Friday, October 31, 2014

October 2014 Recap

I did well on my October goals that weren't weight loss. Which is a start I guess.

My biggest goal was to blog 15 times in October. I felt that more blogging equals more success. I did blog 15 times. Today. Yay.

I wanted to attend 12 BodyPump classes. I attended 10. But I also switched up my weight routine the last week of October. I did four sessions in the weight room. A total of 14 weight days. I think that should count since I purposely made the switch to the weight room the last week, and that eliminated three classes I could take.

I made a goal to do 8 cardio sessions. I did eleven. I did seven sprints days on the bike, treadmill or stairmill, and four longer workouts like walking, mowing, etc. Another success!

I wanted to follow the SkinnyMeg Ocotber challenge. And I did. They had me drinking more water, logging more miles, and doing endless squats. 

I wanted to lose five pounds. Here's where I failed. I don't think my Macros are right. Or I'm estimating too much. But I do think I've made some good adjustments and that I'm headed in the right direction. I hate that it's just a wait-and-see, but maybe November could be the month I see that 14!

I am really excited for November. Which is unusual for me. Usually during the end of October, I fall into a semi-depressed funk. The time change comes and suddenly it's night-time by the time I get off of work. It's usually pretty cold by now and I am regretting all the things I didn't get done during summer and fall. I know any minute that the snow is going to start and I will be trapped inside for the next five months.

But I am excited because I am eating more food. And because I have this new weight lifting program to figure out. I am excited because this could be the month I see that 14 pounds on the scale. I am excited because I feel like, even with the holidays I can eat mashed potatoes and turkey and make them fit my macros. Because I know how to make my days the right balance of food now. I am excited that the holidays and family obligations won't interfere with my BodyPump classes, because I can just hit the gym later or the next day.

I am excited that I got "selected" to be in the November SkinnyMeg challenge. I am excited to see that they are mixing things up a bit this month and one of the goals is to log 75 miles. It doesn't matter of what. I could whip out 75 miles on the spin bike in about a week. But I am going to challenge myself to do 75 miles of running/walking. My goal is to run/walk one mile before every weight-lifting session to warm up. Two days a week (on arm days) I want to add 30 minutes of HIIT sprint on the treadmill, which usually gets me about 3 miles. That puts me at 10 miles a week, or 40 miles for the month. But I want to try and get outside in the fresh autumn air. I want to bundle up and get some more miles in that way.

I am just excited to be starting something fresh.

I guess my November goals look like this:
1) Stick with the Simply Shredded program for four weeks. Take before and after photos and measure.
2) Keep tracking Macros.
3) Log 75 running/walking miles this month.
4) Lose five pounds!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Healthy Halloween

Heathly Halloween: An Ode to Halloween Candy

You sit there in that bowl and tempt me.
With your delicious chocolate.
And your single serving size.
Dan helps himself to one, then two, then three.
And I sit by and watch. 
As I use my carbs for Apples.
And my fats for Almond Butter.
I tell myself it tastes just as good.
And I will feel so much better come November 1st.
Yet you call out to me, 
Just one won't hurt.
It fits your daily requirements.
But I can not be swayed. 
Because I do not want just one.
One leads to two.
Two leads to three.
Who needs three pieces of Halloween Candy?
Apparently Dan.
And Samantha. 
She loves candy.
As I was reading her an apple book at the library the other day, 
we saw all the colors of apples:
I asked her which kind was her favorite.
I like Candied Apples!!! she exclaimed.
I bet she hasn't even had a candied apple.
I mean, who has?
Oh candy,
you who sit in a bowl and taunt me.
Tables full of treats at work.
Cookies given to me by my favorite patrons.
Everyone is so gracious with their junk food.
I am too.
I will hand you out to all the little princesses and goblins that ring the door.
I will say, 
Yes, I know, it is so so yummy.
But I am stingy with my limited carbs and fats.
I might enjoy one here and there.
But then I walk away.
Because the you will be there next year.
And next week.
And tomorrow.
And I don't want my extra weight to stick around. 
I am determined to have a healthy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October Challenge Finale

Current Weight: 20.0 pounds
Weekly Change: 0.6 pounds
October Loss: 1.2 pounds

Well it's headed downward. And even better, it was below the twenty pound mark on Monday. In fact, I was lower on Monday than I was on Friday, which is always the goal of the weekend. I actually had a really healthy weekend (eating at home) and that did help a bunch.

