Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm melting, mellllllting

Driving home today, my car's outdoor thermometer told me it was 113. I told it to shut up and keep that air conditioning coming.

On the plus side, I wore a sun dress, which I haven't done for awhile. Had a couple men I know mention that I looked nice, which is always good for the ego. Maybe all this exercise is paying off.

Exercise du jour: Hell no. Not today. I tried a walk yesterday at lunchtime, made it 20 minutes before I started to feel like I couldn't breathe. (Can excessive heat trigger asthma?) I'll try some yoga this evening. Around Midnight. The temperature should be down to 80 by then. Until then, I'll pretend I'm in a really big sauna.

Couldn't resist sharing this:


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sneezing burns calories... who knew?

Spent yesterday mostly blowing my nose. Exciting news, no?

No wait, don't click that mouse yet. This was going somewhere.

All that sneezing caused me to lose 1-1/2 pounds. No exercise, moderate food intake, sneezing, and voila the weight, she is gone.

Oh all right. I suppose it is just water weight and my body is merely adjusting to a new plateau or whatever, but you know what? I don't care. It's weight loss, and I'm going to celebrate it. After all those weeks where my weight didn't budge a pound, up or down, and my measurements didn't change an inch, and it felt like my body was locked in a stasis field, I get excited over any weight loss, however small.

I'm going to try to keep this loss off this week. Somebody pass me the kleenex. I'm planning to do a lot more sneezing.

Calories in: 2191
Calories out: 0

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's better to have sweated and lost... but I'll settle for 'I told you so'

funny pictures of cats with captions

Summary du week:
I exercised and ate, lost and gained pounds.

In the past week:
average calories eaten: 1783
average calories burned: 634
(average minutes exercised: 80)
weight gain/loss: -1.0

I lost 3.5 pounds and then, while exercising and maintaining a calorie deficit, gained back 2.5 pounds. (I gained most of that back before the dreaded s'mores incident, otherwise the gain would have made more sense.)

Given a BMR of 1944 (which seems high in my opinion, but all these numbers are based on estimates from Sparkpeople, so at least I'm being consistent), my average weight loss per day is 794 calories, which means my average weight loss per week should come to a bit more than 1.5 pounds. Close enough to my actual result.


I lost the weight early in the week. If weight loss is a simple equation, if the number of calories coming in is less than calories going out, then you get weight loss, then why did I gain back two pounds if I kept up the exercising and kept down the caloric intake?

There was only one day last week where I ate more calories than I burned off, and even then the difference (taking into account BMR) was 200 calories. To gain 2.5 pounds from eating I would have had to ingest an extra 8750 calories. And I haven't been drinking much water; in fact, I've been dehydrated much of the time.

Weight loss may average out in the long run, but it ain't a simple equation.

I'd rather be thin, but if that isn't possible then I'll settle for feeling smug. (I told them it wasn't simple mumble, grumble...)

Exercise du jour: none. Nasty allergy attack. Even with drugs, I was sneezing and blowing my nose every ten minutes. Seems like all the drugs did was make me woozy as well as sneezy and grumpy and all those other dwarves.

Calories in: 1476
Calories out: none, zero, zip, zilch

The S'mores Etiquette Question

What do you do when the head of HR hands you a s'more and asks you,
plaintively, to eat it?

And the director of Marketing is standing by eagerly waiting so he can take a picture of your first bite?

And you have the sinking feeling that this impromptu party is not going well and it's a time for Team Spirit?

And up to that point, I was doing so well for the day.

Well no, I wasn't. But I was trying to.

Moral: never eat something bad (croissant, a Friday perk at work) for breakfast, because you never know what's waiting for you later on.

- Your lunchtime walking partner may decide she only wants a measly 30 minute walk rather than go for the full hour of exercise.
- You might end up at a "family restaurant" (large portions of greasy foods) for the rest of lunch.
- You could well get guilted into eating two s'mores in the afternoon.

