Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The New Me, I Don't Recognize Her

I've been feeling much better over the past few days, which is good because the weather has been beautiful and it would be a shame to not be outside...

I took a hike with my Mom Monday morning. It was probably one of the best hikes we've been on. The group was full of nice, spirited people and not too large - about 12 people. We hiked and did rock scrambling for about 3 miles round trip and got to see some gorgeous views of the Las Vegas Valley and The Strip. One thing that made me feel odd was that the guide was probably my age or younger. I have gotten used to being around older adults when I feel like I *should be working*, but I haven't really been around people my age in that kind of situation. It made me feel a little like a schlub - if that's even a word. (More on my job search in a future post.) The hike was invigorating and again reminded me how agile I have become and how strong I am. Definitely something I'd put in the plus column of why I am happy I have reached my goal weight!

My Mom and I took a walk to the grocery store and bank today. I counted it as only 1/2 a workout on my exercise ticker since it wasn't heavy aerobic activity. I have also been thinking that I should add some strength training to my workout. All I really do is aerobic activity and as a result, I look pretty squishy. While I am happy I don't need to remove any excess skin, I do think I need to add some tone to my physique.

I have decided that I will just be happy that my mom is inspiring me to workout and go with the flow. Yes, I would like to have the motivation rise up from inside me, but at this point, I'll take the inspiration where I can get it. And I'll worry about creating an exercise routine in the future in the future, once I get a job and am living on my own again. I'll just consider motivation to exercise one of the benefits of living with my parents. But, I must admit I still do get worried I won't have the guts to run again. Silly, I know. Every couple of weeks I feel like I'll forget how to do it, or I won't have the endurance to run for at least 8 minutes. I guess I am still getting used to my body being able to do these things and I am still proving it to myself that I can do it. Sorry to sound like a broken record. Thanks for the continued support! :) Some days I still feel like I still weigh over 200 lbs. and have all the physical limitations my weight gave me. I guess I'm not as used to this new body as I thought I was!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Under the Weather

Hey there. I haven't been feeling so great for the past few days. I slept late on Friday and didn't work out because it was raining. Then I slept like all day yesterday and missed hiking. I was going to go running, and it was a beautiful day for it, but I was just so tired and out of it. I'm feeling much better today, so I think I am going to go on a long run/walk this afternoon. It's weird not working out for a couple of days, especially when my mom has been. It's like I'm worried I'll never work out again, which is ridiculous, but it is a little feeling gnawing at me. Working out still isn't second nature for me. I do it mostly because my mom is always working out and she inspires me :) I probably wouldn't work out half as much as I do if I didn't live with my mom. Should be interesting to see what changes when I get a job (*finally!*) and move out. But, that is a worry for another day.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What's My Workout

So, I have been trying to think of ways to make my blog more interesting/entertaining and I realized that one of my favorite blogs regularly includes long quotes and links to articles on related content. (It just happens that it is about personal finance. It's written by BostonGal.) I haven't seen many weight loss blogs that do that sort of thing on a regular basis, so I think I am going to start doing it once or twice a week.

I found an interesting profile on Dylan Lauren in the Wall Street Journal called "What's Your Workout." Ms. Lauren is the daughter of lifestyle fashion designer Ralph Lauren and the successful entrepreneur of Dylan's Candy Bar an awesome fantasy candy store that started on Manhattan's Upper East Side. (I've been there. The flagship store is like no candy store you've ever experienced.) The article chronicles her workout, diet, the cost, and the benefits she's seen. Here's a portion of the article:

"The Workout:

Ms. Lauren was always active growing up, but says she primarily ran to stay in shape and avoided weights. "Everyone told me 'don't just run', but I was always so reluctant," she says. After a while she noticed that running wasn't changing her body to the degree she wanted. "It wasn't giving me muscle definition," she says. "They say muscle burns more fat and I knew as I got older I wanted to be strong and prevent injury."

Wanting to start strength training, Ms. Lauren started working with various personal trainers after graduating from Duke University. About six years ago she found her match in Tony Molina, a New York City-based trainer. He meets with Ms. Lauren twice a week at around 6:30 p.m. at the gym in her apartment building and takes her through an hour-long, full-body strength program that incorporates pulleys, tubing, free weights, slide boards and balance boards. "Tony knows that I get bored easily and need athletic workouts with lots of variety," she says.

