Monday, December 31, 2012

Adios 2012!

This year flew by!  

I started off the year by giving up pop for the month of January.  It was successful and I really don't drink pop anymore. I only have Sprite occasionally.  And the only time I have Coke is with Jack Daniels, and then again, it isn't that often! (mmmm...jack&coke!)

That sort of kick started on this whole getting healthier thing.

I had lost weight in 2009/2010, gained all but 10 back after the death of my mother, and then 2012 showed up. 

I was tired of sitting on the sidelines.  Passing up opportunities to have fun adventures because couldn't do/didn't feel comfortable doing xyz.

One of my biggest fears can be summed up by Carrie Underwood (btw, my "The Band Perry" Pandora station is ROCKING MY FACE OFF today.  LOVE!)

Cause' I don't wanna' spend my life jaded
Waiting to wake up one day and find
That I've let all these years go by

Oh I don't wanna' keep on wishing, missing
The still of the morning, the color of the night
I ain't spending no more time

I don't want to waste my life away!  And 2012 turned out to be quite an  experience.

I started swimming again in January. 
I joined the Y in March. 
I ran for the first time in March.
I ran/walked my first 5K in June.
I did my first Pilates class in June.
I ran my first mile non-stop in October.
I graduated (self-promotion!) to Pilates 1 in November.
I started Yoga in November.
I tried Hot Yoga for the first time in December.
I completed my second 5K on Thanksgiving and had a 2 min, 37 sec PR.
I rocked the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge too.

I definitely could NOT have done those things physically or mentally in the beginning of the year.  What I have accomplished this year makes me so proud!

Things definitely aren't perfect.  My confidence is not always at 100 or even 99 :)  Just last Saturday I had to switch out Bosu balls in Pilates class because I could hear the air leaking out of one when I tried doing a plank on it.  And of course the next thing was to stand on the Bosu ball.  I nearly asked if there was a weight limit.  Once again, holding myself back, argh!  I mean, I did put my weight on it later, but not standing.  Oy!

But then again, HEY I'm doing planks!  And Pilates with classmates who TEACH fitness classes.  As my instructor says "Do what you can".  That means "don't give up" "don't compare yourself to others" "do your best". 

So I have done so much this year, I can't wait for next year.  And if you are curious, here is my journey as told by the scale (I apologize for the face I am making):

January 2012 Weight:  280
December 31, 2012 Weight:  246

Some recent pics...

Side view - a little less forgiving!


Friday, December 28, 2012

My Thursday Eats

Well I did gain over Christmas, but it wasn't as bad as I imagine past years were.  Luckily, I was only at my dad's house for about 26 hours.  Let me just say to that relative that brought 3 desserts (for 13 people - really? and SwimSis brought one too)...the double decker cookie cake with loads of icing was NOT necessary.   I could have resisted the other crap.  Oy.  :)

But it was a good holiday indeed.  I am back in my townhouse by myself for the rest of peaceful!  My family is a loud bunch.  Wednesday we had a "blizzard".  I say "blizzard" because I think we got 7.5 inches of snow.   You could have knocked me over w/a feather when I went to college in this same city and there was some substantial snow and the roads were terrible!  I come from a town that gets Lake Effect Snow and we're used to having an adequate snow removal fleet :)  But a paid day off from work, I'll take it!

I picked up some stuff from Walgreens then night before the "blizzard", as they were the only place open on Christmas.  If I haven't said it before, I'll say it now.  I love, Love, LOVE Walgreens for their fresh foods section.  I bought bottled water, some OJ (for this cold of mine!), 1 lb of mango (sliced & everything!), and an asian salad. 

For breakfast I had my usual sausage/egg/cheese on buscuit breakfast sandwich (Jimmy Dean brand, I think)  Sorry no picture!

Then I munched on my mango spears throughout the morning.  And then it came time for lunch....

That Asian Salad was SO FREAKING GOOD.   The veggies were good and crunch along with the little pack of crunchy things and the dressing was sweet with a zing.  Nom nom nom!  I had a few mango spears too. 

