Saturday, May 31, 2014

Company Visits and Another Weigh In

Well, I made it through my first holiday on the diet. Memorial Day. Which, I know… doesn't really count because it's not a major food preparation holiday. But I did have company for the weekend and that always throws things off. But it didn't go too badly. I was able to get my normal workouts in on Friday and Monday. Saturday, I skipped the gym but I was able to get a walk in with my sister. And since it was only a cardio day anyway… It wasn't too bad. Didn't get a walk in on Sunday… but oh well.

The diet portion was a little trickier. Luckily, both Friday and Monday were right on track… Saturday and Sunday I was faced with waffles, restaurants, and home-made hamburgers. All of which could have been bad. I simply tried to watch my portion sizes and make healthier substitutions where I could. All in all, it probably wasn't too disastrous. I felt like Sunday was probably my worst day because I felt like I "pieced" all day long. But at least my "piecing" was on fresh fruits most of the time.

Then on Tuesday I came down with a cold… that has KICKED MY TRASH! It has taken everything in me to get out of bed and continue to workout this week. But, I admit the time during the workout was the time I felt the best. I think the exercise helped break up the congestion or something. But I got back on the scale tonight. Since the initial weigh in 5 weeks ago… I am down 14 pounds, making my current weight 367. I'm calling that a huge win! My co-worker said the other day that it looked like I had lost weight. She is un-endingly sweet and kind… so I don't know if it's true of if she's just trying to be positive and supportive of me. But the scale doesn't lie (supposedly)… so I'm really happy with that.

I'm trying to just come to peace with the scale at the gym… I have another co-worker that is working with a personal trainer these days and she claims that especially in the beginning… your body is adjusting to the new diet and exercise routine… and if you are weighing yourself everyday … it's gonna drive you crazy because your weight will fluctuate so drastically as it tries to adjust to the new routine. She suggested I just stop it and only weigh myself once a week. And that as my body adjusts to it… it will even itself out. Now… that's just coming from her. I haven't done much research to see if that's true. But in a way, it makes sense. I have noticed that if I just go by the weekly weigh in numbers… it seems to make sense. It's when I start going back to "re-check" that it fluctuates like crazy. So…in interest of sanity… I'm going to try to limit myself to the weekly weigh ins. And just accept the number.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Scaling Back

This week… in an attempt to save my ankle, I have scaled back on my walking. But really, what I've done, is not push the speed so much. I've kept walking. And I've pretty much kept the duration up. I've just gone at slightly slower speeds than I might have otherwise. And it really has saved my ankle. I haven't had that shooting pain pretty much all week. I started to slightly up my speed again tonight… but very gradually. And so far… so good. Actually tonight's workout was really good. The energy level stayed up and I felt good afterwards.

As of tonight, I have upped my sets on the weight from 2 to 3. The trainer wanted me to do two weeks on two sets and then move up to three sets after that. I don't know what that does. I'll have to look that up. But I've decided that I have over-estimated on my weight for the legs portion… because it is KILLING me! I'm supposed to be doing between 15-20 reps and apparently the last few reps are supposed to feel like a push. But on my legs… I can barely get to 15. Twenty would be out of the question. So, I tried taking the weight down by 5 pounds tonight. And I was definitely pushing by the time I got to 15, but it felt a little more do-able. We'll see how this goes. I may have to scale back again on the weight.

And FINALLY… the scale is starting to scale back too! I shouldn't complain too much. Last week was just really disheartening with hardly any weight loss. But at the weigh in tonight… there was a bigger loss. So officially, the scale at the gym is really unreliable. Because I weighed in last night and tonight both and it gave me different numbers again. Last week… when I weighed in the second time… my weight was higher than it was the night before. This time… however, my second weigh in was actually lower than it was the night before. So… We are down to 373 or 371. Either way. That feels good to finally be going down a visible amount. Whether it's 3 pounds or 5 pounds… At least it's a loss that I can feel good about. It means I am down 8-10 pounds in three weeks. I'm definitely happy with that.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"Methinks Thou Doth Protest Too Much…"

Okay, lets be honest. I mentioned that nine years ago or so I attempted to lose weight for a short period of time. So, it's been at least nine years that I have gotten this much exercise. I'd almost daresay that I've gotten more exercise in the past two weeks than I have in the past nine years put together. And boy howdy… am I feeling it!

