Monday, January 31, 2011

Annie: Weigh-in week 16

It was a good week - motivation very likely spurred by last week's nonsense gain.

I have news to report on the sports injury front which I'll get into later this week (how sad is it that I'm a tiny bit proud of having a minor sports injury? ha!), but my great news of the week is that my doctor was able to cut my blood pressure meds almost in half - and despite that, my blood pressure was still 118/81 yesterday!

I go back in a couple of weeks for her to check on it, and given yesterday's reading I suspect she'll make another cut, leaving me at one pill per day as opposed to the three I was taking when this project began.

I am SO happy!

For now, here are the stats.

Loss this week: 4.2 
Lost so far: 45.5
Still remaining: 54.5
Activity points earned this week: 15
Weeks to go: 36

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Faithful Mo's guest post: "Carbs aren't the devil"

Annie asked me if I was interested in writing a guest post about how nutritional needs for athletes are different than for others.  I thought this was a good idea, especially in this age of Atkins and similar “carbs are the devil” diets, to explain how carbohydrates can really be your friend if you’re active and to give some guidance to those reading who exercise for longer periods of time.  Honestly, this post is a little hypocritical of me to write considering I had gastro-intestinal (GI) issues during my first marathon from unwise fuelling the days before my race but all I can say is - do as I say, not as I do!  And as a firm believer in “you learn a lot more from your mistakes than you do from your successes”, I will certainly not be making that mistake again.
Talk to anyone who does any type of sport at any competitive level and they will tell you that they rely on carbs to keep their energy up.  This is not an excuse to pig out on pasta the days before a big race or big game.  This is simple science.
The simple fact is, your body can only store enough energy (glycogen) to sustain about 90 minutes of exercise.  After this point, without extra fuelling, you’re in danger of running out of energy and doing as they say in running circles “hitting the wall”.  Poorly fuelled muscles are associated with needless fatigue so the more glycogen stores you have, the more endurance you will have.  This fatigue is not only represented by tired body parts, it also seriously affects your mind and how mentally strong (or weak) you are.  It’s amazing, really.
How carbs can help
You can extend your endurance either by storing up glycogen before your event, replenishing glycogen during your event, or both, using carbs. 
Replenishing glycogen involves consuming carbs during the event.  Thanks to sports drinks and gels, this is becoming easier and easier to do while “on the run”.  For athletes in sports that are given breaks and a convenient place to store their gear, like tennis players on changeovers for example, they have the luxury of being able to use much more cumbersome forms of carbs, like bananas.  Runners unfortunately have limited space to store their carbs and therefore usually rely on sports drinks and gels.  I don’t think you’ll ever see a runner go by with a bunch of bananas strapped to their fuel belt!
Popular during event carbs – Gatorade, trail mix, sports gel:

Increasing your glycogen stores involves “carb loading” the days leading up to your event.  This is generally only required when your event is longer than 90 minutes but even if your event is shorter, you will reach the starting line with maximum energy already in your system to perform at your best.   Most people associate carb-loading with plates upon plates of pasta, but there are many other forms of great carbs if you’re not a pasta person (but really, who isn’t a pasta person?!).
The trick to both storing and replenishment is knowing how much to do and when to do it.  Not enough or not often enough and you’ll run out of gas.  Too much or too often and you’ll likely wind up with GI problems.  Just like training for your sport, this too has to be practiced so you can figure out what routine is good for you on your big day.
Carbs’ best friend: protein
To make the effect of your carbs last even longer, pair them with protein.  Protein slows the digestion of carbs, which encourages the body to release energy slowly and steadily, rather than a quick hit – something that is crucial for endurance events.   Have pasta with chicken or a poached egg on toast.
Carb-loading doesn’t mean fat-loading
Be careful as fat often comes together with carbs.  Instead of eating a roll slathered with butter, eat 2 rolls.  Instead of cream sauce on your pasta, have tomato sauce or primavera.  Some fat is needed of course but don’t stray from your normal fat intake. In fact, you shouldn’t even increase your daily caloric intake, just increase the proportion of your calories that comes from carbs. 
Yes you will gain weight - temporarily
Your body will automatically store an additional few grams of water for every gram of glycogen so during the days leading up to your event it is common to gain a bit of weight.  This extra weight is primarily made up of the carbs you’ll need to get through your event so don’t worry, you will use it all up!
Not all carbs are created equal
There are good carbs and bad carbs.  This is pretty simple but it should be mentioned.  While beer is a source of carbs, not a good pre-event choice.  Post-event, for sure!
There are so many factors in play on your big day, whatever competition it may be.  Things like the weather and your opponent are totally out of your control but if you have worked really hard, the last thing you want is for something like an upset stomach or heavy legs to keep you from performing at your best.  Ask me on June 1st how my marathon went and I can assure you, I will not be telling you I had 3 porta-potty stops!
Taken during my 1st marathon, at about km 18:

Good training and good eating!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mae: Week 15 weigh-in

So yeah . . . about last week. I apologize, gentle (two) readers for my pitiful and pissy attitude.  It wasn't one of my proudest moments. And I have a confession.

My pity party continued throughout the day last Tuesday, and on my way home from work, I stopped at Laura Secord and got a double scoop ice cream cone. It was ok, but not as spectacular as the amount of Points I blew on it. Then, I bought a bag of kettle chips (NOT baked, but the super fatty bad-for-you ones) and brought those home to share with The Mister. Needless to say, it was a disaster. I considered 'writing it off' and not journaling it. But I reconsidered and entered everything that I shoved down my gullet. It was frightening.


I ate 86 points in one day. Panic ensued. I'd blown all of my precious bonus points in one bingey hour, and had a whole week to look forward to of no extras or treats. But I did it! And it may not have been a half-bad lesson to learn, because what I ended up doing is what the program is designed for: I ate tons of fruit and vegetables because I had no other choice if I didn't want to starve. Lesson learned, and I am now snacking on cherries, apples, carrots (with my very delish Cook's Illustrated Light Blue Cheese Dip) and peppers. I don't know why, but I didn't fully embrace this at the start, but now I get it.

So I have a much better result this week, but I know that there will be more week 14's to come. Hopefully, I'll be better equipped : )

Weigh-in: -3.8
Loss to date: 19
Activity Points: 4
Pounds to go: 63

Monday, January 24, 2011

Annie: weigh-in week 15

This is a week for me to take my own advice and put my GAIN behind me.

I followed the program like a good little disciple, I had 43 bonus points left on the table at the end of the week (in ADDITION to the 25 activity points I earned and didn't use), and I gained 0.2 pounds. It's proof positive that the scale isn't the be-all-and-end-all; I'm not going to get uptight about it.

Though it does piss me off.

Good news from this week: on my last three treadmill sessions, I actually felt like my body was finding a rhythm on my running minutes. Not that it was easy or that I felt like I could run a 5K tomorrow (not entirely sure I'll ever feel that way!), but it seemed like somehow my body figured out when and how each part was supposed to move to make running work efficiently. I increased my speed a tiny bit, to 4.5 mph, and am not sure whether that had anything to do with it -- it might have.  But whatever it is, I'll take it.  It felt good.

I've discovered two additional advantages of my double-accountability program these days (in which I have to report in to this blog on Mondays but then weigh in again at a meeting on Wednesdays):

1 - I don't feel like all is lost with a nonsensical gain on Monday - I have a second chance for a result I'll like on Wednesday.  And if I don't get a loss on Wednesday, I'll only have 5 more days to go until I weigh on Monday.

2 - It keeps me a little more honest. I'm less apt to give myself more rope on Monday because my next weigh-in is so far away - because it isn't anymore. Ditto on Wednesday; I could give myself some slack on Thursday, but then it's the weekend and I don't dare use any unnecessary points that I might need if something fun comes up (which I never allow it to, because I weigh again on Monday!).

Ain't that grand?

You're up, Mae - I hope you got the loss you deserved this week!

Change this week: UP 0.2
Lost so far: 41.3
Still remaining: 58.7
Activity points earned this week: 25
Weeks to go: 37

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Annie: iWatchr has caught up

Just a quick post to let you know that the iWatchr app ($0.99 in the iTunes app store), which was our fave before the Weight Watchers app was available in Canada, issued an update this past week to make it work easily with the new PointsPlus program.

