Thursday, September 28, 2006

Shopped Till I Dropped

I haven't written in a few days. One because I've been a busy bee, but two, because blogger has been a PIA.

Monday I went shopping with C. and the good news is that I am no longer a 14. The bad news is that 12s are a tiny tight still. I'm hoping I can lose a few more lbs., really 2 would probably do it, so I can buy some new pants for my defense.

I did buy my Chico's outfit, and I really like it, especially since I'm kind of between sizes now, but it just doesn't seem like a dissertation defense sort of outfit, so I'm going with the business casual, sort of preppy look, kakhis, button down shirt, jacket, small heeled shoes.

More later, maybe. This is going to be a killer month for me!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Where Have I Been?

It's been a few days since I've posted, and that usually means food trouble. Friday I drove to Orlando to see another student's defense. To top it off, I had a major allergy attack that day. Luckily, the meds had kicked in by the time I got there, so I didn't sneeze while he was presenting. That would have been sooooo embarassing!

While I had very good intensions that day as far as food, it pretty much was shot to hell.

I ate my usually protein bar for breakfast and brought an extra bar and banana for the road. However, since I was sneezing like a maniac all the way there, I didn't eat anything else while driving. I barely made it to the presentation after driving around for about 15 minutes to find a parking spot, which probably was not legal any way, but I couldn't tell and had paid $5 to not park, typical school crap, so my protein bar and banana accompanied me to the presentation.

It took about 1 1/2 hours, and then I had a meeting with my advisor afterwards, so finally I got out of there a little before one. Exhausted, still sniffling, and very, very hungry. In fact, my stomach was making all kinds of noise during my meeting. I kept thinking, "Did he hear that?"

I called a friend of mine who was also at the defense and then meeting with someone, but she wasn't answering her phone, so I decided to just head home. I inhaled my banana as soon as I got in my car, and thought I'd just eat the bar on the way home. I'd even thought to bring extra cold water for the trip back. But, even though my bar was in my bag in an A/C'd car and then A/C'd conference room, when I opened it, it was puddle of messy...ick! Ahhh, Welcome to Florida!

So, it was McD's for the drive home. On a good note, I don't feel so badly about all this weight I've gained while going to school these past 5 years. It is difficult enough to try to eat right on a daily basis when your day goes as planned and you're at home, but to try to think about all that and drive 250 miles to school was obviously more than I could handle, even now when I normally have a better handle on my eating.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It Was Okay

I met C. at the jazzercise class lastnight. I have to say, though, I wasn't bowled over by it. Now, it was an okay class, and I may go back, but there are a few things I need to think about first. For example, the instructor, I was not overly impressed with her body. As C. put it, "You look like you are in better shape than she is."

Hmmmm....was that a compliment? Granted, this woman was built like a box, very broad shouldered and all, but she kind of had a small gut on her too. Call me a snob, but the way the instructor looks can say a lot about the sort of workout you are getting.

The workout? Yup, I sweated like a pig. I was actually concerned I might be soar today, but I'm not. I wouldn't say it was less or more intense than my 3 mile walking DVD, but at least it was something different.

Another negative was the choice of music, which I know to a certain extent was up to jazzercise, but it was either country music (sorry, but ugh) or weirded-out-old-lady-style-crap. At one point, the instructor kept trying to get us to sing along. Hello, I've never heard the song before in my life! Backtracking here, I do like older country music, like Johnny Cash, but I don't listen at all to any of the new stuff. So, you could have put a gun to my head and I still wouldn't have been able to sing along.

Finally, the kicker was the cost. I used to jazzercise maybe 8 years ago, and one thing I liked about it, other than that it's sort of mix of aerobics and dance, was the price. You didn't have to join anything either. You bought a ticket that had x-number of classes on it, got it stamped, and when it was finished, you bought a new ticket. Walk-ins were $5 and tickets went for $3.50 per class.

Well, welcome to the 21st century! Walk-ins are now $10 and tickets average about $8 a class. That was a shocker!

