Damn the calculator

I use MyfitnessPal, among other places, to help track my progress. I’m not consistant,

 

Image representing MyFitnessPal as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

 

but I’m trying to get back in the habit of it. Especially since I’m home all the time right now and don’t have an excuse of being too busy. My days consist of looking for jobs, wedding planning, exercise (running or weight lifting), writing, or video games.

 

So I’ve started logging my food and my exercises, again. The most annoying thing about the process is that at the end of the day you can hit “complete day” and the system will tell you how much you *should* weight in about 2 weeks if you keep eating that way. It’s based on your goals, activity level, and calorie intake. I hate this thing. I know if great for some people but for people with PCOS its not accurate and almost a reminder of how abnormal you are.

 

For about 10 months I’ve been under 210 lbs. For about 2-3 months I’ve been hovering around 208 lbs. The last few days it’s finally been moving, and today I was 206.6 which is fantastic. But that damn “you should weight X in X weeks” taunts me. For 3 months it’s said that I should weigh under 200 lbs in 2-5 weeks. I think the latest was 191 lbs in 5 weeks. And that is bullshit.

 

The other thing it does is tells me I’m not eating enough. Which I find amusing as well. I know not eating enough is a problem, but I’m not hungry. I’m filling up on leafy greens, and lots of meat. I’ve cut my carbs to around 100 a day, and I’m finally starting to see a change.

 

Yes, I’m actually trying to do low carb. I’ve actually cut out my meds. I’m taking vitamins everyday and trying to stay around 100 carbs. I’ve been mostly floating around 110-120 depending on if dinner has rice or not. This seems to be the best solution for me and my damn PCOS. The great news is that I’ve had normal cycles for 2 months, but I’ve also only been off 2 months, so its too early to tell.

 

Also running: I’m running about 3 times a week. I missed 1 day the last 2 weeks for family stuff and a thunderstorm. But last week I did the 3.1. Yesterday, I went out for W3D1 (90 sec jog, 90 secs walk, 3 minute jog, 3 minute walk) and completed it all. I’m thinking of doing another 3.1 on Wednesday. I’m feeling more confident about the whole thing lately.

 

I’m planning on running my 5k with a close friend, and they do a different style then me.

When Pigs Fly

When Pigs Fly (Photo credit: slgckgc)

They do 1v1 or 2v1 or 1v2 (run V walk, so a 1v1 is a 1 minute run then a 1 minute walk).If I continue on my training I will be at  W8D1 which is walk 3 min, jog 8 min, walk 3 min, jog 5 min. I’m thinking I might switch to 1v1 or 2v1’s next week so that I’m used to it.

 

 

 

Elsewhere on the web…

I didn’t run the 29th (Monday) or the 25th (Thursday) . Thursday, I was running late and was also advised by my doc not to run. See, I had LASIK a few weeks ago and one of my eyes is blurry. It had a little bit of pain so they said it was a good idea to take it easy and see them on Friday. Turns out I’ve got some dry eye and one of my eyelids is messing up the healing. They gave me some stuff and while it’s not better yet, I’m positive it’ll be okay. Monday I didn’t run because my car broke down and we were running around trying to fix it.

Today I wanted to talk about the cool web tools that I’ve used or liked. There’s only a few and I thought I’d just discuss when I liked and what annoyed me about the sites. I’m going to go over: SlimKicker, SparkPeople, MyFitnessPal, Fitocracy, Earndit, and BodyMedia.

Image representing SparkPeople as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

SparkPeople(SP) So for those that don’t know, SP is one of the largest communities online for diet and weight loss. They have lots of the great “hooks” to keep you coming back as well as diet and exercise trackers, message boards, groups, websites, blogs, recipes, and articles. SP is considered the best by a lot of people, the community is huge and they even have TV advertisements. They have a point system with levels that help users feel engaged and keeps people coming back because it becomes a game. I used SP for a while and after a time I found the system overwhelming, and cheesy.

