Saturday, February 28, 2009

February

Ok. I'm here.

The week from hell is over.

On Wednesday I lost my inhaler. I still haven't been able to find it, and it means I haven't been working out because I need it after I bike. Trying not to let it rattle me I took Thursday off work so I could go to the English speaking doctor in Taki. The train going there is really irregular so I planned to get there on a train before the bigger gap in the schedule. That all went to plan, unfortunately it turned out that the Doctor was closed Thursday afternoons so I got stuck at the station waiting for two and a half hours. I took a walk down the road while I was waiting (it's the smallest local station you can imagine) and found a supermarket to kill time.

Frustrated by my week, what was to come, the fact that I wasn't going to be able to exercise until I get this inhaler thing sorted, the fact that I've had a weird pain in my foot that's been making it difficult to move around easily, and just general sadness, I began to eat. And didn't stop until this morning.

Ironically, had I kept my head, the buffet on Friday would have been fine. There were some quite delicious healthier options, and had I stuck to tea like I had planned and hadn't binged before hand I would have been totally fine. Instead I binged all of Thursday and Friday, and drank an orange juice and 5 fuzzy navels (orange juice and peach liqueur) before walking to karaoke stone cold sober. I now remember why I don't drink, it's just not worth the effort vs calorie expenditure. Unless I'm doing shooters, within a sort time span, it takes too much effort to get drunk.

I woke up this afternoon extremely dehydrated, but with a certain sense of perspective. It's been a bad week. But really, the only completely unsalvageable days were Thursday/Friday, and that was down to my binge reflex, not the social activities. It seems I failed on my goal 'don't freak out' after all.

I'm not putting up what my weight was this morning, it's embarrassing and probably wasn't accurate due to the late night drinking/eating. On Thursday (before The Madness) I was 107.4. That is what I'm putting up and that is at least where I'm hoping to be before my first March Weigh In. For all my uncontrolled behavior over the last few days, I had a really good month. Looking at the numbers I really didn't lose much for the months effort, but I gained quite a lot mentally, and Freak Out's aside I would count that as a good thing.

This was my weight tracker for the last month:


Every blip tends to have a reason that I either wrote (binge, eat out), or noted (TOM). The worst I did outside of those days was to not lose overnight. I've got a system that works for me here, I need to stick to it.

I'm going to start exercising again this week. If it puts too much pressure on my chest then I'll have to dial it back, but I'm going to try. Hopefully I can sort getting to the doc next week. I didn't even nearly make my distance goals this week so I'm restarting the resistance 3 level.

This week: +0.6kg/1.3lbs

March starting weight: 107.4kg/236.3 (-2.4kg/5.3lbs)

Goals for the next week: Exercise, eat at home at much as possible, drink all my water, make lunches for school.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'll have a positive attitude. Next week.

Slightly up again this morning, which leaves me back at 108 again. I was hoping the fact that I just managed to stay within calories and drank all my water would mean I would at the very least stay the same, but it would seem not. I did 10km on my bike last time and really pushed myself to do it faster, so I got a good workout.

Dinner out again tonight (sigh), then a clean day tomorrow and Weigh In Friday morning.There is no way I'm going to make my 100km, so I'll have to go for it next week.

This whole week makes me a little sad, all my effort seems so fruitless. I can't wait until it's over.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Awesome

The venue for lunch today has been changed from the Italian buffet to a nice Italian restaurant we go to sometimes. This has put me in a great mood because it's not a buffet, and while the food is still not the healthiest, there are better options for me.

All the lunch sets come with starters (a plate split into 4 mini sections with different salads, a soup with bread etc), and a dessert plate (they're small so I'm not so worried, and I think I'll only want the tiny slice of chocolate cake out of the different things they'll give me), and there's a meat course you can order so I don't have to have pasta/pizza. Better yet, they're no option for me to go and get seconds, so that makes life much easier. It's still a restaurant so I'm sure there will be a lot of sodium and the calories will still be high, but in mostly the right types of food, and not astronomically so. I'm so relieved!

Before I went to bed I was 108kg, but I don't think I got enough sleep (I went to bed later) because usually I drop a lot overnight but I didn't is time. I did 15km on my bike last night so I'm OK there, I just have to be patient and keep going. I don't think I'm going to be able to make my goal on distance because I'm weighing in on Friday instead of Saturday. I'm definitely feeling the difference in levels too, so I'm struggling with doing longer spells than 10 or 15km.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kyoto

Food went as badly as I'd feared. I think I went in to it expecting to fail and so did, but there we go. Lunch was actually quite healthy (tempura excluded, but they were only small):
The box at the back contained tofu suspended in tofu liquid. It was lit underneath and then left for three to 5 minutes. Once the steam started rising you lifted out the brown bulge thing on top (it contained a sweet soy that had been warming as the tofu cooked) and poured the contents into a little bowl they gave your with spring onion slices and a little grated Japanese white radish (daikon). Then you scooped out the warm tofu, put it in the bowl and ate it. To the left of the box is a bowl of rice with pickle garnishes. The three boxes at the front are sashimi (raw fish) with a soy dipping sauce and wasabi, in the middle there was tempura (one shrimp, a little pepper, a slice of pumpkin, and a cube of aubergine), and on the right there is a bowl of dipping broth for the tempura pieces.

Despite the reasonable lunch I was snacking all day, and then dinner was at a Japanese/Italian place so it was a lot of cheesy white sauce and white pasta. It was also eaten quite late so that didn't help matters. As you can see in the sidebar I was up on the scale this morning, but I think that's a least partly false, brought on by the soy, the eating carbs late, and drinking less water.

