Sunday, February 28, 2010

Old Dogs CAN Learn New Tricks

I'm on a quest. A quest to be a part of an elite group:

Chicks With Guns
But achieving that dream has been like shooting fish in a barrel. I need to lose weight so I should cut a lot of calories and train twice a day 8 days a week, right? Do endless crunches for those abs and bicep curls for those "guns", right? I should eat about 1200 calories per day and try to burn close to 3000 calories, right? I should use the weight machines at the Y to get a bodybuilder physique, right?

WRONG
Things I've learned from asking people "in the know" and reading countless magazine articles, books, and tea leaves.
  1. You must rest. You would think that working out every day would be a good thing but it's not. Muscle fibers tear when you work them hard and they need time to repair. You actually build muscle on your rest days.
  2. You must eat enough calories to lose weight. This was the hardest piece of news for me to "digest." I have to eat more calories in order to lose weight? YES! If you are really pushing it and working hard your body needs those extra calories for fuel to do what you're asking it to do. Some books and web sites even suggest not cutting your calories at all if you are going to strength train to gain muscle and lose fat. If you eat a diet too low in calories but expend a lot through exercise, you will begin to get headaches, feel light headed, tired all of the time, and plateau in weight loss. Your body will go into a sort of starvation mode to try to conserve every single calorie because it "knows" it's going to need it for all of the strenuous exercise. I was told by a personal trainer that for my average calorie expenditure (which is approx. 2400-2600 per day) that I should be eating between 1400-1700 calories per day to lose weight. Some people suggest even more. I'm going to keep it in that range for a while and see what happens.
  3. Endless endurance cardio is not the most effective for burning up fat and calories. Something that is very popular and effective (or so I've heard several times but have not tried just yet) is called HIIT. High Intensity Interval Training. The idea is that you take whatever cardio you are doing (bike, running, or even walking!) and after a warm up you go all out (bike hard, sprint, etc) for 30 seconds and then bring it down for 90 seconds and repeat. At first repeat for 6-8 reps and then move it to a few more minutes. Eventually you move up to 60 second sprints and 120 second rests. When I say rest I mean just bringing it down a few notches, not just stopping. Then there is Tabata discovered by Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. You can google it to find out the thought behind it but I'll give you the "recipe": push hard for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, repeat for 4 minutes. Go all out for those 20 seconds. It will be the longest 4 minutes of your life and people swear that it's the most effective cardio you can do. Either way, tough bodybuilders are pinky swearing that HIIT is the way to go for cardio and fat burning. Get more done in less time.
  4. Weight machines are good for beginners but if you want to really see results you need to hit the free weights and the scary weight room. This is what I've been told. I'm way too new at all of this to give you an opinion but I have heard this advice more than once.
  5. Don't do endless crunches thinking you are going to get a stomach that you can wash laundry on. Spot reduction doesn't work and many trainers say that crunches are the worst thing to do for a nice belly anyway. And instead of just doing a bicep curl, do exercise that use your entire body like pull ups and squats and pushups. Again, these are things I've been told but have not put into practice yet. I'm getting ready to put everything into practice.
  6. I do not need to hire a personal trainer to show me how to use a machine in the weight room or use proper form. That's what the personnel is there for. Hire a personal trainer to create an exercise program just for me. If I already have a program in mind all I need to do is ask for free help from the staff if I have a question.
  7. Make sure you take in enough protein to build those muscles. The goal being about 1g of protein per pound of body weight. OK, that's about impossible for me. But I am trying to reach over 100g per day. I was also told not to worry about it too much at first. Just try to make sure you have protein with every meal and snack. Good protein, not hot dogs!
  8. Lift heavy. Don't be afraid that you are going to look like Arnold. It won't happen. You don't have the testosterone for that. You will build muscle while losing fat and get a lean look and your clothes will fit differently quickly.
  9. If you lose weight without strength training you will be losing a considerable amount of muscle too. The result is that in the end you will be at your goal weight but you will still be flabby. You may even still be considered "fat" because of you fat/muscle percentages!

Again, I'd like to say that this is advice I have received from people or books or magazines or web sites.

There's still so much to learn but I'll share what I learn along the way.

Eats and Treats

Breakfast started out with a protein waffle. I've been making the pancakes but Lori's waffles always look so good on her blog. Both of the kids did not know that we even had a waffle iron! LOL Rachel and I did Turbo Jam Cardio Party 1. I actually enjoyed this! Sweat was literally flying but we were laughing and having a lot of fun. The 45 minutes went by pretty fast and we burned a lot of calories.

snack: Chobani strawberry yogurt

Lunch: spicy black bean patty on a sandwich tin with mustard and cheese; basil vegetable medley and 1/2 of a large apple

Chuck had a shooting competition this morning and afterwards we were to go to the rodeo. SO he gets cleaned up and out the door we go. On the way I had a protein shake with almond milk). The traffic around the Astrodome was friggin' crazy!! We were in traffic forever. All of the parking areas were full and we were going to have to park miles away. Eventually we just gave up and decided to go get barbecue at Spring Creek.

While driving to the restaurant, Chuck and I took some goofy pictures: Stop to put some gas in my smoking hot minivan with the cool blue glowing lights:
mmmmmm barbecue! I had a portion of the smoked turkey on my plate, about 3/4 of mac n cheese, 2 rolls and the corn. So good!!!
That night Charlie and I played the old Super Mario. I mean really really old version. The one from the early 90s or late 80s. He was so impressed that I was good at it and knew shortcuts. It's cool to be a kids hero even if it is for playing vintage video games. To hear "you are so awesome!" from your 9 year old son is, well, pretty awesome.

He also asked me to put my hands on my hips and said, "Wow! You've really lost weight." Ah, my day was blissful. :)

Calories Burned: 2557

Calorie intake: approx. 1660

Deficit: -897

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Do I Really Have to Rest?

I've seen it in all the books and magazines. They all say that you are supposed to take rest days. You would think that would be something to look forward to! Don't we all look forward to the weekend when we can finally chillax?

Rest days for me are tough. I have that bodybugg strapped to my arm reminding me all day that my calorie burn is low. It just bugs me! I'm so tempted to put on a DVD, run around the block, do something.....anything to get those calories burned!

I had to actually force myself to rest. A couple of times I had to talk myself off the ledge. So close to exercising. But I know for a fact that my muscles needed a day off. My left ankle has been popping a lot. The calves are hurting. I don't have that light feeling when I walk. My muscles just feel a little tired.

I ended up resting but I wouldn't exactly call it rest if I am stressing over it. Ah, yet another mental issue to overcome. :)

The day started out fantastic! I had a breakfast burrito with cheese slice and egg beaters with a strawberry protein shake on the side. Tres yum.

The kids had a 4H meeting that lasted for a couple of hours. It happens to fall around the time I usually have lunch so I had to eat early before we left. Wasn't very hungry because breakfast was so big! But I had a sandwich thin with cheese, mustard and 2 oz of Boar's Head rosemary sun dried tomato ham with a chobani strawberry yogurt on the side.

After the meeting we were all pretty hungry. It was getting close to dinner time but not close enough. What did we do? Head to Red Robin. I had the fish sandwich with the tartar sauce on the side so I could barely smear some on the bun. Also had the fries that it comes with instead of opting for a salad. Bad girl!!

The calories were high but I was going to still have a small deficit at the end of the day so I wasn't too worried.

Went to vote. Chuck insisted that we go. I really wasn't even sure what I was voting for. I get in line and I was asked if I was voting Democrat or Republican. I said neither. I'm not exactly a straight ticket voter. Then I was told I had to choose one. This was to see who would be on the ballot for when we vote for governor and some other positions. Gosh, I hate feeling stupid. Kids got a half-assed lesson in good citizenship and we left.

I didn't go to the personal trainer meeting. I called to discuss price but they didn't seem to have any other offers. He kept telling me about a kick start program but it was still $297. Even if I had the money I'm not sure I could bring myself to spend it.

So here's my plan: Our YMCA has personal trainers. You can view their bios and choose one that you feel comfortable with. I can buy a 1 hour session for $35 or a 30 minute session for $20. I could get one of them to help me out with the exercises in the New Rules of Lifting for Women and get set up in the weight room. Just to show me proper form and anything else I might need to know. Then I can do it on my own. When I move to stage 2 I would make another appointment to do the same. It would be a heck of a lot cheaper!

Like Karen mentioned, they also have Body Pump classes and things like that.

Something I've also realized from doing a lot of reading and surfing on the net is that I have not been eating enough calories. I've been working hard but not refueling properly. When I put my weekly calories burned into the SparkPeople program it upped my calories considerably. And that was still with the goal to lose weight!

Around 9:30 last night, things turned ugly. I got the munchies big time. I had a slight headache and I was ready to go Hoover the pantry. But my calorie burn was low and my intake was high! I ate a couple of ounces of beef jerky. mmmm protein. Still have munchies. Sliced off a small piece of the cinnamon roll from Lulu's. Decided it wasn't worth the calories and tossed the entire thing in the trash. Not just my piece. Ate a couple of Pirate's Booty. A small piece of chocolate. Then about 1/2 cup of Fiber One shredded wheat. Then about 3 oz of sweet tea vodka. I'm not very proud of it and it probably wasn't too damaging in calories but I hate having the munchies like that. Hate it. I think it's worse when I have that "I don't care" feeling. I hate to even have to blog about it.

It's Saturday. A new day. :) Woke up with a light headache. (hormones??) I was feeling kind of low until I got an email that a homeschool family in our area lost their son in a tragic accident yesterday afternoon. Geez. My heart goes out to them. Really puts things in perspective. Feeling guilty about eating a few snacks is nothing. Living life to the fullest each day and being happy is more important. I think I need to hug my kids and spend a day playing with them. They grow up way too fast and every day with them is a precious gift.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Shopping for a Personal Trainer

Thursday began a new week in the C25K program. Week 6. Hey, after running that 20 minutes all the rest is a piece of cake. Right? And week 6 goes back to intervals so no problem.

And you know, it's such a beautiful day that instead on running on the treadmill I'm going to take it to the track at the Y. It's a little half mile loop on pea gravel.

Get the MP3 playing the podcast and I'm off. 5 minute walk was great. Then time for my 5 minute run. Whoa! Wait just a minute. Why is this so difficult? My legs feel really heavy and I feel each step as it pounds my joints. I start gasping for air. This is supposed to be easy! So running outside is more difficult than running on a treadmill? Well FRIG!

Make it through that 5 minutes of torture. It's time for a nice 3 minute walk to bring my breathing back under control. Nice. It goes by so quickly and then it's time for my 8 minute run. This, my friends, was difficult. It shouldn't have been but it was. Have you ever seen a fish out of water? I felt like lying on the side of the track and gasping like a fish out of water. I had to dig deep to finish that 8 minutes.

Made it through my last run, or so I thought. Began what, in my mind, was my 5 minute cool down. After 3 minutes walking the guy on the podcast announces that it's time for my final 5 minute run. I thought I was going to cry. LOL

Finished up my 5 minutes very thankful that I could still walk and breathe. I'm wondering: can you rent those little oxygen tanks and a little cart to push along as you run? I'm thinking that might be helpful. Not sure. It's just an idea.

Yes, running outdoors is much more of a challenge than running on a nice treadmill while watching the Ellen show in the climate controlled Y. But since all of the races I know are outdoors (are there any 5Ks on treadmills?? If so, sign me up) I guess I should start taking all of these runs to the streets. I was physically exhausted and a little disappointed. I was hoping this would be easy. And the whole experience made me even more nervous about the upcoming 5K. I know I'll finish but will it be on a stretcher or on my own 2 feet?

The good news is that I passed some people on the track. Well, they were walking but still! I passed them! I've always been the one to be passed in the past.

Here's a little snapshot of my red face after the run. It took 3 tries for me to finally form a half smile to take the picture. I was beat.
(week 6 day 1 complete)
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Still had Turbo Jam left for the day. I was scheduled for the 20 minute session so it wasn't too bad. But afterwards my muscles were quivering a little.
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I've been playing with the idea of trying to find a personal trainer. I finally called a place to talk to them and get an idea how much money it would cost. For 2 sessions per week it would cost $300 per month. ouch! I can't afford that. I felt deflated after hearing that.
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I really need some help with this strength training stuff. Cardio is not an issue. But I don't know about proper form. How hard should I push myself? How often should I try to add extra weight? How many calories should I be eating to feed my body yet still lose weight? What are the different machines in the gym used for? There are so many questions. I do have The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I've read it. And it does answer some questions but I need someone there to help me out.
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There is no way that I can pay $300 but I still have an appointment Friday evening to talk to them. Maybe they have other plans? Maybe we can come up with a solution? We'll see.
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Saturday is going to be a huge challenge. We've been invited to be guests of one of the BBQ cook off teams at the Houston Rodeo. It's all you can eat food all day and all you can drink all day. I know beer is involved (which I can resist) but I'm hoping that wine and tequila are not around (because I usually don't even try to resist some of that). A day of nothing but eating?! I'm working on a strategy: eat a big protein & fiber filled breakfast; pack some snacks in the car; just sample a little; remember how disappointed you will be in yourself to report back that you went crazy.
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Calories for Thursday were good:
Calories Burned: 2711
Calorie Intake: 1493
Deficit: -1211
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If you have any tips for finding a personal trainer or can tell me the expected price, please leave a comment. Thanks. Or just leave a comment anyway. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday Stuff & New Recipe

Thank you all for the comments about meeting my goal yesterday. I felt like I had a little celebration party with all of you! And thank you for not bringing cake to the party. It would not have ended well. :)

I have a bad habit. A sugar free Rock Star habit. I freely admit it. But if I'm going to have a vice I'd rather it be something tame like drinking an energy beverage.

I was out of my drug so I went to Target to restock. Do you see anything wrong with the sign posted below my Rock Star?
I usually pay $5.89 for it but they're trying to tell me there was a "temporary price cut" (aka A SALE) and now I'm paying $5.99? Think I'll email corporate on this one. Yeah, I still bought some but I still couldn't believe it.

