Monday, January 30, 2012

The Winter Hike

Clay and I took a hike through the New Florence State Game Lands yesterday. He’s done it before, back in his hunting days. I used to go shooting back there (for target practice, not hunting) but never did any hiking. I've been itching to try snowshoeing, but since we apparently live in an area that never experiences snow (what's with this winter?!) I had to settle for a good, old-fashioned hike.
Well, let me tell you. It was exhausting. But good exercise! We both overdressed for the occasion:

But we were successful regardless.
I didn’t have my heart rate monitor, but I estimate that it was a round-trip 3-mile hike. The clincher: ALL UPHILL FOR THE FIRST HALF. Yes, you heard me. All. Up. Hill. And steep in several parts.
I didn’t take my camera either, but found this picture (from here) of a furnace we passed along the way.

It’s amazing to think of the area we were hiking through as a civilized part of the world at one time. The furnace has seen better days. It has crumbling brick and sections of tree lying across the top of it now. But my favorite part of the hike was imaging the era when this furnace was alive and in full effect. Ah, the good ol’ days.
Here’s me after the hike:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Workout Photo

Hi guys. I've been promising you a picture for weeks. It's only fair. So here it is. I'm not in my usual attire, but I'm in my gym attire, which means I'm about to go do something good for myself!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weigh-in and Winning at Pad Thai

Why hello there. Guess what? I gained 1 pound this week. Yep, the lack of exercise (in addition to the overeating) is catching up with me. So now I’m even FURTHER from my next mini goal. This self-sabotage has to stop.
Also, I forgot to post a picture. I even asked Hannah to take one of me in a shirt that looked particularly flattering, but we both forgot to do so. So I’ll get you guys this week. I’m hoping to have time to take my measurements again as well. I haven’t done that in a few months.
This weekend Clay and I went to Trader Joes (no cookie butter yet; the soonest they can place another order is February 10th) then hit up the Smiling Banana Leaf in Highland Park. Here’s the thing with Thai restaurants: I am addicted to Pad Thai. I can’t even stop myself. It’s been a battle for me ever since I discovered it in London. You remember the Pad Thai Overeating Endemic of 2007, don’t you? I know I sure do. Anyway, when I moved home I was pretty bummed to find that Thai restaurants weren’t as plentiful in Southwestern Pennsylvania as they were in London. Why did that surprise me? I have no idea. But it did.
Over the years I found some Thai restaurants to curb my Pad Thai addiction. But when I started the Weight Watchers I found that one cup of Pad Thai is 10 PP!!! What?! Any given serving of Pad Thai is at least two cups, so that’s 20 PP for one dish, one meal. That was a sad day for me. I’ve had it once in a restaurant since joining WW and Clay has made some various versions of it (he always makes it healthier than the restaurant version), but I don’t eat it like I used to. I avoid Thai restaurants so the temptation isn’t even there.
So when we went to the Smiling Banana Leaf I was a little nervous about my pending choice of entrée. They had Pad Thai. I heard it say my name when I browsed over the menu. But I stayed strong, kids! Yes I did! I ordered the sweet and hot vegetable stir fry with fried tofu (So good!). Still high in points? Yes, probably. But I saved a ton by not eating those rice noodles. Small successes, you know?
Have you ever tried to make a healthier version of your favorite restaurant dish?
Weight loss this week: +1 pound
Total weight loss: 38.4 pounds

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bike Clips

I’ve been considering buying bike clips and pedals for some time now. Specifically for use in spinning class, but also to try out on my regular bike as well. The scary part: biting it on the trail. Clay has bitten it a few times. A woman that I spin with has also bitten it a bit. Fact is every person I know who has bike clips has bitten it at some point. Remember that rattlesnake I saw on the trail last summer? What if I bite it right on top of him?

I bruise easily. I don’t want to bite it. I was hoping to get these clips and have them over the winter so I could practice clipping in and out of them while on a stationary bike. It’s hard to bite anything while on a stationary bike. The pedals they use at work come from a bike store close to work, and the last thing I want to do at lunch or at the end of the day is fight my way through South Hills to a bike store and drop down $100 for some clips and pedals. But I really want to give them a go. I also think it will help with the numbness I get while biking. After about 45 minutes of pedaling I can’t feel a thing in my feet. Everyone who has clips has told me that they help with the numbness by forcing your feet into proper placement on the pedals. (#1 – is “has” the correct verb tense for the previous sentence? #2 – check out that alliteration: “proper placement on the pedals!”)

A massage was going to be my next reward once I hit my mini goal – which is only .5 pounds away! – but I think instead I will buy the bike clips and pedals. So here’s to not biting it. Oh boy.


Hey kids! I lost a pound this week. It seems that every exercise-less week results in a loss. Because I'm not building muscle, that's why. So it's a bittersweet loss. But still a loss.

