Friday, February 16, 2018

My Week in Workouts

I haven't done a workout post in quite some time. But my workouts are kind of all over the place. I think I am finally piecing something together, but for right now it is just random.
  • I've been allowing myself to skip workouts when I just don't feel like going. Sometimes this is okay. I'm trying to commit to my nutrition, which is priority number one. 
  • I've been limited by the weather. Not much running. Sometimes snowstorms even close my gym early. 
  • I haven't been interested in StrongLifts much and can't get back into a routine.
  • My gym has been so busy after work. Even after the resolutioners left. Sometimes I get the last treadmill. And that room is very small and I feel claustrophobic. 
  • The free weight room is just completely full of people. When there are no squat racks for me to use, I just move on. I am not going to talk to someone and ask to cut in. Or wait around. 
  • The ellipticals and the weight machines on the other hand, are pretty empty. So I have been wanting to spend more time in there. I just can't people.
  • My schedule is based around the needs of two little girls. They're more important right now.
  • The Olympics suck up too much of my time. I need to turn them off. 
But I think I am putting together a three-day weight lifting routine, that should work well with my kickboxing and running habits. Jennifer is returning next week, which makes my whole life feel back in order. The weather has got to be getting nicer soon. At the very least, there has to be a good day every week or so that I could get outside. And as soon as Dan's birthday celebrations are over, I'm going to think about changing up my macros.

All that to say, I am stuck right now. But I see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Here's what I did do this week.

Last Friday, I was really on top of things. I knew I was busy with the kids at night, so I got up early. You read that right. I got up EARLY. To work out. On my own! I did fifty minutes on the spin bike in the basement. It's the perfect amount of time to watch a show and get a fine workout. And you don't even have to brush your hair. Just roll out of bed and throw on some not-too-smelly-clothes.

Saturday I missed kickboxing. But I got to the gym later in the day to watch the Olympics, I mean: to elliptical for thirty minutes and then I did Stronglifts. But I really toned down on squats because my legs were still so sore.

Sunday I skipped. We had a work staff event in the afternoon (Women's Basketball) and I couldn't get around to it afterward. I should have gotten up early. But I needed one day to sleep in. 

Monday I worked until 8. I told myself I would use the Spin Bike. But I didn't.

Tuesday evening is my time with Samantha and Sadie. But I got off early that day (thanks to working late) so I used that time to hit the gym. Nothing revolutionary. I did this hill-sprint thing - which was crazy hard and then just did a random full-body weight routine using the machines. 

Wednesday was supposed to be so nice. Fifty degrees. I used three hours of vacation to get a run in. Crazy, I know. But I have been going stir-crazy and I needed fresh air. It would have been warm enough to go with Tracy in the evening, but she was busy. And I won't go by myself after dark. So vacation it is. It was colder than I thought it would be. And my run was hard. I haven't run in two weeks, and I haven't run by myself in over a month. I did 3/2 intervals and just kept trucking along. 

Thursday I was planning to pick up the girls, when plans changed and I had a free night. I knew it was a sign to start some sort of routine. I did lots of arms and shoulders. Low weight - High reps. Plus I repeated that hill sprint from Tuesday. It was killer. I can do it about five times. I would love to get up to ten intervals. 

I plan to hit the gym again tonight. I will probably do a low-weight, high-rep leg day. I am planning it right now!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Looking Back

My favorite part about having a blog is being able to look back. That's really the only reason I have a blog. I like to see what fun things Samantha and I were getting up to. I like to remember the awful floods that occured in my basement. I like to see the loving tributes to my grandmother's when they passed away.

But I especially I love the ability to look back at my weight. And what I was doing fitness-wise.

I've been needing something new in my lifting life and I was thinking back through the plans I've done. I seem to think (or remember) May 2016 as being my most fit. It was right before I started my reverse diet and I think I had the best muscles.

So I looked back...