Before now, as Mae discovered using her sleuthing skills, you could enter new formulae into the "custom" tab to calculate points on the new program, but now you don't even have to do that: clicking on the "US" tab now gives you the choice of old program (cals/fat/fibre) or new program (fat/carbs/fibre/protein).

While the Weight Watchers app is excellent for anyone using the online tools (i.e. paying the monthly fee for eTools), iWatchr is a great alternative for those who aren't (that is, as long as you don't mind using a non-Weight Watchers sanctioned product).

I first started using the iWatchr app before there was a WW app in Canada - I was paying full freight for the eTools, but they didn't include an app at the time. Now that I have the WW app, which incorporates both the calculator and real-time journaling, I don't often use the iWatchr anymore -- but I'm still glad to have it because I know someday the WW app will be down, or I'll give up my eTools, and I'll still have an option.

New program requires calculator; new program doesn't (always) provide calculator

As far as I know, every iteration of the Points-based program until now has included a cardboard "Points slider" that allowed the member to calculate the exact Points value of every food she consumed. Now, though, since the calculation involves four variables, that format can't work -- so WW has gone to a "you-must-buy-our-Points-calculator-if-you-want-to-calculate-PointsPlus" model. Which is fine, I guess -- as long as they have the calculators available for sale.

At the meetings I've been attending for the last few weeks, there's been a shortage of the calculators, which means some new members who've joined up have had to pay for the meeting fees and been given all the materials except the PointsPlus calculator -- which means they can only follow the program to a certain point, then they're in the dark.

The materials WW gives you when you join provide average PointsPlus values for a number of foods -- but as the organization has always pointed out, you can never be sure you've got an accurate Points value unless you calculate it yourself using the nutritional information on the label of your food.

So new members who haven't been lucky enough to get one of the new calculators are without that advantage - and are limited to eating the foods listed in the handbook if they want to be able to count.

That's pretty rotten, I think. So I say to new members: if you have smartphones (or an iPod touch), get the iWatchr! At less than a buck, it might make the $16/week you're spending on meetings a whole lot more valuable to you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Annie: Heavy

Tonight I watched the inaugural episode of A&E's new reality show, Heavy.

Now, Mae has already heard me go on about how awful I think shows like A&E's Hoarders and Intervention are -- I've always felt they capitalized on others' suffering, and fed their audiences' appetite for tsk-tsking at others' weaknesses and failings. For the same reason, I've never been able to watch NBC's The Biggest Loser.

But my interest was raised when I heard A&E was doing a reality show following obese people in their efforts to get healthy.  So I gave this one a chance: not because I wanted to judge the participants, but because I suspected they might be a lot like me.

This week's episode followed 600+ pound Tom and 370+ pound Jodi.

Tom (I didn't catch his age, but he didn't look much older than 30) is a self-described food addict. While he was obviously further into obesity than I was when he found the motivation to do something about it, he seemed to have entered the program fully accepting his own responsibility for his poor health.

Jodi, who I think they said was 36, was a drama queen. I came to quite despise her, actually, because she seemed unwilling to do what needed to be done without making a great big hairy deal about it. She seemed to always be in tears, making great declarations about how she couldn't possibly go further, the workouts were killing her, she was doing this for her kids, she never does anything for herself, her mother is "a cancer" in her life, her husband isn't a good listener, her friends make her go to restaurants where there aren't any healthy choices, etc. etc.

News: not all fat people are damaged.

I have struggled with my weight my entire adult life (well, really, since adolescence), but I still haven't figured out exactly why. My parents taught me to eat properly and be active, and I was a skinny kid. I had a happy childhood and continue to have a loving and supportive family. My marriage and my home life are happy, and filled with love.

My weight is my fault, the result of conscious decisions I make, and behaviours I consciously undertake. Jodi's weight is Jodi's fault, too, whether she wants to admit it or not.

I'm still trying to figure out how I became a chronic overeater.

