If I tracked like I update…

I am absolutely still doing this, I’ve just been busy with [insert excuse here]. Truthfully, I think I just forget about this a lot. Maybe I should add it to Habitica.

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I started out using it to “gamify” my fitness goals, but I find it useful for a lot of things. I made tracking food and drinking water a “habit” (can be checked off multiple times per day), I have my weekly weigh-in and measurements as a “daily” (lose in-game health if these aren’t checked off on the right days), and often use “to do” for work or one-time things like filing my taxes. The Habitica Blog is right here on WordPress if you’re interested in more ideas for how Habitica can be used.

In actual progress news (as opposed to my avatar’s progress), I’m continuing the downward trend and as of Tuesday’s weigh-in, I’m down 21.9 pounds since starting WW in November. A set of low-cost resistance bands has helped, and a treadmill is being purchased with my tax refund. In addition to my food goals, I’ve set simple fitness goals to start out. I’m not going to kid myself into thinking I’m going to do 10k steps per day, or even 5k. For average days, I usually hit about 2k, so I’ve made it a daily goal to make 3k steps for now with at least one day per week over 5k. Once the treadmill is here, we’ll be bumping that up a bit.

I’ve also signed up for yes.fit virtual racing. For a (very) small monthly fee, I have unlimited virtual races, with the option to purchase rewards (medals or t-shirts) for about what a regular 5k race would cost. My system for motivating myself is that I will set a goal that is attainable but not too simple (because let’s be serious, I’m not doing 24+ miles in one go, or even in one week right now). As an example, my current race is 58.8 miles, and I’ve set a personal goal of 45 days. If I achieve that, I’ll buy one of the rewards. If I don’t, well… I’ll set a new goal to make sure I complete the race, just without a physical reward. But I do like getting the medals, so it’s a good motivation.

The 24 mile Cheshire Cat challenge, bonus Galaxy paw included for your viewing pleasure.

And that’s where I am at this point. Still going, still not giving up. I like this stuff with my back not hurting as much and my “too tight” jeans being way too baggy now. And how much better I feel without all the sugar and junk food. I certainly don’t intend to give all that up anytime soon.

Still Going

I started with WW on November 5, and as of now, I’m down about 13 pounds (I say “about” because I just got a new scale and have not been able to compare it to the one I was using before).

I love little physical representations of my awesomeness.

I did switch to Blue as I mentioned I might do. I’m finding it a lot more sustainable overall, although this wasn’t really a good week. I was sick for a lot of it, and when I’m sick, I eat anything that sounds appealing otherwise I won’t eat at all. So it’s been a pizza sort of week. I’m okay with that, and I’m back on track now. Even with the Week of Pizza and Burgers, I still haven’t used up my weeklies, and I don’t appear to have gained. Weigh-in is Tuesday, so we’ll find out. It’s a great example of how weight loss and eating right doesn’t have to be super strict as long as the less-healthy choices don’t get out of control.

We did have a moment of panic when I logged into the site last night and saw that I had used up my dailies and was -16 on my weeklies, even though that had not been the case earlier. I went digging through all of my stats and saw that my cat had put his paws on the new scale as I was setting it up. WW thought I had an 8.5 pounds weigh-in and adjusted my points accordingly! Deleted kitty’s record and it set everything right.

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Incidentally, that was only his front half. My cat is a superchonk at around 17-18 pounds.

So that’s where I am right now. Mostly on-plan and absolutely on-track. Gradually adding some workouts now that my back has healed and I’m not sick anymore, so there should be some pretty good progress this month.

 

 

Purple

I’m still here. I’m still doing this.

WW Purple was my plan of choice. Four pounds the first week, three the second. I’m halfway through my third (weigh-in on Tuesday) and kind of… unhappy. I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going wrong here; obviously, it’s working since the weight is dropping. And I’m not hungry. But I’m tremendously unsatisfied, and I think I figured out why.

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All of the foods I did not eat this week.

I focus pretty hard on the zero-point foods, to the point that, out of my 16 points per day, I usually only use 5-6. And those points are usually on a snack here or there. So I’ll “allow” myself a handful of pretzels for 3 points when what I really want is a 10-point cheeseburger. I have ALL of my weeklies, there is no reason whatsoever that I can’t have that cheeseburger every few days. I was originally going with the idea of saving my points for one big day, but I end up not using them.

And more than that, I logged the actually calories of what I’m eating in a day, and it’s under 1000. With the exception of a couple of points here and there, every single thing I eat is nonfat, no sugar, skinless, boneless, plain, and just boring. And the idea of this as a permanent “lifestyle” is incredibly depressing. When I did this before, I ate pretty much whatever I wanted, but in moderation. I tracked calories and activity and if I ate something like, say, a donut, I increased my activity that day to make up for at least half of it. That worked for me except for what a huge pain in the (huge) butt it is to try to figure out the calorie content of every single thing. I thought WW would be easier with the points, and it IS easier to track. But it’s a lot harder to balance the lifestyle I want with what I feel WW says I should have.

