Sunday, August 31, 2008
After 3-4 minutes, I sat up and took my blood pressure. It was 131/80, pulse 66BPM.
I knew that my resting heart rate had slowed quite a bit just by feeling my pulse in my neck, but 66 BPM is pretty good I think! A year ago if I'd taken my pulse right after waking up from 8 hours of sleep, it'd still be in the 90s.
Weight loss has been a major concern on this journey, but improving my cardiovascular health has been just as important. Hypertension runs in the family, and it runs hard. So does heart disease on both sides. My doc was talking about putting me on medication for high blood pressure. I'm 33 years old. I am way too young for that. I said to her "No way. I'm going to take this weight off and work out to get fit." She shrugged as if to say "I've heard that one before."
She'll be eating her words when I see her in October. It ought to be fun.
Fatty, cheesy foods are starting to not sit well with me. I notice that they cause flatulence, heartburn, and general all-around discomfort. I realized that that is how I used to feel all the time. I didn't really notice it then but boy do I notice it now.
I don't know how I used to deal with that all the time. I used to go out to eat every day at work and I'd gorge on Mexican, Italian, pizza, hamburgers, whatever. I'd come back to work in pain from how full I was and it would take hours for me to feel "well" again, but it would not take long for me to feel hungry again. I was also tired and I would nod off at my desk after lunch at least twice a week.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I pigged out. Tex-Mex is a huge, HUGE weakness for me. Between that lunch and my breakfast, I gobbled down nearly 2,000 calories by 1:30 pm.
Determined to lessen the cost I'll have to pay for that when I step on the scale, I went to the gym after I finished digesting said lunch...or at least after I'd digested it enough to not barf all over the expensive fitness machines.
Did 40 minutes on the elliptical. I sweat like a pig on that thing and today was no exception. My knees were buckling by the end. The machine said I burned a smidge over 500 calories in that 40 minutes.
Then I decided to cool down with 20 minutes at 3mph on the treadmill. There's a fan close to it and the treadmills themselves have little fans on them, so I literally cooled down on it. Kept the heart rate above 140bpm (not hard for me). At least temperature-wise I felt refreshed and revitalized enough for...
20 minutes of strength training! I focused on the upper body and took it easy on myself because I'm still sore all over from doing 30 Day Shred on Thursday.
Then I tried to undo the soreness with 20 minutes of gentle stretching and immediately afterwards I felt better, but my muscles have tightened up again.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Update: I read the scale wrong, it's actually 235 on the nose...not 235.6. Even better! It's weird though; normally I do not lose weight during my time of the month. I'm not complaining though.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I'm just trying to be very good about what I eat, hitting the gym as usual, and I'm just trying to not be concerned about the normal monthly fluctuation in weight. I've lost 8% of my starting weight and that is nothing to sneeze at.
Basically the worst part of this time of the month is that I get very hungry and I crave...CRAVE...starch and fried food. Resisting those urges is the most difficult part. I have my ways of motivating myself. I read articles about living with diabetes. I look at photos of extremely obese people. I then hit the J. Crew website and look at those wonderful clothes that, if I keep up my discipline, I will someday be able to fit into. I try to resist the urge to give in to "logic", i.e. me telling myself "c'mon, one fried chicken dinner isn't going to kill you." Yes it is! I'm weak! I want to lose the taste for that stuff!
It's sort of working already; whenever I eat rich fatty foods now, I feel ill. That's what I want.
Monday, August 25, 2008
People say it's really hard to lose this much weight. I have not found that to be the case, but I also hear that the bigger you are, the easier it can be to lose weight because your daily calorie requirements are higher and because you burn more calories through exercise than someone half your weight. I'd believe that.
I expect the rate of my weight loss will slow down in time, as my caloric requirements will decrease and I won't burn nearly as many calories with each workout. When I recently used the elliptical with the default weight (150 lbs), I was really surprised at the difference between the calories burned on that one and the amount burned when I enter my weight.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I can't wait until the next ones in 2012. The Winter Olympics are OK, but the Summer Olympics have the best events. Gymnastics, swimming, diving, track & field...I love all of it but I love those four the most.