On the plus side we were walking all day. We went to Nijo Castle and looked around the building and the gardens. The plum (ume) blossoms were just beginning to bloom

We also went to Kiyomizu-dera, a famous shrine in Kyoto and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities). It's also at the top of a BIG F'ING HILL/MOUNTAIN!

High

Higher

Almost finished (note the steps)

There we go!

So in summary; the day was good, the food mostly not. At least it's over now. I can do my own thing today so it will be healthy and biking will be done. 1 event down, 3 to go!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Clean out

I did a big clearing of my clothes on Saturday. I spent the morning trying everything I own on and putting it all into one of 4 piles; 'too big', 'too small' 'just right', and 'dude! We'll call these lapses of judgment and never speak of them again'.

The 'lapses' and the too big clothes have been boxed up and put away. I think it's just as important to be sure clothes aren't too big as it is to make sure they're not too small. For the most part, if I wear something too big in a hope to camouflage my fat I end up looking more colossal than I am. The 'too small' clothes have been hung in the little half closet that I tend to shove my bedding into when I can't be bothered to fold it up, and the 'just right' items have been put on to my 'clothes I actually wear' rail in colour order. It'll be nice to know that everything I pull out of that rail is something I can just put on without worrying and feeling bad because I don't fit into half my clothes. It reduces my morning decision from what I CAN wear to what I WANT to wear.

The good news is that when the weather warms up I will have no problems. I'm either fitting or almost fitting into the vast majority of my summer clothes. The bad news is that's it's still only February. At least I only have another month or so.

I did 10k on resistance level 3 last night and really noticed the difference! It's going to be harder. I was up slightly this morning on the scale, but I don't think it's because of what I ate (food was at the top end of my calorie range, but still within it) so much as when I ate it. I ate later than usual and I think it stuck with me a little.

I'll be leaving for Kyoto in about 10 minutes, wish me luck. I have to go to the ATM when I get there else I'm penniless, so I'm hoping it's open.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

WI

It's that time of week again and the official weigh in is down 1kg (2.2lbs).

In a way I almost feel like I should be able to put a bigger number up, not because 1kg is a bad loss by any means, but because TOM had my top weight at something like 109.2. I feel like I spent a lot of the week 'fixing' it rather than seeing new numbers. I made my exercise goal last night, but it didn't make a difference on the scale. I'm not too worried about that. I can't expect to make big drops every night, it doesn't work that way.

I'm happy to be in the 106s though, as it's putting me closer to how much I weighed when I first arrived in Japan. At the bottom of this page I have a ticker with my short term goal on it. I'm trying to get to 95kg at the moment. When I got here I was about 103kg, and shuttled between 99 ad 103 for the first summer. I have a yearly school medical at the hospital (all teachers have to do it) in August/September time. My first year I was 102kg, my second I was 114kg. I had a note in Japanese that I'm sure said they were worried about my weight gain because it was the only thing that had changed. It would be great to be able to show them a significant change (though to be honest I'd like to be well below 95kg by then).

I'm feeling kind of... skittish. I finally had money to go grocery shopping last night and the urge to binge was strong. I headed it off a little by making a list before I left the house, but it was a really close thing. I ended up getting a little pot of Marron flavoured pudding (127cal) to assuage my need for something creamy and comforting. I'm fairly sure my need to eat was emotional, made worse by a slight hunger, so I was trying hard not to give in. I'm really trying to put those feelings into words, once I can name them and recognize them, I can know and deal with them. I think it's because a big part of my brain is saying that there is no way I can possibly lose weight next week with so many things happening, no matter what effort I put in, and if I 'm not going to see results then what's the point? Though I've enjoyed the last couple of weeks, it has required effort and a lot of focus from me. The thought of doing everything required to meet my goals and seeing no loss or worse, is hitting me kind of hard.

At the same time I don't really have any choice but to do it, because if I just go mad there's a chance I won't get back to how things have been the last few weeks. I'll gain back everything I've lost, and I'm so sick of having to start over again.

I'm clinging on, and just about making it. I'm hoping that it will pass soon. I just want to get through this next week.

Goals for the next week: Bike at least 100km no matter what. Try not to freak out, I only have to get through my next meal. Drink lots of water. Pack lunches for school.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Payday!

Wonderful, wonderful pay day!

I was so broke this month it was insane. My total worth was somewhere in the 50 yen (60¢?) range. Given that something basic like a 500ml bottle of water will set you back 100 yen, things were not good. On the plus side there was no money for binging or 'treats' or whatever else we try and call them. I actually ran out of money at the beginning of this week, but had food in the house so it was OK. It's actually amazing how many meals you can make out of things when you have to.

I must must must go shopping tonight, but it's cold and rainy today. Depending on how lazy I'm feeling I may end up having a cheese (do I have cheese?) and spinach omelet with the very last of my fridge contents and then go shopping on Saturday, but we'll see. I've just remembered I used the last of my milk this morning though, so it may have to be tonight so I can have breakfast before braving the shelves.

Official weigh in is tomorrow and I'm quite excited. I will have to see if I can shave off anything else from my numbers by then, but if I don't it's OK. I have so many meals out next week! *dies*. Sunday it's Kyoto, Tuesday lunch is my regular day but it's my friend's birthday that day so we're going to an Italian buffet place she likes (I DO NOT FORESEE THIS GOING WELL). On Wednesday the teachers want to take her out to dinner so we'll probably be going on Wednesday night (no idea where), and then we're having a restaurant set 'party' meal for her with all our friends on Friday night. The set meal is a buffet type thing again, with tapas to start, pizza, pasta, and desserts, and a 2 hour all you can drink thing. Why is she so popular? Three parties to get through makes me sad.

