The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Monday, February 27, 2006

Just Chugging Along

I had the realization that I've made some serious changes in my lifestyle over the past year, and even when I'm just chugging along, I am getting things right most of the time. Even when life's events get in the way, I am able to either work around them or get back on track ASAP. And life does get in the way, so flexibility is key to success. So here I am, 32 days away from my 50th birthday, and I have made good nutrition and fitness a top priority in my life. Last week I spent 2 days sitting around the house waiting for plumbers, electricians and appliance delivery people. Sometimes I think taking a break for a few days is a good thing-- besides giving your body a break, you get a feeling for how addicted you are to the gym. A little addicted is a good thing and that's where I am. I was able to handle the days off, and on Saturday I was ready for a nice long workout. I also realized that my body has adjusted to my new weight. I tend to hover around 108 lbs. Even when I'm a "bad girl," my weight doesn't immediately jump to 110. I have to be seriously overindulgent for that to happen. And if I do gain a pound or so, it's usually easy to get back down to 108. So even after spending a few days sitting around the house eating bagels, my weight stayed at 108. This morning I was down to 107 and my body fat is just under 20%!! I put on a pair of pants that I bought not that long ago and they are big in the waist. Yesterday I was on the treadmill and I noticed that it's getting easier to run a little faster. It makes me realize that I could accomplish great things if I really got serious and didn't just chug along.
If I cut out the coffee..... if I drank more water.... if I consistently spread my meals out.... if I watched my protein intake more carefully......
I could decrease my body fat and get rid of the remaining saddle bags. I could run a 10k. I could lead rides for the cycle club. I could find the speed that I've never had.

I think it's time to give this all some thought and re-evaluate my goals. Of course, it has to be about balance too. I still have a job and a family and even just chugging along takes a big chunk of time, in the gym and the kitchen. Not quite a year ago, I pictured where I wanted be when I turned 50. I'm there. Now, where do I want to be when I turn 51?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Top Ten Reasons Not To Cheat

  1. 42 days to 50th birthday.

  2. Reward for reaching goal weight new Terry Butterfly saddle.

  3. Food hangovers—it’s just not worth feeling like crap after eating crap.

  4. Do you really want to ride level D or level C when cycle club starts in April.

  5. Ability to say “I can’t donate blood—you have to weigh at least 110 lbs.”

  6. Better sex.

  7. Cheating is more expensive than not cheating. Save money, buy smaller size clothes.

  8. Ripple effect—if I don’t cheat, it helps DH and sons #1 and #2 make good choices.

  9. Having an ice cream or something like that when it’s a special event makes it more special.

  10. I, too, am jealous of Rene’s abs!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Reading and "Running"

I'm on the treadmill, working hill intervals, sweating, trying to figure out how much longer until the incline will decrease, monitoring my heart rate, and thinking about whether I should be working harder. All of this requires a good chunk of my available brain power, but there is a little bit left to manage my iPod. I look around and I notice several people running and riding while reading newspapers, books and magazines. Now I suppose something is better than nothing, but do these people really think they are working out? Are they even breaking a sweat? Is it possible to read and still get a real workout or are the 2 mutually exclusive? I find that it takes a good deal of concentration to keep myself working hard enough to make my workout count. If I was reading a book, I know I would not be able to keep up my speed and intensity. I guess I could stay at it for longer, and ultimately burn the same amount of calories, but I wouldn't get the same cardio/fitness benefit. So I say no, you can't read while running and call it a cardio workout worthy of recording in your workout log.
I can't imagine running without my iPod. Sometimes I will watch one of the TVs (if there is a baseball game going), but I find that music is far more motivating. The timing element keeps me going-- "by the time this song is over, I will be over the top of this hill." When I run outdoors, I usually use a track so I can plug into my iPod. I don't like running on the roads with the iPod because I think its dangerous (OK--I admit it-- I'm also a fairly mediocre runner and the track allows me to avoid hills). Just as I need my tunes to sustain me, I suppose some people need the written word to keep them moving and cut the boredom factor. That brings me to another point. Is running inherently so boring that we need TVs, iPods and newspapers to get through it? Is it something that we do because we know we need to "get more exercise" even though it brings no joy? How far do you have to run before you get that runner's high? Running is not my #1 cardio activity-- spinning is, and I often get to a place during a spinning class where I find my "zone." I know I am working hard but I don't notice the effort and I feel like I'm riding at the front of the pack. If I started running more regularly, I suppose I would find that place, but from where I am now, running is still hard work and requires a good deal of mental energy. I enjoy it some. I usually choose the treadmill over the elliptical or the evil Stairmaster. I just don't know if I would hit the 4 mile mark if I didn't have my tunes to sustain me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cooking with Gas

