Thursday, December 30, 2010

C25K Week 1, Day 1

Big day: First day of C25K, first day at the gym.

Even for a confirmed non-morning person like me, getting up at 5:30 am wasn't too much of a shock. I think Day 1 is the easiest because it's new and you're excited. The trick is to feel the same way on Day 42.

Anyway, got up, dressed and had a snack (Luna Protein Bar), then hopped in the car and made the 10-minute drive to the gym. On the way in the door, I've got an armful of junk: running shoes, iPod, headphones and a water bottle. Note to self: Find a gym bag.

Got in the door (yay, my security key fob works) and only 1 of the 6 treadmills is occupied. A good sign.

Hopped on, remembering not to stand on the belt when it starts, but straddle it my standing on the edges of the treadmill, and off I went.

Running for 60 seconds was work and I was happy when it was time for 90 seconds of walking. The time passed pretty quickly between my music, the TV on the treadmill and the math I was doing in my head to ensure I started running and walking at the right times.

After 10 minutes of warm-up, 20 minutes of run-walk, 10 of cool-down and thorough stretching, I was done.

6:45am - a good hour before I normally get out of bed - and my workout for the day was done. And I already got in 32 oz of water. Not bad!

Now, Day 2, when the real work begins.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In which I join a gym

I did the most cliched thing you can do 2 days before New Year's Eve: I joined a gym.

I've been thinking about it for a few weeks, and I decided I want to amp up my exercise.

When I was losing in 2002-2003, I completed the C25K program. I even ran a few 5Ks and had a good time. I didn't keep my running up and eventually all the weight came back (eating whatever I wanted helped, too).

But running was great in that is burned a ton of calories, toned me up and gave me a lot of confidence in that I did something I never thought I could do.

To run, at least for the winter, I need a treadmill, which means I need a gym since there is absolutely no space for one in our home.

My gym requirements were pretty simple:

  • Close to home.
  • Working treadmills.
  • Clean.
  • Open 24 hours.

    There are a couple of 24-hour gyms close to home. I called the first one, all ready to schedule a tour and join that day. Left a message and never heard back.

    Instead of calling the other gym, I just showed up, took a tour and joined. It met all my requirements, and the owner said it's not super busy in the early morning, so I shouldn't have a hard time getting a treadmill. I don't quite believe that, but we'll see. There are 6 treadmills, what are the chances they're all occupied at 6 am? I type this hoping there's not a post in January titled, "I Can't Get An Effing Treadmill At 6 am!"

    So, I'm excited. This is a new, fun jumpstart my exercise needs. I still love Leslie's walking workouts and I will do them as a kind of cross-training. They're still challenging and they're weather-proof. I just needed a boost.
  • Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    Week 16 Weigh In

    New Years is already in swing at WW, even though we haven't moved to a new calendar.

    The meeting filled with new folks and the WI line was 5 people deep for the whole meeting. Getting on the scale took a long time as nearly everyone was new, so lots of paperwork and only one receptionist. Can't wait to see what it's like next week. Actually, I can wait.

    -2.4, so I hit my -45 New Year's goal. Next goal: -50. Celebrated with what's becoming a new Tuesday tradition: sushi.

    There was one new member who really tugged at my heart strings. I only saw her from the back, as I always sit in the last row so I can chase after my 17-month-old, who loves to run into the WI room and bug Donna. The leader was asking members for their New Year's Resolution: specific goals they wanted to achieve. We heard the regulars: feel better, more energy, better health, etc.

    Then this woman, who was new and had to be north of 275, said quietly, "I want to enjoy my children more."

    My heart broke in empathy for this woman. I know where she is, hell she even kinda looked like the old me from the back. I know what it's like to be tired, sad and fat. I wish I had thought of approaching her after the meeting and at least giving her a smile. I hope she knows she can do this. I'll keep an eye out for her in future meetings, hope she comes back to mine.

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    In which I receive another early Christmas gift

    Had a great workout today - with no pain.

    For the past week, a muscle in my right upper quad/groin/whatever has been really nagging me during workouts. Thankfully, not enough to have to stop them, but enough to make them less enjoyable than they already are.

    Today I had to get in just one more workout, then I could enjoy Christmas Eve and Day without guilt over skipping a workout.

    Amazingly, it was a great one - no pain, went quickly, felt challenged but not dragging.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    In which I conduct my first pre-dawn workout

    Another first today - worked out before everyone got up.

    Actually, my husband was up early, so I got up in support and then decided, since I was already up, why not bang out those 2 miles I planned to do with Leslie?

    It wasn't too bad getting up, and I loved having my workout done before the kids rose. Having it hanging over my head and trying to jam it in in between appointments, school and naps is a real drag.

    I hope to do it again, soon.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Week 15 Weigh-In: Merry Christmas to me

    Great weigh-in today, -4 which means I hit my goal of 40# down by New Year's. -43.2 to be exact.

