In absence I eat (and drink)

It’s been awhile. That happens. Life does it’s thing, which usually involves taking you for a ride you didn’t ask to go on. I like to tell myself that I will budget time better, but I always know it’s a bit of a white lie.

It’s not easy trying to juggle parenthood and a work schedule. Throw into that a house that has a sudden vendetta against you, and a toddler that is getting molars, and well, this isn’t the roller coaster I thought I was getting on. Best we can do is take it day-to-day and keep chugging forward.

Mix all this together and you get tighter jeans.

pikachu lifting.gif

It’s been almost three months since the end of Biggest Loser and I’m barely maintaining a once a week presence at the gym. Some weeks are better than others. I have only fluctuated weight a couple of pounds, but I can tell I’ve been losing muscle, which means I’m offsetting it with fat. This is largely due to a terrible schedule which drives me to eat whatever I can get my hands on, whenever I can get it.

cookie monster veggies.gif

Sure there are healthy meal and snack options out there, but previous posts have made it pretty clear that I’m a picky eater and I am not one to knosh on raw carrots (or any vegetables for that matter). In addition to poor eating habits, I’ve been enjoying a beer (or two) on a nightly basis. I love me some beer, and we’ve had some really great beer on tap at work. It’s hard to turn down a free beverage after a long shift when you know it’s only going to be on the line for a few days.

 

 

 

I told myself I wouldn’t fall into this trap, as Biggest Loser was tying up. However, a lack of funds kept me from signing up for classes. A toddler who shits himself 30 minutes into a workout (I swear to god that kid is running his bowel movements on a timer that is based on my workouts), makes maintaining momentum impossible. Now we’ve hit the terrible two’s and second molars, and so pleasing the child has been difficult. Which means I don’t get the workouts I want, when I want. tantrum.gif

I can keep making up excuses, trust me, I’m pretty fucking good at it.  What it really comes down to is putting my foot down and demanding me time. Something I have never been good at. Telling other people “no” does not come easy to me. Being the people pleaser keeps me from doing things for me.

caring too much.gifAs a co-worker stated the other day, I have to learn to take care of me before I take care of others (with the exception of the bi-polar demon child). That means saying “no”, that means going to the gym when I want to go to the gym, it also means turning down a free beer and maybe skipping the peanut butter cookie (brushes crumbs off her keyboard).

So how does one say “no” when it’s in her nature to say “yes?” Not asking for a friend, legit trying to teach myself such a simple task.

Cliche alert:

We’re in the final week of Biggest Loser and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself.

final countdown

I’m also feeling like a bit of a grump because I have cut calories to around 1100 a day, cut most carbs, and refuse to have a beer until Sunday. (Please hold out, please hold out, please hold out).

In the second half of the program I have done better than expected. My diet still isn’t great. I’m not hitting the targets that my trainers would have liked me to. But they can suck a rock. Those diets suck and I’m a healthy and mostly happy individual. I’m more active than I have been in years and I’m losing weight at about 1.5 lbs a week. It’s not the 2-3 lbs a week they would like to have seen, but remember, I wasn’t in this for the extreme weight loss.

I am definitely getting stronger, which means more muscle, which means the scale is a bullshit judge of success.

In saying that, however, I am one of the more successful members of my teams. I’m seeing a better weight loss than most members. I am seeing a huge improvement in strength and endurance. My trainers are very happy with my progress in class and I have been class MVP twice!

On Thursday, I am doing an Infrared Body Wrap as a last-ditch effort to make my final goal by Sunday. I have two free sessions from the whole MVP thing and while it sounds like bullshit, it is free. I do this for Science! There will definitely be a report back on results.

Only seven days remain. My final goal is 170 lbs at Sunday’s final weigh-in. I’ve got my mind-set and I know I can hit that goal. If I can push it to 168, that will put me at 10% weight loss in the 12 weeks.

Saturdays weigh-in: 175.6 lbs. Longest plank time recorded at 1:50!

The tale of the accidental motivator (or don’t be that person)

The first thing they really pushed about this whole Biggest Loser program is that you can make friends and socialize. That’s great and all. Finding people you can partner with and use to motivate each other is great. As social as I am outside of the gym, I am far less so than at the gym. I’m there for one thing: to get fit. I will chat with my teammates, I will help motivate everyone, but I am not there to socialize and make friends.

