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One month later…

OtherWaysToMeasureProgress

The title of this post is a little misleading, as it hasn’t exactly been one month. But it’s close enough. I took pictures on Thursday, May 3, 2012, and then started my diet and exercise schedule on Sunday, May 6, 2012. Or you could be even more technical and say I started on Monday, May 7, as Sunday is my “cheat” day. On May 6 I did a walk workout, but as far as food was concerned I ate like it was “Dimanche Gras.”

However, it’s been 4 straight weeks of workouts and trying to eat better. I still need to work on the eating better, but I have made clear progress even if the scale hasn’t been so kind.

I haven’t missed a workout, and have felt an increase in stamina and strength. I really need to get some new weights or plates because for many of my exercises I have maxed out the weight on my barbell/dumbbells, and those exercises have become too easy. As I mentioned in my last post, my walks are getting longer in distance, shorter in time, and I’m adding more periods of jogging into the walks. I’m going to shake up my workouts a bit soon, although I’m going to keep the same schedule. I don’t want my body to get into “muscle memory” territory…although it HAS been nice to have finally mastered some of the moves I was doing. Especially the ones involving the stability ball. Yeah, those moves know what they are. I showed you!

Not gonna lie, I’m bummed about the scale not showing my progress too. This coming month I’m going to focus more on diet since I pretty much have the exercise handled. I’m pretty sure my main issue is still not eating enough throughout the day. I also forget to track (oops!) and when I do I discover at the end of the day that I’m missing x-number of calories, so I tend to cram those in as a post-dinner meal. But that also affects my sleep, and that just doesn’t make me feel good. So goal for June: GO BACK TO TRACKING EVERYTHING EVERYDAY TO MAKE SURE I’M EATING RIGHT.

But overall, I’m proud of what I HAVE accomplished. I debated posting these pictures, and finally decided to go for it. I’m not entirely happy with them…it’s not where I expected to be. But the progress is obvious, which keeps me motivated to keep pushing forward. (Pics under the cut to save your eyes and stomachs. XD)

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New chapter

Once again, I know I haven’t been posting. I have my reasons. And they are good ones, but mostly along the “I’ve been working on fixing myself” in ways that really don’t make sense to this blog. But I have still been doing what I could to eat right and exercise as much as I could. I had a day of illness, then tweaked my back the next day, then a short while ago I caught Ktok’s cold which knocked me out. I’m still recovering from that and at least the non-stop coughing is of the “final phase” type. I can’t wait until the coughing is OVER, but at least it’s not like it WAS.

I had a LONG plateau where I hung out around 165. This may sound strange, but I think it was fixed through some retail therapy.

First I got some cute pink suede ankle boots.

pink suede ankle boots

Then I decided that my jeans were of an old enough style that they just didn’t work with the cute pink suede ankle boots. My I-don’t-know-how-old-they-are-because-it’s-been-a-long-time-since-I-could-fit-into-them size 10 jeans were boot-cut, but looked wrong. I needed to update my wardrobe just a *little*.

So I made a decision: if I found a pair I liked and didn’t horrify my when I tried them on, I’d get a pair of skinny jeans. Yipe!

Took a trip to Old Navy. Their “Sweetheart” style fits me really well around the waist, hips, and butt. Most jeans just aren’t cut right for me, but I’ve been a fan of those for a long time. They had them in boot cut AND skinny!

It took me a while to find a pair that fit because my sizes weren’t out on the floor, but a great sales associate helped me. At first I settled on a pair of 12 Short (I’m 5’5″, just borderline petite) because they fit me PERFECT. I also took home a pair of 10 Regular (usually, Regulars are the same “size” as a Petite that’s one size higher due to measurement guides) in the same dark blue wash, and also got a pair of 10 Regular in their new grey jeans. The 10 Regulars in blue were a *little* tight, but in the same way that jeans fresh out of the dryer are a little tight. These jeans have some stretch to them, but no more than I already had in my old size 10’s. The grey ones run a little loose because the material is softer.

I finally had new jeans: a pair that fit perfectly and two to shrink into. I also picked up a shirt and a Kermit-The-Frog-Green sweater. I was happy! I had clothes that fit, that looked good on, and they just made me feel really good about all the work I’ve done!

A few days and light period later, I was glad I hadn’t worn the 12’s yet. The 10’s were now fitting perfectly! I returned the 12’s to the store and exchanged them for another 10 Regular. (I considered getting an 8 Regular to shrink into, but I figured I’ve been needing a few pairs of jeans instead of one pair I live in, and wash only on days when I don’t go out.) I still have the old 10 boot cut pair, but I may put those out to pasture.

