Week 9 Weigh In Day

It has been a rough week for me, but I finally lost some weight. I decided to only do cardio and not do any muscle stuff this week because I haven’t seen any results in a couple of weeks. It gets frustrating when you are working your butt off at the gym and your weight either stays the same, or it goes up.

I only go to the gym every other day, and this week I walk on the treadmill for 1 hour with a 5 minute cool down, then take a few minute break, then get back on the treadmill for another 1 hour with a 5 minute cool down, then I use the massage bed because after 2 hours of walking, my back is killing me. But, my feet are also killing me. I have blisters on my right heel and I also have a blister on my left foot below my toes. I had those gel insoles, and they basically shredded from either my weight or from walking so much, so I had to buy new insoles and I bought the memory foam ones, and of course they flatten out and they don’t really do any good at all.

Well, more work, more exercise, more trying to resist temptation because I have a LOT more weight to lose. See you in a week with my next report lol.

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Going back to Planet Fitness

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We had to stop going to the gym last month because both of us got really sick. When I say we or us, I am referring to myself and my partner. I was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and then upgraded to AIDS in 1994, so when I get sick, I’m not just sick with a 24 to 48 hour bug, when I get sick, I’m down for a month or longer. I literally have no immune system. My viral load has been undetectable for years and my t-cells have been pretty high in the 900’s for awhile now, but I still suffer when I get sick.

The virus from my cold is long gone, but I’m still coughing. I was coughing up and blowing mucus out of my nose even though I had no nasal or chest congestion at all. That first couple of days when we first got sick last month we just so happened to have a doctor’s appointment and the doctor checked my lungs by listening to my back while making me breathe in and out, in and out, in and out… He didn’t hear anything, so he told me I would be fine. I asked him for antibiotics or at least cough syrup, and he refused to give me anything. He didn’t want to give me medicine for something I don’t have. Well, that’s fine and dandy if I was only going to be sick for a couple days, but I was literally sick for a month.

So we could have gone back to the gym a couple of weeks ago, but we wanted to wait until it was fully out of my system. I would hate to give anyone else my germs and then get them sick.

Going back to the gym after being absent for a month is basically like starting over from scratch. Whatever exercises we did today will probably hurt in the morning and for the next couple of days. I mean, I don’t feel anything now, but then again we just came home from the gym about an hour ago, so who knows what may happen later tonight or when I wake up tomorrow. We’ll see.

The surgeon who operated on my broken leg in December told me to do leg exercises at the gym, and of course take my time and not try to force myself to bend my leg on the leg machines and then hurt myself. My leg is in agony, so I will have to be very careful when I do the leg exercises. I haven’t spoken to a trainer, but I already know which machines I want to start using… all of them! LOL No, but seriously, I will have to make an appointment so she can write down our day 3 exercises for leg day. She gave us 2 days for our upper body, and my partner only wants to go 3 days a week, so legs will all have to be done on the last day of the week.

I’m not expecting to lose any weight, I just want to exercise to feel healthy. You see, I have a feeling it’s when you stop trying is when you will actually lose weight. I say that because just about every time I try to lose weight, I end up gaining weight. So I’m using reverse psychology… on myself lol. Hey, whatever works right?

Schwinn Meridian 3-Wheel Tricycle

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I wanted to ride my new Schwinn Meridian 3-wheel tricycle to the store. I bought it a month ago and it’s been sitting in our back yard ever since. I haven’t been allowed to ride it because my partner is afraid I will hurt my leg, or perhaps get into another accident and break something else. I insisted on going to the store on the trike because I wanted to buy him a anniversary gift, and I really wanted to ride it. It’s like giving a child a cookie, but saying you can’t eat it, although in this case, I bought it and I’m being told I can’t ride it. He isn’t wrong for worrying because I’ve broken 2 bones so far on my bike.

The new Schwinn Meridian 3-wheel tricycle is very difficult to ride at first. I was on the right side of the street and I was quickly heading towards the sidewalk. I thought I was going straight, and in fact I held the handlebars like I was going straight, but for some reason I was actually going to the right. I had to quickly hit the brakes before I hit the sidewalk and the back of a car. That thing stops on a dime. I mean, literally, I squeezed the handlebars and it stopped so fast that I nearly fell off. I did actually, but I landed on both feet, thank goodness. I discovered that I have to veer to the left to go straight, which makes me think the handlebars aren’t on right, but they are. I even triple checked, and they are on straight.

I think that it will take time to learn the quirks of that bike so I will be comfortable enough to ride it when I need/want to. I reassured my partner that I won’t be riding that bike as fast as I normally would ride my old bike. I said I wouldn’t be racing, and he said YOU’VE BEEN RACING? I laughed and said no, I mean I won’t be going 10-12mph, instead I’ll go slow like 7 or 8 mph like an old man. When I cross streets I will walk it instead of riding it, which you are supposed to do anyway. I’ll also only ride it in residential neighborhoods instead of busy streets. Even streets with a bike lane have cars parked in them, so I end up with a very tiny amount of road. I prefer neighborhoods anyway.

