Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 2: Walk

Despite wanting to impress Leita at the Y with my consistency of 2 whole days, I didn't make it to the gym this morning. Instead, I woke up at 4 AM feeling kind of yucky and couldn't get back to sleep until about 6:30. Fitbit tells me I had 4 hours and 41 minutes of sleep last night. I had to be somewhere after work, but I left a bit early and walked halfway home .

35 minutes = I fulfilled my challenge.

Tomorrow I have the day off work and plan to roll into the gym sometime around 8 AM. If only I didn't have to be at work at a normal hour, I would be so good at this whole working out regularly thing.

I have to say, I am sore from yesterday's elliptical session. My calves, my thighs, my hips. It's a good pain and I actually mean that. It tells me that after taking way too long off, I'm finally getting back into fitness.

Also, I went to the doctor this afternoon and doctor scales are NOT KIND. On the other hand, my blood pressure is 110 over 70.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I made some lowish carb, gluten-free Happy Thanksgiving Muffins* last night to have on hand for breakfasts and snacks for the next several days. They are yummy!

A muffin was a good fill-in for a proper dinner tonight as I dashed in and out after work on my way to a Young Women's activity.

* So named because I made them for the first time on Thanksgiving morning.

30 Day Challenge (Take 2): Day 1

I just got home from the gym. The actual gym. I am so pleased with myself.

Also, a little aghast at how out of shape I am.

Also, excited to have access to HGTV for at least a half hour a day. (We haven't had cable for a few years now. Every so often I miss being able to just channel surf through all my favorite home and self improvement shows.)

I walked in and the same lady was working in the cardio and weights room who was there the last time I went, shortly after we moved. We always used to do the smile and say hi thing when I went before, so today she looked amazed and said, "Hi!" in this really excited way. Then she smirked (in a nice way) and said, "You've been coming in at another time, right?" I replied, "Um, riiight."

We both laughed and officially introduced ourselves to one another. I told her the big problem was our move a few months ago and the fact that I actually have to drive to the gym now instead of just stumbling across the street in a half-awake state.

When I left, she called out, "See you tomorrow, Kelly!" and I thanked her for saying that. It's not exactly the same as having a gym buddy, but now that she knows my name and knows I'm trying to get back into working out regularly, maybe Leita at the Y will help keep me accountable.

So I'm re-upping the 30 Day Challenge. I planned to start with the New Year, but I might as well get an early start and have a few days to enjoy the practically empty gym before it fills up with the well-intentioned resolutioners.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Clean Eating

We just got back yesterday from visiting my parents in the Chicago suburbs for Christmas. Magically, our flight was the first one of the day into Boston that wasn't delayed from the blizzard. I had been annoyed at Air Tran for changing our flight time not once, but twice, in between when we made the reservation and when we actually traveled. Our arrival time got pushed from 7:30 PM to 11 PM and I was worried that we wouldn't be back in time to catch the last train of the day to Providence at midnight.

Turns out, the later flight worked out great. We got in about 20 minutes early, hopped on the shuttle bus to South Station, and made our train down to Providence.

Anyway, as is usual with holidays, we ate a bunch of junk over the past several days. In addition to the pies and ice cream my parents had, some friends gave us a tin of Garrett's caramel corn, and Jason and I discovered Trader Joe's pfeffernusse, little spice cookies which we kept in the car for a driving treat. They're probably my new favorite thing and one of the better things about them is that they're very rich, so I can only eat a couple at a time.

By the time we got home last night I was craving something savory. While we waited for the train, Jason suggested getting a blizzard or an apple pie at the McDonald's in South Station. I requested a small order of fries. I was hungry, but I wanted salt in the worst way.

Next week Jason's brother and his wife and their baby are coming to visit for a few days and I'm sure we'll have treats again. But in between now and then, I am eating clean. Today I have had eggs and salad and nuts and clementines. Tonight I'll be making us chicken and broccoli. Last year in the post-Christmas sugar haze I wanted nothing more than a big pan of roast broccoli, and I feel the same way today.

I'm sure tomorrow the no-sugar and no-caffeine* malaise will hit, but today I feel good.

* Oh, yes, did I mention all the Diet Dr. Pepper I drank?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 22: Lots of Walking

We're just going to ignore that week off, k? Actually last week was pretty crazy and I did a lot. Just not a lot of exercising.

And I will admit that this weekend was about taking some much needed R&R time. In fairness, I am scrambling to get my Christmas knitting done, so I really needed to be still and watch movies for many hours while knitting. Even when I'm relaxing, I'm industrious. I totally think earnest industry should just magically burn calories.

