Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Training Has Begun

Yesterday I woke up later then usual (I think I mentioned my boyfriend no longer requires a ride to school before 8am) got dressed for the gym, and proceeded to move incredibly slow. By the time I finished all of my morning routine, it was 8:00am - the time I'm usually pulling up to the Y parking lot. I was still going to go. I got into my car, and F*CK. Gas light. So, I went and got gas, got coffee, and drove to work. I'll workout after work I told myself (I gave myself a 50/50 chance of actually following through).

I was back on track with my eating, blogging, and being productive at work. 5pm rolled around quickly, and I changed back into my workout clothes, and headed to the Y. When I pulled into the garage, I was instantly reminded of why I work out in the morning. No spots on the first level. This means a busy cardio room, and perhaps 3rd or even 4th choice of machine! I navigated my way through 100's of screaming children, got to the cardio room, and found a lone empty treadmill.

My plan was to do some interval training since I hadn't really done any of that yet, and intervals (fartleks) are essential when distance training. I warmed up for 5 minutes, then kicked up the treadmill to a 6 mph. I did 2 minutes on (running at 6.0)/ 1 minute off (walking at 3.8) for 20 minutes, then cooled down. It felt great. I think partly because I always have better runs at the end of the day when I'm more warmed up, but also because I was so happy that I was running at a 10 minute mile pace!

I woke up this morning feeling great, and actually made it to the gym before work! I did a nice hard elliptical course, followed that up with some abs, and plan to run around Greenlake tomorrow. Back on track!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yes, I am a cliche

Now that I am officially signed up for the Rock n' Roll Marathon in Seattle, I plan to spend a considerable amount of time blogging about my training. I am only running the 1/2 marathon, and I did "run" and finish this very 1/2 marathon last year with virtually no training, and at least 20 pounds more on my frame. Today, as I sat down to begin this post, I thought of what a cliche I am, to begin a journey to get healthy, and at some point run a 1/2 marathon. EVERYONE does that!

Whatever. Being a cliche is not a bad thing. Especially if it means improvement of my health! I have already discovered that blogging keeps me accountable for eating better, and exercising more, so I would like to transfer that over to my training as well. Last year, I signed up for this race at about exactly the same time. I thought to myself (even though I wasn't in very good shape then) "I have plenty of time." The time passed, and I had not put forth my best effort. At all. By some miracle (or by sheer stubbornness) I managed to finish the race.

I am happy to have a reference point for the upcoming race. Now I can set goals based on my performance last year. I would like to shave off 30 minutes from my previous time of 3h 26m, for a time of 2h 56m.

There are plenty of 1/2 marathon training programs out there, but I'm not going to hold myself to any one of those. My plan is pretty basic. 4-5 runs a week. 2 runs a week will be interval training (or fartleks) giggle, giggle. One run will be "distance," and I will aim to increase my mileage on my "distance" run by one mile per week. The remaining run or two will be maintenance runs and will slowly increase in distance, based on how long my "distance" runs are. For example, this week, my maintenance run will be 3 miles, and my "distance" run will be 4 miles.

Here is a rough outline of my schedule goals (based on distance run):

Saturday 4/3- 4 mile distance run
Saturday 4/10- 5 mile distance run
Saturday 4/17- 6 mile distance run
Saturday 4/24- 7 mile distance run
Saturday 5/1- 8 mile distance run
Saturday 5/8- 9 mile distance run
Saturday 5/15- 10 mile distance run
Saturday 5/22- 11 mile distance run
Saturday 5/29- 12 mile distance run
Saturday 6/5- 13 mile distance run
Saturday 6/12- 12 mile distance run
Saturday 6/19- 10 mile distance run
Saturday 6/26- RACE DAY

This is pretty aggressive, I know. But, if I stick to it, I have time to taper. The thought of running more than 7 miles at once is so beyond comprehension. The most I think I've ever run at once was 6 miles (and that was when I was competing in high school crew) I was in shape, but I hated running. I really began to enjoy running in college, but I never pushed myself to do any distance training.

So there you have it. I laid it all out there, and now it is up to me to stay accountable. I need to get over my tendency of signing up for races, and then not training.

Monday, March 29, 2010

So Bizzy

Last week was crazy busy for me. Something had to give. Unfortunately, it was my blogging time, and my healthy eating choices. It seems that the two go hand in hand. I always knew this blog was good for me, but last week was true affirmation of the fact that typing everyday about my quest to be healthy actually keeps me accountable for following through.

The biggest news is that the offer we put on a house got accepted. The inspection was last Friday, and we have mutual acceptance. I can't even begin to explain how long I have wanted a house. A house to fix up, a yard to plant, parties to throw, etc. The thought of me being so close to that dream scares the crap out of me, because, then what? Everyone was so right when they told me not to be upset after our first offer on a different house was rejected. Somehow everyone knew our house would come. It did. Once I find a renter for my condo, I will truly be excited beyond belief. I'm stressed about money now, but I know I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make this work.

After spending the week catching up on work (I had been spending so much energy looking for a house), having a stressful homeowners association meeting, and making arrangements to close in a month on our house, we took a weekend trip to Portland. Portland was great. Nice weather, lots of fun, great food, and dogs! So, as you can see, no time for blogging. All the action and excitement of last week lead to many celebration meals, road food, delicious meals in Portland, and more road food.

When I returned home on Sunday, I had a package waiting for me. It was a regular post office marked box, but it was wrapped with this cute sushi packing tape. I opened it up, and it was my prize from being a runner-up in Jack Fit's contest! I was so excited as I went through all the stuff Jack sent to me. Anyone from Seattle is familiar with Archee McPhee' was as if Archee had packed the box himself. I will post pictures of the items at some point, once I find a way for each of the items to remind me of my journey. I've got some good ideas already.

I weighed in this morning, and I was only up by 1/2 a pound. I figure with my behavior last week, that's pretty damn good. The next few weeks/months are going to be challenging as my routine gets shook up by moving, and my boyfriend is working full time (meaning I don't have to take him to his 8am class.) Luckily, I have built a good foundation. I have learned a lot about myself over the past 3 months, and most importantly, I know I MUST keep blogging.

Monday, March 22, 2010

At Peace

Last week was such a great week for me in so many ways. All my demons were tested and brought out early in the week when what I thought was my "dream house" slipped out of my reach. I forced myself to get over it, and somehow I ended up finding the root cause to why I am here today. Why I'm holding onto many excess pounds, and once again trying to shed them. The revelation was so great, and so freeing, I have been literally walking on clouds ever since I typed it out.

On Saturday, we looked at more houses, and found some good ones- all is not lost, we will find our house! I got together with my friends and played some good competitive sports, I have great friends. Then, there was my run on Sunday. Wow. It was phenomenal. It came with such ease, and the whole time I kept thinking about how not that long ago, this run, this feeling, was impossible to achieve. I didn't stop at my normal stopping point, I kept on pushing, and kept making my run longer and harder as I went on. The weather was nice. I was feeling good, why not just keep pushing? I ran down to the community college, found some stairs, and began running up and down the stairs. I told myself I was going to do 5 sets. I ended up doing 10. Running up and down 10 flights of stairs after a 35 minute run? WHO WAS I?

This morning I weighed in, and finally, I have a loss! After gaining one week, then losing the gain and nothing more the next week, I have lost one more pound! I haven't reached the big 2-0 loss yet, but soon.

I also decided this morning, that I will be registering for the Seattle Rock n' Roll Half Marathon today. The race take place on June 26th. Last year I ran in it, and it was my first half marathon. I thought about training, but it just never happened. I still completed the race. I am in a much better position this year to begin a training regimen, and even if I don't make it as far as I want, I know that I will still be able to finish because I did last year with no training and at least 20 more pounds on my body! I'm sad that I don't have a buddy to sign up with me this year, but hey, during the race I'm going to be on my own anyway.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bad Ass=Fat Ass

Ok, ok, ok. Scratch EVERYTHING I wrote yesterday in my attempt to fill Jack Sh*t's request of the WHY. I was put on the spot (only by myself), didn't have the proper time to think about it, and as I have done nearly all my life, I thought of the perfect thing to say after I had already said something.

Even yesterday as I really was trying to explore the WHY, I knew what was coming out just wasn't quite right. Sure, it may have sounded good, but I knew it wasn't the true WHY because I could not stop thinking about it for the rest of the day. I thought about it this morning as I was running around Greenlake. Nothing was coming to me, yet, I was still unsatisfied with my WHY's of yesterday.

When I got back to my car after my run (which, get this, was TO THE SECOND the same time it took me last weird is that?) I had a voicemail from my co-worker. I was too sweaty/lightheaded/weak/nauseous to listen to it, because I could already imagine what it was going to be like. Since this was the morning after St. Patrick's Day, I'm sure she was hung over, and either calling in sick, or calling to tell me some stupid story about last night. Once I caught my breath and cooled down a bit, I called her. Our conversation went like this:

A9: What are you doing?
Me: Just got done running Greenlake.
A9: That's cool. I was wondering if you wanted to bring me food, but probably not today since you are all healthy and shit.
Me: I either run or go to the gym every morning.
A9: *Some stupid story about last night that I could care less about*
Me: So, I'm stopping at the grocery store Starbucks, what do you want to eat?
A9: I don't know. What do you want?
Me:, I have to get gas now. Call me if you decide you WANT something.
A9: Fine.

