Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Embarrassingly Late SSSDC Update

Well, it's pretty sad that as the host of the Summer Sizzle Slim Down Challenge, I am super late (like as is 3 days late) posting my update for Week 12.  I know I checked in for a nanosecond on Sunday to put up the link and then scurried off to the Farmers' Market, which was a huge success by the way. It ran until about 2:00, then we had to help the vendors breakdown and pack up and by the time I got home, I had about 45 minutes to decompress before jumping in the shower to get ready for my "Yey, I got a job" celebratory dinner with my husband. Long story short, it was a busy day with little time for blogging.

Monday was no better, as I had to go shopping for stuff for work (it feels so good to shop for clothes again - not only do I have occasion to dress nicely again, but clothes are fitting much better these days!!). I also went to spend some time with my 97 year old Gram at the nursing home where she lives and we ended up going out to dinner.

YES - that's right I said out to dinner - so you can imagine how great I am doing this week already. Strike 1!!

But I'll not discuss my week 13 before I get to details about week 12,  where we were suppose to surpass out fitness and weight goals from week 10. I should know my body well enough by now to realize that losing 3 lbs after a week where I lost 3.25 is a lofty goal. Yet I thought I could do it - but alas I did not. Nor did I meet my fitness challenge to complete week 4 of C25K. I got started, then had a training session on Wednesday which literally incapacitated me for 2 days after. We did a TREMENDOUS amount of lunges and squats and my legs were useless until Friday evening. There was no running to be had,  that was for sure. But I HAVE to get back to the program because the 5K in November will be here before I know it and I don't want to walk it. Time to kick it into gear.

Not all was a wash for the week. On Friday I weighed in at 210.75, so a pound loss for me last week (small cheer of victory). I'll take it. This week the low carb thing should be Ok, as long as I plan lunches for school that are leafy and green. We had a luncheon today and it wasn't "on plan"...so planning good lunches will be essential to continue losing weight while adjusting to my new job.

I promise I will make the rounds  to see how you all did, but it may not be for a day or two. I got my hair cut and colored tonight so I got home late and have now been asked by my dear husband to make a sign for this coming Sunday's farmers' market (it is running through October). Then I have to get ready for bed because frankly, I'm tired.

Good luck this week to all of you!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Link for SSSDC Week 12 Updates

Hi Ladies
I am quickly posting the link for updates for week 12 of the Summer Sizzle Slim Down Challenge.

I have to head out early this AM to go volunteer at our town's Farmers' Market (this is the first day ever and my hubs has been largely instrumental in putting it all together)....so I will be giving my update later.

Just wanted to get the link up so anyone that is ready to post this morning can do it!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Careful What You Say...

This is no joke.

I am sure that in past posts I have declared how much lunges are the devil. Well, let me just say it again - LUNGES ARE THE FREAKING DEVIL!!!!!!!

Can you tell I had a training session yesterday?????

I woke up this morning feeling like someone snuck into my room in the middle of the night and replaced my thigh and ass muscles with bags of rocks. They hurt something fierce and prevented me from even walking this morning with my husband and the dogs. Yeah, we are talking crippling pain here.

So what brought on this mega dose of OUCH, you ask? Well, allow me to share!

First, I started with one legged lunges with my other foot on a step while doing shoulder presses with hand weights.
Like this (except my weights were positioned at my shoulders and I had to lift them to the sky with each leg dip):
Insert whimpering here, and I was just getting started...

Then I did lunges with a twist, while holding a medicine ball.  Like this:
I'm sure my abs (once they recover), benefited from this in some way.

If my trainer had stopped here,  at these heinous lunges, I might not be so incredibly whiny on my blog today, but NO - she didn't stop there. I did squats galore, too - and frankly, they are nothing other than Lunge's evil twin sister, as far as I'm concerned.

I also did barbell rows:
Do I LOOK like Arnold Schwarzenegger?

And I did kettlebell rows, too.....heavy.....freaking.....kettlebells.
The sweat was just dripping into my eyes at this point. Sting!

And those things are just the tip of yesterday's workout iceberg. I'm feeling muscles I didn't know exist. My lats and back are screaming, "WTF, lady???" It's as if I never worked out in my life. And maybe that's because as soon as I met up with Linda, I enthusiastically, albeit idiotically, said, "Hey, I'm up for whatever you want today!" Big mistake, I tell you....B-I-G.

I'm thinking it's possible she didn't like the fact that when she asked me how I felt after our last workout, I replied, "Actually, not too bad." To a trainer, that must translate into something like, "Seriously, you need to bust my ass harder. I want pain. Make me beg for mercy this time." Oh, and she did.

Unfortunately, today is a scheduled C25K run day (with 5 minute running intervals) and guess what? There's no way on God's green earth that that's happening. I am hoping with enough easy movement around the house today, I can loosen up and get out for at least a 5K walk since it didn't pan out this morning. However, I am rather confident my thighs will not tolerate running today, even if I were being chased by a swarm of killer bees or brain eating zombies. Naturally, I have piles of laundry that need tackling today and that requires me to go up and down, up and down, up and doooooown the basement stairs. Maneuvering the stairs alone can send my face into many unattractive contortions. So you can easily see why I'm putting if off by typing a post versus making fast friends with my washer and dryer. Ha!

In other news, I did receive confirmation about the new job! I'm going to be a paraprofessional working with the learning support teachers and special education/learning support students at a great elementary school in PA.  It's in one of the more coveted districts so I am happy that even though it isn't a teaching position, I'm getting my foot in the door at an awesome school and will be working with people with whom I am already familiar. I actually student taught 1st grade at this particular school from March through May of this year, and I'm overjoyed to have been given an opportunity to go back and actually work there!

When I lost my job in March of 2009, I had no idea I would be out of work this long. Granted, I completely changed careers and went back to school to get my masters degree in education - but it feels weird knowing I will be back in the working world as of this coming Tuesday. Of course I'm thrilled about the aspect of receiving a paycheck again, as well as getting back to having a routine, but I will miss being at home with my husband and living the good life. But as with all things, I keep reminding myself that change is good. I'm on my way to bigger and better things.

Anyway, I guess that's about all for now...I need to motivate this body and get off of my chair (after I finish my cuppa joe, of course) and get that laundry done. Tonight I am heading to a Stella and Dot party being hosted by my 5th grade student teaching mentor teacher. I already know she's going to have cookies at this party so I will be practicing some mind-blowing willpower this evening, especially if I want to reach my 3 lbs goal this week. Not sure if I will hit it but I am trying hard! (The no running thing today is a real bummer because it's such a good calorie burn)....Oh well! I'll just tell myself the cookies are tasteless and filled with nasty bugs...that'll do the trick. LOL

Hope everyone is having a good week and enjoying these gorgeous end of summer days...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tick Tock

Time passes so slowly when you are waiting on something good to happen...

I have never been good at the waiting game.  But it seems more and more I find myself playing it, even though I'd rather not.

Today I am waiting to find out if a job that was (I thought) offered to me yesterday is "official." I was pretty sure it was a sure thing yesterday morning, but after calling the principal this morning to firmly accept, he said he was going to call administration to verify it was all "a go". Ugh. So frustrating! Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I have learned over time to never count my chickens before they hatch. This is no exception.

So while I sit here all paranoid and unable to concentrate, I figured I'd write a quickie post. I don't have much to talk about today (the job is really the big news here) but I will share something that I did on Sunday late afternoon that I am extremely proud of.

Many of you read Michele's blog Ruminations and Uncovering: Toward a New Me and know that she is an avid bicyclist and is participating in the upcoming Venus de Miles race which involves a 60 mile bike ride through Boulder, CO. Sarah at Thinfluenced is another blogger and biking trailblazer and is doing a 100 mile ride in less than 3 weeks in support of her son Cole, who has cancer. I read both of these ladies' blogs regularly and am always inspired and amazed at both their stamina on the bike, and at their perseverance in their quests to get fit and healthy. They often post descriptions of their rides and have pictures of the scenic views they are awarded as they pedal their way toward being fitter and healthier women. They make it look so fun, in fact, that on Sunday I thought I'd give it a whirl myself.

