Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Simply Shredded Week 10

I'll be happy when this twelve week program is over. I am excited to try something new. I don't know what it will be yet, but I've done enough of these super-heavy, low-rep workouts for a while. I would really like something where I am trying to do ten reps over and over, maybe more than 3 times. I can tell that I am getting stronger, but I think I could get stronger by adding reps, or adding another set. Then again, wasn't this how I was spinning my wheels in BodyPump?

Arm Day: Erin mixed up the days I was busy this week, so when I texted her to let her know I was doing cardio upstairs, she told me she wouldn't be joining me. This made me a bit hesitant on raising my weights. I had made notes to try more on Bench Press, but after I did two, and wasn't sure I could do any more, I went back down to what I had done last week. This will be the week I add on! I am so proud of how many push-ups I am able to do. Unfortunately those 28 are not all at once. Maybe that will be what I work on next time.

Bench Press - 70 pounds x 6 x 3
Shoulder Press - 60 pounds x 6 x 3
Tricep Extension - 20s (40 pounds) x 6 x 3
Bicep Curl - 20s (40 pounds) x 6 x 3
Pull-Ups - 80 pounds x 4 x 3
Seated Row - 90 pounds x 4 x 3
Push Ups (reps) - 75 (28 toes)

Leg Day: My leg day workout got pushed to Sunday since I was busy on Thursday evening. I started with sprints on the spin bike and then headed in to do legs on my own. Both squat racks were being used and so I headed into the other room to do Leg presses. While there, I decided to do some other things that aren't on my regular program. I love those Split Squats so much and feel like they work my legs better than anything. I also had been wanting to try out the Hamstring Curl machine. It was tough, but I know that I was using the right weight because I could only do 4 good ones. This day made me even more excited for when we get to mix things up.

Squats - 105 x 6 x 3
Lunges - 95 x 6 x 3
Stiff Leg Deadlift - 95 x 8 x 3
Leg Press - 190 x 10 x 3
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 18 x 4
Split Squat - 15s x 10 x3
Hamstring Curls - 90 x 4 x 3

Full Body Day: Erin was able to meet me Saturday morning for our full-body day. I started with Sprints on the treadmill and even though I was tired, we got right into Split Squats and Step-ups. Talk about good cardio. We're finding that things like upright rows and flies are near impossible to move up to 25 pounds but we can do way more than six (well a few more) reps with the lower weight. Maybe we'll be ready for 25 soon. Or maybe this is just a good point for us. I would much rather have great form and do eight than bad form for four.

Planks - 35 secs x 4 (all toes)
Chest Fly - 20s x 8 x 3
Upright Row - 20s x 8 x 3
Tricep Machine - 40 x 8 x 3
Split Squat - 15s x 17 x 3
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 4 (with 18 pounds)
Step Ups - 60 secs x 15s x 4

Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekend Recap

I had a pretty relaxing weekend. Meaning: I didn't get many house projects done and I took naps twice. But I did get all my scheduled workouts done, and that's half the battle of a weekend. I didn't do any of the grocery shopping I had wanted to do, or any meal prep. Which has left me scrounging for food to pack for lunch this morning.

Friday, we had a all-day staff training. I knew that there would be snacks galore and I tried to come prepared. I skipped the bagels and donuts that were out for breakfast by eating the yogurt I brought from home and drinking my low-cal latte. That got me until lunch. Then we all go out together. And I was at the mercy of the group. We chose fuzzy taco, which is just deliciously full of fats and carbs. I made a good decision in going for a Big Salad. Of course I had to use their dressing, so it was still fatty. But I knew the afternoon was full of popcorn and I thought the fat of lunch would balance out with the carbs of snack time. I did bring my own afternoon snack: beef jerky, but the crunchy buckets of popcorn were calling my name and I gave in. By this point in a long day of training, you just eat to kill time. At least it was popcorn and not candy bars.

Friday evening we baby-sat Sammie while her parents went to a play. We were already tired from getting up earlier than normal and that girl has so much energy. When baby-sitting someone's kid I feel like you should be able to entertain the full time you are with them. no putting them in front of a screen. I only have to occupy four hours. Still, it was like a workout.

We filled our evening picking out a toy at target (she picked a light up ball and a cool sippy cup to keep at our house, "because you don't have one!") Next, I let Dan and Sammie convince me that Qdoba was the best bet for dinner. I knew then that there was no way my macros were going to turn out. She's a great little taco eater that one. I wasn't very hungry, but even my one taco and half a burrito bowl was too many fats. I should have split my meal with Sammie. Then we went to a game store, that was for Dan. But Samantha had tons of fun there too. Finally home, to read books, and play glow-in-the-dark-light-up-ball-tag (that's gonna need a better name) and piano playing and a little snack and eventually Super Budies because we had warn her out and she was rubbing her eyes.

We always practice our weights at Target. I started with heavier ones but she wanted me to use the blue ones, because blue rules.

Saturday morning I was up early to meet Erin at the gym. I started before she got there with my third HIIT of the week: running intervals. I have been working on increasing my time. I had been doing 7.3 or 7.4 on the treadmill. Now I start there and increase every couple of minutes. I ended up at 8.4 which is almost a 7 minute mile. But remember, only 20 seconds on and 40 off. Still, I am working quite hard at that. Then we did our full body weight session. It was a great burn for a Saturday morning.


Then I did a bit of yard work, enjoyed a nap, did some laundry and other Saturday type things. That night we went out to Jennifer and Ryan's to grill and dye Easter Eggs. It's become a tradition for us to join them. I planned my day pretty perfectly, brought along my own cottage cheese, and skipped the bun and my numbers were perfect come Saturday night. I even got to enjoy a few roasted marshmallows.


For the last few weeks, well really since I've known him, Dan has wanted to get up and have Burger King for breakfast. He loves the Croissanwich. So finally this morning the stars aligned: we were up early, had no where else to go, and I wasn't against the empty calories. It was delicious, just full of fat. And carbs.

After breakfast we took donuts to my grandma (I had two bites!) She wasn't doing well. I think she recognized us, but probably couldn't understand what we were saying and wasn't making much sense. It's depressing. And I did great not eating all the donuts!

I did some shopping. I am having a problem where the jeans I love to wear (almost every day) are too big but the size smaller is still too tight. Do I buy the small size and try to stretch them out a bit? Or do I try to shrink my too big ones. When in doubt, buy a dress!


My workouts were off for the week, because of my Teen Art Show and an all-day staff training day. So I finally got to leg day on Sunday evening. I started with sprints on the spin bike. I could not get my heartrate up high enough. I took five sprints before I broke the 85% which is what I am hoping for by sprint two. And I am usually at 95% most of the time. Some days are just like that I guess. Then I went to do the leg workout (on my own) and both of the Squat racks were full. I didn't feel like waiting around for them, plus I was kind of nervous to do such high weights on my own. So I did some other leg things: leg press, hamstring curls, calf raises, split squats and planks all upstairs. It was good to mix it up a bit and I still felt it plenty. I am looking forward to mixing things up again when Simply Shredded is over. 


My Sunday was perfect too. I hope that one slip up on Friday doesn't ruin my weigh-in for the week. I am most proud of myself that even when I knew there was no chance, I didn't just ruin everything and eat nachos and drink margaritas. Or have any of Sammie's snack or ruin my day in any other fashion. Overall, I was only over 134 calories. Hopefully I burned that off chasing around the kid!

Last week my goals were to pack my lunch three times. I kind of did. Once I had to run to the grocery store and get food, so it was not weighed, but still portioned out. I also wanted to do 4 HIIT sessions again. Which I did accomplish. This week I have the same goals. Plus I want to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep is so important. And if I miss out, it's only because I am staying up watching some dumb Hulu Show.






         

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2015 Week 12

Current Weight: 10.6 pounds (Today)
Weekly Loss: 1.4 pounds
Total 2015 Loss: 7.4 pounds

After being stuck in essentially the exact same spot all week (except one little glimmer of hope last Friday) my scale finally budged this morning. I was so happy. I got on twice to confirm. I hope this isn't just another glib on the scale story. I hope this is real plateau breaking movement. I was so sure things weren't moving, I did go ahead an figure out what my new macro numbers would be. So I guess I have them if I need them. But for the moment, it looks like, all those HIIT workouts got things working again. I am hopeful and determined that I could see a nine next week. That was my March goal, which I didn't even think was lofty at the time, but now I am not sure. Still, I am going to do everything I can to make it happen.

Two things: My current motivation is Joel's wedding. It is exactly ten weeks from this Saturday. That seems like nothing. We're not in it, we're hardly important. But there will be permanent family photos and I want to look my best. Knowing that I could lose 10 pounds by then and be at my goal weight is really exciting. But more exciting is knowing that I want to get a new dress and have rocking arms. Am I ten weeks away from great arms? I better increase those arm days. It's also kind of the start to summer, so it reminds me that shorts season is only ten weeks away. Are my legs in short shape? Will my shorts fit? Will I be able to buy new ones?

Second: Looking back at my blog from last year, I see that I am now four pounds less than I was then. In the last year, I have gained about twelve pounds and then lost sixteen. So Great Job, Me! The even better news is, I will not gain twelve pounds this year. Even if my weight loss stalls to five pounds every other month, I am on my way. The right way.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Simply Shredded Plus Week 9

We started Phase III. I just am not a fan of lifting that much weight, that few of reps. But I guess I have to admit that it's making my stronger. I just feel like I am getting a better workout when I do it 10 times. I am not saying that I am not lifting to complete failure. I certainly am. There are many times when I think I can do one more bench press or one more shoulder press and I can NOT lift the bar. And it usually falls down on me. And Erin has to be there to help. So I know that I am doing my max weights. But only doing 4... is just odd. But here we go!

Arm Day: I went up only five pounds on both chest and shoulders. This was hard, but I was able to do six reps. I guess I should go up another five again next week. Biceps, rows and pull ups were all near impossible so I will be staying there for a while more. As I am feeling weak because I don't feel like I am increasing fast enough, I look back at where I ended Simply Shredded the first time around. I was doing 65 on Bench Press, 55 on Shoulders Press, 85 on Seated Rows, 45 on Curls, and 90 pounds of assistance on pull-ups. I am starting Phase III where I ended last time or even above in some situations. That's the goal. To just keep getting stronger!

