Friday, June 29, 2012

PT: Day 32: Graduation


The words are having a little trouble coming out this morning.  I guess I can start with a comparison.

I didn't record the exercises I did in my first PT session.  I was too busy being down out about it.  But by appointment number 2 I started writing things down.  My first recorded PT workout:

Warmup Hip Stretches
Side Steps
Bosu Squats [I was doing these wrong the whole time - still haven't worked up to doing them right]
Wall Ball Abduction
Leg Extension
Balance Board
Cage Stretch
Side Lying Abduction on Ball

Yesterday's Workout:

6 min Elliptical - level 4 - 0.25 mi
Monster Walk with Red Band
Backwards Monster Walk with Red Band
Walking Lunges - 8 reps each side
Plank - 3 reps 20 sec each
Side Plank - 2 reps 20 sec each
Reverse Curl with Stick - 18 reps
Bosu Superman - 7 reps each side (this is technically called a Reverse Lunge)
Leg Extensions with Band - 20 reps each side
Side Lunges with 10 pound weight - 10 reps each side
Squats with 10 Pound weight - 15 reps
Bridges with Kickout - 6 reps
Glut Press - 15 reps each side
Okay.  I can't deny the progress I see there.  And I know I'm doing all these things with decent form.  Wow.  Faced with that comparison, I feel pretty proud of all I've accomplished.  I can say that it sucked more than words to have the scar tissue in my hips broken up and there were more than a few tears of frustration over the state my body is in....  But Wow.

At the end of my session, my therapist sat with me and we talked about the next step in a lot of these exercises.  Combining the Walking Lunge with a Reverse Lunge.  Strengthening my shoulders so I can lengthen my Side Plank times.  Using a Kettle ball (bell?) with my squats.  Finally getting my feet under the stick in a Reverse Curl.  That one I've promised to send her a picture of when it finally happens.

The biggest message she had for me was that I'm not done.  I'm never going to be done with all this.  My gluts are by no means strong; they just don't require physical therapy anymore.  I'm still compensating for weak gluts by using my piriformis; that's going to require a lot of squats and lunges and glut presses to remedy.  My lower abs...  there were no real words here beyond "reverse curl" and "c-section".  It's all going to take time.  Lots of time and lots of work.  But there is no reason I can't do this on my own anymore.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Surrounded by friends, I heard myself laughing.  I'm not sad all the time.  Or maybe it is more accurate to say not all of me is sad.  There are parts which are still kicking butt and have a grand time.  Even when I feel overwhelmingly sad, not all of me is sad.  Maybe that is what resides in the empty place.  When I don't fill it in, the sadness has a little more space to take up.  It's just a little more noticeable.

That's better than being just sad.  I can deal with that.  I can get back on track and make progress despite this ache that doesn't want to go away.  There's no disrespect implied by setting the sadness to the side for a little while and feeling something else.  It gets incorporated and can stay right where it is in its rightful place alongside all my other emotions.  Why does this one of all of them seem to reprehensible to me?  It's just a feeling.

Today I have PT.  It's my last PT appointment.  Hopefully ever.  I can't say I feel as though I'm finishing strong, but I do feel like I'm done.  Today's appointment will hopefully reaffirm that.  the only very mild regret I have is not getting my abs strong enough to get my feet under the stick in the reverse curl.  That will be a goal in the coming months.  My therapist swears that it is possible and multiple people have demonstrated it.  I just can't quite seem to get there yet.  I will get there.

Next week the kids are back to day care and my life settles back into its usual pattern.  My foot has been feeling pretty good all week, not perfect, but much better.  These are the final excuses I'm using to not go to the gym.  It's time to kick them to the curb.  Plus I have an appointment with the personal trainer on July 11th.  I need to be ready for that.  Next week I'll be back in the gym 3 times per week.  I know it is under my 4 times per week goal, but after a month off I think it is a good goal.

Could this be me getting back on track?  I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Don't beat yourself up

If yesterday was dark, today is darker.  I weighed in and the numbers went in the wrong direction.  First time that's happened since I quit Weight Watchers.  It was inevitable.  I'm not only feeling unsurprised but somewhat justified in seeing what I figured would happen eventually.  It always happens, right?

When talking about fears and feelings, these are the ones that reach in and strangle me.  To dull the ache, I remind myself this is just the way my life works.  I suck it up and keep moving simply because there is no other choice being offered.  I'm a victim to life.  I start getting mad because I'm being a ninnie.  I shove myself around until I get back to some arbitrary functional measurement.  In time, I can ignore the feelings long enough for them to be reabsorbed.  Once they are buried again, their teeth don't hurt so much.

This time is different.  I'm not being allowed to shut up and push myself back to where I was.  I didn't ask to change this pattern, but a few things changed when I wasn't looking.  First I started writing.  I've always kept a private journal.  But it is for me in the moment.  Even there I tend to record happy or angry moments.  There isn't a lot of the in between.  I don't write about the painful middle when I'm not taking action.  Yesterday I wrote about that moment.

Second, I asked my husband to let me lose my temper and get mad.  It sounds strange, but I haven't let that happen in years.  Not externally.  It wasn't my husband's fault that I suppressed all the negative emotions.  I just didn't want to fight.  Between babies and work and life, I didn't have the energy to deal with the intensity of those emotions.  I put a cap on my temper and sadness and frantic energy.  It was draining, but it wasn't as draining as I thought dealing with being out of control would be. So I utilized the same skills I leverage at work to distance myself at home.  It worked in that we didn't fight.

