Thursday, September 29, 2011

Weigh-in and vacation

Hello hello! Since I'm on vacation this week I weighed in at an official WW center in Greensburg. I was up 3.4 pounds! Oh my goodness! But wait. It's not all bad. At least I hope it's not. I did Kettlebell on Friday and  I rode my bicycle for 45 miles between Sunday and Monday. So I had some pretty hefty muscle-burning activities in right before weigh-in, so I'm hoping that contributed to my gain. I did have some greasy food, but kept it to a minimum and stayed within my weekly points.

I'll blog more about my bike ride later and will post some photos. I'm in New York until Saturday so I'm enjoying my days by relaxing and reading. Today we went to Chittenango Falls and I got some activity points by hiking down the mountain to the bridge. Then I did a 10-minute walk/jog after dinner. Since activity is limited this week, and I'm at the mercy of my host's cooking (which is delicious!), I have to be very careful this week to not gain anymore. I hope the 3.4 gain was mostly muscle. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Everything I've Ever Done, Including My Weekly Weigh-in

This week I lost 1.2 pounds. Lately I’ve been feeling a little lack luster toward the whole WW process. I still track, and I still stay within my PP range, but I’ve been spreading my extra points out more and haven’t been as frugal with my portions. I’ve read a lot of blogs on the WW site about how they follow the program closely at first then start to relax after the first six months or so. Maybe I’m just relaxing. I don’t get out my WW calculator nearly as much as I did in the beginning. Maybe it’s because I've already calculated everything and have memorized the points. Maybe it’s because I’m slacking. Either way, it’s happening. Here’s the good thing though: I fill my day with healthier foods, even if I’ve lost some of that new WW shine. I eat healthier and am more conscious of what I put into my body. That’s worth something.

There are also two more things I’ve noticed that have nothing to do with WW: I exercise differently, and I’m starting to enjoy being outdoors. I think I touched on the exercising part before (how I push myself harder, crave new activities, and don’t quit as soon as I would have prior to starting WW), but this nature part caught me off guard and I only noticed it last weekend when Clay and I went apple picking:

I love being outside now. I love walking, hiking, meandering, sitting on the porch with some tea (I’ve always loved this though). I just enjoy being in nature now. I couldn’t have said that before. I spent a few weeks in France last year for a writing residency and the other writers laughed because I hated nature so much. I guess poets aren’t supposed to hate nature. And now I’m a true poet.

Anyway, the apple picking was fantastic! I urge everyone to find an orchard at once. We picked 1 bushel and ½ peck (or was it ½ bushel and 1 peck?). Either way, I kept singing, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.” It was beyond appropriate. Clay also got some baking pumpkins to make homemade pumpkin pie. Here are some more pictures:

We borrowed this crazy contraption from Clay’s mom. It peeled, cored, and sliced the apples for you:

Then we made three pies and I made six mini pies for my Book Club (which is perhaps the highlight of my month. I Capture the Castle = Heaven). The mini pies were 4 PP each. And we still have so many apples left. I’m afraid they’re going to go bad before we have another apple-baking day, but Clay thinks otherwise.

In other news, I now have two Kettlebell classes under my belt. That is some serious stuff right there. I must have done over 200 squats in each class. Last weekend I couldn’t move for four days. I’m a little sore today (I took a class yesterday), but nothing like I was last week. It’s a fantastic workout and I am looking forward to the next class.

Clay and I are going on an 80-mile (round trip) bike ride this weekend. We’re riding from Williamsport, MD to Harpers Ferry, WV on the C&O Towpath. Word has it that it’s pretty ugly with large rocks protruding out of the ground, so wish me luck!

Then, Hannah and are heading up to New York to visit a family friend (her family, not mine). We were gonna take our bikes, but I think I'm going to try to talk her out of that. My bike rack, although good, will stretch out her hatch (permanently, mind you), especially with two bikes on it for that many hours. I don't want to do that to her car. Instead, I'm going to download the Couch to 5K today and start that while we're up there. 

Here’s my picture for this week. If you look at my previous picture, you will see that my stomach roll is gone. It’s not gone in reality, but it’s not showing up in this picture, which helps to make me look really skinny! AND, my scoliosis self-diagnosis wasn’t too far off. I went to a chiropractor and found that my neck curves in the opposite direction of what it is supposed to. That’s why my shoulders are crooked. I’m getting that fixed so hopefully I’ll be all strait in a few months.
Weight loss this week: 1.2 pounds
Total weight loss: 26.4 pounds

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Weigh-in Post is Coming!

I haven't forgotten my weekly weigh-in update. It's the end of the fiscal year and work is crazy right now, so I've just been getting in some extra hours. That, plus I took next week off, so I'm squeezing in everything that needs to get done.

