Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Treading Water

So, at the beginning of the year, I said I was going to take this 10 pounds in 10 weeks approach. How have I been doing? Well, I've lost a total of 1.4 pounds in seven weeks. Actually, this is what my weight has looked like over the past seven weeks:

Basically, going to New York really tripped me up. I have to learn how to find a balance between "go! enjoy yourself!" and "ugh, well, I've already been off the wagon all weekend... a few more days of eating whatever won't hurt me". I've definitely gotten back on the wagon this week, but at the same time, I haven't worked out for the past two days. Thursday, I had my ankle issues. Yesterday, my cold finally reared its ugly head (it's been sitting in my sinuses for a while... that little tickle that lets you know that something is coming). Not to mention that for the past few days, I've been putting in 8+ hours at the office and coming home to do even more work. I'm very consciencious about not falling into the trap I fell into in grad school when I was too busy to work out and ballooned up into the 230 range... but at the same time, the elliptical and running a 5K isn't going to get me tenure. This is what I deal with every time I get stressed.

I have three weeks left out of the original 10. There is no way that I'm going to lose 8+ pounds in that time, but as long as that chart keeps its downward movement, I'll be happy.

BOOT CAMP STARTS TOMORROW... are you ready???? I am psyched!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Moving On Up

Today is/was a running day, but I've decided to take it easy instead. I've noticed this pain in my ankle (or is it my upper foot... it's basically the front part of my ankle, where my leg and foot meet). Anyway, I've had it for the past few days, and it's still not feeling any better today, so I'm not going to run, but instead will do a spin class later this afternoon for a little cardio goodness.

I'm so excited about my running though! Ever since I started my new relationship with the treadmill, my running has gotten a lot better. I'm running a 12-12:30 minute mile when I'm running, which for me, is a huge improvement from my previous run-ins with a treadmill. Anyway, I think I'm ready to move onto running long runs, not just the C25K intervals. Looking at the C25K program, it's built around the assumption that you're running a 10 minute mile. Uh, no, not me. So, for now, I'm going to concentrate on working on my running time. I'm bumping it up to a 25 minute run for the next few runs, then 27 minutes, 29 minutes. When I get comfortable with a half hour of running, then I'll start working on my distance. But I'm kind of hoping that it just comes with it.

Yay to those of you who signed up for my boot camp challenge! I'm so excited to be starting it soon. Hope you are too! And for those of you who are still in need of a balance ball... TJ Maxx is the place to go!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Okay peeps, here's the info on the boot camp challenge. We're going to start on March 1 (Sunday) and run through March 28 (Saturday). It's a four week challenge, and yes, there is an activity to do every day. However, don't sweat it if you can't completely commit to working out every day. I'll tell you right now that there are two days that I won't be able to work out, because I'll be flying to and then flying back from Vancouver. But I plan on working out the other 26 days of the challenge. In fact, Sparkpeople says the following about skipping one of these workouts: "If you miss a day, you can move on to the next day or do two videos in one day. Think of the New YOU workout plan as a guideline, so if you mess up here and there, don't worry—just get back to it!"

So, how does it work? SparkPeople have posted a short video (5-10 minutes) for us to do each day. (You can find the videos here. Page down and click on the corresponding day.) To do the videos, all you need are a set of hand weights (I suggest 5-8 lbs) and a stability ball (I'm going to buy mine at TJ Maxx this weekend!)

Along with the videos, we will all be doing 30 minutes of cardio, 5 days a week. So, what will your week look like?

Sunday: Kickboxing video
Monday: 30 minutes of cardio and lower body sculpt video
Tuesdays: 30 minutes of cardio and upper body sculpt video
Wednesday: 30 minutes of cardio and core strength video
Thursday: 30 minutes of cardio and lower body workout video
Friday: 30 minutes of cardio and upper body sculpt video
Saturday: Core Workout Video

I'll post a check in every Saturday to see how we're all doing, if we find the videos challenging, etc.