Beijing did a very good job of putting the Olympics on, but I am still of the opinion that China is a closed and authoritarian society and the thought of it as the next economic superpower does worry me. I have nothing against the Chinese people; I've known many people from China in my lifetime and they've always been warm, polite, and kind. Their government? It needs to go!
There are 1,433 days to go until the 2012 Olympics kick off in London on July 27th, 2012.
The 2010 Olympics kick off in Vancouver in February 2010. That's not that far off...a little over a year and a half away. I can't wait.
Congratulations to all the athletes who participated but particularly to the US athletes, especially our gymnasts, our swimmers, and our track & field athletes. You all ROCK! USA! USA! USA!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
The ex-fiance I mentioned at the beginning...wants to get back together and give it another try. I really want it to work out and he says he does too. It felt really natural for the two of us to be together. I want to be optimistic but the last time ended in tears....but I don't want to go into this expecting to fail either, because it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Total weight lost so far: 18.8 lbs
That's 7.4% of my starting weight....I'm on my way to my next mini-goal of 10%, which I will reach when I get down to 231 lbs. I hope to hit it sometime in mid-September.
I've lost just a shade under 19 lbs. Wow. It hasn't really been difficult yet and I hit a mini-plateau last week, but I also did not eat all that well (ate out at least twice that week) so I suppose it's not so bad.
I can't see the loss but I do feel it. My pants are definitely looser, but they're a size 20 so they're pretty huge already.
Mainly I can only feel the results; my legs and arms are firmer, my butt is smaller, and my boobs have gotten a little smaller. I only recently found a tape measure so I have only one measurement at 238.8 lbs; I'll measure myself again in about a week. I'm new to it so I'm not sure how accurate my measurements will be but I figure I'll get better at it the more I do it.
Yippee, not a bad way to start my Friday morning!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Candy has never been my downfall anyway. Pizza, fried chicken, BBQ, etc. That's what I crave. When I lived in England, Indian food and fish & chips were the evil influences. Those, and bacon sandwiches. I'll let my fellow Americans in on a little secret: the food in England is terrific. It's really really good. However, it's every bit as fatty as food is here, and the English have pretty much caught up to us in the obesity stakes despite walking much more (on average) than we do. Just imagine how big they'd be if they didn't walk more than we do.
I thought I'd lose weight living in England for six years, simply because I'd have to walk a lot more. Sadly not. Oh well! Now I drive everywhere but I'm still losing weight using a simple equation: Fewer calories + going to the gym = slow and steady weight loss.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
What's making me nervous is while I'm working out 5-6 days a week and am religiously counting calories, so far it has not been all that difficult to lose weight. Basically I've had to increase my physical activity through cardio and strength training, and I've had to restrict my caloric intake by finding nutritious foods that are much lower in calories than foods I ate previously.
The thing that has been difficult to cope with has been the cravings. This is month #2 of my journey to health and fitness, and there are foods I am desperately craving right now. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I could kill a 3 Musketeers bar right now. I really like those. Mostly my cravings are for foods of the fried, melty/cheesy, salty variety. Fried chicken. Nachos. Pizza. Enchiladas. Chips and queso. Flautas and taquitos coated in sour cream. Hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and relish. Barbecue. Oh god, barbecue. Riiiiiiiiiiibs. Briiiiiiiiisket. I'm drooling.
Before I started trying to lose weight, I would eat those things often. Sometimes, I'd eat all of them at least once in a single week.
I'm not one of those people who is going to try to make excuses for my size. "I had a rough childhood." "It's glandular." "I have big bones." "It runs in my family." "I simply look at cake and I gain 5 pounds." "I've tried everything." "I eat like a bird and I can't lose a single pound."
Sorry, but bullshit. Major, utter, total bullshit. There are conditions and medications that can cause you to gain weight or make it difficult to lose weight, but the vast majority of the time people are overweight because they eat too much and don't exercise enough, if at all. In a nutshell, overweight/obesity is the path of least resistance in this country and far too many people are happy to let their genetic and/or metabolic tendencies towards obesity take over as they scarf down cheesecake, burgers, pizza, tacos, and look miserably at the thin women in the room happily laughing with their friends and families and wonder why that can't be them.
