A Shift in Workouts

If you’re anything like me, you don’t feel accomplished unless you’re sweating profusely. And by profusely, I mean you just stepped out of a rainstorm. With Jillian’s Shred DVD, I was still sweating, but not red in the face, drippy sweating. Plus, I felt like my body was already adjusting to it after five days. So what did I do?

Switch it up.

I went back to the Ripped DVD to see if I could last any longer than my first attempt (when I had to stop the DVD twice because I was so out of it). And I made it. I made it through the whole DVD without stopping. Woo hoo! And I was sweating like I had gotten out of a rainstorm. Good deal.

So now today I’m on my third day of Ripped and I still sweat like a rainstorm. These are the workouts I love. In fact, I feel so awesome after Ripped I’ve wanted to tack on Shred…but time constraints have been an issue the past few days. :/

My advice to workout beginners; get the Shred, work it for a week, get your body adjusted to moving and sweating then shift to Ripped. At least that’s what I did and I’m a “seasonal” workout-er (meaning I get in workout fits and then quit after a few months and take  like six months off then start up again).  With Ripped, I can actually feel my body start to transform. I mean, yes, I’m hurting, but it’s a good hurt and I look forward to the next workout.

My eating habits have also shifted a bit. I’m trying to journal my food, but I just don’t. Like last night, I did so well throughout the day and then I got to my boyfriend’s house and we got pizza. And yes, pizza is my weakness food. I know no limits with pizza. I know them, but my stomach ignores them. Result? 4 pieces of pizza and 2 breadsticks. >.<  I really don’t want to see the calorie count on that dinner. It probably blew it for the next two days.

I’m still pushing water; water is extremely important. Instead of a glass, I’m drinking out of a 16oz bottle. It doesn’t look as intimidating as a big glass or thermos and it’s easier to keep track of my water intake and I drink it faster (four of those puppies get me my daily water intake = 64oz…even though I need more!!).

I’ll update my food choices over the weekend (blog ab out it) when I go grocery shopping. I’m trying to push towards vegan/organic, which works because the food is good, but still need to watch the carb/calorie intake.

Happy Wednesday!

My first (back to back) workout

Okay, so here’s the deal:

Last Thursday I worked out for the first time since..mm…March. March I was in training for a 5k, then as soon as life got busy, the 5k training went kbai.

Last Thursday I started one of my four Jillian Michaels DVDs. This one was called “Ripped in 30 days.” Needless to say, I paused the DVD twice. TWICE.

Granted, we all need a little break because our bodies need adjusting back into the groove of things, but I wasn’t happy I had to stop the DVD twice because I felt light-headed and pass-outtie. I chalk this up to the fact that I hadn’t eaten in a few hours and for my body to work at full power, it needs be fueled at least an hour before working out.

Sucks, I know because it’s like the whole “pool/food” rule applies to me (Don’t eat food an hour before swimming because you could get cramps and junk).

Anyway, the DVD and workout was good. I hurt a lot the day after, but then didn’t work out after that (because I hung out with my boyfriend the whole weekend). Monday I meant to, but I had a school paper due (and stayed up late working on it. Yargh. 😦 ). So Tuesday was my first good day to work out.

My food intake that day was all snacky stuff and a somewhat solid lunch and dinner. So, food intake wasn’t too bad.

And then came the work out.

I didn’t feel like getting my arse kicked again from the Ripped DVD, so I popped in Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. I’d heard daunting things about this DVD, but I’m proud to say that I made it through the DVD without pausing it or stopping! Sure, I may have lacked a little on the push ups and the lunges + weights, but I made it through. Today was my second day on the Shred DVD and I did a lot better. I don’t hurt as much (my upper arms/chest  hurt a bit, though), but I sure do sweat a ton in that 30 minutes.

Anyhow, as a quick post, the workout is going good. I enjoy the Shred, as I get stronger and better every day. So, definite suggestion to those who are looking for a good beginner’s workout, and I do mean this because for me, personally, any longer than 30 minutes for a workout and I get a little tired and bored, so 30 minutes of a butt kickin’ is perfect.

I’m hoping I can keep the Shred up for at least 5 days and then maybe do abs on the weekends or something. I dunno. I want to be active 7 days during the week, even if weekends are lighter days. I want big results in a short amount of time and Jillian Michaels and her DVDs promise (and hopefully deliver) it!

Will keep everyone updated, but for now, shower time again. Ugh. No moar showerrs. 😡

Best of luck on your workouts!

