Wednesday, March 27, 2013

As promised

Weighed in today at 169 . . .

3 pounds up.

No permanent harm. No foul. Dusting off and am going to keep trekking forward.

Stay tuned folks!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Having a life is fattening

I threw an infamous Claudia tantrum today in a meeting room near the editorial department at the office. I pulled poor unsuspecting Yoda into said room and went on a rant about how this weight loss shenanigan is NOT happening fast enough. I mean, sure. I've lost over 8 pounds in 7 weeks, but I expected a lot more. Kind of like when I lost the 60 pounds in 9 months back in 2009. I essentially lost about 2 pounds a week then. This time around, the average I am losing is 1.25 a week (but whose counting).

"You know, it's not like when you lost the weight some years ago because now you have a lot less to lose AND now you have a life. You aren't living like a monk this time around."

That hit me like a ton of bricks. Not because Yoda was wrong (because seldom is she wrong). But because she was right. Without getting into too much deets, I was not my happiest in 2009. I was recovering from some massive life changes, including a breakup, a move, and the cancellation of ER. Additionally, I was enduring terrible "Virgin Mary" hair and was attached to wife beaters and baggie jeans.

Not my finest hour.

Therefore I threw myself into working out, eating at home and having lots and lots of salads, yogurts, boca burgers, and WW brownies. It was my life goal, not because I wanted to be healthy, but because it was what got me out of bed. Seeing the numbers decrease every Wednesday gave me oxygen and purpose. Not to mention all the lovely compliments I received.

Fast forward to 4 years later, and I am WAY happier. Plumpier, but happier. I have a great gig at work, a business that is thriving, an amazing apartment in Sunnyside, wonderful friends throughout the world, and gravity hasn't quite hit the twins, despite going through a weight gain-loss. My mom is still feisty and full of life, I really have the best felines in the universe, and I have been jumping out of planes, traveling the world, and not being sucked into terrible reality TV.

All in all, a huge success.

That said, it seems that :

Having a happy life + being over 30 (because all I keep hearing is everything gets harder when you leave your 20s) = slow weight loss. 

Must I sacrifice this happiness for a higher butt, tighter arms, and sleeker quads? Does having a life really mean having to be overweight? Case in point: I went to the Poconos this weekend and redefined the word "Lazy." In fact, I was in this position for 80% of the weekend:

Sans the suitcase, sans the suit. I was in my jammies and it was glorious!

And I ate Pirate Bootys and Cheese sandwiches and used fruit as garnish and to enhance my red wine. I'd say it was essential nutrition! Because, you know, I needed constant nutrition for being horizontal the entire time.

And then, there was this:

The most amazing place on Earth. The place where my love of Cheese fries is perpetuated. And where I lose all sense of caloric control and just about propose marriage to my dinner. Like I did. En route. To the Poconos. My inner fat girl sort of sounded like this:

Not my finest hour.

That said, I honestly had a great time this weekend with my friends. It was relieving and foreign and wonderful to turn "off" Claudia, who always has a deadline, client, errand, or phone call to make. This weekend, I literally only worried about brushing my teeth, showering, and  . . . that's about it!

But when I got home, back to reality, I realized that I may not be happy at weighin tomorrow. In fact, I was thinking of not going (which is an essential NO-NO when traveling this weight loss journey). But my choices will be mocking me at the scale tomorrow, and it's got me thinking of reverting back to "monk" life.

Or maybe. Just maybe, I can balance both. Embrace this weight loss journey in a slower pace, yet still have some great experiences with some wonderful people, because, well, it makes this girl happy. I just have to remember to satisfy this 31 year old girl, and not the former fat girl within.

To be continued, really. I have no method to decipher which is the right way. But I intend to try the balance. The worst that can happen is that I fall, get up and keep going. Not a bad outcome, if you ask me.

I will get weighed tomorrow. Pinky swear. And I will report back.

Fair warning: it may come with a tantrum. The only way a 31 year old girl can throw one.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Crying for planks

Disclaimer: My words today may not be in usual chipper form, but it's a part of this journey that is important to share. I've been trying to be more honest during this process, as it's the only way healthy results are guaranteed. I promise to include more funnies next week. Until then, welcome to a more intimate part of me.

Last time I checked in, I was on a cloud nine of sorts, excited for what was to come!