I remember being a size 12 in high school and thinking I was fat -- so fat, in fact, that I was embarrassed to be in pictures, didn't want to wear shorts, wore big puffy sweaters and turtlenecks most of the time. I wasn't fat, but I thought I was; and then of course I made my own negative thoughts come true.

I first had to wear plus-sized clothes sometime around the end of my undergrad degree (during which I had been both large and small, having likely gained, lost and gained the same 40 pounds a few times). For about 10 years after graduation my weight steadily climbed, and then in 2002 I did my first (and only successful, until now) trip to Weight Watchers.

As I reached my goal weight, I remember the faithful Mo telling me she knew I'd never be overweight again -- but I knew she was wrong. And because I had decided that, I think, I was doomed to gain it back (and then some). In fact, I was so sure my success was temporary that I insisted she take me to a meeting in her hometown, where I was visiting when I hit my 6 weeks of goal weight maintenance -- I wanted Weight Watchers to get my accomplishment of "lifetime" status on the records right away, because I wasn't confident I could hold it until I got home from my visit.

The problem was that I continued to binge. I wasn't bullimic -- I had a phobia about vomit, so just binged and held on to what I ate.  I ate healthy food, and lots of it. I ate crap, and lots of it. I hid wrappers from no-one in particular (I didn't want to be reminded of my failing), I lied about what I'd eaten when no-one would have made me feel badly about it (not wanting to have to admit to my completely unreasonable behaviour out loud).

It was me. It wasn't anyone else, it wasn't pressure, it wasn't stress. It was a problem in my brain, with the cooperation of my hands and my mouth.

The more I listened to Jodi assign blame for her weight to everyone around her, the more I realized how important it is to take responsiblity for my behaviour. So here I am, admitting to very embarrasing lack of control (not that anyone looks at someone my size and is surprised to hear she has trouble controlling her eating), because I know it's on me.

Jodi's mother wasn't force-feeding her; her friends can't make her eat the crap at the fatty tex-mex restaurant. It's on her; until she figures that out, I fear she'll still be in trouble. She may lose a lot of weight (as I did), but unless she accepts responsiblity for her behaviour, she'll be likely to gain it back (as I also did).

Wow, that's some review. I won't be watching Heavy again, because it confirmed my impressions of what follow-the-weakling-as-she/he-tries-to-become-normal-like-you reality shows are like and for.

As we say on Facebook, "dislike."

Mae: Week 14 weigh-in

I was thinking of titling this post: All pain, no loss. I'm up 0.8 pounds this week and pretty pissed off. Under other circumstances, this wouldn't have bothered me as much as it does today. That's because this past week, I logged more activity points than ever (24, which is  a record for me) and ended the week with points left over, which never happens. I've kept on top of all my health checks and (gag) ingested way more dairy than I ever would otherwise to keep 'on program.' I even left Friday night happy hour to come home and finish my last Wii Fit workout of my three week program at 10:00 p.m. because I was motivated to accomplish that goal. It was a puke-worthy experience, but I finished every single exercise.

In my current and fleeting moment of weakness and despair, I wonder what the point is of all this struggling, depravation, sweat, and yes, even tears, really is. In the end, I really have no reason not to stick with it, and I'll likely regret posting this the second after I press 'send.' But it's how I'm feeling right now, and it sucks. Sorry for being such a debbie downer.

Weigh-in: +0.8
Loss to date: 15.2
Activity Points: 24
Pounds to go: 66.8

Monday, January 17, 2011

Annie: weigh-in week 14

This looks better than it is, thanks largely to the problem with my scale - but I'll take it!

I do note that I'm up 0.5 lbs since Friday, when I first tried the Wii scale - harrumph. There's no reason for it, particularly, though - food in/food out, water in/water out, eventually!

Off now to the treadmill...

Lost this week: 5.5 (not likely true, but need to balance last week's reading with this week's)
Lost so far: 41.5
Still remaining: 58.5
Activity points earned this week: 24
Weeks to go: 38

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mae: Oh, the hypocrisy

I've had this post brewing in the back of my mind for several weeks based on a 'feeling' I get when I'm at work. Then, as though someone were listening to my thoughts and wanting to prey upon one thing known to put my into a panic-induced tizzy, I see the headline: Health-care workers face lifestyle pressures.


