Sunday, January 31, 2010

Learning from The Duke

"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

When you are in the process of changing your habits, moving to something new, changing your comfort zone, guidance is essential. After all, if you had it all figured out, you probably wouldn't be reading this! Today's guidance is from John Wayne. Actor, soldier, father and political activist, John wore many hats. Some of them made him a hero, some made him the target of ridicule. Either way, he was a guy who put himself out there for all to see. I respect that.

For me, this quote means that 'tomorrow' is the day to start again. While I am in process, about to start week 4 of a 12-week push, I need the start of a new week to be that renewal, that day to be 'very clean.' I tried some new things this week in my eating and fitness plan. I even wavered a bit, and drank a couple glasses of wine. 'At Midnight', all is forgiven and my strong-start day begins.

To ensure my strong-start tomorrow, I will do some planning:
1. Grocery Shopping: I will make sure I have all that I need so I don't think of eating something other than what I should. Fill your space with good choices, so the bad choices are all crowded out.
2. Plan My Fitness: Set a goal for the week, and especially know exactly what I am going to do tomorrow. Book it in my calendar.
3. Get Some Sleep: Go to bed at a reasonable time, so I reduce my stress levels for the strong-start day.

Tomorrow is weigh-in and measurements. Fingers Crossed. I hope everyone has a strong start of the week!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Kicked My Own A$$- A Definition

Angry Elliptical: Noun. The usage of an elliptical training machine, in such a way that you move as quickly and as hard as one can, as if the machine was taking the persona of the most infuriating person you know, and you just wanted to smash their @##$%$% face in.

Cruisin' Elliptical: Noun. The usage of an elliptical training machine, in such a way that you move in a sporty, peppy way, as you groove to your favorite She-Ra tunes.

She-Ra Tunes: Noun. Tunes that make you groove and make you feel like you too, are a superhero. (see She-Ra here for a more detailed description of what brilliant, chick-superheroes are all about).

Recovery Treadmill: Noun. Using the treadmill at 0 incline and slowly decreasing your heartrate after a good push.

I just got back from the gym and oh am I so beat. I worked it girl. All the way around the world. So, before I pass out, Here's my program:

5 Minutes warming up on the elliptical trainer. (Must get warm).
30 Minutes Angry Elliptical
15 Minutes Cruisin' Elliptical
10 Minutes Recovery Treadmill

Right now, Angry Elliptical means working on level 4, at speeds between 5 and 6 mph. Oh, it is hard. I just stare at the time saying, 'only 6 more minutes! AHH! Don't throw up!'

Cruisin' Elliptical is working still on level 4, but between 3 and 4 mph, while rockin' it to Jamiroquai and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Remember I said I wasn't sweating? Well, I don't seem to have that problem today.

What is everyone else doing to Kick their own A$$es?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Roasted Winter Veggies

I love roasting veggies, but I also love keeping fresh and within season. So, I threw together some of my favorite root vegetables, and it was awesome. I used portions all week.

1 Large Celery Root (I bet you haven't cooked this in a while or ever)
4 Small-Med Sweet Potatoes
4 Medium Parsnips

Set your oven to 425.
Rinse all your root veggies. I like to bake with skins on, but feel free to peel.
Cut them into quarters or 2-bigger-bite-sized pieces.
Put them in a tall baking dish, like a Corningware 1-1.5 qt glass dish. Evenly salt, pepper and Paprika the cut veggies. You don't need as much salt here because celery root is naturally salty.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes.. just leave it in there. Basically, they cook in their own juices, making a nice blend of flavor. The parsnips and sweet potato have lots of natural sweetness, combined with the saltier celery root. Take them out and let them breathe a bit before serving. Then, try not to eat them all at once! I have been having them as a yummy and ultra-filling side dish.
You can even dress up the different servings: one night I topped them with fresh horseradish, the next night I topped them with tomato and roasted red pepper. It's all about keeping it interesting, and once it's made, you have it easily at your fingertips. Enjoy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Week 2 Weight Loss

2.7 Pounds is respectable. I would be pleased if I lost at least 2 pounds per week between now and the end of my 12 week challenge. That would mean I would lose another 20 pounds. Not too shabby. But of course, I am the Queen of instant gratification.
So, what can I do to hit up a bigger number, say 3 pounds a week? That would be a total of 30 more pounds lost and incidentally seem like a really sexy number.

Isn't 3 sexy?

So, here is my plan:
1. Drink more water. I am drinking about 50 oz. of water a day.. I am going to crank that up by drinking 24 oz when I first wake up this week.
2. Add some weights to my training. I did about 3300 PA cals last week just by walking. I am going to try to do the same, but add a resistance program 2x's this week.
3. Stay closer to 3+2+5. I keep missing a shake, but then eating more veggies. I just want to see if it plays out any differently.

