Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm hungry. My foot hurts. I want to complain.

Today is day 2 without the scale. It was weird, I got up this morning and I had this overwhelming desire to step on it. Probably because I did really well yesterday and I wanted to see a good number. It was a fleeting moment and passed quickly. I’m feeling more and more certain that this challenge is a good thing for me. Well, I hope so at least.

I also ran today in preparation for my big old Turkey Trot. It was an odd experience. I was glad that the lungs and legs were there. I didn’t have any problems breathing or with turnover. In fact, I’m fairly certain my pace could have been much quicker. But, I did start feeling tenderness in my foot at the end. I was going to extend the run but I figured why push it. I did 3 minutes run / 1 minute walk for 3 sets. So, only about 10 minutes running time total but it was a good gauge. My cardio is still there which is good; I just have to baby the foot now. My next running day is Friday and hopefully I’ll have an even better idea of where I’m at.

This running injury has really been the dark part of my year. You see, over the past four years or so I’ve lost 40 pounds. It’s an amazing accomplishment for me but I am not done. I still have about 30 left. And this year started on a good note and my progress was really going well due to my running. Until my injury. After it happened, I laid low for a little too long and before I knew it, things just sort of went awry.

I’ve gained about 7 pounds since July. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot but allow me to put this in perspective. The most I’ve EVER lost in a single month is 4 pounds. And I’ve never repeated that. In fact, my average since 2008 has been about 1.6 pounds per month and that was WITH running. So, to me, 7 pounds represents an uphill battle.

As I’ve said before, my metabolism is slower. I’ve had it tested and I’m planning on talking to my doctor when I go back in about my thyroid but I feel confident all is well in that department. I just think I’ve been “blessed” with a slow metabolism. I’ve been trying to not let it get me down but there are some days (read: today) where it just seems unfair.

To end on a positive note: as of my last weigh in I was down 2.4 pounds of that 7 so at least I’m headed in the right direction. Also, my foot will get better! It has to. And even if I continue to only lose 1.6 pounds per month, I’ll still weigh less by this time next month. Right?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To The Races!

I guess without trying I also committed to another 30 day challenge today.
I signed up for a 5k on Thanksgiving morning which just happens to be 30 days from now. Now, I’m not going to make this a 30-day challenge for running but mark my words, I will be doing one some time in the future. As previously stated in an earlier post, I’m just now getting back to running and I fear re-injuring myself far too much to try to push myself to a magnificent 3.1 mile finish in 30 days.

Now, let me get 3-6 months of solid, injury free running under my belt and then we’ll talk about a challenge!

I‘ve wanted to sign up for a 5k for some time now. Even though I can’t fully run yet, the act of registering and participating in something organized and TIMED is a great way to ensure that I continue working out. Sure I can walk 3.1 miles, but if I’m going to only be able to walk, then I’m going to walk at a good, fast pace! I participated in my first official 5k back in April and it was awesome!

I’ll be honest; I really want to run this race. I’ve even gone so far as to chart out a 30-day training program for getting myself back in running shape by Turkey Day. I’m going to start it and see how far the foot takes me. If all goes well and there’s no pain then a runnin’ I shall go. However, if I have one ounce of hesitation then it’s going to be an all-walking event for me. Because there WILL be other races!

Either way, at least I’ll have gotten my workout in before the big day. I will feel a lot better eating on Thanksgiving after putting in an all out effort for 3.1 miles, running or not!

Countdown to Turkey Trot:
30 days

No Scale Challenge:
1 / 30 days

Decision Made

I was sitting at my desk this morning and it hit me. I know what I want my next 30-day challenge to be.

For the past week or so the same conversation has been going on between different friends and myself. How many times a month, week, or day do you weigh yourself?

The conclusion: My friends and I like the scale way too much.

So, I’m not going to weigh myself for 30 days. This might not seem like the most difficult thing for some but for me I think it’ll be tough. I’ve gotten into the habit of a daily weigh-in and all too often I let that number dictate my day.
That number tells me how I’m going to feel in my clothes that day, how I’m going to feel when I pass by a reflective window, basically, how I’m going to feel about myself overall. And more than half the time that feeling is not good – even when I step on, feeling proud of my accomplishments, that number can deflate me in a second.

So I weighed myself yesterday morning and for all the reasons I mentioned above, I did not get on the scale today. So, I’m starting this thing today.

If anyone wants to join – come on in!

30 days of no scale:
October 26, 2010 – November 24, 2010
Next WI: November 25, 2010 – hey, that’s Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 25, 2010

French Fries Are Delicious.

I ate French fries last night. I’m not eating refined sugars. So obviously, I ate French fries last night.

With ketchup!

And instead of beating myself up, I thoroughly enjoyed every bite. I had a talk with myself this weekend. As I’ve written before, I am definitely enjoying the cutting out of refined sugar in my diet. I think it’s something that I can keep up. But, I’ll be honest with all of you. When the occasion strikes, and I want French fries, I think I’m going to eat the French fries.

Now, when this special occasion starts popping up more than once or twice a month, then we may have a problem. I want to eliminate these things enough so that my body will crave them less. And if my body craves them less, then I’ll eat them less and then eventually maybe they really will be just those once in a while, I forgot you existed kind of things.

That being said, may I add, I didn’t really feel all that great afterward. I had a heavy, dragging feel about me. Kind of like I ate some wet cement and it solidified in my stomach. I didn’t like it. I sat in the living room last night, cradling by rock hard stomach (due to the cement feeling, not because of my invisible washboard abs), and planned out my entire day of eating for today: lots of lean protein, vegetables and fruit. I just wanted to get back to the eating that made me feel lighter.

So, in conclusion, I basically learned this:

I am capable of enjoying French fries on a special occasion basis. But when I eat the French fries I don’t feel good after and wish I had not eaten the French fries. But I’ve realized that I’m capable of enjoying French fries on a special occasion basis.


Sugar Challenge:

6 / 7 days completed

Exercise Challenge Completed

Yesterday marked the 30th day of my first 30 day challenge and I’m pretty pleased with myself.

The results:

Days 1-7: 258 minutes

Days 8-14: 250 minutes

Days 15-21: 195 minutes

Days 22-28: 250 minutes

Days 29-30: 50 minutes

In the past 30 days, I exercised a total of 1003 minutes.

That averages out to:

*Over 16.5 hours of exercise total

*Over 4 hours of exercise per week

*Over 33 minutes of exercise per day

Not bad huh? It’s weird to look at the info this way because while I was doing it, I just kept aiming for the 250-minute mark. Even on the third week when I only came in at 195 minutes, I was a teeny bit discouraged. But not after looking at it this way.

I’m definitely going to solider on with this one. 250 minutes a week seems to be doable. It’s a challenge to get it all in but not overwhelming. I also lost 2.4 pounds which is amazing for me.

I’m going to be thinking about my next 30 day challenge. I want it to be something that pushes me forward in my health and fitness. I have a few ideas but nothing has really struck a chord yet. If anybody has any ideas please leave them in the comments section!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Sugar Dilemma

So these past few days without refined sugar have shown me a few things. I really DO feel pretty good. I have more energy, I've lost a few pounds - I just feel better all around. It's made me want to try to continue this way of eating permanently. But the cupcake confrontation made me realize that I need to start researching alternatives. I can't go the rest of my life avoiding desserts. If I ever have a party to go to, I'd rather go armed with my own dessert then sit and rely on sheer willpower to see me through. So I started looking at alternative sugars. I don't mean splenda or equal, I'm talking about the natural stuff here. I figure if I'm working so hard to eat healthy and without refined sugars, then eating chemicals probably would just cancel out the hard work I'm doing. I do use Splenda, but it's usually just in my coffee. I just don't want to make a whole dessert using it cause that's a whole lot of Splenda.

So this morning I tried my hand at my first Sugar Free Dessert. Since I'm not eating white flour either that really limits what I can make so I thought - hey, what about cheesecake!

So I made cheesecake! Actually, I made mini cheesecakes.

And I used organic agave nectar instead of sugar.

First, I mixed together cream cheese, eggs, cream, lemon juice, vanilla and the agave nectar.

Here's the batter:

I also made a strawberry puree so I could make half of them strawberry cheesecakes!

Then I poured the batter into muffin tins and swirled the puree in some of the cups to make half regular and half strawberry cheesecake.

This was the hard part. I had no idea how long to bake them for. I think it ended up being right around 35 minutes and this is how they came out.

I tried one and it's not bad at all. I'm still waiting for my boyfriend to eat one because lets face it, I haven't had sugar in 4 days so I'm pretty sure anything sweet is going to taste good to me!

I think I'm going to hit a couple of bookstores today to see what I can find in the form of sugar free baking. My next challenge will be cakes and cookies!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, each one has 140 calories. I think that I could easily lower the calorie count but I'm already not using sugar. I think trying to substitute anything else would make it borderline inedible :)

Sushi and cupcakes and the gym .. oh my!

It's Saturday. That means I have successfully maneuvered my way around 4 days of sugar free living.

Friday was the true test. I started the day off well by getting up early for my morning walk, but I guess I was dragging a little getting ready for work because I wound up not having enough time to pack my lunch. I had a contingency plan: I managed to pack some veggie sticks w/ dip and I decided that I would eat those and go to the pizza place that's next to my office for lunch. No, not for pizza. They make one of the best little salads ever- lots of veggies and kidney beans. It's delicious and very filling.

But life as it seems always has other plans. I was invited by one of my good friends to go out for lunch. Not a problem. I can find something to eat most anywhere. Then he makes us reservations at what is arguably the best sushi place in Los Angeles. This sushi place I only get to frequent every once in awhile due to the price and of course I get the opportunity to go smack dab in the middle of my challenge. Now, there are some sushi places out here that will gladly serve you brown rice in place of the traditional sushi rice but this place is a purist sushi restaurants. No substitutions. I made a plan of attack and was set on sticking with. He hadn't been to this restaurant in years so I did the ordering for the table. I ordered him my favorites - rock shrimp tempura, baked crab roll, 4 1/2, crispy rice spicy tuna. For me, I ordered salmon sashimi (that's just raw salmon without rice), seared ahi tuna w/ mustard sauce (has no rice and is garnished with a small salad), and miso soup.

The food came out. I had ordered him a lot and he told me that if I wanted to cheat I was more than welcome to his food. I won't lie. It was difficult. I sat there and watched him eat these things KNOWING how good they tasted. But, in the end, I stuck w/ my own choices. I'll be honest, they have amazing fish so it's not like I was short changed. The salmon melts like butter in your mouth. Delicious!

I went back to work thoroughly proud of myself for sticking to my guns, making a decision and enjoying my choice. However, I got back to my office desk and stopped dead in my tracks. Sitting in front of my computer was a cupcake. A delicious, sprinkled, sweet smelling cupcake. I'm not lying when I say I could smell it before I saw it.

I just started laughing because I had just gotten through one of the biggest temptations at the sushi restaurant and I was hoping I had enough in my reserves to forgo the cupcake.

I held it, I took inhaled the sweet aroma. I laughed and took a picture of it to send my friend who I had just left. I found out one of our clients sent them to us as a thank you so I took it to my colleague and told her I wasn't eating sugar this week and to send it home to her daughter. Success!

But my day wasn't over yet. I was already mentally exhausted from all the will power I was having to dish out to ward off sugar, and after work I still had to hit the gym to get in 70 minutes to make my exercise challenge for the week. That was also rough but I did it.

All in all a very successful day. I just hope I have the strength to get through the weekend :)

Exercise Challenge Totals:
250 / 250 week 4

Sugar Challenge:
4 / 7 days completed

Third Day is the Charm

**wrote this yesterday - just late in posting :)

Day 3 of no sugar was rough. It wasn’t that I was craving doughnuts or anything, I was just hungry all day long. And while I was able to stay away from sugar, I just ate too much of everything else. Which goes to show, just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean you can just go overboard.

Want to see how much I ate:

B: omelet w. spinach, onion, tomato, ham, mozzarella w/ whole wheat toast

S: cottage cheese and apple

L: roasted chicken w/ tomatoes, basil, evoo, slice of whole wheat bread and strawberries

D: Caesar salad sans croutons, whole wheat pita with cheese, no sugar tomato sauce, and some turkey pep and ham broiled into a delicious cheesy fake pizza delight

I think eating the bread at every meal made me want to eat more in general. Even though everything was 100% whole wheat it still makes me want to eat more. Man, I love bread. In light of this, I have decided to go easy today on the delicious bread.

However, I can say that today: so far so good. I got up early again to do a morning walk and I was oddly alert. I’m seriously hoping that is due to the lack of refined sugars in my diet. If it is – then I will happily stay away from this stuff forever! I have THE hardest time getting up in the morning. In fact, saying I have a hard time is an understatement. It actually borders on painful. I have long looked for ways to make it easier but nothing has worked so far.

