- When Daniel says “six to 10 reps,” I now go for 10 instead of taking the easy way out with six.
- A colleague from three jobs ago left a message that she’d been diagnosed with diabetes and asked who I worked with on my lifestyle change. She’d heard of my success via another past colleague. Love that healthy news travels!
- I attended a meeting yesterday and received an email today from an “all business” colleague who wrote, “Just wanted to say you looked great yesterday.”
- Someone told me what good posture I have since I’ve lost weight
- Didn’t go hog wild after Uncle Ray’s memorial service, despite the emotions and range of really good food they had
- An old friend who I still see from time to time didn’t recognize me at Publix, even when he was within about five feet of me in the checkout line.
- In addition to making an appearance in my black and white dress, as well as my Nike workout pants, my once flat booty made an appearance in my jeans today!
- Today I saw a casual acquaintance out and about, and she quoted something from my blog. She said something like “Like you said on your blog, blah blah blah…” It makes me smile to think others are getting something from the blog.
- This email message from a friend: You are so inspiring. I’ve been trying to be good this week. I’m even going out to dinner tonight and I have a plan for what to order so I don’t undo all the good work I’ve done all week! Your consistency reminds me that if I stick to it, I can do it.
- I can stand on things without them breaking now, like standing on a recycling bin to reach something in my office. My first thought is “that’s gonna break,” then I remember that I’m 100 lbs. lighter.
- Saw a darling size 10 1960s dress advertised on a resale shop’s Facebook page and realized “Hey, I could probably wear that!” Still hard to believe that! Going to check it out this weekend.
- Went back to a short short haircut today, the first time I’ve been really short since I lost weight. The short hair just fits me better, especially now that I’m a little more petite.
- Made some really good choices at the Original House of Pancakes despite wanting to do otherwise.
- Woke up before the alarm this morning AND did an hour of cardio.
- This isn’t really a victory per se, but it is pretty cool
- Bought a FAB size 8 skirt at Last Call, and it was almost too bid. (Still surprised and delighted that I can wear a size 8!)
- Bought a really cute sleeveless dress — first sleeveless purchase in YEARS — and can’t wait to wear it on a hot summer day!
- 10,000 steps before noon!
- As the official photographer for today’s Public Works Touch a Truck event, I was able to get a lot better pictures than last year because I was able to bend, stoop and squat with ease, much more so than the same time last year. It was an epiphany when I realized it, and I said out loud to no one, “I couldn’t do this last year!”
- Last night’s sleep was 96% effective, the highest since I started monitoring it with my Fitbit.
- Made it to the gym at 5 a.m. three days last week, like old times; I was there before Daniel even.
- Co-worker posted a picture of me from Touch-A-Truck, and the first few minutes, I didn’t realize it was me. Was trying to figure out who it was – then I saw my name on it. Weird, but neat feeling.
- Impressed even Scott Elliott with my 45-minutes on the elliptical
- Attempted a pull up today, on my own, on the bar outside of the gym. I couldn’t do one — YET — but I saw the bar and wanted to try. That itself is a victory.
- Mom’s neighbor, who has known me for 10+ years, told me that I get prettier every time he sees me. Nice to hear at any age, but especially my age!
- Someone at work told me in the restroom that she wanted to do what it took to look like me
- 45 minutes has become my new standard on the elliptical
- Drinking green drinks again in an attempt to get my veggies up and forgot how “not bad” they are
- Both the cutest guy in the City and the custodian told me that I was looking good.
- For the first time ever, I was excited about buying a bathing suit. I picked out what I’d usually pick and then what I liked but “couldn’t wear” and chose the couldn’t wear. (It was a tankini top with horizontal stripey designs — I would never wear horizontal stripes b/c they make you look bigger. )
Have you been to historic 701 Whaley? I find myself there at least once a week, whether it be for Downtown Church , a meeting at Sustainable Midlands or one of many special events held there. And every time I go, I usually say , “Someone really needs to thank Richard Burts for bringing this fabulous place back to life.” So today’s Thank You Thursday is to Richard Burts!
Every time I attend an event at 701, I think someone should thank you for renovating that fabulous space and making it available to the community. 701 is such a jewel, and it has become a focal point for so many wonderful activities. I find myself at 701 at least once a week, whether it be for a meeting, Downtown Church or one of the many special events held there. I speak for a lot of Columbians when I saw thank you for bringing 701 to life for a new generation of Midlands residents. You are very much appreciated.
Mary Pat Baldauf
So, last week I told you of the call of the pull-bar, and my goal to do one dead-hang pull-up by my 46th birthday. Today, I give you an update on this goal and announce “Project Pull-Up.”
