Thursday, September 1, 2011

Giant Post of Update- and a Bike!

I have landed once more in the Lone Star State, to start my senior year. I've got my own place, with my own kitchen, which is nice. I went a little crazy with junk food and binging during my first week here (interesting factoid: brownies make me uncomfortably full significantly faster than other foods, at smaller quantities even). But it's really been eating at me for several days now, and the arrival of my bike coincides nicely with my revived interest in being healthy and fit and generally smart about how I am treating my body.

So that's probably the biggest news: I have a cardio machine! I mentioned to my parents that I was looking on Craigslist for a recumbent bike to get for myself, and they decided to help me get a nice one. It isn't one of the $300 or $600 ones, but it is a good, solid, highly rated bike. I was figuring it wouldn't have enough resistance to do High-Intensity Interval Training, but until I really build up on it, I think the top resistance level will definitely do the trick for HIIT. Putting together the bike took somewhere in the range of an hour, give or take (I didn't think to look at a clock to time it), and was a lower level work-out in itself on a few occasions. But I prevailed, and it is solid, and looks good! Some of the cheaper ones just looked cheap, and weird. This one isn't quite as substantial as you would find in a higher-quality gym, but it looks like a proper piece of equipment. It looks like it should. Which makes me more inclined to use it!

I have it set up in my front room, near the TV. One of the reasons I wanted a recumbent bike over any other cardio machine is that it is the only one where your head doesn't bob up and down at all while you work. When I have lots of reading to do for class (and I'm a history major, so you'd better believe that extensive reading comes with the territory), I can work on a recumbent bike, but not anything else. Same for reading for pleasure. But, of course, for most workouts, I will be glued to the TV. I have DVR, which is excellent, so I can watch my shows whenever the workout mood strikes me, but I do like to watch things real time when I can. I love being the first to know about new plot developments! So commercial breaks could make for good built in intervals. We'll have to see about that- the intervals in HITT are generally supposed to only be the length of one or two commercials. Some trial and error over the next week, then.

I want to do both planned workouts and just general moving on this bike. HITT and hard, sweat-inducing rides are a must. Tonight, I pulled up George W. Bush's 9/11 Interview on my DVR and biked more than 6 miles, at a pretty consistent 10 mile pace on varying medium-high resistances. That was a pretty solid workout. And I'd like for that to be mostly what I do. But I also love to just watch and watch and watch full seasons of shows in one sitting. So, I want to have the option of not actually sitting. While I don't want it to be my main activity, I want to give myself permission to bike a little slower, on low resistance, sometimes, just to make sure that I'm still moving when I have a marathon TV session. Leave being entirely sedentary for being in class and working on the computer.

Ultimately, I want to put in a solid workout on this bike most days of the week, if not everyday. Even a ten minute HITT session if I'm totally slammed that day. I know you are not supposed to do HITT every single day, so I'll need to stay aware of that.

On the eating front, from this point out:
I've been making plans to be eating healthy this whole while, even if I have been sabotaging myself. I stocked up on whole grains and beans. I am even storing them in a wonderfully mismatched set of mason jars like my favorite bloggers! I made a batch of quinoa, and a batch of Cuban black beans. I made half of the CBB into a really fabulous looking chili. It's all chilling in my fridge right now- I've only had a scoop of the quinoa, in a burrito one morning, and haven't touched the beans or the chili. About half way into the first can of vegetarian refried beans I opened, as well. Tomorrow I'm going all out, though. I've had some of my Kashi a few times, and I'm definitely having a bowl tomorrow. A plate of beans and cheese for a mid-classes snack. Maybe a burrito at lunch, and then the chili and some corn muffins for dinner. I have the makings for a Green Monster, and a block of tofu, but no blender for the GM or makings of a sauce for the tofu.

I do have a food processor, which is excellent. It's huge, not like the wonderful 3-cup one we have at home, and certainly not as nice. But it should do for making falafel, hummus, and pesto, and for blending soups until I get a blender. I have my eye on a $50 Ninja one. It gets fabulous reviews for not being a Vitamix or a Blendtec, but is still reasonably affordable. I want one that really pulverizes the spinach in my GMs.

Shopping list: fixings for peanut sauce, sweet chili sauce, blender, parsley for falafel, lemons for falafel and hummus, basil for pesto, walnuts for pesto. And a new garlic press! We bought a $5 one, and it broke on the 2nd clove. I saw the nice one we use at home at TJMaxx for less than $10, so I'm going back for it. I love doing fresh-pressed garlic. Don't get me wrong, I still keep the minced around (darn good thing I did, too, when the press broke on me mid-chili), but I feel so fancy using the press.

The final piece of the puzzle is my weight training, and this is probably what I'm most nervous about. I brought my P90X DVDs, my workout bands, and my workout gloves. No more bugging out because my hands are dying! I have the requisite floor space, a TV, an area rug for the sit-ups, the whole shebang. I'm just a little worried about actually getting myself to do it. I'll keep you updated on that, for better or for worse. I'd better get on it soon, though, or I'll lose everything I gained at Superfit over the summer!

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