I did change up my macros this week, but didn't really start using them until Monday. So the fact that my weight has gone up a little bit since Monday makes me think it's the extra carbs. I have been trying to actually use the extra carbs since I think the extra energy will do me good. And since Sunday, I have increased my weight-lifting workouts to 4 per week. So I really do need those extra calories. Also, heavy weight lifting can lead to some sort of water retention in your muscles.

Over all I am happy with my week and my weight loss. But mostly, I am excited at what the next few weeks holds. Here was the span of my week:
My numbers averaged out perfectly. If anything, I didn't burn enough calories this week. I think it's because I cancelled two of my 500 calorie BodyPump classes and replaced them with 300 calorie wander-around-the-weight-room-and-try-to-figure-things-out sessions. As I get used to those weight lifting sessions and add some cardio to the end, I hope that each day is a 500 calorie day. 

My goal for this week was to eat out less than 7 times. And I succeeded. Plus, when I did eat out it was Subway or a salad bar. Those good choices definitely helped me stay within my numbers. I need to make that my plan again for this week!

Am I happy that I only lost 1.2 pounds this month? Absolutely not. Would I be happy if I was 14.4 pounds down next October than where I am now? Absolutely. It's a marathon folks!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Starting Simply Shredded

Last week I decided that I really needed to learn how to use the squat bar at the gym. I can't increase my squat weight in BodyPump anymore because I can't lift more than 40 pounds over my head, and I feel like it is having bad implications on my back. I knew the squat bar was the answer. Also, as you know, I have been contemplating switching things up around here in November and committing to a "heavy-lifting program."

There are two weight areas at my gym. One has all of the free weights and all the muscly men use that room. The other has all the machines and a good mix of women and not-so-muscle men can be found in that room. I have only ever used the machine room. It has several weight bars, that go up to 36 pounds as well as dumbbells that go well beyond anything I can lift. I went up there last week to see if there happened to be a squat rack that I had just never noticed. There wasn't. Sad face.

Now, not only do I have to confront my fear of the squat rack, I have to face my even bigger fear of the muscly-man room. I hate doing things I know nothing about. I hate looking stupid. But I know that is just the dumbest thing ever. I have a Master's Degree. I am a smart woman, with an above average amount of confidence. I should be able to overcome this fear.

Or I should be able to pay someone to help me over come it!

First, I talked Dan into coming to the gym with me once (a $10 entry fee if it's not free-guest day) just to help me figure it out. Then I remembered my friend Erin actually belongs to the gym and could probably be talked into figuring it out with me. She is also a smart girl with extra confidence. The two of us can do anything. That's why we worked so well together for so many years.

Talking her into it was a piece of cake. In fact, after I explained the whole program I wanted to do, she wanted to do the whole first week with me, so we could help each other figure out everything. I have never loved her more!!!

So we set up a plan for this week. We would start Sunday night. We would begin with that squat bar. Because that was the "scariest" obstacle we needed to overcome. And also because we know the gym is absolutely dead on Sunday nights. And then we did it.

What is Simply Shredded? It is a 12-week weight lifting program. The first four weeks you focus on lifting as heavy as weight as possible for 8-12 reps. Weeks 5-8 are supposed to be heavier weight, and by weeks 8-12 you should be doing weight so heavy that you can only lift it 4-8 times. Here is the plan:

This is new for me. I understand the concept. But BodyPump is not considered Heavy Lifting. Though I don't know what the true definition is, and it is probably different for everybody, anything you can do 50+ times, is not heavy. The idea is that you can't do more than 12 reps. And if you can, it's too easy. This ended up being the most difficult thing to figure out. Is this weight heavy enough that I actually can't do any more, or just that I don't really want to? There were actually several tracks that we did not do heavy enough. But I could feel it by the end of the night. And I can feel it now. But I made notes to myself when I got home on what I need to increase. Now that I have the routine down I will feel more comfortable next week. In case I am on my own. 

You probably notice that we are going out of order. Yesterday we did Lower Body A. I think I want to keep Sunday and Thursdays my lower body days because of my own work schedule and my need to be able to walk Tuesdays - Thursdays (for Storytimes). That means we'll be doing arm days on Tuesdays and Saturdays. 

