Monthly Archives: May 2011

Day 48 – Planks will be the death of me

Triceps and AbsAgain, I’m glad I started with the 100/200/200 program. My core is NOT as strong as it should be. My lower back was KILLING me this morning, which is an indication of two things: Not enough core strength, and not enough flexibility in the hips. Believe me, several trips to the chiropractor a few years ago diagnosed this as my issue (not to mention a mild scoliosis in my lumbar area), so I know that what I need to do after every workout is include a GOOD stretch to make sure those muscles don’t lock up.

Right now I feel like I’m soaking in Icy Hot (or Ben Gay or Aspercreme or whatever), which is not pleasant after a walk in 90+ degree weather. But my muscles feel better, and hopefully today’s workout will have pushed the lactic acid through my system enough that I finally move on from the “OH GOD OW!” stage to the “That’s a pleasant soreness and makes me want to do more!” stage.

As long as I take care of my back these next few days as I build up my core strength, I should be okay. On the plus side, I DID say that I was going to pair this fitness program with more stretching and flexibility exercises. It’s just that now I realize I’ll be doing it out of necessity rather than just interest!

Yesterday…. Read the rest of this entry

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Day 47 – No time for a holiday!

Do What You Decide To DoI started my new fitness program today, and I think I kicked my own ass! Normally I would be frightened of the next couple of weeks, but I’m actually looking forward to this. I do have to say that I’m glad I started with the 100/200/200 and Boot Camp programs. I thought they helped me get into pretty good shape. Wow! I can’t imagine how I’d be feeling right now if I hadn’t started with those! Despite all those squats I did, today’s program was focused on the legs and thighs, and I still feel like my legs are made of Jello right now.

Mmm…Jello. I have Jello in the pantry to be made later…

Anyway….

I have discovered that my left leg is still significantly weaker than my right leg. So I’m going to be focusing on that to get it balanced out. I don’t like the feeling of doing lunges and being worried about tipping over from going too far down on a knee or ankle that can’t support it.

My plan is to go through this program for 4 weeks, maybe up to 6. It’s interesting to think about that and realize that I may do the workout I just went through only 3 more times this round, 5 at the most. Put into those terms, this should be an amazing month for a body transformation.

Yesterday…. Read the rest of this entry

Day 46 – “You’re looking good, by the way…”

SatsThe title were words said to me by a guildmate tonight. *cue dancing with happiness*

Okay, backing up now…

Today was my treat day. Well, I got started a little early (*cough*yesterday*cough*) but it IS the holiday weekend. Tomorrow is the start of my new fitness program, and we had a guildie (Q) come down to visit tonight, and he stayed with another guildie (G). We went to our favorite pizza place (yes, PIZZA!) and drank cider, ate wings and pizza, and talked WoW for several hours. It was wonderful. ^_^

As we were parting ways, G said those words to me. “You’re looking good, by the way!”

Before anyone thinks anything funny about this, G said that as a friend, not as a flirt. XD It was a genuine compliment.

But it still made my night.

Tomorrow I start kicking my ass until it hurts again. I can’t wait!

Yesterday’s results… Read the rest of this entry

Day 45 – Something something something Dark Side

dunwannaAfter yesterday’s “OMG I DID IT!” announcement, I kinda got nothing today. Still need to do my workout, which will be my last Spark People Boot Camp day. Other than that? I feel “Meh.” Tomorrow is my recovery day for exercise, but also plans for a treat meal (pizza, wings, and beer) with friends.

I have homework to do. I want to re-color my hair, but I desperately need a haircut and I’ll pay for the convenience to have it professionally colored for a change (which I do once or twice a year…most of the time color it myself). I don’t WANT to get up and do my workout. I know I WILL do it, but I’m gonna be groaning and complaining the whole time.

I’d much rather just go back to bed for the whole day.

…and pretty sure this entire post is my period talking.

Meh.

Yesterday…. Read the rest of this entry

Day 44 – I AM FIREBUDGIE, HEAR ME ROAR!

YEAH Lift WeightsThe 100 Push-ups/200 Sit-ups/200 Squats program…OWNED!

Today was the last day of the 6-week program, and despite some struggles, panting, grunting, groaning, complaining, cursing, and gritting my teeth I got through it!

These programs are designed to help you build up to doing 100 CONSECUTIVE push-ups and 200 CONSECUTIVE crunches and squats. But total today, over 9 sets, I did 245 push-ups, 378 crunches, and 331 squats!

The next step, really, is to take the test and see how many you can do consecutively. Well, I won’t be doing that today…maybe not even tomorrow because I want to let my muscles recover. But probably Sunday, I’m going to see where I stand.

I’m glad it’s over. It feels SO GOOD to have set a goal and succeed in doing it. It’s not the end of my workouts, of course–it’s just the beginning! But I think it really helps to set up a program with a finite amount of time so you have that “light at the end of the tunnel” to look forward to. And trust me, this is the third time I’ve started this program, but only the first time I got through it. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!

