Saturday, July 25, 2009
Today my boyfriend, Jess, and a friend, L, and I went to Newport, Rhode Island to go to the beach! The weather was perfect for once - we've had so much cold and rain this summer, so for it to be sunny, 80 degress, AND a Saturday all at once was just amazing. Unfortunately there was so much seaweed in the water that the waves looked red, but I put on a wetsuit and dealt with it. The waves were perfect for boogie boarding!! I asked Jess for a surfing lesson, but I couldn't even balance lying down on the board, let alone standing up on it. Boogie boarding is so fun, I'm not going to worry if I'm just not meant to be a surfer. We had a blast!!! :) I didn't have time to run though, sadly. L had to hurry home because she had evening plans.
However...I must vent about L, the friend that came with us. Yesterday she told me that I have an unhealthy obsession with weight, diet, exercise, etc. I was hurt that she would critique me for something that brings me so much pride, health, and happiness. Ironic that my attempts to live as healthfully as possible could be called "unhealthy." Also, I feel like if she doesn't want to focus that much energy on this stuff she don't have to do it, but why judge me for doing it? It's my life and I can choose to do what I want! I told her a quote I've read on this site: "'Obsessed' is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated." I KNOW this stuff is a HUGE focus that I'm constantly thinking about, but my history shows that I need to maintain my focus or I get WAY off track fast. It's an eventual goal to balance it better with other aspects of my life, but right now I need to stay focused.
On our way down to Newport, L asked me to stop at a Taco Bell. At first I decided I'd "go wild" and eat some Taco Bell, but when I looked at the nutrition brochure and saw that even their "fresco" items mostly had some trans fats and over a thousand milligrams of sodium, I decided I couldn't do it. Especially since Sundays are my "official" weigh-in days! So, while Jess and L ate their Taco Bell, I walked across the parking lot to Stop & Shop and bought myself some grapes and cherries, which I munched on all afternoon. Yummm! Just like last weekend on the beach...I'd rather eat a natural fruit or vegetables (especially fruit - hehe) than some processed horrible-for-you JUNK any day!! I guess the produce section of a grocery store is my new go-to- place to buy lunch for the beach!
Jess and I did go to the British Beer Company for dinner - his choice, not mine. It's a newish chain restaurant that really isn't anything special. I think I did okay though - I got the chopped shrimp salad, minus the cheese and toast. I got spicy peanut Thai dressing on the side and used only a very small bit, and had pinot noir to drink.
Oh, one other thing - I have recently been told by my boyfriend and two close friends that my boobs are disappearing. Too bad I can't transport the fat from my thighs to my chest! Ha. Honestly, I don't mind about my chest - I think it looks better now in my tighter tops, and a smaller chest is definitely better for running!!!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I've lost twenty pounds!! From 165 to 145! Going to the beach today...gonna boogie board, read, and go for a run.
Speaking of running, yesterday I did a longer version of a loop I've been doing lately - Speen to Hartford all the way to Bishop instead of turning off at Boden. It was 6.13 miles, 67 minutes, 5.5 mph on average, and 717 calories according to Spark's mapping feature. I ran straight to the gym in fact, for some sweaty lower-body strength training for my already spent legs. I could barely do my lunges, my legs were so tired!!
Last night I went out in a black sleeveless, strapless long drapey top that I've only worn once before, my old big size 4 jeans (they really ought to be labeled an 8 or 10 probably), and black high heeled sandals. I love getting all dressed up, even if it's just to go to Margarita's in the suburbs. :)
Time for a quick gym workout before the beach, bye!!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Today I put on one of my tightest workout tops, which I hadn't worn for several months, since before I gained back the 30+ pounds I'd lost. It still clings to more belly than I'd like, but still, it made me feel pretty. :)
I wanted to run outside, but the weather had other plans, so I rushed to the gym so I'd be able to get home in time to watch Entertainment Tonight (which I am doing right now) to see the segment on SparkPeople. I did my biceps and triceps routine in 18 and a half minutes, and felt pretty strong when one of my male gym buddies told me I was using the dumbbells he wanted - 20lbs!
