Tag Archives: exercise

fitbit: 11 – 17 June 2012

Each week I get a lovely newsletter from fibit with my weekly stats, and I thought I would share some of them here.

I managed to take 57,787 steps last week, which is actually down from my average. That’s a total of 40.80km… which doesn’t include the weekend when I forgot to wear the damned thing. Not too shabby.

I don’t entirely trust my calories in vs out… I don’t record on the weekends so it isn’t accurate. However, it does tell me that my weight is down 2.6kg. Woot! It was back up a bit this Monday (which I expected), but as long as it is moving down overall, I’m happy.

The most disturbing stat this week is my sleep. My average sleep duration last week was 3 hours and 36 minutes. YIKES. On average I was awakened FIFTEEN times.

I haven’t been sleeping well (stress, innit?) but it is a wee bit shocking to see just how badly. Sleep is such an important part of your overall health (physical as well as emotional and mental) so I think I’m going to have to focus on this metric a bit more. I slept well over the weekend (mmmm…. lazy lie ins) but Sunday night and last night (Monday) I could not shut down. I think a week of regular bedtimes, wakeup times and perhaps some melatonin might do me some good. As would winning the lottery… that would kill loads of my stress and I sleep better in a hammock on the beach anyway. Haha.

De-Ragifying with the Zoms

A strange thing happened to me today.

Started out as a fairly regular Monday. You know. Pretty shit. Had to get up early. Had to get on a stinky, crowded train. Decided that rather than walk to work (Waterloo to London Bridge) I would take more of a stinky train to get in early.

Got in early. No bananas. Work work work worky work. Gym at lunch – ran 5km. Fairly standard.

Work work work worky work. (There may have been a meeting or two in that worky work there somewhere).

Commute home, stinky train. Pick up groceries. Eat some dinner, eff about online. Talk to my moms (which is always a highlight) but then RAGE RAGE RAGE (my poor, patient moms) about a particularly INFURIATING work thing that is going on.

I was very ragey again today. There is a thing (the same “thing” as always) at work and a thing in my personal life that is filling me full of rageohol.

Now, if you know me, you know how I deal with rageohol: Usually I dilute it with alcohol. Seems like the right thing to do.

But today… today I got changed into my running shit after my call with my moms. I fired up my Runkeeper and Zombies, Run! apps. And I went for a motherfucking run.

Now… here’s the strange thing that happened (I mean – over and above the fact that I went for a run instead of a pint): I liked it.

There was a point where I was actually enjoying the exercise. Double-you Tee Eff, man? ENJOYING THE RUNNING.

I’m sat here now in minor amounts of pain. My feet are a wee bit torn apart (I did run nearly 15km today in total – and this after running 10km yesterday… WHO EVEN AM I?) and I’m pretty sure my thighs are going to be non-functioning tomorrow (there is already a pretty deep ache)… but I feel good.

And not just self-righteous good (a by-product of any exercise if you are me), but good-good. My rage has subsided. I am feeling fairly at piece with the universe.

I hope this is a feeling I can remember (not the feet/thighs part – the other part) because I would like to feel this way more often.

This was my run, by the way. Check out those changes in elevation. That first hill is where the zoms nearly got me. I thought I was going to vomit (zom vom) when I got to the top… I’m not nearly in shape enough to fucking sprint up a hill that far into a run.

http://runkeeper.com/user/jodiwankenobi/activity/77826178

Who knew that trying to escape a murderous pack of zombies would motivate me enough to run and run and run. Bless you, zombies.

Body Math

I’m still using Fitocracy  to motivate my ass to exercise. It’s a great motivator, especially if you are a competitive little monkey like I am.

But there is a secondary reason why Fitocracy is pretty awesome: The people. And not just “my people” (aka “the people I follow”), but the people in the groups I joined. Especially the fit nerds in the XKCD group.

Fit nerds don’t just run around. The like to measure and graph and talk about things like ROI and stuff. And when they have an opinion about something (ie: just focus on calories or also worry about macronutrients), most of them back that shit up with links to the studies they are citing.

I love nerds. I’m learning so much.

And here’s a lesson that I’m taking to heart. One of the guys in the group posted a link to WolframAlpha  that spat out information about the effects of a run on your body, dependant on distance, speed, weight, sex, etc.

