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Getting Started

Day to Day

Comfort Zones : Part 2

On Tuesday I went to the gym with the intention of meeting with my trainer but somewhere our lines got crossed and she didn’t have me down. She invited me to join the kickboxing class that was about to start, and despite never attempting kickboxing outside of my Taebo dvds, I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. One of the ladies who is also in my sculpting class assured me it wasn’t as bad as our Thursday class. It was as if our trainer heard this because it wasn’t an easy class at all. It was physically demanding but it wasn’t until the very last cool down exercise that I started feeling that familiar lightheaded/nauseous feeling again. I powered through and then took a bit of a breather to cool down. I left sooner than I should’ve and finally had to pull over. I lied there in the car so frustrated. My sister was in town and I finally accepted she would have to take me home. At that moment I wasn’t even feeling sad; I was mad as hell! Why did this keep happening? What was I doing wrong? Anger typically fuels me more than feeling sorry for myself. So that night I ate something light for dinner and went out for a jog near sunset. I burned well over 800 calories from those two activities. Those two experiences were enough to light a fire under me. I need to get my upper body stronger and the only way to do that is to continue on my journey.

Thursday was my last sculpting class and I was a little disappointed when it was over because I wondered what I would do now. This class (and attending that kickboxing class) has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’ve used equipment in the gym I was too scared to use before — specifically exercise balls. For some reason I had it in my head that I would sit on it and it would burst. I learned that using those balls to do crunches actually feels better on my back than lying on the floor and it’s much easier to remember to breathe on those balls as well. Also, using those training ropes are so much harder than they appear.

I have come so far in the past year and a half. I’ve never stuck with any fitness routine this long. I have been knocked down quite a few times but I keep getting back up and I know there’s a reason for that. I would’ve given up last year if I didn’t truly want this. It may take me years to get my BMI to what is considered a “healthy” range but I will get there.

What sort of positive things happened to you this week or recently that helped you push on through?

Day to Day

Comfort zones

I think every now and then we need to be knocked down a notch or two whether it’s from a fitness standpoint or life in general. It helps us to not be complacent and reevaluate goals.

Now that my energy levels feel like they’re getting better; at least my desire to stay in bed until noon has diminished, I’ve begun exercising more. I signed up for a personal trainer at my gym that I’ll meet with twice a month, and I also signed up for small group class themed around sculpting and kettlebells that meets weekly for the next three weeks.

I had a day before the class began to think about how badass* (*please keep reading I’m not that egotistical!) I was for signing up for personal training and an hour-long class. The bad ass feeling completely went away 5-10 minutes into the class. You know, 10 lbs don’t seem like much to be lifting but it tends to sting a bit when you do it 100 times. Not to mention, I’ve been doing very little strength training the past few months. I guess I thought it’d be like riding a bike and I’d magically be back to where I was. The entire time I kept thinking, why am I sweating so much?! I felt fine other than being hot and then a sudden faint feeling hit me about 35 minutes in as I finished doing lunges. I told the instructor I needed to stop for a minute and I’d be back. I ran off to the shower room and sat there with my head between my legs trying not to move so I could regain my composure and so I wouldn’t throw up. Unfortunately, there wasn’t really anywhere I could throw up so that wasn’t an option.

It took me about 10 minutes to get back up and head back to my group. I was met by one of the owner’s and she told me to lie down and she’d get an ice pack. I started feeling better a few minutes later and the instructor told me I could join in for the cooldown if I wanted. I did that and as soon as the class was over I had to run back to the shower room. My clothes were soaked and I needed cold water on me. The thing with being lightheaded is even the simplest tasks, like taking off clothes are impossible. I momentarily thought about sacrificing my Fitbit and heart rate monitor just so I could get into the shower. Thankfully, I didn’t and just sat there. Plus, all of these scenarios went through my head of, if I do get my clothes off, and actually need some sort of medical help, this will be incredibly embarrassing. Needless to say, I opted to just sit in my wet clothes until the feeling subsided.

I felt better eventually, changed my clothes, and made it back to my car. I didn’t feel embarrassed by the situation until I was driving away from the gym. That’s when tears began to well up in my eyes because of events that just transpired and also because it’s realizing you’re not good at something. I had a moment to feel sorry for myself but then I realized I stepped out of my comfort zone. I did things I hadn’t done before. I did burpees and didn’t die for god’s sake! Those are good things. Yes, strength training is not something I’ve been doing consistently lately, and never for that long, and so it’s to be expected that I would suck.

A few years ago, I took a boot camp class at this same gym and had a similar experience, and unfortunately never went back to that class. At that time, I might’ve gone to the gym once a week if I was lucky, so it’s no wonder I felt lightheaded. I made up all sorts of excuses as to why I wasn’t going to go back to that class. The truth was I was a coward and it was easier to be complacent than to actually put forth the time and effort to change something. With this most recent experience, instead of running away, I see the areas that need work. I can’t expect to be good at something without practicing it a lot. I very well may get lightheaded again at the next class but things won’t change unless I change.

What have you done to step out of your comfort zone?

Getting Started

Finding motivation

Starting Monday I begin a dietbet challenge. I just recently heard about this site and quite honestly I need something to give me motivation. Every dietbet has a certain amount that you have to put in to join, the one I joined apparently is one of the “cheaper” ones, but is still $30. At the end of the challenge, everyone who achieves the set goal (in this particular bet it’s 4% of your body weight) receives money! Currently, there’s almost $6000 in the pot so it could be a good payout if you reach your goal. If you want to join the challenge I’m apart of there’s still some time and it’s only 28 days of your time. Here’s the link: Anti-Jared’s Summer Blast.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately trying to eat better and lose weight. It’s not for lack of trying. I can’t remember if I mentioned this in a recent post or not but I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism about six months ago. They’re still working on getting my thyroid level down to where it needs to be. It was around 9.8 when I first began and was down to 5.6 during my last checkup. It’s been incredibly hard to lose weight despite the fact that my doctor said I might lose weight easier. I spent well over a month counting every little thing I put into my body and exercising, and I was lucky if I saw a single pound loss some weeks. It’s frustrating to say the least.

Due to my underactive thyroid, I go through spells of low energy a lot, and most recently I’ve been feeling more anxiety and depression. None of these things help weight loss. I try hard to remain positive but this week was a rough one. I’ve done things that I’ve had to do, like go to work, but other than that I just want to stay in bed and sleep. The weather has been beautiful lately, so it makes me sad not to have the energy to get out and enjoy it.

Something else that has been bringing me down is watching friends constantly write about everything they’re doing in terms of getting healthy and how much success they’re seeing with their bodies and on the scale. Yes, I want to see friends successful, but there’s a fine line between being motivating and making others feel bad about their choices and that they aren’t doing enough. Please think of that because you don’t know who you’re making feel bad and discouraging.

I had my lovely boyfriend take full body shots of me this week so I can compare before and after the dietbet. Looking at these photos made me cringe a bit. I’m not sure if I’m alone in this or not, but I have this idea of how I look based on how I feel, and in my head (most of the time), I feel much thinner. Seeing these photos makes me think about areas I need to focus on which I guess is a good thing.

Getting back to the dietbet, I’ve accepted I might not see big numbers each week given past experience, but I need something to keep me moving. I’ve spent $30 on worse things. I’m going to try my hardest and do everything within my power to make positive changes in my life and my mind. Yes, I want to win some extra money but I’m using this dietbet as motivation to keep going. Getting my energy level back to where it used to be is too important to me right now.

I hope things are well in your world!

Eating Out Getting Started

Eating out healthfully – part one

I’ve spent a long time avoiding calorie counting, just the mere thought about the task gave me lots of anxiety. When I’d actually commit to it I’d binge after a day or two and give up. Even when I lost weight at the end of 2011/2012 I never counted a single calorie. That being said, I did mentally keep an eye on what I was eating and was eating much healthier and less than I had in the past.

I’m happy to report I’ve had a few successful days logging food on myfitnesspal. I’ve lasted longer than I have in the past, and that gives me hope that I can stick with it. I think I’ve enjoyed logging workouts most because that means I have extra calories at the end of the day that I can save, or if I’m still feeling hungry I can have a little something extra and still be under my goal. Thankfully, at the moment I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on any foods even though I do feel really ravenous today. I’m still trying to figure out a good combination for breakfast (and other meals for that matter) that will leave me full for a while without eating up a lot of my calories for the day.

As I was eating out the other day, I thought it might be a good idea to start posting meals that are health-friendly. Hopefully, you’ll get some ideas for yourself and I’ll have more to add in the future.

Naked taco salad ~470 calories / ~340 without guacamole | Around $10 with a drink
with grilled chicken, lettuce, black bean & corn salsa, pico de gallo, salsa verde, grilled veggies, and guacamole

I ate at Qdoba for lunch Tuesday (in addition to last Thursday heh) and as much as I wanted a burrito, I found a way to still get what I like but I made it healthier. I got the naked taco salad with the ingredients mentioned above. You can save about 130 calories by leaving off the guacamole. During both visits, I didn’t finish the entire thing and I stayed full for a decent amount of time, but I did need a snack a couple of hours later.

Choose 2 : Savannah chopped salad (210 cal) + fire roasted veggie soup (60 cal) ~270 calories | around $9 with a drink

Looking at McAlister’s menu is pretty depressing when you’re trying to be good. I didn’t realize how many calories are in everything; even getting 1/2 portions was still pretty shocking. I’ve had the Savannah chopped salad before and it was OK; as OK as a salad can be and I got a cup of their vegetable soup. I was able to finish both items and I was pretty full afterward. It seemed to stay with me longer than Qdoba did but I prefer the taste of Qdoba.

Hopefully, these will give you some ideas. Until next time…

Day to Day Races

The Color Run + other updates

I probably should dust off this blog… I’ve been writing with a few others about my mini-marathon training at the Louisville Sports Commission blog, and any ideas I have to write about tend to go over there. I’m planning to write down ideas as they come to me so I can keep this blog active as well.

The Color Run

This past weekend I completed The Color Run alongside a few of my closest friends. What an unforgettable experience it was. I say that not only in a good way but also because I got sick not long after I finished. The night before I felt suddenly feverish at dinner, and I woke up feeling OK. Cue to me puking on the Great Lawn (lol) and in the port-a-potties after I finished. Thankfully, it didn’t happen during the race. I have to laugh at it now because this was the first race my boyfriend came out to and I puked right in front of him. Clearly, the honeymoon period is over… hahaha. I missed out on the color throw because I was sick but I will be there next year. Here are a couple of photos from the race:

Annual check-up

Usually the week before my birthday I go in for an annual checkup. For once, I wasn’t told: “you need to lose weight”. I was reminded where my BMI needed to be, however, there was no real scolding over it since she saw a difference in my weight, and my blood pressure in her words was “excellent”. The only thing she scolded me over was the fact I didn’t check the box saying that I flossed daily. Things could be worse… While I was there, I set up an appointment with a nutritionist. Hopefully, that will be helpful.

Mini marathon training

I’ve been trying to run more often to get ready for the mini, and quite honestly it’s been slow going with the heat. I’ll get there. My recent post on the LSC’s site was a few reasons why I wanted to do a mini, I thought I’d share those here too.

I want to say I did it.

I started my lifestyle change in September, and come November, I want to say I did a 5K, 10K, 10-miler, and a mini-marathon in 2012. Even if this is the only year I challenge myself to races, I want to say I did it.

To break up the monotany.

We all know that doing the same workout routine gets boring and eventually makes you plateau if you’re trying to lose weight. I want to keep up the exercise habit I have and keep things interesting. Hopefully between training for this mini, strength training that gets regularly changed, and walking I won’t be bored.

To challenge not only my body but also my mind.

Food and exercising are the biggest mental challenges I face. I spent years rewarding or consoling myself with food; always unhealthy food. I still have days where I binge on food that I shouldn’t. Even as I get healthier and stronger, I know that will still be something I face. However, I’m usually pretty good about figuring out why I did it, and try to learn from it, to keep it from happening as often.
With exercising, I still have to ignore my brain when it tries to tell me I’m tired or I should slow down. I’m not talking about when I’m putting myself into danger, but when I’m trying to cut corners. I know running 13.1 miles is going to be difficult. I’ve been lucky to have friends at my side in previous races, but I’m going to be alone during this race and I’m curious as to how this will go. Will I push myself harder or go easy on myself? Only time will tell, but I hope for pushing myself harder.

Most importantly, to be healthy.

This kind of goes with all of the above, but I want to keep moving no matter what.

Day to Day

Looking back + looking forward

I’ve been putting off buying new running shoes for a while. I love shoes and I’m not sure why I’ve been procrastinating this task. I currently have two pairs of running shoes (the same style — but one is almost 9 months old and the other 5) and a pair I use for strength training. I’m getting rid of the 9 month old and getting a new pair to start training for a mini-marathon in November. (I’ve gone crazy if you can’t tell!)

I’m not really one to hold onto things for sentimental value, but I’ve been having a hard time parting with this pair of Brooks. I bought these in September as I got started. These shoes have seen over 1,000 miles. They’ve seen a lot of blood, sweat, and tears along the way. OK, maybe no blood but definitely a lot of the other two. And so instead of holding onto them, I decided to take a picture of what’s left of them.

During the 10-miler my friend Christina kept encouraging me to think about how far I’ve come more often, and to more or less not to brush it off as not being a big deal. It is a big deal. When I began, I could barely run a few feet without having to stop, 9 months later I can run a lot further, have completed a 5K, 10K, and 10-miler, (people congratulate me on this and often I’m quick to say “Oh, I walked most of it” — see?) and in 6 months I can say I completed a mini-marathon. I’ve also been more active at the gym in terms of more than just going there to workout. I joined their Relay for Life time last month and walked in the wees hours of the morning for the team, and most recently completed a 6-week TRX class.

Honestly, this whole experience has changed my life. I still have a ways to go, but if this is how I feel just 9-months in, what will I feel like years down the road? My outlook on life has changed, I feel like I can take on whatever comes at me, and most of all, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and I’d like to think it’s showing. 😀