My (Shredding) Buddy and Me!
Yesterday - The boy and I did Level 2 of the Shred. It was his first time shredding (although he works with a tough personal trainer) and he never did Level 1 –so he thought it was HARD. I thought so, too. My entire face was sweaty and we had some trouble with the living room rug bunching up during our plank jumping jacks and some other moves – but I was able to do the walking plank pushups! I surprised myself. I noticed the other day in Level 1 that the girl pushups weren’t nearly as hard as they used to be for me. I must be getting stronger!
At night I decided to peruse Exercise TV OnDemand out of curiosity — and Level 1 was BACK! Remember my outrage when then took it away?? I wonder what happened. Why would they take it away and then put it back? Well, it didn’t matter to me since I decided to stick with Level 2 — which was still right there OnDemand. I decided not to bother with the DVD player since I could access it from the TV.
Today - This morning I woke up bright and early to try Level 2 with more space to myself. As I said, no need to bother with the DVD and the plugging and unplugging since it is on Exercise OnDemand. So I turn it on and start eksusizing. And then, right in the middle of the third strength circuit — it stops. The workout turns off. Why? BECAUSE IT HAD A 10 MINUTE RUN TIME.
WHAT??! Time Warner Exercise OnDemand — WHY would you put a 10 minute run time on a 20 minute video? Seriously, explain this one to me. Whose bright idea was it to say, “Hey! This workout is 20 minutes long – let’s stop it after 10!” I am perplexed. I don’t understand it. And I am annoyed.
At this point, I was in the middle of the third strength circuit, like I said. I didn’t remember the second exercise in this circuit or one of the cardios. I could have mixed in what I do remember from Level 1, but I was determined to do all of 2. Partially because today was a test — if I do Level 2 with sneakers (I did Level 1 barefoot, but that doesn’t work for 2) will I wake the boy? I needed to know so I can choose wisely going forward.
So I quickly unplug the cable, plug in the DVD, turn it on and wait for that annoying long intro, fast forward through Level 2 to where I was. It was a major time waster. It ruined the momentum of my workout. In retrospect I should have just finished up with what I did remember — the half of the strength from Level 2 combined with half from Level 1, plank jumping jacks combined with any cardio from Level 1. Abs from Level 2 because how can I ever forget those plank ab things. I wish I could forget. I never will.
Anyway, if anyone from Time Warner or Exercise OnDemand reads this, I would really love an explanation. I had planned on going through that channel much more to find other workouts to do — but why would I if there is the chance of them ending midway through? Ridiculous!
My problem with Level 2 is that even with sneakers on, my feet keep sliding. Any advice? I might have to go back to Level 1 just because the sliding is affecting my workout and it distracts me and messes things up. I don’t feel like I am working hard during a few of the exercises that cause this to happen.
The Shred has permeated my life so much that it is now in my dreams! I had a dream last night where I was thinking I tried Level 2 already so I should do Level 3 in the morning. Other strange Shred-related thoughts and ideas took place during the dream but I can no longer remember. Crazy!
The most positive thing I gained from the Shred (by the way I currently completed 18 of the 30 days of the challenge, and I plan to continue doing it every day after the official challenge ends) is a desire to strength train. While trying to fall asleep last night, I was thinking about the days the boy will be away and I won’t have a place to Shred. I decided I could easily go to my gym and do the exercises there! Why not, since I know what to do, right? And the boy will help me become more familiar with weight machines, which I have learned in the past and promplty forgotten. It will also help my boredom at the gym with all these new things to do. This challenge, thanks to Caitlin, will help me become stronger and healthier for good.
I started reading Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss — and the Myths and Realities of Dieting this morning. I got an uncorrected proof a few years ago from the book company I used to work at and left it sitting in my room, but recently I read about it on a few blogs and it sounds fascinating.
This is the publisher’s note:
In this eye-opening book, New York Times science writer Gina Kolata shows that our society’s obsession with dieting and weight loss is less about keeping trim and staying healthy than about money, power, trends, and impossible ideals.
Rethinking Thin is at once an account of the place of diets in American society and a provocative critique of the weight-loss industry. Kolata’s account of four determined dieters’ progress through a study comparing the Atkins diet to a conventional low-calorie one becomes a broad tale of science and society, of social mores and social sanctions, and of politics and power.
Rethinking Thin asks whether words like willpower are really applicable when it comes to eating and body weight. It dramatizes what it feels like to spend a lifetime struggling with one’s weight and fantasizing about finally, at long last, getting thin. It tells the little-known story of the science of obesity and the history of diets and dieting—scientific and social phenomena that made some people rich and thin and left others fat and miserable. And it offers commonsense answers to questions about weight, eating habits, and obesity—giving us a better understanding of the weight that is right for our bodies.
From what I understand, the author alternates chapters between an intensive study on obese people using the controversial Atkins (during its peak popularity) and more traditional LEARN Program for Weight Management (low-calorie, low-fat) diets to determine which, if either, is better. The chapters have titles such as “Oh, to Be as Thin as Jennifer Aniston (or Brad Pitt)”, “Insatiable, Voracious Appetities” and “The Girl Who Had No Leptin.”
As I continue to read I will give some updates and my thoughts.
Speaking of books, I never thoroughly discussed Bethenny Frankel’s Naturally Thin. Let me first say that I am so happy I read this book. It really changed the way I try to view food. I agree with Bethenny’s main ideas. She believes that when you deprive yourself of foods you really want, you are more likely to binge. She says that you will not be nearly as satisfied with a large portion of something you don’t really want, but is healthy, than with a small amount of a food you really, truly crave. I tried that one out — and so far it is proving true for myself.
