Monday, January 31, 2011
Every last work day of the month, when Becky from downstairs walks up with the assorted box, we try to compose ourselves and refrain from stampeding to the back to pick the best one. My personal favorite? The jelly-filled long John. Too good. Just too, too good.
Today, dear readers, is the last work day of the month. And so I was left with a choice to make:
And here's what I decided:
We did arms the whole time, and in between circuits of arm exercises, I did a set of cardio (20 jumping jacks, 10 mountain climbers and 15 toe taps on a bench, two times through). It got to the point where I felt like I physically couldn't pull anymore weight. My face was bright red. My head was hot. I was breathing heavy. It was really discouraging.
I woke up with a bit of a sinus issue, and several people I know have been sick. But if I don't have full-blown cold symptoms, can the virus in its early stages still have that kind of effect on my workout?
Also, and this is kind of gross, so I apologize, but I noticed I was only sweating from my head. Not my back or anywhere else, which is usually the case. Is this a sign of illness? Another thing: No matter how much water I drink, my mouth is dry and sticky. Am I getting sick?
Less than an hour after the workout, I feel totally drained. Just knocked out. And I'm just wondering what the problem was today.
I guess, at the very least, I was burning some serious calories. Still, I wonder what happened.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
My one-month weigh-in is coming up. I'm actually kind of excited. Weigh-ins haven't gone so well in the past, as you may recall. After an initial 7-pound drop, I didn't lose any weight week 2, and then three days later I weighed-in at a 9-pound total loss on the Iron Man scale. Nine is OK. I'll take 9. But on Wednesday, it'll be 9 days or so since the last weigh-in, and I'm really hoping for a big number for the month's total.
I think I would be happiest with a 17-pound loss the first month. That's the number I lost during my last starvation diet. So if I lost that this time by actually eating healthy foods and exercising, I would feel pretty awesome about that. Of course, I don't want to put too much pressure on it. I'm the one who keeps trying to convince everyone and myself that this isn't as much a numbers game as it is a lifestyle change. It's hard not to focus on what the scale says, though.
If it is 17, we'll be entering into the annoying chapter of weight loss. I'm pretty tall (5'9"). And I've got a slightly larger frame (my doctor actually said that, by the way, so I promise I'm not one of those girls who uses that as an excuse). That means there's a lot of surface area for the weight to come off.
So I swear to you, I will play out the following scenario about a dozen times in the next week, I guarantee it:
Interested Party: So, how much weight have you lost?
Me: About 17 pounds.
IP: ... Reeeeeallly? 17? Wow ... that's great. (Looks me up and down, semi-puzzled.)
In my mind they're saying, "Turn around, maybe there's something missing back there. Cuz I'm just ... not ... seein' it."
Also, the weight always drops off my mid-section first. And it's not that I don't have weight to lose there; I do. But it's the ol' derriere that packs the most punch, and whenever I diet, it sticks out round and proud for as long as it damn well pleases until finally succumbing to my groveling that it shrink down to a less-frightening size. Until then, there are no pants baggy enough to mask the square-footage, no shirt with long enough coat tails to hide its girth.
So please consider this post as a request that you LIE TO ME. Convincingly, please. If I say to you, "I've lost 17 pounds," then you say, "I knew it! Actually, you look so fabulous, that I would have sworn it would be twice that number."
Saturday, January 29, 2011
If you are the guy who slams the weight down when working on the machines to get a very loud "crack" out it, we are only looking at you because you're annoying, not because we are impressed. It makes you look weak, not strong for working with so much weight that you can't do anything but let it slam down. I'm also pretty sure that's against gym rules, so ...
Little kids aren't allowed in the adult women's locker room. It shouldn't matter if it's a busy Saturday morning. I'm not anti-kid, but I appreciate a designated adult space as much as the next gal.
I'm just sayin' ...
Friday, January 28, 2011
Anyway, besides the major changes of diet and exercise, I was noticing how small things in my day-to-day have changed. One of my favorite shows to watch before was "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on Food Network. Oh my god, it's a good show. Chefs go to their favorite restaurants and eat their favorite foods and talk about why it's so delicious. My favorite episodes were always the dessert ones.
I pretty much avoid the Food Network now. Although I do watch "Ace of Cakes" because I don't think I'd ever want to eat cake wrapped in Play-Do-ish fondant. Any cake of mine will be elbow deep with butter cream, thank you very much.
