The Weigh It Is

Billie, where on EARTH have you been?? July 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 1:59 pm

I’m glad you asked! It’s been four months since I’ve blogged. FOUR. That’s kind of crazy; it wasn’t like I didn’t HAVE anything to say.  I just never made the time.

A friend of mine once wrote: “Just like with bloggers, when things go dark, it’s rare that anything positive is happening.”

While I can’t say that nothing  positive was happening, I can say that I was surely struggling.  In March, I averaged three times a week with my workouts. April  started out very badly: the first two weeks passed with only one visit to the gym. The next week, I was back into action with three visits–pretty good workouts by my standards, considering I’d been missing so long. That Wednesday, my husband called me to say the car broke down, which meant that he was going to need to use my van for work. *sigh* And just when I was back into the groove of things! I was determined to stay in the groove, so I  took him to work on Monday morning (the 25th) so that I could use the van.  After my workout, I stopped  at his place of work to give him his folder  before I headed home. While I was talking to him, the phone rang. It was a friend of ours, calling with the news that another friend’s 19-year-old son had died that early morning in a car accident.  It was so shocking, so entirely surreal. He’s wasn’t just my friend’s son; he was also one of my friends. By the end of the week, I was emotionally drained. I went to the gym that Friday, despite not wanting to get out of bed. I had to force myself. That was the morning of the royal wedding. I sobbed when I saw the newly married couple. I guess that after that week’s tragedy,  to see something that symbolized joy and hope simply made me crumble.  Over the next two weeks, I chose to stay in bed. I did not get up and work out. I did not work out at home. I ate without caring about the choices I was making, and for the first time in a very long time, I went on what I would really consider a binge of sorts.  While I used to be a big emotional eater, I really thought I was beyond that. WELL! It seems under certain circumstances, I am not above reverting to my default setting.

I don’t want to bore you with too many details, so I’ll just break it down briefly:

May–3rd week, got back to the gym. Started interval training on the elliptical, 30 minutes. Intense. Also started preparing for P90X workouts. Next week, still good, made it 3x.

June–Still battled with self-doubt. I think I was perhaps intimidated by the fact that we were going to be doing P90X. Didn’t go to the gym until June 9th.  Was super awesome the next week,  got tons of activity in, hit over 100% each day with my activity monitor.

Which brings me to July. Still struggling with inconsistency. I like to be at the gym by 6 am, if possible. The girls meet at 6:30 to start p90X, and I feel that I need to get some cardio in before we do the video. One morning last week, I arrived late. It was 6:45 by the time I got there, and they were just starting the video.  I jumped in with them, and it was a good workout.  I took a quick smoothie break (had to feed those muscles!) and all the while, the battle was raging inside my head:

Wicked Billie:  “You’ve done enough today. You should just get changed and go home.”

Virtuous Billie: “No, I can’t afford NOT to exercise! I need to go upstairs and get on the elliptical!!”

Wicked Billie:  “But really, look at the time. You definitely should be getting home to your kids.”

Virtuous Billie:  “Well….maybe you’re right. I AM tired, after all. I should just call it a day.”

Wicked Billie: (delighted chuckle)

Virtuous Billie (somewhat snapping out of her stupor): “NO! I am going upstairs right now! This is crazy! ALL have to do is WALK UP THE STEPS!!”

And that’s what I did. I marched right up those steps, and got on the elliptical…FOR TEN MINUTES.  *SIGH* Well, it was surely better than not getting on at all.

So, that’s where I’ve been.

I’m not where I hoped to be at this point in the year. I  hoped  to be around 350 by my birthday. That really won’t happen (considering my birthday is in nine days). BUT…

My chiropractor told me the other day that she could really see my body changing shape. WOOOT!! Last week I had my elbow act up after one of the videos (couldn’t bend my arm for a few days, but it’s not like it hasn’t happened before!) so I didn’t do any lifting Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

Yesterday, I got to the gym later than intended, and the girls were almost done with the video.. Too bad. So I cheered them on, then hit the elliptical for 30 super minutes. In the past, if I didn’t do it with them, I simply didn’t do it. I mean, I’m not going to do that video alone, am I?

YES I AM!! 

I put that puppy in, and did it all. All that I could, of course…there are some things that I “presently struggle with” (which is what Tony on the video suggests you say instead of “I can’t”. ha ha!)  

Moving forward. 



 

Blood work, part 2 March 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 12:01 pm

Quick update:

I called to bother the nurse again, and found out that the total triglycerides last year were 132 (which was normal) but now are even lower, 86; and the HDL last year was 50, (less than 50 is a risk factor for women) and this year they are 59–My doc said they wanted them to be 65; the AHA says 60 and above. So, everything there looks good. =)

 

Blood work March 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 2:48 pm

Last January, I decided that I needed to get a physical.  From time to time, I was having twinges in my chest, and it scared me. I wanted to start exercising, but I was afraid that my heart would explode.  I went up to the hospital and took a stress test.  They wanted me to walk at 3 mph; I didn’t even have to get to that speed for them the get the needed information. My heart was fine, the doc said; I just didn’t have any endurance. He said I could start exercising slowly.

