Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just keep biking

So I am officially on Martha's Vineyard and on vacation. With the most athletic family in the world. This makes me feel horrible about myself. I have biked over 350 miles this summer, probably more than all of them combined, and I still can't keep up! They go about 15-16 mph while my normal pace is 13 mph. It's not even that my legs get tired or anything, I just can't sustain the pace. Who knows why.

But anyway, so we docked around 11 and walked to town to grab lunch, then biked into a different town and biked around and watched a shark being gutted and biked some more and then had a cook out and drank. A lot. I'm sure the alcohol alone would have pushed me over my calorie limit for the day.

After we were sufficiently sloshed we decided to walk into town to see the lighthouse. But it apparently wasn't turned on or something so we chilled in the grass for a while and then walked back.

All in all it was a satisfying day, minus my lack of athletic ability. It is so frustrating. Oh well, I'll just keep doing the best I can and try not to hate myself for things I have no control over.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Holy sodium, Batman!

Alright, so I'll start off by saying that I feel pretty guilty. I'll give you one guess as to why I feel guilty. I'm sure, given my rocky past of exercise and wagon-falling that you've guessed correctly: I've been bad.

Yesterday, I walked around the Emerald Square mall with Kate for an hour or so and then went to Panera and had a salad and soup and bread and had a free dessert reward on my Panera card, which I obvs had to use. I was planning on going on a bike ride when I got home, but that didn't happen. Laziness did.

Today, I thought I was going to bike the cape cod canal after work. Obviously it was way too hot to do such things, lest I die from heat stroke. Then I decided I would go to the gym instead. Until the university got the word that the air conditioning across campus must be turned off, due to immense power usage. And I remembered that the gym closes early on Friday. By the time I dragged myself home, it was already 4:30 and the gym closes at 5 on Fri anyway. That + the fact that it was eight million degrees and I had a headache prevented me from hitting it up.

So then I went to Target and got a large mocha coconut frappuccino, which I devoured like it was my last meal. Now I'm at Art's making kielbasa, black beans and rice, and brussel sprouts for dinner. It doesn't sound too terrible until I read the Zatarain's nutrition facts on the side (I wanted to get Lipton bb+r but Target didn't carry it :( ). The sodium in one cup of the concoction is worth 49% of your daily sodium intake. It is so salty it even SMELLS salty. Kielbasa also happens to be pretty salty. Yikes.

Today has been so full of fail. I had a fiber bar for breakfast, yogurt with fruit & nuts and greenbeans with cheese for lunch, and now this. Definitely over my calorie, sugar, and sodium intake for today. Ugh.

And now I'm off to Martha's Vineyard for vacation. Luckily, my bike is coming with me. She and I have a lot of work to do. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I won't undo all of the hard work I've put in so far while I'm away!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I didn't let my [rather disappointing] weigh-in get to me yesterday. I continued about my day as usual, spending minutes upon minutes viewing photos in the MFP "success stories" and the reddit r/loseit section. I'm not sure why I'm so obsessed with viewing before and after pics of people who've lost a lot of weight. It certainly IS inspiring. Perhaps I'm hoping to have my own inspiring before and afters some day.

Anyway, during my forum scouring, I happened across a post that someone had made who instructed women not to trust the scale. There were a ton of people who had done the P90X challenge and the 30 day shred who came out looking AMAZING and totally transformed, but who had only lost 1 to 10 pounds. Weight isn't everything. There is certainly something to be said for fitness and feelings and measurements.

After I got out of work, I had my lovely roommate measure me. The first time she measured me was on June 27, so it's been nearly a month.

Here were the [rather pleasing] results!

June 27

38" - bust
32" - waist
36" - abdomen (navel)
45" - hips

July 20

37.5" - bust
31" - waist
34.5" - abdomen (navel)
44" - hips

Not bad, right?

After that, I headed to the gym and did 30 minutes on the bike and 30 minutes on the elliptical and then went for a 2 mile walk around Ring Road. While at the gym, I read a captioned episode of Oprah to keep my eyes off the clock. Ironically enough, the episode was about weight loss and looking 20 years younger. She, also, informed me that the scale is not to be trusted. There are so many variables with weight and we shouldn't let ourselves get down when we don't see the numbers change. The non-scale victories are just as -if not more- important. And if Oprah says it, it has to be true, obvs.

