Sunday, March 20, 2011

Six Weeks

Definitely not feeling as strong with my push-ups this week. I wonder if I am shifting into better form, and this is why? I'm being hyper-vigilant to have my chest stay between my hands, instead of behind them. I guess I don't know my physiology very well (right word?)- I would have assumed that having hands forward would use my weaker shoulder muscles more than my chest muscles. Maybe my having my hands directly under me, I'm targeting my triceps more?

Still, all shaking and griping and weakness aside, I still managed Day Two of Week Three today- a total of 70 push-ups in under 10 minutes! And all with really good form. I tried a few different times to get more than the minimum required 19 on my max reps, but I could never complete it with good form, so it stays at 19.

Did a LOT of walking over our weekend in the South of France, and have confirmed that I am definitely nowhere near ready for the bridesmaid hike this August. Five months to whip this girl into shape! Tomorrow on my way back from classes I am going to run into GoSport to grab a cheap long-sleeved exercise shirt. It's not about needing the right equipment (though I am sorely lacking in any cold weather exercise gear), it's about removing all of the excuses that I use to keep me inside and sedentary. I'm going to start the Couch-to-5K plan this week. I think it's a 6 week course, just like the push-ups.

Six weeks is a good amount of time for these sort of things, I realized recently. Think about it:

  1. Week One: Yay! You completed the first week! You are on your way.
  2. Week Two: Wow, you are already a third of the way done! Way to go!
  3. Week Three: Half way. You are really doing it!
  4. Week Four: OMG! Two-thirds of the way done! Who would have through you would make it this far?
  5. Week Five: Only one week left- what?? When did that happen?
  6. Week Six: You did it!!!
Constant gratification. Love it.

On the food front, still being stymied. I got my electric cooler, and it totally does not work. Kind of crushed. It whirs and makes noise, but nada. Even after being constantly on for over 48 hours. Not really sure how to return it, either. It was from Amazon, though, so it should be doable... I should have gone with my initial instinct and just bought a minifridge for 120 euro in the first couple of weeks, so it would have paid for itself multiple times over. Alas. Hindsight. Gotta love it. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cold Food is Good Food

I didn't get the fridge, unfortunately, but I decided that I just plain need some form of refrigeration, so I've ordered this funky electric cooler off of Amazon. It should help things last for a few days. It's pretty small, so I'm planning on prioritizing:

  • Almond milk
  • Emmental cheese
  • Opened cans of beans
  • Bulk batches of quinoa
  • Opened cans of coconut milk
  • And finally, overnight oats made in Tupperware

I want to get back on the Five Factor diet (affiliate link) idea. I haven't found any corn tortillas here, which is unfortunate, but I can make my standard burritos sans the tortilla, and still cover my bases. It means I won't have my olive oil for the healthy fat, but there are healthy fats in the beans and the chia, so it should still work out. And I can always eat a few almonds. Maybe if I run through this quinoa fast I might try millet as well. Emily at Daily Garnish speaks highly of it. But, when you factor in Spring Break, I'll actually only be eating in this room another two months, so I shouldn't go out buying anything else just yet!

Starting to worry that my chia might have gone bad. The last few batches of overnight oats I have made have tasted pretty sketchy, like something has spoiled, but the mixture I've been making of oats, crushed cashews, and agave syrup has been fine. I hope my chia hasn't died! It's probably really expensive to ship over here, and I didn't see any in Naturalia.

Push-ups were harder today, but still doable. Also about to go add in some ab work.

As far as actually getting out to run goes, I'm still being a weeny about it. A blog I stumbled across but can't for the life of me remember the name of collected some motivational exercise quotes from her readers, and I noted down a few:

  • Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • You are just one workout away from a good mood!
  • Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated
  • I've never regretted a workout
  • You know your limit, and this is NOT it!
Hopefully making these a mantra will get me out the door. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mini Update: Pushups Make Me Giggle

There is something really exciting about the feeling of blasting up from a push-up. I've never really had the strength to do it before, I guess, but I suspect it's going to be rather addicting. When you start giggling while doing push-ups, you know it's going to your head....

It is possible that I might finally put an end to my horrible fridge-less state- someone in my building is moving out and selling theirs, and I've put a request in. But the notice has been up for a few days, so someone may have already claimed it. Well, here's hoping!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Push-up Princess

Question: when fighting off a cold, does one refrain from exercising so the body can use all available energy for said fighting, or does one go in for at least a light work-out in the name of keeping in fighting shape?

I'm compromising right now by not going for the run I wanted, but still working up a light sweat with my push-up regimen. Might even toss in the AbRipperX a little later. Maybe a walk instead of a run?

The push-ups are going really well. I missed almost a week of it because of a weekend trip to London, and was really worried about starting back up. I started in the second column, and I really struggled with the first week. So, two days ago, I very nervously re-did the third day of Week One. And I rocked it! I felt really strong, and was able to power them out in good form, rather than grunt through each and every one. I just finished Day One of Week Two, and I didn't even feel the first two sets- that's 20 push-ups combined! Full disclosure, I am doing knee push-ups. But once I finish the full 6 weeks, I will start over at full push-ups. A scary but exciting thought!

Eating sans-fridge is still proving to be an adventure. The almond milk didn't hold up as well as I would have liked, so I started making overnight oats with just water. Except the second day I did it, they tasted almost spoiled! No idea what that was about. The oats themselves are fine, I've used them in a few other things since.

Found a great recipe for raw, vegan "cookie dough," which I was really craving yesterday. I wanted SUGAR, darn it, but I didn't want to go buy Mars Bars at the local grocer. And even though I have never really had any qualms about eating unrefrigerated cookie dough, and they don't refrigerate their eggs here, I kinda didn't want to go get all of the stuff for regular cookie dough- flour and baking soda and whatnot. But I found a recipe that uses oats, cashews, agave nectar/syrup, and vanilla- all things I have! I don't have a food processor, but I put the cashews and oats into a plastic bag and completely wore out my arm muscles smashing them with my jar of cinnamon. Didn't completely make my oat-cashew flour, so my "cookie dough" is really more of a chunky oat-nut blend, but it tastes fabulous! And I like knowing that it is made almost entirely of oats and nuts, so I feel pretty okay about eating it. Granted, agave syrup is well, syrup, and cashews are a pretty high-card nut, but it's pretty decent, considering. And it's actually whole food.

I've made my peanut sauce on lentils and quinoa a few more times- last time, I greatly overestimated the amount of sauce I needed, so I ended up making more of a soup. I added a few liberal spoonfuls of chia to dry things up a bit. Still not loving the taste of lentils, but it's working. One of these days that I am in the room pretty much the entire day, I should make a batch of crispy tofu squares a la Daily Garnish and just make little bits of peanut sauce throughout the day to dip them in.