Can’t Seem to Get Past this Plateau

It’s weird. For a year I’ve been on a plateau. Then a party or BBQ or potluck. And I jump up a pound or two.

I fight like hell to get it back down. Then another event. It is a constant fight. Then all the sudden, my weight drops. And it’s not like I dieted or something. But usually I got preoccupied with something else and was busy. Yeah, too busy to eat or snack I should say.

Being too busy isn’t fun. But having fun when I’m too busy to think about food is really fun.

Bike riding does it for me. It’s easy to do an hour and a half or two hours of riding with friends. And the thought of food isn’t bugging me. As long as I ate a banana or something before the ride.

Anyway, this morning I woke up and dropped 2 pounds. Without trying (who’s kidding, I’m always trying!) But without expecting to. Nice feeling. I’m still not past the plateau I’ve been fighting, but I’m within a glass of water of it!

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Healthy Diet Motivation Where Are You?

After posting my recap and goals, I really thought I’d do better. You know, better on my healthy diet motivation plan. And I guess in some ways I have.

I’ve biked more in the last 15 days than I have in the past 6 months put together. Even counting spinning. Last night went out with friends again and got 17+ done.

My arm is acting up – kinda numb from where I fell 18 months ago. It’s weird. It wasn’t doing this the past year or so, but when I raise it for a left turn while biking it felt really painful. So weird. Probably a nerve acting up. I should probably get it looked at.

Bad Healthy Diet Motivation

But all that exercise ends up making me more hungry and less resistant to eating more. In the end, the weight really is about what and how much I ate.

Good Healthy Diet Motivation

Signed up finally to do personal training on the weights. Next Tuesday. I’m excited and I’m nervous both.

Planning on another long bike ride this weekend. And if the rain holds off I’ll squeeze another ride in before the weekend. Thunder/lightning are predicted and I’m not feeling like taking a chance of getting caught in bad weather.

Self talk makes such a big difference. Gotta keep the tape playing “my song!”

The Ugly part of Healthy Diet Motivation

It’s never over, weight maintaining is none stop and I can’t let up.
Went to Outback last night. Got a salad with chicken and the dressing on the side. And did not eat the bread.

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Status update: Exercise, Weight, Food and Sleep

Summer is almost here and it’s time to evaluate my status.

Why is logging exercise so much easier than logging food?

Exercise
I only went spinning once (May 4) in the last 6 weeks, but lately I’ve been back in the biking groove and have logged 99 miles in the last 2 weeks:
May 31 – 23 miles
June 2 – 5 miles
June 3 – 20 miles
June 5 – 6 miles
June 6 – 24.1 miles
June 9 – 20.5 miles

I’m training right now for the MS150 mile bike ride the beginning of August, so I’m biking a lot. My plan is to just keep running a little in order to keep that part going so I’m ready for training  for the Akron Relay as soon as I’m done with the MS ride.

My running/jogging/walking  in May:

  • May 2 – 2 miles
  • May 5 – 3.5
  • May 8- 2
  • May 9 – 2
  • May 13 -2
  • May 15 -2
  • May 19 – 2
  • May 21 – 4
  • May 22 – 3
  • May 27 – 1.4
  • Total for May 23.5

The 23.5 miles is not bad, for just maintaining a few miles. Most of the miles are super slow with the dogs. At around a 14 minute pace. More of a jog than a run! For June, I am going to go for another 25 miles total. Maybe a bit more than that. And hopefully at a 13 minute pace or a bit more.  Maybe run and THEN walk the dogs. Somehow I think I can run with the dogs, but they interfer with my shoulders and my left one has been hurting lately. That’s probably why! I fell skiing in Jan 2015 and it healed after about 2 months, but the past month it’s hurt. I bet that is why!

June (so far)

  • June 7 – 2.4 miles slow but with no dogs to blame my slowness on!

I’m not focusing on running right now because I’ll hit that hard in August. But I think I should probably plan on running 3 or so miles each time so that it won’t be a big adjustment when i start running 4 miles in August and then 6 a few times in September. I just want to maintain that I can run, not build the miles or the speed right now. If I get around 30 to 35 miles running in June, I’ll be very happy.