Exercise Challenge Totals:

180 / 250 minutes week 3

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I love Doughnuts

Day 2 of no sugar done. In case you were wondering, it was SIGNIFICANTLY more difficult than Tuesday. Did I give in? No. But I did talk an awful lot about doughnuts. I was watching Man vs. Food (which by the way is a VERY entertaining show) and it was a re-run. Adam went to Texas and ate doughnuts. Delicious, round, frosted doughnuts. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to watch as my dinner was NOT all that I thought it would be. I actually sat there in my chair, watching Adam eat giant doughnuts, trying to visualize how bad I wanted doughnuts.

I imagined someone coming through my front door – and this person had a big slice of my favorite pizza in one hand and doughnuts in the other and I got to chose one thing to eat. Doughnuts won. Then it was Reese’s Cups vs. Doughnuts. Doughnuts won! Then it got bad and it was Plain doughnuts vs. Raspberry Filled doughnuts vs. Custard filled doughnuts. Doughnuts won again! What’s amazing is I’m not joking at all ☺ It was quite entertaining actually.

And while it may seem that this was a particularly distressful evening for me, it actually was quite a motivating one. You see, in addition to my no sugar challenge I’m still on my 30 day exercise challenge and somehow I noticed last night that I was still only at 60 / 250 minutes for the week. My “week” ends Friday night so I realized I needed another 190 minutes before Saturday morning. So, I figured, if I can say no to delicious, wonderful, amazing doughnuts, I can also reach my exercise goal.

Last night, I went on a nice 30 minute walk with my pup and boyfriend. And we were BOOKING it. Seriously, my boyfriend was doing his best impersonation of a speed walker and it took all I had to keep up. While we were walking I was telling him how far behind my minute goal I was and right then and there I decided that I was going to make it. I was going to get in ALL my minutes. So I woke up this morning before work (which I do NOT do – I can’t even begin to describe how painful it is for me to wake up early) and hit the streets by myself. I strapped on my heart rate monitor to make sure I did not slack. I don’t think I have ever walked so fast in my life! Ok, that’s an exaggeration but I was pretty pleased with my performance. So between last night and this morning, I’m down to 130 minutes left for the week. COMPLETELY doable.

Exercise Challenge Total:
120 / 250 minutes

No Sugar Challenge:
2 / 7 days completed

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Want Candy

Day 1 without my sugar is over and gone. Honestly, it wasn't so bad. In anticipation for this week I made a batch of butternut squash soup on Monday night and so I was very excited to have that for my lunch yesterday. I kind of threw 2 recipes together and did my own thing. I was pleased with the outcome. I basically roasted butternut squash, onions, celery, carrots, a sweet potato and then slowly simmered them in some vegetable stock and then let my immersion blender have its way with them and voila! Soup. When I try new recipes I get really excited and that becomes the focus of my day. It's kind of a nice distraction really. Also, when I got home for the day I wasn't feeling so hot so I wasn't really in the mood to eat anything. Maybe that also had something to do with it as well :)

What did I eat?

Breakfast: spinach, onion, ham, egg, on whole wheat english muffin.

Lunch: butternut squash soup with dollop of fage 0% greek yogurt on top

Snack: salad: romaine, carrots, cucumbers, gala apple w/ dressing

Dinner: roasted chicken and sweet potatoes with seasonings and EVOO

I came in at the lower end of my calorie range without really trying and I was pleasantly satisfied the whole day. What I'm really hoping for in this week long challenge is to open myself up to more vegetables in my daily eating. I still probably eat more than the average person but I want to add more to my diet. I also want to curb my sugar craving. Lately it's been worse than it's ever been. I've been craving cakes and cookies and candy like I never have before so I'm really trying to get a handle on that.

It's pretty well documented that sugar has ill effects on the body and overall health. If you're wondering exactly what kinds of bad things, just type "sugar and health" into google and have at it. You'll see all kinds of studies. As in most things regarding the human body and health, there are differing opinions on the subject. However, I've decided that the amount I've been eating can only be described as OVERLOAD. I've read tons of online articles about detoxing from sugar and cleansing yourself of this deadly flavor but in all honestly, I just want to find a balance. I want to be able to go to a friend's house for dinner and partake in whatever they make and not worry about "ruining" anything. I want to be able to be on a vacation with my family or friends and not be the one to yell out "I can't eat there!". I would like to have balance. That on any given, normal occasion, I'm going to reach for the vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and whole wheat products, but on the occasion that's out of my control, I'm just going to go with the flow and not get bent out of shape over it.


