Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I think it's a bad sign when you plateau with your workout regime only 3 weeks in. Actually, I'm just having issues with the aerobics. Denise Austin's strength training is still good for me, as evidenced today by my sore pectorals (or boobies if you want to get all technical about it) and bum. I am a weakling. Particularly my arms. I can't even do a couple of the exercises that are ostensibly for the abs because they require significant arm balancing and my arms aren't strong enough yet to hold all of me up for the time she requires.

However, I've passed the point where I feel like my heart rate is up high enough for long enough during the aerobics. To compensate I've been jogging in place during the commercials. And because the jogging in place feels good I find myself thinking crazy, CRAZY thoughts like "Huh, maybe I'd like running after all. I'd get to be outside too..." No, NO. Smack down those crazy thoughts, Kelly! I also realize jogging in place in NO WAY represents actual running and I tell my crazy brain this and she generally shuts up.

So any suggestions other than the aforementioned jogging in place to keep my heart rate up for longer? Actually Denise has some Tae Bo moves she does that I love and they usually get my heart pumping. Maybe I can just substitute those even when the routine for the day is the step-together with the arms swinging thing that she likes so much.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Honey We're Killing the Kids

I've watched a couple of episodes of Honey We're Killing the Kids on TLC and I have some thoughts.

First of all, I think the basic idea is great. Show parents how their kids will look at age 40 if they keep eating and living in their current manner. Usually the kids (which have been all boys so far) wind up looking like thugs at 40. Chubby thugs.

Then the family is guided by a nutritionist for 3 weeks and given 3 new rules each week that center on eating habits, exercise, de-stressing, and cutting down on TV, video games and other sedentary activities. Other rules are tailored to the particular family. For instance, both parents in one family needed to stop smoking. In another family the two older kids were sent to etiquette class because they were so rude to their parents.

They also do try to take care of the parents some. In the last show I watched the mom received a session with a personal trainer and found a renewed interest in exercise. I thought that was a very positive change in her life.

I have had a problem so far with the meals the nutritionist gives the families. On the first show, the first meal was paella. Expensive, complicated, and containing lots of seafood that the family had never tried before. On the second show the first meal was tofu stir-fry. Either one of those meals sound great to me. However, I think giving these complicated meals that generally require a more sophisticated palate to families with young children used to lots of simple junk food is unrealistic if they're expecting the changes to stick. Has the nutritionist never heard of a chicken breast?

For breakfast one morning one of the families ate plain oatmeal. Have you ever eaten plain oatmeal? It tastes like cardboard. How about some cinnamon, a couple of raisins, real maple syrup, a little honey, maybe a touch of Splenda. SOMETHING that would make it so these kids didn't loathe the word "oatmeal" for the rest of their lives.

Most food plans you read about or hear of will tell you right off that you will never change your habits permanently if you try to eat stuff that you don't like or that is completely unrealistic for your lifestyle. It's just too easy to fall back on fast food or convenient snacks if the food is complicated and doesn't taste good. I think tofu stir-fry is definitely something most familes would need to ease into, particularly most families who haven't seen a green vegetable in months. There are very simple, tastey ways to eat healthy that won't be a complete shock to the system and will leave the family wanting more of the same instead of dreading meal time and sneaking unhealthy snacks.

I also didn't agree with the nutritionist letting them keep all the junk food in the house on a sort of honor system. The temptation proved too great for the 8 year-old and he snuck some mini muffins. Yeah, um maybe 'cause he's 8! I think his impulse control is not completely developed yet. I am a big believer in getting the junk out of the house permanently so that the temptation isn't even there. There's enough temptation in the regular world for adults and kids alike, why not make home a healthy haven?

I love the drama though! When they show the pictures of the kids at the beginning the 40 year-old kids always look sullen and greasy. They give them ratty clothes and bad haircuts - I've noticed they really like the receding hairline and the mullet. The one kid with a tendency for a unibrow had a very pronounced unibrow at 40. Um, so apparently when you eat junk food you lose all desire for any sort of personal grooming?

