Monday, December 27, 2010


Well, it's been an interesting few weeks here in my little corner of the world.

Was sick, sick, sick in the weeks leading up to Christmas. No gym. No eating plan. Just weeks of spotty eating and trying to feel better. Finally felt OK on Christmas Eve Day. Had a great holiday weekend with family, although very unfortunately overindulged on Christmas Day.

Really overindulged.

Kind of to the point that my stomach was very unhappy with me for a while.

It's not that I ate anything especially horrific. I wasn't like downing Twinkies  and Ho-hos and Big Macs (eeeuuuwwww). Instead,  it really just came down to quantity.

Too much.

Too much crudites and light dip. Too many little rice crackers with hummus. Too many multi-grain chips with salsa. Too many olives (although, can one really ever have too many olives???)

And, OK, I will also cop to the worst item of the day...too much cheese. (Yeah, it's true...I've never met a cheese that I didn't like.)

Too much of everything.

And why? Why this overindulgence? (Besides the obvious, "It's Christmas" answer.)

Because I didn't make a plan.

I didn't make a plan to just have one small plate of appetizers. I didn't make a plan to sit far away from the appetizers.

And because the appetizers were on the coffee table and I was plunked within arms reach of them and because I just grazed all afternoon. And grazed. And grazed. And grazed. Which when you've been eating normal small portions for many months is just not good for your tummy or lower GI system.

And then I had a full dinner on top of all of the grazing.


So that was Christmas.

Yesterday and today have been fine. No eating plan, but have eaten very responsibly. Feeling pretty good.

And tomorrow...finally back to the gym after a two-week break for illness and holiday.

So, there we are.

Hope y'all had a lovely Christmas weekend.

More soon.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sick sick sick

Still pretty under the weather (along with just about everyone in my office and my poor husband...)

So not much news by way of weight loss: no gym this week, no real meal planning. Food has consisted of: soup, bananas, tangerines, protein bars, Chinese food here and there.

Hope you'll visit my other blog In the present moment for an adoption update.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Still kinda low

I'm fighting off something.

So, it's no wonder I was feeling low on Saturday. There's some little bug in my system trying to have its way, but I'm fighting it with lots of Vitamin C and the like. Go away, bug! You are not welcome in this body!!

On a more positive note...went to the gym yesterday. And before my monster workout I actually weighed myself. Yeah, after Bernice made me eat all of that dessert while we were traveling last week (oh, and she convinced me that crab bisque was a good idea, too! That Bernice is very persuasive when she wants to be...well, and when I let her...) I was completely and totally dreading getting on the scale. Was 100% convinced that I had added a few pounds back onto my frame.

But, guess what?

No weight gain!!

No weight gain!!

Guess all of that exercise while on vacation paid off!

Now it's back to taking weight off. I'm not ready by any means to be in maintenance mode. There are still a lot of sticks of butter left to melt away before I'm at a normal BMI.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go drown this stupid bug in more Vitamin C...

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I'm feeling kinda low.

Physically and mentally.

Physically because I haven't been back to the gym since we arrived home from FL, which is only two days. But still. That's two days of no exercise. I'm sure that this is contributing to being mentally a little low, too. I won't go into all of the reasons that I'm feeling this way, but suffice to say...

I really need to snap out of it.

Two plus days of feeling low is just plain getting old.

Usually by now on a Saturday I would have finished my Low-n-Loaded class and would be sitting on a recumbent bike burning up the miles, but I had insomnia last night. So, I didn't actually get out of bed until 8:30...right about the time my Low-n-Loaded friends were probably sweating up a storm and wishing fervently that instructor D would let them stop for a minute. (Yeah, like THAT would ever happen.)

But today my motivation seems to be elsewhere...maybe still in bed where I'd like to be.

Chris is off at spin class this morning. No doubt sweating like a mad man while burning up the miles and the calories.

So, Folks, it's time that I get my unmotivated butt off of this couch and off to the gym. Bernice, too. She has about a million crunches to do today to make up for missing the last two days.

Needless to say...Bernice is not happy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Back from Florida

Traveling, restaurant food for 5 days, a wedding and a birthday celebration all in one weekend.

So, basically my eating was...ummmm...somewhat less than perfect.

There was a lot of dessert involved. Chocolate mousse, cheesecake, chocolates.

Yeah. Bernice was in heaven.

Once Bernice got a taste of that cheesecake she pushed for ALL of her favorites. There was an order of sweet potato fries in which she and I thoroughly indulged. And I mean THOROUGHLY. There wasn't a fry left on that plate! (Not actually so proud of that particular decision. Damn you, Bernice! But what's done is done and today is a do-over... )

However, for the first time EVER the husband and I brought exercise clothes with us and exercised all but one of the days we were on vacation. Hell, yesterday we were up at 6:30 a.m. (6:30!!!!!) on our last day of vacation so we could get in our exercise before an early breakfast with my folks before they hit the road.

Who woulda thunk it??? Us, up at 6:30 on vacation??? Holy crapballs. We have changed.

Bernice was pretty pissed about the whole thing. She was lobbying for sleeping and then cheesecake for breakfast.

So, hopefully the vacation workouts at least offset some of the less-than-stellar eating that happened this past week/weekend. I'm not exactly looking forward to getting on the scale this coming Monday, but hopefully the next 4 days of reasonable eating and my regular exercise routine will help prevent a significant gain.

Bernice is bumming in a big way about being back at home. She was really enjoying all of that fattening stuff.

Sorry, Bernice.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I've been feeling a little "off" this week.

Tummy troubles over the weekend continued into the week - so much so that I took two days off from the gym. Monday and Tuesday I just went to work and kind of laid low at home.

Made it to the gym the last three days, although I must admit that my energy just hasn't been there at all. I sort of slogged through my workouts.

And yesterday...omigod. Horrible.

Anyone ever have that dream where you're desperately trying to run somewhere, but you find yourself running in slow motion and the faster you try to run the slower you actually go?

That was me.

Trying to workout yesterday felt something akin to exercising in a vat of molasses. My arms and legs just didn't want to do what I wanted them to do. Slow. Sluggish. Leaden. I managed 30 minutes on the bike and 15 minutes of heavy bag work, but it was brutal. Every minute felt like an hour and at the end it all I just wanted to go home and lay down. Not exactly the energizing workout I was hoping for!

This morning's workout was a little better...but not much.

Hope to have better news to report next time.

Hope y'all are having a good week.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sloth, torpor and an upset tummy

Yesterday was a day filled with nothing but sloth and torpor.

I did not, as I had planned, hit the gym hard.  Quite the opposite - I didn't hit the gym AT ALL.

"And why?" you may ask.

Because I did not lay out my gym clothes the evening before. And because I sleep in until 9:30 - something that I have not done in a long while - leaving me feeling incredibly groggy. And instead of just heading right to the gym I collapse in a groggy heap on the couch saying to myself, "I just need to wake up a little bit and then I'll head to the gym."

So then I fool around on the computer for a while. And then I decide to play a few games of Boggle on my phone.

And then suddenly it's 10:30 and I'm ravenously hungry. So, off to the kitchen to make myself some oatmeal because I cannot possibly go to the gym when I am just starving. Oatmeal consumed it's back to the couch to "digest." And as I'm digesting, I'm reading my book. Then playing some more Boggle Then dozing a little bit. All the while saying "I just need to digest for a little while longer and then I'll  go to the gym."

And then suddenly it's 2:45 and I have not only digested my oatmeal, but I'm really hungry again!

You see where all of this is going don't you?

"I'll just have some lunch, digest for a while and then around 4:00 I'll head to the gym..."

Yeah...ummmm...not so much!

Yesterday was a day taken over by with what Buddhists describe as one of the "Five Hindrances"- sloth and torpor...Buddhist teacher Gil Fronsdal describes this hindrance to enlightenment:

Sloth and torpor are forces in the mind that drain vitality and limit effort. Sloth manifests as a physical absence of vitality. The body may feel heavy, lethargic, weary, or weak. It may be difficult to keep the body erect when meditating. Torpor is a mental lack of energy. The mind may be dull, cloudy, or weary. It easily drifts in thought. Being caught in sloth or torpor can resemble slogging through deep mud. When this hindrance is strong, there is not even enough mindfulness to know we’ve fallen in.

Yep, that was me yesterday. Lethargic with a definite absence of physical vitality and a dull cloudy mind! Oh, had I only not slept so late and just hopped into my gym clothes right away! My day could have been so much different! use whining about it now. What's done is done. So, there ya go.

Today - I wake up early with a bit of tummy discomfort. Thanksgiving Part 2 at my mother-in-law's was really tasty and fun. Ate leftovers. Played games. Hung out with my nieces who are 2 and 5 and very hilarious. But I did indulge in a little too much dessert once again. And today my body is letting me know in no uncertain terms that I just cannot ingest that much rich food anymore.

My body is rebelling against my old, bad behavior.

So, instead of heading right to the gym I come out here to my spot on the couch to write a blog post and allow my tummy to settle a bit because come Hell or high water...I AM hitting the gym HARD today.

No more sloth and torpor for me today.

No way.


I just returned from the gym and a very sweaty 1.5 hours of upper body strength training and cardio. AND I even weighed myself...fully expecting the worst after two days of TG eating. However, I did not gain any weight this Thanksgiving!!!! Woohoo!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Post 2: Thanksgiving

I'm full.

Not like that super-uncomfortable-I-just-ate-enough-food-for-5-people kind of full (the kind that I have often felt during Thanksgivings past), but rather just pleasantly full.

So, the strategy I had laid out for today:
  1. Exercise by doing the Newport Pie Run 5K
  2. Eat a good breakfast/lunch before heading over to my mother-in-law's house 
  3. Wear fitted jeans rather than my usual skirt with elastic waist.
  4. Allow myself one small plate of appetizer type foods and then don't eat anymore appetizers once I've finished what's on my little plate
  5. Chew gum for the rest of the afternoon so I don't eat until dinner is served
  6. Use a salad plate for my dinner so I can have a little taste of everything without feeling too bad about it.
  7. Eat one slice of the pumpkin pie that I made because I know that it is within the boundaries of my eating plan
So, how'd I do?
  1. Newport Pie Run: check!
  2. Good breakfast/lunch: check!
  3. Fitted jeans: check!
  4. Eat one small plate of appetizers and no more: yeah...ummm...not so much. However, compared to prior years I did GREAT
  5. Chew gum: check! (and then spit it out so I can have a few more rice crackers with cheese)
  6. Use salad plate as dinner plate: not so much on his one. However, I filled the plate mostly with various vegetables (low fat cole slaw made by me, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, broccoli, mashed cauliflower and asparagus) leaving just a little room for turkey and homemade cranberry sauce.
  7. Eat one slice of pie: Oops...not so much on this on either...I did indulge a bit at the dessert table.
So, I let my cravings get the better of me today (damn you, cheesecake!), but all in all...I think that I've made progress in that I am sitting here feeling pleasantly full and sleepy rather than in a great deal of lower GI distress and discomfort as I have been over the last few Thanksgivings. Did I eat too much? Absolutely. No question. But relative to what I used to eat at TG, I feel OK about my choices (except the cheesecake! Damn you!)

I also feel OK because I know that I am heading to the gym and for the rest of this weekend to undo some of the damage that I have inflicted upon myself.

Tomorrow: hitting the gym HARD.

Best wishes for good health and a Happy Thanksgiving,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm feeling a little low post-Fall Fitness Challenge.


Because I calculated how much I have left to lose to reach the mid-range normal BMI: 196 sticks of butter.

So, part of me is feeling really good about finishing the Challenge and the weight that I have lost thus far, but then the rest of me is sort of moaning and groaning about how much there is left to lose. However, the part of me that is moaning and groaning is thankfully not also saying, "Well, f@#$ it. Let's just go get a blue cheese bacon burger and fries and two slices of seven-layer chocolate cake! Losing more weight is just waaaaayyyyy too much trouble."

Thanks goodness that I'm not thinking that.

But what I'm realizing is that I need to set some short term goals ASAP or that number...196 sticks of butter...will be looming large in front of me and one day I might given in to a "screw it" attitude. I don't want to return to the Pizza Days.

So, for now, I'm thinking that I will sign myself up for my gym's Winter Fitness Challenge. Now that my busy season is almost behind me, I'll be able to devote the kind of focus to the Challenge that I really didn't have in October and November.

And then I'm thinking that it might be time to start training for my first 10K...

Those 196 sticks of butter don't have a chance.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fall Fitness Challenge...Complete!

"I can't [insert affirming life event here] because I'm in the middle of my busy season."

The above is the refrain that has dominated my life from August to December.

My busy season - the time during which my schedule becomes insane with meetings, presentations, daily travel, and numerous mailings. For 4 years I put my entire life on hold during the busy season:
  • Time spent with family and friends...nope. 
  • Going out with my husband and spending time with him...nope. 
  • Vacation with husband...nope.
  • Working ridiculously late hours and weekends....yes. 
  • Not taking care of myself...yes. 
  • Not going to the gym....yes. 
  • Eating loads of restaurant food, fast food and highly processed crap that are no good for me...yes.
  • Collapsing every night and weekend in an exhausted heap on the couch to watch TV and do absolutely nothing else...yes.
  • And each year during this time gaining 15 pounds...yes.

Until this year.

Until this year when my husband, who had just joined the gym in August and joined me in the South Beach Diet announces that he is going to sign up for our gym's Fall Fitness Challenge in September.


"But...but...but I want to do that, too!" I think to myself and then just as quickly think, "Oh, but I couldn't possibly do that.  It's right during my busy season." And then I think, "Yeah...and where has my busy season gotten me?? 60 pounds heavier than when I started this d@#$ job."

60 pounds! That's 240 sticks of butter, People!!

Giving over my life to my job and its attendant busy season has to end. And so I say to my husband, "Would it be OK if I did the Challenge with you?"

"Of course, Sweetie," he says to me.

And so I sign up for the 10 week challenge...wondering how on earth I am going to fit in 6 days a week of exercise including personal training, group training and 2 classes per week. But I also know that if I don't I will pack on another 60 sticks of butter and that is just not acceptable.

And so here I am now at the end of the Challenge reflecting on my experience.

So, what did I learn over the course of the ten weeks?

I'm more physically capable than I give myself credit for. "You're great to train!" says my personal trainer D at our celebration banquet just few nights ago. She continues, "I mean aside from the dirty looks you give me [she says this with a big grin and a laugh] you can DO a lot. So many people come in and can't even DO a single lunge, but you got it right away."  Thanks, D.

Running still isn't for me (right now, anyway), but I'm a pretty good fast walker and managed to shave more than a minute off a mile walk. I cross the finish line second to last during our final fit test, but I finish strong. I feel good and decide that it doesn't matter at all that I am only one of two people who walk the mile instead of running it. (D says she is sure that I can run a mile rather than walk it, and somehow I know that if I do the next challenge that she's going to put her theory to the test...)

I can and should try new things. Before the Challenge I would never, ever have tried the Saturday Low-n-Loaded class at my gym. The Challenge made me do it at first. But I kept me going back and will keep going back because I am determined to get through one full class doing every single exercise the instructor throws at us for the entire allotted interval time. I'm close. I know that I can get there.

Food is always going to be something with which I struggle. I'm a lifelong compulsive emotional eater. However, I know now that with planning and determination that I can succeed in responsible, sensible eating.

Reaching out to other people and being a part of something that is not my job works for me. I've always held myself back from activities like the Fall Fitness Challenge. Always thought that I wouldn't do well because I'm uncoordinated, shy, kind of a dork and not terribly coordinated. But I was wrong. I totally enjoyed this experience and loved being with other people who are trying to lose weight and get to a healthier place in their lives. I didn't feel out of place at all.

 * * * * *

The other day at work my CEO tells me, "You're my hero" when he finds out that I've shed almost 160 sticks of butter. I don't know that this makes me a hero, but it certainly makes me healthier and happier.

In terms of the Challenge, I landed at the bottom of the pack in regards to weight loss. Most of the other participants shed an impressive 10%, 12% even 14% of their body weight during the 10-week challenge period. My 6% certainly pales a bit in comparison, but I'm perfectly happy with my results. I lost what I normally would have gained at this time of the year and that feels like a huge victory for me.

Being a part of this Challenge reminded me in no uncertain terms that I've only got this one life and that I need to actually live it. And in that I was 100% successful.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Weigh-in day today.

156 sticks of butter lost!  BMI in the 20s!!

And for the first time in several years the number looking back at me from the scale begins with  a "1" and not a "2"!!!


The sweet smell of success.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Major changes

"No, you can't go back to sleep. C'mon, you're already awake. Let's go to the gym"

These are the words that my lovely husband speaks to me this morning at 5:40 a.m.

Never thought I'd hear those words from Chris - especially at 5:40 a.m. being that he's not exactly what you would call a "morning person," but he's changed his habits so much since The Pizza Days that here we are.

"Are we going to start saying stuff like 'BP' - 'Before Pizza' and 'AP' - 'After Pizza'" Chris jokes the other day when I say to him, "That was back during our Pizza Days."

Because the truth is that before we started on South Beach and then the Fall Fitness Challenge, Chris and I enabled each other's worst habits. I was always too tired to shop or cook. We never planned meals. We both worked long hours. At the end of a long day, with little or no healthy food in the house one of us would ask the inevitable, "What do you want to do for dinner?"

And 90% of the time...we'd go out or order in.

Pizza, Chinese, Buffalo wings...all the bad stuff. All of the time.

Is it any wonder we both got so fat?

But now...thanks to my husband's dedication to doing the meal planning and both of us shopping regularly, there's almost always something healthy to eat and so we have no reason to indulge in high-fat, unhealthy meals like we used to. And then there's my wonderful Chris urging me to not go back to sleep, but to to instead go to the gym with him.

Rather than enabling each other...Chris and I are now empowering each other to be healthy.

Do we miss pizza and Chinese food and Buffalo wings?

You bet.

But do we miss them enough to give up feeling good, losing weight, getting strong and living a healthy life.

No way.

The Pizza Days are over.

Monday, November 8, 2010


BMI today = 29.88

Overweight, but no longer classified as obese!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bernice is not happy!

For those of you new readers (if there are any new readers coming to visit here...) Bernice is my mid-section. She had gotten so big and cumbersome at one point not so long ago that she seemed like her own entity...thus, "Bernice" was "born."

But Bernice, for as stubborn as she is, is going away.

Today I lay on the mat doing my Bernice crunches. In between sets, I place my hand on my middle.

Not long ago when I would lay down, Bernice would be right there in her full, very round, mooshy un-glory. Sticking up - a big hill in my mid-section. And she would be laughing.

Well, Bernice isn't laughing anymore.

When I lay down these days...Bernice disappears.

Oh, how lovely to feel a flat mid-section when I lay down!!!

When I stand back up, Bernice returns, but in a very diminished state. She grumbles incessantly about this and tries her best to get me to eat things that I shouldn't so she can return to her full size. But I resist!!

At a client presentation last week there is a plate of pastries, which I try my best to ignore, but there's Bernice grumbling and moaning for a croissant. The smell just about makes me swoon, but I say to Bernice, "Uh-uh. No way. You are NOT getting croissant."

I won't repeat the terrible things she says in response. Too many expletives...

Bernice is going away.

Bernice is not happy.

