Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I did my scheduled spin class as today was a cardio day. But since the weather was so unbelievable I had to go for a run. On my way home from the gym I stopped at a local park and did a 3 mile run. It was gorgeous and I felt so great afterwards! The sun really does have a positive affect on one's mood. It also makes you feel so strong when you push yourself a little harder than you think you are capable. I'm caught in such a quandary because I'm totally into spin class but I also would like to run more. I really wasn't sure I could go right from class out to run (I don't want to run on the treadmill or the inside track) and once I come home and shower, I don't want to go out and get all sweaty again. But, I found that I'm more than capable and I've reasoned that it may even help me train for the 5k's I'd like to run in this spring. Since my legs are already pre-exhausted it replicates the way you feel towards the latter part of a race. So, as the weather improves, I'll run more frequently, especially o cardio days.
Today it occurred to me that one of the things about this process is that I've learned to eat healthy because I like it, instead of because I "have to". That would explain why I don't have cravings or feel deprived. I'm not certain that's a revelation, but it certainly made me stop and think. It's really the same mindset I take with me with exercise as well. In the beginning I did it because it was the means to an end-losing weight-now it's my gift to myself, something that I enjoy and look forward to. I can't stress enough how much our mental approach to everything determines success or failure. Everything we do is the result of the choice we make. It's the difference between being a optimist vs a pessimist. If you always look for something positive and good than you will find positive results. Focusing on what's bad/wrong with our lives is so counterproductive in the journey to get fit and healthy. So, whenever a negative thought tries to creep into my head I replace it with a positive one. Like when you're running and going up a hill, instead of thinking, "ohhh, this is so hard", try thinking how great it is that you are capable of climbing that hill, and how strong it's making your legs and heart to be pushing yourself beyond our comfort level. Whenever I'm struggling to lift those final reps, or finish the sprint in spin class, I remind myself how strong I've become and how amazing my body is to be able to allow me to do these things. After all, I was barely getting out of bed until late afternoon in December of 2005. Climbing stairs was as taxing as a 3 mile run and everything was clouded by constant loathing and self-defeat. My re-invention has been nothing short of a miracle. It's the difference between seeing the sun rise and loving it, and having that beautiful sight in front of your eyes and refusing to appreciate that. I don't think I'll ever fail to recognize the turn-around I've made, and still feel amazed by it.
Monday, February 09, 2009
lateral raise 3 x 12 25 lb
overhead press 3 x 12 40 lb
upright rows 1 x 12 45lb
upright rows 1 x 15 45 lb
upright rows 1 x 12 45 lb
upright rows 1 x 12 45lb
upright rows 1 x 8 45 lb
overhead barbell press 1 x 6 45 lb
overhead barbell press 1 x 12 45lb
overhead barbell press 1 x 6 45 lb
overhead barbell press 1 x 15 45lb
overhead barbell press 1 x 5 45lb
lying flutter kick 1 x 40
lying flutter kick 1 x 50
lying flutter kick 1 x 75
lying flutter kick 1 x 120
walking plank 3 x 12
side plank w/leg raise 3 x 30 sec
one leg plank 3 x 30 sec
What an amazing workout this is! The lat raise and overhead db press are done without rest alternating between each exercise as a pre-exhaust. Then it's on to upright rows with the barbell, grip inside shoulder width, then without putting the bar down shimmy hands out to shoulder width and immediately go into overhead presses...you do as many as you can, then rest 1 minute and repeat continuing to failure. That's the whole workout...seems like nothing, feels like I lifted a Mack truck! I also continued on my ab work sans the crunch and did a variety of core exercises for 40 minutes...very intense workout....
I'm happy with this workout I put it together myself from various workouts from Muscle & Fitness Hers and Oxygen magazines. I couldn't find a workout that was set-up for a 4 day lift so I wrote up my own from one's that I liked most.
I backed off the eating more calories at meals thing. While it helped with the evening hunger, I just couldn't eat that many calories. I have been concentrating on getting more protein instead. It's good to keep the following in mind.
10 Sources of Hidden Calories
If losing weight is on your mind, you've got to be conscious of how many calories you consume each day. Although the foods listed below are small amounts, if you add all those up, and they could be preventing you from reaching your goal weight.
1. One pat of butter on your toast: 36 calories.
2. One tablespoon ketchup with your fries: 15 calories.
3. One container of half and half in your coffee: 20 calories.
4. One teaspoon or one cube of sugar in your coffee: 9 calories.
5. One tablespoon mayonnaise on your sandwich: 100 calories.
6. One teaspoon each of oil and vinegar on your sandwich: 39 calories.
7. One cubic inch of feta cheese on your salad: 45 calories.
8. One tablespoon of grated Parmesan on your pasta: 22 calories.
9. One tablespoon of sour cream on your baked potato: 26 calories.
10. Handful of M&Ms (10 pieces) off your co-worker's desk: 34 calories.
With the exception of mustard, I try to avoid sauces, etc. Never mayo, white potatoes, any full fat dairy, or real sugar in any form. Also, instead of ketchup, I use salsa, which has more fiber. It's surprising how quickly the "extras" will add.
And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
- Anais Nin, Danish diarist
What leaps of faith are you willing to take?
