The Crucial Point

Hi all!

There are a few things I want to talk about in this post. I’ve been really focusing on making my work outs consistent and building a habit of it.

…And I think I’ve finally got it!

It is March 17th and I have successfully worked out since January 8 except for 1 week when I got sick.

It was only a few weeks ago that I’ve really started to focus on weight lifting. I never thought I would be that person. Ever. But I gotta tell you, I am hooked. Maybe it’s the newbie gains, I don’t know, but I’ll take it! I’m all about the squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. I am killing the squats and deadlifts. The bench pressing is a little slow gaining, just because I don’t want to hurt myself and I don’t have a spotter (nor do I want one…), but I will get there. My husband is thinking about joining the gym again, so he can be my spotter!

I was always a cardio person (in retrospect, I really hate myself for wasting all this time!) but now cardio is an afterthought. I still do it everyday, but only to help with my soreness and to increase my calorie deficit. I have a pretty solid regimen going on, I think. I just have to keep going and break through that wall!

I am at the crucial point where I could quit or keep going. There a days when I want to quit just because I feel like I’m not seeing results fast enough, but then I remember that this is the most important part of the journey. I think back to how much stronger I feel, and how much stronger I could get. Also, I want to get my metabolism in a good place.

I remember when I could barely even squat with a bare 45 lb barbell and now the 105 lb squat is starting to feel too easy. It’s an amazing feeling. And I have so much farther to go! I want to get past this point to the place where I’ve never been.

My exercise regimen looks like this:

Exercise Chart

This is just an example. My exercises vary somewhat, but I do try to focus more on compound exercises. If I’m really sore, I’ll try to just do some cardio and some light weights with a part that’s not sore.

Also, Mondays through Friday, I eat healthier and have lower carb meals. I allow myself a couple of cheat meals over the weekend. I am trying to use the 80/20 rule as a guideline: eating healthy 80% of the time.

I’m still ironing things out, but I think I’ve finally found something that works for me. It’s 6 months until my best friend’s wedding and it’s crunch time!

My next post will be an update about my progress with my body. Stay tuned!

 

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Things that Go Through My Mind at the Gym

I am overdue for a post, but I am not sorry because I have been making my workouts a priority!

I’ve successfully kept up my 5 day workouts for the past couple of weeks, and I am quite devoted. I even insisted on going to the gym after work on Valentine’s Day, so I could get my workout in. I just showered at the gym and went to dinner from there.

I’m done not making my health a priority. I deserve this and I know I can do it. I’m also practicing moderation with my diet. Letting myself enjoy certain things maybe once a week, but also keeping in mind to eat healthy a majority of the time.

I’ve been able to do about 2 days of strength training with at least 3 days of cardio. I think it’s really helping. My main exercises on strength is high bar squats and deadlifts, with various arm and core exercises. I am noticing steady weight loss and I can’t wait to see where I am in a few months!

Anyways, of course there are days when I just don’t want to work out. So what I do to avoid letting myself talk myself out of going to the gym is just driving to the gym right after work. I have to say it has been working. Once I’m there I just have to do it. Half the battle is taking away the decision making. I leave the house everyday with my gym bag in tow, and eliminate that effort needed to make a decision to either go or not go.

But it’s not to say I don’t struggle through my workouts some days. I literally have to take it minute by minute.

As I was doing a workout, I became aware of the type of thoughts I was having, and I thought it would be entertaining to write a post about it. So here are some of my thoughts from my workouts. I hope you find my struggle comedic. I did.

For a treadmill workout…

  1. Bitch took my treadmill.
  2. I guess this treadmill is fine… Not as close to the sanitary wipes but whatever…
  3. Okay, I get to walk for 5 minutes before I have to start running.
  4. Let’s get some Family Guy on the tv here…
  5. God this warm up is taking forever. How am I going to get through 40 minutes of this?
  6. Crap only 1 minute until I start running!
  7. Okay, here we go… it’s not too bad… Yeah, I can do this!
  8. Oh god I’m only 25 seconds in! I’m dying!
  9. Woo, I did it. Walk it off. Oh god only 40 seconds before I go again…
  10. OMG I have to go again. 
  11. I am dying.
  12. Last minute of running! Push through it! Then it’s just cool down.
  13. AHHHH….!
  14. COOL DOWN…
  15. I could go another 5 minutes… 
  16. Yes, I did it! That wasn’t so bad. I could do another half hour…
  17. That’s right, I’m a runner y’all. Watch out! 
  18. I don’t have to do this again until tomorrow.
  19. Thank. God. 

For strength training…

  1. Let’s find an area away from the muscle heads…
  2. Ugh, it’s crowded. Don’t make eye contact. Don’t make eye contact.
  3. Pretend like you know what you’re doing. 
  4. Of course you know what you’re doing!
  5. I don’t know what I’m doing. 
  6. Yes! The high bar area just opened up!
  7. Let me put on my pink weightlifting gloves on. Yeah, I’m badass. 
  8. Oh god, I look like such a dork. 
  9. Hey my butt looks pretty good in that mirror…
  10. Okay, I’m ready to go!
  11. Where are the 15 pound barbell plates?
  12. HA 45 pound barbell plates? 
  13. Oh the huge stack of 45 pounds is blocking the small stack of 15 pounders…
  14. Boom. Squat like a beast.
  15. 45 pound bar plus 15 plus 15. Squatting 75? That’s not peanuts… 
  16. 4 more sets of these? I can do this.
  17. I can’t do this.
  18. Let’s do this.
  19. I did it! I could do another set…
  20. On to the deadlifts. PHEW.

I will keep you posted on my progress! Thanks for stopping by!

File Feb 17, 10 03 24 AM

Bad Food, Bad Mood: Getting Back on Track

Finally, I’m back! I’ve been in a funk lately and I know I really need to get back on track. I was feeling down, tired and moody, probably because of all the junk I’ve been eating. It’s a vicious cycle. What I eat makes me tired, and when I’m tired, I go for what’s convenient (and probably not so healthy), and on and on it goes.

I suppose it’s all part of the journey. There are triumphs and there are struggles. Blah blah blah. So I’m acknowledging this problem and correcting it. Now.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been moodier than usual and very irritable, and I know it’s because of the type of nutrition I’m providing my body. I am a believer that there is a major link between what you put in your body and how it affects your mental health. I believe nutrition is the nature’s medicine. But you have to care and you have to have control. And you have to care TO have control. It’s a constant effort with no time limit.

Ever since I returned from my travels, I’ve pretty much fallen off the wagon with my diet. Coming back after a couple of weeks, I feel out of my element and disoriented for a while. It takes a bit for me to get back to normal. Getting over jet lag is a major drag in itself, but I also came home with a suitcase full of dirty clothes and to a messy apartment. The fridge was empty with a few containers of old food. I just don’t have the energy to get the laundry done, go grocery shopping, and prep food for the week. Knowing I have all these things to do, I want to do it even less. I felt like I needed another vacation. Sad, I know. I suck at being an adult. Anyways, I felt off for a while. As a result, I don’t prep as well as I should and I go to work with no lunch and wrinkly clothes. I try to be easier on myself during this adjustment period, maybe too easy, and allow myself to buy breakfast and lunch, and maybe some snacks from the vending machine. It’s a very slippery slope. And before I know it, a couple of weeks has gone by and nothing has really changed… And enough is enough. So it’s time to get back to it.

I’ve been struggling to get back the motivation and determination. It does not help that it’s getting colder and all I want to do is cuddle up on the couch with a big bowl of candy and watch Hocus Pocus. I do like the cold to an extent, but it definitely does not help with getting back the motivation to go to the gym.

So instead, my focus goes to getting back to eating healthy. I’ll work in the gym later. I started cutting back on sugar yesterday. It’s ridiculous how much of a difference it makes with my hunger and cravings when I choose not to eat white starches and sugary junk.

Yesterday was only the second day, but I could feel that my cravings for junk had diminished significantly. I had a smaller craving, but it was much easier to handle. I didn’t feel the need to snack so much. I was satisfied with my lunch of curry chicken with vegetables. I also did not have the usual mid-afternoon crash.

There was a work thing today and I may have allowed myself to indulge in a cupcake…, but I made a pretty healthy dinner: a taco salad with ground beef, pico de gallo, guacomole, beans, cheese, sour cream, and lettuce. I don’t think I could ever cut out dairy but I can do without the rice. Very delicious and satisfying.

After going through this cycle again, I realize how detrimental emotional eating can be, and how badly it still affects me. Once I allow food to provide me comfort, it’s difficult to break up this unhealthy relationship. But I need to remember how I feel when I put the right things in my body. I feel better and I feel in control, and even a little more confident because I am doing something that is good for me. The losing weight part is not so bad either.

And so the journey continues…

To keep the body in good health is a duty… Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. -Buddha

Weeks 10, 11 & 12: An Introvert at the Gym

It’s been a couple of weeks and I’m just brain dead. As you can probably gather, I’m just literally counting down the minutes to my trip. I am still trying to generally eat pretty healthy, but I know that once I’m back from my trip, I’ll need to do a full-on diet and challenge reset.

It’ll be another thing for me to learn how to deal with. I’m very dependent on routine and consistency. Once my routine is disrupted, it’s really hard for me to get back to it. This has happened to me time and time again where I have a really good thing set up and I’m working out regularly and eating well, but then something happens, and it all stops. I get discouraged and it takes me forever to pick back up the momentum I lost.

I am so determined to not let that happen this time. Even if I gain back some pounds or lose some strength while away, I will get back into it and not sulk about my lost progress on my wonderfully indulgent vacation.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been focusing more on strength training for my workouts. I’m trying to do it 2-3 times a week with cardio mixed in. Instead of doing my time on the treadmill, I’m doing sprints and just trying to really get my heart rate up every few minutes. It just seems to be a more efficient way to exercise. And it takes up a lot less time.

Cardio has always been my go to type of exercise, and I think a big part of it is that it’s very introvert-friendly. I can put on my headphones and just go. I don’t have to talk to anybody and I can be as antisocial as I want. Aside from the exercise being a great stress release, it’s also my recharging time. I can listen to my music, watch tv, and completely zone out.

Since picking it up with strength training, I’ve noticed how awkward it is to strength train in a busy gym. It’s an introvert’s worst nightmare. I mean, think about it. You go into the weight room, which is a huge open area (there’s nowhere to hide! GASP), ready to work out, only to find it’s packed and all your intended workout equipment is in use… You start walking around as if you know what your doing, but secretly you’re just walking around in circles trying to figure out what to do. Or at least that’s what I do.

On some nights, it’s harder than others to get my workout in without being in someone else’s space, or someone else being in mine. I’ve actually ditched my strength training in the past and just opted for some cardio. I’m trying not to do that so much now…

I was at the gym in the weight area the other night using the smaller 35-50 lb barbells to work on my form for doing some compound exercises (i.e. military press, front squat, deadlifts). The rack that holds these barbells is, of course, in the worst, most inconvenient spot. Everybody was crowded around it, trying to get their turn.

Anyways, I  was able to wedge myself in there to grab a barbell. I started on the lighter side to make sure I could actually do it and just to practice my form. When I realized it was too light, I went to look for a heavier one, but of course all the heavier ones were being used. This guy saw me looking and said he’d share with me. It was really nice of him to offer, but I said it was okay. He was really insistent though, so I accepted, even though the introvert in me was like Nooo.. so awkward. Especially when he was watching me while waiting for me to finish my set. For any socially normal person, this is no big deal, but I just felt rushed and anxious to get my set done. Anyways, I finished my 3 sets, muttered my thanks to him, and got out of there. I am so awkward!!! It’s okay. You can laugh at me.

So that’s just a snapshot of me and my weirdness. But the more I strength train, the easier it gets. I know most of it is in my head and I’m making it a bigger deal than it is. It will get better over time… hopefully.

I probably won’t write again until after I get back from my trip, but I hope to bring back stories and awesome pictures. And I’ll continue with my challenge when I get back!

I hope to be super recharged after my trip and get back to writing regularly. Until then!

 

 

 

 

Week 8: Sometimes Being Healthy Just Sucks

This week, I was having one of those days where I just hated life. It was hard to get out of bed and I just wanted to hide away from the world. My limbs felt heavy and I just wanted to stuff my face with fries, pizza, and ice cream.

These days, I realize, are the true test of my character and whether I care enough about myself to make the right decision. This is when it is the most important to stay positive and stay rational. I knew being healthy was never going to be easy. It may get easier at times, but getting through it when you are feeling down in the dumps is true triumph.

It's easier to stick to your goals with a positive attitude and when you're feeling happy but when you're having a bad day, Life just says, HA! Good luck! But if you get through it anyways entirely intact, then you have won and you are that much stronger. Or at least that's what I'd like to think.

I had to buy lunch the other day at work and the special they were serving in the cafeteria was turkey leg with waffle fries. These were fair/carnival size turkey legs with a big heaping serving of waffle fries. I saw this, and I immediately thought "Being healthy sucks!".

I let myself curse healthy food and died a little inside as I asked for the chicken, asparagus and green beans instead. Can I get a standing ovation, please?

I believe strongly that a healthy lifestyle is the seed that allows your life to flourish, but the act of being and staying healthy is a whole other thing. I'm NOT a health fanatic that loves everything healthy. I will make myself work out but some days I will still hate every minute of it… until it's over and then I'm happy that I pushed myself to do it.

I'm not saying all this to discourage those that want to take a healthier path, but I want you to know that I feel your pain! This is hard! But it's not always going to be hard. Anything worth having is never easy, is it? And sometimes, it just plain sucks. Everybody is enjoying a burger, while you're eating your salad. Your salad can be delicious, but it doesn't taste like a burger. I get it.

I made it through this week with no major casualties. I stuck to my healthy eating and worked out 4 out of the 5 days. And as a result, I am 2 lbs lighter and 1 inch smaller.

So yes this felt like a crappy week, but let's look at the bigger picture. The total weight I have lost is 12.6 lbs, and I am also down 2 inches from my hips, and 5 inches from my waist.

Here are my 5 things for this week:

1. Documenting my progress has really helped me see the bigger picture. It's satisfying to see a downward trend and that all my hard work really is paying off. Especially when I'm feeling like crap.File Jul 29, 1 05 37 PM

2. I always thought my emotional intelligence was always very low, and I know emotion plays a huge role in my difficulties in accomplishing things. If I can get my emotions under control, achieving my goals becomes something that is much more attainable. I'll try to think of it as a muscle that just needs practice and training.
3. I bought a cute little black dress from Banana Republic for a mad deal a while ago and got it in a smaller size since I've been losing weight. I tried it on this week and it fit! It was a major confidence booster!
4. It is actually just easier to bring lunch now so I bring leftovers I can eat and that usually tastes pretty good. I also won't be tempted by the junk food in the cafeteria at work. Also, now that I do have a bit more energy, I can make healthier compliant dinners with leftovers to spare.
5. It is ridiculous how expensive salads are compared to sandwiches if you're eating out. Anywhere where I can get a decent salad, it's like $10 or more! Where as sandwiches average around $6, 7$. Like I said, being healthy just sucks sometimes, and expensive.

It's been a bumpy ride so far, but I am managing. Thanks for reading my vent session, but I hope you can get something out of it like I did.

On another note, happy 3 year anniversary to my amazing husband! I love you!

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Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Week 5 Health Challenge Update and Happy Post-Friday!

We made it through this 4-day week! Is it just me or whenever it’s a holiday weekend and we get a shorter week, it almost seems just as long or even longer than a regular five day week?

Confession time… So I had a couple of cheat meals this week… I went out to dinner with friends Saturday night and had salad, but allowed myself to have buffalo wings and indulge in a brownie sundae. Then we celebrated my father-in-law’s birthday Monday evening with a cook-out, in which I may have had a cheeseburger… I also made a cake for him, and of course had a piece (or two…). No judgment please.

Don’t worry, I went back to low carbing the next day.

I felt extremely fatigued this week so I didn’t go to the gym as much as I usually do.

So I was not surprised to see that I didn’t lose anything this week.

But you know what, that’s okay! I am not perfect, and I’m not going to beat up myself over it. I’ll pick up the pieces and keep going. The good news is that I didn’t really gain either (unless you count 0.2 lbs a gain… but if you do, keep it to yourself) so at least I was able to maintain my weight. I’ll use this tiny little setback as motivation for next week!

To help offset some of the extra calories, my hubby and I went hiking on July 4th at Great Falls. It was really hot, but we had a good time and the view of the Potomac River was beautiful. Also, considering that I can get pretty moody when I get uncomfortable, I was extremely… okay. For once, my hubby was the one who wanted to end the hike, when normally I would be the first one ready to call it a day. Instead, I felt like I could have kept going! But I sure slept well that night. I didn’t realize it then, but when I got home, being out in the heat and sun really took a lot out of me.

So in staying with the spirit of remaining optimistic and always learning, here are my five things for this week:

  1. Self-discipline and willpower is a must. When I am able to follow a low-carb diet to the extreme, I have very little cravings, and it’s easy to stay away from blood-sugar-spiking goodies. However, I know if I want to make this a long-term thing and keep it sustainable, I have to work out my willpower muscles. If I don’t exercise them, I can easily have a piece of cake and just fall off the wagon completely. I need to know how to go back to healthy from unhealthy easily and with little hiccup. I also need to make things easier for myself, so I make less decisions, and therefore have more energy for exercising my willpower when I really need it. I used to think it was all or nothing. Now I know better.
  2. I need to motivate myself daily. Staying focused and reviewing my goals daily is a good way to stay on top of things. Have you ever told yourself that you’re going on a diet, but then kind of forget about it and ended up eating junk food anyways? If it’s not constantly on my mind, I get careless. Journal, blog, make lists… I’m going to do whatever I have to do!
  3. Being content and fulfilled in one part of your life does wonders for the other parts. I don’t want to jinx myself, but for the past few weeks, I’ve generally been in a better mood, and dare I say… happy? It just goes to show that happiness really does come from within. I’m focusing on doing something better for myself and it has really helped my state of mind and well-being. Even when I have a bad day, I seem to be handling it better.
  4. I envision having tiny superheros in my body whenever I eat healthy. They are powerful little beings improving me from the inside. I envision my fat cells getting destroyed by these itty bitty Kimmy-version Avengers and X-Men. Smash! It’s silly, but makes me feel good! Hey, whatever works, right?
  5. I’m figuring out my happy medium. I basically had 2 cheat meals this past week which still allowed me to maintain my weight. And this was with minimal exercise. I’ll continue to monitor this as I lose more weight to determine how much I can still indulge without going overboard.

This week got a little busy, so I got delayed in publishing my post. I will continue to aim for publishing my check-in update posts on Fridays unless other circumstances dictate otherwise.

Do you have any great tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle? I’d love to hear about it! 


 

My Health Challenge: Friday Check-In

I weighed myself this morning and I am down another 2 lbs! I can’t believe it. I honestly didn’t think I’d lose anything this week; I had eaten a lot last weekend due to birthday celebrations. I still tried to stay away from high carbohydrate foods, but I did allow myself to cheat with some birthday cake and some chips and dip. Oh sweet taste of heaven.

But I guess it goes to show that you can still indulge without going overboard. I just need to learn some control or make modifications. I had some cravings, but I just kept thinking about my goal and was able to keep the monster at bay, for the most part. Then I made some keto cheesecake to satiate my sweet tooth.

Here are the 5 things I’ve noticed this week:

  1. Keto cheesecake is a great sugar fix when you need it. And it didn’t set me back! Aside from the indulgent birthday celebrations last weekend, I had a hankering for some cheesecake. My mom had also given me these delicious ripe mangos, so I decided to puree them up and add it to the cheese cream mix. I had read somewhere online that you can get your sugar fix by using sugar-free jello mix to make a no-bake cheesecake and it’s still keto-compliant. I knew the mangos would add some sugar and carbs, but oh well. I used almond flour and butter for the crust, and then mixed room temperature cream cheese with whipping cream, jello mix, and mangos. Then I put it in the fridge to set. It really hit the spot.
  2. FitBit challenges are awesome. How did I just discover this?! I’ve been in competition with one of my best friends, and it’s almost as if we’re hanging out. I also get very competitive so we’ve been fighting for first place for the most number of steps. It’s a lot of fun! I was even jogging in place in my office at work so I could catch up on the step count. Ha. Nobody saw me though. I think.
  3. I’m snoring less. Okay, this is super embarrassing, but if it gets a snort or laugh out of you, then I’m okay with it. I snore a lot. I’ve even snored myself awake a few times. My husband has caught me doing this. He laughs and I just go back to sleep. But sometimes my snoring gets so bad that he will sleep on the couch. I started this challenge a couple of weeks ago, and he hasn’t been to the couch once. Who knew a 5-10 lb weight loss would make such a difference? I thought snoring just ran in my family…
  4. I am definitely less tired. It’s little things I’ve noticed, like staying up a little later than usual and being more alert at work. I still wanted to take a nap today after work, though, but I think part of it was also mental fatigue.
  5. I will never love exercise. This pains me to say, but it’s true. I love the benefits of exercise and I want to be fit. But I admit, I will never love crazy high intensity exercise. I will do it. And I will be proud of myself if I do do it. But slow and steady is what is sustainable for me. I have to be honest with myself here. Otherwise, I’ll never be able to reach the healthy lifestyle I want. I just need to find the right one for me.

Kit Kat likes to run away with lettuce in her mouth and eat it.

Thanks for stopping by!

I’m still working on my nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Stay tuned!