And then it didn't.  I came up with a big goal.  That goal is sapping time and energy from maintaining my cool.  It's requiring me to dig deeper and reorganize my life and my comforting patterns.  I'm getting mad.  At myself.  At my family.  At my life.  I've caught myself lashing out against the people who love me the most.  And I'm sad and tired too much of the time.  Everything is out of whack and I'm not handling it well.  I'm not happy with myself.  Again.

"If it is okay for you to beat yourself up, it becomes okay for you to beat up everyone around you.  It's not okay."
These words have echoed in my head for days now.  Following my last outburst, I was told that I was loved and everything was fine, but the lashing out was not okay.  It might be tolerated and part of the process, but I need to be aware of it and be working on it.  Because it was not okay to treat anyone that way.  It was particularly not okay to treat myself that way.

Love yourself.  Nurture yourself.  Understand yourself.  It takes time.  And patience.  And precious energy.  I'm not going to continue my wallow.  But I'm not going to stomp on myself this time.  This is a process.  A long one.  I'm in a low and that is okay.  I can already see changes happening.  I've been here before and the days will lighten up again.  While it lasts, I can be patient and give myself a chance to sort through some of the baggage of a dark day.  If I take the chance now, maybe there will be a little less there the next time I find myself in this place.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Lately I've been talking with my husband more about my 100 pound goal.   Where I was on top of the world last month, this month I'm struggling.  Going to the gym in the morning has dropped out of existence.  Weight loss is continuing due to my calorie restrictions.  My foot is getting better.  Slowly.  All the systems that keep my world working experienced a crash and burn right in front of my eyes.  Those systems are in the process of being reborn.  As of right now, I haven't found time to put the gym back in yet.

It is scaring me.  I liked how I was feeling and I believe those hours are going to become increasingly necessary for me to reach my goal and maintain.  The work I put in at the gym also translates to other areas.  My general well-being feels affected.  In the past few weeks, food has stopped satisfying me.  Nothing is good enough any more.  My cravings are turned to nachos and french fries and burritos.   Foods which have always helped fill the void.

There is an empty spot in me.  It's a feeling I've had for a very long time, but it wasn't here a few weeks ago.  I was busy and full to the brim.  I was succeeding.  I was in control.  Now I don't feel that way.  Something broke between heel pain, sick kids and service projects.  Somewhere in there I got drained of whatever it was that was making me feel strong.  Now I feel overwhelmed and lost.

I poured all this and more out on my husband.  He hugged and comforted and offered support.  We've had rough spots in the past over me trying to lose weight, but this time it is different.  He's all in for whatever I need to do.  It's amazing and empowering to be so supported.  There isn't a person in the world who knows me so well.  As I started to wind down, all my fears laid out in front of us, he offered a bit of insight.
"There are two versions of you.  The newest version starts her day at the gym and works to make good food choices.  I like both versions, but you seem to be happier with the newest."
Maybe it is as simple as who do I want to be.  Do I want starting each day at the gym to be on the top of my priority list?  How important it is to me?   What am I willing to rearrange to make it happen?  A month ago I would have rearranged anything.  Today I'm enjoying my later nights puttering around the house and dealing with my domestic issues.  Or spending time with my husband.  Or sewing.  Or writing.  Or just playing for a few extra minutes on the internet.

Do I have to make a choice?  How important is going to the gym every morning to me?  Can I make a more balanced program by choosing 3 days a week to get up early and get my sweat on?  The rhythm of my day is important to me.  That I'm sure of.  I have to think more about the rest.  All this introspection takes time and energy as well.  I've been reminding myself that dealing with this inner turmoil is at least as important as working out if not more so.  Without all this thinking, I won't succeed at my larger goal.  Sitting on my butt wasn't the only reason I got where I am today and getting off it isn't the sole key to the solution.

For too long I've asked my food to fill the emptiness these questions emphasize.   That is not only the wrong answer but a way to avoid ever dealing with the question.  I have to stop using food to drown my insecurities and dampen the wanderlust.  The empty spot is something I need to embrace.  As I continue to find success in my weight loss, this emptiness is going to get worse.  Who do I want to be?  What do I want to do with my life?  When I was younger these questions caused me discomfort.  I would avoid them because they meant I had to make choices and close doors.  As a wife and mother, these questions are absolutely terrifying.  They require a depth of belief that I don't necessarily have.  A faith that I haven't gotten where I am by accident and against myself.

This is my rabbit hole.  For the time being I'm still hovering at the edge.  I cling to where I'm at and hope it's where I should be.  But I have to address these feelings.  I must continue to think on these questions.  Success makes me aware of the dirt slipping away under my feet.  New territory.  Eventually I'll have no choice but to deal with whatever it is that's eating at me.  But I'm just not ready yet.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

Yesterday I felt like Dori.  I was all over the place.  No focus on the moment.   And not able to deal in the past or future very well.  Over the last week, I've left my PT clothes sitting on my dresser, my wallet in the girls diaper bag and my keys in the front door.  I'll never claim to be the most put together person, but this is ridiculous.

And I all I could tell myself was to keep on keepin' on.

With each iteration of crazy, I get a good thing out of it.  I become better at detecting, monitoring and redirecting the crazy.  With the lack of focus I was experiencing yesterday afternoon, I took off an hour early from work, went home and sorted the mail.  That's right.  Of all the things I could do with an hour, I chose to sort mail.

