Monday, January 31, 2011

Last Day of January!

Hi all! I was just looking at my posts for this month - I posted 10 times!! The last time I did that was last February. Looks like I'm back on the wagon at least for now.

So, this week, as far as workouts go, I've been doing very well. Every day so far except Sunday! I meant to get up early and go to the circuit training class this morning, but I slept in instead. I did still make it to the gym, though!

This weekend, however, I indulged a little too much. I never went totally crazy on just one day, but just enough to eat through all my weekly points plus the ones I'd earned working out. Friday night my friend's band was playing, so I had a couple of drinks at the bar. Saturday night was dinner with a friend that included wine. Sunday was brunch day and then we went to another bar after. Like I said, I never went nuts. And I did still make some good food decisions. For example, Sunday at brunch I had a salad, fruit and a portabella sandwich. But the alcohol just kills your points. ONE vodka is 4 points! So is one glass of wine. So you have 3 of them and that's 12 points. It's a bummer.

I think I may just have to more carefully designate the days that I plan on drinking. This upcoming weekend, since it's the Superbowl, obviously that day will include some splurges. BUT if I do well the other days of the weekend then I should be able to do that.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that it's all about balance. My mom used to tell me, "You can eat whatever you want if you work out!" That's true to an extent. It's not whatever you want, as much as you want, as often as you want. However, it can be whatever you want in small portions once a week. Don't use little sayings like that to trick yourself out of sticking to your diet - they just end up being excuses.

Keep checking in!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Checking In On My Goals

So, I've decided in order to help me keep track of how I'm reaching my goals, I'm going to post a weekly checklist to show how I've done that week. I'd like to do it on my weigh-in days, but yesterday I was a little busy.

Thursday 1/20 - 4 servings fruits/veggies, no workout
Friday 1/21 - 3 servings fruits/veggies, worked out with trainer
Saturday 1/22 - 3 servings fruits/veggies, worked out (step class)
Sunday 1/23 - 4 servings fruits/veggies, no workout
Monday 1/24 - 2 servings fruits/veggies, worked out (circuit training & running)
Tuesday 1/25 - 3 servings fruits/veggies, worked out (zumba & running), cooked a new meal (thai curry with chicken & cauliflower)
Wednesday 1/26 - 3 servings fruits/veggies, workout with trainer

So - 5 days of working out, 1 day of cooking (with a new recipe), and an average of 3 servings of fruits/veggies per day. This is pretty great! I'd like to get my fruits/veggies up to 4 servings per day, but I'm definitely on the right track. I said I wanted to be in the gym at least 3 times per week, so I'm definitely keeping that promise. And I cooked once this week while trying a new recipe! I might have cooked more, but I had a lot of leftovers from this recipe so I'm still finishing it off. As busy as I am, cooking at all can be a problem. Plus, I work a lot of nights, so I'm often too tired/lazy to cook when I come home. But I'm working towards having more recipes that I'm comfortable with so that they don't take as long to cook. Maybe I can try cooking in the afternoon so I have leftovers for dinner. Either way, it will happen!

My trainer gave me some new recipes to try, and I also remembered that I had a Weight Watchers cook book I bought years ago. Many of the recipes have different points values now, because of the new Points Plus program, but they are still healthy and well portioned. Still, I have to enter in all the ingredients to the WW website, which is annoying since they made the recipe. You would think they would take care of that!! That's one of my issues with the new program - they haven't gotten all their literature caught up. Change is good, and I think overall this new program encourages more healthy eating habits instead of just eating less. But with as many people as they have working for them, you would think they would get on the ball a little bit more. Even their frozen foods don't have the right points values on them yet! Anyway . . . nothing's perfect. Keep checking in, everyone! I love having your feedback!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Weigh-in Day, Jan. 27

202.0 - exactly 1 pound lost. Still lost a pound, thankfully. I'm a little disappointed with the number, because I've worked out a lot this week. BUT I think I know a couple reasons why it's only 1 pound. #1 - my daily points value just went down, which means I was on the brink of eating too many calories to lose weight. But this week, I'll be eating less calories, and hopefully I'll lose a little more. #2 - I'm bloated due to being a girl. :)

SO - still lost weight. That is something to celebrate. But hopefully next week I'll be under 200. Fingers crossed!!!

I must go work out now. Back to the grindstone.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Defensive Eating & Zumba

This morning I took my first Zumba class. It was definitely cool - a mix of a salsa, bollywood, merengue and generally dance that is designed to make women feel sexy and fit. I burned a lot of calories - about 500 in the 45 minute class - and I was tired after. Here's my hang up, though. It was a small class, and although I was getting the steps right, I felt fat. I felt like I was too fat to be doing these moves. Granted, there were mirrors on every wall in front of me, so I was forced to watch myself as I was dancing. And . . . well, it's impossible not to compare yourself to the instructor. She looked cool - I looked silly. She looked firm and strong - I looked jiggly.

I know that I'll get more fit and I will look better doing the moves. Why do I care how I look to the other women in there? The other women consisted of a 20 something skinny girl who couldn't quite move her hips, a large black women, an elderly woman, and one lady who was smoking at the moves. So, 3 women who probably looked just as silly as me. WHY DO I CARE? I think I'm going to keep going to the class - see if it improves.

One more thing I wanted to talk about today. It's something I call "defensive eating." My job sometimes requires me to eat before I am hungry, in case I get hungry later. I can't stop a lesson because my blood sugar is so low that my hands are shaking. And it's pretty difficult to teach when you feel that way. I also can't pause a gig to stuff my face. This is difficult, because I feel like I'm eating more than I need to, and I don't know how much I need to eat to get through the work day. The only possible way around this that I can see, is that I have to eat smaller meals throughout the day, so I can eat right before teaching or my gig. Hopefully that will keep me from getting hungry while I work.

But, if you still feel like you need a snack during the day, it always helps me to try and eat fruit or nuts. These are easily portable, I can carry them around with me in case I need them. Almonds are my favorite kind of nut to eat, and they're one of the most healthy nuts. A combination of nuts and fruit might make you feel fuller longer. If you find that's not enough for you, another good option are snack crackers (especially if they're made form wheat crackers) with peanut butter or cheese, or a granola/breakfast bar. Might be more calories, but it can save you if you're really starving.

Although I didn't have the greatest experience with my last 2 classes, I really like trying new things. If you don't at least go once, how will you know if you like it or not? I encourage you to do the same if you have the opportunity! More to come soon!

Monday, January 24, 2011


I'm doing my best to update more than once a week, when I have things to write about. I certainly don't want this blog to be boring. But lots has been going on lately!

This week I tried 2 different classes at my new gym. The first one, on Saturday, was a step class. HO-LY CRAP! It COMPLETELY kicked my butt. I burned over 800 calories in an hour!! And I wasn't even doing everything the instructor was doing! It was really fun, but very hard work. The class has 10 different songs in it, and each song has a different theme. For example, one of the themes was "Step Strong" - where we basically did squats and lunges for the entire length of the song. My legs were like jello. One was "Step Agility" where we focused on light footwork. One was "Step Up" where we got our heart rates up really high. Well, everyone else did. Mine was already pretty freaking high! The instructor was funny and there were a lot of first-timers in the class along with me, so I didn't feel like a complete idiot. I'm definitely going to try to keep going to that class! Even once I get used to it, there's a lot more high-intensity steps I can add that I left out this time because I felt like I might collapse. That makes the class sound like it was a downer, but it was still fun. Despite the exhaustion.

The 2nd class I went to this morning, and it was a circuit training class. Basically, they try to work every muscle group in 30-40 minute period. My trainer suggested that I try this class, and she (the fitness professional) said, "You get a really good workout." Okay - when someone who works out for a living tells you that a class is going to give you a good workout, they're not kidding. We started with running a couple of laps around the room and some light stretches. Then we basically shuffled our way through 16 stations - each one different and working different muscles. One minute per station. The stations included: prone cobra, tricep extensions, mountain climbers, spider climbers (like mountain climbers but you put your feet to the side to work your hip muscles), bicycle crunches, regular crunches, plank position, deltoid raises, bicep curls, 2 stations of pushups, running and squat thrusts. I know I'm misisng some, and some are too complicated to explain without demonstration. JEEZ. This class didn't get my heart rate up QUITE as much as the step class, but EVERY MUSCLE in my body is sore. I can see why my trainer wanted me to go - it really is toning for your whole body. This class wasn't as much fun - it felt more like work. And I felt a little more out of place because I couldn't keep up with everybody in the class, even though there were some first timers in there with me. There were even a couple of 60 year old women who were kicking my butt (obviously not first timers, but still). I know it's a class that I SHOULD take again . . . . but maybe after I work with my trainer a little more. I'm not sure though - I'll talk to her about it Wednesday. As competitive as I am, its hard to see people doing something better than me. In the step class, I at least felt good that I could catch on to the steps pretty quickly.

Tomorrow - Zumba!! I'm super excited to try this - I've only heard good things from everyone that has taken it. I will let you know how it goes!

PS to anyone who reads this in the Knoxville area - I can bring a guest at no charge every time I go to the gym. So, if you ever want to try a class with me, just let me know!! Thanks, guys!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Weigh-in Day, Jan. 20

203.0 - a loss of 2.2 pounds this week.

I am . . . . content with this number. To be honest, I was hoping for between 3-5 pounds because I've been working out SO much and really eating well. But, I can't really complain either. 2.2 pounds is a good number for this week. If I keep doing that, I'll be well on my way to a healthy weight.

I've been thinking a lot about my "170 by April 5th" goal - I think it's unachieveable. Even if I lost 2 pounds a week until then, I would only be at 181 pounds. I don't want to disappoint myself because I chose a goal that was impossible. So - I have a new goal. A perfectly achieveable one, if I stick to my guns. To weigh 160 lbs. by the end of June. That's 2 pounds a week with a 2 week cushion. 160 pounds is 10 pounds more than I weighed in high school, and once I get there, I can reevaluate and decide if it is healthy/possible for me to weigh less than that as an adult. For those of you out there who have set goals for yourself - make sure they are possible and healthy. Remember that it's more important to lose in a healthy way (so you can keep it off) than it is to crash diet just so you're ready for a specific event. As MUCH as I'd like to be at my goal weight by my birthday, I'd have to almost starve myself to get there. And I like food. :) So I'll just have to take it step by step.

So, more about my week. Yesterday, I met with a personal trainer at my gym. I got 3 free sessions when I signed up last week. She was nice, but not too much. By that I mean, not so nice that I feel like I can slack, but nice enough that I don't feel uncomfortable around her. We talked about goals, things I wanted to work on, and she took some measurements. ICK - I hate that. But, it is another way to show progress other than a number on the scale. She said we would take measurements again in 2 weeks to see how I've progressed. I told her I really wanted to tone my arms - I've always felt self-conscious about them. I also want to be able to run at least a mile without feeling like I will die. I think the last time I ran a mile was 8th grade gym class and that was only because they made me. Also, I've noticed that the people's bodies who I admire are usually runners of some caliber. So I'm going to try to force myself to enjoy running. After the measurements, we did a short workout. We did a lot of core-specific workouts - crunches of varying difficulty, back strengthening exercises and a glute exercise, too. We also did some "baseline tests" to measure my improvement by. We did a front plank test - that's the one that you lay on your forearms and toes and hold your body up for as long as possible. I HATE that dang thing. But I held it for 35 seconds. We did a push-up test - how many I could do in a minute. I did 7 regular push-ups and 20 girl push-ups in a minute. We also did a squat test to see how many I could do in a minute - I don't remember how many of those I did. But she did say I had nice squat form! She had me warm-up on a rowing machine - great way to get cardio and work your arms, ladies. And we did a little running practice at the end. She also commented on the fact that my running form looked good. It's nice to get compliments from someone who is a fitness professional.

