Friday, 28 September 2012

Friday night's all right for walking

Hello!  I am so excited to see so many people following me now and leaving comments.  It's very nice of you all, thank-you.  I hope that you find something worthwhile to read while you're here, as I journal about trying to lose weight, get fit and build up healthy habits!

I was in a funny mood all day today.  I kept getting frustrated and angry and annoyed at people.  People who I didn't even have near me or in my company.  I think I was having one of those 'in my head' days, where I was just thinking too much.  I was running conversations in my mind, getting annoyed at the person I was talking with, because I wasn't able to express myself properly, or they weren't reacting the way I wanted them to.  Stupid stuff, because I as I said, I was on my own this morning.  I was meant to meet up with a friend this evening, but due to crossed-wires, poor communication, that fell through.  That annoyed me too.  I was annoyed enough that I wanted to stop into a fast food spot on the way back, just to get something to eat, so I could call it 'comfort food' and distract me from how crummy I was feeling.  Since starting my food journal, and just listing what I am eating each day, I've started to become really aware that I eat when I'm not hungry. 

I was feeling so wound up and angry and annoyed that I decided I would go home, change into exercise gear and go out for a walk.  While I'm on holidays, I'm visiting my ma, who lives by the coast.  There is a footpath that runs the length of the water, and it's all lit up of an evening, because on the other side of the road there are shops and restaurants and stuff.  I decided it would be a good idea to go for a walk there, clear my head and get some exercise at the same time.  It was a beautiful evening, really warm, without the wind being cold. 

I took my Nano with me and decided it was the perfect time to try out the 'basic' setting - seeing as I didn’t have a timeframe or distance to confine me.  I just wanted to go for a walk until I wanted to come back.

On the basic setting, I didn't get any reminders or prompts to keep me going.  Gladys/Glynis (still narrowing down names) only talked to me when I started, when I checked to see how I was going when I wanted to turn back, and when I finished and hit stop workout.  I kind of liked that because I went for a walk not just to exercise, but to clear my head.  So by being able to just go and to push away the negative thoughts from my head and the bad angry energy, with no interruptions was actually really cool.

I ended up walking for just over an hour - 1:10:42 in fact, and the Nano calculated that I walked 6.61km (or, if you use imperial, 4.1miles).  I don't think it was truly that much, however I do know that it was over 6km because the footpath was marked every 50m with the distance (I think that's 54 yards for the US folk).  I started at the 4300m mark and after I was walking for a while I decided I would walk to the 1300m mark (yeah, I was walking the wrong way) and then return.  Good plan, except… I got to where the 1300m mark should be and I couldn't find it.  At 1450m, the path diverged into 4 or 5 different paths, because I had reached a parkland/community space.  For the life of me, I could not see where the 1300m was, and it was supposed to be my halfway point.  GRR!!!

(However, in the three minutes I was looking for it, I did get distracted by some posts along the path that had a strip of LED lights and as I walked past them, the lights moved up the post and made sounds.  It was cool!   They must have had some sort of sensor, because they matched up to my height then dropped as I passed them.  And they only lit up when I was in proximity to them, so by the time I reached the end, the ones at the start of the path had dimmed again.  Much fun was had).

I turned back and because it was getting later (it was 7.40pm, I think?) I didn't want to take forever getting back.  I'm not entirely sure how or why, but I decided that because the path was evenly marked every 50m, it would be good to use that to do some interval runs.  Run 50m, then walk 50m to recover, run 50m, walk 50m, etc.  Now, I believe I've mentioned before - I'm not a runner.  I think I'm starting to want to be one day, but I'm not close to it yet.  However, I was able to do these interval runs for over 1km.  So I ended up actually running a distance of at least 500m, maybe even 600 (546 yd - 656 yd).  That's a pretty big deal for me, because I swear I hate running, and yet, it seems I have it in me to possibly become a runner.  And of course, the running boosted my heart rate for a little bit and I even managed to banish the mind demons that had been plaguing me all day.  Win-win-win!

Then when I finished, the iPod Nano voice congratulated me for this being the furthest workout I'd done yet.  That was another nice boost to my mood.

So I started my day in a funk, got progressively worse, and then, even though it was night-time, I went out, I exercised, and I feel GOOD about it!!  Yes!  Here's to more stories like these!


Thursday, 27 September 2012

My New iPod Nano!

How excited am I?!

I decided that I really wanted to get serious about my fitness, and finding easier ways to keep track of my exercise - especially as at this stage, I really enjoy walking the most.  And I want to try running.  But carefully, because of my dodgy knee.  And lack of fitness.  

I was doing some research about 1 1/2 months back about mp3 players  - I was going to buy one as a reward for completing my walk-100km-in-August-Challenge.  Well, I didn’t meet the 100km goal, but I decided I did like the idea of the iPod Nano!  It comes with the nike+ fitness app, so I can track walks/runs, time myself, and get a step count. 

The iPod Nano also allows me to play music as I workout (obviously, being from the iPod family), I can download podcasts (Robert Ullrey's Couch to 5K anyone?) and the absolute selling point for me?  It comes with a clip!  I know this sounds stupid, that this was the high point, but really, this is why I got it. 

Many of my trakkydaks or workout pants don't have pockets, so the fact that the Nano comes with a clip was a huge bonus for me. 

I took it out for a spin yesterday and OMG!! So excited and in love with it!! : )  I only went for a 30 minute walk to the park down the road and back.  In order for the app to keep track of things such as distance, speed, steps taken, calories burnt, I turned it to the "run" function.  I've yet to fully explore the 'walk" function, but from what I read online before I purchased the Nano,  the walk setting is designed to be used as a pedometer/step counter. 

There are four choices within the run function -basic, time, distance or calories.  So, because I only wanted to go out for 30 minutes, I set the app to 'time'.  It then prompted me to pick a playlist or shuffle my songs.  I could have also chosen to listen to the radio (oh yeah, it comes with an FM receiver!), an audiobook or podcasts. 

I picked my songs, hit start workout, and then I was off!! Walked away, all fine and good, and then!  Suddenly, my music dimmed and a disembodied voice told me that I had completed 5 minutes.  It was startling to say the least!!  But then I got second verbal encouragement at 10 minutes and again at 15 - "Great work, you're now half-way through.  Just 15 minutes remaining". 

I decided I liked this voice! 

I decided she needed a name!  If she's going to be my own personal cheerleader/encourager, then she has a personality and needs a name. I tried to think of movies or TV shows or anything which included a disembodied voice.  The best I could think of was the computer from Star Trek - which was only ever called Computer.  Then, inspiration struck!  I was using music from the computer game Portal to accompany me on my walk.  I decided that was a pretty good link to a name.  I'm still tossing up between Gladys (a play on GlaDOS from Portal),  or something else on that variation.  Names I've played around with include Glynnis, Glenys, or randomly, Lynda.  At the moment Glynnis seems to be winning. 

Maybe I need to go for another walk, just to test the name out, hmm?  See what suits best  : )


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Holidays Again!

Wow!  How time goes quick!!   I was hectically working last week to get my end of quarter reports in, and before I knew it I was on holidays!! I have two weeks holiday, where I will spend one week at my mother's at the gold coast, including a friend's hen's party on Saturday night.  We're going to a theatre restaurant and then out to dance until the early hours of the morn.  Then in the second week I'm going to spend some time chilling at home and trying to get myself back on track to some sort of routine with housekeeping (it always starts to slide when I'm reaching the end of a quarter) and cooking and exercising.

When I last wrote, I talked about keeping up with 1 new habit a week until it stuck.  Well, in theory I was actually doing two.  One was to do 25 sit-ups every morning and the second was to write everything that I ate in a day into a food diary. 

I did alright in the first week, I managed to bump up the number of sit-ups to 35, then last week they fell by the way-side.  Partly because I was side-tracked by getting my reports done, and secondly, Aunty Flo had come to visit.  So halfway through the week I did stop the sit-ups.  But I resumed them on Saturday morning when I was on my first day of holidays! And I've done them each morning since.  Even when I was staying over at a friend's place and I was sleeping on the floor!  I'm already back up to 30.  Yes!

My second weekly good habit was the food diary.  I have just checked and I last filled in what I ate on Thu 13 Sept - so, more than a week.  :-(  To be honest, when I am doing my reports, I always have horrid hours and then eat toasted sandwiches at 3.30 in the morning or something ridiculous.  I have honestly noticed I over eat processed foods, especially cheese, when it's reports time.  (I have terrible time management btw, so I always end up leaving my reports to the last week before I go on holidays).  I also wanted to avoid writing in it, so I could avoid looking at just how much food I eat in a day.  Before keeping the food diary, I honestly thought most of my problem from being overweight comes from how inactive I am.  I am now starting to think that my activity level really is only a small part of the problem and that what I eat plays a much bigger part. 

That's why this week I want to be really careful and really honest in filling out how much I'm eating and when I'm eating.  Because I am on holidays I have the time to go online and use a site like myfitnesspal or mapmyfitness to enter in my foods and really see how much I'm consuming and if I need that much or not.  I'm already aware that I eat more in the evening, especially when I get home from work.  Obviously, I'm not eating enough during the day to keep me full or sustained.  It's hard when I only really have 15minutes x 3 times a day, to eat food.  Even then, all those breaks aren't guaranteed.  But, over the next two weeks, I'm going to make sure I enter in what I can, so I can start to get an idea of how much I am overeating by.  I even kept the wrapper from a snack bar that I bought when I was out shopping, just so I can enter it online tonight and see how it stacks up with my daily food totals.

And speaking of food, time for my dinner!  Pearl Barley soup with vegetables - Om nom nom nom!


Saturday, 15 September 2012

14 September 2012

I have just been reading through the archives of such a touching blog.  700 Pounds Is As Bad As It Sounds, is a blog being written by an anonymous blogger, who for now I think is going with the name J.D. Pounds, and he is documenting his efforts to turn his life around and get healthy.

He writes honestly about the things he has to deal with daily, being so large.  About the pain, and discomfort he experiences from just standing up.  Even sitting down isn't a load off, with so much weight causing a lot of pressure and swelling on his limbs. 

I am just blown away by the commitment that this man, who has it so tough, is working so hard to do well, turn his life around and get healthy.  Working so hard to save his life.  He has only just starting and has a long way to go, but already he has progressed in the two months since he started.  He can now walk four times as far as as he could in July.  He has set himself a few goals that he's already met, and is getting better at recognising his food triggers and behaviours that he has to learn to confront and deal with.

It makes me ashamed that I've been trying to lose weight, get fit and healthy, and I've made no progress in 6 months.  None.  I'm still just as overweight as I was when I started.  I'm no fitter and no healthier for myself.  I've been able to come up with so many excuses, or put other priorities first, that really, I've not been as committed as I should be.

And I need to be.  I'm carrying too much weight, and I'm not very fit and I'm not getting any younger.  I need to lose weight so I can reduce pressure on my knee.  I used to love being active and now, I shirk from it and avoid it.  I want to lose weight so I can feel more comfortable in my clothes.  I'm sick of buying larger clothes "as a temporary measure" just until I lose some weight.  I'm sick of the waistband of my clothes cutting into me everytime I sit down, let alone lean forward.  I'm sick of being out of breath everytime I go up a flight of stairs.  I'm sick of the fact that every time I want to leave the house, it becomes an ordeal of 'what can I wear that won't make me feel fat'.  I'm sick of feeling lumpy and clumsy and can't walk between rows of chairs because I bump into every one because I am so wide. 

I can do so much better and I need to do so much better.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Grumpy Day

Well, Tuesday saw a major annoyance.  My computer, which I have been using for anything I’ve been doing fitness wise, has stuffed itself.  My computer isn’t turning on, which the IT technician I spoke with suggested it may be a hardware issue.  If they have to rebuild it, then I’m probably going to lose everything saved on there – including my fitness stuff.  Any pre-written blog posts, information, research, quotes, exercise ideas, anything, is likely to be lost. 

So, understandably, I was at odds all day.  I had an hour in the afternoon to do work, catch up on reports and agendas, and I wasn’t able to access any of it.  The computer I’m using on is one of the laptops from work, which we use and make available to our clients when necessary.  But everything I require and need to access is either in my emails, or on the hard drive of the computer.  Very little is backed up onto the server, and the last time I did a back-up of my information and resources was in March.  About a week before I started to really get into this fitness idea.  Very frustrating.

By the end of the day, clients were really stretching me, and without being able to access everything I need to do my job, I really felt cranky by the time we had a meeting at three o’clock.  I was going to go into the minutiae of my afternoon and evening, but really?  Let’s just go with I was really peeved at everyone/everything, but really I was taking it out on me.  I thought I did okay though when I reached for food, to go for the bag of snow peas I had left in the fridge, rather than another coffee.

I think I ate a little better during the day today, being conscious that I was trying to be honest and write everything down.  I worry that I’m going to forget my food diary, or I’ll miss a meal, and everything will get stuffed up.  But, so far, three days in a row, I’ve been good at writing down everything I’ve eaten.  I noticed already that I tend to eat/snack/graze at night/evening more than I do during the day.  Is that a sign that I do need to eat more in the morning/during the day?  Or that I’m more disorganised or bored at home and eat while I’m preparing food? 

Because I knew I would be working late tonight (still got out an hour early – yay!) I brought dinner with me to eat before my last session.  Steamed brussel sprouts, mashed sweet potato (ran out of normal potato) and a meat replacement “chicken-style” fillet.  Was filling enough, but then when I got back from grocery shopping, after work, I again felt like eating.  So I ate a little bit of one food, then a little bit of another, then I finished off the first food and had another forkful of the second... 

