Frisco Fun!

I had another great day yesterday. Went outside of my calorie limits, (pot luck at work) but I was really careful with portions, pushed myself at Pilates, and then walked the dog. Good job!

A fantastic weekend looms ahead of me - another work trip, and this time I'm heading to San Francisco! And basically I am like can'twaitcantwaitcantwaitOMGcantwait. I am soooo excited about this trip because I haven't been there in years. Sadly, Mr. Black can't join me, but my brother is coming up to meet me. Two crazy siblings painting the town red! Or, maybe recession orange. I'm so looking forward to a some little brother time. Time to laugh until we pee. Awesome. I'll help stimulate California's economy without trying to sniff out and glare at all the Proposition 8 supporters and the court justices who made an error this week. Ahem. Moving on, I also want to take a moment to pause at the bay, that's where our father's ashes are, so we can say a little prayer in the sunshine.

Here's the pitfall - our visit will involve eating and drinking. What do I want more? An indulgent weekend? Or, a healthy weigh in? Well of COURSE the obvious answer is that I want BOTH. But my body absorbs rich food like a sponge. All I can do is ask myself these questions with every bite and sip. Thankfully, I'll be on the same time zone, so getting up to work out before work won't feel like I've got lead weights attached to my eyeballs. I'll meet you back here on Tuesday with a full report, but no weigh in. Wish me luck! No, don't. I know what to do.

Tiny sunbeam

Yesterday I was spot on. I was lovely. Resilient. I ate within my calorie limit - even while I enjoyed one of Seattle's little treasures, a mini donut from the Pike Place Market. (I had to chew on a lot of gum to not eat more) then I burned 425 calories on the elliptical, did my arm work and some squats, and am a little sore in the arms today. This morning the scale said 227.8 - which made me sigh with relief that Tuesday was temporary bloating or something. I saw a teeny little ray of light yesterday - and it was coming from me! I was able to do what I need to do, and all it takes is focus and thought and determination. I gotta make that beam wider and wider!


HYC Check In

Isn't there some sort of moratorium on weighing yourself the day after a holiday weekend? And posting said weight on the interwebs? Sigh. I was up to 231.6 yesterday. In case you aren't counting, that's a 4.4 gain. Time to check yourself before you wreck yourself, sister. I know that circumstances were working against me. TOM, mild exercise that consisted of mostly walking in our glorious sunshine, and that old frenemy, alcohol.

Today I can beat myself up, or I can move on. I truly watched portions this weekend - I did not have the greatest food choices with a birthday celebration for hubby, general non-regimented eating, picking here and there, but trying to get my fruits and vegetables in. This is the most annoying song, over and over again. I think the key for me is constant, strenuous exercise. Last month when I was losing, I was really focused on exercise, then things come up, and I don't get to the gym in the evening. Time to become a morning exerciser? Before the rest of the day is eaten up? I am so not a morning person. There's something within me that sees 8 pm on the clock and says, well, no time to exercise now. That's not true, is it? I am choosing not to exercise after 8 pm. And Mr. Scale says here's the consequences. A more uplifting post should come after this one, I'm going to work on that.


HYC Check In

Greetings from Minneapolis!

I am a savvy business traveler lady again - and having a great time! No weigh in today, because while my hotel has several amenities, it does not have a scale.

I had the best exercise last night! There is a lake (we're in the land of 1,000 lakes, don'tcha know?) near the hotel, and the loop is 1.9 miles, so after a lovely meal of halibut, broccolini and a smidge of garlic mashed potatoes, I strapped on my shoes and iPod and hit the pavement. I was going to head to the fitness center, but it was still around 70 degrees out at 8:45, so I figured a walk was in order. Is Minnesota the lilac state? Because it should be! There are full, lush fragrant lilacs everywhere you go. Along the outer edge of the trail was a wall of lilacs that made my walk even better. The intermittent gnat clumps, were an annoyance, however.

My eating has been pretty good - I haven't even had one deep fried cheese curd. There are 6 hours until my flight home, so I make no promises. Today it is 85 degrees - Minnesota, I am going to miss your gorgeous springtime days.

