Thursday, October 20, 2011

It took some convincing...

In my last post, I told the blogosphere that I was going to get up early and exercise before I went to the office. Well, it might have taken almost two weeks of some convincing, but I finally did it. There's just no way for me to work out after I get home from the office. I work hard, I'm tired, and I'm just unmotivated. If I did it in the morning... then I wouldn't be awake enough to really complain about it :)

I came up with the brilliant idea to try couch to 5K again. I'm about 30 pounds heavier than the last time I tried it out, so I was prepared for failure. Surprisingly enough (to me), I was awesome. The first week is 20 minute of 60 seconds running and 90 seconds of walking. I really didn't think that I would be able to make it through 20 minutes, and I pictured myself gasping for air after the first 60 second run. (Obviously, I still haven't caught onto that positive thinking thing.) And yet... I surprised myself. I made it through the whole 20 minutes without getting a side cramp. Including the 5 minute warm up walk and the 5 minute cool down walk... I did 30 minutes of cardio today.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Cuando, cuando, cuando

Once upon a time, getting up at 6AM to hit the gym was second nature. Okay, I won't really lie to you... it wasn't second nature, but a lot easier than it is now. Now, getting up at 7AM is a chore in itself. There's something nice about snuggling up next to your husband, especially on a chilly fall morning. It's like having your own personal heater. (And yes, people, I'm talking about snuggling, get your minds out of the gutter!) I usually head into the office by 9 and come home by 5:30 or 6. I make dinner (if it's Monday or Wednesday... Mr. Kiki makes dinner on T/R when I have an afternoon full of teaching). and then settle in for the night.

Oh yes, I settle in for the night around 7PM.

As much as I've been loathing Jillian Michaels lately (don't ask... she kinda irritates me on a talk show), there's a line in the 30 Day Shred that always sticks with me. Here's an excerpt: “People are so placated by groups that say, ‘Start by taking the stairs,” says Michaels. “What? That makes people think, ‘I’m so fragile, I can barely take the staircase.’” In fact, she says, the human body can withstand a lot—and increasing the intensity of your workout is one of the fastest ways to burn calories and lose weight. “The more we hear this false message of lethargy, the more we believe it,” she says. “As humans, we have evolved to the point where the sky is not the limit. Your capabilities are, in fact, limitless.”

So... I don't want to get up before 7AM, but I want to be settled in by 7PM? Pretty unbelievable, right? I sound like a 70 year old versus a 31 year old. I've decided to commit myself to some evening workout time. There's nothing wrong with hitting the elliptical or the treadmill at 7:30PM, especially since I've been utilizing my complex's workout room. Or, if I didn't want to go there, I could easily pop in a video and do 30 minutes of cardio in the bedroom. These are all things that I *used* to do... but since I met my personal heater... er, Mr. Kiki... it's been more difficult to unlatch myself from the snuggliness that is our post-dinner routine. Let's see how successful I am with this approach.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Red in the face

Monday was my first workout session in what seems like forever. I had a small procedure done in mid-September (all is fine, and I'm okay) and so I had to lay off the exercise for almost two and a half weeks. Funny, but in the workup for this procedure, my surgeon sent me a list of things to do BEFORE the surgery that would make afterward that much easier. Along with eating right and not taking anything that could thin my blood (fun, right?), he also suggested taking 30 minute walks to pump up my stamina. For someone who was having a hard time working out, walks were great. I got out in the sun. I enjoyed the rolling hills of the medical campus not too far from my home. Fresh air. Yum.

Well, the past five days have been absolutely crappy weather-wise. It got cold on Friday, which turned into wet and VERY cold on Saturday and Sunday and Monday. On Monday afternoon, I wanted to wrap myself up in a blanket and watch Real Housewives of Anywhere, but instead, I dragged myself to the workout room in my complex. It's a small room with two treadmills, two ellipticals, a recumbent bike, and a nautilus machine, but it wasn't raining in there. I got myself on a treadmill and took off! The machines all face a one way mirror (the women in the complex's office can see you, but you're looking at your reflection) and I couldn't believe how red my face got. Has it been that long? Was it the awkwardness of the treadmill? Both?