I poured a nice cup of ice water.  All my mail just barely fit in the wall basket in my kitchen.  I carried it to the family room and spread all the mail out on my sofa.  I popped Season 6 Smashed from Buffy the Vampire Slayer into the DVD player (my TV obsession of choice).  Pulling the recycle bins and shred bin over ensured that I did not have to get up for any reason.  And for the next 40 minutes I sorted mail in the quiet of my own home.  With no interruptions.

It was awesome.  When the mail was finished I had a few extra minutes on the episode so I sat and massaged my feet with a tennis ball.  Ahhh.  That was even better than getting through the mail!

And I got my zen back.  I'm by no means caught up but for the rest of the evening I wasn't a spaz-cadet.  I took my girls to Chick-fil-A for dinner and let them burn off 45 minutes of energy in the play place.  We did the whole bedtime ritual peacefully.  I got the laundry sorted and a load put in the washer.  I cleaned the mountain of greens our CSA provided this week.  I savored one chocolate chip cookie.  I watched one more episode of Buffy (Season 6 Wreaked) while doing a few PT exercises to warmup.  I stretched out my very sore legs and rolled my IT band.  I went to bed content.

I feel productive again.  Or maybe my limited control over my schedule has been reattained.  Whatever gives me this peaceful productive I-can-do-anything feeling is back.  And it is welcome to stay as long as it likes.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Low Point

Off schedule post...  I need to vent.

I've reached overload point.  Or overwhelmed capacity.  I don't know.  It all sums up to I am trying to do a lot and have stopped doing any of it.  The working out, you know about.  But other parts of my life are starting to suffer.  I was just looking at the nutrition data for Chick-fil-A because that's where we are getting dinner tonight.  I can't even consider cooking.  The thought of doing so makes me sweat.  And it is not even 2pm.  Then I have work, laundry, bills and ... oh yeah...  work.

I have to get to work.  But I also have to spend tonight doing some breathing and sorting out how I am going to get out from under the mountain of behind I have gotten myself into.  There is only one way and that is to tackle one thing at a time.  But which thing and when and the feeling of futility is starting to make me stall.  It feels like everyday I get a little further behind and there isn't an end in sight for any of it.  After all it is my life.  I'm not really looking for an end, you know...

This happens.  Life gets busy and things slip.  I've gotten off track and back on before, but I need to get on track soon before I derail more of my good practices staggering under the weight of catching up.  My husband says everything is fine and I just need to settle down.  It will all workout.  But I hate this feeling of crazy.  I just need everything to slow down.  Just for a minute.

Any suggestions when you find yourself behind?  What makes you feel like you can do it all again?

Hehee.  Mountain of Behind.  That's awesome.

PT: Day 31

Wednesday afternoon's PT session included:

6 min Elliptical - level 4
Reverse Curl with Stick - 15 reps
Monster Walk with Red Band
Backwards Monster Walk with Red Band
Bosu Superman (Swiss Ball removed) - 10 reps each side
Leg Extensions with Band (similar to Bird Dogs, but I wasn't strong enough to stretch out my arms with the band involved) - 20 reps each side
Side Lunges - 10 reps each side
Squats with 10 Pound weight - 10 reps
Lunges - 6 reps each side (new and WOWWOWWOW - Ow.)
Plank - 3 reps 20 sec each
Side Plank - 2 reps 20 sec each
Bridges with Kickout - 5 reps
Adductors - 5 reps with 5 sec hold (new exercise to strengthen my left leg specifically)

Yesterday was my last re-evaluation.  My left side still needs a bit of work, but I've learned what I need to know.  I'm being released from physical therapy next week.  One more appointment and I'm officially on my own.  It's a little lot scary to know that I have to make this happen for myself now.

When I first started PT, I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without pain.  Today I still have occasional pain but I understand it and readjust.  Five months ago, I could not order my glut to move my leg.  Today I can properly exercise that muscle group to exhaustion.  The first time we tested my abdominal strength I held a crunch for 12 seconds.  In this most recent evaluation, she stopped the timer at 45 seconds when I hadn't dropped.

My biggest fear is that I'll end up back where I started.  The pain will return.  The weight will come back.  My muscles will stop working.  I'll give up, a lost cause.  I can argue with those fears until I'm blue in the face.  It makes no difference.  Logically, I know I can't end up in the same place.  That doesn't stop me from being scared of returning to that place.  It would be my ultimate nightmare.  Reliving the same struggle over and over with no one but myself to blame.

What I'm doing here - analyzing my diet, documenting my workouts - is my fear anecdote.  I'm capturing the process I'm using to get from that scary painful unhealthy place to where ever I'm headed.  Should I find that I'm back sliding I have tools to dig myself out again.

However, the quickest way to keep the fear at bay?  Don't backslide.  I'm working on that one right now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Food Judgement

Last night I sat down with my girls to eat dinner.  They split a can of whole wheat ABC & 123's with Meatballs while I had leftover chicken and mashed potatoes.  There were no vegetables.  Well, unless you count the sauce on the ABC's...  The can says there is a full serving in there somewhere.  That counts, right?


Oh well.  We only eat like that two or three times a month.  If my husband had been coming home for dinner I'd have at least chopped up and sauteed the Swiss Chard in the vegetable draw.  But who was I impressing?  My 3 year old was extra thrilled that I let her pick her dinner from the pantry all by herself.  It was adorable.

But in my nutritional disaster that was dinner I had a triumph.  At the end of dinner, I sat down and recorded my calories totaling everything up for the day.  I was hoping I hadn't exceeded 1500 so that I could pull a chocolate chip cookie or two out of the freezer.  I was at 1581.  And I was full.

So I stopped eating.

I was satisfied.

And no craving came haunting in the night.  No obsessive thoughts about food.  No pepperoni drive-bys.  I was quite simply just done.

And it was a superb feeling.

I have food issues.  Given that I try to focus on the positives of working out and calorie counting, you might have missed the food issues.  But they are here.  They are big.  All too often they dominate my thoughts and I do all these other activities to counter them.  I work hard to find coping mechanisms.  And when I'm not coping?  I create avoidance tactics and diversions.  I tell myself stories about the future and remind myself of why I'm doing all this.  I fold clothes, vacuum or knit.  I brush my teeth.

Last night I didn't need to.  I coped.  I coped without trying.  This has been happening more and more lately.  It is a great feeling.  I am able to control my calories like never before.

Calories aren't loaded with emotion the way food is.  Each calorie is just a unit of energy.  I need a certain number of them and, when I have enough, I can be done.  Points didn't translate that way.  The formula used to determine them passed judgement on food.  It was about more than just input and output.  I didn't deal well with that.  So far I'm counting calories without the negativity or obsession I've experienced in the past.

Someday I hope to move beyond the simple calorie counting further into a wholesome nutrition-filled diet, but for now this is good.  I don't need to rush and I still have lots to learn without muddying the waters.  It feels so good to have something objective to cling to during this process.  Something serving my purposes so well.  I'm kind of embarrassed that I never thought to try it before.  But instead, I'll be thankful.  Thankful for a judgement-free way to deal with one aspect of all this.  Thankful this is working.  Thankful for the time to find it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Plantar Fasciitis

The doctor says Plantar Fasciitis which is an inflammation of the plantar fascia which runs long the bottom of the foot.  The treatment prescribed is not something I'm happy with.  Expensive shoes.  Limitations on the machines I can use at the gym.  Stretching.  Icing.  More expensive shoes.  And time.

I'm not particular happy with this diagnosis.  While it might be accurate, Plantar Fasciitis sounds like the thing they diagnose when nothing else is wrong.  There is no heel spur.  No bone spur.  No fracture.  No torn anything.  I have fallen arches, flat feet, heavy pronation, but I knew all that.  I will cling to the fact that there is nothing structurally wrong with my feet.  Much like the work I've done to be reintroduced to my gluts, I must get to know my feet.

I started last night by purchasing new sneakers.  I'm completely freaked out about how much money I spent, but so far they are feeling pretty good.  By pretty good I can say that they are like a breath of fresh air after wearing the old beat up pair I've been getting by with.  I tend to put up with bad shoes for way longer than anyone should.  I simply forget over time how good a new pair that is fitted for my feet feels, so I wait and wait and wait.  When I finally try on a new pair, I just about swoon over how good my feet feel..

Another part of pretty good is how these shoes don't let me stand like I'm used to standing.  I spend an incredible amount of time standing on the sides of my feet to make up for having flat feet.  These shoes don't let me roll my feet in (pronate) or out (supinate).  It's a very strange sensation.  My gut impression is that when I find myself standing on the sides of my feet again while wearing these shoes, it will be time to get new shoes.

These new shoes are Brooks Ariel.  I wore a Brooks brand shoe a few years ago to survive the havoc that my first pregnancy wreaked on my feet.  They were good shoes, but I remember them taking a long time to get use to.  I can feel that in these as well.  Maybe it is that they make me stand different than I used to.  I'm not really sure why they feel strange today.  Thankfully there is a return policy if I don't adjust to them over the next week.

So that is my foot story.  I'm not thrilled with the diagnosis, but I'm happy that nothing is truly wrong with my feet.  I'm spending today adjusting to my shoes.  Tomorrow is my weigh-in.  We'll see if I can get myself together enough to get to the gym.  Or workout at home tonight.  Wish me luck!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Even Keel

Today is my foot doctor appointment.  I also have some free time to do some sneaker shopping in the evening.  I'm planning for these two activities to realign my physical world and my workouts to resume tomorrow morning.  I packed my gym bag last night so I'm totally ready to go for tomorrow. We'll see how that advance planning works.

Monday, June 111403
Tuesday, June 121622
Wednesday, June 13 1571
Thursday, June 142130My kids got sick; dining under pressure
Friday, June 151627
Saturday, June 162055Father's Day Carry Out
Sunday, June 171541

Current evaluation:

  • Consistent Tracking: Spot on.
  • 1600 Daily Goal: Three days of out of 7 were within 50 calories of 1600.  While the goal is my daily target, I'm finding it to be a discouraging statistic.
  • Weekly Average:  1707.  That's more like it!  I'm totally good with this average.
  • Monthly Average: 1809. Again I'm good with this.  If the range I got from SparkPeople is correct, this puts my monthly average within that range to lose 1 pound per week.  I like the long term trend being established.
The thing I'm happiest with over the last week are my food choices.  One meal in each of the 2000+ calorie days is what pushed the total over my goal, dinner on each day.  My other meals on those days were just as they should have been; healthy options, low fat, veggies, protein.  I might have even eaten a little fruit at some point; I'm not a big fan of fruit. 

Both of my kids fell ill on Thursday within hours of each other and one of our relatives brought us dinner.  My husband and I orbited the kids trying to figure out what they would eat, taking temperatures, rocking and soothing while occasionally grabbing a bite of whatever we could manage in the moment.  It was kind of like a party buffet without the festive atmosphere.  I'm definitely learning that, when I eat in that mode, I overeat.

