Saturday, August 31, 2013

Weekly Weigh-In + Week in Review

Looking back on this week, it was an okay week. Of course it could have been better but I have never had a week that was so good that it didn't need improving on and I know that I won't ever have that kind of week because there will always been something that needs to be improved on.

I finished week 2 of C25K, well, I sort of finished week 2 of C25K. What do I mean by that? I completed day one last week and told myself that I would start the week over this Tuesday. Well, I did, but when I got to Wednesday and checked day two off, I knew that I should go ahead and count my day one from the previous week. And that is exactly what I did. 2 days from this week plus 1 day from last week equals 3 days total which is how long your C25K weeks run. So, technically I am done with week 2 (but I may or may not have cheated myself, I will figure that out later).

My eating slightly improved. I did visit Panera this week, but I didn't go as many times as I have been going in the past, so that is definitely an improvement for me. One thing I did notice was that I have been eating a lot of sandwiches lately mainly because they are what I have been craving. By now you should know that when I have a craving for something, I go ahead and eat it. Going into next week, I am going to try and lay off of the sandwiches a little, allowing myself to have one maybe once a day and not nearly every day like in the past. In my defense, those sandwiches from Panera were only half sandwiches, so that's technically one slice of bread right?

When it comes to weight loss, I didn't lose a pound but I didn't gain one either. I am happy about the last part, the fact that although I didn't lose a pound, not even an ounce for that matter, I didn't gain one. I like the numbers that I am seeing on the scale but as always, I try not to pay attention to those because they can go lower, higher or stay the same. Instead, I will be checking my measurements to see if anything has or hasn't changed in the month of August (they will be available on the progress page shortly).

Looking ahead to next week, I know some of the areas I need to work on:

  • Less sandwiches (actually, less carbs in general would be a nice idea)
  • Completing all of week 3 in one actual week instead of splitting it up (just a personal preference)
  • Drinking water, not just filling my CamelBak up and throwing it in my bag, but actually taking the time to drink the water out of it
Here's to a new week, a new month and new opportunities that are ahead of me!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

C25K: Week 2

This week, I am continuing week 2 of C25K. I actually completed day 1 of week 2, last week and today was a continuation but all I can say is that 20 minutes in, I was sweating like I was running through the desert. There really isn't much difference in the weeks, aside from the fact that you are running and walking longer; everything else stays the same. You still alternate between running and jogging.

Initially, at the beginning, I have this approach, "I can do this, no matter what, I can do this" and when I hit that 18 to 20 minute mark I have this approach, "My legs feel like they are going to fall off, the burn so bad". Either way, my mind is focused on one thing and one thing only; checking another day off of the app.

Of course, after taking a week off, I knew that things were going to be a little difficult to get back in the swing of things, but I also know that if I keep my eyes focused on the prize, in this case actually being able to run / jog / walk a 5K then I should be alright.

I also have this new-found love for Panera and will admit that I eat from there a little too much (is that even possible?) during the week and although this is going to hurt me to write, I think I will be limiting my Panera intake to once a week, if that for the next couple of weeks because the sodium intake on my Panera eating days is outrageous.

Hopefully, it will be easier to do than it was to say (okay, it wasn't that bad to state what my plan is) but that also means that I have to come up with some new lunch items because right now my mind is burned out and the only thing I can think of for lunch is Panera's pick two.

Let's hope I get out of this 'can't think of anything to eat for lunch' rut pretty soon because if not, I don't know what I will do.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Weigh In Day

I didn't know what to expect from weigh in day this week, mainly because I was only able to check one day off of my C25K app but I knew that whatever I saw, would be recorded. My eating wasn't terrible this week, my sodium levels on some days were higher than I would have liked them to be but taking a day off from where I was eating lunch seemed to help that problem out.

Although I was only able to check one day off of week 2 of C25K, I still managed to get out 2 days to walk, that 1 day to run and then two days were spent inside cleaning up; you would be surprised at the amount of calories you can burn just while cleaning or doing laundry for that matter.

To change directions and move this from a week in review, which it has become, back to my weekly weigh in post, I am able to record another loss of 1.8 pounds on here and over on MyFitnessPal. That means I am finally in the upper 230's! Which, is a number that I have been wanting to see for a while now, I'm glad to see it but I have my eye on seeing some lower numbers than that in the future.

I will continue with week 2 of C25K this week, I will actually be starting the week over since I only got in one day last week (more on that in a later post), I will also be working on my water intake and I may even venture into new territory and try almond milk (I know, random right!).  Either way, I am in it to win it and can't wait to see what next week brings.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Rules (Fall Semester)

As a new semester rolls around, this is my last fall semester as a college student, I have to figure out how I can best manage my time when it comes to school, working and importantly, working out. I have started C25K and so far I am loving it. I will be starting my second week sometime this week and my plan is to complete C25K on Tuesday, Thursday and either Friday or Saturday. 

Of course, I have to fit my school work into my schedule and that always takes priority, but I feel that I have better control over the situation since I can complete C25K almost any time of the day and practically anywhere. 

To stay successful during this semester I know what I have to do. For starters, I have to pack my lunch on the days that I know I won't be in the comfort of my own kitchen. Luckily for me, that is only two days out of the week. There will be some days when I don't want to pack my lunch and if so, my new favorite quick eatery is around the corner from where I work and there is also one on campus. 

That location is Panera Bread. I wasn't always fond of Panera Bread and I tend to stay away from places after I have one bad experience, which is what happened one time at Panera, but my internship supervisor treated me to lunch one day and that is the place she suggested we dine at and I am glad she did. 

I also have to pack healthy snacks when I am in class, there is nothing worse than being in a class full of your peers, sitting beside two people, the room is quiet and your stomach growls; I've been there and done that on multiple occasions. 

I also have to keep water with me, I do that anyways but I have to make sure I am getting in my water intake during the day, even if I am drinking something else like lemonade or tea. I also have to keep my level of stress down and when I do get stressed, get up and get moving; whether it is walking, jogging or checking off another day of C25K. 

If I can stick to these rules I have established for myself during the semester, I should be able to make it and hopefully lose another 10 to 15 pounds in the next 15 weeks. Stick with me and see how everything plays out!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

C25K First Week

My first week on C25K went very well. It was a bit of an adjustment since I haven't been "seriously" jogging or running since softball playing days but it was something that was easy to adjust to since you are running for 60 seconds then walking for 90 seconds.

My first day went better than I thought; I figured that I would be doubled over by the end but I wasn't. Sweating profusely, yes; doubled over, no. The second day was harder than the first. Not sure why that was the case for me but it was. I figured that my body was sore and didn't want to go through another day, but I did and I pushed through it. My third day was easier but my abdomen region was definitely feeling it. If there was any day that I should have been doubled over, it was the third day.

This weeks, bring another 3 days of C25K and those are three days that I am looking forward to. On the days when I am not doing C25K, I still walk / jog for 30 to 35 minutes mainly because it is something that I am really starting to enjoy.

Looking forward to next week and whatever C25K brings my way~

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weigh In Day

When I went on vacation last week, I told myself that I was going to be taking a vacation from everything; logging, those intense workouts I had been doing and more. I essentially went back to eating foods that I haven't eaten since I started this journey.

I also gained 3.8 pounds (this is last weeks gain) in the process. I was not shocked at that number nor was I upset. Mainly because I made the decision to eat those foods, skip out on logging everything and only complete a "lighter" workout 3 times during the week.

Last Saturday, my normal weigh in day, I made my mind up that I was coming back and would be better than ever. I started C25K (more on that in a later post) and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I never imagined myself as a runner and although I am not there yet, I am getting closer. I have moved from the couch and I am closer to running a 5K than I actually was last week.

Spending the past 3 days (the weeks on C25K run for 3 days periods) running / jogging / walking has opened my eyes to so much. I have made healthier eating choices and have actually wanted to get out and complete another day.

Although this week went well, I didn't know what to expect on the scale. I can report a loss of 3.4 pounds, which means I am almost back to my pre-vacation weight! That tells me that something is working. It is either my new workout, my new approach to eating or perhaps both.

Either way, I plan on keeping this up, because I won't be reverting back to those vacation habits any time soon.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What I'm Doing Now

I don't like structured repetitive actions. I never have and I doubt that I ever will. The same goes with working out. I ended my gym membership in June and since then I have been focusing on working out at home with the help of DVDs, but that gets pretty mundane after awhile.