Trying new things can give you a real zest for life. Pushing beyond your comfort zone in a responsible way helps you grow confidence and creativity that you can apply to your everyday life. Do not let fear control what you do (or don't) do? While taking risks can be scary, doing nothing is a big mistake, as it produces nothing fruitful within you. There is a direct relationship between the things that we achieve and the effort we put forth to obtain them. To reach the fruit, you have to climb the tree first!
Every day when I get to the gym, no matter how I might feel, I challenge myself to do more than I think I'm able to do. Whether, doing cardio or lifting weights, I look for a way to push myself. In spin class, I use my HRM to keep me pushing and elevating my heart rate. When I lift, I use my exercise log to see what weights/sets/reps I did during my last session and try to bump it up. Sometimes, because I don't have a spotter, in the name of safety, I wait until I know I can lift the heavier weight safely and always with good form. If I can't then that means I've gone to "failure" and I note in my book when I can't finish the required number of reps, so I know to adjust the weight.
No matter how badly I feel before I get to the gym, I make sure I do the required workout (which is why I write out the workout for the week every Sunday night).
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Though it was great to see my baby girl and hear her sing, I'm really glad to be back at home and sleep in my own bed. I'm also glad to be able to get back to normal with food. Today, I unknowingly consumed 2000 calories! It all started with skipping lunch because we were driving and my car mates do not like to stop. We also missed lunch yesterday because they ate big breakfasts (which we at around 11 am) and so the weekend was horrific as far as food. Though I ate healthy food, there were too many snacks in the car...cottage cheese, trail mix, yogurt, fruit...I did thankfully, workout on Saturday morning 30 minutes on the elliptical, and 30 minutes of yoga/core work. We also did a good bit of walking around including shopping and a number of treks up and down the streets of Boston, so that helps, but overall, I'm disappointed in myself for not insisting we stick to a better eating plan.
But, it's over and done with and I'm back on track again. I'm in my second week of a new workout program and I must say that I'm still feeling the effects from Friday's lift! It's nice though to be reminded of how hard I worked.
So, here's to getting back into my routine!!!!
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Most of us can do anything for 12 or 16 weeks especially if there is a goal in sight. For example, let's say one of your New Year's wishes was to lose 10 pounds for a trip in 2 months. You start on a 'diet' and exercising faithfully. The eating and exercise plan are restrictive and intrusive to your lifestyle but you stay the course because the goal is in sight and only weeks away. There is no way you would do this forever or even for the rest of the year, but are willing to live this way to reach your goal. You go on the trip and have a great time while falling away from the 'diet' and exercise habits. You return home from the trip and return to your normal lifestyle which includes only a few of the things you did before the trip and only when you feel like it.
Several months later as swim suit season approaches you decide you need to start another 'diet' and exercise plan. Now you have 14 pounds to lose because of the 10 you lost and gained back plus 4 more. The cycle continues throughout the year. At the end of the year you complain because you have tried every 'diet' out there and exercised but nothing works. You end the year with a New Year's resolution of losing weight. Does this sound familiar?
Many of us follow this type of yearly routine by jumping in with New Year's routines that are restrictive. A few days or weeks into the routine it becomes too much and overwhelming and many of us quit. This is why New Year's resolutions are popular on December 31 and abandoned by January 31.
By adopting habits you are willing to carry out for the rest of your life, you are focusing on making lifestyle changes. The small changes allow you to learn and incorporate new behaviors and habits to reach short term goals along the way. Although you will likely have set backs or reach plateaus as you go they are less likely to derail you from your new lifestyle. You are better able to see these as normal and something you can work through with simple adjustments to eating or exercise patterns.
Most importantly, you are not in a yo-yo pattern going on and off restrictive diets or strenuous exercise routines. You are slowly moving forward in your daily choices and taking small steps toward healthy habits for life. This allows you to feel happy and pleased with the lifestyle you are creating and proud of your sustained commitment and accomplishments to managing your weight and health. By the end of the year, you have learned to make your life a healthy life for the long term instead of drastic short term changes that you can not continue day in and day out for the rest of your life. As you end the year you are able to celebrate maintaining your resolve all year long. Is this the scenario you would rather follow? Me, too!
I think it's important to understand that we need to stretch ourselves when it comes to deciding what we can do for the rest of your life. If not, you'll stay within your comfort zone believing that's all your capable of doing. When I first started I though about this alot. I decided not to lift weights and get "caught up" in the whole "gym thing" because I thought it was too much to ask of myself to keep that habit up forever. Thankfully, I realized that in order to achieve my goal I had to do more than walk/run it wasn't going to be enough to keep me losing weight. So, I began at the gym, almost reluctantly, but went in with an open mind and instead of "doing" it because I had to, I found that I really loved lifting and working out and it's become, as I've said before, a part of my daily routine. I took a while for it to become a habit, for sure, but once it did, I knew I had finally crossed that line into changing my lifestyle, instead of "dieting". This can't be a diet...diets always fail! Change your lifestyle and you'll change your life, forever, for good.
So, as you work on the 3 wishes you have resolved to make come true this year, be sure the new things you are doing are realistic. You want your new habits and routines to be things you can do day in and day out most days for the rest of your life (realizing that we all need breaks and vacation days throughout the year). If what you have started is too much and too overwhelming, see if it fits with the rule. If it isn't something that fits in with your lifestyle and can be sustained for the rest of your life, reset and restart with what does so you are still being consistent on January 31.
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