Archive | October, 2011

Sweatin' to the…

25 Oct

Every week, I take to my Sparkpage blog to recap the week (I’m on week 55 of fitness, btw). At the end, I write out a tentative workout schedule and, usually, some other health related goals. For months, this really worked for me. I stayed accountable. I worked my ass off. I ACTUALLY LOST WEIGHT… WOAH.

And then it stopped. Well, it didn’t stop. I stopped. Even though I haven’t missed a week of recapping and planning, I stopped actually listening to what I wanted to do. And I knew what I was doing the entire time. I know that what I’m missing is personal accountability and, frankly, motivation.

Ooo girl... You gotta get on that! Those pants are TIGHT (and not nearly as shiny as they could be).

 

I cant promise that I’ll workout every day. That’s a horrible, horrible lie. And not one I should even be honest about considering that your body needs rest from strenuous workouts. Plus, if I tried that, I’d be burnt out faster than I started. But I CAN continue to plan… and make a plan B.

Here’s the remainder of my week’s workouts with some potential change ups:

Tuesday (today): Nada… Blackhawks game after work
Wednesday: Either early morning 5K or after class, late night 5K- either way, it has to get done
Thursday: Circuit strength training
Friday: After work 5K
Saturday: Spin class before going home
Sunday: 10K run in the hometown or 10K run when I get home
Potential calorie burn: 1600+

Which means, that this week, I can eat about 1580-1990 calories.

All in all, pretty doable.

SO WHY CANT I F%$%ING DO IT?

Oh, I dont know. I’m lazy, I suppose.

 

So, WWRSD?

I know what. He’d throw on some gold lamae and kick it up a freakin’ notch. Screw crushing reading assignments and 10 page papers for grad school. Forget about soul crushin’ jobs.  It’s time to dance this fat OUT…

And he'd pop out of some random bush just to scare you straight... sorta.

When I was sweatin’ to the oldies, aka… actually loosing weight consistently, I tracked every little bit of food going in me. I also swam. Gosh, do I miss swimming (but not the need to consistently shave and fend off all the pool leaches). Oh! And strength training. I forgot about that. And not just one day a week. This is a 3 day minimum commitment. And goal rewards! I forgot about you shiny things.

Let’s try this for a week, let’s say, err next week. If I can get through a week of my goals, I will give myself a prize.

Goal 1: Track- Track all the food I eat, even if I go over the calorie amount. Food must be tracked by 2pm the following day and I MUST review the nutrition feedback reports.

Goal 2: Strength train with weights, three different days, for at least 20 minutes.

Goal 3: No breakfast sweets at ALL. This includes those delicious cheddar scones at the bakery.

Reward: Hopefully I will have heard back about my Y membership status at this point and can start taking swimming lessons. Before I do though, I want to buy a new, athletic swimsuit. I’m too small for my last one. If I haven’t heard back yet, then I will buy myself a new pair of winter shoes.

Deal. Game on.

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She's Was Working In a Barbershop…

19 Oct

I think there is only one person who can accurately describe my current feelings, so I’ll let him do all the talking:

..

.

It’s weigh in day.

..

.

I worked my butt off. Wait, scratch that. I didn’t in fact, I apparently worked so hard, I worked some of it back on.

Mother f$%ker.

My workouts last week were awesome:

Friday: Hard 5K
Saturday: Spin class
Sunday: 8 miles on a treadmill… on a g-damn treadmill… while watching the BEARS game, damnit.
Monday: 20 minute intense core workout
Tuesday: 60 minute upper body strength training
This morning: Tempo 5K

To be honest, this has been the best week I’ve had in eating as well. I’ve even gotten back to tracking.

But what did all my hard work and persistence get me? 168.4
(For those keeping score, that’s a ounce weight gain)

I've sunk so low, I'm not even above posting a Garfield cartoon.

Part of me, the evil Fran Drescher side, is like,

“Honey, forget about it! You see those workouts? You’ve been getting back to strength training, which is FAB, but really… you know you gain weight for awhile after pumping irons…”

The other part of me, the Cici Babcock (if you will) screams,

“Puh-lease, you non-sensical twit. You still at candy, chips, and even freakin’ McDonalds. Who are you trying to fool, cause it ain’t your waistline.”

Of course, Fran’s mom has something to add…

Sylvia

“Oh, hunnny… stohp beehting yoself up ovah id! Id wahz a lohng wheek. New dawg, ahnowing clahss, big fight… ah dounat ere an there won hurt ya!”

And because this Nanny reference has to end at some point…

“Most annoying blog post ever.”

All of these highly annoying, fictional characters have a point. I worked out a ton, and strength training does mean some initial weight gain. HOWEVER, while I also ate pretty decently, I slipped up big time in the snack department. The stress of the new dog and some drama doesn’t help either.

What am I going to do? Keep on, keeping on. I’m washing my hands of it and moving on. More strength training, because it makes me feel good, and I am going to continue pushing my 5K runs just because they make me feel great. Next week, I’ll get back to yoga and I’ll make sure that I really sweat it out in my spin class. That’s all I can do at this point.

