Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hits and Misses

Well, this is an interesting journey. I haven't had much trouble with the booze or caffeine. Sugar seems to be the monkey on my back. I have been drinking a ton of water but the food and exercise have kind of died. I have two weeks till my reunion (Aug 28) so I am going to redouble my efforts in these last two weeks. In retrospect, it might have been a little psychotic to drop everything all at once. Kind of like a smoker quiting smoking while also starting a diet while also training for a marathon. It's a little unrealistic. However, I do believe I have kicked my caffeine habit. Alcohol was never a big issue but it's nice to know I don't need it. Sugar is like my heroin. That's what I'm going to concentrate on in the next two weeks as well as the exercise. All in all, this has been a very interesting experiment. We all know that we prefer things but do we really know how much we need those things. I am hoping to unburden myself if I can from a few of those things. So in conclusion, so far, I have been successful in the alcohol and caffeine department, not to successful in the sugar and exercise department. All things considered, I'm OK with that.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back on track

Okay, last week was a bad one. I strayed from "perfection" on thursday, and again on saturday night. But sunday morning, I recommitted to the project and have been good ever since. To help keep me on the straight and narrow, I did a big shopping excursion to Costco, and now I have a fridge full of convenient, healthy food.

If I can just get through the next two weeks without slipping up again...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Self-realization

One of the things I didn't expect from this ... project? experiment? whatever was an insight into my character. I was having a bad week. A very, very bad week. It was all self-generated, as well, which was interesting.

You see, I was in a meeting on Wednesday morning, and I experienced a moment of clarity. I realized that in almost every way, I am worse off in terms of my career than I have been in over ten years. Granted, the one exception to that is that I'm making more money now, but in terms of progression, growth, and having a career path, I am completely stagnant with little to no hope of that situation changing in the foreseeable future.

Needless to say, this realization depressed me much more than I care to admit, and I have been struggling with that depression ever since. Last night, I really couldn't handle it, and ended up heading to the beer and wine store and purchasing both.

This led to the further realization that I lack coping skills and use alcohol as a crutch.

Monday, August 2, 2010

7 Days!

I'm 1/4 of the way through and I have to say it's getting easier. I thought I would die last week from caffeine and sugar withdrawal but it seems I didn't. What I have discovered is that I don't need them. I think I was mostly using them as filler like a smoker wastes time smoking. And to make it worse, I was conditioning myself to always be consuming something. I am hoping that by the end of this I will not only have kicked my coffee and pop habit but also the need to consume.

I have made a few mistakes (we can call them accidental cheats: ordered a diet coke and lime at a pub without thinking, never knew decaffeinated coffee still has some caffeine and drank diet Lipton Green Tea without checking, it does have a little caffeine as well). Now that I know this, I will avoid those items and be more diligent in the future. I think I've been eating too much fruit as well. Now, fruit is not refined sugar but in excess it kind of defeats the point of not having sugar.

Here is a question I am wrestling with: Should I drink 0 caffeine pop like Fresca, Diet Sprite and Diet Root Beer? They don't have any caffeine naturally but I'm trying to kick my pop habit. Just substituting no caffeine pop for regular pop won't help me get out of that habit. I'm torn I guess. On one hand it would be nice to have a nice cold pop after work but then I will have less water. I think for the sake of this challenge I will say no, then revisit the idea later.

This week is a big week for exercise (so far, a little lacking). I am doing something almost every day between running, tennis and circuit training. I think if I can get the lined up I will be very ahead of the game. It's funny, I really love athletics but I get in this lazy state where I don't want to do the preparation for it. Once I am out there, I really love it. I think I need structure. I think I will make a calendar where I map out what I will do one what days, that way it's less random and hodge podge. Ok, I don't know if anyone is reading this other than Lara and myself but here I am workin it anyway. Cheers

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Confession time

I cheated today. After four days of headaches in increasing severity, that Tylenol and ibuprofin could only make a dent in, I caved in and had a coffee. A double espresso, actually, and my headache disappeared in less than an hour.

I've quit coffee cold turkey before, but the withdrawal has never been this bad, or lasted this long. Coffee is a cruel mistress, and I am quite clearly her bitch.

But it was a momentary lapse, and I will be back to the cold turkey approach from now on.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

3 down, 27 to go

The last couple of days have been a bit rough. Not because of the diet, but the lack of coffee and pop is killing me. Just like Jennifer, I'm tired all the time, and starting to get the caffeine withdrawal headache. Which, no doubt, makes me an utter joy to be around.

Thank the FSM that I can work from home two days a week. I can be as bitchy as I want to be today without affecting anyone else. Except my cats, of course, but they're very forgiving.

I do feel a sense of accomplishment for having biked to and from work on monday and wednesday. going from riding around the seawall once every couple of weeks to biking 40 kilometers in the last three days is quite an improvement. Well, to be fair, I probably biked 39 kilometers and walked 1 kilometer with my bike. That Lion's Gate Bridge is brutal. The rest of the commute is no problem, but that bridge kills me.

It does feel good to come down the other side of the bridge, though. Especially coming home, since it's coming through Stanley Park, and I can coast along, smelling the trees. And the view from the top of the bridge is fantastic.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Massive Fatigue.

Well, I expected headaches, there have been some mild ones, but not insane tiredness. I didn't know that pop/coffee/sugar were so powerful. I could sleep all day. I am zombiing my way through work, getting about half the amount of work done. I want my stimulants dammit! I am also finding that I want to eat more. Now all the food has been super good food but those coffees and pops served the purpose of snacks between meals. Now I want an actual snack. I'm sure this will not last forever. I think tonight I will try: working out, showering and then to bed by 10pm. That way I will hopefully not be crazy tired again tomorrow...hopefully!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Start Day Stats- Jennifer



Every journey must have a starting point. There is no point being worried about where you are starting from right? So I shouldn't care about posting all my stats, right? And horrible, unflattering and way to realistic photos of myself, right? Well I do, so sue me! Oh well, it will only make the result more dramatic that the starting point seems so dire. OK, enough stalling, here they are.

Bust - 45

Waist - 41

Hips - 50

Belly - 47

Arm - 15

Thigh - 28

Body Weight - 255 lb

Body Fat - 37.7 %


Oh God, it's out there! Haha. OK really, everyone who would ever read this knows who I am and what I look like so Fuck it! There it is! Love every inch of it and bid it a found farewell. :)

Day 1 - Lara

Off to a bit of a rocky start. I had a terrible night's sleep, and the urge to dunk my head in a vat of coffee is strong. Green tea is a poor substitute, but it is keeping my head off the keyboard and helping to simulate consciousness.

I did bike into work this morning - 10 km. It took me a fair while, and I did have to get off the bike for a bit and walk up the long, slow climb up the causeway to Lion's Gate. But I did get to ride on some of the trails through Stanley Park on the way, so that was a pleasant start to the morning. I hope that by the end of this month, I will be able to just boot up that hill without a problem.

Getting home should also be fun, the climb is much shorter, but significantly steeper. Wish me luck

ETA: It's nearly 3, and I've hit the wall. Hard. coffeeeeeeeee! COFFeeeeeeeee!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 0

The challenge starts tomorrow. I had started out this week with the intention to ease myself into this. Things like cutting back on coffee and biking to work. That lasted until about 6 on tuesday. Then the eat, drink, and be merry attitude came into play. Sure, I can have a few beers, the diet starts next week. Might as well have a pizza, I'm going to be denying myself this stuff for a month, might as well enjoy it while I can.

In other words, I've been backsliding rather a lot. Bad. Bad. Bad.


video

(Yes, yes, the sound and the video don't mesh. I have a few technical difficulties to work out)

This is the before:

Weight - 153 lbs
Bust - 38 in
Waist - 28 in
Hips - 40 in

Upper arms - 13 in, both sides
Thigh - 23 in, both sides
Calf - 15 in, both sides

Pardon me whilst I go and enjoy my last cup of coffee.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Getting Prepared


I can't go too crazy with the veggies cause I don't start for another 5 days, but I've started getting some of the essentials. This pile of groceries may not look like much to some, but compared to microwave dinners, chips and pop, this pile is a health explosion! I am also thinking about a big throw away just before I start as well, no use keeping crap in the house, it will only tempt me. I still need to buy a big water bottle and a journal. I think Lara said there was one on line too. Anyway...as with anything preparation is key.

Monday, July 19, 2010

obligatory sidekick post

I'm the first co-pilot on this little adventure, so I thought it best to introduce myself. I don't have the same sort of motivation of a looming deadline like Jennifer, my motivation began in a much more negative way. About two months ago, I got a bad case of bronchitis. One thing that's not really good for your waistline is lying on the couch for 14 hours a day and eating nothing but hot dogs.

Since I was already hovering near my normal "I really need to get my weight back under control" line before I got sick, the hotdogs and the exhaustion took it up to the "time to buy fat pants" line.

So I got serious.... for a while. I dropped 8 pounds really quickly, and had all the good intentions in the world to ride that momentum until I lost the 10 pounds I've been meaning to lose for years. Buuuuuuttt.... I was back to my normal weight, my clothes were loose on me, and all of my good intentions were lost and my bad habits began to reassert themselves.

When Jennifer told me she was doing this, I thought it was a great idea. The very act of declaring it in public, having a public record of my intentions in front of people who can hold me accountable if I falter will shame me into staying on the straight and narrow.

