Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I am starting small with the working exercise back into daily life thing and I am trying to use my treadmill every other day. I used it tonight for 30 min. at an incline of 5. I varied my speed a little and did 10 min. at 3.2, 10 min. at 3 and then the last 10 min. at 3.2. I wonder if I am just that out of shape or maybe I just sweat a lot because just walking had me sweating.

I read my book while I was walking, so hooray for multi-tasking!

Last night I took some time for myself and worked on a project that I have actually been wanting to work on rather than projects with looming deadlines. I do have some dog collars I need to get finished though.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Burton on Zappos.com

Of course everyone knows how awesome Zappos.com is for SO MANY things. When it comes to internet shopping, that is where it's at. I love looking at all the things by Burton on Zappos.com.

With winter coming up, I have been checking out their coats and jackets. I really like these two.



































In addition to clothing, they also have skate and snow gear, so that's pretty awesome. It makes me want to go skiing and we all know I love skiing.

And they have stuff for men and kids too. I'm loving this shirt for my husband.



















Can you say Christmas, anyone? I'll totally be checking out Burton for Christmas gifts.

Hmmm

I am wondering where to go with this blog... What kind of blog should this be? I tried to make it a healthy living blog but... that kind of floundered. Well... what now?

Anyway...

I've been told that I need to rank myself much higher on my list of priorities. I've not even really been making the list, I think. Not for any real reason other than I don't really know how to prioritize myself. I don't know what to do for myself. How does one make one's self a priority? I'm not really sure. But I decided I am going to try.

One thing I am going to do is try to get back into the habit of exercising. I know that I feel better when I am active and make the time to exercise but I haven't done any sort of exercise in over a month because I've either been extremely busy or sick. I have decided I am going to start making the time for exercise. I have a treadmill. I have workout videos. I have hand weights. I have a step. I have DDR and WiiFit. There is no reason not to. I just have to make the time for myself.

The goal isn't to lose weight (though I wouldn't complain). I just want to feel fit and in shape. And I know I feel better and more positive about myself when I am active. If ihad the ability to join a gym (particularly a CrossFit gym), I would. I'd love to be able to go to classes. Spin, step, zumba, kick boxing, yoga, etc. But that's not in the cards right now and that's okay. As I said, I have other avenues at my fingertips here at home.

I started tonight. I walked on the treadmill for 20 min. (at 3.5 incline and 3.5 speed) and then did some stretching. A small start but it's a start at least.

And I am going to continue to make time for exercise.

I am also going to try to go to bed earlier so that maybe I won't always feel so tired.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What do you collect?

I don't know about any of you but I collect a lot things - books, dragons, odd pens, fitness-related items that are mostly serving as dust catchers right now... And my husband collects model ships.

Whatever it is you collect, you could probably find it on this shopwiki for Collectibles and Memorabilia.

Think I'm kidding? Check it out.

My husband's sister is way into Elvis. She could check out their Elvis memorabilia buying guide.

It really seems like there is something for everyone - sports cards, coins, even collectible spoons!

Personally, I am going to check out the rare books.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things.

I have been doing really well about updating my food log this week. I haven't been doing so well with my food choices (in regards to healthy qualities) as you can plainly see but I am making no excuses and giving no reasons as to why I ate what I did. That is irrelevant because it is what it is. I made the decisions to put those foods into my body and I can't un-eat them.

But at least I'm not hiding from my food choices. I am recording what I am eating and that is at least a place to start, you know?

I have also been trying to really watch my portion sizes. I don't need large portions to feel full or satisfied.

Oh and I am working on drinking more water because I completely fell away from that while we were on vacation. I put the notice back on my computer at work, so a pop-up now reminds me to take a drink every 10 minutes. That really helps me remember to drink, particularly because I get so busy at work that I often don't think to stop and make sure I am staying hydrated.

And I have started exercising again. I did some strength training on Sunday and tonight I went for a 30 min. 1:1 (run:walk) with A. I decided to take it easy, which is why we went 1:1. We did have to take a few breaks because we took the dogs with us and we had to clean up a few doggie messes and also give them some water. Boy, were they whipped at the end! They are out of shape. I probably could have kept going but I didn't want to push it with the dogs. Plus, it's probably better to ease back into exercising. When we returned from our run, I did a couple strength moves and then stretched.

Slowly, I am getting back into reading the various health blogs that I follow, so that's inspiring.

And now to revisit my goals! I am going to reorganize them a little.

Goals Achieved!
Run a mile in 12 min. or less. 11:43 on 9/20!

Goals
Run 2 miles without stopping.
Take part in a 5K.
Do a set of 35 push-ups. (Current best - 20)
Do a set of 35 burpees. (Current best - 18)
Whittle my waist - get my waist measurement under 26 inches (currently 27) and my belly measurement under 31 inches (currently 33.5).
Get my body fat percentage under 25%. (Currently 28%)
Become more flexible - be able to do side and middle splits.
Lose 5 lb. (Currently 149.8)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Food Log - Sunday, Aug. 9 through Saturday, Aug. 15

Sunday
Breakfast/lunch
2 1/2 slices french toast (made with delicious cinnamon sugar bread from the farmer's market)
syrup
3 slices of bacon

Snack
Cucumber slices

Dinner
cajun sausage on a roll
dirty rice
asparagus
1 brownie

Snack
1 brownie

Monday
Breakfast
cinnamon roll with icing

Snack
banana

Lunch
1 small sausage
asparagus with bacon
dirty rice

Snack
1 small slice cookie cake

Dinner
2 small halupki
zucchini
1 large brownie

Snack
ice cream

Tuesday
Breakfast
1 thick slice cinnamon bread from the farmer's market

Snack
5 donut holes and 1 boston cream donut

lunch
zucchini
dirty ricce
veggie burger

Snack
banana

Dinner
cabbage and green pepper w/ butter
4 small bites sausage
3 potato and cheddar pierogies

Wednesday
Breakfast
1 thick slice cinnamon bread from the farmer's market

Snack
Banana

Lunch
cabbage and green pepper w/ butter
4 small bites sausage

Snack
8 small white chocolate covered pretzels

Dinner
grilled squash
potato
small piece of steak

Snack
2 chocolate chip cookies

Thursday
Breakfast
honey oat bagel with cream cheese
cappuccino & hot chocolate

Lunch
1 pork eg roll
a little bit of lo mein
1 Chinese donut

Dinner
grilled squash
sugar snack peas
2 small halupki

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Return from my month-long hiatus

On July 12 I posted that I would be scarce for a few days... somehow that turned into a month. I was so busy in that month.

My husband's (A) birthday was July 11th, so we celebrated his birthday that weekend and my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and niece came to visit and stayed over at our house. We also hosted a party to celebrate A's birthday.

The next weekend A and I decided to pull up the carpeting in our living room and dining room and put down wood laminate flooring. That was quite the project and took much longer than anticipated! Things are still not put entirely to rights but for about 5 days our couch, chaise lounge and treadmill lived in the kitchen.

Somehow in that time I started and finished two baby quilts and worked on some garb for A and I for Pennsic.

The weekend of July 25, I had a baby shower to attend on both Friday AND Saturday. (Both mommies-to-be loved the baby quilts.)

And then A and I left for Pennsic on July 31st and only just returned home last night at about 10 p.m.

Whew! It has been exhausting. And within all that I had to deal with the disappointment of not getting a job that I really wanted and losing my great-aunt.

I suppose that was all a very long explanation as to why my eating and exercise habits have totally slipped over the last month. I haven't gone for a run since before we put the new floor down and my eating hasn't been that great.

I know that I have gained weight and I am sure that my measurements are up. I am also pretty sure I am dehydrated. I know that doesn't help. I have been trying to drink a lot of water today but I know I need more. Even though I know I have gained weight and I'm not a huge fan of the belly pooch getting a little bigger, I am still fairly happy with what I see in the mirror. I still have abs! Still... something needs to be done to reverse the weight gain and build the fitness levels.

Things are going to change.

I AM going to start keeping a food log again. I'll make a post for the coming week tomorrow and update it each day. Keep me honest!

I AM going to start exercising again. At least 4 days this coming week!

I AM going to start running again. I am going to start up the Jeff Galloway 5K training program again. I think I am going to start with week 8.

Oh, and I did check meetup.com for a running group near me but wasn't able to find one in my town. Bummer!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Scarcity

I may be a little scarce over the next few days. My great-aunt, whom I used to help care for, passed away at 1 a.m. on Saturday morning. Her memorial is a couple weeks from now but I need some time to myself to mourn and process. I will be back.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bummed!

I found out earlier this week via my new SCA friend that the Pennsic 5K was canceled. Boo! I was actually looking forward to taking part in it! I guess they feel that it presents too much of a liability.

I've not been exercising as much as I would have liked this week. I had planned to follow week 11 of the Jeff Galloway training program but kind of got sidetracked by life. On Monday I did No More Trouble Zones, Tuesday I ran the 30 min. (3/1 walk/run), Wednesday I did s short yoga/strength session (better than nothing, right?) and today I decided not to exercise because I was up late last night and wanted to try to get at least 6 hours of sleep (I think I got just under 6...). So, I kind of got slightly off track. I think I am going to do the other 30 min. run tomorrow, take Saturday off (it's my husband's birthday and his sister, her husband and their little girl will be staying with us all weekend and we're having a party for the hubster that night) and then run the 3.5 miles on Sunday. Then I'll try to get back on track with week 12 on Monday.

At the advice of my new SCA friend, I think I am going to check meetup.com to see if I can find a running group or something. It would be nice to meet some people from down here, get some exercise as part of a group and improve my running. I have been feeling nostalgic for my days in track in high school. I loved track! Now, I wasn't a runner at the time. I was a jumper - long and triple jump. And, man, if people did recreational jumping like they do running, I would be so all over that! I'm jealous of Holly, whose running group is holding a series of track meets this summer. I think that's so cool!

My eating also hasn't been stellar this week. I fully admit to emotional eating on my part. I have read all kinds of articles that are supposed to help you stop emotional eating but so far I've not been able to overcome it. I had a job interview last week for a job that I wanted very badly. They were supposed to be doing 2nd interviews this week and were hoping to make an offer by the end of the week. I wanted the job so bad I went out and bought a new suit, a new portfolio and sent a thank you card afterward (I've never sent a thank you after an interview before.). I sent an email to the person I interviewed to ask about the status of the job. He didn't bother to respond. I'm feeling pretty depressed about the situation because I wanted the job so badly and because I am so unhappy at my current job.

I need to catch up on the Summer Glow Boot Camp.

I am so busy lately! I have 2 baby quilts that need to be made by the end of this month because the babies are due at the end of next month. I need to finish my sewing for Pennsic because that is in 3 weeks. I spent time on my garden, doing laundry, taking care of the dogs and cats, trying to keep things picked up and clean. I need to take some me time but I don't feel like I have time for it!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Links!

There are a lot of great contests going on lately.

- Check out the HUGE July giveaway going on over at Nikes and Ponytails.

- There is a High Sierra Cross Sport Duffel Bag up for grabs on I Run Because I Can.

- Of course, there are a bunch of great prizes being given away as part of the Summer Glow Boot Camp!

- There is an Ocean Spring Harvest of Heaven contest going on at An Apple A Day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy weight?

Sunday's topic for the SGBC was the idea of a happy weight.

Angela asked:

1) Do you know what your happy weight is? Without getting specific with numbers, try to talk generally about what a happy weight is to you. Do you know when you are there? Have you ever been at your happy weight? How did/do you feel?

I'm not sure that I do know what my happy weight is.

Sometimes it seems that my current weight is my happy weight. At this weight I can basically eat how I want to eat. I'm active. I'm fit. I feel good.

But at the same time, sometimes I am dissatisfied with this weight. However, my only real issue is that I would like to have less weight around my waist. (Hence my goal to have a smaller waist measurement.) To be honest, I know that only a few pounds one way or the other makes a big difference on my midsection, so... I would say that if I'm not at my happy weight, I am close to it. I would at least say I am in my happy weight range. Would I be happy 3-5 pounds lighter? I'm sure I would. Would I be happy 1-2 pounds heavier? Yes.

Another reason I would say this is my happy weight range (I think having a happy weight range is better than having a specific happy weight - less stressful to maintain and who needs more stress?.) is that I can do the things that make me happy and still maintain this weight. I can run. I can strength train. I can push my levels of stamina and endurance. I can enjoy a pretzel at the farmer's market. I can go out with friends. I can have a few drinks at a party. I can have pizza and cupcakes and cookies and ice cream when I want them. And I can do it without feeling guilty, without feeling like I am failing at something, without obsessing over every bite and feeling constantly under scrutiny. And THAT makes me happy. I am happy to be free of that. If the cost of being able to actually live life, not hide from it, is a couple of extra pounds - that is a price I will pay. Happily.

2) What about unhappy weights? Have you ever been there too? What was going on that made this an unhappy weight?

I have definitely been at an unhappy weight before. My current weight plus 8-9 pounds is an unhappy weight for me. You wouldn't think that 8-9 pounds would make much of a difference but they do. They show on my midsection and make me unhappy with how my clothing fits. The extra weight really shows on my frame and I feel sluggish and unhappy with myself. I feel unhappy with myself because usually if I have gained that much weight, it means I've let fitness and exercise fall along the wayside. I need to exercise and work my body to feel happy.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Make-up free?

That is Topic 2 for the Summer Glow Boot Camp.

In her post on Topic 2, Angela asks:

Do you ever go make-up free?

Do you rely on make-up too much?

Do you think you could go 1 week make-up free? Why or why not?

So, let's see... Do I ever go make-up free? Yes. I go make-up free all the time. I don't wear make-up that often, mostly for special occasions.

Do I think I rely on make-up too much? No, because, again, I don't wear it regularly. But I can see how someone could. And if I am going to a special event, I do feel like I have to wear it because I won't look nearly as good if I don't.

Do I think I could go 1 week make-up free? I have in the past, so... yes!

My answers make it seem as though I am very happy and content with my skin and don't feel the need to hide it under make-up. Unfortunately, that's not true. My lack of make-up lately is mostly because I don't have the time in the morning. If I got up earlier I probably would have more of a make-up routine! And I have worn make-up more regularly in the past, though I have never really worn a ton of make-up.

If I do wear make-up, my usual routine is concealer, powder foundation (mineral make-up), light blush, light eye shadow and mascara. Sometimes I'll go heavier on the eyes for an evening event. But that's about it. I can do my make-up in under 10 min.

Truthfully, I do prefer how I look with make-up to how I look sans make-up. This is mainly because I don't have very clear skin and my skin tends to take a long time to heal blemishes completely, so my skin tone looks uneven. I feel as though my skin is blotchy and broken out and I have dark under eye circles that I don't like. I wish I knew how to get rid of under eye circles! (Any suggestions?) The under eye circles don't bother me as much as the break outs though. If I didn't break out so much, I wouldn't have any sort of issue with my skin. The blemishes are what bother me the most.

I have tried a bunch of different cleansers and lotions and so far I haven't found anything that really does the trick for me in clearing up my skin unfortunately. I have discovered that stress does not help my skin at all and over-washing my face also had a negative effect.

One thing that I do think has helped my skin lately is taking a daily vitamin. I started taking vitamins daily about 1 1/2-2 months ago. I'm fantastically grown-up at 28 and take the gummy vitamins. What can I say? Gummies totally beat out traditional vitamins! Since taking the vitamins I have noticed that my blemishes seem to clear up a lot faster and I think I may be getting fewer of them. So yay vitamins! I have also read that Green Monsters can help with skin health. I've still not tried a Green Monster but I really want to!