Bench Press - 70 pounds x 6 x 3
Shoulder Press - 60 pounds x 6 x 3
Tricep Extension - 20s (40 pounds) x 6 x 3
Bicep Curl - 22.5s (45 pounds) x 4 x 3
Pull-Ups - 80 pounds x 4 x 3
Seated Row - 90 pounds x 4 x 3
Push Ups (reps) - 75 (25 toes)

Leg Day: I was falling behind on my HIIT goals for the week, so I got to the gym early Thursday evening and did 20 minutes of sprints on the treadmill. I am glad I did it. I never would have stayed afterward. But boy were my legs a mess by the end. We didn't increase a lot of weight, because we're still concentrating on perfect form, but I would say we went up 10%-20% on every one. And we still did the high end of the reps. Also new this week: we put a box behind us during squats to try to go right down to touching it, but not putting any weight on it. It helped with form, and also let us raise our weight a bit without feeling like we might fall over (there was a box there if we needed it!) I have read up more on "box squats" and the term actually refers to sitting on the box and using your quads/hamstrings/hips to push yourself up. Generally, you can do more weight this way. I think I'd like to try that on a separate day.

Squats - 105 x 6 x 3
Lunges - 95 x 6 x 3
Stiff Leg Deadlift - 95 x 8 x 3
Leg Press - 220 x 6 x 3
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 18 x 4

Full Body Day: As I mentioned, we met Saturday morning to get our full-body weights done. We increased chest flies, we added 15 seconds to our step-ups, and we added two more split squats per side. We decided to decrease the time we spend doing planks, but made sure all the time we did, was on our toes. And even though we tried 25 pounds for upright rows, I could not get them above my ribs. So we just went lighter and did eight reps. To be fair, my shoulders were tired from the exercises I had done Friday night. That wasn't very good planning.

Planks - 30 secs x 4 (all toes)
Chest Fly - 20s x 6 x 3
Upright Row - 20s x 8 x 3
Tricep Machine - n/a
Split Squat - 15s x 17 x 3
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 4 (with 18 pounds)
Step Ups - 60 secs x 15s x 4

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekend Recap

Friday morning my scale finally budged. For the first time in forever! It gave me all the will power and strength to have an awesome weekend. I was determined to do everything right and see an even lower number after the weekend was over.

Friday, Dan and I had dinner plans to watch basketball at a sports bar. But I also knew that I had to workout afterward. Knowing we were eating out at night, I ate really well all day and had plenty of macros left for dinner. I really wanted to get onion rings, but knew I would feel heavy and not want to run after that, and also, if I got a healthier side, I would get to have cookie dough later. I chose the cottage cheese. I can make a lot of hard decisions with the lure of cookie dough.

I still had to come home and digest for a bit. But by 9:30 I was ready for my HIIT workout. The gym closes at 10:00, so I had already decided I would do sprints around the neighborhood. Luckily, it's lit really well, it's safe, I was planning on running only around a two block radius, and it's empty enough that I could run on the smooth street. I did my usual 20 second sprint followed by a 40 second walk. I used Map My Run, which tells me what speed I'm going. But I had a lot of trouble actually determining that number while I was sprinting. It took all my concentration to run as fast as I could, while watching the clock and watching where I stepped. Once I saw a 6 minute mile pace, but that was the only time I saw it. At the gym I do an 8 minute mile pace, so maybe I should bump that up. I was definitely gasping for breath, my heart rate was in the proper HIIT zone for at least 20 minutes and I didn't get mugged. So success! Then I came home and worked my shoulders and biceps with the ten pound weights I have: 50 each of hammer curls, side raises, overhead press, and upright rows. I was very sore the next two days.


Saturday morning I woke up and met Erin at the gym. We moved our normal Sunday workout to Saturday in hopes of getting it done early on the weekend and not having to give up a minute of beautiful weather. The weights were great, but even better, I made myself stay and do HIIT intervals on the spin bike. Once you're there, another 20 minutes isn't bad. It's just getting my sore legs to move, that was the difficult part. 

Dan and I met for lunch at Hy-vee. That's kind of like eating out, but kind of like buying groceries and taking them home. I tried this Quark, which is actually a German cheese. So I guess it's a mix between cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. It says "not as bitter as Greek yogurt!" But I actually thought it was more sour. It has slightly more protein, but I won't get it again. 



Saturday evening we didn't have any plans and it was kind of great. I went to Old Navy and tried on some things. I ended up ordering them online once I got home, because they always have better sales online and I can get every day things (like t-shirts) in tall, which means extra long sleeves and length (it's pretty great). I got other errands run, like a gift returned to target. It was great to not have social plans. And it helps me make perfect food choices. 

Sunday morning we woke up late and met Samantha and Jennifer at the park for a bunch picnic. It was 70 degrees and so wonderful. Sammie kept declaring it a "great idea" so I know it was successful. Then we played in the park for a bit. After that we did a bit of shopping. I have made her so fashionable! She wants to buy shoes at every store. That's my girl!!!


