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Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's been a while...

After a few months of struggling with reoccurring injuries, I finally gave my hips and legs a rest. My weight was not coming down and my symptoms of my injuries were getting worse. I needed a new approach...

Calorie counting - as tedious as it was, I spent 3 months journaling every little thing i put in my mouth. after two weeks i realized that even though i was eating healthy i was eating just as many calories as i was expending. And, you don't loose weight if you don't lose calories.

The next step I was dreading but I knew I had to do was to cut out one of my daily snacks. It took a good a full two weeks to adjust to not having a snack mid morning but it saved me 300 calories a day. That, coupled with dedicating 1 hour a day to walking while at work, gave me a calorie loss of 500 calories per day. Theoretically, I was supposed to be losing 1 lb a week. this wasn't always the case but after 2 months of these daily changes, the weight started to drop.

Last weight in: 141.8 lbs

My work has transitioned again just recently. now i am back sitting at a desk most of the day. this is a new challenge. my goal is to continue to lose weight while I am recovering and trying to figure out my reoccurring injuries. Long-term, i hope to start running again. I will have to start from scratch but I know from previous accomplishments that i can do it. I expect to see my pace to faster and my endurance to be longer with my new weight.

My new exercise regimen consists of walking 30-60 min a day along with 30 min of yoga.

Monday, January 31, 2011

If Its a Life Change, There is No Cheating - Only Treats

So - last week was a set back but I recovered quickly. My last post said I weighed in after my PMS showing a .6 lb gain (152). I guess I don't know how to do basic math...When I realized it was a 2 lb increase, I was shocked but mostly perplexed. I couldn't believe it. So, I went for a run, drank some water, got back on track with my eating and weighed again the next day. I was back down to 150.8 lbs and I was relieved.

So what was this 1.2 lbs that was hanging around? And why? Was this left over from my PMS? hormonal? or was it simply just water weight? All I know is that I am glad that my little "Treats" I had didn't really pack on 2 lbs as the scale said that morning!

I thought about the title to this blog when I was contemplating what to write tonight. I reviewed the last two weeks in my mind and decided that - once again - I took a step back. But, I don't see it as "Cheating" or "Failing" or "falling off the wagon".

So -I had to ask myself, "Self, are you sure you are not in denial? Are you sure you are just being to lenient on yourself? Are you making excuses?"

Honestly, I am not 100% sure.

However, For the first time I don't see what I am doing as something that is holding me down, keeping me in line or preventing me from acting a certain way - I see it as something that I am becoming. My fitness is a choice. I choose to eat better and exercise more. I see what I am doing as something I am gaining every time I choose a piece of fruit instead of a cookie. I feel like I am gaining something every time I go to the gym - even if it takes every ounce of energy I have to make myself go.

My fitness and health is not something I have been scared or guilted in to doing.

My fitness and health is something that is not temporary or has an end (unlike what the word "Diet" seems to mean to me).

So - there is no end to my fitness. I can ALWAYS get back on track. I can ALWAYS do better. I can always take it easy. I can always do less.

My biggest struggle and my biggest challenge is to be more consistent with my fitness. And the longer I go with out eating crap and with getting consistent exercise, the worse I feel when I fall short. Still, with my predicted setbacks, I am beginning to feel my fitness evolve and it is very exciting.

Last work out: Saturday

4 miles jogging (new distance record!)
+ core stregthing

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Fitness and my PMS :/

Its been two weeks to the day since I have written AT ALL...

I felt really good going in to my new fitness plan and I thought that, by taking advantage of the best two weeks of the month for me, it would give me time to get my momentum up enough so that it would carry me through my two weeks of pms hell. I thought wrong.

My eating did not suffer much. I traveled which lead me to have a cookie...a piece of cake and I ate out... once...which are things I might have done anyway. For a two week period that doesn't seem so bad I guess.

But what did suffer was my workouts. It has also been two weeks since I worked out ( I am not counting my walks with the dogs).

I did weigh in yesterday morning at 152...meaning i gained .6 lbs or so.

I am not really sure what did it. I am assuming it was a little bit of everything: traveling, water weight, no exercise and of course the sweets. But it is best that I do not spend too much time on the weight I have gained. It will only discourage me and make me want to give up.

Instead, I went to the gym today. I told myself I would revert back to my last level of Chi Running in order to complete my work out and feel good about the time I spent in the gym - to give myself a little encouragement.

This was my work out:

10 min warm up - fast pace walking
42 min run/walk - 5 min run with 1.5 min walk (repeated 6 times)
5 min cool down
15 min stretching
upper body weights - bench press, arm curls, overhead press, bench dips

I barely made it to my Chir run/walk goal which just reinforced that two weeks of not using it...definately means losing it. Its good I didnt let it go longer. I felt good about my work out over all. I am exhausted and sore already!

One thing I did notice today when running was my heart rate. It concerns me but hopefully I have no reason to be concerned. During my running intervals I was careful not to go too fast yet my heart rate at the end of my intervals was at 175+ ... I must to some research on where my heart rate should be when I consider myself to only putting in medium to medium-hard effort.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2011

Weight: 150 lbs
Total Loss: 2.8 lbs

17.2 out of 20 lbs to go!!

This week has been a busy one. I made a meal last weekend but it only last through Wednesday. I have learned my lesson. The rest of the week was very challenging.

(2) Successes:
  1. Maintained a positive attitude all week.
  2. Lost another 1.4 lbs

(3) Failures:
  1. Ate pizza at a lunch meeting on Friday.
  2. Ate low fat but very salty Chex Mix for a snack on Thursday AND Friday.
  3. Did not workout for 4 days in a row!

Overall, I feel I am lucky that I still reached my goal. Yesterday I slept in late, ate breakfast, weighed in at 151.4, went to the gym, went grocery shopping, cooked 1 of 2 meals for the week, snuggled up in bed and watch the Daily Show with my love, then went to sleep.

I didn't eat much yesterday and my workout helped me lose the little water weight I had in my legs. I am guessing this is what helped me to weigh in at 150 lbs this morning.

I am cooking two meals for the week so I don't run out this time!

Baby Steps to Getting Healthy - Ideas for getting started

My mother was a dietitian. She had her own business. But, as you can imagine, a single parent of 3, can't survive on the income of subjects who want to lose weight. Losing weight isn't easy and staying on track is even harder. The average person was my mother's client. And from the people I know, being an average person means a 30/70 chance of staying on your diet. Meaning a 30/70 chance of my mother getting and keeping her clients. I saw at a young age how common it was for people to give up on their health goals. Even my mother struggled with her weight and this was her business.

So at a young age I was taught that going on a diet was only temporary. People would get on their health kick, lose some weight and maybe exercise then give up from exhaustion. Do you think athletes wake up one day and say, "Today, I am going to run a marathon!", then go and do it? If they don't quit, they will collapse from exhaustion or whatever else it takes for their mind to tell their body to stop the foolishness.


1. The very first thing I did (and the only thing) was back in 1998. I signed myself up for a swimming class in college. It was three days a week for two hours. I dropped 20 lbs with out even thinking about it. This encouraged me to change my diet a little - remember, baby steps - this isn't a reality TV show, this isn't The Biggest Loser. We all have real jobs and real lives. We are not in a state of the art facility with personal trainers and chefs.

2. I cut back on what I could handle cutting back on. For me I was eating high fat foods. I knew I could cut back on my fat and still enjoy good food but not feel like I was starving. My favorite fat was CHEESE :) so I cut out all cheese from my diet. That was all. I lost another 10 lbs.

3. After I made a B in my swimming class (embarrassing - I skipped a few classes) and the semester was over, I was so proud of myself that it encouraged me to continue working out. I didn't know what I was doing but I new I had to keep moving. I tried walking everywhere I could, Riding my bike, and going to the gym two times a week. I continued to lose weight.

4. My mother got mad at me for not eating enough protein. I added protein to my diet and started drinking more water. I found that I had more energy for working out. Working out was beginning to be something I enjoyed.

These baby steps add up! Some people think its all or nothing - Cold turkey - cut out the crap and go run a mile. Not for me! If, you do that to me, my body will rebel and it wont be fun. You have to ease into it. Let your body and mind there is a change coming. Get your body addicted to those glasses of water, the fruit snacks, and the increase in activity. Then, add another new task. Add something positive first for a while - a week or two. Then take away something unhealthy - focus on one day at a time with a one week goal. You can do anything for one week, right? Your body might go through withdrawals if its a significant change - expect and prepare for this.


*Sign up for a REAL kickboxing class - not only is it exciting but it costs money. I find that if I invest in my health financially, I tend to make sure I use what I pay for. Prepay for 6 weeks or so.

*Try the Spinning class offered at your gym - don't go in there like a hero if you have never done it before. Go early, talk to the person leading the class, tell them you are new and are not so sure about it, and then take it easy during your first class. Don't be discouraged if you don't like it. This is part of learning about yourself.

*Walking or running - It doesn't cost a thing. Use time or distance as your motivator. Tell yourself , "All I have to do is walk 2 miles" or "All I have to do is walk for 30 min. Then you can build on this. Just be sure that what ever you start with, learn from it. To easy? Kick it up a notch next time. Too hard, slow down or reduce your distance or time, then build back up. once a week at a little something to your walk.

*Used to play sports in college or high school? Join a city league!

*Never been one to exercise? Try Yoga or Pilates. Most gyms offer it as a part of your membership. You can also buy a class. Once again - prepay for 6 weeks or so. BUT DON'T BE FOOLED! These are really exercises and you will definitely feel it the next day but this is a low impact activity if everything else is not your speed.

