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No worries, I’ll still be on-program, using the food and exercise journal. But I’m going to do a little experiment and stop weighing myself for awhile, then after a couple of weeks have passed, then I’ll weigh myself. Doing it every day is making me nuts, because my weight lately has fluctuated by a few pounds a DAY, and I can never tell what it is. Some days it gets as low as 149, some days as high as 154, and I’m confused. I know the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. I’ve been insanely GOOD with food, and working out religiously. My muscle tone has vastly improved, as has my endurance and stamina. So I don’t understand why the scale is so up and down. I think I just over analyze it and freak out too much, which is not good for the ole’ sanity. Therefore, I am going to just record my weight maybe biweekly, or even monthly, but still adhere to my nutrition and exercise plan. Then we’ll see what happens.

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So I’m a 20-something living with a 30-something roommate, and we live on nearly opposite sleep schedules. Both of us are frankly a bit lax with the other one when it comes to cleaning, especially as neither one of us is a neat freak. Personally, uber-clean houses that don’t even look lived-in are uninviting and uncomfortable. I also feel like there’s a huge difference between dirty and cluttered. I have seen dirty houses, and mine ain’t it. It’s just prone to clutter mostly, and a tendency to put off doing the dishes until there’s nothing left to cook with. Since neither one of us eats out very much, someone will crack and do the dishes before it gets bad. Admittedly he’s willing to put up with more messes than I am, though. As a result of our collective complacency in this matter, I’m thinking today is a good day to do some deep cleaning and skip the gym. I have a day off today and a good window of about 8 hours before I have to fulfill an obligation later this afternoon. We’re usually pretty good about doing general, maintainence cleaning day to day in the kitchen and bathrooms, and keeping the pile of junk mail from forming by sticking it straight into the recycling, but it’s been a long time since the kitchen and bathrooms got a deep scrubbing. Also, my room is getting disorganized and less relaxing than I’d like it to be, and the living room could stand to be vacuumed as that’s been skipped for a couple weeks. I figure I’ll crank up some good music, roll up my sleeves, and have at it.

It may not be the best cardio, but it will burn calories. And it needs to be done, and I have the day off. So today, it counts as my workout. And I figure if I have time, I’ll get a walk in to get my heartrate going up for awhile. And don’t worry, when that housemate of mine gets up, he’s helping for sure. He helped make the mess, he can help clean it up…heh.

ooh, muskels!

I’ve recently started using a whey protein shake after working out, and I can tell it makes a huge difference. I’ve seen myself develop more muscle definition in the past few weeks than I did in months and months of exercising, even with weight-bearing exercise, before. I’m also starting to notice that the fat on my belly is dimpling into the shape of what abs will eventually look like, which is fun to see. I’m starting to be able to see parts of my bone structure I’ve never been able to see before (as an adult I mean). My arms have less flab and more of a “cut” look, although the fat on my triceps is stubbornly hanging on…from what I hear that fat takes forever to get rid of. All in all, my shape is more feminine as well – I have more of an hourglass curve to my body now than I ever did. My hips are defined as hips separate from my waist now. It’s neat. I also finally got down to 150 lbs. this week. My weight on the scale has been fluctuating a lot lately, and sometimes doesn’t move or sometimes will go back up by 3 lbs. one day, then back down the next. I’m thinking that the scale, now that I’m seriously building muscle, is going to be misleading a bit and I shouldn’t get too discouraged by it in the coming weeks. But I’m still sticking to the plan and exercising, and it seems to be working as far as building muscle, burning fat, and taking inches off. I keep forgetting to go buy a tape measure to measure myself as part of progress checking. The number on the scale doesn’t always tell the whole story. I think when the month is over I’ll take another round of progress pics as well, and this time get a friend to do them for me so they can be in better light and be easier to see (I wanna show off my muskels). Be forewarned that I don’t remove my armpit hair because anytime I do I get a nasty rash. I’d rather have hairy pits than a rash – I have pretty sensitive skin so I often choose not to shave to avoid rashes anyway. I’ve gotten some rather brash comments about it at the gym (ironically enough never by males but by other females…hmmm) so I wanted to put the disclaimer up now. For some reason, despite how far we’ve all come, people just can’t shut up about someone else’s choice about whether or not they choose to remove their body hair. Some dumb sorority girl even wrote a whole editorial about it in our student paper (which was embarrassing to say the least because there are way more important things to write about than someone you saw with hairy pits).

This may sound a bit silly, but sometimes I compare my fat to a jilted lover. I mean, think about it. I’ve had a relationship with my fat since I was a teenager. Due to the nature of my disordered eating and lack of control over my impulses, others came and went, but FAT always came back. And fat was so easy to blame all my problems on, little did I know that for many years I actually, deep down inside, always wanted the fat around as my scapegoat.

But now I don’t. I’m going to get all metaphorical here, so look out! Me and FAT are breaking up. But fat doesn’t like to leave. I move my jiggly ass at the gym, I go swimming for hours on end, I eat right, I watch how much and what I put in my body, I avoid the bad stuff, and fat is slowly but surely going away. But it’s having a hard time letting go of the past. I’m OVER the fat. I’m done. The relationship is over. But fat keeps hanging on, even in little bits. Slowly it’s accepting that I no longer want it around, but it’s being very tenacious in hanging on where it can. But fat hates exercise and healthy foods in the right proportions, so I figure it’ll go away the more I persist with the good lifestyle…heh

OK, dumb metaphor…but it’s MY dumb metaphor…lol

getting honest

My system of tracking food and exercise basically forces me to get honest with myself. There have been a few days when I decided I wanted to eat a little junk food, but I had to track it under a given food group, then later I had to go without the actual, real food that would have been more ideal for me to eat. For instance one day I decided I wanted some exotic, sugar-laden soda drink (sold at the health food store, but still full of sugar/calories). I counted it as a serving of carbohydrates. That meant that later in the day I got gypped on some quality carbohydrates that would have helped my body a lot better than the soda…but I figure if I don’t make it a habit it’s not a big deal, especially if I stay honest with myself.

