What's with the name?

What's with the name? In my mid-twenties, I had essentially gone through one kind of life and am starting to enter another. The people that are probably going to read this blog know exactly what I'm talking about - but for those who don't know, here's a brief rundown . Cheers to Chapter 2! A journey in health in many ways, and to be the best version of myself I can possibly be. I am also a blogger for GreenMommas.com. This is my blog.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Week 26 Recap : Overcoming a funk

I've been in a bit of a funk this week. I've been this way before. I over-criticize myself and even though I know I've come a long way and have worked hard, sometimes I can't get over my own self image. Tuesday I tried on four different outfit combinations and couldn't figure out anything [in my mind] that I actually looked good in. This week I had a really hard time getting past the 'fat' that was still left and seeing the actual progress I've made. At multiple times I looked at my profile image and thought that I still looked really big, which I know I don't, but my mind tells me I do. This had a pretty good effect on my workouts this week - as a motivator to try harder - but I KNOW it's not good to think of myself in such a negative way.

I decided it was time for some 'me' time - and not the crazy workout kind. The fact is, at this point I am swimming in a lot of my clothes and still wearing the same clothes as I was 41 pounds ago is not helping my self image. I think this is what is making me see the same person I was almost six months ago. The clothes I am wearing are big and old - most of them over three years. I figure I had done so much work on the physical me, and spiritual me, why not go superficial with it? After all, with all this work I've done so far I deserve a treat, no? Now, here is another reminder that I should get at, and stay at a healthy weight. It is expensive to lose a lot of weight [also to gain a lot of weight]. Now I need to buy clothes, but not too many because I am hoping I'll be swimming in the new clothes I purchase a few months down the road. Buying a new wardrobe every few months is not in my budget by any means. So I decided to spend $5 in clothes for every pound I lose. As soon as the weather gets a little cooler, I'll invest in my outer image a little bit more.

Workout this week :

Monday : Spin & Sculpt [450 cal]/20 min treadmill run [177 cal] = 627 calories

Tuesday : Bodypump = 400 calories

Wednesday : Spin & Sculpt [430 calories]/Bootcamp [575 cal] = 1005 calories

Thursday : Walk 2.6 miles = 320 calories

Sunday : Mt Philo Hike = 488 calories

I did a little less activity than I would've liked to this week. Friday was a bit of a bust - I should've run before work in the morning and I ended up missing the Cyctone class because of a haircut appointment. Although, the haircut was surely needed, and helped with a slight boost in my self confidence.

I lost a pound last week, I am still averaging 1.5lbs/week which is really good. Actually, I'm quite surprised it's kept us this long but I think it's because I keep a large variety of different workouts in my weekly routine so my body doesn't get used to one thing. This week is going to be a bit of a challenge trying to fit my workouts in. I'll be running around trying to get my little one ready for kindergarten! I keep finding reasons to keep going strong - this week an invite to my 10 year high school reunion came around. It's not until next summer, which means not only could I be at my goal weight, I could be in the best shape of my life, better than I was in high school!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Week 25 Recap : The New Normal

This week, I was presented with the opportunity (on more than one occasion) not to work out. When I think about that sentence, not working out is really not an opportunity, I guess. Let me explain. As most know, I am very lucky to have all the fitness resources I could dream of, for free. I am so thankful that I can get up from my desk and have a great workout during lunch, choosing from a variety of fitness classes provided by my employer. Therefore, I have gotten myself in to a schedule over the last five months to get up at lunch, and complete a class that I really enjoy. Coming in to work Tuesday morning, my strength training class was canceled for a company meeting. Then Friday, a meeting was called at the same time as my cyctone class. I had an option here - just scratch my workout for these days or find a plan B. Although I don't enjoy it as much, I did have the option of running after work, which is exactly what I did. I ran a 5k on the treadmill both days. On Friday I gave myself an added challenge of shaving a minute off the previous 5k time of 39.5 minutes that I had done at the end of June. I didn't do it - instead of 1 min, I shaved 2 min off my previous time and got to the 3.1 mile mark at 37.5 minutes. I am proud and although for some that would be a considerably slow time, I'm still improving and am much faster than I used to be. It felt really good.

