Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26: First Mile Marker

WARNING: Today's blog is filled with angst & whining.
In just a little while it'll be time to hit The Scale That Matters: we contestants are gathering for our February weigh-in.  My at-home scale makes me want to pitch a tantrum.  Why, why, WHY do I have to hit a plateau NOW?
I've dropped a clothing size, but my weight's the same.  It's difficult for me to believe that I've grown enough muscle to offset weight equivalent to the fat I've lost.  That sounds to me like a pathetic excuse, like I'm lying when I write about the hard work I've done.
But I have worked hard.  I've worked really, really hard.  And I'm not done yet.
I need to be done whining now.  My weight loss for the month is pathetic, but I've accomplished a lot.  And I've got to stop obsessing.
My plan for the next month:
1.  No weighing myself at home at all. I'm kicking the scale to the curb (and let's not forget I can leg press 395, so it'll be a good kick!).
2.  Ask for plateau-breaking information at WW.
3.  Think less about the contest (but keep up my workouts and healthy eating) and more about quilting.
4.  Continue to blog 6 days a week.

5.  Think about better inspirational role models than the tortoise & the hare.



Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25: The Great Cozy Temptation

Snow-covered Windows + No School + Kids in Pajamas = Desire to eat cozy food

Possible Alternatives to Cozy Eating:

·        play with my kids,

·        clean,

·        scrapbook,

·        quilt potholders for Leah & pillows for Kathryn (note: added temptation to stress-eat due to self-imposed pressure to not mess up projects),

·        think about this summer at the pool

I've got the Simple Carbs Devil on one shoulder, and the Angel of Distraction on the other.

Today's going to be an epic battle of my will. 



Thursday, February 24, 2011

February 24: Strength & Pride

Does he mope? Does he moan?

Does he sulk? Does he sigh?

(How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen)


        This morning, I was all about Jane Yolen's words.  I'd gotten on the scale (what was I thinking?) and found the number to be up!  For the past two weeks, the number on the scale has been bouncing around: The Cursed Plateau.  Ordinarily, while plateaus are annoying, as a natural part of weight loss, they don't usually cause me too much angst.  Coming just before a newspaper-related weigh-in though, this plateau is cruel.


        I wanted to mope and moan and sulk and sigh; I wanted to skip my trip to the Y.  But skipping workouts is not the way to blast through plateaus, so to the Y went I.  The machines I wanted to use were already occupied, and I was left with two choices: the recumbent bike (which doesn't do much for me) or the Stairmaster (which I'd never spent much time on).  Naturally I chose the Stairmaster and spent the next fifteen minutes huffing, puffing, and working up an awesome sweat (not that anyone else could tell).  Only fifteen minutes because this was my warm-up for WOW.


        It turned out that I was the only one to attend today's WOW class.  Do you know what happens when there's one trainer and one student?  If that one student is me, she works extra hard; and if the trainer is David, he pushes your limits.  It was great!  I worked till I didn't think I could do more, and then I did more.  David still hasn't mastered the science of counting, but I hung in there for as long as it took him to get to fifteen.  J 


        When I started WOW class several months ago, David told me I had "potential for great strength."  This past Tuesday I leg-pressed the stack: 395 pounds.  Today, not only did I overcome low morale, but I stomped on low morale until it turned into a trampoline and launched me into high morale.  I'm high-five, fist-pump proud of my workout today and for overcoming the temptation to not even bother showing up.  I feel (expletive) great!


        Yes, the weigh-in is this Saturday.  Yes, I'll probably have a lousy number.  Aside from drastically unhealthy measures (which I want no part of), there's nothing I can do about it.  All I can do is keep getting stronger and leaner.   Sooner or later the scale will catch up with me, but I can't sit around to wait for it.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23: Life Fights Back

                I could tell the moment I got out of bed this morning that this was going to be a challenging day.  I could feel it.  I didn't mind that the alarm clock woke me up.  I'd set it for a time which would allow me  time to get ready for spinning, which I'd psyched myself up for yesterday.  For some reason though, I took longer than usual to get out the door.  I know I shouldn't have wasted time on the scale, but I hopped on optimistically and stomped off in a funk.  But it wasn't going to stop me.

                When I finally got my act together and made it out the door, a glance at the clock informed me that I was pushing it to reach the Y on time.  At least I knew I'd scraped the ice off my old van yesterday, so I could hop in and go.  Except that overnight, ice had accumulated on all the windows!  Ugh!  Was this the Universe telling me to not go to spin class?  Once upon a time I would have said, "Fine, I won't go," and left it at that.  But I had blogged yesterday that I would spin today, and I was dressed and ready to go, so I wasn't going to give up yet.

                I walked in to the Y two minutes before spin class started; this was not good.  I like to be early wherever I go, so that I can settle in.  This is especially at spin class where the bike's seat, handles, and pedals all need to be adjusted.  I didn't want to interfere with everyone else's workouts while the instructor would get me set up.  I said to Gwen at the front desk, "Maybe I shouldn't spin – people who do it better should get the bikes."  She told me there were 8 bikes and she'd only seen 4 people so far, and that I should GO!  So off I went to the locker room, changed from boots to shoes and from sweats to capris, then filled my bottle with water (just in case this would be the day I'd sweat enough to drip).

                I arrived in the spin room to find all the spinners in their warm-up.  I picked one of the several open bikes and started adjusting it.  Well, guess what.  Our instructor, Oakland, came over to help me strap in my feet and to make sure my bike was set correctly.  And you know what?   The class didn't come crashing to a halt.  Oakland gave an instruction, and another spinner took over for the minute or so that Oakland was busy helping me.  Thanks to such a good instructor and experienced participants, I hadn't ruined anyone's workout!

                My seat didn't come loose this time, and I didn't knock over my water.  I liked today's music better (though "Safety Dance" was cut short as we began our cool down), and we seemed to focus more on hills than sprints, so I got to enjoy feeling my muscles engage.  I closed my eyes now and then and enjoyed the rhythm of the music and the pedaling.  Before I knew it, class was over. 

                Last night, one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser said something along the lines of "sometimes life fights back, and you have to work harder."  That really stuck with me today, and I'm grateful.  Life doesn't sit back and say, "Here, allow me to prepare your healthy meals while I keep your phone from ringing."  Nor does it say, "Here's perfect weather and flattering clothes.  Have yourself a marvelous workout which will surely result in instant weight loss."  Nope.  Life happens and sometimes it even fights.  I can't control life, but I can control my reaction.

                Ever since I got home from the Y, piddly little things have continued to go wrong.  I suspect it's going to be one of those days.  I can feel sorry for myself and throw in the towel , or I can say, "NO!  This is MY day and you can't have it."  I can focus on the positive: the dog didn't poop inside; the electricity stayed on; a dear Friend stopped by and brightened my day with a smile.  Moments ago, rather than stress eat I chose to crunch (chomp on/mutilate) a carrot and sit down and sort through my thoughts here.  Days like today give me a chance to measure my progress.  How will I handle stumbling blocks?  It's not even 9:30 in the morning yet.  My mantra for today – in all things, not just eating & exercise – must be, "it's about persistence, not perfection."


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22: Two-Two Tuesday!

Hip! Hip! Hooray!  It's Tuesday!
     I finally saw a little good news on the scale this morning.  It's not enough to cause my fellow contestants to worry, but it's enough to make me smile.
     I put myself through a surprisingly challenging cardio workout before David put our class through an even more challenging (dare I say grueling?) Women On Weights workout.  I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't tempted to lay down on the floor and order a pizza for dinner.
     I'm not flooded with meetings this week, so I'm hoping to watch My Inspirational Show tonight, uninterrupted, from start to finish.
     My shoulder bones are still there, and though there have been no confirmed sightings, I have reason to believe I have a collarbone.  Apparently it's not just a knob under my neck – it feels like it goes all the way to my shoulders.
     My next smaller clothes size in my closet are shorts, so unless the weather suddenly turns warmer, I'm faced with the task of duct taping my current jeans to my body.
     I'm challenging myself to go to (*sigh*) spin class tomorrow morning.  It's hard and doesn't make me happy... so I'll keep trying till it's not so hard and it does make me happy.  I refuse to quit just because it's hard.  Pray for me.

~ Karin

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21: Letter to The Scale

Dear Lighten Up Scale:

        I've thought about you a lot this month – every day, in fact!  When we met less than a month ago, did you know that you'd be on my mind every day and twice on Sunday?  As our February rendezvous draws nearer, I can't help but be nervous.  Will you recognize how hard I've worked?  What will you say?

        Since I last saw you, I've been much better about making plans and sticking to them.  I've consistently overcome the temptation to skip a morning of exercise, and I've been able to lift more weights and jog more than ever before!  As always, food is a great temptation for me, but I've gained a little more control since I last saw you.

        I know you won't like this, dear Scale, but I  appreciate non-scale victories.  I've had a few of those this month, and I'm going to tell you about them. 

J    On several occasions, without forethought, I jogged up a flight of stairs like I did when I was a kid. 

J    At a friend's suggestion, I tightened the drawstring on my winter coat and found that it fits better that way.

J    I was able to carry 5.5 gallons of milk & juice at one time across a parking lot, up stairs, down an elevator, and across a large basement without stopping.

J    Several people have asked whether I've lost weight, and I've been responded, "Yes!  Thanks for noticing!"

        Now, I know how temperamental you can be, dear Scale.  There's a good chance that when we meet on Saturday you won't acknowledge all the hard work I've done.  That's okay.  You do what you need to do.  I'll do what I need to do. 

        You and I have a few months left together; we've got time to work on our relationship.  Perhaps over the spring and summer you'll come to understand how much I want to see lower numbers.  Perhaps I'll come to understand that it's really not about you, dear Scale.  It's about me.