Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fear Is the Mind Killer

That line from "Dune" (by Frank Herbert, great book, I highly recommend it) came to my mind today.  My last workout was August 29th, a day short of 2 weeks ago.  I've been wrestling with myself about it, like I do.  I would continually argue with myself about it, tell myself I was going to do it, and then... didn't do it.  School preparation was a factor, had to run around turning in this bit of paperwork here, buy my books, there, do this or that online orientation module, etc.  but that only figured in a little bit.

I am prone to anxiety.  I don't have panic attacks per se, not the stereotypical hyperventilation episodes, feeling of impending doom... but I do get scared, terrified sometimes, and it paralyzes me.  I think I enumerated some of my greatest fears and concerns in previous entries, so I am not going to go into them again here (you're welcome! ;)  )  But suffice it to say, it can be crippling.  So as I sat here today trying to psyche myself into working out... yet AGAIN  (this is a daily battle, and I think I win about as often as I lose, so far) that line passed through my brain. I did a quick inventory of my concerns specific to working out (knowing it was going to seriously kick my ass an not wanting to deal with that, mostly) and just made myself get up and do it.

In light of my current situation healthwise, and the fact that I'm in my last semester of school and I don't want ANYTHING to fuck that up or delay it, I got out of my chair and took care of business. Got a pretty decent result out of it, too, in terms of calories burned.  My schedule this semester is the most flexible it's ever been, in terms of being able to fit in exercise, there really is no reason for me not to.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rude Awakening, Frustration, and A Little Fear

I've been a bit stalled in my workouts. August 29th was the last one.  I am ending that today.  Once I write this, I am going to suit up and do a run. This weekend I want to go on a hike and take the family with me. I've wanted to hike since moving here nearly 17 years ago. I've sort of kind of half ass done it, but not seriously.  I am going to do it now though, so I can do it at least once before the weather goes to hell.
I don't know what happened.  I had some good momentum, and then just kind of stalled.  I'm still struggling a bit with motivation, but it's an ongoing learning process, and I'll keep working at it.

Yesterday was a bit of a rude awakening.  I went and did a glucometer training for clinicals and we had to poke each others fingers to use the machine.  I was dreading that, because I knew mine would be high, and I really wasn't keen on any of my classmates seeing that, I will just go ahead and admit that now.  And I was right.  It was high.  Really high.  Not gonna say the number, just suffice it to say, I should probably see a doctor and deal with it, soon.  I already knew I was hyperglycemic, but now I might actually need meds, and be full on diabetic. I mentioned in a previous entry, I think, that I had bought a book that basically advocates a vegan diet for controlling and possibly reversing diabetes.  I have sort of read it in fits and starts, but after yesterdays shenanigans, I picked it up and started to give it a serious look.  I am going to go back to being a vegan, and give this a try.  I was vegan for about 4 months a few years back, and in that time I lost a lot of weight, and noticed a lot of other positive changes as well.  I stopped though, and let dairy and eggs back into my life because I was really pitiful at preparing balanced meals for myself and so negative things happened, like my hair falling out and dry patches of skin and such.  So this time, I will have to be much better about meal preparation and planning, and learn my way around the kitchen, and figure out how to effectively press ALLL the damn water out of the tofu before I cook it.

I have been sharing some of my struggles, and I've been sharing this blog with friends on facebook, in an effort to hold myself accountable and also in some way to seek support.  The friends I have on fb are people that I feel fairly close to, for the most part.  I don't just go around randomly friending people I don't know.  They are people I know personally, and some that I've never met face to face, but have had extended interactions with them over a period of years that I met at another place.  I know there are varying schools of thought about veganism, and I know that it's not for everyone.  I am not going to try to rope my carnivorous kid into doing it with me, but I will try to feed her some of the things I cook.  And I know it's a lost cause to try to get my husband to do it. Not even gonna go there. What I find frustrating, are the people who feel that it is totally fine, even funny to chime in to mock my lifestyle choice.  I am adopting a vegan diet, at the moment.  The lifestyle will follow.  When I said that I was going vegan, one of my friends asked "What are your shoes made out of?"  That was all she had to say.  Well to answer that question, I mostly wear Chucks, flip flops and shoes made of man made materials, thanks.  I do have leather shoes in my closet from shoe purchases over the years, but haven't bought anything leather in some time. That's not the point though.  I am trying to make a healthy lifestyle choice, to try to manage and reverse a potentially serious disease.  I am trying to finally step up to the plate and care about myself, and put my own needs first.  I am also eating a little closer to my heart.  I know that there are some things that I will probably do or products that I will use that incorporate animals, because it is unavoidable.  But as far as everything else, where I have a CHOICE I am going to CHOOSE vegan.

