Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 88.

Weight: 127.40

Since the last time I blogged, a lot has happened. I traveled back home to MS. I participated in zumba there, I was late to class but still burned 392 calories and was able to burn around 700 calories swimming + plank hand crawls upstream in the current at the creek. I've dropped some serious weight since my last entry. And... I was also convinced to participate in a local 5k in late September. Of course I said yes! Its a personal goal and one of my 2011 New Years Resolutions. but this will be my first 5K! .....Oh crap! How am I going to do this?!!!! Since I have not been able to run more than .25mi in 5 mins at 5.0 mph.

But then I remembered a blog post entitled: Baking a Cake from Pounds to Miles ... and I remembered what she had said regarding some advice that her running coach had told her. It's not about speed.

So this morning, I cranked my speed down to 4.5mph. This felt really awkward – not quite slow enough as jog (for me at least) and not really a fast '5.0 run' either.  It felt weird. Like I needed to speed up... that my body was telling me that it was clearly fit enough to run faster. It was definitely a mental/physical struggle of sorts for the first 3 mins. But....I think I have found my cake!!!!

Before I knew it, I had with ease, surpassed to .33mi then came the doomed 5 min mark. Nothing happened. I was still fine. I could still breathe. My lungs did not feel deadlocked in the least. So... I continued on.... I made it to a 1/2 mile! then 10 mins! and finally before I knew it, I clocked in a mile at 13.35 mins!!!! A new record for me!!!! and I still felt like I could have continued on, still able to breathe, but time is always against me. So I walked out the 14 minute mark to cool down and had to leave to get ready for work.   .... But regardless, I made it! I beat my own mental limits and physical lung capacity!

I found a comfortable steady pace and I actually enjoyed it! If I continue to train like this... I actually think that I will be able to run the entire 5k!  However I do have to admit that by the time I made it to the 3rd flight of stairs to my apartment, my legs were definitely beginning to feel the run and were tingly jumpy for quite sometime afterwards. But I loved it! :D

Who knows... there may be a runner inside me yet!

Today's workout:
arrived at gym: 530a
departed gym: 655a

21 min @ Level 8 incline - 6.75 miles  / 217 calories

20 min @ Level 8 - 100 floors  / 217 calories

13.35 min Run @ 4.5mph - 1 mile  / 103 calories

Dance Workout: 1 hour Zumba class @ 630p-730/8p  / 516 calories

"I want to look like a runner, not look like I should be running..."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 83.

Weight - 130 - 131.60

I missed the gym again. The alarm went off at 415. then 430. then again at 5. after that I madly smacked it to go off at 7. Between that time until the final 7a alarm finally went off, I had felt as if I had slept for decades.  Rip Van Winkle all the way!

When I woke up, I was half expecting to find the interior of the apartment all macab from age as if I really had slept for years.  However by the time I made it to the bathroom mirror, I almost shrieked! I really did look like Death Warmed Over.  a wild tangle of hair, remnants of mascara streaked down my face, puffy swollen eyes and face, indentions on my face from sleeping so hard. Puffy and bloated all over. Cramps from Hell.  Pure Female Enforced Evil.

Yep. I was right. She's here. In full force. I hate her. She wrecks me. She wrecks my body of functioning at full speed.  I wanted to call in to work and stay in bed all day but could not.  Getting dressed seemed like an unachievable task. I sat on the floor in my closet and just laid there staring up at the ceiling, cramped up unable to make any complicated decisions such as black tights with zippers or plain black tights?

I did manage to pull myself up from the floor, get dressed as comfortably as possible, clean myself up to be presentable in the least, packed my lunch and my gym bag with zumba clothes, even though the mere thought of any quick movements makes me want to vomit.  Hopefully I will be feeling well enough to go to class. I need to go to class. My body is craving to go to class and move!!! vs. the other part just wants to curl up in a fetal position and die.  So... we shall see.

I did have a moment of weakness at work. I drank a Vanilla Coke Zero. I had to have something sugary caffeinated to take the "edge" off... I didn't enjoy it in the least.  I feel terrible about drinking a soda. Every time I drink 1 can of soda, I gain 1 pound of water weight back on. It is always like that... each can equals 1 lb. back on.  So I am going to need to move it if I want to work off all this water.

