Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Random Musings & Thoughts

This past week I have either been plagued with fatigue or have been fully rested because I was able to say no and let myself sleep in.  As a result of some of the good sleep nights I had some dreams that I remembered.  The best one was this dream I had right before waking up.  I dreamt that I ran the Boston marathon while wearing a powder blue bridesmaid dress.  I didn’t see my shoes, but I certainly hope they were yellow so that I’d be in the Boston colors!  As part of this dream, since I’m a blogger, I was being interviewed for a feature by some journalist (no idea with what agency/company/magazine/whatever) and that for some reason the interview was right before the race started and I was running late.  Then I discovered that I had forgotten my headphones at home and my mom magically appeared after having bought the exact headphones I wanted.

I know I had another dream that I remembered, but now…I cannot recall it.  Wah wah.

My runs this past week were decent.  Nothing exciting or that stands out.  Mostly, I guess I’m just logging miles and heat training.  Heat training builds resilience.  And resilience means that I’ll be a stronger runner and when the temps get cooler, I’ll run even faster!  Especially since I’ve been doing actual speed work!  In the heat!  I’ve also been running on the treadmill and, dare I say, I’m kind of starting to like it!  I took one of my most favorite runfies of myself this past week!

I had my first experience with a thing called “zoatmeal” last week.  You put shredded zucchini in your oatmeal.  As weird as that sounds, it’s really not.  I mean, think about zucchini bread.  It’s basically the same thing, except viscous.  And then you put fruit or nuts or brown sugar or whatever you normally put in your oatmeal in it and enjoy!  I'm also doing this rice, soy sauce, egg, bacon and cheese bake for breakfast this week.

I’m doing the Austin Runners Club’s Distance Challenge this year.  I’ve been waiting for the last 2 races that I haven’t yet registered for to post their dates and open up registration.  Well, the Run for the Water did so earlier this month and then I decided to check and see if the Rogue 30K had at least posted its event date, only to discover that the entire event has been canceled.  That’s really sad.  I wanted to redeem myself on that course after this year’s issues.  Both my own and the fact that the lead cyclists turned when they were supposed to go straight and it ended up adding an extra ½ mile to the course.  But, it also means that there is only 5 races in the distance challenge this season.  So, I supposed that’s a win…one less race that I HAVE to do.  

This past weekend, I went to my friend Amanda's house and she worked on scrapbooking stuff and I worked on a commissioned sewing project.  Before we started our crafting, we went to lunch at Macaroni Grill.  I got the Farmhouse Flatbread Pizza and a Bibb & Bleu salad.  Both were amazing!

I started thinking about how close I am to reaching my first goal of getting down to 160 pounds.  Then I started freaking out a little bit.  I’ve gotten close to my goal weight before, but I don’t know, it was different than this time.  This time I’m pretty sure I will succeed as I have the new medication that is helping me immensely in controlling my eating habits and my sleep habits.  So I’m eating less food and exercising more.  I’m freaking out about hitting my goal because 1) it actually feels real and tangible this time and 2) I’ve NEVER made it to the maintenance phase before.  It’s uncharted territory.  I don’t really know what to do.  So, you’ll get to embark on a whole new adventure with me!  Won’t that be exciting?

Also, even though I’ll be in the maintenance phase, I still have further goals that I want to achieve.  I want to ultimately get down to below 25% body fat, which probably means I’ll be closer to 150.  But, once I’ve hit 160, I plan to start hitting the weights heavier and building more muscle.  I plan to go back to my powerlifting ways.  Heavy weight with fewer reps.  Might even go back to super setting.  I really enjoyed that.

Had a really nice non-scale victory this past week.  A few weeks ago, I ordered some new workout tanks from The Fitness Tee Co.  I love their tanks.  So cute.  Anyway, they arrived on Saturday, so I wore one to the gym that night.  I cut the tag out, threw it away and then put it on and it felt off.  I went to the trash and pulled out the tag.  Small.  What?  So, while the tanks are about an inch shorter than I would prefer them to be, I FIT IN A SMALL!!!  That’s just crazy.  Also, my new, smaller work uniforms are starting to get a little loose.  I should probably take my measurements this Saturday when I do my weigh in.  I am quite curious right now.

