Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 310: Still Stuck, But Gaining Strength

I've been "insane" now for 10 days, and I'm definitely feeling a difference!! The scale hasn't budged much, but I definitely feel stronger and the workouts are becoming easier every day. I've lost about a pound since I started on the 18th, so I'm now down to 136.6 lbs.

This was me at the end of week 1...

What am I DOING!?

As usual, the exercising part is easy for me to stick to, but the weaknesses are sticking to eating what I should. I've still been doing really well with no bread and no rice, but even without those in my diet the past 2 weeks, I haven't seen much different with the loss. 

I wish I had more time to blog daily again, but this has just been a super busy past couple of weeks! The first 4 days of the "insane" workout were probably the most difficult for me. I could barely walk, and it hurt to do ANYTHING (e.g. move, walk, sit, stand, breathe, sneeze, etc.) 

I finally started feeling stronger and like myself after the first Cardio Recovery workout on day 4 because it had me to do a TON of stretches. Ever since then, I've been able to power through most of the moves. The ones I have the most difficulty with are the ones that involve the upper body, but I can definitely tell that I'm improving. I also upped my protein intake to help with the recovery as well.

Last weekend, I was able to make myself a yummy fruit smoothie with 1% milk. I made a big 24oz glass of it that I was able to enjoy for 2 days!

1/2 an avocado, 4 strawberries, 6 blackberries, 12 blueberries,
1 banana, 1cup 1% milk, and 1/2 a gala apple blended
And since it's Lent, I've been eating baked catfish seasoned with paprika for supper on Fridays.

catfish with paprika, romaine, and sautéed squash
My other meals have pretty much consisted of baked chicken, cucumbers with rice vinegar, mashed sweet potatoes, and turkey wheat spaghetti. 

During my last grocery trip, I tried out 4 different brands of Greek yogurt, and I ended up liking them all! I think my favorite was a Yoplait coconut and vanilla Greek yogurt, but the Chobani Banana was a close 2nd! The yogurt pictured below had my favorite texture... I'm pretty picky when it comes to yogurt. haha! At least I know I have lots of options now!

Tomorrow is my company's spring pot luck, and I have no idea what to bring. I need to bring a dish I know I can eat at least since 1, it's a Friday during Lent so no meat, and 2, no bread and no rice. I guess I better start looking through my kitchen to see if I've got anything I can get together for this thing. I hope to blog again sooner than later! I'll be sure to post the end of week 2's insane photos.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 300: I want OFF this Plateau & Fitness Test

Wow, 300 Days!! They all haven't been perfect, but I can't believe it's been so many days since I started this blog! I say it's perfect timing for me to begin my newest regimen since there are 65 days left until I hit my year mark. I'm determined to stick to this as much as I possibly can!

Here are some of the foods I ate over the weekend....

Whole grain garlic tortilla with egg and avocado and banana
Are tortillas considered bread?? If so, I need to give them away. I wasn't sure and they're left from my previous grocery trip before Lent started...

Yummy chicken tinola made by my mom
 (chicken with green papaya and spinach soup)
Sans rice. :(
I biked my usual 11 miles on Saturday, and it was TOUGH. The wind was a roaring monster, but there was a beautiful blue sky! It was probably the slowest I've ever biked my 11 miles, but at least they got done. My body is still aching from that ride, and that hasn't happened in quite a while!

I actually stuck to my Monday meal plan pretty well today. I had oatmeal for breakfast, a banana mid-morning snack, a delicious lunch of a drumstick with sweet potatoes (recipe was 4 small sweet potatoes boiled and mashed with 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp Smart Balance) and cucumbers soaked in rice vinegar, a tangerine, 8 extra dark chocolate covered almonds for an afternoon snack, then a small steak and salad of romaine, 1/2 a Gala apple with a light vinaigrette for supper.

Supper was devoured after my workout. Tonight was Day 1 of my Insane workout which meant doing the fitness test...

Here are my stats:
Switch Kicks:  83 (stopped 4x to rest)...this SHOCKED me.
Power Jacks:  37 (stopped 3x to rest)
Power Knees:  70 (stopped 4x to rest)
Power Jumps:  15
Globe Jumps:  5
Burpees:  11 (stopped 1x to rest)
Push-up Jacks:  15
Low Plank Oblique:  50 (stopped 3x to rest)

I think I could have done more power jumps and globe jumps, but I was trying not to jump too hard since I'm on the 3rd floor of my apartment building, and I didn't want to annoy my downstairs neighbor. I might leave them a note on the door saying I'm exercising just to be courteous... Hmm...

My cousin Stacy has been doing this workout for about 43 days now, and so far her results are pretty stellar. She semi inspired me to pursue this regimen, and I was just pushed even more when a friend of mine told me she just happened to have a copy of the program that I could borrow, so I figured why not? 

Um....HOLY CRAP. I was drenched by the time I finished all that. I really enjoyed it, though!! I'm a little scared to see what's up for tomorrow, but I have GOT to get over this fear I have of changing things up so that I can get off this dang plateau...

Speaking of the dang plateau, here's my latest same range number I've been seeing for the past 4 months....