I suspect the solution at this point is going to be to switch to a different plan. Purple isn’t awful and it’s definitely got me into some better habits, but this isn’t sustainable long-term for me. I figured all the zero-point foods would be awesome and filling, and I was half-right: very filling, but a little low on the awesome. I need pizza or burgers or an absurdly large roast beef sandwich now and then. I can totally do that with my weeklies, but I don’t like how I feel mentally when I go over my daily points.

So that’s where I am two weeks since my last update. 7 more pounds gone for a total of 31 down from my highest officially-logged weight. 45 from this time last year. I can totally do this.

Here We Go Again

Four and a half years. That’s how long it’s been since I’ve posted. Things happened, jobs were lost and gained, and pounds were lost and gained and lost and gained again.

And then gained some more.

And a few more.

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Completely Accurate Photo

In November of last year, I realized I was up to 270. For someone who’s 5’1″ that’s a lot of poundage. Walking to and from my car at work was a nightmare of back pain, so I decided to drop a little weight. I got down to 256 by January, and started logging again. I made it to 239 by April and then lost my motivation. But I still paid some attention to what I was eating and what I was doing so I wouldn’t gain it back this time. I also managed to develop a taste for artificial sweeteners, which is good because I was consuming an absurd amount of sugar.

It worked. As of this past Tuesday, at 232 pounds, I joined WW on the basis that if I lost 7 pounds just “maintaining” maybe some real effort would produce real results.

So here we go again. Each year it gets a little harder and I don’t want to see 50 like this because I’m pretty sure at that point, I’d give up. So that gives me four years to get myself together and get this done.

I can do it.

I will do it.

 

One Month On

Hello again.

Bet you thought I’d strayed once more, hmm?

NOPE.

Here I am, thirty-one days later, and twenty-four (24!) pounds less.

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This number, plus or minus a couple hundred…

I haven’t been working out much due to the “Oops, I forgot to pay my membership” plan I currently have at the gym, but just being back at work has had a huge impact. I’ve also been logging my food again, which is good, otherwise the fast loss might be alarming. But I know from logging that I went from zero activity and 3000+ calories per day to moderate activity and 1500 calories per day. While the quick drop won’t last long, it’s not unusual with such a drastic change.

My hair is also… normal. As in, not purple (SO SAD). As part of my bargain with myself, it stays this way until that first number on the scale is a 1 again. I’m over halfway there, I can do this.

So, yeah. Kitty’s still going, and stepping it up more next week. MEOW.

It’s Been Awhile

Hi there.

Looking at the last entry, it’s been even longer than I thought. 2014 was filled with unexpected changes, and one change that could easily have been foreseen– I gained back everything, plus a bit.

I'll blame it on bad influences...

I’ll blame it on bad influences…

I’m not going to feel sorry for myself, and I’m not going to feel guilty. I’m just going to pick myself up and start again. That’s the theme lately, and I’ve managed to start over in all of the other areas where life got a little weird. I can certainly do it with this.

Returning

Lack of internet, increase of allergies, and a negative financial intake have contributed to not logging much of anything (or doing much of anything to log). Hard to get motivated to log your meals when most of them are ramen and water. Between my allergies upsetting my balance and my “diet” (ha!) contributing to weakness and fatigue, I haven’t done a lot.

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Excuses, I know. There are workouts I can do that don’t require balance (you know, anything that has you holding onto a back of a chair, for example). The food situation is bad, yes, but there are things I can supplement it with to at least make it a little healthier.

The truth is, I’ve been sitting around feeling sorry for myself because I’m in a rough patch. That stops, now. I don’t know how long this situation will continue, but I can’t just give up all of my progress while I wait for it to end.

When Expectations and Reality Clash (A Review of Sorts)

“Kitty! You’re back! Where have you been?”

Oh, just doing a Forrest Gump and running across the country. Except without the running. Or the “across the country”… I’ve actually just been going about my normal life with a few internet-related technical difficulties.

I did run, though.

This past weekend was The Glo Run*, which describes itself as a “sensory overload” and “a course powered with energized colors and effects jumping to music.”

 

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The description is so wildly inaccurate, they may want to be careful about getting some false advertising charges brought against them.

Contrary to the description (and any expectations you might have from the name of the race), The Glo Run is actually 3.1 miles of near total-darkness. The only light comes from the glowing necklaces and bracelets that are handed out with the race packet. In the case of my city, it was also run on an incredibly narrow gravel track. If you’re unfamiliar with this sort of thing, this means that, because there are thousands of runners in a confined space that’s covered in dust, you’re basically running through a giant dust cloud. It’s dark, so you can’t see where you’re going, and watching the disembodied glowing jewelry bobbing up and down in front of you is disorienting at best, nauseating at worst. Alone, that might have been tolerable, but the paths wound between large, stagnant ponds, with no barrier around them. With no light, the only way to even know there was water was from the smell. Perhaps that was the “sensory overload” they referred to?

There were three stations set up as “energy worlds” that were essentially tents or inflatable arches lit with blacklight. One of them had a DJ, the other two had boomboxes. Everyone stopped to take pictures, making for a nice, claustrophobic effect. This is especially true at the final “energy station”, where we had the added bonus of a fog machine on the highest setting. Yes, inside the closed-up tent. I’ll avoid talking about the DJ too much, because hey, maybe he was told to play nothing but bubblegum pop and 90’s hip hop.

The event was poorly organized, which was surprising and disappointing, as it was put on by my favorite running company. Packet pickup was a nightmare, with only a single pickup point, 40 minutes away from the location of the race. Three computers manned by surly, unfriendly staff, and a line that stretched almost the entire length of the strip mall added up to about an hour and a half wait.

The race was held in the middle of the largest park in the city, with no signs or volunteers to direct the parking or to lead you to the event. We got lucky and ended up in the lot directly by the start, so we could see the porta-potties and figured out where the race was.

The course, as mentioned, was on narrow paths rather than on the streets, despite the huge turnout. The paths went across several roads, none of which were blocked to traffic. And the end of the race actually went off the path completely, through a tent, and then… nothing. No finish line, just walk out of the tent, and wander off somewhere.

On the plus side, I did run part of it. Once we got to the total darkness, I had to slow to a walk due to lack of visibility. I also finished fairly quickly just so I could be done and go home. I guess that’s good.

The one good thing I can say about it is that, as always, the people of St. Louis were awesome and fun, and managed to salvage at least part of the evening with interesting chats and a lot of energy. I’ll keep doing races for that, but The Glo Run is definitely crossed off next year’s list.

 

*Not to be confused with The Glow Run 5K or the Electric Run, which are in no way affiliated.

A Walk In The Park

If you’re familiar with the online weight loss community at all, then you know about NSV’s, or Non Scale Victories. These are the things that remind us that we’re making progress, even when the numbers on the scale don’t show it. This is important because, even though some have a goal of losing weight, the overall goal is generally to be healthier, and NSV’s reflect the changes that have occurred in our lives as a result of our work.

I had a lovely little NSV this weekend. I had to take my car to the shop, about half a mile away. The trip there is all downhill, which means coming back is all uphill. A year ago, I would have needed to call a cab or get a friend to pick me up. Six months ago, I could have managed to walk home, but I’d have been struggling to get home in less than half an hour and would have needed to stop and rest a couple of times. Now? I made the walk back in less than ten minutes, sprinted up the steepest part of the route, and then, just so being up early wasn’t wasted, I did another half mile around the neighborhood. And the best part is that the reason I stopped was because I’d only had an hour of sleep and wanted to try to grab a bit more before work, otherwise I could easily have done another mile or two.

This is why I do this. It’s nice to lose weight, look better, fit into smaller sizes, and so on. It’s even better to be able to do the things I couldn’t do before. While a half mile in ten minutes might not be very fast, it’s a lot faster than nowhere at all for years.

Does Coffee Count As Hydration?

I’m not a morning person.

Well, that’s not strictly true. I do just fine with mornings, as long as I’m approaching them from the other side. Mornings are late nights. It’s more accurate to say I’m not a “functional-when-I-first-wake-up person.” As such, I’m in awe of runners (and other athletic types) who get up early and get their workout in at the beginning of the day. I have to cling to the wall just to stop everything spinning as I shuffle from room to room, cursing the daylight. But I figured I’d give it a try today. I set my alarm for an hour earlier than my usual time, and managed to get out of bed after hitting snooze only three times. Stumbled into the living room, sat down at the computer, and seriously contemplated just going back to bed. Then I saw this posted on Facebook:

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I thought about that for a moment, and contemplated the engraving on my ID bracelet:

I Choose To Be Stronger Than My Excuses

And I realized that if I just sat there when I was physically capable of getting up, getting my shoes on, and heading out the door, then I was weak. I accept a lot of my faults, but weakness isn’t one of them.

I got dressed, laced my shoes up, and stumbled out the door. I faltered and ached and wanted to just lie down in the park’s grass and sleep, but I kept going. My route is through a park, with the midway point at a small, man-made lake with a fountain and ducks.

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Yep. Totally worth it.