Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weighing In - 07/22/2014

Previous weight: 167.4
Today's weight: 167.4

This week's result: +/- 0.0lbs!

Hey, what's up, Maintenance? Nice to see you, old buddy!

Hooray! I'm proud of my lack of change this week, especially because I wasn't trying to lose. That's not so much the case this current week, but I DO have a birthday on Friday... so....

I'm on the serious track, so I can do a little indulging on my day. I'm trying to get back into weight loss mode, which means that treats are not something that come about every single day. They're reserved for special occasions, and they're intentional choices, not just something I do. Some weeks, like ones with special occasions, will be for maintenance. That's probably the case this week.

I've never been a huge Birthday Person, so having a birthday this week shouldn't throw me for too much of a loop. My family and I aren't too close, so there won't be a bunch of celebrating. We're doing a combo birthday/wedding anniversary dinner on Sunday for both me and my sister and brother-in-law, and I lucked out by having a reunion party scheduled on the night of my birthday, which will draw together a big group of friends for backyard karaoke, passively in honor of me without being in honor of me. That's my favorite way to be "in the spotlight," you know, by not being in it really at all.

The weather is supposed to be grand, so I'm trying to plan a few active outings. Maybe a trip to the beach while the sun is high, some inline skating, perhaps steal a dog and take to the river bluffs dog park for a hike. I'd love to get a mani/pedi, as that's something I treat myself to once or twice per year.

What sort of things do you like to do for yourself on your birthday that aren't cake related?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hottest Day Off.

It's 90 some degrees in Minneapolis, with about 99% humidity. It is THIS day I chose to take my maiden voyage on my early-birthday-present set of inline skates.

You see, I never had Rollerblades growing up, despite living in the state in which they were created and even MODELING FOR THEIR CATALOG.

This winter, in a fit of stir-crazy boredom, we set off to the roller rink with the kiddo and his adorable friend. I chose to use inline skates instead of roller skates since the kiddos were new to rollerskating, I figured I should do something I'd never done too.

Turns out it's mostly like ice skating, which is great, because I (sort of) know how to do that with my adult body. I HAD A BLAST, and Manpanion took note, which is why he surprised me with a pair of skates for my upcoming birthday on Friday! He is so good at doing things that make me smile.

We found an awesome pair of basically brand new K2 skates at Play It Again Sports in St. Paul for a steal. Here's me modeling them the way I modeled for the Rollerblade catalog in the early 90s. 

Today, I went for my inaugural ride. It was hot, and I was very nervous. Inline skating is... not very cool. I mean, I live in the #1 bicycle city. I rode a skateboard as a kid. I understand the stigma of the rollerbladers. However, I have a massive hero-crush on the groups of speed skaters who are always woooooshing down the Greenway in close groups. They're flying, and it's amazing. They're also always ripped. This is my training plan to get a little closer to speed skating. 

Inline skating is a bit harder in the real world. There are cracks, there are pebbles and debris. There are other people snickering at you. 

My first roadblock was to figure out how to get from my house down to the Greenway. I didn't really understand how to use the stopper on the skates. I mean... I understood it in theory, but I'd never tried it. I needed to transport myself 2 blocks to the entry point for the trail, which is a 45 degree angle. I could have walked over and put the skates on once I was down there... but then what do I do with my shoes? It's too hot for a backpack, guys. 

I decided to just GO FOR IT. 

I laced up, I ratcheted up, I stood up. I tightened my nerdy wrist guards to protect my working hands because they earn all my money for me, and I took off. I was confident, I didn't wobble, and I made it down that stupid descent. I only skated 1.5 miles, and it was a short but sweet workout. Endomondo seems to think I burned 176 calories in those 16 minutes, so that's pretty rad. I had a great time too. 

I also took my car share HourCar out this morning and did some grocery shopping. I've been eating out a lot lately because I've been avoiding food preparation. Because today was going to be insanely hot and I was going to keep the AC running (reserved only for Excessive Heat Warnings from the Weather Channel), I knew today would be a good day to do a little prep work. I made a dozen hard boiled eggs. I chopped, diced and juiced my way to a black bean and pepper salad. I washed and spun the spinach. I DID ALL THE THINGS. 

It's been a struggle keeping up with things lately. I've been attempting to be more sociable and more of a yes-girl, so weight loss hasn't been at the fore front of my mind. I'm trying to maintain balance. 

Happiness right alongside the routine. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Weighing In - 07/08/2014

Previous weight:  167.0
Today's weight:  167.4

This week's result: +0.4lbs

OK! I am where I am. I had an incredible weekend and managed to gain LESS THAN HALF A POUND. There were G&Ts, pie, cookies and fabulous home-cooked meals. I was active, but not forcibly so. These are great things.

However, I am still acutely aware that I am carrying more weight than I want to be hauling around, and as I keep getting older, that weight isn't settling in the areas where I want it to go. To make a long story short, I have a belly. I've really never had a belly before. Even at my highest weight, I wasn't a flappy belly sort of gal, but now that I'm in my 30s, things seem to be softening up. Oh metabolism, you little rascal.

This morning I got up, hopped on the scale, recorded my weight without judgement, had a cup of coffee and suited up to get outside and get some intentional exercise in. I decided to restart Couch to 5k via their helpful app, and after my 2+ miles were up, I switched over to the 7 Minute Workout. Even though this was all accomplished in less than an hour, I still felt like a rockstar for getting up, getting out and moving. I washed my sheets and towels, folded them outside in the sun, and enjoyed a leisurely and well deserved shower.

Today I'm celebrating TWO 7 minute workout days, my awesomely motivated morning, iced coffee treat, and an evening at my new job making money and new friends.

Tomorrow, I'm going to get up and do it all over again. While c25k means "off-days," tomorrow I can do stair runs on the Greenway for cardio, my 7 minute workout, and if I'm still feeling motivated - a supersets strength training workout. Thursday's workout will be a bike ride and an outdoor disco dance party with my boys. A good week ahead!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Long Weekends in Summer.


A very lovely weekend, indeed. Manpanion, kiddo and I headed up to their family cabin in Nisswa, MN. It's quite beautiful there, and even if it weren't, I was elated to have 3 days off in a row. IN A ROW, you guys. Now that I have 2 jobs and school, there's little time for things like... well... this:

However, when you gather a bunch of people in one place, there tends to be a lot of eating. And there was pie. And chocolate. And cookies. I don't expect that I've maintained or lost any weight this week, but I also cannot honestly say that I've tried. 

Instead, I had fun. 

I picked strawberries right off the ground. 

I swam and splashed. 

I saw a heron. 

I went out on the paddleboard. A lot. 

A butterfly wanted to be my friend. 

I had to work on Sunday, so I had to leave the cabin life behind a little early. The time to get back on track is here, and while I wasn't feeling very motivated this morning, I did decide to do the 7 Minute Workout (made easy by this app but there are several others available). 

7 minutes is really not a proper workout, but SCIENCE says this is a good daily routine. I like SCIENCE, and I like shortcuts. I also fully intend to go for a long walk today, and get out on my bike as well. It's very clear to me that exercise and activity are not difficult for me, though I'm not motivated to be an all-star athlete or anything, it's the intentional food choices. Or rather, unintentional food choices. I need to stop eating crap. 

Sounds simple enough. Now how do I do that? 

Monday, June 30, 2014

ALL the changes.

Wow. While it's not necessarily out of the ordinary for me to drop off the face of the planet this blog for small periods of time, this particular dropping off was fueled by the entrance of a new schedule.

I picked up another job for the summer, and I've been training for the past 2 weeks, which basically means I've worked every single day, for 14 days, some days involving both jobs. All of this has been a whirlwind of weirdness, and it's even managed to throw off my biological schedule.

I've gained some weight, I think. My menstrual cycle is off by 4 days (but definitely not pregnant, guys), and I'm sleeping more or less, depending on how you look at it.

However, now that the newness is dying down, hours are being rolled back a bit, and the sun is shining, it's time to get back on track and get in (some sort of) shape.

My goal for this week is simply to track all my food. Summer is a time of mindless snacking. Often, these easily reachable snacks are safe volume foods like watermelon (yum!) and strawberries. Other times, it's cheese and crackers at an outdoor picnic. Even more often, it's white wine and various summer beers. There's nothing inherently wrong with any of those things, but if you aren't mindful of what you're consuming, there's a tendency to go overboard.

Bonus points will be awarded (to me, by me) for any intentional exercise outside of riding my bike. I plan to play with my Teemo app while I'm feeling motivated for small bouts of exercise, and I'd really like to make time to get to the gym. We are, however, headed out of town for a long weekend. I'll have 3 days off in a row! There will be swimming, paddle boarding and many unscheduled walks - and therefore, many rewards! I'll take my bonus points in the form of smooches with my Manpanion, sleeping as late as I want, and board games.

I'm going to try to note the things that keep my motivated this week, in order to call back upon them when I fall into a slump in the future.

What drives your motivation when you return to the game?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Weighing In - 6/10/2014

Previous weight: 164.6
Today's weight:  166.2

This week's result: +1.6 pounds

No big deal. Seems like the first week back to really staying on track is always a very positive result, or negative as it were. This week, I was a little hasty with the rewarding, and also the laziness. I also realize that by having my meals delivered, while it simplifies most everything, I don't always know the actual makeup of my food, how much of what went in, and where things might have been a little liberal.

I also ate a whole bag of caramel corn and a whole pint of ice cream, which I made a special trip to the store for. I had the calories for it, but I definitely ate back most of the calories I burned this week, so a gain makes some sense.

As the first day back, I'm motivated to track seriously this week. I like starting my weeks on Tuesday now because Tuesdays are both meal delivery day, and my on-the-farm pick up of my CSA share. It's a day full of food, and it's a great day to have my head in the game.

I've been spending a little time reviewing some math for a placement test, and drinking lots of coffee this morning. I'm somewhat avoiding taking to the streets for my run, but also splitting up my necessary actions this morning because both of these things need to get done.

I'm rearranging my running route today to make a stop by the gym to drop off the Rewards form for my new(ish) health insurance so I can start getting my reimbursement again, but that would mean also stopping by the gym at all, so that is in the cards for the week: Get thy butt to the gym, and turn in the form that rewards these actions.

You know what is not interesting? Attempting to relearn college algebra.


It makes running look GOOD.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Small Successes: Take 2.

Today is my BFFfffFFFFFffffFFFf's birthday, and a ladate (lady date) celebration was of utmost importance. First we did a little lunching at Barbette, a lovely little french bistro in town, and then we rode over to Glamdoll Donuts for our version of cake.

Glamdoll's "Night Moves" donut: blackberry jam and 
blackberry Hennesy (yeah, like the pimpin' liquor) glaze with brown sugar bits.

So not only am I celebrating the BFFfffFFFfffffFFF's transition into her next year of life, but also... the little things. 

Like how today, I skipped out on having a bloody mary at lunch, even though it sounded pretty good. I stuck to coffee. There's definitely nothing wrong with having a bloody mary at a birthday brunch, but I needed to keep my wits about me throughout the day to stay on track. I'm also trying to limit drinking during the work week to make the weekends a little bit more special and cut back on empty calories, so chalk that decision up as a win!

I rode my bike. 

I stuck to one donut, even though after I finished it I really really wanted another one. When I got home I treated myself to a La Croix pamplemousse water instead. 

I found a $10 bill in my dryer. Score! (I love finding my own money.)

I'm here, blogging at you. That means I'm keeping my health goals in the forefront of my mind. HOORAY!

What are you celebrating today?  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Weighing In - 6/03/2014

Previous weight:  166.8
Today's weight:  164.6

This week's results: -2.2 pounds!!!

Hooray! I forgot that if you just track, and stay the course, this weight loss thing can actually be pretty simple. The abundance of spring vegetables and fruit doesn't hurt either, nor the extra excuses to be actively outside. 'Tis the season for yardwork, longer bike rides, chasing butterflies, festivals, et al. It's CSA season, so there will be TONS of veggies to go around. 

My reward for being back on track was both delightful and necessary: NEW BRAS. Figleaves.com  was having a 20% off sale that I jumped on. Here in America, it's harder to find small band/large cup wonders, even the companies that are dedicated to such a thing generally start at a band size 30, and those only go up to DDD, and the E-K sizes are reserved for larger women in general. I wear an OBNOXIOUS bra size, which fluctuates between 28G-H. European styles offer a GG, which is like a glove for my chest, and Freya is my favorite. Now I own this pretty, this pretty, and this amazing bra-sized bikini top that is going to save my summer! 

Having good undergarments really REALLY helps boost my confidence about my figure, plus... when the letters get that high, you can generally assume the boobs aren't. High, I mean. I'm trying to make a joke about sad, saggy, weight-loss boobs. 

I've been utilizing this amazing meal service that opened here in Minneapolis a few months ago called The Green Fork.  It's a plant-based diet plan (diet meaning the food we consume, not the way we eliminate calories), and Renee delivers it straight to my door. I get all the benefits of bulk batch cooking, which ends up with a heavy variety of vegetables prepared in interesting and delicious ways, all at a way less cost to me than if I bought and prepared it on my own. The container labels are water-soluble and can be reused and/or recycled. It's such a winning situation for this ultra busy time in my life, I am extremely grateful it exists. Today is delivery day and I'm psyched for my second round of Jackfruit, something I'd never even *heard* of prior to the Jackfruit "Carnitas" Tacos that were part of my delivery a few weeks ago. Cheers to new food!

Today is the beginning of my health-week, so it's time to get out and complete my Couch-to-5k training, which I started over last week. I'm starting all over again... from scratch. I'm trying to give myself a break that I went from completing personal record races to suddenly having a difficult time running for 1.5 minutes off and on, but that's endurance. It goes away if you don't practice, so I'll be practicing. It's also food delivery day, so that saves me all the time of a meal plan and prep. Tuesdays are also a day off for me, so there will be errands, mowing the lawn, and general tidying up. 

What do you plan for your days off? Fun in the sun? TV lounging time? Catching up with old friends? 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Small Successes: Take 1.

I logged all my food today and ended under my calorie goal. 

I biked the long way home from work tonight, both for the additional fitness and decompressing alone time.

I played around with my Teemo app as a compromise after deciding a trip to the gym sounded like too much work. I completed 1.5 challenges and snuck in 30 minutes of intentional activity. 

My hair looked SO GOOD. 

I drank 100 ounces of delicious water. 

What victories are you celebrating today?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New New Beginnings.

It's a gray and rainy Minneapolis morning which I am enjoying alone, coffee in hand, pantless. As usual, we here in Minnesota skipped right over Spring, and jumped straight into 80 degrees with high humidity. I am drowning out the hum of neighboring window AC units with my rusty oscillating fan and trying to enjoy the heat. For someone born in July, I sure do love the winter so much more than sweltering, sweaty heat.


The current debate is whether I will hit the nice, cool gym for BodyFlow this afternoon or take to the trail and wog my way through another day of my repeat couch-to-5k program. I'm taking my sweet time deciding this because sitting around, sans pants, drinking coffee, is so much more pleasant than making important activity decisions. 

As is usually the case, it's been many months since I last updated. And again, as is usually the case, I've made no progress toward inching (pounding?) closer to my weight goal. I wasn't trying, so there wasn't much to update. The last several months have been indulgent celebrations or regrettable stress eating adventures, and I spent a lot of time attempting to forgive myself for eating. Isn't that a stupid concept? Feeling guilty about the fuel that keeps us alive? Do you ever feel guilty for breathing too much air? No. You just acknowledge that it hurt, take some time to get your breathing back in line and then you forget about completely until you swallow down the wrong pipe again. 

