Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Finishing out the year

Well 2009 was a year of ups and downs for me. All in all it was a good year, but not an easy one. I'm trying to end the year on a positive note, with a solid workout schedule logged this final week.

I did my first post-Christmas run yesterday, eking out just over 2 miles in 27 minutes. I had to take a 30 second walk break in the middle. I don't feel too bad about that, since I didn't run at all last week.

I also have a lot of new fitness toys to play with, my Running Buddy got me a balance ball and resistance band kit, which came with four workouts on DVD, I got a copy of wii fit plus and a brand new Yoga DVD to try.

Here's hoping for a healthy and fit new year ^_^

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Heading to the parents for the Holidays

I've been in such a rush to get everything done, I've been neglecting to post. Suffice to say I've been keeping on track with getting exercise most days, and more often than not some part of my body is sore.

Happy Holidays everyone, may the new year be a healthy one!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fighting the "lazy monster"

Lately I've been battling what I call my "lazy monster." It's a conglomeration of all the things that stop me from working out. It's the voice that tells me I'm too tired, that I've already done enough this week, that it's too late or too cold outside, too much work to get to the gym.

I battled it yesterday, and partially won. It told me that I didn't have to do my Yoga, I'd done Pilates the day before and besides weren't we going for a run later? I was tired and very susceptible to the "I've already worked hard enough" line. But I battled back with the simple fact that Yoga makes me feel better. So I did my yoga.

Later, however, real life got in the way of the running plans. Not only was I tired and grumpy and generally not feeling it, my S.O. was stuck at work late. He was also super tired and grumpy, so we called it, and I made a tasty new dish for dinner instead. A dish that with a tad bit of tweaking will be a healthy dish someday ^_^

Yesterday I also figured out a way to get my Yoga DVD's onto our television. You see, we don't have a DVD player, but I have several yoga DVD's. We do have a sort of mini computer attached to our television for watching things off Hulu and the like. So, I figured out that I can create a digital copy of my DVD's and transfer them to the TV's computer to watch. This makes me happy, as I really enjoyed the Am/Pm yoga DVD and miss doing the routine.

We're going to try for a make-up run today, and I'm going to do the Am part of the Am/Pm yoga routine around lunch. Crazily, we're also going to try to get some shopping done tonight after we get done with the gym.

I will not let the "lazy monster" win today.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Running again

Yesterday's run felt good. I pushed myself and ran for 20 minutes, walked for two, then ran for five more. It felt good to really push and run at the edge of my endurance. I'm a tad impatient to be able to really run all out for 30 minutes again. I'm trying not to push myself too hard to early.

My resolution has been spotty thus far this week. I haven't popped in the Yoga videos at all. I did that Pilates/Yoga fusion video on Monday (Would that count as yoga?), and Ran on Wednesday. Tuesday I fell victim to crams of doom and gave myself the day off. Today I'm going to do the p/y fusion video and then hit the gym later for some easy cardio on the Elliptical machines. I'm hoping to finish out the week well.

I think now accurately represents my "messy middle" this is the part between the before and after pictures. This is the part where I struggle. This is the part where I usually look at it, decide that this is not working, it's too hard, I can't do it, and I walk away. I refuse to do that this time. I've put too much time and effort into this. There's too much at stake for me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Starting back up

After last weeks decision to take this all more seriously, I've decided this week to make a resolution to get some type of exercise in each day.

Today's workout was the Crunch yoga/Pilates video. Again, during the video I didn't feel like I was working that hard, but if last time I did it was any indication I'm going to be really sore tomorrow.

I'm going to go back to doing yoga as often as possible. I'm planning on doing the video I did today once a week, then twice a week doing the *hard* yoga video and twice a week doing the easy yoga video. I'll do the easy one on the days I'm planning to run, just so I'm not over doing it.

I feels good to be moving my body again, to be pushing myself again. I'm still trying to find my rhythm, to get back into that groove, but it's a start.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Taking this seriously again.

Yesterday I ran at the gym for the first time in a long time. For a while, me and the S.O. haven't been able to schedule in Gym Time. All of my exercise has come in the form of videos, mostly yoga at that. Needless to say, while I am definitely more flexible, my endurance has suffered greatly.

In a 20 minute run, I required two 30 second walk breaks. I was only running at a pace of 5.0. With a two minute warm up and a five minute cool down, I still did not break two miles (I hit 1.91 miles.)

I could blame the soreness in my entire core area from the Yoga/Pilates fusion video from Crunch that I had done the day before. I'm sure that had something to do with it. However I know the reality is that I haven't been running, and it's going to take me some time to build back up to where I was before.

I need to take this all more seriously. I've been slacking majorly, and it shows. In addition to being lax with my workout schedule, I've been eating poorly. I haven't gone back to my Double Bacon Cheese Burgers with a side of fries, but there have been a few McMeals in there.

I did a gentile yoga practice today, enough to stretch out the aching muscles in my core, but that's it for today. Need to rest up. Running again tomorrow.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am thankful that I have made it this far. I am thankful for every movement my body can make, and ever mile I can run. I am thankful for the people who support me and encourage me along this path.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Sickness Takes over.

Oh man has this been an off week. I managed to do Yoga every day for five days strait last week, took the weekend off, then started this week sick. The kind of sick where you feel ok as long as you're sitting still. I thought I was ok on Monday and did my yoga anyways. I made it through the "hard" yoga series, and then crashed hard. Tuesday I had a whole new slew of issues that basically prevented me from breathing through my nose, or very well at all, and so decided that yoga would most likely be a bad idea, and trying to run was right out. I'm feeling mostly better today, so I'm going to attempt Yoga again today, although I'll be breathing all wrong since I'm still having issues with my nose.

The frustrating part is that I feel mostly ok, I just can't breathe, and breathing is kinda key to exercising.

So I'm giving myself a partial pass on this week, with the caveat that I need to exercise where I can, and eat as well as possible. As soon as I can, I need to get back to the gym. I'm hoping that's before the end of this week.

I hate how I sound like a broken record lately...I miss having a gym routine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Relaxing into the pose

My S.O. is very sick right now, and super overworked, which has resulted in a distinct lack of gym time. As in, I havn't been to the gym to run at all yet this week. I'm compensating by an over abundance of Yoga.

I did the "hard" yoga program again today, and, with heavy modification, managed to finish the entire program. My arms are shaking and I am, surprisingly, covered in sweat. I am noticing a distinct lack in my upper body strength while doing yoga. Running has done wonders for my lower body strength, I can hold a tree pose for ages now, but put me in plank and it's my arms, not my abs, that give out first.

I'm hoping to get my running back on track soon. I really miss my running buddy...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Moving through the poses.

Oh man. I just finished as much of the Trainers Edge DVD as I could. I got a little further than last week, but not much. Mostly I was just able to hold the positions better, and not use as many mods. I really need to work on my upper body strength.

Last week was a semi success. I only ran twice, but I managed four days of yoga. Also, Friday, my second run, was really long (for me.) I got to the gym before my S.O. and jumped on the treadmill. I hit 20 minutes before he showed, so I walked for a couple minutes, then started running again. Around 10 minutes into the second run, I walked again for a couple minutes, then ran again for 5 minutes before calling it and doing my cool down.

I did some ab work and some stretching before rewarding myself with a sit in the steam room. Man I love the steam room.

Today is an "off day" as far as the gym's concerned, so it's a "hard yoga" day. Tomorrow it's "easy yoga" and running.

Once again i'm modifying my "plan", and giving myself another week to settle into this routine before adding in the push-up and sit-up challenges in. I'm just too tired out from the "yard yoga" to do good form push-ups (although there *are* push-ups in the yoga routine.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mid-Week Pause

Today is a rest day I suppose. I didn't plan it, but occasionally I do need to get out and have a social life, and that derailed my normal "do yoga at lunch time" plan.

This week has been going a lot better, fitness wise, than the last couple. I got back to the gym and ran a solid two miles on the treadmill yesterday, after doing my now standard lunch time yoga.

I attempted to start the 100 push-up and 200 sit-up challenges, and decided that I'll try again next week. Just doing the yoga and running is enough of a challenge this week.

It feels good to be "back to it" with the fitness. Now I just need to keep the ball rolling, and not let myself slide again!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trying new yoga videos and getting started on my "plan"

As part of my new re-commitment to my health and wellness, I've recently decided to make a "yoga break" part of my day. When I break for lunch I do a yoga video before I eat. Because of some technical issues, I've had to turn to Netflix for some streaming yoga videos. So far I've tried two: Crunch: Candlelight Yoga and The Trainer's Edge: Long & Lean Yoga.

These two videos were the two opposite ends of the Yoga spectrum. Candlelight Yoga was all about deep stretches, and relaxation. It was a very gentle practice, great for stretching on those days that I actually get myself to the gym but not hard enough to count as a full workout. Long & Lean Yoga was intense. So intense in fact that I only made it half way through the hour long video. By the point where I called it, my arms were shaking and I could barely hold the "resting" pose: Downward Facing Dog. This one counts as a full workout, too much I think to do on days when I plan to run.

So now I have a plan. Once a week I'm going to do Long & Lean, and the rest of the days I'm going to stick to Candlelight Yoga. I think I should be able to get through the whole Long & Lean video by the end of the month. This is all in addition to my normal plan to do the 100 push up challenge, the 200 sit up challenge, and the C25K all at the same time. This plan got pushed back a week due to unexpected overworkedness.

Perhaps I'm taking on too much. I think I'll be OK, if I think of it as all one plan, instead of a bunch of different ones. Consider this week one, day one.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Children are great personal trainers!

This weekend I learned something interesting, children are a workout. We were visiting friends that live in Maine, and they have two kids. I spent a good deal of the weekend running, lifting, tossing, and playing. I gave airplane rides, ran up and down a hill just to run, chased, raced, carried, and was a living jungle gym. All in all, I believe that just keeping up with active kids counts as a workout.

Other than that, I've been a horrible slacker as far as fitness goes. Once again I find myself struggling to get myself back on track. Hopefully I'll have a better progress report later in the week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Running when I don't want to.

Yesterday was the first day I've been to the gym this week. But I'm not stressing it, Because I didn't want to go, but I did. I didn't want to run, but I did. I didn't want to do strength, but I did.

After a weekend upstate, where scheduling and sickness conspired against me and my running buddy (at least enough to keep us from running!), a weekend filled with tasty home baked goods and many fun times out and about with friends and family, I faced the gym yesterday with something akin to dread.

The conversation in my head went something like this:
"I'm tired, and it's cold outside. I want to stay home. Can't we just stay home?"
"No, we havn't been running all week. We have to go."
"But I'm tired."
"Ok," I said to myself, "We'll go to the gym and just run for a bit. We won't even run very hard. Is that ok?" I reluctantly agreed.

Once I was there, and on the treadmill, I set it to 5.2 without thinking. I didn't give myself a chance to think about it I just ran. True, I stopped at 20 minutes, but I ran.

The stretching mats were full of people so me and the S.O. split up, he headed for the weight machines, while I squeezed myself into a spot that opened up, and did my crunches and stretched for a good long while.

After a while I got bored and wandered over to do my strength routine (Prisoner squats, hammer curl/shoulder press, french press, repeat sets.) When I finished those, my S.O. was in the middle of his ab routine, so, bored, I started adding in more leg work. Apparently boredom at the gym is my friend. I added in knee strikes, chair squats and side squats before deciding I was pushing my luck. I did still need to walk home.

My body is sore and tired today. And I'm happy about it. I've also decided that I'm happier when I'm doing a training "plan" than just winging it, so I'm going to try and work out a plan that works for me. I'm thinking of doing the 100 push up challenge, the 200 sit up challenge, and the C25K all at the same time. It's a bit ambitious of a plan, so we'll see if I actually do it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A good week so far.

So far this week has been spectacular. I've actually managed to overcome several hurdles to keep myself on track. So far this week:

I went to the gym on a Sunday. Despite a time crunch to get everything we wanted to get done, done, we managed to keep the gym on the schedule. It was a great way to start my week.

I went to the gym while not feeling 100%. True, I did take Tuesday off due to illness, but on Wednesday when I was feeling mostly better I decided that one day off for sickness was enough.

I upped my distance. In an effort to break the training plateau I've been stuck on for ages, I've made my goal distance based instead of time based. I run until I hit two miles. Next week I'll up it slightly to 2.1 miles. I'm trying to increase my distance slowly enough to avoid injury.

I decided on a starting pace for my training (5.2 mph) and then upped it (to 5.3 mph.) Since my goals are no longer time based (ie run for twenty minutes), I'm free to experiment with different paces within the 2 mile(ish) goal. At 5.2 mph I felt like I could have kept running (for a long while) when I hit the 2 mile goal. So on Wednesday I upped the pace to 5.3 mph. When I raise the distance goal, I'll drop the pace again.

This weekend we're upstate again, and for once I'm not dreading what that's going to do to my exercise regimen. I'm excited, because that means I get to go running with my running buddy again! It also means that my S.O. can go off with his Brother and do serious guy time lifting heavy objects.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for strength training, but I'm more into the running than the lifting right now, and he wants more lifting, so I go running with my running buddy, he goes lifting with his brother, everyone's happy! I'll keep my strength training where it is for now, and change it up again in about a month.

Yay fitness! ^_^

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Forward momentum.

So far the week is shaping up well. Went to the gym yesterday, since I won't be able to go tonight. I hopped on the elliptical machine for the first time in ages. I noticed that with the elliptical machines, I get more of a muscle workout and less of a cardiovascular one. My behind was tired by the time I got off, but I wasn't sweating nearly as much as when I run.

I didn't do any strength work, I just cruised on the elliptical machine for half an hour then stretched and went home. It was a major victory in the sense that I really didn't want to go to the gym. I was really tired and in a bad mood and just wanted to stay home and curl up on the couch.

At least today I have a good solid reason for not going to the gym, tonight is the open house for the graduate program I'm looking to get into. If all goes well tonight, this will be the first step in the plan.

I feel like I'm finally starting to move forward again.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Working on finding my pace again

Yesterday's run was difficult. I was tired to begin with, and I could feel it as soon as I stepped on the treadmill. It was just about all I could do to keep myself running for the full 20 minutes. I even had to drop my pace a few times to give myself time to recover.

After getting off the treadmill, I did some stretching, a short stint of ab work, and my new short strength routine. I've been doing a mini circuit of hammer curl/shoulder presses, then french presses, then squats. I had been doing three rounds with 10lb. weights for the arms, doing sets of 15 reps, however I closest weight I could find was 12.7lbs, so I scaled back to doing 8 reps on the arms (still 15 on the squats), and I could barely do the last set.

I'm really hoping to get to the gym more often this week, to start to build up some more positive momentum. I want to get back to where I'm going to the gym more often than not. I want to start improving my fitness again, instead of either spinning my wheels or backsliding.

I want to do the 100 push-up and 100 sit-up challenges. I want to get myself back to training for a 5k. I want to start working on being able to do pull-ups again. So many things I want to work towards.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Every day needs to be little better

Last week was marginally more successful than the week before. I managed to get to the gym a grand total of....twice.

I am completely fed up with myself. Lately, I've been unable to prioritize my time correctly, wasting a lot of my time because of poor planning and bad decisions. This weekend was a total wash, and we had a very full weekend planned. Staying out too late Friday and having one too many drinks wiped out our whole weekend.

I've finally reached the point where my lack of focus and dedication has gotten to me. Changes must be made, and commitments stuck to.

I want my groove back!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The importance of routine

I am determined to make this a good week. It got off to a good start, I spent a good chunk of yesterday walking (about two hours all told) and I ate relatively healthy. It wasn't a stellar day, but it was far from a bad day.

I have a couple of uninterrupted weeks here to get myself back into my groove. A lot of my problems with my level of fitness lately have stemmed from a lack of groove. I have recently realized just how important it is to me to have that routine in place. The less stable my routine, the less likely I am to get myself to the gym. Lately my routine has been very far from stable, and it's resulted in very little gym time.

We're heading into the "Holiday Season", our starts early with Birthdays in October, I know my schedule will be far from stable for a long time. Traveling often becomes mandatory this time of year for us. But for the next couple of weeks, I can settle into my routine for a bit, maybe long enough that when all the travel hits again I'll be able to continue the routine around it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weddings mean dresses, and dresses mean I must run.

I haven't been sleeping well lately. Between a bout of seasonal allergies (which I apparently developed in the last two years) and random emotional situations, my average bed time has been 2am so far this week. Last week I was hitting bedtime at 1am due to a deadline for some work I'm doing. I guess technically that's close to 7 hours a night, but I feel completely drained.

This weekend I am attending my cousins wedding, which, as the invitation states, is "black tie optional"...so dresses are mandatory. I do not own many dresses, and none that fit/are fancy enough for "black tie optional." So yesterday I did something that most women profess to love, which is to me an exercise is pain, frustration, and humiliation. I went dress shopping.

This was the preamble for my going to the gym yesterday. I was tired, nay exhausted, a touch stressed, and very not in love with my body.

I ran, even though I felt like a lumbering behemoth. I ran, even though I was sure my running shirt was too tight and was showing the world every bulge I try to hide. I ran, even though every minute I wanted to get off the treadmill and go home. I didn't run particularly fast, or for an amazing amount of time or distance. I ran at a steady 5.2 mph for 20 minutes. (With a five minute warm up and five minute cool down that don't count because I wasn't running.)

I wussed out on the strength portion of my work out, I did ab work but nothing else. I was just too tired. But I ran. I ran yesterday and I'm planning on running today (I do have to wear that dress Saturday after all.)

I may not be completely back on track with this whole fitness thing, but I ran. And I'm holding on to that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall means Football (and wings)

Well so much for my triumphant return last week. I got buried under some rush rush rush work, and spent the majority of my week inside in front of my computer. The pile of work ended up precluding a few gym sessions, and by the end of the week I found myself having only one gym session on record. Not good.

The bonus to living in NYC is that because of the nature of the city, you end up walking a lot. I think the amount of walking I did this week/weekend may have made up for one missed gym session. So I'm counting it as I went to the gym twice last week. Still pathetic. I really hope I can get my act together this week.

In other news it is now fall, and more importantly Football season. Once a week I am now obligated to journey with my fellow faithful to a bar and grill in Brooklyn and sit with fellow refugee's from our homeland and eat our native food while we watch our local warriors compete for pride and glory.

My native land is Western NY state, and my home team is Buffalo. So Football season is usually a time of many Buffalo wings, and much heartache. Ahh heartburn and heartache, the feelings of fall.

This means that I need to get the rest of my diet under control to allow for the wings.

Because wings are a must.

The Bills will not win if I do not eat wings.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Trying to find my way back on track.

This week has started out alright, I managed a solid run yesterday, along with a decent strength set. I stepped it up a bit too much during the run, however, and started to burn out half way through. Today I am pleasantly sore and feel like I actually did something yesterday.

One of my biggest problems with training is a lack of patience. When I start a run, I feel like I'm not working hard enough, so I step it up too much, and leave myself nothing in the tank for the end of the run. It's very hard for me to gauge how fast I should be running at the start of a run.

Most of my time right now is spent sitting in front of a computer. I'm spending about 90% of my time in this chair right now, so it's very hard for me to make myself sit back down to check blogs and grow my online presence. My zest for being part of the blogging community is being co-opted by my desire to get up from the computer and do something. So apologies for not commenting enough on everyone's blogs. I'm still reading, if sporadically.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Appologies and excuses

I'm really sorry I haven't been updating. Getting back to my normal routine has been impossible in this past week. Technical and health problems have kept me from the gym and from settling into any sort of routine.

My computer (which is also my work machine) has been having continual problems for the past few weeks. I was finally able to get enough help to diagnose the problem as a failing Hard Drive. The drive has been ordered and now requires me to sit at home and wait for the UPS guy to deliver it.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling like a truck had hit me. I was achy and my sinuses were in overdrive. I thought at first it was allergies, but over the day it progressed and I'm sure now I have some sort of cold or flu. It seems to be passing, so I'm hoping to get back to normal life by tomorrow.

Once the new drive is installed and I no longer feel like my head is stuffed full up with snot, things should go back to normal. I'm hoping that next week I'll be able to make a better showing at the gym, and also return to full presence on the internet. I have a lot of comments to respond to, and I need to get back to reading everyone's blogs again, I'll need the inspiration when I'm huffing through what used to be an easy workout next week!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Still struggling with the routine

This week has been an unexpected struggle. I've been finding it difficult to get back into my old routine. The S.O. and I have managed two days at the gym this week, and I spent a good two hours trekking across North Brooklyn on Wednesday.

Yesterday's run at the gym went alright. I warmed up, reset the treadmill, and ran for 2 miles, finishing my run in 23 minutes. Running on a treadmill is both harder and easier now that I've spent time running outside. It is easier to go faster, the effort to move forward is less. It is harder mostly because it is boring. Part of that boredom is due to the fact that I busted the screen on my workout ipod, and am still trying to set up my iphone with all my workout tunes.

One good thing about being back in the gym is that I've added strength training back into my routine. Well, I think it's a good thing, my abs disagree. Hopefully by the end of next week I'll be able to do my strength set (with slightly reduced weight) without feeling like I'm gonna die.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Getting myself back to my routine

This week my schedule will finally return to "normal." After weeks of being out of town, followed by four days of having friends visit, I am finally back to the routine.

This weekend was amazingly fun, but a bust fitness wise. Since getting back to NYC, I have done no working out. None. Oh, I've walked a ton, and I do believe walking around with a four year old on your back should count as exercise, but there has been no running, no strength training, nothing. I'm hoping to reverse this trend this week.

So a good story that I didn't get a chance to relate from when I was up in Rochester: Me and my Running Buddy decided one day to wait until it cooled off to go running. We had the dogs with us, so we decided to run along the Canal where there aren't a lot of people to distract them. We ran for about a mile before deciding to turn around and run back. It was starting to get dusky out and all of a sudden we started running into clouds of gnats. Annoying, but survivable, right? Yeah, except the sporadic clouds of gnats morphed into one giant wall of gnats for at least a solid half mile. You could feel them pinging off your arms and legs as you ran. We tried to keep our heads down to avoid getting them in all the uncomfortable face places, which of course made our noses run, making it harder to breathe. It was nightmarish. And then just as suddenly as we'd come upon this dense concentration of gnats, we broke free of them, still running triumphantly. Yes, one of my proudest accomplishments from the past couple of weeks was continuing to run through a cloud of gnats. Go me!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Headed back to the big city

After around three weeks of hanging around western NY, I'm on the bus back to NYC. I have seriously mixed emotions about it.

I am thrilled to be headed home, ready to get back to my normal routine, my gym, my healthy diet, and most importantly my S.O. (he headed back to NYC over a week ago.)

I am sad, however, to be leaving behind a job that didn't feel like work, my family (and include my S.O.'s family in that), many good friends (a few of whom I didn't even get a chance to see), and a consistent running schedule with the best running buddy ever.

While I was in town I ran more often than not. Starting last wednesday, I ran every day except Sunday. I have my running buddy to thank for that. I also have her to thank for a dramatic increase in my stamina. 2 mile runs (with a walk break in the middle) became the standard at the end. Before my 2 milers included the distance gained in the 5 min warm up and 5 min cool down. With the magic of my running buddie's awesome GPS watch, the distace tracked was only the distance was ran.

Also, after running along lakefronts, forest paths, the canal and getting to run with Dogs keeping us company, running on a treadmil is going to be very boring.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Running in the sun

I think I've finally hit my stride here on my two-ish weeks up in Rochester. That is to say, I finally managed to get myself to go out and exercise after editing photos all day. My new running buddy (who happens to be my S.O.'s sister in law, and a good friend of mine) got guilt tripped into going running this afternoon by my S.O.'s brother. So we suited up and headed up to the Reservoir, which has a .69 mile paved running and walking loop around it.

I learned a few very valuable lessons today. First, I really need to get some sort of sunglasses to wear when I run outside. My eyes are very light sensitive and all the squinting was giving me a headache. Second, My new running buddy is increadibly paitent and understanding. This ties into lesson three: if I don't run regularly, my level of fitness drops quickly.

After the first lap, I was feeling alright, a little hot, but not too bad. Partway through the second lap I was ready to die. I felt like I was breathing fire. The sun became my enemy, blinding me and scorching my skin. Somewhere after the one mile mark I decided enough was enough, and slowed to a walk. My poor Running buddy kept going, unaware of my defeat. She wandered back my way shortly with a bewildered "I lost you for a bit there!" And even though she could have kept running for at least another lap, she didn't complain at all about my burning my self out so soon. I'm hoping that next time we go, I'll be able to make a better show of it (that is if I havn't scared her off with my lack of fitness!)

It's gonna be an interesting couple of weeks.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Still at the lake

We're getting towards the end of our time here at the lake. Only two more full days. Me and the S.O. went running again this morning along the lakefront. I managed to run further before our first walk break, and managed to finish our run without needing another one. My pace was a tad slower today, but still fast enough to keep the S.O. happy.

We still havn't found time to go out in the kayaks, but I'm hopeful for today. Todays plans also include hiking and a lot of relaxing.

Today durring our run we encountered a very protective Corgi, who escorted us quickly through his territory, making sure we didn't linger. He was very cute, and very loud. I'm always amused when such a tiny animal displays so much ferocity. That kind of confidence is inspiring.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Running along the lake

I went running this morning along the lakefront here in the fingerlakes. We ran for about a mile and a half, and I managed to keep up a decent pace, enough that my S.O. broke a sweat at least. It felt good, it was beautiful sceanery, nice and shady.

So far it's been a very relaxing vacation, and I've managed to keep my diet relatively healthy.

I'm hoping to get out on the lake today in the kayak, get a little upper body work out in.

I'm already slathered up in sunscreen and other than the time on the lake, planning on spending most of my time in the shade.

Today should be a good day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Running on the road

As I write this, I'm currently just starting my six hour bus ride to Rochester for the first part of my trip. I've gotten good at this trip and am armed with all the essentials: food, drink, travel pillow, blanket, and several forms of entertainment.

In my suitcase are two sets of workout gear, and am armband for my iPhone. On this trip I plan on testing the imapmyrun app to see how well it can record a route.

Yesterday's run went alright, I upped my pace (and therefore distance) but not my time, so I ran for 20 minutes at 5.2 mph, for a distace total (with 5 min warm up and 5 min cool down) of 2.17 miles. After the run I felt horrible, tired, achey, and slightly sick to my stomach. I blame the humidity and it being my TOM.

I guess we'll see how well I do running on pavement this week!

Still out of touch on vacation

I just wanted to update to let everyone know I'm still around, just a tad out of touch while i'm at my parents. I'm still updating my twitter occasionally and I'll be back to posting regularly again soon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kicking, Punching, Running, and Sweating.

Since yesterday was an "off day" for running, I decided to try one of the videos that Jillian Michaels had available on Netflix. I did her "Cardio Kickbox" routine. I ended up with a strange mix of being very sweaty and feeling like I worked hard, and yet, after how exhausted I was after her 30 Day Shred videos, feeling like I didn't work hard enough. Either way it was an enjoyable routine, which I do believe will make it into my regular rotation. I may have to consider buying the DVD eventually.

I'm continuing along with my slightly modified diet plan. I wouldn't even call it a plan per se, more like a guideline at this point. It's very simple: eat mostly fruits and veggies. For instance yesterday, I had a smoothie for breakfast (homemade fruit smoothies are my morning staple), a Mozzarella tomato and basil sandwich with fresh baby carrots on the side for lunch, and Burning Baked Tomato Eggplant (a unique experimental dish me and the S.O. made up while trying to figure out what to do with the Eggplant in our refrigerator) for dinner. Mostly fruits and Veggies, but lunch when a little off the path, what with the cheese and bread and all.

The next couple of weeks will be difficult, diet wise, as we are traveling (once again) to go visit family. As awesome as it is spending a whole week in the finger lakes, one of the big traditions is family dinners. Each "family" gets a night to cook for everyone (there are like 10 or 15 people on this side of my S.O.'s family now, what with cousins and girlfriends and wives and such - and this is the *small* side) and everyone sits down and eats together for dinner each night. Really awesome, except that most of the food isn't always diet friendly (although they do try to keep it healthy.)

So I'm packing my running gear, and yes (gulp) my swimsuit, and I'm hoping to get enough exercise to make up for what will undoubtedly be a delicious week long feast. I am also planning on grabbing lots of fruits and veggies at the store to pack our fridge with (we're in individual cabins), and I'm going to try my hardest to eat sensibly at dinner (no fourth helpings! No matter how tasty it is!)

Hopefully this will be a successful experiment, but either way I'm looking forward to getting out of the hot sticky city and spending some quality time with some awesome people by a lake.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Conclusions and Decisions

My plans to continue the "Fruit and Veggie"/"Detox" diet for a whole week have crumbled. Once again, the weekend was my downfall, although it was more like stumbling than careening head first off a cliff. Both Saturday and Sunday dinner was something "not on the plan", as in, there was bread and cheese involved. I do love me some bread and cheese. All in all, it's been a success though, as the weight loss has resumed, so I'm going to slightly modify the plan, add in a few foods (namely whole grains and cheeses/yogurts) and continue on eating mostly fruits and veggies. I figure it's a healthy compromise.

Friday's workout went well. The run felt better than the last run, which is of course the point isn't it? After a 20 minute run I did just about every strength move in my plan. I did the full set of ab work, then moved on to arms, doing hammer curls/shoulder pres combos and french presses before moving to the machines for chest presses and sitting rows.

Then I made a decision. I will do my leg strength workouts on the days that I run I decided, and started doing squats. I did Prisoner squats to be precise, three sets of eight. Little enough to start with I felt. And they felt good when I was doing them. I felt strain but not too much.

Two days later, on Sunday, when we decided to go for a hike around Prospect Park in Brooklyn, I was still feeling those squats. I think this solves the mystery of why I keep having calf problems when running. My Quads are weak like little baby legs. So Prisoner squats and most likely some other leg exercises will now be a part of my running day routine.

Now I just have to figure out something for cross training days that will let my legs rest...suggestions?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Running and Weight Training, oh my!

Yesterday I stepped on the treadmill again, after spending what felt like too long letting my leg heal and doing alternate exercises. Boy did I feel the time off. I felt awkward and sluggish. I ran at a slower pace than I'm used to, and I had to stop after 20 minutes of running. It looks like I'm going to have to build myself back up again. I'm going to try not to over do it right out of the gate again, so next week I'll be dropping way back to week 6 on the C25k plan.

Diet wise I've been sticking faithfully to my (slightly modified) detox plan. I cut way back on the caffeine (resulting in a sluggish cranky Meg) and have managed to go two whole days eating only veggies, fruits and egg whites. Beans and Salsa are my friend. Only five more days to go!

Today I'm planning on some serious cross-training, I'm going to attend my first ever spinning class. I'm nervous, and I have the usual running dialogue in the back of my head ("what if I'm not wearing the right clothing?", "what if I can't keep up?", "what if I look like an idiot and everyone starts laughing?") But I've decided that the benefits of an hour long spinning class out weighs the risk of wearing the wrong type of shoes.

Strength training has been a tricky subject for me lately. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. (Miz? Kelly?) I know I need to build the muscles in my legs (especially my quads) to avoid problems when I start to up my millage running, but I don't want to over train, which I think was what led to my last bout of shin/calf splints. Originally my plan was to start doing my lower body strength moves on the same day as my runs, with my cross training day having my upper body strength in it. The problem I'm having with that plan is that my legs are dead tired by the end of the run, which makes it hard to keep good form when doing my strength moves (and also makes me feel like a little wuss when I can only eek out three sets of 8 squats before I have to sit down.) So what's a good plan?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More small steps

Yesterday my workouts consisted of AM Yoga, and helping a friend move. That counts right? An hour or so of carrying slightly heavy objects up and down stairs? We celebrated the successful finish of the move with Take out Margaritas and Pizza while relaxing in the park. Which I suppose cancels out any workout I got from the move, but was definitely worth it.

Today I'm starting my "detox" diet: fruits, veggies and egg whites. I'm loosening the rules slightly to include minimal amounts of caffeine and milk. I'd like to still be functional enough to work out this week thankyouverymuch and without my morning coffee I am useless until after noon.

Another small change I'm making this week is to wake up a tad earlier. My schedule has been slowly slipping later and later, and I miss that feeling of waking up and getting stuff done. I end up feeling lazy and a tad stressed from not accomplishing enough when I let myself sleep in, so I'm starting to nudge my schedule slightly each day.

What about you? Are you an early bird or do you prefer to stay up late?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pondering signing up for Class...I could use some more!

This week is a brand new week. I plan on starting slowly, with yoga, today. I'm going to ease back into the Couch to 5k, starting on Tuesday. I'm going to drop myself back a week to week 7. I'm also going to do week 7 for two weeks before trying again to move to week 8. Hopefully this will prevent a return of the shin and calf pains I've been plagued with this past week.

I'm also planning on doing what one of my friends refers to as a detox diet this week. Before you go and leave worried comments about things like the Master Cleanse, it's nothing like that. Basically for a week, all I eat are Fruits, Veggies, and egg whites for protein. So it's almost like being vegetarian for a week. It's a very hard challenge for me, lover of cheese and milk that I am, but the last time I managed to stick with it for a week, it did jump start my weight loss.

I'm also going to try to take this idea of "cross training" more seriously. I'm beginning to think that the elliptical machines are just a tad too close to running. So this week on my "off" days, I'm going to try to mix it up with some classes.

A big hurdle for me as far as taking classes goes, is that my gym requires you to sign up for some classes in advance, due to the popularity and small room sizes. This is a good idea, however, it leaves me anxious about committing to something I don't know if I'm 100% ready to do. What if I sign up for that spinning class at 5:30 on Wednesday, and then something happens and I can't make it? I'll have locked up one precious bike for nothing!

I also suffer from "performance anxiety" (he he) when it comes to actually going to the classes. What if I can't do it? What if everyone else is happily punching and kicking (or stretching) away, and I'm there in the back huffing and puffing and collapsing into a puddle of near heart attack?! I'll look ridiculous! Everyone will laugh! It's so much easier to just stick to the treadmill where I can go at my own pace and no one knows how slow I'm running or that I've only gone for ten minutes when I start gritting my teeth and looking like a marathon runner pushing up that last hill.

Do any of you out there suffer from "new class-itis"? How do you get past it?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Running Fail

Yesterday I wasn't feeling great, but talked myself into going to the gym for my C25K training session. I could feel the tiredness in my muscles as I did my warm up, but I figured it would work it's self out as I ran.

Then ten minutes into what should have been a 30 minute run shooting pains started in my lower legs. I slowed down to a walk for a minute and then tried to start running again, which caused the immediate return of the shooting pains. So I called it, turned off the treadmill and went to the mats to stretch.

I'm frustrated and angry at myself. It seems like every time I start in on a training program, or try to take my fitness a notch higher, my body gives out on me. I'm going to back off on the running today, I'm thinking of doing a spinning class to cross train a bit, and I'm going to repeat this week of the program. I'm also going to drop the leg exercises from my cross training days, and instead try to do them on my running days.

This is another minor setback. It's annoying and frustrating, but I'm trying to work around it, and not let it ruin my week.

How do you "work around the pain"?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sore but ready for another day

So far this training schedule is working, although my run today will be the real test. Yesterday I chilled out on the elliptical machine, doing easy intervals. Then I hit the strength training. I made it through all of my ab work, although the last few of the "sensei mark specials" were still brutal, then did some leg machines to give my shoulder a rest. Then out of a feeling of insecurity, I did the sitting row machine and the chest press, just to make sure I got some upper body in. My entire body is slightly sore this morning.

Today will be the real test of this plan however. I've never tried running for this length of time consistently, and never while sore. I'm thinking I may have to reward myself with time in the steam room tonight if I make it through the run. I'm also back to putting stars on my calendar for motivation, and right now boy do all those stars look pretty.

My next step, once I finish this C25K plan, is to start getting myself to run outside. I have this unreasoning fear of running outside. I think of it as harder than running on a treadmill, and when I have run outside in the past the results have been near catastrophic.

Any advice on transitioning from the treadmill to the real world?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Retooling the schedule

This seems like something I am constantly doing...nudging my schedule here and there trying to make it fit everything I want it to fit. After another week of not being able to fit the gym into my weekend, I've decided I can no longer take Monday's off from the gym. So I hit the gym this morning to start on week eight of the C25k.


I did it. I managed to run for 27 minutes after a five minute warm up. The last two minutes were brutal. I really had to push to keep myself running, and not drop my speed down.

My new plan is as follows, C25K workouts M-W-F, cross training/strength training T-Th, try to get exercise on the weekends whenever possible. I'm still going to be working on upping my ab strength on the T-Th strength days, and I'm going to try to add a Saturday or Sunday to that, at least for the ab work.

How often do you switch up your schedule? Is change a motivator for you or do you subscribe to consistency being the key?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Checking off another day in the plan

Yesterday was day two of sticking to the C25K plan. It's hard for me to make myself warm up for a full five minutes before starting the jog. At the end of the 25 minute jog I was feeling like I could go for a while longer, so I sped up for the last two minutes to tire myself out. I didn't want to run for longer than the plan dictates, but I do think I could have kept running at the pace I was jogging at for another five minutes.

My abs are still sore from Tuesday, making my core work hard. I struggled through the second set of my rotation, ending up falling 10 short on the "Sensei Mark Specials".

I got a few of the gear splurges that I had ordered in the mail recently, although I'm still waiting on a few more things. I ran with the New Balance Color Block Socks for the first time yesterday, and I did feel a surprising difference. I was amazed at what a difference socks could make during a run.

I also now am the proud owner of a pair of Champion Mesh Running Shorts, although I have yet to run in them. You see, I have this fear of them bunching up slowly and riding up till it looks like I'm running in scrunchy underwear. I guess the only way to get over it is to just wear them and hope for the best ^_^

Any suggestions on good cheap running gear?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Starting the Plan

One day of the C25K training under my belt. I threw caution to the wind and jumped in at week 7. Walk 5 minutes, Jog 25, Walk 5. This seems to be the point where I'm stuck at right now. It felt like a good solid run, and I was tired by the end of it.

I did however do a bad thing, and did 30 minutes of elliptical intervals. It was supposed to be an easy warm up while I killed time waiting for my S.O. to show up, but leave it to me to feel embarrassed about not working hard enough. So my easy warm up turned into a full on session of intervals, not quite H.I.I.T. levels, but close.

I also decided, whim like, to set a target for my ab work, I upped the number of each set to 25 reps. Right now I've got four different styles of crunches (well three but one is done on each side, so I count it as two - is that cheating?), and I'm aiming to do three sets of each exercise. I did two sets yesterday, and I'm feeling it today.

Any advice on cross training I can do on my days off on the C25K plan?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Looking forward to the week

This week is going to be a good one. I just got my copy of Hungry Girls 200 under 200 Cookbook, and I'm excited to try out a bunch of new healthy recipies. I've already tried a slightly modified version of one of the recipes and it even got the S.O.'s stamp of approval.

I am also going to try the Couch-to-5-K training plan. I'm jumping into the plan at week four. I'm a little nervous about the plan, even though everyone has nothing but good things to say about it. Reading the plan, it doesn't seem like I'll be doing enough work. It is, after all, only three days a week. I'm trying to come up with other cross training to do on the other days. Are elliptical machines are too close to running to be cross training?

I hope everyone out there had a great holiday weekend, or just a normal weekend for those not in the states. What are you planning this week to refresh your exercise routine?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back on the Starting Block

Yesterday was my first day back in the gym after my vacation. It didn't go as well as I'd hoped, but I suppose I have to give myself time to work my way back up. My S.O.'s hip is still bothering him, so we opted to stick to the elliptical machines yesterday. I did arm exercises, and my full rotation of ab exercises.

Everything felt...sluggish. It was a struggle to get through each exercise, and yet I didn't feel like I was working my muscles hard enough. I'm not sore today, but I would have been hard pressed to lift any more yesterday. While on the elliptical machine, I struggled through my intervals, and yet my heart rate was never higher than 170 (it usually climbs towards 180 during that last few intervals.)

I'm going to chalk it up to working off the rust from the past two weeks. This week will be a "recovery" week, in which I attempt to get myself back up to the workouts I was doing before the vacation. I hope to put up a few miles running at some point, and I'm still toying with the idea of training for a 5k, and that Couch-to-5k plan is looking better and better.

Anyone out there doing the C25K? You like it? If not, Do you have a training plan (running or otherwise) that you swear by?

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Heavier Side of Birth Control

For a while now, I've suspected that my birth control pills were sabotaging my weight loss efforts. When I look back at my weight cycles, I can draw almost direct correlations between weight gain and going on the pill, and weight loss and going off of it. While on the pill I've struggled to loose weight, having to resort to drastically low calorie counts and punishing workouts, and seeing very little results. This has not felt healthy in the least, however when I voiced my concerns to medical professionals, I was met most often with the voiced opinion that the pill were not causing any weight gain, and that it was a myth that weight gain was a side effect of birth control pills.

No matter how much anecdotal evidence I've heard, or how much my own experience seemed to point to it, as one nurse bluntly told me "You may think your not eating a lot, or your exercising enough, but you're obviously not, since the pills do not cause weight gain."

Now a study has come out that seems to validate my thoughts. It was cited in Women's Health Magazine (although I'm having trouble finding it on their site). For those of you who are brave enough to try to untangle the scientific speak yourselves, the full article can be found here. According to the nifty chart-type graphic in WH, the average weight gain over 3 years on The Pill is 3.2 lbs. with an average increase in body fat of 1.63%.

I've been on the pill for a solid six years, this go around. If we were to just take the "average" weight gain from that chart, I'd have an additional 6.4 lbs hanging out on my hips from just the pills.

I'm going to do a little unscientific study of my own. I'm going off the pills. This terrifies me, as the idea of having my reproductive cycle out of my control scares me. But I've gotten to the point where I think that being on the pill is negatively affecting my fitness and overall health. I'm not giving up on diet and exercise, I intend to eat healthy and exercise for fitness instead of pushing myself to the point of injury and starving myself into irritability for the sake of weight loss.

I've got my fingers crossed on this one.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Still on Vacation

So far this vacation hasn't turned out to be anywhere close to the fitness filled couple of weeks that I had planned. Too many obligations and expectations leaving us running from one place to another. My S.O. injured his hip before heading here, so running has been out of the question, and until the past couple of days, the weather was prohibitive against swimming. I have managed to make it to one kickboxing class, which completely kicked my butt, and I'm planning on one last body pump class before we leave on Saturday.

I should be back to updating regularly next week, once I'm back home in NYC. I hope everyone is having a great couple of weeks, and is finding it easier than I am to fit fitness into their summer.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Upping my mileage.

After Wednesdays forced rest day, Yesterday I headed into the gym early to see if I couldn't rack up some extra miles. I decided to keep the pace easy, a nice 5.2, and go instead for distance. My first run I ran for 27 minutes (20 min run with 2 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down) and racked up 2.09 miles.

I was relatively tired and worried about the second run, but I gave myself enough time to sit and stretch (and get a little ab work in) while I waited for my S.O. to show up, so that by the time I stepped on the treadmill for the second run, I was feeling alright.

I actually felt Good during the run. I hit a comfortable stride, and I actually got to the point where you feel like you could run forever. It was a great feeling. I did another 27 minute set, and made it 2.07 miles. I have no idea about the varying mileage, maybe I walked faster during my warm up on the first run? Who knows.

The two runs bring my mileage total up to 15.02 for the month. I honestly don't think I'm going to make the 50 miles this month, but I'm going to try my hardest to get as close as possible.

Last night I didn't sleep well due to pain in my calves...I'm stretching them out and hoping that the pain will work itself out before gym time. It's not bad enough to keep me from running, but it might slow me down a bit, or force me to cut the runs short.

I've also been thinking that I need some new gear soon. Maybe some running shorts from Oiselle Running, and definitely a new sports bra. Shoes are also on the list for soon-ish, although I'm still not entirely sure how often I'm supposed to be replacing them.

How often do you treat yourself to new gear?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hitting my stride

My runs yesterday were intense. And yes I said runs. In an attempt to up my millage for my 50 miles in 30 days, I decided to do both of my cardio stints on the treadmill. For my "warm up" stint, I ran a 10 minute mile (with two minute warm up and five minute cool down.) I was feeling pretty good after that, so I did some ab work and stretched while I waited for the S.O. to show up. When he showed up we got back on the treadmills, and I planned on a 25 minute run with a 2 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down.

After my 2 minute warm up, i set the pace at 5.5 and off I went. Around 22 minutes I was feeling it, and somewhere in there I had to slow to a walk for 30 seconds to recover for a bit. I upped my pace again to 5.8 for a while, and then hit another wall somewhere around 24 minutes, so I walked for another 30 seconds. I did my customary sprints at the end, starting at around 25 minutes (I go to 27 to compensate for the 2 minute warm up) upping it to 6.0, then at 26 minutes upping it to 6.5 and finally upping it to 7.0 for the last 30 seconds.

Let me tell you I was completely exhausted by the end of that run. I managed to run a total of 2.52 on the second run, which put me at a respectable 3.52 total for the day. I'll be happier when I can run that strait.

Unfortunately my strength training suffered after that, as I began to develop a mild headache while doing my ab work, which had progressed by the time I finished my first set of arm exercises to pounding distraction. I did one more exercise before calling it.

I woke up this morning with a full blown migraine, took some advil and slept until it too effect. Right now I'm hydrating, drinking coffee, and hoping that the migraine is gone before I intend on heading to the gym.

What has your biggest hurdle to fitness been lately?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday is all about starting again.

My Monday morning weigh in was more than depressing. I've hit 160 again. Yes, I realize that this 160 is no where near the 160 I saw before, this is muscles below the fat, however after a week of pushing my workouts and eating well, and a weekend of standing all day in a sweltering convention center (and I do mean standing, we spent the weekend on our feet!) I was hoping to see a much smaller number.

I'm really struggling mentally right now. It's very difficult to look at the rising numbers without a corresponding rising depression. In my head that number means only one thing - I am getting Fat again.

This week I'm back at it, getting myself back to focusing on fitness, and trying not to think about that number. I'm trying to keep a positive focus. My goal is to run 50 miles this month. That means I need to kick my millage up a bit per run since I don't run every day. I usually run 3-4 days a week, which means I have between 9-12 days to run the remaining millage (about 43 miles), If I stick to 3 days a week, that means I have to run almost 5 miles a day (not going to happen), so I need to run more often in addition to just running further.

What challenges have you set for yourself recently?

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Running is Tough Going.

Yesterday was another one of those workouts where I just have to push myself through it, and remember that just getting on the treadmill is better than nothing. After two days of actually pushing myself, and running further and longer, yesterday it was all I could do to keep myself running for 25 minutes. I ran at a slower than normal pace, 5.2 mph instead of 5.5. I had new music on my ipod and, weirdly, the TV was on without my headphones being plugged in, so I had some random news show to watch. Neither of these seemed to be able to keep my mind off my tired legs.

I started the day at the gym with easy intervals on the elliptical machine. I didn't push the "hard" intervals into the H.I.I.T. zone, since I knew I was going to be running later. I kept the resistance levels at 5 on the low end and 10 on the high end. Not too strenuous a workout, but enough to get my heart rate up. I stretched for a bit before my S.O. showed up, then we hit the treadmills.

I could tell right away that I wasn't going to be able to push myself too hard. My legs were stiff to start, and my knees complaining. Once the stiffness worked out my knees shut up, but then my calves spoke up. For the rest of the run my calves complained. I also felt absurdly tired, and like I was running through mud. It felt like so much more work than normal.

I'm hoping that today's run will be easier, although I am proud of myself for sticking with it and running the 25 minutes.

What do you do when your normal workout just feels too hard? Do you push through it or Compromise with yourself to just do *enough* to count?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Training, instead of just Working out.

Yesterday's workout was interesting. First I jumped on the elliptical machine, and did intervals while watching Charm School (that show makes me feel so *together*!) I was worried after my run while visiting the folks, but I did the half hour without any breathing problems. My S.O. showed up a tad earlier than I was expecting him, so after a short stretch and a water break we headed strait to the treadmills. His schedule was shifted later so we're hitting the gym right around the same time as everyone else now, which explains why all the machines were packed. We had to wait for machines, and got them one at a time. I hopped on first, and he managed to snag one a few minutes later.

I've been reading a lot of stuff on running, and training for runs, and I actually got a Runner's World Training Journal in the mail yesterday, so I've been thinking a lot about training for a run. So I decided to go for distance instead of time. I was trying to hit the 3 mile mark. I failed so badly. I ran for about 2 miles solid, the odometer on the treadmill showed a little over 2.5 when I got off, but that included my warm up and cool down. The other issue was that I've been running for 20 minutes consistently, so trying to push it past that 20 minute time limit felt almost impossible. I did manage to run for 25 minutes, but I really need to work on my distance.

I've been having trouble finding a training program that fits my fitness level. The Couch to 5K program seems a tad below my fitness level, but the next step up in the training sets requires you to be able to do 3 mile runs. Which I can't do with any consistency yet. So I'm just going to keep trying to up my distance until I can do the "pre-training" set recommended.

After yesterday morning's feeling of doom, I think I'm back on track. I let myself feel the whole range yesterday, and then made a conscious decision to put the hopelessness aside and reach for a new goal.

I'm spending a whole week up at my parents in a couple weeks, and I'm hoping by then to be able to run outside without the asthma being an issue (yay allergy medication!) My goal is to be able to run the loop I set out for us before, at a pace that allows my S.O. to actually get a workout.

For those of you who run, any training tips? And for those of you who don't, how do you train, and what do you train for?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sucessful trip, unsucessful weigh in.

So the weekend at my parents wasn't a complete fitness disaster. Friday we attempted to go running around my parents neighborhood. This resulted in me having my first ever exercise induced asthma attack. My dad said he used to get the same thing a lot around this time of year because of all the pollen. So the run was short and frustrating for my S.O., who didn't get much of a workout.

Saturday I joined a friend for a "body pump" style workout. It completely kicked my butt. It was awesome. I now plan to go to that class whenever I am in town. The only minor problem was that I was exhausted and sleepy for the rest of the day. Not very good for visiting with family.

Nutrition wise I did alright, keeping my choices mostly healthy, with a few huge exceptions. *cough*birthdaycake*cough*

The big disappointment came yesterday when I weighed myself. 158. Ow. It's really hard at this point not to get completely frustrated with the whole thing and say "screw it, I'm fat I'll always be fat and there's nothing I can do about it." and cram some ice cream in my face to make myself feel better.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another Missed Goal

I havn't been to the gym in five days. Out of town guests, and then Memorial Day weekend kept me busy and away from the gym. This week is going to be another tough fitness week. We're heading up to visit my parents on Thursday for my Birthday, and coming back Sunday. I'm going to do my best to get at least one workout in while we're up there, but it's always tough. In the lead up to going away, I'm going to try to get three solid workout days in (we leave at 7pm on Thursday, which gives me the day to get a workout in)

The really frustrating part is that Friday is my birthday, which means that I've missed yet another goal. I wanted to be under 145 by my birthday. It should have been a completely achievable goal. It's increadibly frustrating to continually fall short of what should be reachable goals.

How do you stay motivated after a missed goal?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First off I am increadably sore today. I'm not sure exactly what is causing both the muscles on the backs and fronts of my thighs to complain so much, but if it's leading towards thinner thighs, I'll take the pain.

Last night I cooked up a meal that didn't take too much prep, and got rave reviews. Orange balsamic Salmon, bacon wrapped scallops and steamed asparagus. Other than the bacon wrapped scallops, it was a really healthy meal too. I'm definately going to make the meal again (sans bacon...maybe scallops in a salad?)

Anyone got any good scallop recipies?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Money vs. Health

Last week I started trying to increase my workouts per week. I decided to go to the gym every day except Monday (because of a scheduling issue.) In reality, I had to take Thursday off due to overwhelming soreness. I'm going to try this again this week, although my S.O.'s parents are coming into town Thursday, so I'm not sure how the workout schedule is going to work on Friday. In order to head this problem off at the pass, I plan on squeezing in a workout today, just in case things go awry at the end of the week.

Money is tight around here, like almost everywhere else. This is leading to some interesting dilemmas. Gym memberships are expensive, but IMHO necessary expenses. Oddly, healthy food is more expensive than prepackaged crap. This is distressing to me. It should not be cheaper for me to get a Super Sized Fat Burger Meal than it is for me to make myself a Salad. Especially around these parts, veggies are not cheap. I'm lucky in that I can rely on someone else's income to provide the foodstuffs in the house, but if it was just me, I'd be almost reduced to Ramen at this point.

The sad thing to me is that I know I'm not alone, that there are thousands of people out there right now in the same or in a worse situation as me. And right now, at least one of them is looking at the change in their pocket, or the numbers in their bank account and making the decision to eat crap because it's what they can afford.

What are your favorite, go to, cheap healthy recipes?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Keeping up the balancing act.

So far this week I've managed to keep my balance. Much artwork has been done, and importantly, much fitness has been accomplished as well. I am now committed to making this week an amazing one, one where I manage to keep all of my goals in mind and accomplish amazing things.

I am hoping by the end of this week to move one thing off my plate, thereby giving myself a tiny bit more breathing room.

Yesterday, I really felt all the slacking when I was at the gym. I had to call it after 15 minutes of running. I stretched and did my ab work, and then hit the elliptical machines. I did a 25 minute H.I.I.T. session, and omg did I feel those intervals. By the end of each hard interval I was barely able to keep going. During the recovery intervals, I must have looked hilarious, sweating buckets and all red faced, and looking like I was barely working!

Unfortunately, after the gym we met up with some friends and ended up getting Chinese take out for dinner. I tried to keep my portion size down, but I still think I ate far too many calories.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Seeking balance

This weekend was a rough one for me. Various factors resulted in a total failure to achieve gym time. After seeing a friend of mine who is similarly facing a rough time, I realized that I have simply not been making fitness a priority in my life.

It is hard when you're facing a rough situation, with many priorities pulling at your time, to give time for working out. With deadlines looming it is hard to step away from the panic and realize that an hour or two a day is something I need to dedicate to fitness.

It seems like a small thing to ask of myself, and yet it is so very difficult for me to make sure I have gym time. A project will need to be finished, or a social commitment will need to be met.

I keep thinking that once I get past this deadline, once I get this project done or those visitors leave, then my routine will get back on track. And then another project's deadline gets in the way, or lets face it it's summer and everyone wants to do things this summer.

The result has been a spotty workout record, and a weight holding steady at around 157. Things have to change. I need to make fitness a priority again.

How do you balance fitness with the rest of your life?

Friday, May 8, 2009

When the rest of my life gets full, Fitness falls off the radar

This week was a total fitness FAIL. After getting off to such a good start, I got an Illustration commission with an extremely short deadline which consumed my life for the rest of the week. I ended up having to bail on my scheduled gym trip yesterday to work on it. It's done and off to the client, but now it's the weekend!

This weekend I run the gauntlet of two birthday parties (one tonight, one on Saturday), both at bar/restaurants! In addition, we were asked today to help set up for the one tonight right after work, so another canceled gym date. Sadness. I'm going to have to do a workout video just to make up for all my slaking!

I'm hoping to make myself go to the gym this weekend. One of my big goals as far as fixing my workout schedule is to start going to the gym on the weekends. My main hangup with that is that the class I really want to go to, Boxing, is on Sundays, and completely kicks my butt. Like to the point where I need a couple days off from the gym to recover. I keep thinking that if I wait till I'm a little stronger I'll be ok, but then we go back and it's harder than I think it should be again. I'm going to try to talk myself into it again this weekend...

Do you workout on the weekends? Or do you consider those your days off?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My own worst enemy

My biggest hurdle lately, as far as health and fitness goes, has been my social life. Recently I've had a rather full social calendar, including many nights spent at bars and clubs. Between the tasty foods, the beers and the late late nights, I havn't really been living the healthy life lately.

I've been doing good, mostly, during the week, with the exception of last night/this morning. I went to an awesome concert last night. Danced like I was getting paid, and most likely made up for at least most of the calories in the beer I drank.

However, late late nights plus lots of beer equals a stop at one of the all night eateries before heading to bed. And what do we eat at all night eateries? A bacon egg and cheese bagel sandwich.

Also, the soreness and general feeling of ick after a night of dancing and drinking leave me unable to really get a good workout in, completing the unhealthy two-fer.

So while I'm rehydrating myself and trying to work through the persistant ringing in my ears, I pose you this question: What is your favorite "morning after" remedy?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Refresh!

I got the most recent issue of Women's Health in the mail this weekend, and while fliping through it and being inspired I realized that even though I have all these variations of exercises at my fingertips, I tend to stick to the same kinds of exercises. Especially when it comes to strength training.

"Why," I wondered, "With all these myriad of choices, do I choose the same boring (and most likely less effective) variations every time?"

"Because," I replied, "A lot of those moves are hard, and look silly when you do them. Imagine how silly you'll look doing that move with that stability ball. You'll fall over and everyone will laugh at you silently."

"This is silly," I argued back, "You can't look any sillier than that guy over there who is jammin out to his ipod on the elliptical! No one is going to care."

And so, having successfully argued my point to myself, I have decided to start adding in new variations to my exercises. In the interest of keeping this going, I'm starting with some exercises that I won't be mortified to be doing. I went out on the internets to find new exercises and found this:

The Flatten your Belly Routine at Women's Health Magazine. A whole routine of new ab moves!

So, are there any moves you'd suggest I try? Any moves you wouldn't be caught dead doing in a gym?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Randomness

It's been a relatively sucessfull week, fitness wise. Other than being incredably sore on my days off, I really don't have much to report.

So instead: A few links on this Friday to help you waste some time.

A whole Chicken in a can - Yes. Have some.

Let WebMD help you with your diet - A "success" checker that makes you go through a rather rigorous questionnaire.

Cranky Fitness is having a sweet giveaway, check it out!

Txts from Last Night - As if you needed another reason to not drink and txt, this site imortalizes some of the best (or worst.)

And because I can, coffee and a cupcake to get you started this weeked:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

One more step closer to the goal.

I was lucky yesterday, in that the unexpected guest also unexpectedly left. So me and my S.O. headed to the gym yesterday, where I proceeded to attempt to make up for the missed workout. I don't know if I completely made up for it, but I definitely worked hard. I'm all sorts of the good kind of sore today.

Today is a workout video day, and while that usually means the 30 day shred video, I'm contemplating a nice Yoga workout today. I don't know, I've gotten to the point where I feel like doing an hour of Yoga isn't enough exercise, since I don't get all hot and sweaty and feel like I can't breathe. Unfortunately this has resulted in me choosing the shred over yoga consistently, and I do believe I'm loosing flexibility.

What would you choose? Flexibility or Strength?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Inturuptions in the schedule

This week is off to a rocky start, what with me not being able to do my workout today. I have an unplanned guest staying in my living room, preventing both the use of the living room for workout videos, and the action of traveling to the gym to workout. I'm not quite sure how to handle this one. The unplanned guest has told us he'll most likely be leaving by Wednesday (although he was originally only supposed to be here on Saturday.) Missing one day of working out isn't that bad, but I don't know what to do about tomorrow.

Argh, social stress sucks!
What would you do?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Oh, so very sore.

I hit the gym yesterday with my S.O., who's been complaining that he hasn't been going to the gym because I'm doing my workouts at home. I got there early, and hopped on the elliptical machine and mindlessly set it to my normal H.I.I.T. workout, thinking I'd just take it easy on the intervals and go for a bit as a warm up before my S.O. showed up. Then I flipped on the T.V. and found this really interesting show on the History channel about Medieval Knights. Next thing I know my S.O.'s tapping me on the shoulder and I've been on the elliptical for around half an hour.

I hopped off and we headed downstairs to see if we could find two free treadmills. No go, but the ellipticals down there were totally empty, so we jumped on those. I felt I wimped out on my first session upstairs, so I pushed the intervals up a few resistance levels, and we went for another full half hour.

I was totally beat by the end of that, so after a token ab workout I took myself down to the steam room while the S.O. did his strength training.

I'm telling you, I think I'm a steam room addict. So very relaxing. So very calming.

Today I'm feeling every inch of me. I'm sore in places I didn't know I worked. I'm hoping that by the end of my workout today I'll have worked out some of the kinks, since we've got a guest coming into town for the weekend (which always means lots of walking.) Maybe I'll try some yoga today...

What is your go to fix for soreness?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tamago for dinner!

I'm not ready to call it yet, but I do believe I'm getting back into the swing of my fitness routine. I'm back to the every-other-day sweat sessions. If I make it through the week at this pace, I'll up it next week to be every day.

So far my plan to eat healthy instead of eat less is going alright. Healthy foods are more filling than non healthy foods, so I'm actually staying right around 1500 calories a day.

Yesterday, in a fit of culinary creativity, I made myself some Tamago Sushi. Eggs, a bit of sugar and organic soy, and some sushi rice. Other than the Sugar, a healthy snack-y meal. I think I should cook one new thing a week, just to keep my skillz sharp.

What new culinary delights have you cooked up this week? Any recipes I should try?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Small changes

I'm still working on the write up of the MS walk from yesterday, however I can say it was shorter than I expected, nicer out than I expected, and generally I had a good time. There were tons of people there, and we got a lot of good pictures. I totally forgot sunblock (bad meg) and got myself a slight sunburn.

This week I've decided that I'm going to implement small changes to my diet and exercise plan continuously. My thought is that, if I bring in small changes every day, I will be less likely to resist the changes, or to fail to keep the changes as part of my fitness/wellness plan.My small change for today was switching from Splenda to Truvia, a Stevia based non-cal sweetener.

I'll admit right off that I havn't planed these changes out very well, So if you have any ideas of small changes I can incorporate, I'd be happy to hear them!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

MS Walk

7:20 am - It's early early early. I haven't been awake this early in a long time. We attempted to procure breakfast, and failed. None of the breakfast places are open this early on a Sunday. Luckily they say in the packet that there willbe breakfast there.

The weather report said it's going to be good weather for walking, 60 and partly sunny, but it was warning of rain last night, so we'll see.

Unfortunately the rest of Team Disco!(tm) had a Familly emergency, so it's just me and James walking today. I'm still a bit excited, and happy to be doing something possitive with my day. I've got my orange MS bracelet on and I'll be picking up my official walk tshirt when we get there, so I'll be all decked out. The walking part starts at 9:30, so we should have time to grab some coffee before the walk starts, I could really use it right now.

I'm going to tweet about the walk along the way, and post about it when I get home. I'm expecting a good time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Adjusting my thinking on Food

This weekend involved a lot of good company and good food. It was the last little bit of my two weeks away from calorie restriction. The idea was to help kick start my weight loss again.

I've been having trouble loosing weight, even though I continually cut back the amount of calories I was taking in, and increased the amount of exercise I was getting. It seemed no matter what I did, I would bounce between 150 and 155, never dropping below 150 for more than a day. Worse yet, my Body Fat % was staying almost constant.

I had a "light bulb" moment when I considered dropping my caloric intake further, and realized that I was down right around 1200 calories a day. I believe I kicked my body over into starvation mode, and it was holding on to every calorie I ate for dear life.

So far, after two weeks of not counting calories, I havn't gained a significant amount of weight. I'm sitting at 154, about .2 lbs above where I was two weeks ago. My Body Fat is .1% higher than two weeks ago. It may not be proof that I was right, but at least it's proof that I can maintain easily! I mean, I even ate McDonald's this weekend! (Road trip necessity at 2am on the thruway, it's the only thing open.)

Today I'm going back to counting my calories, although I'm giving myself a more forgiving number for my caloric budget. I'm going to focus more on eating healthy foods than eating low calorie ones.

What adjustments have you had to make to your plan lately, and if you havn't had to make any, any advice on other adjustments I might want to make?

Friday, April 10, 2009

In need of some supplement advice

One of the many hurdles I've had to overcome to continue my fitness journey is my weak immune system. Recently at least it seems that I get sick easy, and once I'm sick I'm usually sick for three or four days minimum, most times around a week. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. It's keeping me from doing what I want to do, and from achieving my goals.

So, I'm going to add in supplements to my regimen. I take a daily multivitamin, and a vitamin D supplement already. I need advice. What supplements, or foods, would you suggest I add to my diet?


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Just a little bit of Steam

I've been sick again. I thought it was just allergies, but the allergy medication isn't stopping it, so I'm thinking I might actually be sick. No matter, I went to the gym last night, and did a H.I.I.T. session on the elliptical machine.

Afterward I was feeling particularly miserable, and so in desperation I ventured somewhere I had never been before: the steam room. I have heard all sorts of nasty things about the kind of bugs and fungi that can lurk in steam rooms so I've avoided them. I was, however, in desperate need of somewhere that I could breathe, and knowing how much steam helps, and armed with extra towels to create a protective barrier between me and any lurking fungi, I ventured in.

Steam rooms are amazing. I have never felt my muscles relax that fast after a work out short of climbing in a jacuzzi. My sinuses opened up, and I felt 90% better. It most likely helped that I had the whole place to myself, but I felt totally relaxed. I'm also less sore today than I was anticipating.

Today I'm taking it easy, drinking lots of fluids, and hoping to recover enough to actually go to belly dancing for once.

What's one part of your gym you've never ventured into?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Guests mean eating out!

This weekend we have guests, My S.O.'s Brother and Sister-in-law. Both are wonderful, energetic people, and we spent the weekend stomping around the city visiting many interesting places. We also ate a lot, and not particularly well. Surprisingly, I only gained a single pound from the entire weekend.

I also ran out of allergy medication, and am currently suffering from an allergy induced sore throat and general achies. I'm going to try not to let this slow me down, but it's always a million times harder to exercise when I'm not feeling well.

Next weekend we're going up to visit the families for Easter (luckily both our families live in the same town) and my S.O.'s Sister-in-law invited me to join her for a kickboxing class while we're up. I'm really exited about that ^_^

Any new fitness opportunities come your way this weekend?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tired and sore from the gym

I totally overdid it at the gym tonight. I felt bad for skipping the gym yesterday, so I put in an extra 10 minutes on the treadmil and amped up the speed to boot.

I also feel bad because I haven't been to belly dancing in a month. The classes are just at such an awkward time, 8:30pm on a Wednesday night. But I actually miss the class.

On Monday I walked by a Dojo that's near where my drawing group meets. I started thinking about how much I miss karate. There really isn't anything else in the world quite like it. So I looked the place up on the web and got prices and times. Now when I find a job and have money I'll be able to go back to studying martial arts. It's a different style than I've taken before, but it's one I've always wanted to try.

Now to get enough money for classes...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday morning rededication

Sorry I've been MIA. I have too many projects and not enough focus lately. Unfortunately, it seems my fitness goals are always the easiest to put on the backburner. Especially when I'm not seeing results.

I've realized lately that I have two major problems with my weight loss and fitness plans. One is that I'm constantly feeling deprived, and as a result, constantly telling myself that I deserve that cupcake. True, I'm still staying under my caloric budget, but a lot of the foods I'm eating are not exactly healthy foods. This week it's going to be all about healthy foods.

I also have a tendency to be sidetracked from the gym very easily. My S.O. recently hurt his leg, and was therefore not exactly thrilled to be going to the gym. This resulted in a couple of missed gym days since I am so easily dissuaded, and because I put off exercise all day in anticipation of our evening sweat session, I didn't do a video at home to make up for it.

I really need to find a way to stick to the plan for more than a few days.
Got any Stick to it tips?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reassesing the deatails of my plan

The reduction of calories is going well, I've managed to stay within my new lower caloric budget for the past two days, and I'm seeing results. I'm thinking a good plan would be to alternate weeks. Week one would be with the lower caloric budget and week two would have a slightly higher caloric budget.

Yesterday at the gym I did a HIIT session on the elliptical machines. I forgot how much those work my glutes. I also managed to finish out that last set on the assisted pull up machine, so Thursday the weight drops for another set. I'll be doing one set with an assist of 80 and two at 70. Yay for progress!

I've also been reviewing my fitness and weight loss goals and reassessing my progress. I have two hard dates in my mind that I want to make significant progress by. First is my birthday at the end of May, and the second is my Cousin's wedding in September. It would be nice to be able to wear sexy summer clothes this year, like shorts for instance, without feeling completely self conscious.

I'm still gearing up for the MS Walk in April. I havn't decided yet if I'll do the shorter 3 mile route or push for the longer 6 mile route. I've also decided that I'm going to "sell" link pimpage. Anyone who donates to my team will get a link to their blog in a future post. Hmmm Maybe I should do a contest too...what do you think?

What's got you moving this week?

Monday, March 23, 2009

My relatives are bad for my weight loss goals.

This weekend was interesting, fitness wise. I was visiting relatives in Connecticut, where almost all of my relatives live. I was with my parents, staying in a hotel, and eating what everyone else was eating. I was also directed around a kitchen to do baking by my mother and grandmother (both of whom are unable to physically do the baking themselves anymore.) I did prevail on my parents to get Panera instead of Chinese when we got take out, and the breakfast buffet at the hotel allowed me to have Yogurt with Granola and fresh fruit salad with my breakfast. Overall, however, my diet was less than stellar.

I did use the hotel's "Fitness Center" one day of the two I was there. It consisted of a small room, almost completely filled by the weight machine, one treadmill and one elliptical machine. They did have a nice television with a remote, a water cooler, and a stack of towels. The real issue I had was the treadmill itself. I have never had that much trouble running on a treadmill. It was literally painful to run on after a while. It bounced just enough that it was extremely jarring when it hit the "support beam" under the deck of the treadmill. After running on it for around ten minutes me and the S.O. had to switch machines to give my knees a break.

Overall, I did better on this trip than I have in the past. It was not good enough, however, to keep my weight and BF% from bouncing back up. I'm going to have to make good on my resolution this week, just to get myself back on track.

How do you survive eating around your relatives?

Friday, March 20, 2009


I decided to input all of my data back through October into a spreadsheet to see if I could accurately chart both my weight and body fat %. Looking back over the numbers is depressing. I have basically yo-yo'd back and forth between 155 on the high end and 150 on the low end.

This is with increasing my workouts and keeping my calories around 1500 a day.

I feel defeated. Like no mater how good I am, I will not be able to get my body where I want it, where it used to be. I'm not giving up, I'm cutting back on the calories, and I'm going to up the workout schedule again, making sure I get a hard workout in at least 5 days a week. I'm using the word hard instead of a time limit because the time I spend on the workout depends on what I'm doing.

On a positive note, I did manage to get day two of week three of the sit up challenge in. Day three is this Saturday.

Next week will be a good week. I'll make sure of it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Running with a Bounce in my step

Yesterday was my second time running in the new shoes, and I think I can officially say that I am in love with my shoes. They feel weightless and supportive and my feet and legs thank me. I'm up to a 5.5 on the tread mill (with my customary 'last two minute' interval of doom.) True, I'm only really running for 25 minutes at this point, but by the end of those 25 minutes I'm really tired.

I also started doing the two hundred sit up challenge. My initial test suggested I start at week 3, so I did. It seemed to be a good starting point, tough, but not impossible to finish. Hopefully I'll get myself through all three days this week.

I'm not doing the hundred push up challenge right now, because I'm focusing on doing pull ups. I'm unfortunately stuck at the level I'm at right now, I do two sets with the Gravitron taking 80 lbs, and then I can get mostly through the third set with the Gravitron taking 70 lbs. I still havn't managed to finish that last set strait through. I have to take a break around rep 6.

Today I'm sore in most places, and grateful that today is a "resting active" day, Wednesday is Belly Dancing Day! Oh Belly Dancing is exercise, yes, mostly working my core, and a bit of legs and arms, but nothing so exhausting as running! I am, however, noticing a strange trend with the Belly Dancing. The better I get at it, the harder it works my body.

Anyone else ever find an exercise like that?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Getting back to it

It's strange, but even though I did a fair amount of walking this weekend, I look at it as a weekend of laziness. I spent most of the weekend promising myself I would work out later. What a horrible trap to fall into.

Regardless! It's Monday, time for a fresh start. Back on Track and all that. After my coffee and breakfast, It'll be off to the gym to get some running in. I'm really loving my new shoes. I think I have a crush on them.

Other notes from this weekend: MizFit, you are evil. I am now addicted to granola from mixmygranola.com. Despite not being the glorious winner of that contest, I decided to try a mix. So yummy! *drool* I highly advise you try it! (Dieters warning, this stuff is SUPER high in calories, but it's worth it!)

On a whim I bought some Special K bars to drop in my pack when I'm running around town, so I don't resort to bodega food. I got the "double chocolate" protein variety, not really expecting much. I was kinda wowed. They're really tasty! It's like a healthy candy bar (healthy being a relative term.) Yes, yes, I know Luna bars are better for me, but they're expensive (end whine.) Again, at 180 calories, they do practically replace a meal, but I think they'll do wonderfully for my afternoon sweet craving.

Thank you to everyone who left supportive comments on my last post about the MS Walk. If you wanna know what it's all about, or can donate even a dollar check out my team's page.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am walking in the MS Walk in Manhattan

As most of you know, because I've mentioned it before, my Mother suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. She was diagnosed when I was a kid, and is now almost completely immobilized by the disease.

On April 19, 2009, I will join 6,000 participants for the 21st Annual Walk MS event in Manhattan. I will walk either 3 or 6 miles (I havn't decided which yet) to raise money for the National MS Society.

This year’s goal is to raise 2.7 million dollars and I want to do my part to reach that goal. So I'm reaching out to all my readers here, and anyone they know to help out in this.

To make a donation, you can simply visit my personal page at the Walk MS site. Any donation helps.

The National MS Society believes that moving is not just something you can or can’t do but, rather, is who you are. As people dedicated to fitness, this is something we can all understand. Most of us have been to the place where movement is difficult, some of us are still there, using what we can do to get our movement back. MS steals a persons ability to move.

Walk MS raises funds for critical research, as well as comprehensive programs and services for people with MS, moving closer toward a world free of MS. When you donate, you become a part of the powerful movement that is doing something about MS Now.

Many thanks in advance for your generous support.

Warmest regards,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Getting closer to being "shredded"

I was all set to break in my brand new shoes last night, unfortunately my poor S.O. got sick, so I improvised with the 30 Day Shred video.

I've done the video a few times now, and I think I'm ready to step it up from level one to level two. The only reason I'm hesitant is my upper body strength. Unfortunately my lower body strength far outpaces my upper body strength. Hey, what do you want, I'm a girl, and I just started training my upper body. This means that during the video, I am now feeling, for the most part, that I'm not working hard enough, except for the push ups, where I struggle and gasp and ultimately fall to my knees for the last couple of push ups.

Despite this small lack, I think it's time to kick it up to level two next time I use the DVD. It'll be nice to get some original commentary, I can practically say the lines along with Jillian ^_^

I'm going to hold off on an official review of the video until I've managed to crack all three levels, but my review of level one is positive. It works you hard. Hard enough that I'm usually sore in a few places the next day. Warning bit though, you need hand weights for this video!

I'm struggling this week with sticking to my caloric budget (yes even after this weekends disaster from eating too much.) It's that TOM. Everything looks tasty, and I crave salt and chocolate. I'm trying to be good, but man, I actually feel like I'm depriving myself this week, when normally I don't.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lesson Learned, Even on my free day, What I eat counts!

This weekend I experienced a side effect of eating a low fat/low cal diet for so long that no one has really told me about. Oh I've gotten all the other side effects and warnings. Like the fact that my nails break easier, and my hair requires higher maintenance. I've lost weight, and more importantly body fat %. I've noticed my skin clearing up as I drink more water. I'm waiting for the bonus energy and the evenness of moods.

This weekend however, I found a side effect that, while nominally helpful towards keeping me on track, was just about one of the most unpleasant side effects I've experienced in a while.

Saturday was my "free day", the one day a week when I don't count calories. I usually use this day for when I've got plans to go out to eat at a nifty restaurant and don't want to skimp on dessert. This weekend was no exception, I was going out for Dim Sum to celebrate a couple of my friends birthdays. Dim Sum is in no way diet friendly. Everything is fried or involves pork, bacon, or a sugary sauce in some way. So, "free day" suitably noted, I went ahead and ate. Now, I ate sensibly, stopping when I was full, and not gobbling down everything that crossed the table. I'm still positive I ate more fat and more calories in that one meal than I normally have in a full day, maybe two.

After Dim Sum, me and the S.O. took advantage of the wonderful warm weather to walk ourselves up from Times Square, around Central Park and then South again down 5th Ave back to Times Square, hop on the train and wander around the Union Square area. We decided around 8 to see a movie, and got tickets for Coraline (wonderful movie by the way, I highly recommend seeing it in 3D.) Neither of us was really hungry, still being mostly full from Dim Sum, but we were starting to get peckish, and since it was my free day, We got popcorn with oil-like-butter-substitute (I refuse to call that stuff butter.)

After the movie we walked down to St. Marks to grab me some PinkBerry (My poor S.O. is lactose intolerant and therefore cannot share in the PinkBerry goodness.) I ate my deliciousness on the subway ride back to our apartment.

Then everything went bad. A little while after we got home, I started feeling really tired, which I chalked up to all the walking (we did a lot of walking.) Around 1am I decided to call it and just put myself to bed. I started feeling nauseous, and kind of like I had the flu.

Sometime after I started feeling ill, the ill got to me and up came whatever was left of my treats. (Sorry for the TMI.) "Good," I thought, "I should feel better and be able to sleep now." No such luck. I still felt flu-like and icky for the rest of the night, and for a bit the next morning.

I'm not sure what the culprit was, too much fat, too much sugar, or just too much, but apparently I need to be careful on my free days!

Tracking Transformation: Where I stand now