Tag Archives: exercise

You’re breaking me (and my scale)

I’m dating someone new.  Two months in, and it’s still that wonderful, fun, “I have a boyfriend!” mindset.  Everything is new, and you want to do stuff with this new person. You go out more than you did before.

Which means you spend more, eat more, exercise less, and have less time to do the necessary mundane things, like pay bills.

For me, especially now that I’m working again, I find I have absolutely no time to do things.  My kitchen and bathroom are a mess, I am running out of clean underwear because I can’t find time to do laundry, and I’m in danger of being late with my mortgage payment, because I haven’t had time to log online and pay it.  I also haven’t had time to blog, workout, or watch the Royal Wedding.

My new boyfriend has recently complained about putting on a few pounds, a combination of eating out more and having less time to exercise.  I’ve always encouraged him to get his workout in, but he recently asked me to help him eat less.  I told him that I’m naturally a nurturer, much like the mother in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  “Here, have the rest of mine, can I get you another cupcake, here just finish this off so there’s no leftovers.”  I’m doing my best to stop trying to feed him, though.

Another issue, which we’ve briefly touched on but not really discussed, is money.  Obviously, if you’re going out 2-3 nights a week, eating and drinking, the cost for two people (which he naturally is going to pick up most of the time) can get to be a little much.

All this is to say, dating can lead to financial loss, weight gain, and a drastic reduction of free time.

But sometimes it’s worth it.  🙂

(Note – I wrote this post longhand a week ago, but haven’t had the time to log in and post it!  I am safe from foreclosure, have done laundry, but still haven’t seen more than a glimpse of the Royal Wedding.)

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“It was the nearest thing to heaven!”

I had a good giggle today.  I work right under one of the flight paths for landing at Charlotte Douglas.  What that means is that whenever I’m outside, and a plane is overhead, I look up and send a little hello to The Pilot.  I’ve probably never actually caught the plane he’s on, but that’s what I do.  So today, I was driving, and I looked up at a plane.  And I thought to myself, “watch the road, you don’t want to get in an accident!”  Which instantly made me think of An Affair to Remember.  “It’s nobody’s fault but my own!  I was looking up…you were there!”  Something tells me that’s going to be me one day when I get in an accident.  🙂

I’ve decided to paint my cabinets in an attempt to update my kitchen in bathroom.  My place is very dark (as in, not much natural light), so I can’t possibly paint them a dark color.  I didn’t want white, so I had settled on cream.  With that in mind, I went ahead and picked up hardware to install on the cabinets (painting is a few months away, I think).  I got some great pulls, and they are now installed in my bathroom.  Kitchen is up soon.  Then I started thinking about things some more.  I’m getting new kitchen appliances soon, and I was going to get white (because the fridge is white, and I may not need to replace that).  And the counters are an off-white laminate.  Would I like to get the countertops redone?  Well, yes, of course, but that’s a little further down the road.  In the meantime, I’ll have white appliances, off-white countertops, and cream cabinets.  Yeah, I’m thinking that’s not good.  So I have changed my mind (that’s what a woman does best, afterall), and I think I’ll do the cabinets a light grey.  Unless I have to get a new fridge, in which case I could go stainless steel.  My mom may have a range for me, I just have to get it here.  The cabinet and drawer pulls will work with anything.  Ah, home ownership. 

Today, I worked out for the first time in three weeks (thanks to a cold).  And, I went to an exercise class I love for the first time in two years (thanks to my knee problem).  I told the instructor at the beginning of class about my knee, to let him know I might end up collapsing on the floor in agony.  Overall, I think it did okay.  I had some stabilization issues during jumps, but other than that, I was good.

Now I need to shower, and then I have some work to do.  Like, work work.  Not fun, but has to be done.  😦

Weight, weight, don’t tell me

To lose weight, one must burn more calories than one consumes, correct? Of course, there’s more to it, and you can get all technical, but the basic premise is true, right?

Then I can’t figure out why I’m not losing weight.

Let me take you through my diet (and by “diet” I mean what I eat, and not a regimented plan):

  • Breakfast generally consists of a Slimfast shake, unless I magically have more time, in which case it’s a bowl of Special K (Protein Plus). Both are approximately 200 calories (including the milk).
  • Lunch usually is a chicken sandwich, with 2 slices of wheat toast, a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, exactly 2 ounces of grilled chicken, and spinach (approx. 300 calories).
  • Dinner is a hodgepodege – might be a bowl of cereal, might be a serving of fish with pasta and/or vegetables, might just be a small thing of yogurt (100 calories) if I’m not hungry, but know that I should eat something.
  • Snacks may include one or two (but rarely three) of the following: 100 calorie pack, peanuts (160 calories), or a serving of dry cereal (100 calories). 
  • Some days I also have an apple, and I keep freeze dried fruit in my drawer for a little sweet snack (freeze dried blueberries have almost 0 calories and no fat).

Now, just to be clear, I do eat actual serving sizes, weighed on a scale, so I’m not overestimating serving sizes. Are all days like this? No, but most days are, I’d say 4 out of 5 business days. Weekends are a little more erratic, but I would still say I stay around 1500 calories.