I am sick of the mid 130s... 
Day 300
This morning I was at 135, and my weight usually fluctuates between 135 and 138 throughout the day. Boo. I want to get out of this range. Here's hoping my new organization system and exercise regimen get me into the 120s at last! My pre-planning meals should help me save a lot of money this month too, I hope!

I have 60 days. If I could get this far, why can't I go further!? I just need to believe I can do it, kill my laziness, and get over my fears...


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 298: Organization is Key

It's 2 days since Valentine's Day, and everything seems to be going smoothly. Nick and I had a lovely Valentine's day on Thursday full of love and sweetness. :)

Now that another wonderful day of eating chocolate covered strawberries and Italian food (sans bread) is behind me, I can start really hitting the journey to tinier pants hard again! Thanks for a lovely Valentine's Day, Nick! I love you! To see what great goodies Nick got me, visit my Creative Tiny Pants blog.

I can still remember those spiral assignment notebooks that we first got in 3rd or 4th grade. Pristine, organized, and just waiting to be filled with information. My love for keeping a planner started there...

Now it seems like I have too many, though. I have an online calendar that syncs with my phone, one in my work e-mail, and I have a paper one to take quick notes in quickly (and as a backup incase the Internet Plus, I just like getting the chance to use fun multicolored pens.

It's time I get back to keeping up with this bad boy regarding my tiny pants journey. I started planning my meals and writing in my workout times so that I can stick to them! We all have busy schedules, but making time for what's important to you is the only way to get anything accomplished!

I had to get reorganized because there's just too much I want and need to do. More was added to my plate when a lovely friend of mine (whose identity shall remain anonymous at this time) provided me with all the videos, plans, and guides for an extremely popular and effective workout system that I've been wanting to try. Let's just say that um...its name is the condition one might have if they belong in an asylum.

Along with planning the workouts for this new program, I've made my meal plans for the first half of next week, and I'm ready to stick to my plans as if they're important appointments and assignments! I must become militant about getting off this dang plateau of the 135-137 range!! I decided to only do half of the week so that I can work with whatever leftovers I have to avoid wasting food.

I'm going grocery shopping today for nothing but real, fresh food! No bread, no rice, and NO preservatives if I can avoid them. Speaking of staying organized, I downloaded this great Grocery List App for my phone that helps me keep track of what I need to buy.

I also might use some gift cards I have leftover from Christmas and my birthday to purchase a better blender or a juicer today as well so that I can start making fresh smoothies for breakfast or mid-day snacks. I'm really excited about all this, and I intend to stick to it as best as I possibly can.

The whole no bread and no rice for Lent sacrifice has been going better than I expected as well. I didn't realize how many seafood dishes are accompanied with rice and bread until Friday, though. I had salmon, broccoli, and mashed potatoes for lunch at Cheddar's on Friday and I had to ask for no rice since ALL the fish filets come on a bed of rice.

And then supper last night was some boiled shrimp to-go from The Bayou Cafe' with Nick and the ever missed Russ (aka Big Hobbit) who was in town for the evening. It took me a long time to pick something  from their menu last night because EVERYTHING HAD BREAD AND RICE WITH IT. I'm happy I'm sticking with it, though. I think it'll be a big help over the next month in succeeding towards reaching my goals.

Reunited & it feels so good!
So off I go, guys. I start the new exercise regimen on Monday, so today I will be biking and enjoying the beautiful blue sky before my grocery trip. Until next time!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 295: Making Some Sacrifices

It is Ash Wednesday, and after putting much thought into what I'd like to sacrifice this Lenten season, I have decided to give up two of my biggest weaknesses for the next 47 days:  BREAD AND RICE. Part of this decision was for moral support for my friend Krystal, who is a fellow bread fiend. She is also giving up bread, so I want to help her AND myself realize that we are stronger than bread and that we can do this. Another part of this decision is, and I cannot lie, to help my weight loss process move along since I've been stuck for quite some time. I decided to add rice to my yearly sacrifice to make it a bit more challenging for myself since it is such a staple in my life. And of course, the most important decision, is for the reason for the season. Man cannot live on bread alone, right?

I made sure to get my fill of bread & rice yesterday (aka Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras) by eating a terribly delicious breakfast of French Toast from the small eatery downstairs in my work building AND 2 huge rolls of sushi for lunch/dinner...

My usual OMG & Orchid roll.
See you guys after Easter!

This morning, I had a whey protein shake for breakfast. 

Later, I was able to walk 2 miles and attend a lovely and surprisingly quick Ash Wednesday mass at the Lamar Catholic Student Center by the University during my lunch break to receive my ashes.

After mass, I had lunch with my walking buddy Craig at the dining hall. This was my largest meal of the day, which consisted of vegetable pasta, steamed veggies, pesto, and some potato salad. I am just now realizing exactly HOW MUCH bread I eat because all the items I usually gravitate towards at the dining hall have some kind of bread with it!

There were way more vegetables, but I forgot
to take a photo before I started eating.
Plus a banana to end with something sweet.
After work, I made a small supper of one piece of bangus (milkfish) and some romaine with 2 tbsp. of Italian dressing. 

