Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fists of Fury?

I did it!  I tried a new class at my Y!

I've been regularly doing the Aqua Boot Camp class three to four days a week, and I really enjoy it.  It's a solid workout, plus you don't get all sweaty.  Now I know that if you were standing on the deck watching, you would see a bunch of old ladies bobbing around on their swim noodles, but the class is actually a pretty good--sometimes even strenuous--workout.  Yes, there are certainly those who come for the social aspects of class, but if you want a good workout you can easily ignore the gossipers (they tend to clump up in the corner) and get one.  In fact, last week several of the women brought their husbands along and they were all pretty red in the face (and surprised) by the end of the class! 

So, although I really do enjoy Aqua and like the way my body feels afterwards (especially my biceps and back) I wanted to mix it up with something new that would be more strenuous.  Under consideration: Zumba (requires hip shaking--might make fool of self), BodyPump (requires lots of equipment--might make fool of self) or BodyCombat (requires no equipment and no hip shaking--perfect!)  Plus, I spied on the class last week, saw lots of kicks and punches--I can do that!

So Monday morning found me in the gym ready to duke it out.  I not only survived, I had fun! As the name indicates, it's a kick boxing/martial arts inspired class (non contact) with lots of different different punching and kicking combinations.  The choreography wasn't too difficult to follow. Like all the Les Mills branded programs it follows a single routine for about three months before a new one is released.  Even if you're a complete klutz (raising hand here) you'd learn what's coming next pretty quickly and wouldn't find yourself facing the wrong direction like I did a couple of times.  Plus, it's possible to take down the intensity when needed by staying low instead of doing the "power" moves. 

This was the first time I've done a combat-style class and I really liked it.  There were no "dancy" (made up word alert) moves, so I didn't have to feel embarrassed by the sad state of my hip-swiveling abilities.  One combo, though, involved lots and lots of punching and elbow smashes towards an imaginary opponent who could only have been lying on the ground--way to kick a guy when he's down!  Take that!  When the combo was over, the teacher yells, "And don't get up!"  Even though I'm pretty sure my opponent would have escaped pretty unscathed, I'll admit I felt a twinge of liberal guilt.

Today I'm feeling the sort of ache in my arm, back and shoulder muscles that I thought only came from lifting actual weights--love it!  I'll definitely be back for more.  I think I'll need a name for my imaginary opponent, though.  Next time he's not getting off so easily!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weigh-in and Plan 52 Progress

Today was weigh-in and I'm down one pound.  It's not much, but it beats the alternative!

I must say, it seems like all I write about is losing weight.  Yes, I am a bit obsessed, but--believe it or not--I actually do think about a few other things.  I even ventured out of my diet cocoon today to take the girls down to the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla.  Then I had to call my husband and whine about how unfair it is that I don't get to live there!!  Besides that, there has been some ever so slight progress on Plan 52.

First, I am reading a book, but I'm not loving it.  It's Go, Mutants! by Larry Doyle.  I think the problem is that all the characters are so repulsive (I mean literally--it's about a future Earth that is co-inhabited by humans and mutant creatures), that I just can't get past all the slime and goo and exploding body parts.  I'm giving myself until this weekend, then I'll ditch it if I'm still not feeling it.

I've had a bit of a setback on the goal to go back to school.  We moved from New York to California in April 2009, which should classify me as a California resident for tuition purposes.  Unfortunately, they chose to classify me as out-of-state meaning I'd have to pay $183 per unit vs. $26 per unit.  I know that's a great deal for most states, but it's the difference between my actually being able to afford college.  I sent them my proof of residency at the beginning of the month, but they still haven't reclassified me.  I'm going to try to drop it off tomorrow--won't that be fun with four kids in tow?--but since classes started this week it's really too late.  If I can get reclassified, I'm going to try to take a late-starting online course, otherwise I will be ready for spring semester in January.

I've been going to my regular Aqua Boot Camp class at the Y this week and I'm plannning on trying a couple of new classes this weekend--perhaps even the dreaded (for this uncoordinated girl) Zumba!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Family Makes Me Fat

Well, not exactly, but what is it about family--or perhaps it's just MY family--that makes every event into a food fest??  Last week my parents came out to visit along with my niece and nephew.  It was great to have them, but I did not stick to my plan for even one single second of one single day.  We had barbecues and beach parties and trips to water parks.  There were hamburgers and chips and cakes and even chili-cheese fries.  Seriously, self?  I've never eaten chili-cheese fries in my entire life, but as soon as I go on a diet...?  My niece and nephew probably think the hot dog is the state food of California!  Thank goodness they live four states away.

Needless to say, the weight loss came to a standstill last week.  I skipped weigh-in, but showed a gain of nearly two pounds on my home scale.  Gee, how many times has that happened before in my dieting life?  Only every single other time I've been on a diet.  Same old story.

Or is it?  THIS time, instead of wallowing in my own self-pity and self-loathing, I got back on plan.  I've had five solid days, meeting my calorie and exercise goals.  And it's working--my home scale shows that I've already lost those extra pounds and taken off a few more to go with them!  Yay me, getting back on track!  Weigh-in is two days away, so we'll see then, but I'm pretty confident that I'll have a loss.

I have so much more I want to write about and not enough time.  Definitely have to tell you about my super cool gadget but it's already ten o'clock, so that means it'll have to wait.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lessons Learned at a Waterpark

It's official: Item number 40 is the first to be crossed off the list!  Last week my 12- and 13-year-old niece and nephew visited us from Colorado--first time ever without their parents!  Since they're nearly twice the age of our oldest daughter, we had to try to find activities that weren't skewed too far to one age group or the other. 

As luck would have it, their favorite activities involve getting as wet as possible!  All the better if there's any risk of hypothermia!  So after spending a day at the beach, a day at the lake and a day at the pool, we heard that the local waterpark (Wild Rivers in Irvine) has Monday night carload discounts after 4 p.m.  So hubby and I left the little girls home with the grandparents for a pizza party and loaded up the minivan with the aforementioned neice and nephew, plus our 7- and 5-year-old daughters.

Here's what I learned from my experience:

1.  You should always check the depth of the landing pool before sending a semi-swimmer down a slide.

Can you guess what we didn't do?  When we first got there we played in the wave pool for a while, then decided to look for some slides.  Our 5-year-old (we'll call her Diva) looked them all over and basically said, "No way!"  So instead of the great big ginormous twisty slides we found a couple of shorter slides with a small drop into a pool.  They looked pretty innocent--you could see the top and the bottom.  What we failed to realize was that the landing pool was actually 8' deep.  And also that the velocity of the slide caused the rider to plow into and well below the surface of the water.  Needless to say, this was not a good start to our sliding adventure!  After rescuing Diva (myself,  I might add), the lifeguard proceeded to chew us out for sending such a fragile little flower into such a life-threatening situation.  Of course, it wasn't life-threatening enough for HIM to actually jump in and save her, although he did offer to jump in and rescue my sunglasses from the bottom of the pool.

2.  The main clientel will be teenagers.  They will be horny.  And obnoxious.

Perhaps it's different during daytime, but we were one of very few families there in the evening.  I kind of felt like Dian Fossey dropped in the wilds of Africa to study the gorillas.  Except that there was way more concrete and this species was less hairy, wore very small bikinis and roved around in giggling same-sex packs.  Or maybe it was like that scene in Mean Girls when Lindsey Lohan's character visualizes the kids at the mall as wild animals?  We used the same philosophy as we use to deal with bees: If you don't bother them, they'll won't bother you.

3.  It doesn't matter how hot it was during the day.  Once the sun starts to go down you will freeze.

Luckily, as I mentioned before, our children all show a predilection for water temperatures  better suited to penguins and polar bears.  At the beach, the water temp was 60 degrees!  That's only two degrees above the average winter temps and a good ten degrees below average summer temps.  Didn't stop them at the beach and it didn't stop them at the waterpark.  Even though it was 90 degrees that day, the carload discount is for after 4 p.m. so that didn't leave many pre-dusk hours.  And I'm pretty sure they don't heat the water in the least.  By 6 p.m. hubs and I were trying to use our (apparently less than awesome) powers of persuasion to convince them that they would rather get out and go to McDonald's for dinner.  We left at 7:45 p.m.  Brrr!

4.  No matter how fat you are, there will be someone fatter.  And no one will care. 

I don't mean this to be in anyway rude or mean.  It was truly one of my greatest fears about going to a water park.  You see, you cannot wear cover-ups or T-shirts or shorts or even rash guards over your swimsuit on the slides.  Even walking around with a towel is problematic because you have to find a place to stash it before each ride.  So basically it's just you in all your bathing suited glory walking around for all the world to see.  Here's the thing though: Everyone else is doing the exact same thing.  However self conscious you feel?  I'm guessing that everyone else there is feeling that exact same way.  So that whole OMG-I-am-so-fat-must-suck-in-my-gut-do-I-look-thinner-when-I-do-this? feeling kind of wore off after a while.  I wonder if that's how it feels to go to a no swimsuits allowed spa?  Not that I'm ready for that yet!

5.  If you go on any rides that involve riding on an inflatable inner tube, you will want to hold your butt well up off the bottom lest you enjoy the water thrill that is the chlorine enema.

No, I am not going to elaborate.  Just trust me on this.

6.  You will realize that you paid $5.00 per ride.

So I mentioned that whole "check the depth of the pool" thing up there?  This is also important because after your semi-swimmer has to be rescued, she will refuse to go on any more rides unless Daddy can hold her.  This will be against park regulations.  At the end of the afternoon, you will manage to convince her to go on one additional slide for a grand total of two--you do the math.  Furthermore, the older kids will decide that it is much more fun to play "bean each other with a volleyball" in the swimming pool.  Just like they could have done for free all day long at the Y.  At the end, though, you won't care--you'll just be happy to be back in the car with the heater blasting.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Celebrations can weight. Or wait.

I officially started my diet* on August 1st.  I'm happy to report that so far things are going well.  The first week I followed my food plan exactly for six days out of seven.  First week loss =  5.0 pounds!  Great, right?

Now, I'm happy and all, but there is definitely an environmental factor at work here as well.  My initial weigh-in was in the afternoon and the first week weigh-in was at 7:30 a.m.  I know my weight fluctuates five pounds or more per day from morning til night, so at least some portion of that weight loss was due to being weighed early, before I had eaten or drunk anything. 

Now my concern is that I will not lose or possibly even gain this week.  My normal weigh-in is going to be Thursday evenings, so that whole a.m. vs. p.m. issue is going to come into play again--and this time it will NOT be in my favor! 

Yesterday was also my birthday, so I did eat dinner off plan.  My scale this morning was pretty forgiving, so we'll see how it goes.

The important thing is that none of this is going to derail me.  I don't need to be perfect every second of every day. I'm all in and it's going to take more than a few glasses of wine or an uncooperative scale to throw me!

*I know, I know... It's not a "diet" it's a "lifestyle change."  Whatever.  Eventually that's what I'm aiming for, but at this point it is definitely a diet since I'm following a proscribed food plan.  I'll write more about that another time.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tilting at Windmills?

Not this time! 

Hmmm...  How exactly does one start a blog?  A big pronouncement?  Here goes:
Look out world, Julie is going to lose sixty pounds and change life as we know it on this planet.

Maybe not.

So, self-conscientiousness aside, here we go!  I have a plan, not just for losing the weight, but for really pushing myself  outside of my comfort zone in the next year.  Hopefully this blog is going to help keep me accountable--the good and the bad.  Yes, I'm sure there will be bad days, days I feel like giving up or eating an entire pizza by myself, but when I look back I want to be able to see why and work at making changes. 

So let's get started.  I'm ready!