When I was asking about the cost and after they picked me up off the floor, they also mentioned that some women came just once a week and the instructor worked something out with them, just charging them $25 a month. Still, that's high, but I could see going one time a week if for no other reason than to vary my exercise. So, I may ask about that first. My only other option is to pay $35 a month and go 2 times a week, and honestly, it sort of messed up my routine for the day a little. Once a week, I could deal with, but 2 times, will need some thought.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Jazzercising It Today

C. discovered there's a jazzercise class at the local community center, which is about 15 or so minutes from my house. The first class is free, so I'm going today to try it out.

I've jazzercised in the past and really liked it. In fact, the only reason I stopped various times was due to moving or switching jobs so it wasn't covenient to drive over to them any more. For the longest time, the closest one in our county has been about 30 minutes away from me, so that's why I haven't gone for awhile.

Of course, all classes tend to vary depending on the teacher. So, I'm reserving judgement until I actually see what it's like. If I like it, they have a Monday and Wednesday class I can take, cool, no?

I've been really good about doing my 3 mile DVD lately, but I have to admit to getting a little tired of hearing their same banter over and over again. This will be a nice break. Plus I also ordered another 3 mile walking DVD.

If nothing else, I've got my exercise covered at least. I'm still doing okay on the calorie thing, but I'll admit to going over a few hundred calories these past few days. Still, nothing over 1700, but that can only make things take even longer if I'm not careful.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Lost a Pound....of Hair!

I've been wanting to do something with my long straight hair for a while now. Usually, I just pull it back because it is so long that it's just all over the place, and unlike movie stars, I don't have someone walking around behind me with a brush in her hand. But, with long fine hair like mine, there aren't a lot of options, especially for me because I don't like to fuss with it a lot. I don't blow it dry, color it, spray it, moose it...hell, it's all I can do to run a comb through it a few times a day. So, I had this idea that one way to get a little style but not do something drastic was to beef up my very whispy practically not there bangs.

I have no hair dresser so to speak since I usually get my DH to use my sewing scissors to trim the ends for me, but I thought, "hey, how hard can bangs and a trim be?"

Well, I should have turned and run when I saw the woman at the beauty parlor. She had to be about 60, with a tobacco cough and smell, and she had wacked-out ringlets of obviously dyed hair piled on top of her head. But, did I run? Nope, like an idiot I let her touch me.

I showed her the drawing I'd done of what I wanted, and at first she said, "Oh, you don't want that."

"No, no, I do want that," I replied.

"Oh, okay, I know what to do," she said. And, yup, she pretty much did it. She layered my hair! And my bangs? Hardly look different than when I went in there.

I had a feeling she was giving me a hatchet job, but you can't really see what's going on back there, you know? Plus, I'm very near sited and I had to keep taking my glasses off so they didn't get stuck in the comb. In fact, at one point, she actually broke a comb in my hair! When I got up and looked on the floor, I saw my blonde locks in piles every where. B*tch!

Really, hair dresses are worse than medical doctors. They don't listen to you! I guess I'm back to being a 40+ hippy now because I will never walk into a salon God is my witness!

Now I know hair will grow, but what really sucks about all of this is that I've been working my *ss off, exercising, watching what I eat, I'm even going shopping next week (and I hate shopping... I like stuff, just don't like going to get it), all of this so I look like a put together professional academic beautiful brainiac when I present my dissertation. Now I may have to walk in there with a bag on my head.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Retiring My Pants

Well, not great news from the scale, but not awful either. I'm pretty much the same. However, I'm still feeling okay about my approach. I plan to try on my khaki pants later today and see how they fit, after I exercise and clean up.

Speaking of exercising, I was so not into it last night after getting home from work, but I usually start with, "Oh, hell, I'll just do the 2 mile with no weights." Then I move up to convincing myself "2 miles and weights" and finally by the time I pop the DVD in I can usually talk myself into doing the 3 mile, which I managed to do last night. I even managed to do the weights with the 3 mile. I'm up this morning in my grups ready to tackle the 3 mile again.

Hopefully, my khaki's will tell me I'm on the right track, but for now, I actually retired 2 pairs of fat pants to the back of the closet yesterday. Eventually, I'll send them out the door because I know it's not a good thing to keep them around. It makes it too convenient to slip up.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Rear in Gear

Back from work now, and while I had every intention of eating enough healthy stuff so that I wouldn't be hungry and thus would be able to exercise when I got home, I just didn't feel like eating much today. I ate a protein bar on the car trip home, so that helped some. But, now I need to gear up and try to exercise, even if I do the 2 mile I need to do something. I really feel like taking a nap.

Something about Sundays, all hell tends to break loose at work. First, we had some weird guy hanging out at the back door where employees enter, so I had to write that up. Then later a patron's bike was stolen, so I had to call the police. And, about this same time, the elevator doors jammed opened, so I had to call the elevator company, who were closed of course, to come out and fix it. Luckily, we had a police officer come by earlier in the day just to check that we were all okay, and she promised to stop by on Sundays and check in on a regular basis.

Okay, enough....time to gear up and walk, walk, walk!

About Yesterday

Boy, I really tried to be good yesterday, but I have my doubts. First, there's that fish. How many calories was it really? It's hard to say. I counted it as about 400. Then I got home and the dh had made some sugar free jello, which I ate thinking at first, hey, it's sugar free. It can't be that much. But again, I'm not sure because he had thrown the package away.

These are the kind of little things that can really come back and bite you in the butt, literally. I also sort of lost track of my nightly munching. Now I didn't go ballistic, but I didn't stick strictly to my pre-planned menu for the day, so I feel like the whole day was a guess when it comes down to my calorie count.

On an up note, even though I really, really, really didn't feel like exercising at all yesterday, especially considering my long car trip that day, I managed to do my 3mile walking DVD, minus some of the weights. However, I still don't feel reassured this morning. I still feel "off" in a way.

All I can do is take control of today, though.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Khaki Capris

The scale was not kind to me this morning, but I'm not going to let it totally freak me out, at least not yet. While the scale says that I gained a lb. back, my clothes are saying something very different. I even have a few of my fat pants (which were tight by the way - pathetic - I know) that pretty much swim on me so are no longer wearable. Plus, I wore my green pants to work the other day, all day, and they are cotten, so by the time I got home, they were pretty baggy.

Therefore, now that I no longer have my green pants to help gauge my progress, I pulled another pair out of my closet, my khaki capris. They now fit over my hips and I can zip them, but just barely. So, while I plan to try the scale out again in a few days, I'm also going to try these on every few days as well. Maybe I did gain a lb, but then again, maybe it is just water weight, or the scale if f-ed up, or who knows, but after my last experience where one day I was one weight and the next I was 2 lbs lighter, I've learned that my scale, which BTW is digital and should be farily decent quality since I paid about $40 for it, but I've learned it is not the end all in gauging my progress.

Today is another challenge. I'm eating out at a cafeteria style place. I'm visiting my young nephews, oh and their mom and grandmother of course too, and this is a great place to bring kids, so they are regulars. I even ate there when I was kid, many, many, many years ago! My game plan is to get fish, even though it's fried (fitday puts it at 400 calories) and lots of green vegies like green beans and cabbage. While the fish is hirer than I'd like and I could just eat a bunch of vegies, I know the fish, since it's a protein, will stick with me, while a plate of beans and cabbage and broccoli will only make me hungry an hour later. So, the plan is to eat this hirer calorie meal and if I get hungry later (which of course I will....not trying to kid anyone here!) then I'll have a salad with rice vinegar dressing, which is like eating air basically.

Well, got to hit the road. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Busy, Busy Days

Yesterday was so crazy, I didn't even get a chance to blog here. However, I did make time to fill out my fitday menu, but just barely. It was just one of those days when I literally had no lunch time, and eating, therefore, was tricky to say the least. But, days like yesterday make planning even more important than ever because I have to have some kind of control or I'd be totally f-ed for the day.

This whole thinking ahead when it comes to eating is still a major hurdle of mine. I am normally the type of person that I just don't think about that kind of thing until I'm hungry. Then, it's like, okay, look around, what is easy and quick. But easy and quick usually means fattening and not necessarily something that is going to keep me full.

Today is another difficult day because I may be going out to lunch, but again, it's all in the planning. My lunch buddies aren't exactly sure where we will go. If you don't know where you're going to eat, how do you plan anything? What to do?

I realized this morning as I was filling out the day's menu that I basically have to instigate. If no one wants to decide, then I decided to suggest a place. For example, there's a restaurant close by that I know I can get a pretty decent lettuce and shrimp salad, minus the bread they served with it last time. The shrimp part has some mayo in it, so not super thinning, but shrimp means protein, so it should stick with me most of the day.

Hopefully, my planning will pay off. I decided not to step on the scale today. Since I had such nice results last Saturday, I'm going to try it again tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Fish and Other Successes

My fish turned out okay yesterday. I had a brainstorm and realized fried fish always tastes good. So, I cut up my catfish in small pieces, powdered it with soy flour, and fried it in a skillet with a mix of Pam and faux butter. Not the most attractive fish in the world, but tastie still.

It's funny how one day you can be all upset that things aren't going right, and a few days later everything seems to fall into place. I've now officially got 4lbs off, and I feel pretty good about this week. Hopefully, I'll see pound number 5 gone sometime soon.

I was also freaking out over graduating, and I still feel a little uneasy with all of that. However, out of the blue I was offered two web classes to teach at the school that hates me. Hell, I'm taking them. If nothing else, it will help me keep my pinky toe in academia, I'll make a little money from working at home (which is extra cool), and as an added bonus, I may get the opportunity to turn a few unsuspecting students onto some Victorian literature. Ha!

Today is grocery day, so first I have to write a thrilling article about hammers....yes, the life of freelance writer is really spellbinding....and then off to Publix where I hope no one in the deli offers me a piece of cheese.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fishy Cooking

I just uploaded my food menu for the day in So far, like I've said, I've found this challenging, but it is kind of helpful. Even if I change things a little throughout the day by adding and subtracting various foods, on the whole, it gives me game plan to follow. So, I'm going to try to keep doing it.

One issue I've run into lately is that I've been trying to eat more fish. Honeslty, I'm probably one of the few people on the planet that can admit to actually liking the taste of fish, but since my cooking skills are rudimentary, I'm not always that successful, especially with something like fish. Sometimes it works and I cook a great piece and sometimes it turns out kind of icky. The main issue I have is trying to determine when the dang this is cooked all the way through! If it weren't for all the sodium issues, I'd just buy it precooked in the freezer section and nuke it.

Other than trying to figure out how to cook a piece of catfish, my food problems shouldn't be too difficult today because I'm home all day writing. I had lunch yesterday with a friend who made the comment that it must be hard working at home because she would be eating all the time (ouch). However, for me, it's pretty much the opposite. At home, I control what I eat and when I eat. When I go to my crap job, that's not the case. Birthday cakes pop up in the break room. Party sandwiches leftover from the day before are announced through the grapevine. Then there's the "let's go out to lunch" thing, which is totally understandable because you what to get the hell out of there, if even for an hour. All of these little thing add up to control problems, at least for me. Maybe some people would find their heads stuck in the frig all day if they were working from home, but I really hate it when people assume that's the case for me. I make a fairly decent income from my writing, and if you think about it for a few minutes, you'd realize no one could do this if they were sitting around watching TV all day and eating bon-bons.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Blessed Scale!

Yes, yes, I know I said I was going to try to not weigh myself today, but I did it, and I'm glad. I don't really understand how I could supposedly lose 2lbs so quicky, but the scale said exactly what it did on Saturday morning, so I'm going to believe it. Maybe I had water weight issues on Friday. Who knows?

Last night I noticed that my PJ bottoms felt a little lose, and these are the ones I usually don't like to wear because they are tighter than the rest. However, I was down to my last pair because my dryer is acting up. I pretty much have to run it for 3 or more cycles before I can dry a load, so I'm very far behind with the laundry this week. They were all I had to sleep in.

Since going into a tail-spin on Friday, I have been fabulously good about my food, sticking really close to my 1500 calorie goal. So while that one day was depressing, it was a good wake up call for me.

Now, to just keep it going. I plan to do the 3mile DVD this morning and I'm off to write up my food for the day.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Getting ready to head for bed and my total calories are 1414! Not too bad, especially for a busy day. Plus, I managed to do the 2mile DVD when I got home from work. I'm sooo sooo tempted to weigh in tomorrow, but I'm really going to try to hold off.

I'm meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow. The good news is that I purposely picked an eatery that has a web site and the menu is posted on it. This way I can have my game plan ready before I get there. That makes such a huge difference for me when dining out. One tip I remember from WW is that the instructor once said when she eats out she always tries to order first. This way it is much easier for her to eat what she should versus cave in and order something she knows she shouldn't eat. Plus, this sort of sets things up for the others you are eating with, sets an example, that often they will follow.

Okay, going to check out the web site and then off to dream land.....

Just a Quickie

I'm getting ready to head off to work soon, so not a lot of time to chat. I did fill out most of today's food menu on, but I really find it tough to do. Sundays especially are weird for me because I work 1/2 a day, smack dab in the middle of the day. That means, basically, no real lunch for me. Plus, I need to eat a little something before I leave work so that I am not hungry when I get home and can then exercise.

Also, it feels weird having to come up with food for the entire day. I mean, what if I feel like eating something else? Even something that is still low-cal?

Oh, and yesterday went pretty well. I ate 1700 calories, more than the 1500 I wanted, but heck, it was Saturday and that means wine night, so I ate an extra piece of cheese and another bag of crackers so I wouldn't drink on an empty stomache - never a good idea you know.

Fingers crossed, I'll manage to do at the very least the 2mile walk today, though I hope I can psyche myself up for the 3!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

So Far, So Good

I managed to do the 3mile workout on my DVD again today. Boy, that is a rough one. I'm still not able to do all the stuff with the weights as yet. I sort of pick them up and put them down, but I don't stop marching, which is basically what she calls "walking." It is obviously a major step up from the 2mile she has on this same DVD because with that one I don't really feel that tired afterwards. I work up a sweet, but that's about it. With the 3mile, I'm ready to take a nap afterwards!

I'm also on track with the food so far. Today I tried something a little different. Instead of writing down food as I ate it, I wrote down everything I planned to eat for the day and just tried to stick with that. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I had to tweek things a little because, for example, I'd planned on eating 2 cups of broccoli, but it was kind of in bad shape (which is why it was on sale I'm sure), so - picky eater that I am - I didn't eat much of it. So, that kind of stuff sort of gummed up the works, but other than that it wasn't too bad. I may try this for awhile and see if it helps.

Focus, Focus, Focus!

Yesterday was such a sucky day for me. It began with the scale, and of course, I was very disappointed with myself. However, instead of giving up, I decided to stop and think about why I was sabotaging myself. I'm usually not an emotional eater, or so I'd like to think, so I don't often connect my mood with my eating, but I knew something wasn't right up here [touching head]. I also knew that for some reason I have been extra tired and hungry for about a week now. This is not to say that I'm not like this once in awhile, but this was different. This was day after day, which isn't usually "me."

The more I thought about it I realized that I was sort of in a funk ever since sending off my completed dissertation to my advisor for what should be his last review. At first, I felt a huge relief that this thing was off my back for a few weeks. I have worked on it for about a year now, dedicating at least a few days a week, every week, to writing it. It was a relief. But, then as the days passed by I sort of missed it. Now, it's not like I don't have other writing work to do, and I did start on other projects during this time, but I soon realized that.....shock and dismay....I'm almost done with this thing!

As most people who have gone to school in any form after high school knows, you get the "what are you going to do when you graduate" line from just about every Dick and Harry on the planet. Needless to say, working on yet another graduate degree, I get this A LOT! Right now, I can just brush them off with a "well, let me graduate first and then deal with it," and that actually satisfied myself to a certain extent too. But now, with the real possibility that I may really graduate in December, I realize that...crap!...I'm actually going to have to come up with something after this. And, damn! after all this time in school, it better be good! Plus, I'm going to be out of academia, possibly forever if I don't get a teaching job, right? Honeslty, I'm not 100% sure I really want to teach again, but even if I did, my prospects due to the fact I'm not in a position to just pick up and move are pretty dim, practically nill. When I first started this degree, this wasn't necessarily the case because I was teaching part-time at the local community college, but to cut to the chase here, we now have a mutal non-admiration society going on, so that school is not an option.

Okay, back to my food issues then.

I called C. last night and told her about all of this to a certain extent, and she told me that I could not control the future, that I need to focus on now and what my goals are now, and that happens to be losing some weight before my defense. I should look at this like another job, a writing project, and not let stuff that may or may not happen in the future stress me out now because there's really not a damn thing I can do about them (Okay, she didn't say damn, but you get the idea).

She's right. I am all over the road, and worrying about what I'll do come Jan. 2007 right now is a total waste of energy. Today, I started with writing out all the food I plan to eat today on my account and coming here to post (which really helps me focus so I need to do more of...look out!). I also plan to do my walking DVD, which by the way, I did the 3 miles yesterday, amazing what a little depression will do for you! And, I plan to really try to eat a good amount of protein so I don't get hungry.

Oh, and one other weird thing, I stepped on the scale this morning (yes, I know!) and it said I weighed 2 lbs less than yesterday. That's right, yesterday! But, I totally don't believe it and so I tried on my green pants, and while they zip, I see no other difference in the fit. So honeslty, I'm not sure what to think about that scale or my whole weigh in once a week philosophy. I plan, however, to listen to the pants more so than the scale from now on.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Undoing My Good Work

I've held off posting until I got the news from the scale this morning: no change.

On the one hand, of course, I'm grateful that the few paltry pounds I've lost did not return, but on the other, it's very frustrating that my occasional slips make such a huge impact on my lack of weight loss.

I could understand this better if I was secretly scarfing down a pint of ice cream every night, or even every other night, but the handful of nuts, piece of lunch meat, or egg salad sandwich now and then is obviously enough to undo all my good work the previous days.

My dissertation defense grows nearer and that means my shopping date, scheduled for late Sept. does as well. At this rate, I'll be lucky if I lose 5 pounds let alone 10!

So, yes, I'm pretty disgusted with myself. In fact, it is very tempting to say f-it and throw in the towel, but the thing is that I know I can do this. I've done it before. My usual issue has to do with keeping the weight off once I lose it. It's a matter of dedication and consistency. So, no. I'm not going to say f-it. I'm going to say a big F, how's that? But I'm still determined.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

When There's No Excuse

Yesterday, I so didn't feel like exercising. I'm not exactly sure what the deal was, maybe the fact that my allergies have been acting up, probably more so that I'm just lazy, but I really had almost no motivation last night. What is weird too is that the day before I actually went walking, outside no less, for 55 minutes for a total of 3 miles. I managed to catch a time that it didn't rain, but it was so humid outside that I was literally dripping from head to toe when I got back.

So, why the very next day was I so not in the mood to exercise? Well, obviously, if I had the answer to that question I would be rich because I think most people have this hot and cold issue when it comes to exercise.

I kept debating and debating with myself until finally a little after 7 pm I realized I really had no excuse. Tired is not an excuse. I popped in my walking DVD and did the 2 mile routine, and you know what? When I plugged the stats into, I realized that (according to fiday) I burned as many calories marching for 30 minutes as I did walking for almost an hours the day before, 164 to be exact.

I spent a short time on my high school drill team and we marched like maniacs after school, so this does make sense to me, but it was still a pleasant surprise, and afterwards I felt so much better that I had gotten off my tush and done something, runny nose and all.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Weigh in Day Switch

My official weekly weigh in day has been Monday, but starting this week, I'm switching it to Friday. I got this idea from a fellow co-worker who does hers on Fridays because she explained that she often gets into trouble on the weekends, and this way she has the rest of the week to recoup. I think this is the case with most people.

For example, this weekend I had great plans. Heck, I was even working all weekend and would be away from home and temptation, or so I thought. But, of course, I'd forgotten that on Friday (when I wasn't there) a party was thrown for someone who was leaving. So when I got to work and put my oh-so-good-low-cal lunch in the frig, I opened it to find loads of yummy food. Now, actually, I was pretty good. I scumbed to some of those tiny triangle sandwiches, you know the kind that have tuna and egg salad in them, but that's about it. Still, it wasn't on the food plan for the day.

To top it off, yesterday at work we were one person short, so I ended up having to work in circulation and reference both and that meant going up and down the stairs all day. We do have an elevator, but I figured I could use the exercise. Plus our elevator smells like BO, so I do my best to avoid it. But, all this meant that I was exhausted when I got home and didn't do any exercise liked I'd hoped.

