Adjusted Reality

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

Month: March 2009 Page 1 of 3

March Recap – Math is Hard

I had high hopes for this little experiment.  I had visions of finding that “sweet spot”, like last year, where I could establish a program where I ate a certain amount of food, exercised a certain amount per week, and reliably lost 1-2 lbs per week.  You see, besides the times in the past when I was at a happy weight, this was probably the happiest I felt about weight loss in general.  Being stuck chipping away at the last 18 lbs, ounce by ounce, is incredibly frustrating.  While I would have told myself a year ago to shut up and die for being angsty about that, but it’s just been such a long quest.  I want to see this through to the end.  The tunnel keeps getting longer and longer though.  18 lbs would have been a little over two months when I first started.  A year ago, it would have been reliably about 4 months.  Now – who knows?

I guess the point of my bellyaching is that I really was hoping that this month I would find the magic formula – no, not the “take these magic acai berry pills and become 50 lbs skinnier in 2 weeks” type of magic, but as I said before, the sweet spot.  That is, the amount of calories I can eat and not starve myself, and how much I can workout for that calorie intake without overtraining.  I know it’s supposed to go down as you lose weight, but for me it almost stayed static from about 235 to 170, and then it become like pulling teeth (though I guess pulling teeth would take off a couple ounces…tee hee).  January and February gave me a taste of what it’s like to lose regularly again, but March, oh March – you saw me stall out again like an old hippie’s VW Bus.

Let’s get down to nitty gritties.  The first week, I worked out normally (actually increased it a bit due to birthday indulgence guilt) and counted my calories.  The second week I worked out the amount the first week dictated by adding up all my calories and applying the formula I determined at the beginning of the month – 9100 calories (or 1300 per day) was the minimum, and with that, I would do the minimum of workouts (3-30 min sessions plus strength and yoga twice).  My normal calorie intake was 10200, and I would do my normal workouts at that point (4 a week sessions with about 3.5 hours cardio, strength, and yoga).  For each 100 calories over 10200, I would add 7 minutes of intense cardio (running, DDR, or the arc trainer) or 15 minutes of relaxed cardio (walking, biking easily around the neighborhood).

Week 1 (3-1 to 3-7): Calorie intake approximately 11000, cardio 300 minutes/3417 calories burnt.  Starting this experiment with my birthday week, where such things as tex mex hangover brunch buffets, wings, burgers, garlic fries, chocolate heaven, and much much more happened was a doozy.  I knew I was a little over by the end of the week but 800 calories?  Yikes.  8×7 = 56 minutes, so basically, I had to add a whole ‘nother workout day.

Week 2 (3-8 to 3-15): Calorie intake approximately 11100, cardio 270 minutes/3732 calories burnt.  Then, the birthday celebrations just kept going.  The beginning of the week was great cal-wise, but then there was the comedy club and appetizers and drinks.  Then there was Zliten’s birthday party.  On top of it, I had to add in an extra workout, which oddly enough seemed to directly correlate with wanting more food.   Fancy that!

Week 3 (3-16 to 3-22): Calorie intake approximately 10200, cardio 315 minutes/397o calories burnt.  This week I worked REALLY, REALLY hard to get my intake back down so I didn’t have to work out so much the next week.  It was miserable.  I was grumpy.  I just wanted to EAT some days.  EAT as much as I wanted, until I felt full, damn the calories.  I think there were some day I took bites out of the refrigerator of turkey pepperoni, cheese, chocolate, jelly beans, etc and then just blocked them from my head because I was not going to friggin’ work out for an extra TWO hours the next week.  I also found this week I went from craving salty food to sweets.  It’s been insane.  For the longest time I used to be able to take or leave sweets but now I feel like I could live on fruit, chocolate, etc.  For some reason, my body started processing things differently – it wanted FUEL ME NOW food, nothing with staying power.

Week 4 (3-23 to 3-29): Calorie intake approximately 10500, cardio 370 minutes/4418 calories burnt.  This week was a little more normal, I was able to keep the intake down alright and I almost missed the extra day of working out.  Oh yeah, I didn’t.  I went on an epic bike ride instead.  I would have been at 10200 but I let myself have a little more than normal Sunday because I burnt so much.  I was still having the crazy sweets cravings, but I felt less like I was on a desert island rationing my food, awaiting a rescue.

This week would be a normal workout week if I was going to continue on, but I’m not.  I’ve found that I definitely don’t want to eat less – or at least my life doesn’t lend itself to doing so.  I also found I don’t really mind working out a bit more, but I also don’t relish HAVING to do it to pay for my sins the week before.

I’ve also reconfirmed that this part of my life is a juxtaposition right now.  The healthy living thing that is making me happy is exercise.  However, exercise seems to have very little correlation to weight loss.  If I do some, it’s good for me.  If I do a lot, I don’t seem to do better.   The hard part is calorie cutting.  I do NOT like limiting my food intake all 7 days of the week.  I do NOT like having to restrict fun stuff.  However, when I get all uppity about it and become Quix-the-diet-gestapo-grumpsalot, I see progress.  I also realize the months where I lose very little weight I AM still making progress.  My pants have gone from OK to baggy since March 1.  I am a much stronger runner than I was at the beginning of the month.  The pants I was wearing yesterday were too-big 11/12s.  The new pants I’m wearing today are actually size SIX (though I’m pretty sure they’re vanity sized, I haven’t worn this size since my gymnastics days, can’t deny it feels good!).  I’ve increased my weights and reps.  I am all around harder, better, faster, and stronger.  It’s not all doom and gloom.

That being said, I’m done with being uber focused on the calorie counts, at least for a while.  I don’t want to live and die by the amount of food I’m eating.  I work out pretty darn hard already, I’d rather not have to work out more just because I indulged a bit.  And to top it all off – I lost LESS weight this month than ever – I went from 155 to 152.6  (and let me tell you, I have not seen that number since last Thursday, I’m floating all over the place in the 153-154s).

Anyone else have a better weight loss month last month?  Achieved a really awesome goal?  Hit me up in the comments to bring a ray of light to this not-so-thrilling post…

My First (Lengthy) Bike Ride

First of all, hooray for being back in bloggy-town.  I needed that break that the evil spammers gave me, but I felt weird not writing!  I hope that the spam comments will be back down to the one or three a day they used to be.

I got my bike almost 2 weeks ago and was sorely disappointed that I had only been on one 30 minute ride around the neighborhood.  Wind and rain and just general laziness have been plaguing all attempts to go on a nice ride with Zliten so far.  Yesterday, the plan was to get groceries during my special “heathen time” window (when all the other good people are at church – typically before 11am Sundays) when the stores are nice and mellow, not full of screaming children and families.  Nothing against them, I’d just rather get in and out of the grocery store without having to play demolition derby with my cart.  Then, some cleaning, which ended up just being “crap, at least get the laundry done”, and then we were to head to a nearby park for our neighborhood picnic.  It seemed like a perfect excuse to get a bike ride in, so we strapped on our helmets and headed down.

When we got there, we discovered that we were approximately an hour and a half early.  We thought it started at noon, but the sign plainly said 2pm.  Since we were hungry THEN and didn’t relish the idea of sitting around waiting for the barbeques to spark up, we just kept riding.  We both decided that a sandwich shop a few miles down the road sounded yummy, and like a good target, but when we got close, we decided to keep going.  It was a beautiful day, and we weren’t ready to stop yet.  We kept riding and riding, and soon we were downtown 6th Street.

We were going to find a nice place with a patio to get lunch and a beer, but I had brought up an area slightly south where I said I wanted to bike to someday called Barton Springs, so we pressed on and headed there.  After an interesting uphill curly cue ramp and having to walk the bike down some stone stairs, we arrived.  We ended up at a place called Uncle Billy’s BBQ, about 9 miles from the house, and soaked up some sun on their patio, enjoying a nice, tasty local Hefewizen, listening to live music, and splitting a gigantic BBQ plate of chopped beef, pulled pork, turkey, coleslaw, and potato salad.  At that point, we were almost regretting how far we had gone from home, and decided we would try to ride home, but would be ok if we had to take the bus at least partway instead – also leaving open the option to find another nice patio, and another nice beverage.

We rode back down the curly cue ramp again and back up downtown – went up and down once and decided that the places that were open didn’t look that inviting.  After a monster hill we had to stop at the top of, we headed up to the college area.  Shops and restaurants, sure, there were tons of things that looked interesting, but no bars.  We then decided that we’d stop closer to home, and then soon…we were about a mile away and decided the best place to stop was OUR patio.  I was not dead tired by the time we got home, but I was definitely ready to stop.  And I was crazy sunburnt.  Hey, I started the day with a long sleeve shirt and a jacket, and figured I’d be sitting in the shade for an hour or 2.  I didn’t expect to have my sleeves rolled up as far as they could go by the end of it.

Total time – about 3.5 hours (with about 2:20 ridden).  Approximate calories burnt: 798 (not bad for a day off).  Total guilt for indulging in a beer and some BBQ – 0.

