06 December 2012

Weekly Weigh In #4 & Progress Report

So I haven't been the best about my blogging, I know.
Which sucks, but life happens, you know? So I can't beat myself up about it.

Before I get into what's been going on the last few weeks, lets start with my weight:

Better than the last time I weighed in (which was, I know, like 2 weeks or so ago), but it's not the progress I'd like to see.  Obviously I did not drop the 3 pounds I was hoping for in November, but December is a new month and things are already looking up.

November was probably the most stressful month I've ever experienced in the history of my life.  Primarily due to work.  My boss is pregnant (she just told us yesterday, though we've guessed for a while) and she's been cranky and bitchy for almost 2 months now.  Her hormones are all out of whack and she's putting on weight everywhere and she's taking it out on us.  Plus, she's stressed because she just got a new boss... a new boss who she also happens to be really good friends with.  So it's a big adjustment for her, since she's a "fly by the seat of her pants" type person and her new boss is a strict planner.

So my boss being super stressed out and crazed on pregnancy hormones took it out on us (primarily me) and my life was intensely stressful for about a month. I was very close to quitting on several occasions - it was really that bad.

I didn't eat terribly, but I pretty much stopped working out, because I just didn't have the drive, energy or passion.  By the time I got home from work I was so exhausted from trying not to rage-quit or commit mass-murder that I couldn't bring myself to workout.

Needless to say, I did not run my 1/2 marathon.  But I did learn an important lesson: Running is not my "thing".  Part of the reason I couldn't bring myself to workout, even though I knew it would probably relieve some of my stress, was because I HATED the whole running thing.  I dreaded it. I was not thrilled about it in the least.  Try as I might to love it, nothing could convince me that what I was doing was making me happy.

So November is over, and let's talk about this month.  So far I've logged my food for 3 consecutive days.  Which is definitely a step in the right direction.  I also bought a Groupon for a Bootcamp (Zone Athletic Performance) and I basically love it.  

I went Monday & Tuesday, but by then my body was rebelling, so I took yesterday off.  It was really hard not to go, since I only have unlimited classes for a month (basically up to 6 classes a week if I went every day they were available).  I can only really attend 5 classes a week (because their last class on Friday is too early in the afternoon for me to make it), so I want to get the most out of my Groupon.  Plus, I really enjoy this one.  Like, way more than any of the other Bootcamps I've tried.

So tonight I'm going again, even though I'm still sore, but I'm excited about going, which is a huge deal!  I looked up their prices online, though, and unfortunately that is less than thrilling.  I can't afford this bootcamp without my Groupon, and this is the only Groupon I'll be able to use. 

My plan is to keep going throughout the month, let them see how dedicated I am, and then when I have about a week left, chat with them about prices and options.  Maybe they have some kind of discounted rate I can jump on.

I still have my LivingSocial deal for CrossFit, which I plan on using in January, so regardless I'll get at least 2 months of good, hard core workouts.  I'm hoping I'll be able to put some of my tax return $$ towards a bootcamp, but it depends on how much I get back.  I can't really afford a whole lot, as almost all of my paycheck goes towards bills (primarily student loans, rent and my car payment).

So there's the clincher.  I know I need a hardcore bootcamp like this in order to love what I'm doing for exercise and to succeed and finally loose this damn 60 pounds (now 69 pounds) I've been trying to loose for the last 3 years, but I can't afford to attend a class like this.  I don't know what to do, since I can't just get rid of my student loans or rent, and I need a car to get to work so no matter what I'll have a car payment.

Any ideas? 

Stay Shiny!

14 November 2012

Week #3 Weigh In & Suckfest

I just feel like my head is going to explode.
Literally and figuratively. I have a headache that won't quit.  I've been waking up with headaches the last few days and I just cannot figure it out.

On top of that today is Weigh In Wednesday, and I could not be more disappointed in what the scale told me.  I know it's not all about the scale, but I've been feeling like a chunk-o-matic lately, and to see the scale reflect it just really bummed me out.

So today my weight is: 210

Two hundred and ten pounds. I swore when I hit 200 for the first time (going down, not up) I would never see that number again.  And now here I am, only 20 pounds away from my heaviest weight.

How did I get here? What is happening? I'm running, I'm walking, I'm not sitting around and mindlessly eating. I know my nutrition needs to be better, but I never thought I was doing THIS badly.  Is the whole "take things in little pieces" not helping me? My philosophy of doing things in tiny chunks... is it backfiring?

So this morning in the car on the way to work I made a few vows to myself.  The first is that I will record every single thing I put in my mouth - and I WILL be more mindful of what those things are.  The second is that I WILL continue to exercise and WILL push myself harder.  I WILL walk every day that I have a "rest" day.

I have to get this under control. I'm not sure where the issue is here, though it's probably my food. I'm also going to start cutting back on caffeine (i.e. coffee).  I've been doing really good with not having soda or energy drinks, but I really need to not have a cup of coffee every day. That might be why I'm getting such awful headaches first thing in the morning.

I'm going to finish out my 1/2 marathon training plan for this month, and run the 1/2 the first weekend in December.  Then I have 2 fitness boons purchased.  The first is a Groupon for a bootcamp in the valley that I haven't been to. I'm excited to try it and I'm determined to attend every class they have and push myself as far as I can. I WILL NOT see 210 again. And when I hit 200 I'm going to blow right past it and never look it's way again. EVER AGAIN.

