Friday, February 27, 2015

I Know

  • I know that Spring will come one day. Even though it seems like it will never be warm.
  • I know that I have plenty of time to re-do every room in my house. Even though I want to get everything done this weekend.
  • I know that I certainly won't feel like that when I want to take a nap on Saturday afternoon. Even if I feel that way now.
  • I know that the scale will move down again eventually. Even if it is up a pound this week.
  • I know that leg day is worth it. Even if I can't walk today.
  • I know that I need to do more days cardio. Even if I hate it.
  • I know that I could learn to get up early and do a workout. Even if it is only 30 minutes.
  • I know that some times my meals are so boring. Even if they do hit my macros.
  • I know that if I plan my day right, it can end with a decadent serving of cookie dough. Even if that's only one little cookie.
  • I know that Summer bodies are made in the winter. Even though, I don't even remember what my body skin looks like. It's been that long since I was warm enough to lose a layer of clothes.
  • I know that my hair will grow fast enough and in it's own time. Even though I wish it was long enough for a pony tail now. 
  • I know that I try the strangest things. Even if they give me lots of protein.
  • I know February was a pretty good month for me. Even though I am hoping that March will be even better.
  • I know that I should eat more fruit and vegetables. Even if science shows my body just needs whatever carbs I want to give it.
  • I know that I am pretty happy just eating my carbs as cereal. Even if fruit seems healthier.
  • I know that if I just keep working, I am going to look great in shorts this summer. Even if it means I have to spend a bunch of money shopping.
  • I know that I have the best job in the world. Even if I get frustrated by it so many times.

  • I know that I am a very lucky girl.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Simply Shredded Plus Week 5

Oh, week five. Entering Phase II again, where we begin working on increasing our weights and lowering our reps. I don't like it here. But this is probably where the most change happens - outside of your comfort zone!

Arm Day: I had done the full body workout on my day off on Monday. So my arms were already feeling pretty tired on Tuesday when it was time for arm day again. I made a mistake with my notes and did the same Bench Press weight I did the week before and still only did eight, and thought it was hard. But next week, I need to make sure and go up on that. I really see a great improvement in my pushups. The first week I could hardly do a handful on my toes and now I am up to 17. And if I worked on them even more than once a week I might see even greater benefits.

Bench Press - 55 pounds x 8 x 3
Shoulder Press - 50 pounds x 8 x 3
Tricep Extension - 17.5s (35 pounds) x 8x 3
Bicep Curl - 20s (40 pounds) x 6 x 3
Pull-Ups - 100 pounds x 8 x 3
Seated Row - 75 pounds x 6 x 3
Push Ups (reps) - 60 (17 toes)

Leg Day: I could not get into my rhythm on leg day. I was trying to increase my weight, because that is what's supposed to happen, but I just didn't feel like I was getting stronger. My squats were just horrible at 105. I really want form to be our top priority, so when Erin told me I wasn't getting down to parallel, I lowered the weight. It was still hard. And I felt like I was using my back (and butt) more than my legs.

Squats - 100 x 6 x 3
Lunges - 75 x 10 x 3
Stiff Leg Deadlift - 85 x 8 x 3
Leg Press - 200 x 8 x 3
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 18 x 4

Full Body Day: I started this session with 30 minutes of BodyCombat. I was already tired, but it turned out that I had a great workout. I waited for Erin for about 15 minutes, which let me cool off and my heartrate return to normal. Then we did the whole hour long session. Those split squats work my quads more than anything on leg day does. As with most things we do, I wonder if we should be doing them more than once per week. Half of the things we do on full-body day are timed. We didn't want to worry about increasing weight on them, but still wanted Phase II to be harder, so we either added another set (planks) or extended the reps (split squats) or the time (step ups and calf raises).

Planks - 1 minute x 4
Chest Fly - 15s x 8 x3
Upright Row - 15s x 10 x 3
Tricep Machine - 40 x 8 x 3
Split Squat - 15s x 15 x 3
Calf Raises - 35 seconds x 4 (with 16 pounds)
Step Ups - 45 seconds x 4 (with 15 pounds)

Monday, February 23, 2015

2015 Week 8

Current Weight: 11.8 pounds(today)
Weekly Loss: 0.8 pounds
Total 2015 Loss: 6.2 pounds

My scale continued to read high ever since the battery repositioning incident. I think it was in the 13s and 14s the rest of the week and weekend. But then somehow it showed an 11 this morning. I was so excited. I can't believe it is actually working!

