I Am That Girl Now

Monday, May 16, 2005

Now on Day 2.

I spent Saturday getting set up and prepared to get started on BFL-- found a basic little tracker for my PDA, stocked up on groceries, got everything planned out. Bought a new scale that tracks body fat percentage (yeah, it's not as good as calipers, but the hell with it, I'll get technical on the next 12-week challenge), bought an iPod Shuffle so I could listen to music on my HIIT treadmill routine... had a really productive and expensive day.

Sunday, I rolled out of bed and did my first BFL upper body workout. Very cool. I'm adjusting some numbers up next time, because I guessed low, and adjusting some down (after murdering my shoulders and nearly dropping a weight on my foot), although most were just right. I'm looking forward to tweaking things upward.

After much messing around with an Excel file, adjusting ingredients and amounts and portion sizes, I finally made my breakfast "egg cups"-- muffin tins lined with about 1/4 of a whole wheat tortilla apiece, with asparagus, Canadian bacon, Laughing Cow light cheese, scallions, and EggBeaters which had had Frank's Red Hot sauce, onion powder, salt, pepper, and some whey protein concentrate from Bob's Red Mill mixed in. Baked 'em at 350 degrees for about half an hour. There ended up being two per serving since I'd mis-estimated my muffin tin size. I ate 'em for breakfast this morning with some salsa. Glorious.

First HIIT session this morning on the treadmill. Sweated my ASS off-- which, considering it was 50 degrees in that little room, impressed the hell out of my Hub. I kept forgetting which number I was on (I've printed out a reminder card to put on the treadmill for Wednesday), and I was somewhat uneven on my levels because of my stupid treadmill for reasons I'll go into in a second, but on the whole it was a very good time. I had my little iPod Shuffle clipped on, and I ran like a crazy woman. It was good. Next time, I'll REALLY kick ass.

There is a reason that my treadmill was the cheapest version at Sears, back when I got it-- this stupid thing has absolutely no MPH markings on the speed control. It's like something on Sulu's console on Star Trek-- you push it, and it's marked with different colors, but what they mean, nobody knows. I'm going to have to do some marking with tape and a marker tonight, because if I'm going to try to hit specific levels ('cause I just shouldn't be given the opportunity to fudge them downward), particularly the same ones throughout the session... well, dude, I need the information. No information = no good.

I like this plan. I really like this plan.

For one thing, I already have more energy than I did a week ago. I can only guess that the protein was the missing link-- that, and I probably wasn't eating enough. Correct fueling does indeed make a difference. My Hub and I are currently theorizing that my body was trying like crazy to do the things I asked of it, but just didn't have the energy sources available-- so the harder I tried, the worse I felt. I'm almost positive that my body-fat percentage is higher now than it was a year ago, even though my weight is almost exactly the same-- working hard without sufficient protein may well have caused my body to dine upon my own muscles.

(The inner drive to binge-eat may have been partly a very real alarm from my body saying "FOR GOD'S SAKE, CAPTAIN, THE ENGINES CANNA TAKE ANYMORE! WE NEED MORE FUEL!")

For another thing, I'm sated. I mean, I didn't think I was ever hungry the way I was eating before, but I know I didn't have this constant, calm done feeling in my stomach. Wow. I like it.

The exercise plan is right what I need right now. Clearly going at this haphazardly wasn't working for me; I was working hard, but without a real goal, without guidance, and without a real plan. Yeah, it got me from "fat" down to "average", but if I'm already putting in the work, I don't want to get "average" out of it. I want something more.

Surprisingly, I really dig on the way these things are structured to make you outdo your expectations of your own ability. I mean, wow, there's a HUGE difference between a workout that's the same ol', same ol', and a workout where you hit a new high point, something you didn't know you could do. WOW. Instant mental high.

I had my Hub take my "before" pictures, and I think the word I'm looking for is aieeeeee. I think a lot of my brain had still been thinking "hey, I lost a lot of weight, what an accomplishment, what an improvement, I'm so SKINNY now!" Those pictures have officially made that part of my brain shut up and gawp. Oh, my. Yeah, I lost a lot of weight, and I'm in my healthy weight range, yadda yadda yadda... but damn, I don't like what I'm shaped like. I need more muscle, less fat, STAT. I look like my torso has been subtly wrapped in bubble wrap-- it's not droopy and foldy anymore, true, but the layer of fat is highly annoying. Droopy upper arms, of course. Saggy butt. Thick thighs and calves. Yeah, it's a LOT better than what I started with, and I worked like crazy to get to "average", but taking a hard look at what "average" me looks at is a big wake-up call.

