Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 2015 Recap

I would say that April was a pretty successful month. I didn't lose a huge amount of weight, but I did end lower than I started. I have had 18 perfect days of logging and I am determined to keep that streak going. Here's what April looked like:

Starting Weight: 10.2 pounds
Ending Weight: 7.4 pounds
Total Loss: 2.8 pounds

1. Pack my lunch 3 times a week. Nailed it. I might have missed a couple sessions, because I made this goal late. But once I got started I hit the three times a week perfectly. I kind of hated it. And I hated being forced to eat what I brought. I am going to try to continue this trend without making it mandatory or putting too many stipulations on it. 

2. Try these new lower macros for two weeks and re-evaluate. They worked right away and busted me out of a plateau I had been in for almost six weeks. I never feel deprived on these numbers. I had two bad weekends in April, where I was off my numbers and that inconsistency limited my results. But I am back on track and headed in the perfect direction. I will stay with these numbers through all of May and then see where I am.

3. In order for those numbers to be calculated correctly, I need to be working out 4 times a week. So my goal for April is 16 HIIT sessions. Man this one was hard. I got a bad cold in early April and started behind. But I made it. I am so proud that I accomplished all 16 sessions. I am not sure I can do that all again.

4. I want to see 5 pounds from goal. Nope. I don't control the scale. I know what I need to do: perfect numbers every day. I had four off days and that held me back a bit. But, like I said, it's headed in that direction.

Moving forward. I have big plans for May.

1. I am not going to weigh in the rest of May. I need to take measurements tonight to see what change is happening there. This will be hard for me. I am very reliant on what the scale tells me. But I need to remember, that I am doing things right. I trust the process. I need to just keep working.

2. I wan't to have a perfect macro month. Every day +/- 5 points. I know these numbers work. I just need to worry about making it through a Mother's Day Luncheon, Jennifer's birthday, Josie's birthday, and all the crazy Summer Reading prep that makes me want to drink daily. I am a rockstar though. I can do it.

3. When I get on that scale on June 1st. I want to see 3 pounds from goal. That's a four pound loss. And with complete consistency, I don't think that's too lofty at all.

4. I am not sure what I want my fitness goal to be. I might need to think about that for a bit. I need to get my four cardio sessions in per week. But I kind of want to make myself mix things up a bit. For instance, my goal should be: 8 Treadmill HIITS, 4 Combat classes, 4 Spin HIITS. But I don't know if I want to force that upon myself just yet. Sometimes, you just need to be able to run around the neighborhood. Also, I want to research HIIT a bit more. I feel like some of my sessions aren't exactly High Intensity. And I wonder if that's okay.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

2015 Week 17

Current Weight: 7.4 (Tuesday)
Weekly Loss: .8 pounds
Total 2015 Loss: 10.6 pounds

Well, it's the lowest I have ever been. Besides that week in December 2013 and that week in July 2013. But it's getting lower.

Really slowly.

So I am breaking up with the scale. I will do one final weigh in Friday morning, for a May 1st starting point. Then I will have Dan hide the scale for a month. And I will weigh in again on June 1st. And by hide the scale, I mean, put it in the area of my basement that I am sure the bat/squirrel lives and I refuse to go into, even though Samantha walks in there with no fear, and I did have to shine a flashlight in there earlier this week because I heard a mysterious dripping.

But here's the thing. I know what I am doing is working. I know that I just need to be consistent with my numbers. I know that the scale will go down however slowly it wants to go down. And I don't need to be watching it to make that happen any faster. I wouldn't say I get hung up on what the scale tells me everyday. But I know that it can be disappointing when it doesn't move at all, especially when I think I have been doing so many great things (hello 17 perfect days of tracking!)

So a gal in my challenge group said she was fed up with the scale too. I told her I was considering taking a hiatus for the month of May and we agreed to do it together.

It makes me super-anxious.

And that is why I think it's a good idea.

And on the positive side, I am feeling pretty good about how I look!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Where did this Will-Power Come From?

Suddenly, and maybe for the last few months, I have realized that I have amazing will-power. I used to have the hardest time turning down treats on the break room table, bites of fries, anything that included sugar. Anytime it was offered.

And I don't remember the day that all changed.

But it has.

For the last two days people have brought us cookies at work. Delcious Eileen's bakery cookies. And I have skipped. With no problem. Not deep regret. Not just a small bite. But a I'm not going to have any, thanks!

In fact, I would estimate 50% of the time there are treats of some kind on our break room table, and I just move them out of the way to have my lunch.

Last Friday, Dan and Samantha split three donuts. And I just watched. Not phased one bit.

Almost every night Dan has ice cream or Cheetos or candy. And I just sit next to him and eat mine.

That's not to say that I don't fit in a cookie a few nights a week. Or a scoop of cookie butter. Or ice cream. Or other treats.

But I have absolutely no problem saying no.

And that is weird for me.

Did it start when I started counting Macros?

Knowing that I am going to make the perfect treat fit later often makes me feel better about refraining from a not-so-perfect treat.

Did it start when I stopped allowing myself to just have little bites here and there. When I essnetially made myself stop cheating?

It doesn't matter when it appeared.

But it's here now.

And I love it.

Because I've got goals!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend Recap

I had a really good weekend. I kept my Macros perfect. I even went out to eat at a Mexican Restaurant. I ordered smart (maybe boring) and kept everything in check. And this morning I woke up lighter than I started the weekend Friday. And the lightest I have been all month. And really, like the lowest I have been in a long long time.

Friday evening I picked up Samantha so we could have some quality time together. I didn't get to see her last weekend, and the rest of this weekend was filling up fast. Jennifer and Ryan never like to do things on Friday nights, so I knew that getting dibs on the cute one would be key. We had so much fun together. We went out to eat at Hy-Vee, one of our favorite places. All she wanted was donuts (I mean, I understand) but she did a great job eating half her pizza, half my sandwich wrap and her donut. Then we came home and pretended to drive my car for several minutes. Played the pine-cone basketball game Dan and I invented last week. Played glow-in-the-dark-ball-tag until someone got hurt (her). Fixed the hurt with a jelly sandwich (no crust, obvs!) Played computer games with Dan. Played the piano and sang along, even though they weren't the same melody. Looked at my new clothes that came in the mail. Made a few cookies. And then we drove her home.

I only ate one, and it fit perfectly!

Saturday I woke up around 8:00, which is when I always wake up. I kind of wanted to sleep in, so I tried going back to sleep. By nine o'clock I was still awake and told myself I needed to get up for the gym. That was enough to make me fall back asleep for over two hours. Dan finally made me get up at noon.

I headed to the gym the first thing, I knew that if I didn't it would never get done. But I had zero energy. I don't know what was wrong with me. I did Sprints on the Bike. Those went okay. Then I went into the weight room and the thought of expending all that energy just physically exhausted me. I did 3/7 of my full-body weights. Probably the three easiest things. Then I just left. I got home, ate lunch, sat around on the couch a while and then took a deep 1.5 hour nap. I don't know if it was the dreary weather, if I was fighting something, or what. But I got over 12 hours of sleep on Saturday. And still had no problem going to bed that night.

Saturday evening we went to dinner with my mom. Steve never gets to have Mexican food, so I was more than happy to join. But as always, I had to skip the margarita. I ordered two ala carte Enchiladas, so I wasn't tempted by the rice and beans. I counted out 20 chips to have. It was plenty of food and I left feeling light, not bogged down like you usually do after stuffing yourself with food.

Sunday I woke up a whole new person. The sun was out and life was great. I was at the gym before 9 AM. I did sprints on the treadmill, this time keeping my pace a little slower but I raised the incline from 1.0 to 4.0. It was tough. Then I finished up the 4 weight exercises I had left.

I got home and did yard work for probably two hours. I raked up a bunch of leaves out of my flower gardens. I got the hoses out and watered for the first time this year. I sprayed off a our sidewalks and deck, which gets a bunch of tree cuties on it whenever it rains in the spring. Then I mowed half of our yard (the half I didn't do Thursday) It took me right at 30 minutes, and because I have a push mower, it burned 10 calories per minute. That is better than the gym. So I counted that as my second workout for the day!

We went shopping later in the day. I am proud to report that I can finally wear a smaller jean size. I tried on these same jeans on March 22nd, because my current favorites were getting too big. But the smaller size was still super-tight. This weekend they were on sale, so I told myself I would get them so I would be ready when I could finally fit into them. I hate paying full price for things just because I need them right now. But as I tried them on, they zipped this time. I bought two!

I finished up the weekend with perfect macros. I have hit sixteen days in a row with perfect numbers. By my weigh-in Wednesday, I expect to have an even lower number on that scale. Then I am considering tossing the scale for the month of May...

