Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Do What Others Don't

God save me, I love Kesha's music.  And, while I'm confessing guilty pleasures, I love Britney Spears' new song, "Til the World Ends" and it may the first song of hers that I will listen to willingly.  Kudos to Lady Gaga for bringing dance music back, and for everyone following suit, it sure does make me feel young and energetic again!
Back in the day (ok, way,way back) we ran the clubs.  We weren't just running with the cool crowd, we were the cool crowd; the envy of the rest of the club drones.   I'll save the fascinating details for my next book, but I will say that the music and the club scene gave me a whole bunch of self-esteem that I was lacking my whole life, and I started clubbing (dry clubs, of course) at the age of 14.  When the music came on, I was exactly who I wanted to be, and for four, sweaty hours of dancing, I was on top of the world.  And free. 
So when I hear songs like Kesha's "Blow" it reminds me that I am still free, just in a different way.  Free from a lot of things that brought me down for years, self-neglect and indifference, depression, even being the butt of the joke at times.  There's a line in that song that says simply, "Now we're taking control/ we get what we want/ we do what you don't. "  That's how I feel a lot of the time when people around me are complaining that they don't have the discipline to workout or eat clean.  When I hear "I wish I had the (time,discipline,..enter any exscuse) to do that" I think about that line.  I get what I want because I do what you don't.  There is no magic.  Only so much inspiration and motivation can come from external sources, the majority is up to you.   I don't enjoy getting up before 5am, I rather enjoy sleep, and a lot of days I really don't feel like working out.  But I do it, because I want to acheive what I set out to acheive.  It  makes me think of Biggest Loser when they used to make them wear the T-shirts with their reason for wanting to get fit, everyone has a different driving force.  But it's just a dream until you put the effort in.  How many dreams come true without any effort?  Even a lottery winner has to buy a ticket.  Do what others don't, and you will get what you want.  The fact that I am not only liking Kesha but quoting her may make you question my sanity.  But sometimes you just have to get a little crazy in order to come out on top.
Have an awesome week!

Monday, May 30, 2011

One 'What If?' at a Time

This extended weekend has proven quite interesting for me and my quest for fitness.  My husband husband threw a bit of a curveball at me by eating his cheat meal by himself, on Thursday night, which left me to fend for myself for my own cheat meal.  So on Friday night, when he was headed out to get a haircut and rent some movies, I took my kids to Mc Donald's and I ate the worst of the worst, a Big Mac meal, and I ate the entire thing.  I was expecting my stomach to protest from the fat/calorie content and salt, but it didn't.  Moreover, I woke the next morning starving, my metabolism cranked up, and two pounds lighter.  All day, my metabolism stayed at a crazy pace, making me feel hungry 2 hours after eating, when I can normally make it 3 hours between, eating the same foods.  Saturday was spent running errands and doing fun family things, exploring new parks, and eventually, watching movies.  I did get a short (15 minutes, top) bout of cardio in while dying my hair.  Yesterday, I woke up with a terrible sinus headache and stuffy ear, and though I had some caffeine, it only helped sustain me through a couple hours of housework and grocery shopping.  By the late afternoon, I felt so sapped of energy that I actually fell asleep and had a hard time staying awake after.  I decided to try another day without my blood pressure/diuretic, because I know it can also make you feel tired if your blood pressure is too low. 
This morning I woke feeling pretty refreshed/recharged, and I decided that this is the perfect day to test my grit and see how much of that 5k run I can complete.  I had a protein shake about 1/2 hour before my run, which helped my energy level, along with about 120 mg of caffeine.  It is really humid out today, and I felt it weighing on me, affecting me mentally almost immediately.  I just thought, thank God it's not snowing.  By the time I ran to the spot where I normally turn around (on my 1-mile run) I was already wishing I was back to the spot where I could walk.  But, I adjusted my pace and kept running.  Up a slight hill, the breathing more irratic, I reminded myself that I don't have to run to the beat of my music, and slowed down a bit.  Though I was a bit nauseous by the top of the hill, it was followed by a slight decline, and I was able to continue to adjust my speed in order to keep going.  Once I'd passed the halfway point, I started to feel conflicted.  I was looking forward to the cool-down, as I was so sweaty and hot, but there was the driving force of doing what I didn't think I could do that kept me going.  I kept the inner dialogue flowing right along with the music, not everyone can do this.  You couldn't do this six months ago.  You can do this now, it's not that much further than you normally run.  I felt every fraction of every mile, but in the end, once I hit the sweet spot and began to cool down, there was an irriplaceable sense of pride, and I said to myself, I just ran three miles in 33 minutes!  Yes! 
When I was walking around outside, cooling down, I began to think about how bad I've been feeling about the way my arms look, and I've been so hung up on it.  But in the afterglow of accomplishing more than I thought I could, things started to show me their proper perspective.  Who cares what my arms look like?  I have lost nearly 40 pounds, and my fitness is at a level where I can run a 5K without stopping.  The arms will come along when they are meant to.  But really, in the scheme of things, the arms are so meaningless compared to reaching a 'what if' moment and answering your own question with an exclamaition mark!  So I am going to try and stop focusing on the little things and maintain a focus on the bigger picture.  And, if I am strong, I will get to the finish line, one 'what if' answered at a time.\
Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Guess I CAN Do That

I have been so sleepy in the mornings, that today I slept in a little later than would allow me to do a full muscle workout, so I danced instead, with the idea that I would try to squeeze in my weight work tonight.  And as luck would have it, the stars aligned just right, and I did in fact have time to do my workout tonight.  That, despite my kids running around in the room with me.  It made me feel great, and I bet I'll sleep good tonight too.  Just knowing that I can sometimes get a second workout in renews my enthusiasm a little.  Sometimes it is out of control because the amount of homework my son has varies so wildly by the day, and I am his helper for that.
A couple weeks ago I was having a lot of problems with thinking about (and occassionaly indulging in) foods I wouldn't normally allow myself.  I knew it was partially hormonal, and the stress of learning a new job without any support was making me want to self-soothe with food as well.  I am happy to say that all of those thoughts about food/cravings/longings have dissapated, and I don't really even think about food anymore.  I will still analyze my diet this weekend, I always fall short in the vegetable area, and I need to make a few minor adjustments, as this week's lunch was not top-notch nutrition, despite being "allowed" on the South Beach Diet. 
Today in casual conversation, one of my customers revealed that she'd like to start dieting, but wasn't sure if she could commit, and we ended up having a long conversation about it, which ended in her deciding that she could indeed do it if she set her mind to it.  I felt like a heroine.  And I was especially proud of myself because I didn't try to convince her that my way is the best way, I just applauded her decision to consider her health.  After all, I work in a health clinic.
I got a burst of energy and feel-good-vibes from my workout, and it has me thinking that tomorrow's cardio session may be a run.  I will try to take some ibuprophen before I run, to see if it helps my knee at all.  If my knee ends up as sore as last time, I think I may have to put running on the back burner until I can get it checked out.  That would be a bit depressing for me, but the whole reason I began this journey (or, at least, the most important reason) was for my health, and I am not about to jeapordize that for sake of my silly pride.
The kids are restless and my turkey burger and spinach salad are calling me!  Hope you are all having a fantastic week, and for my American readers, enjoy the Memorial Day/extended weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Plateau Princess

Whew!  This week is whirling by, and I can't believe it's nearing the end of May already!  We have only gotten a few days of seasonable weather, the rest of the time it has been rainy, cold and windy.  It is Murphy's Law, I'm sure, that now that my arms look decent enough to wear tank tops, the weather is not going to cooperate.  It only got to 53 degrees today.  Brrr! 
My spirits are up though, so the weather is just a minor nuisance.  I started the week off strong, still holding steady at 158 pounds, nothing too exciting.  I had a great run on Monday morning, and despite being absolutely swamped at work for the entirety of my 10 and 1/2 hour shift, handled the day with ease and had some energy to spare.  Unfortunately, it still really bothers my knee.  I'm afraid my 5K might be the last of my running if the knee doesn't start feeling better.  Going down a flight of stairs is excruciating and I keep feeling like I'm going to pull something.  Bah!  I hate it when my body doesn't do what I want it to.
Yesterday, I did my weight training, and it was another stellar workout.  But my energy level was so low all day, and I had a hard time staying awake at home.  This morning, I had something to take care of, and couldn't get to a workout, though I was only planning on doing some low-intensity cardio.  I couldn't get out for lunch at work, so I just let the day go.  I may do some stretching this evening, just to have done something.  Plus, it really feels good.  Tomorrow I will get back to the weights, trying to tighten things up a bit. 
I am feeling like I have earned myself a new title of Plateau Princess, every few pounds I lose I seem to get stuck on another plateau.  My fitness-guru (read: husband) said it's because the lower your body fat is, the harder it is to lose those stinking pounds.  That's bittersweet now, isn't it?  I'm still not satisfied with how I look, I don't feel finished, so what else can be done but to keep on pressing on?  I will probably take some time this weekend to analyze my diet again and in a couple more weeks, my evenings will be a little more free since I won't be doing homework with my son, which will free up some time for me to get in extra workouts.  I'd like to go back to cardio every morning, then either a second session of cardio or weights at night.  It seems like a lot of work, but I actually enjoy the cardio, and the weight training makes me feel strong, so unless I'm dead tired, it should be fine most days.  I will also be making a stronger effort to workout on the weekends, I've been slacking too long/ much.
I'll be needing a new weight routine soon.  Anyone care to chime in with their favorite moves?
Well, time to get in a little play time with the kids!  Hope you all are having a great week!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend Un-warrior

