Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wild Wednesdays

Not at all fitness related, but this is what I have been up to this summer, besides working counting all my macros, going to funerals, and of course, working out!

I have taken almost every Wednesday afternoon off from work. I often work special events during the weekends or evening so I easily have my 40 hours done by Wednesday (our week runs Thursday-Wednesday.) My friend Jennifer is on Maternity Leave. What better way to celebrate summer than spending one day a week doing fun things with her and Samantha and little Sadie?

In the month of June we...

Went to the Children's Zoo. I had not been here for over 11 years. There are only three things there that I remember: Leo the paper eating lion, the crooked house and the Zoo Train. It was hot. And we were worn out after wandering around that place for a few hours. The train ride costs an addtional $2 to the price of the admision, but it is definitely the best part. After we finished, Sammie and I made wishes while Jennifer finished feeding Sadie her bottle. Samantha's wish was for another train ride... and it came true! The train driver let us go for a second time around!!!

Dan had the next Wednesday off and I was hoping for a nice Air Conditioned activity because I was so tired of being hot. We went bowling. Sammie got to use the bumpers and the ramp. And she won! It was her first time ever bowling. Then we went to Dairy Queen to celebrate!

The next Wednesday we planned a swimming party with Jen and Josie. But because of my Grandma's funeral it got moved to Tuesday. Luckily, these girls are flexible. We had a picnic and hung out at the kiddie pool for a few hours. The front of my thighs got totally sunburn. And I am wearing clothes here!

Yesterday, to finish out June's Wild Wednesdays, we went to Paint Yourself Silly. Samantha painted a dog, I painted a small dish and Jennifer did a super-cute plate with her kids hands and footprints. I have been so worn out lately, and this turned out to be a nice and relaxing group activity. Then we went to Sonic (I got flavored Diet Coke for 10 calories) and then hung out at Dan's library for a while. In the evening we met friends for an outdoor movie (ET) the city shows every week. 

I can't wait to see what wildness is in store for the month of July. 

I wish Jennifer had maternity leave every summer!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Feeling Proud of Where I Am

Last week there were a large amount of photos taken. And we spent a lot of time looking through old photos. And something that really stuck out to me, is how proud I am of where I am.

I have felt kind of fluffy these last few weeks. Some from eating so many calories. Some from not being 100% consistent with my eating. Too much sodium in restaurant food and too much family eating-out time. Plus, when I over-eat one day, I can't just punish myself by eating 1000 calories the next day. For that reason, my scale is a bit up. I am hovering around the seven pound range. A full four pounds higher than I started my reverse diet. Some might come off this week, now that I am back to my old habits. But I am eating a good amount of food, so it's not like I have the ability to lose it right now.

Regardless of my battle with the the number on the scale, I feel really confident that when a photo is taken of me, I am going to look good. And I don't mean that to sound conceded. I mean I am comfortable in my own skin right now.

I pulled out me "goal pants" and they fit perfectly. Those pants that I always equate with being at my happy weight. They might even be getting a bit big. I have gotten a lot of compliments from co-workers as friends and family. Some asking if I have lost weight. Which I haven't. I weight exactly what I weighed last summer. But my body is changing and that is showing. And it has given me confidence.

Enough confidence to post this full-body picture of myself, in a swimming suit on Facebook last week.

And I think I look just fine. I am proud of where I am. But I am also proud of myself for feeling proud of myself. I very easily could think about the scale or see the lose skin or extra fat. I could be mad that I am not further along. But I am not. I am just proud.

I mean, I have always been pretty cute!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Reverse Diet: Week 16 and 17

Lowest Weight: 3.8 pounds
Average Weight: 4.5 pounds
Macros Breakdown: 2220 calories = 160p/224c/76f

I have been a blog-posinting-failure this week. I have had a lot to deal with. My grandma's funeral came and went, a bunch of family came to town and went. I was out of town for Father's Day in there somewhere. And now I am finally getting my life back together.

