Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 23: Raising the bar...

Well I've lost around 10 lbs since the beginning of this process, but I've already hit a plateau. So, I'm raising the bar. Today, I'm moving up to Level 2.

I'm also going to be changing my schedule around a little bit. Until now, at night I've come home from work and cooked dinner, crashed on the couch for a little while, and then at 9:00 I'll do my workout. After about 20 minutes of unwinding, time for bed.

This just isn't working for me anymore. My homework is sapping all of my energy and by 9, I'm waaaay too exhausted to be working out. So, I'm going to start doing it when I get home, before dinner. After dinner, homework. Then bed. Hopefully this change in my workout + my schedule will get me back on track.

While I'm here... I'd like to rec a healthy snack! Yesterday I was at Publix looking for lunch when I stopped to peruse the energy/protein/meal replacement bar section. An employee asked me what bars I liked, what I was trying to achieve by eating the bars, and then asked me if I had tried the Kind bars yet.

I hadn't, but when I saw flavors like Fruit + Nut Delight, Macadamia + Apricot, Almond + Coconut and Walnut + Date, I knew I had to at least give it a try. I picked up a Fruit + Nut Delight, and headed back to the office for lunch.

Here's what I liked about the bar: It was amazingly simple. Literally just nuts, a little bit of fruit, and I think I tasted some honey in there as well. Also, among other things they're gluten, dairy, and wheat free. They're high in fiber, low in sodium, and naturally have a low GI.

The best part out of all of it is that the Kind brand donates a percentage of their profits to PeaceWorks.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Just now...

I went to the bathroom (haha, don't stop reading here! I promise it isn't gross!)...

Looked in the mirror...

& what did I see?

My collar bones! For the first time in almost a year!

:-D NFT.

Day 22: and the slacker of the year award goes to...


Thank goodness I'm not slacking on my 'lifestyle change' like I am on this blog :-) I ended up downloading an app for my iphone called 'Lose It!' and it is REALLY helping me track my calories and keep up with my exercise. I might never use sparkpeople again! I haven't lost anymore weight, but I've been maintaining, which is a good thing considering how wild and wooly last week was for me. Starting school in the middle of my challenge might have quite possibly been a huge hindrance for me, but I'm trying to push through it despite the setbacks.

With only 8 days left, I'm realizing today that this is about long term goals. This little 30 day goal was enough to get my engine revving to keep pushing forward, and that's exactly what I intend to do! According to Lose It!, if I want to get down to 130 lbs I'll need to continually lose 1 lb a week until September 6th. I think I can manage a pound a week!

In a huge coincidence, my group project this week for biology is discussing nutrition and what kind of foods our bodies need to run effectively as well as which ones to stay away from. How well does that apply to what's going on with me right now? I'm so glad that I'm at least a little prepared for the assignment thanks to the challenge :-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 17: No workout today :-(

I just got waaaaay too busy when I got home from work. By the time I sat and visited with DH, did some crowd control with the dogs, and did my homework I looked at the clock and said "WOW, it's almost 10!"

I am entirely too tired to do my workout tonight. I don't have it in me to even get off the floor (using DH's laptop) to walk to bed, much less to get dressed and go into the other room and start the workout DVD.

Tomorrow I have GOT to get on my A game and get back to working out every day. This is inexcusable. At least my calories were really well managed today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 16: fell off the horse...

but not the bandwagon! I haven't blogged in a few days like I'm supposed to, but I'm back and scooting forward.

School has consumed every extra square inch (and brain cell) in my life, so I haven't even thought about journaling recently :(. I think I've finally struck a delicate balance between work, home, school, and having a healthy lifestyle with some trial and error, so we'll see how it goes!

As of today, I am over halfway finished with the 30 day challenge! I can't believe I began this 15 days ago yesterday.

In a matter of 15 days, it feels like the whole world has changed for me. Forget losing weight! Pish posh on that! I have gained...
*a positive body image
*more strength
*more endurance
*better flexibility
*a bunch of clothes in my closet I couldn't fit 15 days ago
*WAY more energy
*a happier outlook on life
*fuel to keep pushing forward

and this is only 15 days into it! I'm disappointed that I lost my measurements from day 1, but I can already see a difference between now and my 'before' pics. Really, to me losing weight is just a fringe benefit. I have gained so much quality of life in the past 15 days, and I look forward to the rest of them... and then life after that.

Today I finally worked out for the first time after having such terrible digestive problems last week. My body seemed to remember what to do better than what my mind did, and I found myself assuming the position just like I had done it yesterday. I'm not going to lie, I've back slid a bit in terms of getting through the workout so I was huffing and puffing more than I was the last time I worked out, but I made it all the way through just fine.

I'm going to give it a few more days on L1 and then it's time for me to move on up!

Folks, this is coming from a woman who has never successfully lost more than 5lbs or worked out consistently for more than a week in her whole life. If I can do it, anyone in the world can.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 11: This has been a rough week.

Tuesday night (day 9) I was sick. as. a. dog.

I mean, baaaaad bad bad... On top of having stomach issues, the heat index this week has been 100*-110*, which doesn't help matters at ALL. Between Tuesday night and this morning, I lost 5 lbs and I still feel incredibly weak.

I took yesterday off of work and slept literally aaaallll day, which is completely out of character for me considering the fact that I get up around 8am on the weekends and 5:30 during the week. I wish I would have taken today off as well, but alas. Here I sit at my desk, counting down the seconds (roughly 14,700 as I type) until it's time to head home.

A little highlight of my day was meeting DH for lunch. We do this probably twice a week, and it's one little thing that makes my heart go pitter patter just like when we started dating. I find myself anxiously waiting for him to get to the restaurant, then my heart kicking into overdrive when I see him walk through the door, then analyze how good he looks as he walks up to our table. My knees always turn into jello when he kisses me on the forehead and tells me hello, and my heart turns to mush when he reaches across the table to hold my hand. EVERY time. Even if I've had a bad day.

Anyway, today DH and I went to the local Greek hole in the wall. Let me just tell you now, their lemon chicken soup with rice is like the Balm of Gilead- I think it just might cure everything! After I finished eating lunch (the chicken was the first solid thing I've eaten since lunch on Tuesday), I started feeling better immediately.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 9: Hells bells, my back HURTS!

Today I'm sitting here at work, chock full of tylenol with an ice pack on the small of my back. Why, you ask? I have no idea! I did my work out as usual last night, sat for a little while with DH before bed... Nothing unusual. But I woke up at 3am and every muscle in my body HURT. Not just a little sore, but enough to make me sick to my stomach! I took some tylenol and iced my neck (I have an old neck injury that will put me completely out of commission if I don't take care of it) and eventually managed to go back to sleep.

When I woke up again at 5:30, I was burning up and sore and temped 99.99 on my basal body temp thermometer. I still haven't decided if maybe it was from the pain, maybe my batteries are about to die... IDK. What I do know is that I haven't been sick at all in a while. I haven't even been remotely under the weather. In all actuality, I've had more energy than usual and have been at 100% for the first time in forever.

I'm getting better now... I've been icing my back on and off and I'm not near as exhausted as I was when I got here. I would have just gone home today if I didn't have that art camp at 5:00 :(

Will I do my workout tonight? We shall see.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 8: One week down!

Yay! On wednesday I will be 1/3rd of the way finished with the 30 day challenge =D

Like I mentioned yesterday, my mini-goal for today and tomorrow is to do my workout despite the fact that I'm working late. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but on days like today I just want to go home and crash for the night.

But anyway... I've got a couple of things on my mind today.

* I really need to get a set of 3lb weights. I've only been doing 30ds with my body weight and it was great to be able to slowly ease myself into the daily workouts - especially with the upper body exercises since I have such little strength in my arms.

* I need to start supplementing my diet with protein. I realized that a part of my problem is I waaaay over indulge with carbs and I don't eat enough protein. So, I think I'm going to switch out my usual pb on a whole wheat english muffin for a protein shake w/ flax meal in the mornings to see if that helps with muscle tone and calorie intake. Any protein powder suggestions? I'm trying Muscle Milk today.

