Thursday, December 29, 2011

On a Roll

And I don't mean a cinnamon roll.

I have remained steadfast with staying within my calorie range. I have had two more successful days since my last post, and I'm on track for another successful day today. This is a good trend.

Now, just because I have been able to maintain this does not mean it has been easy. Yesterday after work I wanted nothing more than to dive face-first into a vat of dry martini. I did have a couple of martinis; but I had the calories planned for them and I did not overindulge. I'm finding that with a little creativity, I'm able to eat really great stuff and still stay in my range. Last night Ted and I made escovitch, which is a wonderful jamaican spicy fish dish, and it was amazing.

We also did the Zombie Fit workout of the day, which was kind of brutal. It consisted of some cardio to warm up, repetitions of circuits for time, and cardio to finish off. When all was said and done, we wound up doing:
  • 5 min run/bike
  • 30 squats
  • 30 push-ups
  • 30 sit-ups
  • 30 pull-ups
  • 30 8-count bodybuilders (which include a push-up, bringing that total to 60)
  • 75 lunges each leg
  • 25 burpees
  • 300m jogging
My thighs caught fire at one point.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's Not the Same Thing

There is a difference between being "in control" and being "perfect."

Since my last blog post, I have been in control. I have not been perfect; but that is okay.

I have stayed within my calorie range all but two days since my last blog post. Those two days were Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On those days, I made a conscious decision to enjoy food and drink with my family. I do not regret it.

I didn't pig out as heavily as I normally do during the holidays, but there's only so much you can manage with portion control when your meal consists of country ham, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, big fluffy biscuits, and sausage gravy. Oh, and orange juice to drink. Even with small portions, which I did observe, that was a lot of calories. And worth every bite.

Christmas day was not quite as bad, but we did go have Asian food, and I had wine that evening. It was a nice, relaxing holiday, and I feel good about jumping right back on track Monday morning. On Monday I ate right in the middle of my calorie range. So, like I said, I'm in control.

The Christmas holiday did mess up my workout schedule, but Ted and I plan on going to the gym in the morning and doing a good workout. I'm going to try to fit in some extra cardio this week to compensate for my two high calorie days.

It feels so good to be in charge of my body for a change.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Coming Together - Maybe

It feels like everything is starting to come together.

I know; you have all read this from me before. I'm working out hard, I'm getting my eating under control, blah blah blah, then bam, I'm back on here whining about eating too many damn cheeseburgers. Why should you think it's going to be any different this time?

Well, the truth is, you shouldn't. But I'm hoping to surprise you.

So what is different this time? Well, I had what alcoholics refer to as a "moment of clarity."

It came when I was browsing some friends' photos on the internet. There was a photo of a very fit, healthy, toned woman in one of the photos. In the comments, someone complimented her on what a lovely, lean, strong body she had (it wasn't as weird as it sounds here). The lady commented back that it wasn't easy; she had worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices for that body.

For some reason, that statement made something click. Sacrifices.

All this time, I've been thinking in terms of what I can and can't have. I can't have more calories than my calorie range allows. I can't have all those carbs. I can't have so much fat. Well, a bull-headed woman like me does not like to be told that she can't have or do anything. So something makes me rebel and say LIKE HELL I CAN'T JUST WATCH ME.

But I'll tell you what I can do. I can make conscious decisions to make a sacrifice to further my goal. I can choose to forego something I want. I can take a look at those fried pickles, or that piece of cake, or that pizza, and I can say to myself "If I want to eat that, I can eat it." And then I can remind myself that if I choose to skip it, that is X-number of calories that I do not have to burn off. And I can walk away.

I have gone back to tracking my calories on SparkPeople. Yesterday I stayed within my calorie range, even though I attended an awesome Winter Solstice Bonfire Party at the home of my good friend Gayle. I chose low calorie foods all day, had a piece of tilapia before I left so I wouldn't be starving, and while at the party I drank limited amounts of beer and wine. When I got home and logged the drinks from the party, I saw that I had succeeded. It was awesome.

I am well on the way toward having another successful day. I prepared a healthy breakfast and lunch, and have a light snack ready for when I need it. Dinner will be tilapia again, probably, this time with a side dish of a vegetable or some salad.

As for working out, Ted and I are still doing workouts at the gym. On some days we're doing the Workout of the Day (WoD) from zombiefit.org, and on other days we're doing the WoD from crossfit.com. They are great workouts, and really tough. I'm still having to modify for my knees and my foot, but I'm able to get a really good burn every time.

More soon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Honesty

Time for some honesty.

I've been lying to myself and others for years now. I have consistently asserted that I want to lose weight "to be healthy," or "so I won't die at 48 like my dad did." I've been saying that for so long, that it's just my automatic canned response now.

But you know what? It's a lie.

The truth is that at my current weight, my life expectancy is reduced by about three years. When I'm faced with the choice between eating a baked chicken breast with steamed green beans for dinner and ordering a pizza, those three years don't seem very important. Honestly, I'll probably be suffering from dementia long before I approach those years (family history, both maternal and paternal), so truly, dying three years sooner would be a gift to those who are stuck taking care of me.

Depressing? Yes. But hey, the truth is the truth. You should know that with a title like "Honesty," anything I write will be dreadful.

So you want to know, honestly, why I want to lose weight?

I want to be pretty. Pretty all over, not just that girl who has a pretty face, too bad she's so fat. I want to look sexy in cute clothes. I want to be attractive in a bikini. I want to be that lady you stare at while she's working out, thinking "damn, look at those muscles!"

I want my daughter to be proud of me when we go places. I want her to be proud of the progress I've made.

I have the most wonderful, kind, loving, precious partner in the world. He deserves a sexy girlfriend. He loves his dumpy girlfriend; but he deserves to have a girlfriend who makes him proud. I want to be her.

It is all superficial. Every bit of it.

So there. That's the truth. I don't really care all that much about my long-term health. I really just want to be attractive. If that makes my weight loss goals less valid, then so be it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

So Close to Quitting

I am so thankful to have a supportive partner.

Today I had a blog post all cooked up in my head about how I was going to just give up. Quit. Throw in the towel. Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

I was going to say that I've been at this since February, and not just half-assed at it, but really working myself to death at boot camp, and all I have to show for it are knees that hurt worse than ever and newly-developed plantar fasciitis. I have lost no weight; I have lost only one clothing size, and that was in the very beginning. I look exactly how I looked when I started, and I am tired, worn down, and just sick to fucking death of killing myself for no results. I can't get my eating under control because I'm like that old drunk who just keeps drinking until he dies. Why doesn't he stop? Because he will never love himself more than he loves alcohol. And that is my relationship with food. Sorry, folks, but I am always going to be fat. I am probably going to die young of a preventable disease because I refuse to change my habits. So I quit. I just fucking goddamn quit.

Then Ted said that he could see a difference. He could feel a difference. I am making progress. And he gave me a kiss and a hug that told me that he means it. And I took the top piece of bread off my Egg McMuffin to cut the carb count in half, and everything was better again.

I'm still very, very frustrated that the weather is cooling down and I can't run. I want to get back out there and do at least some short runs; some drills; something. But I really can't. My foot is a genuine showstopper. I'm still very, very frustrated that I can't do so many exercises properly because of my knee pain. And I'm still very, very frustrated that I can't get my eating right. But I'm no longer ready to give up. I'm going to keep trying, and probably keep failing. But hopefully my failures will become less severe over time. Hopefully I'll get stronger and more resolved. Hopefully, everything will eventually come together.

I'm not going to be in a size 8 by my birthday. But I am going to be healthier by my birthday, and I will be closer to having my shit together.

I'm hoping to be funny again one day, too. Sorry my posts have been so heavy lately. This too shall pass.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Small Town Awesomeness

Last night Ted and I spent the day visiting my family in smalltown Kentucky. We ended the evening with a date to the Wingfield Volunteer Fire Department's Hayride and Haunted House. We've been to a few of the haunted venues around here in Nashville, but this one has quite a reputation in my hometown, so we decided to give it a shot, and support the VFD in the process.

Well, let me tell you, they did not disappoint. Let me preface my review with the explanation that I won't call any haunted house attractions "scary," because to me there is a big difference between being scared and being startled and entertained. But having lots of good startles and entertainment is what makes a good haunted house, in my opinion.

There were not only lots of awesome startles in Wingfield VFD's haunted house, they were also beautifully executed! Their haunted house is considerably lower budget than the big Nashville attractions (it's small town, and a fundraiser, so yeah; they need to be frugal), but what they lacked in special effects and construction, they made up for in enthusiasm and strategy. For example, in one room there were several mannequin heads, made up to look like severed people-heads, but they were obviously plastic. So, no real scare there, right? Just a cheap setup. Until the one on the end, that TOTALLY LOOKED LIKE A MANNEQUIN HEAD, jumps out and screams at you. Dude, that was the coolest lull-you-into-a-false-comfort startle EVER. The live girl's makeup was flawless, and unless you were expecting her, you honestly would have overlooked her as another plastic head. It was a thing of beauty.