So, in conclusions, I don't rely on make-up all that much but I do think it is a useful tool that can helps us enhance our appearance and make us more confident.

Dear Body

Dear Body,
I have so many things to say to you. I supposed I should start off by apologizing. I'm sorry. I know I haven't always treated you the best. It's not food or fitness that I am concerned about because I fuel you with good foods (And you can't pretend you don't like the occasional indulgences too!) and we've always worked together to stay active and fit. We're a pretty good team but I don't think I have really been holding up me end of the bargain. What I am most concerned about is the way that I talk to you and treat you. And I want to change that.

In the past I have put you down, belittled you, to our friends and loved ones. I wouldn't let us go out and do the things we wanted to do because I was ashamed of you. I looked at our face in the mirror and swore at you, yelled at you, cried about you and verbally abused you. I harbored resentment and ill will towards you. I was angry that you didn't look the way I wanted you to look. I was focused on the wrong things. I looked for your flaws, sough them out and then picked them apart. I was cruel.

Why? I don't seem to know anymore. There was nothing wrong with you or anything you did. You were, and are, a perfectly fine body, a nice body. It has been a long journey but I am glad that you have stuck by me in the way that you have because I wanted to tell you that I am proud of you. I am proud of how fit and strong you are. I am proud of all the things we can do together. I am proud that you are my partner through life. You are strong, fit, healthy and I love you. And I love that you are mine.

I promise to treat you better in the future. I promise to remember that we are a team. I promise to appreciate all the good things you do for me. I promise to recognize your strengths. I promise to look for the good in you. I promise to take care of you, fuel you with good foods, continue to be active and fit with you.

Together we will go a long way and I promise that from here on out our journey will be much happier.

Love,
Holly

* This was written as part of the Summer Glow Boot Camp. Topic 1 was to write a Dear Body letter.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Glow Boot Camp

I am a little late to the party with this one but I am jumping in! This boot camp isn't focusing on changing your measurements or lowering your wait. The point of it is health and finding your inner and outer glow through treating your body right. I am down with that! It's all about being positive.

Holly was posting about the Summer Glo Boot Camp on her blog, Holly on the Run, and I had to check it out. So I trotted on over to Oh She Glows and was hooked after reading all about the boot camp. I couldn't resist something so body positive!

I do have some catching up to do, so expect to see some challenge-related posts this weekend.

I added a SGBC widget to my sidebar, so click on that if you're interested in it! (Somehow I messed up my Daily Mile widget in the process. Despite copying over the html text for the DM widget and replacing it, I can't seem to get it fixed. Silly widgets!)

In other news, I was very surprised this morning when I took my weight and measurements. My weight was down (nearly a pound) and so were almost all of my measurements. I was surprised by this because I haven't been eating very well this week (Did anyone notice I never posted a Food Log post? I haven't been keeping track of my eating at all. Oops.) and I only got in maye 2 workouts this week. Maybe my body needed the rest?

I've also decided to go with the Jeff Galloway training program to help me train to run a 5K. I think it suits me better. I am going to jump in at week 9, so I'll be doing 3 miles tomorrow. I'm not intimidated. I know I can do it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thinness vs. fitness, skinny vs. beauty

I have been a busy little bee this week. So busy in fact that I haven't had much time to get online!

Did you miss me?

Don't be bashful. I know you did.

I've gotten a couple of comments lately on... well... on my weight/thinness basically.

I have said before that I am in the process of learning to love my body and I have found that I'm actually not too bad at it! I regularly look in the mirror and like what I see now! I see a strong, fit person. I don't look for little flaws to critique. I look for things to enjoy about myself. Even on weeks I slip a little with my training (ahem... this week), I can look in the mirror and like what I see. That's huge for me.

However, I can still be thrown off by attention paid to my looks by others. Two weeks ago, a couple of my co-workers (young women that are younger than me) commented that I was so skinny and another co-worker (and older gentleman) commented that I eat all the time but still only weigh 110 pounds but if he looks at a snack, he gains weight.

Regarding the comments by the young women - At the time I was flattered but almost embarrassed. Later, I took a minute to really analyze my feelings. I was secretly pleased. Why? I don't really know. Because someone noticed I was thin? Maybe. Probably, But why should that make me feel good? Being thin isn't an accomplishment in and of itself. What can one say of being thin? There are plenty of ways to get thin that have nothing to do with health and wellness. Being athletic and fit, those are accomplishments. I would rather be known for being an athlete, for being strong, for being fit. The sad fact of the matter is that society is so focused on super skinny beauty ideals that I am far more likely to get a comment on my size than my fitness level. I'd say in a compliment contest, a comment of "You look so great!" should beat out "You look so skinny!"

I've also come to realize that I work in a department full of women who are focused more on being "on a diet" and "getting skinny" than their health or wellness. That makes me sad.

Regarding the comment by the gentleman - This one kind of threw me for a loop. (Not the eating a lot part because I do eat a lot, not necessarily quantity-wise but frequently.) This gentleman underestimated my weight drastically. He was probably just trying to be kind. But my first instinct was to laughed, correct him and tell him how far off the mark he was with my weight. (I didn't but that was my first urge. Okay, so I did laugh but I didn't comment on my weight.) Thinking about that later made me realize just how much people identify themselves by their weight. I made sure to take a minute to tell myself that my weight is just a number, it's not an important number, it doesn't mean anything, it's just a scientific measurement of mass. And it certainly is not a measure of my worth or my value.

Still, this was yet another time I was secretly pleased. Again, why? He commented on my weight. I am working to make my weight not matter to me, to make it just another number. So why should it matter to him? And why should I care if it does? It's not like he complimented me on my beauty, inside or out. Weight and beauty are not equated. They are not even linked. I would rather be a beautiful person than 110 pounds. I would rather be told I look beautiful than thin.

(I also found it odd that even he, an older man, was comparing himself body-size and shape-wise with another person. It's not just women that do this!)

In the past would I have chosen to be told that I look great or that I look beautiful over being told I looked skinny or like I weighed 110 pounds? Maybe not. In the past I would have eaten up those compliments but that's not what it's about anymore.

Do I like being thin? I would be lying if I said I didn't. But it's not my focus anymore and I am glad for that.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Searching for a 5K training program

We arrived back home Sunday night but have since been dealing with some doggie issues. We boarded the dogs at a new kennel this weekend and, unfortunately, they came home with some severe digestive tract issues. We've been to the vet, are loaded up with special bland food and they are doing okay now.

Remember this post where I talked about the 5K that is being held at Pennsic? Well, a fellow SCA-dian read that post and emailed me to say that she would be happy to run with me. Also, she is training for a 1/2 marathon so she has to keep up her running while at Pennsic and she invited to me join her on her training runs. How nice was that?!

I'm not sure that I'll be ready in time (for Pennsic or to run a 5k!) but I have been looking into training programs other than Couch to 5K, to see if there is something out there that might suit me better.

Hal Higdon's training program seems pretty popular. However, it assumes that you can just go out there and run a mile and a half straight to start. That is intimidating to me because I think running 1 mile is hard! But maybe I am just holding myself back with my fear/beliief that it's too hard for me? It is hard but that doesn't mean I couldn't push myself. Still this training program doesn intimidate me rather than make me want to run. This is an 8 week program and I only have 4 weeks to prepare, so I couldn't necessarily do it as set up either.

I've also heard good things about Jeff Galloway's training program. At first glance, this one appeals to me than Higdon's. I think this is because it is based on interval training and for whatever reason, I like interval training. This is a 15 week training program but due to the fact that I started the Couch to 5K program and also have been doing interval training on my own, I would feel comfortable starting at week 8 or even 9 and, depending on how I was doing, I could try to spend 1 week at each distance rather than 2 (if you look at the program, you'll see that each week long schedule is repeated twice).

Obviously there are other training programs out there but these are the ones I am looking at most heavily.