Image representing Fitocracy as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

FitocracyThis site is great because it makes working out like a game. I love earning points and leveling up. They have groups that will provide support. Its less of a weight loss site and more of an exercise site, it doesn’t really have a food tracker. This is great for people that want to just play the exercise game, but usually, I feel, there is a lot of overlap and I might have used it more if it had it. The only thing I don’t like about it is the interface. I use Google Chrome so I’m not sure if it’s that the site just doesn’t work well with Chrome or just kind of awkward in general. I had great difficulty finding the exercises that I did and many times I picked something that I thought was close enough. Often the exercise required weights. In the beginning I wasn’t using weights, just doing the movements. It wouldn’t add the exercise if I put 0lbs for the weights. The community was also difficult to get into, the system was awkward and not intuitive for me.

Image representing MyFitnessPal as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

MyFirnessPal(MFP) MFP is my main site, I constantly go back to it and I love the way it’s build. It’s very simple and super easy to use. You log in, you track your food, you track your exercise, chat on the group boards or the general community boards and that’s that. You can make friends or not, you can keep a blog or not. There is not a lot too it but I like the easy and simple way that it feels. They’ve begun integrating with more of the body bugs out there and that makes me happy. Recently they teamed up with Body Media, so the data can cross over. I like this because I find Body Media’s food library not very full and sometimes off or not easy to add too.

Back on BodyMedia

Back on BodyMedia (Photo credit: juhansonin)

BodyMediaBody Media is a lot like FitBit but you are supposed to wear it all the time. It tracks your movement and can track your steps and exercise as well. It basically uses accelerators to track this information. I’ve enjoyed mine, but I will warn you that many people have had issues with it, including a close friend. They online system is pretty cool and very info graphic-ish. It’s food library doesn’t feel so robust, but the workout and sleeping information is really helpful/interesting. It doesn’t have a community, which I felt was lacking, community helps me to come back and spend more time on the site.  Its recent partnership with MFP is awesome and made me renew my subscription. Yes, there is a subscription.

Slimkicker(SK)
SK is a lot like fitocracy, where the goal is to make fitness like a game. You earn points when you exercise and from challenges. The interface it a lot simpler nd instead of focusing on what you did exactly, its more general. The challenges also range from things like “No soda for 1 week” to “Meditate for 30 minutes” to really basic ones like “Put on my gym shoes”. I like that, it gives the site a very low pressure feel and while it incites the user to do better and make better choices it does it without making the user feel bad if they don’t log in for a few days  or don’t do the challenges. (I’ll note here that I was asked to make a post about Slimkicker).

Image representing Earndit as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Earndit I like earndit because it rewards you for the exercise you do. It pulls information from the tracking websites, like Nike Plus, RunKeeper, BodyMedia, Fit Bit, ect.  You earn points that can be spend on coupons ($25 off a $50 order), trials of products,  and even sent to charity. I haven’t done the charity part yet, though I’m earning so many points and not all of the offers appeal to me I think that I will start donating them before long. They have competitions that if you earn so many points during the week you might win cool things, but I don’t currently rack up enough points. All of the deals require some purchase, but that’s understandable.

So those are a few of the sites I visit or have visited. I like all of them for different reasons. I was asked to make a post about Slimkicker, so take my opinion of that with a grain of salt. I’m not a journalist, so please don’t hold me to those standards, but I do like to be honest when I’ve been asked to talk about something. If you know of any other site that might be useful please share it below.

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon…

Everything is coming up running. Seriously, everywhere I have turned in the last few days I have heard something about running. There’s a cool science term for when that happens but mostly it’s just a great intro.

NPR had a great article/story this morning about the author of “Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past, One Marathon at a Time” where he talks about how running changed his life, but not from a weight loss perspective and more of an addictive personality perspective. He credits it with saving him from alcoholism. I thought that was interesting and I plan on buying his book, which (I hope) is more about life & running instead of training schedules and times. You can check out the NPR article here.

