Friday, April 27, 2007

Woo Hoo

Apparently being sick agrees with me. I'm down 3 pounds this week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Just As I Really Get Going

90 laps on Saturday:

200 swim
200 kick - free up, fly back

100 free, rest :30
200 free, rest :35
300 free, rest :40
400 free, rest :45
300 free, rest :35
200 free, rest :25
100 free (in 1:40)

150 kick - free up, fly back
100 swim

After a great week last week exercise-wise, I have a cold this week. I did get out yesterday while the weather was beautiful and walked a few miles down by the river. Today, though, I feel worse and am just sitting around in my PJ's, working from home. I'm glad I have that luxury.

I'm hoping that tomorrow maybe I can either walk a couple of miles again or even go to the pool for a short swim. I hate being sick, but everyone else around me has been sick so why should I be any different? Today is supposed to be my super high-calorie day with the calorie cycling, but I'm just going to hit the bottom of my range (around 1400) and call it good.

So today I'm feeling kind of annoyed to not be able to swim and a little stir-crazy. Sometimes it's nice to have a lazy day at home, but only when it's voluntary.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Magical Elixir

Seriously, could someone bottle endorphins? Or hook me up to an endorphin IV? Or give me a little vial and an endorphin junkie syringe? Because after my swim tonight I was BUZZing. I felt strong and powerful and like I wasn't going to take any crap from no one, not nohow.

I've since calmed down.

I found this great swim workout site. Since all of the workouts are a little above my abilities, I modified one tonight to get 2250 yards, or 90 laps.

200 swim
200 kick - 50 back;150 free up, fly back

1 200
3 150's - 150 kick free up, fly back; 150 swim; 150 kick free up, fly back
5 100's on the 2:00
rest 1:00
7 50's on the 1:00
rest 2:00
8 25's - fly for 1, 4 and 7 (and I just have to say by that 7th 25 it was a miracle that I could get my arms out of the water. I was probably flopping around just a bit. Or maybe a lot.)

150 swim

Tonight my arm is a little sore from all of this swimming. I've iced it, but I'm taking tomorrow off from the swimming and just letting it rest. Then it's back to the pool on Saturday afternoon.

My roommate and I had a little debate tonight about the term "lap." In my world, lap is one length of the pool. In her world lap equals a complete back and forth and length equals one length of the pool. Which I guess when I think about it makes sense since a lap around a track is a complete circle so a lap around the pool should be the complete circle too, right? But I swear my coaches called the 25 yard stretch a "lap."

Oh, the exciting things we talk about in my house.

Wednesday Swim

90 laps last night.

I have been really making an effort to mix up my workouts lately. Last night I did the following (inspired by Heather at Funnymoods, who is way more hardcore than me seeing as how she's training for a triathlon, but is a good resource for workout ideas):

200 free
200 kick - 150 free up, fly back; 50 backstroke

100 free, rest :30
200 free, rest :35
300 free, rest :40
400 free, rest :45
300 free, rest :40
200 free, rest :30
100 free

200 kick - 150 free up, fly back; 50 backstroke

The thing that I think I'm most proud of is, well, that I did it, but also that I managed to do the last 100 in the set at 1:40. So even though I was pretty pooped, I kept my speed up to a decent* level.

I'm trying to decide if I'm going to walk home from work today or hit the pool again. On the one hand, I know it's good to mix it up and keep it interesting for my body, plus my legs are pretty sore today and may be useless in the pool. On the other hand, I feel like I should take advantage of the pool while I can. I found out Tuesday that the last day it's open is May 24th now, rather than the 6th, so I'll have a couple more weeks before I have to join a gym.

* Sometimes it kind of depresses me that my idea of a decent speed now has absolutely no relation to what a decent speed was when I competed. However, I have to remind myself that I'm heavier, I'm older, and I haven't competed in a long time. I really look forward to shedding 32 more pounds and totally zooming through the water. At one end of the pool they have posted the records set by various members of the high school swim team that swims there and it's really good inspiration.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Monday I did strength training because the pool was closed. Soreness. Then yesterday I wound up walking about 4 miles over the course of the day. Then last night I went swimming, but I was kind of dragging and I only swam 70 laps. When I told my roommate that, she laughed at my "only" 70 laps. Well, it's disappointing to me because last week I did 2 days of 100 laps. I'm going again tonight so hopefully I'll do better.

I ate some cheesecake last night. Shhh. Don't tell. Yesterday was my high cal day and I totally saved up. Jason had a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory so I got the Santa Fe Salad with no tortilla strips and the dressing on the side (which I barely used) and then splurged with half a piece of Godiva chocolate cheesecake.

Oh. My. Goodness.


If you frequent the CCF, then I'm going to tell you right now that you do NOT want to know how many calories are in a piece of their cheesecake. If you are a masochist, however, you can find calorie counts at Calorie King.