My big challenges on this undertaking will be giving up coffee and getting enough sleep. I have been coffee's bitch for a very long time now, and it is a cruel mistress. I have given it up for long periods in the past, and the first week has always been very unpleasant for both me and anyone within my blast radius. And 8 hours' sleep? The last time I got that much was during the aforementioned bronchitis.

I will be structuring my diet plan around recommendations from a nutritionist. If you've ever watched "The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp", the diet that Nadine puts together for the people on that show are very similar to this one. Three small meals and two snacks per day, fruits and/or veggies with every meal, and low on the starches.

Oh, and I will be mining this list of 101 simple salads extensively.

I'm using an iPhone app called "Lose It", to track my food and exercise. It looks like a closed system, and you need an iPhone or iTouch to use it, and create an account on the website to add me as a friend and see the progress. It's great if you've got one of those, though.

As for exercise, between the gym at my work, the seawall only blocks away, and a stack of exercise videos gathering dust on my bookshelf, I'm hoping I have enough variety to keep me moving. If I start to get lazy again, I may have to pull out the big guns and get a personal trainer to kick my ass.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Preparing to Take the Plunge

As anyone in the position of starting a new eating and exercising regime, I have the temptation to binge before it starts. I start thinking of all the things I'm not going to be able to have and that logically leads to the thought: "you better enjoy it now!" Knowing that this idea is foolish and counterproductive doesn't seem to bother me while I'm scarfing down that "whatever" I think I'm going to miss out on later. However, gaining 10 pounds in the week before I start only to lose it again later, leaves foolish in the dust and speeds on to idiotic.


So in this, the week before the start of my challenge, I must not only prepare myself mentally but also prep my body for the lose of some of my favorites. For instance, this week I will restrict myself to 1 coffee a day and 1 pop a day (was formerly up to 3 a day each) in preparation for the exciting world of no coffee, no pop and no alcohol. Booze is the least of my worries as I've never really care much about it either way. Also, I'm playing tennis a couple times this week so that I'm not going for zero exercise to 3 times a week. A common mistake is to overdue the exercise until injury so the (conveniently) you are forced to sit around on your ass. I will also go about the sanitizing of the kitchen this week. This is by no means a guarantee that you won't cheat, but it's a lot harder to eat what isn't immediately in front of you.


The mental preparation is perhaps the most important. I have been talking about it a lot with friends...this helps you not back out. Also, one of the purposes of keeping this blog is to keep me accountable and tracking my progress. Also, I went out last night and I was just frustrated by how much focus there is on woman's bodies. I just felt like, this is the reality, this is the world I live in. It's all well and good to have a great personality and be smart and funny, but it needs to be wrapped up in a tight ass and svelte physique or no one sticks around to find out about your amazing attributes. Vancouver is apparently one of the fittest cities in the North America and sadly has more woman than men. I know I'm supposed to say I'm doing it for myself, for my health and all that BS but while that is a factor, competing in this market is also a factor. That's the reality.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What is this blog?

What would happen if you were (near) perfect for 30 days? In this, I am speaking about diet, exercise, sleep and hydration. I have (dare I say it?) my high school reunion on Aug 28, 2010. As I think on this I am reminded of a well known quote from "Gross Point Blank" about reunions...that basically no one changed except "everyone had swelled". While only so much can be accomplished in 30 days, I am choosing to ask the question "how much?" One month is not a long period of time but I believe this to be a win/win undertaking!



Here are the parameters:


Time Line: July 26-August 25 (30 days)


NO:
Coffee
Pop
Refined Sugar
Simple Carbs
Alcohol
Fast Food
Frozen Box Food
High Fat Foods


YES:
Food Pyramid
8 Glass of Water Daily
8 Hours of Sleep in a Regular Sleep Cycle
Exercise 1 hour (Every Second Day)

My commitment


I will follow this to the letter (except when I don't) haha. I am going to do my
best, I say that not as an excuse but as a reality. That is why it is called near
perfection. I suspect thing like getting all my fruits and veggies everyday is
going to be tough, as well as always preparing a nutritious meal. I will blog
about my struggles and I will always be honest. I will not violate any of
NO's, that is a promise.


Now the horrible part. In true Jennifer fashion I will be sharing way too much.
I will be taking all my measurements, weight and body fat data. I will post my
before and after. I will also be talking about my relative fitness, energy levels,
mood, ease of sleep, etc. I am curious not only to see what a month can really
do, but also I have been told that it only takes that amount of time to create a
habit. So perhaps I can create the habit of healthy living...who knows?


I invite any of my friends to join me, if they are so inclined. If not, I ask that you
follow my progress, encourage me in my commitment and please feel free to
post helpful links and tips on any of the subjects I have brought up here. I intend
to immerse myself in healthy living for 30 days and the more support I have, the
more successful I will be. I thank you for your support.


Measurements and photos will be posted on July 25th (before) and August 26th
(after). I will not be taking any in between so I can be surprised at the end.