Archive for April, 2010

Wii Challenge: Week Two (4.16 – 4.22)

April 22, 2010

Today I finished up Week Two of the 10-week Wii Fit challenge with a whoppnig six minutes of exercise!  Sucks, but what can you do when you’re going to work early and staying late.  Same as last week, I’ll break things down by game category then do a minutes and weight breakdown for the week.

MyRoutine
For the bulk of the week, MyRoutine looked like this:

Deep Breathing
Warrior
Half-Moon
Treee
Sun Salutation
Deep Breathing

MyRoutine went through some changes. I had three warrior poses in week one, but for week two I started by changing one warrior pose to a second tree and adding a Sun Salutation, upping my time to 16 minutes from 14. But I’ve had weird balance issues all week and it was just really discouraging, so I dropped the extra tree pose. Then I found myself getting really bored with Warrior, so I dropped the second one of those, which brought my time down to 12 minutes and creates a workout that barely makes me break a sweat.  That’s bad, I know, but considering the week I”ve had, I don’t feel too bad about it. Hoping next week is better.  I may put some leg extensions in.

Strength Training
I still haven’t moved beyond  single-leg extensions and torso twists, but I seem to be getting marginally better at them.

Aerobics
I’ve picked up a fondness for Rhythm Boxing. The Hula Hoop challenges are okay, but I can’t quite get over how ridiculous I feel doing them.  I’m thinking, because I still don’t like the running, I may see about trying to do one of those challenges from my stationary bike. I suspect it would just read as me running too fast and making my Mii fall down, but who knows. I tried a running thing this week just to say I did, but I hated it so much that I stopped after about a minute and finished the race by waving my arm up and down.  It’s just so boring!

Balance
Soccer Balls and Ski Slalom are still where most of my time here is being spent. Sometimes I’ll do the ski jump and I’m rediscovering table tilt and Balance Bubble, though.

Training Plus
I’ve sarted doing Perfect Ten, the one where you have to bang the numbers with your hips to add up to 10, and I’m sad to say I do pretty horrible at it. I just sort of lose my brain entirely.  Rhythm Kung Fu, Snowball Fight and Skateboard Arena are still my favorites, but man, SA wears me out. My poor, poor calves.

Week 2 Breakdown
In parenthesis, I’ve listed categories by time spent from highest to lowest, measured as best I can by a crappy bar graph. Asterisks indicate a day I did MyRoutine, where my goal is three times per week:

Day 1: 21 minutes (Yoga, Plus)*
Day 2: 6 minutes (Plus)
Day 3: 31 minutes (Yoga, Plus, Aerobics, Strength, Balance)*
Day 4: 34 minutes (Yoga, Plus, Balance, Aerobics)*
Day 5: 40 minutes (Plus, Yoga, Aerobics)*
Day 6: 31 minutes (Yoga, Plus, Strength, Balance)*
Day 7: 6 minutes (Balance)

Total Minutes: 169 minutes (2.8 hours),  -29 minutes from Week 1

Weight
Weight started at 237 on 4.16 and peaked at 242.1 on 4.19. Has been on steady decline since, ending at 239.9.  It’s been at or below the base line set when I first got the machine most of the week.  But it’s been close, and I’ll be comfortable when it’s farther below.

First Stop: Gloom City

April 20, 2010

Well, I woke up in a cloud of melancholy today.  And it’s my weekend, to boot. I don’t want to be in a bad mood on my weekend! So, hopfully I can just throw all the moodiness here, get it out of my system and proceed to 48 hours of good times.

I’ve got an Internet friend whose about five years older than me. She’s just finishing up a fellowship, and her parents have come down for a little ceremony thing the school is doing. She’s glad to have them there, but right now, they’re mostly being irritating, which I can completely understand.  Weirdly, I was thinking about her when I woke up and realized never in a million years would my parents ever be able to travel half-way across the country to see me finish a fellowship (journalism fellowship — essentially, you spend a school year taking classes for the hell of it and hopefully go back to your job de-stressed and with new ideas. Not exactly a f0r-credit, get a degree sort of thing).

Setting aside my occasional annoyance that I’ve lived where I live for three years and have been home to visit family four times and plan two more this year and they’ve never been to see me once (setting it aside because they still can’t afford it), it made me think about my first year of college. It was 2001, I was 18, and my grandma drove up with me. It was only 2 hours from home, and my parents eventually showed up, but Grandma was the one who helped me carry stuff up to my room and went to the parents’ orientation meeting and was just there for me in a way they weren’t, and she was always the one in the family that I felt closest to — like we had the most in common. I swear, I got my sense of responsibility from her.

But Grandma died about 3.5 years ago. Now, I’ve never been one of those people who are all “I wake up every day and miss her!” I don’t think about her every day. The days I do are usually fodder for happy memories not balls of sorrow and misery, but today I’m just feeling really sad about it.

So, that’s Thing One. Thing Two stems from the knowledge that, in not quite three weeks, I’ll be getting on a plane and flying back to my hometown for the wedding of a friend I’ve had since middle school (technically earlier, but there was the entire stretch of grade school where we were at separate schools and didn’t see each other).  I’m happy for her, and I know the day is about her and not me, but I wish I wasn’t go there and seeing her for the first time in years while being so huge.

I’ve put on about 40 pounds since I last saw her, and I wasn’t thin to begin with. As a side note, when I came to WordPress, one of the featured posts was “the only thing we need to lose is our obsession with thinness”, and while I agree that there are people for whom the only Pretty is Skinny/Thin and they will do all manner of horrible things to their body to achieve it, and that is a very bad thing, for me, the notion that I was never thin is synonymous with the reality that I was always overweight. And not by a little bit, either.  I was around 180-190 in high school, floated between 200-220 in college and am now 240 on a 5’2″ frame.

I have no desire to be stick-thin. Absolutely none. I just don’t want to be carrying 100 extra pounds of fat on my person. At 140, I would still be overweight a smidge by BMI standards, but I’m fine with that. Hell, I’d probably be fine at 150 or 160.  But 240 and 5’2″ is not “a little heavy” or “knows how to have a good time,  society’s standards of beauty be damned.” 240 at 5’2″ is laziness. It’s whacked priorities. It’s “what the hell do you do?”

It’s embarrassing, and I don’t generally feel shame easily.

And, as if the idea of being the person who just keeps getting fatter weren’t enough to make me feel weird, there’s my personal life. I have no boyfriend, I’ve never had a boyfriend. I’m a 27-year-old virgin and 90 percent of the time, I”m 100 percent fine with that. I love being responsible only for myself and what I want to do. I don’t want to have to think about other people or what they want to do. I don’t want to share my space or my time or my stuff. (Yes, I realize this is all incredibly selfish.)

But the other 10 percent of the time? I think it would be nice to have a companion. Somebody who GOT me, you know? Somebody who made me not mind sharing my space, time and stuff. And then I see so many of the other people I knew in high school on Facebook, and they’ve got kids and are a family and they just seem so much farther along in LIFE than I am. And I’ve got to say, there’s nothing that bothers me more than feeling like I’m being left behind.  Now, generally, that applies to *actually* being left behind as taller, more athletic people who comprise a group I’m supposed to be part of speed off without realizing they’ve left me huffing and puffing and in pain half a block back (*cough*2007 Internship*cough*), but apparently it applies to life stuff, too.

Either way, it’s a confusing and gloomy time.

Sometimes it sucks being a girl

April 18, 2010

Okay, I know the period can screw around with your weight, which is the only reason I’m not bursting into tears over the to complete reversal of my weight-related success, but does it also jack with your balance? Because while I still don’t expect to be actually good at the one-legged Wii exercises, I’ve never done quite so poorly on them as I have this week.  It’s really discouraging, and it was only  by pushing my force of will to its limits that I did not quite MyRoutine halfway through.

But after that I played some games, did some strength stuff — and even didn’t do horribly at aerobic boxing — and managed to get my time up past 30 minutes.

WiiFit 10-Week Challenge

April 15, 2010

As my time with Wii and WiiFit (henceforth known as Ziggy, because Nintendo always reminds of cute candy-colored things, I’m a Quantum Leap fan and Ziggy was a cute, candy-colored thing) became more regular and I realized I was on track to use it every day for an entire week, I decided to embark upon a WiiFit 10-Week challenge.

My challenge is to use it every day for 10 weeks and to do a My Routine for at least three days each week. My goal is to be below 230 pounds at the end, June 18.

I’m not going to set any workout specifics beyond doing the MyRoutine, so if I want to spend the bulk of my exercise one day juggling and head-butting soccer balls, I can do that, guilt-free, as long as I get my three MyRoutines in.

What I’m going to do now is divide the rest of this post into sections. The first is going to be about MyRoutine,  others will be about the other sections of the game, what I like about them, what I don’t, etc. and lastly I’ll do a breakdown of my week. So, let’s go.

MyRoutine
I built a 14-minute Yoga routine, because I figured that would be the thing I could do for 14 minutes at this stage.  It looks like this:

Breathing
Warrior
Half-Moon
Tree
Warrior
Warrior
Breathing

As you can probably tell, I like the Warrior Pose. It’s the only one I feel like I’m really good at.  I also really like the Tree Pose, but it’s hard, and I can’t get my folded leg to my thigh. I settle for the knee. I’m not crazy at all about the Half-Moon. For me, it feels less like I’m working my sides, and more like I’m fighting gravity to keep my arms in the air.  But I’m going to keep doing it, because that seems like the thing to do (and it’s got to get better at some point!)

I did it for three days in a row this week (4/13-4/15), which is why I decided to set my challenge at three days.

I’m going to try to do a few other yoga things and make changes to MyRoutine at the start of each week. For instance, much as I like Warrior Pose, it gets a little boring, so I think for Week 2 I’m going to replace the third Warrior with a second Tree and find something to add so I have an even 15 minute workout (or maybe just add a tree in between the two warriors.)

Strength
By far, my favorite thing is the single leg extensions. I don’t have the greatest balance one-legged, but I’m not horrible at them, and they’re fun. I tried the Pushup with Side Plank once before remembering I can’t do pushups. Then I tried just holding the Up position and switching to the Side Plank. I was able to do the right side once, but not the left. Oddly, on Tree and Leg Extensions, I generally do better with my left leg than the right.

Twists are good and lunges are okay, but I really have to concentrate on them, otherwise I end up not bending my back leg.  That’s probably not a good thing. I also tried the Rowing Squat today. Did not like it at all. I guess I must not be doing something right, because I don’t know how one would keep the balance where it says its supposed to be, and also it really stretches my usually kind of tight Achilles tendons…and I don’t know if it’s supposed to be doing that.

Balance
I spend most of my Balance Game time doing the Ski Slalom, Ski Jump and Soccer Hits.  I’ve tried the tight rope, but I’m just not good at walking in place. I also like the bubble float thing, but it’s hard for me.

Fit!Plus
I am in love with Skateboard Arena. It’s so fun, but murder on your calves. I’ve started playing advanced mode, and I can’t seem to get past the seventh round, though. Actually, I’ve only made it to the seventh road once.

I also like the Snowball Fight, Juggling, Bike Ride and Kung Fu. I just really can’t get into any of the running games. If I wanted to run, I’d go outside and actually run. The biking is different because I can turn and go wherever I want (instead of being locked on a route) and I can jump off things at great height, which is something I could, under no circumstances, do for real.

Aerobics
I don’t actually do much here. This may actually be where the Kung Fu is, I don’t remember. I just don’t feel coordinated enough to do any of the step things, and I’ve already had my say about the running. I’m going to try to incorporate *something* from this category a little more often, though.

