Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Challenge 2 Begins

Day 1 was a great success!

My eating was right on par! I did my strength training workout and I did a bonus bike ride when I got home from work! It feels so good to be back on. Now, lets get down to the nitty gritty.

Dumbbell workout:

  • Push-Press 5x5 @ 15,20,20,20,20 lbs

  • Cable Rows @ 92.5 lbs: Max x3 - 10,10,10

  • Push Ups: Max x3 - 7 (full), 20 (knee), 8 (full)

  • Side Planks: 60s, 60s, 60s, 55s


  • Breakfast: Pepper & Onion Stir Fry, Fried Eggs & Bacon

  • AM Snack: Beef Jerky & Cherries

  • Lunch: Broccoli Slaw with Turkey Breast & Tomato Sauce

  • PM Snack: Carrots & Pistachios

  • Dinner: Pork Chop, Balsamic Carmalized Onion & Cabbage

Bike Ride with the Kiddo: 48 minutes - 4.6 miles. (That is great for him!)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Challenge is About to Begin - May 31 - July 12

So the new Nerd Fitness challenge is going to start May 31 and go six weeks until July 12.  I posted my goals in the forum today for the challenge. 

My goals are:

Diet Goals:
* Paleo, save for 1 meal per week on Sunday's. Averages out to about 95% Paleo. 
* Dairy - par down to 2 servings per week.
* Fruit - par down to 1 serving per day which can be split into multiple meals.

Fitness Goals:
* Start with the dumbbell division workouts of the rebel strength guide.
* Do 2 hours of cardio a week, likely in the form of long bike rides on the weekends.

Life Goals:
* Finish Pulling Tile up in my basement so I can dry-lock/paint it.
* Create a budget for spending and saving, with the aim of saving $250 a month and not having to use it.
* Explore 3 new places in Chicago.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yummeh Dinners

Today is the day to talk about some food.

I've had some ground beef defrosted in the fridge for a couple of days.  So yesterday I scoured the internet for a good ground beef paleo recipe.  I came across this recipe for Lebanese Ground Beef Kebabs. Doesn't that look yummy??

I didn't use mint with these, simply because I didn't have any.  I grilled these on the foreman grill while I made the sides.  What were the sides?  Green & Purple Asparagus sauteed in coconut oil with salt & pepper -and- Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon.  I placed the asparagus on the plate, some of the spinach and then laid the kebabs on top of the spinach, still on the stick.  Jonas, who is 9, LOVED these kebabs!  Clearly, next time I make these I need to double the recipe so we have leftovers for me to stick in his lunch!

I've never liked cooked greens.  The just warm/wilted spinach?  Eh, I ate it but it wasn't my favorite. Since there was none left, I gather the rest of the house liked them.

The asparagus?  I have come to love asparagus. I love the flavor!  I like it grilled best, but the way I sauteed them last night was delicious too.

I'm looking forward to trying new things with foods I get from the farmer's markets over the summer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

An Idea!

Today I was listening to Jillian Michael's podcast with her guest Bob Harper. They were talking about childhood obesity. As someone who started her battle of obesity as a child, a lot of the points they were bringing up hit home. One thing in particular is the fact that a lot of parents these days don't allow their children to do sports because of the cost of sports. Something else mentioned was parent volunteered play groups after school to help keep kids active.

This all made me wonder, what if I could have anything, money not being an issue.... Could I start an after school program where children can go after school to be active. How would I make enough money to keep this running as well as enough money to pay for my house, groceries and whatnot? I'm not sure. Right now, it's an idea. I wonder if parents would even be up for something like this. I could think of plenty of activities to keep kids busy, active and engaged. I have enough early childhood education to know how to make those activities educational as well.

This is definitely an idea that I'd like to think about more.

The Next "Chapter"

I've been thinking a lot about where I want to go now that I've finished the challenge for the Rebel Strength Guide (RSG) contest. I know I want to continue on the path I started by using the Rebel Strength Guide. How exactly do I want to continue? Could I continue doing the same thing that I have been? Sure. However, I like a challenge. I've decided that I'm going to switch to the "Dumbbell Division" workouts. These are split into 4 workouts ABCD. The guide outlines either doing them in a 4x a week program or a 3x a week program. I'm going to do the 4x a week program with my strength workouts being MTRF.

One thing I need to do to ensure I don't miss any workouts is consider getting myself a set of adjustable dumbbells. Briefly looking on craigslist, some people have them for sale for about $20-25. If I can get a basic set, I can always buy plates to add to it when I need them. This will give me the ability to do my workouts at home on the days I'm going to be home during the summer.

Will I continue doing cardio training? Yes, but not to the degree I was doing it for the challenge. I'm not going to hide it, I don't really enjoy cardio machines. I do love getting out and riding my bike when I can, or even walking and enjoying nature. So, yes, I am going to have a cardio goal. I'm going to have a goal to get in at least 2 hours of cardio a week. It can be a 2 hour bike ride, or split up as much as I'd like, doing whatever feels good at the time (dancing with Jonas, playing at the park or hiking the dunes).

The other thing I've been pondering... should I log my food? One of the things I've read about Paleo eating is that you shouldn't need to log what you eat or worry about calories. Can I give up enough control to do this for six weeks? Should I even attempt it? Or, since I am actively trying to lose about 50-60 pounds, should I continue to log my food while losing weight? I'm afraid that if I don't log, that if I'm not losing weight and I determine I must log again, it's going to be difficult to start to log my food again. Maybe instead of stopping for six weeks, I can stop for one week, eating on plan and seeing how it goes? This part of my goal is still up in the air. I'm not sure the way to go.

So, when is this "chapter" going to start? Monday. Yep, I am going to be working out on Memorial Day.

(Side Note: I'm trying a new program (Zoundry Raven) to do my blogging that is portable so I can compose on the train and then just push a button to publish when I want when I have internets again, let's see how it goes!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Strange Realizations

Today was a strange day.

I finally had an assessment with the new gym manager. My measurements weren't shocking. What I was educated on was where I should do each of my measurements.  The important part of the measurements I did during the challenge was that I was consistent. What I had labeled as my waist was where I measured every single week for my waist measurement. I do have planned another assessment for 7 weeks from now when I finish my next six week challenge.  I'm looking forward to seeing the results.

Now, that part wasn't strange. The part that was strange was my desire to eat not paleo foods today.  I had some crackers.  Then I decided I really wanted to try a mocha coconut frappicinio from Starbucks with my free drink postcard. Even though that was enough to make me feel like utter and complete crap, it didn't stop me from grabbing a pretzel on the way to the train. Shaky, dizzy, light headed, sick to my stomach. My thought was that the pretzel wrapped around a hot dog would absorb the sugar from the frappicino. It might have, or it might have been the 45 minute train ride.  I'm not sure.  What I'm sitting here thinking now is, "Damn, my body doesn't like me right now."

It has made me realize just how much my body desires good food and how much it enjoys the paleo diet I've been following.  One meal a week doesn't make me feel like crap, but boy  oh boy, today did. I now know that this eating style is one I'd follow through out my life.

Now, I'm off to watch the Biggest Loser Finale, gathering inspiration from the amazing journeys of everyone from this season.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Six Short Weeks

I have come so far in six short weeks. I joined the challenge not knowing what to expect. I had a couple of goals: get smaller, get stronger and get faster. Did I accomplish those goals? You bet I did.

 Today I wrote up a summary of how I reached each of those goals. It is fairly long and in depth, but I thought I'd share it with you.  I added a couple of pictures that were submitted for my entry in the contest for everyone.


My Trek in "The Greatest Contest In The History Of The World"!

I started this contest following the Operation Slim Down and Body Weight Brigade. I vowed to do strength workouts three days a week and do some cardio HIIT twice a week.

My goals were simple ones:
  • Get Smaller
  • Get Stronger
  • Get Faster
I accomplished each one of those goals with awesome successes.

Get Smaller

I started this contest at 286.2 pounds. I ended at 272.6 a difference of 13.6 pounds!  It has been increasingly harder for me to lose weight as I continue getting smaller.  I started my weight loss journey 7 years ago at 412 pounds, which was 139.4 pounds ago. Over the past year I’ve struggled with losing and gaining weight by fiddling with my diet and exercise until somewhere along the line, I threw in the towel. The Operation Slim Down guide, following the Paleo diet, gave me hope and made me feel great!  Those pounds of fat just started melting off. I didn’t have a huge problem transitioning to Paleo. I allowed one meal a week where if I wanted something, like pizza (hey, I’m from Chicago!), I could have it and more importantly, not feel guilty about having it.  Some weeks I took advantage of it.  Some weeks I didn’t.

I took a host of measurements during this challenge.  I have a Body Fat Scale, but I didn’t feel those measurements were 100% accurate so I also did a calculated Body Fat percentage based on body measurements and tried to do caliper testing on myself (I don’t think those are 100% accurate either).  I then took the numbers and averaged them.  My body measurements were the following areas: waist, hips, chest, thigh, calf, bicep, neck, belly, wrist and forearm. According to my measurements, I lost 22.26 inches and 5.13% averaged body fat.  My belly, which is my most embarrassing area, went from 55.5 inches to 49!  What’s even better than seeing the numbers is looking at the pictures. I can see the difference.  I took pictures every 2 weeks, looking for the smallest changes. It amazes me to see the differences in my body.

** Here is a picture montage of my success. (Yes, it took a lot of guts to share these)
Me from start to week six!

Get Stronger

I began this challenge, focusing on the body weight workouts. I wanted to have the ability to do the workouts at home when I wouldn’t be able to get to the gym during my work day.  Did I get stronger? You bet I did! Let’s break it down.

Push-Ups & Close Hand Push-Ups – I started both of these on my knees.  I had previously started doing the 100 push-up challenge on my knees so I figured this was a good place to start. When I could do sets of 20 after the 6th workout of each type, I moved to incline push-ups. I even tried to do some normal, regular push-ups.  While I couldn’t get fully to the ground, I got about half way down… for 7 to 8 push-ups in the end. That amazes me!

Chin-ups – I started without a chin-up bar, at home, trying to do inverted body-weight rows from my kitchen table.  Oh, and I couldn’t get my ass off the ground so I just lifted my upper body.  When I started doing my workouts at the gym, I used the smith machine, gradually lowering the bar until I was laying on the ground lifting myself up.  I switched it up, doing underhand and overhand, lowering the bar when I hit around 8 reps.  Every now and then, I’d attempt negative chin-ups from the newly purchased chin-up bar, only to fall straight to a straight arm hang. Until my last workout... I felt myself stronger that workout.  I could actually feel my muscles trying to hold me up and go slowly down.  It still was a matter of seconds, but I felt it. I felt stronger.

Squats – Squats were fairly easy for me in the beginning.  Yeah, my ass would hurt after doing them the first few days, but I was hitting totals for the day of 150 by the 4th workout.  So, I moved on to attempting (notice the word attempting) the assisted pistol squats. Around the last week I realized I have no balance and tried doing more of a split squat with one leg behind me on something (bosu ball, couch) and squatting from there.

Lunges – A few months before I started my RSG workouts, I had hurt my knee doing a lunge.  When I saw the video of how the lunge was supposed to be done, it worried me.  I worried about my knee hurting again. It didn’t.  It felt great! I went down until my knee graced the ground. When I got to about 15 reps per set in the 6th workout I figured, hey, why not move to level two and do the squat/lunge combo? Those things hurt!  But I did them, even so far as talking myself into completing a set and rewarding myself with a soda during the last workout of these.

Planks – Both side planks and normal planks started out not looking impressive.  Then suddenly both were looking awesome. For the side planks, I started with the top hand on the ground for balance.  Then I finished the challenge with that hand in the air. The regular planks?  I graduated those up to attempting the 1-1 planks, but realized I had issues with balance (I think I said that before) so I did as much as I could then went back to regular planks when I couldn’t hold the pose any longer.

** Added photo for y'all!
Muscles and end of Week 6!

Get Faster

When I started the challenge, I wanted to do some cardio during my rest days for two reasons: one, to help with the fat loss, two, to get out of my office every day and do something. I decided I would do a HIIT triathlon, 1 mile on the elliptical, 3 miles on the bike and 1 mile on the treadmill. My goal simply was to complete each distance faster. I did it!  My time on the elliptical went from 11:32 to 8:30! The bike went from 11:49 to 10:18!  The treadmill went from 14:28 to 12:01! I’m ecstatic with the results! Towards the end I was taking 90 seconds rest intervals rather than 120 seconds. What amazed me the most of this was the speeds I was able to go on the treadmill.  When I did a 5k last September, I ran it in 48 minutes.  That’s an average pace of about 3.87 mph. I ran 30 second splits at 8.5 mph the last couple times I did the workouts. That improvement is AMAZING!

Final Words

This challenge kicked my ass. It challenged me. It made me feel great about myself.  I went from being unhappy and insecure to being someone who is happier with herself. I am someone who is getting stronger, not only with my muscles, but from within myself.

I plan on continuing my training with the Rebel Strength Guide. I am going to move to the dumbbell division for the next six weeks for the days where I have gym access. On days which I’ve chosen to take off work and am due a workout, I will do a Body Weight workout. My rest days will actually consist of rest.  I will do bike rides either alone or with my family… outside, enjoying mother nature, I will do them for fun. I won’t force myself to do cardio for the sake of doing cardio (I don’t love it!). I will enjoy the summer!

I have had a blast getting to know both Steve and Vic and working with them (Yes, I might have imagined either one of them in the gym with me on days I was struggling with my brain) on this challenge. I am proud to have been a part of the initial group of people following the Rebel Strength Guide and look forward to more challenges!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I did it! I finished the challenge strong!

I did great for my last RSG workout for this challenge! I decided to challenge myself a bit.  I did 3 of my push-ups at full push-up (only went down about half way).  The last set I did on my knees to see how many I could do.  For the chin-up exercise, I did 2 sets of negative pull-ups.  I was amazed that I could feel myself actually start holding myself up there a bit rather than just falling.  About the 3rd set I felt weaker so I went to one arm rows with a 15lb kettlebell I had laying around. For the one-legged squats I put one foot up behind me on the couch and squatted with the other leg.  Oh boy those were hard towards the end!  And I finished up with my side planks and one full plank.

RSG BW Brigade Workout A:
Push-Ups: 7,8,7,30=52
Chin-Ups: 5,5,20,20=50
Squats: 20,15,15,20=70
Side Planks: 60,60,60,50=230 seconds

Yesterday was my son's dance recital and just a busy day.  All I had was breakfast and dinner. :)

Breakfast: Fried Eggs with ham & sausage
Dinner: Meat, lots of meat... Specifically, skirt steak, chicken, shrimp and pork... oh and some pico de gallo.

Clearly, today I need my veggies.  So I'm off to the farmer's market!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

RSG Log (Last Cardio Workout)

Yesterday, I really just did not want to do my cardio HIIT.  I really didn't.  I bitched about it for a good half hour. I didn't want to sweat.  I didn't want to move. I know that, all of that, is depression speaking.  So no matter how much I bitched about it, how much I didn't want to go.  I know I HAD to.  And so I did.  My goal for this challenge was to increase my pace for 1 mile on the elliptical, 3 miles on the bike and 1 mile on the treadmill.  I accomplished that goal.

I went from 1 mile on the elliptical in 11:32 to 1 mile in 8:30
I went from 3 miles on the bike in 11:49 to 3 miles in 10:18
I went from 1 mile on the treadmill in 14:28 to 1 mile in 12:01

I did it.  I increased my speed on each of the three tests using HIIT.

My goal for food was to stay 100% paleo this week.  I kinda forgot it was my mom's birthday.  So, yesterday I had pizza for supper.  The rest of the meals were good.

Breakfast: Western Omlette & Bacon
AM Snack: Mixed Veggies (Carrots, Broccoli)
Lunch: Burrito Bowl from Qdoba
PM Snack: Pistachios
Dinner: Pizza & Fruit

From My Heart....