Tomorrow I will blog about my weigh-in and will have a picture for you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weigh-in and My Attempt to Reign in My Neuroticism

I was up 2 pounds yesterday. I try not to gawk when the woman is writing down my weight, so at first glance I thought I was up 2.6 pounds. But then this morning I looked again so I could record my weight into eTools, and I was up only 2 pounds. Whew!
I weigh myself constantly. Hannah tells me to stop doing that. But I like it. I find it fascinating how bodies fluctuate so much in weight from day to day. Last night I was up .5 more pounds than my weigh-in weight, and this morning I was down 1 pound from my weigh-in weight. It doesn’t psych me out the way it does some people. I don’t hold it against myself (although I did when I first started doing it, before I understood what bodies do.)
What psyches me out is how I analyze my week after a gain. I spent all day yesterday reviewing my food and activity of the prior week. What I ate, when I ate it, how I used my extra points, what activities I did, the level of exertion in each activity, I reviewed everything. Then I tricked myself into thinking my lunch salad had become so much larger over time and it was too full of points and perhaps that was partial blame. (Yes, I make it in the same container every day, so the size really can’t change too much, but I used an extra tablespoon of dressing a few days last week, so perhaps that was adding up.)
Hannah also told me to stop doing that. Analyzing my food. I think she might be right on that part. Although it’s good to review your week after a loss in order to see how it differs from successful weeks, it’s probably not too healthy to take it to extremes the way I did yesterday.
My neuroticism is at an all-time high in this weight loss journey. But I think you have to have it that way in order to succeed at weight loss. Most people I have known who have lost weight (and kept it off) are a bit neurotic about it. Perhaps it’s only neurotic because most people don’t have to pay attention this closely, but for those of us who do, it becomes a necessary obsession.
This weekend, I wasn’t neurotic. I didn’t plan my meals. I tracked. I made sure I ate within my PP values (with special times for those extra points), but I didn’t obsess about it the way I usually do. And I tracked afterward. I didn’t research my meals to know how many points they were, I used educated guesses. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s not. But preplanning and researching your food is always good, not sometimes good. I guess I was just tired of being so vigilant about what I was putting into my body.
So, I’ll take the loss and move on. I’m trying to get some extra exercise in this week. I went swimming last night (only lasted 15 minutes though because the chlorine smell was so bad it hurt to breath!) and then went for a bike ride through my neighborhood. Today I am taking a spinning class at work. Tomorrow I will do another spinning class. Saturday, Clay and I are going for a bike ride. And Sunday, we’re going apple-picking! I am most excited about the apple-picking. I’ve never done it before, but I’ve always found the idea of it to be incredibly romantic. That’s not much exercise, but I am too excited to not mention it.
One last thing, the last two nights have been very tame for me. I spent them cleaning my apartment, cooking dinner, then making a cup of hot tea, lighting some candles, and reading my night away. It has helped me relax so much that I wonder why I don’t do it more often.
Weight loss this week: +2 pounds
Total weight loss: 25.2 pounds

Monday, September 12, 2011

A New Look

Also, I switched my blog design up a bit. I'm not in love with it, so it'll probably change again soon, but let me know what you think!

Heritage Hustle

This weekend, two of my sisters, my niece, and I participated in a 2-mile walk in a small town near Greensburg. It was part of a 5K, but I wanted my niece to join us (she's only 4), so we signed up for the very doable 2-mile walk option. It took us 43 minutes and I burned 262 calories. We walked/jogged the whole thing, and my niece did pretty well. She did need a piggy back ride toward the end, but she was the main jogger for the whole thing.

Here she is in her race shirt. She got a lot of compliments on it. She was so excited about receiving an official number. And even more excited about the medal she received after the race was over.

Here is a picture of the two of us before the race started:

And here is a group picture:

Afterwards, I took Hannah and we had a fun day of lunch, pottery-painting, library-visiting, and ice cream-eating. It was a pretty awesome time.

Then yesterday, Clay and I went on a 10-mile bike ride. We did it in just under an hour. I kept my HRM on even during our small stops, which took my average speed down, but I estimate that while moving, I hovered around 12 mph. This is a pretty big milestone for me, because I usually average between 8-10 mph. I felt like I was flying. And I kept that pace the whole time. I think my weekly spinning classes are paying off. I'd like to try to climb the Cumberland mountain again. Maybe I'll tackle that before biking season is over. Anyway, I burned nearly 500 calories in that hour of bike riding.

Speaking of bike riding, I only ride my bike on Sundays because I keep it at Clay's. It was most convenient that way because last season I had just graduated grad school and still had a part-time job, which allowed us to bike together more often. But since getting my full-time job, I no longer have mornings off, so it wasn't really making a lot of sense to keep it there all week. So today, I stopped at his house on the way home and loaded my bike onto my car. It's now sitting in my living room. Classy. I've been wanting to do some neighborhood riding after work, and I think this will make that more feasible. I'm swimming tomorrow after work, but hopefully I'll have enough energy for a leisurely ride afterward.

Tomorrow is weigh-in. I'm not sure how I'll do. I expect a gain. My foot is swollen (again), so that will add some water weight, and instead of using my extra WPs over two days, I used them over four days, so I'm sure that will contribute if I do gain. But it's okay. I know I'm eating healthy and getting as much exercise in as possible, so I will take the results and move on.

To bed!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My New Skirt, in the Flesh

Here it is! The outfit that made me feel skinny/pretty/important!

It's better in person, but you get the idea.