I've decided I'm going to weigh in Friday morning instead of Saturday next week. The Friday weigh in should help me stay on track during the week, and then I have a little time before the next weigh in after Friday night. I'm not using it as an excuse to binge, but I really don't think there are going to be healthy options and I distrust buffets in general. They're so hard to count.

To be honest, I don't think the scales are going to smile on me next week, and I'm not looking forward to that.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thank You

Brain, thank you for not listening to the little voice that didn't want to do much of anything after we got home. I know sitting in the office with nothing to do can be really draining for our motivation. Thank you for realising that not working out when we could would make us feel guilty, and like we were wasting opportunities.

Body, thank you for making it through the 15km I made you do, even if you did have me wheezing and trying to cough a lung up afterward. I would like to know how we can get through 25km feeling great one day and have an asthma attack after 15km another, but we'll talk about that another day.

Pay Day, thank you for being tomorrow. I've had 41 yen in my account since Tuesday and all I have left in my fridge is an egg and a bunch of spinach. You couldn't come a moment sooner.

Hey, I've just realised that after I finish my 100km for this week (just 15 left to do tomorrow) it will mean that I would have exercised 13 out of the last 14 days! I'm in Kyoto for the day on Sunday, so that will be my next rest day. I'll be leaving very early and probably be back late, so there's a good chance I won't get on my bike. If I get back earlier than anticipated I might, but it really depends on how tired I am, I should be walking a lot that day though. The 100km goal still stands so I'll have to spread the missed distance over other days.

I had a bowl of muesli when I got in because I was hungry but didn't want to have a full meal before my workout. After I finished biking I had a gorgeous broccoli, onion and shrimp stir-fry with chili and lemon. It was so good. Food is logged, calories are fine, water for the day is almost finished (I have a few sips left in cup next to me), and barring somebody knocking on my door with free binge food (I'm broke) and me having a mental break and deciding to eat it, that's another clean day.

Everything feels possible

A good session on the bike yesterday, even though I didn't go as far as Tuesday I still managed 15km. I have to go at least 15km tonight and tomorrow to be sure I make my target, but I can do more if I feel capable.

I had a good day in general yesterday actually, I spent all morning actively looking forward to getting home and working out! The bitter cold eased off a little around lunch time (though, sadly, it's back now), putting me in a good mood. I didn't have any classes so I marked some workbooks that needed doing and prepared my classes for today, then took 2 hours vacation time and went home early. I had a momentum going from the things I had done at work and was worried that if I sat there and stagnated for the afternoon I wouldn't want to do anything by the time I left. At home I got two of my four rooms cleaned (the kitchen and living room - where I spend most my time) so it's not driving me crazy anymore, and did my 15km while watching 'The Sound of Music'.

I made dinner, and wrapped up the leftovers in two sprouted wheat tortillas, so I have those for lunch today. I was feeling peckish around 8pm and was going to have a bowl of muesli, but I weighed myself first and noticed that I was only 0.2 kilos above where I was that morning (and my weight tends to drop overnight!), so instead of having the food in my stomach while I was sleeping I held out and went to bed early. When I got up my weight was down to under my 'official' weight last week, so I feel really glad that I didn't give in and eat anything.

Now that I'm below my weigh in, I really want to show a good loss on Saturday. I'm hoping if I hit the bike hard tonight and tomorrow, and keep my water up (it's been going well so far) that I'll be able to get into the 106s. It would be nice to have at least a kilo lost.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shake it baby

Earthquake in my Japan this morning. My alarm had just sounded so I was lying in bed when I felt a slight shaking. I thought a lorry was going past or something, but then the sliding door that leads into my bedroom started rattling loudly and I realised what was going on. It only lasted about 10 seconds, and nothing was damaged (though I heard the sound of a cup or something breaking from the apartment downstairs). Oh the excitement! People have been warning me about earthquakes here since before I arrived and FINALLY Japan delivers. Yesterday snow, today my first 'quake, thank you Japan for making my life more interesting.

I pushed myself on the bike yesterday and made it to 25km, which has put me back on track to make my target this week. The last few days I've done 10km each night and then stopped, when really I could have done a bit more if I'd tried. The scale was down this morning to just above the last weigh in, so I'm hoping I might actually be able to post a loss this week if I keep going strong. I know it's only February, but I'm going to go ahead and say that my bike is the best thing I've bought all year.

My God my apartment needs a good clean, it's a mess. Thankfully though, I'm not. Usually those two things go hand in hand.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cold

HYC people: I weigh in on Saturdays. My weight on Saturday was 107.8kg, a loss of 1.8kg, or 3.96lbs. However I had a weekend of eating out because I was staying out of town, so my weigh this morning was slightly higher, as you can see from the sidebar.

Snow in my Japan today! It was bizarre really. On Saturday there were record high temperatures for this time of year as Shizuoka recorded temperatures of 26.9C, and Yokkaichi (where I was) was a comfortable 20C. Yesterday the temperature started dropping, and I woke up to a snow flurry this morning. It's been snowing on and off so that means the temperature dropped 20 degrees in 24 hours. It's not settling (boo! though, less death defying for the walk home) but it makes me happy.

My weight was down from my TOM high, but settled on 108.6kg instead of going all the way back. Today is the day I go out to lunch each week and even though I tracked everything and I'm fine on calories, it's bound to cause a little bump from sodium tomorrow. I'll have to hit the workouts hard and keep drinking, I really want to post a loss this week. Next week is going to be really hard because it's a friend's birthday dinner that Friday so we're going for a set meal. It's going to be difficult and it's the night before my weigh in, so I'm hoping it doesn't cause too much damage. I'm actually debating weighing in on the following Sunday instead of Saturday, but we'll have to see.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I may never eat junk food again

This Is Why You're Fat

Wow. Just... wow.

Ahh, Monday morning

I'm so tired. Sooooo tired. Slumped over my work desk hoping a student doesn't come and see me with my eyes closed tired. I got to bed in the wee hours both Saturday and Sunday night and it is definitely showing now. Gah.

My weight is up by a lot, but it's TOM still and I don't get accurate results when I don't sleep properly, so I don't think it counts for the moment. I'll have to keep on truckin' for the next day or two until I can get a real number. I love that you can put this time of the month in the 'events' section on Medhelp, it makes life easier when I go back to check them later.

Short entry today I'm afraid, I'm too fuzzy to think of anything else. I've got a lesson second period (in about 20 minutes) and then one last period, so I can't go home. I might put my headphones in and watch a movie when I get back, see if that will help keep me awake or make things worse.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Back

I had a good time in Yokkaichi. Food was over yesterday by just under 300 calories, and the type of food was not good for the most part. Today's was good enough though, my friend and I went to a large mall in Suzuka on the way back. We went to the food court and I went to Subway and got a chili-bean wrap and onion soup instead of going through the golden arches, and we also went to Starbucks in the afternoon and I got a non-fat chai tea latte. A chocolate cookie was also consumed ;) but luckily they're quite a bit smaller than their American counterparts. It was 275 calories, which was higher than I thought it would be, but apparently an US sized one would have been about 450 (madness! If you had a full fat frappe drink and a cookie that would be almost a full days of calories!) so I suppose I should count my blessings.

When I got home it was about 7pm and I was feeling pretty tired. I've logged all my food and ate some baked beans and cheese on rye bread for dinner. It took me nearly two hours of faffing around on the Internet before finally giving in but I did my 10k on the bike, so I met my exercise goals this week.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Weigh In

I weighed in this morning at 107.8kg, which is 237.16lbs, a loss of 1.8kg or 3.96lbs.

I biked a total of 135km (83.8 miles)on the lowest resistance level of my bike.

I feel really good this week. I didn't binge once, and I worked out every day except Tuesday. I finally feel like I'm making progress, instead of just hovering around the same few pounds.

On that note, I was looking through my old weigh in data and feeling a little down about it. I've basically been hovering around the 110kg mark for the last year, the only exception being when I went up very to last year's high of 118.6kg/260.9lbs. But then, something happened. I was getting ready for my private class last night and realised I had a lot of clothes that I don't wear right now (I out-grew a lot of them on my way up to the a fore-mentioned high weight last year). Some of them were bought online before the big gain, when I was still quite optimistic about how I was losing, so I kept them as goal clothes.

I had a bit of time so I figured I would pick out a few goal clothes again as something to look forward to, an aim to keep me on track. A few of the thing I want to fit in to for when the weather gets a a little warmer include a pair of trousers (that I used to wear all the time before I had my first big gain in Japan that very first winter and couldn't fit into them anymore), two shirts my mum sent me last summer when I was desperate for clothes that ended up being too small, a casual grey top with tiny little heart on it, and a beautiful, long, steel grey skirt that I bought online but could never get past my hips because it was too small (size conversion used to confuse me, plus sizes are so different from place to place.

I tried them on and WTF? Stuff fits. Stuff that didn't even fit when I got them, fits. The shirts my mum sent me in the mail fit perfectly. The grey shirt with hearts is fine too. The skirt and trousers go up past my hips, zip and button with no problem, but are a little too tight to wear at the moment. What the hell is going on?

The weird thing is that I measured myself but I don't seemed to have changed measurements all that much (a couple of centimeters in the waist, but nothing in the hips), so I don't see how I can be smaller, unless I didn't measure myself correctly the first time? Both sets of numbers can't be right.

Not to look a gift horse in the mouth here, but I've been exercising for 1 week. 1 week! I biked quite a lot (for me at least) this week, but how has it made so much difference in such a short amount of time? I am all amazement.

My clothing goals are now to fit into the trousers and skirt comfortably enough to wear them to work without feeling self-conscious. I'm so excited about the skirt, I fell in love with it when I first saw it and have never been able to wear it. I also have a pair of knee high boots that don't (have never) fit around my calves. I want to be able to wear them too, but I think they'll take longer to shrink into than my clothes.

My goals for the next week are to drink my water (usually not a problem at all, but I've been slacking a tiny bit the last couple of days), stay on track with my eating, log everything (I just got a new badge this morning for logging my food in daily plate for 21 days in a row!), and meet my goal to do at least 100km on my bike at the next resistance level up (resistance 2).

I've got to get ready to go to Yokkaichi. I'm actually looking forward to it now, it's only overnight so I'll manage. I'll eat what's there, not worry about it, and make sure I exercise when I get back. Have a good week everyone!

Edit: Oh, I just finished writing this and then started my period, so I'm guessing the weigh in is a heavy weight? My back ache is usually much worse than this so I know it's coming, apparently exercise helps that too.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Preparing to run the gauntlet

My dinner last night was as awesome as I'd hoped. I had two turkey burgers on sprouted wheat hamburger rolls, with a tomato on top (I had a big tomato that was going soft so I scavenged it from my fridge and sliced it to use in place of ketchup). I also did 15k on my bike before bed, and answered some emails I've been meaning to get around to: Productivity!

This morning I woke up and realised that I had forgotten to make lunch, so I put some Heinz beans and shredded cheese in my bento box, along with a couple of slices of wholegrain German rye bread, so I can have that. The muesli I bought turned out to be really tasty too so breakfast was very nice. I even remembered to take the pork out to defrost (though, granted, I remembered half way down the stairwell and had to go back up).