I have a vague recollection of childhood (it's been so long), but I had the impression that s'mores tasted good. These were kinda icky, as well as sticky. Am I becoming picky?

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes yoga, 30 minutes walking. The stupid arm/shoulder muscles have gotten inflamed and now even yoga is painful. Took the evening off to rest the muscles.

Calories in: (Brace yourself) 2528
Calories out: 312

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dogs know how to give The Look

Dog update: her ladyship's allergies have flared up again, and they flared up bad. Within a week or so, she'd scratched off half her fur and started scratching the skin beneath until she was bleeding all over. Well, not quite all over. Oddly enough, this time the allergies are getting her in some areas and not others. For example, her ruff of fur around her neck is as thick as ever, while the face and chest have been scratched until they're bloody.
The vet prescribed topical steroids (since she'd been taking Rimadyl, which doesn't play nice with ingested steroids). This means that for a full hour after I spray the steroids, she has to wear...

... the collar.

Which means, I get The Look.
Well fine. I'll wear this. But only because I'm a Good Dog.

On the positive side, this topical spray is a wonder drug. These pictures were taken after four days on the stuff, and you can't see the bare patches unless you look carefully. Marvelous.

Exercise du jour: Sadly, received guilt doesn't result in expended calories.
1 hour yoga, 1 hour walking. I know, I'm in a rut. But a rut that results in exercise, I can live with.

Calories in: 1758
Calories out: 624

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Beer & Whine Diet

So since I started whining, I've lost 3.5 pounds in 4 days.
Why couldn't it have been an even 4 pounds in 4 days? Why?
It's important to keep whining. Seems to be doing good.

I figure I'll regain the weight as soon as the weather cools down. That's what happened after the 4th of July weekend, anyway. I ate a bit more to make up for the non-eating, and my weight went back up to the set point. The good thing is that I've not been going above the set point. This month, the only fluctuations have been in a downward direction. My aim is to keep up the level of exercise and to try to eat a few hundred calories under what I need to maintain the weight.

Exercise du jour: 1 hour yoga, a mere 20 minutes walking.

Calories in: a whopping 1942
Calories out: a mere 363

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

No really, hops are nutritious!

Dear Sir or Madam,

I write to say I have been bad. It has been 24 hours since my last blogfession. I was doing good, but it's so hot... especially when you're out exercising in the hot weather... and beer contains hops, which are good for you, so... um, anyway, here's the summary du jour:

Exercise du jour: 1 hour yoga, 2 hours walking (in the @#$! hot sun. Just thought I'd make sure that part hadn't been missed.)

Calories in: 1899*
Calories out: 1032

*Not all of it beer, thankfully. Some vegetables, fruit, and chicken. But the nutritionist did tell me I wasn't eating enough carbs...

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's too hot...

What can I say. It's too hot to eat. Or blog.

Exercise du jour: 1 hour yoga (am and pm), 1 hour walking.

Calories in: 1534
Calories out: 630

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dang, that was quick


Note to self: whine more often. Lost 1-1/2 pounds yesterday. After two full weeks without a shift up or down. Nobody ever mentioned that whining burns calories!

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes yoga (still think coffee leaves me more energized, but maybe the yoga is just being more subtle). 30 minutes sweaty aerobics, then 20 minutes evening yoga.

Calories in: 1636
Calories out: 404

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The only way I'm going to lose any pounds

I've come to the conclusion that the only way I'm going to lose pounds is if I meet a pickpocket in London.

Still, I shouldn't complain. I am, but I shouldn't. It's not my body's fault if I'm not losing weight.

After the visit to the nutritionist, I dutifully stopped eating mostly fruits and vegetables and tried eating more cheese and chicken and saturated fats. I don't like it. It's a much easier diet -- two bites of chicken and I'm feeling full -- but I miss feeling healthy.

