Jul. 5th, 2014 01:41 pm
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
Apparently there's no point at all in losing weight, because you only end up being a size that nobody bothers to sell bras in. At my old weight, I would have been presented with a cornucopia of options. At my present weight ("Normal") I had precisely... none. Grump!

Also, apparently I'm not allowed to be allergic to pine nuts, in that ingredient lists that helpfully embolden every known allergen doesn't bother to tell me about the pine nuts, but sneaks them in furtively and doesn't breathe a word about it. Plus they call them "pine kernels," so I don't notice them when I do a quick scan looking for the word "nuts." Luckily I noticed before eating the sandwich, but not before buying it. Grump!
ladyofastolat: (Default)
After spending most of August sitting on the couch going "ow!", I was feeling rather unfit in September, especially as I never seemed to get any free weekend days that were dry enough for super-long walks. Having seen someone (Neuromancer?) mention it on LJ, I bought the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD. It's advertised as 20 minutes a day, but is more like 25 minutes once you include the warm-up and cooldown, and it comes in three levels, encouraging you to move up a level after ten days or so, or whenever you feel ready. A lot of the moves are demonstrated in easier and hard versions, so it's adaptable that way, too.

The DVD doesn't make it clear whether you're supposed to do 30 consecutive days, or skip days. Everything else I've read about muscle-strengthening exercises stress the importance of rest days, but loads of people online had done this workout every day without ill-effect. In the end, I decided to do it every day, on the grounds that I'd find it easier to stick with a daily routine. As it turned out, I missed 6 days, because of such things as illness, visitors or being in London, so it's taken me five weeks to do 30 workouts.

I read quite a lot on the relative merits of morning and evening exercise, and the general conclusion seemed to be that both had their pros and cons, so individuals should choose a time that worked for them. For the first week, this was first thing in the morning - which certainly made me feel full of energy as I walked to work - but I was finding myself getting dizzy, so I switched to the afternoon when I moved up to the much-harder level two. I do it the instant I get home, without letting myself sit down and get distracted by anything, and it works quite well.

The effects are pretty impressive. I've not lost weight, but I think I've lost inches - although I didn't get round to measuring myself until half way through. I'm certainly stronger and fitter, though. It's amazing how quickly this happens. I was noticeably more flexible after just 4 or 5 days. The level two workout well nigh killed me first time round, and I was opting for the easy versions of several of the exercises, or just collapsing on the floor. Ten days later, I was doing the whole thing on hard. It was particularly encouraging when Pellinor joined in at the weekends. He was better than me the first weekend, but by the third weekend, he was collapsing in an exhausted little heap while I carried on undaunted.

I've already bought several more of her workout DVDs, to get something to move on to. They all arrived on Monday, when I had the day off work, and I rather foolishly tried them all, "just to see what they were like." This was unwise, since I could hardly move on Tuesday or yesterday, but at least it proved that I'm capable of doing them. That certainly wouldn't have been true a month ago.


Mar. 27th, 2012 07:49 am
ladyofastolat: (Default)
In the last 3 years, I have lost a quarter of my body weight. I am not saying this in a "Go me!" sort of way - it might be a bit more gomeable had I done it in rather less than 3 years, and with fewer retrograde steps along the way - but in a rather amazed "Where on earth did it come from?" sort of way. I've still got the same number of limbs and fingers. My bones are all still present and correct. My muscles haven't got anywhere, and in fact some of them might have become a bit bigger, due to all the walking. I wasn't spherical three years ago. Yes, I definitely look thinner than I used to, but 25% thinner...? It doesn't seem right!

On a weight-related note, wherever I go on the internet, I am haunted by adverts about weight loss. Many of the other adverts I get are clearly inspired by recent searches or online purchases I've done, but I haven't searched for weight loss or diets. I'd always assumed that it was just that everyone using the internet was haunted by weight loss adverts, regardless of their interests, However, virtually every day I enter a search along the lines of "tapas bar wight," or "road closures wight," and Google asks me if I actually meant "road closures weight." Therefore I'm wondering if giving me all these weight loss adverts because it's convinced that I'm so obsessed with weight that I search for it every single day.


Jan. 7th, 2011 08:11 am
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Well, that was unexpected. I weighed myself today, and I'm the same weight I was at the start of October. I lost quite a bit of weight between January and May last year, but my resolve for the rest of the year was to stay the same overall, although with short-term fluctuations caused by holidays etc. However, I haven't weighed myself since early October, I was definitely getting less abstemious during October and November, and I was positively over-indulgent during December. I was fully expecting to have put on 4 or 5 pounds, but somehow I haven't. How odd. Maybe all those Doritos, dips, chocolate bars and jugs of homemade wine that I consumed between Christmas and New Year were special magic ones, with no calories in them.
ladyofastolat: (Default)
"I'm worried about you," Wii Fit told me sternly. "You reached your weight loss goal too quickly. You really ought to concentrate on general health rather than focusing on short-term goals." I acknowleged the message. "Now set your next weight loss goal!" Wii Fit commanded me, and refused to let me go on until I'd set one. Since I set a very small one, it refused to let me choose a time scale that was anything other than short-term.

Totally unrelated to inconsistent messages about weight loss, I watched a falconry display today, after doing a couple of dancing spots at a fete in the grounds of a rather attractive Tudor manor. As well as doing demonstrations, the falconer explained, they're also heavily involved in the "rescue and rehabilitation of birds of prey." How does one rehabilitate a bird of prey, I wonder? Are they taught useful skills like basketweaving and woodcarving, so they can make an honest living that doesn't involve preying on smaller animals? Are they lined up in classrooms and made to watch a series of luscious pictures of carrots and mushy peas? Do they have to go out into the community to befriend orphaned voles?

The display was fun. The vulture failed to crack an egg, and tried to eat a discarded glove instead, the harris hawk apparently detests Morris dancers, the falcon ran off and sat on the house, and the lure snapped, sending half a rat hurtling over the heads of the crowd. The falconer coped admirably, though, and I'm sure it was a whole lot more enjoyable than it would have been if everything had gone right.

However, nothing that I saw disabused me of my conviction that birds of prey are really dinosaurs.

Wii Fit

Aug. 19th, 2010 09:03 pm
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I decided to take a break from sewing and renew my acquaintance with Wii Fit. (It was sarcastic at me. "It's been 153 days since your last session," it said. "Don't worry, I haven't forgotten your name. Hello, Precious." (And, yes, my cats do have Wii Fit profiles. I'm sorry!))

Anyway, it struck me once again how strange are some of the things the "trainer" says. "As you do this exercise," he says, "imagine your upper and lower body separating." Um... No, thank you. I'd rather not. At various other points, he tells me to "imagine my ideal body" while exercising. I'm afraid I don't really have a clear image of what an ideal body would look like (and if I did, it would probably be male and clad in a baggy white shirt and swashbuckling trousers), so I like to imagine that I'm a maritime explorer, and I imagine a lovely placid body of water, or else that I'm a detective, facing a nice neat dead body with "The Butler did it" taped to its brow.


Jul. 25th, 2010 11:36 am
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I'm feeling triumphant today, since I've discovered that my weight is the same as it was in early May. You see, last year, I managed to lose around 24 pounds in the first 5 months of the year. However, from late May onwards, I had loads of folk festivals, gaming weekends, visitors, holidays etc. I decided that I wouldn't try to maintain weight loss during all of these, but would try to make up for the weekends of indulgence by being abstemious during the week, in the hope that I could get through the summer without putting on more than one or two pounds. However, the first weekend of indulgence switched my brain firmly out of diet mode, with the result that I'd put on 14 pounds by the end of the year.