Now, I am capable of running 5km in 30 minutes (which I actually do now and again), and I knew that by doing so I burned roughly 500 or so calories. I knew that. But what does that mean?

Well, that’s where this sort of nerdy website comes in handy. That 500 or so calories equates to a QUARTER OF A POUND.

A quarter. Of a pound. 0.15 pounds. gaH.

That sucks. That sucks for how hard it is for me to run that 5km in 30 minutes. It means that to lose a pound I would have to run that hard that fast for two hours. Fuck that.

So slowly I’m learning how to game the body math. Through sprints and weight lifting, I’m making changes faster. Hopefully learning body math is going to help me see changes sooner.

Competitive nature + gamifying fitness = Captain Lazyass gets off the couch

Last week xkcd posted this comic:

Which made me laugh. A lot of fitness tracking websites (I use Daily Burn and Runkeeper) miss out on some of life’s best activities. I probably would have had a chuckle and left it at that… but it was the mouse-over text that caught my attention. It was:

“I felt so clever when I found a way to game the Fitocracy system by incorporating a set of easy but high-scoring activities into my regular schedule. Took me a bit to realize I’d been tricked into setting up a daily exercise routine.” 

“I’d been tricked into setting up a daily exercise routine.” That interested me. So I rocked over to Fitocracy to check it out.

Fitocracy (www.fitocracy.com) is still in beta and you need an invite code to check it out. Fortunately, they were excepting “xkcd” as an invite code the day I wanted to try it (I don’t know if they still are).

It is exactly the kind of thing I like. You get to level up when you are active and there are unlockable achievements. There is a lovely sense of humour underlying the site. For example, the quest to run a mile in under 10 minutes is called “Someone is chasing me!” There is an over abundance of zombie references. I joined a group called “Getting Fit for the Zombie Apocalypse”. Not even kidding.

It seems to be pretty nerdcentric, but that also suits my temperament. I need something to motivate me to get away from my computer and out into the wild. And if I find that motivation on a website that will give me “points” for doing so… well, I have no business commenting on the other nerds rocking the site.

There is only three things missing from the site right now that would make it better. The first is a mobile site and/or iPhone/Android app. Apparently the mobile site is in the works, which would be rad. The second thing is that it doesn’t (yet) connect with my Withings scale. All things should connect to my Withings. But that too is apparently in the plan.

The final thing I’m missing is people I know who’s asses I would like to kick. I’ve joined a few groups (such as the aforementioned zombie training group) on the site, but being better than a handful of strangers is not nearly as much fun as kicking the asses of people I know.

I have ten invites (apparently) that I can give away. If any of you would like to give Fitocracy a try, let me know. I’ll send you an invite and start following your ass. And then I’ll start kicking it.

2011: Year of the Restrictive Rabbit

>So far, 2011 has been the Year of the Restrictive Rabbit. I gave up drinking (nearly) entirely and with a few devil-may-care weekends, I’ve been following a very strict diet six days a week. I’m even forcing myself to exercise, which goes against the very core of my lazy being.

And now it looks like I will have to add spending to my list of things I have to get under control, which means restricting what I can buy. I made that decision this month, when my pay somehow ran out by the seventh.

The seventh. I didn’t even make it to the mid-point of the month. Sad.

More restrictions. I can feel my inner six-year-old starting to rebel. Something has to give. I’m bad at self-parenting – I’m too cute to tell me ‘no’ for very long. I sense an imminent bad-behaviour explosion unless I let something go.

So I’ve voted to lift the drinking embargo. I made the resolution in the first place to show myself that I don’t need to drink to have fun or to deal with my life. And I’ve proven that to myself. So I’m tossing out the resolution.

But not entirely.

You see… I’ll still have to restrict the drinking. Drinking goes against the diet. Which will be in full effect still from Sunday to Friday.  So the only day I will be able to have a drink is Saturday (plus the exceptions, should they fall during the week).

I have a bad habit (just one – ha ha) of going to extremes. Eat “better”? NO! Eat perfectly! Do “some” exercise? NO! Run 5km every lunch! Drink “in moderation”? NO! NO DRINKING.

The trouble with that is how hard it is to maintain. Now, don’t get me wrong… I could finish off the year without drinking. But I worry if I hang on to that one I may let one of the others slide, and the others are more important to me.

This doesn’t mean I’ll see you in the pub this Saturday. But if I do… feel free to buy me a pint and help celebrate my newly discovered moderation.

No beer and no pizza make Jodi something something…

Actually, to be honest? It hasn’t been all that bad. Or that hard.

So, just following on from my previous post when I talked about the changes I had made starting this year and how they are going.

I’ve had no problems whatsoever with the alcohol aversion, other than having to constantly explain to people why I would do this to myself. I don’t even miss it. And I am LOVING the hangoverless mornings. Fact.

Worth noting is that while we were in Vegas (work thang) I didn’t follow my rules. The No Drinking Rule has the “out of the country” exception so I did take advantage of that a wee bit… and I just wanted a Slurpee so badly the sugar thing had to go too.

I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was going to be (or as I could have been). I had drinks, but didn’t get drunk. I ate whatever I wanted… but not too much or too bad (except that first night meal at Dennys. YOWZA.)

Other than Vegas though, I’ve been sticking with it.

On the food front, things are going well. I’ve only had a couple of mornings since the beginning of January where I have wanted to punch breakfast right in the cock. Some mornings are hard! I found that it was the worst when I didn’t get enough sleep or ate really, really late the night before. Most mornings though it is no problem. If I’m being lazy (or woke up late) I just have a couple of eggs and I’m sorted.

The rest of the food thing is going well too. I think the Saturday gorge-a-thons are really, really helping with that. Before, I would have the restrictions in place every single day, and after a few weeks I’d implode and eat a pizza. And then I would slide right back into my old habits… usually very quickly.  Now, if I crave something that I’m not supposed to eat, I just say to myself, “Patience, my pretty. Patience. Soon it will be Saturday.”  This Saturday was about eating mashed potatoes. I wanted them so badly I would have killed a kitten for them.

Other than the time in Vegas (and the jet-lagged work week full of training the new peeps following it) I have been an utter rock fucking star about going to the gym at lunch. I do some core training on Mondays and Fridays… and the rest of the time I just run around like an idiot on a treadmill.  I even went swimming last week.

::SIDE NOTE::

One of the ‘core training’ exercises that I’m doing is a two-hand “Russian” kettlebell swing. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, this chick in this video demonstrates it pretty well:

I’m using a 20kg kettlebell and currently doing 5 sets of 15 reps, trying to work my way up to just doing 75 straight reps with the damned thing.

This is hard.

On Monday, after the first 15, I thought I was going to throw up or pass out. Most likely both. I had to put the stupid weight down and pace about for a good two minutes before I was ready to even think about picking it up again.

I was sore for the next three days, with Wednesday being the worst. On Wednesday, sitting down caused me pain. SITTING.

The good news is that when I did it again on Friday, although I still thought I might throw up after the first set, it was much easier and two days later I’m not sore. HOORAH!

::END SIDE NOTE::

Something I’ve learned about me and exercise: Like fuck I’m going to do it first thing in the morning. NO NO NO. So I’m not even going to try it any more. It is stricken off my list of things to do.

I’ve not been doing evenings either… but I may try that one again once it is lighter later. We’ll see. As long as I keep the gym sessions, I’m not too fussed.

I’ve been sleeping great. GREAT! I don’t think I have ever said that in my life ever. I think the melatonin and magnesium is helping… but so is the exercise and the fact that I’m not eating so much shit.

Overall, this experiment is working. My weight is slowing dropping, so are inches. Which is good. And my energy is up. Also good. I sleep better – excellent. And the best part is that I just feel better in general. Happier. And seeing how at this time a year ago I was the most stressed, angry and unhappy that I had ever been (and, although I didn’t know it then, just a few weeks off from being hospitalised)… I think being happier and less stressed is the best thing in the world right now. Awesome.

*I realised after posting that some people may not get what the post title is referring to. Which is sad. SAD. If you don’t know what I’m referencing, watch this clip. (Sorry about all the Hulu shit… I’m hoping that the heavy advertising means they won’t take the clip down…)

And if you don’t know which movie the Simpsons are parodying in that clip, well… there is nothing more I can do for you. You are obviously a culturally retarded cave dweller and I have nothing more to say to you.

Mild Gymnophobia

>I wouldn’t necessarily call myself body shy, but I am certainly body conscious. Always having been the chubby kid, it comes with the territory.

I’m not as bad as I used to be. When I was a kid, I was capable of changing for gym without a showing a single piece of flesh. But did I win a first place ribbon for THAT bit of gymnastics? Did I bullocks. Life’s not fair when you are twelve.

Eventually I grew out of that and became slightly more open but still body cautious in public. I liked gyms with changing cubicles. If they didn’t have them, I would perform similar strip gymnastics as when I was twelve, but now I had a towel to protect me. Shit, I used to use the pool for 12 seconds just so I had a reason to shower in my swimsuit without anyone thinking I was a fucking weird-ass never-nude or something.


::SIDE NOTE::

In looking for that picture of Tobias Fünke from Arrested Development in his cutoffs… I found out that the fear of being nude is called Gymnophobia. THANK YOU WIKIPEDIA. MY LIFE IS COMPLETE.

::END SIDE NOTE::

And then Korea happened.

In Korea, ladies in gym locker rooms / showers and the saunas walk around naked bold as jays. It is pretty unnerving at first, but then you just sort of roll with it. Just read the “too much skin” portion of this post and you’ll get what I mean. I even had a small child once – and the children in Korea will laugh if your shirt rides up a wee bit in the back whilst you write on the board – come up to me in the gym (she swam there) locker room once while we were both completely starkers and say, “Jodi Teacher! You want an orange?” and then proceeded to hand me an orange.

I got over being nude in front of strangers pretty quickly over there.

Ah, but that is the key “in front of strangers”. I’m still a little shy about stripping down in front of people who know me. I don’t know why I think it is worse that someone I see all the time may notice you can’t see my abdominals under all that insulation… I’m pretty sure I don’t look any skinner with my kit on.

And what’s the point of this post? Well, at the gym I go to now, the lady who works in the spa there also trains at the gym. Often around the time I do. And she was in there at the same time as me today and I was feeling a little blushy (new word alert) about changing with her right there.

The point of this post: I’m a retard. This is the same spa lady who pulls hair out of my Lady Vagaga with hot wax and I’m worried she might have a look at my back fat? Seriously? HUGE ridiculousness right there, boys and girls. Huge.

Murf Mode

This was the first week of some pretty major changes as I try to improve on my quality of life. I’m not sure if it is going well or not.

I’m pretty sleepy bears.

Here are the biggest changes that I have made:

Food: No sugar, pasta, potatoes, bread. Much more water. No booze. Eating a good breakfast.

Exercise: I’m doing some. I’m trying for a quick Wiiworkout in the mornings and the gym at lunch. If I’m feeling extra good – I’ll do some sort of light activity in the evening (yoga, swim, walk).

Sleep: Going to bed before 11pm, taking melatonin, waking up at the same time each morning.

Other: Taking my vitamins, trying to just generally be more positive about things and stuffs.

How am I doing?

On the food front, I’m rocking it. And it hasn’t even been hard, although the amount of cooking that I’m doing is shocking. SHOCKING. And I’ve actually been seen eating beans this week. BEANS. (Fuller longer, eh?)

I’ve easily managed to steer clear of the booze (and so far, I don’t miss it) and avoiding the other bits hasn’t been too bad. I’m getting sick of breakfast. I’m not a breakfast eater. And although I am making yummy breakfasts, it is a huge change that I’m going to really have to work at sticking with.

I have managed two morning Wiiworkouts, but yesterday and today I crapped out (and slept in – part of my low energy issue). I have gone to the gym every day at lunch. I like going. I don’t like having to shower midday. I feel better after the activity. I hate carrying gym shit around. It’s another change I’m really going to have to work at sticking with.

I’ve done nothing active in the evenings. In the evenings, I have been a sloth. A slug. A lazy video-watching, drooling, half-awake pool of not-doing-anything. I hope that will change.

I am rocking going to bed before 11pm and taking the melatonin (I don’t know if it is really doing anything for me or not yet). I have been balls about getting up on time yesterday and today. TIRED.

This has been a helluva stressful week at work. But I think that I’m handling it better than I usually would have. This doesn’t change that I am suffering pretty bad headaches and that I was coughing up one of my lungs this morning. I think that with my old habits, this week would have hit me much harder. However, having a hard week is making it much harder to hit my new habits. If that makes sense.