Finally got around to the down 40lbs pics. I even did a side view this time, and not a crappy cell phone pic since I finally figured out how to do continuous photos with my Nikon digital on a 30 second timer. Click...30 seconds...pose...30 seconds...pose. Here they are:

The most noticeable difference for me is in my face. I guess the smaller waist is there too, although I am not seeing a ton of difference in the side view, which is a little frustrating. I did actually get a compliment the other day on my 'slimmer profile', though, so maybe I have the proportions off a little. Sigh. Pics are always a great reminder not only of how far I've come, but how far I have to go. 

After nearly six months at this, I believe I have finally settled in to a new normal way of doing things. My lifestyle has been adjusted significantly, but I still live a little. I really LOVE to LIVE. Friday we went out for some drinks and a bite to eat. I am privileged to live in [what I consider to be] a mecca of local and delicious food - VT! Just in Burlington there are so many options for delicious food that is sourced locally. If you are limiting yourself to those mediocre chain restaurants and you're living in the green mountain state, branch out! We have excellent food here for reasonable prices. We ventured out to try a new place - Pizzeria Verita, the former spot of 156 Bistro. Now, I've had my bad experiences with 156 so I was pretty exited to see it go in lieu of some fresh perspective on flatbread. I was thinking probably what a lot of you are : does BTV really need another pizza place? Eat here once, and your answer will indisputably be yes. This is a pizza of a whole different kind, folks. Starting with a small plate of foccacia, warm goat cheese and cured meats that rival some of the best I've ever had (in Italy), we ordered the Mais pizza to split (portion is meant for one person). The Mais pizza was, for lack of a better word, incredible. A cooked-to-perfection white pizza with delightfully salty prosciutto, sweet corn and basil. This is no American Flatbread. The crust had a earthy wooded taste, more like a grilled pizza, not too crunchy, but nicely chewy - puffed perfection. Delicioso!

Foodie spiel aside, I want to be clear that this is a manageable lifestyle I am trying to implement. I enjoy incredible food, wine and cocktails as I see fit - and then go for a nice elevation hike the next day :). It's all about balance and not overdoing it. I still want to enjoy everything life has to offer and not limit myself so much that I am bitter when I see someone take a bite of cake or pizza.

Now, as you may have noticed above, I hit the 40lb mark this week - and passed it. August totals : -5lbs / -41 total, which means another two pounds lost this week. I expected the 2lbs given the amount of work I put in.

Workout this week:

Monday : Spin & Sculpt (520 cal)/Treadmill run 2 miles (248 cal) = 768 calories burned

Tuesday : Treadmill 5k = 480 calories burned

Wednesday : Spin & sculpt (500 cal)/Bootcamp!(526 cal) = 1026 calories burned

Thursday : 2.6 mile walk = 300 calories burned

Friday : treadmill 5k = 490 calories

Saturday : Catamount trail hike 2 hrs 40 min : 1032 calories [new record!!!]

Now, if we do some quick math here - I actually burned 4144 calories this week just with my workouts. That's 1.2ish pounds, which is pretty amazing. I put some seriously hard work in this week with two double workout days plus a long hike on Saturday.

I really took a moment today to thank myself for all the hard work I've done in the last 5.5 months. In my brain it sounds something like this : "hey me, I know you started this journey at the beginning of a long road that seemingly had no end. But thanks for taking the time. I feel awesome, thanks to you." Although I may be only a little over 1/3 of the way through toward my ultimate goal, 41lbs is a lot of weight lost. I'm thankful for every rep, walk, run and drop of sweat that it took to get me here.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Week 24 Recap : Three Golden Rules

I had a bit of blogger's block this week thinking about what I should write about for this recap. Usually I can just start typing on the page and it comes to me. Well, not this week. I thought about blogging about a recipe or new workout but I wanted to dig a little bit deeper. Then today, someone asked me how I keep my motivation and the idea came to me. I [hope] I'm about to write a really insightful post here about how to get and stay inspired. Without further ado, I present to you my three golden rules about how to get started and stay on a 'health' plan.

1. Identify your weakness

I'm not talking about chocolate cake, macaroni and cheese or the fact that you don't have a gym membership. Those things can all be overcome as long as you are in the right mindset. What I'm alluding to here is what in your mind in getting in the way of starting, or continuing a fitness/weight loss plan. Do you not think you're worth it? Do you think it's going to be too hard? Do you keep making excuses? I'm not trying to sound like a self help book here, but I've identified that being successful at this is mostly about your mindset (I would say 90% mindset, 10% nutrition and hard work). No, really. If you are not in that frame of mind to push farther, eat healthy and give the whole thing 110% you might as well throw in the proverbial towel from the start. My discovery about myself was that I was not holding myself accountable for my [lack of] actions - I made constant excuses to myself about why rarely working out and eating empty calories was ok.

2. Plan and implement real world solutions to overcome your weakness

This is also very key. I can't tell you how to do this except to tell you what I have done. Having a lack of accountability to myself, I had to find a solution so that I would be accountable. Enter real world solution : A weight loss contest. This works for many people for one reason or another. But for me, I know I perform my best in a competition environment [that's the Leo in me], where someone is watching my every move. Having 80 other contestants and someone weigh me in every month for four months forced me to be accountable. It also stopped me from making excuses because if I did, I would have to answer to someone else at the first of the month. Making this four month commitment helped me learn to be accountable for my own actions when it came to getting healthy. Which leads me to step 3.

3. Find allies

I was again faced with the challenge of how I was going to continue to hold myself accountable and keep up the great results after the weight loss competition was over. So I started blogging, and posting my blogs - everywhere. I shared the blogs on a variety of social media sites (FB, Pinterest) so pretty much anyone that knew me or was 'friends' with me is well aware of what I am doing. Blog reader, you are my ally in this journey. I found out quickly that if I let the world know what I was doing and where I was trying to go people would ask me about it - it became expected of me to keep up the results. It also helps if you have family and friends that are entirely on board with your plan - I am very lucky in this way. My mom goes to nearly all fitness classes I attend and I have a person in my life that cooks and plans healthy meals, goes hiking and is going to do boot camp classes with me. Also, the person that was weighing me in once a month for the weight loss competition happens to be the instructor for nearly all my fitness classes. I planned it this way. She expects to see me there, and will ask why I wasn't there if I didn't show up (that hasn't happened yet). I have a lot of allies in this health journey, and I feel looking better and pushing myself farther is, in large part, because of these people. It is also what keeps me motivated and in the appropriate mindset for success.

So there it is. I believe once you think you can do it, you will. Once your brain is in 'go' mode, overcoming other obstacles becomes significantly easier. 

Workout this week : 

Monday : Spin & Sculpt [501 cal]/30 min treadmill run & hike [320 cal] = 821 calories!

Tuesday : Bodypump = 360 calories

Wednesday : Spin & Sculpt = 450 calories

Thursday : 2.5 mile walk = 300 calories

Friday : Crazy shopping day!

This week was pretty crazy but I still got 5 legit workouts in [I'm not counting the shopping day]. I still have to try and make time for my ab routine, I only did it twice this week, but I completed the whole thing. This week was Landon's birthday and I still behaved ok in the face of massive amounts of sugar! I did have a piece of cake and some relatively low-cal ice cream, which I didn't even have for my own birthday but I didn't think I overdid it this weekend. I really would've like to get to a spin class Friday but it was a super crazy day, driving around and shopping the whole day. Lost another pound this week which is fine, still progress. Two would've been better but I'm going to go full throttle this week and get it done! Next week I WILL hit the 40lb mark!

