Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Permanent Shred Fail?

I am over 20 days in and still hate the 30 Day Shred. A lot. Enough that I am starting to lose motivation. I am making excuses to not do it. I dread it. I curse my way through it. I feel like a failure after each work out because there is always something that I have to modify or can't keep up with. I feel rubbery and tired after doing it.

I want to feel bad ass after I do my work out. I want to feel empowered and strong not just thankful it is over.

I tried my husband's new DVD: SWAT Workout Ultimate Body Definition. I loved it. It is strength training with hand weights (I have 3 lb but think I need to pick up 5 lb) and an intense little 10 minute cardio piece toward the end. I feel good after I do it. I feel good while I do it. It is longer than the shred - 45 minutes if you do the whole thing - but it flies by. My basic issue is that I need to find a way to get cardio in as well. I don't have time to do a 45 minute DVD and then hop on my treadmill. I'm thinking about alternating this DVD with my treadmill and maybe some days of shredding thrown in. I just can't face doing the 30 Day Shred every single day any more. Maybe after I get a little stronger and fitter I will return to it and do it in 30 days straight as intended. But right now I think I'm going to mix it up. I'm afraid of completely losing my motivation and returning to my old lazy ways.
As for food, I've had good days and bad since my last check in. My husband started a Biggest Loser competition at work yesterday with a monetary prize so he is motivated. I think his motivation will keep me from picking up too much crap at the store and from going back for seconds at dinner - I can't eat more than my husband without feeling like a heifer.

Here is my breakfast today: 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese, 1 cup cantaloupe, 1/4 cup blueberries, and 2 slices grilled pork loin. I find breakfast the most challenging meal to stay away from processed carbs - I want cereal, bagels, and toast. So I try to make it more of a lunch type meal with lots of protein. I will readily admit this is easier now that I am a stay at home mom. It was much harder when I was working and tended to just grab something that I could eat in the car.

That is where my head is at now. I am struggling with whether my decision to back off of the 30 Day Shred is a failure or a smart choice. Maybe I should stick with it since it is so challenging. Maybe this is just an excuse to slack off and do something easier. Time will tell.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Catch Up

Yikes...sorry for disappearing! Let me quickly catch up.

Tuesday: Shredded Level 2 (Day 21) but ate a lot of crap.

Wednesday: Ate okay all day but had a burger and fries for diner. I didn't exercise. I got busy and didn't make it a priority. I had a headache and used that as my excuse.

Thursday: Didn't exercise and didn't eat very well (not horrible but not great). My husband, as I feared, was exercising during the time I had carved out to do it in the morning so I didn't get a chance before getting the kids up. I didn't manage to get them both napping at the same time so I didn't get a chance during naptime. I did run around all day so at least I was active and not sitting on my couch.

Friday: Back on track I hope. I Shredded this morning. Because of my 2 day break, I did Level 1 this morning. I will return to Level 2 tomorrow.
I had this big and quite yummy breakfast this morning for 204 calories. I haven't had cottage cheese since I was pregnant and forgot how much I like it when I find a decent low fat variety. We've been getting the best cantaloupes at the farmers market - I'll be really sad when they aren't in season any more. And Healthy Ones chicken breast was on sale at the deli this week - 4 thin slices for only 50 calories. I have left over grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli for lunch so I shouldn't struggle with a healthy lunch.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 20

Day 20 Level 2 (Day 5 of Level 2)

Again, no new insights. And I haven't suddenly developed the ability to do the walk out push ups without dropping the f-bomb. I still can't do the last set of plank jacks - my shoulders are done at that point so I do another cardio element (usually high knees).

Today it was cool enough that I was able to take my kids for a walk. (We live in the south and outdoor exercise isn't something that is possible very often in July.) We walked 1.5 miles while pushing 45 lbs of stroller with 45 lbs of kids so what I lost in speed I made up for in resistance. It was nice to get outside.


I don't think anyone is enthralled by my food log and I'm feeling too lazy to cut and paste it and post it so I'll just report that I was really snacky yesterday afternoon and ended the day at just shy of 1700 calories.
Today I've been lacking in the vegetable department. This was my breakfast (I'm strangely fascinated by photos of people's food so in case anyone else is I'm posting this).
My husband has jumped on the weight loss band wagon with me - he says I inspired him. I'm happy he wants to get healthy but I fear that he might get a little too gung ho and turn me off of it. I really need to just focus on what I am doing and what works for me rather than getting caught up in what he is doing.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday (Original title, huh?)