Speaking of the gym, I started wearing some full length leggings to the gym and realized I am a “gym bunny.”  Like the lunk girls in the Planet Fitness commercials.  Except I don’t have that vacuous personality.  If someone came up to me to ask for advice or whatever, I’d totally tell them what I know or help them figure it out if I had no clue.  Anyway, yea, so LOOKS wise, I’m a total gym bunny and I like that. 

Stole a hairdo idea from a coworker and I really like it.  I French braided the top center of my hair and then did my normal braided ponytail into a bun.  I have to say, when I just had the French braid on top done and the ponytail in the back (before braiding that too), I felt like the lead female character from the History Channel’s Vikings show.  
I decided this past weekend while at my friend’s house that I want to do my journal like a scrapbook (aka: scrap journaling)!  I think this will make it infinitely more fun and interactive for me.  Also, it’s a great way for me to use all these pictures I take so they’re not just sitting in my phone and I’m not doing anything with them.  In fact, at the gym the other morning, I couldn’t get my tablet to load the sign in on Netflix, so I watched scrap journaling videos instead!

After yesterday’s run, I headed over to Hancock Fabrics (which is going out of business, so everything is on super sale) and snagged some skin colored fabric that I need for my mermaid costume, some blue with white stars fabric that I’ll use for my Wonder Woman pixie costume, some metal bobbins, a 4-pack of scissors and bobbin winders for me and a friend.  I got their LAST 2 bobbin winders!  They were on sale from $35 down to $14!  Woohoo!

I read this one blog and at the end of each month, she posts her favorite food that she ate, favorite run she did and her favorite blog post she posted that she’d like to repeat from that month.  I really like this idea, so I’d like to add it to these posts.  So, without further adieu, here are my favorite foods and favorite workouts from this past week:

favorite food(s): the Farmhouse Flatbread Pizza from Macaroni Grill and the chicken parmesan casserole with the Miracle Noodles.

favorite workouts: Saturday when I was going to run 3 miles on the treadmill but decided I wanted to run more and ran 6 instead. 

Other random stuff from this week...I ordered a clip on LED light that clips onto the bill of a hat or visor and I will be using this for night time runs.  It was only $3 off this app called Wish.  I wasn't expecting much, but it turns out that it's super bright.  I haven't taken it on a test run yet, so I'm not sure it will stay on the bill of my hat super well, so we'll find out.
Something else I ordered and received in the mail this week were these super cute Chinese-style slipper shoes that I absolutely love!
When I went grocery shopping over the weekend at Sprouts, they had a shopping bag that I simply could not resist and had to buy.
While on one of my lunch break walks, I saw a bunch of baby raccoons on the roof of the empty house next to my work's parking garage.
Wore this dress when I went to Amanda's this weekend and thought I was looking especially slim and cute in it.
Other food related this this week are what were supposed to be homemade beef fajitas, but ended up being more like overstuffed soft tacos.  I used pre-cut for stirfry bottom round beef, onions cut into rings, regular low sodium canned black beans mashed with a fork, and then mixed 0% plain Greek yogurt mixed with half a small avocado for guacamole.  They were really good!
And my lunches this week are chicken parmesan casserole served over Miracle Noodles shiratake noodles.  Super yummy!
And I'll end this post with a cute picture of some furry bed bugs.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Week in Review

