Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All right kid, don't get cocky -- The Sequel

The rickshaw dropped me back home today, as well as 3.6 pounds along the way. See, it was premenstrual gain. And I'm back on track for my pre-holiday goals. 218.4, 45% fat.

I kind of cheated this week. I weighed myself on Monday, and it's a good thing I did because I was getting depressed. I did a lot of bike riding on the weekend but I still felt bloated and such. I was actually quite good as regards Halloween candy but still. I had this two pound weight gain hanging over me that my head assured me was premenstrual, but the heart was saying "No, just give up. You're doomed to be this fat forever." I stepped on the scale and noticed that not only had I dropped three pounds, but the fat percentage had gone back down to 45, which is significant. That boost of being on the right track after all kept me honest these past couple of days, and now, here I am, dutifully loggin in on Wednesday Weigh in, checking in with all the other weightloss blogs, and writing down even the two pieces of Halloween candy.

But it's also probably good that I didn't let myself be fooled that much of this was PM gain. Because that was my mode for the past few months: oh, I'll just lose this water this week and I'll be fine the following. Oh, I'll just run/bike a few more miles and that will wear off the binge I just had. I'd written about metrics about a month ago, but they mean nothing if I keep guesstimating effects of things I can't positively measure, and thus I'm fooling myself and living in denial.

So that's my big lesson learned this week. I'm coming up on November, which for many people is a dangerous time of year to begin weight loss. But for me, the challenge it sets actually puts me on higher alert that I normally would be. This worked for me two years ago when I started this blog, and I'm fired up enough that I think it will work for me again. I've pulled out an old tool -- my paper notebook, where I will write not only what I ate, but what food group it belongs to. Previously I was just relying only my Palm pilot WW calculator, which gets you the basics, but I've learned my way around it and its routine. I've blathered on about Beginner's Mind a lot, now I need Beginner's tools. So, I'm keeping up with the H20 consumption, and now this week's addition is to really journal what I'm eating, if I'm balancing out my protein/carbs/fruit-vegetables ratios well, and most importantly, WHY I'm eating what I'm eating. I've been in denial and fooling myself too much lately. Time for my own journal to smack me up. As my very third blog entry EVER reminds me, now is NOT the time to get all cocky.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm up, but I still rock. Let me count the ways.

222. I'm up 1.5 and this is the danger part for me. I can look at this very logically and remind myself that the rickshaw is scheduled to pick me up and take me for my monthly ride around the block, or I can get self destructive, during what is turning out to be a very stressful week at work, and head for the baskets of chocolate dotting all our cubicles at work on this Halloween weekend.

Instead, I shall list her for your reading pleasure, all the ways in which I rock. File most under "V'ron had one busy week with her camera."

  • The show I did with the Cream City Photogs, "Fear" at the Art Bar, opened last Friday. Since it wasn't an official Gallery Night stop, it wasn't packed, nor did we expect it to be. But I had a great chat with the bar/gallery owner. He likes our work and I'm really starting to feel like I could actually make a dent in this field.

  • So Tuesday, my boss calls me into her office. Apparently they'd hired a pro to take some shots of this aspect of our department we're really proud of, and the pro did an unimpressive job. I agreed to take a literal shot at it, and, nervous as all hell, I took in all my good gear, approached it with beginner's mind and shot. The thing about it was that it was a massive lighting challenge, and while I consider myself an available light expert, flash was required here. After a while, I chucked the flash, shot raw, improvised available light, and God Bless Photoshop. Boss was pleased.

  • A week ago I got an invitation to exhibit my work at a private party for the opening of this rock and roll compound, where there's recording studios, rehearsal spaces, play spaces, etc. I slapped together a show based on two previous shows ("audiences" and a retrospective of my BW work from the early to mid 80s) and got it hung last night. Show's Sunday, and I pulled this off.

  • Then, a friend's daughter needed HS Graduation photos and asked me. Again, I'm not a portraitist, but I shot her outdoors in available light and she's pleased with the results. She's coming over today to make her final selections.

  • My band got booked for the Saturday after Thanksgiving at a venue I've always wanted to play in. This was last minute (three week notice in this town for a band is "last minute") and I'm really happy about this.

  • Stella's birthday party was Sunday, we put that together at a roller rink at the last minute and the kids all gushed at how much fun they had. Phew.

  • At work, I'm in the throes of a massive project that's coming to a head this weekend, such that I couldn't take any time off this week to just go home and be sick and take care of myself, and I think this is going to come through allright anyway.

And on top of this, I bought the halloween candy, since my neighborhood has nighttime trick or treat this Saturday, and I haven't opened any of it, much less eaten it. I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Routine transmission overhaul

220.5, down a half pound. I did indeed drink all my water this week, and I journaled and stayed within points. Guess the digressions from previous weeks have finally come to roost. It's the Catholic in me I gues, always knowing you never get away with your sins.

