I Have Great Knees.

I have great knees.  My trainer told me so. *grin*  You read that right - my "trainer"... as in "exercise trainer" as in... I'm exercising!  (Did I just hear someone faint out there? lol)  My trainer (LOVE saying that!), Parker, is pictured here at the YMCA on Saturday with me when he was doing my assessment (note the clipboard!).  The knee comment was in relation to getting up and down about a dozen times from a seated position without having my knees wobble in or outward.  "Great knees", he said.  I looked at him puzzled... "What?" and then he explained about the non-wobble of my knees.  Hey! It's something good about my out-of-shape body - I'm taking it! :)  More about Parker and my first visit to the YMCA (that was more than swimming) in a moment...

I am really, REALLY enjoying the Vtrim classes I am in every Tuesday night online and the amount of information I am learning that I never, ever knew is just amazing to me!  How could I be more than 30 years old *insert sweet smile here, please* and not know simple things like 3500 calories = 1 lb.  So, if you want to lose one pound, you need to rid your diet of 3500 calories in one way or another - through less calories or more exercise.  How could I live this long and not have known that whether you're walking a mile or running a mile, you're going to lose the same amount of calories... 100.  I always assumed walking faster meant burning more calories... it doesn't!  You just get to that mile marker faster.  Have you guys all known this and I'm the only one who didn't? lol

So the first week with Vtrim was really just learning how to journal.  You write down everything you eat and how you're feeling... I'm good at journaling having been on Weight Watchers.  But the AMAZING thing with Vtrim is that I'm not just counting "points" blindly, the Vtrim journal counts up the calories and the FAT GRAMS!  No wonder I was stalled losing... you should see the regular fat intake I was downing daily.  I was horrified!  Here on the left is an example of my journal on Vtrim which shows the exercise on Saturday.  Did you know that statistics prove that if you journal you're more likely to lose weight and keep it off?  True.  I think it is all about 'consciously eating' vs 'mindless eating' which I did for years.  I also called it 'grazing'.  "Oh, that looks good... ... and so does that... ... well, I can't get this everyday, I should eat this while I have the opportunity!"  Hello?  Can you see why I started this journey with 100 pounds to lose?

The next week's lesson with the online Vtrim class (an hour class once a week) was on "Energy In: Calories".  The facilitator for my class, Stuart, gave us the formula to figure our how many calories we need on a daily basis to maintain our weight (ack!) and how many we need if we want to lose just one pound a week.  Remember the one pound = 3500 calories so divided that by seven days and you need to cut out 500 calories from your diet if you plan to get no exercise.  I was so intrigued by all of this... why hadn't I heard it before?  No offense against Weight Watchers, but they never taught these simple basics in meetings & really ought to be. One check in favor of Vtrim! : )

Last night's class was about "Energy Out: Exercise" and taught me the info about whether you're walking or running, you're still going to burn 100 calories in one mile!  I was thrilled to learn, too, that getting an hour's worth of exercise in over the course of the day is just as effective as getting it all at once.  I can really easily accomplish three 20 minute walks in one day... one 60 minute walk is much more difficult.  I know other friends who are in the same boat.  This coming week - even though I'll be on vacation in Florida for the week - I'll be walking 2 and a half miles.  I'll probably be doing much more than that - but my assigned walking for the week is certainly attainable!  All good!

I don't know why but I was kind of dreading and anxiously excited about my first training class at the Y! I lucked out on a trainer - Parker is so kind and so non-judgmental and encouraging.  I said to him at one point when I couldn't do an exercise easily "I'm sorry!".  He stopped us, looked squarely at me and said "Why are you sorry?!"  I wanted to blurt out "for being fat and out of shape" but before I could he added, "You have nothing to be sorry for... you're doing GREAT!".  *beam*  (And I'm teared up writing this as this is SUCH a huge obstacle for me to overcome.)  When we first met and were beginning the assessment, Parker was asking me all kinds of questions about my background... "Did you participate in any sports in college?".  I blinked.  It seemed like a million years ago but the answer was 'yes'.  I had a scholarship for Field Hockey.  I was an athlete!  How did I get to who I am today where I can't even remember that?

My heart rate is quirky - even though I've never had heart problems.  What we found out on Saturday is that it spikes upward easily... so I'm only allowed to exercise right now while I'm wearing a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) or have the program that Parker customized for me on a usb drive plugged into the treadmill at the Y.  This way I'm staying in my target heart rate (all new to me!!) and I'm accountable and he can keep an eye on me when he's not with me - very tricky! lol

Nine days from today is my year anniversary of beginning this journey.  I leave on Saturday to visit my sister in Florida and am going to be going to my see my Red Sox in a spring training game - I'm so psyched!!! :)  I'll celebrate St. Pat's in Florida with my sister and then will fly back.  I plan to spend the day of the 19th celebrating my one year anniversary either outside if it is nice or inside at the YMCA if it isn't.

Soon to be overheard at the YMCA:

    "Who's that exercising over there?" 

    "Oh, that's just Healthy Loser Gal... she's here all the time!"

*grin*  Thanks for your support friends - I know I wouldn't be this far along this journey without you!!