Monday, March 24, 2008

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Well, I have been trying to exercise and eat better for 3 months now. Let's do a quick assessment.

The Good:
1. I can run 2 miles straight, without stopping. Sometimes I can even run faster than 5mph. (Shut up, I am a slow runner.)
2. I can do push-ups on my toes. About 12. Before, I could only do one.
3. CN makes comments about my "man arms" now, since my arms are bigger than his. Not that this was a major feat -- he's built like a 12 year old. But really, my arms don't even flap in the breeze much at all anymore. WOOT
4. Everything on my whole body is generally firmer and less jiggly. I have even noticed a difference in the amount of cellulite. CN has noticed my slightly firmer butt, too. YESSSS
5. I have gone up in all of my weights. In some cases, I have made huge jumps in my strength training.
6. My posture is better.
7. I have crazy energy and stamina now. And I sleep like a rock.
8. Warmer weather means I will want to go for lots of outside runs and eat more fruits and veggies -- warm weather makes me want lighter foods and more exercise, for some reason.
9. I have been going to the gym at LEAST 3 times a week, every week. Sometimes, as much as 5 or 6 times. This is far, far better than last fall, when I was going zero times. LOL

The Bad:
1. Not doing so hot on the diet front. I have good days....and I have bad days. Usually, the weekends are where I screw up.
2. While I am buying a higher percentage of healthy foods (hello, produce department!) and far fewer sweets, my portion control needs some work. And if something yummy happens to enter my house? Forget it -- I'll eat the whole thing in 2 days. There was a bad incident last week concerning some animal crackers....oops.
3. I am so starving after I work out that I basically eat all the calories I just burned off! Yeah, a lot of good that does!
4. I have been going to the gym about 4-5 times a week, which is great. But it's starting to feel like a job. I feel like I live there. Which pretty much zaps all the fun out of it. This always leads to me quitting the gym for several months, so I have GOT to find some exercise variety--and soon.
5. I am currently in the middle of a diet battle: Weight Watchers (which always works for me) vs. My Trainer, who thinks I should eat nothing but salmon, egg whites, protein shakes and broccoli. (WW, in case you are unfamiliar with it, is a low fat, low calorie, high fiber diet that doesn't give a rat's ass how much protein you eat. In fact, it can be difficult to eat a lot of protein on WW.)
6. WW kind of sucks if you like to cook, because it's difficult to know how well you are doing. WW is the perfect diet for someone who hates to cook -- it's super easy to do if you eat nothing but sandwiches and pre-made meals. I get tired of eating like that, and I love to cook, so sticking to WW has been hard lately. Especially when my trainer is pushing me to eat more meat, which is difficult to do on WW.
7. My trainer's diet sucks because it assumes the following:
A) I crave meat. Lots and lots of meat. In reality, I rarely crave meat at all.
B) I have an unlimited food budget -- hello! Salmon and protein powder are uber-expensive!!! C) I love eggs for breakfast and have gobs of time to cook them in the morning -- NOT! I don't even like eggs that much!
D) Protein shakes will take the place of meals for me. Yeah, right. Keep dreaming, buddy. It's just a fancier version of milk, as far as my appetite is concerned.
E) I have no concern for mercury poisoning from all of the salmon, tuna and other seafoods he's telling me to eat by the pound.

The Ugly:
I. Have. Not. Lost. A. Pound. (And yes, the optimists reading this are saying, "But you haven't gained! That's good!" To which I reply, "Thanks, but if you saw the SAME number on the scale EVERY week, after killing yourself at the gym, you'd be pretty annoyed, too.") I am not doing this for my health! Well, ok, yeah, I guess I am, but what I really want is to fit into my clothes! And lose this dumb belly pooch!! Aaaarrrgh.

This is really REALLY killing my motivation at this point. I will be the first to admit that I'm not the best at dieting, but I have been making a lot of progress: I have majorly cut back on my sugar intake and I limit my bad foods to the weekends -- I usually have about one or two "bad" things every weekend, which usually means dessert. I don't remember the last time I ate something fried. I have been eating more salads. I don't have a single full-fat dairy product in the house. I snack on fruit. I eat whole grains. I even stopped buying ice cream.

Yadda yadda.

Every time I step on the scale, and it shows the SAME stupid number it always does, I lose a little motivation. So after three months of it, I am rapidly approaching the "I just don't give a shit anymore" stage. Especially for the last 2 weeks. The word "frustrated" doesn't even begin to explain how I feel lately. I am thisclose to just completely throwing in the towel, and resigning myself to remaining overweight for the rest of my life.

It sure would help if I had some overweight friends. They are all skinny. (You'd think it would rub off on me, but it doesn't.) So I don't even have anyone to commiserate with. My fat ass and I stand alone. Argh.

I don't know if it's because I'm getting older and my metabolism has slowed to a snail's pace. Or if it's because I have illusions of grandeur when it comes to how well I'm doing in the diet/exercise department. I read an article the other day that said you cannot diet OR exercise. You have to do both to lose weight and keep it off.

