Week of August 2, 2011:
I weighed in today at 266.6 lbs. So, I am still .8 lbs more than when I recommitted myself to a new goal of being 135 lbs by my 59th birthday. Not exactly moving in the right direction. I do think that it is a combination of all the stress that we have been under and the excessive, ongoing heat that the whole country has been experiencing. However, it has only been two weeks and I am moving forward well on my strength exercising for one thing. I decided that starting August 1st I would “test” my legs to see how I would fare on the treadmill. I did 5 minutes a short while ago. I could feel the same areas that I have had pain in the past hurt but the 5 minutes went relatively quickly so I take that as a good sign. I thought what I would start out by doing is 5 minutes morning-afternoon-evening. It doesn’t seem like much right now but I can build on that as my knees can tolerate it and as my leg muscles overall become stronger. In the past month, I have added five new exercises for my lower body; targeting the outer hips, back of my thighs, inner thighs and my gluts. All of these muscles are very important in supporting my body as I move. I want to shoot for 30 minutes every other day; ideally, non-stop and then add on a couple more days to bring that up to 5x a week I am walking for 30 minutes.
With something like this, you really have to plan and look long term. This is not something that I am going to be able to accomplish overnight. So, it is hard to say when I will be doing those 30 minute sessions 5x a week. It might be closer to Christmas. Who knows? However, once I am at that point, I should really be seeing some changes in how I am losing weight and how my body is shaping up. Yesterday, I increased my reps to 2 sets of 10 reps with the 3 lb weights. I just bought those for my birthday and the first time that I did them, they felt really heavy. I just can’t believe how weak I had become. It’s sort of “shocking”. I used to easily “lift” 40 lbs with my arms 30 years ago. Again, my decision will be to move up to 2 sets of 15 reps. At that point, I will probably buy a 4 or 5 lbs weight and start back again at 1 set of 5 reps, etc. I will stop though at 8 lbs since that was the recommendation of the author of “Abs and Arms”.
Right now, I am sticking with 2 sets of 15 reps for each individual exercise I am doing. For my abs, that is a total of 120 reps. I have decided to stick with that since with abs it is more about being able to move closer to your knees, etc. and I am not “there” yet. I think, once the abs become easy though then I will move on to some of these really challenging workouts that I have seen on t.v. I think by the time I am ready to try “Hip Hop Abs” or “Zumba” I will have been able to really strengthen my lower body so I can do all the movement with a lot more ease. It is really about becoming stronger and stronger.
Well, those 5 minutes caused my knees to both hurt more and to swell up! I am really surprised that it took so little to do so. I did take some EX-Tylenol at dinner and then eventually I laid down for a nap but it shows that although it was “easier” last winter to get in 30 minutes per day(within 4 weeks, if I remember correctly), I’m not sure why it isn’t now. Well, I stopped at 5 minutes. It seems meager but I will do another 5 minutes tomorrow, etc. etc. and then I will add another 5 minutes. It is less than I originally thought I could “tolerate” but as the author of “Treat Your Own Knees”, he was more interested in building on time since that really defines “endurance”. That hardly seems like “enough” to call aerobic but I am also moving around the apartment throughout the day doing the dishes, making meals and straigthening up; some days more than others. It will have to be “enough” for now. That is all I can do and I want to do it “safely”.
P went to Eucharistic Adoration today. He ran into our Bible study leader, E, and she mentioned that one of our “members” just lost her job. I was surprised and I felt upset about it. This woman is a R.N., I think, and I thought the medical profession really needed nurses. This recession has really has been difficult for us. We have managed to hang on by the skin of our teeth but we need twice the monthly income we are getting and had I been continuing to receive unemployment we would have. I try not to beat myself up about some of this because it certainly isn’t what either of us wanted to have happen. We were already struggling financially before this all began. We did not “need” this to happen to us. I keep reminding both P and I that we are not alone in this but we both readily admit that we are bone weary from such a long time of struggling financially.