By 3:30 she needed to get home for a nap. I so wanted to nap too, but I needed to get my workout in for the day. We had dinner plans with Dan's friends at 6:00 so there was no time to sit around and relax. The nice part of only needing to do 20 minutes is you get in and out right away. I did Spin Bike intervals again. It seemed the easiest on my dead legs. I did a little bit more than my 20 minutes of intervals, and then I tried to work my biceps some more, but they were still dead from Friday night. I am so super proud of myself for getting all 4 HIIT sessions in this week. It is the first time all year. Even though the nutritionist told me this was important. I have to give the challenge girls a lot of credit here. We all set a goal on Wednesday and this was mine. They kept me accountable all week. I just can't imagine doing this without them. I am really hoping that it gets the scale moving a bit more. I would say faster. But right now I mean: at all.


Dinner was a grill-out, bring your own meat potluck. This allowed me to bring healthy chicken burgers. But I also had a serving of chips and pasta salad. Without calculating ahead of time, I was slightly over my fat limit (8) so I left some carbs on the table (25) to make up for it. I honestly don't feel too guilty for doing that. I think my numbers have me a little low on fat (I asked for as many carbs as possible) and when I readjust I will be reducing carbs without touching my fats. But I still wonder if I am not hitting them perfectly, if I can really say if the process is working or not. 

Here's where my food logs ended up:


This morning my weight was back up about .8 pounds. I know this is nothing. But that puts it in the no movement category. Like it has been the last four weeks. It's disheartening. But I am keeping up until my official weigh-in this week. Maybe I will have a big jump today or tomorrow. I have worked out really hard the last five days and sometimes that causes your body to retain fluid. I also need to give this 4 HIIT thing a chance. 

I have two goals for this week:
1) pack my lunch Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The other two days I usually meet people for lunch. But the three days I eat alone, I must pack something (weighed) from home. 
2) do 4 HIIT sessions again this week. It wasn't as impossible as it seemed. I am not as busy this week, so I will be able to do one Monday night, one Tuesday before arms, one Saturday and one Sunday. That still gives me Wednesday and Friday off from working out. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five Good Things on Friday

1. Today is the first day of Spring. That just makes me happy. No matter what. Sunshine and summer are on the way. Plus some rain, probably another snow storm, and perhaps a few cold days. But overall, things start looking up once we make it past this point. And when the forecast is looking up, life gets better.

2. I finally accomplished my first HIIT session of the week last night. I knew I could never get myself to stay after Leg Day, so I went before. I did 20 minutes of sprints on the treadmill and I felt great. I burned 250 calories and that led to a total of 735 burned for my hour and a half session. Last week, just doing legs, I only burned 338. That means, I burned an extra 150 just by getting my heartrate up before I started. I probably need to do that every week. but it took everything I had to get up off that couch and get there early. I don't know why; I had to go anyway.

3. There's something beautiful about March Madness. I don't know if I equate it with spring, or I just love competition, but I am excited that it is happening. I have to do another HIIT session tonight after dinner. I was thinking of just making up a routine around the house, but the draw of watching basketball, might get me back to that gym.


4. It's supposed to be a great weekend. Weather-wise. I plan on getting some things done around my yard (mostly some shrubbery cut down.) and I am planning three great workouts: Sprints tonight, Combat mixed with an arm-burner on Saturday morning and probably Spinning mixed with full-body weights. I don't have any social plans, so keeping my macros in check shouldn't be hard. I also am ready to start shopping for some summer clothes. I should be able to fit that in somewhere.

5. My weight finally moved yesterday. I was down to 11.2 which is lower than I have ever been this year. It's at least a half pound lower than any of my weigh-ins so far, so maybe my plan/body is working again. We'll see if I continue to see a downward trend, or if this was just a fluke. But it made me happy and determined to see it again on the other side of the weekend!



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2015 Week 11

Current Weight: 12 pounds (Friday)
Weekly Loss: 0 pounds
Total 2015 Loss: 6 pounds

As I indicated a couple of days ago, my weight is stuck right now. And as I started to look back over the last few weeks, I see that it has been stuck for about 4 weeks. I have ranged from 11.8-12.6, which isn't much change.

On the other hand, I am feeling really good right now. All my pants fit, I feel like I look pretty good. I feel really good with my eating, never really feel deprived. I am definitely getting stronger and maybe even getting some muscles. But would I be happy if I stayed here forever? Probably not, I feel like I am capable of more!

On one hand, I know that changing up my numbers always seems to elicit a response. So if just eliminating 50 calories (7 grams of protein and 5 grams of carbs) gets things moving again for six to eight more weeks, than it would probably be a good change. But my goal isn't to eat less calories. The goal is to eat more calories and still lose weight. That's the whole point of weight training and trying to build more muscles. So there are a couple of things I am going to do: 1) Give it another week and track perfectly. I did find that when I was estimating too much (and sampling bites) things moved a lot slower. If I commit to tracking every morsel I might see enough change. However, I already felt like both Monday and Tuesday I did a lot of estimating. I need to commit to the rest of the week.  2) I can increase my cardio time. I talked about this on Sunday. And still, I am behind already this week. But I am hoping to get 4 HIIT sessions in this week. Even if it is running up and down my stairs on Friday morning.