I wouldn't mind turning into a total gym rat, because when it comes down to it, I enjoy exercising. But I refuse to be one of those diet robots like my mom, whose diet consists of a grand total of 5 foods, and she's starving all the time. I enjoy food, I always will. I'm not going to be one of those "salad with the fat free dressing on the side, please" women. That's not me. It never will be, because living like that would make me miserable. Being thin just isn't worth that to me.

To sum up:

My motivation is in the shitter. I am feeling hopeless at this point.

My budget is all screwed up, thanks to the expense of hiring a trainer and buying his trainer-approved foods. Which have yet to help me lose weight.

And my waistline is all screwed up, thanks to my average-at-best self control when it comes to food. And lack of cravings for anything outside of the Carb Family.

But I can beat you to a bloody pulp, so go leave me some kind, supportive and motivating comments right now. Do it! Or I will kick your ass!!!

Thanks for letting me bitch and whine. I think I'm just mad at myself for going to Wendy's yesterday and getting a frosty. I'm sure I'll be full of optimism tomorrow.


Baja Hockey Fan said...

You really shouldn't beat yourself up that much about the frosty beacuse I once had a trainer that approved of small MCDonalds vanilla milkshakes as a good protein source.

Oh and as far as diet plans go. The most sensible one I ever was on was big about balencing carb/protein intake at every meal. Like 1/2 cup of rice with 2-3 oz of chicken. (from the 6 week diet makeover)

Do you eat a little something before you work out, it seems to help with the after workout starvation.

Alison said...

Yum, Frosties! Sometimes when you do a similar workout for several weeks, your body gets used to it and the workout isn't effective anymore. So, you're supposed to change things up...I'm guessing that you probably do, though, since you have a trainer and he should know about that. Also, you know they say to go based on how you feel and how your clothes fit rather than what the scale says. All of the "good" points you listed were great, so stick with it!

Smug said...

I feel you on all levels! I don't mind working out but there are so many other things that I want and/or need to do! Not seeing that number of the scale move is the biggest killer of motivation! I don't know what to tell you, I guess try to keep focusing on the positve and remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so you probably are losing fat, but gaining musle, thus the scale stays the same!

Keep it up, even if you don't see the scale move, at the very least your heart is going to be in great shape and you will be very heathly!

Phantom Hater said...

Find some fun and interesting physical activities outside of the gym to keep your interest level up. You sound like you could be a closet gym-rat, but most people lose enthusiasm for it after awhile. Rock-climbing, hiking, kayaking, etc., are all fun exercise ideas you can take advantage of in the armpit of SC where you live once the weather is warmer and they could make good date ideas. I know you and sun-shunning CN hate the outdoors, but you need to get over that.

Kari said...

The thing that helped me lose the last stubborn 8ish pounds was following the "clean eating" or "french womans" diet. Basically you eat anything you want as long as its not processed. Which does limit the amount of ready made meals you can eat, you basically have to make everything. But it is budget friendly since you're buying mostly fresh stuff which is cheaper. I read a book called French Women Don't Diet which really motivated me.

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

Go back and read everything under "The Good", and that should be your motivation. PLEASE remember that you are by no means overweight or fat. Screw what the BMI calculator is saying b/c its complete crap.

My friend is in the same boat you are. She is working out like a crazy person, but has not lost even a lb. But you can tell the difference in her, she looks toned. Just like you do now. See, people are NOTICING!

Keep up the good work.

Fluffycat said...

There are a lot of blogs like Shapely Prose about fat acceptance that talk about how people have certain set points and it's very hard to budge them, and how years of dieting can really mess you up.

I think the most important thing as Meghan said is to look at that list of Good things and not focus on the number on the scale. You are doing great, doing a hell of a lot more exercise than most people, and firming up your body. Just take it one day at a time and keep at it.

RWA said...

You're not losing weight because you're gaining muscle and tone. You're replacing fat with good things.

Hang in there. You will continue to SEE the results - regardless of what the scale says.

Debbie said...

I agree with all the above. :) The scale doesn't mean a thing if you are turning fat into muscle.

Have you been measuring at all? Maybe you should measure once a month, I bet you would see results. You are going to look fabulous this summer!!

Caz said...

Yay! thats amazing that you've done so much work and you've seen results already. I unfortunately have fallen off the bandwagon due to a number of reasons.
I also beat myself up about it frequently.

My biggest problem is I need to work on my eating. I need to pay attention to portion sizes and just how fricken much I shove in my mouth. Fitting in exercise in a non-structured schedule is also harder. I try but it doesn't always work.

Phantom Hater said...

"3. CN makes comments about my "man arms" now, since my arms are bigger than his. Not that this was a major feat -- he's built like a 12 year old. But really, my arms don't even flap in the breeze much at all anymore. WOOT"

Probably the funniest thing I've read lately. I'm sure CN appreciates the shout-out. lol!

Becky said...

this is the story of my life. i love and adore WW and i'll lose a quick 5 lbs off that. and then NOTHING. i'll starve on that diet for a whole week and be at a total hault. and i hate working out so i just get frustrated and so now i've gained all the weight back. i hate working out.

but i need to

* meish * said...

Hang in there! Just keep dieting AND exercising to a healthier you. "You can dooooowit!!!!!"