Monday, April 2, 2012

Calorie Counting

After my 4th or 5th time of rereading Emily's journey to health, I signed up for the 7-day trial of Calorie King. I can already tell I'm going to put up the money when it expires. It's addictive, like playing one of the Dragons of Atlantis games I'm obsessed with on Facebook, but in the real world! I love all the mini-steps.

Today, I went to a cycling class, and had my weekly session with my personal trainer. That, combined with absolutely no snacking (not planned, just happened), put me at a deficit of calories when I got home! In order to reach my target, which I had previously thought was going to be difficult to stay under, I had to consume more than 2000 calories at dinner. While I'm certain I have taken in easily that amount in a binge, it didn't happen tonight. I ate a vanilla skyr (Icelandic yogurt) while I wandered around trying to figure out what I wanted, since pretty much anything was up for grabs.

I ran through everything I could think of in my head- Pizza Hut? Didn't sound unappetizing, but didn't thrill me. Something healthy, then- tofu and quinoa? Same verdict. Whole wheat pasta with some indulgent white cheddar sauce? No, way too heavy. Brownies? Actually sounded decidedly unappetizing- I never thought I'd see the day. I finally came around to the taste of a Red Baron cheese pizza. But surely this would be too much, I thought. When it comes to pizzas, I have a disturbing tendency to eat well over half in one sitting. I looked it up on Calorie King. Nope, even eating half the pizza would barely put a dent.

So I ended up eating half a pizza. I still have over 1000 calories that I am supposed to make up, but I'm just not going to. For starters, it's after 11pm now, and I am usually in bed by this point. Ideally already asleep. And, even though I am excited to proceed with this, I'm not going to kid myself into thinking that everyday is going to fall like today. I'm going to be glad to have that 1000 when the week evens out, I'd imagine.

Still, I like knowing that I can buy the extra calories with a spinning class, when I really need a treat!

I'm also noticing that now that I've eaten the pizza, I feel very heavy and slow. Not in a sick way, like I do when I binge, or eat too much pasta and cheddar sauce (still can't figure out what exactly in that combo unsettles my stomach). I probably always feel this way, and have just never noticed before. Ending on pizza psychologically feels like I didn't accomplish anything towards my weight loss and fitness goals today, when I logically know that it was just the opposite. Something to think about.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Favorite Leg Exercises of the Moment

Static lunges. Do them. I couldn't even complete two sets.

I think they are in an article on... right now? Basically, go into a deep lunge (ideally, both legs should be bent 90 degrees), activate your core, and hold for 30 seconds. One set is doing both legs. Takes only 1 minute, and I was wobbly. I did a different static exercise on their list, took a few minutes, then went back to do another set of static lunges. Barely made it through the first leg, and had to cop out after about 15 seconds on the next. Killer. So awesome.

Also, if you have cycling/spinning classes near you: take them. I've lost almost 5 inches off my thighs in the past two months, and I am positive it is down to hitting a spinning class 2-5 times a week.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Back on Track

First, a quick look at where I'm at:

I joined a gym upon my return to San Antonio, frustrated at my lack of progress last semester. It has lots of group classes, which I attend pretty regularly. Zumba, cycling, yogilates, ab classes, the works. I also do cardio and weights on my own time, and one a week meet with a personal trainer for 30 minutes to make certain I am getting really put through my paces at least once per week. On a bad week, I am working out about 5 hours in total. On a standard week, I'd say it's 8-10. On a good week, 15.

So, working out is going pretty well. I'm already building strength, making improvements in my assisted pull-up, and I was able to follow along with the entire cycling routine on Friday. I didn't go full out with some of the resistance, but I did all of the stands and hovers, and all of the speedwork, and made some effort with the resistance.

Food is where I am still struggling. I am getting in nutrients here and there- I finally got a decent blender, and have made smoothies on several occasions. I have also been using my Starbucks gift card left over from who knows when to get smoothies occasionally after workouts. But all in all, it's been pretty sad.

To that end, I decided today to pick back up with my food journal. After logging my morning meals, I decided to take a look back at that solid month of journaling I did last summer, when I was really making an effort food-wise.

It is astonishing how little food the human body can function on, when it is the right kind. I was eating small meals, or maybe even large snacks, 3-5 times a day, with one larger indulgence every couple of days. If I combine that type of eating with the working out I am doing now, I will see results. No two ways around it.

I've been self-sabotaging for so long, grumbling that the major things I ate during that period were Trader Joe's products that I can't get here- ww pita pockets, TJs hummus, and TJs vanilla Greek yogurt. No other hummus or yogurt is that good, and good luck finding any pita, much less mini pita pockets. Well, you know what? I can pretend. Whole Foods  had some whole wheat pita pockets (full sized) the other day, and I grabbed some. I have tahini and everything I need to make my own hummus, and there are decent brands out there. And I can just suck it up and eat a different yogurt. There is an intriguing option in the vanilla skyr they sell at Whole Foods, and I do hear good things about Fage. I can even try getting plain Greek yogurt and mixing in vanilla bean paste on my own.

