Thursday, March 29, 2012

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

In unrelated news, Buster's still cute.
Did I just quote that Paula Abdul song?  The one with Skat Kat in the video?  I sure did.  I know I literally JUST did a post about how this whole thing isn't just about weight loss; but I gained this week, and I was really disappointed this morning.  I have exercised and ate well since my last weigh in, and yet I still gained this week.  I think part of it is a hold over from St. Patrick's day- (we don't always gain or lose weight immediately)- but now I just have to keep on keepin' on.  I just hate how losing weeks always tend to be a half pound or so, and gaining weeks tend to be over a pound.  It just seems cruel.

Now that my COSE Wellness Tracks program is over, now it's up to me to continue on eating healthy and exercising on my own.  I'm inspired enough about how much my body has changed for the better over the last year that I know I can do it.  And a slow journey in the right direction is better than a quick loss and then a continued gain. 

Good luck getting that song out of your head ;)

This week: +1.2 lbs
This year: -3.6 lbs
Total: -13.2 lbs

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Twice the Strength

yes, those are my actual guns
On November 23, 2011, I had a physical assessment to get beginning health numbers for this COSE Wellness Tracks program I was about to begin.  I thought at the time getting my beginning stats right before Thanksgiving would help me to not go overboard through the holidays, (to some extent it probably did)- but I probably should've waited until December to get my beginning weights.  Because of this I was not only trying to lose weight, I was fighting the few pounds I gained through the holidays.

That being said: my reassessment was awesome.  I went in yesterday evening to get weighed and measured.  I was really nervous, because I knew my weight hadn't gone down drastically- I had a goal to lose 13-15 lbs in this 12 week period, and I only lost 3.  However, everything else was significant.  Let me just lay them out for you:

From November 23, 2011 to March 26, 2012 (5 months):
  • My blood pressure went from 130/75 to 100/65
    • I was always under the impression I had really good blood pressure, but in fact it was a little higher than I'd like to start with.  My blood pressure now?  AMAZING.
  • My resting heart rate went from 78 to 60.
    • This means my heart is beating 25,920 times fewer per DAY.  9,460,800 beats fewer per YEAR.  My heart isn't working as hard, which adds years to my life.
  • My resting flexibility increased by  3 inches, which means my muscles are a little looser and more flexible during the day.
  • I lost .75" from my neck; 2.5" from my shoulders; .5" from my biceps; .5" from my chest; 2" from my waist; .25" from my thighs and calves.
  • The force generated from my core went from 106.5 lbs to 170 lbs.
  • My upper body muscular endurance went from lifting 35 lbs 35 reps to 70 reps.
  • My lower body muscular endurance went from lifting 85 lbs 50 reps to 93 reps.
    • These numbers mean that I've gotten almost twice as strong as I was in November.  And I thought I was fit then!!! 
The most encouraging part about all this is that even when you're not 'losing' at the scale- you're still doing really good things for your body.  What I got out of this program- what you eat isn't the only important thing, it's good to keep in mind when you eat it, and what you eat it with.  Balancing your proteins, carbohydrates and fats in each meal is important to keep in mind. Adding weights to your routine can really shake things up.  Anaerobic and Aerobic exercises are equally important, so strike a balance!

I'd highly encourage anyone who is interested in getting healthy to not only keep a journal of their food, but make some measurements and periodically reevaluate yourself.  Progress isn't just about the scale, it's about your whole body composition.  You might just surprise yourself- I know I did!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Color Me Surprised

Yup, the hammock's up.
Well well well.  SOMEONE'S pretty proud of herself this morning.  Someone's so pleased with her progress that she tried on bathing suits yesterday morning.  Does she have a vacation planned for the near future?  No.  Does she have access to a swimming pool?  Absolutely not.  Is she even at her goal weight?  Nope!  Just a few good things coming together at once. 

1. This was a week that involved a holiday- and I actually LOST.  That's the first time that has happened... ever.
2. It has been above 70º every day so far this week.  What?  Cleveland in March?  Seriously- what's happening?

Granted, that holiday was St. Patrick's Day- not one that involves a lot of eating surrounding that day (i.e. Thanksgiving/Christmas)- but still.  Any big eating/drinking day tends to really throw off any good I've done that week.  Maybe I would've lost more this week had I not attended the St. Paddie's Day festivities downtown, but I had to do it at least once.  That being said... we probably won't do it again.  It was pretty overwhelming. 

My COSE Wellness Tracks program is coming to a close next week- that means I'll be going in for a reassessment to see how I've done so far this year.  I know I'll be down a couple of pounds, but more than anything I'm looking forward to seeing how my body has changed- if I've lost inches and gained muscle and endurance.  Monday is my reassessment, so I'm going to take it real easy this weekend and focus on working out and eating right so I'm not up on Monday. (that's a usual thing for me)  I'll also be checking back on on my New Year's Resolutions next week, I think I'm on track!

This week: -.6 lbs
This year: -4.8 lbs
Total: -14.4 lbs

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's Always Sunny... in Cleveland?

