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Let’s try this again

February 11, 2016

A quick re-cap of the past few years (and I forgot where I left off, so I’ll just go back to 2012):

  • Met a boy (actually a man 5 years older than me, but boy is easier)
  • Got very serious with boy (the L word and co-habitation was involved)
  • Got engaged to said boy ūüôā
  • Planned a wedding with amazing efficiency due to the fact that I’m a Project Manager and my chosen life partner is awesome
  • Bought wedding dress – a very pretty, very elegant, backless wedding dress
  • Have kept up with my running, triathlons, etc., and the various injuries that come along with it.
  • Realized along the way that I’ve gained about 30 lbs (a lot of this is muscle but still, not healthy)

So what happened? ¬†Well, I’m going to partially make excuses and just say that work is crazy, but that doesn’t cover all of it. ¬†I got super lax on my diet, which is the real reason. ¬†And I don’t mean diet with a capital D, I mean every day, eating the right things, etc.

Two years ago, I was training for an Olympic triathlon and trying to lost weight. ¬†I got down to 183 lbs and stalled. Now, I consider that a healthy weight for me. ¬†I looked good, I felt good, and I had energy. ¬†The problem was that I wasn’t eating a lot of carbs, and working out for 3 hours a day (see Olympic triathlon training).

So I went to see a nutritionist, who was awesome. ¬†She gave me some tips for fueling for training, and “gave me permission” to eat carbs. ¬†My athletic performance did really well with this. ¬†I figured out why I get tummy aches when I run long distances, and I wasn’t dragging during the second half of my 3 hour long bike rides.

Problem was, after my races, I was burnt out. ¬†I didn’t sit on a bike for 6 months, and my knee was a bit hurt, so I cut back on my running. ¬†But I continued to eat like I had been eating before. ¬†And I gained weight.

I wrestled with some GI issues through the winter of 2014-2015, and they forced me to re-evaluate my eating again.  I got somewhat back on track, but my portion control was out of whack.  I also used the 2015 racing season as an excuse (not really an excuse) to not limit portion sizes.

So now, here we are. ¬†The beginning of 2016, and I have a major life event in a little under 8 months. ¬†Please be clear that I am not intending to lose 50 lbs in 8 months. ¬†Frankly, I do not have the time, patience, or energy anymore. ¬†I’m an old lady (not really, but I’m not 26 any more). ¬†I want to get back to my healthy life style. ¬†I want to be happy with myself, and not get angry every time I walk in front of a mirror.

And, as I am now older, I think I’m also wiser. ¬†I know that I cannot survive on 1200 calories a day. ¬†Operationally, I probably could – logistically it’s impossible. ¬†So, I’ve been thinking a lot about this, so the following is what I’m committing to:

  • Cut down on processed food/sugar
    • No cookies, cupcakes, etc. ¬†If I have a sweet craving, I can have some dark chocolate or one of my graze snacks.
    • Convert my second coffee in the morning to unsweetened iced tea. ¬†I still get the caffeine, but I save some sugar and calories.
  • 10,000 steps 7 days a week
    • Work gave everyone a fitness tracker as a means to promote company wellness. ¬†It’s a fun little device, and I’m even able to covert steps from running and biking. ¬†10,000 is the baseline. ¬†Sometimes I’m even able to get up to 20,000 if I’m running and biking, but we’re going to start realistic.
  • Eat more damn vegetables
    • I used to munch on raw vegetables all day, and got out of that practice because I just ran out of time to food prep.
    • When I got down to 184, the fiance and I were doing a weight loss challenge together. ¬†Part of our success was how many vegetables we ate. ¬†We had zucchini noodles several times a week (with other stuff, obviously). ¬†We need to incorporate that back into our daily life.
  • Eat carbs smartly.
    • I started having oatmeal and berries for breakfast again, as a way to fuel myself for the day.
    • As my training ramps up for the summer, I’m going to use some of the tools I got from my nutritionist to fuel my morning work outs. ¬†Some of these tips include having dried prunes before a work out, or having popcorn at night, as a way to set myself up for success in the morning.
  • Plan my work outs
    • My fiance calls me Captain OCD. ¬†I’m a planner. ¬†I’m one of the odd people who enjoyed developing multiple spreadsheets for wedding planning. ¬†I used to have a super-detailed work out plan, and ¬†I need to get back into that. ¬†My goal is to plan out a month at a time (more on this in the next bullet).
  • Get back to biking more!
    • After 8 years at the same gym, I decided to make a switch. ¬†The old gym¬†wasn’t offering as many spin sessions as before, and the ones they did offer were at an inconvenient time for me. ¬†So I wound up spending a lot of money to go to a boutique studio near work that offered spin classes that fit in my schedule. ¬†Now, disclaimer – I LOVE this studio. ¬†If I was rich I’d go there exclusively and just use my apt. complex’s gym for the treadmill and elliptical. ¬†Alas, I must live life on a budget, so I switched major gyms. ¬†The new gym is closer to home and work, and has an abundance of classes. ¬†It also has a larger facility, a pool, and cardio machines that each have TVs and all FUNCTION. ¬†It’s been a big change, but one for the better. ¬†This gives me the opportunity to take more spin classes, and the spin rooms are so large that there’s almost never a danger of not having a bike. ¬†It’s amazing. I still go to the boutique studio a few times a week for yoga and one longer, super hard spin class, but this had definitely helped my budget out.
  • Actually do strength training
    • Recently I had a super annoying assessment with a personal trainer, who insisted that to lose weight I had to work out only 3x a week and each session should be 25 minutes of cardio (NO MORE), 25 minutes of lifting). ¬†That’s it. ¬†When I explained that I usually do a lot of cardio due to my endurance goals, I got a lecture. ¬†So I did not sign up for personal training. ¬†The only thing that I took from that session (other than a confirmation of how I feel about personal trainers), is that it would probably help my back if I did some strength training, focusing mostly on upper body/back. ¬†I bought a few books – “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” and “Strong Curves” and I went through and made myself a lifting program for the next few weeks. ¬†The thing about this program that I designed for myself is that it fits in with the other things that I want to do – running, biking, swimming, yoga – and isn’t taking anything away, just adding.
    • Full disclosure – when we get to the summer, I may consider actually signing up with a personal trainer to help me with an extra push closer to the wedding, but it will be at a different gym location, and I’m requesting a woman (my tiny bit of sexism is showing).
  • In general, just get back to exercising more
    • I used to work out 2x a day during the week. ¬†I kind of want to get back to that, or at least get back to doing it a few times a week (more than I am now). ¬†My fiance has a weird schedule, so I do keep some nights open so I can actually see him, but I think I’ve been using that as excuse for too long. ¬†I’m often super tired after work (7 am conference calls will do that to you), and where I used to do maybe a lighter work out, or take a class that didn’t require thinking), I now just go home. ¬†I’ve recently gotten into the habit of taking a walk with my neighbor and her dog, but I think I also need to step it up.
  • Go back to writing about this stuff.
    • I have no idea if anyone actually reads this, but I think the act of writing it down is actually therapeutic for me. ¬†I love my fiance, and he wants to support me through everything and anything, but this is a really personal, me-centric thing that I have to get right¬†in my own head. ¬†He does help when I ask him to hide Nutella for me, though. ¬†Because I have no self control and sometimes things need to be put where I can’t find them. ūüôā

I’m not going to lie. ¬†Some of this is so I look banging in my wedding dress and on my honeymoon (which, funny enough, only thing not planned). ¬†But most of is that I want to be healthy. ¬†As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to hold a lot of fat in my stomach and butt area – which is totally not good! ¬†So yes, I’m going to be working on it.

 

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Then again, maybe not

April 26, 2013

I was all gung ho about working out twice today. ¬†I even talked to the boy about how I was going to go to the gym this afternoon and he’d have time to do some work at my apartment.

Then I woke up and found that every muscle in my body was screaming bloody murder. ¬†Especially my calves and hamstrings. ¬†And I have to be careful with tightness in my hamstrings so that I don’t pull my back muscles. ¬†The knee bone is connected to the leg bone, etc.¬†

I personally believe that active recovery is the way to go, so I’m axing plans to do any bone-pounding cardio today, and I’m just going to go to the pool. ¬†Since my arms are also super sore, I’ll probably do skill drills instead of just straight swimming for 45 minutes. ¬†

I’m planning on making steak in wine and butter sauce for dinner, so I have to be super awesome with eating up until that point. ¬†Especially since tomorrow I’m going to a wedding, and I’m anticipating lots and lots of yummy food ūüôā

Now if I could only figure out what I’m wearing.