Today is Jonas' recital day for dance.  I started my day way too early, playing in the dirt planting my vegetable seedlings. This also meant that I had to do some raking and stuff too.  After that was finished, I had a bit of breakfast and relaxed for a bit until it was a decent enough hour for me to mow the lawn.  I got the lawn all cut and then hopped in the shower. Jonas asked me if I would dress "sorta fancy".  He picked out the shirt I was going to wear and then helped me do my hair by blowdrying it a bit.  I even went as far as to put some makeup on.  Let me tell you though, I'm stressed.  I feel fat.  I feel ugly.  I don't want to be "on show" for everyone. I'd rather put on my jeans and tshirt and call it a day.  My tummy sticks out too much, I put a shirt that helps "hide" things under my dress shirt.  I put on dress slacks instead of the Jonas' approved jeans, because the shirt is too dressy for normal jeans and the black jeans are too tight.  I feel like a stuffed, depressed, angry sausage.

Angry, why I am angry?  Good question, one I don't have a full answer to. I listen to the prayer requests at work for our donors who ask for prayer and for co-workers who are asking for prayer and I think, "Man... my problems are insignificant compared to everyone elses.  I should just shut up and move on."  But you know what?  My problems are not insignificant in my life.  I'm unhappy.  I feel lost.  I keep moving and keep doing what I'm supposed to do, but I've lost myself somewhere along the way. I have no direction in my life.  I gave up on me when depression reentered my life.  At first, it wasn't me who was depressed, but over the past year, I've just gotten emotionally drained.  I feel like I am faking half of my emotions, when all I really want to do is cry. To curl up into a ball and cry my tears, washing everything away.

But I can't.  I must be strong.  I must go to work every day, earning money so I can have this beautiful house.  I must come home and feed everyone, do chores and then crash in bed, only to get up and do it all over again.  Weekends?  Yeah, sometimes I relax.  Most of the time I get the chores done that I couldn't get to during the week because I was exhausted.

I look at how far I've come and I should be proud of my accomplishments.  I've lost weight.  I've gained strength.  I got my college degree while working full time and being a single mother. I have a wonderful amazing child, who without, my days would be completely grey. Yet, I can't see those accomplishments sometimes without just flat out stating them.  I forget them and focus on all of the negative things going on.

I want a change.

I want to know what direction I want my life to go.  I want to stop feeling like a fat, ugly, unworthy person.  I want to stop being angry and start laughing again... really laughing. I want so much and I want it for me.  Is that bad?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Another One Down, One to Go!

My second to last RSG Strength workout was yesterday.  If I haven't mentioned it before, those squat/lunge combos are the devil.  Squat-Lunge-Squat-Lunge, okay, that was 1.... around the middle of the third set I made a deal with myself.  If I finished that set and the last one with good numbers (15+) I could grab a Diet Dr. Pepper for my afternoon snack.  I got my Diet Dr. Pepper!

Also, instead of bw rows I did cable rows again, upping the weight to 87.5.  Someone was using the cable machine when it was time for my last set so I did lat pull-downs @ 90lbs.

RSG BW Brigade Workout B:
Rows: 10,10,10,10 = 40
Close Hand Push-Ups (Incline): 15,15,15,15=60
Squat/Lunge Combo: 15,17,15,18=65
1-1 Planks: 12,11,40,60=123 sec (last 2 sets I held 1-1 for 10s then went to full plank for rest)

Food yesterday was rather uninspiring. Busy day!

Breakfast: Western Omlette & Bacon
AM Snack: Baby Radishes & Almonds
Lunch: Rainbow "pasta" with tomato meat sauce
PM Snack: Almonds, Beef Jerky & Carrots
Dinner: Green Pepper, Broccoli, Chicken, Bacon and Egg Scramble

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Busy Days... Near the End of the Challenge

Yesterday ended up being a rest day for me.  Crazy meetings at work. By the time I got home, I just wanted to chill out. Ended up being a good plan! :) My weight finally went down again, woo!

I plan on doing my last 2 RSG workouts today and Saturday.  Tomorrow I'm aiming to do my last Cardio HIIT Triathlon.

Noms Consumed Yesterday:
Breakfast: Fried Eggs with Asparagus
AM Snack: Almonds
Lunch: A little bit of a smoked salmon salad (I didn't like it, it was a work outing.)
PM Snack: Jimmy John Turkey Unwich (Extra Un!  LOL!  No, extra turkey) & Almonds
Dinner: Chicken Breast with Carrots & Green Beans

Today thus far has been busy as well.  One of the guys I work with is leaving so he is busy updating me on what he did while I try and finish the stuff I do for the day.  :)  One hour until I take a much needed break to do my workout!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rainbow Pasta Yummies

I don't know which thing from yesterday to rave about more; my workout from yesterday or my dinner from last night! LOL!

Let's start with the workout.  Yesterday was Workout A.  I changed things up a bit... the Smith Machine was in use, so I used the cable machine and did seated rows. Since I'm having odd balance issues with trying assisted pistol squats I did one legged squats with one leg behind me on the bosu ball. I did three sets of my push-ups as inclines, the last set as full push-ups.  Let me tell you, my upper body is SORE today!

BW Brigade Workout A
Push-Ups: 15,15,15,7=52
Rows: 10,10,12,12=44
Squats: 15,15,15,17=62 (that was each leg)
Side Planks: 60,70,60,70=260 seconds

So let's talk about dinner last night.  Last weekend I bought some "rainbow salad" by Mann Packing. This is basically shredded broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage and carrots. So, I took this "salad" and microwaved it for 90 seconds. I made some ground turkey tomato/pasta sauce.  Then I put the turkey pasta sauce on top of the steamy salad. OMG Delicious.  It met that comfort of pasta that I had been looking for in the past couple of weeks.