I won’t be going to the gym until April 15th, so I still have a few weeks to heal, even though the doctor told me I was completely healed. I really look forward to going to the gym, even though I’m terrified to go on any bike now. I guess if I fear breaking another bone in my body, then I will be even more careful than I normally am, and so I shouldn’t worry about it. My commitment to Planet Fitness ends in September, that is if they didn’t add those months that I had my account frozen, if that’s the case then probably December. I really hope I make a big difference and lose a lot of weight by then.

Did you notice the picture above? I took a picture of it after I put all the locks on it when I got to the store. There is the U shaped lock that attaches to the handicapped sign with the steel coil attached to the front wheel. Then of course a coil cable attached from the seat to the frame, that way I don’t have to worry about someone stealing my seat. Trust me, it’s an issue lol. Then 2 more coiled cables attached to each back wheel. You think it’s paranoia, but if you think that, you’ve never come back to your bike minus a wheel or the seat. It happens more than you think. Trust me, it’s happened to me.

The Spark Activity Tracker

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Diet and exercise are very important to me. Since I have Scoliosis, I prefer cycling over any other form of cardio exercise that might hurt my back. I have a mountain bike on a bicycle trainer in our patio and I have a bicycle computer connected to the back wheel. I also use the Noom app on my Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ tablet to log my diet and exercise.

The Noom app added a new feature that allows you to connect your Google Fit account so it can copy all of the cardio information from your Google Fit tracker. I didn’t have a Google Fit tracker, so I went looking for one, however they are very expensive. I went looking for an alternative and found The Spark Activity Tracker from Spark People for only $29.95. It attaches to your shoe or your belt or wherever you want to attach it. It logs your steps and all of your cardio from walking, jogging, running, cycling, elliptical and even when you are just working or shopping. It comes with a USB Wireless Sync Point that allows The Spark to sync when you are in range of your computer where it is plugged in. Once it syncs up with your SparkPeople account, you can then see your progress. It shows daily steps, activity minutes, calories burned and distance covered.

imageUnfortunately The Spark doesn’t connect to the Noom app, but I will be able to use the information from SparkPeople to log my activity to Noom. Perhaps this will be more accurate since it is much newer than my bicycle computer. If The Spark is permanently attached to my shoe, I will never forget it, and the battery will last for a year, so no worries about having to keep it charged. I can also edit the steps in the Noom app so they are the same as in the SparkPeople website.

What I was not expecting was to receive a SparkPeople Exercise DVD that will give me complete weekly workouts for beginners, intermediate and advanced. I am considering buying some weights to go with these workouts. I watched a few of them and they aren’t bad either. I don’t have a lot of space in my bedroom, but I might have just enough to do these workouts.

I was curious to see if The Spark would know the difference between walking and riding my bicycle, and it knew exactly what I was doing because it logged 22 minutes on the bike as “Cycling”. Although, the 2nd day I used it, it logged it as general exercise. I had to reclassify it, and that also affected my steps on the SparkPeople website and app, which gave me more steps. A little strange that I had to do that, but that’s fine.

It’s also interesting how The Spark works. You tap it 5 times and it will show lights to show you how you are doing. If it only has 1 light on the top, you haven’t done anything yet, if it shows half, then you know you’ve still got a ways to go. If all the lights come on, and they blink, then you still have a few minutes of exercise to go. You know you’re finished when all the lights glow and they don’t blink. That’s when you can sigh and say I’m done! And if you meet your goal for the day, the week or the month, you get a trophy. The image at the top of this paragraph is my first trophy which says I met my goal of 6000 steps. I got the same trophy on my 2nd day using it. The trophies are a fun way to encourage you to meet all of your goals. Although, you don’t get an actual trophy, but if you do all of the work and eat right, you get a flat tummy, and isn’t that worth all the trophies in the world?

I was motivated by the Noom and SparkPeople apps, and I was motivated by my bicycle and the bicycle trainer, but even though I had all of those things, I wasn’t 100% motivated. I do feel that this Spark will light a spark under my ass and get me back to work so I can lose this weight. I hope it does.

Ascent Fluid Trainer

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My Ascent Fluid Trainer from Nashbar arrived via UPS on October 29. Setting it up was a breeze and my bicycle looks really nice on it, but there is a huge downside, and that’s the noise it makes. Holy crap that thing is loud. It’s not really that bad if I have music playing in my ears, but everyone else can hear it. You get used to it after a while.