I also have a Living Social deal for Crossfit classes. Now, those are one of my major goals - I want to take a month of Crossfit. I'm terrified, because it's so intense, but I really think it will help me improve my fitness.

I also have a "shield" - a philosophy of sorts. I saw this necklace on FAB (if you don't have this app you should get it) for 8$ and HAD to get it.  It's a little less than an inch long and it's on a 30" chain.  I plan on wearing it every day.  I'm sure someone else has coined the phrase, but it really resonated with me.

Work has been really stressful lately too, so I'm sure that's contributing to my weight gain.  All I can do is try to be better and work hard.  Hard work, dedication, change, healthy eating and fitness.

stay shiny!

07 November 2012

Week #2 - The Beat Goes On

It's that time again, Weekly Weigh In time.
Gotta say, not exactly happy with the results.

The official weight for this week is: 207.5

That's almost exactly 1lb heavier than last week! WTF?!  Granted: I'm SUPER insane bloated today (and yesterday).  Pretty sure it's from eating a 1/2 cup of beans, which I guess my body hates. Note to self: no more beans. Also: I did a really hard workout yesterday - speed training plus strength training.  It's the first time I've done speed training and I haven't regularly strength trained in a while so my body is definitely feeling the affects.

Neither of those are excuses, and I'm really bummed about it, but I get that weight fluctuates from week to week and day to day and even hour to hour.  It's nothing I can stop from happening, and who knows - I might be down 2 pounds next week.  We'll just have to wait and see.

It doesn't change the fact that I used to be 225 pounds (or more) and I'm now only 207. Which is a huge feat in itself.

Plus I had my biometric screening done today at work. Every year we have a health fair and they do biometric screenings - BMI, cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure.

My total cholesterol is 174 (healthy is less than 200)
HDL = 72 (healthy is greater than 60)
TC/HDL =  2.4 (healthy is less than 3.5)

What does all that mean? I have a lot of good cholesterol and low bad cholesterol and I'm eating healthy.

My blood glucose is 94 (non-fasting) - healthy is less than 140. For fasting, the healthy range would be 70 - 99, so I'm doing really good with my blood sugar levels.  No diabetes for me!

My blood pressure is 111 / 84 with a pulse of 73 bmp.  Normal is less than 120 / less than 80
so 80 is a little bit high, but the screener said that was totally normal - something as simple as walking or drinking coffee (both of which I've been doing) can affect that.

As usual, the only only category I failed in is my body composition. At 65 inches and 207 pounds I have a BMI of 34 - which is obese.  I'm glad that I'm overall healthy, but I need to fix that.  Which is what I'm taking steps to do.

So, an overview of the week:
I've done really well working out (not missing any workouts) and eating right. I have had a few extra pieces of candy than I should have, but I'm not overly worried about it.  I've been doing really good on not having soda, too.

I'm even getting better about writing down what I eat, though I'm not great at it yet.  It's an extra step that I loathe, so I just need to get in the habit.

Last night I did my 2 mile Tuesday and strength training, but more importantly I did speed intervals for 1 mile.  That was REALLY hard but I'm hoping that it will help me improve.  I plan on doing speed intervals every Tuesday and Saturday (except the Saturday before the race) for the rest of the month.  I'd love to finish in under 3 hours, but I'm not going to die if that doesn't happen. Mostly I just want to finish.

I also purchased a living social deal for Crossfit classes. 20 classes to be used within 30 days of the first class.  I'm really nervous because even though I really want to try Crossfit, it is something that scares the crap out of me.

I found a 2 week beginners Crossfit guide, so I plan on following that in December (just doing the 2 weeks on repeat) and then hopefully in January I'll be ready to sign up for the classes.  That would take care of my December & January fitness plans pretty nicely.

In other news:
Today is walking Wednesday.  Which means I'm kidnapping my boyfriend for 30 minutes or more to go for a nice walk this evening before dinner.  He really wants to get back in the habit of eating right and exercising, but he needs a little push.  I'm hoping this will help him (as well as help me!). 

And this weekend we're celebrating my best friends birthday, so Friday or Saturday night should be rife with alcoholic temptation.  I know I'll be able to resist, though, because a) I'll be driving and b) I have some long runs to do this weekend!

Stay shiny everyone!

03 November 2012

Monthly Measures + Progress Pics (Nov 2012)

Well, it's month #1, November 2012
...and it's time post my monthly measures & my progress pics.  

I've already posted my weight in a previous blog, but I'll restate it here.

Weight: 206
BMI: 34.4
Hips: 48
Thighs: 25

Gosh, that's depressing. Moving on. Front / Side / Back shots for this month:

I can't say I'm exactly happy with the way I look right now.  I mean, I was down to 193, and I put all that weight back on.  Not a happy moment. I had vowed never to see 200 again, and I broke that promise to myself.  Disheartening, irritating and frustrating, yes.  But fixable.  I can correct this nonsense for good!  Because I, and only I, hold the key to my success!

The three days since I've last blogged have been pretty ok.  I've been on track for all my goals, and I'm working on tracking my food a bit more accurately.  I think that's going to be a goal for next month.  I ran my 5K this morning, I've got 8 miles tomorrow, and I'm pretty psyched about it.

Stay Shiny!

31 October 2012

Week #1 & Montly Report + GROUND ZERO

Brace yourselves, this is going to be a long one...
Because I'm starting back at the beginning. Ground zero, my friends.

Not with my weight, though, don't get me wrong. But with my outlook, my inspiration, my fitness, my health, my life.  Everything is about to change.

So here's the thing: I haven't really done anything to improve my fitness or my weight. I've thought about it... I've been following my 1/2 marathon plan... mostly.  But if I'm truly honest with myself, I haven't really been doing what I need to do to reach my goals.

Recently I had a revelation: I am not happy with my life.  I'm not happy with my weight, with my nutrition, my job or the way I'm living my life.  And the only way for that to change is for me to make a plan, to stick to it, and to achieve my goals - to change my life.

And really, what 17 or 18 year old REALLY knows what they want to do for the rest of their life?  Sure, what I chose to go to school for may have been good for me then, but it's not what works for me now.  I'm not passionate about it, I'm not happy with it... and when I asked myself "would I be happy doing the same thing I'm doing but for a different company" the answer was no.  So that will be a big part of changing my life for the better.

Some of you may be asking: But what do you want to do with your life?  Trust me I'm still sort of asking myself the same question.  A few months ago I helped a friend at work change her life for the better.  After a little while she sent me a message to thank me, telling me that she couldn't have done it without me and she can't imagine what her life would be like if she hadn't made the change.  It was really a moment that I'll never forget, and one that helped me understand what I want to be doing.  I want to help people change their lives for the better - to live longer and healthier lives.  So something in the health / nutrition / fitness arena.  I'm just not sure what yet.  In order to do that, of course, I first have to change my life for the better - because how can I try to instil that kind of change in others if I haven't done it for myself?

To facilitate my change, I've developed a 3 phase plan (well, I've got phase 1 figured out! lol) that I will follow through until I have thoroughly turned my life upside down.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.

Phase 1: Set Up Camp
This phase is all about setting healthy habits and small, achievable goals that - over time - will build the foundations of my healthy lifestyle.  This phase begins November 1 and there is no set end time.  I'll know I'm finished with Phase 1 when I reach my goal weight.

Phase 2: Get Involved
This phase is about developing a community presence.  Following blogs, commenting on forums, going to community events and actually being involved in the health & fitness community. Can I say it again? Community. 

Phase 3: Expand Your Horizons
This phase is about 100% changing my life... and my career.  Signing up for college classes, continuing my education and helping people change their lives to live longer and be healthier.  Again, no set start or end date for this phase.

But I'm not concerning myself with Phases 2 & 3 right now, because I'm just getting ready to start Phase 1.  It's all about taking this one step at a time in tiny chunks - if I try to bite off more than I can chew, it won't work out for me... just like all the other times I've tried and failed.

So for Phase 1, I'm taking in month by month.  There are a few things that I need to do each month as part of this phase.
  1. Monthly Measures - taking my waist, hips & thigh measurements the first Saturday of every month
  2. Progress pics - taking progress photos the first Saturday of every month
  3. Weekly Weigh Ins & Weekly Blogs - every Wednesday (in this blog)
  4. Setting and achieving goals - 4 goals: fitness, weight loss, nutrition and habit
  5. A reward system that IS NOT food based
  6. Read a monthly book focusing on health, fitness, nutrition, etc.
All of these things combined will make up my Phase 1. I'll have a monthly fitness regime (which I'll take week by week).  I also have overall goals that I'd like to accomplish (across all 3 phases) which will earn me a special reward, too.

So, without further adeau, allow me to give you my November Goals, Weekly Weigh In (hey, it's Wednesday!) and my book of the month for November!  Saturday there will be another blog with my Monthly Measures & Progress pics.  I don't want to bog you down with too much in this blog (since it's already huge!) so I'll go over my reward system later.

Weekly Weigh In 10/31: 206.5
Firstly can I say: UGH! I knew I was feeling chubby, but I didn't quite think it had gotten that bad.  It IS shark week (as my bf calls it. haha) so I know I weigh a little bit more, but as a base, I suppose that's ok. And I can't really say I'm surprised. I knew I hadn't been doing so well, and I knew I'd gained some weight back.  All I can do now is look to the future and work extra hard to work that weight off!

November Goals:
  • Fitness: Stick to your 1/2 Marathon training schedule - don't miss a day!
  • Weight Loss: Lose 3lbs
  • Nutrition: Only eat 1 small piece of candy (or less!) per day
  • Habit: When you want a soda - reach for water!

Fitness Plan:
My 1/2 Marathon training plan.  Running 4 - 5 days per week (T TH F S SU) and "Walking Wednesdays" - a 30 minute walk with my man

Book of the Month:
Runner's World The Runner's Body: How the Latest Exercise Science Can Help You Run Stronger, Longer, and Faster (Runners World)
(link here)

There are a few extra things I'm doing that aren't specific goals.  For example: I'm trying to get better about writing down what I eat and tracking my food - it's not a goal yet, because I need to take things in smaller, bite sized pieces... so it may be a goal next month.  For now, it's just something I'm doing on the side.  I'm also trying to make healthier choices - eating veggies at every meal and drinking more water. 
And that's that!  I'll write another blog this Saturday to fill you in on the rest of the information, but for now... it's November tomorrow, and I'm anxious to get started!!


25 September 2012

10 weeks to 13.1 miles!

In just about 10 weeks I'll be running a 1/2 marathon.
Gulp.  I'm actually really excited about it, even though I think it's going to be one of the hardest things I've ever done.  

The actual running 13.1 miles will be easy.... it's the training that's going to be hard.  We're talking early morning runs, split day runs, and long... long... distance runs.

Fortunately for me the weather in Arizona couldn't be nicer right now.  It's starting to cool off, the light is changing and fall is... falling into place.  It'll be chilly that first weekend in December when I actually run the race, but early morning runs will help prepare me for it.

This morning was my first training day of the 10 week cycle.  Now, I'm the type of person that likes to make my breakfast in the morning, sit down and really enjoy it.  I'll take 30 - 45 minutes to eat in the morning, so I get up pretty early as it is.  I work at 7am, so I usually leave around 6:40 and I typically get up around 5.

This morning, however, (day 1 of training and 2 mile Tuesday!) I got up at 4:15 am.  I had set my workout gear out the night before (because out of sight = out of mind!) so it was easy to get ready. Shiny new sports bra for bigger chested girls. Check. Heart rate monitor. Check. Running pants, lucky socks, shoes, shirt, head phones, iPhone armband, iPhone. Open DigiFit app. Get my music going. Throw my hair in a pony tail and I'm good to go.

I'm still not exactly speedy. I ran down my street and back (a little over 2 miles) in about a half hour.  I ended up with ~13 minute mile.  That's pretty good, if I don't say so myself. Especially since my only goal for this half is to finish. I don't care what my time is (though under 3 hours would be nice!) and I don't have any PRs to try to beat.  Simply finishing will be enough for me.

So I did my little jog.  My street was super dead that early in the morning. The only other people I saw was a pair of cyclists and a few passing cars.  There's a police station right in the middle of the route, so it's a relatively safe street, but even so it's not very well lit in areas and I found myself feeling not entirely safe that early in the morning.

Since it's just going to continue to get darker and darker in the morning, and I have to be at work at 7am, running later in the morning isn't an option.  This means that I'm going to have to get used to the dreaded treadmill. There's just nothing exciting about running in a stationary place for very long.  Even so, it's something I'm going to have to deal with because it's still close to 100 in the afternoon so running after work outside isn't an option for me.

So I plan to figure it out.  Thursday's will be split days since they have more mileage than Tuesdays.  For now I can still get up early and go running in the morning, for at least 2 miles.  I could do 4 miles (1 hour) if I really wanted to, but I'd have to eat breakfast on the run.  Not something I enjoy but doable.  Then in the afternoon I can hit the treadmill and rack up the rest of the miles I couldn't hit in the morning.  It would be great if I could run all my miles in one session, but I'm not fast enough yet and I'm OK with that.

The weekends will be easy, of course. It's just a matter of getting my butt out of bed in the morning.  I'm planning on replacing the Saturday run with a hike instead. I love hiking, and from now until May... 'tis the season!

In other news...
My boyfriend and I moved into a 2 bedroom apartment this last weekend.  We went from a downstairs to a 2nd floor (top floor) and it was hell.  We moved Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  He did a lot of work on Friday, but I started as soon as I got home (5:30pm) and we went until about 10pm. We decided we wanted to spend the night in our new place, so we moved the mattress over.  Which was probably a good thing since the majority of the heavy things needed to be moved on Saturday.

Saturday morning I hit up Starbucks and then had breakfast on our patio (now facing east and overlooking the pool).  I was up at about 5am and started moving by 6:30am.  We worked all day and into the evening.  We got pretty much everything moved over by around 5pm, and then the organizing began.  We started small, and the Garebear got most of the entertainment room set up.  It was after 10 when we went to bed.

Sunday was another early day.  I got up at 5:30, hit up Starbucks (again - mmmm coffee!) and had another delicious breakfast on our patio.  Then we had to pick up a U-Haul and drive 40 minutes to his old storage unit to pick up the rest of his stuff... including a large sofa, large-sized coffee table, huge bean-bag chair, 3 bookshelves, boxes of books & DVDs and the dining room table & chairs.  Whew!

After we got it loaded up onto the truck we drove 40 minutes back home... and unloaded it.  Getting the sofa up the stairs was probably the hardest part of all of it.  It was RIDICULOUS.  But we did it! Yay!  We finished getting the last of our things from the old apartment and cleaned up the old apartment by 3pm.

Poor guy had to work that night (at 5:30) so he just relaxed for a while.  But me... oh no.  The apartment was in utter chaos.  Things EVERYWHERE. I needed it to be more organized. Put away. Clean.  I'm just that way.  It was driving me batty.  So I sat still long enough to eat and was up until 10pm again that night cleaning and organizing and setting things up.

By the end of the weekend I had the kitchen set up 95%, the living room 95% set up and the dining room 50% set up (a lot of the boxes are still in there).  Last night I was able to set up my closet.  I would have done that first, but maintenance had to fix something in there (as well as a few other misc. items.

My plan is to have 95% of the apartment put away and organized by Saturday morning.  Garen is in Tucson for work all week (bummer!) and he's super bummed about not being able to help, but I'm leaving him plenty to do. Bwa ha ha.

I'm also making curtains!! I bought the fabric yesterday. I'll be sure to post pics of the new place once we get it all set up. Especially the curtains, which I'm super excited about.

And... that's the update!  Stay shiny!

17 September 2012

The Bruise-tastic Workout

What's black & blue & white all over?
Me, after I've been moving for 3 days.  Not quite the funniest one liner ever, but so true!  And no, I haven't been moving... not this weekend anyway.  Oh no, the move is yet to come, but there will be one!

Let me rewind.  My boyfriend and I have been living in a 1 bedroom apartment for the last 9 months.  We've been talking about upgrading to a 2 bedroom for the last 4 months or so, but we wanted to wait for him to get into the groove with his new job and there weren't any 2 bedroom apartments open in our complex.

So a few weeks ago we went into the leasing office and had a chat, told them we were interested and asked what they had available.  They had 3, 2 bedroom apartments coming on the market, and we could move in either October 16, October 5, or September 22. 

We were planning on taking the one that opened up October 5, but unfortunately with Garen's new job, his days off rotate, and that week wouldn't work for us.  And October 16th my best friend will be in town, so that won't work, either.

After some discussion we decided that September 22nd was the best time for us, even though by the time we decided we only had 14 short days to prepare for the move.  Garen has Friday and Saturday off, and doesn't work until 7pm Sunday night, so we'll be able to get a lot done.  Unfortunately he also has to drive to Tucson on Monday (after we move) and will be in Tucson for that whole week.  Which means I have to spend the first week in our new apartment alone.  It also means I have to do a lot of the set up myself, which sucks.

The plan is to move as much as we can on Friday, finish up on Saturday, then clean the old place.  Sunday we'll drive down to his storage unit (which is an hour away, believe it or not) and finish moving up the rest of his stuff - which includes the couch and the dining room table & chairs.  Yay for no more storage unit!  He's going to make sure all the technology is set up the way he wants it, and I'm going to finish cleaning our old apartment, then Monday he's off to Tucson and I get to spend my week setting up the rest of the apartment.

Moving, however, is a GREAT workout.  I actually really enjoy it, even though it's a huge pain in the ass.  We're not moving far - just a few hundred feet away, but we are moving to an upstairs apartment, so that's a little bit of an extra workout for us.  I'm not worried, though! I'm excited!

I can't wait to see how many stairs I climb by the end of the day!  My FitBit will tell me, which is super neat.  I bet I get a whole bunch of steps in that weekend!

This week, however, is going to be a challenge.  We can't really "pack" because we don't have a lot of boxes, and we're going to be so close that it doesn't make sense to box everything up and then unbox everything once we get over there.  Which means the apartment is in chaos until we can start moving things over on Friday.  It's just something I'll have to deal with.

Oh, and I'm going to make curtains! I'm really thrilled about that.  Maybe I'll do those the week that Garen is in Tucson, then it can really feel like home when he gets back. I'd love for it to all be done so he doesn't have to worry about any of that.  Plus, he'll be more motivated to clean since he'll want to contribute in some way.  He's cute like that.

Other than that it's been pretty normal. I've been getting my workouts in - I did 4 miles around the block on Saturday which felt awesome.  I probably won't do as many this week or next week since I'll be dealing with the move, but since that involves a lot of heavy lifting and steps, I'm kind of counting it.

Stay shiny!

10 September 2012

September Update

It's that time again!
Time for an update!  Things have just been so crazy and intense that I haven't had a whole lot of time for blogging, which is really a big bummer.  I'm going to do something about it, though, yes I am!

Ok, so I've been reading NerdFitness religiously. Steve's most recent post opened up my eyes to a few things that I thought I had overcome, but it turns out I really haven't.  I've slipped back into some habits that I need to, once again, check.  Mainly, biting of more than I can chew.

I'm the type of person who thinks you have to go hard or go home, so I take on a lot at once... like, way more than I should.  Then, when I fail (naturally) I get upset and I don't want to try again, because it didn't work the first time, so why should it a second or third time, ya know?

Anyway, moral of the story is that I'm once again having to check myself and slowly transition into things and not take a bigger piece of the pie-o-life than I can handle.  There's a lot I want to do... I just have to be patient.  Not one of my stronger points.

Work has just been nuts.  I feel like we're constantly going a hundred miles a minute and it makes it really hard for me to want to do anything when I get home other than sit in a dark room with my eyes closed doing meditative breathing.  I really think working out would seriously help with that stress, but as I'm sure some of you know, it's so hard to get back into the groove once you've fallen off the dance floor.

I'm resolving that problem today, though. Yes, TODAY! That's right!

So here's the deal, I have to start training for my half marathon in just about 2 weeks. September 24th is the day I begin! Then for 10 weeks, I'm half marathon training bound. Race day is December 3.  My goal is simply to finish - preferably in under 3 hours, but we'll see. I just want to cross the finish line.

To gear up for my training, I first need to get back in the habit of actually training. Yeah. I've been bad (with working out - my eating's been great!).

Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday will be my workout days for the next 2 weeks.  I've set a modest goal of 30 minutes of fitness on Mon, Wed & Fri, and a full hour on Sat.  Preferably doing some kind of yoga.  I can always do more, but I can't do less!

But I have more than just fitness goals.  Again, I'm starting small, making small changes (not changing 50 billion things at once, right Steve!).  But here they are:

September Goals:
Workout for (a minimum of) 30 minutes, 3x/week (Mon, Wed, Fri)
Workout for (a minimum of) 1 hour, 1x/week (Saturday... or Sunday)
Eat a salad 5x/week

Pretty small goals, but one's that will make a big impact, methinks.  

While my eating has definitely been on point, I feel like I haven't been getting enough greens, so I'd like to up intake by committing to eating 1 salad 5 days a week.  My salads are pretty simple.  It's usually some kind of organic spring mix, a small handful of chopped walnuts, a small handful of craisins, some kind of protein (usually whatever is left over from the night before) and home made balsamic vinaigrette (oil + balsamic vinegar).  Sometimes I get crazy and just do the lettuce and protein & balsamic vinaigrette.