I love my DVDs but they feature the same structured repetitive actions and it starts to not only take a toll on my body but it takes one on my nerves as well. Therefore, I have been contemplating on what exercises I should complete next on my journey. I narrowed it down to Tae Bo (I know another DVD) and the Couch to 5K (C25K) app.

Yesterday, I started C25K and I am in no way a runner but I am not exactly coming straight from the couch. The app breaks everything down and really makes you want to push yourself for the full length of time. Yesterday I did a brisk five minute warm-up walk, followed by alternations of jogging for 60 seconds and 90 seconds of walking followed by a five minute cool down.

There are tones that alert you so you know when to walk or run, as well as a "female announcer" who does the same.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first day and can't wait to get back out there this evening. This program runs for 9 weeks which means I should finish up around mid October if I stay successful and stick with this everyday.

I am pretty sad that it only runs 3 days out of the week, but I will probably just repeat two days so I can get in 5 days of cardio on the weeks when I want to push myself a little more.

I will post updates as the weeks progress and also continue to post my workout results and scale pictures on Instagram.

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Layout for the Year

I normally establish a set of weekly goals, but for the past couple of months, those weekly goals have been the same every week. I won't abandon my weekly goals but I will focus more on accountability for the next year.

  • Weighing in weekly no matter how good or bad my week has been. In order to make sure I stay accountable, I may even begin to post my scale pictures on Instagram (not following me, just click the button to your right).
  • Taking measurements at the beginning and end of every month helps me know what progress (if any) I am making even if the numbers on the scale don't reflect that. 
  • Taking pictures of the scale to document my progress each month, these pictures will be posted to Instagram. 
  • Establishing incentives along the way as I work towards reaching my goals. 
  • Resting my body when it needs it.
  • Logging every thing that enters my mouth, even if it is on a "cheat day".
  • Weighing the pros and cons of each decision I make while on this journey. It doesn't matter if it is a decision of what food to eat or what exercise to complete. 
The next year won't be easy, it may not be fun, but it will be full of the decisions I make as I continue on this journey. Most importantly, it will be full of days where I determine whether or not I get closer to my goals or revert to my old ways. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What Has (and Hasn't) Worked

I've lost weight on this journey, so that means that something I have been doing is working. Here are some of the things that have been working for me.

  • Counting calories has become one of the most important things to me because I am able to see how many calories I am taking in and how many I am burning. It also show me that foods I think may be healthy actually aren't and those that I think may not be healthy actually are. 
  • Having a cheat meal is important to me because it lets me know that I am human and not some robot that can only eat certain foods that contain certain calories. Aside from that, I try not to focus on cheat meals so much, mainly because they tend to be on the weekend and I am moving more then so I can afford to eat a little more. 
  • Eating what I want when I have a craving is also important mainly because if I go ahead and eat it, I won't indulge on it later. 
  • By not eating my exercise calories back, I am able to finish with a higher calorie deficit at the end of the day, which means I finish my week off with more calories and the numbers tend to go down on the scale. 
  • Avoiding carb heavy foods the day before a weigh in has also been beneficial as has avoiding anything mixed with alcohol until after I weigh in.
These are some of the things that have worked for me on this journey and they are also things that I plan on implementing in the future.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Re-establishing Goals

After a week where I truly ate what I wanted and didn't pay any attention to calories consumed, it is time for me to refocus and outline what I want to achieve on this journey. When I started this journey, I had specific goals in mind and thought that since it was so easy for me to lose weight last year that it would be easy for me to lose weight this year. I can admit that I was wrong, very very wrong.

It has not only taken me longer to lose weight this year but my weight has also fluctuated multiple times on this journey. Aside from that, I have a real lack of energy at times and that makes it harder for me to get up and get moving. My lack of energy makes it even harder because I was able to lose the weight last year without working out.

There are times when I wish I could just eat and eat all day long and not gain any weight, but those are the same times that I realize I will never be able to do that. There are more times when I wish I could see my progress in a weeks time and not have to wait months for it.

Not only are these complaints, but they are frustrations that I am dealing with on a daily basis. I wish I could see results faster, I wish I could eat more and work out less and I also wish the weight would melt off and the muscle would build but I know that in order for that to happen, I have to work towards it. In order to work towards what I want to achieve, I have to figure out what I want to get out of this journey.