Exercise Challenge:
60 / 250 minutes week 3

Monday, October 18, 2010

Life or Something Like it

So it's been many, many days since I posted.

It's amazing how life gets in the way like that. I've continued exercising, however, I will come clean and admit that last week's minutes came in under my goal of 250. I did pull in 190 minutes though. I knew it was going to happen and I didn't let it get me down because 190 minutes is over THREE HOURS of working out and how can I be disappointed in that.

I also weighed myself on Saturday morning and this week was -2. So yeah, that's probably why I wasn't too disappointed.

I also left Saturday morning to go camping up north so being without technology is also why I haven't updated anything.

Camping was good - I made sure to get in 2 days of solid walking to keep my minutes in check. I did, however, eat a little more than usual. Little more candy and hamburgers around than usual but I did good to indulge but not go overboard.

I'm starting a new side challenge this week. Kind of scared about this one but I think it's going to be good.

It's another eating challenge. I'm going to go one week eating NO REFINED SUGAR. No white bread or pasta, no candy, cakes, doughnuts etc ... ! In case anyone cares, these are wonderful things to my taste buds. BUT, I'm aware of the impact they have on my body so I'm going to see what happens when I nourish my body with only good things. I'm going to have the base of my diet be fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meats, fish, and eggs. I will have whole wheat products but only if they are truly whole wheat, so that means careful label reading. I'm really not into cutting out any food group completely so I feel ok with keeping these around. I do want to try to keep the main focus on vegetables and protein though.

I'm going to make my lists right now and hit the grocery store. I was tempted to make this a two week challenge but I settled on one with the option to extend come next week.

Exercise Challenge Summary:
258/250 minutes week 1
250/250 minutes week 2

60/250 minutes week 3

Weigh - Ins:
October 9: +1.6
October 16: -2

Monday, October 11, 2010

Side Challenge #1: Days 5, 6, and 7

Side Challenge: Days 5, 6 and 7 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)

Interesting things happened the last couple of days. Day 5 was pretty much the norm. I came in at 1398 with very careful planning.

Speaking of planning.

Day 6’s total is quite different. I came in at 1625. Everyday I use a fitness journal to write down my food and exercise for the day.

I pack my breakfast and lunch everyday for work so I take my journal and I write everything down first thing when I get to work. I stick to what I write down and then I know exactly what to plan and eat for dinner. I didn’t realize how useful this tool was until today. Yesterday, I forgot to take my journal to work. I wrote down my food on a piece of paper and forgot about it. When I got home, I THOUGHT I remembered exactly what I was doing for dinner but I didn’t. I should have taken the time to fill in my journal before I started dinner but I didn’t. I ended up going over my calories. I knew I was pushing it and instead of checking, I just “winged” it. I’m not too bent out of shape about it. I’ve always known that writing down and planning were important but now I know how important it is to me. I need that organization and planning in order to make informed choices.

I made sure I had everything in order for Day 7: 1429. Not too bad. The week is over and although it wasn't too difficult the real surprise came when I weighed in on Saturday morning. I had gained 1.6 pounds. I have to say this is extremely disappointing and really doesn't make any sense. Then again, my body has NEVER made any sense to me. I've eaten perfectly and exercised a lot before and gained weight and I've eaten poorly and sat on my butt and lost weight. I'm trying to take it in stride but in all honesty that little voice that says "what's the use?" is driving me insane.

Just have to keep on going.

Side Challenge #1 End Results:

Day 1: 1227

Day 2: 1375

Day 3: 1386

Day 4: 1397

Day 5: 1398

Day 6: 1625

Day 7: 1439

Weigh In: +1.6 lbs.

Exercise: Days 12 ,13 and 14

Day 12 – Wednesday / October 6

I hop scotched around this workout. I had made an appointment with myself to complete my workout straight after work. I even told my boyfriend exactly what to say to me when I walked through the door of our apartment. I knew I was going to need extra motivation to workout. I got home and everything looked more interesting than going into the workout room. I stalled and distracted myself. Thank goodness for him – he gave me a stern talking to and just told me to get it over with. So I did.

