Monday, November 28, 2011

The Gym: Part 367

I cannot stress how boring I find the gym... I have discussed it many times on this blog. I just find it so ridiculous that I spend about 10 hours a day sitting on my arse getting to and from work and being at work. Then I go home and, in the small amount of free time I have, I walk on a treadmill. It also involves a lot of fiddling about packing gym gear, charging my ipod, remembering my water bottle and gym towel, taking money for the locker and then washing gym gear. The whole process irritates me.

That being said, I lost the bulk of my weight going to the gym, so I am well aware of it's many benefits. This year alone I started off going to women only gym and then cancelled my membership. Then I bought this elliptical machine to use at home, which I tossed out a few weeks later because it was a piece of crap. Then I bought an email deal for a $29 gym membership and I went for a few weeks but I didn't like the facilities and it wasn't really in a convenient location.

So why do I have an appointment tonight to sign up at another gym? I am blaming AJ. To be perfectly honest, I would be happy not to go back to the gym ever again, but I am going to support him. A few months back he hurt his back quite badly and he had to take a month off work and have daily physio visits. He has now gained some movement back and his physio has told him he has to join a gym to build his strength up. I feel bad making him go by himself because it is so much more motivating to do these things with someone else. It would really suck for him if he has to go to the gym while I am at home on the couch watching TV.

The situation with his back was quite scary and I will do anything I can to help him get back to normal because it almost killed him not being able to move and being in so much pain. It also nearly killed me having to do all the housework and 'man jobs' around our place! As you can imagine, I did not suffer in silence... Don't feel too sorry for AJ though because the lucky bastard managed to lose 8 kilos while he was sick.

This new gym we are joining is a 5-10 minute walk from my place and is open 24 hours, which suits me because I like working out at odd times. I hate being part of the after-work crush and would much prefer to go on a Sunday night when there are less men sweating all over the machines. AJ even emailed me before and suggested we should go to the gym at midnight on New Years Eve... that may be taking things a little too far...

If anything I should be happy for the motivation because it works well with Operation Bridesmaid Bulge plan and my mission to tone up my flabby arms. Looks like I will be pumping a lot of iron this summer.

Hideous flabby crepe paper arms

Friday, November 25, 2011

Operation Bridesmaid Bulge

Oh my God. It is exactly 3 months today until I have to be a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding. How is it that I have let myself get fatter between now and when I first found out? I wasn't looking to lose a stack of weight, but a few kilos would have been nice.

We ordered our bridesmaids dresses online the other day and, according to the measurements we took, I am a size 24. WTF. Bloody Asian sizing... sob.

There is no fading into the background in a (size 24) coral chiffon bridesmaids dress so there is only one thing to do-- get my arse into gear. I have exactly 3 months to get back down to my lightest (and most comfortable) weight. Regular weighing in will resume on December 1 and I will be talking a lot more about diet and exercise and less about food and wine on this blog! But first, here are some recent pictures of me eating and drinking way too much...

Me dressed up for a race day party and practicing posing... after a discussion on an article we had all read on posing for photos. Not really a natural look!

Later that night with my brother... this is more like my natural look!

With an old friend at a wedding.

Seemingly enjoying that cupcake way more than is appropriate!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Power Bars

*EDIT* Pictures should be fixed now! They aren't that interesting though...

After having a lap band, I still find it incredibly difficult to get all the protein and other vitamins I need and as a result I have anemia, B12 deficiency and I am CONSTANTLY exhausted. This has been by far the hardest part about dealing with the lap band. You would think that losing all this weight will make you healthier, but I am not sure if I could say that about myself. I find it very difficult to exercise these days, I am always at the doctors getting more tablets and needles, I can't donate blood anymore and I have to get AJ to open a bloody bottle of soft drink for me because I never have the strength!

I do want to be healthier so I really think about every piece of food that I put in my mouth:

  • Is it high in protein?
  • Is it high in fibre?
  • Is it low in carbs?
  • Is it band friendly?

Of course I am nowhere near perfect and when I am digging into a tub of ice cream the only question I am asking is does it have caramel, white chocolate and macadamias?