Sit to Fit Update

So, last night was night number 3 of Sit to Fit. We added 10 minutes to our out and back time, which made our run about 30 minutes. My Nike+ didn’t record it 100% correctly, since it started after the warm up. Over all I didn’t notice the distance, I don’t think I ever do. I’m always thinking about the next walk section. We also did farther than this on the first night, so I wasn’t scared by the extra 10 minutes.

I was super cranky when I showed up for the run. I felt like I was running late because I was busy at work and while traffic wasn’t that bad I was still rushing around. I was very hungry and very thirsty (I hadn’t been good about drinking my water at work) and to top it all off I couldn’t find my arm band and had to just carry my phone. I was thinking of skipping and was making up excuses my whole way there. Thankfully they hadn’t started yet so I couldn’t get out of the run.

In the end I’m glad I made it on time. I was able to work out a lot of my crankiness and felt a lot better afterward. I did almost all of my sets, I only skipped 2 because my foot got number but I did run the final one, which is how I like to end. I’m glad I went, especially since every time I shave about a minute off my mile time. That in itself is awesome.

PCOS Update

Yesterday, I got some great news before my running group. I beat the deadline to get benefits from my work (so many hours in so much time) so I can finally stop stressing out about that. I’m not one to be accident prone or avoid activity because I might get hurt without insurance so it doesn’t affect running so much. I, unfortunately, had to stop taking my Methformin while uninsured and unemployed, which means I need to go to a doctor to restart. With insurance those items are actually cheap enough to afford, thank goodness.  This is good news, and hopefully it will start working in a week or two and I can get back on a path to a lower weight.

Sit to Fit

Tracey, my bff, talked me into joining a running program. It’s called Sit to Fit and basically it is like a couch to 5k program with a group, done by The Running Spot. It meets twice a week at 6:30 pm and then breaks into groups and goes out for a run. There a walking group, 2 run/walk groups and a running group. The run/walk is split again with 1:1 or 2:1 which is basically running v walking. So the 2:1 is 2 minutes running and 1 walking. At the end of it all we participate in a 5k. (The Jungle Bell 5k: http://www.racedmc.com/2012/Dec/08/flyer.pdf)

To be perfectly honest, I was confident but nervous. I haven’t really exercised since I went back to work, which was the end of August. Driving into downtown Cincy isn’t a killer but motivation is very hard to come by when I have to walk about a half a mile to the car, and then sit in traffic for an hour.

Jingle Bell Run 5K for Arthritis 12062009 388

Jingle Bell Run 5K for Arthritis  (Photo credit: mainerunningphotos)

Last night was the first night and I feel pretty good about it. I went with the 2:1’s because I didn’t want to walk and Tracey doesn’t do 1:1’s very easily. Plus I want to work up to full running. Not to mention its cold outside, I’m not in practice and I usually run on a treadmill. Thankfully I didn’t do horribly. I was able to do 2 sets of the full 2 minute run. Then I was able to do 3 sets where I got to 1:30. Which is better than expected, I’m looking to do more on Thursday. The other thing, I did a mile in my fastest time yet, so I think I was going faster than normal which wore me out a little faster.

So for Thursday, my goal is to take it a little slower and get at least 3 full sets. I’d like to make it a goal to increase my full set number by 1, I’m not sure if that’s realistic yet. I’ll find out on Thursday. If I can’t make it a full set, then I’d like to get through the whole workout without missing a running section, even if that means lots of 1:30 sets.

Weight wise I’m still struggling. I’m hovering around 215, and depending on the day it’s either 212 or 216. I’m not super concerned about it any more. Honestly, I’d love to be 105 and a size 0 and not have to pay extra for all my clothes but I don’t see that happening. So lately I’d been focused less on how much the scale says and working on just being more fit. We’ll see how long that lasts though, lol.

Challenge Accepted!

