Sunday, August 30, 2015

An Interesting Fitness Summer

Okay, so, this summer has been…we’ll say…interesting for me in the fitness department, to say the least.  At least when it comes to running.  Starting back in like March, shortly after I ran the Army Marathon, I found myself not wanting to hit the longer distances with my runs.  In March, April, and May I had an extremely difficult time hitting my 100 miles per month goal.  What was going on?  I was having the urge in the back of my mind to take a break.  But I still had races to run that I had registered for and paid my fees for.  I didn’t want to DNF (did not finish), let alone DNS (did not start).  Besides, sometimes when you ignore something long enough it actually DOES go away.  Well, this urge was apparently not one of those things.

In June, I sort of started my break by cutting back to just 2 runs a week.  Then, it dropped to just 1 run a week.  After I ran the Orange Leaf Half in mid-July, the break was full on.  I didn’t run at all for 3 weeks.  But I took that time to start working other forms of exercise into my weekly routine.  I started cycling 1-2 times a week, hitting the gym 2-3 times a week, doing a workout DVD once a week, walking, and doing kettlebell workouts.  After 3 weeks of that, I started adding running back in.  I mean, I did have a mid-November marathon to train for.  12 weeks to train wasn’t ideal, but it was better than not even trying.  It definitely wouldn’t get me a PR, but I had abandoned all time goals other than just finish (and have FUN!) for the remainder of 2015. 

So, after a 3 week break, I started running 3, 4, 6 miles a couple times a week.  I had a bunch of virtual race medals hanging out on my desk waiting for me to earn them, so I focused on achieving that at first.  Then I found out about a new trail that opened up in my area and I set my sights on running that!  And it was a fantastic run.  I never, ever worry about pace on a trail run, I just run it for the experience and the fun and the use of different stabilizing muscles.  Trail runs are more therapeutic than regular runs, in my opinion.

A few days after running that trail, I was doing my Tuesday morning walking that goes before and after the therapy appointment I have those mornings.  I was walking extra that day because I had signed up for a virtual 5k race for the National Park Service’s 99th birthday/anniversary and it was on that day, so I wanted to do it that day.  The only problem was I didn’t wake up in time to RUN the 5k, so I decided to make sure I at least walked it.  I ended up walking 4 miles total (but stopped at the 5k mark to take note of my time at that point so I could report that to the virtual race’s website) and when I was almost done with the 4 miles, I was walking on the sidewalk, down a hill and paying more attention to my surroundings and not so much about where my feet were going.  MISTAKE!  I ended up stepping of a curb that I didn’t realize was there and rolled my ankle.  It hurt so bad that I actually thought it was broken because I also couldn’t put any weight on it right after it happened.

I immediately found a place to sit down.  I felt around on my ankle to see if I could feel any bulges or protrusions (checking for broken bones or torn tendons/ligaments) and found nothing.  After a few minutes of sitting there, it felt alright to walk on.  I finished up the walk but was limping.  I worked as normally as I could that day.  The nurse gave me an ice pack and wrapped my ankle for me. 

Anyway, I’ve gone into detail about this injury HERE if you’re interested and haven’t read about it yet.

As many of you may know, I’m registered for the South Padre Island Marathon and it happens on November 14th.  If when I go for my follow up appointment with my doctor on September 10th and he takes me off of restricted duty at work and says I can start running (slowly and carefully and no trails, of course), that leaves me with just 2 months and 4 days to train.  For a M-A-R-A-T-H-O-N.  That is not even remotely ideal.  That’s half of the shortest training cycle recommended.  Just 8.5 weeks.  I have had a lot of anxiety about this.  How am I possibly going to train for a marathon in just 8 weeks??? 

After a lot of thought, I came up with a plan.  This plan is contingent on me not having to wear the boot after the 10th.  I will run and I will run slow.  I will build my long run each week up to as long as I can before race day.  If I start my long runs at 8 miles and then break the rule of 10% and add 2 miles to my long run each week, my long run the Saturday before the marathon will be 22 miles.  Or I can start my long run at 6 miles and have a final long run of 20 miles.  Either of these would work.  I have fully accepted that there will be walking in this marathon.  A lot of walking.  Good thing they will have 20 selfie stations for me to focus on!  I checked the time limit and it’s 7 hours.  Even with a lot of walking, I can totally finish in under 7 hours.  A 15:50 min/mi pace would have me finish at 6:55:00.  So, my goal for the race is to keep it at 15:00 min/mi or less overall average.  I’m going to run my training runs around 12:00 min/mi just to keep it easy and comfortable and as safe as possible for my ankle.

To continue the discussion on how this has been an interesting summer for me, I would like to talk about swimming!  I have adopted the idea of completing a triathlon next year as my 2016 fitness goal!  I’m looking at this stint in the boot as the perfect opportunity to start training for the swim portion of the triathlon.  My doctor said I could swim, so that’s what I’ve started doing.  I think it will help strengthen my ankle too, plus it’s 100% no impact and a full body workout and excellent cardio.  Other than running, swimming is the best exercise you can do, really.  I recently re-signed up with 24 Hour Fitness so I’ll be able to hit the pool after every gym workout!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Weekly Recap

Last Friday, the only thing I did after my trail run and my kettlebell AMRAP workout was walking and do the stairs in the parking garage at work.  So, nothing new to report in this post from last Friday.  So, we’ll just start from Saturday like I do when I’m posting these on the regular day.
Saturday: I had planned to do a short, 3 mile run in the morning after I got done working overtime on the night shift at 6am to help me stay awake long enough to get my oil changed at 8am, however I was so tired since I had gotten up at 6:15am Friday morning, I set my alarms and took an hour nap instead.  I had also planned to do the gym in the evening, but that didn’t happen either.  I just decided it would be a rest day.  FitBit notified me that I had won the Workweek Hustle...YAY!  To get my 10,000+ steps in this day, I did walk around my apartment complex and then up and down ALL THE STAIRS to all the buildings (14 total, so 28 sets of stairs for 54 floors of stairs), plus a couple extra floors of stairs to hit 75+ floors for the day and earn me the FitBit Ferris Wheel badge!