Instead, the show I've recently become semi-obsessed with is "I Used to be Fat" on MTV. (Am I even allowed to watch MTV anymore? Being over 30 and all?) It's a reality show that follows a graduating senior (high school) through a summer-long weightloss program. They work with a trainer every single day, and in about 90 to 110 days, they drop about 75 to 100 pounds. It's such a cute show! Being fat in high school is a fate no kid should endure, and the show sort of gives them a leg-up in college.
If you have the chance, check it out. It's sort of like "Made," which I also like, but every episode is about being "Made" into someone thinner.
I've actually been sort of asked if I was doing some sort of weight-loss MTV show. I wonder where they thought I was hiding the camera crew? ... No, Jackie and I are doing our own version of "Made," but for a blog/newspaper-reading audience only. And my guess is that it will take us much longer than 90 days.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
My program is not that easy. I have to keep my fat percentage under 20 percent, and I'm amazed at how limiting that is. Forget about all the obvious things: rich desserts, greasy foods like fries and pizza, pretty much anything with cheese in it. But even seemingly harmless things like tuna (mixed with too much low-fat mayo), red meat (that's not lean enough), even Ritz crackers can be a danger.
It's tricky, and it's required me to get creative with my meals. Especially when I go out.
On a diet, you still have to be social. You still have to be able to pick up quick meals on the go. So I thought I would share some of my research with you.
Let's talk about food!
1. Subway. It's the obvious suggestion, so let's get it out of the way. The nutrition info is plastered right on the sneeze-guard. So use it. It's helpful.
2. The Pita Pit. They have a LOT of food that will meet a variety of dietary restrictions. My personal favorite is the chicken pita with veggies and tzatziki sauce. You can go to the restaurant with your order in hand by visiting their website first. You can build your pita with toppings, and it gives you nutrition information as you go.
3. Applebees. Sometimes you'd rather go to a sit-down restaurant and have someone bring you food. Applebees has their under 550-calorie Weight Watchers endorsed menu, which is so helpful. For someone like me who's tracking fat, too, however, you'll want to visit their website with nutrition info. Unfortunately, the steak dishes are too high in fat to work for me. But they have great pasta dishes and a shrimp and rice dish that are delicious.
4. Panera Bread. A restaurant with the word "bread" in the title -- especially when it's as wonderful as Panera's bread -- probably wouldn't jump out as healthy. And certainly, like all restaurants, you can find many things that won't work for your diet. But there's lots that will. I love the Nutrition Calculator on the website that lets you build your meals and get the numbers before you go. May I suggest the vegetarian black bean soup? It's one of my favorites.
5. Noodles. I love Noodles. It's one of my favorite places. And there are various things I can have, especially if I opt for the small size portions (which aren't that small). I love the Japanese Pan Noodles with shrimp or grilled chicken. (The shrimp is zero fat and only 35 calories, by the way.) And the Bangkok Curry, which has a lovely coconut flavor, is one of the lowest-calorie items on the menu as far as the actual noodle dishes go. My favorite thing to order is the regular size Chinese Chop Salad with shrimp. All together, with dressing and everything, it's only 345 calories, and there is a ton on the salad. Lots of crunchy stuff, which is a must. You can find lots more nutrition info on their website.
More food later!
For now, must exercise ...
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Once in a great while I'll hear a pop song loud enough to be heard over the whirring of the treadmills to occupy my attention for three minutes. But most of the time, the Life Center offers a constant buzzing sound and muted TVs with subtitles scrolling across the bottom.
I know, I know. I need a radio. I bought one, but it crackled the whole time I used it and didn't get very good reception. I'm sort of not an mp3 person. And as a friend told me, if I were to bring a CD walkman into the gym it would "look as big as a suitcase" and would draw sneers and laughs from all.
Anyway, this got me thinking today, as I was staring out the big picture windows at cars driving by, about what the perfect gym would be like. Dream with me ...
You'd climb onto an elliptical or treadmill, and a screen would come out of the wall in front of you and wrap around three sides, sort of like the Omnitheatre at the Science Museum -- you're completely surrounded by a screen, and it blocks out your peripheral vision. Then, a virtual menu would appear, and you could choose a course. Maybe you want to walk through alleyways in an ancient Italian city. Maybe you want to take a jog through Central Park, or climb up the Eiffel Tower. For the more adventurous among us, they could choose the rainforest voyage, and hike through rural Brazil, avoiding giant spiders and snakes along the way.
And the virtual system would read our hydration level, and every time we got thirsty, an ice cold water bottle with a straw would appear and give us a drink.
Can you imagine? I'd stay on that darn thing all day. There's no patent pending, so feel free to put this plan into action. I just ask that you give me a free membership for coming up with such a cash cow idea.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I now know, for instance, that when she sets up a circuit of four exercises, I will be required to do the circuit three times through. ...Always in threes.
I also know that when I'm toward the end of the third round of one circuit -- sweating and straining and heart racing -- that she will start scurrying around to various corners of the weight room to retrieve items in preparation for whatever hellish circuit she has concocted next. I watch her out of the corner of my eye, ever wary of gaining any sort of comfort or confidence in regard to the props she's collecting.
For example, when she brings over a weight bench, I have learned not to think, "Yes! I get to lay down for my next group of exercises. This will be easy." Today the weight bench was used for reverse crunches, among other things, which are my arch enemy. Anyone pear shaped knows how horribly hard it is to lift your legs up and bring them toward your chest without bracing yourself in any way. I remember watching "The Biggest Loser" in previous seasons and thinking, "Really? You're really grunting like you're in labor on national TV over an abdominal crunch?" Well, today I very much sounded like I was in labor. I think that might have been the reason there were no boys in the weight room today.
The coup de grâce, however, was the stool. Jackie brought over a stool today, like a stool so high I could comfortably sit on it and work at my computer in the office. A stool so high, an adolescent could probably sit on it and swing their legs. A stool so high, I thought, "There's no way she's going to make me step on and off that thing." (Because, in the past, you see, benches and boxes have been used to step onto and kick my legs and step off about a billion times until I could practically cough up blood.)
But, oh, indeed: In a circuit of four exercises, including sit-ups on the BOSU (after my abs were already begging for mercy), calf exercises and arm exercises, she said I had to cross my left leg over my right, step onto the top of the stool and step down, alternating the leg I use, and one time there and back equals one. Do that 10 times. ...And then do the whole circuit three times.
I was a sweaty noodle when the clock struck 8. Never was I so happy to see 8 a.m. in my entire life. But, I got through it.
And having received conflicting information on the scales in the women's locker room and the hallway by the Life Center, Jackie was kind enough to break out the Iron Man scale again so we would know for sure where I'm at. Since my very first weigh-in Jan. 3, I'm down 9 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks.
At first I wasn't sure what to think about this. I'm coming from a place where, when I want to lose weight, I cut down to 500 calories or something, don't do a lick of exercise, and watch the pounds melt away.
Jackie always reminds me: "You know how to cut calories. That's not what we're doing."
She's right. I know how to do it wrong. And wrong works! It works fast! But it DOESN'T LAST. The second you start to eat even a normal, healthy amount of calories, the weight comes back on. So, this isn't about losing 30 pounds in three weeks or something crazy like that. This is about: slow and steady wins the race.
A hard pill to swallow, but having tried Dexotrim, MetaboLife and whatever other fad pill has hit the market, I'm hoping this one will have long-term positive health affects.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I'll tell you what I do NOT enjoy: calculating the percentages of fat and carbs in everything I eat. If this is Jackie's way of making me not enjoy eating, then she's an evil genius.
Simple math, you're thinking. How hard could it be?
Well, No. 1, I am a journalist. I like words. I hate numbers.
And No. 2, it's not as easy as you might think. Allow me to demonstrate ...
Every gram of fat in food is equal to 9 calories. Ever gram of carbs is equal to 4 calories, as is every gram of protein.
So, let's say you have a 100-calorie items, which contains 4 grams of fat and 14 carbs. You take the grams of fat (4) times 9 calories and you get: 36 calories of your 100 calorie-item comes from fat. Then you divide 36 by the total calories (100) and you get: .36.
That means, 36 percent of the calories in that item comes from fat. You use the same formula to determine your carbs and protein percentages.
My goal is to keep my fat content below 20 percent of what I eat. This is much harder than it sounds.
Yesterday, I had a cup of fruit, a lean cuisine pizza, a fruit and yogurt parfait, and a Subway salad with green peppers, onions, yellow peppers, fat free sweet onion sauce and tuna.
Seems like a harmless day, doesn't it? Roughly 1,160 calories. Good job, me! ...Not so fast. The tuna is where I went wrong. The fat in the tuna made up 45 percent or so of the calorie content of that meal. So my percentage for the day was 32 percent fat.
This is hard! And it's not fun! And it just makes me not want to eat at all because who wants to do math over a nice turkey sandwich? Not me.
Off to eat an apple ... I'm assuming that's OK, but I guess I won't know until I break out the damn calculator.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Before I could even report this bad news to Jackie, she said, “Your metabolism is shot.” She had taken my food journal home with her over the weekend, and she came to a few conclusions. Anyone my weight, eating the small number of calories I’ve been eating, and doing the amount of activity in the gym I have been doing, would be losing a lot more if their metabolism were in order. But mine is not. The past 18 years of starvation diets for several months and then candy and ice cream for dinner for several months after that -- well, I’ve ravaged my body.
And right now, she said, my body is saying, “I know what you’re up to,” and it’s hanging onto the weight. This is bad news. Getting healthy is still going to happen, she said. But it’s going to be much harder than anticipated. I have to retrain my body how to metabolize food and how to handle exercise.
The program just got more strict. The plan last week was to shoot for about 1,500 calories, and I could spend those calories however I wanted, but I just couldn’t go over. New plan now. Jackie said to shoot for 1,100 calories per day, and there are stricter guidelines that go along with that:
- I have to keep track of the grams of fat, carbohydrates and protein in everything I eat, and I have to calculate the percentage of each in what I’m eating.
- My fat content in my food cannot exceed 20 percent for the day.
- I should be eating as much lean protein as I can.
I was eating a Chipotle bowl every now and again, but that’s out now. I was putting shredded cheese on my salads, and Jackie says that’s a no-no. The goal is to avoid giving my body reserve energy to burn off through fat and empty carbs.
I have to admit, during today’s workout -- which was extremely hard -- I was feeling very defeated. I sort of had that moment of, “Is this really worth it? Why am I even bothering?” And it stings to think of how hard I worked last week for what seems like no reason.
But what I keep trying to remind myself of today is that, more than just weight loss, I’m learning and adapting to a new lifestyle, to a healthier way of living. That should be the focus, and the weight loss and increased strength and flexibility will come as a result ... eventually.
I just have to accept that I’ve really done a lot of damage to myself for more than half my life and correcting those issues won’t happen overnight. No matter how badly I wish otherwise.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Just two Mondays ago, I climbed onto the elliptical, and after the three-minute mark, I was watching the clock, breathing heavy, wondering how long I could keep it up without any resistance. I went about 15 minutes, and by the end, my heart rate was in the 160s.
Today at the Y, I climbed onto the elliptical, resistance set at 5, and instead of watching the clock, I watched HGTV and glanced occasionally down to watch the calorie count climb and climb. It took 15 minutes before I started breathing out of my mouth. It took until the 45-minute mark before my heart rate hit 160. Otherwise, I was cruising at about a heart rate of 145 with a feeling like I could stay on the darn thing all day.
My trainer, Jackie, told me that my body would start to acclimate quickly. I believed her, but I had no idea how fast the cardio would become manageable. It was pretty cool. I'm sure the strength-training will take a bit longer. I've only worked out with Jackie twice, so that will take a while yet. But it was sure nice to actually feel some progress being made.
First of many small victories along the way!
Friday, January 14, 2011
Like the other day a woman I recognized walked into the Life Center. She taught step aerobics classes I used to take four or five years ago. A few of the girls called her “Killer Beth” because we’d all be totally out of breath by break, let alone the end of the 45-minute workout. Killer Beth climbed up on an elliptical, cranked up the resistance, and went at it. It looked like she was cross-country skiing away from a polar bear for the better part of an hour, yet still able to keep up a conversation with her neighbor. (My resistance was set at 2, and I looked as if I was taking a leisurely stroll through the park.)
So, needless to say, I keep to myself. Always kind of a little self-conscious. (I’m so American, aren’t I? So sure that everyone in the room gives a crap what I’m doing.)
Then the other day, I’m in session No. 2 with my trainer, Jackie. And it’s going pretty well. But still, I was in the free weight room where mostly big, beefy boys hang out and get buff. And there are usually always a couple of muscley hunks buzzing around, pumping some major iron. That day was no different. There was a guy in there working out, and I couldn’t help but feel like he was snickering to himself watching me poorly handle my 5-pound dumbbells.
I was glad to move back to the Life Center for some other exercises, except I’d forgotten my purple Hannah Montana water bottle in the weight room. I ran back to retrieve it, and as I scooped it up, the guy smiled and said, “My daughter would be so jealous. She loves Hannah Montana.”
I thought, huh, maybe when we assume people are judging us, they’re actually thinking something totally different. Food for thought. Still, I don’t think I’ll be striking up any conversations with my elliptical neighbors. I couldn’t keep it up if I tried.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I was very pleasantly surprised. Today went very well, I thought. I don't have full-body pains. I just feel, in the muscle groups we worked today, a sort of weighty feeling, like a pulling. But it's not horrible pain. So I'm excited about that.
I'm also excited to be near the end of the week. I can't believe almost two weeks have gone by since I've been "on the wagon." It's a good feeling! Every morning I wake up not regretting the candy or ice cream I had for dinner the night before. Because I'm not eating candy or ice cream!
I'm looking forward to my Monday weigh-in. I've been asked if I'm going to report my weight loss every week, and after thinking about it, I've decided not to. Maybe for the first couple of weeks so everyone knows that I'm making progress.
But I won't be reporting a starting weight, goal weight or total weight loss. Whenever someone says, for example, "I used to be 400 pounds! I lost 275 pounds, and I now I feel wonderful about myself." That's amazing! Good for them. But many people only think of the person pre-weightloss as being a number. She was only 400 pounds. She wasn't a whole person. Only after the weightloss do we see her as happy and confident and even worthwhile in a lot of ways. I don't feel that way at all. In many ways I'm a very happy and confident person. I like who I am. This is just one aspect of my life that needs work. So I don't want to be known as a number. I will be keeping those things between myself and my trainer.
Anyhow, I've still got another hour and 40 minutes left of gym time for the week, so maybe I'll see you there.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Protozoa Pictures & Cross Creek Pictures & Phoenix; Fox Searchlight Pictures
Paramount Pictures and Relativity Media; Paramount Pictures and Relativity Media
Warner Bros. Pictures UK LTD.; Warner Bros. Pictures
d.THE KING’S SPEECH
See-Saw Films and Bedlam Productions; The Weinstein Company
e.THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a.HALLE BERRY, FRANKIE AND ALICE
b.NICOLE KIDMAN, RABBIT HOLE
c.JENNIFER LAWRENCE, WINTER’S BONE
d.NATALIE PORTMAN, BLACK SWAN
e.MICHELLE WILLIAMS, BLUE VALENTINE
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a.JESSE EISENBERG, THE SOCIAL NETWORK
b.COLIN FIRTH, THE KING’S SPEECH
c.JAMES FRANCO, 127 HOURS
d.RYAN GOSLING, BLUE VALENTINE
e.MARK WAHLBERG, THE FIGHTER
BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Screen Gems; Sony Pictures Releasing
c.THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
Antidote Films, Mandalay Vision, Gilbert Films; Focus Features
di Bonaventura Pictures; Summit Entertainment
GK Films; Sony Pictures Releasing
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.ANNETTE BENING, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
b.ANNE HATHAWAY, LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS
c.ANGELINA JOLIE, THE TOURIST
d.JULIANNE MOORE, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
e.EMMA STONE, EASY A
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.JOHNNY DEPP, ALICE IN WONDERLAND
b.JOHNNY DEPP, THE TOURIST
c.PAUL GIAMATTI, BARNEY’S VERSION
d.JAKE GYLLENHAAL, LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS
e.KEVIN SPACEY, CASINO JACK
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment; Universal Pictures
b.HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
DreamWorks Animation; Paramount Pictures
Django Films, Ciné B and France 3 Cinéma; Sony Pictures Classics
Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
e.TOY STORY 3
Disney * Pixar; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
a.AMY ADAMS,THE FIGHTER
b.HELENA BONHAM CARTER,THE KING’S SPEECH
c.MILA KUNIS,BLACK SWAN
d.MELISSA LEO,THE FIGHTER
e.JACKI WEAVER,ANIMAL KINGDOM
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
a.CHRISTIAN BALE,THE FIGHTER
b.MICHAEL DOUGLAS,WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS
c.ANDREW GARFIELD,THE SOCIAL NETWORK
d.JEREMY RENNER,THE TOWN
e.GEOFFREY RUSH,THE KING’S SPEECH
BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
a.DARREN ARONOFSKY,BLACK SWAN
b.DAVID FINCHER,THE SOCIAL NETWORK
c.TOM HOOPER,THE KING’S SPEECH
e.DAVID O. RUSSELL,THE FIGHTER
BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
a.DANNY BOYLE, SIMON BEAUFOY,127 HOURS
b.LISA CHOLODENKO, STUART BLUMBERG,THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
d.DAVID SEIDLER,THE KING’S SPEECH
e.AARON SORKIN,THE SOCIAL NETWORK
BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
a.BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO)
Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions, Sikelia Productions and Cold Front Productions, HBO Entertainment
Showtime, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company
c.THE GOOD WIFE (CBS)
CBS Television Studios
d.MAD MEN (AMC)
e.THE WALKING DEAD (AMC)AMC
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
a.JULIANNA MARGULIES,THE GOOD WIFE
b.ELISABETH MOSS,MAD MEN
c.PIPER PERABO,COVERT AFFAIRS
d.KATEY SAGAL,SONS OF ANARCHY
e.KYRA SEDGWICK,THE Closer
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
a.STEVE BUSCEMI,BOARDWALK EMPIRE
b.BRYAN CRANSTON,BREAKING BAD
c.MICHAEL C. HALL,DEXTER
BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.30 ROCK (NBC)
Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video and Little
b.THE BIG BANG THEORY (CBS)
Warner Bros. Television
c.THE BIG C (SHOWTIME)
Showtime, Sony Pictures Television, Perkins Street Productions, Farm Kid, Original Film
Ryan Murphy Television, Twentieth Century Fox Television
e.MODERN FAMILY (ABC)
Twentieth Century Fox Television
f.NURSE JACKIE (SHOWTIME)
Showtime, Lionsgate Television, Jackson Group Entertainment, Madison Grain Elevator, Inc. & Delong Lumber, Caryn Mandabach Productions
BST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.TONI COLLETTE,UNITED STATES OF TARA
b.EDIE FALCO,NURSE JACKIE
c.TINA FEY,30 ROCK
d.LAURA LINNEY,THE BIG C
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.ALEC BALDWIN,30 ROCK
b.STEVE CARELL,THE OFFICE
d.MATTHEW MORRISON, glee
e.JIM PARSONS,THE BIG BANG THEORY
I got some funny looks walking into the Y, but I managed to get into the Life Center and onto the bike. I was really surprised. My muscles loosened up. The pain subsided. I felt amazing! So amazing that after 20 minutes of that I decided to give the elliptical a try. I went 25 minutes no problem (until I got kicked off by a nice man who informed me he had reserved the machine. After two weeks at the Y, I had no idea you had to reserve time on some of the machines on a white board on the wall. Woops!) So I switched to another elliptical and went for another 10 minutes.
All was fine until I climbed off the machine and made my way toward the locker room. Funny thing happens to overworked muscles that loosen up nicely during cardio. They tense up with a vengeance when you stop working them. My whole body tensed! I could barely walk again! I had to take the elevator to the lobby.
And by doing so, I had to pass the office of a friend of mine, Joe Tougas. (It's so awful running into people you know at the Y when you look absolutely awful.) There I was, going about 1 mile per hour, legs barely able to propel me forward, and he's standing in the doorway watching, big smile on his face. "Moving kind of slow there," he said.
Joe was kind enough to walk at a snail's pace with me to the lobby. We chatted about this blog, and I fretted a bit about the fact that my editor, Joe Spear, wants to run a column about this in the Sunday health and fitness section. Sort of writer's remorse, I guess. Worrying that a lot more people might pay attention to this little journey of mine. That's when he said, "Well, we'll link to it to on our site." ... Yay.
Mostly I'm kidding. The support is AWESOME. Everywhere I turn there are people asking me questions and giving me props: How’d it go today? It’ll get better. You’re doing great. Pain means you’re working hard!
