Category Archives: Goals

My iron clad will & gym commitment

Last night was a test of my newfound commitment to workout at least 6 days per week. I was too sore on Friday to go to the gym, and Saturday I didn’t have an opportunity, due to being on a road trip from 7 am until10:30 pm. So Sunday, no excuses. But I didn’t feel like it. So what? I said I was going to go, and that there was no reason not to, so I went. My iron clad will made me. And I’m glad I did.

I have to remember how wonderful it is to be at the gym on the weekends, let alone a holiday weekend when everyone else is out of town. I practically had the gym to myself! I made myself get there in time for Iron Chef to be on at 7 pm. I even had my pick of treadmills – there 3 that are my absolute favorites as they are immediately in front of the fan, the only one in the whole cardio room! Have I mentioned that I sweat a lot? I mean, *a lot*! I have to wipe thick rivulets of sweat off my brow when I work out, and that usually starts in the first 20 minutes. As my normal time is at least 60 minutes, that’s a lot of drippage! There’s nothing worse than having salt drip into your eyes. Or to get hot and thirsty, lick your lips and get a mouthful of salt. Ick. So those spots in front of the oscillating fan are so lovely! I hate it on Mondays and Tuesdays when I’m forced to pick the first open machine and it’s miles away from the fan and its lovely cool breeze.

Anyway, back to last night! I was still stiff and sore. I didn’t want to go, but I made myself. I have decided that feeling like not doing a work out is no excuse for not going. I figured since I was so sore that I’d just do hill walking. I didn’t think I’d want to run, so I just did a fast paced walk at an incline, and started ramping it up every minute. It wasn’t so bad as I thought it’d be. And then the first commercial break came on. Dilemna! Every other time I’ve watched iron chef I have made myself run during the breaks. So it was force of habit that made me switch from hills to a flat run. I started at 4.5, super slow and easy, just to get into the rhythm of it. And ya know what, after 30 seconds of ow ow ow I’m so stiff and my muscles are not ready for this, it was fine! I ended up doing the dietmaven interval special! Here’s what I do. Rather than normal intervals, 1-2 minutes on FAST, then 1-2 minutes at a slow recovery pace, I ramp up until I can’t handle it anymore. I start out slow, say 4.5 or so, and after every time interval (this can vary from a minute or 30 seconds or if I’m trying to do it quickly, every 15 seconds) you bump up the speed by .1. In a commercial break, you don’t have long, so I went from 4.5 to 5.5 in less than 3 minutes. If you feel strong and want to push it, keep going. I often get to about 6.0-6.5 and then get super tired, and go to 3.0 or 3.5 to rest for a bit, before trying it again. My absolute best was making it to 7.0 and that was pure will (I was trying to compete with the thin athletic girl running at 7.0 next to me :).

Anyway, the running was way easier than I thought it’d be. I was sore, but moving sure helped work on blood flow through tired muscles. I went back to hill walks during the show, all the better to watch (unfortunately, battle okra will not live on as one of my favorite things to try and reproduce!). I ran every commercial break, even continuing on for a few extra minutes on my internval special since a really fantastic song came on (oh yeah, I switch from tv listening to tunes during breaks – that extra motivation really helps! I mean, how energized do you think you’ll feel watching a commercial for a car, I mean really!!). By the end of the hour, I felt bad I wasn’t going to be running, and that I had spent most of the hour walking.

Then I remembered I was going to amp up my workouts. I didn’t have to just do an hour. I could and should do more! So I restarted the machines (stupid 1 hour time limits!) and started running. I did my interval special and then did regular intervals. 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Every minute on would be at a slightly increased speed from the last one. I was up to 6.4 speeds (relatively fast for me), and then a muscle started bothering me. Just one, but the kind that I’ve learned means soreness and down time, so I cut my workout short at that point. I followed up with some foam rolling, something I am going to try and do more of, and went home.

I’m glad I worked out. I didn’t think I had it in me, but my body is made of sterner stuff than my will sometimes. Oh yeah, and my weight is at 208. No change from last time. Which goes to show you why I am choosing to both go more often (at least 6 days of hard exercise per week) and amp up the intensity (more than 60 minutes every time I go, and absolutely more than 600 calories burned per session).

