Thursday, December 27, 2012

Weighing In - 12/27/2012


Previous weight: 156.0
Today's weight:  156.6

This week's results: +0.6lbs



I have managed to gain only 1 pound while putting nearly NO restrictions on the holiday celebrations except to try to stop when I am feeling full. 

Guys. 

I ATE A LOT. 

I, like... tripped my daily target on a semi-regular basis and only gained 1lb in two weeks. 


No regular weigh in post from me today. I'm going to head to the gym and start working on getting back on track to take this pound off before the resolutioners overcrowd the place!

Hope you had a great Christmas season and are starting to plan for the new year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays!


Merry Christmas, if that's your gig! The holidays have rolled around and we took the opportunity on Tuesday to get some family pictures taken.

Oro + all of his adults. 
Me, Manpanion, Monica and Steph! LOVE!

One big happy family indeed. It is so much fun to have these memories, and have them be so lovely and full of joy. We had a lot of fun with our photoshoot, and intend to give the pictures as gifts to grandparents and parents alike. They'll LOVE them. 

Be sure to over photograph. Even when it feels like too much fluff, you'll enjoy them for years to come. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Weighing In - 12/20/2012


Previous weight: 155.6
Today's weight:  156.0

This week's results: +0.4lbs


I'm not really in the mood to make a weighing in post, but I did want to weigh in regardless. I definitely wasn't very OP this week, and I ate pizza, and a burrito, and drank a lot. I also cranked up the fitness in a lot of huge ways and this was all during TOM. 

I feel that gaining half a pound is a total maintenance move, and I'm feeling that I'm moving toward that right now as Christmas is next week and I don't want to put a damper on the holidays and spending time with family. I want to enjoy it. 

This week, however, I ate about 10 pointsplus over my daily target each day, earning an average of 8 APs per day. Even though I didn't lose (I could have made far better food choices for the points), I feel this is a sweet spot for me, and I'm going to try to eat better foods around the same pointplus range this week and see how it works with my body. 

Are you all set for Christmas? 

I've wrapped most of the presents, but I haven't MADE the biggest part of the holiday gift giving, which includes 13 sets of a gift that I've come up with for this year. Ooops. I know what I'll be doing this weekend!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Weighing In - 12/13/2012


Previous weight: 157.0
Today's weight:  155.6

This week's results: -1.4lbs

WOOOO! I'm not going to even try to dissect how this happened. I will admit that I wasn't super honest in my tracking this week. I skipped things by accident, and I diminished things on purpose. I probably ate about 20-40 points more than I tracked, so I don't know what to think about this. I've had weeks before where I ate every point available to me, and I gained. I've had weeks where I mostly stuck to the plan and I've gained. 

Either way... 

Here's my tracker:


I ate. A LOT. Honestly. But I worked out pretty hard too. I don't know what to say about this week. Crazypants.  

On to the celebrations!

I celebrate that I earned an average of 6.7 Activity Points per day this week, and I met my pact with GymPact, AGAIN!

I celebrate that I am keeping on. I definitely slacked off with tracking this week, but I had a chat with myself about whether or not that would get me closer to my goals, and it doesn't. So, more honesty this week. My body knows what I ate, so why would I alter my tracker? 

I celebrate that I lost! FINALLY. I've earned this a couple of weeks over without getting it, so I'm glad to see the scale move down. 

This week I need to focus on:
  • Eating only what I earn. I definitely didn't do this this week. I need to plan better meals, though I am still struggling with stretching out 26 points over such long and active days. 
  • Getting back to basics.  Again. Need to measure and weigh food. I need to grocery shop. I need a plan. 
  • Positive Self-Talk. Still love this goal!!!
  • EXERCISE! I took two days off of cardio this last week, and I wish I hadn't. My mood was effected immediately and I am starting to realize that my body really NEEDS to work to keep me healthy and happy. 
Ok. I need to get to planning. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

How to Spend a Snow Day.

Sometimes, it snows a foot in a period of 10 hours. When that happens, you can choose to stay inside watching movies and sipping hot cocoa (a valuable option!) or, you can go to a 6 year old's birthday party and JUMP.


Today was Oro's buddy Dylan's birthday party and he was holding it at Zero Gravity. I don't know how popular trampoline parks are in your area, but they're starting to spread here in MN and I couldn't be happier. Last year I purchased a Facebook Deal to go to another one in a nearby suburb, but ended up letting it expire before we made our date to go. Wah-wah. Today, I got my 2nd chance. Thank god for 6 year olds and new kindergarten friends!

We jumped for 1.5 hours and I estimate I burned HUNDREDS of calories. I never thought to bring my heart rate monitor, but I worked up a sweat! I also discovered that maybe I should have been a cheerleader, because I do a pretty good jumping split. 

Oro and the kiddos had the best time and I had a blast too! I am so happy to be with someone who is such an involved and fun parent, because I love to play! I'd always rather be hanging with the kids, engaged in activities, than standing (or sitting) around talking about them. Let's play! I did accidentally inhale 4 pieces of pizza in the party room, so I cancelled out my activity and then some, but it was worth it. Correction: the pizza wasn't worth it, but the jumping was. 



When I finally got home tonight, I had to shovel my car out from under a foot of snow and clear a portion of my sidewalk. I am blessed with amazing neighbors who shoveled for me while I was out today, and that cut down on my back breaking shovel adventure, though that would have been worth another handful of APs!


Here's to hoping my morning class will be cancelled and I can enjoy a quiet morning to myself. 



Snow Day!

5 inches and still falling!!!