One of the things I have relied on to get me through a busy day is protein bars because they generally satisfy all my criteria and it is easy to keep a supply in your desk drawer or in your handbag. I find them perfect for the afternoon sugar craving and they keep me full until dinner. God, I sound like an advertisement, but unfortunately no one is paying me to say this!

The only problem is that they are sooo expensive here in Australia. The low carb protein bars are generally about $4.50 each, which is more than I can afford on a daily basis. So I decided to see what I could find online and discovered that I could order a box of 5 bars for almost that same price from this website in the US. I bought 15 boxes and it cost me $120 (including delivery, which was the most expensive part). This works out at only $1.60 per bar, which is a much more reasonable price.

They are all Atkins brand, not because I am following the Atkins diet, but I just find them to be the nicest brand and I am also sucked in by all the yummy flavours. So here is what I got... I have only tried a couple so far, but my current favourite is the peanut butter granola bar.

Does anyone else have any good suggestions for getting their protein in?

The slightly crushed haul of bars that arrived at my work

Cinnamon Bun Bar

Cookies n' Creme Bar

Caramel Chocolate Peanut Nougat Bar

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar

Chocolate Crisp Bar

Peanut Butter Granola Bar

Caramel Fudge Brownie Bar

Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Crunch Bar

Peanut Butter Fudge Crisp Bar

Sweet & Salty Almond Crunch Bar

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bar

Coconut Almond Delight Bar

Peanut Butter Cup
OK, these aren't protein bars, but I just had to try them!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Body Analysis Testing

A few months back AJ booked us in to a special exercise science studio for Metabolic Function Analysis. AJ works at a company where they are offer free health coaching and his health coach suggested that we do this to get a better understanding of our metabolisms and the foods we should be eating for weight loss. I was a little nervous because the centre deals primarily with elite athletes and it all looked a little serious for me because I don’t really believe over analyzing weight loss, but I thought it would be interesting.

The main reason we went was for the metabolism test where you breathe into a machine for 12 minutes and the machine tells you how you metabolise food. I went first and was told that my metabolism run 5% slower than the average person, which didn’t really surprise me too much. Then AJ was up next and his results showed that his metabolism runs at a 20% faster rate than the average person. Feel free to hate him.

We didn't do the Bod Pod test to get an exact reading of body fat/muscle analysis because I wasn't certain of the accuracy when I have a lot of loose skin that needs to be removed. I guess it would be interesting to do it one day, but I’m not really sure if knowing how much of my body is fat or muscle will impact on my life too much…

We were booked in for a 2 hour session but in the end we were getting bored so we cut it short so we could go shopping. The person running the session reminded me of one of those guys trying to sell you a gym membership. He didn’t really listen to us and just seemed to give us the standard spiel. I was prepared to tell him that I had lap band surgery and had previously lost 50 kilos, but I honestly couldn't get a word in and so I gave up.


Exercise: This is an estimate of the number of calories you would burn with 30 minutes at a moderate exercise level.
Lifestyle & Activity: This is the number of calories you burn performing your daily activities (working, playing, eating).
Resting Metabolic Rate: This is the number of calories your body burns everyday at rest.


Exercise: 190 calories
Lifestyle & Activity: 456 calories
Resting Metabolic Rate: 1526 calories

To maintain my current weight: 1526 - 1982 calories per day
To lose weight: 1222 - 1526 calories per day

The consultant told me that to lose 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) per week I would need to eat 1400 calories a day and exercise for at least 30 minutes per day. He advised I balance my diet out as following:

40% carbs
40% protein
20% fat

If I ate like that I would be the side of a house! There is no way my PCOS body could tolerate 40% carbohydrates, but of course I wasn't able to tell him that because he was more interested at talking at me rather than listening to me.

I am probably being a little harsh on the poor guy, he really wasn't that bad. I understand that he is used to working with dedicated athletes so I don't think he knew what to do with a fat woman who has no interest in dedicating her life to exercise or calorie counting. It was a fascinating experience though and I'm glad we did it. I do recommend body analysis testing if you are curious to see your numbers... or just want to wear a nose clip and breathe into a tube for 12 minutes...

You can tell this was taken a few months ago because I am wearing my skinny jeans that no longer fit!

AJ taking this test very seriously! (stupid photo won't flip the right way, sorry)