Stats: 1:22 hr cardio
Miles: 5.5
Calories burned: 820

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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in Goals, Gym


Saturday road trip & good choices

Since my last post, about my last workout on Thursday, I have not been able to exercise. Friday I was so sore I could barely walk (which means I should be doing more lunges more regularly so they don’t continue to do this to me!). Plus I ended up spending all my free time after work with 3 hours (!!!!) at the thrift store trying on clothes. Way more than I thought I’d spend. I was ok not working out, I could barely move!

Saturday was a long day. We got upat 6, left the house at 7, and I was too tired to really spend any thought or energy on food preparation for the day. Instead, I started out like I always used to do – I got up, and left the house without eating or drinking anything, just perfect for becoming hungry and blowing any good eating decisions out of the water. We stopped to get coffee, and I got a grande mocha (-1 pump of chocolate), no whip, from Starbucks. My coffee drinking is still an area I need to work on. I also thought about what food to eat. I got a slice of pumpkin bread. I should have gone with the egg white sandwhich wrap, probably the best option for nutrition vs. calories, but didn’t. I was second guessing my choices the whole time. I knew the wrap would be the better choice, but I was scared off by the egg white part of it. I have never gotten egg whites intead of regular whole eggs, I don’t even know if I’d like them or not! So rather than take a chance, I got something higher-calorie without a lot of nutrition, because I knew if was “safe” to eat. Then on the road I got super hungry. When we got to Wenachee I was ready to blow it. Somehow we ended up at Subway instead of a diner, and I got a healthy black forest ham sub, no chips, no soda, just water. I ate half, and left half of it for later. Very good!

It was a fun day, though still difficult to move, I was easily the most stiff possible so far. I ended up consuming the other half of the subway footlong, along with a fresh picked nectarine (love the fruit stands in Wenatchee, the fruit growing breadbasket of Washington state). After several hours of shooting in the hot sun and desolate farm country, we headed back very late. We were both very very thirsty! And as always, I bemoaned the fact that there is no sparkling water to be had at convenience stores. Why not?! Anyway, I wanted carbonation in a bad way and found a solution! I got a 32-oz drink, TONS of ice, and mixed half unsweetened ice tea with 7-up. Just enough carbonation to feed my need, and much less sugar than normal. I unfortunately devoured half a bag of Smart Food popcorn, that will always be my downfall, junk food on a road trip.

For dinner I again made good choices. I went for lots of vegetables, and a small piece of steak over cream-based pasta sauces. I even left a good portion for leftovers, eating enough to be satisfied, without becoming sick from overeating (another positive change on this journey). And the salad was very good, though because their balsalmic dressing had so much sugar in it, I almost didn’t even eat any of it (the dressing that is, I love me some salad, as long as it isn’t icky iceberg)!

Overall, not the best eating I’ve ever done, but it has improved significantly from times past. I’m choosing better options when a menu is presented to me, and even choosing to avoid places and items that are very high in nutrtionally-poor calories.

Today I’m continuing my obsessive readings of an awesome blog, The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser, starting at the end, of a man over 500 lbs that has lost weight through 1500 per day calorie consumption and daily exercise.He has such an amazingly positive attitude and I’m finding his story very inspiring! As I recently mentioned, my eating is not the best (ie, it’s too much eating!), and my exercise is good, but not top notch. I’m working on improving the food quality, and planning my exercise for the day. I’m still really sore, but I can move. I may do a loop walk from my house, 4.5 miles, 1.75 hours and lots of hills. Even if I don’t, I will go to the gym tonight and do an hour of cardio, possibly more, if I’m up to it. I also just made a decision in the past 2 days that I WILL exercise at the gym and on my own 6 days a week, without fail. I need to start walking more when I’m home and be active every evening. I have mentally committed to working out longer, and more consistently. I can’t just do it for a week and take 4 days off then try again. I have to amp up my exercise, regularly, or I won’t achieve any improvements, nor lose weight. I am also going to start making better choices with my evening and weekend eating choices, which is where I have been falling short.

I’m committed to this journey, I am on the journey, and I’m recommitting to achieving it by stepping up everything. No more maintenance mode. On to weight loss! I can do better than 17 pounds in 8 months. Watch me!

