Mamavation Monday: Move It & Lose It


Watch Lives ChangeOkay, I’m an idiot and thought the Move It & Lose It challenge started THIS week… but it turns out it started last week…  So I don’t even know if it counts that I’m doing a post for it now.  I’ll try anyway though, and hope for the best.

Here’s my weigh in for this week:

Feet on scale - 187.2

Feet on scale - 187.2

Current weight: 187.2
Previous weight:  190.6
Starting weight: 225
Week change: -3.4
Total change: -37.8

So yeah… I’m THRILLED!  After last Saturday’s crazy bingefest, I worked really hard all week to eat well and move more, and it clearly paid off!  I’m feeling really good about it.

Here are my measurements:

Left arm: 13.5in
Right arm: 13.5in
Chest: 39.5in
Bellybutton: 38in
Hip: 44in
Left thigh: 24.5in
Right thigh: 24.5in

I never took my measurements in January when I started this whole health journey, so the earliest comparison I have is to measurements I took in March.  Since mid-March, I’ve lost 3.5 inches in my chest, 3.5 inches from my waist, and 3.25 inches from my hips.  That feels pretty awesome.

And… my pics:

187-front 187-side 187-back————————-

More from me:

Hike – my weekend recap

Tiny House – How small is too small?  How big is too big?

Top Five Books About Wine

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Shred continues


30 day shredsource

I’m still sticking with the 30 Day Slimdown, and so far I think I’m seeing some progress in terms of feeling stronger.  I wanted to post a quick rundown of my likes/dislikes in case anyone else is thinking about doing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, No More Trouble Zones, or Burn Fat Boost Metabolism.

Negatives:

  • I think these workouts are marketed to beginners, but they are TOUGH workouts.  I’ve been working out regularly since January, and I still have to take breaks during Level 1 of the Shred and definitely during the longer tapes.
  • It is absolutely ridiculous that there is no way to forward/skip through the beginning of the Shred DVD.  Most of the time, I don’t have 10+ minutes to wait just to start my workout, and once you’ve seen Jillian’s pep talk once you really don’t need to see it again.
  • There are no water breaks.  I end up pausing the DVD just to get a quick sip.
  • Sometimes Jillian gets a little irritating.
  • There are almost no modifications…. which means I sometimes just can’t do something, like the side planks in Trouble Zones, and I can’t finish the pushup section even with the modified knees down position.

Positives:

  • I really think this is working.  I feel stronger, and the workouts are (slowly, SO SLOWLY) getting easier.
  • I actually find Jillian’s no nonsense pep talks during the workouts sort of inspiring.  I like how she just puts it out there that this is NOT easy and you MUST work to earn your results.  There are no breaks because you want to change, right?
  • I find it extremely motivating when Jillian tells me to think about why I am working out in the first place and use that as a motivator to push through the tough stuff.
  • There are no modifications.  Yes, I know I listed that as a negative… but it is also a positive since it means I am not tempted to take the easy way out for moves that I know I can do.  It makes me push a little harder and motivates me to keep working so that at some point I CAN do the side planks.
  • If sweat is any indicator of work, I’m working HARD.  I am routinely blinded by my own sweat during these workouts, which I think is a huge sign of a good workout.
  • The Shred is only 20 minutes, which makes it easy to squeeze it into most days.

Overall, I am really enjoying these workouts and I’m proud of myself for getting through them… even if I am taking rests, water breaks, and occasionally doing my own modifications like subbing in oblique crunches instead of side planks.

I’m looking forward to the after pictures/measurements at the end of the month to show me just how well it’s working.  I bought smaller pants this weekend, and I can definitely feel some added strength in my arms, so I am pretty pleased.  I’d recommend these workouts to anyone, as long as you’re not totally new to working out and you can be honest about what your body needs.  Pay attention to how you feel, take breaks only when you really need to, and I think you (and I) will see results!

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More from me:

Empty: a blogging dry spell

Classical education: an argument in support of logic

World Cup Wines

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WIW: Standstill


Hey, did you guys know that YESTERDAY was Wednesday?  Yeah, it totally escaped me… again.  As it turns out, my week is not structured in a way that makes it necessary for me to know what day of the week it is all the time.  More often than not, I’m running on a vague sense of whether it’s the beginning, middle, or end of the week.

So here’s another late What-If Wednesday update…

What if?I’m still submitting queries to every agent I can find who deals with my genre.  So far, nothing but negative responses, which is exactly what I was expecting.  I’d be surprised by a positive response at this point, considering I’ve only submitted to twenty or so agents at this point.  I will just keep submitting until I run out of appropriate agents to contact, and then I will concentrate on developing some of the other stories and ideas I’ve got in my files.

I’ve also been talking to another potential contact for more freelance work, and I’m due to talk to her on the phone sometime today or tomorrow.  I’m hoping this means more work, which is nothing but positive.

The newspaper article featuring my health and fitness story should run at the end of this month as well, so I’ll be sending out a quick email to that reporter to be sure she lets me know when it runs.

I go back and forth between feeling positive and encouraged by the progress I’ve made with writing, and feeling discouraged and like this is a silly pursuit.  I think that’s normal though.  I think most people spend a lot of time second guessing their dreams… it’s in our nature?

On the fitness front, I did Jillian’s No More Trouble Zones yesterday.  Forty minutes of Jillian Michaels… and it was TOUGH.  I have to get some sweatbands, because I was nearly blinded by sweat running into my eyes.  Ew, and also ow.  I have a little bit of tightness/soreness in my shoulders today, but I’ll be doing the Shred again today.  I will say that I saw a definite difference in the difficulty level of the Trouble Zone workout yesterday versus when I did it last week.  I’m feeling really good about this 30 Day Slimdown plan, and I’m hoping that Jessica (who commented about C25K on the last post) is right that this Slimdown is just helping to prep my body for running again when weather and/or circumstances permit.

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More from me:

Tantrum tamers

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C25K Week 4: New Shoes?


I managed to get through another day of C25K week 4, and it was actually easier than the first day.  So yeah, it does get better.  I will definitely be repeating this week though.  The second five minute run pushes me to my absolute limit and I don’t think I could finish a longer run at this point.

Unlike Monday’s run, I actually felt pretty great when I finished this one.  The husband and baby were able to come out with me, which helps a lot in terms of motivation, and I like the time with them.  It was funny though, because at one point I got heckled by a couple of guys drinking beers on their porch.  Apparently they though it was pretty ridiculous (hard to say how serious they were) because my husband was pushing the stroller instead of me.  So only women can push strollers, I guess?  When I yelled out that I was DYING (just finished the first five minute run) they just kept up with the heckling.  I was tempted to challenge them to get out there and run too, but was afraid they’d turn out to be oddly healthy and totally show me up…. so I just kept moving and put them out of my head.  By the time the next run came around, I’d already forgotten them.

Last night was a great time to run thanks to some cool breezes and a little less humidity.  I’m usually the first to complain about unseasonal weather, and it is tough to know how to dress when the weather is super hot one week and pretty chilly the next, but when it comes to running, I am LOVING the cooler weather.  The breezes and the lower temperatures make it a lot easier to run without feeling so heavy and disgusting like I do on hot and humid days.  I also drink less water, which helps me not to feel nauseous.  Sometimes the feeling of the water sloshing around when I run really does make me feel like I’m going to be sick.  Yesterday I also discovered that the smell of food cooking (since we run in the evening’s we’re hitting a lot of dinner times) makes me totally want to barf when I’m full on running and really pushing myself.

It’s interesting, because I’m getting some really good times (for me.)  This week I’ve been averaging 32 minutes for the 2.25 miles, putting me at about a 14:00 mile.  For me, as a beginner, this sounds SUPER fast and I’m really pleased with it.  I’m hoping it’s a pace I can hold on to and bring to my first official race. I’d love to be able to say I finished with a 14:00 mile time.

So now I’m looking for some advice from other runners.  How often do you buy running shoes?  The ones I have now are older shoes, but I never really used them before this whole C25K adventure… so they’ve only been getting regular use (maybe 6 miles a week) since March.  When will I need new shoes?  How will I even know that I need them?  I have intentions of buying new shoes for myself when I finish running my first 5K, but now I’m wondering if I should get them before that so that I will have new shoes for the race.  And don’t worry, I know better than to run in totally new shoes.  I promise to break them in first.

I’m starting to think of bigger and bigger running goals, which surprises me since when I started this whole thing I was really just thinking of it as a better weight loss tool and not a goal for its own sake.  But now I am thinking about the Disney Princess Half Marathon, or the new Wine & Dine Half.  I wonder if I’d be ready to do one of those next year…  I think it would be amazing to compete in a Disney race, plus it has the added benefit of being close to my family.  I am actually thinking about waiting to do one of those races for a few years, until my daughter is old enough to enjoy Disney and we can turn it into a family vacation.  What about you?  What are some of your favorite events to walk/run/bike/watch?  What  makes a good race?  What makes a bad one?

How to enjoy exercise…


We’ve had a streak of cool weather around here and, although it’s odd and unseasonal, I was hoping it would stick around for a while.  I’m headed out for my second day of C25K week four, and I was really hoping things would stay cool and brisk to make the run a little easier for me.

Unfortunately, this morning’s walk was already featuring rising temperatures and that heavy feeling that comes along with high humidity.  More than anything, the humidity makes it really tough for me to get through these hard runs.  Thankfully, I’ve been totally motivated the last few days, so I am hoping that will carry me through tonight’s run.

So where’s the motivation coming from this week?  Several things…  first of all, finishing Monday’s run, even though I’m still not sure how I did it, gave me a great confidence boost.  I feel like I could do anything now!  Secondly, I was interviewed by a reporter for a local paper yesterday and will be part of a weight loss feature story they are running in late June.  I’m thrilled about that too, so I can’t wait.  Plus, I’d love to be able to email the reporter right before the story runs to update her with a new weight loss total!  I’ve also been oddly not hungry (unhungry?  I really want “unhungry” to be a word) this week, so I’ve been eating a little less every day than I usually do.  I’m hoping that translates to another scale victory this weekend since I saw zero loss last week.

I’ve been thinking more and more about taking the plunge and signing up for a 5K race in September.  I actually printed out all of the materials and had it sitting next to me on the table all through last week, but then I noticed that it was from last year’s race so the details were all out of date.  I’ve been checking the race website every few days in the hopes of seeing updated registration information, but it’s a long way off…  I still can’t believe I’m even thinking of registering for (and planning to run) a real race.  I’m already trying to decide what my goal time ought to be, but I’m thinking it would be better to decide on that once I finish the C25K program, since that will give me a better idea of what my training times are.

I also have intentions of rewarding myself with all new running gear once I finished Couch to 5K.  It will be a HUGE accomplishment for me, so I’m hoping we can afford to spring for some shiny new running stuff to replace the free event t-shirts and discount store capris I usually use.  Not that I mind that stuff really, but I feel like finishing this program deserves some serious, non food relayed celebrations.

Of course, the Negative Nelly in my head is totally laughing at me for even thinking I’ll finish this program when I’m currently half killing myself to get through the fourth week.  Then again, Negative Nelly had a good laugh at my expense when I couldn’t finish the first day of week one….  she told me how ridiculous it was that I was even trying to run… I mean, look at me!  Yeah, I’m totally amused by how wrong she was on that one.  I WILL finish this thing, and not just because I hate to fail.  The truth is…

…I’m starting to like running.

No, really.  Me, the girl who hates all forms of exercise and despises sweating?  I’m starting to enjoy running.  I like the feeling of pushing my body to do more and work harder, and nothing beats the way it feels to finish a run when I started out wondering if i could do it.  There’s power in that, and i like it.

I’ve become one of those people.  You know the ones.  When you’re just starting out, especially if weight loss is your goal, you keep coming across those irritating blogs and articles that talk about how much the person likes exercise or enjoys vegetables, and how it’s really kind of easy for them to do it all.  I hate to say it, but they have a point.  For me, the more I workout, the more I want to workout.  The better I eat, the less I crave junk and the less I enjoy it when I splurge.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have tough days…  sometimes I just don’t feel like getting up and moving, and sometimes those cheese fries really are worth it.  But I’ve reached a point where those things don’t send me spinning out of control anymore.  I’m not spending my time worried about quitting or failing, and I really DO like exercise…

Couch to 5K: Week 4


Last week I was supposed to repeat week 3 of the Couch to 5K.  Thanks to… well, life… I only ran once last week.  Rather than waste the time and repeat week 3 again, I decided to go ahead and try week 4.  After all, I could always go back if it turned out to be too tough.

I spent all day yesterday worrying about my planned evening run, and I was even more worried when my daughter came down with a slight fever.  I could still run, but I would be doing it without the company, support, and cheerleading from my awesome husband.  He got home and encouraged me out the door, where I was relieved to find that it was a cool day with a nice breeze.  Cooler weather always makes running easier for me.

Week 4 is the typical five minute brisk walk warmup, 3 minutes running, 90 seconds walk, 5 minute run, 2.5 minute walk, a repeat of the runs & recovery walks, and a 5 minute cool down walk.  The warmup walk felt good and I was feeling good about the first run when it came.  It was three minutes, and by the end I was definitely breathing hard and starting to sweat despite the cool air.  I was super thankful for the 90 second walk that followed, and I was really glad I managed to get my breathing back under control.

The next run was the first five minute run, and I was trying really hard not to get scared.  It’s by far the longest I’ve ever run.  I made it through the first four minutes without a problem, but the last minute was really tough.  I was feeling so heavy and slow.  I was determined to finish though, and I did.  The next walk period was 2.5 minutes, and I barely got my breathing and form back in line before the second 3 minute run.  This one was harder because just a few strides in my left hip flexor did something weird and I was having some sharp pains.  I thought about stopping, but I really wanted to be able to do this.  I slowed my pace a little bit and tried to concentrate on a long stride and good form, which seemed to help a little.  All the same, I was more than glad when the 3 minutes was up.

That last five minute run?  I was really worried about it and I was already giving myself permission to stop early if I needed to.  Although I do think it’s a good idea not to beat yourself up and to listen to your body if you need to stop, I worry when I start making deals with myself because I always feel like I’m giving myself the chance to quit, and once the thought of quitting is in my head sometimes I’ll stop before I have to.  The second five minute run (and the last run of the day) started, and immediately the pain was back.  I was frustrated and determined to finish.  I thought really hard about my form.  I tried to push off with my toes, and to lean my upper body forward a little bit like I read about on a runners website.  I kept my head up, tried to keep my arms loose, and I just did what I could to breathe as deeply as possible.  The breathing is where I really struggle, so about halfway through the run I’d totally lost control of my breathing and was struggling through short, shallow breaths.  There comes a point for me where I just can’t get the breathing back under control, and unfortunately I’d reached it.

At this point, about 3.5 minutes into that last run, I really wanted to quit.  It was the oddest thing though.  My legs were aching, my hip was hurting, my chest was tight, my throat and lips were dry from the shallow breaths, and I was very close to crying.  My brain gave me permission to quit, and I really wanted to… but apparently my brain wasn’t driving anymore.  I was mentally screaming to just stop, to give up.  I was giving myself every excuse to walk the rest of the way, but my legs just kept going and my arms just kept moving and my lungs and heart just kept pumping… and suddenly it was over.  I was done.  I’d run for 16 whole minutes… if you add the sections all up.

I felt noodley, and the cool down walk felt too short.  I felt pretty bad after the run, a little dizzy thanks to my shallow breathing.  For about an hour after I got home (and slowly but purposefully stretched) I felt like I might be sick.  I don’t know if it was just a bad day or if I fueled badly for the run… but I ending up laying in the floor for a while.  The idea of eating anything made me want to die, so I skipped dinner and just tried to stretch as much as I could.  I was a little stiff as I headed up to bed, but I slept really well and thankfully so did the little one.

I didn’t think I was going to finish.  I told myself it was alright if I didn’t, that I didn’t have to, that no one would even have to know.  But I DID finish.  It was really hard, and I really didn’t want to do it.  I struggled and cried and hurt, and I did it anyway.  And today?  Today I feel amazing.  I am so glad I pushed myself.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I wasn’t pushing hard enough to hurt myself or cause long term issues.  I knew I could do it.  This feeling?  This is strength.

I am strong.  Superhero strong.

Cupcake Weekend


This weekend was my daughter’s first birthday party at the zoo.  The beautiful chaos of the party and family in from out of town threw my eating and workout plans out the window.

Instead of running on Friday, I spent the day working up a good sweat with housework.  Instead of making chicken enchiladas, we ordered pizza for dinner.  I’m proud of myself though.  I burned plenty of calories with the chores, and I got a thin crust pizza with light cheese and tons of veggies.  I had a glass of wine, and we enjoyed a great night with my brother and parents.

We had a quick breakfast on the road Saturday morning.  We stopped at Starbucks and I got a small skim sugar-free caramel iced latte and the spinach and egg white wrap.  At the zoo, the party was potluck so I had a little bit of hummus, some green salsa, a handful of pita chips, about half a cup of taco salad, and two bites of a cupcake.  Later in the afternoon, I had some lemonade and a few bites of cotton candy, and we also walked four miles.  For dinner we did homemade chicken enchiladas with wine.  I feel good about the choices I made.  I enjoyed the day without feeling deprived, and I didn’t go crazy eating terrible food.  I even snuck in healthy animal cupcakes, made with reduced fat cake mix & icing and applesauce instead of oil.

Sunday was… less good.  We did get a fair amount of walking in between running errands and a trip to Ikea, but the food was rough.  We had a good breakfast at home with turkey bacon, Fiber One blueberry muffins, eggs, and friendship bread… but then we ate fast food for lunch.  I got a kid’s french fry and a grilled chicken sandwich.  For dinner, where we ate out at a great restaurant, I got a barbecue chicken sandwich with bacon and cheese, plus sauteed mushrooms on the side.  I had a glass of wine with half the sandwich and half the mushrooms, and then we split a piece of peanut butter pie.  So it was a big food day, but dinner was great and totally worth it.

Today is off to a great start.  We went for a beautiful morning walk after a breakfast of Kashi Go Lean! Crunch cereal and yogurt, and now my daughter is taking a nap.  We’ll have healthy leftovers for lunch, and tonight I will try to conquer C25K Week 4!!!