Category Archives: Gym

Buckling Down

With the absolutely miserable weather we had in January & February, I really let my gym attendance slide.  It was all I could do to slip and slide to and from work; the last thing I wanted to do was risk extra miles in the ice and snow.  Despite the fact that we have late-season snow forecast again for Wednesday, I have to get back into my habit of hitting the gym 4-5 times a week.

Unfortunately, that’s the easy part. Once I’m in the habit of heading to the gym, continuing to hit the elliptical for 45 minutes a day isn’t that difficult. My downfall is food.  Oh, how I love food.  Sweet food, salty food, crunchy food, smooth food.  Mostly carb-y food.  Mmmm, carbs.  Unfortunately, I think my pre-Diabetes is rearing its ugly, ickyness-inducing head so I need to lock down.

I need to get back to seriously monitoring my portion size, easing off on sweets and increasing veggie intake.  I’ll never be able to go full paleo, but I need to try to make smarter decisions.  This will require getting HRG (Her Royal Grandma) on board, since she’s the one who is preparing more of the meals now that I’m working.  As she’s nearing 90, making sure that she eats and keeps weight on is more important than me taking pounds off, but I have to find a happy medium.

I was thinking of trying to persuade her to do a Meatless Monday sort of thing or something similar. Does anyone have any vegetarian or veggie-dominant meals they’d recommend?

ImageAin’t nothin’ gonna break my stride…

With Karen’s wedding in less than three weeks, I’m not even pretending that there will be any sort of notable weight loss between now and then. However, there’s a camping trip three months from now that I can use as a marker.  So, putting it in print here and now – 15 lbs by the second Friday in June – Friday the 13th.  Aaaaaaaaaand, go!

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Perennial Resolution

I made a metric shit-ton (well, four) New Year’s resolutions this year. The first one shouldn’t even really count.  I mean, doesn’t virtually everyone who bothers with resolutions make one about losing weight/become more healthy/exercising more?  As I’ve been overweight practically my entire life, I feel like this one is made and forgotten as a matter of course.

This year, I’m going about it a little bit differently.  I’m trying to make specific sub-goals.  Something easily quantifiable.  In no particular order:

grcc

Go to the gym/workout 4x a week.  I was easily doing 5-6 times a week while I was unemployed but motivating to go after work is SO much more difficult, especially now that the weather’s crappy.  We’re supposed to get another round of significant snowfall tomorrow into Monday so we’ll see if I feel like fighting the weather and the roads to start my week off on the right foot.  I’m in a wedding in two months so I definitely need to do my best to be able to fit into the dumb dress I bought several months ago.

stew

Eat better.  I need to get back into the habit of tracking my food & measuring out portion sizes.  I also need to cut back on carbs, though it’s unlikely I’ll ever get rid of them entirely (I like bread WAY too much).  I also need to increase my vegetable intake, either by mixing it into things like tonight’s Chicken & Sausage Stew, or by making sure to include them in every meal and having them for snacks.

Do six 5Ks in 2014.  Originally, I said one per month but decided that was crazy talk.  I got off to a good start by doing the Commitment 5K on the 1st, so now I just need to find 5 more.  I’m seriously considering the Pi Day 5K in Columbus the second weekend of March, but I should probably find a couple closer to home.  I’d love to do one in Chicago with my friend Tammy or back in VA with friends, but we’ll see how the schedule ends up looking.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be up to running one, but I’d like to at least run/walk a couple of them.  My baseline time – walking the whole way – was just under 50 minutes.  Hopefully I’ll shave a few minutes off here and there.

flex

10,000 steps.  Now that I have my handy-dandy Fitbit Flex, I’ve become obsessed with making the little bugger vibrate to indicate that I reached my step goal.  Of course, I’ve noticed as I walk laps around the house to increase my step count, I’m counteracting anything good by pausing at the cookie table at the back of the kitchen on every other pass.  As almost all of the holiday cookies are now gone, this shouldn’t remain a problem for too much longer.

Miscellany.  Parking farther from the store or office (though this is tricky with temperatures hovering around zero).  Fetching my morning (and afternoon) coffee from the oasis that’s farther from my desk (and taking a circuitous route through the cubicle farm).  Jumping jacks, planking or push-ups when the other team scores during Caps games (which is far too freakin’ often).

