Monday, January 30, 2017

My Week in Workouts

I only got four workouts in this week. I got six last week, so it's really just an average of five and how the week falls. I am still working on the SheSweats plan, but I am not feeling super-motivated right now. I was still battling a cold, plus icy drives to work and all over gloominess of the weather. I am just so sick of winter.

Saturday I had to work, so I started my week with a rest day. That's sort of weird for me, but oh well.

Sunday I got a pretty good workout in. SheSweat has us doing this Chest and Back workout as a circuit. There is no way I can do all these things in a row. And there is no way I am doing strange things like jumping jacks in front of my gym mates. That's just not something people do there. So I broke the group into two sets of circuits and added laps around the track in between each set. I liked that it kept my heartrate up. And luckily I was at the gym at a pretty slow time, so I didn't feel bad leaving my weights out for a minute.

Monday was arm day, and it was the same sort of thing. Not able to do the plan exactly, and not willing to do Butt Kicks in the weight room. So I did laps and shorter circuits. 

Tuesday morning, Tracy and I got up and ran. I told her we needed a plan and I programed my phone for Run3/Walk2 interval run. Tracy wasn't looking forward to it, but agreed. She tried to quit a few times, but I made her and she loved it when we were done. And our time was faster than any of our winter runs. We weren't running fast. But it was good to make ourselves run when we usually don't. Like up the hills. 

Wednesday icy struck the city and it took me 56 minutes to drive the 22 minutes to work. There is something stressful about driving on ice and it ruined my entire day. I was certain one of my coworkers would call in, and I would have to work the evening, so I didn't pack my gym clothes and then I ended up just going home after work. Anyway, Wednesday was an unplanned rest day.

Thursday was a planned rest day. I finally celebrated my birthday with my in-laws.

So Friday night I had to drag myself to the gym. And I did. It was leg day, but I was hesitant to use the squat rack. My good knee ended up hurting the last time I did, and that's the last thing I need. So I did the leg press machine instead and got just as good of leg workout. I ran a mile hoping to beat my last time of 10:39 but I was two or three seconds short. It's really hard to make up time once you know you need to. Short and sweet. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

High Cholesterol

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

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

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

I am getting old and things are falling apart.

My knee hurts.

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

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

I weigh (close to) the least I ever have.

My weight is not around my belly, which is the worst weight for heart health.

I do a wide variety of workouts. Not just running.

So my cardio-vascular system is working well.

And I lift weights which any study will tell you is great for aging women.

I don't have a history of Breast Cancer, so I don't have to do early screenings.

And I am not starving myself to achieve my goals.

I am eating well rounded, mostly healthy, substantial meals.

I don't smoke. (never did!) and I drink much less alcohol than I did ten years ago.

But I had a physical on Monday, and they called back with my blood test and said I had high cholesterol.


They've never said anything like that before.

The doctor says not to worry but just to "watch my diet" which  I already do more than anyone I know! I do some research on the Internet and see 15 ways to reduce your cholesterol and they are all things I already do: only eat red meat once a week (if that!) don't use butter (nope!) drink skim milk (yep!) work out for 2.5 hours a week (easily!) Don't eat trans fats that are found in fast food (don't!) Lose weight (um, hello!) Quit smoking (done!)

So now I am certain that the test is false. Or something truly bizarre is happening. Or a co-worker thought that the inflammation from my knee can cause my cholesterol to spike, though I can't find any truth to that on the internet. Or maybe my fasting wasn't long enough.

I am trying not to worry about it. But besides just hoping it's a fluke, there's really nothing I can do to help it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Weigh-In Wednesday

Average Weight: Around 4 pounds

I didn't even do a weigh-in last week? Wow, I am just behind on life. I haven't even been recording my weigh-in every morning. It seems to be exactly the same. Four pounds. Sometimes 4.2, sometimes 4.6, once even 3.6. But always back to 4. So I am assuming my average would be around four.

It's definitely frustrating because I have stayed beneath my macros for the last nine days. My primary goal has been to not use all of them, but just attempt to hit my protein and leave the rest. This means I don't get my nightly chocolate or PB cup.

I am okay with this sacrifice, because I just want the scale to move. But it isn't. My average for the last week has been around 1650 calories and still no moving. I don't really want to slash much more. And I definitely don't want to limit myself to a point where I am craving everything in sight.

I know that consistency is the key, so I will try this approach for another week. But I also know that eating smaller amounts (especially for long) isn't the answer either. What if I began my reverse next week. Got up to 2200 calories for a month or so, and then cut again to get a jump on the scale. Shock it if you will.

What if I was just happy with this weight. Forever. And worked on lifting heavier weights and running faster miles.

My cold and the awful weather has me in some kind of funk. My whole body is achy. Not from sickness, and not from workouts. Just from getting old. I am thinking of going to a chiropractor because I feel like my whole life needs an adjustment. Is it spring yet?

Friday, January 20, 2017

My Week in Workouts

I've been sick all week. So I should be proud of the fact that I got six workouts in during that. However, those workout have been hit and miss. 

I knew I was skipping BodyCombat on Saturday, so I let myself sleep in. I had been fighting a cold. But I woke up and it was full on. I hate being sick. I laid around all day and then headed to the gym in the evening. I had to get thirty minutes in for my gym pact. So I just walked on the treadmill, uphill, and called it a day. 

Sunday I knew the ice storm was coming at noon, so I had to get a morning workout done, some groceries picked up and of course some breakfast, all before I got iced in. I did a quick warm up and then leg day. I really like this routine. It's a good mix of machines, heavy weights and body weighted exercises. 

Then we got trapped inside for about 48 hours. And it was miserable, because I hate being trapped inside. We did shuffle over to target once, just because I needed to get out. But nothing productive happens during an ice storm.

Tuesday, we had a late start at work and then we were incredibly busy. I contemplated going to the gym straight from work (so I wouldn't have to deal with icy side streets) but I am trying to avoid the after work crowd. So I am proud of myself that I went home and back out later. I was behind on my SheSweats plan, and needed to finish up week 2 with Chest and Back day. I forgot my heart rate monitor and nothing felt great!

On Wednesday I had the great workout I needed. My cold was getting to me. I was tired of having a pounding headache and my eye balls feeling like they were exploding. Nothing I took made them feel better. Work has been crazy and annoying with lots of other people getting to stay home sick. And me having to deal with it. So I put all my frustrations into running fast. I shaved almost 40 seconds of my mile time. And I was so proud of myself. Then I did a modified arm day. This plan calls for a circuit of a lot of exercises. I just can't set that up in my busy gym. It also calls for some moves I am not comfortable doing in the gym (butt kicks?) so I did laps around the track. I assume the cardio components are just to keep your heartrate up. And it did. It was a great workout. 

Thursday I had a long work day but that equalled a little time off in the middle of the day. It was 45 degrees but a little misty. I needed a HIIT routine and I wanted it to involve running. So I put together a walk90/run30 routine. The running was so easy. Thirty seconds felt like nothing and I did them all at 10-11 minute mile pace. I love the burn for only running 10 minutes! And I love this new fleece running shirt I got. I did not like getting misted on. 

I spent Friday evening at the gym. Leg day! My legs were sore from the sprints on Thursday. Which made this workout really hard. I also didn't want to do the assigned leg day from SheSweats so I did the routine from the first two weeks. Then my good knee started hurting and I called it a day.

I want to wake up tomorrow all healed up from my cold. And with no more pains. I am tired of being weak and am ready to start crushing some goals. If only I didn't have these annoying set backs. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Maybe My Motivation Froze

I'm not gonna lie, my motivation has left the building. I haven't had seven straight days of hitting my macros since before the holidays. So like a month ago. I feel like I get in a rhythm and then just mess it up. I have some good workouts and I have some really so-so workouts. I feel like I am just dragging along in general. I do not feel strong. And I do not feel motivated.

And then the ice storm 2017 hit this weekend. And I haven't been out of the house for 48 hours. And I went stir-crazy. And I had random crap to eat. And I didn't get to workout on my day off, which is totally a wasted day.

And it made me grumpy.

And I have been sick. Not like awfully sick, but not feeling great. I didn't realize how bad I felt until I put on real pants and dragged myself to work today.

And it made me grumpy too.

The sun came out today and I packed a lunch and my gym clothes. And I plan to hit the gym and my macros today. But my patience and my energy is waning. I can only do so much.

