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Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

Yes, I cheated yesterday & I’m back up to 168lbs.  Yes, I am not makingaaa girly_girls_lift_weights_tshirt-p235039136489522999gsv1_325

 progress yet, but I’ll get to that in a moment.  So, I’m all excited about the running and then, wait. not so fast…

Here’s the deal with the Dr.  Seems I didn’t mess up my back last month – my back’s been messed up since birth.  Pars defect of spondylolisthesis.  This seems pretty crazy given the fact that my back has always been so strong.  But He’s got the fancy doctor’s office with the PA, nurse, waiting room & all, so I’ll have to acquiesce.

A genetic defect in my spine that I’ve had forever.  This was good & bad news, but mostly good.  Good – no spine fracture.  Bad – vertebrae slippage.  Good – treatment only requires at-home PT.  Bad – no more running.

aaa 0904_woman_with-weight_preview“No Running For You!”  From the exercise nazi.  ( a Seinfeld reference, yeah.)  Remembering I am in a positive place now, no hard feelings.  Deep relaxing breath.  I am so glad I didn’t blow that $165 on those running shoes.  Moving on from here I just need to figure out where to go instead.  I was excited about the running because it was making an impact on the weight loss.  But I think the impact on my spine in future years will be too high a price to pay.  Hmmm, what to do instead.

High repetition weight training.  Core work outs.  Notice how we intuitively gravitate towards what isaaa strength best for us?  My favorite form of exercise has always been weight-training.  Seems with the situation with my spine, this was probably the best, aside from maybe swimming. (I hate swimming in chlorine)  Now, back to the problem I was having a few months ago – why has it become so hard to go upstairs to the gym in my house and weight train?

Well, it seems for now, I have the PT exercising to do as I prepare for my long rides starting next week (OMG, so soon?)  That will keep me busy to begin.  Then I’ll just have to resort to forcing myself through the first few days.  Maybe I can do it like the cycling & give a beginner weight-training class.  Seems like when I have people show up for something, I seem to get the work done. 

IMG_2525-1 reversedMaybe I’ll get back to serious practice with the fire-spinning & belly-dancing. (yes, that’s me in the picture!!)  I guess I just worry that the calorie burn won’t be high enough.  To off-set it, I’ll have to dramatically increase my lean muscle mass.  I gotta tell you, it is hard to ‘feel-the-burn’ when doing hip-shimmy’s & belly-rolls.  Sorry this is such a whiny, boring post today.  Get this off my chest & tomorrow head in a new direction.

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Weigh-in today was an exciting 163lbs.  This means that I have worked my way below the 165lbs plateau I had been at for a few weeks.  This is due to my paradigm shift from “just enough to get by” to “just whatever it takes to get it done“.  Rode hard all week last week.  This Sunday, a 46 mile ride.  This morning 20 miles on the bike & 3 mile run. 

Bathing suit/ surfing at the beach countdown  is at 39 days and counting.  I did not do my core or surf workout Friday or Saturday.  Yesterday I did part of it.   I have scheduled time for later this evening, but if it’s like last night… I was so drained by the ride, I was way too tired. 

I made a huge mistake last Thursday.  I lifted & moved 6 heavy boxes.  While I was moving them, I kept thinking “you’ve gotta stop picking up heavy stuff like this”.  Sure enough, at about mile 32 of Sunday’s ride, I was faced with the most excruciating pain in my back that I have ever felt.  I have a really strong back, and I’m usually careful to take good care of it.  As a result, I never have back pain like that.

Sometimes on longer rides, my back will get a little sore, so completing the ride becomes a little uncomfortable.  But, OMG, this was totally different.   My back felt like it had seized up, and something was pinching sharply back there.  Not fun.  So I’m going to have to include some lower back strengthening moves each day this week.  I didn’t feel it riding & running this morning, but I’m starting to feel it now sitting at my desk.  Lucky for me, I dropped below 165lbs, which means I can treat myself to weekly massages starting today.