My body is screaming at me. Particularly my legs. Pain in my ankle that shoots up the side of my leg with every step. Random twinges of pain in my other foot that are so sharp it almost takes my breath away. I might be concerned about the ankle one if it were not limited to when I am seriously walking. Because I don't feel it when walking around the house or at work… even if I'm climbing stairs, or walking around the grocery store. Just when I'm seriously walking for exercise purposes. I'm pretty sure it's just my body protesting because it's sooo not used to having to move this much. The random twinges are almost like nerves on rapid fire. Perhaps they are getting woken up after a nice long hibernation and don't quite know how to handle it. They just happen at random times for no apparent reason. They are pretty painful, but they are extremely short-lived and don't cause residual soreness. Both of these are new problems within the past couple of weeks. That's why I'm pretty sure they are simply symptoms of a body that is not used to moving this much. And therefore, will go away in time.

The ankle pain is the one that's really causing me problems. Because it turns a walk into a limp. My sister suggested that the treadmill might be a little too high impact for me right now… simply because my body isn't used to it. She suggested using one of the gliders. So, I tried that today… it's called an arc trainer. Holy, workout batman! It's sure a harder workout than the treadmill! But they don't really have a speed time. I think it was more steps per minute they were measuring. So, it's hard to know what speed I was going in comparison to the treadmill. But I was only able to do 20 minutes on the arc trainer today, where I can usually do 30+ on the treadmill. But much like the treadmill… If I'm going to get my heart rate up to where it's "supposed" to be… I can't breathe! I'm usually able to get it into the  "moderate" aerobic zone the fitness trainer wants me to do on the days I'm also doing weights. But I very seldom can get into the "heavier" fat-burning zone that I'm supposed to be getting into on the other days. I suppose it was slightly easier on my ankle to use the arc trainer today… but it was a much harder workout on my body in general, so I wasn't able to go as long. I tried the bike to finish out my time… but that lasted 5 minutes and I decided that it wasn't for me. One, I was bored. Two, it didn't matter how fast I pedaled, my heart rate kept going down. It just wasn't getting me the workout I wanted. I still have ellipticals I can try. In the past, those have been hard on my knees. But maybe it's time I try them again.

But… pain or no pain… I'm still doing it. It hasn't stopped me. And I guess that's the key. To just keep going. My most recent weigh in was disappointing. Maybe a pound lost. It's hard to tell because I checked again the next day in hopes I had read it wrong and it showed NO weight lost. So, now I'm doubting the reliability of the scale. We'll be extra careful on the diet this week. I'm still not counting calories strictly, but I'll try to be more aware this week. What I keep telling myself is that I'm in this for the long haul. I knew that when I started. So, just keep going. If I lose 5 pounds in a week, that's great. But if I only lose one pound… at least it's a loss and those "one pound here and one pound there" add up over time.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Realizations and Reactions

Well, I realized why I work out at night. (I work a graveyard shift) Today my sister had a doctor's appointment that she wanted me to accompany her to. Doing so would have put me going to bed much later than usual making it impossible to get enough sleep for work if I still had to wake up and go workout. So, I hit the gym on my way home from work then went home and got a shower so I could accompany her to the appointment and then sleep all the way until I absolutely had to get up for work.

Yeah… Now I realize why I work out at night. It was such a hard workout! I had such low energy. I was trying to get my heart rate up and my body just wouldn't respond! I just couldn't move any faster. But the important thing is I made the effort. I kept the routine. And now I know that by choosing to do it at night, I have made the best choice for me.