This year, I did the weight loss thing again, and had lost 21 pounds by the start of May. Then I went on holiday, and since I've returned from that, have had a folk festival or similar pretty much every other weekend. Although I was aware that I've not been anything like as over-indulgent as I was last year, I knew that I hadn't been as good as I could have been. Three days at a folk festival subsisting on burgers and scrumpy do not a weight loss diet make. However, today I finally remembered to weigh myself before breakfast, and discovered that I'm exactly the same weight as I was before going on holiday to Scotland in early May. Yay! All I can think is that I'd got so used to a weight loss diet, that a weight-maintaining diet of some 600 additional calories a day felt like unimagined gluttony.
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Grr! Every time I do Wii Fit, I end up snarling. Now, I know that there are far more worthy ways to get fit than to use Wii Fit, but the concept suits me well. I can do it inside - good on this rainy days - and I can do it in a short burst while dinner is cooking. Since I'm a person who will do absolutely anything to earn five shiny gold stars, that aspect of it all is good for me, too. (Or somewhat good for me, anyway, in that I will work obsessively on an exercise until I get five stars, and then lose interest in it completely until Pellinor kicks me off the top of the high score table, in which I suddenly feel the urge to exercise in that way again.)

However, although much of it is good, it is also so very annoying. It talks to me all the time. Now, I am an impatient person when it comes to computer games. I'm the sort of person who likes to skip cut scenes and get on with the killing. I therefore find it very annoying when I want to do a 1 minute yoga exercise, and first have to sit through my "trainer" waffling on about how he was up late last night and giving me an unasked-for tip about sleep patterns, and then, when I've finished, to sit through a lengthy speech which is exactly the same as it was the previous 67 times I did this exercise. To clock 30 minutes of exercise, you have to play the thing for nearly an hour. (Although Wii Fit Plus does improve on this, since you can string together exercises into a routine, which is free from waffle.)

I also get very annoyed when it tells me off. Weight can fluctuate by several pounds a day, depending on what you've recently eaten, or even on what you ate yesterday, since some foods cause your body to cling onto fluids, which can temporarily boost your weight by a pound or two. If your weight is one pound heavier than it was the day before, it does not mean that you have "put on one pound," yet the horrid machine shouts at you and interrogates you about your awful habits that might have caused this weight gain.

In fact, it seems to tell you off no matter what you do. I was once told off for missing a day of exercise, and then immediately told off for exercising too hard and not taking a break. I did a half hour exercise routine in which every single exercise earned me comments about how wonderful I was, only for the final comment to be something along the lines of "that was pathetic. Unless your posture is great you can't be beautiful."
ladyofastolat: (Applause)
Yay! Wii Fit told me today that I'm officially no longer overweight, having lost 22 pounds in the last few months. Actually, since I lie to it about how heavy my clothes are, I've still got a few pounds to go, but, still: yay! At least it gave me a moderate indication of triumph this time, rather than telling me off as it did when I met my initial goal the other week.

Things that have amused me over the months include:
- The jar of "be good to yourself" cook-in chilli sauce that actually had more calories and fat per hundred grammes than the regular one. The jar was a little smaller, so overall it had a tiny bit less, but only a titchy bit.

- A website that listed how many calories you burn in a very lengthy list of daily activities, which included a category of "Religious Observance," and an entry in it for "Praying." (Far more useful, of course, were the sites that told you how to personalise the figures for your own weight and circumstances, and the ones that actually recognised that the speed and terrain of walking made a difference, rather than just having "walking" as an entry.)

- A website that baldly stated that a cup of coffee had 160 calories in it, and left it at that. (Of course, some coffee shop coffee, laden with cream, milk and sugar, does have this amount, and there are sites that list the calorific content of everything on the menu of major coffee chains, but my instant coffee with a dash of semi-skilled milk (sic)... well, it does not.
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I got told off by Wii Fit today... for being too successful. When we got Wii Fit in mid-January (when I'd already lost 4 pounds since the start of the year) I set a target of 20 pounds in 3 months. With three weeks to go, it sternly and disapprovingly told me that I still had 9 pounds to go, so was clearly going to fail miserably at my target, miserable layabout that I was, so I should set a new one. I then set a modest target of 5 pounds in a month, which I managed to achieve today, after only three weeks. I'd hoped for a fanfare and streamers. I had at least expected some congratulations. Instead, it pursed its metaphorical lips, sniffed, and told me that I shouldn't focus on short term goals and rapid weight loss, and that I'd probably ruined my health forever and doomed myself to an early grave by following faddy diets. (Okay, I'm reading between the lines here, but the gist of it was there.)

