Friday, November 6, 2009

P51x and P50x

I've been keeping up with the P90x program better than I've been keeping up with blogging. The problem is that I'm so spent after the day's P90x DVD, that I don't have the energy to type a post. Also, although it's a great program, Tony Horton doesn't inspire me to write a creative entry. While I hated Jillian and found many things to pick on, I like Tony. He's tough, but he allows you to take breaks, he makes fun of himself. He's serious, but he lets himself be silly at times. He doesn't make you feel bad for having to do some of the modified exercises.

So, yesterday was the second time for the Chest and Back routine followed by the Ab Ripper. It was as hard as it was the first time. I don't have and don't plan to install a chin-up bar, so I did the alternate exercises suggested by my neighbor which worked out well.

Today was the second time for PlyometricsX. Again, really hard, but I felt like I was able to keep up with Tony and the gang better this time. Still hate his version of "Rock Star Jumps!"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I was going to give myself a break today. The P90x program says that today, which is day 7, I can either rest or do "Stretch x." I was going to rest, but then I started to feel guilty, so I did 30 minutes of Yoga. I feel much better.

Tomorrow, I start over with the P90x "chest and back" and "ab ripper x" DVDs. I'm already dreading it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Lying awake this morning just before the alarm went off at 5:45, I figured out what Kenpo X was going to be: cardio/kickboxing. I was right. It was a decent workout. The moves were not too terribly hard, but it was a vigorous workout that lasted just short of one hour. I liked it much better then some of the other DVDs, like the chest and back DVD that's coming back up in the rotation on Thursday... I'm already dreading it.

Anyway, tomorrow is an optional "rest or stretch" day. I'm planning to do a 35 minute Yoga routine tomorrow morning.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Today was legs and back. What can I say that I haven't already said? It was hard. I actually had to stop with about 10-12 minutes left. I did the ab workout. Some of the moves seemed harder, and some of them seemed easier.

I talked to my neighbor about not having a chin up bar, and she has given me a few alternative exercises to do in place of the chin ups.

Tomorrow is Kenpo X, I have no idea what I'm in for. I'm thinking I should preview the DVD at some point before tomorrow morning.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

P56x and P55x

Yesterday was "Shoulders and Arms" followed by "Ab Ripper X." My legs were sore, but the muscles in my arms were calmer. I was able to do most of the Shoulder and Arms workout without much problem. I should have used heavier weights (I used 5s), but I didn't want to overdo it. I'll use 8s next time.

The Ab Ripper X program was still really hard. Tony Horton makes the point that if you do all the ab exercises in the DVD, you do a total of 349 ab exercises. I probably managed 225-250. Not bad, but I still have room for improvement.

Today was YogaX. When I turned the DVD on, the countdown timer started at 1:32:00. I didn't have an hour and a half to spare this morning, so I did a 35 minute routine instead. I don't feel like I cheated; it was still a tough routine.

Tomorrow is Legs and Back followed by Ab Ripper X. My legs are still sore from the other day, but we'll see what the morning brings.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Day 2 of P90x...

I woke up with arms of lead. Honestly, I can not move my arms above shoulder height without grimmacing in pain. The only way I was able to get out of bed this morning was thinking that today's workout wasn't going to involve much, if any arm movements. Fortunately, I was mostly right.

The workout for today was "Plyometrics X." This 58 minute workout is, in a word, intense. I thought Jillian's plyometric exercises were "hard," but I hadn't seen anything yet. Tony's "rock star jumps" are different, and harder, than Jillian's. In fact, everything about Tony's P90x "Plyometrics X" DVD is different and hard for me!

I promise to give a more thorough review of what I'm doing, eventually, but honestly, right now the creative juices are just not flowing, and my arms are killing me. It hurts to type.

I can't believe I have shoulders and arms tomorrow...

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Can't type.
Arms like jell-o.
Did first day of P90x.
Chest & Back and Ab Ripper X.
This is going to be hard!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nothing of note to say

I don't have much to say today other than to report that I've been keeping up with my exercise plan for this week. I've also consistently updated my points and activity trackers on the weight watchers etools program. I'm not sure the program is worth $16.95 per month, but I do like the idea of the program. A friend of mine mentioned a free service called Sparkpeople. I may give that one a try for comparison's sake when my two week weight watchers trial ends.

I'm also adding a monetary incentive to my current efforts. My goal right now is to exercise 6 out of 7 days per week. If I achieve that goal, at the end of the week I'm going to reward myself with a small, relatively inexpensive indulgence. Each week that I fail to ahieve my goal, I will write a $10 check to a charity. This month my charity of choice is the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My mind's eye

Although I've been blogging for awhile, I have never felt comfortable enough to put up a picture of myself.

But, as I try to get back into a rhythm of working out and blogging, I thought it might be a good time to put up a picture or two.

If I'm honest, some of the pictures that were taken of me on our trip to Walt Disney World have given me pause. You see, in my mind's eye, I don't really see myself as fat. When I get dressed in the morning and look in the mirror, I try to be conscious of hiding the fat parts of my body. But, when I look at pictures like these, I think to myself, "Gosh, I don't look as good as I thought I did."

So, now you know what I look like. Let's see if having these pics posted here can keep me motivated.

Awkward Re-introduction

Ahem. Hi, it's me, again. I'm not really sure how to start this post. I have no idea where the last 2 months have gone. I have no excuse for falling of the exercise wagon (again). I just got lazy, and it shows in my stomach.

Here is a short update:

1. I did not get the job, and I think I was more upset about it than I wanted to admit to anyone, even to myself.

2. My son started first grade and my daughter started 4 year pre-school.

3. I had my first garage sale.

4. My husband and I worked out together for just under 2 weeks (doing the 30 Day Shred), but my husband hurt his shoulder and had to stop.

5. We took a family vacation to Walt Disney World which truly is the "Happiest Place on Earth." I credit the vacation with helping me get out of my funk.

So, I'm back. I had a coupon for a two week trial of Weight Watcher's "etools" program, so I'm trying it. I've been eating like absolute crap for the past two months. I hope that by documenting it, I will be more thoughtful with my choices.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Job Interview

This post is not related to exercise or eating right, it's about my struggle to achieve balance in my life.

My husband is making me go back to work. Yeah, I know that sounds bad, but it's not what you think. I am just so conflicted about what I want to do, it's easier to say that he's making me go back to work, than admit it's what I really want because, frankly, I'm not sure what I want.

I want to maintain my legal career, but I want to be home for my kids. As materialistic as it sounds, I want to have a fancy office, buy expensive shoes and clothes, drive a luxury vehicle, and have people wonder "how does she do it?"

I want to have a career, but I also want well adjusted kids who know that even though I work, I'll always be there for them. But, in reality, as hard as I'll try to "always be there," I know that there will be baseball games, piano recitals, and art shows that I might have to miss because of work.

I want to be SuperMom! In truth, I was SuperMom for over 5 years, but it was a hard moniker to sustain. Truth be told, I failed, miserably. No, really, they took away my cape and everything. For 5 years, my daily routine was like this: wake up at 5:30, (2 mornings) work out for 30-45 minutes with a trainer who came to my house, shower, dress, wake up kids, dress kids, drop kids off at the sitter's (later we hired a nanny who came to the house, which made the mornings less hectic), drive 50 minutes to work, work for 8-10 hours, drive home, pick kids up, make dinner, clean up dishes, have some quality time with kids, give kids their baths, read stories with kids, put kids to bed, clean up around house or some days work from home, and then fall into bed between 10:30 and 11 only to start all over again the next morning. Just typing that fills me with anxiety; it wasn't fun.

But, I didn't go to law school and spend thousands of dollars on tuition and take out thousands of dollars in loans to just give up practicing law and stay home with my kids. Don't get me wrong, I've loved most things about staying home. If I'm honest, though, I haven't fully embraced my role as stay at home mom; I'm always thinking that there's got to be something better out there. Obviously I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to stay home with my kids. Most women I know who work don't have the choice to quit their jobs and stay home. Certainly, we have made sacrifices and lifestyle changes in order for me to stay home for the past year. It has also been stressful on my husband. He has watched many of his friends, co-workers, and colleagues, most of whom have young families, get laid off. As the sole breadwinner in our family, he constantly worries about what we would do if he's next.

I also know that I don't want to make a career out of staying home. I am not a good domestic engineer. I hate doing the laundry, especially the folding and putting away part, and don't even think about showing me how to use an iron. I vacuum and dust only when we have guests coming over. The floors get mopped when something gets spilled on them, which happens daily, so I guess I do a lot of mopping. I don't think we even own a toilet brush, oh wait, yes we do, it's in the basement. I think the kids play with it as a light saber or something. (As far as I know, it's never seen the inside of a toilet, so it's not gross that I let the kids play with it). I detest, no I need a stronger adjective, I abhor going to the grocery store. The one thing I do like to do is cook, but when you have a houseful of picky eaters who complain about every meal I make unless it's pancakes, hot dogs or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, well, it kind of takes the fun out of making a nice dinner for your family.

So, I had an interview today. The position I interviewed for is an in-house staff attorney position with a corporation. It's the kind of career path that offers some semblance of that work-life balance that I covet or at least that's how the job was described to me.

The position wasn't offered to me, however, I think the interview went well. Well enough that I have to think about what I would do if an offer does come my way. It would be extremely difficult for me to turn down the position. But, I'm just not sure I'm ready to go back to work full time. Maybe I want just one more year to be home with my kids. In one more year my youngest will be in all day kindergarten, and I know I will yearn to go back to work because I will be bored. But, timing is everything...the opportunity has presented itself now, and who knows what the job market will look like a year from now. Do I really want to risk taking another year off? What if I'm not able to find a job and then all of a sudden my 2 year hiatus becomes a 3 year gap in my resume.

The problem with practicing law is you can't really take any significant time off. Not only do court rules, case law, and statutes change, but every year, hundreds of eager, young, fresh-faced lawyers join the ranks of the already thousands of lawyers. If I'm not there to do the work, someone will fill my chair in an instant.

So, I'm struggling with what I want to do. I realize I am getting ahead of myself as I don't have an offer, but I need to be prepared to make a decision one way or another.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

How I got through a 3.0 mile run

I've written before, and I'm sure I'll write again, that for me, running is about having the right, positive mental attitude.