Two weeks ago (week 16) I had a pretty consistent week. Things were in disarray because my grandma was dying, but I ate most meals at home (or work) and hit my numbers perfectly. I was able to see a pretty low number and my average is between the 3-5 pounds I like. So I increased my numbers.

I did not have a very consistent week 17 last week. I didn't eat any meals at my own house. I was off of work all week. We had funeral things (planning, visits, and services) three different days. They were out of town, which required two-three hours of driving each day. I took my Dad out for father's day. We had out of town relatives visiting, who had to eat out every meal. It was exhausting. And sad. And some days I ate only 1500 calories because there just wasn't anything else to eat. And some days I had two alcoholic drinks because it was my grandma's wake and that's what you do.

I got all my workouts in. That was a success. I will do a two week recap this Friday.

Though I doubt I actually ate more than my calories most days, I did eat more carbs and less protein and my scale is up because of that. Some from sodium, some from exhaustion, some from stress. I didn't even write down my weights last week because they were so unusual. Mostly in the six-eight pounds from goal range.

So I am just skipping over this week. Let's pretend it didn't happen. I will keep my macros the same for this week, since I don't think I ever really hit them. I will try to get back to business. I know the end is near. I am eating 2275 calories. I am thinking next week might be the finish line. But I also know I need to stay consistent to find out where that really is. I say that every week, don't I? Funerals are exceptions though. Funerals are life-changing events. And some times you just need to take the time off. Sometimes there are more important things the protein.

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Week in Workouts

My workout week was unsatisfactory. But at least I had an excuse. It was a stressful week. And I think I handled it pretty well. 

Saturday, before any of the concerns about my grandma started, I got a great combat and shoulder workout. My shoulders weren't sore, like last week, but I am enjoying the shape my shoulder seem to be taking. 

Sunday I had a great workout. I ran two interval miles (to keep the treadmill boredom at bay) and did legs. For the first time since January, I did 135 pound squats. I was feeling strong. 

Monday thins started falling apart. I had to go to work. It still find time to deal with the grandma issue and continue to live my life. I wanted to get my lawn mowed in case I didn't have any free time the rest of the week. But when I got home. I remembered I was out of gas. Then Dan decided to wash off the mower (which was covered in cortoonwood debris) and it wouldn't start. He tried a bunch of things to get it to start. But that took an hour. Finally, he got I started and it began to sprinkle. I did as much as I could before it was raining too hard. 

Tuesday I worked until 8pm and then spent a couple hours at my grandmas side. Saying goodbye one last time. 

Wednesday and Thursday I was just too exhausted with work and family things.  Had no energy to get up early and my uncle Mark arrived from California. So those became rest days as well. 

Friday and I had Tracy waiting for
Me and I didn't want to miss that. We got a good run I despite the fact that it
Was 100% mugginess and already 75 degrees at 6 am. We shaved 30 seconds off our 5k time. We'll be down I the 12 minute miles again soon!

According to the hospice verses, my grandma will pass in the next 24 hours. I'm off work now,and assuming despite funeral arrangements and family time , I will be able to get back to my workouts. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Grandma Kat

My grandma is dying. She may be gone by the time I post this. Her daughters sit and wait by her side, but I can't do that. I can't just sit. So I go to work and stay busy at home. And every once in a while I think of her and wonder if at this very minute she is may be taking her last breath. The hospice workers say it can be any time now.

But she has lived a good life. She is 93 years old. She will make it to her half birthday if she lasts until Friday. But she probably won't. She grew up in Iowa. She had two older sisters and a younger brother. She was closest to her brother though. Which made her a tom-boy and got her in to a lot of trouble. They may have burned down the barn once. And she threatened an adult with her hatchet. I picture them just like Scout and Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird. Boy she must have been a handful. I like to think of it as spunky. That's why I like her so much.

