I didn’t really actually like running and want to get better at it, I could probably stop doing it and go back to DDR for the same calorie burn.

Weight Loss Progress:

Sadly, it seems like the exercise really means squat in terms of weight loss.  I am doing the same (or lighter) workouts this month, the only change I made was in my diet, and not a terribly drastic one – from approximately 1500-1600 calorie days most days (plus one untracked day – which at most was maaaaaybe 2300 calories, usually closer to 2000) to 1300 calorie days weekdays and 2000 or under calorie weekends.  This is a change of about 1000 calories per week, or approximately 143 calories per day.  Essentially, I’ve eliminated a snack each day.

This change was enough to break the frustrating cycle of premature maintenance.  I just couldn’t break that 162 barrier and now I’m regularly weighing in at 158.  This is a 5 lb loss this month, just as I hoped for.  This makes me happy and dance!  Although, it’s been anticlimactic since I had that huge loss the first week, and now the scale seems stuck, although I know my body is just adjusting to the changes.  If my predictions are correct, next week should be a stellar week.

So, though we cannot have nice (workouts) things for more than a month, I’m truly pleased with how January went.  It proved that the little subconscious fear I had that I cannot lose any more weight without taking drastic measures was just in my head.  Also, it proved that I don’t have to increase my workout intensity that often to maintain or lose weight.  Unless I want to.  Which I often do, but on less calories, it’s nice to know I can just coast a little.

Incidentally, I toyed with the choice in the middle of last year (once I really fell in love with running) of focusing on the athletic/fitness side of this, or focusing on the weight loss side.  I ended up endeavoring to do both, however, it is slowly hitting me that I might need to pick a side after all.  Once I hit maintenance it will be lovely to not eat to lose and have enough fuel to amp things up, but until then, maybe I need to back off the intensity a little (or at least not increase it so much all the time) until I am done.  To clarify – the most important thing to me for the long term is to be capable, toned, and athletic.  However, I am so close to settling the weight issue with myself in the short term, I think the answer might be to focus on that, and then give myself free reign to go wild after the scale is just a double check.

Just something to think about as I ponder February’s plan.  As in, argh! omg! I haven’t really thought about it and it’s January 30th, eep!  Anyone ever have to make the choice between weight loss and fitness pursuits, or am I the only one that seems to think they might be mutually exclusive?  Wanna convince me that I am a lovely and perfect snowflake just as I am, and I don’t need to lose more even though those BMI jerkfaces say I am still overweight for 9 more lbs?  Hit me up.

On Role Models…

So I have a dirty little secret to get off my chest today.  I feel freakin’ guilty as hell sometimes when people say I’m their inspiration, or they look up to me.  Why?  Well, while I have totally done some awesome things, and I have stopped doing a lot of totally un-awesome things, I also still do some completely reprehensible things or…have some things about me that are just plain weird.  So in the interest of full disclosure, let me unearth some skeletons from my closet and see if you all run away screaming.

1.  I still smoke 1-1 1/2 packs of American  Spirit Lights per week.  Yes, I am well aware of the fact smoking is bad.  I should quit, right?  Like the boy in the picture, I know it’s a bad idea every time I light up, but I do it anyway.  I have cut down over the last few years – I used to smoke in a day what I do now in a week.  I can go a few days without one, but I also cannot completely quit.  It’s like when I tell myself I can’t have chocolate/chips/etc ever again, I go craaaaazy.  Think raging PMS times twenty.  It’s getting easier to go longer periods without one, but I am still not going to hurry myself to quit.

2.  I enjoy a good, solid night of drinking about once a week.  I budget it into my weekly calorie plan and typically only eat about 1000 calories or less of food that day (unless I am really and truly splurging).  I’ve read the same articles everyone else does that say that women should have no more than 1 drink per day.  I just save mine all week for one night.  Unless I drink more than one night.  Then, I’m just screwed.  Incidentally, one of the best hangover cures I have ever found is just slogging through a somewhat intense cardio workout.  Just…not too early in the morning (read: 3pm).

3.  I eat white rice, white bread, white pasta, and potatoes without shame.  Some people, like my mother, claim it makes them craaaaaazy and once they have it, they just can’t stop.  Some people say it fills them up more.  I will absolutely acknowledge that it has more fiber, but generally, I am at or above the recommended fiber count per day.  My poops are regular, yo.  For me, I find no difference between getting the calories through white stuff or through brown stuff.  I also have never been so miserable in my life as the few months I gave up carbs on Atkins.