After consulting with my former nutrition counselor/current “coach” Traci and my trainer, Daniel, and researching pull-ups, I’ve found out that:
- 70% of girls and 40% of boys ages 6-12 can’t perform just one pull-up. (At least compared to these stats, I was not in the minority when I couldn’t do one in fifth grade!)
- Pull-ups are quite difficult, even for those who are very fit.
- Pull-ups are more difficult for women, due largely to upper body strength disparities between men and women.
- One of the fittest women at Doctors Wellness Center, also one of the fittest women I know, has only recently been able to master one dead-hang pull-up.
- While a dead-hang pull up is a good goal, it may not be realistic to expect that I can master one in four months, especially given my inclination toward elbow issues.
So, the revised plan is for me to work toward three strong assisted pull-ups, and once I master that, move toward a dead-hang pull-up. To achieve that, here’s what we’re doing:
- Of my two training days, one will especially focus on upper body and practice assisted pull-ups. I haven’t found a good picture, so I’ll try to explain. I step up on a big wooden box and grip to rings hanging from the ceiling. I put each foot in a resistance band and stand on the box. I step off the box and pull up as far as I can; Daniel pushes me up by the feet to get me even higher. Then I slowly come down.
- On non-training, cardio days, I’ve work on strengthening my forearms by doing two to three wrist rolls. I did these when we were doing “rehab” my elbow. (They look easy, but they are tough!)
We’re two training days into this, and it is really a challenge. But it’s kinda fun having a new challenge.
Updates to come! Until then, wish me luck…
Sister purchased Del Monte’s No Sugar Added Diced Pears, and I grabbed one from the pantry for my work lunch today.
As I sat at my desk and very carefully – or so I thought – opened the container, the “juice” squirted out with such force that it not only drenched my blouse, but went down my shirt and into my bra. I spent the rest of the day a sticky, wet, soiled mess.
The fruit was delightful, but I will never purchase, nor pack in my lunch again.
Certainly I’m not the only one who has experienced this…I can’t imagine what DelMonte was thinking when they used this type of packaging.
What’s even worse? On their website, they suggest these and similarly packaged fruits as good options for kids. If a 45-year-old couldn’t open them without a fiasco, I can’t imagine a child opening these by themselves at lunch.
DelMonte bills these fruit snacks as “the ready-to-eat, go-anywhere fruit cup snack.” Right, if you have a bib and Shout wipes, or better yet, a change of clothes.
I saw an old friend at Barnes and Noble last night. She’s been following my progress online and asked if my tastes had really changed or if I miss the food I’ve given up. I really couldn’t answer that question, but today, I gained a little insight.
This afternoon, we had Mom over for lunch, an indoor cookout. I rarely cook meat these days, but when I do, it’s lean turkey meat. Buying groceries, though, I bought some lean ground beef instead, thinking Mom would like it better and it would be a treat for Beth and me.
I was kinda excited about the splurge, but found myself quite disappointed. The hamburger was just so so. The texture seemed a little different than I remembered, and it definitely didn’t leave me longing for another. For someone who used to be known as “the girl who’d request a burger even at the White House,” this is quite a change.
Curious. And a little sad, like saying growing apart from a good friend. But also kinda neat, a good sign that my new lifestyle is “sticking.”
It’s a widely accepted premise that to help achieve good health, we should strive to take 10,000 steps – equal to roughly five miles – a day. If you walk 10,000 steps a day, you’ll burn between 2000-3500 extra calories per week, which can result in a better health profile and longer lifespan.
Five miles? If you’re like me, you already have more things on your to-do list than there are hours in a day; there’s no way you can and “walk five miles” to the list, much less cross it off as done. The good news? It’s easier than you think, and with a few small changes, you’ll be up to 10,000 steps in no time.
Because you can’t achieve what you can’t measure, get started by determining your baseline step measurement. Buy a pedometer and wear it every day for a week without making any changes in your activity level. Put it on when you get up; wear it until bed time. Record your daily steps, and by the end of the week, you’ll know your average daily steps. Note: Many people only average 1000-3000 steps a day. If you don’t get as many as you think, don’t worry – you’re just getting started!
Next, set the reasonable goal of increasing your daily steps each week by 500 until you reach 10,000. If you currently average 3000 steps each day, your goal for week one is 3500 each day. Your week 2 goal is 4000 each day. Continue to increase each week and you should be averaging 10,000 steps by the end of 14 weeks.