I had a perfect week. I hit my macros every day, even on the weekend. We had a very low-social weekend, and ate fairly healthy. I got to have cookie dough on two evenings. That's a good day.

I did well at increasing my cardio this week too. I did weights on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday this week. We were off slightly due to the President's Day Holiday weekend. I took 45 minutes of BodyCombat on Saturday and another 30 minutes of class on Sunday. I need to do at least one more session more regularly. But I felt like I hadn't been doing any at all lately. Our weight sessions are so long and difficult and late, that I have very little energy afterward.

If this winter would ever end, I could start doing Sprints around the neighborhood on Wednesday or Friday mornings. But it looks to be cold and despicable forever. Which is also getting to my mood.

I did have a really good and productive weekend. I finished up the chair rail in my bathroom. I hung some towel bars. Now I just need to learn to change out a faucet and finish a piece of art I am working on in there. Then I will have pictures. I also organized our garage a bit. We have slowly been acquiring tools and hardware and we needed it in some organizational system. It looks pretty good. At least until it warms up and Dan finishes putting together his work table. Then we can really create a workshop. I am ready to start my next house project: the Laundry Room.

At least keeping busy doing house remodeling, keeps me from eating chips!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Scale Mind Games

I felt like really good things were happening on the scale this week. I was 12.6 for my last weigh in. On Tuesday morning I was 12.4. On Wednesday morning I was 12.2. I just love when it heads down every day. Even though I know it's not always that realistic. I was really hoping I could get down to an eleven this week.

Since I have started counting and eating exactly the same amount of carbs each day, my weight doesn't change much from day to day. It used to swing all over. One day I could be two or three pounds higher. Now I understand that a lot of that is the different amount of carbs I ate. Now it might swing a little due to sodium. But not a lot.

Then I stepped on the scale this morning.

And I was a 6.2 pounds from goal. I had lost six pounds in the span of a day. Wow. That's really...


So I got off and got on again - which I really don't like to let myself do, but this was a rare circumstance.

This time I was even lower.

Lower than my goal weight.

Lower than I have ever been before.

Twenty pounds lower than I was yesterday morning.

Something. Is. Wrong.

I made Dan get on the scale.

Dan doesn't weigh himself every day so he doesn't know exactly what his weight should be. But he knows a range. It was about 15-20 pounds lower than he's used to too.

So we took the battery out. And wiped all the dust off from the battery connections. And pretended we knew anything about scale-battery-maintenance.

And then he got back on and it was more normal.

And then I got back on and I was at 15.2 pounds.

Three pounds higher than I was yesterday.

And what if my scale was breaking this whole last week. And that's what all those twelves meant?

And why does that scale number matter so much. When obviously a little dust can alter it.

You'd think my husband could learn to program me a scale that always says exactly what I want it to say.

Would I be happy then?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Simply Shredded Plus Week 4

This is our last week of the lower weight, more reps workout. I really like it here in phase one, but that's the beauty of this twelve week format. It gets you out of your comfort zone and gets you changing things up. I realized last week that I don't want to work on increasing my weights (especially for lower body) and I really want to work on perfect from. I felt like I was wearing myself out too much, with isn't the goal either. I also started worrying that I was not improving at ALL and I was getting frustrated. But then I saw somewhere that in week 11 of the old plan (which is really as high as I ever went) I was doing 17.5 on triceps, which is what I did last week. Boom! Results!

Arm Day: As I said though, I didn't want to work on increasing much, I even went lower on some of my weights this week, because I wanted to be able to do more than 8. So I backed off the tricep weight at moved from 17.5 back down to 15 so I could do all 12 of them. And my triceps hurt plenty the next day. I also increased my pull-up assist weight. I wasn't even able to do three sets of 8 with those, I went up just 10 pounds and I felt like three sets of 12 were fairly easy. I am sure I still worked though. It's all about balance. If I can do double, with just 10% less weight, it seems worth it. Especially here in phase I. I have also been increasing the number of push-ups I do on my toes each week. I wonder if when we enter phase II if I should work on doing more toe push-ups or just more over all.

