Archives for posts with tag: diet

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This week I decided to kick my nonexistent diet and work out regime into high gear. Vacation in July will be here before I know it, and I had trouble buttoning my favorite summer shorts this past weekend.

So I am doing an experiment this week. I am sticking to a 1400 calorie a day diet, and working out 3 times per day. Not per week….per day.

A few weeks back I hooked up our old VCR to an equally old TV in our garage and made a little gym area. I have a zillion VCR tapes filled with movies, MTV videos and TV shows, and I thought it would make a session on the treadmill easier to bear. We threw a few old carpets so we could do some of my old aerobic tapes as well.

So, my routine this week has been a half hour on the treadmill (1.25 miles) while watching a movie, a long 2+ mile walk during my lunch, and a short, 20 minute aerobic/weights workout after dinner.

Last night I decided to pop my old Jane Fonda’s Step Workout video into the VCR. I have the whole kit shown in the photo above. I bought it in the 90s, and subsequently have done it hundreds of times.  I have it pretty much memorized. But I got a rude awakening last night.

I could barely make it through the starter song…the easy one that you pretty much get warmed up to. I did my 20 minutes worth, but I couldn’t do all the moves…there were times I had to either march in place or do moves that were less “intense” than the already lame/easy moves in the video.

Holy crap. I used to do this video with one hand tied.

So what’s a 52 year old gal to do when she can’t keep up with a Jane Fonda tape? I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not switching to Sweatin’ to the Oldies. I’m determined to master that tape once again.

And I’m curious to see what kind of results I get by week’s end. I’ll keep you posted.

 

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walking

Yesterday I booked my passage on the Island Home ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. We are going as a family over the July 4th weekend to spread my father’s ashes. While the reason for the trip may be somber, we are going to celebrate the place that, thanks to my father, was our summer vacation spot.

July.

6 1/2 months away and yet I feel like it’s right around the corner. I’ve got just that long to shed some of the lbs. I packed on last year. I’ll admit, compared to 2015, I was really inactive over much of 2016. The time to turn that around is now.

I made a goal of walking at least 30 miles in January, and shy of contracting the flu, I plan on shattering that number by the 31st. It feels good to have set a goal and even better to be sticking to it. I sort of gave up on my walking regime towards the end of last year. It was super hot during the summer, and then I just got lazy once the cooler temps came.

Sticking to a plan, even if it is just walking more, is quite motivational. I’m making other small changes each week that passes, and with any luck, it will raise the gung-ho spirit I need to really put my rear into overdrive.

Cause July really is just around the corner.

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Yesterday I noticed that the sun is beginning to rise at around 6:00 am, and this was very good news to me.  I really dig walking first thing in the morning, but until now, it was just too dark for me to do it safely, and if I waited until the sun came up, there wasn’t enough time to walk before I had to get the house ready for school/work.

So I’ve been stuck walking in the afternoons, which I don’t like as much. But today, I woke up at a little after 4 am – I got my freelance work done, at promptly at 6:00, with the sun cresting over the treetops, I went out for a nice 2 mile walk. With a few episodes of “The Lapse,” one of my new favorite podcasts as company, the walk went by quickly, and just like that, I got my daily exercise done.

Tada! Mornings are great.

Now, any extra exercise I do later today is gravy…the proverbial icing on the cake. I adore my morning walks, and have missed them over the winter. Hello spring. I welcome you.

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My doctor at the free clinic suggested to me that I visit their nutritionist. I was hesitant, only because the last nutritionist I visited years ago was a real bitch.

She was the type who no matter how much weight you lost or no matter how improved your numbers were, it just wasn’t good enough. She never rewarded you with a “job well done!” It was always, “you need to do better” or “You’re not out of the woods.”

Not very motivating, to say the least.

Yesterday’s appointment was very different, but not in a good/improved way. It was just weird.

First off, she was fat, which I wasn’t expecting. I’m not saying that fat people can’t know the basics of healthy eating, but if they can’t practice what they preach, it makes you wonder.

She assumed a lot. I mean a lot. At one point she said, “well I know you don’t like fruit” to which I replied, “I actually like a lot of fruits.” I mean what was her thought process? Was it along the lines of, “gee, this broad’s a fat-ass so I’m guessing she doesn’t like fruit.”

She also assumed that when I made chicken soup from scratch that I used rotissere chicken and canned vegetables. WTF? Do I have “hillbilly” stenciled on my forehead?

