September 30, 2009

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’

Filed under: sports — origamifreak @ 8:25 am
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I did it!!!

And then I did it AGAIN!

And again, and again, and again… (I have about an 80% success rate at the moment.)


September 24, 2009

On a roll!

Filed under: sports — origamifreak @ 11:20 pm
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Well, I did it!  ONCE.

A bunch of other times I apparently came close, but I can sleep now, knowing that if I managed to roll a kayak one time, I can do it again, if I can just figure out what I did right…

I distinctly remember coiling myself like a spring in preparation and really torquing myself around, so I’m going to focus on that.  Also, I need to focus on bringing the paddle across my body, not up over my head where I have no strength and it has no business being, anyway!  LOL

The other thing I remember was that it felt like almost no effort, at all.  It had been *easy*.  Now, if I can just figure out how to do it AGAIN, I’ll be in business…

But the main thing is, I DID IT!!!  All by myself!

New BMI = 30.04

One more milestone reached.

As of today I’ve removed 100.2 lbs since joining on March 9.  I’ve logged every single calorie I’ve consumed since then on there.  It has helped.

In 0.4 lbs my BMI will drop below 30 and I will officially become “overweight.”  It’s been a strange and at times very painful journey to get here from “super morbidly obese” back in December, and seems a little bit unreal.  I mean, now I can wear Land’s End size 14 stretch jeans.  In December I couldn’t yet fit into size 28 Junonia jeans…

But tonight I am looking forward to another 3 hours in the pool in Ithaca in a WW kayak, learning to ROLL!  Now that I can do things I couldn’t even contemplate 9 months ago, I have to say it’s worth it so far, despite the heavy emotional price.  Which still sometimes extracts a few tears.

And in 0.4 lbs I can be “overweight,” finally, no longer obese.  I think to celebrate that I’ll schedule some more blood work to see if there is any change since June.  (Yes, to ME, something like that is fun.  So there.  Deal.  With.  It.)

September 21, 2009

New BMI = 30.48

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 7:19 am
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Thanks to this contest with Nick, I have reached a new milestone.  I have now lost over 140 lbs, or 10 stone (if you’re from the UK).

Next milestone in 2.6 lbs when I’ll have lost 100 lbs since joining SparkPeople on March 9.

The next milestone after that is very exciting, because it’ll be BMI < 30, which means I’ll be OVERWEIGHT, no longer obese!  That’s 3.2 lbs from now.

September 17, 2009

New BMI = 30.98

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 6:50 am
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Wow, that was fast.  My BMI has now dropped below 31.  In 6.4 lbs I’ll officially be no longer “obese,” but rather  “overweight.”

Next milestone in 2.2 lbs when I’ll have removed 140…

This was day 2 of being under 200.  5 more to go, and I will WIN that contest with Cousin Nick.

September 16, 2009

New BMI = 31.2

Filed under: food,health — origamifreak @ 7:32 am
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Two milestones today:

  • I’m under 200 lbs for the first time in I don’t know how long, but it’s got to be at least 15 years.
  • I’ve removed 135 lbs

Next milestone in 1.3 lbs when my BMI will drop below 31.  When it drops below 30, I’ll no longer be obese, just overweight.  Yay!  Considering I started in “super morbidly obese,”  I think this is pretty amazing.

Cousin Nick and changed the terms of the contest – it’s not whomever gets under 200 first on a single day, but whomever can stay under 200 for an entire week.  So, if I can just hang on and keep it under 200 for 6 more days, I’ll WIN.  HA.  Nick, if you’re reading this, I like seafood.  Specifically SHRIMP.  hehe.

September 15, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Filed under: health,sports,transportation — origamifreak @ 3:35 pm
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I used to be a long-distance cyclist.

I bought my first (and only) bicycle, a Peugeot U-O9, around 1981 with babysitting money.  I earned $1.50/hour.  The bike cost $250.

Over the years with the help of my brother and later a boyfriend I modified things – Saturae rims from Wheelsmith in Palo Alto, side-pull brakes, various incarnations of seats and pedals, and most notably – a custom repaint and braze-add-on job by JP Weigle when I lived in CT.

In high school the bike represented freedom.  Freedom from the restricted city weekend bus schedules, freedom from asking for rides from people with cars.  I even commuted to school on my bike a few times – a very hilly 7-mile round trip on busy streets, leapfrogging with buses, etc.

In college I rode with the team on their easy days (and with the boyfriend with whom breaking down and rebuilding things on our bikes became a hobby).  I learned how to ride in a pace line.  I learned to pedal even when going downhill.  I learned how to tuck myself into an aerodynamic shape when descending.  In those days I used to sign up for 100-mile club rides, called Centuries.  My first was the Pajaro Valley Century, noted for a 2000 ft climb within the first 25 miles.

In grad school I continued to ride my trusty Peugeot with a friend, until life got the better of me, I was spending too many days in the lab and the library, and started gaining weight.  At one point I pushed it down to 144, but then gained it all back plus some.  That was in the 1990s.

Fast forward to four months ago. I’d been losing weight steadily since December and doing water aerobics 4x/week.  Eventually I noticed that one of my classes was not challenging me very much.  So I decided to investigate other arthritis-friendly options.

On April 23 I tried a spinning class for the first time.  I thought I was just about going to DIE.  At times my heart rate monitor was spiking so high I wondered if I might be at risk for a heart attack.  I deliberately slowed down, just in case – I didn’t want to keel over right there!