When the war came, she moved to Washington DC and learned how to do telegraphs. She had to write the letters home telling people they had lost their loved ones. It was an awful job, but she made the best girlfriends. Some as feisty as her. When the war was over, some of them headed down to Florida and became waitresses in Key West. And Memphis and all kinds of places down there. She got a tattoo! Nobody really know what it is anymore. None of us knew about it until she got much older. That's why I like her so much.

After a few years of that, her best friend thought they should move home and run their own bar. It was the 40s. My grandma was in her twenties and the last thing on her mind was getting married and having babies. She was going to become a business woman. And she did. In Rising City Nebraska. It was a "hell hole" she says. But it was her hell hole. She was the most independent woman I knew. For her time. That's why I like her so much.

Then she met my grandpa (he happened to be her friend's brother) sold the bar, settled down and got married. She had a few kids. She became a farm wife. You always think that farmers are up at the crack of dawn, but not my grandma. She made grandpa get his own breakfast. And she slept in. She worked hard, late into the night. But she wasn't a morning person. That's why I like her so much.

They had a great marriage. I mean, from what I could see. He was happy to sit on the sidelines quietly, while she was the life of the party. She always wanted to be the hostess. She never sat down. She always seemed to eat dinner after every one else. She wasn't a great cook. Everything seemed to burn. She didn't care. She was the boss. That's why I like her so much.

Then she became a grandma. She told the best bedtime stories, packed the best lunches in the tin boxes from the attic. She taught me to pick green beans, to use vinegar in all my cleaning endeavors, and to always keep my shoes white. She would listen to me play the piano for hours, clapping after every song. Way longer than anyone else would listen. Because of my mom's work schedule I would spend weeks with them in the summer. I was her only grandchild. She really made me feel special. That's why I like her so much.

Eventually, she lost her husband. And she lived without him for almost 20 years. She started to lose her memory about four years ago. And for the last couple of years, I don't think she knew who I was. But she was always happy to have someone to talk to. She had one pair of high-heels that I never saw her wear, she wore clip-on earrings her whole life, I don't remember her ever wearing make-up. She loved to spray on perfume though, and hated to leave the house without her hair curled. She always had Pecan Sandies in her cupboard and chewed only half-sticks of gum. She loved salt, and she loved her family. She protested wars and believed that we should help our neighbors. She always called be Little One even though I was taller than her. She signed her letters and cards Much Love, Gram. She was the best grandma I can imagine. The world is a sadder place without her. That's why I like her so much.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Reverse Diet: Week 15

Lowest Weight: 4.8 pounds
Average Weight: 6.5 pounds
Macro Breakdown: 2165 calories = 160p/217c/73f

My weight is still up. But it hasn't increased this week. And (TMI alert) I had my period this week, which always makes it a pound or two heavier. So I am taking the fact that it started lowering, even during that, as a good sign. I am most comfortable when my average is in the 3-5 pound range. And I think I could get back there this week.

But instead, I am raising my number again starting today. Exciting! Actually starting my weekly numbers on the day I post info. If things go well this week, as I am expecting them to, I might consider adding again on Friday. If things don't go as planned, I may be here for another week and a half.

And what I need to start understanding; this could be the end. And for that reason alone, I need to be super-consistent right now. Like 100% on, all the time. Otherwise, I won't know if this is my maintenance or if this is just me messing up.

This is going to be a difficult week. I have some family things going on... more about that later. But I am determined to stick to the plan.

Friday, June 10, 2016

My Week in Workouts

I have had a good week for workouts. I have also been prefect with my eating. I have not been good about blogging. Sorry about that. Work has been crazy and I have had a lot of social plans in the evenings this week. It seems I just get home and fall into bed. Also I've read three books in the last week and a half. Because I can't do anything but lay there. Still, I burned over 2600 calories this week, which is great. I got two rest days and am feeling really good with my lifting program. 

Saturday I took my normal BodyCombat class and started week two of the Wendler 5/3/1 program. This week is three sets of three for the core lifts. I thought this seemed so easy, but by the third set I was struggling. I usually never feel my shoulders the next day, but this week I did. It was great. 

Sunday I met Tracy for an early run and then hit the gym for leg day. I like this routine. It gets me up early and gets my day started. Even though this week I got home and Dan made me lay down next to him and suddenly I was asleep for an hour. But I enjoy a nap every Sunday anyway. 

Monday is chest and tricep day. I started the workout with some intervals on the treadmill. My heartrate monitor was acting crazy. And my burn was pretty low. So maybe it wasn't working quite rite. I was sweating up a storm. But that's also because the gym was hot. 

Tuesday and Wednesday were my rest days. I have taken Wednesday afternoons off from work this summer to hang out with Jennifer and Samantha. And Sadie too! We went to the zoo this week and did a bunch of walking. I was warn out at the end of that day for sure. 

Thursday I did twenty minutes on the treadmill (run/walk/hills) and then worked my back and biceps. Last week the deadlift bars were always in use, this week was no different but I just kept waiting around until one opened. 

Friday, Tracy and I returned to our normal Friday morning run. I finally got her back up to three miles. Now I just need to speed us up. It doesn't even feel that easy for me anymore. I fear my pace has been ruined. 

See, it was a good week. And I have big plans for the upcoming one as well!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Reverse Diet: Week 14

Lowest Weight: 4.2 pounds
Average Weight: 5.8 pounds
Macros Breakdown: 2165 (160p/217c/73f)

Wow! This was a bad week. And it is all due to poor tracking, too much guestimating and several days of going over my calories. A three day holiday weekend, got my whole week started with too many social events and not hitting my numbers. Then I had a dinner with my work folks where we all just shared a bunch of food on Thursday. That was four of the seven days that things did not go right. And even though I vowed to get my act together Friday night, I still had chips and salsa. I logged it, but was over my fat limit.

I really don't want to be scared by this gain. I do not believe that I am eating at a surplus. I mean, not if I am hitting these numbers. But I do not want to keep increasing until I know that for sure. So I am repeating this week again. I don't want to fear the process. But I also don't want to end the process up ten pounds.

Ultimately, I am only up 1.4 pounds (lowest to lowest) so I need to calm down. But my scale has been showing sixes and sevens all week and doesn't seem to be coming down. Even Saturday I went over my fat limit again (not calories) and just need to get my life together. Yesterday I did a bunch of food prep and should be back in business for the week.

I hate that this process is taking so long. This is my fourteenth week of doing this. And I have at least three more. Then I planned on holding at maintenance for eight weeks. I don't think that's the plan any more. I will increase as much as I need to. But mid-august, after my staycation, I am planning to cut for 6-8-10 weeks. Anyway, I may only hold at maintenance for four weeks, or six, or two if it takes me a long time to find it.

Part of me is ready to cut now. It's hard to go into summer knowing you are not going to get any leaner than you are now. On the other hand, it's nice to buy clothes that fit now, and not think "but by August I am going to be a size smaller!" and it's also nice to know that every night this summer I can enjoy an ice cream treat on my patio.

But here's the thing I need to wrap my mind around: I can't just eat whatever I want. I still have no room for fries AND ice cream (that happened last week). I can't have nachos. They will never fit my fat limit. I am still eating to fuel my workouts, so even though I can have skittles every day, I should have a banana instead.

I also need to work on timing my calories. I hoard them by nature. Too many years of saving them up. I eat a small 200 calorie breakfast, a reasonable 500 calorie lunch, a 200 calorie snack and I go home from work at only 900 calories. That leaves me 1200 for dinner. WHAT? That makes me think hey, I can eat anything I want!  Wrong though.

That's my goal this week. To time my calories better. Going home with 800 calories (600 for dinner and 200 at bed time) would be ideal. That means I need to eat 1300-1400 at work. I think that means 200 extra for breakfast, and a second 200 calorie snack (maybe on the way to the gym.)

I am determined to hit my numbers this week. Just so I can increase again on Friday. I want to see how high I can go. But I also need to keep that scale steady. There's no wiggle room left.

Friday, June 3, 2016

My Week in Workouts

I was back to having a good week of workouts. They weren't spaced very well. Both of my rest days came at the end of the week. But since I just took six days off the week before, it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I burned about 2500 calories and got a good variety of workouts in. I am enjoying my new Wendler 5/3/1 plan and am eager to start week two tomorrow.

Saturday - I started with most of a BodyCombat class. I used to just stay for half and little by little I have started staying for eight tracks (mostly because I always love track 8) and it ends up taking 50 to 55 minutes. I didn't have any other Saturday plans, so I was able to stay for 90 minutes. But most weeks, I may need to cut out of Combat earlier to get my shoulder routine done. Also, this was harder than I thought it would be. The first set, my shoulders thought it was easy, but as I added on weight, I struggled to do the last set. I made it up to seven. Remember, the last set you do as many as possible. 

Sunday morning Tracy wanted to meet for a run. I had to wrap my mind around the idea of being up at 7 on a weekend, but I actually ended up loving it. The whole world is soaking wet and about a half a mile in, I had no choice but to run through a river. Both my socks and shoes were soaked. Then we got a mile out and the underpass was pure mud. Tracy was much too willing to turn around and be done at two miles. She talked the entire time and I slowed our pace down. We ran the whole thing but obviously I slowed us down too much. 

Then I needed to get my leg workout done. I paused my heartrate monitor and drove to the gym. It was nice to be there so early (no competition for the squat rack) but my feet were soaked. I could have stopped home to change, but my bed would have called to me. I was home by 9 AM and made Dan get up and have breakfast with me. I'd love to make that part of my routine, but I know I wouldn't go without Tracy.

Monday was a holiday and we had lunch plans with my family. So I made myself get to the gym before that. I was a bit strapped for time. So I just did 15 minutes of HIIT sprints on the treadmill and my chest workout. I was sore for days. It's like I haven't done chest in weeks, but that's not the case at all. I was able to get nine on my final set of Bench Press.

Tuesday I had to mow the yard. It was a jungle. I am still impressed by that burn!

Wednesday I forced myself to the gym right after work and remember why I hate it so much. Machines were all busy. I was tired from work. I did ten minutes of hill walking and then my weight routine. The deadlift bars were busy so I had to use free weights. That seemed so much heavier than I am used to. I don't know if it's just a different grip, or what. All the machines were in use, so I couldn't circuit anything. I could have burned more calories staying at work. 

Thursday I worked an eleven hour day. That was workout enough. Plus I was ready for a rest day. 

Friday I didn't have to work until 11:00 and told Tracy I really needed to sleep in. It was glorious. I think we have a plan to do Sunday again!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June 2016 Goals

I'm not afraid to admit, my May goals were totally ruined. I made three of them, and didn't meet any of them. You can read them here. I am not going to recap my loser-ish-ness. Just moving froward...

to June 2016 goals.

1. I will keep on with my Reverse Diet. I will not be afraid of the process. I will stay accurate and consistent and I should get another four increases. Just because the scale jumps a little bit, I will not be scared.

2. I will work out 22 times. June is exhausting, but not as tiring as May. I am dedicated to this new lifting plan and I will follow through on it. I will be sore. I will be tired. But I will work out.

3. I will get my water in. Especially on weekends. That is a big flaw of mine. Weekends in general. But not getting my water in just makes the scale increase, which scares me. It's worth it to drink all the damn water.

4. Less eating out. Two lunches a week and two dinners. That's it. Plan your meals, pack your lunch, eat healthy!

5. Take measurements. Today! I haven't done this in months. I know that my clothes are loser. But I need to see some stats. I need to do this every month. It's easy to become discouraged when the scale isn't moving.