Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Swimming Personal Record

Today I swam 2000 yards straight, which...I don't think I've ever done, actually. I always swam short distances on swim team so never had to do any real distance training. When I got to the pool this morning, it was super crowded. There was already one lane circle swimming, and the others all had two people already.

I've decided to not be such a pill about circle swimming. Yes, it's a pain because no one goes the same pace. The other woman in my lane today kept passing the man, and I kept passing both of them, though I was swimming slower than usual. But instead of being so rigid about my routine for the day, which is usually pretty hard to maintain when you're circle swimming, I just swim straight until there are only two of us left in the lane and then I pick up with my routine.

Only there were 3 people in my lane the whole time, so I just kept swimming and wound up doing 80 lengths straight. I still had some time left, so I did a 200 kick to finish. I'm just kind of impressed with myself because a few weeks ago I never would have been able to do 2000 yards straight.

How Do You Get Excited About Strength Training?

So I'm all over the cardio. I love to swim and love to challenge myself and feel myself getting faster and stronger in the pool.

Where I fall down is with the strength training. I have several pilates DVDs and I do them occasionally. Now that I've done them all a couple of times, I'm not really that excited by them. I don't really care for weight machines, even though I've done them a lot. I'm just having a really hard time feeling excited at all about strength training. I know it's important and I should do it. But, frankly, my time is limited and if I'm going to spend time exercising, I'd rather be in the pool, swimming laps.

Anyone have any ideas about ways to liven up the strength training aspect of your workout?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

No Swim Today

After watching The Biggest Loser last night*, I was all fired up to swim this morning. However, I had an early work meeting. My options were to catch the 7:48 bus or the 8:08 bus to make the 8:30 meeting. Considering the 8:08 bus has been consistently running 10 minutes late, I figured the only way to definitely be here by 8:30 was to catch the 7:48. Which means I need to leave by 7:45. And it takes me about 50 minutes to get ready in the morning. So I would have to end my workout at 6:40 to get home and in the shower by 6:55. And so forth.

All said, it would have meant getting up much earlier than I wanted to. Since it's just Wednesday, I still have 3 days to swim this week so I'm not concerned.

I'm amazed at how hungry I'm not when I don't swim in the morning. On my swimming days I need to be eating at my high calorie range just to curb my hunger, whereas today, I knew it was lunchtime, and I ate, but I was kind of meh about the whole thing.

* Team Tara!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Need More

I swam today without using fins because the fins have caused their own set of problems. Namely, blisters on 6 out of 10 toes. I found a set of fins that some people have said are good for wide feet, so I may be investing in a set of my own. My shoulder feels better today, though, after having a few days off.

I felt distinctly dissatisfied after my swim today. I think part of that was due to my carb-tastic dinner last night. We had sushi, which I haven't had in ages and I LOVE and I figure if you're going to have a carb-heavy meal, sushi is probably one of the more healthy ways to go. So I was feeling kind of sluggish at the start of my swim.

But then I got on a roll and swam an 800 in 14:15, which is slow, but better than my last time from a couple of weeks ago. Then I realized I only had 6 lengths left in the workout. After swimming 90 minutes on Saturday, swimming 45 minutes on weekdays suddenly doesn't seem like that much. However, the only way I can swim longer is if I wake up earlier and get to the pool earlier and that doesn't sound like fun at all.

I suppose if I keep feeling dissatisfied, I can TRY to wake up 15 minutes earlier and get in a full hour. It's so HAAARD, though.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Saturday Weigh-In: SRSLY?!

Guess what? I weigh exactly the same as I did last week. And the week before. To the tenth of a pound, says my digital scale. Is it too much to just want the numbers to change a little? Preferably in a downward direction?

I did lose an inch and a half, including a quarter inch on my waist, hips, and chest. At least I'm toning up uniformly. Also a quarter inch on my right upper arm, which is random, but I'll take it. That means I've lost about 5 1/4 inches in 3 weeks.

So yes, I know, gaining muscle, losing fat, blah blah blah. I would still like the scale to go down a bit. I thought for sure this week I would have lost at least a pound. At least I can feel a difference in my body so I know it's really changing. For one, my jeans are baggier. For two, I feel incredibly energetic and excited to hit the pool and to find other ways to squeeze in some exercise. My boss even offered me a ride home after work on Friday, which was kind of a brain-melting day and I was exhausted, but I said, no thanks, I'm going to walk. Go me.

