21 March 2010

In Search of Good News

Yesterday was a wash, what with my internet security software attacking the very computer it was supposed to protect. In a nutshell, the folks at BitDefender made me regret my 3-year licensing agreement when they released an untested update that quarantined every single file in the operating system. For every single user of their software. Every. Single. User. After that bit of fun, it started systematically quarantining program files. Reports had begun trickling in from other unfortunate users who had shut off their computers only to have them unable to reboot. By the time BitDefender had figured out that it was a problem with their own update (a false positive), I had more than 900 Windows files locked up in quarantine. In essence, BitDefender unloaded their own trojan on their customers. Totally bites the big one. Luckily, it only affected one computer (albeit the one I use most), but the one with Windows 7 X 64-bit. Of course, I did have to drive to work to make sure that all hell wasn't breaking loose on my "research computer". So yes, yesterday my panties were in a knot. All I have to say is thank the dieties for the system restore function and startup repair that comes built-in to Windows 7. In the end, BitDefender didn't repair my operating system, Microsoft did. What a bunch of fucktards.

So I was feeling the need for some upbeat news. First on the upbeat news front: spring is here. It's official. My jonquils are in bloom and there was a softball game in the park yesterday.
Today, however, was when the real upbeat news came. I stepped on the scale and realized I am 20 lbs down from my New Year's Resolution/Diet & Fitness Plan. This seems a pretty decent moment to reflect/brag/do the happy dance. So yes, the remainder of this post is about my weight loss.

There seem to be two schools of thought on getting fit. The first is that we measure our progress by weight loss, and the second is that we measure it by lost inches. Of course, I believe we should also throw "improving muscle tone and aerobic capacity" in the mix somewhere, but no one listens to me.As I mentioned above, by weight loss, I'm down 20 lbs. I take my weight in the morning on the same digital scale, which is accurate to 0.2 lbs. I have also taken my weight on digital and balance scales at the rec center, and the results are comparable. I consider the weight loss to be both accurate and precise.
By inches, I'm down as follows:
Neck: -0.5 in
Bicep: -0.75 in
Forearm: -0.75 in
Chest: -2.5 in
Waist: -3 in
Hips: -3.5 in
Thigh: -0.5 in
Calf: -0.75 in
Now keep in mind that the precision or accuracy of measurements that are not stable is impossible to determine, especially since I'm using a measuring tape I got for free, so you have to be pretty loosey-goosey about those readings. Still, I was rather surprised by the hips measurement. I mean, I carry most of my weight higher than my hips. I'm more of an "apple" than a "pear", so to see weight coming off my hips first...well, I was surprised. To give you some perspective, my bust, waist and hips all fall within a 3.25 inches of one another. A rather depressing fact that puts me at a much higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Great, huh? Still, I had expected to see greater weight loss in the bust and waist area. I guess I'll take it wherever it occurs, but that fat tire around my middle sure is being unnecessarily stubborn IMO. I may have to have a talk with it later.

I was also surprised by the size loss in my arms. After all, I'm lifting weights, and pretty intensely at that. When I rotate my forearms now, I can see muscle definition. In addition, I've been eating an extraordinary amount of protein (for me), which I thought would speed up the growth of muscle or at least offer my body the proper nutrients for muscle gain. Since many of my lifting exercises involve my biceps in particular, I didn't expect to see lost inches in that area. However, I can reason that the muscle is there, it is still somewhat hidden under a thick layer of fat. So if I am trading old fat for new muscle tissue, I'm willing to cut myself some slack on the size of my arms. Besides, there is no way around it--they look better.

Now I have blogged on my love/hate relationship with my bust. Let's just say that an ample bosom is a mixed blessing. It's a plus in the dating arena, and a minus if you want to do anything remotely bouncy. Like jump rope. Or exercise. Or get in a mosh pit. Not that I'm hanging out in mosh pits, mind you, but I'm just saying. Oversized breasts are a pain (literally) when trying to exercise--one reason you don't find big busted women taking up jogging. I will spare you all (for the moment) my successes in finding appropriate support garments for the girls that have allowed me to jump, hop, and run with wanton abandon since I began my exercise program. So I am not in the least unhappy with the loss in my bustline.
By some miracle, I remembered to take some pictures for the before-and-after files on my weight loss. However, this one that was taken on Day 1 sucks.

Old camera. Out-of-focus. And Jesus H. Christ. Look at my cheeks!!! I can't believe no one every said anything to me. Although, in their defense, they were probably afraid of upsetting me for setting off a heart attack. And look at me. Wearing a long-sleeve black t-shirt that hides my greatest flaws. Apparently was too depressed to do my hair that day! I think maybe it was my vanity keeping me from picturing reality. So since the Day 1 photo is a total fail, I'm going to use this one as my starting point, because I think it is more appropriately revealing of the challenges I faced in my fitness program.
Ugh. Do I ever hate this photo. I guess that makes it all the more valid. I am shocked at the moment by the fat encompassing my forearms here. My little watch looks like it's straining around my wrist. And don't get me started on the boobage. Hate. Hate. Hate.

So here I am today dressed normally.

And here I am today with something that shows my shape.

And here we have a side-by-side, past and present.

Exhibit #2.

I think my boobage is about 6" higher in the photo on the right.

Exhibit #3.

And while I was tempted to say "before and after" in these comparisons, since I haven't reached my goal that didn't seem appropriate. I have quite a ways to go, but the change in my arms alone is enough to keep me motivated.

Although, I feel quite certain that there will continue to be gratuitous photos of me eating corn dogs in the future. I am looking forward to getting that shot at summer's end for comparison again.

Hope you find a reason to be upbeat today, too.

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