I am not a health-care worker, but I work in the field healthcare. I am surrounded by doctors, nurses, residents, OTs, PTs, SLPs and any number of other allied health professionals all day long. I was beyond thrilled when I learned that I got this job, but didn't fully think through the scenario of 'fat girl working with people whose jobs it is to promote healthy living.' I didn't fully appreciate the extent to which my weight would be cast in the spotlight precisely because of the environment in which I work.

Enter the hypocrisy. I may be overweight, but I am active and generally eat very well (obviously too much, but well). I do pretty much all of the things that the literature tells you to do in order to live a long and healthy life (don't drink to excess, eat lots of fruit and veg, don't smoke ...). So why is it that I should be judged any more or less on my 'lifestyle' than than veritable throngs of doctors and nurses that I see smoking their faces off outside my office and just past the doors of the emergency entrance? Even the article above talks about weight and exercise, with no attention given to any of the other vices in our lives that can stand in the way of good health.

People who are overweight have no choice but to wear their stress, poor coping skills, shitty genetics, etc., whereas alcoholics or smokers can hide their dirty little habits from public view. Would I feel any more confident about taking health advice from someone who was overweight versus someone with nicotine-stained fingers who smells like an ashtray? Absolutely not.

Mae: Wii Active 2 continues to kick my ass

I am entering week 4 of Wii Active 2, and have completed one of the two available programs so far (the 21-day cardio kick start on level 'hard-as-all-hell'). Today was my first workout of the 9-week program, also on level hard. I own the two previous versions of EA Sports Active, and this is by far the best of the lot. Version 2 includes:

  • a usb dongle that attaches to the back of the Wii console which communicates with two new peripherals that you wear: a heart rate monitor on your left arm and a controller attached to a band on your right leg;
  • limited need for a controller in your hand with the two new controllers that constantly monitor your movement and heart rate;
  • ability to use free weights of your choosing (can control for different weights) instead of those cheap exercise bands that are provided;
  • way improved warm-up and cool-down sessions
  • ability to track your progress online (see below for this morning's results).

There have been days at work where sitting down at my desk makes me want to cry just a little bit, but unlike Sir Mix-A-Lot, I do not "like (my) big butt(s)." The number of squats you do in these workouts is whackadoodle, but I'm also getting some good weight training for my arms. All in all, I highly recommend it.

Mae: Week 13 weigh-in & a GOAL!

Bah. I'm so lame for not having reported in this week. It doesn't mean that I'm not sticking with it: quite the contrary, actually. I am still really liking the new program, though it doesn't appear to have made any real difference in terms of weight loss (this is based more on my pre-week 14 weigh-in than last week). I wasn't expecting a different result, but my GOD I must have put away 300 pounds of fruit in the last two weeks. I should have paid more attention to Annie's earlier post about bananas - eesh. Lesson learned.

So my exciting news is that I finally made it in to see my doctor to discuss a reasonable goal weight. To be honest, I've never really pinpointed a goal weight before partly because the WW-imposed goal weight is laughable and highly discouraging. At the highest end of the scale, I am supposed to weigh around 146 pounds. Hmmmm, too bad I didn't keep my clothes from grade 8! I weighed around 175 at my lightest within the last 10 years, and I felt really good at that weight. My doctor agreed, so my goal is a good 30+ pounds over what WW says it should be, resulting in a total loss of 82 pounds. So now I feel like I have a bit more perspective, and something concrete to work toward.

Weigh-in: -1.2
Loss to date: 16
Pounds to go: 66

Annie: the terror of eating out

Three times in the last two weeks, I've been invited out to eat.

Once was at the home of a friend who is also a fellow Weight Watcher - no problem. My dinner was not only delicious - it came with a PointsPlus count!

The other two were in the homes of friends and family who don't need to count anything or be terribly careful - they eat reasonably and healthily, get exercise, and don't have to think about it much.

The first time it happened, I actually lost all control of my manners, and asked if I could bring my own dinner (it was a very late invitation, and my dinner was already in the works), explaining that I had planned it in advance, etc. etc.