Saturday morning's swim was another kick-centric workout. My shoulder is still not great. I think I'm going to go to the doctor and try to figure out what's going on. My mom has severe arthritis, my maternal grandfather did too, and my paternal grandmother had bad knees, so it's not inconceivable that I would have some joint issues. I did 7 sets of 300 kick, 100 pull, 100 swim, plus a warm-up and cool down. I love the kicking, except the fins are starting to give me blisters. I wonder if they make fins for people with wide feet...

So I swam 4300 yards, which I think is a new high for me. That's 172 lengths. I was shooting for 176, which would be about 2 1/2 miles, but I ran out of time again and they starting breaking up the lanes for some swim classes that were coming in. Also, I did the last 100 in my long set in 1:25, which I'm very pleased about.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Heart Fins

So I've never done kicking drills wearing fins before. I've snorkled and scuba dived (dove?) and I know fins are great and make you go fast, but I've never used them in the pool. Lap fins are a lot smaller than snorkling fins, but it's the same principle.

The Y has fins available with the kickboards and pull buoys and I decided to try them out since I knew I was going to have a kicking-heavy workout today to spare my shoulder. I was kind of dreading my workout since kicking makes me bored. However, with the fins it's superfun and I go superfast. I alternated free, fly and back kicking, breaking up the sets with a 100 swim. Not only did I sail through the water, but I could feel my leg muscles working hard as they pushed against more surface resistance.

Usually after a swim, the skin over my triceps is bright red because those muscles have worked hard. Today, the skin over my outer upper thighs was bright red. Tone the upper thighs? Yes, please!

Also, I did my last 100 in 1:29!

Although there was a girl swimming in the lane next to me who was doing 100's in about 1:02. I have work to do! I actually like it when there are fast people swimming with me because it makes me work harder.

2000 yards today
400 swim warmup
4 x 250 kick, 100 swim. Alternate free, fly and back kick.
200 fly kick cooldown

Tomorrow I plan to swim for 90 minutes. I'm going to go heavy on the kicking again and see if I can get my shoulder back into good condition. It's not sore today since I only used it for 800 out of my 2000 yards.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Darn Shoulder

I'm having problems with my right shoulder again. Yesterday during my workout, it started aching toward the end. I iced it while I was getting ready for work, and last night laying on the heating pad seemed to make it feel better. Still, I woke up this morning with a very stiff shoulder and the beginnings of a migraine. I nipped the migraine in the bud, but my shoulder still hurts. My extremely non-ergonomic workstation isn't helping.

Breathing on just my right side seemed to aggravate the shoulder more, so I've been working on breathing on my left. Only, now that it's hurting again I have to wonder if it's just swimming itself that aggravates it, rather than my particular breathing style.

I've had problems off and on with this shoulder for a few years now and it's driving me crazy. I didn't USED to have shoulder pain when I swam. I assume it's because of old age. Maybe it's a problem with initial overuse. I get enthusiastic about swimming and I go a little crazy with it. Last week I swam Wednesday through Saturday without a day off. I would have thought waiting 3 days to swim again would keep the shoulder from freaking out on me, but I guess not.

Tomorrow I'm going to swim, but I'm going to focus on kicking. This is when I REALLY wish I had a swimp3. Kicking by itself is really, really extremely boring. I'll try to mix it up and alternate free, fly and back kicking, but still. However, my legs and bum can always use some work, so I'll try to wear them out tomorrow.

In other news, I am so proud of Jason. He went for a run yesterday! I found a Couch to 5K program for him and he's actually doing it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Up the Calories

I'm trying to figure out a good way to increase my calories, without increasing the carbs too much. Now that I can eat some fruit and whole wheat bread again, I am having some of both with breakfast. I'm also trying to keep my calories high enough that I'm not ravenous all the time and that I'm giving myself enough fuel to swim.

I have a meeting after work tonight so I'm going to run home and probably eat a leftover pork chop and the easiest side would be a slice of bread with some peanut butter. I do need the calories, but I don't need the additional carbs. If there's anyone else out there watching the carb intake, how do you get in enough calories, without getting your carbs too high? Oh, and without feeling like you're eating an entire pig or chicken in the course of a day.

My goal is to keep my net carbs under 100 g per day, but I haven't been able to do that for the last few days because I made some yummy whole wheat bread this past weekend and it's, you know, basically all carbs.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What Do You Do?