Bench Press - 55 pounds x 10 x 3
Shoulder Press - 45 pounds x 10 x 3
Tricep Extension - 15s (30 pounds) x 12 x 3
Bicep Curl - 17.5s (35 pounds) x 10 x 3
Pull-Ups - 120 pounds x 12 x 3
Seated Row - 60 pounds x 10 x 3
Push Ups (reps) - 50 (11 toes)

Leg Day: I had a new theory for leg day last week. Not only do I need to be going light enough to get through 12 good-form squats, I need to have enough leg-power and energy to then make it through 24 lunges and all the rest of the workout. So I lowered my weight. And I felt bad about it. But then I started looking at where I was last round of week 4, and I was impressed with myself again.

Squats - 85 pounds x 12 x 3
Lunges - 65 pounds x 10 x 3
Stiff Leg Deadlift - 65 x 12 x 3
Leg Press - 175 x 12 x 3
Hip Thrusts - 25
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 16 x 4

Full Body Day: Erin had a really sick baby and due to family/birthday obligations, I couldn't postpone my workout, so I went alone. I did some of the same things and some things I changed around. I kind of like having a flexible day, but on the other hand, will I see as much improvement if I don't do the same thing for 12 weeks? I warmed up with 10 minutes on the Spin Bike, and this got my heart rate much higher than the 5 minute warm up I usually do on the treadmill. Then the full-body workout is hard enough that it stayed high the whole time, leaving me at somewhere over 400 calories in the 50 minutes the workout took.

Planks - 1 minute x 3
Chest Fly - 12s*
Pull-Ups - 120 x 10 x 3
Upright Row - 12s x 12 x 3
Tricep Kickbacks - 10s*
Tricep Machine - 35 x 12 x 3
Split Squat - 12s x 12 x 3
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 4 (with 16 pounds)
Step Ups - 30 seconds x 4 (with 15 pounds)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2015 Week 7

Current Weight: 12.6 pounds (Saturday)
Weekly Loss: 1 pound
Total 2015 Loss: 5.4 pounds

I was so happy when I jumped on the scale and saw that number. A twelve? I was actually in disbelief, because it seems like so long ago I have been even remotely close to that. And it makes me so giddy that eating all this protein (and all this food) is actually working. Losing a pound in a week is great progress. Losing 5.4 pounds in 7 weeks is great progress. Great, sustainable, life-long progress. Even better: since I have buckled down and started tracking every single bite, and stopped cheating myself (4 weeks ago) I have lost 4.2 pounds. Over a pound per week. What this all means: I know the system works. For me. And I am going to keep with it.

Except I didn't. This weekend was pretty bad. Even after that great weigh-in Saturday morning, I was off Saturday though Monday. Saturday was Valentine's day. We went out for dinner with friends and planned changed when we saw how busy one place was. I had planned on getting a hamburger and ended up getting pizza, which has a lot more fat. But because I had plenty of carbs left over, I splurged on Junior Mints (which seems like the lowest fat chocolate candy) but even the baby box had 40 carbs (about 15 more than I had remaining.) Eating just a half of a baby box of candy is sad. So I had it all and enjoyed every one. We went to three bars with friends that night and I got Diet Pepsi at all of them. That's dedication.

Sunday we celebrated Dan's birthday with Jennifer's family. We had a slumber party. Not being in my own house makes it very difficult to eat as much protein as I need. She doesn't just have protein drinks sitting around her house... what? I brought my own cottage cheese for dinner (along with the Indian take out we brought along) but we also had dessert to celebrate. Again, I stopped before my calories were ruined, but never reached my protein goal.

Monday was President's Day, so we were both off from work. The day started with a fattening breakfast at the McGhee's house: eggs, bacon, dusty donuts. I got a workout in and had only a protein drink for lunch. We met Dan's family at a nwe Pizza place for dinner. More fat. Where is all this fat coming from? I only had "room" for one piece of pizza. Which is all I had. But then I was "forced" to sample some from what other people got. Ugh! I was thirteen grams over, which I couldn't make up for, so again, I just quit eating.

Back at work today. And even though we have plans to eat out for Dan's birthday again, I think I can plan my day better and get back on track. The scale was up this morning. Which makes me nervous. But I know if I get back to what works I will see results.

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Love...

It's Valentine's day weekend. I am not a romantic enough to make a big deal out of this. But I do like celebrations in general. I don't want flowers on Valentine's day, I want them on March 12th. I don't need big romantic gestures, I need you to wash the dishes. Every damn day. I don't need to see a card with sappy writing on it, I just need a text once a day telling me you're thinking about me.