I hate feeling like this. It slows me down. But I know that I need to rest and recover if I am to push myself harder.  My plans for today is: eating my healthy lunch - mixed greens salad with tomatoes, and chickpeas for protein. Afternoon snack of apples and a chocolatey granola bar. And am planning on going to class tonight if my body permits.  If it does not. I will rest and try not to worry about it. There is always tomorrow and tomorrow is always better! :)

The sun is always out. Even if it is hiding behind a few rain clouds.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 82.

Weight: 130

No morning workout at the gym.

I had to be at a 7a breakfast meeting with my bosses. That meant I had to get up around 430a to get ready and prepare all my gym bag for 'possibly' making it to Zumba class depending on how early I could get out of work after 5p.

I've noticed all week that I've been maintaining the same exact weight despite all my workout efforts. And even though I have been at the same weight, I have been appearing very bloated and have not felt 'quite right'. So around 4 o'clock, I really felt bad, like I was coming down with a cold...and was worried that I would not make it to class. I should have known. As I went to change for Zumba class, I discovered it was 'that' time of the month... except more like "Surprise!" minus the confetti and balloons.

I wasn't sure if my stamina would hold out for class, but I went anyway and actually performed very well during the entire class! And I actually felt great for the rest of the night - which concerns me since that would mean tomorrow there would be hormonal hell to pay. Again, I ended staying up way to late (11p) tidying the house and getting everything ready for tomorrows gym and work.  I've got to work on not staying up so late!

Here is hoping that tomorrow will not be as bad as I think it will be.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 81.

Weight: 130

Today's workout:
Arrived at gym 5a
Departed at 650a

Leg Day - Part One

Warm-up: Elliptical
20 min @ Level 6 incline - 4 miles

20 min @ Level 10 - 100 floors 

5 min Run @ 5.0mph - 1/2 mile

Hip Adductors
Inner: 3 sets of 15 @ 100 lbs.
Outer: 3 sets of 15 @ 145 lbs.

Hip Extensions
3 sets of 10 @ 105 lbs.

Leg Press
3 sets of 10 @ 100 lbs.

Dance Workout: 1 hour Zumba class @ 630p-730/8p

*EDIT*  --- I totally heart this entry for my workouts from My Fitness Pal:

I was feeling kind of crappy that I didn't get to finish my leg workout or any abs since I ran out of time. I was suppose to get to the gym at 4a. But instead I chose to sleep because I stayed up until 10p last night blogging. Ideally I should be in bed by 830p. 9p at the most latest. This is going to be a work in progress as I figure out the most appropriate time to blog during the week.
I've decided that tomorrow will have to be Legs Part 2 + Abs.

But on a positive note – I was finally able to bump up my A-Game with the StairStepper. I was able to last through the entirety of 20 mins on LEVEL 10! without wanting to throw-up afterwards. (like I almost did one Saturday when I moved up to level 10) This time it was a good burning challenge during the entire session, like it typically has been on level 8. I'm so glad I have progressed!

Another moment I'm kind of proud of was that I did a full-on RUN at 5.0mph. my short legs have not been able to yet adapt to comfortably running at 6.0mph. I don't think I was built for that speed. 5.0 is my max capacity! And I'm not talking about any discomfort levels, I'm just meaning that 5 is my legs at warp speed. Done and done! Anyway, I did a complete half mile in 5 mins before burning out. I could have pushed myself to go further, but again, I was pressed for time.  But its good to see that I am progressing with my "running".

I've been studying the C25k plan... and it starts at increments at a time. I am going to work on slipping this into my current routine and see how I progress. I am determined to become a runner and actually enjoy running.

Anyway, despite my frustrations in the gym this morning with myself. I did make some strides and that is exciting!  –I may not be there yet... but I am closer than I was yesterday!  :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Binge Snowball.

So my dear friend Tosha posed this question - "the snowball effect...have you had this problem and if so, how did you handle it?" over here. And I've been debating over where I should post my lengthy answer and decided that I would do a blog post about it because I have to share my story with you all.

The first step in admitting you have a food problem is facing the fact head on, be willing to make sacrifices to change and sharing with others.  So yes, Tosha... Oh yes! I have battled this problem so many times. I have failed countlessly but I have also finally learned to succeed and regain control. While yes, some days are harder than others... I'm still holding strong.

Here is my story with the Binge Snowball: Hi. My name is Kim. And I was a Binge Eater. It was usually stress induced, emotionally induced, hormonally induced or boredom induced. But either way, I would have a day in which I would binge out on over 2,000+ calories in one day... hide in my car – parked in abandon parking lots and eat loads of junk food on lunch hours – afraid that someone would see me cheating on my diet. While it would feel sooooo good... the shame and stomach aches that would come later was not worth it. The next day I would try to get back on the wagon... then finally say "screw it! why should I after yesterday?" and give up completely.

There have been a lot of baby steps I have gone through to combat this bad food habit.

First step – admitting I have a problem with snacking/eating when I'm feeling "________" insert the above problem. I had to teach myself to eat for fuel not for feelings. I also had to figure out what to do when I was feeling "________" insert problem here. Insert Zumba + exercise here. Insert walking. painting. organizing the dvds in alphabetical order. cleaning the toliet (okay maybe not that far...) but you get what I'm saying. I had to figure out something mentally stimulating + fun, whatever makes you happy (other than food) to replace that desperate animalistic need to cram junk in my pie hole.

Second step – purging the house of all your most favourite "junk, process + comfort" foods. Doing this will immediately put your mind into "hunger" overdrive. You are going to want to eat anything that isn't nailed down or run out and buy junk food to have your cheat fix.  You have to mentally push past this... your not really hungry... its all in your head. Drink water, eat some fruit, just don't give in! Eventually it will pass. You will have survived and you will feel more accomplished.

Next, I also realize that purging the house of all "bad" food is going to be difficult in a family situation. That everyone can't suffer if mom is on a diet. That brings me to my next point - take the time and portion out everything! If that means that you have to buy out every bag size of Ziplock, in order to portion out all your food, then do so! Until you can learn self control with food – this is going to keep you from quickly inhaling an entire bag of oreos in one sitting. If you portion out your kid's oreos – 3 in a snack bag – your least likely to want to blow thru all the snack bags because those tiny bags are going to keep you in check.  Yes... this takes time and is a total royal pain in the ass! but it works!

There have been times to where my DH has had a bag of oreos. Despite him not being on the same meal agenda as me, I still portioned it all up the same way and put these on top of the fridge. This way, when a moment of weakness did come over me – it was alot more work to have to get the snacks down from the top of the fridge then I opened the snack bag. And before I even had an oreo, guilt ran all over me. I realized I had worked so hard portioning the cookies for my own self control! That I did not even want the cookie anymore. Instead I put it back and looked for another 'healthier' option.

Next - Finding enjoyable + healthy food options to replace the 'naughty' ones you like to cheat on. This way, if you do have a moment of weakness and do cheat... eating these healthy options such as low calorie rice crackers + cheese aren't as serious to your game plan as 3 bags of chips. Are you a salty snacker? Are you a sweet snacker? Greasy snacker? Fast Foodie Snacker? All of the above?

Find similar trade outs. Do you like crunchy salty Sour Cream + Onion Chips, if so, you could trade out for a wedge of French Onion Laughing Cow Cheese + some low calorie crackers in replacement.

Chocolate bar addict? Trade out for a wholesome dark chocolate granola bar (you would be surprised, some of these new granola bars taste like a amped up chocolate candy bar!) or even try a 90 calorie Fiber One brownie. (you can't eat more than one of those without serious consequences!)

Greasy Snacker + Fast Food Lover? Love French fries?! You can easily find amazing fry alternatives on websites such as Snack Girl and Hungry Girl.  There are countless healthy recipe resources out there online that is able to healthily soothe your snacky bad food hankering! I promise!   And if you can't find it, ask me! I would be happy to help find an alternative!

I am always trying to figure out healthy twists to heavy high-calorie food faves that even I have been prone to cheat on in the past. I love spending time in the kitchen and working on my grocery list to 'bust' out the baddies and figure out better alternatives.  I've actually made a game of it to keep it exciting! Kind of like Extreme Couponing but with Junk Food vs Clean Food!

Another thing that has helped me from snacking, is preparing an entire weeks meals on Sunday (usually post-grocery shopping) So I'm portioning out ingredients in ziplock bags or tupperware bins and storing it or freezing it for the week. Ziplock Steamer bags + measuring cups are my newest BFF and trusted kitchen tools! Yes, again, its yet another pain in the ass thing to do but once you do it a couple of times you can make quick work of it. Sure it involves some planning, but it really does work! You don't have to think about your meals, you don't have to worry about getting into trouble by making a bad choice. Your food choices are already prepared there for you. Ready to Grab n Go! I even do this for both mine + DH's meals – even our dinner meals. ALL meals! Breakfast, Morning Snack, Lunch, Afternoon Snack + Dinner. All prepped, portioned, bagged and ready for the week!  By the time the work week comes around – healthy 'fast' food!

I know its a lot of hard work and preparation. But the benefits are worth it ten-fold!

And Yes.... Cheating will happen. But if you have lots of healthy options to 'cheat' on for example: If I were to go on a binge, I'd much rather cheat on say a tasty reduced fat feta cheese, whole wheat crackers and apples than say bags of chips or fries. Cheating will not nearly be as harsh when it does happen and you will be able to get back on track and stay on the wagon – unlike feeling guilt stricken and hopeless!

And just because you have to eat 'the good stuff' all the time doesn't mean you can't treat yourself! Just make it a special once a month reward for all your hard work and efforts. Make it a 'date night to yourself!' At that point then, will it only be truly sweeter! And who knows, you may find that your tastes have changed and actually preferring the 'good stuff' than your 'naughty' treat!

To quote this article by She-Fit: "When times like these hit, don’t freak out! One mistake is not going to make or break your diet. IMMEDIATELY pick yourself up and start over. Don’t allow one mistake of eating an extra 300 to 400 calories lead to an extra 2,000 calories by the end of the day. Why let everything your worked so hard for fly out the window because of that one mistake? If you find that you gave into temptation throughout your day, forgive yourself and continue to stick with the game plan you already mapped out!

The reality is, we are humans and it’s easy to make mistakes, but it’s how we respond to those mistakes that will determine our success."  –– I couldn't agree with that statement more!

Again, I want to say that I have been to the lowest of lows when it comes to binge cheating. And please by all means – if I left something out while on my typing fury of composing this post or if you are curious or have questions about food, please do ask! I am happy to help! While I am no expert or nutritionist – I have went through LOTS of trials and errors from past weight/diet experiences and I have spent countless hours reading and researching about food, nutrition labels, glycemic index ratings, caloric + metabolic ratios and all that lovely science that goes into how we all process food for fuel to possibly save you on your journey!  (and I'm still reading and researching all the time! – coz I'm geeky like that...)

I hope this post possibly helps someone out there.  Remember – "But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded" 2 Chronicles 15:7

Day 80.

Weight - 130

After this weekend + this mornings workout... granny's arms is stronger than mine. Like Randy on the Christmas Story who shouts "I can't put my arms down!"; I have been shouting "I can't pick my arms up!" Upper body workouts are not my fortay at all – I'm such a noodle. Needless to say, I didn't go to the gym on Sunday to workout or do more pull-ups/chin-ups. Instead I took a day of rest. After all, I could barely pick up my toothbrush and brush my teeth without whimpering in agony, I'm not going to be that mean to myself.

Today's workout:
Arrived at gym 445a
Departed at 645a

Chest + Triceps

Warm-up: Elliptical
20 min @ Level 1 incline - 3 miles

20 min @ Level 8 - 100 floors 
Push-ups on ball
2 sets of 10 (wide + narrow)

Bench Press 
2 sets of 8 @ 30 lbs

Incline Dumbell Press
3 sets of 8 @ 10 lbs.

Incline Dumbell Flyes
3 sets of 10 @ 10 lbs.
(the training program says to do 3 sets of 20... but I could only manage 3 sets of 10. At this point during the last set, I was struggling and could not keep good form. I was not going to attempt to push through if I couldn't complete the movements properly, doing such could result in injury.

Tricep Bench Dips
2 sets of 8

Overhead Tricep Dips
3 sets of 20 @ 7.5 lbs

Lying Tricep Extension
1 set of 10 @ 7.5 lbs.
(I had to cut this set short because I was pushing the clock for the commute back home to go get ready for work.)  Note: I did not like this exercise movement at all in this program. The movement itself was a akward variation to a traditional exercise and was not challenging because of its awkwardness. I think I am going to switch out this movement for a traditional tricep free weight exercise that I feel more comfortable doing.

On a separate note: I am still steady at 130. I'm trying to not let my mind produce any negative thoughts. I am trying to focus on the positive. I know that currently my muscles are quite swollen with the build-up of lactic acid and because of that, I am retaining water. I am trying to drink more water to flush this out but that is slow progress.  I am also expecting a stalemate this week or early next week since I am nearing the red dot time of the month. I am trying not to let this get me down in spirit and keep pushing forward since it is all normal occurrences of the body. Of course this can be a mentally challenging time; thank goodness I've started this new training program to keep my thoughts entertained for now....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 78.

