Adjusted Reality

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

Month: February 2009 Page 2 of 4

I Skipped Working Out For A Week And Nothing Happened.

It hit me at the gym yesterday that I did nary a workout from Sunday evening to Friday evening last week due to the fine, fine funk that had infiltrated my bod.  Friday barely even counted, as I burned 300 calories in 30 minutes doing DDR.  I usually burn over 600.  Saturday was the ONE real workout of the week, and Sunday, we walked to lunch and back, which was maybe a mile and a half tops round trip.  This is the least I have worked out since last January (the last time I was sick).   I think it may have been the least working out I’ve done since I started this whole shebang up in August, 2007.

Oddly enough, I did not gain the 110 lbs back I’ve lost.  The universe did not implode upon itself.  I did not decide that working out was a bad idea and decide to stop doing it just because I didn’t for that week.  I didn’t have any thoughts of wanting to give up on the whole healthy-ish living thing.  I did not all of a sudden lose all the muscle tone I’ve been working to build up, and become a skinny-fat ball of putty.  I had a thought of skipping my workout on Monday and starting again Tuesday because of the holiday, and that worried me, but I’m realizing it was my normal lazy monster that I deal with always.  Once I was back in the gym, it felt just like usual, better even!

I’m only doing 5k runs this week so it’s slightly harder to judge than a normal week, but my running didn’t suffer, I think the rest might have actually improved my time.  I am either doing the same or more weight and reps for strength stuff even after my muscles have atrophied into oblivion after a week of no strenuous use (or at least, this was my fear).

I even lost weight last week.  It was that one week where I’m supposed to lose weight (my body seems to be going with the lose huge 1 week, gain a lil back the next week otherwise known as TOM time, lose the gain the third week, then lose a few ounces the fourth, rinse and repeat), so it wasn’t shocking, but I was terrified that my laid-up-ness on the couch all week was going to throw a wrench in my newly found momentum.

I also found that my appetite automatically just sort of shrank without the extra moving around – so I was doing a lot less nom-noming than this guy.  The only weirdness was I had very little appetite except for sugar – like I couldn’t get enough fruit, chocolate, or anything sweet.  Which, actually, worked out to help me keep my calories where they should be even though I wasn’t hungry for regular food.  My body actually asked me to treat it a certain way, I listened, and it didn’t result in mayhem and chaos.

This is both a terrible and wonderful realization.

Wonderful, because I really should give myself more time off.  My workout schedule in and of itself is not a problem – I think 6-7 hours is a perfectly adequate amount of time to dedicate to a hobby or pursuit, ‘specially one that is as beneficial as exercise.  I am just that girl that was a little miffed at myself for missing ONE workout day on my vacation in November (although I totally rocked the other four).  I need to occasionally let lose and skip workouts and rest and not drive myself crazy over it.

Terrible, because the fear always sets in – what if I get used to being lax about workouts on the weeks that I *should* be good.  What if I become the girl who would really *like* to make time to workout but just can’t figure it out anymore?  Can 17 months of habit just change in a week like that?  I’d like to say no, but I’ve seen how easily my sleep schedule shifts LATER – months of work to get myself into an earlier schedule, one week and I slip comfortably back into my 10am start time on the weekdays and pushing noon on the weekends.  Would the same happen with working out?

I hope to never find out.  Hey, at least I know the world won’t end if I take a week off once a year.

This Is Why You’re Fat, People

If you’re hungry, why don’t you go ahead and skip this post?  Or not, this might actually gross you out.

Anyone else look at this and while feeling disgust, also feel a bit intrigued?  I mean, we’ve all seen the Double Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt, the Gastronomic Surprise,  the Burgers the Size of Texas, and Donut Burgers….but they just seem surreal.  I mean, the pizza above is making my mouth water, but it’s just because I’ve had an unreasonable craving for pizza I haven’t satisfied yet – all it will take me is a slice or 2 of a Conan’s Savage Pizza and I’ll be good.  The rest of the page is just….eww.

I guess what irks me is… do we really need to encourage such gluttonous behavior?   When you’ve got food like that, somehow that makes burgers like these ok, even when they are more calories than a normal, weight-maintaining human should eat in a day, with fries.  Now, I’m all for indulging a craving.  I am going to have that damn pizza after I finish my 5k on Saturday with 100% no guilt.  However, I know myself, and even though it will be a “splurge”, I will eat probably 2 pieces and a salad (so about a 700ish calorie meal) and then go back to being my normal self until the next craving hits.

In my past life, we would order a large pizza, and for one meal eat half each.  Usually while imbibing some sort of adult beverage.  With this would usually come some sort of cheesy bread or wings.  But, since it’s not corn dog pizza, I figured I was ok.  Normal people order and split a pizza and some wings – it doesn’t seem so gluttonous.  Sure, it wasn’t an every day thing, but it sure happened more than I’d like to admit now.  If each slice of supreme pizza was about 270 calories, and each bread stick was about 150 calories…and we’d douse the whole thing in ranch, so that’s another 200ish calories…you’re looking at close to 2000 calories even BEFORE the booze.

So which is worse?   The gluttous websites that are popping up with ridiculous food like this, or the fact that food we consider “normal” like grabbing a burger at chilis or having pizza night with breadsticks and beer entails consuming more calories than a normal human should in one day?  Is it the outrageous feats of eating and culinary creation like the corndog pizza that are doing us in, or is going out for chinese food and getting a 1300-1500 calorie dish of General Tso’s or Orange Peel Beef (before the rice, soup, and eggrolls)?

I postulate that it’s the later, not the former.  I mean, corndog pizza would have been an event.  Stuffed crust pizza, which is just as reprehensible calorie-wise but a little more socially acceptable, was just dinner.  What do you think?  What’s the worst thing you used to eat before you decided to be healthier?   What’s your richest indulgence now?

Happy Stupid Cupid Day

I think Valentine’s Day is sort of a ridiculous holiday.  First of all, there’s all the candy.  Please, if you love me, the LAST thing I want is a bunch of crappy sweets sitting in my house, especially ones that you spent WAY too much on.   Then, the flowers and teddy bears…the second to last thing I need around the house is something you picked up on a display of “Get Your Valentines Day Gift Here” stuff.  Flowers are wonderful, but I don’t want you to get me flowers because you are SUPPOSED to get me flowers.  I prefer the random “I saw these and they were so pretty I had to get them” or “You were having such a bad day I thought you needed these”.

Then there’s just the whole expectation around the whole day.  If it’s not the most magical and lovely and wonderlandy day ever your partner is a failure and it’s ruined forever.  And when it’s the only day ever to show that you love someone *rolls eyes*, you better make sure you lavish it on them, right?  Why try to make sure that you be loving and wonderful to that special someone every day when you can just do it once?

Ok, ok, the venom is coming out.  And it’s not as if I’m single – or have been for a long, long time.  I remember how awful THAT was.. but I digress.

While neither the Zliten monster or I are very keen on making a big deal of the day (we forbid presents each year and stay away from those expensive 5 course dinners out at the fancy places), but we do at least something small to celebrate.  This time, we are partaking of chocolate teddy bear peeps (seriously – 40 calories a bear and they taste RIDICULOUSLY good), cinnamon imperial red hots (my favorite V-day candy, have to get a bag of them each year), and cooking for each other.

