Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas came early ...

I love my hubby. He's a good gift giver. Not a good gift hider, mind you, but a good giver. You may recall on my birthday my present was 'spoiled' because it was too big to hide, so he'd put it in the spare room, which I often go into. Not the game room, which is more his domain. I like games too, he just spends more time in there than I do. Anyway, I came home Thursday and went into the spare room and lo and behold - a huge treadmill!  I'd been hoping Santa would find me one - second hand, but decent. And he did!  But of course it was in the spare room, so I found it early. I need to read the book and learn the basics of it but hubby has already taken it for a test spin.

This is great timing really, I've been taking longer walks and increasing my running time, and with fly season - I mean summer - upon us, and the extreme heat some days, runner friends had warned me you have to go really early or really late to avoid the heat. Now I can avoid both flies and heat. Not only that, we've had so much rain lately I've had to do a few more video workouts instead of running, so no matter what the weather I can now go for as long a walk/run as I like.  Having said that - I've never run on a treadmill before, and I don't know how different it's going to feel from running outside. But I'm excited to try it out.  How many of you have a preference, either for or against, using a treadmill vs running outside?  Besides lack of flies and cooler temperatures, I can think of another benefit - a smooth surface. The road with the inclines that I've been running lately has some really bad broken sidewalks, dips and other trip hazards that I do worry about, so I think a smooth and constant surface that still has inclines should be nice.

With Christmas just around the corner and plans with family and friends, I likely won't be posting much over the next week or so, but I'll be back.  If you are still following along and interested in my journey, know that I appreciate your comments, but I am getting two to three times as much spam as real comments these days, so I may be putting a captcha on as previously discussed. In any case, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and I'll be back soon to talk about trying out the new treadmill. Hope Santa is very good to you all! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I did it! I've reached 50 kg (110 lb) GONE!!

Another week spent tracking everything I ate and every workout, and I'm pleased to say I have finally hit my Milestone - 50kg GONE as of this morning, or 110 pounds. It feels amazing! This has been a long time coming. Those of you who have been following my journey from the start will know that up until August I was dropping steadily week after week. But for the last four months it's been slow going, two steps forward, one step back, etc. So it feels really good to finally pass 50 kg.  I've stayed mostly Phase 1, meaning I do have occasional tomatoes or a bit of pumpkin which are Phase 2 foods, and made it a point to ensure I'm drinking 3L of water on average every day.  And I'm getting in a workout every day as well.  I now have just 12.2 kg (26.9 lb) to go to reach goal.

I'm loving my new walking route, it takes about an hour all up, and there is a steady 23 minutes minimum of incline on this walk, depending how far I go. Most of it isn't too steep, but it is constant. If I take the full route it's an hour and a half, but usually I have a turnaround point that makes it a one hour route. The turnaround point is just a short ways past this amazing, massive tree that I simply must show you. Here's a panoramic shot my husband took today - this baby is massive and has clearly been there for a century or so. It's gorgeous! Click to view it full size.


Anyway, that 23 minute incline portion I was doing walk/run intervals on the way back down. Well Friday I decided to just go as long as I could, and ran the entire length back. It took 12 minutes, and I felt great afterwards. It's been months since I was running for 30 minutes three times a week, and I'm not sure that I want to return to that entirely, but I do like how it feels to run for more than a few minutes. So I think I'm going to keep doing this for the coming week and then maybe try going further before running back to increase it to maybe 20 minutes of running.  We'll see.

Having hit my next milestone before Christmas feels wonderful, so now I've just got to be really careful during the next couple of weeks so I can stay here. The only indulgences I plan to have on Christmas day would be some nuts and maybe an Atkins caramel nut chew bar. A little indulgence on Christmas isn't a problem - but indulging for weeks before and after Christmas I can't do.

I'm still finding it difficult to get in two strength training AND two Callanetics during the week in addition to all the cardio, and I really enjoy both of those workouts so I don't want to give either one up. I may try doing both of them on the same day - they are both muscle workouts, just of very different types. I could do one right after the other, or just do the strength training after work and save the Callanetics for later in the evening. I've always said I find it relaxing and almost meditative, though a great workout, so that might work. I'll check in and let you know how I go.

Anyway, off to enjoy what's left of the weekend while I can. You can find my meals for last week below (click to enlarge). Hope you're having a lovely weekend.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lost the monthly gain and just a bit more!

OK so the monthly weight gain ended early in the week, so I expected to see a drop this week in any case. I also was mostly back in Phase 1 and eliminated the Atkins bars this week and I was tracking everything I ate.  I'll share that below, but lets get this week's stats out of the way first.

One week ago I was back up to 83.8 kg (184.75 lb) from my low weight two weeks prior, which was 80.8 kg (178.13 lb). But this morning I can say I've dropped the extra weight and just a bit more. So I have a new low weight of 80.6 kg (177.69 lb).  That's a drop of 3.2 kg (7.05 lb) from last week and leaves me 3.69 pounds from being merely overweight (BMI 29.9) rather than obese. Currently my BMI is 30.5.

So I'm going to do the same thing next week, and keep tracking.  I also did plenty of walk/jog intervals and intended to get in 2 strength training and 2 Callanetics as well, but I ended up taking a rest day Friday planning to catch up Saturday evening after the Christmas and birthday parties we had to attend. But there have been some recent changes at work that have me relocated to a new area away from the people I've worked with for years, and there were a couple of things I wanted to discuss with the boss. I had to leave the party early to attend a family birthday party, but afterwards I was stewing about it so I just grabbed an Atkins shake for dinner and headed back to the party. I'm glad I did, I enjoyed talking to everyone and may have even created some new opportunities for myself, which is always a good thing.

So I didn't get in those extra workouts, and this morning I really wanted to do walk/jog intervals so that's what I did. I went for a long walk today, just over an hour and a half, and I took a new route with some nice scenic views and less traffic. This road is a long one and mostly an incline - not too steep, but pretty constant, so it was a good workout.  On the way back I did my walk/jog intervals. This road has very long blocks, and I was aiming to run for 2-4 blocks, then walk for 1-2, then repeat. I would say the intervals lasted about 20 minutes or so, and I really enjoyed it.  Next week I'll be sure to get at least 2 each of the strength training and Callanetics. The one Callanetics I did this week was so enjoyable! Can you believe me saying that about exercise? Well I really enjoy that workout. I've written down the exercises and do them on my own rather than follow the video because they waste a lot of time explaining things and once you know the moves it's easy to do on your own. Plus I got to listen to a nice 70's light rock station on Pandora as I did it. It's a deep muscle workout that gets amazing results, but done slowly so it's actually relaxing and sort of meditative. I love it!

Here's some of the scenery from today's walk/run intervals, followed by my menus for the week. The pictures don't really do it justice, it was lovely.





(You should be able to click to enlarge.)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Holiday is over, time to start tracking

I have been enjoying my time off work, and that's meant spending more time with my husband enjoying each other's company and working on projects around the house, while spending less time in the blog world.  So unfortunately I haven't had much time to read other blogs either, but I'll be catching up with many of you in the next couple of days. I will be posting more regularly now, and also changing my focus a bit.

It's no secret I've been at a bit of a stall for nearly 3-1/2 months now. But it's also true that during that time I've hit new low weights three times. I'm not at a complete stand-still, and the ups and downs tend to sync with my cycle -- rather like two steps forward, one and a half steps back, then hold steady before starting over again. I have seen a new low weight each month, but just barely. It's not a total stall but it sure feels like one. Truthfully I am grateful for any and all progress -- but I am also determined to get things moving again.  Two nice drops at the start of my holiday made me think the stall had ended, but I now know it's just changed tactics. Therefore so must I.

I keep a weekly log documenting not only my ups and downs, but also my cycle, and I can see the pattern has changed. I'm 51 years old and have PCOS. I have no idea what to expect from menopause but it's likely it's going to be messing with me even more as I get older. For many years I would go two months or longer between cycles, but as I got closer to 50 I got more regular, not less. Now it could be three to six weeks but instead of one week gain before I tend to get two now.  That's why I feel like I'm getting nowhere.  But that's only part of the story.

While I set out to spend this holiday break pushing hard to get into the 70s I didn't get there. I did lots and lots of walking, often an hour and a half a day, and the challenging rainforest walk, etc. But I didn't do any other exercise, e.g. strength training or Callanetics, I just walked a lot. As for the eating -- well it's easier to stay strict Phase 1 when I am working than when I'm off. Work keeps me busy all day and I don't even think about eating between meals. I haven't gone off plan, but I've pushed the boundaries lately. I've given in to eating nuts when I shouldn't have, I've eaten more dairy, and I've allowed myself to have Atkins snack bars every day instead of as an occasional treat. It's easy to let that kind of behaviour become more frequent without realising it, so I'm going to try something new.

Starting tomorrow I'm going to track what I eat. It will make it much easier to see when I'm pushing boundaries if it's staring me right in the face. I'll track what I eat, and any exercise done that day. Hopefully that will help get me back on track. Tomorrow is my last day off before I return to work, so it's the perfect time to start. Hubby keeps telling me that as long as I'm not regaining I have nothing to worry about. He reminds me I'm fitter than he's ever seen me before. That may be true, but I'm not done yet -- I set a reasonable goal and I intend to reach it. I haven't even gotten out of the 'obese' category yet. That's my next milestone, and it's an important one -- I will get there!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

4.2k Rainforest Walk, steep but beautiful!

I've definitely been getting in some major walks this week - Monday I walked 1.5 hrs to the mall and back, yesterday was a 40 minute walk, but then today we got in two - a 20 minute walk with the dog this morning then after lunch a 1.5 hr challenging walk to the falls in the Minnamurra Rainforest!




This place is awesome, and that walk definitely has some steep inclines.  The last time I was there was in 2006, after having lost some weight on Jenny Craig. I was probably about 200 pounds or so then but not as fit. There are benches here and there throughout the walk, more during the steepest parts, and in 2006 I had to sit for 5 minutes rest several times. But not today baby, it was definitely challenging but I made it all the way with no breaks! Yes, I sat on the bench once for a photo, but I definitely didn't need to rest. Hubby did once though! I can definitely feel it now in my whole body, mostly the backs of my legs - but it was so worth it, what a beautiful walk.




These massive rocks are estimated to be 200 million years old.



Look at the massive roots on this tree, they're like walls!




Above, hubby and I at the Falls. Below, a short video clip.



From the 'www.visitnsw.com' website:

Minnamurra Rainforest

This pocket of subtropical and warm temperate rainforest show what the once-extensive rainforests of the Illawarra region were like with giant roots creeping across the forest floor, thick strangler figs wrapping around trees and raucous bird calls in the canopy above.
     You're likely to see exclusive lyrebirds, eastern water dragons, swamp wallabies and a host of bird species which make Minnamurra their home.
     From the information centre, a 1.6-km elevated boardwalk winds towards the escarpment and across Minnamurra Rivulet, taking you right into the 400-hectare rainforest. The first 500m of this walk provides for assisted wheelchair access.
     If you feel like a more substantial hike, take the two-hour return Falls Walk. While a little more challenging, the walk offers the reward of spectacular views over the rainforest canopy and the gorge carved by Minnamurra Rivulet. The walk concludes with a viewing platform and a rest area at the base of the Upper Falls.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Another drop! Is the stall finally over?

Lord I hope so. This morning I saw 80.8 kg (178.13 lb) on the scale which is a loss of 1.3 kg (2.87 lb) from last week and brings my total to 49.5 kg (109.13 lb)! OMG the 50 kg milestone is so close ... then I'll be looking forward to getting out of the obese category next. That will be about the time I complete Milestone 10 of 12 in the Happy Scale app ... so there is nothing stopping me from getting to goal, despite the slow progress these last three months.

Every month or so I try on these clothes in the back of the closet. When my mom passed in 2006 her husband asked if there was anything I wanted from her wardrobe before he donated it to her favorite charity. I chose some comfy casual PJs that don't really look like PJs ... I remember her lounging around the house in them so they seemed very familiar. There was an oversized comfy Green Bay Packer sweatshirt (she was a huge fan) and three pair of jean shorts.

Other than the sweatshirt there was nothing that actually fit me at the time. But I loved those shorts. One pair was slightly larger than the other two but all are marked size 14. I think two are Liz Claiborne. Anyway in recent months I've been trying on that larger pair. Last time I could get them on but not comfortably and so I haven't tried again for a few weeks. Well today I have them on, snug but comfortable. Size 14. Me. Oh, and with them? A shirt I bought years ago in a size that was too small as incentive to lose weight and fit in it. Last time I tried it on it was also still too tight. Not today baby! It goes great with my new shorts! I'm feeling fabulous today.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I'm in the 170s! So close ...

Just a quick update today, it's been a busy week but I was delighted to be on the downward swing again which brought me to a new low this morning of 81.5 kg (179.68 lb) for a total loss of 48.8 kg (107.59 lb).  Did you see that? I'm 179.68 pounds! I'm in the 170s, albeit just barely.  Once I get below 174 I'll no longer be obese, so I'm very excited to say the least.

This Friday I'm off work, and for the next two weeks as well. We'll be at a lovely hotel for a couple of nights during that time, but as I've got my eye firmly on the prize right now, you can bet I'll be extra careful about eating to plan despite being away. The rest of the time I've got no plans. But not having to go to work will mean I can devote extra time to walks and workouts, and I'm truly hoping to push firmly into the 170s with enough of a buffer zone that I don't have to see the 180s ever again.  Wish me luck!