    I'm very proud of this WI as I had two birthday parties and a Christmas party in the past week. I ate out, had pizza and 2 slices of birthday cake over the past week. I also ate all of my 49 extra weekly Points (for the first time) and still pulled it off.

    And, today was my 16th meeting in a row, so I earned my SAS (Stay and Succeed) Charm. Attend 16 meetings and you get this charm for sticking it out and going to meetings. Many WWers come, weigh in, buy some stuff and leave. The meeting really is a key to long-term success. I didn't attend meetings after I hit Lifetime and look where it got me. I thought I could do it on my own. Wrong. Believe me, once I hit Lifetime again I will still be attending meetings every week. I just won't have to pay!

    After 1 week on Points Plus I am pretty impressed, and I was relatively jaded going into it. I am naturally not a fruit or veg person, but the choices of opting for free fruit and veg vs. Pointsy carbs hasn't been too hard. I still eat carbs, but not as much, and I believe that's a good thing.

    If I can lose 1.8 lbs next week, I could reach my super-secret goal of 45 lbs lost by New Year's. Not going to get too hung up on it if I don't, but I will do my best. There is that little holiday coming up in 4 days and I intended to enjoy as many of my 49 extra Weekly Points as I want.

    Pros This Week

  • Managed 3 special occasions and stayed within Points.
  • Switched over to Points Plus (and didn't mind it too much).
  • Ate more fruits and veg and fewer carbs than ever before (see above).
  • Drank more water.
  • Did my first Leslie Sansone 4-miler.

    Goals For Next Week

  • Eat in control and within Points on Christmas.
  • Drink 48 oz of water a day.
  • Monday, December 20, 2010

    In which I am confronted by a serious statement

    While visiting with a friend today, she suddenly adopted a very serious (and uncharacteristic for her) tone.

    "Melissa..." she started.

    Oh, man, I thought in a nanosecond. Something is very bad.

    She continued: " need new pants."

    "I know. And stop scaring the crap out of me!"

    I do need knew pants. The track pants in question are 3 sizes too big. But I was in my house and I am kinda lazy about getting new clothes. Plus, I know anything I buy will not be with me forever, as sometime next year they'll be 3 sizes too big.

    But, yes, I need something better-fitting than what I've got now. I could get easily pantsed in a stiff wind in the current outfits.

    After New Years, I'll head to Target.

    I did buy two new pairs of PJ pants, which fit, but not comfortably enough for me to wear yet. I'll try them on in another month and see how they fit then, that's always fun.

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    In which I am surprised by pants

    Went to Wal-Mart (I know, I know) to get new jeans today as the 24s were getting annoyingly baggy.

    Picked up a 22 and a 20, the latter because I hate shopping at Wal-Mart and it would save me a trip in the future.

    When I got home I tried on the 20s just for fun to see how they fit. And, it turns out, they fit! Snug, but wearable.

    And my grand plan of avoiding a trip to Wal-Mart was dashed as I now have to go back and return the 22s. But I'll take it.

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    In which I celebrate NSV Thursday

    Two big Non-Scale Victories today:

  • Bought a new pair of workout pants at Target - XL. Sayonara additional X.

  • Did my first 4-miler with Leslie. Good to push myself.

    Groin muscle (or at least that what I think it is) still bothering me during workouts, but not to the point I can't continue (thankfully).

    And, in fabulous neurotic weigh-in fashion, I felt up every pair of XL workout pants at Target to determine which is the lightest for weekly weigh-ins. I know other people do this. OK, I hope other people do this.
  • Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    In which I search for a gym

    I am doing the most cliched thing on the planet: Joining a gym in late December.

    I almost want to apologize to the staff when I go in: I swear, I am not a cliche. Really, I've been working out since October!

    But the desire to scratch my itch to run coincides with the replacing of the calendar, and here I am. Also, I've been working out in the afternoons when my youngest is napping and I want to start working out before the kids get up. I hate having a workout to-do hanging over me all day and I also dislike having to work out with one ear on the monitor, as in: If she gets up early, workout is over.

    My main goal for a gym is A) Close to home. B) Open 24 hours.

    There's a great Y about 20 minutes away, but a 40-minute round-trip commute combined with the deadline for getting back home in the morning would leave less gym time than I want. There's a 24-hour gym about 10 minutes away, and since I envision working out at about 6 am, that commute would be very...OK...pretty fast.

    I hope to stop by and check it out between Christmas and New Year's. I am shaking my head this is so cliched.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Week 14 WI

    Down 1lb, getting annoyingly close-but-not-close-enough to my 40# down New Year's Day goal.

    Only .8 to go to hit 40 lbs lost. Really, body, you couldn't cough up another .8?