After strength training I decided to use the treadmill for my cardio. I had 38 minutes until I had to get home. I started at 5.0 mph for 2 minutes, and then went up to 7.0 mph, which is where I stayed. (That's an 8:30 mile.) I felt fantastic at that speed, and I couldn't help but notice that everyone around me was going 6.0 or slower, even people who looked far fitter than me. I channeled some Zircadia and sang along (silently!) with some of my songs - which must be fun for her when she's outside on her own, but I'm sure I looked extremely strange doing it at the gym, ha. Who cares. My 5K time (including warmup time) was 27:12. I stayed at 7.0 mph until minute 31, and then I did a two-minute sprint...8.5 mph for a minute, 8.0 for 40 seconds, and then at the very end I bumped it up to 9.0 for 20 seconds before my 5-minute cooldown at 4.0 mph. I felt so goooooood!
I stretched at home as I tried to figure out what channel ET was on and then realized they were going to talk about a lot of silly stuff for a long time before they get to the segment about SparkPeople. In fact, it's half over and they haven't gotten to it yet.
Oh, as for that steriods documentary last night... we both fell asleep while trying to watch it! So far what I got was that the documentary maker seemed pretty pro-steroids, talking about how it's really not that bad for you and the only reason he doesn't use them himself is because he felt unethical.
I also started to read _My Life on the Run_ by Bart Yasso. An acquaintance of mine recently ran a half marathon, and then read this book and got so pumped up that now she's doing a full marathon. So of course I had to get it myself!! Can't wait for it to inspire me! :)
Ooooh, here it is! The SparkPeople segment, yay! OMG OMG OMG speaking of Zircadia, she was just on TV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She's famous!!! (and wow, that was short.) Congrats Dana!!!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Chest and abs, 18 minutes.
Elliptical, 65 minutes. 10K time - 56:36. 60 minutes=6.61 miles.
Yay, a REAL workout! :) Off to watch Bigger, Stronger, Faster, a documentary about steroids.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I wonder if sleep deprivation can somehow make you gain weight. I only work until noon during the summer, and on Monday afternoon-evening I ended up taking an impromptu six-hour nap!! I have felt much better ever since, even though my weight is still up at 148.6 (much higher than the low of 146.4 I saw last week). I didn't work out at all on Monday and got a lighter than usual workout yesterday, so I've kept my calorie intake a little lower - around 1,600 on Monday and 1,900 yesterday. Today I need a good solid workout!
Still, I am happy with my progress and thrilled to be in the 140s. Keep in mind that even in high school I weighed in the 170s, so the 140s is a big deal for me and have only been able to reach it intermittently with the help of SparkPeople over the past couple of years. Right now size 10 pants are loose on me but I still wear them, and size 4 pants are tight on me but I can button and zip them. Oddly enough, I have very few pants that are size 6 or 8, but the few that I do have probably fit me pretty well right now. On Sunday I pranced around the beach in a bikini without too much embarrassment, so I'm getting to a place where I'm not that ashamed of my body!
On the food front, I am very pleased with my current routine. I am still having smoothies for breakfast - my recipe lately has been unsweetened soy milk, fortified orange juice plus some antioxidant-rich berry juice, unsweetened fat-free Greek yogurt, a banana, and a mix of frozen mango and berries. I also have coffee with more unsweetened soy milk - sometimes one cup, sometimes three! (though never three in a row - the third is later, if I have extra time and it's not too late in the day.)
Mid-morning snack is an apple...I tend to be really hungry by lunchtime... I have been having a lot of big salads for lunch. My two staple salads both start with baby spinach leaves, two tablespoons of cider vinegar, and a teaspoon of either extra virgin olive oil (vegetable salad) or peanut oil (strawberry salad). I also like to add fat-free feta cheese and/or walnuts. (I have 50 grams of walnuts every day either in my salad or as a snack, or I have 50 grams of almonds instead, but usually walnuts.) I like to add onion and Mrs. Dash Tomato-Basil-Garlic. In my vegetable salads I like tomato, red pepper, and baby carrots.
It's summer, so of course I've been having a lot of fresh fruit for snacks, and some fresh vegetables too. My favorites lately are apples, berries, pomegranate arils, cherries, grapes, and sugar snap peas. I'll also occasionally have cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, or oranges. Sometimes I'll just have fruit or vegetables for a meal, too...steamed butternut squash or brussels sprouts are some of my favorites.