I'll probably add more later :-) Peace in the middle east!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Days 6 & 7: Mini-Goals

I used to be a member at a Cross Fit gym. If you're unfamiliar with Cross Fit, it is an epically hard core work out program favored by MMA fighters and celebrities for their quick results. Cross Fit's claim to fame came with the movie 300, because the actors and actresses toned/bulked up to prepare for the movie by doing CF with a trainer every day. Workouts are rarely longer than 18 minutes long, and people are known to be pushed so hard that they throw up every. single. day.

Anyway, at Cross Fit I learned a lot of valuable lessons. I learned the correct way to run, do push ups, and squats - something I had been doing incorrectly for YEARS. I learned how far I could push myself before it will give out, how to decipher different types of pain and which ones should be addressed immediately and which ones could -and should- be pushed through in order to build up endurance.

Most importantly, I learned the art of the mini-goal. When you're doing a workout of AMRAP 18 (as many reps as possible in 18 minutes) of 30 pushups / 30 pull ups / 30 wall balls and you're only 7 minutes in and the lactic acid is burning in every muscle you didn't know you had, how do you get to the end without hurting your time? You create a minigoal. Instead of saying "Okay, I have 20 wall balls left... My arms hurt, I can barely lift myself from a squatting position with my legs, and I'm thirsty", you say "I need 3 more wall balls. Just three, then a 10 second break." once you push through three, you pick a number that is just out of reach- even if it's just one. Then you say "Okay, one more..." after a while, you make it to thirty.

Could it potentially hurt your time? Possibly. But does it give you the hope to actually see your workout to the end instead of giving up early? Yes!

So here is my mini-goal for this week. On Monday and Tuesday I'm teaching art camp until 6:30 and I won't get home until 7:30. My mini goal is to do my workout both of those days dispite getting home late.

Days 6 & 7: Weekend Update

Well... As of right now, I've only done okay. I haven't eaten as much as I normally do on the weekends, which is a victory, but I didn't do my workout on friday or yesterday, which is a fail. I can only hope to try to do better next weekend, which is a possibility because DH works.

DH and I are going to go see Up in 3D here in two and a half hours. Talk to you tomorrow!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 5: I be missin' you

Over the past few days, I've been thinking a lot about the people who have gone on before me- in particular, my dad and my maternal grandmother.

With my grandmother, the memories have been linked with food... and it's been unexpected. My mom and step dad are coming out to the house tonight to visit with my wee little Greta and cook out with us, and DH asked me if I would make homemade potato salad to go with the rest of our food.

I didn't even think twice about it, just started going through the cabinets and the fridge to gather up the stuff I needed for it without even thinking about finding a recipe- almost like I went into autopilot. About midway through the process as I was squirting relish into my big pot that was already full of diced potatoes, egg, mayo, mustard, and s&p I realized why I didn't have to think about it... Somewhere in my subconscious was a memory of my grandmother just throwing stuff into the pot, cooking in that old southern way of a handful of this and a pinch of that until she had created the best potato salad you ever put in your mouth.

I didn't cry, I didn't grieve... I just had this bittersweet feeling of longing for what once was. I realized that I would never be able to travel back and time and help her cook again, but I can revisit those feelings - that precious time I spent with her - by making the food that I helped her cook all of those times.

Also, with father's day coming up... I've been thinking about my dad a lot lately. I dream about him sometimes, and some dreams are more traumatizing than others. Some nights I'll dream that he never really died, he just ran away. Other nights I'll dream that he hadn't died yet, but I knew he was going to. Then yet other nights he'll show up in random dreams where he just plays a part like everyone else.

It all started a few weekends ago when I went to visit my dad's family for my grandmother's 83rd birthday. She has stage 3 Alzheimer's, and a lot of the day was spent rehashing old memories and watching videos from my dad's and his sibling's childhood. Ever since then, he's kind of haunted me, begging me to finally come to understand our relationship for what it was without glorifying it (something people tend to do with their deceased relatives) or thinking it was so horrible (something people also tend to do). I feel like maybe my subconscious is telling me that it's time to accept my relationship with my dad for what it was with its share of both glories and glaring failures.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 4: Is it actually getting easier??!

Whoa. Maybe this is a fluke...
Maybe its a result of me drinking more water and taking tylenol arthritis 20 mins before workout...
Maybe it's because of the second day in a row without having to listen to JM drone on and on in her nasaly voice and flaring nostrils (as shallow as it is, that seriously bugs the crap out of me about her- but I digress)...