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Weighing In - 12/06/2012


Previous weight: 156.4
Today's weight:  157.0

This week's results: +0.6lbs

GUYS. WHAT THE WHAT? Aside from Saturday//Sunday and Tuesday being a ball full of points, I had a totally OP (on plan) week. EVEN WITH the weekend, because I had the points. I am beyond baffled, and this means I need to revisit a few things. 

Here's my tracker:
 
So, there were 3 days I went over points in a way that would present these results. Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. ALL other days were at or very close to my daily points target with 28, 25, 26 and 25 respectively. 

Are Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday (66, 47 and 47) enough to cause a gain even though I ended the week with 7 Weekly Points left? Am I really sensitive enough (with my weight) that I can only eat the points I earn with Activity? Am I even able to do that? 

This will be a week of discovery for that, I guess, because I'm pretty tired of working all week and seeing a gain. Granted, I definitely had some fun over the weekend. I'm not pretending those numbers aren't there, and I'm bringing them to you honestly, just like my gain. 
On to the celebrations!
I celebrate that I earned an average of 6 Activity Points per day this week, and I met my pact with GymPact. 
I celebrate my determination in the face of these gains. I need to figure out how the plan is going to work for me and really get down to the business of losing weight. I know that I'm making it more difficult for myself by following the New Rules of Lifting for Women, because it's not a program to lose weight, and it causes my hunger to spike, and I'm building muscle... but it's a goal parallel to this program and I'm determined in both. I celebrate my commitment to tracking my weight even though I'm annoyed that I'm annoyed about it. 

This week I need to focus on:
  • Eating only what I earn. While Weight Watchers allots me 49 Weekly Points to play with, I'm finding out more and more that I can't eat those and lose (OBVIOUSLY). So, I will need to step up my activity in order to earn extra points if I intend to eat over my daily target. 
  • PLANNING splurges. On Saturday, Manpanion and I planned our date night. I looked up what I wanted to eat and we sought it out. We enjoyed ourselves, guilt free. Sunday, however, was an accident. I had a caramel roll on an impromptu buy-some-time trip to the coffee shop while waiting for the electronics store to open. Late that evening, we had an impromptu date with our friends and I ate a very heavy meal I had no intention of having. Sunday should not have happened. I should have planned better or said no. 
  • Getting back to basics. I didn't do very well with this goal this last week because I happened to eat out so often. When at home, I made a point to measure about half of the time, but I'm committed to weighing/measuring all of my food this week.  
  • Positive Self-Talk. Still love this goal!!!
  • EXERCISE! I've started the 2nd stage of NRL4W and it's very difficult. I'm trying to work in cardio around it, but the two combined feels hard on my body. I'm not sure I"m willing to give up the benefits of cardio to follow the program and vice versa, so I'm slowly figuring out what will work for me. However, exercise will be critical this week as I figure out how to stay closer to my daily target, something I have been meaning to do the entire time. 
This is not a big change from last week. In 2 weeks I've gained a little more than a pound, but I also did a little celebrating. However, I'm worried and frustrated that I could be gaining from staying within the programs outlines. I didn't eat over the points I was allotted or the activity I earned, so what will maintenance look like for me? Will I just be gaining .5lbs a week until I'm back up to the start? 

I'm worried that in order to lose, I'm going to have to be incredibly restrictive in a way that I could never maintain. It's a scary thought. 

Until then, I'm going to hit the gym and give this week an honest try. I'm going to PLAN my days and stop eating when I've hit my target. No late night ice cream if there aren't points for it. Time to wise up. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

BOO(ya)!

I had a FANTASTIC weekend.

It was a horrid weekend, as far as the plan goes, in comparison to a carefully planned one, however, Manpanion and I desperately needed a fun night out. Finals are coming up and we've been lucky to see each other 1-2x per week for the past 5 months, so we were due for a great date night.

We met up in the afternoon on Saturday (after I attended 1 hour of Zumba) and went rock climbing for 2 hours, so I definitely earned the APs for a dinner out. I researched what I wanted to eat online before we hit the restaurant, and I stuck to my plan. It was definitely a high point evening, counteracted only by an hour of dancing at the end of it. I have no regrets.

Aside from this, Thursday and Friday went very well and I hit my points target daily. On Thursday, Manpanion made us this delicious dinner:
wine braised cabbage, sauteed green beans, tilapia ceviche and an apple. YES.

Our date night was Saturday, and it kind of spilled over into Sunday when we went to run errands without first checking to see if the store we needed was open. It wasn't, and I was easily convinced into a soy latte and half of a caramel roll. And a bloody mary. Oops. And then later that night we agreed to meet some friends out for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in town that will close its doors forever in just 2 weeks. OOOOPS. 

So, I am down to 13 Weekly Points after burning through my 23 APs and 36 of my Weeklies between the 2 dinners out. C'est la vie, right? I mean... life is about experiences, and I wouldn't trade either of those back in for the extra calories. 

I've been avoiding the gym all morning but I'm dressed and trying to psych myself into it. I'm not very excited, which is slightly unlike me, but I've bargained myself into a relatively short incline workout on the treadmill. I just need to GET there and spend at least 30 minutes working out, however hard. That is my deal with myself, and of course, with GymPact. 