When my 30 minutes were up, I was a little disappointed with how far I had gotten distance-wise, but then I thought that it was an accomplishment getting to the gym rather than curling up with a blanket and Bravo. And my flushed face had a smile on it as I walked back to my apartment in the rain.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Waking Up

It's been quite a while since I wrote on *any* blog, but especially this one. However, over the weekend, one of my favorite long-lost weight-loss bloggers turned up on my google reader, and I thought to myself... "wait, how many people are still subscribed to Taking Chances? I wonder if people are still listening, and wondering where I've been." The answer: 63. There are sixty three people subscribed to this blog. Unbelievable. You've been here all along. Where have I been?

This summer was a bit of a trying time for me, emotionally and physically. I did a boot camp for six weeks that felt great, but after my wedding in mid-summer, I pretty much stopped going to the gym. The rest of the summer was an on and off of fitness. I love going out for walks (long challenging walks, with hills and hills and hills) but the weather isn't cooperating. I'm thinking about joining a gym again until the weather gets warm again. It doesn't mean I need to go every day, but on those days like today, where it's rainy and cold, heading to a warm gym with nice cardio equipment would be a great idea.

Anyway, I'm back. I'm not going to act like I'm going to cannonball back in, but I am going to use this blog to help me learn some good habits once again.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekly Weigh In: I left my motivation in San Francisco...

Okay, channelling Tony Bennett... I left my motivation in Philly over the weekend. Last Friday, I didn't post my Weekly Weigh In, because we left very early to drive to Philly to visit my mom for her birthday. But I had a very successful week... losing close to three pounds!! Fast forward one week, lots of eating out, no exercise, and some stress eating, guess what? That weekly weigh in is gone. I've literally gained back the weight that I lost last week. So, I find myself back at the beginning.

But according to Julie Andrews, isn't that a very good place to start? Well, maybe not on this health journey.

I started to think about my lost motivation. Why do I want to lose weight?

1) I want to get off my blood pressure meds.
2) I don't want to have a stroke at age 41, like my cousin did.
3) I want to be able to conceive without any problems, when the time is right.
4) I don't want a difficult pregnancy, nor do I want to be classified as high risk pregnancy.
5) I want to be able to fit in clothes that I can buy in the "misses" section, not the "plus" section.
6) I want to be strong again.
7) I don't want to get winded walking up the stairs at my office (four flights) or walking from my parking lot to the office (all uphill).
8) I want to look awesome in a bathing suit on my honeymoon.
9) I want to feel sexy in my wedding dress.
10) I don't want to have to wear spanx to suck in my belly.

Most of my reasons are health related, but there are some vanity ones in there as well. I want to be healthy, but I also want to be happy, and yes, my self-esteem has taken a hit lately. I've been racking my brain lately as to what I can do to motivate myself. Somehow, waking up to do workout tapes has not been motivating. I think that I need to re-join a gym. I loved working out at the gym, using the weight machines, the rowing machine, etc. I felt strong then. And, thanks to my job, I have a new temporary six-month raise (yes, it's temporary, don't ask, I'll take what I can get) that I can justify using for this venture. So, here we go again. To me, starting over again and again is probably better than just giving up all together, right? And maybe, I'll get this thing going once again.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Biggest Fear

I'm sitting here watching last week's episode of the Biggest Loser... and certain woman (who's name I don't remember, I know, awful) moved me to tears with her story. She's had multiple miscarriages due to her weight. While I have never been pregnant and am currently not trying to get pregnant, I know how much of a factor weight is on a healthy pregnancy, and at three months out from my 31st birthday, I'd be lying if I didn't say that this was something on my mind. And this woman... she embodies everything I'm afraid of. *shudder*

The next step on my weight loss journey is that I joined Weight Watchers online today. All I can say is WTF? I've had success on the old school WW plan, so I thought I'd try this new plan out. I used the calculator around lunch time today and the calculations don't use calories anymore. Um, what? What do you mean points are based off of carbs, fat, fiber, and protein? Where are the calories?!? Why aren't they important? I have to admit that I was also a bit turned off by the fact that most of my fallback foods have higher point values now. Ugh. I was ready to call it quits by 6PM. But then I realized, crap, I just bought myself three months worth of this, I might as well ride it out. I also made a commitment to a friend who bought herself three months of the program as well to work along side with her.