Weight
Meanwhile I have been hovering at the 159 and 160 lbs – back and forth on the scale. Not where I want to be, but it is better than it had been. Too much of this year has been well above 160. Especially when a year and a half ago I was hovering 149 and 150… That was before I got hurt and took 2 months off from the HIIT intense boot camp type workouts I was doing 3 days a week.

June 2015 to June 2016

I downloaded a new app on my phone that is a weight averaging app. If I had to eyeball the past year, I’d say my weight was more in the 158 average… but if I look at just March thru June, it’s definitely OVER 160. It’s weird how it creeps up so easy. I did really well weighing in almost every day.

What else is weird is that two of the 3 times in 2016 I got down to 156 were both from vacations! (Jan 12-19 and March 5-12.) I find it so much easier to keep the weight off when I’m not sitting at a desk! Not so much even the activity, but when I do stand up from the desk, I find I go to the kitchen! Perfect transition into food:

Food
I have been trying to do whole30 – at least not eating anything that came out of a package for the past 2 weeks (actually 16 days, but who is counting!) Been working on this the past 2-3 weeks and when I look at the chart, I think it is actually working.

I really like this pinto bean recipe that I have with tomatoes, celery, carrots, avocados. The dressing is lemon, olive oil and cider vinegar… so it’s good. The only ww point things are pinto beans and avocados. It is good for maintaining if I don’t eat too much of it.

Lots of egg white omlets with spinach and mushrooms with a whole egg dropped into the middle of the egg whites. No bread. Granny smith apples with Almond butter. Yum. best. snack. ever. When I go out to eat: salad with chicken, ranch on the side. I have had one beer and one glass of wine in the last 3 weeks. Tried to do a taco recipe but too much sodium or something. Mexican doesn’t work for me. Chicken in the crock pot. With veggies. Awesome. Roasted veggies. Always good. Mozzarella cheese – snuck it in there, probably should have skipped it.  Tuna over chopped veggies – A winner. Tuna over quinoa – Okay.

As far as tracking food. Boo. Really bad. Like D- or F.

Why do I find it so hard to track beyond lunch? Breakfast. Easy. Lunch and snack? a struggle but I write it down. But after 3 pm you’d think I never heard of the concept of tracking. Mental block.

Water
Not very good. I’m trying to not buy the favored waters because of the whole 30 and artificial flavoring. Plus the ones I like are 75 cents each. For water! And I like to drink 2 a day. What a bad thing with the plastic recycling too. SO I have stopped buying them and stopped drinking water like I should. Tap water doesn’t do it for me. And putting fruit in the tap water in the fridge? Well the last pitcher sat there for more than a month and the fruit got really really water logged. Not the right answer for me. Maybe I’ll just buy the artificial water this week and see how things go.

Sleep
Mediocre. Go to bed early enough, but still getting up way to early. Probably on 5 good hours and 2 or 3 toss and turn hours.

Maybe I’ll try going to be a little later to see if I sleep more soundly. It’s just my very best sleep is the first 5 hours.

Goals for this month:

  • Track all 5 elements: I’m great at tracking exercise and weight.
  • Exercise: Keep up the lots of miles on biking 2 or 3 times a week. Maintain with a run once or twice a week, short and slow miles.
  • Weight – drop a few pounds (2 would be great!) Today’s weight: 160.6
  • Water – drink it! come on, that’s the easiest goal to make the one you really slipped up this past month!
  • Food -Keep going on Whole30 but TRACK the food. Not just breakfast and lunch, but water and dinner.
  • Sleep – keep working on it. Less screens. Less caffeine. More meditation. More relaxation.

 

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Camping in the Woods, Hiking and FitBit

We went camping this weekend and I got lots of rugged miles in of hiking… not!
Well it started out like a good hike in the woods, but once I saw some bear scat, I got nervous. Up the bank to the road, quick as a wink! So we walked along the road instead.

Walking the road was not my idea of fun. Fast pick up trucks and no berm. But at least I wasn’t worried about a bear!