The Start Date

Everybody needs a fresh start.

I’ve learned in my reading of health magazines and articles that fresh starts can happen daily. Say you’ve been doing really great, working out, eating healthy, feeling good. Then you go out to celebrate something with friends and you lose track of what you eat, pop a few beers, cocktails or glasses of wine down and before you know it, you’ve pretty much consumed close to a whole day’s worth of calories in one sitting.

“Guess I’ll have to work out until I puke a few times this week and resort to a  liquid diet to get back on track.”

Not necessarily. So you overdid the calories. Learn from it. Next time you go out, watch what things you’re picking out to eat. If you’re planning on having a few drinks, pick a dish with less calories.

Same thing with working out. Miss a work out or two? Don’t wait to get back on the horse next week. Do it the next day. Every day is a fresh start, as you make different decisions that affect that day’s outcome. So you’ve been a breakfast skipper. The moment you decide to start eating breakfast, even if it’s a small something on the go (that’s good for you), you’re readjusting your body to a new routine or new element for the day, which changes your body make up over time.

Trust me, I’ve been a breakfast skipper for years. I’d skip breakfast, eat a normal lunch and then work out, but feel light-headed and shaky afterward. Then I’d pig a little at dinner to make up for my shaky feeling. I wasn’t losing any weight. Why? My body wasn’t being fueled until 12p or later when I was getting up at 9a every day. On the days I ate breakfast and ate lunch, my workouts were more solid and my body felt like it had more strength.

Now I eat breakfast every day. Most times it’s small, piece of wheat toast with about a 1 tbs of peanut butter, glass of water and two cups of coffee. I make sure to push my water for hydration and health purposes (and to really flush that coffee out of my body. I just love the taste of it, but realize it’s not the greatest thing for my body).  Around 12:30-1p, my stomach automatically gets hungry because it is used to being fed lunch by then. Same thing at 5:30. It’s dinner time. I’ve trained my body to know what times it can be expected to be fed. And while 7 smaller meals a day is best, I have yet to practice that methodology again. When I did 7 smaller meals when I moderated the amount of carbs in my diet, it worked. I lost weight. I just need to get back on that boat.

So if you fall off the wagon or the boat or whatever you’re falling off that goes in a forward motion, you can always start again tomorrow. Just make sure there’s a take away lesson from the mistake you made.

My Grocery List

Over this health transformation journey, there are a few foods I would love to try at least once to cook with and to eat. There is also a lot of healthy food I already eat that I would love to try and cook a variation of it.

For example, having some leftover bulgur wheat in the house, I decided to make tabbouleh. Healthy, sure. But I’m missing some of the prime ingredients. So what did I do? Researched recipes on bulgur wheat and what else you can do with it besides make tabbouleh. I found suggestions like cereal (bleh),  vegetarian chili (might be good), but the one that intrigued me the most to try was a reverse version of tabbouleh called Warm Wheat Salad. Sounds delicious and though I’m soaking the wheat right now as we speak, I’ll try to see if I can come up with a different variation of it and warm it up, see how it does.

Besides that, I would like to try some tofu, some different cheeses, veggies, more wheat products, make edamame,  eat more bean varieties (not the canned, bagged and soaked!), purchase more organic snacks (health food stores and I are gonna be besties!)…

There’s good food out there, just have to find some kind of substitute for the high fat and calorie foods that clog arteries and add useless pounds to unwanted areas.

EDIT: After about 40-45 minutes of soaking, the wheat was still a bit crunchy so I stuck it in a pan, added a bit more water and let it cook for about 10 minutes (covered, keeping an eye out until the water was gone), added a bean mixture that had some type of Italian dressing in it, tomatoes, onions, celery, little bit of garlic powder and parmesan cheese and it does NOT taste great. Letting it sit overnight to see if the juices need to soak in and if I can obtain some type of lemon base (because I honestly think bulgur wheat and lemon need to be together in any dish, probably).

Failed attempt at making a sweet wheat variation. Will see if I can salvage it tomorrow.

Why I’m Here

I’m surrounded by fitness.

Okay, not living breathing fitness, but pretty close. I’ve been subscribed to Self Magazine for three years, get daily emails from them and Women’s Health about various healthy snacks or “fat busting moves” I can do to make my tummy tiny, my sister is a triathlete and aspiring personal trainer and my brain is full of knowledge on how many calories I should be taking in every day (I went to a dietitian back in college; my calorie intake probably hasn’t changed much) and how much cardio and weights I should be getting in every day and how I should be alternating and ramping up my workouts so that my body doesn’t get used to it.