I installed my bicycle computer on the back wheel and reset my computer so it can start over from scratch. I rode on it for a few minutes and burned a total of 19 calories lol. But let me tell you that this trainer is so good that my thighs were on fire. I had to stop and start again, again and again and OMG.

It was definitely worth the money that I paid. I was hoping this could be something that I could do in 30 to 60 minute intervals throughout the day, like after every meal or something. I was hoping to clear a space in the dining room for it, but that’s totally out of the question because of how loud this thing is. I wanted to put it in my bedroom because I can watch TV in there while I’m on it, but I don’t think that will happen any time soon. If I had a 10 speed then that would be one thing, but I’m not bringing my mountain bike in the bedroom because I still need to use it to go to the grocery store every now and then, and it’s too much of a hassle to walk it through the kitchen and hallway and through 4 doorways. If it’s not a permanent fixture, then it’s not going to work out. If by chance I do find one, then that would be awesome and I will try it.

One thing that I didn’t realize about this thing is that when I switch gears, my back wheel moves and hits the right side of the resistance unit roller. I did that and found it was especially difficult to ride, so I got off and looked and saw a bunch of black dust on the ground. I was grinding the rubber off my wheel. Oops! Well, so much for changing gears. I read that you are supposed to position the wheel on the back of the trainer so it provides you with the resistance you need, then switch gears on the bicycle to make it easy or hard. Well, that’s not going to work with my bicycle lol.

IMAG0728The next time I rode my bike on the trainer, I noticed that as I was riding, the bike would move and the wheel would slide on the roller and it would grind the end of the roller as if I had switched gears, but I hadn’t. I would get off and move it back into position, but it would do it again and I didn’t know why. I then thought that perhaps it was because where it screws onto the axle, it didn’t have anything to hold on to. There is an Axle Support Cup that wasn’t able to grip onto anything. The right side has the nut in the Axle Support Cup, but it wasn’t able to grip the nut on the left side. I was having a difficult time thinking of how I was going to fix this if I didn’t have a 2nd nut to screw on to the left axle. My partner suggested that since my front wheel doesn’t move, why not take one of the nuts from the front, and use it on the back, so that’s what I did and it worked. Maybe I can switch gears now.

I’m glad he suggested that, because I could have continued to ride the bike without that nut on there and with my luck, I could have broken either the axle, or the trainer itself, and perhaps I would end up having an accident and end up breaking a bone. Wouldn’t that be just my luck? That’s all I need lol.

Anyway, I hope to get a lot of use out of this thing because I need a lot of exercise. If anything new happens or I get new information I will blog about it.

Nashbar.com / Fluid Trainers / Ascent Fluid Trainer

Weight Loss

I have struggled with my weight since I quit smoking and gained 50lbs. I vowed to never get over 200lbs in the late 90’s, but I just couldn’t control the weight gain. I wasn’t eating anything that bad, so I never could understand what I was doing wrong.

Last year in January 2013 I made a New Years resolution to start losing weight. I was 262lbs and I dropped 70lbs and went down to 192lbs. I was so proud of myself, but then both my partner and I decided that we’re both tired of eating nothing but fruits and vegetables and weight watchers frozen dinners every day for the last 6 months, so we decided we could eat restaurant food and regular store-bought food as long as we stayed within a certain amount of calories and portion sizes. Well, try as I might, I couldn’t drop any more weight and I plateaued at 192 for a whole month. Then the weight starting slowly coming back and recently I went right back up to 235. UGH!

So yesterday I decided screw this eating whatever the hell I want crap, I NEED to drop this weight, like right this minute. I started the Noom app all over again from scratch and when I weighed in for the first time I had already lost some weight, so I was 227lbs. For breakfast and my 10am snack I had a banana. For lunch I had a Weight Watchers frozen dinner. For my 3pm snack I had yet another banana and for dinner I had a Weight Watchers frozen dinner.

Most people say not to eat anything after 6 or 7pm. Well here’s my problem, that’s when my appetite really comes to life. It seems as though I’m starving at that time lol. I mean, I can eat a banana for breakfast and snack and then a little meal for lunch and then another banana for my 3pm snack, but around or after dinner time, it’s like I’m famished, like I haven’t eaten in 10 years. That’s when I’m expected to not eat any more food? Yeah, um… good luck with that lol.

Last night around 8pm I started going into the kitchen and I grabbed a slice of bologna and then a slice of salami. I really wanted to make a sandwich, but when I go on my diet, I don’t eat bread. I could have eaten way more food than I did, but I chose to be good. I took a sleeping pill around 10pm and went to bed around 11pm or so.

This morning when I woke up I weighed myself and it said I was 224lbs, so at least I know the lunch meat didn’t affect my weight and the food I ate yesterday was the right amount. The Noom app said I could eat 2000 calories, but I logged around 1300 or so. I did log the lunch meat. The bologna was yellow and the salami was red.

