Monday, July 11, 2011

The Home Stretch: The Bodice Challenge Days 33-36 and Reflection

Sorry for the delay in the posting of the last few days of The Bodice Challenge, I've been going literally nonstop since I got back from Lake George, and this is the first chance I've had to sit down at the computer for longer than about two minutes. In summary, Lake George was lovely, the weather was pretty darn near perfect, lots of sun and water and sand and boating and relaxing, exactly what I needed to fortify for all the crazy waiting for me when I got back. After Monday I stopped taking my blood pressure, because I was on vacation, but it is absolutely a good habit and one that I want to maintain, so I'm going to continue taking my blood pressure at least a few times a week, I may or may not post it here, but I will keep a record of it. Anyway, here's the tally, minus blood pressure, for the last few days of the Challenge:

Tuesday, Day 33: Breakfast: Cinnamon Chex and Skim Milk
              Lunch: Plain Bagel with whipped cream cheese and fresh fruit
              Dinner: Grilled Chicken with salt potatoes (with just a tiny scrape of butter), salad with O & V, no cheese
              Dessert: Small dish of ice cream
              Exercise: Lots of swimming
              Creativity: Going through an AWESOME cookbook of my grandmother's entitled America's Best Lost Recipes , and copied down many that I can't wait to try!!!

Wednesday, Day 34:
                   Breakfast: went out to breakfast at a local diner, had a small portion of stuffed french toast with cream cheese and blueberries (NOM, yes, this sounds like a splurge, but it was a very small serving size, and quite filling, no seconds)
                   Lunch: Homemade Chex Mix and fruit
                   Dinner: Spiedies ( marinated beef kebabs), Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas
                   Dessert small dish of ice cream
                   Exercise: Lots of Swimming, also went Tubing, THIS IS A HUGE WORKOUT, my upper body was sore for four days!!! Lots of fun, though!!!
                   Creativity: Starting sewing the silver chainwork onto Michael's privateer garb for Faire :)

Thursday, Day 35:
                Breakfast: Cinnamon Chex with Skim Milk
                Lunch: Turkey Sandwich on Kaiser Roll, light scrape mayo, lettuce, one slice bacon, no cheese, fresh cherries
                Dinner: Went out to dinner to a PHENOMENAL Turkish Restaurant in Lake George Village called Ali Baba's Express I had dolmades, yogurt sauce, lavash bread, and a lamb gyro :)
                Dessert: Kiddie-size cup of gelato
                Exercise: Lots of swimming and walking around LG Village
                Creativity: More work on Mikey's garb vest

 Friday, Day 36, Closing Day of The Bodice Challenge:
                Breakfast: Cinnamon Chex with skim milk
                Lunch: Leftover Gyro from the night before, Chex Mix and fresh cherries
                Dinner: One hamburger, plain, no mayo, no cheese, sauteed zucchini and summer squash
                Dessert: One small dish of ice cream
                Exercise: Lots of swimming
                Creativity: More work on Mikey's garb vest

In review: I am very glad I did this :) It kept me focused and made me look at my food and health priorities. As I've lamented in earlier posts, I really did not lose any weight or inches, and only lost about 1% of my body fat, however, looking over my blood pressure trends over the past few weeks, it has greatly improved, and I feel much better and I have much more energy. And, the flip side of not losing any weight is that I also did not GAIN any weight, not even last week while I was on vacation, and that is certainly not to be ignored or belittled. So, those things in and of themselves made the challenge absolutely worth it. However, the frosting on the cake was that yesterday, my first day at Sterling for the season, I looked damn good in my corset and handled the hilly terrain of the 'Shire like a pro, which was the original point of the exercise to begin with, so I'd say that portion of the experiment was a huge success :)

What will happen from here? I'm not 100% sure. I want to keep my portions reasonable, and continue to focus on at least moderate daily exercise, whole grains, fruits and veggies and all that other good stuff, but I don't have a specific plan in place. For quite awhile last year I followed The Blood Type Diet, and I lost quite a bit of weight and felt GREAT, but the BTD, while healthful, can be a hassle to follow long-term, so the jury's still out on whether I'll give that another try. I tend not to do well on plans that force you to count calories and other such forms of counting, as they make me feel bitter and deprived. As I've said before, I refuse to nickel and dime my food. If you look at food as merely a numbers game, you have, in my book, missed the whole darned point. However, portion control, exercise and more healthful food choices? That I know I can do, so that's where we'll leave it for now :) What methods of weight loss have worked for you all? I'd love to hear about them :) I've heard good things about the Livestrong/MyPlate program, anyone else have two cents they'd like to throw in? Thanks again to Merlyn for starting this challenge and for being a daily inspiration to me :)