How'd your weekend go? Any thrilling dates or exciting dinners? 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Weighing In - 11/29/2012



Previous weight: 155.8

Today's weight:  156.4

This week's results: +0.8lbs
Argh. I feel deflated by these results. I know that I went over on Thanksgiving, and also on Saturday, but I worked out hard this week and I have had PLENTY of weeks go by where I ate around this same amount of points and had a loss. 
But, I didn't even gain a whole pound, so I'm chalking this one up as just more practice for maintaining. 
I'll admit: I definitely did some bargaining this morning. I stepped off the scale and went through all the excuses we always tell ourselves. "My muscles are retaining water." "Maybe I ate too much salt yesterday." Etc etc etc. I debated not tracking my weight. I got a little angry. But the truth of the matter is IT DOESN'T MATTER. Every step is a step in the right direction, and I tracked all my food, and I worked out every day. 
Here's my tracker:

This week, each day I earned (on average) 5 Activity Points. I worked out EVERY DAY except Wednesday, where I took a day off from the gym (but not my work steps) because I suffered a giant pain the night before and Manpanion suggested I was working too hard. He's quite the honest man, so I took that advice to heart. 

On Thursday, I clearly celebrated Thanksgiving. I had 3 glasses of wine, and I ate reasonably small portions of everything my Aunt put on the table. I wasn't able to measure and I had no idea what went into everything, so this possibly could have added up to much more than I estimated. Friday I made myself a turkey and a Thanksgiving dinner that I would share with the boys when they returned to the cities on Saturday. And on Saturday, I over indulged with more wine, my Thanksgiving creation and an unplanned dessert that I wasn't sure how to estimate. Another red flag. 

Sunday began with a very reasonable breakfast of an egg-white omelet and spiraled into a protein rich day. I went over by only 4 points, and that was reasonable because that's what I earned at the gym. However, I did continue to eat my Thanksgiving dinner, and I'm starting to wonder if I somehow miscalculated the points for everything there. Red flag, again. Monday was a very light day where I didn't even hit my daily target. Tuesday was a dinner at home with Manpanion and we kept it light and completely vegetarian. An all vegetables dinner, no dessert, but I did make myself a Maple Bourbon Sour and went over my daily target by 9 points. Wednesday, I stuck right around my daily target, but made some pour and salty choices throughout the day at work including a tablespoon of peanut butter and a big fat handful of fries. I tracked both and had the points, but I definitely have grabbers' remorse. 

Sigh. 

On to the celebrations!

I celebrate my determination to make all of my meals. I didn't eat out at all this last week aside from dining with family for Thanksgiving. THIS generally makes a big difference for me as far as points-planning, and I think this fact adds to my disappointment in the gain. 

I celebrate my GYM AWESOMENESS. I went every day, again, except for Wednesday when I was recovering from an injury. I worked hard, I lifted a lot, I sweat... a LOT. 
I celebrate my commitment to tracking my weight even though I'm annoyed that I'm annoyed about it. 
This week I need to focus on:
  • Eating breakfast RIGHT AWAY. I tend to linger around in the mornings drinking mass amounts of coffee and eating breakfast when I feel hungry, which is usually HOURS after I've gotten up. I've read that you need to stoke your metabolism by eating as soon as possible after waking, so I'm going to give that a shot this week. 
  • Being done with Thanksgiving. I kept the giant meals to only Thursday, but I ate all of the leftovers I cooked for myself all week. I did not use the recipe builder to determine the points, I only estimated, and after 10 years on Weight Watchers, I should know now not to do this. 
  • Getting back to basics. I need to start measuring and weighing everything again. Last night, I poured myself a bowl of cereal for dinner. I didn't measure or weigh it. I know it was more than a cup, but I chose to ignore that. I need to get back on this. 
  • Positive Self-Talk. Still love this goal. 
  • EXERCISE! I'm at the end of Stage 1 for NRL4W, and I'm supposed to take a week off before starting Stage 2. I debated not doing this, but I am starting to feel that my body really does need a break. 
So that's that. I gained. I have some strategies to get me back on track (the correct track) and I know that WW is rolling out changes to the plan on Monday, which is something that will force me to refocus on the basics because I'll need to re-learn them again. 
I'm feeling deflated today by the gain, but also because I told you I was very excited to take my measurements now that I've completed the first stage of the New Rules of Lifting for Women. Well, I did that this morning and there has been NO change, except I have lost 2.25" from my waist. I mean, that's a pretty awesome change, but I actually GAINED half an inch on my hips (which I'll attribute to my butt getting higher and rounder, which I have no problem with). Everything else is the same as in October of 2012. I really thought things were different. 
When I took the measurements and compared them, I was heart broken. It made me not want to continue with the program. However, I had to force myself into my own advice and remember what I always ask myself (and tell others to ask themselves): "Would that get me closer to my goal?" With my goal, in this case, to be a stronger individual.
The obvious answer is no, plus, lifting these heavy weights changes my mood in an entirely different way than cardio. While I love both effects, the strength training helps me with will power. I want to quit during a set because it's hard, but I don't. I power through. And when I do this with weights, I can do it with food. I can do it with homework. I can do it with anything, and I need these lessons to stop being a quitter. 
I'm not a quitter. 
NOT A QUITTER. So I'll keep on keeping on this week, starting right now. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Return to routine.

Man I love the weekdays. Everything feels relatively predictable and I have the desire to prepare my own food.

I've been back on track since Sunday yesterday when I was stressing about it. I've been to the gym every day for 12 days (sans Thanksgiving, but I did get out for a run), and I've maintained my 10 weekly points and even added a few to the mix with activity.

Today I was craving greens hardcore, so I made myself this for dinner:

I even used a BIG DINNER PLATE, which I rarely touch. I generally use the salad plates to keep portions in check, but I was having SO MANY GREENS that I needed a bigger plate. I sauteed some kale and mixed up a salad, roasted half an acorn squash (with a little EVOO and brown sugar) and because I was craving carbs all day, I decided to give in with a Rudi's english muffin (with flax seed) and splurge on a small pat of butter since I also rarely eat that. 

Exactly what I wanted, which feels great. 

I only have TWO workouts left of Stage 1 for the New Rules of Lifting for Women!! I'll knockout one of them in the morning and then hit the gym on Thursday morning for the last. 

I'm extra excited about this because I really really really want to re-take my measurements. I'm positive there's been some differences, but I've been staying away from the measuring tape until I finish Stage 1. Even if they're small losses in inches, I'm still super proud that I've stuck with this program. I am getting stronger every day, and that's an accomplishment in and of itself. 

What about you? Are you happy to be back in the routine of things? 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Check yo' self.

Aye.

This weekend has spiraled into a hellacious fail. Thanksgiving was certainly a catalyst, but it was yesterday, Saturday, that set the whole thing off on a downward spiral.

You see, I often go weeks or months without seeing my best friend who only lives about 4 miles away. Again, with the stressful busy schedule keeping me from people I love and want to see. We finally made plans to get together yesterday for a Bloody Brunch, one of our favored traditions. I was supposed to save some points, you know... plan for this thing I knew was going to happen, but I didn't. Instead I spent the morning eating healthful but calorie dense foods (greek yogurt + muesli, 6 points+, raisin bran and milk at Paul's which was 7 points+, and in my haze of reaching for non-vegetable based foods, I also stuffed a mini-bag of SmartPuffs in my mouth while I worked on a research paper, another 2 points+.) At this point, I barely had points left for dinner, let alone a bloody mary. But I had one anyway, and followed it up with a 10oz beer.

In the red, pre-dinner, which was scheduled to be a repeat of Thanksgiving, this time with my boy's Paul and Oro.

I ate the dinner anyway, and washed it down with 2 glasses of wine.

Now, it's Sunday and I only have 10 weekly points left. That's rough.

Luckily, Manpanion made breakfast this morning which saved me from reaching for something convenient and... calorie-dense. He whipped up an egg white omelet with leftover turkey, red peppers, onions and garlic. I drizzled some sriracha sauce on there and cut up and apple and I was good to go for a healthy, low point but protein-rich meal. THANK YOU MANPANION. You've saved the day.

In an effort to turn things around, I'm sorting out my own fridge today, looking for healthful combinations of reinvented Thanksgiving leftovers. I'm thinking I'll make little potato patties (of mashed potatoes) with some cranberry and turkey on top for dinner tonight. Tomorrow I'll roast some brussels sprouts and have that with turkey as well while I simmer up the turkey bones into a delicious stock and brew up some turkey vegetable soup. On Tuesday I'll use up the last of the stuffing in an egg bake, and make myself a turkey sandwich. Hopefully that will get rid of everything I didn't already freeze, and provide enough moderation that I stick to my daily target each day.

I am heading to the gym this afternoon for my second to last Workout B of Stage 1 in the New Rules of Lifting for Women. This is the first time I'm adding the extra set onto Workout B, which is the one with lunges. I hate lunges. They are painful and tire me out quickly, so that will be quite the challenge. However, I'm going to also take my time and focus on form, which should burn a few extra calories.

Tonight I'm planning to take it easy, spend the night in doing laundry and possibly cuddle up with a blanket on the couch and take in a movie.

What did you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Reinvent them? Throw them away?

Friday, November 23, 2012

THANKSGIVING!

The day went swimmingly.

I started by logging my 1.4 pound loss (HOORAY) and heading out for my run//walk, which I cut short because the sun decided to disappear. In the end, I went 3.5 miles and earned 6 APs, which I attribute to the "break" I added where I did stair climbs for 5 minutes on the Sabo Bridge. I proceeded to do some odd-jobs around the house, including some laundry and fridge reorganization, before I headed out to my Aunt's house for the big family dinner.

I got to reunite with my brother, who's been in Alaska for the summer where he works seasonally as a trail-guide slash bartender, his girlfriend, my sister, my brother in law, my dad, aunt, uncle and cousin Jeff. We all hovered around the kitchen island snacking on carrots and peapods, strawberries, blueberries and sipping mimosas.

After we'd already eaten to satisfaction on those goodies, we moved into the dining room for the feast. I love my Aunt, but she is Minnesota through and through, so my plate was easy to keep small. I took a healthy dose of the turkey that my dad grills each year because it is so succulent, and filled half my plate with salad. A small serving of carrots and an even smaller serving of mashed potatoes rounded things out and that's all I chose. I knew I was going to want that slice of pumpkin pie.

Which I had.

And 2 glasses of wine.

I DID decide to track the day, and most of my points came from booze, which I kind of expected. I ended the day having consumed 51 points, which is almost-but-not-quite double my daily target. I am actually pretty proud of that. I think  know it could have been worse. I have 28 weekly points left, and I intend to rebuild my weeklies by earning Activity Points which will counteract that total.

This morning I'm roasting my own turkey, because I walked away empty handed from our dinner. I decided to take absolutely NO leftovers, because I can make all of this food myself. Plus, my employer gifted me a turkey, so it was FREE. I can hear it crackalackin in the oven right now, getting all brown and juicy.

Today I'm moving slowly, lingering over coffee in that way that always makes my soul sing. I love having very little to do in the morning because it's such a rare occurrence for me these days. I'm taking my time, attending to the turkey and staring out the window at all of our freshly fallen snow. The wind at the window sounds like a rushing river and the whole world is quiet, save for the music I'm blasting through the stereo.

Around noon, I'm going to head into the gym for my NRL4W Workout A; the one where I Have to add an entire set. This will be the first time I have to complete 3 sets of 10 reps instead of 2 sets of 15/12/10 reps (progressed as the weeks moved) and I'm feeling weary, but up to the challenge. I made a new playlist for motivation and I picked out my favorite athletic clothes to help psych me up.

I have to work in the afternoon, 3:30pm to close, whenever that is. I'm slightly nervous that these snow flitters and very cold wind chills will set some flights back, which pushes back the time I get to go home. Our airport restaurant only closes when the last flight has gone out, which has resulted in 1am close times in the past, luckily not when I've ever been there. I'm generally on the train home around 10pm, and I like it that way. Here's hoping...

How did your turkey day go? What will you do with your leftovers!?!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Weighing In - 11/22/2012


Previous weight: 157.2

Today's weight:  155.8

This week's results: -1.4lbs
YAY! YES! WAHOO. I was beyond elated to weigh in this morning, and my body woke me up extra early from the excitement. I definitely worked the program this week after my realization on Saturday that I was simply trying to fit my lifestyle into the program, and not work the program into my lifestyle.  
I made fantastic choices this week, and I joined GymPact (sign up with my code: "ChestNicol") to further ensure that I'll be keeping my commitment to the gym... which I did! And I earned money for it! FREE MONEY!
Here's my tracker:

Each day, I earned (on average) around 7 Activity Points (APs), and each day, I ate them. As you can see, most days fell right around 30-35 points+ consumed. That's about 9 more than my Daily Target of 26, which often feels impossible for me to stick to, but that's why there are Weekly flexible points to play with, even if I weren't working out so hard. But I've been at this for a long time, and I know that exercise is the key to my weight loss. I need to "earn" those extra calories, and in the process, I always love and appreciate my body more. Plus... it looks better, let's be frank. 

There were two days, Monday and Wednesday  where I came in at or below my Daily Target. I tried to think back about any special circumstances on those days, and really it was just that I made some good, fatty choices. Namely, avocado. I ate avocado on each of those days. Now, I'm not saying there's a correlation, but I'm not NOT saying that either, and I'm definitely going to try to fit more avocado into my life for two reasons: 1) this reason and 2) it's SO DELICIOUS. 

Lately I've been rolling up avocado in a mustard slathered slice of turkey. I have a couple of those and consider it a sandwich. It's amazing, and fills me right up, plus it's full of delicious protein and all of the flavor of a sandwich without the bread. <----winner .="." div="div" nbsp="nbsp">

I was able to fit in more cardio this week in between my lifting sessions for NRL4W Stage 1. Tomorrow, when the gym is open again and I head in for Workout A, I will have to add an entire set to my workout. The jump from 2 sets to 3 already has me nervous, but I know I can do it, and I love that this program, combined with mental-clearing, invigorating cardio has me jonesing for the gym again. I think about when I'll "GET" to go again. I love that mental place. 

On to the celebrations!

I celebrate my dedication to the gym! I went every single day. EVERY DAY. If I wasn't lifting for NRL4W, I was sweating my butt off with entertaining cardio. I feel fantastic about my physical achievements this week. 

I celebrate my commitment to my re-re-commitment. When I realized on Saturday that I wasn't really trying, I was just tracking, I decided to step it up a notch. There was no punishment for "not doing it right." Tracking is a very important piece of the program, and now I've made it a habit. Now it's time to try to stick closer to a daily target that works for me and plan how to eat as much food as possible within that number. 
I celebrate my excitement! In general! Workout out has me feeling bouncy and smiley and accomplished. My muscles are starting to settle into the feeling of constant soreness, which I'm starting to enjoy, and I am getting more and more confident in my place in the weight room. I can LIFT. I DO LIFT. The boys get out of my way, because I'm lifting serious weight. It's pretty liberating. 
SO, this week I am going to focus on...

  • Keeping up with cardio. I've been feeling fantastic since I decided last week to fit cardio into my NRL4W plan, even though I'm not "supposed" to. I know what makes me feel good, and while I want to listen to and respect experts, I also want to do what makes me happier and healthier, and so I'll continue. 
  • Throwing away the meal plan. In the past, I've planned out my meals and snacks for the week to keep me in check. I've learned that with my new life circumstances (school, restaurant work, etc), this doesn't really fly anymore, and in fact just makes me feel a little anxious and like a failure for having to deviate from the plan. The new (and possibly better) plan is to simple keep all the ingredients for that would-be-planned meal and just choose to eat it. This accomplishes two things: a feeling of choice, and a solidification of the lessons I've learned with Weight Watchers. I'm changing my attitude toward food. Plus, if all I have is the makings for a healthy meal, that's what I'm going to have. 
  • Maturity and Patience. I loved this goal last week. It's a reality of my life now. It should have been all along, but I wasn't in the situation to practice it because my relationship was a couple of babies throwing things at each other and trying to hurt the other. A sad picture, but we all learn our lessons somewhere. I've always been blunt, and I like that honesty about myself, but I could be more gentle in my honesty, and while I'm learning to be open with my feelings, I also need to learn to censor some of the things other people don't need to hear. It's a confusing jumble, but just in the way I'm committed to bettering my body and my health, I'm committed to becoming a better person over all, and a better partner to Paul and a better friend to my friends and a better everything!
  • Positive Self-Talk. Still love this goal. 
  • Strength Training. As I've said a couple times, I'm pretty nervous about adding that 3rd set to my NRL4W workouts, but I promise to do them anyway. And do them right. And keep adding strength and hotness to my body. 