Later, I got a call from the bike shop and they said my bike was ready to pick up! I had dropped it off last Thursday, so it was a happy reunion after having gone so many days without it!

While there, I found a great tread and the guy said he could install them on my bike for $12 each. Now, my bike is supposedly a hybrid, but the tread is thick and chunky and closely resembles that on a mountain bike. I'd heard from several bike enthusiasts that changing the tire would give me a smoother, easier ride because there would be less resistance against the pavement if I had less knobby tires. I expected that it would cost about $60-$100 to get new tires, so I've been putting it off, but knowing that I can get them for $24 makes it absolutely worth it. Now I just have to wait for them to get the tires in!

After struggling yet again to stuff my bike into the car, I realized that it's definitely about time I got my hands on a bike rack, as well. It's just not worth the frustration. Time to do some research!

To celebrate a successful day, I obviously had to stuff my face with Coldstone Creamery's "Cheesecake fantasy"(cheesecake ice cream, graham crackers, strawberries, blueberries). Just our luck, it was free waffle cone day! Suffice it to say, today was the first day in nearly a month that I've gone over my calorie allotment. :/ Oh well, tomorrow is a new day.

PS: Has anyone tried Jillian's "30 Day Shred"? I am seriously considering ordering it. It's only $7 and all of the before and after pics I've seen of people who did it looked fantastic!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


must be playing a joke on me. And a mean one, at that.

This morning, I stepped onto the scale for my third weigh-in since I've started using my fitness pal, eagerly anticipating some encouraging results.

In the three weeks I've been counting calories and exercising diligently, my non-scale victories include:

a) all of my clothes fit (and look) better - and the shorts that i bought at the beginning of the summer that were a little snug are now on the verge of being too big
b) i have more energy
c) i've been taking photos of myself in a bra and gym shorts once a week and you can clearly see my progress in these photos
d) i've been under my calorie max and over my exercise min every single day
e) i've been doing a really good job, dammit!

So this is why I was shocked / horrified / sickened / pissed that the scale informed me Not only have you NOT lost any weight, you have, in fact, gained 1 pound.

Ok, seriously?!?!?!?!?!?!

I know there are so many factors: water retention, muscle weighing more than fat, yadda yadda yadda yadda. But I don't want factors to justify gain. I want loss to justify the three weeks that I have been attempting to make myself better.

I'm not sure whether this is more motivating or less motivating. Part of me feels disheartened. I mean, I could've been stuffing my face and sitting around on the couch for the last three weeks feeling horrible about myself if I wanted to gain weight. But I haven't been doing such things. I've been doing everything right. So why oh why must you do me wrong, body?

I'm just gonna blame gravity. And weigh in again on Friday, to [hopefully] more pleasant results.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Of fat and food

I'm totally pumped for my third weigh-in tomorrow morning. I've been good, oh so good, with my exercise and diet since I weighed in last Tuesday. I worked out 6/7 days that have passed and I am quite pleased with myself. I have totally cut out late night snacking. I have more portion control. I've been under my calorie intake max every single day. I've done more than my goal 30 mins a day of exercise every single day that I've exercised.

In my estimation, the pounds should be falling off. Just running away screaming. To go from 0 to 60 in the way that I did, you would think there would be more drastic results. As my mom questioned "How can you not have really lost any weight when you're working out so hard and eating so few calories?" Good question, mom. I wonder the same thing...

But we all know that slow and steady wins the race. So despite the fact that I haven't seen any major changes in myself, I think that the way I feel (damn good!) is enough for me to not ever consider giving up.

Stuff that Sucks

- My knees.
I hate them. Now when I work out, I tend to do pretty leg-heavy workouts. Bike riding, elliptical, walking, treadmill. I would expect that a) my legs would become pretty darn muscular b) they would lose their jiggle. But no. My knees have little pockets of flesh above and around them just waiting to quiver upon the slightest step. And it drives. me. crazy. What do I have to do to get rid of you???

- Back fat.
Ugh. I'm sure I don't need to elaborate here on the unsightliness of back fat. I'm ashamed to admit that I have two (small but noticeable) rolls right below my bra straps. Perhaps "roll" isn't the right word for it. Indentations, shall we say. I have a mirror set up in my bathroom that allows me to see my back, and when I stand up straight, poof! There they are. And I want them gone!

