Saturday, May 31, 2008

Am I turning into...gasp...a morning person?

Yet another morning begun with exercise! We met for an 8:15 tennis game (thanks, Sharon) which I followed up with a good run. Robert did drop me off and I did the 4+ mile run home with about quarter of a mile done at the walk. This time I avoided the hairy Harding Avenue but cutting through to our trail system and coming up that way. That was a much better way to go - beautiful, shaded, and I think the varied terrain is good for my legs.

I'm anxious to try the Country Club - Arrington - Luster's Gate - Plank - Arrington loop and see if I can handle the hills any better now.

I can't imagine running without the iPod now. LOVE it! my powerlifting days - squatting 265# in the 132# class

Friday, May 30, 2008

Still on track

OK, so the weight has plateau-ed. Not surprising, and it's not deterring me. Got up and got to the gym at 6:30 AM (AM!!). It was tough to get moving and I swear gravity was a little on the high side - closer to 10 m/s^2? The whole workout, including 20 of the loooooongest minutes ever on the eliptical, took me about 70 minutes. It's interesting how you can make a set harder or easier depending on speed, range of motion, whether you accelerate in there or just go really steady. I'm trying to focus on the slow steady burn with good form, but that's tough to do on leg extensions and leg curls. They just never feel quite "pure" - it's too easy to throw in a few other muscle groups for good measure. Ahhhh....nothing like the killer burn of a good powerlifting squat.

I had a tennis lesson today too and felt surprisingly pretty good...relative to my own skill set that is. I tried to chill a little on the deep shots - just get there, take my time, and boom - accelerate up and over with a firm grip. When I rush and get panicky it all starts to fall apart. The kids had a lesson before me and I took advantage of the time to get a really good stretch in. Hmmm... wonder if that helped too?

Tomorrow Sharon, Gail and I are hitting at 8:15. My plan then is to get Robert to drop me off at the courts and then after tennis I will jog the 5 miles home. Hopefully I can stash my racquet somewhere then.

One question - after tennis and sweating a small gusher of sweat, I could not quench my thirst despite cup after cup after cup of water. I finally got a Gatorade which seemed a waste of 150 calories, but it seemed to do the trick. Are there other thirst-quenching options out there?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I did it!

This morning I took off from the house determined to run/walk for one hour. I covered precisely 5 miles, I know this because I just retraced it with the car. Of that, I jogged precisely the first 4 miles and walked/avoided being run over for the last mile. I ran from the house to Plank Drive and back. The Luster's Gate part is great - gently sloping, wide bike lane, but pretty flat. The stretch on Harding is pretty hairy with bends and no shoulder. There I mostly focused on staying alive. I'm actually rather happy about this. I don't think I've ever run four miles. Sad, I know!!

I saw a whole "herd" of big, black vulture looking things that were perched along the guardrail, waiting for me to keel over I think. It was also fun on the way back when a cute bay horse at the Jaasma's saw me and trotted alongside the fence as I went!

The outside of my right ankle has a bothersome spot that I'm hoping is just growing pains as I get into this fitness routine. I don't want to find out it's the shoes....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Very fun tennis night

The highlight of the day was definitely tennis. Between the dismal weather all day and the fact that it's the jam-packed last week of school around here, the ladies did not turn out for WTA tennis. I almost didn't either as I lapsed into a coma-like nap around 4:30. I got up around 6, saw the tennis email reminder and that one of the new summer assistants would be there, and made a snap decision to go. Had Robert fussed, I never would have, but he gave me the go-ahead. I left without even eating the spaghetti he had made. It was great, I ran around alot, and having two experienced players to my inexperience pushed me to try a little harder. I need to carry that with me regardless of who else is on the court. (note to self: those darned overheads...just get over it and get those under control...stop wasting time flubbing those!!)

Michelle, I liked your comment on the last post that getting sleep and being rested is key to maintaining motivation and staying on track. I think you are absolutely right.

Today's report: cardio - eliptical and tennis to a degree; strength - did the prescribed upper body workout and enjoyed (in a sick sort of way) the 100 reps of the core stuff with the medicine ball; stretching - check; food - good, but I caved and had five of those chocolate Newman-Os cookies...sometimes a girl's just gotta get that chocolate thing in. I certainly didn't need five...but the will was weak.

Things feel good and I'm planning on a nice run tomorrow afternoon. I'm thinking I'll take the dog and try out the cross-country course at VT or head to Pandapas Pond. I'd like to push and do a solid hour of maybe 60% running/40% walking.

I haven't weighed myself in days...I'm feeling bloat-y and don't want to see what the scale says quite yet.

Up too late

My sleeping patterns -- well -- lack a pattern. Last night I went to bed at 9 pm, now it's almost 1 am. Just too much to do, I guess.

Tennis: 90 min clinic and it was just two of us so I got my heart rate up a few times!

Food: on track

That's it. Too tired to say much else. Tomorrow it's to the gym then tennis in the evening!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sore core

I was warned...and yes, I have a "sore core" as Robert so aptly put it. At least it lets me know I did something good yesterday.

Cardio: Hike to cascades. 2 miles up in 45 minutes. Doesn't sound like much but it was a pretty good workout.

Strength Training: nope

Stretching: nope

Tennis: Hit with Sharon on the middle hard court...sandwiched between some very solid players. Singles is hard and I felt pretty off. Interestingly, I felt better with my backhand and serve than my forehand.

Food: Good here.

Other: weight kind of spiked up and am guessing/hoping it's a "cyclical girl thing." Another busy week; it'll be a challenge to get in the level of activity that I want and need, but I'll do it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Cardio: 20 min on elliptical, 4 miles on Huckleberry Trail (mostly running, but not all). Took Trixie -- she was A-mazing. That obedience class has really paid off (thanks, Robert!)

Strength Training: 60 packed minutes with Jake, need to get in two workouts this week.

Stretching: did it at the gym

Tennis: none; but came to the realization that Bill was explaining that to get spin I need to cock my wrist and think about accelerating up with a closed racquet and not forward with an open one. Anxious to try this. Need to use legs to propel ball up.

Food: So far so good but we have a neighborhood party tonight. Jake said to drink a bunch of water before I go. I made black bean salsa...beans are higher in calories than I thought; a cup is 220 calories. Addendum: not good at the party...not good at all. I'm just a sucker for anything with artichokes and there it was...artichoke and crab dip in the most beautiful carved out bread bowl. Need I say more? Back on the wagon. Sigh.

Other: Jake suggested I might think about a goal to shoot for like a race of sorts or something. I'll have to ruminate on that one! I'm thinking....I am!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sweat on top of sweat on top of sweat

What a gorgeous and glorious day!! I was up early again, but I'm glad that's becoming a habit. Got some work done, house cleaned up, ready for the day. I had a tennis lesson at noon, then the kids were supposed to be dropped off at the pool, but they had their chess lesson at 10:30 and didn't wrap up until 1:30! After my lesson, Bill pointed out that jogging in tennis shoes is a bad idea and that I'd better think about running shoes before I end up with shin splints. I had some time and dashed out to get some so I'm all set. I hit with Grant for about 45 minutes then when we got home I did my 40 minute walk/run on the trail in my groovy new shoes!! Wish I'd gotten them long ago.

I'm down to 141.0 I know I shouldn't get on the scale every day, and I realize it's bordering on an obsession, but I find it fascinating for some reason.

The keys for me with eating is (1) have a few no-brainer healthy things around for lunch and dinner to save calories there and (2) have things I can pack and take with me...and plan to do just that. I love those crinkle cut carrot chips, apple slices, or a few roasted nuts.

This morning I had oatmeal with fresh raspberries. That was SOOO delicious, who knew?

Off to the showers...even I can't stand me at the moment.

Make good choices, folks.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Do you know how many calories are in pizza??

Today I had a pizza lunch for my summer students - Papa John's pizza to be exact. I ate two pieces for a small splurge. Those puppies, according to were 300 calories EACH!!! OMG, I will never pig out on pizza again. That is one good thing about an online food log, you really find out about what you are eating. I figured each piece was 200 calories. Yikes. That's OK, it'll probably get me to the 1200 calorie mark today, although I suppose that's not the way to do it.

I actually have no huge workout plans today. I'll hit tennis balls with the kids but I am so wiped out. A week full of 6 am mornings (early for me!) has taken its toll since I've not been following my early-to-bed rule. It's just hard to when there is so much going on and night time is prime work time.

Today is the day off and tomorrow I'll get in cardio plus a tennis lessson.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Team Creamsicle

Meredith (R) and I (L) were "Team Creamsicle" last night at WTA! Check out her cool shoes - the soles are removable and the shoes come with grey soles too.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Hi gals!

Sharon it was great to see you at tennis. I had fun even though I think I need a break from it and refuse to pick up a racquet for the next two days. I need to come back refreshed and I have a lesson on Saturday. Two days until pool season. Wish I had started my mad fitness routine about a month earlier, but at least I started.

Tomorrow is another strength training day and I think I'll go for that same loop run tomorrow when the kids play tennis. The funny about running is I'll start off and feel like I've been at it for hours, I'll look at my watch and something like 10 minutes has elapsed. Geez!

Good day otherwise. Still too busy. My calendar is packed through next week, but then it opens way up. I'm hanging on for that.

My calorie count is still coming out lower than I think it should be and I'm not underestimating quantities. At what point would the calorie count be too low that it would be counterproductive? Doesn't your body shift into preserving fat at some level?

I just weighed myself - 143.5 lbs. That's 6 lbs in 3 weeks and I'm actually mildly concerned that it's coming off too fast. Are there repercussions?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rough night, good day!

Woke up at 3 am to discover a TICK on me. YUCK!!!! Then couldn't sleep and was so hungry. Added a granola bar to yesterday's log. I worked a bit then tried to sleep a little more. Big day of summer orientation and a meeting for course planning for next year.

Exercise: Did a 3 mile road loop today. That is HUGE for me. And I jogged 75 - 80% of that...all but the really bad hills (Plank Road). I did that while the kids played tennis. Then an hour later, I played in a 90 minute tennis clinic. It was fun, and I had some good moments, but my body and legs were tired. It's early to bed tonight!

Food: Doing well here. I keep thinking of Sharon's BLT term from Weight Watchers (Bites, Licks, Tastes) and am avoiding those while making smart choices, drinking water, eating regular meals and snacks as needed. I'm just eating less and smarter. I really think that THE one thing that makes the biggest differences is sticking to eating at least one fruit a day, and eating only fruits, veggies, and the occasional small number of nuts, for snacks. And I'm logging my food on SparkPeople.

Stretching: Doh! Keep forgetting. I did stretch out my legs today before running. Why do I keep forgetting the rest? That will be a priority for tomorrow!

Off to the shower! Need to rest for more tennis tomorrow!!

Monday, May 19, 2008


I hopped on the scale today to discover the numbers "145" staring back at me. That astonished me for some reason, and now I have confidence that I can do this and get back to my fit, fighting weight and size. Now I am logging my food at I joined a while ago, slacked off, and now I'm back!

Tennis was great today. I worked on topspin for both forehand and backhand as well as both volleys. Bill moved my grips a bit for groundstrokes and interestingly, the grip stays the same for both volleys (at this point for me anyway). I finally felt like I got a clue about volleys. Lots to work on. In fact, I need to go and write it down. As with every time that I play, I can hardly wait to get back on the courts...hopefully tomorrow at 7.

I'm not all that sore from the gym today with the exception of glutes and abs. Wondering if I should do strength training twice before Sunday? Maybe Wed/Fri?
  • Food - good, at 955 calories. Room for a snack if needed.
  • Exercise - ran on our trail loop with the dog - 35 minutes of hard-core labor on hills. Even she is tired and layed down 50 feet from the house!
  • Stretching - still need to do.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Check-in with trainer

What a great way to start off a Sunday! I met with Jake the trainer today and he kept things moving at a pretty good clip. I recall my old powerlifting days when we would do a set and it would be 10 minutes or so before we'd do the next set! None of that today! I like the quicker pace - less time to think or worry about it - and I was pretty tired by the time I was done.

So I've lost about 4 lbs so far, and I just casually mentioned I'd like to lose 10 more to get to where I really need to be and want to be. Without skipping a beat he said I should be able to do that by July 4. It's funny how it's one thing to think it and feel you really mean it and just an entirely different thing to say it out loud and commit to it. But why think it if you're not going to do it? So I like a challenge and hate having unfulfilled goals. I want to be careful to keep in mind that the real goal is to change my lifestyle to the point where I make good food choices on a consistent daily basis and need and crave exercise as an expected part of most days. I don't want to go back to being a desk jockey eating whatever.

So, tomorrow I will start with a food log online ( to track my intake so Jake can help me figure out what adjustments I need to make.

One of my favorite lunches has been a sliced apple with thin slices of asiago cheese - I figured protein and good carbs. Well, I looked carefully at the cheese label. A 1" cube of cheese is 110 calories! Portions.... I try to remind myself that people really don't need the huge helpings we've come to expect.

This week my goal is to pack fruit and healthy lunches/snacks because my days will be quite busy. There will also be temptations with munchies at some of the seminars. I realize the only way to cope is to have my own munchies.

I'm riding the endorphins into another week! Yeah!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Windy Friday

WOW, that is some wind out there! The kids managed to get their 1/2 hour tennis lessons in and I hit with the one who was not being instructed. The gale force winds (OK, a little exaggerating) made things even less predictable than usual which translated into lots of running after balls. I worked up a sweat and had so much fun genuinely laughing with my kids. I kind of like our Friday night tennis. It's quiet with just the pro and us. That will change next Friday when the pool opens and kicks off....bathing suit season. Wish I had about 6 more weeks to prepare, but I feel I'm on the right track.

All this exercise has helped me get to sleep earlier and sleep better. I'm waking up about an hour earlier than I used to. This weekend I am feeding the horses. I usually lock them in their stalls while they eat so they don't try to steal from one another, so while they were eating I ran some laps around part of their pasture. That was surprisingly enjoyable. I love the cross-country style running but I took two particularly bad steps the last time on the same ankle so I am trying to be careful.

Tomorrow is so busy I will have to get creative about my workout. We have doggie obedience graduation, the kids have chess lessons (their request after getting crushed last weekend), Grant's piano recital, and I'm having a summer student over for dinner. Then Sunday I meet with the trainer, then play tennis Monday.

I've been doing well with food, with one exception today. I was at a meeting where they always have bowls of chocolate out and I ate four pieces of Dove chocolate. It's kind of dumb. If I ate 2 or 200 pieces I don't think I'd be any more or less satisfied. I challenge myself to stop at 1 (or 0) next time. I'm not snacking unless it's some fruits or vegetables, eating smaller portions, and I've eliminated juices, chips, etc....unnecessary calories.

I think I'm feeling better all over. Having made my peace with some career decisions is leaving me feeling lighter and happier...and more hopeful all over. The exercise is definitely contributing to my well being. I see now how much I needed this, and for so long now. I'm glad I didn't wait another day to start.

Michelle - good luck with the 2 miler on Sunday. Is it for an event? Tell us more about it. Celebrate your efforts and have fun!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The rain held off!

Amazingly, the rain held off and is only just now starting (2:30). I went to the tennis "Stroke Clinic" where we worked on serves and overheads. I got a lot out of it and even though my serve isn't powerful, at least now it is more consistent.

Afterward I took the dog for a walk/run on our neighborhood trail. I managed to run much further and longer than I thought. I forgot to time it, but maybe 20 minutes running and then 10 walking. But the 10 walking included the final "buns of steel" part of the trail that is quite steep back up to the road. Seriously steep. Like it needs a rope tow steep. Even the dog is tired now.

I saw the chiropractor...who is fabulous by the way. Dr. Tilley works with the VT football and other sports teams and he lives near me. He's just great and since I have chronic neck/upper back issues, I really depend on him. He cautioned me with my weight training to be very careful with anything breaking the plane of my shoulders. I also vow to be more faithful to my stretching.

So the changes in my eating and exercise habits are reflecting another change. After much soul-searching and stress, I have decided to bump my "career" lower down the priority list. I had so many irons in the fire for next year, but I've decided to stick with my 50% teaching job, I have the potential to get funding to develop a new senior-level course on sustainable energy that would cover another 30% and get me to benefits level, but I will not go above 80%. Nor will I go to a 12 month appointment. I'm not even sure if I'll continue on with my summer REU project. I am now admitting to the world that I will no longer strive to be super-academic woman, playing the game full out. I will allow myself to dabble in it, fear not the job insecurity, and just not worry about it. I will make more time for my family, and for me. I will covet time to get exercise, and I will honor myself by nourishing my body and giving myself the best body possible.

Oh, on a related note. I bought a multivitamin and calcium supplement from the Chiropractor. Whoa, Nellie. NOT cheap. Not at all. I'm embarrassed to write what it cost. But then I realized I spend $100 for a bucket of supplement for the horse that lasts maybe three months. Funny what we'll spend on pets and not on ourselves!

So, no more exercise for me today. I took a couple of funny steps on the trail and don't want to push my luck. Now it's about keeping the food intake where it needs to be.

Tomorrow's plan? Either a walk/run or cardio at the gym. Kids have tennis at 4, weather permitting, so I could hit on the wall then, or go for a run. We'll see.

To bed early. No nighttime munchies!!

Stay strong, girls!! Let me know how you are doing!


Great day yesterday...did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine at the gym...and it seemed like a tougher workout than the first time I tried it. Forgot my towel. Note to self: don't forget towel. Played in the WTA tennis for 90 minutes and had a blast! Food situation was great...up until about 9 pm.

I stopped by my friend B's house to talk about career paths. She and I are both wrestling with the academic fast track vs finding our own path. After an hour there and a glass of wine, I had the clarity I've lacked for the past six months. It's OK for me to find my own path, one academic year at a time, with a small program, or not, in the summer. Our family can't easily handle two intense careers and dear hubby has enough on his plate and makes far better money. So, I have my 50% appointment next year and am working on another 30% that will bring me to the magic 80% level for benefits.

Oh...back to the story. So B and I shared a glass of wine. Then the trouble started. Came home shared second glass of wine with hubby, then munched out on 6 Newman-Os (organic oreos). Darn it. If I had really thought about it, a glass of ice water was probably all I needed. But, alas, the wine impaired my judgement and willpower. Lesson learned. Avoid wine.

Back on the wagon today. I'm planning to go to the tennis stroke clinic then either the gym or if the weather holds a walk/run with the dog on our trails.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Regaining focus

It feels good to be back and refocused on my goal. This AM played tennis, rather poorly, for two hours. A 45 minute lesson and 90 minute doubles clinic. Two things I really need are more consistency and power with my strokes and quicker reflexes/ability to predict where ball will come and MOVE!!!

Then I went and did my workout at the gym...took me a bit to find all the machines again. Before I worked out I was hungry and went to Kroger and bought one SINGLE apple. $1.14 for an organic apple. Ouch!

Later the kids will play tennis; I'll run and maybe practice my serves. Oh, and I'm at 147 lbs as of right now.

Addendum: Ate dinner at the club and ordered this Mediterranean sandwich and managed to only eat half and bring the other half home. That's a first. Now I'm I really just need to go to bed.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back to the 'burg

All I can say is that I am looking forward to getting back to "normal" tomorrow. Today was an OK food day, but not where I want to be. The kids talked me into a late departure. I made a quick trip to Kohl's (my fav) and to Borders to get a tennis book my mom had just gotten that I liked to. We also had time to get in some tennis with Grandma, with Boompa as the ball-boy! It put everyone in a good humor for the uneventful 5-1/2 hour drive that was fueled largely by diet Pepsi.

Tomorrow I have a lesson at 9:15 followed by the doubles clinic that kind of intimidates me, but I thought I'd try it. I need to get to the gym for my weight training, but that just may slide to Wednesday. While the kids play tennis tomorrow my plan is to do what I did last week - jog then practice serves. I get with J the trainer this weekend and hoping we can get that into a routine until my next travel time in late June.

S said she is sliding a bit too. It's go more excuses for either of us. She asked where my weight is and I don't want to even peek for a few days now.

Glad to be home. We loaded the new "Fritz" chess program and it's fabulous. The kids are so motivated to up their chess game, and me, my fitness game.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Travelling is hard on the diet

A three-day chess tournament is enough to derail the most stalwart health/fitness reformer. It started with an egg and cheese english muffin on the run, degraded further with a hotdog, and the crowing glory was the pizza. Ugh. Back on the wagon tomorrow.

I can't believe how exhausting these three days have been - walking between the K-1 venue and that for 2-6, keeping track of two kids, two sets of emotions, and two sets of needs (three if you add me in...but we know that doesn't count!). The kids got fairly humbled here, but it seemed to have fueled their resolve to improve their chess game.

The kids want to stay an extra day and I'm antsy to get back. Not sure what we will do. If we stay hopefully we can at least play tennis tomorrow and perhaps I can get a run in.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Trip to PA

Tough day today. I was sooooo tired and the 315 mile trip up here, which I can usually do on autopilot, was hard to do. But I made it. AND I actually went for a 20 min walk/jog around here. Not much, but something.

Eating...better than on most trips. Regular yogurt breakfast, Cali roll sushi for lunch, some grapes, two strands of licorice (desperate attempt to stay awake). My downfall was my folk's house. Dinner was that 7-layer Mexican dip with some chips. Oh well. Done with food for the day and tomorrow is another day!

Got the workout for next week from trainer J and looking forward to hitting it...probably Tuesday evening; maybe Monday?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Very, very stressful day

In short, still feeling the strength-training workout a little. Played tennis AM (high-energy) 60 minutes plus played 2-on-1 (me as 1) for 30 min this evening. Good on food, regular breakfast, two hard-boiled eggs plus watermelon for lunch, just had a whole-grain english muffin with a spread of cheese. Yum. Oh, plus a wine at the tennis social. All in all, I behaved myself.

Now I am exhausted and have miles to go before I rest. Looking forward to getting to PA and collapsing a bit, then rebooting next week.

It was a tough, tough day. Elements of fun, but tough.

I can say I won't feel at all guilty about backing off the workouts the next few days.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Reminder Haikus

Two Haikus for the moment:

Go to bed early.
Only now I remember why.
I get SOOOO hungry.

Deny thy hunger.
To the bed I must retire.
Breakfast will come soon! public!

So today was busy with the class final and multiple other to-dos. When I took the kids to tennis, I set out for a 30 minute public (!), and did just over 2 miles. It's amazing how much harder it is to do in real life, not on a treadmill. But there is a satisfaction from getting from point A to point B. I'm anxious to see how that particular jogging loop improves for me over time.

I finished up by serving half of the basket of balls and really working on my toss, "scratching" my back with the racquet, going for a bit of spin, and stepping through. It started to feel better, and I at least can recognize when I've done it right and why.

Food-wise the day was so-so. Good breakfast, bought two dozen donuts for the students and didn't eat a one. Ate lunch out but a reasonable portion (Italian buffet - one small slice pizza, two 1" meatballs, and a little bowl of lettuce with oil and vinegar). OK, probably too much. Not helped by the fact that we ate our usual dinner at the club. I had the lollipop tuna - probably 4 or 5 oz - and YUMMY with the small side salad with raspberry vinaigrette. No more food for me today. Just water. And that's fine, thank you!

Tomorrow I'll hit the gym before tennis to get 30 minutes of cardio in. Not that tennis isn't cardio for it's the high-energy clinic. But no sense slacking on the gym now! Especially since Thursday AM we're on our way to PA.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Met with the trainer

So today I met with J at the gym. He took my info and goals and turned it into a nice, doable program. I was so glad to have his help to navigate my way around the gym and equipment. The place is so much bigger with more stuff than when I used to go. I realized how much I'd forgotten about the various lifts, plus he had some neat new ones. I like the wall squat with the big inflated ball between my back and the wall. And he didn't make me do abs. I wonder if that is coming. I really hate doing abs.

The movements felt familiar, like coming home. The amounts of weight I moved....well, much, much lower than 15 years ago. But it was still that same great feeling I used to get, that love-hate relationship with "the burn". With J's help, I tried the elliptical machine for the first time and I actually loved it. My heart rate stayed up, but I'm still not sure it felt like the same level of intensity - physically and mentally - that I get from the treadmill. But it's a nice option.

So the plan is to do an overall body workout, one set per exercise, high reps, just twice per week, with 30 minutes of cardio 4-5x per week. There is no reason I can't do that. And J's approach is to just build up the habit and not burn out.