Tomorrow is Valentines Day so I'm heading up to Yokkaichi (a city about an hour or so north of me by train) for the JET party that's happening up there. I've booked myself into a cheap hotel so that I won't have to sleep on someones floor, but food is going to be difficult all weekend because I'll mostly be eating out. I'll have some breakfast (probably muesli) before I go on Saturday morning, all together I'll be eating Saturday lunch and dinner, and possibly all of Sunday's meals out. If I can I'm going to come home before dinner and make my own.

I'm going to weigh in tomorrow morning (thank goodness, this is one week I wouldn't like to have to do it on Monday!) and I'll do some biking before I leave. I plan to bike Sunday evening too, so I shouldn't miss any exercise.

Hmm, I'm a little worried. The tools I use (daily plate etc) won't be available to me so I won't know what's in what I'm eating, and it's so much easier to eat badly when you're out and about and surrounded by bad choices.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Joy!

I came home to a parcel from the Foreign Buyer's Club! The FBC is a company that ships international food to anywhere in Japan. It's a little expensive, but oh so worth it. I mentioned a few blogs ago that I had found it through the Japanese amazon. I was really excited because I can get whole grain breads and things through them, even though it was a huge struggle not to order things like boxed brownie mix. I really like cakes and brownies, especially chocolate ones, but I will eat a whole pan if I bake them. I've done it before.

I ordered:

Alara Deluxe Muesli
Alishan Organic Dried Red Lentils
Delba Whole Grain Rye Bread
Heinz Bakes Beans
Rios Cooking SprayI've been waiting so long for a spray instead of using oil!
Skippy's Creamy Natural Peanut Butter
Alvarado Street Bakery Sprouted Wheat Tortilla
Alvarado Street Bakery Sprouted Wheat Hamburger Buns
Sliced turkey Breast (sorry, no pic)
Jennie-O Lean Turkey Burger Quarter Pound Patties (ditto)

I'm so happy! I'm defrosting two of the burgers and two of the hamburger buns now so I can have them for dinner, it's going to be awesome!

Movement

The scale finally moved! I want to say 'about bloody time' but I don't want to anger the scale Gods and have them smite my numbers. I was getting so sick of seeing the same number day in day out, I mean, I don't want the numbers to go up, but ANYTHING would have been preferable.

I don't know what was going on there. Maybe my body needed time to adjust to the exercise? Please, no one suggest that I was gaining muscle, I know that excuse gets bandied about a lot but it takes at least six weeks for muscle to make a difference on the scale (unless, I suppose, you're on some hardcore weight program). I moved on to phase two but my body should have adjusted for that already.

Yesterday I did 25km on the bike (a 10km in the morning and a 15km in the afternoon) which got me to my 100km goal for the week! I'm really happy about that, but I'm going to keep going because I don't start a new week until Saturday. Thanks for the awesome suggestions on musicals everyone! I'll see what DVDs I can get hold of, and then maybe I can switch them in an out week by week.

I really wanted to eat yesterday. To the point where I was ransacking my kitchen for anything sweet. To the point where I was considering making cake batter (because I had the separate ingredients for it) and eating it raw. I'm extremely glad that I don't keep snack type food in the house because had there been anything that didn't require preparation I would have eaten it before I had time to think. As it was I made myself turn around and go back to the living room. I told myself I would check how many calories cake batter would blow on daily plate because I was a little under (FYI: I know this won't be a shock, but it's a lot), I've been trying to go for honestly on the plate even when I binge. Then I remembered how quite a few people seem to be having problems recently when it comes to binging, so I decided to check blogs before I ate anything. As I was waiting for the page to load I made a deal with myself, if I had another comment on my blog then I would just ride the craving out, because it would mean that people were reading and I would hate to reply to encouraging comments with a post about how I had just eaten a bowl of cake batter the size of my head.

Luckily for me Fighting_Fat had left me a note, and I was beginning to calm down enough that I didn't try and bargain my way out of it. I made myself a couple of eggs to eat when I got hungry a little later (I'd had dinner, but I had it early because I hadn't eaten enough at lunch)and was in bed by 10. What a party life I lead huh?

I'm so glad I managed to stop myself. So. Glad. If I hadn't I would be looking at a gain this morning, and with me not seeing results from biking I would have been so utterly discouraged.

Today I woke up in time to have a nice bowl of porridge (oatmeal) before work, and I packed my lunch yesterday so I have that and an apple. I've just remembered that I forgot to take the pork out to defrost for tonight, so I might have a shrimp and broccoli stir-fry instead.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Help please

I woke up at 8:15 this morning! Unheard of for my day off. I ended up going to bed really early last night though, I suddenly felt really tired and decided to turn in. It's good really because it means that (assuming I don't sleep in) I won't wreck my sleep schedule mid-week and feel rotten tomorrow.

I ended up not working out yesterday, I decided to give my legs a rest instead. I woke up this morning feeling much better though, and have just finished doing 10km. I will try to do more later to make up for the day I missed, and I made sure to stretch out afterward so I'm hoping my legs will adapt to it a little better. I'm at 85km done! My weekly goal is so close! I have until Friday night to complete it (I weigh in on Saturday morning so my 'week' begins then), so I may well end up going over it because I want to try and work out at least 5 days a week. The plan is that for every week I complete successfully, I will put the resistance on the bike up one level (there are 9, I'm only using level 1 at the moment). If I don't complete 100km on a particular level one week then it won't go up until I manage it.

My scale still isn't budging! *headdesk* If it doesn't get going soon (as in, by next weigh in) I'm going to start doing monthly measurements.