4.  I regularly go 3 days without washing my hair.  I don’t look like this or anything, but I like my hair with a little…character.  Now that my face is slimmer and I have added pigtails, braids, ponytails, buns, and little poof buns to my hair repetoire and have amassed a decent collection of hats, I can easily go 4-5.  I have, on occasion, febreezed my hair instead of washing it.  I shower, brush my teeth, and wash my face daily – but long hair is sometimes a drag to deal with.

5.  Sometimes only the wrong motivations get me to workout.  Like, fear of getting fat again or that I’ll never get to my goal weight.  Or the fact that someone I inspired to start workout will see me skip a day and…I dunno, but it’s a thought.  Or the desire to burn off enough so I can go splurge on dinner.  Sometimes just the thought of getting a day off to sit on my ass will get me through it.

6.  In general, I think babies are ugly.  And I have no affinity with children.  They scare me to death.  They look into my soul and know things they shouldn’t.  Ok, maybe not, but I am totally missing the mommy gene.  There is one kid who’s the exeption to the rule, but honestly, we are still ackward around each other even after 2 years.

7.  On cold nights, I really and truly wish for a little more fat on my legs and butt – I honestly get too cold and I know it’s partly because I can’t really pinch an inch anywhere down there.  I would totally enjoy if it could come off my stomach though, I’ve got plenty of inches to spare there.

8.  I am such a stargate fangirl, I joke about the fact that IRL there has to be a stargate and the show is just for plausable deniability, but I really and truly hope I’m right!  The picture on the right kinda makes me giddy and hopeful at the same time.

9.  While I am really and truly happy I lead a more active life and enjoy the fact that I have more energy and can keep up with anyone and all that, some of the most cherished days are the ones where my ass barely leaves the couch and we order delivery food for the entire day.

10.  I listen to horrible music sometimes just because it’s fun.  Just think of the stuff you hear on the top 40 stations or the hip hop stations…anything that makes me feel peppy.  But only in my car, alone, or on my mp3 player.  I would never subject anyone else to it.  And I’ll probably not ever admit to specific bands or songs, because it’s less fodder to be teased with.

Does this make me a terrible person, or am I just human?  Go ahead and run away screaming now if you must.  I’m just not one to try to be something I’m not, it’s just too exhausting.  Anyone have a skeleton in their closet they want to get out?  Feel free to hit me up in the comments…

…And pretend this was posted last night, please!  I just got too sleepy to edit it…at least today will be a two-fer!

3 Things Before 30

Somehow, January is just slippy sliding by, and I haven’t made much progress on my goals for the year.  While I don’t want to use this blog as a silly to-do list, these are some biggies – and I’ve found the best way to make myself actually do something is shout my plans to everyone and anyone who will listen.  Here is the list!

1.  Run a 5k.

Since I’ve proven to myself that I can pound the pavement and not get hurt, it’s time to get out there and do an official, timed run.  I don’t know why I’ve put this off so long, but giving myself a deadline to do one by my birthday is a good way to get me out there sooner than later.  I’m looking at one of these:

Daisy 5k

Mardi Gras 5k

The Daisy one is closer, but the Mardi Gras one starts later and is in a beautiful part of town.  Who knows, maybe I’ll do both!  Probably not a good idea, but…we’ll see.

2.  Get a check up from a doctor.

I haven’t been in for a doctor visit since I was 26 and 262 lbs.  I promised Zliten that I’d go find a doctor here in Austin and get checked out.  I mean, I feel great, I haven’t actually been sick (minus the allergies) in a year from today, but it would be good to be assured that everything is working properly.  Lucky for me, even at my heaviest, I had no problems besides a slightly elevated fasting blood sugar – all the doctor asked me to do is lay off the fried foods a bit.

I’d also like to see what they have to say about what they think I should weigh to be healthy.  I have heard major horror stories about doctors knowing pretty much nothing about nutrition and fitness, so I’ll take it with a grain of salt, but if I happen to get anyone in the know, I’d like to hear what they have to say.