Bethenny also says that you should allow yourself to taste a little bit of all the foods you want, but not to overdo it. That is something I need to work on as a taste for me usually leads to my mind shutting down — resulting in many, many more tastes. Her advice to “cancel your membership to the clean plate club” is something else I have trouble with, but I am working on. I hate leaving food sitting there! But I am trying to be more conscious.
I also eat as if someone is going to take my food away at any second. I am trying (not for the first time, but more successfully with Bethenny’s voice echoing) to eat more slowly, enjoy my food and allow myself to feel full. That is especially difficult for me. I am also trying to allow myself to indulge in small amounts of food that I would in the past eat too much of and feel guilty. For example, the boy and I were out to dinner last week and my meal came with french fries, which I did not realize when I ordered. Normally, my eyes would have bulged at the site of the fries (which looked incredible) and I would have started eating them right away, and continued to throughout the meal. This time, however, I ate my meal first. During this time, the boy was taking some fries. By the time I finished my meal, there were only a few fries left and I felt fine taking those!
Another positive example is that I abandoned the gross sugar free, fat free, lactose free ice cream that did nothing for me. Instead, I bought Ben & Jerry’s Light Cookie Dough ice cream. I have had that carton in the freezer for a week now, and I only ate it once — out of a ramekin — and didn’t go back for more. I had what I wanted and was satisfied. I haven’t even broken into the freezer and eaten it from the carton as I would have done in a single night in the past!
I don’t know if these new ideas will stick — but I am trying, especially because her advice is excellent for my GI problems. It is often difficult because my mind goes blank sometimes and I just don’t think. Yesterday they had a cake for me at work to celebrate my birthday. The cake was from Whole Foods so I had the comfort of knowing real ingredients were used. There was a white cake section, a middle layer of delicious thick chocolate, a chocolate cake section and frosting. I ate the frosting and the middle chocolate layer first because those were what I truly wanted. I wasn’t crazy about either cake section, and I really should have put down my fork and stopped eating at this point. But my mind went blank. I ate it all. I felt really sick and nauseous. The nausea lasted until 10 pm, and I couldn’t first eat dinner until then. NOT GOOD.
I need to practice consciously thinking both before I eat and during it. It is not just about being “naturally thin,” it is about feeling good and not being sick. My stomach simply does not allow for large amounts of food at once — so why stuff it with anything, ESPECIALLY foods that don’t even taste very good to me? If I am satisfied with what I eat, I won’t feel the need to keep eating more, further causing GI distress on my system. I know it takes time, but Bethenny’s words are helping me practice this. As I mentioned the other day, I had her instructions in my mind as I ordered brunch. I am trying.
However, not everything Bethenny says is gold. She preaches about not obsessing about food, rather just eating what you want and not feeling the need to eat it all. Well, isn’t that obsessing too? It takes obsessing about not finishing your meal to…. well, not finish your meal! Bethenny suggests scooping out an english muffin. How is THAT not obsessive? A bagel, I understand. But an english muffin? Bethenny suggests having two bites of a delicious dessert and then stopping. Well, that’s just not possible for me and I don’t plan to obsess about my two bites. She says that a Snickers bar is better for you than a plain chocolate bar because the nuts in the Snickers balance out the sugar. Um. Snickers also have caramel, nougat and other delicious crap. Plain chocolate, to me, sounds much simpler and less full of chemicals and other sugary substances. How do nuts make the other stuff not an issue? I don’t buy it.
Also, Bethenny’s chart of everything she ate for three weeks shows she has some eating issues of her own. But, I love her, she is hilarious, her overall messages are good ones!
Her advice about balance is fantastic — your diet is a bank account. (Read how I attempted to practice that here). I agree that balance is key. Her advice about tasting a little of everything sounds great to me, too – taste everything, eat nothing. I also agree with you can have it all, just not at once – this is a rule I would love to remember. Food will still be here tomorrow. I don’t need to it everything today simply because it happens to be sitting by my desk. Know thyself – yes, I know my habits and how I behave around food and should adjust my days accordingly. I also believe that nothing good can come of depriving yourself. If you starve yourself of the foods you crave, it can certainly lead to a binge. In theory, binges won’t happen if you aren’t deprived. And this way, I get to have the foods I want!
I never would have even CONSIDERED ordering french toast at brunch the other day if I hadn’t read Naturally Thin. But the words just make sense. If french toast is what I really want, if it will satisfy me more than an egg white omelette, then I should get it and not overstuff myself. Then, balance the rest of my day with non-carby, sugary choices. Makes sense. I want to follow it. I am hoping this becomes second nature to me and at some point I stop having to think about it. I don’t want to obsess, I want to enjoy — without overdoing it and feeling ill.
I recommend Bethenny’s book , Naturally Thin — especially Part 1. Part 2 gets kooky. But it is great advice and will hopefully free me from the “must get lowest calorie item on menu” thoughts.
Even thought I felt nauseous last night, I went to spin (punish myself for the cake? maybe a little. but i also just REALLY enjoy spin and didn’t want to miss it) and didn’t work too hard. It was still a great class. There was a sub, the same one we had last Monday, and I really enjoy the way he teaches! His music is awesome (he even played Mamma Mia, ha!), he explains which muscles we are working and why during each position and there is a lot of up and down which I really like. Even though I couldn’t give it my all, I still had a great workout because of his fantastic teaching style. I never felt forced to push myself too hard. I looked for his name on the regular class schedule and he isn’t on there! Hopefully I get him as a sub again and maybe he will be on the schedule at some point in the future.
The Spin-A-Thon is this Friday morning at 6:30 with the following ladies who both happen to be hosting giveaways on their blogs:
And another contest is from EatFabInNYC - Make your own granola!
Lastly, I got myself on a wait list for Physique57 (which is booked through the summer!) for Wednesday, April 15. I have two free visits and heard amazing things, so I am excited!