The pictures of the aged kids at the end, after the plan is in place, and assuming the kids stick to the plan, shows 40 year-old men who are smiling, clean-cut and generally wearing preppy clothes (although one kid looked like he belonged in Miami Vice at the end. Bright yellow T-shirt under a black sport coat. I didn't see if the sleeves were pushed up or not). I wonder if the parents recongize how manipulative the pictures are.

Like I said, overall I think the show is a good idea, but it needs to be tweaked a little.

Weekly Update

So I've gained 1.6 pounds, but I've lost an inch, so I'm going to assume it's muscle and move forward and not get too depressed about inching closer back to 200. That's what I'm telling myself anyway.

This week I am definitely going to try harder to work out every day. Or at least Monday through Thursday, since I'm heading to Boston on Friday night.

The week's workouts:
Monday - one hour with Denise.
Tuesday - recuperating from Monday. Too many lunges equals pain in the thighs that makes it progressively more difficult to do crazy things like walk and sit down.
Wednesday - 50 minutes with Denise. She wanted me to do some more lunges and I just couldn't.
Thursday - no workout because I met up with some friends.
Friday - no workout because I'm a lazy bum.
Saturday - one hour with Denise.

Despite it being the end of my 60-hour work week, after working out Saturday night I felt so energized. I need to remember that for days like Friday when I just can't work up the strength to think about exercising.

I also need to stop making exercise a choice. It just needs to be something I do without thinking too much about it.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Inspired by Ezpy, I've decided to set a short-term goal for myself. On June 16 I'm going to Vegas for a VIP birthday extravaganza with San Francisco Jenn and some of her other friends. The last time I saw her was last August and I was 185, the lowest I've been. I'm determined to be at least down to 185 by June 16. I'm hoping since that's only 10 pounds away that I can maybe even be down to 180 or - dare I say it?! - 175. But 185 is the real goal, and I know I can do it.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Snackie of the Day

Last night I went over to a friend's house and she offered me a Healthy Choice Fudge Bar. I forgot all about these! I always used to get them when my roommate for my first 2 years of law school and I used to go to Costco because they always had them and we were both trying to be good and all sugar-free and junk.

They are so, so good. And only 80 calories. And sweetened with sorbitol, which isn't good for you per se, but it's not sugar. I think I need to pick some up today.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

In Pain

Denise Austin is no longer my best friend. We did a bum and thigh workout on Monday night and I haven't been able to work out since. I am so incredibly sore! Yesterday was bad, but today is worse. I forget how the second day is always worse. I can barely walk, and going up stairs is just tortuous. One of my co-workers suggested a banana and said I need potassium so I just ate one. And popped some ibuprofen.

Last night I did do some arm and back exercises with the weights so I didn't feel like a total lump. I also worked 10 1/2 hours and was pretty tired anyway. I hope that I can do a real workout tonight, but I don't know if my legs will be up to it. Owie!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Proof Positive That My Body Was Just Waiting Around Expectantly for Me to Get On the Ball

I've lost 5.4 pounds and 3 inches since I started my exercise and healthy eating 9 days ago! How's that for results? I seriously think my body was primed. I had been on such a weight loss kick last year, but was off track since the Bar last July. Maybe once your body is used to losing weight, it's not that hard to make it remember again.

Suffice it to say, I am thrilled. I know that this is pretty fast, and I know that probably a bit of the measurement difference is due to my time of the month having come and gone, and I know that my results next week will probably not be nearly as dramatic. But I'm happy. This gives me such encouragement to keep going.

Weekly workout wrap-up:
Monday - one hour with Denise Austin
Tuesday - one hour with Denise Austin
Wednesday - forty minutes with Denise Austin. I was really tired, but I managed to get through the aerobics half hour. However, I decided to just do the yoga from the Pilates and Yoga half hour to get myself relaxed.
Thursday - helped a friend move. Up and down 21 stairs multiple times, half of those times carrying heavy boxes and furniture. That counts as my workout as far as I'm concerned.
Friday - nothing. I was really tired again and just couldn't get any energy.
Saturday - one hour with Denise Austin
Sunday - day of rest. I'm committed to that. It's the one day I don't have to go to work and I'm not worrying about exercising. I may even curl up for a little nap in a bit.