Meanwhile, I left my FitBit zip at home (I thought I lost it!) so the miles didn’t count on my tracker. It’s weird how the tracker is motivating and when you don’t have it on it feels like it doesn’t count.

That is kinda how it goes when I don’t log food. It feels like the calories don’t count. How weird is that. Like eating in the dark. Everyone knows those calories don’t count!

Minister Creek Allegany forest campfire

Minister Creek Allegany forest creek

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Getting the “SPRING” Back in my Step

The week before my birthday, 4 workout days. My birthday week I managed to get 2 days of work out in… It was gorgeous on my birthday and I took at 16 mile bike ride with my friends! But the following week it turned back to winter and snowed. And I slept in.

fitbit zip

So starting this week, I’m back in the saddle and getting the “spring” back in my step. Went to the gym both Saturday and Sunday.

Barely made it Saturday. Took way too much time scraping ice/snow and getting my windshields clean, so I walked the track a bit and called it done.

snow blossoms

Here’s the photos I took at the gym both days. On Sunday, the snow melted and I felt more inspired. I got on the treadmill and did 3.5 slow miles. I do think that doing something, like JUST getting to the gym on Saturday, inspired a longer workout on Sunday.

So – just like these trees are a before and after, I want to do a before and after.  Early April high 150;s. Early May low 150’s. And Green bars all the rest of this month!

Monday I was back at spinning class. A good decent spin with lots of sweating. Back in the saddle!

Today will be a trick to get into the green with all the meetings and driving I need to do.

Besides the snow, we’ve had 3 funerals in 2 weeks and another one tomorrow.  Mostly parents of friends but tomorrow is a friend’s husband.

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The New Normal – Up or Down?

Interestingly enough, the idea of normal really changes in my mind.

When I was losing weight, it was normal to be on the diet of a healthy lifestyle and being very careful of what I ate.

Being in maintenance is harder than being in the losing phase. Everyone knows that! (Except the people in the losing phase who feel like losing it is the hardest. ha ha!)

But as the months go by, I find a couple of pounds up becomes the new normal. And the “scream weight” amount goes higher.

This past year, I have not been lower than 153. And a couple of years ago 151 was my absolute highest.

I need to look back on my motivation posts like this one, which I think is one of my best, because it recaps my strategies and tools.

Today I did a really weird thing. Woke up early (4:50 am – also known as on time) and got into my exercise clothes. Drove over to the gym, but didn’t turn in. Drove home. So what is that about? What’s holding me back? Why am I feeling so reluctant?

I love going to do the workout. The music, the sweating, the instructor, the people. Why do I keep thinking it’s too hard. I’m too heavy to do this. I’m too old. I’ll get hurt. What’s going on with me?

I think what’s bugging me is my birthday next week.  The number 59 is in my head. Today it’s feeling too old to do the jumping around of the class. But there are people older than that in the class. And I’m never going to be younger than this again.

I promised myself I would go running later this morning after the sun comes up. Still 30 more minutes.

Gotta get my head in a better place. Losing a couple pounds is a great start.

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Where did my motivation go?

I did great when I was on vacation 2 weeks ago. Went zooming past my step goal every single day (Double on Friday!!) Was a wonderful non-stop vacation to San Diego for 7- 8 days (if you count travel days – which I do.)

Then the time change (spring ahead) and the jet lag (3 hours later) gave me a 4 hour challenge where I still am fighting to adjust. Plus lack of sleep from the red eye flight coming back where I didn’t get into a deep sleep. Felt like a truck ran over me. So I dragged myself thru the week.

Here I am one week and one day later still feeling: “Meh, and not motivated to do anything – work or work out!”

I did go running yesterday, very slowly at 13:11 miles for 3.8 miles, so it was a good attempt. But I can’t get up for spinning or HIIT or anything early. Just don’t want to. It’s very bizarre because usually I can’t stand laying there when I wake up. Now, I can’t make my feet hit the floor!

