Monday, December 31, 2012

Inferno plan meals... Day one.

I forgot a pic of snack two but that was just a protein shake.

It's Monday...For Sure.

I was going to get up early this morning to workout. Guess what! I did not.  I was going to get up and do my run so that I only had TF to do later. I was just SO tired this morning. I felt it all morning, too. Maybe that was because I didn't drink coffee as I usually do. Who knows.... I'll just plan to run and then do TF this afternoon.

Not only did I not get up to workout, the morning was slightly crazy. I was up early enough to get ready for work without difficulty. But it's Monday, soooo of course something (or a few things!) had to happen. Today is the first day of my TF Inferno plan, so I weighed myself. My usual weigh-in day is Monday morning but I wanted to get my weight and measurements to see what kind of results the next five days produce.  My weight was up.. Not just up a little but WAY up...Like SEVEN pounds since Saturday morning.

I did not go crazy with eating, and the only thing I can think of is that I ingested too much sodium and didn't drink enough water - mostly yesterday. I had some drinks yesterday but in terms of calories, it was not enough to gain that much weight.  I had some foods I don't usually eat, but it wasn't over the top, and what I did eat were made-over versions of things...Light cheeses, extra lean meats, etc. I estimated my intake and I was over my daily calorie goal but not by a lot. Some of how I tracked things was based on "full fat" versions of things, and I just went with what came up instead of trying to figure out my own. Anyway, so I went over in terms of calories (mostly thanks to drinks), but it wasn't anything crazy... Not even by enough to gain one pound, let alone seven!

Saturday I ate pretty well, and didn't drink anything with alcohol in it. I had home made whole wheat banana pancakes for breakfast, along with a Cutie and some coffee.  Lunch was four ounces of baked chicken breast (coated in some panko and a little parm cheese) with some BBQ sauce, and a couple bits of squash. I drank water throughout the day. Dinner was pretty unhealthy; chips and cheese - but I didn't finish it all, shared some, and gave my cousin the leftovers. I also worked out. In terms of calories, I was in fine shape. I had no difficulties on Friday either.

While my cleanse wasn't for weight loss, I was down four pounds after the three days. Now, in a matter of two days I have gained all of it back, plus three pounds. Sodium? You suck. Well, that and perhaps TOM has something to do with it. I thought that maybe that was the four pounds that I lost last week because my usual retention is pre-TOM. So, this could be a mix of the two or is really just sodium, solo. I could feel it when I woke up this morning, though.. My fingers felt especially bloated. That's generally where I can feel a huge difference when I retain water.

Doing the inferno plan means that I'm following a meal plan. I had to actually prep something. I always eat when I get to work, so I was going to scramble an egg and cook bacon before I left. Apparently I turned the burner up higher than I realized because when I was brushing my teeth I smelled an awful smell. I immediately knew that those two pieces of bacon were burnt. I walked into the hallway and was greeted with a wall of smoke. Lovely. I quickly removed the pan from the stove, flipped on the fan, opened the window, and got rid of the bacon. I also went a little crazy with the air freshener and realized that both my house and I smelled like a mixture of burnt turkey bacon and lavender. AWFUL! I didn't have time to shower again, or even to change my clothes, so I decided I had to stink for the day. I also did not have time to re-cook the bacon or even cook the egg. Both were microwaved instead.... I probably should've done that to begin with!

Also this morning... I put on my pants only to learn that they wouldn't zip. NOT because I was busting out of them but because they're a little over a year old, well worn and the zipper was broken during the last wash or dry cycle. I didn't have time to change, but had to change.  I'm annoyed to be down another pair of work pants (and these were my favorite; Editor from Express), but I suppose it's a reason to buy a couple new pair!

This was all before work. Luckily life wasn't quite as chaotic once I got to work, and has not been the rest of the day either.

As I mentioned, today is day one of inferno. The workout plan is easy to follow; it's one TF workout plus the 10 minutes of stretching a day. I'll be running a couple days in order to continue my half marathon training, but that's not part of the plan. 

For me the biggest part of inferno is the eating plan. I bought everything I'd need to make all of the meals and don't have any temptations in the house (well, except for leftover football party food, but that's been thrown into the freezer). In the book, it says to add a certain number of calories per day based on weight. I am able to add some, and I am over calories every day (pre-tracked last week). It's mostly because of changes that I made due to not liking certain foods on the plan. Some of my swaps, while still healthy, were a little higher in calories. Since the book says to add so many calories, I'm not concerned because I really haven't even added enough calories to reach that suggested amount. Plus, with running a couple days, I'm sure I'll be in fine shape.  Although I can add those extra calories, I want to follow the plan as closely as possible.

I'm going to try to post a daily photo log of the foods that I eat.... I should put emphasis on TRY. I may forget at some point during the five days! I'll admit that for as hungry as I was this morning (and it got to the point where I told myself to take time to eat because I was starting to feel sick), I didn't think that breakfast would fill me up.  Even sitting on the plate, just a sandwich didn't look like much. I thought I should have at least a fruit or something with it.  I ate it and felt satisfied. There was no reason to need to eat anything else.

Oddly, I was thinking of my snack and looking at the clock quite a bit. My snack was a banana and walnut halves. It's not like it was anything exciting. The plan called for half a banana but I decided to eat the whole banana, mostly because I didn't want to waste half of it, and I needed the extra calories.
I've noticed lately what might be the reason for that... When I am following a specific meal plan I seem to become obsessed with food. Like when I did the cleanse last week I was counting down until the apple I had for a snack, or when lunch would be so I could have the next shake.

I'm not sure what to think of that.  I suppose I should take some time to figure out why I'm so concerned about it.... Is it the idea of the restriction? Who knows. Maybe that will be tomorrow's topic; if I sit down and think it out.

I suppose that's enough for now. I need to go get this workout done so that I can shower, make dinner, and start getting ready for the evening. I'm headed out to celebrate NYE with my cousin and a friend. It most definitely will not be a crazy time, and I'll probably only have a few drinks. Haha... Maybe that's where I'll get the extra calories for today! The plan actually says to avoid alcoholic beverages, but I figure a few glasses of wine won't hurt. Like I mentioned before, I didn't want to wait to start, so I decided to do inferno now, knowing that those few glasses of wine might impact on my progress.

And maybe I'll extend the plan an extra day and choose to repeat meals from one day (or a mixture) this week. We'll see what happens and how I feel by the time the weekend rolls around.

Have a wonder, safe New Year's Eve everyone!!!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Ready for the Weekend

I'm pretty glad that the weekend is finally here! Although I had an extra day off, it seemed like it was a long week. It's funny how that works sometimes, isn't it?

This post will likely be short. I had to run a couple errands after work; quick stop at the grocery store to get some ingredients for child-friendly foods and the bank to make a deposit. Nothing too time consuming, thank goodness! The Little Miss is getting dropped off around seven this evening so I want to be sure to have time to workout, shower, and eat before she gets here.  Since I'm doing the cleanse, dinner will be easy - and I don't have to cook anything. That'll be a time saver!

My workout today will be a short run (30 minutes) and then the TF sculpting and core workouts (about 50 minutes). It'll be nice to end the week with 80 fitness minutes, but I am a little crunched for time. I may scratch the core workout and do the ten minute stretching DVD instead. We'll see what the clock says when Im' done with the first hour of work. I anticipate being done before 6:30 so I should have time to do all of that, plus shower and eat something.  I definitely look forward to relaxing this evening, but I'm sure I'll have to play for a bit first.  Then I need to start on some cleaning after she goes to bed... That's the plan anyway. We shall see how that goes. I might be ready to just crash!!

Tomorrow morning will be TF time.  That will be easy to do since Little Miss is so easily entertained by the DVDs. I also don't think I have more than a half hour to do, so she should be able to stay out of trouble. She seems to get a kick out of watching me so maybe I'll have her sit and color during that time. I'm hoping that I will wake up early and that the dogs and I can be quiet enough so that she doesn't wake up. If that happens, I'm going to do a quick 30 minute run on the treadmill. I don't see that happening because she somehow senses when I get up and is up shortly after. I'm pretty sure that my run will have to be done during nap time or in the evening. Hmmm... I might even hold off on doing that until Sunday when I have some quiet time. That's probably a better plan - running and turbofire on Sunday morning. That way I won't have to worry about squeezing it in tomorrow and should have enough time to clean.

I love how I sometimes brainstorm new ideas while I'm writing.

I have my inferno plan all written out, as well as a grocery list for each day. Some of the days I'm a little over the calories that they suggest based on things that I'm changing, but I don't think it'll hurt anything...Especially since I'll be running on Tuesday and Thursday. A few extra calories will actually be a good thing for me.  Plus, there's a chart in the front of the book that lists how many extra calories you should eat based on weight, and I'm under that with what I've added....So I will be fine.  If anything I may have to add a few extra healthy snacks or salads.

I'm really excited about the program. I'm also excited to have my meals for five days all planned out. It'll be a good way to get back on track with my eating (although I've been doing well during this cleanse). I think trying some new recipes and foods will be a good thing. I hope to see some great results after doing this program. BUT if I don't, it's still a good way to start the regular TF schedule (I've been doing the prep schedule) as well as a good eating plan. 

I suppose I ought to head down to the treadmill and get started.... I only have so much time to get that workout in!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!!!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Plans Change

I had my schedule for the next few days all figured out, until last night.  My cousin needs a babysitter on Saturday so I have the Little Miss coming over tomorrow night. I had my weekend all planned out, including a nine mile run on Saturday, and now I have to revise it.  Yes, I realize I could've said "no" but there really isn't anything I can't change around. It's a bit inconvienent to have to change my plans but it can be done. I enjoy my time with the little one, so I'll do what I have to.

Most of what I had planned shouldn't be too bad. I have a short run as well as turbofire to try to get done. TF will be easy, because Little Miss is entertained by those DVDs.  She will watch a lot of it (as long as I stick to a shorter workout) and will even try to do some of it. I can run (and then shower!) while she naps.  I'll try to clean as best as I can with her around, and whatever I can't get done I will do after she goes home/on Saturday night. I may even try to get a jump on that tonight or tomorrow night after she goes to bed (depending on how tired I happen to be and how far I get with my meal planning/grocery shopping list for the next couple weeks). I have some groceries to get, which I can do Saturday afternoon. That actually works out great because her Mom will be out of work around the time that I'll be headed to get groceries. If my day goes according to plan (here's to hoping!), I should be able to make it to church at 5:30 and be home by 7 to do whatever it is I need to do. She talked about spending Saturday night and helping me clean but I honestly think it'll be harder to do with them there. I'll probably get more done by myself. 

They'll be coming over on Sunday after church so that we can watch some football. I plan on making some snacks for the game. They will be made over so that they're healthy! I will stick to eating the lower calorie stuff like shrimp cocktail and veggies with light dip, and eat less of the other stuff. Of course, even the other stuff will be made over into lighter versions. There is a very good chance that I will be enjoying a bloody Mary or some wine when we watch the game. I don't usually do the snacks and drinks thing while watching games, but it's the last regular season game and it'll be a fun time. Plus, most of what I'm making can be tossed in the freezer (meatballs) and used in the future. Since I'm doing the inferno plan, which includes an eating plan, starting Monday I won't eat the leftovers right away... Well, except for the veggies and maybe the shrimp. I'm not making large quantities anyway, so I doubt there will be much left. Anyway, so I'll be getting food ready on Sunday morning (after a workout, of course). I am hoping to have time to do some meal prep if I have time. If not, I can always do that on Sunday evening.

Tonight I had planned on a three mile run and some TF. Well, now that my long Saturday run isn't happening, that's changed too. I will be putting in nine miles on the treadmill when I finish this. Well, maybe not immediately but that's the plan for this evening. It's a task that, quite honestly, does not sound like fun at the moment. I'm also a little nervous about it because I'm supposed to be doing this cleanse. Nine miles and not eating many calories does not sound like the best idea ever.  Even after dinner and my next shake I will have consumed under 1200 calories today. While doing this cleanse you're not supposed to do anything super intense. But I need to get this training run done and will not have time on Saturday.  Or Sunday.  Tomorrow I'll still be doing the cleanse. Small dilemma.

My solution? I decided to eat some pre-workout carbs and I will start my run by 6:00. I'll be done and able to eat dinner (a salad and some fish from the cleanse plan) by 7:30, which won't be too late. I also shouldn't be hungry for bed by eating at that time. I do have another shake to fit into my day and I'm probably going to have that after my workout... Dinner will be easy to throw together and I'm sure I'll be hungry so I might have it after I eat, as a "dessert."  My problem is that I probably won't feel hungry, which is what happened to me last night. I actually forgot to have the third shake yesterday! Oops!

I suppose I'm really not doing so well with the cleanse this time. Of course, I'm doing it to flush some of the yucky stuff out of my body and to get myself back on track with eating healthy, so I think that going a little off the path isn't a HUGE deal. I'm doing it most of the time; it's just a forgotten shake and some extra fuel for a run. I may not see insane results that some people see, but I didn't last time. I'm also not doing this to lose weight... I'm doing it to get myself back on track and feeling good. Passing out or feeling sick during a workout is not healthy and certainly will not make me feel good, so... Extra carbs it is! FYI, I'm having brown rice (with some spices to give it a little flavor) so it's a healthy, whole grain. It could be worse... I could be stuffing my face with chips!

I suppose that's about it for now. I'm going to start making my grocery list. I need to look at the inferno meal plan and figure out what I can use to replace some of the foods I don't like. It shouldn't take long, but will be done and out of the way before I run. I'm motivated to get things done tonight so that I can enjoy as much of the weekend as possible.  Although it was a shorter work week for me, I'm glad tomorrow is Friday!

I hope you are having a great week!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Horror

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, or any other holiday you may have celebrated! And if you did not celebrate anything, I hope that your week has been going well.

I have to admit that my health and fitness is a disorganized mess at the moment.  I feel like a quick summary of events is the best way to explain my holiday horror (as far as my health goes!). I probably included some of this at some point, but I'm going to recap since mid-week last week. It just seems easier that way because that's when other things became a priority over my own health.

Wednesday - Eating was okay; no workout due to an appointment and I started my holiday baking for a party on Saturday.
Thursday - Eating was okay; worked out. Okay, so that was a good day!
Friday - Another good day... Eating was fine; worked out.  I did have some wine which wasn't the best thing in the world (for my body; it sure tasted good!). This was also the last day I worked out.
Saturday - I was supposed to run. I did not run.  My day got a little off-track from the moment I got up and my entire morning was chaotic. I did accomplish some present wrapping though. I had a Christmas party with friends and ate way too many calories. I then went out to finish Christmas shopping - last minute this year! I also bought some more baking supplies for rounds two and three of baking. I then met my parents and grandparents for dinner. The good news, no drinks even though I went out...and ate unhealthy food. Then it was back home to wrap the rest of the Christmas gifts and relax.  I watched my favorite Christmas movie, "Love Actually," while I wrapped. Then I watched a little TV and went to bed.
Sunday - I totally over-slept and started my day late. Apparently I was tired! I went out to have snow tires put on my car and to get some groceries for the week. Oh and to buy a couple gifts I'd forgotten. Now I was REALLY done with my shopping. The evening was spent by wrapping what was left of the gifts and round two of baking... I made three peppermint serving trays (oh Pinterest, thank you again... For not only letting me spend so much time on you but for giving me time-consuming ideas to try), three different kinds of fudge, some pretzel m&m kiss treats (any idea what those are called!?), and... I think that was it. I had a third kind of cookies on my list but didn't get to them.
Monday - I worked half a day. I was supposed to work all day but decided to leave early. That left me time to bake and decorate the third kind of cookies and get everything packed into my car. I was hoping for a workout but that totally didn't happen since I was busy with everything else. Then I was off to celebrate Christmas (round one of that). I drank two glasses of wine with my Mom; eating was pretty good for the day. I did have some (not many) Christmasy snacks but didn't eat much earlier in the day so I was good in terms of calories and such.
Tuesday - I started the day with church, then went back to my parents for a bit to get ready to head over to my grandparents. I spent most of the afternoon over there; we had our Christmas dinner (and two glasses of wine for me), opened gifts, and just spent time together. After that it was back to my parents' to pack my car and drive home. I was hoping to workout when I got home but I was way too tired. Instead I watched a move, "Pitch Perfect," and then did round three of my baking.  I had a lot of dough left from my cutout cookies that I made on Monday so I decided to make a couple dozen cookies to take to work. I still had dough left so instead of throwing it out, I put it in the freezer. My cousin and I are watching football together next weekend so maybe I will make some football shaped cookies (and send whatever we don't eat home with her!!!).

Today... Detox time!!!

I decided to do another Shakeology three day cleanse - starting today. I actually decided this AFTER making my coffee this morning. On the cleanse you're supposed to start the day with tea, but I didn't want to waste my coffee (and hey, those k-cups can be expensive!). I don't think that a cup and a half of coffee will matter much.  Now that it's gone, I'll be drinking tea for the next few days.  Like last time, I am adding the fruit that's considered optional. I'll be working out, so I will definitely need those extra calories. My focus is on health, so I'm not going to eat too few calories and cause myself problems. That's unhealthy, which I refuse to do... Also, in my personal opinion, it's not the smartest thing to do.

I am also back to working out today... I have missed it!! I know it was only three days, but for me that's a long time. It also is enough time to make me feel like a fat, lazy lump.  I know it wasn't laziness because I was so busy with other things, but that's how I feel.  Add in the fact that I'm bloated and I feel like a cow. I do not like feeling that way; unhealthy! I like to feel good, and strong.  The simple solution? Getting my butt back on track and not stopping!! Now that Christmas is over, things will be slowing down a bit again, which I'm pretty excited about. I'm ready to throw myself back into fitness!!!

On my agenda today is a run (since I missed two this week!) and some TF. I will probably run tomorrow as well...And maybe even Friday; in effort to make up what I missed on Saturday and yesterday. All three runs will be short, about 30 minutes so that's not so bad. After this Saturday I'll be back on my regular training schedule. I can't believe that the half marathon is less than two months away! I'm super excited and a little nervous!! My goal is to finish it.... Under the time limit, which should not be a problem. I expect to walk some of it. IF I do more in the future, my goal will be to improve each time - walk a little less, run a little faster... Whatever improvements I can make in order to keep challenging myself.

This is my last week of the prep schedule for TF. Next week I plan to do the inferno plan Monday-Friday. It's basically an intense workout every day (of course TF is intense anyway!) as well as following an eating plan. This will give me time to get groceries and figure out some other options (there are foods scheduled that I do not like). I was going to hold off on it since Monday is New Year's Eve and I'm sure I'll have some drinks. I think that I will run on Monday instead of Tuesday, in hopes to off-set some of the damage from what I drink. I don't plan to get falling down drunk, but I will have a few drinks, I'm sure. I realize that this may impact my results, but I really don't want to wait to get started on it! The following week I'll start the regular TF schedule. I'm ready to kick some butt! In addition to TF I'll be running three days a week, as well as doing some biking.

Speaking of working out, I'm off to do that so that I can get ready for dinner. I'm already feeling hungry. Of course with the cleanse and having eaten more than usual lately, my body is probably a little confused! I'm so ready to go sweat and get back on track - and feeling better!!!

I hope you are having a great week!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Let the Craziness Begin

It's going to be a busy weekend for me....

Birthday party this evening... I think.

The roads in my area of cleared up, but I'm not sure about up north. I'll probably give someone a call to see what it's like before I make my final decision. I'm probably  not going to stay late (have to get up early to workout and get ready for my Christmas potluck/gathering), so if it's not going to be worth driving about 30 minutes each way, I may skip it.  I mean... If it takes 45-60 minutes one way and I'm only staying for an hour or so, that's kind of a crazy drive.  I'm hoping it's clear enough, and stays clear enough, to drive up though. I'm a little tired but it would be good to see friends. 

Tomorrow is the potluck, which I'm pretty much ready for. Other than getting the things to throw a salad together (right before, or even when I get to, the potluck so it doesn't get yucky sitting there) and loading all of my delicious gifts into the car, I'm ready to go.  The rest of the weekend will be spent cleaning, doing laundry, finishing my Christmas shopping (maybe for me too - my HRM is dying an agonizing - for me - death), wrapping presents, watching football, and possibly baking some Christmas cookies... Oh and of course working out too. I'm hoping to get a nine miler done tomorrow morning, but we'll see what time I get up.  I'm aiming for early-ish, but if not I'm not going to be upset.  As long as I'm ready to leave by 11, I should be fine (and I'd have to sleep in pretty late to not be able to do that!).

I'm looking forward to spending most of the weekend at home, alone.  As much as I love having Little Miss around, she makes it difficult to get things done.  It'll be nice to actually accomplish something without having to worry about taking care of a little person, or about her making a different mess. I cherish my time with her, but I also love my alone time too. As busy as the weekend will be, it also sounds like it'll be a little relaxing.

Honestly there's a part of me that would love to stay home and wrap gifts tonight...Just listening to Christmas music and maybe having a glass or two of wine.  However, I'd really love to see my friends, so if things are clear, I'm headed out for a bit. I'll probably wrap some presents after I get home, until I go to bed. I don't anticipate having more than a glass or two of wine with my friends but I probably won't have anymore after I get home.  Maybe some light hot chocolate instead...

I suppose I should wrap this up and get ready to do my second workout. I actually got up early enough this morning to do some biking!! I did about 35 minutes before I got ready for work.  Hopefully that's what I need to get me back on track with two-a-day workouts next week.  I'm planning on doing a couple turbofire workouts this afternoon.  I'm planning to only be an hour so that I can get ready to head out, so I'll probably do a 30 minute cardio routine, the 20 minute ab workout, and then 10 minutes of stretching.  It's amazing how fast an hour of TF goes by!!

Oh! Just a quick update... I'm 317 minutes away from meeting my yearly goal of 12,000 fitness minutes tracked on SP. I will have done over 1000 minutes this month, but there were times when I didn't workout as much (like after surgery when I was off for two full weeks), but the last few months I've met the goal of 1000 minutes each month.  After my workout this evening I'll be down to 257... I will easily reach that days before the end of the month!! I expect to be there by mid-week next week. I expect to do 100 minutes tomorrow and with Christmas in the mix, my workouts might be shorter on Monday and Tuesday, but I'd think that by the end of the day Wednesday I should reach my goal.

Also, this is the last week of my three program schedule.  I know I haven't done much RB or BBL the last couple weeks, but I think it's because I've started to lose interest in them.  Next week I'll be down to only TF, plus whatever other cardio I do (running, biking). I might throw one of those DVD workouts in the mix just to break up the routine, but I won't be following a strict schedule.  After New Years I plan on starting the TF inferno plan. It's an intense five days of TF workouts and a specific eating plan.  I'm looking at it as a type of "cleanse," just something to boost the system after the food and drinks that will come with the holidays. I may wait until the 7th to start because I am hoping to go out of town that first weekend in January, and that would throw me off track during the program days.  I am considering doing the three-day Shakeology cleans right after New Years... I'd start it on the first.  It's a good way to rid the body of toxins, and that would also be a good thing right after the holidays!

Okay now I really need to get started on a workout. It's an hour of that, a shower, dinner, and getting ready to head out all by about 7:00.... Yes, I definitely need to get started!!!

Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

That Gluten Thing

I've been feeling A LOT better lately. I have not had bread in the house and have been very careful to eat gluten-filled foods in moderation, but far less than I had been. Now that I'm back to only having it off and on, instead of regularly, I have not had any odd stomach pains or nearly as much gas. I really suspect that it is a gluten sensitivity and now that I've drastically decreased gluten in my diet, I'm feeling better. I think that when I was having problems a couple weeks ago, I was just having way too much of it in my diet. 

I did not end up going to the doctor because around the same time I realized that my diet needed to improve anyway. Part of that was decreasing foods that have gluten in them (breads, pastas). I have had some of these items (like once piece of hand-tossed pizza last week and maybe a quarter cup of spaghetti at a potluck this week), but I'm not eating two to four pieces of toast a day like I was. My weight hasn't really changed a whole lot...  Well as far as I know; I am sticking to official weigh-ins on Saturdays. Last Saturday it was down a little from what it had been. I except to continue to see some weight come off, as long as I continue to behave myself.

In terms of eating I have had a couple not-so-great days this week...Not in that I overate or ate a ton. I just indulged in some unhealthy things (m&ms) that are higher in calories. As far as meals, I've done really well at sticking to things that are healthy. I'm eating lots of fruits and veggies (again, mostly fruits), getting my protein, and have been healthy overall.

Now that all of my treats are baked and temptations are removed from my house (well, not removed, but now they're made into gifts for others), I'm sure my eating will be even better. I skipped working out yesterday so that I could get my baking done...Well, kinda. I should say baking is what I did instead of working out. I had a chiropractor appointment and didn't get home until around 6:00, and just did not feel like doing a workout.  Instead I cleaned up a little and started baking for the weekend. I made two kinds of cookies and three kinds of fudge. I also baked a cake to get ready to make some cake balls tonight. I have a friends Christmas on Saturday and these are going to be gifts for my friends. Since they are safely in gift packages, I won't eat them.  I have some extra fudge that I haven't touched at all... Small victories!

My dinner last night was not the healthiest... Instead of actually eating dinner I had little samples of treats. This kept me on track with calories, despite not being very healthy. I tried one each of the cookies and then small pieces of each kind of fudge. I refuse to give things away unless I try them to make sure that they're good. They were delicious!!

I'll be back to working out this evening. I have a 30 minute run on the schedule and then I'll be doing some TF and maybe a BBL workout since I haven't done one of those in a while. I'd say I have a good 90 minutes of working out on my agenda for this evening - can't wait!!

I'm really hoping to get my cake balls done at a decent time so that I can get to bed early tonight. I haven't gotten up for a morning workout in a good two weeks now. I really need to get back on track with that! It's hard when you don't feel well or don't get to sleep early enough!! I am supposed to be going to a birthday party for two of my friends tomorrow evening (married couple) so getting up early to workout will be a really good thing tomorrow. I think it's a late dinner/appetizer or snack and drinks type gathering. It's at a local restaurant/bar. I will most likely eat before I go (no tempting restaurant/bar foods) and only stay for a glass or two of wine. This way I'll have eaten a healthy dinner... This means that I will have to have enough time to workout, shower, get ready, and have dinner all before 7:00, when I'd have to leave. That could be pushing it for me. If I can do part of a workout in the morning and make my evening workout shorter (or not have to do one at all!), it would be a good thing.

I'm looking forward to seeing this group of friends and getting out for a bit. It won't be some crazy boozy night out and I'll probably be home by 10:00 (at the latest). I've also really been looking forward to wine this week. I've almost opened a bottle twice, but haven't. I don't like to open it if it's going to sit for too long... I think that's why I usually wait to enjoy wine with my cousin. I know there's no harm in having a glass of wine every couple nights, but I really just don't like to drink too much.... But I do love my wine!! Anyway, everything is good in moderation.

Anyway....I'm hoping that the birthday is a "go" for me.  In case you haven't seen the news, the Midwest has been getting some yucky weather. Several (like 90) flights out of O'Hare were cancelled. That's not something that happens all the time... Things have to be pretty bad for airlines to cancel flights. Iowa has been pounded and it's all moved/moving east. It's not too terrible yet, but I hear it's coming. If that happens, I'm not driving to the party. It's only a 30 minute drive but I'm a big wimp when it comes to driving in wintry weather conditions!! Hopefully things aren't too yucky. I haven't seen these friends in a while and it would be great to spend a little time with them.

I also hope that the weather is better by late Saturday morning. I'm pretty excited to see the group of friends that I'm celebrating Christmas with. I'll be bummed if I miss that! That drive will be a good 35-40 minutes... And I'm not looking forward to doing it in nasty weather. I also really do not want to be stuck with seven gifts worth of cookies and fudge!!! I'm pretty sure that I'd bring them to work on Monday and give them to some of my co-workers instead, if that were to happen. No matter what, I cannot keep that stuff for me -- I really do not want to eat it!!!

I suppose I should get to that workout... 90 minutes will take up a good chunk of my evening and I really need to get some other things done!

Hope you're having an excellent week - and that you're getting your Christmas preparations done!!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Healthy Getting to Know You Thingy...

I remember back in the MySpace days that these "surveys" were all the rage. I decided to do this one because it's about health. It will also allow my readers to (possibly) get to know me a bit better.

1. What did you eat for breakfast?
Today I had a Shakeology shake - "Butterfinger" flavored. This was chocolate Shakeology, butterscotch pudding mix (fat free, sugar free), a little ice, and some fat free milk.  I also had a travel mug (about 12 oz) of coffee. Other days I use the mix, fruit, ice, and water...Just depends on what I'm in the mood for. I do snack mid-morning (generally fruit).
2. How much water do you drink a day?
It really depends on the day, but on a low day 14 eight ounce cups, up to 24. I usually average between 18 and 20.
3. What is your least favorite “healthy” food?
Hmmm.. I'm not sure. I don't eat what I don't like. I know I've tried recipes that I haven't liked, but I can't remember what they were.
4. What is your favorite fruit?
Oh boy... A favorite? I can't choose just one - I'd say blueberries, strawberries, and Cuties!
5. What is your favorite vegetable?
6. How many calories do you burn a week?
I'm guessing this means through exercise alone...It depends on the week. I believe my SP goal is set somewhere between 2600 and 2700.
7. How many calories do you eat a day?
This varies by the day. It's anywhere between 1300 and 1800 depending on my workout.
8. What are your favorite healthy snacks?
Fruits, laughing cow cheese wedges and some whole grain crackers, hummus and crackers or baby carrots.
9. What do you usually eat for lunch?
This varies, but usually left overs from dinner the night before, but in a smaller portion or with one less side.
10. What is usually for dinner?
I aim for a lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish - or sometimes extra lean ground beef) and usually two veggies. Sometimes some whole grain rice, quinoa, or cous cous goes with it.
11. What is your favorite body part to strength train?
Hmmm... That's a tough one. I'd say my abs. I always feel like I'm smaller through the middle after some good ab work. I like feeling tight all over, but that's my favorite place. It's the hardest so I think it's the most rewarding when I'm done.
12. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?
My arms.... Funny, my upper body strength could use the most work!
13. What is your least favorite exercise?
Strength training via weight lifting. I'd rather do body weight training or use bands. I also like to use DVDs because that keeps it more interesting.
14. What is your favorite exercise?
Running, Turbofire, anything dance-based as long as it's high impact and gives me a good burn. I hate wasting my time with long workouts that result in a low calorie burn.
15. What is your “bad” food cravings?
Salty things have always been my biggest weakness...Chips, popcorn. 
16. What is your go to workout song?
"Settlin'" by Sugarland. It reminds me of why I started this journey and that nothing less than my best is good enough for me. It always makes me step it up.
17. Do you take vitamins or supplements?
Just a multi-vitamin for women.
18. How often do you eat out?
Recently it's been weekly, which I'm trying to cut back on again. Some weeks were bad (like twice in one week, or sometimes in a day!). I'd like to get back into a bi-weekly, or less habit of eating out.
19. Do you eat fast food?
I sometimes eat at places like Panera or Subway.... Less harmful (I think) options. This is pretty rare, though... Usually if I'm out for a day of shopping or something (Panera seems to always hit the spot).
20. How do you stay motivated?
I read blogs, look at motivational facebook pages, look at how far I've come, and read random motivational things.
21. Who is your biggest supporter?
Some of my family members (this includes a few people who are not really family but I look at them as family).
22. How much weight have you lost?
I am currently fluctuating between 150 and 160 pounds lost... Getting back on the losing track.
23. How did you determine your goal weight?
My goal is always changing. I still haven't reached my ultimate goal (30-some pounds away). I keep changing it, based on how I look and feel. I'd say I have an ideal of what I want to look like, and what size I want to be in clothing, and that will be my happy place.
24. Do you have a gym membership?
25. How often do you work out?
My goal is six days a week, but sometimes due to various circumstances it might be five... or even worse, only four! Other weeks it's seven.
26. What is your favorite gym equipment to use?
My treadmill.. Although I do have a love-hate relationship with it.
27. How much sleep do you get a night?
It varies. I aim for eight.
28. Are you a morning or night workout person?
I typically workout most often in the evening, after work. I have been trying to do two-a-day workouts so I'd be working out in both the morning and evening.  My ideal time of day to workout would be mid to late morning.
29. Do you have a “cheat” day?
No. I have what I want, in moderation, but overall eat healthy.
30. Do you drink soda?
31. Do you drink alcohol? How much?
Yes. Too much. This kind of goes along with eating out more often... When I eat out I usually have a couple drinks.
32. Any other vices?
33. What do you not like about your body? What do you love about your body?
I think that, like anyone, I have issues with my body.... I hate that my skin sags in places, from losing weight. I wish my boobs were bigger. I love the curve in my upper body. I'm smaller on top and the curve around my waist is lovely....I don't like that my hips aren't so lovely. I also like the bones that stick out (collar bone, spine, feeling my ribs).
34. Do you have a workout buddy?
Nope. Sometimes someone will join me, but most of the time I'm solo.
35. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to this Healthy Lifestyle?
There really is SO MUCH. In general though, I feel better... I feel stronger (mentally and physically), I'm more confident, more outgoing, happier, more approachable, and I feel healthy. I feel that I look better. I look forward to things that I never thought I would -- like sweating during a workout!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Potluck; M&M Fail

Today we (some of the office staff) had a potluck at work. I would say that I escaped the potluck without any failures.  I had one plate full and about a half a cup of soup (homemade, yum!). I small scoops of the things I wanted to try - Crockpot spaghetti, grape and apple salad, a salad that I made (spinach, strawberries, mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, poppy seed dressing), three small meatballs, a few crackers, and some spinach dip.  Over the years I've become good about eye-balling measurements of things. I just envision my measuring cups and about how much would fill them (I often end up overestimating, which is fine by me).  I ate quarter or half cups of the things that I tried, except the spinach dip which was less than two tablespoons.  I got to sample things, was content after eating - not hungry or too full. I drank my water and enjoyed talking with others.  Lunch? Was good.

I plan on having a large helping of my leftover salad for dinner tonight.

I'm pretty happy with my eating today. I'm especially happy because yesterday was a bit of a fail. Not huge, but definitely not a good day.  I'm sure it had something to do with not feeling well, but I ended up tapping into a bag m&ms I have for making some holiday treats. I ate some, without measuring. I counted them, but in all honesty this is a case where I may have underestimated what I ate. Or maybe not... Hard to tell when you grab a few out of a bag at a time.  At any rate, I was disappointed with myself, but I know that I cannot dwell on it.

Although I didn't feel so hot, I did workout. I ended up doing the TF that was on my schedule for the day as well as a RB workout. I stopped after that. I was definitely feeling exhausted by the time I was done and didn't want to push too hard.  Oddly, after I rested for a bit, I was feeling better than I had all day! I'm glad I stopped when I did because had I kept going, I know I would've felt worse. 

I still have a bit of a cold, but I am pretty sure it's getting better. Today I have run on the agenda and I'm honestly not feeling like I want to do it.  I'm going to at least try though. I feel better than I did on Saturday and I managed to run then, so I'm sure I can complete thirty minutes.  I may run slower than normal again, but that's okay... As long as I'm moving and accomplishing something, I'm okay with it. I also have a TF 45 minute workout and a BBL workout (30 minutes) on the schedule. I'm not sure I'll do all of it, but plan to at least do the run and the TF workout.  If I feel okay after that, I'll do BBL. If I'm feeling a bit run down, then I'll stop.  My original plan was to run this morning and do the others this evening, but I decided to get a little more rest and slept a little longer this morning.

So... Christmas will be here... In a week? Oh boy! I'm not ready.  I still have shopping to do, but luckily not a lot (thanks to online shopping last night). I should be able to wrap that up this weekend.... I hope!! It looks like a storm is headed this way, so hopefully the weather isn't too nasty. I also have a couple social obligations this weekend and totally do not want to miss those!!  I've finished some wrapping, and will do some more tonight.... After I get Christmas cards written out and ready to go in the mail. I have been receiving cards for a couple weeks and just realized that I really need to get mine sent out! I have baking to do, but will wait until Thursday evening to do some of that. I will likely do some for the Christmas party on Saturday, and then finish things for Christmas on Sunday.  I have more Christmas stuff going on in a couple weeks, so I'll probably do some more baking then (but I'm not worrying about that right now!).

I don't think that I'll have time to think about my goals for next year until after Christmas. I just have so much to get done this week! Other than another 12,000 fitness minutes (minimum) for the year and reaching my goal weight, I haven't got much else.  I really need to sit down and write out a plan for how I will reach these goals.  I also know that my schedule for working out for January needs to be updated. I'd like to do that right away (I have a new planner and can't wait to write in it - I LOVE planners!). However, I should probably take care of Christmas things first.

I suppose, it's time to run and do some turbofire so that I can get to work filling out Christmas cards. My goal is to finish them tonight so that I can drop them in the mail tomorrow. Hopefully that means that people will receive them by Christmas!

Hope you're having a wonderful week!!


Monday, December 17, 2012

A Cold

At the end of last week I started feeling as though I had a cold; nothing too bad though. I was sneezing a lot, had that obnoxious tingle (like before you sneeze) stuck in my nose, and was just blowing my nose a lot. Basically I just had a small head cold. Little Miss was sick when I saw her last Monday, so I'm thinking I'm picked it up from her (daycare germs?).  She was still coughing and had a runny nose (not to mention was extra whiny and easily tired out) this weekend, so if it was from her I'm thinking I'll be stuck with it for a bit. I was having a hard time doing much on Saturday. I felt pretty tired, but thought maybe that was just laziness. I did some cleaning and managed to workout for just over an hour. I did my run and some TF while she napped. I burned fewer calories than I usually do, which I expected since I kept my intensity a little lower, and ran a little slower, than normal. I didn't want to do too much and exhaust myself but I wanted to do something.

Yesterday I felt about the same... Just kinda tired and still having the same cold symptoms (with a sore, scratchy throat added to the mix). I slept on the couch from a little after 7 until almost 10 when I went to bed. This wasn't a constant state of sleep. I'd doze for a bit, then wake up and watch TV for a few minutes, and then fall asleep again.  I figured I was just tired from not feeling well.

I started taking some cold medicine Saturday night, took it again yesterday afternoon/evening, and before bed.  I took some this morning before work. It wasn't until after I had taken the dose this morning that I noticed it said "nighttime" on the bottle.  That would explain the sleeping yesterday!! I suppose I need rest anyway, so it wasn't such a bad thing to spend the evening napping (except I didn't get things done that I wanted to). This morning was rough. I was fighting with my body to stay awake. I was in that medication-induced la-la-land state of mind. I honestly don't know how I was productive before lunch, but I was.  I think. 

I don't have much of an appetite (but my stomach growls when I'm hungry) so eating has been difficult today. Nothing I have in the house sounds good and I want some unhealthy sort of comfort food. Luckily I don't have anything like that, so no comfort food for me! I have some unhealthy things in the house for holiday baking, but honestly, it doesn't sound good. I'm in the mood for pasta or something like that, not candy.  I hate trying to figure out something healthy to eat when I'm not feeling well. Things that I normally like sound horrible.  The best thing I've had today? Protein shakes. The coolness is really helpful in soothing my throat.

I'm also trying to figure out which workout to do. I'll probably stick to DVDs... Maybe a combo of something from BBL and RB. Luckily today is not a running day. TF can be high intensity (depending on how much I put into it) so I may stay away from that. I didn't stick to my workout plan last week and haven't done BBL in a couple weeks. I think I only did one RB workout last week. Honestly, I like TF and running more! It would be good to do some of the RB and BBL workouts this week, so I think today would be a good day for that. I'm already not following my schedule because I didn't get up in the morning to workout and am changing it up... BUT... Sometimes we have to make changes.  I've changed up which TF workouts I've done when too.

A schedule is good... I know what I want to do and for how long, but sometimes what's scheduled just isn't appealing to me. I still do some form of exercise (sometimes longer or more intense than what is scheduled), but not exactly what's planned out. I think that this week is going to be another week of doing sounds good at whatever time of day sounds good. Being sick, I need my rest and definitely know not to push too hard. Hopefully this cold is gone in a couple days so I can feel like my usual self!

I decided to look up some ideas of things to do when not feeling well. I found this article that discusses different times a person may not want to workout, whether they should, and types of exercises to do. It's short and in slide show format, but I think it had some info that's worth sharing. Obviously there is a point at which you should just rest and take a break! I don't feel that I have anything significant enough to make me need to rest (unless I take more cold medicine!)..... As long as I keep it light and don't over-do it I will be fine. Hopefully I'll wake up tomorrow morning ready to run and then get some minutes done in the afternoon!

I don't believe I've mentioned this on here, but earlier this year, I set a goal of 12,000 fitness minutes for the year (on SP).  That's, obviously, an average of 1,000 minutes per month. That's really NOT that big of a goal if you remain consistent.  With half the month left, I have just over 600 minutes to go. There are days when I workout for 100 minutes (not today, thanks to my cold). Other days I workout for 60, some days I rest. It is my miss to hit that mark this month. By December 31 I will have a grand total of 12,00 fitness minutes logged on SP. I may be closer due to not using SP as often as I had in the past, but that's okay... I'm going with what's on there, not looking back at what I may have missed tracking.

I set a weight loss goal, which I will not reach. I would love to but at this point, it's highly unlikely, especially with what my weight has been doing recently (all the ups and downs). Granted, this is my fault because I know my eating hasn't been what it should be.  I don't think that in two weeks I'll be well-behaved enough to drop that much weight. I suppose it IS possible, but maybe not at this stage of my weight loss. That's five pounds a week... Kind of a lot!! Anyway, this fitness minutes goal is attainable, and I will reach it by the end of the month/year!  There will definitely be some satisfaction in achieving a goal I sent earlier in the year!!

Now is the time to start thinking about goals for 2013. I'm sure I'll stick with a 12,000 fitness minutes goal. I may even increase it a little bit... Maybe 12,500?  We shall see. I haven't taken the time to think about it yet, but will definitely be doing that in the next couple weeks.  I do not make resolutions. I do not wait for new years (or even new months, weeks, or days) to change my habits when they need to be changed. I do it right away, and I take it one day at a time.

I suppose that's enough for now... I need to go get a workout done (probably just an hour tonight since I'm not feeling so great) so that I can try to accomplish some stuff around the house. Christmas will be here in just over a week and I am most definitely NOT prepared.  I haven't even finished all of my shopping (even though I started fairly early!). Looks like someone will be battling crowds at some point this week...Probably on Sunday. As of now Sunday appears to be a nice day - sunny and cloudy, no snow in the forecast for me. The weather changes frequently though, so we shall see. After my workout and dinner I'll be wrapping what I have and making a list of what I still need to pick up or order (talk about down to the wire!) for gifts.  I definitely need a little organization in my life this week. I hope that I start feeling better soon because between that and baking (don't worry, I wash my hands A LOT), I am in for a busy week!!!

Sorry if this was scattered, although the nighttime medicine has worn off by now, my thinking is still a little cloudy!!

Hope you all have a fantastic week and are further along in your Christmas preparations than I am!!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Sweet potato hash... Extra lean ground beef, sweet potatoes, and spices. Yummy and easy!!

You could add more veggies but I didn't have any... And don't like some of what the recipe called for (onion).

Weekend Plans and Such

I have to start by saying that, as many people are, I'm so sadden by the elementary school shooting in Connecticut today. Such a tragedy.  In all honesty various shootings and other craziness that children must endure makes me really afraid to have children.  We can raise them well, teach them right, and love them more than anything but that cannot protect them from others in the world. It's scary.

Although she isn't a school age child, I'm going to hug the Little Miss extra close tonight.  Yes, I'm babysitting again. It seems that if I'm not off on some adventure of another, I'm spending time with her when I'm home. I don't mind...I actually enjoy my time with her (or I wouldn't take her so much!).  I know that when I look into those big, brown eyes filled with innocence, I'm going to think of the children that were lost today, and those who witnessed it because a little piece of their innocence was stolen from them.

It's hard to begin writing about myself when that's on my mind.  It seems that nothing else I have to say at this moment will come even remotely close to being as important as that. I suppose though, I shall try...

Last night I set out to do a seven mile run.  I was getting too bored (treadmill) and at some points I felt as though I was exhausting myself.  I realized that I needed to slow down my pace. No...I accepted that it was okay to slow down. I also accepted that it was okay to walk when I needed to. Once I did, the run was so much better.  In the end it ended up being a run (jog) with walking periods as needed. I decided to do a cool down walk after my seven miles hit.  I did... Then I decided to extend it to reach a time limit, instead of having to do something else. I did.  Finally I had to stop myself from continuing. I wanted to keep going, but I knew that I needed to shower, eat, and do some other things. Plus I really wanted to watch Big Bang Theory.

After my time on the treadmill.... I felt good!!  I am now focused on training for distance and my endurance rather than training for speed. I was reminded of how much I enjoy walking (even my crazy speed walking). I was also reminded of how nice it is to have a little variety in my activity. Chances are I will not be running 13.1 miles without a walking break...Or several. I'm realistic. So why push myself to run, and not walk, during my training? Seems silly, no?

I did not get up this morning to workout, of course I haven't all week so that's not much of a surprise. I'm going to try to get back into that habit next week. It would be nice to have a little more free time in the evening. It would also help me to get to bed earlier so that getting up early won't be so difficult - vicious circle! There are so many advantages to working out in the morning, not to mention it's nice to break-up my workout time!

I'll be doing about an hour this evening, showering, eating a quick dinner (oohhh haven't posted a healthy dinner yet this week!), and then going to meet up with my cousin to pick-up Little Miss.  I'm sure we will hang out for a while before I head home.  Depending on the time, Little Miss and I will play for a while, then probably snuggle on the couch until she falls asleep.  I will probably then try to accomplish something around the house, or just relax!

Since I was able to do a workout last time she was over, we are having exercise time tomorrow morning too.  She had fun with my little weights and just dancing around (as well as watching me, likely wondering what I was doing).  We will probably spend half an hour tomorrow morning doing a DVD... I'm not sure which yet. I'm thinking one of my TF workouts would be good. When she naps I plan on running three miles and (finally!) showering. 

I have our healthy meals planned already.  For breakfast I'll probably make some scrambled eggs (maybe with some fat-free cheese) and  fruit... Probably Cuties. I may make some oatmeal to go along with it. That way we will have a good balance of food groups.  That sounds like a large breakfast (to me anyway, but I usually have a protein shake and fruit), but I will be making small portions. For lunch will be having homemade chicken nuggets from skinnytaste. I'm also making cheese sticks (reduced fat string cheese, dipped in egg and then breadcrumbs, and baked). I think that recipe was from one of my Hungry Girl cookbooks, but she used Fiber One in the coating. I don't have any so breadcrumbs and spices, it is! We will probably have some grapes or applesauce or something with it. It's amazing how fast the day goes by when she is there!!! I guess it's having her on a schedule that takes up the time. I could probably write down our entire day right now.

I have some gluten free cookie mix so we might spend time baking again.  It'll depend on what she wants to do.  She is a lot of fun to bake with so if she wants to spend time baking, that's fine with me. I'll just be sure to take some cookies to my parents, and send some home with Little Miss.  I think I have sugar cookie mix left (ahhhh sugar) so if we do bake and I'm feeling extra creative, maybe we will make some type of frosting and decorate them. We shall see... This will also be dependant on how well behaved she is!! Her Mom says she's definitely in the terrible twos, so it'll depend on what the day brings.

I suppose that's as far ahead as I've thought. Sunday is usually my rest day, but I may do a DVD workout or two.  I'm just going to wait and see how much I get done around the house tomorrow and what Sunday brings. I would like to try to make a couple meals for the week on Sunday, but we'll see how that goes. I know that I have a football game that I will be watching, and that will need to be factored into my day! Big game for my team this weekend.... Go Bears!!!!

Have a great, healthy weekend - I'm off to get some work done before I get to spend time with Little Miss!!!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'm halfway through my workout (over halfway through my run) and realized that I can run slower for longer. Seems obvious. The reason I can run 5Ks faster than longer distances is because I can push harder while doing a shorter distance. I don't yet have the endurance to push hard through a long run.
I think with half marathon training I need to focus on distance, rather than time, right now anyway. The time limit for the half is 3:30. I'm pretty sure that even at a slower pace I'll come in under that. Actually, I figured out an even slower pace on the treadmill (treadmill pace is already slower than my outdoor pace) and at that pace I'll finish in under three hours. My goal is to finish the half in under three hours... Even if it's 2:59:59 (although it should be less than that).

For now I'm slowing down on my longer runs, but only when needed. My goal is to finish a half and give myself a starting point for time. I need to focus on distance and being able to finish instead of speed during my long runs.

Okay back to my run... Had to post before I forgot.

Fruits and Veggies, but Mostly Fruits, Galore!

I have been eating much healthier this week, and I am definitely feeling better! My diet (as in what I am eating, not a diet) has consisted mostly of healthy foods like fruits and veggies. I'm typically more of a fruit eater than a veggie eater, so of my 10-11 servings (combined) a day, three or four are veggies and the rest are fruits. I try to eat more veggies, but I'm so picky when it comes to them that it's hard to get them in. I also don't count things that other people sometimes do (like pizza sauce, for example) as a serving.

I've read conflicting information on eating too many fruits. Some say that if a person fills up on fruits, they don't have much room for anything else and may miss out on nutrients.  Others say, "eat as many as you want!"  Personally I like to be somewhere in the middle. I drink a protein shake in the morning (lots of protein!) and always eat some kind of a lean protein with lunch and/or dinner, but usually both. I also take a multivitamin to supplement what I might be missing.  Basically what I've cut down on is my intake of other simple carbs, because I am getting more than from fruit. When I talk about carbs, I am not talking about going "low carb." I have done that in the past and it's not something I can, or want, to do forever.  I'm only talking about simple versus complex carbs.

Just as a reference for anyone who is interested, this website has some good, easy to understand info on simple versus complex carbs.  It's one of those things that's good for reference, or just for something to do. Even if I know a lot about a particular subject, I still like to read about it.

I did splurge a little last night to enjoy a small slice of cake, some ice cream, and a slice of pizza.  Outside of fruit (which, simple carb or not, is good for me) I'm staying away from most simple carbs (in general).  I will continue to eat the complex carbs found in things like vegetables and whole grains. 

That being said, I could stand to decrease the fruit by one or two and replace it with a veggie. I'm working on it.

I'm also limiting my whole grain intake because that's what I crave. It's very tempting for me to make an unhealthy snack out of a healthy, whole grain (like whole grain bread) by mixing it with simple carbs (mostly sugar - ohhh how I love cinnamon and sugar toast).  If I have whole grain crackers, I'll eat too many of them. More than I need, which leads to increased calories. Grains are what my body loves. When I initially changed from white flour products to whole grains, I didn't eat the whole grains as much. For a while my body craved the white flour products, not the whole grains. I didn't given in, and stuck to eating whole grains in moderation. Apparently my body adjusted because there are times when I over-do it with the whole grains. When I eat whole grains, it will be in moderation. It will not be frequently. If I keep the stuff around, I want it all the time.  My body replaced it's addiction to white flour products to whole grain products. Like anything else I've craved in the past (chips, popcorn) it is best for me to avoid buying it because my sense of control when it comes to those things.... Stinks.

My protein intake will come mostly from lean meats like turkey and chicken, and sea food - mainly white fish and shrimp.  I usually allow myself one red meat meal a week (usually extra lean ground beef in some form). I love cheese and I am really trying not to eat so much of it. It's a protein, yes, but it's way too full of sodium. I'll allow myself some brown rice or qunioa with a meal, or some beans or sweet potatoes, so that I am getting the energy I need from complex carbs.  I am not cutting out all, or even drastically cutting down on, carbs. I'm just trying to replace those that are bad (hello, sugar) with those that are good.

In addition to this I am decreasing dinners out.  For a while I wouldn't have a meal out for weeks at a time. Prior to that it was at least once weekly.  Recently I've gotten into the eating out habit again. Generally when I eat out I have a drink or two. Or three. That needs to stop too.  It will be hard over the next few weeks because I have so much going on.... I have a dinner planned with a couple friends soon, then a birthday celebration for two other friends which I believe includes dinner. The way it looks now, this will luckily only be one dinner a week (unlike recent weeks where it's been two, or even two meals a day - some two days in a row!). That many processed foods isn't good.

When I do eat out, I need to get back to making better choices.  I used to have a lot of salads when I went out. With water. The last several months I've had far too much pizza, accompanied by beer or wine. I took at step toward that last night... I loaded up on salad, drank water, and had only one piece of hand tossed crust pizza.  A month ago I probably would've had two bread sticks and two pieces of pan pizza, and probably two beers. Possibly three.  The dessert at the end of my meal last night wasn't the greatest In thinking about it, a small piece of cake and some ice cream was, in the end, probably better than a second piece of pizza, two bread sticks, and two beers.

I'm also better about tracking. I got in the habit for a while where I would eat something small, like a candy cane, and forget to track it.  As I know, those little things add up. I don't think that I was eating so many little bites here and there that it would have added up to be a significant amount, but that's not what matters. Done over time, it DOES add up.  Also, that's just a bad habit to get into.  Whatever you eat, be sure you have the correct serving size - even if you have to measure or weigh it!  Accountability is a key factor in eating healthy and weight loss. So does what you eat. Most weight loss is what you put into your body, rather than what you burn.  Yes, exercise is important in weight loss and in general health, but you can't forget about what you eat.  If you eat junk all the time and exercise, you probably won't lose weight, and if you do it won't be much. I'd imagine you'd plateau a lot sooner.  Nutrition is a key component in weight loss.... Be mindful of what you're putting into your body!!

Another thing that I plan on doing is spending more time on Spark.  I didn't start using it until I was well into my weight loss journey. When I first started I tracked everything by hand, in a notebook.  The convenience of a computer is nice. While I like the actual tracking aspect of MFP more, I feel a larger sense of community with SP.  I don't have that on MFP.  To me it's designed more for tracking and is less about a sense of support and community.  Maybe it's because I have been on SP so long and have made "friends" there, and more than I have on MFP.  I definitely like the social aspect of SP more than MFP. For me, a huge part of this is connecting with other fit-minded people.  It's good for support, encouragement and motivation.  These people understand the ups and downs. They can offer words of wisdom or just say "I've been there too."  

I guess that's why I write this blog. :)

This reminds me of something that Chalene mentions in one of the turbo fire workouts... It's about getting your friends involved in fitness.  Not only is it great to support your friends in their pursuits, but it's good to have friends you can connect with over things like health and fitness.  These friends are more likely to be encouraging and supportive of your journey too.

Side note: I love Chalene and I strive to be like her - in fitness and in life. She appears to live such a healthy, positive life. I think she's amazing... And I'd love to be able to help people the way that she does!!

My new plan is that I'm back to the basics.  I'm doing what I did when I started, but with a little more exercise! I know what to do. I've done it. I've become a little lax on actually doing it lately though. No more... Nope... I'm going back to the basics....

This will be less social time.... Fewer dinners out; fewer drinks with friends.  It will mean cooking more at home, and eating alone (which is just fine with me).  Unless those in my social circle want to come over and exercise with me, I will probably be cutting back on my social time. Right now I need to be surrounded with people who understand what I'm doing and who support me. I can't be surrounded by people without a similar mindset.  If they love me they'll do a round of BBL or RB with me. They'll kick some imaginary ass doing TF with me.  They'll come over and cook/eat with me - healthy meals (without criticism, please!!!). There will be more nights in and fewer nights out - for whatever reason. 

My cousin and I had a girls night in on Sunday night. Unfortunately we majorly pigged out on pizza and bread sticks. Next time we do that? I'm making something healthy for dinner. We can still have a couple glasses of wine, but nothing crazy.  I was good on the wine front the other night... I only had two glasses, meaning she consumed the majority of two bottles (about a bottle and a half). I felt so well behaved, and so healthy!

Bottom line... I'm going back to 2009 style (I KNOW I said that already).  Those who want to be in my life will be going with me... To an extent. They can eat what they want, but they WILL be supportive of me. They WILL be accepting of how I want to live my life.  If they want to see me, at some point they WILL sweat with me!!!

Speaking of sweat... I'm off to run. 

Happy Thursday!!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Baking Extravaganza

How early do you start your holiday baking (if you're a holiday baker)? I've read of people who have already started.  I can't help but wonder what they do with what they bake, because this seems early! Do they freeze it? Just store it as one would normally do? It seems as though by the time Christmas rolls around, those treats would no longer be fresh. Maybe they just have early celebrations, so that's why they bake early?

I usually bake for Christmas, and what I bake becomes gifts. I may have gone slightly overboard with containers this year. I found small tins and little treat buckets (they look like little paint cans - too cute!) at Target in the cheap section.... I don't think anything was over three dollars. I stocked up. At two different Targets. I nearly bought out the shelf stock at both stores (I left a few, as I didn't want to look like a crazy person).  In looking at those containers, I have a lot of baking to do. I suppose I'm making it my mission to single-handedly make family, friends, and co-workers fat this year. Or at least send their blood sugar levels into outer space.  Then again, I don't have to use all the containers. I can save the tins for next year. Or even use up all the tins and save what's left of the paint can style containers for other events. I have a feeling I may use them all though... I have a friends Christmas potluck on the 22nd and there will be at least eight of us there (plus children and spouses for some). I'll give each family some goodies. I also have a few co-workers I'll give them to as well as other friends and family. Hmmm.. Now I'm wondering if I bought ENOUGH!

This year I'm trying to bake a bit "healthier" than normal. I suppose I should say, I'm baking things that aren't quite as bad as others.  One recipe that I found, for Skinny Cake Pops, is on my list of things to bake. I don't generally like to bake with mixes, but most recipes I find for lighter versions of desserts use cake mixes. Plus, cake pops are better when made with a mix anyway. I'll likely make the cake pops into little truffles instead. It's easier to package them that way, especially when baking a large quantity.

I will likely do my baking toward the end of next week -- next week!!  Are we really THAT close to Christmas? I have a birthday celebration for two friends on the 21st, so I'm not sure how that will work. Then again, if the weather is bad, I won't have to worry about going to the celebration. Or maybe not even the potluck (insert sad face here). I'll likely start baking on Wednesday evening and then will also bake on Thursday evening, finishing whatever I need to at some point on Friday evening and/or Saturday morning. I will probably just do my baking for that gathering and then devote my free time on Saturday and Sunday to baking the rest of the treats for family and other friends. I may not see others until the weekend after, so I'll have some time during the week to bake.

I have found some good recipes on Pinterest as well as the skinnytaste website.  I'm sure I'll also make a few standard treats, in their full-fat, ultra unhealthy state.

Feel free to share links to other yummy, less deadly holiday recipes!

Today is day two back on track after my long weekend of craziness. It feels good! By the end of the day today I'll have had 11 servings of fruits and veggies... Seven fruits, and four veggies. Not bad! Fruits and veggies made up the majority of my meal intake for the day. My breakfast was my typical protein shake, with a cup of strawberries.  I have a mid-morning "meal" and today I had two clementines and an apple. For a snack, two more clementines and some baby carrots.  Lunch was leftovers from last night (bun less burger with a sauce and a laughing cow light wedge of cheese, and steamed green beans, plus grapes), my afternoon "meal"/snack was a cup of blueberries. 

I haven't really craved anything like bread, so that's a plus.  I'm feeling good. I worked out for 106 minutes last night so that was a great feeling, especially after a few days of nothing!! I did a run, some RB routines, and a TF routine. Another great mix of calorie burning fun. I'm really enjoying turbo fire! So far it's everything others said it would be! I also had fun with my RB routine last night. I did the Disco Groove workout and really put some intensity into it. I usually don't get tired from those workouts but it wore me out last night. Of course, the combo of activities probably contributed to that! I also did the hardcore abs workout which isn't long or intense but is a nice extra.

Unfortunately I think my HRM is done for. I have been having trouble with it for a few weeks and last night it was really out of control. It was reading 232 at rest (ha!) and dropped to 54 while I was running. For most of the run it was reading accurately (150s-160s) but when I tried to wear it for the other workouts, it just did not want to cooperate. It would read for a minute, then after I moved too much it would drop down to zero. I kept getting the message to check my transmitter but even adjusting it didn't help. I've had it for a while and the watch part seems to work just fine. I'm wondering if I need to replace the strap. I'd imagine that after a while the straps can wear out. Even with washing after every use, the strap must get worn out after a period of time (especially after a couple years!).

It could be other things like the cold (but my house is warm), or the battery (replaced not long ago), or even interference (highly unlikely since it never happened before; although I am near other electronic devices). I wonder if the trip on the planes threw it out of whack. Maybe it got too cold? Who knows. I wear it tight enough, and while it does loosen as I workout, I wonder if it's loosening too much. Again, this might mean that the strap is worn out! I've googled and have found various slight reasons but haven't found anything significant, so far. Polar does sell just straps, so I'd imagine that after a while people must have to replace them... Or upgrade to a fancier strap (like one that reduces interference with other devices).

I'm sure if I try something different I'll find a solution. It's probably something that will be an easy fix, or it's just that I need the strap replaced.  Secretly I was hoping that it was just completely dead so that I could get a new one.... This one works fine. I like the features. I have no problems with it. I want a new one because.... I want one that's pink.

That's it. Judge if you must.

I meant to get up this morning to workout and that didn't happen. Someone forgot to set my alarm. I suppose I have to take responsibility for that. Oops. It wasn't turned on at all. Luckily I woke up early enough for work (but too late to workout), and didn't sleep in too long!! I was really tired by the time bedtime rolled around last night. In addition to not turning on my alarm, I also didn't plug in my cell phone and found it in bed with me this morning!

I won't be doing a long workout this evening because it's my Nonie's (grandma) birthday. We're taking her out for dinner this evening (and surprising her by extended family showing up - a brother and two sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, etc.) so I don't have much time to do a workout. I'll probably be able to do 30 minutes before I have to jump in the shower and get ready to go (and that's only leaving myself about 30 minutes to get ready). I'd prefer to workout longer than 30 minutes but it'll be later by the time I get home and well.... it's my Nonie. I'm not missing her birthday because I want to workout for more than half an hour!!  Luckily I can at least do some kind of exercise. She requested pizza, so I don't have to look to snazzy! The not so great part is that she wants pizza, and it's unhealthy. Fortunately, I've already planned my dinner. I'm going to allow myself ONE slice of pizza. I'm ordering the salad bar and plan on filling up on the salad (double the serving of lettuce - maybe more!). I'm also planning to drink water. I don't typically have alcoholic beverages during the week and don't drink pop, so that's easy.

I suppose it's off to get something done so that I can finish before dinner.  I hope you're all have a lovely week!