Today has been good activity-wise and I'm already over 11,000 steps. I'm the only one in the office today so I wore jeans and decided to walk the 3 miles to work. Actually, I left a bit later than planned so I thought I would just walk most of the way, then hop on the bus, but my walking location never really matched up with the bus, and rather than stand and wait at the bus stop, I decided to just walk all the way.

At lunchtime, I walked over to the mall to (finally) buy a wedding presents for some friends we're going to see tonight. That's about a 10 minute walk.

So last week was a wash, but this week I have started with a bang.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Calories In/Calories Out - Or Not

Gary Taubes is blogging! Yay!

I finally got around to reading his first post and it's basically what I wrote about this morning. Only less personal anecdote and more logic and junk like that.

Does Not Compute

Through the magic of Fitbit, I now have a couple of weeks of data to review to see how I'm doing. Of course, I'm not doing spectacularly, as mentioned previously, but I just wanted to go on record as saying, I'm not doing THAT badly either.

I still dutifully record my calories most days on SparkPeople, including the cookies and other Christmas treats that I've consumed. I have made an amazing* discovery. You know that whole "calories in/calories out" rubric that the experts like to throw at us? It's just not true.

Since I started recording with my Fitbit, I've averaged a daily caloric burn of 2441 calories. My daily average caloric intake is 1612 calories. I just did a little figuring, and if 3500 calories is a pound, by the magic of calories in/calories out I should have lost 3 pounds in the last 2 weeks. 3.2 pounds., actually.

Instead, I weigh exactly what I did when I got the Fitbit. I'm really becoming a believer in the truth that it's so much more complicated than just calories in/calories out.

Also, I bought a Greek yogurt at Starbuck's this morning and the teeny tiny girl in front of me bought a gingerbread latte and a great big Morning Bun. Unless that's all she's eating today or she's bulimic (which I fully realize are possible), I think that the difference in our sizes (in that I am about 6 inches taller and 120 pounds heavier than her) may be based on more than just calories.

*heavy sarcasm

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Take A Step Back

I suppose this would be more productive (and emotionally healthy, if we're going to be all nit-picky about it).

Fatty McFatFat

OK, so I'm trying to be all positive and upbeat about this whole weight thing. I realize my 30 Day Challenge can't be perfect right now because there is literally too much other stuff going on. I realize that I need to eat better and I generally am, but there is also hot chocolate and Christmas brownies around and I'm only human.

And when I say that, I'm not trying to cover up binging behavior. I've actually never binged. I guess I just generally overeat. Or something. I suppose I overeat the wrong things (hello, carbs). I like food. And it shows.

Then tonight my in-laws took a couple of pictures of us in front of our Christmas tree to take home with them. We thought maybe we could use one to quickly churn out a Christmas card. I uploaded the pictures to my computer and just stared, aghast. Rolls and yuckiness and my face looks not happy.

I just...

I really...

I don't know how I let it get this far.

I feel gross, frankly, and I find myself doing weird machinations with my clothes to try to kid myself into thinking I'm actually hiding something. The pictures show me I am hiding nothing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Christmas Miracle!

This morning I got into work and completely freaked out when I realized my Fitbit was no longer attached to my waistband. I checked my coat and my bag. I called Jason and he confirmed that it wasn't on my nightstand. I knew I had clipped it on this morning.

I bundled back into my coat and hat and gloves and headed out to retrace my steps. I scoured the ground and nearly did a little happy dance when I saw it lying in the street at the bus station, right next to the crosswalk I had walked through about 30 minutes earlier. Thank goodness it didn't fall off while I was actually on the bus. Thank goodness it didn't get run over by a bus. Thank goodness it looks pretty innocuous and doesn't draw attention to itself like, say, an iPod lying in the street would.

So. Relieved.

This sucker will be attached to my bra from now on.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Day 11: More Walking. And Cleaning

So Day 10 didn't work out like I had hoped. We wound up getting home at about 10:15 since my work party didn't end at 8 like advertised. It was fun and the food was outstanding, however, the only thing I managed to do once we got home was watch Glee and go to bed. Another loss in the 30 Day Challenge.

I'm just going to say, when you have a busy schedule and a busy yet sedentary job, getting in 30 minutes of activity a day can be difficult at times.

Anyway, on to Day 11!

I just got back from a 45 minute walk, even though it's 26 degrees and windy out. Toward the end, I couldn't so much feel my thighs. That'll teach me to not buy enough tights for super cheap at Target. I'm wearing pantyhose and they are just not the same when it comes to wintry winds.