So as I was driving to work, I began thinking of all the things I could get to eat at the grocery store instead of eating the packet of oatmeal I brought. I began rationalizing it, by telling myself I just went running, and blah, blah. Then I would feel bad because I just told myself I was going to be good. This fight went on in my head for about three minutes. Then I stopped. I took a step outside of this conversation, and searched for the WHY.

Why did my co-worker suggesting I bring her food start me down the path of destruction? Why did I feel I could justify eating a bagel, a muffin, or donuts? Why couldn't I get the idea of eating something bad out of my head? I mean, this is the same fight that I have with myself ALL the time. The food, 8 times out of 10 wins (obviously) or I wouldn't be here.

Ready for this? It dawned on me. Just like all the other mini-epiphanies I've had over the past 11 weeks, it hit me like a ton of bricks. If the sun hadn't been out shining in the cloudless sky today, I'm sure the clouds would have parted for this. This is BY FAR the best revelation I've ever had about myself, and WHY I am the way I am.

Ok, to delve into this requires a little background on my personality and my upbringing. I have ALWAYS been a rebellious person. Ever since I can remember I have always been trying to fight something. Telling me not to do something is almost a guarantee that I will do that said thing. I'm always looking for ways around the rules, instigating stuff.

Just about my whole life, I have been told that food is bad. Eating too much is bad. Certain foods are bad. When you are overweight, being seen eating is bad. Bad, bad, bad. Food and eating have this whole "forbidden" quality to me. At the same time, everything in my house growing up revolved around food. Nothing could happen until we knew what the menu was. Celebrations were food, tragedy's were food. Everything was food, yet food was bad.

So, what does a rebellious person do when they learn that food is bad? What do they do when they know they are overweight and eating certain foods is bad? I GET A THRILL (a high) OFF EATING BAD FOOD BECAUSE I KNOW I SHOULDN'T BE EATING IT, THEREFORE I FEEL LIKE A BADASS. I buy food that I know I shouldn't eat, and eat it because I'm not supposed to. I make delicious cakes and cookies and other stuff because I know its not what my boyfriend/mom/dad/whoever wants me to do. Sometimes I hide my horrible eating like some naughty secret. This is how I satisfy my need to be rebellious? By eating horrible food for me, and eating in excess? Wow. Well, me being a "bad ass" has made me a fat ass.

Some people cheat on their husbands/wives/partners. Some people get drunk and do silly things. Some people jump off cliffs in winged suits. Some people smoke cigarettes or inject drugs. Some people lie all the time. Me? I eat bad food. Lol. It is almost comical. This is how I've been defeating myself all these years? By making food taboo, by making food "bad" I was creating this fake world where I was a rebel, doing what I want, eating what I want. For what? To prove what? That I could get fat? That I could hide eating food from people (and somehow they would have no idea, even though my ass is huge)? Oooh...go me, so tough.

Well now that I've figured this out, I feel like an idiot and a genius all at once. I feel so free, like I just found the cure to lifelong happiness. The jig is up, my friends! Secret eating, over-eating, and bad food eating does not make me a bad-ass, it only makes me a fat-ass!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jack Wants to Know Why

Last week, one of my favorite bloggers in this genre (Jack Sh*t) held a "give away." Apparently give aways are popular on these types of blogs, as authors tend to get free stuff for being successful and having a following, and they hold a contest to spread the motivation, and loot. Anyway, over at Jack Sh*t Gettin' Fit he held this give away. I entered by submitting a comment (if you scroll down real far, you can see the comment by Vb). With nearly 200 people commenting, I didn't think I had a chance in hell, but it was fun.

A week later, Jack announced the winners here. I was the VERY last runner up! OMG OMG OMG!!! I immediately sent Jack an e-mail with my information, and told him it better not be some sort of scam where I end up with a dissected frog or old man pubes (I don't even know where you can find old man pubes these days). I was trying to think of the grossest things anyone could send me...I hope I didn't offend him (cause, he doesn't know me) he didn't write me back. Anyway, if I do end up getting something from his desk, I will be sure to post a picture, and stick it on the fridge anyway as a reminder.

Today, checking into his blog like I always do, he had a request for blog posts. He wants to know the "why." Why I am the way I am. Why am I here. Why now. Why why why. I have been running short on material lately, so I figured I'd take the time and explore the Why.

Well, initially I thought this was easy to answer: I spent too long eating more calories then I was burning. Then I realized that was more of a HOW then a WHY.

So I dug deeper: I love eating more then I love exercising., that doesn't seem right. I do love eating, but I love exercising too. Never once have I regretted exercising. I can't say the same for eating.

Ok...deeper still: I am afraid to be the person I know I can be. This is plausible. But also sounds like cookie-cutter garbage straight out of Jillian Michaels mouth. Carrying around a little extra weight is comfortable to me. Its what I know. Oh, wait, and maybe most important, it always gives me an excuse/escape. Fat people LOVE excuses.

Perhaps why I'm here is fear of the unknown. Fear of what I may be like or how things will be different if I was ever normal size. I spent a few years ALMOST at "normal size" in college, but they were practically wasted because I was never able to see myself that way. I look back at photos now, and think, damn...I was so close. But I remember being there, and still seeing a fatty looking back at me in the mirror. Things would surprise me, like when slender people would want to trade clothes with me, or people I thought were really in shape would be intimidated to go for a run with me! But somehow, it never clicked how close I was.

I remember, each day after class, I would head out for my run, and I would run past this old man. He must've been like 80 or 90. He would be walking with his cane, and as he saw me jogging towards him, he would lift his cane, shake it at me, and say in his shaky old man voice "you're gonna get real skinny!" It would always make me smile. But maybe subconsciously it also scared me? Who knows.

All I know is that when I graduated college and moved to a new town, I slowly gained all my progress back to build back that cushion, and be comfortable again. Funny how being so uncomfortably fat can make someone comfortable.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Know When to Hold 'em, Know When to Fold 'em

Sorry in advance for this post. It does not discuss my progress, or have anything motivational in it. It's me, throwing a fit like a two year old about not getting things I want. If that doesn't interest you, check back tomorrow and hopefully I will have calmed down.

In my dream last night, Dave and I were viewing the house we just put an offer in on for the 3rd time. Our offer was on the table, but there were other people at the house checking it out. They offered nearly double what the asking price is. I shouted "you can't do that! It has to appraise!" I woke up in a cold sweat. Happy that there wasn't another offer on it, but incredibly sad knowing that our offer was basically garbage.

Clearly I'm a little shaken and stressed by this whole house buying/offer thing. Right now my confidence is at about zero. Especially as this is happening so soon after the negotiations over the job in California. As much as I am happy about sticking to my guns and not accepting a low salary offer, I will always wonder if that would have been the better thing for me to do.

Yesterday, our offer on the AMAZING house was rejected. Not even a counter-offer. Just flat out rejection. I know our offer was low. We absolutely can not offer any more, we are topped out at our limit. But we are so close. Like, if we had $7,000 more dollars, it would work. What is $7,000 when you are looking at nearly $300,000? Its a drop in the bucket.

So, maybe that's my fault for looking at and falling in love with a house that is out of my price range. I'm leaning more towards I suck at negotiations and am too fucking stubborn for my own good. This house is awesome, we've been looking for a year, we qualify for the tax credit, rates are low, we found a renter, what is the problem?!

Of course there are other places. The seller is clearly not ready to let go of the house. We don't want to over extend ourselves. Blah, blah, blah. I want that fucking house! I want all my stuff back that has been in storage for a year. I want to be out of my 500 square foot condo. I want a yard to garden in. I want to fix stuff, paint stuff, own stuff.

The saddest thing is that I have to let go. It really is out of my hands at this point. No amount of wanting it can make it happen. No food I eat will make it happen. Crazy calls at 7am to my real-estate agent about the dream I had last night will not make it happen. It's just not my time.

Monday, March 15, 2010

DST= My Favorite

I do a lot of stupid things. Rarely do they end up with me causing harm to myself, property, or others. I guess stupid might be too harsh of a word. Silly things might be more appropriate. Things that I hope no one sees, like rocking out in my car (even though its basically a box of windows?!), spilling saucy food down the front of my shirt, or slipping on the ONLY banana peel ever to be on the ground, in my path.

Over the weekend, the news had a segment on Daylight Savings Time, must've been a slow night. Anyway, they were talking about the effects of losing an hour of sleep, and whether there was any information or studies done about this. Turns out that the monday after DST, there are more car accidents. Hmmm. I thought that to be interesting, and then remembered how in October, upon returning from a trip to Europe and being jet-lagged, I scraped my car against some concrete in the garage. I had never hit anything before, ever. I have never been to Europe before. Jet lag had to be the explanation. So, the DST theory seemed plausible, although, I can't ever remember feeling any extra tired, or being able to attribute something silly I've done directly to DST.

I didn't get my normal 9 hours of sleep last night because I could not fall asleep! No, not DST, but putting an offer in on my dream home apparently makes me an insomniac. So I got about 6.5 hours of sleep, dragged myself to the gym to energize myself- which totally worked, btw, and then proceeded to injure myself shortly after.

How you ask? Well, I was filling up my water bottle at the office water cooler, and I used up the last of the 5 gallon container. I pulled up on the empty container to replace it, and it didn't budge. I used more force, and in the process, I was no longer pulling up, but more pulling towards myself. The empty container popped free, and hit me square in the lower lip. Ouch. Ouch! I'm going to get a fat lip. I touched my lip, and I was bleeding! WTF. I actually made myself bleed changing the water. And then I thought back to the news segment on DST...argh...

Weight is staying put for now. My routine took a back seat last week as I decided I needed to become a landlord and buy a house and fought off that weird 24 hour bug. I'm back, things are falling into place, and I can do it all. Provided I get the right amount of sleep, that is.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Take Nothing for Granted

Yesterday, I woke up and I was so nauseous. My mind reeled as I tried to think of everything I had ate in the past 2 days. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Besides, its never the things that you think are making you sick actually are. I trudged on to work, and figured I would just leave after I inevitably puked.

Waves of nausea continued to crash over me. No food sounded good to me, my latte went untouched. I drank two glasses of water, and still nothing was making feel like myself.

I ended up going home early, and crawling into bed. It was so baffling to me, this was not a cold, no. This was not the flu, no. Or was it? No. Something I ate? Maybe, but I don't know what. 24-hour bug? Possible. All I knew is that I would give anything to feel healthy enough/stable enough to work out. I was kicking myself for not finding the time the day before, when I DID feel healthy.

Sometimes, ok, a lot of times, I take my health for granted. I am so fortunate that I only get one cold a year. I'm able to run 3 miles. I can do sit-ups, and resistance training, and just about anything. This odd sickness made me see how all that can change in one day. I wanted to work out again. I wanted to drink water, and eat food again. How long was this feeling going to last? What if I never felt better. I couldn't even imagine. I now had yet another reason to continue to push myself, because I can, and there are people out there who cannot.

Continuing my obsession with weight-loss/journey blogs, I am so inspired by the people that have reached their goals, or are nearly there. Each and everyone of them discusses how easy it was, and they don't know what changed, all of sudden one day they could just do it. They talk about how they are in fear that one day they will slip back. They do not take their progress for granted. They continue to work hard every day, and remember where they have been.

I woke up today, and I felt great! I could not believe I could go from feeling so crappy, to feeling so good, in such a short amount of time. I am so grateful for how I feel today, its seriously like night and day. With the feeling of yesterday fresh in my mind, I am headed to work out. I hope its a long time before I ever feel that way again, but I will remember that day the next time I don't feel like getting my ass to the gym.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tough Choices

Today, I chose taking a shower before work over going to the gym before work. If you had seen my hair this morning when I woke up, you wouldn't blame me. If instead of going to work, I was headed to an '80's hairband party, I wouldn't have showered. If instead of work, I was headed to a "white people can't 'fro" competition, I wouldn't have showered, and probably won.

I chalked it up to poor planning, because I should have showered last night, and then quickly got over it as I realized I can just make up the gym time on Friday morning, and I will still be doing the Jillian video tonight after work. One of the best arguments I've ever heard for scheduling exercise everyday is because "life will give you the days off you need." So true. I would like to add, if life doesn't give you a day off after 10 days go ahead and take one anyway.

My head has been all over the place today as I try and prepare myself for taking on a second mortgage. The best perspective I got today was from my incredibly wealthy boss. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: Morning.
Boss: Hey, Violet.
Boss: Housing market is looking up.
Me: Yup. I'm gonna buy a house.
Boss: And sell your condo?
Me: Nope, gave up on that idea, going to rent it. And then buy a house.
Boss: (between fits of laughter) they gonna approve you for that?
Me: (thinking, he knows how much he pays me)
Me: Yes, got pre-approved yesterday.
Boss: That is totally worth it. I know a lot of people that did well by that. That is a risk worth going bankrupt over.
Me: I thought so too. I will be eating rice for a long time.
Boss: Well, good thing your boyfriend is a chef, I bet he makes good rice.

So, there you have it. No rewards come without risk. Risks always involve tough choices.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

An Apology

Dear Body,

I am so sorry for the way I've treated you the past decade. It was never my intention to hurt you, and keep you from being all you could be. I'm sorry for all the false and short-lived attempts at bettering things, only to continue to hurt you more and more. I'm sorry for taking you for granted, and not lavishing you with the praise, love, exercise, and healthy foods that you so deserve. I beg for your forgiveness, if it is not too late.

You see, it was today that it finally dawned on me how incredible you are. It is beyond embarrassing to admit that after our 30 year relationship, I'm only realizing this now. No matter how much I take, you continue to give. No matter how much I abuse you, you bounce back able to take more. And when I'm good to you, really good to you, you reward me. How you hold no grudges is nothing short of a miracle.