This is March 26th, 2016:

This is the best my muscles ever looked. I weighed about 3 pounds from my goal (so just 7 pounds less than now). I was actually already four weeks into my big Reverse Diet. I was eating 1840 calories (so just 60 under what I am eating now). And I wasn't following a program what so ever. I was just lifting. Lots of arms, one day of legs. No plan. Just a bunch of 3x10s and 5x10s and a few 5x5s. I poured over the weeks trying to figure out how I came up with this plan. There is no mention. 

But I want to get back to that point. I want to lose these seven pounds. But I also want my arms to look like that again. They do not. 

I need to spend less time trying to get my bench press number up and a lot more time just cranking out the biceps/shoulder/triceps. 

I love a plan. I am disappointed there isn't one. 

But now I know I don't need to have one to get to my best place.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 5

Starting Average: 15 pounds
Week 1 Average: 14 pounds
Week 2 Average: 11.5 pounds
Week 3 Average: 10.9 pounds
Week 4 Average: 10.2 pounds
Week 5 Average: 10.2 pounds

This was a frustrating week. I was slowly decreasing, maintaining for three or four days, small drop, repeat. It was annoying. But then I complained about it last week, and BOOM! It jumped back up.

But it's because I started lifting weights again after three weeks off. And my muscles (mostly my legs) we so sore for like four days. And they were retaining water. That's what happens when you lift weights. Your muscles store water.

And that must be it, because I was eating on track.

But then I saw the gain, and I was so sore and mad at myself (I don't know why, I am not personally responsible for the water retention in my muscles!) that Sunday came and I did not eat well. I had donuts and popcorn and crap.

I was trying to get 14 perfect days.

More frustration.

So the next day, I dusted myself off and got back to business and my weight is still stuck right at 10 pounds. It never ever ever wants me to see that nine. And I am still so mad at it.

But all I can do is make healthy choices.

And use three hours of vacation, to get outside today and enjoy the 50 degrees and go for my first run in a month!

And keep on going. Because five pounds in five weeks is still a fine number. And eventually, it has to go down.


Monday, February 12, 2018

I Missed Kickboxing for This?

While Jennifer has been away, my schedule hasn't been my own. I take at least two rest days a week based on when Ryan needs help picking up the girls or getting them off to places they need to be. Plus, I have been trying to plan fun activities on the weekend to take them to. I'm not gonna lie. It has been stressful. Mostly because I am just not used to that life. I generally make my own schedule and plan everything around my own needs.

I've developed a much deeper respect for moms!

But also, reconfirmed my belief that is not a lifestyle choice I want.

I like making my own schedule.

Don't get me wrong though. I love those girls. More than anything. Jennifer included! And I would do anything to make this seven week process less painful for them. I like being something they're looking forward to. I'm happy to give bedtime hugs when their mommy is too far away to do it.

And that means sometimes I get up early on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons and read books and do hairs and send Samantha off to play practice and dance around the living room with Sadie... and still not make it to kickboxing class.

And every minute was totally worth it.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Be the Turtle

I follow this guy on Instagram named Carter Good. Find him here! I don't really know him, but he seams to be a fitness coach. He posts lots of information on working out, building muscles, nutrition myths and weight loss.

And lately he's been posting about the Turtle vs. Hare mentality in weight loss.

I have embraced the turtle. Slow and steady weight loss. I realize that this is a life-long process. I've made changes that will last a life time, and I eat a diet I could follow forever.

You can imagine what the Hare is like: wants a quick fix. Jumps around from fad to fad. Loses a lot of weight and then gains it back, just to do it all again.

I might be yo-yo-ing a bit with about 10 pounds, but for the most part, I have lost and kept off 60 pounds for the last eight years.

I am the turtle.

And I hate it.

I have been stuck at 10.2 pounds for four days. That's after I was stuck at 10.6 for four days. I have been waiting patiently, telling myself that it will move soon, and when it does, it will be a pound or two loss. But this morning it was at 9.8 pounds. Yes, I was so excited, it finally went down. But not enough. What if I am stuck there for four days.

It's exhausting.

I am surrounded by all these people (especially this time of year) that tried a new diet and lost 14 pounds in January. And I'm over here tying to be excited for the four I lost.