So I need a new scale

April 25, 2013

Again, my scale told me I was 192.1.¬† Now, this is slightly ridiculous.¬† I jumped on my old (broken scale) and that one said 192.2.¬† Last week when I was 192.1 on the other scale, the old one said I was 194.4.¬† So basically what I’m saying is, at least I know that I’m doing something, but I need to replace that scale.¬† Silly Weight Watchers scale. ¬†I’ll deal with that next week, for now I’ll just use the broken one.

I did get up and get my butt to the gym this morning. ¬†I wound up doing 30 minutes on the elliptical and then a strength training circuit. ¬†I added a few things to the work out my trainer gave me, and I felt pretty good. ¬†My legs were TIRED, though. ¬†I decided to work from home today, so I’m just hanging out in shorts and my compression socks, hoping this helps give them a little break.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do tomorrow. ¬†I do need to get a swim in, but I’m on the fence about if I want to run or do the stairmaster. ¬†The easier thing would probably be running, and save the stairs for my pre-wedding (not mine) work out on Saturday.

For the rest of the day I’m just going to focus on muscle recovery and eating yummy food, but not too much of it ūüôā

It’s about time to break out those compression socks

April 24, 2013

I seriously did mean to write more today, but the whole job thing got in the way.

Eating was pretty good – I capped out under 1400 calories, and that includes an hour of cardio.¬† I was able to run today for the first time in over a week.¬† I did 3 miles and then jumped on the elliptical for another 25 minutes.¬† My legs are feeling a little tired – could be the fact that i did the stairmaster and swam yesterday – so I didn’t want to stress them out too much by running a lot.¬† I’m satisfied with almost an hour of mixed cardio.¬†

I’ve decided to work from home tomorrow.¬† Sitting up all day at work is still bothering my back, so I’ll just stay home and work from my living room floor.¬† The funny thing is that as soon as I started running, the pressure in my lower back loosened.¬† Everything that everyone tells me about herniated discs says that this shouldn’t happen, but oh well.¬†

My workout plan tomorrow includes doing a little more work on the stairmaster and then doing my strength training work out of the week.¬† I think I’m going to do a circuit of cardio and weights, but I haven’t decided yet.¬† I want Friday to be another double work out day, so I’m really not going to put my body through so much cardio tomorrow.¬† My knees want a beak and my calves are screaming.

As soon as I got home from the gym I made myself a fabulous omelette with turkey, avocado and tomatoes and I applied copious amounts of ice to my knees and shins¬† I’m not sitting here wearing my stylish compression socks, hoping that it helps to get rid of some of the knots that I’ve acquired in my upper calves.¬† My arms are still super tired from swimming yesterday, so rolling them with the massage stick may not have been too effective.

I have to say, I really did miss this “working out so hard that you’re so exhausted that you pass out at 9:30” thing.¬†

I kinda want to do this

April 24, 2013

I wonder if it will hurt or help my back.  

 

da mo 1103 Daily motivation (25 photos)

I’m seriously over this

April 23, 2013

So I got strep throat. ¬†Again. ¬†And had to go on antibiotics. ¬†Again. ¬†For those of you keeping score, that’s twice in 3 weeks. ¬†Yeah, that apparently IS possible. ¬†Who knew?! I also managed to tweak my back in the process, so I spent most of last week laying on my living room/bedroom floor with my laptop on my knees and a heating pad on my back. I pretty much survived on salty soup and tea. ¬†Okay, and chocolate, because I also got my period in the midst of all this. ¬†Yay.¬†

I’m so goddamn over being sick it’s ridiculous. ¬†I’m going to be completely honest and say that I did spend a lot of last week crying. ¬†I know I’ve gained weight, and I want to do something about it, but every time I get into a groove, I get sick again. ¬†I don’t know if it’s because I’m in a relationship and I’m encountering someone else’s germs (and their entire 5th grade class) or if it’s just because this year is awful for sickness, etc. ¬†But frankly, I’m effing over it. ¬†

I didn’t weigh myself, I didn’t track my eating and I didn’t really exercise all that much. ¬†I did make it to the pool a few times. ¬†The swimming really does help with the back pressure and pain, but me being contagious for half of last week really (morally) prevented me from going into open areas where I might be¬†ingesting¬†water then spitting it out in the general public. ¬†Yes, I’m 31 and I still get water in my mouth when I swim. ¬†What of it?