Sundays have become my day of rest so no Shredding for me. I enjoy the day with my family.
I don't have a food log for you either. Yesterday started like the past 4 days on my food log but we went to a picnic for dinner. I had a burger patty with no bun, a little bit of baked beans, and a little bit of hash brown casserole. All quite reasonable. Then came dessert. I had a serving of 2 different desserts - both quite sugary and yummy. I don't feel badly about. I want to learn to live my life in a more balanced way. That means including meals that don't easily get estimated on my food logs. Today, back on track. After our weekly trek to the farmer's market, I made a BIG salad for lunch. If I could learn to live without the 1/4 cup of feta and salad dressing it would be very low cal. But salad without feta and dressing just isn't worth eating! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 19

Day 19 Level 2 (Day 4 on Level 2)

Eh - I don't have anything new to add. Sucks, shoulders hurt, yada, yada, yada.


As you can tell if you look at my food logs, I tend to eat the same things. I get on kicks and stick with them until I get sick of it or until that food is gone. So breakfast and lunch looks similar from day to day. Dinner varies so that my family doesn't mutiny. Last night was pizza at my husband's request. Since that require any cooking for me, I didn't object. I had 2 pieces and 1/2 the crust from my daughter's piece. I was surprised by how full I felt - I'vce only been really modifying my food intake for less than a week. But I was quite satisfied. I actually didn't end up eating the truffle bar but I was making something to take to a cook out today and I liked the pudding spoon a couple of times (I didn't put it back in don't worry) so I figure it probably evened out to the truffle bar.
Roots part deux
I was thinking more about the roots post I did the other day. I think the thing that I find the most remarkable is how much it all skewed my sense of self. My memory is of being a fat kid. People who loved me told me I was fat so I must have been, right? But I see photos of myself and I wasn't fat. I wasn't even particularly chubby. I was a little soft and rounded but aren't 8 and 9 year olds supposed to have some baby fat? I see a normal kid as I search for evidence of the fat kid that lives in my memory. I don't start seeing something more than normal until I hit puberty - around 13 or 14 I probably carried 5-10 lbs more than I needed. It wasn't until I was 17 that I can start to see something worth my family's comment. By then, in my mind, I had been fat for a decade and I gave up.
I was fat through college. Pizza! Beer! And access to all of the foods that had been denied me for years. About 2 years after college, I got tired of being fat and joined a gym. I worked out regularly and hard. I went to the gym for 2 hrs at least 4 times a week. I lost some weight but still didn't look as good as I should have for the exercise I was getting. Unfortunately this was the early/mid 90's and fat free was king. I was eating rice, bread, pretzels, and pasta to my hearts content because it was Fat! Free! It was practically health food as long as I didn't use butter. I ate almost no protein because animals contained fat. I ate carbs almost exclusively thinking I was eating healthy. I went back to fat for awhile and then got finally got healthy and hit a weight I was happy with. Then pregnancy and a year after giving birth here I am.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 18

Day 18 Level 2 (Day 3 of Level 2)
Still hate Level 2 - all of the plank position stuff is killer. And those walk out push ups? I don't know that a heroin addict could do it for a fix. (I kid. I can do a couple but in the time I do 3, they've done 10.) My shoulders are very achy and I'm sure they will continue to be so. I don't even attempt those last ab things. My form is so bad that it isn't even worth the pain so I do the double crunches. And the last set of scissor jacks I had to do high knees instead. My arms just couldn't do another plank position anything. And all of my jump rope is single. The part where she says she wants us to feel like we are going to die? CHECK.

I'm not really happy with all of my food choices yesterday. Fitday.com's free service is down at the moment so no chart for you today but I was at 1750 calories. But as a commenter pointed out, my calories weren't necessarily the best quality and I ended the day with some chips that I didn't really need but my husband was eating so I had so too. That was almost 200 calories that I didn't need and didn't want badly enough to justify.

Edited to add food journal now that Fitday is back up.


