Tag Archives: last 15 pounds

Weigh-In Wednesday, Week 6

Before I dive into Weigh-In Wednesday, I have some sad news to share.  My friend from graduate school, Sara, passed away yesterday.  I wrote about her in my Get Lucky 7k post.  I didn’t know Sara well, other than our trip to Brazil for school and chatting on facebook about running.  But, she was one of those people so full of energy and kindness that it felt like I knew her well.  I met her Dad at the Get Lucky 7k and I can see where she got her positive attitude.  My heart goes out to Sara’s husband and family.  I don’t really know what to say, other than it’s so sad to see someone tragically taken from this world at a young age because of a split-second decision by someone to drive drunk.  I know a lot of us have probably driven at times where we were borderline, but this is an important reminder that it is better to be safe and just take a cab. 

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Happy Hump Day!  The weeks have just been flying by.

Progress!  Yay! 

I’m sure this has become as interesting as watching paint dry, but I think this slow progress is what I can expect.  As I get closer to the wedding, I might consider a 30 day challenge or cutting out certain foods and beverages to help lose weight temporarily.  But, the reason I’m not doing that now is because those things are usually only a temporary solution for me (do you really think I’d give up Crispin for life?  I don’t even want to joke about something like that).  I want to figure out the happy medium in my lifestyle where I can maintain at 135.  I know my goal is 130 but that is mostly to give me some wiggle room 🙂 

The Food

It is easier and easier to eat healthy Sunday through Friday afternoon because it is becoming a habit.  We keep our fridge well stocked with fruits and vegetables for snacks, and I stick to soup and salad even when I buy lunch at work (which has been more often than I like the past few weeks).  I don’t completely let myself go on Friday and Saturday night, but I allow myself to relax a little and enjoy the weekend.   

I went on a really fun party bus on Saturday night to celebrate my friend’s 30th birthday.  We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner.  I ordered chicken fingers with mild sauce, which came with fries.  I ignored the fries (yes, still going on that New Year’s resolution!) and ate four of the six chicken fingers.  I know that wasn’t the healthiest choice on the menu, but I had eaten healthy 90%+ the rest of the week so I was OK with it. 

As I continue to make progress, I expect the food portion to get easier and easier.  I will always crave burgers, fries, and other deliciously unhealthy food.  What it comes down to is being able to make the conscious decision to eat these things in moderation.  That decision gets easier every day. 

The Workouts

I work out about 4 times per week.  I’d prefer if it were 5-6 times per week while I’m training for Tough Mudder, but 4 times per week is still good.  Last night, I modified part of a treadmill workout I found on Peanut Butter Finger’s blog.  I have limited running to 3 times per week to allow myself at least a day to cross-train.  My first run of the week is intervals, my second is a tempo run and my third is a long run.  This is the workout I did last night.  The first 20 minutes is the workout from Peanut Butter Fingers and I modified the last 10 minutes for extra challenge and because I think it will help my speed more to run at 1 minute intervals.  I have no science behind why I think that 🙂

I was dripping sweat by the end of 10 minutes, but it wasn’t too challenging from a cardio perspective until the last 10 minutes.  This is mostly because I’ve been building up my running.  I did the first 20 minutes of this workout a month ago and couldn’t go beyond that.

I decided to put a lot of focus on my arm strength since that is what I’m most worried about for Tough Mudder.  I did a workout that Bess Be Fit posted this week.  She recommends going through this twice so you do a total of 200 reps for each move, but I could only do once.  I also could only do 30 tricep extensions.  I have a lot of work to do!

  • Bicep curls: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat.
  • Overhead tricep extension: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat.
  • Upright rows: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat.
  • DB rows: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat. 

I used 5 pounds and 7.5 pounds because that is what I have at home.  I tried our 15 pound weights for the last 10 reps and couldn’t do more than 2-3.  The 7.5 pound weights were probably a little light so I’d recommend going with 10 pound weights if you have them.  I could definitely feel this workout in my arms afterward.  I was actually a little worried about dropping the water pitcher as I was refilling my water!  When I try this workout again, I will probably do timed intervals instead of reps (1 minute with 5 pounds, 15 seconds with 10 pounds… or something like that).  I tend to get bored with counting so I think the timed intervals will be easier for me.

Ok, off to work I go!

What are some of your favorite workouts for arm strength?  How do you strive for moderation in your diet?

How is your week going?

Weigh-in Wednesday, Week 5: Feeling Good

Happy Hump Day!  Wow, I can’t believe it has already been five weeks!  Thanks everyone for the kind words last Wednesday.  Rayna posted this video on my Facebook wall that I’d like to share as motivation for others who have a hard time fitting workouts into busy days:  Zuzana – Don’t Give Up!. I can’t get the You Tube imbed to work so click on the link to see it.

Despite very minimal results, I have felt great the past few days (other than crying through the eulogy at my grandma’s funeral).  My legs feel lighter when I run and my clothes definitely feel better.  I can always tell when I am gaining momentum with my weight loss because I have less thigh jiggle 🙂

I love this point where I start to feel great because it becomes easier for me to make healthy decisions.  If I feel good and my clothes fit better, I want to keep them that way.  If I’m not at that point, I get down on eating healthier and squeezing in exercise on a busy day (“it won’t make a difference, anyway.”)  Ok, I confess – there are still some things I can’t easily turn down.  I found these in our freezer a few days ago:

I thought they were gone, but it turns out they were just hiding from us in our freezer… those sneaky thin mints.  Nom, nom, nom… I’m like Cookie Monster around those things.  Overall, I am pretty happy with how my eating went this past week.  These were some of the highlights:

  • Today, I had an all-day work meeting that involved catered food and a dinner at Stella’s Fish Cafe.  I had my own healthy breakfast at home, avoided the glazed donut that was trying to seduce me with it’s delicious frosting, and I didn’t have an alcoholic drink at dinner.  This is usually tough since everyone else is having a drink and it is the end of a long day so a beer or wine just sounds really good.
  • There was a lot of tasty-smelling potato chips at the VFW after my grandma’s funeral  yesterday.  I gave these up for 2012 and I still haven’t had a potato chip or french fry!
  • Matt and I ate a healthy dinner at home on Saturday night before meeting our friends at the bar to celebrate our engagement.  (we did have a late night sushi happy hour though)
  • The best part is I didn’t really miss all of this stuff I turned down.  There was a second of thought, but overall I didn’t obsess about how difficult my decision was to say no.

My week of activity looked like this:

  • Wednesday –  I had about 45 minutes to work out between work and meeting a friend so I did a 3 mile temp run & short walk with Macy.
  • Friday – Tough Mudder circuit
  • Saturday – 5 mile long run.  I ran my a 7k 1:30 faster than when I ran the Get Lucky 7k just one week earlier!
  • Sunday – Nice, leisurely 2 mile walk with Matt and Macy while wearing my Vibram Five Fingers
  • Tuesday – I had a work dinner and didn’t get home until 8 so I just did a quick workout.  It was a 25 minute treadmill interval run (15 minutes alternating between 10:00 mile pace and 7:30 mile pace, 15 minutes alternating walking and running an incline of 8).  I also did as many push-ups and squat/shoulder presses as I could to kill my arms.

I have 53ish days until Tough Mudder.  I am most concerned about my upper body strength, so my focus over the next is to get back on the 2-3x/week routine I had going before my grandma got sick.  I know I’ll be fine with the running portion, but I am not sure about my ability to do things like lift myself over a wall or get across monkey bars!

I’ve been slightly hard on myself lately so this week I’m not going to post about what didn’t go well.  It is killing me not to point out my “opportunities”.  Not to sound like a complete nut, but I do this at work a lot too.  I had my review last week and started it out by taking over the meeting and telling my boss what I think I could have done better.  Yep, true story!  Obviously you can tell I am a Type A person.  My job is basically all about process improvement and sometimes that extends a little too much into my personal life.  Luckily, I have Matt to balance me out.

So, how do I feel at Week 5?  I wish I had more drastic results, but only because I am impatient.  I’d like to have better results over the next five weeks than I have this past five weeks, but I am still really happy with my progress.  I am comfortable I will see better results in the next five weeks because life should become a little more stable.  I mean, what are the odds I can have two major life events (my engagement and grandma’s death, for the new readers) happen in the next five weeks too? 😉

Are you ever too critical of yourself?  How has your week been going?  Anything positive you want to share with us?

Weigh-in Wednesday, Week 3: Shock!

Happy Hump Day!  I know I’m later than usual with this post.  Somebody (me) decided a 7am meeting sounded like a good idea so my morning routine was a little hectic today.

Let’s start with the stats:

I promised a picture every five pounds so I will update the post tonight with a picture.

Yes, I am shocked.  Pleasantly shocked, but still shocked (and excited so I celebrated by wearing a skirt I haven’t fit into since late 2009, when I was 135 pounds for about 5 weeks).  I am shocked because I was 144 on Monday.  My Monday weight was most likely due to the sodium from the hibachi on Saturday, but I normally don’t fluctuate so much within a few days.  I think what really helped me was cross-training and more consistent exercise, but it was still a week of ups and downs.

This is what went well:

  • Cross-training.  I struggled through a weight circuit, used the elliptical, raced the lady next to me on the rowing machine, went for a run, and tackled the scary Stairmaster at the gym.  My normal routine is basically running, running, and more running so I’m sure my body didn’t know what to think.
  • Food.  I had to buy my lunch at work this week and I got a salad both times!  I also re-discovered a meal Colleen taught me last year – adding protein powder to Oatmeal.  I was in too much of a hurry to make a shake and needed something fast.  It was fast, but also delicious and I was satisfied until lunchtime!

    Before I mixed it together

  • Water.  I didn’t drink 3 Camelbak bottles every day, but I did at least five of the days.

This is what I struggled with:

  • Food.  Yes, this was a success but also a struggle.  Yesterday, my grandma went into the hospital because her lung cancer has spread rapidly and she is having heart problems.  I needed something comforting and that something was Doritos with my salad (not on it though, that would be taking my Doritos love one step too far):

    Cheesy goodness.

  • Dessert.  I ate way too many sweets this past week (which is weird, because I normally don’t struggle with dessert).  We still have a lot of Girl Scout cookies, I had more than a few slices of a Papa Murphy’s cinnamon wheel, and we received a free cake sampler at Bellagala last night (but we only ate the carrot cake and we split it!)
  • Points/food tracking.  I only tracked a few days this past week.  I listed this as a challenge last week too.  This is important for me to establish a consistent routine; otherwise I will eat too little one day and way too much the next.  I don’t have a good excuse for why I’m not consistently tracking since I have an app on my phone that makes it really easy.  My plan is to put a daily reminder on my iPhone to get my points down.

I’m excited about dipping below 140, but concerned it is more a factor of stress from my grandma’s situation than my habits over this past week.  I feel this way for a two reasons: my measurements didn’t change much (even went up in some cases) and my body can do strange things when I’m under stress.  The good news is the challenges over the next week are much more manageable than the past two weeks, so I’m going to fight like crazy to continue my success for Week 4.  This is a preview of what this next week will bring:

  • The weather is unseasonably warm for MN so I expect to go on a lot of walks and runs!
  • Get Lucky 7k is on Saturday.  I am completely underprepared but it will still be fun
  • We are getting together with friends on Saturday night to celebrate
  • I am going to start my weekly BODYPUMP routine (and this time, I’ll check the schedule first!)

How are you enjoying the warm weather that seems to be sweeping the nation?  What is your go-to comfort food when you are stressed?

Maybe I should practice what I preach about cross-training

I haven’t been to the Y in over a month because I do most of my workouts at home.  But, I need more intense weight training for Tough Mudder than my 20-30 minute home circuit so I decided to start going to BODYPUMP weekly.  I checked the Y schedule that I hung up in my office at work (two months ago, as a way to motivate myself to take the classes), blocked off my calendar so I could get out of work by 4:30, and made it to my 6:00 BODYPUMP class.  This is what I found:

Yep, I was 30 minutes late because I had an old schedule.  Oops.  (also, to be completely honest, I found this picture online – but it happens to be the move they were doing when I peeked into the gym!).  I guess I should have checked to make sure my motivation schedule was accurate.

I took it as a perfect opportunity to cross-train, which is something I always say is important but never actually do.  I started running four years ago and my use of other cardio has been rare.  Last night, I started my cross-training session with rowing 2200m.  Yes, I was secretly racing the lady next to me and she kicked. my. butt.

