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Archive for March, 2010

Sorry for the obsession…

posted on Monday, March 31st, 2010 under General Ramblings, Things that piss me off |

Granted, Calvin Klein owes more apologies for this than I do, but whatever.

Yes, this is another post about working out. And weight loss. And frustration. And dumbbells. Choose your own adventure…would you like to hear more? Keep reading! Tired of the subject? Go away! (I say that with love.)

This is my third week of ChaLEAN Extreme. I love it, but I’m getting really upset at the lack of weight loss I’ve had. I don’t follow the recommended diet because I dislike most of the ingredients used and, with my schedule, I rely on a lot of pre-packaged foods. Don’t tell me to stop eating processed foods – I know I should, but I don’t cook much and if I’m going to stick to any sort of healthy eating regime, it has to work with my schedule and habits. I have read the guide, though, so I try to stay in the general vicinity of what to eat.

I have been eating a bazillion more servings of fruit and veggies than I have in recent history, and when T wants to eat out, I fend for myself and eat at home. If I do eat out, it’s at Subway or Applebees, where I order a WW menu item. I burn a lot more calories now, with the new workouts and the constant use of stairs at work, so I try to account for that without going overboard. If I splurge, it’s rare and it’s generally after one of my long walks. I don’t drink heavily and if I do have a drink or two, it’s not more than once a week. And I’ve cut way down on the amount of diet soda I drink. AND I quit coffee. So two sources of artificial sweeteners have been reduced/eliminated. That’s progress.

On top of sacrificing most things that are delicious, I also have no life on account of my new workout schedule and walk training. Seriously – this is what my weeks are like now:

  • Monday – 40 minute strength workout – all of these require lifting heavy and reaching total muscle failure by the 10-12 rep and integrate upper and lower body into each move
  • Tuesday – a different 40 minute strength workout, sometimes a 20 minute cardio workout
  • Wednesday – rest
  • Thursday – 50 minute intense cardio/muscled endurance workout, 10 minute ab workout
  • Friday – yet another 40 minute strength workout (these are all so hard, but this one is the worst)
  • Saturday – 35 minute super intense cardio workout, 20 minute yoga workout
  • Sunday – rest, but every other week is a long walk/run for the 50-mile walk training (this week was 14 miles in the windy rain on a mostly unpaved path with 6 killer hills, and I ran at least a mile of it)

I don’t mind the schedule, especially if I’m getting amazing results, but I’m not. I mean, I can see small improvements all over my body and I know I’m building muscle, but when the scale isn’t moving much, I get frustrated. And when I get frustrated, I am more likely to give up.

I understand that some fat is being replaced by muscle (and no, muscle does not weigh more than fat – a pound is a pound) and that during intense strength training, your muscles retain a bit more water than usual as they repair themselves…but after 2.5 weeks AND with being on a prescription diuretic, I would have thought a real loss would have shown up by now. It hasn’t and I can’t get over it. I’m mad! I have NEVER pushed myself this way before. Maybe my body needs a little more time to adjust, but if that’s the case, I wish it’d hurry up already.

Also good to note – my doctor ran blood work a few weeks ago and they came back great. All my mineral/vitamin counts are good, my good cholesterol is well above the minimum, my bad is much lower than the maximum and my triglycerides are good. And my blood pressure is back to a normal level. So things are good in that aspect, but the scale there showed an 11 pound gain over my last visit 2.5 months ago. Come on, now. That’s ridiculous. Grrrr.

Also ridiculous – I tested my scale this morning. I woke up, actually pooped (woohoo!), weighed (165) and proceeded to straighten my hair, brush my teeth and put my makeup on – still naked. I weighed again on my way to get dressed and I was up to 165.6. Really? I didn’t eat or drink a thing and I sure did NOT put on that much makeup. WTF??? Stupid.

So obviously, I need to re-examine my diet and tell the scale to suck it.

In other news…in an attempt NOT to go broke, I bought a set of Reebok Speed Pac 25 adjustable dumbbells. In my excitement, I assumed “Speed Pac 25″ meant that each hand weight maxed at 25 pounds. Nope, each maxes at 12.5 for a total weight of 25 for the set. So that’s no good and they are going back to the store. I need higher weights than that. And holding a 10-lb weight and a 3- or 5-lb weight together in one hand just isn’t working. My poor hands can’t take it.

