Archive for January, 2009

From Exercise to Triathlon Training

I’m exercising with a purpose now. I realized that this week. While I’ve been exercising all along with my upcoming triathlon in mind, this is the week I went from “exercising” to “training.”

I get on the bike, the treadmill and into the pool with very specific goals. It’s not just about getting fit and healthy anymore. It’s about digging in and improving my times and my form, and putting together the pieces.

I mean, it dawned on me this week that while I can run/walk 2 miles, I can swim 400 meters and I can bike 6 miles (the distances in my first race in April), that’s not enough. I have to be able to do all three in a row. And I need to do them competitively.

When I swam this week, I didn’t just do 40 laps like I’ve been doing. I dug in the last 10 laps in an effort to get back to racing mode.

I’ve been pushing myself on the treadmill too. I’m still working on Couch 2 5K interval training, but I’m pushing harder, trying to shave little bits off my time each time I get on the treadmill. And when I’m walking, I’m actually raising the incline.

While I’ve really just started taking the bike leg seriously, when I got on the bike this week, I realized, while I can make the six miles, I have to work on that time too.

And then I have to put them all together. They have to be easy on their own so they are doable all at once. I’ve got 2 pieces at a time down….just have to add the third.

While it’s tough to work so hard each time out (lately even when I convince myself to just get to the gym and do a light workout it becomes something more intense), it’s empowering. Two weeks ago, running for 3 minutes almost killed me. Now, it’s the shortest time duration I’m running and it’s not killing me anymore. Five minutes is killing me. But I know if I keep at it, in a couple of weeks five minutes will be doable and 10 minutes will be the killer.

Don’t get me wrong. I still moan and groan and have to bribe myself to get to the gym. But once I’m there, I’m making the most of it. And I feel strong and accomplished when I go home.

I think I like training better than exercise. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to be addicted to racing. 🙂

I’m A Hungry Girl

I don’t know what it is this week, but I’ve been hungry. And when I start jonesing for food, it’s rarely for celery and carrots.

I’ve been managing to stay in points but it’s a struggle this week, and I’m on the cusp of losing another point soon (that’s a good thing).

Up until recently, I’ve only used my WW weekly points on Thursday nights after weigh-in, and on special occasions, like the relly-rally (relative party) I went to on Sunday.

But the other days? I stick to my points, and I try not to use my activity points for food either. It doesn’t make sense to me to go work out at the gym for an hour and then eat extra points and not lose at weigh-in. I’m losing slowly enough, thank you very much.

This week though has been tough. Maybe it’s the ramp-up at the gym. Or maybe because I’ve been feeling blah and I’ve been off my routine. All I know is I hope I get back to normal soon. It’s only 2:00 pm and I only have 7 points left for the day. I can manage that, but it’s not so much fun. Today, Weight Watcher’s feels like a diet, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s a dirty word.

I guess I need to go check out the filling foods list and make some extra-healthy, high-volume choices.

The Candy Conspiracy

cadburycremeeggI was in Walmart last week, buying size 14 pants….a size I haven’t seen in many, many years. It was soooo exciting! Even though I still think sizes have gotten larger along the way (or else how else could they possibly fit me?), buying a size 14 pair of pants that I actually wore to work the next day was a thrill!

Happily striding up to the checkout counter, I buzzed right past the pretty packages of Valentine’s Day candy–you know the ones in the heart boxes where you have to bite in to find out just what you’re eating? I love those. And in the past I could finish a box in one sitting. Always had to know what was in that last one? Would it be caramel or coconut or some fruity creme? But this day? I went right past. I didn’t even look at the boxes wistfully! After all, after six months of Weight Watchers, I can wear a size 14 again!

And then, right there in front of the registers, where you can’t miss them if you tried….. Cadbury Creme Eggs. For Easter. Seriously? It’s January. Not even the end of January. We haven’t finished buying our Valentine’s Day candy yet. Easter isn’t until April 12. WTF?

I will admit, right here and now, that Cadbury Creme Eggs are my all-time very favoritest of all holiday chocolate. I’ve waited impatiently for those sweet gooey treats in the past. And yet, this year, as I proudly carried my size 14 pants to the register, there they were, months ahead of schedule. AAAARRRGGGHHHH!

I didn’t buy one. I resisted. My size 14s kept me strong….this time. Problem is, I can’t go into Walmart now until May.

And it got me to thinking. What is with our country? Every holiday from Halloween through Mother’s Day revolves around candy. It’s no wonder we all gain 10 pounds in the winter. We all join gyms and diet programs in January to peel off the Christmas Holiday treats just in time for another candy barrage from Valentine’s Day through Easter, which the stores begin merchandising on Dec. 26.

Are the candy companies and diet centers working together? I can hear the conversation now…. “You get ’em to join Weight Watchers Mary, and then send them over to us to buy their healthy food. We’ll make sure the Valentine’s M&Ms and Cadbury Creme Eggs are right in the path from the produce aisle to the diet soda!”

I don’t expect to make it all the way to Easter without having at least one Cadbury Creme Egg. In fact, I’m planning to eat at least one and keep it in points. But I will not succumb to retail merchandising and get them every time I go into the store and they are staring me in the face. Oh no. They won’t get me this year.

