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Extended Absence Greeting 4 comments

Hey there – remember me? šŸ™‚

So, the last few months of 2009 became a muddy blur during which time writing, and exercising, took a backseat to the following:

  • caring for the lovely Freddie as she recovered from surgery to repair ruptured discs in her spine (neck). My home became a baby-gated, cushioned, modified pet crate for seven weeks. My dog was in pain and I felt helpless. And then, shortly afterwards, broke. So grateful that Freddie’s Other Mom, and the lovely WWBA, were able to be such a supportive part of this adventure. But it did take its toll. Freddie needs to be carried up and down stairs and, at first, needed more, shorter walks. I live up two flights of stairs and my routine was tied more than ever, to Freddie’s requirements. I was exhausted.
  • … and thus got I ill myself with a persistent bronchial infection – several weeks of coughing and hacking and sleeping badly.
  • having my car vandalized, right here in the underground parking lot. Stuff stolen, car damaged. Much time and energy lost over a 10 day period, dealing with this. Not to mention feeling just a wee bit violated.
  • grading 174 really sub-par essay-like business reports in 3.5 weeks. That is a real number, 174. 87 in the first round that had to be done quickly and returned so they could have feedback to complete and hand in the second round. Second round to be graded to the grade submission deadline at the end of term. This activity will suck your brain out through the eye of a needle and will rip your heart out of your chest, tossing it away like last year’s PlayStation. Don’t let anyone tell you that teaching isn’t an emotional pursuit. After teaching plagiarism (how to avoid it, not how to do it) as a topic in class, finding students who persist in the behaviour is like getting smacked up the side of the head with a 2 x 4. I’m not sure I can explain why, it just feels … horrible.ƂĀ  It does get balanced out, of course, by students who really do make incredible progress and there were some really fine moments of this as well. Somehow, though, this term, the amount of grading and the roller coaster ride it took me on just about did me in.
  • ongoing negotiations with management on workload issues (see above) and the looming possibility of a strike that no one wants yet that seems difficult to avoid. Multiple meetings with management over next term’s workload. A workload review by a larger committee. Not much progress. Stress. Self-doubt. Worry.

As you can see, not a lot of writing took place. Furthermore, I actually have found myself daydreaming of the smell of my gym. What I’ve learned is that my mental and emotional health is linked to these two activities. Thus, I resolve to re-prioritize and get both disciplines back into my life. Although I’m going to wait until mid-February to actually step on the scales, I think. Yikes.

Anyway, thanks for your patience – all three or four of you. šŸ™‚ Stay tuned for more … as for now, I’m off to the gym!

Progress 1 comment

After weeks of being stable at the same weight, as of yesterday I’ve lost two more pounds, bringing the total weight loss now to 68 pounds. Only two pounds away from a hugely significant milestone.

I was both thrilled and shocked to see the number that showed up on the scale yesterday. Sure, I’ve been particularly careful with my food these past few weeks. I’ve also upped the intensity of my workouts, thanks to the advice and inspiration of my new “personal trainer” – I too wish for beautiful arms someday! šŸ™‚ I’ve added a third set and more intensity on the lower body which, I’m told, will burn more calories.

However, after weeks of being, literally, within 1.5 lbs up/down of where I was last time I weighed in, I was bracing myself to learn that this is it. This is where my body naturally wants to be. The extra exercise and even stricter attention to diet has paid off.

For weeks, people have been telling me that they see a difference, even from the beginning of the autumn. Yet, the weight number stayed stable. I think the strength training is adding muscle mass and changing the shape of my body. It is true that the inches have gone down. In one ten day period, I lost 1.25 inches in the mid-section, which is huge.

But, somehow, it never seems to register with me until the weight number goes down. It is like I’m programmed only to respond to that, and not to any other feedback. To measure my “success” in terms of that one number – not the comments from others, the inches going down, my clothes fitting more loosely – seems a pretty narrow piece of programming. I’m going to work on changing that. Part of the problem, though, is that I started this whole weight loss adventure with a particular target weight in mind and I get very excited with every step that pulls me closer.

Gym Memo 2 comments

To: The Guy On The Elliptical Machine Next To Me

Date: Yesterday

I admire your determination and focus. You look very purposeful. Bravo!