 

I also got blood work done at that time, just to check the basics: Thyroid, hormones, cholesterol, and vitamin D.  The results showed that I was deficient in Vitamin D (I was not surprised), and that my cholesterol was a bit high (again, not surprised).

 

My health insurance was ending at the end of  February, and I figured I should get the whole lab thing done again. Today I spoke with the nurse about the results. I was very excited to hear how they had improved, so confident that they had; after all, I’ve been exercising like crazy since October–SURELY, the numbers would be better, right?

 

I called the doctor’s office and spoke with a nurse.

 

“The doctor says your LDL cholesterol level is elevated; he would like you to control it through diet.”

 

WHAT?!I was mad. So annoyed. How was it possible that it was elevated?? And suddenly, it occurred to me to ask,

 

“Is that slightly elevated in GENERAL, or elevated compared to LAST YEAR’S levels? “

 

That’s what I really wanted to know–had all this exercise done ANYTHING to benefit me??

 

After a few minutes on hold (worst music ever, by the way), the nurse comes back on to tell me the results:

 

 

Last year’s LDL: 135 –borderline High.

This year: 102!Near optimal,  according to the American Heart Association website!

 

 

What’s ideal? Less than 100mg/dL. How close is that??

 

 

I was very happy. Other numbers went down too,  from 211 (total cholesterol, I think) to 185! I will have to verify that it was total cholesterol and not triglycerides. If it was the second, then that’s not such an impressive decrease since it would still be considered borderline high.

 

I shared these improvements with a doc who works out at my gym. He seemed to be slightly impressed, but then asked,

 

“What about the HDL levels? That’s the important number.”

 

Uh…I don’t know if they even tested for that. Dang it!

 

 

Anyway, I’m still pleased. I’m thrilled to know that my hard work at the gym is  reducing more than just my butt size!

.

 

Guess what I did? February 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 12:12 pm

Tonight I went to the boy scout banquet. Because there were many awards to be given out,  the elementary school gym was partitioned so the little kids could play basketball and not have to sit for such a long time. I went over to keep an eye on the kids and ended up shooting some hoops, in a rather athletic fashion!! I was dribbling, pivoting, and shooting the ball (with actual correct form, for the first time ever, instead of just my wild chest throws). I wish you could see my direct life monitor activity graph–there are super high spurts of dark green and according to the info, I burned 196 calories in the first hour, and 242 in the second. =) Not only did I have a blast with my kids–I actually overheard one little boy say, “Get her on your team–she’s good!” (Which is a departure from the usual, “She’s fat!” )–but I also RAN. Up and down the court. Well, it was half court, really, and I don’t suppose it would be running to some people, but it was a good bit faster than I’ve ever gone on the treadmill, so yes, I would say I was running. =) SO EXCITING!!

The most exciting thing about it all, isn’t the fact that I was running, or that I was playing without feeling like I was going to drop over; the MOST exciting thing about it, is what was going on inside my head. You see, 6 months ago, I would’ve gone over to the other side of the gym and SAT, and watched the kids play.  I wouldn’t have taken my activity monitor out of my pocket and thought, “Hey, why don’t I try to get my 100% calorie burn goal today–I’m so close…”  I wouldn’t have played, because I wouldn’t have felt like doing anything but sitting. I’m not even remotely kidding about that.

Earlier in the day, before I met a friend for coffee, I did a 1 mile WATP video;  it was only 18 minutes long, but it was something. And for a part of it, my four year old daughter did it with me, holding my hand, and my eight year old son was marching right beside her. I thought, “Good–let them be with me and see that Mommy may be big, but she can still move!”

It was a good day.

 

Who knew? February 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 8:12 am

Who knew when I started this, that I would miss, even YEARN for the gym??? I’ve done an hour cardio 4x this week (plus strength training 2x), and in my head, I find myself plotting how I can fit it in tomorrow, between basketball practice, meeting a friend for coffee, and a boy scout banquet.

That’s all.

 

Ninja! February 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 8:54 am

This morning’s workout:

Warm up: 20 minutes, Treadmill. 2.5-2.6 mph. Upped that incline, 2, 3, 4…man. Nothing adds intensity like incline. I started sweating like mad when I increased it.

Elliptical: 40 minutes. Incline, 10-11. Resistance: 8-10, RPMS 94-132

I felt VERY STRONG today.

The sun is shining.

I am a ninja.

