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Week Two of Training!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Week one of my training program went surprisingly well. I had a lot of anxiety about it before hand, but from the beginning I have simply wanted to give it my best (after all, that's all I have to give!) and enjoy the journey. The older I get, the more difficulty I have keeping track of things, so I have the menu printed out and on the fridge, but I also have a little notebook that I write down when I eat my first meal. I can then just do the math (every 2.5 hours) and list the times for the other meal for that day and somewhat stay on schedule. Prepping my food was a Godsend. It takes no time at all to grab a leftover container from the fridge that has pre-portioned cooked, delicious chicken breast ready to microwave. I prepped turkey meatloaf made in a muffin tin for little individual meatloaves, grilled chicken breast, and roasted tilapia. I also washed and chopped broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. That made it so easy to measure out a cup and steam or roast or just enjoy raw. I bought Dymatize protein powder and I can not believe how DELICIOUS it is. I mix 1/2 scoop of banana nut flavor into my oats and OMG it's like eating dessert. emoticon
I have had to face my fear and gymtimidation. I went and used the weights and machines twice this week. I still feel very intimidated, but I can't do all the exercises on my schedule at home. I'm determined to overcome this!! In fact, I'm headed there today for leg day. My trainer gave me six different cardio workout that I can choose from and wow...they are challenging, but not so challenging that I can't get it done. Toward the end of the week I was on the elliptical, which anyone who knows me understands the love/hate (mostly hate) relationship I have with it. I made myself a workout playlist (im not that techno so this was a first for me) and I was giving it all I had, just drenched in sweat (another hate) and suddenly I realized I was enjoying it. Blew me away. I may or may not have actually cried. I went 10 extra minutes just because I could. It was like being on top of the mountain. I still have to drag myself to exercise. I mostly "don't wanna" but once I'm doing it, it makes me so happy. emoticon
Our weather is finally spring-like!! We spent about 6 hours on Friday getting it all tilled and laying out the beds (I do the square foot gardening/french intensive method) and planting all the spring goodies! We worked our a**** off because it was supposed to rain for the next 5 or 6 days, and here in Iowa if you miss your chance first thing in the spring, you may not get another for weeks. It finally rained last night, a beautiful, drenching rain and we woke up to sunshine and warmth. The lettuce patch should be up in no time!! I'm starting to check the asparagus patch daily and the strawberries are all waking up. I love this time of year!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
I've been doing so much schoolwork that I haven't really had time to read sparkpages, or sew, or do anything. Only 3 weeks of school left...3 huge papers, several smaller papers, and so, so much reading. I can not wait until this semester is OVER. I am looking so forward to my break!!
Hope you are enjoying nicer weather wherever you are!! What is your favorite thing about spring?? emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I just love your break-through moment on the elliptical. Realizing we are capable, strong, and can be our own heroines is a big deal. Way to go, girl!

Shew, what a workload at school! Wishing you all the best. You are laying such a strong foundation for your future, education and health. Having helped build our house, I can tell you that laying the foundation is the heaviest, ugliest work, but then you can guess the rest of the comparison.

I hadn't heard of the French intensive method. I'll have to google that. We have been building raised beds, using the lasagna method in them, and loosely use the square-foot method in those and crop rotation from bed to bed. I'm just now really getting into gardening. Learning to can from books is the hard part for me. Lots of stuff will be put in the freezer this year!

Don't you worry about the rest of us while you concentrate on these 3 weeks! You take care of yourself first. We'll still be here when you're able to get back to full-sparking.

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TOPCAT93 4/8/2013 12:15PM

    keep on truckin

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Mini Meals Day 2

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

I hired a personal trainer and started her program this week. Don't think that the irony of starting this on April Fools Day wasn't lost on me. emoticon
I couldn't decide if I was more scared about the food or the gym! I love to cook and generally make something different every night. I also only eat a couple meals a day plus one snack, staying within my sparkpeople goals and everything. This plan has me eating 6-7 mini meals timed every 2.5 hours all day. I spent Monday morning grilling chicken breast, broiling tilapia, and making these little turkey meatloaf cupcakes. I also chopped a gallon bag of broccoli, steamed 2# of asparagus, and baked a couple sweet potatoes. I used a food scale to portion out the various components into square rubbermade containers and stacked them in the fridge. I labeled them with the extras (almonds, grapefruit, egg whites) that go with them, and I had 4 days of meals preplanned and ready to go. I'm so glad I did that!! Eating every 2.5 hours is A LOT for me. I'm so glad I don't have to think about it, I just microwave my meal, add the additions, and eat. It seems like a lot of food to me, but it is right around the high end of my sparkpeople calorie goals. It is supposedly the right balance of micro and macro nutrients for fat loss. We will see!!
I headed to the Ymca down the street for my first workout. OMG gyms intimidate me! It seemed like everyone there was with a friend (not really true, but I was already panicky) and I was all by myself. I made an appointment with a wellness coach who showed me all the machines and how to use them. My trainer is online, so she sent me the workouts for the week, and the wellness coach was very helpful showing me how to use them. I successfully completed workout one and decided to use the stair machine for 10 min. I was feeling pretty intimidated and decided to go home and use my own elliptical in my own safe little basement! I realize this is mostly a "head" issue and will be back there again tomorrow getting it done. I'm confident that in a few weeks I will feel at home in the gym and it will not longer be the big deal to me that it is! emoticon
I have four weeks of school left and I am counting down. This semester has been a lot of work and so stinking time consuming. I will be so happy to be done! I should be doing homework right now....
I cut up seed potatoes this morning. I love spring!! We are putting up the pea fence tomorrow and planting peas and potatoes as well as the lettuce patch. We need to get the cold frame out of the shed so I can transplant my seedlings and get them out of the house. They grow so much better with sunshine than with growlights. We are only a few weeks from fresh salads and six weeks from our last frost date! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Your mini-meals actually sound DELICIOUS! I love all that stuff. So cool that you pre-made them.
I'm sure these next 4 weeks will fly by. So proud of anyone that is finishing up school!
Your garden plans sound wonderful. I don't have any place to start seedlings so still have to direct plant our seed, but this year is our first attempt at peas. I'm so excited. Funny... how veggies has us so excited. lol.
Best wishes for your new routine at the gym! I bet you'll be enjoying it in no time.

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Goals for the next 90 days

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I know that this is only the second day of spring, but my mind is thinking about summer as I set goals for the next quarter. The first quarter has been a good start for me. I have been consistent with exercising, been great with the clean eating, and gotten much better on drinking water or green tea. The 6 mo plateau I had been sitting at after an 18# loss (so maddening, but I kept telling myself at least I'm not gaining anything back!) finally gave up and I've been losing 1/2 -1 pound a week. I completed the Sparkcoach program and started another one. April, May, and June...90 days...It seems like such a long time, but then 90 days just past like the blink of an eye. So, what's next??
Exercise/movement goals:
I decided to hire a personal trainer for two reasons. One, i have an injury that has to be babied to some extent. I injured my SI joint which not only limits my mobility, but there are a number of exercises that I can't do without re-injuring it. I need someone that understands the injury and the limits who can develop a weightlifting plan for me. I'm sure I could figure it out (with a lot of time and research) but feel like it is worth every $$. Then, I can focus on working out and on form and not be worrying the whole time that I'm going to hurt myself. I started following several young women on instagram (that sounds stalkerish!!) who are body builders or competitive fitness models and also run personal training programs. It's been very motivating!! Their encouragement and 'before/after' pics of clients have really strengthened my resolve that I can get into the best shape of my life if I put in the effort. This particular girl I hired works with a man that has a fusion in his L5, which is much worse than what i have to deal with. She also trains her mom, who is a couple years younger than I am :) So, April 1st, I will begin another phase of my journey.

I decided to join the Y. I get a student discount (!) and with all the options-swimming pool, equipment, yoga, zumba, cycling classes- all being included with the membership, it seemed well worth it. I had to decide if I wanted to expand my home gym (i don't) or join somewhere. I really like the social aspect of taking classes. I'm super sick of working out alone in my basement!!!

I am upping my commitment to myself this quarter with my goal being to work out 45-60 min 5 days a week. I'm proud of how far I've come the past 6 mos of Sparkpeople. Last October, I struggled to do 10 min a day. I had to start the 10 min challenge over before i finally accomplished it. Now, I'm consistently getting at least 20 min a day, but usually 30-40 min a day :)
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Diet Goals
Diet as in lifestyle, not diet as in temporary changes! It's fun to look back at some of the changes we've made that seemed so hard at the time. We love to cook and our food used to involve lots of butter, cream, sugar and other high fat, low nutritional foods. Vegetables were limited to corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, and salad. We've discovered a love for sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, and so much more. We rarely bought fresh fruit and only ate them in desserts. Now, we have fresh blackberries, blueberries, pineapple, and strawberries all the time. We love fruit smoothies and fruit with greek yogurt. We discovered that we love boca chicken patties and boca burgers, salmon, scallops, mussels, shrimp, and fish. We stopped eating white rice, white flour, and white sugar almost completely. I learned to cook only what 2 servings would be, instead of the 9x13 casserole size the recipe calls for, unless I planned the leftovers. It's crazy what a transformation our kitchen has undertaken.
My goal this quarter is going to be to eat 6 mini meals a day. My trainer will be helping me with this initially. I also want to learn to make some gluten free desserts and sprouted bread. In the past, I have tended to not eat enough, so as i step up the exercise, I want to be sure I am getting enough nutrition, too. I want to try more vegetarian/vegan options once a week. Tofu has scared me, but i want to give it a chance!!
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This is already longer than I had planned on so I will leave it at that. Maybe personal goals can be another blog another day!
What goals are you working on right now?? emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Great goals! emoticon

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    Oh, I'm so happy to hear you were able to find a good PT! That's just plain awesomeness.
I love how you lined out your diet and exercise changes and goals. You sound so motivated and happy right now! Horray for busting the plateau!
Tofu scares me too. Blog your adventures into tofu!

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Binge alert!!

Saturday, March 09, 2013

I'm currently in North Carolina babysitting my two darling grand daughters--ages 2 1/2 and 15 mo. The weather has been too chilly to go outside the last couple of days, but we have had fun reading books and dancing to music :)

At home, I never buy junk food. Out of sight, out of binge possibilities! In fact, since getting serious about losing the extra weight and getting healthier, I don't buy prepackaged food of pretty much any kind. We never eat out, not even once a month. It helps that we love to cook! Instead of eating out, we have bought cookbooks of ethnic food we love and are learning to make them 'clean' and healthy. But my son and his wife are at a different stage of life than I am, working full time, going to school full time, and raising two toddlers. I get tired just thinking about accomplishing all that! Everything is in boxes or pre-made in the freezer. I have made roast chicken and turkey meatloaf that the girls have liked, but I haven't the ingredients or time to make much else! I haven't made mac n cheese from a box since my kids were little kids! I made some for lunch yesterday, and after the first creamy bite I knew I was in trouble. I ate half a portion (according to the box) and then I finished the girls bowls and found myself with a spoon, eating mac and cheese from the pot on the stove. :/ I can seriously not remember the last time I felt uncontrolled like that with a food. It usually strikes with really good pizza, potato chips, or Chinese food, but boxed mac and cheese?? After a couple bites, my brain caught up with my spoon and I quickly put the leftovers in a container and got it into the fridge. Speaking of pizza, there is half a pizza in the fridge, too. I have been making too much positive progress to be derailed by old habits!!
What foods are triggers for you or is it emotions that trigger your out of control eating? How do you deal with it??
I have been wanting to read a book by a former "big food company executive" who says that companies purposely use a combination of sugar, salt, and seasonings that trigger binging. Purposefully causing us to not want to stop eating their product. Hmmm....I believe it. I'm going to order it for my nook, so I will have something to read on the way home. The weather here and in Detroit are forecast to be bad, so I am prepared for delays.
I've ended stage four of Spark Coach and my challenge for yesterday was to purposefully get up and move three extra times a day. For one of my 'extra' movements, we danced. I bet the downstairs neighbor loves me. Another was mopping the floors by hand, instead of using the swiffer thingy. The third was going up and down the stairs an extra two times, with toddlers in my arms. I'm feeling that last one today!
Speaking of school, my two last classes kicked in for this semester. They are excellerated, so 16 weeks are crammed into 8. It seemed like a great idea when I made my schedule. Right now, i am overwhelmed. Thankfully, the girls go to bed by 7pm. My evenings have been filled with Sociology, Math, and Rhetorical Analysis. :p No wonder I have been having trouble sleeping well!!
Hope your week has been a good one of overcoming obstacles!!
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Traveling this Week but I have a plan!

Monday, March 04, 2013

I head out tomorrow for a week long trip to my son's home in North Carolina. He and my daughter-in-law are heading out for a much needed four day getaway. I get to be in Grandma heaven babysitting their two darling girls. Lily is 2 1/2 and Aster is 15mo. We skype, but being face to face is so much better!!

I have been making steady progress since signing up for the sparkcoach thingy. I really want to keep the scale moving down. I also don't want to lose my fitness streak. I knew I needed to plan. So, I gathered a few healthy favorite (and kid friendly) recipes, bagged some spices that i knew they wouldn't have, planned a little menu and snack list, and packed my organic instant oatmeal packets. I asked my son if he had hand weights (he does) and I got my videos packed to go with me. I feel like I should have a really good week!!

Hopefully, the winter storm we are currently in the midst of will not affect my flight in the morning. I connect in Detroit, and their weather will be clear, so Des Moines is my only worry at the moment. My son doesn't leave until Thursday am, so if I am delayed by weather, it won't mess up their trip.

I am not sure how much I will be online while there. I will log my food/exercise with my phone for sure! Don't want to ruin my streaks!! :) Hope you all have a great week reaching your goals!!


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