Now I feel a little ill because I ate too much food, too quickly, but I managed to stop myself from keeping on going.  I know I should have probably eaten the first snack and then waited 10 minutes.  Have some water, and then decided if I wanted more.  I need to start being more aware of my eating: what I’m eating, when I’m eating, why I’m eating.  I think starting from tomorrow, not only will I write down everything I eat (or drink) during the day, I’m also going to take the time to note when I ate that food.  Just to see if I am right in seeing a particular time of day when I graze more, or boredom eat.

I’ll keep you posted!

Monday, 10 September 2012

I keep falling out of routine!

My latest round of trying to lose weight has been slow.  Stupidly annoyingly so.  I seem to be able to get the momentum going for a few days and then it stops.  Either there's something for work I have to do that takes up my time, or I get distracted by TV, or house chores I've fallen behind in, etc, and I never get anywhere.   I was sick for nearly two weeks, sapping all my energy and making it hard for me to be motivated about losing weight or exercise.  So I stopped.  And all my plans and attempts at schedules and routines never seem to survive very long either.  I either run out of time to properly put them in place, or I don't fully plan them out, or I things take longer than I anticipate and so I run out of time to do everything I feel I should be doing.

What's really frustrating for me is that fact that mentally I feel really geared up.  I'm always feeling like, 'yep, I can do this.  I can do what is necessary to make it work'.  And yet, I don't.  Trying to lose weight is at the forefront of my mind, and I am constantly aware that this is something that I both want and need to do.  I hate feeling so uncomfortable in my own skin.  And I feel like my clients are judging me by my appearance and weight. 

I've been wondering if I'm trying to do too much at one time.  It took time for me to slip out of good habits, looking after myself, exercising, eating well.  Maybe my approach needs to be one of slowly building up good habits again.  So, I've decided to try and incorporate habits one week at a time.  If I manage to do them well for a whole week, I think I need to reward myself somehow.  Sounds stupid, but I almost want a sticker chart.  Or something physical anyway that I can put up on my wall, or my wardrobe door or in the bathroom so I can see it and have a reminder of how I'm doing and what I'm doing it for.

Some of the first things I want to put in place are:
  1. Sit-ups everyday
  1. Keep a food journal
  2. Walk for at least 30 minutes everyday
  1. 10 minutes of mixed exercise a day
  1. Eat smaller portions
  2. Make lunch everyday
  1. Go to bed at a regular hour
  1. Exercise every morning and each evening
  1. Drink black coffee
  1. Blog regularly
  2. Drink a bottle of water each day
  1. Walk for 5km everyday
  1. Get up at a regular hour

These are just for starters.  I'm sure I'll have more goals as I progress along.  I want to start off slow, one habit at a time.  I figure if I keep doing each item for 3 weeks, it becomes a habit, right? And then introduce something new every 2nd week, maybe even each week, so it builds up to me taking positive steps to address my weight and health. 

So far, I've done 25 sit-ups three mornings in a row.  Woo!  I even did another set yesterday evening before bed.  I know that sit-ups are probably not great when you are carrying a lot of weight in your stomach.  But I feel that when I have built up the muscle there, they'll be strong enough to hold some of my gut in!  At least, that has always seemed the case in the past. 

I'm keen to see this challenge through to the end of the week.  Definitely think I need to reward myself with something, just small, when I reach the end of a week.  And if I keep it all the way for 3 weeks and beyond, I'll give myself a bigger reward.

I'm also going to work on the food journal.  For now, I just want this week to be me writing down and taking note of every time I eat something.  One of the strategies that you are meant to use when food journaling is BLT.  If you bite it, lick it, or taste it, then you note it.  After today, I can already see when I ate most of my food and I even know why I ate it then.  I hadn't/couldn't decide what I was making for dinner so I ate mindlessly over about 45 minutes until I decided.  Some of it was good, like the 7 snow peas, but some of it was not good, like the muesli bar and 3 sweets. 

As far as going to the gym, well, I don't forsee it happening this week.  I missed tonight because I was waiting for a phone call that I couldn't miss.  I have a late evening at work tomorrow and Thursday, and Wednesdays I can never go because that's when I volunteer.  So, it will have to wait til next week I think.  In the mean time, I'll stick to getting into the habit of sit-ups each morning.

Oh! Last note!  I bought myself a digital scale so I could get an accurate measurement of my weight and progress and it doesn't seem to be working.  It did the first time I stepped on it, but this morning it went funny.  The screen went blank as if the weight was an overload, but it can handle up to 150kg, and I know that I am not that heavy!  I have replaced the battery but that doesn’t seem to have done it.  Anyone out there with suggestions or similar experience?  Please leave a comment below!