But I didn't feel like I was going to die during my workout tonight. I actually thought I had another circuit to go at the end of circuit 3, and boy was I surprised to find that it was time to cool down!

One thing I will never do again, though... I will never eat anything greasy so close to working out ever again. That's what I get for busting up my diet as bad as I get today! I have absolutely 100% god-freaking-awful acid reflux at the moment and there is nothing I can do about it :-(

*kicks my own butt via Jillian Michael's butt kicks, as featured on 30ds*

Day 4: NH&FR- my sweet Greta!!

I haven't posted these yet... So I thought I would AW here! This is my sweet dumpling, Greta!

Day 4: Day 3 was anticlimactic.

AF rendered me completely exhausted and achy yesterday by the time I got home, so I didn't do my work out.

Confessional time! After work and dinner, DH and I went to DQ- I ate half of a kid sized oreo blizzard.

That couldn't have been too bad, right? RIGHT??! ahem... anyway...

After that, we came home and I went to sleep on the chaise around 9 (apparently I was relocated to bed around 11 by DH), and when I woke up this morning I felt 100% better. I guess there is a lesson to be learned in this, that you have to pay attention to what your body is telling you.

Like I said, I feel soooo much better. Drinking more water seems to really be helping as well. Today is the last day of VBS and they invited us staffers down to the volunteer's break room to partake in homemade snacks donated by sweet little old ladies and omg. I might have totally busted up my diet for the day, but I'm skipping lunch to make up for the extra calories.

One little old lady made mississippi mud that brought tears to my eyes (especially since my grandmother - who used to be the mississippi mud queen - doesn't even know that she ever made mississippi mud, thanks to having stage 3 Alzheimers :( )

Maybe I'll do better tonight? I'm doing the workout fo sho. Updates later.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 3: sooooore!

Owww. It hurts to walk, it hurts to sit, it hurts to stand... It hurts to do everything :(

I'm wondering... I have flat feet, and doing any kind of plyometrics (even the low intensity stuff like buttkicks and jumping jacks) makes my joints swell up and start cracking. Would taking Tylenol Arthritis 20 mins before a workout make this a little easier? It's kind of hard to tolerate right now.

Also, check this out:


This link will send you to a 12 minute pilates workout, courtesy of spark people. I think I'm going to try to do this in the mornings before work!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 2: Just finished workout 2...

...and lived to tell the story.

Yes, it's common sense... Yes, I should already know this... But I realized tonight that if I start drinking water *before* I work out, I don't get as thirsty while I'm working out. Duhhhr.


A major impediment to my working out and living a healthier and more productive life in general is my constant state of fatigue. Some days are worse than others, but it's really never more than a little nuisance. But I feel like my house would be cleaner, I would be healthier, and all around happier if I just had more energy. I got a little worried that maybe I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so like any good hypochondriac I looked it up on WebMD and this is what I found.

It said that fatigue is caused by several things, but these stuck out at me:
1) Not enough sleep
I get 6-7 hours of sleep if I'm lucky, but usually need about 9 to feel completely refreshed. I've been trying to stay up later to spend time with DH and the dogs since I'm at work all day, but maybe I need to reproritize what I'm doing when I get home to get more sleep.

2) Anemia (in particular, not enough iron because I don't eat a lot of meat, beans, etc)
I don't eat meat like, at all. Ever. Maybe if I ate more lean meats and legumes in my diet, and less carby stuff like bread and pasta, I wouldn't feel like I needed a nap 24/7.

3) Caffeine overload
As of right now, I depend on caffeine for my existence. Coffee strong enough to put hair on your chest starts my morning, diet coke at some point throughout the day, chocolate for snacks... It's practically in everything I consider the center of my survival.

4) Not working out enough.
Maybe if I work out more, it will build up my endurance or something?

So... Here's what I'm going to do. For the next 29 days I'm going to only drink water except for when I go out to eat or go to a friend's house for dinner, I'm going to replace some of the carbs I eat with lean meat, and I'm going to try to get more rest at night. Maybe by the end of the 30 days I'll have more get-up-and-go?