I haven't taken a look at my October Goals yet... but I know that my October & November goals will both be along the lines of my half marathon training.

Some of you who know me know that I love to write, and that I participate in NaNoWriMo.  Unfortunately that is something I will have to give up this year to train for my half.  I LOVE NaNoWriMo but as it takes place the entire month of November and requires a LOT of time, I just can't split myself in two.  I have to fully dedicate myself to one life changing event at a time, and right now my health is way more important than my dream of becoming an honest-to-goodness author.  Some day that will happen, but I need to first get healthy to ensure it can happen.

Also, I'm feeling the pressure of my 10 year High School Reunion sneaking up on me.  I've always said that I was going to be a bombshell when my HSR came around, because I was the nerdy, dorky girl that was kind of overweight (but not obese) that everyone picked on. And I do mean everyone.  So I really want to show them up - selfish, I know.  It's really not about them, it's about me.  This is something I promised myself years and years ago when I first gained weight.  

Unofficially, I want to be at my goal weight by the time the reunion hits - which will be sometime next summer.  June or July, most likely.  I can only control how much I weight I drop to a certain point, you know?  I have to be maniacal about my fitness and my food in order to get the best results possible, but I'm not going to push my body past what it should be.  

Meaning... I'm not setting a goal of reaching 110 pounds, when I know my body can't actually reach that.  And I'm not going to try to drop 3 or 4 pounds a week, because that's insane (for me).  A modest goal of 1-2 controlled pounds per week, hard work, sweat, good good... yeah, that's what's going to do it for me.  And wherever I'm at when that reunion hits... well, I know it's going to be a better place than I am right now!

I think once I finish my half I'll take a look at my long term, 6-month goals (bringing me up to the dreaded HSR).  Right now, I'm just concentrating on this chunk of the last few months of the year.

Stay Shiny!

18 August 2012

Pure Paleo Week 1

Initial thoughts: This is going quite well...
My first week of Paleo is nearing an end and so far, so good!  I've been fuller longer (which means I haven't been snacking... like, at all) and I've been eating way healthier than previously.  I haven't eaten out at all the last week - everything I've eaten has been made at home.  Plus, they've all been real foods.  Real, whole foods.  True, they're not necessarily organic and I can't afford grass fed protein, but I do what I can.  Most of my protein is organic, which is better than the alternative!

My knee hasn't bothered me at all in the past week, either.  Normally it's achy or sore but not this week!  And I've had WAY more energy, which my poor boyfriend has to then deal with after he gets home from a long day at work.

I've also been working out more consistently.  I've done 3 workouts this week, all of which were hard core strength routines.  I suppose that I'll have to wait a few more weeks to see if I'm truly "consistent" but for now I'm counting it as a win.  I'm not working out today, because my muscles need a rest, but I sure will tomorrow!

I'd love to take a cross-fit class, too, but I'm not quite there yet.  I've been looking into them and they're not terribly expensive. I could probably afford one, but physically I don't think I'm ready.  I need to get back in the routine first, and I'd like to improve my fitness a little bit before I attempt it.  Plus, I've got half marathon training that I have to start at the end of September, so that should keep me busy through the beginning of December.

I've also noticed my weight has started to go down.  When I decided to go pure Paleo, my weight had managed to creep up to 202 pounds. YUCK! I swore I'd never be above 200 again, and while my weight has fluctuated over the last several months and gone up to 198, it has never crossed 200 until these last few weeks.

Well, I'm pleased to report that my weight is now down to 196.5 - yeah!  Now, do I actually believe that I lost almost 6 pounds in one week? No, that would be silly.  I'm pretty sure that the majority of my weight loss is due to the fact that I'm not eating gross processed foods and so my body is balancing out its water weight etc.  Do I believe that I lost a few pounds? Sure!  But I'm attributing most of it to a balancing act.

I am curious, however, to see what next week will look like.  I'm hoping for at least a 1 pound loss - that would be so great!

Regardless, I feel better and that's whats important!!

A lot of people ask me what I eat on Paleo.  Don't you get bored? It's just meat and potatoes, right? Ancient man didn't have access to a lot of the stuff we do now, so what do you eat? 

Well, below are a few examples of my Paleo meals:
Grilled chicken & baked Brussels sprouts

Baked chicken & asparagus (the coating is spices & coconut oil)

Czech meatballs, zucchini pancakes & kalamata olives

Here's a personal favorite, I made it yesterday.  It's basically a chopped salad, with a spicy dressing twist.  (Sorry for the all centered layout - I don't have the patience to try to organize it otherwise haha)
mmmm spices!

Add your olive oil & mix!

let it marinate!
chop these!

mix it up!

add your dressing

mix some more!
Dinner! with some meatballs, of course.

I've also been eating:
mashed up for faux-tatoes!

Czech & Chirizo style meatballs

Home-made Paleo Peanut Butter cups!

So, there you have it.  I haven't been starving.  In fact, I've been eating quite well.  That doesn't include most of my meals, of course.  I make baked bacon at least 3 times a week, and I'll have scrambled eggs with veggies or something else delicious for breakfast.  Dinner and Lunch are usually left overs.

