14 January 2009

and, again

New year, recommit. Such a cliche, I know. I've been hovering at around 12lbs (a couple up, a couple down) over where I feel best for months and months. Pants tight or abandoned. Flubby feeling.

As usual, it's not the exercise that I have problems with, but rather the eating. I love me my food. Unlike so many other bloggers, I don't have a problem with fast food and snack food - I can take it or leave it. I generally eat really well, healthy foods, whole grains, lots of veggies. I prefer non-fat dairy and love plain yogurt. My downfall? My sweet tooth. I love chocolate and pastries and homemade cookies. I have no problem passing up packaged treats, but homemade or bakery items? Step aside. So, it's recommitting to BFL eating - treats on Sunday only. If I eat sugary stuff, I want more sugary stuff. If I avoid it, I don't crave it. On Sundays, I try to get it out of my system - I save up the stuff that I want to eat and give myself permission to indulge on Sunday. More often than not, I'm not all that into it by then.

I also enjoy my wine. One thing I noticed this fall was that, if I have wine with dinner, not only am I consuming those ("empty") calories, but that my resolve to eschew after-dinner treats is diminished (can you say "nonexistent"?) So, I've been limiting alcohol consumption to weekends and drinking lots of my very favorite tea as an after-dinner treat.

Fitting exercise in every day is a challenge. On my dedicated boy-free work days (Monday and Wednesday), I ride to work, work out at the gym in my building for 1.5 hours (weights, elliptical, stretching), Pilates, then ride home. It's good. I love the freedom. Tuesday and Thursday, I'm in charge of boy drop-off and pick-up, so I try to squeeze something in. A half-hour of kettle bell swinging, bicycling to drop-off or pick-up with a lap up to Tabor. Friday is my day with the boy. When the weather is nice (or at least, not horribly nasty), we ride up to Tabor. If it's crappy, we (try to) go to the gym. Unfortunately, the boy has meltdowns more often than not and my workout is cut short. Weekends, we bicycle or walk. Last weekend, I dusted off my running shoes and did a 35-minute loop (and felt great!).

We joined a new gym (what an awesome deal) with a much nicer play area (climbing structures! how novel!) and the childcare costs half of what I used to pay. I'm hoping the boy will settle in, but the problem is that we don't go consistently enough for him to feel comfortable (different gym than my M/W gym).

I did get a new HRM (in green) and I like it a lot. Very motivating to see the last several months worth of exercises all summarized on my wrist. I also have a pedometer that measures "moderate" activity - great motivator for taking the stairs or walking at lunch.

So. Re(-re)(-re)(-re)commiting.

We saw Michael P0llan last night (fantastic) and I'm inspired to finally read his books.

What are you doing different for the new year?

07 September 2008


I don't know when it happened, but I've become a hill climber.

When we were training for that Century (back in '05), I eschewed hills like the plague. But this morning, I realized that I love hooking up the chariot and climbing, climbing, climbing slooooowly up the hill. Maybe I'm addicted to seeing the number on the HRM edging perilously close to my max target rate?

I'm still petrified of the downhills, though.

Speaking of HRM, I'm in the market to replace my old Polar A5 with something new. If anyone is still out there and has an opinion, I'm looking for these features (that the A5 does not have):
  • Polar (to work with the machines at the gym)
  • Store more than one workout - preferably 10+.
  • Ability to see running HR average during a workout.
  • Measure calories burned even if your HR is under 100.
  • Some kind of upload ability.
Do you love your HRM? Why or why not?

10 July 2008

back on track

OK. Since last I wrote, I:
  • Got in 35 minutes of elliptical on Tuesday (until the boy decided it was time to escape the childcare area at the gym).
  • Rejoined Pilates and had the first session on Wednesday.
  • Had a great 40-minute Adaptive Motion Trainer (AMT) session at my regular gym this morning.
  • Did most of my physical therapy exercises (for my heel pain) this morning. (I wasn't sure if I could do plank what with my elbow, but it was fine holding my weight.)
  • Weighed 5.5 pounds less than I did on Monday.
I'm sure the drop on the scale is mostly water weight as the carbo-bloatage reduces. But some is probably from being back on track with eating. No desserts. Good balance of protein and carbs. More salad, fruit and Greek yogurt for breakfast.