How to do “Good Mornings”:

Place your feet approximately shoulder width apart, directly under the bar. Maintain the lordotic curve in your low back with your chest up. Look straight ahead or slightly upward. Do not look down. The body follows the head.aagood morning

Take a deep breath, and slightly flex your knees. Under control, start to bend forward, maintaining the normal curvature of your lower back. As you lower your torso, keep looking straight ahead. This will help keep your back in its proper position. Lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor and then reverse directions and raise your torso to the starting position.  These can be done with dumbells held at the top of your shoulders, or you can do them with no weights.  If you are new to cycling, this is one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your lower back. 

Wow, in an hour, I get to have a massage, I’m so excited.  I’m going to have her do a combination of Swedish & Deep Tissue.  It’s always scary having a regular massuese do a deep tissue massage.  Your muscles are very vunerable to the skill of the massuese.  If they don’t really know what they are doing, they can damage your muscles.  I’m hoping the weekly massage begins to detoxify my muscles.  

Here is some info:  Swedish massage –  uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness and improving function in people with osteoarthritis or with poor circulation. 

Deep Tissue Massage – is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or facia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is recommended for individuals who are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes. It is not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue Massage to become sore or even bruised over the next few days, though there should be no pain to the client during a session if the therapist is doing the work correctly.

A detoxifying massage can help to purge the body of toxins, improving your physical and mental wellbeing. It increases the strength of your immune system, improves circulation and reduces stress!  I’m using this as part of my weight loss efforts, along with cleaning my diet.  This should help me overcome my metabolic resistance that much better.

aadetoxmassageA detox massage is a deep tissue massage & can remove toxins like artificial additives, pesticides and other foreign nasties that are stored in your muscles. Massage of any sort helps to perk up the circulation, sending the blood pumping around the body with renewed vigour. With it go oxygen and the fuel we need to function in the form of nutrients, which are turned into energy once they reach our muscles. Our organs benefit too – improved blood circulation encourages them to do their best work, particularly those concerned with the elimination of toxins.

The lymphatic system, along with the liver, is your body’s natural detox system, acting as our own internal waste disposal unit. Having no natural ‘pump’ of its own, the lymphatic system is dependent on strong muscles, efficient breathing and exercise for its function. An overload of toxins can prevent the lymphatic system from working properly, leading to lethargy or illness, but a detox massage stimulates your lymphatic system so waste can be eliminated more easily.

Off to go eat 200 more calories & get massaged….

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Weigh-in 165lbs. Today, I set a new priority.  Although I’m doing well with the biking & the running, I have put off the weight training & core work outs for as long as I can.  I am 44 days away from the ride/surf trip.  And we know what happened last time:  <Cass & I haven’t surfed in a long time.  Last time we went, I couldn’t get up.  My arms weren’t strong enough to hoist my weight up to stand.  [whine alert]  It was a sad & dismal day.  I remember standing on shore, watching her out in the breaking waves, thinking ‘why did you let this happen, how much more are you going to give up because you have no self-control’.  I was 15 lbs lighter than I am now.  Sad.> my new board

So, here I am today, 15lbs lighter than when I wrote that.  At the same weight I was when I couldn’t get up on my board.  What is going to make it different this time?  I am going to have to do my weight training & core work outs EVERY SINGLE DAY.  So, every day, after posting my weigh in, I will post that I either did or did not do the weights & the core w/o.

I want to start by learning about my core.  Your body core is the midsection of your body, from your groin to your shoulders. This includes the pelvis, abs, back and chest muscles. It is this core that offers stability, balance and flexibility.

Transverse Abdominal (TVA) is a very important stabilizer of the lower back. It is the deepest of the abdominal muscles and the only one that runs horizontal.

Rectus Abdominisis located along the front of the abdomen, this is the most well-known abdominal muscle and is often referred to as the “six-pack” due to it’s appearance in fit and thin individuals. Erector Spinae is the group of three muscles runs along your neck to your lower back.

Multifidusis located under the erector spinae along the vertebral column, these muscles extend and rotate the spine. External Obliques are located on the side and front of the abdomen. Internal Obliques are located under the external obliques, running in the opposite direction.

Hip Flexors are located in front of the pelvis and upper thigh. The muscles that make up the hip flexors include: psoas major, illiacus, rectus femoris, pectineus and sartorius. Gluteus medius & minimus are located at the side of the hip. Hip abductors are located at medial thigh.

I find it helpful to know about all the muscles so when I’m preforming exercises so I can isolate better.   Working your core effectively uses isometric force.   Isometric exercises are important because they solve several problems. Weak muscles will not contract with most strengthening exercises because dominant muscles will compensate, and muscle imbalances may occur through repetitive use of the same muscle causing the body to go into “protective” mode.aacrossover situp

The first exercise is critical in re-establishing good communication between the brain and the key stabilizer muscles (TVA). Lie on your back and cross your left leg over right leg. Your left heel should be next to the right knee. Rotate right approx 30 degrees your left hip will come off the ground several inches. Push knee into the wall 6 times for 6 seconds. Start lightly and increase pressure each time. If you feel cramping in the inner thigh you are pressing too hard. This exercise will activate the TVA and should be followed up by regular abdominal exercises.

aabicycle crunchBicycle Crunch is the best exercise for strengthening the Rectus Abdominus. Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands beside your head. Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion. Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. Breath evenly throughout the exercise.aareverse crunch

The Reverse Crunch is great for strengthening the Obliques. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Place hands on the floor or behind the head. Bring your knees up towards the chest so they bend about 90 degrees. Contract your abs and lift your hips off the floor in a very small movement. Lower and repeat.

aaplankThe Plank exercise is effective for developing static strength to hold the body in a straight line posture. The value gained from doing the plank exercise is specific only to holding the position. This is what we need to hold our stomachs in & our backs straight.   Start in the plank position with your forearms flat on the floor and your toes on the floor. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds to start. Over time work up to 30, 45 or 60 seconds. Then increase the repetitions.

Leg Lifts are great to isolate your quadriceps but they also strengthen your hip flexors while increasing your balance. You can do a full set of these, or you can aaleglift 2alternate between front and sideways to mix it up. Start by laying flat on the mat and lift your legs up.  Bring back to start and repeat many times.  Inhale on lift, exhale back to start.  Push your spine into the mat.  Stabilize your back & ab muscles.  Only do a few at fisrt, this is taxing on your back muscles.  An alternate move is to do this standing, holding onto a chair.

Lastly, the only concentric exercise to strengthen the TVA. It’s called The Beach Ball. Use a 13″ diameter beach ball and a about a 6″ piece of 1/8″ diameter plastic tubing (gas aabeachballline)inserted into the valve of the beach ball. Now attempt to inflate the ball with as few breaths as possible. Blow till you can’t exhale anymore.

The narrow tube and the ball create resistance, especially on the last breath. The longer the tube, the more resistance also. Each exhale takes about 15 LONG seconds. So for 4 breaths (inhale plus exhale) your looking at about 75 seconds.  This exercise will change your life.

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Weigh-in 167lbs.  Well, at least I’m consistant.  And at least I’m not whining about how I “just can’t lose the weight, no matter how much I do“.  My ride schedule is going well, now I need to get control of my eating.  However, I am not going to sabotage my efforts thus far by not holding myself accountable for the bad choices I’m making.

I want to talk about training.  Training starts by building a strong mental foundation.  It starts by making a shift in our thinking.  In my mind, I have to go from being a fat woman to being an athlete with a weight problem.  Somewhere in proverbs the Bible states “As a man thinketh, so he is“.  Our minds are powerful, we can use them to achieve more than ever before or allow them to hold us captive in our bad choices for a lifetime.  It is always our choice.   That is what people mean when they say being fat is a choice.