I'm ready to commit! How about you? If you are willing to start this boot camp challenge with me, hit me up in the comments! My goal is to feel fit and fine at 29 (which will happen on March 27)... how about you?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Vision Board

Ever since MizFit has been talking about her vision board, I've been contemplating putting one together. I started saving clippings of things that I find motivating, whether it's pictures (the running chick, the gorgeous brunette in the stunning pink dress), quotes (my favorite Sex and the City quote and another one from Eat Pray Love, a book that has made a huge impact on my life), as well as random things (I heart hydrangeas and orchids). I finally took some ME time to put it together yesterday, and I'm so happy with it. Another thing that I've adopted from The Secret is the Law of Attraction: the idea that putting out positive energy into the world will help you to achieve what you want. It's so easy to get lost in the negativity that we're all guilty of. One thing that I did when I went through my divorce was to get rid of a lot of negativity, especially since the X was a very negative person. I can't believe how many people have commented on what a different person I am since I started doing that. However, I think I've gotten a bit lazy on that front. 18 months ago, it was all good, but I've found more negativity creeping into my life. Time to start using that scalpel to cut all that bad stuff out!

What do you do/ what tools do you use to keep yourself motivated?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Brick in the Wall, Part III

We don't need no education,
We don't need no thought control,
Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone!
This song was going through my head this morning as I was in cardio hell. I decided to try out a "cardio challenge" class at the rec. I had been to another class with the same instructor, so I was ready for a workout and a challenging one. Class started at 7:30, and by 7:45, I was finished. The instructor had us working on Bosu trainers, which was fine, except she had the most intricate footwork for it. Translated: I was trying to figure out where my feet should have been going more often than doing the actual exercise the rest of the class was doing. She had us running laps around the room, and I think the breaking point was when we had to SKIP laps around the room. I couldn't imagine staying until 8:30, so at 8, when the group went for more laps, I picked up my Bosu, put it back on the rack and walked out. I heard later that two other people took my lead and left soon after. Let the revolution against ridiculous group classes begin! I ended up spending another 20 minutes on the elliptical, where I knew I was burning calories instead of scratching my head, trying to figure out where my feet should be.
I'm not doing a weigh in this week. Considering I was "off the wagon" until Wednesday morning, there is no reason for me to publicly admit my indulgences over the long weekend (oh, wait... I just did). Let's just say that I'm much more focused on next Friday and making it there than I am about my current status.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Snow Daze

When I finally got my butt out of bed this morning at 7:45 and dragged it to the gym, it was kinda sorta flurrying. By the time I got to the gym and was at the end of my first 10 minute interval (that's Week 6 Day 2 of C25K if you're keeping track) we had a huge snow squall. I love snow, don't get me wrong, but running on the treadmill which is placed in front of a ceiling to floor length mirror while snow was coming in crazily with the wind? It was almost dizzying. Then, after about a minute or two of this squall, things returned to normal, and I completed the rest of my run.

I COMPLETED THE REST OF MY RUN! I'm so glad that I decided to switch over to the treadmill for these training runs. Today was the first day that I did W6D2, which is a 10 minute run followed by a 3 minute walk and then another 10 minute run. I admit that I was a little tired towards the end of interval 2, but still... I rocked those 10 minute runs. I think I might do that day maybe one or two more times and then start moving onto the longer runs, building my distance. Eep! I'm starting to feel like a runner again :)

Wow! I'm so excited about the response to my Boot Camp Challenge, which, in my head, I keep referring to "Fit and Fine for 29!" I'll put more details up here soon, but I'd like to start on March 1st since it's a four week commitment and the big 2-9 is on March 27th. Yay!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Does anyone remember that old SNL skit, Mary Katherine Gallagher? It was huge while I was in college, and my friends and I used to love that skit a ton. Maybe it was because I was a former catholic school girl myself, but sometimes, I just think to myself "I'm a SUPERSTAR!" just as a little pick me up. Sometimes we all need things like that :)

I went back to the gym yesterday and today. Yesterday, I did another C25K run on the treadmill. You know, I think I might be in love. With the treadmill of course! I concentrated on my speed yesterday (Hello, 5.2 mph! I don't think we've ever met before!) as well as my stride. I loved it. Today, I tried out a new Super Sculpt class. It was great. A bit of a cardio warmup, then all sorts of squats, lunges, and weights. I really enjoyed it. Another goal of mine today is to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon. Going to the grocery last night should help with that... kind of hard to eat healthy if there's nothing in your fridge!

So, it's my birthday next month... and while it isn't a milestone birthday (next year will be though), I'm thinking of having a blogging even for it. Anyone interested in doing the sparkpeople bootcamp with me throughout the month of March? I want to be fit and fabulous for the last year of my 20s. Let me know if you're interested, and if so, I'll give more details in a future post.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Behave? Me?