There were a lot of other great misdirection startles as well. You walk into a room, see an obvious person ready to jump out to scare you, and POW! Someone comes from a completely different area and startles the living bejesus out of you. I can't say enough about how strategic and well executed this haunted house is.

And even with the limited budget, the special effects were awesome. There was a spinning vortex room that was every bit as dizzying as the one at the high-budget Devil's Dungeon in Nashville. There were lots of loud power tools and sparkly things and unexpected booms; it really was a fun time!

And all this is on top of a fun and whimsical old-fashioned tractor pulled hayride to and from the site. The hayride itself isn't spooked; it's just an opportunity to chat with your fellow haunted house fans as you get to and from the attraction. I haven't been to anything like this in Nashville. It's truly a smalltown charm that is worth the 1 1/2 hour drive to experience.

The Wingfield VFD's Hayride and Haunted House is only $10 for adults, and $5 for kids 12 and under. There is food available for purchase at the firehouse, so get there early and have a chili dog with homemade chili and home-canned hot relish. You should also bring extra cash for tee shirts. I didn't, but I wish I had.

It's a good cause to support and a great attraction. Make the trip and see it. Just be sure to pee before you climb onto the hay. You don't want to pee yourself the first time a misdirection takes you by surprise.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Haunted House Review: Devil's Dungeon



Me: I'm going to write a review for Devil's Dungeon on my blog.

Julia: Be sure to talk about the poop.

So Ted, Julia, Julia's friends Brandon and Dan, and I all went to the Devil's Dungeon haunted house on Friday night. It was a blast.

Devil's Dungeon advertises as "The most controversial haunted house in Nashville!" I suppose it is controversial, if you don't understand what a haunted house is.

As far as entertainment haunts go, though, DD is a very good one. The scenes are creative, the actors are enthusiastic and seem to be having a lot of fun, and there are enough good startles to keep your heartrate up and have you nervous about going around the next corner. There are several startling loud noises, which certainly achieve the objective, but a couple of them lasted a bit long for my taste. I'm not a big fan of deafening noises that will not end.

I'm not going to describe the scenes inside, because I don't want to ruin any surprises for anyone who might want to go, but I will tell you that there are a couple of scenarios that are not for the squeamish. If you are easily offended or unable to understand that it's all pretend and not to be taken seriously, you probably shouldn't go.

I will say that one of the last parts of the house is the maze. The maze seems extremely frustrating at first, but I'll give you a hint. Look at Gumby's shoes. You'll see that it might not be as bad as it seems...

Are you still wondering about the poop comment?

One of the scenes includes a girl locked in a cage, begging you to let her out. She will talk to you (presumably because she is starved for human interaction, being a prisoner in a dungeon and all). Julia was talking to her, and ended the conversation with (paraphrased) "Well, I'd like to stay and try to get you free, but I need to go. I really have to poop."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm Angry

So tell me, if you knew that someone had just started Alcoholics Anonymous and was in the very difficult first stage of detox, would you crack open a beer in front of them and make a huge deal about how delicious and refreshing it was? Would you hold it under their nose and say things like "Wouldn't you like to have a sip? HAHA! Too bad you can't, because you have lack of control and can't drink in moderation! Loser!"

If you said that yes, you would do that, then you are an incredible asshole and you do not deserve to take up space on this earth with decent human beings. Please go find the other assholes and play a game of hide-and-go-fuckyourself.

I'm guessing that few, if any, of you said that you would behave in that manner. So why is it that people think it is cute and funny to behave that way toward someone who has issues with food?

I am trying very, very hard to improve my eating habits. I make bad decisions with food; I eat things that I know are counter to my goals. I even eat things that I know are going to cause me pain. I don't do these things because I'm stupid (I'm not), or even because I lack self-control (I don't). I do these things because I have an addiction, and it is as real and as severe an addiction as one to alcohol or drugs.

So why is it funny to taunt me when someone brings donuts to the office? Why is it funny to rave about how "I think I'd eat a piece of this cake even if I were on a diet, because it's soooo delicious"? Why is it such a hoot to see me struggle to stay at my desk and not get up and slice off a piece of that cake? Why don't you just shut the fuck up and eat your goddamn cake?

I haven't made any progress with the Christmas Dress Challenge. I finally got the motivation to make a plan, and stick to it. I have my day all planned out, and a donut or a piece of pound cake doesn't fit into that plan. So stop trying to get me to eat a piece. I already want to eat a piece. I would step on your face to get to that cake. But I cannot have a piece. My health is more important than that delicious cake. So back the fuck off.

And thus endeth the rant against mine enemy.

Once I make some progress on the challenge, I'll post again. Progress is going to be made soon. Because I am awesome and I am going to beat this thing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another Lots-of-Stuff Post

So, yeah. Not a lot of happy to report lately.

It appears that I have plantar fasciitis. It hurts like a motherfucker. It hurts to walk; it hurts to sit with my foot on the floor; it is impossible to run. There are stretches I can do to lessen the pain, but it is becoming apparent that I'm not going to be able to run or do boot camp for a while (standard moves like high-step, sprints, and speed-skater drills are impossible). I'm going to talk to SGT Ken and let him know that I need to suspend my membership until I get the pain under control and am cleared to run again; it could be nine months or more. For now, I'm glad that I haven't sent in the paper to cancel my gym membership, because I don't plan to stop exercising. I can do cardio on spin bikes to replace the running, and I can do strength exercises that I've practiced at boot camp (the ones that don't hurt my foot). If I find that there are strength exercises that hurt my foot, I can substitute freeweights or machines for that muscle group. I've learned a lot since February, and I can read articles SGT Ken has written for workouts and instructions; I think I'll be able to motivate myself to do what needs to be done until I can get back to class.

The foot pain also kept me from running the Warrior Dash last weekend. I was able to give my chip and number to a friend of a friend who had missed registration, and he was really happy to have the chance to run it, so at least something good came of it. But I was so, so sad to be on the sidelines. When I got on site and saw the muddy people who had run in the early waves, I just broke down. It's my favorite race ever, and I had to just limp around and watch. But Ted, Gayle, and Gayle's friend (I'm so sorry, I can't remember his name I am a horrible person!) all did a fantastic job and finished strong. I hope so much that I'm running again by the time the next Mountain City race rolls around.

Okay, on to something that does not involve my foot pain. I have my eating under pretty good control right now, and I'm going to join an online Christmas Dress challenge. I'm joining a few days late; but if the blog author will still let me, I'm going to jump in. It's being run by Fat So Sarah and it runs from September 18 through December 11 (my birthday!). Here are the rules and my goals:

Rules:

  1. Buy or find a picture of a dress in a smaller size (the size you're aiming to reach by the end of the challenge) The idea is to buy the dress to use as motivation, but it's not required. I'm just going to post a photo of the dress I want; I'll buy it if I reach the goal.

  2. On or before Sunday, Sept. 18th, make your first post with a picture of your dress, your starting size & weight and your goal size & weight. (I will link my post to yours, so let me know once you make your first post) Photo of dress below; starting size 12 or 14, depending on brand and cut; starting weight 187; goal weight 167; I think I might be in an 8 or 10, depending on brand and cut, at that weight.

  3. Aim for a healthy caloric intake each day Goal is between 1200 and 1500 per day (per Sparkpeople website)

  4. Exercise a minimum 3x a week gym until foot heals; back to boot camp as soon as possible

  5. Drink water(not soda, not diet soda, not energy drinks...etc...) okay.



So here's my dress:



My goal is to be able to buy it in a size 8 for my birthday. It's on JC Penney dot com in case anyone gets any ideas. ;)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Much Ado

I'm a terrible blogger.

I was doing so well for so long, but then I just got busy and put blogging on the back burner and let my readers down. Both of you. I'm so sorry and I promise I'll try to do better.

First of all, like my blogging, my boot camp attendance has been spotty lately. I made it to class one day last week, and one day this week. Some of the absences have been unavoidable, and some have been laziness. Some have been due to "other." We won't discuss "other." It's mostly me being a petty child and I'll get over it.

On a more positive note about boot camp, today was awesome. Jackie put together an incredibly fun running workout and even though it was really tough and pushed me hard, I actually truly enjoyed it. If you've read my blog at all, you know how I hate running. I really hate it. Sometimes I can briefly trick myself into thinking that I don't hate it so much, but it always comes back around to me hating it. I would normally prefer to have a hot iron held to my face rather than go for a run. But today, Jackie incorporated games, levity, and a little friendly competition, and not only did I enjoy it, but I also felt really, really good about my performance today. I didn't run the fastest or the hardest (we have some crazy fit runners in our class; I'll never be in the top ten!), but I felt like I kept a good pace and pushed hard, and set a good example for our new recruits. I wasn't at the front of the pack, but I wasn't pulling up the rear, either. I showed that the fat girl can run, too.