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Starting Over

Another new year, another opportunity for change.  I’ve made a number of resolutions for 2014, but some of them are still not quite etched in stone.  The perennial “lose weight/get healthy” resolution has been made and ignored for so many years running (and is made by so much of the population) that it’s barely worth mentioning.  I did manage to start off on the right foot, though!

commitment

Since I had to head to Columbus for Eric’s New Year’s Day brunch and bowl game fiesta, I decided to see if there was a 5K in the area, and I found this one in Dublin.  It was sponsored by a local fitness club and was, I imagine, their way to get people to kick off their resolution and perhaps get new people into their facility.  For obvious reasons, I won’t be headed back but I enjoyed my 3+ mile stroll through the streets of Dublin.

My grandmother got me a Fitbit Flex for Christmas.  I really wanted a Force, but I’m embracing its younger brother.  The only way I get anywhere even remotely close to my 10,000 step/day goal is by exercising. Today, I knocked out my total before noon:

fitbit1

Had a great time at Eric’s shindig.  I barely watched any of the games – the Buckeyes don’t play til Friday – but it was good to meet new people, catch up with old friends and replace all those calories I burned off in the morning.  The taco dip I whipped up never made it out of the trunk of the car.  There was SO much food – and a field trip for Chinese food – so I just didn’t think it was worth digging it out.

We did play Cards Against Humanity.

cards

As bad as I am at Apples to Apples, I’m ten times worse at CAH.  It’s also a bit tricky playing with people you don’t know very well.  I still managed to get 5 black cards, but it was an uphill battle.

Mother Nature is interfering with my quest for health.  Forecast calls for it to start snowing off and on tonight and all day tomorrow so my evening commute to the community center should be mucked up.  I have a gym bag packed and sitting by the door, so we’ll see what happens.

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Sunday Was NOT My Day of Rest

I decided I had to begin my anti-zombie training today, despite the rec center being closed, so I took to the streets.  I forgot exactly how much more slowly I move when I have to propel my own mass across the ground.  It was slow going, but I did it!

zom1I wish I’d headed out earlier than 11:30ish – it was hella humid by the time I hit the road – but I did it and that’s what matters.  Tomorrow will be another elliptical day.  I wish the rec center had Body Pump; it really was the only time I habitually got any sort of strength training.  I know I need to start hitting the weight machines again, but my goal is to hit the gym for five days in the next week and then add weights the following week.  We’ll see.  Right now, I’m just trying to develop the habit of working out.

I’ve also been experimenting with smoothies.  I know I have to eat before I work out and since I’ve been working out in the morning, that limits my options.  So far, I’ve tried banana-peanut butter, strawberry-banana, and today’s try was strawberry-peach.

smoothie3So far, the peanut butter-banana is my favorite, but the other two fruit-yogurt smoothies were tasty, too.  The only change I would make is perhaps adding fewer strawberries; their flavor was a little overpowering in both of the fruity selections.  I’ve contemplated adding protein powder, but for now I’ll stick with fruit and yogurt.

When I got back from my “run,” I watched the shitshow of a race in Kentucky – *sigh* still got a top 10 finish, maintained points lead (silver lining) – then went to go do my usual round of minimal gardening.  Good thing I did…

squashLet there be squash!

My little beauties are all about nine inches long, with the two on the left weighing in at over a pound and the one on the right coming in at about nine ounces.

So, anyone have any squash recipes?

 

 

 

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Not All C25Ks Are Created Equal

About once a year, I get a burr in my butt about running.  A lot of my friends run, anything from short-ish trail runs to ridiculous ultra-marathons.  I, on the other hand, have never been a runner.  One hundred or so extra pounds, bad knees, bad back, big boobs – none of these are factors which make pounding the pavement particularly easy.

I’m mostly an elliptical gal at the gym – easier on the joints and the boobages – but thought adding in the occasional hyperventilating on the treadmill to change things up.  With my friends Christina & Allyson both training for/running their first 5Ks this year and me needing to do SOMETHING, I decided it was time to dig out the ol’ Couch to 5K running program and get going.

My problem is, the “official” Cool Running’s C25K training program seems to believe that I’m either launching from a far more fit starting point or else thinks I lead a FAR more active sofa lifestyle than I actually do.  Week 1, Day 1 calls for a “brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.”  My crawling off the couch then running for a minute straight after a 5 minute warm-up walk is SO not going to happen, not when I’m sucking wind after that initial five-minute mosey.

Holly – BFF and hostess of the Sheepish podcast – discovered an alternate training program: Zombies, Run!  She personally needed more of a narrative than a voice in her ear saying “Walk….run….walk again” and I needed a more gradual approach.  The first week of the Zombie 5K training program is:

zombies

 

I know for those of you that actually run real distances, this is comical.  When you tip the scales at 250+ and the most running you do is that mini-sprint to duck under the garage door before it closes or to get to the phone before it goes to voice mail, this is a much more appropriate starting pace.  By no stretch of the imagination is this meant to be a condemnation of the official program; I’m simply stating that – for me personally – it’s too fast out of the gate.

The rec center is closed tomorrow, so the zombies will have to wait until Monday.

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If At First You Don’t Succeed…

kicks…get back on the horse.  Or something like that.

Thanks to the good folks – Rachel & Wes – at Up & Running Dayton for getting me fitted for my new shoes.  I find you pay a little more at stores like this, but for me, it’s worth the additional expense for the wonderful service they provide.  Now I just need to get off my butt and head to the rec center.  I finally picked up my shoes and my fitness pass this afternoon, so tomorrow is E-Day.

For me, exercise – almost more than food consumption – is all about accountability.  Sure, I’ll check into the center on FourSquare, but does anyone have any apps that they like to use to track their workouts?  I’m so bad, I used to literally put gold stars onto a wall calendar to note the days I made it to the gym.  Those blank squares during the week would shame me into heading back out, more likely than not.  Of course, I could go low-tech but what’s the point of owning all these damn iProducts if I’m not going to get any use out of them.

To that end, does anyone out there use any apps for iPod or iPhone that they love as a fitness/nutrition tracker?  I’ve heard of SparkPeople, RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, Fitocracy & Nexercise – are there any others I’ve missed?  Do you love or hate any one of these?  Any advice would be muchly appreciated!

Now it’s time to go to sleep.  Early morning alarm, banana smoothie then off to the gym!

Theoretically.

rec

 

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Don’t hold my race-ism against me

In case any one of you out there is delusional, let me emphasize the 8K portion of that registration.  Nor will I actually be “racing” per se, unless we’re talking about me racing against course closure or trying not to miss Happy Hour.  When I went down to Virginia Beach last month to watch my friend participate in the Wicked 10K, I was surprised by the number of people who were walking the course.  Since I figured, I could probably walk 5 miles if nothing else, I went ahead and signed up.  We’ll see what happens.

In knitterly news, since I’m heading to a hockey game tonight, I had to dust off my poor ol’ hockey sock.  I’m a little over 7″ into the foot and am going to try a new toe-up heel.  Since we know I don’t do anything without a pattern, this should be a heck of a challenge for me.  I’m using Maia’s tutorial; we’ll see how it goes.

Far From Relaxing

Once again, I've managed to overpack my weekend.  Last night started with a birthday dinner at T.H.A.I. for my friend Kimberley.  I stuck with my nice, bland Pad Thai while everyone else complained about their food not being spicy enough.  Not a worry for me!  A lot of the folks stayed out for drinks, but I had to head back home to meet up with H to go to the ClusterPucks game.

Pucks
Blurry Clusterpucks

Word on the street is that they've had trouble with the Yellow team in the past but not last night.  Two-thirds of the folks on the team that I know were out of town, but they dug out an 8-3 win.  W'HOO! 

Despite some early laziness, I did manage to force myself to go to the gym this morning.  I rewound and did the week one Couch-to-5k workout this morning.  It was okay – no better and no worse than the first time I tried it, but I've been laying off the knee since the dance incident.  I know I'm out of shape and I need to train my lungs to deal with the injustice that I'm putting them through, but I would really like to not sound like a hyperventilating beluga whale everytime I plod along at a pace faster than a mosey.

Gymrat
Finally got a chance to use the snazzy running socks I keep getting

While at the gym, I signed up for a free personal training session tomorrow morning.  I'm worried it's going to be an hour-long sales pitch rather than a session which imparts some useful information.  Hell, I'll be happy if they just tell me the safest way to to use the equipment.

Unfortunately, this afternoon was all thunderstorms, all the time, so I chose not to take my good camera to DC United v. Beckham and company.

Game

The rain didn't seem to keep a lot of people away from RFK tonight.  Unfortunately, it kept the three points we so desperately needed at bay.  The game ended in a scoreless draw, which was kind of miserable (I'd still like to see a replay of that 'offside' goal).  At this rate, the playoffs are looking iffy – we really need to turn our luck around or forget about it.  We just can't manage to pull the trigger when it counts.

Knit One, Tink Two

It seems that when you're working on two projects simultaneously, each more boring than the other, when a change suddenly crops up in one of the patterns, you get thrown into a maelstrom of incompetence.

I finally finished the stockinette portion of Ishbel and moved on to the charted lace pattern.  This was all very well and good for perhaps the first eight rows and then I went stupid (I knew I should've taken that left turn at Albuquerque).  So, I tinked.  Then I knit another row and a half.  Wondered why I had an extra stitch.  Counted.  Swore.  Tinked again.  Tossed Ishbel across the room and retrieved the snoozerific blanket.  Knit three-quarters of a row.  Realized I should've been purling.  Opened a beer.  Watched NCIS.

Tues_knit 

Lunchtime with knitting and Samurai Sudoku

Unfortunately, the same zig-zaggy approach can be more or less be applied to my weight loss attempts: lose two pounds, gain one back.

Graph 

At most, I've lost 24 pounds.  Currently, I'm back up ten pounds.    Not at all surprisingly, I was at my lowest earlier this spring, before all the camping trips and broken toes and blown-out knees.  Hopefully I can manage to get back in form, but I have serious motivational issues.  I started doing a Couch-to-5K running program but had to quit after the first two weeks because that's when I tweaked my right knee (Note: 'Shorty' is way too old to get low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low).  I did manage to get to the gym yesterday, so if I make it a couple more times this week, I'll consider it a success.

Classy

I had my first Intro to Digital Photography class, offered through Arlington County, earlier this week.  First impressions are good – it's a very small class (12 people) with a wide range of ages and skill levels.  Most people have point-and-shoots, but there are a couple of us who have DSLRs (I was afraid I'd be the only one).  Apparently we're going to have some lecture time, some field trip photo shoots and some time in the computer lab going over using Photoshop to make your pictures even better.  I'm really excited.

I'm also a little fearful (come on, this is me we're talking about).  This is something I really want to improve/be good at, and even our first homework assignment has me a little stressed out.   We're supposed to bring in our three favorite photos that we've taken and this could take me WEEKS to figure out.  And my favorite photos aren't always the BEST photos (if that makes any sense). 

These are the ones I've chosen (so far):

#1

Day 128 - World War II Memorial at Dusk

I think there's a lot that could be better about it, but I've always loved it.

#2

Tour Eiffel

Another not-spectacular shot, but I like the angle and the light.

#3

Angles

I took about a zillion funky-angled shots of the Sydney Opera House, but I think this is my favorite.  I also think this one is going to get me in trouble because Teach says that a good photo should require no explanation.  This one may need a little clarification…

Honorable Mention #1

Surfs_up

HM #1.5

DSC_0037

They're both from Manly Beach in Sydney.  I just like the colors, though it bugs me that the horizon isn't level in the first.  The weather was incredible that day.

HM #2

Streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch!

Nothing terribly exciting – I just like the colors and his pose.

Agree?  Disagree?
I know they're supposed to be my favorite pictures, but I'm opening myself up to class criticism critique anyway, so I might as well start with people who will theoretically be more gentle with me.  I have a lot to learn about composition and whatnot but I'm really looking forward to picking up more tips.

I had my third appointment with my dietitian yesterday.  I'm still plugging along, but I'm under on my calorie intake (I knew this), so I need to pump that up a little.  She just wants me to keep doing what I'm doing and aim to lose another 8-10 lbs next month.  Ugh.  I guess I shouldn't moan and groan too much though – I'm down 20 in six weeks.  WOOHOO!