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Week in Workouts

Saturday Morning I was up pretty early to workout. Erin had let me know the day before that she was not feeling well, but I knew I needed to get my workout in, or I wouldn't do it. I do love getting it done first thing in the morning. I did Power Hills on the treadmill for 20 minutes and then followed up with Day 3 of our 3x3x3 plan. I felt comfortable doing everything on my own. But the lunge bar was busy the two times I went to use it, so I ended up just skipping that portion.

Sunday I woke up so sore. My obliques were in so much pain (from those standing oblique crunches) that I felt like I couldn't move my body in any direction. I ended up taking a rest day because I couldn't imagine actually doing anything productive.

Monday, I needed to get back on track. I did the power hills again on the treadmill, but I just did not feel like I could get my heart rate up as high. It was fine, but I had to actually let go of the bars and go for 40 seconds on / 20 seconds off. That's the best part of wearing a heart rate monitor. If my goal is to get 85% and higher for 20 minutes, you really need to be watching that. I can think I am working hard, and my heart rate is around 75%. After that was over I did a few biceps and shoulders. Cause you should always work those more. I used a light 8 pound weight, but did 50 reps of each.

Also, these are the new gym pants I bought. I love this line from Target. They are so super soft and they don't fall down. They are a bit more expensive (than say Old Navy) but they fit much better. I have decided to buy them as a reward to myself. Maybe next I will bridge out and wear actual workout shirts, though I honestly don't see the point!

Tuesday I was supposed to meet Erin, but mid-day she cancelled due to illness. I thought it would be okay to go by myself. Sometimes I like not having a set time I have to go to the gym. That way I can get errands done and not have to stop what I am doing. But then time slips away from you and suddenly it was 9PM and I hadn't gotten there yet. I never went. This was kind of a wake-up call. Suddenly I was skipping the gym more than I was actually attending the gym. I knew that I would need to go on Wednesday, which is usually my rest day, instead.

Wednesday was good. I went straight from work (at 5:30) and had more energy than I have had in a long time. I didn't realize how waiting until 8PM affected me. I also knew I needed to do a good run on the treadmill to ensure my HIIT sessions were burning enough calories. Then I did day 2 of our 3x3x3 plan. Day one involves a lot of things I am scared to do on my own. And two is a bit easier in terms of machines and my comfort level (i.e nothing is over my head!) Week 2 is where we do the same weights we were doing last week, but we increase reps from 8 to 9. Some things felt easy. I checked the delt machine weight twice to make sure I was going hard enough. But when I got to biceps (which I did last) I couldn't do more than 2 this week. So I went down in weight. If I can't do it, I can't do it. Funny how much order plays a roll. I wonder if we should try to keep the same order or mix it up more. Also, plans are a lot harder on your own. 

Thursday, Erin was out for a work obligation. I had so many things I wanted to get done. The weather was nice and I wanted to get some yard work done before the trash and rain came on Friday. So I used two hours of vacation leave, got home early, hit the gym right away, and had my whole evening free to get stuff done. I started with Spin Sprints and then decided to tackle Day 1 of 3x3x3. Erin's out this weekend too, so I knew I had to do it on my own eventually.

It went just fine. I felt really strong on those squats. I was most worried about doing the overhead shoulder press without a partner to save me when I was fatigued. But I just ended up using the machine instead. 

Then I sent home a tackled half of my yard. Mowing, raking, and searching the entire yard for where Dan might of lost his ring (I found it! I have great eyes!!) I'm counting this as a workout, because I still burned almost 300 calories!

Friday morning I made myself get up a bit early. I am so behind on my HIIT and I am just determined to get them in. It should not be difficult to do 25 minutes at home. Before work. Thursday night I made a plan of 6 stations and set my interval timer for 30 on / 30 off; repeat 4 times. I never know how easy it will be to get my heart rate up high enough. But I knew with jump squats and step ups, I'd be sure to get it up a bit. Turned out it was a great burn. 

So total this week I did six workouts (5h 23m; and 2543 calories burned), even though I felt like I was slacking early on. I made a good dent in my HIIT goal. I only need four more sessions next week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2015 Week 16

Current Weight: 8.2 (today)
Weekly Change: +0.6 pounds
Total 2015 Loss: 9.8 pounds

Well, this week was disappointing. I feel like this is my first gain in quite a while. And honestly, anything less than a pound isn't really a gain, but it's still frustrating. Especially, because I have had a perfect week. I made my goal to hit my macros every day (including the weekend) and I did! In fact, I have hit them every day for 10 days. And to still see the scale still go up is tough.

Things to consider though:

  • Last week's weigh in came from Friday the 11th, before the weekend where I did not hit my numbers. So whatever damaged I did there, I am honestly still working off. I hate that one or two slips can lose we a week of progress. But it is what it is.
  • It's also that 'time of the month' right now which always raises my weight (at least a tiny bit) and that would be enough to account for something. Usually the beauty of the "weekly low" eliminates this problem, but today might have been that lowest point except for this.
  • I have lost two pounds since jumping to my new numbers. I have been on them (albeit not consistently) for three weeks. A 1.5 pound loss would still be respectable. 
  • I want to see two full weeks of perfect numbers before I start complaining. And I know if I keep being consistent, I will keep getting lower. I know it works and that's all that matters.
Oddly, I have had more trouble getting to the gym lately than eating perfectly. Erin has been sick. I was so sore on Sunday. And going alone just doesn't appeal to me. Since last Wednesday, I have gone four times. That's not awful. I just feel like I have skipped more than usual. I would also love to start going in the morning, now that it's getting nicer out, I just want to sit on my porch when I get home and sip (zero-calorie) drinks. It doesn't help that I was behind on my HIIT goal, tried to catch up, and now I am burned out. Anyway, my goal for today is to get there right after work, so I don't "accidentally" go home.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Those Blue Pants

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about being at my happy weight. You can read that post right here! In one of the last photos at my happy weight (before I started gaining some back) I had on a pair of blue pants.

I made a statement that these pants still didn't fit, even though I am essentially the same weight now, as I was in this photo. Then I started thinking about it, and I realized that I hadn't tried them on. In a long time. 

So I did.

And they kinda fit. I mean, I could button them. And they didn't leave me not breathing. But they were still a little tight for my liking. I wouldn't feel comfortable enough in them to wear them all day. I would worry they were going to split every time I squatted down looking for a children's book. 

So what's the difference?

My first guess is that I was running back then, so my lower half was smaller. My legs were a bit more sleek and now they're not. But I don't feel like my top half is more sleek this time around. So where does the weight go? 

Body composition is my number one priority. Truly, this is my happy weight and I could weigh this for the rest of my life, if I could get my legs and arms to look like I wanted them to look. 

And the horrifying truth is: what if they never do.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekend Recap

We had a super low-key weekend and it was actually kind of nice. I haven't had a macro-perfect weekend in three weeks, and I made a vow to myself (and my challenge friends) that I would. Friday-Sunday, not swapping, +/- 5 macros in each direction. It took quite a bit of planning, even though I had no social plans. It was a rainy weekend, which limited what we could do. Everyone we knew was sick. Including this one. Who I didn't even get to see this weekend, which makes me super-sad. But her mother sent me this cute picture of Sammie playing in the rain.

Friday evening we did have our one social obligation of the weekend. My co-worker Abby had some people (her work and her boyfriend's Grad-student-Art-major friends) to their house. Abby is like a gourmet chef and she wanted to show off a bunch of her cooking skills. I didn't even take a picture of the yummy eats, but everything I tried was delicious. It was all vegetarian. And I only had a few bites of everything. It was impossible to track, but I counted it a big helping of Quinoa salad and a guacmole. I actually enjoyed the Quinoa and will have to make it myself some time. Before we headed over, I heated up one of these Johnsonville Sausages. I bought it to take to Jennifer's the next time we grill. Only 6 grams of fat, compared to the 21 grams that are in the usual Bratwursts. That's a huge savings! I could actually eat two. Or three. 

It was a BYOB event, and I took along my own diet soda. Abby made fun of me because it wasn't Crystal Light (what I drink at work) but not because it wasn't alcoholic. Nobody even cared about that. 

Saturday morning I got up to workout. Originally I was supposed to meet Erin, but she was also sick this weekend, so those plans got cancelled early on. I was really sleepy and could not get any energy. The idea of running on the treadmill made me want to go home and go back to bed. So instead I attempted HIIT hill work. I wasn't sure if my heart rate would get high enough. But it certainly did. By the third hill, I was burning over 10 calories/minute and it never went down from there. I did 15 intervals of walking up a 10% incline at 4.2 pace and then 3.3 pace. I even held on. 

Then I did day three of our 3x3 plan. 

Dan loves to go to a deli and get sandwiches any chance he can. Usually I love sandwiches, but I don't love this deli. They don't make very good sandwiches unless it is a chicken salad on croissant. But the macros there are: 21f/27c/24p. So I talked Dan into buying croissants and bringing them home to make our lunch. I had my own Chicken Salad and my macros were: 14f/20c/38p. So much more protein, so much fewer fats and just as delicious. This could become our new Saturday tradition.

During the day on Saturday we did a bit of yard work. It was a dreary, rainy day. But I swept up some of the debris left from the storm (leaves and buds and other flower petals) and I trimmed up some bushes. Then I sat on my porch and watched Dan do a bunch of raking. I have a dream of a green lawn this year. I even fertilized last week. Now I am just waiting for the sun to do its job.

I love this view from my front porch.

I've also discovered this Arctic Zero ice cream, which isn't super creamy like ice cream, but kind of frozen malt like. It has tons of protein and some carbs (but not like regular ice cream) and it has no fat. So I can usually sprinkle some mini chips on top and it's a really nice treat when Dan is enjoying his Ben and Jerry's! 

Sunday I woke up so sore. Like I had been hit by a truck. I kept putting off the gym all day and never got anything done. Finally I took some Tylenol and got myself to do some things around the house: laundry and room-cleaning. Then I took myself shopping where I bought new workout pants, cause those make me so happy and a new wallet, because mine is falling apart.

And then the weekend was over and my macros were perfect. And my scale was finally two pounds lower this morning, although that was three pound up from my lowest weight last week, so really it just balanced itself back out. Still, I am proud of myself for meeting my goal. 

And today the challenge girls started a 14 day perfect-macros challenge, so I'm looking at two more perfect weekends coming up!

I got my four HIIT sessions in last week, and packed my lunch three times. Then I had to take an unexpected rest day on Sunday because I was so worn out. But at least I got things done around my house. I am proud of this weekend.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My Week in Workouts

Saturday we finished the full-body day of our Simply Shredded program. We did it early in the morning so I could get to a fun-filled day of park time with my favorite girls. I did not have time to get any HIIT in, and I still wasn't feeling great.

Sunday, I did an hour workout on my own (after the volunteer banquet) that involved Intervals on the Stair climber and then a random assortment of weights. I already told you about this. What I didn't mention is: I tried to use the rower first!

Some girls on my facebook challenge mentioned using the rower for HIIT routines, just like the bike, climber, treadmill, etc. I wanted to give it a try because I am always looking for something to better my arms. And I sometimes get tired of using the same machines every day. They suggested doing 30 seconds on / thirty seconds off. That's exactly what I do on the spin bike. It was suggested that I attempt to row at a sub 2:00minutes/500meter pace. I don't know what that means, but it's a reading the machine gives you. I could not come close to that number. My arms and legs would not move any faster. On the other hand, my heart rate was not high enough either. I obviously need to work harder, I am just not sure how to do that. 

Monday, I did more of the same: spin sprints and upper body work. On the days that I don't meet Erin, and we don't follow a plan, I like to do some random weight work. Always upper body, and almost always high reps, lower weights. On Monday I did Push-ups (five sets of seven) Bicep Curls (5 sets of 10, using 15 pound weights) Shoulder Laterals (3 sets of 10 using 15 pound weights) and Upright Rows (4 sets of 10 using 15 pound weights. I like the mix-up from the plans we follow where we're trying to do the highest weight possible. I also like that there's no set amount I have to do, I just go until I want to quit or my hour is up!

Tuesday we started our new program. Which I am going to call 3x3x3. It is a three day program. We work full body every day. We are running for three weeks. And we do three sets of all the exercises. You use the same weight for the full three weeks. You increase the reps you do from eight to nine to ten as the plan progresses. On week four, we start over using a higher weight, but going back down to eight reps. Technically, we are not allowed to increase weight until the three weeks are over. The idea is to increase reps and therefore get a better workout. I am most excited because every day is a full body day. So even though I hate working legs, I only have to do two or three leg exercises and then I can move on.

Day one was great. Overhead presses were near impossible, but I got all eight of them done. Squats were tough but do-able. My legs hurt so bad for the next two days, so I know I did something right. We had never used the hamstring machine and Erin picked 50 pounds for us. I could feel it, but it wasn't super-difficult. I might increase that just 5 or 10 next week, only because it was a new-to-use exercise. 

I finished up the workout with Sprint on the spin bike. I thought 600 calories was a pretty good burn. But it was really hard for me to do the cardio after the weights. I think that's the ideal way, but I just am out of stamina. I want to go home and the time drags on. Note to self: do cardio first!

Wednesday I did a HIIT program at home. My facebook challenge leader gave us a quick workout that I explanded and made into almost a 30 minute routine. I started with a five minute warm up walk around the block. Then I went to my basement where I did 30 seconds on / 30 seconds off of these five exercises. After I did all five, I took a minute break and did it all over again. I did the whole thing five times. Currently: I could not do all 30 seconds of push-ups on my toes. Maybe someday. I did none of the plank up/downs on my toes. I was hoping to burn 300 calories (which is what I would burn at the gym) but I absolutely love having my workout done in the time I would otherwise drive to and from the gym. I could easily do something like this in the morning before work, and it wouldn't require I get up super-early.

Thursday we were back at the gym for day 2 of 3x3x3. My legs hurt with every step and I wondered how I would do the leg exercises. Luckily, as difficult as Split Squats are, they actually helped to stretch my legs a bit. And the Leg Press machine works my glutes more. I don't seem to ever be able to get better at pull-ups, hopefully this program changes that. New to us was the fly machine and the Delt machine. I have a hard time feeling my back muscles but maybe it's that my back muscles are too weak to do most of the work. This will be the first time we are working back more than once per week. But that fly machine is better than any free weight flies or chest press thing we have done yet. I feel those muscles in every move. 

Friday is generally my rest day. And I haven't had one since last Friday, so I was sure happy when it came back around. I am not as sore today as I have been the last few days and that makes me certain I will be able to make it through! I am excited about this plan. I am happy that it will make us keep increasing weight, but on a schedule and not just when we feel like it. I also like that every day is full-body, so even though I hurt every where right now, I feel like everything will be worked more evenly. Also, it won't be a scheduling nightmare if we have to miss one session. 

This was a good workout week for me. I did six sessions. A total of 6 hours and 30 minutes (which doesn't mean a ton anymore). I burned 2557 calories. I did 4 HIIT sessions, which is good, but I need to make up one, so next week might have to be five.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Money Woes

Here's what I have done this week:

  • I transferred $5000 into an IRA which sure, is a good thing cause of retirement and everything, but it's also $5000 that I can't touch again for like 30+ years. And I kinda needed that money. But it lowers the amount of money you owe on your taxes. Which were due this week too.
  • I paid $1700 in taxes. I understand that we owed that much money, and it's only because the government expected that money from us all year, and instead we had it in our bank account, and really that's the way you want it to be. But all these other people get refunds and tax credits and I used to get a refund and instead I owe. A lot.
  • I registered my car. That was only like $200 and seemed small in compassion. But I did it online. It cost me an extra $3 to not go to the DMV and stand in line with the idiot public. It was the best $3 I have ever spent.
  • We had our roof patched. Again. It's the fourth time since we bought the house two years ago. We have a brand new roof, that wasn't hung correctly. And patches blow off every season. We've spend about $1000 on it so far. So it was time to get an estimate for a new one. $9000 for the basic model. $11,000 if I want the life-time warranty one. I don't have $10,000 so I guess I don't want any of them. Do you think there's a payment plan for something like that?
  • Last night I finally used the $50 all-organic fertilizer that I bought last year for my lawn. I want a perfect lawn, Dan is against all chemicals. It was our compromise. But it was like triple the price everyone else gets to pay to make their yard pretty. Well, except the people that hire that organic landscaper I called. He wanted us to pay $1200 a year. I guess I did better than that.
  • We finally purchased our flight and hotel for Joel's wedding this summer. The tickets had finally gone down in price and I knew it was time to pounce. However, the hotel has gone up in price... so whatev. $1200 just for the weekend: flights, hotel, transit. Plus there will be new outfits and gifts. Wowza! We love them and everything, but I bet they would have preferred we stayed home and sent them $500 in cash!
  • The good news is: watching our saving account fall so rapidly this week has been a good reminder to eat at home. I have only had two lunches out this week. And that includes dinners. And in the end, that is healthier.
  • You can't put a price on your health!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

2015 Week 15

Current Weight: 7.6 pounds (Friday)
Weekly Loss: 0.4 pounds
Total 2015 Loss: 10.4 pounds

Just a little loss this week. And truthfully, it has been gone since this weekend of not hitting my numbers. I am determined to have a perfect week, meaning hitting my numbers every single day, Monday - Sunday. Still, a loss is what I want, no matter how small. I have had some stalls along the way. I didn't get super-focused until the third week of January, and I had a six week period where I only lost 2 pounds and should have changed things up but I didn't. So the fact that I have lost over 10 pounds this year, in just 15 weeks, is pretty inspiring.

My cold has held me back a bit this week. I am on day ten and finally sleeping through the night again. But my nose is still running constantly and wearing me out. I fell behind a bit on my HIIT sessions for the month. We're half way through April, so I should have eight done. As of tonight I will have six. I still think I will be able to get them all in, just not so many rest days.

