Back in the saddle

The past several days have been crazy busy getting prepared for a big conference next week, as well as doing a multi-team meeting for about 80 employees, and there’s several webinars and conferences coming up that we still need to register people for and promote. While we’re at it, we’re onboarding two new employees, interviewing people for two other positions, and I am up to three managers I support full time, two I support part time, and one that I support on a technical needs basis.

And, by the way, I turned 42 on Friday. Life is not boring.

On Thursday I helped with an 80-person meeting that brought together a bunch of people that I have emailed for years but never met, so it was really cool to be able to put faces with names. I was on the planning calls for the meeting, which meant that I was disqualified from participating in the Teambuilding event before dinner. I was okay with that, because it meant I got to be on the judging team, and the event was a guacamole and margarita making contest. I got to taste-test the fruits of labor for all 10 teams, including the margaritas… and I don’t even drink. It was a lot of fun, and a chance to mingle with a lot of folks, and a chance to actually interact with most of my managers in person – they’re scattered across the country, so I don’t get a lot of face time with them.

Friday was a late day at work, so between that and Thursday I was dog-tired by the time I got home, and made the mistake of dozing off on the couch. That meant I was awake until about 2 in the morning, and then couldn’t motivate Saturday at all. At least not until the evening when I went to karaoke with my friends. That meant another late night (or really, really early morning!) and a hard time with motivation on Sunday.

Long and short of it is that I have not had any real exercise since Wednesday (although cat herding on Thursday counts for something, considering how much walking I was doing at the event), so tonight I got guilted-slash-motivated into spending time on the treadmill while watching “The Biggest Loser”.

It’s frustrating because I am again having all the mental “I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna” demotivators running through my brain, and if I just get off my ass and DO it, it’s not that bad and I actually feel better afterwards. Is there a magic button or pill or something to shut off that negative voice and make it easier to motivate?

Some good things that came out of this week – I do actually have a swimsuit that fits decently enough that I can bring it to the conference and not feel embarrassed in it. It’s a two-piece, but the pieces are modest enough that I could wear them. I’ll pack it on the off chance I have time to use it. Also, the weather for the conference is looking good – highs in the lower 60s and less than a 20% chance of rain. Since many of our activities on Tuesday afternoon are outdoors, fingers crossed that it stays that way. We have hiking, biking, kayaking, golf… all sorts of “get out and get active” things that hopefully will go over well.

Goals for the week – stay within my calorie allotment and do something physical, like another half hour on the treadmill, or maybe some weight lifting at home. Wednesday I have a massage scheduled (90 minutes – woot), and Thursday I can make the Yin/Restorative Yoga class at 7:30 if work isn’t too crazy that day. Friday will be laundry, Saturday is dance class and packing, because Sunday is a travel day.

I’m really looking forward to the conference and seeing all this insanity come together, but I’ll be really really glad when it’s over!!

At least it wasn’t the elliptical

Tonight at the gym we had the cardio evaluation for the TEAM class. Basically it was “how far can you go on a treadmill in 30 minutes?” Not my most favoritest thing ever, but at least it wasn’t the elliptical. I did 1.9 miles, which is an average of 3.8 mph or so. I wasn’t pushing as hard as I probably could have, so I need to work on that inner motivation and drive that will make me push myself as hard as I know I can go. I can rationalize and make the excuse that I had a crazy day at work, but that’s just what it is – an excuse.

The two weeks leading up to a major event for work are always a pain and tiring. Add in the fact that I have three other events that I am working on at the same time, not to mention a bunch of other projects, and it gets even more entertaining.

I can still laugh about it – that means I haven’t hit my stress break point yet. But as we get closer and the questions from presenters get stupider, my tolerance gets lower.

Tomorrow I get to go to one of the events I’ve been working on, because we have 70 of our account management team from across our region in town for training. These are people I have talked to or emailed for various things over the past five years, so it will be neat to finally see what some of them look like. I also get to meet the new person I have recently been assigned to as admin support; spend time with the manager in Chicago that I have been supporting since October; get to see one of my past managers who keeps trying to get me to move to support him in his new role; and interact with the Region Head whom I have been assisting since July. Oh – and my actual manager that I report to on the org chart will be there, too. Work is not boring, that’s for sure.

I also got my lab numbers back from my blood test on Monday. Cholesterol is still high, but lower than it was in September, so that’s good. LDL is also too high, and working on that will be a priority. Everything else is good, yay!

Ya gotta start somewhere

Tonight at TEAM we did a class evaluation for push ups, sit ups, and planks. I wish I had written down somewhere what my push up numbers were from my initial eval on January 5 – I thought I had them, but I can’t find them, so I can’t tell if I did better or worse.

So, even though it’s embarrassing, I’m posting these so I can refer back to them as I improve.

  • 30 seconds – push ups (knee): 17 (translate to 8.5 toe push ups)
  • 30 seconds – sit ups: 17
  • Plank hold (toe): 56 seconds

Wednesday is measurements and a 30-minute distance test on the treadmill. Looks like I get to pack the smartphone so I can put another audiobook on for the test. I just need to be sure it’s not one of my Relaxation recordings!

I also got an email from a friend asking if I was interested in doing the Foam Fest 5K in Dallas in April. The wall obstacles look a little intimidating, but overall it looks like fun, so we’re going to sign up. That gives me the Firefly Run in March, Foam Fest in April, and Diva Dash in May.