I am SO sore today!!! My shoulders and chest are particularly sore from those push-ups, but my abs are sore too. It's nice to do exercises that aren't machine based - that can get pretty boring. She said we would mostly be doing multi-muscle group activities like that, instead of just machines that target one muscle. I'm actually excited to learn some new exercises. All the stuff she had me do yesterday I can do at home, as well. I meet with her again tomorrow.

Alright friends - have a great week! Remember what you are working for - not just a number on the scale, but a healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life. A lifestyle that will enable you to do whatever you want to do.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Starting Over Again

"I've gone for too long living like I'm not alive. So I'm gonna start over tonight." - Paramore

This week has been like a review in how to REALLY be on Weight Watchers. Logging points, working out, and being honest with myself (and about what I've been eating and drinking. I let myself slide for way too long because I thought I "knew" how to lose weight. I thought I was above counting - and I know why I got there. I was thinking like I did when I had been on the last diet, and I had successfully lost weight for 3 consecutive months. I COULD do all the calculations in my head. So I thought I could still do that, 4 years later. Good luck - especially since WW completely revitalized their points system this year. I was just kidding myself.

Paramore has been my go town workout music lately - and this lyric caught me while I was on the treadmill today. When you're overweight, you're living a half life. You're living a life of "I wish" - I wish I was a size 6. I wish I could go running with my friends. Etc. A lot of times, you don't even REALIZE how miserable you are until you change. I want to live the life that I deserve to live - not the one I'm stuck living because of my health. So here comes the change - I've gone for too long.

Since Thursday, I've worked out 4 days. I have diligently been logging everything I put in my mouth - including alcohol. (It matters, people. TRUST ME.) I've been eating salad or fruit at every meal except occasionally breakfast. I cooked on Saturday night, and last Tuesday I tried a new chicken recipe. Which was DELICIOUS! And super easy. Here it is for you wanna-be-chefs like me:

Grilled Rosemary Chicken

2 tbsp minced fresh rosemary (or the jar stuff, it still tastes good)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (or season to taste with garlic powder)
1/4 tsp salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)

1. Spray cold grid of grill or pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk together rosemary, lemon juice, oil, garlic & salt in medium bowl. Add chicken breasts in, making sure to coat both sides of chicken in the mixture. Cover; marinate in fridge 15 minutes, turning chicken once. (I didn't marinate mine this long and they still tasted great. Your call.)
3. Grill chicken over medium heat 5-6 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink.

And that's it! Add some grilled/steamed veggies or a salad and you have a delicious meal! Brown rice or wheat toast is a great complex carb if you want to add one.

I'm actually excited to weigh in this week. THAT hasn't happened in . . . . um . . . well, awhile anyway.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Weigh-in Day, Jan. 13

205.2. AGAIN. I didn't lose or gain anything this week. This is so frustrating.

After all my talk about how I "changed my lifestyle" and "changed my eating habits" and all that BS - obviously I didn't do that well, because here I am again. I even worked out the last 3 days for like an hour and a half per day! GRRRRR.

I think I know where most of the problem stemmed from. It's two-fold: #1 - too much alcohol. I just went out too often this week and had too much fun when I did. Alcohol makes you retain water, and at least where I'm concerned, makes me eat badly and much too late. #2 - late night snacking. Even when I haven't had drinks that day, I like to eat late. I do very well most days until about 8pm, and then it's just a mess. Like last night, I ate about 25 holiday shortbread cookies.

The big problem I run into at night is that I have to take medicine at about 11pm, and I'm supposed to take it with food. I COULD make a smart decision or at least limit my serving size, but I usually just allow that to be an open door for eating badly.