I did a strength training DVD: Jackie Warner – Power Circuit Training. I noticed that my heart rate wasn’t as high as when I do Bob’s or Jillian’s but boy did I feel it the next day. In a good way. My butt ,thighs, arms, and chest were SO SORE, again, in a good way.

Sometimes working out is mental for me. If I feel like I didn’t sweat enough or if my heart rate wasn’t high enough, I sometimes feel like it was a wash even though I know ANYTHING is better than nothing. So, when I do a good strength training workout and I have that soreness the next day I know all was not for naught.

Total time: 35 minutes

Day 13 – Thursday / October 7

I took another day off. I think my insomnia is catching up with me. I finally slept some the past two nights and I definitely needed it. People are dropping like flies at work. They’re going home with flu like symptoms and if I get too tired I’ll just become one of them. I knew I was going to do a really long, intense workout Friday night because it’s one of my favorite workouts of the week so I figured, why press my luck?

Total time: 0 minutes.

Day 14 - Friday / October 8

I hit the gym ferociously after work. Got in 30 on the treadmill, 15 on the elliptical, 25 on the recumbent bike and a 5 minute stretch. I wore my HRM and stayed within 80% of my maximum heart rate the entire time. I was pretty please at the end of the night when my calorie burn hit 600+ for the entire workout. I don't know what to think about the calorie burn that my heart rate monitor says. I used to take it at face value but ever since I got my metabolism tested I'm not so sure. If my metabolic rate is 20% lower than the average person for my size and height, does that mean I should take 20% off the HRM readings? I think so because wouldn't those values be set for the "average" person. In any case, I record the actual reading, then take 20% and look at both numbers.

Total Time: 75 minutes

Exercise Challenge Goal:

250 / 250 minutes week 2

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Side Challenge #1: Days 3 and 4

SIDE CHALLENGE #1: Days 3 and 4

Day 3/4: Monday & Tuesday / October 4th & 5th

I came in at 1386 and 1397 respectively. I will be honest, it was a fight to the finish on both days but I overcame the peppermint patty and pizza that would have pushed me up and over the 1400 mark.

It’s strange how we can fight with food. I’m sure it’s happened to everyone. Where you sit and you see the food. You look at it, you can imagine how it would taste and how satisfying it would be. Then you stop and think about how eating it would make you feel bad about yourself. How it would make you feel like you “gave in”. Then you bargain with yourself. You’ve been doing the work, you’ve been good, why can’t you have it? And then telling yourself you can’t have it makes you want it even more!

What’s interesting in this though is that if you eat it, you are more than likely going to regret it. You’re going to have maybe a twinge of guilt, maybe a moment of “I really wish I hadn’t eaten that” and maybe the feeling of self-defeat. However, I can’t remember a single time in which I have resisted the temptation and thought, “Man, I really wish I would have eaten that”. Same goes for exercise. I’ve skipped workouts and had that inner struggle with myself. The thought of “I wish I had worked out” but I have never finished a workout and thought, “That was a bad idea”.

I guess I should remember this the next time that peppermint patty comes stalking me at 9:00 at night.

Side Challenge Goal:
Day 1: 1227
Day 2: 1375
Day 3: 1386
Day 4 1397

Exercise: Days 10 and 11

Exercise: Days 10 and 11

Day 10: Monday / October 4

I went to the gym on my lunch break. I got in a 65 minute workout due to an extended lunch break (awesome). I did the elliptical, recumbent bike and stretching as per usual and I am pleased that my foot held up well considering that 60 minutes is the longest I’ve pushed it in one sitting. Had some residual pain but nothing that lasted too long.

I can’t wait for it to fully get better because I will definitely get bored with that routine.

I need new workout clothes. I want new workout outfits. For some reason or other they make me feel better about myself which in turns make me more confident on the machines which in turn makes me work out harder. Is that weird? Probably. But I need every advantage I can get. If wearing a cute outfit makes me workout harder than I’m going to do it.

And if I get new outfits I probably need new shoes too.

Total time: 65 minutes

Day 11: Tuesday / October 5

Today’s workout was extremely difficult. Just exhausting. I have been going through a bout of insomnia lately. I do it every year. It’s not fun. So far it’s lasted about a week and so when I get home from work I am completely and utterly exhausted. And unfortunately I had already schedule a night walk for my Day 11 workout and I knew that I HAD to do it because I need to get in 250 minutes this week. I had mentally prepared for a 7:45pm walk with my boyfriend and dog so that we could come home and watch Glee (man, I just love that show although I thought that particular episode was a little boring). Anyway, when my boyfriend looked at me and asked if I was ready to go, everything inside of me screamed “NO NO NO – I just want to sit on the couch and not move a muscle”. But I kept quiet and got up silently and went through the motions of getting ready.