I'm hoping to get out of work a little before 6 and then clean like crazy when I get home. So today will be the day I get over 10,000 steps again. I can feel it.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Days 9 and 10: Cleaning Frenzy

Yesterday was Day 9 and in addition to a 45-minute lunchtime walk (love!), I also woke up at 6:45 AM to do some vacuuming since it was literally the only time I had to do it before we had people come over last night. The walk got me up to about 6,800 steps, but then I came home from work, cleaned some more, then spent the evening on my feet, hosting a church ladies' cookie swap. Cookies for dinner is not very healthy, but logging another 4,000 steps is. I wound up with almost 11,000 steps yesterday. Not too shabby.

Today I had a meeting during my lunch hour, so no walk. Then our office Christmas party is tonight up in Boston. But then we come home and clean clean clean because my in-laws are coming into town tomorrow. It will be the first time my mother-in-law will see the new house. I know we won't be able to get the office tidied (someday!), but the rest of the place can be sparkling. I figure that will be about 2 hours of hard cleaning. I'll be surprised if I don't hit 10,000 steps again today.

OK, back to work. Have to leave early for the party in Boston and there is a lot to do yet.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Day 8: Whoa!

This morning I woke up with a migraine that took a fancy migraine pill and three more hours of sleep to get over. I finally got into work at around 1 PM, which kind of hurts my efforts to hit by billable hours goals for the month. Also, ditching work because I'm overstressed from all of my volunteer activities is so not ok.

So I'm modifying my challenge. For the next couple of weeks, until after the holidays and this most chaotic time of the year, I will give myself credit so long as I don't sit on my bum all day long. I will still shoot for 30 minutes of activity, and will work on C25K and getting outside on my lunchtime walks, but if I don't make it because I've been crazy busy all day with other things, then I get credit for my crazy busy-ness.

After the New Year, I will get more serious about getting to the actual gym and losing this excess poundage I have gained over the last several months, but I think that migraine was a warning that I need to let up a little on my expectations for myself for the time being.

Today, before I came into work, I ran some errands for a church service project. And I do mean "ran". I was practically jogging through Kohl's and Target, snatching things off of racks as I darted by.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Days 6 and 7

Does driving back and forth to Boston and chaperoning a gaggle of teenage girls count as exercising? Fitbit apparently thinks so because despite being in the car and sitting for a big chunk of time, I still managed to log over 10,000 steps and 5 miles on Saturday.

I also did Day 2 of C25K before the whole crazy day started.

I'm sad to say, though, that Day 7 was a fail. Or maybe I just need to start reclassifying what "activity" means. Here was my day - you tell me:

6:20 AM Wake up. Shower, get dressed, chop up an onion and brown some meat to start the Swiss Steak in the crock pot.
7:45 Leave for church.
8-9 Pre-church leadership meeting
9-9:30 Practice Evensong music in a back room of the church. Just me and my iPod.
9:30 Meeting with Jason and the bishop
10-1 Church. (Yes, we have church for 3 hours. As a bonus, from 11:10-12, I taught Sunday School.)
1:10-2:15 Drive to Cambridge.
2:30-3:30 Evensong rehearsal
3:50-5 Evensong service
5-5:45ish Post-Evensong reception, wherein Jason and I sold CDs to raise money for the choir's trip to England. Want to buy one? Only $20 and for a good cause (namely, to help people like us be able to afford to go on tour)
6-7:15 drive back to Providence
7:15-8 start one load of laundry and finish making cookies for the church ladies' Christmas cookie swap on Tuesday night at my house.
8-8:30 eat dinner and watch The Simpsons.
8:30-9:15 start second load of laundry and start cleaning up kitchen. Realize dishwasher is mostly full and start it. Go through Christmas decoration boxes one last time to make sure house is sufficiently festive for Tuesday night church ladies' party and that we can put away the bins tomorrow.
9:15-10:15 watch one X-Files episode and knit my winter hat. It's getting really cold and I need to finish it like yesterday. It's almost done. This is the first thing I've ever knit for myself. Exciting!
10:15-11:30 get ready for bed, respond to emails re: work and Young Womens stuff for church, write this
11:30 (fingers crossed) go to sleep

Anyway, despite not being "active", somehow my day filled up and I'm utterly pooped. Good night.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Calorie Sticker Shock

The other night we headed up to Boston for a choir rehearsal right after work so I stopped by Au Bon Pain to grab a quick dinner to eat in the car. I got a sandwich for Jason and a Turkey Cobb Salad for me.

I don't know if they're doing this everywhere, but ABP has started putting calorie counts on the menu, probably prompted by the fact that so many communities are starting to legally require it. I actually love having the information right in front of me. I know the impetus behind the laws is to legislate health, which I don't think works. I've been to Nathan's on Coney Island and still ate the corn dog and fries even with the calories staring me in the face because I was on Coney Island and I was going to eat a hot dog. And fries. I don't think you're going to convince most people to not eat something they've already decided to eat just because they can see the calories.