Greer

17 Oct

It’s time to get out the kleenex and turn on some music…

 

cause I’ve got a sad story to share…

It’s about this dog. She’s a two year old corgi/french bulldog mix. She looks so much like a little cow.

Her picture was posted on my friend’s facebook page with a link to the rescue site New Leash on Life located here in Chicago. This little lady had heartworms. It’s a pretty deadly infection that kills so many infected dogs. But it’s a pretty easy thing to prevent, which is why this story is so sad. Luckily, this dog was provided with medical care and her heartworms are pretty much snuffed out. NLoL needed to find her a post-doc foster home- some place where she could relax and be stress free while she recovers.

Of course, I jumped at it. I’ve been wanting a dog since, well, forever. Growing up, my sister and brother both had their own dogs and my aunts had one very special dog as well. So, why not me? I LOVE dogs (cats are another, totally different story), and I was finally in an apartment that allowed me to have one. This was my chance to not only get some K9 companionship, but also to help out a little lady in need.

Greer (which is Scottish for “watchful”… aka best dog name ever) was brought over on Friday. Instantly, I took to her swishing tail, her curiously long body, and her dog kisses. Oh, and did I mention she is such a well-behaved dog. I was expecting problems to correct, even aggression, but she has been a complete joy. Most of her days are spent following us around the apartment, laying next to the couch looking for a belly rub, or on her donated dog bed. Even in her crate, she doesn’t bark nor whine.

We, of course, are reinforcing basic commands like “sit,” “DOWN,” and the occasional “quiet.” And we are also keeping an eye on her to make sure she isn’t running around too much or destroying her toys (we’re already down three).

But I’ve loved our little walks together around the park and how her little ears perk up when she sees a squirrel… like this:

And as MAJOR Pixar fans, Brendan couldn’t help but notice she looked a little bit like this dog:

Skud, from Toy Story

(Note to self: purchase green alien squeaky toy)

Even if she is just temporary, having her at home is such a joy. I cannot wait to get off of work to some doggy kisses and take her on another walk. I may have even changed my work computer’s background to this:

If you are interested in adopting a non-kill shelter or rescue dog, I cannot recommend New Leash on Life or PAWS Chicago more. Buying a dog from a store may mean that you get the breed you want immediately, but there are 6-8 millions of dogs and cats put in to shelters every year and half of them will be euthanized. 30% of the dogs will go back to their original home, while only 2-3% is true of cats. And if you are not sure if you can commit or if you want to help out in a meaningful way, fostering a dog for a short term period really does help. If you are not in a position to take in an animal, you can also help out by volunteering your time or purchasing and donating toys, food, beds, leashes, etc to organizations that accept them. (All facts from the HSUS findings on pet overpopulation)

Ahhh… That Old Gym Smell

11 Oct

Oh hai, herrrooo… it’s time for an actual fitness recap.

Things that I’ve been doing:

YOGA. I’ve been a consistent yoga-doer since freshman year of college all thanks to this guy:

Chaz of the Yogamazing video podcast for Itunes

Doing yoga, by yourself, in all states of dress has been immensely helpful for my perfectionism. Basically, I have a MAJOR fear of not being as stretchy as the next person. So I avoid class situations like a plague… unless it’s a spin class where I know I can dominate.

Then, one sunny day, I ran past the field house across the street from my apartment building. Just out of curiosity, I read a list of the classes they offered (dont get excited, they only have two choices). For $5 a session, you get a full hour of yoga. Feeling brave and in need of a readjustment, I tried it out about three weeks ago. And low and behold, it was fabulous.

It’s nothing fancy. Most yoga studios are in bright, clean spaces. There’s typically some Enya like music playing and some candles are burning dangerously close to the mats and hardwood floors. My class is the poor man’s version. Instead of incense, it smells like my grade school’s smaller gym. And the lights, of course, are florescent heat lamps that flicker on and off and migraine inducing intervals. My teacher is a professional, but is not the zen like image we all come to imagine. She’s super chipper and completely joyful. And, dear God, I love it all.

So, there’s yoga. That’s been a constant. But I’ve also been great about getting my runs in over the past week. Last week’s mileage was 13, all running. I skipped my amazing spin class on Saturday morning because I woke up and I just felt like running. I haven’t felt like that in months. But I went with the flow, threw on my Asics and a pair of sunglasses, and headed out.

I’m currently training to run the Hot Chocolate 15K with everyone else and their mother. I’m not sure why I chose that race, now that I think about it, but I’m guessing it’s because my life has been void of chocolate for awhile now. Either way, I am getting myself ready for the 9.3 miles by doing a schedule similar to this:
Week 1: 7 miles
Week 2: 8 miles
Week 3: 9 miles
Week 4 (taper): 6 miles
Week 5: RACE

I was a bit nervous heading out for the 7 mile long run. Even though I felt like running, my shins have been painful for the last couple of runs. I told myself that I could stop, stretch, and relax if I needed to. And I did… three times. Not a big deal. I’m just training. No clocks or people to beat.