But there's nothing wrong with reminding us once a year that Love is important. And I always like a holiday where people all dress in the same color (hello pink!). Plus I worked really hard on decorating for Valentine's day this year, and then nobody came to my house to see it. Does it even count?

I am going to take a minute to say some things I love...
  • The feeling of being able to sleep in just one hour. It feels so decadent.
  • The way it feels to make it through a hard BodyCombat class.
  • The smell of babies.
  • Iced Caramel lattes.
  • Three day weekends.
  • Having a workout buddy again.
  • And really pushing each other at the gym.
  • Having an eternal valentine. Even if he doesn't understand the holiday.
  • My facebook accountability group and actually having people who understand what I go through each day.
  • That I can go weeks without talking to my friend Jen and we pick right up where we left off.
  • That my house has a name and a facebook check-in location.
  • That my three-year-old BFF wants to be just like me when she grows up.
  • But yet she won't admit that she loves sandwiches more than chicken strips.
  • The variety of my job.
  • Finally having my hair long enough to put into a little ponytail.

  • Actually having a diet that I understand and that seems to be able to maintain on a daily/weekly/month basis.
  • That I know how to use a nail gun and plan to put that to use this weekend.
  • Being able to use a smaller belt hole. 
  • The way the preschoolers faces light up when they see me at the library. 
  • Increasing weight and thinking, that was easy!
  • Samantha's unconditional laughter when she chases Dan around the house.
  • Completely understanding our taxes. 
  • Even though we still owe money.
  • The way my friend Jennifer never expresses any emotions, but I still know she'd do anything for me.
  • Hearing stories of how the kids pretend to be me when they do storytime at home. 
  • Finding a book you just can't put down. 
  • Introducing that book to someone else. 
  • Knowing that if my life never gets any better than this. It is perfect.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A day in the life of my food

Most days, I don't have any trouble hitting my macros perfectly. After my slip-up this weekend, I knew I needed to get back to it right away. Here's just an average day of what my food intake looks like!

Breakfast: About three times a week, I get a coffee for breakfast. Often this is because Dan and I carpool to work (part of the way). Sometimes we get coffees together even though he has the day off. There are about two places I still go for coffee (now that I have done research on what "skinny" means at different locations). Those places are Starbucks and Caribou Coffee. This morning we got Starbucks: Medium Skinny Peppermint Mocha. The only calories/nutrition comes from the milk they add, and milk isn't bad for you.

Lunch: I meet my friend Jennifer for lunch every Tuesday. But counting my macros hasn't kept me from eating out. Often we will go to a place like Wendy's or Arby's where I can see all the nutritional data. Today we met at Hy-Vee. This is one of my favorite and most healthy lunch choices. I love to get a make-your-own salad with tons of protein in the form of grilled chicken, cheese, eggs and bacon! I use this Bolthouse Salad Dressing. I love both the Ranch and the Cesar. I imagine other flavors are great too. And it's only 60 calories for all the dressing I need on this salad. A lunch with 70 grams of protein is actually more than I needed today. Had I planned out the day, I might have added less chicken at lunch, or not put bacon or eggs on (though those are the yummy things). If I had dinner plans that involved eating out, I usually need to save more fat (I used 30 of 60 fat grams) but I knew we were eating at home, so I could adapt as necessary. I do not weigh these things as I add them to my salad. I have brought a salad home before and weighed my things. Now I just estimate that same amount. I know that estimating could be inaccurate, but I just can't turn into a person that carries a scale around.

Afternoon Snack: I always have a snack on my lunch break. It's almost always prepackaged. Sometimes yogurt, sometimes a granola bar, sometimes beef jerky. Today it was a cookies and cream Quest bar. My fave! I have tried almost all of the protein/power/granola bars out there. There was a year when Erin and I sampled all of them for breakfast. Since then, a lot of new ones are out, but I still consider myself a bit of an expert. I think these are great. A lot of people don't. But for 20 grams of protein and like 17 grams of fiber that never leaves my tummy grumbly.

Dinner: Tonight I tried something new and it was delicious. I have recently found this Tyson frozen chicken breasts (already cooked) at my grocery store. It is so convenient. It's about $7 a pound and a half, but $5 a if you find it on sale. I try to stock up then, but I am needing a bigger freezer. All you have to do is microwave it for a minute and you have hot, ready to eat chicken. Last week, when I needed protein and had hardly any carbs, I mixed some chicken with this Greek Onion and Chive Cream Cheese. It was great. Tonight, I actually had carbs to spend, so I thought how awesome it would be if I threw together that same chicken, cream cheese and Penne. I thought it might need a little more sauce, so I decided to try adding cottage cheese. Up until a year ago, I would do nothing with cottage cheese except eat it plain. But in the last year, I have learned to cook with it (protein pancakes!) I'd always used it in my lasagna, so this pasta shouldn't be any different. It melted nice and creamy and cheesy. 
It doesn't look pretty. The best things never do. But it was delicious and had some great flavor. I only added 2.5 oz. of chicken, which is really low for a meal. But I already had enough protein for the day. The great thing about this meal is I could have added 6 oz of chicken if I had needed it. I also used very little cottage cheese and quite a bit of cream cheese, in the future I might swap those proportions around a bit. Cottage cheese is such a power house food, I need to take advantage of it more often! Knowing how many carbs I had left over at the end of the night, I could have had more pasta as well. But this was a serving, and that's all I really needed. Plus, I was headed to the gym afterward. I didn't need to be stuffed.

Bedtime Snack: I always have a bedtime (or an hour or two before bed) snack. Generally when I get home from the gym at 9. This is how I perfect my macros. I do not pre-plan my days, so at the end of the night, I look at what I have left to eat. Usually this involves a protein drink or protein-yogurt mix. Today I was lucky and was done with my protein already. This is also place I can have a nightly treat. Knowing I am going to have something delicious at bed time keeps me eating well the rest of the day. I can pass up the donuts on the breakroom table if I know that will save my calories for this! My boss gave me a Butterfinger candy bar last week, when I was one of three people to show up during a blizzard. It wasn't much, but it was a really appreciated, because I get really tired of being the only one who shows up during snow. It took a week for the candy bar to fit into my eating plan. And still, I only got to have 44% of it. Dan ate the rest. It was worth every bite!

Later I had carbs to spare but was done with all my protein and fat. This is always an awkward place to end up. I can't have anything super delicious like chocolate or ice cream. I can have candy, but honestly I don't love candy. Ideally, I could have fruit, but why? So my usual defaults are pretzels and cereal. Sometimes jelly toast and once popcorn, but that also seemed a waste. Ultimately, I probably don't need to eat all my carbs and if I end the night between 140 and 155 carbs I consider that a success. You do need carbs to keep your energy up, but I am not working out so hard that I feel like I don't have energy and I don't ever feel like I am dragging. If I do make myself eat the rest of my carbs at night, it's only because I figure I deserve a treat for working so hard the rest of the day, and I don't want to feel like I am depriving myself. Ever. But believe me, there are days when it is really hard to stay under my carb limit (mostly when I eat out) and it has taken me six months of this to not feel like I need all the carbs all the time.

Vitamins: At bedtime I take all my supplements for the evening. I take a multivitamin, I take a probiotic pill (this keeps me healthy and regular) and one fish oil tablet. That fish oil takes another gram of my precious fat! If I ever (which never happens) find I haven't reached my fat limit, I might take two or three.

Then my day is over. And I report to my challenge friends how I did. I was 4 grams over on protein for the day, which is amazing. I was one gram over for fat (damn fish oil!) and six grams under on carbs. My goal is to hit each number +/- 5 grams. I usually aim for +/- 3 grams, and do a happy dance if I can hit them perfectly. Like I said, I don't mind being too low on carbs and I don't mind being too high on protein. Those two should be interchangeable. 

Today was easy. I didn't have to eat any weird things and I didn't have to load up on protein shakes. I try to only have one form of fake protein a day (granola bar or shake) and eat the rest from whole foods like chicken and cheese. Some days are definitely harder. But after you get used to it, it really is worth it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Simply Shredded Plus Week 3

I would not say that week three went as planned. Snow days plus sick days plus exhaustion, plus work schedules left me alone for more than half of the workouts. But I got them all done and I am plenty sore to prove it.

Arm Day: After missing the gym for two days (but getting in home workouts) it felt like forever since I had worked my body. Even though I was sore all over from shoveling two days in a row. This arm day felt hard. I thought it was time I increased my tricep and bicep weights, but it has left me a bit confused. Last week I was doing 30 pounds for 12 reps. That's lifting 360 pounds (essentially). This week I increased my weight to 35 pounds, but could only lift it 8 reps, making my total work load only 280. Much less. So is lifting the higher weight worth it, if I can only do it that few of times? I guess that's how you get stronger, but I am still confused.