She also seemed singularly unimpressed with the fact that I’ve walked over 750 miles so far this year. Usually the doctors are like, “wow, that’s impressive!” Maybe she just assumed I logged all the miles at the Chinese Buffet lines.

She also got annoyed with me. She asked what I weighed when I was 25. I told her I couldn’t remember…maybe 130? Not satisfied, she asked me what size my wedding dress was. Who the hell remembers that? Then she mentioned to her assistant that I might be in denial because EVERYONE knows what size their wedding dress was. Sorry honey, that was over 20 years ago…I just know I don’t fit in it now.

I also got lectured for not having been administered a gestational diabetes test when I was pregnant – exsqueezeme? That was 13 years ago!

What a nut!

And her eating advice? I found it to be suspect, to say the least. She wanted me to eat “diet” versions of everything….yogurt, bread…isn’t that stuff supposed to be worse for you? She actually suggested that eating Mrs. Paul’s breaded fish filets was a good choice for dinner. She also mentioned little to nothing about exercise.

The only advice I’m going to heed from her is to cut down my salt intake. The rest of it, I know how to do with one hand tied. I just have a hard time doing it for longer than a few months, especially when you stop seeing results.

I’m still trying to reach my goal of 1,000 miles walked by December 31st, 2015 – but now I’m adding dropping some more lbs into the mix.

100

Back in January I was fed up.

I had just turned 50. I was fat. I was tired. Nothing fit. Looking ahead to a summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, I realized with a clarifying certainty that I didn’t want to go there in my current condition. To review: fat, tired, and having nothing that fit.

So I logged back into MyFitnessPal.com and starting keeping track of what I ate. I set a calorie goal, and for the most part, stuck to it. Have I been perfect? Hell no. Sometimes finances (or lack thereof) forced me to eat more carbs than I would’ve liked during a week here and there. Other times I just said “fuck it” and had pizza with my family.

But I never backslid for more than a day. I always got right back on the wagon.

I also increased the amount of time I spent walking. I began setting mileage goals each month. I walked 56 miles in January, 72 in February, 89 in March, and tomorrow, after my morning walk, I will have walked 100 miles in April. I’ve walked 315 miles so far in 2015.

And I bragged back in December about having walked 400 miles in 2014. Pshaw – I’ll have that beat by mid-May.

The result?

I’m down over 35 pounds and I’m down 4 sizes. while 35 pounds is great, I have to admit it’s a little disappointing. I thought it would be a lot more by now. There’s room for improvement in my diet which I’m sure would help to shed more pounds – I know where and when I’m messing up, but for the most part, I’m pleased.

I’m seeing improvements in other ways besides the scale. I’ve lost over 5 inches on my hips, and 2 inches on my thighs – how could I not after 315 miles? I also feel much better. Things that used to tire me out, like the uphill walk from my parking lot to my office, don’t bother me anymore.

But the real motivators are mornings like I had today. When you slip on a pair of pants that haven’t fit you in years, and they both zip up and button. And not button where you look like 10 pounds of baloney in a 5 pound bag – I’m talking with relative ease. I was amazed, because I tried these very pants on in March and while my thighs could squeeze in, the button? No way, José.

Or when my girls and I went to opening day at King’s Dominion, and I fit in every roller coaster seat with ease. There was no trouble getting the lap bar to two clicks, and I never had to sit with one ass cheek in the air.

Those things motivate me more than any number that comes up on the scale because they’re the real measure of my success. I’ve eaten a lot less than usual today because my pants fit, and I feel good in them. I feel skinny. It’s a phenomenal feeling, and a great appetite supressant.

I still have a long way to go before vacation in July, and I am going to have to take a hard, honest look at my diet and make some adjustments. Otherwise I’ll be going to Martha’s Vineyard just like I am now, and while that wouldn’t be horrible, it’s not my goal.

I’m off to a great start. I just have to keep on keeping on. Wonder where the next 100 days will take me?

Last week I re-began my diet. I have also spent the week trying to talk my two daughters into eating better and getting more active. Last night we decided to try one of the OnDemand exercise programs, but it was really hard. The moves seemed impossible to follow and it made me feel old and clumsy. My kids didn’t fare any better. We finished the 10 minute routine out of breath and somewhat discouraged at our lack of rhythm.

