Juggling Stuff and Checking In

Ok, wow.  So almost 2 weeks since I posted.  In a sense there hasn’t been much going on in regard to weight loss so there wasn’t much to post.  And, there was just a lot of stuff to juggle non-weight loss so I didn’t realize how much time had passed since I last posted.

The last couple of weeks have been a holding action in terms of weight loss.  Weekend before last, I drove back to my hometown and went to my 45th high school reunion.  It was the first one I’ve attended since graduating.  I must admit that it was easier for me to go to this one since I knew that my weight was basically fine (although I still want to lose a few pounds) and I felt happy with how I looked.

It’s funny but in the mind’s eye I still saw people as they were when we were 18 and so I was a little nervous about showing up with the current me.  I mean sort of absurd since I am in a Facebook group for our class and I’ve seen more current pictures.  But, still those pictures in my head were there.  Of course, as soon as I got there I truly did accept that everyone had aged just as I had aged.  And, really, once I was there I wasn’t concerned about my appearance or anyone else’s appearance.  It was a lot of fun to see people.  I also had an opportunity to reconnect with my dearest friend from way back when and that was very special.

Foodwise, I did OK during that trip.  I had to eat out some but planned for it.  I was planning to come back home and really exercise this past week.  But, I came home and had a scratchy throat and generally not feeling good for the whole week.  I kept thinking I was about to get a sore throat and feel awful.  That never happened, perhaps because I took it easy for the whole week in terms of activity.  But, that kept my calorie burn down.

And, then…my husband’s birthday.  Due to schedule conflicts with our kids, we have had 2 birthday celebrations and are going to have another one on Tuesday.  We went out alone to Fogo de Chao on his actual birthday.

That was what I had from their market table.  Then, they bring around a lot of different meats and you take what you want.  I mostly took a small piece of several things, mostly chicken and a little pork.  It was incredibly good.  We elected not to have dessert.

On Sunday, we went out for the second celebration with our son.  We ate at Red Robin and I skipped getting a chicken sandwich to just get the Ensanada Chicken which is a chicken breast with some added flavors and a side salad.  Having done that, I felt I could afford to eat part of this dessert:

It was incredibly yummy but was shared among 3 people.

We have one more lunch out, but that is planned for a restaurant where I can eat very lightly.  So, I think I did reasonably well, but haven’t lost any weight over the last 10 days.

I did finally get back to a little exercise.  The weather is finally cool enough here that we can walk outside so we took a walk in the neighborhood.  I like walking here because it is a little hilly so we get a better workout.  And, we plan to go back to the Y on Tuesday.

The Older Women in the Weight Room

Today, I went to the YMCA for strength training.  I did 10 minutes or so on the bike, then did the weight machines and a few free weights.  But, one thing I really noticed were all the older women in the weight room.  I mean these were really older.  They looked to mostly be in their 70s.  I must have seen at least 10 exercising there in under an hour.

Going to the Y at mid-afternoon on a weekday is a great time to go.  The weight room is usually not that crowded so there aren’t long waits for most machines.  At that time of day, you mostly get those who don’t work 9 to jobs.  There are some college students, some who work flexible or later hours, some who maybe work from home, and the largest group — retirees.

So, it wasn’t unusual to see a lot of older people in the weight room.  And, as usual, more were men than women.  But, what really struck me today was that there were lot of these older women and they all seemed to be regular users of the weight room.  Most were mostly using the machines, but they all seemed to be experienced and were often lifting weights much higher than I lift.

While I was using the leg curl machine, I noticed a woman using the chest press machine across the way.  I couldn’t help but notice that she was lifting a weight several times higher than I do.  I have never had much upper body strength and that is what went the first with my time off from strength training.  As a result, I can only lift a very low weight.  She was lifting more, though, than I lifted after almost a year of working with a personal trainer.  And, she looked to be at least 80 years old!  I couldn’t help but notice that almost all of these women were very trim and all moved around pretty easily.  Yes, I could see that most of them were at least 10 year older than I am.  I just hope that I am where they are when I get to that point.

It was a good reminder that even into later life, it is possible to strength train and that a lot of benefits can come from it.  It was truly inspiring to watch.

Fitbit Alta HR Review

This week I got the new Fitbit Alta HR and wanted to review it.  I have been using a Fitbit Blaze, which I did a First Look Review when I received over a year ago and then a follow up after two months.  I still really like the Fitbit Blaze and have been happily using it.  I did take off from exercising after my surgery last year, but lately I’ve been getting back into some walking (still not going to the Y yet) and am becoming more active.