  • By August 2014, I want to be in onederland; meaning I want to weigh in at 199 or less. Yes, that is a year from now but I need that time to knock out around 50 pounds (I did round that number up because I was 242 when I left for vacation and I know that I have to b in the mid to upper 240s now).  To break that down a little, I would like to be down another 15 pounds by the time Christmas rolls around. 
  • I want to feel comfortable in a one piece swimsuit without the cover-up. I purchased several one piece swimsuits this year and wore them with bottoms but the point was I wore them. There was one day when I even ventured to the beach with only the one piece and a cover-up. The longer I am on this journey, I tell myself I need to take baby steps so I don't overdo it. 
  • I want to get rid of the majority of the muffin top. I have never liked having a muffin top and I can't imagine anyone who would wan't to have one. In the past, although I never wanted to have a muffin top, I never did anything about it. I just stated numerous times how much I disliked my muffin top. In order to get rid of it, I have to work on that area, which is proving to be one of my biggest problem areas. 
  • In addition to losing the muffin top, I want to lose the rolls in the back.
  • I would love to see some definition in my arms. That would be a dream come true to see some sort of definition in my arms, from any angle, during any time of the day.
  • I want to be down 2 pants sizes (eventually wearing anywhere between a 12 and 16) and one size in shirts.
  • I also don't want to feel pressured by the numbers on the scale or get in a panic if I happen to have a cheat meal every once in a while. 
These are just some of the goals that I want to achieve within the next year and as long as I keep a steady pace, I should achieve those goals but I have a feeling that I will achieve so much more just by staying committed for the next 12 months. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

I'm Back

For the past week, I have eaten foods that I haven't eaten since I started my journey; especially honey buns (which I managed to eat 3 of in a week), hostess cupcakes and more! I told myself that I was giving my body a break and I know I did more harm than good this week.

This week, I was on vacation, a vacation away from my normal everyday activities and also a vacation from counting calories, which I didn't do at all this week. Between the burger from Wendy's for dinner on Sunday, the Chinese food for lunch Wednesday and the spaghetti for dinner the same day, the fried potatoes for breakfast (two days in a  row), all of the sweet snack junk foods and Seagram's beverages; I know I have practically eaten (and drank) double my allotted calories for this week.

Part of me is ashamed to admit that, but part of me isn't because I consciously made the decision to eat the foods, no one forced them upon me.

I told myself that I was also going to focus on exercising, I walked on the beach 3 mornings and also did activities in the pool everyday (which I would think would count for some sort of exercise). But I feel so far off of my plan, it will take me longer than a weekend to get back on track. It may even take me longer than a week to get myself back on track, but I am dedicated to getting myself back on track because this week showed me how far I have to go on this journey.

Normally, I would have also stated that any experience would have shown me how far I have come, but (in my opinion) I haven't come far enough to resist temptation or possess any sort of strong willpower that would have helped me this week.

On the other hand, I see how far I have to go on this journey and at this point, I have a lot that needs to be accomplished but I also need to take the time to reassess what has been going on, what has worked and what hasn't worked. On top of that, I also need to realign my goals and stick to a plan that I now I can succeed with.

I'm back and ready to tackle this journey with a new approach, it will take time (a lot of time to be exact) but the longer I spend on this journey, the more I can note progress and set backs. This next year (more on that in the next post) will be a wild one fill\ed with plenty of ups and downs but along the way I vow to myself that I will live beyond the old me and become the person I am destined to be.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Rest and Relaxation

I'm taking about a week off to give my mind and body some relaxation from these last few weeks of intense workouts and extreme calorie counting (and I do mean extreme, if it went in my mouth, it was logged on MFP) but I will be keeping track of those weekly goals!

In the meantime, I will also be thinking of some new challenges for myself and ways I can get in more exercise without overdoing myself in the upcoming semester.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Weekly Goals

Here are this weeks goals:
  • Water - I need to drink more water and I need to make myself realize that water is important and my body has ways of telling me when it needs more. 
  • Exercise - I am abandoning my DVDs for a week in exchange for some walking / jogging / running (I figure I can at least manage to do two out of the three). I also look at this as a way to let my muscles relax a little before going at those intense workouts again. 
That's it, just two simple goals for this week because I am trying to relax myself as much as possible so that I don't crash and burn at the end; especially since I still have a long way to go. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Weigh In Day

It is amazing how your weight can fluctuate throughout a day. Yesterday, I decided to weigh in and I figured I may as well go ahead and record the number I saw on the scale (it was a loss) but decided against it because it wasn't my "normal" weigh in day. This morning (at 4:30 am!) I stepped on the scale, and at least 4 different numbers popped up. One was a gain, then there was a loss, then there was the number I saw last week then it finally stopped flashing on a 0.4 ounce gain.