It truly helps. Reinforces confidence. In the past, I’ve kept diet and exercise a secret. It’s embarrassing, and plus, I knew my long history of false starts, so declaring it to friends and family would mean having to admit when I’d failed again. The funny thing is, the public declaration is a big part of what’s keeping me motivated this time.
Still, I can’t help but be cautiously optimistic. I’ve had many moments when I was SURE this time was different. That big moment of inspiration that says “Today’s the day.” My 25th birthday. My 26th birthday, and 27th and so on. The first episode of every new season of "The Biggest Loser" for the past few years. Every January 1st since I was 16. When my mom lost all her extra weight. Exactly six months before an upcoming vacation. Then five months before, then four, then three ...
Truth is, if I’m doing this correctly, there really won’t be a day when I can declare victory. A lifestyle change means I will still be with the program years and years from now. So I guess ... one day at a time.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
At 6 a.m., I laid in bed, stiff from head to toe, trying to work up the nerve to put my feet on the floor. Finally, I closed my eyes, swallowed hard, threw my legs over the side and stood up ... and then yelped.
I stood there in pain, wondering how bad it would be to walk. And once again, my expectations weren’t high enough. I walked to the bathroom like I was on stilts. I tried to brace myself on the banister, but that only made the muscles in my arms cry out for mercy.
Sitting down is a whole other matter. It’s like I physically cannot do it. I get halfway and have to throw myself the rest of the way into the chair.
And then there were the 14 stairs I had to descend in order to leave the house. I tried one standing up, and I couldn’t believe how hard it was to stay upright. PAIN. It was just pain, all through my legs. I wondered if this is how I would die. Tumbling down all 14 of these stairs to my death.
So, it had to be done: I sat down and scooted my rear down every last one of those stairs. There was just no other way.
I honestly still debated this morning about whether I should push through and put my hour in at the gym. I Googled the night before about whether it’s OK to workout with sore muscles. Apparently, if you’re able to, exercising (cardio) an already overworked body doesn’t do further damage. So I was going to try it.
But then I went to the back door and saw the snow piled up and there was no way I was getting out of my driveway. So my workout time was spent shoveling and snowblowing.
Maybe that’s OK. Give myself one day to rest a bit, and I’ll make up the hour on Saturday.
So now there’s just the rest of today to face, walking around like an 80-year-old on an icy sidewalk. At least my coworkers know what I’m up to, and we can all get a good laugh out of this.
But today happens to be the first day of spring semester at MSU, where I teach editing. I wonder what those kids will think when I hobble into class today.
And I wonder how I’m going to get down the stairs to get there ...
Monday, January 10, 2011
My trainer must want me dead. That can be the only explanation for what happened today at the Y.
It was my first full session with Jackie Vroman, who, despite my above statement, is quickly becoming my guru. She's sweet and encouraging, but she proved today that she's going to push me as hard as she can to help me get results.
She really did. We started with arms. At first I thought, "This is easy. Really? Just 12 bicep curls and three other arm exercises with 8-pound weights? Piece of cake." Two minutes later, I was sweating and my arms ached. That's when she said we'd be doing three sets of all four exercises.
"How? How will that be possible?" I thought.
That pattern of thinking went on for the duration of the hour, with me questioning how I would complete the task provided -- everything from lunges to these weird back kick movements -- and, for the most part, finding one last bit of energy to push through.
How hard was it? Twice I had to ask to stop because my heart was racing, pounding out of my chest. At one point I felt so light-headed I literally could not focus on the words coming out of her mouth.
Meanwhile -- as I'm face down on a weight bench, sweating onto the mat, face apple red, grunting my way through one last tricep exercise -- there are a couple of guys circling the weight room who looked like they belonged there. I laughed to myself when I imagined what they must have thought, as I laid there like sweaty roadkill.
Yes, for many reasons, today was an exercise in humility. But Jackie reassured me that strength-training gets much easier fairly quickly. And soon, 8-pound weights will seem like child's play, and I'll be able to do a ton more lunges without wanting to kill myself.
For now -- body aching absolutely everywhere, to the point of being scared to have to climb stairs -- I remain embarrassingly out of shape.
However, one piece of good news: After one week of exercise and calorie counting, I'm down seven pounds. Woo hoo!