Yesterday, Zliten made me an awesome crab boil (one of my favorite meals)!  We had a heaping portion of crab legs, red potatoes, and corn, with drawn garlic butter.  We had a great night splitting a bottle of wine and breaking open the legs of crustations.  Tonight, it’s my turn to cook (well, sorta), and I’m making four cheese ravioli, prociouto and parmesan tortellini with a cilantro pesto and basil cream sauce topped with fresh asiago cheese, garlic bread, and caesar salad.  Instead of doing it all super homemade like I was planning – I went with super yummy gourmet pre-packaged stuff from the nice grocery store (Central Market).  We’re going to try to do the soda trick with a box of cake mix and see how that turns out (use a box of cake mix, and instead of the other ingredients like butter, eggs, and whatnot, dump a can of diet sprite in it and it’s supposed to taste just the same).  And, I think there will be vodka.

As long as no pink teddy bears or sappy cards get near me, I think I may just enjoy the hell outta this long weekend.   Unfortunately, I may have given my cold to Zliten…I give the BEST Valentine’s Day gifts ever.  What can I say – he gave me crabs, I had to give him SOMETHING appropriate back.  Anyway, hope you’re having a great one!

What If I Were To Give Up Now?

So my biggest fear in the last 2 years is that I was going have the anti-epiphany one day that I was sick of this exercise-y healthy new lifestyle stuff and just decide to say fuck it and go back to the way I was.  It’s always a fear that comes back when I get sick/injured/unable to workout for a while.  Let’s indulge my inner demons and take a look at what would happen, if history is a guide, at the events that would play out.

Day 0: I have dialogues with myself or someone else and come to the realization that what I’m doing isn’t making me happy and isn’t worth it, and I’m not gonna do it anymore.  Usually, under some sort of mental duress, instability, or altered state of mind.

Day 1: I’d probably go make myself sick on whatever I was craving last.  If it were today, I would go eat as many pieces of Conan’s Deep Dish Savage as I felt like.  Probably with some good beer.  And probably some sort of hand scooped milkshake.

Day 2: I’d wake up feeling AWFUL.  It would keep me in check for a while.

Week 1: I’d probably still workout – 17 months of habit doesn’t disappear overnight.  I’d probably stick to mostly DDR and some runs and walks outside.  I’d still probably try to not eat *too* badly, but definitely give up counting calories and weighing myself every day.

Month 1: I’d start boasting that I don’t have to do all this crap I used to do, I can stay slim without any effort, just doing whatever I feel like.  Since I’ve decided to give up the scale, my clothes are probably still fitting me ok so I’m happy.  I probably work out 3 times a week when I remember.  I’m thinking I can do whatever I want, so I push my boundaries and maybe drink some real, sugared juice or just go ahead and order the fettuccine alfredo because I want it, but only occasionally.

Month 2-3: My pants probably start getting a little tight, which depresses me but I avoid thinking about it by switching to another pair.  See, these fit me when I was skinny too, I must just be having a bad day, right?  The little pooch I’ve developed just means I stay away from the tighter shirts, I have plenty that are still flattering.  The scale is out of the bathroom – out of sight, out of mind.  I might still be working out sporadically, but it’s getting harder to get the same results I was before.  This also probably frustrates and depresses me, so to avoid it, I slowly stop doing it.

Month 6: I’m probably clinging to the last 2-3 pairs of “skinny” pants I have that fit or thanking the dear fluffy lord it’s summer and I can get away with skirts.  I don’t feel right, I know something’s wrong and I need to get back to eating better and exercising, but I’ll do it next week, when things are gonna be better.  It’s just so much easier to not worry about how many calories are in things, ya know.  And exercising just takes so much EFFORT.  I just don’t know how I used to do that so much.  I remember it being such good stress relief but…I dunno, I just can’t get back into it.  I’m gonna start Monday, really I am.

Month 12: I’ve visibly gained weight.  Those skinny jeans are in a box and I’ve had to borrow the old ones I got rid of back from my mom (or if my pride won out, I’ll have bought new ones as to not admit that I’ve gained).  I think about when I used to have such passion for being healthy, had such momentum, and wish I could get it back again.  Unfortunately, I’m pondering this over french fries sitting on my butt.  Running was so great, but now I can barely fathom doing it.