 

Week 2 of the glorious Unemployment challenge. Hrm.. yeah not sure about that name. I’ve been trying to think up a name for my crazy “goto the gym 5 days a week” thing. It might not need a name but I’m amused by giving it a name.. maybe the “stop Allison from being a lazy fat ass”.. lol maybe not. Either way I’m into the second week and I feel amazing.

 

http://www.bodysite.com/fitnessblog/2011/10/fitness-minute-how-much-sugar-is-in-a-can-of-soda/

Damn I love Mt Dew but that’s too much sugar for my right now…

Last week, we only got in 3 days (which is amazing since I stopped for like 2 months). Dan had a trip and then I had a nasty headache. I was suffering some with drawl since I quit soda again. This time it wasn’t hard to quit it. I saw a picture of the amount of sugar cubes in soda (and other foods) on Pintrest and I started tracking my sugar on Myfitnesspal.com(MFP). Both were a crazy eye opener to how much sugar I was taking in. PCOS makes me process sugar poorly so controlling it is really important.

My routine has been weight training at home before lunch, then lunch, and then meet Tracey at the gym. At the Gym I get about 2 miles in 40 minutes. My Nike+ profile or MFP can show the exact numbers (pst feel free to add me as a friend on either) some days my Nike+ shut off and I had to shake the thing to show the accurate number. I’ve solved that by using airplane mode.

This week I’m thinking of changing it up. See at home my stuff is all body weight and using the 3 lb weights Tracey let me borrow. I’ve been doing high reps to make up for the less weight but It kind of hit me today that I should just get to the gym early and use the machines.

HAWKWARDI have to admit I’m nervous about that using the weight machines. Cardio equipment is one thing, you use it for large blocks of time and then wipe it down.  The weight machines you are constantly moving so spraying them down is kind of (h)awkward. So I did what I normally do and researched on the web. I’ll be bringing a towel and hopefully there early enough where the gym is kind of empty.

Over all I’m really happy about how this is going. We’re going to switch it up and start going later so we can get some time in on the machines starting next week and eventually work back up to working with the trainer again. I wasn’t able to keep up with him in the past and now I’m feeling much more confident. I finally have a handle on my breathing and next week I plan on stepping back up into a C25k program.

Oh! I’m also down to 213! I’m very excited to be past the 5 lbs road block that I’d been up against for the last 6 months.  As of now I’m down 7 lbs overall. I want to be under 210 lbs by the end of August and I think that is totally possible if I stay on track and away from soda.

 

Don’t call it a come back..

A lot has happened!  From PCOS to being fired from my job, let’s play catch up.

First, I’m officially diagnosed with PCOS. I went to my Gyno and after some blood tests and ultrasounds (not the normal one!) it was officially confirmed. That’s good news, in a way, since we now have a treatment plan. I’m on Methformin and Yaz. It seems to be working and I’m only suffering some of the side effects, they are a bit TMI so I won’t share but that are easily managed with OTC stuff. I’ve seen some good progress with it.

After a month on the stuff I’ve broken my previous weight boundary and I am now down to 214lbs. This is exciting since I’d normally hit 215 and rubber band right back to 220. The even cooler news is this loss occurred during an extremely high stressful time that I wasn’t even working out. So Yay! I’ll but up with a lot of side effects to batter this PCOS beast if it means getting back to a manageable weight.

Fired!.png

Fired!.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Second. I was fired from my job, which was a blessing in disguise.  It sucked horrible but in the larger scheme of things it a great thing. It sucks because now I am unemployed and I must figure out a way to pay my bills and take care of myself but it’s great because the position was not a good fit for me and I was not a good fit for the company. Originally, I was apprehensive about this job and unfortunately my fears were justified.  I was stressed to the breaking point and that wasn’t helping my weight loss OR my workout. I completely stopped working out shortly after Go Cincinnati.  I wasn’t working out and wasn’t losing any weight and had completely stopped my 5k progress. I’m hoping that I find a position with a company that can actually use my skills soon, but in the down time I’m stepping back up my workout routine and focusing on keeping busy to keep myself sharp.