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bodice Challenge on the Road: Days 30, 31, and 32

Greeting, My Lovelies :)

I'm taking a brief sojurn to the Bolton Free Library for a brief check-in :) So far, my Lake George week has been lovely, a welcome respite indeed :) Sun and Water and time with family and old friends, just what I needed :) I'm been a twinge more gentle with myself these past few days because I am on vacation, and I'm sharing a kitchen with my extended family and I don't want to dictate what everyone else is eating, but on the whole I've still been pretty good :)

Saturday: Day 30
Blood Pressure: 118/82

Breakfast: 2 slices homemade banana bread
Lunch:  stopped at McDonald's whilst on the road up to the lake. Had a salad with chicken and low fat sesame dressing. No fries, no soda, just iced tea with no sugar.
Snack: One nectarine, one handful homemade chex mix, two chocolate covered cherries
Dinner: Three slices cheese pizza
Dessert: one small serving fat free mango sorbet at Ben &Jerry's
Exercise: 45 minute walk into town, the first 15 minutes of that walk were uphill

Sunday: Day 31
Breakfast: Muesli with fat free plain yogurt
Lunch: Two slices of Italian bread toast with Peanut Butter, two slices provolone cheese. Salad with feta, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette
Dinner: Spaghetti with homemade sauce, three small meatballs, one slice bread, no seconds.
Dessert: small serving of ice cream at Ben and Jerry's.
Exercise: walked around town, and went for a good, long swim.
Blood Pressure: 116/84

Monday: Day 32

Breakfast: Cinnamon Chex with skim milk
Lunch: leftover spaghetti, one small bowl, no meatballs. One nectarine, one pickle, one small serving of lowfat vanilla yogurt.
Snack: One small handful homemade chex mix, two twizzlers, one handful fresh cherries.
Dinner: Steak, 3 slices of Italian bread, sauteed spinach and rice pilaf
Dessert: Three s'mores minus the graham crackers (in other words, three toasted marshmallows and three small pieces of chocolate)
Exercise: went swimming twice, and went for a twenty minute kayak excursion :)

I'll probably check in again on Friday, I hope you all had a lovely Fourth of July, see you soon!!!!


Friday, July 1, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 29

Breakfast: a few spoonfuls of cottage cheese and a bowl of strawberries

Morning Blood Pressure: 122/81, that's higher than I've been running lately, but I did have Chinese last night, so I'll take it again tonight and see if it improves....

Lunch: one small bran muffin, bowl of cinnamon chex with skim milk,and a few fresh cherries and a small glass of chocolate milk

Dinner: One hamburger, plain, no bun, no cheese, nothing. Some pasta salad (no mayo) and some green salad with oil and vinegar dressing.

Snack: One donut that my brother and his girlfriend brought us from a donut place they like in Buffalo

Exercise: 26 minute walk with Mikey

Creativity: Finished sewing my new garb skirt, and it turned out quite lovely :)

Evening Blood Pressure: 119/73

     Sadly, I am not having a good self-esteem day, I am very frustrated. I am very upset that even though I feel better there hasn't really been any *measurable* progress. I'm still in the same three-pound window I was when I started. I've only lost about 1% of my total body fat, and I haven't lost any inches. Other people have said that I look more toned, and I feel like I have tightened up, especially in my thighs and legs, but according to the scale and the tape change (although, to be fair, I didn't measure my thighs at the beginning of the challenge, just my waist and hips, maybe all the inches are being lost from there?). I'm sorry, but this irritates the hell out of me. I've been very diligent for a straight month, better food choices, daily exercise, etc. So do I feel better? Absolutely, and my blood pressure has improved also, and both of those things are very valuable and I'm not discounting them. However, I want tangible results that can be pointed to.....I felt better for about 20 minutes this afternoon when I tried on my new skirt that I just finished sewing. I put on a chemise and a corset and put my hair up, and I felt beautiful, striking, and sexy, all the things I normally feel when I'm in garb. And then I took my garb off and put my regular clothes back on and I felt lousy again. I know that everyone has their down days, and that's just life, but today all I can see are the imperfections.....I want today to be over so I can try again tomorrow.....

   On a brighter note, tomorrow I will be leaving for my family's annual trip to Lake George in the Adirondacks. We'll be there all week and I can't wait :) My internet access up at the Lake is sporadic at best, so I won't be posting every day, but I'll try to check in every few days or so. I give you my word I will catalog everything that I eat and my daily exercise, just like I do here, and I won't slack off in the home stretch just because I won't be posting every day. Send me all the vibes you can spare, and I'll be sending them to all of you!!! To all my Sterling folk, I'll see you in just a few days!!!