And the sleepiness and headache have put me in murf mode. I was so slow moving this morning I was nearly going backwards and I actually yelled at the universe when I couldn’t find my umbrella. I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed by work. The weather is shit. I can’t even get started with what I need to do today.

On the plus side – it was (thank goodness!) a short week and tomorrow is the weekend. I just have to make it through to the other side of today in tact. Then, rest up  over the weekend and be ready to face another week Monday.

Again? Haven’t we been through this before?

>I’ve joined a gym. Again. So far I’m feeling very virtuous. If I go regularly for a week, I’ll feel angelic. Sometime into the second month, I’ll become (even more) unbearable.

I wonder how long it will last? At least this time there isn’t a contract – I can quit with a month’s notice. Right now I’m just going at lunch and running on the treadmill like a squirrel on a wheel.

::SIDE NOTE::

I mean “squirrel on a wheel” and not “hamster on a wheel”. Remember my pet squirrels in Korea? Marty used to run the shit out of that wheel. He too had stress and other issues.

Yay squirrels!

I’m using the gym for exercise (I mean – obviously) but it is mostly so that, for one hour, I’m away from my desk and hopefully zoning (zenning?) out. It’s part of my marvellous plan to stress less and stay more positive for 2011. I’m bored of being Captain Bringdown, it’s time to bring back Captain Turbotastic.

Exercise(n): Self-inflicted torture

>If you read through my blog (go on… I’ll wait for you to get back) you’ll notice a trend whereby every once in a while I make mention of my complete and utter disdain of all physical activity (except drinking, eating and sex).

Sure, sure… every now and then I’ll flirt dangerously close to something that vaguely resembles exercise, but I’m always quick to scurry away from it again, lest it becomes some sort of grotesque habit that I bore people in the pub chatting about.

::SIDE NOTE::

The very idea that I might talk to people in the pub about exercising already goes to show that I’ll ever get freakishly attached to doing it.

::END SIDE NOTE::

It isn’t that I don’t want the benefits that exercise can bring; I do. I want more energy. I want to sleep better. I want to wear a pair of jeans that doesn’t contain so much material that it could be used as a tarpaulin shelter for a nomadic family of twelve. But I want those benefits without earning them. I want them to just magically happen for me.

Somehow I don’t think I’m going to win this one.

So, I’ve been playing with my Wii now and then and calling it ‘exercise’. But after the crotch agony of a week and a half ago, I’ve been terrified of doing anything other than the little balancing games that I know won’t cause me grievous bodily harm.

I’ve toyed with the idea of actually exercising after I get home from work. But the 45 minute bus ride actually zaps my will to live and leaves me with little energy to do anything more physical than lay on the couch with a beer and contemplate life until my flatmate finishes making dinner.

::SIDE NOTE::

Can you even imagine how wonderful it is to go from living with people who manage to get poop on the wall to someone who cooks me freaking dinner?

::END SIDE NOTE::

So after work is out of the equation. And I didn’t even think about exercising before work… I get up early enough as it is. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, I’ve started doing yoga at work on Wednesdays. It is free and I thought it would help me get some of my flexibility back. Which it might. Once I can walk away from a session not bent over from agony and exhaustion, it might. Nah, it’s good. The class is small and the instructor is rad. She’s willing to push us and I’m willing to be pushed. My back and legs are sore but in a good way (although I still plan on complaining about it).

The other thing I’ve started doing is far more mental and even I can’t believe I thought this was a good idea. Because I’m too tired after riding the bus home to do any exercise… I’ve decided to forgo the bus home.

I’ve started walking (with a wee bit of running) home. What’s kinda daunting about it is the distance – 6.7 miles. Yikes. Yikes on a bun.

But I do get to run (walk) through Richmond Park, which is gorgeous. And full of deer. It is vaguely surreal to look past a dozen deer in a grassy field and see the Millennium Eye, The Gherkin and Canary Wharf.

Tonight is the third night I’m gonna do it, and at the moment I’m pretty stinking proud of myself. I’m still tired when I get home, and I probably look like a dork, trying to run (usually in the rain) after having not done so in 100 years and with my wee backpack on. But I guess the good thing is that I’m doing it.

I’ll let you know how long this one lasts. Right now I’m focusing on closing out the week.