If I can accomplish both of these things and I still don't notice a change, then it's definitely time to mix things up. It is definitely easier said than done. The hardest part for me is going to actually track 100% honestly and accurately (harder whenever you go out to eat, or allow a three year old to share your sandwich) and get those silly cardio sessions in. But I am so ready to see a 9 on the scale. And not just from the flu!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Simply Shredded Plus Week 8

We finished Phase II this week. Erin was back for Arm and Leg day, but I was on my own for the Full Body workout. I was able to increase a few things, but for the most part, we stayed where we were in anticipation of next week when we will have to go up.

Arm Day: I am feeling pretty strong on arm weights. But I don't really feel like I am working my arms enough. So that's why I added a burnout day for just biceps and shoulders. I know it is important to work all parts of your body, but I spend an equal amount of time and energy on back and lats and chest and those three don't seem nearly as important to me as biceps and shoulders and triceps. I am pretty proud of the 20 toed push ups I have managed. My goal was to be able to do 25 by the end of the session.

Bench Press - 65 pounds x 8 x 3
Shoulder Press - 55 pounds x 6 x 3
Tricep Extension - 20s (40 pounds) x 6 x 3
Bicep Curl - 20s (40 pounds) x 6 x 3
Pull-Ups - 90 pounds x 6 x 3
Seated Row - 75 pounds x 6 x 3
Push Ups (reps) - 60 (20 toes)

Leg Day: While leg day felt extremely difficult the last two weeks, today was actually easy. We kept out weights the same, since we anticipated difficulty, but were pleasantly surprised at how easy it had become. I have no idea if this means I finally have gotten stronger, or if it has to do with nutrition or my monthly cycle. But it felt great and I am ready to increase for Phase III.

Squats - 95 x 8 x 3
Lunges - 75 x 8 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 warmed up with 26 minutes of HIIT on the Spin Bike and then headed over to the weight room. I did the full body day as a circuit again, combining three exercises. It was great. I was done in thirty minutes and I kept my heartrate high.

Planks - 1 minute x 4
Chest Fly - 15s x 8 x 3
Upright Row - 20s x 8 x 3
Tricep Machine - 40 x 8 x 3
Split Squat - 15s x 15 x 3
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 4 (with 18 pounds)
Step Ups - n/a

Monday, March 16, 2015

Weekend Recap

I enjoyed last weeks weekend recap so much, I thought I'd do another for you. Weekends are really hard to stay on track, so knowing I have to come here and be held accountable, probably helps some.

Friday evening, Dan's friend Derek came over after work to play a new game. Dan had the day off, so they started around 4:30. I got off at 6:00 and by the time I was home, Erin and baby Xavier had come over. She brought pizza along for dinner, but because I knew that's what we were having I could plan for it. I had a lot of protein for lunch and snacks. I got to have two pieces of Papa Murphy's pizza and a serving of chips and two Oreos! Score! I did have to down a protein shake after they left. I was full and didn't want to drink it, but I knew I needed the protein to grow my muscles. So I did ;)

Unfortunately, this is the only picture I took. But Xavier is getting so big. He loves to play the piano. He even let me hold him some. Once while his mom was out of the room! He might be outgrowing that stranger-danger phase. Or maybe he realizes I am not a stranger. We need to spend more time with him so he wants to come and visit us more often. After our pizza dinner, Erin and I and the baby stroller went for a nice walk around the neighborhood. We were walking at a pretty good pace, and we were out for about 45 minutes. It was a good workout. I did not wear my heartrate monitor, but I am sure I did not enter the HIIT zone. Probably ever. When I got home, I thought I probably burned enough to have one Oreo without counting it! That's the problem with counting calories. And allowing yourself to eat back calories. It just doesn't work like that. Even though I probably did burn the 50 calories that are in one cookie.

Saturday morning I awoke early and went to BodyCombat. I left after 30 minutes, mostly cause that's all I got "credit" for and also I kind of have workout ADD. Then I wanted to do an arm weight workout. I have been feeling like my arms aren't tired enough after our arm day and also that certain body parts aren't getting worked enough. So I planned an entire Shoulder and Bicep arm workout. I wanted to use lower weights (I picked 10 pounds) and do 50 of each exercise. Part of me thought I would be able to do 50 in a row, but that was wrong! I broke it up into 10 or 20 repetitions. I also never got to 50. But it took me over 30 minutes and by that point I was ready to go home. I definitely felt it the next day. My biceps are never sore after the arm day workout, and that's the only day I work them. So it was nice to have a soreness. I am also wanting to devote more time to my shoulders. I am ready to start working on my tank-top arms. It will be here before we know it.








Saturday evening we were invited out to Jennifer and Ryan's for a St. Patrick's day dinner. I planned my day well: eating a lot of protein and saving all my fats and carbs for the evening. That allowed me to have a whole cupcake and some popcorn, along with a serving of chips and the normal corned beef and salad. Everything served had more fat than carbs, which is hard. I did end up going over my fat allowance, but made up for it with not eating all my carbs. 