Coming soon..... to MY KITCHEN........a brand new gas range. DH and I have decided to get rid of the electric range, and replace it with a gas one. This is a big decision because it requires purchasing (or leasing) a propane tank, paying a plumber to run the gas line from the tank into the kitchen, and paying an electrician to step down the electric input from 220 to 110. Ultimately it will add to the value of the house, and more importantly, I deserve a gas stove. I do enough cooking to justify the expense. Electric stove? Oh, you'll get used to it. Well, I have gotten used to it, but I hate it. Trying using a wok, or a pressure cooker on an electric stove. So in a couple of weeks I will be simmering and roasting in the luxury of my GE Profile JGB918. And imagine how happy son #2 will be when he discovers the little "pizza oven." There is a small 2nd oven at the bottom, which can also be used to keep dinners warm for those returning home (from the gym!) after dinner has been served. And did I mention the grill/griddle that can be used over the big fat center burner? Its like having a George Forman grille without having a George Forman grille. And nowI don't have to clean my evil electric oven because it's going away, far far away. Cleanliness is not a requirement for hauliness (ooooh, that was bad). I wonder what they do with evil electric ranges that are hauled away.

And BTW, I won $75 in the students' Superbowl pool. Yippeee! I spent some time visiting Timbuk2 Build Your Own Messenger Bag website. I have a "bag" addiction.

Friday, February 03, 2006

8.5 lbs. of Fat

I set up the crockpot to make vegetarian chili. This time I decided to make it a little spicier, but I think I overdid it. Must have added too much tabasco, because it is too hot for me! DH and son#1 like it, but I had my first and last cup of that batch of chili! I thought of packing it up and bringing it to the Superbowl party on Sunday, but my son said, "mom, you can't do that to those innocent people!" I went back to the gym for spinning class- strength. As soon as I started warming up, my HR started going up more than usual. Well, in a strength class the whole purpose is to bring up your HR in intervals, so my HR was definitely up there! When it got up to the 80-85% range, I could definitely feel a diffference in my breathing-- I guess I was going anaerobic. That was a good indication that I've got my HR zones set up where they should be. I still felt like my HR exceeded my effort, and I guess there are any number of explanations for that. I think it was the chili. Oh, and when I got home I switched to black bean soup.

Today I weighed 107 lbs, and body fat was 19%. Wooohooo. I am not convinced that I will stay here, I will probably bounce back up, but I know I am headed in that direction, and that I can get here. Eventually I will be able to stay here. So I did some calculations. If I started at 114 and 25% bf, I have lost 7 lbs but 8.5 lbs. of fat! I guess I have been conditioned to go with the scale and consider pounds as the ultimate outcomes measurement, so this was quite a surprise to me. Gosh, I like it. This is a picture of 1 lb. of fat, 3500 calories. Imagine if all your fat was in bright neon colors like this blob. There would be alot of neon rainbow people in the world.

I noticed today that my pants have gotten longer. I am not filling them out as much around my hips, so they are definitely longer.

I watched The Biggest Loser the other night. How great is it that a 16 year old was able to reverse all the warning signs of diabetes, and that her parents are backing her up 200%.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

TIVO and The WD5YP

Last night I avoided The Sate of the Union address by watching American Idol on TIVO. American Idol was certainly more entertaining than W, and I could also argue that Idol, was reality TV and the State of the Union address was pure fantasy. I certainly don’t feel guilty about not watching W; that it's my civic duty to tune in whenever the President is addressing the nation. Reading about it in the NY Times is a much better investment of my time. In fact, watching American Idol is a much better investment of my time. Having TIVO also allows me to watch these shows in less time. Sometimes I will watch a favorite TV show in its regular timeslot, but just tune in 15 minutes later. It takes 40-45 minutes to watch a 1 hour show, so I will be done at the same time that the show normally ends. I was originally opposed to TIVO because I did not want to encourage the kids to watch more TV, but that really hasn't happened. When they are in TV watching mode, they are in TV watching mode. They will watch anything because their brains are already set to TV Mode. They might as well watch something that they really want to watch vs. some total MTV crap. Same thing with me-I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but when I am in the mood, it's good to watch what I want to watch, regardless of the day and time. So yeah, I love TIVO.

And, I admit, I like certain reality TV shows, like American Idol and The Biggest Loser. I even like Loser Special Edition episodes, although not as much as the seasonal version. I have weaned myself off of Survivor, and I never had much interest in the Bachelor/Bachelorette varieties. Apparently Fox was concerned about Idol's ratings falling off because people are getting tired of it. This is the 5th season. But Idol's ratings have been off the charts. It would have been interesting if Idol went up against W. I wonder how many people did what I did-- TIVOed Idol so they didn't have to watch W.

Today I read Skwigg's blog and discovered that we have a similar problem. This morning I put on a pair of wool slacks that I haven't worn in a long time. I haven't worn any wool slacks in a long time, primarily because the few pair that I do own were too tight! But now that they fit again, I decided to wear them. As soon as I zipped them up I could feel the wool waistband on my wintertime dry itchy skin making me even more dry and itchy. So I dug up a camisole and put that on under my sweater and immediately everything was right with the world. I have decided that I need more camisoles, both of the undergarment variety and the "base layer" variety. Every woman should include the purchase of camisoles in their wardrobe diversity 5 year plan (WD5YP). Every woman has a WD5YP, right?

weight 108
BF 20%