But what I would give for two weeks of perfect macros and some new weight lifting records!

Friday, January 13, 2017

My Week in Workouts

I had a really good workout week. It has been freezing cold with freezing rain, so nothing happened outside, but I did get myself to the gym five times and followed my assigned programs.

Saturday I did my favorite BodyCombat class. It was a packed house, and we had a sub, but I made myself stay for the whole thing. And although my calorie burn seems a little low, it was a good workout. 

Sunday I had the last weight-lifting day of SheSweats left for the week: Chest and Back. The weight portion was good. But this day also had a HIIT segment added in. One minute sprints (which isn't really a sprint, but an interval) at 6.5mph at a 6.0 incline. I couldn't do it. So I lowered the incline. But really I couldn't run that fast that long. I am just not that speedy of a runner. It's odd that there's not more flexibilty to the plan, like take your one mile speed (5.3mph) and add one, or less. After a little trial and error I ended up running them at 5.5mph and a 4.0 incline. That's not really faster than I can run, but that hill is deadly. 

Monday I started week two of SheSweats with arm day. This was a repeat of last week, and I kept most things the same. I may have increase once. I did run one mile to warm up and finished in 11:12. Getting faster every time. 

Tuesday I needed a cardio workout. Tracy and I had planned to run in the morning because it was the only day around 30 degrees. But there was freezing rain when we woke up. So I thought I'd go on my lunch break (it was supposed to get up to 40) but the freezing rain held around and the sidewalks were still too icy to run. So I had to go after work. When I got off work I had an awful headache. I took two tylenol and a 40 minute nap. It helped! I finally made it to the gym by 9 at night! I did a quick 35 minute spin bike workout and stretched and foam rolled for ten minutes. 

Wednesday and Thursday were my rest days. I have a crazy work schedule this week. I am working three evenings and have five programs. I am exhausted and feel like I am fighting off a cold. 

Friday I work in the evening, so I made myself get up and Combat. I should be doing a weight routine, but I didn't think that would get me to a gym early on Friday. Also a new launch is starting on Saturday, and I am going to skip that and do my weights then. 

I burned 2411 calories this week. That's great. I have been using my new lower macros since Tuesday. That's going great too. The scale has not changed. That's not great. But consistency is key!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Weigh-In Wednesday: The Final Countdown

Average Weight: 5.2 pounds

This week wasn't good. My birthday gluttony added on four pounds at one point. And when you're doing averages, that number hanging around for a few days really messes with things.

But my four-day celebration is over. I am right at 5.2 pounds from goal as of this morning. And starting yesterday, I am moving on to the last four week cut.

That I will hopefully ever have to do!

I mean, that's not true, but I want to get down to my goal weight. So that I can start building back up my calories again.

And in order to do that, I am going back to straight macros (no carb-cycling) and going to lower my calories. I am currently eating 1900 per day (on average) and this week I am going to aim for 1800 or lower. Then we'll see where my scale is. I plan to cut my calories by another 100-200 before the four weeks are over. That will leave my at 1600 and ready to increase back to 2300! Where I will maintain my goal weight until right before summer. I will do another quick cut to see if I can get lower and then will maintain through the summer.

That's the goal any way.

Why the rush? Why not just keep eating 1900 calories and lose a half a pound a week... forever? Because in order to get stronger and in order to build muscles and therefore in order to run faster (which is my goal right now) you can not be in a calorie deficit. I'd really like to be eating 2300 calories a day to help build up my muscles so that I can do that pull up, so that I can have stronger legs to run faster. And that in return will change the shape of my body.

I have already proven that it's possible. I am eating 300 more calories now than I was last year, I weight almost exactly the same, but I definitely look smaller. Here's to four tough weeks before I get to start eating more food. Plus, what better time to limit food intake: my birthday is over and nobody goes out in January!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Birthday Weekend

I had a fantastic birthday weekend. Though I don't think it got above 20 degrees and was kind of icy and snowy. It didn't hold me down.

Thursday night my aunt and uncle took us out to dinner. I had a had a healthy grilled salmon with veggies on the side and I was happier than if I had eaten five enchilada platters. 