What have I gotten out of it? Well, the most obvious result is my arms. OMG I HAVE TRICEPS! And yes, biceps too, but my triceps are popping like I’ve never seen them before! I never even saw them THIS defined when I rowed crew! Second is my legs. SOLID! Sure, my upper thighs need to lose some padding, but my legs themselves feel AMAZING. My knees don’t appear so knobby anymore with the muscles above and below them. And my core feels stronger too! The results are harder to see, and even difficult to feel with my hands, but I can tell my waist is tighter under the extra padding.

My heart rate monitor also has a “fitness test” in which it monitors your heart rate at a resting state to determine your fitness level. I took it on May 9, and had a result of 35, which was the low-end of “Moderate” for my age. That was a little over 2 weeks ago after I had ALREADY been doing this program for a while. I took it again today, and got a 38, which is in the beginning of the “Good” range. And this was only the first fitness program I’ve done, so it can only get better from here!

I’m also glad this program is over for other reasons: I think my body was finally beginning to adapt, as my heart rate monitor showed that I wasn’t reaching the same peak as I was in Weeks 4 and 5. That’s expected, and now it’s time to switch it up to work my muscles in different ways. I have a new strength-training program planned for the next month, so this is good timing. I think I got all I could out of this program for now.

Also, doing 245 push-ups puts a lot of pressure on the wrists. I would occasionally pause in the middle of a set (especially the final set where I work until exhaustion) to stretch and flex my wrists. I’m going to look into other ways to both strengthen them and correct my form some more for when I do this program again.

But overall, I felt this was a good “Intro to strength training” to get myself on a schedule, do some basic exercises that I could do anywhere (I have done this program in a hotel room on a trip before), and see some progress that keeps me motivated. It was a long 6 weeks, but SO worth it!
I Did The Hundred (Push-ups) Badge I Did Two Hundred (Sit-ups) Badge I Did Two Hundred (Squats) Badge

Tomorrow will also be the last day of the SparkPeople Boot Camp, so that’s two programs completed at the same time.

If I could give any advice to people considering programs like these, it’s this: You can do it if you put your mind to it. Just give it an honest try!

Yesterday’s report…. Read the rest of this entry

Day 43 – Weigh-in #6

Weekly Weigh InWell, it was as I expected. I went up this week. 176.4 this morning. I added 0.6 pounds since last week’s dramatic loss. Possibly less, as my scale was going “ehhhhh…” between 176.0 and 176.4. Silly digital scales. But hey, that’s still a loss of 2 pounds over the past 2 weeks.

But I was right about something: Got my period. It’s still light and spotty, so I’ll probably see this “gain” for a few more days. Bodies are silly. Have a happy period, indeed. I’m willing to bet that this extra weight will be gone by Sunday.

I’m also going over any other reasons for this. My exercise is good. I aim for burning 500 calories per day, and have been successful according to my heart rate monitor. So I should be burning off a pound per week. My food, on the other hand, tends to the low side. It’s not an eating disorder–I’m absolutely NOT anorexic. I just tend to forget to eat, and when I do, my concern is less about my food but getting back to doing what needs to get done. I blame years of working retail where most of your half hour meal break is spent trying to dodge customers who all find YOU at the moment you clock out, trying to get something to eat, scarfing it down in the break room with co-workers constantly asking you to do your work for them, and jumping up to answer the back door when the delivery guy shows up. Those habits were reinforced in my office job in which I always seemed to have one more thing to finish, one more line of code to fix, or one more email to send before running off to a meeting. So while I’m eating well now, I think I could stand to eat more because my metabolism is going, “LAWL NO!” at me.

This coming week, I’m going to add in more than one treat meal/day. We have a dinner planned for Sunday when a beloved guildie is coming down to see us, so I’m going to make that my starting point. I was planning to start my strength-focused workout on Monday anyway, so the next few days will be all about clarifying those plans. Instead of 1 treat meal per week, I’m going to aim for one every 5 days…so it’s not quite twice a week, every week, but it’s a little more often to help reset my body. Perhaps even make it a little more than a treat meal on those days. When my guildies and I did the Game On! diet plan, we had a full day off of “eating right” AS WELL AS an extra treat meal. The other days will be “bulked out” a little more…I really have enjoyed making protein shakes, so using that to get in some more nutrition throughout the day should help quite a bit.

Last point of interest: I found my USB cord to connect my camera to my computer, and I uploaded the pics I took at the beginning of the month. I also took pics of myself today wearing the same thing and from the same angles. Sorry, no, not gonna share them with the public just yet (O HAI, BEING SELF-CONSCIOUS!), but it’s nice to see a significant difference in just 4-5 pounds. It’s a tool I want to use for myself to keep myself motivated. When I lose more, I might post them. Maybe. But please don’t hold your breath. XD

Next week will be better, I promise!