Yesterday I was poking around some of the Providence SparkPeople blogs just to see what other local people are doing. I came across one girl's blog that really worries me. She's calorie counting and keeping track of her fitness, but at completely unhealthy levels. She's basically eating about 700 calories per day, and then making sure to work out and burn at least 200, sometimes 400 calories through exercise. She's written this all down in her blog because she's proud of it. Proud of her "strength". (Does that sound like the mantras of the pro-ana sites or what?)

I suppose there's nothing to do, really. If I said anything to her via an email, I'm sure she would just tell me to mind my own business or ignore me completely. It just makes me sad to see this 21 year-old girl heading down this dangerous path.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday Weigh-In

This is the part of starting exercising that is kind of frustrating. I weighed and measured myself on Saturday only to find I haven't lost an ounce. I weigh exactly what I did last Saturday morning. So while I'm glad I wasn't weighing myself every day this week and feeling frustrated every day, it's still a little disheartening to feel like I've done all this good work, but to not have the scale move.

However, then I measured. All told, I've lost a little more than 2 inches all over my body this week. That means I've lost 3 and 3/4 inches in the past two weeks. Nice, right? This week alone, I lost a half inch off my waist and a quarter inch off my hips. So even though I didn't lose any weight, I lost fat this week, and in my mind, that's better. There are so many reasons it's better. For one, muscle burns calories faster than fat. So no wonder I've been so hungry.

I have always thought the fact that there was no measurement aspect to The Biggest Loser was one of its failings. On those weeks when someone has a lower number in the pounds lost, or even gains, I think there should be some way to say, "But wait! Let's see what the measuring tape has to say." Because chances are, that person didn't screw up that week, he or she just added some muscle. Maybe they should measure weight and body fat percentage. That seems a bit more fair.

Saturday morning I swam for 75 minutes and did 130 lengths. That's the most I've done at once since...well, I can't remember really. It's been a long time. I wanted to do 140 and get a full 2 miles, but lap swimming ended. I only needed 5 more minutes!

Saturday I caught a true second wind and it felt great! I warmed up, did 8 50's on 1:00 and then did the following set:

100 R :25
200 R :30
300 R :35
400 R :40
300 R :35
200 R :30

For one, I did that last 100 in 1:35. Those were lengths 104-108 so I'm pretty happy that I shaved 3 seconds off of Thursday's time. For two, I got a total burst of energy right in the middle of that 400. During the first 300, I kind of thought I was going to die. I've been working on breathing on both sides so as not to strain my right shoulder too much and injure myself like I have done before when I've started swimming again too quickly. However, when I start getting tired, breathing on my left gets more difficult and I feel like I'm a short inhale away from drowning. It's not quite that bad, but I definitely feel like I'm floundering.

After I caught my second wind, not only did I feel like I could keep swimming forever, but breathing on my left suddenly got a lot easier. Then after my workout, I had a total endorphin buzz. Instead of feeling exhausted after pushing myself, I felt great. Let's hear it for endorphins.

Friday, April 17, 2009

STARVING and Smoothies

One thing about swimming is, it really gets my metabolism revving and I need FOOD.

After my 80 lengths this morning, I came home and made a berry protein smoothie (recipe below), which I drank while getting ready. Then I walked to work and ate some Greek yogurt with honey. My stomach started growling again at 11, so now I'm having some milk and peanut butter (Jason thinks I'm weird for snacking on spoonfuls of peanut butter).

The thing is, I'm eating healthy and I've already burned something like 700 calories today so I say, bring on the food!

Berry Protein Smoothies for 2*
I haven't used the blender since last fall, when it officially got too cold for smoothies. I went to the grocery store Monday and they had strawberries on sale, so I picked some up and started making smoothies again this week. I always have to work out the kinks of the first few, but I think I got it right today.

12-14 medium strawberries
1/2 C. wild blueberries (hooray for giant bags of frozen wild blueberries at Costco)
1 1/2 scoops protein powder (tweak for your choice of protein powder since the flavors differ. For instance, if I use more than 1/4 scoop of the Whole Foods 365 whey protein, it makes the whole smoothie taste horrible. I don't buy that anymore)
1 C. Almond Breeze, original, unsweetened (you can also use milk, of course, but I like the way Almond Breeze tastes and it's low calorie and low carb)
6-10 ice cubes

The protein powder I use has sweetener in it, so with that and the berries, it's sweet enough. If you want more sweetness, I would suggest a half tablespoon or so of agave nectar.

