Thursday, March 31, 2011


It's been a whole week since I last posted. It's funny how when you have a weekly goal how slowly those weeks go by. I swear I wrote that last post a month ago. I mean, it was just a week ago that I was having that horrendous day and it feels like a lifetime ago.

Thank goodness it didn't last.

I had an interesting week. I think it was more a "tongue-in-cheek" kind of week. I was aware of my goals but kind of let them hang out towards the back of my mind. Granted, I didn't do anything that was reckless or throw caution to the wind. But I made mindful choices weighing my consequences and all in all - it was a good week.

My goals were:

Eat:1450 calories / day - with as much clean food as possible
Exercise: 6 workouts
Rest: 1 - 2 full days

How I did:

Ate: 1688 / day - average -- some clean / some not so clean
Exercise: 6 workouts
Rest: 2 full days

I know last WI was a little dramatic and I was still coming off of some sort of horrendous attitude and my weight showed a gain of 1.2 pounds. Well this week, I lost those 1.2 pounds and that's it. I looked at my last two weeks and I worked out the numbers and it was a perfect maintenance week and I'm pleased with that.

So for the month of March I have lost 1.4 pounds. While I'm pleased with that I am certain I can push it further. For instance, I was going over my calorie intake for the last 2 months. When comparing Feburary to March, I ate about 5,000 less calories and burned twice as many calories in the month of March. And there is still some wiggle room so I'm hoping the month of April will be even better! So hopefully that 1.4 pounds can be ... dare I say doubled?

I'm pretty confident I know what I'm doing now :) I know that it's not an exact science but it's close enough that I'm aware of what I can and can't do.

I have to walk that fine line -

For me - I need to keep it under 1450/day to lose weight. Mind you, if I just did that I would be losing at minimal, minimal, minimal losses per week - I mean to lose a pound a week you have to cut 500 calories PER DAY and eating 950 calories a day is just a little too crazy. So, for me, exercise is a MUST. However, I have to be careful and find that balance. When I exercise too much, I get too hungry. And when I'm hungry, I eat more. See what I mean? I have to find a way to exercise as much as I can without disturbing my calorie intake.

That's why I keep my calories around 1400. My goal is to slowly, slowly lower my weekly goal by 50 calories every month or two but for right now, I need those calories to fuel my workouts. I'm the kind of person who likes to go all out in a workout. I find those kinds of workouts so refreshing. Great stress relievers. And also, my hope is that the more I workout, the more muscle I'll build so maybe my metabolism will get to a point where I will have some more wiggle room with cutting calories.

Yeah, it's all about the wiggle room

For this week:

Eat: 1400 calories / day - with as much clean food as possible
Exercise: 6 workouts
Rest: 1 - 2 full days

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Clouds Have Moved In

Literally and metaphorically.

I've been having a bad couple of days. Well, yesterday and today to be exact. I was on cloud nine rolling into Tuesday. I apparently even wrote my best friend an all inspiring email.

And then Wednesday happened. I lost my mojo. It was a culmination of lots of things: stepping on the scale, overcast and dreary weather, and most likely hormonal issues.

I lost it. I got angry and irritated and just fed up with the process. I felt tired and defeated. I mean, I had a GREAT run of nothing but positive and healthy thoughts and I know there will be bumps along this great journey. Yesterday was just a bad one.

So I took the day off. Completely off. I was so overwhelmed by everything - the planning and evaluating and it was stressing me out. Big time. So I took the day off. I did not work out and it felt good. No guilt, no stress at all and that means I needed it. I also took the night off from menu planning for dinner and had unscheduled/scheduled Thai food. What that means is that I planned to have Thai food from our favorite Thai place for dinner but I did not plan the calories and even THAT felt good. It just felt good to go with the flow.

I had to let go of the stress and just be.

And today, I feel better. Not perfect but so much more in control of things.

Yesterday was Wednesday so that marked the last day of my "week". So lets take at look at how I did with my goals.

They were:

Eat: on average 1400/day
Workout: 6 workouts
Rest: if my body needs it and don't feel bad or guilty

Eating: I averaged 1450 for the 6 days I ate "on program" and when I add in my estimates for last night it's more like 1640/day
Workout: I got in 5 workouts
Rest: I took off yesterday and I do NOT regret it :)

The scale is up 1.2 lbs but I am not even counting this. In fact, I'm going to write "opt out" on my side column tracking because of my dinner last night.

I'm not sure when I'm going to start tracking again. Part of the reason I had such a bad day yesterday was because I stepped on the scale to get a sneak peak. And it in no way reflected how I was feeling or how hard I was working. And I think I let all those bad things get into my head.

Once again, I let some small device dictate how I was feeling about my progress and effort. It honestly was, well I don't want to say devastating but the feeling was something horrible.

In any case, today marks the start of a brand new week. I'm tweaking my goals for this brand new week.

After I stepped on the scale, wallowed in my misery and had some time to think things over while enjoying some delicious curry, I had a thought. I was doing great up until my premature weigh in. The calories were on point, the working out was on point and I felt positive about those things which is why I took it so hard when I saw the number. However, looking back, my food was not the greatest in QUALITY. I was eating the correct quantity but I ate a few more processed foods than I would have liked.

And when I do that it not only affects my numbers but my mood, energy levels, and progress.

So with that in mind, I give you my goals for this week:

Eat:1450 calories / day - with as much clean food as possible
Exercise: 6 workouts
Rest: 1 - 2 full days

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Bar Method

This morning I got up to my workout before work. On Tuesday and Wednesday (and sometimes Thursday) mornings, I get up early and do one of Jillian Michaels circuit training sessions from her website.

These CT sessions are pretty intense as I like to put in an all out effort. This morning though, I could feel it as I was waking myself up. If I had to do one of those things I wasn't going to make it.

Then I remembered that a week or so ago I had ordered a DVD at the recommendation of a friend. It was The Bar Method: Change Your Body dvd.

I had seen a clip of it online and all I knew is that it was a ballet based workout. So lots of isometric moves, small tiny moves. You know, those little moves that just BURN.

I scrambled to find it because I remembered reading that it was close to an hour long and the clock was ticking. I had to enlist the help of my boyfriend and he finally found it still in its packaging.

So, I popped it in and got to work.

WOW. Burn was right. I only got through 50 minutes because I couldn't find it right away but those were a good 50 minutes. I wore my heart rate monitor to see what kind of workout I got and I was surprised. I would be standing doing the tiniest, tiniest movement and the burn would be so intense I'd watch my heart rate rise - nothing too extreme but I was practically standing still mind you.

I really enjoyed it. I didn't get a great cardio in but I definitely felt like I did some sculpting. In fact, at times I just wanted to quit because the old legs were burning.

So I ordered another one :)

I'm going to try to add these workouts in at least twice a week. From what I've read online in reviews, 4 times a week is ideal but I will be honest, I get bored easily with DVD workouts cause it's just the same thing over and over again. But as a motivator to get 4 in, a couple of people on the collage video website wrote in their reviews that by doing this workout they were able to drop inches, even a pant size in about 2 months.

I don't know about you but I could definitely go for that.

Friday, March 18, 2011


I would have posted this yesterday but it was just one of those days where everything else got in the way.

I weighed in and I am down 1.6 lbs. Needless to say I was very pleased with myself. In addition to seeing some movement on the scale, I also accomplished most of my goals for the week.

So my goals were:

Calorie goal: 1400/day
Exercise goal: 6 workouts
Water goal: minimum of 6.5 glasses

I ate on average 1409 calories per day - not too shabby. I exercised 6 of the 7 days and I actually did a couple of double workout days! I did NOT make my 6.5 glasses of water per day. I tried but I am still up on average where water intake is concerned so that's good. If I keep trying to add more I feel that my average daily intake will keep increasing.

One other thing I figured out was my "cheat day". I'm not sure if that's the correct term for it but the week before I went "off program" for a meal and didn't like how it turned how so I was toying with ways to make me feel more comfortable doing it and I think I figured it out. I cycled my calories for last week. That's why I said I ate on average 1409 calories per day. I cycled my calories every day so that on Saturday I had 1800 to "spend" so I could enjoy some higher calorie food.

For example on Thursday I ate 1400, Friday 1250, Saturday 1800, Sunday 1250 .. you get the picture. So at the end of the week it all averaged out to just over 1400 calories. It actually wasn't hard - it required SOME restraint but nothing too difficult.

This week I plan on doing the same thing. I will cycle my calories to equal 1400 on average, I will get in 6 workouts, and lastly, I will stretch my calves every single day.