I wish many of you that struggle with exercise could believe me when I tell you that where you are mentally determines the success of your workouts – EVERY SINGLE TIME.  When I ride my bike, it takes me about 1hour, 15 minutes to do 20 miles.  Some days, it is the longest hour I’ve ever felt.  Other days, the time goes by & I don’t even notice.  I figured out what was bothering me the most about FA last week.  It’s the language.  They consistantly feed themselves negative language, making the actions of losing weight that much harder.

I see this all the time while training cyclists to climb hills.  It isn’t the hill that takes them out.  They defeat themselves long before they get to the hill.  The moment they have the hill in sight, all of them say “ugh, a hill, I don’t think I can make it“. (or it’s going to hurt, or I hate the hills, or a hundred variations of that statement.)  Then they ride on & struggle tremendously with the hill.  Now, when I get them to the point where they approach the hill & think “it’s going to be hard, but I know I can make it”, that is when I have a trainable hill-climber.  [let me take a minute and give you some insight to who these cyclists that I train are.  Many of them are middle -aged, struggling with weight & hormone problems, several are recovering from serious illnesses like cancer or heart desease.  All of them have very busy lives & demanding jobs.  But every week, they gather all their biking gear and become athletes.  They show up.  They get the work done.  I love each one of them!]

The reason for the defeat is you can’t achieve what you don’t believe you can achieve.  That’s it, bottom-line, every single time.  So achieving my weight-loss goals becomes all about my belief that I can.  Removing the negative & increasing the positive in thought & action.  I’m not talking about spewing a bunch of meaningless “Positive Mental Attitude” statements.  I’ve been in sales all of my adult life & I always disagreed with making blanket positive statements over & over & over again as a means to improve your mental outlook.  Your statements have to be real, and have some meat on them.

I’m talking about visualisation.  This is a truly powerful tool that is used for everything from sports to business success.  To make it more effective, I’m going to focus it very specifically.  Visualisation is the process of  creating detailed visual pictures of yourself being what you want to be.  For our example, I want us to visualise ourselves as an athlete.  When I do this, this is what I usually see:

lance 1 crop

You imagine yourself doing that thing you visualise, and your brain then knows exactly what you want and finds a way to make it happen.  Now, I don’t want to be Lance Armstrong.  But I do want to be strong – a hard rider – an athlete – cancer free.  Seeing this image in my mind, I can feel his strength in my legs, his lung capacity in my chest, I become the amazing hill climber that he is, in my mind.  And I start to believe I am healthy!

The down side of the “My life as a fat woman” blog was that I let it turn into me visualising myself as a fat woman – a victim, instead of using it for accountability.  I embrace it differently now.  I have lost 15 pounds, so my life as a fat woman is talking about a past event, not something I am now.  I still have weight to lose, but at 167lbs, I am no longer fat – just overweight.  And I move on from here, reaching forward, striving to achieve my goal.

Here is what you can do to build that strong mental foundation:

Follow through your actions. Tell yourself through-out the day, every day, that you are an athlete, that eating is just fueling your body. That healthy food intake is what keeps you, the athlete, strong.

Focus on what you want to achieve.Give it details, give it life. Later in the day after a run, when I stand up and my legs are sore, I make myself smile, feeling the sensation in my quads & hamstrings – and think to myself “you are getting stronger”. I do this instead of getting up and thinking “omg, I am so sore from this mornings run, gosh, I am weak”. (or old, or fat or out-of-shape or whatever negative thing used to pop into my head.)

Adopt a specific, clear vision of how you want your body to look. Spend time imagining how your new body will look, imagine that body, going through the activities you andrea ms croppedenjoy – riding, running, dancing, etc.  Be optimistic. Be realistic. Be empowered.

Practice in your mind.  Athletes practice their success in their minds. They see themselves achieving their goal. Rehearse overcoming temptation. Rehearse not feeling like working out, and mentally overcoming it. Picture yourself working out at a moment of enjoyment, experiencing the positive feeling that occurred. By regularly focusing on successfully accomplishing your goal, you greatly increase your potential to make it a reality.

Guard your mind. You are the gate-keeper. You choose what you think. (and if you are fully, mentally embedded in your excuse for not losing weight, you will never lose the weight. Like I discussed before, the excuse is irrelevant. Example: “I’m genetically obese, all the women in my family were fat.” This is not a scientifically accurate statement.  Barring a metabolic disorder, obesity is 100% choice.)

Every time a negative or defeating thought comes into your mind, speak out loud a counter statement.  My mind says “I’m too old to be a competitive athlete”. I say, out loud “There are competitions for athletes in my age group, I am strong, I will train for it.  I can do this” My mind says “I will always be fat, there is nothing I can do”. I say, out loud “my poor choices got me where I am, every day I am making healthier choices, I will lose this weight”.

What you eat, what you drink, how you train, what you do with your body and your health – your whole life, really–is all in your power. The most important factor is in what you think. 

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Weigh-in this morning- 167lbs.  I am holding steady at this weight.  This is due entirely to my not eating the right foods, which causes me to eat too much food.  My stress reaction to the pulmonary Dr visit was greek pizza for dinner.  Guy bought us each a 12″, with plans of enjoying some the following day.  Ha!  It came home at 6pm & was gone by 11pm.  So much for that plan.  I need to find something else to stress with instead of food.

I am a passionate person, I give of myself 100% to everything I do.  Like I explained to the good Dr on Friday, I am very intense.  It is a painful admission that it applies to everything in my life EXCEPT diet & weight-loss.  I am such a weenie.  So, last week, when I decided to take a new outlook, my half-ass attempt at losing weight was done.  I am happy to report that Saturday we rode 24 miles & then ran 2.5 miles & did 20 minutes of stair climbing.  Sunday, 42 miles on the bike with a 2 mile run.  Today 18 miles biking & 3 miles running – AND I DIDN’T DIE.

My paradigm shift is from “just enough to get by” to “just whatever it takes to get it done“.  When I started this back in October, I had an undiagnosed slow thyroid.  I fought hard to find out what the problem was.  We have removed that obstacle.   I CAN do this!  I WILL do this.  I WILL NOT spend another year being fat!!  I am SO excited!

Here’s some advice:  There are 3 real things that may be preventing your weight-loss.

1.  If you really have been dieting & exercising to lose weight, but the weight has stayed on – find out why.  If you’ve spent 4 weeks doing a regular diet & exercise plan & haven’t seen results – YOUR METABOLISM IS SLOW!  Period.   Have your thyroid checked by a DR that knows how to check it.Fight for an accurate diagnosis so you can get the treatment you need.

2.  If you still have problems, LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE EATING!  Some overweight people cannot eat wheat-based or starchy foods and lose weight.  They have an imbalance that causes an over-production of insulin, causing their bodies to store too much fat.  Do some food experimenting to find out how your body reacts to certain foods.  Also give some real thought to statements like “oh, but I just can’t give up my bread”.  Do you want to eat bread or lose weight?  If you’re anything like me, you can’t do both.

3.  Once you’ve done all that, THINK ABOUT HOW YOU ARE EXERCISING!  This was a huge problem for me.  It doesn’t matter that it seems unbelievable that I can ride my bike every day & am slow to lose weight.  What matters is finding the inner strength to do enough exercise to lose the weight.  Then, making your health a priority & GETTING THE WORK DONE!

No longer will I sympathetically listen as someone I care about goes through a litany of EXCUSES about why they can’t get it done.  Especially from MYSELF!

“The only one who can tell you ‘you can’t ‘ is you. And you don’t have to listen.”

