Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010.

Eight weeks into the Lean Eating Program, and I am 4.5 pounds down. I've got to say, not the start I was hoping for. And, yes, we are taking pictures every four weeks and measuring once a week, but honestly, the progress there is even more dismal. One could easily confuse the three sets of pictures. I have promised myself to follow this through the whole six months, though, so that is what I'm going to do.
Our workouts change every 4 weeks, and this is week one of phase three. So far, this is my least favorite phase, but we'll see. I'm usually slow to warm up to a new workout.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


As I was cooking lunch for me and my husband this morning, I was looking at his part of the meal, Ro-tel dip and BBQ cocktail wieners, and wondering if I wanted just to make this a splurge meal for the week by eating a little and following it up with some ice cream. I would be cooking some steak and super-lean ground beef anyway to keep it from going bad while we're gone the next couple of days. The beef was to be my lunch, along with some squash, peas and tomatoes, all fresh. The whole time I was cooking, those two crazy voices were conversing in my head.As things were about to be finished, Marc went out to swim and asked that I bring a drink to him. I did, and as I was coming back inside, I caught a glimpse of myself in the windows of the back door. A whole new line of thought immediately started.

The glimpse I caught was enough to dissuade me from splurging on the Ro-tel and weiners. After having eaten my steak and veggies, I acknowledged the desire for those foods was just in my head. My plate was infinitely more enjoyable than Marc's.

But another line of thinking started with that glimpse as well. For a while now--a couple of years maybe--I have wondered if having the physique that I want is worth the "sacrifices" I will make to get it. After all, even though I'm not satisfied with the one I have now, I'm not grotesque by most standards. Stirring the Ro-tel, I realized that it is worth it--at least for now. At least, when I find myself looking in the mirror at what I want to see, it will be. I want to see that reflection, just for a little while. Then I might reconsider the "sacrifices" made to be there. For too long, my sense of self-worth, my opinion of how I represent to the rest of the world, has been wrapped up in this endeavor. I have allowed being chubby to make me miserable, to take from me things that it never should have. I have lived for too long in anticipation of what it would feel like to visibly show the hard work I put in working out. To say that sacrificing some to reach my goal is ludicrous. After all, how can I, in good conscious, call it sacrifice when truly it is fueling my body with wonderful food that keeps it strong and healthy?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Precision Nutrition Lean Eating Coaching Log

I am starting a "log" over on the Precision Nutrition site. Periodically I will cut and paste those entries here since this is the more permanent of the two. Here is today's entry:

I am now in my seventh weak of the Lean Eating Coaching program. While I hate to start in the middle of things, I have enjoyed reading others' logs here, and I have learned from them. And, honestly, part of me feels like in order to fully invest in this endeavor, I need to do this part as well, so I am starting a log here to compliment the blog I have had for years.

I have come to this project, like many others, out of desperation. My weight has been a lifelong battle for me, ranging at times from an anorexic 100# at 5'6" tall, to somewhere north of 220# (I never weighed at my heaviest). During the stressful times, I would gain weight. When life was good, I would take it off. At age 37, however, the pounds are not coming off anywhere near as easily, and I find myself "stuck" around 170#. I have been between 160 and 175 for the last year or so after having lost 20-30 pounds a couple of years ago.

Working out is not the issue for me. My workouts keep me sane, literally, as I found several years ago that it keeps what I believe to be clinical depression at bay. I had some hesitancy about turning control of my workouts over to the LE program, but those doubts have quickly gone away as I've seen results.

For me, the issue is nutrition. It seems that no matter what I eat, as long as it's not HUGE amounts or "off plan" for more than a day or two, I stay in the same weight range. Take a pound here, give a pound there. I could stay on plan PERFECTLY for a couple of weeks and take one meal off, and BAM! all 2 pounds I had lost were back. It all seemed so pointless. I have tried multiple approaches, including working with a bodybuilding nutritionist for 4 months. She accused me of not following her plan. I even did TONS of lab work at her behest, all of which was normal. It seems I can't blame my difficulties on my pituitary, my thyroid, too much testosterone or early menopause. Damn.

So here I am. I was a little afraid to start this endeavor. First and foremost, I knew it wasn't going to be easy. But the good things in life rarely are. My most nagging worry was and has been that it might not work. What happens if I follow the rules, do what they ask of me, and at the end of 6 hard-spent months I find myself still staring into the mirror at the chubbling I was in the beginning? Does that mean I will never find myself in the body I so desperately want? Does it mean that I am in some way broken? Am I at that point obligated to go to the doctor for even more labs to figure this out?

I will cross that bridge when I get there. Right now I am simply taking one day at a time.

For posterity:
My starting weight was 174.5, but I'd been eating a ton of salt and a fair amount of that was fluid. The following week I weighed 170.5 which is what I weighed today in the middle of week 7.
My measurements haven't really gone anywhere either though honestly, it seems I have some small problem dependably measuring despite my handy-dandy tape measure made just for measuring people.
My clothes are another hard thing to gauge since I wear scrubs at work and stretchy stuff most of the rest of the time. One of the ladies at work who hadn't seen me in a few weeks did say something the other day about my appearing to have lost a little weight, though.
I do feel like I've gained some muscle mass. That is painfully subjective, however.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Be Active Award

I was approached a month or so ago by a site called Be Active which compiles blogs and articles that active women might find interesting. One way or another they tripped across my blog and decided to send me an e-mail asking if I would like to be a guest blogger and notifying me that I had one the "Be Active Award." I suspect they simply need material for their site, but I decided to post the award regardless. You'll see it off to the right.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Difficult Difficult

Our lesson for today in the Lean Eating Coaching program comes from multiple great minds including Alwyn Cosgrove, passed down from one to another and now to us, and it is about the need to put one's self outside her comfort zone in order to grow. Plain and simple enough in theory. And sometimes I think we believe we're doing just that, but as I was reading the lesson, I realized that in the last year or so I've been giving in to the difficult easy in my workouts and my nutrition. The "difficult easy" things are those that, while taxing us either physically or mentally or otherwise, keep us within our comfort zones. The "difficult difficult" things push us outside of those places where we are comfortable and stretch us, help us to grow. As Alwyn Cosgrove puts it,"If I told you that tomorrow you were going to give a presentation to a thousand people, and then do some full contact sparring, a lot of you would recognize how difficult this was. And it is. But for me, who presented over 26 times in the last year, and spent years fighting competitively and doing hard sparring, it’s well within my comfort zone. I can pretend that it’s difficult, but it’s still easy to me and won’t help me grow."

For me, "difficult easy" is doing the work. Neither dirt, nor sweat, nor hard work scares me. I love my callouses. I relish my time in the sun and heat. Give me a task, an assignment, and I'm a dutiful worker. For me, "difficult difficult" is turning over control of my nutrition and my workouts and having faith that what I am doing will bring the results I want. I am quite accustomed to being in control. Before signing up for this, though, I realized that my being in control wasn't accomplishing what I wanted. That realization led the way for me to place myself outside of my own comfort zone and into this program, promising myself that I would put everything into it for the next 6 months.

Things are going okay thus far. Changes are not coming quickly, but I believe they are coming. I find myself more in control of what goes in my mouth, less impulsive about it. I seem to be advancing in the workouts, too, picking up a rep here or a heavier bell and there. I have to admit, I had hoped for quick, earth-shattering movement, but in reality knew not to expect as much. Slowly,though, I am developing patience.

Now...In honor of the opening of the NFL official season: