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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Just say "la no" to artificial sweeteners

Well, at least cut down on them.

As mentioned, umpteen times before, I have embarked on a mission to cut out the diet sodas. I only had one last week and it wasn't too bad.

I decided to try sparkling water again as an alternative because I heard multiple people (which means at least 2 in my world) talk about their love for the overpriced La Croix.

After going through a case I have decided that I do not love it.

To be fair, I've never liked sparkling water/club soda/tonic. There's something about the carbonation that adds a taste to the water that I don't enjoy. Just like I don't like spring water but love filtered water. Yes, I'm unbelievably picky about my water.

La Croix is ok: not awful but not great either. I bought another case of it in the orange flavor to see if I liked it better (I don't). I like it on ice more but I also like soda on ice more so that's not too much of a surprise.

But it does give me something else to drink besides plain water all day long. A little variety is good. Along with the sparkling water I'm also back to drinking a good amount of unsweetened iced green tea in the morning (brewed at home so I don't burn my fingers at work again).  And since La Croix is no artificial sweeteners, no caffeine, no calories, no carbs, and no sodium it's far better for me than popping open a coke zero can.

Mondays with M
Finally got through a whole training session with my trainer - no long breaks because I thought I would pass out. Winning!

We mostly worked on arms on the weight machines in our rec center. I was happy to get through the session, and there were some reps that definitely pushed me to the limit for that particular muscle group, but it was also kind of boring. I'm not criticizing because I really do need to do more of that kind of work if I want to see greater change in my muscle definition. Not every workout is going to be entertaining after all. But it reminds me of why I like going to the group classes so much. I'm a little sore today but it's not too bad and my hamstrings and glutes are almost back to normal (after Saturday's workout) which is a relief.

So far diet is back on track after some weekend indulgences. Weight is about the same. It was actually up yesterday when I unexpectedly had to weigh in with M (I've never done that with a trainer before beyond the first and last assessments) but I wasn't worried as I knew it was late afternoon and I was water bloated. I stuck around 189 all last week. I'm not expecting to see huge/quick changes in weight so I'm not worried at all about it not moving much for now. Even being a few pounds up I'm still able to comfortably wear my size 8 jeans I got over the summer. Which I'm totally wearing to work today because it's the first day since April where it's cool enough to wear jeans and not feel like I'm suffocating from the heat.

Fall!!!! La sigh....

Monday, September 26, 2016

You've picked a fine time to leave me Lucille.

This is NOT the time to cut back on Coke zero and caffeine in general.

My brain is not working right now. And if my hamstrings could, they would jump out of my leg and punch me in the face. 

I focused on leg work for my workout on Saturday and it hasn't been pretty since then. The real culprit of my current pain/soreness was doing Romanian deadlifts with a 50 lb barbell. It wasn't heavy at the time but now it's a pain that lingers.

Workouts for last week:
  • Monday: elliptical warm-up and then training session, which didn't last too long since I somehow overdid it
  • Tuesday: TRX (focus on chest, shoulders, and arms) and 1 mile run
  • Wednesday: Kettle
  • Thursday: 1 mile warm-up and Abs and Tone
  • Friday: Elliptical
  • Saturday: 1 mile warm up run, all kinds of leg exercises - some with weights
  • Sunday: complete rest day
It was a good week for working out. The weekdays were good for diet. The weekend had some bad moments since I decided not to track on the weekend but even though it wasn't perfect it wasn't a total loss either. And I only had one coke zero for the whole week.

The hardest part about today, and my lack of brain function, is that people still expect me to hold intelligent conversations at work.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

If I fall off the wagon blame S.L.

Y'all it's killing me. I can't stand it.

Fall flavored cake donuts!?! Sign me up for 3000!!! 3000 dozen that is! I have also saved the following links over the past month:

Every day it's deliciousness and boozy dreams coming through my Facebook feed. I should probably stop following them. (The tiny house plans link is for my other dream to own a little cabin in the woods so we can escape this stupid heat. This plan just requires that we win the lottery. #goals)

I did, however, repeatedly say no to an apple cider donut that some evil kind person brought into work today to celebrate the beginning of fall. It was not easy but I'm still in a stage where just one indulgence will probably lead to a binge. So it's easier to just say no initially than have to say no to continued eating.

Yes, fall officially begins today in case you didn't see this in the 1 billion other places on the web - AND it's still 90+ degrees and humid outside. Cursed September.

In other news, on Wednesday I did go to Kettle which is taught by my trainer and I'm happy to report that I finally got through a workout with him where I didn't feel the need to upchuck. I was getting worried about my street cred. And today I went to an Abs and Tone class that I haven't done in a long time but always enjoy. Additionally I got my annual flu shot so I don't know if my arm is sore due to working out or the shot.

All I have to say is that the shot better work this year. I do not want a repeat of what I went through in February when I managed to get the flu in spite of having the shot last year. That was awful. I still have a shrine to Tamiflu in my house. Which I'm totally willing to move to my tiny cabin in the woods.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

TRX part deux

Ah the smile that comes after a workout where you didn't feel like passing out.

So the plan for Tuesday was to have a rest day and just go to yoga which was supposed to be on the schedule again. Sadly, there was a miscommunication about that and there will be no Tuesday morning yoga anymore. This makes me very sad. But my co-worker wanted to go to TRX at lunch time and convinced me to come along (actually three of us went together and had a pic taken which is where the one above comes from - I just cropped them out since I'm not sure they would want their faces up on the inter-webs outside of our Facebook circles). This is just the second time I've been able to make it to the TRX class and it was a new instructor for me.

When the instructor showed us all the exercises for the day my first thought was, "crap that's a lot of arm and chest work after I just did a lot of arm and chest work yesterday." I wasn't sure how I'd hold up during the class. But it went great! It was 5 variations of chest presses and chest fly exercises with one round of battle ropes thrown in just for fun. Sure there were a couple of exercises where I had some good ol' muscle fatigue and couldn't quite keep up the pace (push ups and pull ups) but I made it through the whole circuit (twice) and felt good afterwards. I even then went and ran an easy mile upstairs on the track before going back to my office. And all the time I thought, "and why am I not rocking it like this while I meet with my trainer - UGH!"

My shoulders are wicked sore today so I don't know if I'll go to my planned Kettle class. I might instead focus just on leg work on my own. 

My diet is amaze-balls right now. Right on track for everything and I'm not feeling a grudge against any of the restrictions. I'm just appreciating this rare moment while I have it. I'm right around 189 pounds right now. Which in perspective isn't too bad of a gain (7 pounds) given my lack of exercising and many binging moments of the past couple of months. I'm not hung up on a +/- of a few pounds because my weight can fluctuate so rapidly. I mean one cheat meal at a Mexican place and I'm up 3 pounds but a couple good days of diet and exercise I'm back down again. My biggest frustration with myself right now is not reflected on the scale but rather in my mentality about the whole thing. That I  have so many moments of just not feeling "it" and therefore saying "f-it, I'll eat what I want" even though at that point it's completely mindless eating. And knowing that this mental fight is the real battle I'll have for the rest of my life, that it's not something that will magically go away if I ever hit my goal weight. 

So for the next 12 weeks (which is the amount of time I have with my personal trainer for this semester) my goal isn't to lose "x" amount of pounds but just to do the following:
  1. Exercise 5 times a week. Even if one of those days is low intensity such as a walk or elliptical. It will take me a while to feel like I'm not "wasting" the other two days but I'm sure I'll get over that feeling pretty quickly.
  2. But at least 3 of the 5 exercising days are strength training days. I'm far more interested in muscle definition than losing pounds or hitting a certain running pace right now.
  3. Do my best with diet. It's not about never having a treat but it is about not grabbing a half dozen snack bags of candy from the office drawer and plowing through them as if that will help me somehow. It doesn't help. Ever.
That's it but that's enough. It's my hope to start working towards this just as a new lifestyle rather than a temporary mini-goal to get me to that next magic scale number. I assume my weight will naturally go lower if I'm doing the things above but if I stay in the 180's so be it. It's about the journey rather than the destination right? Or some other motivational crap like that... ;)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

That time I sustained an injury while trying to give up Coke Zero...

It's fine - I didn't need skin on those fingers anyway.
I know you can barely tell, but humor me by totally agreeing that you can see the red burnt skin on my pointer and middle fingers (below the knuckles). In the glass is "iced" green tea, with melted ice. The evil villain in this whole story.

So part of the initial conversation with my trainer last week was that he really wanted me to give up Coke Zero. I know it's horrible for me but I love it. I also knew I would have to give it up if I was going to be accountable for my food/drink intake with the trainer. So while it was of no surprise it still is a little sad.

At the time, last week, I still had a good portion of my normal 12 pack box that I buy so that I can bring a cold can with me every day for lunch. My campus has a contract with Pepsi instead of Coke and Diet Pepsi is just so nasty that the only way I can drink it is if it's in a fountain drink and I hate over paying for fountain drinks in our student union. So I have to bring my addictions with me to work.

So I now have one lone Coke Zero in my fridge and I decided to hoard it for a little while (or at least until my husband notices it and drinks it making me justifiably mad and causing an argument). Monday I went the whole day with just my one cup of coffee to start the day. The rest of the day I downed a ton of water. Predictably I had a massive headache at 4 p.m. due to caffeine withdrawal.

Tuesday morning I decided to make some green tea. Then I had the brilliant idea to turn it into iced tea. See, I don't like un-sweetened hot tea but I'm fine with it if it's iced. My weird brain at work again. This was all a great idea until I poured half the cup of brewed hot tea onto my fingers while trying to transfer it into the cup with ice.

#$%* it.

But the highlight was tons of leftover fruit and veggies in the work fridge from an event we had last night. So my morning snack was much more exciting and colorful than normal. Maybe it will help me forget the pain of my scalded fingers.

Mondays with M
So I finally had my first training session with my trainer and it didn't go great. Not his fault - my body decided that it could only handle battle ropes, push-ups, and squats before my heart rate sky-rocketed and I felt like I was going to puke (just like a couple of weeks ago when I did kettle). He was kind about it all. He said it was more likely to come from the fact that I was switching between different positions (like push-ups to squats) pretty quickly and that changed my blood pressure and heart rate. So he'll change up some of that stuff - keeping me in one vertical or horizontal position at a time. But it cut short some of the exercising because I had to give it some time to recover and not want to puke or pass out. I hate, hate, hate feeling like that. Even if it's out of my control it makes me feel weak and out of shape. Because those exercises are things I should be able to handle without feeling like that. But I'm dealing with it and moving on.

Last week I started off fine and things again went downhill. So far this week things are going great and I'm really trying to control my eating. Looking at sodium levels has been pretty annoying but I'm trying to make some changes to my regular staples in my diet and progressively cut down on my daily intake.

We also had a conversation about my coffee creamer. He said, "But that's at least 70 calories a day and if we multiply it by 7 days and then by 10 weeks just cutting that out would help with weight loss."

I replied, "I'm a white girl in her late 30's. The pumpkin spice creamer is staying until Thanksgiving."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mondays with M

Sorry it's been quiet on here. Last week was crazy busy at work. Quick recap on the little bit of exercise I got:

  • Spin on Tuesday
  • 1 mile warm up run and weights on Friday
  • Walk, Run/Row routine on Saturday
Yep, that's about it.

But today was my initial meeting with my new (to me) trainer "M". First to give a little background, my university has a wellness program so for the low cost of $200 I can meet weekly with a trainer (for about 15 weeks) plus I get a pass to as many classes as I want. It's a heck of a deal. Many times, however, their trainers are students who may have a couple certifications but they're still in school and so very young and inexperienced.  I've always liked everyone I've worked with but there have been a couple that I wouldn't pay to have again. So I specifically requested M for this semester because I've watched him work with other clients and he's been doing this for 15 years (rather than a few weeks...).

I have no running goals right now so I told him I want to concentrate on building strength and trimming down again. It's not so much that I don't know what to do but I'd rather have weekly accountability and advice from someone who knows more about this stuff than I do. We went through a pretty detailed history and his initial comments were pretty interesting.

  • If you want to keep from yo-yo'ing on your weight and exercise activity you need to cut back to 3-5 days of exercise. - Awesome, already doing that.
  • 30 minutes of cardio max per session, the rest of it is weights/strength training. - Okay, willing to mix things up especially since I'm not going long distances right now.
  • Minimum of 1500-1700 calories a day. - that will take my brain a bit to get used to but I know he's right.
  • No more Coke Zero.
Fine, I'll cut down and then cut it out. Or at least I'll try.
  • He didn't set any other macros yet (carbs/fat/proteins) but he thinks I need to cut down on salt, to 1500-2000 mg/day.
This truly is the hardest thing to accept and deal with. Not because I love salt so much (although I do) but because most of the things I have picked to eat diet wise to fit my macros have higher amounts of salt in them. These aren't bad things necessarily - but cottage cheese has a high amount of sodium, as does single package oatmeal, healthy cereal, salsa, hummus, egg whites in a carton, yogurt, etc.

So I won't get to a magic >2000 mg of sodium right away. I have to readjust my pantry staples and shopping list first but I did switch up my breakfast plans in an attempt to work on it. 
  • Overnight oats (old fashioned), almond milk (still higher in sodium but more tasty than water), blueberries, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. With a scrambled egg and coffee.
Another problem is the amount of time I need to cook since Tuesdays and Thursdays are consumed with tennis games and something seems to come up on the other days as well. I guess weekly meal planning can be done but I don't want to find a temporary solution for a longer term problem. I know myself well enough to know that I could spend a few weeks prepping weekly meals but soon it would get old and I will want more daily variety. But for now....

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The I'm not really going to race but then again... 5k race report

It was gorgeous on Saturday morning. Even if I was awake far earlier than I would prefer on a weekend. At 6:20 when I left my house the outside temps were 62 degrees and it didn't feel humid at all - though how humidity feels in the south is pretty relative to what you're used to.

The night before I wondered if I should wear a tank or t-shirt. Then silly me realized that the mid-60's are still pretty darn warm once you get going and a tank top was used. And while I did get sweaty I never felt overheated.

The 5k didn't start until 7:20 but I was worried about getting into the parking lot and settled since the 10k started at 7:00. Then they only had 4 port a potties set up so that line took quite a while. While there a friendly gal behind me was trying to chat and I still was in my, "this is too early and I need coffee" mind fog.

I was surprised to find that I only knew like 1 or 2 people at the race. I guess other people had better Labor Day weekend plans. But since I wasn't feeling up to being chatty and friendly it's probably for the best.

After a while my brain had woken up enough that I really did appreciate the beautiful morning, the chance to be healthy enough to race, and the spirit of the community. I started the race in a good mood and hit mile one at 10:33 which is far faster than I had planned on going. So I thought, well golly, let's at least do this within 11 min/mile splits. Even if it wasn't going to be my best 5k it didn't have to be my worst either.

Mile 2 was slower with a 11:30'ish split but I could still finish within my new goal. And I was able to get through at the end just barely squeaking by with an overall pace of 10:59, finishing at 34:03.  And then since I still felt kind of bad (stupid brain) about switching down to the 5k I went to Zumba afterwards for an extra cardio burn. And after that I was super tired for the day and took a nap and was grouchy at everyone in my family for the rest of the day.

Aah the life of a kinda runner.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Fall may come after all

It's been a decent week. Enough soreness has worn off that I can walk again without shuffling like a one-legged pirate so that's good.

And look! Here is the forecast for tomorrow morning.

Running a 5k in 60 degree temps? Oh the bliss! 

Even with much lower temps I'll still probably have a pretty slow 5k. I have no goals for this race at all. I'm just treating it like a normal easy run, which means walking breaks as needed and an overall easy 11-12 minute/mile pace.

Far more workouts this past week than I've had in previous weeks:
  • Saturday: 4 mile interval run
  • Monday: 1.5 mile warm up run and Kettle-Death Class
  • Wednesday: Zumba
  • Thursday: Spin
  • Friday: 1 mile warm up run, abs, and arms (weights)

I already got in my workout this morning because I'm naturally a morning person and love to work out before going to work.

Or not.

Actually, my son now has a Friday morning choir practice which starts at 6:45 in the blessed a.m. Good thing I love that kid.

And it means I get a second breakfast. So it's not all bad.

And I talked with my trainer and we've picked out our weekly time. Since it will be on Mondays I get another week before the suffer-fest begins. Thank God for Labor Day!