As for yesterday…. Read the rest of this entry

Day 42 – Tired Firebudgie is tired

Sleepy BudgieUgh. Last night. Ugh.

I went to bed at a decent hour, but as soon as my head hit the pillow I became aware of a sinus pressure headache trying to build. I don’t know about the rest of you, but when we have stormy weather going through the area I tend to feel the pressure change in my sinuses, even if we don’t have an actual storm. It hurt. And the longer I laid there, the worse it got.

And then the birds started chirping their fool heads off.

Long story short, I didn’t fall asleep until the sun started coming up.

I feel like I’ve been floating through the day in a bit of a fog. I resisted taking any “PM” type pain relievers last night, but it still threw me for a loop.

On the plus side, when I did my workout today, the time just kinda…passed. I had 9 sets of my 100/200/200 today, and before I knew it I was on the last set.

I’m not sure how tomorrow’s weigh-in is going to go. I mentioned it yesterday, but sure enough I started spotting today. So even if I don’t have a period I still usually get the water weight. We’ll see.

The important thing will be getting some good sleep tonight.

As for yesterday…. Read the rest of this entry

Day 41 – A Skinny Day!

Skinny JeansHave you ever had one of those days where you get up and look at yourself in the mirror and think, “Damn, where did all my weight go?!” That is, of course, thought in a GOOD way. And then you step on the scale and the scale’s numbers don’t seem to match up with what you’re seeing in the mirror, but you don’t care because you see a positive change in your body.

Today is one of those days.

My scale has gone up a little since last weigh-in. And yet, I can think of a couple reasons for that. I feel like I’m seeing more muscle definition every day, and there’s the whole “muscle is denser than fat” thing, so if I lost a significant volume of fat and put on some muscle, my size might have gone down even if my weight didn’t. For example, just yesterday I began seeing those lines along the sides of my abs. Sure, I still have a thick layer of padding, but it’s one of those cases where you can tell that underneath the padding, some nice shape is beginning to take form.

I also tracked back, and I’m due for “that time of the month.” I have an IUD (love it!) but it makes tracking my period a little tough since most of the time I don’t really get a “period” to speak of. I do, however, still get some hormone changes and the like that go naturally with a cycle. That includes some bloating and even irritability. Anyway, long story short, I’m pretty much due for fighting the Scarlet Onslaught any day now. I’m sure that has something to do with the scale, even though the shape of my body is good.

I love Skinny Days. Even if the scale isn’t cooperating, this is the time I can look in the mirror and say, “It’s working!”

It’s still a ways off before I consider busting out the skinny jeans, especially considering it’s finally turning to typical North Carolina summer weather, but it still feels good to have one of those days where I can’t stop looking down and marveling.

I’m doing this!

Yesterday… Read the rest of this entry

Adding to the workout playlist…

Thank you, MrVoletron. You have done it again!

My Body ft. Ozruk.

Perfect workout music, IMHO.

“FEEL THE STRENGTH OF MY BODY!”

Day 40 – Cankles: A BlizzCon Story

CanklesFor those who don’t know, when people talk about “cankles” they mean that a person’s leg looks like the foot is attached to the leg without a defined ankle. Or as definition #2 on Urban Dictionary put it so succinctly, “A reference to a pair of legs that have no defined end of the calf area as well as no defined beginning of the ankle area. Does not only refer to fatty legs, simply shapeless legs.” They are not just a “fat person’s problem,” but are also seen on people who have no tone in their legs, or on people who have swelling in the legs for one reason or another.

I’ve been lucky most of my life. Up until recently, I’ve always had skinny legs. My knees always looked a bit knobby, but I did like my lower legs and “athletic ankle.”

Until last BlizzCon.

I’m not sure what it was: the walking, the rich foods (the restaurant at the Hilton is SOOOOO GOOD!), more salt than I was used to, less water than I was used to, the flying…. It was probably a case of “all of the above.” I just remember that we took a red-eye flight home, I took off my sneakers and socks, and was shocked at how swollen my ankles were. It took several DAYS for the swelling to go down, and even after that I don’t feel my ankles looked as shapely as before.

…things are changing.

If anything this diet and exercise plan has done, it’s helped improve the shape of my legs. By watching my diet, I’m eliminating the extra salt that would give me that swollen look. By drinking more water, I’m flushing out the excess and reducing bloating. Exercise helps in many ways: toning the legs, reducing fat, and increasing circulation. The overall effect is that my lower legs have significantly slimmed down, just through healthy habits.

I’m pleased with the way things are going. I can wear a skirt that disguises my thighs (ugh!), but still show off my lower legs. I always expect some discomfort when I come back from BlizzCon–traveling does that to you–but this year I REFUSE to have such painful, swollen cankles when I can do something about it!

Yesterday’s report…. Read the rest of this entry