Alright now. It's Thanksgiving. I'm still deciding how I'm going to go about this. 
The original plan was to work, but that plan is now shot. The new plan is to attend dinner at my Aunt's house, where my nomadic brother (whom I see only 3-4x per year, around holidays) will be, as well as my dad and my sister/BIL. Family can be a big stress trigger for me. My sister and I have a tempestuous relationship. We've been doing a lot better the last few years, but for the most part, I still revert back to teenage-me when she is around. I'm trying to mentally devise a plan to not let food become a part of this stress. 
My gym is also closed, so the plan for a long run is on, because it's extremely warm already at 7:00am. 
The biggest decision is whether to track today or not. There's some discussion on the WW boards about people not tracking at all, and just enjoying the day. That's attractive to me, but I also know that ONE day of not tracking can lead to many, and I'm scared of heading down that road. 
I think I will track, even if I go WAYYYY into the red. I have the whole week to work hard and make that up. 
What are you doing today to stay on track, if anything? 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Excellent.

It's Tuesday and I haven't touched my weekly points allowance yet. Save for going nutso either today or tomorrow, I may have had a totally OP week without dipping into them, only grabbing at Activity Points.

Speaking of activity, I'm getting pretty close to the end of my first stage of New Rules of Lifting for Women. When I return for a lifting workout on Friday, I'll have to bump everything up a set, which should prove extremely difficult, but also extremely awesome.

I have 4 more workouts until I take a break before Stage 2, which I haven't even looked at yet and am, frankly, a little scared to.

Last night, I did as I said and made the Cauliflower Pizza Bites from Pinterest that I was talking about. I had myself a little "junk food" night.

The bites turned out deliciously, and EXTREMELY low-point with my mini version of the recipe, to which I added some low-fat WI cheddar. That whole plate was right around 5 points for pretend-greasy-deliciousness. And of course, a soda to replace the beer I really wanted to have. I very rarely drink soda, so that's also a special treat. 

I'm still getting reeled up for Thanksgiving day. I'm going to head out for a run in the morning and go until I just can't go anymore, even if that means I need to take a cab home, which hopefully isn't the case. I have my route mapped out already to do 6 miles, which is about 6x more than I've done in the past few months. I'm wholly prepared to walk at least half of it, and I'm pleased to do so. It's supposed to be 61 degrees! In late November! In Minnesota! I love it!

Today is a day for catching up on homework: reading, a worksheet and writing a paper on ethical practices. I fully intend to work on all of this in the sunny window of one of my favorite local coffee shops while sipping an iced soy latte. Yum!

What is your favorite healthy-version "junk food?"



Monday, November 19, 2012

On Track.

My Monday morning class was let out early this week, as it often is. I usually head home in the break, or stay on campus to do some classwork for this or other classes. Today I found myself without much to do, and nothing to work on to prepare for my Monday afternoon class at 2:30pm.

So...

I headed to the gym. I got in a very invigorating cardio workout, using my cycling playlist and an interval walking/running playlist.

Music is at the core of my workout success. I make new playlists at least every couple weeks to keep me motivated, and BPMs keep me on target for the rhythm of most cardio workouts. My cycling playlists has sprints, hill climbs, and everything in between. My interval playlists cycles between long-strided walks and running at a 10 minute mile pace and goes back and forth between the two.

I'll admit, I had some second thoughts about going to the gym because I am having THE BEST HAIR DAY. I decided not to wear a headband, and knew the sweat would bring out even MORE of my natural wave, so going to the gym enhanced the hair day, rather than ruin it. HOLLA!

Now I am home with enough time to have fixed myself a totally delicious lunch of fried tofu, sauteed carrots with sage and a small salad.

I'm so glad I took advantage of this opportunity. How would you use an extra hour in your day?

Countdown to Thursday...


Everyone is starting to talk about Thanksgiving!

Need recipes? Check here, here, here, and here.

I'm still trying to develop a plan. Thursday is when my Weight Watcher's week resets, so I'll have all the points I'm normally afforded for a week and no banked APs... next week will certainly be a week of running to catch up to the points+ I ate without earning them.

I'm going to take myself for a long overdue run on Thanksgiving morning. The gym will be closed. I haven't been running in a very long time, especially outside. I'm sure it'll be more of a walking/running/jogging/walking ordeal, but I'll just call that interval training so I feel more accomplished. :)

How are you getting ready for Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Sunday.

I didn't even get out of my pajamas until after 11:30am today. I even slept until *gasp* 9:00am, which is incredibly late for me. I wasn't out partying, I was just comfortable, and perhaps succumbing to a bit of TOM self-pity and exhaustion.

After spending the first half of the day either in bed or on the couch (watching Casino Royale in preparation for seeing Skyfall later this week), I took a quick shower as a marker that the day MUST begin.

Not only did Paul make me a delicious low-points+ breakfast this morning of basted eggs over brussels sprout//carrot hash, but he also made me coffee before I even got out of bed. He is a gem.

After I finished the movie and decided to kick it into DAY mode, we moved a few things out of his garage into his basement, and other activities I could help with around the house before he retired to building his robot (he's a mechanical engineering student) and I headed home to be productive in ways I hadn't yet planned out.

My main goal today was to get to the gym and knock out another session of New Rules of Lifting for Women. The gym will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving, which throws off my schedule just a little bit, and getting in today was of utmost importance, however, when I got home, I didn't want to do ANYTHING.

But I went! I went and lifted and got in a very very short elliptical workout, but spent extra time stretching myself out. I made it to the coop to grab some staples for the week and a few missing ingredients for things I could make out of what I already have.