And I need to stop fearing the pasta. Yes, white cheddar sauce on ww pasta isn't as high on the nutritional scale as one of the salads on Oh She Glows, or even a bean burrito. But a reasonably sized portion of that (and when I was having them on a semi-regular basis, I was eating very reasonable portion sizes) is worlds better than giving in to a binge on white cheddar popcorn, or eating half of a pizza in one sitting. Same with the whole wheat tortellini with olive oil. Continue to work to diversify, but don't fear the pasta.

But if I'm really not feeling the bean and cheese plate, which I haven't been lately, I can certainly switch it up with a bowl of Kashi or a green smoothie. No need to make it uncomfortable.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Future Fitness and Food

I ran my first 5k on Thanksgiving morning- a recap is to come. For now, a quick look at my upcoming fitness endeavors:

  1. The Santa Antonio 5k on Dec. 3
  2. 4 Belly dancing classes, courtesy of GroupOn
  3. 10 boxing and/or kickboxing classes, courtesy of GroupOn
  4. Restarting SuperFit over the Christmas holiday
I'm learning that I really need things scheduled like this to keep moving. I'm glad to have so many options coming up!

At home for a few more days, enjoying having access to my beloved Trader Joes favorites- the vanilla Greek yogurt, the whole wheat mini pita pockets, and the huge tubs of hummus. I have plans to completely purge my kitchen when I get back to Texas, probably my whole house. Likely an epic undertaking that will take several hours of constant work, but I think it will be worth it. If I want to succeed in my apartment, I need to make it replicate the environments where I have succeeded before. I've been identifying foods I need to stock (doing a fairly good job there already, but a few new things need to be added to the rotation), and foods I need to toss (mainly my eggs- I only use them for making naughty things).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Thing

This is the second time this week that I have done my run first thing in the morning, and I think it is agreeing with me. Today's run included two bursts of 3 minutes of running, and I actually pulled it off. I played music for both of them, otherwise running in silence, and the first two minutes passed pretty quickly. I definitely felt my lungs a little in the last minute each time, but considering that it is twice the length of time I have run before, I'm calling it good.

Form felt pretty good. I noticed that when I made a conscious effort to speed up my foot-turnover, a little pain started creeping back into my Achilles area. So I eased off a little bit, and it went away again. Again, had a few moments where it all felt right and natural.

My main problem now is that it is freezing cold in my apartment (southern Texas has finally recognized that it is indeed November), so I have absolutely no inclination to go get on my bike or do any homework (even though I have a space heater set up next to my desk). I just want to snuggle under my covers and watch Tony-centric episodes of NCIS. But I promised myself that the DVDs would only be viewed from the bike, and I've already cheated and watched 2 episodes from my nest, so I should really cut it out.

So, in short, it's a very good thing that I just went out and got in my run this morning (it was actually almost noon, but that's beside the point). I got it out of the way before I could come up with excuses not to.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Building Better Ankles

After taking about a week off, I got back on my running schedule today to finish off Week 2. And I actually think the week off did me some good. While my ankles felt a little funny, I think my leg and ankle muscles have really developed over the past few weeks, because I didn't notice any pain until I was almost done with the program. I definitely felt the cardio in my lungs, but not to the point where I had to stop. A few times I even went over the target running time by accident. The whole endeavor just started to feel more natural. Time passed quickly, and I was able to run happily without any music (even though my iPod was actually charged for once). And when I got home, I was able to put a big X through another training day. Hooray!

P90X again tonight, more juicing, and more time on the bike. I have been also taking a serious break from juicing, so I'm going to make up for it today by trying out broccoli in a juice. I'm thinking broccoli, spinach, collard greens, and an apple. Should be very green! On the bike front, however, I've been much better. I've gotten obsessed with NCIS lately, and I've taken to marathoning episodes from my bike, on and off throughout the day. I've logged as many as 25 miles in one day, which is exciting.

Now I should really go have breakfast. What shall it be?...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Potentials and Partners

Today's juice: celery, kale stems, and apple, with chia seeds mixed in and left to gel. Not the most pleasant drink. I don't think I'm a fan of celery. It seems oddly... peppery? I'd like to get used to the chia part, however. Once my mind and body have gotten used to juicing (at least another week, if not two, I should think), I'd like to grit my teeth and try a 10 -Day "ReBoot," or juice fast, as seen in Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Because I will be working out quite a bit during that time, I want to make absolutely certain I am getting enough oomph in my diet to continue progressing. I have heard that mixing in chia seeds is a popular method of accomplishing that.

Started P90X with Katie today (though she had to leave early because it is her mother's birthday, so we didn't get to AbRipperX). For now, we are doing it three times a week- her idea- but today she expressed some interest in maybe bumping it up to the full schedule! And, added incentive to keep up with it: one of her roommates will start joining us several times a week. So now there are three people all poking at each other to stay on track.

I've been keeping up with my running schedule, but I'm still experiencing a lot of tightness and sometimes a little pain in my lower-calf/Achilles area. Looking into strengthening exercises and stretches to try and alleviate that, and trying to monitor my runs to not push it to the point of injury. I do think that my endurance is already improving, however. Tomorrow pushes the running up to 90 seconds a shot. I'm interested to see how it goes.