I've been trying to switch gears on that silly idea and accept that as long as society holds me to unfair standards of beauty, I will hold myself to unfair standards of pretty much everything. I will feel guilty, about pretty much everything, all the time. Thanks a lot Roman Catholic upbringing! It makes sense to me to meet myself where I'm at, and that's apparently in a big pile of guilt. So, what would make sense to actually feel guilt about? I don't ACTUALLY feel guilty for eating that M&M cookie that was bigger than my face. That would be weird, because there is nothing inherently wrong with eating a face-sized cookie. There is, however, a small sense of shame to be shared by once again treating my body like it is not a part of ME, as a whole. My body isn't my shell, I FUCKING LIVE HERE. My body is my livelihood, and while there is nothing wrong with the giant cookie, there is nothing right with it either. Eating that cookie was the body/mind equivalent of sitting in front of the television for an 8 hour marathon of Road Rules. It meant nothing. It was mindless. It wasn't intentional or thoughtful, and those are words I strive to encompass. 

So, guilty or not, I'm attempting to accept my body - what I like and dislike about it - where it is at this exact moment. It's changing now, as I get older. I've never carried much weight in my belly, and suddenly I have a jiggly protrusion that interrupts all my favorite lines in my favorite outfits. Although, it is pretty fun to grab and squish and slap for funny sounds, so there's that. The pros and the cons, that's all they are. 

I'm trying to get serious about weight loss again, mostly because last week I stepped on the scale and saw that I'd jumped up over 170, where I hadn't been in a long long time. I stayed on top of tracking this week and got in some extra activity and dropped back down to the mid-160s, which is where I've been hanging out for the better part of 2 years. I made myself a list of goals for the summer. I tried to be intentional and thoughtful and to make them measurable feats. The goal list encompasses all the areas of my life I'd like to improve, and I'm sure I'll blab about the things that aren't fitness or food related here, and you'll have to be ok with that.  

In the food department, I moved some money around and invested in the urban farm on my block. YES, there is a FARM on my city block, guys. It's very rad, and I'll walk over there on Tuesdays and pick up my CSA share and take a bunch of pictures to assault your eyes. This will keep me in high vegetable supply all summer long, which ensures serious nutrition and takes most of the work out of obtaining said deliciousness because it is literally 300 feet away. I'm keeping two glass pitchers in the fridge, one with cucumber water (YUM) and the other plain cold water, and they're RIGHT UP FRONT. They're blocking all the beer, so I'll be forced to move them if I want a brew, and I'll likely think twice about whether I would rather have cucumber water (AGAIN, YUM) to hydrate, or a beer. I'm sure I'll choose beer pretty often, and that's fine, but water is so important, I need to up my chances of getting as much as possible. I'll continue logging all my eats on My Fitness Pal. 

In the fitness department, I switched health insurances providers because my former company took away our gym membership reimbursement. Having that monetary discount incentive is one of the only benefits to health insurance (aside from the obvious emergency back up), so I sought out the best plan for me. Oh, I forgot to mention the former company also more than doubled my monthly premium, so it wasn't ALL about the gym... but c'mon. Turns out, I got a way better deal either way! That was a win. So I intend to get my gym reimbursement fee every month (12 visits) this summer while I'm out of school. I realize most people don't hit the gym as often in the summer because they're biking and swimming and walking, but I do those things all the time, so I can make space for the gym and it's delicious air conditioning. I want to run at least a couple races this Summer and Fall, so I need to get back into shape for that. I definitely won't be running for speed, but I'd like to not feel like I'm going to die after .08 miles of a 5k. 

So, essentially, I'm starting all over again, and making it up as I go. I officially quit Weight Watchers a few months ago after paying for it (and no longer using it) for a couple years. I'm concentrating my efforts on what I've learned over the years, the awesome set up in My Fitness Pal, and the wisdom that comes with not being too extreme with this sort of thing. Slow and steady. I'm far less concerned with numbers, and more focused on getting to know and appreciate my body where it is and where it can be. 

If any of you are still out there.....