Sunday: went for my weekly bike ride.  I just decided that I loved last week’s super hilly 18-ish miles so much that I wanted to do them again, so that’s what I did!  Well, sort of…I did most of that route, but my foot was hurting really bad and time was running short (so much to do since I had plans with a friend to watch a movie at her place and then get all my stuff done before going in to work overtime on the night shift again), so I only rode 14.9 miles.  It was still a great ride, even if it was shorter than I had originally planned to ride.
Monday: no workout.  Worked overtime on the night shift Sunday night, so just sleeping and my garage walks this day.
Tuesday: A couple months ago, I found out about a virtual race for the National Park Foundation’s 99th birthday.  However, I missed the cutoff to register for it.  I got an email from the virtual race company putting the race on that said they had apparently opened registration back up and I could register for it.  So I did!  Anyway, the National Park Foundation’s birthday is today.  I signed up to run it as a 5K.  However…ugh…I hate to type “however” in these posts…however, I was exhausted and then had a hard time sleeping because my apartment complex replaced this light between my building and the next and now it’s practically daylight in the middle of the night the damn this is so bright.  So I didn’t get up in time to do it as a run.  Instead, I parked about 30 minutes early for my therapy appointment and walked it as a 5K, plus an extra .9 of a mile for a total of 4 miles walked.
As I was finishing up my walk, I was walking down this hill.  An SUV was pulling up to the curb and I was paying attention to that and not where I was walking.  Then a curb appeared out of nowhere and I stepped off it, but because I didn’t see it, I stepped ALL WRONG and rolled the hell out of my ankle.  It hurt so bad.  So I sat down and after a couple minutes it felt a little better so I finished up the last 1/3 of a mile of my walk and took some ibuprofen.
Wednesday: nothing.  Went to one of those private ERs and had x-rays done of my foot and ankle to make sure I didn’t break or tear anything.  The doc said it was just soft tissue inflammation…aka: sprained ankle.
Thursday: I wish I could say I worked out, but I didn’t.  I went to my regular doctor instead as a follow up to the ER visit.  He put me in a boot and on restricted duty at work for at least 2 weeks.  He did say I could swim and use the stationary bike…but I’m not so sure about the stationary bike. 
Friday: I hate being “broken.”  I did finally take advantage of that free initiation and 1 month free that 24 HR Fitness had offered me and signed up there!  I can’t cancel my Planet Fitness membership until September 18th or I’ll have to pay an early termination fee.  Boo!  So, one more month of dues to them.  But, now that I have a membership at 24 again, I can start swimming a few times a week (while I’m recouping from the sprain).  They also have a hand cycle I can use for cardio.  As far as strength training goes, in addition to a plethora of upper body and ab machines, they also have a TRX training area and I love TRX training!
And now, for week #2 with my Aria scale!!!   Going into this weigh in, I’d like to say that I was fairly afraid of what the scale would say since I’ve been on the “broken” list for half the week and took it kind of easy for most of the other half of the week.  But, here we go:
OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! Are you serious right now?  I lost 3.5 pounds this week?  And almost an entire % of body fat?  How is this possible?  I didn't exercise half the week (didn't hit my step goal the last 3 days either...not even close to it) and the other half of the week I just sort of half-assed my workouts (except for the bike ride, that was a good one).  I'm so beyond happy right now.  I was slightly afraid, yet prepared, to see zero lost when I stepped on the scale this morning.  I am shocked and super happy with this week's results!  Just 12.1 pounds to go until I hit my GOAL weight!!!
You’ll notice that I am posting the body fat % from the Aria scale and am no longer using the Omron.  Like I said last week, I won’t be using it anymore.  The number on the Aria readout is higher than the Omron was telling me, but honestly, I didn’t really believe the Omron.  I just liked what it told me…even though I knew it was most likely just lies.  Why is that?  Well, a couple years ago, I had the trainer at my gym calculate my body fat with calipers and she calculated 36%.  Now, take into consideration that I 1) weighed less than I do now, 2) had been working out just as consistently as I am now but for a longer period of time, and 3) was just generally fitter than I am at this moment (but I AM getting there again, don’t worry!).  Take all of that into consideration and then look at where I’m at right now and the number on the Aria doesn’t seem so farfetched anymore.  Which is why when I saw the 37.8% on the readout last week I wasn’t even remotely upset by it.  I just took it in stride and accepted it.  I’m in a much better place than I was a few weeks ago when I had that meltdown, that’s for sure.  
I’m mentally in a much better place since having that meltdown and then starting up this new way of eating.  My therapist even said that I’m handling this really well.  He said that because when he asked me about what am I going to do when (not if) it comes to a point where I’m feeling stressed about how I’m eating and how (at least for right now) I’m not allowing myself any cheat days or meals or treats and I start getting urges to binge or eat junk food, my response was that I am just going to keep myself aware that it WILL happen so that I will not be caught off guard when it happens.  I also said that when it happens, I’ll allow myself a cheat meal and then get back on track after that.  For instance, I can go get a stack of pancakes, no butter, with sugar free syrup, and maybe a couple slices of bacon as well.  Perfecto!
This was my 3rd week with eating 1300-ish calories per day.  I’d say I’m getting used to this and I am really liking it.  Last week and the week before, I had fish tacos for lunch every work day because they were cheap, easy, fast and convenient to make and I didn’t have much time for food prep for last week.  Needless to say, last Friday (even though they really were still delicious) I was so tired of eating them that I seriously had to choke them down. 
Last Saturday I went to Sam’s Club to buy a couple sides of salmon so that I could make salmon jerky for this week’s lunches.  However, apparently Sam’s Club doesn’t sell those sides of salmon anymore because they were nowhere to be found.  Ugh.  So, I had to go with plan B…which was…drumroll please…STEAK!  Yep, steak.  This had been my plan for lunches next week, so it just got moved up a week.  They had a 5-pack of bottom round steaks…4.75 lbs!  I used this seasoning recipe from the Fast Metabolism Diet for their broiled steak and asparagus wraps, wrapped them up in foil and broiled them for 23 minutes.  Then I cut them up and portioned them out evenly for 5 days.  At first I was a little skeptical that since the steaks were so big (about 15oz pre-broil and 13oz post-broil) that they would be too many calories and that I would have to portion it out into 6 or 7 or so different portions, but it came out just right when I changed up my dinner from a large apple to a salad of baby romaine with super low calorie yogurt dressing.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


If you follow my page on Facebook then you know on Tuesday when I was walking after my therapy appointment and before going into work I stepped wrong off a curb and rolled/twisted my ankle.  What happened was…I was walking down this hill and not really paying attention to where I was going and the all of a sudden a curb appeared and I stepped off it only I didn’t know I was stepping off a curb.  My foot rolled in and it hurt so bad that I was afraid I broke my foot or part of my ankle.  I found a place to sit down almost immediately and started doing a range of motion and palpitation of my foot and ankle.  After a couple minutes of sitting there the pain level had gone down enough that I could walk on it, albeit slowly, but I could walk on it.  So I finished my 4 mile walk and went and sat in my car.  I actually had an ice pack in my car to keep my protein shake cold while I was at my therapy appointment and out walking around, so I put that on my ankle, but it made it hurt worse (probably because like a dummy I put it straight on my skin and didn’t put a sock on first), so I stopped.  

When I got in to work, I talked to my supervisor to make sure I wasn’t in a stand up all day position and told him what happened.  A little after our shift started I went and got an ice pack from the nurse.  She offered to wrap it for me but I said it would be okay.  However, the ice pack was one of those that only stays cold for like an hour and my ankle still hurt so I went back to the nurse and asked if she didn’t mind wrapping it for me after all.  When I stuck my ace wrapped foot/ankle in my boot, it worked like a compression splint and felt much better, but I kept having to pull my foot out because the front half of my foot felt like it was trying to go to “sleep.”

When I got home I took some tramadol that I had left over from when I strained my calf last October to help me sleep.  I got up Wednesday morning and went to one of the private ERs in my area.  Unlike a hospital ER, I was back in an exam room less than 5 minutes after walking in the front door.  The nurse walked me to my room and immediately took my stats.  While she was doing that, the charge nurse came in and got an overview of what I was there for.  A minute after that, the doctor was in there going over things with me.  Then the nurse that walked me back to my room originally walked me to the x-ray room and took 3 x-rays of my foot/ankle, then walked me back to my room.  About 10 minutes later the doctor came in and said that nothing was broken or torn, just soft tissue inflammation.  He said that translated to a grade 1 sprain, maaaaaaybe a grade 2.  He basically said that I should be okay in like 10-14 days. 
So, of course, now that I CAN’T run for like 2 weeks, all I can think of is running.  Ha!  

Anyway, the doctor gave me a prescription for more tramadol and a gel brace.  However, the gel brace does not fit in my work boot, so I’m just wrapping my foot/ankle with the ace bandage the nurse at work gave me for work and then wearing the gel brace when I’m not at work.  The doctor also gave me a list of PT exercises to do to help my ankle heal faster.  So I’ll be doing those as religiously as I can, guaranteed! 

When they were checking me out, they gave me a disc with my x-ray images on it!  YAY!
And here’s my foot in my brace.
"A sprained ankle is an injury that occurs when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This can stretch or tear the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that help hold your ankle bones together. Ligaments help stabilize joints, preventing excessive movement. A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments are forced beyond their normal range of motion. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle." (from the Mayo Clinic website)

Today I went to my doctor to follow up with him after the ER visit yesterday.  I love my doctor, I seriously do, but the wait to get in to see him is ridiculous.  My appointment was at 12:45pm and I finally got taken back to an exam room around 2pm and then he came in the room about 15 minutes later.  He looked at my ankle and said I was going to need x-rays, to which I said I already had them, but I left the disc with the images on it at home.  He told me to bring that to my next visit and just took my word for it that the ER doc said it was just soft tissue inflammation and not a tear or that anything was broken.  He asked if the ER gave me a boot and I said that they had just given me one of those gel splints.  He then said that the gel splints were ridiculous and what I actually needed was a boot.  I said I didn’t want a boot, he asked why and I said “because they’re big.”  He dropped his head and took a breath and then said, “I’m going to keep my mouth shut.”  Haha.  I told you, I love my doctor, he has a great sense of humor and he gets me and my craziness…because he’s a little crazy (ADHD) too.

He explained why I needed the boot as opposed to any other brace option and I gave in.  So, another 10-ish minute wait for the vendor to bring the boot in for me and give me my instructions for it.  I did have to make a stop at Target for a pair of socks because I hadn’t worn any socks with my flats and wasn’t expecting him to put me in a boot and I knew my toes were going to get cold.  Since this is my right foot, I figured that I could just use the gas and break with my left foot.  I’ve done it on road trips before.  Yea…the gas with my left foot is no problem.  The brake?  I think I was trying to kill myself every time I hit the brake.  So I am just taking the boot off in order to drive.

At first, walking was super awkward with the boot on.  After a couple hours of walking around at work (not walking for hours non-stop, just walking short bits here and there over the course of a couple hours) I think I had gotten the hang of it and was actually walking faster with the boot on than I was without it.  See, I no longer had to focus on keeping my foot still when I was walking because the boot did that for me.

One last bit of humor here.  When I was leaving the doctor’s office, I went to get on the elevator (his office is on the 2nd floor), there was a sign that said “out of order” on it.  Seriously?  It worked when I got there, but I had to take the stairs down.  Took forever.  Haha.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Weekly Recap

Last week’s recap post was a day early because, like I said, I was working overtime on the night shift Friday night and wouldn’t be able to weigh myself in Saturday morning and get an accurate weigh in, so I did it on Friday morning instead.  I was running a little short on time when I was posting last week’s recap so I didn’t get to delve completely into my feelings about my weigh in.  For starters, I was absolutely terrified to step on the scale.  I started getting super nervous about stepping on the scale on like Wednesday!  I was dreading it.  I was so afraid that there wasn’t going to be a drop or that it was going to show I gained again.  This all despite the fact that I could tell by looking at myself in the mirror that I had definitely lost weight.  It was completely noticeable and obvious that I had.  But still, I was gun shy about stepping on the scale because of my history with losing and gaining and losing again and gaining again.  But, I did it and I was soooooo happy that I did.  I didn’t expect to have lost almost 5 lbs in just 6 days. 
Since I posted last Friday before I went to work and before I finished out the day, I’m going to cover last Friday with this week’s recap as well, even though I already posted my morning workout.  I’m also, obviously, posting this week’s recap a day early because I’m working overtime on the night shift tonight and won’t be able to weigh in accurately tomorrow morning.
Friday: this was “supposed” to have been a rest day, but apparently I’m all about exercising now and if I don’t exercise I’m not 100% happy that day.  So, I didn’t do a full-blown workout but instead did an AMRAP style workout of this 6 move kettlebell workout I found on the Runner’s World website.  I did 6 rounds in 32 minutes and burned a total of 131 calories per Sergio.  And, even though I posted this with last week’s recap, here’s the collage from that workout:
I’ve started doing a little “mini-workout” on my lunch breaks at work.  I get a 20 minute lunch break.  We have a parking garage that has 5 floors of stairs if you start at the bottom-bottom.  I’m going to try and explain what I mean by that.  the parking garage is on a hill.  So there are 2 sections of the garage that have their own entrance and consist of only one floor.  So, technically there are 6 floors, but the stairs only access 5 of them.  However, floors 2 and 3 are not connected to each other except by the stairs.  So, if I walk up the stairs and then wind my way down the parking area of the garage, I can’t access the 2nd floor.  So, this is what I do: I start at the bottom of the stairs and go all the way up to the very top, then I wind my way back down to the 3rd floor and then go up the stairs from there to the very top again.  Before last Friday, I wasn’t counting this as a workout, but I decided that I would start counting it as a workout because, well, it IS a workout!
Saturday: since I worked overtime on Friday night and then had to do things after work that kept me up until noon-ish, this day was all messed up for me.  I decided on Thursday, since I was itching to go for a run and then waiting for me in my mailbox when I got home from work that night was my Seeking the Golden Pearl virtual race medal so I now was itching to earn it, that I would run after work and before my 8am oil change appointment this day.  But, apparently my oil change is today, I found out when I arrived at the dealership.  Oops.  Anyway, the run went great.
Then I went to bed around noon and slept horribly.  I wanted to sleep for about 6 hours but was wide awake after just 3.  Ugh.  So, I got up around 3pm and wasn’t meeting my friend Heather for dinner at Jason’s Deli around 6pm.  Since I’ve been doing so absolutely fabulous (completely serious there) with this new way of eating, I didn’t want to mess with it, so I checked out their menu online and decided ahead of time what I wanted to get and got the Nutty Mixed Up salad with an extra chicken breast.  The salad was HUGE and I was within my calories and ate healthy.  After dinner, I went grocery shopping for apples, yogurt, frozen fruit, almond milk, and tilapia.  Then, I went to the gym and did upper body and core! 
Sunday: I had 24 miles cycling planned out for this day.  I decided I would just do 18 instead as I spent way longer at the Verizon store buying my new phone than I had planned for.  I did the same route I rode when I had the dentist appointment last month, but added a little bit to it so it ended up with 18.25.
In the evening, before I went to work overtime, I wanted to make sure I hit 10,000 steps for the day, so I walked around my apartment complex for an hour.  I had planned on just 30 minutes, but the steps were just adding up and I was getting excited that I might actually go ahead and hit my number, so I just kept walking.  Walked 2.6 miles in 57 minutes.  Definitely not speed walking, but I got it done.  I accidentally swiped the screen of my Surge so I don’t have a pic of my stats from the watch like I normally do.
Monday: I worked overtime Sunday night so there was no workout-workout done this day.  I did walk the parking garage on the night shift after midnight, after I got done working the night shift, and then again on my actual regular shift in the afternoon, and then AGAIN after my regular shift.  There would be pics of Sergio, but I either forgot to take them or was so muddled from being hot and sweaty in a polyester uniform that I didn’t take a pic of the correct screen on Sergio.  Wah wah.
Tuesday:  I decided to do a 4 mile run this day and set the alarms on my new phone (which are fun because I downloaded some sound effect tones for my alarm sounds) and was out of bed by 7:20am and out the door by 7:40 for my run.  I got my participant shirt for the South Padre Island marathon in the mail on Monday, so I wore that for my run this day to officially kick off my short marathon training cycle.  WOOT!  Anyway, the run went great, had a pace of 11:20 min/mi per Sergio.  I really like running with the surge because I can set it so I can monitor my heartrate while I’m running to know how much I’m exerting myself.  My heartrate hovered around 160 for the majority of the run.
I also walked before and after my therapy appointment.  I really enjoy these walks.
Wednesday: this was a REST DAY!!!  I actually took it as a rest day too!  What-what-what?!?!?!  However, to be honest, if I had realized I didn’t schedule a day this week to do one of my new tabata DVDs, I would have done that instead of resting.  But, I did get some chores done that I didn’t get done over the weekend, so that’s good.  My only thing I wanted to get done this day was get my 10,000 steps in.
Thursday: I went to the gym and did lower body and core this day.  It went pretty well.  I added to my lunges at the end of my workout.  Instead of just doing 2 sets of regular walking lunges, I did a set of walking lunges, a set of walking courtesy lunges, then repeated for a second set.  Since I got the Surge, I’ve been taking it slightly easier on the stair climber.  But only slightly.  The reason is because in order for the Surge to count my steps (sadly it doesn’t count the floors I climb up on it) I have to have the arm wearing it free to swing naturally with my steps, so I can’t hold onto the handles with both hands, which means I can’t go as fast.  I’m still getting a really good workout on it, so that’s what really matters. 
Friday: since I am working overtime on the night shift again tonight, I am again posting this recap a day early, so anything I do exercise wise after I post this today will be recapped with next week’s recap just like I did for last Friday.  This week I was planning to bump up to 2 runs in a week, however I ran on Saturday, so this was run day #3!  I wanted to go a little longer, so I went for 7 miles.  I also wanted to try out this trail they just opened up the first 6 miles of in southwest Austin…it starts in Zilker Park near Barton Springs Pool.  The run went great!  The trail was way more technical than I thought it would be and I came upon an obstacle of downed trees and large rocks that I couldn't get passed.  It didn't help that I took the wrong fork and that's how I ended up at the obstacle.  So, 4.5 miles of good trail running done!
After I got home from the trail run, I did my kettlebell AMRAP workout from last week again, but I added Turkish getups to the rounds for some extra ab work.

Before I get into this week’s weigh in, I want to talk about a non-scale victory (NSV) I had this week.  I went to the gym on Thursday morning and as I was taking my post-workout selfie.  Usually, I have to suck in my gut and position my hips and legs just-so so that I don’t look so lumpy and fluffy.  Well, Thursday, I didn’t have to suck anything in or do any kind of positioning!!!!  I looked great to myself just the way I was, standing naturally…and I was wearing a form fitting tank top and running capri tights.  So awesome.  A great confidence booster.
After last week’s weigh in, I was chatting on Facebook with my good friend Jennifer.  Her and I are both running the RNR San Antonio full marathon in December (so excited!!!).  While I have not yet started my marathon training, she already has.  She also has a FitBit Surge and she was talking about how she loved the FitBit Aria scale because they sync together so well and just make weekly weigh ins so much easier and all that jazz.  The scale retails for $125, but I found it on eBay brand new for $90.99 with free shipping!!!!  Needless to say, very excited to try it out!  So, what I did was weigh in on BOTH scales today so that I could find out how different the scales weigh me so I could get an accurate read on my weigh in, just .4 of a pound!
And now for this week’s weigh in stats:
I have to say, even though it's only a drop of 1 pound this week (I was hoping for 2-3), I'm still happy with my results.  I know I worked hard this week and I'm pretty sure there was some muscle gain.  My old scale is officially retired!  Also, I will be retiring the Omron.  Even though I didn't post a picture of it, the Aria scale read my body fat at 37.8%, which, really, based on past measurements when I was skinnier and more fit than I am now and was measured at 36% by someone that knew what she was doing, I'm inclined to go with what the Aria says my body fat % is...even though I'm not happy with the number.  Something to work on, right?
I’d like to recap my eating a little bit, but not go super in-depth with it.  I mostly want to talk about my first weekend on this new eating plan.  Saturday, I went for that 5K run at about 6:15am after working 16 hours, then I had a protein shake.  A couple hours later, I had 2 eggs (I would have had my usual 3 but I only had 2 left in the fridge until I went grocery shopping that evening).  Before I laid down for a nap, I had an apple.  For dinner, I met a friend for dinner at Jason’s Deli and went online to their menu beforehand and chose the Nutty Mixed Up salad and got an extra chicken breast.  It was so good and it was HUGE!  I was completely within my calories!  Then I went to the gym and had another protein shake afterward.
On Sunday, I slept in a little bit, got up, had my protein shake and 3 eggs.  Ran some errands, went for a bike ride, then had another protein shake.  Right after I got to work at 10pm I had a mixed greens salad with one packet of Wendy’s pomegranate dressing and a 7oz chicken breast.  A few hours later I had my 0% plain Greek yogurt with thawed frozen fruit.  Then a couple hours after that, I finished my night off with an apple! 
On Monday, I walked into work and there were 3 pizzas.  No thanks.  They looked great and like they would have tasted yummy, but 1) I didn’t actually want any and 2) it wouldn’t be worth it anyway.  Oh and the pizzas sat next to my work station for an hour or so until everyone had finally eaten them all.  So, kudos to me for self-control!
I have switched up my eating before and ate great for a few weeks and had no problems with being tempted or urges to binge.  So, the true test of this eating plan will be a month from now.  So, what I’ll do, when I do my first Saturday of the month recap where I take new measurements with the tape measure and new progress photos, I will also recap how I’m doing and feeling about the eating plan.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A New Way of Eating

Saturday before last, you may recall, and if you follow me on Facebook you saw it there as well, that I had a bit of a meltdown about my weight.  Last week and the week before I went up 1 lb and 1.2 lbs.  I did the math and determined that it was more fat gain than it was muscle gain and I flipped.  Straight flipped, I tell ya!  I posted in one of the weight loss groups I’m a member of on Facebook and this guy, he meant well, got all drill sergeanty on me and told me to stop making excuses and how dare I question whether I should keep going and so on.  In my already upset state, I took this in a way he did not mean and here is where the actual meltdown occurred.  I was crying hysterically and shaking.  I messaged the leader of the group and thank goodness she was able to message me back and talk to me.  She helped me calm down and helped me devise a new plan of action.
She had me do this “dent test” (for lack of a better term) where you push your thumb into the muscle along the front of your shin.  Then you feel to see if there’s a dent.  If there’s a dent, then you’re retaining excess water which also may mean that you are ingesting too much sodium.  Well, I had a dent.  I already use super minimal salt in my food, so I don’t think that’s somewhere I can change anything.  I think if anything, I’m just over-hydrating.  I did drink a LOT of water last week.  Also, on Saturday I was still fairly sore from my tabata workout and when you’re sore, you’re also retaining water.
Then, she went over what I’m eating with me and then told me what she eats on a daily basis.  She only eats about 1000 calories (that’s too low for me to eat on a regular basis, but it works fine for her).  I’ve been eating at least 1750 calories a day...more if I’ve exercised. 
Here’s the breakdown on what I decided to do with my daily food intake:
• breakfast: 1.5 cups unsweetened original almond milk + 1 scoop protein powder, 3 eggs w/sriracha & a little sea salt
• lunch: (last week & this week, anyway) 13 oz seasoned and broiled tilapia w/corn tortillas and mild salsa
• snack: 0% fat plain Greek yogurt w/1 cup frozen berries (thawed, of course)
• dinner: 1-2 apples, depending on how hungry I am (but this week I never ate more than 1)
Per the FitBit calorie counter, that’s approximately 1280-1350 calories.  Also, I will no longer be eating my exercise calories.  Those are now off limits.  At least while I’m in the losing weight stage.  Things will probably change once I get to my goal and then start maintaining. But I will worry about that when that time comes.
Well, here’s my recap of how I did this week:
Saturday and Sunday: basically cheat days as I already had plans with friends and food well before the weekend happened.
Monday: officially started my new food action plan.  I got up early and ran.  Was done running by 8am.  Chilled at my desk for about an hour, then made my protein shake and slowly sipped on that for about half an hour.  That kept me feeling satisfied until about 11 when my stomach started growling so I fed it my 3 eggs w/sriracha & sea salt.  The rest of the day went great.  I never really ever felt hungry, just felt like it was time to eat kind of mild feeling.  I did break my lunch into 2 parts because it was so big and that worked out great for me.  When I got home, I was a little hungry.  I ate my apple and was fine!
Tuesday: still feeling great on this new plan.  It’s after a few days before I really discover how it’s working for me, though.  I had my therapy appointment at 11 this day, so I had my 3 eggs right before I left the house for my appointment and put my protein shake in a small cooler-type lunch bag with an ice pack and drank that right before going in to work.  This day went fantastic with the food and not feeling overly hungry at any point during the day.
Wednesday: I still have loads of energy.  I wish I had tried this sooner.  Seriously.  I feel beyond great!  I’m still not overly hungry.  I had a little bit of grumbles in my tummy when I went to bed this night, but nothing bad.  I got done with my workout later in the morning than I meant to so I had my protein shake immediately post-workout and then took my shower and pretty much then immediately cooked and ate my eggs…then got ready for work.
Thursday: still feeling GREAT!  It is amazing how great I’m feeling!  I’m literally next to never hungry.  I love this!
Friday: I had to plan a little bit extra for this day as I worked a 16 hour double shift.  Basically, what I did to make it through 16 hours of work was take a bunch of apples with me to eat during the night shift.  I also did my best to delay the eating of my other meals during the day.  For starters, after my kettlebell workout, I had my eggs, but waited until I got to work to have my protein shake, which let me be hungry later when it came to it being time for my lunch and then later again for my yogurt and fruit and then I just ate apples on the night shift.  What happened was, I didn’t get hungry for my lunch (the fish tacos) until after 8pm.  Then I wasn’t able to eat the whole thing but didn’t finish it until 11pm.  I didn’t eat any of the extra apples I had allotted myself to eat and therefore took them off my MyFitnessPal food log.
Saturday: yesterday was my first weekend day on this new plan.  I had also been awake for well over 24 hours.  I started my daily food intake over at 3am, meaning anything I ate after 3am was no longer Friday's food but was now Saturday's food.  I didn't eat anything from 3-6am while I was finishing up working overtime.  I didn't take anything in until after a 5K run I did when I got home from work.  I had my protein shake.  A few hours later, I had 2 eggs (because I only had 2 left in the fridge).  A couple hours later, I had an apple, then I laid down for what was SUPPOSED to be a 6 hour sleep but ended up being a 3 hour nap when I woke up wide awake.  I was meeting a friend for dinner so I scoped out the menu at Jason's Deli ahead of time and decided I would get the Nutty Mixed Up Salad with an extra chicken breast.  Dude, that thing was HUGE.  I also stayed completely within my calories for the day and didn't even remotely touch my exercise calories.  GOAL MET!  And I felt great!
I’m going to continue eating like this.  It works for me.  So I see no reason NOT to continue with it.  I feel satisfied at all times, never wanting, no urges to binge or boredom eat.  But, I’ve had eating plans before that started off the same way with how I was feeling and then after a month or so I was falling off the wagon.  So, I’m not going to get cocky about it.  I’m just going to take it one week, one day at a time and keep reevaluating how I’m feeling and make any adjustments as necessary and hope I can keep this up long term and make it an actual lifestyle.
I lost almost 5 lbs this week eating like this.  I am pretty sure I won’t lose that much next week, but I’m confident that I will lose something next week and that’s all that matters: that my weight is trending in the direction I want it to.
Also, a note on that “dent test” and water retention.  I had noticed the last few weeks that my calves were puffy and kind of swollen looking.  However, now they’re smooth and nicely tapered like they should be.  So, yea, I was definitely retaining water.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Weekly Recap

I’m posting this a day early as I’m working overtime tonight on the night shift, then I have a bunch of stuff to do in the morning so I won’t be going to bed until about noon tomorrow.  Eeek!  So, I’m weighing in and posting my recap today.  After my meltdown on Saturday, I got it together and devised a new plan of attack in hopes of seeing some DOWNWARD movement on the scale this time. 

Saturday: I was super upset, so I hit the gym as hard as I could.  I started breaking my gym sessions into upper body/core and lower body/core.  I didn’t have time to do all the exercises I had written down for myself to do as I spent too much time having a meltdown.  But I did get about 2/3 of them done and I had a pretty good sweat going and I did get a decent calorie burn, so we’ll call it a win.

Sunday: cycling day!  I had originally planned on 24 miles.  Then I couldn’t sleep Saturday night and when I woke up changed it to 18-20 miles, depending on time.  I had plans to hang out with Amanda at noon to watch the Minions movie (highly recommend, by the way…super duper cute!), so I needed to be done by 11am.  I get all ready and I’m wheeling my bike toward the front door and I’m all like, why is my back wet?  So I take my hydration pack off and the whole bottom is wet.  I go into the kitchen and take the bladder out and wipe it off with paper towels and discover that the drinking tube was cracked and that was what was leaking.  Great.  There went my 20 mile bike ride.  I drove to Walmart and bought a new hydration pack and then hit the road.  I had about an hour and 15 minutes to do my ride.  I figured I’d just ride out until the timer on my heart rate monitor said about 38 minutes, then turn around and go back home.  I got 12.4 miles in and was done and walking in my front door at 10:56.  Boom.  It was a good ride, but, as I’m sure you know, it was way shorter than I wanted.  But, I’ll make up for it this Sunday when I [hopefully] ride 24 miles.

Monday: I still had 1 virtual race medal hanging out on my desk, waiting for me to earn it.  This one was for a 10K and I had to do it as a 10K because it says “10K” on the medal.  Anyway, Sunday night I set my alarms for 6:05 and 6:08.  I was out of bed by 6:15 and getting ready.  Like before last Monday’s run, I was really excited about running and didn’t sleep all that well.  I had laid out my running outfit Sunday night, so all I had to do was brush my teeth, put my clothes on, braid a ponytail and out the door I went.  This was my first run with my new hydration pack.  I like it way better than the one I had.  It just sits better and doesn’t rub.  Also, the strap that clicks together across my chest has better placement.  My other one, in order to keep it from bouncing around and annoying the crap out of me, I had to tighten the shoulder straps way down and then the chest strap buckled under my boobs and I just plain didn’t like that.  this one buckles across my chest and is super comfortable.  The only issue I had with it was that it didn’t have a little tension hook thingie to click the tube mouth piece into, so the tube was just hanging straight down and flopping around (this was Sunday when I was cycling, but when I got home from cycling…), I dug the old one out of the trash and looked at the hook thingie on that one and sure enough, it could come off, so I took it off and put it on the new one and voila I’m now 100% happy with my new hydration pack!

Anyway, I went for my 10K run and it went fantastic!  I didn’t have to stop even once!  Not even for 10 seconds!  I the one traffic light I had to go through changed in my favor and stayed green long enough for me to cross the road and all my other road crossings were traffic free and at all the stop signs I went through, everyone was nice and waited for me and didn’t try to run me over!  I was so very happy that I did the whole 10K without stopping to rest!  This was also my second run in my new Hokas.  I’m still in love.  In fact, while running this day, I was thinking how was I ever going to be motivated to rotate with my Mizunos that are nowhere near top mileage and still have loads of life left in them?  Haha.  I’ll deal with it, that’s how! 