The kids are slowly recovering, but Father's Day weekend was pretty much cancelled.  To make an attempt at some celebration for my husband, I got carry out on Saturday night which included French Fries and Tzatziki Dip.  If you've never tried this combination, save yourself and don't start now.  If you have, you understand why I'm happy that I stayed close to 2000 calories that day. 
The other end of the spectrum are the days where my caloric intake was less that 1550.  There were two of those days last week as well.  I don't aim to be so low, but honestly it's not bothering me right now.  I wasn't hungry and I even ate dessert on those days to use up some extra calories.  I guess that is why the 1600 Daily Goal is bugging me a little.  The goal is good because it tells me when to stop for the day, but I don't want to make myself eat more if I'm just not hungry.  Also My workouts haven't been as ... well ... present in the past two weeks so I feel the lower calorie days are okay.

All-in-all, I'm happy with last week.  I look forward to the week to come with a return to health in my house and, hopefully, a return to the gym for my body!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Understandable Results and a Deadline

Though I'm only sharing my weight monthly, I do track it on a weekly basis.  Each Wednesday morning after I workout but before I shower and get dressed for the day, I weigh-in.  Since switching to calorie counting, this is the first Wednesday that I haven't made it to the gym.  This past week is also the first week that I haven't worked out at least 4 times per week.  With today being weigh-in, I was nervous.

As it turns out, I didn't need to be quite to nervous.  My caloric intake stayed about where it has been (a little over the previous week, but not out of control) while my activity went down a little.  All said and done, I lost a little less than I usually do.  I'm okay with that.  Not in the long run of course, but while I'm figuring out my foot, I'm okay with it.

It's definitely strange to have something workout logically like that.  I talked to a woman this week who's been living a healthy lifestyle her entire life.  She seemed to have an innate understanding of her behaviors that support her health.  I wondered at that.  To know what your body needs and when it is out of whack...  I don't have that understanding.  But I'm starting to gain a little of it.  Weeks like this really do serve a purpose.  I get to see that it isn't all or nothing for one.  And I'm learning to listen just a little better to what my body is telling me.  Hopefully, sooner than later, my body and I will be speaking to the same language.

Speaking of later, I've given later a date.  Later is 600 days from today.  It sounds like a lot.  600 Days.  The date of later is February 3rd, 2014.  It is going to be a Monday.  On that day I want to weigh 140 lbs.  It feels so strange to type that.  That number seems impossible right now.  To achieve it by that day I need to lose an average 4.5 pounds per month.  That seems more doable, but also a lot of work.  A lot of very consistent work.

To get there will be a feat.  An awesome feat.  A feat to be celebrated.  Disney World?  A Spa Day?  I'm not sure a day will be enough.  Maybe a Spa weekend?  Maybe I make a girlfriend travel with me to Europe.  Or a shopping spree?  I've always wanted to be able to wear the clothing in Ann Taylor.  At 140 I will definitely be in their size range.

I haven't a clue how I'll celebrate accomplishing the impossible, but I will celebrate.  And I'm pretty sure my body will celebrate with me.  Not just a celebration of reaching a goal and ending a struggle.  More a celebration of a new solid union.  Body and mind.  I hope even more than fitting in that cute little dress, I'll understand how I accomplished all that I did and what I can do to keep myself healthy and happy for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

PT: Day 30: The Proof

Monday's PT included:

6 min Elliptical - Level 4
Reverse Curl with Stick - 15 reps
Side Steps with Band
Monster Walk with Band
Backwards Monster Walk
Bird Dogs with Crunch and Resistance Band - 10 reps each side
Planks - 2 reps for 30sec
Side Planks - 2 reps each side for 20 sec
Squats - 10 reps
Side Squats- 10 reps each side
The Superman on Bosu - 10 reps each side
Cage Stretch
Bridges with Kickout - 5 reps

After almost 3 weeks without PT, I was still on track.  Honestly I was very concerned that I would regress quickly.  But my form was solid.  With my foot hurting squats had to be limited.  That was the only thing that stressed my foot.  I can definitely do a lot more than I thought I could.

Speaking of my foot, my appointment is still scheduled for next Monday.  While it is on the mend, I don't like that it has taken over a week to get there.  I look forward to having the doctor look at it and let me know if that there is nothing wrong.  Or tell me what is wrong if there is something wrong.  I've done some googling and that pretty much leads me to believe that I should never google medical symptoms.  How many times do I need to learn that lesson?  :P

On Thursday I did a little swimsuit shopping.  It didn't go badly but I wasn't thrilled with the options either.  I'm going to keep looking.  There are a lot of dress swimsuits these days which I don't remember the last time I shopped for a swimsuit ten years ago.  Also the support options are a lot friendlier if you get what I mean.  Has anyone swam in one of those dress-like swim suits?  Do they get heavy in water?

Monday, June 11, 2012


I'm thinking of making my calorie counts a weekly addition for a while.  I'm learning a lot by looking at them.  Also, I like the solid number aspect of this.  The running averages give me an idea of the direction I'm headed.

Without further adieu here's last week's totals:

Monday, June 41587
Tuesday, June 51666
Wednesday, June 61627
Thursday, June 71734
Friday, June 81488Low calories, but I was satisfied all day
Saturday, June 93082Party with Grown-ups and no kids
Sunday, June 102007Party surrounded by lots of kids

And here's my current evaluation criteria:

  • Consistent Tracking: Woohoo!  I counted on all days!  I can say there was a bit of portion size estimation going on on Saturday and Sunday, but being at someone else's house I feel strange whipping out a measuring cup and notebook.
  • 1600 Daily Goal: Only 2 days of out of 7 were within 50 calories of 1600.  I'm starting to wonder if this metric does anything for me.  Having the goal is good, but I seem to be a little all over the place.  Maybe that is the reason to maintain it.
  • Weekly Average:  13191 / 7 = 1884.  That's higher than I'd like.
  • Monthly Average: 36895 / 20 = 1845. This is lower than the weekly average.  For the sake of comparison, this says that my intake last week was higher than usual.

