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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

It's okay to hate me a little

Way back in November we found out about some great travel deals on flights to Europe. My husband took advantage of it and bought two tickets for him and his brother to go to Spain this year. My husband and I have been to Spain before but this would be his brother's first trip and someplace he has always wanted to go. I was super cool about them going at first but after a while (and probably after a stressful day) I began to think - "What about me? What exotic location am I going to?"

We had been thinking about going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer - my husband had a chance to go to a conference down there and have some of the travel covered through work. But even with that coverage the total cost was around $4-5k and we just don't have that kind of money to spend on a trip at this point in our lives. So Rio was out...

So while I was in my bitter "what about me!?!" mood, and having imbibed a couple of cocktails one night, and scrolling through Facebook and seeing pictures from a distant cousin's recent cruise to the western Caribbean I ended up texting my BFF and proclaiming that we needed to go on a cruise together.

She took me at my tipsy word and for the past couple of months we've looked at options that would fit both time and budget. Neither of us have ever gone a cruise before so it's been a pain in the a$$ entertaining to try and figure out the billion options available to us.

Now we have booked our own cruise to the Bahamas this spring. And it's an open bar cruise. We have our priorities.

But look at this fitness room! Well, this is some random Google images fitness room that I found but it's similar enough (I couldn't find the picture I found before for the one on our ship):


That makes me WANT to spend time on a treadmill.... There's also an outdoor track. My friend is not a fitness friend but we've agreed that we're not going to spend 24/7 with each other. While I do plan to work out there will be far more time just spent on some lounge chair soaking in the sun and ordering another round.

It's still a couple months away but I'm looking forward to sharing stories with you all.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Weekly Results: 1/23-1/29

Exercise

  • Monday: Kettle Fit and Elliptical (3 miles)
  • Tuesday: Yoga/Rest Day
  • Wednesday: Step/Tone and Zumba
  • Thursday: Interval Run - 30 minutes, about 2.5 miles
  • Friday: Boot Camp and Elliptical (2 miles)
  • Saturday: Lots of housework and cooking
  • Sunday: Interval Run - 30 minutes, about 2.5 miles, Row 2000 meters, and Elliptical for 300 calories (which is a little over 2 miles)
Mileage: Roughly 12 miles
Minutes: 360

Saturday's meal - wine not pictured... :)
Ok, so Saturday wasn't real exercise but I was on my feet for the majority of the day so we can agree to call it an active rest day. Sunday was in danger of becoming a slothful day but I eventually got my butt out of the house and into the gym. Of course, I was glad that I did. As mentioned earlier, it was a good week for strength training and cardio in general even if my mileage was lower. My intervals are getting faster, both on Thursday and Sunday my run portions were in the 9 minute range for pace.

Diet/Weight
Great week. I didn't track on Saturday and probably went over but we had a guest over for dinner and I made some dishes that would have been a pain to track. I ate reasonably and the food in itself was pretty healthy so I'm not worried about it.  Sunday was a blueberry pancakes and McDonald's day. I did track and definitely went over and didn't feel good about it but I added on extra cardio to try and mitigate the damage.

An important lesson was my reaction to drinking a large Coke Zero from McD's. This has been one of my favorite beverages but I've really cut my diet soda habit over the past month (only having a glass or two on the weekends when we went out to eat) . Having a large diet soda made me feel like crap on Sunday. I hope it's enough to dissuade me from having more and being able to finally kick this habit but we'll see what happens. In good news, La Croix was on sale at Publix so I got a carton for 1/2 off. And I like the cran/raspberry flavor more than the other flavors I tried previously.

One pound lost last week, so 7.2 pounds overall since January 1st. My weight stayed exactly the same (to the ounce) from Friday-Monday morning. It always makes me question the scale when I see that happen...

This Week

  • Monday: Kettle Fit and Elliptical (3 miles) (ST)
  • Tuesday: Yoga and Interval Run 
  • Wednesday: Step/Tone and Zumba (ST)
  • Thursday: Interval Run 
  • Friday: Boot Camp and Elliptical (3 miles) (ST)
  • Saturday: Interval Run - 4 miles
  • Sunday: Walk/Elliptical - Active Rest Day
I'm now going to use (ST) to designate any strength training days.

I'm not really sure when I can get the run in on Tuesday but I'm putting it on the schedule none-the-less. I can still do the various classes this week - next week will be more limited with my work schedule. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Finally a post in which I do not complain or whine (mostly)

It's actually been a great week despite some of my protestations on here lately. Maybe this change in attitude is because I've lost another pound off my back/arse over the course of this week. I haven't gotten as many running miles in but it's been a fantastic week for cardio and strength training. Though, I'm not sure how well I'll get up and down from sitting tomorrow once the DOMS set in...

I complained a couple posts back about the changes to the group classes being held at lunch and I'm woman enough to admit that I might have just been whining about nothing. I tried out two of those classes this week and actually really enjoyed them.  The first was a step class which turned out to be a step and tone class. So we only spent 15 minutes doing the step portion and then another 15 minutes with toning - mostly arms but a couple of leg exercises were thrown in too. Since the step portion only lasted 15 minutes it was long enough to get super sweaty and winded but not to feel like I was going to hurl because my HR was up to 180 BPM. And I threw it in as extra cardio on my normal Zumba day and it didn't turn out to affect me badly at all. I was just super hungry on Thursday to make up for it.

Today (Friday) was a new class which was described as a Boot Camp type of class. It was easier than most Boot Camps I've done but has definite potential to build up to a really solid, challenging workout (this was the first time this guy has taught the class). Today's class had a lot of hamstring/glute work so that's why I worry about my ability to get up and down tomorrow. There was one move that was kind of like a Turkish Get-Up that completely kicked my tail.


Diet has been solid all week long. Even with the extra hunger on Thursday I ate extra protein rather than carbs. I've avoided pastries, cake, and donuts that have been available this week to me at work without feeling like I'm missing out on anything. I wish that I could bottle this kind of feeling about not needing to eat everything I see. I swear it's all hormonal since some days I seem to be absolutely fine with will power and other days there's no hope for me at all.

In other musings, I stopped by our local whole foods type market - Sprouts - on Wednesday night because I needed a couple of things and had fun wandering through the aisles looking at their products. I picked up some awesome olives, wasabi pistachios (yum), and fruit and then grossed myself out by looking at some other things. The one that got me was in their "raw" section. They had something called "chewable juice" and I was so disgusted by the name that I didn't even look further at it. I would love to know if someone out there is a big fan of this juice and can justify its name. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Just give me the shirt...

I had no idea this was an option!


Forget racing - just get the shirt and trick people into thinking that you're totally into fitness. And why are they discriminating against 100 year olds?

This is the registration form for the early April race I have in mind.  For about 2 minutes I debated whether or not I wanted to do the 15k - knowing it would be a slow 15k. While I have no doubt in my ability to finish a slow 15k, I thankfully remembered that it would require a lot more running time in my training schedule - going from 30 minute runs to 90+ minute runs (during late winter when I don't go outside much). So instead I'll focus on a faster pace for the 5k (which was my original plan anyway I was just distracted by the shiny 15k lights that beckoned me closer with their siren like glare).

I'm pretty sure I've used the graphic before on this blog but I love it.
Going to a step class and Zumba later today. I'm not a huge fan of step but it's a good cardio burn and it hits different leg muscles. The main issue I have is if my HR gets too high. So there's often marching in place going on when I try step classes. But I'll have to see if the cardio combo (Step and Zumba) kills me for tomorrow. 

I'm a bit pissed off at my scale and its progress right now, or rather lack of progress. I thought - "well maybe the scale isn't moving but my measurements are!?" Nope, that theory failed me too. I want instant gratification darn it. So I've adjusted my hopes for this month's weight loss from 15 lbs to 7 lbs - I've already lost a little over 6 of those 7 if my scale doesn't go back up again. It's still good forward movement but to me the 7 pounds feels like water weight not a real loss (since the 6 lbs initially came off in the first week I got back on track). It will be fine. I'm just taking a minute for my little  pity party. I'll refocus and be fine. I wish I could use the "Just give me the shirt" option for diet and weight loss....

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Grumble, grumble, stupid change, grumble....

I always planned to get set up with my personal trainer again as soon as the semester started. Even though we met weekly last semester I wasn't really feeling it exercise wise. Probably why I ended up gaining 10 pounds over the course of 4 months... But with the start of the New Year and feeling a new energy and focus I was excited to work with him again and show him my true beast-mode potential.

Then I discovered that they changed everything up. I've bragged on here before about the great deal I get at my university for personal training sessions. Before I would get 1x/week, 60 minute personal trainer sessions, over the course of 14-15 weeks plus a group exercise pass for about $225. Amazing bargain. This semester there's no pass included and you have to decide on how many sessions you want and the price has increased. It's still a good price in comparison to other personal trainer sessions at a gym or whatnot. But I wasn't pleased. Then I couldn't tell if my trainer from last semester was even going to be available and I did not want to pay more for some 20 year old who was still finishing up their exercise science major. For a while I didn't know if I was even going to pursue it.

But finally this Monday I worked things out with my trainer and decided how many sessions I wanted to pay for. I thought I was going to do 15 sessions but once I looked at potential conflicts in my schedule it ends up that 10 will work best. So it's different than I'm used to but it doesn't necessarily mean it's worse. I am not happy with the majority of the group classes they're offering this semester. So far there are only two I really want to do that also work with my schedule. Some of my favorites are now done after work which I'm sure was planned because that works better for students but it doesn't work with my personal life - getting a class in at lunch works much better for me.

On a weekly basis here's a rough schedule of what I hope to do (barring any work/personal conflicts):

  • Monday: Kettle Fit and Cardio: either a run or elliptical
  • Tuesday: Yoga (technically my rest day)
  • Wednesday: Training sessions and Zumba (Zumba will be a 2nd priority depending on how tired I am from the session)
  • Thursday: Elliptical and Row
  • Friday: Run
  • Saturday: Zumba or Run/Elliptical and Weights
  • Sunday: Run and Weights


Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekly Results: 1/16-1/22


Boy am I glad last week is over. Nothing bad happened it was just super busy. However, we had AWESOME weather last week. Several days in the 60's which made getting outside a pleasure.

Exercise: 

  • Monday - 3.09 mile (C25K run plus extra) and 2.68 mile walk later in the day
  • Tuesday - Yoga
  • Wednesday - Zumba
  • Thursday - Nothing
  • Friday - 2 mile (C25K run) and 1 mile elliptical
  • Saturday - Nothing
  • Sunday - 4 miles run intervals (3/2) and weights (arms/legs)
Miles: 12.77 miles
Minutes: 323

Notes: I really did mean to add more minutes and miles to the week but I was exhausted from the busy work week. Saturday should have been a great exercise day but things kept popping up and I procrastinated. As of Sunday I changed my C25K plans which I'll talk about later.

Diet/Weight:
Despite being busy and tired my diet was pretty good overall. A little more ice cream and margaritas than I should have had but it's all about the balance. I was back down 2 lbs to where I was a couple weeks ago.

True story about why my housework often doesn't get done.
Schedule:

  • Monday - Kettle Fit and 3 miles elliptical
  • Tuesday - Yoga and hopefully a run
  • Wednesday - Zumba
  • Thursday - 3 miles intervals and weights
  • Friday - 3 miles elliptical 
  • Saturday - 4 miles intervals and weights 
  • Sunday - 4 miles of something (either intervals, walk, or elliptical) and weights
C25K Adjustments
The C25K plan I use has run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes for the 3rd week. On the 4th week it bumps up to 3 and 5 minute runs. In all, I only get about 2-2.5 miles in on any given C25K run which means I usually have to try and get my app to go back and repeat or figure out my own intervals if I'm trying to log 3 or 4 miles for the day. Getting the app to repeat is a huge pain in the ass. After the 4th week the runs of course get longer but I really liked my run 4/walk 1 minute intervals I ended up using last spring and think that I want to go back to that, even for these shorter runs. So on Sunday I downloaded a new free app for intervals and went for 4 miles on the greenway. The app works great but since it's free it doesn't have GPS so I had to also use MapMyRun  to track distance and splits - one day I'll pay for an app or Garmin that does it all. 

I decided for now I'll do 3/2 intervals until I feel comfortable with my 4-5 miles and then bump it up to the 4/1 intervals. During the week for shorter runs I might still use one of the C25K intervals but it will be something from weeks 3 or 4. Also, I really wanted to get 20 miles a week in but I'm having difficulties finding time on some of my days to get those miles in. So my new goal is at least 15 miles per week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Weekly Results 1/9-1/15


Exercise - The time every week where I sit down to post this and think, "crap - what DID I do that day..."
  • Monday - Kettle Fit and C25K - W2D1 (2 miles)
  • Tuesday - C25K W2D2 (2 mile anger run) plus 2 miles on elliptical and 2000 meter row
  • Wednesday - Elliptical (3 miles), weights (arms/legs) and Zumba: Tone
  • Thursday - C25K W2D3 (2 miles) and Elliptical (1 mile)
  • Friday - Elliptical (3 miles) and Yoga
  • Saturday - C25K W3D1 plus extra run/walk for 3.8 miles
  • Sunday - 8 minute cold walk and 30 min on elliptical

Mileage: About 21. Sunday's elliptical was on my machine at home and I don't trust that mileage.
Minutes: 419


Diet
Everything was great until Thursday when I hit the wall. The weekend didn't go well either.

Weight
As of Tuesday morning I was up a pound from last week. Very frustrating in that any extra calories eaten (which weren't a billion extra) should not have equated to a gain. So a lot of it is probably the tricksy water weight.


Saw La La Land on Sunday, kept thinking of "hey girl" quotes.

Schedule - since I'm behind on posting this some of it has already been done but this will be a harder week to fit in workouts due to my regular work schedule.
  • Monday: 2 miles C25K run, 1 mile run/walk, later on I walked another 2.68 miles because it was such a gorgeous day outside
  • Tuesday: Yoga (planned to do more but life got in the way)
  • Wednesday: Zumba
  • Thursday: C25K run and Ult Sculpt video 
  • Friday: elliptical (3 miles) 
  • Saturday: C25K run and weights
  • Sunday: elliptical and weights (different muscles)
Diet so far has been better for this week but it's going to be a busy and stressful one so the temptation to eat my way through that will probably be stronger. Good news is that it really just affects this week.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Little Treasures and Experimental Waffles

So last night I ended up eating more than I should have but eh, whatever. My body probably needed pizza and breadsticks (plus more). Then I started reading in my bed and fell into a sleep coma starting at 8:30 p.m. and going through 7:30 a.m. No sleeping pills or aids taken at all.

That was my first treasure - an awesome night of real sleep.

Of course, waking up at 7:30 and not just jumping out of bed meant that I missed my Saturday morning Zumba class but I was also ok with that. Zumba is far more fun than running inside at the gym but as I learned this week I'm really not ready physically to do both in one day and I wanted to run today.

Breakfast was homemade waffles - where I tried a recipe for banana/oat waffles that I found on Pinterest and adapted it to put more protein in it. The original recipe called for oats, a banana, almond milk, baking powder, and vanilla - plus stevia (I guess the banana wasn't sweet enough for that person). Instead of almond milk I used egg whites (1/2 cup), threw in some cinnamon, and used less oats - mostly because I was only making them for one person (me) and I only had just under a cup of oats, it called for 2. I don't have stevia so I just topped it with honey once it was made. It was ok. Not horrible but not great either. I like my Biggest Loser pancake recipe better which has oats, egg whites, and cottage cheese as the main ingredients.

What's interesting (at least to me) was looking at my regular waffles, which I made for the kids compared to the banana/oat ones I made for me. I thought nutritionally it would blow the regular waffles out of the water. While the banana/oat is healthier it's not as huge of a difference as I expected:

Top line is both kinds of waffles together, second line is regular waffles, last line is banana/oat.
These are the stats for one square of the waffle (out of the 4 you get when you pour the batter on the iron). You'll see that the banana/oat is better in fat, fiber, and protein but calorie wise it's about the same as using Heart Healthy Bisquick, 2% milk, a whole egg, and canola oil in the regular waffles. And the banana can screw with your carbs if you didn't care about the source of the carbs - obviously oats and bananas are better for you than bisquick (as you can tell from the fiber content).

After breakfast I finally got around to getting out to exercise. I was heading off to the gym but once I started to drive I realized it was a great day to be outside. So I headed out to our local greenway instead. First, I made a pitstop at the car wash to get the salt brine off the car from last week's snow days and to finally vacuum the inside since it was still a mess after our Christmas road trip to Austin, TX. While vacuuming I found our other pair of ear buds which have been a source of a minor argument between my husband and I - he lost that pair and I refused to let him use mine - reason being whenever they (he or the kids) steal mine I never have them when I need them so I've started to be completely selfish about not sharing them and even hiding them. So found earbuds were my second treasure of the day.

While driving to the greenway I realized I had to pee and I didn't want to use the nasty port-a-johns at the trail head. So instead I drove a bit further to our Civil War battlefield where the National Park Service has an awesome real bathroom. Plus it's really nice to run the battlefield - that was my main place to go while training for the 10 mile run last spring. Mostly because of the bathrooms...  Treasure #3.

I put on the Week 3 Day 1 plan for C25k but I knew I'd end up running more than that as I only get about 2 miles in over those intervals. Overall I almost made it to 4 miles total for my run. I put on a playlist that has a lot of awesome movie theme soundtracks and I got a real outside run in. Seriously, it's been MONTHS since I've ran outside. The weather was great - chilly at first but I warmed up pretty quickly and realized that I really didn't need long sleeves on, the air was crisp and smelled of fresh cut cedar, blue jays were out, and there wasn't too much traffic on the driving part of the park. Once I finished the C25K I would run a couple minutes at a time and then walk for a couple of minutes. I didn't really time anything, just did what felt good at the moment.

Apparently at some point I felt super speedy with that 8:39 max pace... I must have been on a downhill. But being outside was definitely a treasure, highlight, and a rarity for this time of year since I am definitely only a fair weather runner. The good news is that Sunday and Monday look good for getting outside too.

The rest of the day was spent running errands and indulging in two hamburger sliders with fries so my fat percentages were really bad for today but once again my thoughts are, "eh - whatever".  Tomorrow will also have a bit of a food indulgence since I'm going out to lunch and a movie with a friend but I can balance it out with a good breakfast and dinner. If I don't lose anything this week weight wise I'll instead take my victory for a great week of workouts. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

My body cries "Uncle"

You all knew it would happen didn't you? You were just waiting for me to get to this point. You read my posts of

  • "I'm not going to have a rest day!!" 
  • "I'm going to get 3 miles in every day!" 
  • "I'm going to strength train 4 days a week!!
And just waited for it to catch up with my delusional mind....