And on a more positive note,

My Super Foods

- Brussel sprouts.
Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine how much I could like brussel sprouts. I tried them with hesitation a few months ago, and since then I have pretty much fallen in love. I eat them as a side with almost every meal I make. They are easy (heat in the microwave with a bit of water), they taste fresh but come frozen, and they assume the flavor of anything you pair them with.

- Kellogg's Fiber Plus (chocolate chip) bar.
Oh. em. gee. This is seriously the most delicious breakfast bar I have ever stumbled across. I legit look forward to eating one for breakfast every morning. It kind of tastes like a Twix bar because it is caramelly and chocolately and decadent. And it's only 120 calories, 4g of fat, 55mg of sodium, and 7g of sugar. It also contains 35% of my daily fiber. Trust me when I say it's a great way to start the day!

- Great Value brand Health Nut Mix (sunflower seeds, soy nuts, dried cranberries, almonds)
I love this stuff. I mix it into vanilla yogurt with assorted fresh fruit almost every day for lunch and it is so delish. I am particularly fond of the soy nuts, which I'd never really eaten before. They are satisfyingly crunchy and really complement the sweetness of the fruit and yogurt. Yum.

- Lean pocket pretzel bread grilled chicken jalapeno cheddar
It tastes as good as it sounds. And tastes even better paired with brussel sprouts.

Monday, July 18, 2011

NSV for me!

I've been using MFP for a solid week now and I'm still going strong. I'm [pleasantly] surprised that I've kept up with it, because based on my track record with exercising/dieting/ and even blogging, I have the tendency to pick things up, become obsessed with them, and drop them like old news after a short period of time.

This time, I'm determined that things should be a little different. I want to maintain this. No more binge dieting and exercising over the summer and then slacking in the winter. Now that I'm graduated, I have no excuse. I don't have Res to blame, I don't have my crazy hours, and frankly, I don't really have that much to do!

In the past few weeks, my routine has become:

8 to 12: work
12 to 1: lunch @ my apartment
1 to 4: work
4 to 6: go to the gym / go for a walk
6 to 9: eat dinner / watch a tv show
9 to 10: go for a 10 mile bike ride

I really really like this schedule. It works for me. I wish it didn't have to change, but summer is coming to a close and I will be kicked out of my sweet apartment / sweet life in a matter of weeks. This time, though, I must find a new sweet apartment, sweet life, and sweet routine to settle into, rather than let a hectic and highly caloric life take over!


I've been reading a lot of fitness blogs / sites - mostly for the purpose of viewing before and after weight loss pictures (a highly addicting guilty pleasure!) and kept seeing the initials "NSV". I assumed the V stood for victory, and it maybe meant "no small victory" or "nothing short of a victory" but never gave it too much thought.

Today I saw another post with NSV in the title and decided to figure out what it was. NSV apparently stands for "non-scale victory." Ironically enough, I had my own first NSV today. Tomorrow is going to be my second weigh-in since I weighed in last Wednesday at 158, so hopefully there WILL be a scale victory in there somewhere, too...but because I haven't stepped on the scale in almost a week, I have no way to measure my progress other than how I feel. And my NSV for the day is that I feel pretty damn good right now. Svelte, even. And most certainly tan (with an undertone of sunburn). The last three days spent working out over 90 minutes a day and eating (mostly) healthy foods coupled with a little R&R by the pool has really left me feeling enthusiastic about myself and my progress and my commitment to my fitness pal.

Scale, I hope you're listening, because I could use some reinforcement! :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011


So today was another successful gym today. In fact, I'd say today was more successful than yesterday!

Although the day started with frosted flakes+ skim milk, bacon, apple juice, and coffee - I was determined not to let the unhealthiness of the morning get the best of me!

This afternoon I did 40 mins on the elliptical (10 more mins than I did yesterday), 15 minutes on the bike (3 minutes and 1 mile more than I did yesterday), 15 minutes of weights, and 20 minutes of swimming.

I feel good. Pretty pretty pretty good, in the words of Larry David. Now if only my body could start to LOOK as good as it FEELS.


I've been using MFP to track my fitness things and noticed that sex isn't on there. One of my friends posted "ya know" as the name for the activity, and I couldn't find that in the database either. So I decided to google how many calories one actually burns during it. My search led me to a pretty awesome calorie calculator! It has a lot of other things on there aside from sex, obviously (though foreplay's in there, too!), but it calculates calories based on your weight - something that MFP doesn't take into account.