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Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Food issues, Food planning, Goals, Inspirations


Rambling overview of the last few days & starting the conversation about my food habits

It’s been a few days since my last post, so I’m going to go over a few items, all briefly:

I went for a bike ride on Sunday! There’s this fabulous bike/walking trail in Seattle called the Burke-Gilman trail. It extends a fairly long distance, from Ballard up to Bothell. I used to ride it all the time. Unfortunately, there’s a big chunk of it that’s under construction. So my hiking partner, who is suffering from a nasty case of planter fasciitis and who can’t hike or walk much, went biking with both me and J. We went up north to past the construction, and cycled from Bothel up and around to Marymore Park, which is about a 15 mile trip there, or 30 miles round trip. It totally didn’t feel like it! However, my bike was misbehaving and extra difficult to ride – the front break pads were rubbing against the tire, making it very difficult to cycle. I don’t know what to do, I am planning another ride on Monday, and I am out all Saturday and I bet no one is open on Sunday to help me with the problem, and usually you have to leave your bike someplace to get it fixed. Oh well, I will just have to avoid using the front brakes and then lean down to pull it off the tire when I do forget and use it.

The ride was awesome, nice trail, though very busy! Pretty, and a good time! Unfortunately it was super hot in Seattle. It actually was like 85 degrees!! It was way hotter than I typically can stand. I brought lunch, a bunch of fruit cut up in a plastic tub and a baguette sandwich with deli meat, a slice of havarti, and a handful of lettuce (no mayo!). I did break down and have a large root beer with it (darn my craving for carbonation!) while we walked around the dog show that was happening at the park.

I have been doing ok going to the gym. I didn’t go Monday – I was stuck at work super late and just too tired to go when I got home at 7:30. But Tuesday I made myself go to step class, even if I was 3 minutes late, at least I went. Though it got really hard when I had a muscle issue with my calf – either a pulled muscle or a charlyhorse that never went away! I had to use my water bottle to roll it out during a short 1 minute break, it was hurting so bad! But I stuck with the class ok. Weds I went, mistaking that might for my training session. When I realized it wasn’t Weds after all, it was the next day, I was uber depressed. Man, I went to the gym and I didn’t have to?!?! But I was there, so I made myself do cardio. 58 minutes, 675 calories, 4.6 miles. I did a lot of intervals, and got up to some pretty high speeds, which wore me out and made me need long recovery periods. I felt good, but may have overdone it. There’s some wierdly sore areas on where my right leg connects to my butt/trunk area. Not sure how to describe it. Still hurts today, and I am walking funny because of it. Then tonight had my second trainining session…

Tonight’s training session was better. She’s different from my last trainer. I’m getting used to the three sets of everything. It is causing significant muscle fatique, and I don’t think that is a bad thing! We did so many lunge sets tonight that my legs are total jelly!!! I feel like the exercises are a bit more classic exercise, so I don’t feel like there’s anything new there, just that it’s a routine that I wouldn’t necessarily have done on my own. I’m going to write it down in a little notebook to refer to in the future when I need a routine. Tons and tons of lunges with shoulder presses, chest presses, bent over rows with a bar, deadlift style, some cable machine exercises that worked my obliques (ab choppers going up and ab choppers going down, pulling and pushing), and then a set of assisted pull-ups that worked my biceps.

Oh yes, there’s some psychological/mental things I wanted to discuss, too. I’m realizing that my attitude to food is way too comfortable. I’m allowing myself to splurge a little too often, and way too frequently. I don’t watch it when I’m around less healthy food. I allow myself to accept glasses of wine that J hands me at night, and I will eat the food that he makes since I don’t feel like making myself something different – a lot of it involves pan frying in olive oil, starches, and less vegetable matter. When I go out, I don’t worry about navigating the menu in the most healthful way. I don’t do fried chicken and cheesecake by any means, but I don’t do great either!!! So basically I’m super sloppy with my food. And I really need to step it up when it comes to my eating. I’m going to talk more about this again, but it’s a problem area, and I really need to give my eating a swift kick in the pants!

On the exercise front, I’m going, I’m putting in the work, and I work hard when I go. But I let last week’s momentum fade when I took a few too many days off (at first to recover from my hip muscle problem, then it stretched into being comfortable not going to the gym). Luckily, it was only 4 days, and not longer!!! Either way, this week, I’m super sluggish, overly tired (I haven’t been getting to sleep earlier enough either), which has resulted in my gym performance less than average. I mean, hey, I work out 600 calories/1 hour every time, but as I mentioned above, my food is not great. If I don’t step up the exercise, I ain’t gonna lose a thing!!! That’s been my problem for the longest time and it HAS GOT TO CHANGE.

I think I am going to email my “old” trainer, the one that is opening up her new place, and ask her to help me craft and figure out an exercise regiment. Not just a 50 minute workout routine for once a week, but to really look at what I should be doing, cardio/weights/classes/independant exercising, to meet my weight loss goals. That feels like a good thing to do. I’ve been exercising now since January. Holy crap it’s now September and I need to step it up and really focus! It’s been 8 months and I haven’t even lost 20 pounds. That’s pathetic and I can do better!

So, I have to get my butt in gear. I have to ask for help in my exercise regiment. I have to step up my workout intensity and time that I put out. I need to be consistent for 5 days at the gym and 1 day of my own non-gym exercising. I have to really buckle down when it comes to my food, most importantly dinners and portion sizes. And I bet I should try and drink more water. I never do, and I think that might help.

Well, it’s time for my rambling post to come to an end. I hope the next time I report in I will do so with improved vigor and intensity!

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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Food issues, Goals, Weekly recap


Recap: where’ve I been the last 5 months?!

My last post was in March. It is now August, 5 months later. Let me bring you all up to speed. I’ll just skip over the embarassment of not posting for so long, and being absent from this blog, and get to the real heart of it:

April – I was busy and stressed. I realized that I had to get a new, lower-mileage vehicle to do all the highway driving I was planning for the summer. I started shopping for a new car (used Subaru outback), and that took over 2 weeks of my life. That was the beginning of making excuses for not going to the gym. A few days off, and la la la, it’s almost impossible to make myself go back. I then got a nasty spring cold, the kind where I was out of work for 3 days, and totally out for the count for 5 (over a weekend). It took me a solid 2-3 weeks to get over it. I think I tried going to the gym a time or two with miserable results. But at least I went.

May – I was in the habit of not going to the gym (see April). This continued all month. As a further excuse, my boyfriend had gotten into yet another car accident (also not his fault) – he was hit hard from behind and this made his existing minor symptoms from a previous car accident much much worse. He was in a lot of pain (which still continues!!!!) and was physically unable to do much at all, let alone go to the gym with me. So without him going to pressure me into going, I didn’t. Pathetic. LIke it’s his responsibility to ensure that I go to the gym? I don’t think so, but at the time it was a convenient excuse.

June – I started really feeling physically awful. I had been ignoring and denying the fact that I needed to return to the gym. I had been tired of the whole ‘going to the gym ALL THE TIME’ and was happy to have a break. But the 2 month break period finally came to an end when I was getting winded going up stairs and had no energy for anything anymore. I realized that I needed to get my ass back in gear, and get back to the gym. I couldn’t rely on another person to decide to get my health and wellness in check. Only I could do that. The month saw me come to the realization that I needed to be serious about exercise, and that only I could keep myself accountable. So I started going again. I also got into the rythym of hiking weekly with my hiking partner friend. 4-6 hour hikes once a week, with modest 1000-2000 ft elevation gains over 4-6 miles, then turn around and return. We talked a lot about health, fitness, our goals, and everything related under the sun. I reconfirmed my commitment to keep going. I also signed up for an into 3-session training package at my gym (24 hr fitness).

July – I continued to go to the gym regularly. But not consistently and not with the amount I needed to continue weight loss. I finished my 3-session intro package and bit the financial bullet, and signed up for a 10-pack session. I planned on doing the session with the trainer (who is great by the way!) and then repeating it mid-week. But that didn’t happen. I would do one good week of going consistently 4-5 times, and then I’d have a week where I was super sore and couldn’t move well for days so I’d be pathetic and do no further exercise for 3-4 days before returning. One or two weekends I didn’t do hikes (due to my hiking partner not being available). However, I did start doing some long bike rides (4 hrs or so) about once a week or so. Physically I was getting stronger, my muscles were getting much more defined and solid, but I still didn’t lose any weight. I was in the complacent bubble where I felt healthy, acted healthy, but saw no significant change other than a little stronger.