Sometimes I get a sweet craving really badly at work and rather than go to the vending machine for an entire candy bar/box of whatever, one of these Nips really does the trick.  And for 30 calories...can't beat that.

A few hours later I had a Cashew Cookie Larabar (contains only cashews and dates).  Not my favorite, but it did the trick. 

On Wednesday, I had Ramen Noodles - chicken flavor for dinner and it was delicious and in my mind, the chicken flavor was helping my cold, so I grabbed another pack on Thursday night.  I had stopped at the store and found a couple packages of broccoli, zuchinni, and yellow squash (fresh) for $.99 each.  It came with a creamy lemon dill sauce, but I thought I would save that because it sounds better suited for salmon than veggies. 

Of course I got some OJ too.  I was going to have the apples and grapes too, but I was so freaking full.

So that was my day and let me tell you, it was so freaking delicious.  I love days like that when food, especially healthy food, was absolutely delicious!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Life, lately.

Holy smokes!  Time is flying and December is busy!  A Merry Christmas Eve to you all!

So, here is what I have been up to lately:

HBBC week - 3? 4?  (whichever was 2 weeks ago)
Monday: Yoga @ Yoga Place 2
Tuesday:  Yoga @ Yoga Place 1
Wednesday:  Yoga @Yoga Plac 2
Thursday:  Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday:  Pilates, Yoga @ Yoga Place 1, Yoga @ Yoga Place 2.
Sunday:  Rest

HBBC week 5 (I think that's right...last week)
Monday:  Yoga @ Yoga Place 2 (last time I was able to go before my intro package expired)
Tuesday:  Yoga @ Yoga Place 1
Wednesday:  Rest
Thursday:  2200 yd swim in 51 mins  (this workout, modified some)
Friday:  Rest
Saturday:  Pilates, Yoga @ Yoga Place 1, 22 min run/walk outside...1.5 miles
Sunday:  3300 yd swim in 1hr 15 mins (this workout, minus the butterfly set), 1 mile walk with friends

With that swim yesterday, I noticed that one of my suits split (it is very old!) but I took a note from my high school swim days and just tied the loose pieces together so it can hang on until I can order a new one in a couple of weeks. 

So as you can see I've been busy, but pretty good.  Yesterday, I left to work at the church a little before 9:30am, I stopped back by my house to drop off/pick up some stuff after my swim, and went to see a friend who was in town and got back at 10:30 that night...definitely past my bedtime! 

I've even seen some new #s on the scale, despite my wanting to eat all of the treats I see around the office!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  I've very excited for 2013, 2012 itself hasn't been so bad either.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vegan Pea Soup

I was never a fan of Pea Soup until I was a nanny for a family with 2 small children, the father being overseas for a couple of months at the beginning of my stint w/them.  The mom ("M") is a vegetarian and an amazing cook!  I seriously went from being unemployed and eating as entertainment (Lord, how much weight did I gain during that time???) to running after 2 lovely kiddos every day and eating mostly vegetarian (When I first realized that I could lose weight).  She introduced me to this soup (as well as a very similar soup w/lentils, but I'm not such a fan of those!) and now I'm a big fan.  This soup is great because it requires little fuss from beginning to end, it is a great way to get your veggies in, and it is pretty cheap to make.  It is my staple lunch/dinner for when I have $10 in my bank account an it's a week from payday. 

I don't usually post recipes on my blog because:
1. I don't really cook that much.
2. When I cook, I rarely follow a recipe to the "T".

But let's give it a whirl!

Vegan Pea Soup

You need:
1-2 Quarts of Vegetable Stock*
2-4 Quarts of Water*
32 Ounces of Dried Peas
2 Large Carrots
1 Large Onion
1 Bunch Fresh Dill
Salt and Pepper to Taste

I start by warming up my vegetable stock on low heat in a large pot while I rinse and sort the dried peas....there are some funky looking ones!  Once I have rinsed and sorted the peas, they go in with the vegetable stock.  I then add water to the pot to make sure all the peas are covered in liquid.  I diced up the carrots and onion and added them to the pot.  After a big stir, I put the lid on, set the heat a smidge above low.  Then I went about my business cleaning my pilates/yoga mat, doing my laundry, trying (and failing) at some Pinterest crafts, etc.  Because it is on low, it only needed a stir every 15 minutes or so and is not very likely to stick to the bottom.  I added more water as needed because I like my soups at a mushy, not runny consistency.  When the peas start to become a mush instead of individual peas, I put the dill in.  I'm not sure how you are actually supposed to get dill off of the stem, but I just used kitchen scissors and snipped away over the pot of soup.  From start to finish it was about 2 hours until it was done (aka all the individual peas were mush).  Salt and pepper can be added at this time too.  I felt so accomplished that I cooked, cleaned, and did laundry!

*Don't quote me on this.  I think the peas say to use a 1 oz peas/8 oz water ratio.  You can mix vegetable stock/water or all of one or the other, your preference!

Reason #3:  I apparently am not good at writing recipes! haha It was my best shot though!

I think this is what I paid for these items:

1-2 Quarts of Organic Vegetable Stock (I found 1 quart on clearance for $1.29)
2-4 Quarts of Water (Free!)
32 Ounces of Dried Peas (2 16oz bags for $2.74)
2 Large Carrots ($.50?)
1 Large Onion ($.50?)
1 Bunch Fresh Dill ($1.99...splurge!  I love dill and I don't care who knows!)
Salt and Pepper to Taste (Free?  Such a minuscule amount!)

Total:  $7.50 including tax. 
Servings: 8-10 depending on how much you want.

I think it is great because it is so filling and delicious and cheap.  I usually use a 16oz coffee mug for lunch, as I'm sure you can tell. :)

*Disclaimer:  Eating this for every meal might make your pee neon green for a while due to the excess of whatever vitamin that peas have a lot of.  True story.  It happened to me this summer.  You have been warned :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

HBBC - Week 3 - Trust Your Instructor!

Let me apologize for not posting in a week...sorry!  Now on to the good stuff:

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge - Week 3!

Monday:  I took the SwimTot to the pool again.  She is getting to be such a good little swimmer!  She swam at least 10 yards by herself.  I went to beginner Pilates and felt a nice little burn - 45 mins.  I had some babysitting scheduled for Thursday evening and I wanted to get a workout in everyday, so I doubled up and swam an additional workout after Pilates.

Please note that putting on a wet swimsuit is one of the worst things ever.  Could be considered a form of punishment in some countries! haha  I swam:

400yd warm up

400 freestyle
4 x 100 choice (backstroke)
300 freestyle
4 x 75 choice (freestyle)
200 freestyle
4 x 50 choice (breastroke)
100 freestyle
4 x 25 choice (butterfly)

300 warm down
(based off of this workout)

I completed it in 1:00 and 17 seconds :)

And then I face planted into bed.

I got 2.25 points for Pilates and 6 points for the swim.  I got all my "freggie" servings in and posted on fb.  10.25 point total for Monday!

I went to Yoga again.  Like I've said this is very basic yoga and I really like it because I want to know the right way to do an exercise in order for it to be the most effective.  That being said, this was also the 3rd week of class and it was the first day I have really felt challenged.  My wrist ended up being really sore that night and the next day and I was VERY worried for some reason. Like it was going to keep hurting or wouldn't healing.  I just kept praying and praying about it.  I really don't know why.  But I'm glad it hurt because it made me realize that (after it was better) my body is resilient and that I can improve.  1 hr 15 min class was 3.75 points.  I had forgotten what day my produce delivery came, thinking it was Tuesday, but it was Wednesday.  Therefore I shorted myself on fruits and vegetables :(  1 FB posting.  4.75 points for the day.

I had a crazy day at work and forgot to study for my sign language class during lunch, crap!  I scraped my workout plans for after work and went home to study and have a quick dinner.  Class went great, I really like my instructor and the 2 other students.  We have fun!  I did 100 chest lifts/crunches while watch Mad Men episodes later in the evening :)  I gave myself 1 point for that.  1 point for freggies, 1 point for FB.

My babysitting got cancelled due to a sick little kiddo, so SwimSis literally begged me to go to hot yoga with her.  My normal yoga (Yoga Place 1 for further reference...) is so simple and beginner and in an area of town where there is a lot of variety of people.  This other place (Yoga Place 2) is in a suburb and I pictured it with very fit white women.  So I asked her all of the questions any fat girl would:

-Would I pass out because it was too hot?
-Was everyone there stick thin?
-Would I not know any moves?
-Would the yoga be too advanced?
-Will people make fun of me?

Obviously I may  have gone a bit overboard there!  I got a new member rate of $29 for 2 weeks unlimited ($17 is the normal drop in price).  They let me borrow a fancy towel mat to put on top of a regular yoga mat.  The room felt warm, but like a hot summer day, not a sauna like I was expecting.  The instructor had a good mix of flexibility poses and strength moves (which I am more prone to liking, I blame Pilates!).  Also, she played 2 Mat Kearney songs during the class, so that's an A+ class to me.  Near the end I was dripping sweat and felt kind of gross.  I remember that I used to be the girl who said she hated exercise other than swimming because she didn't like sweating!  Who is that girl anyway?  Where did she go? :)  I kept looking at other people to figure out what pose we were doing, but some people were getting it wrong, some were doing advanced poses, in the end I just learned to trust the instructors words and go along as she says.  It was okay if I took more than a couple of seconds to get in a pose rather than immediately try to do what someone else is doing and have it be wrong.  The instructors know what they're doing!

I got 3 points for a 1 hr class, 1 point for freggies, 1 point for FB = 5 point day!

Work was crazy again.  People always told me that Dec would be so quiet and you would get a lot done because people went on vacation.  Well...this is the week or two BEFORE people go on vacation, meaning it is crazy!  I got home and didn't want to fix anything. I also didn't want to exercise. I made my butt walk the 0.5 miles round trip to Jimmy John's to get a sandwich.  haha 0.5 points!  I ate that and as soon as I started writing a blog post, I was really tired!  I was asleep by 8:30!  1 point for Freggies, 1 point for FB.  2.5 point day!

I slept until 7am!  Must have been really exhausted!  I was dreading going to Pilates class, but I really, really like going.  It is tough, but worth it.  I work really hard every class and am proud to say I have seen improvements in my stamina.  We often to 2 sets of 15 reps of certain exercises and depending on the move that we are doing, I can complete all 30 reps in some!  Whereas the first class I was just trying to keep my head above water and do as many reps as I could before taking a break.  We used aerobics types steps in this class and we were doing balancing exercises, strength exercises, planks, etc off of them.  Very challenging!  We were doing an exercise where we had our toes on the step (w/two things underneath to jack up the height) and were in a straight arms plank and were going down into an elbow plank and back up again (left forearm down, right forearm down, right forearm up, left forearm up, if that makes any sense).  The instructor suggested I modify and not do the step, but my philosophy is to at least try the hard stuff first (how will I know I can't do it if I don't try? haha!).  Well I ALMOST completed one.  I couldn't get my second arm back up and collapsed a bit :)  I promptly resumed with my toes on the floor and completed them. 

The instructor then led us in more planks (argh!).  I am more partial to a straight arm plank than an elbow plank, so I try to do those more.  She helped me find the right position for a straight arm plank and I held it the entire time (lol like 30 secs max) my arms started to get pretty wobbly toward the end, but the proper alignment of my feet to help me not fall over made all the difference!  That's what I love in an instructor, push me but help me do it right!   She came over and told me she could tell I was working so hard (and she did comment on me dripping sweat while I"m sure others were barely breaking one - most are either super fit or instructors of other classes themselves) and said she was really proud of me (awe!!!!).  I'm glad she said it and I do my best every time, but did she have to say it in front of everyone else? LOL I'm shy like that. 3.5 points for Pilates (I upped this one again, hardcore!)

I went to Yoga at Yoga Place 1 for a midmorning session.  I bought some all natural yoga mat cleaner.  I figure it is better than putting my face in chemicals!  We had the same curriculum as the Tuesday class, but a different instructor.  Good times!  3.75 for 1 hr 15 min class.

I bought some Christmas bags (this girl CANNOT wrap presents for her life!) and met SwimSis, Coach and SwimTot for Coach's bday lunch.  We went to one of those places where you pick out your own uncooked meats and veggies and add a sauce of your choice and they cook it in the middle on a big stove.  It was weird because, well, I was one of the smallest people in there.  Yikes.  250lbs never looked so skinny.  It made me sad for some of those people, but I'm glad to know that I can make the choice of how much to eat/take home and I don't go there every weekend or anything!  Nothing good happens at buffets! 

We went home for cake and a rest to let the food digest.  I headed out for a late afternoon hot yoga class at Yoga Place 2.  The instructor was pretty challenging and I worked up a sweat pretty quickly.  It felt good even after 2 classes in the AM.  I was proud that I went on my own.  Things like that can be hard for me/my anxiety sometimes.  3 points for 1 hr heated slow flow yoga!  9.75 points for the day, 1 fb point, 1 freggies point = 11.75 points.

I was fairly sore that morning, but felt pretty good, actually.  I spent 4 hrs at the church w/the kiddos, which I counted as my workout (but no actual points).  I went a Mat Kearney concert that night.  Love love love!  It was the 5th or 6th concert my friend and I had been to of his.  The first one was in 2004!  I ate a breakfast before going to the church, I ate after church at 2pm and then again at 4!  The old me would have definitely had fast food at some point, if not multiple points during the day/evening if I was going to be out late.  I packed a granola bar and a couple of Mandarin oranges in my purse in case I got hungry.  I feel old at 27 going out on a Sunday night, but my friend's boyfriend got us tickets, what a great guy (and where can I find a guy like that).  It was so hot in there and everyone was crammed in.  I'm not sure what time we got there, but I'm thinking before 7:30, and he didn't go on until 9:20.  Ugh!  It might have been better if the opening act hadn't been terrible.  He looked like he was right out of pampers, very fresh faced.  And he kept saying things that were perfect for "that's what she said" jokes because he was nervous ("this is my very first time", "I can't find the hole").   But the concert was great in this cozy little venue.  He runs through the crowd at least once a concert and I FINALLY got to touch him.  hehehhee.  And I mean, singing Feliz Navidad with your favorite artist, you just can't top that!!!
We were quite giddy upon leaving and I had a Mandarin orange on the way home.  I was impressed with myself!  I got 1 point for freggies, 1 point for FB, 2 point day! 

Weekly total:  39.25!  Fabulous!

Weekly goal:  Move my butt EVERY DAY!

Goal:  Accomplished.  But tired :)

It was a great week and made me motivated for this week!  

How did everyone do last week?

What is your motivating factor this week?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

HBBC Week 2 - Oof!

It's time to recap Week 2 of the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge!  Here's how my week went from a fitness point of view:

Monday:  I swam with SwimTot at the Y, she was swimming about 8-10 yards on her own without stopping.  I know this kid can/will be a good swimmer fast, she just needs me to push her and make her trust her abilities.  (Okay I know that sounded cheesy because she's 4 but my niece isjust that awesome).  I put in 45 mins at Pilates class (intro) for 2.25 points.  I got 1 pt for all my "freggies" (fruit and veggies) servings, and 1 for FB posting.

Tuesday:  Yoga after work.  I really like it so far!  A mother/daughter duo came in late and sat very close to me, which I could have moved over right away to give them more room, but I did not want to interrupt the instructor while he was talking.  It was kind of awkward!  Next time, I'm definitely getting there early and choosing a spot where I cannot be intruded upon :) haha 1 hr 15 min class 3.75 pts, 1 freggies pt, 1 FB point.  And I got new shoes that are pretty gorgeous...just waiting to wear this current pair out first before I step into these!

Wednesday:  Nothing!  I went to sign language class in the evening and that was good enough for me!  1 pt freggies, 1 point FB.