Just for the record, I have a 20-30% hearing loss across certain frequency ranges. Can't hear conversation, which is annoying. Like you and many others, I like using my iPod as an exercise aid. It is possible that my iPod is slightly louder than other people's iPods, I'll grant you that.

However, I need to say that, given my hearing loss AND the noise from my own raucous iPod tunes … I should NOT be able to hear the guitar rifts and lyrics from your iPod.

I'm jus sayin' …

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How To Lose Weight Click Here To Comment!

[Cross-posted from Vox.]

So, I’ve lost 31 lbs since June 29, which any normal person would be happy with. Yes, I am happy with that. I am also happy with having lost 30 inches, in total. 2.5 feet. Wow. Yes, I need to go shopping. Aside
from a bit of stress at the moment, I feel terrific physically.

Unfortunately, I’m 10 lbs behind in terms of meeting my overall target of 90 lbs by next May. When Fundy Boy is done, I’m going to get to the gym 3x a week. That should help get the metabolism up there where it needs to be.

People ask me two things:

a) Has it been difficult?
Yes and no. The program I’m on – which I won’t name as I don’t really want to get into promoting it – offers excellent support and suggestions, in addition to herbal supplements.

Some days are easier than others. There is, of course, a connection between stress and eating. I don’t crave sugary foods – I find those easiest to avoid. I do crave fried or greasy carbs (pizza, fries) and bread. Some days, I’d give anything for a fresh Ace bakery baguette and some lovely crumbly old English cheese. The other night, I really craved this particular treat. I had some really lovely mozzarella on slices of apple instead, which kept me from doing anything more drastic and damaging.

I miss Gryfe’s bagels.

It is very motivating to see results. To need new clothes and to fit into old clothes I never thought I’d fit into again. I love it when people notice, of course.

Some days, believe it or not, I just don’t think about it. Bad food is just not an option anymore.

b) How are you doing it?

Here are my new rules for eating, probably for the rest of my life …

1. Drink lots of water.

2. Eat a breakfast with protein every day.

3. Reduce carbs. If you are going to eat carbs, eat a small amount before noon.

4. Reduce or eliminate sodium. Of course, this is impossible – but give it the ol’ college try. When you’ve indulged in a sodium-rich meal, move immediately, with all haste, to point 5 …

5. Drink LOTS more water.

6. Monitor portions. Learn what a real portion is.

7. Make a deal with yourself that you can eat a “restricted” food in a limited amount (i.e. pizza) only after you eat either a bowl of vegetable-based soup OR aƂĀ  lot of veggies/salad.

8. Eat something like this every single day, either for lunch or dinner:

Yummy Salad

9. Speaking of which, make your own foods. Eat 100% homemade foods. Reduce the amount of restaurant and processed foods. This will help with both portion control and sodium/fat reduction. Unless you are into

deep-frying at home … which I do not recommend.

10. What are you doing reading this? You should be drinking more water!!!

11. Ignore people who say “oh, but you have to treat yourself … here try this cookie, I made them myself last night.” Tough tittie – keep your damn cookie. These people are not trying to help, they are trying to
help you stay status quo. Seeing others change can be very threatening. One week I found myself confronted by one of these people almost twice a day and I had to get really tough.

12. Plan for meals and snacks. For example, I eat an apple every day around 10:30. It keeps
cravings down and holds me over to lunch. Of course, this means I have to think ahead to have the apple actually WITH me. I cook a big healthy something (i.e. lasagna or soup/stew) each weekend and divide it up for lunches and dinners the rest of the week.

13. To achieve 9 and 12, one needs to get organized and make food a priority. I think this part will get less onerous as time passes. The weeks when I have not been able to really focus on this have been my least successful weeks.

14. Keep a food diary. Write all food and liquid intake, even if you aren’t sticking to plan. Keep a weight chart in the same book. Shortly, I’m going to add an activity/exercise section to mine. That way, when you have a good week, you can figure out what works for you. When you have a bad week, you can figure out exactly what went wrong. (You can also start to figure out how to “cheat” and get away with it! How much activity do you require to get the metabolism up to burn off those french fries?)

There you have it 14 ways (sort of …) to lose weight. Come on … your body will thank you for putting less strain on it. Taxpayers will thank you for putting less strain on the healthcare system. I’m taking it on as a
personal challenge … oh, and if you are not going to join me, please help me out by keeping your damn cookies to yourself!

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