Ms. Lauren completes two to three sets of ten exercises, performing ten to 15 repetitions of each. She isn't allowed to rest between sets, which keeps her heart rate elevated during the workout. Each exercise is designed to work a variety of muscles across multiple planes of motion at one time. For example, she may lay her back over a stability ball with her legs at a 90-degree angle with the floor and her torso elevated. One arm would be extended to the side with a dumbbell to perform curls while the other arm is extended straight up in the air with a dumbbell ready to perform a chest press. The exercise works her glutes, triceps, pectoral muscles, obliques, abdominals and challenges her balance all at the same time.

Not only are these exercises efficient in the way they recruit multiple muscle groups, but Mr. Molina says they are also great for stress management. "You can't think about anything else while performing them since they require so much concentration," he says.

Ms. Lauren does cardio on her own three to four evenings a week and prefers to run outdoors in Central Park when the weather is warm. Alternatively she works out at the Upper East side branch of the Sports Club/LA for 45 minutes to an hour. Lately she's been using the stair climber. "Some machines feel like they do the work for you," she says. "But this one is tough and it burns calories like crazy." The moving stairs require the user to constantly climb, lifting their knee and foot high enough to clear each stair or else they'll fall off.

Ms. Lauren was the captain of her high school tennis team. She missed the competitiveness and athleticism of playing a sport, and about a year ago started working for an hour with a tennis pro once a week at a tennis club near her apartment. She plays a bit more frequently in the summer.

The Diet
Ms. Lauren's diet used to consist almost entirely of candy, frozen yogurt and vegetables. "It wasn't very healthy," she admits. She now eats five smaller meals a day to keep her blood sugar from dropping and has added more protein to her diet in the form of fish, tofu and eggs. She avoids bread, pasta and potatoes.
"I have to have breakfast otherwise it screws up my whole day, plus it slows down your metabolism," says Ms. Lauren. She usually starts her morning with yogurt and fruit or an egg white omelet with vegetables. Mid-morning she might have a chai tea latte. For lunch and dinner, typically business meals at restaurants, she'll have a salad and some form of protein like tofu or fish.

Ms. Lauren says she has tried to do a no-sweets diet and couldn't manage. "I don't believe in that mentally," she says. "I have to have my dose of candy every day." Her favorites are gummy candies, particularly Swedish fish and red licorice. Every now and again she has chocolate cravings and she'll reach for a piece of Belgian milk chocolate. To avoid candy binges, Ms. Lauren sets aside days where she can eat however many candies she wants."

The article goes on to talk about some of the effort that it takes to put into her routine and the benefits she's seen. I like the fact that she admits to having candy, but I wonder if allowing herself to eat however many candies she wants to avoid binging, is actually a binge in and of itself. Overall I liked the depth that the article went into and the examples of exercise and food it gave. It's a lot more in depth than the weekly profiles on the Weight Watcher's site. I believe this is just one article in a Wall Street Journal series that profiles executives and their health and wellness plans. I'd be interested to see if they ever profile people who want to, or have, lost an amount of weight they'd be willing to share with the reading public. But, I couldn't find archives for the series. I'd also be interested in reading about someone who does exercise on more of a budget, but I've only been doing this as a student or unemployed, so maybe her expenses aren't that outrageous.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

15 minutes & 45 seconds!

Yep, that's how long I managed to run today without stopping! Before today I had only run for 10 minutes straight.

Now I know what you are thinking ... didn't she just say a few days ago she wasn't going to push endurance but instead increase the number of intervals? I know, but today I just felt so good and powerful running that I didn't want to stop :) Then I said, oh I'll stop when I get to this corner and then it was when I got to the park. Finally I stopped when I finished running along side the park. Boy, I was tired. But I was also proud :) Today and yesterday I found out that two different job opportunities weren't going to work out. So, running has reminded me, yet again, that I can accomplish something! And no potential employer can take that away from me :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Walking & Talking

Thanks for all the b-day well wishes. It was a good day :)