I haven't yet found a single thing that doesn't make it look disapprovingly at me. Exercise in the evening, and it sternly asks you if you've had dinner yet, clearly suspecting that you're going to Eat Too Late. (It really doesn't like Eating Too Late.) Miss a day, and it pointedly asks if you've been away, clearly imagining you partying and stuffing yourself on doughnuts in a house of sin. It even lectured me at length about the perils of having my centre of balance off-centre just after it had (grudgingly) told me that I had perfect balance. I've only got a couple of pounds to go before it will judge me to be no longer overweight, so I'm wondering what it will find to criticise me about on the day that this happens.

As anthropomorphised lumps of plastic go, it really is a very annoying one.

On walking

Mar. 19th, 2009 01:57 pm
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I've been walking to work for the last two and a half months, and have tried to walk even when I need the car during the day, but leaving work a bit early so I can pop home and pick it up. I've also been going out for a quick walk sometimes at lunch. I'm walking on average only about 30 minutes a day, and it really doesn't feel like exercise with a capital E. However, yesterday I had to go down the hill into town, and on the way back, I was quite surprised to find myself at the top of the hill again, having failed to notice climbing it. Last time I did the walk, I was breathless, desperately eyeing the top of the hill and wishing I was there. I've also found myself getting much less tired during dancing. I'm quite impressed, since it really doesn't feel like exercise at all, and 30 minutes of walking a day is hardly a lot.

I read this morning on the BBC site that someone or other has said that for walking to count as "moderate exercise", you need to do at least 100 steps a minute, so I counted myself walking to work this morning. I was counting in my head, not having time before I left to dig out the pedometer and work out how to use it, and I didn't notice what time I'd left home down to the exact second, but the journey was around 1500 steps, and I did it in around ten minutes, or possibly a little under. Experimenting just now on a lunch-time wander in the graveyard, 100 steps a minute felt like the sort of speed that makes me snarl silently when I get stuck behind someone doing it, when they wander along three abreast and won't let me get past. Since the article came with cautions that 100 steps a minute was far too fast for many people, I'd expected it to feel like a challenging pace. (I do know, of course, that some people have mobility problems or other health problems that mean that it is indeed too fast for them.)

Oh, and I finally managed to see the green woodpecker. Now I just need to do so when I have a camera with me.

Wii Fit

Jan. 19th, 2009 06:11 pm
ladyofastolat: (Default)
We bought Wii Fit on Friday, on the grounds that the only way I am likely to be persuaded to exercise regularly is to tie it in with high score tables, unlockables and star ratings. If success can be measured by the fact that all my muscles are so stiff I can hardly move today, then it's a success.

The funniest thing is that it populates its world with all our other Miis, which means that I can be jogging along through a park, and suddenly my parents race past me, waving. [ profile] skordh seems particularly fond of standing on stage doing a vaguely dance-like stepping routine, in front of a rapturous audience of people I don't know, who were probably created by G. in her mad Mii-creating frenzy. [ profile] jane_somebody and [ profile] phina_v like throwing hula hoops for me to catch with my body, some of which clout me on the head with a painful-sounding boinging noise. [ profile] prince_eldarion likes to throw pandas and boots at me when I'm trying to head off footballs, while [ profile] king_pellinor stands and watches, shaking his head sternly. and Person-who-would-be-Bethran just appears as a disembodied head on a marble, for me to carefully tilt into a hole.
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Today I was helping to administer a Very Important Conference for Very Important People. (Down side: I had to be there at 7.30. Bright side: I got home at 3.30) I decided that it was important enough to merit me wearing a particularly smart skirt.

Trouble is, I couldn't fit into it.

I lost quite a bit of weight two years ago, by a not-too-stressful means. (I didn't eat food unless I really liked it. So I still ate cheese, pizza, bacon etc., but didn't bother eating potatoes with dinner. I didn't bother with the bread part of a sandwich, just the nice bit inside. Within a few weeks, people were commenting on the difference, but I was still eating as much mice stuff as before.)

I've been dimly aware that I've been Very Bad these last few months. I was fairly sure that I was putting on weight, but since I never weigh myself, and I wear those long, elasticated, ethnicy skirts, I could happily turn a blind eye.

But the skirt does not lie. *sigh*


ladyofastolat: (Default)

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