While I shopped I sipped on a delicious smoothie because I didn't want to close the window on the required protein I'm supposed to have as recovery after lifting.


This baby had avocado, blueberries, soy milk, banana, flax seed oil, spirulina, honey and I asked for a scoop of the coop's whey protein to make it fit with my NRL4W requirements. I wasn't really sure how to calculate the points+ of this, so I just decided it was 6points+ based on my knowledge of what went in it. 

Now I'm home, enjoying a quiet Sunday night prepping food. I've chopped up a butternut squash and 2 giantly fat carrots and they're roasting in the oven right now with some fresh sage. On the stovetop I have quinoa and red quinoa simmering, and a chopped apple is waiting in a bowl where all of those things will be stirred together with dried cranberries to make a salad that will satisfy all week long. 

I also ran across this great idea on Pinterest earlier in the week. I grabbed a small hunk of cauliflower and some mini-pepperoni at the coop so I could try it out because snacking sounds super awesome to me tonight. However, it'll have to wait till tomorrow, as I have some beef stew I made earlier in the week that needs to get eaten up before I make anything new. 

It was an incredibly gorgeous weekend, weather-wise. I even left my window open all day to let some fresh fall air in the house. 

Are you looking forward to the week ahead? Thanksgiving is on Thursday, how are you preparing? 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday + Gratitude = Satitude.

I love Saturdays.

I love Saturdays SO much.

My current semester of school has me working Wednesday-Friday. On Fridays, I usually close, which means I work late. Monday through Friday is completely dedicated to class, homework, review and all-around schoolwork, with those additional three days dedicated to being smiley, happy, and helpful enough to get hopeful 20% tips to pay for the rest of my life.

Saturdays are mine.

Every week is usually the same. I wake up when I wake up. No alarms allowed. I drink a bunch of coffee, quietly, with a delightful soundtrack. I make myself breakfast and then lace up my sneakers and head over to the YWCA for my FAVORITE Zumba class. The largest, most diverse group of women that I get the chance to hang out with on a regular basis. I bounce and swing and laugh and smile my way through an hour of dance cardio and then I... do whatever else I want to. No plans. No dictation.

This particular Saturday begins that way, followed by a day date with Manpanion. There are some holiday gift/craft fairs going on in Minneapolis today, so we'll be biking around on this sunny beautiful day to hit up all of those, get a little christmas shopping done, and enjoy each other's company while fitting in some activity.

The original plan called for a brunch together after our respective solo active mornings. I'll be at Zumba (of course) and he'll be climbing rocks at Vertical Endeavors, where he is a member. However, last night, as I was swooning over the previous night's low-point dinner, I realized that I'm not really working to work on the plan. I'm just trying to make the plan fit into what I'm already doing, and that's working a little as well. But I know how to maintain. That's obvious. I've been doing it for years.

I want to be losing.

So, I nixed the brunch plan, opting to make myself a point-friendly lunch at home before we meet up for the day. I'm going to treat myself to a soy latte for our mid-shopping break.

I'm proud of the decision to take back what I need. Paul is, of course, extremely supportive of this. Plus, we'll save a little cash! BONUS.

I'm having a mini-wake up call. I am trying, but I should be trying HARDER. Especially now that I'm doing less and less cardio because of the New Rules of Lifting for Women.

Speaking of NRL4W, I look hot. Seriously. It's only been 2 weeks, but I am already noticing some differences, and I can't wait until it's been a month so I can take some measurements and see if I'm just making this up or not. It won't matter, either way. I am feeling strong and indulging in the strength of my body, feeling good about what it can do and how it looks while it's doing it.

Isn't that the whole point?

HAPPY SATURDAY!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Manpanion Power.

Yesterday, whilst mid-way through a 9.5 hour shift on my feet, Paul surprised me by answering my text requesting his sleepover company by responding that he'd been preemptive and packed some clothes in hopes we'd make that happen. 

I generally don't get home until 9pm on Thursdays, and generally want to go straight to bed. This particular Thursday was Give to the Max Day, in which I got up at 4am to give away all my money to different organizations every hour before I left for work. Because I was up at 4am, I had eaten a fair amount in the "Morning" portion of my tracker, and perhaps consumed over 2 pots of coffee. 

I had 4 points left for dinner after the lunch I packed myself for work. Paul, lovely Manpanion that he is, offered to pick up some supplies for dinner. I let him know I was screwed for points and would probably end up just having a salad. NEVER FEAR, he says, and swoops in with a delightfully filling 5 point dinner. 

Broiled tilapia, garlic mashed squash//carrots, mustard brussels sprouts and some radish slices. 

Oh, and a 1 point dessert of mashed frozen bananas with a little cinnamon and tofu mixed in for extra protein. 

I earned 6 APs at work for all my steps, so I actually ended the day completely OP, which RULES. If you're confused by that math, it's because I cracked open a bottle of Angry Orchard hard cider and drank half of it and forced the other half on Manpanion because I didn't want to spend the points on all of it. 

It was completely lovely to come home after work to a hot cooked meal, lovingly prepared by someone who supports my goals. 

Cheers to love, Manpanions and partners of all sorts. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Weighing In - 11/15/2012


Previous weight: 158.0

Today's weight:  157.2

This week's results: -0.8lbs
Huh. I'm back to where I started 2 weeks ago, and it's highly unexpected considering HOW MUCH I ATE THIS WEEK. I need to find out what this is telling me. Eat more? Happily! 