I was feeling great though. My pace was consistent with my LSD goal pace. But around mile 5, at my last stretch break, I noticed that the side of my foot was in pain. I took of my shoe and sock to see some blood and a bit of gravel making a wound in my heel. Of course, I didn’t pack any band aids on that run. So I grabbed some tissues from the bathroom, wrapped my foot up, and started walking. I was PISSED. I wanted those 7 miles more than anything.

And that’s when the Gu packet or the adrenaline picked up. I started walking a bit faster and noticed that it didn’t hurt as much when I was jogging than when I was walking. So I ran. I ran the 2 miles back home… all the while, my foot bleeding and cutting itself up even more. But I f-ing did it. I did 7 miles and I felt awesome. Besides the foot, I was only a little stiff, but I felt as though I could have easily gotten in another two miles.

Things I’m not doing:

Strength training. I really need to get back to this so I dont look like this in yoga class:

Ugh. I hate planks.

Also, food tracking. For the last three months, I’ve avoided my tracker like it was the homeless man hitting on me. I know what it’s going to say, “Those two donuts are not going to do you any good…” Or “My God, girl! Do you WANT to get fat again?” Maybe I do need to try weight watchers… oh wait. Never mind. I’m poor and I dont believe in buying a ton of pre-made food. I’ll figure it out.

Anyways, here’s a schedule, of sorts. Keep me honest, readers:
Monday- Yoga (check)
Tuesday- 5K run and ST
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- 5K run and ST
Friday- Rest
Saturday- Spin class
Sunday- 8 mile run

Lincoln Says

5 Oct

I was back in the home town this weekend, as some of you may have heard. Because it is a private family matter, I’m electing not to go in to details.

Instead, I have a HUGE bone to pick with a certain somewhat famous statue featured in my county:

I will admit to being a tad obsessed with all things Lincoln. I dont know when it started or, really, what compels me to study this man. He wasn’t a saint, that’s for sure. But he was a genuinely good guy and a HELL of a politician.As a kid, I loved this statue. I remember driving past it whenever we headed up north. Even now, my trips homeward still have me careening my neck to get a glimpse of it.

However, over the last few years, this Lincoln has become deeply political. The owner of it putting up signs bashing Obama or any democratic movement straight in the hands of someone who many children look up to. I’m not trying to get political here. I know this blog is read by family and friends who span from super libs to super conservartives. And I like it like that. HOWEVER, I cant help but think that placing a sign in an icons hands does anything but tarnish the good will and faith that many see in the image of Lincoln.

To be honest, I dont remember what the sign said last weekend. But, after I read a blog featuring a great Lincoln quote, I am proposing a rewrite of the current sign.

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. – Abraham Lincoln

Not only does this apply to our political leanings (dems wanting to pass job bills now while conservs. want to cut spending now- both to get ahead of the European crisis and Chinese boom)… but right now, it’s pretty near and dear to me.

I’m not one to have patience. When I have a task to do that is important to me, I get it done right away. I dont hesitate, and I often wont wait around for others. I jump in, head first, and I correct mistakes when I’m done.

When it came to training for my half, I didn’t worry about being at my ideal racing weight (hell, that’s about 30lbs off). I didn’t care about my lack of leg strength or endurance (I knew both would come with cross and strength training). I just ran. I formulated and followed a plan- along the way learning new things about the sport or about my body’s ability. Now that I’ve crossed the finish line, I’m working on picking up speed and lengthening my endurance.

Same is true with my school work. I write my papers till I get everything I want said, said. I then go through and add my figures and show my citations. Even with being non-matriculated, I find myself getting my work done, worrying about my GRE and few application bits later on.

Being one who hustles through life does have its pitfalls. My performance review three months ago may have mentioned my awesome time management skills, but my ability to forget to double or triple check my work. In addition, last night, while walking to a bar to watch the Chicago Fire game, SOB and I were having a discussion about regrets. He said something along the lines of, “Well, you wanted to get married when you were college and now you look back and think you were crazy. How do you know that a couple years from now, you wont look back at how you feel about us and not think the same thing?”

I honestly dont know. Life is constantly happening, constantly changing. And I’m always hustling to make up for it. Having one foot in the door while another is crossing the finish line is a daunting task. I rush through many things (often relationships). And I find myself getting wrapped up in it all.

This isn’t my promise that I will slow down. I still believe that Lincoln phrase to be true and a good reminder of the benefits of not procrastinating. I am constantly reminding myself that we all go through life at different speeds and with different abilities. We shouldn’t push or judge. We’ll have regrets about all the things we could have done longer (I could have watched 9 more minutes of 19 Kids and Counting instead of waiting for my late train, for instance). And we will certainly look back at all those things that we rushed through just for the satisfaction of it being done.

So, here’s my second sign proposal: