Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 251: One Day More to 2013

Here it is, friends and followers. The final day of 2012!

I know it's been a very long time since my last post, and I need to be held accountable for that. Yes, December is one of the busiest and most distractible months of the year, and I have semi-fallen off the fitness wagon.

I've still been working out with the Jillian Michaels YouTube vids about 3 times per week, but my intake has gone to the bad with all the holiday goodies that have been made available over the past several weeks.

The decline of my discipline began when my mom was in the hospital in October. Stress, fatigue, laziness... Pile that before the holidays started, and I was sure to falter. Falter, but NOT fail.

Strangely enough, despite all this, I have been able to maintain an average weight of 135.2 lbs over the past 2 months. I'm thankful that the numbers haven't gone up any more than that, but I also know that I've probably lost some muscle mass since my biking has pretty much ceased during the winter.

My goal is to eventually lose 10 to 15 more pounds.
I mustn't let this slip get any bigger!

I know it's super cliche' to have a New Year weight loss resolution, but I do intend to behave more once the new year begins. I honestly look forward to warmer weather and to March 10th when Daylight Savings Time returns!! 

2012 was full of ups and downs, just like any other year. It's up to us to look back on those memories and realize what we learned from all of them. Be proud of the progress you make, even if it's just a little. 

Me 5 days before I started my journey vs. me Christmas Eve

I wish you all a Happy and prosperous New Year! Here's hoping that 2013 has much love, happiness, and progress for all of us. Thank you ALL for your support over the past 251 days! I can't wait to see what else lies in store for me in this journey.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 224: Free Food is Costly

This time of year is always stressful, wonderful, and overflowing with food. Today was no exception.

I was offered free pizza, cupcakes, rice krispie treats, all kinds of different cookies, candy, and sodas ALL DAY LONG at work today. Talk about temptations! I hate to say it, but I said yes to one slice of pepperoni pizza and, 1 rice krispie treat, and 1 1/2 cupcake. Oh, regrets. I've got a few, but then again, too few to mention....

Ok, no more quoting Paul Anka/Frank Sinatra, I promise. Well, maybe.

Thanks to all the rain we had today, my walk did not I hope the weather lets me go for my walk tomorrow! 

Later in the afternoon, I attended an on campus event where there were even MORE free goodies available. (This was where I ate the 1/2 cupcake.) Ok, really, it was 1 cupcake, but it was a mini one, so I call it 1/2. It was a great little gathering for students, faculty, and staff's families to celebrate the upcoming holidays! There was cookie decorating, face painting, present wrapping, musical chairs, ornament making, and writing letters for Santa!

I made LIT cookies!
And I didn't eat them! =D
I was supposed to just take pics,
but I couldn't help but want to join the fun!
She wanted a pink bow!
When I got off of work, I felt sluggish, and like my entire mouth tasted like it was coated with sugar. I gulped a ton of water, and I hit the Jillian Michaels Level 2 Shred workout HARD.

I feel better already! You know you did something right when the sweat is dripping off your elbows.

So lesson learned today... Just because it's THERE doesn't mean you have to eat it. It makes you feel, for lack of a better term, icky.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 217: I'm Still At It, I Promise!

My poor, lonely, neglected fitness blog. I'm sorry I haven't been posting much lately, everyone. Life has been on the tough side lately, so finding the motivation to blog hasn't been easy.

Thanks, George Takei.
Despite the downtrodden case of the blah's I've been trudging through over the past month, I've been doing my best to stick to staying active and eating smaller portions. I still miss biking TERRIBLY, but I've been walking about 2.5 miles during the work week with my pal Craig, and I'm still doing the crazy Jillian Michaels Shred Level 2 workout that I posted last time I blogged about 3 times a week.

I've managed to lose one more pound as of November 22nd!

The Thanksgiving holiday was a bit on the gluttonous side, but I let it all slide since that's kind of what Thanksgiving is about! Enjoying food with family and being thankful for all of it!

Nick & I spent the 1st half of Turkey Day with some of
my relatives at my parents' house. The evening half
 was spent at his grandma's in Orange.
Something crazy happened on Thanksgiving morning, though. I'm sure many of you have heard about it on the news, but if not, there was a MASSIVE accident on a stretch of Interstate 10 that was actually located at the exit to my hometown of Fannett, TX (Beaumont). One of my high school classmates was actually in the huge pile-up, and she is expecting her 2nd child. Thankfully, she, her husband, her baby, and her daughter were not seriously injured, but their car was totaled. Makes you step back and remember that we need to be extra thankful for the time we've been given, doesn't it? 

Otherwise, there's not much else to report. Life can get pretty lousy sometimes, but it goes on. When things are bad, I try to remind myself that the misery is only temporary and that a new day can bring about something uplifting and wondrous for the spirit. Here's hoping that something blesses my family and me soon.

Thanks to all who are still reading. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 205: Exercise -- The Free Antidepressant

I know I've complained over and over about the end of daylight savings time taking away my precious biking workouts, but it's really been getting to me. I miss the open air, the constant breeze, and the repetitive hum of my pedaling and the wheels against the concrete. I even miss having to avoid the dog poop and the stupid walkers and joggers who are going the wrong way on the trail, and I miss my bike.

But since biking alone in the dark just is too much of a safety hazard for my tiny 4'10" self, I have to resort to working out in my dimly lit apartment to stuff I find on the Internet. It's definitely better than nothing.

I'm still feeling strong symptoms of depression lately, but yesterday I had an evening of relief. Why? Because I exercised my ass off. Thanks to the almost masculine pushing of Miss Jillian Michaels and her YouTubed 30-Day Shred workout, I felt like a whole new person for several hours.

I've been doing her Level 1 Shred on and off for the past 3 or 4 weeks, and I've gotten a little tired of it. At least I've gotten BETTER at it in the process. I decided to try Level 2 of the Shred tonight, and HOLY CRAP I could barely get through it! I intend to alternate evenings of Level 2 and Level 1 on days when I'm stuck working out inside.

I apologize for the mean names I called
you during this workout, Ms Michaels.

I intend to bike on Saturday morning if it isn't too windy. Heck, I might still go even if it's really windy just because I MISS IT SO MUCH. My little folding bike has helped me lose 14 pounds since April, and I've formed a bond with it! I don't intend to break it just because it's cold and dark.

On an unrelated note, I'm missing Nick more than usual over the next few days. Although I miss him terribly and I'm sad I won't be seeing/meeting our Animation Mentor friends, I'm super excited for him today because he's in California for the next few days attending the CTN Animation Expo in Burbank, CA. I guess you could call it the "ComicCon for Animators." Here's hoping he networks like crazy and has a fantastic time with all of his animation brethren. He 1000% deserves this trip, and I'm so happy that he gets to be with his own kind for a few days!

I'm beyond ready for the weekend, my friends. One day at a time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 202: Must Keep Fighting

The past few weeks have felt like an awful roller coaster, especially this past weekend. There have been moments of complete perfection full of joy and love and there have been hours of utter hopelessness, depression, and confusion.

I haven't REALLY worked out (with the exception of walking) for almost 2 weeks now, and my intake has been much less than stellar since my mom was put in the hospital. Multiple recent events have dragged my mood and me down, and I'm beginning to shut down like the old me used to when I got extremely stressed. I've found comfort in eating, and I find myself staring into space or just curling into a ball in the dark. This is who I was before I started this journey, and I refuse to be that person again. That wasn't really a was a shell.

In the words of my favorite person, when I'm not feeling like myself and I'm feeling lost, I've got to take the initiative and the opportunity to reinvent myself. Now if I can just find the strength to get up and do it...

I know what I need to do, but wanting to do it is a whole other story these days. It's colder, I'm exhausted, and I lack discipline. With the end of daylight savings time, I've been making excuses and justifying not working out by blaming the lack of sunlight after work when I COULD always just wake up 2 hours earlier and get it done in the morning OR go to my apartment complex's gym right after work. Why won't I just go all Nike and DO IT?

Anyone who has known me for a long time knows that I am NOT a morning person. I've always been a night owl. Heck, it's already past 11 p.m. and I'm still awake even though I need to wake up at 6:45 to be ready in time for jury duty tomorrow morning. SOMETHING needs to change or all the hard work I've been doing within the past 202 days will be lost.

I was able to cook myself dinner for the first time in what seems like ages tonight, and it felt strangely liberating. I made chicken breasts with bell peppers, onion, broccoli, and zucchini in an Asian inspired sauce (lite soy sauce, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, garlic powder), and it turned out pretty tasty. I was able to walk 2.5 miles with Craig during my lunch break today also.

Luckily, I was able to lose the weight I gained when my mom was in the hospital, and I'm back at 134.8, but I know that my body is weakening because my effort has decreased. I can feel the difference in my moods as well, and I don't want to keep feeling like this. I know this can't happen. I just pray that some day SOON I will snap out of this and get my butt back into gear again.

 I'm down, but I am NOT defeated.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 193: Stressed, but THANKFUL

It's been about 2 and a half weeks since my last blog entry, but I am sure that most of you know why. My mom was hospitalized from October 20 - October 25th due to blood clots in her lungs. She complained about shortness of breath and chest pains that Saturday (the 20th), and after a lot of badgering from several others and myself, she finally went to the emergency room that night at around 9:30. She, my dad, and I spent a few hours in a private room of the Emergency Room unit until the results from her tests came back revealing that she needed to be admitted right away. They discovered multiple blood clots in both of her lungs, so they immediately placed her in the ICU and on blood thinners to begin the process to dissolve the clots.

The entire ordeal was very surreal. My mom is kind of a hyper active person, so the diagnosis was a bit of a surprise to us since clots are typically found in people who live sedentary lifestyles. Other than the shortness of breath, she was pretty much acting like her normal self while she was in the hospital.

My mom & dad are troopers...
I visited her every day during my lunch break while she was in the hospital, and we're keeping an eye on monitoring her INR number to make sure her blood doesn't clot more or her blood doesn't get too thin. Here's hoping she's out of the woods sooner than later!! Thanks again to everyone who has sent positive thoughts & prayers our way. They've definitely helped because she seems to be doing fine for the most part. She still has to visit her cardiologist twice a week for blood tests, but that's definitely more than OK.

It's been a rough year for my parents and me regarding their health issues. These situations always make it difficult to maintain a good healthy lifestyle both mentally and physically. During the times my parents have been in the hospital this year, I've found myself slacking on everything because my mind is preoccupied with their well-being. Of course, this is only natural, but why do people (myself included) tend to do such a horrible job of making better decisions for themselves in these kinds of stressful situations when the mind and body need better care the most? I hate that I found more comfort from eating when my mom was sick, and even to now, I'm still struggling to ween myself back into eating better after that time.

My body is still catching up from the exhaustion of the past couple of weeks' events. Thankfully, I've still been relatively active by walking about an hour per day with my friend Craig during our lunch break. I believe I had just begun tracking our walks with the GPS MapMyRide app in the last blog entry I made. The only exercise I've been doing since I last blogged is walking and this awesome Jillian Michaels Shred workout that my boss told me about.

Otherwise, I've been busy playing catch up on freelance projects and work, but I feel like I'm constantly running behind. 

Even though I still have a lot to do, I decided to be sure to blog today because today was one of my capstone events of the year regarding health:  THE HEART WALK. I know those of you who've been reading have seen my link to ask for donations at the end of each entry over the past few months. Thanks to those of you who donated!! I was able to reach my goal on Tuesday and exceed it on Thursday of this week! I raised a total of $1,060, and I was the top fundraiser for the Heart Walk in Beaumont this year. THANK YOU ALL who helped me accomplish this!!! Nick wasn't able to walk with me this year like he has over the past 2 years due to his school work, but he was definitely on my mind and in my heart along with all the other people I walk for every year today!

With my daily walking buddy, Craig.
I'm so proud of his dedication to be active!!
The top fundraisers of the Heart Walk!
I walked for these loved ones and so many
more people today. It always feels so rewarding!

When I finally feel caught up with my rest and my other work, I will definitely begin blogging regularly again. I hope ya'll understand! I have just felt extremely overwhelmed lately, so blogging has had to go to the back burner for the past couple of weeks. I'm actively seeking ways to better deal with my stress, and I definitely have some happier things to look forward to this week, so I'm hoping those help me get back into the swing of things more quickly.

I've gained about 3 pounds since my mom got sick, so I'm back up to 137. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself for it, but I definitely do not intend to let that number go out of control. If I can get into the 120s before New Year, I will feel extremely accomplished! If I do not, well, I won't hate myself for it, but I need to kick my butt into high gear despite the delicious holidays that are quickly approaching. 

OK, goodnight, everyone! OH and for those of you who have to worry about it, don't forget to set your clocks back an hour! My bike is crying because I may be using it less due to the end of daylight savings time for the year. I hope to be riding again soon. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Days 171 - 176: Holy Busybody, Batman!

WOW. I can't believe how many days it's been! I've been a busy little bee!

I am also ridiculously tired, so I intend to keep this short. Keyword: INTEND... Honestly, I'm so tired that I think I'm just going to post pictures and type what exercise I did... We'll see.

Friday, October 12:
Fat Free Milk + cheerios 
Yes, this was my lunch. Shame on me.
Afternoon snack
Dinner before
Dinner after
Friday Exercise:  Biked 11 miles

Saturday, October 13

OK, I have to write a little something here because this day was different. This was the 4th year death anniversary of Nick's mom, Ms Ruth. One of my biggest influences on why I started this journey and why I participate in the Heart Walk every year is because of what happened on this day 4 years ago. I don't want anyone else I love to go through that kind of pain if it can be avoided, which is why I must journey on and help others if I can. I only knew her for two years, but she made an impact on me for a lifetime... 
Breakfast:  egg, skim mozzarella, spinach, sriracha
on a whole wheat tortilla with Organo green tea from
my lovely friends Michelle & Michael
Nick and I shared a meal together
at Jason's Deli. I had half a turkey cranwich with fruit
This one's for you, Ms Ruth.
I biked 9 miles in the morning. Not sure why I'm having a harder time biking lately...I might need to stretch more or something because my legs get extremely tired way too early these days.

Sunday, October 14

Ran/walked a mile at 8 a.m.
Had the whole gym to myself
50 lb Squats

Breakfast: oatmeal, protein shake

Lunch:  homemade chicken mami from my mama

More lunch: 1/2 a skinless garlic chicken thigh,
rice, cucumber
Fruit salad for dessert
Monday, October 15

Breakfast was another Activia Breakfast Blend (the banana bread flavored kind).

Lunch:  More chicken mami (before) 
Closeup of the "glass" noodles

peanut butter and honey sandwich
(1 slice of wheat bread folded over)

Couldn't finish 
Banana snack

Not sure what I was thinking here.
Supper. My last bangus/fish. :( And lots of zucchini & squash
Tuesday, October 16

Lunch:  pasta, pesto, LOTS OF ZUCCHINI, SQUASH,
ASPARAGUS, + a bit of beef with broccoli & garlic bread

I had 1 m&m cookie, 2/3 a brownie, and 2 bites of
that awful pink cake. Eew. Was not a fan.
(The 2nd m&m cookie was for Nick)
It mocks me with shame. 

Supper at mom & dad's:  salmon
I ate 2/3 of this.
My "workout" for the day was walking to the dining hall with Craig.

Wednesday, October 17

Activia with a cup of green tea with mint

lunch:  a whole wheat wrap of spinach, skim mozzarella,
sliced turkey, and miracle whip light 
After working through lunch, I had to run an errand for my pal Anna, and then I went on a walk around campus with Craig. We've started this new thing where we're going to walk around campus every day unless we have work obligations or the weather is bad.

Check out our mileage!

My lovely and dear friend Ivonne introduced me to an app called MapMyRide, and I FINALLY figured out how to use it. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but it's better than nothing!

I used the app again to track my bike ride this evening.