The Workout:

Warm-up: Elliptical
20 min @ Level 8 incline - 4 miles

20 min @ Level 10/8 - 100 floors 
Wide Grip Chin Ups
2 sets of 8 @ 100 lb assist
2 sets of 8 @ 100 lb assist

Bicep Curl
3 sets of 10 @ 30 lbs

Back Hyperextension
3 sets of 10 @ 70 lbs

Iso-Lat Reverse Grip
3 sets of 10 @ 25 lbs

Iso-Lat Row
grip version 1: 3 sets of 10 @ 15 lbs
grip version 2: 3 sets of 10 @ 15 lbs

Incline Bicep Curl:
3 sets of 10 @ 10 lbs

Inverted Incline Bicep Curl:
3 sets of 10 @ 7.5 lbs

Today I was determined to start working on learning how to do pull-ups/chin-ups since it will definitely be a necessity for the Spartan Sprint rope climb. It was the first time I have ever done any chin-ups or pull-ups...ever! in my life! Despite being completely physically spent post pull-ups, I felt so accomplished! I had pushed past my comfort level and tried a completely new exercise that was totally physically demanding and I was actually able to perform to finish! It was a defining moment. I am looking forward to tomorrows workout – more pull-up/chin-ups!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 77.

Despite my exhaustion rant from Day 76 and staying up until 11p getting cleaned up and preparing for the upcoming work day, I did manage to make it into the gym at 530a this morning and got a decent workout in. It made me feel much better.

I focused on a quick leg workout this morning to keep the muscles fired up from last nights class. And I have no intentions of being all purposely vain when I say this but I am actually liking how my legs have began to take on a muscular shape and tone like I've never seen before. I think I'm actually beginning to get 'dancers legs'. Its neat to be able to actually 'see' individual muscles and muscle groups and actually watch them perform during dance routines + workouts.

I've really noticed a development of the definition in my quads. I'm not entirely used to seeing these bulbous upper leg muscles. While it kind of freaks me out in a way, its also exciting to actually take notice of them. On a TMI side note - all this new definition has made shaving my legs much more interesting to say the least....  Anyway, I can't wait to see the continued progress in these next months and how far I can push my 'comfort zone' limits and grow from that.

The Workout:

Warm-up: Elliptical
20 min @ 0 incline - 177 calories burned.

20 min @ Level 8 - 100 floors - 208 calories.

Hip Adductors
Inner: 3 sets of 15 @ 105 lbs.
Outer: 3 sets of 15 @ 135 lbs.

Hip Extensions
3 sets of 10 @ 105 lbs.

Calf Press
3 sets of 10 @ 15 lbs.
*this is a new machine and its slightly awkward to me at the moment. so I'm taking things light until I can get comfortable with it.

Leg Press
3 sets of 10 @ 95 lbs.

Jersey Mike.

As my title seems to suggest – this isn't about any of the Jersey Shore characters. It's about a deceivingly 'healthy' sub sandwich chain. I'm not sure if my current blog readers have a Jersey Mike's Subs in your local area but let me say I was overwhelmingly appalled at the nutritional facts that this sub shop touts. If you are trying to stick to a nutrition plan that involves monitoring your daily caloric intake, you will definitely want to avoid this place.

I went for the first time with a friend from my Zumba class pretty late (pushing 830p) last night.  I didn't have a chance to pre-review the menu + nutritional values online before going in. I was still planning to walk down to the Smoothie King to get my smoothie as my dinner meal. But I figured while I was here with her, I would go ahead and pick something up for my lunch since I didn't have anything prepared. I figured it couldn't be all that bad... its a sub sandwich shop, right?!

I scan the menu and the sandwich guys lets us know that they are near closing and are limited on bread selections and only have one wrap left. And... no lettuce! (well there goes my salad choice) so I scan the menu again... looking for the least dangerous option. Every thing else was pretty heavy on salami-style meats + cheeses which I know can add up on calories quick!  I look around - ah! a grilled veggie wrap! Perfect! That can't be too much harm! Oh wait... it comes with ranch dressing. I asked the guy for no ranch. Okay I'm safe! Good choice.....   Or was it?