I'm sure I look silly, but when it gets hard for me, I have to pump myself up with a pep talk, and yes, I do talk to myself, just a bit, while I'm running. Last night, about half way through my run, I passed a family of four riding their bikes, and then I passed them again near the end. Both times, I was talking to myself, and with my IPOD on, I didn't realize how loud I was being. I'm certain the dad thought I was a complete lunatic as he watched me talk to myself, but oh well. Maybe he's a runner and understands!?!? She says, hopefully.

Last night's run was particularly hard for me almost from the get go. I'm not sure what was wrong, I have a feeling I hadn't waited long enough for my dinner to digest. So, I had to start early with my motivational speech.

I started out by reminding myself: "if you can jump around with Jillian for 45 minutes, you can run for 30." That seemed to work for about 1/2 a mile.

Then, I started to develop a "Runner's Side Stitch," which got really bad around the 1 mile mark, at that point, I kept thinking about all the websites I could visit to find out how it happens and how to prevent it. For an explanation of the runner's stitch, I visted for a description. A runner's stitch is a "pain in the side of the upper abdomen at the base of the ribs." It is caused by a spasm of the diaphragm. According to the site, getting rid of the spasm could be as easy as slowing down or stopping.

Well, I already run pretty slowly and stopping is not an option, so I just muddled through by trying to regulate my breathing and taking deep breaths. Much to my surprise, deep, rhythmic breathing is also one way to get rid of the runner's stitch, according to What do you know? I actually may know what I'm doing.

Once the side stitch started to calm down, my calves started to burn and my left foot felt like I was running on pins and needles. At that point, I started composing a post in my head about how good it felt to finish 3.0 miles for the first time in 12 or 13 years. I can't recall what I composed in my head now that I'm sitting down to type this entry, but whatever it was it got me through to the last phase.

I know I don't have a lot of people reading my blog, but I know there are a few of you out there, so let me say, "thanks," because it was you guys, too, who I thought about while trying to get me through my run.

As I closed in the home stretch, my mantra changed to "You got this! You got this!" I was, to say the least ecstatic when I reached my driveway. I'm pleased with myself and will try to keep it up!

He got up and ran

I just about fell out of bed this morning when my husband got up and declared that he was going for a run. Honestly, I love him dearly, but as much as I am not a runner, he is NOT a runner.

My husband claims that he used to be athletic. He tells me that in high school, he played basketball and was a decent pitcher on the baseball team, but that was 20 years ago. In college, he played on intramural volleyball and baseball teams, but that was 16 years ago. I did not know my husband during either of those time periods, so I have never known the athlete within my husband.

When we were in law school, the most athletic thing we ever did together was bowl, but I hate bowling. We also tried golf, but I'm better than he is, so that didn't work out too well for his ego. He also played one or two games for his firm's softball league, but he ended up separating his shoulder while throwing the ball from the outfield to home plate. He separated the shoulder a second time a few years later, and that had pretty much ended my husband's athletic career.

Sure, he's gone to the gym over the course of the years we've been married, but I've never seen him run, either on a treadmill or on the track, so today's development was somewhat surprising to me.

Perhaps I have inspired him with my latest attempts to run. I hope he keeps it up, because I would really like a running partner. Knowing my husband, though, I just have to quietly encourage him and not make a big deal out of what he is doing and let him go at his own pace, and I'll keep going at my own pace. Maybe one day we'll catch up to each other.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Does everyone sweat during yoga?

I know it shouldn't be such a major deal everytime I do it, but I got up this morning at 6 am and did 30 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes of pilates. I'm proud of myself. I've decided it's so much easier for me to psyche myself up and out of bed at 6 a.m. if I'm going to do yoga than it is when I'm planning to go for a run or jump around with Jillian.

As I mentioned last night, I went for a run in the evening. It was not exactly an enjoyable experience, (I'm not quite there yet) but I was encouraged by all the people who were out for their runs at 9 pm. Generally speaking, I don't like to exercise in the evening before bed, but I did sleep better than I have in awhile. I've always read/heard that exercising in the evening could keep you from getting a good night's sleep. But that wasn't the case for me last night. If I hadn't been awakened by a torrential downpour last night, I probably would have slept all night!

Finally, I haven't done yoga in about a week. As always, I am amazed at how much I sweat when I do my yoga practice. Shortly after I start my practice it's like a faucet gets turned on, and I just start dripping. Does this happen to anyone else?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A math problem = A weight problem

Question: What is 25 lbs minus 15 lbs plus 10 lbs minus 8 lbs?

Answer: For the past few days I've been trying to come up with a creative answer to the above question, but I keep coming back to the same answer: It is my weight fluctuation over the past 2 summers.

For the better part of the last two summers, I have been attempting to lose 25 lbs. Today, I am at a critical juncture in my attempt to lose weight. Since returning from our vacation, I have floundered around trying to figure out what to do next. I am rapidly sliding off the exercise and eating right train. I should probably admit that I'm off of it altogether, but I'm not ready to concede anything yet. I have not stepped on the scale, but I can tell by the way my clothes fit that I am starting to gain weight again, and I know I need to nip these gains in the bud. I need to get back into an exercise routine, and now!

The only thing that works for me when trying to lose weight is watching what I eat and exercising. I have never been able to lose weight by dieting alone and neither have I ever been successful at losing weight solely by exercising. So, let me write that again... the only thing that has ever worked for me when trying to lose weight is eating right and exercising.

But, eating right and exercising all the time is hard! Truthfully, I don't even think I eat that poorly. If I learned anything during my weeks at Weight Watchers it is that I have a problem with portion control. I eat way more than I should. So, even though I eat healthy foods, I'm eating way too much. I also have a problem with self-control, at times, especially when we're out to eat or at a party.

If I could give up wine, I honestly believe I could shed 5 lbs easily, but I just can't give it up. (See... lack of self-control.) I'd be fine Sunday through Thursday, it's those darn weekends.

I've started to run, but I need to get going more than 3 times a week, and I need to push myself harder. It looks like my plan to run in the Detroit Marathon relay with my neighbor isn't going to happen, so I'm thinking about finding another run to participate in. I just need to figure out what is a reasonable goal to attain within a reasonable time.

I was going to write that I'm planning to start over again tomorrow morning. But, as I was typing the sentence, I kept saying to myself, why wait until tomorrow? Go for a run tonight. And so I did. I made it 2.8 miles. I'm slow, but steady.

Tomorrow is yet another day, and I'm trying to come up with some strategies to get myself back on track.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I was supposed to run this morning, but I'm just not quite back to being motivated to get up early. I eventually got out of bed and did about 40 minutes of Jillian's Boost Your Metabolism. I know my problem is, like I wrote the other day, I'm bored with Jillian and need something new. But, if I'm going to run it has to be early in the morning before my husband leaves for work or late in the evening after dinner. My kids are still too young to be left alone while I go out for a run. I've never been able to exercise in the evening, so my only real option is to run between 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning, and I just haven't been motivated enough to do that. I hope to get runs in on Saturday and Sunday because I am proud of what I've been able to do, and I want to keep building on that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

65 Minutes of Pilates

I decided to do an old VHS Pilates tape today. I've had it for almost 10 years, but I have only done the tape a handful of times. The tape is split up into four 15 minute sections for abs, arms, legs, and hips. I've never had a strong enough core to actually peform the moves, but today I did a decent job a doing the moves. I even kind of enjoyed most of the tape. The legs and hips portions of the tape involve ballet moves. I never took any dance classes as a child, so these ballet moves are difficult for me, and I have no idea if I'm even doing the moves right or not.

I have to say that I was really sweating by the end of the tape, much to my surprise.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2.3 Mile Run

I won't embarrass the runners of the world and call myself a "runner," yet, but today I ran 2.3 miles. It took me 27 minutes to do it, so I know there's plenty of room for improvement, but I'm proud of myself for getting my bum out of bed at 6:00 am and going for a run.

I was supposed to do my run yesterday morning, but I did Jillian's "No More Trouble Zones" (quick version) instead. What I realized is that I'm getting bored with these routines, I need to change up what I'm doing. That was part of my motivation for getting up this morning.

I saw an infomercial for another new BeachBody series called Insanity with Shaun T. It looks almost identical to Tony Horton's P90X that I considered buying, but Shaun T promises results in 60 days. The workout series looks incredibly intense, almost "insane." My husband got sucked into watching the infomercial with me (what is it about those things that make us want to watch??) and he said he'd try it with me. If I actually believed that he would stick with it with me for 60 days, I'd take him up on it, but I know he won't. Maybe I should just call his bluff and see what happens.

For now, I'm going to stick with running every other day or so and see where that gets me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Post!

I did it, I got outside and ran for the first time in a looooong time. I gave myself a goal of running for 20 minutes straight which I'm happy to report I accomplished. Twenty minutes may seem like a long time for someone, like me, with very little running experience, but for me, running is all mental. I kept telling myself that if I can jump around with Jillian Michaels barking orders at me for 30-45 minutes, then I can run for 30 minutes. I just kept repeating that mantra, and before I knew it, my 20 minutes was up. I then walked for an additional 15 minutes. The ironic part is, for the last 5 minutes of my run, I was behind an older couple who wa walking at a moderate pace. I was trying to catch up and pass them. While I was running, I could not catch up to them, but as soon as I started doing my "sprint walk" I caught up to them in a flash and left them in the dust behind me. I guess that means I have to pick up my running pace considerably, but I wasn't worried about that too much yesterday, I just wanted to get out there and run. We'll see where it goes from there.

I plan to run every other day and alternate yoga and strength training on the days I don't run.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I bought a watch

I know, it's not very exciting news, but at this point, while I'm taking baby steps trying to get back on the bandwagon to lose the last 10-12 lbs, buying a watch is a step in the right direction.

I need the watch so I can run outside. I don't have a treadmill and I don't belong to a gym, so if I'm going to run, then I need to do it outside. If I'm going to run outside, then I need to keep track of my time. So, I bought a digital watch.

I have only exercised a few time since we returned from our vacation. Over the holiday weekend, I did cardio work on Friday and Sunday mornings. I did Yoga and Pilates yesterday morning, took this morning off, and plan to do a cardio workout tomorrow morning.

My husband is back in Norway this week, so I can't start running outside until Friday morning. (I can't leave the kids alone in the house; I plan to run between the hours of 6 and 7 am when the least amount of people will see me struggling.)

Still looking for anyone who has any thoughts on the P90X workout 13 DVD system? Anyone? Anyone?