Anyway - back to the grindstone this week. I'm not going to let one mediocre week get in my way. Yesterday I finally got a gym membership! And I went to work out there today for the first time - it's nice! I'm looking forward to getting involved in their classes. I also got 3 free personal training sessions which I'm looking forward to! I'll let you all know how it goes!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This Week

Hello blogging nation! Just a little mid-week check-in. This week has been a tiny bit of a rollercoaster. Thursday (when my weigh-in is, an thus my weight loss week begins) and Friday I was VERY strict and stuck only to my daily points. Saturday was basically a girls day - I went out to lunch with one set of girlfriends and out to dinner (and many drinks) with another set of girlfriends. Eating out is difficult, plus there were drinks involved. It was not the most diet-friendly day, and I didn't exactly make the best choices either. Sunday was much the same - brunch with girlfriends, then wine night with more girlfriends. (Can I just mention that I have the most AMAZING friends on the planet? Ok. :) ) Also not a very diet - friendly day.

Yesterday was a snow day here in Knoxville because there was more than 2 specs of snow on the ground. Which meant I had ALLLLLLLLL day to sit around and snack. I don't have a lot of unhealthy food in the house, but anything in excess is unhealthy. Around 4pm I started feeling guilty and decided to set up the Wii Fit that I got for Christmas so I could at least be active if I was also going to eat. I played with that for like an hour and a half, and then the boyfriend and I went out to dinner. When we came back, we decided to play with another Wii game I got for Christmas - Just Dance 2. Okay, #1 - it's super fun. #2 - I am SORE today! Mostly my arms, but still!! It definitely gets your heart rate up, and until I get to go research gyms, it's going to be the way that I work out.

I have 2 more days of my week left, and I am determined to be strict so I can at least lose something this week, despite my weekend escapades. And I'm definitely working out again today!! Little by little it WILL happen. Love you guys!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Weigh-in Day, Jan. 6

205.2. DAMN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so frustrated. But I guess there's no better way to start the year than being fed up with my weight. This will, if nothing else, keep me motivated.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Goals for 2011

Hey gang! I just got back from vacation where I ate . . . . oh, everything in sight! haha. I did work out a little bit, and walked a lot. But I still kind of feel like a cow. HOWEVER - it's a new year!! And that means - NEW RESOLUTIONS!

I know that last year at this time I was hoping to be between 150-160 pounds. But, I didn't put a number in my resolutions. I wanted the year to not just be about losing weight, but about living a healthy life. My resolutions looked like this: 1) Live a healthier life and take better care of my mind, body and soul. 2) Be a better friend, especially to those that live far away.

I am healthier. I know I'm a lot more mentally healthy. And I weigh less than this time last year, so I am a little more physically healthy. I would like to say I've been a better friend - but I'm not really the best person to judge that. So - those were good goals for where I was at in my life a year ago. This year, I have new goals.

1) Make working out a habit in my everyday life. (at least 3-4 times per week)
2) Eat more fruits and vegetables.
3) Cook more often/try new recipes. (at least 1-2 times per week)

Okay, so obviously I want to make this year healthier. BUT I want specific things that will help me accomplish that. These changes are meant to be lifestyle changes, not just for this year. If I want to be able to keep the weight off, I have make practical changes to my life. And if I do all these things, I will be healthier.

I also have a short-term goal - to weigh 170 pounds by my birthday, April 5th. I'm not exactly sure what I weigh now - my weigh-in day is tomorrow. But I think that's going to be about 30 pounds that I will have to lose. This WILL NOT be an easy goal to accomplish - it will require a lot of restraint and hard work on my part. But the hope is that this goal will keep me motivated enough to not slack off.

I challenge you to make some goals for this year that help you make healthy long-term changes in your life. But also - make a short-term goal for your weight loss that will keep you working towards a healthier life.

So - today I'm going to research a gym membership. And yesterday I bought yummy fruits and salad to stock my fridge with. And tonight Josh (the boyfriend) and I are cooking dinner! A good start to the year so far. :)