So today, I break out my grilled veggie wrap. The entire wrap is about the typical size of a Subway 6" sandwich.  A little bit leery, I decide to try only half of the wrap... since I'm still unsure of the caloric content per serving. While waiting on my wrap to warm-up. I look up the calories on my grilled veggie wrap.

O.M.G.!!!  according to Jersey Mike's site - my entire 6" wrap is right at being 800 calories!!!!!
in comparison – Subway has unlimited lower calorie options in the same size for sandwiches, with actual bread!

800 CALORIES!!!! for a VEGGIE WRAP!!!! I also understand this also takes into account the ranch dressing... but not by much – because the entire wrap still clocks in as a high 760s without ranch on MFP.  I begin to look at all the other sandwiches – most all of the "lean" subs exceeds the 500-600 calorie mark. And a full on "regular" sub rates in from 900-1400 calories!!! Just for 1 sub!!!! That is well over a days worth of calories for one meal!!!!!   That is horrible!  Sure you may be getting a healthier option of selections but calorically its equal to McDonalds! And for anyone trying to manage their caloric intake ...well the chances are pretty much slim to none.

 And yes. I did eat the half of the grilled veggie wrap. I hate to waste since I did pay too much for it. Luckily I had not had any of my morning snacks and breakfast was light. So I could manage the 400 odd calories however it means that I will have to be careful at dinner. And so how did it taste? it was subpar. The only thing this wrap had on it was provolone, onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, and tomato - that's it!  To be honest, I could have made a better, amazingly nutritional, banging grilled wrap for lower calories WITH dressing than what I got at Jersey's!   sad, right?

Just goes to show you that there are lots of deceivingly so-called healthy menu items out there. You never quite know just what exactly you are getting... so arm yourself with knowledge! Do the research! Check out menus + nutritional facts before you dine out and if you can't - choose what you think is simplest in ingredients and eat only a quarter or half. Get the rest "to-go." And better yet, it pays to eat a self-prepared meal at home!

Be Safe out there friends!  Choose wisely.

dear dad.

I haven't recently had a chance to go back home to Mississippi to the farm to visit my family. So the family members who do not have a facebook have no idea how I currently look since May. My dad would be included in this non-social media circle. I spoke to him on the phone last night amist him being busy at work, with distractions and was trying to convey to him the journey that I have been on since he last saw me and my progress made. I know that it is hard to believe or imagine over the phone when someone says they have lost 16.6lbs and how they might look. So he asked me to email him a photo....
I decided I would share that email here as well because to me its exciting and a bit mushy. :)

Hey Dad! So I thought I'd share my 16.6 lb weight loss in 77 days progress.

The first photo was taken on my 30th birthday, of course. (no wonder why I was so depressed!) And the last photo was taken at 4am on Tuesday of this week. I'm actually 130.6 lbs now.... and prolly by the time you check this email, I will already be in the high 120 range....  yay!!!

I can't wait to get my zumba instructors certification!!!! it is so close! late October! eep! I'm so nervous, scared and excited!!!! but this reward is definitely been worth the healthier lifestyle change!!! I FEEL so much better + more energetic!!!! even if I am getting up at 4am in the morning! :P

Thank you for instilling a good hard work ethic in me! And thanks for always telling me to never give up at achieving really hard goals!!!  If you would not have hammered that into my thick stubborn head (haha) I don't think I could have gotten to this point in such a short time! :D I've definitely inherited your workaholic spirit!!!

I'm even considering entering the Spartan Sprint in March 2012 in Conyers, GA!  YIKES!
check out how crazy that would be - http://www.spartanrace.com/


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 76.

So I'm kind of frustrated about this week...Not that it was all entirely bad. Its just that... I didn't push hard enough this week. My schedule was pending to be 'out-of-routine' and I let it get into my head I guess. I was already feeling a bit exhausted from pushing hard at strength training over the weekend.

But my week's gym routine was sooo weak. And I was suppose to start a new fierce strength training routine – that did not happen either. What is wrong! Typically I can mentally push myself to keep going and giving it my all, but I guess my mind needs a rest day too.

So here was this week's workout schedule -
 Monday - Rest Day

Tuesday - Elliptical Trainer 15 mins,  Strength Training 15 mins, Zumba 60 mins.  (so typically I do the Elliptical for 20-25 mins. I strength train from 30-60 mins. I totally skimped on this day and why? I slept late until 530a and I didn't get to the gym until 6a. which left me absolutely no time to get in a decent workout! rar. Zumba saved the day.)

Wednesday - Elliptical Trainer 15 mins, Stair Climber level 8, 100 steps 20 mins, Treadmill Cool-Down  10 mins   (this day wasn't too bad, I worked up a really good sweat. But I should have stepped it up. I should have pushed forward to 20-25 mins on the Ellip. I should have pushed to "run" a fast 5min on the Treadmill and I should have strength trained if I had gotten there earlier.)

Thursday - I missed my morning gym workout because I choose to sleep late until 7a. why?! because I stayed up late 'working' on a project until 1030p the night before. I can't NOT get a decent nights sleep and be prepared to perform well at the gym.  I did go to Zumba 60 mins tonight.  Thank goodness! Again, Zumba saves the day.

Again, I'm concerned about tomorrow morning, because its 10p now and I am still awake and on the computer. AND... I still need to get a shower!!! I have to get up early tomorrow and bust it in the gym! Absolutely have to! No excuses! So what if my butt is dragging at work... at least I did it!

I am definitely going to have to bust my butt in the gym this weekend! No excuses! Seriously!
And I've decided that I will just start my new strength training workout at the start of the next week. Fresh Starts, Right?! right.

So I say this was my 'mental rest' week... next week its on!!!! I have some amazing life changing, very physically challenging goals ahead of me in October, November and in March! I have to train hard and be ready for all the great obstacles ahead!

Well... I need to sign off to get cleaned up and get some rest for tomorrow. Sleep is vital for the body's recovery! I'm going to go practice that now!



I've been a slacker. I admit it. I've been slacking from keeping a good blog and I apologize. I promised you all that I would share my journey with you all and here I am... slacking off. Terrible.

I was having a MFP conversation with a dear friend about me having problems blogging. So I thought that I would share with you all as to why I've been such a slacker.

"I've been "slacking" off because I'm usually in the gym and away from the computer. (which is a good thing!!!) Sometimes when I do finally get home + settled in, trying to compose a blog post seems like I'm trying to write the Declaration of Independence, esp from being 'stuck' on the computer all day from 8-5 at work. Sometimes its the last thing I want to see is the soft glow of a computer screen. So usually I will log my calories into MFP , check FB and be done with it! So I need to work on getting back into my blogging routine again, regardless of anything else!" 

So that is it folks... I've been a blog slacker but I suppose for good reasons since I am away from the computer and am 16 lbs down. Still its no excuse for not sharing my experiences with you all and not getting to share all the recipes and information and great tools I have picked up along the way. I have no excuse not to blog these days. I have alot of great fodder for posts. 

Anyway, I promise to improve my blogging skills, so please excuse my neglect. I have been inspired to return and share with you all in hopes that perhaps you will find it useful in your own journey!

Much love and apologies,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Greek vs. Regular.

Today I was asked a question on my personal facebook wall: "How is that Greek Yogurt compared to Plain Yogurt? Is it tastier?" I posted up my answer. However I thought this topic would make for a great blog post to share! Since I was once a newbie to Greek yogurt earlier in this journey - read about it here.  Since then, I have done lots of reading on it to know just what exactly I was benefitting from on making the switch. Now I use it for everything!!!  Big Thanks Tosha for asking a great question!

So.... "How is that Greek Yogurt compared to Plain Yogurt? Is it tastier?"

My Answer:

I like greek better for several reasons. I think it is much tastier - the vanilla is much sweeter and less tart than regular yogurt. I also like Greek yogurt for its lower sugar and higher protein content, which, among other things, makes you feel fuller. The plain is tart but is a great alternative to sour cream, cream cheese or high calorie cheesy spreads and I use it a lot in cooking and for making homemade low calorie dressings and of course, it goes great in smoothies. 