Case in point:

Circuit training is hard. That’s why we do it. HIIT style circuits suck balls but are totally worth the effort. So when the trainer is counting down the last 10 seconds of the interval and starts repeating himself at four, you can bet your ass someone isn’t paying attention. Look up to see two of the older ladies have completely stopped working out and are standing around deep in conversation. So the trainer is repeating FOUR
for about 10 seconds in an attempt to get them to realize that they are actually creating more work and effort for everyone else and since I’m stuck in burpee hell I am milliseconds away from walking over and hitting them with their own talkerdumbbells. When they finally pay attention, one of them has the audacity to say “What? We were talking.”

OFFS.

This is why I don’t socialize at the gym. Maybe before class. Maybe after class. Definitely not during. It’s far too distracting.

Another case in point:

pay attention.gif

People who are so distracted that they don’t pay attention to what the trainer is saying. If you ask me what the exercise is, there is a very good chance that I will lie to you. We’ve all paid a lot of money to be apart of that program and we expect to see results. I am not going to see results if I have to spend 15-20 seconds of my workout time explaining what the exercise is. It’s going to piss me the fuck off and I’m going to tell you the wrong thing so that it will hopefully humiliate you into doing your damn job and paying attention!

These people motivate me to NOT BE LIKE THEM.

Finally:

If you are going to be either of these people, aside from the fact that you are motivating people to be nothing like you; I swear to go I had better not hear you complain about not making any progress. You only get back what you put in. If you don’t put in any effort you aren’t getting shit out of it. We’re here to work, lose weight, gain strength, and be healthier people; not to make your new best friend.

friends.gif

Week four complete. Today’s weigh-in 184.4 lbs. Down 2.2 lbs overall. Still climbing the hill.

Pet peeves of mixed small group classes

I will preface this by saying I have done EVERY SINGLE ONE of these things. It’s that self-awareness that has motivated to make positive changes in how I do things. It’s easy to fall into these traps and I’m calling them out so that we all think about how we want to be the change, see the change, and help others change.stop-bitching

Stop the whining, this is hard for everyone. I’m a vocal ventor. Everything I’m thinking and feeling I tend to say out loud. I bitch, a lot. It’s a negative aspect of my personality that I have been working on for most of my life. It’s exponentially worse when I work out. I get frustrated and I bitch about it. I think there is a difference between muttering in frustrated and whining though.

Whiny people are looking for feedback. Preferably positive, but they’ll take the negative. They whine about their weight, what hurts, too much weight to lift, too many laps to run, too fast on the treadmill. They want the trainer to go “Oh, 15 pounds is too heavy, here, try five instead.” Except that a trainer isn’t going to do that. Their job is to assess the person they are working with, make a calculated decision about what that person can handle, and then push them to do it. Don’t fucking whine at the trainer or the class instructor. They feel no pity. They already have your money and your consent and they are going to do their job which is to challenge you to be better. Whining about it, especially in group class, just makes you look weak and foolish.

For me that was motivation. When  I stepped outside myself and thought “Is this what I sound and look like?” It helped me to change. Yes, I’ll bitch about something. Yesterday the trainer gave me 35 pounds to do squat lifts with. I made it through five and I swore the whole time. He realized that he made an error and I did need less weight. I didn’t beg for it, I didn’t whine about it. I did as many reps as I could until he saw that I was likely going to hurt myself. But during those five reps I put sailors to shame.

Sometimes you physically can’t do it. Don’t stop, modify. I’ve been in classes with people who just quit. HIIT and Circuit Training are big right now. Why? Because they work. I have a love/hate relationship with both. They work, but damn are they hard. I struggle with endurance and HIIT is perfect for improving that. Sometimes, though, I can’t make it through 60 seconds of squat jumps. My lungs just won’t let me do it. But that doesn’t mean I quit doing them. I slow down, for sure, but I get them done. I may not mean doing one a second. It’s more like one every three seconds, or every four seconds. Doesn’t matter, keep going. Focus on form and quality of the workout.

horizontal running.gif

If you are standing on the sidelines and watching you look like an asshole. I can’t fucking stand it when some whiny bitch goes, “This is too hard, I did like four,” and then they stop and watch everyone else work out. You know why you weigh 300 pounds and can’t figure out why you haven’t lost any weight? Because you are a quitter. Don’t cry to me about how hard it is, and you are a special snowflake. If you don’t want to do it, then don’t whine about being fat. Especially not to me, I’ve worked hard to get to where I am at. I hate every single workout, I honest to god do, but I don’t quit. If I quit I’ll still be overweight, tired, and miserable with myself.

creepy-nic-cage

On top of not doing yourself any favors, you are a distraction for everyone else that is putting in the work. Yes, when I run laps I sometimes have to stop and catch my breath. Stop for five seconds to clear your breathing and get back on rhythm, then walk another ten seconds, then pick up the pace again. Someday I won’t have to do this, and I do it a lot less than I used to, but don’t just stop. If you are going to stop, just leave. You’re a negative cloud on the whole damn group.

No one needs to be reminded that you used to be skinny. Hey, guess what, most of us used to be skinny. Some have never been skinny. No one cares. I bring this up too, and then I kick myself for it later. This is one of the most recent issues I’ve had with myself that I’ve been trying to change.

If someone asked me why I was doing this my answer used to be, “I was in pretty good shape a few years ago and I looked really good, I want to get back to that.” My new answer is, “I’m trying to better myself, get fit so that I can keep up with my kid. I want to play sports with my kid, help him practice, chase him around the yard.” There is truth in both, but one makes me sound like it’s all about image, and we need to steer away from that. If it comes up in conversation, then fine, just don’t let that be the reason you are there.

An old classmate of mine once said to me, “Now that I’m fat I understand how you felt all through high school.”

shocked blinking.gif

While she was probably attempting to empathize with me, I don’t think she grasped just how horrible this made me feel. First off, she considered me fat when I was in high school.  Was I larger than she was? Yeah. It’s all a matter of perspective, really. I was taller, broader shouldered, and built a little buffer. Fat? Maybe it’s time to retire that term. But to tell me that she “understands how I felt?” What did she think I felt? Did she think that I spent every waking moment of my teenage years hating myself for being fat? Shaming myself? Shaming others?

Sometimes it did really bother me, sometimes I was able to shrug it off. Usually there were triggers and this once-upon-a-time twiggy bitch definitely was a trigger. So lets all stop and think about what we are saying when we go to the gym and announce to everyone that we “used to be skinny and that’s why we’re there.”

I’m no expert, and that’s exactly why I’m writing this blog. I’m going to sound like a real bitch sometimes because a lot of times I  lack a filter. I think that’s also why I write.

Monday’s weigh-in: 190 lbs (fuck.) Got a C on my food journal for week one (I’m assigning my own letter grade, but I think my trainer would agree.) Share with me your workout pet peeves.

Back to back workouts and dieting sucks!

green-hairGetting my hair colored was vastly more important that my regularly scheduled Monday training appointment, I ended up rescheduling for 8 a.m. Tuesday.  I was reminded that I actually prefer to work out at 8 a.m. The Bad news is that it set me up for Tuesday-Wednesday back-to-back workouts. Blugh.

As expected I am struggling hard with the dietary aspect of this whole thing. It’s easy to say “I’m going to do this!” than to actually follow through. Food is tasty. Also, like many mothers, I struggle with the need to eat on the fly, whatever is within reach and can be consumed in under 15 seconds. Until this point, my daytime meals consisted of toast, cheese sticks, cookies, and granola bars.

Now some may say, “You know this seems like the perfect opportunity to eat an apple!” If only apples had a flavor when you eat them and not that weird, acidic tang ten minutes after you ate it. I would love to dip apple slices in peanut butter to make them palatable to me, but no, then the toddler expects to suck the peanut butter off the apple, and most likely, try to eat it as well. Something I have struggled with is eating an apple directly. See I’m the type that has to cut my apple up, otherwise you might bite into something you can’t see. There are bugs and worms and gross things in apples, I’m not going in blind!

One of my bosses recommended lunch meat rolls.  She said she will take a slice of lunch meat, low fat cheese, and maybe a little lettuce and roll it up and chow on the fly. This is not a terrible idea and one I will be trying. (Note to self, buy lunch meat.)

Did I also mention how HARD it is to diet when you work at a pizza joint? One that has an amazing tap beer lineup? My willpower worked serious overtime today. There were donuts (from Greenbush!) and a pepperoni crew pie.