Remember, you don't HAVE TO do anything. Yet, ANYTHING is better than nothing. None of the above sounds right for you? Change it up a bit. What ever goals or types of activity will get you going, do it!


*Drink a glass of water before every meal.
*Stock up on fruit. They may not be what you are craving but its amazing how they will deplete your cravings for cookies or sweets once you start eating them. Have them everywhere! on your desk at work, at home,  and in the car.
*Leave the box of Twix or cookies or bag of chips in the pantry. Let them serve as a reminder to you. Every time you open the fridge or the pantry, you have a choice. Take a second to think about it. What are your options today?
*Hard boiled eggs. Easy to make for the week. Easy to carry. Easy to eat. Good source of protein. Have one or two with fruit as a snack.
* Do not allow yourself to get starving. For me, this spells disaster. Always try and plan ahead. Have a plan B. If you forgot your lunch at home, what is your safety net at work other than the fruit on your desk? Maybe something frozen that will keep for a long time? A lean cuisine?

The Next Level of Healthy

It wasn't a hard lesson, just a long one. I don't know why it took so long to register that I have put myself at a disadvantage when it comes to my health and fitness. I used to always look at it the wrong way. I used to always think that me being overweight and unfit gave me the excuse that I was at a disadvantage to people who had a good metabolism, who have always played sports, who are taller, who have athlete's as parents or as siblings, who had more sport opportunities in the school they went to...the list goes on. I did this to myself and if I don't own it, I will always make excuses.

Losing weight and getting healthy is never easy. Let's get that straight. Even worse, its not easy to stay that way either. It seems it does get easier when looking at my progress and how I feel now compared to 2 years ago. And I think I have just this week I felt a new feeling of addiction to exercise that I have never felt in these last two years. This addiction is like any other addiction - when I am walking down the street or driving in my car, I suddenly have an urge to go running and think of all the ways I can make sure that I get my run in. I have replaced my food addiction with a much healthier one but it has been painful. It has taken YEARS.

Let's take Fitprosarah (Sarah Ripple, BS, CPT) for an example. Sarah is a highly educated fitness professional, life time friend, and triathlete. If you put the two of us on a track and asked us to run as fast as we could for 1 mile, it would be unanimous guess on who would win. But who is it harder for? Who feels more pain when pushing themselves to their limits?

I used to think I knew the answer. Two years ago I would tell you that there was no way Sarah would feel more pain than I did. But since I started running and talking to people who are avid runners, I have found that some of them believe that the feeling would be the same for the both of us. Sarah's all out effort may result in a faster time but she will still feel pain. She will still be huffing and puffing at the end of the mile...just like me. Sarah puts just as much effort (if not more) into her workouts. Think about this next time you think the fitness pros got it easy. They have push themselves to higher and harder levels for a long time. Everyone that is trying to reach a new level - either to run their first  mile or to run their 1st marathon - all feel the resistance that our bodies gives us when we are doing something that is new.

This is why I am so amazed by the athletes that I know. They have endured it all for so much longer than I have. They have pushed themselves past new levels over and over again. When I think about this, it reminds me that 30-40 minutes out of my day for exercise, may be painful, but its a small price to pay to get to the next level of healthy.

I now realize that the question I should have been asking is, "Who is it harder ON?". I have learned that losing weight is only half of being healthy. It takes eating healthy to support your physical fitness. I may lose a ton of weight but if I can't sit up straight or run a mile with out feeling fatigued, I am still not healthy.

I have spent the majority of my life destroying my body. I really never knew what being overweight really has done to me physically until now. That one mile run that I was speaking of earlier may feel just as painful as it does to Sarah because we are both pushing ourselves to an extreme effort. However, my body will have no idea what I am trying to do. It will go into protection mode. My brain will do everything to tell me to stop running. My legs, feet, knees and back will punish me for trying such a trick.

BUT - If you start today and take that first step (whatever it may be) you will be one day into your more healthy life...

This is why being fit as soon as possible for as long as possible has become so important to me. I can't reverse the harm I have done to my body. I can't take away my planters faciatis that I developed when I weighed almost 200 pounds. My foot will always be vulnerable to that type of injury. But, I can lose the weight that makes me more prone to the pain it causes. I can stretch and I can run to strengthen my feet, ankles and legs. I can feed my body healthy amounts and types of protein, carbs, and fats. And I can teach my body and my mind, one lap at a time, that one mile at my fastest pace is going to be OK.

Yesterday's Workout:

At the track...
Chi Running 5 min run/2min walk
Total distance 3.5 miles
Total time 42 min.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Food & Fitness Planner: Track Your Daily Calorie Intake and Calories Burned

Food & Fitness Planner: Track Your Daily Calorie Intake and Calories Burned

I wanted to share this with everyone...out of many that I have tried to use to track my eating and exercise, this was seems to be the most user friendly. It offers more options to tailor your plan to what is best for you and your schedule.