Yep, so much stuff has happened. Mostly three years of being out of my mind, literally. So like this blog, I've finally clawed myself out of a stupor after finally finding the right medication. Sometimes I was able to do some work, but my mind really wasn't in it, which is a pretty big problem for a knowledge worker. My current therapy: working out any moment possible, and of course still knitting. So now this is being revised as a training log with interludes of knitting.
With my love of aliases, I'm still Thomasina to the knitting community, and now Yelsel to the fitness community. Go figure. Anything I put under the internet is immediately attributable to me - the joy and curse of a unique name. I don't write anything I would be ashamed to have associated with me - I just would like to enjoy a bit of privacy. Not that many people will read this, but it is so, so easy to google. This is mostly my training record, and a record of my knitting projects for my own enjoyment.
My goals: Complete "New Rules" in the next 6-8 months. Increase muscle strength and increase lean muscle mass. Also, decrease % body fat to be healthier and show muscle definition. Ride in the first Century ride of the season (last weekend in April) and raise enough money to do the AIDs charity ride - SF to LA, 545 miles in 7 days, the first week in June.
After the break: the weight and exercise story. Next post catching up with the knitting story.
The earlier medications that I tried for the first 2.5 years helped me put on weight - that and very little exercise. I didn't eat much, so that wasn't the problem. The most recent picture that I have is from a year ago, Labor Day 2007. I am standing in front of my second-place knitting piece (Alice Starmore's children's fair isle fish sweater). I look so horrible, I am surprised anyone let me go out in public... solely because of the too-small clothes, since shopping was beyond me! I must have tipped the scales at 210-220 lb. After changing medications and eating only healthy food, I got down to ~190 lb between November and January, but stalled there. I joined WW at the beginning of April, and learned how to decrease portion sizes - I had never dieted before. At the same time I started commuting by bike and riding on the weekend, quite slowly (10-12 mph) but it was a start. I was living on just the daily points; when I was heavier and not so active provided the minimum calories needed to function (but still not the healthiest thing).
I did a fitness analysis at the beginning of August. My bodyfat is a little over normal (34%) but I want to get it much, much smaller. I still retained a lot of arm and leg strength (99th percentile in legs - 290 lb max weight!). My cardio / VO2 was complete crap - probably because I wasn't big on fast cardio even before getting ill. Plus, my mental problems were precipitated by double pneumonia and an extended asthma attack - so my lungs need to be built up in any case. I did a sudden jump from a couple of hours of gentle biking to a full-out effort with (mostly machine) weights lifted to exhaustion, and intensive indoor biking workouts. This is probably not the recommended route, but fortunately I had enough underlying fitness and especially strength left to make the transition with no problems.
I did have diet issues, since for the last week in August and first week in April I was trying to survive on 23 WW points - or 1150 calories. That is not healthy even for someone that is not working out, let alone to support what was becoming a strenuous workout plan. From reading the WW Fitness board, I learned that many more calories were needed to support my activity level. When I actually turned the AP points into calories, I was shocked with what I was trying to do to my body. I am now trying eating about 1750 calories per day plus 1/2 exercise calories - creating a deficit of about 575 calories through exercise and 250 calories through eating. I am now tracking calories and workouts on FitDay - http://www.fitday.com . There are many talented women who provide endless advice on fitness, nutrition, and free training plans on the WW Fitness Boards. A new website / discussion board for WW / weightloss in active athletes has been started by KlueDesigns: http://kluedesigns.com .
Since the beginning of September, I have been doing 70 minutes of weights and 15-45 minutes of interval cardio on the ellipticals three times a week. I've also been taking Ballroom Dancing 2-3 days a week - this helps with my kinesthetic sense, and balance in motion. I wanted to do more bike training, but it was difficult with the days getting dark so early, and worse weather. I was mostly commuting 1-2x a week and taking a long weekend ride - enjoyable, but not increasing any skills. I've just started spinning classes focused on building bike skills 2x per week. I also have a Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll Pro trainer and have started a DVD collection for practicing bike-building skills inside. I am planning to start the Lou Schuler / Alwyn Cosgrove "New Rules of Lifting for Women" after interviewing trainers and getting another fitness assessment (2-3 weeks).
M: 30 min "New Rules" weight training, 15 min HIIT (high intensity interval training), 60 min spinning.
Tu: Day of Rest. 30 min Core muscles, 45-60 min stretching.
W: 30 min "New Rules" weight training, 15 min HIIT, 30-60 min Spinervals Strength / Hill training.
Th: 1 hour spinning, 1 hour Ballroom Dance class
F: 30 min "New Rules" weight training, 15 min HIIT, 30-60 min Spinervals Aero / Technique training.
Sa: 45-90 min Spinervals Interval training, 60 min Ballroom Dance class, 60 minutes practice.
Su: 2-3+ hour bike ride, outdoors if possible.