Bye-bye, Bernice.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Slow and steady

does not actually win the race.

But that's OK.

Chris and I - via the Fall Fitness Challenge - participated in our first 5K race this past Sunday. The 32nd Annual Spooky Run sponsored by the Greater New Bedford Track Club.

We arrive early to get our "bibs" (the race numbers you put on the front of your shirt) and meet up with the rest of the FFCers. I'm number 363. We all stretch and enjoy looking around at folks who've come to the race in costume. A middle-aged man in a bridal gown and veil (his bushy mustache is the perfect finishing touch), quite a few pumpkins, two Vikings, a number of cats, and - my personal favorite - the team of five serious runners wearing all sleek, serious black running gear adorned with festive pink or purple sparkly headbands, pink or purple striped socks and short, bunchy tu-tus in either pink or purple. The lone guy on this tu-tu wearing team (in purple) looks pretty hilarious. "Hey, I was totally drunk when I agreed to do this!" he says with a huge grin and laugh to the police officer who is ribbing him about the purple tu-tu.

It's a brisk day, but sunny. Everyone seems to be in good cheer. We make our way to the starting line and wait for the 10Kers to take off. As I'm heading to the back of the pack where the walkers start, Trainer A walks beside me and says, "Awe, c'mon. You're not going to run this thing?"

I laugh, "Oh, yeah. I'd take like twenty steps and pass out and then all of the runners would be tripping over me. That would NOT be good!"

He laughs, "It'd be kind of like a Tour de France pile up situation."


He breaks away to position himself in the front of the pack with the runners.  I place myself firmly at the very back of the pack.

At 9:05 the race officials set us free.

Surprisingly I find myself having to pass quite a few other walkers whose pace is much slower than mine. I get "stuck" a number of times behind groups of slow walkers, but finally manage to find some open space and off I go....short, quick strides with my arms at 90 degree angles pumping hard. My pace feels pretty steady. The course - through a park and around the streets of New Bedford - is relatively flat with just a few gentle hills. My breathing is steady, but I'm definitely sweating and my heart rate is up.

I pass some folks on the course and am, in turn, passed by some folks who pick up their pace. There are two women who must be in their sixties that eventually by-pass my position and leave me in the dust. I try to pace myself against them and am a bit frustrated and embarrassed that I cannot keep up with them. Especially since neither of them is breathing particularly hard or seems to be pushing very hard to walk at that pace.

Obviously, I have a lot more work to do on getting these legs and lungs of mine in shape!

Still, I manage to cross the finish line ahead of a few other walkers. Thus, I achieve my goal of not coming in dead last. Not exactly the mightiest of goals, but...what can I say? I didn't know what to expect and just hoped that I wouldn't be the very slowest person to finish the race.

So, here are my stats:

Time: 47:15
Pace: 15:13/mile
Place: 331 out of 361

I'm the last of the FFCers to cross the finish line with the next slowest FFCer to cross almost 2 minutes ahead of me.

Still, the last walker to cross the finish line comes in well behind my time - 18 minutes after me (his pace is 20:58/mile. So, while compared to the runners I am a turtle, compared to at least a few other walkers I was rolling along at a pretty decent clip.

I know that I can improve. I'm going to shave some time off of my next 5K, which I think is coming up pretty soon. Stay tuned for more details...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A good day followed by...

a not so great week.

On Tuesday I wrote about it being a good day. And it was a good day.

A really good day.

But then there arrived Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - three days when work really ramped up to warp speed 10, husband was out of town, and my energy level/motivation for cooking, exercising and generally doing things to take care of myself kind of plummeted to virtually nothing.

Now, compared to the days when I was really indulging in some horrifically irresponsible eating choices that involved french fries, ice cream, candy bars, sour cream and all things fried, what I actually consumed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday would be considered downright healthy.

What was not so great is that I ended up at restaurants two of the three nights and twice for lunch. Made healthy choices given what was on the menus (things like grilled salmon with grilled asparagus and steamed broccoli or tofu with asparagus and ginger), but the reality is that restaurant food is still restaurant food.

Add in one more restaurant meal today when I picked up husband from the airport (again, still made a good choice) and I'm not exactly feeling especially virtuous.

Couple my restaurant outings with a distinct lack of exercise on these same three days and I'm guessing that weigh-in on Monday is not going to be pretty.

However... everyday is a do-over...a new opportunity to make healthy choices.

And so late this afternoon I hauled my keester over to the gym for 25 minutes of lower body weight lifting and 40 minutes of biking.

Tomorrow is the Spooky 5K Run that we signed up for through the Fall Fitness Challenge.

Hopefully it will be another good day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A good day

Today is a good day so far.


Because today is the first day in several years that I looked in a mirror - the giant mirror in the free weight area at the gym - and saw me...Well, a hint of the me that I used to look like before I gained all of the weight.

Granted, today's me is still a heavy version of me. But this version has a waist again. There's a face that isn't completely round, but instead has more than a hint of cheekbones and just a hint of hollows beneath those cheekbones.

This me has a womanly shape again.

This new me has thighs that are curvy, getting firm and starting show some muscle...not thighs that look like lumpy, saggy, jiggly sacks of potatoes. And a middle that - while certainly not flat - is looking less and less like I'm 7 months pregnant.

This version of me even has a hint of collar bones.

Collar bones. Holy crapballs. Can't remember when I last saw those.

The whole package is starting to look like something I recognize. Something that I took for granted back when I was at a normal BMI because back then I always thought that I was fat.

And then I actually got fat. Really fat.

For a long time I was in denial about being fat. I ignored my body as much as possible. Made excuses. Didn't look in mirrors. When my clothes got too tight, I just bought new ones.

Now that I'm on the way back down to a normal BMI (and I WILL get there) - I'm realizing what I should have known all along -  that back when I just thought I was fat, I was actually thin and pretty and just didn't know it.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not satisfied with this current version of me - this incarnation that's still a few sticks of butter away from being overweight instead of obese and more than a few sticks of butter away from being normal. But I like this version a whole lot better than the one who didn't care about herself and let herself get obese.

So, today is a good day.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weigh-in day

If one does not follow one's eating plan to the does not lose weight.

No weight loss this week.

I knew it was coming, but even when it's still kinda sucks.


However, on the flip's weigh-in did motivate me to hit the gym tonight after work. And, if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I loathe going to the gym after a long day at work.

And today was one of those long days at work.

But I got myself to the gym to do some lower body weight lifting and lots of different kinds of crunches.

Three good things happen at the gym this evening. No, wait - actually four good things:
  1. I happen upon my husband at the gym during his personal training session and am pleased to see that he looks like he's having a good time with trainer D.
  2. A man who is not my husband gives me an up-and-down-seriously-checking-me-out kind of look and then gives me a nice smile. It's been a really, really long time since a man who is not my husband has looked at me in that way.
  3. My husband comes over to the free weight area to chat for a minute before he runs off to do errands. I'm standing on a step doing calf raises. Chris says to me, "You look really sexy when you exercise." What a lovely husband I have. I haven't felt at all sexy in a really, really long time. 
  4. I lay down on a mat to do my crunches. Between sets I rest my hand on Bernice and - miraculously! - when I'm laying down she's actually almost flat! Let me lose another 80 sticks of butter and its, "Bye bye, Bernice!!!"
So, even though no sticks of butter melted away this past week, it's still all good.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Downs and ups

Down...Not so much success this week following my eating plan.


Some long work days and a few days of just feeling ravenous no matter what I ate sent me in some eating directions that were - while not terrible - definitely not on plan and probably filled with more calories than really necessary.

Tomorrow's weigh-in will likely be...disappointing, but not unexpected.


There are ups this past week as well.

Friday night Team Torture. I do not run treadmill intervals. As much as I want to participate in all aspects of the Fall Fitness Challenge, I have come to the conclusion that for now...running is just not for me. Perhaps in another 20 or 30 pounds I'll be able to run a little bit, but for now me trying to run leads to nothing but frustration and upset.

And I just don't need frustration and upset at this stage of the game.

What I need is to feel like I'm making progress and moving forward.

So, on Friday I join the group of people who also opt out of treadmill work and instead get on the elliptical trainers for elliptical intervals.

My elliptical machine is set for a 10% incline at level 1. I leave it there. Trainer W leads the intervals. 2 minutes low-intensity and 2 minutes high-intensity intervals...for 24 minutes. Trainer D hops on the treadmill next to me to do the intervals with me. When it comes time to bump it up for the high interval, I bump it up to level 3.

"C'mon, let's put that on 5," Trainer D says peering over at my machine.

So, to level 5 we go.

Sure enough within seconds I am breathing very, very hard. Not quite sucking wind, but pretty damn close. In through the nose. Out through the mouth.

My breathing sounds really loud to me.

The first high-intensity two minute interval feels like an eternity. Rather than watch the time elapse on the machine's display panel, I just close my eyes and try to keep breathing. My heart is racing. Sweat is already pouring down my forehead and dripping off of my nose. So very attractive.

When I arrive at home close to 9 p.m., Chris asks me, "So, how'd you do?"

"30 minutes on the elliptical. D made me go to level 5 for the high-intensity intervals. I kind of wanted to die, but I did it."

"You're really sweaty," he says.


"So, was D helpful while you were doing the intervals?"

"I don't know. She was talking to me the whole time. I'm sure she was saying all kinds of encouraging really things, but I have no idea what they were. I just kept my eyes closed and was pretty focused on breathing, not passing out and not falling off of the elliptical trainer!"

Chris laughs.

But, here's the thing, I did it. I made it through all of the intervals. Didn't feel very good toward the end. Getting my breath was hard, but I didn't give up.