On a different note, my body is revolting. And I'm not just talking about how it looks. It seems that my body has finally decided that it's sick and tired of me not taking my nutrition seriously enough. I've been having severe gallbladder pain (and if you've never had a gallbladder attack, consider yourself very fortunate; they are so painful, it's impossible to describe), and I've been having more frequent heartburn and acid reflux. Both of these issues can be avoided, or at least lessened, by improving what I put in my body. Mainly, I need to cut way back on fats. I need to increase my fiber intake with fruits and vegetables. I need to reduce my intake of heavy meats and replace them with fish and beans. In other words, I know exactly what I need to do. The trick is actually doing it.

I'm not sure what it's going to take to get me to follow through on this. One thing I'm considering is getting a juicer and committing myself to replacing one meal a day with a big glass of fresh vegetable or fruit juice. Unfortunately, doing that at this time of year can get pretty expensive; but I may try that for a while, just to get some good, concentrated micronutrients into my body every day. The sad fact is, I'm not going to eat all that many more fruits and vegetables. I do well to get in one or two servings; forget about the five or six that are recommended. One glass of juice can cover a lot of that daily requirement. We'll see how it goes; I'll keep you posted. You know how well I follow through with anything pertaining to food, so don't be surprised if little or nothing comes of this.

A little later I'm going to write a post about going to Dragon*Con over the Labor Day weekend. It was great; but for now, lunch break is over and I need to get back to work. More soon!

Monday, August 15, 2011

So Many Things

I hate it that my blogging has become so sporadic lately. There has just been so much going on, it's hard to find time to sit still and write.

I'm still going strong with START Fitness. The push-up challenge is over, with SGT Ken taking first place, with Jimmy O not far behind. I finished in the top 20 (17th overall), but most importantly, Nashville beat San Francisco. I'm very proud of my rockin' platoon for winning!

Today we had a lot of rookies in the class, because SGT Ken ran a Groupon. I love seeing new faces and a full studio. It's motivating and energizing. Hopefully several of them will stick around for the long haul.

On the nutrition front, I'm happy to report that I went to the Wilson County Fair yesterday, and did not eat one single deep-fried thing. My fair food consisted of a barbecue sandwich and half a serving of baked beans. I can't really give myself credit for having a strong will, though. I had a gallbladder attack a few nights before, and so I'm currently terrified of high fat content foods. Intense pain is a great motivator. So until I am able to get the offending organ yanked out, I'll be on a low-fat diet and will probably make a little progress.

That's really all I've got today. I'm taking my daughter for her learner's permit test this afternoon, so my focus is on that for the time being. Wish her (me) luck!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This Post May Be Incoherent Because I’m Drunk I Was Hit by a Truck SGT Ken is Trying to Kill Me

This morning was the hardest boot camp yet. I think SGT Ken must have been angry with someone when he wrote it. I’ll probably swear some writing about it. Fair warning.

It started with a run up and down the alley behind the studio. I thought I had gotten out of running this week by skipping yesterday, but NOOO… we had heat and humidity torture today as well. The alley is a long steady uphill, with a short steeper decline at the far end. Which means you only get to catch your breath a little before turning around and going right back uphill agan. At least it ends with a long downhill. That’s something.

After the alley we did 5 sets of stair-climbing. Oh, and I might mention that the stairs we use ARE OUTSIDE THE FUCKING BUILDING. So yeah. More smothering. Awesome.

Then we got to go inside, which seemed like a relief, except that the first station we did inside was Step 360 jump-ups with a push-up at the bottom. My legs were exhausted and on fire from the running and steps, and then he expects me to jump. I started to cry a little at this point and muttered a different swear word under my breath for each repetition. Who knew I could come up with 30?

The next station was uneven push-ups with a medicine ball. I did a few from my toes, but dropped to my knees pretty quickly. Girls had to do 10 reps each arm; guys did 20. I made it through this station without too much suffering, and it gave my heart rate a chance to get back down a bit.

Next were Russian twists with a medicine ball. This is an abs exercise, and not too incredibly horrible. After the first half I had to drop my feet to the ground, though.

The final station was resistance-band jumping jacks. These suck. They suck balls. I hate them with the fires of a thousand hells. Hate. Them.

AND THEN WE GOT THE PRIVELIDGE OF STARTING ALL OVER!!! Yay.

I made it through three rounds, all the way through. I was never so happy for a workout to be over in my life. I’ll bet I burned well over 1000 calories this morning.

Oh, and on most days my eating has improved greatly. Last night I made Pasta con Sarde, which is an Italian dish that contains pasta (I used whole-grain),olive oil, garlic, hot pepper flakes, raisins, pine nuts (but I didn’t have any so I had to leave those out), and sardines. Yes, sardines. And it is delicious. A lot of people dismiss sardines as a “trash fish,” but they are actually quite good for you and tasty if you like stronger seafood tastes.

After dinner I wanted something sweet, so I had watermelon. Much better decision than a peanut butter sandwich or some kind of dessert.

Plus at gaming tonight, our host is planning to cook some real food instead of ordering pizza or wings. It’s good to have supportive friends!

Update: I changed my mini-goals a little bit. I'm doing the Monroe piercing first instead of the industrial. I want it more. They're my goals, I can move them around as I please! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Explanation

So, some of you may be wondering where the hell I’ve been.

It has been over a week since I’ve been at boot camp; I have a combination of excuses and reasons as to why. I’m just going to list everything here, and you can decide which days are valid and which days I was just lazy.

Monday, July 18: Was sick; couldn’t breathe at all through my nose, had a sore throat, and had a cough that burned my chest like it was on fire.

Tuesday, July 19: Still sick. Throat no longer sore, but the nose and cough were still intense and painful. I just didn’t feel like I could breathe well enough to endure what I knew a running day would consist of.

Wednesday, July 20: Feeling better, but really weak from not being able to sleep due to runny nose and cough. At least my chest was no longer on fire.

Thursday, July 21: Just lazy, really.

Monday, July 25: Central air unit out at my house. My home is a billion degrees. I don’t have the money to get it fixed until Friday; so I’m staying at Ted’s until then. It takes over twice as long to get to boot camp from Ted’s as it does from my house. It also takes over twice as long to get to my work from his house; so it is highly impractical for me to go to boot camp when staying there.

Tuesday, July 26: See above; but I did go on a run this morning. Also, I think I may have a solution to the not being able to get to work on time after driving back to Ted’s from boot camp to get ready thing. I may be able to just drive to the gym that I belong to near my house, and get ready there. Hopefully, that will work out and I can go to boot camp Wednesday and Thursday this week.

So, I’ll be honest. Even though I had some pretty valid sounding reasons up there, the truth is I’m beginning to feel burned out. I’m falling behind on the push-up challenge and I just don’t feel motivated to get to class. I hope that all it is going to take is just getting up and going a couple of times, and I will get the inspiration back. I hope that I’m just in a funk from being sick last week. I hope that I don’t give up.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Push-up Challenge

So I mentioned in Monday's post about the push-up challenge SGT Ken is running on dailyburn.com. Everyone has been killing it; and nothing motivates me more than good competition. Except for maybe shame. This challenge is a little of both.

When the challenge started, I set a goal for myself to do 100 push-ups per day. When I saw everyone smoking me like I was sitting still at that rate, I increased the goal to 200. That's still not good enough.

I want to try to get into the top 10 and stay there. In order to do that, I'll probably have to do between 300 and 600 push-ups per day (obviously, this is over the course of a day; not all at once). Today I've done 600 so far. I'm going to try to make it to 1000 to get securely in the top 10. Then hopefully I can go back to a maintenance level.

Most importantly, my push-ups are counting toward the Nashville Platoon in the competition with San Francisco. We're determined to beat them, even though they outnumber us by a lot...I think we can do it, too.

My friend Jimmy O and I wrote a cadence for the Nashville Platoon to get us fired up. Jimmy wrote the second verse, and all other verses were penned by Yours Truly.

Hey have you heard the word on the street?
They say San Francisco can't be beat
So Nashville, get down on your toes and hands -
COME HELL OR HIGH WATER WE'LL BEAT SAN FRAN

Pecs and tris burn, they're on fire
Take 'em deep and push 'em higher
No we don't stop we don't rest
We're Nashville's best at START Fitness

Hey, San Francisco, strong and proud
You think you're the number one platoon around
You're gonna get a surprise real soon
'Cause you haven't met THE NASHVILLE PLATOON

We are Nashville, we're mighty and mean
And we're an unbeatable push-up machine
Don't be fooled by our difference in size
WE'RE STILL GOING HOME WITH THE PUSH-UP PRIZE

HOOAH!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday BFT

I know; I’m behind. I’m going to post about Monday and Tuesday in two separate posts, so I don’t have one long blog that no one will read to the end (I know what the internet has done to people’s attention spans; in fact, if you’re still reading this, you’re probably well above the average).

