Sunday, March 31, 2013

Plateaus are a bitch

That's right.  I said it.

I've been doing great with my efforts to lose weight while I'm working on the ship. We've been working out doing P90X six days a week. I've been getting runs in where I can. I'm sticking to my calorie goals, plus having respectable calorie deficits due to my workouts...

So why did I only lose half a pound this week?

I mean, I didn't even drink!

I've got the myfitnesspal app set with calorie goals suited for a loss of 1.5 pounds a week. I've burned enough calories to shed at least another pound or pound and a half.

What gives?

I know I can't eat less than what I've been eating. That would be madness, and I'm not sure I could survive the workouts on less food, frankly. So I've gone the opposite direction. I've reset my goals to add more calories to eat per week. I'm hoping that I've stalled because I'm not eating enough, and so I'm taking that leap of faith that means... eat more.

I'm still a bit stressed about the lack of a race for my running goals. I'm just getting a couple of short runs in during the week, working around my P90X schedule. My sister was kind enough to send me a link for a Star Wars themed virtual race (I can't fight the nerd within), but I foolishly waited until we were on land before I registered and now it's sold out... boo.

I'm still eyeing the Chicago Women's Half Marathon, but we're home for such a short period of time between contracts, I don't know if I want to be gone for a whole weekend of it...

I just don't know.

Next up, I'll be taking some time to review a new Heart Rate Monitor I've been using for the last couple of weeks. Meanwhile, say hello to Pear

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Life on Water

It occurred to me the other day that I have never really gone into what I do, or why I "run on water". I can't go into ALL the details (non-disclosure agreements being what they are), but hopefully what I can discuss will be interesting.

I work for a well known comedy theatre, doing contracts on a well known cruise line's various ships. As someone who has loved comedy and travel their whole life, this is an amazing job and it has been a life-changing opportunity.

It got me out of a desk job that I hated (and didn't belong in, frankly), it helped Greg and me realize that we wanted to get married, and over the last year (although I've made excuses to the contrary up until last year), it has also given me the time and the means to focus on losing weight, training for the races we've done, and getting fitter in general.

Now, I say I made excuses. Those excuses packed about 40 pounds onto my body in about 4 years. It went up and down, but the end result was me running the Princess Half literally 40 pounds heavier than I was when I started doing ships. That was frustrating. I had started running partially to lose weight, but the weight just wasn't moving.

I blamed the food. I mean, people who go on a a cruise gain an average of 5 to 7 pounds in a week, and I'm here for 4 months at a time. How did I stand a chance?

The first thing that I had to change was my relationship to the job. Everyone around me was on vacation. I was not. They could afford to cut loose, eat the "naughty" food and drink the yummy cocktails. I could not. They could take the week off from the gym. I'd never been a big gym-goer. So everything had to change, or I could not change at all.

We have access to the gym on each ship, and now we've made it a point to work the gym into our schedule every day, even if it means forgoing time ashore. When we first started going to the gym a couple of contracts back, it was very basic, then we started using Jillian Michaels' programs. But all the while, we would see people following an impossible looking video on their computers.

They were doing P90X.

It may be old news to a lot of people, but it keeps mading the rounds on the cruise ships like a secret handshake. Once you know what it is, you see it everywhere. A group of dancers here, a customer service guy there, an officer over there... They all look impossibly fit. The workout seems impossible and moderately terrifying.

And so we started.

Greg completed the 90 days the first time we attempted the program on our last contract. I got 60 days in before other health issues threw me off all my training (both P90X and training for the Disneyland Half Marathon). But I could see and feel a difference even through the health garbage I was going through, and I ended up running a 10K when I got home at a pace that I thought was a pipe-dream goal at the time.

And so here we are again. No race to train for (which is still freaking me out a little), but I'm 4 weeks into P90X and feeling stronger than I have in a long time.

And thanks to the head start I got from Weight Watchers, and the ongoing accountability I achieve using MyFitnessPal, I've lost over 20 pounds since the Princess Half in February 2012, at least ten of which have come off while we have been on the ship these last 4 weeks.