We started our new Weight lifting plan last night. I think I am going to like it. I am pretty sore today and I wasn't so exhausted last night that I couldn't do 20 minutes on the Spin Bike afterward. It took us just under and hour to complete but we both agreed we talk to much. I could probably get the 20 minute HIIT session and the whole weight lifting routine done in 70 minutes. And still get three days off from the gym! We'll see how the rest of the days go. I think it's gotten kind of boring to give a weekly weight report, so I think I will turn it into a complete weekly workout report. Not that that's not boring as well. It would just be good to have all my workouts noted in one place.

I did pack my lunch three times last week, and have two of the three done for this week. I am feeling pretty proud of that. I need to work on making an actual dish (like soup or casseroles) to bring leftovers. It's hard to piece together chicken and sides for every meal.

My goals for the coming week are:
1) Three packed lunches.
2) Perfect macros weekend.
3) Catch up on my HIIT.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Simply Shredded Plus Week 12 and Recap

We were more than happy to be done with this twelve week session. I really wish that I wasn't sick for the last week. That may have hindered me trying to push out a slightly heavier weight the last time around. Here's what I noticed about doing Simply Shredded a second time: we didn't get as strong as we did the first time. We started higher than we did the first round, but we ended up at about the same weights. This could be because of my illness, but most likely, we just saw the most gains at the beginning of the process. That is another reason I am ready to do something different for a while.

I am going to share a before and after photo. It is only of my arms. Actually mostly my biceps. I wish there was more change. What I mean to say is, I wish I had ripped buff arms. But I definitely notice a difference. This is a twelve week progress shot. I imagine where I could be twelve more weeks from now, but that's like half way through summer and it just depresses me that I won't be as far as I wanted. Still, these are good results and I am proud of how much I have accomplished in these 12 weeks:

Arm Day: 

Bench Press - 65 pounds x 6 x 3 (Last Round: 65)
Shoulder Press - 60 pounds x 6 x 3 (Last Round: 55)
Tricep Extension - 20s (40 pounds) x 6 x 3 (Last Round: 40)
Bicep Curl - 22.5s (45pounds) x 5 x 3 (Last Round: 45)
Pull-Ups - 80 pounds x 4 x 3 (Last Round: 90)
Seated Row - 90 pounds x 6 x 3 (Last Round: 85)
Push Ups (reps) - 75 (35 toes)

Leg Day: We really worked on form this round. So my numbers aren't as high. But I can say, we're squatting lower, we have better form and I can still feel it (maybe more than last time). Also, we're doing more than four reps, mostly six and sometimes even eight, so it's not comparing apples to apples.

Squats - 105 x 6 x 3 (Last Round: 125)
Lunges - 105 x 6 x 3 (Last Round: 105)
Stiff Leg Deadlift - 95 x 8 x 3 (Last Round: 115)
Leg Press - 230 x 6 x 3 (Last Round: 250)
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 18 x 4

Full Body Day: We didn't do a full body day last time, so I don't have a lot to compare these numbers too.

Planks - 45 secs x 4 (all toes)
Chest Fly Machine - 75 x 6 x 3
Upright Row - 50 x 6 x 3
Tricep Machine - 50 x 4 x 3 (Last Round: 55)
Split Squat - 15s x 20 x 3
Calf Raises - 30 seconds x 4
Step Ups - 60 secs x 15s x 4

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend Recap

I had an off weekend. I woke up Friday morning at my lowest weight  yet (7.6) and I was so determined to keep it low. That didn't happen. Our friend Amy was in town and we had dinner plans with her. We decided to go to a Mexican Restaurant and I ate so healthy all day leading up to it. I made sure Jennifer knew that I wouldn't be having a Margarita so I'd be able to stay within my carb count. I just don't know how to fit that 65 (?) carb treat into my 152 carb day. I don't know how to eat only 90 carbs the rest of the day. Especially if I want chips and salsa with my drink. So I'd rather cut out the drink and enjoy the eats. But even making so many sacrifices, my numbers were slightly off.

After dinner, we showed Amy how cool we are!

Saturday morning I met Erin pretty early for our last Simply Shredded Plus workout. I can say: I am happy to not be starting another 12 week program. We're going to try a five week session that should get us right up to Summer. I am also trying to talk her into meeting at the gym in the morning twice a week. I really want my summer evenings free. I cannot wait around until 8 more than once a week.