A bit miffed because the signs at the hike & bike trail say that that straight
stretch is 1.5 mile and the loops is 2, so I typically think I'm doing 11 miles.
But according to this, I only did 7.81? Not sure what's more accurate.
Either way, I biked that straight edge back & forth once, and I looped 3 times.
The wind was PURE EVIL today. It was like trying to bike in a hurricane! I'm surprised I was able to last "9" miles, but at least I got through it!

Supper:  skinless chicken with a tomato
That's all, folks. I haven't been blogging lately because my nights have been full of freelance work projects and a late night choir practice. Hoping to be back on track for the rest of the week now! 


OH, and of course, please donate!!! There are only a little over 2 weeks before the heart walk, and I still haven't reached my goal!!

Please click "SPONSOR ME" on the image below this paragraph. I know financial times are tough right now, but any amount would be greatly appreciated! If you cannot or would rather not donate online, please feel free to e-mail me and we can make other arrangements.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Days 169 & 170: Living Room Workouts

I feel like I have been working non-stop since the Fall semester started. My brain has been STORMING for weeks with many new projects I need to do, and I can feel my well of creativity going dry.

Before I started all this working out, I would have felt anxious, overwhelmed, and highly fatigued with all the things on my to do list. I honestly can't believe I am still going with all the things that are on my mind right now, and I believe that I can give the credit to my coping to releasing my stress in my workouts.

The evenings just aren't long enough for me to accomplish what I want and need to do. I cut my workout short last night and tonight so that I could work on freelance projects, brainstorm on ideas for full time work, play piano, eat supper, prepare for the next day, and take care of my other usual business. 

Day 169 was a busy and somewhat frantic day. Breakfast was my usual Activia Breakfast Blend, and I was able to get a free lunch thanks to the annual Hispanic Heritage Day program at LIT. 

I always feel awkward eating at work events when a line is involved. I was willing to go to lunch elsewhere after the event if they ran out of food, but a tiny bit remained after all the students left. Casa Ole' and Elena's provided food for attendees of the Hispanic Heritage program, and I was able to eat a small bowl of chips and salsa with 3/4 a beef quesadilla. 

Scraped the bottom of the bowl for the last of
the chips. There was still an ocean of salsa left.
Beef quesadillas...ehh I wasn't impressed,
but at least they were free!
After the Hispanic Heritage Day program, I had a mini "emergency" because I lost about 80% of the photos I took of the event due to a glitch in our network/servers!!! My panic caused me to post on Facebook and my friend Emily D. was able to rescue me and suggest some recovery software that helped me find the lost images. I was frantic for a while until I got the files back! WHEW!

When I got home, I hurried and made a super quick supper of turkey bacon, 2 eggs, and 1 roma tomato.

I did all of these except for the elevated lunge jumps to avoid loud landings...
I did 2 sets of 15
And I also did this...

I did 3 sets of 15 reps each
No gym? No problem!
I tried to get my yoga ball in the photo
too, but it kept rolling away.
 Day 170 was busy and productive at work.

Breakfast was my usual Activia breakfast blend (This was the last one I had left, so grocery shopping must happen soon!)

Lunchtime arrived sooner than I thought it would. I brought my pal Craig out for a belated lunch celebration to Tokyo where we shared some sushi and edamame!

Orchid & OMG roll.
That's Craig's arm in the top left corner!
Happy belated birthday, Craig's arm!
My little pile of edamame shells
And what would a birthday be without a
little something sweet? This delicious homemade
ice cream is from Ana's Mexican Bakery on Calder.
I made this card for Craig's birthday.
He's a very talented organist who plays at
my church in Fannett!
Speaking of which, Craig is hosting a "Get to know the Phoenix Organ" Demo event this Saturday at St. Mary's! You should go!! 

After work, I made myself a no-carb supper of baked smoked milkfish (aka bangus) and steamed okra! The smoky flavor of the fish was fantastic! Thanks for buying me the bangus, Mama & Daddy!

After supper, I cleaned up and did my workout while I halfway watched the VP debates. Ehhhhh politics. 

I was feeling a bit couch potato-ey this evening...but check it out! There's a workout for that!

I did 3 sets instead of 2. :)

Now it's already time to sleep!? Oh, how I would love an extra 2 hours in a day... Goodnight, all. Tomorrow's Friday!