Monday, October 18, 2010

Switching apps?

Okay, so I had posted my workout through my iPhone app on Friday, and got a comment or two that the calories burned seemed low to them (my walking partner had mentioned this before, as well).  So I decided to do a little investigating on my own, and here's what I found:
  • My current iPhone app says that 35 minutes of walking at a 3.5mph pace burned 176 calories.
  • I checked an online calculator, and it says that the same time, same pace would burn 296 calories.
WOW - that's a pretty big difference.  I'm beginning to wonder if I need to switch apps in order to get a good idea of the calories I'm burning.

So here's my question: what iPhone apps out there do you think are good for this?  My walking partner suggested RunKeeper Pro, and so far I like what I see, but I thought I'd see if anyone out there has any other suggestions before I drop $10 on it.  (Before you suggest I go for the free version, I would like the option of setting intervals, so that when I get further along, I can start incorporating some jogging into my workouts, along the lines of the Couch-to-5K program.)

Thanks in advance for the suggestions!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm baaaaaaaaaack!!

Bet y'all thought I fell off the face of the Earth, didn't ya???

Anyway, I was berated by a friend to get on here and update the blog, so here I am.  Sorry I haven't been around.  I guess I haven't had too much to say.  I said I was back, then abruptly disappeared again.  I sort of fell off the wagon (don't worry, no chocolate-donut binges this time) and got out of the habit of walking and tracking my eating.  I also haven't weighed myself in about two weeks.

I decided to start again this week because ... well, to tell the truth I'm not exactly sure what spurred me back on this track.  Not that I'm complaining, mind you.  I don't need to remember the reason why I restarted, just the reason why I'm here to begin with.

Anyway, today I got further on track by walking in a 5K on base with the other people in my husband's group.  The weather was less than stellar--about 50 degrees and a light drizzle--but we got the Munchkin into her stroller, all bundled up, and got on our way.  My husband even offered to walk with me to help keep me on track.  It was pretty hard--I'm used to walking on a track, which has NO hills whatsoever, while this route had some slight gradations in it.  My ankles started burning about 1/2 mile in and didn't stop the entire time.  About a mile into it, my legs were like LEAD.  But I pushed through and walked the two miles, and now I'm pretty glad that I did.  We would have walked the entire three, but the Munchkin was getting antsy and they were going to reopen the roads so we cut our route short.  Next time, though - three miles all the way!

I'm actually going to check into walking that route more regularly.  It will obviously do me some good to get those little hills into my workout, and it will be a nice change of scenery.  I also want to start using my jogging stroller, but I have to purchase a bike pump first and get the tires inflated.  Hopefully I can take care of that this weekend so I can start using it on Monday.

Workout for Friday, 15 October

Walked 2/3 of a 5K today with my husband.

Walked: 38 minutes
Distance: 2 miles

Monday, September 20, 2010


So, as I was walking today with my friend, we decided to take a different route than usual.  This different route took us down a small, barely-two-lane road with no sidewalks.  Normally, I'd be very concerned, but this road is hardly ever travelled; plus we could see cars coming with plenty of time to get over for them to pass.  So I wasn't too concerned.

Of course, we hadn't been in the road for two minutes when a large moving-type truck came barrelling toward us.  My friend had her little one in a jogging stroller, so she was able to get off into the grass.  I, with my dinky little umbrella stroller, had to fight my way through the thick underbrush (which, of course, was the same thickness as what my friend so easily navigated).  Once the truck passed, my friend was a little ahead, so I decided to jog up to meet her.  I shuffled along, pain in every step.  Definitely thought to myself, "This was a mistake.  I'm obviously not physically ready to run."

Another car came through, and again I found myself just a few yards behind my friend.  I don't know what possessed me, but I decided to jog up to her again.  This time, though, I actually picked my knees up more as I ran.  And lo and behold: it didn't hurt as badly.  It still hurt, so I won't be running any marathons anytime soon, but I may have had a small epiphany there.  It actually excited me to know that there was something I could do to my form to lessen the pain of running.  It makes me want to work harder, just to get to the point of jogging a significant distance, in order to test this new form I've discovered.

(Of course, those of you who are active runners are probably rolling your eyes and snickering behind your hands at my realization of something so obvious.  Well, to that I say: Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.)

I will say, however, that I'm a little concerned that the pain in my knees isn't getting any better.  I mean, I'm not expecting them to be pain-free overnight, but I'm a little worried that I may have done irreparable damage to them by being so sedentary all that time.  If I can't see any improvement in a couple of weeks, I may go to the doctor and make sure there isn't something else going on.  I'll keep you updated!

Workout for Monday, 20 September

Had a GREAT walk today with my friend around our village.  Took a slight detour from our regular route, and VOILA!  Nearly three miles!!

Walked: approx. 45 minutes
Distance: 2.9 miles

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Workout for Thursday, 16 September

Got a good walk in today ... and increased my speed quite a bit.  Yay!

Walked: 40 minutes
Distance: 2.25 miles

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

UGH ... BLAH ... and lots of other yucky-like noises ...

Okay, so I fell off the wagon today.  Like, BIG.  I ate an entire box (that's eight, to the layperson) of chocolate-frosted donuts.  AN ENTIRE BOX.

I'm recording this moment of weakness for two reasons:
  1. Accountability: You guys and gals will read this, shake your heads and tsk in pity and shame, and that will remind me never to do this again (because I hate feeling pitied and shamed); and
  2. History: This will act as my proverbial walk of shame.  If I record how amazingly gross I feel right now, the next time I'm tempted to down almost 1400 calories (yeah, you read that right, folks) I can come to this post and remember how vile it feels to know that I ate nearly my entire daily calorie allowance in thirty minutes.
And they weren't even that good.  Kinda waxy, which makes me wonder how long I'll be paying for this transgression, if you get my meaning.  (One word: YIKES.)

Anyway, for what it's worth, sorry folks.  Or really, I should be saying, Sorry Heather.  Won't happen again.

Now get back up, dust yourself off, and get back in the race.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Workout for Tuesday, 14 September

Got in a good workout today, in the rain no less!  Had to transfer The Munchkin to my friend's double jogger since I don't have a rain cover for my little stroller (yet).

Walked: 45 minutes
Distance: 2.4 miles

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming ...

Sorry I've been AWOL, folks.  I went on vacation for a week and forgot to post here that I'd be an absentee blogger for a while.  But I'm roaring to get back into the swing of things, especially since I got some decent exercise while on vacay: walking on the beach, at tourist attractions, to dinner, etc.  Can't really quantify it, but I feel like I did some good.

So lace up those shoes, peeps ... let's get movin'!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Workout for Tuesday, 31 August

Got in a decent workout today.  My first mile was a 20 min/mile, but my second was an 18 min/mile!  So I walked a little further before I had to get my errands done.

Walked: 45 minutes
Distance: approx. 2 miles

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I'm actually nervous about tomorrow's weigh-in.  Mostly because I don't know what might happen to my psyche if I weigh in and don't lose any weight again this week.  And I swore to myself that I wouldn't get so hung up on the pounds lost, but it's so hard when it's such an easy way to gauge success.

So anyway, I don't have anything more to report for today ... just keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow's weigh-in ...

Workout for Saturday, 28 August

Today was hard ... I wonder if it's because I walked so late in the day yesterday (6pm) and this walk was early (9am).  Either that, or it was just mental.

Walked: 40 minutes
Distance: 2 miles

Friday, August 27, 2010

If I wasn't already married ...

... I'd propose to my new running shoes.


They are so different from my old shoes, it's insane.  I started walking today, and I actually had to look down to remind myself I was actually wearing shoes.  They were so light, my brain kept fooling me into thinking I was walking in my socks.  My ankles didn't burn AT ALL.  Not even at the beginning, which I completely expected since I hadn't walked in earnest in a full week.  So that leads me to believe that those old shoes were too heavy for my feet.  It's a little weird, though; these new shoes are "walking" shoes, and the old ones are "running" shoes, and I'd think that the runners would be lighter than the walkers since you don't want extra weight keeping you grounded when you run.  Maybe that's just my uneducated guessing, though.