I know all of this, yet why do I weigh 40 more pounds than I should? Why do I have spotty eating habits? Why is it when I set to train for a 5k, I get half way through the training and then things come up, I get busy and I never readjust my schedule to incorporate a workout? And why don’t I use the resources I have to kick some serious fat bulge?

I’ve got the ideal situation for losing weight. I know it, yet I’m not starting any cardio or ab workouts or doing any “fat busting moves”. I live at a place where Internet is always available, a pool in the backyard, a treadmill, a bike, free weights, weight machine and even a

The Biggest Loser's Alison Sweeney

stability ball is here to use, but each item (besides the pool) is collecting dust. I even work from home, so taking a lunch break and working out for an hour is completely possible, but 9 times out of 10, I work through my lunch. Then, after work, it’s time for grad school. So what’s the excuse?

Probably motivation and, well, excuses.

I’m here to start implementing a good, healthy schedule of workouts and eating. You can eat anything you want, you just need to do it in moderation/watch your portions.  And as much as I want to say “I want my high school body back, minus 10 more pounds,” it’s not healthy (to mentally think that way). A few days ago, I read Self’s article on its cover girl Alison Sweeney (The Biggest Loser host) and something she said really resonated with me (besides the fact that she’s so tiny and only 5’4! That’s an inch shorter than me!);

“When I was getting back in shape after having [my second baby],  I told my trainer, ‘I want my body back!’ She was like, ‘Why go back? Go forward! Be the best you that you can be today. That might be thinner and more toned than ever.’ “

So there’s no need to wish my way back to my high school body minus 10. It’s just important to be the best I can each day and keep looking forward. There’s nothing ever rewarding about looking into the past and there’s no need to dwell on it.

I think my approach to being happy and healthy on this blog journey is taking it day by day and with baby steps and small goals. And I mean small goals. Like monthly goal/weekly goal/daily goal/work out goal (down to “My goal is to do 20 push ups today”). That’s how small I need to go.

When do I want to have the big picture goal to be done by? Well, as soon as possible. But let’s be realistic; as long as I’m happy with my body and the way I look and I know that I’m eating healthier, then goal accomplished. I may want to lose 40 pounds because I think that’s what will make me happy and look amazing, but I may lose 15 or 20 pounds  and feel happy and look amazing and just call it at 15 or 20 pounds and maintain it. I don’t know. I won’t know until I get there.

And I’m scared. 40 pounds is a lot. 10 pounds is a lot. But that’s the long term and just like my financial situation right now…I can’t look ahead. It’s a journey, just like life and I don’t know what to expect. I just have to make the most of every day, every situation and every moment. Then the happy, healthy me will shine through.

The Start of Something New

How many of you have had this “problem”? The fact that you have all of the work out resources and knowledge available, yet still gripe and fret about your appearance?

“I’ll start tomorrow.” “I’ll start next week.” or even “Where do I start?!”

If you’re like me, you’ve got all of the willpower in the world, but when it comes to hitting the tread, bike or even the nifty stability ball, it’s just not enough. The moment you start to work out, you want that 5 lbs. to instantly be gone.

Of course, we don’t live in a world (or even universe, for that matter) where doing cardio or any rigorous activity for 20 minutes or even an hour makes you lose 5 lbs. It makes you burn a tiny amount of calories, which burns a small amount of fat that makes you lose not even a portion of that 5 lbs. Vicious cycle.

And it’s easier when you have a buddy system if willpower can’t get you through those solo workouts. But what if you have a spotty buddy system? Sure, things get busy and that’s understandable, but burning calories won’t be as effective if you have spotty work outs. At least with a solid buddy system, you keep each other accountable, no matter what your schedule is like.

Reason in part why this blog was started.

Having your workout buddy be four hours away is tough, but with the available resources of the Internet and being mobile, there is a degree of accountability still there. Add in a healthy, foodie, workout-y blog to upkeep and the accountability is raised to a completely different level.

And that’s what this blog is hoping to be all about. Between my cohort and I, we’re going to be blogging about our journey to a happy, healthy life by working out, giving each other work out tips, cooking tips, the ups and downs of work outs and life…the sky is really the limit. And from all of this, hopefully you, our reader, will take some of these tips and apply them to your own life. We’d even love it if you shared any tips that is helping you maintain a happy, healthy life in the comments section below.

Enjoy!