Two Lucky Girls

Sometimes, this is their idea of picture posing. If you can't beat them, join them!

Sunday we woke up late and Dan and I had breakfast together. Erin had to work, so I was on my own for my workout. I thought about going to Combat, but I wanted to mix it up. I don't want to get bored or let my body get too used to a workout. For instance, I am easily burning 11-12 calories per minute in Combat right now. There were times when I only burned 500 for a class back when I was taking it four times a week. Now I burn 350 before I leave half way through. So instead, I did a Spin bike HIIT routine. I go hard for 30 seconds and then easy for 30 seconds, up and down a hill. For 20 minutes. Add in a warm up and a cool down, and it takes at least 26 minutes. Then I did our normal Full Body routine.

I actually had a hard time meeting my calorie goals for Sunday. Since I got up so late, and then worked out in the middle of the day, I was never really hungry. We ended our weekend with a trip to Sonic, where I got an Ice Cream cone. The Peanut Butter Fudge Shake was calling my name, but I don't think I ever have enough fat for that. Sad times.

Overall, I ended the weekend perfectly. The fat grams I over ate on Saturday, I made up for on Sunday. I hit my protein each day, despite having lots of social plans. And overall, I was under on my carbs. 



So why was my scale up today? Most likely the salty popcorn I ate the last two days.

On the other hand, I did notice that my weight has been stalled for about 4 weeks now. And that includes the stomach flu, which I still think is totally unfair. I am going to do a perfect job of tracking this week. I am going to try to eat out less. And next week I will re-evaluate. It might be time for new numbers.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Adding in More Cardio

Last summer I made a big change in my workout routine. I did a lot of research on how much time we're wasting on cardio. I wanted to change the way my body looked, not just how much I weighed, and that was going to require that I spent more time lifting weights. Not that cardio isn't important, but spending hours on treadmills and elliptical, wasn't going to give me the body I wanted. So I cut a lot of it out. I read about the importance of doing HIIT training and was doing it about two or three times a week.

I really loved all the free time this left me. But I needed it to completely revamp the way I ate. Weight loss is 80% nutrition and I needed to hunker down and really focus on eating things that fuel my body. The first few weeks of counting my macros was really difficult. I would spend an hour a night trying to make it all add up. Now, I don't preplan my days, and I spend maybe 5 minutes entering all my foods throughout the day. At night, I might take 2-3 minutes trying to get it to all add up, but that's usually just thinking about how much protein powder I need in my shake if I want to have chocolate afterwards.

I really got focused on my weight-lifting when I moved out of my comfort zone in October and left BodyPump and learned to use the weight room. Because the Simply Shredded program was so short in and of itself, I was able to do two or three HIIT workouts without having to be at the gym any more often.

However, when I contacted the macro-expert, she suggested I ideally do 4 sessions of HIIT a week. She said I only needed to do 20 minutes per session. But trying to do it four times a week is proving difficult.

I am much too tired after leg day to do 20 more minutes. We do arm day so late in the evening, I never want to stay later. I really should make myself start twenty minutes earlier, but I usually spend that time eating.

Unfortunately, four-twenty minute sessions is not he same as one-eighty minute session or two-forty minute sessions. There must be some scientific thing about getting your heart rate up several times. Also, if you're truley doing HIIT workouts (which I have seen as 85% of your target heart rate and above) it is hard to sustain for longer than thirty minutes. I  really prefer to take classes, all of which are 60 minutes. But it's not worth it if only the first 20 minutes count.

I made a hard effort to get four sessions in this week and I still failed. Going to the gym six times a week just isn't in the cards for me.  Here's what I got done:
Monday - Treadmill Sprints
Tuesday - Arm Weights
Thursday - Leg Weights
Saturday - 30 minutes Combat Class + Bicep/Shoulder Burnout
Sunday - Spin Sprints + Full Body Weights

I had two rest days, and if I really want to continue to have two rest days, I absolutely MUST add a session in to Tuesday's arm workout. I think I will need to start going earlier, and doing it before I meet Erin.

My goal is to get those four sessions this week!
Tuesday - Spin Sprints + Arm Weights
Wednesday - Treadmill Sprints
Thursday - Leg Weights
Saturday - 30 minute Combat Class + Bicep/Shoulder Burnout
Sunday - Spin Sprints + Full Body Weights

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

2015 Week 10

Current Weight: 12 pounds (Tuesday)
Weekly Gain: 0.2 pounds
Total 2015 Loss: 6 pounds

Last week was a screwy week weight-wise. On Monday morning, I was right at 11.8 pounds from goal, which is what I reported on my weekly weigh-in and had been for several days. Within hours, the stomach flu hit and by Wednesday morning I was down to 9.8 pounds. I would love to report that two pound loss, but that doesn't really seem fair. Wednesday I was back to eating and had a perfect macro day. By Thursday morning I was already back up to 12 pounds from goal. Obviously, all water weight loss. Then Saturday I had salty Mexican food and a lot more carbs than I am used to, and my weight was up a few pounds. Yesterday it was back down to 12.

Anyway, not an overall loss for the week, but things are back in order. My pants do feel a bit looser, so I am eager to get some measurements taken and compare them to where I was earlier this year.

I have three of my twelve cardio sessions complete. I really need to get on that plan. A bit of added cardio should help me see the scale move a bit more. The main problem is: the only cardio I like to do is group classes (Spin, Combat) and I don't need nor want to do a full hour. I need some type of 30 minute class. The weather has been beautiful the last few days and looks to be that way for a week or more. So it is probably time I dusted off my running shoes and attempted something outside again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Simply Shredded Week 7

Week Seven was all out of whack. Erin was out the entire week. First, she had a sick baby and then she had to work the weekend. I am not sure how that will put us behind. She might be willing to just skip week seven and move forward on week eight. On the other hand, I wasn't able to push as hard without a spotter. I also was sick on Tuesday and then just made up all of the arm exercises over a three day period: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. I will still list them as separate days this week.

Arm Day: Because I didn't have a spotter and because I was trying to fit these in within other workouts, I didn't worry about increasing anything. These were the exact same weights I did last week. I wasn't able to increase reps though either, so I am probably right where I should be.

Bench Press - 65 pounds x 6 x 3
Shoulder Press - 55 pounds x 6 x 3
Tricep Extension - 20s (40 pounds) x 6 x 3
Bicep Curl - 20s (40 pounds) x 6 x 3
Pull-Ups - 90 pounds x 6 x 3
Seated Row - 75 pounds x 6 x 3
Push Ups (reps) - 60 (20 toes)

Leg Day: I feel like leg day is just impossible. I keep saying that, but yet, I don't make any changes. This week I skipped lunges all together. I was probably slightly weak from having the flu earlier in the week, but that doesn't change the fact that these exercises leave my legs shaking and by the end I am not using perfect form.

Squats - 95 x 8 x 3
Lunges - n/a
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: Full body day is definitely my favorite. I like making the moves into a circuit or super-set, where I do one round of planks followed immediately by one set of upright rows. The time flies by so much faster, and it's much less awkward than waiting around at the gym with nothing to do. One minute is a long time to not stare at other lifters. I also like that no one muscle is used to exhaustion. I mentioned I think next rotation should be 4 full body days. But then you get in the predicament of not being able to work the same muscle back to back. Hmmm...

Planks - 1 minute x 4
Chest Fly - 15s x 15 x 3
Upright Row - 20s x 8 x 3
Tricep Machine - 40 x 8 x 3
Split Squat - 15s x 15 x 3
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 4 (with 18 pounds)
Step Ups - n/a

Monday, March 9, 2015

Weekend Recap

I am saving my weekly weigh-in for another day this week. It has been a crazy week weight wise. Starting my week with the stomach flu and then ending with crazy family time had me all over the map.

So instead: a weekend recap!

Saturday night we babysat Samantha. She never ceases to amaze me with her musical ability, her sincerity and the way she lights up any room she walks into. Though we joke that Sammie takes after me, honestly, I want to be just like her when I grow up.



Our best discussion went like this:
S: When I grow up I don't have to eat dinner before I eat dessert.
K: Yes, that is definitely a perk of being a grown-up.
S: Also I will have children!
K: Oh, nice!
S: I just wish I had a daddy.
K: You mean, you wish you had someone to be your kids' daddy?
S: Yes.
K: Well, when you are a grown up, you will meet a boy and you will get married, and he will be the daddy for your kids.
S: I just wish I knew where to find him.

You and half the female population, my dear.

With a close second being:
S: You should have a baby in your belly.
K: Should I?
S: Yes, when it is a big kid, you can give it to someone else.
K: Like who?
S: Someone who doesn't have kids.

If only it worked like that!!

I knew that most of Saturday was taken up with family events. So I made it to the gym early. I took half a Combat class and then did about 15 minutes of upper-body weights. I really like this format. I get my cardio in, but I still have time to do some weights. I do wonder if it is considered rude to leave the class half-way through. But it's my workout and it usually pretty packed. The teachers only notice, because they know me.



Saturday, we went to Dan's parent's for lunch. Dan's brother and his bride-to-be were in town. Saturday I was tasked with finding out information about this wedding and nailing down (helping to plan) this rehearsal dinner. Dan's mom and the bride are having trouble communicating and I was apparently there to help. I think things went pretty good. We got some details. And now Janet can go forward with making her plans and I can move forward with selecting my hotel. And outfit.

Saturday afternoon we got outside to enjoy the beautiful spring weather. We played in the park (with Jennifer and Samantha) for two hours.

Ice Hat? Don't ask!

I thought I had made great lunch decisions, but someone I only had 11 grams of fat left for dinner. There is really nothing I can eat, outside of my house, that doesn't have well over 11 grams of fat. I made a decision to take the night off from continuing. I ate Mexican food. And even had a Margarita. I did track it all, I just didn't care that it went over. I ended up 20 grams over for fat, 82 grams over for carbs and about 400 calories over where I should be. It's not ideal, but I rarely go over my calories, so once a month isn't the end of the world. Those chips have wrecked havoc on my scale the last two days though.