A Feel-Good Day

I hope today stays as fantastic as it has started. Actually, let me begin with last night. It all started with my Lane Bryant skirt coming in. I picked it up after work, then I went to see The Help with Hannah (we read the book for our book club, so I was anxious to see the movie adaptation), and was pleasantly surprised at how well it transferred to the screen. You know how some movies just make you feel like you’re IN a movie when they’re over? Like you have that overall feeling of accomplishment and attention and your life feels just right in that moment? Or is that just me? Anyway, that movie made me feel like that. Then, when I got home, I tried on the skirt. Now, if you’ll recall, I bought the skirt one size smaller than what I currently wear. Or wore. Because the skirt fit! Not only did it fit, but it looked fantastic! With Hannah’s help, I paired it with a sweater and set it out to wear today.
You know those outfits that make you feel important? Kind of like those movies. Well, I have on that outfit today. I feel great. I’ll take a picture to post later on tonight to show you how great I feel.
So, I got a poetry book published, which is fantastic. The publisher asked for a picture for the jacket, and I sent them one from last fall, when I was 30 pounds heavier. It’s an awful picture. Of course, I thought it was a good picture at the time it was taken. I got my book proof yesterday, saw that picture, and immediately cringed. I do not look like that anymore. I don’t want to advertise that as how I look. I need a new picture of myself to use for my book and today would be the perfect day to have that picture taken. Alas, I’m bogged down with editing work and will be marking up reports until my eyes close. Or bleed. Whichever comes first. So no picture opportunities today.
But I just want you to know that I’m ready for my close-up. And I look fantastic.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Official Weigh-in is Back

I'm gonna throw out some confusing numbers, so bear with me.

Today was our first week back since our first WW session ended three weeks ago. During the two Tuesdays off, I "unofficially" weighed myself on my own scale with these results:

1st Tuesday: .5 pound loss
2nd Tuesday: 1.5 pound loss

So that's a 2-pound loss over the two weeks we were on hiatus from my work weigh-ins.

I was "officially" down 4.4 pounds this week, which covers three weigh-ins (the two we were on hiatus plus today's), so that means that I lost 2.4 pounds this past week! Does that make sense? It does for me, so I  guess that'll have to do.

But I am thrilled about the 2.4-pound loss. That means I've officially hit my 10% AND my 25-pound mark.

I do have a picture for you tonight, but I've been staring at the computer nonstop since 7:30 a.m., so I have to give my eyes a rest. Therefore, I will have to discuss my upcoming 2-mile walk in my next post.

Again, I look like a giant in my side picture, but I was just standing closer to the camera. I guess I should watch that a bit more. I look like a monster and it's totally preventable. I am also slowly convincing myself that I have scoliosis.

Today's weight loss: 4.4 pounds (includes 2 missing weeks)
Total weight loss: 27.2 pounds (10% goal AND 25-pound goal)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wolf Rocks Trail: A Picture Blog and Also How I Get Distracted by Fall

Finally, a rainy day where I can catch up. I am a huge huge huge fan of fall. It's the best season ever. Anything can happen during the months of September and October and I would manage to make it romantic and fuzzy. What? You broke your arm? Well, at least you can watch the leaves turn orange from your hospital window! Oooo, sorry to hear about your car breaking down. But isn't it fantastically fall outside?! It's like that new-relationship feeling every year. I could be locked inside a room with no windows and still feel butterflies in my stomach just because I know it's fall. Butterflies in the stomach? What could be better than that?!?!?!

Anyway, Clay and I were supposed to go biking today, but I don’t mind being rained in. Mainly because it's fall, and any weather is good weather in the fall. But also because my sister, mother, and I went on a 4-mile walk yesterday. It was pretty great. I burned 512 calories and it took us 1 hour and 23 minutes.

So let’s talk about this hike. The trail was Wolf Rocks Trail at Laurel Summit State Park. It was a rocky trail that offered hills, moss, and a tricky root system that forced you to pay attention. 

Let's start, shall we?

Look at all this scenery! Fresh from the set of Legend.

The moss was vibrant. Nuclearly vibrant.

Here's the actual trail. See how you have to pay attention lest you snap an ankle?

Okay, so it doesn't look that scary (parts weren't), but I had to climb these:

It was worth it though, because we got to see this!

Clay has made it a point to make the Captain Morgan pose whenever we do anything in nature. I don't know why.

We also saw various types of mushrooms. I have yet to research any of them, but they were varieties I've never seen before:

It was only a 4-mile hike, but it was jam-packed with cool things. Next time we go we're going to take the trail to a bog. That should activate my imagination quite nicely, I think.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Results Are In!

I Google my name sometimes. When I’m bored, usually. Mainly to prove my existence. I’m sure you do it, too. And if you don’t, then you should.

Anyway, luckily I have these narcissistic moments because guess what I just found??? My results from my first 5K!

Place       Name                     Number    Age       Sex         Time     
104         Kelly S----               2--           32          F           53:46.80     17:21/M

I placed 104 out of 113. I don’t care because it felt so good to just participate and complete it at all.
I don’t know if it’s sunny outside, but it feels like it should be.