Noms Consumed:
Breakfast: Leftover "Garbage" Omelet
AM Snack: Roasted Almonds
Lunch: Rainbow Salad w/ chicken and homemade baconaise
PM Snack: More Almonds, Turkey Breast, 1/2 Dark Chocolate Bar
Dinner: Rainbow Salad "Pasta"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Busy Day

Yesterday was a very busy day. I had a shortened day at work so that I could leave and take my son to his dance recital dress rehearsal! Due to that, I wasn't able to get down to the gym and workout. A late night at dress rehearsal and I decided I'd use the day as a rest day.

One thing I noticed yesterday is I had the munchies. Like, I just wanted to munch on something crunchy like popcorn. The side of me that has been dealing with "You must stay under your calories" stopped me from having nuts. Normally, I can munch on carrots and get it to go away, but I forgot my carrots yesterday! For some reason, this happens around 2pm most days. I need to figure out the best way to deal with it. Last night I made some roasted almonds (cinnamon, coconut flakes and cocoa powder) to have today when the feeling comes.

I had a lot of eggs yesterday. I wonder if that's okay....

Breakfast: Western Omelet and Bacon
AM Snack: Tomatoes & Cucumbers
Lunch: Roasted Turkey Breast, Green Beans & Salad
PM Snack: Hamburger Patty & Almonds
Dinner: "Garbage Omelet" -- Ham, Bacon, Sausage, Broccoli, Peppers, Tomato, Mushroom and Onions!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Week 5 Summary

Week 5 Summary:

Exercise Goals:
Exercise goals went very well.  I completed all of my RSG BW workouts with zeal!  Even though I didn’t do a cardio triathlon on Thursday (mostly because I was at home), I did go for a 15 mile bike ride.  WIN! I also had my lowest times ever for the Cardio HIIT Triathlon on Tuesday!

Food Goals:
Eh, I had a big case of emotional munchies Saturday and Sunday. This reflects on my measurements this week.  Even though I munched on paleo friendly foods, I’m not happy with the emotional side of the munching.  I’ve been doing so well on forging past the emotional munching for the past 5 weeks, to let it take over was a sad thing.  I’m back on track today though, and I’m moving ahead, leaving the past behind

Life Goals:
Still going through the book I printed out and implementing project plans for some of the projects I have on my plate. Not where I wanted to be with this goal, but again, with changes happening at work, there are some things you can’t control.

Week 5 Results:

I actually gained weight over last week, but still managed to lose a half inch. I’m feeling good about that. The calculated Body Fat % Average went down too, which is good.

Looking ahead to week 6:

* I'm giving a go at not having fruit.
* I'm aiming to hit a set or two of 20 with my incline push-ups.
* I'm trying to do pistol squats better!
* I'm going to do negative chin-ups this week!
* I’m going to ROCK the last week of this challenge!

Week 5 Grade: A-

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I have the munchies...

Friday was pretty good.  For the last couple of days I've been feeling very hungry.  Not sure what all is going on.  I think I need to switch things up a bit.  My mom just gave me about 40 cans of no salt added veggies. This should last me a while.  I think I'm gonna grill meat tomorrow and have that for lunches and dinners.  I also was given a couple dozen eggs.  Now I just need to get some bacon and I'm set!

Friday I finished up my Week 5 of the RSG workouts.  The Inverted rows are getting easier.  Although I still don't feel I can get over 8 reps. I've been having my legs bent.  I think I'm going to aim to keep them straight next week to make things a little more difficult. I did incline close hand push-ups from the bar that I was using for the inverted rows.  I did the squat/lunge combos for my leg portion.  Boy those get hard near the end!!  And finally, I finished up with some planks.  While I still haven't gotten the hand of putting one hand and the opposite foot in the air at the same time.  I did make them a little more difficult than regular planks by putting the foot in the air one set and the hand the other set. :)

BW Brigade Workout B:
BW Rows: 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32
Close Hand Push-ups: 12,12,12,12=48
Squat/Lunges: 15,15,15,17=62
Planks: 30,32,30,30=122

Breakfast: Omelet, Bacon & Strawberries
AM Snack: Blueberries
Lunch: Chicken & Mixed Steamed Veggies
PM Snack: Carrots, Beef Jerky... then a few hours later... almonds, dried plums (why is it dried plum sounds better than prune?)
Dinner: Indian Dinner Out... I had a mixed grill with shrimp, chicken & lamb... and some peppers and onions.

Today I spent some time shopping some garage sales for new clothes.  I found a bunch of pants.  Now I need shirts! :)  Foodwise, I've eaten sporadically. I had a quick scramble of eggs and sausage for breakfast.  A sugar free cookie from a garage sale.  No lunch... a carrot... then I went to a Tastefully Simple party and sampled all the dips.  I ordered some, with the intent to figure out how to make them more friendly for me to eat with veggies instead of beer bread.  Dinner was some "fajita salad" with steak & chicken for the protein choices.  Right now, I'm trying to stop myself from eating the sugar free jelly beans I got for Easter.

Tomorrow is my end of week 5 weigh in and measurements.  I'm not expecting a lot from the weigh in.  My weight has been steadily a bit higher than last week, not sure what's up with that.  We'll see how the measurements go.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bike Riding inna Mornin

It's time for that daily update!