Up until last week, crew pies tended to be some experimental monstrosity that I would avoid. Sometimes we got something simple, like cheese or pepperoni, but most times someone would put on a blindfold, grab from random cambros, and throw the toppings in the general direction of the crust. (This is likely untrue but it’s what I imagine happens back there every time I see one of these artistic nightmares). Ever since I started this diet and swore off pizza (ok, a slice once a week won’t hurt anyone) it’s suddenly all one topping, simple pies. Today was a huge test of willpower and I proudly say I passed.

Back on topic: A brutal personal training appointment Tuesday morning and an equally brutal group class Wednesday evening has led to a hungry, crabby, painfully sore momma who has little patience for anything or anyone. The positive thing I can take away from all of this is that I wasn’t the whiniest quitter in the group on Wednesday. I was proud of myself for this fact, and I will likely rant about this at a later time. Probably after our Saturday morning group class. I think that will be ugly.

I’m sure there are some life lessons to be learned in the past couple of days. They will come to me later. For now I’m taking the little victories and running with them.

Tuesday Weigh-in: 187.9 lbs

Wednesday Weigh-in: 186.4 lbs

Weigh in, light weight

It’s officially started. What I have been looking forward to yet dreading for the last few months. Today was weigh in.

For a little more background, I have signed up to do the Biggest Loser competition through my local fitness center. Yes, they are totally cashing in on the Biggest Loser trend, and yes, I feel some forms of shame when admitting I signed up.

Why the shame?

Not because it has come down to this, an expensive competition to attempt weight loss and regain confidence. It’s just that I feel a bit crappy taking part in a competition that… profits? off of others self-neglect and insecurities.

I’m doing this because this will be good for me. I’m not in it for the weight loss as much as I am for the re-configuring of my routine and lifestyle. Not to say that my lifestyle is bad, it’s just not very good.

I eat too much, I drink too much, I’m too damn lazy. I have no energy and I really have no endurance. My child will be two this summer and I can’t keep up with him. What happens when he wants to go to the park, and the zoo, and the pool? It’s exhausting thinking about it let alone doing it.

I’ve been doing okay at the gym on my own for the last few months. I’ve been a member since August and I was going a respectable three times a week until the holidays. I fell off the wagon with the craziness that is family, parties, presents, etc. Then I got this sinus plague and that’s just ruined it. In the four months I went steadily, I had managed to lose a whopping six pounds. I would like to say I gained some muscle, but my clothes tell a different story (or the same story as it were).

Weigh-in today and I hope this leads somewhere positive. I was surprised by the people who showed up. It’s a very large group, 50 or so participants and the biggest surprise was the average age of participants. Being nearly 40 I would say that I was at the young end of the spectrum. For reals. Yes, there were people there who were probably younger than me, but only a few. The vast majority I would estimate into mid-40s to 50s. Go them, I have a feeling they will be the hardest competitors of the lot!

I sat in this gymnasium, listeed to the lead trainer talk and then listened to some testimonials and I would like to say that I was feeling inspired; but I wasn’t. Mostly I was wondering if my kid had crapped his pants and if the child care people were trying to get a hold of me. (My gym has free child care, which is why I pay them money, so they can take him for two hours and I can do…. stuff).

Anyways, we got through the motivational blah blah blahs and then stood in line for 20 minutes to get our pre-weigh-in photos. I hate these photos so much. I’m especially thrilled since my nose is still bright red, I have on last night’s make-up, and I’m pretty sure you could see through my compression pants.

Finally we got to the important part, the weigh-in. So I stepped on the scale and prepared myself. I’ve been sitting pretty steady around 192-193. I’m not proud of this, but it is what it is. Look down at the scale and 186.6 is staring back at me.

Crap.

I lost weight BEFORE the competition even started.  I last stepped on a scale a week and a half ago at my last group class. I was 192.3.  So, I lost almost six pounds in 10 days because I was sick.

This will be the ONLY time you ever hear me complain about LOSING weight. I needed those six pounds so that I could lose those six pounds as part of the competition! Now I have to hopefully maintain this through the week. This sounds so weird typing out but  how many of you have actually lost weight due to illness and then kept it off? I’ve always found that after becoming healthy again, the weight suddenly finds you, sticks, and brings a few friends along just to keep you company.

And so, folks, that’s where I’m at. Weighing in at 186.6 pounds for the start of this 12 week program. I had a 35 pound weight loss goal, but I guess it’s only 30 now. Sorry team, I accidentally lost those five pounds too soon.