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 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!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Return of the "Calf Splints"

I'm three(ish) weeks into using gold stars and prizes as motivational tools. It's been working very well so far, and I'm racking up a bunch of gold stars on my calendar. I've even managed to go an entire week strait (minus my free day) without skipping the gym or going over my caloric budget.

I am now suffering from a return of the pains in my calves. Initially when I got these pains, I figured it was because I was unused to running so much, and so tried (stupidly) to run through the pain. When that caused pain bad enough to lay me up for a few days, I tried what has (until now) been working, switching up my routine. I varied my exercises so that I wasn't relying on running exclusively. I've added in everything from Yoga to Belly Dancing.

I noticed the ache starting to come back on Monday, when I did the 30 day shred video for the second day in a row. It relies heavily on things like jumping in place (jumping jacks, fake jump roping) during the cardio portions. I figured that doing the same activity two days in a row was the culprit, and stretched out extra good, figuring I'd be fine the next day.

Yesterday the ache returned on my first 15 minute stint on the elliptical machine. I spent extra time stretching in between cardio stints, and then hit the treadmill. After 20 minutes my calves seemed to grow little spiky balls of badness inside them. If you've ever had shin splints, it was a similar feeling, only in my calves. No amount of stretching seems to make these go away, only waiting and resting.

Today I'm sticking to Yoga, and depending on how my legs feel later, belly dancing. I have been slacking off on the Yoga lately.

I'm frustrated because of the many possible causes, it is so hard to narrow it down conclusively. It is apparently, not caused solely by running too often.

The good news is that I'm making good progress again. My Body Fat % has dropped slowly but consistently, and now the numbers on the scale are beginning to drop again as well. If I can keep this up, I do believe I'll be able to report numbers below 150 again soon! The funny thing is that my Body Fat % now is lower than the last time I was under 150. I suppose that's a good thing.

What setbacks have you had to overcome lately?

Monday, March 2, 2009

MS Awareness week

This week is MS awareness week, and today specifically is Wear Orange Day.

For those of you who have never heard of Multiple Sclerosis, here is the definition from The National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another.

Many people learned of MS when Montel Williams announced publicly that he was affected by the disease. I learned about MS in the 80's, when my mother was diagnosed with it. When my mother was diagnosed, not much was known about MS, and even less was known about how to treat it. Since then, MS has become a much more widely known disease, and the research into a cure has moved forward in leaps and bounds. Today, there are treatments that can stop the progression of the disease from almost the moment of diagnosis. There still, however, are no treatments for reversing the effects the disease has already had on the body.

One of the things I am continually astonished by is just how many peoples lives have been touched by Multiple Sclerosis. Over the years, I have met many people who have Aunts, Cousins, and Parents who suffer from this slowly debilitating disease.

And that, perhaps, is one of the hardest things about MS. It steals people slowly. Inch by inch they loose their mobility. So slowly sometimes that you may not even realize it's happening.

Today, I am wearing orange. Because the more people know about Multiple Sclerosis, the more people care to stop this disease, the faster we can find a cure. I wear an orange bracelet, with the words "Join the Movement" on it. Every time I'm exercising and I get tired, or I feel like skipping the gym, I look at that bracelet, and get up and move, because I can, because every movement is still a gift.

For more information about Multiple Sclerosis, or how you can help fight it, check out The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, The Multiple Sclerosis Wiki, or MS Active Source.

Tracking Transformation: Where I stand now