I have had to listen to many and more jokes about vegetarianism/veganism over the years.  I have had carnivores wave meat in my face and tell me, leering.. "you know you want a nice juicy steak".  Other things cloaked in humor and called jokes that are at times quite hostile and derisive.  I know that there has been this ongoing battle between vegetarians and omnivores, but I don't partake in it.  I don't mock, dismiss, or disrespect anyone's diet choices.  When asked why I eat the way I do, I explain my feelings and beliefs about it, and try to educate...but I never judge anyone.  Why do others feel so free to judge me, or try to call me out as a hypocrite or test if I'm a "true vegan" by questioning my wardrobe choices?  Is it a guilty conscience? Do they feel self conscious about their choice to eat/use animal products? It is just another in a long list of examples of singling out someone who doesn't conform, and I'm really kinda tired of it. You do you, and I'll do me.  I'm kind of over laughing this stuff off, don't think I'm gonna do it anymore.  I'm also not going to engage in facebook drama, but I am really a fan of the whole, if you can't say something nice... don't say anything at all, school of thought.  Constructive criticism is fine, it can be delivered in a caring tone, and does't have to be mean. Too many people are rude and hide it under the umbrella of "constructive criticism".

As to the fear mentioned in the title, I admit  being scared.  Diabetes is no joke. I never thought that this would be me.  I worry about the progression of the disease, I worry about this not working, and having to deal with the complications that come with it.  My health has really gone to crap in the past few years, for a lot of reasons.  I have read and seen that it can be controlled, even reversed, and I am praying to the god and goddess that I can reverse this with a lifestyle change...diet/lifestyle/weight loss and management.  Support is welcomed, needed, even.  Drama, not so much.

Rant over.  Time to get sweaty.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Forward Movement...FINALLY!!!

Weighed myself this morning and I am finally seeing "profit" as it were.  I am down to 260.2!!!!  As previous entries will tell you, I had actually gained a few pounds after starting this exercise program. Well I've lost those pounds, plus one more.  All weight loss from here on out is progress towards my goal. I have a tentative goal of 160 pounds for now.  I am 5'10", so I think that 160 is a workable weight, but I want to get there and see how it feels/looks.  My "ideal weight range" is 150-160, so I am still looking at that damn century weight loss figure. 100 pounds, ugh!

I can do this.  I MUST do this.  

Today is a rest day from vigorous exercise, but I may take a walk later, or something.  I am feeling energetic.  Maybe I'll vacuum my floors. >.<

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

You Can't Be Depressed if You're Moving

I've heard this phrase repeatedly over the last month or so.  It's one of those things that when you hear it, it makes logical sense, but brush it aside because in that moment you aren't feeling blue, or it just has no place at that moment in time.  Today I got a taste of the truth of it.

I have been a ball of nerves as the summer comes to a close.  As school marches closer, my excitement is tempered by anxiety.  I got the preceptorship assignment I wanted, I will be working in an ER, but I will also finally be doing things that I've only had very limited glancing experience with up to this point.  It's time to apply everything I've learned, and actually transition from being a student to being a nurse. All those silly irrational fears creep in, like: what if I forget eveything I know?  What if I can't keep calm in an urgent situation? (and this is something I have managed to do in my own real life experience, mind you..and I still worry about this).  What if I screw up? What if I FAIL? All of these fears are making my head spin and my brain is running like a hamster on a wheel...going a million miles an hour, but not getting anywhere.  I guess that's what it means to go nowhere, fast.

I have been struggling with insomnia for the past 2 nights running... awake until 3 am at a minimum.  This has made me a very tired girl.  When I got up this morning, all I wanted to do was to go  back to bed.  Although I have all manner of things to do and to organize and to deal with, I didn't want to do anything. And doing nothing, just makes the time shorter to do the big pile of chores and errands and paperwork and phone calls, etc.  And that's not even considering working out. Ugh. No.  Do.Not.Want.

Well sitting here and ignoring the elephant(s) in the room only really serves to make me feel more shitty.  I was deep into a pretty good brood, when I heard the words that inspired the title of today's entry. I heard them spoken in my brain.  I got up out of my chair, I went into the kitchen and loaded and started the dishwasher.  Our sink runneth over. :p  Once I got that done, before I sat back down, I went and changed into my workout gear and did my treadmill workout.  C25K, W3D3 is done. Next stop Week 4.  Now I just have to stay in my calorie budge for today, and I will be back on track (yesterday was a calorie budget fail).  I am edging back down, though I still haven't seen any net loss yet.

You can't be depressed if you're moving.  It's true.  I got up off my butt, did a chore, which gave me the satisfaction of a chore completed, or at least well on its way to being so.  Then I got through my treadmill workout.  I burned 265 calories that I wouldn't have burned otherwise. I am sitting her blogging this while it is fresh in my mind, but I actually feel energized, more alert.  Not necessarily all better, no.  I'm still kinda tired.  This isn't one of those workout days where I feel like a million bucks when I finish, but I do feel better than I did before I started.  I will likely get up from here and do a few more household chores, and I want to fit in some more exercise, just not sure what I'm gonna do yet.  I want to burn more calories.  I want to get more stuff done.  I want to get my ducks in a row before school starts.

So my journey continues. Still baby steps, but I feel like I'm getting stronger.  I'm 9 workouts in now.  I have been at this for almost a whole month.This is probably one of my best efforts at fitness without something forcing me to do it (like college credit).  I'm going to try to keep moving, because I don't want to be depressed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tweaking and Fine Tuning

Is it ever going to freaking end??? GAAAAHHH!! :P

I did my workout today. Workout #8.  C25K W3D2.  I used the fitness watch that I got last week and the results were...meh.  I burned 271 calories.  I didn't do my strength dvd today, just felt too drained and tired. Not much food in my belly is a probably culprit, along with eating some less than savory things and having a few drinks at the cohort party last night. So I will do it tomorrow and see how many calories that burns.  But at this rate I'll have to do 2 a days, or bump up my speed on the treadmill.  I am not sure I can handle going any faster though, as the intervals get longer.  I guess I'll just have to test myself.

This explains a few things though.  I haven't been burning as many calories as I thought and MFP was giving me credit for way more than I really burned.  So I have probably still been going overbudget on my calorie intake.  But also, at this rate it will take FOREVER for me to lose weight. Although with a 1400 calorie limit, plus exercise, I should still be losing... now that I have a more accurate picture of what I'm doing.

It's just super frustrating though.  I KNOW I didn't put this weight on overnight.  But it's been almost 4 weeks and I've not lost weight... I've actually gained a pound (now that I've lost 2 of the 3 I had gained a couple weeks ago).    I am not sure that I will have the time and ability to manage all this when school starts in a week.  *sigh*

Gonna chalk it up to an off day I guess, and try again tomorrow.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Workout #7

I did C25K W3D1 today.  I did not do my strength workout though.  I am re-evaluating my approach to working out.  I am going to start staggering the cardio and the strength workouts, I think.  I am still kind of fumbling around with all of this, and I'm not sure if I'm doing enough, but also afraid of doing too much and hurting myself.  

I got the new fitness watch set up, put the chest strap on, but fumbled with figuring out how to record my workout, so today it was just a wrist and chest decoration, but I went back to the manual and figured out what I needed to do and will use it tomorrow.  I am disappointed that I didn't get a reading for today though. Booo! 

I continue to NOT lose weight, which is starting to annoy me a little bit now.  I went into my settings for MyFitnessPal and saw that part of the problem was that I hadn't made changes to account for the weight I'd put back on since stopping my PE class.  I guess I've been eating about 200 too many calories a day, for one thing.  I am now on a 1400 calorie per day allowance (if I don't exercise) and if I do exercise, the calories burned are subtracted, so I can eat a few more.  We'll see if this adjustment helps.  Otherwise, I've been really good about watching WHAT and HOW MUCH I eat, so the weight should start coming off dammit! 

I am still seeing small gains in my overall body strength and ability, so that is heartening, but I am looking forward to seeing actual results.  I am tempted to wear the watch and chest strap to work to see how many calories I burn on a shift.  At any rate, I was worried that I had jacked my knee on that last set of lunges on Wednesday because I was having knee pain when I walked downstairs. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to workout today... in all honesty that's another reason I didn't do the strength workout today.  I didn't want to do the lunges and squats with my knee acting squirrelly, so I will do the strength dvd tomorrow maybe... or I may hold off and do it on Sunday when I do my next day of c25k.  I dunno.  

I am suffering from some doubts at the moment.  Doubts about whether or not I'm logging my stuff correctly with respect to calories in and out, not sure if I'm doing enough exercise, doubts about whether I'll be able to keep this up once school starts again and my schedule fills up with classes, clinicals, projects and studies.  I am not discouraged. I am NOT going to quit.  I am just feeling a little lost and confused at the moment.  But keeping moving, keeping going, that is something.  That will help me find my way.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Keep on Truckin'

I worked out today after taking about 5 days off.  Weekends are hard for getting workouts in, because I try to get out and stir around and do fun things with the family.  I also had some physical issues that caused me to take an extended break.  Nothing major... just girl biology things.  *sigh*  That has finally let up, so back to work I went today.

I haven't really seen much in the way of weight loss.  In fact, I was up 3 pounds from where I started for a bit.  I lost 2 of those, so I am still up a pound, but I'm on the way back down. Most of the differences and changes I've noticed have been internal, but they are changes, and I continue to see gains and changes in my ability and form, and that keeps me pushing forward.

I have a history of start/stop/start stop when it comes to working out.  I will start strong, but something (illness, distraction, depression, busy schedules, what have you) always seems to derail my efforts. This time is different.  There has been a certain amount of start/stop with this round, but this time, I get back to it, and more quickly than I have in the years past.  It's days, not weeks/months/years between workouts. I have been coming back to it as soon as I felt able to do so.

Today I did the full C25K workout going at speeds between 3 for walking and 4 for running, from start to finish.  I finished Week 1.  Well actually I finished Week 2! LOL! When I finished my workout, I went to the website to find out what week 2's workout consisted of and it turns out that's the workout I've been doing this week.  So I just kinda missed/skipped Week 1.  Oops! So rather than going back down and doing week 1, I am moving up to the workout for Week 3, when I do my next treadmill workout.  I may end up spending longer than a week on it to balance things out... or to let my endurance catch up.  I'm not sure how it will work, but I am kinda stoked to see what happens.  :)

I also did my strength dvd today.  The same one I've been doing, at the same level I've been doing it.  Week 1-2.  This is my third week doing this level, but it still takes a lot of work, leaves me sweaty and gross and out of breath.  I am lingering because I want to do all of the exercises without modifications before I move on.  I want to be able to do a chataranga from plank, not from my knees... for example.  I also struggle with form for lunges and squats.  I don't go down very deep, when I bend, and I still am trying to get my balance right.  Today I did better, in that I was able to sink down and not feel knee pain.  I try so hard to focus on the right form, so as not to strain or hurt my knees, but it's difficult to manage.  Today was much better, and I did pretty good until I got to the damn curtsy lunges.  As I was finishing those up, I bent wrong and my knee yelled at me. :(  I am also still working with 5 lb weights, and I haven't started doubling up on the weights yet (that's a goal for some of the exercises).  All in all though, I can't complain.  I "felt the burn" in the places I was supposed to, and I got it done today.  I think yoga will be tomorrow, and maybe a cardio workout that doesn't involve the treadmill or running. I have a ton of dvd's to pick from.  Time to mix it up a little!