Saturday: worked overtime on the night shift Friday night, so I was asleep until 12:30pm as I got off work at 6am.  Went to the Chinese buffet with a couple friends, then went to Kohl’s and bought 2 new SMALLER bras (I’m loving the fact that my boobs are fading away…maybe that makes me a weirdo, but I don’t care).  Then I came back home, chilled for a little bit, then got dressed and headed to the gym.  I did the treadmill hills workout, skipped the elliptical because I was already at 10K steps for the day.  For strength, I did decline bench press, fulcrum rows with a 45# plate (+ the bar), then deadlifts and walking lunges.  I finished it off with a 2000m row.  Didn’t go fast as my abs are still fairly sore from the workout I did on Thursday and my back kept cramping.  Overall, great workout!
Sunday: I woke up stupid early for no reason that I could figure out.  I was super tired when I went to bed Saturday night at about 10:30 and then awake by 3am.  So, I did laundry and started my food prep for the week.  But, because I was awake so early, that meant I could start my run early!  So, I was out the door by 6:30 for 10 miles.  I did the route that I started to do last week when I ended up doing 13.1 miles, except I didn’t do the extra miles, of course. 

Monday: I’m working overtime on the night shift this night.  I went to the gym and did the 30 minute treadmill hills workout.  Then I hit the weights!  I did TRX tricep extensions and TRX chest press & superman combos, then I did leg extension & curls and the leg press machine.  I wasn’t able to finish with my now standard 2000m row because I had run out of time.
Tuesday: as mentioned in Monday’s excerpt, I worked overtime on the night shift Monday night, so no run or workout on this day.  All I did was make sure to get my 10K steps.

Wednesday: gym day!  I started off with a 65 minute run on the treadmill for 6 miles.  Then I went to strength training.  I did push press and then squats, since I was at the squat rack anyway.  Then I moved over to the dumbbells and did front & side arm raises and finished it all off with side lunges.
Thursday: logged a 4 mile easy run.  Nothing special about this one…just ran easy and didn’t concern myself with pace. 

Friday: worked overtime on the night shift Thursday night, so nothing beyond my 10K steps for the day.


Last week, I only lost 1 pound, BUT I lost .7% of body fat.  That’s awesome.  My goal this week was to lose at least another pound, more preferably, of course.  But at least 1 pound.  I also wanted to keep up with the fat % loss.  So, I did my best to really watch my calorie intake this week and switched up my breakfasts and tried my best to add more protein to my diet.  For breakfasts this week, I had a thing called zoatmeal.  You put shredded zucchini in your oatmeal and it’s sort of like viscous zucchini bread.  This is apparently quite popular with bodybuilders who don’t eat a LOT of veggies, so this is a way they can get more veggies in their diet.  You can add fruit (fresh and/or dried), brown sugar (I use a sweetener/brown sugar blend to save calories), chia seeds, cocoa, or whatever you like in your oatmeal.  I put a whole small shredded zucchini in my oatmeal each day.  There was more zucchini than oatmeal.  Ha.  I also sautéed some chopped apples in coconut oil and then coated them with cinnamon.  I used about ¾ cup of the apples, ½ cup cashew milk, and 1 tbsp of the brown sugar/sweetener blend to my zoatmeal each day.

I did some food prepping on Sunday.  I made a Mexican casserole that each yielded 10 servings, so that’s 2 weeks’ worth of lunches!  Today I plan to cook another casserole that will also yield 10 servings.  That will save me so much money over the next month!  For snacks this week, I did something called “cookie dough yogurt.”  It’s a 21-day Fix-approved recipe.  It’s 1 container of plain Greek yogurt (I use the 0% fat), 1 tbsp PB, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp choco chips and a pinch of sea salt.  This was a great way for me to add more protein to my diet this week.  Then, my dinners were the Sargento Balanced Breaks again (cheese, nuts and dried fruit).

Last week I took and posted a picture of my mid-section (abs).  I’ll use this as a base and hopefully in a few weeks, I’ll see a drastic difference and I will post an updated picture and do a “before & during” progress photo of my abs.

I’ve lost enough weight that my bras are now super big on me.  I have officially gone from a D to a C!  That makes me very happy because I hate being large breasted.  To me, the smaller my top side, the better.  They have never bothered me at all when I run, I just don’t like them to be big.  Not really sure how to explain the why, so I won’t even try.  Most ladies with larger breasts will understand…I know some really like their large breasts.  Everyone is different and that is what makes us all awesome!