Now I love my bike - but the only terrain the poor thing has ever seen is the flat streets of our little quaint town in NJ and the even flatter streets of our annual vacation spot, which is a Delaware beach resort town. I have never taken any "serious" rides. My maximum distance was probably 8 miles which I did one day around our town. Mainly, I take 3-4 mile jaunts here and there. Nothing too strenuous, and certainly nothing worth writing home about. My little blue cruiser is meant for just that - cruising around town. Well, until Sunday that is.

The hubby and I decided to take a ride and I was leading. He had told me about an 11 mile ride he took the previous day and on our way back from the grocery store, he drove the same route so I could see where he had gone. It was a nice ride, which ended up along the Delaware River on some wonderfully hilly back roads, passing horse farms and sheep farms and corn fields galore. It was a beautiful 11 miles of sunny scenery (by car anyway) but I still wasn't convinced I could do the ride on my own, on my little cruiser bike that had never ever been introduced to hill in its short lifetime.

But that same evening, we ventured out on our wheels and about 3 miles in, I decided I was going to go for it. We were already headed in the right direction and I asked my husband if he thought I could do it. Without hesitation, he said "Of course. You can do anything!" I can't tell you what that small, unwavering bit of support and encouragement did for me. I decided then and there I was going to tackle those 11 miles, come hell or high water.

It was an amazing ride! There was only one hill that got the better of me, but other than that I shifted gears like a pro and made it up and down hills and got my calorie burn on, proper! Any self-doubt I had before the ride is now gone. I think I may have found a new exercise love!

I have said before, and will say again,  that support is everything. If my husband had faltered even a little bit in his response to my question, I probably wouldn't have had the courage to go that far. 11 miles may not seem far, but for a gal who didn't think she had the guts to go that distance, it was huge. Having someone that believes in you implicitly, and believes that you can do anything you set your mind to, is the best motivation tool you can have. My husband is my lifesaver. We all need someone like that in our lives - someone who believes you can do great things, even if you, yourself, may not think you can.

Anyway, I've typed this whole post and I'm still waiting on my phone call from the administration office at the school where my potential job may be. Guess I'll have to keep waiting for them to call...
I'm just happy I didn't wait any longer to take these steps towards getting healthier. I already wasted too much time not being proactive in that department.....but no more.

Times, my friends - they are a changin'.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

SSSDC - Week 11 recap and Details for Week 12

Greetings Bloggerlings!
It's Sunday morning and feeling like fall more than ever today. Last night was the first night we were able to sleep with the bedroom windows open versus having the AC on at full blast and it was heavenly! I'm ready for a few more nights like that, even if I am NOT really ready for the fall season to kick in 100%.

We are wrapping up Week 11 of the Summer Sizzle Slim Down Challenge, just in time for the sizzle of summer to wind itself down as well, I guess. This week the goal was to just talk about how we are feeling right now in our weight loss journey and what we have learned thus far (if anything) from doing the challenge. I shared a few thoughts on my previous post this week about what I have learned and I have to say that each day I gain a little bit more knowledge about myself and what I am capable of as I continue on. I keep surprising myself when i realize that I am no longer so caught up in the idea of eating enough (ie: to the extent of fullness), and having certain foods (and I don't mean the healthy ones).  I used to think I had to have certain things, and had a sense of panic when those things (usually sweets) would not be available to me. I do know that I really had a bad issue with sugar and carbs - and although I haven't eliminated them from my diet by any means, I have learned to eat them in moderation, and have increased the amount of fruits and veggies in my diet tremendously. The feeling of needing sweets (and let's face it, bread) is no longer part of my daily existence, and it feels good being free of that grip that those certain foods had on me. I wish I could explain what I mean far more eloquently than how I am at the moment, but if you have ever been under the control of food the way I suspect I have been over the years,  you know exactly what I am talking about.

Anyway - Once again, I'm incredibly late on posting my photos and measurements, since I didn't do them while on vacation  - but I do have them for you today, as well as a picture of my weight loss as represented in food pounds. Ready???

Here are my stats for Week 11.

Beginning weight (start of SSSDC) - 232
Last week's weight - 215
This week's weight - 211.75
I lost 3.25 lbs this week WITH Aunt Flo visiting. This is nothing short of a miracle, I tell you. Just goes to show what a little sweat equity will buy you.

That makes my challenge weight loss thus far to be 20.25 lbs. Yep - I met my goal! :-)
In food that looks like this:
So far I've lost 6 bell peppers, 11 bananas, a 10 lb bag of rice and a bottle of wine. Not too shabby!

As for my body shots, I'm looking like this these days (in blue):
Aug 19, 2012 - 211.25 lbs
June 3, 2012 - 232 lbs
Aug 19, 2012 - 211.75 lbs
June 3, 2012 - 232 lbs

Aug 19, 2012 - 211.75 lbs
June 3, 2012 - 232 lbs

Aug 19, 2012 - 211.75 lbs
June 3, 2012 - 232 lbs
 I still have a long way to go, but I do see some changes in this round of pictures (when compared to my very first shots), especially in my face, waist and even my arms a small bit (maybe a wee bit more toned). My measurements have changed a bit, too (although I have to tell you, it is hard to measure yourself. I am going to ask my trainer to measure me at the end of the challenge to get more accurate readings - I could be way off):

Starting              Previous         Current
Neck - n/a            15 3/4             15 3/4
Bust - 48              46 1/2              46
Waist - 43 1/2      41 3/4              40 1/2
Hips - 52 1/2        50 3/4             49 3/4
Thigh - 27 1/2      27 1/4             26 3/4
Upper Arm - n/a   15 3/4            15 1/2
Calf - n/a              18 3/4             18 1/2

That's about it. We are now into Week 12 (only 2 weeks to go!)
Simple enough. Remind us what your goals were for week 10. Now go and beat them into submission!!!!

My goal is to lose 3 lbs this week and finish week 4 of the C25K strong (no week repeat). Fingers and toes crossed!

What are your goals this week? 

Friday, August 17, 2012

What I've Learned So Far...

Happy Friday All! Hope everyone is having a good week. I meant to get on here to post earlier in the week but we just returned from vacation Monday night and ever since, I have been eyeball deep in the job hunting process. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. Ugh. Not a fun activity to say the least. But certainly a necessary one. This mama needs a paycheck. Stat.

Other than experiencing the 7th level of hell while applying for teaching positions, not much else has been going on. It's been kind of a quiet week 'round these parts, aside from the racket the cicadas are making that is pretty much a constant noise these days. Summer is just about winding down (big wah!) and even though I know realistically the temperatures can stay well into the 80's into September, I have begun thinking about what fall will look like for me and how I plan to keep trucking along with my weight loss. It seems cooler temps and with them, the desire to bake, are looming largely ahead. Uh oh.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons and I have always found myself caught up in the "feeling" of the season. I embrace it like a warm blanket, or a warm cinnamon bun, depending on your preference. Nothing gets me me more jazzed about fall than the approach of Halloween, and all things pumpkin-y (pies, bread, muffins) and ghoul-y and well, yeah, trick or treat-y. I have been known to fall off the WLW (weight loss wagon) HARD during this time of the year, and so although it may be the hay fever talking, (I know it seems a tad early to be discussing this already), I feel like have to really get my game plan on if I expect to keep going in the right direction. And that direction is down, my friends...as in the number on the scale, to be precise.

Since part of this week's challenge is to talk about what we've learned during our journey thus far, I figured I'd share a few things I have noticed about my weight loss attempts this time around that maybe haven't been part of my 'Operation Shrink Rochelle' process before. First off, this summer I have "celebrated" the season far less than I have in the past. What does that mean exactly??? Well, I'm a girl who likes to get her party and entertainment on, so normally I'll find any excuse to have a get together or celebration or dinner out which involves food and libations that aren't necessarily health conscious. Traditionally summertime involved weekly indulgences of drinks on the patio, fruit pies and ice cream, hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. THIS summer???....Not so much. Alcohol consumption has been the lowest it's ever been (even at the beach!) and I haven't had a hot dog all summer (say wha---??). As a matter of fact, I've only had 2 hamburgers during this season of sizzle and seriously, if you knew me prior to this summer,  you would understand just how freaking amazeballs that is because, ladies - I LOVE me some cow meat like you wouldn't believe. MOO.

So what have I learned this summer? Well, since the end of May, I learned that it takes a lot of hard work to lose weight. Now before you go rolling your eyes and whispering, "Well, no DUH!" under your breath, hear me out. We all know about the physical work it takes. I am learning the true meaning of calories in, calories out like I never have before. But I am talking about the mental hard work which I sometimes feel is the greater of the two evils. I have had to talk myself out of countless food items and drinks over the course of the last 3 months, and although it was tough in the beginning it is getting easier. Yes, I still have conversations with myself (sometimes out loud) in front of the pie display at Wegmans. I have had a large bottle of Belgian beer in my fridge that I bought as a celebratory beverage for my graduation in May that begs the question, "When the hell am I going to crack it open?" I have to talk myself out of doing it every damn time I go to the fridge. The battles are constantly happening all around me. But winning them is becoming more the norm, versus giving into them.

When I first began this challenge, even I didn't know if I was fully "on board." Maybe being at the helm of the challenge made me feel more responsible to do what I was asking others to do, but whatever the case may be, I have grown to understand that accountability is everything. Not that I have followed this challenge to the letter. That's not what the challenge is about. It is about testing yourself, but it also about making yourself more aware of what you do, what you eat, how you feel. When I look back on the past 3 months, I can honestly say I have done this more than I have in my previous attempts at weight loss (I rarely ever kept a food journal before, save for when I was on WW, and even then I did it half-assed. Here I am nearly three months into this challenge and I am still logging my food!). I'm now viewing this weight loss journey as something I can do long term, versus it being a "get it done quick so I can resort to my old ways" type of thing. That is huge.

I have also learned to be more patient with myself. Even though the weight loss has been relatively consistent, in that I have lost most weeks during the challenge, I am OK when even weight loss doesn't happen. Sure, I get disappointed, but I understand more about WHY it's happening (salt, less exercise, alcohol, etc.) so I don't just throw up my hands and say, "Well,  this obviously isn't working for me." I don't have that defeatist attitude anymore when the scale doesn't do what I want it to do. I know that most likely, next week will be better. Throwing in the towel is not an option. And furthermore, I do expect that somewhere along the line I will hit a dreaded plateau and it won't be fun. I hope that doesn't happen anytime soon, but if it does, I will be prepared. I will understand that this happens to everyone and the important thing is to not give up. For the first time I think I can actually DO this thing all the way.

I hope that all of you have taken some time in your week to think about your journey. If you are doing well and feeling accomplished, think about the things that are enabling you to reach your weekly goals. If you are struggling, think about one small way you might be able to change what you re doing to make a difference and bring you closer to your goals.

It's been a good week so far and although I know I am a week behind of my pictures, I will be posting them on Sunday. Until then, enjoy your weekend and stay strong!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

SSSDC Week 10 Update and Details for Week 11

Well,  here we are again. Another week down, another week closer to fall. I'm trying to live the good life here at the beach for as long as possible, but tomorrow evening I'll be heading back home, feeling those post-vacation blues and thinking about the next time I'll be able to squish my toes in the sand.
I love being here, no matter what the weather, but this week Mother Nature wasn't on our side. Rain at the beach usually doesn't bother me, but this week it was a little too wet for my liking - especially since so many of my fitness plans involved being outdoors. My sister and her family joined us for a few days and during their stay, it rained quite a bit. We only were able to get on the beach with them for one day, and even that day we were chased off the beach due to rumbling thunder and lightning.

Needless to say, when you plan on biking, walking and kayaking, thunderstorms kind of put the kibosh on all of those plans. So does getting sick smack dab in the middle of the week. I have no idea if it's allergies or a cold - but I DO know that I feel miserable and my energy level is extremely low. I definitely didn't get in the amount of exercise I had planned on here, and that bums me out tremendously. Partly because this is such a great place to exercise (and doesn't even feel like exercise because it's FUN stuff) and partly because my food intake was much more strict than I thought it would have to be on this vacation because of the lack of calorie burn.

In between rain storms we did manage a few good bike rides and walks, but we didn't get to kayak and I didn't run because of my cold. I just felt wiped out. I know when I get home, I will probably start week 2 again of the C25K because I'm sure I've lost some of my stamina, even though it's only been a week.

As for weight loss, I was lucky enough to drop one pound. The WW scale we brought down with us read 215 on Friday (my husband claims that this scale reads a pound higher than our scale at home, but I'm sticking with what it gives me here - I'll confirm if that's the case when I get home). I'm disappointed that it isn't more, but happy that even though the exercise wasn't anything to write home about, I still didn't blow it. I'm learning how to handle my eating away from home and also how to monitor/conserve calories when I'm not burning them as much as I anticipate. I'm not going crazy as I did in the past. Being aware seems to be the key to success. At least for me.

My stats:
Starting weight @ beginning of challenge: 232
Last week's weight: 216
This week's weight: 215
Loss this week: 1 lb
Loss for challenge thus far: 17 lbs

Inching ever closer....

SO...this week we have an easy challenge.....

This week focuses on how each of us are doing and what we have learned about ourselves so far during this challenge. Hopefully we will all have new insight on what our bodies are capable of and how we have held ourselves accountable these past months. Also - as a fun side bar, let's show our weight loss in food. The idea is to take a picture of how much weight you've lost on the challenge so far - but in food pounds. So if you've lost 10 lbs, show us a picture of 2 (5lb) bags of sugar or a 10lb sack of potatoes. Get the picture? 

I'll do this at the end of the week when I get home. I also owe pics of my progress which I haven't done because I have looked/felt horrible and was not feeling, well, very photogenic - LOL. But I'll get those up, too.

Hope everyone else had a good week! I know I owe lots of check ins this week - maybe even from last week, but I tried to get to many of you early on...if I didn't, I apologize and will catch up with your posts this week. 

Let's keep on, keeping on...3 weeks left!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Late SSSDC Update due to Technical Difficulties

Apparently,  the wireless router decided to take one, too.

Hello Challengers!
Sorry for the delay in getting the link up today. We had major technical difficulties with the wireless router here at the beach. Thankfully my Mr. Fix It has it up and running for the time being - but who knows for how long!

So I thought while it's still functioning, I'd hop on and get the link up for the Week 9 updates.

How did everyone do?

This week was tough for me for the reasons I stated in my posts this week. Strict denial acted as some kind of weird trigger for cravings to things I haven't cared about or really thought about in weeks. I guess because in the back of my mind, I knew I could really have them if I wanted to - I just opted not to. BUT once I said I couldn't have them, my brain told me I HAD to have them.

I'm happy to say I remained faithful to the challenge. With the exception of Splenda in my coffee, my sugar intake was primarily fructose from fruits. Processed foods that have sugar were avoided - even my sugar free fudge bars (which I guess I could have had), I avoided.

Weight wise, this week is a little disappointing because I did hit 215 earlier in the week (which brought me to my 20 lbs loss and challenge goal met) however, Friday's weigh-in showed I had bounced back to 216 again - so for the week, my "official" weight technically stayed the same from last week. So much for losing 5 lbs before my vacation...Cest la vie!

Overall, I'm all right with the result from this week. No gain - I just didn't lose. I had two days that my calories were over my allotted 1270 and my sodium was probably on the high side (my ankles & feet are the first to tell me when I have had too much salt). I'm still plugging along and know that weeks like this are to be expected. The important thing is to keep going, stay focused, and rev up the exercise this week so that I can get that number on the scale moving downward again!

As I mentioned, we are on vacation (yey!) so getting in exercise will not be a problem. I lost 2.5 lbs during our last vacation down here in July, so I am confident that I can do it again. Which brings me to this week's challenge:

Week 10 - (begin August 5) - SET A FITNESS/WEIGHT LOSS GOAL FOR YOURSELF (and post pics/measurements if doing so)
Let's surprise ourselves....we can do more than we think. This week is about telling each other what fitness goals we have for ourselves, because in a week or two I'll be asking everyone (myself included) to aim to surpass those goals. Same goes for weight loss. What do you want to lose this week (think outside the box - maybe it's not just weight)? And tell us why!

Since I'm on vacay, I didn't get my picture or measurements done yet, but I will in the next day or two.

My fitness and weight loss goals for this week are as follows:

Weight Loss Goal:
  • 2 lbs (I want to lose this because I need to continue to teach myself that just because I am on vacation, doesn't mean I get to take a vacation from my weight loss efforts. Having the mindset that I can be on vacation and still eat healthy will be imperative for me to maintain my loss in the future).
Fitness Goals:
  • Complete Week 3 AND 4 of C25K (need to keep plugging away at this, no matter how hard it gets).
  • In addition to swimming in the ocean, do at least 1 1/2 hours of additional exercise - either fitness center, running, walking, kayaking or biking, or combo of activities. (I need to also teach myself that being on vacation doesn't mean I get a free pass to be lazy. The beach is a great place to be active - I'm taking advantage of it!
That's it for now - but I might think of more. Stay tuned!

Pics and measurements will be posted soon, too - I promise!

Hope everyone had a good week and has set some challenging goals for themselves this week! I'll be checking in soon! (providing we don't have anymore internet connection disasters here).

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Couple of Things...

I can't get here soon enough....

I thought I would write a quick post tonight since posts over the next 10 days might be spotty while I am on vacation.

Yeah - how happy am I that this no sugar rule will be ending on Sunday??? Uh, very. Not that I plan on going ape-wild at the beach - but if I want to have an ice cream while on vacation, I'd rather not have to feel insanely guilty about not sticking to the mini-challenge. As I mentioned in my last post,  the denial of sugar had me craving it more than normal this week. I feel like I am over the hump,  thankfully - but it was touch and go there for a while.

Someone had suggested that I might be sabotaging myself by allowing artificial sugars into my regular diet. I'll admit, I'm a BIG Splenda fan....and I can't really see myself giving that up. I know that artificial sweeteners get a bad rap, and there are those that believe they are as evil as sugar itself. I'm not convinced either way, and right now, dieting, or changing my lifestyle, or whatever the PC definition is of trying to lose weight - it's hard enough without eliminating absolutely EVERY bit of sweetness from my diet....so for now, I'm OK with keeping those little yellow packets in my life. So far, no harm, no foul. I'm still losing weight - Splenda hasn't hindered that yet.

In other news, I continue to plug along with the C25K program - or the 5K Runner which is what my actual phone app says. I began Week 3, Day 1 yesterday, but for the first time, I did not run outdoors. I think I have mentioned that when it comes to running, and let's face it, working out in general, I'm more of a keep-to-myself kind of girl. I don't like people watching me, or really even around me - maybe with the exception of my husband and my trainer. I've gotten over this issue at the gym since, well, I don't own the place and there are always people around. Of course I can't exactly tell them to scram from the machine next to me just because I prefer a solitary workout. However, if I am running at the track, I really get self-conscious if there are too many people milling about. Usually it's just the girl's soccer team practicing in the field next to the track - and I am Ok with that (sort of). However yesterday, not only were they there, but the girls track team was running on the track and there was a some kind of game training going on on the field in the center of the track. One look at at all those people and I said a profound "Hell no," and turned my bike around and rode home.

I knew once I got home 15 minutes after I had just left and Josh would know that I didn't do my run. It's kind of nice feeling like I not only have to be accountable to myself, but also that my husband will call me on my shit if I try to punk out (which I was sort of thinking about doing yesterday, if I'm being honest). So after some hemming and hawing, I decided to go to the gym. NOT to do the C25K, but just to work out. When I got there, I saw a man named Bob that lives in town that knows I have just begun running (or whatever it is I do - that has yet to be determined - it just sounds cool to say run - LOL). It's funny how when you are feeling low, someone can say something to you that really perks you up and makes you believe in yourself again. That's what Bob did for me. On his way out of the gym, he stopped by the treadmill I had just hopped on and told me I was doing great and that I should just stick with the running, and be relentless about it. He was so encouraging and kind, and just what I needed at that very moment to make me feel like I COULD do the workout and that I SHOULD do the workout, even though I might not want to or think I could.

Long story short, I completed Week 3, Day 1 on the treadmill and I have to say - holy crud is it so much easier to run on a treadmill versus outside! It's kind of what I was afraid of. I don't want to get into the habit because as we all know,  the 5K is outside so I kind of feel like that is where I should be training. Do you guys have any thoughts on that?  Should I be concerned about running outside versus the treadmill when completing this program?

Anyway - it felt fantastic and after was all said and done and I completed my 30 mins of training, I went on to do 30 mins on the elliptical and then another 30 mins of weight machines. I was a calorie burning maniac yesterday. However, today when I stepped on the scale? A gain! Grrr - so frustrating!

Anyway, it just adds fuel to my fire and gets me psyched to be active while we are at the beach. We have a lot of great things lined up, like a lot of walking, swimming, kayaking and I plan on continuing the C25K training also while down there. They have a great path that goes all around the complex so I'm good to go. And if it rains, there is always the fitness center! I literally have no excuses! Hey - It's a good thing!

Hope you all enjoy your weekend as much as I plan on enjoying mine. I'll be posting again on Sunday with the SSSDC recap for week 9 and the deets for week 10. Are we really approaching week 10 already??? Yikes!

Well,  I'm off to go watch a movie in our town square. King King from the 1930's....should be fun! Have a great night, everyone!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sweet Musings...

I know it is...but DAMN!!!!

I kind of figured the second the "no sugar" mini-challenge came into play, suddenly I'd be craving it like a wild woman. It's kind of funny how the human mind works. For weeks I have been sticking to a great eating plan, limiting sugar like I never have before, avoiding temptations, and indulging in only "safe desserts" like sugar free fudge bars or fruit. Come to think of it, since this challenge began, I probably have only really indulged in dessert-y type things like cake, pie, or real ice cream maybe a total of 4 or 5 times TOPS (I think) which is pretty damn crazy good considering how much sugary shit I used to consume before this challenge began.

So why am I craving it now like a junk-food junkie that needs mega-fix? Let me be my own psychotherapist for a moment, ok? I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb here to say that this incessant gnawing and nagging sugar-craving I am feeling is because for the first time during this whole "diet", I have made it a rule that I COULD NOT have it. I have put sugar on the "Do Not Fly" list in the official sense and upon doing so, I apparently poked a sleeping friggin' bear.

Over the past weeks, I have given up my sugar indulgence happily knowing that in doing so, my body would be given optimal chance for weight reduction. There were moments along the way where yes, I did have an ice cream cone (like on vacation), a few cookies (that were left after our block party planning meeting), or a slice of cake (like during a recent birthday celebration for my mom). But compared to my habits of the past, these indulgences are a drop in the sugar bucket so to speak. And each time I partook in eating those treats (and that's what I considered them - treats), I went right back to my good eating habits, and didn't obsess over when the next time would be for me to eat something "bad" like that again.

Until now...

This week (and especially today for some reason) it seems I have placed a dangerous focus on sugar, and how much I miss it. I am not sure what the devil is happening to me and it's the first time since our challenge began that I feel like I am seriously being denied something. Maybe it's hormonal, but I don't think so since Aunt Flo isn't anywhere near the vicinity. I'm pretty sure it's all mental. I've done the one thing I haven't done to myself in the past 8 weeks and it's backfired on me. I've said no to something that until this week, I really was ok with avoiding, or having in small amounts, on infrequent occasions. But now, it's off limits - and I just realize that the deprivation thing doesn't work for me. Even if it is presented as a simple little ol' challenge that only lasts a week.

Don't worry -  I haven't held up a Dunkin' Donuts or purchased frosting by the case at my grocery store and sat in my car eating it with a spoon. It hasn't gone anywhere past the craving stage - but I will admit, I am craving it hard. I really hate this feeling. And yes, I've tried distracting myself in all ways possible, eating something healthy, drinking lots of water, trying to satisfy the craving with fruit, all to no avail. I have a feeling I'll be feeling this until Sunday.

And if that happens, so be it. I'm still committed to this week's mini-challenge and so far haven't faltered - but I don't feel good about it this week for whatever messed up reason. And ironically enough, today I hit my 20 lb goal - go figure. That should be motivation enough to want to stay far, far away from anything sweet, but no - I could eat a brownie the size of my head right now and not care. Seriously - the craving is intense.

Anyway - it's just about dinner time so I am hoping that after I'm done, some of this feeling subsides. A girl can hope, anyway.

How is everyone else doing this week? Anyone else finding this mini-challenge to be a real pain in the butt?