Not to say that I am an undercover mercenary. What I mean by that, is this:

If you would pass me on the street, you would have NO idea that I just did an hour of cardio, or that I would be remotely capable of doing so. Some days, I can barely believe it. Ninja literally means, “One who is concealed.” I think that there are a lot of ninjas running around–those people who you would look at and assume are incapable or unfit, when really, they are superstars incognito!! It reminds me of a hefty guy I saw at the beginning of the Ironman triathlon in Kona a few years ago–I saw him standing in the water, as he was waiting to start the 2.4 mile swim. My first thought was, “oh man, how could he possibly finish?” I mean, this guy was definitely in the Clydesdale category (and I’m not being insulting–it used to be an actual category for this triathlon.) The camera panned in on his barrel chest and ample belly, and the announcer said something like, “…and for some, you wonder why they even came out at all…”  I watched the highlights from the race, and rejoiced with all the jubilant people who made it to the end. (No, really–I always cry watching the Ironman Triathlon.) The program ended that year with a clip of that guy triumphantly walking across the finish line with his wife and two young children. =) Ninja!!

I even wrote a haiku:


The sun is shining

I’m much more than what I seem

I am a ninja!




 

Slackerish January 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 10:23 am

My workouts have been rather sporadic for the past couple of weeks.

The week of January 2nd, I worked out three times.

The week of the 9th, only twice.

There was a lot of snow last week, it’s true. And that kind of weather prohibited me from getting to the gym. I’ve learned that if I don’t get to the gym and get there EARLY, then the chances of it happening decrease exponentially with each hour that passes.

Still, I can’t blame it all on the weather. I CHOSE to stay up late watching Dr. Who.

I did NOT choose to pop a workout DVD into the player, even though I could have.

It is certainly better for me to exercise at the gym. There, I am totally focused on what I’m doing, and on me! When I’m at home, I’m thinking about all the other things that I NEED to be doing and I’m trying not to step on or accidentally kick one of my kiddos, should they decide to wander into the room. (While I’m doing knee lifts, people. I don’t randomly kick my kids if they wander into the room.) It’s really difficult for me to exercise at home, but honestly, despite the distractions, it’s definitely possible.

The cool thing is, I popped in the “Leslie Sansone 5k with a Twist” video. Forty-five minutes, with “boosted” intervals (jogging, slightly higher impact). It is a very fast pace (12 or 13 minute miles). I completed it–it was a good workout, challenging, but did not kill me. I would have never made it past the first 15 minutes three months ago. (Maybe not even the first five!)

Monday’s workout was a really great one. Totally of 55 minutes cardio with weightlifting. I was happy that despite not being at the gym as frequently last week, I didn’t seem to lose any fitness. A few weeks ago, I started implementing HIIT (high Intensity Interval Training) into my workouts. It is much shorter, but much more intense (hence the name!), and is supposed to be more effective at burning fat and conditioning your heart than steady state cardio. Although I wouldn’t consider what I do steady state (I match my speed to the beat of whichever song I’m on), I thought I would give it a try. On the elliptical, I warmed up for 3 minutes, and followed this by an all-out 30 second sprint–for me, this was taking the RPMs up to 160-180 or so. Then for the next 90 seconds, I took it down to an easier recovery pace, about 80-85 RPMs. I repeated that 30/90 cycle eight or nine times, and then cooled down for a couple of minutes. After that, I did some circuit training–lifted a set of weights, followed by 4 or 5 minutes of cardio. It was a really good workout, and worked up a serious sweat. I haven’t done any interval training since. (Last time was January 6th.) I think what I would like to do is the longer cardio three days a week, and the interval training two days. While I understand what the studies say, it’s tough for me to grasp that something much shorter than what I have been doing will be more effective than something longer. And right now, I don’t mind doing a 55 minute cardio session. I am just thankful to be able to move for that long. I will never forget how challenging it was for me to do even 7 minutes on that elliptical.

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, and the last time I did, I was frustrated. I wasn’t feeling particularly encouraging or positive about anything, and I simply didn’t want to share the blah. But that’s not really very honest of me. The truth is, this journey is emotionally difficult. I’m up, I’m down, I struggle with feelings of defeat and despair, and then I am reminded of the progress made and the victories won. Just when I am feeling hopeless, God sends someone with a word of encouragement–and it is just the push that I need to keep moving! The cool thing is, they may not even know it. It could’ve been something they said that wasn’t even directed specifically to me. I love it when that happens. I can’t promise you, blog readers, sunshine and rainbows on every post. My life simply isn’t like that. No one is always “up.”  For me, it’s not being down sometimes that is a problem. It’s choosing to staying there.

“We lose our way, we get back up again
It’s never too late to get back up again
And one day you gonna’ shine again
You may be knocked down, but not out forever”

(Toby Mac, “Get back Up”)