It can. Put down the fucking fork and get up off your ass and it can. This POV is controversial among fellow "fatties" and especially in the "fat acceptance" movement. However, it is honestly how I feel. I feel a lot of obesity is down to genetic/metabolic tendencies that, coupled with a poor diet and low activity, conspire to make someone obese. People need to stop thinking of food as pleasure and start thinking of it as fuel. Different types of engines (people) work most efficiently with different types of fuel (food). Some engines can take a really rich mixture. Some can't.
I will freely admit that I ate and couch potato'd my way into morbid obesity. Yup. I did it to myself. I graduated high school a size 4-6. Then, I ate. And ate. And ate and ate and ate and ate. Over the years as the pounds piled on, I kept meaning to cut back. I meant to work out. I meant to change my lifestyle. I didn't. I zoomed through the single digit sizes, then worked my way through the teens until I was a size 24. Twenty fucking four. That is really hard to take for someone who used to be so slim that she could wear a size "extra small" skirt from The Gap, and who darkened the doorways of Banana Republic, The Limited, and J. Crew on a regular basis, wearing their beautiful and trendy clothing.
Now that I have changed my lifestyle, I've lost 17.8 lbs in 7 1/2 weeks. I intend to keep on losing until I reach a healthy weight of 150 lbs, after which I will step back and take a well-deserved maintenance break. My ultimate goal is to get down into the low 130s-high 120s, but that will come later. Getting down to 150 is good enough to put me at a healthy weight and to vastly reduce my risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Am I jealous of thin people who don't have to watch what they eat very closely, and who don't exercise very much? Of course I am! I wish I could eat tacos and pizza and fried chicken and still be a size 8! However, I can't. I had to decide what was more important to me: food, or living to see age 50.
I made my decision. It's up to everyone to make theirs, but I believe that obesity is by and large a self-inflicted condition. I do not feel sorry for people who have eaten their way into obesity, and I do not expect sympathy from others. I don't think it's right for people to treat me badly because of what I've done to my body, but at the same time I do not expect anyone to tell me that it isn't my fault. And...if they did, I'd tell them they were wrong.
It is my fault. I did it to myself. Ultimately, I decided what to shovel into my gullet. Nobody held me down and force-fed me. I'm taking responsibility.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I'm very proud of it.
I haven't played with all the tools on the site yet. I need to get a tape measure so I can use the measurement tools. At some point I'll post photos of myself; I have a side view of myself at 245 lbs. I want to lose more before I post them so there will be a definite difference between the "before" and the "during" photos.
Sadly I did not take a photo of myself at the very beginning, but I have almost 90 lbs left to lose so that 245 lbs photo is good enough. I doubt I'd see the difference between 256.6 and 245 lbs anyway.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I'd be shocked if he did, I really would. Maybe it's a self-esteem issue, but I can't possibly imagine any man actually wanting to be with me.
We went out for Indian food and I woke up this morning 3.5 lbs heavier with horrible edema in my legs and hands. I've been trying to flush out the bloat all day and managed to get 2 lbs of it out, but 1.5 lbs of it is still hanging around.
I haven't lost anything this week. It's pissing me off.
Monday, August 11, 2008
It helps to figure out what about your personality you can leverage to help you on your journey. For example, I'm a tightwad and I *hate* wasting money. I can't stand it, it bothers me. I make plenty of it, but I hoard it like there's no tomorrow. My friends actually make fun of me for it. I'm generous when it comes to friends and family, but I also try to live on one paycheck and save the other. I'm weird like that; my friends think I should "live a little". Then again, I'm 33 and have a six figure nest egg and they don't, so it's paying off!
Given that, you might think it would be difficult for me to sign up for gym membership. Nope! If I use it a lot, I'm getting good value for money. I'm all about that. So, I go to the gym a LOT. I actually have it broken down by visit, i.e. I pay $x per month and I go x times per month, so I pay $x each time I go. The more times I go, the "cheaper" each visit gets. I'd be paying the same amount of money whether I went 1 time or 100 times, so I go as often as I can be motivated to go. Some days I'm simply too tired to go, or I feel a little creaky or sore. Then I do the cost/benefit analysis of doctor visits and injuring myself and not being able to go to the gym vs skipping a day. It might sound very Type A and stupid, but it's how I roll.