If you’re still trying to figure out when you’re going to walk five miles, don’t worry. There are lots of ways you can sneak steps into your day:
- Set a timer: Whether you set your phone timer or set a time in your mind, make a point to get up from your desk and walk around the office on a regular basis. At the top of each hour, I get up from my desk, do a quick stretch and walk around for a few minutes. Sometimes I walk to the end of the building, other times just around my desk. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re getting extra steps.
- Capitalize on the size of your bladder: Opt for the bathroom farthest away from your desk, even one that forces you to take the stairs to a different floor. The additional minutes spent walking might not seem like much, but they always add up over the course of the day. I not always choose the furthest bathroom, but also the furthest stall!
- Park it: Whether you’re at the grocery store or church, don’t circle the parking lot for the closest space – take one further out. Besides getting extra steps, you’ll also save gas, time and stress.
- Don’t multitask: Instead of working efficiently at tasks, work inefficiently. Fold your laundry in the living room, then put it up a few items or even just one at a time. At work, make several trips to the fax machine or copier instead of saving everything for one trip. Once I get all of the cold stuff out, I actually like to unload the groceries one bag at a time.
- Take the stairs: It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Challenge yourself to take the stairs up and down instead of taking the elevator. On an escalator? Walk it. My favorite thing about taking the stairs? The reaction I get when I turn down the elevator or ask where the stairs are. Try it; you’ll see what I mean.
- Skip it: The drive-thru window, that is. Whether you’re at the bank, fast food restaurant or pharmacy, get out and walk inside. One drive-thru I’ve ditched? The one at the dry cleaner!
- Pace yourself: Find opportunities to walk or pace when you would normally sit or stand. Pace behind your desk while you’re on a call at work. Traveling? Walk the terminal instead of reading the paper; there will be plenty of time to sit on the plane. I try to walk around the house when brushing my teeth.
- Shop ‘til you drop: Whether you purchase veggies at the local farmer’s market or window shop on Main Street, shopping is always a fun way to get steps! I always walk up and down each aisle at the grocery store, whether I need anything on a particular aisle or not.
- Divide and conquer: Don’t have an extra 30 minutes to walk? Try three 10-minute walks throughout the day. Even six five-minute walks will work!
- Think outside of the box: Challenge yourself to find a new and different ways to increase your steps. Remember, a few extra steps here and there can add up. Instead of sitting in the back of the movie theater, walk closer to the front. Don’t stop the car at the mailbox; park the car first, then walk to get the mail. Usually get the newspaper on your way out of the driveway? Walk up the driveway to get it before you get in the car.
Do you wear a pedometer? If so, how do you increase your steps? What is the biggest challenge of wearing a pedometer? If not, would you ever consider wearing one? What’s holding you back?
This morning, I clicked on the Doctors Wellness Center website, and to my surprise, I was there in the corner! They posted one of my before/after pics, along with a testimonial I did, on the new site. Kinda cool, huh? GREAT accountability tool, too! Check it out – the new site is quite crisp and clean!
After my 45 minutes on the elliptical today, I cooled down with a few quick laps outside of Doctors Wellness Center. It was such a delightful morning, and I wanted to get a few more steps in, too.
Kanye was waxing poetic about Jesus walking on my shuffle, but I thought I heard a soft “Psssssst.” I looked around and didn’t see anyone, so I figured it was just a figment of my sweaty imagination.
“Psssssst. Hey, you!”
No, I definitely heard that. I looked around to see if perhaps my trainer, Daniel, had slipped outside, but no, I was still alone. I remembered that I hadn’t taken my blood pressure med before working out – my BP often drops dramatically after a hard workout – and maybe this was a new symptom. I kept walking.
“Pssssst. It’s me from fifth grade. You remember, you couldn’t handle me then, and I bet you can’t take me now either.”
So I wasn’t alone. Tucked in the median of Monckton Boulevard, a short street traveled only by gym members and dental patients, was an outdoor chin-up/pull-up bar. Worse than that, it was a chin-up/pull-up bar with an attitude, taunting me very early on a cool morning.
In all seriousness…
My one and only experience with a chin-up/pull-up bar was in fifth grade, and I remember it quite well. During recess, our teacher took us out to what I called the “monkey bars” and told us about the President’s Physical Fitness Test. I don’t remember the president, nor do I remember the rest of the test. I do remember the pull ups, however, and I remember that I was unable to do even one.
Given my history with pull-ups, I tried to ignore that stupid bar this morning. One lap down, no problem. Second lap, that bar was starting to get under my skin. After the third lap, I made sure no one was watching, climbed on and reached up. I took a deep breath and tried to pull up. Damn bar got me again. If I was able to move at all, it was a mere fraction of a fraction of a fraction of an inch.