Now, Paleo for my boyfriend hasn't been nearly as enjoyable.  He doesn't like a lot of the things I like (and I'm not terribly picky) so feeding him has been interesting.  He doesn't like faux-tatoes (made with cauliflower) or most of the veggie dishes I make.  I didn't bother getting him to try the chopped salad, because it's mostly onions and he is not a fan.  So I've been making him salads with the meat (which he has loved) and that's been going over pretty well so far.  Unless I make something simple like broccoli it's iffy as to whether or not he'll like it.

He does always try it, though, so kudos to him for that.

I've been trying to motivate him to lead a healthier lifestyle, and I can't say whether or not it's working.  I think that the only thing that can really motivate him to truly make some drastic changes will be my results.  Now, granted, he eats pretty darn healthy.  Pretty much whatever I make him when he's at home (I do pretty much all the cooking) and he tries to make healthy choices when he's out and about, for which I commend him.  He has a gym membership, but he's not really that into working out.  He needs to be more active, but I don't want to push him so for now I'm going to let it be.  As he notices my results I'm sure he'll want to have similar ones and will make more solid changes to his routine.

Plus, he just started a new job, so he's kind of stressed and very drained at the end of the day, and I don't want to add to that stress or make him feel bad about himself.  I only want him to be healthy so he can live a long, adventurous life with me.  =)

Anyway, that's what's been going on this week.  I'm going to continue eating Paleo (starting my 30 day meal plan on September 1) and working out, for sure doing my strength routines because that's the best way to build muscle and drop fat.

Oh, also, if you're interested, I've been making the majority of my Paleo meals from the following two books (I highly recommend them!):

Stay shiny!

13 August 2012

Purely Paleo x3 Days!

Well, it’s been an interesting weekend.
Friday night, as I was cleaning furiously to get ready for my boyfriends return home (after 3 weeks in Georgia for training), the washer decided enough was enough and my bed-sheets have been stuck in there all weekend.  Seriously.  Basically the sheet is wrapped around under the base of the agitator and nothing I can do will remove it.  You need a special “key” to unscrew the agitator and I don’t have one, and our maintenance has been on loan to another apartment complex on Saturdays, so there was no one to come and fix it.  I have been assured that someone will be over first thing this morning to take a look at the washer.

So then I go pick up my boyfriend from the airport on Saturday, and that was great.  We ran errands, bought groceries, he unpacked (and fumed about the washer) and all was merry and good.  I started cooking purely Paleo and it was amazing.  More on that later, though.

Saturday night I tried to flush the toilet and nothing happened.  Come to find out the little plastic strip that connects the flush mechanism to the little doo-dad that controls the water release had snapped. Awesome.  So every time I’ve had to flush the toilet the last 2 days I’ve had to stick my hand in the tank. Ucky.  And a light bulb burned out in our bathroom. When it rains it pours, right?

So then Sunday comes along, and I’m making breakfast (Zucchini pancakes!) and Garen is terrified of the pancakes I’m making but vows to try one anyway, when I get a phone call.  It’s my Dad.  I figure I haven’t talked to him all week, he’s probably calling to check in.  But no.  My Grandma died.  My Dad’s parents are really the only Grandparents I’ve ever had.  My Mothers’ Mother is crazy and never bothered to write or call or anything and I only saw her one or two times in my life.  My Grandpa died a few years ago, and now my Grandma, and I’m pretty upset.  My poor Dad is super upset, too.  He said she was doing better earlier in the week and then… well.  The funeral is later this week. Garen and I are going to drive out to Albuquerque. I just hope it’s on Saturday so he can go.  I’m ok… I’m just sad.

It was not a terribly great weekend, with the exception of my eating habits.  I did work out on Sunday, prior to starting breakfast, so that’s a good thing, but other than that I sat around on my butt and cooked.

Speaking of cooking, let’s talk about my Paleo weekend, shall we?  I ate really, really well this weekend.  Saturday I made Pecan Sponge Cake for breakfast (it’s mostly egg) and had that with some real bacon.  I don’t remember what I made for lunch, but it was Paleo! I think it was just left overs.  Dinner, however, was awesome.  I made Czech-style Meatballs and faux-tatoes (cauliflower!).  Garen was not super impressed with the mashed cauliflower, but it won me over!  The Czech-style meatballs are delicious, as well.  I made some Moroccan dipping sauce and drizzled it on top and it was perfect.

For breakfast on Sunday I made Zucchini pancakes (basically egg and zucchini with a dash of coconut flour) and bacon.  Lunch was fun, too.  I made southern-style ribs for Garen with a smoky, spicy paleo sauce and I had left over meatballs and mashed cauliflower.  Dinner was my favorite meal, though.  Rogan Josh.  If you’ve never had it, I highly recommend it!  I couldn’t get lamb, so I made it with beef, and I baked some sliced Brussels sprouts and fennel, too.  It was my first time cooking with fennel so we had to look up a video on how to cut it.  haha.

All in all, awesome.  I have some killer left overs for this week so I’m pretty thrilled about that.  I’ve been eating purely Paleo for the last 3 days, and I feel great.  Tonight I’m going to go home and do some cardio and enjoy my boyfriend’s company.

Stay Shiny.

10 August 2012

Time to Level Up!

Drastic Changes 3…2…1…
So my boyfriend has been in Georgia for the last 3 weeks training for his new job.  Some of you may be thinking “YEAH! 3 weeks at home by myself?! I can work out whenever I want, eat exactly what I want, when I want… this is going to be great!”

