exercise

“N” is for Now

NAt the start of the A to Z Challenge, I posted “B” is for Before where I wrote about where I was before I began my weight loss journey. Here’s where I am now:

Now I am no longer pre-diabetic. Although my cholesterol levels continue to rise above normal every now and then, it’s not as alarming and I now know that I can keep it under control by eating well and exercising regularly. I don’t have to depends on the meds anymore. I am not depressed. I still have some moments of not feeling too well but overall I can say that I am happy and again looking forward to and excited for new things to come.

Weight-wise I am not where I want to be but much closer. I am now (as of this morning) at 172 lbs. My trip to Washington DC didn’t do as much damage as I thought. Since the beginning of my journey (20 months ago) I have reached a net loss of 53.4 lbs. I would love to lose 50 more.

This is now:

  1. BMI > 30 – I’m obese, but not super-obese, and that small change has added years to my life.
  2. I’m happier
  3. I sleep around 6-8 hours every night and according to fitbit my sleep is 94% effective.
  4. I workout in average 8-10 hours a week. My lowest week has been 5 hours, my best week, 13.
  5. My diet is much more varied with lots of fruits, vegetables, and grains. I’ve fallen in love again with cooking and enjoy making healthy meals.

This is now:

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I no longer feel insecure about taking pictures… well, I do… a little… but not so much anymore. Overall, I feel happier with whom I am but I realize that it’s not so much because I lost weight. Weight loss has been a side effect of my treating myself better. In fact, I haven’t lost much weight in the last year and yet it’s been a much happier year than I had had in a long time. Perhaps with less academic and professional achievements but with greater life ones.

I wanted to end with something snappy but Jessica Kane from Life and Style of Jessica recently put it in better words:

“Eff the critics babygirl, and eff anyone else’s version of beauty if it forces you to deny embracing moments like these..live your life NOW.”

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“E” is for Exercise

EHello peeps! Whew! I made it. 😆

Let’s talk about exercise. Definitely an important component to any weight loss program but remember that one cannot exercise our way out of a bad diet so always keep that in mind.

When I started my weight loss journey in August 2013, at 225.4 lbs on a 5’1” frame exercise was not easy. I started going to the gym three times a week and fell in love with zumba but it was hard, I tried to stay hidden in the back, and I modified almost every movement. A month later I had dropped nine pounds and developed some flexibility. By December I was exercising nearly everyday and I had added weights to my routine. A year later, in August 2014, my exercise routine had really diversified and since then I routinely switch up my weekly schedule always keeping my favorite classes: zumba and a group weights class that is offered by my local Y.

Here’s a typical week:

  • Monday: Zumba & Weights
  • Tuesday: Yoga
  • Wednesday: Weights & Zumba
  • Thursday: Spinning
  • Friday: Blacklight Zumba
  • Saturday: Zumba & Weights (or a 5K run)
  • Sunday: Brisk walk (or run) at a park/ around neighborhood

You may wonder if I ever take a rest day and the answer is yes, I do. In fact, today was an impromptu rest day due to an incredibly busy day. I rarely schedule my rest days though. Perhaps that is something I should work on. However, Friday and Sunday are common rest days for me.

The lesson I want to leave you with is that if you’ve been wanting to try something or have already tried it and found it difficult, KEEP GOING! It gets better.

Sunday Summary: Taking a step back

Hello peeps! I’m starting this weekly post the way I usually end it: with my weekly words of wisdom. I’m starting there because these words best explain what happened to me this week and explain why I’m taking a step back and what that means.

OK… here we go
Weekly Words of Wisdom

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Last week I was elated with newness… I was looking forward to my experiences with online dating, using my new fitbit, diversifying my exercise routine, and just getting out there and trying new things.

On Tuesday as I was coming back from the gym, a 20-year-old kid ran a red light and totaled my car.

Yeah… that happened.

Thankfully, the airbags kept me safe but pretty much everything else fell through the cracks of the crash. My dates had to be cancelled, my exercise routine stalled, meetings had to be rescheduled, others missed… and now I have a check with which I really can’t buy the same car I once had (which I loved) and a big question on what I should do next.

OK… some context… my job can be done from anywhere and I have been where I am because it was comfortable but now with no car, the money from said car has opened a possibility to relocate to a place where I don’t really need one. Should I go? Should I stay? Well, that is the question. 