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Weigh in today:  167lbs pre-ride & 165lbs post ride.  I am weighing post ride to encourage myself.  It’s been a really hectic week in the business world for me & although I have kept up with most of my riding, my eating has not been good.  But it’s reassuring to see that I can eat my way through any & every difficult moment.   ; )

My  last word on Fat Acceptance.  I m glad I found out about FA, but I am done.  I learned some good thindancehappy1gs.  Online I met some really special people whom I hope have blessed & happy lives.  [April D, keep up that beautiful dancing, you are a truly special spirit.]  But as a whole, I just will never get it.  In visiting their sites, I’ve seen too much aggression & what I can only call almost hatefulness.   I’ve been ignored, attacked and argued to death to the point of hilarity.  For the most part, what people warned me about is accurate, either you are with them… or they’re against you.  Or, they just have a very narrow view of things and are not welcoming to anything other than what they agree with.  It amazes me how so many of them demand acceptance from others, but think all thin people are hateful bigots, regardless if they know them or not.  It takes way too much energy to work through not offending them when you try to openly & sincerely share your thoughts & feelings.  (please notice I said feelings… that is what I tried to share.)  I walk away a little enlightened but exhausted & drained completely.

I am coming to the end of a very stressful month of productive work.  I need to get into an especially positive place with this blog, my training and my mental outlook.  I ran across some running blogs & some foodie blogs that talk about & promote great food, enjoyable exersize and wise training.  It made me feel good to hear the diffirent stories & lives of people just like you & me, but at the same time, so different. 

Positive energy flow, positive energy flow, positive energy flow…

I go onlineto learn, share and exchange good energy.  That is just what I found at these new blogs.  I will be adding an additional blogroll to these great blogs next week.  I ran across one where the woman talked about her different faces as she’s losing weight.  She’s photo-logging the changes.   She was truly beautiful & that got me thinking.  So many times over the last 10 years I have spoken with overweight people about the person trapped inside them.  Today I remembered that I am one of those with a beautiful woman trapped inside an excess of adipose tissue.  I want to show her to you:

me again

Isn’t she beautiful.  (Please keep in mind as you read, I believe all women are beautiful, it’s not a comparative statement.)  I saw her in my face today, in a reflection in a store window.  As I was walking up, I looked in the glass & there was her face.  Then I realized it was me.  It made me happy!

Something else happened today that hasn’t happened in a really long time.  As I was walking up to another store, a man ran to get the door for me & said “Wow, you’ve got beautiful calves… oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to be rude.”  I wanted to tell him: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!  But I’m a happily married woman, so I just smiled a little and walked inside.  It has been almost 2 years since anyone has given me a sincere compliment, it was cool. 

andrea legFor all of us who have gained a little too much weight,  I know there is someone deep down inside you.  She’s exactly like you – only without the issues & problems brought on by the weight.  Not only do others view me differently with the extra weight, I view myself differently as well.  Maybe you do too.

Onward.  I am removing as much negativity from this blog of mine as I can.  I use this blog for personal reasons, I’m not trying to build a following.  But having someone stop by & comment has been very enjoyable & insightful.  It helps me to keep my perspective open & fresh.  Lately, I’ve been so busy with work.  That’s why I haven’t been posting that much.  Time to change direction!!

On Monday, I will start adding different information to keep me (and maybe you, too.) motivated.  I’m going totally Zen & happy, and will refresh my energy to continue my success.  Hey, I’ve lost 15lbs, I’m at a success point!!  I’m going to keep that positive feeling going…

Have an excellent & blessed weekend.

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July 16, 2009

Weigh-in, 165lbs.  I need to be at 163lbs by Monday.  I feel good about this.  Today is Thursday.  It is a rest day, no riding or running.  Next week will be a busy week.  I have several more Dr appointments scheduled.  On Wednesday, the gastro Dr, to see if I have a fructose sensitivity.  Thursday, the cardiologist for a chest xray & stress test.  Then they send me off to meet with a pulmonary Dr, to check out my lungs.  The following week, on Wednesday, back to the cardio Dr for the results of the xray & stress test.  Then on August 4th, back to the new Dr. (the internist) to rerun my thyroid & cholesterol numbers.  Off to work for me…

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