    Donna The Excellent Weigher encouragingly noted, "You'll get it next week!" I hope so, but I am impatient.

    Pros This Week

  • Stayed within Points all week.
  • Had a successful dinner out without going off-plan.
  • Got in my 4 planned days of exercise, even thought with schedules, etc. it would have been easy to skip 2 of them.

    Goals for Next Week

  • Switch to new Points Plus program. Adios Points Classic.
  • Drink at least 48 oz of water each day.
  • Try rebounding (more on that later).
  • Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Mmmmm, fudge

    I love fudge, so I was excited to try the recent WW recipe for "Creamy Fudge."

    It was easy to make, had only a few ingredients and was delicious.

    Each square is the size of a postage stamp, in true WW fashion. Seriously, what other recipe would have an 8x8 pan of fudge yield 64(!) "servings." I'm all for portion control, but c'mon.

    However, the fudge is so rich, I don't feel (too) ripped off for the 3 Points spent.

    My only advice is to use good chocolate, like Ghiradelli. And give a lot of it away, because these suckers are delicious. I made a batch, had 3 squares and then split the rest between my daughter's preschool teachers. Win-win.

    10-oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 14-oz can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
    1/2t vanilla extract
    Pinch coarse sea salt
    1/2t flake sea salt

  • Line 8-inch-square baking pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Smooth out wrinkles.

  • Combine chocolate, condensed milk, vanilla and coarse sea salt in large, heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer fudge to prepared pan; spread evenly with rubber spatula. Let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

  • Uncover fudge. Remove from pan by lifting overhanging plastic wrap. Invert on cutting board. Cut fudge into 8 strips, then cut crosswise into 8 pieces. I found that if the fudge sticks to the knife, run the knife under super hot water, cut the fudge. Wipe the knife and repeat.

    64 svgs = 3 Points+ each
  • Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Out to dinner, in control

    I've been resisting going out to dinner. I initially wanted to write "scared," but that sounded a little dramatic.

    Regardless, I like the comfort of my home, knowing I have controlled things to the point I am unlikely to go off-plan.

    But Saturday night the family was celebrating and the kids chose Friendly's, a not-so-Friendly place for someone on controlled eating. I decided in the beginning that I will not let me weight loss issues hijack my family. My issues need to adapt to the family, not vice versa.

    So, off we went. I was starving as we had been out for a few hours and although that's the worst feeling to have going out to eat (if you can't eat everything you want), it is what it is. Or was.

    Anyway, I held it together pretty well. I had about a half-day's worth of Points to use, so I got a gigantic salad with breaded chicken tenders (maybe 1-2 oz of chicken). Gave the boiled egg and tortilla chips to my youngest and I was OK.

    Did I want a huge sundae for dessert? Yes. Did I want to feelings I would experience afterward: regret, anger, disappointment? No.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    In which I consider returning to running

    I have a love-hate relationship with running.

    I hate running, but I love the results.

    When I lost 126 pounds from 2002-2003, I took up running about 10 months in. I was never an athlete and had never run before without getting side stitches (or course, I was going about it all wrong, but I had no one to tell me so).

    But in my mind, and in the minds of many formerly unfit people, running is the ultimate achievement. It's the one thing you could never do successfully in your current condition. And what sport epitomizes health and fitness more than running?

    So I started the famous 9-week Couch to 5K (C25K) program. I read John Bingham's great books. I finished the program and later ran a 5K (me, above right, May 2003. On the left, one of my best friends, Cara). It was a huge accomplishment and one of the best non-family-related days of my life. Sure, 3.2 miles may not sound like a big deal to you, but when you used to weigh 286 pounds, it is a Very Big Deal. I ran a few more races, but I failed to set more running goals and as I watched Lifetime status fade in the distance and felt the pounds return, my running shoes retreated to the back of my closet.

    But now, I'm getting that itch again. I read a lot of weight-loss blogs and they're so amazingly inspiring. Like Ben or Sheryl, for instance. They were fat. They lost weight and began to run. They didn't think they could and, voila, like every Hollywood cliche, they did and did well.

    So here I am, thinking about hitting the treadmill again and finding a race. Stick around, this should be fun. I think.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Week 13 Weigh-In

    Down -1.4 this week, still on Points Classic.

    The meeting was not as crowded as last week and, interestingly, the Center sold out of Points calculators, so the new program is off with a bang.

    My leader reported she's down 6 lbs in 5 weeks on Points+ and people certainly seem enthusiastic about it.

    I will definitely try it, maybe this coming week? Total loss is 38.2, coming very close to my New Year's Goal of -40 lbs down. 3 more weeks to nail that down.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    In which my day was made

    Got together with a friend today, one whom I hadn't seen in a while.

    First thing she says, "You look great!"

    Awesome. I feel like I'm coming into the "visible rewards" section of this process. Progress is starting to show.