Wednesday, October 31, 2007

End of the Farmers Market

So sad to see the end of the farmers market already. I rely on my weekly trips there to stock my office with apples and buy squash from the Amish guy. I went today and there was one lone farmer there with apples and squash. No more tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers.
Now I am stuck buying the pesticide ridden, over priced, past its prime fruits and veggies from Meijer. I have over 20 squash to bake off yet for the winter, so hopefully that will hold me over until next fall. I bought two big containers of Fuji apples for only $3.00!

Speaking of apples, one of my many, many, pet peeves is that often when you buy apples at Meijer’s they are the size of a childs head! If I am being responsible and trying to get my fruit servings in, don’t punish me by making me count three points for it! Is there such a thing as a one point apple anymore at a grocery store? The farmers spoil me and let me pick out all of the small/medium apples for my bags.

Intensity vs Duration

I have taught dog obedience classes for about six years now. When teaching the "stay" to my puppy class students, I always stress to the handlers to never try to work both distance and duration at the same time. Meaning, don’t move 5 feet away from your dog and expect it to say for 5 minutes out of the box. Rather I stress to stay right in front of their dog and build up duration (the amount of time their dog stays in the sit) first, then start by moving one step away. At the same time they step away, they need to lower their expectations for the time that the dog stays. So now their dog is staying for 30 seconds with them 1 step away. Now move 2 steps away….and 3 steps away…..until you can be on the other side of the room. That is my preferred way of building a reliable stay.

I think I have found something similar in exercise. We can't expect to come out of the shoot running a marathon. We have to start with something and then build on it. I have slowly built up my time on the Stairmaster, increasing the duration of time I could spend on the machine. In a previous post I mentioned that I have gone from 2.5 minutes to a total of 34 minutes. If I keep adding a minute or two to my workout, I will need two lunch hours to get through it all.

I use the setting called random, on level one so I have lots of ups and down. Well, today, I lowered my duration and increased my intensity. I still set it at random and did 15 minutes for the first interval but I bumped it up to level 2. I did an 8 minute second interval also at level 2. Let me tell you ---I had sweat running down my legs I was working it so hard. I’m talking I knocked it out of the park, left it all on the gym floor. I can honestly say I was much more exhausted doing 23 minutes on level 2 than I had been doing 34 minutes on level one. That is the only thing I changed, just the intensity.

So my plan is to increase my duration for a couple of weeks at level 2 and then I will do the same thing. Lower my time and increase to level 3. I think this will keep challenging my body and help keep the weight loss steady.

People are starting to notice

I stopped to the Vets office yesterday to pick up some ear infection medicine. Yeah, three of the seven dogs have a little yeasty ear stuff going on. This stuff knocks it out pretty fast. I haven’t had to take anyone there in about 3 months. (knock on wood). Since we have seven dogs I am there very often, though. I know all of the staff very well.
Yesterday, Emily the technician said, “Oh you look so different….did you do something different to your hair?” Okay, so she didn’t exclaim that I am a shadow of my former self, but she noticed that something was different even if she didn’t know it was weight loss. I know from what other people have told me (especially my mom and close friends) that I have the sparkle back in my eyes and I look happy again. I’m okay with that.

I have always hated running into people I haven’t seen in a long time, I almost can’t focus on the conversation we are having because in the back of my mind I am wondering if they are thinking “oh my god, look how big she has gotten!” I dread family gatherings where the uncle from California is present or anyone else from out of town. I will often feign sickness or say I have to work just to get out of the uncomfortable situation. Isn’t it amazing I am so good at negative self talk that I can also project negative self talk about me into someone else’s head! Now if that doesn’t scream the girl needs therapy I don’t know what does. Now, I look forward to run into people I haven’t seen in a while and not feel self conscious.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dinner at Lonestar

So I had to meet John and the in-laws for dinner when I got out of work yesterday. John’s family lives about 2 hours away, so we usually just try to meet in the middle for dinner occasionally. This time they came here and they all decided on Lone Star. There are sites that have compiled WW points for restaurants (Dotties Weight loss Zone, Boot Camp Buddies) but I like to see the nutritional information myself.
Lo and behold, Lone Star has all of the nutritional info on their website. It was wonderful to confidently walk into a restaurant knowing what I was going to order and how many points to count for it. I cannot believe how many points my former favorite meal had! How in the world are two pork chops 33 points? What kind of a pig do they come from? Their rolls are a big downfall for me as well, but they weren’t listed on the website.
So, I ordered the Salmon (6 points) and had the vegetables (0 points). No worry about the rolls, they never brought any. I ended up having to eat again when I got home because I saved too many points throughout the day for dinner!
P.S. Pic is of me at the Great Wall of China in 2002. Now that was a hike!!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Stairmaster: Friend or Foe?