I think that I can do this. It's a good test of will-power, strength, faith, and determination to do something good for yourself  whether its influence is religious, spiritual, secular, or physical. In this case, I think it's safe to say that my sacrifices this year are a bit of all those things.

A lot of my Protestant and non-religious friends think this is a silly way to be faithful, and in some cases they may be right, but to each his own. I always look forward to this time of year to reflect on many, many things, especially my blessings. When things get difficult, I will just focus more on those.

Here's to a successful Lenten season! See you on Easter Sunday, rice and bread!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day 291: Reading Labels and Being Sore

I've got many, many things on my mind right now, guys. I probably shouldn't be blogging right now, but I had to think of something else to keep myself from going into one of those dark holes we all get stuck in from time to time...

Work Friday was a weird balance of busy and slow. I posted a photo of the bottle of carrot juice I had as an afternoon snack, and it got lots of interesting comments...

700% Vitamin A? Dang.
How closely do you pay attention to your nutrition labels? Most people would probably drink that entire bottle of carrot juice and think they were doing a great thing for themselves, but the serving sizes should be minded.

For example, a few years ago, Nick and I cooked some chicken with some Italian flavored Shake 'n' Bake breading, and little did we know that the serving was supposed to be just 1/8th of the packet! Imagine, 1/8th of a small packet of Shake 'n' Bake Italian coating mix has 280mg of sodium, but people who don't pay attention to that use AN ENTIRE PACKET which means 2240mg OF SODIUM!!! (Feel free to double check my math because I SUCK at it). I know used that entire packet that evening. Keep an eye on your labels and serving sizes, people... It'll make a HUGE difference in what you decide to put into your body. At least I'd hope it would.

I went straight to the gym after work Friday afternoon to run and do some squats. I think my body is still recovering from the super late night I had on Monday because getting through this one was *tough*. At least the cardio part was. I just did not want to run. I only lasted about 10 minutes before I was like...OK, I'll just walk fast at an incline. I might have started too fast. I usually do a 5 minute warm up of brisk walking before I run. I decided to set the treadmill at 5.6 (fastest I've ever gone before on the 'mill), and maybe my body got "scared."

long work week = short endurance?
Since I kinda farted out on my cardio, I decided to take things up a notch on the strength training. Instead of using the 25LB weights on the Smith Machine, I used the 35....holy crap.

I did 3 sets of 12 reps on the Smith Machine:  Squats, and lunge squats (alternating legs). I'm really glad I was in the gym alone because I had to yell a little just to get through 8-12! Walking back up the stairs when I was done was no fun, and I can barely sit today without wincing a little. Call me nuts, but I love it. 

I lost most of today because I had to go to Fannett to help my parents with some stuff, but I managed to do 300 jumping jacks this evening along with some upper body stuff with my little dumbbells. I wish I could reach bar on the the upper lat machine by myself so I could do those more often....

Haha Mel can't reach.

I'm just sore all over. Even my brain is sore from thinking about too many things and not sleeping enough. I could use some prayers and positive thoughts, guys. I feel like it's going to be a rough week, but I know it'll all be OK in the end. I've been blessed with many people and many privileges that make this life seem pretty great, and I'm looking forward to giving Nick his Valentine's Day gift on Thursday. I have a lot to be thankful for, so I hope I'm showing it enough.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Day 289: Birthday Week Gluttony

It's been a great week since my last post. I've been visiting my gym at the apartment complex more regularly, and I even gave a lunchbreak workout a try on Friday!

Friday's workout consisted of 20 minutes of intense elliptical and squats (3 sets of 12 reps)

I've been snacking on these dehydrated veggie chips at work, too....

I was able to bike 11 miles on Saturday, but unfortunately, that was the last time I worked out (until today!)

Sunday was full of post youth mass birthday superbowl fun at my parents' house. They threw me a lovely little party for my birthday where we had some choir members and the youth choir members eat lots and sing karaoke. My mom made some DELICIOUS Filipino dishes (Palabok [noodles], chicken soup, mashed cauliflower, and an AMAZING casava cake). My dad also cooked one of his famous roasts. I pretty much ate without restraint all Sunday, and I didn't feel badly about it until now. OF course. 

The mashed cauliflower was my favorite of the leftovers....

Monday night was a bust when it came to working out because I had to do an "emergency last minute" freelance project that HAD to be done by Tuesday morning. 

I had an appointment Tuesday night...again, no workout.

Wednesday was my birthday! I ate WAY too much... I feel great and terrible about this, but it's done.

Lunch was a delicious banh mon and a portion of that
mini king cake
All the banh mon (except the cilantro) was devoured.
I only ate a tiny fraction of the king cake, and
I gave the rest of it to my co-workers!
Supper with Nick was my favorite in town -- sushi and frozen yogurt. :) Then he brought me to buy curtains for my bedroom.

I wanted to write a more meaningful birthday post, but time has run out for the evening and I need to go into my sketching group meeting online! I'll try my best to post something tomorrow!