A while back, I allowed myself to relax on the weekends, to "recover" from a week of working out hard, justifying it by how much of a hassel it is to workout when my kids and husband are all vying for my attention.  But today as I was running, I started to feel like the opposite of the weekend warrior, and it made me wonder where the logic was in skipping weekend workouts.  Maybe I am just being too easy on myself.  Granted, some weekends, I really do feel like I need a rest, but some I don't, and I rest reguardless.  It is just making it all the harder to keep progressing.  It doesn't help that I have also had more frequent lapses of clean eating as of late, and they usually fall on the weekend.  I did really well during the week, for the "special situation" meals I had planned.  Wednesday we had a lens manufacturer lab rep at our office all day, and she insisted on taking us to lunch, so we ate at a diner by my work.  If it's any indication of how horrible the food was, our orders arrived within two minutes of ordering.  Blah.  I had the tuna plate, which consisted of a huge lettuce leaf topped with a scoop of tuna salad (with pickle relish mixed in, disgusting!) and some tomato slices.  They also sent a bowl full of canned peaches (the disgusting stuff sitting in a pool of heavy syrup, you know the stuff that tastes exactly like the can they came in) which looked the same when they brought them out as when they mercifully took them away.  That was the cleanest thing on the menu.  My mother-in-law brought us out to dinner on Friday evening to celebrate my husband's birthday, and we went to one of my favorite restaurants, and I was good there too.  I had a reasonable serving of tortilla chips with salsa (about 8 chips) and ordered the Ahi tuna fajitas, which I ate with out the tortillas and no extra condiments.  I felt really good after that meal, and the tuna was perfectly cooked. 
Then came Saturday.  I did good all day until my husband went out to dinner with some of his friends, and I was left to entertain my kids.  We had movie night, and the kids wanted snacks, so of course I had to oblige.  We got some Doritos, puffy Cheetos, and popcorn.  The Doritos were a new flavor, pizza supreme, so of course I had to try them.  And several servings in, I had had enough and decided to switch to the Cheetos.  It was like a free-for-all, and I went overboard.  The next morning, I wanted caffeine, so I decided to walk to the convenience store (a mile roundtrip), as if that could even start to compensate for what I'd consumed the night before, but at least it was something. 
And now I have the Monday Morning Guilt.  In all reality, I didn't have the ritual Friday night cheat meal, so calorie-wise, it probably didn't do any more damage than the Domino's pizza does.  But it feels different because it wasn't planned, there was no benefit from it, and there is just absolutely no nutritional value to the chips.  I used to joke with my husbands that if I ate the entire bag of my favorite chips (at 2g protein per serving) it would be a high protein meal.  Not so funny, but that was at a time when I wasn't even thinking about getting healthy. 
So today, I decided to run.  And I started to, once again, change my game plan.  I am not liking how soft my arms are looking still, and I know that is due, in large part, to my not getting in enough strength training lately.  So, I am going to switch my focus to doing strength training every other day, and rotating running/walking on my cardio days.  At this point, I can only swing one workout a day, but I'm hoping to do more eventually.  I am also starting to feel like I need to get off the blood pressure medicine, as I feel like I'm going to pass out every time I stand up.  I didn't take it last night, to see how I feel without it, and this morning's run felt so productive.  I'm fairly sure it will only take a call to my doctor, and I should get approval to discontinue.  That would be fantastic.  Afterall, I have lost nearly 55 pounds since I was diagnosed. 
So, we start another week.  I have been wanting to try to run 3 miles, just to see where I'm at, but the only time I have the time is on the weekends, and it has been raining every weekend and is forecasted to storm again next weekend.  Sigh.  At least it's not snow!  Happy Monday everyone, hope your week gets off to a great start!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Almost Didn't Do it (again)

When my alarm went off at 4:50 am, I told myself my legs were still too sore from yesterday's run to workout today, and reset my alarm, intending to go back to sleep.  Then the inner dialogue began.  What was yesterday's run for, if I'm just going to cop out of today's workout?  How am I ever going to exceed mediocracy if I am only in this half way?  Am I really this weak?
I got up, weighed myself like usual, (157, a new low) and did my weight session.  It felt like I hadn't worked my muscles in weeks, it was more challenging than I expected.  I foolishly did it on an empty stomach, but I had to get it done and there were obstacles to overcome.  Anyway, I'm glad I had that little talk with myself this morning.  Even though I am suffering the weak, shakey feeling right now, I know that once I eat a nice breakfast and get some caffeine in me, I am going to feel phenomenal.  And I'm really glad I torched those calories and sped up my metabolism because today at work we have a sales rep who will be with us the entire day, and has insisted on buying us lunch and dinner.  And then, my husband's birthday is tomorrow, so my mother-in-law is taking the whole family out to dinner on Friday night.  I will try to pick something reasonable.  I'm not trying to go crazy and counter any progress I've made this week.
I'm hoping that the desire to workout will return to me someday, but even if it doesn't, I know all I have to do is get started and the rest takes care of itself. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Big Fat Baby

Today I realized something about myself that will be key to my success in this journey.  I've been acting like a big, fat baby lately.  If I wake up and don't want to do something (ie, workout) I just think, but I dunwanna, and so I don't.  I have been allowing myself to make excuses and justifications for not working out.  All of those behaviors would eventually lead me back to the "comfortable" place of just not having to worry about it.  And even more dangerous, the scale is still moving in the right direction, so I think, well, it can't be that bad to skip workouts, I must be pretty healthy because I'm putting all that fat back on.  Blah!  That is the mindset of the person I used to be, the obese, really miserable, feel-like-I'm-twice-my-age person.
This morning I woke up feeling dehydrated, even my eyes felt exceptionally dry.  Every little bit of my person wanted to go back to bed.  Not only was I up earlier than I ever get up (4:50 am to be exact), but I feel my throat starting to get a little swollen, and my sinuses are bothering me lately with the unseasonably cold and windy/rainy weather.  Wha wha.  The reason I was up earlier, was because last night when I was all full of energy and happy thoughts, I decided that I need to be running if I am ever going to work my way up to 3 miles.  This morning, after looking outside and thinking, it still looks like the middle of the night, I was starting to think a strength training session might be better.  It looked really cold out.  I was tired.  I told my husband, "I DO NOT want to go outside."  In some secret (but not so cleverly disguised) way, I was hoping he would tell me to just do something else, in the interest of at least getting something done.  Instead, he said, "That's how you know you have to do it, is when you don't want to."  With that, and a caffeine pill, I was lacing up and out the door.  I was right, it was cold and windy.  My body began to protest the minute I began running, with a odd pain shooting from my knee up into my quad, and then a slight little "pop" and everything was good again, just when I thought I had an exscuse to skip the run.  The thought process was one of doubt.  Even when I was walking to warm up, I was thinking, I don't know if I have it in me today, this may turn out to just be a walk.  But, once that knee popped I figured the best I could do was just keep running and just see how long I could keep going.  Except for stopping to tie my shoes (note to self, double knot) I ran the whole way, 1 mile.  There were times along the way, when I felt like I wanted to stop, but I just adjusted my pace and kept going, thinking, I've already done this run before, I know I can do it again today.  By the time I got home, I felt so good.  And by that I mean, a little nausea, a little bit out of breath, a little sweaty, and my whole body was awake and buzzing.  Runner's high?  Perhaps.  Mixed with a little bit of "I freaking did it" pride.  Now my day can begin.
Exscuses are belief killers.  When you believe in yourself, you don't make exscuses.  I believe I can run a 5k, and I will.  I believe I can acheive my weight loss goals, and I will.  The minute I allow myself to make exscuses and justifications, I know I am heading down the wrong path.  Sometimes its more about pushing yourself, even when you would rather baby yourself.  Usually, those are the most rewarding workouts, and reap the greatest mental rewards.  Today I ran a mile, even though I didn't wake up feeling like doing it.  It's going to be an awesome day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Which Ones Shall I Shoes?

This marks my 100th post on this blog, feels kind of special.  I have been on this journey for just short of six months, and there have been plenty of highs and lows, but in the end it's all a high, right? 
My Monday weigh-in has me still sitting under 160, at 159, which feels good considering my resolve has been wavering, and the result has been a much lighter workout load.  I felt it was needed at the time, but I may have been talking myself into taking more of a break than I needed.  Ah, the wonderful hormonal ebb and flow we women go through each month, it plays nasty tricks on our heads; makes us feel that we will most certainly perish should we not chose to eat the freaking brownie before us.  Or for me, this weekend in a moment of desperation (and having no sweets in the house) a handful of raisins.  I also had Pizza on Friday night, it was worth waiting that many weeks for it, it tasted PHENOMENAL!
At any rate, today was productive.  I felt like death-warmed-over this morning after dealing with an over-tired, over-emotional, hour-long-crying-screaming-tantrum-at-bedtime seven year old last night, but then my husband proved his undying love for me by giving me a 200mg caffeine pill he had stashed.  It hadn't kicked in when I began my interval cardi, but about five minutes in, it was already making me feel awesome.  During my cardio, I worked really hard to re-focus my mind on what my goals are.  Sadly, it was the external stuff, the shallow stuff that drove me to get one of the most awesome workouts in this morning.  I felt so good afterword, thinking about how good I will look when I reach my goal, and all the cute clothes I will buy, and for the first time in so long, I felt like I was mentally back to where I needed to be in order to progress.  I am still eating clean, have been all along, but the motivation to exercise was missing for a while.  Think part of the problem was the boot camp, I dreaded even thinking about doing it, so I'd just skip working out altogether.  Not good.  So, that is going to change this week, I will be going back to my previous strength training plan, or maybe rotating all three of my previous workouts by week. 
On my ridiculously long lunch break, I actually had time to go for a walk (and a coworker to cover my department for me) so I got in another 20 minutes of high intensity cardio.  It made the rest of my day breeze by, instead of me hitting the 3pm wall.  I also re-focused my mind on that 5K my company puts on each month, and I think I will sign up for the July 27th run.  It just so happens the girl I was working with runs for mental health, and I asked her to recommend good running shoes that don't cost me an entire paycheck, and she said Sketchers.  Not sure.  Don't most runners (not that I'm calling myself one) chose Aisics?  I know some of my readers are runners, anyone want to chime in on good shoes?  Right now I am wearing a Nike run/walk shoe, but it is ancient. 
Well, my bedtime rituals are about to begin.  No, they don't include heads of chickens or reciting strange phrases, more like a little fat free yogurt and some Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Hope everyone is off to a great week!  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Still Here

I haven't been blogging much during the week, but I assure you I'm still here and chugging along.  I finally got the scale down under 160, which feels like a huge accomplishment, so I am going to keep things nice and clean so I don't have to continue visiting that number on the scale.  I am holding steady at 158 for two days in a row, so I am assuming I should be able to stay under 160.  Finally. 
I have been good all week.  Monday I did boot camp, and it was a little easier than last time, but I only did 2 intervals of the plyo squat/jump move because it was too challenging, and being that I was doing it before breakfast and before work, I needed to save some energy for the day.  I was prepared to walk on my lunch break, and I did.  I had to have blood drawn and make a few phone calls, but I still had time to eat and get in an intense 20 minute walk.  Now that's multi-tasking!  Tuesday morning I did interval cardio at home.  This morning, I was feeling very tired/low energy so I decided to rest.  As I am feeling a little drained today, I will not walk on my lunch break, and it is probably not going to be an option for me anymore, until we hire another person.  Anyway, today I have to work alone for five hours, and I am not very comfortable with the computer program we use yet, so it will be interesting.  But as I have discovered about myself all too often, I tend to worry more than what the situation calls for, so I am going to just relax and take it as it comes.  Sometimes being thrown into the fire is the best way to prove to yourself you've got what it takes, you just have to believe in yourself.
I can't believe May is nearly half done, I don't think I am going to make it for this month's 5k run, I think realistically, I may be able to do the July run, which is at the end of the month.  That is going to mean I need to get out there running a lot more than I am right now.  As most things in my life, it is a work in progress!  With my new loss, I am within 6 pounds of being at the 40 pound loss mark, I think I will have to celebrate with a clothes shopping spree when that happens!
Hope everyone's week is going good, we're almost there!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lack of Focus Making Me Weak