If I can just stick with it, I will lose weight. I have complete faith in my ability to lose weight since it worked last year, I just need to be 100% committed and use the word “NO” when asked if I want to go to KFC or Golden Corral.

I bought some veggies at the store, like I bought 2 things of cauliflower and some broccoli and brussel sprouts and some other things. I didn’t buy any salad stuff because I don’t like salad without either thousand island or ranch, and those are definitely not on the menu for me. Although I did lose 40lbs back in 2003 or 2004 when all I ate were salads and I used ranch dressing, but for some reason it doesn’t work for me anymore. I have to find what works best and do that.

I haven’t been riding my bicycle to lose weight because of the heat. The best time to ride my bike in the summer time is at 5am, but I can’t seem to get to bed until 3am, so that’s out. Last night I wanted to go to bed early because I’m so sick of sleeping in until noon. Now that summer is coming to an end, when the heat starts going away I can start riding around 10am or so. I just can’t stand the heat, not even to go for a 30 minute walk. I feel like a vampire out in the sun about to burst into flames.

I’ve tried to go back on my diet this year, then my partner would buy junk and naturally I would eat that junk and then give up. I’m not going to pass up a bag of potato chips or cookies on the counter. I have an addiction. Potato chips and cookies are like crack cocaine to me. I just need some willpower… like a ton of willpower lol. If willpower came in a can, I would drink it. Unfortunately it does not. So I’m working on myself so that I can be healthy, it just takes time and patience. I know I can do this because it worked before.

I love positive feedback, but everyone is different, so what works for you may not work for me and vice versa. I’m sure people are going to say “Well what you gotta do is eat this and that and then do this exercise and blah blah blah” and that’s awesome advice, but I have to do what my body can handle and what I’m comfortable doing. I really do appreciate the advice, and thank you for thinking of me and caring enough about me to try to help.

I am using Noom which gives lots of wonderful advice and articles and I am in a Noom group so I get to talk to a group of about 10 wonderful people who are all in the same boat. It’s more of a lifeboat, but a boat all the same. This is just something that I have to do for myself.

New Year, Noom Me… Again

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What do we always do on January 1st?  We make a new years resolution.  What is the number one resolution?  Say it with me.  To lose weight.  I did just that in 2013 with Noom and I plan on doing it again starting today.

We have already been to Food Maxx to buy our Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen dinners which is what helped me to lose 70lbs in 2013.  We also have our frozen veggies and fruit in the fruit bowl.  I start physical therapy on January 3rd and I will most likely ride my bike to get there and use the Noom cardio trainer app to log my bike ride and my PT.  I took the Noom app off my phone and put it on my Nook HD+ because I like the bigger screen and because I need the space on my phone.

Like i said, last year I was lucky enough to lose 70lbs and every week I had weight loss, and no gain.  I would love to do the same exact thing this year, but even I know that is nearly impossible.  If you try hard to do something you did before, you won’t do it and you will become frustrated and you will end up doing the opposite, so I’m just going to relax and hope for the best.  If it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.  But I hope it does lol.

So from right this moment, every breakfast I will measure the exact amount of cereal and pour the exact amount of soy milk and slice exactly 1 banana into it for breakfast.  For my snacks I will stick with fruits and lunch and dinner I will try to stick with veggies and the weight watchers meals.  That is how I did it in 2013.

It’s not difficult to do something if you set your mind to it.  I said that I will NOT eat chocolate or cookies or ice cream, and I kept my word.  Instead of eating those bad things, I substituted them for fruits.  Instead of eating chocolate ice cream, I chopped and froze a banana or cantaloupe and blended them in the food processor and made my own healthier ice cream.  Instead of eating store-bought cookies, I made my own from a recipe that I found.  In fact, here are all of my healthy recipes that I found and altered to make them healthy.

I don’t drink soda or any alcoholic beverages, so that’s a blessing, but I do drink coffee with creamer and no calorie sweetener.  I did okay on the diet last year with the coffee, so that’s not a problem.  I tried to drink water, but I just can’t stand plain old water.  I drink Crystal Light, or well the Food Maxx generic version of it anyway.  It’s 5 calories per 8oz which is not too bad.  Although people are always telling me to cut out the sweeteners and blah blah blah, but again, 70lbs last year speaks for itself.

Anyway, so that’s my plan and I am hoping to drop down to 160lbs this time.  I would like to get down to 150lbs, but I’m just going to try for 160 and see how that goes.  If I find myself wanting to drop another 10lbs then I will.  Once I get to my main goal then I will continue using the Noom app to maintain my weight.  And of course I will start blogging every weigh in day again.  My weigh in days in 2013 were Fridays, so how does Friday sound?  Sounds good to me.  So it’s settled.  This coming Friday will be my first official weigh in and blog post.