Bench Press - 55 pounds
Shoulder Press - 45 pounds
Tricep Extension - 17.5s (35 pounds)
Bicep Curl - 17.5s (35 pounds)
Pull-Ups - 110 pounds
Seated Row - 60 pounds
Push Ups (reps) - 50 (9 toes)

Leg Day: Erin's family was sick on Thursday, and she let me know early that she wasn't going to be able to meet me. I was just exhausted from all the snow and driving in the snow and shoveling the snow and living with the snow and working in the snow and it was much too easy for me to sit on the couch all night. I told myself I would go on Friday night, but that didn't happen either. So Saturday I had to get myself there. After a funeral. But I did. And I worked hard. My legs were literally shaking. I actually lowered my squat weight because I wanted to make sure I went low enough and I still didn't feel like I had great form. I was so tired that I couldn't even do the lunges. I started thinking that we might be piling too much on leg day. But really, we're only doing six exercises. I think I might lower my weight some more so that not only do I have perfect form but so I can get through the entire routine.

Squats - 95
Lunges - n/a
Stiff Leg Deadlift - 65*
Leg Press - 175*
Hip Thrusts - 25*
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 16 x 2

Full Body Day: Then I was stuck in the awful position of needing to do a full body workout the next day. Erin had to work this weekend, so I was on my own again. The one (and only) good thing about working out on your own is that it goes a lot faster. We spend too much time talking when we do it together, but that's okay too. I warmed up, worked hard and was done in 50 minutes and burned about 400 calories. That's less than I burned the first time we did this one (523 in an hour.) Part of me loves doing the same thing every week to see improvements, but part of me thinks switching things up every week would really keep my body guessing.

Planks - 1 minute x 3
Chest Fly - 12s*
Upright Row - 12s*
Tricep Kickbacks - 10s*
Split Squat - 12s*
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 4 (with 16 pounds)
Step Ups - 30 seconds x 4 (with 15 pounds)

Monday, February 9, 2015

2015: Week 6

Current Weight: 13.6 pounds (Friday)
Weekly Loss: 0.8 pounds
Total 2015 Loss: 4.4 pounds

Slowly but surely. I say that every week. It's mostly a reminder to me, that every half pound loss will eventually add up. I have lost almost four and a half pounds in the six weeks of 2015. While I wish that would have been 12 pounds, that's just not possible nor sustainable. It is still more than a half-pound-per-week loss, so I am on the right track. And honestly, the majority of that weight has been in the last three weeks (3.2 pounds) since I really started cracking down on my snacking and I got a new scale. So perhaps I will continue to see an average of one pound per week. Which would put me at my goal weight by mid May. Maybe...

Sad news, I attended a funeral this weekend. Happy News: I pulled out my skinny pants and they fit. This pair of pants haven't fit for the last two funerals I attended (both in the last year.) They would pull on, but not look very flattering. This weekend I thought they looked great. So here's the thing: I weight somewhere in between what I weighed at the last two funerals I attended, so obviously my body is changing (for the better) even if the scale isn't cooperating. And that is saying a lot. I even got a compliment, from someone I see almost every week, asking if I had lost weight. So something is changing. Maybe it's time for some progress pictures!

Please tell me you all throw all your clean clothes on the floor to find something to wear!
For the first time all year, I did not have a perfect weekend. Saturday was pretty crazy with the funeral taking up most of the morning. I got home in the late afternoon and did some things around my house and then I absolutely had to fit in a workout. We went out to dinner with friends. I watched my macros. I limited my carbs and fats. I even skipped the bread on my sandwich. I logged the ten fries I ate off of Sammie's plate. Then Ryan helped me with some home projects I want to work on. He let us borrow his nail gun and gave Samantha an I lessons on how to use it. Then we fixed some trim and floor around their house. By the time I got home Saturday evening, I still need 50 grams of protein along with a few carbs. I could have had a yogurt and protein powder combination. But I was just exhausted and full. So I went to bed.

Same thing happened Sunday. I was so busy with house remodeling, that I didn't eat enough during the day and by bed time, the last thing I wanted to do was swallow a bunch of protein. Since I had plenty of calories left, I let myself have Mexican food for dinner. It all adds up so fast there. But I did such an excellent job of counting out 27 chips, skipping all rice and beans and enjoying two pretty meaty chicken enchiladas. Still, I went to bed without hitting my fats of protein.

Theoretically, I was still in a calorie deficit both days, so I should still be able to lose weight. But there seems to be something with that protein that gets my metabolism burning more than carbs. My weight was a little bit higher today, but it easily could have been the salt on those chips I had late last night.

My plans for this week are to keep on... The weather seems to have turned around. I don't have a ton of social obligations. So I plan on hitting all my workouts and finishing my house projects. It should be a great week!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Blogger's Block

I haven't had anything to write about lately. I sit down almost every day to write a post, and then nothing comes. I already tell you about all my workouts once a week (well all my weight lifting workouts and the other ones aren't that interesting.) I already do a weekly weight post. I rarely eat anything new or exciting.

The most exciting thing in my life is that nothing exciting is really happening. And that's nice. To just relax for a minute. Plus, whatever I am doing right now, seems to be working. Every week I lose a little more. And eventually it is all going to start adding up to more. This morning I saw a new low number (13.6) which gets me really motivated.

It's easy to see other people who are losing ten pounds in a month and think, why isn't that me? But here's the thing: I am losing. And I get to eat a lot of food while doing it. Would I rather eat french fries and candy bars? Yes, of course. But I am never hungry. Do I wish that I could lose two pounds a week rather than half a pound? Yes, of course. But I am losing. Do I wish that I could just sit on my couch every night rather than dragging myself out in the cold to the gym? Yes, of course. But going to the gym makes me feel good.

After getting 15 inches of snow this week, it's finally going to warm up this weekend. It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend. I am hoping to get some home repairs and painting done. Plus, I have a craft to finish for both myself and a gift.

I don't even have any photos to share of my boring life.

Maybe someday soon, I will have something really fun to share. And I'll hop on here and exclaim: I have found the way to lose five pounds a week. But honestly, it will be by eating tons of protein and drinking tons of water.

That is my life right now.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Simply Shredded Plus Week 2

Week two always seems easier and like we actually know what we're doing. My arm pain seemed to be all gone, which was good. I was sore from workouts, but nothing beats a good after-burn. It makes me think we need to switch things up more often, or push myself more in the 6-12 weeks.

Arm Day: With my arm pain just disappearing, I was hesitant to push myself too much. I wasn't sure when I would move wrong and a twinge of pain would run down my spine. But everything worked out just fine. The Shoulder Press seemed so much easier this week (I did 10 each time, instead of only 8) but the Bench press got more difficult (8 instead of 10). I have decided to really focus on form and not go up in weight unless I can do 3 sets of 12 or we move on to Phase III. I started using the Assisted Pull-Up Machine again, because I really want to be able to do a pull up and this is the only way to get me there. I also tried to do a few "real" pushups. I was able to do 7.

Bench Press - 55 pounds
Shoulder Press - 45 pounds
Tricep Extension - 15s (30 pounds)*
Bicep Curl - 15s (30 pounds)*
Pull-Ups - 110 pounds
Seated Row - 60 pounds
Push Ups (reps) - 50 (7 toes)

Leg Day: We may have bitten off more than we can chew with this heavy leg day thing after a long day of work, on a Thursday. We were exhausted starting the workout and I didn't feel like either of our hearts' were in it. My calves still hurt from the full body day last Sunday, so we decided to take the weighted calf-presses out. We have never felt like we could go heavy enough on those and I feel like, with as much pain as they were in all week, whatever we did Sunday is the best thing I can do for them.We had to start on the machines, rather than the squat rack, because two people were using those. That may have left us more fatigued by the time we got to those heavier exercises.

Squats - 105
Lunges - 75*
Stiff Leg Deadlift - 65*
Leg Press - 175*
Hip Thrusts - 25*

Full Body Day: We ended up getting several inches (like 8) of snow, that was not expected (they said .5 inches maybe) so the entire city shut down on Sunday. I absolutely love snow if I don't have to go anywhere, and it rarely happens that I don't have to drag myself into work on a snow day. So we enjoyed skipping the gym and just hanging out at home. We walked to target (through the snow) and that burned 260 calories, and then I shoveled for 30 minutes and that burned an additional 340 calories. I had a great cardio workout. Then I attempted to do the full body day at home. I had to lower a few of my weights, cause 10's were the most I had two of, and 12 was the most I had at all. I didn't feel like it was nearly as good of a workout, but I may not have been as focused as when I am at the gym. I also added on 100 push-ups because that was our weekend challenge. I am super proud of myself that I got it all in despite the snow day.