A quick end-of-weekend post to set my mind straight.  The week ended on a positive note, I ended up sleeping in on Friday, and not getting up for cardio or weights.  I think I needed it moreso mentally than physically.  Despite my lack of exercise, my metabolism was roaring, which to me, meant that my body was using the break to heal.  I ate clean, but was horrible about keeping the intervals evenly spread.  It is a work in progress.
Yesterday my family and I took a short drive to a college town just south of where we live, to visit a children's museum that my youngest has been begging to go to, since seeing the colorful commercials around Christmas time.  It ended up being kind of a long day, and included an unplanned late lunch at a gyro place.  I had a chicken gyro and enjoyed every minute of it.  Eating "off plan" food used to make me cringe with guilt, but now the balance is shifting and so is my focus.  I need to let last week go, and just mentally prepare myself for the next leg of the journey.  After we got home, I was pretty tired from being out most of the day (and the caffeine wearing crash), but I decided to go for a walk, which turned into interval run/walk.  It is funny what happens to me, on the days when running itself doesn't hurt me, my knee feels irritated the rest of the day.  Vice versa, when the running feels irritating to my knee, it feels fine after I stop running.  Anyway,  I want to be able to run a 5K by the end of the summer, but when I clocked the distance I ran the other day, (and was so proud of) it was slightly less than a mile.  It's funny the gap between perception and reality.  So, I will see what can be done to get ready for the 5K.  It may not happen this year, and I would be OK with that, by next spring I will probably be able to handle a 5K nicely. 
Where my mind is falling into an all-too-familiar gap is in allowing myself to feel overwhelmed by the unpredictable and ever-changing schedule I am now faced with.  I'm happy I have been able to get up at 5am to workout without too much trouble, because if I didn't have that, my body would be going the direction I came from, instead of just maintaining, which is what I seem to be doing right now.  This is my last full week of work with the coworker who gave notice, so there will a stretch of time when I won't get my entire hour lunch break, and some days may have to just stay in my office, so I am going to take advantage of my hour long lunches this week and get an extra session of cardio in.  I need to keep the momentum going forward, all it will take is seeing the scale dip into the 150's and I will be back mentally and physically, but in order to get out that result, I have to put some extra work in.
So, my goals for this week are simple.  (1)Workout every morning before work- I am just going to listen to my body as to what I do each morning.  (2) 20-30 minutes cardio walking each lunch hour.  (3) Eat on-plan all week, trying my best to keep intervals between to 3 hours or less.
Tomorrow I will do boot camp to start of my week strong.  I have to be at work for 10 1/2 hours, and I am going to need that metabolism boost to get me through.  I know once I pull my focus back to my journey, I will be able to get things back where they belong.  Right now, all I want to do is eat things I shouldn't eat.  I know this, too will pass, as I am not giving in to my irrational desires.  For now, I am a little relieved that the weekend is done, now it is time to get back to business.  Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Running On

Yesterday was a little lower-key day for me.  I was still sore from the bootcamp, so I did some yoga in the morning instead of cardio, and it felt nice.  I did feel a bit guilty for not doing any cardio though, so everywhere I went (orientation and work) I parked at the extreme opposite end of the parking lot, just to get a few extra steps in.  We were catered in subs for lunch, and I had a turkey sub (white bread, yuck).  I got in one extra snack of peanuts, but still missed a snack, and let the hours slide a bit.  Today is my last formal day of orientation, and it is a half day, so I will have a lot more control over my diet.
By the time I went to bed last night, my muscles were still a little sore from bootcamp, and I knew it wasn't a good idea to do that workout again this morning, so I finally decided to branch out and formulate a new plan.  My old pattern was rotating interval cardio with weights every other day.  Now I will be doing interval cardio, weights, running.  So, today I did the running.  The company I work for has a 5K fun run every month while the weather is nice, so I think I might try to run it.  I might start this month, just to see where I'm at, and then try to improve my time each month.  It will be interesting to see where I'm at by the end of fall.  And since the company I work for is a health/hospital system, they reward employees for doing things for their health.  Just for having routine exams and exercising, participating in health seminars, etc, if you earn enough "wellness points" you get money.  How easy and cool is that? 
Anyway, I ran further than I ever thought I could this morning (I will clock the distance sometime soon) it amounted to twelve minutes of running non-stop, which is the most I've ever done, and I am really feeling quite high!  I can already tell it's going to be a great day!  Hope your day is off to a great start too!  Friday is in sight!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Let it Surface