Now, I need help. I was working out this morning with just music and it wasn't working for me. As I've said before, I've got my bike set up in front of the TV and usually work out to Hairspray the movie. I chose it because most the songs are fast and it's a fun film, so it's easy to keep going with. It makes you want to move. Can anybody out there recommend more musicals that I could watch while biking so I can change it up a bit? The songs should be quite often, and as upbeat as you can.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ow

I did end up doing another 10km while watching TV last night, which took me to 20km for the day and 75 for the week so far. I weighed in this morning to the same number though and was all '75km down and this is the number you give me? Really Scale? Really?.

Other than that things have been going fine today, I woke up with sore legs though. I felt a little twinge in them last night and then they were kind of achy this morning. I think the fact that I tend to sleep in the fetal position didn't help them. The walk to school helped loosen them up a bit, and now I'm just trying to keep them stretched out. I think I need to make sure I stretch after I finish biking to try and avoid this in the future. 'They' say that the third day is the hardest so I'm going to try and keep going. I'm ahead of schedule this week so I may just go 5km tonight if they're still sore, but we'll see how it goes.

I managed to grab one of the over-sized apples for my breakfast this morning because I was in a rush, but Tuesday is my restaurant lunch day so lunch was higher. We went to an Italian restaurant because the other ALT needed to make a reservation there for Friday. I had a tomato salad instead of my usual garlic and olive oil bruschetta, and followed it with a prosciutto and vegetable pasta with parmesan cheese. Of the things I could have had it was definitely the best choice, the restaurant isn't known for its healthy options. It was so delicious though, you can't even imagine.

Tomorrow is a public holiday so no school, always fun.

Monday, February 9, 2009

And so a new week begins

I'll admit I was a little disappointed when I got on the scale today and saw no difference from my weekend. There have been times when I would have killed to see no weight change after a weekend, but I moved significantly less and ate significantly more during them. That being said, I think I expect results too fast, it may take my body some time to adjust. Still, I rode 40km yesterday! That's a big number in my head, I feel like my body should acknowledge it. I was tired when I weighed in though, and historically speaking my scale doesn't take too kindly to me not getting enough sleep before stepping on it.

I realised this morning that it doesn't matter what time I manage to drag myself out of bed, I'm not a morning exercise person. I've tried to be, and in fact there was a brief stint a couple of years ago when I was doing it, but it's not for me. I think the trick to consistently doing any exercise is making it as easy (and dare I say it - enjoyable!) as humanly possible. My bike is set up in front of my TV. Musicals are in the DVD player. It all helps.

I got up this morning at 6:30am intending to wake up fresh faced and leap from my bed to bound over to the TV, switch on an uplifting musical, and knock out 10km before work. What I actually did was wake up tired and confused, trying to figure out why my phone wasn't where I thought it was (I'd moved it out a little further so I couldn't just turn it off), bury myself back in my covers only to curse myself for switching the snooze alarm to every two minutes instead of every five so I couldn't get back to sleep, roll from the warmth of my electric blanket into my fleecy but chilled robe and the frigid air of my apartment, and huddle under the wall heater in my living room (blinking and dazed) while I checked my email and blogs. Eventually the room warmed up, I made oatmeal for breakfast, got ready, and walked to work, but the exercise didn't happen.

Push yourself to work out, but try not to work so totally against your body rhythm. Most of the time it's hard enough to get myself moving, I 'aint gonna be any happier about it if I have to give up preciously hoarded sleep and go out into the cold harsh light of day to do it. I'm a night owl, utterly and completely, and my most productive workout is going to be done upon arriving home from work. I started trying to work out in the morning because so many other bloggers were doing it (how does the blogger spell check not have 'bloggers' in it?!?). You were all so dedicated! You were getting up at 5am and doing full workouts, making the kids lunches and doing your laundry before I even opened my eyes! Oh the inadequacy!

Turns out I'm not 'you', I'm not even 'us' most of the time. I'm me, and that's pretty OK. I have to stop planning as if I can change my whole nature though, I started living by my own schedule a long time ago, I know what's realistic and what isn't.

I was walking into school and all the hopeful entrants for the school next year are here to take the exam (you have to take an exam and do an interview if you want to get into most high-schools here). They seemed a little confused by me as I walked past the little crowds in the car-park, not knowing whether to greet me as a teacher or if I had just wandered onto school grounds.

Edit: I did 10km on the bike when I got in from work, and will do more while I'm watching TV later. I've put a new tracker in my sidebar to see how far I bike each week, with a target of 100km.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Hypothesis

Yesterday I just (just!) ate within my calories, but nutritionally speaking the food was not good. I went to the supermarket meaning to get some chopped tomatoes to go in my dinner, and then decided to get some other things while I was there. I hadn't planned it to be a shopping trip proper, so I didn't have a list, which meant I had to meander around the store. I came home with many healthy things and a group of unhealthy but immediate things that I had for lunch.

Guys, I kid you not, I used my entire daily calorie budget on lunch. I bought home some more of those panko/sesame chicken tender things, some pieces of Inarizushi (pouches of fried tofu skin stuffed with white rice and topped with black sesame seeds), a white bread sandwich, and a pack of cheesecake doughnut balls. Cheesecake doughnut balls are the devil incarnate. They're balls of cheesecake, surrounded by a casing of what I can only describe as old fashioned cake doughnut? Delicious and awful for you.

Once I'd eaten it I didn't compound the problem by then eating a full dinner. I let it settle (it kept me full for the rest of the day), entered it all into the daily plate, which luckily had me going right up to the wire with my calories but not over, and then rode 15km on my bike. The extra calories from my bike ride meant I could have an omelet for dinner, followed by bed.

I got up this morning to put my weight into medhelp (I put my weight in regardless of what happens, the whole point is to mark the fluctuations) and was greeted with a loss of over a pound. The moral of this story? Sadly I don't think it's 'eat like a pig every day' but I do think I have to eat more, especially now I'm going to be adding exercise into the mix. It's easier now that I can have fruit and things, so I'm going to give it a try.

Plans for today: Have the dinner I was going to have yesterday, but make sure to eat lunch! Drink my water, and put up a picture of my bike display once I have finished cycling to show that I did it. Make enough dinner so that I can put some in my lunchbox for tomorrow.

Edit:
(15.5 miles)

You know, continuing to bike is fine (I only intended to do 15km but I felt OK so I kept going), it's that moment when you stop and get off the bike that your legs croon 'noooo, we're broken' so pitifully.

Edit 2: Just did another 15km while watching TV. That's a total of 40km/25 miles.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The first steps

The final count on my first ride:

(I feel like I'm going for a record on how many times I can post in day)

15km/9.3 miles!

I put Hairspray into my DVD player so I'd have a little music to focus on while I biked. I was only intending to do 5km (3 miles), but I got there quicker than I thought and felt fine so I kept going. The last few kilometers were hard but I wanted to finish on a good whole number instead of flaking out on 11.3 or something. I was on the minimum resistance as it's my first time, but I'm hoping to build it up.

The bike

It started with a poor man having to drag this box up my steps

I was hoping that most of the box would turn out to be packaging as it was so big, sadly, that was not the case

Though they'd made up for the lack of packing by threading the pieces through the various pieces of polystyrene and sticking it all in place with tape! The result? A fifteen minute battle trying to extract it from the box, before finally giving up and dumping it upside down onto my living room floor

Having finally separated all the pieces I opened up the instruction book, hoping upon hope that it would either be bilingual or have very large, clearly drawn diagrams. Sadly, this was the reality, useful!

But I manned up and started to follow the badly drawn pictures. I realised half way through that the heavy metal pieces were going to scrape the hell out of poor abused tatami flooring. The bike should have come with a free mat to protect the floor, but for some reason it arrived in a separate delivery half an hour later. I may have inadvertently given the second delivery man an eyeful because the neckline of my top is far too big, and I had thrown aside the sweater covering it mid-construction. Sadly that didn't occur to me until 5 minutes after I opened the door.

Finally, the bolts were screwed in, the wires connected, the tears shed, the curses uttered, and the mat laid down, all resulting in this:


Hello Baby! God, it was a workout just getting it together, the thing weighs 30kg! It's very sturdy though, which I'm happy about.

It pretty much fills my living room. Japanese rooms are small, so my living room is the standard 6 tatami mat size. As you can see from the picture, it completely fills one, and is in the middle of the room because it won't fit anywhere else. Whoever it was that told me not to store this away lest I forget it? Fear not!

Saturday WI

I weighed in this morning at 109.6kg (241.1 lbs) for an itty-bitty loss of 0.2kg. Ah well, every itty-bitty loss counts!

I'm disappointed that I didn't lose more this week, but my food was off (err.. really off) for a couple of days, and in fact yesterday I was a full kilo higher, so I feel relieved that I lost anything at all.

I've taken to tracking my weight every single day at medhelp.org (that scale graphic on the right is from them). This isn't an attempt to drive myself crazy as I am totally aware that the body naturally fluctuates, but I want to see if there is any kind of pattern so that if at any point I have an unexplained gain it might just be the pattern my body takes. It's been an interesting endeavor anyway.

Plans for the next week are to stay in Phase 2 without letting the widened food choices send me off track, and to get my water in every day. Also to use my new bike when it gets here.

I don't know when it's turning up. I happened to wake up quite early for me (for a weekend anyhow), so I'm hoping it comes today instead of rousing me from a sound sleep tomorrow.

Argh! As I was typing that the door bell rang and it was the delivery man! The box is massive! I felt sorry for him carrying it up my steps to my second floor apartment. I'm hoping a lot of it is packaging so I can fit it in my living room. I'll take some picture of set up and put them up. Should be fun with only Japanese instructions...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Huh?

What's going on with the daily plate today? I keep trying to go to the page and it says that's it's done loading but the screen stays white. Anyone else having trouble with it?

I've got an apple in my bag and some peanut butter to dip in in. Today is my first day on phase two, so I'm quite excited at the prospect of fruit.

Edit: I just received a notice of shipping from the amazon.co.jp marketplace dudes, my bike should be with me any day!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hang on...

When I order my recumbent bike I have to use my credit card to pay for it because while it's sold through Amazon, it's not sold by Amazon.

So hang on, what am I waiting for?

I have to use my card regardless, then send the money home and pay off my card. So why can't I just order the bike now and then do exactly that when I get paid?

No reason!

With that in mind I've just ordered my recumbent bike! How exciting.

I'm going to send home enough money to cover the bill as soon as I'm given it. I'm also going to make sure that I never spend more on my card than I can afford to wipe off at the end of the month.

The shipping on my bike was free and it's expected to be with me between the 6th and 9th of February, so I'll be able to start using it really soon. I'll post pictures as soon as it comes.

Working Free

It's been a difficult couple of days, but I woke up this morning feeling a little better and ready to get back to normal.

I suspect that this feeling may have been partially brought on by my decision to give myself a break from the money stuff for a month. The problem I was facing was that I have a few extra expenses coming up and I won't be able to cover them on my current budget. This isn't a problem as such, because I can just keep my next pay-cheque here in Japan instead of sending it home to save. However, I had gotten it into my head that I absolutely had to save it and was freaking myself out quite a bit. I do need to save in the long term, but I don't have to squeeze my pennies quite so hard now that my debts are gone. I haven't quite been able to switch my brain off that track though, leading to me having a bit of a panic attack about it before realising that I needed to calm the fuck down and take a breather, so when I get paid on the 20th my money will stay with me. I'll have a much easier month, and then get back to it again with my April pay.