I’m out of shape – like really out of shape. And really over weight. It bums me out because I remember a time when I would exercise a lot. Granted, it was in my teens and twenties, but I wonder how and why I lost that urge. I can recall times as a teenager when after reading the latest Glamour or Seventeen, I would become totally disgusted with my body. I would consequently put on some shorts and head out for a jog, determined to whip my Slovak ass into shape.

I don’t jog. How did I ever jog?

In high school I lifted weights too. My friend John had a barbell set he wasn’t using and gave it to me.  I bought a book on female body building and began pumping iron in my room. By senior year I had decent biceps and a pretty flat stomach. I continued the trend through college. I could lat pull 110 pounds, and do dozens of sit ups at the highest bench incline.

After college I joined a gym and did aerobic classes 5 nights a week. I could wear spandex. I shopped at Express. Where did that girl go?

Gee, I know. She’s 20 years older buried under a ton of flab, drinking too much wine and not watching what she eats. I had to put a stop to that way of life and try to get back some of my former self. I can’t join a gym – not in my budget. So, I will do what I can with walking, using my trusty exercise bike, and revisiting my old VHS work out tapes.

Enter Jane Fonda. I used to do her tapes all the time. But for the last dozen plus years they have sat unused with all the other VHS tapes. I still have a VCR, but it’s in my daughter’s room – she’s the only one who still likes to watch our old tapes. But her room in small, and has little floor space; not optimum for getting my Jane on.

Yet, after our disaster workout using modern methods the night before, I decided to give old Jane another try. Tape in hand, I trudged into my daughter’s small, cramped room and catapulted myself back to the early 90’s with Jane Fonda’s Lower Body Solution. And I soon realized something – this was the perfect workout for me.

It’s not too hard, but enough to get me sweating. I know all the moves – I’ve done the tape at least a hundred times. My daughter, who wanted to join me but quickly discovered there was no room for her to grapevine and knee lift along side me, was laughing at the fact that I could recite the prompts of the instructors even though I had not used the tape in at least 5 years. I finished the tape and felt great; like you are supposed to feel after a workout.

After a shower I went to our video store and handed in all my Jane tapes to be transferred to DVD. This way my girls and I can take over the living room and I can teach them the moves of Fonda Fitness. Maybe they will like it as much as I do.

In any case, I’m psyched that I found my Fonda. I’ll show that scale who’s boss.

Here lies another crappy, abandoned blog

I spent this morning deleting old blog subscriptions. It is amazing how many blogs I had in my queue that had not posted one syllable since 2010. I bet I removed at least 25 blogs from the list – mostly about people who were trying to lose weight. I guess they either failed and got discouraged, or succeeded and are living such a fabulously skinny life that they have no time for any blogging nonsense.

In any case, it made me think about my blog and how I’ve kept up this practice since 2010. The idea to begin a blog blossomed at a staff meeting with my old employers. My boss was big on goals, and every year we had to come up with a list of them. It was tiring and tedious to say the least. But in January of 2010, as we went around the table sharing our goals for the year the idea hit me.

When my turn came, I stated that my goal for the year was not particularly work related, but nonetheless important to me. I wanted to start a blog – a blog for my daughters. I explained how when my mom died, her whole history went with her. I don’t know any of the small little stories of her life; vacations, her first job, old boyfriends, and I didn’t want the same thing to happen to my girls.

I started my first blog, a private one, on  January 7th of 2010. This is the blog where I tell my girls stories about my life as a little slovak in New Jersey. To this day there has only been 11 posts. It’s a hard blog for me to write. Each post takes a few hours (which I never seem to have) and it is somewhat exhausting mentally. While writing it, I almost get into a time warp as I conjure up memories of my past. I finish a post and it’s as if I’ve just been awakened from a long, dream-filled sleep.

I began my 2nd blog in March of the same year. I was trying to lose weight and thought it would be therapeutic and fun to chronicle my efforts. I kept Project 180° going for over a year, and I credit it for getting my hooked on the joys ob blogging. At the beginning all posts were about dieting and exercise and motivation and feeling fabulous. Until the weight stopped coming off. Then my topics would meander into how I felt about whatever, and life in general. The only time I talked about my diet was to say that it wasn’t working.

So, after 307 posts over the span of 15 months, I ended it and began this blog. Now I just rap about whatever crosses my mind and I love it. I love my 7-14 blog hits a day. I love that I’ve kept on blogging where others have given up. And I love that not only will my girls know the stories of my past, but they will also have a record of the day to day musings of their 40 something mommy.