My balance kind of continues to suck, and I end up having to put my hands on the treadmill to steady myself when I run, but I try to take my hands off of the treadmill as much as I can.  Maybe I need to start doing some yoga to work on my core more and my balance.  I will continue to work on that.  Maybe as the pounds start to come off, it won't be such a struggle to hold myself up.

I peeked ahead at the next level up and that essentially adds another workout to the one I already do, so I guess as soon as I feel like I can do both, I can move up, and my form will continue to improve as I go, but I'm taking the extra time because I want to do the exercises right and get maximum benefit.  I also think that when I move up to the next level I will have to separate my cardio and my strength days, where I am currently doing both together.  It is all just a huge experiment at this point, and I'm trying to find a way that works for me.  I'm also trying to find a routine and make this a habit before school starts, so I can work exercise into my schedule.

It was a rush, as it always seems to be.  I think I've found that exercise high I always hear about because as hard as it is to get moving, once I'm going, I don't want to stop! I feel like I should be doing more! It's also nice to feel results, even though I don't really see any results as yet.  The changes I'm feeling and writing about keep me motivated to keep going, and to pick my workout back up after a stall.

I went out and bought a fitness watch today.  I got one that tracks calorie burn and heart rate, and also lets me know what zone I'm working out in (cardio fitness vs. fat burn) so I can make adjustments as needed.  I will be strapping that sucker on for my next workout.  :)  I wanted something that is more reliable than the generalized exercise logs like MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper, etc.  I want to see just how much bang I'm getting for my exercise buck.

I'm not sure when it happened or how it happened, but a switch got flipped this time.  I am more motivated than I have ever been, I am more dedicated than in past attempts.  I actually enjoy what I'm doing this time (where before it was torture).  I have worked out 6 times (I think) in the past 2 1/2 weeks, while that may not seem like much...it is a LOT more than I had been working out before; and I'm working on making that number go up even higher.  So I am ok with that, even happy with it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Gotta Brag, Y'all!

I just finished my workout and I have to say, I'm proud of myself! I had to dig deep to get moving.  Really wasn't feeling it at all today.  I didn't work out yesterday because I had a massive headache that wouldn't go away, but this morning I woke up headache free, so I knew I had to get going.  I usually do my workouts around noon-ish, even that is pushing it a little since I usually am awake by 9 on my days off from work.  Today though, it was 2 before I got my butt down there.

I strapped on my mp3 player and picked my current running music of choice Mindless Self Indulgence's cd "If".  And started my treadmill. Once I got moving it was on!  I did Week 1 Day 2 of the Couch to 5K, which will hereafter be referred to by C25K W1D2. I noticed some pleasant changes from the first day to this one.  My top speed did feel quite as taxing, and my walking speed felt too slow.  So I increased my walking speed from 2 to 3mph.  For the last running burst, I wanted to see if I could bump the run up any faster, so I nudged it up a hair... from 4 to 4.2 mph.  Not a lot, but I'm not feeling suicidal, just testing my limits! ;)  I managed it, but was pretty out of breath and I'm not sure if I can sustain that for a full 20 minute workout, not alternating with the faster walking speed.  So I will stay with 3 mph for walking and 4mph for jogging for now, until I feel less winded. But hey... I did it, and increasing the walking speed did increase my heart rate pretty well. Come on W1D3!

After I did my C25K, I gave my TV and dvd player the stink-eye for a minute, and gulped some water. I pondered stopping my workout there, but shook it off.  I am trying to build muscle too, because I think I have lost a loooot of muscle from being so sedentary; muscle that I sorely need to be strong enough for patient transfers and such.  So I sighed and made a face, but I turned on my TV and did my Power Sculpt dvd.  I'm soooooo glad I did, too because I saw some gains here too, and I'm almost as euphoric about this as I am just from "exercise high" LOL

The warmup portion of the dvd ends with a set of 10 star jumps (jumping jacks, but I like the British name so much better, so I have adopted it :p ).  Now this is the 5th time I've done this dvd, and today was the first time I didn't modify these.  I actually jumped!!! I'm very lumbery and heavy and it's not pretty to see, but I DID IT!!! :) My feet left the ground!  