Anyway, I think I did pretty well for not having done any serious workouts in a week.  I'm going to walk on base tomorrow and break them in further.  Maybe The Munchkin will let me walk a full three miles this time!

Who new a new pair of shoes would make such a difference??

Workout for Friday, 27 August

Man ... I love these shoes.

Walked: 40 minutes
Distance: approx. 1.75 miles

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Workout for Thursday, 26 August

Did a little P90X yoga with my girlies ... man, did it kick my boo-tay!!  Got in a good solid 30 minutes before The Munchkin decided she needed to cling to my shaking legs.

Yoga: 30 minutes (intense)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Walking on air!


(doing the happy dance)

I went to the BX here and found so many choices, it was actually hard to choose.  Plus they had placards that said what type of foot each shoe was designed for, so I looked for the most "neutral" shoe just because I have no idea if I pronate, supinate, or just nate.  (I know there's no such thing ... right?)

So here's what I got:

It's the New Balance 759, which is described by the company as "a neutral trainer built on our ACTEVA™ LITE midsole to provide the runner a light responsive, cushioned ride."  When I put them on in the store, I loved them.  They seem so much lighter than the Asics I'm wearing now, so hopefully it will help to alleviate the ankle issues I've been having.

I am working out at a friend's house tomorrow, so no walking ... but as soon as I test-drive these babies, I will report back on their awesomeness.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Workout for Tuesday, 24 August

The Munchkin began wailing incessantly about halfway through my third lap, so I had to quit earlier than I had intended.  (Gonna have to figure out how to keep her occupied while I walk.)  But I still squeezed in a mile.

Walked: 20 minutes
Distance: 1 mile

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yeah ... um ...

As Robert Burns once wrote, "The best laid pans of mice and men oft go awry."  Actually, it wasn't that easily pronounced, to which anyone who's taken a course on British poetry can attest.

Anyway, I had every intention of getting up this morning, donning my walking shoes, and hitting the road with The Munchkin.  Instead, I woke up, got her up and fed her, let her play for about 30 minutes, then put her to bed and proceeded to sleep on the couch for three hours.  I thought I was over this cold, and now I'm fairly certain that I am, but I guess there was just a little bit hanging on.  The sleep definitely helped, and she slept the entire time that I did as well.  Guess we both needed some sleep.

So because of that, I didn't get in the workout I had intended.  I had to run a couple of errands after lunch, and after The Munchkin's afternoon nap I attempted to take her for a walk around the village, but torrential rains cut our walk very short.

I don't feel behind, though, and tomorrow's walk will feel good to get under my belt and help me back into the groove.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I hope Scarlett O'Hara wasn't wrong

Had a VERY off day today.  The Munchkin decided to stop running a fever, but instead chose to voice her displeasure with being sick by screaming.  ALL DAY.  She screamed when I put her down, when I picked her up, when I sat down while still holding her, when I put her in her high chair for meals, when I tried to feed her ... well, you get the idea.  The only time she stopped screaming was when I put her down for a nap and closed her door.  By 6pm I had had it, so I took her for a little stroll around the neighborhood.  It calmed her down enough that I was able to feed her dinner and then get her into bed, where she fell asleep without a peep.  The little devil.

The point of describing all of that is to say that I was slightly stressed out today, and because of that I went WAY over my daily calorie budget.  I also didn't do what you'd consider an actual workout.  Add to that the fact that I weighed in this morning and broke even (I thought for certain that I had at least lost a pound), and that makes for a pretty depressed person.  I know that stress is definitely not an excuse to eat everything in sight, but I'm working on controlling that part of me.  Today, though, I cracked.

However, tomorrow I fully intend to start off right by grabbing a bowl of HEALTHY cereal (I promise it won't be Froot Loops or anything like that) and taking The Munchkin out for a walk.  Not sure if it'll be on base or here in the village, but it will be a walk nonetheless.  And I hope to make the day better from there.