Surprisingly, even though I'm bone tired on Friday when I get home and even more tired when I wake up on Saturday morning, I haul myself to the gym for Low-n-Loaded - thinking that if I make it through even half of the class it will be a friggin' miracle. But once we get started it actually goes pretty well. I still find myself needing to march in place during a few of the intervals, but I manage to do probably 90% of everything she has us doing.


So, some downs and ups this past week. We'll see about this coming week. My work schedule is crazed with numerous client presentations. Eating could be an issue, but I'm going to try my very hardest to stay on plan.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


OK, so I have to confess big time...I ate too much tonight.

We went to a gathering at my mother-in-law's and there was a lot of good food. A lot of food not on my eating plan. And thankfully, quite a lot of healthy good food, too.

I didn't really even eat anything "bad" this evening. Avoided all of the yummy looking desserts, the amazing breads from Seven Stars Bakery, the multigrain chips. Nope, didn't eat any of that.

But what did I do instead?...I ate way too much of the good stuff.  At first, I just razed a little bit on veggies, dip and rice crackers. Then had a big plate of salad so I wouldn't eat too much of the entree. Then ate too much of the entree anyway!


In terms of the way I used to eat, what I ate this evening would seem like very little. But since I've started eating responsibly... what I ate tonight seemed like a lot of food and tonight I did not make very responsible choices. I sat right next to the food while socializing. I should have just walked away.

But I didn't.

Did I need a "little more" of the main course? No, of course not! But I ate it anyway.

And now I am paying the price of overindulgence.

I'm feeling horribly uncomfortable (think it might be time to unbutton these jeans) and actually a little bit sick to my stomach.

Somehow I have the feeling that Monday weigh-in is going to be baaaaad.

Too full...urgh.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mixed bag

Today's post is going to be a weird mixed bag of stuff...because my thoughts are kind of a jumble. 

Reflections on missing my BMI-in-the-20s goal this past week. 

As you may have guessed from my last post, I was...ummmm...just a teeny tiny bit upset. (Actually, I think "distraught" might be the word that best describes my feelings of this past Monday.)

Really - I know that it's kind of stupid to have let myself get so worked up about missing the goal by so little, but... what can I say? I thought that after all of my hard work the week before that I had the goal in the bag and when it didn't happen...

Catastrophe! Disaster! How could I have missed it??? Gnashing of teeth!


In any case, I've moved on. I'm over it. Hoping fervently that I'll make my BMI-in-the-20s at the next weigh-in. However, if it doesn't happen at the next weigh-in then I am not going to allow myself to get all worked up about it. It'll happen when it happens. I'll just keep eating right, getting myself to the gym and doing what I'm supposed to do.

Reflections on Boot Camp

So, last Sunday...Boot Camp Team Challenge!

Amazingly, I manage a pretty good showing.

The Boot Camp is held outside at one of our beautiful state parks by the water. The wind is kind of crazy and it's pretty darn chilly, but otherwise it's sunny and lovely. We start with running and walking. There are 4 groups: fast run, medium run, slow run and walk.

Guess which one I choose?

I'll reflect on my walk in the next section.

After the walk/run, we hit the boot camp stations in groups of three.  At each station we engage in 4 intervals of each exercise. Each interval lasts for 25 seconds. The exercises: step up, plank, side plank, chest presses, overhead lifts, walking squats, walking lunges, standing rows, crunches, and a few others.

The only exercises that completely do me in are the planks. Since I have virtually no core strength (d@#$ you, Bernice!), I manage one regular plank for a grand total of like 10 seconds (it may be more like it's 8 seconds...I'm not really counting...Bernice is too busy saying, "Are you out of your mind??? I can't do this!") before collapsing in a pathetic heap on the mat.


Bernice and I give up quickly, but do crunches in place of the plank so at least my abs are getting a workout.

Pretty much same story with the side plank. No core strength. And this one is even worse - I manage to stay up for a whopping 5 seconds before falling out of the position.

Absolutely pathetic.

But aside from that I actually complete all of the other exercises. Oh, I'm huffing and puffing as I'm trying to get through each 25 second interval (who knew that 25 seconds could seem like an ETERNITY???), but I get through them. Some better and with more confidence than others. I'm surprised to find myself doing well with the walking squats. And the upper body lifting - not too bad on that front either.

The truth is that I had been very anxious all week about Boot Camp - afraid that I won't be able to do the exercises at all and end up feeling foolish and looking lame. The planks kind of suck and I feel kind of like a major wimp for not being able to do them, but I am so pleased about completing everything else that it kind of takes the sting out of my plank failure.

In between

So, I mentioned above that Boot Camp starts with 20 minutes of running or walking. Since it is well established that I am not much of a runner, I choose to join the walking group led by trainer N.

"We're gonna walk 10 minutes out and 10 minutes back," N announces as she leads us to our starting point, a wide asphalt path that runs along the bay. It's beautiful.

The slow running group has already taken off ahead of us.

As we start our 20 minute walk I realize pretty quickly if I walk at the group's pace that it isn't going to be much of a workout for me. Their pace is pretty relaxed. So, I decide to pick up my pace to one that will get my heart rate up.

I take off on my own.

Short quick strides with my arms at 90 degree angles and pumping hard, I quickly leave the walking group behind. For most of the walk I find myself at the half-way point between the walkers and the slow runners. I'm sweating, my heart is pumping pretty well, I'm not sucking wind, but I'm breathing hard and feeling good.

On the return trip, the slow walkers spread out far behind me. Trainer N catches up with me and we walk together for the last three minutes or so.

"Wow," says N, "you walk REALLY fast."

I do?

Yeah, I guess I do.

It's funny, but over the course of the Fall Fitness Challenge I have complained bitterly about my inability to run. About the fact that every time I start to run I end up sucking wind and I have to stop. Maybe this means that I'll never be a runner. And yet, here I am 6 weeks into this thing and I'm fairly certain that I have become a much faster, stronger and more efficient walker.

So I'm not a runner. Big deal. But I'm not a slow walker either...I guess that I'm something somewhere in between.

Am I OK with that?

Yes. I think I am.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Well, crapballs.

Weigh-in day today.

Weight lost = 136.8 sticks of butter to date (5.6 sticks of butter lost this past week)

BMI = 30.09

I missed a BMI in the 20s by 2.8 sticks of butter!!!

Just 2.8 sticks of butter shy of being considered "overweight" instead of "obese."

D@#$! D@#$! D@#$!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday - FFC week 5 Day 7

Last gas left in the tank.

I just CRASHED last night. Big time.

I leave the office a bit early thinking that I'll head home to get some stuff done before Team Training at the gym, but I can hardly keep my eyes open on the drive home and my arms and legs feel like they have lead weights in them. After my totally crazy work week, the big workout I put in the night before and the fall allergies that have been plaguing me all week, I realize upon arriving at home that I just don't have anything left.

Completely running on empty.

So I call and leave a message saying that I'm not feeling well, climb into my jammies, and hit the couch.

Doze through two movies.

Then go to bed.

As a result of a night off from Fall Fitness Challenge Team Training and a decent night's sleep, I arrive this morning at "Low-n-Loaded" feeling pretty good. I still don't quite make it through every single exercise, but I definitely see signs of improvement. A move that instructor D had us do 5 weeks ago that at the time left me sucking wind after only 15 I'm able to make it almost all the way through the interval and only have to march in place for the last 15 seconds.

It feels like a HUGE victory!

I'm getting stronger everyday. There are little signs of improvement all of the time.

Today after class I don't just head home, but because I feel rested and good, I hit the treadmill for 2.37 miles. And not just 2.37 miles of a gentle walk. Instead, I ramp up the speed to 4 mph and the incline to 2%. Doing this after a class would have been absolutely UNTHINKABLE just a few short weeks ago, but today...I decide that since I had missed Team Training last night that I should get in the cardio that I missed.

Big changes. 

How about you? What changes are you noticing in your weight loss journey?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A better day today

Eating today...not so terrible. Not fantastic. But not like yesterday.

And exercise today - AWESOME.

Yep, 25 minutes of lower body weight lifting on the cable machines. Went for heavier weights this session.

Then it was on to the rowing machine where I pounded out 1,000 meters! (OK, don't actually be too terribly impressed by that...1,000 meters takes like 6 minutes. However, I find the rowing machine to be very challenging and I'm not really all that fond of it, so I was pleased to have stayed on for 6 minutes and 1,000 meters. )

And then I forced myself on to one of the recumbent bikes for 45 minutes and 16.29 miles.

So, one day of not-so-great choices and an overabundance of calories is not going to derail me.

Just need to keep reminding myself: 

Failure is not an option...but neither is perfection.

Everyday is a new opportunity to make healthy choices.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Confession time

OK, so I totally have to cop to the fact that my eating today....TERRIBLE.

Too many calories. Not mindful of how much I eat. Too much fat. Totally off eating plan.

I have four presentations this morning in three separate locations on a fairly tight timeline. My first significant presentations of my busy season. Needless to say - a little nervous and focused on doing a good job.

The first two run from 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. After I get all of my materials put away, hop in my car and head to the next one. I'll just make it on time for Presentation #3 at 10:00 a.m.

Presentation #3 runs long because there are some technical difficulties with the computer. Once said difficulties are resolved the presentation is fine, but now I'm late for Presentation #4, which is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. However, my Presentation #3 client is kind enough to call the folks at my next destination (same company, different branch) to give them the heads up that I'll be late.

Jump in my car and dash away. Definitely not going to make it in time.  I arrive at 11:30. Luckily my contact there actually figures before the call that I'll be late. He tells me, "I told every one 11:30 because I figured there would be traffic."

So, what does all of this have to do with my crappy eating today?

Nowhere in all that dashing about does it occur to me that I need to eat a mid-morning snack (especially dumb because I had a light breakfast.) I am so focused on getting where I need to be and reviewing my presentation in my head that I just completely forget to eat (I even have snacks packed in the car for these kind of days!!!)