Part of the actual sculpting workout was a little bit of yoga... a nod to vinyasa (sun salutation) that involved a Chataranga (I've no idea if I've spelled this right).  I CANNOT do plank.  Not yet.  So I've been going down to my knees before doing the pushup.  I have been very frustrated with this part, and not sure how it was strengthening my arms.  Well I found out that I was totally doing it wrong! :p I was going into table and trying to lower to the ground from there.  Durrrrr! I fixed that and had my legs extended behind me with my knees and shins and tops of my feet touch the ground, and THEN lowered into the pushup and it worked so much better, I could feel the burn in my arms, and I wasn't as taxed and frustrated by it...  because after the pushup you go into up dog, then down dog, then roll back up to a standing position, which was really REALLY hard to do the way I was doing it. SUCCESS!

All in all a pretty damn good workout considering I had to drag my ass into it.  If I do say so myself.  But this is the kind of thing I need to help keep me motivated. My belly is a bit smaller, and my knees don't hurt when I climb stairs, which is good since I workout in my basement! LOL I'm noticing some small changes.  More inside than out at this point.  My weight isn't changing much, but that may be because I'm building muscle too... ?  But yeah, go me!  I can do this!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Listening To My Body (Yell At Me)

Oh the things I am learning and experiencing now.  I had a headache by the end of the day.  My water cup that I used during my workout didn't empty very much.  I had like half left, and I'm sure that wasn't anywhere near enough, but I just wasn't thirsty and water is not one of my favorites anyway.  I had some iced tea (unsweetened) with my dinner, but it was just one glass.  I am quite sure that my headache is my body's way of telling me I'm dehydrated.  My lips feel a bit dry too.

I need to force some fluid down today, this I know... but to exercise or not? That is the question.  I don't want to make things even worse, but I also don't want to lose a day of exercise while I'm still motivated to get going.  *sigh*  It's always something, isn't it? Is it this hard for everyone? :p Or am I just being a big baby? LOL

Ah well, time to go drink some damn water!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Consequences & RepercussionsI

I had a brief setback that turned into a bit of a learning experience. Last week I started an exercise regimen.  I also started watching what I eat, trying to make some better food choices.  I did pretty well, worked out 3 days out of 7, 3 days more than I have worked out in a long time.  

The weekend came, and I didn't work out.  We were out and about, but I don't think I got that much exercise beyond the walk from the car to our spot on the beach.  I also had a bit of a food orgy.  I ate a loooooooooooooot of carbs, and rich food.  Monday and Tuesday I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.  Sluggish and tired and blah.  That sort of started the dominos falling.  I felt sluggish and tired, couldn't get off my butt and exercise, so then the guilt kicked in and the negative thinking.  I felt like I was standing on the edge of a depression. 

I have such a history of eating and not paying attention to what I'm eating, and I've been so sedentary and still that I never really knew how the food was affecting my body.  This weekend's eating binge (for lack of a better word) I made that connection for the first time. I felt the consequences of my poor food choices.  So yes, it was a setback... but it was a setback with a purpose. I needed that lesson. It will help guide my choices from now on.  

Food is my drug.   I am an addict. I will probably stumble on this path many times, much as I did over the weekend.  But I can and will get up and dust myself off and keep going.  Today I started the Couch to 5K workout...Day 1, Week 1.  And I also did the Biggest Loser Power Sculpt workout.  I was on the treadmill for 30 minutes; 5 minutes each for warmup and cooldown, and 20 minutes alternating jogging and walking. With the exercise dvd, I am doing the the beginning level.  I am trying to improve my form as I go, and I think I'm getting better with it.  I definitely felt the burn, and my arms are more sore after this workout today than they were after all the previous workouts combined. As always I was super sweaty and I think that I amped it up a little bit, even though I ran/walked at zero incline, my speed was higher than it was for the previous workout.  Perhaps I'll alternate the c25k with the interval cardio I've been doing.  I also need to start doing some yoga.  Need to work that in.  Maybe yoga on days I don't do the weight training.  

I'm glad I got back to business.  I'm glad I didn't just let that slump overtake me.  I have to stop thinking in terms of all or nothing.  I have to give myself permission to fail, in a sense.  Failing to do a workout is temporary, and can be set right on a new day... the NEXT day.  Never doing that workout... letting the guilt and shame and self loathing of missing a day pile on top of me and keep me in my chair or on the couch... that is true failure.  Watching my weight continue to climb, watching my health decline, and all the baggage and bullshit, all the meds and doctor visits and equipment that goes along with it... THAT is failure.   And failure is not an option.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Moment of Uncertainty

I got up this morning and weighed myself and not only have I not lost even a pound of weight...I've gained.  I had gotten down to 261, now I'm 262.2.  Not a huge amount, I know.  I also know that the scale doesn't always show the work that you do, and I even further know that I just got started. Also, I am doing strength training exercises, meant to build muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.  I've only done the strength training exercises twice though.

Does muscle start to build that quickly?  Could that account for the extra pound?  I have been using MyFitnessPal to track what I eat, and have been staying pretty close to within my calorie limits.  I think I only went over once, and not by very much (less than 100 calories).  I have been drinking fluids way more than I used to, to try to not retain water... I guess water/fluid retention could be the other culprit here, though.    *sigh*  Yesterday was good, energy wise, but I swear I felt hungry all day.  I had to work really hard to not graze.  All this attention to calories and foods, thinking about what to eat and when to eat just had me feeling hungry all the time.  That's the hardest part, because I can exercise until I pass out, but if I eat too much, it negates all that work.  :(

I need to buy a fitness watch, so I can track the calories I burn with my workouts, my heart rate, and so on.  My treadmill does the heart rate and the time, but that's about it, and I am completely clueless when I am doing exercise dvds. Runkeeper will at least estimate your calorie burn, but I don't always go for walks. I need to be able to track these things regardless of what type of exercise I do.  :p I will be taking myself to Target to try to get one, probably later today.