Year 2: I’ll make a New Years Resolution to get back into running and lose that weight, and it worked for a while.  I lost about half of it, but then I got lazy and gained that plus some back by the end of the year.  I got into the gym and did some workouts, but could never get back to the same intensity I used to.

Year 5: I’ve been through Year 2’s cycle at least 3 more times, before giving up completly, blaming my 30s, work, life, or anything else around me that wasn’t giving me my thinness back.  I’m too old to be that thin, I think.  That’s for younguns in their 20s.  At least I’m not in plus sizes (yet).

I think I’m going to stop there because that’s depressing enough.  While I would LIKE to think I’ve learned enough in these 2 years to not go back to that, I do have 14 years of previous habits to break.  Everything in that description has gone through my head or has been something I experienced since I quit gymnastics and went from super fly fit to super squishy.  I just hope that I can not regress to that ever again…

No, I know that I can do it.  I didn’t spend 25 months at this to regress that far.  I just can’t go back to that, it’s not a fun place to be.  Not that I was considering, but I always have to play the “what if” game with myself.  It usually keeps me on the straight and narrow.  Just like I wouldn’t ruin all the hard work I’ve put into building my career by upping and walking out and burning bridges, I wouldn’t ruin all the hard work I’ve put into my body by just giving up on it.  The difference is – once you break a tie, it’s usually forever.  If you decide you regret what you’re doing to your body, you can, at that very moment, start changing for the better.

Anyone have a story on giving up on anything to share?  Was it a bad thing or a good thing?  Ever walk out of a job without notice to prove a point?  I’d love to hear about it.

5 Random Things

I’m still not feeling super 100% back to normal, so a random thoughts update it is today!

1.  We booked, put a down payment, and reserved our wedding and reception!  Zliten did the footwork for us, which was so super nice.  I know it wasn’t the easiest thing for him to do and he rocks for it.  Doing Vegas was such a great idea, you come up with an idea, and they run with it.  For very little effort and extra money, everything is going to be island themed and decorated just like we want.  I’m really excited to go in April to check it out.   Now, the rest of the fun stuff like invitations, dresses, hawaiian shirts, reception gifts, etc.  Anyone ever go to a wedding with a really cool gift?

2.  The good news – I have still lost weight this week even with my lack of exercise and overindulgence last week.  I’m now down to, as of this morning, 153.4 which is .4 lbs away from February’s goal.  I don’t expect to keep ALL of it off, but I wouldn’t complain if I did.  This is also 3.4 lbs away from 150, which is my second long term goal.  From the time I hit 149, I will continually monitor how I feel and look, and will give myself permission at any time to stop and decide to maintain my weight.  It’s so close!

3.  The bad news – I haven’t been on a run since Saturday, and don’t anticipate being able to do much until next week with my funk.  Next weekend, I run my 5k.  Now, I’m not too worried since I regularly run almost twice the distance, so I know I have it in me, but it’s still a little disconcerting.  I am glad that I signed up before I got sick, because I dunno if I would have signed up now.  At least since it’s my first one, the biggest goal is just to finish a race and get a time to improve upon.

4.  Work has been a very busy week of thousands of menial tasks to do.  I am such a sick puppy that I LOVE this.  If it was my job all the time I would hate it but as something to do occasionally, I really enjoy the brainless, zen aspect of it.  Since it’s not technically part of what I do, I actually seek these opportunities out.  It does make me miss designing, though I’m glad that my particular job affords me the ability to do as much of it as I actually get to do while still being able to be a producer.

5.  I just had Zliten tell me I should retire the pants I’m wearing today.  I indeed noticed they have saggy ass today.  As refrence – I’m wearing the same outfit I wore on Christmas Eve.  It’s amazing how much difference 10 lbs makes when it’s 1/15th of your weight instead of 1/26th!  Pants don’t last as long though… at least this is my second pair of  pinstripe pants so I’m ok with seeing them go.

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