My measurements are still weird. I think my body is moving about and shapeshifting: a little less over here, a little more over there.. what am I play dough?!? Maybe I need to find a better way of doing it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Now We're Sweating

It is so hard for me to break a sweat. I can feel my body resisting it, and it is not uncommon for me not to sweat until my workout is almost complete. In the meantime, I am a furnace. I feel like I am cooking. So, to try to break this cycle, I have started to go into the sauna for about 5 minutes to try to open the floodgates. I have not been a sauna person in the past, mostly because the idea of being in a sweat box with a bunch of strangers is not all that appealing. However, I think I like it. I am definitely sweating more, which is a good thing.

I tripled the physical activity that I did last week. BIG WIN.. RAH!
I count physical activity calories (PA), using a chart that HMR gave me. Essentially, it factors in my current weight, the intensity of the workout, and the time. So, since I walk, it is considered medium intensity. For my weight, I get 9 PA for every minute of medium activity. For high intensity, I get 16 PA per minute. The goal is to get at least 2000 PA's a week.

If you would like to use the calculation, go the walk o meter link to check it out. It highlights walking, but if you click the button that says 'Calories for Any Activity' it will break down other fitness intensities too. I like it. It is a nice tool to confirm with yourself that you are moving.

I would like to begin to add some weight training to my activity, so that will be my goal as I move into week three. Week 2 weigh-in tomorrow! Fingers Crossed!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Class Motivation- Pick it Up!

Class Pick up the pace!!!! It is like crickets! I think people are genuine and want to lose weight and support one another, but gee whiz are they quiet. I guess my expectations were that I was going to feel like the class was going to be run like coaches coach a baseball or football team: we were going to all take a knee together and learn how to keep our noses to the grindstone and fight! fight! fight!

Well, I am routing for all of you out there! RAH RAH RAH! Hope you are routing for me!

This week's assignment is to revisit using canned veggies. Anyone know some good ones out there? I am not a huge fan usually because they are slimy to me.

Someone to Love, Something to Do, Something to Look Forward To

This is in response to PJ's blog post. Check it out here.

According to his post, people are happier when they write about these things. So, I am going to give it a go.

Someone to Love

I have been pretty lucky in this department. I have had a sweetheart since I was 14. We love one another madly and he is really my best friend. Sure, we have had our challenges in the past and present, but he is really just lovely. I don't know where I would be without him.

Besides him, I grew up with two mommies. No, I don't mean that my mother is in a same-sex relationship. My mom has a sister who is impaired, but very high-functioning. She is the happiest, most direct person you would ever want to meet. And, I had the pleasure of always being with her for most of my younger years. She taught me how to be patient and kind, no matter what. Even now, when I am having a bad day, just talking to her is really a treat because she makes things so simple and easy to understand. She is adding years to my life I am sure. So, I love and am loved so well.

Something to Do

I am employed and generally like the work that I do. I have been lucky in my professional life and have had many opportunities to do things new.
Personally, well you all know I am doing this blog and taking this journey, so I my plate is pretty full at present.

Something to Look Forward To

I really want to have a family. I have been putting it off, giving myself excuses why I am not ready, but I think I am never going to be ready. To a girl who is heavy, the idea of making a baby and being heavier is terrifying. I think I just need to go full forward and take it on. So, when my current goals are met.. This is the next journey.

So now that I wrote this, am I happier? Yeah. I am. :-)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Week 1 Weight Loss

Good Starts here people.... 6.10 pounds down. Woot!

Awesome sauce!


OK.. enough of that. But I am pleased. The motivation is high at the moment, so I am riding the wave. It is so gratifying to have a strong start.

I have a walking buddy at work now. We walked once so far this week, and have 2 more walks planned . I also went to the gym twice now without winging. Since I am starting out, I am walking on the treadmill and increasing my speed slowly. I want to get the right rhythm, then I will get moving on more strength training.

My measurements have not moved much yet, but I didn't expect them to. So, I will give them a better analysis on Week 4.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yummy Spicy Gazpacho

OK, so my assignment this week was to make something that used 8 or more servings of vegetables so that I could use it in bulk with my HMR foods. Well, SUCCESS!

I made a spicy gazpacho that kicks tail.

Here is what you do. It requires no cooking, just prepping. It took me all of 10 minutes.

2 large cucumbers diced
large 21 oz, canned tomato
10 scallions, chopped
2 cups of diced pepper (I used frozen)
2 cups of diced onion (I used frozen)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (if you don't like cilantro, Italian parsley is good too)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I went a little light on the 1.4 cup measurement)
tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco (to taste)*
1 clove of minced garlic*

Mix all of the above together in a non-reactive bowl. Refrigerate. The longer it is in the cooler, the better it tastes. I like mine chunky, but if you like one more soup-like, then blend half the mixture, and put it all back together again.

* I didn't use Tabasco or minced garlic. Instead, I used two tablespoons of Asian Garlic Chili sauce. I love the stuff. I fell in love with chili sauces while travelling in Singapore. Here is the link to the company Huy Fong Foods . I got mine in my local supermarket. It makes it have a really nice kick.