Here's hoping that tomorrow truly IS another day!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rubbin' me the WRONG way

So the past two days haven't exactly been what one could call "pleasant."  I had a doctor's appointment to try to pinpoint this weird itching I have on my hands and feet, and as they tried to draw blood they had to stick me three times.  And bruise the CRAP out of my elbow.  It still hurts, nearly 36 hours later.  OW.  Also, The Munchkin has been running a fever for the past two days off and on so I took her to the doctor this morning to find out she has a viral upper respiratory infection, and the only thing we can do is wait it out.  Which is TONS of fun when waiting it out means you have a screaming one-year-old pretty much all day long.

Anyway, I did get out and walk this morning before Munchkin's appointment, which I documented in my previous post.  I did a lot better than I thought I did at the time, and again was able to push through the tightness in my ankles.

However, during today's walk (and Wednesday's), I felt a rubbing on the outside of my right heel that began to really bother me.  When I got home from my walk, I ran upstairs to change for the trip to the pediatrician, and when I pulled my socks off I *painfully* discovered that my shoes are rubbing a blister on the outside of that heel.  Does this mean I have to buy new shoes?  Wear different socks?  I'm not sure how to remedy this.  For now, I have it under two band-aids and am wearing socks that don't cut so low on my ankle that it is exposed to the shoe.  The thing that concerns me is that the only way to fix this could possibly be to buy new shoes.

I will say, for the record, that I ABHOR shopping for running shoes.  To be fair, I've only been once, but you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and that one trip pretty much did it for me.  The salesperson was rude and basically treated me as if I shouldn't be there because I was overweight.  Which, in my opinion, is the exact OPPOSITE way you should treat someone who's trying to better themselves.  But apparently that's why I don't get to work in a shoe store with those oh-so-snappy uniforms.

So, as if you couldn't guess, I'd really like to avoid having to buy shoes if at all possible.  If anyone has any insight, I'd love to know what you've done in the past for something like this.

Workout for Friday, 20 August

Walked with a friend around our little village ... didn't think I did very well but mapped the route and got a very surprising distance traveled!

Walked: 40 minutes
Distance: 1.8 miles

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Taking a sick day

Hey peeps ... I'm not posting today as I'm tired and possibly coming down with a cold, thanks to The Munchkin.  I will try to post tomorrow.  I actually have some stuff to discuss, too.

You should anxiously await my return.  :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Feel the burn ... or maybe not

I was a little concerned about today, to be honest.  My "walking buddy" took her daughter to gymnastics, so I was left to work out all on my own.  Usually, if left to my own devices a workout morphs into a shopping trip to the BX and a milkshake from Baskin-Robbins.  Not exactly melting those pounds away.  But today I was determined to keep working on my stamina.  Because, of course, I'm already disappointed that I can't walk faster than a 20 min/mile.  (Let's leave that thought for another post.)  So I got The Munchkin into the car and headed to base to the track.

Fate decided to tempt me, of course.  First, I went to the track only to find the gate closed and seemingly locked.  Confused, I turned around and decided to check my mail at the post office, which is right beside the track on base.  I met up with one of the fabulous ladies from yesterday's antiquing trip, and she told me that some of the moms were at the BX hanging out until their 11:00 circuit class started at the gym.  Oh, Baskin-Robbins, I hear you calling my name ... Mint Chip milkshake, anyone??

However, in talking to her, I mentioned that I was going to walk the track but that the gate was locked.  She proceeded to show me an alternate way into the track -- one that didn't have a gate on it.  SWEET.  So I started walking my laps, listening to my iPod and The Munchkin's babbling in front of me, hoping those two distractions would be enough to make me forget that I was actually exercising.

About halfway into the first lap, the outside of both of my ankles started burning.  BADLY.  I actually felt hobbled; every time I stepped, and tried to bend my ankles in any way, they hurt.  This has happened to me every time I try to start getting back in shape -- this exact feeling in my ankles.  I didn't think I'd make it through that lap, to be honest.  But I told myself to just push through until I got three laps done, which would equal one mile.  It wasn't nearly the distance I had walked on Monday, but at least I was logging in some time.