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm back

Looking for some new motivation. Not sure about the Marathon/running thing.

Does anyone know anything about the P90X system? Some friends who were with us on the trip did it, and raved about it. Wondering if anyone else has any experience with the program?

Friday, June 19, 2009

T minus 1 day

We leave tomorrow. I'm just about packed. The kids seem slightly better today. At least they seem to be in better spirits anyway. We'll see what the rest of the morning brings. They both just finished eating their breakfast, so hopefully they'll be able to keep their food in and down, repsectively.

I got in a great workout this morning. I did 50 minutes of Jillian's "Boost Your Metabolism," 30 minutes of Yoga Sculpt, and 20 minutes of Pilates. There was a thunderstorm going on during the first part of my workout, and my little one woke up scared and crying, so I had to settle her down and hope that she'd go back to sleep.

I mentioned to my husband that I would probably check out the fitness center soon after our arrival. We arrive so early in the morning that our room probably won't be ready for us, so I may try to get in my workout then. He said that I could find him out by the pool with a drink in hand.

Confession: Against my better judgment, I stepped on the scale this morning. Let's just say, I really wish I hadn't. While the number has gone down since the last time I weighed myself, it has not gone down as far as I feel it should have in relation to (a) how hard I've been working and (b) how much thinner I actually feel and look. Oh well, I feel pretty good about the shape I'm in right now, I hope I can keep this up and meet my goals, eventually.

My goal during our trip is to continue make time to workout everyday. This may sound funny, but I think I'll enjoy myself more if I get in my workouts. I hope to not gain any weight while we're gone, but I won't be surprised if I gain a pound or two. I'm brining my 30 Day Shred video, but I'm not packing any weights. I'm hoping to hit some Yoga and aerobics classes and see what else the club has to offer.

Not sure if I'll check in while I'm gone. If I don't, have a great week.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Before I talk about the title of this post, let me tell you something. Two days to go before we leave and what do I have, 2 sick kids. I'm not kidding. One has diarrhea and the other vomited in the parking lot at CVS this morning and has been lounging pitifully on the "comfy chair" alternately watching "Caillou" and asking to be rocked by her mama. I swear, these kids have not been sick in months, and yet they chose now to pick up some virus. Thankfully, kids are resilient and hopefully they can knock these viruses out before they go off to grandma's house. We'll see.

Bad mom that I am, I did manage to go to my training session this afternoon. The little one had perked up a little bit, and I made sure that she kept some crackers down before I took her to my mom's house. My mom took them both to the park (which is what they normally do while I'm working out), but my mom said the little one wasn't "into it," so she took them back to her house.

My daughter and I are skipping my son's T-ball game right now, but Gram and Papa promised ice cream after the game so we'll see if she can rally enough for ice cream, that'll be a test of how lousy she's feeling.

Now, back to "Pants." Before the morning turned gross, I tried on a pair of capris that I wore 10 years ago on my honeymoon. A year ago, I could not get them up over my rear end, let alone zip them up. Today, I slid them up and over my rear without a problem and zipped them up without blinking (or sucking in.) I was, to say the least, amazed. Even though they're 10 years old, they're not too terribly out of style. They have a blue, white, and black small block pattern on them. I think they'll be cute with a solid white collard sleeveless shirt and sandals. We'll see. I'm going to try them on again in the morning, just to make sure it wasn't an aberration.

Tomorrow morning will be my last workout before we leave. I doubt I'll get up on Saturday morning before we leave. The plane leaves at 6:30 a.m. I may be able to get a workout in once we arrive in Cancun, though. I checked the hotel's website again, and they claim to have a world class fitness facility. They also offer yoga classes (and other ones, too which are all at no extra charge) which I may have to try, seeing as I love yoga, but have never taken a class.

I think that's all for now. I'm off to try to rouse my little one, and see if the promise of ice cream can perk her up.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

T minus 3 days

Had a great workout yesterday, probably the best one since I started. Nick had me do pyramid sets which entailed doing sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 2, 4 6, 8, 10 and then a "burn out," (doing as many as I could until I felt like I would die). I did these pyrmaid sets with 10 differnt strength training moves, like bicep curls, squats, dead-lifts, tricep kick-backs, lunges, etc. The ab work was also a pyramid scheme where I squeezed a medicine ball between my knees and crunched forward while raising and lowering my arms. It was killer, but it felt so good when I was done.

I'm going back for one more session before we leave. I had hoped to get in 2 sessions, but (a) I can't afford it and (b) the times he had available just didn't work with my schedule, so I'll just keep doing what I've been doing at home.

I woke up incredibly stiff this morning. When I workout at home, I like to start with cardio and then finish with Yoga and Pilates. I do this so that my muscles are nice and warm for all the stretching, but today I did the Yoga and Pilates first in an effort to stretch out my stiff muscles. I ended up crapping out before the end of the cardio routine. I did a different workout today from ExerciseTV that I didn't care for, so I quit when we got to the ab section because I had already done a lot of ab work with the Pilates. I'm not too upset with myself, I did great with the Yoga and Pilates which, for me, is a great workout.

Monday, June 15, 2009

T minus 5 days

Our Anniversary Vacation starts in 5 days. We have been looking forward to this vacation for over a year. While we have been away on short vacations numerous times over the last 10 years, this is the first time we're going away for 8 solid days. Eight solid days of sun, pool, ocean, food, drink and fun. We're taking 3 other couples with us, and we're all looking forward to a great time. The only thing that has dampened our spirits is the "Swine Flu" outbreak (we're going to Cancun, Mexico), but my best friend scored me some Tamiflu, so I'm not going to worry about it, much. (By nature, I am a notorious "worry-wart," so I have to worry.)

When we booked this vacation, over a year ago, I set a goal for myself to be back at my "wedding day weight" of 117 lbs. I am not going to make it; I'm not even close. I had a 3 month set back from November - January, but I'm not sure I would have made it even if I hadn't been lazy during the holidays. I feel bad that I won't achieve my goal, but I'm not devastated. I know how hard I've worked, especially since February. I'm strong, I'm pretty fit, and I can wear some of my size 6 clothes. I bought a (skimpy for me) bikini, and I plan to wear it proudly.

This vacation has provided most of my motivation for the last few months, so I need to come up with a new motivation. I like the changes I'm seeing in my body, so that is definitely motivating. Recently, I found out my neighbor signed up to do the relay portion of the Detroit Free Press Marathon in October. He thinks they need 2 more people to round out their 5 person team, and I volunteered to do a 5 mile leg. We'll see about this. As I've written before, I hate running, but I want to be a runner. By volunteering to be a part of a relay team, I think it will help me stay motivated. It's only 5 miles, and I won't want to let anyone down by not training or completing my portion of the race. I don't actually have confirmation from my friend that I'm "in," but the more I think about it, the more I think it's a good idea for me.

Friday, June 12, 2009

As predicted

I did not get up early to workout. I have the second act of my root canal this morning, so I'm not sure if I'll get in a workout this afternoon. If I feel the way I did after last week's episode, I'm not sure I'll make it.

Whatever happens, I have to rally by 4:00 this afternoon so I can make my way down to Game 7 tonight. GO WINGS!

Updated: Ok, the second part of the root canal was, relatively speaking, a piece of cake. I was only in the chair for about 10 minutes, and now it's done. I still have to go back to my dentist for a crown, but for now, I'm all fixed.

I felt good even after the numbness wore off, so I came home and worked out. I did just under 60 minutes of Jari Love's "To the Core." I haven't done any of her workouts in several months, and I'm not sure why I felt like doing it today. The pace of her DVDs is so slow which I usually find annoying, I guess I just wanted a slower pace, and I know I didn't feel like jumping around.

Promised the kids I'd take them to the pool for a few hours, so off we go.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

In a funk

Not quite sure what to say here. I have found myself in an exercise and eating right funk. Sure, I'm still working out; I even had a really great training session this afternoon with Aaron. He fianlly pushed me beyond my limits, and it felt good. I have not, however, been watching what I'm eating. We had pizza for dinner last night, and I had it again for lunch this afternoon. I'm also going out with friends tonight, so I know there will be wine and lots of food.

I've had to really fight with myself to get my workouts in on the days when I don't have a training session scheduled. Like tomorrow morning, I know I'll have to drag myself out of bed.

I'm not sure where this funk is coming from. We leave on our Anniversary trip one week from tomorrow, so I should really be doing a better job of eating right and exercising if I want to get into the bikini I bought.

I think I'm down because of money issues. This root canal is costing us a fortune; I've single handedly tapped out our "family insurance allowance" for the rest of the year, so all of our cleanings and x-rays and any other dental "stuff" comes right out of our pocket. I was planning to purchase more training sessions, but I just can't justify the expense now. My husband's company doesn't take taxes out of his check, we pay "estimated taxes" quarterly, so on June 15, we will be writing a HUGE check to Uncle Sam. This expense is not unexpected, and we try to plan for it, but it's still A LOT of money. Finally, I know our VISA bill from our Norway trip is due to arrive any day now, and I cringe to think how high that will be. Sure, my husband will recoup much of it from his company in reimbursement, but that check won't get cut before we have to pay VISA, so again, another large deduction from the checking account.

What it boils down to is... I need a job, but the job market for lawyers in Michigan is not great. Most firms who are looking to hire someone with my level of experience want someone with a "book of business," and as a former government employee, I simply do not have a book of business from which to draw.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

If no one read it the first time, does it really count as a repeat post?

Last fall, on Day 14 of my first 30 Day Shred challenge, I suffered a minor set-back involving my knee. It was nothing, it just hurt really bad when I woke up one morning, so I decided to forego that day's "Shred" and do Yoga instead. That day I wrote the following:

I used to love doing Yoga, but I fell out of the "Yoga habit" and never really got back into it. I have a video (yes, for use in a VCR, don't laugh) that I like called Cardio Autonomy Yoga. For someone (like me) who has never taken a Yoga class and doesn't really know what she's doing, I think the moves are pretty intense. I haven't done this video in about 8 months. The last time I did it I found it difficult to hold many of the poses. I kept wobbling and falling all over the place. Today, it is obvious that I have gotten stronger in the last few months. The moves were no less intense, and I am far from flexible, but I was able to hold the poses, and I didn't fall over as often, especially during the praying twist.

The post I wrote the next day was titled, "It must have been the downward dog," and I wrote:
Bad news: my shoulders are absolutely killing me. Jillian thought it was going to be the third cardio section in Level 2 that was going to kill me, but she failed to account for all the shoulder work in a Yoga workout. (Yes, I know that Yoga isn't part of her program.)