I woke up extra early this morning to try out the boot camp training that I mentioned in my last blog.  It completely kicked my @ss!  At one point I felt like I was either going to pass out or throw up or both, as the workout is fairly heavy on the legs.  Fortunately, I did neither, but I did stop after two full circuits due to both exhaustion and poor time management.  Then came the usual morning prep of getting the kids ready and dropped off at daycare, before heading off for another full day of orientation.  It was a l-o-n-g day of learning about bloodborne pathogens (I am working in a health clinic), and OSHA, Hazmat, benefits, etc, etc.  Yawn.  I didn't get as many breaks today as yesterday, so I didn't eat any peanuts in between lunch, but I am happy to say that I made much better choices with today's lunch than I did yesterday.  I had a huge plate of salad with a few sprinkles of Italian dressing, then about a tablespoon of mashed potatoes, and the rest of my plate was filled with some sort of beef in gravy with mushrooms.  It was a lot closer to being "on plan" than yesterday, and I passed up the delicious looking sweet treats they had provided which included cupcakes, brownie bars, and frosted sugar cookies.  It helped that my hobby of blogging was announced by the session leader, and everyone was asking all kinds of questions, which definitely held me a lot more accountable for what I put on my plate today.  It's good to have these things to help keep me on my toes. 
We got released about 45 minutes early for the day, so when I got home, I went for a walk for an extra half hour cardio session.  It felt really good to be moving around after sitting all day.  Now, I am finally eating my evening meal,  still way too many hours in between meals, but at least the cardio pumped up my metablolism.  Last night was the first time in weeks that my metabolism woke me up and I needed to eat during the night.  I'm happy that my eating and resolve is back on track.  I just have one more day of catered lunch to get through!  And tomorrow I get to actually go to my sight that I will be working at, and start to get acquainted with where everything is.  I'm pretty excited about that.  I think I am going to love working for this company, they really take care of their employees.
One of the ladies that was in orientation with me mentioned that she is also loosing weight, and that she has lost 40 pounds since January 1st.  Then she sat next to me at lunch, ate a frosted cookie and pointed to my Diet Coke and said that drinking diet soda is one of the worst things you can do for your body.  She was a nice enough lady, but I just shrugged.  I rarely drink soda anymore, but I enjoy it, and I am not going to get down to the basics of every macronutrient because at a base level, everything you put in your body could potentially be bad for you.  Anyway, after she spent most of the half hour lunch break drilling her method into me (like a God warrior tries to persuade you to follow their beliefs) I realized that this is so typical of people on a weight loss plan, and I truly hope I don't do the same thing to people.  I believe in the South Beach Diet because of the amazing results it has given me in the way of my trigycerides and blood pressure.  It, being designed by a cardiologist, hits the mark and does exactly what it is supposed to, give you a better chance of not getting heart disease or having a heart attack.  The bonus is that you lose weight, and look/feel great.  And if anyone approaches me and asks me how I am losing the weight, I will tell them that this plan has worked remarkably for me.  But we do have the tendancy to preach our method to others don't we?  I don't know why that is, I have been guilty of this in the past as well, and when I was done preaching, I felt awkward, but I still really wanted the person I was preaching to, to rush out and buy the book and start eating clean the next day.  But what I've come to realize is that, most plans these days are fairly similar, basing their diet on a nice balance of lean protein, high quality carbs, and a small amount of the essential fats.  So why do we try to convince others to do what we're doing?  To get some sort of second-hand credit for changing their lives?  It is a strange phenomenon, but one I can live with by simply doing the favor of listening to everything they are saying, respectfully, and genuinely praise them for their awesome work.  Everyone has a different style, a different method that works for them, and that is how it should be.  It's nice that so many different plans are similar or even integrated/modified versions of earlier diets that have been upgraded to include the latest research.  We are fortunate to have limitless information at our fingertips.
In my dream  last night, I dreamed that after I'd reached my fitness goal I became a personal trainer, and it felt really natural and right, and I really enjoyed it.  In waking, it seems a pretty big stretch of imagination, but then again, who knows what I'll be doing in five years from now?  I'd love to help people who need inspiration.  By then I will have awesome before and after photos to share for those who don't believe that they can do it.  We've all been there, and everyone faces those moments of self-doubt.  But the place where people split is in the belief that, at some point, they will do it.  Can and can't aren't even a factor.  They will.  And that is the way we have to approach this thing.  I have always known I would, and once my mind changed from "someday" mentality to "what am I waiting for" the rest took care of itself.  I can't brand and market my method because I think motivation, and even the journey itself, is so subjective and personal, I can only say that every person who knows they can and will conquer this, has exactly the power and motivation they need already inside of them, they just need to let it surface.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Disoriented