Happy to report I'm down over 8 pounds (wheee!), about 1/3 of what I need to lose to get to goal. It feels great! I've been working my ass off to get there, and it's nice when I stand on the scale to see that all the portion control, planks, and non-alcoholic choices have all been paying off.

That said, it's been one hell of a week.

In a nut shell, I called it quits with someone I was seeing, am on the cusp of losing a very dear friend over something I have no control over, had what appeared to be a terrible sinus clusterfuck all weekend, missed an annual poker game I had really been looking forward to due to said clusterfuck, and stepped in cat vomit this morning.

I mean, come on! Could it have been any worse?

The one thing that kept me sane, besides my dear confidants and TONS of deep breathing, was exercise. I was desperately looking forward to the challenge of Refine more than ever, looking for an outlet to release all these emotions that was swirling through my insides. I wanted to hold planks longer, up my weights when possible, and exhaust my quads until the burning alone kept my legs vibrating even after I had stopped moving them. I needed a release. A release that usually involved cheese fries, and/or crying. I refused to turn to calories for solace, and somehow, I had no desire to cry this week. No desire to feel anything.

Until this afternoon.

It all began while I was half way through my second refine class for the week. I was fully aware that in my first class yesterday evening, I was having trouble keeping my usual pace, partly because my lungs were congested, partly because I was unusually lightheaded. So ok, fine. Maybe I was still under the weather, but I refused to let some pansy sinus infection hold me back from taking class. But I wasn't prepared for the limitations my body threw at me yesterday. I was so mortified, that after class, I went up to Katie, the amazing Refine instructor, and apologized for not being able to give my all.

She looked at me like I was bat shit crazy and then gave me the warmest smile. "Claudia, you were fine. I love when you take class. You work so very hard." Suddenly I felt my lower chin quiver, my throat tighten up, and my already high-pitched voice rapidly soaring to "hamster mating-call" levels.

"K thanks Katie. Bye."---I ran out of there so fast, refusing to cry at Refine. I instantly thought of one of my favorite Tom Hanks moments:

There is no crying in Refine!

Until this afternoon.

I started feeling  dejavu moments all through class today, as I had to stop during lunges, planks, push ups, and jumping jacks, because spots were appearing again, and my breathing was challenging. I couldn't get oxygen in my mouth fast enough. I was beyond frustrated. I took a moment when the class continued on with side lunges, and took some water, and started to take deep breaths. We were finishing up the final set of jumping jacks when Laura announced the final component of the final circuit of the night:  elbow planks. Laura, another favorite instructor of mine,  is so encouraging, challenging, and thoughtful. She, just like Katie and Brynn, are the kind of instructors you WANT to work hard for, instructors you don't want to disappoint; that the idea of them catching you taking a break, modifying, or working in faulty form is beyong mortifying. They are wonderful.

Therefore, when Laura made the final direction to get into plank, I was on a mission to hold that 60 second plank with every ounce of strength that I had left. It turns out, though, that I probably had only 7 seconds of strength left. My legs gave out.

"&#*#^#$^$&#&^%$%"--Was what I mumbled, in Spanish no less, letting my frustration roll off my tongue in an aggresive haste. I took another deep breath and attempted more planking.

7 more seconds. Collapse.

My frustration was beginning to shoot through my arms and overwhelm my shoulder blades. I was pissed, but I simply could not give up.

"15 seconds, guys. Come on, you can do it. Your body is stronger than you think." Laura was not letting us give up.

I uploaded my exhausted and stubborn body into plank position and held. My core started to shake. Sweat started to drown my eyes, beads skiing down my sore biceps. A familiar failing feeling came creeping back. I was done.

"You got this, Claudia. You can do this. You are doing great. Don't. Give. Up." Laura's docile voice, with conviction, suddenly scared the option to quit out of my system. It was an option no more.

I held on.

"5, 4, 3, 2, 1."

My body crawled into child's pose. And, in an odd turn of effortless events, I began to cry. Right there, in a dim studio on the Upper West Side, drenched in sweat, in child's pose. Tears came down my face. All this frustration, emotion, pent up anger, sadness, and, well, the week, flooded out of my already soaked eye sockets. Lucky for me, because I was already drenched in sweat, nobody really could notice I was sobbing like a bitch.

But I took full notice.  Couldn't explain any of it at that moment. Just went with it.