I learned 2 main things on my first ride today.  First, I now know why a lot of runners cross train on bicycles – it almost as intense of a workout, but used COMPLETELY different muscles and was even more gentle on my feet than DDR or Cybil the arc trainer.  And – it was a hell of a lot of fun.  We spent the majority of the afternoon outside, on a beautiful day, exploring the city.  Score!  The second is that Austin keeps getting smaller and smaller as we find different ways to get around.  There are places that are 15-20 mins away by car but are a pain to park at so we avoid them.  However, they are also a 40 minute bus ride away.  And now, just under an hour bike ride away!  I don’t think that it would ever be practical to jog down somewhere to grab BBQ and a pint and jog back, but it’s an option…

We’ve resolved to do one long ride like that AT LEAST once a month.  I don’t know why it took me so long to decide to get a bike again, but I’m so glad I did!  Today, however, I embark on another avenue of fitness-ical pursuits.  How did March go?  What am I into now?  Stay tuned for actual posts this week!

Ok, Lets Give This Another Go…

I’ve disabled the need-to-log-in option on the comments and I’m not getting spammed YET, so I have high hopes that the spammer has left the building.  Gonna leave it off for a while and see how it goes.

I’ve also needed the break from the blogging – I felt like I had nothing original to say.  Now I’ve got lots to say!  Also, both March and September are my tough months – both have lots of birthdays and music festivals/conventions/etc.  Adding on top this time craziness at work with the recording, I was good for one less thing to think about.

I’ll save the March recap for another, longer post, but let’s just say that I have kept up with the workouts I promised to do, and found out a lot less deep and meaningful things than I would have hoped about the sweet spot.  I either feel like I’m eating not enough or working out too much.  Fancy that, I’m trying to burn more than I’m taking in.  My body cannot be fooled as easily as it used to.  Fancy that, I’ve been spending the last year and a half trying to get in tune with it.  Ah, well.

As long as the spammers stay away, normal postings should resume on Monday-ish.  Have a great weekend, and here’s a drink if you need it!

Slight Hiatus

So between the spam-a-thon of doom, the beautiful weather, and work life being crazy, I’ve been away from the blogosphere and with next week being a full studio week, I don’t anticipate it will be any calmer.  I’m doing great though!  I’ve been doing such things like running outside, riding my new bike, and generally revelling in the beautiful Austin weather.  I am still at my low weight of 153, but haven’t yet dipped below.  Curses!

I’ve got a lot of stuff rattling around in my head, but no time or motivation to get it down.  Plus this spam bot is making me sad, so I am boycotting…something.  More like throwing a e-temper tantrum because my toy (site) isn’t working properly!  I hope everyone out there is having a fantastic week and take the time to do something fun outside.  The graphics are super realistic, but the death penalty is pretty harsh.

For now, enjoy this awesome video Zliten linked me!

Just Another Manic Spamday

I wish it was Sunday (woah, oh)…ok, snapping out of my 80s flashback.

Just a note for everyone – due to the 1000 or so spam comments I got on my blog last night, I had to turn on a setting that only lets registered users (through wordpress, I presume) post.  I’m going to leave it like that for a day or 2 and hopefully change it back because – well, that’s just annoying.  Additionally, all threads will close for comments in 2 weeks after posting and that’s a change that will stay in place (the only comments I get after 2 weeks are spam anyway).  I also changed the default avatars, I think they are much cuter!

I’ll try to investigate how to register to post on the site here with the new rules in place and update this.  We absolutely cannot have nice things or someone will ruin it, can we?  Bah.  I do have to say it was amusing.  I mean, there was a lot of disgusting crap in there but there was funny stuff too.  I mean, there was everything from “Lesbians in the Woods” to “Disney Goes Gay” to “Gay GI Joe” to “Costa Rica Guided Tours” to “Cordless Detector Escort Radar” (which doesn’t even make sense) to “Dwarf Gay Porn” to “Gay Hugs” (now that’s just nice!) to “74 Dodge Dart Swinger” (great, who wants to buy an unfaithful car?).

If anyone CAN register and post a comment, please let us all know how you did it.   In the meantime, this is for the spammers…

EDIT:  Went ahead and disabled the login required.  Comments can be posted again!  If spammers take over my inbox again, I’ll let everyone know.

EDIT2: *Sigh*, within 1 minute I had 4 more spam comments.  Guess I’m going to have to leave the comments as login only (which apparently no one can do), and I’ll have to take some time to figure this out.  We truly cannot have nice things.

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