Can you believe it? Mum, if you're reading this, I apologize for having turned my back on all the manners you ever taught me, even if only momentarily.

Realizing what a jerk that made me, I called back and apologized, blaming starvation, and said I was going to leave my supper at home for the following day. I stressed about it and then got there to discover it was pot roast -- not nearly as bad as it could have been, Points-wise. Bullet dodged!

Last night was a family dinner at my in-laws' and quite another matter. The main course was steak on the BBQ, which is pretty excellent as far as I'm concerned - easy to count. But all the sides were fatty in some way. Baby potatoes (yay!) roasted in oil (boo!), red and yellow peppers (yay!) fried in oil (boo!) salad (yay!) with caesar dressing (boo!). My choice was the grilled asparagus, which was also tossed in oil, but was less oily than the rest of the veg.

I had a deck-of-cards sized piece of my steak, which I estimated at 4 oz (5 PP), then three baby potatoes (4PP), 8 spears of asparagus (0 PP) and I estimated that between the potatoes and the asparagus I'd likely had a tablespoon of olive oil (4 PP). For dessert we had fresh strawberries and watermelon, which are thankfully Points free!

It was tasty - but 13 PP, and I was hungry on the drive home.

This Weight Watchers business may make me healthier and better-looking, but it may also turn me into a hermit!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Annie: Scaling down

I was all set to hit Costco this weekend to buy a new scale, when it struck me that my poor, ignored Wii Fit setup downstairs has a very precise scale.

So I headed to the Wii first thing this morning, and found that I'm now down 42 from my original weight!

I don't know how long my scale has been off, but I suspect I've been mis-reporting my weights for more than the week-and-a-half since I noticed something was wrong.

At any rate, it feels good to kick a few extra "freebie" pounds to the curb!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Annie: Weigh-in week 13

I'm not sure what to tell you about my result this week - my scale has decided to become flaky. I must have weighed myself at least 10 times, and I don't think I ever got the same weight twice (consecutively, anyway). They ranged between having lost 1.8 and 5.8 -- the latter of which I'm pretty sure is impossible, given I haven't had anything amputated this week.

I tried changing the battery on the scale -- it was 8 years old, at least -- but that didn't seem to change anything.

At least I will be hitting a meeting on Wednesday night, so I'll be able to track my loss since the previous Wednesday (though of course the meeting weigh-ins don't happen in the nude or on an empty stomach!).

Otherwise, it's been a good week, the highlight of which was the after-meeting sushi I shared with Mae and another friend of ours after last Wednesday's meeting.  :o)

On another note: week 13 marks the 25% mark in our year-long project. We're a quarter of the way there!
Lost this week: 1.8 (?)
Lost so far: 36
Still remaining: 64
Activity points earned this week: 20
Weeks to go: 39

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Annie: Get a coach.

This week's exercise lesson: if you're trying something new, get a coach.

Mae and I are both trying to learn to run. We are both trying out programs recommended to us by others - similar, but not exactly the same.

Despite having prescribed programs used successfully by others, we've both been having trouble - because we didn't ask questions.

As you may have read in Mae's post this week, once she asked the person who'd recommended the program about what she was doing (which seemed to be too much, too soon), she realized she was following the wrong version of the program.

For my part, I thought I had it all figured out: the faithful Mo had built a reasonable-looking run/walk program to build me up to my 5K in May - she had even put dates to all the workouts for me, so I'd know exactly when to start, and what to do. She even gave me a logbook to track my progress.

So what else could I possibly need, right?

Well, it turns out we don't all have the same definition of "run." Since my first post a couple of weeks back about having run two minutes, I've incorporated two minutes of running into each treadmill session (45 minutes total).

But even though it was only two minutes, and not even consecutively, I was finding it pretty challenging, and was halfway secretly doubting I'd ever really be able to run more than a couple of minutes without stopping.

I talked to the faithful Mo about it one evening this week, and we got on the topic of how fast I was running for my two minutes (between 4.5 and 5.0 mph). She instantly said that was too fast - that I should be between 4.0 and 4.5 at this stage, no more.

This morning, I did my two minutes at 4.3 - and lo and behold, I can actually see how I might be able to build up to significantly more.  Hallelujah!