Sunday was Kyla's shower. It was a beautiful brunch. Everything was really nice. I got my first chance to be in charge of the bow bouquet. And I decided to not have a cupcake. Obviously, I already had eaten the delicious things from the weekend.






I needed a nap mid-day on Sunday. But I still got a workout in. I did the full-body workout without Erin because she had to work this weekend. I really really like the full-body format. I am thinking next rotation I will do 3-4 full body days, by just mixing up the arm and leg routines. I seem to be much less tired and I can do them back to back without feeling like dying. For instance, I do 15 split squats, then I move over and do 15 pushups and then I go back to squats. It also goes faster this way. But this might be different if I am talking to Erin.


Friday, March 6, 2015

February 2015 Recap

I never got around to doing a recap of February. I think I started something, but then I got busy. And next thing you know, I have the stomach flu and am passed out for two days. So here it is briefly!

Starting Weight: 14.8 pounds
Ending Weight: 11.8 pounds
Monthly Loss:  3 pounds

I actually thought I had a great month. But I see now that I actually lost a little more in January. Odd. What your perceptions are of how things are going. But the exact number doesn't even matter. What matters is that I was less at the end than the beginning. And I seem to have things in place to keep going.

Here was my one goal for February:

I am going to keep doing what I am doing!

And I did. I kept tracking every bite that went into my mouth. I kept with my three-day a week lifting program. I tried to incorporate more cardio into my week (though that should be the one area I work on more.) I got back to taking BodyCombat classes which I love.

I am going to set these goals for March (even though we are already one week into it.):

1. I want to see my ending weight be lower than 9 pounds from goal. That means a 8.8 or lower. So another three pound loss is my goal.

2. I will do 12 cardio sessions (20 minutes or more) in the month of March. Now that the weather is getting nicer, this should include running some HIIT workouts around my neighborhood. However, I have only done one so far. And six days are gone. Eleven more to go in the next 25 days.

3. I will do measurements and take photos, because even though the scale isn't moving rapidly, my pants are feeling a bit lose. And that is even more important than the number. 

On that note, I will leave you with this photo. I often look at, take pictures of, and compare my bicep muscles, and there is often very little change. But the other day, I happened to see this!

I have a muscle there.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Simply Shredded Plus Week 6

I felt really strong for week six. But we pretty much left all of our numbers the same. I really wanted to focus on form and attempting to hit eight good reps. That's not true of every body part; I did make some increases. But I would say I left every session feeling like I worked hard without sacrificing good form.

Arm Day: Arm day was the one place that I did do some increasing. My bench press weight had been at the same place for four weeks, so it was time to bump that up (by 10). But increasing weights (even the 5 on shoulders) really lowers my rep count. But they were all good efforts. I went up on triceps too and boy were my arms sore the next day.

Bench Press - 65 pounds x 6 x 3
Shoulder Press - 55 pounds x 6 x 3
Tricep Extension - 20s (40 pounds) x 6 x 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 (20 toes)

Leg Day: My legs were worn out, but boy am I working better by keeping my weight lower. My quads were sorer than they had ever been. BodyPump sore. And I only did eight squats. But they were perfectly parallel squats. We had a lot of discussion about what part of the leg/booty you should be working, and I've determined I may need to do more research.

Squats - 95 x 8 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 warmed up with 30 minutes of a BodyCombat class again this week. Then Erin started us right off with split squats, which are killer. Over an hour and a half workout and I burned almost 800 calories. Even though in torn about not doing the actual 4-day program, I'm loving this full body day. And thinking next rotation, I should just have three or four full body days!

Planks - 1 minute x 4
Chest Fly - 15s x 8 x3
Upright Row - 20s x 8 x 3
Tricep Machine - 40 x 8 x 3
Split Squat - 15s x 15 x 3
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 4 (with 18 pounds)
Step Ups - 45 seconds x 4 (with 15 pounds)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

2015 Week 9

Current Weight: 11.8 pounds (Monday)
Weekly Loss: 0 pounds
Total 2015 Loss: 6.2 pounds

No, I am not dead. But I did feel like I was dying once. On Monday morning. On my bathroom floor. Where I was sweating and shaking at the same time. It was the stomach flu. I guess. And it lasted about two days, which is actually pretty good for the stomach flu. So maybe it was some kind of food poisoning. Anyway, I don't want to think about it. It's over now. I basically slept for the last two days. And now I am so far behind. In my blogging. In my workouts. At work. And the worst part is, having not eaten for the last two days, I have no energy today to do much of anything. Storytime was a nightmare, even though I planned a program where I for almost the entire session.

Your body needs fuel to survive.

And even through all that ordeal, I lost less than three pounds. Probably all of which was water, and I will start gaining it back today when I started eating again.

The worst part is: when you're coming out of having the stomach flu, protein is not what you're craving. I want only bread. Or chips. Or donuts. So I may not force myself to hit those macro numbers today. Slow and steady might have to be my plan of attack.

I also hope to salvage my workout routine for the week. I need Wednesday off due to weakness. But I will plan to work Legs on Thursday evening, and hopefully give up my Friday night to get my arm and a cardio workout in. Then my weekend should be back on track.