Anyway, let’s move on to what I’m sure you’re all waiting for…my weigh ins!
I was up the first part of this week, which is par for the course.  I did debate about whether or not to delete my initial weigh in from Monday where the first one showed me at 170.1 (but decided that for full disclosure, I should leave it), but then I have a movement (sorry, but it’s true) and reweighed myself and I was at 168.1.  Up 2-ish pounds is better than 4-ish any day in my book.  If I said that I’m not even a little, tiny bit disappointed that yesterday I was at 163 and today I’m at 164.3, I’d be lying.  But, I’m still down 2.1 pounds this week and that is awesome!  I’m down a total of 22.2 pounds and 4.8% body fat since May 1st…that’s just 7 weeks!  Something I was really excited about this week was my body fat…I’m at 30.7%!  I’d like to set down my new overall goal.  Body weight aside, I want to get down to 22-24% body fat.  That in mind, I looked up some infographics for what different body fat percentages look like on women.  I have a feeling that when I hit my body fat % goal that I will be below 160 pounds.  And that’s fine.  I’ve already said I do not want to go below 150 because I think that would be too difficult to maintain and this journey is about getting to maintenance phase.  It’s fine to struggle on my way there, but I don’t want to struggle greatly once I’ve gotten to goal.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mid-Week Update

I don’t know if I’ll do this every week, but I realized that my commentary that goes along with my weekly recaps that I post on Saturdays are getting quite long and involved and maybe I should make them a separate post and just do a workout and weigh in recap on Saturdays?  What do you think?  Yea, I thought it was a good idea too.  Haha.
First up for this mid-week recap will be what I’m eating this week!  So, we’ll start with Sunday and then, since I eat the same thing Monday thru Friday (although I do change from one week to the next for the most part, sometimes I make a double batch of one of the things I’m eating and will eat it for 2 weeks in a row).
So, Sunday, after my run, I met up with a friend at my absolutely favorite BBQ place in the entire world: Terry Black’s on Barton Springs Rd in Austin, TX.  I got ½ pound of the moist brisket and a pint of BBQ beans.  After I ate the brisket, I dipped it in their signature sweet BBQ sauce, I was stuffed!  So I put a lid on the beans and took them home with me.  A few hours after I got home, I ate a slice of the cherry pie I had left over from a spread we did at work last week for a couple of coworkers moving on to greener-for-them pastures.  Then, at 6 (because I try to not eat after 6pm), I ate the pint of beans and was D-O-N-E for the day with food.  I had only eaten 2057 calories for the day and still had almost 1500 left that I “could have” eaten, thanks to my run that morning.
Monday thru Friday this week, for breakfast, I’m eating zoatmeal!  If you have not heard of this craze that is apparently quite popular with bodybuilders (because they don’t normally get a lot of veggies in their diet…hello…protein, protein, protein!), let me tell you all about it!  You shred a zucchini and put it in your oatmeal.  It’s not as weird as it sounds, I swear!  Have you ever had zucchini bread?  Well, it’s kinda like that only less solid and more, well, porridge-y.  So, there are like 100 ways you can do zoatmeal.  Since this was my first time making it, I went with the most basic recipe I could find.  So here it is:

½ cup old fashioned oats
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 medium banana, sliced
½ cup fruit (I added chopped apples sautéed in coconut oil)
Cinnamon to taste
1 packet sweetener (optional)
1 cup cashew milk (or other nut milk or just water)
Cook on stove top for about 5-7 minutes and voila!  Zoatmeal!  This stuff is ridiculously delicious and I don’t ever want to eat anything else for breakfast again!
For my lunches, I made my healthier version of my family’s “enchilada” recipe, but because the only thing this recipe has in common with actual enchiladas is that there are cheese filled tortillas, I have changed to calling it a “Mexican casserole.”  I use Santa Fe Tortilla Company whole wheat & flax 8 inch tortillas, Laughing Cow Queso Fresco wedges (for inside the tortillas), Kraft 2% Mexican blend shredded cheese (also for inside the tortillas and to top the finished dish), then I use lean ground turkey instead of beef, low sodium kidney beans (that are also well rinsed) and then you sprinkle the remaining cheese and a small can of sliced olives on top.  Yea, see, I told you not actual enchiladas.  So, basically, it’s enchiladas topped with meat & bean chili.  There are also onions, tomato sauce (I use the no salt added variety), and chili powder.  I’ll be eating this for lunch next week as well because this recipe makes 10 decent sized servings at 400 calories each. 
For my snacks, I’m eating “cookie dough” yogurt.  You take one 5.3 oz container of plain Greek yogurt (I do 0%), 1 tbsp peanut butter (I’m highly partial to Maranatha no stir organic creamy PB), 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1 tbsp of chocolate chips (I’m using the 62% cacao bittersweet chips).  It’s decent and resembles cookie dough, but not anywhere near as thick.  I probably won’t eat this again any time soon after this week is over, though.
And then I eat the Sargento Balanced Breaks for my dinners.  They're quick, easy, and portion controlled.

I worked overtime Monday night and was hoping to not eat anything after the night shift started.  But, I took my apple cinnamon rice cakes and some sugar free candies with me just in case.  I ended up eating them.  I did put them in my diary on MyFitnessPal before the shift started so I wouldn’t forget to put them on there in the morning when I got off work.  I figured I could just take them off if I didn’t eat them and if I forgot to take them off if I didn’t eat them, it wouldn’t hurt anything to leave them there as I had more than enough in my “calorie bank” thanks to my AM workout. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

CEP Dynamic+ Run Low Cut Socks Review

I have recently partnered with Delivered Care Medical to review some products that they offer.  So far, I have tested out one item, the CEP dynamic+ low cut run socks.  I picked which socks I wanted based on their color and didn’t realize I had picked one of the men’s socks.  My contact at Delivered Care Medical did inform me of this before placing my order.  I was slightly worried that they wouldn’t be able to do their thing and work the way they were supposed to. 

Once I received my CEP dynamic+ low cut run socks in blue and orange, men’s size 3 I immediately loved the way they looked.  I’m so superficial when it comes to clothing.  I first pick by look, then by function.  Haha!  I received the socks on a Friday and had a long run planned that weekend.  So, Sunday morning, I got ready for my run as usual and pulled out my new CEP dynamic+ low cut run socks and slipped them on.  First thing the OCD queen inside of me noticed was that the socks are labeled “L” and “R.”  So in love with them at this moment, not even joking.  I then slipped them on and oh wow.  It was like my feet were being hugged! 

not the most flattering angle for my ankles...clearly
The socks are compression socks and are targeted toward runners and triathletes and all other endurance sports.  The low cut run socks are new to the lineup at CEP.  They have a universal intermediate length that is suitable for many sports.  Some people don’t like the super low cut sock and some don’t like their socks sticking up super noticeably up over their ankle.  This length is perfect for the person that likes their socks just above the tops of their shoes.

The CEP dynamic+ low cut run socks feature a wrap-around foot section and functional padding for maximum comfort.  And I can attest to this wholeheartedly.  My feet NEVER got tired during my run.  Never.  They still felt fresh and like I could have run another 8 miles beyond the 8 I ran that day.  The compression attribute of these socks helped increase circulation to my feet while I ran, helping to keep foot fatigue at bay.  And if you’re a runner, then you know that how your feet feel affect how your legs and the rest of your body feel and let me tell you, the rest of me still felt great at the end of my run.

The breathable and moisture-wicking fabric provides excellent heat and moisture management for dry and comfortable feet.  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  I went on a second run in these socks today.  10 miles this time.  It is a humid, humid beginning of summer here in central Texas.  At the end of my 10 mile run, I was literally soaked EVERYWHERE…everywhere except my feet.  My feet were dry and comfy and did not smell one bit.  I love these socks and will happily buy more pairs with my own money from Delivered Care Medical.

If you’re interested in checking them out for yourself, or any of their many other health and medical products that they offer, you can simply go to Delivered Care Medical to place your order.  You can also contact them by phone at 1-888-406-7978 ext 2, 10am-4pm CST.

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