Here are more reasons why Greek vs. Regular is different:

Yogurt comes from milk that has had healthy bacteria added, causing it to ferment. During this process, yogurt thickens and takes on a slightly tangy taste. Yogurt is then strained through a cheesecloth, which allows the liquid whey part of milk to drain off. Regular yogurt is strained twice, while Greek yogurt is strained three times to remove more whey (leaving a thicker consistency). While all yogurt provides numerous health benefits (including probiotics), the nutritional stats for Greek yogurt and regular yogurt do differ. Here's how the two stack up:

1.Protein - Greek yogurt has almost double the protein of regular yogurt. Eight ounces of Greek yogurt has about 20 grams of protein, whereas regular yogurt provides around 11-13 grams. Greek yogurt's high protein content makes it a favorite among people trying to manage their weight as it helps ward off hunger.
2.Carbohydrates - Greek yogurt has fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt. This could be beneficial to diabetics, who have to watch their carbohydrate intake.
3.Calcium - Regular yogurt has about three times the calcium of Greek yogurt. Both are still considered good sources of calcium, but women who don't get enough calcium from other foods may want to stick to regular yogurt for its bone-building benefits.
4.Sodium - Greek yogurt has half the sodium of regular yogurt.
5.Calories - Plain, nonfat versions of Greek and regular yogurt have a similar calorie count per serving, but added sugars can significantly increase the calories of either variety.
6.Texture - Greek yogurt is much thicker and creamier than regular yogurt because it's strained more. Greek yogurt can also be used in cooking as it does not curdle when heated like regular yogurt.

Both types of yogurt can be used as lower-calorie substitutes for fatty ingredients. Swap out eggs and oil in baked goods for Greek yogurt, or use either yogurt type in place of full-fat sour cream, heavy cream, mayonnaise, or cream cheese in recipes. Both types can also be used in place of other high-calorie ingredients in dips, sauces, salad dressings, smoothies, and desserts. As with both Greek and regular yogurts, be sure to choose low-fat or nonfat varieties, and opt for those with little to no added sugar, as this ups the calorie count.

I hope all of this information helps everyone in making the choice to try Greek yogurt and perhaps expand your healthy food + cooking horizons!

I'm also attaching my 'homemade' Spicy Ranch Salad dressing recipe that uses Greek Yogurt. Enjoy! 

 "Greeked" Spicy Ranch Dressing 
serving size: 2 Tbs. (55 calories)

• Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch Salad Dressing Seasoning Mix
• 5.03 oz Plain - Low Fat Greek Yogurt
• optional: 2%, low fat milk or milk substitue, ie Silk

Instead of preparing the dressing as instructed on the packet, this recipe is a much simpler low calorie method replacing the mayo, sour cream and milk with Greek Yogurt. This recipe is also very versatile in the fact that you can make it into a dip or dressing.  

Place the Greek yogurt into a small bowl. Mix only 1/2 of the seasoning mix into a container, mix Greek yogurt and dressing seasoning well.

You should have a thick 'dip' like consistency. If you prefer this as a dip for veggies - you are finished at this point! Enjoy!

If you prefer more of a creamy dressing - add 2 tbs of low fat milk or milk substitute - mix well.

If you prefer a spicier dressing or are using a larger container of yogurt - you could add the whole packet of dressing seasoning mix. This however will add to the calorie count - 110 calories

 Another great low calorie option - Hidden Valley Feista Ranch is 60 calories for 2 Tbs once prepared.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Product Review.

Just so you know... I have to do a product review on the new Degree Motion Sense deodorant. So everyone can be well aware of real world expectations... and Perhaps I was expecting this deodorant to be the Bear Grylls for my pits when it came down to getting fiercely sweaty! And if anyone knows about getting fiercely sweaty - its me!

So I was expecting this deodorant to last all day during a very busy 8-5 work schedule plus hold out all the way through my 630-730p Zumba class.  Maybe its me - but it didn't... I didn't smell it much when I was changing out of my work clothes and into my Zumba gear but I should have known - not a good sign! Not even after the warm-up song had finished, this deodorant went south faster than Frat House on Spring Break to Cancun. I don't know if all the Motion Sensors totally freaked out from all the random movements and waved a white flag of defeat.... but it happened... sadly.  

Degree. Fail.

I managed to make my way out of class without any sweaty hugs or lingering chitchat so as not to offend anyone or be 'that' girl... However I am greatly dissappointed in this product. Especially from Degree! I guess I will stick to the usual Secret deodorant I typically get.

I can say that Secret holds up! I can apply it in the morning, wear it all day, sweat-fest in Zumba, take a shower and I can still smell lingering deodorant! I can even wake up still smelling fresh! Now that's what I was expecting! its deodorant you can't even wear or shower off! 

so What happened Degree?

Final words - I don't recommend it for highly intense workouts or if you live in the South and just sweat from our 24/7/365 - 100% humidity.

the Last Laugh - This girls review says it all - http://www.youjustmademylist.com/?p=6073