My Polar M400 activity tracker kinda crapped out on me.  It actually started on Saturday.  I went to charge it so it would be fully charged for my bike ride Sunday morning, but I plugged it in, it said “charging” for like a second then bleeped at me and said it was at 100% battery.  I forgot to charge it Sunday, so I plugged it in Monday after my run.  Nothing.  Like it made no acknowledgement that I had plugged it in…to the charger or to my computer.  Great.  I had a couple options.  1) call Polar and mail it to them for warranty repair, but be completely without a daily activity tracker for about 3 weeks, maybe more.  2) go to the store, buy a new Polar, put mine in the box and then return it and say it wouldn’t charge or sync when I plugged it in.  And then there’s option 3) go buy a FitBit Surge.  I don’t remember if I ever posted this previously, but when my original Polar did this exact same thing and then like a month later I discovered the Surge’s existence, I decided that if the replacement ended up crapping out on me, I was going to buy the Surge.  So, I went and bought the Surge.  And it was fully charged in time for me to actually wear it to work this day!  YAY!  So, watch for a product review (unsponsored, of course) on the FitBit Surge after I’ve been using it for a couple weeks.  FYI: I named my Surge Sergio.  So if I talk about Sergio in my workout recaps, that’s who/what I’m talking about.

Tuesday: I took this as a REST DAY!!!  I had my appointment with my therapist this day, so there was walking around town done post-appointment.  Speaking of walking pre- and post-appointment, I did a little extra today.  I parked in the parking garage at work and still had about 30 minutes until my appointment.  I didn’t feel like just sitting in my car, so I started walking.  I ended up walking about 1.15 miles and got to my appointment with 5 minutes to spare.  After my appointment, I did my usual walk to Einstein Bros for a fountain drink (just got tea this time…and omg their tea is delicious).  While I turned the GPS on, I forgot to start it recording, so I missed out recording about ¼ of a mile of my post-appointment walk.  Booo!  But, when I left Einstein’s I did turn it on.  After that, I logged 1.11 miles of walking.  I think I will be doing this EVERY Tuesday before and after my appointments!  So, a nice active rest day this day!  Sergio logged exactly 6300 steps by the time I returned to my car post-appointment.  Nice!

Monday night was the first time I’ve slept with the FitBit Surge on (obviously), so I checked my sleep stats when I got up Tuesday morning.  I really like the way it tracks sleep.  It’s way more in depth than the Polar was.  The Polar would just show that I was laying down or that I was up (like when I woke up to go to the bathroom, which I do at least once a night).  Sergio tells me at what points during the night I was having restless sleep!  I toss and turn a lot during the night, apparently.  No wonder I sometimes wake up still tired.

Also, I hit 10,000 steps this day around 8:30pm and my wrist was all vibrating and stuff and I was like why is Sergio vibrating?  I looked and he was all lit up and said “10,000!!”  Haha, nice.

Wednesday: my first workout with Sergio!!!  I was really excited to see how it tracked my workout.  I went to the gym and did my lower body and core session.  It went really well!  Sergio calculated my calories differently than the Polar did and said I burned less.  But you know what?  I’m perfectly okay with that because 1) it’s probably more accurate anyway and 2) I have decided I won’t be eating my exercise calories anymore, so it’s basically a moot point what my calorie burn is.  When I went to get on the stair climber, I was a little disappointed to not see a “stair climber” selection on Sergio’s exercise options.  I could have sworn that when my friend Neetu showed me her Surge earlier this year that hers had that option.  So I just used the generic “workout” option.  Because my arm was bent while using the stair climber, it would read my pulse lower than I know it was or it would either lose signal on my heartrate or otherwise couldn’t read it.  When I got home, I logged into my FitBit profile and figured out how to add different exercises to Sergio’s exercise options, so I now have “stair climber,” “bike” and “walk” in the list of exercise options I can choose!  YAY!  Also, on my 20 minute break at work, I walked up and down, around and around the parking garage.  Got in 2000 more steps toward my goal of 10,000!

Thursday: two of the tabata DVDs I ordered last week arrived earlier this week, so OF COURSE I had to give one of them a test run!  I chose the 3rd installment of the one I already had, so that’s called Breathless Body 3.  #2 should arrive sometime later next week, so I’m excited about that one.  I really, really liked this tabata workout.  Also, I think I’m just plain in love with tabata training!  This one structured the intervals differently.  Instead of 20 seconds of working out at full blast and a 10 second recovery for 8 “reps” of the exercise, this one did 4 reps of 40 seconds of the exercise and a 20 second recovery.  There was still 8 exercises and then an ab routine at the end for the cooldown, which I skipped because I seriously need to clean my floor and didn’t want to be laying on it right now.  Next time, though, for sure.  I walked on my lunch break at work again and hit 10,000 steps shortly after going back to work from my break!  Woohoo!

Friday (today): my second REST DAY of the week, but it seems I’m all about working out now because I did NOT rest.  I did this kettlebell workout I found on the Runner’s World website the other day.  The only problem is that I ONLY have a 12 lb kettlebell so it was basically go big or go home…hahaha!  All I did otherwise today was pay bills (hooray payday) and sleep in a little in anticipation of staying up until NOON tomorrow, but not too much because I’m also apparently all about waking up “early.” (early = before 9am)  Ugh.  I see at least one 5 hour energy in my future…haha. 


Here is this week’s scale and Omron stats:

How do I feel about this?  I feel effing AMAZING!!!  4.8 lbs gone in less than a week!  I know it was what I was eating because my exercise has been on point.  I want to send a million thanks out to my friend Stacy for helping me reevaluate my eating and then helping me restructure it.  I have so much more energy than before.  What I was eating was literally weighing me down in more ways than just on the scale.  I was so lethargic and cranky and now I'm bouncy and happy!

This week I tried a new-to-me eating plan.  It’s still one I came up with practically/mostly on my own.  I did have some help from my friend Stacy with ideas of what would be good to do as far as structuring my meals and how to deal with my calorie intake.  I will post tomorrow or Sunday about all that, though, in a post all its own…because, believe me, it needs its own post!

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