I haven't had any sugar this week, and have managed to mostly stay away from refined flour. A couple of times a week a man shows up on the corner near my office and sets up a fruit stand. I got some amazing oranges and strawberries this past week. I'm trying to keep up the amount of fruits and veggies in my diet.

I've noticed I have so much more energy since I started to work out regularly again. I know that's the way it works, it's just nice to feel the fruits of my labors.

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate! I don't have any plans today, which is actually just fine with me on my one day off.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


For future reference, don't be chintzey when buying a scale because the weight gods apparently don't like a cheapskate.

Last week I ordered a scale off of I went for the cheapest one that was at least semi-aesthetically pleasing. And by that I mean it would probably just blend into the background in the bathroom. It came yesterday and I freaked when I stepped on it.


No. No no no. Wrong wrong wrong.

First off, the heaviest I've been is 235 and that was 4 years ago when I was sunk in depresssion. Second, if I weighed 240 I seriously doubt any of my clothes would fit me at all. My skinny minnie roommate then came and stepped on it and when it registered at 155 she gave a little yelp and said, "Uh, yeah, that's broken." (We'll just overlook for right now that 155 is my goal weight and that she's 3 inches taller than me).

So $15 is apparently not enough to fork over for a scale and to expect it to work.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How Much Do You Weigh?

You Should Weigh 155

If you weigh less than this, you either have a fast metabolism or are about to gain weight.

If you weigh more than this, you may be losing a few pounds soon!

Of course I put in all of my new and improved eating and exercise habits that I have been sticking to for less than a week now. But I'm determined and encouraged by my determination. Once I really dedicate myself to something like this, I do tend to stick to it - for at least awhile. Like exercising every day (or almost every day) and eating healthy while studying for the Bar. I did that and when it was all over, I looked great. Of course, that may have had something to do with my euphoric glow because the Bar was over, but I also attribute it to my healthy habits.

Thanks to Jackie for the test. I love quizzes!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Work Workout

Here's the situation. I am working 60 hours a week right now. 10 hours a day, 6 days a week of basically feeling my bum spread out to fill the contours of the roomy office chair. At the little firm I was at before I started doc review, one of the girls I worked with had one of these sitting on her chair. One day when she was out of the office we all noticed it and speculated on what it was exactly. I am proud to say that I figured it out.

Some of the other women were making fun of the seating disc and pointing out what a crazy workout fiend this girl must be. While this particular person did tend to be a little obssessive about what she ate and how her body looked, I thought the seating disc was a fabulous idea and secretly coveted her disc.

Well now here I am sitting for 10 hours and making enough money to have a teensy bit of disposable income after my bills are paid. So I ordered a seating disc the other day and I'm so excited.

This morning at work some of us were discussing exercising and one guy mentioned a contraption he wanted to buy that was essentially a tiny set of bicycle pedals that fit under your desk so you can merrily pedal your day away. I sat back and just did the pedaling motion with my feet and could totally feel it in my abs (did I mention my abs are sore? Oh yeah. Like punched in the stomach sore). So then I had an idea and made up a new exercise for the office, which I probably subconsciously stole from the pages of Self or something, but I'm going to take credit.

So you sit back and balance your arms on the office chair arms. Put your knees together and lift your legs up, twisting your knees to the right. Lower your legs without letting your feet touch the floor, then lift again, twisting to the left.

All I know is after a couple of these my abs were saying, "Do you not remember our Saturday workout, woman?! Cut it out!" So I did. But that little maneuver is tucked away for future, less ab pain-filled days.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I have a new favorite snackie. Jason, the boy in my life, has a favorite drink that he makes a lot consisting of cranberry juice, lime juice and club soda. Well, last night I realized I had both cranberry and lime sugar-free Jello. Hmmm. I combined them together and the result is really yummy. And at 10 calories a serving, it can't be beat.