* If I ever make a smoothie just for me, Jason gets all forlorn and looks like a sad puppy dog, so I leave him one in the fridge when I go to work.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Weekly Weigh-Ins and Confession

As a step toward staying sane, I've decided not to step on the scale every single day, which is what I usually do. I started weighing and measuring myself a couple of weeks ago and have determined that I'm only going to weigh in weekly - on Saturday mornings.

I will admit, though, to whipping out the measuring tape periodically to measure my hips and my waist to see if there are any improvements there. As of this morning, it looks like I may have firmed up a little since Saturday. Woot!

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess to having some ice cream last night. And some popcorn that was not my good, healthy Whirley Pop popcorn. Here's what happened. I brought all my food for breakfast, lunch and snacks to work yesterday. Then yesterday morning Jason said some friends had invited us to a hockey game. Fun! Only I didn't have dinner with me. I spaced out my snacks in the afternoon, but was still hungry when I got there and stadium food isn't known for being especially healthy.

Jason and I shared a big tub of popcorn. Then our friends got Carvel ice cream, which I eyed lustily. By the 3rd period I was still hungry and realized we probably wouldn't get home until around 10. I managed to rationalize that since I didn't get ice cream on my splurge day, maybe I could get some now. So I got some ice cream. Chocolate. Good quality. Totally worth it.

Then I swam 2000 yards this morning so I've got that going for me. I'm getting faster. I did a set of:
100 R :20
200 R :25
300 R :30
300 R :30
200 R :25

and I did the last 100 in 1:38, which I'm happy with because a) it was faster than I've done a 100 since I started swimming again, and b) it was the last 100 of the set and I was tired, but still managed to push myself.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Survey Fun

My friend Rachel has created a survey related to how your work environment affects eating habits for one of her final projects for school that you should go take right now.

Rachel is working on a Masters in Public Health at Brown and is my personal food guru. I always go to her when I have questions about diet and nutrition. Her life goals include bettering the world through nutrition education, which I think is a worthy goal. Also, she's just a really smart and fun person and I'm kind of jealous at how together she is, even though she's something like 8 years younger than me.

So go, take the survey. Pretty please.

Exercise Groove

I am buzzing with energy this morning. I hope I can keep it up for the rest of the day. This morning I swam 80 lengths, and then walked the 2 miles to work.

I've walked to and from work the last few days, but my shins are starting to hurt. I have flat feet and weak ankles, a combination that means even when I'm wearing supportive running shoes, my shins start to hurt when I walk a lot (ie, 7-8 miles in the last 2 days). This morning I put on my hiking boots to walk to work, which seems like complete overkill, but it did help to stabilize my ankles and my shins didn't hurt quite as much. I probably won't walk home from work, though, and give my shins a break.

This morning when I was doing sets of 50's on the 1:00, I was actually keeping up with the fast guy* in the next lane, which made me feel a bit smug. Never mind that he can keep up that pace steadily for his continuous hour swim. I like that 3 weeks into swimming again, I can keep up with the fast guy for at least a little bit.

* Who I have named Splashy McSplasherson because he insists on SLAPPING his calves on the surface of the water every time he does a flipturn, splashing people as far as 2 lanes away. It is completely and totally unnecessary to do your flipturns like that, and I would think that essentially doing a bellyflop with your legs would create additional resistance and slow you down. Also, it's really annoying.

Monday, April 13, 2009

First Splurge Day: Easter

The last day of South Beach Phase 1 was on Saturday. I had already decided that since it was Easter on Sunday, not only would it be my first day off of Phase 1, but it would also be my monthly splurge day. We went to the house of some friends on Saturday for an Easter egg hunt party and I ended South Beach a bit early so I could eat a shortbread cookie with a Reese's peanut butter egg on top that another friend made because, yum! Then I ate candy and carbs Saturday night and Sunday.

However, I didn't eat as much as I thought I would. My body just didn't want as much. What I did eat, I savored.

The whole splurge day concept works well for me. Restrict myself completely and totally, and I feel sad and deprived. Letting myself have a little bad stuff here, and a little bad stuff there, always turns into a junk food free for all. However, when I know that maybe I can't have the junk today, but I'll get it eventually, I'm able to be patient. Friday night I was stuffing plastic eggs full of jelly beans, M&M's, Hershey's kisses and chocolate mini eggs for Saturday's Easter egg hunt. Jason was nibbling on some M&M's and jelly beans and commented that having all the candy around must be driving me crazy. I shrugged and said, not really. I'll be able to have some Sunday and I'm fine with that.