I sure do like me my routine.

Tomorrow? Maybe gym-elliptical (if the little dude abides), maybe Tabor walk (if my heel abides), definitely PT exercises. Go plank!

07 July 2008

but, seriously

Ok, it's time to get serious.

I can't remember what was going on when last I posted, but here's the current situation:
  • Three weeks ago, the bike trailer got caught on a gate coming down from Mount Tabor and I went down. Fractured my left elbow (also skinned my left knee and bruised my left thigh).
  • I was riding (instead of running) because the heel pain ("not Achilles tendinitis") persists and the PT kicked me out since I wasn't getting any better.
  • No workouts for the last three weeks: no cardio, no Pilates, no strength training. Oh wait, there was that one hike to the top of Black Butte last week.
  • This last week, I have experienced something akin to TMJ (according to the dentist at the family reunion): swollen left cheek and jaw, pain in the joint, recent dental work on that side.
  • Also, this last week: sinusitis gravitating from one side to the other, with accompanying splitting headache.
  • Family reunion/vacation = eat-fest.
I stepped on the scale this morning and discovered that I NOW weigh 19 pounds more than I want to (although I'm hoping that some of that is carbo-bloat from the eat-fest). Nevertheless, I'm afraid to try on any of my clothes. I was wearing my fat shorts and the reunion, feeling huge, and avoiding the camera.

The good news is that on the Black Butte hike, I hit my groove in about a minute and cranked up the mountain (2 miles, uphill), leaving my companions in the (literal) dust. All that stroller-pushing up to Tabor must have done something and I haven't lost ALL of my cardio fitness during this broken arm fiasco.

So, I need to devise a plan of attack for getting this weight off, preferably without further injuring myself.

I can now bend and almost straighten my left arm, so I think I can go back to the elliptical and Pilates. I might be able to push a stroller. I doubt I can ride the bike. So, the current exercise plan is elliptical and Pilates and maybe Tabor walking.

The food plan is to recommit to Body for Life eating.

I will try to post here more often to keep myself honest.

Wish me luck.

04 April 2008


The Mr. has been in Californ-eye-ay, so I've been on boy drop-off and pick-up duty. Since the weather's been fantabulous (up to today, that is), we rode on Wednesday and Thursday. Well, I've been riding, the boy has been in the chariot.

The trip from home to day-care to work takes almost exactly an hour (including chit-chat and chariot disengagement). My HR monitor goes crazy for this ride - it's all uphill to daycare, mostly downhill to work. Then, the reverse: mostly uphill to daycare and then downhill home. The cyclometer says approximately 7.5 miles each way (a little longer on the way home because we take the long way through the park). The HR monitor says I burned 440 calories on the way to work and 540 home.

Not too shabby for two days when I thought I'd get in no exercise whatsoever (aside from Pilates) since I have no time for the gym.

20 March 2008

eschewing chocolate

It's amazing to me that I can eliminate the chocolate snacking during the day and the nightly dessert ritual and make sure I eat enough fruits and veg and whole grains --- and my body responds. The jeans are fitting better, the scale is going down (7lbs from the post-cruise high).

Pilates is a breath of fresh air. I forgot how much I enjoy the concentration and feeling all stretchy and bendy afterward. I even enjoy the abs, oblique, and gluteal soreness the next day. I think the body awareness is helping me maintain my commitment to healthy eating.

I've figured out that I burn about 100 calories give or take on the ride to work (downhill) and about 200 on the way home (uphill, natch). That's not a huge amount, but added to the 30-40 minutes of gym-cardio on M-W and the 60-85 minute walk-jogs on Tu-Fri, it's working.

I haven't done the day-care drop-off routine since last I wrote because the last two Thursdays (my day-care drop-off day), the boy has SLEPT IN. Well, this morning, he woke at 5:30 for a snack, but went right back to sleep when I told him it was too early, too dark for little boys to be up and about. The Mr and I woke at 7:20 and got ready for work, letting the boy sleep. He finally woke at about 7:40 - too late for getting ready + the hour round-trip by bike. There will be other days, with better weather.

09 March 2008

recommit redux

It's Spring and I'm back!

My fall and winter were filled with steps forward, steps back in my health and fitness journey. I had worked my way up to a decent exercise regime of 4 days a week (weights and elliptical on MW, 5-6 mile jog-walks - with stroller - up to Mount Tabor on TuFri). I was getting my eating under control (but not completely).

Then, in early Nov (the day before J's birthday, I threw my back out something fierce and couldn't stand up straight for two solid weeks (despite three visits to the chiro and a serious massage). Needless to say, exercise went out the window since I was unable to walk a block, much less a mile. I finally asked Dr. Google what to do and started a stretching program (psoas, hamstring, piriformis). The stretches worked and I'm able to keep the lower back issues at bay.

I got back on the wagon and had a couple of good weeks until an intestinal virus hit our household. J's childcare provider came down with the barfy-poopy flu, then J, then my husband, and finally me. (The upside? I did lose several pounds. The downside? They were mainly water and came right back once I started eating again.)

The holiday season was upon us. I kept up the exercise, but my eating went to shit. Once the holidays were over, I got back up on that wagon until heel pain hit. I ignored the pain for three or four weeks until one day I woke up with a swollen and painful Achilles tendon which sent me screaming to the podiatrist.

Diagnosis: Achilles tendinitis. Prognosis: physical therapy. My chronic post-partum hip pain appears to be related. Now I'm doing PT two days a week and exercising every day to strengthen lower back, hips, core.

In mid-February, we went on a cruise and bellied up to the dessert buffet all week long. No exercise to speak of (except silly PT exercises in the hallway while the boy was asleep) and a little walking (managed to avoid the elevators for the most part). Came home to a two-pound gain (over the approximately 12 pounds I packed on since giving birth - I'm one of the few who dropped all the baby weight in a month (thanks to post-partum depression) and then gained a bunch back the first year).

The weather here has been gorgeously springy, so we got back on our bicycles (with the boy in the chariot) about a month ago. Ever since, I've been riding to work on MW. Last week, we figured out how to get the boy to daycare a bicyclette, so Thursday morning, I rode up Mount Tabor to J's childcare, then downtown to work. The whole trip took 1:00 door-to-door (and burned 465 calories according to my HRM). In the evening, I rode all the way back up, picked up the boy and chariot, then over Mount Tabor and home. Homeward took 1:10 and burned 520 calories. The ride was hard (oh my god, at times my HRM had me about 30 beats above my target), but I felt a great sense of accomplishment.

A couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me that the PT exercises were so very similar to Pilates that maybe I should just ... uh... go back to Pilates (after a 2-year hiatus). So, I signed up for the beginning class with my former instructor which started Wednesday. So nice to be back in the Studio, breathing and pulling up the transverse abs and pulling down the shoulder blades. I forgot how hard it is to keep all that in my head and then do the exercise.

So, my current plan of action is:


  • Body for Life (whole foods, good protein, not too much M-Sat, Cadbury mini eggs on Sundays only)
  • M, W bike to work, weights, PT exercises, 30 minutes adaptive motion trainer, 10-15 minutes Cardio Wave, walk at lunch
  • W Pilates
  • Tu, F Physical Therapy, 4-6 miles walk-jog (hill training)
  • Th Bike-commute with trailer (10 miles)
  • Sa Swim lessons with the boy :-), easy rides to park, shopping

I feel pretty committed. In the last two weeks, I've dropped about 4 pounds and all my last-ditch pants (which were starting to feel tight) are loosening up. I still have a closet full of small 14s and 12s that don't fit, so that's my goal. 15 pounds or nicely fitting wardrobe, whichever comes first.

Happy daylight savings time!

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