Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wrap it Up 2014

When I last checked in, (over a month ago, eek!) I had some goals to cut down on my wine intake. Let's be honest, it's the holidays, and going cold turkey was not going to happen. It didn't happen. I'm ok with it. What I did do, was practice more moderation and it worked. I made an effort to not go hog wild at a Christmas brunch even, bringing a water bottle to hydrate between sips of bad champagne. The BF even noticed. I'm growing.

I started out strong in December.  I lost about 6 lbs from the beginning of November and my coach was impressed. I was working out, lifting weights, cutting back to one glass of wine a night and eating less at night, along with eating earlier at night. This worked wonders. Simple, doable steps.

Then, for some reason, mid-December and Christmas week hit and I was sort of hanging on by a pinky toe on the wagon. I wasn't fully off, but I was pretty damn close. I had happy hours. I gained a pound or two, I lost that pound or two. I haven't lost any weight in two weeks and I guess I'm ok with that. I logged my weight today and it was the same as last time. That is a victory in my book. I've loosened the grip on the diet program and snuck some more wine in there. I bought cheese. I didn't have any cheese in the house for about 5 weeks. Then, suddenly I was the proud owner of lite Irish cheddar, mozzarella, and light shredded mozzarella. Some of which was under the guise of "But I want that for new years!" or "I need it for that Christmas monkey bread I'm making!" And so it went, and so it goes...It's still sitting there in my fridge and if I want a little piece, I have it. I'm not going to beat myself up over it. The last few days of the year I refuse to stress about the weight though.

The fates threw me for another loop this month, in terms of showing me my age or lack of form in lifting perhaps. My right arm tendinitis will not go away, and I've seemingly stressed my rotator cuff, which in turn has created a sharp pain in my right clavicle muscle (my subclavius). I can't put any pressure on my right side (no side planks), I can't carry weights down (tendinitis) and I can't lift weights UP on my right side (any dumbbell work), so I pretty much am off the lifting program for a good two weeks...just to start. This hurts, both physically and mentally. I won't whine about it, but it just sucks to start the new year off maimed.

We're also planning a quick getaway to Hawaii in a few weeks and I was hoping to confidently strut my stuff and award tickets to the gun show to passerbys on the beach, but alas, my guns are shrinking. Pew pew. I've started to just focus on cardio and befriend my arch-nemesis-- the stair master--again. I'm just alternating between that, the elliptical (again, gripping is an issue for righty) and jogging. All of which I still have to take into consideration the repetitive movements and gauge how my shoulder/arm reacts to it. Wah. The struggle is real.

All in all, I'm sustaining, but on a modified routine. Starting in January, I will be back on track. We have no plans for New Year's, so my "goal" dress will have to be pushed to a later date. I fit into it (a medium nonetheless!) but have nowhere to wear a backless, lace dress on the fly. However, we ARE having a dinner and show in February to see my favorite Rufus Wainwright, so perhaps I will put my phone on vibrate and make fancy for him. To be continued...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cutting out Wine to Lose Weight

Ok, so this is one thing I simply won't do. At least for now. Let me whine about my wine for a bit. Call me crazy, say I don't "want it bad enough" or have no self-control, but I love my glass (or 2) of wine at night. The past 5 days though, I have been very good and only had 1 glass per night. Well, there was one night I had two, but I hadn't eaten as much during the day and I just simply wanted some more.

The one thing about diets I hate is the restriction. I hate authority. Well, I hate shitty authority, but if I know if it's for my best interest, I'll deal with it. Same with diets. I know that I can cut out drinking and lower caloric intake, but I also know I've lost weight while indulging on it as well. Balance is key, as it is with everything else in life.

I'm not noticing any dramatic changes or shifts in my mentality though. I eat my dinner before my wine so I can digest it first, then I drink tons of water. This is making it hard for me to sleep through the night with a gallon of pee knocking on heaven's door at 3 am. I am nursing that one glass though as well. I'm really appreciating it and letting it stretch out for a good 30 minutes.

I will have my weigh in for week one on Monday. Since I don't plan on going hog-wild this weekend like last weekend, I'm optimistic of the scale. I think taking baby steps to not drinking wine every night is important. I want to gradually feel the need less and less rather than have the glass ripped out of my hand. My next step is to choose 1 day a week where I do NOT have wine. I will have to pick this day very carefully, that's all I can say.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sticking to a Weight Loss Program

I woke up 2 pounds lighter today but I'm not going to get too excited. That is the equivalent of a lot of water, a ton of wine or maybe a giant bowel movement. I could be up 3 tomorrow, who knows. It was nice to see the scale actually move though, but I'm not going crazy until at least I'm out of the 180's.

I realized today that even though I plan meticulously and dabble in a bunch of programs (both eating and workout related), I've never really followed one to the T. Back in the day, I tried Atkins and South Beach. And while I was 10 years younger and 20 pounds lighter, it worked for me then, but it won't work for me now. It also wasn't sustainable.

A few years ago I had joined Weight Watchers. Again, while it worked for some friends famously, it did not work for me. I already ate healthily and exercised a lot and the program just didn't seem to boost me past any plateau I had hit. It was also a little too easy for me to have things just because "my points allowed it".

I don't believe in excluding anything from your diet unless you have a medical reason. That being said, I gave up booze for a bit (let's be honest - 10 days), I tried going gluten-free when it was still trendy and I punished myself by trying to go dairy free to lose weight. I even did some crazy woo-filled "Candida Cleanse" I succumbed to after being at home too long and reading too much on the internet. All that ended up happening was that I resented whatever program I was on and inevitably bounced right back to my normal eating habits, and tacked on some forbidden snacks that I had missed in the interim. You know, because I deserved it.

I trained for a half marathon two years ago and lost a bit of my weight. I tried out boxing, couldn't stick with it due to surgery. I tried out Bikram yoga. It didn't light the heated flame under my ass hot enough to commit to that either. I had tried Jamie Eason's Live Fit Trainer for a while to get into weight lifting and enjoyed her "eat the food/lift the things" approach to life. The thing is, I'm not a body builder. While I loved the fact she tells you to meal prep (which I DO still do) and eat 6 x a day, it wasn't helping me lose weight.

This is not to say I won't go back to it when I am ready. I think the program is great for beginners who want to learn their way around the weight sections of the gym or for folks who have the time. Phase 3 was daunting and I don't have over an hour to spend at the gym every day, but if it works for you, hurray! I think it helped me plan out my meals and eat for strength, but not for fat loss. I believe I've been eating at maintenance for a while now. Combined with my wine intake, I was probably evening out the amount I drank in calories a week to the amount I burned. No wonder I wasn't losing.

While it's still early in the program that I am on, I can see myself making changes for the better and sticking with it for a while. Already, I'm drinking more water and I'm eating dinner earlier. I'm drinking ONE glass of wine, compared to my nightly 2.5. I'm eating a LOT less, but not starving. These are simple things, I know. Yet these are things I was not doing. I can still bench press and squat 95#, but I'm not going to go for strength gains until I lose some fat first. My main goal is to lean out, but not lose my muscle.

I really wonder if there is such a thing as "jump-starting your metabolism" and if I am really "carb-sensitive" but only time will tell. I feel like for the past few years I've tried all sorts of programs, or combined bits from several into my own, or just tried focusing on too many things at once. I've never just stuck with one goal, one program and one process. I'm optimistic something good will come of this round. Let's see how I feel next week...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Biting the Bullet

I haven't written because I feel as if I'm in some sort of a slump again. That, combined with being busy socially kind of let the blogging priority fall to the wayside. I'm still plodding along, working out, meal prepping, lifting and running, and not seeing a change. Friends in and out of the area have gotten married, work is busy and I had a guest for a few days last weekend, so things have been all up in the air and are now settling down. 

Since I haven't seen change or loss of fat in so long, I decided to do something about it. Note how I am focused on FAT, not "weight". I could care less what the scale says these days, I just want to fit into my clothes again and see muscle. 

I went against every fiber of my being, everything I stand for, everything my wallet could handle and decided to join a weight loss program. I won't mention what it is in case it does or doesn't work. I'm still not sure how I feel about such caloric restriction, but honestly, since nothing else I'm doing is working, this was my last shot. I have committed to it for six months. Let's see where I am May 1 after all is said and done. I envision my man and I on a beach somewhere and I'm looking mighty fine in a bikini with a nice high, tan ass.

My health "coach" in this program is also taking me on as a project or challenge. Considering how healthy I eat, how meticulously I plan, how active I am at the gym as well as in regards to lifting weights, there is no reason I should not lose weight. Perhaps the answer really is that simple: I'm eating too much. Too many calories, too big of a portion? Is it truly the wine I drink that is preventing me from shedding fat? Time will tell.

I'll be focused on habit changing. I aim to eat dinner earlier, drink more water, eat less at night and curb my wine intake. These are all big changes and goals that will not be easy. This program has me doing a lot of self-reflection. I sort of hate that. On one hand, it makes me accountable since I have emotional "homework" to do, and things to talk about every other week with my one-on-one meetings with my coach. On the other hand, it's just another chore on my to-do list.

Already, I feel hesitation because I never stick with anything -- blogging, writing, tracking on myfitnesspal, etc, nothing sticks for more than a few days or few weeks. I get bored. I get irritated. I get annoyed with the fact I have to take time out of my day to "track these things", or "feel these thoughts". I shouldn't though, since it's about ME. What is being done is for the benefit of myself - yet I can't seem to get with the program so to speak. This will be a challenge. For as much as I focus on myself and my downfalls or limitations,  I don't really help myself up all that much. 

I will officially start tomorrow. I had gotten some meal replacements and ideas on Thursday, and actually followed through on Friday with eating before 7pm. I had a low cal dinner and was good all day carb-wise. I royally screwed up Saturday out with friends though. I realize I cannot put myself in social settings where there is alcohol and/or chicken wings. My excuses are countless: 
  • It's so and so's birthday, time to celebrate!
  • As long as I eat low carb, it'll be fine
  • This will be my last hurrah
  • No, really, I'll start tomorrow
  • I don't want to be the only one not drinking
  • I should really eat if I'm going to be drinking…

The list can go on. At the end of the day, I drank about 5 drinks, had about 12 chicken wings to myself, ate dinner late at home and it involved bread, and I drank 2 glasses of wine. Even though I drank water throughout the afternoon (and like a fish), I was still battling a migraine at night and I felt like crap today. I immediately hated myself when nighttime rolled around Saturday and I was pretty much more down on myself or feeling depressive this afternoon. Oh, I've also decided to up my antidepressant medication to see if that helps. 

Today was good though. I rested, prepped all my food with lean meats and veggies, planned my meals, organized my things for the week, took my vitamins, and tried to get a run in outside. It was a sucky run though, so I felt like crap. I took a rest day from the gym Saturday and knew I had to do something today. The weather was so nice that I felt like it would be a waste to not do something outdoors. 

I dusted off my old Garmin gps watch but it would not--for the love of all things holy--sync with the location satellites. My phone apps were not working. Map My Run was not tracking the right pace. Nike running wouldn't run and my phone wouldn't recognize the app. Everything sucked. To make matters worse, about 10 minutes in, my shins started to kill me. I have been running on the indoor track at the gym or the treadmill for my runs. My body is not used to the concrete and it seriously took a beating. I tried to do at least 2 miles (I hope) and limped back home. 

Tomorrow I'll try to run again, do some squats and push ups. I have my "walking test" with my coach to see where I am at pace-wise for walking and cardio ability. This will be easy. I hope I get to meet with my trainer soon too. I have big goals all around and would love to get started on them. 

I think November 10th will be my new "Day 1".  I know I'm setting myself up for a hell of a time with the holidays coming up, but I guess it's a good thing we never have plans and don't see family during this part of the year. What usually upsets me could actually be used to my advantage now, go figure! 

I've got ground turkey and vegetables for breakfast with a pear, some chicken and broccoli for lunch with a salad, I'll do my program meals for a snack and dinner (before 7) and be watchful of my wine. I want to start the week off strong. Here goes nothin'...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Grind

Back to the work week. Another case of the Mondays. We let a team member go at work today, so I have more duties to look forward to. Yay.

Took yesterday as a rest day since it's been so HOT in the Bay Area and I was still sore in the calves from Saturday's work out, I knew not to push it. I worked out after work on Friday and just jogged for 30 minutes, did 70 push ups. I got up early on Saturday and hit chest/back/legs. I managed to PR on a bench press, 105 pounds. It was 3 reps, but I gotta take it easy on my tendinitis. I hate it!

Again, I've been told by my PT to lay off heavy weights and any back exercises, so I'm sticking to upper body and lighter weights, higher reps. No dead lifts, no thrusts, no KB swings etc for a while :(, but I can surely work out my shoulders and upper back and glutes! I'm seriously obsessed with growing my ass. I try to squat at least 3 times a week seriously (at the rack) and try to incorporate a few body weight or light barbell movements in some upper body compound movements. Gets the old heart rate up!

Today's workout:
Y Raises 3x10 @8lbs
T Raises 3x10 @8lbs
Rear delt fly 3x10@12.5 lbs
Seated Arnold Press 3x10 @20lbs
DB Bench Press 3x12 @20lbs
Barbell (BB) Bench Press 3x12 @45lbs
BB bicep curls, 3x10  30lbs
BB shoulder pulls, 3x10 @30lbs
BB squat to bench, (narrow and wide) 4x10 @45lbs
and just for fun,  kettlebell (18lb) squat shoulder press, 10 reps each leg

By the end my shoulders had burned out, so I didn't want to push it anymore with the KB.

Oh, how I love you.
I meal prepped a little cleaner this week, with ground turkey and Bragg's amino acids with some brown rice, peas and steamed broccoli. I ate half an english muffin with some peanut butter pre-workout and I think it helped me out.

I also have found my new love, pumpkin ice cream from Trader Joes. Oh, the spoon I ate it with was clean...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Just a Wednesday Workout

I really feel like I need to get into another program or start meeting with a trainer. There are days when I am strictly cardio, there are days when I work on particular body parts and there are days where I haphazardly go into the gym and do whatever I think won't make me hurt. Today was a mix of the later two.

I'm giving my legs and back a rest today and went with upper body training. I decided to focus mainly on chest and triceps with a little shoulder work. I have also made a goal for myself to do 36 push ups a day every day for the month of October. That's just 3 sets of 12, or one day, I can do more than the 20 in a row I can do now. I just have to remember to NOT end my routine with the push ups like I did today, or else I literally feel like I am pushing the world away from me. Collapse was inevitable.

It was a welcome surprise to see the weight area so empty on a Wednesday morning. I'm guessing the throes of men or sports fans who watched the wild card game last night of the A's vs the Royals were either up celebrating or crying into their whiskey and Bud Light all night. I just drowned my sorrow in mushroom ravioli.

I know, I know, carbs! Carbs are evil! "Why are you eating pasta late at night?" you may ask. Pfft. Whatever. I knew I was going to lift this morning and I had done squats earlier on Tuesday with 95 lbs, so I wanted to feed my muscles. After tracking with myfitnesspal that day, I realized I had only net about 1200 calories. That is below what my BMR is, so I knew I had some leeway to eat that night.

I am also still struggling to find that sweet spot with caloric intake. For me, I'm not losing or gaining at 1800 calories a day (wine is included in that count). All the calculators I see tell me I should be eating 2200, so I'm going to give that a go for two weeks and see where that gets me. It means more carbs, more protein and more fuel for my workouts. After my trial run, I will go back to an 1800 calorie day assuming that deficit will help my body release some fat. Fingers crossed.

Overall, I had a good workout. I could barely lift my arms while making breakfast later at the office. I still have to baby my right arm though bc of the tendinitis. I stayed with lighter weights and higher reps today.

Todays' workout:

Barbell bench press, 45#, 3 sets of 15
Overhead press, 45# 5 sets of 5
Squats, 45#, 5 sets of 12
High cable pull, 50#, 3 sets of 10
Skull crushers, 30#, 3 sets of 10
Dumb bell chest press, 20#, 3 sets of 10
Standing shoulder dumbbell press, 20# dumb bells, 2 sets of 6
Tricep overhead press, 20#, 3 sets of 10
Toe push-ups, 3 sets of 12

I pretty much felt like She-Hulk on the way out of the gym.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A case of the Mondays

Banner day, today. First I get told by dermatologist that losing weight would help with a skin condition (gee, thanks) and then I got turned down for a job I had gone through two phone interviews with. Coupled with not being able to work out this morning, forgetting my gym socks for tonight and other work woes, Monday royally fits the stereotype of suckage today.

This weekend I rallied though and did my first 5k in a long time. I survived the 3.1 miles and did it in about 36 minutes. Not bad, not great. I got home and iced and rested and took a bunch of ibuprofen. I had done some mild weight lifting in the morning, so jazzing myself up for a 6pm run through the streets of Oakland was not on my list of favorite things, but it was fun.

I'm glad I did it though. I ran it alone and made a new friend via Twitter. I enjoyed seeing all the other women run, in costume or not and just the vibe of being downtown on a Saturday night and not going to a bar, but sweating my ass off, plugging along the city streets, huffing and puffing and waving at cute cops at traffic stops.

Taking a day off today--unintentionally--but maybe I need it. I'm still in a hermit mode. I fear that it will only get worse now that the holiday season is approaching and I have some goals I'd like to work on in the gym before January. I got 3 months to keep my rally going.

This broad ran Broadway.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Down in the Dumps

Some days, you throw the shoes you wore to work in the trash by your desk because they are falling apart. Some days, you kneel in front of an open fridge after work and eat ham straight from the deli package in front of your dog. Some days, you rush home and go to the liquor store to buy wine because you've run out and dammit, now is not the time to be sober.

 Last week I had all of those days and needless to say, I was thrilled the weekend came. I saw my physical therapist on Thursday to make sure my back was okay. It's been hurting me for the past week or so and I didn't want it to affect my workout routine. Even with a few days off, I managed to have a personal best on my squat on Saturday. 100 pounds! I also have been maintaining my bench press at a steady 105lbs so I'm not losing muscle. The only thing that sucks is that I haven't lost any fat either.

I've been in that slump again. It started last week and I can't get the funk out. I'm falling down that slippery slope of self-hate again. I'm not thinking nice things about myself or my body. I'm avoiding the mirror. I'm having food guilt. I'm struggling between cutting my calories again since 1800 a day is NOT letting me lose weight, but I don't know if that's ENOUGH to fuel my workouts to continue to squat triple digits. Sigh.

I'm taking a break again. My PT basically shot me down and said my workouts are "too aggressive" for a someone with back pain. Granted it's low level though chronic pain, I am trying to build my strength and stay active. This, in the long run should help me. I realized I haven't really taken a full week off of working out. I mean, nothing, zip, zero, nada. I took about 7 days off from weights due to my forearm pain (oh tendinitis) but I just picked up the leg days and running in replace of that. 

Unfortunately, now I can't run, do any sprints, intervals, high impact work or lift heavy. Upper body workouts can stay, but my form has to be perfect. Body weight squats are fine, but anything else is asking for trouble. Now I've got myself a challenge to pick up some new classes, variations and workout routines. I think swimming or water aerobics, yoga and Pilate's are in my future. I'm thankful my gym has a pool and reformer classes. I'm willing to dish out the cash if it will be helping my core strength and alignment.

I just wish I could get out of this negative thought process. Every morning I dread finding an outfit. My internal dialogue is to the effect of: My pants don't fit. My face is fat. I have jowls. My workout top rides up when I run. My work clothes from last year don't fit STILL. My stomach is huge. What's wrong with me? I'm tired all the time. I posted somewhere the other day that I was tired of feeling like a "before" picture. That's what I honestly feel like. I'm at the precipice of something--and have been for a year--with no change. I've taken many a plunge, changed routines, diet etc and yet, here I am, unhappy again. The only thing I can do is to just keep waking up, working out and testing out different things to see what could work.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Finding Flexitarian

I realized today I have a new favorite Starbucks drink. I also realized it is the longest name to ever order: "Sugar-free, Cinnamon Dolce Nonfat Coffee Frappuccino." That, my friends, is a mouthful --albeit a delicious mouthful. It's my latest obsession at around 110 calories for a tall. It's better than 200 cal for my beloved pumpkin spice latte though...the sacrifices I make.

I'm stuck in the land of cardio these days. A bit of overuse or who knows what I did to my forearm, has given me some pain and therefore I'm laying off of any weight training :(. I can't even do dips or push ups really without straining my arm and causing inflammation and pain. It sucks, plain and simple.

With my back being moody as well, I have to go easy on the treadmill and watch my movements. My "let's go September!" momentum has faded. I don't feel any closer to dropping a pants size, nor am I making any strength gains this month. I'm just in sustaining mode. Not gaining, not losing. Again.

One change I made this month is eating less meat. I don't really eat red meat anymore and I am going to see if this helps my digestion, my diet and how I feel. If I don't feel better doing this, I'll go back. I am trying to not really buy any meat this month (just use up what I have in the freezer/fridge) and only eat it at one meal during the day, usually lunch. A usual for me is Trader Joe's "Healthy Ham" with some eggs for breakfast, or organic boneless/skinless chicken thighs from Costco for lunches and some ground turkey for my tacos or as a snack post-workout. Time to kiss them good bye.

I have kicked up my fish intake though, so here I am welcoming in all those Omega-3's, Mr. Salmon. Hopefully I can get to a point where maybe I'll eat meat once in a while, or only while out. I'm trying to not freak out over "where is my protein coming from??" or FOF (Fear of Farting) from so many beans/veggies, but it will get me to be creative with how I feed and fuel my workouts. I guess we'll just have to see how this Flexitarian/Pescatarian world treats me.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Look Back

Crazy to believe I started this new blog one year ago today. I thought I would see myself a bad ass lifting machine by now, but that's not how life works, is it?

I remember those first days in the gym after a 3 month hiatus due to the car accident and lots of chiropractic visits. I had just  literally already come off a month long hiatus prior due to hernia surgery before then, so it really did feel like starting from scratch. The days of just walking on the treadmill. The dread of going to the gym after work and hoping I didn't re-injure myself...I remember the hesitation and the feeling of being let down when I couldn't run or walk uphill due to back pain. I still have issues, but the more I remain active the more hopeful I am they will resolve themselves with time.

I remember the day I took this picture. It was early September 2013. I had gone to the gym after work and really wanted to push past 30 minutes. I also bought this purple short sleeve shirt from H&M ahead of time because none of my old work out tops fit or flattered me. I was embarrassed of my stomach and fat arms. I didn't want anything to cling to me. I had this look of determination though, I was so serious. I can see the sadness in my eyes too though, the struggle and the thought process behind them that says, "Please let this work."

In those days, I sometimes left the gym with tears welling up in my eyes. The frustration, the pain, the anger when I thought how exactly one year prior I was in the best shape of my life. My current gym selfies are a bit more sweaty now, maybe more smirky, but I'm still determined.

What I internally fight with now is that for all the time I've put into my workouts, I believe I should see more of a change in my body. I took the photo on the left on 8/28/13. I took the photo on the right on 8/24/14. Pretty much one year apart, pardon the shitty quality but it really depressed me. It's been really hard to not be down on myself or upset with myself for not seeing a more obvious changes in myself this week.
I can see a teeny more definition in my waist. I notice some leaning out in my back and the beginning of some back muscles! I get discouraged since I follow other motivational accounts on social media and see so much more done in so much shorter of a time. Argh!! I know, eyes on my own journey. Eyes on my own workout. 

I'll try to take some more pics this weekend after a hopefully more active workout and with better lighting. Getting a shot of your own back and ass is hard, I gotta say. All I can do is keep doing what I'm doing. Stay consistent. Stay the course. Keep lifting heavier and trying to get my cardio in. I may also attempt to go vegetarian for 90% of meals nowadays. I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for my body to take in, digest and fuel my body with what I need.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Shake, Rattle and Roll

To say I am looking forward to this upcoming three day weekend is an understatement. I only wish I was going away somewhere for a quick trip, but a staycation is probably just what the doctor ordered.

I'm taking it easy this week on the weights since I seem to have given myself a tiny case of golfer's elbow somehow. The tendons between my forearm and bicep are not happy with me on my right arm. I may have been overdoing it with front squats or some bar action :(. My legs are also still killing me from my 90 minute workout on Saturday.

For the first time in a while I was able to work out alone at the Y and do a good, solid 60+ min workout. I was in the zone. I did so many squats (sumo, goblet, bench) and lunges (side and reverse) with the 40lb barbell, along with some chest and back work. Someone was taking up the squat rack for the entire time, so I was a bit peeved, but I managed to kill it on my own in the free weight section. I sweat so much I had a little puddle where I was working out. Gross, I know....

I also started and ended with a mile run on the treadmill. 700 calories burned. I was pretty much down for the count on Sunday though. I skipped the gym since I was up at 3:30 in the morning anyway due to our NorCal earthquake! It was centered 30 miles from where I live, but we definitely felt the rolling for a good 10-15 seconds and falling back asleep was not an option!

I did a bit of meal prep instead and made my simple salsa chicken stew. I always think my food looks better than it really does, but despite the terrible picture, this is actually quite tasty and easy for my lunches. I think this pic can qualify for the food horrors of Instagram if I really try...

Here's the recipe:

Trust me, it's really tasty.
Salsa Chicken Stew
1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tbs olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups of broth
1 small red onion chopped
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 can of organic corn kernels (no sugar added)
1 can of diced green chilis
1 roasted poblano pepper, chopped (optional)
2 roma tomatoes, chopped or 1 can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of salsa of your choice

Shredded cheese and green onion to top it off.

The How-To

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces of your choice. In a sauce pan (or pot), warm the olive oil and brown the chicken on all sides. Add the onions and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add in the broth, tomatoes, salsa, black beans, corn and poblano if you have it. I just happened to have one lying around that I grilled and it really kicked up the spice level of the stew for me.

Bring the stew to a boil and then lower the heat and cover for 15 minutes. Add the green chilis last since they tend to disintegrate if over cooked. Cook for another 10 minutes. Scoop out into bowls and top with green onion and cheese (if desired).

I made a batch of this and it's good for at least 4 bowls of 1.5 cups of stew. It gets better each day!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Shoulder Workout

This week has seriously been the longest.week.ever. I am excited to do NOTHING this weekend. All I plan to accomplish is the gym, a few naps, grocery shopping and house cleaning. After two crazy weekends in a row, mama needs some down time. The hermit in me cries out.

I ended up taking a full rest day yesterday. Who am I kidding to think I'll actually make it to the gym during lunch or after work sometimes? My hatred of a packed gym and hunger override the desire to go. It happens. If you're starving and sore, chances are your body will thank you for not going to work out.

After work we've been having lots of protests downtown so my natural instinct is to get the hell out of here as soon as possible to avoid any public transit delays. Once I get home, it's all snuggles with my dog, dishes and getting dinner ready. I just can't motivate hard enough (yet) if I don't work out in the morning. I still can't shake this constant exhaustion.

Today was shoulders and a little back action. I had originally intended to do some running, but figured tomorrow will be leg day and some cardio, so today was arms. I was craving some muscle building. The fact that I can barely lift my protein shake right now means I did something right. I worked on rotator cuff strengthening too. Ever since my car accident I have the now wonderful affliction of a rib that pops out or upper/lower back aches. My goal is to grown and strengthen the muscles around my shoulder blades and core to help with that.

All through my workout though I noticed my gloves STANK. Seriously. I had no idea hand sweat could turn so odorous while sweaty gym gloves sit in your already moistened gym bag. I cannot wait until my gym bag deodorizers get here from Amazon. I feel so funky...like funkmaster flex. And tomorrow I will be sore. Time to protein up!

Friday Workout:

  1. Arnold Presses 2x10 @15lbs, 2x10@22.5
  2. Incline Y Raise 3x10 7.5lbs
  3. Incline W Raise 3x10 @ 10lbs
  4. Front incline dumbbell raise 3x10 @10lbs
  5. Reverse Flies on the bench, 2x10 @10lbs
  6. Single arm row, 3x10 @22.5lbs
  7. Lying single dumbbell french press, 3x10 @20lbs
  8. Chest press, 10 reps, 15lb, 22.5lb, 25lb
  9. Upright rows, 3x10 @15lbs
  10. Standing shoulder press, 3x10@15lbs
  11. 90 degree dumbbell external rotation 3x10 @5lbs
  12. Side raises 3x15 @5lb
  13. Simultaneous combo front/side raise 3x15 @5lb

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Weddings, Workouts and Wine

My lovely veggie plate.
That was my weekend. Apparently it's taken me 3 days to recuperate! I got to see one of my very best friends get married last Saturday and had a wonderful vegetarian reception to enjoy as well afterwards. I made sure to partake in everything and not feel any guilt!

I took Sunday as a rest day and met up with some friends for a bit before doing a quick essentials only grocery run. I didn't do a whole lot of meal prep outside of boiling some eggs and making 3 lunches with brown rice/ground turkey with taco seasoning. I am falling in love with grilled scallions though...but I digress.

Monday was back at the gym for 3 miles on the treadmill but my lower back is acting up again so it was a slow 3 miles. Tuesday was squats, chest and tricep day. I finally made my way to the big girl squat rack at my Monday-Friday gym near work. It's usually overrun with guys who take way too long or the rare girl who hogs it for squats and lunges. Tuesday that girl was me.

I did a few ass to grass reps with just the bar and then added 10lbs. I have to start slow, but we all gotta start somewhere. Hopefully in a few months I'll smile at all the weight I've begun to pile on the bar...

I'm now using 40/45lb barbells for my overhead press and skull crushers. This excites me. It's a real chore just getting to 8 reps, but I'm building strength. I don't really see any progress in my arms (I swear they are getting bigger and that is NOT what I want!) but I feel stronger. 

My hips are really tight though and I'm realizing I really need to get some yoga back into my life regularly. A few stretches here and there help a tiny bit, but I need a good hour long class to really help me back into the habit. Today I started with some assisted pull ups and tricep dips at 70lb resistance. I ran on the treadmill for 25 minutes and then did some leg raises. Tonight I aim to go to the gym again after work for a warm up and then some arm/shoulder work. Light weight, high rep day.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Stranger's Inspiration

Well, I made it to Friday. I almost didn't work out today since the BF crawled back into bed post alarm and decided he was not. Given the fact I was already awake and two other alarms kept going off, I took it as a cue to get my ass out of bed and go to the gym anyway. I may try and pull a double if I can.

I ran for 35 minutes on the treadmill, followed by some leg raises (3x10) and tricep dips (2x5). I then hit the mat and did 4 variations of push ups. Ugh. 10 at wide stance, 10 at narrow stance, 10 pyramid push ups and a very painful 8 reps in pike position. Those are the devil.

While I was headed to the treadmill, I saw a woman I see mostly every day doing her thing, walking uphill. She does this for about 30-40 minutes each day, or sometimes hops on the elliptical next to me. What's different about her is that she is obviously going through or underwent some sort of treatment (my guess is chemo therapy). At first, her stature startled me. She appeared weak and frail, a tiny thing. She has a disfigured back and barely any hair on her body or meat on her bones. Yet she walks. She moves. She commits every day.

Sometimes she makes me sad. I'm not sad for her, but for the state she is in. I can smell the medication on her. I can sens the frailty in the locker room. I hate it for her. A eucalyptus breeze mixed in with menthol pain relief--reminiscent of a Salonpas patch or Icy-Hot--travels down the line of cardio machines or when she walks by.

I wonder about her. Was she in the peak of her life when something out of her control hit? Was she a fitness enthusiast who loved to work out when she was blindsided by illness? Or is she just trying to get better, maintain momentum and not give into whatever is ailing her? It's none of my business, but she is tenacious. She is inspiring. She is motivating. I am glad I woke up and forced myself to the gym just because I could.

There must have been a time when this stranger so desperately wanted to but couldn't. I'll never know what she went through or what she goes through on a daily basis. I can only see her getting faster every day. I think back to my own hurdles now and they pale in comparison in my mind. The days of being laid up in bed with hundreds of healing sutures, not even able to sleep on my back fade in the distance. Remembering the pain of an out of place rib or sore back, the summer spent at the chiropractor...it seems far behind me now. I still pull from those memories though. I still wake up half hating where I am in this journey, but also quite thankful for the energy I have now to be and stay ON this journey.
keep going

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rest Day!

high protein breakfast
Part of my 42g protein breakfast on Wednesday
I'm really trying this moderation thing. After working out for many consecutive days the past two weeks, the end result is not heaps of energy and a looser waistband. It is exhaustion. It is hunger. It is craving naps and carbs. At least for me. 

The way the schedule works in my house is that Thursdays are rest days. The BF and I skip the gym in the morning but I usually end up going at night anyway. I won't do that this week. I'll be back on the horse for Fri-Wed again, and since my legs (quads, thanks front squat) are hurting today, I'm going to actually rest.

 It feels "undeserved", since I didn't work out Fri-Sun of last week, but I need to change my mindset. Exercise is something I do because I enjoy it. It is not a means to an end. The journey never ends. I won't wake up six  months now and upon seeing pure satisfaction in the mirror one morning (a girl can wish), simply stop all that I'm doing. 

I'm not a slave to the routine and I'm not going to penalize myself for taking time to relax. I've got plenty to keep me busy tonight after work anyhow. I'd like to go up in weight on the barbell next week (40lbs) with my sets and be able to bench press this weekend. I think that if I stick to my core compound movements, I'll continue to move forward somehow. Dead lifts, bench press, overhead press and pull up work is the name of the game. Add in some push-ups, cardio, ab work and something, anything please change on me physically!

You don't have to spend hours at the gym during cardio. I'm hoping this is right. I keep thinking back to when I lost 20 lbs all I felt like I did was run. Well, that wasn't really working this time around. 

I feel like this image conveys the truth in a path towards success. There is not only ONE type or kind of success. There are many times we may fail, but in the end, we will always win at something.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday Workout

Impressive stats for the morning so far: My breakfast had 42 grams of protein in it and I think I squatted my ass off during my work out.

For some reason the dog woke us up around 3 am this morning and I could not for the life of me get back to sleep. I keep reading memories and clips and social media messages of Robin Williams to pass the time. I laid awake dreading the morning sun and the soon to be slog of getting my ass to the gym.

I only had about 40 minutes to work with, and even with my pre-workout, I just could not manage cardio. I walked by the cardio machines and gave them the death stare. I thought to myself "It's time to work the legs. It's going to be leg day." I started with the leg extension machine and got 3 sets of 10 in but really had no desire to be on a machine. Ever since they reorganized the gym it's become a misguided, misdirected array of fitness machines and the set up irks me. I'd rather just be in the weights section, small as it is.

I pulled up a bench and did the following with a 35# barbell:

  • Skull crushers 10 reps
  • Barbell bench press, 15 reps
  • Shoulder pulls, 10 reps
  • Overhead press, 10 reps
  • Good Mornings, 10 reps
  • Lunges, 10 on each leg, 10 reps
  • Front squats, 10 reps
  • Squat to bench, 15 reps

I repeated that circuit 3 times. I pretty much could barely stand up after the last bench squat. Afterwards,  I grabbed a set of 5lb dumb bells and did some rotator cuff and shoulder work. I'm trying to prep for my bench presses this weekend or possibly tomorrow. During my insomnia I read about some stabilizer exercises to do that help with the rotator cuff strength. I just did high reps with a low weight:

To end, I did 3 sets of 12 push ups and two 45 sec planks. It was all I had time for. This week is a bit off since I have errands to run after work and I can't do a second workout due to doggie duty.  My friend's wedding is Saturday morning and I'm hoping the BF and I can squeeze in a good workout before. A vegetarian buffet will be served and I'm not worried about eating an unhealthy amount of food.

Even though I did not get my heart rate up consistently, I can definitely feel it already in my arms and it's only been a few hours. Here's hoping to some strength and flexibility and the loss of some girth! I keep reading how it's important to build a muscle foundation first before losing fat, so I hope I'm doing it right.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stop the Ride, I Wanna Get Off

I have to stray away from my normal posting today. The world lost a very important, loving being yesterday. The death of Robin Williams seems to have struck a chord with many individuals. Chances are, someone you know, at some point in their lives was influenced by him, was made to laugh by him, or can remember being captivated by a performance of his. He fought demons that ran deep, a true Pagliacci. A comedian to the rest of us, but somewhere, deep inside this sad clown was always harboring an intensity, hiding an insecurity or an overwhelming feeling that he could not manage.

Depression is never easy. Suicide is never the answer. A permanent solution to a seemingly temporary problem that just so happens to swallow you whole is not the solution. I don't agree with the assumption that suicide is selfish. Far from it. Someone in that state never thinks very highly of themselves. Someone in that state thinks the world is a better place without them, a burden of their being is lifted from those around them and a pressure to perform is gone. That's not selfish. That's desperation.

This past year I lost a friend to suicide. I found out from his ex-husband (also my mutual friend) that this person had attempted to take his own life before last year, but managed to accomplish the task this year. Recently, I also fell down the rabbit hole of Googling people from previous lives I used to live and realized that my first lover, actually killed himself last summer. I had not spoken to him in over 14 years, but that memory remains of someone being your "first", and the feeling that life must have been so terrible for this person as we got older, he had to take his own life saddens me greatly.

Everything is not always as it appears. On social media, on TV, even in real life. People put up facades. They put on faces. They go through the motions and they pick up the pieces. I include myself in this generalization. This month I came to the harsh reality that I truly had not been feeling myself. I have not felt like myself for a very long time. My journey has been going on a few years now and while I still believe I was at my physical peak in 2012, I truly hope I have another one coming my way, possibly in 2015? A girl can hope.

I sat and reflected on the things I've gone through, mentally and physically. It all came to me like a lightning bolt one morning from a simple post on social media from another blogger, Go Kaleo. In it, she listed a myriad of symptoms and asked us what we thought it could be. They varied from weight loss/gain, fatigue, hormonal imbalance etc, and seeing them all listed like that, as well as mentally checking off each saying "Yes, that's me," in my mind, it all started to make sense.

Depression comes in many forms. The fix is not as simple as "bucking up" or "going out for a run" to help cheer you up. I have gone on many runs and I have lifted many weights, but nothing has helped lift this fog. I had noticed myself withdrawing more and more from friends. Recent trips where my reticence to go out was obvious and obviously not me made some friends wonder. My constant struggle with weight, my fatigue--no matter how early I go to bed--exhausts me. My anxiety? I blamed on the car accident. The thing is, that was over a year ago. The nights I lay awake for no reason or feel my heart pounding for nothing...these things happen. They happen to me, they happen to others. I just decided to talk to my doctor again and get put back on a prescription I used to be on years ago. A friend also suggested I seek out a third party or therapist to talk to, which I may do.

The thing with antidepressants is, you start to feel better and think you don't need to take them anymore. "Oh! They must be working and I must be fixed!" In some situations that's true. I think I was truly OK for years. And then I was not. I learned to just push things to the side and not really process them. A strained family relationship. The loss of two close friendships. A major surgery. A job loss. A car accident. More surgeries. Things take tolls on people and we all need a little help sometimes. I'm not ashamed to admit it, and I'm not ashamed to ask for it.

All I ask for now, is that people pay attention. Pay attention to yourself and those around you who may never feel good enough to ask.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back to Reality

I had the pleasure of attending a girls getaway weekend this past week for a dear friend before her wedding. It was great to get out of the city and head to Napa, CA. Car rides full of 90s music, tasteless jokes and grocery store field trips make me happy.

Even though I ended up drinking a little too much vino the first night, I managed to pull off a great dinner for the seven of us. I seem to always overdo the first night with booze.  It's almost like I wake up that morning and act like prohibition has just ended and goddammit I'm going to make up for lost time! I'm too old for that crap.

While sitting in traffic I pulled off a menu in my mind of an Italian rice salad with roasted vegetables and mozzarella balls, grilled portabello caps, artichokes and red onions with a garden salad and some roasted chicken added to the mix. Needless to say, dinner was a success and healthy.

The Spread
It was a weekend of girl time, a massage for my weary body since I had pretty much worked out for 10 days in a row. I somehow managed to tweak my shoulder on Thursday while waiting for the bus and then got a terrible charlie horse Friday night, so I took the whole weekend off to recuperate. That being said, I pretty much spent all of Saturday floating on a pool noodle doing some version of  geriatric aerobics. My friend and I did do some drunken push ups before dinner on Saturday night, so it's safe to say we sweat for our supper.

Sweet fruit of the Gods.
Back to the gym this morning for some long overdue weights and a quick run on the treadmill. I was not feeling it when I woke up. My dog has not been feeling well these past few days and on medication, so I wanted to cuddle with my fur baby a little longer. I also didn't sleep very this weekend and have already started the week off with no meal prep and limited gym time due to the BF's work schedule.

I was lucky enough to have already chosen my gym outfit but was struggling for my work attire. You'd think that as a middle aged woman (gag), I'd have a grasp of the closet situation. Instead, I have the fashion sense of an unemployed teenager...or so normcore that anything outside the realm of yoga pants, workout clothes or pajamas scares the hell out of me. Look at my workout gear though and you can't hear yourself above the loudness of my compression pants. Le Sigh.

I have yet to succomb to the need of a blazer, but with my arms and She-Hulk like strength, I need stretchy, forgiving material still. I am at a loss for nude colored undergarments, so every top I have is a Russian roulette of 50 shades of tittay. I also lost a shoe this weekend, so that's one less pair of acceptable flats for office attire. My goal this month is to buy some key wardrobe pieces so I'm not running around in cardigans with holes made by my pup, tops I've had since I was temping 10 years ago and shoes that don't require me to place them in the freezer because they smell.

Today's workout:

Lat Pull Downs/Closed Narrow Grip Pull Downs: 2x10 @75 (I was killing time to get a bench)
Skull crushers 3x10 @35lb barbell
Shoulder pulls 3x10 @35lb barbell
Good Mornings: 3x10 @35lb barbell
Squats to bench 1x10 @ 35lb barbell, 2x10 @45lb barbell
Lunges with 45lb barbell, 2x12 on each leg
Tricep dips, 2x5 (Trying to get lower on the captains chair)
Leg raises on the captains chair (2x10)
15 min run/walk on the treadmill, 1.25 mi

I'm going to aim for my daily routine of 36-50 pushups when I get home and get some hang time in the garage for my pull up/chin up training.

*update, I did not make the home workout, but I think doing 4 loads of laundry got my heart rate up!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tired of Eating Chicken

I really didn't want to get up today. I think I've worked out about 10 days in a row and may not have a rest day until Friday! I may not be able to work out all weekend due to a girl's getaway planned for my friend who is getting married in two weeks. It'll be over 90 degrees in Napa, so I don't foresee a run in my future. I know I AM getting a massage though, which I so desperately need.

I attacked shoulders today along with  some fasted cardio. I aim to do some cardio every day, some more than others. I'm going to see if that helps revs up my weight loss. So far, nothing. I'm going to give my triceps a rest day since I've been doing my dips and push ups for a week straight as well.

Today's workout: Shoulders

  • Lat pull down 2x10# @ 75, 1x10 @90#
  • Narrow grip pull down 2x10# @ 75, 1x10 @90#
  • Front lateral raise on incline bench: 3x10 @10#
  • T-raise: 3x10 @ 10#
  • Side lateral raise: 3x10 @10#
  • Seated military shoulder press: 2x10 @22.5#
  • Standing military press: 2x8 @ 22.5#
  • Upright Dumbell row: 3x8@22.5#
Fast run/walk intervals on treadmill 25 minutes

I'm still pretty pooped out by the end of the day. Hoping this protein shake ritual at breakfast helps me out. I am trying to get my protein up, but haven't mastered my macros or grasped the fact that eating over 200g of carbs a day will help me lose weight. I'm prepping chicken a million different ways too. And speaking of chicken: I AM TIRED OF EATING CHICKEN.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Such Great Heights

This morning I successfully chugged down a scoop of protein powder with only water and ice. Not as gag worthy as I thought it would be. Baby steps. I've worked out for 8 days straight now. I need to take it easy. Granted, I'm only working out about 45-50 minutes each workout, so I should be ok. I've tried to keep some variety in there too.

Friday I had my work event and lo and behold, I attempted to rock wall climb. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I seem to have selective fear of heights. Sometimes I'm fine, other times I get all freaked out and think the end of the world is near if I go up one step further.  Here's proof of my attempt:
Check out that calf!
I don't know if I'll be rushing out to get a membership to any climbing gyms any time soon, but at least I can say I did it once. My anxiety set in after I got to where that wall slanted. It doesn't look that high from this pic, but it's already about 8 feet in the air. Sweaty palms do not make for good grips! I'm proud of myself for attempting, for getting my crotch harnessed in there like a vice and using my upper body strength to not fall off the wall onto the poor woman below me. If I saw my ass barreling down towards me, I'd drop me too.

I worked out that morning at the gym with a 3 mile run. Saturday was weights, leg day. I managed to do 95lb rack pulls since I'm not too sure of my dead lift form. I also bench pressed and was thrilled to see that after a brief hiatus, I managed to bench 85/95/105 lbs. New PR! She-Hulk status was achieved. Sunday, the Spartan and I hit the gym again, and I did a easy jog/3 mi run.

This morning I did NOT want to move. I've been so tired and I just keep pushing myself. Back at the gym by 7am before work. Today's work out:
25 intervals on the bike
lat pull downs and narrow grip pull downs 2x10 75#, 1x10 90#
tricep dips 3x8
leg raises 4x8
push ups 10, 12. 15, 10

All that equaled about a 300 cal burn.

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Week of the Gym

It's been a long week. I spent most of yesterday fixing everyone else's sloppy work or errors. I hate it when my job depends on the competency of others. Especially when it is non-existent. I slept in til 6:30 am (I know, the LUXURY!) and decided to hit the gym after work Thursday.

I really had to force myself to enjoy it last night, but getting my frustrations out at that bar is much better for me than hitting up A bar after work. I did some assisted pull ups and tricep push downs, cable pulls, bicep curls with the 35# bar and skull crushers. I also managed to do a few sets at the bench:
  1. 2x10 at 55lbs
  2. 2x8 at  75lbs
  3. 2x8 at  85lbs
  4. 2x5 at  95 lbs
I'm glad I haven't lost the ability to bench that weight with all the cardio I've been doing.  There were dudes all over though last night. I got to work out next to the mayor, that's always fun, but some of the other "dude bros" really piss me off. The slamming down of weights, the poor form, the nasty sweat on the bench no one picks up...I could go on. I hope my death stare does enough though. I will not be intimidated in the free weight section. I keep forgetting to bust out my She-Hulk status tank top. I don't feel worthy of it yet! After about 45 minutes of weights, I hit the treadmill for an easy 1.5 mi run.

I realized I only net about 700 calories yesterday, so I had some carbs in the form of kale/white bean ravioli with my rose for dinner. I didn't go over my calories, but I always feel bad about eating carbs at night. I gotta get over it. I'm also not giving up my 2 glasses of wine a night, but we'll see if that's really what is hindering me.

This morning I was back at it. 35 minutes on the treadmill at 7am. This time I'm noticing my jogging pace is going up. I used to run at a 5.0mph after the car accident last summer. Then I ran a 5.2-5.3 pace most of the time. Lately I've been hitting the 5.5-5.7mph range with the occasional bursts at 6.0mph. My goal is have my 5 minute running intervals be 6.0mph. I need to do more sprinting though. I've also been lacking on my leg days. I do a few lunges here and there with squats or good mornings, but I've been spending more time running than lifting these days.

Today we have a work event where we get out early and will be rock wall climbing. Dear lord I've never done this before...I hope I don't mess up my arms somehow. I'm one of the people actually attempting to climb. Who the hell have I become? I don't do team building crap! I got suckered in by the fitness.

I swear, I still have the upper body strength of a tyrannosaurus.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Keep Showing Up

Mid-week blues. Allergies are going crazy today and being woken up half an hour earlier than my alarm makes me cranky.

I was flipping through my fitness Instagram account last night and it depressed me. I started this journey (or at least documenting it by photos) on August 28, 2013. Almost one year later, I virtually look the same. Something has to be going on. I'm either not being true to myself, my tracking or honest with my food intake. Either that, or something is truly off balance inside of me, hormonally or my cortisol levels are so out of whack they are making me retain every bit of stress, guilt and grudges I've accumulated all year and rounding my belly out with them.

I admit I am still holding grudges, I am still stressed out, I still have anxiety etc, but I don't believe it's too the point of where I should be hindered this much from losing weight. Part of me wanting to track again and use this blog was to see what works and what doesn't, and use it as a reference.

I wish I had kept better track of my food intake, my exercises, my feelings through the whole process  2 years ago. I feel robbed of what I believed to be the body I was almost happy with. Prior to my hysterectomy surgery due to a large fibroid, I was training for a half marathon. I was boxing. I enjoyed Bikram. I was active, let's put it that way. I lost about 20 pounds and was on my way to lose more. I can honestly say I was getting into the best shape of my life the right way, the fun way. Then, spring of 2012 hit and everything changed.

I don't want to harp on it or make excuses anymore, but I can't help but feel pissed off at the course of events that happened to me. I need to change my mindset. Things don't happen TO me, I go THROUGH things. Surgeries and car accidents aside, I have been consistent at trying to better myself and get stronger. I have suffered with recovery, inactivity, set backs and injuries long enough. Last summer's accident prevented me from doing a lot, but last fall I really started kicking things into high gear. Fast forward to today, and I can recognize the gains I have made, but I need to start focusing on loss.

I'm not looking for change overnight, but I really need something to keep me going. To keep pushing. 11 months and counting...counting the amount of clothes I can't fit into. I'm counting the amount of workout pants I own. I'm counting calories, counting minutes held in planks or wall sits. I would like to start charting some progress!! I guess this is the part of the journey where everyone says "keep going! push through it! stay with it! stay consistent!". So here I am. I'm going to keep showing up.

Today's Workout
Fasted cardio:
  • 3 mile run on the treadmill
  • 40 push ups
  • will work on assisted pull ups, leg raises at home
  • DB shoulder presses, front/side raises
Breakfast was a fat free english muffin with low sodium ham, thin sliced cheese and tomato and half a Lara bar (peanut butter cookie), lots of water. Lunch is being catered at work today, so it's sandwich wraps and fruit/veggies. I may pass on a cupcake, but I'm not made of stone.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gotta Push Up to Get Down

I Well, I didn't make it back to the gym after work last night, but I did go home and knock out some shoulder presses with 25# dumb bells, 5x5, and in between did a set of 12 push ups. I hung out in the garage (literally) and toyed around with my body band for assisted pull ups and leg raises. I feel like I've gotten a few millimeters closer to pulling myself up. It's going to be a long, long process.Also, my hands are beginning to feel like sandpaper. Go callous, go!

I made some chana masala last night with potatoes and mushrooms for dinner so I got my carb fix. I did not want to wake up this morning (still battling never ending fatigue), but 5:45 am came and up we went to the gym. I've got to start prepping the BF better the night before so we can get out of the house earlier. I'm not getting to the gym until about 7 am, which puts me on a machine by 7:10 and only gives me 30-35 min to work out before I have to make myself presentable for work. I fear the day I forget my bra or bring an extra set of workout pants instead of work pants...Can I get an early dismissal for inappropriate work attire? Yes, Please.

I may have to go to the gym tonight to get an extra 20-30 minutes in. I'm trying lean out and upping my cardio is the only way I think that will work.

I ran interval sprints (walk 90sec, jog @ 6mph 1min, sprint @8 for 1 minute) this morning for 25 min and ended up doing 4x12 sets of push-ups. This morning I did variations with wide stance, narrow stance and triangle stance to work all sides of my triceps. Needless to say I was beet faced red and sweaty up until at least half an hour into my work day. I hate that.

Breakfast was:
  • half an avocado
  • boiled egg
  • trader joe's wheat and corn tortilla with kale, cheese and refried black beans
Lunch will be my usual spicy peanut Chinese chicken salad with a smattering of protein rich snacks throughout the day. I'm aiming for 1860 cal a day to see if it works.

I've been looking back through my Instagram and realizing that it's been almost a year since I've re-started this journey. I'm trying to not get upset at the fact that the same jeans I tried to fit into I STILL cannot fit into, nor has my weight gone down at all. I think my body really took a hit with the hysterectomy surgery, and even though I have my ovaries, my hormones and stress levels can't be completely normal.

I have taken matters back into my own hands again though and decided to start back on an old prescription with the advice of my doctor. We'll see if this helps my mindset or my body start reacting the way it should. I know I've come a long way with my knowledge, dedication and strength, now it's time to really focus and honing in on specific goals.

My pants are too bright for 6am.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Setting New Goals

I've definitely burned some calories.
Well, this tracking thing didn't go very well, did it? No updates since December and I admit, life gets in the way and sitting in front of a computer is not what I want to do after a full day of work. I haven't had a magical transformation yet, but I have come a long way in terms of strength. I had set some goals to achieve by my birthday in July and I did it.

I've been steadily going to the gym, just staying consistent and while the pounds haven't melted off of me, I am definitely stronger. Six months ago I could not do a full push up but today I can:
  • Do 15 real push ups in a row. 
  • I can maintain a wall sit for 3:30 with a 25 lb weight on my lap. 
  • I can bench press 100 pounds. 
  • I can do not 1, but 5 unassisted tricep dips. 
I remember how hard it was just to keep my body weight up on the captain's chair (or the Power Tower at some gyms) at the Y. Now, I can walk right up to the equipment, pump out a few leg raises and turn around to do some dips.

I've been good at meal prep, fasted cardio in the a.m., working on my muscles and trying different things in terms of diet and exercise. I've attended my first Soul Cycle class, which I loved, but can't afford due to location and cost, but it was fun and challenging. I've attended boot camp classes near my home, though I think I need to look into personal training a bit before I venture into the land of flipping tires and attempting pull ups again.

There was a trip back to the East Coast where I plugged in my headphones, played Eye of the Tiger and ran up the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art after a 2 mile run. Even on vacation, I made sure to enjoy a swanky hotel gym, a run by the water and over 15 miles of walking per day in New York City!

So, long story short,  I didn't give up, I just gave up tracking. I'd like to set new goals for myself this August which will include keeping myself accountable. I won't put pressure on myself to have lengthy, awe inspiring posts. I'll just post what I feel is necessary or something that I can track my progress with.

August Goals:
  1. Work on my assisted pull-ups and grip strength 3x a week 
  2. Plank a day, increase time by 3-5 sec
  3. The ability to be able to hold crow pose 
  4. Write in the blog, record meal and workout examples
  5. Track food with My Fitness Pal
  6. Minimum 36 push ups a day
A photo recap of what I've been up to, operation Bye Bye, Back Fat, still going strong.

Adios, rolls!