I really hadn't realised how much it was stressing me out until I told myself I didn't have to do it. Things look much better now, I feel like there is enough air in the room again.

I'm clamping back down on food again too. It hasn't quite been two weeks, but I'm thinking of moving on to phase 2 of SB. I was having a bit of trouble meeting my calories the last week or so, and I would like the freedom it gives me. If that freedom translates into a free-for-all with my food I will rethink it and go back.

I was checking amazon.co.jp recently and found that the foreign buyer's club (an online site you can order food from) is shipping through them now! Which means I can buy all the healthy alternatives not available here like wholegrain breads, natural peanut butter, and cooking spray! (I'm so sick of oil dudes). It also means a load of unhealthy alternatives are now available to me too, so I'll have to be careful, but I'm really excited, and I think I know where some of my extra cash will be going.

On top of that I've had a really productive day I feel. I've marked two classes worth of notebooks, taught a class, and made up a worksheet for the next essay project. The sun is shining outside, and even though the air is still cold, it's noticeably warmer today than yesterday. The weather won't last long so I'm going to enjoy my walk home while I can. My supervisor left early today so there is a chance I may be able to sneak out early too, and I feel generally like life is good.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

And so it goes

I seemed set to have a good day today, and did until about 4pm. I got up in time to have a proper breakfast, and made good choices when I went out for lunch (Tuesday is my lunch out day) so wasn't hungry at work as I often am. Things were going great until last period when I realised we had forgotten to buy snacks for the English club kids. I ran to the store and got two packs of snacks and then ate one of the bags.

Er, whoops.

They were weenie little chocolate cornflake bars, coming in at 35 calories each, which for the bag means 490 calories (lots of it sugar) that I really shouldn't have scoffed. To make things worse I got home and was in full on binge mode. With nothing in the house I went to the supermarket, thankfully I seemed to reign it in a little once I got there and start thinking. I walked around the store with a pack of choux cream buns in my cart for about 20 minutes before I put them back. I did walk out with some cooked sesame panko encrusted fried chicken pieces that I ate as soon as I got home. I somehow managed to leave the other unhealthy food on the shelves though. I started shopping for other healthy things I would need after I had gorged myself so I could negate the guilt in my head by getting right back to it, and as I did the need to eat loosened its grip a bit. By the time I had put the veg, tofu, and cheese in my cart I had taken most the other food out.

It doesn't excuse it. I had a bad moment and I'm glad I didn't compound it too much by eating myself sick 'because I may as well now'. Even if it was a really close call.

I'm also glad I blogged about this after all, when my first instinct was to pretend it never happened and just not tell anyone. I put all my food into daily plate and miraculously came out under calories (but literally by the skin of my teeth), so I'm hoping it doesn't damage me too much on the scale, and that my cravings don't go insane from my indulging my sweet tooth.

Tomorrow is another day I guess.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Decisions, decisions

I took some fish out the freezer for lunch today, then cooked it up this morning and put it in my lunchbox. One piece wouldn't fit in so I had it for breakfast instead of my usual eggs (I felt so Japanese having fish for breakfast!).

My problem is that now I'm hungry and thinking of lunch, I really don't want to eat it. The very thought of my lunch is making me go 'ugh'. I have to be in the mood to eat certain kinds of fish (this is mackerel) and apparently the mood has passed.

Which leads me to my second problem; I'm hungry. I want to go to the convenience store and get a sandwich, but a sandwich will mean white bread and do I really want that to happen? How big of an effect will it have on me? I'm worried that if it's OK to have a sandwich for lunch it will start me on a slippery slope where I start bargaining with myself at meal times. At the same time I know that I'm genuinely hungry, so while a sandwich is not on plan, it wouldn't be me binging alone in my apartment.

It makes me sad that something like the merits of eating a sandwich takes up so much space in my brain...

ETA: Eeeewwwww. I went to open my lunch and some of the oil from the fish had leaked an congealed in the bag. It made me feel sick to look at even, so I went to the store. I ended up getting a piece of chicken and some string cheese so I'm feeling pretty good. On one hand it was fried chicken, so that's not a great thing to be eating, but on the other it was basically 'on plan' for phase 1 and I didn't end up eating white bread (which means I avoided the refined carbs that make me binge).I didn't spend a lot of money either, so all in all I'm pleased with that.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Huff Puff

I had trouble sleeping last night due to the wind that has been buffeting my poor little apartment for the last couple of days. Every time there is a gust the whole building creaks ominously, now I know how the first two little pigs felt.

Other than that the day went OK. Last night I cleaned properly. I cleared off the kitchen table of all it's junk and papers, and got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the edges of the lino floor where the vacuum/mop doesn't reach. Everything looks shiny and new now, it left me feeling really good.

A few people texted me to see if I wanted to go out, but all plans would have involved both eating out and spending money, two things I didn't really want to do, so I stayed in. I send my money home at the beginning of the month, so I have to be careful with my budgeting for the rest of it, meals out and the cinema (and the various train fares involved with them) were definitely not in the plan. With my recumbent bike purchase next month, an unexpected trip to Kyoto (though thankfully I'm being driven there instead of taking the train, but the day itself will involve certain expenses), and my friend's wedding in April (guests are expected to pay for the catering in Japanese weddings, plus the wedding gift is money) it's going to be an expensive couple of months. If I want to get through them and still send at least 100,000 yen home then I will have to be careful.

Food has been perfectly on plan today but my calories are still really low compared to what I should be eating (God knows how!), I'm working on it.