3.  Be at the point I can send out wedding invitiations.***

If you are privy to my LiveJournal (don’t worry if you’re not, I usually just post whiny stuff there that’s not worthy of full on public consumption), you’d know that this is a HUGE source of stress for me right now.  I have 2 issues to get solved right now that have me going around in circles and I just get overwhelmed and need a stiff drink.  Issue #1 – I have no idea how many people will actually come vs how many people I’m inviting.  #2 – Not knowing how many people will actually show up, I don’t know how much I can afford on the budget I have.  Since my parents are paying, they have a big list of people they want to invite, but they don’t know who would actually show up.  A wedding for 30 people is much different than a wedding for 90.

I know the sane thing to do is just do it all on the supercheap so I’m under budget no matter what, but…wah!  It’s like, the last big, cool, event that’s all about you, right?  I don’t want or need the princess wedding, but – some fanfaire would be nice.  I need to figure this out somehow.  And I need to figure it out in the next month or so.

I’ve got my list, now I need to get on it.

***Edit – another casualty of writing my posts early, we almost have this figured out, and might actually be making a reservation very soon!

Random Recipes: Hot Dogs and Brocolli Salad

So, in your quest to eat healthy – some days you want something fast, easy, and something that tastes a little sinful, while of course still being low in calories and fat.  This fits the bill – two yummy hot dogs (spark up the grill if you can, if not, you can cook them on a pan or on a foreman grill – microwaving or boiling NOT recommended) with loads of toppings, and a creamy, cheesy broccoli salad.

Looks way too good to fit into a reduced calorie plan, right?  Comepletely wrong.  The whole plate there has approximately 400 calories, you just have to follow my directions pretty carefully or you’ll end up busting your waistline or with tasteless, icky food.

Hot dogs:

You gotta get ones that are low fat, but not fat free.  The name escapes me right now of the kind I always get, but the closest calorie equivalent is Healthy Choice, which I believe are a-ok too.  Fat free hot dogs taste like butt.  If I could get my weiner on for 40 calories I totally would, but it just doesn’t work.  The ones I get are around 70, and I believe low fat ball parks and other brands are closer to 90-100.  To contrast, the delicious full-fat jumbo size hebrew national ones we used to get were 350.  Each.  But oy, they were so good!

As for buns, I recommend whitewheat ones.  Hot dogs just don’t taste the same to me on on wheat buns, and these are fortified with 25% of your day’s iron, something I usually don’t get enough of anyway.  You can dress them anyway you want, but let me recommend ketchup, mustard, dill relish, diced onions, and diced jalapenos.

So about an hour before you put the dogs on, you should have started your broccoli salad.  Take one small package of frozen broccoli (chopped), nuke it until it’s warm and mostly unfrozen.  Then, take about 1/3 of a package of low fat (or neufachnel) cream cheese, and nuke for another 2 minutes or so.  Mix that together until it’s a creamy, goopy, yummy mess.  Add about half to 2/3 of a small can of olives, half a cup of diced onions, pepper and garlic powder to taste, and (optional) crumble 4 strips of bacon.  Chill in the refrigerator until cold (it’s better that way), and before serving, mix in 1/4 cup of shredded cheese (I added blue cheese this time instead and it came out awesome).  If you do not add the bacon, let me suggest drizzling bbq sauce over the top.  Makes about 4 servings which are about 100 calories each.

Sure, it’s not the most nutritionally dense meal ever.  But, if you’re anything like me, some days it’s about the lesser of two evils.  This fills the void for those days we used to bbq those 350 calorie dogs, regular buns, and a side of potato salad.  I can imagine that this would be a good meal for kids, and get some nutrients and veggies in them even if they’re picky eaters.  Enjoy!

January Interim Update – Getting There…

So, to recap, here was January’s fitness plan:

-Day 1 and 3: 30 mins interval run, 15 minutes on Cybil, full body strength.

-Day 2: 60 minute run, yoga session

-Day 4: 60 minute DDR session, yoga session

The food plan was just to cut back on calories and track all my food – I didn’t have anything specific in mind yet.  I just knew that nightly jelly bean sessions and mowing from the popcorn tin mindlessly needed to be put to a halt.

How am I doing?