August – now we’re up to current events. As of now, I am hovering around 209-210 lbs. I haven’t really noticed any weight loss or much change in my clothes. My waistbands are about the same as they were a few months ago. My bra may fit a little loser, but that’s about it. Last week I had what I’ll call my August epiphany. I realized that if I was serious about losing weight, and by that I mean to actually LOSE weight, not just go to the gym a lot, lift heavy weights and get strong, but actually physically slim down, reduce my clothes from size 16 to a healther, smaller size, that I would have to step it up. My epiphany was that i needed to be consistent at the gym. Not just every few days, but at least 5 days a week. PLUS go hiking or biking on the weekends. Beyond that, I needed to be more careful with my diet. I should cut out alcohol completely. A little bit here and there really add up (thus no drinking my calories). I needed to work on reducing my portion sizes (always a big struggle). And even more important, I should add in extra workouts. This means that after a training session, or an hour step class, I should still do more. I decided to push my workouts to be longer, not just 1 hour. I should add in walks before work, or more activity on the weekends. So that’s the plan as of last week – I’ll see how well it meshes with reality.

As of last Friday, I have been a gym rockstar. I am putting my schedule into my online calendar to keep track, and I’ll start posting my weekly activity here as I used to do. I’m back on track. I feel solidly recommitted to this. I realized in the last 2 months that I finally have made this a lifestyle choice. I’m not doing this for the short term. I’m trying to do it for the long haul. I am now working hard on losing the next 10 pounds and getting under 200 lbs, before continuing further.

Thanks for visiting, and seeing me along my journey! I promise it won’t be another 5 months to my next post. 😉

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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Excuses, Goals, Life getting in the way


Update, ramblings, and weight status

Well, I’m trying to get over the last few hectic/emotional/crazy weeks. Time to get back into the routine. Eat less, eat better, work out regularly, and BLOG!

First, the great news. I weighed myself last night and I was 211!!!! I have officially lost 14 lbs since staring. Way to go me! The few days not working out last week, and the occasional (healthy) eating out (with small portion sizes) didn’t seem to have too much of a negative affect. Whew! However, I know that won’t always be the case, so back to the regular workouts.

I bought new sneakers this weekend. I ended up going to a quieter, more no-frills running store and they started with shoes THEY picked for me (no looking at the pretties on the wall), watched me run, then modified from there. They didn’t have fancy machines that measured how my stride worked, they actually used their eyes and their skill instead. And when I asked if I should get an insert, they told me I didn’t need any with the shoes I was getting, as they had plenty of support. Wow. The last place I went (roadrunner sports) totally pushed the extras, plus they were a lot less knowledgeable about the products. I think I know where I’ll be shopping again! If you care, it was Jock ‘n Jill, which I strongly recommend!

As losing is still an exciting and new prospect for me I have to share 2 things. I got a bit of road rash on the undersides of my um, breast, from my workout bra. I realized after a second day of issues that I needed to use a tighter fitting. Wierd! Cool! I’m getting smaller, so my clothes need to be tighter, too! And I’m still not able to believe that when I put on my belt with my jeans that I can go to the second set of holes and it doesn’t make me unable to breath when I sit down. Instead, the belt actually  holds my clothes up better when it fits more snuggly. Who knew?! It’s wierd to be in mental denial of physical changes. I’m so used to being a certain size that I can’t wrap my head about the idea that I’m changing! My mind hasn’t caught up with me yet!

Got a bunch of bike parts and bits and pieces and am looking forward to mr. maven working on my bike (we’re trading favors, massage for him working on it). Win win for both of us. He’s going to take the whole thing apart, regrease everything from the inside out, take out some surface rust, put on new inner tubes. Then I’ll get it tuned up. THEN, we’ll start riding! I so miss being in biking shape. I used to do long 2-3 hour bike trips all the time with a friend of mine. I’ve set a goal for myself – by the end of the summer, I want to be able to ride from my house down to Lincoln Park, then to Alki, under the West Seattle bridge, through downtown and Interbay into Ballard, then join up with the Burke Gilman trail and ride that through the UDistrict all the way up to Bothell. And back. I loved doing the short trip from the University District up to Bothell, stopping at a Starbucks up on the trail, then doing the same backwards. Eventually I’ll be able to do the whole thing from my house, which is twice the distance I used to ride regularly, up and back. I think the whole trip will up being 6 hours and about 60-70 miles. But I think it’s doable if I start riding regularly. I had at one point made it around Lake Washington, 60+ miles in 7 hours (that was about 7 years ago before my biking buddy went to grad school and I stopped riding).