I said 6 workouts instead of 6 days - generally when I say 6 I mean that I want to workout 6 out of 7 days. yesterday was my first day and I took it off. I had to. I was utterly exhausted. I think maybe I pushed it a little too much last week. I worked out 6 days but in total I did 8 workouts. Yeah, double workouts on 2 days. The old body isn't as young as she used to be and she started aching a little. Also, the coughs, sneezes and runny noses are hitting my office again. And once again, everyone is still coming in when they should take at least one day for themselves.

I know this is off the subject but it really annoys me when my coworkers feel bad and then come into work. Hand me papers, share my phone, do all sorts of things to share germs with me and then tell me later on that "yeah, I've really been feeling like I'm getting sick. Sore throat and fever and all that". I don't know why it shouldn't just be standard operating procedure to stay home and rest for a whole day when you start feeling sick. I don't generally get sick, but there is nothing I can do when my office is just infested with germs. Oh, and one more thing. It should be a rule that you can't bring sick children to work with you.

End rant.

Anyway, I had it bad, bad, bad just ONE MONTH ago and I will NOT go through that again. So, I need to listen to my body and when she's tired, I'm going to make sure she gets sleep.

So with all of that in mind, my third goal for the week is going to be a little different. My 3rd goal is to not let my obsession with getting this weight off stop me from listening to my body. If I'm tired (not lazy - i'm talking about that achy, tired feeling), I need to take a rest. It is better to take a day off than to over train or weaken myself so I get sick and be out of the game for a week or even longer. And yes, I know this goal is in complete contradiction to my second goal - or something like that :)

Goals for this week:

Eat: on average 1400/day
Workout: 6 workouts
Rest: if my body needs it and don't feel bad or guilty

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

30 days to properly stretched calves

My feet have been causing me all sorts of trouble over the last couple of years. I've fallen and stubbed toes and overtrained -- just all sorts of stuff that have caused me pain.

2 years ago I really, really got into running. In hindsight, I probably was increasing my weekly mileage too quickly but I have problems with restraint when it comes to running. Anyway, one day after one of my long runs I noticed that my right foot, heel and calf were acting funny. Everything was tight and sore. The pain went away after some rest but would reappear periodically in the form of just throbbing heel pain. Nothing too major but definitely annoying.

A couple of months later in that same year I fell and did some damage to my right ankle. I went to the doctor and he did an x-ray - I had just sprained it pretty bad. But, the x-ray also showed I had a bone spur on that foot. He also threw out a word: plantar fasciitis. He told me not to worry about the bone spur yet and to go do my physical therapy and get myself better. I did do my physical therapy but I'll be honest - I probably did like 20% of the at home work and then had to suddenly stop due to the combative HR person at my place at work. You see, this was a work injury so they were footing the bill. In hindsight, I should have stood my ground and finished my PT (they told me I definitely needed more) but I let some HR guy who is absolutely the most difficult person in the world get the best of me and instead of dealing with his attitude I quit going. Anyway, when I met with my physical therapist I mentioned to her that the doctor had said in addition to the sprain I had something called plantar fasciitis. She explained it to me and I realized that that was the cause of the pain that I had started experiencing.

Cut to:

1 year ago, I hurt my toe on my right foot. This one happened at home. After confirming with 2 different orthopedists that I just had a long road of healing in front of me, they also told me that I had plantar fasciitis. They also told me some physical therapy would help me out tremendously. This time I didn't do physical therapy due to some insurance and money retraints.

If you don't know, plantar fasciitis is irritation and swelling on the bottom of the foot and manifests as lots of heel pain. My bone spur is most likely the culprit of mine. Also, my Physical Therapist told me I have really tight calves which also contributes to it.

So what's the point of all this? I've been recently back into the working out game full force. And due to all of this, my foot has flared up again. And from what I've read on the condition, I should count my blessings that I don't have it as bad as some people - apparently it causes immobility from the pain. So I need to get a handle on this now. From the knowledge that I gained at my physical therapy and information online I need to incorporate a stretching program to see if I can get a handle on this pain. I really don't want it to become an "issue" because to be honest, I'm sick of being sidelined due to injury.

So I am going to do a stretching program for 30 days to see how much of an improvement I can get.