And, the Blaze is great for that.  Despite that I bought a new Alta HR.  Usually when I buy a new Fitbit it is because the new tracker has some great new feature that I don’t have with the old tracker.  That isn’t the case with the Alta.  In fact, it has fewer features than the Blaze.  And, some of those features are important to me.  So, why get the Alta?

Looks.  That is mostly it.  Well, comfort is a factor, but that is relatively minor.  I love my Blaze and it does a lot of stuff.  If I could have only the Blaze or the Alta HR, I would go for function over form and keep the Blaze.  But, Fitbit allows you to have more than one tracker on your account.  I can wear the Alta HR part of the time, then switch midday to the Blaze and then switch back and if I sync both of them I will end up with all my steps and calorie burned counted nad all my activities recorded.

For that reason the question wasn’t Blaze or Alta HR.  The question was Blaze only or Blaze and Alta HR.  When I looked at it that way, it was easy for me to decide on having both of them.

The Alta HR does most of what the Blaze does.  It also is much smaller.  It is very sleek to look at.  Like the Blaze, you can switch bands if you want.  It is just that the Alta HR is prettier.  The Alta HR looks like the Alta which came out close to the time the Blaze came out.  I wasn’t tempted by the Alta, however, as it didn’t continuously monitor heart rate and that is a dealbreaker feature for me.  The Alta HR does continuously monitor heart rate.  I like how it looks and it is very comfortable to wear.  That is important since I wear my Fitbit 24/7 as I use it to also monitor sleep.

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Goal Update

At the start of this year, I decided to make monthly goals.  I did make some progress on them, but will repeat them for February.

The first goal was to cook more food at home and make freezer meals for future use.  I did reasonably well on this.  In my post setting my January goals, I said I had made some turky chili and some chicken/bean/rice wraps in a large batch.  I had then frozen individual servings.  That was a good start, but I indicated I needed to do more.  And, didn’t do any more of that type of cooking for the rest of the month.  We did eat more at home because I decided to only eat out once on the weekend instead of twice every weekend.  That was adding too many extra calories and making it harder during the week, particularly when we sometimes needed to eat out during the week when we were out and about far from home.  By only eating out once on most weekends, it has helped to make the rest of the week easier.

The second goal was to rejoin the YMCA and start strength training again.  I did rejoin the Y, but haven’t done anything with it.  January was a terrible month on activity.  There were some reasons for some of this.  January was a rough month for us and our pets.  Our 14 1/2 year old dog died.  That was expected as something that was going to soon happen, but was still hard.  Then, our cat who was being treated for lymphoma had come out of remission and by the end of the month he was gone.  And, finally, one of our other cats (the one I showed in the Christmas tree) had to have major surgery to have all of her teeth removed (to treat gingivostomatitis).  Her recovery has gone very well, but it was all very stressful.  During this time, I really just wanted to mostly be home with my pets and didn’t have a lot of energy to think about working out.

For February, the plan is to continue on with the goals I had for January.  I will do more cooking and will actually start using the Y.

Weigh In

Even though I had already weighed in for January, I chose to weigh in on Saturday.  I was down .6 pounds, to 143.6 pounds.  As I mentioned in my Dining Out post the other day, I had a really good week this week.  A big part of that was only eating out once last weekend instead of twice.  Doing that made everything very easy the rest of the week.  I am planning to do the same thing this week.  We ate out after the meeting and I don’t have plans to eat out again this week.  It is possible we might end up with eating out mid-week especially if we are out and about and it makes sense to do so.  But, we aren’t going to go out for our typical Sunday meal out.

The other thing we did on Saturday after we had lunch was that I rejoined the YMCA.  When I hadn’t been able to go due to surgery I had dropped my membership.  I rejoined and am planning to go to a different location than I went to before.  It is a little farther away but is a larger facility so I want to try it out.  I can still attend the other facility (it is a citywide membership), though.  The one I was attending before is about 20 minutes away versus about 35 minutes so we’ll see how that goes.  I need to get back to regularly going to the Y.  I’ve really slacked off on activity.  It has been raining quite a bit and was cold before that so I haven’t been walking outside much.  I could use the treadmill, of course, but I just haven’t done it.