I was a little defeated when I got in the car. I’ve lost nearly 100 lbs. I’ve been working out for almost two years. I have biceps. I even have a sleeveless dress now. But I can’t do a pull-up? By the time I got home, I’d re-framed the entire thing and concluded that even attempting a pull-up was a victory of sorts, but I didn’t really believe it.
I felt vindicated when I got home and Googled pull-up. I looked at several online articles, and apparently pull-ups are hard. Very hard. According to former Navy Seal Stew Smith, “Of all the exercises, the one with the largest mind game attached to it is the PULLUP.” (I should’ve known it with the attitude that pull-up bar gave me this morning!)
If there’s something I can’t do, especially something that is hard, I must do it. I bookmarked a couple online tutorials about training for pull-ups before I realized that I already have what it takes to train for pull-ups: 1) my fabulous trainer, Daniel, who I already work with twice a week; 2) my former nutrition counselor, Traci, who not only trains, but also knows how to get into my head!
By way of this post, which I’m emailing to Daniel and Traci, I’m challenging myself to perform at least one pull up by my 46th birthday on September 24. I’m also throwing myself on Daniel and Traci’s mercy – even more than usual – and asking if they can help me reach this goal. I’m willing to work, but I need some guidance. Danny and Traci, can you pretty please help me out?
Stay tuned, friends. This may get interesting!
For Mother’s Day, Beth and I took Mom to Mad Platter, a local creative arts studio, where we spent the afternoon painting pottery.
I painted a “Morning Motivation Mug,” a special mug for my first cup of coffee. I have it weekdays between 4:15 -4:30 a.m., usually still in my PJs, and it sets the tone for that early morning workout.
On one side is a bright sun that reads “Rise, Shine & Sweat.” My trainer Danny recently told me to “Man Up,” so I transformed it to “Super Man Up” and illustrated it on the back. The handle boasts that magic milestone I hope to reach soon – 1oo lbs. lost – as well as a green recycling symbol. Around the pedestal, I scrolled “Lean Green MP.”
It’s a great way to start a very early morning, and I love it!
My co-worker, Jon, took this picture of me at Saturday’s Public Works Week Touch-A-Truck event. (That’s his baby girl, Savannah, BTW.) He posted it and a few other pics from the event on Facebook. I saw the picture and wondered to myself who that was holding his baby; I didn’t remember seeing her at the event. It really wasn’t until I clicked on the picture and saw that I was tagged until it clicked. Isn’t that bizarre?
Someone at work recently told me that I wasn’t seeing myself how others see me, and now I believe it. After being overweight for so long, I still see myself that way. And often, when I see myself in the mirror, I’m focusing on what’s still wrong, not that I’m 90-something lbs. thinner. Apparently, that’s not uncommon, as I read in ‘Phantom Fat’ Can Linger After Weight Loss, an article on MSNBC.com:
People who expect perfection can “get stuck in dichotomous thinking that you’re fat or you’re perfect, and there’s no gray area in between,” says psychologist Leslie Heinberg, who counsels bariatric patients at the Cleveland Clinic. “So if you’re not perfect, you’re ‘fat.’”
In an article on MSNBC.com, weight know they have a “blind spot” when it comes to their new body, so they really have to work at believing they look the way others see them.
“It can take years…after losing weight, for people to really buy that,” she says.
Think of getting a dramatically different hairdo and then doing a double-take upon seeing your reflection in a store window, Heinberg says. “Losing 80 pounds is much more of a cognitive shift than getting new highlights,” she explains.
Some people will adjust naturally and more quickly to the weight loss than others, experts say. But it’s time to get help when people are experiencing significant distress, sadness or depression, they say, or their feelings are interfering significantly with their normal activities (such as not going to parties or children’s events, always looking in the mirror or avoiding intimacy with a partner).
Counseling may involve challenging distorted ways of thinking about one’s appearance (by studying before-and-after photos, for instance, or bringing out the “fat pants” and seeing the difference in the mirror), learning how to think about oneself in a more positive manner, and working to engage in activities one’s been avoiding.
“You have to look at retraining your brain and understanding that you have been reinforcing this negative image for probably a long time,” says Adrienne Ressler, a body-image specialist and national training director for the Renfrew Center Foundation, which has several eating disorder-treatment facilities around the country.
“We become numb to how mean we’re being to ourselves,” Ressler says.
“We need to learn to appreciate our bodies,” she says. “If we could all look in the mirror and say, ‘Hello, Gorgeous!’ I just think the world would be a better place for women.”