So, by 12:15 when all of my presentations are done... RAVENOUS because I haven't eaten anything in fiver hours.

Rather conveniently, my last presentation takes place in the same plaza as my favorite Thai restaurant. Screw the green beans, celery and hummus in my cooler!!! Give me Thai food!!!!

And so I revert back to old behavior...I take myself and my book into the restaurant and proceed to order Pad Thai. Veggies and tofu - Nope! It's Pad Thai for me!!!

And do I eat just half of the generous serving of Pad Thai??

Nope. Before I even realize it, I down the whole plate.

[At this point, our heroine shakes her head in disgust with herself]

An ENTIRE PLATE of Pad Thai. Holy crapballs!

Mindless eating.

Comforting myself with food.

Bad old behavior.

So, of course I don't bother to eat a mid-afternoon snack because I've eaten all of that yummy Pad Thai. I have an apple on my way to the gym at 7:00 p.m. and then come home to a very healthy dinner for which I am not at all hungry, but I eat anyway.

And did I really need the homemade Pumpkin Oatmeal Cup after dinner??? Nope.

Did I eat it anyway? Yes.

Yeah, I kind of suck today.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On the verge of


Very early meeting today 30 minutes from home and had to be there 30 minutes before the start of the meeting to set up... so no gym this a.m.

Meeting went really well.

The rest of the day kind of went downhill from there. Was supposed to bring some materials to a client, but discovered to my chagrin that I had left a key piece at my office a 45-minute drive away. So, back to my office where I figured that I'd call and let them know that I'd have to make the delivery tomorrow. Luckily one of my colleagues was going back down that way later in the day so I didn't have to make the call.

Another client announced that they are moving up some meetings by several weeks and suddenly I have to have their materials prepped and ready for next week. Along with the materials for another major client.


You see where this is heading, don't you?

I didn't leave my office until 8:00 p.m. this evening.

Guess where I did not go today?

If you guessed "the gym" you would be right!

Tomorrow isn't looking much better.  Crapballs.

So, I'm going to hit the sack in order to attempt a 5:00 a.m. wake up to get to the gym. Need to be back here no later than 6:30 because I have to leave my house for my early meeting no later than 7:15.

Wish me luck.

Monday, October 11, 2010


The number on the scale is heading in the right direction...down.

However, the number isn't low enough today.

Yesterday when I step on the scale it reflects a total weight loss of 140 sticks of butter. Yay!

Today for the official weigh-in when I step on the scale it reads quite clearly that I've lost a total of 132 sticks of butter. Still "yay!"...but not quite so much.

Apparently I was pretty dehydrated yesterday or somehow I gained 8 entire sticks of butter in just 24 hours.

I guess the biggest disappointment is that if yesterday's weigh-in had proven to be true, that would mean that I  am just .07 shy of being classified as "overweight" via BMI vs. "obese." So as of today I am still .37 away from hitting the 29.9 BMI that I want to hit.

Still obese.


But it also means that if I work out hard this week and stick as closely as I can to my eating plan, chances are that next week I'll be celebrating a BMI in the 20s instead of the 30s.

Next week.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Out of breath

I believe the phrase "sucking wind" applies to me whenever I find myself attempting any kind of very vigorous exercise.

This past Friday night...Team Training again...Treadmill Running Intervals Round #2.


We're supposed to do .25 miles at a low-intensity brisk walk or slow jog. Then .5 miles at our high-intensity interval - for me this is supposed to be 4.9 mph.

Ummm....yeah....not so much.

I manage to get the treadmill going up to 4.6 mph for .18 miles, but am so out of breath (aka "sucking wind") after less than a quarter mile that I drop back down to a more reasonable 3.9 mph. My breathing takes several minutes to sort itself into something less frantic and intense.

"How are you doing over here" trainer A asks as he peers over my treadmill readout to see that I am back down in the "low-intensity" interval.

"Old, fat and tired," I huff at him in frustration.

"Well, I wouldn't agree with those first two," he says carefully, obviously somewhat taken aback by my gruff answer.

He chats with me a bit about the fact that I'm so out of breath and eventually ends the conversation by saying, "No one expects every single person in the Challenge to be able to run a mile. That's not what this is about. It's about losing weight and getting fit."

Thanks, A, appreciate the kind words, although if I can't jog my mile at 4.9 mph on the last day of the Challenge then it means that I will not reach my fit goal of lopping 20% off of my original run (actually that would be WALK) time.

So, while everyone else pounds their way through their intervals, I settle on keeping my treadmill pace at 3.9 - 4.0 mph where my heart rate is still up, but I don't feel nauseated or like I cannot breathe.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. My "Low-n-Loaded" class is not running so I decide to hit "Cardio Kickboxing" instead.

More frustration.

More sucking wind.

The class is fast paced, which is difficult for me. I'm winded almost immediately. However, I try my best to keep up. When I simply cannot sustain a particular exercise I do what I do in D's "Low-n-Loaded" class - I march in place while I try to catch my breath. At 40 minutes into the class I am extremely overheated, my face once again resembling a bright red radish. And I am nauseated. So I take a few sips of water and duck out the door of the exercise room to walk around the gym - trying to slow my heart rate a bit, catch my breath and avoid barfing.

After 5 minutes of cooling down, I head back into the group exercise room to finish as much of the class as I can, which isn't much...

I am frustrated by the limitations of my body. I know, I body is absolutely getting stronger and I can certainly do more now than I could a few months ago. However, I wish that my stupid lungs would catch up with the rest of my body and get with the d@#$ program already.

I'm tired of sucking wind.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Out of steam

I pretty much poop out this morning half-way through my personal training session.

"Did you eat breakfast?" personal trainer D asks me.

Um...yeah...that'd be a big fat "no."

A concerned D explains to me the importance of eating before a workout especially in the morning. There's something about "liver enzymes" and muscles and calories in the lecture she gives me, but most of it washes over. Mostly I'm thinking, "I know that I'm supposed to eat breakfast before I come to the gym, but it makes me so NAUSEOUS."

Then I find myself expressing the thought that is in my head about feeling nauseous when eating so early.

Throughout the remainder of our session while I'm huffing and puffing and desperately trying to get through the torturous sets, we converse about what I could be eating before my workouts. Toward the end of the session I decide that maybe I could drink some calories in the mornings. Some kind of protein shake maybe. Maybe that won't upset my stomach the way solid food seems to...

D gives me some suggestions of places I can go to look for protein shakes. Personal trainer E, working with another client, pipes up from the next bench over about adding some oatmeal to the shake to make sure it has the right balance of pre-workout carbs and protein.

So, I'll give it a try.


Mostly, I think I'm just kind of out of steam because my job has really ramped up. Breakfast or no breakfast I wake up each day knowing that it's going to be crazy and feeling kind of mentally/emotionally/physically exhausted before the day even starts.

And I'm not nearly done with the busy season...two and half months yet to go.

I can't be out of steam yet...but I kinda am.

I'm really tired.

Out of steam.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Not today

Yesterday I thought it was a cold.

Today I'm thinking it's allergies. Either way I'm feeling droopy and grumpy.

And on top of it I had a 12 hour work day. So no gym for me today.

But I will go tomorrow!

My gym bag is packed.

The alarm is set.

Come hell or high water or sniffles I am going to get in 45 minutes of cardio on Wednesday.

But for now, if y'all will excuse me, I really need to get some sleep. G'night.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Blues

Warning: This is a whiny post.

So I'm kinda feeling blue today.

"Why?" you ask.

(And thank you for asking...)

Well, number one last night as I'm getting ready for bed: a massive allergy attack.

This attack has just everything: dry eyes that I want to claw out of my head, sneezing like you wouldn't believe, headache, and stuffy and drippy all at the same time. Down 3 Benadryl tablets that barely even touch this horror show. I head out to the living room so as not to keep my very pooped spouse awake with all of the snorting, sniffling, nose blowing and sneezing going.

Which leads me to the second reason I'm feeling blue today: not only does the Benadryl not really do much to stop the allergy attack, but it doesn't even knock me out.

So, to add insult to injury: insomnia.

Couldn't fall asleep for the longest time and didn't manage to hit any kind of deep sleep through the night. Am feeling foggy-headed this a.m. and pretty grumpy.

Which brings me to the third reason for feeling blue: did not exercise this morning because I was too beat and now I have to pack a gym bag so that I can get my exercise in this evening.

Oh, just my favorite time of the day to exercise!

And last, but certainly not least in the Why-Jenn-is-Blue-and-Grumpy-on-this-Grey-Monday-Morning: weigh-in day!


Weigh-in did not go well. True the number on the scale was down from last week so yay, but down only by .6 pounds. Not so great.

So, there ya have it, People...a very whiny post from a blue and grouchy blogger.

Hope you'll please accept my apologies, I'll be in a better mood later on and I'll come back with something a bit more on the cheerful and optimistic side soon...

** Addendum **

OK, I just did the BMI calculation and I feel better because I just realized that I am only 16 sticks of butter away from finally no longer being classified as "obese." That means that by the end of this Fall Fitness Challenge, my BMI will be in the high 20s where it hasn't been for quite some time. This is definitely full of The Awesome.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Still here! Crazed, but still here!

So this is the time of the year when my job gets crazy-crazy-crazy and I am in high gear just about non-stop everyday from now until Christmas. This past week:

Monday and Tuesday just kind of a blur of many hours at my desk prepping for client meetings later in the week

Wednesday = overall insanity with a few fires to put out, people to manage and meetings, meetings, meetings (mostly in-house, but one client meeting an hour drive from my office) Came home and collapsed on couch to catch up on DVR'd episodes of "Project Runway." Too pooped to blog.

