ALPHAEVE's SparkPeople Blog ALPHAEVE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap - Two Weeks After the Finish Line It took me a really long time to get my thoughts together enough to write a race recap, but once I did, it ended up being REALLY long! <BR> <BR> Anyway, I posted the recap and a bunch of pictures on my other blog, so for the sake of brevity, here's the link! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/10/2014-disney-princess-half-marathon<BR>-race-recap/ </link> <BR> <BR> It was definitely a pretty incredible experience for me! Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:57:30 EST Half Marathon and Beyond - BLC 21 Goals By this time next week, training for my first half marathon will be done, and I'll be returning to normal world where every workout doesn't feel like it has some great bearing on the outcome of my race. <BR> <BR> Accordingly, a lot of my goals this challenge have to do with successfully making a transition to continue the momentum I've got going and to re-focus on some things that have taken a back seat while I've focused on finishing this race! <BR> <BR> Without further ado, here are my ... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 23:13:36 EST My 1st Sparkiversary - A year without giving up! A year ago today, I joined Spark People. It took me a few days to start actually using the site and committing to my goals, but a year later, I'm actually still here. I can't even begin to describe how proud of myself I feel. Even when I didn't make progress and couldn't figure out why and even when I didn't make progress and knew exactly why, I never gave up. That's definitely new for me. <BR> <BR> In the past year, I've gone from smoking around a half pack to a pack a day (usually depe... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 12:21:27 EST Half Marathon Training - Week 2 Report I'm a day late with this, and am officially into week 3 of training, but I want the record of how I'm doing for myself more than anything, so that when I'm done with this, I can look back and see how it went. Because of that, I wanted to make a point to blog. <BR> <BR> So week 2 is officially done, and once again, it went well! It was a crazy busy week for me, since I stage manage my best friend's class dance recital every semester (she's a dance teacher at a high school here), and last ... Tue, 17 Dec 2013 01:43:37 EST Hosting a Holiday Party and Staying On Track I've done really, really well at staying on track since Thanksgiving. Even with holiday partys and junky offerings all around (even the bank had food out and encouraged me to take some when I went to do some paperwork for my job today), I've managed to avoid temptation and eat what I make at home. <BR> <BR> I've got plans for family Christmas, plans for Sean's family Christmas, plans for the Christmas Eve party with people from church, but the one day that makes me nervous is next Friday. ... Fri, 13 Dec 2013 23:56:29 EST A Lightbulb Moment Ever have an experience where you learn one tiny thing, and it makes a million other tiny things you already knew relate to each other in a whole new way? Like a light bulb goes off? I had one of those moments in the last couple of days. <BR> <BR> I'm sure most of us around this site have read and know that eating too little can actually interfere with weight loss. I also knew that the reasons were because when your body goes into starvation stress mode, it tends to spare fat and use musc... Fri, 13 Dec 2013 00:16:17 EST Today's Mini-Win Sean was sick last night, so I got about 2 hours of sleep (after having a weird streak of 5 hours of sleep nights and therefore already being a little sleep deprived). I woke up feeling groggy and awful and just angry that this was how my week was going to start, and that mood pretty much carried me through the day. Between being tired and angry, I also ended up just generally weepy, and I definitely spent a solid hour of the day in tears. <BR> <BR> BUT <BR> <BR> I did not binge. I stu... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 00:04:17 EST Half Marathon Training Week 1 Report I'm officially through my first week of half marathon training, and in general, I'd say this week went really well! <BR> <BR> Right before I broke my skull and had to take a break from running a few months ago, I had purchased a heart rate monitor. I've been using that since I started back up again, and I gotta say... it's kind of a wonder tool for me. It turns out, what I had been considering my "medium" effort was really pretty close to anaerobic, and my "hard" was basically my max heart... Sun, 8 Dec 2013 18:14:53 EST Half Marathon Training Officially Underway and Other Updates Since Thanksgiving, we've been quite busy around my house. We've begun our Christmas shopping, we've done our Christmas decorating, and I've started my half marathon training! I'm definitely glad that the race I signed up for is at the end of February, because it's keeping me very dedicated to my workouts through an otherwise busy time of year! <BR> <BR> Fortunately, this is also the slow season for me at work, so I've got a little breathing room there. I've been working in the office dur... Tue, 3 Dec 2013 12:53:37 EST Thanksgiving and Runners World Run Streak, Day 1 Runners World has a holiday streak challenge going on, and one of my friends happens to have a blog that's sponsoring a contest for participating. Given that I've got a half marathon coming up at the end of February, I figured anything that will keep me on track through the holidays is a good thing, so I signed up! <BR> <BR> The gist of the challenge is that you're supposed to run or walk at least 1 mile every day between now and New Year's Day. For the blog challenge, if we miss a day, we... Thu, 28 Nov 2013 23:06:18 EST Back on the Wagon So in the last couple of months since I've been around here I've managed to do at least the following: <BR> <BR> 1. Raise a bunch of money, write a lot of grants, and produce 3 symphony concerts (which includes creating the program/doing all the publicity/ managing all the musicians that this entails) at work. <BR> <BR> 2. Suffered through the WORST cold of my entire life, complete with a sore throat that kept me up at night for nearly a week - even through sleep and pain medicine. It was ... Mon, 25 Nov 2013 19:27:30 EST WUB 3 - it was a very good week Week 3 of the BLC challenge for 20 somethings with 100+ to lose has come to an end, and I have to say this has been my best week in a long time. <BR> <BR> I only lost 1 pound this week, which is about par for the course for my body, but I've just been in such a good place mentally that I can't bring myself to be disappointed with that. I tracked all my food, kept my carbs where I wanted them, kept my calorie deficit where I wanted it, and exercised as planned! I tried new veggies as per th... Mon, 2 Sep 2013 00:34:21 EST Momentum and a PICTURE! Right now? I feel like I'm on a roll. <BR> <BR> It's tiny little things, that all added up, just make me feel like I'm really gaining ground and losing pounds. <BR> <BR> My morning workout buddy is injured, so I didn't go to the gym this morning, telling myself I'd go this evening instead. Of course, I then got off work and was REALLY not feeling it. Instead of giving in, I called another sometimes workout buddy, but she couldn't go. Then I called my parents and invited them to come a... Thu, 29 Aug 2013 21:58:09 EST My Truth About Exercise As August comes to an end, I'm facing my first month of the 8 this year without hitting 1000 exercise minutes. Between a few injuries that I decided to rest from before they got worse and then being sick last week, this just hasn't been my month when it comes to getting to the gym. In the time off, though, I've had the chance to really discover a really interesting truth about myself and exercise. <BR> <BR> Exercise, in and of itself, does not seem to help me lose weight. At least not in ... Mon, 26 Aug 2013 21:49:27 EST WUB 2 So this has been kind of a weird week for me. I've definitely been great about my food, and it's made a huge difference on the scale. That said, I've also been sick, so I haven't really gotten much exercise done. I hit my 100 minutes, but this may the first month since I started this that I don't hit 1000 minutes of exercise. Between injuries and illness, I feel like it hasn't been my best month for fitness. <BR> <BR> On the upside, I'm definitely losing again. I'm now at my lowest weig... Sun, 25 Aug 2013 21:26:04 EST Operation Airplane Because of the nature of the work I've done for the last several years, the vast majority of my earthly possessions have been sitting in a storage unit in New York since April 2010. Kitchen stuff, pictures, couches, bookshelves, books... you name it, I've probably got it in there. And because my work moved me around so much, it never made sense to actually bother to move it when I knew I'd have to go through it all over again 6-9 months later. <BR> <BR> Until now. <BR> <BR> For the first ... Wed, 21 Aug 2013 23:52:16 EST This week Week 1 of BLC 19 is already over! How did that even happen?! Ha! <BR> <BR> At any rate, it's been a mostly good week. I got to the gym a few times - even with some slight injury issues, and I mostly stuck to my eating plan. I ran the most I have yet, and it actually felt