There are several things I love about the program:
  1. The days are flexible. If I miss a day because of a social obligation, I can make it up the next day. This isn't true with my schedule and bodypump.
  2. This is also true if I have dinner plans after work. I can do this routine at 9 pm. Or 7 am. 
  3. You can lift weights on back-to-back days because you're not working the same muscles. So if Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Fridays were my only free days, I could still get all my workouts in.
  4. It only takes about 30-40 minutes. That gives me ten minutes to warm up. And another 20 for HIIT intervals afterward. [Last night we only did the warm up and the weights. It took a lot longer to get everything figured out.]
  5. It is pretty basic moves and they seem to really target the main areas.
  6. It's four days a week, which means I get to raise my carbs up to 155/day and not feel guilty.
I am going to commit to this program for four weeks. I need to take some before and after pictures. I need to take better measurements. The ones I have are only for waist and bust, both areas I doubt I will see much progress. What I really want to see is tighter thighs and arms. 

My proposed schedule for the next four weeks is this:
Monday - Cardio
Tuesday - Arm Day A.
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - Leg Day B.
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Arm Day B.
Sunday - Leg Day A.

Friday, October 24, 2014

That's the Thing About Needs

You know that episode in Season Four of Sex and the City, where Aiden and Carrie move in together. And her apartment is taken over by man things. And she is so stressed out. She finally hits a tipping point and they have a big fight (over deodorant and hair loss) when really she's just asking for five minute of peace. And then because Aiden is awesome and she never should have let him get away, he gives her peace. And she sits on her bed for like thirty seconds... and then she misses him again. And she says that great line about "that's the thing about needs. Sometimes when you get them met, you don't need them anymore."

I love this episode. I seem to relate to it in a billion ways.

And this week, it's carbs!

As of Wednesday, I gave myself more carbs. And I haven't used them once. I haven't even gone over my "normal" carb limit. I have eaten fruit. I have been full. And yesterday I got to enjoy a big bowl of Reese's cereal just so I would have enough carbs.

I don't think anyone would argue: when you tell yourself you can't have something, that is ALL you want. If you try to eliminate chocolate from your diet, you're going to want chocolate. That's why I don't believe in restrictive dieting. I don't have any will power. That's how I got over weight in the first place. So telling me I can't have something, is just going to make me want it more. Until I do have it, in large quantities.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October Challenge Week 3

Current Weight: 20.6 pounds
Weekly Change: +0.2 pounds
Total Loss: 0.6 pounds


And honestly I do not know where to go. When I got on the scale this morning and saw that it was a little up (even from yesterday) I was trying to think of the changes I need to make. Obviously, something needs to change, I can't just keep doing all this work to keep seeing zero change.

Here were my thoughts:
1. I need to hit my numbers more. That's what I said last week. Even though I pretty much hit my numbers just fine last week. But when I looked at my numbers from this week, I see that I pretty much hit my numbers from this week. Take a look.

I do have some higher days. I do have some lower days. But on average, I am hitting my my carbs and fats perfectly. I am a little low on protein. But I am under my calorie goal (1798). And I am fairly consistent. Can protein be THAT important? To maintain muscles? Yes. To lose weight. No. Not 9 grams of it. Not 36 measly calories.

2. My next thought in the shower this morning: I am going to go back to the Macro Calculator and try a few different things.

a) Right now I have it set for an "Aggressive" weight loss, but I could change it to "Reckless" weight loss. That would lower my overall calories by 100. All in carbs. I don't want to eat less carbs. But 100 less calories (1698) is basically where I was this week and nothing happened.

b) Right now I have the calculator set for three workouts per week. They say you are only supposed to count weight lifting. And I currently only take three weight lifting classes per week. But you can also count any high-intensity cardio you do that is over an hour. I could return to doing one Combat class a week (which I kind of miss) and up my numbers. That would actually raise my calories by about 60 per day. All in carbs; 15 more a day. Which I would love! But that doesn't really fit with my three BodyPumps per week.

c) I currently have my protein set to .8 g/lean body mass. I am supposed to eat 155 grams. If you have a LOT of weight to lose this could be a huge number (and ridiculous) like 250 grams per day. I have heard that if you have more than 30 pounds to lose (which I may or may not, although that is not my current goal) you can lower it to .7g/lean body mass. This gives you a few more carbs. My numbers would go from 155/140/67 to 133/161/67.

d) You can also get a few more carbs by lowering you fat a tad. My numbers would go from 155/140/67 to 155/163/57.

e) So what if I put together both those ways to get more carbs? My numbers would go from 155/140/67 to 133/182/57. That seems like a LOT more carbs to eat. And although it makes me pretty happy, it doesn't seem like I would have to limit anything.

f) Final thought: What if I used the higher carbs idea, but switched to "Reckless" weight loss. Crazy right?!? My final numbers would be: 133/155/57. I get to eat a little more carbs than I do now! I have to eat a little less fat, which usually isn't hard. And I don't have to eat as much protein. It seems worth a try.