The Stairmaster certainly started out as a foe.

The Stairmaster in the gym at my work has a minimum setting of 5 minutes. When I started working out, I would set it for the 5 minutes and then have to stop at 2 ½ minutes. Not much to crow about, but I stuck with it. Every day I got on that damn machine and went as long as I could. That was 12 weeks ago. Today I had a new personal best of 34 minutes.

I am very fortunate to have a gym right here at my work with filled with great equipment. We have a treadmill, recumbent and stationary bike, weight machines, punching bag, free weights and benches. Plus we have a TV/VCR with cable. I take my “lunch” from 12:30-1:30 M-F and that is my work out time. I generally take the weekends off from structured exercise. I try to be active, but I don’t require a workout of myself.

I am a believer in interval training. When on the treadmill, I will walk at my normal pace (3.0 mph) but alternate minutes between an incline of 3 and 9. I do something similar with the Stairmaster. I hop on for 17 minutes, then move on to crunches and weight lifting and then I go back to the Stairmaster for another 17 minutes. So I have gone from 2 ½ minutes to 34 minutes in 13 weeks. The Stairmaster is my best friend.

I sure wish they would buy and elliptical machine to work out. Maybe I will ask for that to be part of my Christmas bonus package.

First Bag of Fat Clothes are Gone!

This weekend I actually got around to cleaning out some of my closet and threw out my first bag of fat clothes. What a great feeling. Had the clothes been in good shape, I would have donated them to a charity, but since I have been doing Dave Ramsey, I swore off all clothing shopping and only purchased three Wal-Mart (yuck-- hate Wal-Mart) polo shirts and a package of white socks the entire year! So I really wore out my fat clothes. You know, I didn’t really miss buying clothes. I was so focused on my goal of paying off debt and acting my wage, it didn’t seem like much of a hardship.

The bag consisted of 4 bras. I have gone down a cup size and an “around size”. What a thrill. Those bras had seen better days! It was time for them to be laid to rest. Fortunately, I have lots of smaller bras to transition into.

The bag also contained numerous pair of pants I am down two sized in pants. The pants I had been wearing had gotten really long since I had less gut and butt to hold them up. I also threw in some stretched out tops.Of course like every other woman, I have plenty of smaller clothes sitting there just begging me to wear them, so I will be able to shop from my very own closet for a long time to come. Dave Ramsey would be so proud. I think I have pants in the next 4 sizes smaller. By then, I should be in a small enough size to start shopping in some resale shops. Plus sizes are very hard to find in the resale shops

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Top Signs that you are a Trick or Treating Weight Watcher

10. You know how many knocks it takes to earn an activity point.
9. You are the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a pedometer and a point finder.
8. You ask at each house if they mind if you step on their scale—just to compare.
7. You ask to trade candy corn for the real stuff.
6. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag—you yell out the number of points.
5. Your costume has a handy water bottle holder so you can meet your water requirements for the day.
4. You ask to use the bathroom every third house because of #5.
3. At the end of the night, you sort your candy by point value.
2. You ask for high fiber candy only.
1. Your goodie bag has a half filled out journal taped to it.

I found this in one of my message boards and thought it was just too cute not to pass along.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Weigh In/Workout Report for Sat Oct 27th

Whooooooo Hoooooooo!!!!! I had a fantastic loss of 4.8 lbs this week!! I have now lost 31.4 lbs in 13 weeks. I am astonished. This was my biggest loss of the 13 weeks. I am just thrilled.

I switched to Saturday morning weigh in at 8:30 am. A lot of geriatrics, but it was an okay meeting. The style of leader is very different from the Wednesday night meeting. It will take some getting used to. The best part was not cutting back on water or worrying about what I had eaten so far in the day. I showered, did hair and makeup, brushed my teeth and went to weigh in. I took a bottle of water and a serving of trail mix to eat during the meeting.

Here is my theory on my big loss this week. 1) It had been 9 days since my last weigh in, so that would account a little bit for the extra loss. 2) I have actually been following the Wendie Plan of weight watchers. If you have never heard of it, just google it and you will find a site that talks about it. Esentially you take in about the same amount of points thru the week as you would with normal weight watchers, but you screw with your points every day. You bounce up high and take in extra points some days, and then you bounce low and take in fewer points on some days. I believe this screws with your metabolism so your body doesn't get used to the same amount of points each day.

Now for the workout. Not quite as impressive as last week, but Deb and I hit the Rails to trails and logged at least 5 1/2-6 miles. Our only complaint, we are so busy talking we never hear those damn bicyclist whizz up behind us and they scare the bejesus out of us! Aren't they supposed to ring their bell or something? We would have walked farther, but Deb thought there was a storm coming and evidently thought we were so sweet we would melt if rained on.

Great start to the weekend!
P.S. Pic is of our "Cruise" this summer with his "jolly ball" his absolute favorite toy.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Not an Option

Deb and I both had devils in our respective offices this week. Someone brought donuts into her office that she had to resist and here, a vendor brought in a cardboard coffin filled with Halloween candy. When you think about it, the coffin is pretty fitting considering all of our poor eating habits a.k.a “candies” are responsible for countless illnesses and deaths each year.

My friend emailed me asking if I partook of the evil stuff and I said “No, its not an option”.

Yep, I do have great resolve. I want the things I want (see the "I want" list) too bad to let anything like a stupid piece of candy or going over my points to interfere. It just isn't an option.

I really hope this feeling of resolve never goes away.

Workout report for Friday October 26th

A new personal best today.
A total of 31 minutes on the stairmaster. That amount of time equals 1.45miles and 72 floors!

I am amazed and thrilled at how much endurance I have built in a mere 12 weeks! I will admit those last couple of minutes are so tough to fight through. But as I swear obscenities at the stairmaster I also yell at myself that I can do anything for a few seconds and this is how I will accomplish the "I want list".
I also did a total of 5 planks (10 seconds each), the usual crunches and butterflys.

Awesome Coworkers

I was given an amazing gift by one of my coworkers, Scott. Scott follows my weight loss and workout accomplishments and is very encouraging, always checking in the day after weigh in to find out my weekly losses.
Thursday of last week, he walked into my office carrying a huge hunk of metal (nothing unusual because I work in an automotive manufacturing plant) and said “Here hold this”. OMG it was heavy. Then he said “This is your weight loss trophy. It weighs 30lbs.” So he was off by a little bit, I have lost 26.6 lbs, I guess it includes the next weeks weigh in. Still, I was thrilled by how thoughtful it was of him to make it for me.
It sits on my desk and reminds me how far I have come since the summer, not only physically but emotionally as well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The "I WANT" list

I said before that I have great resolve to get to my goals. I have an “I want list” in the front of my journal that I read every day. This list contains most of the reasons I want to be lose weight. Many you will not identify with these unless you are really overweight as I am.
While there are a few I cannot share, here are most of them.

I want to feel better (alive) and not tired all the time.
I want to go to a restaurant and not wonder if I am going to fit in the booth.
I want to be a runner.
I want to sit in any lawn chair, not having to eye its sturdiness before I sit down.
I want to go horseback riding and not worry about hurting the horse.
I want to put my shirts on without stretching them out first.
I want my arms to hang at my sides not straight out because of under arm fat.
I want to go canoeing without worrying about hitting the bottom of the river.
I want 10,000 daily steps to be automatic.
I want to fly on an airplane and not worry that they are going to make me purchase 2 seats.
I want to see my collar bone (I’m pretty sure I have them).
I want to run agility with my dogs.
I want my breast to stick out farther than my gut.
I want to not be afraid to go to the doctor. This is called the ignorance is bliss syndrome.
I want to lower my blood pressure/cholesterol/blood sugar.

So. what is on your want list? What goals are you working toward? If you aren't working hard toward your "i want" list, why isn't what you want for yourself more important than the bad food choices you are making?

The Box

Since I have returned to weight watchers, I have been weighing in at the 5:30 meeting on Wednesdays. I enjoy the leader and the staff at that time and it is a really full class. What I hate about weighing in so late in the day is that I let “the box” aka scales dictate my day.

No popcorn for afternoon snack…too salty might retain water. Better not eat that lunch … weighs 4 oz more than the other Lean Cuisine in the freezer. Better stop drinking water at 1:30…..wanna make sure I’ve peed it all out by weigh in time. Doing that makes me so thirsty. I bring a jug of water with me and guzzle it during the meeting. Oh and better make sure I’ve done number 2 also, don’t want to have to include that mass at weigh in either. So starting this week, I am going to start going to the Saturday morning meetings. That way I can roll out of bed and go weigh in and then live my life normally.

I mean, how silly is all of this?
Oh and then there are the people who insist on wearing the same clothes each week or take their shoes off and put on ballet slippers for weigh in. One lady takes off all of her jewelry. Man, if you have that much jewelry, you can afford liposuction…..can’t you? I hate that “the box” controls us. That is why I take a stand and at least don’t weigh myself other than at weight watchers.

I’ve had some people say weighing in every day “keeps them on track”. But doesn’t deciding to follow the program keep you on track?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Workout for Tuesday Oct 23rd

Today I walked on the treadmill for 45 minutes and at 1 minute intervals changed the incline from 3.0 to 9.0.

Crunches, and squats with a side lift

Will and Grace was great today. It was the episodes where they decide to have a baby together and then she meets "Leo". I just realized that "Jack's character reminds me of many of Molly Shannon's characters on SNL. Superstar!

Dave Ramsey is my Hero!!

A very good friend (Dawn) introduced me to Dave Ramsey and his book “The Total Money Makeover” in July of ‘06. If you have never heard of Dave, you are missing out big time. Dave is a common sense kind of guy and teaches you about money. He teaches you to live on a budget and get out of debt the old fashioned way, pay them off and never borrow money again!

Dave has a 13 week program called Financial Peace University that week by week teaches you how to save and pay off your debts using the debt snowball method. I attended FPU with my mom last year and John and I are going again this year. If you haven’t heard of him, you simply must check out his website or you can catch him on the new Fox Business Network at 8pm eastern time. He has awesome one liners like “Act your wage” “Debt is normal, be Weird”. “Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’, ‘cause the Jones’ are broke!”

How does this relate to weight loss, you ask? Well, I believe that following Dave Ramsey has made me more successful at weight watchers. Dave’s plan is all about following a budget, isn’t that what our point system is? A budget of food we can eat for the day. Once our points are gone, we are supposed to stop eating. Same with the budget…once your money is gone that you have allotted for that item, you have to stop spending. Too bad that now you see a pair of boots you like. Your money is gone. Same with weight watchers. There is no room for acting like a red faced brat because you want that slice of pie. Too bad, your points are gone, you are done spending for the day.

Obesity/unhealthy living is normal in our society…..let’s be weird. I know I am going to.
I hate the scale. Yeah, there is an earth shattering revelation for a woman….. I would be happiest to only weigh in once a month. I hate how that lifeless box (the scale) that we step on controls if we are happy or sad…..energized or defeated. I do not weigh myself other than at weight watchers. As I step on the scales each week, and they ask “flex or core” I answer “flex” and then they usually ask how my week was. My answer is always the same, “I don’t care what the “box” says, I had a kick ass week”.
My criteria for kick ass is that I worked out at least 5 days, drank all of my water every day and ate within my points every day. I mean, really, that is all I can control. I know that there are times that I can do every thing right and the scale will not agree. I HATE THAT! It’s not fair
I know, I know, no one said life was fair and that the effort put in will equal the results out. But that really sucks.
So to combat those feelings of inadequacy, I make sure that I have a kick ass week every week.
What do you do to make sure you have a kick ass week?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Saturday activity

Saturday I administered a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) test for a nearby kennel club. The CGC test is a 10 step test to essentially prove your dog is within your control and a good citizen. Your dog does not have to be a purebred in order to take the test and it generally costs around $10. If you would like more information on the Canine Good Citizen test, visit Ruby got to go as my demo dog. She is by far my best trained of the 7.

Later that day I headed over to my friend Deb’s house for a walk we had been planning. Originally we planed to walk from her house to the nearby mall (5 miles each way). We ended up going about 8 miles. I can’t tell you for sure because I have once again lost my weight watchers pedometer. Total walk time was between 3 and 3 ½ hours. While this was less than our original goal, my body sure knew that I had walked 8 miles. I don’t think I have ever walked that far at one time. It definitely counted as a kick ass work out.

When I returned to my house, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get out of the car walk into the house. Of course to recuperate, I took a 2 hour nap. We have another walk planned for this Saturday.

Good Morning

Well, here I am. First time blogger, wanting to shout from the rooftops about my weight loss/fitness journey.

About me.... Brenda (35), married to John (43) for 13 years. No human children, just our 7 dogs named (in order of aquisition...) Tucker the 38 pound toy poodle...yes I said toy poodle. Buddy the token mixed breed, Ruby the red standard bitch, Haven a black standard bitch, Morgan a black standard bitch, Cruise a blue boy, and Leia the black standard poodle rescue. Yep, we have a full house.

I joined weight watchers for the first time back in '98 and lost 75 lbs. Not bad eh? Then I was bumped (union term) from a job I loved by a coworker I already hated and used that as an excuse to gain it all back plus.....

Joined again in July of this year and have lost 26.6 lbs in 12 weeks. Got my 25 pound medal last Wednesday night.