I dreamed of my grandma last night. She died 10 years ago but my dreaming of her isn't really a surprise considering all the thought I've been giving food and exercise lately. I believe my grandmother is the root of the issue I have with both. She passed her obsession to my mother who became anorexic who passed it on to me and I obviously rebelled and went the other direction. My grandmother was hyper aware of appearance and health. She took many vitamins, watched what she and everyone else ate, and exercised regularly. She nagged my perpetually thin and healthy grandfather about every small treat he ate. She baked cookies with applesauce instead of oil before it was in vogue. If he wanted a small chocolate shake from McDonald's it was a huge deal. She meant well with her nagging but she drove everyone crazy.

For as long as I can remember my family nagged me about my weight and what I ate. Perhaps it doesn't go back to ages 5, 6, and 7 but in my memory it does. My grandmother started with the "You have such a pretty face - if only..." crap when I was very young (always while sweeping my bangs off my face because no matter their length they were always hiding my pretty eyes). I don't know if my mom thought about my weight before my grandmother started the comments but my mom took it and ran with it. We had no treats in the house. The worst foods were saltines and peanut butter. She refused to buy or bake anything fattening. I got in trouble when I came home and had a snack other than an apple. As I got older, I started sneaking food and hiding it. I would buy something at the little market up the street (at least I got exercise hiking to it) and take it home to eat. I would buy a bag of chips or a quart of ice cream or candy bars then feel like I had to eat it all so I could throw it away and get rid of the evidence. Sometimes my mom would find my stash. She would pile it on my bed and yell at me about being "a dirty little sneak". I would feel such shame and promise her not to do it anymore while promising myself to get better hiding places. My furtive behavior made her even more restrictive. She threatened to lock up the cabinets when I ate saltines or made pasta. Her restrictive behavior reinforced my sneaky behavior. It was a vicious cycle.

She tried to take me to child psychologists to "fix" me but it never lasted long. The psychologists either treated me like a moron and I could see exactly where they were going with everything or they just handed me a diet and told me to follow it. Neither was helpful but then I didn't even attempt to speak honestly with them because I was ashamed and because I was sure they would tell my mother everything I said. I was a kid who felt powerless - much like the anorexic who exerts her only control through food I did the same thing just on the opposite end of the spectrum.

I don't share this to paint my mother or grandmother as bad women. They were/are both amazing in their own ways. My mother was divorced and struggling to raise me alone while working and going to school at night and trying to date and maintain a middle class lifestyle. Nor do I want to blame them for where I find myself currently. I am a grown up now and I take full responsibility for the choices I make. I share it for 2 reasons. First, I've never told anyone any of this before. It is a source of great shame for me. And second, because I've been examining why I have such an unhealthy relationship with food. One of the things that made me recommit to getting healthy right now is that I found myself thinking about snacking out of my husband's sight which reminded me of the sneaky behavior with food from my childhood. It is a cycle I want to break because it is ridiculous.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 17

Level 2 Day 17

I hate Level 2. By the beginning of the 3rd circuit my shoulders are like wet noodles and then she wants me to do that chair squat w/ the V shoulder raises. Blargh! Level 2 is really hard on my lower back and shoulders. And I feel discouraged because I struggle to even do the modified versions of so many of the things like the plank jacks (woman is on crack) and the plank jump thingies (crazy). I've debated going back to Level 1 but I am trying to remind myself that the only way to go forward is to struggle.


My food journal results yesterday look fabulous on paper but I question the accuracy. It looks really short because I didn't have a salad for lunch with a bunch of ingredients to add. I can't believe I was under 1500 calories - especially with that big old steak I had for dinner. But even if it is off by a couple of hundred calories, I am okay with the day overall. I made some really good salsa and wanted to eat it for lunch. I really wanted it so I had it. Instead of mindlessly eating chips and salsa, I counted out 2 servings (it was going to be the bulk of my lunch) and put them on a plate. I made sure every one of those chips was whole - if I was counting I wasn't going to get cheated out of a corner. I had some turkey slices too to throw in some protein.

I know myself well enough to know that when I start being rigid or too restrictive in what I eat, I end up losing control and bingeing. So when a craving for chips and salsa hits, I am going to go with it because I am looking to live healthier not diet. And I like food so chips and salsa, ice cream, chocolate, and other things are going to have to be part of my life. I'm just looking for moderation and better choices.

Other thoughts

I haven't talked about this blog with my husband. I haven't told him about my renewed commitment to be fitter and healthier. I haven't told him that I'm keeping a food journal. I don't know why I haven't articulated it but apparently he can see it. He can see I'm changing my eating habits some and that I'm shredding before he leaves for work. He said last night that I've inspired him. He is going to buy himself a strength training DVD and do it before work. I'm torn about this. 1) Glad that he sees what I am doing and feeling inspired. B) Selfishly I thought if he is going to do that before work is it going to interfer with that little window of time I've carved out for myself to exercise in the morning?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 16

Pssst...Help me! I think Jillian Michaels is trying to kill me. I tried Level 2 today and I can't get off the floor.

Level 2 Day 16

Holy Eff! I decided to try Level 2 today because I thought perhaps I was being a wimp by sticking with Level 1. In some ways it was a little bit easier for me but I think that was the novelty of it and the fact that I had to stop and watch what they were doing instead of jumping right in. Two hours later and already the muscles in my lower back and my shoulders are killing me. I will say it was nice to change things up - part of my contempt for level 1 is likely familiarity. BUT that plank position she likes so much in Level 2 sucks! I am fat so I should get extra credit just for getting myself into that position and holding myself up - no one should then ask me to contort myself too. That last ab thing? Ain't gonna happen for awhile.


I think my food yesterday was better. My percentages were closer to where I think they should be. I was at 37% fat, 38% Carbs, 25% Protein for the day and supposedly just under 1800 calories. (I question the accuracy of the microwave popcorn but the label is confusing even for someone with lots o' schooling. It says a bag has 2 servings and I ate most of the bag. It says popped a serving is 15 calories...but that just seems out of whack with the unpopped calories which don't disappear.)

I know it may be confusing for others that I talk about my exercise the same day I do it but my food the next day but with how I am doing things now it makes the most sense for me to keep track that way.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 15

Level 1 Day 15

I dragged myself out of bed early this morning and got my shredding done before I got the kids up. I wish I could figure out why some days I just barely make it through. Yesterday, I felt pretty good about my performance. Today, I struggled.


I started tracking my food yesterday on FitDay.com. It is a pretty nifty free tool. Assuming I input everything correctly (I had trouble estimating how much of each dressing component I used because I make a cup at a time), I ended the day at 1976 calories.

I was surprised to see the proportions of fat vs carbs vs protein for the day. If you asked me ahead of time, I would have guessed my carbs would have been out of control. But it was my fat intake that was way too high (of course the little bit of Italian Sausage I ate might have had something to do with that). I was at 48% of calories from fat, 26% from protein, and 26% from carbs. From a little bit of research I've done, I think my target is 25% from protein, 40% from carbs, and 35% from fat. I need to work on making sure my carbs come from fruits, veggies, and grains more than from processed crap too. I'm not looking to diet - I am looking to eat a little better but within the parameters of what I can do for life. I want to watch my portions and snacking but allow myself to continue to eat. I get cranky and rebellious when I try to restrict myself too much. I like food. I like to cook. I like to eat.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 14 & some self-disclosure

Day 14 Level 1

Yes, I am still hanging out at Level 1. I just don't feel like I've made enough progress to move up to Level 2. I had hoped to do it tomorrow but I think I'm going to hold off a few more days. Honestly, I'm afraid if I try it and fail I will get discouraged and sabatoge myself. I'm a perfectionist but it is all or nothing - if I can't do it perfectly then I might as well not do it at all. (Healthy, huh?) Anyway, today I felt decent about my workout. I was able to hang the whole time. I did 3 real push ups! I don't think I've ever done a real push up before. I did the bicycle crunches the whole way through. I managed to do all of the shoulder raises (I usually have to skip a few). I'm still doing things modified but sort of right in between Natalie and Anita. I'm not at Natalie's level but I'm doing more than Anita.

Now for the self disclosure. I'm trying to keep this blog somewhat anonymous and separate from my "real" on line life. I'm doing this for 2 reasons. #1 because I am ashamed of where I am with my weight. #2 so that I can be honest - I'm not worried about my real life peeps being disapproving. That said, I haven't been talkin much so I guess I need to if I am going to be worry about the ability to be honest.

When I got pregnant, I was at 170lbs. That was the lowest number I had seen on the scale in at least a decade. And I was comfortable at the at number. I felt good about myself. I wasn't particularly self conscious. I loved that I could shop for clothes in any store that I wanted and find things that fit. I didn't have to sneak back to the plus sized section. I didn't feel like people were making comments if I ate an ice cream cone in public. I still could have lost another 20 lbs but I was happy enough.