I've been going on long walks with my Mom the past few days. We're usually gone for about an hour. We just walk around the neighborhood. A lot of times we'll walk to Starbucks and I'll get a light mocha frappucino and she'll get a skinny hazelnut latte (the new name for the non-fat sugar-free lattes). Of course our Starbucks break is more points than we earn on the walk, but it is still nice to get out and move with someone else. We tried running together a few weeks ago, but running on the sidewalk hurt my Mom's knees. She's been running on the treadmill at the gym, but the sidewalk was too hard for her. It's a shame because it was really cool to try to keep pace with someone. It was very motivational. The last time I ran with another person I was a teenager and at soccer practice! :)

I've still been running. I think the last time I ran was Friday. I need to commit to expanding my route because it just isn't enough for me. But I'm still happy doing the intervals (8 to 10 minutes of running and then walking for a few minutes). I suppose I could push myself to up it to 11 to 12 minutes, but I think I'm going to go for endurance by adding another 10 minute run. I think I will give that a try tomorrow or Wednesday.

The job search is gettin interesting. I had a phone interview today with a very nice guy, but the position was just too close to what I was going pre-MBA and I just don't want to go back to being miserable at work all the time. I have an offer from another company, but we haven't agreed on salary yet and I am waiting to hear about a potential second interview with a consumer packaged goods company that sells natural personal care products. That one I'm really excited about, but I'm afraid to turn down the offer and risk not getting the job. It's nerve racking. I'm also applying for part-time jobs here in Vegas. The library rejected me - bummer. But I've applied at Borders and I'm going to apply at Barnes & Noble, DSW and Michael's. Basically, I'm picking places where I don't think I'll have to meet a sales goal. I learned at Ann Taylor I'm just not that good at sellling. I'm great at customer service, but not sales.

Things are movin' and shakin'! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

150th Post! Meme & Happy B-Day to Me! :)

Okay, so this is a big post. Amazon Alanna tagged me with a meme, it's my 150th post! and I turned 35 on Wednesday. So, if you are interested in quirky things about me, read on ...

1. Do you like blue cheese? Nope. There are many cheeses I can't live without, but that's not one of them.
2. Have you ever smoked heroin? Nada. Like Amazon Alanna said, my 5th grade health class gave me healthy fear of drugs and addiction.
3. Do you own a gun? No, but I learned that my dad had one when we were growing up. I didn't know until I was an adult.
4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? I've never been to Sonic before. (Wow, I'm boring, aren't I.)
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? I used to because I thought he or she would get on me about my weight. (I had a really bad experience with a doctor once about my weight.) As a result, I haven't been to the doctor in years.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? I love them when they are burnt on the grill in the summer!
7. Favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas. I love Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? I am a big coffee drinker, preferably hazelnut with 2% milk and two sweet & lows.
9. Can you do push ups? Barely, slowly and only on my knees.
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? Probably my claddagh Irish wedding band. No I'm not married, I just wear it on my right hand.
11. Favorite hobby? Reading.
12. Do you have A.D.D.? Nope.
13. What's one trait you hate about yourself? I am very messy, but I'm obsessed with organizational systems. Go figure.
14. Middle name? Marie.
15. Name 3 thoughts. I wish I had more pretzels. I'm worried about finding a job and I'm hungry.
16. Name 3 things you bought today. A bagel and two cups of coffee.
17. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Coffee, Diet Pepsi and Corona Light.
18. Current worry? Money. Finding health insurance. Finding a job. Ugh!
19. Current hate right now? Nothing actually. That's weird, right.
20. Favorite place to be? My parents hot tub, or bed.
21. How did you bring in the New Year? At home with my parents watching fireworks on TV. Woo hoo! :)
22. Name three people who will complete this? I have no idea. I'll have to think on that one.
23. Do you own slippers? Yes, they look like puppies and their names are Muffy and Minka.
24. What shirt are you wearing? A black v-neck cotton sweater.
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Nope. Just like Alanna, I like t-shirt sheets or flannel. Even in the summer.
26. Can you whistle? Really badly.
27. Favorite color? Black for clothes. Red for most other things.
28. Would you be a pirate? Naah.
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Patsy Cline and Mama Cass.
30. Favorite girl's name? Hope
31. Favorite boy's name? Jason
32. What's in your pocket right now? Nothing.
33. Last person that made you laugh? My mom.
34. Best bed sheets as a child? They had these beautiful ballerinas in pink on them.
35. Worst injury you've ever had? I have been super lucky - a sprained ankle.
36. Do you love where you live? No, but it's got its good points.
37. How many TVs do you have in your house? 3 - family room and the two bedrooms.
38. Who is your loudest friend? I don't know. Does my Dad count? He can be really loud.
39. How many dogs do you have? I grew up with two dogs - Max and JR.
40. Does someone have a crush on you? Nope, but the super of a neighboring building did when I last lived in NYC. He gave me a mix tape. He was in his 60's. It was creepy and charming all at the same time.
41. What kind of cereal would you be? Cherrios.
42. What is your favorite book(s)? Pride and Prejudice and House of Mirth.
43. What is your favorite candy? Reese's Peanut Butter cups.
44. Favorite Sports Team? Steelers
45. What song do you want played at your funeral? Good question. Taking the Long Way, by the Dixie Chicks.
46. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Going to bed.
47. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? I gotta get up and go hiking. Motivation is not my strong suit in the morning.