I've hit some sort of cranky point with the WeightWatchers mentality. I mean, a REALLY cranky point. There's so much effort put into handling people with kid gloves and stressing baby steps and accepting yourself and being able to deal with whatever you end up with, not looking for perfection... and I understand that, I truly do. For a long time, that was exactly what I needed, and as fragile and scared as I was when I started all of this, I totally understand why they're set up to do things that way, to stress that sort of thing. I have kicked my own ass around the block and back, I've stuck it out, I've dealt with the idea that I'm doing this forever, and it got me what I wanted at the beginning-- just to be normal again. I did all that stuff to get me to this point, and it was worth it, and I needed that mentality at the time.

Thing is, I've come to a realization, and it is this: There is no way in hell that I did all that work to lose weight in order to settle into an average middle-aged woman's body when I'm not even thirty years old yet. Back when the pounds were peeling off, I had a giddy month or so when I thought that at the end of that waterslide I was going to be slender and trim and buff. I had a vision in my head of what that would look like. The girl in those pictures from yesterday is NOT the girl I was envisioning.

This is the next step, I think. No idea what comes next, any more than I ever saw this one coming when I first started WeightWatchers... but that's okay. I feel optimistic.

The one problem? My poor Hub. He's completely thrown by this thing. Hasn't read the book; he's content, apparently, to get his information second-hand. I have to admit that this is starting to drive me ABSOLUTELY BATSHIT INSANE. When I started WeightWatchers, he went to the site and read through the information and used their recipes and the recipe-building software and the Points calculator and all of it... and now, he can't be bothered to get information for himself, he depends on me to do it for him and then makes frustrated noises about how he doesn't understand what he needs me to do.

To add to the fun, now that I've started looking at my own food intake with new eyes, I'm really worried that we're going to end up under-feeding my poor Hub. I suspect that analyzing his eating for a few days would annoy him greatly, but...

Sigh. This is complicated. Gotta work on it.


  • Well, you can always show your husband the male before/after pics from the book, or at least get him to read one of the profile stories. ;) BFL is SO easy to understand--it breaks down the bodybuilder nutrition and exercise patterns into the equivalent of Buffness for Dummies.

    You are at goal weight, so you won't see much scale movement, but after 12 weeks I think you will be that trim and buff chica you expected to see in the mirror after that hard work with WW.

    For an example, check out Skwigg/Renee's pics from her first BFL challenge in 2000 at the bottom right corner of this page: http://skwigg.com/id1.html

    I think her weight only changed by 2 lbs, but her body comp completely shifted from skinny/fat to lean/buff.

    I'm not going to wish you good luck because you won't need it. I can tell you already have what it really takes to succeed--not stupid luck but determination, common sense, a great work ethic, and creativity with healthy food.

    Have a great 12 week challenge!

    By Blogger Maggie, at 6:21 PM  

  • Very lovely, Meg! I completely agree, you are totally going to have a kick ass time with this, and you're going to love seeing muscles and feeling strong. Isn't it amazing how having the information changes your whole perspective, and how that perspective and the ensuing actions can change your life?

    Have fun with it!

    By Anonymous Cynthia, at 6:42 PM  

  • There is a new BFL book out, geared specifically towards women. Just bought it this past weekend and can't wait to get started. I'm at the WW cranky point too.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:43 PM  

  • I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your blog and how much I can relate to what you are doing. I did WW for a year and am now in my 2nd week of BFL. I too felt like I'd worked too hard to have my body look like it did after I lost the weight and will be anxious to see how BFL works for me.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 PM  

  • There are times when I actually miss BFL, but I don't have the time to go to the gym nor the finances or space to have an at-home one. It sounds like you've got the routine down so far, keep up the good work.

    By Blogger ms ralph, at 5:25 AM  

  • I love the satiated feeling I get from eating the BFL way. I did one week of WW and was hungry All. The. Time. (Not to mention, hoarding points so I could eat Snackwells :-(.

    By Anonymous tszuj, at 12:42 PM  

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