I'm still batch cooking, but now that it's summer it doesn't have to happen so strictly on weekends...today is Wednesday and I did a batch. I also haven't been following recipes lately - instead I just throw stuff together. Today I made a vegetable primavera and topped it with salmon. It made 10 servings that are now in the freezer. I also recently made something with quinoa, vegetables, and salmon. Yeah...everything has vegetables and salmon - I'm so glad I love healthy food. (I always have loved healthy food - it just took me the longest time to learn to love healthy food in healthy QUANTITIES.)
On the drinking front, I have been doing a lot more of just simply pouring a glass of water from my Brita. I'm trying to eliminate disposable plastic water bottles from my life and plan on buying a stainless steel water bottle. I already talked about my 1-3 cups of coffee I drink a day (I will admit on crazy days when I know I'm going to be out and about and busy until late I have been known to have FIVE coffees, but that's rare), and I start each day with green tea. I sometimes have cold blueberry green tea with lunch. I have stopped drinking even decaf tea at night in an effort to improve my sleep. I love Polar Pomegranate seltzer even though my students are convinced it must be soda despite my efforts to explain to them what seltzer is (just carbonated flavored water - no calories, no sodium) and usually drink one or two cans a day, especially at school. I have been drinking alcohol on social occasions - almost always red wine (which I may have with dinner too on occasion), or Captain and diet if I'm really out to get a little crazy, though last weekend I went crazy and had those two coffee martinis.
When I eat out these days (I'd rather eat my own food most of the time), I almost always have a salad and I usually don't use the dressing. I try not to have those big dinner salads that make you feel virtuous until you realize they have more calories than most entrees (though today I made myself an 800+ calorie salad for lunch, which I enjoyed guilt-free), preferring instead to choose smaller side salads, maybe topped with some sort of seafood. I also try to have salads at parties too, when available. Ironic - I remember a time when I didn't like salads. Now I love them!
I'm still sure I'll hit my goal weight of 140 within the next few months, but I'm no longer sure I'll be satisfied there and I may want to try to keep losing a bit more than that. Luckily, since I'm not there yet, I don't have to have my mind made up yet.
On the workout front, I am running more than ever, and especially outdoors and in fun new locations (it's the most portable workout I can think of!), but I also try to mix in some elliptical, bike (indoor or outdoor) and stair climber. I haven't taken any classes since February though. I do anywhere from 20-60+ minutes of cardio at a time these days, most days of the week. Some days I go for a run outside, AND do 20 minutes of recumbant bike at the gym. When I'm at the gym these days I do my strength training first, which tends to be 15-30 minutes long, almost every day. I have four general routines, but I switch up individual exercises or reps. Day 1 is legs, day 2 is shoulders and back, day 3 (today!) is chest and abs, and day 4 is biceps and triceps. For most muscles, I do 3 sets each of 3 exercises. I also stretch after my muscles are warm, some days a little, some days more.
I briefly considered doing a 5-mile race that is taking place tomorrow, but never signed up. I have no races on the horizon except the Tufts 10K in October - it will be my third time running it! (2007, 2008, and now 2009). I like the motivation that comes from training for a race once in a while, but I feel so much pressure when I'm training for a race that I'd go crazy if I did too many, I think. I like to push when I feel up to pushing, not when my training schedule dictates it.
Other healthy habits that have been working well for me have been the continued support of SparkPeople, my boyfriend, and books/magazines on "healthy" topics like running. Getting plenty of sleep at night and staying happy have helped me too. Gum is a mixed blessing - it helps me fight the urge to munch when I don't need the calories, but it has unhealthy stuff in it. Chewing gum is probably the most unhealthy thing I do on a regular basis these days. Well, that, and I'm overdue for a checkup at the doctor's. I also try to recycle, reuse, and reduce whenever possible and stay organized and efficient with helpful routines.
I've been really happy and proud of myself lately. I'm proud to live such a healthy, improved lifestyle, but most of all I am extremely happy, content, proud, excited, any positive word you can think of really, about my relationship with my boyfriend. He makes me a better person and as he put it to me earlier today, "We take care of each other and make each other better people by encouraging one another to stay active and sometimes do things we donít really want to do but do it for each other." We're still not engaged yet, but it'll happen any day now. I am so glad I get to spend the rest of my life with this amazing person.
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