Planks - 1 minute x 3
Chest Fly - 10s*
Upright Row - 10s*
Tricep Kickbacks - 10s*
Split Squat - 12s* (went down)
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 3 (with 12 pounds)
Step Ups - 30 seconds x 4 (with 12 pounds)
Push-ups - 20 x 5

Monday, February 2, 2015

2015: Week 5

Current Weight: 14.4 pounds (today)
Weekly Loss: 0.4 pounds
Total 2015 Loss: 3.6 pounds

A little loss here and there will start to add up. I am just keepin' on keepin' on. There's a pretty good chance I could see a 13 sometime this week and then a 12 and before I know it, it's summer and I am at my goal. But that's the best thing about this macro lifestyle. I can live this way. I could just keep going forever. And the even better thing is, I know at some point, when I reach that goal place, I can tweak my numbers to maintenance. I just finally feel like somebody told me what to do and it makes sense. Doing it every day is another story. Right now I am super-focused. I hit my numbers perfectly for two weeks in a row. Not perfectly, minus that bite of fries. Perfectly. Well, I still eat out, which isn't weighed and measured. And I still have to estimate any time I eat somewhere that doesn't have nutritional facts. But that will be part of my life forever, I feel like I have done a good job of incorporating it in.

Last night I had the healthiest Super Bowl I ever remember. First, we stayed home, which helps. My mom always invites us over to tons of junk food. But now she has this basement "man cave" where she thinks we should all watch sports together. But it's super tiny, she invites too many people over, last year Dan and I could hardly see, plus it's a basement and cold. So we passed this year. We didn't invite anyone over, because cooking for a group of people doesn't sound fun to me. Plus, Dan ended up with the flu or some nasty cold this week, so it was a good thing. We just hunkered down on our own couch, next to the space heater. And I made chicken nacho. Perfectly weighed and macroed. And I woke up this morning at just a low as weight as yesterday.

Like I said: super-focused.

We had a major snow-storm this weekend. And we didn't have to go anywhere. It was awesome. My gym was closed half the day, so I used scooping snow as my cardio. Plus, I was able to do most of the "Full Body Workout" of our Simply Shredded Plus workout at home. So that was a plus.

I have been doing a lot of home remodeling right now. Not big projects, but pulling off old towel rods and storage shelving and patching holes and repainting. I had thought I would get new fixtures picked out and installed on Sunday, but the weather had other ideas for me. Eventually, I will show you the awesome things I have been up to.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 2015 Recap

Starting Weight: 18 pounds
Ending Weight: 14.8 pounds
Monthly Loss: 3.2 pounds

I think that January was a very successful month. I was able to maintain my weight through my birthday, and then in the last three weeks, I got off to a great start. In just the last ten days, I really buckled down and vowed not to have bites off other people's plates (which is really hard for a scrounge like me!) and that has helped a lot.

Here were my January goals:
1) Finish up the Simply Shredded Program. Take a week where we go back to a BodyPump class. We're eager to see how our muscles have changed. Then I am working on creating my own 12-week Simply Shredded program, that incorporates all my favorite things.  We did finish the program. It was great. And we started our next 12 week program. We never did make it to a BodyPump class. We might throw that in somewhere in the twelve weeks.
2) Follow my macros from the nutritionist. For the entire month! I did! More precisely at the end than the beginning.
3) Lose five pounds. I don't want to admit that I have gained a couple pounds over the New Year's Holiday. I hope that drops off in time for my Monday morning weigh-in. I don't really know what my weight was when I wrote this. The 18 pounds I listed for my begining weight was actually the end of the December challange. Most likely I was up a pound or two from NYE, but too many numbers. Point is, I did well and my scale is going in the right direction!
4) Increase my cardio to 4-20 minute + sessions a week. This one I didn't do well. I did this for about a week and got so fed up with cardio that I basically took a week off. By the third week, I knew that the only way I would go back is if I added BodyCombat and Spinning classes. So no, I didn't do 4-20 minute HITT sessions, but I have been doing 100 minutes of cardio a week. I don't know if that is the same.
5) Find ways to celebrate my birthday that don't involve food! Fail. I celebrated with food a lot. But I made a lot of sacrifices, streamlined my celebrating and was able to maintain my weight throughout it. It's over, and I am happy with the result.

My goals are really simple for February. I am going to keep doing what I am doing!