I stepped off of the scale and tried it again, still the same thing. I decided to move the scale to a different part of the house and stepped on it again, this time it revealed a loss. I stepped off and repeated the process, same numbers. I stepped on two more times and told myself that whatever number was on the LED display was the one I was going with.

In that case, I can report a loss of 1.2 pounds this week. I think I am going to invest in some new batteries for my scale and if that doesn't work, I will invest in a new scale. For some reason, it hasn't been as responsive as I would like until I move it around the house, so for now, I am sticking with that particular location and going to buy a new battery.

Until then, I am focusing on next week; which will prove to be one of my toughest weeks to date because I am giving up my workout DVDs for the entire week.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Week in Review

Another week has come and gone as has another month, so it is time for my week in review.

  • Exercise - So far I have had 4 days of solid higher intensity exercise. I am thinking about taking today off and focus on lighter cardio exercise while still burning calories and I will more than likely do that. But, when it comes to exercise my mind changes and I may still pop in a DVD later in the day (I like to switch up the times of day in which I do exercise). I still plan on taking next week off from my DVDs and focus on doing some walking / jogging / running. Because my body does need to rest. 
  • Water - All I can say is that my water intake has greatly improved. I get the majority of my intake during my workouts but as long as I am getting it in, it doesn't matter to me what time of the day it is coming.  
  • Calorie deficit - From Monday through Thursday, I have finished my days with over a 500 calorie deficit which is something that I hope to continue through today. I always struggled with eating my exercise calories back but for the past couple of weeks I haven't been eating them and I can say that right now I don't think I will go back to eating them. It has been one of the best decisions I have made on this journey thus far. 
  • Low carb - so far so good on staying low carb. I cut them out when I can and only eat them in moderation when I do decide to have some. 

So far, things have been going rather well this past month and I hope they continue to go this well in the future. I have set a new goal of being down another 15 pounds by the time Christmas comes around. If I succeed in that, it will be a Christmas gift to myself, but it will be one that is well worth it. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Recap and August Goals

It has been a while since I did a monthly reflection and since it has been a month since I started using Bob Harper's workouts, I figured it was as good a time as any to look back at the month of July and to also set some goals for August.

My goals for July were to:

  • Lose 2-3 pounds
  • Increase strength / pounds of weights 
  • Complete at least 40 push-ups in a minute
  • Lower my BMI
  • Lose 3 inches overall 
Now, on to how I did with those goals:
  • On June 29th (my initial weigh in for July 1st, since the 1st came in on a weekday) I weighed in at 245.5. On July 7th, I was up to 247 (I attribute that to weight training), but thankfully each week following my weight dropped.  June 13, 244.6; July 20th, 243.2; July 27th, 242. Looking at my highest weight compared to my lowest weight, I lost 5 pounds. Looking at my starting weight compared to my end weight, I lost 3.5 pounds. Either way, I reached my goal of loosing between 2 and 3 pounds. 
  • I maintained using 8 pound weights through the month, which I am fine with but I would still like to increase to 10 pound weights. 
  • As the DVDs in the collection progressed, the numbers of push-ups decreased With that being said, the most push-ups I completed in a minute this month was 30 (not too shabby in my opinion). 
  • At the start of the month my BMI was 38.4 and at my highest weight this month it was 38.7; at the end of the month, my BMI is 37.9, so I was successful in lowering that
  • I lost 1 inch from my bust, chest, waist, thighs and calves. If I add all of those inches together, I have lost 5 inches from my body all together.

I ended the month of July better than I thought I was going to, so I am pleased with that. But, I do want to keep this going and that means I can't slack off now.

For the month of August, my goals are to:

  • Lose 4 pounds  
  • Work my way up to using 10 pound weights
  • Lower my BMI
  • Lose 4 inches overall
  • Maintain a calorie deficit each day; with the exception of Sunday
  • Exercise at least 20 days out of the month 
  • Maintain good eating habits for the entire month
I am hoping that I finish August the same way but I can already tell that based on my upcoming schedule it will take a lot of dedication and commitment on my part.