Bit of a conundrum there. The mostly veggie diet made me feel light and full of energy, but it irritated my digestive system. My innards are a lot happier on this saturated fat diet; even after several months my body hadn't adjusted to that high fiber stuff. Even so, I want to go back to the veggie diet. I'll find some form of protein that tastes okay and doesn't require a lot of a) cooking b) expense. Perhaps there's a brand of tofu out there that I would enjoy. I'm sure my body will adjust to a healthy diet eventually. Maybe several months is not enough time.

Switching the diet hasn't caused me to drop any pounds. On the other hand, I haven't gained any pounds either. Something else has changed lately. I used to fluctuate wildly, gaining or losing up to six pounds in a week. Thought that was normal. For the past couple weeks, I have not gained or lost a pound. (The fluctuations weren't caused by the high fiber veggie diet; I've been that way for years.) I'm recording it here because I want to try to figure out what I did to cause the change.

I've been writing down my daily calories. Haven't bothered to put them into Sparkpeople because I'm too lazy and I hate tracking calories it's been too hot in my home office. Yeah, that's it, the heat. Can't use that excuse now that my laptop is back in the land of the living.

One thing about summer living in a home without air conditioning; I've eaten 100 calories today. No interest in eating any more. I would worry about this, but the past week has shown me that I'll make up for it during the week in my oh-so-air-conditioned office.

All this makes it sound like I'm not getting anywhere. I don't think that's true.

I'm certainly stronger; even with the hiatus from the push up challenge, my arms look more toned. (Not that Michelle's going to see me as a threat, but I can see a difference.) I think I've got more stamina to walk or bicycle longer and faster than before. I've been taking it slow because that's what the body felt like doing, plus I'm paranoid about injuring something so severely that that I'd have to stop exercising completely. But with this extra muscle, maybe it's time to go to a higher level of intensity. More sprints, less sauntering.

Exercise du jour: 20 minutes walking, 40 minutes aerobics, 50 very sweaty minutes kickboxing with a DVD. I do appreciate how positive Patricia Moreno is.

Calories in: 1401
Calories out: 1073*

*Not counting basal metabolic rate

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hansel & Gretel never had it this bad...

It was a hot day, so for the lunchtime walk I set my feet in the direction of the nearest woods.

Nice, shady winding trails. Only one problem. No map at the entrance where I went in. "Oh, who can get lost in there," I thought. "It's just one really big block and it's not all that big."

Thing is, I was misled by the map that I had originally looked at back at work. The woods seem small because, while there are a number of intersecting trails, none of the distances between the intersections is greater than 1/2 mile.

Actually the woods are over 200 acres in size. And, it turned out, some of the intersecting trails were blocked due to renovation or something. So I kept going on, hoping for a branch that would take me back. Turning around and retracing my steps seemed really lame. It's not just a walk, it's an adventure... right?

Following this philosophy took me to an exit on the opposite side of the 'big block.' I ended up looking at a narrow road with busy cars, with an edge for walking that was narrower than a bigot's mind. So I retraced my steps and -- oh, the naivety of the innocent -- took a 'shortcut' that looked like it would take me to my exit sooner.

Good thing I wasn't on the Donner party; they'd have ended up in Patagonia.

On the plus side, that detour earned me 90 minutes of walking, which on top of the 15 minutes of yoga in the morning (I've decided to count that as exercise, because it generates more calories than doing the dishes... barely) nets me a total of 105 minutes exercise.

For Wednesday.

Which was yesterday, but I only did 30 minutes aerobics today. It's too damn hot, and I worked from home today, and I don't have air conditioning, and ... sorry about all the whining. Normal service shall be resumed shortly. Probably.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Me & Douglas Adams

We're both 'mostly armless.'

What... who said this blog had to have good puns? I don't see that written down anywhere...

Anyway, the arms have stopped talking to me, which is good since their language was mostly unprintable, but I'm still playing it cautious and exercising below the ... well, I'm not using the arms if I can help it.

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes walking, 75 minutes bicycling. Maybe a 30 minute "relaxing" evening session with the yoga DVD; it's supposed to make me want to go to sleep. (Tried the 30 minute "energetic" morning session of yoga on Saturday, but since I'd had two cups of coffee just before doing the yoga stuff, not sure if the resulting energy can be attributed to the DVD.)

Done! Well, 40 minutes walking, no yoga, but still a total of 115 minutes exercising today.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Me, Hemingway, & the Venus de Milo

Thinking of having my arms surgically amputated. Seems like a good idea. Consider if you will the following facts:

Okay. Done whining now. For today.

Exercise du jour: 1 hour walking. The damn foot is starting to hurt after walking for 20 minutes, so I had to break it up a bit. Might need to consider amputating my foot as well as both arms. On the other hand, this might set a bad precedent... I mean, what if I get a headache?

Extraneous note: I read once that a man who'd made his money in the Gold Rush (mid-1800s) had a copy of the Venus de Milo statue sent by railroad to his new mansion. He sued the railroad company because when the statue arrived, the arms weren't complete. He won the lawsuit.

I wish I could track down that reference. I kind of hope the story is true.

Photo credit:

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tough Hair

I guess it's because I did a grand total of almost 200 push ups over 3 days, but even so. Enough already, body. It's been three days now without one single measly push up, and the arm/shoulder muscles are still not happy campers. I've been hitting the vitamin I bottle, and the muscles are better so long as I don't do anything extreme... like comb my hair. Then they complain. (Honest, it wasn't that tangled!)

So I've been restricting the exercise to below the waist -- whoa, that's a nasty cough you got there. Did you want some water? And you're turning bright red too. Sit down for a sec, catch your breath.

Anyway, exercise du jour:
40 minutes armless aerobics and 110 minutes walking (morning, noon, and night)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Gotta love a man in uniform

Did I mention I'm an idiot? I would have thought the matter would have come up at some point, but in case it hasn't, I'll mention it now.

To celebrate the 4th, I invited a friend to do a 5k with me. A 5k walk, alas. I stopped doing runs when my foot started to hurt, and it's not quite over the pain stuff yet. Luckily, my friend was more than happy about the 'walk' part.

At the starting line, they had safety pins so that real runners could wear their bib-things. Since the strap on my purse had just broken, I used one to connect the strap with the purse. (Pay attention now, that was a plot point you just passed.)

The walk was fun, by the way. Lots of people were lined up waiting for the parade that came after the 5k, but we waved regally as we passed, and they smiled back.

These people sat in the shade and watched us walk by. I liked their hats.

After the walk, we watched the small town parade for awhile.
The Get a Life marching band. Their motto, "We have a shape: round."

Then we headed back to my house to get folding chairs so we could watch in comfort. Once we got to the house, I discovered that somewhere along the line the safety pin hadn't lived up to its name, and my purse had fallen by the wayside. We did some backtracking to try to find it (nothing like an extra mile or so of walking on a hot day) but to no avail. My house keys, my wallet, credit cards, ID, and sundry were all gone.

I was sitting on my deck glumly reflecting that this was going to put a major cramp in the day, if not longer, when a lovely policeman drove up to ask if I'd lost a purse. I danced for joy, and said I would go get it, but he said he would pick it up for me. While he was gone, a motorcycle cop came by to ask if I'd lost a purse and would I like him to go get it.

I tell you, I love men in uniform. And the Hillsboro PD most of all.

Exercise du jour:

Walking & light rail to work. Cycle home.

Week 5 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 2

Update du 9 am: Oh hell no. I'm not even going to try the push ups today. During the 30 minute of aerobics this morning, it hurt to even raise my arms above the shoulders. Every part of my body is sore and complaining. (Except for my left pinkie, but I'm expecting something to go wrong there shortly.) The ab muscles complain if I try to use them, but it's easy enough not to use them, so long as I don't try to do something foolish, like sit ups.

Note to body: I get it already. You can stop complaining. Really. Thanks.

30 minutes slow-impact aerobics, 105 minutes walking. I'm giving up on the push ups for this week; I'll do other arm exercises until my arms stop hurting. There's always next week.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Hello Wall

I think I’ve just hit the wall.

Walls are hard. Never appreciated that before.

The arms were a bit sore on Monday from Sunday’s push up test. After Monday’s push ups I … was… very… sore…

How do you know when a workout is too much?

After the fact, generally.

And the push up challenges get harder next session. I’ll probably be repeating the 5th week.

Even drove my car to work today. Felt really odd driving to work. Now that I think about it, I've gone about two months without relying on the evilSUV to get me to my job. I used to drive every day without a second thought, and now it feels weird. This is good.

On the plus side, did the Presidential challenge thingie. According to them, even as I am now my push up fitness is in the 90th percentile, meaning that 90% of people can’t do as many push ups in a minute.

On the downside, I hazarded a guess at my aerobic fitness, and the P.C. sniffed that I was in the 5th percentile, i.e. 95% of the people out there can do 1.5 miles faster than I can. Probably true. I wish my foot would get better so I could run trudge again. It does seem to be improving, just slowly. Like the rest of my body. Just my luck. I've got a turbo-charged sense of impatience in a barely-faster-than-slug body.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Recovering from the holiday

The cause: A four day weekend, full of hot weather, fun, hot weather, cleaning house, hot weather, low appetite, hot weather, high amount of exercise, hot weather, loss of a couple pounds, and of course, hot weather.

The result: A Merry who is limp as a shrimp. Going to cycle slowly today and pray for a breeze.

Went to a baseball game for the 4th. Earlier in the day, the park had had a celebrity baseball game composed of "vampire" baseball players from the Twilight movies. A lot of fans were still around for the evening game. You could tell who they were because they were all wearing special "Twilight" baseball outfits. Scary.

Oh, crap.  Fangirls.
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Exercise du jour:
Cycling halfway to work in the morning, light rail the rest of the way. Then cycle home.

I only did 30 push ups on the week 4 test, but I could've done another if I had to, so I'm doing column 1 of week 5.

Week 5 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 1
(60 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 17
Set 2 - 19
Set 3 - 15
Set 4 - 15
Set 5 - 20

Week 5 of the 200 sit ups challenge
(60 seconds rest in between)
Day 1
Set 1 - 42
Set 2 - 52
Set 3 - 38
Set 4 - 33
Set 5 - 52

Done! Well, did 45 minutes of aerobics, the push ups and sit ups, 10 minutes of bike riding and 20 minutes of walking. My arms are sore, my body is tired, my mind is so sleepy I didn't dare ride home (hence the walking). I swear, I spent yesterday doing NOTHING exercise-wise, apart from 30 push ups and 60 sit ups. That was it. I was RESTING yesterday. Somehow, my body is not rested enough. Getting familiar with the concept of 'hitting the wall.' Walls are hard. Ouch.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Me & Marie Antoinette

Maybe it's just because I've been looking at my body lately, maybe it's because my waistband has been getting looser, but I am becoming obsessed with how friggin' huge my hips are. If I put on a low-cut dress and poofed my hair up to an insane height, then the resemblance would be absolutely uncanny.

It's not as if I've eaten any cake. Went to see a nutritionist, who said she couldn't see why I wasn't "wasting away" based on the amount of exercise vs. amount & quality of food eaten. Sadly, I'm going back to tracking my calories intake on Sparkpeople. The nutritionist and the doctor both suggested I needed to eat more protein.

Sigh. Counting my calories is really boring.
[end whine]

I'm going to start tracking calories in/out.

I'm fairly sure I have a good idea of roughly how many calories per day I've been eating, and I'm going to bet that I've been keeping within the 1200-1500 calorie range for the most part. (Which for my height/weight/metabolism is not starvation level.)

Of course, it's that "for the most part" that's probably screwing me up. Or else the whacked-out thyroid really is screwing up my metabolism.