A question for which I do not have an answer…

… yet.

Anywho, on better news I did manage to use the fitbit. I have not used the food tracking system yet but I am planning to start tomorrow. Hopefully it sticks. It is not something I like to do. I did keep it on while I slept a couple of times this week and it says that my sleep efficiency is at 94% which I believe is good. What I have really enjoyed it how it keeps track of my exercise.

Check this out! Here’s a summary of this week’s exercise plan. Friday and Sunday were rest days. I did not wear the fitbit all day every day.

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I know that these numbers may not be super accurate but they do help me see the difference in burn among instructors. So I’m going to be favoring some instructors based on the results I see.

So far, I am loving my new toy. I can’t wait to get the Fitbit Aria (thank you VISA).

Fellow Fitbit Users, FRIEND ME.

On not so great news, today marked the end of Round #2 on Dietbet. I am so off it is not even funny. I went up 3 pounds this month which puts me back in the 170s. This is getting very very old! I now have 30 days to drop 18.7 pounds (my best month ever has been 9 pounds). I am not feeling confident but I want to give it my all. I am adding running/walking to my morning routine and I hope that food tracking keeps me more honest and less likely to cheat. Here’s hoping for the best.

As always thank you for your support!

PS. I am trying not to plan too far ahead and just let life be for a while.
PPS. Fellow bloggers, don’t forget April’s A to Z challenge.

Sunday Summary: Girl Power

Screen shot 2015-03-08 at 7.36.00 PMHello peeps! Happy International Women’s Day and congrats to all the women and girls who have access to the internet and can read. Special thanks to those of you who choose to visit me.

This year’s theme calls for greater gender equality with the hashtag #MakeItHappen, a kind reminder that we count and that we are important and capable members of society. And a wake up call for me to finally focus on something… career-wise. I am currently a bit all over the place.

On better news I didn’t gain nor lose weight but I worked-out hard this week and I am very proud of my accomplishments. I ate pretty well, way more than I am used to but had about four meals out this week which is way above average. I didn’t run at all but I met with my trainer and I have a diversified workout schedule for next week that includes running, swimming, and spinning. I’m looking forward to the change of pace and the impact it has on my body.

Yesterday, I attended my local consignment store’s biannual $10 bag sale. I bought two bags and brought home a nice selection of spring and summer clothes sizes 6 through 10. I can’t wait to fit in them.

Today, I had a date with two of my book club pals. We had a great brunch and then visited my local Contemporary Art Museum for an exhibition of American impressionist Charles Courtney Curran. The artist’s work from late 19th and early 20th century is incredibly realistic and a few even had a 3D flare. Pretty impressive.

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Overall a pretty good week. Nothing to complain about.

Weekly Words of Wisdom 

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Thanks for visiting – Have a great week!

Sunday Summary: Valentine’s Day Edition

Hello peeps! I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day. Whether you spent quality time with your significant other, baked something yummy with the little ones, had a fun “friends-only” event, or simply enjoyed the solitude, I trust that it was a good Saturday. Mine was probably the most eventful Valentine’s Day in recent memory.

I did really well on the Cupid’s Chase 5K run (which was a little over 5K) and my time was even better than before and no cramps. Fabulous!

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I then headed to Carrabba’s or a fun lunch and gift game with my book club pals. I had their house salad with italian vinaigrette on the side and their amazing Tag Pic Pac pasta with chicken. Please don’t judge me. 😀 – Oh! and about the game… I received a beautiful pink wristlet wallet.

Screen shot 2011-05-18 at 2.03.15 PMFinally, in a spur of the moment I agreed to watch Fifty Shades of Grey. I hope that everyone gets that this is a terrible example of what a positive relationship is while simultaneously placing healthy people who happen to enjoy S&M under a bad light. This is a terrible story… that said… I can’t deny that I enjoyed watching it with friends. I had several thoughts as I watched it but I think Buzzfeed did a better job so please do yourself a favor and read this after you watch the movie or now if you have no intention of watching it. Hilarious… and oh so true.

So… I can’t complain. I had a great time.

This week I also met with a trainer at my local Y and got signed into MobileFit. I have a new weights program that I will start tomorrow and do three times a week, and a nutrition program that is aimed at helping me lose weight while keeping my cholesterol on check. This should be good.

Overall, again I overindulged with the snacks which probably shows that I have been under-eating at mealtime. My new meal plan sounds like a lot right now so I am guessing I was probably not eating enough which is why I was over-snacking and ultimately not losing any weight. I exercised about eight hours this week, including the run, which is great. I am really excited to start a new regimen and see what happens.

Weekly Words of Wisdom

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As always… thanks for stopping by. 😀

Sunday Summary: Love Your Body

preventionfeb2015Hello peeps! This month’s Prevention will definitely come to pass as one of my favorites. It is filled with great bits of advice and healthy tips. I was particularly inspired by their It’s Time To Honor REAL article highlighting the importance of loving your body at any age (and any size).

The article shares the experiences of 10 women of different body types and ages ranging from 33 to 63. They are all incredibly insightful and inspiring. Here are the three quotes that lingered… with my thoughts:

"When your primary focus is to have the smallest body possible, your life will shrink too."Kari, 33.

Lately, my weight has reached a stand still. I go up/down/up and it’s very frustrating. Frankly, it’s pissing me off! 😡 And I realize that I can’t allow the scale to own me. I can’t allow my weight to boss me around. I can’t let this be my primary focus… nor my secondary really.

"Everything changed when I finally stopped the negative self-talk." Greta, 41.

I realize that the lack of “progress” on the scale has been making me feel like a failure. I have been engaging in some serious negative self-talk and falling back into bad habits where I create this fake person who’s fun and happy. I perform for others while burying my feelings in junk food; primarily dark chocolate (at least it’s dark, right? probably not right.)

"Don't expect changes you make on the outside to solve the changes you need to make on the inside." Erica, 33.

Oh Erica, yep! this is probably what I’ve inadvertently been doing. I need to remember that I am not a size or a number on a scale. This obese body of mine is a wonderful body. The negative self-talk is definitely something I have to work on. Something on the inside that needs changing.

Well peeps… thanks for letting me rant. Overall, this week I realized that I have some things to work on. My food choices were mostly bad. My meals were mostly good but my snacks were terrible. HOWEVER! This obese body of mine exercised nearly 11 hours this week which included three short runs totaling 4.5 miles. Not bad, not bad at all.

Weekly Words of Wisdom

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PS. There are plenty of runs happening on Valentine’s Day. I’ll be doing Cupid’s Chase 5K. Enjoy the festivities responsibly. 😀

Sunday Summary: The Bib Collection begins

Hello peeps! Happy Sunday… I hope you’ve had a good week. Here’s a quick overview of mine:

I spent MLK day at home feeling kind of BLAH! while Aunt Flo did her thing. My treat was a Mocha at Books a Million (BAM) that I enjoyed while I tried to decide what to recommend for Book Club… I chose The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion. I’m looking forward to it.

On Tuesday, I had a fun but brief discussion about 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. This over 1000-page book is insane. Only two people in my club finished it and I was 3/4 done so I was able to contribute some but not a lot. It is a really bizarre book but I have enjoyed it… mostly. I hope to finish tonight. Here’s my favorite quote… so far:

“Most people in the world don’t really use their brains to think. And people who don’t think are the ones who don’t listen to others.”

On Wednesday I finally made it back to the gym. I have been working my biceps with 15 lbs. dumbbells and it finally felt manageable. But then on Thursday I was really sore and took another rest day.

Friday was really really busy which are my favorite and I finished the day at the gym with a fantastic Blacklight Zumba class. I also tried a new recipe. Check out these super yummy Pistachio Pesto Chicken TerderloinsErin uses nutritional yeast instead of parmesan but I decided to stick with parmesan. That’s the only thing I changed. Delish.

On Saturday I woke up early and did my first official 5K of the year. YAY! My #3 Resolution this year is to run 150 miles and start a bib collection. Here’s my first one:

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Today I took it easy. I made another oatmeal-banana bread… with strawberries this time, did an hour of zumba at the gym, had a yummy cup of lentil soup for lunch, and ended the week the same way I started it: with another Mocha at BAM. 😀

Weekly Words of Wisdom

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Be good and be kind… and thanks for stopping by.