The biggest shock this past week was the 3000+ calorie day.  I ate reasonably all day.  I dropped my kids off with their grandparents and headed to a grown-up birthday party (isn't it just great that I feel compelled to classify the type of party I'm attending).  I went in with a plan.  At the party, I consumed 1600 calories - my entire daily allotment.  My problem was that I didn't treat the buffet as a meal.  I snacked.  As with the dip, I need to manage buffet style in servings.  The drive-by snacking got me into trouble.

The difference between Saturday and Sunday was the wine I had on Saturday.  I had 4 glasses a bit.  Otherwise my party consumption was the same about 1200 calories.  I don't regret the wine by any stretch but what I find fascinating is that I ate 1200 calories simply because I was at a party and out of my controlled environment.  This is definitely where solid coping mechanisms are needed.

Without those two party days my totals would have looked a lot different.  However, I am proud of how I handled the meals surrounding the parties.  On Saturday I went into the day with a plan and I executed it flawlessly up to party time.  On Sunday I knew I'd overdone it, so we made a big green salad and put grilled tuna on top for dinner.  I don't feel upset with myself over those numbers, just interested in what I can learn.

Of course, I do kind of wonder how many times I have to learn certain lessons before they stick.  *sigh*  I look forward to the day when I will report that I picked up a plate at a party, filled it with a little of the things I wanted and then stepped away from the table for the rest of the night.  That will be an interesting day.  :)

Friday, June 8, 2012


Some days I wonder at all that I do.  Exercise.  Work.  Cook.  Doctors appointments.  Bank snafus.  Skinned knees.  Games of memory.  Laundry.  I live inside the routines I've created to cope with all my roles in life.  The noise and demands make me feel needed and necessary.  I sleep very peacefully at night knowing I've fully lived my life that day.  I can do anything in this realm.  To live this way is success.

Others are spent just doing.  Each fire that presents itself is stomped out and relegated to the side.  All routines are executed from memory without thinking of how they came to be or who they serve.  They must be done.  Now.  The people and tasks fly by without recognition.  I'm harshly effective, managing my life and those in it with impunity.  There is little time for understanding or forgiveness.  Success is the only acceptable outcome.

©2012 Susan Bearman @Two Kinds of People
I oscillate between the two modes of existence.  I prefer wonder.  Wandering slowly but effectively through my day loving the process of living.  Life wraps me up and I interact with the fog.  Not every step is sure but it is intentional.  I have a belief that I'll find the right path.

As I wander and wonder, the fog begins to burn away.  I cling to the peaceful feelings, but eventually everything comes back into sharp focus.  I see the individual tasks and all the steps necessary to get where I'm going.  When the fog burns off, purpose replaces it.  Just as the wonder is comforting, confidence is empowering.  I execute my plans knowing that I am on the right path.

I live most of my life executing plans.  However, life gets in the way of executing plans.  I'd even go so far to say it messes up good plans.  When operating on a deadline and under tight control, there is no margin of error, no time to slow down and interact.  I push forward knowing what I have to do and doing it.  One foot in front of the other. 

But fog gets thicker as you keep moving.  It obscures your vision.  Eventually fog fills your nose, persisting until you are forced to slow down, come to a stop.  I finally have no choice but to stand still and listen.  Life's all around me, holding my hand, helping me forget all my plans and deadlines.  I take a deep breath and remember where I was going.  While I can't make out my goal in all the chaos the surrounds me, I can see it in my mind.  With where I'm headed reestablished, I take a deep breath enjoying myself and feeling my life.  I tell myself "You can do this".  I take another step.  Not sure where I am on the path, I keep moving knowing eventually I'll reach my goal.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Reality Check

Yesterday I had to head home early from work.  My foot hurt enough that all I could think about was getting home and resting it.  So that's what I did.  I also made an appointment to see a doctor in the sports medicine practice I've been going to for my knee.  They can't see me until June 18th.  My only hope at an earlier appointment is to call back in every couple of days to see if they have a cancellation.  I will be trying that.

In the meantime, I'm attempting to stay off my feet and not feel sorry for myself.  That second part is kind of hard.  I'm not great at switching gears and this pain is causing a massive downshift in my plans.  Until yesterday afternoon, I was still pushing.  I kept thinking that the pain would just pass.  Sometimes pain does that.  Today I'm not pushing so hard anymore.  I'm not a doctor and until the doctor can tell me why this is hurting, I'm going to do my best to stay off it.

What does that mean for my workouts?

First off, no stairs.  By that I mean no climbing flights of stairs at work right now.  I have stairs in my house which are functionally necessary for me living there.  Just no extra stairs.  I'll erase my count and start again after I'm either cleared by the doc or the pain goes away.  Now I just have to believe that this isn't a failure.

Secondly, cardio will be done in the pool.  I'm planning two swim workouts each week.  This afternoon I'm going to go purchase some swim goggles (did I already say that yesterday?).  I'm also spending some time on the internet tonight to pick out a new swimsuit.  Mine is embarrassingly loose (Eek!!!) and over 10 years old.  The time has come.  And gone.  And come again.