Next, I moved on to the elliptical.  I haven’t been on an elliptical machine for three years.  I am the first to admit that I am a treadmill snob.  I used the elliptical exclusively unit I got into running.  Then, Treadmill Anna felt bad for Elliptical Anna for wasting all those years on a sub-par cardio machine.  Aww, poor Elliptical Anna for thinking she was actually working out.  😦

The Africa course on the Life Fitness elliptical proved Treadmill Anna wrong yesterday (and I’m going to stop talking in third person now because it is borderline creepy).  It was like I was running hills for 20 straight minutes and, at the end, my  legs were a little wobbly.  I had an epiphany – maybe I didn’t get a good workout on the elliptical because I never pushed myself!  I’m so smart to discover that about 10 years into my exercise journey.

Next, I moved onto the stair master.  Not the kind where you walk on pretend stairs that are about 3 inches tall:

The scary kind that look like real stairs:

After 8 minutes on the Stairmaster, I was sweating like I had just run 5 miles.  I am a sweaty person, so that it A LOT.  Today, I swear my legs are smaller from cross-training.  I guess, rather than talk about the importance of cross-training, I should actually practice it more often 🙂

Today, we are going to look at a few more wedding venues and then heading out of town so I took the day off to get some stuff done.  That will include my first Tough Mudder workout.  I do these workouts for one minute each, with 15 seconds of rest between each (full descriptions can be found here):

  • Tough Mudder push-up… related obstacle: Boa Constrictor
  • The Fist and the Fury… related obstacle: Berlin Walls
  • Scissor Kick… related obstacle: Fire Walker
  • Bent Rows… related obstacle: Hold Your Wood
  • Dumbbell Side Lunge… related obstacle: Swamp Stomp
  • Push-Up + Row… related obstacle: Devil’s Beard
  • Lunge & Twist… related obstacle: Sweati Yeti
  • Shoulder Press… related obstacle: Cliffhanger
  • Decline Push-Up… related obstacle: Kiss of Mud
  • Quick Feet… related obstacle: The Bastard
  • Tough Chin-Up (I will have to skip these since we haven’t figured out where to put the pull-up bar since we painted)
  • Superman Plank… related obstacle: Greased Lightning
  • Drunk Superman Side Plank… related obstacle: Walk the Plank
  • Angelina Jolie… related obstacle: Ball Shrinker
  • The Tough Squat… related obstacle: Death March
Are you currently training for a race or other event?  What are your big plans for the weekend?

Weigh-In Wednesday, Week 2: FAIL.

Obviously I had a very exciting event happen last Thursday that was cause for a lot of celebration!  Unfortunately, it didn’t bode well for Weigh-In Wednesday.  I’ll accept it as a good excuse for this past week, but if I want to gain momentum I know it can’t be an excuse after this week.  Besides, now I have more motivation to move the butterfly (see right toolbar) – dress shopping!!!

What didn’t go well:

  • I didn’t track any points four of the days.  Even if I go over or have to use generic foods to estimate, I should track to maintain awareness of what is going into my body.  I am not at a point yet where I can abandon tracking, even if I feel like I know the healthiness of what I’m eating.
  • I ate a baggie of black licorice in one day!  My coworker found out I like black licorice and brought me in some that his wife ordered from Europe (you know, someplace where they have good black licorice).  It was so good that it was gone by the end of the day. 
At least I ate them one at a time and not by the fistful?
  • I had wine or beer Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday night.  I know there will be a lot of celebrating over the next month but I need to reign it in if I want to gain momentum.

What went well:

  • My measurements didn’t move, despite my one pound gain!
  • I incorporated weights into my workout on Sunday (thanks to Matt!).  I have been feeling it in my legs ever since.
  • I did 25 minutes of a great treadmill interval workout that Peanut Butter Fingers posted on her blog yesterday.  It kicked my butt!
  • I made a few food tradeoff decisions I wouldn’t have previously made.  I had a big salad for lunch on Thursday was balsamic vinaigrette in anticipation of going out to dinner that night to celebrate Matt’s new job (which turned out to be an engagement celebration!).  I had a protein shake for breakfast instead of pancakes.