Yesterday was that day.

On Wednesday, I did 1) 3 miles on the elliptical, 2) weights for arms/legs, and 3) Zumba with toning. This was after doing a little extra on Tuesday as well. To say that my body was tired is an understatement.

I did exercise on Thursday but the day was not pretty: I finished week 2 of the C25K and finished up with a mile on the elliptical to get my precious 3 miles in for the day. My original plan was to also do my Ultimate Sculpt video but there was no way in heck that was going to happen. I felt like sleeping all afternoon and could barely function at work, ate a lot extra at dinner because I was hungry and tired, and felt my back start to ache because it was having to overcompensate for my other muscles not being able to pull their weight.

So instead of Friday being a major exercise day since I would have extra time it has become a low key day. Three very easy miles on the elliptical and a 30 minute relaxing yoga class. And I won't do anything else for today. Speaking of yoga - my favorite class is coming back this semester so that is definitely on my weekly schedule again. And last month I bought myself the "Whiskey and Yoga" shirt I've been wanting for more than a year now. Merry Christmas to me.

Now if I can just keep myself from eating everything in sight I'll be doing just fine. My brain and stomach are telling me that I must eat more than a reasonable amount of food but I know they won't shut off with a "I'm full" button if I do start eating more than what I have planned so I'm struggling my way through the day.

There are some mental victories even though everything feels hard and like a failure right now. So I'm trying to focus on the right things I have "done" rather than just how I "feel" at this particular moment. I'm still on the wagon and hope to stay there through this swing of tiredness and most likely hormones.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Anger Runs and Cookie Therapy

Tuesday was a frustrating day. I got some news that in the long run is not a big deal but at the moment seriously ticked me off. Never have I been more thankful to be able to run - even if it's still in intervals.

I almost left to run right after receiving the news but I had to process it a little. Then I got super hungry and decided that going for a run while feeling that hungry would not result in a good run. So I switched my lunch hour to be at the end of the day and went ahead and ate my planned meals. There were no candy drawer raids. Of course it helps that all the current candy in the drawer is disgusting to me.

But after work I got to the gym. The plan for that day was just the elliptical and row machine but I added in another C25K run. I needed the higher intensity of the runs and calming influence of just going in circles around the inside track. Yes, inside running can be more boring but I can also zone out and not worry about traffic, stranger danger, bad road or sidewalk conditions, or weather.

My hamstrings were super tight going into the run but I knew they'd ease up once I got warmed up - which they did.

I ended up with 2 miles to get through the C25K run, 2 miles on the elliptical, and 2000 meters on the rower. I was pleasantly tired and in a better frame of mind.

Then I did some grocery shopping, went home, did NOT drink wine (which is a normal thing to do when I'm ticked off but I'm trying to stop that habit), ate a healthy dinner, and the last of my Halo Top. I was still under calories for the day so my gift to myself was eating two delicious cranberry/white chocolate chip cookies.

Of course, I had to stake claim on my Halo Top when my son found it in the freezer and was about to eat it. Mommy doesn't share food when she's on a diet. People need to learn that and back away, slowly, while not making eye contact.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Weekly Results: 1/1/17-1/8/17

First week done and it was awesome for staying on track and doing what I'm supposed to do.

Exercise: One extra day since New Years started on a Sunday and I wasn't active the week before. Usually I do a Monday-Sunday results post.
  • Sunday: 3.34 mile walk
  • Monday: C25K run (W1D1) and walk to finish up 3 miles total
  • Tuesday: Elliptical (3 miles - 30'ish minutes) and weights (arms/legs)
  • Wednesday: C25K run (W1D2) plus a little extra run/walk to get to 3 miles total and Zumba
  • Thursday: Elliptical (3 miles - 30'ish minutes) and rowing (2000 meters)
  • Friday: C25K run - only had time for 2 miles and Ultimate Sculpt Video
  • Saturday: run/walk for 4 miles
  • Sunday: 2.6 miles on my elliptical at home and Ultimate Sculpt Video and lots of walking later in the day
Total Miles (including elliptical and walking): 24
Total Minutes: 482

I was still pretty sore on Saturday morning after my first "welcome back to sculpting" workout on Friday. After I suffered through that video I knew I was going to have to really incorporate weight training into my weekly plans again if I was going to survive personal trainer sessions. The good thing about my cardio is that I can control my tempo and thus heart rate so I never really do spike my BPM like I do when I'm going through strength training. At first I thought about doing my Ultimate Sculpt video every other day for this next week to help get my endurance back on track but I've, of course, realized I don't actually have time for that if I'm trying to incorporate other exercise as well. When I did the video again on Sunday morning I dropped from 10 pound hand weights to 5 pound weights. This definitely helped with the BPM and also didn't kill my arms since I was still dealing with 2nd day DOMS. 

Saturday was a good run day. I wanted to make up the extra mile that I didn't get on Friday (my goal - which I made - was to get an average of 3 miles a day either running, walking, or through the elliptical). My original thoughts were to run/walk for 2 miles and then to do the elliptical for 2 miles. But once I got to the gym I ended up staying on the indoor track for the whole 4 miles. At some points it was a mental game - I started with walking one lap and then running one lap. I did that for 13 laps (or 2 miles). Then instead of going to the elliptical I ran another lap. While I was running that lap I thought - let's run another lap. While on the second lap I thought - if you can run this whole 3rd mile then you can stop and not worry about going a full 4 miles. I kept my speed slow - I was probably closer to a 12 minute mile while running that 3rd mile but I didn't time it. I was elated however to run the whole mile since it's been a couple or more months for me to do that. I managed not to flake out and I still continued on to finish the 4th mile. But I switched back to run/walk for that one. All in all, I spent about 50-55 minutes on the track. And my legs felt much better than they did when I first woke up.

Sunday was super difficult to get through. I had to do everything at home and it was in the single digits outside and still icy in spots so I wasn't going to run outside. My original plans were to start on week 2 of C25K but that had to be adjusted since we planned to spend the afternoon up in Nashville and the gym doesn't open until noon on Sundays. So I got on my elliptical at home and about had a mental breakdown when I saw how much different the speeds/calorie counters were on it compared to the gym. At the gym I put the resistance on the halfway mark and the incline down a bit so it hits my calves as well as hams/quads. With these levels I can do about a mile every 10 minutes and it says that it burns about 350'ish calories for those 30 minutes when I do 3 miles. At home, I spent 53 minutes on the damn thing and barely hit 2.6 miles and 200 calories. It pissed me off since I don't know if it's wrong or right. It felt like so much more of an effort at home so I don't know that the trackers on it are completely accurate. Since I was in a bad mental zone I also grumbled and complained through the whole sculpting video even though it was much easier with lighter weights. Oh well - not everyday is a delightful exercise day.

Diet: Far more impressive than my exercise was my diet for this first week. I stayed on track and never splurged on anything. I didn't get my exact micro zones every day but my calories were right for the amount of exercise I did and I still got to enjoy an occasional indulgence such as one cookie - instead of 4 or 5 cookies. I didn't have much diet soda (just a little a couple of times we went out to eat) and my caffeine intake was way down overall.

Weight: Officially down 5 lbs in the first week if I look at the starting weight on Sunday (Jan 1) and my weight this morning (Jan 9). I was down 6.2 pounds as of Friday or Saturday morning but floated back up a little over the weekend. I still consider this first week just the week to burn off the bloat. This second week really starts the real weight loss. I'll have to adapt my mind back to thinking that losing a pound a week is fantastic (though honestly I'm still hoping for quicker loss at least through the next few weeks).

This Week:
  • Monday: Kettle class and C25k run
  • Tuesday: Elliptical and row
  • Wednesday: C25k run and Zumba
  • Thursday: Elliptical and weights
  • Friday: C25K run and Yoga
  • Saturday: Walk and Zumba
  • Sunday: C25K run and weights
Somewhere in there I'll get a fourth day of weights/sculpting. I still plan to work towards 20 miles total for the week but may not worry about 3 miles per day. You'll also notice no rest days - that's just something I'm doing for this month. Starting in February I'll get back to rest days. For now, to build back my habits of good exercise it's easier to not skip a day. I'm the type who can have one rest day and then falls back off the wagon. Also, the intensity isn't super high this month since my C25K runs are still more walking than running - so it's not as bad to do something everyday.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Snow Day 2017

As I've posted in previous winters, my part of Tennessee doesn't get a lot of snow. And when we do, well - people freak the freak out.


I mock them every year. It's nice to feel superior...

We got almost 2 inches of snow today and the phone calls for delaying, and eventually canceling of school started at 5:30 a.m. Ugh - there's no point in not sending my kids to school if I'm not allowed to also sleep in.

This was from our year in Connecticut - they still had to go to school:


This was today, where they got to stay home:

Oh the humanity! How will we ever survive?!?
I, however, didn't get to stay home. I could have called in and used personal time but I figured it was good to get out of the house and still be able to use the gym. The roads were drivable but not great - it takes a long time for them to clear the roads out here since we're not as used to this white stuff.


My plan was to work up until lunch, go workout, hit the grocery store (because I truly needed groceries), and then spend the afternoon at home. I was going to take my time at the gym since my afternoon would be fairly free. Until we got a call right after noon that the whole university was closing at 1 p.m. So I rushed out to the gym and only had enough time to do my C25K run but that was what I really needed the gym for since outside running wasn't going to happen today (or tomorrow).

View from the inside track.
By the time I left campus the roads were in far better condition. The parking lot at the store was clear and I did my regular weekend's worth of shopping since I didn't know if Saturday would be better weather wise. I loaded up on ingredients to make a pretty hearty chicken and spinach soup based off of this recipe - I added turkey sausage and onions to it as well based on a comment someone left in the reviews. I avoided the wine aisle since I'm going alcohol free this month. And I got a pint of Halo Top (chocolate mocha chip) because I've been wanting to try it. OMG - delish.

When I got home I was starving and I pretty much inhaled my salad. Then I did my Ultimate Sculpt video for weights (never got around to weights on Thursday which was my plan). It about killed me. I'm so out of shape for that stuff. 

Now I'm in my comfy bed, feeling all of the muscles in my legs, savoring the memories of the Halo Top, and hoping we can all somehow return to normalcy tomorrow.

Someone posted this video on Facebook today and I enjoyed it, probably a little too much. But if you're from someplace where snow is normal - I think you'll enjoy it too.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Runnings Goals for 2017 and what defines success

Why not? Everyone else is doing it, or purposefully not doing it.

My goals are very mediocre really. Like with last year, I have no desire to run longer distances. Being a slower runner, those long distances are really hard to schedule training for and I start to hate anything over 7 or 8 miles. Last year I talked myself into the 10 mile run in June, which as a race was good, but the end of training was brutal and then I stopped running altogether afterwards.

So really my goal is to keep running all year, even if it's only 2 or 3 mile runs. And I am thinking of calling 2017 "The year of the local 5k's".  If I'm doing well I might throw in a couple 10k's but my thinking right now is to just improve on my 5k time and not worry about anything longer than a 10k - even in training runs. I want to get back to sub-30 5Ks. I got close last summer and could have done it if I had stayed consistent in running but I was worn out after the 10 miler and lost motivation.

From what I can find on the local race calendars my first 5k for this year can be in early April. There are others in January (which I'm not ready for yet) or in different towns in Feb/Mar but I really just want something close; and not a big corporate crazy thing like the Glo-Runs, or Mud-Runs, or Foam-Runs, or Hot Chocolate-Runs, or "insert anything here" Runs. So early April is on my watch list right now. It's in my town and it supports a local non-profit which has helped my daughter with some of her dysgraphia issues. Overall there are about 5 races so far that I think would be workable to put into my schedule.

Keeping my runs short also allows me to spend time on other types of training and exercise as well. It's far easier to schedule weights after a 30 minute run rather than feel bad about skipping weights yet again because I just spent 2+ hours slugging through a 8 mile run once you count the time running plus the time spent to drive to the trail and back.

So my plan is to right now still work through the C25K plan. I'm just finishing up week 1 right now which is easy but that's a really good thing. Feeling successful about completing a workout while not wanting to die helps motivate me to go towards the next week and the next week and the next week. That's why I always come back to the C25K training plans. Yes, I'm physically able to run more than 60 seconds at a time right now but the systematic process of building up endurance works better for me than just throwing myself back out there for a longer period of running and then feeling bad when I tire out after a few minutes. I felt just as good about finishing my run yesterday as I did about any of my longer successful runs last year. I left the gym feeling good about myself, motivated to start making goals, and excited about being on track again. All of that after "only" running intervals of 60 seconds followed by a 90 second walk (8 times). It's so important to not discount the small things.



Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Four Days Strong

And 5.2 pounds of bloat gone so far. And not from juicing or some other starvation diet. My calorie intake has been between 1500-1700 per day but my carbs have stayed fairly low (114-155) which is probably helping the rapid loss of bloat. I know this will stop within another day or so and then the real weight loss will begin again. But it's still fun to see rapid loss on a scale even though you know it's really just water and air.

Workouts thus far:

  • Sunday: 3 mile walk
  • Monday: 1 mile walk and 2 mile C25K run
  • Tuesday: 3 miles on elliptical and weights (arms/legs)
  • Wednesday (will be):  1 mile walk and 2 mile C25K run and Zumba
Workouts Planned:
  • Thursday: 3 miles on elliptical, row 2000 meters, and different weights (arms/legs again)
  • Friday: 1 mile walk and 2 mile C25K run, and Yoga
  • Saturday: Zumba and 3 mile walk
Next week I'll try to get 2 additional days of weights in - that's always my weakness when I don't have classes that automatically include strength training.