This morning I did a run on the treadmill. I did a 3/1 pattern run/walk for 30 min. Covered 2.31 miles. Not too bad! I am trying to increase the distance that I can cover in 30 min. so that I can increase my pace. My run this morning was 12:59 pace. I am ready to improve on that!

Coincidently, this run would fall right in line with where I would hope to start with Jeff Galloway's training program. Hmmm...

In other news, I think I need new running shoes.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Surprise!

You know how I was worried about how all my snacking, stress, bloating and lack of exercise would affect my weight and measurements this morning? Okay, I wasn't really worried but I admitted that it was entirely possible. Well, I am happy to report that it totally didn't and I maintained this week. Woohoo!

I'm still feeling a little bloated and my eating had been kind of out of whack but... sometimes you just can't stress about things. There is already too much stress in life!

Tomorrow morning my husband and I are taking off until Sunday night. We're off to celebrate my step-grandparent's 50th anniverary and will be out of town having fun with the family. I am going to swim in my aunt's pool as much as possible! I love swimming and playing in the pool.

See you Sunday night!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hi! Bye!

I have a lot that I want to write about lately but I am lacking the time.

This week has been hard in terms of exercise. I slept in accidentally one day, thereby missing my workout. I had to force myself to get out of bed this morning. I was just so tired. This week at work has been super stressful and I am exhausted. I would have gone to bed early tonight except that my in-laws were in town and only just left at 11 p.m. I hate to say it but I think I am going to choose getting extra sleep over getting in my workout tomorrow morning. I am just feeling so run down! (And I should be going to bed now instead of blogging but I had a friend who is going through some hard times IM me and can't just leave her hanging, so here I am.)

Oh, oh. And speaking of work being stressful... When I am stressed, that is one of the times I am an emotional eater. Sometimes I can resist the urge. But it's hard. Well, it's that time of the month, I think, and that means feeling super snacky on top of that. I could have made better food choices this week. I had a candy bar yesterday AND another today!

And tomorrow is weight and measurements day! Doh! Thanks Mother Nature for packing the need to eat everything in sight and extra bloating into the same week!

Oh, oh. And speaking of food. I think I am going to make a Food Log post at the beginning of each week and then edit that post with my food log for each day. Making a new post for each food log felt like it was cluttering up my blog but I don't want to give up being accountable somewhere for what I am eating somewhere public.

There's more, of course, but for now - bed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Missed workout, finding a 5K and gardening

I meant to workout this morning. I truly did. However, I am apparently I am not very good setting my alarm in the dark. Last night while fumbling with the clock, I set the alarm for 5:20 p.m. I realized this when I woke up this morning and peeked at the clock and it was 6 a.m. It was too late to get a workout in but I can't say I didn't like the extra sleep. I have been so tired lately. I have been trying to go to bed earlier but I'm not very good at it.

But my husband and I did take the dogs for a walk tonight before dinner!

In running news, my brother wants to come visit and run a 5K race with me. Well, run the same 5k as me anyway. He probably won't run with me as he is a much better runner than I and would hope to finish the first mile in under 6 min.! There's no way I could do that but it would be nice to run a race together even if he is going to smoke me! At least I know I could totally triple jump father than him. Anyway, it is looking like the optimal time to do this would be sometime in July. Now I just have to go about locating a 5K.

Also, I discovered that there is going to be a 5K held at Pennsic (an SCA event) this year to raise money for the Aethelmarc Waterbearers Guild. Here are the details -

Announcing the 1st Annual Aquarithon - a challenging 5K race at Pennsic!!
Benefits the Aethelmarc Waterbearers Guild. "We water everyone!"
  • Starting at Troll, 7pm, on Middle Sunday (Aug 2nd).
  • $10 donation - t-shirt guaranteed if you register, extras available on race day till I run out. Register by emailing me at oushi@hotmail.com subject: Aquarithon. Include name, gender, camp, and t-shirt size.
  • The prizes: To be determined, but we'll have them for fastest male, fastest female, and fastest under 16. There's also a prize for most creative garb-like runners cover-up, and most determined runner.
  • The rules: Stay on the course. Respect the cars, pedestrians, children, merchants, etc. No booze or drugs on the course *please*. NO RAIN DATE. If it rains, we still run!! 100% of proceeds go to the waterbearing fund.
The most difficult aspects of this would be the heat and garb-like running clothes cover-up. I don't deal with overheating well. It makes me physically ill. Now, I would think they would have water stations set up but I would need to worry about getting well-hydrated before the race and staying well-hydrated at Pennsic is fairly difficult already due to the heat. As to the garb, I don't know what I would do as a cover-up as I don't generally run in shorts because my thighs rub together and that's uncomfortable. And I really don't want to add more layers in that heat.

I am seriously considering the Pennsic 5K. Unfortunately, I don't think there is anyone in my household who would run it with me.

In gardening news, my little bell pepper is getting bigger and bigger and I can see where 9 little cucumbers are starting! And my new squash and zucchini plants and looking pretty perky.

Food Log
Breakfast
2 pumpkin-carrot muffins

Snack
1 nectarine
light vanilla yogurt with blackberries, blueberries and organic granola

Lunch
1/2 cheeseburger from Applebee's
broccoli and sugar snap peas

Snack
Twix (I gave in to the chocolate craving.)

Dinner
Homemade Amish noodles with sauteed veggies (broccoli, asparagas, brussel sprouts, green pepper, zucchini, carrot) with a little margarine and shredded sharp cheese

Dessert
malt balls
Italian ice

Monday, June 22, 2009

Food Log

Breakfast
2 slices wheat toast w/ pb and honey

Snack
trail mix, nuts and raisins

Lunch
1/2 grilled chicken wrap from Friendly's
light vanilla yogurt with blackberries and strawberries and organic granola

Dinner
sun dried tomato polenta
broccoli and snap peas sauted with minced garlic
slow-cooked pork loin

Dessert
piece of shoo-fly pie

Snack
2 caramel cream candies

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The garden

My garden has grown so much in the past two weeks! Look at how much the plants have grown since I last posted photos of them! (The photos that I posted in my blog on 6/11 were taken on 6/7, 2 weeks ago exactly. )


My garden! Oh, how it has grown!


Main garden area, rearranged - cabbage (back left), brussel sprouts (back), strawberries (front left), peppers (middle right), new squash and zucchini (center and front right)


The garden overflow area, the cucumber with the rest of the squash and zucchini


Cucumber blossom


Cabbage


Strawberry


Brussel sprout


The multi-colored pepper.


One of the newest additions - a yellow squash!


My first little baby pepper. Look at how much he has grown! The time goes so fast when they are tiny. ::tear::

Food Log
Breakfast
2 eggs and 1 egg white fried
cheese
2 slices wheat toast with butter
4 slices cinnapie from Papa John's

Snack
a handful of animal crackers

Dinner (Friendly's)
1/2 grilled chicken wrap
loaded waffle fries
happy ending sundae

Snack
dark chocolate covered raisins

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Farmer's market and food log

Today's farmer's market haul -
a carrot
a cucumber
a green pepper
a head of lettuce
2 bunches of broccoli
a quart of brussel sprouts
a bunch of asparagus
whole wheat couscous
cajun seasoning
organic maple granola
mixed lentils
a blueberry danish for my husband
a mini shoofly pie

We also still have 3 zucchini, a cabbage and sugar snap peas from the Wednesday farmer's market.

Mmmm, veggies!

Also, I have never had shoofly pie!