Today, as I was past the half-way mark in my 3 mile run, something in you lit up. It was as if you had awakened from a deep sleep, or left the place that you go when I'm not good to you, and came alive. Skeptics may call it a 'second wind' but I know better. I know that it was you letting go of the past. It was you forgiving me, and showing me that you are willing to move forward, as long as I keep up my end of the bargain. Yes, 10 weeks is a fair test for you to give me, fuck, 5 years, 10 years, or the rest of my lifetime is a fair amount of time to make me work for your forgiveness.

We will always have each other. I have forgotten this in the past, but I will never forget it again. I love everything about you, and would not have you any other way. I promise to treat you right, and give you everything you deserve. It will take work, and we will have our fights, but my selfishness and lack of respect ends here. You'll see.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Building a Foundation

10 weeks, wow. My weight is up a little bit this week, but I'm not worried about it in the least. Over the weekend I tried on some of my smaller clothes, and I fit into them. The regular clothes I have been wearing seem to just hang off me. Workouts that were once hard, have become easier. Making better food choices has become almost natural! I am building a foundation.

Having a strong foundation is how I will survive life's earthquakes, and ensure my structure lasts a long time. Progress is not entirely measured by the scale, just as my overall health is not just about my weight. As I mentioned last week, I feel good, physically and mentally.

Week one of completing a 20 minute Jillian Michaels circuit after work is done! Today I was able to run for 5 minutes at 0.2 miles/hr faster then my previous 0.2 mile/hr increase (so 0.4 mile/hr faster then I have been), I backed it down 0.2 miles/hr and ran for an additional 10 minutes (all this was after 20 minutes on the elliptical, of course). I will be doing the Jillian video this week, and for the next 2 weeks after that. This week, I also plan on running Greenlake two mornings, perhaps Tuesday/Thursday, depending on the weather. I know it sounds strange, but I always feel like running outside is harder then running on a treadmill. I want to make sure I'm used to running outside, since that's where all the races take place!

It literally feels like big leaps in my fitness level happened over night. I don't know how much of this I can attribute to the Jillian video, or if all my weeks of putting in time finally made something happen? It doesn't matter anyway, because I'm going to keep moving forward. I still have plenty more leaps to take.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Who Feels Good?

I feel good. Initially coming to my blog this morning to sign in and write this post, I was directed to some sort of other site, and my anti-virus popped up. My site had been hacked?! I had a minor freak-out, then logged out of everything, changed my passwords, and Googled how to fix it. I had to delete my countdown gadget at the bottom of the page, I apologize if anyone got re-directed from my blog earlier!

I ran around Greenlake this morning as opposed to going to the gym. It is a beautiful March day here, and I felt really good the whole time. The three mile loop took me roughly 35 minutes. I kept my pace nice and relaxed, my lungs felt good, but I could feel a little heaviness in my legs. Most likely due to the Jillian videos! That's right, four for four.

Yesterday, as I was doing Level One of the 30-Day Shred, I paid attention to my form. I am able to complete more repetitions, with better form then the last time I did the video (3 days ago). That is incredible! Just like Jillian says, I will be shredded in no time. After tonight, I will be five for five. The weekends are my breaks from the video, but I will still be getting in cardio workouts. Hopefully, by Monday, all the lactic acid built up in my muscles will be gone, and I'll be feeling lighter again.

In other news, my boyfriend and I have decided to take a huge leap, and attempt to BUY A HOUSE. Now, this great, awesome, idea comes with a few caveats. First, we must rent our existing condo for a price that mostly covers that mortgage. Second, my boyfriend needs to pick up more hours at work, which means dropping out of school next quarter and working full time (luckily, he has been begging me for a break from school for some time). Ideally, he will be starting back up in the fall, after a spring/summer break. Third, we need to get approved for a loan, find a place we like, make and offer, and get picked. Ok, so that was like 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th. We have someone coming by to look at the condo on Sunday to see if she would like to rent it.

One year ago we put our condo on the market, trying to sell it, with the hopes of buying a house. Eleven months later, it did not sell. Then, as I was interviewing for the job in California, the possibility that we would be moving was on the table, and we had to have a plan. If I got the job, there would be no time to go back on the market, so we were going to rent it. Now that I did not take the job, we had to come up with a new plan. Do we go back on the market? Or rent it, just as we were going to do if we moved? Looking at the present economic situation, and the numbers, we would not make anything off of selling it. So, we decided to just see if anyone would want to move in.