I have to give credit to my law school roommate, Jenn, for the splurge day idea. She ate mainly chicken breasts and broccoli every other day, and worked out regularly. But one day a month she got to eat whatever. For her, she always had to have a Wild Cherry Pepsi on her splurge day. For me, it's usually ice cream, though I didn't get any on Easter. There's always next month.

I woke up a bit late today so I did some pilates this morning and walked to work in lieu of a swim. I'll also walk home. And maybe to the mall to see what they have over there. We're getting a surprise tax refund and I'm going to let myself buy some new clothes because all my current clothes make me depressed. The rest of the money is going straight into savings.

Friday, April 10, 2009

More Calories

Remember that whole calorie deficit issue? Well, it's 4 PM and I've only eaten 500 calories, so I think this day may win as the most calorie deficit ever.

It's not my fault, though. I went to the Boston office for a meeting this morning and brought a small snack for the train ride up and the train ride back. Then I was supposed to meet Jason for lunch, but today our clients decided to come crawling out of the woodwork and my boss is out of town. So it's 4 PM and I just ate a couple of pieces of turkey and cheese and finally got a chance to enter it all into my log at SparkPeople.

Jason will be picking me up later to head up to Boston again*. I guess I'll be wandering over to CVS in a bit to see what I can scrounge up there as a makeshift dinner. Nuts and milk? Dinner of champions!

* I know. If we had any sort of sense, I would have taken my work up there and worked in the Boston office all day, but apparently we don't.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Calorie Deficit

I'm going to try to keep track of my calorie deficits to see what's going on with my weight loss. I'm holding steady at having lost 2 whole pounds since starting South Beach. The last couple of times I did Phase 1, I lost about 6 pounds in the first week. I have a feeling the stagnation may be because I'm working out as well and possibly not eating enough.

According to the calculators, my Basal Metabolic Rate is 1641 calories. Basically that's how many calories I need to eat each day in order to stay alive and maintain my weight.

Figure in 45 minutes of swimming, at about 50 yards per minute, which burns 571 calories (not, unfortunately, the 740 calories SparkPeople says it does. That would be nice.)

So my calorie expenditure for today is 2212. To maintain my weight, I should eat 2212 calories.

Right now, with the food I've figured for the day, I'm going to eat 1497 calories.

Deficit = 715 calories.

I have a feeling that's too big of a deficit.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


My body is acting weird lately. I don't know if it's the working out, the South Beach, the meals and snacks spread out over my day? I will be absolutely STARVING, but then it takes just a little food to make me full. Then a couple hours later I'm STARVING again.

For instance, after stretching out my breakfast to the point that I didn't take my last bite until almost 10 AM, by noon my stomach was growling like crazy. So I ate some of my beans that I brought, but I didn't finish them because a whole cup of pinto beans with some cheese was just way too much for little ole me, apparently. I didn't even get to the 2nd part of my lunch - leftover eggplant lasagna.

Now, 2 hours later, I'm starving again. And my eggplant lasagna is heating up in the microwave.

I'll bet by 4:30 I'll be starving again and ready for my snack of celery and peanut butter. For the past few days I've been getting hungry every 2 hours or so, but I fill up very quickly.

Is this a sign that my metabolism is speeding up, or that it's out of whack?

Half hour of pilates last night.
40 laps, 2000 yards, in the pool this morning.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Mmmm...Deviled Eggs...

I think I have found my South Beach Achilles heel - deviled eggs. I made some with light mayo, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and a touch of curry powder. While I was making dinner last night, I kept popping little bits of deviled goodness into my mouth. I didn't eat them all, but I think they could definitely be on my list of non-ice cream-related binge items.

Speaking of deviled eggs, though, does anyone know a foolproof way to boil them or chill them or heat them up or whatever so that the shell comes off more easily? I wound up taking off a third of the whites with some of the shells.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Day 8

Swim-A-Thon: 55 laps.

I'm very happy with that, but I know I pushed myself beyond my current fitness level. Since 2 people donated money per lap it pushed me to keep going as hard and fast as I could until that hour was up. And as if to prove how bad a** I am, my swim cap tore as I was taking it off. I'm just that good.

The problem was, instead of feeling energized for the rest of the day, I felt pretty tired and wound up fighting a little headache all evening. Also, after losing 2 1/2 pounds this week, I gained 1 1/2 of them back since yesterday morning, before the swim. I know sometimes you gain weight after particularly hard workouts because of water retention, so that's probably what this weight is.