Food Log
Breakfast
2 slices wheat toast w/ pb

Lunch was at the farmer's market
small egg roll with sweet chili sauce and noodles with steamed veggies and pieces of chicken and beef and shrimp from the Vietnamese place for lunch
a chocolate covered coconut cream from the tea stand for dessert

Snack
dark chocolate covered raisins

Dinner (was ordered out because I ended up taking my husband to the ER this evening because he strained his back helping me with the garden. We didn't get dinner until after 9:30 p.m.!)
chicken parm calzone from Papa John's
3 pieces cinnapie from Papa John's

Saturday Goal Report

My goals
1. Run a mile in 12 min. or less. (Current best is 13 min.)
2. Run 2 miles without stopping.
3. Take part in a 5K.
4. Do a set of 35 push-ups. (Current best - 20)
5. Do a set of 35 burpees. (Current best - 18)
6. Whittle my waist - get my waist measurement under 26 inches and my belly measurement under 31 inches.
7. Get my body fat percentage under 25%.
8. Become more flexible - be able to do side and middle splits.

I created my goal list one week ago. Is it possible that I've already made one of these goals? As a matter of fact, it is! I've managed to surprise even myself.

I decided that my workout today was going to be a Goal Test. So I hopped on the treadmill to see how fast I could run a mile. I was determined to get as close to the 12 minute mark as possible. I know a 12 min. mile isn't going to win me any races but considering my previous personal best was 13 min., it would be a marked improvement and I am all about that! Above all, my aim is to improve as a runner. So I pushed myself on the treadmill today and I refused to let myself give into any doubts that I might not make it. My mantra while running was I CAN DO THIS, I CAN DO THIS!

And I did!

My official time was 11 min. 43 sec.! I ran a mile in 11 min. 43 sec. That's 1 min. 17 sec. better than my previous personal best. I am proud of myself. Goal 1 can be crossed off my list!

After my mile run, I walked for a mile to cool down and have something of a rest period before throwing myself into the burpee and push-up portion of the goal test. I didn't do as good with the burpess and push-ups but I think that was because I did them after running. I think that if I had done them before my run, I would have gotten different results. But then I also might have gotten different results for my run. I did the burpees first and managed to do a set of 15 before I began to falter. And I eeked out a set of 20 push-ups.

Oh, and as to goal 6. I am 0.6 of an inch away from making my waist measurement and 1.3 inches away from making my belly measurement.

So now my goal list looks like this!
My goals
1. Run a mile in 12 min. or less. 11:43 on 9/20!
2. Run 2 miles without stopping.
3. Take part in a 5K.
4. Do a set of 35 push-ups. (Current best - 20)
5. Do a set of 35 burpees. (Current best - 18)
6. Whittle my waist - get my waist measurement under 26 inches (currently 26.5) and my belly measurement under 31 inches (currently 32.25).
7. Get my body fat percentage under 25%. (Currently 28%)
8. Become more flexible - be able to do side and middle splits.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weight, measurements and being body positive

Today was my official weight and measurement day.

My weight was pretty much maintained. I was down 0.2 pounds, which is very little obviously. I am fine with this. I'd like to see my weight go down a little bit but only because that will likely mean I am nearing some of my other goals. Or at least I hope that's what it would mean! However, if I am able to make my other goals without losing any weight, I'll be just as happy.

But for some reason my scale said my body fat percentage is up. Well, I'd like to see that go down!

My bust, natural waist and hip measurements were all the same but my belly measurement is down 3/4 an inch! Getting close to that goal!

Tomorrow I am going to goal test and see if I can't run a mile and also see how many push-ups and burpees I can do in a set. Saturdays are going to be goal test days (when possible).

Saturday is also farmer's market day! Love that!

I am feeling pretty body positive lately. I do still have to fight some old demons that want to poison my thinking against myself. But I am done with that kind of thinking. I am trying to banish it and though it haunts me, it is doing so less and less. I have noticed lately that I am starting to have some pretty good definition in my abs and also that my legs are looking pretty darn good. In light of that, you should check out Operation Beautiful over at Healthy Tipping Point! It's inspiring. Read all the wonderful notes from Caitlin's readers.

Food Log
Breakfast
About 2 whole wheat strawberry muffins (they were two I rescued from the Gage mauling but they were no longer quite... whole)
1 slice wheat bread with peanut butter

Snack
low-fat string cheese

Lunch
(We had a cookout at work.)
1 hamburger on a bun w/ lettuce and ketchup
small scoop of pasta salad
3 crackers with cheese and pepperoni
2 small handfuls corn chips with taco dip
1 piece Earthquake Cake

Snack
low-fat string cheese

Dinner
1 2/3 slices heartburner pizza (pepperoni w/ hot sauce)

Dessert
4 small handfuls dark chocolate covered raisins

Whoops, that may have been too many chocolate covered raisins...

I best get back to making doggie collars for my etsy shop!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Running, walking and my poor garden

This morning's exercise was a run on the treadmill - check out my dailymile widget! It actually felt pretty darn good. I didn't feel too fatigued through the workout but my heart was really pumping heard at the end and I did have to push myself. Also, I was soaked in sweat. I burned 350 calories.

I'm a little sad - one of my strawberry plants had a slime mold! It's because we've had so much rain here lately. The only real solution is sunshine and no rain. But of course, we're supposed to get more rain Friday and Saturday. Thankfully a slime mold shouldn't kill the plant. It's just... unsightly and could smother the plant if we don't get it under control.

Thankfully the rest of the garden is looking great.

Tonight my husband and I went to a local street festival. It was huge! And we ate a ton of fair food, which was awesome. We also did a whole lot of walking. We didn't buy anything but I did get a flyer advertising the local roller derby team. Now there would be a great, active hobby! I think I am going to look into it further but I don't know that I have the time to dedicate to it or whether I have the ability. It sounds like fun though.

Lately our dogs have been really restless. I am sure that are getting bored as we haven't been taking them on any walks lately. That needs to change. I am going to start trying to convince my husband to go for walks with me and the dogs a few days a week at least. It would be good for us all! Wish me luck!

Food Log
Breakfast
2 whole wheat strawberry muffins

Snack
2 slices wheat toast with peanut butter

Lunch
I veggie burger with a slice of cheese
sugar snap peas
light vanilla yogurt with strawberries, raspberries and blackberries

Snack
dark chocolate covered raisins

Dinner
1/2 spiedie hoagie
1/2 an order of french fries w/ ketchup
1 deep fried Oreo
1/2 pumpkin funnel cake

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

30 Day Shred//Food Log

So this morning, my alarm when off at 5:20 a.m. I stumbled from my bed, pulling on my workout clothes and sneakers with my eyes half-closed and then busted my butt through Level 1 AND Level 2 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. Yes, back to back. I skipped the warm up on Level 2 since I was already a little warm from doing Level 1. You know, just a little. I used light weights (2 lb.) since I was doing both levels and I knew that was going to be a lot of arm work. It was hard work but it also really felt good. I know I really need to step it up when it comes to strength training and this was a good start! And I burned 390 calories. I really like Jillian Michael's workouts (the ones that I have done) because they combine strength training with cardio.

I like 30 Day Shred for the workout but I can't do it day after day because I need more variety than that. But the workouts themselves are fairly well rounded, I think! However, I still think Jillian is really awful at stretching and doesn't stretch nearly enough. Stretching is so important!

Food Log
Breakfast
2 strawberry wheat muffins
1 small banana

Now, I just want to say that I made these muffins last night, using a regular muffin tin that you would use for cupcakes, not a jumbo muffin tin, so the muffins aren't very big. Anyway, regardles of the size they were made with whole wheat flour, lots of strawberries, no oil and no granulated sugar. Very healthy! I used maple syrup and honey as sweeteners and Country Crock instead of butter. I could have also used olive oil, as that is a healthy fat, but I decided to go with the Country Crock because it has so many fewer calories. However, Gage, our male dog, ate almost ALL of the muffins I made last night while we were at work today! I was so upset! he stole them off the kitchen table. Bad boy! He also stole the bananas off the counter, so no more bananas! Boo!

Snack
light vanilla yogurt with strawberries and blackberries

Oh my goodness, slap your grandma! I have never eaten vanilla yogurt before. I thought it was going to be awful and that adding the berries would allow me to maybe stomach it. (I was hoping anyway, since I bought a large container not individual small cups.) I was so wrong! Vanilla yogurt is delicious! I can't believe I never tried it before. I have been missing out!