It’s been a couple weeks since then, and I’ve been dropping weight again. I think the confident, good mood has helped out and my body finally relaxed a little.

Today?

Well, I can only put it in pictures:

2011 October 06 Scale

Hiya back!

I finally beat the 160’s! That’s 26.6 pounds down! And a mere 9 pounds to reach a “Normal” weight in my BMI range! According to my scale, my body makeup is FINALLY more muscle than fat!

Now, I have a feeling that it may fluctuate a little, so I’m not calling it as a complete win yet since this is the first day it read below 160. But I can take a few days of it toeing the 160 mark.

My goal was to hit 155 by BlizzCon. BlizzCon is two weeks away, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to drop the whole 4 pounds by then, but I’ll even accept 155.8. I’m working hard and that goal is in sight.

After that is Krystal’s wedding, and I DID get the Alfred Angelo dress I had my heart set on. It’s in at the bridal shop, so I need to make an appointment for a fitting and see if it needs any alterations. Funny thing is that I purchased it (through measurements–they didn’t have one in stock to try on) on the same day I bought my jeans. So it may be a little loose now. But due to the style, I have a feeling that alterations will be minimal.

I also bought the other Victoria’s Secret bikini I wanted. Yay for it being on Clearance! Originally $120, now $60? MINE! It’s definitely too small at the moment, but I was figuring it would be smaller than the red one I purchased. I’ll fit into it eventually! I have no doubt about that!

You know what? I’m happy. It feels really good to say that: I’m genuinely happy right now.

Day 120 – Weigh-in #17

Weekly Weigh InThe bad news is that I haven’t lost any weight this week. The good news is I haven’t gained any, either. My body is feeling slimmer again, though. My jeans suddenly feel significantly looser, especially in places where they had been just a touch on the tight side. I have two pairs of capri pants that are allegedly the same size (HA!). The nice fall-weight wool ones fit PERFECTLY. The lighter-weight cotton ones are still a little tight, but that’s mostly due to the cut. I have a gap in the back of the waist band, but it cuts in a little at the sides, and pulls across the front. Translation: There’s not enough curve cut into the pants for mah hips/booty. If that area slims out just a little, the pants will be just fine. Of course, you can’t tell your body where to slim down next. Stupid body!

I’ve been doing better about eating more, although some days I still feel like it’s hard to eat enough. I’m back to tracking everything on SparkPeople.com which is a huge help in both tracking and planning.

My biggest problem at the moment is finding things that I WANT to eat. So I got some chicken breasts, right? I go to various recipe sites to look up something to do with them, and find lots of recipes like “Creamy Chicken Casserole” or “Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake.” I’m sure they’re quite tasty. And I’m sure that if they’re portioned well, they’re healthy enough. But I’m trying to stay away from that because I probably won’t portion them well, not to mention I’m trying to stay away from pasta and the like. I’m just getting tired of grilling/baking chicken and fish and steaks and having them with salad and steamed veggies.

Don’t get me wrong. I make some KILLER salads. My favorite is still baby spinach with strawberries, avocado, and mandarin oranges (or mango, as I discovered yesterday). Sometimes I’ll add some goat cheese crumbles or dried cranberries, but I like it as-is. And I don’t like salad dressing, so this tastes perfect to me. It’s fresh and healthy and reminds my taste buds that I LIKE healthy food and it doesn’t have to be bland to be good for you.

A guildie just turned me onto Gina’s Skinny Recipes: Skinnytaste.com and I’ve already found a few recipes I can’t wait to try. I’ve also joined the forum at NerdFitness.com for a new source of motivation, although I’m not the type to post a lot.

That’s about it for now. I also kicked ass on a mock interview for school (to practice our interviewing skills) so I’m pretty happy. It had be wired last night, so I’m feeling a bit worn down now. I still have raid later tonight (we’ll hopefully down Ragnaros!) but I think when that’s over I’m going to work on getting better sleep!

Day 99 – Weigh-in #14

Weekly Weigh InOkay, first of all, I saw I got off in my day count. Yesterday’s post (that I forgot to do) should have been 98, and the day before (the one I posted yesterday morning since my internet failed on me the night before) should have been 97, and so on. So I think I have my numbers caught up. Yay!

