Fat as Hell…

and not going to take it anymore!

Ready, Set… Walk!

Well… it’s the first “official” day of FatBridesMaid’s Pedometer Challenge, and I logged another (what is for me, anyway) big day. Most of my steps were had tackling the flowerbeds in my front yard as well as a 3.5 mile hike through a nearby nature trail that runs through a beautifully wooded nature preserve near my house. (The walk was absolutely gorgeous, and I have to say, I think that I saw more butterflies this afternoon alone than I have in my entire life).

I did my very best not to look at the pedometer during the day and to just go about my business, but it was so hard not to sneak a peek every once in awhile. Further, it’s absolutely amazing just how much motivation having that little bit of plastic magic around my waist afforded me. Even if I don’t *win* the challenge, I feel like I will have gained so much from having participated. For someone like me, who hates to exercise, little contests like this one really help to put the spring back in my step when I can feel myself dragging. I absolutely know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I moved my fat ass far more this weekend than I would have had I not decided to become a footstep beancounter.

That said, now that the weekend is over, I’m looking forward to seeing how many steps I naturally take during the average work day. My job involves both working at a desk *and* running around like a lunatic, so I’m interested to find out how that translates into actual movement. I think, having that kind of data will help me make smart choices about my evening exercise. Right now, I’m just sorta doing what I’ve always done because, frankly, I couldn’t come up with a better plan of action. I mean… what the hell do *I* know about exercise? I read a bit and try to tailor my plan of attack based on what I hope are sound practices, but mostly I’m just shooting in the dark. But now… armed with the knowledge of how many steps I’ve taken in a day, *hopefully* I’ll be able to be a bit more intentional about my evening exercise regiment — adding more cardio on days when I don’t walk nearly as much at work, and concentrating on strength training on those days when I keep the pedometer busy during the day — rather than just doing whatever I’d arbitrarily assigned myself at the beginning of he week.

That’s my theory anyway.

In the meantime, I’m going to *try* to log my steps every evening here with a picture just to prove that I’m not fibbing. And hopefully, by the time the three weeks are up, I’ll have made increased physical activity a *habit* that I can continue long after the challenge is over.

*fingers crossed*

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April 20, 2008 Posted by | exercise, pedometer challenge | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Stepping to the Numbers

I’ve decided to participate in Fatbridemaid’s Pedometer Challenge mostly because it sounded like fun, but also because I got a pedometer for Christmas which has been collecting dust in the bottom of a drawer ever since. The challenge doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, but she’s counting steps before then just to get everybody all pumped up. That said, all week long, I’ve been trying to figure out my pedometer which, apparently, takes a phd to operate. Seriously, I may not be an official Mensa member, but I’m no slouch either and this little plastic gadget has me bested.

Luckily, I was talking to someone at work about it this week and on Friday she brought me another pedometer to borrow for awhile. Luckily, this one is fabulous. Easy, sturdy and, as far as I can tell, accurate. (I did some test walks to see if it measured the correct steps and it only missed once and only by one step). So now I get to play along! :)

To that end, today was a *big* walking day for me. My husband and I got up early this morning and headed downtown to our local farmer’s market. It was a gorgeous day with lots of sunshine. Warm and with just a taste of the hot and humid summer that we are no doubt in store for. It just so happened that there was also a classic car show set up across many city blocks near the market, so we also tooled up and down the promenade several times looking at the handy work of people who clearly dedicate much of their lives to restoring these vehicles.

Anyway, later, we walked the 1.5 mile “nature trail” near our house, but when we got back to the house I realized that it just wasn’t enough. I’d barely broken a sweat… as though *that* walk was just the warm up… so I headed out and kept walking until I’d put in *another* 3.5 miles.

Of course, now I’m sore and sleepy, but I also have to marvel (just a little) at how far I’ve come. Six months ago, I had to push and push myself to walk even a mile. And I hated every second of it. But tonight I wanted *more* exercise. I *needed* more. And, like icing on the proverbial cake, my additional jaunt this evening took me over the 10,000 step mark for the day.

12, 966 steps to be exact.

