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. 🙂

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Long time no post

Hm, I guess I should post something since I haven’t in like a bajillion years. Oops.

I have successfully gone to the gym 5-6 days a week during the month of January. Now, has there been much a difference? As far as weight and size goes, not so much. BUT I’ve developed more muscle (which is visible in my eyes) and I’ve gotten much stronger. I’ve tried to count calories and omit white junk from my diet, but the truth is I love all different kinds of food too much. One of my goals was “everything in moderation”. A restricting diet simply doesn’t work for me because I need variety in my food. By limiting myself too much, I seem to indulge elsewhere (in terms of food) which has a much more negative consequence. Here’s the thing: I’m going to stop weighing myself after next Wednesday (my last personal training session so I’ll have no choice) for the remainder of February. Focusing on a number is stressing me out too much. The thing is I’m currently at my desired pant/dress size; it’s just that my clothes have gotten slightly tighter over the past couple of months. But I haven’t gotten big enough to move up a size either. I’m going to gauge my progress (after next Wednesday) solely on how my clothes fit. I’m not looking to drop a million pounds nor trying to implement a completely new lifestyle. Therefore, I’m going to think back to the mind set I had my senior year of college which was to stay as healthy as possible so I wouldn’t be sick for my senior recital. Basically, I was worried that I would catch the plague right before my senior voice recital so I made a conscious effort to get 8 hours of sleep every night, took my vitamins, went to the gym 5-6 times a week, and ate very well. I really worked out like crazy then simply to ensure I had the stamina to perform a full recital by myself. I also knew that I would be living it up most days/nights since it was my last year in college and I didn’t want to leave having finally gained the Freshman 15. That mindset of “must stay healthy so I can survive my senior recital” helped me lose weight and drop down a size–all organically. I made no conscious decision to lose weight. So from here on out, I’m going to have the mindset of “must stay healthy so I can survive the remainder of my first year of teaching” because I know that’s what will work for me. Checking the scale and trying to count calories seems to be backfiring at the moment. Like I previously mentioned, I’m at the same size I was my senior year of college (which is what I refer back to as my happy size/weight), but things are a little tighter in certain areas. I’m not going to count calories, have weekly weigh-ins with myself, or follow a strict, restrictive diet because it simply doesn’t seem to fit my lifestyle and personality. I honestly believe wholeheartedly focusing on staying healthy so I can survive the school year is a much more obtainable goal for me. Let’s see how it works!

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 🙂  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 🙂

How To Lose Weight All Day Long

How To Lose Weight All Day Long — Of course another Yahoo Health Article 🙂

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 am– 20 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 am– snack 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 pm– Last chance for coffee!  Drinking coffee after 4 messes up your sleep.

5-6 pm– Strength 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???

 

Being Happy With Who You Are

So…I love me some Yahoo News.

Here is a fun, inspiring article (mostly pictures) about Singers Who Love Their Bodies.

You have to be inspired by people who are proud to be who they are and don’t care what other people say.  I could get into a long rant about standards in today’s society and yada yada and so on… but I won’t.  This can be just plain and simple: stand up against society’s idea of beautiful.  Stand up for you and feel good about it.

I think that this is my ultimate goal- to just be happy with me and the wonderful way I look.

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!

Ban Excuses

I’m having a lazy day (aka no gym today)!  I blame Andrew…

I finally made that delicious sandwich for lunch today though- Cucumbers, spinach, low fat cream cheese mixed with low fat cottage cheese and low fat feta cheese, roast beef, and mustard.

It looks a little lopsided… it was yummy though! 🙂  Also ate delicious hummus with Kashi Pita Crisps as a snack.

So I was reminded today about a picture from years and years ago ***embarrassing photo coming up!***

The Early Years...

There are a couple of things I have always taken from this photo (and those deodorant stickers…):

BAN EXCUSES-  I understand the hilariousness of blaming Andrew at the beginning of this post for ME not going to the gym.  I feel that when it comes to New Years Resolutions, wanting to lose weight, wanting to exercise, and so on… Banning Excuses is key.  I know that I use more than my share of excuses and I try to work on it constantly.  BUT excuses are no longer ok, for any of us!  We will all do what we say we are going to do.  We are sticking with our New Years Resolutions!  No more Excuses!  (Look at that positivity!)

BAN SELF DOUBT + INSECURITY-  These are also very important.  If other people can be fit, healthy and happy, why can’t we?  No more feeling insecure about ourselves or how we look.  We must all stop feeling like we can’t do something.  We’ve totally got this.

WE WERE/ARE RIDICULOUS- just true. 🙂

And that is all folks!

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.