348. Weight Watchers Wednesday: PointsPlus 2012 Week 9

Last week’s weight: 153lbs
This week’s weight: 151.4.lbs
Change: -1.6lbs
Total Loss: -13.4lbs, this session: -5.4 lbs

Reflections

To quote Angel… “Numfar, do the dance of joy!”

I was definitely doing the dance of joy when I weighed in last night.  That is another new low!  Now let’s just hope that I don’t gain half of it back next week which seems to the trend for me following a big loss.  Honestly, I was actually kind of surprised by the big loss this week.  I had a good week, and I was definitely expecting to lose some.  However, I did kind of overdo it with the Super Bowl snacking so I was legitimately surprised and super excited by this week’s loss!

I’ve been cranking out the activity points lately, and while I didn’t stick to last week’s goals exactly, I did do well.  I’m actually pretty proud of my fitness endeavors as of late.  I’ve been doing a good job of working on strength training and cross training and getting in my mileage.  Anyway, onto the goals review:

  • Fitness
    • Run Thursday (3 miles treadmill) and strength training (core) – I got up early and ran 3 miles outside before work. I ended up skipping the strength training though.
    • Run Saturday (8 miles) – My route came up short at 7.6 miles, and I needed to use the bathroom so I called it “good enough”
    • Spin Sunday and strength training (upper body) – I actually ended up doing my run on Sunday because the weather was better so I didn’t spin.  However, I did do the Saturday morning Kettlebell Intervals which is a full body ST workout.
    • I also ended up doing a 30 minute solo spin session on Friday evening along with the ST I was supposed to do on Thursday.
  • Food
    • Track 7 days (particularly Super Bowl) – I didn’t do a very good tracking during the Super Bowl; however, I tracked everything else all week
    • 2 beers max on Super Bowl Sunday – I didn’t drink anything on Sunday…but I did overdo it at darts last Wednesday.
    • Eat out 2 times max – done.

The one thing I’ve really been focusing on lately is making sure I’m eating enough.  This might seem kind of strange, but since I’ve started marathon training, and as I progress through it, it’s really important for me to be adequately fueling myself.  Despite what you might thing from watching The Biggest Loser, marathon training really isn’t a great way to keep up weight loss.  If you’re not adequately fueling you run the risk of poor runs, injury, etc. as well as actually halting weight loss because your body kicks into “starvation mode.”  Alternatively, you can definitely end up eating way too much during marathon training because of the insane number of calories you’re burning.

So for my strategy, which seems to be working really well these last couple weeks, has been to use my earned activity points before my weekly points.  I’m also making it a point to eat at least 50% of my earned activity points.  I plan to keep reassessing this as I progress through training.  If I’m constantly starving, I’ll probably increase my daily points or focus on eating more of my activity or weekly points.  My goal is also to make sure I’m spending these points (mostly) on quality foods not just eating garbage because I can.  I definitely think that will make a difference in my ability to keep losing weight.

I don’t really have any specific goals this week other than to make sure I get my long run in.  It’s supposed to be chilly and snowy this weekend so there’s a good chance I’m going to have to force myself out the door, but it must be done.  I cannot slack on these long runs…especially not early on while they’re “easy” mileage.

 

 

347. Missions Accomplished

Yesterday I mentioned one of my February goals is to cross 5 items of my Mission 101 lists; however, I haven’t given you many updates on some of the goals I’ve recently knocked off the list. Since December I’ve crossed 4items off my list, reached a major milestone in completing another goals, made definitely progress toward other goals and revised a few goals as well.

The first weekend of December, Nik and I took a road trip some place I’ve never been before.  We decided to take a long weekend, and I suggested a mini vacation down to St. Louis for a Blackhawks vs. Blues hockey game.  The game was awesome – at least a third of the people there were Chicago fans – and I had a blast going on the trip with Nik.  But I think I’ve decided that road trips just really aren’t my thing.  I’m like a baby or little kid.  As soon as you put me in the car, I pass out.  Being asleep for most of the trip kind of takes the fun out of a road trip no?

I also sent out holiday cards this year, er, last year.  Every year since I graduated college, I’ve intended to send out holiday cards, but I never managed to actually do it.  I bought stamps first figuring if I bought the stamps then I had no excuse not to buy and send cards.  One of my mom’s friends makes handmade cards so I bought a bunch of cards from her and sent them to my family and friends.

And since my holiday spirit seems to be at an all-time high, I also participated in a gift “tree” of sorts.  Back in September my company did a service project that involved painting the lockers in a local community elementary school that is struggle to be kept open in the face of dropping enrollment.  Part of that process is to make the school aesthetically pleasing.  It needs to look like a place you want to send your kids to school.  For Christmas this year, my company decided to do a Secret Santa project for the kids in the school with the goal of getting a gift for all 119 students.  The school is in a very low-income area so for some of the kids, these would be the only gifts they get this year.  I picked two students – a boy and a girl both ages 5 – 6 – and got them each a game and a book.  (Yeah, I’m that jerk who gave educational gifts.)

Another item I tackled in December was to knit myself a scarf.  I took up knitting back in college, but somewhere along the way, I fell off the needles.  I’ve wanted to get back into it, but I just never did.  I mean, I only knew the knit stitch and I’d never attempted anything more difficult than a scarf. And frankly, you can only knit so many scarves before a) your bored and b) you have more scarves than you or your friends know what to do with.  Then for my birthday, Laura sent me a little Mission 101 jump start kit which included two knitting books.  Since then I’ve reading the book and messing around learning different stitches.  A couple weeks ago, a woman I regularly talk with on the train and bus brought me a set of circular needles.  I suddenly had everything I needed.  I just finished a horizontally knitted scarf.  It was the same basic knit stitch of all the scarves I’ve made in the past, but for this scarf I used the circular needles and each row is the length of the scarf rather than the width of the scarf.  I’m very excited about it!  I’ll definitely be posting a picture when I actually wear it.  (I only had one skein of yarn so I made it pretty thin making it more of a fashion scarf then a “for warmth” scarf.)

I also recently hit the half-way mark of reading 101 books.  This is pretty impressive considering I didn’t REALLY start this goal until sometimes in the middle of 2011.

I’ve also updated a few of my goals.  In an ideal world, I would complete all 101 goals as originally written, but this isn’t an ideal world.  Circumstances change.  Priorities change.  Relationships change. Desires and interests change.   So here are my “replacement goals:”

#4 Finish a marathon

#23 Figure out what I want to be when I grow up

#36 Volunteer at a race

#37 Go hiking or biking in a National Park

346. Goals, Goals, Goals: February 5 Challenge

I didn’t set any specific January goals; I just chose my verb for the year. (It’s dare in case you don’t remember.)  However, this month it’s back to goals, goals, goals.   I’m going back to a numbers based challenge like my December to Remember, but on a slightly smaller scale.  I’m also focusing on my verb by picking goals that require me to push myself a little bit.  And of course I’ve got myself a clever challenge name.

February 5 Challenge

This month’s challenge revolves around the number 5 because my ultimate goal for February is to be down 5 pounds.  However, losing 5 pounds is not actually one of my goals.  It’s so of a bonus goal.  The hope is that reaching my 5 goals for the month will get my to the 5 pound mark.  I’ll be tracking this month’s goals on Laura’s group tracking sheet (BOTD February Challenge Tracker) so be sure to check that often.

The Goals

  1. Earn 150 activity points
  2. Track 25 complete days
  3. Complete 5 items on my Mission 101 list
  4. Attend 5 group fitness classes
  5. Do 5 strength training sessions

The Reward

If I reach all 5 goals, I’m going to buy a Fitbook.  I love the concept, and people who have them seem to love them.  I’ve been tossing around the idea of getting one, but I’ve yet to commit to buying one.  I’ve always got a zillion tracking options so I don’t really need the Fitbook, but I love the idea of them especially for tracking workouts.  Mostly, I probably just want to play around with it.

If I reach my goal of 5 pounds lost I’m going to buy How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.  I’ve had this cookbook on my wish list or a while, but I always talk myself out of it because Do I really need another cookbook?   However, I’ve been doing a great job of making recipes from my cookbooks over the last two month so another cookbook is totally in order!

345. Weight Watchers Wednesday: PointsPlus 2012 Week 8

Last week’s weight: 153.8lbs
This week’s weight: 153.lbs
Change: -.8lbs
Total Loss: -11.8lbs, this session: -3.8 lbs

Reflections

I didn’t do a weigh in post last week because my usual meeting was cancelled.  I did attend a meeting on Friday afternoon and weigh in there so that’s where the 153.8 above comes from.  I was absolutely thrilled to see 153 again.  I honestly went in to weigh in feeling a bit pessimistic.  I’ve been ravenous pretty much since I stopped being sick, and especially this past weekend after running my half.  I ate a lot this weekend, and I ate out a lot.  Even though I rocked out 55 activity points for the week (21 alone during my half on Saturday!) and barely even touched my weekly points, you can never be sure how you’re body is going to react to that much activity and that much eating out.

I’m still not back down to my lowest, but I’m close.  And I’m absolutely thrilled to finally see a loss again.  I only actually gained less than 1.5 pounds, but it’s still frustrating to see +.4, +.2, +.6 week after week.  I know there could be a million and one different reasons for those tiny gains.  It could be that I upped my workout frequency and intensity a lot in January.  It could be that I was sick a lot in January and surviving on less than desirable foods.  It could be that I started doing a lot more weight training in January.  Hell, it could be that I actually legitimately gained that much weight in January.   Regardless of the reason, I’m glad to start February on a high note, and I am definitely riding high on a wave of both running and weight loss momentum right now.

My goals for this week are kind of goals kind of just a schedule for myself.

  • Fitness
    • Run Thursday (3 miles treadmill) and strength training (core)
    • Run Saturday (8 miles)
    • Spin Sunday and strength training (upper body)
  • Food
    • Track 7 days (particularly Super Bowl)
    • 2 beers max on Super Bowl Sunday
    • Eat out 2 times max

One of my February goals (which will be posted this afternoon) is to drop 5 pounds this month.  It’s an ambitious goal considering my average rate of loss, but like I said, I’m riding high on motivation and momentum right now.  I want to really make the most of this!

344. Marathon Monday: Week 4

As I mentioned on Friday I decided, after much deliberation, I was going to go ahead and run the F^3 Half this past Saturday.  Let me tell you, I could not be happier that I went through with this race.  It was and absolutely awesome experience all around.

I had little to no expectations for myself other than to not hurt myself or relapse into sickness.  I’m happy to report I was extremely successful on both fronts.  In addition to not hurting myself, I actually had a REALLY great race, and I made a new friend!  I ended running with a girl who I happened to meet while standing in the starting corral.  We ran together and chatted for the entire 13.1 miles, and she was an awesome running buddy.  We even exchanged info so we can meet for lunch or coffee or runs in the future.  Running with someone > Running alone.  Always.  My official finish time was 2:43 which is not only better than I was hoping for (I expected to be right around the 3:00 mark.) but also just about the pace I hope to average for the marathon.

More important than my better than expected time though was the huge confidence boost I got when it comes to training for my marathon.  After Saturday’s race, I really feel physically and mentally ready to start training for 26.2.  I was definitely tired when I finished the race on Saturday, but I didn’t want to die.  I was starting to get sore, but I could have run another mile or two if I absolutely had to.  My new running friend was a great help too.  She was incredibly encouraging and helped instill more confidence in myself.

I honestly haven’t thought of the last two or three weeks as marathon training.  I also didn’t spend much time running the last two or three weeks.  Yes, I was sick for a good chunk of time this past month, but deep down I know I also milked that for all it was worth.  In my mind, the F^3 race was really the starting point of my marathon training.  I’d been training (if you could even call it that) for this half, and I had to get through that before I really started marathon training.  It was a way of letting fear, or lack of confidence, or whatever, take hold and mentally tricking myself.  I was delaying accepting the inevitable.

That feeling is gone now though, and for the first time since I signed up for the Wisconsin Marathon, I feel ready to take it on.  I feel like this is something that is actually doable, and I actually want to do it.  I’m excited for training rather than dreading it.  Someone remind me of this post in 5 weeks when I hate myself for thinking 26.2 was a good idea. ;)

Total Weekly Milage: 16.06
Total Monthly Milage: 24.06
Total Training Milage: 24.06

343. Oh Hai!

Hey there friends!  Some of you may have noticed I’ve been a little absent these days.  I have my reasons.  A big of them is that about this time last week, I was actively trying to not die of some horrible strep/ cold/ flu/ sinus infection/ Ebola/ virus of doom.  (And yes, I am one of those people that is more than a bit dramatic when I am sick.)   The sickness pretty much sidelined all my effort to run or work out, and I felt so horrible last Tuesday night I didn’t even weigh in.

This week I’m feeling much better.  I actually didn’t have a Weight Watchers (yet) meeting this week.  My usual meeting is at the church my mom attends.  This week is the parish retreat so everything that’s usually held at the church during the week (Weight Watchers, scouts, etc.) was cancelled.  My usual leader does a meeting a couple blocks from my office at noon on Fridays so I am planning to attend her meeting tomorrow.

I also ran this evening for the first time in 10 days.  It was a short and easy paced run.  I was trying to determine if I could/ should go ahead and run the half marathon I never actually told you all I’m signed up for on Saturday.  I was already doing the bare minimum as far as training goes, and combined that with the fact that I’ve been sick at least half of this month, I wasn’t entirely confident in my abilities.  I was also concerned about over-doing it and undoing all of this week’s recovery.  There was also that pesky 3 hour time limit that had me worrying.

After much deliberation this afternoon, I decided that the 3 hours time limit and under training aren’t good enough excuses.  I finished my first half in 3 hours, and despite my barely adequate training for this race, I’m still in better shape than I was going into that first 13.1.  As far as the making myself sicker goes, I’m feeling almost 100% again.  I decided I would run tonight and as long as I was okay, I would race.  I didn’t want to die so it’s on.  I’m also pretty sure it’s going to be on via 5 minute/ 1 minute run/ walk intervals.  Since I am under trained, I think this may be my best approach for a reasonable time and not injury myself or overdoing it.

So there you have it.  Saturday morning I will be running the Fucking Freezing Frozen Lake Half Marathon.  (And if we’re being perfectly honest here, my decision was at least 57.4% influenced by the fact that I want that finishers medal.  Seriously, click the link and check it out.)

342. In The News: Is BMI Ever TMI?

http://schoolsofthought.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/12/is-bmi-ever-tmi/

I came across this article (That one, above, click the link and read.  I’ll wait.) today which I found really interesting.  There’s a new law in Georgia intended to combat childhood obesity.  Students will be weighed in PE classes, and their BMI information will be sent home to their parents.  The information is also being reported to the state.  There’s definitely an element of privacy/ personal rights and responsibility here, but that’s not something I really see as a huge issue.  In the age of Facebook, Twitter, and the airing of your personal business all over the internet, I often struggle to buy into the invasion of privacy argument.  I’m not saying that isn’t a concern for some: just that it’s not a concern for me.  My concern is whether or not this is an effective method or a wasted effort.

I tend to agree with one of the individual, Randy Weiner, who was quoted in the article.  I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad law, particularly because the information is being provided to parents not the children themselves.  I think the intention is good, but ultimately I don’t think it will be highly effective.  If the parent’s don’t value good health and nutrition then giving them information about their child’s BMI probably isn’t going to change much.

While I think much of the responsibility for childhood obesity falls to the parent’s, I do think schools can impact change.  Personally, I think the more effective way for schools to combat childhood obesity is through education, better nutrition in school lunches, and increase activity for students.  Those are the kind of laws I would like to see passed because those are the kind of laws I think would have the biggest impact overall.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s any sort of “quick-fix” or immediate way to reduce childhood obesity.  Obesity in general is deeply ingrained in our current culture, and I think it order to really impact change, we need to be focusing on more long-term efforts like educating our children so they can, hopefully, grow into healthy(ier) adults and raise children who are healthier than they were.

What do you think?  Do you think this is a good law?  Do you think it’s an effective way to impact change in the current childhood obesity rates?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!