I’ve worked too hard for the past six months to lose 39.2 pounds and get into a size 14. I’m not going back. But I have to tell you, I’ll be happy when it’s June and holiday candy takes a back shelf if just for a month or two!

Fiber One Keeps Giving Us More Reasons To Love Them!

fiberonemuffins1I was in Sam’s Club yesterday, picking up my Weight Watcher’s diet staples (and of course the staples my family enjoys as well), when in the frozen breakfast food aisle, where we were buying Jimmy Dean’s Turkey Sausage/Egg White Sandwiches (4 points), I spied something new.

Fiber One now offers Blueberry Muffins…. with 7 grams of fiber. Hallelujah, praise be to…. !!!! I miss muffins. I love muffins, and until now, I’ve avoided them because I know they are cake disguised as breakfast food.

Ok, so here’s the deal: Fiber One Blueberry muffins are medium sized– not like the ones you’d get at Dunkin’ Donuts, but substantially larger than the three teeny ones combined you get in the hostess 100-cal snack packs. They are 170 calories, 4 grams of fat and 7 grams of fiber, 28% of your daily recommended amount. 3 points! 3 little points my WW friends!

And they are yummy. Loaded with blueberries, moist like a muffin should be and with a crunchy oat
granola on top. They come frozen, so you can thaw them or you can heat them up in the microwave or the toaster oven, which I chose for my muffin this morning. Not only did it taste amazing, it smelled really wonderful too. I paired my muffin with WW Vanilla Yogurt for a 4-point breakfast, and I was surprisingly full. I actually spoon a little yogurt onto my muffin as I’m eating it. It’s a guilt-free decadently tasty treat. I love Fiber One!

So Sam’s Club is the first place I’ve seen these. They come 12 to a box for under $7, and they are in the frozen breakfast food aisle. I haven’t seen them in my local supermarket as of yet, but I wasn’t looking for them. They may be there too. Totally worth searching out in my opinion. On the Fiber One website, you can check them out. They come in Blueberry & Oats (the one I tried), Apple Cinnamon Bun, Mixed Fruit, Nuts & Honey, and Banana Chocolate Chip. What more can we ask for????

On another note,I lost .8 this week. I worked really hard and I would have liked that number to be a little higher but I wasn’t disappointed because I lost 2.4 the week before. I know next week will be better.

Down 36.2 total, and I’m up to 2.5 minute intervals on my Couch25K running training. It’s all good!

35 pounds and counting

I weighed in Thursday  to find I’d lost 2.4 more pounds, putting me at a 35.4 pound loss so far. And this, after the holidays. Woot!

While I ate more during the holidays and some days (like New Year’s Day where I ate nothing but chocolate chip cookies and birthday cake) were food fests, I stayed on track the rest of the time through the holiday season and I made the extra effort at the gym. And it paid off.

This is the last time I intend to lose weight and this time, I’m losing all the weight. Since this is a lifestyle change for me and not a diet, I know there will be days of chocolate chip cookeis and other unavoidable treats. I’ve learned about myself that when faced with certain foods, I’m not going to be able to resist. Period. So I need to try to keep those days few and far between and make sure to tow the line the rest of the time. And to be honest, it’s not that hard to do this time. I feel better when I’m eating better and exercising. And when I’m in the zone like I am now, I’m not quite sure how I ever got off that path in the first place.

My strategy this time is different. I’m not in a rush to lose and I know it’s a life change. I’ve signed up for triathlons to keep me going to the gym and staying out of the workout rut. And I’m making the changes I know I need to be healthy and strong going forward.

So I’m down 35 pounds. I’m almost halfway there!

Triathlon Training – Couch 2 5K

pump-inclinelarger

I’ve been training for my triathlon coming up in April. Suddenly, four months doesn’t seem like a whole lot of time.

My biggest challenge is the running part because I’ve never ever been a runner. I barely completed the 1-mile runs in high school (and I was in good shape then!). Now 30-something years later, I’m starting to run.

Tonight I started week three of my Couch 2 5K training, only I modified it some. In week one, you run 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds. In week two, you run 90 seconds, walk two minutes (more than once obviously) and in week three, you are supposed to run 90 seconds, walk 90, run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Yeah, no. So tonight I ran 90, walked 90, ran 2 minutes, walked 2 minutes and so forth for 20-something minutes. I’m hoping by the end of week three, I’ll be able to do the 3 minutes. I’m super proud of the progress I’m making on this program. Total tonight, I ran 12 minutes of my time on the treadmill. Woo Hoo!

And the more exciting part? I actually like running. I mean really…the treadmill can get kinda boring, but by doing running intervals, it goes fast and its fun. I can’t wait until I can run the whole time! Hopefully before my race.

When I decided to go for the triathlon, the running scared me and almost kept me from signing up. But finding Couch 2 5K was just what I needed and with this, I know I can do it. When I started, I figured I can do anything for a minute. So that’s where I started. I’ll let you know when I can do it for 30 minutes!