Thursday = a 12-hour day (after a personal training session at 6:00 a.m.) Came home at 8:30 p.m. Here's my conversation with my lovely husband:

ME: Hi.

HUSBAND: You look beat.

ME: I love you. I'm going to bed.
End of conversation

I'm not even sure that I kissed him goodnight. Just stumbled to the bathroom to brush my teeth then stumbled into the bedroom to remove my clothes and collapse in bed. I'm pretty sure that the husband came to check on me and say goodnight, but it's a pretty hazy recollection.

Yesterday =
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. event at work
9:30 - 10:15 help clean up conference center after event
10:15 get on computer for 15 minutes
10:30 gather stuff and dash out to car
10:30 -11:15 drive to first client meeting of day
11:15 - 11:32 get detoured and have a hard time finding parking
11:32 - 11:35 race to meeting because am now five minutes late, Holy Crapballs!
11:35 - 12:15 client meeting
12:15-12:30 drive to next client meeting
12:30 get soaked dashing into restaurant for lunch meeting
12:30 - 2:30 enjoy lunch meeting with client
2:30 - 3:30 make follow up notes in my car
3:30 - 4:15 do some quick at an "in-between" size right now...don't have much to wear
4:15 -4:45 drive home
4:45 discover there's no lettuce in the house and call husband to request a stop on his way home
4:45 - 5:00 loaf around on computer for a few minutes
5:00 - 5:30 deal what I'm going to wear for date with husband while he preps dinner...put on pair of jeans that I discover are too big (Yay!) Rummage through older thinner wardrobe and grab a pair of jeans I know won't fit yet, but decide to try them on anyway. They fit!!! Just for kicks and giggles, pull out an old favorite jacket. Try it on - doesn't quite fit, it's snug when I zip it up, but it looks OK so I'm going to wear it! Yay! Iron everything
5:30 - 6:00 dinner
6:00 - 7:40 drive to concert
7:40 - 8:00 get seats and wait for show to begin
8:00 - 10:40 show is great!
10:40 - 12:15 drive home
12:30 - collapse in bed

Today = get up at 7:30 to hit the gym for 8:00 a.m. "Low-n-Loaded" class with Donna. AND I throw in an additional 30 minutes of cardio on a bike after my class!!! A first for me. NEVER would have done that pre-Fall Fitness Challenge!

So, I didn't make it to two classes this week, but I ate well  in spite of crazy schedule and made my five gym visits, attended one class and my personal training session. All in all - can't believe that I am managing to do this living healthy stuff at the height of my job craziness, but am really happy that I'm trying my hardest.

Now, if i could only get my house cleaned...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Conversations in the free weight area

So I'm at the gym this evening and my "regular" bench in the free weight area nearest the lighter of the free weights is taken by some gargantuan guy with an impressive beer gut.

A few other guys have laid claim to the bench in the middle section of the free weight area.

So, I grab my three sets of weights (8 lbs, 10 lbs and 12 lbs) and appropriate a bench near the heaviest of the free weights where the really huge guys usually work out.

I'm about to do my first set of chest presses, when another gargantuan guy grabs his weights and sits on the next bench over from me. Unlike the gargantuan guy who is on "my" regular bench, this guy next to me is all muscle and no gut:  neck almost as big as my thigh, shoulders so ridiculously broad they're bordering on body builder shoulders, "guns" that are straining against his long sleeve get the picture.

He has selected a set of 70 lb free weights and lays back to do a set of chest presses, straining against the weights, but making no sound. Just grits his teeth and sweats. He sits up to recover, balancing the weights on his rock solid thigh muscles.

I look at his 70 lb weights.

And then at my 12 lb weights.

And then back at his 70 lb weights.



They look positively GIGANTIC compared to my teeny, tiny, puny little 12 pounders

I don't know what possesses me, but suddenly I find myself speaking to him. Here's our conversation:

ME: That looks just horrific.

HIM: Excuse me?

ME: [I gesture to the weights balanced on his legs] That - those - look just horrific.

HIM: [smiling] Actually I'm pretty out of shape.

ME: Ummmm...I'm pretty sure you can't be out of shape and lift THOSE crazy heavy weights the way you are.

HIM: [gesturing with his chin toward to 100 pound weights and smiling ruefully] There are guys a lot smaller than me who can lift those. I'm outta shape.

Ummm...yeah...not. But if this guy thinks that he's out of shape, who am I to tell him otherwise?

Wonder if someday I'll even be able to lift just one of those weights using both of my hands and not actually hurt myself...

Anatomy of a Crash

So, on Sunday after the Kickball game (which, despite my anxiety about being the fat uncoordinated leftover, was great fun) and a trip to the gym afterwards, I come back to the house with the great intentions of cleaning the house.

Yeah...ummm...not so much.

I go to sit down on the couch to review the eating plan for the week...and wake up three hours later.


And this morning, I have every great intention of getting up to hit the gym for upper body strength training.

Yeah...ummm...not so much.

I know I set my alarm, but have no recollection of it going off. And dear husband tries to wake me up as he's heading to the gym...I vaguely remember that.


Apparently my body is taking a little time to adjust to the Fitness Challenge exercise requirements...

I keep kind of crashing when I don't mean to.

In fact, I could probably go back to bed right now for another round of sleep. And I would LOVE to do that. But, alas, I cannot because I have to head off to work...and then to the gym this evening.


Sunday, September 26, 2010


I was always the fat kid that was chosen last for teams in grade school.

There is something especially humiliating about being chosen last.

Every single time.

Standing there by myself with all those kids looking at me. Knowing that I'm not really even being chosen. That I'm actually just the fat, uncoordinated kid that one team inevitably gets stuck with because the teacher says we all get to play.

That no one actually wants me.

"I guess we get Jennifer," is what one of the team captains always says, resigned, but thoroughly annoyed, to the fate of having the worst kickball player on his team.

That's what I am: A leftover. A remainder.

And once on the team, I inevitably get tagged out because I am too slow to properly run the bases even if I give that kickball a good whack from home base.

"Jennifer's out AGAIN," my teammates will moan...followed by angry looks my way as I, indeed tagged out and red-faced and ashamed, make my way back to the bench.

This is painful in the 6th grade.

Painful today remembering it.

Today for our Team Challenge we're playing kickball.  Something I haven't done since the 6th grade.

Luckily we aren't choosing teams. We're already assigned to teams. But part of me is still anxious that once we start playing, my team will realize that I am still the fat uncoordinated kid that I've always been. That they won't want me. That I will once again make my way, red-faced and ashamed back to the bench because I am too slow to properly run the bases.

That my teammates will realize they've been stuck with a leftover. A remainder.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

FFC Day 12 re-cap...and Day 13

Last night I actually RAN for the first time in 25 years..

Granted I don't run very far. Or particularly fast.

But I am RUNNING on the treadmill.

Well, actually compared to other folks in the team training session we had last night I am doing a pretty slow jog, but to me it feels like running.

So we're on the treadmills and our task is to do interval training to try to increase our ability/capacity to run a mile 20% faster over the course of the 10 weeks of the Challenge. OK. Yeah. Right. So, personal trainer W gives me my "number" number being the high-intensity interval that I am supposed to run for a quarter of a mile after I've walked or jogged a low-intensity quarter mile interval. For a total of 8 intervals.

Let me do the math for you - that's 2 miles.


So...low-intensity interval for me is 3.9 mph (please note that this my normal high-intensity walk when I hop on the treadmill on my own) and I'm doing pretty well (please also note that I have already done 5 miles on the bike just before these intervals...) My breathing is good. Soon I can see the numbers creeping up to that .25 quarter mile mark.


And at the quarter mile mark I bump up the speed to my assigned target number: 4.9 mph.

I've never gone this fast on a treadmill before. Ever. It feels crazy fast to me. There's no way for me to speed walk this so I start running (jogging...whatever) and my breathing immediately turns to huffing and puffing. Surprisingly, my gate doesn't feel nearly as awkward as I thought it would. I can't say that it feels natural, but I don't feel weird or klutzy or like I have lead weights in my feet (how I used to feel when asked to run.)

My legs actually feel like they have a little spring in them.  Amazing.

Guess all of this working out I've been doing this year is actually paying off!

I'm supposed to run for a quarter mile, but by the time I hit .44 miles I feel completely out of breath, so I slow it back down to 3.9 m.p.h. Personal trainer A checks in with me a few times to see how I'm doing. He's supportive, but it seems to me that he's a little disappointed that I couldn't make the whole interval.

The gal on the treadmill next to me, D, is running at a faster pace than I am. She says she feels nauseous, but she keeps going and she finishes the entire quarter mile. Personal trainer A urges her on.

I don't actually manage to complete any of my high-intensity intervals. During the next one I manage to make it from .75 to .84 miles and the next is even shorter. Personal trainer A says to me, "You can just do a little bit each time and then finish with everyone else. This is really hard what we're asking you to do today."

I end up walking/jogging (mostly walking) a total of 1.8 miles.

Pretty disappointed that I couldn't do the full 2 miles and couldn't complete the intervals, but I find myself surprisingly determined to make a better showing the next time around.

So, my plan is to start trying to do intervals on the treadmill each time I hit the gym.

I don't today - FFC Day 13 - because I last evening was wearing not the best shoes for our training. As a result, my ankles feel a little floppy and sore today. However, I pull out some older, better shoes today and once I get some heel pads for them will put them back on and hit the treadmill again. I'm going to try to work myself up to being able to run a few quarter mile intervals without feeling like I am going to pass out. 

Running may never be my "thing," but for once I don't want to give up at something physical just because I'm really, really bad at it.

Today's work out: 1 mile on the elliptical trainer to give my ankles a rest, 35 minutes of upper body lifting with free weights, 50 crunches, 30 bicycle crunches and lots of stretching. All in all, pretty satisfying.

Hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend. Let's be healthy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

An award??? For me???

This is my very first blog award. Thank you SOOOO much Tammy! You totally made my day!

Apparently, as a condition of the award, I now I have to sum up my blogging philosophy, motivation and experience in five words and pay it forward by nominating 10 Bloggers for the award.

Five words???


Omigod...that's so not me. (And, no, that's not my philosophy in five words...)

So, philosophy, motivation, experience, five goes:
  • Integrity
  • Humor
  • Honesty
  • Accountability
  • Mindfulness
No, idea if that makes any sense to anyone else, but it makes sense to me so I'll leave it at that.

Ten other bloggers that inspire me:

Debbie@Always and Forever Family
Susie Book @ Endure for a Night
Rebekah @ Finding my Skinny
Gitana @ Metta Mind
Dawn @ This Woman's Work
Kendra @ Kendra Through The Looking Glass 
Stephen @ Who Ate My Blog?
Chris @ Walks in the Marsh
Teesha @ Teesha's Circus

Thursday, September 23, 2010

FFC Day 11...part 2

Victory! Victory!

Ha ha!

So, as you all know by now...I loathe going to the gym in the evening. After 5 p.m. is my low energy time. It's all I can do sometimes to just get myself home and collapse on the couch. But today I knew I had to get myself to the gym.

And I did.

AND once there...I did THREE MILES on the elliptical trainer! In 40 minutes! A total personal best for me!!!

Someday soon I hope to be able to complete those three miles on the elliptical trainer without huffing and puffing and becoming drenched in sweat (soooo very attractive), but for today I don't care. I made it through the 40 minutes.

And I'm determined to do it again.

And then to push through to 45 minutes and eventually get myself up to doing an hour.

Victory is mine today!!

FFC Day 11...Argh!



Didn't make it to the gym this a.m.!

Now I have to hit the gym after work this evening!


If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you'll know that I haaaaate going to the gym in the evenings. But if I don't go this evening then I won't get enough cardio workouts in to satisfy the demands of the Challenge.


Guess that's why this is called a "challenge."


[Our heroine knows that in a moment she'll have to drag herself to the bedroom to pack her gym bag to endure the torture of an evening workout...Oh, if only she hadn't overslept! Curses!]

So, pray for me this evening as I drag my tired, moderately fat butt to the gym and put it on the elliptical trainer for - gulp! - 45 minutes. Pray for me, people.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FFC Day 10

I did push ups today.

OK, not like on the ground, real, awful push-ups like you see military guys and super in shape people do at the gym.

But I did do two sets of push-ups involving a stability ball. And they were hard! And I did a bunch!

OK, well, a "bunch" being like two sets of 8, which is about 15 more than I've ever done before in my entire life. 

Basically, personal trainer E really kicked my butt today using that stability ball.

And what did we discover today as I did push-ups and other stability ball work?

Yeah...ummm...that I am SUPER UNCOORDINATED.

This is nothing that I didn't know about myself, but I E was kind of looking at me funny and I'm sure she was thinking something along the lines of, "You poor pitiful thing" as I tried desperately not to fall off the stability ball (and failed several times at the not-falling-off-the-stability-ball part of my personal training session.)

Still, I survived my second personal training session. That's a victory right there.

Only 8 more to go.

Dear God. Please help me.

Monday, September 20, 2010


OK, so I have to cop to the fact that I had a meltdown yesterday.

My lovely husband went out and bought us each a heart rate monitor.

The problem - the one that I received seems to me to be ridiculously complicated with 8 million different options.  After 20 minutes of trying to get the damn thing to work while sitting at our kitchen table I give up and throw a really childish hissy fit. Poor husband makes numerous and very reasonable suggestions of how I could still go with him to the track so we can do our 1 mile walk/run to see how much progress we've made this week, but no go.

I refuse all suggestions and help.

Too frustrated.

I'm so aggravated and frustrated by the stupid heart rate monitor that I throw the damn thing back in its plastic package and then tell my poor upset husband to go without me...that I'm just going to the gym since it's pointless to go to the track without the heart rate monitor.

(Please note...I have since apologized to poor husband several times for my rather overblown response. Hopefully he's forgiven me by now...)

Despite my rather ridiculous meltdown I have a good workout on the elliptical trainer yesterday - my best yet, in fact.

2.5 miles in 35 minutes (previous best = 2.02 miles in 33 minutes)

And today at weigh-in...drum roll please...

Down another 8 sticks of butter!

What a very excellent way to start the week.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

FFC Day 7...Saturation

I have reached saturation today.

Not only with the Fitness Challenge, but with life in general.

Between FFC, my insane job and LIFE, there hasn't been much down time at all this week. Yesterday we were at an all day family event which, while fun, was also...well...all day. Had to be social and charming and on all day.

And we're getting together with dear friends later today.  More on time.

But before seeing our friends at 4:00 p.m. we need to: walk and/or run 1 mile on the track per our personal trainer to see where we are time-wise after Week 1 of the Challenge, go to the gym to get in some more exercise, plan meals for the week, grocery shop, food prep, laundry, and some work related to our adoption that has to be done by tomorrow and that will take a good chunk of the afternoon.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and in need of some time to just  s.t.o.p.

So, of course, the thing that I most want to skip is the exercise, but I know that I cannot. That's the piece that has to stay consistent and since I took this past Wednesday off from exercise, taking today off is simply not an option. (And, of course, at the all day event yesterday I ate a lot...nothing outrageous, but I grazed throughout the day and did not track my food so god only knows how many calories I some exercise is necessary since tomorrow is a weigh-in day...sigh.)

So, I'll guess stop my whining and bitching now and go throw on my gym clothes.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fall Fitness Challenge...Day 6, re-cap of Day 5 = team training (which turns out to be spinning) at 7:00 p.m. on a Friday night.

Please just kill me now.

Actually, I survive even though the class is being held at my absolute lowest energy time of the day. I even manage to do some of the standing positions on the bike. Now, if you've never done a spin class (which, until last evening, I hadn't) you add resistance to the bike and from time to time ride in a vertical standing position.

For an old, plump chick like me...this is very hard. Very, very hard.

However, because the seats on the spin bikes are SOOOOOOOOOO uncomfortable, at some point during the class you are forced to stand just to give your backside and other - er - tender parts - a break from the torture of the seat.

Those spin instructors are sneaky like that.

Thankfully, my tender parts seem to have recovered from the torturous seats.

So, fast forward 11.5 hours to 8:00 a.m. today. I'm at the gym AGAIN to get in a class this week. Urgh. More "Low and Loaded" with instructor D (different "D" than personal trainer "D".) She's in her traffic-cone-colored tank again this week and has just as much if not more energy than last week.

Today I still find myself unable to sustain many of the moves, but I feel as though there is some improvement over last week. I'm still huffing and puffing and panting through most of the class. Am hoping that my cardiovascular system will eventually get with the program and my lungs will shape up along with everything else so I don't resemble a radish by the end of the class. D is very sweet and tells me that I'm doing great.

Food intake good this week with the exception of a mini-bag of microwave popcorn yesterday when the rumbling in my stomach became too much at work and I had already consumed my planned snacks for the day. I did, however, not consume any of the cupcakes or ice cream served for a colleague's birthday.

And that ice cream looked GOOD. I mean REALLY GOOD.

But I didn't want to see it on the scale today, ice cream.

Official weigh-in for the Challenge is on Monday morning so I'm going to hold off reporting out today the results so far...

And now off to a family gathering where there is going to be a ton of food. Chris and I are packing some healthy snacks in a cooler to bring with us just in case there aren't any healthy options.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fall Fitness Challenge...Day 5

I really dislike exercising in the evenings after work.

Really dislike it.

One might even go so far as to say that I hate it.

But choice.

Because tonight is our first required Team Training Session.

There are 4 gyms in my gym network and each gym is supposed to have its own team for the FFC. However, my husband and I are the only two people to have signed up from our gym (one of the other gyms also had an issue with low sign ups.) So, Chris and I are now actually part of one of the other gym's teams (luckily not too far from our house) and we'll be heading there tonight for the Team Training.

Not only is this training after work at 7:00 p.m. - which is absolutely positively my lowest energy time of the day - but the training will also last for 90 minutes.


90 minutes???

Please shoot me now.

If I haven't keeled over after the training tonight I'll try to report back.

(Chances are I'll probably come home, shower, nibble at dinner and then collapse...because tomorrow I have an 8:00 a.m. low impact class to attend!!! What the heck have I gotten myself into here???)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

FFC Day 5 and BMI

Fall Fitness Challenge - Day 5

So, I hate Zumba, but I really like working with the personal trainer, D. She's very young, very sweet and she just about killed me with the stuff she was having me do this morning...but she did it in such a nice, sweet way. 

Much of our time together this morning is devoted to "core" work...basically, trying to tone up and get rid of Bernice (y'all remember Bernice, right? That entity who inhabits my middle - the stomach that at one point was so big I couldn't actually see past her to see my toes...) Lots of different kinds of crunches (ugh!) and planks and mat work that works my middle section.

A few times poor D wants me to do 10 reps of something and....ummmm....yeah...not so much. I collapse after 3 reps! But D says cheerfully, "OK, take a quick rest and we'll try 5 more." Very nice - she's working me hard, but also willing to meet me at my level and work from there.

Bernice's opinion of personal trainer D?

Yeah, Bernice is not liking her too much.

Well, screw you, Bernice! You're goin' dooowwwwnnnn!


Anyone out there not familiar with the term "BMI"?  It stands for "Body Mass Index." According to the "Diet and Fitness Today" website:
The Body Mass Index or BMI is a method of classifying whether an individual is overweight, underweight, obese or normal weight based only on their height and weight and does not use gender specific information.
The BMI values correspond to the following body analysis:
  • Underweight, BMI = <18.5
  • Normal weight, BMI = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight, BMI = 25-29.9
  • Obesity, BMI = 30 or greater
The website has a BMI calculator for anyone who wants to know their BMI.