On Thursday, I started entering every nitpicking calorie eaten and exercised. Granted, Thursday was not a typical day, but by 8 p.m. I'd consumed 948 calories and exercised 841. I may have the occasional fall off the wagon, but even with an occasional (I'm talking not even once a week) meal of 'bad' food, I should be shifting the weight faster than I am. (For the past 8 weeks, I've been averaging a weight loss of 1/2 pound a week. That's pretty damn slow.)

Exercise update: After finishing the 4th week of the push up and sit up challenges, did 30 full push ups and 60 sit ups. (Okay, probably could have done more sit ups, but I got bored. Doing this sit up challenge is not endearing me to this form of exercise.)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Taking the 5th on the 4th

funny pictures of dogs with captions
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Exercise du jour: Managed to squeeze in the push ups and sit ups after all. Plus 7 miles walking.

Calories in: 1952
Cardio out: 1043
Throw in the base metabolism and that's close to a thousand calorie deficit for the day.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Scrambled routine & poached brain

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Frapp.* Had to push the push and sit ups from Wednesday to Thursday, which means I had to push the next session from Friday to Saturday. Then got roped into activities from 7 am to 10 pm on Saturday. So... Doing the Day 3 on Sunday. Which means I'll have to push the next week's sessions to start on Tuesday, which means.... hey! Quit snoring! I have to track this somewhere. It's confusing.

Exercise du jour: Frantic mowing, weed whacking, and cleaning to prepare for the Saturday festivities.

*Hey, there might be ladies reading this blog. (To quote Douglas Adams, "In an infinite universe... anything's possible.")

Besides, I happen to think the Frappaccino makes a very satisfying, lo-cal swear word. Satisfies the basic need to use a cuss word starting with "f" without descending into the Anglo-Saxon guttural. (You should always try to keep your mind out of the guttural, or so I was always told ;)

p.s. Did I mention that crazy routine yesterday caused me to lose a pound?

Update du 2 pm: Okay, now I'm just whining. I'm typing (see, I am too busy... I'm blogging!) to soothe my conscience, which thinks I should be cleaning the kitchen.

Does a heatwave make your appetite disappear? Thanks to SparkPeople.com, I can vouch that I have consumed 287 calories today (and cardio'ed 270 calories). Yesterday I barely managed to eat 1000 calories, while exercising away 850. (Hey, maybe that's why I lost a pound yesterday. You think?) It's very unusual for me to have so little appetite, so I'm trying to find a reason for it.

Update du Saturday: Lost another 1-1/2 pounds from this non-eating & lots of exercise. Well, that's one way to do it.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Even the best laid plans can't always get laid

Some days, even the best laid plans suffer from Exercise Dysfunction. Yesterday was one of those days.

Woke up late, scratched early morning ride.
"It's okay, I still have the hour-long walk at lunch."

So, of course, co-worker canceled the lunch walk. Hmph.
"Well, I'll take an extra-long bike ride home."

Then, naturally, found out that I had to be at the other end of town by 6:30, which meant taking the light rail instead of riding the bicycle.
"Um... maybe I'll fit in some aerobics in the evening?"

You guessed it. My mother called and really needed to talk to me for an hour or so about her garden, the weather, and other important topics.

People come before exercise, but even so... aaaaargh!

Exercise du jour: Taking the day off work, which means more time for exercise!
50 minutes aerobics

the push ups and sit ups from yesterday

20 minutes cycling

and as much gardening as I can take before the sun broils me to a lobster.

Only about 15 minutes after sunset... why do I always have to do the unshaded front lawn on really hot days? Damn those weeds anyway.

OK, just got lei'ed.   Don't see what the big deal is.
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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Sick, but I laughed

fail owned pwned pictures
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Exercise du jour:

Yes, cycling, and an hour's walk at lunch, but also...

Week 4 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 2
(90 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 14
Set 2 - 16
Set 3 - 12
Set 4 - 12
Set 5 - 18

Week 4 of the 200 sit ups challenge
(60 seconds rest in between)
Day 2
Set 1 - 21
Set 2 - 24
Set 3 - 18
Set 4 - 18
Set 5 - 27