I'm pretty philosophical about it and know that 1) I will eventually get myself to the point where swimming 55 laps is a good workout, but not so exhausting as it is right now, and 2) I'll lose that weight again once my body balances itself out. Today is a rest day with the working out so my muscles will have ample time to recover before I get back in the pool tomorrow morning.

It's nice to know that even though it was strenuous, I could swim 55 laps yesterday, after only less than a week back in the pool.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Day 6 - Sabotage!

This morning I went to a breakfast meeting for work. They were supposed to have quiche, which would have been great for South Beach. I could just eat the filling and leave the crust. Unfortunately, there was a mix-up and the quiche never got there. Instead we had muffins! So exciting!

It was a small group and the host of the meeting was like a mother insisting, "Eat! Eat!" So I had about a sixth of a lemon poppyseed muffin to not be rude.


It always seems like there's SOMEthing to keep me from doing Phase 1 completely right. I'm not going to let it derail me, though. One little bread product isn't the end of the world and I'm just going to keep going.

I did pilates for my arms and shoulders last night and I'm really feeling it in my triceps. Hopefully I won't be too sore tomorrow morning for my swim. I'm inordinately excited about this swim-a-thon, even though I know it's just like a regular Saturday morning workout for me. Several friends have donated to the cause, which makes me feel like I have a real purpose with this swim. It's like the read-a-thons I used to do in elementary school, only with more action and less sitting on my bum reading.


Jason would never admit it, but I think he's been a little down lately. His work isn't everything he hoped it would be and I think he might be feeling kind of stuck. It's tough to get him to talk about things like this, but based on what he has told me, I think he's just not feeling so great right now.

More than ever I want to encourage him to exercise. He's been down about his expanding waistline as well, so it would be good for that, but I honestly think that getting into a good routine, with some regular endorphins, would give him more energy and drive to do what he wants to do with his work.

So I'm trying to encourage him. This week he's encouraged me with my swimming and he's also eaten the same healthy dinners as me. However, he has yet to go running (which he's been talking about doing for months now) and he's still eating some not so great things - like the Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate he came home with Tuesday night, and the giant bag of M&Ms he and his sister polished off while I was out of town last week. My fingers are crossed that as I continue getting healthier, that I can motivate him too.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Day 5

Day 5 of South Beach and it's amazing how easy this is. I mean, it's more labor-intensive since I'm cooking a lot more and then lugging a whole variety of tiny containers to work with my breakfast, lunch and snacks in it, but I have found it really easy to slip back into eating this way. I feel good, I'm down a couple of pounds, it's going well.

I did not swim this morning as planned. Last night after work I did one of my pilates DVDs and today I am sore. So I decided to give my muscles a break so I can actually swim for that whole hour on Saturday.

That round of pilates was really depressing. As of just 6 months ago I could do all of the segments and feel good and strong. Yesterday I cheated on some moves and just felt generally weak. But that's why I'm doing the pilates, right? To get stronger.

The cat was THRILLED that I was back on the floor with him. He loves to run under my arms and legs and plop down on my yoga mat while I'm doing moves. It's not very helpful, but it's kind of adorable as he purrs and rolls around and is just generally ecstatic that I'm down on his level.

I am determined that this year of weight loss and exercise will be different. This fall I will not give myself a million excuses to indulge myself, which will undo all the good I'm doing right now and will continue in the summer. That has been my pattern the last couple of years and I'm tired of it. I can have a treat on special days, but none of this weeks- and months-long birthday-Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas extravaganza. It's just not worth it to find myself on January 1 right back where I started LAST January 1.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Feeling Good

It's the bless-ed 4th day of South Beach. I'm through the withdrawals and I feel great. Yesterday was the worst. I had a moderate headache all day and felt like I was in a fog. Which makes for a not very productive workday. Today, though, I feel excellent, and am not practically falling asleep despite reading some very, very dry contracts. Also, I'm not craving anything.

This morning I swam 70 laps. OK, is it laps or lengths? I suppose technically up and back equals one lap if you're really looking at the definition of the word. So I did 70 lengths today. I'm going to do 70 tomorrow, rest Friday, and then the swim-a-thon on Saturday. Usually I can do 90-100 lengths in an hour, depending on whether it's all swimming, or swimming with some kicking and pulling. When I'm in my stride, I can do more than 100, but if I get to 100, I'll be happy.

My pace is SLOW. However, at one point during a set, I felt a little pop of endorphins. It was brief and soon after I was tired again, but it was there, giving me hope that I can get back in my prior swimming form pretty quickly.