I also generally get at least half an hour of exercise, at least 5 days a week. Some days I get up to an hour and a half. I wear a heart rate monitor when I work out, and I generally burn 150-250 calories per half hour, depending on what I’m doing. My lunchtime workouts (2-4 days a week) consist of 30 minutes on either the bike or the treadmill. My after hours workouts might be aerobics, pilates, or more walking, for half an hour to an hour.

Now, I figure my base metabolism is probably around 1800 calories. Add the exercise in there. And subtract the calories consumed.

Most days, I should be burning 500-1000 calories more than I take in – some days it’s high, some days it’s low.

BUT I’M NOT LOSING WEIGHT.

And no, it’s not muscle weight, my clothes are not fitting any better. And really, that’s my main concern. I don’t care about the number on the scale – 120, 150, 200 – as long as my clothes fit!

Fine, I’m over 30 and my metabolism has dropped. But THAT much?

I’m getting protein – probably 30 grams on a low day, and up to 75 on a high day. I drink plenty of water (6-12 glasses a day).

I’ve really had this problem since my knee injury, a year and a half ago. I haven’t been able to run since then, and I really think running would solve all my problems. (&^(%ing knee.)

It’s just so darn frustrating! I’m doing things right, for the most part. Could I use more fruits and veggies? Of course. But really, I do pretty well, I think.

So what’s the problem?

Progress!

So, last Monday I went to physical therapy, the beginning of my seventh week.  From the beginning, I’ve been able to run 4-6 minutes before the knee starts hurting, and it hasn’t gotten any better.  I was determined that this would be my last week.  If it’s not getting any better, then it can’t get any better.  I’m incredibly discouraged, I’m pissed off and sad, and nothing is helping.

So Monday I got on the treadmill.  And less than five minutes later I was off.  It’s really all I can do not to cry, not to kick the treadmill, not to walk out.  The PT can see it, and I know he’s feeling pretty discouraged, too.  He looks at me for a full minute, and says, “Lay down.”  So I lay down, and he does an ultrasound, to get the circulation going in the knee, and he thumbs through his anatomy book.  He gets done with the ultrasound and says, “Take off your shoe.”  So I take off my right shoe, and he says, “Lift your toes.”  And I do.  And he says, “Are you lifting them?”  “Yes, can’t you see I am?”  And he has me hold them up and resist as he tries to push them down.  And I can’t even hold out for a millisecond.  So he says, “Take off your other shoe.”  And he has me resist with those toes. 

And the toes on my left foot are, like, fifty times stronger than those on my right foot.  “Did you feel that?” he asks.  Um…YEAH.

He grabs the anatomy book and starts showing me how there is a ligament that connects the tibia and the fibula – in this diagram you can see where they join on the outside of the knee.  That’s the ligament that hurts (based on a five minute test where he pushed and pulled on my knee and I yelled OW!! every time he hit that spot – feels like a bruise, really).  Now there’s only one muscle that goes over both these bones (sorry, not sure which one it is), and as we know, strengthening the muscles around the knee helps hold everything together, thus alleviating pain.  If you put your hand on top of your shin and lift your toes, you’ll feel that muscle work.

So he made me start doing toe curls – which really are as funny as they sound.  You wrap a band around the top of the toes to hold them down, and then you raise your toes up to work that muscle.  So I started doing those on Monday afternoon. 

Wednesday I went back in to the PT.  And ran for 8 minutes!!!  This is two minutes on top of my usual “top time.”  I really only stopped because (a) I was afraid to push it, and (b) I haven’t run that long in a while – I was kind of tired!! 

Both me and the PT were extremely happy, of course.  Friday I went in and ran for 10 minutes

I’m a happy camper. 🙂

This is not an advertisement-

(I know it sounds like one…) 

I’ve taken to going to the gym twice a week at lunchtime and doing my strength training.  I don’t sweat enough doing weights to need to take a shower, so I’m able to get to the gym and back in just over an hour.  It’s been working out really well, because I don’t have to make the decision about whether to do cardio or weights at night, when I only have an hour to work out.

The Y has a thing called FitLinxx, where you can log your workouts.  You can log time on the treadmill, log your yoga class, and even log outside exercise, like if you went for a hike at Crowder’s Mountain over the weekend.  FitLinxx also has a full set of strength exercises hooked up to the computer – you enter your own personal code, it tells you what your seat position should be, and what your target weight to lift is.  As you lift, it keeps count, and is set up so that you do the full range of motion for the exercise without going too fast, thus getting the optimum workout.  No cheating allowed!  After you finish, it tells you how much you lifted.

And now, the point of my post:

You want to know what it feels like to be empowered?  Sign up for this at the Y.  Today, in about 45 minutes, I (little old me) lifted 26,300 pounds.  No, I didn’t add any extra zero’s in that number.  Imagine, for a minute, knowing that you had lifted over 26,000 pounds.  What do you automatically do?  If you’re anything like me, you flex your biceps in the classic weightlifters stance.

I feel strong.  I feel invincible.  (Is anyone singing?)