Breakfast: oats with vanilla protein powder, raw almond butter, Polaner Sugar Free Raspberry Jam with fiber. YUM! Very filling too.
Did my Turbo Jam with Rachel. Still having a little trouble getting some of those moves. I do work up a nice sweat quickly!
Time for lunch: rosemary sun dried tomato ham, sugar free wheat bread, 2% cheese, mustard sandwich; falafel chips, 1 c. grapes
The falafel chips taste just like falafel!!! Very yummy. They come in a brown paper bag.
Some nutritional info:
You can view their ingredients here.
Time to do some strength training at the Y. I did my routine of watching the folks in the free weights room for a while. Whoah! What's the contraption with the pulleys?! That's a new one to me. May have to ask for help with that one. You know what? I'm just going to ask for a tour of that darn room. I'm getting tired of just watching. I want to go in there and play.

Today I just used the weight machines and did the regular full body workout. I don't like their back extension machine. It always hurts my backs. Thinks I'll just do some extensions on the balance ball and do some supermans on the floor.
After the workout I had a Muscle Milk Light 100 calorie pack. The taste reminded me of a chocolate malt. I actually liked it! But the name grosses me out. I get horrible mental pictures. Muscle Milk. Something is wrong with that. And it doesn't even contain milk!
Dinner: Honey Mustard Chicken & Rice Pilaf from Clean Eating Magazine March/April 2010 issue
You should just go out and get this issue. There are so many great recipes in it. Everyone loved this one. The honey mustard sauce is incredible. Charlie even cleaned his plate! Greens and all!
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Recipe:
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2 cups brown rice
olive oil cooking spray
1# boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips (I just used tenderloins and trimmed them)
1/4 cup white onion, diced (I used dried minced onion)
1 large bunch kale (about 8 oz), stems removed & finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 Tbs raw honey
1/4 c. dijon mustard
1/8 c. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbs. fresh flat leaf parsley, finely minced (I forgot this part. doesn't change taste)
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Cook rice according to package directions.
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Heat a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium high, mist pan with cooking spray and saute chicken for about 5 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink. Remove chicken from heat and set aside.
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Mist same pan again with cooking spray. Add onion, kale and red pepper and saute over med-high heat until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add rice to veggies and saute until warmed, about 2 more minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm.
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In a medium bowl whisk together honey, mustard, vinegar, oil, garlic & 2 Tbs. water. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat pan over med-high heat, add chicken and homey mustard sauce to pan and saute for about 3 minutes.
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To serve, divide rice pilaf between 4 plates then top with honey-mustard chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.
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Serving: 2/3 c honey mustard chicken & 1 c rice pilaf. Serves 4
Calories 579; Fat 7g; Sat Fat: 1.25g; Carbs 92g; Fiber 5g; Sugars 10g; Protein 36g; Sodium 526mg; Cholesterol 66mg
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A couple of hours after dinner I became so hungry. Munchies? I ate an Attune bar hoping it would satisfy me. Nope. So Chuck and I shared some 100 calorie kettle corn. He brought me 3 oz of sweet tea vodka and of course I had to take it. After that I just went to sleep. No sense giving in to urges and eating everything that's not nailed down.
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Calories Burned: 2438
Calorie Intake: 1872 (a little high)
Deficit: -566
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Almost forgot to mention: I'm officially signed up for the Armadillo Dash 5K on March 7th. I will get to meet Shelley and run with her. She's way faster and in much better shape than I am so I'm a little nervous. I'm sure I'll at least finish though. It's going to be a lot of fun. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

HUGE Goal Met! :D

Woke up Tuesday in pain! That Turbo Jam did a number on my abs and back. It wasn't an injury pain in my back but a muscle soreness. My back! That's not exactly an area I think about working out but it sure got it yesterday.



Breakfast: CarbCheck Cinnamon Swirl Bagel with FF strawberry cream cheese (no Rock Star)




Charlie had PE at the Y and I needed to decide what workout I would do while he was busy playing volleyball. Weights or C25K? I was already sore. Today would be the 20 minute run for C25K and I was dreading it. What if I failed?



I decided to try the run. I usually chose a treadmill so that no one is on either side of me. Not today. I eyed the line of people walking and/or jogging to see which would have to endure my heavy breathing and sweat flying. There, that guy minding his own business would be my victim. He was walking and doing 20 second jogs.



I lay my keys on the platform of the treadmill. Get my sweat rag situated. Find my C25K podcast on the MP3 player. Rearrange the keys and sweat rag again. (Come on, Kelly. You can't put it off. Push "Start.")



The treadmill starts and I'm on my way. My back and abs are yelling at me to just stop and take a day off but what do they know? They're lazy. Time flies by and my 5 minute warm up walk is over. So soon?! Usually it seems to take longer on other days. I feel my pulse quicken as I know what's coming up. 20 minutes. Nonstop.



I push the button to speed the belt to 4.5 mph. No, that doesn't feel right. It's hard to get a good pace going at that speed. 4.6? Just a little faster. Don't want to overdo it. I actually want to succeed at this! 4.7 mph will have to do for now.



I watch the little digital readout count down the tenths of a mile. It gives me something to do. Pretty soon 5 minutes have gone by. Can I keep going for another 15 minutes?! Then 10 minutes. Hey! I'm halfway done! 10 minutes more? Surely I can do that!



Somewhere along the way I notice that I am close to reaching a HUGE milestone (literally): running 1 mile. This is something that I have dreamed about. It's something that I've wanted for a few years. When I first started my weight loss journey it was difficult to walk around the block. My back hurt all of the time and my feet would swell. After losing a few pounds I tried to jog but even 12 seconds was difficult. And here I finally was, about to run that mile that I had talked about for so long.



.98 of a mile. .99 of a mile. Then it was there. 1 mile. I did it!!! I reached that goal that I had wondered if I would ever reach! 1.01. 1.02. Wait a minute! I just reached a monumental occasion and now it's gone! I've moved on. Where's the parade and high fives? Where are the tears of joy I knew I'd cry? 1.04 You mean life keeps moving forward after I reach a goal?! But I didn't even get to roll around in the moment!



The 20 minute run was finally complete. At the end of it all I had raised the speed to 4.8mph and ran 1.56 miles. I exceeded my goal by a half mile. I did my 5 minute cool down walk then stopped the treadmill and dripped some sweat. So that was it. It was a surreal moment in time. I had reached a goal that I wanted so bad I could taste it but life just kept moving forward.



It got me wondering about my weight loss goal. What happens when I reach that goal? The goal of all goals. The next day I'd wake up and life would still be the same. It will move forward and I'll exercise as usual and eat the foods I always eat. It's a sobering thought. I will not automatically be happier or wealthier or prettier. It will be another goal reached and life moves on.



To tell you the truth, it takes a load off of my mind. It makes the goal not seem so urgent. I'll get there. I know I will. But then what? I guess I'll just set new goals. Probably more fitness related like running that mile was.



I remember when I was a kid I always thought it strange that when someone (or a pet) died that the world just kept right on moving forward. It doesn't stop for anyone. People went on with their daily lives. The sun still shined brightly. I got that same strange feeling when I ran that mile. The world keeps on moving and I keep moving with it. Forward towards new goals. Nothing magically changed in my life. Except maybe I'm a little more confident. :)



As a little celebration I took Charlie to Freebirds to get some lunch to go. Love this place. Notice that the cup says "It's Not Normal." LOL Maybe that's why I love it so much!

After lunch it kind of hit me what I had done on the treadmill and I did shed a few tears of joy. I couldn't help it. There were just so many times that I thought I would never be able to run a mile. You guys were always so encouraging and told me that I could do it but I had my doubts from time to time. Now I guess my goal is to run 2 miles!



Time for more exercise: Turbo Jam Learn and Burn. Holy sore abs, Batman! I felt every zig and zag today. But I got it done.



Weather was turning nasty so I had to rush to the grocery store. Got to Kroger and they were out of chicken. Come on! How can you be out of chicken?! Apparently there was a sale on chicken and I missed it. They only had frozen chicken or the huge family packs. I just wanted a regular pack, darn it.



To top things off, it was like the universe gave me the finger. Almost every time I touched something, stuff would fall. Needed some zucchini and a bunch fell on the ground. I started an apple avalanche when I reached for a granny smith. Cans of refried beans fell over when I reached for one can. It was crazy. At one time I even said out loud, "Oh come on!!!"



Drove to HEB for some chicken and protein powder and as soon as I find a parking space my low fuel light comes on. And it's raining. Sideways. Get my chicken, protein powder, wine (I think I need it) and Attune bars and check out. I love eclectic grocery carts like that. LOL Got some fuel in the rain and headed home to unload my loot.



Dinner was spaghetti made with Barilla Plus, sauce and turkey meat; salad; Lite garlic toast. Comfort food. :)



Then for my Attune bar and a glass of therapy (I got the glass in San Antonio). Loved the name of the wine.

It was a great day. It really was. I'm still in shock that I've reach that goal.



Calories Burned: 2798

Calorie Intake: 1748 (a little higher than usual but I think I needed it)

Deficit: -1050

I received some blog love!!

Thanks so much to The Next Biggest Loser for my Sunshine Award. Love it. :)

Now I have to pass it on to 12 other bloggers who bring sunshine into my life. I hate choosing. I always feel like I leave someone out who should be chosen. Look to the right of my blog. See that blogroll? They're all worthy of this reward. Truly.