I pushed my way through the first two laps, and then about halfway through the third lap I noticed something odd.  My ankles weren't burning quite so much anymore.  They were still uncomfortable, but all of a sudden it was somewhat bearable.  And then, at almost the instant I passed the one mile marker, the pain just ... stopped.  I was literally shocked.  I've never pushed myself past that ankle pain before; I've always wimped out and stopped, afraid I'd do something to my ankles if I continued.  Now, as I sit here typing this entry, they still don't hurt at all, and it's been nine and a half hours since my walk stopped.  Truthfully, the only reason I stopped at three miles was that I was meeting a friend for lunch and I was going to be late if I kept walking.  But I could have walked another three, I think.  No exaggeration.

So tomorrow is, unfortunately, another off day for me ... doctor's appointment in the AM followed by lunch with a friend.  I do, however, have some workout shows recorded on my DVR.  Maybe I'll try one of those in the afternoon while The Munchkin naps.  So if you're in the Isleham area, and see a thirty-something fat girl bouncing around her living room to a Hip-Hop Abs Workout ... please, keep your laughter as quiet as possible.  You might mess up my groove.

(Postscript: Come to find out, the gate wasn't locked, but merely pulled shut.  I could have opened it at any time and walked right through.  Funny what your mind can make you see when it wants to believe something is real.)

Workout for Wednesday, 18 August

First "lone" workout today ... and I think I did pretty well.  :-)

Walked: 1 hour
Distance: 3 miles

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Something's missing here ...

I didn't do any traditional exercise today.  Instead, I joined two awesome women to go antiquing in Lincoln, which is about two hours from here.  I will admit, I was a bit nervous about the trip, for three reasons:
  1. I was meeting one of the women for the first time, and I didn't want to come off like either a big dork (which I am) or someone who can't control her crazy self in public (which I am);
  2. I was taking The Munchkin, and a two-hour car ride one way is daunting enough, but add in a day sitting in her stroller all day, and it's bound to get messy; and
  3. I know how my back, legs and knees feel after sitting in the car for twenty minutes, let alone two hours.
However, because I had already committed (and let's face it, I hate backing out of things for stupid reasons such as the ones listed above), I went anyway.  Met the girls at 9:30 and got on the road.  We stopped around noon to eat lunch and feed the kids (the "new" girl has a son the same age as The Munchkin), and got to the fairgrounds about 1:30pm or so.  Did about 4 hours of antiquing (which is TOTALLY different here than in the States ... I seriously enjoyed myself), got back in the car for an hour, stopped for dinner, then got home at about 8:15pm.  A long day, to be sure.  The Munchkin did very well, except for a short stint of screaming on the way home.  Add in all that standing at the antiques market, and I was certain that I was going to have to ice my knees down and take about four Aleve in order to be able to move tomorrow.

But I've been home for an hour now, and I just realized that there's no pain in my knees.  Well, maybe they're a little stiff, but not painful.  I don't think this is the result of only three days' worth of exercise, especially considering I haven't really done all that much.  But I was very surprised when I realized this.

I just wanted to tell this story as a positive occurrence.  I know that I may not feel like I'm doing a whole lot, but when I start forgetting that parts of me had once been painful, I count that as a point in my favor.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Workout for Monday, 16 August

Met a friend at the track on base this morning ... man, it was windy and COLD but we toughed it out.  Got in a good workout, too!

Walked: 1 hour
Distance: 3 miles

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What do you mean, I'm not a size six yet??

(First off, a quick "housekeeping" note: I'm going to try to post every day, if only to report there's nothing to report.  Nothing like a little redundancy to get your blood pumping, eh?)

I'm having my first "this sucks" moment.  Wow, I made it one whole day before turning into Debbie Downer.  Someone call Guinness.  (And no, not the beer people, although I could use one right now.)

I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not supposed to see some major change right away.  I'm a very results-oriented person, and I always have been.  This means that if you tell me it's going to take a year to learn how to do something, I will do my best to find a way to learn it in a week.  If I can't find a way, then I quit.  It sucks, and it's very defeatist, but hey -- that's how I roll, people.

So I walked for 35 minutes this morning, and I ate fairly well (I'm finishing the day a whopping 37 calories under my daily budget of 1,798, according to my Lose It iPhone app, but I'm still finishing under).  I was never starving or felt cheated, and I'm actually going to bed feeling sated in terms of appetite.

