Fitness Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!

I wanted to write a post about my fitness efforts as of late.

In September, I decided to try getting back to running a little bit using my Bioskin Q Brace and taping my knee with KT tape. It definitely helped, but there were still some aggravation in the knee. I started using C25K to try and ease back into it. After taking so long off.. my ankles and legs HATED me. My legs felt so heavy and fatigued very easy. But the more I followed the plan, the better it started to feel. I soon found though that downhill really hurts and knocks my knee out of alignment. But uphills feel wonderful. I feel strong again and have zero pain. (Except.. that hills are killer cardiovascular wise.. and I feel like I’m running in sand, but zero pain.. yay!) I made it through week 7 of the 8 week program, getting to about 3 miles without stopping. But, my knee was starting to hurt more and more, so I backed off and didn’t complete the last week. This was about 2 weeks ago. I think I’m going to give it another week and see what I can do from there. My husband wants me to run the YMCA Turkey Trot with him on Thanksgiving.. I think that should be fine, and if I have to walk, I’ll walk.

In the meantime, I had my revelation that I wanted to take the 21DF more seriously, as I started putting on more weight. I realized that my workouts lacked structure. I was doing weight training, but I would skip days here and there, and I was having a hard time being consistent. I was keeping up with my HIIT training, following a Bodyrock 30 day challenge, but felt like it wasn’t enough cardio. (Although, I have to say, my knee was not bothering me so much when I did these workouts.. which was a huge plus for me.) I was skipping out on weekend workouts, giving into my laziness. I realized that it wasn’t really my will not to work up to my potential, but rather, I needed a program, a schedule.

In 2011 I was supposed to be in my cousin’s wedding. I bought a bridesmaid dress based on what I tried on in the store, but when it came in, it didn’t fit. It was the right size and everything.. and I hadn’t really gained weight in the few weeks it took for it to come in.. but it absolutely didn’t fit. I realized I needed to MAKE it fit. Around the same time, I found Sparkpeople. This website REALLY took my interest- it was a huge health resource and weight loss community. I’ve never seen people who were nicer and more supportive to people on the internet. I found a group doing a program called Supreme 90 Day. It was a P90X type workout program, without the P90X price. People were liking the workouts much more (because they were shorter than P90X) and were finding great results from it. I decided that I wanted to do it, and purchased it at Bed Bath and Beyond for about $20.

I followed the program to a T.. except for the eating part, because it seemed too far fetched at the time.. the concept of “clean eating” was new to me, and I felt like I ate pretty healthy and tracked my calories, so I was good. My results… fairly good!

S90D progression, Summer 2011

S90D progression, Summer 2011 (Sorry a little grainy.. but you get the jist)

 

Me fitting in the bridesmaid dress

Me fitting in the bridesmaid dress

I think I lost 7 lbs total over the course of 90 days. But again, I hadn’t really been following any kind of meal plan other than tracking my calories. So, I decided to use this program to keep me in a fitness regimen, and adding the benefit of lifting with heavier weights than I have at home by doing the strength training workouts at the gym. So I watched the first few videos, wrote down the exercises, put them into spreadsheets that I print and take with me to do my workouts at the gym. I do the cardio based workouts at home because they do not require heavy weights.. and my husband has even been joining in!

The schedule looks like this:

S90D schedule

S90D schedule

I’m on Day 20 as of today. I’ll do it later after work. Next week will be a little tough- we are traveling to NY to visit friends and family, and I won’t be taking my weights with me. I’m planning on bringing some body weight workouts I can do while I’m there to keep my strength and metabolism up, and then pick up where I left off when I get back (probably around D24).

In addition to S90D, I’ve been trying to work in my morning HIIT workouts from Bodyrock to give my metabolism a quick boost. Unfortunately, life gets in the way, and sometimes sleep is more important than doubling up my workouts. But, all this effort seems to be working, as I’m down about 8 lbs from when I started round 4 of the 21DF and the S90D program. I won’t go into too much result detail, as I plan to write a post after I complete the first 30 days, but I’m feeling pretty good lately.. and think I’ve finally found my way to my goals.. as long as I stick to it!