I managed to get through the 30 Day Shred without much problem (related to my sore shoulders, anyway) despite the fact that there is quite a bit of shoulder work in Level 2 of Jillian's 30 Day Shred. (Walk out push ups, plank jacks, plank twists, squat thrusts... all of these moves are hard on the shoulders!)

I have incorporated more Yoga into my workout plans over the last few months, but until yesterday, I hadn't done any yoga in over two weeks. Yesterday, I started wtih 30 minutes of Yoga Sculpt and then did the Shred. When the alarm went off this morning, I felt a certain deja vu and immediately flashed back to those posts from last fall. I could absolutely re-write the part about how much stronger I have become over the last few months. Even taking a short break from the 2 yoga routines I normally do, I could tell that I am much stronger than I was even a month ago. And, I can also report that my shoulders are killing me this morning, and I think it was absolutely the downward dog that did it!

Unlike last time, I didn't go back to my Shred workout this morning because I have a training session this afternoon, but I did 20 minutes of Pilates and 45 minutes of more Yoga instead. I'm not sure I'll be able to lift my arms over my head by the time tomorrow morning rolls around.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Most Recent set-back

If I may, I think I'll start with an attempt at a haiku... ahem.

Screaming, throbbing, pain
Tooth, why now? why today? what?
I have to go back?

Mid-week, last week I started experiencing a tooth ache. The pain mostly came and went during the day, but it was excruciating at night. By the second night, when I could not sleep for the pain was so bad, I decided I had to see my dentist. After sitting in the chair for over an hour, it was determined that I needed a root canal. I'm told that normally it does not take over an hour to diagnose a root canal, but it turns out that my teeth are impervious to hot and cold sensation. My dentist was surprised to learn that I've never experienced the sensation of "brain freeze." My teeth were also impervious to being banged upon with a metal object.

We were pretty sure we knew which tooth was the source of my pain, but I was not responding "normally" as my dentist expected, and she didn't want to perform the root canal on the wrong tooth, and frankly, neither did I.

She ended up sending me to a specialist who performed a root canal.

Let me tell you that I have experienced pregnancies, labor, and two c-sections, but for me, there is nothing worse than mouth pain. I do not handle it well, I do not respond to it well, and I certainly do not enjoy the mouth gymnastics that one must endure while having a root canal performed.

I did my best to workout through the pain; I saw my trainer on Thursday in the middle of most of that pain, but I was not a very good patient before, during or after the experience on Friday and never got around to working out that day. I was feeling really sorry for myself due to the pain and the expense, oh the expense when you have terrible dental coverage... I'm crying just thinking about how much this tooth is costing me.

My mouth is fine right now. There is very little, if any residual pain, but the worst part is, it's not over. I have to go back for the "rest" of the root canal on Friday once the swelling has gone down and the infection has gone away, so I get to do it all over again! Yay!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I am a munching munchie munch monster

I have the munchies, and I can't get rid of them. I don't know what the deal is as it's nowhere near that TOM. I'm hoping that by confessing my eating transgressions that I'll embarrass myself into stopping.

In the past 3 days I have eaten an entire bag of Fritos that my husband bought for himself; I finished a bag of STALE potato chips... I was taking them out of the pantry and was going to throw them away because I KNEW they were STALE and yet I decided that chips "sounded good" at that moment. I've eaten an entire bag of baby carrots along with an entire container of hummus plus half of another one. I'm making my way through bags of sunflower seeds and craisins of which I have about a 1/4 of a bag and less than half a bag of each, respectively.

This morning I bought a bag of trail mix which is a combo of almonds, cashews, and craisins into which I emptied part of a bag of chocolate chips that I had lying around, and now I have about half of the bag left.

Let's see, what else, I know there's more... oh yes, I've munched on a few chocolate chip Teddy Grams and some Cheddar Jack Cheezits. I've also mixed in a few red seedless grapes and some cucumbers in an effort to balance the nutritious with the less than nutritious.

I got out the habit of recording my points last week, I guess I better get back at it. I'm making myself full just thinking about all the snacks I've consumed. And, in case it isn't clear, it's not like I'm skipping meals, I'm still eating 3 squares a day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Non-habit forming, alternate title, It doesn't take much

In an effort to not succumb to jet lag while on my too short trip to Norway, I took sleeping pills each night of my trip and for the first night upon my return home. The packaging is clear that the pills are habit forming which has me thinking about habits. Why is it that certain habits, usually bad ones, like smoking, drinking, biting nails, taking sleeping pills, etc are easy to start, easy to maintain, and hard to quit and yet other habits, the good ones like eating right, exercising, etc are hard to start, harder to maintain, and easy to quit? It always amazes me how little it takes to get out of a routine and fall back into bad habits.

I wasn't gone that long and only missed 2 days of working out, and one of those days that I missed I spent walking all over Oslo, I'm certain I had well over 10,000 steps for the day, although I can't prove it. I took my Shred video with me and used my laptop in the workout facility so I could "get my Shred on" while I was gone. But, my heart wasn't really into it.

(As a quick aside, I think I'm the only person who has ever used the workout facility at the hotel where we stayed. It was a very small facility with only 2 pieces of cardio equipment and a few weight machines, to my dismay there were not free weights, so I had to do my video without weights. The way the facility was set up made it seem like it used to be two hotel rooms that were converted. While I was working out, the housekeeping staff kept using the walkway as a cut-through to get from one side of the hotel to the other. Everytime one of them would see me, they would give me that "startled look" of "what are you doing in here" and apologize for interrupting.)

Back to my point, I've been exercising consistently (5-6 days per week) since February. I've made a concerted effort to eat right over the same period of time. In my opinion, that's long enough to establish routines and to call those things habits. Yet, since I've been back from Norway, I have not been eating as well as I was before I left, and I have had to fight with myself to get back into an exercise routine. Sure I exercised this weekend, but it was more of a struggle than it should have been. I have had absolutely no desire to workout. I made it through double sessions of the Shred on Saturday and Sunday (Level 2 followed by Level 3 both days), but I have never hated Jillian more, not even when I first started doing the Shred.

I took Monday morning off back, and I'm back with the trainer later this morning, so I'm really hoping that I can get myself back into gear.

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's been awhile

Back from Norway. I hit the gym for 1 hour while I was there and did a lot of walking. Not exactly what I wanted, but I made decent food choices.

Norweigan observation: The national past-time in Norway is eating ice cream. I'm serious! We actually joked about this with one of our waiters and he didn't deny it! My husband and I shared one dish of ice cream while we were there.

I've got to get myself back in my routine, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

3d30Day10: Haven't gotten my "Shred On"

Ok, so I didn't get up this morning to Shred. I had a 10 am training session scheduled, and I decided to give myself a break. I still have my workout outfit on (I know, gross, but I'm planning to wash the car with the kids after lunch, so I may as well wait to shower and change...) so, there's still a chance that I'll get my Shred on, but I'm only doing Level 1!

Today's training session was led by Nick. It's official, I think Nick knows what he's doing better than Aaron. By my calculations, I only have 3 more sessions left in my package, so I need to decide what I'm doing. The price jumps up significantly now that I'm no longer considered a "new client," and I just don't know if I can afford it. I need a job, is what it boils down to. Our trip to Mexico is 3 weeks after we get back from Norway. I'm thinking that I'll have to purchase one more set of 8 sessions and go 3x per week. If I purchase additional sessions, I'm going to tactfully ask that the majority of my sessions are with Nick, or at least, I'm going to have to tell Nick that I need Aaron to "step it up." Not quite sure how to handle that situation, but it's my money and my body, so I better figure it out.

Now, onto the Flat Belly Diet portion of the post.

Breakfast: I woke up in a decent mood. I allowed myself a little extra sleep, so that's always a good way to start the day. My kids all woke up in good moods, too, so that's a bonus for mom, also. Happy mom = Happy kids = Happy mom.

Hunger before breakfast: 0
Hunger after: 3

Lunch Mood: I had a great workout session with Nick, and it's translating into a decent mood for the afternoon. My son came off the bus still in a good mood, so all is well.

Hunger before: I drank one of my protein drinks directly after my workout, so I wasn't as hungry as I normally am at lunchtime. I'll say I'm at a 1.

Hunger after: I ate more than I thought I would. I mixed in a few craisins with the sunflower seeds, and it was pretty good...3

Will update dinner later.

Dinner: We are still in decent moods as the evening begins to roll in. It's another gorgeous day here. The kids spent much of the afternoon playing with their friend across the street while I washed the car.

I'm not all that hungry for dinner again, but the problem is, I can't really wait to eat until later. I have to eat when the kids eat or at least close to their time. I pushed the dinner hour back a little bit, I know they were hungry from all of the running around outside.

I am now done with dinner, and I am satisifed; not too full. I'm hoping I can convince the kids to go back outside for a short after dinner walk around the block.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

3d30Day9: Modifications Here and There

I did Level 1 of the Shred this morning and followed it up with 20 minutes of Pilates (legs and abs). After my training session yesterday, I was going to give myself a break and just do either Level 1 or Level 2 of the Shred, but I was feeling good and decided to keep going with the Pilates.

Today is my second day 2 of the FBD jumpstart diet, and I had to modify things again. I had some routine bloodwork done this morning at 9 am prior to which I had to fast, so I didn't eat any breakfast. So, I was not able to follow the diet to the letter today, much to my chagrin. As I said yesterday, it's always something with me, and there's never a good time to start an actual diet, but I'm determined to muddle through and make good choices as best as I can.

Breakfast: I'm hungry (but, surprisingly not starving) after I break my fast. I'm also in a decent mood this morning. I'm wearing a pair of pants that were pretty tight on me a month or so ago. Today they are kinda loose, that is addimg to my perky mood.

Hunger before: somewhere btw. -3 and 0.
Hunger after: 3

Lunch: Hunger before: Not hungry, somewhere btw. 0 and 3
Hunger after: 3

Mood: I'm in an ok mood.

Snack: skipped the pinapple smoothie b/c I was not hungry... but later, I took the kids and a friend for ice cream, and had a small vanilla... I know, I know, but it was my reward for the afternoon... again, I know, I know, that's no way to lose weight.

Mood: Fine. It was hectic at the park trying to keep track of 3 kids.

Dinner: Hunger before: 0
Hunger after: 3

Mood: It was a long afternoon. The little one was tired and cranky after having too much fun ;) It was an absolutely beautiful day today, the kind we don't see enough of around here. What is it with kids? The more you give 'em, the more they want... My mood is fine.

Monday, May 18, 2009

3d30Day8: Destined to fail, determined to try again

Ok, so starting the flat belly diet on Thursday was never a good idea knowing that we had guests coming over for dinner on Friday night and a Red Wings Game on Sunday. You knew that and I knew that. I just really wanted to get started and not make any excuses that would lead me to "start on Monday." For me, there's never a good time to start a diet, any diet. I like to eat, I like to go out to eat, I like to have friends over and cook for them, I like to drink adult beverages when I'm out with friends at hockey games. I did really well with the diet on Thursday and Friday, but there isn't much room for error on the 4 day anti-bloat jumpstart portion of the flat belly diet. I tried to keep things going on Saturday and Sunday, but the wheels finally came off completely on Sunday afternoon during the Wings' game. I won't recount the gorry details, but there were Captain and Diet Cokes involved and half of a Qdoba Burrito.

I did get my exercise in, so it wasn't a total loss, but for me, exercise alone does not help me lose weight, I must eat right, too.

So, today is a new day. I am starting over with the flat-belly diet's anti-bloat jumpstart program. We have a busy week this week, but I should be able to keep up the diet Monday through Thursday and also be on track for the weekend.

Next week, will be a problem as my husband and I are headed to Norway, but I can certainly think of worse places to try to eat healthy. I know I won't be able to follow the flat-belly diet exactly, but I'm sure I can at least do decent job of eating healthy. I'm taking my Kindle with me, and I already loaded the Flat Belly Diet Book on to it, so I can study it on the plane, and be prepared. I know the timing is bad for this trip, but it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for me that I couldn't pass up. I also didn't want to put off starting the diet just because of the trip. I'm sure I'll start again with the anti-bloat portion of the diet when we return. But, at least for this week, I'll see how well I can do.

Friday, May 15, 2009

3d30Day5: What a difference a pound makes...

While I'm doing the Flat Belly Diet [FBD], I've decided that as much as I hate it, I better keep track of my weight better. So, this morning... I weighed 1.5 lbs less than I weighed the day before. Do I actually think I lost over 1 lb over night? No, of course not. It's all part of FBD's anti-bloat plan. The book is clear that losing a pound of water weight is not nearly the same as losing a pound of fat, but it's all about my psyche. If I see the scale moving down, then hopefully I'll think it's working and be motivated to keep going. That is exactly what I need and exactly why I wanted to try this program, to see if I could get the scale to move down.

After my training session yesterday, I decided to give myself a "break" from Shredding back to back this morning, so I decided to do Level 1 with 8 lb, 5 lb, and 2.5 lb weights. It's so ironic to me that I consider this a "break," it wasn't that long ago when I could barely get through Level 1 using 2.5 lb weights. I followed up Shred with 30 minutes of Yoga Sculpt. I haven't done yoga in awhile, and it felt really great. I say that every time I've gotten away from yoga, I wish I had more time to do it more often.

Today is day 2 of the Flat Belly Diet's Anti-Bloat Jumpstart Diet, look for my journal in an additional post later tonight.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flat belly Diet: Jumpstart day 1

I've decided to give Prevention Magazine's Flat Belly Diet a go. The first part of the program is a jumpstart "anti-bloat" diet that lasts for 4 days. The program asks you to journal your mood and thoughts and rate your hunger before and after the meal. The scale goes from -5, -3, 0, 3, 5, and 7, with (-5) being "starving" and (7)being "a little too full."

Breakfast: I woke up in a good mood, perhaps a little bit tired. Excited to try this diet.
Thoughts: this is too much food. points are high: 11 by my calculations.
Hunger before: 0 (moderate)
Hunger after: 6, (somewhere btw just right (5) and too full (7))

I hope it's not cheating, but I drank my protein drink after working out: 3 pts, 120 calories, I'm sure I burned at least that many calories during my workout. It's the sodium I'm worried about, though, 60 mg.

Lunch: I'm hungrier than I expected to be at this point. I was pretty satisfied after breakfast. I'm wondering if I'm hungry because of my workout earlier this morning. My mood is a little irritable, and I'm short with the kids. Looks like this is a 2 pt lunch. I could not find "organic deli turkey" at the store last night, so I'm substituting an "all natural" deli turkey. It seems to me that the sodium content is kind of high at 490 mg, but I don't have anything to compare it to right now. I'm actually enjoying the Sassy water, it reminds me of one of those drinks they serve at fancy spas. I realized this morning that I forgot to add the ginger when I made the water last night. I did buy some, so when I make tomorrow's batch, hopefully I'll remember to add it. Is it cheating to eat the cucumbers? I hate to waste them ;)

Hunger before: -3
Hunger after: 0

I know the plan wants me to eat every 4 hours, but I'm going to have to modify that as well. I'll probably have my snack around 3:30 and dinner at 6:30 or so. I hope all of my "modifications" don't impact my results.

Snack: I was hungry for most of the afternoon, but I took the kids to the library and with my mind distracted, I no longer felt hungry. I made my smoothie, and it was fine. I needed something to eat. Mistakenly, I misread the shopping list, and I bought flaxseed instead of flaxseed oil. Again, I hope this modification doesn't affect my results. The Smoothie totaled 4 points.

Hunger before: 0
Hunger after: 5

Dinner: Again, my thoughts are that this is too much food, but it only comes out to a 5 point meal. I'm not that hungry to begin with, I'm going to have to eat my breakfast earlier in the day, because I had to eat both my snack and dinner about half an hour too early. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have been eating my dinner until 8 pm or so, and that just doesn't work for me and my family.

Hunger before: not hungry, which is not really an option on the "scale," so I guess I'll say 1
Hunger after: 6, maybe ate a little bit too much, but I'm not overly full.

After being worried that my 11 point breakfast was going to have me way over my points for the day, I ended up consuming 25 points for the day, which is only 4 over my daily allotment of 21. I don't always add in my activity points, but sometimes I do. I gave myself 5 activity points for my workout this morning (50 minutes at high intensity), so I guess you could say I'm good for the day at 1 under.

I'm off for a quick walk around the block, which is what the diet recommends after eating.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

If I bake it, I will eat it

I hosted a Mother's Day brunch on Sunday. I intended to keep the brunch simple and healthy, but as with most of my best laid plans, I got caught up in the idea of hosting the Best Mother's Day Brunch Ever. I ended up making more of a feast than I intended: I made (1) a quiche-like egg bake with asparagus, red pepper, and 3 kinds of cheese, (2) a cheesy ham and potato dish, and (3) my mother's special chocolate chip coffee cake. I managed to cut up some fruit (oranges, grapes, cantalope, honeydew, and strawberries) for a healthy option, but with all other fattening choices what did it really matter at that point. I do not fancy myself a gourmet cook by any means, but everything turned out really, really, good.

Per usual, I had tons of food left over. I sent as much of the coffee cake home with my guests as I could, and I pawned off some of the quiche and potato bakes as well, but I still had plenty left for my own fridge.

After eating a helping of the quiche and the potato bake for breakfast this morning, I decided to add up the points in the recipes. Man, that was a mistake. Sometimes, it's better not to know. I belive I did it correctly, and where I was unsure, I rounded up.

Here's the damage:

The Red Pepper and Asparagus Quiche totaled 60 points, and the recipe was supposed to make 12 servings, so at 5 pts per serving, that dish was certainly not the most offensive.

The Cheesy Ham and Potato bake totaled 96 points and came out to 8 pts per serving. Not great, but compared to the last one... not horrible.

And finally, the Chocolate Chip Coffee cake came out to a whopping 16.5 pts per serving. Yikes, and to think, I had at least 2 servings yesterday, one in the morning, and one later in the evening. This morning, I found myself eating the coffee cake right out of the pan. I ended up throwing it away because I knew I would finish it and then regret it.

3d30Day3: Moving forward

Today I was extremely sore when I woke up, but I managed to get up and Shred. I decided to try Level 1 followed by Level 2 today. That's a little earlier than I had planned, but I wanted to see if I could do it. It was definitely harder for me than doing level 1 two times in a row. I used a variety of weights throughout the workout; for some of the exercises I used 8 lb weights and for some I used 5 lbs. I incorporated my 2.5 lb weights for some of the cardio work. I was whipped at the end, but now, about an hour after I've finished, I feel great.

Scale disappointment: I weighed myself this morning. I'm still at 138 lbs. Very disappointed, but that's all I'm going to say right now. I'm obviously doing something wrong. It has to be how/what I'm eating. I'm going to give myself another week of counting my points, and see where I am. My clothes are all so loose, I thought for sure I was down around 135/136. I'm also going for routine blood work next week to check cholesterol, etc, and I asked if they could also check my thyroid again to see if there's a problem there. I doubt it, but if I'm having the blood drawn, it can't hurt to confirm what I already know.

I've been so conflicted about weighing myself because I know me, I know I'll get frustrated and quit, but I'm hoping that I can muddle through, keep working hard, and maybe something will click.

The Biggest Loser: Helen! Yay for Helen. I don't think I'm alone when I write that I'm shocked by her results. Don't get me wrong, I think it's awesome that a 48 year old woman can beat the pants off of two much younger competitors, but she's down to 117 poounds! That is amazing! I need to find her trainer. She lives in my area, so I'm hoping her trainer is around here, too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

3d30Day2: I think I might be nuts to even try

I'm determined to keep up with the "sisters" and their shredding for the next 29 days, but in order to do that, I have to incorporate shredding on the days when I have a training session. On the days when I have a training session, I'm not going to do back to back sessions of the Shred, at least not at first. I'll stick to doing Level 1, one time through, in the mornings before I go for my training seesion. We'll see how it goes. If think I can handle doing back to back sessions, I'll re-evaluate as I go along. I simply don't want to be too tired to get a good training session in. I only have 8 or so sessions left, and I don't want to waste any.

Today I trained with Nick again. He worked my legs again, which is exactly what I need. In addition to the walking lunges with 15 lb weights and the walking squats with the 8 lb medicine ball, he had me running sprints outside and running on the treadmill. My legs were like the proverbial jelly at the end of the workout. I'm going to be sore in the morning, I hope I can get my butt out of bed to Shred. The plan is to do back to back level 1. This blog will keep me honest.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Second verse, same as the first

The first time I did my own 30 Day Shred challenge, last fall, I had been working out consistently, and I was "skeptical" that Jillian's 20 minute workout would be enough for me. After previewing the DVD, I thought the moves looked simple enough, and my plan that first morning was to do Levels 1 and 2 back to back. Shortly after starting the workout that first day, I realized I would not be able to do both levels, so I contemplated repeating level 1. I contemplated this for about 35 seconds. By the time I was done with the 30 Day Shred that first time through, my sweaty-headed self was just happy to be alive. Doing the cool down stretches was about all I could handle at that point.

I finished that first challenge at the end of October 2008, and my major accomplishment was surviving it. Period. I got to Level 3 during the last week, but I was only able to do it a few times.

The second time I did the 30 Day Shred Challenge was about 3 months later. I had fallen off the exercise wagon, and I needed a way to climb back aboard. I figured the 30 Day Shred would be a good way to jump back into a fitness routine. In the middle of my challenge, I lent my DVD to my sister so she could preview it. Levels 1 and 2 are On Demand under the Sports and Fitness Category, so I was able to do those levels, and by the time I was ready to move on to Level 3, I got my DVD back. Also in the middle of the challenge, I discovered Jillian Michaels' other workout programs, Boost Your Metabolism and No More Trouble Zones, also available to me On Demand. To me, both of these programs are the 30 Day Shred on steroids. I incorporated these programs into my workout routine as well. Near the end of that challenge, I was beginning to think that I could do something that not that long ago I thought was near impossible, doing back to back sessions of the 30 Day Shred.

Well, today I did it! I did Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred two times in a row! Back to back, baby! I'm hoping I can keep this up. It's not easy, but it's doable. My plan is to gradually move from back to back level 1, to level 1 followed by level 2, then eventually, level 2 followed by level 3, and maybe, just maybe, we'll see if I can do back to back level 3!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Shredding with the Sisters

Today is 2d30D26, and I did 45 minutes of Cardio Autonomy Yoga. It felt really good. My sore muscles needed the relaxing stretches!

I've decided to embark on yet another 30 day challenge involving Jillian Michaels and her 30 Day Shred DVD. This will be the third time I'm challenging myself with the Shred, but this time I'm going to make it harder. I'm going to do the levels back to back to make it a 40 minute workout, instead of 20 minutes. I've already made the schedule for the challenge which will start on May 11. On the weekends, I'm going to alternate "No More Trouble Zones" and "Boost Your Metabolism" just to keep things from getting too repetitive. I'm going to attempt to do Level 1 (one time only) on the mornings that I have a training session, but we'll see if I can actually keep that up.

I'm doing this challenge with the ladies over at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, and it starts on May 11. Anyone care to join us?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

2d30D25: Of all the places

Just got back from my training session with Aaron. I woke up sore again today. I'm still not sure if it's from my workout with Nick on Tuesday or from running yesterday. To add insult to injury, my forearms are sore. Those are sore from holding 8 lb weights while walking on the treadmill with an incline of 8. I can not believe how sore they are. I've been trying to stretch them out, but it hurts too much.

Just a short one today. I've got to pick up my daughter from school.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

2d30d24: Running

My legs weren't anywhere near as sore as I thought they would be, so... inspired by the Biggest Loser last night, I got up this morning and went for a run. I want to be a runner, I really do, I just can't stand running. But, I'm going to give this another try. If I'm going to do this, though, I'm going to need 2 pieces of equipment: (1) a pair of running shoes, my cross-trainers are not going to suffice and (2) a digital watch. I'm attempting to follow the C25K program, and I need a watch so I know when to switch back and forth from walking to running. Today, I counted in my head as best as I could. I did approximately 5 mins brisk walk to warm up, 3 minute run, 90 second walk, 6 minute run, 2 minute walk, 6 min run, 5 minute walk. I'm pretty happy with what I was able to do. I felt pretty good while I was doing it, I know I had my heart rate up, and I sweat alot.

I rounded out the morning with some Pilates. I tried a new yoga from On Demand, but the instructor wasn't giving enough cues. If I run again on Friday, I'll do one of my old stand-by Yoga routines. I just remembered that today is the day I had planned to re-take the push up test, I better get on that so I can stay on schedule.

Updated to add: 1. I did 25 push-ups, I could have done more. I'm not sure why I stopped. 2. My legs are so sore right now. I'm not sure if it's from yesterday's workout or from this morning's run, but I can barely walk up the stairs. 3. I didn't drink enough water today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

2d30D23: Quick update

Just a quick note to write that I had my training session today. Aaron was not there, so I trained with the owner of the facility, Nick. I have to say that I think Nick did a better job than Aaron, I'm almost tempted to make a permanent switch, but we'll see. The issue is the timing. Nick works the afternoon into evening shift, while Aaron works the morning into afternoon shift. It's easier for my schedule to go in the mornings, so we'll just have to see.

Nick worked out my legs today, so I know they're going to be sore in the morning. I plan to work out tomorrow morning, but we'll see what I feel up to doing when the alarm goes off. It may have to be a yoga day.

Jealous Girl

Hello fellow HYCers! I know I said I was going to do Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred for 7 straight sessions, but in keeping with my efforts to take things up a notch, I decided to do Jillian's "Boost Your Metabolism" and "No More Trouble Zones" this past weekend. In my estimation, BYM is harder than Shred Level 3, to me it's like doing Levels 2 and 3 of the Shred and half of Level 1, so I don't feel bad about skipping the Shred, in the least. BYM is more cardio based, I think. BYM doesn't have the dreaded "Rock Star Jumps," but there are plenty of moves in BYM that rival "Rock Star Jumps" for "most dreaded," for example, "Burpees" and "standing mountain climbers" come to mind initially. What BYM has that the Shred does not is kickboxing moves. I cut my kickboxing teeth years ago on Billy Blanks' videos (yes, VHS videos), and I really enjoyed that, so I like the kickboxing moves that Jillian incorporates in BYM.

On Sunday, I decided to do Jillian's "No More Trouble Zones." Usually I only do the quick version of NMTZ, but I had enough time to do the long version. Even though NMTZ has many of the same moves as the 30 Day Shred and BYM, it's a completely different workout. There isn't much cardio work. Sure, your heart gets pumping by doing combination moves, but there aren't circuits of "jump rope," "jumping jacks," "standing mountain climbers," etc. It's a challenging workout, but it's challenging in a different way. I still sweat buckets, but I don't huff and puff through the workout like I do through Level 3 of the Shred and BYM.

Next, I still haven't weighed myself; I just can't bring myself to do it. Despite the fact that (1) I feel great, (2) I'm eating healthy, and (3) my clothes are looser, I know that I won't be happy with the number on the scale. I know I need to track my progress to see if what I'm doing is paying off, but I just can't do it because I don't want to discourage myself from continuing to work hard.

This week I am going back to counting points. I don't have the money to join WW (it's all been spent on the personal trainer), but I still have all the stuff from my stint last summer, so we'll see if that works better for me than counting calories like I have been.

I stopped going to WW because I hit a plateau after losing 13 lbs, and I was having difficulty getting over that plateau. I won't be satisfied with losing those same 13 lbs over again, but if over the course of the next few weeks I can lose those 13 lbs, again, I think this time I am in a better place, and it will give me the boost of motivation I need to keep going.

I drafted a meal plan for the next two weeks. I calculated the points for each meal, breakast, lunch, and dinner. I should be able to stick to the plan; the question is whether I can stick to the points... There isn't much wiggle room in my allotted 21 points per day. (My flex points are mostly reserved for my weekend wine.)

This post got to be longer than I anticipated when I first sat down to write. So, if you're still reading, here's the part that relates to the post title. Part of the reason I decided to go back to counting points is because of my mother-in-law. You see, right around the time I started getting serious about losing weight again (late Feb/early March,) my MIL joind WW. Since then, she has lost 10 pounds. She has lost those 10 lbs merely by sticking to the points program, she has not incorporated an exercise program into her efforts to lose weight, at all. I have to say, I am slightly jealous of her success. To be fair, I have no idea how much, if any weight I have lost in comparison, but I know it's not 10 lbs, regardless. Also, the differences between us are too innumerable to adequately discuss, but the mains one are: she's 5'11", I'm 5'2", and she's 32 years older than me. I know these factors, and others, contribute to weight loss (or non-loss as the case my be). Obviously, I'm happy for my MIL, but I'm also jealous that I have not seen similar results given all of my own hard work.

So, my question for you is: How do you deal with the "green monster?"

When you see someone who is having more weight loss success than you, and you know they're not working at it as hard as you are, how do you deal with it? Do you use it as a motivation to keep going? If so, how do you use it as a motivation? What do you tell yourself? Do you change up your own routine?

I'm not downplaying my MIL's success by suggesting she's not "working at it as hard as I am," I simply mean that I'm working out so hard physically, almost daily... I'm talking literal "blood, sweat, and tears" (yes, I've been known to cry), and I'm not seeing results near a 10 lb loss. I know it's hard to eat right and stay within points; I get that, I've done that, I've been there, too. But for me, I've never been able to lose weight simply by following a healthy eating plan, I've always had to incorporate exercise into my own weight loss equation. So, help me out here. Put me in my place, if need be, but help me get over my jealousy with some much needed advice.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

2d30D22: Not creative, but feeling good

I didn't post this weekend, but I did do workouts for Days 20 and 21.

This morning I was up and at 'em by 6:20. I did Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred and 30 minutes of Yoga Sculpt. I haven't done Yoga Sculpt in a while and it felt really good. I must have tweaked my left knee a bit, because it was bothering me during the "dancing warrior series," but it was fine for everything else, including the Shred. The Shred felt good too. I still don't do the Rock Star Jumps, but I'm 100% happy with my efforts. I'm able to follow Natalie for all of the other moves!

I gave myself 4.5 activity points for this morning's workout. (3 pts for 25 mins of high intensity; 1.5 pts for 30 minutes of Yoga which is somewhere between moderate and high intensity, but probably closer to moderate.) I realized this morning, though, that most of my activity points are taken up by my protein drink, which comes in at 3 points.

Still haven't weighed myself. I almost talked myself into stepping on the scale, but I just couldn't do it. I have a doctor's appointment next week, so I will for sure step on the scale before then, because I don't want any surprises at the doctor's office.