Here's my tracker:

I'll skip the daily recount this week, as you can see Thursday and Tuesday were the only days that  even remotely resembled being On Plan (OP).  As a reminder, this is the week I began New Rules of Lifting for Women: Stage 1, which incredibly increased my appetite on Friday, Saturday and then again on Monday when I performed Workout B or Stage 1. 

I guess I have revved my metabolism? In one week? Seems unlikely. I'm calling a fluke. But I'll take that fluke and hug it tightly, in the same manner of tightness that it has left my muscles for nearly a week. 

I definitely made a ton of poor choices again this week. I drank a lot of lactose free egg nog because it tastes good, despite the fact that it's 5 points+ per half cup. I may have also poured whiskey into it to add more points I couldn't afford to spend on such a nutritionless treat. I tracked it, I moved on... possibly to another serving of nog. 

I celebrate my water intake! I bought a new water bottle for work. A glass one with a silicone sleeve, which should make it easier to keep clean. Work is by far the best place for me to get in my water because I am constantly moving, yet constantly unchallenged and slightly bored. It's not important work, but it pays the bills in the 3 days a week I have available to make money and for that, I am incredibly grateful. At home I have been adding cucumber slices to my pitcher of fridge water to make water seem more attractive when it's chilly out. It's working!

I celebrate that even though I am not proud of seeing the number grow into the high negatives, I tracked all of my food//drink intake. I thought about falling back into old habits where I just ignore days where I ate 3x my daily target, but... who does that help? Not me. Plus, me screwing up is probably relatively entertaining on this blog, even if just for empathy's sake. 
I celebrate how I listened to my body this week, even when it was telling me to drink more nog. I probably could have translated that need for creamy protein into a healthier snack... but I didn't. c'est la vie. 

SO, this week I am going to focus on...

  • Working in Cardio again. Part of NRL4W is that you're supposed to only lift. No cardio until the 2nd stage when you start working in HIIT (high intensity interval training). Well, fuck that. Excuse me. I'm sure these guys are experts, but I am an expert in ME, and I need some cardio to maintain my mental health. Now that I've completed a 3rd lifting session and my muscles don't feel quite as abused, I feel confident I can fit in some light cardio on my in-between days. It's time to ramp it up. 
  • MEALS at work. I usually bring a lunchbox full of snacks to work. Let me preface this by saying I work from 11:30a-8pm, 3 days a week. I have to leave for work at 10:40am to get there on time [because I have to go through Airport security, just like everyone else. Though a shorter line]. That's a long time that I go just snacking on things, and while I think having the snacks is important because SOMETIMES it keeps me out of the french fry bowl, I bet if I actually ATE a meal, I wouldn't feel the need to snack as much. So, I need to figure out and pack some high protein meals for my work shifts. They cannot involve liquids (which includes yogurt and cottage cheese and stuff), and we do not have a microwave, so I'll need to get creative. 
  • Maturity and Patience. Being a grown up is weird. You have to take a lifetime's worth of lessons and apply them to or against who you want to be now that you get to decide for yourself. It's difficult if you were raised in a way you don't agree with, and perhaps you're also trying to love someone in a way you've never been loved before. My emotional intelligence is growing, and I'm having to mature and admit I'm wrong ALL THE TIME. And I am wrong a lot of the time, and that's ok. I don't know how to navigate life holding hands with someone healthfully in a way that we both want. Compromise. Adult relationships. Love in stressful times. It'd be easy to fall into a trap of saying "THIS IS TOO HARD!" just like with diet and exercise. But is it worth it? Hell yes. Would I rather just get my way all the time? Hell yes. Is that reasonable? Nope. 
  • Strength Training. Keeping up with my NRL4W workouts! They're so challenging! It feels great to really put my muscles to work again. It's been a while since I pushed myself so hard. 
  • Positive Self-Talk. I still love this goal. 

Alright. I've reviewed the week. I've set a few goals. I'm still riding the high of luck to have not gained this week, and I'm excited with the prospect of playing with my points a bit. It's going to need to be a week of tuning in to my body, like... really listening. If I'm actually hungry, I'll eat after I drink a big glass of water to be sure.

It sounds like my volunteering to work on Thanksgiving is a go, which helps me to not consume MASS AMOUNTS of food. But it also sounds like my mom thinks me working on Thanksgiving is the worst thing that's ever happened to anyone, so she'll be making me a personal Thanksgiving dinner, which means an entire turkey for the two of us to split (!?!???!) and all the trimmings, so I guess I'll still get to have my big ol' day after sandwich after all. Oh moms. They step in to help at the silliest times. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Salvage.

I'm going to come in well under my daily target today, which is a good thing when I've eaten myself into a hole.

I ran to the coop today to grab some staples. I stocked up on fresh veggies (like I said I would), grabbed some fruit, some nuts, and a bag of muesli for breakfasts. I cooked up the last of my scottish oats and portioned those out for breakfast or a quick snack, and tonight's dinner is an experiment gone right, and for that I'm thankful.

I coated brussels sprouts (from the garden! The last of the harvest) in mustard and a bit of maple syrup and roasted them in my cast iron skillet.



Then I adapted this recipe from potatoes to cauliflower, changing a few other things along the way. I used gruyere cheese as my full fat option, and it turned out amazing. 



and that's DINNER. 



I'm feeling delightfully prepared for the week, what with having cooked up the meals on Monday, replenished snacks today, and all around had an extra couple days to work on homework at a snail's pace and get some odd-jobs done. All weekends should be 4 days long.

Tomorrow is another shot at Stage 1: Workout A for New Rules of Lifting for Women. I'll be interested to see HOW sore I get the second time around. I'm still waddling around from Workout B on Monday.

What did you make for dinner?