Thursday, January 31, 2008

Beaten grandma

So I'm loving life with the new BodyBugg (known from here on out as BB, because I'm getting tired of typing it out all the time, ha ha!)

Simply by wearing it, I feel like I'm playing a game with myself--burn more calories than I take in. Who knew it would take 29 years and a gadget to get me to truly grasp the science behind losing weight...

Well, there are few moments more rewarding in my day than the ones where I'm home, just before bed, uploading my BB and waiting to see how many calories I've burned that day. Seriously, I feel so triumphant when I see I reached my "target deficit" for the day.

But in order to reach this moment of nirvana, I uh, have to move more. I find all kinds of little reasons now to move--go to the copier on the other side of the office (instead of the one by my desk); park my car farthest from the store know, all that stuff the exercise magazines tell you to do and you tend to roll your eyes at.

And I've gone to the gym more times this week than I have in a long while. I felt pretty good about myself and my efforts until this morning when I noticed the gym was crawling with elderly folks. Apparently, my Bally's is a SilverSneakers gym.

Nothing against senior citizens...I live in a building full of them and yes, some of them are grumpy, but most of them are very, very sweet.

No, what depressed me was the sweet little old woman who was apparently doing a lower body workout, just like me. She kept following me from weight machine to weight machine. At first I thought to myself, "Wow! I wonder if she can do this?! She's older!!"

But here's where the depression came in...after I'd hop off a machine, she'd hop on...and not change any of the settings. She was lifting the same weights I was--and on two cases, MORE than I lifted.

I was being a GRANDMA!

Talk about depressing. Or motivating. In my newfound effort to try and be more positive, I'll go with "motivating" to describe the whole experience. I found myself walking out of the gym thinking, "Man...I hope I'm that fit when I'm her age."

That lady was working out with all the gusto of a 29-year old (albeit one that's not very fit, but still...). She was limber and moving around and well...she was easily in her 70s.

I was in awe. I hope she's passing on all those wonderful lessons to her kids and grandkids. I wish mine had. Instead, I had a grandmother who believed with all her heart that food was love. And her food was usually fried and/or made with lots of fat. (Hello! We're Cuban...we FRY bananas!)

Now, my grandmother is paying the price. She's overweight. Not in the best health. Has arthritis and other things that make her feel terrible. I can't help but wonder how different her life would be if she was out there, moving around like the gym grandma is.

Screw depressing. Even motivating isn't enough. I'm thinking of that gym-going granny as inspiration!

Monday, January 28, 2008

I've been Bugged!

Ha, now there's a catchy title...especially since it's true. In more ways than one.

This weekend brought another WW meeting, which brought another run-in with the scale, which brought another gain.

This time it was only 1/2 a pound, but considering it was the second week in a row, I was seriously bummed. (It also shot down the nagging notion in my head that maybe, just maybe, last week's gain was water weight or water retention. Apparently not!)

I don't do well when the scale goes up. Especially two weeks in a row. I left WW in tears, miserably unhappy and convinced I am destined to be fat forever. Well, isn't that nice?

But I didn't have much time to get upset. I had an appointment with a trainer to set up my BodyBugg. I now think setting that meeting up two hours after my weigh-in was divine intervention. Because after I sat in her office, let out all my frustrations, and got my Bugg program going, I was convinced I'd be able to do this.

I was also convinced I was going to have to work a lot harder than I have been.

The BodyBugg is a little device that I'm going to be wearing every day. It's going to measure exactly how many steps I take every day, how many calories I burn every day and at what point my metabolism is the highest.

I'll then enter everything I eat into the online program (which for me, is not a pain to do. I enter all my meals on, so heck, I can enter one meal twice. No biggie!) and the program will calculate my intake vs. the calories burned.

When I set up the program, I had to tell BodyBugg how much weight I wanted to lose, how much I wanted to lose per week, and give it a goal date. At this point, I told BodyBugg that I would like to be firmly ensconced in Onederland by my 30th birthday (in July!). It figured that means I need to lose about 1.5 pounds a week (a reasonable amount, I think). And based on that, it has calculated a target "calorie deficit" for me that I need to reach daily.

Pretty neat, huh? I'm loving it and I hope it answers some of my questions as to why my body just is not cooperating. Although when I shared with the trainer what was going on, she just about fell out of her chair.

To teach me how to use the program, she had me log a typical day's meals. When we did that, we were both stunned. I'd say that a good 3-4 days of the week, I'm not eating enough. My body's probably annoyed by that.

Now, I've heard of this "starvation mode" thing before. I know it's true. I just never imagined my chubby rear could find that place. But apparently, every once in a while, I sample day calorie total was under 1,200. Considering I exercise, that's not good.

So who knows? Maybe that's why my weight loss efforts have been so batty--to make up for the weekends (when yes, I overindulge. Often!) I eat less during the week; but my "less" is not enough to give my body what it needs.

That's what I love about the's an awareness thing. Hey, it's not going to beep when I reach for the cookie. It doesn't stop you from reaching for the cheeseburger. But it makes you really aware of what you're doing. And you can't tell yourself your workout means you get 500 calories to play with---unless you really burned 500 calories.

It's one more way to keep myself accountable. But I am glad BodyBugg didn't go to Paris...

Monday, January 21, 2008 deadly sin

I like to consider myself a good person. For the most part.

I'm generally nice to people. I adore my family. I go to church. Donate money to charity. Try really hard to make time for my friends and the people I love.

But I know I'm far from perfect and one of my faults is that I am an incredibly jealous person. Eww, it just sounds ugly. But it's true.

I'm possessive when someone of the female gender looks at Mr. CCC. I roll my eyes (internally) when coworkers talk about their big raises. I wish I had the looks of Catherine Zeta-Jones or the shoe collection of Carrie Bradshaw.

I know I should be content with my lot in life, but like I said--it's my downfall. I want more.

This tendency towards envy has now spilled into another arena of my weight loss efforts.

After being so proud of what I accomplished over the holidays, I guess I got a little complacent. And whaddya know...this week, I gained a pound and a half. Ugh. Considering it usually takes me two weeks or more to lose a pound, this was not a good turn of events.

Worse was how as I stood in line I had to keep hearing "Oh! Look at you! You've lost three pounds this week!" or "Wow! Look at that...down two. You're almost at your 10 percent!"

It's not that I wish my fellow Weight Watchers wouldn't lose weight---I want them to! But heck, I want to lose weight too!

I've now been trying to lose weight for 15 months. In that span, I have lost 32 pounds. That's really not good, especially considering that when I started this journey in September of 2006, I weighed 255 pounds.

That's a lot of weight. Enough that the scale should be moving a little better than it is. Yeah, I've had some rough patches here and there, but I'm well below the one-pound weekly loss that's supposed to be healthy (and normal).

And yeah, I am jealous of those newbies that have strolled into my meeting and lost 20 pounds in three or four months. Yeah, I'm incredibly jealous of those folks on The Biggest Loser who bitch and moan when they only lose two or three pounds in a given week. I'd KILL to have a week where I lost three pounds. I think in my 15-month journey that's only happened once or twice.

It's funny. When I crinkled my face at the ugly number this weekend, the weigher said to me, "You've lost weight. You'll get this off. You can't be negative about this," and the only thing I've been since Saturday is...surprise, surprise, negative.

The positive? Instead of channeling negative energy into a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough, I channel it into exercise. Working out while angry is a good thing. And that's what I did Saturday--went straight from my meeting to a 45-minute session with the elliptical machine. Today, I also called a personal trainer to set up an appointment...Mr. CCC knows how frustrated I've been with my effort so for Christmas, he bought me a Body Bugg.

The trainer is supposed to set it up for me. I'm hoping she also has some reasonable packages that maybe I can purchase so I can get some professional help in the fitness department. Maybe it's what I need.

And then maybe, just maybe, someone can envy my weight loss for the week...

Monday, January 7, 2008

So that's what a fever will do for ya...

So Paris came and went.

And yes, it was wonderful.

The food, the scenery, the time away from work...heck, even the Arctic temperatures were a treat. (I live in South Florida; I get excited anytime the temperature dips below 70.)

But all that gluttony and chilly air did a number on my body...and a day after getting off the plane, I was huddled in bed, my body rebelling with a 101-degree fever. Mr. CCC came home early from work as several hours passed and my temperature wouldn't go down. The fever finally broke on Friday, but I was still so sick the only thing I could even fathom keeping down was saltines and Gatorade.

I think those two days of limited eating did a number on me--because when I went to my meeting on Saturday and stepped on the scale--fully expecting it to go up, btw!--I was pleasantly surprised.

Instead of gaining from my Paris indulgences, I lost half a pound.

How's that for just pure insanity? I spend eight weeks obsessing and completely stuck at my weight. Yet at my last two weigh-ins, the ones I wasn't worried about the number, or where I expected it to go up...the scale moved in the way I wanted it to.

So what's the lesson here? That I need to stop worrying so much about the scale? (Easier said than done!) Or that maybe, just maybe, a well-timed fever can do wonders for your weight loss efforts?

For better or for worse, I can now say that I lost a pound and a half during the holidays...and considering the average American gains 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's, I'll take it.

It was just the kind of kick-start to the new year and my re-focused effort I needed.

And get this...I even managed to go to the gym today. Felt like I was going to collapse, but I feels pretty good to be back on track!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Wow...a whole month, huh?

I know I've been missing in action for a while.

If I had to tell you what the past month has been like, you wouldn't believe me. Because for me, December was nothing but pure insanity.

I try not to get too much of my personal or work life into this blog, but when it comes to work, my busiest time of year runs from August to December. In that span, December is the worst. I work on the biggest project of the entire year with insane deadlines and uncooperative people.

The two weeks before Christmas I was literally at the office every day from 10 a.m. to well past midnight. Every day.

The good thing about all that? While everyone else was dodging Christmas-party diet landmines, I didn't even find time to scarf down cookies or champagne. I also didn't find time to darken the doorstep at my gym. It's been about a month since I've worked out. Ouch!

As a result, my weight loss has been at a complete standstill. Complete. I stayed on my plan, but for eight weeks, I stayed the exact same weight. Not up an ounce, not down an ounce. Eight weeks. When the same thing happened on week eight, I literally started to cry on the scale.

It was frustrating and maddening, but in the end, I kind of interpreted it as the universe doing its part to keep me even keel during a very stressful time in my life. It was as if my body said, "Hey, CCC. You've got a lot on your plate. Don't worry about shedding pounds right now. Worry about staying healthy and sane and finishing this project. We'll get going again as soon as you're done."

Sure enough, once I turned in the project and had a few days to enjoy Christmas, I stepped on the scale and lost a pound.

Of course, when I return to WW on Saturday, I don't expect that to be the case. Mr. CCC and I just returned from a week-long trip to Paris and I'll be honest--I did not even bother to count points.

Heck, it's Paris. Who knows when I'll be back? So I let myself enjoy...and enjoy I did. Crepes, fondue, champagne, foie gras and buckets of onion soup. Perhaps the damage isn't so bad--we did a lot of walking and in Europe, the portions are far more reasonable than here in the states--but even if I did gain a pound or two, I just don't mind.

I told myself before we left that I'd regroup come the new year...and for me, that new year started the moment the plane touched down. I'll deal with what the scale has to say tomorrow.

To make my journey even easier, Santa brought me one of those nifty Body Bugg contraptions. I need to go meet with a personal trainer next week to activate it and get it going. I'm really looking forward to getting back in the gym and back to my normal life. Because there was nothing normal about December and I'm glad that month is now in my rear-view mirror...