I'll continue to supplement that with tennis 2-3x per week, and then just get off my butt more in between. Like today I spent time lugging buckets of water and watering all my seeds and plants that are all over the yard. Then I figured out a fun thing to do for me and the dog. I practiced my serve in the backyard and she retrieved the ball about 40 times!

I told B, the tennis pro, about my serious intentions to improve my tennis game, get in better shape, and lose lbs to see if he had tips about how to use the gym time to my advantage on the court. I also figure that if I have a few people who know about my plans, it'll help keep me honest!

But the major reason for this lifestyle change is I saw how stressed out and obsessive I got with my teaching and job stuff, and I knew I was just spiraling out of control. I've been hanging on by my fingernails. I need to have some time...and for me that time is not about book clubs, shopping, Pampered Chef parties, or other time-wasters (sorry...just my opinion). I need something physical and positive with tangible benefits.

Food-wise I'm still doing well. My yogurt breakfast, a Kabucha tea (google it....only 60 calories in the bottle and a great appetite suppressant) with carrot slices. Dinner was an orange-ginger salmon and rice florentine that I made. I enjoyed smaller portions and did not feel gyped at all. It helped that I was going to the gym right afterward. Now I'm hungry again and thinking I will eat half an apple. Is that OK or should I stick to my not eating after 9:00??

Sunday, May 4, 2008

To the gym, or not to the gym?

So today has been busy as I got our whole garden prepared and planted. I have a ton of work I should/could be doing, but this is the year I really want to plant a good garden and stay on top of it. DH (dear husband) is off working, kids have needed constant tending. So the question is, do I go to the gym tonight or take today off in preparation for tennis tomorrow at 11:00 followed by my meeting with the trainer at 7 pm. I don't want to overdo or burn out, but nor do I want to make excuses. The hardest part of changing my lifestyle is figuring out how to make better decisions about my time.

Food today: Bfast - 1 cup lite vanilla yogurt with a few raspberries and a little granola; Lunch at Oma's, kept portions small; 10-12 berries for a snack; getting ready for burgers on the grill for dinner. That's it. Keeping busy is key to not getting hungry.
UPDATE: I did go to the gym and did 45 min on the treadmill, followed by half an apple, but no other evening snacking. Yeah!!!

Joined the gym!

OK, so day 1, so far so good. Here was my note to S:

I actually went to the Weight Club today, did 35 min on the treadmill (315 calories), did some basic upper body strength training, and made an appointment with a trainer for Monday to help lay out a plan. I ate fruit today, drank water, and kept portions on the minimal side. Now the plan is just to keep on. I think with your support, the tennis, the gym, etc., I should have the structures in place to help me stick to it. I am tired of thinking about this and threatening to do something. The time is NOW! I try to think about how great I will feel to see progress. I know I have to be patient that it can take a while.

What are your thoughts on diet/sugar-free drinks? Sometimes I wonder if they bring on hunger or are in some way not the "free ride" we all think they are.

Starting the un-blobbing process

This blog is designed to help me maintain focus and accountability as I attempt to stem the tide of the mid-life thickening. I am inspired by the upcoming pool season, beach vacation, and a need to have some feeling of control over just one aspect of my life while I busily try to keep my head above water! Thanks to S, I have an accountability partner in the process.

Here's what I wrote out for my initial goals, prompted by S, on Friday:

As of this minute, I am 150.0 lbs. Goal weight: 136.0.


  • Eat fruit each day - at least one piece, preferably two.
  • No eating after 9 pm; it's OK to go to bed hungry.
  • Eat smaller meals until just satisfied.
  • No alcoholic beverages during the week.
  • Drink more water, stay hydrated to avoid getting hungry.
  • Do 30 min of cardio 5x per week.
  • Add in some basic strength training.


  • Join and go to gym for the next month...should be easy now while kids are still in school. Transition over to swimming when pool opens.
  • Keep fruit accessible - apples, pears, grapes, watermelon.
  • Basic meals:
    • Breakfast - light yogurt with fruit or whole wheat english muffin with jam
    • Lunch - fruit with 1 oz asiago cheese
    • Dinner - small portions of family meal
    • Snacks - fruit and veggies or a few nuts.
  • Don't eat the kid's leftovers!
  • Keep a good book available so I'll read instead of eat at night; go to bed when tired rather than eat.
  • Be rested; get to bed by 11 pm.