Week 1 Breakdown
Time is measured in a bar graph, and it’s easy to see minutes per day, but it’s less easy to get an exact breakdown of how much time was spent in each category. So, what I’m going to do is list the day and minutes and then in parenthesis the categories from largest chunk to smallest, and that will just have to be close enough:

Day 1 (4/9): 10 minutes (Fit!plus, strength, balance)
Day 2: 23 minutes (Plus, balance, yoga, strength)
Day 3: 31 minutes (plus, balance, yoga, strength)
Day 4: 7 minutes (plus)
Day 5: 18 minutes (yoga, balance)
Day 6:  35 minutes (yoga, plus, balance, strength)
Day 7 (4/15): 74 minutes (plus, yoga, balance, strength, aerobic)

Total minutes: 198 (3.3 hours)

My Weight
When I first got the WiiFit in December 09 I weighed (according to it) about 242. During the month, I appeared to drop down to 236-7, but some of that was probably inconsistant clothes factoring. Then I pretty much didn’t use it in January, and when I came pack in February I was about 241. I dropped down to 234. Then I didn’t use it all in March, and when I came back in April I was back up to 241.

During the month so far I’ve jumped up to 244 (like in a day, so I think it was probably *mostly* timing and clothes).

For most of this week, I’ve hovered around 241, but clocked in today at 239. So, let this be a lesson to not take a month off.

So, to make my goal, I’ve got 10 pounds to lose in 10 weeks. That should be doable.

‘This isn’t gym class!’ … Oh, wait…

April 5, 2010

So, since I started this blog, I’ve pretty much just been failing left and right. Failing to eat better, failing to exercise, failing to update.

Well, in the last three weeks, I’ve been eating better. Buying food and, you know, cooking it. With pots and pans and casserole dishes. My goal starting with April is to limit my meals out to four a month. Once a week. Of course, the rest of this month might be kind of tough, since I blew through Chinese takeout Monday and had a craving for a Wendy’s bacon cheeseburger (very notably: NOT the baconator) Sunday.  But I think I’ll make it.

The next big thing is exercise. I’ve decided to take a little trip back to gym class. Despite always been overweight and nowhere near as fit/coordinated/whatever as large portions of my high school gym classes, I always liked gym. Sure, I generally hated the parts that were just running because I was always behind and dying, but after that, we played games and it was fun.

But more importantly, I liked the way I felt as the year went on. My sit-ups got higher, my pushups got better, I got significantly more bendy, and one of my greatest accomplishments that came near the end of my final year of taking gym was being able to jog an complete lap around the track. It was only a quarter mile and I was huffing and puffing by the time I was done with it, but it was the first time I hadn’t had to walk part of the first lap in my life. And it felt good.

I’m about 11 years removed from gym class and about 70 pounds heavier, and I’m not about to go running my ass around a track. But I AM going to try to get back in that model of exercising.

So, the plan is: every other day I’m going to stretch, do a series of sit-ups/crunches and try my damnedest to do some pushups (or, at the very least, hold myself in one of those positions and not my head for the amount of time it would take an actual fit person to do 10 pushups) and then hop on the bike. No, a quarter-mile on a stationary bike is absolutely nothing, so I think I’m going to go for a mile.

Really, a mile isn’t much of anything, either, but it’s all warm-up. Because after that comes the fun part. What was once a variety of team games that I wasn’t particularly good at but enjoyed anyway, will now become Wii!Fit games for at least 30 minutes.

The way I figure it, is that’s fun. It’s something I’ going to want to do, and the bit of actual exercise at the top has a component that I don’t necessarily have to measure, because it’ll be things for which I can FEEL improvement.  How’d those sit-ups go? Did I actually get any real push ups in that set? Did I keep an even speed on the bike, and how’d I feel at the end?

And, yes, I recognize that this is not a lot of exercise. But I lead a fairly sedentary life I need to start slow and build up.  So, while I’m planning to spend the better part of this month with my WiiTime being the myriad balance games and WiiFit Plus games, I’m going to try to use some of that time for the yoga and strength-training sorts of things. And in May, I may try to switch the frequency so I’m spending more time on the actual exercisey bits of WiiFit and less time on the little games.

Likewise, I’ll probably be upping my bike time as time goes on. I imagine it will be awhile before my sit-up and pushup regimen changes.

Because I am Marshmallow Fluff Girl.