Sunday, September 2, 2012

Link for SSSDC and a Dash to the Farmer's Market

Good Morning Bloggy Friends, Well it's Sunday and 'round here that means many things - first and foremost, it's Update Day. This particular Sunday is especially significant because it is the grande finale of the Summer Sizzle Slim Down Challenge. Sundays also mean it's Farmer's Market Day here in Belvidere. Last week's market was a big success and we anticipate more vendors joining our market this week, which is very exciting. It means we must be doing something right! But the market starts early (it's 8:00 now and my husband has been there since 6:30) so I am going to post the link for the SSSDC Challenge here for everyone and then write my update a little later. I'll expand more on this sentiment when I do my official post, but I'd just like to say how proud I am of everyone who toughed this out until the end and kept a great spirit abut the challenge, even on weeks when the the diet gods seemed to not be smiling upon you. There is so much I'd like to write but since I have to hustle, I will save the bulk of my words of appreciation for later. I hope everyone is having a splendid Labor Day weekend!

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" 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) 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 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!