Damn... commitment is hard... but worth it :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

And now for my disappearing act!

Nah, I didn't give up on blogging that easily. I was in New Orleans for a conference! New Orleans is a very special place for me, mainly because it's where Andy asked me to marry him last year. He joined me on this trip, and we made the most of it, even though I had a full day of work that needed to be done before I could enjoy myself. We did a ton of walking, especially around the French Quarter:

I love New Orleans because it is such a walkable city. It's pretty flat, and the sidewalks are wide, and there is minimal public transportation. You *have* to walk. According to Google Maps, it was a 1.4 mile walk one way from our hotel to the French Quarter. That's almost three miles roundtrip! We also walked to dinners and along the Mississippi. It was a great walking trip. However, if you've been to New Orleans, you know there is one place that you *have* to go. It's the place that serves these wonderful things:

Mmm, beignets. Yes, they are deep fried dough covered in powdered sugar, but they are quintessential French Market cuisine. And yes, while I've been indulging myself a bit too often, you can't go on a trip to New Orleans and not have these. That being said, I'll be back on track tomorrow morning: food, exercise, and accountability.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My life in stickies

I'm a huge Post-It note (in my vernacular, "stickies") fan. I make a to-do list every day on a sticky note, tuck it inside my planner, and try to follow it religiously. However, yesterday, I read this article about how you should only have six "to-dos" on your sticky note in order to not feel overwhelmed and actually accomplish things throughout your day. So, I thought I'd try it out:

Did you catch #6? Yes, that's right. In the middle of my very busy day, I thought that exercise was important enough to be on my narrow list of things to do. And I'm proud of myself. I came home from the office a bit exhausted, and almost got sucked into watching a "Tabitha's Salon Takeover" marathon on Bravo (anything on that channel is extremely addictive to me). But I finally put my workout clothes on and did 30 minutes of the Biggest Loser's Boot Camp. I owned this since October, but haven't tried it once. Lots of squats and lunges and weights along with some cardio.... kinda reminds me of Jillian's 30 Day Shred, but taken down a notch. I liked it. It was just what I needed.

Did you include exercise on your sticky (whether real or mental) today?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Putting things into perspective

I'd like to blame my future mother-in-law. Over the summer, she insisted on taking a picture of Andy and myself, so she could post it on Facebook for all her friends to see. Um, no. Not one picture looked right, so although much to her disappointment, she erased them. I'd also like to blame my future sister-in-law. She won a camera at her company's Christmas party, and while she's been photo attacking everyone, the photos she posted on her Picasa made me pause and say, Oh my.

Have I really gotten that big?

I've realized over the past few months that I really need to put things in perspective. After all, I gained an easy 20 pounds from October 2009 until January 2010 (stop exercise and add Christmas cookies... yeah, it's that easy). Mix in a research sabbatical that meant that I could sit around and wear nothing but sweatpants and pajamas all day, stir in some back to school shopping (in a larger size), and poof... not surprisingly, I'm almost 40 pounds heavier than I was 15 months ago.

If that isn't scary enough, I looked at it a bit differently while I was updating this blog. I'm about 30 pound lighter than my heaviest weight. When did the scales tip in that direction? Sure, when I was just 20 pounds heavier than my lowest weight, that was an "easy" number to return to. But now... I'm in that "oh shit" zone. How did I get back here? When did the scales tip over 200 and I was okay with that? Why was I able to cancel my gym membership, completely unfazed?

I know what everyone is thinking: oh no, here comes *another* new year's resolution. But honestly, I think I've outgrown that. I'm going to turn 31 in a few months, I'm getting married a few months after that, and the next step is to start a family. There is no way that is going to happen if I'm not healthy. Trust me, it isn't all about looking great in pictures (but damn how they show us what we've been denying), it's about getting back to a healthy weight and being happy.

Welcome back to my journey.