good, and I feel like I'm starting to get into a good groove with my job and Spark and balancing it all! <BR> <BR> The biggest frustration I seem to keep dealing with is injury. Maybe I'm being over-cautious, but when m... Sun, 18 Aug 2013 19:22:52 EST BLC 19 - In the beginning It's funny how challenges seem to go by so quickly, but when I look back on where I was at the beginning, it always seems like I've come so far! <BR> <BR> Two BLC's ago, I had just started out on this journey. I was energetic and feeling all the motivation and determination of a goal when it's new and when you're seeing quick progress. Then, almost before I'd even started, I hit a wall. Despite carefully monitored calorie expenditure and intake, I wasn't losing. And I didn't lose again -... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 19:17:20 EST Project Morning Person Tomorrow, I embark upon a project that I have HUGE uncertainty about. Tomorrow, I'm going to start trying to workout in the mornings. <BR> <BR> For some people, this is the time that makes most sense to them. By the time they get home from work, they're exhausted, or working out at night leaves them way too wound up to sleep. <BR> <BR> For me, getting out of bed before 8 in the morning is physically painful (and I usually get up closer to 8:30, since I don't have to be in my office - tha... Sun, 28 Jul 2013 21:41:58 EST Finding a New Normal In the past month and a half, I've : <BR> 1. started a new job <BR> 2. pulled my hamstring and been in rehab for it <BR> 3. helped Sean get ready to go back to school (he's a teacher) <BR> 4. taken 3 out of town trips for weddings and family things. <BR> <BR> In short, it's been a month and a half of throwing my routine into turmoil. I've exercised, but not as regularly thanks to the leg injury. I've faithfully stuck to my low carb diet, save for one of the trips - upon the return from whi... Wed, 24 Jul 2013 23:49:07 EST 6 Month Sparkiversary!!! Today marks a major milestone for me: my 6 month Sparkiversary! <BR> <BR> Six months ago, completely fed up with my weight and having just hit the highest I've ever been, I signed up here. <BR> <BR> I had ballooned up so quickly, and my fitness level was abysmal. I felt sluggish and didn't sleep well. I ached all the time. I was embarrassed about myself and unhappy in general. I was frustrated looking back at all the attempts I'd had at losing weight before and mad at myself thinking ... Wed, 3 Jul 2013 17:16:21 EST Got the Job!!!! It's official! I'm now the Executive Director of my town's professional symphony orchestra! <BR> <BR> Making the switch from professional politics to non-profit leadership will be educational, I'm sure, but a lot of the job I'll be doing now is very similar to things I've done on campaigns for years! Even so, now I get to stay in one place and work to preserve and advance an organization that really sets my town apart from other towns it's size! <BR> <BR> Furthermore, I'll basically be ... Tue, 2 Jul 2013 18:12:43 EST Rehab So, I've finally done it. In all my zeal, I've finally injured myself. <BR> <BR> After running Monday, I was tight, but nothing unusual. When jogging and yoga over the next few days left me feeling like I had a sort of permanent cramp in my right hamstring, though, I realized that this wasn't just normal soreness. Sure enough, I have myself a VERY mild grade 1 hamstring strain. <BR> <BR> Now, this is sort of a good thing. It's mild. It's grade 1. I listened to my body and realized s... Sun, 30 Jun 2013 14:32:44 EST Say What?! Tales from 10% Down. This has been quite a week. It's been full of busy errands that - while tiring - have made me feel productive. It's been full of exercise - yoga, jogging, walking. It's involved a stellar interview that was so good that I'll feel proud of it even if I don't get the job. It's involved officially registering for the Disney Princess Half Marathon that will be in February. Oh yeah, and it's also involved losing 5 pounds. <BR> <BR> Yes. 5 pounds. In one week. Me. I'm... stunned. <BR> <B... Thu, 27 Jun 2013 15:00:44 EST This Week's Workouts! I was doing well with posting my workouts for a while, and then I slacked off of that. Last week I started a nice little spreadsheet to plan and keep up with things, but I like posting workouts here too! <BR> <BR> Without further ado, the plan for this week: <BR> <BR> Monday - Walk 3, Run 1 intervals (x5); Walk 20 <BR> Tuesday - Yoga + ST <BR> Wednesday - Walk 3, Run 1 intervals (x5); Walk 20 <BR> Thursday - Easy Walk 30 Minutes + ST <BR> Friday - Yoga <BR> Saturday - Walk 3, Run 1 int... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 12:41:12 EST In the Next 12 Months So, as a final challenge for BLC 18, we're tasked with starting or updating a bucket list or goal list of some sort. <BR> <BR> I'm gonna play off the list I created for the 30 days before my 30th birthday, changing things as needed! <BR> <BR> Finances <BR> - Get a better job! <BR> - Pay down at least 25% of my debt by the end of 12 months (all student loans, but still, I'm ready to be done with 'em) <BR> - Increase my credit score so that I'm safely home-loan eligible by the end of the yea... Sun, 23 Jun 2013 19:13:09 EST BLC 18 Wrap-Up So, the 20-somethings BLC is coming to a close, and it's been a pretty good one for me. <BR> <BR> It's funny, looking back on my letter to myself that I wrote at the beginning of the challenge, I feel like I was in such a different place with my weight loss and general mind-set now than I was then. Now it feels like I've done low-carb forever, but when this challenge started 10 weeks ago, I was still stuck in a rut of losing and gaining the same few pounds over and over and hadn't begun eat... Sun, 23 Jun 2013 18:48:02 EST WUB! So this week has been better. I'm still not where I want to be with my interaction here in Spark Land, but I posted on the boards at least 3 or 4 days this week, and I checked in every day. <BR> <BR> I think my major highlight of the week, though, was how much better I did with working out. <BR> <BR> There's a yoga studio in my hometown that has a beginners package for a reasonable price that includes 3 private sessions and 5 classes. My idea with this has been to work through the priva... Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:37:10 EST Interview Attire Advice Needed! So, I learned today that I've been asked to interview for a job right here in my hometown. If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you know that I was considering taking a job clear across the country, so this would be a much better option! <BR> <BR> Without getting into too much detail, the interview is for an Executive Director position with an arts non-profit. Having worked in politics for the last bazillion years, I haven't done an in person interview in a LONG time, and on to... Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:23:42 EST Getting Back In Gear - This Week So I've been really, really bad about interacting around here lately. I've logged on every day, and I've tracked my water. I've even kept up with the BLC challenges... climbing my stairs and even calorie cycling (though since I ate off plan last weekend, I didn't cheat this week). <BR> <BR> What I haven't done, though, is interact. I haven't been on the message boards, and I haven't done what I usually do to keep up with my friends here. I haven't been a good leader at the BLC these pas... Sun, 9 Jun 2013 23:00:40 EST Birthday Week! It's been a pretty up-and-down few weeks around here, but it was capped off by a great weekend trip with friends where I celebrated my 30th (!) birthday! Sorry I haven't been around as much, but as you'll see, it's been quite busy! <BR> <BR> Two weeks ago, a close family friend passed away in his sleep completely out of no where. He was only 58 and in seemingly good health, so it was definitely a shock; they're still waiting on the medical examiner's report to figure out what happened. Ce... Mon, 3 Jun 2013 23:04:50 EST Week in Review, complete with my *First* Before/After Pictures So this week has been pretty good in terms of food an exercise for me. This has also been the first week that a lot of people have started commenting to me that I've lost weight, which is actually kind of exciting! Otherwise, this week has been... scary. You can read more detail in my last blog, but basically I could be in for some major life changes before long, and it's gotten me thinking a lot about how I'll continue my good habits through such major routine changes. <BR> <BR> One of... Mon, 20 May 2013 00:05:45 EST Change, Back Sliding, and Fear of the Unknown I work in politics. Have I mentioned that? Probably not, because it's such a polarizing thing, I usually just say I'm a consultant (true), and leave it at that. But I believe in political engagement, and I have skills that make me successful in my field. I truly love what I do. <BR> <BR> Working on campaigns, I've gotten to travel and live around the country and actually gotten paid for it. I've gotten to meet some truly incredible people, and the friendships I've made with the people ... Fri, 17 May 2013 14:31:29 EST What a Week This week has been... well, quite a week. <BR> <BR> Lots of family events between my brother's graduation and Mother's day, not enough sleep, celebrating Sean's birthday... it's been one thing after another without enough time to really focus on me, especially after last weekend's rockiness. On top of it all, the usual bloating and discomfort of TOM has been unpleasant at best, and left me kind of dragging. <BR> <BR> On the up side, I've stuck to eating what I'm supposed to. I'm not a f... Mon, 13 May 2013 00:34:15 EST Yoga for My Birthday I was going to blog here today, but given everything that's gone on in my life this week, all I really want to do is yoga. <BR> <BR> I wrote about it on my other blog here: <link><BR>/08/yoga-for-my-birthday/ </link> <BR> <BR> I'd love to hear what you think, here or there... do you do yoga? Does it do anything for you? Wed, 8 May 2013 20:23:28 EST Learning to Be Kind to Myself, and Workout Plan Week 3 A really big part of this whole process for me is learning to be kind to myself and learning to forgive myself if I fail to meat my sometimes irrational expectations. I'm a perfectionist at heart, and when I don't attain perfection, I - all too frequently - shut down. Looking at some of my prior self-talk, I realized that I was pretty horribly mean to myself, and I'm working to change that. <BR> <BR> As part of my 30 days before I turn 30 project, I'm working on putting that lesson into ef... Mon, 6 May 2013 14:23:07 EST Week In Review and Part 3 of Day In the Life of my Food This week has been a really great one for me in terms of my food and exercise, and a pretty crummy one otherwise. This weekend in particular has been really emotionally difficult and draining, but I'm proud to say I used yoga to get through it rather than food. I know things won't right themselves immediately, so I'm hoping I can keep working hard at making good decisions even when I'd rather focus on everything else. In the middle of hard times, it's really comforting to feel so truly pro... Sun, 5 May 2013 13:04:50 EST Day in the Life of My Plate, Part 2 In the continued series for the 20 Somethings' BLC Challenge, today is part 2 (of 3) of what I eat in a given day. A reminder for those who may not have read part one, I do eat low carb, so the higher amounts of fats are a normal part of my diet! <BR> <BR> Breakfast - BLT ? Sort of? Minus the L? And the bread... <BR> - 3 pieces of nitrite and nitrate free bacon <BR> - 1/4 cup of tomato <BR> <BR> Lunch - Chicken Salad Salad <BR> - 3 oz roasted chicken (no skin) <BR> - 2 TBS mayonnaise <BR>... Fri, 3 May 2013 13:29:49 EST 2 Weeks of Low Carbs and 31 Days 'Til I'm 30 Today marks 2 weeks of eating low carb for me. I feel like I'm still learning and reading about how all this works - even with all the research I did before deciding to start this. That said, I also feel like I'm starting to really get the hang of this and how it will work for my body! I'm excited to see what the next 2 weeks bring. <BR> <BR> So how about results? Prior to starting this, I had stayed in the same 3-4 pound weight range for over 2 months. The day I started, I was near the... Wed, 1 May 2013 18:34:04 EST A Day In the Life of My Plate This week in the BLC, we're supposed to look at what we eat 3 days this week. This is actually pretty useful to me since I'm almost to the 2 week mark on eating low carb. As I decide if I want to stay at this level of carbs or move up to a little more, I think it'll be helpful to really analyze the bigger picture of what I'm getting every day! <BR> As a quick reminder/ disclaimer, I don't actually follow the Spark People plan, but eat low carb right now instead, so what may seem like some o... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:31:14 EST Exercise Update Last week, I posted my weekly exercise plan for the first time ever. This week, I'm going to update on how last week went, and then post this week's! <BR> <BR> This was last week's plan: <BR> Sunday: Cardio - Treadmill 40 min Strength - Crunches Circuit Other - None <BR> Monday: Cardio - Treadmill 40 min Strength - Crunches Circuit, Arms Other - Yoga 10 min <BR> Tuesday: Cardio/Strength - Ballet Class 60 min <BR> Wednesday: Cardio - Treadmill 40 min Strength - Crunches Circuit, Arms Ot... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 13:51:22 EST Visual Motivation and a WUB - all in one! This has been a pretty busy week for me, so I really haven't had a chance to blog much. I'm still rolling on the low carb diet, and seem to be over the initial symptoms. I'm still tweaking what I eat each day, but I AM losing weight, which is exciting! It's slow going, but it's going - which is new for me - so I'll take it! <BR> <BR> This weekend, my parents rented a cabin in the Smoky Mountains, and the whole family got together! It pretty much rained the entire time, but I was still ab... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 23:06:31 EST Exorcising and Exercising - A Workout Plan I'm going to try something new here, and post my workout plans each week. Hopefully this will help keep me accountable, and will be another exercise for me in being kind to myself if I don't follow the plan exactly. In the past, I've hesitated to even make plans because of fear of setting myself up for failure, but as part of this journey, I'm trying to work on that. That goal setting hesitation has carried over to other parts of my life than just my weight, and I'm pretty sure it's one of... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 15:01:46 EST The Low Carb Life - Week 1 After months of stalling in weight loss and trying several mini-experiments to get things started again, I've finally decided to try eating low carb. I've kept my calorie intake carefully measured and constant, and changed the proportions of carbs/proteins/fats in about 3 different ways to see if that would work, but nothing has. I've increased my calorie intake to about 1900 to see if I was under eating, and I've reduced my calorie intake to as low as 1200 calories per day, but still, no c... Sun, 21 Apr 2013 14:12:35 EST 10 Weeks From Now Ten weeks from now, BLC 18 will be coming to a close, and hopefully when I look back on this post, I will have accomplished a number of goals. <BR> <BR> Maybe the biggest thing I'm hoping to gain this challenge is a feeling of having made progress in my weight loss. I'm not too concerned with a specific number, but I've spent 2.5 months hanging out in the same 4 pound range, and while I'm glad to know that I can maintain, I need to lose. I'm transitioning to low carb eating, focusing on ba... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 23:33:57 EST (Not So) Tiny Dancer Once upon a time, about 150 pounds ago, I was a dancer. I met my best friend in dance class. I learned confidence and independence in dance class. I learned to express myself in dance class. I learned the power and the limitations of my body in dance class, and I learned that I could be graceful and beautiful. <BR> <BR> My best friend now teaches at the high school we attended, and she heads the dance arts program there, which is where we met. Twice a year, her students perform in their... Fri, 12 Apr 2013 00:42:03 EST Update after a Far-Too-Long Hiatus About 2 and a half weeks ago, I got some sort of cold/flu/sinus infection/ allergy thing that completely knocked me out and made me achy, congested, and completely lacking energy. I rested and recovered and the blasted virus lingered and it took about a week and a half to even breathe through my nose again! For the first several days I was sick, I was antsy and really missing exercise but I couldn't breathe and had a fever. I wanted to cook my meals so that I knew exactly what went into th... Tue, 9 Apr 2013 01:00:15 EST Hip Hop Abs... Starting Measurements and Before Pics Inspired by a Spark Friend, ANGELAK85, I'm starting Hip Hop Abs today, and will continue doing it in addition to my regular workouts for the next 6 weeks. Fortunately, these DVDs aren't very long and aren't super cardio intensive, so it should be a good compliment to my usual treadmill stuff! <BR> <BR> My regular workouts are at night right now, and I'm in a good routine with a friend here. In order to ensure that I stick with these new workouts too, I'm going to start doing them first t... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 15:56:17 EST Challenge Wrap Up So BLC 17 for the 20 something's group is coming to an end today, and I've had mixed results. <BR> <BR> Looking back at my initial fitness plan, I planned to try for 6000-10000 steps per day, 30 minutes of moderate activity per day, and a calorie deficit of at least 1000 per day all as measured by my Body Media armband. I've been extremely successful in hitting every one of those goals at least 6 days a week, but unfortunately, that didn't translate to the losses that I'd hoped for. Some... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 23:36:59 EST Back In Gear First off, thank you all for the encouragement you gave me on my last blog. This past week has definitely been the first major dip in my motivation and focus, and I feel like I've made it over that hump. I'm really proud of myself for hanging in there, but I also know that having a ready-made team of supporters out there was a huge part of getting me going again. <BR> <BR> So what's been better these past few days? <BR> <BR> Thursday, I went to the gym for about 40 minutes. Yesterday, I ... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 17:29:36 EST