Here are just a few of the ones I enjoy:



1. Jack Sh*t

2. My Journey to Fit

3. Not Just Celery

4. A Journey to Thin

5. Finding Radiance

6. The Fat Chick Weigh

7. A Daunting Tale of Scale Warfare

8. Fight Fat Phobia

9. Loser for Life

10. My Road to Weight Loss

11. Carb Tripper

12. Angela's Grand Adventures



Even though only 12 are listed, you know I love all of your blogs. :)

And Angels of Angela's Grand Adventures awarded me the Beautiful Blogger award! Thanks!

I have to list 7 things about myself then pass it on to 7 bloggers.



1. I ran a 1.56 miles. LOL Still pretty excited about that one.

2. I have no fashion sense at all.

3. I have a weak spot for birds.

4. I'm not very good in social situations. Don't like crowds.

5. I carry a gun. Yes, I have a permit. :)

6. My 20 year anniversary is in October

7. I feel people judge me because of my weight. Trying to get over that.



Now pass it on! :)

1. Running is Funny
2. Spunkysuzi
3. Fat Free Me
4. 282.5
5. Weight Watcher Wannabe
6. Leading the Weigh
7. TJs Test Kitchen
8. Excuses Don't Burn Calories

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Some San Antonio Pics and My Daily Stuff

(pigeons bathing in a fountain)


(zero milestone for Old Spanish Trail)




(the view from our balcony at the Menger Hotel)




(I always get in trouble for feeding the birds. It never stops me.)

(Is the glass half full or half empty? Either way I think I'll order another.)



Monday:
We were so busy on this trip. I need a vacation to recover. I woke up very tired on Monday. Had to meet my mom half way to get the dogs from her. It is so great that she pet sits for us. Sometimes having dogs is a royal pain the rear.
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Tried out my Turbo Jam "Learn and Burn" dvd. Wasn't bad. Lot of kickboxing moves set to some high energy music. Chalene is very upbeat but not in an annoying way. There is a learning curve to getting the moves. I'll have to do the Learn and Burn a couple of times before I finally get it. Even Rachel decided to try it out!
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Breakfast: Carbcheck Bagel with fat free strawberry cream cheese. I'm out of Rock Star. :( And I really needed it today.
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After meeting mom to get the dogs we stopped at Starbuck's: skinny cinnamon dolce latte (90 calories)
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Decided to try Turbo Jam 20 minute workout. Worked up a great sweat! Then time for lunch. I wasn't very hungry. I had not exactly stayed on plan while out of town. I decided to have a protein shake with Jay Robb Tropical Dreamsicle protein powder mixed with almond milk with an apple on the side.
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Snack: chocolate Greek yogurt with .5 oz of walnuts
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Chuck got home from work and we went out to Freebird's Burritos again. YUM!!! Love this place so much. I got the Hybird (which is just smaller portions of filling than the Freebird) on a spinach tortilla filled with chicken, roasted garlic, cilantro, death sauce, lime juice, rice, refried beans, jack cheese, and lettuce.
Dessert: dark chocolate Attune bar
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Snack: Weight Watcher string cheese
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Chuck needed to workout so I put on Turbo Jam for him to try and did it with him. One more time of Learn & Burn. That's 3 sessions of Turbo Jam today!!!
I also measured myself to see if there are any changes after a month of doing this.
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Calories Burned: 2593
Calorie Intake: 1480
Deficit: -1113
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Ya know, in the past it would have been very difficult for me to get back on track after a weekend like that but this time it was very easy. Just picked right back up where I left off. That's an empowering feeling. I know I am going to succeed this time!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm Home!

It's good to be home! It usually takes a couple of days to recover from a vacation or trip like this. We were busy the entire time in San Antonio. Took a boat ride, went on a ghost tour, walked a LOT, visited the mall, ate a lot of decadent foods, kids looked for ghosts in the hotel (never found one LOL), visited historic places like the Alamo. I'm sure there was more but I'm too tired to remember. Oh yeah, also went to Government Canyon State Natural Area. It's beautiful! I want to go back and spend the weekend hiking the trails. Better go before summer hits!

I stopped tracking food mid-Saturday. There was no use. Chuck and I split most meals which was great. And I usually didn't finish what we had split. I had also brought some fruit and dried fruit munchies and beef jerky to have in the room at the hotel. And Rock Star, of course!

Today is Monday and I'm back on track. I'm not even hungry. Just very sleepy. I guess Tuesday I'll be back to normal and working out.

Turbo Jam came in the mail while I was gone! I'm really looking forward to trying it. I'll let you know what my first impression is after I try it but I won't give a thorough review until I've tried it for at least a month. Gotta see if it works or if I get bored with it like I do most DVDs.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Greetings From San Antonio

Today's post comes to you from the historical Menger Hotel of San Antonio.
Several presidents and movie stars have stayed at this beautiful place. Teddy Roosevelt recruited his Rough Riders at the bar of this hotel. Robert E Lee rode his horse right into the lobby. The founder of the King Ranch died here. From the web site: " It is the Menger that has housed personalities such as Theodore Roosevelt (pictured), Sidney Lanier, Babe Ruth, Mae West, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Sarah Bernhardt, and Gutzon Borglum, just to name a few."
It is also supposed to be haunted!
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Friday started at home with a BIG sandwich of eggbeaters, bacon bits and cheese on toast with a Rock Star.
After running quite a few errands we stopped at Gringo's. I had 1 chalupa (out of the 3 shown) with beans and fajita beef. Also had about an ounce of queso and some chips.
On the road to San Antonio we stopped at Bucees in Luling off of I-10. It's just something we do. :) We always get a big box of fudge, cappuccino and Beaver Nuggets. This time, however, I got a York Peppermint pattie (140 calories) and a SF Red Bull. I was getting tired and needed a pick-me-up.
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Finally arrive at the gorgeous hotel and checked in. We were so hungry by this time so we headed over to Lulu's. This is the place featured on Man Vs Food with the giant cinnamon rolls (3 pounds!) and giant chicken fried steaks. Chuck and I decided to split the chicken fried steak but it was still the craziest sized portion I've ever soon. That's Rachel's hand in the picture to give you an idea of how large this thing was.
I did not even come close to finishing my portion. I had about 5 fries, a few pieces of okra, most of my roll and a bite of mashed potatoes. I was stupid full.
Toured the hotel a little after we got back and then I got ready for bed. That greasy food was doing a number on my belly.
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I crawled into bed then the kids wanted to go see the Alamo at night. It's right next door so Chuck to them and I stayed in the room and had a nightcap: 2 oz of sweet tea vodka.
While at the Alamo, a night guard gave Charlie a little history lesson which was very cool!
The kids in front of the Alamo.
It was a great day and we all slept hard. Caloriewise I about broke even. I may have been over about 100 calories or so. I tried to estimate it high to make sure I was covered.
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Saturday is a busy day of touring San Antonio. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Conquering Fears One Step at a Time

I have a few fears. Some of them are valid and some are self imposed. Thursday I was able to conquer 3 fears!

First, I went to the Y. Charlie had his PE class, Chuck met us up there, and Rachel and I worked out. It was a great time of family physical fitness. :)

I have had a fear of each new step in the C25K program. That's a self imposed fear because each time I've been able to complete the harder runs. Today I stepped on the treadmill with a slight dread. There were to be 2 sessions of 8 minute runs with a 3 minute walk break between. Guess what: I did it!!! I ran 3/4 of a mile in one session and a little less in the other. Do you realize how close that makes me to running that one mile? That's huge!!! What a feeling of accomplishment. :) Finished with C25K Week 5 Day 2. Next is the 20 minute run. Bring it!?!

I've been talking about my next fear for a while: the free weight room. Another self imposed fear. Why in the world would I be afraid of inanimate objects? I've tried to analyze it myself. I think it's a fear of looking foolish or making a mistake. After completing my C25K session I felt so good about myself that I went straight into that weight room, picked up a weighted bar (12 pounds) and did 3 squats. I know it's not a huge deal but it was for me. I'm conquering that fear. :) I also did 12 minutes on the row machine while there.

As if being afraid of running and the weight room were not enough (I think it's really a fear of failing?) I have a very strong fear of stairs (bathmophobia). Some stairs are ok but the one with open spaces between the steps and the ones that are open on either side so that you can see down scare me so badly that my legs seize up in pain and I have trouble moving at all. At the end of it all my hands are sweating (they're sweating now just thinking about it) and my legs are sore from being frozen. It's something I've had for as long as I can remember. There's a good reason for that fear: I've fallen up and down stairs! I'm not the most graceful person. LOL And yes you can fall up stairs. Try tripping and landing on your face while walking upstairs. In front of a bunch of people. While in a short skirt. Ugh.

Thursday night we went to Bass Pro Shop and Chuck suggested we take the elevator because the stairs there are open on either side and give me a tough time. I said nope and took off upstairs. Yay! Yes my hands sweat a little and I could feel those legs wanting to seize up but I pushed through and did it. I even came down the stairs too. Yeah!

What an empowering feeling. To conquer my fear of heights I think I'll go downtown where they have a helium balloon (instead of a hot air balloon) that will take you way up in the sky. But not this weekend. We're heading to San Antonio!!!!!

Eats and Treats:

Breakfast: Protein Pancakes with SF syrup and SF Rock Star
After the workout at the Y I had Protein Shake with almond milk, protein powder, ice and a baby banana.
Snack: minneola tangelo; honey Greek yogurt with .5 oz of walnuts (it's a magical combination. Like a Greek dessert)
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For dinner we decided to try a place that opened recently near us: Freebird's World Burrito. They have their menu online and all of the nutritional info so I could plan my meal before going out. They even have a suggestion menu for people on low fat, low carb or low calories diets. VERY helpful! I got the hybird burrito on a spinach tortilla filled with rice, refried beans, jack cheese, white chicken meat, cilantro, death sauce, jalapenos, roasted garlic, lettuce, and lime juice. It was out-of-this-world good and 590 calories for a HUGE burrito. Love this place. We'll definitely be going back.
Stopped by the book store and picked up some reading for the weekend. Pictured here with my chocolate vitamuffin that I had for dessert.
What a great day. :) After all of that I slept very hard.
Calories Burned: 2539
Calorie Intake: 1398
Deficit: -1141

Thursday, February 18, 2010

C25K: Week 5 Day 1

Wednesday was my first day of week 5. We were fortunate enough to have a beautiful day so I took the run outside instead of to the treadmill at the Y. There is a huge difference between running outside and running on a treadmill.

I can go for 5 minutes without a problem on the treadmill. 5 mph is not a problem. Let's crank it to 5.4!

Things change drastically outside on the streets. First off, my street slopes to the sides for water drainage. It doesn't look like much but it can really do a number on your knees after a while as you run on the sides. I hate running on the sidewalk because it's so uneven.

Week 5 Day 1 looks like this:
  • 5 minute warm up walk
  • 5 minute run
  • 3 minute walk
  • 5 minute run
  • 3 minute walk
  • 5 minute run
  • 5 minute cool down walk

The last 5 minute run was pretty tough. I had to slow it down from my already slow pace to a mere pitter pat of a jog. I'm quite sure that someone walking could have passed me without the least effort. So I'm thinking, "If this is hard what am I going to do about that 20 minute run in a few days?!" I'm not going to think about it. Fiddle-dee-dee, I'll worry about that tomorrow, says Scarlett.

Also did 37 minutes of Walk It Out on Wii. I just don't burn a lot of calories with that game. Still fun to play from time to time.

My rear, chest, arms and legs are so sore from the weights on Tuesday. That's a good thing, right?

Eats and Treats:

Started the day with a Low Carb Monster and Carb Check Cinnamon Swirl bagel with FF strawberry cream cheese.

Lunch: Amy's Fat Free Alphabet Vegetable soup and 5 multigrain crackers
And with a name like this it better be good! 1 bottle of Bawls
Postrun snack was an Oikos Chocolate yogurt

Then this cute minneola tangelo. It's fun to play with your food!
Dinner: Amy's Texas veggie burger with mustard and 1 Tbs Country Bob's Sauce and 1 slice of cheese on a low carb tortilla; 1/2 cup grapes; 1/2 serving of Pirate's Booty BBQ flavor (I know that's more than 1/2 cup of grapes in the bowl but Chuck and I shared)
Dessert: the last No Pudge Brownie
Snack: running low on protein so I had a Primal Strips Teriyaki veggie jerky and 1 piece of dried, unsweetened mango
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Calories Burned: 2636
Calorie Intake: 1240
Deficit: -1396
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Thanks to Spicebites for the Beautiful Blogger award!!! I feel pretty. :)
I usually don't give awards out to individuals because I feel guilty about not giving it to everyone's blog that I love to read. I don't want to hurt feelings or leave anyone out.
So I've decided to share this with some blogs that I've recently added to my blogroll. They're new to me but they may not be new to you. Check them out when you have a chance!
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Rules: I have to share 7 fun things about me. And then I get to pass the award on to 7 other bloggers.
  1. I broke my own horse when I was a kid and showed her at registered quarter horse shows and won a LOT of trophies. It was so much fun!!
  2. I used to throw parties for my 100 chickens when I was a kid.
  3. I used to save injured birds and sneak them under my desk at work to take care of them while they got better.
  4. I was bit by a copperhead snake when I was a kid and was very close to having my hand removed. Had to stay a week at the hospital and the venom messed up my nervous system for a while. I had trouble walking.
  5. I got married when I was 19 to Chuck. Almost 20 years later and we still act like we're dating. :)
  6. I'm very shy at first.
  7. Crowds freak me out a little.

Now to share some love with 7 other bloggers:

  1. The Fat Chick Weigh
  2. From Fat to Fab
  3. Fun, Fit and Fabulicious
  4. Fat Buster
  5. The Next Biggest Loser
  6. Sheesh
  7. 365 Days with the 330 Pound Woman
  8. Journey to a New Me

Yeah, I know that's 8, not 7. I'm also a little bit of a rebel. :) Enjoy the blogs. They are recent additions to my blog roll.