On Monday we had our Basic Fitness Test (BFT) for July. I felt good; I felt fresh; I was ready for it.

My results:
Push-ups, two minute drill: 70 reps (last BFT: 51)
Crunches, two minute drill: 170 reps (last BFT: 149)
1 Mile Run: 8:48 (last BFT: 8:50)

So I improved on everything, which means I scored 300 again. I’m pretty proud; I’ve come a really long way. My competitive nature keeps me pushing, and having the BFTs every so often are a great way to see my progress.

On a different note, Sergeant Ken has started a push-up challenge on dailyburn.com. It’s both an individual challenge and a group challenge. There will be one male and one female overall winner for the participants who do the most push-ups, and START Fitness Nashville is competing against START Fitness San Francisco for which group can do the most push-ups as a whole. This should be a lot of fun!

I set my goal for at least 100 per day. Yesterday I did 100; today I’ve done 120 so far. I’m going to do 30 more to make it a solid 150.

I thought that was great until I saw Sergeant Ken’s posting of 990 and Jimmy Olander’s posting of 1010 for the first day. Now I feel like a weakling.

But seriously, a thousand push-ups in a day? That’s borderline mental illness, I’m thinking.

But team Nashville is going to win.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

300

No, not the movie. Guess again.

If you guessed that this was my current weight, then you are no longer my friend.

If you guessed that this was my score on May’s Basic Fitness Test (BFT), then you’re right! I scored 300 out of a possible 300. I am very proud of myself.

We are doing the BFT for July on Monday. I’m not sure what to expect from myself, but I hope to improve on everything. I’m not going to set myself up for disappointment by putting specific numbers on my goals, because I just don’t know how much I’ve improved since last time. I’ve missed a lot of classes, so I don’t know what to expect. I’m hoping to at least score 300 again, though.

It’s getting difficult to blog about boot camp, because I feel like I’m saying the same things over and over. It’s tough; it hurts; it’s awesome; it’s working; it’s worth it. All these things are true, every time. I need to think of new and creative ways of expressing these sentiments.

Currently, my big challenge is nutrition, but I am finally taking serious steps toward correcting it. I’m using SGT Ken’s Savory Survival Guide as a guideline. I’m not following it to the letter; I’m making substitutions here and there. For instance, last night instead of having baked chicken and brown rice with steamed vegetables, I had baked fish and brown rice with a tomato, herb, and olive reduction. So, the substitutions aren’t cheating; they’re just changes based on what I have in my kitchen and what sounds tastier. I have been doing a great job staying away from the chips in the break room at work (bringing a healthy snack with me helps a lot). I am keeping a food journal, so in case I don’t see any progress in a week, I can show SGT Ken what I have been eating, and he can hopefully tell me what I’ve been doing wrong.

Tonight is trivia at the wingery. I’m trying to plan what I am going to do; I do enjoy my wings and beer, but I can abstain in order to meet my goals. I normally have a couple of good beers, a side salad, and eat about half a medium wings plate (splitting it with Ted). Sometimes we start with an appetizer of fried pickles. It’s a lot of food. A lot more food than I should eat. So tonight, I’m thinking I’ll make my dinner at home as prescribed by the SSG, and have one beer (I dismissed the quit-drinking-for-good idea and switched to really-watching-out-for-overdrinking) at trivia. If I find that I don't have time to cook before time to leave, I will have a side salad and something that looks relatively harmless on the menu. Regardless of what I wind up doing, I will write everything down. That is my challenge for this week.

Friday, July 1, 2011

To the Newbies

We have a lot of new folks joining us at START Fitness in Nashville. This post is to answer the many questions I know you all have.
  1. Yes, it's supposed to hurt there.
  2. Yeah, there too, probably.
  3. Whoa, dude...I'm not sure it's supposed to hurt there. You might want to get that looked at.
  4. No, it doesn't ever get easier to get here by 5:30 in the fucking morning.
  5. Yes, I know it sucks.
  6. No, it doesn't stop hurting.
  7. Yes, it does get better.
  8. Yes, you still have to pay attention to what you eat. I'm not doing so hot with that part yet; but I'm getting the hang of it now.
  9. No, it never gets easy.
  10. Yes, you will see a change if you stick with it.
But the most important answer of all, in my opinion:

Yes. Yes, it is worth it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Seriously, Y’all. I Am Pee-My-Pants Excited

I am also super motivated, like I mean SUPER DUPER motivated to start seriously adhering to SGT. Ken’s Savory Survival Guide and start dropping this fat.

Why? I’m so glad you asked.

When I hit 28% body fat, I am going to take the START Fitness Instructor Certification Course. I’m going to be a boot camp instructor!

My ultimate body fat percentage goal is 24% or lower, but when I hit 28, I feel like I’ll be squarely enough in the “normal” range that I’ll have the confidence to take the course.

So today I’m having a salad with greens, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, chicken breast, and a little asiago cheese with fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing (from Wendy’s; 270 calories). It’s tasty, and I’m getting full.

Tomorrow is pay day, and therefore grocery day; I’m going to take the Savory Survival Guide with me and make sure my kitchen has the supplies to help me stick with it. Nutrition is the key; but there’s going to be more to feeling ready to take the course than just losing the fat. In addition to hitting my body fat percentage goal, I need to improve my running speed and endurance, work on my form on various exercises such as the various types of push-ups, and start having the joint fluid injections in my knees so I can perform my lower body exercises properly. There’s lots of work to be done.

I know that I’m going to enjoy being an instructor. Because of having to miss some boot camp classes in the mornings, I’ve been going with Ted to the gym, and he’s been humoring me by doing START Fitness style workouts with me. It is a lot of fun being the “leader.” It motivates me to push myself harder (read: try to be a hot shot).

I really think this is the motivational boost I needed. HOOAH!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First of All I’m Going to Be a Dick and Get That Part Out of the Way

Muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same. The proper way to say what everyone means by this is “Muscle is denser than fat.” A pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. I’m a word person; this kind of distinction is important to me.

Also? “Wherefore” doesn’t mean where. It means why. Juliet wasn’t asking where Romeo was; she was asking Why do you have to be Romeo Montague, whom I can never have? This has nothing to do with boot camp or fitness or weight loss; it just bugs me.

The muscle-and-fat thing is on my mind because although I have not lost a significant amount of weight since beginning START Fitness in February, it is becoming apparent that I have indeed lost a significant amount of fat, and have increased my muscle mass. When I started boot camp, I was pushing a size 16 pants. I could wear 14s, but they were tight and uncomfortable. I bought a pair of size 12 jeans in late March, and I was able to wear them by that time. They were a brand that runs a little big, and they were tight, but I could wear them. Lately they have been loose and comfortable; I presumed that I had stretched them out.

Last weekend, the mother of my sister-in-law gave me some size 12 capris that she could not wear. I figured it would be a while before I could wear them, because these were actual size 12s, not these-run-big size 12s. I tried them on when I got home. They fit comfortably.

That is pretty much two pant sizes I have lost. That is a considerable difference. People have been telling me that they can see a difference, particularly in my face. So although I’m not seeing the results on the bathroom scale, I am seeing tangible results. All this hard work has not been in vain.

I’m still not cut; I still have plenty of fat to lose. I have enough fat still to lose that I will eventually start losing weight (the muscle mass isn’t going to continue to increase at the rate it has been, I’m sure). I’ve been doing better with my eating lately, and that is helping. Fitting into the smaller pants has motivated me to continue to eat better, so hopefully it will snowball.

My attendance at boot camp has been spotty lately. Doctor appointments, overnight stays away from home, and being tired from entertaining late have messed up my schedule. I was at class Monday; I haven’t been since then. I will be at class tomorrow, barring unforeseen circumstances.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Profanity

I figured that I should warn you up front, because it’s going to start immediately. This week was fucking brutal.

I have been insanely busy this week, so this will be a long post; it’s a three-in-one, because I’m covering three different workouts in one post.

I missed Monday because I had an appointment with the doc that afternoon, so I had to get my early morning hours in at work; but I attended class on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I’m considering finding a doctor who will put me into a chemically induced coma for a while so I can recover.

Tuesday is always running day, weather permitting. Weather was permitting this week, and the cicadas are finally gone, and my calves had mostly recovered from the knots I had in them the week before, so I had no excuse to skip. I dragged my lazy ass out of my cozy bed and did my morning get-out-the-door ritual.

We started with lunges up and down the parking lot to warm up. That wasn’t so bad; a nice burn in the thighs feels good before a run. Then we did a gentle shuffle-run in single file down to the road where we would begin the drill. The drill was something called "Last Man Up.” It is otherwise known as “punishment.” Runners jog in a single file line, and the person in the back sprints up to the front and continues the jog; lather, rinse, repeat. The first couple of sprints to the front weren’t so bad, then some of my sprints wound up being on a slight incline, then I started wishing for death. I honestly did not think I was going to be able to finish the class. We did the LMU drill for thirty minutes, and then did some stair running. We finished with repeats up and down Bernard Hill before jogging to cadence back to home base. My calves were knotted up again. Awesome.

Wednesday was no better. On Wednesday we did six stations, and each one sucked. The first one was bear crawl/crab walk up and down the mats in the studio. Second was suicides and squats out in the parking lot. Third was up and down the stairs. Fourth was abs (that one wasn’t so bad). Fifth was uneven push-ups with the medicine ball. And finally, sixth was resistance-band jumping jacks. We did the entire circuit twice. I thought I was going to die.

But if a workout this week was going to kill me, it would have been Thursday’s.
On Thursday, we did partner work, and one partner would run around the (hilly) block while the other partner did some sort of calisthenic exercise in the studio, switching when the running partner returned. The kicker was that at all times, one partner had to be carrying the "baby" (a medicine ball). It was up to the teams to decide which partner would have the baby. There were a couple of rounds where it made the most sense for the runner to have the baby, and running with a med ball is crazy tough. I very nearly gave up before the end of class. I made it through, though. I sure was happy to have Friday off!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So Very Busy!

Sorry I haven't been posting! It's been crazy!

I have a draft of a big blog post in the works. I'll be posting it soon!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Line Has Been Blurred Between Awesome and Unreasonable

Sorry for no post yesterday; I did go to boot camp. It was hard as fuck. There's Monday's post.

Now on to today.

If you’ve read my blog from the beginning of my START Fitness journey in February, you have read about Bernard Hill. If not, let me give you a quick description. Bernard Hill is a hill in Nashville, near the START Fitness facility. It’s a pretty long hill, which starts out ridiculously steep, and about halfway up gets steeper. It is grueling, relentless, and a true challenge to climb.

When we run to the field for drills on running days, we have to run up Bernard Hill in order to get to the field. Running up it once nearly kills me. I can do it now; which is way more than I could do in February. But once is enough. Once, and I’m spent.

Today I went up and down Bernard Hill nine times.

Nine.

There were people who made more than nine trips. There were people who made fewer than nine trips. But all that I can dwell on is that I did that godforsaken stretch of land that was formed by Lucifer and his angels nine times today.

On my first trip, I kept a nice jog almost all the way up. And I nearly died. Subsequent trips were not all straight running; we had to go backwards, side-shuffle (one trip for each leg), and duck-walk as well. The last trip of the set was sprint halfway up, stop and do twenty burpees, and then jog on to the top. Then we ran down, did 50 squats, 15 push-ups, and started the round all over from the beginning. I honestly thought I was going to die. I was never so happy to gather up into formation for the jog back to the studio in my life.

Today I had the stress sobs more than once; they never dissolved into outright crying, but boy, did it come close. My body was very angry at me for making it do today’s workout.

I’m not sure whether I’ll make it to class in the morning or not; I’ll actually be sleeping away from my house tonight, and the drive to boot camp would be about an hour from where I’ll be. We’ll see.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Insanity

This morning was interesting. And by interesting, I mean insane.

Today we did three Crossfit Challenges. Three. People who do Crossfit (which is a tough and really effective program, from what I’ve heard) do ONE Crossfit Challenge and consider that a workout.

Three, y’all.

We divided into two groups; group one started outside and group two started inside. I was in group 2.

The first challenge was jump rope/sit-ups sets, in reps of 50-40-30-20-10 (50 jumps, 50 crunches, then 40 jumps, 40 crunches, etc.). From 50 down to 10 was one round. We were to do as many rounds as possible in ten minutes. I completed three rounds, and was 13 (I think) crunches into my fourth round when time was called.

The second challenge was lunges/burpees sets. We did walking lunges across the room, then 21 burpees, then lunged back across the room, then 21 more burpees, etc. for five minutes (I’m thinking that surely a complete Crossfit workout would be longer than five minutes; this one must have been abbreviated). I completed three sets of lunges, and was into my third set of burpees when time was called. Can’t remember how many of those last burpees I completed.

Then group two went outside for the twenty minute drill. It consisted of running 100 meters, then doing sets of 50 of a different exercise after each lap: push-ups, crunches, back raises, and squats. This challenge was a tough one; it was made even tougher by the fact that there was something dead and rotting in the bushes beside where the mats were, so while we were on the ground gasping for air, we were in fact taking in deep breaths of rank, rancid stench. I had to get up and vomit during my first set of crunches. Fortunately I made it to a nearby bush so I didn’t start a chain reaction. My guess is that Sgt. Ken brags about having “pukers” in his classes, so Debbie and Candace decided that they were going to get a puker, one way or another. In all fairness, making people do ground exercises next to a hidden decaying animal corpse is pretty hardcore. I’m thinking Sgt. Ken has nothing on them in the cruelty department.

I was pretty proud of my performance today; it was a tough workout, and about halfway through my first set of burpees I was swearing pretty intensely, but after it was all said and done, I drove away with a really awesome sense of accomplishment. This just keeps getting better and better.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Back in Action

I was back at boot camp this morning. And let me tell you, this morning was tough.

First thing today was heading upstairs for warm-up and calisthenics. We did a large amount of high-steps, sprinting, jump-rope drill, push-ups, squats, lunges, mountain climbers, burpees…more push-ups…I’m tired just remembering it. You could have choreographed a Gene Kelley musical number with the sweat that dripped off me. I had to warn people walking out behind me so they wouldn’t slip.

That was the first half of class. Then we headed downstairs for Amber’s skillfully crafted circuit. Four-minute stations consisting of planks with cone taps, bear crawl/crab walk laps, push-the-wheel, tire quick-steps, and partner squats with a gurney. If you don’t know what any of those are, you are a fortunate person indeed.

Today I kept Sgt. Ken amused with the pitiful noises I wound up making near the end of the upstairs portion of class. I felt like I was close to full-body muscle failure. It was painful and difficult and grueling, but now that it’s over, it feels great.

I love boot camp. I really do. I love the sweat, the pain, the exhaustion, the camaraderie, the structure, the frivolity, the health and strength benefits. But I have to tell you, getting up at 4:30 in the morning is not getting any easier. I don’t envision myself giving up on boot camp, but if anything ever makes me snap and quit, it will be the early mornings. I really, really have a hard time with it. I’ve tried going to bed earlier; it doesn’t help. There was one evening that I was really tired and went to bed at 6:00, and I still didn’t want to get up at 4:30 (even though that was ten and a half hours of sleep!). It’s not the amount of sleep, apparently; it’s the early hour of the morning. My body just isn’t wired for it. I’m able to push through and make myself do it, most of the time. I wonder if it’s ever going to get better? Probably not.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Decisions

Okay, this post may be a little heavy for the normal tastes of my readership. Hopefully we’ll be back to fun tomorrow.

I didn’t go to boot camp this morning. The primary reason? I had too much to drink at the Renaissance Festival yesterday, and couldn’t make myself get out of bed at 4:30.

This tells me that I need to stop drinking alcohol. Not cut back; not stop for a little while. Stop completely. Today I took the MAST test, and it indicated that I show early signs of problem drinking. So I’m going to stop before I’m showing full-blown signs.

Some of the benefits I expect to see from cutting out alcohol:
  • I’ll sleep better
  • I’ll wake up better
  • I’ll have clearer memories of celebrations/date nights/general fun stuff
  • Trivia nights and pub nights will be a lot cheaper (the pub has awesome live Irish music; I’ll continue to go but from now on I’ll be the designated driver)
  • I’ll probably start to drop weight; alcoholic beverages not only have a lot of calories, but they also dull your “I’m full” trigger
  • I will be able to point and laugh at my coworkers when they get stupid drunk at the Christmas party

Just to be clear, this isn’t a big huge life-saving decision or anything. I’m not an alcoholic; I haven’t hit rock bottom; I’m just taking a proactive step to do something to improve my life. I’m also not going to be one of those non-drinkers who lectures people around them for enjoying a drink. This is my deal, not anyone else’s.

Oh, and a secondary reason I skipped boot camp this morning? Today was running, and the thought of running outside with the swarms of godforsaken cicadas dive-bombing me absolutely made me shudder. They should be gone in a week or two, thankfully.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It’s Official. Sgt. Ken is a Madman.

This morning was another two-fer. This time, half was upstairs with Sgt. Ken trying to kill us, and half was downstairs with Debbie trying to do the same.