I’m also re-thinking my plan for TEAM. Saturday is the last day of my two-week “free sample”, and I was originally going to wait until March to sign up for a three-month commitment, which would bring me right up to Diva Dash in May. But now I realize I don’t want to lose the momentum that I’ve started, so even though I’m going to be out of town for a few days in February, I’m thinking of starting my three-month commitment in February anyway (or even next week, if they’ll let me).

Now that I think about it, this was a day for numbers all over the place – I had my 30,000 mile checkup this morning, so by Wednesday I should know my blood panel numbers… and what I have to do to get my cholesterol down to something resembling decent numbers. I know they’re going to be bad, I just don’t know how bad.

Yay TEAM?

On Saturday I had my first “day three of TEAM” experience, since I was at the 5K last week. Mondays is strength training, Wednesdays is cardio, and Saturdays is sort of potluck. This week we paired up and did a mixed circuit of strength and cardio training around the gym.

I learned a few things. One, I get mad at myself way too easily for not knowing things I have never been taught, like technique on some of the exercises. It’s not my fault that I don’t know them, but how I react to it is wholly under my control. Two, my core is nowhere as strong as it should be, or as it has been in the past. I should be able to do planks better than I do. It will get better.

Tonight we are supposedly doing measurements and testing. Yay?

Subliminal success story

When I got my smartphone a couple weeks ago, I ordered a subliminal weight loss audiobook on Audible. I wanted it more for the Guided Meditation for Relaxation portion, since that is something I’m trying to get better with as a way to help reduce my stress levels and improve my sleep habits.

The audio is definitely helping with the sleep part – the thing is 40 minutes long, and I’m usually asleep by the first 10 minutes. I don’t even know how the whole recording sounds. But I have noticed some changes in my eating habits the past couple of days, and I’m thinking they’re a combination of conscious effort and subliminal reinforcement.

As an example, today I decided to finally go see The Hobbit at a local mall, and decided to have lunch before the movie at Dave & Buster’s. All the way up to the mall, all I was thinking about was how delicious a big, juicy burger would taste. But when I got hold of the menu, even though the pictures looked good, I ended up going with the “Sweet Apple Pecan Salad with Grilled Chicken” minus the pecans. It was really delicious, and according to MyFitnessPal, only 320 calories. I looked at the dessert menu, thinking that since I had saved so many calories on the meal, I could get something else. But none of it really even sound good (even though the Banana Fosters Pie looked incredible).

Even at the movie I ended up just getting a small popcorn, a Diet Coke, and a bottle of water. No Whoppers. No Raisinets. No Gobstoppers. No candy of any sort to mindlessly munch during a three hour movie (which could have been about 20 minutes shorter and been a somewhat better movie, in my opinion). Because it simply didn’t sound good.

On the way out of the mall I stopped by the cupcake shop – I’ve had a thing about cupcakes lately, thinking that they would be a good way for me to get an occasional sweet tooth fix with built-in portion control, even though I haven’t actually had any cupcakes since last April. Okay, so maybe getting a variety six-pack isn’t exactly “built-in portion control”, but after eating only one I felt like I was overdosing on sugar, and the other five are sitting in their box on the kitchen counter for later enjoyment.

I don’t have to eat them all in one day. I don’t. And it’s kind of neat to look at the box on the counter and not want any.

Even tonight for dinner, I ended up going with baked tilapia stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. I had thought that pasta sounded good, but when I got rooting around the kitchen, I went with fish instead. This is not normal for me. But it feels good, at least for today.

I wonder if there is a subliminal audio recording for exercise motivation?

Hello weekend!

I didn’t do much yesterday in the way of exercise, but I did pretty good calorie-wise.  Having an insanely busy day at work with more than a few fires to put out will definitely put the kibosh on overeating.

Unfortunately having an insanely busy day at work with more than a few fires to put out will definitely trigger stress eating in the evening, which is what I ended up doing both yesterday and today.

My task this weekend is to get back into a better mode diet-wise, and to not take the three-day weekend and turn it into a sofafest. I have TEAM tomorrow morning, and I’m not sure what to expect. I know we’re starting on the treadmill, but I don’t know where we go from there.

I also have dance class tomorrow, which will keep me moving. I also have karaoke tomorrow night, and I will have the wedge salad with the blue cheese dressing on the side in order to keep from eating all the tasty fried goodness that they have on the menu.

Post apoc-elliptical survival

Last night I went to dance class – our monthly Performing Company meeting, in which we tried some really cool ways of looking at our choreographies differently. And 45 minutes of stretching and dancing knocked the kinks out of my shoulder muscles that were still stiff from the strength circuit the night before.

Tonight at the gym was TEAM Cardio. If I ever find the sadistic bastard that developed the Elliptical Trainer, I will kick him or her in the privates. Provided, of course, that I have any leg strength left after dealing with the Elliptical for 15 minutes. Give me the treadmill over the elliptical any day!

It got to the point that I was just chanting to myself “I can do this I can do this I can do this” in time with the steps to keep from giving up. But I made it through, and I survived it. I’m not looking forward to the next time, though.

But on the way home, I had a realization. After I got done and got changed and got in my car, I felt pretty good. I’m doing something for myself, for my health, for my long-term goals. And yeah, it kinda sucks while I’m doing it, but it’s an hour (or less) out of my day. An hour (or less) when I would otherwise be doing… what? Sitting on my butt watching TV? Stuffing my face? Given those options, an hour of “I can do this I can do this I can do this” is by far the best choice.

I can do this.

But I still don’t like the elliptical.