PS... I discovered that there is an option on the 30ds DVD where you can turn off jillian's introductions. Thank GOD.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 2: Day 1 almost killed me.


I am so tired, my body hurts all over, and I really want to curl up and go to sleep. I did the 30ds last night at like, 9:00 and I couldn't ever catch my breath because I couldn't stop yawning! I'm going to try to do it as soon as I get home tonight... Hopefully that will be better.

Seriously, seriously. Jillian Michaels is very talented at what she does, and has an awesome body to prove it. But her never ending babbling during the workout gets on my ever loving nerves! I would rather her STFU and tell me what to do. My nerves are generally shot as it is when I do stuff like that, it's not fun to me AT ALL.

One little happy thing is that the past two days, I have had really yummy and healthy lunches that keep me filled up until my afternoon snack. Yesterday I packed one of those Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers, the Rotini and Zesty Marinara one. Let me just tell you, it tasted sooo good. It has lots of nice, fat chunks of caramelized onions and peppers and it doesn't taste like 'diet food' at all.

The pasta is uncooked in the package, which is specially designed with a strainer built into the lid. You fill it up to a fill line with water, microwave for 3:30, stick the lid on it, and voila! Instant pasta! Then the sauce is packaged separately, and all you do is open the side of the cellophane on top and nuke it for 14-20 seconds. Mix mix mix, and lunch is ready.

Today I had the Ziti and Meat Sauce variety, and it was really good too! I wasn't super crazy about the meat chunks, but I was surprised to find that the sauce was just a little bit spicy- which I liked.

I want to try the other varieties (there are several Asian offerings), but I'm kind of nervous about the chunks of meat. If you've tried any of them, let me know which ones are good- and which ones aren't!

I think for the rest of the week it will be salads for me (walmart has these really cool salad topping kits for $2), and maybe chicken salad on Friday.

Food Log:
PB on whole wheat english muffins, coffee
no snack
Healthy Choice Fresh Mixer, Diet Coke

Day 1: 30 day challenge

They say that it takes 30 days for a habit to form.

I'm not sure who 'they' are, but maybe they're right? I've never been able to stick with something out of my comfort zone for more than 30 days, and as a result I have formed no new habits (good ones, anyway) and I haven't broken any old ones that have been around too long. So... I've been stagnant for a long time, and I don't want to be that way for a minute longer.

The idea came to me over the weekend. I was talking to my husband about the fact that every weight loss plan I have ever attempted has failed within 1-2 weeks, and how I was worried that I would never be able to get the weight off. I never learned how to push myself and move more, eat less in order to be healthier. What I did learn along the way was how to eat my emotions and only find comfort in things I could do curled up on the couch with one of the dogs in my lap.

I also realized that I have attempted to change my lifestyle from every perspective and motivation I could think of.

Vanity? I lowered my standards for myself until what I used to consider unhealthy was normal. Health? I just didn't care.
Feeling better? Eh. I could find other ways to do that.

No matter what, I've always been able to talk myself out of every opportunity I've given myself to move forward and try harder to be healthy.

But then... I realized something. I remembered that old phrase, that it takes 30 days of working on something until it becomes habit, and that I have the 30 day shred DVD waiting for me at home. Could I be on to something?

So... Here I am. I've decided to challenge myself. Give myself 30 days without looking for instant gratification (thus, removing disappointment at my lack of physical change), looking for weight gain, or getting frustrated by the idea of having to do the same thing over and over again for the rest of my life to maintain a smaller figure. Not only am I trying to lose weight, I'm trying to take better care of myself on all levels- physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Here are the details:
1) I must blog every single day
2) I must do every day of the 30 day shred
3) I will weigh and measure myself once tonight, then do it again on July 8.
4) I must be conscious of every thing I put in my mouth, and list it here.
5) I must try to work more veggies into my diet every day
6) I must try to drink more water, less garbage

Food Log:
Breakfast: 1 whole wheat English muffin, 1 serving PB, one glass 1% milk
Snack: Fresh apple slices, grapes, a strawberry, and a handful of smoked almonds
Lunch: Healthy Choice Steam Mixers - Zesty Marinara and a diet coke

Starting weight: 154
Goal weight: 139

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