Thursday, January 26, 2012

A New Year, Better and Stronger

I've been doing well lately.  My eating has been so-so, but my workouts have been consistent.  I ran 8.3 miles on Friday, rested Saturday, ran 8.2 miles Sunday, ran 5 miles Monday and last night I did Body Pump and then we had a sub in Zumba.  The sub was a lot of fun but was only prepared for a 45 minute class so I jumped on the elliptical for 20 minutes after class yesterday.  My pace on Friday averaged out at about 9.6 minutes/mile and on Sunday at 9.5 min/mile!  W00t w00t!  I only have to shave off a minute and a half to get to my goal pace. 
I've been thinking a lot about my future lately.  It seems like every year gets better for me.  Physically, emotionally, mentally.  I seem to finally be figuring things out.  Sometimes it's hard to even remember who I used to be, I feel like an entirely different person these days, I feel like me.  There are a few things I want to work on/accomplish this year:
1) I want to reach goal weight.  I'd like to maintain a weight between 115 and 120 lbs.  That's only 8-13 lbs away.  I've lost 132 freaking pounds in less than two years, surely a year is a realistic time frame to get rid of this last little bit.  
2)  I'd like to have my running pace to at least 8.5 min/mile.
3)  I want to have the ball rolling on continuing my education.
and finally/most importantly:
4)  I want to be a better person.  I make this goal every year and I feel like each year I do make some improvement.  Included in that is to minimize gossip.  I feel like I've improved on that this year, but I could still do better. This year I will strive to stay away from the gossip!  I hate it and it sickens me somewhat, but somehow I still get pulled into the web of treacherous whispering and covert glances.  I do not see the need to talk smack about everyone else to make yourself feel better, yet it seems to be an epidemic.  Usually I am good about keeping my mouth shut, but sometimes things just come out.  I want to be less critical and self-righteous, and more considerate and thoughtful.

One example of this involves my fitness instructors (the critical part).  When I first started taking classes I was under the impression that all certified fitness instructors were on a pedestal and were untouchable.  I felt that they should be perfect and have all the answers!  I would scrutinize the instructors and then judge them based on how they compare to the others.  This was in part due to ignorance and naivety, but largely due to just being judgmental (you might remember a reference to the Grumpy Panda aka raging bitch in a blog entry not long ago).  Also this attitude was due in part to intimidation, I somewhat thought they were unapproachable, almost like they wouldn't want to associate with someone as unfit and unhealthy as I.  Low self-esteem speaks volumes.  It's easy for one negative thought to lead to an endless list of them and once you've started thinking poorly of yourself, it's that much easier to try and think negatively of others.  Now, of course, I realize that they are human, and honestly, just like everyone else.  No one is perfect and everyone is different and that's what makes working out enjoyable.  If everyone did the exact same moves, routines, songs, releases, had the exact same teaching manner, it would be so much easier to get bored and lose interest.  I've learned that what I really love about my classes isn't that my instructors show me how to do things "perfectly", it's that they show me how to do things in a way to get the best results while having fun!  I love all my classes and all my instructors and I love that they are all different and I really wouldn't have it any other way.  That kind of negative thinking is what holds me back and brings me down, and it's hurtful to others.  I want nothing to do with that kind of mindset.  There are other situations that come to mind when I think about improving my attitude, but this particular situation has been on my mind lately since my Zumba certification is coming up.  I've been nervous about getting certified, I am not certain I have what it takes, but I know I want to try. I've become appreciative of the fact that it involves a massive amount of guts to get in front of a class of people and instruct. How can you not respect someone that puts his/herself out there like that? Anyway, to sum it up, one of my goals this year is to be less critical of people and to not participate in gossip, so if you catch me doing either, please call me on it! I hope to exhibit some self control to result in strengthening my personality by working on these vices. The gossiping I need to avoid is mostly at the office, let's hope my resolve keeps me strong there!

I have posted a couple new recipes on my recipe section. The past few days I've been eating homemade deep dish pizza for dinner and tonight I had the kielbasa mac and cheese bake. The trick to making a healthy pizza is to roll the crust out in a pie pan and fill it up with lots of veggies, some cheese and low fat meat so you get filled up with not as many pieces. I filled mine with green peppers, mushrooms, red onions, black olives, reduced fat mozzarella, and turkey pepperoni. That plus a salad came out to just over 500 calories and I was plenty satisfied. Well, I'm beat, I have a psychotic cat sitting on one side of me and an abnormally adorable puppy on the other, they are both radiating heat making for a very nice snooze spot, so I believe I'm going to watch a movie so I can doze until bedtime! :-p

Cookie, the psychotic cat ran off, but Bella sticks by me always.  ;)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Out of Town Weekend

So this past weekend I was out of town visiting family.  Really the weekend was uneventful, I did a lot of visiting, a lot of driving and a lot of eating!  Friday we got into town close to 10.  My eating for the day would normally be kinda bad, I ate a Grilled Chicken Wrap and a Chili Cheese tot from Sonic on the trip up and then had a piece of pizza after we got there.  However, ending up around 1600 calories for the day after running 10.75 miles, I was right on track!  My run went pretty well earlier in the day, and my weigh in was at 128.2.  So, at least it wasn't still at 129.  I drank a lot over the holidays and I've heard that no matter the calorie count, alcohol consumption can really weigh down your weigh ins.  I attribute it to the sugar content.  Saturday morning I went for a run and Mark and I met up with my uncles at a little Mexican joint for lunch.  The food was SO good!  I got the combo platter with a cheese enchilada, brisket taco (this thing was omg good), and a chicken soft taco.  I may or may not have had some chips and tortillas before the food got there :-$.  Oh and they had a tableside guacamole set up that awesome!  After that I rolled my way out of the restaurant and then Mark and I ventured out of our comfort zone to find a Best Buy to buy my brother some CDs.  It was his birthday on the 6th and the main reason we were in town was to celebrate his birthday.  One thing about Texas, at least where my family lives, everything is SO spread out, you can't get anywhere without driving a good 20-30 minutes. We then got back to my uncles house and hung out for a little bit before going to pick up my brother.  Later that evening we took him out for dinner at a grill and bar where the food was pretty dang good.  I ordered grilled chicken, broccoli and rice (score 1 me!), I then had two rolls (-5 me  =( ).  We then made our way to the bar side where my brother started feeling ill.  We were celebrating his 21st birthday so the plan was to buy him drinks and have a merry ole time, but he retreated to the restroom for quite some time and upchucked the steak dinner I had bought him.  After sitting around and only drinking about half of one of the beers we bought him, he made his discomfort be known and I offered to take him back to our uncle's house and hang out with him while Mark and my uncle stayed at the bar to play pool and hang out with friends.  Here's a picture of us before we left:

My brother and I hung out at the house watching movies until Mark called me to pick them up.  Shortly after we all fell asleep.  I enjoyed being designated driver, it gave me an excuse to not drink and while I hate that my brother was sick on his birthday celebration, I much preferred staying in if I wasn't going to drink as opposed to sitting at a bar watching my family get loaded while I sit bored.  My brother continued being sick the next day.  We went to have coffee with my mom and I gave her her birthday/Christmas gifts and my brother proceeded to vomit (much like something you'd see in the Exorcist) in a trash can out in the garage.  We got back to my uncle's house where my brother collected his things and I took him back home with loads of sick supplies (chicken soup, crackers, etc.) and where he got me lost on the backroads of some little country towns.  I finally got home and it was time to eat again!  So we went to this little Italian shop.  The rolls were awesome, the salad was okay and the rest was just meh.  I ordered a canneloni, manicotti and lasagne combo and ate about half of each item.  The platter itself was pretty small compared to a lot of restaurants portions so I didn't really indulge too much.   We then got ready to head back home.  We got home around 7:30 and picked up the kid and got settled back in.  It was good to be home although we already missed my family.  Monday I did some cleaning, had the TV repair guy come in and cooked a nice, healthy meal.  The kiddo and I went to the grocery store, otherwise I was pretty freaking lazy, I even took a nap!!!  I can't remember the last time I've had a nap!  I made chicken and mushrooms in mushroom gravy with wild rice and steamed broccoli and cauliflower for dinner.  It was delicious and just what we needed after a weekend of unhealthy eating.  I posted the chicken and mushroom in gravy recipe on my recipe page.  I used Uncle Ben's Wild Rice, steamed some veggies and voila!

I've been so tired lately.  I keep thinking I've kicked it, but it doesn't seem to want to go away.  I don't really think that the no rest day thing will go over well.  (In reference to my "new" exercise schedule I talked about in my last blog post.)  I'll just aim for at least 3 days of running to include at least one speed work and one long run, and 3 days of Zumba and Body Pump.  Oh, and on that note I also registered for my Zumba certification!  It's for the end of February!  w00t w00t!  We'll just see if I have the energy to do it!  I even was in bed by 10:30 last night and still woke up exhausted!  Maybe it's stress, I have been awfully stressed lately, but I'll just have to keep trucking and see if it gets better.  My mileage for the year 2012 is 31.25 miles.  Could be better, but then could be worse, too.  I did do my workout tonight, and I've eaten dinner (leftovers from last night) and now I'm pooped and ready to doze in front of the telly until I go to bed.  Night everyone!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Grumpy Panda, Begone!

I've always had a thing for pandas, perhaps it's because I've felt kindred to them.  They're cute and "fluffy", I've always liked to think about myself in that manner.  (Denial!)  Maybe around the 150-170 lb range I could be referenced as such, and I sat in that range for several years before my most recent weight explosion.  So it's possible that this was the time range in which the phrase was adopted.  I believe I heard the phrase "Grumpy panda!" in a Disney movie somewhere along the line and since then it's stuck with me.  I prefer to reference myself as "Grumpy Panda"  as opposed to "Raging Bitch".   :)  Anyhoo,  I've been quite the grumpy panda for some days  now, sometimes it just hits me.  I'm overwhelmed with a desire to be alone and a fly on the wall while the world rushes past me because every other thought that crosses my mind is negative.  I haven't felt like blogging, I haven't felt like working out, I haven't felt like socializing.  I've also been exhausted and experiencing some stomach issues.  Meh.  Luckily, today all has passed!  I'm in a great mood and I haven't had stomach issues since Monday.  I've been more dedicated to eating healthily the past week, I've rededicated myself to new fitness goals and I've spent more time in meditation.  This has helped tremendously, methinks!  Part of my negativity could be related to the naughtiness of the holidays and the fact that last week's weigh in was up, 129.  :(  I really couldn't understand how I seemed to gain 2 pounds when the week prior I was at 127 directly following the holidays!  I finished my TOM on Thursday, so I'm half hoping that the weight gain was related to that, hopefully this week my weigh in will be back to my low. I also did three sessions of Body Pump last week and I know that initially upping your strength training can cause weight gain, so I'm trying not to obsess.