We then ran some numbers assuming a) we had a renter, b) Dave was working full time, and c) we eat nothing but rice and beans; we figured out what sort of second mortgage/home price we could afford. I spoke to the bank, and to our AWESOME real estate agent, and there are homes out there for us! We are going to look at places tomorrow with our agent. It would be ridiculous not to take advantage of the market and low rates today. This idea/plan should add some excitement to my life as I figure out how to get us out of our 500 square foot condo, and into a home or townhome at least double that size!

Also, the smaller I get, the more roomy a new place will feel!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

So Full...

Three for three. I am very proud of myself. The Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred Video is comprised of 3, 20-minute workouts. Each increasingly harder then the previous, however for each level there are modifications for each exercise, to build up your strength before doing the full movement (e.g. girl push-up instead of military style, etc.) On my iPhone calendar, I scheduled an appointment with the video for every workday, for the next four weeks. Basically I run through each level once, then repeat, except for the last week, where I alternate between levels 2 and 3 only.

Now that I have completed 3 days of this new routine; my morning workouts plus the Jillian video as soon as I get home at night, I realized my appetite has increased significantly. On Monday, I had a dessert of greek yogurt, strawberries, honey, and granola, because I was still hungry after dinner. Day two, we went out for gelato. Day three, NOTHING! I wanted dessert last night, but I had nothing. I woke up absolutely starving. I was so hungry I didn't think I'd be able to workout unless I ate something. I threw and extra apple into my lunch this morning, thinking "that should do it."

I think you all know me better then that. Well, after 40 minutes at the gym, still hadn't eaten anything, I decided that I would get a chocolate muffin and orange juice (aka, my favorite breakfast of all time) at the store while I got my latte. I got to work, and instead of my packed oatmeal, I feasted on muffin and orange juice and latte. It was delicious. I am uncomfortably full now, but there was no way around this today, especially since I definitely did not eat enough filling food last night.

There is a learning opportunity in here somewhere... Ok, so I KNOW that it is proven (especially in women) that the more you exercise the more appetite you have. I also KNOW that if you eat more calories then you burn exercising, you aren't going to see any benefits. These are hard facts that can not be disputed. Now, I KNOW the following about myself: I can get cocky when I think I'm doing well, and eat too much. I can easily think about something, and HAVE to have it. I am the master of excuses/justifications.

All that being said, where does that leave me? Well, if I'm going to be hungry, but eating more will nullify my additional workout, I need to make better choices. Fruit, veggies, water. These are my options. I am in no way at a point where I can relax. Eight and nine weeks ago, I was hungry all the time. How did I get through that? I wanted to. I must do the same now. I will adjust to the additional exercise, so I get additional benefit.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Just Wasn't Feelin' It

I woke up at 7am, like usual. I went to the bathroom and grabbed my clean gym clothes out of the dryer, like usual. I brushed my teeth, put on deodorant, and took the dog outside, like usual. I packed the same breakfast and lunch I pack everyday, grabbed clean clothes to change into after the gym, and drove my boyfriend to school, like usual. Auto-pilot got me to the underground parking facility at the Y, and I was instantly annoyed to see so many spots taken. Resolutioners are supposed to be gone, WTF? I thought about just driving to work. I wasn't feelin' it.

When I got upstairs to the cardio room, it was empty. I was expecting to not have a machine after seeing the garage. I was somehow relieved, and hopped on the elliptical for 20 minutes. Feeling nice and warm, I went over to the treadmill and decided to kick up my pace by .2 mile/hr. It was easy. I kid you not. I felt relaxed, I ran at that new faster pace for 10 minutes, and was grinning. Results, I has can bet that the next time I'm on the treadmill, I will be bumping up my pace another .2 miles/hr, I must keep challenging myself.

Speaking of challenging myself, I am two for two on Jillian Michaels after work. Damn, that video makes me sweat SO much. Sweat was literally rolling down my cheeks and dripping off my chin after the second of three sets. Sweat was pouring off my eyebrows, soaking my eyelashes, before joining the cheek river to my chin waterfall. Beads formed on the backs of my hands. My t-shirt was stuck to my back. I am so baffled how doing this 20 minute video makes me sweat more then a 30 minute run. Are the moves really that efficient? Perhaps my home is too warm on the inside? Could it be that two days of Jillian made my increase in running pace easy? I don't know.

