Spring is here!

It’s been a really long time since I’ve last posted something in here. My last post was definitely about how gloomy February is and how unmotivated I feel. Well, March is here, and with Daylight Savings Time today and the change in weather, I feel much better.

I keep a small calendar on which I mark off my work out days and other important timelines (i.e. changing contacts, lady times, etc.). This is something that I did in college which kept me motivated to go to the gym. Somehow, seeing those color checkmarks in the corner of the days encouraged me to go the gym often. I guess the gold star system really works for me.

So, to recap, out of the 29 days of February, I worked out/went to the gym for 21 of them. That’s a lot of working out! Needless to say, I feel like I’m in pretty good shape as far as my stamina and endurance goes. Now, how many of those 5 pounds that I wanted to eliminate in 2012 did I lose? -5. That’s right, I¬†gained 5 pounds in February. How is that possible when I worked out almost daily for the entire month of February? Well, I could sit here and blame it on muscle gain (which there has been) and bloating and all of that. But I’m not going to. The truth of the matter is I felt burnt out and stressed in February (which seems to be the trend almost every single year–I need to figure out what the source of the problem is so I don’t keep relapsing). I rarely had nights where I slept for more than 4 consecutive hours. No matter how early I went to bed or aides I took, I could not stay asleep for more than 3-4 hours per night. I even tried napping during the day and I found myself just lying in bed or on the couch tired but still very much awake until my alarm went off. I was just so exhausted from the lack of sleep and pressures of the job. As a result, I reverted back to my high school days where I would eat to gain energy. I don’t remember sleeping in high school, but I remember being tired and eating all the time. The heaviest and largest I’ve ever been in my life was junior year of high school because of that habit. Luckily this time around, I exercised my face off (much different from high school me) which has negated some of the enormous calorie intake so I haven’t had buy bigger clothes or anything. But I’ve definitely gained weight and it’s because of my work off then pig out habit.

So, what do I need to do? I need to sleep more and stop eating so much sugar. My sweets craving kicked into high gear last month which is the main culprit of my weight gain. Yes, I’ve gotten stronger. Yes, I’m in better shape, but I haven’t been seeing results because of my sugar and simple carb intake.

Last weekend, I took a long weekend to just lock myself in my apartment and sleep during random parts of the day. I literally did nothing. I even took a week off from working out. But it was exactly what I needed because when I showed up to work after the long weekend, I felt incredibly refreshed and like my usual self. I returned to the gym on Tuesday and I’ve had some amazing workouts since. I’ve gone in every single day and my workouts have all been incredibly productive. And now the weather is warming up (we’re supposed to have a few days in the 70s this week), we’re getting more sunshine, and I’ve rested, I feel wonderfully rejuvenated and inspired. Despite my two hour work out today (totally by accident. . . I got carried away because I was very much in the zone and it was completely empty at the gym), I went for a quick post-dinner run. I think I’m going to do that more as long as the weather cooperates–go for a brisk post-dinner walk/jog just to get some fresh air and to distract myself from crazy chocolate cravings.

I’ve decided to actively reduce the amount of simple carbs and refined/processed foods I eat. No, I’m not going to eliminate desserts or go organic or anything like that. I’m just going to make a more conscious effort of stay away from pastries, breads, and white anything. Hopefully this will help me actually see the results of spending hours at the gym.

On a girly-er note, I spent lots of gift card money on cute workout clothes today. I bought some fun colored sports bras and cheap t-shirts. I’m completely stocked up and set for a long time now. I’m looking forward to my next workout now simply because I want to try out my new sports bras! So silly.

Ok, I think that’s long enough for now. ūüôā

End of Jan!

So…here we are 1 month in!

I went to the gym 15 times this month! ¬†This is the most I’ve ever been in a month so I feel pretty proud of that…especially since I actually worked out every one of those days. ¬†Boo Yah!

Today I had a delicious Harvest Salad that included chicken, couscous, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, currants, sunflower seeds, and creamy basil dressing. ¬†Really good! ¬†I like that I’ve become more willing to try new things. ¬†Which brings me to another thing…

I’m getting ready to train for a 5K as we all discussed earlier this month! ¬†March seems a little close for me but I feel that I can be ready for May. ¬†So I asked the best runner I know- my sister Danielle ūüôā ¬†She is going to help me put together a training calendar. ¬†She recommended looking up “Couch to 5K” as a good way to get started training. ¬†I’m going to have to take a look…

I had a great talk with her last night and its pretty cool because she is into a lot of the stuff I’ve been getting into. ¬†She has been using myfitnesspal and says she is concerned with how much sugar she gets in a day too. ¬†So she sent me an ebook called “I Quit Sugar and got clean, got well, lost weight, and became a much nicer person” by Sarah Wilson. ¬†The book explains what to do week by week to cut out sugar. ¬†I think I’ll give it a try!

One other thing I have been thinking about is doing the gym’s “90 Day Challenge” it is mostly used for weight loss but it can also be used to set other goals. ¬†Basically you meet with a trainer in the beginning and they detail a plan for you over the 90 days. ¬†I will get workouts to do and will meet with the trainer in a group every once in a while during those 90 days. ¬†Its all about accountability and guidance and I think both of those would really help. ¬†I’m not sure though…what do you guys think, should I try it?

Plan for Tomorrow

I am going to bed within the hour.

Tomorrow I will get up at 5:30 and be to the gym by 6.

I will do a quick half hour cardio session then be back home before 7 (I know its weird…but tomorrow is not a hair washing day so I go home to shower and fix up my hair…sweat is just water folks, my hair isn’t thaaat dirty!)

7-7:20 I will eat breakfast and have coffee.

7:40- Leave for work.

I decided that if I post what I plan to do, I will be more likely to do it. ¬†Mornings are always sooo hard for me but I can’t work out in the afternoon because of my piano lesson (yay!).

Today was good- did the Kickboxing Jam class again and managed to convince a friend from work to join me! ¬†I noticed that after 4 sessions I am able to keep up much better with the instructor. ¬†By the end I was drenched in sweat and felt like I had a great workout. ¬†I feel like I’m finally getting to a point where I feel encouraged about working out and feel really great after each session (even if i’m sweating).

On a random note…I’ve noticed a change in my legs. ¬†Now, I don’t look closely at my legs too often so I don’t know how long ago the change started happening but I think all the squats and lunges of however many months are really paying off! ¬†I see some definition and a part I used to hate by my knees is almost completely gone. ¬†I legitimately can’t believe it but it makes me feel really good to notice that sort of thing and to be able to feel that its mostly muscle now.

Other positives- feeling great about the piano and art lessons I’ve been taking. ¬†Andrew’s mom talked me through painting a bird (Put a bird on it!) and it turned out soooo much better than I thought it would. ¬†I also feel like I’m really taking to piano which I never thought would happen…but I’m really really enjoying it. ¬†I’ve even been feeling really good about work and I have started going out for lunch with co-workers instead of going home all the time.

Basically- I’m on a super positive kick these last few weeks and I really hope it keeps up for many many more ūüôā

When TOM comes to visit

The week leading up to TOM’s visit is killer. I have a ravenous appetite, bloated, and sleepy. I hadn’t eaten much sweets the week before, but this weekend was bad. I needed¬†lots of chocolate otherwise I would’ve gone crazy. I mean, if crying on a treadmill at the gym in public doesn’t wave a flag for some comfort food, I don’t know what does. So, basically I worked out like a mad woman this week, but I couldn’t stop eating because I was famished every 2 hours (even after I drank lots of water). But, of course, when TOM arrives, I lose my appetite. Which is exactly what’s been going on these past couple of days. Being a girl is so annoying sometimes.

I had PT today. I wish I make about twice what I make now; I’d have a PT session weekly. Now I understand why people dish out all that money to have someone make work out like crazy for an hour. Sadly, I only have two more sessions left and I’ll be done. Perhaps in the summer I’ll purchase just a few to tune up. Or hopefully the district will pay me more next year? Here’s hoping. This week’s was slightly less intense compared to last week’s. Or maybe it’s because I’ve gotten stronger? I don’t know, my trainer is pretty disappointed by the fact push ups are absolutely the death of me and they need to be modified so much. Anyhoo, during today’s session, he took out the boxing gloves. I got to hit him and a bag which was awesome! It made me miss Cardio Kickboxing at Lifetime like crazy! I absolutely loved doing the boxing stuff. My trainer said he was completely impressed by my form and was honestly expecting me to wimp out. Thankssssssss. . . I requested that we do more boxing because I loved it so much. ūüôā

My trainer had warned me last week that we would weigh in this week. I wasn’t anticipating any major changes especially after this past weekend of eating. To be honest, I was hoping he’d forgotten because I knew I’d be disappointed. Well, as anticipated, my weight hasn’t changed at all, BUT my body fat percentage went down about 5% in two weeks! According to this chart, I’m in the Athletic/Lean category for women which made me really happy. Going to the gym almost daily is paying off. Now, if only I can get my appetite and my stop-eating-because-you’re-full trigger in my brain under control, I’ll actually drop some pounds. Whatever, I’m going to fixate on the body fat percentage because that’s telling me that things are looking good on the inside.

Other than the sweet/chocolate cravings, my diet has been very good. Although, I’ll need a real burger soon. Mmmm. Yummy.

I’m Back First!

We are losing steam with our blog!  Oh no!

However…I don’t feel that I’m losing steam with my goals. ¬†In fact, today I was very proud of myself… I had almost talked myself out of going to kickboxing today but I talked myself back into it! ¬†That has been happening a lot more lately which I think is a great sign!

I even tried out another new class yesterday- Barefoot Definitions. ¬†I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did because its all about toning your core through ballet-like moves. ¬†There is a lot of toe pointing and balancing but I enjoyed it because it didn’t take that much coordination. ¬†The only downside was that I didn’t feel like I got an amazing workout after…I was just a little sweaty. ¬†Also, it did get slightly repetitive. ¬†I will for sure try it again next week though!

Tomorrow I’ve got either Cardio Jam or I may try Zumba… we’ll see.

As I sit here drinking Andrew’s Portillo’s Milkshake…I’ll share food progress. ¬†We haven’t made any food lately but part of that is because Andrew is so busy and I don’t wanna make food alone because I am not a very good cook…

I’m sill doing ok food-wise. ¬†Today I tried a Grilled Vegetable Sandwich and it was very yummy. ¬†Also I got a few people at work hooked on the Myfitnesspal app since I’m still using it almost everyday! ¬†Pretty cool ūüôā

Actually almost excited to keep working out for the rest of the week!

How To Lose Weight All Day Long

How To Lose Weight All Day Long¬†— Of course another Yahoo Health Article ūüôā

This article just has a bunch of good tips for how to schedule your day- fitness and food-wise. ¬†I won’t post the whole thing here but I will post what I would like to try- if only for a day!

6 amР20 minutes of cardio before breakfast.  I would be able to manage this before work if I get there at 6 and leave before 7

7:30 am– Breakfast. ¬†ALWAYS eat breakfast! ¬†The article says “The alarm clock also wakes up ghrelin, the “feed me” hormone made in your stomach. Ignore ghrelin and your body will produce even more, eventually making you ravenous.”

10 amРsnack time!  I usually eat Greek yogurt or almonds.

12 pm– Eat lunch. ¬†Article says “Galanin, another hunger hormone that makes you crave fat, rises around lunchtime. However, dietary fat causes you to produce more galanin, which then tells you to eat more fat. ”

3:30 pmРLast chance for coffee!  Drinking coffee after 4 messes up your sleep.

5-6 pmРStrength training and any additional cardio.  This is nice because this how my schedule has been going anyway

7 pm– Dinner time.

9 pm– Have a snack. ¬†Article says “Enjoy a carb-based bedtime snack, such as a serving of low-fat frozen yogurt. Nighttime carbs create tryptophan, which helps your brain produce serotonin. This feel-good chemical triggers your body to make melatonin, the sleep hormone. ”

9:30 pm– ¬†“Power down” turn off the tv and computer (so i’m failing right now…) so your brain will start to relax before bed.

10:30 pm- Go to sleep. ¬†This is usually my goal…but rarely happens.

Pretty good schedule!  Not trying it tomorrow because I have my Kickboxing Jam class in the afternoon but may try it out on Thursday!

————

Quick update on progress- had a great workout on Sunday and a great Kickboxing session today. ¬†It occurred to me that I have improved in Kickboxing over this time because I don’t get nearly as tired or as red as I did when I first started taking the class!

Food-wise I’m doing okish. ¬†Today we were out of food so I went and bought one ¬†of those microwave three cheese rot inis from walgreens…um it was delicious but super bad for me. ¬†It really reminds me of college though (tells you how my eating habits were then…). The rest of today was good just because Andrew made hard-boiled eggs (he kind of failed and they turned out to be soft-boiled…) and for dinner he made a garlic chicken breast that was pretty yummy. ¬†What would I do without him???

 

MLK

I have to say the best part of working in a school is having these random days off. Except I went into work today to catch up on stuff and redo my lesson plans for the week because I was an idiot and forgot there was no school today when I did my planning last week. We’ll see how this week goes because I’ve essentially lost a day and the semester ends on Friday. Wah.

The last couple of days have been much better! I’m back on track. My sleeping is still not great, but hopefully that’ll improve. Basically, I’m having a really hard time falling asleep, and when I do finally fall asleep, I’m unable to stay asleep for more than 3-4 consecutive hours. Why?! I did some catching up on my sleep this weekend, but I’m hoping this week won’t be a repeat of last week. Must. Get. To. Bed. Earlier. And. Stay. Asleep. Once I get my sleep schedule regulated, my eating and portion control should fix itself since I won’t be grazing and bingeing to make up for lack of energy.

I did some major grocery shopping this weekend; I think I have enough food to last me through the first week of February!

I had two fantastic workouts yesterday and today. I went in the morning both days and worked my face off. I prefer working out around 10 AM because I can actually stay focused and be super productive because I’m well rested and awake. Stupid adult life getting in the way of that.

My dinners have been pretty fancy these past couple of days with very simple breakfasts and lunches. I’ll talk about my dinners since they were more exciting.

Yesterday: mustard/maple syrup (aka generic pancake syrup) glazed pork chops with sautéed veggies and barley. Delicious.

Tonight: homemade sweet potato gnocchi cooked with dark green veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, turkey bacon in a totally improvised sauce made from chicken stock and a little butter; side salad with Italian dressing

Tonight’s dinner was such a success. Actually, turns out making gnocchi is really fun. It was an impromptu decision last night to try some because I was bored and couldn’t fall asleep. I’ve got a few batches sitting in the freezer. From now on, I may be making all kinds of gnocchi as a stress reliever instead of baking.

I’ve also decided that I’m going to cook batches of stuff for the week on Sundays because that’s when I generally get my big cooking kick. It’s been getting harder and harder to cook decent meals for just myself each week. Which is why my meals sound much cooler on the weekends. I really love living by myself now, but I miss cooking for and eating with roommates. :-/ Oh, nostalgia.

Ooops

I know, I know! I haven’t posted anything the past two days and I don’t have a good excuse!

Anyhoo, I relapsed on some late night binge eating on Sunday. I don’t even know why that happened. I’m going to get back on track!

I’ve been super good about working out though. I’ve gone to the gym every single day except Saturday. Were they all super hard and productive? Not necessarily. But, after organizing my calendar for the rest of the school year, I anticipate a major stress hit around mid-February. Last time I had a stress attack, I drank a bottle of wine every night for an entire week then half a tub of ice cream every night for the next week. That’s when I peeled myself off the couch and thought to myself that I can’t live like this anymore and purchased a gym membership. I’m forcing myself to go almost every single day even though I don’t want to because I’m hoping that I’ll develop a habit by mid-February and deal with my stress by working out rather than drowning myself in unhealthy habits. That’s the plan so far!

TGIF

Friday could not have come at a better time. Getting up super early for week these last three days has been really hard after sleeping in everyday for two weeks. School has been good, but stressful. It’s also been hard to focus.

Ok, onto the good stuff:

Breakfast: Scramble with two eggs, onions, garlic, kale, turkey bacon with a glass of milk

Lunch: I had to resort to my stash of almonds and granola bars at my desk because I forgot to pack my lunch!

Dinner: Today’s dinner was a complete experiment; I definitely played “Chopped” by myself. Baked tilapia marinated in Italian dressing; random dish on side with pearl barley, lentils, potatoes, garlic, onions, kale, and mushrooms. Somehow it all worked and felt incredibly healthy.

Work Out: 10 min warm up on elliptical, various leg machine stuff, squats and lunges using Bosu ball (my new favorite piece of exercise equipment), various arm/shoulder stuff while sitting on ball, various core exercises (by far the weakest part of my body), 25 minute run on treadmill (I figured this was ok since the last time I did any significant cardio was Monday)

My meals and work outs have been decent this week, but I haven’t slept much. I definitely need to sleep more. My face keeps breaking out and I know it’s due to lack of sleep and regular exercise. I’m hoping that if I make a habit of the regular exercise, I’ll start sleeping better and my skin will clear up. I’m so tired of acne. ūüė¶

Looking at my schedule for the rest of the school year, I foresee a lot of stress hitting in about three weeks. My goal is to go to the gym most days right now so that it’ll become somewhat of a habit by then. Last time I hit major stress and anxiety, I spent everyday completely eating my feelings away and sleeping on the couch. I will¬†handle it differently this time around!

Back to the Real World

I had a much better day today than yesterday! The first day back to school went pretty well, and I was too busy to snack. Actually, I didn’t have too much of an appetite all day. I blame this on my tiredness.

Breakfast was small because I wasn’t very hungry. I just had two eggs over easy. I had already forgotten what it’s like to wake up before 9 AM. I had lots of coffee though. Man, did I need it today!

For lunch, I had a turkey sandwich with two clementines. I snacked with a granola bar right after school which was enough fuel to get me through my work out.

Dinner was super simple. I was too tired to make anything fancy and I was more sleepy than hungry. In fact, I almost fell asleep on my couch; I had to force myself into the kitchen to actually make something. I just sautéed a bunch of random veggies with some frozen shrimp and stuffed it all into a whole wheat pita with a couple slices of avocado. Of course, I then drowned the whole thing in hot sauce.

I had personal training today. It was exactly what I needed and my trainer kicked my butt. I’d also had coffee right beforehand because I was worried about falling asleep. Yeah, both he and I could tell that I was caffeinated. Man, was I hyper! Since today was my last session, I had a talking to about possibly signing up for more. And, you’ve guessed it–I was totally sucked into purchasing a few more sessions. Goodbye, paychecks! Plus, it didn’t help that I had two male trainers look over my shoulder as I stepped on the scale after my work out. Seriously!? Was that necessary? Needless to say, it was pretty easy to convince me after that. I also had another talking to by three¬†personal trainers all at once about my obsession with cardio! Dude, who ever thought someone could “get into trouble” for genuinely enjoying cardio?! So, I guess a goal for this year is to lay off the treadmill. Hmmmmmm. . .

So, moral of this post is that I need to put on my big girl pants from here on out and do some strength training. I really want to go to the gym when it’s empty, but apparently everyone has the same New Year’s resolution. It’s so busy ALL THE TIME! Tomorrow, I’m going to go in after work and be brave. I may run. Who am I kidding? I’ll probably run a lot then get lots of evil stares. We’ll see.