For now, I just have to keep focused, keep going, and despite the scale reading keep at it.  It's early yet, so I need to just keep plugging away. I can do this.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Workout #3 done!

I started this up again on Monday, it is Thursday, I have worked out 3 of the past 4 days.  Go me! :)  For whatever reason, Tuesday night was a night full of waking up and fitful sleeping.  That combined with just feeling really really blah, kept me sidelined from working out yesterday.  I thought and thought about it, I really wanted to work out, but I just couldn't get the body moving.  I felt heavy and exhausted and mentally just kind of down.  I wonder if perhaps it was just my body saying omg STOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!!!!!!!!! after working out 2 days in a row.

In any case, I had trouble sleeping again last night.  I didn't fall asleep till nearly 3 am (note to self, Cherry Coke at 8pm was not the best choice ever for any number of reasons, not the least of which being the caffeine content).  I was on autopilot though, and just kinda picked and drank the soda without even really thinking about it....oops!   But I rebounded! I got up, felt energized, but my energy felt very disorganized.  I wanted to do everything at once, and when I feel like that, I usually end up doing nothing at all.  I grabbed some breakfast full of nice nummy carbs, and after giving it some time to digest, I just sort of mentally smacked myself, got into my workout gear and went for it.

My go to workout for now is to do interval cardio on my treadmill at a high intensity for about 20-25 minutes.  My PE instructor from when I took the personal fitness class, told me that a cycle on the treadmill consisiting of 2 minutes at maximum incline at the fastest speed I could manage, followed by 2 minutes on a flat incline, again at the fastest speed I could manage, and finished up with 1 minute of slow walking to catch my breath, done for 4 cycles (or 20 minutes) is as beneficial as doing 45-60 minutes of steady state cardio.  She said that I could increase the speed I walk as my cardiovascular fitness increased. She also said I could do it pretty much daily, if need be.   In the month that I was in her class doing it 5 days out of 7 I started noticing results...increased endurance, flexibility, speeed and agility.  She also said that if I did this cardio, along with some sort of strength training, and that I could do both on the same day, that I would see results pretty quickly.  So I have been also doing the Biggest Loser Power Sculpt dvd. I do the treadmill first, then follow it with the dvd.  I am on the beginner level for now... gotta work on my form and such, but then I can move up as I get better and stronger.

I did this workout combination on Monday, and it was very hard.  I felt very heavy and clumsy and sweat like crazy.  It seemed to just drag on and on.  ugh! But I did it.  Tuesday, I wanted to go outside, so I took a walk on the Soos Creek Trail, near my house.  It ended up being a 2.4 mile walk, and there's lots of hills on this trail, so it's not just flat terrain.  It wasn't quite as arduous a workout, I popped a sweat, but then, let's face it...I'm a fat girl, so it doesn't take much to make me sweaty.  :p My heart rate was up a bit, and it was a 42 minute walk, so definitely better than nothing.  I was slow at the start, and a bit lumbering, but my speed increased some as the workout progressed.  I could feel that I had warmed up... I felt "oiled up" so to speak, it was easier to move and stuff.

Yesterday I kind of hit a wall.  I was tired from the moment I got up, hadn't slept well, and just could NOT get going.  I went back and forth about it with myself, and in the end, just decided to take a rest day.  I'm glad I did. I had a bit of tummy trouble in the evening.  Maybe moving some yuck out of my system, but I'm glad I took it easy.

Today it was back to business.  The treadmill and dvd workout again.  This time I had my mp3 player charged and ready (I did the first workout with no music! boo!) and I think having the tunes made a bit of a difference in my perception of the workout. It went by quicker, and yes, it was hard, and yes I was sweating like a pig... to the point of where I need to find my headband that I bought for the PE class but never used... I need it now, sweat was going into my eyes, down my nose, etc.  ick!  I was breathing hard, heart rate was in the 130s, but it wasn't as mentally difficult today.  The dvd was harder in some ways, and easier in others. I really struggle with form, especially when it comes to lunges and squats, because I have crappy balance.  I think my form was better this time (hence I could feel the burn more and I sweated more), but it's still far from perfect.  I always have a bit of knee pain when I do squats and lunges... I try REALLY hard to not let my knee travel over my ankle, but it still will twinge at times, and I can't bend down very far at all.  :( Is it because I'm so heavy?  Will it get easier as the weight comes off?  I really need help with the form piece though, I don't want to hurt myself.  In any case, I think that I did a better job with the weight training dvd, did the exercises a little closer to right, because it felt more strenuous today than it did the first time.

I think I am in the midst of that famous endorphin rush, because I almost feel like I could do some more stuff! lol I don't want to overdo it though.  Maybe I'll do some other activity later today or something.  I'm feeling pretty good today.  I hope I can ride this for a while.  Now I just have to make the right food choices so I don't mess up the exercise I did with my diet.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sad fat

My fat is crying!