Friday, May 1, 2009

2d30D19: A New Day

In keeping with my new efforts to wratchet up my weight loss, I worked out for just over an hour this morning. I decided to do Level 3 of 30 Day Shred and Cardio Yoga. I was really close to getting outside to run this morning, but I could hear wind howling, and I thought it was going to be cold. But, when I took my son to the bus stop a little while ago, I realized that it's a "warm" breeze. Maybe I'll run tomorrow as my warm-up.

Also, in keeping with my effort to eat less sugar, I skipped my morning OJ when I realized that it has a whopping 24 g of sugar. I knew OJ had a lot of sugar, but I had no idea it was more than half of the recommended 40 g of sugar alloted for an entire day.

I've already had more than 16 oz of water this morning, so I'm well on my way to 40 oz.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

2d30D18: Time to take it up a notch

I had a decent training session today. It was a bit rushed because of my personal time constraints, but I think we got in everything that I should have. I think I missed out on a treadmill "break" which would have been about 8-10 minutes of walking at a pace of 3.0 mph on a incline of 5 holding 10 lb weights. We basically did exercises that I've done before, we just did them with more intensity and increased weights. I purchased 8 more sessions because today was the last day of the 2 for 1 special. I still have 3 of the original 8 sessions left, and I'm not sure what I'll do after these next 8 are finished. Unless I find a job, I can't really afford the regular prices for the sessions. It jumps to $540 for 8 sessions compared to $240.

I reported earlier this week that with the warmer weather we were having, I tried on my summer clothes from last year and that most of them fit really well and some were even too loose. Well, I made the mistake of trying on some pre-pregnancy no. 2 clothes (I don't have any pre-pregnancy no. 1 clothes left, most were size 4, and I stopped kidding myself a long time ago that I would ever get back into those clothes.) Let's just say that the clothes I tried on still don't fit as well as I thought they should. So, with a mere 50 days before our anniversary vacation, it's time to take things up a notch.

1. As I write, I am drinking my last Diet Coke. I've been pretty good about not drinking too much caffeine, but when we had my husband's family over a few weeks ago, I bought a case of Diet Coke which I have been drinking. My goal is to drink at least 40 oz of water every day. I will keep track of my water intake in my food journal.

2. I am going to make a daily meal plan for one week and then use that as a basis for making meal plans for the following weeks. I'm good about planning dinners for the week for my family, but I don't usually plan my breakfasts or lunches, I just sort of grab what looks good when I'm making the kids' meals.

3. I am going to continue working out 6 days a week. I need to workout for at least one hour. As much as I love Jillian's 30 Day Shred and as hard as that workout is, I just don't think 20 minutes is long enough. I am going to attempt to amp up my C25K running efforts. I was doing well with that, but I just couldn't bring myself to run outside, now that it's just about May, I'm hoping the weather will cooperate, and I can start running outside. If I'm sore or sick again (or, God forbid, I contract Swine flu?!?!), I will do my best to workout anyway.

4. I am going to keep track of my sugar intake and try to keep it below 40 g.

5. No more "sneak bites." True Confession: Sometimes, when I'm getting my kids a snack, I'll sneak a bite or two of whatever I'm serving them. Usually it's something like a cracker or a Cheez-it, but I've been kidding myself that my "sneak bites" aren't hurting anything. It is truly only a bite or two, once or twice a day, but I don't account for these bites in my food journal. So, starting today, no more sneaking a bite or two of my kids' snacks.

I'm certain there are other changes I can make, and as they come to me I will try to incorporate them.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

2d30D17: Break

I am taking a well deserved break from working out today. It's my first break since a week ago Sunday.

I decided to take a break because my shoulders are sore. I'm not sure if I'm sore from my training session yesterday or from the push up challenge that I did last night during the Biggest Loser, but either way, I can barely raise my arms.

I'll get back at it tomorrow with another training session.

Updated the Title because I forgot to site the day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Box of Chocolates

When I sat down to write my first entry about my latest attempt to lose weight, I had no idea there was such a large community of weight loss bloggers out here on the web. I've been reading a lot of other blogs, and I've noticed so many creative blog names, which has me thinking about changing the name of my blog. I've come up with a few new names, but the one I keep coming back to is "My Box of Chocolates." It is, obviously, a slight variation on the quote from Forrest Gump. For me the title is about taking whatever life gives me (good or bad) and running with it. It is also an homage to (one of) my weaknesses when it comes to eating right, Chocolate.

The inspiration for the title also comes from an actual box of chocolates that I've been eating since Easter. I mentioned a while back that I bought myself a box of Pecan Torties when I took the kids to the Morley Candy Factory. For the past 2 1/2 weeks, I've eaten 1 piece of candy from that box each day since Easter, but for the past few days, there has been one lonely piece of candy left. I'm not sure why I haven't eaten it. I'm not saving it for anything. If my math is correct, the candies that I've already eaten represent just under 840 calories, 520 calories from fat, 56 grams of fat, and 80 carbohydrates, so honestly, what's one more piece of candy?

Is it a test of my willpower? my resolve? Am I holding onto it for a day when I "really, really NEED" a piece of chocolate? Is it some sort of commentary or symbol of my weight loss journey thus far? I'm not sure what it represents, but for some reason I haven't eaten it, yet.

I haven't committed to changing the name of my blog, and I'm not even sure that "My Box of Chocolates" is any more creative than "Julie's Weight Loss Challenge," but at least the "Chocolate" title has some meaning.

Edited to add: Today was 2d30D16 which I forgot to mention. I did not do a workout post. I had a training session with my trainer. The most memorable thing: he thinks he might have Swine flu! Really??!!? Really... he says he trains at least 9 people who travelled to Mexico for Spring Break, several of whom were sick when they returned.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm afraid of the scale

I can't step on the scale. I just can't do it. Despite what some people say, to me, the number on the scale is not "just a number," it is an indicator of whether all of my hard work is paying off or not.

I know I am working out hard, daily. I know I am making decent food choices 90% of the time. Yes, I have some indiscretions here and there, but I try to keep all things in moderation. So, if I step on that scale, and the number isn't lower than it was the last time I stepped on it, I know I will be frustrated or worse, quit all together. I'm determined not to let that happen, again, this time. So, for now, the scale will continue to sit on the bathroom floor, untouched. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing and hope that it's enough, and when I work up the nerve to step on the scale, hopefully I'll be satisfied with what I see. I don't know if that's the right approach for me for the long term, but for now, it has to be ok.

Accomplishments for this past week:

1. I worked out every day.
2. I ate well (ie made healthy choices) Monday through Saturday afternoon. (Saturday evening and Sunday, well, that's a different story.)
3. With the 80 degree weather we're having here, I pulled out my summer clothes from last year, and they all fit! In fact, some are quite a bit looser than they were last summer.

Goals for this week:
1. Finish out the week doing Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred.
2. Complete week 2 of the push up challenge.
3. Make healthy food choices
4. Only one mid-afternoon snack
5. No more ice cream, sorbet is ok.
6. Maybe step on the scale on May 1, maybe.
7. Drink more water.

That's all for now. I've got a training session tomorrow morning, so I won't be posting about my workout until later.

2d30D15: Mostly

For the most part, I followed Natalie for the third day in a row of Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred. I did my push up sets (for the 100 push ups challenge) yesterday, and my shoulders were really sore this morning, so I allowed myself to do the modified travelling push-ups. I did do Natlaie's version of the walking plank and the strength move where you're in a plank position, on your weights, and you lift one arm, then one leg, and then the other arm and other leg (I wish I knew the name for that exercise), so all in all, I followed Natalie as best as I could. Oh, yeah, I just remembered, I didn't do the Rock Star Jumps, I substituted "butt kicks," but I held onto my weights, so that has to count for something!

I'm still afraid to step on the scale. I've been working so hard, I know I faltered in the eating department a few times last week, but I'm trying really hard to keep my portion sizes down. I just want the scale to reflect all my hard work, and if it doesn't I know I'll get discouraged.

Right now, I'm just going by the fact that my clothes fit well. With the warm weather we had over the weekend, I was forced to pull out some shorts. In years past, when I've pulled out shorts after a long winter's hibernation, I've had to run to the store to buy new shorts, but this year, everything I have from last year fits just fine. So, that's a good sign...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I need some vegetables!

What a terrible weekend... at least it was in the "making healthy choices in the eating department." I should say the last 24 hours of the weekend have not been so great. It all started when we decided to take advantage of the glorious 80 degree weather by hanging out with our neighbors. I had good intentions, really, I did. For my contribution to the party, I cut up some veggies and made some fat free dip. My plan was to munch on the veggies and use the dip sparingly. I was going to allow myself 2 or 3 glasses of wine.

Well, needless to say, I didn't stick to my plan. The wine tasted too good, and the veggies just weren't cutting it compared to the spinach and artichoke dip, the chips and salsa, and the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

If that had been the end of my weekend binge, I probably wouldn't be writing about it. No, we decided to try out this new burger joint near our house called "Five Guys Burgers and Fries." No matter how many good choices you make for topping a burger (mustard instead of ketchup and mayo for example), it's still a burger loaded with a ton of calories. I also had intentions of not ordering fries, which I did stick to, but that didn't keep me from eating the unclaimed fries in the bottom of the bag or from eating them off my daughter's plate.

Again, if that were the end of my poor meal choices for the weekend, well, that would not be noteworthy, either. The penultimate poor choice came this evening.

My husband noticed that we had a coupon for a local ice cream shop that was set to expire at the end of the month, of course we had to use it. Driving over to the shop and even walking through the doors straight to the cooler where the sorbets were supposed to be, I intended to order a single scoop of one of the sorbets. However, the sorbet choices were not in the same spot as they were last year, and of course, I spotted a flavor that I really wanted to try... Raspberry Chip Cheesecake. I should have stopped at the teeny-tiny taste that I asked for, but no, I ordered a single scoop on a cone. I was going to stop eating once I got to the cone part, really, I was. And, just as I took my first bite into the cone, my son dropped his not even half-eaten cone of Superman Ice Cream on the floor. Like any loving mother, I swooped in and gave him the rest of my ice cream. I'm not sure he enjoyed Raspberry Chip Cheesecake ("It doesn't taste like cheese, does it mom?" he asked.) as much as he was enjoying his Superman flavor, but he was thankful for the ice cream, and I saved myself additional unncessary calories. So, I guess it was win-win for both of us.

Tomorrow, back to making healthy choices.