The  class lasted 45 minutes.  They were jumping up and down, sprinting, and standing out of the saddle in simulated hill climbs.  All to music.  And using resistance bands for upper body strength “as a break.”  The instructor seemed more like a machine than a human.  And that tiny little seat was KILLING my rear.  By the time 45 minutes were up and it was time to stretch, I begged the instructor in a small voice, to get off and stand next to the bike for the stretching.

It took me a week to recover.  Working at my desk while NOT sitting down was a challenge.  During that 45 minutes of pain I’d had ample opportunity to observe the other people in the class (I was in the back).  They all looked really really fit.  I decided that I would try and stick with it, because maybe the REASON they were fit was that they were in there doing this thing.  I figured, even if I couldn’t keep UP, at least I could keep GOING.

So a week later I went back.  By then I’d purchased a gel seat cover, and that helped a lot.  I considered it a victory to simply stay ON THE BIKE for the whole 45 minutes.  A week later I went back again.  By then my rear was recovering pretty quickly – within days rather than weeks.  By the fourth week I decided I was ready to try doing this twice a week.  So I did.

And eventually I started to get better.  I hatched a plan.  I’d supplement with road riding.  If I had improved to the point that I could keep up with the class by the end of the summer, I’d one day ride to work (14 miles one way), go to spinning class afterward, and then ride home.  My instructor said I was crazy.  So did the other students.

Last week I went to see Lisa and Steve in the UK.  I rented a bike and we went on lots of nice rides.  Outside.  On the road.  On the LEFT (but nevermind that).  I discovered that all the spinning had translated into very strong legs and cardiovascular system.  Once I got my balance and my road habits back, I was good to go.

So today, four months after starting spinning and 70 lbs lighter, I’m DOING it.  I rode this morning 13.73 miles in less than an hour on a bike that weights 30 lbs (still my trusty Peugeot), carrying 20 lbs of gear.  In a few minutes I’ll change back into my jersey and shorts and ride over to the spinning class and ride in there (on my bike on a trainer, for a fun change of pace) for 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes of crunches.  And then I’ll ride the 13.73 miles home.

By God, I think I’m back!

Edit: I’m home now.  Here are my final numbers:

To work

  • 13.73 miles
  • 57 minutes
  • 13.7 mph average
  • 535 cal
  • 142 bpm average
  • 155 bpm max


  • 19.47 miles
  • 61 minutes
  • 18.5 mph average
  • 642 cal
  • 126 bpm average
  • 153 bpm max

Note: I discovered that the bike + trainer does not provide enough resistance to satisfactorily support jumping and standing at tempo.  So spinning is best done on a real spinning bike, at least in my limited experience.


  • 13.03 miles
  • 55 minutes
  • 14.2 mph average
  • 402 cal
  • 125 bpm average
  • 141 bpm max

September 9, 2009

New BMI = 31.45

Filed under: food,health,travel — origamifreak @ 1:50 am
Tags: ,

Went on a nice 47 mile round-trip ride with Lisa and Steve from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton by the seaside yesterday.  Pictures and route forthcoming when Steve has a chance to upload/enter them.  🙂

Some new milestones this morning:

  • I’ve lost another 5% (10 down, 6 to go)
  • I’ve removed 40% of my starting weight (getting on toward being half the woman I used to be)
  • I’ve officially won my contest with Vic, so she’ll have to pay for the bloody marys in January (she dropped out for legit personal reasons a while ago, but she still owes me at least ONE victory bloody mary!  LOL)

Next milestone in 0.2 lbs when I’ll have removed 135 lbs.  And in 0.8 lbs I’ll win that contest with my cousin Nick, and he’ll owe me a nice dinner in November.  Hehe.

Today is my last day here in the UK.  I’m flying at 1pm to Philadelphia, and then from there to Syracuse.  I better go see if those boarding passes printed out…


September 6, 2009

Ride to the Western Hemisphere

Filed under: sports,transportation,travel — origamifreak @ 5:42 pm
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Given that the weather forecast was rain for all day tomorrow, we scrapped the camping plans and spent 2.5 hrs biking to the Prime Meridian and back.  Here’s the route (28 miles).

The bike I rented really IS a sweet, light ride…

Here are Lisa and Steve after they recovered from thinking I was going to get run over by the cars on the road where you had to stand to take the pictures…

More pictures here.

September 4, 2009

New BMI=31.86

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 1:40 am
Tags: ,

Greetings from the UK.  Where Lisa‘s scale weighs me in STONES. Which means I don’t really know my weight until I’ve done the math, hehe.  (Fortunately there are 14 lbs in one stone, so the math isn’t that hard.)

Today (my first morning here) I reached a new milestone.  The BMI is under 32.  When it gets under 30 I’ll be officially out of obesity and just overweight!

Yesterday on her way to an appointment in London Lisa took me by the local bicyle hire place where I got the ONLY Dawes Giro available.  It’s a sweet ride.  Took it out for a spin in the evening with Steve (Lisa was still in London until 9pm).  Lovely 8 mile route, a bit windy in the country stretch, but very scenic.  In the ensuing 40 min I got mostly used to the index shifting and burned 318 calories (max HR 151 BPM, which is respectable).  See here for the route we took.

Today Lisa and I are going to spend the day kayaking on the Great River Ouse.  To get there we will ride our bikes to the train station, take the train for2 stops, then ride the bikes to the yak rental place.  No cars were injured in the making of this vacation, hehe.

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