But four is a big deal. Four is big for a turtle. Even 0.4 every four days is big. It is slow-and-steady. I understand that. I just need to remember not to compare myself to others. Not to be jealous of my coworker losing weight, because he only eats eggs now!

In the end? The turtle wins!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Weigh-In: Week 4

Starting Average: 15 pounds
Week 1 Average: 14 pounds
Week 2 Average: 11.5 pounds
Week 3 Average: 10.9 pounds
Week 4 Average: 10.2 pounds

Little by little it's coming down. Point seven pounds this week, point six pounds last week. It's not sky-rocketing, but it's going in the right direction.

My goal for February was 25/28 perfect days. But my initial goal to get there was two straight weeks. I messed up February 1st - work birthday celebration had me eating untrackable chocolate all day. But starting on the 2nd, I aimed for two straight weeks of perfect numbers.

And I made it through the first weekend. Which is always the hardest. Four solid days being consistent and I am feeling good. My weight has been stuck a lot lately. First at 10.6 and ten 10.2 and now right at 10. Every morning I get up and hope to see a nine or even a bigger jump to an eight. But it hasn't happened yet. Days in a row, I am stuck. But at least it's not jumping up. It's so interesting that eating consistent macros makes for a consistent scale.

And soon enough I will jump on and there will be the nine or the eight. And in the not too distant future a zero!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Weekend Recap

I had a really good weekend. And I don't just mean food-wise. Though I did stick to my macros (or under them) all three days and that includes Super Bowl Sunday. So yay for me.

Saturday, Dan was working and I had the whole day to myself to get things done. I went to BodyCombat, it was a good but small class. I imagine the whole world is home sick with the flu. And good riddance, stay home and keep me germ free. I came home and cleaned out the garage some. I have had some things I have been wanting to throw away, they just never make it in the bin at 7 am on Friday morning. So I cleaned that up.

Dan is turning 40 later this month, and I have been busy reserving a space and planning a party. Saturday I got all (well most) of the invitations addressed and mailed. I got laundry done, I cleaned the house a bit, I even took a nap. And then we started Dan's two-week-in-each-way birthday celebration with dinner at Hu Hot. His favorite.

Sunday I was more booked, but it was a fun time. I mentioned I have been helping out with Jennifer's family while she is out of town. It seems like they have been sick every weekend. Finally we had a healthy weekend. It was 6 degrees. But we didn't let that slow us down.

We went to a Family Storytime at one of the libraries. We stayed there for two hours. Storytime, crafts, computers, Legos and all the fun things the library has to offer. Why don't more people spend their weekend at the library? It's free entertainment. And they loved it.

And then we de-contaminated because none of us have time to sick. Again. And then we went and got donuts. Because that's our favorite thing to do. But we went to this grocery store that we don't usually go to. And they didn't have places for us to eat our donuts. So we sat in their restaruant and made fools of ourselves.

Oh well, we enjoyed it.

And then it was time for Sadie to take a nap, so Samantha and I played with Play Doh for another hour or two.

Then I went home to watch the Super Bowl by myself. Dan had to work. My mom invited me over. But I didn't feel like it was worth the calories to go to a party. So I stayed home and watched by myself. There's something about the super bowl that made me need to eat snacks. But the good news was, there were no snacks in my house. So I had a sandwich!

And my weight was 0.6 pounds lower than it was Friday morning. Which is always always always a win in my book!

Friday, February 2, 2018

February 2018 Goals

I had a super-dooper long January. But for the most part, I was pretty successful:

  • My average week went down every week, starting at 15 and ending at 10.9 for an average loss of 4.1 pounds.
  • I worked out 21 times in the month. That's about five times per week.
  • I stayed under my macros 27/31 days. Which is good for any month, but this was my birthday month. 
  • I used my spin bike a couple of times, I ran outside a few times. I did five miles once. And I lifted lots of weights. 
  • I got my mom to the gym this month. Twice!
  • I battled Strep throat and the allergic reaction that came from the antibiotics.
  • I did it all while being extremely cold. 
  • And overworked!
So for February, I feel like things are going to go so much more smoothly.
  • I am going to work on my pull-ups.
  • And my planks.
  • I am going to get more than 50 miles in (walk or run.)
  • I am going to have 25/28 successful macro days.
  • I am hopefully going to keep losing weight. 
  • I am going to restart StrongLifts, after two weeks off. 
  • And I'm going to do it all while being extremely cold!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Weigh-In: Week 3

Starting Average: 15 pounds
Week 1 Average: 14 pounds
Week 2 Average: 11.5 pounds
Week 3 Average: 10.9 pounds

I thought after last week's big loss I wouldn't have one this week at all. So I am pretty happy that I am seemingly losing at a good rate. Only .6 this week, but that's still plenty. And I am seeing a new number of 9.6 pretty regularly, so that makes me happy too. I hate being higher than 10. It starts making me nervous.

However, the last three days of so, I have had no desire to eat protein. It's not that I am craving sweets. I'd be happy eating bananas. But I cannot manage to serve myself Chicken or beef or anything like that. I have been drinking milk and protein drinks. But I have not been able to hit my protein with those. So for the most part, I have just been trying to stay under my calories altogether.

I think I am battling a cold. And maybe that just makes me not hungry in general. I am just trying not to give into the Chinese and nacho cravings I'd like to be having. But seeing lower numbers on the scale, is definitely a motivating factor.

To have a 4.1 loss for the month of January is a success. Especially since my birthday was the first week, and I didn't even get started until the 8th. I'm confident I can keep it up right now.

Plus, the New Year's Resolutioners should be out of my gym soon. And some day, the weather might be nice.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Rashy Rash Rash

Twelve days ago, I came down with Strep Throat. And they put me on Amoxicillin, and I started to feel better in a couple of days. That lasted for a couple of days and then I felt like I was battling a cold. It never turned in to much, but it hasn't gone away.

Then on day eight of the antibiotic, I noticed a few dots on my stomach. I started to get worried because I've had a reaction to antibiotics before. But I told myself I was over-analyzing.

But on day nine, I was in full-body rash. I stopped taking the antibiotic. Even though I am worried about the super-bug.

But I had an awful weekend. Rashy. Itchy. Blotchy. Burny.

Saturday was the worst. But I still went to BodyCombat, because it's my favorite and I couldn't skip it. But I also couldn't wear long-sleeves and stay covered up. It was all over my my neck and even my face. Luckily, I just looked really flush, so once I started jumping around people probably couldn't even notice.

Probably people don't even notice any way.

Sunday was quite a bit better. Still itchy.

If I stay home I can take Benedryl. But today I had to come to work. And now I am sitting here squirming because I can't itch everything at once.

What am I going to do? I can't not take antibiotics. But I can't deal with this every time.

Good thing I only get sick every 7 years!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Year of Progress

About a year ago, I went to the doctor and they told me I had high cholesterol. I went back and had it tested in June because I was certain that couldn't be correct. But it was. In June they gave me all the paper work so I could understand why they say it was high, but told me not to worry about it too much. My Bad Cholesterol is just a tad high, but my Total Cholesterol is not. Which means I have enough Good Cholesterol to out balance it.

In June I read that coconut oil can raise your bad cholesterol, so I threw it out and went back to eating olive oil instead. I am hopeful that after a year of that, even my bad cholesterol will return to normal levels.

But that wasn't the point of this post.

Last year when I was trying to understand this diagnosis, I wrote this:

Let me start by saying: I am in the best health I have ever been.

I can't run as fast as I could years ago.

I can't run as long as I could years ago.

I am getting old and things are falling apart.

My knee hurts.

I was able to squat quite a bit more before my knee started hurting and I took it easy.

But overall, I am the healthiest I have ever been.

Reading back through that today, I thought WAIT! I can run as fast as I used to years ago. I ran my fastest 5k this year. I can run as far as I could years ago. I ran a 10k this year. Just for fun. On my own. And as soon as it warms up I plan to run even further. Sure, I am getting old. But my knee feels better now than a year ago. Right now I am about 8 pounds higher than I was last year. But I am working on that. And I am still the healthiest I have ever been.

Besides those Gall Stones. Which have not bothered me at all lately. Fingers crossed they never do again.

And besides that Strep Throat that has turned into a cold and I feel like I will never be better. But I will. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Weigh-In: Weeks 1 and 2

Starting Average: 15 pounds
Week 1 Average 14 pounds
Week 2 Average 11.5 pounds

My fitbit will keep track of my weight and average it out for me. But the week runs Sunday through Saturday with fitbit. So it gives me a weekly average on Saturday. That doesn't really line up with any of my blog posting (I always take the weekend off!)

So I think I will move my weigh-in posts to Tuesday (or Wednesday when I am late!) and report the Saturday average then.

There have been three weeks in January already. The first week I consider my starting weight. It has all the New Years and Birthday celebrations. My real weight-loss journey started on January 8th this year. And week 1 is the average of that seven day period (7th-13th). I lost a pound. That was fine. It was up right after my birthday, so that average is expected.

Week two ran the 14th - 21st this Saturday. And my weight was much lower. I was around the 10-12 range all week. It helped a bit that I was sick and slept for about two straight day and didn't get enough calories. Since then it has been around 12 pounds the last few days. Sunday I had an imperfect macro day where I let myself eat too many fat grams. Stress I guess.

Regardless, I have been feeling really full with my eating lately. I am getting plenty of snacks (chocolate!) and not having trouble hitting my macros. I am glad to be back to around 10 pounds, but I am most looking forward to getting below that mark. I have been around the ten pound range since October (which is why I decided to raise my numbers in November) and really between 9-12 since July. I need to be consistent for a couple of weeks and then think about lowering a little to really get things moving.

For now, I am pleased with this movement and I am just going to keep trucking along.

Monday, January 22, 2018


Oh man... it's been a while eh? Things have been a bit chaotic here. And I am not even sure if I remember why.

I mentioned that I'd be helping out with my friend Jennifer's family while she is away at a work training. That has been happening. I guess that's what I have spent the majority of my free time doing.  We committed to two-three nights a week picking up the girls and staying over for the night. But then, the girls both got sick and our schedule got thrown out the window. We've been over there several times a week, but not in a set schedule.

School has been cancelled once a week recently due to extreme colds or snow. That messes up my work schedule. Plus the roads are awful and I hate driving in this mess.

And then last Wednesday morning I woke up with Strep Throat. That was awful. But I got in to see a doctor right away and was tested and started antibiotics. So though I have been extra tired, I stopped being contagious on Thursday afternoon... which meant I had to head back in to work to run all the programs I have set up. I am still kind of tired, but healing I guess.

But all of that has put a hiatus on my workout programs. I meant to start back up on Saturday, but I was so tired that I took a three-hour nap instead. I guess my body needed sleep more than a workout.

Sunday I actually joined my mom at the gym. She joined a place at the beginning of the year but hadn't mustered up the courage to go yet. So I joined her and we looked around and I showed her how to use the weight machines to do a full-body workout and then we used the treadmills for thirty minutes. She really needs to go three times a week and just walk a while. She's not over-weight, but I always worry that as she gets older, she'll get frail.

Her gym is small, but super-nice. I realized I haven't belonged to a nice gym in years and years. Back when I belonged to Gold's I guess. And I don't even know if that was nice. I can't remember it anymore. Maybe I've never belonged to a nice gym. The gym I have has a lot of amenities: indoor/outdoor pool, sauna, tennis courts, classes, snack bar. But it has no window, bad ventilation, old equipment and the whole building is just pieced together. Add on a room for treadmills here and there. It's definitely made me think about switching. I pay $58/month. My mom pays $20. I don't live anywhere close enough to her gym, but there must be others. Even the Y (which has two brand new locations somewhere near my house) is only $49.

Today there is a blizzard and we are all at work. But we're closing early. At five. Lucky us, we get to drive home with the rest of the city! So I have a plan: I am going to drive half-way, and stop at the new gym location I can use. I'll stay there for an hour or so, and when everyone else is home safe, I'll drive the rest of the way. Assuming the gym doesn't decide to close early too.

Sorry I've been so MIA. My life has just had no pattern or schedule. I've been muddling through. Someday it will all warm up. Jennifer will come home. Germs will leave us alone. The snow will stop. And life will get back to normal. Some day soon!

Friday, January 12, 2018

My Week in Workouts

Again, I haven't reported my workouts for two weeks. But the truth is, they are pretty much the same right now. It's cold. I go to the gym. I use the treadmill, sometimes I use the track. I take BodyCombat (still love it!) and I lift weights. I haven't seen Tracy in weeks and I think this is the point of winter when people start going insane. There is no hope in sight.

Except I have a three day weekend.

But here's some highlights of my last two week's workouts:

There was one day (that I had off) that the weather got above 10 degrees. We hit a balmy 36 and it sounded so warm. And it was a Sunday, and I thought: I should bring back Five-Mile-Sunday. But I haven't run five miles in a while and it was hard. It was colder than I though 36 would be. But I also got overheated -- having to pull up my shirt a bit to release all the warmth my layers were hold in. But I was not dressed to lose a layer. It was a really sucky run and a really sucky time. But looking back, I've had a worse five miler -- in September -- so it's not all about the crappy weather.

Other than that I have been running on the treadmill (mostly 1-2 miles at a time) and doing StrongLifts. I had been struggling with my squats in December. And I hadn't been increasing the weight because I don't want to increase unless the 5x5 felt good. I didn't feel like I was squatting deep enough and didn't feel like my hips/knees were in the right position. But something clicked this week and they started feeling really good again. I can't pinpoint exactly what it was, but I think going slower really helps it. I tend to spring down and then focus on the push back up. But I am trying to slow down and focus on all of it. I've been able to increase every time since then.

I also mentioned I am doing a push-up/pull-up/sit-up challenge. The sit ups are easy, I can crank those out while doing my stretches. Everything else is hard.

We had one nice weather day this week - but I had commitments in the evening. I remember last year I would do a walk/run combo on my lunch break. So I sort of planned to do that. But I couldn't get my life together enough in the morning to know what I would pack to wear-change-wear again. So I ended up just walking on my break. And then it was cold - because I probably packed gear to run, not walk. So I just did 2 miles. But it's two miles and 243 calories I wouldn't have gotten sitting on the couch!

Things don't look too much more exciting for this next week. Cold. Some snow. Helping out with my Sammie in the evenings. Getting in workouts when I can. Life carries on. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Weigh-In Wednesday

Current Weight: 11.6 pounds

Average Weight (last week): 15 pounds

As I reported, my weight shot up for my birthday. Happy Birthday to me. But it did fall down quickly. In two days I was amazingly lower than I had been in a month. So that was appreciated.

I am behind on my blogging. I am sorry. Things are really hectic in my life right now. I am just trying to get 5 workouts, 8 hours of sleep, keep doing my job and eat a bunch of protein.

Somebody is sick at work, every single day. I spend half my life washing my hands because as much as I'd like to have a day off, I do not want to get sick.

I am trying to keep on top of StrongLifts. But I also signed up for this January challenge to do 100 miles. I know I won't reach 100, it was just a push to keep me running through the coldest month of our year. My fit sisters are also doing these pushup/pullup/situp challenge. I might be spreading myself too thin.

But I am happy with that lower scale number.

I have been adding my daily weight to my fitbit. It's better than writing it in my phone notes. And it actually does my average for me, and graphs it. All my favorite things. But it also runs the week Sunday - Saturday. So I will be giving my "Wednesday weigh-in" as last week's average. I guess. The whole point of doing average weights, is: it doesn't matter what your weight is today, right this minute. It's just a general (hopefully downhill) gauge. So there's my average for the first week of January: 15 pounds from my goal.