There are other factors that would make this walk difficult; for starters, we’re having quite the unpleasant weather out here in CA right now. It’s raining and cold, so I knew that I would be out walking, exhausted, in the wet and cold. And secondly, my beloved puppy dog, Chloe, recently hurt her back. She’s a miniature dachshund and they are extremely prone to back injuries. Fortunately, this time the vet thinks it was just a sprain but in any case we have had to be EXTREMELY careful with her. She just started back on her night walks but we’ve been easing her back into the 30 minutes she usually does. Tonight was going to be her first 30 minute and there was the chance that I’d have to stop and carry her. Now, she only weighs just over 10 pounds but carrying her while walking, exhausted, in the wet and cold would definitely be a challenge.

That’s her. And I’m proud to say, thankfully, she made it through the entire walk on her own. As did I. I will admit at one point I asked my boyfriend to carry me the rest of the way but I managed to make it on my own.

Total time: 30 minutes

Challenge Goal Total:

140 / 250 minutes week 2

Monday, October 4, 2010

Side Challenge #1: Days 1 and 2


So Saturday was the first day of my calorie challenge - to eat between 1300 and 1400 calories consistently for 7 days and record my weight loss. As I mentioned previously, calorie restriction has always been the stumbling block for me. However, I am pleased to report that I did it!

I've read lots of books and magazine articles and online articles about ways to successfully control your calorie "spending". One book I read recently, "YOU: On a Diet - Dr.Oz" said that if you take away a lot of your eating choices, it's easier to control how much you eat. For instance, try to eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch and then vary your dinner choices. The reasoning is that when you give your body consistency it's going to crave less foods. And I guess if we crave less then we want to eat less. Anyway, I've been doing it for over a week now and I'm going to say so far so good.

For breakfast, I make a simple breakfast sandwich on a whole wheat english muffin and then lunch is soup. I'm really big into making soups. I think soup is one of the most comforting foods in the world - especially this time of year. It's also great way to get in your vegetables and the varieties are endless.

Just in case you're wondering, this week I'm eating a tortellini and vegetable soup. I just made it last night - I'm going to be completely honest, I tried some last night before I put it away and it's not one of my favorites. I'm secretly hoping that letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator will help bring out more flavor.

We'll see.

Side Challenge Goal:
eat withing 1300 - 1400 calories

Day 1 / Saturday: 1227 calories
Day 2 / Sunday: 1375 calories

Exercise: Days 8 and 9

The sweet fog of exhaustion is all around me so I apologize upfront if this post makes no sense.

Day 8 (Saturday 10/2)

Ah yes, I attempted my Bob Harper DVD again. While I did not finish it I am proud to say I got through 40 minutes. That's 10 minutes longer than last time. It is honestly a really good workout. My arms felt like they were on fire the whole time. I think that by doing this one consistently I am DEFINITELY going to see results. No disrespect to Jillian because I do enjoy her videos but there's something about this one that just makes you believe it's going to give you results. Bob's pretty demanding in it and the people exercising behind him show serious pain which makes you feel better about your own. I followed it with 5 minutes of GOOD stretching to keep the aches and pains at bay.

Total time: 45 minutes

Day 9 (Sunday 10/3)

Just did errands and things. I took the day off from formal exercise. I love my rest days!

Total time: 0 minutes

Challenge Goal Total:

45 / 250 minutes week 2

Friday, October 1, 2010

Exercise: Day 7

Day 7

Hit up the gym after work even though I am going on less than four hours of sleep. I think that's quite the accomplishment. I also was actually quite motivated by finishing up my first week of 250 minutes which is awesome.

I did the same workout as Wednesday - 20 minutes on the elliptical doing intervals, 18 minutes on the recumbent bike on level 7 and then 5 minutes of stretching.

43 minutes!

That means I hit my first week time goal with 8 minutes to spare :) It wasn't too bad either. Just took some planning and follow through. Tomorrow starts week 2 as well as Side Challenge #1 - eating within my calorie range.

Challenge Goal total:

258 / 25o minutes week 1

Exercise: Days 5 and 6

Day 5 - Wednesday / 9/29

Went to the gym on my lunch break. Since I'm on a time constraint when I go during my lunch break (my gym is actually the next building over from my office!), I have to maximize the time I have so that means HIIT (high intensity interval training).

I hit the elliptical first and did twenty minutes of 1 / 2 minute intervals and then immediately got on the recumbent bike while my heart rate was still high and continued. I did 15 more minutes on the bike.

Hit the mats and did 5 minute cool down stretching.

Good workout.

Day 6 - Thursday / 9/30

Back story: Running is my workout of choice. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I hate doing it. I find it difficult and extremely challenging. But for those reasons, I LOVE it. Almost like an addiction.

Earlier this year I signed up for my first 5k and 10k races. It was very exciting. In April, I ran my first 5k and had an absolute blast training and participating. My 10k was set for August of this year and I was right on track to be able to hit the 6+ miles. Please know that I am NOT a fast runner, my goal was to just run the entire race without stopping.

Anyway, in June I was on my training plan and had already hit the 4 mile mark and running those half-way comfortably. I was VERY confident for my race. Then one night right before bedtime I was walking in my room barefoot and caught my little toe on the edge of one of my hand weights. PAIN! I hobbled into bed breathing deeply waiting for the pain to subside as a normal toe stub usually does. It didn't really go away though. In fact, my foot swelled just a tiny bit. I just figured it was a worse than normal stub and I went to sleep. The next morning, I still had pain and tenderness in my little toe on my right foot. So I did the mature, responsible thing and I told myself I was NOT going to run on it until the pain went away. Too many times in my past I have ignored small injuries due to my overwhelming running addiction and small injuries became big injuries.

For instance, once I ignored a nagging pain in my quad. My body was asking me to take a break. A small, tiny break. I just couldn't do it and I continued running. Well, that nagging pain turned into a partial tear of my quad and sidelined me for over 6 months. 6 painful months of not being able to do more than a casual walk due to pain. It was horrific. If I had just taken a day or two, I wouldn't have lost 6 months. But, lesson learned.

Back to my foot - my toe was still hurting the next day so I stayed off of it completely. After 3 or 4 days the pain was almost completely gone and I felt confident things were ok but I wanted to err on the side of caution. I waited two weeks. Exactly two weeks from that fateful night, I laced up and got on the treadmill. I was going to do things right. I set my sites on only 1.5 miles. I knew that trying to punch out a 4 mile run was not smart so I told myself to take it slow and steady. I got through that run with just one moment of a hint of pain but everything looked good. I rested a day and then did the run again. Rested a day then ran again. That last run was July 3rd. I woke up on Sunday July 4th and my toe was in PAIN. Same pain I felt the very first night I stubbed it.

So, once again, I stayed off it. Long story short: 3 months and 2 orthopedists later here I am. They did x-rays and nothing was broken but neither doctor could explain why the pain was there. One thought I needed an MRI and surgery so I went to the second who felt certain I just messed it up bad and told me I needed time. UGH. We also discussed what I was capable of doing as far as working out. So, I've been waiting and I can confidently say for the first time since June 12th (yeah, I know the date) I feel like it's FINALLY showing signs of improvement. I still have pain when I walk but it's NOTHING compared to even 2 weeks ago.

So, when you see my workouts they're gonna look a little on the easy side. My ortho told me I could do whatever I wanted (obviously not running) as long as what I was doing didn't cause pain. And right now, that's the elliptical (on LOW levels), the bike and walking (which sometimes I have to grin and bear it).

What's hardest about this injury? The fact that I was in pretty good, no, really good shape. I was burning calories left and right. And now, I'm on the elliptical doing intervals at levels 1 and 4 and yes, it FEELS difficult. It's amazing how long it takes us to build up our endurance and how quickly it dissolves.

In fact, my level 1 and 4 workout was so intense to me, that I actually tweaked my back Wednesday night. Right before bedtime I must have turned the wrong way because I spent the rest of my night on a heating pad. I even traded in my tough strength training DVD for just a 30 minute walk on Thursday because it still felt tender.

I know I'm doing what I need to do to get better but sometimes it's hard.

Anyway, just felt the need to share that.

Goal total:

215 / 250 minutes week 1
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30 Days to ... by JH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.