I promptly bookmarked the page and will certainly be referring to it in the future. It makes me wonder if the exercises I do are actually worth more or less calories than what MFP gives me credit for?

*checks it out*

OKAY people, for 40 minutes of elliptical:

- Calorie calculator says 540
- MFP says 430

Looks like I'll be doing some more referencing from now!

Speaking of ellipticals, does anyone else have the problem of your feet - not falling asleep - but becoming numb or at least uncomfortable whilst on the elliptical for certain periods of time? It happens to me quite frequently, regardless of what shoes I'm wearing and I find it to be quite irritating.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mini vacation - but not from the gym!

So my mom and I are in Bethlehem Pennsylvania for a working-vacation this weekend. Yesterday was the first day in a while that I didn't do anything active (after I got out of work, I had a six hour drive ahead of me!) and we had Chinese food for dinner, so I definitely wasn't feeling too happy with that. However, I DID outline two cheat days for myself - days that go over the amount of calories MFP has determined I should consume (1200 p/d), so I suppose it's not too horrible.

Today has been a pretty good day in terms of activity and it's not even half over yet! We started our tour-de-casinos after a light breakfast (a banana and a fiber bar and a cup of coffee) and then came back to the hotel and went to the gym for a while. I did weights for 15 minutes, elliptical for 30 minutes, and two miles on the bike in 12 minutes.

After the gym we went out to lounge by the pool. My biking has left with me an unsavory shorts-tan on my thighs, so I'm hoping that exposing my upper thighs whilst wearing a bathing suit will help even things out. I read my Kindle for a while and then went into the pool and did ten laps and lazed around for a while.

We're about to head out for our next round of casinos, then do some shopping, then some Linner (lunch+dinner), then another round and probably back to the hotel for some R+R before our final round (at midnight. Ew).

I am SO happy that I made sure to get a hotel with a free breakfast, a gym, and a pool. This is turning out to be a pretty fun pre-Vineyard vacation. And a not altogether unhealthy one either!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Minutes not miles

So I've been [obsessively] using My Fitness Pal to track what I eat and when I exercise. It is SO wonderful. Every day when I click the "update entry" button, it tells me "If every day was like today, you would lose X in 5 weeks." Most of the time, it teeters around 15 pounds...which is pretty damn encouraging. Meaning that if every day was like today, I would lose the thirty pounds I want to lose in 10 weeks. Though that doesn't seem realistic.

However, I HAVE made drastic changes in my diet and exercise.

Although I started working out again as soon as I was able to walk and didn't keep track of anything, I find that keeping track really helps me make more conscious decisions about what I eat. Earlier this summer, I felt like nothing made me full. I was always having cravings and always snacking. I felt horrible about myself.

Now I find that even though I'm consuming less than 1200 calories a day and burning more than half of that a day in exercise alone, I never feel hungry.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that my days are fuller and I am spending less time in my apartment. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I always want to have "calories remaining" at the end of the day. Whatever it has to do with, I like it.

I've already lost 2 pounds in the last week, breaking the 160 barrier and hopping down to 158. Not that that is acceptable in any way. It is still disgusting. But it is also encouraging.

One thing that MFP has opened my eyes to is the fact that in their book, minutes take precedence over miles. When I work out, I tend to measure my work out by the distance I go. I would do the elliptical for 2 miles and then be done. I would ride my bike for 10 miles and then be done. But MFP doesn't want to know how many miles I did. They just want to know how long I did it for.

I suppose it has to do with heart rate and yadda yadda, but it's pretty interesting to me. I think there should be some hybrid of the two to more accurately measure my work out. After all, I could walk 1 mile in an hour or 5 miles in an depends on my speed. Of course, there are some brackets in MFP that allow you to rate your activity as light, moderate etc. Sometimes I'm just not convinced they do my sweaty routines justice.

In any event, I'm feeling good (and wet - a thunderstorm interrupted my post work-out walk around Ring Road!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Work-out Recap

So, I've mapped out my plan in the last entry. Today was my first day actually counting calories with My Fitness Plan and so far, so good.