That was fun. I've never done anything like that before. I'm going to tag Lily, Kim and Angelfish and ask them to do this next.

Have a great (what's left of) Saturday night!

Monday, February 11, 2008

You Learn Something New Every Day

My dad went to the doctor today. He told us at dinner what his blood pressure is and how much he weighs. He only weighs 174 lbs. He's 6 foot. I almost freaked out. That means that when I was at my highest, I weighed about 50 lbs. more than he does. I am glad I didn't know that when I told him how much I weighed after my weigh-ins each week at WW over the past 15 months. I guess it shouldn't make a difference, but the context it puts my weight history in shocks the sh*t out of me. I kept considering what I had weighed in the past when I was at a healthier weight, and my mom would sometimes give me the perspective of what she weighed at the time, but it never occurred to me to ask my dad what he weighed. i guess i just figured men and women are different when it came to weight. is it sad that i am somehow more embarrassed now that i was so forthcoming about my weight during the whole process? i know i shouldn't have been and i'm sure that's why he didn't tell me, but wow, it really surprised me tonight. i know weight it just a number, and that it doesn't tell the whole story. one thing my mom pointed out is that he has like zero muscle because he never works out or does any kind of physical activity, and muscle weighs more than fat. i know its something trivial, but i'm glad i learned it today, and not last year!

Friday, February 08, 2008

I'm Back!

Sorry for my upbrupt hiatus. I really don't have an excuse for it. I think I got overwhelmed with reporting my food choices to all of you. I did continue to keep track of them in WW etools. I didn't eat, overall, any better or worse than I did in previous weeks. I went over my flex points, but I had an equal, or larger number of activity points. My weight has been relatively consistent - I weigh myself every couple of days on my mom's scale. I haven't been to WW in weeks. I'm sorry I didn't keep my promise to continue to report my food choices to all of you. I know it works very well for a lot of people and I don't want you to think I was afraid of what you all would say in reaction to the choices. I just think I'm having a lot of guilt eating different things and not gaining. I am exercising a heck of a lot more than I did before I moved to Vegas, so I think that has a lot to do with it. But, I am feeling super guilty for eating meatloaf and steak and bagels and light beer and wine and not gaining weight. I still make modified choices, but overall I am eating differently than I did before. I am conflicted. I miss my old foods, but I do cook them from time to time for my parents. I still choose fish and vegetables when I go to restaurants. I just didn't expect this and I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it. Anyone who has had experience with this, or even if you haven't, please give me your thoughts.

On a lighter note, I wanted to post the website of my mom's hiking group. They take pictures of almost all of our hikes. We went to Arizona hot springs yesterday. I didn't realize that it was actually in Arizona! It didn't take long to get there though, it was just over the Hoover Dam. I actually went in a hot springs pool in shorts I wore under my pants. It was so awesome and warm, but we didn't stay long because you had to climb a really tall ladder to get to them and not everyone wanted to do it. Here's the link to the blog for the group: http://aroundthebendfriends.blogspot.com/. Look at the Arizona Hot Springs entry and the Oak Creek Trail entry and see if you can spot the girl with brown hair in a bun and a red fleece jacket and running tights. That's me! :) (I wear a couple layers of clothing so I think I look a lot bigger than I actually am.)

I'll be checking out all of your blogs this weekend. Hope you are all doing well!