And in regular life - 
We're all back to our normal schedules. I'm back to work and the kids are back in school. The 5:45 a.m. alarm was not pleasant this morning but routine is good even if I will miss sleeping in. My daughter just got braces and so we're dealing with that melodrama but actually she's doing pretty good with it - I remember those first few days of soreness well even though it's been almost 25 years since I went through it. 

Sleep and insomnia are still issues for me. I think it's partially thyroid and partially other hormones. Most of my female friends deal with this in their late 30's through 40's so I'm sure it has to do with all our lovely perimenopausal stuff that starts to happen at this time. But it's also worth noting that my last thyroid check in early December showed me as WAY hyper-thyroid (instead of normal or my typical hypo). My TSH was at .044 on a scale where .35 is the lowest end of normal which means that my meds were too high (although my T4 and T3 were in the normal ranges). I've reduced the synthroid dosage and should start to see some improvements over the next few weeks. And here I was thinking a thyroidectomy would make my thyroid stuff easier to deal with. Sigh, at least I had 3-4 months of feeling good.

For the insomnia I've tried melatonin which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. But cutting back on sugar and caffeine like I have in the past few days should also help. I'm trying to just do the one cup of coffee in the morning and iced green tea instead of my normal Coke Zero or other diet soda. The green tea has a bit of caffeine but nowhere near what I was getting over the past month or so where I might have 3-4 cups of coffee plus the diet cokes, alcohol, and a ton of sugar. Yeah, it's a wonder I had sleeping problems....



Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Begins

Guilty as charged.
And with it, me and a couple billion other people, have the original idea of getting back on track and in shape again.

Actually, I've been really, really ready for a few weeks but I knew it was rather pointless with the holidays looming. Much drinking and eating was done - a last hurrah of sorts. But the holidays are over now. Christmas is back in the attic and the cookies and sweets have all been ingested.

So this morning, out in the misty rain, I started with a 3 mile walk. It's part of my plan, a quite ambitious plan but very do-able.

  1. Cardio/Mileage: 20 miles a week. This won't be just running - I'm not THAT ambitious. This will be a mix of walking, starting C25K again, and even the elliptical. I wondered for a while if I should count the elliptical in my mileage but I decided that I would since the weather won't always be agreeable to go outside and this will give me a low impact cardio option while still meeting my goals. The C25K is necessary to build up endurance again. It's my tried and true routine. I'll start week one and go through it week by week.
  2. Weights/toning: still working on my exact plan but at least 4 days out of the week. Once group classes begin again that will definitely be a part of this portion of the plan. I want to think through this a bit more once I get over the hurdle of getting back into the habit again.
  3. Diet: back to tracking and sticking to lower calories (1200-1500 overall). Trying to get to certain percentages of fat/carb/protein (35/35/30). And for now, eliminating most wheat products. I'm not really going gluten free as I consider that too bothersome but I can easily lower the amount I eat and get fairly close to gluten free for a while. The only reason I'm trying it is that many say it's good for people with thyroid problems. And sugar is going away as well. Too much sugar in my life for the past month. We really need to break up. And no alcohol for at least a month. Bye bye bourbon.
  4. Weight loss goals: I'm sad to say that I've gained about 25 pounds in the last 6 months. The biggest portion over the last 2 months. Even though I was exercising pretty regularly it wasn't at the right intensity and my diet was "no holds barred". So as far as weight maintenance was concerned that exercise was pointless. I want to lose 15 of these regained pounds over the month of January. That's really ambitious but my theory is that a good 7 pounds is probably mostly bloat. So once that comes off the real weight loss is more manageable. After that I will give myself until the end of March to get back where I left off, which was around 182 I believe.
When meeting with my trainer back in late August or early September he said I did too much cardio (based on his seeing me a few times at the gym and a 5 minute intake interview). I took his word for it thinking that he knew better than I did. But the only time I've seen significant weight loss is when I have a higher amount of cardio. This doesn't have to be running though. It can be cardio from a number of different sources. Back in March last year my progress was stagnant as I concentrated on toning - once I added cardio back on I went over the plateau and started losing again.  

I don't necessarily think the trainer was wrong - I know a LOT of people benefit from focusing more on weights and diet. AND if I had been better with my diet I'm sure I would have been better too. But I'm almost 40 now, and I know what I enjoy, and what has worked for me. I do honestly enjoy most cardio - not super high intensity bouts that make my heart rate skyrocket and make me want to vomit - but getting into that 150-160 heart beat range is lovely. Thus daily cardio is back in my plan.

So will I stay on track 100% of the time and never eat what I'm not supposed to and always exercise for 60 minutes a day?

Of course not. But I have the mindset to get started right now and to be motivated to make the changes I know are necessary. So what if it comes wrapped up in the cliche of New Year's Resolutions?  It's better than sitting on the couch doing nothing. I'm sick of doing nothing.