I had a fabulous weekend in New York. Ate ate ate, drank drank drank. But I'm not going to complain about the weight I gained for two reasons. First, I'm at the weight that I usually am at the end of one of my weekend splurges, so no difference there. Second, I live in West Virginia for goodness's sakes. Where else am I going to get my fill of Irish pubs, Cuban and Southern Italian cuisine? (And, any WV people... WV "Italian" food is so not Italian.) I had a blast. I had an anti-Valentine's Day date with one of my best guy friends. We went to see August: Osage County, which was a fabulous play. Okay, it was a bit depressing, but in no way did I feel like I was sitting in that theatre for three and a half hours. Then we went to eat at Il Gattopardo near the Museum of Modern Art. It's in the basement of a townhouse, which sounds kind of odd, but we were seated in the heated patio/greenhouse part of it. It had great ambiance, so if you are in town with your SO, I definitely recommend this place. I flew back to town yesterday, and today it's back to the usual routine. I already had a date with a treadmill, and I'll be leaving for the office shortly. It's kind of fun to look back on my whirlwind 48 hours in the busiest city in the US and smile to myself as I go back to the same old same old of every day life.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Happy Hour Edition

I'm maintaining... and at a moment like this, I have to wonder, what would Jimmy Buffett do?

I'm off to NYC for the weekend... I'll try to behave, but I really can't promise anything :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Me Against The Treadmill

Don't ask me why, but I'm just really not feeling the Biggest Loser this season. I know! Me! Of all people! Maybe I'm just bored that they're all lovey dovey contestants, even when they try not to be (Helen, I'm talking to you and your "game playing" speech). Maybe I think the challenges are dumb (balance yourself on this yoga block! keep your arms raised above your head for four hours!). Maybe I'm just busy with work and other things going on that I'm not into it. So the weekly Kiki Biggest Loser recaps are going on hiatus until something GOOD happens on that show. If not, I'll just be bored for the rest of the season.

Today was a running morning. I was supposed to get my butt out of bed and meet E at 6:45 to do our run and then go to a strength class. I don't know what's been up with me (stress? the weather? my allergies?) but when my alarm went off at 6AM, I shut it off. I then texted E at 6:30 to say that there was no way I was going to make our 6:45 meeting time. I ended up sleeping until 7:20 and then going to the gym. I've been experiencing motivational issues while running on the indoor track. I feel slow, I hate going around the turns, and it's just an overall bad experience. I had decided earlier to try the treadmill again, but KK's post yesterday made me definitely want to try it out.

I walked up to my chosen treadmill like a woman approaching an unbroken horse. I wanted to have the upperhand, but really, I knew that the treadmill was in control of the situation. I started off with my five minute warm up, then very cautiously nudged up the speed. My Ipod died (it might help if I charged it every once in a while) so I listened to the noise of my feet hitting the belt and the whistling tune that the machine was making. I ended up finding my own rhythm quickly, and increasing the speed again, outside my normal comfort zone. Overall, it was a GREAT experience. I completed my C25K run for the day and not ONCE did I feel like I was going to fly off the back of the machine. I've "broken" the treadmill!

I ended up leaving the gym with a big smile on my face. Not only did I feel accomplished in my run (which, for the past few weeks on the track, I haven't been feeling like a runner much at all) but I know that the treadmill is now something that I can use as a training tool instead of something that freaks me out.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Reminding me of me

Yesterday, while I was working on my paper (the draft is complete! just need to work in the tables, bibliography, and some citations), I had a thought. I was mindlessly eating my way through a bag of pita chips when I realized that I have this cycle: work hard during the week, go to the gym, eat right... and on the weekend, forget about it. Grr. So I wrote down five things that I think will help me:

1) I will not allow myself to throw away all my hard work on the weekend. I get one "cheat" day a week... that's it.

2) I will hit the gym five or six days a week (at least one of those days on the weekend).

3) When I go out, I will dress up. Dressing up helps me feel better about myself. A sweater and jeans just makes me feel sloppy and not in control of my weight.

4) I will focus on eating right and not snacking (read: eating another meal) before bed.

5) I will focus on being the best me and the rest will come.

As we move into the sixth week of the year, is there anything that you need to remind yourself of? Anything you notice that isn't working and that you need to change to see some success?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Stress Eating

I appreciate all the comments that reminded me to breathe while working on my paper for this conference next weekend. It's going well now that I'm actually writing it. I sometimes get paralyzed by stress: you know, when you reach that point where you realize how much time you have left, you start to worry that your tests aren't really that original, you are concerned about members of your panel or the audience sneering at your work. It's amazing how catty the world of academics (and especially my field) can be.

