Assessment #2

After a week's worth of missed connections, Val and I were finally able to meet tonight for my second assessment. (The results of the first assessment are still online.)

I can't say I'm terribly surprised: there was progress, but not nearly so much as last time. In the 62 days since May 6, I have:

  • lost 6¼ pounds
  • lost 1.5% of my total body fat.
  • lost ½" from each arm
  • lost 2" from my chest
  • lost ½" from my waist
  • lost ¼" from my hips
  • lost ¼ from each thigh
  • lost ¼" from each calf
  • lost one dress size (16->14)

We don't have numbers from May 6, but we do have numbers from March 19. In March, my resting heart rate was 80 beats per minute, and my blood pressure was 110/70. Today (at the end of a stressful day in which I was preparing for my second Atlanta trip in a week) it was 76 beats per minute, and a blood pressure of 98/64.

I won't lie. They're good numbers, and I'll take them over no change at all, but slowed rate of change just confirms the amount of frustration I've been feeling over the past month. I've known it wasn't a good month, and the numbers, unsurprisingly, bore me out.

As a result, we've opted to completely change my training schedule. Before Val halted my weight training a few weeks ago, I was doing 45 minutes of cardio work on an elliptical machine 6 days per week. On top of that, I added in weight training three times per week.

About a month ago, it became obvious that this was simply too much. We dropped the weight training for the time being, to let my body recover a bit, and I began to gradually add in swimming to my daily workouts, in the hopes that I could use swimming as an alternate form of cardio exercise.

This is very close to being reality now.

The new workout routine calls for alternating workouts. I will weight train two days per week, with a focus on strength-building. Yes, Jody, I'll finally be starting pyramiding this time! On weight training days, I must not do a full cardio workout; at most, I may do a light swim. If I'm capable of doing more, then I haven't pushed myself hard enough on weights. On non-weight-training days, I will alternate between swimming and elliptical work as soon as my swim stamina is enough to give me the intensity of workout I need.

Translation: in the end, I'll work harder on weight training, but it should result in a slightly easier day, since I won't have to split my strength between weights and cardio that day. I'll also have longer to recover between lifts, since I'll now only be lifting weights two times a week instead of three.

Val gave me a good reminder tonight: "I know you want the weight to go away, and fast. But you have to remember that you're in this for the long haul. This is not just about causing your weight to drop. This is about establishing a routine of exercise and self-care that you will follow for the rest of your life."


Two months to dragon*con 2004. The challenge to hit a size 12 before September 3 continues. Even if I don't make it, a size 14 is still going to be a vast, vast improvement over the size 24 I was at dragon*con 2003.

Just remember this: if I - chubby, 5'1", lousy at sports and previously terrified of gyms - can do this, you can do this.

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Amy, congrats. These numbers may not be what you want them to be, but they're still good, solid proof of how much you've accomplished since January--and worth celebrating. Here's hoping the new routine works better for you.

Hello, friendly neighborhood lurker here. Just wanted to say what an inspiration your posts have been. Your progress has been terrific! I'm due with my first baby in a month, and, while of course I'm pretty ecstatic about that, I can't help but be disappointed with the way my body has completely gone south. I'm sure that in the coming months I'll be returning to your posts for motivation edification!