The thing that surprised me is that desserts like the Apple Dumpling and the Blackout Cake are actually much worse calorie-wise than the majority of their cheesecakes. I would think, you know, CHEESE cake. Wouldn't that be just about the worst thing you could eat? Apparently not.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Little Glitch in the Plan

I just found out today that the pool I swim at is closing for renovations on May 6! To be honest, it really, really needs the renovations, but that's a good 2 months before any of the public outdoor pools open for the summer.

So I think I may be joining a gym. To me, the money is worth it at this point because I don't want to get off track. I'm in my swimming zone/weight loss zone. Plus, knowing I've already paid for the month will be a good motivator to get me to the pool. And as another plus, the gym will be open much more flexible hours than the community pool, which is open for lap swimming only a couple of hours a day. That means I can fit the gym around my schedule instead of the other way around, which is what I've been doing for the past few months.

I am really going to miss the convenience, though. The community pool is only a block from my house and I just trot on over there. Depending on which club I decide to go with I'll either be taking a couple of trains to get there or driving 20 minutes. While typing that I'm pretty sure I just decided to do the one where I drive for 20 minutes. Plus, the suburban clubs are sometimes a teensy bit cheaper than the clubs in the city.

For the last plus, it will also give me the flexibility to hop on the elliptical if I just don't feel like getting in the pool one day and I want to mix it up a little.

There seem to be a lot of pluses to this plan. Hopefully the monthly rate won't be too obscene.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's A Good Pain

I have one word for you: Lunges.

My bum hurts.

In other news, I'm down 3.2 pounds from my official weigh-in last Thursday! Looks like my additional muscle has finally decided to start proving itself and getting rid of some of that pesky fat.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tuesday: 1787 calories; 100 laps

I kicked my butt last night in the pool, in the name of losing 15 pounds by Memorial Day. I've been getting a little complacent with my workouts so I am working on mixing up my routine. Usually I do my warm up, long set, kicking, cool down. Last night I got in some backstroke, although the pool has been packed lately and swimming backstroke while sharing a lane isn't the most fun thing in the world. I wanted to do some butterfly, but again, sharing a lane. My arms pretty much span the lane so there's really no way to do butterfly unless I have my own. This was my routine last night:

Warm up:
250 swim - free
300 kick - free up, fly back
4 50's - backstroke
250 kick - free up, fly back
400 - free
5 50's kick - 3 backstroke, 2 free up, fly back
6 100's - free, moderately fast, 20 seconds rest
Cool down:
250 swim - free

I did a little butterfly on Saturday and was fine, but last night when I did backstroke I discovered something. It hurts. My left arm is fine now when I do free, but last night it popped and hurt during my follow through on the backstroke stroke. I've never had a problem with back before, so this is new. I had planned to do 6 50's back last night, but after 4 my arm just couldn't do anymore. I iced it when I got home. Maybe I just need to work back up to it since it's been awhile. Hopefully the problem will go away like it did for free.

Mixing it up and doing fast sets made me feel strong and exhilerated after my workout, instead of exhausted.

I put a chart above my stats showing my current calorie As you can see, yesterday I ate 1787 calories, which, if you don't know, is an OBSCENE amount of food, especially when you're eating healthy and your food doesn't have a lot of calories. I found myself looking around the kitchen last night thinking, "Okaaaay...what can I eat now?"

My official weigh in isn't until Friday morning, but as of this morning I'm down another pound at 193.4. Woot! Apparently eating piles of food is working. Who knew?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Just Plugging Away

I'm just doing it. The eating well, the exercising. It's happening. Every day it is kind of a struggle. I feel all proud of myself and disciplined, but know that it's a slippery slope full of chicken McNuggets and ice cream back to eating whatever I want again.

I have some accountability now - aside from this blog. I joined a SparkPeople challenge to lose 15 pounds by Memorial Day. We all have a buddy to check our food and exercise logs and email us motivation. I think it's funny that my buddy is named "Kerry." I'm an only child and to compensate I invented a whole slew of imaginary brothers and sisters when I was very small, including an identical twin sister named Kerry. SparkPeople Kerry doesn't look a thing like me, and she would probably think I was completely nuts and not want to be my challenge buddy anymore if I told her that little tidbit, but I like knowing it.

While I've been losing inches like crazy, the weight hasn't been exactly falling off. 8 pounds in 2 months. But 12.3 inches. I always have to throw in that "but" to explain to myself why my small jeans fit me now. So this whole 15 pounds in the next 6 weeks or so is pretty daunting. I have a few thoughts up my sleeve:

1) The firm belief that my increased muscle will finally kick in and start burning more calories like lean muscle is supposed to do.

2) My little 5 pound weights are coming out from under my bed. I've been great with the cardio, but have totally slacked on the strength training. I can work my arms while I'm watching TV and if my hours with Denise Austin (courtesy of the Lifetime channel and my Tivo) taught me nothing, it's always best to multitask. Work your triceps while in a squat. Do bicep curls while you lunge around the room. My theory: more lean muscle = MORE calories burned.

3) My weekends off have now become just Sundays off and I'm still going to be very mindful of what I'm eating on Sundays.

If I don't make 15 pounds, I'm not going to flip out, but it's nice to have a goal. And to have buddy accountability.

If I do lose the 15, that would take me down to 180. Whoa. Um, I can't really remember when I was that weight. Junior year of college? Maybe? Ooo, now I really want it!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Control Freak

I am really getting boring with this whole weight loss thing. Last night I bored my roommate and my boyfriend to death talking about my new favorite website and how cool all the tools are and how I love keeping track of all of this stuff.

I don't know what it is. I think eating healthy and exercising and monitoring it all very closely with a very specific plan in mind gives me a much needed sense of control. Over the past couple of years I have become much less crazed about having a plan for everything. A year and a half ago I moved to DC with a clear plan in mind about how I was going to network and search and pound the pavement and do what it took to find a job in health care law and/or policy.

However, meeting my boyfriend a few days before I left Boston threw a whole wrench in the works. I spent the next several months doing a long-distance relationship and trying to figure out if I was moving back to Boston or staying in DC. My nicely laid plans for the future that I smugly thought I had figured out back when I decided to move to DC were suddenly all out the window.

Add to that the stresses of a long-distance relationship and feeling like I didn't know what exactly our status was with regard to the future and then not being able to find ANY sort of work in DC for the first several weeks I was there. I felt out of control.

I stopped keeping track of anything. I started popping over to the nearby McDonald's for McNuggets and Wendy's for a Frosty on a regular basis. One I started doing contract work, exhaustion set in as I crammed in the mandatory minimum 60 hours of work in 4-5 days so that I could spend every other weekend with Jason. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered that the only way I get through extreme physicial stress is by regular workouts. So I joined a gym and went almost every day, which helped. I didn't lose any weight, but I maintained, which I think is pretty miraculous in a job where you sit for 12-15 hours a day.

Eventually I decided to move back to Boston and I finally realized it was okay to not have a plan. That was a major lesson I learned in DC. I have always had a plan and for the first time in my life I realized I had NO idea what was going to happen in any aspect of my life. And I was shocked to discover that I could live with that.

I moved back to Boston with the promise of another contract job and a hope that networking with the attorneys I knew here would find me something at least kind of related to what I wanted to do with my life. I hoped that my relationship would eventually get to the point where we would get married.

Now I'm sort of in a holding pattern. I think there are things on the horizon, both career and relationship-wise, but I can't really be sure. I have no control over the job thing because the market is saturated with attorneys and I am completely dependent on whether someone likes my resume enough to actually talk to me. I have little control over the relationship because, while I could leave, I don't really want to, and there is another person involved, who also has his own choices to make and freedom to do what he wants. You can't really have absolute control when someone else's emotions and desires come into play in an equal amount to yours.

Sometimes I feel like I took a giant step backward, heightened by the fact that I'm living in the same apartment I lived in right before I left Boston. Sometimes I am thrilled to be here and to have great roommates and a boyfriend who loves me. I like Boston in a way I never did before, appreciating its character and charm.

At the beginning of this year I set a goal to get healthy again, having gained back 20 of the 15 pounds I lost in 2005 (yes, that's 5 more than I lost). Keeping meticulous track of food and calories burned, and commiserating with others who are also working on weight loss, helps me to stay in control of my body when I am in control of absolutely nothing else in my life.

I think the fact that I am satiated by the diet control and am not experiencing panic attacks where my throat feels like it is closing and I can hardly breathe because I have NO IDEA where my life is headed, is a major improvement over a year and a half ago. I don't feel like the world is going to end anymore because I lack a sense of omniscience. Instead, I can be okay with not knowing.

However, apparently I'm becoming a bore.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Weighing In

Up 1.2 pounds. Boo. However, last week was kind of a no holds barred vacation in Florida so I suppose I should be happy I'm not up more considering how much fried food I ate.

However, down another inch. So, you know, building muscle is a good thing.

I just upped my calories on SparkPeople because I had really underestimated how many calories I burned per week. It seems illogical to think that increasing calories is going to add to weight loss, but if I'm not eating enough my body thinks I'm starving and holds onto the weight. Fervently. The summer I lost 15 pounds I was eating a lot of food, now that I think about it, but I was swimming and walking a lot too.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Be Nice and Share

Tonight I discovered that I'm not as selfish as I thought. I can, in fact, share a lane at the pool without wanting to hurt the person I'm sharing with.

My one criterion is that the person actually know what he or she is doing with regard to swimming. Also, it's nice if we swim at a similar pace. Someone who consistently barrels by me makes me feel kind of like a slug and usually creates a lot of wake.

Monday: 80 laps
Tuesday: 90 laps