Lunch
leftover whole wheat couscous from Monday night
leftover sauted vegtables from last night
leftover slow-cooked pork loin from Monday

I have a divided lunch container that I take my lunches in. I put veggies in the big section and meat and carbs/starches in the small sections. I'll have to take a photo of it.

Snack
low-fat string cheese

Dinner
1/2 an order of barbecue boneless chicken wings from Applebee's
1/2 a cheeseburger from Applebee's
3/4 of an order of fries from Applebee's

Dessert
10 dark-chocolate covered raisins

I'll fully admit that dinner was kind of sparked by an emotional need to eat. I had a really horrible day (week) at work and came home to find Gage had eaten all the muffins and made a variety of other messes. I just didn't have it in me to make dinner. I was feeling pretty beat down, so my husband offered to go out and pick up dinner and I let him. Perhaps dinner was not the most healthy but I did try to eat mindfully and when I started to feel full, I stopped eating. That part was good at least because in the past, I would have just powered through it.

I am going to have to workout hard tomorrow morning as we're going to a local street festival, which means... FAIR FOOD. Funnel cakes and fried dough and candy apples, oh my! Okay, so I'm not going to be eating all of that but I am sure that tomorrow's dinner isn't going to be a normal dinner.

I have read in various articles, for example this one entitled How to Eat to Lose Weight -- which I personally think is a really good article -- that eating 5 meals (breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner) a day is important because it helps keep your metabolism up and burning. It also helps keep you from getting too hungry at any point in the day, whichs helps you stick to a healthier eating plan

How many of you eat snacks? What are your favorite snacks?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Food log

Breakfast
2 slices wheat bread w/ peanut butter
1 small banana

Snack
1 nectarine

Lunch
slow-cooked pork loin and whole wheat couscous from dinner last night
stiry-fried cabbage with a little margarine

I did have an afternoon snack planned but I ended up getting too busy at work. Guess I'll save my yogurt with blackberries and strawberries for tomorrow! My lunch was pretty big though (a few ounces of the meat (4-5?), about a cup of the couscous and maybe the same of cabbage), so I didn't start getting hungry until right before dinner, so it was okay.

Dinner
shredded pork (again from last night dinner) mixed with some homemade barbecue sauce and wrapped in a Bisquick crust (SO GOOD... I love Bisquick. I love making little meat (or meat and veggie or meat and cheese or veggie and cheese...) pockets with it) - I had 2 small pockets
brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots and green pepper sauted in a little margarine

Dessert
1 piece blueberry crumb pie from the Amish pie stand at the farmer's market

Looking back at my food log, my lunch and dinner were pretty big. I didn't feel stuffed after either of them but I did feel full. I still need to work on slowing down my eating and enjoying my food so that I am satisfied by eating less.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Post script to my goals post // the garden // food log

I didn't mention any of this in my goals post but... it all probably should have been included. Whoops!

1. If you look to the right of my blog, under my About Me and under my Blog Archive, you'll find my dailymile exercise widget, which will be updated with my latest workout. For example, if you glanced at it today, you'd see that I ran 2.7 miles this morning on the treadmill. It also show the length of my workout and other details. Pretty neat, right? So you'll not only be able to read my food log for the day but if you glance at my widget, you'll also be able to see my workout for the day.

2. I plan to take my measurements once a week on Fridays. I think I am also going to weigh myself on Fridays but I don't plan on posting my weight.

3. As part of my plan, I am trying to drink at least 64 oz. of water daily.

In other news, my garden is really taking off! My cucumber plant and cabbage plant are huge!

Look! My cucumber has flowers!

I simply cannot wait to eat vegetables from my own garden! So excited! Right now my husband and I buy all our vegetables from the local farmer's market -- which I think is awesome, don't get my wrong, I LOVE the farmer's market -- but it will be great to decrease the amount we spend on groceries because we're able to supplement with produce from our own garden. Because we eat a lot of veggies! We tend to eat frozen or fresh vegetables, I've cut out canned vegetables due to the amount of sodium and preservatives in the last few years. Same for fruit, excepting applesauce. And I am actually really happy to report that for the last few weeks ALL of the produce we've eaten has been fresh. Yum!

Soon those little buds will be peppers!


Like this little guy! My first pepper!

Food Log
Breakfast
2 slices wheat toast w/ peanut butter
1 small banana

Snack
low-fat string cheese

Lunch
Veggie burger
Leftover sauted brussel sprouts, zucchini, green pepper and broccoli from Saturday's dinner
stir-fried cabbage with a dab of margerine

Snack
low-fat string cheese
tootsie-pop

Dinner
slow cooked pork loin
steamed artichoke stuffed with garlic w/ butter and parmesan cheese on the side for dipping
whole wheat couscous made with fat-free chicken stock and herbs

Dessert
mini strawberry cobbler (made in a small ramekin)

The cobbler was really easy to make. Sliced strawberries tossed with a little bit of sugar and corn starch, bake until berries start to soften and then toss the topping on (flour, brown sugar, oats, mix in butter/margarine until crumbly) and bake until the topping is done and crisps up a little. To make it a little bit healther I used half whole wheat flour. Okay, so it may have been more of a crisp than a cobbler because I used oats but either way - delicious!

Berries all ready to go in the oven.


Bon appetit!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Food log

Breakfast/lunch (home)
2 eggs and 1 egg white (fried)
2 slices wheat toast w/ margarine
small bowl of strawberries and blackberries

My eggs and toast. Lots of pepper!


Our berries. So good!

Snack (home)
Cucumber spears
low-fat string cheese

Dinner (@ the in-law's)
1 turkey burger with bun, lettuce, ketchup and cheese
2 handfuls plain chips
lettuce with light three cheese ranch dressing

Dessert (home
1 slice blueberry crumb pie from the Amish pie stand at the farmer's market

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Planning to succeed

I've put a lot of thought into how I plan to meet my fitness and health goals this weekend and I am hoping I have come up with a plan that will work for me.

First I am going to reorganize my goals, put like with like, because that just makes more sense. Oh, and I added a goal.

My Goals
1. Run a mile in 12 min. or less. (Current best is 13 min.)
2. Run 2 miles without stopping.
3. Take part in a 5K.
4. Do a set of 35 push-ups. (Current best - 20)
5. Do a set of 35 burpees. (Current best - 18)
6. Whittle my waist - get my waist measurement under 26 inches and my belly measurement under 31 inches.
7. Get my body fat percentage under 25%.
8. Become more flexible - be able to do side and middle splits.

My Plan
You'll probably notice that my plan is very open and not concrete. I like that because it allows me to adjust and make changes along the way. I need to not be too restricted, it just doesn't work for me personally.

I purposefully did not make any weight-related goals. This is about fitness and overall health for me right now. As I am not overweight, I don't think that I need to make any weight-related goals. I have also consciously decided to not have calorie counting be part of my plan. But I do plan to eat mindfully and log my food. This simply means that I plan on making a list of what I have eaten each day. Not an overly complicated or extremely detailed list, just a simple list to show that I am paying attention to what I put in my mouth and to keep myself accountable. For example, yesterday's list would read:
Breakfast (out)
1 pizza pretzel log from the Amish stand at the farmer's market
1 donut from the dutch bakery at the farmer's market

Snack (home)
2 beef sticks (think Slim Jim but... not mass produced) from Amish store

Dinner (home)
3 potato and cheddar pierogies
broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrot, green pepper and zucchini sauted in a little margarine
a little grated sharp cheese from a local creamery

Look! I have photos!

Veggies in the pan, just starting to brown up a little. Love it!


All plated up - yum!

Dessert (home)
1 piece blueberry crumb pie from Amish bakery stand at the farmer's market.