My actual birthday was Friday, and I took the day off of work. Originally I thought I would go to Combat in the morning, but I decided it would be nice to sleep in instead. Plus, I had to get Leg Day in some time. So I went to the gym, Dan and I went to lunch, I did some shopping, I took a nap, and then we dressed up and went out to a fancy dinner in five degrees. 

We ate dinner at the Venue, which is close by and fancy enough that we don't eat there all the time. I got my favorite drink (next to margaritas) a Millionaire Cocktail. It did not disappoint. Then we oredered an appetizer and I had a delicious salad for dinner. 

Dan wanted us to order dessert, but I usually don't like fancy desserts. What I really wanted was cookies. Warm cookies. Big cookies. Like a cookie sundae. But cookie stores aren't open at 9pm, so we went to the grocery store and bought a dozen cookies. And I heated mine up and it was the best birthday dessert I could imagine!

Saturday night Samantha had a birthday party for me. We went out to her house and played games for a while. Then we went to the Daily Double for dinner. After dinner we went back to their house for more playing and cupcakes. She was so excited about my birthday. Which I love. She kept giving me things (like half eaten croutons) because "you're are the birthday girl!" She wanted 37 candles in my cupcake and one in hers. She helped me blow out my 10 candles when I wasn't able to do it. And she almost let me pick the game to play. I feel like my love of birthday celebrations is finally rubbing off on her. 

This one slept through the cupcakes, but then woke up to show off her almost crawling skills. Any day now Sadie!

You see, 3+7 = 37

On Sunday night we met my mom and Steve for bowling. I didn't want to go to yet another restaurant. It was perfect. I ate before I got there and had enough room for another cookie later. I hate that birthdays have to be all about food. However, this bowling alley was weird with its row seating. 

But somehow, despite all the workouts and trying to limit the food, I gained like 6 pounds!

Friday, January 6, 2017

My Week in Workouts

I had a busy week, socially, so I only had time for four workouts. But they were good ones. 

Saturday I had to work, and then of course had New Year's Eve plans as soon as I got off at 6:00. I could have gotten up early to workout, except I needed to be able to stay awake until midnight. And it's getting harder and harder for me to do that. So rest day #1.

Sunday I started the New Year with a BodyCombat class. It wasn't as full as I thought it would be. But it wasn't my normal teachers and class, and I didn't love it as much as usual, but I did stay for the whole thing, even though it was extra long and extra hard, because they wanted to start the year right. 

Monday was a holiday from work, but I went out of town to celebrate Christmas with Jen and Josie. I was proud of myself for heading to the gym after I got home that evening. I started a new lifting plan: SheSweats Run Builder. It is a three day lifting program with two days of running/cardio built in. The first day is just a one mile test. So after a long day of playing with kids and riding in the car and eating at odd times, I ran my test mile on the treadmill: 11:52. I am disappointed in that time, because just one year ago I was trying to beat the 10 minute mile. But I will get there again. I just need to be consistant. If I want to run faster mile, I need to work on running a faster mile. Then I finished with 5k on the treadmill (which I wasn't happy with either!)

I took Tuesday as a rest day. 

On Wednesday I did the first lifting day of SheSweats. It's all arms, with very little warm up. I was in a hurry, so that was good, but I think usually I will add a little more cardio to my warm up. My calorie burn was minimal. I could have gone to work after this with no shower, I was that un-worked. I also went a little easier with my weights because I haven't done 12 reps in a long time. And even though 20 pound bicep curls seems easy now, I needed to use my arms the rest of the week. 

I had an appointment run long on Thursday and evening dinner plans for my birthday. Between those two things, I didn't make it to the gym. 

So I had to save leg day for my birthday. That's the worst!
It was a good leg workout though. I started with a one mile run - I did it in 11:29 (shaving 23 seconds off already!) and then did a bunch of leg work. Again, the 12 reps was a lot, and there were six exercises, which is more than I am used to. But I got a great burn and my legs were pleasantly shaking. 

I am excited to see where this plan takes me. In some ways, I don't really like being told what to do. But in some ways I might need it. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Gym Pact

Guys, I have become addicted to making money for working out.

First it was my Step Bet. I have made $40 so far on four different bets. And that was great. But I am kind of tired of walking. It definitely sways every work out I do. Things like spinning and stair-stepping are very low step counters. So it was time for a break. Plus, I figure a lot of people are highly motivated right now. And I am too cold.