Before pic

Taken in Austin June of 2012.

Motivation... Let's Do This

It is time to stop playing at changing my life, and to just do it.  I have been waffling about, back and forth with this blog, and with my life for too long now.  I am 42 years old, about 100 pounds overweight, and now I am hyperglycemic.  I have had tests done, and my blood sugar is higher than it should be, but thus far my doctor doesn't want to start me on medications, he wants me to change my lifestyle and eating habits, and see if that doesn't reverse it.

This is actually old news.  I have been like this for about a year now.  I had started seeing a dietitian, I had been exercising and had managed to lose a little bit of weight (about 10 pounds, nothing too crazy), but then, as seems to be my style, I petered out. I like to joke that I am the perfect embodiment of entropy.  I will take all these steps and get organized and have everything set up as I want it, but then over time, things start to slide out of control again.  A neat and tidy desk becomes a cluttered mess, a clean house also becomes a cluttered mess, and my great and wonderful, wise health and life choices become chaos. For the past 2 1/2 years I have been hyperfocused on nursing school.  I spent inordinate amounts of time sitting in my study chair reading textbooks and powerpoints, working on group projects, studying for exams and trying to get through all the fairly challenging classes that come with school.

I have been very fortunate to have a supportive partner who has allowed me to do this, by stepping up and filling my shoes with cooking meals, taking our daughter to her extracurricular activities and athletic practices, and other such things that traditionally would fall to me.  However, in some ways this has enabled me to be sedentary. Summers and holiday breaks don't see me getting out of my chair to be super active.  I sit in my chair and read fun, fiction, and non text books, or surfing the internet, when I should be up and about, playing outside and getting some damn exercise.  Motivation tends to be lacking.... and there has also been a toll taken on my body and my psyche.  I am physically tired, and I feel overwhelmed when I contemplate what I need to do to reverse the damage I have done to myself.

This has become ever so painfully obvious with the starting of my job as a nurse tech at a local hospital. I am finding the work to be extremely physically challenging.  12 hour shifts leave me sore, stiff and exhausted, physically; overwhelmed, stressed, and drained emotionally.  It has been very humbling.  I have been working for about a month, orienting, and there have been more than my share of moments that I have questioned whether or not I am physically able to do this job, which leads to doubts about whether I will be able to even function as a nurse in a hospital med/surg or ER setting, much less be good at it.  I don't want to fail. I don't want this to end me.  I have put too much time and money and effort into school and clinicals, and am doing the same at my job, I would be devastated emotionally and financially if I can't get through this.I have the stamina, this I know, because I have been able to work the shifts and see them through.  It's been rather grueling, though... and I hope to get to a point where it is tiring, yes, but not horrifically so.  At present, I require a whole day to recover from working multiple shifts.  A whole day of essentially just sitting around and letting the soreness and pain ebb away from my legs/feet/back... damn lactic acid buildup! :p A whole day of this, before I can really try to do much physical activity.  I also need to move faster.  I feel very heavy and clumsy and kind of like a bull in a china shop right now.  I have no hustle in my muscle. I am also painfully aware that I have very little upper body strength, which is something I need to cultivate for patient transfers and turns, hefting heavy linen and garbage bags into the dumpsters, and such things.

The only way this is going to change is if I start working out.  I need cardio to improve my cardiovascular fitness and to burn all this extra fat, I need resistance and strength training to get stronger and build back my muscle.  I need to make healthier food choices to get my blood sugar back in check and to also lose some of this extra fat.

I went to see my sister in Austin, TX in June.  I was there for 3 weeks, and starting then, and continuing with starting my job, I have lost about 10 pounds.  I ate better, and not as often when I was with my sister.  Since I have been back, I haven't entirely slipped into old habits. I have been leaving food on my plate where before I'd clean it (large portions), and I am not eating as much in a day (especially on work days).  Between the decreased food intake (and healthier choices... they have a bomb salad bar at the hospital cafeteria) and the increased activity of working mostly 12 hour shifts, I have continued to lose weight.  But now, I need to add exercise to the mix.  I need to get better at organizing my time and prioritizing exercise, fitting it into my lifestyle.

I really wish  I had a workout buddy to keep me company and to keep me honest and accountable.  I don't, however.  So I started this blog, and well... we've seen how well that's worked out.  :p LOL!  I'm not giving up though dammit! I am going to dust this off and try again.  So to that end, I am stating goals for today.  Today I want to do a 20 minute high intensity cardio workout on my treadmill.  I also want to do some weight training on my upper body, and I wouldn't mind doing a bit of yoga to stretch and limber up.  This may sound like a lot to tackle in one day, but I actually did this when I was taking PE in my J Term class.  Did it daily for a month, and lost 10 pounds in that month.  So I can do it.  If I do, that would get me to a 20 pound loss by the time school starts, and I'll also be more physically fit... my heart will be healthier and all that good stuff.

I am working now, so I have a bit more money to spend.  I think next check I may try to purchase some time with a personal trainer, so I can further have someone to be accountable to, and have a specific exercise prescription for my needs.  To quote L'Oreal... "I'm worth it!"