2d30D14: Level 3, repeat

I did it again! I did level 3 of the 30 Day Shred for the second day in a row, and I followed Natalie! The only move I have difficulty with is the "Rock Star Jumps." I can feel my brain jarring around when I do those, so I must admit that I look more like Anita when I do them. I can only manage a half kick. That said, I'm really proud of my efforts!

I still have to do my 100 push ups sets, but I forgot what the sets are. I'll finish those up just as soon as I hit publish.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

2d30D13: I followed Natalie!

I followed Natalie while doing Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred! I've done level 3 before, but I've always followed Anita's modifications. So, when I got my DVD back yesterday and decided to do Level 3, I also decided to follow "bad ass" Natalie.

I haven't done Level 3 in at least 2 months, and I forgot how hard it was, I mean really, really hard, especially if you don't do the wussy modifications. Honestly, there isn't one move that is easy. From the "walking plank up-up/down-downs" all the way through to the "Rock Start Jumps," all the moves are killer, and I hate them all. I hate the jumping squats and the "weighted plank-hold, arm and leg raise" move and the "Supermans." Jillian even takes the good old "jumping jack" to the next level by making us use weights. Ok, maybe the "one-armed squat clean and presses" might be considered by some to be "easier," but you're so tired by the time you get to those, that it's not as easy as it looks.

I was pretty spent at the end of the workout. I started to do Yoga Sculpt after the Shred, but I was dripping with sweat and wasn't into it. So, I stopped about 2 minutes in and started the Cardio Autonomy Yoga routine again. It's more relaxing. The pace is slower, and I get more of a stretch because you hold the poses longer. It was just what I needed after Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Let's Get Shredical

I got my Shred DVD back from my sister today. So, I guess that means I'm doing Level 3 tomorrow. I've been doing Level 2 On Demand, but I think I'm ready to move on to Level 3. My plan is to finish out the month with Level 3 of the Shred.

2d30D12: Motivation Interruptus

I don't ask for much, really, I don't. My 3 year old has an annoying propensity for waking up way too early, usually right in the middle of my workout. Usually she just has to use the bathroom, and she'll go right back to bed. However, now that it's light out at 6:30, she wants to stay awake. Depending on a number of factors like the time, my mood, her mood, etc, I may or may not make her go back to bed. If I'm in the middle of my work out, I'll let her watch TV while I finish up.

This morning, she woke up around 6:45. I had just finished my "52 Card" training session, and I had started 45 minutes of Cardio Yoga Autonomy. My daughter said she didn't want to watch TV, she wanted to watch me do Yoga. I knew at the time that was a bad idea, but I didn't want to stop in the middle of my sun salutations to turn on the TV anyway.

Her watching me lasted for approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds, which is about 1 minute longer than I thought she would. She got up to start a "project" that involved "tape." I warned her that I didn't want to be interrupted and that she'd have to work on her project quietly, by herself. Obviously, she didn't understand that instruction because she proceeded to interrupt me every few minutes with another request. I'll spare the details of the yelling that went on after the 3rd or 4th time (I'm not proud, but I was mad!). I quit my yoga practice, and she has agreed that she will take a nap this afternoon so I can do my 45 minutes of Yoga. I hope I'm motivated to do it.

Updated: MIL saves the day. My MIL called this morning to ask if she could take the kids out for lunch and ice cream. I told her about my morning show down with Madison and said that it would be lovely if she would take the kids for me for an hour so I could finish my Yoga. Now that I'm done with my Yoga, I feel much calmer. No more yelling today.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

2d30D11: Almost Motivated

I had a great session today with my trainer. I was mildly concerned that I would be weak because I haven't pushed myself very hard the past few days when I was sick, but I worked as hard as I could. I'm feeling much better except for a lingering stuffy nose.

It was just me again today for most of my session. I'm afraid I'm going to get spoiled if I don't start having another person there, but I'm fine either way. I'm sure if I were going early in the morning or later in the evening, there would be more people training. The high-lights from today's session:

1) Barbell/core presses.
2) Five point planks. This exercise was new to me, and it was killer. I had to hold myself in a plank position, lift one leg, lift the other, lift one arm, lift the other, and then push myself all he way down to the mat and then back up to a plank position. I did 3 sets of 12 of those babies.
3) Squats with shoulder presses holding 7 lb weights.
4) Deadlift/squat/press combination.

I left the gym feeling pretty good. My trainer said I did a great job. I'm really hoping that this great feeling translates into some new motivation this weekend and beyond. I made my appointments for next week: Tues at 10 and Thurs at 9:45.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Card Party or 52 Card Pick Up?

If I was more creative, I could come up with a great name for this workout plan I heard Jillian describe last night on The Biggest Loser. I'm always looking for ways to change up my workout, and this sounds like something fun to try.

Here's how it works: Shuffle an ordinary deck of playing cards. Draw a card one at a time. Diamonds represent push ups. Do lunges for Hearts. Spades are crunches, and do reverse crunches for all Clubs. The number on the card drawn is the number of repetitions for each exercise. Face cards are 10, and Aces are a one minute break.

I'm going to try this on Friday. I might modify the plan for my own purposes. First, I don't think I'll do the reverse crunches for club cards, instead I'm going to rotate through a few different exercises: (a) dead lifts with bicep curls, (b) squats with shoulder presses, (c) squats and (d) tricep kick backs in a chair squat. I'll use 5 lb weights for the lunges and the crunches. I also may throw in a few butterfly/leg raises in place of some of the crunches to work my lower abs.

2d30D10: Ugh!

I didn't want to get up when the alarm went off at 5:45. I didn't want to get up when the first snooze went off 8 minutes later, so I re-set the alarm for 20 minutes (no use snoozing when I know I'm not getting up.)

For the next 20 minutes I had to talk myself into getting up to work out. I was trying to think of different combinations of workouts that I could try that might motivate me. I did "No More Trouble Zones" the quick version yesterday, and as I wrote, I felt like I could do more. "Boost Your Metabloism" I find to be really hard, and I wasn't in the mood to push myself that hard. The DVD is mostly cardio work and no weights, whereas "NMTZ" uses weights throughout most of it. So I settled on doing 30 minutes of "BYM" for the cardio followed by 30 minutes of "NMTZ." It turned out to be just fine.

I'm glad I got up to exercise, now I'm done for the day. I feel good about myself for exercising when I feel so unmotivated, but I still don't like the fact that I'm dreading it every time I do it. I've got to snap myself out of this exercise funk. Maybe tomorrow, after my training session, I'll come out with some new motivation.

Edited to add: As I was showering after I wrote this entry, I was wondering if it being "that time of the month" has anything to do with my lack of motivation...I'm not sure, but I thought I'd mention it given that I'm trying to track my ups and downs with this blog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

HYC check in

A brief pre-cursor to this post: I started drafting the post (below) early last week shortly after I joined the challenge. I was full of motivation and feeling pretty good about my accomplishments. Then I got sick, and if you read the entries from my blog last week, I lost most of my motivation and drive. I'm still working on kicking myself back into gear. For me, once I start faltering, the "wheels come off" and my previous efforts are all wasted. I'm really hoping that I don't wallow for too much longer. Hopefully, this challenge is just what I need to keep myself accountable.

Here's the blog entry I started last week...
I recently joined the Healthy You Challenge over at "Scale Junkie," and this is my first check-in post, so I thought I'd do a little introductory post that touches on the following topics: Who I am; How I got to be overweight; What my motivations are; What my goals are; and What I'm doing to get and stay healthy.

First thing's first, my name is Julie, and I live in SE Michigan with my husband and two kids. I am currently "between jobs" as a litigation attorney and trying to enjoy this opportunity to stay home with my kids. Like many stay at home moms I know, I'm a bit bored and sometimes a bit lonely.

Who, me?! Overweight? I never used to think so, and in fact, if I'm honest with myself, I was probably in denial about my weight for a while. I've always hated stepping on the scale. Before I had my first child, I never considered myself overweight. I have never in my life been "skinny," I was always "just normal." Before I had kids, my biggest concern was my "chunky" thighs.

Things changed during my first pregnancy. I had several complications starting in the second trimester and ended up on bed rest for four months. Not that I was active during my pregnancy before the complications, but I went completely inactive and packed on 60 pounds by the time I gave birth. I was able to lose all but 10 of those pounds before I got pregnant with my second child. I didn't gain nearly as much weight the second time around, but after I gave birth, the weight didn't come off as easily as it had the first time.

My weight seems to have settled around 140 lbs, which on my 5'2" frame is about 15-20 pounds too heavy for me. I'm hoping that with a lot of hard work and eating right, I can get down close to 120 lbs.

I re-dedicated myself to losing weight this past February. I have also dedicated myself to making sure that I set a good example for my kids by living a healthier lifestyle and eating balanced meals every meal, every day. Since that time I have been doing the following things to lead a healthy lifestyle for my family and for myself:
1. My goal is to work out 5-6 days every week. I set a plan for the week which I try to follow, I allow myself to modify the plan as the week progresses, if certain "life" issues start creeping up, but I still aim for 5-6 workout sessions. I have several workout DVDs that I use which incorporate cardio and strength training. My favorites are Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, and a series of DVDs by Jari Love. Lately, I've tried to incorporate the C25K program into my weekly routine, but I don't belong to a gym, I don't have a treadmill, and the weather here in Michigan is just now getting to the point where I'm comfortable with walking/running outside in the morning. I also just started working with a personal trainer 2 days a week, however, scheduling those sessions around the kids' schedules has become more of a challenge than I anticipated. I also love to do Yoga and try to do it at least 3 times a week either as a stand-alone workout or at the end of a shorter workout, like 30 Day Shred.

2. I've also been very diligent about writing down everything I eat and keeping track of my calories. My goal is to stay between 1200-1400 calories.

3. I've tried to incorporate more whole grains into my family's diet, and I've tried to eliminate almost everything "white" from our diet, like white rice, white flour, sugar, bread, etc. I am more conscious of food labels, and I try to avoid products with HFCS, but that is a lot harder than I ever knew it would be.

4. In order to get more fruits and veggies into our diets, one thing that I have started doing is to cut the veggies up immediately after getting home from the store, and putting them in storage containers. This makes them more "convenient" for the kids (and me) to grab when we're looking for a snack. No more having to peel and cut when the snack attack hits, it's already done.

I guess that's all for now. I look forward to inspiring and to be inspired by those of you who are also challenging yourselves to be healthier!