I woke up feeling trapped/unexcited about my routine, had a great workout that proved my routine is working, and gained some new perspective. As I was driving from the gym to work, I began thinking of all the things I had allowed myself to eat in the past 9 weeks that are "cheats" or "foods that should be limited" here's the list (in no particular order):

Favorite Indian restaurant (twice)
One night of drunken debauchery
Dim Sum
Cupcake from Trophy cupcakes
Chinese restaurant
Cinnamon roll(s)
Greek restaurant in California
Fancy restaurant in California
Breakfast restaurant in California
Pink Door restaurant in Seattle
Dessert from Pink Door
Homemade cake
Ice cream
Homemade cookies
Homemade brownies

How can I be so ungrateful to my routine? As I thought about this list, and it kept growing as I remembered more, I realized I'm not stuck in a boring routine, I'm not depriving myself. I am good 80% of the time. The boring, routine 80% is TOTALLY necessary to compensate for the...ah-hem...choices listed above. Wow, this list is almost embarrassing. How is it that I've lost any weight at all???? I appreciate my routine, appreciate that it keeps me on track most of time, yet allows for some wiggle room. I will remember this the next time I'm just not feelin' it, and be sure to turn my brain off.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

One for One

As soon as I got home last night, I kicked my boyfriend off the XBOX and put in Jillian Michaels. It was tough, but it was also over with pretty quick. I'm a little sore today in my pecs and biceps, which is nice. Being sore assures me that I've done something. Also, by actually doing the video last night, I did what I said I was going to do, and that makes me one for one this month!

I know I'm about to reveal how much of a huge dork I am right now, but I'm SO excited for regular tv programming to be back this week. The Biggest Loser is back on tonight (with limited commercials)! I know they are isolated from their "real" lives, are constantly supervised, and workout 6-10 hours a day, but it is still motivational. Even if my progress is 1/6 of what they do on the show, it still gives me hope that IT CAN BE DONE.

I apologize for the short post today, but I really have nothing else to say! Still excited about my total loss so far, and, I'm SO looking forward to a summer where I can wear my cute shorts again.

Monday, March 1, 2010

In Like a Lion...

I love February. I love February because it is the shortest month, and when it is over, it is MARCH. March means the end is near, the days are longer, and sunshine is just around the corner. Unless of course, you live in Seattle, but whatever is happening outside does not stop my brain from getting excited for March. I was extra excited to wake up this morning to a 3 pound weight loss for this week! I really thought my weeks of 3 pound weight losses were over, so maybe I lost some muscle from being sick? I don't know, but I'll take it.

I wanted to write on Saturday, after I went for an awesome run, but we re-arranged the furniture, and didn't have a long enough cable to reach the laptop (I know laptops are mobile, but its hard to explain). Anyway, I decided that I had fully kicked my cold, and it was time to get back out there and run. I wasn't sure how long I would be able to go for, but I was going to try and aim for 30 minutes non-stop. I was running 30 minutes non-stop before my cold, then did no running for a week, so in the back of my head, I was skeptical. I DID IT! I went for a nice, relaxed 30 minute run without stopping.

Today, March 1, I take it up another notch. In addition to my morning workouts, I will be doing my Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred video after work, M-F. This is going to be quite a challenge, so that's why I'm writing it out, to help keep me accountable. I really have been needing to add resistance training to my routine, but just haven't fit it in yet. By doing the 20 minute circuit as soon as I get home from work, I will be complementing my cardio workouts, and hopefully making myself stronger in the process.

Let's get back to this 18 pound weight loss...I am ecstatic to say the least. For the past 4 years, I feel like I've just been going through the motions. Trying (and failing) to do something better for myself, but just never following through. I'd have mini-wake up calls that would motivated me for a month or so, only to fall back plus more. Its hard to believe that I've gained 55 pounds since 4 years ago. Sometimes I want to grab my boyfriend and shake him, and say "how could you let me do this?" But there is nothing he could have done. I wonder what was going through my friends heads as they saw me balloon up to my highest weight? Perhaps they didn't notice because it happened so slowly. Yeah right!

The best (and maybe worse) thing about time is that it passes no matter what you are doing. We spend so much energy trying to figure out whether or not to do things, and the time passes. We eat and are lazy, and think about how next week will be different, and the time passes. Well, when you DO something (grad school, weight loss, etc.) the time still passes. So, why not just do it? Figure out what it takes to make it work, and do it. Now, in one year, I can potentially erase what I did in four years just by DOING instead of THINKING. The time still passes.

I created a routine for myself. I made a list of all the foods that "work" for me, as far as leave me satisfied, and not craving sugar or carbs (my downfalls). I work each week (shopping, cooking) to ensure I have my meals for the next day so I'm not left with the opportunity to falter. I keep changing up my workouts periodically to keep the boredom at bay. I consciously eat less. I make every effort to cook meals at home. If there is something that I can absolutely not get out of my head after a week, I have it.

For the first time in four years I can actually see myself making progress. I see a smaller me in the mirror. My workouts are harder and last longer. My clothes are looser, the scale numbers are falling, and it feels great. Why I didn't spend my time on this earlier escapes me. However, I'm here now and will not be going back.