Although I don’t want to discourage P I said to him that since LK at C’s mentioned that it was just between him and Pl about P working at S what would stop L from cutting back on giving P work since he knows that P is getting some from S? P trusts L 100% so that would just break his heart if L would do something like that but when they talked earlier this a.m. L was mentioning about how he had heard that once the unemployment runs out this time there will be no additional unemployment. Well, I don’t think that is so. P has a claim established for a full calendar year until May 17, 2012. It also depends on just how much he makes as well. As long as he is making some money he is building up his unemployment. His weekly benefits are about $47 less but it is still over $xxx. We are grateful for anything. The one thing that we have been praying for is a steady weekly paycheck from an employer so we would be very happy to relinquish that unemployment should P be offered a full time job.
Well, I am quite proud of myself that I didn’t even go on the computer yesterday so today I ended up spending nearly 4 hours catching up on my e-mails, “correspondence”, posting with the Beck Diet Group and logging my food for the past two days. Still, I managed to get some productive things done yesterday as a result. I made the M.O.M. whole wheat pizza again (third time). This time I added ground turkey crumbles as the meat. I decided to not add the cheddar cheese to the dough as the original recipe calls for since I really couldn’t see how that added to the flavor (and still added to the calories, etc). I tried this time to add less toppings on the pizza so as to keep the calories down and the sodium as well. I managed to do the first but with the kind of toppings that I put on additional sodium was almost a given. I like to have black olives on. Had I had some peppers and mushrooms, I could have added that without all the sodium. Another food items I need to have on hand.
I also made homemade fudge. Considering that we had quite a weekend eating a huge bag of small chocolate candy bars, it seems kind of “dumb” but I told P that I want to see if I can learn restraint around one of my “trigger foods”. I want to see if I can truly eat only one per day (or even every other day). I think that it would add to the confidence that I can handle slippery slopes better than I previously believed I could. We will see how this “experiment” works out. The past three days I have tried harder to eat closer to my BLC recommended calorie range. I have also begun walking on the treadmill. After my knees almost immediately began hurting the first day, I decided that I would walk only 5 minutes each day this week and then add 5 minutes each day the following week and so on. If my knees can tolerate the increase then I could possibly be walking 30 minutes per session 5x a week within 6 weeks. That is what is recommended to get the real fat/calorie burning happening.
[I never saw this as being a way to sabotage my dieting efforts by making homemade fudge and then trying to “test” my reserve but it is, isn’t it? Why have I not been able to see this? Why haven’t I been able to see the connection? It is like part of my brain is in a fog and the other part works.]
Six weeks will take me to mid-September so there is plenty of time to reduce by the time the holidays come up. I remember quite well how all the aerobic walking I was doing in the fall of 2007 really helped me through the holidays that year. I didn’t even gain any weight even though I both stopped walking and I ate whatever I felt like. I believe I can count on my body to deliver me this time as well. Although I do plan on exercising better judgment when it comes to the food choices I make.
Well, I am breaking up my time on the computer by going through our closet and pulling out clothes that I will probably not wear in the next season or two. I am trying to focus on keeping only those clothes that I will really wear; either now, the near future or next spring/summer. In the next day or so, I am also going to try on certain clothes as well so I can see where I am at in terms of sizes and what I can/can’t wear this coming season.[Side note: Some of these I ended up ruining my credit over since I bought a lot of clothes that I really couldn’t afford and I have been hanging onto them for 6 years!!] Fortunately for me, I usually gravitate towards more “classic-styled” clothes so they will be fine if I wear them in the next year. Still, my goal is to clear out as many “non-contenders” as I can. Ideally, I would like to have some empty plastic bins when I get done so I can use them in the laundry room to “contain” some of the odds n ends on those shelves.
[Note: I have been keeping a ongoing private journal separately from this diet blog which I am now incorporating some of that material into this blog. Dates written are actual although published at a much later date.]