Pretty simple, right? In addition to that I am going to work on watching my portions, choosing lots of veggies and fruits, lean meats and whole grains. I also need to slow down and really paying attention to what I am eating. That's being mindful to me, slowing down and really seeing, tasting and enjoying what you're eating and trying to make healthy choices.

I also plan to exercise at least 5 days a week. I plan to do a lot of workouts that combine cardio and strength training. I would like to burn over 1500 calories a week.

Now onto my plan in relation to my goals...

Obviously my first three goals have to do with running. Running is very hard for me but I very much want to become a better runner and increase my running stamina and endurance. Currently I have been following the Couch 2 5K training program, though I am a little stuck at week 5. I have also mixed some interval training in with C25K. My plan is to look into some other training programs for new runners, find some additional workouts to try, in the hopes of improving myself as a runner. I will also try to complete the C25K program and will definitely continue with the interval training. (I am finding that I have a preference for the interval training right now.)

If any of you runners out there have some recommendations, I am all ears! Currently I primarily run on the treadmill. I'd like to do some more road running but my husband doesn't want me to run by myself (he doesn't think it's safe) but he doesn't want to run with me and I don't have anyone else to run with, so... treadmill. I also think I need to get new running shoes. How often should one buy new shoes?

Goals 3 and 4 are fitness goals and the only way I am going to achieve them is by getting stronger, which will allow me to build up how many repetitions I can do in a set. So obviously I need to work on getting in more strength training. I am going to try to do a workout that includes strength training at least 3 times a week. I did a 'goal test' today to see how many repetitions I could do for both push-ups and burpees and I managed a set of 20 push-ups and a set of 18 burpees. Of course, I did the burpees after the push-ups so my arms were tired. I perhaps could have done more if I hadn't done push-ups first. I had originally set each of these goals as a set of 25 but I wanted to challenge myself more after doing my 'test' this morning, so I changed that goal to 35.

Goals 6 and 7 will simply rely on me following my eating and exercise plan.

Goal 8 might be a little tricky but I am going to really work at it. I am already pretty flexible and I always stretch well after a workout. To try and increase my flexibility to the point of being able to do a split, I am also going to start stretching in the evening each day. Hopefully this will help me meet this goal.

So there it is. What do you think?

Determining what works and what doesn't

So I have been thinking over what I need to do to reach the goals that I set yesterday. What's going to work for me? I've been at this for a long time, years of trying to lose weight, trying to 'get in shape' (which really, in the beginning, meant trying to lose weight, who am I kidding?), trying to be happy with what I see when I look in the mirror. And I have learned a lot in those years.

I've learned that exercising a few times a week and not being mindful of what I eat doesn't work. I've learned that counting calories does get results at first but then I become completely obsessive. I make myself crazy and measure everything in terms of calories and food and completely freak out when something crops up that makes me stray from my plan. After the freaking out, I then binge for an indefinite length of time, beat myself up about it the entire time and eventually force myself to go back the calorie counting and attempt to restrict my calories even more to make up for the binging. Rinse, lather, repeat. Obviously, that doesn't work. Or it perhaps gets results, at least temporarily, but it is in no way healthy and that doesn't work. I've learned that restricting whole food groups doesn't work. I've learned that shame and guilt and negativity towards oneself doesn't work.

I've learned that focusing on fitness and exercise as a means to become a person with more, strength, endurance and stamina does work. I've learned that finding exercise you enjoy and then striving to personally excel in that area does work. I've learned that mindful eating does work. I've learned that positivity and encouragement, focusing on the good - that does work.

I've also learned that there is nothing wrong with what I see when I look in the mirror.

I am learning to be at peace with that person, with myself. It's not always easy but I am trying. I am learning to have goals but also love myself as I am. I am learning to see myself through other people's eyes. I still have a lot left to learn.

I have taken what I have learned and tried to used that information to help me come up with a plan, or series of plans, to help me reach my 7 goals. That plan is nearly ready to post. Expect to see it tomorrow!

Some links

First off, Holly (who I mentioned in my last post) gave me a blogger award! She gave me this:











The rules are thusly:
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Well, as this blog is new and I've only just started following other blogs, all of my currently followed blogs are newly discovered! So unfortunately I don't have 15 to post about but I will pass the award on!

1. Holly - a runner, triathlete and nutritionist who has lost over 80 pounds.
2. CMarie - who had a newly born cooking blog. Yum!
3. Jessica - reporter and runner, originally from Michigan, transplanted to Pennsylvania and currently living in Germany.
4. Effy - an athletic and CrossFit fanatic

So I only have four for you but... they're all great, I promise!

Also, for those of you runners or those of you interested in running, Erica of I Run Because I Can is giving away a copy of The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women on her blog here! Given that I am trying so hard to become a runner, I would really love to read this book. Maybe you would too!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Goals

So I decided that I needed to make my non-weight related fitness goals instead of just saying I am going to. So here are 7 to start.

1. Whittle my waist - get my waist measurement under 26 inches and my belly measurement under 31 inches. (As of this morning my waist measurement is 26.5 (it was down to 26 but is up a little since the weight gain) and my belly measurement is 33 (it was 31.25).
2. Become more flexible - be able to do side and middle splits.
3. Run a mile in 12 min. or less. (Current best is 13 min.)
4. Do a set of 25 push-ups.
5. Do a set of 25 burpees.
6. Run 2 miles without stopping.
7. Get my body fat percentage under 25%.

Now I should come up with a plan to achieve these goals but I don't really know where to start. I... I know I need to do better than I have been doing. I need to eat better, watch my portions more closely or focus on eating more veggies and less carbs and sweets. I know this. I am just struggling to actually do it. For some reason right now it just feels like it would take so much effort. I'm in a bad head space with this all lately. I don't know why. I do want to do better than I have been doing. I do want to succeed. I just... Well, actually it's not this that has me in a bad head space but unfortunately this is being affected by my bad head space and I think I do know why. I think my unhappiness at work and my stress regarding work and how that bleeds over into life as a whole... That is what has me in a bad head space and it's sapping all my energy, leaving nothing for me to draw on. It has been really hard for me to put forth the energy and effort that I need to, to make this work.

I've done it before. And I can do it again. And I can do it in a more healthy way. And I can do it without obsessing over it. I can be passionate and focused.

I can do better than this.

I need to come up with a plan to do better than this. I am going to read Healthy Tipping Point, a blog recommended to me by my friend, Holly. I am going to try to use that as motivation. I am trying not to let it make me feel like a failure, like it highlights all the ways I am floundering, because in my current head space that is how it feels. I need to focus on the positive. I need to find tools that are going to help me get back on track. Beating myself up, being negative, is not going to help. And in that vein, I really feel like I need to step away from the calorie counting and I need to put away the scale. But at the same time that sounds incredibly hard. I want to see results and I like the scale as a means of measure. But if needs to have less power. There have to be other options. I don't like the desperate desire to see my weight go down that I am feeling right now. And I don't like various unhealthy possibilities that flood my mind under the force of that desperation. This needs to be about health and positivity, not desperation.

I will come up with a plan to achieve my goals. Or at least I will attempt to. I will post about my plans tomorrow.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gardening

Because I love fruits and veggies so very much (and because I spend so much of our grocery bill on them), I decided to try my hand at gardening. My garden is a container garden, rather than a traditional garden. I tried to grow a container garden last year but was pretty successful. I'm not sure where I went wrong but I am sure that a big move right when the plants were fairly young and then not knowing anyone in our new neighborhood to ask to water our plants while we were away didn't help. Last year I attempting to start from seed, however this year we went out and bought little plants and I repotted them. I am hoping to be successful with the container gardening this year!

Our little garden area is in the corner of our yard. You can just barely see the little green wire fence that goes around the garden to keep the dogs out and I also placed bricks around the perimeter. Back along the fence and in the middle on the left are brussel sprouts, in the middle on the right, grouped together, are three strawberry plants. In the front on the right is a cucumber, in the middle is cabbage, next to the cabbage is green pepper and on the left is multi-colored pepper.