So can someone please explain to me why I still feel like today was a failure?

Is it because I didn't manage to run a marathon today?  Survive on 500 calories?  Fit into a size six pair of True Religions?  (And yes, I know that they don't size them that way.  I'm trying to make a point here, people.)  I think I expected something to change when I made this declaration of intent to lose this weight.  What that "something" is, I haven't a clue.  Maybe I expected to have a crapload of energy so that I could have walked longer, or maybe I expected my body to recognize my intentions and start behaving in a more "athletic" way.  I don't know.  What I do know is that my expectations are obviously unrealistic.  So what can I do about that?

I think the iPhone app I'm using will help some.  Lose It is a way to track the calories you take in, plus factor in any exercise you may have done.  You enter your starting weight, your goal weight, and how many pounds you'd like to lose each week; the app gives you the calorie limit for each day and tells you when you should reach your goal (my D-Day is around the end of June 2011, I believe).  I am hoping that, once I get more days under my belt, I will be able to see my progress -- however slow it may be -- and my unrealistic expectations will either go away or actually begin to be more attainable.

For now, I have to be happy with going to bed feeling simultaneously satisfied and unsatisfied.  Nothing like a little inner confusion to end your day!

Workout for Sunday, 15 August

Off to a slow start today ... but hey, at least I'm moving!

Walked: 35 minutes
Distance: approx. 1 mile

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Getting Started ... AKA The Great Motivator

Ladies and gentlemen ... start your engines!!

The purpose of this blog is to be brutally honest in my quest to lose weight.  I have decided that, while being grossly overweight has been oh-so-thrilling these past couple of years, it is now time to shed these extra five (or, actually, extra one hundred) pounds.  Why, you may ask?  It's simple.

I wanna baby.  (Cue Raising Arizona.)

My husband and I are blessed with a beautiful, healthy little girl, who just turned one.  I ever thought that I would want to have a baby; I have always been the "babies are great when you can give them back to their parents" kind of person.  When my husband and I found out we were pregnant, I still wasn't sure if I was ready for kids.  I mean, this was a HUGE change in our lives!  Diapers!  Spit-up!  Smelling another human's butt on a regular basis!  (Moms, you know what I mean.)  But of course, that fateful moment came when I saw my baby for the first time, and even though it wasn't all fireworks and love-at-first-sight, I did realize that this was a very, VERY good thing.  And this past year has been HARD but amazing.

So, lately I've been feelin' that itch.  You know, the one that begins when you see a brand new baby out somewhere and ends with you babbling incoherently at the other mother (who is giving you a look usually saved for sidewalk mimes and tax collectors) about how sweet her baby is.  I find myself picking up clothes in stores that are sized Newborn.  I actually sit and pick out names, for crying out loud.

Yeah, people ... I've got it bad.

However, when I mentioned this to my husband, he wasn't as gung-ho as I thought he'd be.  He said, "Well, I'm ready, but I'm not sure that you are."  When I explained to him that, um, that's what this conversation was supposed to be about, he continued, "Well, I think we should wait until you get in shape.  You're in worse shape now than when you got pregnant before, and I don't think your body can handle a pregnancy right now.  I don't know what would happen."

Well, I never! ... Wait.  Okay, the man has a point.

When I got pregnant almost two years ago, I weighed 200 pounds.  On a 5' 5" frame, that's bad enough.  But add to that the 60 pounds I gained while pregnant (of which I only lost 20), and you can see why my husband would be so concerned.  I am in constant pain, whether it be my back, knees, ankles.  My boobs are each bigger than my daughter's head, and that is no exaggeration, folks.  I have never been this big in my entire life, but nothing has EVER motivated me to lose weight before.  I don't know why, but even the thought of dying due to my obesity hasn't even nudged me off the couch.  But the thought of having another little angel to hold, to nurture, to love and enjoy ... that's the catalyst that I needed to get off my lazy butt and do something about this problem.

So, since it's late here my little corner of the world, I will begin tomorrow.  Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I may not be ... but I will be excited about it.  Because hey, this is the beginning of a new me: hopefully, the mother of two.