Maybe someday I will be able to run at 5 mph - but not now, and not safely at my current weight.

So the moral of the story is: get a coach. And if (you're lucky like me and) you have one available to you, use her! Ask questions! Don't assume you know what you're doing! Because honestly, if I'd kept trying to run at 5 mph as I began my gradual conditioning program next month, I may very well have given up, thinking I simply couldn't do it.

If you don't have a friend like Mae's or a faithful Mo like I do, and you can't afford a personal trainer, there's a great range of online coach programs and apps available, like the Adidas miCoach system (check out a video about it here) and the Nike Training Club app. 

Some advice has got to be better than none - you don't have to do it alone!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Annie: Have 4 points to spare?

A delicious discovery from yesterday: M&M Meats Shops' hot & spicy chicken wings!


Mae: Running confusion

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have opted to start a 13 week walk/run program that I thought was pretty similar to what Annie would be doing. This book was recommended to me by a co-worker who picked it up last year and subsequently ran a 5K. After listening to her story and seeing Annie's running journal, I got my cranky arse on the treadmill. The last thing I wanted to do was overdo it and injure myself, and the book I chose specifically mentioned that the program was designed to prevent injury in new runners.

I was speaking to said co-worker yesterday about a completely unrelated matter and mentioned that I've completed the first two walk/runs in week 1, and that I've run (cumulatively) for 21 minutes. Her response: "WHAT???!?!?! Are you kidding me? THAT is not the program that I did!" I got a similar response from Annie based on her Running Room program. Hmmmmmm.

I came to the conclusion that I must have picked the maintenance program instead of the starter (there are several in this book). Turns out, I didn't. I was/am doing the recommended 13 week beginner walk/run, and yes, it does start with 1 minute of running followed by 2 minutes of walking. Co-worker said she started running for 30 seconds followed by something like 4 minutes of walking. That sounds more reasonable to me given my weight and complete lack of running experience. I have to admit that after those first two workouts I was feeling like I perhaps pushed a little too much, but I wanted to trust the "proven" method. What the hell?!

Amazon to the rescue! This comment explains everything. Turns out I was following the program in the newest edition of the book, which is completely different than the one published in 2001. Damn revised program, you're getting the heave-ho! Thanks for nothing, Sport Medicine Council of British Columbia!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mae: Week 12 weigh-in

No change. Still up 1 pound over the the two-week holiday, for which I am actually somewhat grateful. Given a couple of very major slips, I'm happy that that is all it is.

I'm starting the new PointsPlus program tomorrow and have already stocked the house with fruit. I need to shake things up, I think, and am using too many of my points towards things that are not particularly good for me.

The exercise continues, and the running/walking program is going well. I've run a combined total of 21 minutes in two days! I'm following a similar program as Annie, but using a different book: The Beginning Runner's Handbook: The Proven 13-Week Walk-Run Program.

Weigh-in: no change
Loss to date: 15

Monday, January 3, 2011

Annie: Weigh-in week 12

Wow - it's been three months, and we're both still going!

Mae and I had (I thought!) a great brunch yesterday with a girlfriend of ours who is also beginning a weight loss program today. We had Hungry Girl's "Ginormous Oven Baked Omelette" and turkey bacon - huge breakfast, 5 PointsPlus (well OK, mine was 7 because I had seconds of the omelette!). Yum!

This week wasn't as tough as last in terms of willpower, since we don't tend to do much for new year's (as it turns out, babysitters like to go out on new year's eve!). I was also able to hit the treadmill pretty much whenever I wanted, since I was off work, and got some good sleeps in too.

It's back to work tomorrow, though, so I will be sad to say goodbye to my couple of weeks of having fun and doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

On the bright side, though, it will be easier to get through the day without eating, since I can bring my lunches and will otherwise not have time (or opportunity) to be snacking, really. While I've enjoyed being able to sleep in a bit and treadmill without too much worry, it'll be nice not to be face to face with my fridge all day long!

Lost this week: 2
Lost so far: 34.2
Still remaining: 65.8
Activity points earned this week: 24
Weeks to go: 40