Then I got pregnant. I won't go into the associated drama with that but I was on bed rest for much of my pregnancy. Because of that and a couple of other reasons, I ballooned up while I was pregnant. I wasn't able to move but was being told to eat more. I stopped looking at the scale at the end of my pregnancy - but toward the end I was 241. I had the baby, lost some of the weight and the water I had been retaining, was breastfeeding and things were okay. Then I quit breastfeeding. I was tired all of the time. I was eating whatever I wanted (tired of eating healthy while pregnant and nursing) and not exercising often because I was tired. I would Shred for a couple of days and then decide to take a day off because I was so damned tired. My day off would turn into 3 weeks. I realized I was fast approaching my pregnancy weight. I got on the scale and saw 230 and was so frustrated that I ignored it because it felt out of my control. I would start the Shred again with the best of intentions and then we would go out to eat on the weekend and I would skip working out and then stop entirely again (see the perfectionist thing above).

So when I started this blog 2 weeks ago, I decided I was going to get serious about it - but not fanatical. I'm trying to keep my perfectionist tendency from rearing its ugly head so that I can cut myself enough slack to succeed. Starting today I am tracking my food - not just eyeballing it but putting it into a program so I can really see what I am putting into my mouth every day. I need to walk the line between being so casual that it doesn't work and so rigid that I get all perfectionist about it. Friday I weighed myself and was 222. I rarely weigh myself and prefer to judge things based on how my clothes feel but that obviously isn't working for me right now. I am in my really fat clothes from many years ago and hate them all. I'm working to get back into my pre-pregnancy stuff. It isn't all vanity - I also want to be healthy for my kids.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day of Rest

Sundays appear to be my downfall. I didn't Shred today and while the day isn't over, I intend to watch a movie and then go to bed so it ain't gonna happen.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

No freedom from shredding

Level 1 Day 12

I thought I was finally getting it...I felt like my endurance was better. I thought I might make my goal of Level 2 by day 15. And then I hit the middle of the 2nd circuit and I ran out of steam and hubris. I managed to get through everything today. I might have laid on the floor for a couple of extra seconds before getting up to start the second set of side lunge/shoulder raises.

I weighed myself. I don't really believe in scales and the one we have is an imprecise analog one that my husband owned before me met. But according to it I've lost a few pounds so I'll take it. Nothing to get excited about yet because my fat pants are still fitting just fine.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day 11

Level 1 Day 11

I did manage to do the bicycle crunches the whole minute...not sure how my form was but I made it through. I'm still not convinced that I am making a lot of progress on the endurance side of things but I'm sticking with it. I'm not ready for level 2. But my goal is to try level 2 on day 15. The worst that happens is I can't do it and I drop back down.

Day 11 complete! Off to enjoy my family.

Days 8, 9, and 10

Hey! Someone found me and I got a comment! HI! Sorry...didn't think anyone had come across me here so I wasn't updating daily like I wanted to.

(Tuesday June 30) Level 1 Day 8
I didn't manage to get up and do it before I got the kids up. I slept in a little and it felt good. But I did do it during naptime. I struggled a lot during it this day but did manage to get through it. Barely.

(July 1) Level 1 Day 9
This morning, I go up earlier and decided that the kids would be fine in their rooms for another 30 minutes (only the youngest was awake). I did the video before I was even awake enough to complain. I still don't love it but it felt better than it has the past few days. Well it at least felt less horrible. I made through and even managed some bicycle crunches - about 2/3 of that ab circuit I did the bicycle and then switched to basic.

(Thursday July 2) Level 1 Day 10
I think this is supposed to be the last day of Level 1. If you divide the 3o days into 3 sections to do each of the levels then tomorrow I should move on to Level 2. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I am no where near ready to move on to a harder level. Some days I can barely get through Level 1 doing the modified version. I might be the first person who does the 30 day shred in 90 days because I don't see me moving onto the next level for quite awhile. But I did it again this morning before the kids got up. I felt kind of bad leaving them in their rooms but I really feel like I need to do this for me. They are safe and can entertain themselves for a half hour. Right? I got through it today - again did the bicycle crunches for about 2/3 of that last set then switched to basic. I still struggle with the arms during strength - I sometimes have to rest and continue lunges and then re-add my arms. I haven't seen a lot of progress as far as increased stamina but I am hoping it will come. I remind myself that 10 days isn't really that long (and I skipped a day).