Archive for the ‘Stats’ Category

Body Snapshot 7/6/12

Posted: August 6, 2012 in Stats
Tags: , ,

I was going to wait to do more body updates until I had broken my next weight “bracket” (aka, once I got a scale reading below 150) but progress has been slow (though consistent!) but I’ve got a few numbers to share with you.

See, I’m lucky enough to work for a company that views our health as high importance. We have an onsite gym, discounts at local gyms, organized sports teams, we take part in Bike to Work month, encourage and organize volunteer work (including some physically demanding tasks), hold “Wellness” fairs and most recently, a “Wellness” reading that they refer to as a “Blueprint for Health.” The idea is that you receive four numbers as a snapshot of your overall health: glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI.

Generally, I find the BMI to be complete and utter bullshit. BMI stands for Body Mass Index and it is literally a chart, which is meant to apply to all adult ages and genders, that tells you whether or not you’re fat based on how tall you are versus how much you weigh. It does not take muscle into consideration. Based on the BMI, a number of bodybuilders are considered obese, despite having very little body fat – getting an actual body fat percentage reading is far more accurate. Let’s not even get into the discussion of how having body fat can put you at risk for certain complications, but doesn’t necessarily make a person unhealthy.

So, no surprise that my results came back with a big ol’ WARNING! button for me to click on that linked me to a warning that I’m fat. Thanks for that.

Anyway, more importantly, all of my other readings came back looking pretty good! My blood pressure is in a decent range:

Image

My glucose levels are a little close to high, but I also forgot to fast the night before so although they took that into consideration, it may not be entirely accurate:

Image

Last, but certainly not least, the readings I was primarily interested in, my cholesterol:

Image

This is HUGE for me. The last time I got my cholesterol readings, my LDL’s were higher, my HDLs lower. I’m still right at that cusp, but my numbers are still down (plus, again, forgot to fast – whoops!) and overall I’m looking good! This has been one of my major goals behind treating myself better. I just need to work a little bit harder to get my LDL’s a little lower, my HDL’s a little higher, and keep them that way. My long term goal is to never have to take medication for my cholesterol.

I also have some progress pics!

 

Image

Why yes I DO rock a Sparkly Soul pink headband and sparkly pink laces on my Chucks on weights days.

Again, I was going to hold off on these, but I threw this image together on a whim for a friend who hasn’t seen me in a while (which is why one of the pictures is grainy. I had to do some rescaling – in MS Paint). I have better progress pictures on hold, where I’m wearing the same (or similar) clothes in each one, standing the same distances from the mirrors. I’m saving that for about another 20lbs/two sizes/ideal body fat %/whatthefuckever.

I’ve got a couple of things I want to discuss soon, namely the challenges of weight lifting and getting enough protein on Weight Watchers, as well as a product spotlight on the Sparkly Soul headbands I wear during every workout.

Advertisements

Slackin’

Posted: July 6, 2012 in General, Stats

Not on my workouts – just on my blogging! I’m still alive, still working out and still eating well (… most of the time).

I neglected this blog through all of May and June and now we’re back – and exactly 10 lbs lighter than when I last updated.Yup, as of today, using the scale in the gym at work, I’m at 152.8. I’ve also gone down roughly two pants sizes since I initially started going to the gym, dropping me from a size 14 to a size 10 (in Juniors sizes I’m probably still a 13 depending on the brand). I haven’t done any actual tape measurements in a while. I should have those ready for you in my next blog post (as well as some progress pics!).

To a lot of people, 10 pounds in a little over two months doesn’t seem like much, but I feel pretty confident that this slow, steady decrease in fat is exactly how I need to do this to keep up what I’m doing and keep my body in good shape. Considering I’ve been strength training while still losing weight, it seems like pretty decent progress. I’m just surprised that even after being sick for over a week (I didn’t go to the gym for nine days – that’s the longest I’ve gone without it in the last six or seven months!) plus two weekends of indulgence and the 4th of July, I’ve managed to not break my progress. I feel like if anything, that’s evidence that for once in my life, I’ve got this down – it no longer feels like one day of “bad’ eating is going to cause me to balloon up. No more yo-yoing.

Also, I’ve decided to attempt to use this more like an actual blog and less like a place to store my stats. I can’t figure out the best format for my posts, so I think I’m just going to go with writing more “organically” and just going with what’s on my mind and what I’ve been up to. As blogging becomes more of a hobby and less of a thing that I feel like I have to do or should be doing, I’ll hopefully have more interesting things to talk about.

Other than being excited about weighing below 155lbs for the first time in ages, this post is mostly to discuss the rate of my progress in general terms as well as coming to a decision on how I want to run this blog. I do have a lot that I want to post about and haven’t because I didn’t know how to approach it, but that will all come in time. A few upcoming topics to look out for: Progress pics, rock climbing, product reviews (the “I bought this, here’s what I think” kind, not the “this company gave me free product so I’ll say nice things about them” kind) and food.

Also, I’d just like to note that as I was typing this up, a coworker that I don’t see very often anymore came by to observe the construction outside of the window behind me and when I stood up to look at something he was pointing at, he did a double take. I saw him look down at my body but thought he was noting my lack of shoes (what? It’s the end of the day and I’m not going to put them back on to turn around and look out a window) but then he asked me if I “lost a bunch of weight or something.” When I confirmed he said I looked good and he could really see the difference in my face.

I’d be lying if I said I’m not hyped as fuck right now.

I’ll figure out a proper format for these updates eventually, I promise.

Some notes to add: I’ve omitted “weight since Weight Watchers” and I’m just settling on total weight loss. I only lost 3lbs before I started WW and really, that’s a small number and as we go, I hope to omit weight entirely as a measure of my progress.

I’ve also decided I’m not going to use bra and pants sizes anymore because I don’t go shopping often enough to include that in every update. If I drop a dress/pant/bra size, that in and of itself will probably warrant its own special update.

So where are we now?:

Body Stats:

  • Weight: 162.8lbs
  • Total weight loss: 13lbs

Gym Stats/Victories:

  • Dead lift (for reps): Increased weight from 45 to 75lbs. This was actually kind of an accident. We have three bar weights in the gym (the heaviest being the Olympic bar at 45lbs) and I typically use the lightest bar and don’t factor it into my weight lifted. I accidentally grabbed the mid-weight bar, which is about 25lbs, when I had 50lbs worth of plates on.
  • Lat Pulldowns:Increased weight from 55lbs to 70lbs. I have to be careful with this – I did this yesterday and today, my bad shoulder is sore.
  • Shoulder Presses:12.5lb dumbells
  • Dumbell Rows: 25lbs
  • Bench Press:50lbs
  • Squats: 45lbs
  • Pull-ups: Still can’t do them. Slowly but surely…
  • Push-ups: Guys, I have a confession to make – all these years, I’ve only been able to do knee push-ups. Thanks to a friend with whom I’ve started a “push-up challenge,” I’ve gotten off of my knees and can do three full, proper push-ups. It may not seem like much, but it’s a big deal to me.

NSVs:

  • My husband and I started biking to/from work. It isn’t an every day thing for me (yet) but soon I hope to start riding every day. Fuck car commuting.
  • In the short time that I’ve started riding to work, I’ve already started to improve my speed/time. Each ride so far has taken me almost exactly 40 minutes but this morning, I made it in 32 minutes. That’s an increase of about 9mph to 11.25mph. I was a bit slower on the ride home, but I’ll take any victory. Husband has noted improvements in my stopping, maneuvering and speed.
  • My favorite jeans, which are always very snug just out of the wash are starting to experience a little bit of sag around the waist – right out of the wash.

Misc:

  • Energy levels are… different. Overall, my energy as a person is improving. I recover from a hard workout better (in fact, I had a wicked buzz all morning after my ride to work) and I feel a little more… peppy? Is that the right word? But, when I’m tired, I am tired. I’m hoping that soon I can wear myself out hard enough at the end of the day to sleep through the whole night (I wake up often).
  • I am excited about working out. Even when it sucks, I still do it and I feel so much better for it afterwards and I look forward to doing it again. I willingly, with only a minor amount of flip-flopping, rode the six miles to work two and a half days in a row even though all of the rides I did last week were a painful struggle. “Exercise” still feels like a dirty word in my mouth – what I do has evolved from “exercise” to “working on being a badass.”
  • My pain tolerance is increasing. This is probably a weird thing to note so early on, but last year, the amount of ache in my hips from the bike rides would have discouraged me. I realized this morning that I’ve just accepted that as part of my life now that will get better in time but, in the meantime, is just something I have to go through. Despite the current hot bath I’m taking to ease some soreness, I’m actually rather bummed that I will not be biking tomorrow.

I’ve been a little behind on my updates. I came down with a nasty bug the other week and it took me another whole week to recover, then I got lazy.

So here we go!

Where are we?:

Body Stats:

  • Weight: 165.8lbs
  • Total weight loss since Weight Watchers: 7lbs
  • Total weight loss since heaviest weight: ~10lbs

Gym Victories:

  • Dead lift: Increased weight to 45lbs
  • Lat Pulldowns:Increased weight to 55lbs.I also put 85lbs on after I finished my last set and pulled it down to see if I could do it – and I did! If my lat pulldowns are any indication of my progress to a pull-up, I’m getting there – 85lbs is about half of my body weight. On that note…
  • Pull-ups: Still can’t do them. However, when I first started, I could barely hang onto the bar at a dead hang. Now, from a dead hang, I can pull myself up about 1/4 of the way. Between this and the lat pulldown, I feel like I’m on track with my goal of completing a pull-up by the end of this year. It’ll also get easier as I lose weight.

NSVs:

  • My jeans are feeling a little looser when put on fresh out of the wash (when they always feel the tightest).
  • A cardigan that had shrunk actually fit a little looser on me than it did when I first bought it.
  • A different shirt that originally had no spare room around the belly at all now… ding ding ding… sits nicely around my middle instead of being body-tight!
  • Feeling less like I just like how I look and more like I’m proud of how I’m looking these days.

Misc:

  • Energy levels have improved. The first two weeks I was worried that I was depriving myself too much. I’ve been a little tired lately, but that’s partially due to working myself in the gym and not going to bed at reasonable times. Otherwise, I’m not feeling particularly weak. Except…
  • Daily at-home workouts have taken a dive. I’ve been getting lazy when I get home, either spending my time playing Fallout 3 or dicking around online. I went to do a push-up just a little bit ago and couldn’t. I typically only do knee push-ups, but last time I checked, I could do at least one full proper push-up. It was a no-go. I had to settle for five on the knees. I think this is a sign that I need to start doing daily push-ups (and body weight squats!) again. I shouldn’t go to the gym every day, but that doesn’t mean I should be completely lazy on my off-days.

Update for 2/16/12

Posted: February 16, 2012 in Goals, Heroes, Stats

So, I meant to update this yesterday. Wednesdays is when we weigh in for Weight Watchers and it seemed like a good day to deem “update day,” but updating from work is probably not the best idea for my productivity and I spent zero time at a computer after work ended.

I went up a whopping .8 lbs. .8! Oh no! Whatever will I do?

But in all seriousness, I was pretty bummed out at first. See, a .8 gain isn’t bad, but it isn’t a loss. I was hoping for a loss. Even a little. I did so well my first week – what happened!

Well, first and foremost, I drank far less water and ate far fewer veggies than the week before. My mom-in-law made some turkey that I ate two days in a row and we got some Weight Watchers snack bars that are low in points, but are still sugary treats. This may not seem so bad – turkey can be good for you and the snacks are low in points and calories – what’s the big deal about that?

Something you should know about me is that I am what I call a “replacement” person. I cut out soda (with exception for the occasional energy drink and rare bottled cream soda) just so I would drink more water. Trying to get in more H20 while still drinking juices and sodas all day just wasn’t happening. So, in a similar fashion, I’m mostly just cutting back on meat and processed foods to get more fresh veggies in.

Anyway, I went over all of this in my head, about where I went wrong and what I could do better. I think that’s helpful – it was a minor bump to keep me on track – but more importantly, I got over it. I got over it because I’ve been strength training quite a bit. I can’t lift as heavy as some people, but I lift enough to challenge myself and I can feel muscle developing in areas where I didn’t have muscle before. My stomach looks a little flatter, my legs and arms more solid. I haven’t lost that much in pounds, but I’m still making progress. 

The focus on pounds shouldn’t be the pounds lost or gained on the scale – it should be on the pounds added to my gym routine. Here’s one mighty lady who helped me remember this: 

Her name is Staci, and she’s one of the success stories over at Nerdfitness.com. I’d like you to take a moment, whether you are male or female, regardless of fitness goals, to read this article. This girl is a freakin’ badass. [Link]

She’s tiny, she’s ferocious and she’s a reminder that a) that number on the scale means very little once you’re on the right path to strength and health and b) weight lifting does not make you “bulky.”
No stats update today – most of my numbers are close to the same and I haven’t started measurements yet. I might have to do that for next week’s stat update.
Instead, I’m going to leave you with some non-scale-victories (NSV) and non-scale-goals (NSG):
NSV:
  • Multiple compliments this week about how good I look.
  • One of my favorite fitted jackets went on without a fuss this morning. I didn’t have to hunch forward to get the hook snapped under my boobs. I have slightly more room to move than the last time I put it on.
  • A shirt that my husband has had to help me zip up in the past at the widest part of my ribcage zipped up without any help, on the first try. All this time, I thought the zipper stopped working properly because it was broken!
NSG:
  • To wear shorts this summer. I’ve worn skirts, but no shorts above the knees, in years.
  • To wear a bikini at the beach and feel comfortable in it – even if I’m still a little jiggly, I’m determined to have built enough muscle and lost enough fat and have gained enough confidence to just do it.
That’s it for today, folks!

Small Victories

Posted: February 8, 2012 in Food, Goals, Stats

Two accomplishments to note!

  • Today marks the end of the first week of Weight Watchers with 3.2 pounds lost.
  • A shirt that previously took some tugging and the assistance of my husband to zip, because I had put on just enough weight to make it difficult to zip near the top, now fits properly! I got into it without any additional assistance, on the first try.

My first week of Weight Watchers was a little rough. I wasn’t really fully prepared for it and I had told myself I was going to give myself plenty of room for error since this is all new eating, but I ended up being determined to not go over my “point” allotment for the week. I was fairly hungry off and on the first few days, but near the end of the week I was feeling quite a bit more comfortable.

If absolutely nothing else, I will say this much – I have eaten more vegetables and fruit (mostly veggies) in the last week than I think I did in all of any one month in the last few years. I’ve also had a lot more water and notably less meat. Previously, I would eat more than one serving of meat in a meal, often times for two meals a day, pretty much every day. I mean, I know I need complete proteins in my diet, but that seems, I don’t know… excessive? I’ve been trying to get more beans, rice [and soon] quinoa in my diet and eating a max of one meat meal a day.

I’ve tried very hard to not set body weight goals for myself because what I want more than a stupid number is physical proof that my body is healthier and more efficient… but I admit, I’m really looking forward to having 10, 20 fewer pounds to have to carry around once I get back into rock climbing!

Stats for Week 1, Friday, Feb. 3 2012

Posted: February 3, 2012 in Stats
Tags:
Weight: 172.5 lbs
Pants: ~14 (depending on the brand, of course)
Bra: 38C
Weights: Since I’m just starting out, these numbers are going to be pretty low. They don’t represent how much I can technically pick up and put down but are the weights at which I can comfortably do multiple sets but still struggle during the last set.
  • Bench: 50lbs
  • Squat: (in smith machine) 20lbs

Health concerns: 
  • Periodic breakouts and blackheads.
  • Dry skin on legs, face, scalp (dandruff).
  • Digestive issues; frequent upset stomach, cramping, bloat. 
  • Misc. mysterious abdominal pain. (Have been to various doctors, gotten ultrasounds, a colonoscopy, all inconclusive) 
  • Frequent back pain.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Allergies, stuffy sinuses.
  • Winded relatively easily, occasional bouts of coughing. Am incredibly susceptible to prolonged coughing/lung pain whenever sick.
  • Itchy underarms (I know, this is a weird one – but I can rarely shave and break out into rash, despite trying a variety of techniques and types of soaps/deodorants. This only developed within the last few years).
  • Frequent headaches. 
  • Fatigue/general sleepiness.
  • Scapular alignment/sore shoulder and back. 
Notes for this period: To date, a number of the issues above were worse a year ago. Over the course of 2011, my husband and I went in and out of the gym and tried to spend the warmer months being active. The digestive stuff comes and goes but some specific abdominal pains have become less frequent. 
To comment specifically on the scapular alignment problem, I did see a physical therapist for this for a few months. Long story short, my right scapula, from years of misuse (heavy purses, bad computer posture) doesn’t move properly (along its “track”) so the muscles function poorly and thus hurt and cramp often. The solution to this is a combination of stretching and learning to properly engage the muscles while strengthening them. Even though I’m no longer in physical therapy and I still experience pain often, I can feel some improvement and the sharp, burning pain that I used to get (typically any time I had to lift anything, even something light like a plate, overhead) is less frequent.