Last night I had a great workout.  I ran a mile, and I know it was only a mile, but it was an amazing mile, I didn't feel out of breath and I felt like I could have ran forever.  I then did an hour of Body Pump, it was the new release of Body Pump 80 and was an 80's theme and really was a blast!  I was majorly kicking myself for not making time to find an 80's themed outfit.  I've felt so overwhelmed lately and thought I had no time, but I bet I could have found time if I had motivated myself.  This goes back to the blah mindset I've been in the past week or two.  Nevertheless, I think having an awesome workout last night helped kick the mood.  I continued my workout with an awesome Zumba class and really had a blast.  Who would have thought that I'd actually enjoy working out?  Oooh and any fellow Body Pumpers out there ought to check out the new lunge and shoulder track!  Awesommmmmmmmeeeeeeeee!  I didn't so much care for all the music, some of the songs were cool, but they really could have gone with the 80s theme, there's so many genres!  Tom Petty (cool down, maybe?), Pat Benetar, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, The Bangles, the Violet Femmes, Aerosmith, Journey, NIN, They Might be Giants, my gosh, the list goes on!  But, complain I shall not.  I thoroughly enjoyed the actual workout and there wasn't anything that I just flat out disliked... well except for maybe Edge of Glory, I really think that is one of Lady Gaga's less exemplary examples of work. 

So, fitness goals.  A.) I want to run a half-marathon this spring (this has been a goal for awhile now) and B.) I want to become Zumba certified.  I've been thinking back and forth on this for about a year now and have finally decided that yes I want to do this when I had a couple of my Zumba instructors very enthusiastically encourage me to do so and even offered their assistance!  I think it helps knowing that I won't just all of a sudden be on my own.  The thought of creating my own routines and remembering them all scares the crap out of me, but so has everything else I've accomplished the past few years and I have learned that you cannot accomplish anything by being timid.  I don't want my own class or anything, I'd just like to sub for different classes in the metro-area.  So my new workout plan:  Short speed work runs (~3 miles) on Monday and Wednesday, a mid-length run (5-6 miles) on Sunday, long run (8.5-13 miles) on Fridays, and then Body Pump and Zumba Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  This of course leaves no room for a rest day, but I think I'll just take it as I go, I may drop one of my short runs or cut it down to 2 miles depending on how I feel.  But the theory is that if I do two short runs instead of mid-length runs, that maybe I wouldn't need to take a rest day.  Less than 30 minutes of physical activity should be fine, I would think.  But we'll see, nothing is set in stone.  So long as I practice Zumba at least 3 times a week, run 3 times a week and do 2 sessions of ST a week. 

Tonight I was supposed to do a speed work and then go have dinner and hang out with my sister.  Last minute I made the decision to say screw the workout and I went straight to see my sister.  Maybe not the best decision regarding my fitness and health, but regarding my family and life it was the best decision for me.  You only live once and I don't see my lil sister nearly enough.  We had a great time hanging out, although we ate way too much, but that's what clean slates and tomorrows are for! On another note, I've also decided to track my mileage this year, I've been really curious to know exactly how many miles I run in a week/month/year.  Thus far, I've run 12.5 miles this year.  I need to get a Gadget to put on here like one of my inspirations, Katie, has on her blog.  I've been following her progress for over a year now and she's really inspired me!  I came across her page on Sparkpeople (which more about this site can be found on my Resources page, once I get it up) and saw that she was about my height and frame and decided that if she could do it, so could I.  I used her as reference for about what I'd look like at what weight, etc., etc.  She also just got a lower body lift and looks incredible!  I fear I will need one once I'm done, but her results make it a lot less scary!  You can find her page at .  Truly an amazing woman!  Anyway, that's a bit off track, but you should check her out if you're looking for motivation and inspiration! 

I'm fairly comfortable in a size 2, now.  Although I want to lose probably another 10 pounds to lose the "fluffy" quality I have.  I also have one pair of 2s that a bit tight so I would like for them to be comfortable before I stop.  But I've several compliments on my appearance today, so I shall end with a picture (mostly because I have no pictures of anything else to post!).

The boots are a Christmas present from my daddy, and the top is new, as well :D  Not the best picture, and if you can't tell I'm pretty close to stuffed in this picture, I can actually see my tummy protruding, but a picture nonetheless!  I'm off, ttfn!