Health Goal Update for March 23, 2009

I didn’t post an update last week because we were out of town at Steve’s brother’s wedding.  Last Monday we took the kids to Universal Studios where the only vegan-friendly items were French fries and a dry salad.  We scoured the park for fruit of some kind, anywhere, and found none.  Forget vegetables too.  Those all had meat and cheese cooked into them.  It was dismal.  Steve had brought a huge bag of raw almonds and snacked on those all day.  He concocted a salad dressing out of condiments.  When I travel I don’t tend to eat as well as I do at home.  Especially back in Los Angeles with the vegan restaurants just staring me in the face.  So I didn’t eat very well on that trip and paid the price for it this week.

My current weight is 197.0.  This is up from my starting weight.  Everyone is telling me that muscle weighs more than fat.  But I still want to see the number on the scale going down instead of up. 

Let’s talk about exercise though.  That has been going fantastically well.  I’ve learned so much.  First, I am continuing to do the P90X workouts I mentioned in my last update.  The first time I did the Cardio X program I couldn’t finish it.  The second time I did it, I finished it.  The third time, I was able to keep with their pace much better.  So every time I’ve been doing better with that.  It’s wonderfully heartening to see myself making progress in this area. 

Besides the Cardio X program, I’ve also done the Kenpo program which was great as it reminded me of my Tae Kwon Do days.  And one day I did the Plyometrics program and that nearly put me in a wheelchair.  All that jumping and squatting.  I was extremely sore for 3-4 days afterward and had to do a lighter cardio workout in between.  But the Plyometrics video really got my heart rate going and I’d love to be able to do it again, I just have to watch out that I don’t overdo it.

I’m also going to the gym to do my weight lifting.  I’ve seen significant gains in this area.  I think I’ve been doing the weight lifting for 3-4 weeks now.   My ab crunches started at 10 pounds of resistance and are now at 20.  My calves started at 60 pounds and are now at 120-130.  Triceps started at 30 pounds and are now at 70.  Similar stories for my back, chest, biceps, shoulders, and thighs.  The other day I was sitting on the couch with Steve and he said, “Hey, did I just see your tricep bulging out of your arm?  No.  Can it be?  Wait, show me your tricep.”  Sure enough, there’s actually some definition there now.  But my body is still covered in fat.  When does the fat disappear and leave behind the muscles?

Basically my new workout is one day at the gym lifting weights and the next day at home doing one of the cardio workouts.  Next day weight lifting and the next cardio, and so on.  Aside from a lot of soreness and my knees hurting from jumping around on them too much, this has been going really well.  I’m so pleased.

We received our heart rate monitor in the mail and I got the chance to use it recently.  This device is awesome.  You strap the telemetry band around your chest and wear this watch which tells you what your heart rate is.  So I strapped that sucker on and noticed my resting heart rate just walking around the house was between 70-90.  Then I started my Cardio X workout.  During the warm up I was at 115-120.  During the jumping jacks portion of the warm up I was at 150!  Then back down again for yoga which put me in the 80’s.  It wasn’t until we got the Plyometrics portion of the video that my heart rate went back to 150.  Same with core synergistics.  That all happened during the middle of the workout, the peak cardio period probably.   For most of the workout I was in the 135-140 range.  I was hoping to be between 140 and 150 the entire time, but the Cardio program isn’t designed that way I guess.

The next day I took the heart monitor to the gym.  I wanted to test the elliptical machine I’d been slaving away on for a year.  They matched.  The number on the machine matched the heart rate I was getting with my device.  And that just proved to me that I was not getting into my target heart rate on the elliptical machine so I won’t be going on that again.  I’ll stick with the aerobic P90X programs.

I’m really happy with my exercise program right now and plan to continue.  There are some other programs in the P90x system that I haven’t tried yet.  I’ll try those this week.

Now let’s talk about diet.  I’m eating a lot more food than I was before.  Is this because of the weight workouts and more intense cardio workouts?  It’s driving me crazy.  Why bother working out so intensely if I’m just going to eat calories to replace the ones I’ve lost?  I’ve upped my protein a lot.  I used to eat fruit in the morning but now I’m eating veggie bacon which is really low in calories and fat and high in protein.  For lunch I eat a protein item like a vegan riblet or vegan chicken along with some vegetables.  But then there are the carbs.  The crackers, chips, and sweet potatoes.  They’re a problem for me.  The other day Steve had some cut up carrots with guacamole that he couldn’t finish and I found myself eating the raw carrots and liking it.  With no guac either.  I think I’m going to cut up some more of those fine carrots and snack on those instead of graham crackers and veggie booty.  Eating out in Los Angeles didn’t help me this week.  There were a lot of things I ate that I normally wouldn’t eat here.  So we’ll see how things go this week and if I can get some of the trip weight off of me.

Fat percentage is holding steady at 35%.

I’m not discouraged at all.  I’m so enjoying the cardio and weight lifting and seeing what my body can do.  I haven’t jumped around like this in ages!  Feels good.  My feet are killing me though, and my knees aren’t too happy, and I know I have to be careful not to injure myself.

My clothes are still fitting way better.  And the other day I climbed the stairs at the gym instead of taking the elevator because the stairs always leave me winded.  But with my heart monitor on I wanted to see what my heart rate was going up one long flight of stairs.  To my shock and delight, when I got to the top of the stairs I wasn’t huffing and puffing.  First.  Time. Ever!   My heart rate was 135 just going up one flight of stairs, but I wasn’t winded.  I think there’s hope for this old girl yet! :)

How did your week go?  What did you discover about yourself?

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