Changes…

As you can see, I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from my blog. It’s not that I haven’t had things to write about… I guess I was just a little disappointed in myself and far as my progress following my modified 21 Day Fix plan. Not only did I not have results.. I think I’ve had the opposite result. I stepped on the scale last week, and it read over 154 lbs. Yeah, that’s a gain. Um… what!? Yeah. I looked at my progress pictures and they didn’t look different really. Which, still isn’t good, as it was not the desired out come. I had been through 3 rounds of the 21 Day Fix based eating plan… and nothing. Why bother?

Well… then I started to acknowledge to myself that which I had been neglecting to acknowledge on Myfitnesspal.. I’ve been sneaking. Nutella binges. Nutella and peanut butter binges. Ice cream (reduced fat, but still). I also had been indulging at parties more- some cake at game night? Sure! Dessert on our anniversary, of course! Drinks on a Friday.. why not? I have come to realize that I wasn’t being very careful after all. And it’s starting to catch up with me.

I’ve resolved that this weight gain is unacceptable. The sugar binges need to stop. I’ve decided this go round (Which started officially yesterday,) I’m going to give it an earnest effort. Now before you think to yourself… it’s easy to say that on day two… yes, it is. BUT, last week was my maintenance week- Since the Fix is designed to run 3 weeks, it is suggested that the fourth be a maintenance week, eating in the maintenance calorie bracket, to help prevent a plateau. So technically, I started getting serious last week. I have had no refined sugar. I have been sticking to my food portions and allotments. I did indulge last Saturday, as we went Downtown with family to join a local beer tasting festival. Yeah, I had more than I wanted to, but I left it at that one indulgence and recovered the next day. I haven’t been skipping workouts, and in fact, I’m trying a new approach to focus my workouts better- which I will explain soon. I also broke down and bought the 21 Day Fix containers. I know.. I have the container sizes worked out on my own and really have no need for actual containers.. but honestly, I went with that for 3 months.. and I’m still stuck in my rut. I’m hoping that having the containers will keep me inspired and motivated to keep going… a visual reminder of what I’m doing, as you will. It’s a complete gimmick, and I know that, but I have to try something different to keep myself on track, no matter how over-simplified or unwise it may seem. (My husband really gave me flack for buying those containers!)

Anyways, I’m hoping to be more present, and share more of what’s going on as I go along. I still plan on sharing my meal plans, and I’m hoping to throw in my workout plans as well.

On a whole other note- I’ve changed my page format! I felt like it needed a fresh look. I know it’s not really purple.. but I thought it was cute and breezy. I’ve also added a new Nutritional Resources page. I would like to list articles and videos relating health and nutrition that I find interesting and noteworthy. Right now I only have one I came across- a lecture on sugar and metabolism given by Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology. It’s a lot of science (sorry, I’m a scientist) but I think even the layperson can get the overall gist of some of the mechanisms he presents. It’s a little long, but the presenter has some comedic relief here and there, which keeps things interesting. Check it out if you have time!

So anyways, I’ll leave it at that. Hoping to have more updates for you soon!

Even Zeus needs his exercise!

Even Zeus needs his exercise!

FOOD

This edition of What I’m Eating Wednesday will be pretty brief. I’m eating a lot of the same foods I ate last week, so no need to really go into much detail about them.

I will mention that last weekend was a disaster in the form of a cookout. This entailed a cheeseburger (without the bread.. not inherently bad), some chips, some pasta salads (there were like, 4 kinds people had brought over), some deviled eggs, some ramen noodle/cabbage coleslaw (which was pretty benign) some rice/quinoa pilaf, two glasses of wine, 1 mojito, and cake. (Oh, and a bite of a donut.. cause I was too full to eat more.. that and I had cake so I didn’t want more sugar.) Yeah. I swear I’m not a binge eater.. this was all consumed over the course of like 6 hours. Needless to say, I didn’t log any of it.. but took it as a loss (or gain, whichever way you want to look at it.)

Sunday wasn’t too bad, although I did indulge in some left over cake and a donut. I’ll also mention that I did zero formal exercise.. other than shampooing the carpet Friday afternoon, and the cleaning frenzy I had on Sunday… which was probably a result of the donut LOL.

Anyways… boo/hiss/BAD Stephanie. But it’s behind me and I’m moving on. I’m still feeling the effects of last week’s cold (cold? virus? whatever it was), but I’m not allowing myself to use it as an excuse to be lazy. I need to get my momentum back, and the best way to do that is to just do what I need to do and find my groove again. So, Monday and today I have PT, yesterday I did yoga then worked my chest/back at the gym. Thursday will probably be shoulders/Tri’s/Bi’s, and Friday some cardio.. though I may switch them.

SO.. food. What am I eating this week. For breakfast I’ve been having toasted bread I got from The Breadery at the farmer’s market two weeks ago, scrambled eggs (two whites, one whole) and some fruit (cantaloupe or strawberries.) I also add about a tablespoon of Land O Lakes Light Butter With Canola Oil to the bread and when I cook the eggs, and of course my morning coffee.

For snack I’m having my protein smoothie. So far I’ve had strawberry/tropical fruit, vanilla/mixed berries/SF/FF cheesecake pudding mix, and chocolate/cherries/SF/FF cheesecake pudding mix.

Lunch is the turkey burger/squash/black beans and salsa meal that I ate last week.

For dinner, I made Barilla veggie spaghetti and zucchini noodles with homemade fresh pesto and shrimp. Very simple, fairly light, and very tasty. I made it on Sunday and my husband and I just finished it yesterday. It’s so good that my husband wants me to make it again this weekend.. so I may do that, as I still have half the pesto I made left over. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it.. but I’ll try to remember if I make it again.

For dinner the rest of the week, I think I’m going to give these veggie burgers a try.

New veggie burger

New veggie burger

We had a coupon for them at BJ’s, so we picked them up. For a packaged food, it’s surprisingly pretty clean according to the ingredients list. I have some guacamole I could throw on top.. and some left over ramen coleslaw we brought home from the cookout.. might go well. I’m kinda impressed with the 14 g of protein. I’ll let you know how it goes.

looks like it's pretty clean

looks like it’s pretty clean

After workouts (but not after PT), I’ve been having my Quest bar. Still the highlight of my day (lol). Seriously though.. it squashes any cravings I usually get for sweets before bed. Which is good considering that my husband bought some ice cream recently (I haven’t had too much of it though.. just a couple spoonfuls here and there ;))

Here’s my MyFitnessPal diary entry for yesterday eating my typical meals this week. Note that I’m a little over my goal for the day, but the exercise corrects for that.

Capture

Motivational Monday: Closer

 

I have something similar to this as my phone background. Never forget where you’ve come from and what it took to get there. Never forget how much closer you were to your goal than yesterday. do the work, follow the road. It’s long, but every day a bit closer.

Motivational Monday: Better Than Yesterday

This is a great mantra when you feel like you are doing your best and you are not seeing a difference. There are differences, even if you can’t sense them. Sometimes I like to peruse sites featuring before and after pictures (MotiveWeight being one of my favorites) just to gain some perspective and motivation based on the success of other individuals. It always amazes me when I read a story about how the person didn’t feel like they had made any progress.. then compared a recent picture to an older one to realize, they had in fact made great improvements. Keeping this mantra in mind will remind you that even though you can’t see it, doesn’t mean you’re not improving. You may be getting in extra reps, or can increase the weight. You might feel less tired on a run, and are able to run that extra mile. You may even be able to hold plank longer, or reach a new yoga pose variation. Whatever you do, keep going, don’t give up! You are better than yesterday.. and think how much better you’ll be in a week, a month, a year! The sky is the limit!

Motivational Monday: 3 Months

 

Not seeing progress? Having a hard time seeing the forest through the trees? The magic happens when you are not looking. Don’t give up all your hard work and dedication.. think about where you will be in 3 months from now.. how all the hard work will pay off. Use that as your fuel to keep going. You may be stuck now.. but where will you be in 3 months? Keep going!

Motivational Monday: Look to the Future

Ever think to yourself.. “wow.. I wish I did such-and-such better two months ago” or “I really wish I could go back and tell myself to spend time doing this-and-that.. I’d be in such a better position than I am now.” Maybe if we all visualized how what we are doing right now might affect us one, two, three months down the line.. we might not embrace the little failures that makes us want to quit. This is the key to achieving goals. Focus on the end result, not how long or hard it takes to get there. Every step we take towards our goals brings us closer and closer. Setbacks are inevitable, but should not make you lose perspective. The time passes anyways, might as well make something of it!