One of my old habits of overeating was that I’d eat junk food, then later decide to eat health food too, meaning essentially that I had an extra meal. Health or junk, overeating is still overeating. Although these days I vastly prefer to just skip the junk most of the time and hold out for the real food, the stuff that will actually fuel my body and make me feel good. I consider my food journal an important “training” tool for myself, though, as it makes me more aware of what I put in my mouth. It also makes me stay aware of how different foods effect my feeling of wellness. I definitely feel a huge difference between eating healthy food and junk. People who claim they don’t feel a difference I feel are most likely unaware of how their body works, or have lost touch with nature completely and don’t really know any other way to feel except crappy and tired.

I also like to think about how the average American’s perception of what a serving size actually is can often be so skewed. I myself used to feel that I actually needed that much food, when all along I was completely overstuffing myself and overloading my body with stuff that it just didn’t need. When you eat a meal at a restaurant and finish the whole thing, odds are you just ate 2 meals and possibly a snack or two as well. Think about it, most restaurants that aren’t buffets bring you a basket of bread, chips, or other free item that makes you think you’re getting a “good deal.” Then they ask you if you want appetizers, and unless your entire table is watching their weight, at least a few people in your party will want to order some deep-fried appetizer that typically involves breading and cheese or something of that nature, usually dipped into some kind of ranch sauce (am I wrong?). Then, the meals come with side salads which they bring you after the appetizer, before the “main event.” The salad itself wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it didn’t have a bunch of cheese and fatty dressing glopped on top of it. Unless you take the care to ask for it on the side, your salad will be floating in a sea of dressing, making something usually healthy turn into a calorie disaster. I shit you not, I have seen nutrition facts for restaurants where the salad with dressing on it has more calories than the french fries!!! eeeeeep! Then, when all that’s over and you’ve already eaten what would normally be an actual meal, you get the actual meal, which has enough food for two meals. Some people eat out daily and eat like this on a regular basis.

I eat out with my parents once a week, and my youngest sister joins us when she’s home from college. When I first started working towards my health and fitness goals, my folks would see how little food I ordered by comparison to the “normal” amount (I’ve found I do best to order a la carte when I have the option, or just get one of the smaller appetizers and a salad with the dressing on the side) they would ask me if I was sure that was enough..heh. I remember one breakfast out with them too, where I ordered two scrambled eggs, 2 pieces of toast, and a fruit salad they had on the menu. Perfect breakfast, really, but they were so concerned that I’d be hungry later. It’s hard to train folks out of the mentality of eating for hunger that hasn’t happened yet…of course I’ll be hungry later, but I’d rather wait until I’m actually hungry to eat later and have a couple of healthy snacks to tide me over, instead of piling on a bunch of food for later when I’m not actually that hungry…for one my body just doesn’t work that way. If I eat a huge breakfast I’ll still get hungry at the same time anyway. My body seems to like eating every 4 to 6 hours. So why put in more calories than it needs? There have been a couple of times I’ve taken road trips with my parents to visit my sister at school, and my mom actually thought it was smart that I brought a couple of apples and bananas and a little bag of trail mix with me for the day. This is all common sense stuff that any nutritionist would tell you, but it’s so novel to a lot of people…heh. Also, I hate the whole “you’ll spoil your lunch/dinner with snacks” mentality. I find that if I have a few healthy snacks per day, I eat less at meals, and my entire calorie count for the day is less than people who eat 3 huge meals and no snacks. Eating for hunger you don’t already have sounds stupid to me.

mini-update

Haven’t written since last week, but I wanted to report that my system is working pretty well for me. It allows me to be flexible while still keeping me in check. I have lost a pound each week that I’ve been using it, so yay! Not much else to say, really, without being too redundant. Plus I have to go to work. So that’s all for now!

I have to get through today On Program to have my first successful week of this new system I’ve set up for myself. I had many temptations throughout the week, but I managed to find a way to combat them all. I give a lot of credit to my system. Sometimes tracking and organization are so helpful! I felt satisfied all week with what I was eating and never felt too hungry or deprived. I stuck with my daily minimum of exercise that I shoot for, and went above and beyond on a few days. I also noticed that mid-week I’d lost about half a pound, then this morning when I weighed myself I was down 1 pound! Not to be TMI, but my Aunt Flo just came by for a visit today, which may effect my numbers next week due to fluctuating water weight, but it’s still very encouraging to see this week’s results. It’s so nice to have the help of my personalized system!

Sundays are a challenging day for me to stay On Program. I live in the same town as my Mom, Stepdad and one sister, and we have a standing Sunday night dinner date where we go out to eat. But I feel confident that I can get through the day with the help of my food/exercise journal. I’m about to go here in a few minutes for a nice workout, which will pump me up and give me some more confidence to face the temptations I’ll surely have (we usually hang out at their house beforehand and I’m often hungry before we get to the restaurant, and my mom’s candy dish is SO tempting, aaaaaaaaah!). So I’m going to face this day with confidence, knowing that I can handle it and make better choices, even if those around me are making choices that aren’t so healthy. Tonight, after all is said and done, I’ll be filling out my weekly assessment chart and making conclusions from my first week. Gotta stay positive about today’s temptations! 🙂