I also broke down and told my sisters what I was doing. I'll be honest… I was so excited by the 5 pound weight loss I had to share it! It was interesting the variety of responses. I have three sisters and one brother and I'm the youngest of them all. My brother is the oldest but I did not choose to text him with my exciting news. Sister #1 was extremely enthusiastic and supportive and curious as to what I was doing and why I decided to do it. She is the most health conscious of us all, due to her having recently lost quite a bit of weight herself, and is trying very hard to keep it off. She is also the same height as I am, so I use her as a personal measuring stick for what I can realistically expect. She and I are very different in some ways, but in many ways she is the one I think most like… so it was good to talk to her and get her insight and experience with the whole thing.

Sister #2 was happy for me, but much more understated. She wants to lose weight herself, but has a hard time with the food part of it. She is generally a pretty active person. But the diet part is very hard for her. So, she has enjoyed discussing that part of it with me, trying to use me as inspiration and get advice. But she and I are complete and total opposites. We are about as different as it's possible for two people who share DNA to be. So I kinda doubt that anything that works for me will work for her. And she already has very strong opinions and beliefs about things. So… unless what I say matches her current belief system… she's unlikely to take it.

Sister #3 said "that's awesome. Good job." But when I saw her the next day she seemed faintly mocking about the idea. Not that she doesn't think it is a good idea to lose weight. But my guess is she sees this as a fad that will pass. And/or that I'm going to be obnoxious about it while I'm doing it. Perhaps that I'll be judgmental of her or others that are eating differently. Or that I'll become one of "those people." Which I'm not sure how to describe what that means. I guess the best way to describe it is the fanatics. People who get so into their diet mode that you can't even enjoy being around them because they either are completely cutting out certain things or they get so obsessed with calories or other nutrition content that they can't just enjoy a meal. But that will pass as we're able to spend more time together.

It's like I told Sister #1…. I look forward to this becoming the new normal. When going to workout is common place and just something I do… Not something that's a big deal or worthy of comment every time. When eating this way is just how I eat and not "Oh my gosh, Shanon is eating healthy! What is happening to the world?"

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Weigh In #1

I guess technically it could be considered #2 because I had to have an initial weigh in. But I'm counting this as #1 because it's the first one after starting this.

So… in Biggest Loser style….My previous weight was 381. My current weight is…. (I feel like there needs to be some intense music playing here)…. My current weight is 376. I WILL TAKE IT! 5 pounds ain't nothin' to sneer at!

Oh and by the way… we actually hit the target heart rate tonight. I don't get it. But oh well. I take it as a night of wins!

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Met with the fitness trainer at the gym to design my own workout. I must say… I'm a little frustrated. It was only an hour and it wasn't one on one. So, it felt a bit rushed. There are still some things I'm unsure of. But I do have to admit, he gave me some good information. Information that will help me in the long run. Which is more than I can say for anybody else.

He asked me to take my pulse so he could determine my resting heart rate. Which, I had a hard time finding. And when I thought I had it… and I told him what the number was, he said we'd have to try it again, because it couldn't be right. So, I handed him my wrist and let him take it. It was hard for him to find it too, but he finally got it. Anyway… from there, he did a little math and figured out my target heart rates for aerobic purposes and fat burning purposes. Anyway… after it was all over, I only had about a half hour left I could exercise before I had to get back so I could get ready for work. So, I just got back on the treadmill. I did try to find my heart rate from the sensors, so I could tell where I was from what he gave me as target. And that's a good portion where the frustration comes in. I had upped my speed until I could barely breathe… and my body was screaming at me… and I when I checked my heart rate, it was barely above the "resting" level heart rate.

I can't hardly believe that's right. I keep thinking one of them must be off. There is no chance on God's green earth that I'll be able to hit those, neither the aerobic one or the fat burning one. But he did say that if I couldn't hit it… it was okay. It would come with time.

It's really disheartening. It's realizing all over again how bad of shape I'm in.

Okay… deep breath. One step at a time. One rep at a time. I went through more painful stuff than this during that five year overhaul. Granted it was a different kind of pain. But it was no less real. And I survived it. I kept at it. I can do this. Just breathe and don't give up.