It's 2 stretches for my calves - each to be held for 40 seconds 5 xs / 3 xs a day.

That's a lot of calf stretching and I will have to find a place to do it at work but I will be a fool if I don't at least try.

30 days to flexible calves!
March 15 - April 13

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Body is a Mysterious Thing

Yesterday was Thursday and those are my official weigh in days - I reported that I had gained .6 lbs since the previous WI. Well, since March 11th was officially the last day of my 30 day lose 4 pound challenge I weighed myself this morning to be fair.

Ok, to be fair and in hopes that it would say something else ;)

It did. I am down a total .6 lbs for my 30 days. Not exactly what I wanted but there were some hurdles and obstacles along the way. But a loss is a loss!

So I'm going to do it again!

Here's to 30 days and 4 pounds gone. I swear I will continue this until I hit that mark :)

Sometimes I wish the mainstay of measurement for weight loss wasn't the scale. I mean in my case, the difference of one day made a huge difference to me and my motivation. And I didn't do anything different between the 2 days. I ate the same amount of calories, I exercised at the same time of day, I drank the same amount of water and I went to bed at the same time. But I'm aware that sometimes none of those things matter.

I also know there are a host of other ways to measure progress but none of the accessible ones are that reliable.

The scale: you have to take into account so many factors of what's causing your weight to fluctuate. I mean, if we all know our body weight differs by a couple of pounds in a single day then how do we put such a significance on what we way on a certain day. Lets not forget that us females also have hormonal fluctuations to worry about.

Fat Calipers: two words - human error. Like the scale they will give you an idea of what's going on but you need someone who is trained to precisely measure you. It's not something you can do at home.

Body fat scales: Same as everything else - they give you a good idea but they can't give you an honest score. These scales use formulas to just estimate/predict what your bodyfat percentage would be. Great for showing you progress but again, not accurate.

Tape Measure: Probably the best one. It won't be dead on accurate because you're measuring yourself and even a slight miscalculation on where you placed the tape or how tight you pulled it the last time could make a big difference on your final reading.

The scale is just the easiest to use. You step on, wait 2 seconds and VOILA! Your number in bold print before your eyes.

There are medical tests you can do but who wants to spend the money on them?

I guess it should just come down to how you feel and are your clothes getting smaller? Because if they are something is working. And it also comes down to making sure your day doesn't revolve around tests that do have a certain degree of error.

Things for me to remember come next Thursday.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is it Thursday already?

A week has passed and I will admit confidently that I am absolutely pleased with what I've done.

Six out of the last 7 days were excellent for me. I pretty much ate within the range that I have set for myself and I also exercised 6 out of the last 7 days. That seventh day was last Sunday and I had chosen that day to go out to dinner with my boyfriend and have an "off program" meal. It didn't go exactly as I had planned but it did, however, give me insight into how I will treat said meal in the future. We went to a chain restaurant and I should have done a little looking at the menu beforehand. It's just what I'll do next time so lesson learned. Even with that one day I feel both emotionally and physically good about it. I just feel good and I love that.

Now with all of that being said, I did have weigh-in today and I'm up .6 lbs.

Six rocks back in my jar :(

Why did I gain? No idea. However, it wasn't as heartbreaking as I thought it would be. I think it is because I feel so good. Also, I was sort of prepared. Wednesday morning I got up early to do my workout before work and I took a sneak peak on the scale and that's what it told me. I think I was more shocked on Wednesday. I knew I felt good and I assumed the scale would mirror how I was feeling. So, I took out the old tape measure and started measuring. I can't believe I haven't done this yet because I am super aware of the fact that my body does not like to give up pounds. It will, however, give up inches. So, I measured. And I will continue to keep fighting the good fight to see what happens to those inches. If the inches start coming down then I'm not gonna worry about the scale so much because obviously I'm doing something right. If the scale and measurements both stall, then it's back to the drawing board!

Also tomorrow marks the end of my most recent 30 days. The goal was 4 pounds and as of right now I am up .6 lbs - I will give the official number tomorrow.

I will be tweaking a few things for this upcoming week ( my "week" runs Thursday to Wednesday ).

This coming week:

Calorie goal: 1400/day
Exercise goal: 6 workouts
Water goal: minimum of 6.5 glasses (I know this seems small but for me is HUGE)

And that's it.
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30 Days to ... by JH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.