So I’m looking into a more expensive but more versatile set – like the Bowflex SelectTechs and the PowerBlock. If anyone has insights on either, I’d love to hear them. I’ve heard some negatives on the SelectTechs, but nothing on the PowerBlock. I have to buy something before the next phase starts in a week and a half – preferably sooner since I’m finding it hard to reach failure with the weights I have now. I’m impressed with how strong I’ve gotten already, so maybe I should just focus on that and not worry so much about the scale. My size 10 jeans fit comfortably, so I guess I shouldn’t complain…

Anyway. That’s all I got right now. I’m going to enjoy my rest day and pretend tomorrow’s hell workout isn’t lurking around the corner…

Why I don’t paint my nails

posted on Monday, March 22nd, 2010 under General Ramblings |

I know I’m pretty lazy about a lot of things by normal people’s standards. But one thing I just cannot keep up with is my manicure. Which is why I usually have fake nails if I am in the mood to give a crap about that. However, I decided to paint my nails last week for some godforsaken reason, and now I have a chipping mess on my hands. Ha, literally.

I’ll end up scraping the polish off during a meeting, or just taking it off. I won’t bother to reapply. And really, with my glorious sausage fingers, painting my nails is truly the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig.

But I get an A for effort.

Maybe my next post should be “why I don’t clean my house” and then I’ll feel inclined to give it a whirl.

But probably not. You know, that whole lazy thing. If I’m going to stick to a workout plan, I don’t have the energy for piddly things like cleaning the house. I’m a one-trick pony, people.

Speaking of the workout thing. Holy mother of unicorn loving kumquats. If Chalene weren’t so damn nice, I’d hate her like I hate Jillian Michaels. But even though her workouts are so much worse than JM’s, I just can’t hate her. She’s so sweet about kicking my ass. She’s so ENCOURAGING. I’m the queen of negative self-talk, and she really helps to combat that. But these workouts are the hardest I’ve ever done. Ever. Worse than Level 3 of the Shred. Worse than Burn Fat Boost Metabolism. Worse than anything I’ve encountered.

But worse in such a great way. She kicks my ass and I grunt and groan, but at the end of each workout, I’m proud of myself for doing it. For getting through it. For literally not dying. But…I’m also not confident about my plan to follow this up with P90X. We’ll see, but this series might be my physical max. I am not exaggerating when I say this shit is T-O-U-G-H. I may have shed a tear or two during the big cardio circuit.

In other news, life is good. The new job is amazing and not so new anymore. I’m kind of in my groove now. I have a little bit more confidence in my skillz, but it’s still so intimidating to be surrounded by such genuine, mind-blowing talent. I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

And, of course, everyone ADORES Mr. Tedders. He’s so chill, and he loves coming in with me. He doesn’t so much love climbing the stairs to my attic desk, but he loves the attention! He hasn’t been in for a couple weeks because he needs a bath and trim, but I just haven’t had time to get him in. I bought some nail trimmers, so if I can manage to get through his nails myself, he’ll be joining me tomorrow…but I usually let the groomers do that since he hates it so much and acts like I’m trying to hurt him. I’ll probably cry. I’m a wuss.

Walk training is going well, too. A HUGE thanks to all of you who helped me raise so much money. Between you and the benefit my team threw, we have surpassed our goal and raised over $6,000 for the MS Society so far. Amazing. I’m really touched by the level of generosity that I’ve seen recently. Just when I give up on humankind, something like this happens and my faith is renewed. Okay, maybe not 100%, but some.

I’m really trying to hydrate for these workouts, so I have to pee like Austin Powers right now. Here’s this.

*BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP*

posted on Monday, March 17th, 2010 under General Ramblings, Things that piss me off |

I interrupt my regularly scheduled blogging with a message from the Emergency Bitching System. This is only a test. In the event of an actual emergency, I wouldn’t be posting because my head would have already exploded.

What brought on this emergency rant? A couple of Perez postings, which I will be quoting in the following bitchfest. A summary of the first for the click-shy: The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) released a statement that Precious star Gabourey Sidibe doesn’t need to lose weight because SHE IS HEALTHY AS SHE IS NOW.

First of all, WTF? The NAAFA, REALLY? The NAAFA is a real entity? Why? We do NOT need to encourage people to be fat. I understand wanting to lessen the discrimination against heavy people (I know how it feels all to well to be judged based on appearance alone), but it’s not necessary to advance FAT acceptance. Advance the acceptance of diversity, of nontraditional beauty…it’s the word fat that just doesn’t fly.

Second, how the fuck do these people with NAAFA know she’s healthy? They don’t, and from what I read, they don’t even claim to. Here’s the quote from the organization’s rep:

You cannot tell by looking at a person if they [sic] are healthy. Fat does not equal disease and thin does not equal healthy…Achievements come in all sizes.

Without the full quote, it seems like the fools at Perez are stretching a bit as the quote doesn’t say directly that GS is healthy. So that inaccuracy makes me mad (thus the all caps above). By the same token, I expect nothing more from a crap site like that (to which I am sadly addicted).

And beyond that, I do agree with every sentence of that statement. However, the thing that makes me mad is the continued focus on the idea of fat. There’s fat fat and skinny fat, neither of which are healthy. Being what is considered overweight can absolutely be healthy if the person eats decently and works out regularly. However, being at Gabourey’s size just absolutely CANNOT be healthy. She is a beautiful girl and should absolutely embrace having a full figure – once her weight puts her out of risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc.