It was a beautiful, though windy day. But our friends Jen and Josie came down to play with us. We had a picnic lunch and played in the park all afternoon. Then we went back to Jennifer's house and played until evening, where we then grilled some food.  I had pretty good control of what I ate (I brought my own salad to lunch) but dinner was also fat-heavy (brats and chips and cookies). Again, I felt like I made so many sacrifices: not very many chips, lots of fruit, no ice cream, just a couple of mini-cookies. But my fat was way over by the time I went home. Plus we ate so early (Josie is used to an early dinner, and they wanted to get home) that I was ready for another meal by 8:00 and I was out of macros. I went to bed hungry that night. Which is odd for me. But it was a fun day with friends and I even got a bit of a tan.

Sunday I had to work a half day. We had our annual volunteer banquet. It's a pretty fancy event and I was excited to wear one of my many dresses I never have a chance to wear for work. But nothing I put on fit right. Everything was too big. Even the dresses that I just bought. Everything was loose in the chest/rib/tummy area. Which seems great, except I need those clothes to fit. I don't have money to buy all new dresses. And in the past my upper-body hasn't really changed shape much. So what is going on there. Regardless, that seems like a positive thing. But I still hate my legs and it seemed that my arms were super jiggly. Which just depressed me. Now I have a baggy dress hanging off my jiggly upper-body. What is all this work for? I am running out of time to have buff arms by summer. 

I did good at only having one cheesecake square and one deviled egg instead of a plate of food. And I got several compliments on my dress and myself, which made me feel quite a bit better.

After the banquet, I came home and worked out. It was a beautiful day, but I knew I needed to do some things inside the gym. I had heard people used the rower for a HIIT workout and I was excited to try it out. I am pretty tired of using the same old machines. But I couldn't get my heart rate high enough on there. It's odd, you'd think I would just row faster. But I couldn't. Huh!? So I moved to the stairmill and did that for 15 minutes. Then I followed up with some random weights. There are certain things I just love to do (upright rows and the leg press machine being two of them) there are certain things I think I should do more (biceps and pull ups) and there are things that I wanted to try out before our next rotation (rear delts.) I was sweating a bunch, but didn't have a great burn for such a hard workout. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

That Happy Weight

Besides being so freaking excited that my scale finally moved again, and that these numbers seem to be working, and that I am finally out of the double-digit weight loss area, I had a realization yesterday. I am below my "Happy Weight."

In August 2009 I got to my lowest weight of all time. I used to think that weight was too hard for me to maintain, but I'm not so sure about that now. I just hadn't discovered a diet that I could maintain forever. At that point I was eating 1300 calories and running three to five miles three times a week. That wasn't a way I wanted to live forever. And shortly after that point, I gained 12 pounds back.

That was the weight that I maintained for over a year. I am sure I worked out a lot. That was just what I did. And I probably counted calories here and there. But for a long time I was just happy with the weight I was at and I just hovered around that number without trying very hard.

I have considered that my happy weight every since. Not because I am happy staying here forever. But because my body seems to be happy at it and I don't have to work hard to stay there. When I look back at pictures I always think I look so good. Because I worked so hard to get there. But I don't feel like I look that good right now. Perhaps it's all perception. Or maybe I just look so young! Here's a look back at my entire year of Happy Weight!

The first photo I have at my happy weight. I don't think that sweater fits today. But I haven't tried it on.

I always thought I looked really good at Jennifer's wedding. Maybe I need a tan.

My 30th birthday. I have shoulders!

By Jennifer's birthday in May I am still the same weight.

Dan and I's first "kinda" date. May 2010. The only picture I have ever been fine with my legs.
I run one final 10k. But I don't lose any weight training.

I throw a running retirement party. I don't think my arms are that skinny now.

Fourth of July 2010. These pants haven't fit since.

Jen's birthday 2010.

By November 2010, I have started gaining weight again. 

I used to think that was 5 pounds from my current goal. But actually, because I changed scales a few years back, it's 10 pounds from my current goal.

As of this week, I have surpassed it.

It's not the first time I have been back there. In summer of 2013 I got back to 9 pounds from goal. And in December or 2013 I got to six pounds from goal. But I have never stayed at either of these weights for longer than a month.

I am now at a point where not only will I maintain this weight for more than a month. I will actually continue to get lower. It's weird that I don't feel like I look as good as I do here. I supposed it's because it's not as new. I've been here before. It could also be that I am older and my skin isn't holding up as well. So it's jigglier. It could also be that I am too hard on myself.

I should have more muscles this go around. Maybe shedding the sweaters and getting a tan will reveal something spectacular!