Said no to these!

... and yes to this!

I know I will have my ups and downs throughout this process.  I didn’t expect it to happen the second week, but reflecting on what went well and didn’t go well will help me adjust my habits this next week.  My challenges this next week will be:

  • Fitting in workouts on top of looking at wedding venues and going out of town.
  • Cutting back on the celebration alcohol.
  • Making good choices when we are out of town this weekend.  We will be helping Matt’s dad move so I expect we will be eating out a lot.  Portion control, portion control, and more portion control!

Sunny wanted to have a body shot this week since Macy had one two weeks ago:

"I'm not fat, I'm just fluffy."

How do you manage through times when eating healthy isn’t convenient?  How do you balance alcohol into your diet?  I bet I sound like a complete lush asking that question!

Those last 15 pounds…

Happy Weigh-in Wednesday!  Ok, I know today is Thursday but that is so much catchier 🙂  Weigh-in Wednesday is my quest that I will share every Wednesday (after this week) to finally get rid of the last 10-15 pounds.

I know I don’t need to lose weight.  I wear a size 6 pants and small shirt so that alone tells me I don’t have a weight problem.  But, I’m also only 5’3” and I’m at the very top of the healthy weight range for my age and height (ok, maybe a few pounds over some days).  I’d feel more comfortable if I dropped the extra fluff and, more importantly, kept it off!  Besides, I do invest a lot of time into running so it’s a little frustrating that I still have the fluff hanging around.

I have tried, and failed, many (MANY!!!) times over the years to get rid of this weight.  This is why I think I’ve failed:

  • Food.  I would rather work out than have to worry about eating healthy, but I need to finally accept that 70% of it is diet (which is SO depressing! but also SO necessary to accept!).
  • Running.  This is all I do.  I probably ran over 1,000 miles last year and only lost two pounds.  This is what my friend Tony, who is a personal trainer and former Marine, had to say about that, “I am sure you already knew this but running is probably the least effective way to try to lose weight, especially when you are good at it. Your body is just like a car, when you keep running your body becomes more efficent to the repetitive nature of the exercise. That is why switching it up is so important…”  Apparently I didn’t already know that!
  • I don’t build it into my lifestyle.  When I train for a race, it consumes my life.  When I am done, I completely fall off the wagon because I am so burned out from training.  I do the same with food.  I am either very healthy or eating a whole sleeve of Do Si Dos.  I need more moderation.

Based on my self-analysis, I have put together this plan to help me reach 130 pounds within 16 weeks:

FOOD

  • I am going to follow Weight Watchers.  I chose Weight Watchers because it is realistic with my work travel schedule and it will help me learn about portion control, while still allowing for small indulgences.
  • I will eat 2 “clean” meals per day at least 5 times per week.  I think it’s important to eat natural foods whenever possible.  This should be relatively easy since Matt and I have been eating mostly “clean” dinners since the beginning of January.

WATER

I drink a lot of water as it is, but I’d like to make it a rule to have 3 Camelbak’s per day.  I own six of these water bottles and usually have one with me.  Best. waterbottle. ever.   It must be the chewy straw.

ACTIVITY

  • Diversify.  This should be easy to do since we are training for Tough Mudder and a sprint triathlon.   This will include strength training 2-3x per week, biking, swimming and running.
  • Focus on intensity.  I tend to get too comfortable in my workouts.  Working out with Matt helps a lot since he motivates me to work harder.
  • Incorporate morning workouts.  This will allow me to enjoy more evenings cooking dinner or taking care of errands so I won’t feel burned out at the end of this.

I welcome feedback, tips or suggestions!

Baseline measurements

  • Weight: 145 pounds
  • Waist: 32”
  • Hips: 38 ¾”
  • Bust: 34”
  • Arms: R – 11 3/8”, L – 11 ¼”
  • Thighs: R – 24 ½”, L – 23 ¾”
…and here I am!  (in case you’re wondering — yes, Matt thinks I’m a weirdo for wanting to broadcast this on the internet.  However, he has learned by now that I’m a “sharer” so he just goes with it.)

 Macy wanted to take a body shot too:

Have you achieved a weight loss or healthiness goal that was very important to you?  What approach did you take and what advice do you have for me?