Monday weigh in was not a big surprise, still at 160.  So it goes.  And today went as planned, I did my morning cardio, then my orientation consisted of eight hours of customer service seminars, interrupted by a few short breaks and a catered lunch from an italian eatery.  If I were being really good, I would have just stuck to the chicken breast salad, but I had some lasagne, a small piece of garlic bread, and a chocolate chocolate-chip cookie to boot.  To be honest, by the time lunch was served, it had been 6 hours since my last meal, and I let my blood sugar lull talk me into eating more fat and carbs than I normally would have.  Now that I know I will get a few short breaks throughout the day, I will bring my jar of peanuts along so I can have a snack during those breaks.  Tomorrow, I will make the healthiest choices I can in the situation.  They said it would be "fancier" food since our supervisors would be joining us for lunch.  We'll see. 
My latest issue of Oxygen Magazine has a great Beach Body Boot Camp workout, designed both circuit and interval style, with a plyo move, so I think I will start that new workout this week.  It is said that boot camp-type training is good for getting you past a plateau, so I will give it a try.  I will also be tightening up my diet this week, which will be easier after Wednesday, when I will no longer be in orientation for full days, having lunch catered in. 
I didn't make my April goal of getting down into the 150's, but I know it is possible.  With only 89 days left until the close of the contest, I am fairly certain I won't be at my goal weight by then, but I know I will be looking and feeling much better than when I started this journey.  Some days I get so caught up in the day-to-day operations, that I forget what I've accomplished.  Then I catch my image in a mirror or window and I am simultaneously surprised and proud of how far I've come.  And so very gratful that I had the time, courage, focus and drive to do it.  It could be the cookie talking, but I truly feel blessed!  Happy Monday to my loyal, fantastic readers!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Catching My Breath

I survived my first (albeit half) week at my new job, though it left me feeling very unprepared and scattered.  It's amazing how, when I wasn't working I felt like I was doing so much already, and now I get home from work and have so much to do that there literally is no extra time for another workout.  And when I say that, I mean it.  I get home around 6PM, then have to do homework with Israel, then get dinner ready for them, coax them into baths, cook my meals for the next day, then put the kids to bed.  If I'm lucky, I get to see my husband for an episode of Diners Drive-ins and Dives before we both head off to bed.  That leaves me about seven hours of sleep before I wake up to do cardio.  I know it just seems crazy now because it's new, and once the kids are on summer vacation, that will give me a break from the homework, which is when I'll sneak that extra workout in.  It'll all work out. 
I did do strength training today, I have been getting accustomed to not doing it, so I was procrastinating, looking for the right time when the kids were busy doing something else, but also I was just generally feeling lazy.  Which made me realize that no matter how much cardio I do, it just can't do for me what weight training does for me, make me feel powerful and like I can conquer any goal I set for myself, and that I am healthy, which is the part that has always been a dream for me, even moreso than looking good in spaghetti straps.  The minute I began my strength training, I felt the blood rush to the muscle, got an immediate pump, and with a sly little grin I told my husband, "I am going to be sore tomorrow!"   I think that workout sapped nearly all the energy I had left, so my post-workout cardio turned into a 12 minute "cool down".  And I'm OK with that.  I am holding steady at 160 pounds, and I've been taking some liberties lately, so the fact that I haven't gone crazy and packed on the pounds is a relief. 
This particular workout brought me back to where I needed to be, to a place where my job will not consume me, and I will still attempt to be a good role model for my kids, and I still have the twinkle in my eye for that dream that at once seemed so far away.  Even though I now have a few other things to focus on, I know that if I let my mind focus too much on that, that it will be detrimental to my long-term goals. 
This week is my orientation, and I won't have the usual freedoms of moving about the office, eating whenever and whatever I want.  Lunch is being provided Monday -Wednesday, so it will be interesting to see what I will be having for lunch, and I am almost certain that I won't get extra breaks for snacks, so my metabolism will be taking a hit those days, but I can pull it in the rest of the week, when I will finally get to be in my new office.  The girl who was running that office just gave her notice, so instead of me being a relief to the company, I am now a neccessity, and will probably be seeing a lot of overtime in the next couple months until they can hire someone else.  The only saving grace is that, it doesn't seem to be a terribly busy office, and the money is soooo good.  I will leave my monthly measurements/losses and then go enjoy this beautiful, windy-but-finally-sunny day.  Hope everyone's having a great start to May!
Apr 1-May 1                                                                                                          Total loss so far
Bust: 3/4 inch                                                                                                          6 1/4 inches
Chest: 1/4 inch                                                                                                        4 1/4 inches
Waist: 1 inch                                                                                                            5 3/8 inches
Hips: 1 inch                                                                                                              6 inches
Thighs: 3/4                                                                                                               2 inches
Calves: no change                                                                                                     5/8 inches
Upper arm: 1/4 inch                                                                                                   1 3/4 inches
Forearm: 1/4 inch                                                                                                        7/8 inches
total inches lost for April1-May 1= 4 3/4 inches
Total inches lost so far: 27 1/8 inches