Upstairs was an obstacle course/circuit, similar to those we’ve done in the past. The whole course was very, very tough, but a lot of fun. Well, the last station wasn't fun. It was resistance-band jumping jacks. Fifty of them. This occurred right after the crab-crawl. My shoulders and I are no longer on speaking terms.

Downstairs was a timed circuit. It was a challenge all its own; not as intensely aerobic, but still high cardio, and very fatiguing. I was very happy when it was time for cool down.

I’m going tonight to the boot camp at the gym; we’ll see if I survive a double-up day.

My food journal for yesterday wound up looking pretty good, and I expect today to be good as well. The real test will be tomorrow. Thursdays are trivia, beer, and wings night. It is possible to enjoy TB&W while staying within acceptable parameters; but I don't know whether I'm up to the challenge yet.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Don't Challenge Me to a Buttkicking Contest

This morning’s boot camp kicked my butt; but I kicked its butt right back, so it’s all good.

We did a two-fer workout today; half of the workout was accumulators with Candace, and half was plyometrics with Sgt. Ken. “Plyometrics” is a fancy word for set of exercises that makes you want to fall down and die right there on the workout floor. My arms felt like they were made of warm gelatin for hours after we were finished; which was weird, because it seemed like I was working my lower body and cardio for most of the time. I guess it was just that the upper body work we did do really smoked me.

It’s really nice how much I actually enjoy boot camp now. Even when we do a super hard, high-cardio workout like today that keeps me exhausted to the point of pain, I’m actually enjoying it while I’m there. Up until recently, I was not enjoying the workouts themselves at all; I only enjoyed how great I felt afterwards. I’m really not sure how or when the change happened. Perhaps it’s like when hostages just give up fighting and being scared and instead start to identify with their captors. I’ve developed the fitness equivalent of Stockholm syndrome.

On a related note, I started keeping my food journal yesterday. For most of the day, I did really well; I overate in the evening, but it was real food with nutritional value, so it was still better than the mindless junk eating I’ve been prone to do in the past. Keeping the journal isn’t going to be an instant fix, but it will help me see patterns and problems, and hopefully I’ll figure out ways to fix them. I’ve already screwed up this morning; I had two McDonalds sausage burritos for breakfast. They’re small, but they’re loaded with calories from fat and simple carbs. I do have a healthy lunch and snack prepared, and Ted and I are going shopping for something healthy to make for dinner after we go to the gym. I’m going to do spinning for about an hour while he works with his trainer. I figure the extra hour of cardio will help offset the bad breakfast.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Super Badass

Warning: This post will contain profanity, both in attempts to be humorous and to illustrate frustration. If you are offended by the F-word, you probably shouldn't read this. Or you can pretend I'm saying "fluffy."

Today I had a choice. Bad-ass accumulator workout, or Super Bad-ass accumulator workout.

I chose Super Bad-ass. And I fucking rocked it. I had to do alternate exercises for the shoulder push-ups because of my shoulder injury, but other than that I KICKED ITS FUCKING ASS. I'm telling you, I was awesome today. I shocked myself. I felt great. I felt strong. I felt like I was indeed a SUPER BAD-ASS.

(here's where the profanity gets bad. If you were offended in the beginning, stop now. It's pretty rampant from here on; you've been warned)

So why the fuck am I still so goddamn fat?

I looked around the room today at boot camp. There are ladies in there who look a fuckzillion times better than me, who I can absolutely out-boot camp hands down. The young, thin, fit-looking rookies struggling to complete the normal bad-ass routine look great; they look healthy, trim, and adorable. And here I am, rocking the MOTHERFUCK out of the super bad-ass routine, and I look like goddamn Jaba the Hut. It isn't fair; it sucks donkey ass. I am frustrated and sick of being SO MOTHERFUCKING FAT AFTER MONTHS OF WORKING MY ASS OFF.

Here's the thing. Yeah, I haven't really done a good job of changing my eating habits. But keeping the same goddamn eating habits, and adding the un-fucking-reasonable amount of exercise I've added to my life should result in more than FOUR FUCKING POUNDS IN TWO MONTHS, SHOULDN'T IT?

I mean really. Shouldn't it?

It's not like I increased my caloric intake. If I'm burning that many more calories while eating exactly the same, how the hellfire am I not losing weight?

I know that I have to get on track with my eating. I know that's part of it. I'm anxiously awaiting the book Gayle is sending me (look in the comments and you'll know what I'm talking about there). But it just makes me want to scream that I am getting so strong, and so fit, and I still make Kirstie Alley look like Kate Moss. It is infuriating.

Second PT

Sorry about the blogging lapses. Things have been busy both at work and at home.

At boot camp, we did a BPT on Tuesday. In case you are a new reader or for some weird reason you don't commit every detail of my blog to your long term memory, here is how I scored last month:

Push-ups (2 min): 23
Crunches (2 min): 109
1 Mile Run: 8:32
Total score (possible 300): 281

Not bad for a fat girl. Push-ups were strictly from toes, BTW. No girlie push-ups allowed.

On Tuesday, we had another BPT. I was a little nervous about this one; not because I didn't think I had gotten stronger (I knew I had gotten stronger), but because I had hurt my shoulder in the Warrior Dash. I don't know how I hurt it, but it's definitely an injury pain, not a soreness pain. So I wasn't confident about how the push-ups would go. Everything else I felt pretty good about.

After a good vigorous warm-up, we divided into squads. I was the scorekeeper in my squad (the person with the clicker-counter thingy). Push-ups were first. Everyone in my squad did awesome. We were on fire. Then it was my turn.

"All I'm hoping for is to beat last month - if I do 24, I'll be happy."

"You're going to rock this! You'll do 50!"

I thought my teammates had way too much confidence in me. Turns out? They had just about the right amount of confidence in me. I did 51.

YOU READ THAT RIGHT, Y'ALL! FIFTY-FREAKING-ONE!

For those who have just started reading, when I first started boot camp in February I was unable to do even a single push-up from my toes, and could barely complete a scant few from my knees. I was happy with my push-up score.

Next was crunches. We were pressed for time, so we all got down and did them together and counted on our own, reporting on the honor system. I did 149. Which is great; but I could have done 150 IF I HADN'T RUN OUT OF TIME! I was milliseconds from getting an even 150. While 149 is still 40 more than I did last time, it was maddening that I didn't get the nice, round number.

Then we ran the mile. It's a nice, mostly flat mile route; but for some reason I was having a bit of a tough time. I had to slow to a walk a couple of times. At the home stretch, the most awesome Jimmy Olander came to pace me in. He encouraged me to really push the last little bit, and I came in at 8:50. Slower than last month, but still under 9 minutes (thanks to Jimmy!).

I'm not sure whether I scored a perfect 300 or not; my slower run might not have scored a full 100. But I know I got 100 in crunches for sure, and I think I probably got 100 in push-ups this time. So we'll see if 8:50 is fast enough for me to get a full 300. It may not be; but that's okay. It will be better next time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Am a Warrior (Again)

Blogger has been down for maintenance, so I didn't post an entry about Thursday's boot camp. It was awesome; but I have other stuff to blog about tonight, so that one's just going to have to be skipped.

On Sunday, Ted and I participated in the Warrior Dash in Mountain City, Georgia. It is a 5K race with an incredibly fun obstacle course. We did the race last year as well, but this year was better. This year I wore a costume.

We arrived at the race site and got all checked in, and had a little time before our wave to check out this year’s obstacles. There were several of the same from last year, but I saw one new obstacle that had me a bit terrified. Last year, the wall we had to scale was leaning over at about a 30° angle, so holding the rope and walking up it was no sweat. This year, the twelve-foot wall was standing straight up. This might present a problem.

I didn’t have time to ponder this too much because as I was standing there being nervous, a man with one arm and a prosthetic leg approached and scaled that very wall. You can see him at the top in the photo above. It was amazing. He’s my hero.

Fast forward to our starting time. We’re at the start corral, and the starting torches flame up. Ted and I start off at a nice jogging clip; fortunately for me, we were being paced somewhat by the crowds ahead of us, so Ted wasn’t able to take off and leave me right away (he can outrun me like crazy). I’m not sure how far it was to the first obstacle, I’m guessing around a mile.

The first obstacle was wading through cold, muddy, waist-to-chest-high lake water. Not terribly challenging, and I only had to pull two piranhas off me when I got out.

Next was crawling over junkyard vehicles and high-stepping through tires. This obstacle was slow and muddy, but again, not terribly physically challenging.

Next was the Barricade Breakdown. We had to alternately maneuver over walls and then under barbed wire blockades. This one was a little tougher for me. The walls were high enough that I couldn’t straddle them; there was some work involved in getting over them. Getting under the barbed wire blockades wasn’t bad as long as you weren’t afraid of getting muddy. I went under about half of them on my belly and about half on my butt.

Then was the twelve foot wall. Ted scaled it as if it were nothing; I didn’t make it. Because of a combination of my terror of heights, my lack of confidence in my upper body strength, and the pain in my knees, I couldn’t climb the wall. I walked around it. I hate that I skipped an obstacle. Before the Tennessee Warrior Dash in September, I plan to have Joint Fluid Therapy injections in my knees, so hopefully there will be nothing to stop me from scaling the wall at that one, because I can overcome fear, BITCHES.

Next there was the hill covered with tires. It was just a matter of good foot placement. Not bad, and quite fun.

After that was the cargo net wall. This year, I OWNED the cargo net wall. I climbed to the top, crossed over, and found my footing to climb right back down. Last year this one was really tough for me; but this year I did great.

Next was the cargo net crossover. Basically it was a short platform with a cargo net top, and we had to get across it on the net. Some people balanced on the ropes and walked across; I used the bear-crawl method (thanks to boot camp, those muscles were trained up!).

Next was a run through the woods. It was a hiking trail, lots of uphill and steep downhill, and it was great. We walked a lot of it, but I wound up running more than I expected. This is where Ted and I met our new friend, Krista. I love the camaraderie and mutual excitement at races like this!

Next was “Blackout,” which was a structure we had to crawl under to get out the other side. It was covered with black plastic, and it was low enough that there was no ducking-and-walking. It was belly crawl or nothing. Ted banged his head pretty badly on one of the support beams, but we all made it through.

After that was the most fun obstacle of all – the big slide! Giant sheet of plastic on a hill being sprayed with water; you get down it however you desire. I went down head first on my belly. It was a blast, until I realized how fast I was going, and I didn’t know what was at the bottom after the plastic stopped (mud would be okay; but if it were gravel or rough terrain, that would have been bad). Fortunately, they were prepared for people like me who don’t think things through, and there was a hay barricade at the bottom to stop us.

After the slide, it was straight to the mud pit. Again, there was barbed wire to get under, but this time we were in a giant mud puddle. The barbed wire was high enough that if a participant wanted to, they could walk across and just duck under them; but really, where’s the fun in that? It was belly-crawl for me!

Then we waded through another lake. This one was only about waist deep, maybe a little deeper in some places, and we had to step or roll over floating logs as we went across.

Finally, there was the Warrior Roast. Two rows of fire to bound over. After leaping the fire, Ted and I clasped hands and ran hard to the finish line (fire and finish line photos to be posted; I’ll have to purchase them from the event once they become available).
Then there was beer, turkey legs, and frivolity.

Ted and I made a nice mini-vacation out of the trip, stopping on the way to visit with his parents, then playing MagiQuest in Pigeon Forge (because we are really just large children), then doing a little winery circuit (I have a pretty bad anxiety response to driving over mountains, so Ted made sure I took advantage of the wine tastings at each winery before we hit the really scary ones), and of course, ending with the Warrior Dash. The Warrior Dash is hands-down the most fun event ever. The high from the excitement and fun sticks with you for days.

On our way home, we noticed some of the quaint touristy things we passed in the mountains, like the numerous gem mines. My favorite quote from Ted as we passed yet another gem mining establishment:

“Yeah, those might be a fun little touristy thing to do, when you’re on a vacation where you’re not too busy being AWESOME.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Run Baby Run

When I'm finished running, I always think running is fun.

While I'm actually doing the running, though, not so much. Although it helps to have an awesome platoon of fun, motivating, helpful people there with you. I just can't express how much it helps me get through every boot camp session to have such a fantastic group of people surrounding me.

As you may have guessed, today we ran. We did a formation jog to the drill field (which included hauling our butts up Bernard Hill), followed by speed-pace work and sprint drills at the field, then cadence jog with short speed surges back to base. I felt strong until the jog back; I had to do lots of walking on the way back. I was spent. I pushed a lot harder than I would have had I been out running on my own, though. Seriously, the teamwork today was amazing. I can't say enough about it.

The scale is showing a little improvement today, so that is encouraging. I haven't decided whether I want to post my weekly challenge weigh-ins here or not. We'll see how I feel about it on Friday.

On a different subject, my friend Arwen and I have our first gig tomorrow. We're working on putting together a website for our duo, the Stones River Strings. More to come on that soon!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Really, I Wish I Were Joking

People seem to think I’m either kidding or exaggerating when I say we did around 500 push-ups in boot camp. I’m not kidding.

Today we did a workout called 5/10/50. We did five different kinds of pushups, ten reps each (50 push ups each round), followed by 50 reps of another exercise. I’m not sure how many rounds we did, but I think it was around ten. I can remember band-resistance squats, UFCs, dying cockroaches, bicycles, burpees (yes, 50 of them), and clappers. I know there were more; but I don’t remember what they were because I blacked out. I do remember that after about the seventh round, when it was time to get back down for push-ups AGAIN, I just lost all decorum and muttered “fuck.” I was hurting bad, y’all.

The good thing about today’s workout? I was able to actually do each type of push-up. My dive bombers are still ugly, but they at least resemble dive bombers now. My diamond-grip push-ups are still shallow, but they are diamond-grip push-ups. I couldn’t even begin to do either of those when I first began. The improvement is exciting to see. I still have a really hard time doing many from my toes; but I always try to properly do at least my first few of each class. It’s a long process, but the progress is real. It’s very exciting.

This week starts the first week of my weight loss challenge. Let’s see if my competitive nature can keep me away from that cake that’s sitting in the break room. I haven’t given in so far…

Thursday, May 5, 2011

281

No, that’s not my weight. But thank you for making that assumption.

That, my friends, is my Basic Fitness Test (BFT) score from March. We received our certificates and tee shirts today. The total possible score was 300. So not only did I pass, I came pretty close to maxing it out for my gender and age range. We’re doing another one soon; I probably haven’t progressed enough to score 300 this time, but I plan on at least improving my score for April.



I did go to class yesterday, but I’ve been crazy busy and just haven’t had time to sit down and blog. Today Sgt. Ken led the class, and he apparently wanted to be sure to remind us who is the Tactical Director and Master Instructor, because he tore us up. Today was killer from warm-up to final drill. But even though it was really hard, I still felt really good about my performance today. I felt ripped to shreds by the cool-down, but it was a very strong, very encouraging day. It’s very cool how my attitude and disposition is evolving throughout this process; not too long ago, today’s workout would have been one that made me feel like this was too hard and I was going to have to quit. But I think that I have not only gotten stronger physically, but I have also become much stronger mentally and emotionally. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any future breakdowns, or periods of time where I feel like giving up or become disheartened; but they aren’t being triggered by the same things (or as many things) as they used to be. And that mental and emotional strength is starting to spill over into other aspects of my life. This has really been good for me in many, many ways.

Where I’m still failing is food. I’m tired of saying here that “I’m going to get the food under control; I’ve started logging and paying attention and…” blah blah blah. I haven’t gotten it under control yet. Some things are better; I’m eating Cheerios in nonfat milk for breakfast (they’re supposed to be magically cholesterol reducing, so I’m giving them a shot); I’m bringing fruit and veggies for snacks at work to try to keep myself from the chips basket; I’m eating high-fiber, low-fat lunches. When I cook dinner, I’ve been cooking healthier foods for that, too. What happens, though, is someone will bring in cookies. Or come around sharing donuts. Or we’ll have a birthday celebration with cake. Or I won’t feel like cooking dinner so we’ll go out. None of these things are totally derailing by themselves, and if I gave in to one a week, it wouldn’t be so bad. But I give in to all of them. I actually think I have a problem and should probably go to Overeaters Anonymous. But I don’t have time for meetings, and I’m not sure I can get into all that touchy-feely-sharing stuff. It’s really not my style. So I’m not really sure what is going to have to happen for me to get my eating under control and finally start dropping this fat-weight.

I am joining a fun online challenge, though, so perhaps my competitive nature will kick in and I’ll stay a bit more focused while doing that. First weigh-in is tomorrow. My goal is to lose 2 pounds a week during the 12 weeks of the challenge. We’ll see how it goes.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What, You Didn't Know I Was Going to do a Half Marathon?


Neither did I.

Amber sent me a Facebook message on Thursday and asked me if I would do the Country Music Half Marathon with her. The CMHM was on Saturday.

That's right. Two days later.

And I agreed to it. Because I am completely and totally crazy.

Now, Amber is quite pregnant; so she assured me that she would be walking almost all of it, and that if she could do it, I could do it. I hadn't been doing any distance training whatsoever, but I figured that I could walk it with a little running thrown in. Amber figured we'd be able to finish in around three hours. We finished in 3:19:09. Not bad considering Amber's knee went bad after mile four, and we had to walk pretty much the rest of the race. And that was with three pee breaks (if you do a half marathon with a pregnant woman, expect to hear the phrase "Oh, good, I see port-a-potties!!!" very often).

This was my second half marathon. The first one, I trained for, and actually ran. This one I did spontaneously and walked nearly all of. They shared some commonalities for me. Here are a few things that appear to happen to me whether I train or not, walking or running:

  • Around mile 6, the bottoms of my feet start to feel like they have been crushed with a sledgehammer.
  • When I hit mile marker double-digits, my hamstrings decide to start shredding themselves with a cheese grater.
  • My leg muscles swell and become hotter than a charcoal fire.
  • For the remainder of the day, I am useless.

When I got home, I took an ice bath. I would normally write something here about how torturous it was, but honestly, it was quite nice after the initial shock of the cold. My legs were really inflamed; the ice felt good.

After that, I put on some dry pajamas and crashed into the bed for a nap. In about an hour, Ted and Julia arrived at the house (Ted had been so kind as to take Ju to band practice for me that morning so I could do the race). They came up to my room and Ju plopped down beside me and started chatting, and Ted gave me a massage on my poor shattered feet. Later that afternoon, Julia went to hang out with some friends, and Ted used The Stick to roll out the lactic acid in my legs. The screams were epic.

Today, I was very sore and walking quite gingerly, but I feel pretty good. Much better than I did after my first half marathon. I'm thinking that the difference was having someone to give me some aftercare this time. In 2009, it was just me and a twelve year old. So when I got home, not only did I not have anyone to baby me, I had a baby of my own to take care of (not a baby, but not quite as self sufficient as she is now). This year, I had a fourteen year old who could fend for herself as I lay in bed and tried to heal, and a wonderful partner who brought me water, rubbed my feet, and rolled my legs to help me recover. I must say, I recommend it this second way. :)

One final note. If you are pregnant and you walk/run a half marathon, expect your hoochie-koo to be sore afterwards. Apparently the baby pounds your pelvis pretty hard while you're doing all that walking.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's More Than a Regular Ton

You know what would make boot camp better for me?

Well, beer, obviously. But that isn’t what I mean.

What would make boot camp better for me would be for me to finally shed this layer of fat that is hiding all the incredible muscle I’m building. Today while I was doing triceps dips in class, I looked in the mirror and the position and tension at which I was holding my shoulders actually showed some lovely definition. Seeing that in my shoulders actually pushed me to do more dips than I was really comfortable doing in between resting; it made me want to push harder. I am building strong, lean muscles and they are going to look so awesome once they are not being hidden by the massive gelatinous layer of fat that obfuscates them right now. When I can really start to see them, watch out, boot camp; I will be inspired. I am going to be an unstoppable force.

I’ve been saying for the past several posts that I am going to start focusing on the nutrition. Well, I have started today. I am logging my food in a program that tracks calories and macronutrients (fat, fiber, protein, carbs). I’m going to try to eat a good balance, focusing on fiber and good fats (my bad cholesterol is a little elevated, so the doc wants me to try to fix it with diet), and keeping the simple carbs and bad fats to a minimum. I’m going to eat lean proteins and whole grains and green leafy vegetables. I am going to do this right. Am I going to do this perfectly? Hell no. I like food way too much. I’ll screw up. Occasionally I will eat cake. I am going to make an effort, though. That visible muscle definition is calling my name.

Oh, and class today was great. I haven’t weakened nearly as much as I expected after my sickness break. We did partner/station work, and I felt pretty strong. I had a great partner (please forgive me, I can’t remember her name! I feel terrible!). We pushed each other and she was super encouraging.

I am sore today in my legs, butt, back, shoulders, and arms. We did a shitton of push-ups today, so I’m thinking I’ll be sore tomorrow in my chest. I’m learning to embrace the pain, though. It’s beginning to feel wrong to not have at least some soreness. The soreness reminds me that it’s working.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy to Be Back!!!

It felt so good to be back at boot camp this morning!

I was surprised at how strong I felt after my long break; but I totally expect today’s strong, solid feeling workout to be followed by a rough day tomorrow. That seems to be how it goes for me; my body performs great right after a rest, but then realizes what it’s done, and suffers for a while to catch up. We’ll see if my prediction is correct in the morning.

You know what I hate? Running.

You know what I surprisingly don’t hate? Running in the rain. Apparently, I am a small child. This morning I didn’t expect us to do our running because of the rain, but we wound up running outside anyway, and it was fun. I had this weird feeling of “it’s raining, and I get to go outside anyway!” Somehow it felt like I was getting away with something, and I loved it. It must have something to do with never getting to play in the rain as a kid, because my Mom was convinced it would make me sick nigh unto death. And she probably didn’t want to have to clean up after muddy little footprints, either.

But today’s running felt good. We did a lap around the block, then went in the studio for a circuit, then did another lap around the block, then stayed in and did the circuit for the rest of the class. The lap around the block starts with a pretty daunting hill (it’s not Bernard hill, but it’s still a good one), and I had to take one short walk break on the hill on the first lap, and a few walk breaks on the hill on the second lap, but other than that, I ran at a nice pace (for me, anyway) the whole block. I even pushed myself for a little speed at the end of the second lap. It’s a small block; I’m guessing a quarter mile, maybe. But I was happy with how I felt at the end of each lap.

The circuit was tough, but it felt good. I felt strong, I felt like I was going at a good pace. I was getting really winded and worn down by the end of the second go-around, but then we were at the end, so it worked out perfectly.

Boot camp was really kickass this morning. It’s a good thing, too, because the rest of my morning pretty much sucked. I woke up at 1:30 AM, and couldn’t go back to sleep. After getting home from boot camp, I took the time to put together a well planned-out day of food, with breakfast, snack, lunch, and second snack, all healthy; then I walked out the door without it. I didn’t realize that I did not have it with me until I was pulling into the parking lot at work; 45 minutes after leaving my driveway (it’s normally a 15 minute drive). So yeah. Thank goodness for boot camp!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Let's Get (a) Physical

Today I went for my physical. They asked a lot of questions, got my vitals (temp and blood pressure), listened to my heart and lungs, took a little blood, poked, prodded, and most importantly, did an EKG.

A lot of my physical indicated that I’m doing great; temperature is normal, blood pressure was very good, goop in my lungs is normal for people with allergies this time of year, blah blah.

Doc: Do you want a steroid shot to help with your inflammation and congestion?

Me: No way! I’m not about to get on the juice, man!

Doc: It’s…no, it’s an anti-inflammatory steroid.

Me: Yeah, I’ll bet that’s what they told Barry Bonds…

Doc: No, anabolic steroids are totally different –

Me: WHAT KIND OF PLACE IS THIS ANYWAY??

I actually declined the steroid shot because I’m clearing up pretty well on my own. I have taken anti-inflammatory steroids before and they are a freaking life saver. They even save you from things from other planets. You can read about it in my blog post about the time I had an alien monster flesh eating bacteria devouring the side of my head.

Back to the results of the physical.

The one thing that I expected to be normal that wasn’t normal was the EKG. I really didn’t like that the EKG wasn’t normal.

I fully expected to go in there and have the doctor tell me “You’re healthy as a horse! Keep up the hard exercise, your heart is like a machine!”

Instead he says “There are a couple of spots on this EKG that aren’t exactly as they should be. Let’s make an appointment to do a nuclear stress test. I’d also like to ask you some questions about your boot camp.”

So, he asked me about the crying episode, and he asked me about back pain (which I don’t have), and whether I ever feel sick to my stomach during the class.

Me: Well, duh. Yeah. It’s freaking boot camp. I feel sick every time. Sometimes I vomit.

Doc: That’s a common sign of heart issues in women.

Me: Oh, but everybody comes close to puking sometimes in there. It’s part of the program.

Doc: …

Me: I’ve never shit myself, though.

Doc: …

Me: One girl nearly shit herself one day. She doesn’t say shit though. She said she thought she was going to poop her pants. But she didn’t.

Doc: …

Me: Boot camp is fun.

So because I had the emotional episode (and it wasn’t anywhere near my “emotional” time [you know, Aunt Flo, red tide, menstrual cycle]), and I feel nauseous a lot during class, and I have a family history of heart disease, AND there were irregularities on my EKG, we’re doing a contrast dye test. This is where I am pumped full of radioactive material and hooked to odd looking machines and told to walk/jog on a treadmill until I am very close to dying, and they look at something through some kind of medical doohickey. That is the technical explanation.

In all seriousness, I know that this is not a terribly big deal. The doctor did not put any restrictions on my exercise (see you all Monday!); he didn’t put any restrictions on my diet; he didn’t seem terribly worried. Had I only had one or two of the items listed above, he probably would have said let’s wait a year and see if we need to do one at your next physical; but since I had all four, he figured better safe than sorry.