3. I said it last week, but I mean it this week. I need to eat out less. I am embarrassed by how often we eat out. I won't even tell you. But my goal for this week is to eat out less than half our meals (lunch and dinner). So assuming there are 14 meals in a week, I need to eat 7 of them at home (or packed for work). That is actually going to be difficult. Sad. I know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Weekend of Productivity

I had a four day weekend. It was glorious. We didn't go anywhere, we just stayed home and relaxed. I got a bunch of things done. I don't feel so behind in life right now. And I was almost excited to go back to work today because I was so well rested. I felt like my life was in order and it is an amazing feeling. Sometimes I think Productivity is my Love Language (if you don't know about Love Languages, stop reading and go find out about them now. I think it will change your relationships! In case you don't know, Productivity isn't really one of them.) People would argue that means Acts of Service is my actual Love Language. But I don't need people to do things for me. I just like to get things done myself. And if you're around while it happens, I feel loved. Since, Words of Admiration is actually my Love Language, I would appreciate if you told me how productive I was while I was getting things done.

Also, I love the Fall. And this weekend was beautiful. Possibly the most gorgeous weekend of the year. I made a mental note to always take time off between Columbus Day and Ryan's birthday. Not to go anywhere. But to sit and enjoy life. Here's some of what I got done:
  • I organized the garage. Not like a complete overhaul. But like a: put away the gardening stuff and wind up the hoses and make sure you know where are the Christmas lights and tools are. Dan's is inheriting his Grandpa's work bench. His parents are ready for us to haul it away. So I have made some room for that, and am ready to organize our tools around it. 
  • I also donated a bunch of stuff to charity. Which makes me feel good. Not the donating part. Though it should. But the getting rid of crap part. I hate crap. I wish I could get rid of more, but  so much of it is gifts. I always feel guilty.
  • This includes going through my closet. My goal was to get rid of five things on hangers (I have used up all my hangers and can't fit another piece of clothing in my closet). I ended up getting rid of ten hung articles of clothing! Plus a bunch of other not hung things. And some socks. 
  • I stored my summer clothes. While doing that I thought I really hope these don't fit next year when I go to get them out. And I meant I hoped they would be too big. But I really really hope they aren't too small.
  • Then I went shopping, cause hey, I have extra hangers to fill. And I really needed some new clothes. And it's hard to go shopping by myself. And I always talk myself out of things. But I did good. I really wanted to attempt to buy Skinny Jeans. Mostly to wear with boots this winter. But maybe to wear with flats this fall. But I wasn't sure if they would fit. Because my waist isn't the same proportion as my legs, so usually pants with tighter legs can't be pulled up. Or if I can pull them up they are huge around my waist and hips. I think I found a pair that works.
This is not a great picture. This is not a great sweater. but the pants fit. We'll see how they look when I try them on with my own tops and shoes.

  • Of course I worked out a lot. I worked out every day. BodyPump Thursday evening (even though it was the start of my weekend and I wanted to skip. Very badly. Like I was on my way home, when I made myself turn back toward the gym. Cardio Sprints on Friday and Monday. BodyPump again on Saturday morning. 

  • Sunday I had a SkinnyMeg Challenge I needed to complete. We were supposed to get as many squats in as possible. I had done 250 at BodyPump on Saturday, so my goal was to do another 250 on Sunday. It is so much easier not-weighted. We also had 500 ab moves to do (100 each of five moves). I also wanted to do 100 pushups because I loved how sore my arms were last week. This is how I kept track as I watched football.

  • I did some grocery shopping. This is me at Hy-Vee. I love things you put your head in to. Dan doesn't understand why he has to take a picture of me at these. But they're so cute!!

  • I bought my first Pre-Workout. The girls in the challenge have motivated me to actually buy this. I haven't wanted to try a pre-workout for a long time. It's supposed to give you extra energy during your workout. If you remember, about six months ago I happened to have a latte about 2 hours before I went to the gym. And it was amazing. And then I spent some time trying to figure out how to get caffeine at that time of day (usually I can't leave work 2 hours early to go get coffee) and not have it be so expensive or caloric. I think this is the answer. But I haven't tried it yet. Look for my review of that soon!
  • Remember how my goal last week was to eat at home more. That didn't happen. It seems when you are on vacation (in town or not) you see eating out as a fun activity. By Sunday morning I was up three pounds. Ugh! And mad at myself. And mad at the fact that I spend so much time thinking and counting food to it to be so useless. I almost swore of macros. I took a break on Sunday. I had a doughnut.  I went and split Nachos with Dan. They were heavenly. I stayed beneath my calorie goals. I came nowhere near my protein goals. I went over in fat, but ironically stayed beneath my carb requirement. Then I was ready for a fresh start on Monday. 
  • I made protein french toast. Again. It wasn't that good.