So it was time for something new. And I remembered people telling me about Gym Pact. It's an app you get on your phone that rewards you for committing to and following through on a workout. Like StepBet, you are penalized if you don't workout like you say you will. And those of us who do workout split that money.

So I have committed to working out five times this week. If I do, I should get about 50 cents per workout (they must have it down to a science by this point). And if I miss a workout, I am fined $5 a session. But I will get my five workouts in, so I will win $2.50. It's not a lot. But, it's $10 a month.

Besides that, it really keeps me on my workout game. Because I am not about to lose $5!

When I got to the app, I see they also have a food pact. You just have to log your food every day. I am about 99.9% accurate with that task, so I committed to 7 days of logging. That seems to be easier for people to remember, or fake, or not as many people commit to it, so you only get rewarded 20 cents per day. That's another $1.40 I am going to earn. And again, another $5 I would lose if I forgot.

That's about $15 a month I could make!! And more if I ever wanted to workout more.

Anyway, I am not about to become rich by this plan. But I am excited to be rewarded for something I was already doing. Think how many workouts I haven't gotten paid for in the last five years!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Weigh-In Wednesday

Average Weight: 3.5 pounds
Lowest Weight: 0.8 pounds (lowest ever!)
Weekly Change: -.6 pounds
Carb-Cycling Change (13 weeks): -6.5 pounds

My weight was all over the place this week. Some weeks I never vary more than a pound, but this week, I ranged every where from .8 to 5! And that is due to two untracked days. Luckily, I seem to have started hovering around the three mark again, and that's a fine place to stay.

I really seem to be averaging a half a pound per week loss. This week is no different. Which is still a find rate. Especially with the holidays.

However, the holidays are not over for me. My birthday is this week and I already four celebrations scheduled before my next weigh-in. Yikes! There's a fine line between: live a little, it's your birthday and, everyday can't be a celebration. So my plan is to follow my macros Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday is my actual birthday and I'd like to have a drink and a dessert. And that probably won't fit. I am taking a three day weekend though, so I plan to burn a lot of calories despite the celebrations.

Like I said, I plan to keep this cut up for a few more weeks (five!) and then take a break. But I am currently wondering if I should cut a few more calories from my plan, just to speed things along. Because despite not really caring what the scale says at this point, I would really like to see that goal weight!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year New Goals

I ended 2016 with a bang: my lowest weight in the last seven years! On Saturday morning I was down to just .8 pounds from my "goal" weight. It must have been an anomaly because I was back up to 4 pounds the next day. But I also ate some junk food and didn't track for two days in a row. Still, it was like 2016 wanted to reward me for all my hard work. And now I know that notorious number isn't so far away.

But now, it's already the third day of the month, and I don't feel like I have done anything resolution-y. I mean, I went to the gym the last two days, but I haven't eaten any better and I haven't written down my goals.

Here are my BIG 2017 goals:

  1. Do ONE un-assisted pull-up.
  2. Run a 5k in under 34 minutes, 
  3. Hit my goal weight.
Here are my January goals to get me there:
  1. Workout 5 times per week.
  2. Start the lifting/run-building program: SheSweats.
  3. Only one lunch out per week (with Jennifer!)
This program I am starting: SheSweats, is a 3 day lifting program (arms, back/chest, and legs) and then a two day running program. It is designed to get you running more. I am not certain how it is any different than what I have been doing. But the key is: I need to run more. And I need to have running goals. Not just "burn calories" which has been my goal for the last year. It's not a bad goal, but it's not going to get my to my new PR. 

I just finished up week 12 of my carb-cycling plan. My average weight is right around 3 pounds from my goal. That's pretty exciting, but remember, I am only losing about a half-a-pound per week. Just completely randomly, I want to carb cycle for six more weeks. The rest of January and a little bit into February. Then I am going to reverse out of it. It won't be a 20 week reverse, because I am starting a lot higher than last time, and I know about where I am ending up. My real goal is to get to a maintenance number (maybe 2200 calories) and just stay there a while. That's when I will work on becoming an expert pull-upper!

I am excited about new beginnings. I just need to begin!