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment so I took half a day off and worked the other half from home.  I couldn't ask for a more beautiful day!  After taking Jonas to school and a bit of breakfast I decided I could fit in a bike ride before my doctor's appointment for some cardio since I wasn't at work and couldn't get to the gym for the cardio HIIT triathlon. I ended up doing 15.25 miles in 1 hour 23 minutes!  I was flying high by the time I got home.  Being outside, enjoying nature while riding my bike gave me an awesome feeling.

Doctor's appointment went well.  I came home and decided it was just too pretty a day out, so I grabbed my laptop, some lunch and headed outside to work my half day. I'm a bit pink today to prove it! Then we had a laid back night.  Grilled, pulled some weeds, planted some flowers and just chilled. :)

Noms nommed:

Breakfast: Leftover veggie hash, bacon & eggs
Lunch: Huge Salad with Chicken & Almonds
Consumed at random times between Lunch and Dinner (Hungry!): Ham, Beef Jerky, Sugar Free Frozen Yogurt & Strawberries
Dinner: Grilled Spiced Rubbed Pork Chops & Carrots with small side salad
Dessert: A bit of dark chocolate

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Woot to me!

Right on!  I'm rocking this week so far!  What did I do yesterday, you ask? (Or really, my head asks)

My Push-ups, I did the first 2 sets at an incline.  Dunno about y'all but I feel like I'm going to fall when doing that, so the next two I did full push-ups! Chin-ups, I met my goal of sets of 8.  I did these where I was laying on the ground and grasping the Smith Machine Bar. Squats, I did normal squats. I still feel really odd doing pistol squats and my knees were sore from trying to do them funnily.

BW Brigade Workout A!
Push-Ups: 10,10,5,5 = 30
Chin-Ups: 8,8,8,8=32
Squats: 25,30,40,50=145
Side Planks: 60,50,50,40 = 200seconds

As a side WOOT!, while doing my last set at the gym, a couple of girls came up to me and told me there were impressed with my progress and dedication.  WOO!

Oh, and then I came home and cut the grass before I made dinner!

Speaking of dinner.  Yum!  I made a "hash" type dish with sweet potatoes, green pepper, onion and cabbage.  Tossed in some ground beef and topped with an egg!

Noms: (kinda on the light side, combo wasn't hungry and was busy!)
Breakfast: Smoothie (Coconut Milk, protein powder, walnut butter & berries)
AM Snack: Salad
Lunch: Salad with Steak from Cosi
Dinner: Above mentioned hash with egg and ground beef!

I feel great! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Smashed my Cardio Goal for the week!

I shocked myself yesterday with my Cardio HIIT Triathlon!  Not only did I meet my goals of improving my times, I blasted my goal for the exact times out of the water! My goal for the mile on the treadmill for this week was to get under 12:15.  Not only did I get under 12:15, I got under 12! 11:59 baby!  And that was with walks between my sprints! I also got my lowest times for the elliptical and bike as well!

Cardio HIIT Triathlon:
1 Mile Elliptical: 9:05
3 Miles Bike: 10:03
1 Mile Treadmill: 11:59

I was elated for the rest of the day!

Meals yesterday were a bit bigger than I had planned.  I forgot protein at home for lunch and ended up going to a buffet and grabbing a bit of each protein, after a late workout... so I was starving. Dinner was past 9pm and it was just a strange day overall.

Breakfast: Eggs over Sweet Italian Sausage & Green Beans
AM Snack: Apple, Cucumber & Almonds
Lunch: Chicken Breast prepared lots of ways, bit of roasted potato, green beans & strawberries
PM Snack: Polish Sausage, Ham & Cheese
Dinner: Asian Salad from McDonalds

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Grok-ily Workout & Cooking at the Same Time!

Some days you just have to improvise! Yesterday was one of those days. I didn't have time to workout at work due to meetings, so I worked out outside at home.  During my rests between sets? I grilled dinner! After my workout, we sat outside and enjoyed dinner.  It was really a great evening.

For the chin-ups, I attempted negative chin-ups for 3 sets and did one arm rows with my 15lb kettle-bell for the last set. I did the close hand push-ups on my knees as I couldn't find a good spot for an incline that I felt comfortable with. I continued with the squat/lunge combo. My son counted them out for me, he was kinda funny. As for the planks, I attempted the 1-1 planks, but seemingly couldn't keep my balance out where I was doing them, so I just went to regular planks for the last 2 sets.

BW Brigade Workout B:
Chin-Ups: 5,5,5,15 = 30
Close Hand Push-ups: 20,20,20,20 = 80
Lunge/Squat Combo: 15,15,15,15 = 60
Planks: 40,40,60,60 = 200 seconds

I felt really good after my workout. So glad I got it done!

