Monday, April 20, 2009

I Heart Trader Joe's....

I had a girls' day out today with my BFF, Anna. (I even got to take a half-day of vacation from work). I've just been feeling down the past few weeks and thus my diet and exercise has suffered the past few days. After our little road trip today I feel renewed and much happier. She's the best! I had fun! We went to the outlet malls and had a grand ol' time without spending much money.

Then we took an impromptu trip to Trader Joe's. I had never been there, but had been dying to go. The closest one to me is about 15-20 minutes away though. We went and I was SUPER surprised! The prices are pretty reasonable. They have TONS of healthy/organic options that are also flavorful.... and they have a lot of unique things. I'm SO excited. I only spent like 20 bucks while we were there.... but got quite a bit of stuff. Lots of new meals and snacks to try.

Definitely more on this topic later!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Foods

I've never had polenta before, but since nothing lately sounds good, I've been wanting to try new things. I found this at my new favorite produce/natural foods store down the street... sundried tomato and garlic polenta.

I've never cooked polenta before so I was trying out some things and made this (sorry for the blurry pic)...

It's slices of polenta topped with chicken, black beans, various peppers, and fat free mozzerella. Overall, it wasn't too bad. Next time I think I'll cook the topping and polenta separately so that the polenta will get a little more firm.
Just trying to broaden my food horizons.....

This week's results...

Well, I only lost .8 pounds this week. Not as much as I had hoped, but at least the numbers are still going down. Considering that I couldn't work out much last week, I guess a .8 is pretty good.

It's getting a little harder this week to eat healthy for some reason. I've been feeling much closer to giving in to bad things most days. But I'm trying to resist and find healthier versions of things I love. I think that maybe I'm just in a food rut as it's hard to eat healthy and quick, and I haven't felt like cooking much lately.

I found these at the grocery store....

I know they have had them in other brands for a while, but even the small portion in those brands wasn't healthy. Since this is the slow churned it's much lower in fat and calories. And the small size helps me, as I've always been a girl who could eat a whole pint of ice cream in one sitting.

I went shopping today at this awesome produce store near me that I never realized existed. They have lots of fresh and organic things. They also have a ton of products that I suppose could be deemed "unusual" or "ethnic foods"... or at least things I have a hard time finding in my regular store. I'll let you know how the new foods/recipes turn out.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quick Update

So, I only lost .4 pounds last week, but that's better than I had thought as I had done very badly the weekend before that.

Last weekend I tried to keep things in check so they didn't get as out of hand. I didn't do a whole lot better, but overall it was an improvement (despite it being Easter weekend and being surrounded with bad food and lots of candy).

I haven't been able to make it to the gym much this week so far, so I'm behind on my C25K. Last Saturday I went and did my Week 3: Workout 3 (and then some) and must have overdid it again or something because this week I have been plagued by a hip injury. I went on Monday and barely made it through about 15 minutes of run/walking. I had to quit. My hip hurt so bad that I was about to cry. Tuesday it still hurt so I tried to take it easy and just did some slow walking and some arm/ab strength training. Tonight, I didn't go to the gym at all.... which totally sucks. I have done very well with my eating this week though. That part has almost become a habit. I want bad things ALL the time. There is NO doubt about that. And I'm always close to almost giving in.... but then I know how bad I would feel after and I think to myself "I choose not to be fat anymore!" And I turn the food down. This gets harder on the weekends though, I have to admit.

It's so weird that I used to have to try to force myself to go to the gym twice a week and now I hate if I miss one day during the week. My hip feels a little better tonight, so I'm hoping that tomorrow I will be able to start c25K Week 4: Workout 1.... which is going to be SO hard.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hoping for the Best

After trying all week to recover from the damage I did last weekend, I think I did pretty well. I stayed under 1400 calories every day and I went to the gym 3 days in a row. Tonight I burned over 600 calories (according to the machines at the gym) and did 4 miles! My C25K workout was a little rough since I was so tired, but I finished it and then did some extra. Overall, I'd say it was a good last chance workout. I am really hoping to have at least lost a pound this week, but with how crazy things were last weekend, I wouldn't be surprised if I just maintained.

I just downloaded all of Jillian Michaels' Podcast and can't wait to listen to them and put them on my mp3 player. She's my absolute favorite thing about The Biggest Loser every season. I love her!!! If I had a bunch of money, I'd totally try to get her as my trainer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Love My Heart

I've learned a lot today about my heart rate. The stronger your heart is, the more blood it pumps with every beat. So if you are in really good shape, your heart will have to beat less to pump the amount of blood that your body needs. It works more efficiently the stronger it gets.

I remember back in school when they would teach you how to take your pulse. My resting heart rate was always in the 100 bpm (beats per minute) range. And everyone just always told me "that's ok. Girls hearts beat faster than guys hearts. You're fine." I was fine, I mean.... for the most part. Even as I got a little older, I always remember my resting heart rate being in the 90s at least. Today I learned that the average woman's heart rate should be around 75 bpm. The normal range is from 60-100, but they say that if your resting heart rate is consistently over 100 bpm, then you should see a doctor. Now, when I was a freshman in college, I know mine was always hovering around that 100-110 range... and that's not ok.

It's true that women's heart rates are usually slightly higher than men's. I would assume that's because stereotypically our bodies are smaller, so our hearts would be slightly smaller, so they would have to work a little harder. (but that's just a guess).

Anyway, today I decided to take my resting heart rate. The first time I did it, I got 67 bpm. I thought "that can't be right." So I took it again, and this time it was 76 bpm. (probably because I got myself all worked up thinking that 67 had to be wrong.) I'm totally impressed with my little hard working heart. Somehow, it's managed to get stronger. Which, I guess I kinda had some hints it was doing that, with how much easier things have gotten lately. Not that exercising is easy for me, but it is getting easier than I ever thought it would be, especially running. It makes me happy to know that not only am I doing this to lose weight (which will make me feel and look better) but that internally I am actually getting healthier and stronger. It makes me feel more in control of my health... which after I found out about 2 months ago that I have a Fibroid tumor, I wasn't feeling very optimistic about my health at all.

And here's a random fact that really amazed me: Lance Armstrong's heart is in such good shape that his resting heart rate is only 32 beats per minute!!! Wow!

So, how is your heart shaping up? :-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Time to face the truth....

Since so many of you are brave enough to do it.... I've finally faced the music and put my actual weight on the side with my Weigh-Ins. It's really hard for me to admit how much I weigh to people. But I'm doing this in the hope that this will be the last time in my life that I will ever have to be ashamed of how much I weigh.


So, I did very bad on Saturday, Sunday and even pretty much Monday. It's had me down in the dumps. Today I desperately needed to get back on track or risk slipping into this unhealthy eating/no exercise rut for a few weeks and gaining back the weight I have lost.

So, despite the fact that I'm tired, and don't feel well, and all the other excuses I've got going in my head... I dragged myself to the gym. Today I did the C25K Week 3: Workout 1. This means 90 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, 3 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking (then repeat). I was just telling the BFF, Anna, today that I was feeling like running was impossible and I was starting to get scared if I could finish the 5k in under 60 minutes! Then I went to the gym and finished this C25K workout with no problem. Yay for me! I know that it's not a big feat for some people who can just run a few miles with no problem, but I've never been a runner. I never thought I could be a runner. I could do the elliptical until the cows come home... but not running. I used to get winded really quickly and my knees, ankles, and shins always hurt. Well, those things still hurt but I'm powering through. I even just ran to see how long I could run and I made it 4.5 minutes. I felt like I could do a little more, but didn't want to hurt myself. And that was at a speed of 4.7, which is a little faster than I have been running. I'm really hoping to be able to run the whole 5K without stopping, but that's a BIG goal. June 7th.... here I come!

Every time I finish one of the C25K workouts, I feel my confidence get boosted just a little more. (Now, if only I didn't have to make up for all the damage I did this weekend. Blah) My plan is to go to the gym both Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


This weekend was a big ol' failure in the diet and exercise department. I feel disappointed in myself. Blah.

Friday, April 3, 2009

20/20 Challenge: Week 2 Results

Before I begin: Apparently there was a problem with people being unable to comment on my blog... but I think I've fixed it now. (Let's hope).

Today has been a rough day. The boyfriend and I had a hectic morning (a slight lack of planning on his part created a bump in my usual morning routine, which didn't make me happy).

At my work and there is like this little walkway between our buildings, but it's like an overpass above the street below. So it's probably at least 30 feet up in the air. Anyway, I totally accidentally dropped my cell phone off of it while leaning against the railing and the front of it shattered into a million pieces. It still works (kind of) for the most part. But definitely not enough for me to deal with it for the next year. Blah. So, then work was crazy and I was grumpy.

I SO didn't want to go to the gym tonight. I am freaking EXHAUSTED! My whole body hurts and I'm tired and in a bad mood. But I went anyway and did my C25K Week 2: Workout 2..... and geez, it was ROUGH! I did manage to finish the whole 25 mins(5 min walking warm-up, 20 minutes of alternating running 90 seconds, walking 120 seconds) but I wasn't thrilled about it and I really had to push to get through those 90 second runs. Right now it seems absolutely impossible for me to run a 5K.

I am feeling down and defeated today. It's taking all my willpower not to just go eat pizza or something equally unhealthy for dinner. I've always been an emotional eater. I thought I did well this week with my eating and I worked out at least 3 times this week (which is way more than usual for me) and I've been taking the stairs at work. However, somehow I only lost 1 pound this week. 1 sad, little, lonely pound. At least it's a pound in the right direction. It's just hard to stay motivated today.

Hope you guys had a better day than I did.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

C25K Week 2: Workout 1 Update

Just got home from the gym from doing my C25K Week 2: Workout 1. I was soooooo tired today and I hadn't ran since Saturday, so I was a little scared. In week 2 you are running 90 seconds and walking 2 minutes. You alternate and do that for 20 minutes. And........ it wasn't that tough, surprisingly! I'm not saying it was a walk in the park, but I finished it with no problem. I felt that I could probably have ran longer than 90 seconds or sometimes waited less than 2 minutes.... but decided not to push it. After all, the c25k people made that schedule for a reason. And with my recent injuries, I need to not push myself too hard. I had learned some special stretches that are supposed to loosen up your shins and prevent/help shin splints. So, I did those yesterday, today at my desk while at work, and then right before my work out. The shin pain did decrease. It's not completely gone, but it wasn't too bad until near the end of the work out. There is still a decent amount of pain for about 10 minutes after my work out.... but at least it seems to be getting better. Time to go put ice on my shins!

P.S. - I love running! Yay! I always feel so spectacular and accomplished afterward!

Pushing through....

So, let's start with my weekend. It was hard to eat below 1500 calories per day... as usual. I tried to keep it under control. However, Sunday was really hard since I had dinner at The Boyfriend's parents' house.

Saturday I went shopping for bridesmaid's dresses with my friend, Tonja. When it came time to get measured and order them, the saleswoman measured me as a 16! Yay! This also meant that I had narrowly avoided having to pay the "plus size fee" that starts with size 18 dresses. That would have costed me an extra $30 had I had to get the size 18. The 16 will be a little snug right now, but by the wedding I should be down to about a 14, so then I'll just have to get the dress taken in some. I've never not had to pay the extra money for plus size dresses. This is a first... and super exciting!

I weighed myself early (when I've been trying to wait until Friday) and somehow it says I've gained a pound, which I know can't be right. Even on the days that I cheat, I still don't go over what it would take to just maintain my weight and I've been below 1500 calories everyday this week. I'm hoping it's water weight. I've recently started taking birth control pills and I think they may be causing me to retain some extra water. Hopefully it will disappear by the Friday 20/20 Challenge weigh-in.

On Monday I went to a Zumba class with my friends Anna, Tonja, and Jason. I was a little nervous as I'm not a super coordinated person and it's kind of like a latin cardio dance class. It didn't turn out nearly as bad as I thought. I was able to catch on pretty quickly. I may not do the moves with "flair" but I at least get the technical aspects down and complete them. It is QUITE the workout. It felt awesome! And it was fun. That 45 minute workout just flew by. If you want to find a class in your area, you can check the Zumba website.

I'm pretty sure that what's going on in my shins is most likely shin splints. They are not fun. So, I've been trying to only exercise every other day until they get stronger and heal. So, I haven't ran since Saturday. I'm doing my c25k Week 2: Workout 1 tonight. It'll be interesting to see how tough it is. I'm really starting to enjoy running though! If you are super new to running (like me), I would recommend reading the "Complete Book of Women's Running". I got it on used for like $8. I like to read books on new hobbies, things in my life, etc. I'm a nerd. :-)