I'm proud of that.

I'm also proud that I did a running experiment this week. I'm an interval run/walk/run Galloway gal - you know that. But this week, since I haven't run in almost a month, I thought I'd try something new. I warmed up and then put the treadmill at 5.5 and just ran straight. I wanted to see if I could get to a mile.

And I did. In 9 minutes 30 seconds.


My nemesis. Legs and Back.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


This week has been a lesson in the delicate balance that is the love/hate relationship.

I love working on ships, I hate that I tend to get a case of "ship lung" almost immediately, lately.

I had hoped to begin running again this week, but I was still coughing up a lot of grossness, so I took one more week off. Frustrating, but in the end, with a good round of Mucinex I am now breathing clearly again.

I hate taking a lot of pills and eating a butt-load of salad, but I love the results our Trader Joe's Complete Body Cleanse and the healthy eating that goes along with it. Between that and the workouts we're doing, I've dropped 10 pounds in 2 weeks.

And of course the love/hate extends to dear old Tony Horton and his band of fitness freaks (dammit, Drea - why do you have to be such a kiss-ass?) in the P90X videos. What a terrible/wonderful work-out program. I'm burning 800 - 1000 calories a day doing these stupid, jerk-face work-outs. Which is amazing.

And there's lots of love for the myFitnessPal app, which has an amazing database of foods, even when we're at sea and I'm not able to utilize the full online version on my iPhone.

Mostly, I LOVE the results I'm getting...

This week. Running again. For realzies.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Today is a "Home Port" day, which means three things:

1. Starbucks
2. Mall
3. Apple Store Internet

If you're ever in a town with a cruise ship port, and you walk past an Apple Store with a bunch of people hunkered down with knapsacks and a desperate look on their face... that'll be us.  We have a few hours to get our week's errands (and downloads) done, and we stretch those hours to the limit.

While I wait for my iPhone update to download, (and since all my Walking Dead episodes are already in the bank) what better time to update my blog?

Chicago week was great - but cold. We had a look at the weather forecast before we left home, and opted not to bring our winter jackets. After all, we were headed to Florida and ports south. Why bring heavy coats?

Big mistake.

I habitually wore 7 layers to rehearsal every day to stay warm in the super-cold snap that hit Chicago. But somehow we made it through the week without getting sick. I went to a local Weight Watchers store to weigh in on my usual day (Thursday) and was a bit bummed out that I had gained 2.2 pounds, despite my careful eating. I didn't let it get to me, and we enjoyed our usual favourite foods for the rest of the week (Al's Italian Beef Sandwich and a pizza from Lou Malnati's)

Week One on the ship was also a lot of fun. We are lucky to work with some wonderful producers and directors, and this time around we had a real pair of firecrackers, and our cast was right on board for the work and inevitable shenannigans that occur as well. We had a successful, low stress week of work.

I did, however, catch a mean case of "Ship Lung" almost immediately, which left me coughing for over a week. I tried to sleep as much as possible, and didn't work out at all for the whole first week on the ship in an effort to recover. Between the lack of exercise and some pretty rich meals (and a few beer) I put on another couple of pounds that first week.

Week two was better. I started P90X with Greg - although the first workout was very difficult since I still couldn't take a full, deep breath without coughing - and we started our semi-annual cleanse (using a supplement kit from Trader Joe's). Along with the cleanse, you're meant to follow a clean eating plan, avoiding dairy, red meat, sugar, processed foods, alcohol, simple carbs like potatoes or rice... you know - everything on a cruise ship... Between that and keeping track of our calories on myfitnesspal on our iPhones we both dropped a lot of weight this past week. Like, 6 pounds for me. So now I weigh less than I did at home at my last Weight Watchers weigh-in. Hooray! This is a first for me. Two weeks on the ship and weighing LESS than I did at home? Unpossible. 

But I did it.

Now that my lungs are almost back to normal, I feel like I can start running again.

I will officially be "Running on Water" again.

I can't wait.