So, Fridays it is. I am resisting the urge to step on the scale today. My green pants still fit, so that is enough for me now. Hopefully, I can keep it together for the rest of the week and have a pleasant surprise on Friday.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Walking DVD Rocks

Maybe "rocks" is kind of stretching it, but so far I like the Walk Away the Pounds DVD I just got. I've done the 2 mile routine twice now, and it's definitely a good workout. I got my heart rate up and a pretty good sweat going. The 2 mile is 30 minutes long, and according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, exercising about 30 mintues a day is pretty much the minimum you need to do to stay healthy:

"To maintain health, all adults should be moderately active for at least 30 minutes per day on most days of the week," Karen A. Donato, program coordinator of the NHLBI's Obesity Education Initiative, said in a prepared statement.

"To help manage body weight and prevent unhealthy weight gain, at least 60 minutes per day is recommended. Children and adolescents also need to be active for at least 60 minutes per day," Donato said.

So, yes, obviously, I need to work up to doing the 3 mile routine on this DVD, which is 47 minutes long. I may try to go for it tomorrow. Today, I'm working about a half day, and if I can manage to get the 2 mile done when I get home, then I'll be okay with that.

I still miss walking outside, so I'll have to see how it goes with the weather and all. But, with the constant rain we have been getting and the fact that it is getting darker sooner now, this is a nice alternative.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Exercise Makes You Creative

Often during my daily walk, even if I'm now stuck walking inside these days due to all the rain, I find my mind wandering. Sometimes it is silly stuff like imagining I'm on the Ellen DeGeneres show promoting my new novel, which of course is wildly successful. But most often I've got something on my mind that needs figuring out. For example, maybe I'm thinking about the next section of my dissertation that I need to tackle. Or, I might have a jewelry design I'm working on. Repetitive excercise like walking or riding my bike always gets my creative juices flowing, and it looks like I'm not alone according to this article from the Kansas City Star:

Fitness buffs of all professions have long known that the best way to unlock creativity is to go for a bike ride, run or swim.

Now science is proving that eureka moments during exercise are more than anecdote.

Stephen Ramocki, a marketing professor at Rhode Island College, found that a single aerobic workout is enough to kick the brains of college students into higher gear — and that the benefit lasts at least a couple of hours. To function optimally, each person’s brain needs a physically fit body, Ramocki says.

Creativity tends to be the result of a two-stage process, says R. Keith Sawyer, a psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

The first stage is data gathering. That’s when you’re working hard to bone up on background material that you’ll need to solve your problem. But the moment of insight tends to come when, having worked hard, you take time off for a change of pace.

Perhaps that’s because during the preparation stage, the mind is so narrowly focused that it ignores random-seeming associations percolating in the subconscious. Yet creativity is, by definition, the process of making unexpected leaps.

When you’re deliberately working on a problem, such thoughts seem like distractions, so you tune them out. To free up the mind, Sawyer says, creative people tend to schedule “idle time” in which to do something completely different, such as listening to music or taking a bike ride.

There you go - yet another excuse to exercise regularly.

Back Into the Green Pants!

I've been pretty good all week, sticking to around 1500 calories, and yesterday my pants felt a little on the lose side. So, this morning, I took the "green pants" test and passed. I'm back in baby!

More good news is that my walking DVD showed up yesterday. I had to work most of the day at my crap job and it had been raining all day, plus my job is extra boring, so the day just dragggggeeeddd. I was really tired and arguing with myself on the way home about exercising. Could I go for a real walk? Would I get rained out? The skys were not looking good.

My new DVD was there to greet me when I got home, and I knew I had to at least try it out. There are 3 workouts on this DVD, a 1 mile, a 2 mile, and a 3 mile. I did the 1, which was only 18 minutes long, just to test the waters.

I was pleased to discover that she also uses hand weights, so I'll have to dig mine out. Today, though, I'm going to try the 2 mile. The 1 was okay and suprisingly I did get a little sweaty, but it was not really that challenging. I know I can easily do the 2 if not the 3. Another cool thing on this DVD is that she tells you how far you've walked throughout the exercise, so that's motivational.

Now, I just have to hang tough these next two days before my weigh in on Monday. Actually, I'm not anticipating too much trouble because I work all weekend. Yes, it's a holiday, but hey, that's one reason I call this a "crap-job." I just have to make sure I pack plenty of low-cal healthy food, and I should be okay.