There was a lot of pale skin showing in the Cleve yesterday...
...This is not what spring usually looks like in Cleveland.  Usually, we still have a few feet of snow hanging around, and my bare feet are nowhere near any green grass.  Yesterday, (March 14!!!!!) it was 78º.  It was both amazing and weird.  I worked out outside.  I had ice cream.  I wore sunglasses.  I didn't wear socks.  In short, it was a miracle. 

I'm not sure when this turned into a weather blog, but now I'll get to the health news.  I also got yelled at my nutritionist yesterday for my shamrock shake cheat.  She was just as surprised as I to find out that they're not only 540 cal for a small- but 88g of carbohydrates and 74g of sugar.  That's like... a few days worth of sugar.  But whatever- I made up for it by eating healthy the remainder of the week and not freaking out about it.  Because guess what- Shamrock Shakes happen.  Yes- try your best to make healthy food choices- but sometimes your wonderful boyfriend brings you a surprise Shamrock Shake and you don't turn that down. 

This week: -.4 lbs
This year: -4.2 lbs
Total: -13.8 lbs

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy PI Day!!!

Last year, I linked a recipe for an excellent Zucchini Feta Pie in honor of this lovely day.  Today?  Sadly, I didn't make any pie this year.  I had a Shamrock Shake on Monday, and upon the discovery that it was 540 calories (for a small!!!), I decided pie should probably be out of the picture today.  (Actually, I'm saving up my calories for green beer on Saturday.  St. Pats is on a SATURDAY this year, which means it'll be extra fun and extra... um.... amateur hour.  Let's just put it that way.)

Now, in honor of PI day, I won't disappoint- here's a link to another delicious looking savory pie from Katie- I haven't made it yet, but it looks amazing.  Tomato Pie?  YES PLEASE.  I can practically smell it through my computer screen.

What kind of pie are you eating today?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Life Lately

My Wonderful Family!!!
...Has been good.  Nothing big and exciting, but things have been great here.  Granted, I'm typing this as it's rainy and grey outside, but that's nothing new for Cleveland.  The weather is wonky here, all the time.  Yesterday it was 68º and sunny.  Things that I'm thankful for this week:

  • Nick and Buster!  For snuggles and hugs, for filling my life with love.  
  • For good recipes.  Specifically, this Carrot Ginger Soup.  It's seriously awesome.
  • For some great weather days speckled in with the bad.  I can take the snow and the rain when I get to see the sun every once in a while.  It reminds me that summer is coming!
  • For taking control of my willpower.  For the realization that I can stop eating when I'm full, and that when I don't eat well, I feel bad.  And actually applying these things when I'm eating.
  • For family!  It's my Grandma's 85th birthday today!  And it was my Grandpa's 90th last week.  We had a big party to celebrate last weekend, and it was awesome.  My cousin even DROVE up from Jacksonville!  Crazytown!  

Weight wise, it wasn't a big loss this week, but it was the right direction.  And that on top of a good week?  What more can you ask for!

This week: -.4 lbs
This year: -3.8 lbs
Total: -13.4 lbs

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Brrrrrrrr... It's Cold In Here

My office weights
This winter has been mega weird. Not that ups and downs are unusual for Cleveland (any time of year!), but it's really been exceptionally strange.  Snowfall, then two days later, 58º.  That being said, I'm cold all the time at work.  I'm making a goal to fix that- when I'm really cold and I can spare a minute- I pick up my dumbbells and do a quick set.  A few minutes later, I'm warm again and I did my body good.  Maybe a few minutes doesn't seem like much, but it adds up, and it's all in addition to my regular workouts.  Maybe when it's FINALLY warm out, I'll start taking strolls around the block on my lunch break and be one of THOSE people.  Hey, a workout's a workout. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Keep On Truckin'

Another week, another victory!  I'm still fighting the weekends, but seem to be gaining some ground.  Trying to be mindful at every turn is hard, but I guess all it takes is practice.  As you can see from the graph at the left- All of the higher bars are from weekends, and the lower ones are usually weekdays.  So, I'm eating way too much on weekends, and then spending all week working off the damage.  (That 4000 calorie day?  That was at a beer festival that included not only beer, but pizza and burgers.  Most of those calories?  Pizza.  I have a problem.)  In the last few weeks, I've tried to be more consistent with my calories, trying to stay within budget on average for the week, and it's been working.  Hence the weight loss.  Cause guess what?  A 4000 calorie day will ruin your week.  (4000 Calorie week?  Gained 2.2 lbs.  I'm pretty sure it's not a coincidence.) 

It's kind of exciting to have this sort of data at my fingertips.  All it does is prove the point that every logical person has ever made about weight loss- it's about eating right and exercising.  When you don't do those things, you gain weight.  When you do, you lose.  It's that simple.  Even if it's not about weight loss- it's about being healthy and mindful of your body.  When you fill your body full of crap, you will feel like crap.  When you fill it with the right amount of lean proteins, vegetables and unrefined carbohydrates, you feel awesome. 

This week: -1.4 lbs
This year: -3.4 lbs
Total: -13.0 lbs