My stats so far:

Starting BMI (at my heaviest weight ever): 35.14
BMI now: 30.86

While I'm still in the "Obesity" camp - it's not for much longer. I just have to shed another 36 sticks of butter to get me in the 25-29.9 Overweight range. And, eventually, when I shed a total of 164 sticks of butter that will put me in the "Normal weight" category!

So, still a ways to go to get to normal and healthy, but I'm on my way!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

FFC Day 3 (part 2)...and Day 4

Fall Fitness Challenge - Day 3 (part 2)


Yeah...ummm...hate it.

I take a spot at the back of the class. It's crowded. The music is really fast. The instructor, a bouncy blonde with a perky smile, doesn't really tell the class what to do she just does it and seems to expect everyone to just catch on. By the time I figure out what the hell she is doing and I get my feet sort of doing the steps...she's already moved on to another step!


So, not only am I frustrated, I'm also not sweating or getting any kind of cardio work out because I'm not moving very much.

Screw this.

I walk out after just 10 minutes and head to my trusty treadmill for a two mile hill-interval walk.

Fall Fitness Challenge - Day 4

Not much to report out today. A day of rest from the gym. I ate responsibly. first session with the personal trainer.

Hopefully this will be a better experience than Zumba...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall Fitness Challenge...Day 3

The Challenge is not starting off so well today.


Because our f@#%ing cat, Cecil, decides that we need to be up at 5:05 this morning when we are not actually planning to be up until just after 6:00.

She rattles the closet doors, knocks stuff over, whines and basically makes a complete nuisance of herself while we are trying to sleep. Chris squirts her a few times with the squirt bottle, but this does not deter the little wretch. She runs out of the room. However, within minutes...she's baaaack...and up to her same noise making aggravation.


Finally, at 5:40 I hop out of bed to chase her all over the house with the squirt bottle. Squirting her repeatedly hardly makes me feel any better. And worse, of course, this course of action only really succeeds in waking me fully and making me feel even more annoyed than when I was laying in bed being annoyed by all of the noise.


So, now I'm feeling grumpy.

Super grumpy.

But, oh well...gotta suck it up and get over it. Long day ahead of me.

Chris is at his personal training session. (Mine isn't until Thursday.) So, it's off to the shower for me and then I'll make our lunches.

More later today...after ZUMBA!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall Fitness Challenge...Day 2

So, the pinkie knuckle on my right hand...not fractured!

Whew! Big sigh of relief.

The doctor at the Medical Center says to me after reviewing my x-rays, "Well, I really thought we were going to see something awful in there, but you're all clear. And lucky. Just ice it more this week and you'll be fine."

Today's exercise - 30 minutes/2 miles on the dreaded elliptical trainer.

*wheeze wheeze*

*pant pant*

(although I must say that even with the wheezing and panting all of this cardio work is apparently paying the nurse says that my blood pressure and pulse are "perfect." This is full of the awesome since earlier this year - when I was carrying around an extra 112 sticks of butter - my lifelong low to perfect blood pressure had actually started to go up! Aaaiiieeee!!!)

And today's food intake - outstanding.

(Well, 99% outstanding... there were homemade rice crispy treats at work today and I will cop to having indulged in three large bites. Scrumptious! Could have gone for more, but the three bites satisfied my desire for the taste...)

Tonight, I'm making pan seared chicken with roasted tomatillo salsa for dinner...if only that darn husband of mine would get home.


Also tonight - updating my Fall Fitness Challenge journal to record my food intake and exercise.

And tomorrow...ZUMBA!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fall Fitness Challenge...Day 1

So, I'm typing this sort of mostly with my left hand because my right hand...well, I'll get to that part of the story later.

Day 1 of The Challenge. 

What happens:
  • A lot of standing around and waiting. 
  • Filling out paperwork. 
  • Getting weighed. 
  • Getting our "Before" photos taken (which, if I'm not mistaken, will be posted for the entire gym to see...) 
  • More standing around. 
  • An orientation meeting. 
  • And then off to a high school track for the fitness test.
The interesting thing is that there are a lot of different people at various fitness levels taking part in the challenge. I'm surprised to see a wide variety of body shapes and types among the participants. Some folks don't look at all like they need to drop any weight.

"Yeah, I agree," says Chris over dinner. "It was actually nice to see people who seem kind of fit taking part because it makes this feel more like an actual 'Fitness Challenge' rather than 'Fat Camp.'"

So we get to the track - there are probably around 40-45 participants (again, all different shapes and sizes) and the head trainer of the challenge - W - gets us spread out on the track to stretch. Once that's completed it's time for our fitness test: a one-mile run (or walk for many of us) around the track.

Four laps.

Doesn't seem so bad. I usually do two miles on the treadmill.

I'm in the back of the pack with the walkers. Figure that it'll probably take me anywhere from 18 - 20 minutes to walk my mile. I start at a pretty good clip and manage to stay pretty consistent for each of my laps. I'm breathing hard, but I can still talk and don't feel like I'm going to pass out. This is good.

Although I'm definitely among the slowest of the bunch, at the end of my mile I am surprised when my trainer tells me that I completed my mile in 15 minutes and 9 seconds. Considerably faster than I had thought. Not bad. Not bad at all.

I head back to the finish line after a minute of cooling down to cheer on the last of the walkers.

"So, what happened to your hand?" you ask.

OK, so we get back home and have some lunch. Then do some house stuff and get on the computer. After a few hours it occurs to me that I've only done 15 minutes and 9 seconds of exercise today. I feel incomplete. So, I decide to head back to the gym for some more cardio figuring I'll do the treadmill or the elliptical.

But when I arrive late in the afternoon to finds the gym almost empty it occurs to me that I can grab my gloves and head back to the heavy bag area for some boxing work. Which I do.

It's a new heavy bag and, consequently, much more hard and firm than the old bag. I adjust my punches accordingly so I don't hurt my hands. Or so I think. About 15 minutes into my session I throw a right hook and - BLAMMO - intense pain in the knuckle of my right-hand pinkie.

So, I try to walk it off and shake it out.

No luck.

I pull off the glove and undo the wrap to discover a very swollen knuckle already starting to turn black-n-blue.


So, back home to ice the thing for several hours with a bag of frozen edamame. (Our cat Cecil greatly enjoyed me sitting very still on the couch during this time. She claimed my lap and passed out.)

The swelling has gone down a bit. The pinkie finger of my right hand is now taped to the ring finger of my right hand in what is apparently called "buddy taping." I was able to hang our laundry with quite a bit of discomfort, but picking up the laundry basket - no go. And now here I sit clackering away awkwardly on my laptop.

My dad (a physician) told me that if the swelling goes back up overnight I should definitely get my hand x-rayed to see if there's a stress fracture.


Since I can actually use the finger and I'm not in agony, I'm going to be optimist and assume that I just bruised the crap out of the knuckle. That if I rest it, ice it and buddy tape it for the rest of the week that I'll be back in fighting form in no time.

Everybody keep your fingers crossed for me.

I'd really rather not go through my 10-week Fall Fitness Challenge with a stress fracture, thank you very much!

So, Day 1 down...sixty-nine more days to go!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Victory...kind of

So the class this morning is called "Low and Loaded."

The class is conducted in multiple intervals: a 7 minute warm-up followed by 3 minutes and 45 seconds of low-impact aerobics followed by 15 seconds of rest and then one minute of weight lifting followed by another 15 seconds of rest...over and over and over for a grand total of 60 minutes.

I do not look at the clock at all because I know that I'll probably burst into tears at how out of breath I am and it's only 10 minutes into this thing.

The instructor, D, is muscularly thin-thin-thin, her fabulous physique shown to great advantage in a traffic-cone orange colored tank top and black bike style shorts. She has enough energy to light up New York City for a week. Maybe two. D gets us going on the moves she wants us to do and then spends the interval visiting each of us to give encouragement and help us with our form. She talks the entire time. With amazing good cheer and enthusiasm.

Does this woman ever have a bad day?

Don't think so.

The nice thing about D is that she is - thankfully - kind enough to meet me at my level. There are quite a few times where she has the class doing a move that I am able to do for a little while, but just can't sustain for the entire interval - so I march in place (as per her instructions) and she comes over to me - not to yell and get me to do the move (like other aerobics instructors I've had in the past...evil drill-sergeant demons who yell and make you feel like an idiot), but simply to march with me and encourage me to get my knees up a little higher.

"You're doing great, Girl!" she says enthusiastically as I march and pant and pant and march.

She marches, but most definitely does not pant. Or look like the marching is any particular effort on her part.

A few times I think about stopping, but decide that if I'm ever going to get this weight off and keep it off that I can't bail out when things get tough. I might need to slow down a little and march in place, but I'm not giving up.

Finally and mercifully the class comes to an end.

A number of the other participants (all regular attendees) are somewhat winded and pink in the faces by the end of what seems to me to be a grueling 60 minutes. I'm the only newbie today.

It shows.

My faded purple t-shirt is soaked in sweat. My face is radish red.

How delightful.

D hasn't even broken a sweat.


And she's doing an all day spin challenge right after this class is done! Insane.

"You did great today! Keep it going!" D says to me while I'm putting away my weights. She looks as fresh now as she did before she began putting us through our paces.

So, I survive my first "Low and Loaded" class, which is a kind of victory in itself. I'm going to keep attending the class - especially now that I've signed up for the Fall Fitness Challenge (yay!) My goal is to eventually - and soon - be able to sustain all of the moves that D gives us for the entire 60 minutes.

Wish me luck.

I think that I'm going to need it.