I can also apply this thriftiness to my food shopping. I now spend more on food than I used to even though I'm single now. This is because I no longer buy junk and I eat a lot more "whole" foods. Since I hate wasting money, I look in the fridge and think, "better eat those tomatoes before they go off," or "that bok choy was expensive...better make a stir fry." Sometimes I have a little sticker shock at the supermarket when I manage to drop $50 in a single visit on just myself, but then I think...."$50 vs diabetes, high blood pressure, shopping at Lane Bryant...it's worth it!"
On the other hand, I can be pretty lazy. Astonishingly so. I suppose it's tied to thriftiness...I don't like to waste energy. Knowing that I have lazy tendencies, I stock my freezer with plenty of healthy microwave meals for those days when I don't want to cook, or don't have the motivation/time to prepare a lunch to bring with me to work. This cuts out the temptation to hit the drive-thru or order a pizza. Hitting the drive-thru involves getting in the car, driving somewhere, waiting, etc. Ordering a pizza involves waiting and then there's always the irritation that comes with the pizza being late or cold. Or wrong. I pop a Lean Cuisine into the microwave on those lazy nights and avoid all that.
Basically I thought about who I am as a person...controlling, thrifty, but also somewhat lazy. I thought about how these tendencies could sabotage my efforts, but also how I could make them work for me. It's almost like I'm tricking myself. I know I'm doing it, but it has worked so far. Also, since I'm a total control freak who borders on obsessive about certain things (the organization of my closet, how my dishes are stacked, etc.), I found religion about counting calories and weighing myself. It feeds into my control freaky/obsessive personality and in the wrong hands could be a bad thing, but in my case it imparts a discipline that might not be there otherwise. I obsess about calories, so I'm very likely to count every tiny little thing I eat, and every tiny little bit of exercise that I do.
So...figure out what your strong personality traits are, even if they're negative (as mine are), and try to make them work for you instead of against you. In the month before I actively tried to lose weight, I was doing a lot of thinking and jotting down. I wanted to go into this eyes wide open.
I'm 33 and it's very unlikely that I'll get less Type A as I get older. It's unlikely that I'll all of a sudden start blowing entire paychecks at Nordstrom's. It's unlikely that I'll suddenly become the kind of person who is active, active, active all day long. So, I'm trying to make the kind of person that I am work for me for a change instead of against me. That's something that does come with age...the wisdom to try to work with what you have instead of trying to become something you're not.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
They acted like they didn't care...then the claws came out and they actually criticized me for trying to lose weight. One of them is overweight and the other is very obese. Every time I see her, she seems fatter. When I first met her a year ago she wasn't nearly that big, but she looks like she has packed at least 50 lbs since I met her. She had once dieted down into a size 8, but she is easily bigger than I am now. Easily. Probably by a healthy margin.
We all got together with a larger group in the evening at a restaurant where everything is deep-fried. The birthday cake was enormous and an enormous slice of it was set in front of me. I ordered french fries for my entree because I know what's in a portion of fries, and I figured it wasn't any less healthy than fried chicken fingers, a burger, deep-fried fish, etc. They did have salads but they were infested with cheese, fatty dressings, and some of them had shellfish in them (to which I'm allergic). Knowing that some kitchens will simply pick out by hand what you don't want, I decided to go for the devil I know. I ate a fraction of the french fries on the plate and then only a few bites of the enormous piece of cake in front of me.
I felt ill after eating that food. When I got home I took a single Correctol, not because I believe it prevents fat and nutrients from being absorbed (it doesn't) but because I felt backed up and I hadn't gone twosies in a couple of days. That fatty food wasn't going to help clear the backup, so I turned to chemicals. I feel a little better this morning, but I'm still a little bit "clogged".
I will definitely be hitting the gym, probably around noon since there usually aren't many people there at that time on a Sunday and I'll have my pick of the machines. The ellipticals at my local 24 Hour Fitness aren't as nice as the ones at my regular 24 Hour Fitness so I like the gym to be somewhat empty so I can get a good one.
Right now food is the last thing on my mind; I'm not hungry after yesterday's binge and I don't imagine I will be all day long.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
I've gone to the gym 7 days in a row so tomorrow I may take a break. Or I may take the shrink wrap off my copy of 30 Day Shred and do that instead. I don't know yet; it depends on whether I'm sore in the morning and whether my allergies quit acting up.