So I have grand plans, I’m being relatively consistant and moderately successful losing weight. But I’m still lacking in a few areas. I continually keep being out of breath and having difficulty when I take any classes – they tend ot be more high aerobic activity. I can run for a sustained period of time, just not at a higher intensity. I hope this will continue to improve as my weight diminishes and I stick with the cardio. I’m 38 about to turn 39, so I should expect my body to be unable to recover from weight gain and inactivity as readily as it used to. I should mentione that I continue to see modest improvement in my running speeds. 4.5 seems like an utter snail’s pace to me now (my original starting pace). I am now starting at 4.7 and going up to 5.0 with no major issues. Above that and I start having trouble maintaining it (breath, not muscle). I keep doing fast sprints, even when I don’t want to, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0 and even the occasional 8.0!!! I do what I can.

Last time I attempted to lose weight (3 years ago), I was upset by the lack of progress. But I didn’t stick with it. This time, I have to say I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can improve with consistent cardio. Can I eventually get to the point that 5.5 is a doable basic speed? Will I ever be able to run 6.0 for more than 2-3 minutes? I’ve never applied myself to running for more than 3 months at a stretch. It’ll be interesting to see what improvements come with consistantly doing an activity.

Overall, I’m still emotionally tender and resentful about the last few weeks, but I have a good outlook when it comes to my personal health. Both mr. maven and I are in our own version of significant stress, but we are choosing to stick with the healthy routine. We both know it’s good for us, and actually a stress relief. It’s just hard to do at the end of a long, jarring day. But sometimes you just do. No think. Do. Because you know you need it, because you know it’s good for you, and because you just have to.

Next time I post it will be to address a wonderful blog award I was just given…. Until then, dietmaven out!


Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Goals, Weight loss


Things I’ve committed to

Bad grammar, ending my title with a preposition. I’ve never understand that, and I disagree with that sentiment, but I digress.

Let’s start with my macro/uber goal. I weigh 225. My goal weight (picked at a whim) is 150. Now, I may be able to get to 140, but 150 is a nice round number. 75 lbs is a nice round number, and I like how neat things look on the written (er, electronic) page.

I was hoping I could do it in 1 year. Also a nice round number. Fictional, and made up, but I have no benchmark to use as a baseline. To make it that far, I need to lose about 1.5 lbs every week, about 6 lbs every month. Compared to the biggest loser, that’s nothing, pshaw, anyone can do that! Compared to past personal experience, that’s ambitious/impossible. But I can’t compare to past experience (er, failures?) [Editor’s note: starting a sentence with a prepositional phrase is also a no no that I often ignore].

I don’t know if I can maintain that number, or if I’ll do way better. What I do know is that to make such a goal achievable, I have to break it down into 2 micro goals, which all of you should be very familiar with:

* Eat less calories
* Expend more calories through regular exercise

Now to break those down even further, I have committed to working out at least 5 days per week. Realistically, that means I need to go to the gym pretty much every day. Thursdays I can’t go due to volunteering as a monitor at a local photography school. I get one other free day (which I will endeavor to not take unless I need it for something unforseen, or recovery time if I’ve worked out so hard my body is truly f’d up and unable to function). This also means that I should go to the gym every day but Thursday, except for those days I go hiking/snowshoeing.

Now on to the eating part. I suck at doing highly restrictive caloric eating. Sure, I can cut out the butter, stop having lots of slathered in olive oil/baked food, no more half and half in my coffee, and no more whipped cream on chocolate pudding! And no more pudding, either for that matter. No bags of chips. No fast food. No soda. However, I can’t have dinner plates that are half as full as they used to be. I can’t handle hunger.

Let me give you a little better insight into me. I have a pretty good self-image. I am not full of self-hate. I don’t belittle myself in my head about my choices. Instead, I love comfort. I love lounging on the couch in the morning for hours. I love indulgent brunches out on the weekend. I love having a heaping plate of food and I love finishing every bite and licking the plate clean (but only at home!). What I’m trying to say is that I really really love food. I love the feeling of a full stomach – it’s very satisfying! I also eat more than my boyfriend! When we cook and he doesn’t finish his food, I will finish it for him. That’s my downfall -I eat, and I eat too much. So it will be a struggle to cut back on the portion sizes. I hope that over time my stomach will get used to it and start getting smaller and that smaller portions will be more satisfying.