The spice and the cool is actually really great in the winter. It is a nice alternative to the side salad.

Broke the Seal... Moving

Finally! Went to the gym and moved for an hour. It is funny how first starting is so darn difficult. But now that I have gone once, I don't have the same feeling of dread about going again. I didn't go nuts.. I decided to aim for consistency more than high endurance. I think it paid off. I woke up this morning and didn't feel wrecked. However, my energy is still not where it should be. I need to figure that out. I took a long nap yesterday, thinking I would get caught up on any sleep deprivation. I am not so sure it worked.

Because I did nap, I ate funny too. I had oatmeal in the morning, napped in the early afternoon, went to the gym, then had a mega dinner. Since I slept through lunch I doubled up my portions for dinner, eating 4 servings of Veg, two entrees combined together, and then a double shake with berries..... I was sooooooooo over full. It felt like a brick in my stomach. I don't think I will do that again.

Well, tomorrow is weight and measurements. Moment of truth.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Team Coaching, Go Team Missa!

Wednesday night was the night that I started my first of many more bi-weekly check-in calls. Yup, that is right, I have to check in about every 3 days, and I have to talk about it. This is so out of my comfort zone. I don't like talking about how much a weigh, and certainly not with other people in the room.

Now that I have said that, it wasn't too bad. I didn't feel ultra inspired by the call, but instead appreciated the academic approach to it. Everyone says whether they did what they were supposed to do, they say what helped them keep on track. We didn't talk about why people didn't do what they said they would do. There were no excuses or crying about it.

The health educator (HE) is really direct. She gives you concrete facts that your program is going to work. I appreciate that. So, consume less, weigh less. Bonus. So, here are the things that I need to do:
1. Write down what I eat. They make it easy because they gave me weekly progress charts.
2. Eat foods only on the program. This means eat the minimum, 3 + 2+ 5, and if I am still hungry, more shakes, meals or fruits and veggies.
3. Move.
4. Check in.

So, I haven't done as much on the move front. It is the first week, so I am not trying to stress it too much. I asked the HE about it. She said that it makes sense not to rip the rug out from under yourself all at once. I have decided to find workout buddies. I will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Turtles Move Faster

Motivation to get moving is lacking. I got up and walked outside for about 15 minutes, which felt pretty good. However, very shortly afterward, I felt, as I do now: really sleepy.

I also seemed to have lost my appetite yesterday. I just couldn't get myself to eat every calorie that I needed. I chose sleeping instead.

I need to check in with my Health Educator tonight. I will let you know if she has any advice for me. My guess is that maybe I am just unfortunately battling something in the midst of trying to get things started. It is either that, or my body has decided to go into hibernation as it is has been so incredibly cold!

Fitness is being worked on.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One Day Down, 89 To Go!

Yesterday was OK. I didn't feel like I was starving myself. I brought my lunch to work without any major event, and no one noticed I was 'dieting'. I am not one to be embarrassed by being on a diet, but I really don't enjoy it when people treat you like you are in a magic bubble of some kind. I suppose that being overweight puts you in the bubble automatically, as someone who is different than everyone else.

So, what am I eating? Well, I am doing the HMR meal replacement system. It requires me to eat 3 meal replacements (shakes, oatmeal, pudding, soup), 2 prepackaged meals, and 5 servings of fruit and veg. It basically adds up to about 1200 or less calories per day. I like it because it takes the choice out of my day. I am not particularly good at making choices when it comes to food... probably why I am where I am right now.

Here is what I ate:
Morning: Oatmeal 210
Lunch: Lasagna with meat sauce and steamed string beans 60 + 250
Chocolate Shake 110
Dinner: Pot Roast and steamed fresh corn. 120 + 210
Dessert: Chocolate Shake with frozen cherries 90+ 120
48 oz of water drank. ( I have to work on this. Once the water is in front of me, I will usually drink it).
Total calories for the day: 1170

Today, I will begin to get more active. Let you know how it goes! I bet these first 90 days are going to go like a flash.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why Ethel?

Ethel and I have been together for quite some time. She keeps me tossing and turning at night. She is always trying to be one step ahead of me. Ethel is my tummy. I can't quite remember when she was named as such, but I find her to be someone or something that holds me back in life. So, tomorrow is the day that I start tackling her and putting her in her place.

Now, don't get me wrong. Ethel and I have had some great times. We have traveled the world together. We have been on some great vacations. We accompanied one another to weddings, parties, and all kinds of social engagements. She has been always at the ready, willing to take on whatever I felt like indulging.

Tomorrow is the day that I begin to change so many habits that I have worked just as hard to ignore as I have worked to maintain. I kind of feel like there should be some queued theme music at this point, but maybe there should be. I am trying to plan for all possible outcomes. This blog is just one piece of the arsenal that I am creating to keep me on track and accountable. I promise to work hard and keep the lame excuses to a minimum.

Here I come. Ethel, you have been served.