Once home, I hope to return to operation gun show: the tricep days. I hope everyone else had a great week!


Make it count

I realized that since I've started this extended plateau in the 220's that my exercise has gotten stale, and doesn't challenge me as much. Last night I didn't want to go to the gym. I've been tired this week, and I only wanted to go home and relax. Here's the thing I realized, if I go to the gym and phone it in, I'm only hurting myself. (Um, duh, Sara.) My work out has to count to make a difference, and also to allow me to eat more! That's the whole whole point! Oh, and healthy lungs and heart and stuff. If I show up and just go through the motions while my mind is at home in the kitchen, then I am not doing myself any favors. And that afterglow never manifests itself as "Well, that was a waste of time!". In order to kick my own tush, I looked up how to maximize my efforts so that when I leave the gym I feel spent and as though I really didn't waste my time there. Here are some tricks to get the most out of your workout when you really don't want to be there.

Maximize your cardio calorie burning effort!
  • Jumping rope - this kills me, absolutely kills me. On average, this burns 684 calories an hour. (The heavier you are, the more you can burn!) If you can jump rope for an hour, you are a superstar, and little crazy. But what if you do it for 2 minutes in between lifting weights?
  • Stationary cycling, moderate effort - on average, this burns at least 556 calories an hour, again, the more you weigh, the more you can burn. When I take my cycling class, I literally fill up the little hand towel with sweat - so, so, gross! But it burns so good!
  • Rowing machine - on average, this burns at least 530 calories an hour, for someone under 200 pounds. This machine is kicking my tush, and I don't have the strength to sustain a lengthy workout on it yet, but I'm working on it!
  • Elliptical trainer - on average, can burn up to a whopping 800 calories an hour! When I first started working out, I could barely do 10 minutes, now I can go 40 and feel good. Keeping the resistance increased has helped me a lot too.

Maximize weight lifting

  • My fantastic trainer at the YMCA told me a secret once. She said that if you were really in a hurry, you could do a slow burn weight lifting routine. Whatever weights you're lifting, do so slowly, to decrease the natural momentum, and increase the tension time on the muscle. But be careful and don't hurt yourself, she also added. Choose and appropriate weight.

This way, if I only want to spend 50 minutes at the gym - 20 minutes on cardio, 10 minutes stretching, and 20 minutes weights, I can choose the most challenging exercises. Or, make up a little circuit training routine, where I do some cardio exercise, some body weight exercises, some weight lifting, then sprinkle in some jump rope inbetween reps. All the while I have my pouty face on, and then later I can pat myself on the back, and remind myself, it isn't that hard, is it?


HYC Check In

Oh no - a few spins around the sugar bowl and I'm up a neat and tidy pound today. Drat! My exercise was spotty this week, too, due to evening conflicts. How come when I eat candy and red meat and tell my body - now don't punish me for this, we're just enjoying a treat - it doesn't listen? Bah! Lesson learned, I have to stay away from the sugar! And get myself to the gymnasium, yes? Yes. I fought the dandelion war in our yard this weekend and my body was sore for two days. I now know why gardening counts as exercise, but does not allow one to eat chocolate or black licorice. Alright, moving on. I hope everyone else had a more successful week!


HYC Check In

This is amazing, I am down 1.4 this week, to 226.2 so I'm finally back to where I was before my birthday. Only took a month to undo the damage I did in two weeks. Sheesh. I guess walking around DC helped me! I hope that I can continue my streak and get back my 65 pound badge next week - I only have to lose 1.2 to get it. Come on, 225! I am hesitant to point out that this is week 4 of losing in a row - that usually does not ever happen to me. I hope I'm not jinxing myself!

I also want to change my exercise focus from biceps to triceps - I don't want to be one of those women who does not love every inch of her body, but my upper arms are not on my love list right now. I would really like to have some arms that I'm not ashamed of this summer. Now they are all jiggly gross and I feel super self-conscious. I hide them as much as possible, as though revealing my upper arms would let someone on to the secret that I'm overweight. That's not a secret at all, so it is kind of ridiculous, but it is how I feel. A new goal to reach for, here we go. If anyone has any secrets for fabulous arms, lay 'em on me!