I wasn't REALLY monitoring my food intake prior to this, though I have been eating a LOT healthier since school let out. For the last few weeks, here is my typical diet:

Breakfast: Fiber bar

Lunch: yogurt with nectarine, raspberries, strawberries, health nut mix

Snack: iced tea, chips and salsa

Dinner: something like pizza or pasta or a Lean Pocket or a sandwich etc

Also for the last few weeks, I have been maintaining my 10 miles a day / 5 days a week goal. Three weeks ago I biked 50 miles, two weeks ago I biked 50 miles and went to the gym three days that week, and this past week I biked 60 miles and went to the gym twice.

I've been biking a lot of beautiful trails and tomorrow will return to the Cape Cod Canal trail for an absolutely stunning 14 mile ride up and down the canal. I will make sure to post pictures :)

Originally, I was hoping to lose 10 pounds by the time I left for Martha's Vineyard. I expected my sudden change from inactivity to super exercising to have a much more drastic affect and the pounds to plunge to death, but no go on that one. I have been consistently working out and taking better care of my self for three weeks, and while I certainly feel a lot better and look a lot tanner, the scale is one rotten little nay-sayer keeping my spirits down.

I keep looking at success pictures on the r/loseit site and feeling desperate for my own success pictures, yet fear I will never have any exciting enough to post. I'm not obese and the most I could ever lose is probably 40 pounds. These people are losing 70+ pounds, so their pictures are extreme and extremely awesome. I'm happy that I never let myself go enough that I would need to lose 70 pounds, but I want my own success pics, too, gosh darnit! Some day.

So now my new goal is to lose 10 lb by September 1. Sounds reasonable, right? And with MFP by my side (and on my phone) it looks like I will definitely be able to meet that goal, as long as I don't sprain another ankle!

This shit is legit: Starting Over [for realz]

Yesterday was the first full day I was able to go about my life without crutches, an air cast, or a brace since my sprain. It took far too long for that little bugger to heal, but I didn't let it me slow me down [that much]. For two weeks, I hopped around on my left foot like a moron and by the third week I was able to hobble which turned into a limp which gradually turned into a fairly steady gait. I was also able to get back on my bike during week 3, which was a welcome activity compared to the sedentary weeks before it.

I am happy to report that I have been in full swing since regaining my ability to walk.

I am determined to lose at least 10 pounds before September 1 and have re-signed up for -- I am watching my food consumption and exercising.


a) 10 miles a day / 5 days a week. This 10 miles can be walking, biking, elliptical or a combination of the three. I am just trying to get to 50 miles a week with exercise.

b) 1200 calories a day / 5 days a week. I enter my food into mytfitnesspal and it tells me how many calories I have consumed as well as how many I can consume for the rest of the day. The number increases depending on how much exercise I get. I am also giving myself 2 cheat days a week. Not so that I can "go crazy" and eat whatever I want, but two days where I'm not counting calories and obsessing over my consumption.

As you can see, I did a ton of cardio, which allowed me an 628 calories for the day. However, I haven't eaten anything else and am still 670 calories under my maximum for the day. Cheers to that!

According to the website, if I had a day like today every day, I would weigh 145 in 5 weeks. That would be a total loss of 15 pounds in a little over a month, which is crazy awesome. Not that I have the leisure to have a day like today every day. And hopefully I will have a lot LESS leisure because someone will hire me for a full time job in the near future! But still, seeing that data is both interesting and motivating!

c) weekly weigh-ins to keep me on track. I will do my first weigh-in on Wednesday morning.

d) weekly progress pictures. I will take pictures from the front, side and back. If looking my flab in the eye isn't motivation enough, I don't know what is!

e) keeping up with this damn blog again!

What are my motivators?

I started re-reading old blog posts from when I was doing the no-carb diet. While that was obviously unreasonable and didn't work out, I realized that I was 152 pounds in those entries and trying to lose weight. Now I have broken 160 and wobble between 159 and 162 on a daily basis. The thought disgusts me.

I've also started following this site - a sub-reddit dedicated to weight loss. The before and after pictures are SO incredible and inspiring.

Just in general, I have felt uncomfortable in my body since last September when I moved back on campus and began the steady scale climb.

Alright, time to bare it all. Here's the skinny:

Weight: 160ish (haven't weighed myself in over a week)
Bust: 38"
Waist: 32"
Navel-area: 36"
Hips: 45"

I will post pictures soon. Stay tuned!