The emblem of the Knights of Columbus

Third! I completed my first 5k! Yeah, after all that talk about how I stopped working out I went and participated in my hometown’s 4th of July 5k. I jogged the first quarter of a mile and then walked the rest. It was completely embarrassing and I took 15 minutes longer then the next person but I completed it in 1hour and 41 seconds. That’s not the worst of it.  It was at 8 in the morning the temperatures were already above 80 degrees. It felt like 90+ and the humidity was high. There were no water stations left by the time I got to them (except one guy who was packing up and ran inside for water for me) and my sis-in-law came back to finish it with me after she completed her in about 28 minutes. So… kind of pathetic, but I finished and I even jogged the last 0.11 miles, ha! Now, I have a really awful baseline, but better than that, I didn’t quit. I refused to give up. I felt like I was going to pass out and faint in that heat and those hills. Every step I was thinking about calling someone to get me, but I didn’t give up. I felt great about finishing and now 3 miles in an hour doesn’t sound so hard. With my extra time I think I’m going to walk at least 1 a week (on my treadmill in the A/C, lol). See my race here with Nike+..,

Couch to 5k: Week one Complete

The day after the trainer was rough. I was still really tired and few of my muscles were sore, but not sore enough. You know that feeling right? When you had a great work out and you know the next days is going to be trouble because you won’t be able to move without groaning? I didn’t have any of that, I woke up the next morning and totally felt like I could head over to the gym and do that whole workout again.

That gives made me feel slightly disappointed in myself, I felt like I hadn’t pushed my muscles hard enough. I also realized that my muscles are still kind of there, but maybe my stamina and breathing might not be. I felt disappointed at first, thinking that I’d let myself wuss out and give up before I could really push myself. Then I remembered that feeling on not being able to breathe and the light headedness and I knew that wasn’t me just giving up. It was a legitimate need to stop and take a breather. So, my conclusion is that I pushed myself and my endurance but not my muscles, and I’m actually okay with that.

Halfway through last week Dan and I decided to change-up the routine so that I have the car at lunch, which means I can hit up the gym during the day. I was able to get to the gym only once, for a multitude of excuses, most importantly a doctor’s appointment. I’d been dreading and looking forward to this for months and I was not going to miss it. I even left work a bit early to make sure we had plenty of time to get there.

English: Jenny Craig, Inc. logo

English: Jenny Craig, Inc. logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This was the appointment to see my General Practitioner and I had a list of questions I wanted to ask.  I explained my weight loss troubles, and while I don’t think he 100% believed me that I was doing everything right, he did agree that my weight was an issue. They took some blood, right there in the office, and I was given a referral to Good Samaritan Hospital Weight Loss Center. I made the appointment with them on the 29th early in the day and I’m kind of nervous about it.

Good Samaritan Hospital (Cincinnati)

Good Samaritan Hospital (Cincinnati) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good Samaritan is a good hospital and I’m glad that I’m finally going to someone “official”, not that Jenny Craigisn’t official but they are not medical staff. They don’t have doctorates and go to school to study nutrition or the problems involved with weight loss. They do surgery’s there but my insurance doesn’t cover it and I don’t think that’s right for me.  I have the ability to lose the weight without surgery and I should really exhaust all non-surgical options first.

I’m prepping for my meeting with the nutritionist by staying on my normal plan but I’m also being much more diligent about writing things down. I’ve slacked off a bit in the past two weeks when I was feeling like it didn’t matter, and I want to be able to print out the information from Body Media and say, “This is my intake and this is my deficit, and this is how I bust my ass. Why am I stuck at 220lbs?” I’m hoping that their solutions work or the solutions from my Gyno.

The great news about this week is I’ve completed week one of Run Your Butt Off‘s couch to 5k program. Next week I’ll be doing my normal 30 minute walk (maybe more) with 4 minutes walking and 1 minute of running. The running won’t be faster than the walking which sounds difficult. I’m excited to get back to running, walking is great but I love that feeling of that I get when I run.