I’ll start weighing myself again sometime this week. ¬†I started tracking again yesterday, and I have meals planned out for the rest of the week.

I have a wedding on Saturday, and I thought¬†I had an outfit planned out, until I tried it on and it looked awful. And then I tried on all of my other dresses, and they looked awful. ¬†I realize that I shouldn’t do this while I’m retaining more water than the Titanic, but I’m also impulsive. ¬†I went to Nordstrom Rack last night (where have you been all of my life) and managed to pick up a pretty inexpensive fancy dress, so I’ll wait until Thursday and view my wardrobe options again. ¬†I’m hoping most of the swelling will be gone by then, in addition to my digestive system getting back to normal after all of the bacterial in my body have been pulverized. ¬†

The one thing I noticed is that my butt is getting big. ¬†Yeah, yeah, no self-hatred, etc etc, and I’m not trying to talk down on myself, it was just an observation. ¬†My ass is expanding. ¬†I started to think about what has “changed” in my life that would cause it to get bigger. ¬†

  • Sitting down all day (don’t get my mid-day walk)
  • Not doing the stairmaster

So, today I’ve taken steps to rectify this. ¬†Remember how I paid an additional, one-time fee so I could use all of the gyms in my specific gym chain (as a result of my gym getting rid of my stairmaster)? ¬†Yeah, well, I pretty much stopped going to that club. ¬†Running a lot and doing the stairmaster concurrently really takes a toll on my knees, but since we’re back in tri season and I really don’t have to run that much, I think I can handle a little bit extra on my old buddy. ¬†

So, last night I packed a few bags and went to bed at a semi-decent hour. ¬†The boy slept over, and as soon as he left I made my way to the gym. ¬†I did about 35 minutes + 5 minutes of a cool down on random, and boy did it kick my butt. ¬†When I was done I was completely covered in sweat and I.FELT.AWESOME. ¬†I missed that machine SO much. ¬†I still have to swim after work, but the swimming can actually be some nice recovery for my muscles and my knees. ¬†So, going forward, I’m going to try to get to the stairmaster at least twice a week. ¬† Considering that my back is acting up, this may actually be a good thing, as I can use it to work on my endurance for biking, as opposed to taking 2 spin classes in a row and risk really hurting my back.

I can’t really do MUCH about sitting down all day at work. ¬†I don’t have an office where I can get a standing desk, and there’s no where to walk to. ¬†I’m also not disciplined enough to sit with the correct posture. ¬†And then I remembered how a former co-worker of mine had a stability ball chair that she used. ¬†She also would lay down at her desk (as I am prone to do) and she said that it really helped with her posture. ¬†The internet is a twitter about the countless benefits of having a stability ball chair, but the consistent ones (and those that make the most sense) are it helps you strengthen your core and corrects your posture. ¬†There are conflicting arguments on if it will help with lower back pain, but I do know that I when I sit correctly my back hurts less. ¬†And I also know that I need to strengthen my core to prevent further back injury. So we’ll see how this works. ¬†

I’ve also told myself that I need to do core strengthening exercises each day. ¬†Whether it be sit ups or planks, I can take 5 minutes out of my day to make sure that I’m not going to further rupture the upset discs in my spine. ¬†I need to, because I really really really don’t want surgery…

 

Blech

April 12, 2013

Weight

  • Starting: 196
  • Current: 192.1 (-3.9)

So, uh, yeah.¬† Not sure what’s going on.¬† PMS, sure.¬† So whatever, keep on going.

I didn’t work out last night.¬† I had a really bad day, and I opted to take a break around lunch to grab a cupcake and sit outside in the sun.¬† I felt better until I went back to work, when things got progressively worse.

Sooo….I decided to take time off from the gym to let the ole’ ankle heal and head to the mall.¬† My target was a light weight comforter for my bed, but Macy’s had nothing…so I bought a new dress.¬† A pretty dress.¬† Thankfully, I have plenty of weddings this year, so it won’t go to waste ūüôā

I have to swim today.¬† HAVE TO.¬† I don’t want to, but¬† I will.¬† I may also run, or do some elliptical work.¬† I don’t really have anything to do prior to 7pm, and that’s a lot of hours to fill, so why not fill them at the gym? ūüôā