I'm going to post a picture this week since I haven't done that in a while. It won't be with this post though. This post is just to let you know my weigh-in results. So far I'm digging the eTools and at-home weigh-ins. I'm back to my regular routine this week and already have a spinning class and a YMCA workout under my belt. I've been walking at an incline on the treadmill. Don't underestimate the sweating involved in incline treadmill walking, folks. It's some serious business. I walked a 5K on Saturday, all uphill. Now it's your turn.

Clay said he wants to run a marathon next year. I told him he should start with a 5K and that I would train with him. How fantastic would that be? I told him about the Couch to 5K program so we're gonna check that out and see how it goes. I'm kind of confused by the whole thing. Do you play music over the voice telling you when to run and when to walk? Anyone out there ever use the program and have any tips? I'm planning on walking another 5K this week on the treadmill. Eventually I would like to incorporate running into my routine too. I think with 39 pounds shed from my frame it might be less stress on my body. We'll see.

Weight loss this week: 1 pound
Total weight loss: 39.4 pounds

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Apartment Chills and Weigh-in

See now, I knew it was water weight. I lost 5.8 pounds today! I weighed myself on the new scale I got for Christmas. It seems to be pretty accurate so far (it matched up with the WW scale last week).

Sooooo, if you deduct the 3.6-pound gain from last week, which I suspect was water weight, that means I lost a solid 2.2 pounds. Not too bad. This means that I am 1.5 pounds away from my next mini-goal. I might reveal my weight after that since it's going to be a pretty big milestone. But I haven't decided yet. That 1.5 pounds can't come soon enough.

My grammar class was cancelled yesterday so I was able to take Kettlebell at work. It had been a while since I had an official Kettlebell class, so I'm sure I'll be very sore in the coming days. In related news, I attempted to do Kettlebell at home. I had a pretty solid workout with having no peer pressure to push myself to the edge of vomiting. I worked out for about 35 minutes and was huffing and puffing most of the time. After I finished and was calming down, I remembered a ton of moves that I forgot to do. I'm going to have to make a list to follow next time.

Clay made this fantastic sweet and sour chicken dish last night. That kid can cook, let me tell you. He sliced the chicken breast insanely thin and put a TON of veggies in it. The sauce consisted of some soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, and other things I don't remember. It was very low-points and very satisfying. He used his new wok, too. I never really understood the difference between the amount of space in a wok and the amount of space in a large skillet. Oh boy, do I now. That wok can hold several children, I think.

I'm off to teach, folks. Poetry waits for no man. Or woman.

As for the title of this blog entry, my apartment is freezing. I can't feel my fingers. Speaking of fingers, Jenna, in the episode of 30 Rock I watched last night, was being attacked by a monkey and screamed "its foot fingers are so strong!" Oh that Jenna. She really know how to make you pee.

Weight loss this week: 5.8 pounds
Total weight loss: 38.4 pounds

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Last Official Weigh-in

Hey guys! I GAINED a whopping 3.6 pounds this week! Can you believe it? I knew I had gained, but 3.6 pounds? That's insulting. Luckily, only two days after my weigh-in, I'm down over 4 pounds, so I think a lot of that gain was water weight. I tried jogging again on Monday and by Tuesday night my ankles were a little swollen. Will I ever be able to run? I hate that my body is refusing to let me do something my mind is determined to do.

I had a great New Year and I hope you guys did too. I ate unapologetically. Anything I wanted. Any time I wanted. Without tracking. From that I learned the following:

1. I can still slip seamlessly into old habits
2. Bad-for-you-food still tastes as good as I remember
3. I get full more quickly (like to the point of discomfort)
4. After a day of eating junk food, I missed healthier foods (I was craving a salad by Monday)

Now, if I wasn't paying attention, 3 and 4 wouldn't have even hit my radar. I would have ignored those little hints and cravings for a better diet. Luckily, my journey so far has taught me to pay attention to the natural cues my body gives me. I am so thankful for that.

This week is the start of my new, hectic schedule. I have only exercised once so far this week (jogging/walking on Monday) and am hoping to get in an at-home Kettlebell class today. Side note: Aldis has a 3-pack Kettlebell set (complete with DVD) for $25. It comes with 5-, 10-, and 15-pound kettlebells. You can't beat that, folks. I'm telling ya, that store knows its shit. (Aldis did not pay me to say that.) (Although, if they find this entry and would like to send me a check for the advertisement I wouldn't rip it up.)

My point? I am going to have to make a real effort to stay with my exercise routine. I already miss my at-work gym classes and I don't want to lose the strength I built up from Kettlebell thus far. So cross your fingers for me. I'm flying solo 'til April.

I just recorded my weight in eTools. My gigantic gain put me back at 33 PP. Argh! I can't get away from those damn 33 points! (See this entry to understand my frustration.) This battle goes all the way back to October. I gotta kick it into high gear, my friends.

Weight loss this week: +3.6 pounds
Total weight loss: 32.6 pounds