The unfortunate response is that I stress eat. Yes, I do. I restrained myself from actually going to Kroger this week to pick up bag after bag of pita chips (hello, salt, thank you for being a friend). Instead, on Thursday night, after grabbing a beer with some work colleagues (in a super sized pint, which I didn't ask for), I came home, ate a healthy dinner of a 3 oz steak, asparagus and spinach. Then, I had a minor paper-related freak out. I tried to calm myself down with some Grey's Anatomy, but really, I wanted the remaining honey wheat banana bread that was in my freezer. I took it out, defrosted it, toasted it, buttered it, and gave into the beast called "Stress Eating."

Not surprisingly, I had a bit of a gain on Friday morning. That's why I waited to weigh myself in today. I worked hard all week on my nutrition, and I didn't want it reflected after my Thursday beer and bread and butter episode. I lost 0.2 pounds, which isn't a lot, but at the same time, I didn't gain. Also, because I've been stressing over my time commitments, I only made it to the gym four times this week. I usually aim for five or six times, but I just couldn't do it this week. Trust me, I'm not beating myself up over this... the paper is coming along nicely, and it's better than being stressed out over my paper while at the gym.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Kiki Success Squad

First off, sorry for no new Biggest Loser update. I've been so bogged down by this conference paper that I didn't even get to watch it myself on Tuesday night. I heard it was a good episode (and yes, I already know who was kicked off) so if I get around to watching it this weekend, I promise that I'll give you my thoughts in a seperate post.

Every morning, while I'm drinking my coffee, I read the Daily Spark. The other day they had a post called "Assembling Your Success Squad." I find it funny that most of my success squad is here on the internet. Yes, I have people in my every day life that are essential to my success: my gym buddy E. My walking buddy (y'know, when it isn't 10 degrees outside) D. My old neighbor J, who helps me to complain about my weight loss and exercise pains.

But a lot of you have come into my life through this little blog right here. C and Marcie, who started out at the same time as me. RooBabs, KK, and Angie, my running gurus. Miz, PTG, and Cammie, my all around start my day off with a chuckle gals. And Kelly, my fitness buddy who was "introduced" to me by Miz. Every time I post, I look forward to seeing all your comments, suggestions, and pick me ups. So, even though I haven't been posting as much lately (trust me, my work life is pretty much hell for me), you guys ARE my support system. And even though I might not have mentioned you by name here, I always enjoy the random passerby who has a helpful comment. It's amazing to know where I was last year when I started this blog (geez... a year already?) and how far I still can go with your help and support. So, here's a big THANK YOU and a hug!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

Puxatawney Phil saw his shadow today, meaning six more weeks of winter. Those of us in the Midwest and the Northeast are considering finding Phil and giving him a good beating.

I went grocery shopping yesterday, and one of the things that I'm trying to be better about is eating my fruits and veggies. I view the day in thirds: morning, afternoon, evening. I try to eat at least two fruits and/or veggies in each part of the day. I've discovered the usefulness of Glad Steam Lock Bags in steaming veggies like broccoli or asparagus (YUM!). Helps me to not feel so lazy while I throw my dinners together after a long day of working.

One thing that frustrates me about the Hungry Girl emails is that she uses all these ingredients (Tofu Shiraki anyone?) that you can't get unless you 1) live in a big city or 2) have a Whole Foods near your house. I've looked and looked at the fancy schmancy new Kroger that has been all the rage of Motown...nope, no Tofu Shiraki. Just plenty of expensive veggies. Oh, well.

Exercise wise, I did my first long 20 minute run in a looooooooong while. Probably since Thanksgiving. Saturday, I dragged my butt to the gym and hoofed it around the indoor track. I ran a 11:20 mile! I can't believe myself!!! Isn't that awesome? I slowed down a bit after I hit that mile mark, but still. Yesterday was the elliptical, and today I did Week 6 Day 1 (five minute warmup, 5 min run, 3 min walk, 8 min run, 5 min walk, 5 min run). I admit that on the Monday morning after the Super Bowl, I was a bit dehydrated (what's that, Sam Adams Light?) and over stuffed (huh, artichoke dip?) but I made it through. I'm going to be trying a new class at the gym tomorrow, so, we'll see how that goes.

Have a happy Monday!