I have installed the Blogger app on my phone, so I will post a current pic of me for my "before" picture.  And I will post pictures as I go to show the results I am getting from my efforts.  I really want to do this.  I'm finally scared enough and at my "rock bottom" weight and health wise.    If anyone is interested in being my workout/walking/hiking/maybe running buddy, let me know.  I'd love to have company, a coach, an inspiration, etc.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Today's workout

Class was cancelled... Instructor couldn't get there in time... I saw her later and she said she had 2 flat tires when she went to her car to come to PLU. She wanted us to work out on our own. After a brief internal struggle, I decided to be good and go to the fitness center. I got on the treadmill and tried the workout Erin (the instructor) had showed me yesterday. I did 4 cycles of high intensity interval cardio. Holy shit! I was sweating like a pig, red faced, and totally out of breath, but I did it! So there's that. :) burned 538 calories in the process! Go me!

Yoga today was difficult, but certain aspects are actually getting a little easier, and I felt loose and limber (not flexible...no, but not stiff either). It was kinda nice. At the end of week 2, I am sore... and uncomfortable. But not as much as I was last week. So there's a little progress. I also have lost a li'l weight. So go me again! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today's adventure

Today we did physical fitness testing and it was a definite wake up call! In one minute I did 24 push ups (against the wall). In another minute I did 16 crunches. My core has gotten so weak, I couldn't pull up into a full sit-up! And I did 3 pull ups with a LOT of help (my instructor half pushing me, and with bands). Ugh! I have my work cut out!

After we finished the physical fitness test we were left to our own devices, so a classmate and I asked her to give us a workout to do. She had us grab medicine balls, led us to the gym and had us do wall-balls. It's a crossfit exercise, where basically you go into a squat, and push up, tossing the medicine ball high up above you as you come up, then catch the ball, going back into a squat. Holy crap that's hard! She told us to do 5 sets me 15 reps, and my better conditioned friend had to do 30 reps. I managed to finish 3 complete sets, and the squats portion of a 4th set before she called time.

I am still logging in my food, I put in the workout as best I could. No cardio today, so no idea how many calories I burned. I am already feeling a li'l sore. Tomorrow should be interesting. We didn't do any yoga today, we watched a dvd. :p tomorrow should be interesting. We are already almost halfway through j term. Wow!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

And time goes by.....

My last entry was in August eh? Not surprising. School came back into session and everything just... stopped. I was all about just studying and more studying. I lived in my armchair when I wasn't in class or clinical. I've been wrestling all the same demons that I have since this blog's inception. Honestly nothing much has changed. But it has.

I have been seeing my therapist for a few months now. I like her, she's very nice and calming and I feel safe with her. I am back on my meds, and I really need to stay on them. I'm utterly useless without them for much besides basic life sustaining functions. :p

I am also in school again, but not taking nursing classes. I had a couple of li'l ol' general university requirements to satisfy, so during J term I'm taking 2 PE classes. One is a personal fitness class, the other is a yoga class. Today was my first full on workout in both classes, oh my gawd. First she timed us doing the mile and a half. I finished last, this was no surprise. My time wasn't great..again no surprise. BUT On the positve side, I did all 6 laps without stopping. I ran a little, but walked fast most of the time. The instructor said she'd seen worse. But I guess most notable at all, I didn't get frustrated, angry or upset. No tears! :) After that she had us do 50 each of pushups, situps and squats. I got through the pushups, and half of the squats before she called time. (modified wall pushups..but that's a good way to do it!)

Then there was a loooong break, followed by yoga. I got through that too. She took it easy on us today, I'm thinking tomorrow is gonna be harder, so we'll see how that goes. I am tired and I'm already starting to get sore, but I felt good having finished all that. I felt a little more alert on the drive home. I guess I had a taste of the endorphin rush.

In the course of all of this though, it struck me just how powerful dissasociation is. I mean, it's common knowledge taught in mental health class and all, that it is extremely powerful. And I know that I've experienced it first hand in my life, but it really kind of hit home today. I felt very stiff and inflexible when I tried to run. It was hard for me to move. I have so much weight on me, for the first time I really truly felt it. I was a little shocked. I mean, I know that I'm far from physically fit. But somehow in my mind/imagination/dreams, I was still fluid when I moved. I didn't feel so much like a bull in a china shop. I didn't realize I was so limited. It was an eye opener.

Another realization I made is that I've really never been particularly fit. Not even in my super skinny days. I've NEVER done well at the mile and a half. I've always come in last. I never really exercised either. I was active... I walked everywhere! But I never exercised once I got out of PE.

So now it seems I've come full circle. I'm almost 42 years old and taking PE again! Which while it's extremely annoying, I am also seeing it as an opportunity. I am forced to work out 4 days a week in yoga and 2 of the 4 in PE 100. I am going from zero to 60 (sort of) so I imagine I'll see *some* change in a month. I may drop a few pounds, I may be able to run a few laps of the mile and a half at the end. I guess that remains to be seen. But I am hoping to ride the momentum of these classes and continue to work out on my own, and then see some REAL results. I want my life and my body back. I want to *care* for the sick, not actually BE sick! :p

On the drive home, I saw, and in fact drove underneath the arch of a rainbow. I am hoping it's a good sign. It's a new year... will there be a new me?