Thursday:  I knew my car was going downhill fast!  I had to walk to the auto parts store (just on the corner) and get power steering fluid in order to be able to get my car to Walgreens to pick up a salad :)  After work I was all "uhhhh, this day sucks, I'm going to have to take my car in tomorrow and spend a zillion dollars".  All I wanted to do was hide under the covers and wish that my car would fix itself!

I knew that was stupid and I needed to get a workout in, but I wasn't going to go anywhere w/my leaky car.  I turned on the Coach's PS3 to get onto netflix to get a workout vid, but I couldn't find any on there!  Very frustrating.  Then, I knew there was only 1 workout DVD I owned....30 Day Shred!  Miraculously, I knew what box it was in.  I was VERY hesitant because I had never completed the first set of the workout, let alone all 20 mins!

I hated it at first and truly remembered why I was swearing at the TV while nearly 300 lbs and giving up while only a few minutes in.  Jumping jacks suck.  Yes Jillian, 400 lb people can do jumping jacks but I'm sure they hate it too.  Combine that was the faux jumping rope, I was nearly ready to quit in my current state!  I told myself just to make it through that first set in the workout.  I did and realized I had never gotten any farther because I had just assumed that the 3 sets in the workout were the same thing (faux jump roping and jumping jacks, etc).  Nope!  The second set was much easier for me and the third was a combination of the first two. 

I don't think I had done a lunge in a loooong time, so I was SO freaking sore!!!  I knew my legs were not happy with me.  When I went upstairs to go to bed, I made sure that I was not going down the stairs till the AM.   Note to self:  Add more lunges!  2 pts for 30 day shred, 1 pt for freggies, 1 point for FB participation.

Friday:  I dropped my car off at the shop after work and walked the 0.25 miles home :)  Any extra points for dashing across the roundabout by my house?  Seriously, that thing needs to have better lighting.  I felt like the frogger video game.  I was set on having a healthy evening, but I walked in my house and SwimSis and Coach had gotten pizza.  And there went my healthy eating out the window!  It wasn't even that good! Ugh.   I gave myself 0.25 points for the walk home, 0 for freggies (boo!), and 1 pt for FB.

Saturday:  I was up and at 'em for 8am Pilates class.  It was the usual torture/hardcore.  I was sweating profusely as were a couple of other people in class and even the teacher!  She was not taking it easy on us.  Now because this is the only level 1 Pilates class I have taken, and it is DRASTICALLY different in terms of intensity when compared to Intro to Pilates, I would go as far to classify this as a low level cardio class. 

Now my legs were still aching from 30 day shred from Thursday, but I thought it was cool because we never do lunges in Pilates class.  Uh...of course we did on Saturday!!! For some reason, they didn't hurt as bad, but we still did more than I thought I could have.  I am seeing improvement in my stamina and am actually completing a few sets of certain moves.  Also, mountain climbers with your feet on these little circles that glide across the bueno!  My legs were seriously out of control.  So much/too much? instability!  I then went to Yoga at 10:30 and placed myself far away from the mother/daughter duo and had a great class.  I really love 2 classes a week with the different instructors.  I gave 4 points for Pilates (as a low impact cardio) and 3.75 points for Yoga.  0 points for Freggies, 1 point FB participation.

In the end, my car ended up being 60.3% of my bi-weekly paycheck.  It was terrible.  I may  have cried.  It runs very smoothly now but as they say around these parts "eff that mess!" or "eff that noise!". 

Sunday:  I worked at the church, but then felt gross afterwards, so I nixed going to the YMCA and went home and took a big nap instead.  I got 0 freggies points :( and 1 point for FB participation. 

Week totals:  16 workout points, 4 freggies points, 7 FB participation = 27 points.  Ideally I would like to be over 30 points each week.  This week felt good going in, but as I got to the weekend I just felt like it socked me in the stomach, making the "oof" sound :)

Weekly goal:  This week I wanted to get freggies in at least 4 days this week. 
Mission:  Accomplished.  Thank goodness for the work week.  The weekend nearly derailed me!

How did everyone else do this week? 

Any parts of your week that made you go "oof"? :)