Now the second post. Summary – there’s a video link to a news story on a woman who is BEING PAID to get fat. The kicker? She’s already 550 pounds and wants to DOUBLE that weight. She is on some sort of fat woman porn site, and her “fans” are sending her food and paying her to heft up even more. She has a 3 year old that she can barely keep up with already (and that kid is going to be harassed to no end when she enters the public school system), and she says she “doesn’t buy into” all the research and facts about the diseases associated with obesity. Really? You don’t believe in the scientific studies, and statistics on how many people die each year just from being FAT? Let me know how your daughter feels about that after you leave her with no mother.

I think the whole obesity trend has gotten out of hand. Not just the number of obese people – that’s been ridiculous for a long time. No, the trend of embracing being unhealthily overweight. Granted, to each his or her own. It’s definitely your own prerogative if you want to be heavy and at risk of death. And I understand the struggle to find the motivation to start losing the weight once things have gotten out of hand. Hello, I weighed over 200 pounds for months and have struggled with weight my whole life. I get it.

But never once did I think it was healthy to eat junk food and sit on my ass. I finally came to the realization that it wasn’t fair to me or my loved ones to unnecessarily put my life at risk. I deserved a chance at having a happy, healthy life. By the same notion, however, I also believe in ENJOYING that life. So if I want pizza, I have pizza. If I want a greasy burger, I have a greasy burger. If I need a week off from working out, I take it. There’s balance in everything, and simply saying, “I’m fat and that’s okay with me, so everyone else should agree” is just bullshit.

I’ll always have big thighs and broad shoulders. My knees will always be ugly. I’ll never be at 8% body fat. But I will make a conscious effort to live as healthy a life as I can. And THAT’S what we should be promoting. The acceptance of a new standard of beauty, not a fat one. Too thin is unhealthy, so that shouldn’t be our standard. Too heavy is unhealthy, so THAT shouldn’t be the standard. Look at Beyonce. She’s in great shape and doesn’t try to be stick thin. Her curves are just that – CURVES. Not unhealthy fat, but natural, beautiful, womanly curves. In my opinion, she could set the new standard of beauty.

I honestly think that my own journey and continued struggle with my weight is what fuels this anger. I am working so damn hard to be healthy, while others prefer not to do the work. And then they call those like me who think they are lazy discriminatory. Nope, been there, done that. I was fat, and when I was, I was lazy. Depressed, yes. But I got help for that. Dealing with a lot, yes. But wake up – that’s called life.

This completes the test of the Emergency Bitching System. I now return my regularly scheduled blogging.

It’s time to get extreme

posted on Monday, March 16th, 2010 under General Ramblings |

I have a feeling I’m going to dread hearing that soon…but for now, bring it on.

Last week, I finally caved and ordered the ChaLEAN Extreme fitness program from Beachbody. I’ve been wanting it for a while now, especially after reading this article that compares CE to P90X, another program I’ve been considering.

What made me choose CE over P90X? Several things, actually. First of all, I’m intimidated by P90X and not sure how I’ll do with it. I can handle Jillian Michaels DVDs, although with a bit of huffing and puffing, but I don’t know if that’s really a gauge for my overall fitness level. And not that intimidation should stop me – I love a good challenge – but I haven’t done workouts with this trainer before, while I’m very familiar and comfortable with Chalene’s style.

Second, I really have no where to put a pull-up bar and I have no doorway with which to use the resistance bands for the alternative exercise, and I hear this is a key part of the program (i.e., I can’t just skip those parts). I already have most of what I need to do CE (except now I want the SelectTech dumbbells they use, and I still need some more hand weights).

Third, CE will provide an intense workout in less time. P90X workouts range from 60-90 minutes, while the longest CE routine runs 45 minutes. Not having time is always an excuse for me, so I wanted to do everything I could to offset that from the get-go.

Sunday, I took a couple of before pics (not sure if I’m brave enough to post – even after losing 50+ pounds, I’m still not looking great), took my measurements and body fat and watched the intro DVD. Yesterday, I officially kicked off the program.

I definitely need more weights – I’m stronger than I thought in some areas and the point is to work your muscles to the point of failure. The deliberate, slow technique is amazing – I can feel every second of work I’m putting in and can tell that I’ll get results. The parts that kill, though, are when Chalene says, “It’s time to get extreme.” After a 10-second pause, you do 3 more reps AFTER your muscles have reached failure. INTENSE.

I love the phasing technique of CE and P90X, and my intent is to complete CE and be totally ready to begin P90X. Guess we’ll see where that goes!

I have other stuff to say, but I’ll make a new post for that…in the meantime, here’s my current instant-smile obsession:

Kind of how i feel today…

posted on Monday, March 1st, 2010 under General Ramblings |