  • I think I decided to just get my protein via real food snacks and then one large glass of protein milk every morning or evening. I need to stop trying to make normal things protein infused.
  • I did all my dishes. Which always makes me happier, when my sink is cleared. And I actually have things to store homemade food.
  • Of course I spent some quality time with this one:

  • We went to a Fall Festival on Friday evening. Where we sat around a bonfire and listened to music. She loved it. I loved watching her love it. There were hayrack rides and crafts and other things, but too many people were there. 
  • Saturday we did some exploring.

  • We started a tradition where we throw a cupcake (leftover from her birthday party) into CowPie Creek. I guess as a tribute to the gods, or something. Really just cause Dan is a boy and likes to teach her to do ridiculous boy things. She wanted to eat a little of her cupcake first (cause she's still more like me than him;)
  • We had a guy come out and look at our leaking roof. He can fix things for $150 which is better than it was last year. So that's an improvement. But I actually got to talk to him (since I was home) about how it was hung wrong and that can't be fixed without tearing it all off. And it's a pretty new roof, so we thought we wouldn't have to do that for years and years. But he thinks I can file a claim with the inspection company (since they should have found that) or my insurance. So even though that sounds like a lot of work. It doesn't sound like a lot of money. 
  • We just enjoyed life on our deck.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October Challenge, Week 2

Current Weight: 20.4 pounds
Weekly Loss: 0.2 pounds
Total Loss: 0.8 pounds

This is becoming a little ridiculous. I believe in slow weight loss, but .4 pounds per week, seems a little too slow. At first, I think: it's because you didn't have a perfect week. But I almost did. I was only 2 grams of protein per day short on having a perfect week. So my next thought is: it's because you're not being honest with yourself. Some of that might be on purpose, of course I am going to estimate low. But some of it might have to do with the amount of eating out I do. Sure, they post the nutritional information online, but you don't know they're using the correct serving sizes. And a little extra cheese, rice, chips, etc can really add up. We go to a lot of restaurants that don't have online information and I have to estimate it entirely. I need to start eating more at home. And having less parties to attend. That's my goal for this week.

Here's what my numbers looked like this week:

One thing I notice: I have worked out every day this week. And that doesn't even include the 200 push-ups I did this weekend. No wonder my body hurts so much today. Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday were all 30-minute HIIT workouts the challenge gave us and Thursday, Saturday, Monday were all BodyPump classes. That's definitely a higher burn than I have had in the last several weeks. 

I also notice that my fat intake is higher than I thought it would be. Most days, I have trouble getting my fat in. Not this week. I like to aim for 67 grams (so 62-72 is in the correct range for me) but I would rather that was on the lower side than the higher. 

I do feel like I was extra motivated by the challenge this week. Knowing that someone could be looking at my food log made me really think about what I was putting in my mouth. The HIIT workouts got me to the gym more (or got me to work out at home more.) Last Friday I did a workout before work. Which is unheard of for me. And last night, I hit the gym for cardio after dinner out with friends. I never would have done either of those. 

Tonight I have to turn in measurements for the challenge. I doubt anything much has changed. I just wish I could get the scale to bump down. Those twenties will be the death of me.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Something Fresh

I woke up today, randomly 3 pounds heavier. That made me sad. Even though I know the scale shouldn't define me, and it doesn't even seem to define my last few days.

Saturday I had a birthday party. I knew exactly what was going to be served: pizza, chips, and cake. One hundred and five carbs.  I saved all my carbs for that meal. I only get 140 per day. I worked out in the morning! And I had a headache the entire day. I am certain it was due to lack of carbs. It's times like Saturday, that I don't think I can continue this lifestyle. I cannot make myself miserable in order to eat a meal at someone else's house. And I should be able to work out extra in the morning in order to indulge more. So if I know pizza and cake are being served I could just burn another 400 calories. Or save them up from another day. They call this flexible dieting, but in my life, it is often less flexible. Then: surprise, there are Oreo balls. I have to try one. Or three. Then a little boy was roasting marshmallows by a fire and beeeeeegged me to try one cause he "makes them perfectly!" Ten more carbs, but I can't say no to that. I don't want to have to. My calories weren't over, just my carbs. And fat. 

Recently I've been reading a lot about lifting weights. And I really want to start some kind of program in the weight room. Randomly I saw a post today that pointed out: 12 weeks to the New Year... Where do you want go be? And I thought today would be the perfect day to start one of those programs, because they are often 12 weeks. It seemed like a sign. 

I began doing some research. I found one I wanted to do: Simply Shredded. It's a four day/week program that separates upper and lower body days (two each). It's short enough I could do 20 minutes of cardio afterward. And even more exciting: if I move to 4 weight lifting days, I get to increase my carbs by 15 per day. That would make me so happy. But I was scared. I needed to do a little more research. It would mean quitting BodyPump for a while. And it would mean leaving my comfort zone. 

Then I remembered that tonight was my BodyPump launch. And the next three weeks are my favorite time for Pump. All of the instructors will do the same music for three weeks. I'll know what's coming. And I'll be able to really increase my weights. 

So I decided to finish out these three weeks. Finish my October challenge. See if these random pounds disappear ( like I assume they will). Do some more research on the Simply Shredded program, mostly looking up youtube videos of how to do certain things. And what better way to start the New Year, than be in the middle of a great 12-week program. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Best Buddy is Three Years Old

Yesterday I realized that I had way more posts on this blog than I ever did on my previous Running Blog. That seems strange to me, because I thought I had written so much over there. So much changed in my life and I made all kinds of progress. It's kind of amazing that three years have gone by since I started writing this blog. And yet, I don't feel like I have accomplished much at all. I mean, life happens, but weight wise, I am not that far from where I was three years ago. Yet, so much can change in three years. Just today we celebrated Sammie's third birthday party. Today we are best buddies. She lights up when I enter a room. She wants to do things how I do them. I am the epitome of a role model. And I hope that I can continue to show her how to live her life with the dignity and humility of any good princess! But three years from now she'll be in kindergarten. She'll have other best buddies. They will influence her in ways I can't imagine. How time changes and yet how much stays the same. So here's a look back, over the last three years of Octobers...

October 2011

Little Samantha is born. Six weeks early. Our lives will never be the same. Little does she know here, that we will be best friends. Except I've probably already told her. But she doesn't know how much fun Aunt Karrie is. How much time she'll get to spend with me. That she will declare I don't like your house mommy, I want to live with Karrie and Dan! before she's three.  I weigh 24.5 pounds from my goal. Just a little more than I do now. Three years ago. At least Sammie has gained more weight over the last three years than I have!

October 2012 

I get married weighing just 12.2 pounds from goal. Then I went on a honeymoon. By the time I returned for Sammie's first birthday party, I am at 16.6 pounds from goal. I think it just went up from there for a while. After major life events I think it's easy to get away from routine. 

I get to watch her grow up her first year of her life, living just down the street. In September of 2012, they move out to the farmhouse. We declare that best friends don't have to live close to each other but it takes work to stay a relevant figure in her life. 

October 2013

By Samantha's 2nd birthday, they have moved to Denton; only 20 minutes away. I am down to 10.6 pounds from my goal. Making this my lightest of all of Sammie's birthdays. Doesn't my Sesame Street tattoo (from her party) show off my bicep nicely.

She is at such a great age here. Two. So smart. Learning stuff every day. Someday I will teach her proper photo posing. For now, faces are all over the place!

October 2014  -

Today she is an amazing little girl who knows how to get me to do anything she wants. Which often includes sugar. She loves to read books, eat cheetoes,comes to storytime at the library, thinks everybody should have a puppy, wants Dan and I to spend the night every night, and makes me smile just thinking about her.

Today, I weighed in at 19.8 pounds. How can a whole year get away from me and I can gain 9 pounds? It's not like I stopped tracking everything that went into my mouth. And worked out a huge amount of hours.  I am essentially back where I started. And if I don't stop eating Oreo balls (from her birthday party) I am never going to get back to where I want to be. Perhaps next October will be the year I am at my goal. 