Third coping mechanism, strength workouts will be done at home.  I'm compiling a list of PT exercises that I've done and focusing on the ones which don't require standing.  Thankfully there are more than a few.  Also, I have the arm/shoulder work that the personal trainer went over with me.  I'll plan on 40 minutes of strength training twice a week, the length of time it takes to make it through one episode of Buffy (don't judge).  If I find Buffy too distracting, I'll switch to the radio.  :)

And finally...  I promise to be kind to myself.  I promise to try to be patient.  My biggest hope is that I'm making all these plans which will be deemed unnecessary tomorrow when my foot magically stops hurting.  My reality is that I have lots of things I can keep doing while my foot heals.  Now I just need to do them.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Workout 120606: Flipper

I'm still concerned about my heel.  It still hurts.  But I don't want to ruin my gym habit, so to the gym I headed this morning.  My workout?

20 min Swimming

That looks to inadequate to me.  However those 20 minutes were hard!  I know how to swim, but I'm not a smooth swimmer.  I'm not overly coordinated at anything.  Keeping my breathing regular and timing my breaths for when my face wasn't underwater was HARD.  Plus there is the whole propelling myself through water.

This week I'll be doing a little research on how to exercise in a pool when you aren't going to drown, but are really uncoordinated.  I'm not quite sure how I'll phrase that for Google, but I'll share any particularly enlightening searches.  Also, I need to purchase a pair of swim goggles.  In addition to breathing while swimming, seeing would be useful so I don't run into things.  Thankfully there are ropes and walls to keep me from running into other swimmers.  And I guess I'm past worrying about looking like a dork at the pool...  Anyone who is really worried about it isn't working out hard enough.  Shame on them!

Also, yesterday marked my first full day elevator free after my momentary relapse on Monday.  At the encouragement of one of my co-workers I tried the stairs with my heel.  It didn't hurt more than just walking does, so I'm going to keep taking the stairs.  The added per there?  I noticed that I can take three consecutive flights of stairs without dying now!  How cool is that?  I am still a little out of breath when I get to the top, but not so much so that I would be embarrassed to walk up along side a co-worker.  That is super and I'm thankful someone convinced me not to give up.  Woohoo!

As such, I'm also making a note on my white board.  It will document my success in this area.  Here you can see it for yourself.

The Results Are In

Today's post is brought to you by the number...



Yeah!!!!  Woohoo!  Go Margot!  It's your birthday!  Have a party!

I am thrilled! Hesitantly thrilled but thrilled nonetheless. That number came as a bit of a surprise this morning.  I was hoping for 225.  After moving to calorie counting, I was more than a little concerned that my process would be found lacking against the proven system that is Weight Watchers.  Really I was a lot worried.  Today I know that worry is unfounded.  There is no one tool for success.

The biggest plus is that I like counting calories more than I do counting points. The first time I did WW I knew the formula well enough to guesstimate points from calories. The new point system has a much more complicated formula. And many restaurants only offer calorie counts on their foods these days which have no place in the new formula. I was finding that very frustrating.  Switching to calories fixed that.  I only have to add and the number is increasingly available.

My hesitation comes from the constant fear that this isn't real and the weight will return. I'm not sure if that fear will ever go away. I may reach my goal and always feel a 100 lb weight following behind me waiting to reunite. That might be the trade off for going through this process. By succeeding I know what both side feeling like.  I won't ever be an blissfully ignorant skinny person. This person who had a 100 lb weight loss goal will always be here.

That's not such a bad thing, but it is one more thing to consider along my way.  Learning to celebrate these losses is hard.  I should be over the moon with excitement for the progress I'm making.  And I am!  Sort of.  There's just more to it.  I guess there will always be more to it.

My total weight loss since May's weigh in is 6 pounds.  Since my first weigh-in in January my total weight loss is 16 pounds.  That averages out to 0.72 pounds per week, or 3.2 pounds per month, for this year.  I like the 3.2 pounds per month number.  It is solid progress, but definitely not too quick.  The slower progress gives me a little more hope that this is real.  I am making permanent changes in my life, ones that I can stick with forever.  Go me!  :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Workout 020604: Fighting Discouragement

Yesterday my physical therapist advised me to not come in and take it easy.  After no workout in the morning and no PT I determined that I needed to do something at home.  Here's what I did:

5 min Bike
15 Hip Abductors each side
15 Crunches on a Swiss Ball
10 Bicep Curls*
10 Front Raise*
10 Side Raise*
10 Shoulder Press*
15 Swiss Ball Bridges
15 Reverse Curls
Repeat all above one more time

*All the arm exercises were done while sitting on a Swiss Ball with a 5 lb weight in each hand.

I'll start by saying I'm exceedingly happy that I did my exercises despite it being 8pm and my heel hurting me.  Given that, I will also say that nothing felt quite right.  My exercise ball didn't have enough air in it.  My coccyx started to hurt.  My foot was not better (but no worse, thankfully) from the exercising.  And I couldn't find my stick to roll out my legs.

This is why I go to the gym.

That said, I'm not sure how much I can do at the gym right now.  This morning I stopped by to drop off the gift certificate for my training sessions, but I didn't work out.  It occurred to me half way through the morning that I can swim at the gym even if my foot is hurting.  That's what I'll do tomorrow.  I'm happy to have a plan of attack to keep moving through this foot thing.  It's only been hurting me for 2 full days, but it making me very nervous.  I've made so much progress and I'm very worried about derailing it now.