It's time for workout transition. During the nice weather months, my workouts basically consist of power bike rides and I honestly don't do that much weightlifting. But come winter, I do a lot of weightlifting. Part of it is that I love the summer so much I can't bear to go indoors to lift weights, so maybe I'll be riding my bike and I'll stop and do some chest presses and tricep pushes against a tree or something, but no real formal workout.

Winter's different. I'm at the Y, there's machines all around, it's very conducive to a specific "program" of sorts (provided I make room in my schedule.) But a Y visit is a 2 hour ordeal, really. About an hour of travel/getting ready/post workout shower, which gives me an hour workout. It all seems so time-consuming, but I know I spend more time on stupid stuff. So I feel like I'm changing gears, from a speed-based high gear to a power based low gear, and interestingly enough, it's not really that hard on the trasmission, but still noticible.

My muscles ache from getting back into weightlifting mode, while a half hour on the stairmaster barely gets me winded or sweaty. I actually kind of like this transition period, and it's boding well with this whole starting over thing. I feel like I'm starting fresh: slightly achy muscles, but achy in a good way, like I'm accomplishing something, like I actually worked them. I come home and make myself a fresh, nutritious tossed salad and my motivation is fed by those achy muscles.

OK, theme for this week: determine and establish an indoor workout routine, despite the fact that this month is anything but routine.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Stress is contagious

Numbers first: 221, down 1, but woooo, did my fat percentage go up, to 47.1.

OK, first week of the challenge, and my goal this week was to journal everything, rather than let myself fake it out. And that accounts for only losing one pound (as opposed to the pile you get when you change your eating habits). I journaled everything, and according to my journal, as of last night, I'm about 15 points in the hole, so the only reason I lost this week was either some residuals from prior weeks, or the bike riding I started catching up doing.

Saturday I'd gone to girl scout camping leader training, and while the food wasn't exactly watcha call "diet food" I'd stayed in range and was journaling everything. The problem came when I went to a friend's house for an evening BBQ/party. It wasn't a celebration of sorts, though. My friend had just gotten (or perhaps just faced) some bad news about a family member and he was doing the right thing to deal with what is going to be a long-term source of stress for him by surrounding himself with his friends. Unfortunately for me, he also surrounded himself with plenty of wine and cheese and other flex points busters.

The thing was, I didn't have any wine (too tired to deal with alcohol) but that's not why I binged on the cheese. My friend was stressed out, there were a couple other people there with stress in their lives, and I learned just how contagious stress is. And I am definitely a stress eater. Some people medicate their stress with alcohol; I medicate with food. So admidst the laughs and fun that go with just brining a bunch of old friends together, there were the subtle and constant reminders of the sources of stress, which I internalized and fed by popping piece after piece of cheese or chips into my mouth. I just got stressed watching my friends this way, and because I was in a relaxed state from earlier in the day, I just went on auto pilot. I don't even remember what that cheese tasted like. I just pounded it. I finally stopped myself, feeling terribly unhealthy (and thus not in a state to be helpful to my friend anyway), bid my farewells, and left. I pulled out my points journal, wrote it all down, and beat myself up over it. Breaking 20 year old habits is wrong.

The next day I got up and rode a good 30 miles on my bike, which is a better way to shake the stress. Still, it doesn't make up for the bad behavior to begin with. I've got to learn to anticipate these things better and stop reaching for medication. Because food in this case isn't nourishment. It's medication, and when it comes to stress, medication only attacks the symptoms, not the cause.

OK, theme for this week (back to basics) is WATER. I've been living on diet soda, and not drinking enough water. 40 oz a day, minimum. I will journal this.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Time for a challenge

I've been binging a lot lately. Partially its from boredom, partially because I just have these cravings for stupid sweet stuff, partially because outside of work, I'm so busy at home that I'm living off of fast food and easy to prepare but hard to make healthy meals. I'm up three pounds this week. I seem to have lost my resolve so I'm going to set some tough goals, put them in print, and hopefully that will hold me accountable.

By December 1, I want to be down 10 pounds from now, at 212. This is do-able if I really set my mind to it. By January 1, I want to have gotten through the Holiday season without a net gain. This I've done twice, so I know that's do-able. And maybe with Halloween coming up and the holidays, I can do this because since there are specific challenges, I'll go into challenge mode.

I also need to be challenged, publicly. Know why I didn't post last week? Because I gained, that's why and I was too chickenshit to post. That's why. So if I post goals, I know I have to meet them, else people will stop reading this blog and write me off as another also-ran. That would be the worst. I'm totally sure of that.