Exercise:

Haven’t missed a day yet.  That’s a lot easier to do when it’s only 4 days per week!  However, I haven’t really stuck with my exact plan well.  One week I just couldn’t be buggered to leave the house and did 2 days of serious DDR’ing instead.  Not knowing how my legs would take the outside running, I didn’t know if I was just going to have to start with a mile and work my way up slowly or what.  I guess I earned my right to run because while my legs talk back to me a bit more after a jaunt around the neighborhood, I’m not having any ankle, knee, or heel trouble.

My plan has been looking more like this (though it’s varied a bit each week):

-Day 1 : Intervals, cybil, and full body weights

-Day 2: Long run and yoga

-Day 3: Outside Run (about 3-4 miles), either DDR or cybil, and full body weights

-Day 4: DDR and yoga

So far, it still feels challenging, but not too challenging.  I’ve increased a lot of my weights and reps, but haven’t made much more in the way of progress.  However, that’s fine – this month is about maintaining my fitness level while lowering my intake, so as long as I’m completing my workouts without falling over dead at the end of them, I’m a-ok.

Eating:

I started with a vague idea of just reducing calories.  After a week, I settled into a specific plan of 1300-ish on the weekdays and under 2000 on the weekends.  The reality has been 130o calories 4 days per week, about 1500 calories 2 days per week, and just under 2000 one day.   It works out to approximately 1450 calories per day, which should net me about 1.5 lbs loss per week, that is, if my body worked like a math formula.  While I can’t say I am completely comfortable with every 1300 calorie day, it’s more than adequate to keep me functioning for the time being.

The one thing I’d like to improve is that it’s hard for me to get all the servings of fruit/veggies some days.  It’s a constant fight.  Now that I’ve rekindled my love for fruit, I could eat it all day, and I love the natural sugar buzz.  There is no better snack than frozen veggies with some garlic, seasoning, and a little spray butter, or snow peas and lite sesame ginger dressing, like I’m eating now.  However, they still have calories, and sometimes, if I am craving something unhealthy and have already eaten enough – it’s better for me to do something else besides eat to take my mind off my id trying to sabotage my waistline.

Weight loss:

Well, the first week was stellar.  I was literally bopping around feeling groovy, wondering when the other shoe would drop.  Well, drop it did, I’ve actually GAINED 2 lbs since 2 weeks ago while still being a good girl.  While it’s a little concerning, I’m not too worried – this is actually quite reminiscent of the cycle I was on most of last year.  As long as I drop the 2 extra lbs plus a little bit within the next week or so, I’m actually on pace for where I want to be by the end of the month (158).  At the very least, I’ve lost 2.6 lbs this month.***  That’s nothing to sneeze at, unless you have allergies, like me, in which case, you sneeze at anything and everything.

The rest of the month:

I wish to continue to eat how I have been calorie-wise.  Anything less, and I think I’d be a little more uncomfortable than I’m willing to be.  I can always strive to be better by converting not-so-great choices (like Saturday’s enchilada and taco plate which was a whopping 900 calories) to better ones (I could have probably eaten like 8 of our homemade fish tacos instead), but the quantity is fine.  If I can’t lose weight on this intake – I am done here.

My schedule is looking to be interesting, so with that and the fact that I’m slightly underfueled (and I’ve been fighting some wicked allergies), my goal is just to complete my 4 workouts per week.  If I do exactly what I had planned – bonus.  If I have to change it up because of the weather, work, or not wanting to blow snot over everyone on the treadmills next to me, then so be it.

I know weight is something I cannot control (I can influence my body to lose weight by doing the right things, but I cannot make it actually drop the weight unless it wants to) – but I really want to see 158.0 or under by February 1st.***  It’s been since August that I’ve actually had a significant drop in weight, and I’ve really been doing my best!

I also don’t have a plan yet for next month…I guess I’ll have to do some thinking!

***So, I thought I’d be all slick and get some posts done early.  Saturday, I weighed in at 160.4 and was feeling all grumpers about it.  Today, I actually met my January goal and am at exactly 158.0!  So, while I love the encouragement, I am no longer even .01% bummed about my progress, so no need to tell me it will all be ok. =)  This should also be a good guide on how weight can fluctuate.  I actually weighed in one day at 162.8 one day in the thick of TOM (time of month) time last week.

This posts pictures brought to you by www.fukung.com, which you should never go to or it will eat your free time (not setting it as a link, I will not be responsible for that much wasted productivity in the world).  The theme is internet ettiquite, just because it’s much easier to understand than wedding ettiquite.

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