I am trying to reduce the calories for all meals, and make a slightly more sensible portion size for dinner. I can’t stand that going to bed hungry feeling. Even now, having the I’m no longer *hungry*, but I definitely don’t feel full is a mental challenge – I still want to go make a second plate of food to become full. I don’t care about sweets and dessert, but if I’mstill hungry I want that second portion of potato, polenta, and salad.

Dinner will always be my biggest downfall. Hopefully I’ll get the hang of it soon, but I know it will continue to be a challenge, and maybe over time I’ll get used to vegetables being steamed instead of having a (large) pat of butter on them! Will I be able to eat less in time?

I guess I’ve committed exercise more than I’ve committed to calorie-reduction, but I am trying in both areas.

Now I just have to buy a darn scale to have a better handle on my progress.

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Posted by on January 16, 2011 in Goals


Fitness vacations?

Have you ever dreamed of taking time off and going on vacation…to exercise?? I’ve had this recurring idea for quite some time now. It’s so achievable too – just take a whole week and just “go hiking.” I’ve almost gone through with it, this past fall. I’ve daydreamed about taking a whole week off, getting my camping gear ready, and then going up and doing a big loop drive around Washington state (from Mt. Baker up highway 20 to Rainy Pass) to hike in the cascade mountains. I’d car camp, so do a big hike every day, come back, cook dinner on a cook stove, drive to the next hiking trailhead, and then sleep in my truck. The next day I’d do another 8-15 mile grueling hike. Repeat.

Can you imagine how fit you’d be after doing that for 7 days straight? I mean, a serious hike, with 3000-4000 foot elevation gain over 4-6 miles (then you turn around and go back, so double the miles!) is serious work! I did that kind of hiking all summer, once a week. The only reason I didn’t follow through with the plan in September is I was partially burned out, and because hiking back to back is murder on your feet! I would be footsore after a big hike. I don’t know if it’s due to my weight completely (probably), or because I need cushy squishy insoles in my hiking boots, but I couldn’t see being able to completely more than 2 days’ worth. I’d get pains on the ballof my foot on the last quarter of the hike, as I was going downhill, with all that pressure on one spot on my foot. UGH. Talk about perseverence – to put up with that every hike, every time? I don’t know if I could deal with it getting worse every day, day after day.

A few years ago I did a fabulously gorgeous and challenging hike up to the Enchantment Lakes, one of the most stunning hikes you can do in Washington State (do a search for Pyramid Peak and you’ll see what I mean). It’s a 3 day hike, normally. It was also my first backpacking trip, ever, with my old bf. It was pretty severe, and intense, and we did it the short-cut route, going up a vertical 3/4 mile climb up a pass, then hiking the slow gradual way down (which is where most people hike into it from) on the other side. We did it in early October, before the snow started, and it was still entombed in snow and ice at the top plateau (it rarely completley goes away over the summer). It was amazing. But the most amazing thing? This guy we met at the top of the plateau. He had a tiny small daypack with him, and had climbed up the pass in a half day, the same distance that took me a day and a half to do, and he was planning on getting back to the trailhead by evening.

Whoa?! What? How? Well, this guy was so fit and in shape, that he was doing this extended hiking trip every day, all over, then meeting up with some buddies to camp every night, and doing it so often and being so fit, that he could do the whole thing much faster than me with my 35-40 lb pack. To this day, that idea has stuck with me. If I could hike something major like that in a day, and then repeat it again and again, I would be ultra fit. No need for a gym, no need to count calories, I would just lose weight. I mean, have  you ever hiked like this? Panted, and sweated, and worked for 6 hours or more? Major calorie burning, let me tell you.

This is a goal/dream of mine, and I think I may try and do it this year. I’m already planning semi-weekly hikes and snowshoe excursions, if not more frequently. If I do the gym weekly as I’m planning, at least 5 days a week (or more), I should have lost enough weight to be under 200 lbs. I should get some gel insoles for my shoes, and then between the two of them, maybe I’ll be fit enough, and light enough to be able to do a big multi-day hike like this.  I should be able to do a full week of hiking by end of summer.


Posted by on January 11, 2011 in Goals, Hiking