I did an hour with Denise tonight. I suppose with commercials it winds up being somewhere between 45-50 minutes, but whatever. My abs are very sore. I've started talking back to her. For instance, today she wanted me to do a plank, meaning I support myself on my lower arms and my toes with my body stretched out. You would not believe how much this one move works your abs.

But then she said, "Alright, now lift up one leg, stretch it, and down. Now the other one. Come on! You can do it!" To which I responding by collapsing and saying, "Yeah, no, actually, I can't." Not yet anyway. I think I still weigh too much and my arms are too weak. I have no upper-body strength and while I could definitely feel that particular move in my abs, it was also starting to hurt my arms pretty bad. Sigh. I know I'll eventually be able to do it.

I did the aerobics and abs half hour first, then I did the pilates and yoga half hour, which was a nice way to relax. She always does some very basic yoga moves at the end of the show, and I can tell even after only doing a few of them that I'm getting a little more limber, my balance is improving, and my weak ankles aren't wobbling as much as they used to.

After 60 hours of work this week and an hour with Denise, I should sleep well tonight!

Proud of Myself

I worked out last night. A half hour with Denise Austin. And let me tell you, after working for 50 hours already this week, she totally kicked my butt. Then I did 100 crunches, leg lifts for my inner and outer thighs, and donkey kicks for my bum. I'm going to whip myself into shape.

I also ordered a scale and a body fat monitor online so I can keep track of my progress at home instead of relying on my sporadic visits to my friend Ryann's house where I can step on her scale and try to remember how long it has actually been since I last weighed myself there. I'm only going to weigh and measure myself once a week, ideally at the same time. Say Monday morning maybe.

I measured myself yesterday too. I have measurements recorded for the past couple of years. Two years ago I weighed 5 pounds more than I do now, but my measurements were significantly higher. Like I may be only 5 pounds lighter, but overall I'm about 12 inches smaller. I'm taking that as meaning that I'm leaner, I have more muscle than fat than I did 2 years ago. I'm trying to get some positivity out of negating last year's weight loss completely.

Lastly, I took some "Before" pictures yesterday, with the assumption that there will eventually be some "After" pictures. Can I just tell you how depressing I found the backside pictures? My bum is HUGE! I realize it's huge somewhere in the back of my mind, but it's very easy to ignore since, you know, the bum is behind me and all. The picture gave me pause and made me wonder about my boyfriend since he always says he likes my bum. I'm dating some weird fetishy freak apparently.


So far today I've eaten 1 oz of smoked turkey and an almond toffee Kashi Go Lean bar. I really like those bars. They are mere shadows of candy bars, but taste pretty good as far as the Power Bar/Clif genre go. I also had a small cup of skim milk.

On Saturdays we get food catered for lunch at work. Last week we got Cosi sandwches, salad and desserts. I admit I took crazy advantage of the dessert tray last week, but not today.

It's amazing how just working out one day can help me feel so much more positive. Like I'm actually doing something, I'm making progress, I'm on the road again.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Today I go to the cable company to get my internet set up kit, which means once I get that installed and set up my Tivo, I have no excuse to not work out with Denise Austin again. With the 60 hours per week that I'm working, I know my only shot at working out regularly is to work out with 2 Denise Austin shows right after I get home from work.

Tomorrow after work I will be stopping by the Korean supermarket on my way home because I've been told that Asian supermarkets have the best and the cheapest produce. I'll be stocking up on fruits and veggies. Then I'll go to the grocery store and get chicken breasts, whole wheat bread, cottage cheese, etc.

Then it will be ON!

The thing is, I actually love how I feel when I work out and eat well. A tad bit self-righteous. Wonderfully energized. Chocolate has a momentary satiation, but then the sugar crash hits in a way that it never does when I eat an apple. But when faced with the choice of chocolate and an apple, I will always want the chocolate. I don't think I can retrain my brain to that extent.

But I know I have the capacity to not eat sugar except for one splurge day a month. I've done it before, so I know it's possible.

So my goal is to have my healthy eating and working out set up in place by the end of the week.

Bring it!