As frustrating and life-encompassing as weight loss is, being Samantha's best buddy is much more important to me. I never want to be too busy at the gym or too worried about counting calories, to miss a moment where she says, Karrie I love you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October Challenge, Week 1

Current Weight: 20.6 pounds
Weekly Loss: 0.6 pounds

Is it the right direction? Yes. Is it that time of the month? Yes. Should I be happy that I didn't gain? Yes. Am I happy? Not so much. It's not even as low as it was a week ago Monday, before I started this challenge. And this challenge should have me working out better than ever and trying even harder to hit the right numbers.

But I can't actually say that I have been extra motivated this week. I have actually been really tired and run down. And now I realize it could be a few different things: I got a flu shot last Wednesday. I suppose my body is busy building up antibodies for that. Or however that works. Science! Another possibilty is that I am doing more cardio this week than I normally (have been doing). I did a 30 minute circuit on Friday, two hours of cardio (mixed with a bit of weights) on Sunday. That's about two hours more than I am used to right now. Not too much. But maybe too much for the carbs I am eating.

Here were my numbers for the week:
The only thing that was off was my protein was about 10 grams too low. I wasn't very consistent, but everything averaged out alright. I have done some calculating and if I wanted to add a hard cardio day, or a couple easier days to my routine, I could eat 15 more carbs per day. I have thought some about just letting myself have more carbs on the days I work out. If I look at my chart, the days I work out the hardest, were the days I ate the least carbs. That's probably bad. Chances are: Too busy to workout? Too busy eating!

Anyway, I need to stay consistent this week. And I need to stop using the carbs I do have to eat halloween candy and donuts. Healthier choices should give me more energy and get me to power through this challenge.

It looks like this week we are focusing on Protein and HIIT workouts. Two things I feel pretty comfortable with.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Competition Killed the Cat

The SkinnyMeg challenge has kept me busy this week. There were three components we had to follow this week: 1) track all of our food 2) drink an insane amount of water and 3) complete four physical challenges: two upper body workouts, one lower body workout, and a weekend mileage race.

Tracking food is easy for me. Done and done. I feel like I've been tracking food for about eight years now. I'm surprised I don't dream about tracking food. And I am still surprised when everyone around me doesn't live this way. What? You have no clue how many calories you had for lunch? How are you going to make it to dinner?

I also thought I was good with my water consumption. The equation she had for us told me I should drink 16 cups if water per day plus 3 more for an hour workout. I was probably drinking 9 before. Maybe 12 on a thirsty day. I decided to set the goal of 15 cups a day. I have made it. I don't increase for workouts though. Fifteen seems like enough. I pee all the time. About once an hour. And I still have time/room for coffee and diet soda. I haven't given that up. I am just a great drinker!

The challenges were interesting. Two if them really had my heart rate up and I was surprised at how hard an at-home workout could be. They were both arm workouts and both timed.the leg workout was easy. I work legs a lot. Weighted. Doing 20 un-weighted lunges is nothing. The timed workouts really made me push to get as much done in that minute or hold a plank for as long as I could. I need to be pushed. I am loving the interval-timer app I downloaded for this.

Finally, on Friday they split us up into teams and we were to log as many miles walked, run or ellipticalled. I did one of my challenge workouts on Friday and then never got around to doing any miles. Saturday I worked all day, and though I had hopes of walking on my lunch break, errands took over my whole hour. So Sunday I had to do two workouts. In the morning I wanted to do sprints on the treadmill, so I counted those three miles. But then I stuck around and did another elliptical mile. I thought that would be easy and I would just watch TV, but boy it took a long time. I should have just stayed on the treadmill.

Then in the evening I needed to do one of the challenges as well as some other weights. So I used the weight room a bit. I went at a time when only 11 cars were in the parking lot, because I wanted to be in the weight room alone. But there were three other guys in there, and it kept me from using all the machines I wanted. Mostly, because they were using them, or facing the ones I wanted. So I hopped back on the treadmill for another mile for my team. I wouldn't have done nearly this much cardio if I wasn't so competitive. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are probably my all-time favorite food. Like if you could live off a food in a dessert island, I'd probably pick that. Or nachos. That's a toss up. And right now we have a big bucket of Halloween candy just taunting me on the counter right now. But here's the thing: I have been trying to let one Reese's Peanut Butter Cup fit my Macros every day. Honestly the stats aren't that bad. One cup only has 80 calories and their macros look like this: 10c/5f/2p. I mean a candy that has 2 grams of protein is something special. I often need a bit of help reaching my fat goal, so the 5 grams of fat isn't too bad. It's the 10 grams of carbs I have to make room for. But if I know I want to have a treat at the end of the day, I can save 10 grams for that. And if it keeps me from eating worthless pastries and muffins off of the breakroom all day, then it is well worth the 10 grams.