Another cool thing - I have been stashing away two pairs of the smallest jeans I own. Mostly because I bought them, they were always too small but I couldn't bear to get rid of them. These jeans are new, but three years old. Well, this weekend I finally pulled them out. Now, for a person who had sworn off any sort of sized pants for the last two years this moment was certainly intimidating. I realize I have been walking around in stretchy leggings and dresses through the cold months, and forgiving sundresses in the warm ones. But it has been a long time since I've worn jeans. I was literally crossing my fingers as I slid the first pair on - and it buttoned and zipped with no muffin-top action! I remember about six months ago I tried them on just for the heck of it and was so upset when I could not even get them up over my lower hips. They would get to the top of my legs and that was it. An even cooler surprise, I managed to catch a glimpse of the size tag taking them off - I swore they were a 16, but no, they were a 14!!!!. Another 10lbs and I will really be exited to be shopping for fall clothes! Considering the last sized thing I bought was a 22 (dress, not pants), this was a pretty incredible moment for me. I love that there are going to be more moments like this one, when I can physically see the size difference, in the near future. Oh ya, and the other pair was too big, it was a 16....

It's Monday and I'm going to give it all I have this week. I feel rested and ready to take it on, really push myself. As soon as I hit that 40lb mark another pic to come!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Week 23 Recap - New Look!

As you may have noticed, the blog has a new look, and a fancy weight loss ticker [thanks again, MyFitnessPal!]. A little more simple, less disco multi-color. I tried to make it look nature-y but I could't stand the cheese of leaves/bamboo/mountains as the blog backdrop. So I chose a backdrop the reflects my current state of mind (not just today, recently) - sparkles! lights! sweat drops! I really don't know what they are but as I continue to lose weight and become healthier I feel like I've taken on some sort of sparkle. It is probably because of my increasing confidence and feeling better about the way I look in the mirror.

I'm sitting here eating a slice of chicken alfredo pizza and wow, can't tell you how delicious pizza tastes! It's been awhile since a baked piece of triangular, bread goodness covered in cheese has graced my mouth. Wait, what! I'm eating pizza??? Why yes, I am. Oh, you thought people only lose weight by eating salad? Mark my words, this slice o' heaven is probably more nutritious. The crust is wheat and gluten-free, whole milk cheese, creamy tomato sauce, grilled chicken, lots of spinach and fresh chunks of tomatoes. AND I have a side of kale on my plate as well. Ya, it's pizza, but pretty good for you, no? I'm having one slice as well. I remember not too long ago where I could get down three or four slices of that pizza-in-a-box and not think twice about it. It's all about moderation, and a sum of small, good choices that will help you get to where you want to go. In this case, I choose to have pizza in it's finest form. Fresh ingredients, no gluten and a good amount of protein and veggies on it. Oh, and it's GOOD.

While we're here let's talk about take-out. Chinese food or take-out pizza used to be a weekly staple for me - I'd indulge once a week in either of the two. But then I listened. Pizza talks. I listened to what my body was telling me. For example, have you ever eaten fried rice, general tsos chicken, egg rolls and crab rangoon and then thought; wow, I feel great right now - I have much more energy? My guess is no. While it may be tasty, if you listen to what you're body is telling you, you will probably figure out quickly what kinds of foods are good for you - what kind of food your body needs. Do I miss the taste of take-out? Yes. Do I miss the way I feel after I eat it? No. So anytime I feel like it, I think about this: the taste is momentary but the post-indulgence feeling last a while, perhaps a day for me. In all consideration, it's just not worth it.

This was my first full week with the heart rate monitor and I'm definitely loving it.

Workout this week:
Sunday : 3 mile hike at Indian Brook Res. = 350 calories burned

Monday : Energy Spin [440 cal]/20 min treadmill run and hike [255 cal] = 695 calories burned

Tuesday : Bodypump = 440 calories burned

Wednesday : Ab Challenge workout/Spin & Sculpt = 490 calories burned !RECORD!

Thursday : 3 mile walk = 320 calories burned

Friday : Zumba = 325 calories burned

Saturday : Trail hike = 290 calories burned

Wow, that is 8 workouts. I'm impressed with myself. I only did the Ab Challenge workout twice this week, but August started Wednesday, so I think that's excusable. I was pretty sore the next day even though I didn't complete the entire thing either time, it's tough!

Also : -2lbs last week, BAM! Which means, down 38lbs and just a week, maybe 2 away from the big 4-0! I'll have to have someone take a real comparison pic when I hit that mark - taking pics of yourself with a cell phone in front of a full-length mirror doesn't work all that well!

Resting today, I am pretty beat from this week, hoping for another great week!