Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tough workouts, difficult food choices

Weight today: 198.4

Today my stomach felt like a bottomless pit. It's felt way ever since yesterday, when I worked out all day with friends.

Don't get me wrong, the workouts were a blast! We rode our bike trainers for an hour (I could have went longer - perhaps to 90 minutes.) Watched "South Park" to help combat the boredom.

We ate a healthy lunch -- beef, broccoli and a small side of mashed potatoes -- and headed to the gym to swim and lift weights.

Then it started to get tough.

The friends pushed me through the wringer. I'm used to only doing 1 set of weights, since I squeeze it in on my lunch hour. We also did some weights I wasn't used to. I think we spent about 60 minutes to 90 minutes lifting weights. I was tired. I was getting hungry.

Then we hit the pool for some laps.

So we get back to my friends house, and I'm just FAMISHED. I was so hungry. But had to wait for chicken to cook. I felt rude asking for a snack, so I just waited, and waited, and waited.

The dinner was also healthy -- chicken breast with spinach. But it just wasn't enough. I came home and ate pineapple and a banana.

And that morphed into today.

So I learned today that during hard workouts, it is really important to my long-term diet success to make sure I satisfy my hunger after working so hard.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

New laptop

Weight: 199.0

I am writing to you from my brand, new laptop!

It was a Valentine's Day/birthday present from my spouse. To say I'm super stoked is a dramatic understatement. My desktop computer is about 10 years old. And I love my new laptop!

But the shopping experience, well, that was a marathon in itself.

We were gone from the house from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. because we had to go to several stores quite a ways away to find it in stock for a Presidents Day sale. It was a perfect opportunity to try my diet in action.

I had a hearty, healthy breakfast before we left, and I packed two snacks for the trip. I also packed a tuna salad (sans mayo or dressing) on baby spinach for lunch. So while my spouse was eating fried food, I was chowing down on delicious and healthy food. And when I detected hunger, I had one of my snacks rather than waiting too long to eat and then making unhealthy food choices because I was too hungry.

When we got home, I was tired, but baked a chicken for dinner. With trussing, it only takes an hour to bake a whole chicken, and it's far more economical to buy a whole chicken rather than skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

I also rode my bicycle trainer this evening. I was tired, but I got 'er done.

All in all, it was a busy but very happy Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weigth loss strategies

I've been playing around with different strategies for weight loss to see what works best for me. Here is what I'm trying to do current:

1. I'm going to weigh every day. This will pretty much immediatley let me see what happens when I don't make the best food choices to reach my goal.

2. I'm trying to let go of the "should" statements. What happens is if I eat something that I shouldn't under the paleo diet guidelines, then I want to keep eating those foods because I think I'll never have them again. As "Dietgirl" wrote, I have to find some balance, because I'm not going to be perfect but I don't have to be out of control, either. Now, I still will have issues with gluten if I eat it, so that is one I have to be careful with.

3. Honoring my hunger. If I'm hungry, I need to eat something. It is when I let myself get too hungry that I often get myself in trouble.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Black and white

Current weight: 200.6

So I took pictures of myself last night to add to my weight-loss spreadsheet -- I'm telling you, it's really a work of art. In any case, it was a complete eye-opener.

When you used to be 270 pounds and your size 22 pants were getting tight, being 200 pounds and a size 14/16 feels skinny sometimes. And when I suck in my tummy, and thanks to certain undergarments, I can look pretty good, if I say so myself.

I've become complacent. It's very easy to maintain the weight I'm at. I can screw up once in a while, and clean up for a few days and I'm right back where I was. I often think that where I'm at is plenty good enough. I want to shout: "But I've lost 70 pounds from my highest weight! I'm at the weight I was in college! What more do you want from me?"

You would think that wanting to do triathlons alone would motivate me. After all, I *can* swim. I *can* my bike at this weight; I've ridden 55 miles in a day already. I *can* jog, if slowly and frequently causing injury.

Only, I know in the back of my mind, that I'm not going to be able to do triathlons as fast as I want to -- or even longer, hillier courses at all -- if I don't get rid of some of this weight. It wears on the body, having to haul extra pounds up hills or for longer distances.

I haul in buckets for the furnace, and they are 35 pounds each. The other day, I thought about trying to bike a hilly triathlon carrying that bucket on my back. It seemed impossible. Yet that is precisely what I would be doing.

But seeing that photo last night, of me in a tank top without sucking in my stomach ... I couldn't believe it! Where did all that belly come from? When did I get so fat? I thought I was relatively skinny now! But this was cold, hard evidence of my blubber.

I've long seen it on TV programs that overweight people truly don't realize how big they are. There is a LOT of truth in that. Our minds will convince ourselves that it's not really that bad. The image we see in the mirror is not like what others see. It's the exact opposite of women with eating disorders, who see themselves as fat no matter how thin they get.

How many times do we see a picture of ourselves and we're shocked at it? Or worse, have to see ourselves on video?

But I took my evidence of my blubber and imported it on my super awesome spreadsheet. It's next to a graph that shows my weight loss for January. I will have graphs that show my weight loss every month as I go along. I am looking forward to taking March's picture and then seeing the progress after several months.

And here's the positive to my spreadsheet: It tells me that I can absolutely meet my goal of weighing 175 by July 26. It tells me that's 165 days away, or an average loss of 0.2 pounds per day (1.4 pounds per week). I even have a graph that shows my current weight against the weight I have to lose so that I can tell if I'm on track.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Heading to Philadelphia

Weight: 203.8 pounds.

My spouse and I are heading to Philadelphia in a few minutes for his follow-up after having some surgery. The weather is beautiful! Coming into spring makes me feel very hopeful.

As much as I would have scoffed at the idea of Seasonal Affective Disorder a few years ago, I find myself affected to some degree in winter. The world is very hopeful in the springtime. It is a time of change, of regrowth, rebirth and new appearances. It is shedding the winter and beginning anew.

While I may not be able to get a walk in today because of being busy, I certainly will get outside several times this week to enjoy the temperatures in the 40s and 50s after spending much of January in the 10s and 20s.

I also like contemplating the idea of bicycle commuting in the spring, once I get some solid training under my belt. It would be a serious undertaking -- a very hilly and challenging 16 miles. But if I can work up to bike commuting twice a week, that would be 64 miles. I may need to look into the option of parking my car at a halfway point to start out with because of the hills along the route.

I had rode my bike to work several times before we bought our first house and moved farther away from work. Now it's a much more challenging route because it's 7 miles longer and MUCH hillier. I am very fortunate in that my workplace offers a secure space to lock bicycles as well as showers and lockers.

Those are my thoughts on this day that is a preview of the spring to come.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

10 years later, I started a blog

Blogging has been around for a long time. And I'm a writer. But for some reason, I never got into blogging even though I was on AOL at version 1.1.

I think this will be a good way for me to track my progress and my quest to be an Ironman. A lot of things need to happen first -- more weight loss, more dedication to training, being more strict with nutrition and less excuses.

That's all for now. I need to edit my profile and it's late at night.

Stay tuned. It's going to be an exciting journey.