I’m going to attempt to do baby steps this week. Track my food but not points or calories. Walk. Walk. Walk to get my legs moving. No coffee or caffeine after noon. And laying down for sleep by 9:45,

i didn’t do my normal routines. Got 2 loads of laundry done, not 5. Did 2 loads of dishes, not 3. Only 1 work out, not 6. Barely did work, just answered emails. Was a bit cranky.

This week should be better. Gotta get a little more sleep on the front end. Naps don’t seem to help.

Of the 3 – sleep, food, exercise – I really need the sleep to maintain my mental attitude of motivation!

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Chopping Vegetables… and other Simple Steps

Food wise: Last week I chopped a lot of veggies into small squares and put them in a gallon size plastic zip bag in the fridge. I cooked a whole bunch of chicken tenders in olive oil and put in a container. So easy to grab and throw on a salad. Or warm in a pan, add a little Parmesan cheese and voila!

It saved me at that “I’ve gotta gotta eat something” when I get home later from work than I planned.

Exercise wise: Spin Monday. HIIT Tuesday. HIIT Thursday. Spin Friday.  Walked 15 to 20 minutes each day on the track. Felt really good all week.

Sleep wise: Good sleep all week except Fri night to Saturday. Made it up Sat afternoon with a nap and a long night Sat to Sunday morning.

Motivation wise: Went out to dinner with my friend (we’re running the Akron Marathon relay again) and listened with great interest to her story of success with one pull up. VERY INSPIRING!! Sent a few texts and now we have two new relay team members! Good. More people to talk about training with!  Also added another friend to my FitBit community. So now I have 3 friends who all get more steps than I do. MOTIVATION!

Result: Good week. 156 down 3.2.
A year ago 153.4 and now 156.0

A 2.6 gain – why should I be happy about that? Because the 2.6 doesn’t tell the whole story. I actually dropped another 3 from the 150, (end of 28 day challenge) but then got hurt mid March which resulted in a long “slow” gaining period until I was better again. Even with the Summer Sizzle plan that I barely followed.  Good summer below 160.

But immediately following the Akron marathon relay, I quit training by running and still didn’t go back to my routine due to the late night workouts for ski conditioning. Those workouts were 12 stations that had 4 cardio, 4 strengths and 4 stretching/ab sections of a minute each. So maybe 24 minutes of workout. But I couldn’t push push myself. Followed by potlucks, which were my downfall.

Anyway, I started working out in my “normal” routine again on Thanksgiving.

March 2015 to March 2016

And I’ve been really working it. The flat spot and drop in January was following my trip to Florida. Luckily so I didn’t have my usual February net gain. The warmer weather in February this year has made it an easier month, even with eating out a few times and not watching the salt etc. (Valentines)

This week is the week before San Diego. So I’ll be out of my routine again for a week, but I’m sure I be super active and not stuck behind a computer all day.

Action Plan for this week:

  • Chop Veggies again
  • Make a zero point soup
  • Broil/roast fish in tinfoil
  • Do 10,000 steps EVERYDAY (spin/HIIT maybe weight lift)
  • Run 3 miles

 

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10 Reasons Why I Exercise in the Morning

Why do I like to exercise in the morning more than night time?

This is how a typical fit bit chart of my workout days look. Busy before 8. Sitting all day and all night.

This is how a typical fit bit chart of my workout days look. Busy before 8. Sitting all day and all night.

  1. I get it done – If I get to the gym, I get my work out in. It is as simple as that!
  2. There are so many other things to do at night.
  3. I am a morning person
  4. I feel like even if I don’t accomplish one damn thing today or have lots of set backs and frustrations, at least I did a good thing by getting my workout in.
  5. I have lots of energy in the morning. Next to none at night.
  6. I sit at my chair all day. If I do 78 steps in 15 minutes, that is a lot.
  7.  Days that I don’t work out, my bar tops out around 250. Sad. I saw one day that was only 150 steps for the top bar. A true couch kinda day.
  8.  Days that I work out, my bar is set around 600. On a non-workout day, my fit bit says my most work active time is walking the laundry downstairs, folding and moving it back upstairs.
  9. Most of all I can enjoy the after buzz all morning. I guess they call it endorphin hormones floating around. Truly addicting. I just feel great like I can take on most anything. My muscles are tired but it is a strong tired, not a exhausted, don’t feel like doing anything tired.
  10.  Working on websites, marketing plans, collaborating with other people in meetings is exhausting, but in a totally different way… All brain synapses get used and it is a completely upper head-type of tired. Not legs, arms, chest, abs, glutes kinda tired.
  11. I work out with Jerry G and Jerry L. Both are incredible athletes. Both talk all thru the class. VERY motivational. Push way beyond my limits to keep the best people in the class challenged. GREAT music. Don’t seemed phased by much of anything. Both have a very early class (5:30 am or 5:45 am) so by 7 am, I’m not only done, but I’ve done some cool down laps and stretched as well.
  12. My head is filled with all kinds of stuff at night and I never get in the zone of working out. It’s not like in the morning when it’s a clean slate
  13. Dinner before is not good cause I can’t work out very well with a full stomach.  Dinner after is too much because I’m really starving and eat too much.

Guess that is 13 reasons, although many of the reasons seem the same! It feels good, I get it done and by nature I’m a morning person!

 

If you like to exercise at night, why do you like night better?

 

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Working the Plan

We are more than 1/2 way thru February and ski season is winding down for me.  My lessons concluded last week, but I went skiing twice this week with wonderful conditions.  The local ski area will probably close on March 12 but I will be busy from March 4th on, so I only have one or two weeks left. Definite improvement this year of skiing more on the front of my skis.

I signed up for the Akron Marathon Relay again. It was so motivational last August and September getting ready for it. Having a big goal after the MS150 bike ride was wonderful.  And the actual race was simply delightful. Probably one of the highlights of my year last year!

Hopefully I have a wonderful experience again this year. Although it’s difficult to duplicate wonderful weather, a great team and pretty strong training. I did the 5.7 at a sub 12 minute mile pace. I’m hoping to improve that for 2016.

I’ve been spinning twice a week fairly regularly since December so that I keep my seat until spring when outside riding really starts.

On black Friday, I signed up for 4 personal training half hours at my gym, but still am *shy* about actually scheduling the sessions. Now at least I know what I want to work on. Weightlifting. I have always been intimated to step into the weight area of my gym. Not because the people aren’t nice. But it’s all inside my head.

Last Saturday I talked to my trainer (I take group exercise HIIT classes with him all the time) and he acted like “NBD” – no big deal.

But when I got home, I decided to jot down why I am reluctant to sign up. It blew me away. I had 23 reasons. About 90% of them boil down to self conscious.

But I had no idea I was that weird about it. I decided to read a bunch about it on the internet, watch videos, try a little bit in the living room with the dumb bells watching a youtube video and build my nerve up.

I also listed one by one answers to myself for the 23 worries that I have. I wrote them as if I was chatting with a friend. It’s sooooo easy to dismiss someone else’s anxiety about trying something new. When I read the reasons as if I am an outsider, they are laughable. However I won’t share them on here because, on the inside, to me, they are very real.

During February I’ve been working out about 50% of the time – but I’m counting skiing as one of my workouts. Technically it is not, but I sure do feel exhausted afterwards because of all the concentration on the moves and trying to keep warm. After my 1 1/2 hour lesson each Weds night I’m wiped out. Also trying not to have the obligatory beer up in the bar afterwards. I’ve been bringing my bottle of flavored water and sipping that instead. Hate to wipe out every calorie burned (plus) with one lousy beer!

Also been counting my macros using a free app from Mike Vacanti. He’s a young guy in NYC who posted a really great video (with the exception of the swear words) about why it’s so important to exercise for 58 year old women. Here’s the video (ignore his bad language. I think he just hasn’t figured out if he’s going to talk to people like me, it’s a big turn-off.)

I’ve read thru his blog and watched a bunch of his videos. His style is a bit ADD, with quick cuts on his videos and a variety of mini-rants, but he is likable enough and very passionate about what he’s trying to accomplish.

Meanwhile I am continuing to try to combat the February dulldromms in NE Ohio.  Today is gorgeous. One of the 70/365 we get sunshine! Gotta love days like today!

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