And my husband brought me home 4 yellow squash and 4 zucchini plants! I don't have pictures of them yet. And the plants pictured have gotten even bigger since I snapped the photo. I even have an itty bitty green pepper now!

Big fail

Really horrible day at work today, continuing the week of horrible... cue emotional eating. I just sat myself down with some vegetable lo mein and sweet and sour chicken. Oh, and a pork egg roll. And we bought cookies to make later... chocolate-filled chocolate chip cookies. And I plan on eating a couple. Maybe I shouldn't but I just don't have the will power today. I am so tired and so stressed and I just can't handle anymore. At least I worked out this morning and I had a salad for lunch? I'm not going to bother to calculate my calories for the day. Or should I? I don't know. Either way this morning I was down to 144. Didn't change my spark plan though.

Here was my morning workout:
5 min. warm up
1/2 mile run
1/4 mile walk
1/4 mile run
1/4 mile walk
1/8 mile walk at incline 8
1/4 mile walk at incline 5.5
1/4 mile cool down
(2 miles total)

And then I did:
20 burpees

I had wanted to do the week 5 C25K workout but I just couldn't this morning. My knees are kind of hurting lately. And my shins and calves have felt tighter lately as well. I don't really know why. And my right elbow has been hurting... but that has nothing to do with running.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Correlation between lack of sleep, stress and weight gain/loss?

I didn't have time to post yesterday's results last night, so here they are now!

My weight was exactly the same yesterday morning (Which is weird because I would have thought that it would have gone down a little after a day of good hydration and eating that was mostly on the mark... but no. Oh well. Maybe it was a true weight gain and not water weight? I mean, I don't think I ate THAT much but I suppose it's possible.) so that means that my sparkpeople plan didn't change at all. 1200-1550 calories, 240 calories burned from exercise. I did go over on my calories again - thank you, pie! I was at 1633 calories. I did burn 235 calories though in the morning doing The FIRM's Cardio Express video. (I couldn't get On Demand to work for some reason. I had wanted to do Jillian Michael's No More Fat Zones but nooooo...)

I was actually expecting the workout to be harder than it was. I remember it being harder but it really wasn't that hard this time. Hmmm.... Maybe I am just that much more awesome.

Oh, one thing I wanted to mention. I know that they say that it is normal for a person's weight to fluctuate a few pounds even day to day. I've noticed that this is true for me if I'm not tracking my calories. My weight does tend to fluctuate up and down a bit then. However, if I am tracking, my weight hardly fluctuates at all. It pretty much stays relatively the same or only moves very little and then every once in a while it will drop (if I am staying on target) and even that movement is usually small. I'm not sure what that means, it's just an observation.

One thing I have noticed lately is that I feel, and feel like I look, very bloated. Perhaps that's just weight gain since my weight is back up a little. I don't know. I feel like my belly looks puffy, more than just a couple pounds weight gain would account for. And I wonder, can lack of sleep or stress make you retain water/be bloated? I know they say both of those things have a big effect on efforts to lose weight but I don't know what that effect is. I have a feeling it is different for every person. I really wonder sometimes if that is playing a part in all of this for me. I know I should get more sleep. 6 hours isn't really enough. I have been trying to go to bed earlier but I just seem to have trouble actually falling asleep and staying asleep. Which is probably due to stress... I am currently extremely stressed. And there isn't a whole lot I can do about it. I mean, I am stressed due to work. I am looking for a new job but I can't make someone else hire me, so I am stuck there for the time being. So yeah, I am sleeping 6 to 6 1/2 hours a night and I am super stressed. If nothing else, both of those things greatly effect my will power and ability to make myself stay focused.

Which leads me to this morning... I got a little more sleep than normal today because my alarm got turned off somehow. I woke up at 5:45 instead of 5:20, so I decided not to workout this morning. I'll just workout on Saturday instead. No big deal. Man, it was nice to sleep that extra time though. I reset my alarm and made sure to turn it on and then slept until 6:20.

My weight was 145 today, so I am down a little bit but not much really. Usually I lose faster than that after the weekend, so that seems odd but oh well. My sparkpeople plan is still the same. 1200-1550 calories consumed. 240 to be burned. Obviously I didn't burn any today but I will make up for that and I have consumed more than my calorie range, again. (1882) Mostly because my co-worker brought in stuffed loaf for us to try today. More calories in that than the salad I had brought but I wanted to try it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A health conscious me

So, as many of you know, I am fairly health conscious. I try to eat right. I am trying to improve my fitness. I want to be more toned. I want to be able to run a 5K. I want to lose a little bit of weight. I am going to start tracking my workouts, weight and calories here. A public forum to keep myself accountable and all that.

Lately I manage to exercise about 5 days a week for at least 30 min. Usually longer. That's a pretty good place to start. I have been getting up and exercising before work, which is working out weel for me. I then get in my 5 days of exercise a week and have the weekends off. I know I should probably try and get in some workouts on the weekends but we are so busy. It's nice to not have to worry about it since I have already exercised 5 out of the 7 days of the week. I have a treadmill and I use that fairly often. I am trying to complete the Couch 2 5K workouts. I am on week 5. I've done day 1 of that week but haven't worked up the courage to tackle day 2. I also have various workout videos (I've been doing a lot of Jillian Michael's videos lately), hand weights, an exercise ball and do some CrossFit here and there.

I also count calories and try to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.

I have been using sparkpeople.com to track my calories, water intake and exercise. It works decently well. I've been changing my goal weight, my time line and my exercise goals to see what effect that has on the plan it gives me. I think it will be interesting to see how that changes. I plan on inputting my weight daily and seeing how that changes things. Just as an experiment.

Right now my current goal is to be 140 by July 4. We are going to the beach that weekend! Woo! I would actually like to be 140 by the last weekend of this month but sparkpeople didn't like that as a goal date because it would mean needing to lose over 2 pounds a week because my weight was high this morning thanks to weekend eating and not drinking enough water.

So this morning my weight was 145.8, 27% body fat according to the scale. So I've input into sparkpeople that my goal weight is 140 and I want to reach it by 7/4. I've also input that I plan to burn 1200 calories a week. To this sparkpeople says: I should be consuming 1200-1550 calories a day.

So far today I have had 52 ounces of water, so I should have no problem hitting 64 ounces. My calories are at 1764, which is, obviously, over their recommended range. I have also burned 400 calories, which is over the 240 I needed to burn today per their dividing up of the 1200 calories per week.

So basically I am just playing with sparkpeople to amuse myself but it is helping me keep on task and it will be interesting to see how things change.

For my workout today, I:
3 min. warm up
3 min run (5 mph)
1 min. walk (3mph)
repeat for 30 min. (I'm not sure how many repetitions this is but I do know that 30 min. was 2 min. into my last running interval, so I just ran those 2 min. and did my cool down.)
5 min. cool down

And then I did:
10 burpees
10 air squats
10 sit ups
10 push ups
10 box jumps

And then I stretched. So doing 3/1 intervals is harder than 2/1 intervals definitely. I kind of feel like I need longer to recover than that 1 min. but, hey, it's making my push myself and my body. I think I went 2.64 miles in that time, including the warm up and cool down. I am proud of myself for sticking with the running because it really is pretty difficult for me. But I think I am doing well. I am going to attempt the week 5, day 2 workout for C25K on Wednesday I think. Maybe on Friday I'll try running a mile. See if I can't do it in under 12 minutes.

I really need to devise some concrete, non-weight related goals. I have some in mind. I need to just sit down and hash them out. Then I will post them.

Tonight I made some healthy banana-strawberry oat muffins for grab-and-go breakfasts. They are cooling right now. I can't wait to try them in the morning. Since I have been getting up early to exercise, it's been harder to find the time to eat at home. I have been but it makes me very rushed. If I had something already prepared that I could just grab, that would make it so much easier. I have made banana oat muffins in the past and really liked them, so I think I will really like these.