I told myself I would wait until Wednesday to make an appointment for my foot, but I think I'm going to get the appointment scheduled today.  Am I being a big baby about this foot?  I'm not sure.  But I'm so tired of being in pain.  I love that I was achieving entire days pain free.  Now that I know that is possible I find this pain to be intolerable.  I also worry that I'll just get used to it like I did with the hip and knee stuff.  Then years go by and I end up a ball of disjointed mess again.  Bleck.

So that's enough wallowing for today.  Call doctor to make appointment for foot.  Swim at gym tomorrow.  The plan of action has been determined.  Moving on!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Calorie Edition

Today I did not make it to the gym.  My heel on my left foot is hurting.  I don't even have to stand on it for it to hurt.  While my sneakers help, the pin is still there.  I have PT this afternoon, so I'm officially resting it.  I also broke my elevator streak this morning at work.  *sigh*  I'm not thrilled, but I'm trying not to beat myself.  The minute the heel pain eases up I'll be back to my goal.  Someone out there help me stick to that, okay?

What I can offer on this fine Monday is a bit more thought on my calorie counting.

Friday, May 251536
Saturday, May 262045Counted after the fact
Sunday, May 272656Counted after the fact
Monday, May 281829
Tuesday, May 291655
Wednesday, May 301604
Thursday, May 311759
Friday, June 1---Tracked food but ate at a place with no nutritional data
Saturday, June 21812
Sunday, June 32136Pizza is impossible

Last calorie edition, I said that anything within 50 calories of 1600 was a successful day.  That post claimed a 55% success rate.  Above shows a success rate of 10%.  I am not happy with that at all.  Adding all the numbers above together and dividing by 9 (since I don't have a total for one of the days) I get an 1892 calorie average.  That is 300 calories above my daily target.

That number does include two weekends which are higher.  To get a more well-rounded number I'll take all the days tracked over a full weeks (23704) and divide by 13 days which gives me a 1824 calorie average.  That's 224 over my goal, but better than 300.  I'm not in love with that number, but I'm okay with it.  Given that I'm trying now, I really wonder how many calories I was eating before.

In this process of trying to meet my big goal, I am learning a lot.

  1. Pizza.  *sigh*  When you are dieting, don't eat pizza.  It really isn't worth it.  I ate 575 calories just in pizza crust yesterday.  It was wonderful, delicious and just what I wanted.  However, I would have been satisfied by making pizza out of a whole wheat pita which has the added benefit of being potion controlled.  Meals like that help me to understand how I've gained the weight I have in my life.  What felt like a reasonable dinner totaled 937 calories.  Not reasonable if it is anything less than an exception.
  2. Weekends are hard.  Those are the times when I eat impulsively or intuitively.  I did better this weekend than last, but I was still much higher than where I wanted to be.  Keys to doing better include eating at restaurants which provide nutritional data and eating whole meals as a family.  Eating on the run with no insight into what I'm grabbing is disastrous almost every time.
  3. Estimating calories in a dish is a needed skill.  Friday I did well, but I had an excellent lunch which I had no idea how to count.  The dishes were complex and prepared by a restaurant chef.  I can make an educated guess on the ingredients, but I know restaurants are notorious for fattening up otherwise benign dishes.  I need to figure out what to do on days when I eat foods which I have no idea how to calculate.  Maybe a flat number?  As a coping mechanism, my husband has agreed that we will only eat at one place a week where I can't figure out the calories with some accuracy.  I'm okay with that solution for now, but I'd like to become better at estimating this.
All that said, I will not be changing my daily target to account for exercise, at least not yet.  Until I get my weekly average down a bit more I'm not adjusting the numbers.  It doesn't make sense yet.  My weekdays are pretty solid, but they are making up for my weekends right now.  Maybe the focus next weekend should be to control my intake there a bit more and see how I'm feeling on Monday.

The tiredness could just be because I'm working hard to make ALL this happen.  The combination of exercise, job, kids and diet would make anyone tired, right?  So I'm holding steady again this week.  Monthly weigh-in is Wednesday which will give me another statistic to add to the pile.  I can't wait to see what spin it has to offer!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Workout 120601: FIVE!!!

My FIFTH workout of the week was:

35 min Treadmill walk (totaling 1.6 miles)

Um, yeah.  I went to the gym this morning.  I really wasn't feeling it, but I was so sore I figured that moving was the only thing that would help.  I'm glad I did go, but man my heart was not into this morning.

But...  I went to the gym all FIVE mornings this week!!!  That surpasses my goal of 4 workouts a week and sets the standard for what I can accomplish in the post PT era.  I'm proud of myself for following through on my routine and really pushing during my workouts earlier in the week.  The biggest factors in making this happen were having my gym bag packed and ready to go the night before and getting to bed on time.

Not that getting to bed on time was all that hard.  I have been beat the past couple of days.  Last night I went to bed at 8pm a few minutes after my 3 year old laid down.  I'm not even sure she was asleep when I passed out.  I'm starting to wonder if I might be cutting my calories a little too lean during the week.  I make up for it with overages on the weekends, but maybe I'd have more control if I didn't limit quite so much during the week.

Either way, it is something I'll be thinking on going into next week.  My monthly weigh-in is on Wednesday and I've definitely looking forward to it.  It is good to know that I'm making progress for all the work that I'm putting in.  Those results in conjunction with how I've been feeling will help determine my course for the month to come.  More than anything I hope I maintain the happy I've achieved.  It's almost better than the weight loss.  Almost, but not quite.  :)