Yesterday's eating was fairly good. Higher in fat due to the walnut butter I was eating up for snacks. :)

Noms consumed:
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs & Salsa
AM Snack: Apple with Walnut Butter
Lunch: Salad, Coconut Almond Crusted Chicken & Steamed Veggies
PM Snack: Celery with Walnut Butter & some Cashews on the train
Dinner: Hamburger Patty, Polish Sausage and Green Beans

Monday, May 9, 2011

Week 4 Wrap-Up

Fitness Goals:

  • Follow the BW Workouts of Rebel Strength Guide 3x Per week: No problem! This past week I moved up my push-ups to incline push-ups. I also moved up my planks. For the side planks I had been putting my upper hand on the ground for support. This week, it stayed up on my side! For the normal planks I went to one-one planks. One hand on the ground, one leg on the ground. Oy my abs felt it too! I also continue with the assisted pistol squats for my squat exercise and squat-lunge for the lunge exercise. As for my chin-ups, I moved the bar as low as I could on the Smith Machine with me on the ground and am working toward reps of 8. Still unsure how I'm going to do the negative chin-ups, but by golly I hope to get them next week!
  • Cardio HIIT "triathlon" 2x week: Semi done. The 2nd cardio day I didn't finish the mile on the treadmill, even though I finished the distance on the other 2 machines. I felt crappy emotionally and just couldn't push myself anymore. In spite of that, the super high beat myself to the ground intensity day were all improvements over previous times! I'm most excited about the mile on the treadmill being down to 12:28 with me doing the highest sprint at 8.5! My goal for this week is to get it under 12:15!
  • 5 Chin-ups: As previously stated, this one isn't going to happen this challenge. Although my strength continues to improve with the body weight rows!

Life Goals:
  • Train for Project Management: Still doing my training.

Eating Goals:
98ish% Paleo. Yesterday was mother's day and I had 2 pieces of pumpernickel toast with breakfast and a taste of wheat noodles and fried rice at the hibachi steakhouse we went to for dinner.

Overall Progress:
I'm down a total of 12.2 pounds and 20 inches since I started! My uberly geekily calculated BF% is also down about 4%... Um, wow!

Overall: I give myself an A- for the week!

Whoops, forgot a Log!

Huh, just noticed I didn't post my daily for Friday, so here is a quicky...

BW Brigade Workout A:
Incline Push-Ups: 5,6,6,7 = 24
BW Rows: 5,5,5,6 = 21
Assisted Pistol Squats: 10,12,10,10 = 42 (plus additional 20 normal bw squats for last set)
Side Plank: R60s, L46s, R60s, L40s = 206s

Breakfast: Burrito Bowl from Qdoba with chicken
Lunch: Salad, Roasted Chicken & Green Beans
PM Snack: Apple & Almonds
Dinner: Coconut Almond Chicken with Broccoli

Friday, May 6, 2011

Back to my Comforts

Yesterday was the first day I didn't meet my goal for working out. I did 1 mile on the elliptical, 3 on the bike and .25 on the treadmill and was just done. Emotionally, I was drained, I just couldn't continue. While getting down and working out did help some, I was focusing on emotional things, that I couldn't work through while on the treadmill. I came up and started writing, that is what finally helped me get through the emotional hurdle.

Cardio Stats:
1 Mile Elliptical 10:28
3 Miles Bike: 12:23
.25 Mile Treadmill: 3:30

Eating wise, I did well and stayed on plan. Nothing extraordinary.

Breakfast: Fried Eggs, Ham & Apple
Lunch: Big Ol Salad with chicken, pork, apple and almonds
PM Snack: Lots o Raw Veggies (tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, celery)
Dinner: Salad, Green Beans, Carrots, Roast Beef, Chicken & Melon for Dessert (Old Country Buffet Style)

On a side, non RSG related note... I realized yesterday, when I'm feeling lost with no direction I go back to my comforts, in the form of music. I put all of my worship music back on my phone and have been listening to it, letting the words wash over me and relax my mind.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wednesday! Wednesday! Wednesday!

Wednesday was a BW Brigade Rebel Strength Day. Have I ever mentioned I love strength training? Cardio? Not so much. I level upped myself in a few of the movements!  BW Rows? I laid on the ground and put the bar an inch above my fingers on the Smith Machine and went at it!  Close Hand Push-ups, intermediate step of incline push-ups.  I used the bar at the same height as it was for the rows and did the push-ups from there.  Lunges, did the squat-lunge-squat-lunge combo again. Woot? And for the planks I did the 1 and 1 planks with alternating hand/foot in the air... Well, kinda, couldn't stay up there long... My balance ain't what it used to be!

BW Brigade Workout B Log:
BW Rows: 5,6,5,6 = 22
Close Hand Push-Ups: 10,12,10,11 = 43
Lunges: 12,12,11,10 = 45
Planks: R10,L11,R8,L8 = 37 seconds

Food, I was hungry. :) At one point in the afternoon I was like: Hungry! NOMNOMNOM! LOL!  I got over it though and ate very well.

Noms Consumed:
Breakfast: Left Over Veggie Has & Eggs w/ Bacon
AM Snack: Apple w/ Cinnamon & Almonds
Lunch: Beef Patty, Green Beans w/ Carrots & Peanut Butter (Odd, but I wanted to try it after reading something on hamburgers with peanut butter... thoughts, it's strange, but okay)
PM Snack: Beef Jerky, Apple, Almonds
Dinner: Spaghetti Squash, Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage Ragu

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I tried 2 new veggies!

Tuesday was another busy day.  It amazes me how when I'm busy running around I "forget" to eat and am not hungry. I made another awesomly delicious primal dish, Root Veggie Hash with Polish Sausage.  The hash was made with turnips, rutabaga and sweet potatoes (First time having turnips and rutabaga!).  YUM!  I had left overs with my eggs for breakfast today!

Yummies for Tuesday:
Breakfast: Eggs with Bacon & Guacamole, Apple with Cinnamon
AM Snack: Almonds & Sugar Snap Peas
Lunch: Cauliflower Rice, Grilled Chicken Breast & Salad
PM SNack: Carrot & Celery Sticks
Dinner: Root Veggie Hash with Polish Sausage
Before Bed: Spoonful of Walnut Butter

My cardio workout was good for two reasons.  I was in a pissy mood and pushed myself really hard.  It helped my mood some, doubly when I saw that I improved my times!

Cardio HIIT Triathlon:
1 Mile Elliptical: 9:20
3 Miles Bike: 10:20
1 Mile Treadmill: 12:28

I'm a Rockstar!

Oh... and Happy Star Wars Day!  May the 4th be with you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

First Log for Week 4 of my RSG Challenge!

Today was busy, so I did my workout at home. I did incline push-ups on playground equipment, inverted body weight rows on some other playground equipment, regular squats and side planks with my 9 year old hovering over me telling me how many reps I should do and shouting, "YOU CAN DO IT MOM!". It was amusing I tried to do the assisted pistol squats but I couldn't find my balance holding anything there, so I just went back to regular body weight squats. Side planks, I've been keeping my upper hand on the ground for balance, today was the first time I did them with my hand not on the ground.

RSG BW Brigade - Workout A
Incline Push-Ups: 15, 12, 10, 10 = 47
BW Rows (bar was waist high): 5, 6, 7, 8 = 26
BW Squats: 20,30,40,60 = 150
Side Planks: R25, L20, R16, L20 = 81

Finishing move: 3 minutes of Shuttle Runs with Jonas.

Eating yesterday was good!

Breakfast: Cheese & Guacamole Omelet w/ Half Apple
AM Snack: Almonds
Lunch: Green Beans & Pork Chop
PM Snack: Tuna Salad, Salami & Cheese & A couple of stolen pan fried potatoes from my mom's when I picked up Jonas
Dinner: Korean Cauliflower Rice Bowl, from Primal Blueprint Quick Cookbook.


I think I eat too much cheese. I'm going to cut it back from 2-3 days a week to once a week.

It still hurts

Yesterday was a hectic packed day filled with training another new employee and meetings. I didn't have any time to get away and get my workout in.  So I opted to workout when I got home last night. I was all excited.  I asked Jonas if he wanted to walk to the local playground where I could use playground equipment for my push-ups and body weight rows.  He could play or workout with me.  He seemed very excited, grabbed his new softball and mitt and we headed off.

When we got there, a friend of his was playing catch with her sister and asked him to join.  He went off and played with his friend while I went to work warming up. I was watching him while jumping rope and doing my jumping jacks.  Finished with my warm-up I went to the playground equipment to find an appropriate height step to do my incline push-ups on. It was in my second or third set of push-ups I noticed some kids mocking me, laughing and looking away when I looked at them.  These kids were probably early teens.

At first I shook my head thinking, "It's sad that kids mock people like this." Then I got proud, "Hell, I'm out here working on keeping myself fit in order to live a longer, healthier life." As time went on, I got sad. I remembered my time as an early teen and all of the mocking I dealt with for being overweight. Kids are mean to other kids.  And yes, their mocking me brought that all back and made me hurt inside.  Hurt for the girl I was, hurt for any impressionable child who is going through the same thing right now. I've dealt with my insecurities from my childhood for the most part, but I still remember.

I remember a guy I liked in high school asking me if I was pregnant because I was fat. Never mind I had never even been kissed. Those days of insecurity lead to years of depression and negative self worth. It took a lot of work to get to where I am today. A lot of tears and sweat. It doesn't stop the pain or insecurities from creeping up every now and again though.

I went from this in high school.
To my worst weight ever...

Around 412, about 8 years ago

To where I am today...

Goofy flexing picture during a progress photo shoot.
Of that, my progress... I am proud.

Monday, May 2, 2011

RSG Week 2 Summary

Fitness Goals:
  • Follow the BW Workouts of Rebel Strength Guide 3x Per week: Complete!  I even leveled up to level 2 for my squats and lunges! My push-ups have increased from starting numbers in the 40s to numbers in the 80s this past week!  I'm going to graduate from knee push-ups to "real" push-ups in week 4!  My planks have increased from 80 total seconds to 490 total seconds!  So I'll be looking to make those harder this week too.
  • Cardio HIIT "triathlon" 2x week: Completed! I figured out last week with 2 days of hard cardio between RSG days, my legs were dead. So I've opted to do 1 HARD day and 1 medium interval day. On my HARD day I made a increase in of my overall time from 37 minutes 49 seconds to 32 minutes 38 seconds.  That's a 14% IMPROVEMENT!!
  • 5 Chin-ups: This one isn't going to happen.  While I'm increasing the difficulty of my inverted body weight rows, my overall weight is just too much for my arms to handle. Right now I'm at the 45% angle that Steve recommended in the article for how to do a pull-up.  As soon as I can hit 8 reps for each set 2 days in a row, I'm moving to the next difficulty, Assisted Pull-Ups with a chair.  Although last time I tried those, I felt I was using my legs too much.  It'll take some playing.  I may do reps of assisted pull-ups and negative pull-ups together.

Life Goals:
  • Train for Project Management: I grabbed a book this week to read.  Oddly, my boss has 3 of us on the team reading for this now, so I have to really wonder what his objective is.  Kinda has me hanging in mid-air right now.

Eating Goals:
  • 95.24% Paleo.  I was really craving pizza this week so I said, if I do well with my numbers during my measurement taking, I can have pizza Sunday night.  And I did.  It was good, I ate too much, but I'm OK with that.

Overall Progress:
  • I'm down a total of 8.6 pounds and 17.5 inches since I started.

Overall: I give myself an A for the week!