Monday, July 16, 2012

Losing Weight & Getting Fit (Again) - A Bipolar Woman's Fitness Plan

Bipolar Disorder and Physical Fitness
In a recent post on "Bipolar Disorder and Physical Fitness" I confessed to having become sedentary over the past year, while working long hours on an internet project (i.e. sitting in front of the computer for hours on end), and vowed to get back to my fitness level of one year ago--the most ripped I've ever been. Well here is the post where I am going to track my progress and share workout and diet tips on what's working for me.

Bipolar and Fighting Weight Gain
So today I weighed, measured, took some photos and said OMG! While I have retained a bit of the muscle tone and core strength that I worked so hard on last year, there is a big ole layer of fat covering everything! So, while my abdomen does have some muscle tone, it can't be seen. And my arms! So sad. They had been pretty muscular and defined. Now, in that photo of my upper arm, I see hanging skin, not triceps :(.

I have been working out regularly for the past few weeks, so I thought I would look a little better, and maybe I do, compared to when I started. I am sure that I lost weight over the past two weeks, based on how my clothes fit, but when I stepped on the scale and saw the unhappy number, it made we wonder how much I weighed two weeks ago! I guess I will consider today Day 1, and go from here with some solid data to track from. 

I take Seroquel as one of my bipolar meds, and the drug has a reputation for contributing to weight gain. I haven't necessarily seen a relationship between my taking Seroquel and gaining weight.  My weight gain is from eating too much of the wrong stuff and not being active.

I will weigh and measure myself every week on Monday, and post the numbers, as well as info on my exercise and eating habits. I am 5'3" tall, so a little bit of weight gain (or loss) makes a big difference. I am not just doing this to lose weight. I want to be more physically fit so that I can keep up with my kids, feel better, and look better as I age.

Day 1 - 7/16/2012

Weight: 137.8#, Bust: 37 1/2", Waist: 32 3/4", Hips: 39", Thigh: 22 1/2"

Worked out at gym today. It's only been cool enough to exercise outside during the early morning. I usually go to the three times a week, and then engage in other physical activities on other days (gardening, riding scooters with kids, bicycling, running).

At the gym, I currently do:
- elliptical for 30 minutes (15 forwards, 15 backwards) on the interval setting, alternating between incline and resistance of 4 and incline and resistance 6 or 7
- resistance training 30 minutes on nautilus machines for upper body strength

When home, in addition to various activities listed above, I also currently try to do 60 pushups,60 dips and 100 crunches everyday. 

Music helps motivate me to put more effort into my exercise. I will put my main workout playlist in the left margin soon. It really keeps me moving. 

I have made a point to stock up on a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, and to have them washed and handy. I keep a bowl of cherries, grapes, apples or clementines on the counter for a healthy snack, and eat almonds, string cheese or a Kashi bar when I need a little protein in my snack.

I need to get better at eating a filling breakfast with balanced carbs proteins and fats. I did this when i was fit. Eating a good breakfast does help a person eat less throughout the rest of the day. I like to make my own ez egg sandwich with a toasted English muffin, scrambled egg microwaved in a small bowl (to make it the same shape as the muffin), low-fat sliced cheese, fresh spinach and spicy mustard. Much lower cal than a McMuffin.

I'll update this post next week. 

Week 1 - 7/23/2012

Weight: 136.6#, Bust: 38", Waist: 33", Hips: 38", Thigh: 22"
Lost 1.2#

Have been working out most days, and on days when I don't work out at the gym or run/walk 5K, I try to do something active around the house, like ride bikes or scooters with the kids or garden. I know that I am building muscle mass working out now, so not disturbed about only losing a pound. As long as the numbers keep going down, file with me. 
An doing a lot of resistance work to build my muscle mass back up. Muscle burns calories, white fat (all that excess baggage) doesn't. So it is easier to lose weight over the long-term if you develop more and bigger muscle cells. It is also nice to have defined muscle and look fit.
Need to stick with getting my push ups, dips and crunches done at home every day. Have not been consistent with that.
Still been eating too many sweets. Not a lot, but less would help me lose faster.  Am eating a lot of fresh veggies and fruits, and mostly healthy stuff overall. But my portion size is still to large. Will pick up some weight watchers frozen dinners this week to have now, and then. Easy way to control portion size.

Month 1 - 8/13/2012

Weight: 137.8#, Bust: 37", Waist: 33", Hips: 39", Thigh: 22 1/2"

I have been exercising at least 5 days a week with 30 minutes cardio followed by strength training. Am disappointed that my weight and measurements have not changed at all. But I can tell that my body is in better shape and more muscular. I don't feel like I am dragging my body around but am starting to propel it, and being more fit feels good. Need to up aerobic exercise to 40 minutes and reduce the number of calories that I am taking in.

Am still mainly eating healthy food, but too much food in general. Also too much alcohol, sweets, fancy coffee and movie popcorn (no fake butter or extra salt, but still loaded with calories). Now that I am on the right track as far as exercise goes, I need to really focus on food intake. 

I will post my progress again in one month, and my goal is to be below 130#.

Month 2 - 9/17/2012
Weight: 137.4#

Exercising regularly, and in much better shape now, but weight still not budging. I know that I am more fit. I ran 5K yesterday for the first time in over a year, and it took me a lot of walk/runs to increase my endurance to that point. I also feel sexier, more body confident.

Am still mainly eating healthy food, but still too much food in general, alcohol, and sweets. I need to focus on food and booze intake if I want my weight to decrease. 

I will post my progress again in one month, and am keeping the same goal, to get below 130#.

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