Weigh-in day. Fun. I’ve been going through a strangely heavier period than I’m used to (my periods are usually light to non-existent thanks to my IUD), but these do happen on occasion. It’s just that the damn cycle just didn’t want to end. I’ll think I’m in the last days of it, and then it’ll get heavier again.

It was causing a plateau last week, but as I mentioned, it seems to be ending. And suddenly the water weight I was retaining fell off.

The results? I’m half a pound shy of being 20 pounds down from where I started!

So what does it look like to spend almost 100 days focused on your health, getting in shape, and losing weight? (Picspam under the cut–don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

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Day 91 – Weigh-in #13

Weekly Weigh InOkay, catching back up. I’m still up, so although WordPress will tell me that I missed yesterday’s post, but what does it know? XD

Even with taking an exercise break, I managed to get my weight loss back on track. And I mean, REALLY back on track.

Can we say, “Where’s the nearest piercer”? ^_^

Yep! I made that 170 milestone!

Though I’m thinking that instead of getting my lobes pierced again, instead I want to go ahead and get some cartilage piercings so they’re healed by the time I go to Blizzcon. And instead of just doing a helix piercing, well, I want something like this (in both ears) since that’s what the majority of my Blood Elf girlies have as their earring choice. Colors? Red and gold, of course! Maybe red and black. Blood Knight/Horde pride!

Well, I feel much better now that I’m seeing some weight loss again. And I’m monitoring my scale, since it measures muscle and body fat percentage, to make sure that it’s not muscle mass that I’m losing. I’ll be starting my exercise routine again on Monday. I just really needed some time off. And what do you know? Seems my body decided to reset after all!

Day, um, 78 – Starting clean (Weigh in #11)

Weekly Weigh InThis week has been nice. I enjoyed my exercise week off, relaxed on my eating a bit, and still lost weight. Also, it wasn’t muscle mass that I lost. But now that I had my break, it’s time to start anew.

Tomorrow begins the Jillian Michaels workout. The DVDs I have are actually “Ripped in 30” and “6-Week 6-Pack.” I’m also going to focus on my food again, remembering to eat more to lose more, and to eat clean (if I can recognize it, I can eat it).

I’ve been doing what I can to find more recipes that I like. To be honest, lunch is the hardest for me. I keep trying to find things that are quick to prepare, but filling enough as a meal.

But in other news, my weigh-in today: 173.4! I’m down 1.4 from last week! Sure, there was that issue of putting on some weight from my period, but I still lost some since then. Not bad for not trying.

Here’s to a good July!

Day 50 – Weigh-in #7

Weekly Weigh InThe results are in….I’ve lost…

NOTHING. (But hey, I didn’t gain, either!)

Hrmm. Actually, I can explain this.

Well, the weight fluctuated quite a bit all week due to getting through my period. And then I also started more intense strength training. Your body DOES retain water as part of the muscle-rebuilding process. And from the soreness that’s still there (and it IS going away!) my muscles DEFINITELY got hit with needing to be rebuilt.

I talk about limbs that feel more solid, but there’s a new “I can feel…!” going on now: I have less padding on my back! It’s not as exciting as saying my legs are thinner (although that’s true too), but it’s something I can really feel a change in!

Under the cut I’ve placed something so horrific that only the strong of stomach may want to click through…I am actually posting some progress pics. >.< I warn you, I am pale to the point of being pasty, and wearing a cami and boyshorts. It’s not pleasant.

So you know, while my goal may be 120 (which, in the past, usually is a size 6 for me–I have wide hips), I would gladly take a well-muscled 130 instead, as that will likely stick me at about the same size.

Brace yourself…. 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 36 – Weigh-in #5

Weekly Weigh InHere we are, starting Week 6. So how did I do last week?

First of all, let me say how excited I am to share this week’s weigh-in with you all. This past week I’ve really kicked my exercise up and have been really careful about watching my food. I’ve been reading more and more books and websites about food, exercise, and nutrition. The funny thing (to me) is that I pretty much pieced my diet and exercise plans together from bits and pieces, using what has worked in the past and using new information to build together a diet I can work with…and what I’ve discovered is that I’m doing exactly what I should be in order to get the physique I want!

I don’t want to just diet myself thin. I remember an episode of America’s Next Top Model (lovingly known as “The Skinny Bitch Show”–I love that show!) where they were in a dance studio to learn some model moves, and one move was to slide down the wall and then push yourself back up. One girl couldn’t push herself back up because she didn’t have the strength in her legs. She was thin, but thin doesn’t mean she was in shape.

I want to be in shape. I want to build muscle (which helps with burning MORE fat) and get a sleek, polished look. I know I will probably not get a fitness model’s body (I’ll worry about how far I want to take this when I’m closer to my goal weight), but that doesn’t mean I can’t use some of the same diet and exercise techniques. Women don’t naturally have the hormones to bulk up like body builders, so by putting more emphasis than before on strength training I am able to get more muscle definition which not only burns calories through my exercise set, but also burns more calories throughout the day. I’m also doing enough aerobic exercise (which, at this point, usually takes no more than a half hour on the bike after my other workout sets are done) to push myself to burning just over 500 calories. (I use a Polar FT60 Heart Rate Monitor to measure this. The best price I found was on Amazon.com…link to the black one I got, but it also comes in purple like in the first link. I just wanted one that could also pass for a watch that I could wear with anything.)

So I’m doing my best to eat around 1600 calories but vary that amount every day. I also try to burn about 500 calories. The result?

This past week I lost 2.6 pounds! That’s down 9.8 pounds total!

I’m 5.8 pounds away from my first milestone and reward!

I busted through the usual plateau at 178 pounds!

Now, I know that 2.6 pounds is a little high for maintainable weightloss (I’m really aiming for 2 pounds per week), but I think one contributing factor was that I also finished my 3 liters of water well before bedtime last night. I didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night to pee three times, so there was less extra water weight in the morning when I weighed in compared to the norm. I really enjoyed sleeping through the night(!), so I’m going to do my best to continue finishing my water at about the same time from now on.

But hey, just barely under 10 pounds in 5 weeks? That’s PERFECT! What can I say, I am SO FREAKING EXCITED right now! I also got to add 2 more paperclips to my chain!

Excuse me while I go bounce around the apartment for a while!

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

Day 29 – Weigh-in #4

Weekly Weigh InIt’s been a month. Let’s see how I did…

This past week I lost 1.8 pounds! That’s down 7.2 pounds total!

I’m 8.4 pounds away from my first milestone and reward! If I step it up just a little, I bet I can reach that BEFORE another 4 weeks are up!

My body fat percentage has dropped 2.0%!

My muscle mass has gone up 0.7%!

My body water has gone up 1.0%!

My bone mass has gone up 0.2%!

Yes, I know those measurements are probably not accurate and would be better measured with calipers and body scans and the like, but point being the measurements ARE going in the right direction and that’s what I’m looking for.

All this, and I have to admit the first two weeks weren’t so great because I was still trying to work things out and had the challenge of Getting Rid of the Junk FoodTM to deal with. I didn’t exercise the first week, and the second week I ate poorly as I focused TOO MUCH on the exercise.

Again, I wish I could find my tape measure because I know that my shape has been changing. My jeans feel much better (I’m not dying to take them off as soon as I get home…sometimes I even forget I’m wearing them) and my shirts are hanging a little nicer. I can squeeze into my Polar sports bra instead of having to wear the chest strap, and I expect that it will begin to feel better and better every week. Heck, I may have to add “Get a new Polar sports bra” to one of my milestone rewards! As I said yesterday, my legs and arms are feeling more solid, and I see those shadows of emerging muscles. If the fat was stripped away, they’d have the beginnings of a really nice shape right now. So I guess I gotta strip away that fat!

I’m doing better with the exercise. I am nowhere near being able to do 100 consecutive push-ups, 200 consecutive crunches, or 200 consecutive squats…but I’m closer to it than when I started! I’ll get there. And when I’m done this round, I think I’ll start over again with the push-ups, only on my toes.

October is in 5 months. That is the month of Blizzcon and Krystal’s wedding. I have 23 and 24 weeks respectively to drop what I can. I’m going to create a “2-Pound Challenge” again: make a goal of dropping 2 pounds per week (in a HEALTHY way, not taking extreme measures to do it!) and come up with small rewards if I succeed. For example, a song or app from iTunes would be a simple reward. If anyone else has ideas that are fairly cheap, but a reward (another idea is bath bombs), I’m all ears.

And this week’s challenge? While I’ve been getting enough sleep, I want to try to get up even earlier and see if I can get my workout in before lunch so I can have my allowed post-workout carbs for my lunchtime meal. The other challenge is that I’m now at 178.4, and for some reason 178 has ALWAYS been a plateau for me. I’m hoping to bust through this one before it becomes a plateau. I think that THIS time I’ll be waving goodbye to 178 before my next weigh-in.

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