Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Not very fast. Not very long. But I did indeed run on the treadmill at the gym last night... for two whole minutes. Ok, I know its not very much, but considering I've NEVER even walked any faster than maybe 3.4 on the treadmill I was pleased with myself. What made me do this? I don't know... perhaps it was Keelie's post over at Real Fat. She ran an entire 5K on the treadmill and I was thinking of her as I lugged my tush onto the treadmill (if you haven't noticed by now, I HATE the treadmill). There I was walking away, trying to convince myself I wasn't bored to death, and slowly increasing my speed... finally when I hit 3.8 I decided "lets see if I can actually run on this thing without falling flat on my face." Weird thing, I actually felt more comfortable running than I ever have walking on it. Now I think its going to be my new gym game, to try to add a minute (or however long I can last) each time I run on the treadmill. That's how I tricked myself into going from 35 to over 100 floors on the StairMaster. :-)
I found out last night that the gym is starting the Around the World Challenge early... two whole weeks early. This morning, I went back, signed up & paid the fee. I'm the first to sign up!!! I don't know whether I'm happy about it starting early or not... it definitely presents some challenges and adds more stress to my already packed schedule. But on the bright side, I won't be at the gym for eight hours finishing it up on Mother's Day this year. My Mom will thank them profusely when she hears... lol.
The challenge was highly rewarding for me last year because I'd never done any sort of physical challenge before. But, there was one problem that I'm hoping to find a solution for this year: I was spending sooooo much time at the gym that I ended up eating a lot fast food meals and other less than healthy things. Much of my hard work at the gym failed to be maximized because of this.
This time around, I'm really trying to plan ahead because I want to see the full effect of the challenge - physically & mentally. So I need a little help... What are some quick, easy meal & snack ideas?
On a final note: A big thank you to Crystal at Fitness Journal for mentioning my 2-4-8-10 Challenge on her blog today. :-)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Before I get into the details of the challenges... I'm a bit perplexed, but the scale LOVED me this morning. I was sure that after the weekend of indulging I would be lucky not to gain (ok, I was really prepared to gain a hefty sum if I'm being brutally honest). But, according to the scale I was down 2.6 pounds from last week. I'm really pleased with the number and it makes me feel even more hopeful that's its possible to go enjoy a weekend from time to time, as long as its planned for in advance. :-)
- The Frequent Flier Challenge: 30 hours of workout time logged at the gym
- North America Challenge: 330 sets on Circuit machines
- South America Challenge: 276 sets of Core Strength
- Australia Challenge: 378 sets on Free Weights
- Asia Challenge: 48 miles on elliptical or Arc trainer
- Europe Challenge: 150 miles on bike
- Africa Challenge: 38 miles on treadmill or rower
- Antarctica Challenge: 2,100 floors on the StairMaster
There was a six week time period to complete everything. It took me until the very last day of the challenge, Mother's Day, to get it finished.... I spent just shy of eight hours in the gym that day (I credit Toby Keith & George Strait for keeping me going, their movies were on tv).... but I DID IT!!!!
For the girl who avoided gym class like the plague in school, this was a MAJOR accomplishment. At awards presentation, I won a gift certificate to a local spa... hmmm... maybe I should think about redeeming that one day soon.
The 2-4-8-10 Challenge
When things settled down from the holidays, my friend & I were looking for something to get us back to our gym routines... so we came up with a modified version of the Around the World Challenge... which we named the 2-4-8-10 Challenge. Basically the two (2) of us working for (4) size eight (8) in 2010 (10). We set 12 weeks for the time frame (so it will end when the gym's official Around the World Challenge starts) & multiplied the numbers from the Around the World Challenge by 1.75. My thought with this was that it would help me gear up for the gym's challenge & get my butt to the gym when I might skip otherwise.
We chose rewards for if we were half way to completion by the six week mark & then one for if we complete everything by the end of the 12 weeks. For six weeks, the reward was a trip to an upscale movie theater. For 12 weeks, its shopping for a new outfit at Westlake Center in Seattle (any excuse to shop in the city lol) The six week mark has passed and neither of us were halfway there. Some stuff happened in her personal life that got her off track & my needing to be there to support her got me off track too. I just finished reviewing how much I have left to do (in 5 weeks) and its remotely possible IF I make substantial time for the gym. Bottom line: I know, without a doubt, I'm getting to the gym more than I would have without the challenge & I will be better prepared for the gym's challenge than I was last year... so that's something.
As of today this is what I have left:
Elliptical - 78 miles
Bike- 130 miles
Circuit Sets- 421
Core Sets- 368
Free Weight Sets- 637
4 weeks, 5 days remaining... Can I do this?????
We will see....
Monday, February 22, 2010
Meaning slow, but surely, I'm going to get where I need to be. There is NO try here, I will get there. Period, end of story. Still trying to get back on track from the weekend, I took some steps toward getting there today.
First, I figured out exactly what I need to do on a daily basis at the gym to complete the first phase of the "2-4-8-10 Challenge" I'm doing with my friend. I can't believe I haven't talked about that on here yet... we patterned our challenge after the one I did at the gym last year & gave ourselves 12 weeks to do crazy things like almost 4,000 floors on the StairMaster. I'll write about it in detail tomorrow, but we're down to the final five weeks & I still have a LONG way to go.
Then, I set about meal planning for the coming week (starting tomorrow). I still have one day left to figure out. Once I get it all done, I'll post my plan for the week, so you can all hold me accountable to stick with it. I already know we have a special dinner tomorrow & Friday night, so those are factored in.
Though I have eaten way more than I should have today, its all been from the healthy things I stocked the house with. Don't know why I'm so stinkin hungry today. I got in a little over an hour at the gym, split between bike & treadmill. Have I mentioned how much I HATE the treadmill? Oddly enough, it didn't bother me soooo much today. But, for some unexplained reason, my hamstrings are killing me. They were hurting before I went to the gym & by the time I left they both had this sort of numb, but burning at the same time sensation. Planning to go soak in a hot bath & hope they feel better in the morning.
Tomorrow is scale day... I'm prepared for a less than happy outcome after the weekend & I'm ok with that. Scale peeking Friday morning showed I was on the right track & I'll be right back on it as of tomorrow morning... still hoping its not tooooooo terrible though.
That bath is calling me... oh no, inanimate objects are talking to me? I may be in real trouble here. :-)
Most of my friends have mentioned a "favorite" food that their Mom made when they were growing up - usually something sweet & definitely far from healthy- that has now become a sort of comfort food for them. For me, this is a bit of a foreign concept. My Mom HATES food, cooking and pretty much anything to do with the kitchen. When I was a little girl, before my Dad passed away, I remember her making simple meals (definitely nothing memorable). After my Dad passed away, her primary method of food preparation was deciding which restaurant to drive us to for dinner. Hmmm... could this be why, as much as I LOVE cooking, I find myself drawn to the allure of restaurants so frequently?
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Tomorrow I will have to tell you about "cereal pa" and figure out my plan for the week... for now, its been a LONG (but fantastic) weekend and I need SLEEP!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
My son and I just arrived at the hospital for his weekly OT & PT sessions... and its Chicken Salad day in the cafeteria! This is soooo not fair of them... lol. There are no words to describe how much I LOVE this chicken salad of theirs. It may seem a little odd to be so "in love" with food from a hospital cafeteria, but this hospital has amazingly yummy food and this particular chicken salad rivals anything from a restaurant. The Cheesecake Factory used to have a similar salad on their menu & the one here is every bit as tasty.
This salad, while yummy, is definitely not a "healthy" meal option. It has a generous portion of fried chicken breast, thick cut bacon, pecans, corn & to die for good honey mustard dressing. They only serve it every 4-6 weeks and always on a Thursday; lucky me that it happens to be my son's therapy day. Its an indulgence I plan for as soon as I see it on the menu. These "mean" people changed the menu, so now here I sit, knowing the salad is being prepared downstairs as I speak... knowing that I will go downstairs... knowing that I will order the salad... knowing that I will eat & thoroughly enjoy each & every luscious bite.
A moment of weakness? Perhaps... but one that I will gladly succumb too. What can I say? Some things are just worth a few extra floors on the StairMaster! :-)
Do you have a meal like this? One that you just can't say no too? One that you feel is worth the extra work you have to do to compensate for it?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
This was the most odd Wednesday I've had in... hmm... a LONG, LONG time. As I mentioned last week, Wednesdays are typically crazy, busy for me. Today just wasn't... I took a short nap after my son got on the bus, put in an hour at the gym, did some core & free weight sets at home, babysat, had a friend come visit, packed up the car to go to kids group. It was all so oddly calm, I don't really know how or why... but I'd love to put it on repeat for all future Wednesdays. Maybe yesterday's "day of rest" was more helpful than I thought. :)
For my hour at the gym, I tried something completely out of the ordinary & was surprised with the result. I have NEVER done this before, but I took a book to the gym with the intention of reading it while I was on the bike... which is just what I did. My usual resistance level on the bike is 6 & I'll bump up to 8 for a little variety. Today, I set it on 12 & just rode. What a huge difference it made... my heart rate was up to the fat burning zone within about three minutes & easily stayed there the entire time. There was literally sweat dripping off my elbows & the sides of my shirt were SOAKED when I finished. I completed the same number of miles I do in an hour on the lower level, which really surprised me... it felt like I was going way slower. Total calorie burn (from my HR monitor) was just shy of 500... which I think is a decent number for the bike.
There was a moment tonight, that made me giggle and a little sad for the person at the same time. One of the people at kids group made the statement that "God shouldn't have given us taste buds or the sense of smell," his point being that then it would be easier to be a healthy weight. Keep in mind here, he was chatting with my mom at the time & she considers food to be a mortal enemy and I think she truly believes that if its good for you there is no possible way it can taste good. This way of thinking is soooo foreign to me... it makes me crazy. But at the same time it got me to thinking...
Where does that mind set come from? How do we go from eating the nutritious, whole foods our parents fed us as infants to a society where if its not battered, deep fried & filled with things we can't pronounce then it can't possibly taste good?
Don't get me wrong - or think I'm being judgemental - I eat a lot of things that fall into the latter category. But, I also genuinely love the flavor of many healthy things - especially fruits & veggies.
But I'm curious... why do you think people fall into that way of thinking?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Yesterday was my day of cooking & food prep for the week...
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
- Having healthy grab 'n go things prepared ahead of time for busy days
- Scheduling gym time
- Being more faithful about journaling food
Keeping my fingers crossed for the scale in the morning... but I know I put myself in the position by letting life sidetrack me. The coming week will be better!
Posted by Julie, The Accidental Fat Chick at 10:26 PM
Friday, February 5, 2010
At one of our local grocery stores, there is a corner I refer to as "The Danger Zone." Perhaps, you have one in your local grocery store as well - its the bakery corner. I'm not sure what propelled me in the direction of that corner tonight, but I found myself right smack in the middle of it. Surrounded by some of my favorite "treats." Donuts with chocolate frosting (and sprinkles), yummy strawberry shortcake, cherry filled turnovers, french bread, jalapeno cheddar bagels. As if all of that isn't enough to put you a carb-coma, they recently relocated all of the snack crackers to this corner as well. Standing in the middle of "The Danger Zone" I could feel my mouth watering as I thought about how yummy any one of those treats would be. BUT, as I was walking to the donut case, I STOPPED myself. After all, I had just come from the gym & I thought "Why spoil a good workout with a sugary treat?" Then I looked at the bagel - large bagel covered in cheese & jalapenos. Seriously, I LOVE these bagels. BUT, once again I STOPPED myself. I have some little hundred calorie whole wheat bagels here and popped one of those in the toaster, which was a tasty little snack with a thin layer of veggie cream cheese. So, for this one time, on this particular evening, I conquered "The Danger Zone." What happens next time remains to be seen...
Thursday, February 4, 2010
No, not 1,000 calories consumed in 90 minutes lol. Today is the first time in my year at the gym that I can verify I burned over 1,000 calories in a single workout. According to my heart rate monitor, for a 90 minute session, I typically burn 800-900 calories. Today I kicked up the intensity a notch and was rewarded. :)
I'm curious to know how many calories others burn in a "typical" workout.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Here I Sit...
A little more than 43 pounds lighter than the morning I woke up driven to live a healthy life. After a year of steady loss, I got off track for several months - pretty much quit going to the gym & relaxed my food standards WAY too much. Eating whatever looks good in a restaurant is fine when you only eat out a couple times a month... NOT so much when you eat out almost daily... lol. As a result, I sadly must admit that I gained back over 10 pounds of what was lost. In the last month, I've gotten my act together... back to a normal gym routine (though way out of shape again after the "break")... making wise food choices... keeping a food & exercise log and being accountable. Six pounds and six inches eliminated in the past 30 days... pretty happy with those numbers. Now if I could just make it through more than 40 floors on the stairmaster without feeling like I'm dying! :)
How I Got Here...
Looking back - way back - 5th grade was probably the last time I was a "normal" weight (more on that in the future). In the Spring of 2008, I weighed in at the doctor at nearly 250... I told myself it was just because it was afternoon, I'd eaten a big lunch and was wearing heavy clothes. WRONG! The next morning on my scale at home - sans clothing and food - the scale read 241. For some seeing the biggest number ever might have been an immediate wakeup call - not in my case - seems I was too busy with life and taking care of everyone else.
My husband left on deployment #4, 5, or 6 - I've lost count throughout the years. My son & I settled into a routine of home during the week & visiting my mom on some weekends. It was after one of those visits that I woke up soooooo sick to death of being fat I couldn't take it another minute (which is a little strange considering how unbothered I'd always been by my weight... more on that to come too). Its weird to say and probably hard to believe, but after that day my desire for unhealthy foods greatly diminished & my desire to be active greatly increased.
During the first few weeks after that, I was eating way less food than I had been eating - not necessarily any healthier though to be honest - and started to use some of the exercise videos that had been collecting dust in my cabinet. Early in the summer, I finally caved & bought my son a Wii. Of course I had to get myself something for it too... so I bought the Wii Fit. By the end of summer 2008, I was alternating between the videos, the Wii Fit & walks on the beach and had started making healthy food choices on a regular basis. That was my basic method for the next six months.
In February last year - at 209 pounds - I finally got up the courage to go join a gym in town. This was a HUGE step... afterall, I am the girl that did everything in her power to get out of PE in school - from 6th grade on. The thought of exercising in public has always had the ability to make me go from fabulous to nauseous in the blink of an eye. Knowing that I needed to kick things up a notch if I were to keep losing... I put on a nice outfit, grabbed one of my favorite handbags, swallowed the "I wanna hurl" feeling in the pit of my stomach and marched into the newest gym in town. The staff was wonderfully welcoming & right away I felt comfortable there. Shortly after joining the gym, I competed in their "Around the World" Fitness Challenge and completed the entire Challenge. I was one of about a dozen people out of 150 to complete the entire Challenge. This was a MAJOR accomplishment for me - remember gym class escape artist here - I had NEVER done any sort of physical competition in my life. From there I was hooked... at least until I got totally sidetracked by that pesky little thing called life.
On the food front, I choose not to follow a specific "diet" or eating plan... in fact I really detest the "d" word. I firmly believe its all about making healthy food choices for life and not something you can go on or off of. At home, I make a conscience effort to make healthy choices - utilizing recipes and meal ideas from a variety of sources. When I eat in a restaurant, I generally let myself enjoy a meal without worrying too much about the calories/fat in it. As stated, this works out okay when restaurants are the occasional treat - otherwise, I don't recommend it.
I have used the Myfooddidary.com website to track my activity since the beginning. It has proven helpful in many ways, such as seeing not just the calories I'm eating, but the nutritional value of the foods I'm putting in my body. I LOVE it and think its so worth the $9 a month.
Where I'm Headed...
Looking toward life as a Deliberate Skinny Chick - aka reformed Accidental Fat Chick. I don't know what that means as far as a number on the scale or a jeans size. My current size is the smallest I've been in my adult life - I have no clue what 180, 170, 160, or150lbs will look like or what size those numbers will equal in the jeans department. Can't wait to find out!
The current game plan: Stick with the 2-4-8-10 Challenge & be prepared when the new "Around the World" Challegen kicks off. Increase the intensity of my gym workouts & find ways to add more active motion to my daily routines. Possibly do The Big Climb in Seattle... if I have a friend or two to do it with me. Fine tune my meal plans - especially to reduce the number of calories I drink.
My husband leaves for yet another deployment in May... my ultimate goal would be to finish what I started when he was gone the last time and be at an ideal healthy weight when he comes home in December. 50 pounds in 10 months... I know I can do it!
What is your ultimate goal?