My DC Experience: AMAZING!

I’m finally home from my trip, and fantastic doesn’t even begin to describe it. That town is amazing. I am not much of a history buff, and when I have been to Europe, I visit the ruins and am impressed and adequately awed, but tend to maintain some distance. This week, to be in that city, where history is all around me, it was exciting and moving, because it is my history. These lessons that I have heard over the years aren’t just legends, they are real, and here in front of me. It was just amazing, and yet I found myself feeling a little cyncical. That couldn’t possibly REALLY be the coat that Lincoln was wearing when he got shot, could it? It seems too far away, to difficult to imagine that artifacts have been preserved for so long. But I guess it is true, yes? I can't wait to go back with my family - I think we need at least a week just to see 4 museums. Basically, I spent the time alternating between being moved to tears by the monuments, and working a lot harder than I expected.

Thursday night, we had dinner with the local office team that we were visiting, and then a few members of my team wanted to go to the National Mall. It was 8:15 and I was exhausted, trying to not fall face first into the table, still trying to adjust to East Coast time, but if I have an opportunity to go with a group, I figure I should go. Seeing the monuments at night was incredible. The weather was so warm, the crowds were smaller and the monuments were so beautiful. We also got shooed away from the White House, so we watched the sky for Mr. President’s helicopter, but we never saw any arrivals. Unfortunately, I was on my own Friday evening. I was actually staying in Arlington, Virginia, so after I wrapped up work, I headed out to the Arlington National Cemetery, and now I want to honor everyone who has had the courage to go to battle and fight for our country, because it really is a sacrifice, one that I could never ever make. I wish that there would be no more wars for servicemen and women to fight in, however. After a good cry, I took myself to Georgetown for dinner. It was nice to have the pick me up of being on a busy street with college students and other tourists to distract me. My legs were getting tired from the walking, and I spied a Lush store. Perfect! I bought a bath bomb and some solid bubble bath and proceeded to have a nice dinner by myself in an Italian place along an open window, then went home and took a nice hot bath, painted my nails and slept like a log.

Saturday I connected with an old friend from college, who was kind enough to pick me up in the morning and we spent the day together. We walked around the tidal basin (no cherry blossoms) and then went to the holocaust memorial museum. The way the exhibits are set up you are gradually so immersed in the graphic nature of the takeover and murders that it is impossible to walk away without being so grateful for the life you have, and heartache for those who lost theirs, and disgust for the fact that it went on for years. Naturally, you think about what is happening in Darfur. My friend and I had spoken about it, wondering what I could do, because it is so easy to shrug it off and say that it is not our problem, it is not something I can help with, and to accept feeling hopeless, and then moving on to the next task in your life. Luckily they had a brochure, called “What can I do?” I will put it to use. We went up to Maryland and had a seaside dinner outdoors, and don't even ask about what is better Atlantic Maryland crab, or Pacific Dungeness crab - it can get pretty heated, which is hilarious to me.

Here are the best weight-loss parts. I fit into the hotel robe! That was so exciting. I feel like I’ve joined the secret club of people who fit into one-size-fits-all stuff, that for so long did not fit me. On the exercise front, I did not do so hot. I could never get up before work to get to the gym, being up late and the time zone were killing me. I did do a lot of walking, that's for sure. Food-wise I did much better. When I was on my own, I ate vegetarian, and small meals, because in the office, there is crap available from dawn until dusk. Bagels and sweet breads in the morning, and then heavy lunches, afternoon cookie trays and a fancy dinner. One of our lunches was ordered in from a place called Big Buns. I had to chew on my tongue to not laugh out loud when they announced it. Now it is back to basics and we'll see what my weigh-in brings tomorrow. I am anticipating a gain, only because I didn't do any formal exercise, visited the cookie tray, and had some alcohol. I feel like it will be minimal, and definitely worth it. No really, it will be. I know that I didn't go hog-wild and that's a great improvement from my former vacation attitude to eat anything that comes my way.