The other day I made three of them fit. Was that the best use of my carbs? No. I probably should have had an apple instead.

But boy was it delicious!

My goal for now, is to allow myself to have one a day. That's pretty generous. But I get to enjoy a treat. I don't feel like I am depriving myself. And Halloween will pass without me "missing life".

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Some Things I have Learned about Fats

I am supposed to eat 67 grams of fat per day. Give or take five grams. I don't know if this is a lot. But I do know it was more than I was eating before. Except on days when I just ate recklessly. And since I have been eating higher fat, I have actually read some articles and studies that say all the low-fat crap we put ourselves through is bogus. I understand the logic. Your body needs fat. But I have learned more interesting things about along the way.
  • I am used to buying everything I can as a reduced fat option: milk, cookies, mayo, cottage cheese, chocolate milk, crackers, PAM spray, granola bars, salad dressing, butter, cheese slices, etc. I mean for how many years were we told to switch from 1% milk to skim?
  • I have had to rethink that logic. Because most days I have trouble getting in enough fats. And if I only ate my reduced fat options, I would never make it.
  • Most things take out the fat and add carbs. I suppose to taste. Or because sugar is fat free, but not at all carb free. 
  • I used to skip the cheese. Now cheese is my best friend. It's a great source of protein and fat. A delicious source. I still don't taste it on my sandwich. But with the right feta or blue cheese on my salad, it has so much flavor that I hardly need a salad dressing. 
  • I actually try to limit myself to only two servings of cheese per day. It can kind of bind you up!
  • Fat leaves you satisfied.
  • I can eat an entire (serving sized) bag of baked chips for 27 carbs and 1 fat. And sure, I enjoy them. But now I choose to eat half a (serving size) bag of Cheetoes, with all their fatty goodness for 15 carbs and 10 fats. And I am so much happier. Because I got to eat Cheetoes. Duh!
  • Life is great when you get to eat more fat. It's probably what makes this lifestyle worth it.
  • It's important to space your fats throughout the day. You don't want to be left with 10+ grams at the end of the day. Especially when that's all you need to eat. Or you're going to be eating scoops of butter or coconut oil. 
  • And that is disgusting.
  • But, if you're trying to eat fat all the time they really can add up.
  • And suddenly you're at 75 grams. 
  • And you have nothing non-fat at home to eat, because you stopped buying all that stuff.
So eat a cupcake every now and again. But realize that there are more carbs in there  than fats. 

And happy birthday to this one. Three years old today. Where has the time gone?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Favorite Color is October

I am so ready for October. I love the fall. I love apples, and pumpkins, and hay-rack rides, and bonfires, and sweaters and leaves. I love cooler nights and sunny days. I don't love the 9 inches of water that fell from the sky yesterday leaving the strangest things leaking all over my house. But I still love you fall. I don't blame you for ridiculous thunderstorms and awful home-ownership! But um, the leaves can't get crisp and crunchy if you don't let them dry out a bit.

I am also ready to begin the SkinnyMeg October Challenge. It started this morning. I took before photos. I measured myself last night and I weighed in this morning.

Starting Weight: 21.2

I don't know why my scale jumps up like that when I was just at 19.2 a couple of days ago. I still want to get down to 14 pounds by Halloween. So bring it weight-fluctuation.

Our first challenge is water. We're supposed to drink a lot more water this week. She gave us the equation: Body Weight x .67.  In ounces. So I need to drink between 15 and 16 cups of water a day. That is probably 4-7 more cups than I usually drink. And I thought I was pretty hydrated. Plus, add three more cups if you work out for an hour. This will be a challenge for me, because I already spend my whole day drinking. I'll be interested in seeing if it does actually help flush anything from my body. Mostly weight!

I am so ready for a fresh start. And something to aspire me to actually make some changes. It's so easy to get stuck in a rut and just keep plugging away. I am really in a good place with my macros counting. I have found some good protein powder that I can mix with almond milk. I've been having a glass of protein milk every morning for breakfast. It's very little work and I can get 25-35 grams of protein in. With good planning, it's not nearly as difficult as it once was. Tonight we're celebrating Dan's mom's birthday with pizza. Besides nachos, pizza is about the hardest thing to fit into my macros. It's just a pile of carbs and fats. And even if you get meat on it, there's like half a serving. But I've got a plan to load up on protein all day, so I can enjoy my two slices and celebrate like a normal person.

I'm just so happy it's fall!