However, usually I like eating healthy and I like to be informed about what it is I'm eating. (I would also love to know carbs, fat and protein, but then the menus would be ridiculously cumbersome, so calories will do.)

So, anyway, the ABP Turkey Cobb Salad is listed at 650 calories, which was fine for me, taking into account what I had eaten already that day. Only then I noticed the calories for the dressings. 310 calories for the Blue Cheese Dressing! Which means the salad is really only 340 calories.

Really, ABP? 310 calories for dressing?! That's crazy.

That's assuming, of course, that you have them mix the dressing into the salad. I usually get the dressing on the side anyway because restaurants are so heavy-handed with the dressing that the salad winds up just tasting like crunchy dressing. I had them make my salad, and then I grabbed a packet of the Sesame Ginger dressing, which is 230 calories for the packet, of which I used about a third.

I was just shocked about the 310 calories. That's like 2 Cokes. Seriously, if I'm going to just eat 310 calories willy-nilly, I'd rather have 2 Mexican Cokes*, thanks .

* Made with real sugar, not corn syrup!

Day 5: Walkies!

My plan was to get up this morning and do Day 2 of Week 1 of C25K. Only, as usual, we were busy last night and I didn't get to sleep until late, then I had to catch the early bus to get to work early enough to talk about a bunch of stuff with my boss before he took off at 9:30 for all-day meetings. I'll do Day 2 tomorrow morning when I have the luxury of being all decadent and sleeping in until 8 AM.

I figured I would do another lunch-hour walk, but on the spur of the moment I packed up my backpack with clothes and sneakers, and decided a long walk home after work would be fantastic. Depending on the route I take, the walk can be up to 3 1/2 miles.

Only then at about 11:30, I started getting antsy. Apparently my body has really liked getting out at lunchtime, rather than sitting at my desk. So at 12:45 I set out for a walk and wound up spending 35 minutes winding through some of the old streets just up the hill from my office. Most of the houses have historic plaques on them, and the majority of them were built in the late 1700s and early 1800s. I walked by one lady decorating her flower boxes with greenery and red berries, and we called out a cheerful hello to each other, both filled with the Christmas spirit (well, I'm projecting onto her. But she did seem jolly).

Even if I get in other activity during the day, I think I'm going to make these lunchtime walks a regular thing. I wind up having such a nice time, and come back refreshed for my afternoon work.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Day 4: Lunchtime Walk

I went for another walk today on my lunch hour. It's chilly, but sunny and beautiful outside. I walked up the hill from my office, then up and down Benefit Street, which is my favorite street in town, full of Colonial and early Victorian homes and lined with trees and old-fashioned lamp posts. Not to mention the Athenaeum, on whose steps Edgar Allen Poe's ghost was once spotted, or so the Providence Ghost Tour people told me.

I wound up walking for an entire hour and the pedometer on my Fitbit is suddenly up to around 8200 steps for today. My goal every day is to get over 10,000, so I'm well on my way.

This morning I posted on Facebook that I was walking again today, and that the walks are kind of lame, and maybe next week will be a little less crazy and I can get in something more resembling a workout. An old friend from my swim team days commented that at least I was doing something! She's absolutely right, of course, and the whole point of challenging myself was so that I would be "active", in any sense of the word. Walking is valid activity, and much better than sitting on my bum reading blogs over my lunch hour, which is what I would have done if not for these lunchtime walks.

It's very indicative of my all or nothing mentality. Day 4 and I'm already beating myself up because I'm not being crazy athletic.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Day 3: Hmm...

It's only Day 3 and I'm not exactly sure when I'm going to get in my 30 minutes today. I'm hopeful that it won't have started raining by 12:30 and I can go walking on my lunch break. Yesterday I was basically going from 6 AM to 11 PM. Then this morning I had to drive Jason down to southern Rhode Island to pick up his car from the dealership where it was getting worked on. So in addition to being exhausted, I also didn't really have time to get up and work out. Tonight right after work we're heading up to Boston for a choir rehearsal. Basically, lunch time is the only time I'll have to do anything and if the weather doesn't cooperate (which tells me it won't), I'm not exactly sure what to do.

I'll check back in later. Fingers crossed for a nice long walk at 12:30.

Maybe the busiest time of the year wasn't the best time to start this challenge, but I know it's what I really need. I can't fail on Day 3!

UPDATE: Got in 35 minutes of brisk walking outside! I got rained on for the last 10 minutes, but that's ok. Back to work!