On the train ride home, I thought about why I cried. I came up with a whole slew of reasons: my frustration for having to rest in between circuits, my anger at my body for being a douche (or in recovery. Whatever), the fact that a dear dear friend of mine is falling within my grasp and the idea of not having her in my life is down right tragic, the realization that people hurt others for no reason, the fact that I couldn't hold the fucking plank for 60 seconds.

Or. It could have been the cat puke.

Who knows.

What I do know is that tomorrow is a new day to keep trying. I'm grateful that I am getting healthier, that I am beginning to fit into some smaller clothes, that my booty is not quite apple-bottom, but there is definite pomegranate potential. And for this:

I'm also beyond grateful for Refine. Yes, it's so wonderful to flex and pose when I brush my teeth in the morning (and evening. and sometimes midday at work) so I can stare at my biceps in the mirror. But, it's also pretty amazing to be able to release all the bullshit of daily life, 3 times a week, in the form of a plank.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Weigh-in day, Oh how I loathe thee . . . Well, maybe.

So today was weigh-in day. And I knew I wasn't going to see what I wanted at that scale for a few reasons. Firstly, I checked my personal scale earlier in the morning and I let out a great big "Carajo" when I saw a number that I was not expecting, which one should never do before 6am (both weigh-in and curse). Secondly, I am in the midst of a week when it's no fun to be a lady. The baby-making machinery is being fine-tuned, if you know what I mean. And, historically, I have always put on 5-7 pounds during this week due to water retention and yadda-yadda-yadda. Which usually means the weigh-in following this week will be quite satisfying.

That said, I still approached the scale today with a pout on my face. I felt as though I had reverted to my five year old, pig-tailed self, when I was denied a Baby Alive.

Swap baby alive for a scale, and, well, you have a travesty.

I arrived to the meeting at 1:30pm, almost not showing up. At this point, I was tantrumming for a variety of reasons, one of which had to do with the earlier "Carajo, I gained weight" moment in my bedroom. I ultimately made my self go, despite wanting to hide behind the piles of work that were thrown at me just as I entered the office.

Indubitably, I, in fact, man-ed up and made my merry way to the meeting.

Before approaching the scale, I managed to take off as much clothes as possible without fully embarrassing the other members in the meeting. I mean, they came for weight loss guidance, not a free show. Additionally, I attend what is known as a WeightWatchers "At-Work" meeting, where WW goes to your place of employment and hosts a meeting there. It's been a God-send for me, and I adore my leader, Barbara. That said, I have to also be aware that I am still at my place of employment and therefore showing up to weigh-in wearing a wife beater and boy shorts may not fly. So you gotta be creative.

Because of the so-called snow storm that was suppose to invade the city today, I wore jeans, which is a weigh-in No-no! However, the last time I wore a very light springy skirt on a windy, snowy weigh-in day, I flashed most of Midtown Manhattan. So, I thought since I "knew" it was going to be a gain, who cares what I wear?

Apparently I did.

I dragged my hormonal bratty ass to the scale after proceeding to remove as much clothing that I could, all hair pieces (the one bobby pin), and jewelery (my work i.d.).

As I stood up on the evil complacent-looking apparatus, I kept telling myself, "It's ok. You know the drill. It's ok. Next week will be better. Early morning boxing sessions, Refine classes, and saying no to cheesy bread is ALL worth it."

And there it was, folks. An outcome that floored me.

I maintained.

No loss. But no gain. Which leads me to believe that next week, I will have a pretty fantastic loss!

Unless I chose to celebrate by giving in to my hormonal cravings of warm pizza and brownies. Not at the same time, though. Well, I don't think. . .

Can you believe this image exists in a google image search?!?!? There's hundreds of these!! And you guys think I'M crazy!

Well, rest assured I did not celebrate by indulging in the above. I decided on a great salad, a latte, and some strawberries. Then I went to Refine, which was pretty kick ass! I out-did myself, which included full form push-ups, lots of arm work, ab work with a kettle ball, and lunges. Lots and lots of lunges. I even received a Twitter shout out from the Brynn, instructor extraordinaire and creator of the Refine Method, telling me how much stronger I was getting, which made this closeted brown-noser feel mighty giddy.

So I feel good at this moment!

Are my clothes looser? Yes!
Is my collarbone resurrecting? Absolutely!
Have I been caught checking out my butt in the restroom at work? Sadly, more than once.

All good signs I am on the right track!

Here's to next week, folks!