Not so much.  My boyfriend, while not the healthiest head of broccoli in the bunch, is a really big motivator in my life.  He’s always telling me how I “can” and reminds me that I shouldn’t eat something bad for me (usually when I’m PMS and try to pick up junk food at the grocery store).  Plus he happened to be gone during “that time” and I was super moody and emo and lonely.  It was just not good.

Over the last 3 weeks, I’ve not lost any weight. I have, in fact, gained weight.  This is very disturbing to me.  I know WHY – I didn’t eat as well as I should have and I certainly didn’t work out as much as I should have.  Couple those with long hours sitting on my behind or laying down reading… and well, boom go my hips, ya dig?

Fortunately, 2 really good things happened to me this week: I ate real ice cream and muffins and felt totally, completely awful for days.  I know you’re thinking that those don’t sound like good things.  And normally, yeah, they’re bad.  But in this case it made me fully understand that what I put into my body matters – for real.  It was like a physical punch in the gut – that’s how truly real it became to me, all of a sudden.

As luck would have it, I had pre-ordered a copy of Practical Paleo, which arrived on Wednesday.  I devoured the book – excited to find that it wasn’t just a cookbook, but an easy to understand guide to the Paleo lifestyle.  I’ve been trying to eat as Paleo as possible the last 6 months or so, and I haven’t been doing that well.  But this book, paired with its awesome and easy recipes, really made me feel like “hey – I can totally do this!”

So, armed with Practical Paleo, I cleaned out my cabinets, cupboards and shelves.  I still have to go through the fridge, but there are only a few things in there that are no-no’s.  I did keep a few things that my boyfriend likes, of course.  He’s not going totally Paleo with me (yet).  But those things are easy for me to resist.  I ordered a baking rack (for perfectly baked bacon!) and a set of 12, 4 oz mason jars so I can pre-mix spice blends, salt mixes and Paleo mayo.  These items should be arriving on Saturday so I can get mixing!

I also received my copy of Well Fed this week.  I’m really excited about that book as well.  I love cook books and armed with both of these I feel like I can get a really, well, practical start on Paleo.  For real this time.  I’m sick of feeling sick, I’m tired of feeling tired, and I’m so over being overweight.

One of the things I’m most excited about is that Practical Paleo has a whole section of 30-day meal plans for various conditions.  There’s a meal plan for inflammation, a meal plan for cancer recover, a meal plan for mental health, etc, etc.  The meal plan I’m going to follow is the Fat Loss meal plan (perhaps followed by the Squeaky Clean Paleo plan).   These meal plans are pretty comprehensive, and the great thing about them is that they utilize the left over’s that you will, inevitably, have!  I’m so thrilled about that.

I’m debating when I’m going to start the meal plan.  I’d like to start as soon as possible, but I’d also like to have the opportunity to stock up on some of the big ticket items and buy in bulk.  This means having a comprehensive grocery list.  According to Practical Paleo, there are grocery lists available on the author’s website, but they have yet to be uploaded (I’ve been checking every hour like a crazy person since I read that part in the book).  I could put together a grocery list for myself, but it would take a lot of time and effort and, of course, I wouldn’t be able to start right away.

So my plan is to put together a list this weekend and figure out what I can buy in bulk and what I can’t.  That shouldn’t be too difficult.  I can probably buy a lot of the meats in bulk and freeze them.  I’ve already picked up most of the spices I need for my pantry, so I just need to make the spice mixes to have on hand.  The other big thing will be to find Coconut Aminos (Whole Foods apparently had a recall on the product) and Red Palm Oil.  I need to order a few things in bulk online (like nuts!) and then I’m good to go!  I’d like to start on September 1st.  Which happens to be a Saturday, which is so perfect (because I'm crazy and like to start things on the first of the month and weekends, ok?).

That doesn’t mean I’m going to gorge myself on bread and pasta and candy during the month of August though, oh no.  Far from it.  I’m armed with cookbooks, people.   My plan for August is to eat as Paleo as possible and start to make the recipes in the book that I think look good.  This way when it comes to making them during my 30 days, I’ll already have a good idea of how long prep takes and I might even have a few tricks up my sleeve to make the whole process not so terrifying!  I mean really, eating at home for 30 days – three meals each day – that’s kind of terrifying if you don’t cook a lot!  I cook pretty often… but I don’t follow recipes.  So this will be new for me.  Precision, that is.  I’m also hoping that over the month of August I can convince my boyfriend to try the 30 day meal plan with me, but we’ll see.

I need to have a maniacal focus on my food and fitness in order to finally drop the pounds and be fit and healthy – which has been my goal for, to put it nicely, years.  It’s no longer a matter of “I want to do this”, it’s “I need to do this”.  I need to be healthy and happy and fit in order to live a long, fulfilling life.  Besides, there are things I want to do that require a rockin’ bod.  Long term, I would love to learn Parkour, do a real handstand and fit into a size 8 dress.

To help myself along the way, I’m going to be sure to record my nutrition info in SparkPeople, to help keep an eye on my food.  I’m going to record my fitness minutes in several places: SparkPeople, DigiFit (which is automatic) and Fitocracy (Level up my life for real!).  I’m also going to subscribe to a NerdFitness "class" – the Assassin. I’m going to try to do workouts that would help me be the best Assassin class nerd I can be. It sounds weird, I know, but it’s nerdy and awesome and makes me smile.

Stay Shiny!