I mean, I have no idea how many steps other people are taking in a day, but to me this feels like it’s crazy good. In fact, I’m sure that I won’t get anywhere near this on most days… simply because, well, I don’t think I walk over 5 miles on an average day. But today I did. Go me!

~~~~~~~~~~

You know, all of this weight loss + exercise business is still pretty new to me.

I got to thinking the other day about how little I really know about how to eat and move my body in ways that are truly healthy. I’m a complete and utter novice at this and, frankly, I think I’m fumbling around in the dark most of the time. I read other blogs and I’m, literally, stunned by how together so many of you all seem. I read your food journals and the stories you share about your goals, plans and successes and it all leaves me hoping that *someday* I’ll be in that place too.

But I’m not there yet. I still find myself *wanting* the food I shouldn’t have or the kind of life where I can just sit on my butt and not worry about things like heart disease and cellulite. And, I don’t know, maybe it will never become second nature to me. Maybe I’ll always have to fight my first instincts. All I know for sure is that if I really am going to make the kind of changes to my life that are required for permanent weight loss then those changes have to be permanent too. I won’t magically wake up one day and not have to think about what I put in my body and how I treat it. I’ll always have to think about it. I’ll always be fighting this battle.

And let’s face it. That kind of sucks.

But the thing is, on nights like tonight when something inside me clicks and I find myself *wanting* to do the right thing. When I’m faced with a choice between living healthily and just living *and* the first one is actually preferable. Those are nights when I truly think that I just might be able to do this.

Of course, tomorrow I’ll probably eat something that will cause Paola to give me a virtual bollocking, but for tonight, I feel like I might actually be “getting there” — 12,966 steps at a time. :)

April 19, 2008 Posted by | exercise, motivation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Healthy You Challenge — Update 1

*drumroll please*

258.3lbs – 254.0lbs = -4.3lbs

4.3lbs in a week is a *huge* loss for me. 2lbs a week, *if* I do what I’m supposed to all week, is usually the most I can hope for and is what I’ve come to “shoot” for as a result. Anything else is gratis.

I guess getting “back on track” after a few weeks of only half-heartedly doing this has made a difference. Plus, and I’m sure you’ll agree… marking a loss is always a great motivator. For me, seeing a loss on the scale is *always* so much more motivating than seeing a gain. I read some bloggers who say that they need the occasional “kick in the ass” of a gain to get them back in the game… but not me. A gain only serves to make me feel more defeated. I find that, for me, one loss begets another loss and so on. That said, I hope this marks the beginning of a roll.

1.jpgIt was a lovely weekend here, and we took full advantage of the good weather by moving our exercising outdoors. On Saturday, I did a 3 mile walk around an area that the locals call “the loop.” I live right across the bridge from a set of barrier islands that are nestled between the mainland and the Atlantic ocean. “The loop” is a public footpath that starts on one side of the islands, travels across one bridge and over the intracoastal waterway, runs parallel to the ocean, then back across another bridge and then back around. It’s really quite lovely, and although I was really more focused on my walk then the view, I did snap this picture along the way, so I’d have something to show you guys. At this point, I was just about to cross one bridge, and if you click on the picture to make it larger, you’ll see the *other* bridge that would bring me back around, far off in the distance.

2.jpgThen, on Sunday, my husband and I took a walk through a park that’s right in our neighborhood, but that we’d never been to. It was beautiful, overlooks a marshy area and then a different part of the intracoastal waterway that I got to traverse the day before. In the end, we surely marked that spot as a good “picnic place” when the weather is really nice, but it wasn’t much of a “walk” so we decided to walk the same “nature trail” that we did last week. By the time we reached the last mile of the trail, I’d walked *at least* 6 miles in two days, and I have to admit I was feeling it. I wasn’t *nearly* as out of breath as my two dogs though who, in the main, seemed to be as glad to be outside as I was.

Anyway, it felt so good to be outside and I couldn’t help but feel that all this walking was doing more for me than the exercise I’ve been able to do while cooped up in the house all winter. My husband and I are “talking about” buying tennis rackets and then trying our hand at that once the weather really settles into spring and then summer… but we’ll see. Neither one of us is particularly “sporty” so I imagine such an effort would be good for a laugh, if nothing else.

One last thing. I’m really having trouble keeping up with my food and exercise journals. I’m still, absolutely, counting calories and sticking within my limits (as evidenced by my loss last week) I just haven’t had time to record them. For some reason, I feel racked with guilt over this. Part of me feels like I’m “cheating” by not writing all this stuff down — while another part of me feels like that’s ridiculous because, prior to starting this blog, I *never* kept a food or exercise journal. The thing is, I don’t want to get so bogged down in the administrative details of this that the pressure of having to write everything down knocks me off course. On the other hand, I don’t want to start slacking and sliding *because* I haven’t held myself to account by writing everything down.

It makes me wonder, because I read a lot of weight loss/health related blogs and I don’t really see *that* many food/exercise journals. Do you guys find them necessary or even helpful?

Anyway… I’m off to face Monday.
Happy new week everybody!

March 24, 2008 Posted by | exercise, healthy you challenge, weigh day | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments