Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone! It's my favorite time of the year! Christmas decorations are up, my cough is barely lingering and I'm feeling great!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I made dinner this year, and it was good! I didn't pig out like I had planned, i just couldn't do it, mentally and physically. I've worked too hard in the last few weeks to blow off everything I've done and my body just didn't want it. So I ate moderate portions and was just as satisfied as I would have been had I pigged out. (And no food coma--BONUS.) :)

As far as activity for the long weekend. I ran a 10K Thanksgiving morning (and thanks to the SDPD, was cut short 1.5 miles...and none of the event organizers could answer why, which is fine, I was happy to get home early to start cooking AND was I kind of sick of running behind a older lady in a TOO SHORT skirt who had most of her butt cheeks hanging out from below--not a pretty sight--on a few occassions I couldn't breathe from laughing so hard at the reaction on the faces of the people she would run by.) All in all, it was fun. Saturday morning, did an hour on the elliptical. (There was an America's Next Top Model marathon on Bravo, and I couldn't cut my workout off at the normal 45 minutes and miss the last of the episode!) Haha. Then yesterday, did a weight workout ALONE. I think I was harder on myself than Chris would have been. I kicked my own butt and I'm hurting today. It's a good thing--the next three weeks will leave me very little time to workout with Chris. I need to know that I can do it on my own and not make half the effort because he isn't there pushing me. I did it--and will continue to do it.

I was up before the sun this morning for a cardio session...that'll be the routine every morning until my schedule goes back to normal. It's a nice way to start the day, I think--no more coffee needed.

It's lunch time and I'm staring down at a plate of brown rice, chicken breast strips and steamed green beans while my co-workers are anxiously awaiting our month-end lunch that will consist of Chinese food (YUM). Am I feeling deprived? Nah, not really. Because I LIKE brown rice, chicken and green beans. (And I had two cheat days this week...I didn't intend to, I just couldn't let the leftovers go to waste!)

I received two different comments from co-workers today about my weight loss. It's gratifying and motivating to know that the choices I'm making are showing. :)

As the next few weeks will be packed, I probably won't be able to blog much. But once my schedule cools down, IT'S ON!

Have a great day ya'll! Stay well!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 15 - Prioritizing

I work a full time job, am currently rehearsing for a holiday show (Traditions of Christmas--East County Performing Arts Center--Dec 10th through the 23rd--contact me for tickets :D), am training for a half marathon and trying to find time to spend with friends and family during the holidays. How the heck do I add and EXTRA 6 hours a week of activity into an already busy schedule? (And I won't mention the time it takes to prepare healthy meals...) Talk about left eye is STILL twitching!

Last night, I came to the conclusion that my half marathon training isn't cutting it entirely as my 2 hours of cardio a week. Why? Because I'm not between 65% and 85% of my max heart rate when I'm running, which is the optimum heart rate zone for fat burning. I normally run at about 90% of my max heart rate and sure, I'm aerobically fit, but I want to incorporate some cardio in which I'm maximizing my fat burn rather than just depleting stored glucose. That's going to take extra time that I really don't have...or do I?

I've really been struggling with feeling like I've over-committed myself. I mean, there are only so many hours in the day and I CHERISH my sleep. I'm used to getting 8+ hours a night and lately I've been sleeping at around 11 and waking up between 5:00am and 5:45am. (Sooooo not enough sleep for me.)

I realize that my health is (and should be) my MAIN priority. I have to schedule a majority of my workouts at the crack of dawn, because it's the only time I can consistently do them. Yes, some mornings I spend more time than I should arguing with myself about whether I should hit snooze again or get up. Yes, some mornings I just don't have the energy and some mornings my warm bed tries to convince me to stay out of the cold air. But when I finish a workout I never think it was a waste of my time--I'm always thankful that I did it.  

Sure, there are times when unforseen circumstances can throw my schedule off track. In those times, I try NOT to think, 'Oh well, too bad I couldn't work out.' Instead I think, 'Okay, when can I fit this workout in later this week?'

Now that I've entered the third week of my program, I'm really starting to feel the benefits of the changes I've made to my lifestyle. I have more energy to get through the day (without the aid of caffeinated beverages). Food is starting to taste different to me. Last night on the way home from rehearsal, I ate some grilled chicken breast strips and steamed green beans. No salt, no sauce, and it was SO GOOD.

The results I'm seeing are definitely driving me to continue on this path. Despite the few hiccups I've had so far, it really isn't as hard as I keep thinking it should be. I just have to continue doing what I'm doing. I still have a-ways to go in reaching my ultimate goal. Right now, I'm 46% of the way toward my short term goal of 170 pounds and 19% of the way toward 145. Woot!

Oh, and by the way, my elbows are all better now. Just in time for Chris to throw some more planks in our workout tomorrow. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 14 - Getting Back On Track

May I express how much I dislike being sick? Not only does it throw a monkey-wrench in any type of schedule you may set for yourself; it doesn't go away. Here I am, almost a week after my bed-ridden day and I'm still coughing up tiny chunks of my lungs--after having a HEAD COLD. (Someone explain that to me, it makes no sense). Grr.

On a more positive note, today is the first day I've felt 100%, despite the minor injuries from my attempt at running yesterday. No, actually, I didn't attempt it, I DID it, I just didn't do ALL of it. :)

I had to cancel my appointment with Chris last Friday AGAIN, due to a company function that my boss requested I attend in its entirety (rather than skipping out early for my training session). I really hate cancelling appointments and it isn't like me to do it twice in one week (or at all). UGH. But I promised Chris I would take the lifting class at the gym Saturday morning to make up for it. He asked me to text him afterward just to make sure I did it. Thanks for keeping me accountable Chris, I really appreciate it!

I went...and they've change the format a bit from what I'm used to. Rather than working one muscle group at a time, they've started using exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once. It was a little awkward, but I got used to it, and it was a great workout.

I stepped on the scale last Friday and was surprised that it said 177.5. YAY! Which means as of Friday I was 8.5 pounds down from the morning I first worked out with Chris. Now, I'm saying WAS because as of this morning, I weighed 179.5. The few extra pounds I'm sure is my body holding on to any extra fluid it can thanks to my little bout with dehydration yesterday. A few days of proper hydration should take care of those pounds. Good times.

I'll be completely back on track this week and I couldn't be happier about it. This evening, when I get home from rehearsal, I'll be stretching for an hour or so (boy, do I need it). Tomorrow morning elliptical for 45 minutes (and a 3 hour rehearsal in the evening). Wednesday, I'm working out with Chris (woo-hoo!). Thursday, I will be running the 'Run For The Hungry' 10k downtown. Friday, I'll see if I can pop into a yoga class at the gym, then Saturday I'll take the lifting class at the gym again.

It's going to be a CRAZY week! I'm going to need all the energy I can muster up to get through it! Gah!

Ignored Notes To Self

Note to self #1: DO NOT attempt an 8 mile run if you haven't run in two weeks. (Idiot.)
Result: One big blister in the arch of your foot, two sore Achilles heels, two very sore legs, one busted right hip and a sweet farmers tan.

Note to self #2: DO NOT attempt said run after a 'cheat' day. (Especially when you don't drink enough water on your 'cheat' day.)
Result: Mild heat exhaustion and serious dehydration that will have on the couch with a splitting headache for the rest of the day--thus causing you to not finish the tasks you needed to complete--which now must be interspersed through-out a week that is already completely packed from when you wake to when you sleep--if you sleep.

Note to self #3: Watch the news as often as possible.
Result: You would have been aware that the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk would occur DIRECTLY on your running path causing you to end your run at mile 6 due to your heart rate sky-rocketing while trying to dodge through the crowd while yelling 'EXCUSE ME' every 10 seconds. (Very annoying, yet very inspirational at the same time. :))

Note to self #4: DO NOT over commit yourself. (Story of my life.)
Result: Stress and exhaustion that will cause your left eye to twitch for days on end. (So annoying.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 10 - I'M ALIVE!!!

Yes folks, I'm back from the dead! Still a little out of it, but if I spend another day on the couch I'll go CRAZY! It's amazing how much a day of rest can make you feel better. I wish more people would do it. I make it a habit of pushing through sickness and continuing on with my busy schedule, which prolongs my sickness I'm took everything in me to NOT do something about 10:00am I decided I was going to head down to the gym in my apartment complex and hit the elliptical for a bit, but I talked myself out of then when I stood up from the couch and caught a wicked dizzy spell. Wouldn't be a pretty sight to fall backwards off of the elliptical and crack my head open would it?

Later in the afternoon I seriously contemplated going the 24Lift class because I was feeling better and bummed I had missed my Tuesday training with Chris. But I realized the reason I felt better was because I was doing NOTHING. So back to the couch to catch up on a few weeks of DVRed shows. Good call, I know, because I woke up this morning feeling sooooo much better. :)

The one thing that didn't falter although I wasn't able to get a workout in was my diet. I was FINALLY able to do some grocery shopping and get things that I had been needing through the first week of my program. I know eating well is helping my body heal faster and I'm thankful for that.

I stepped on the scale first thing this morning and saw a number that I haven't seen in awhile. I've dipped below the 180's--I know that may fluctuate by a few pounds depending on how much water I'm retaining, time of the day, yadda-yadda-yadda, but I still can't express how happy that makes me, and how it makes me want to push even harder. AND ON TOP OF THAT--my favorite work pants are a little loose, rather than a little snug. Woot!

Welp, lunch break is over, back to work. Thanks for listening to me rant.

Be well everyone! Until next time...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 9 - Sickville

Welp, I'm home sick today. My head is a snot-factory and I can't stand up without getting dizzy. Boo.

I'm glad this is happening now because I can't afford to be sick from this weekend until Christmas. Waaaaay too much going on.

I had to cancel my training appointment with Chris yesterday evening. I'm not happy about that, but I think it's best that I rest and try to get over this first. Then I can pick back up where I left off. He was very understanding about it. (Thanks Chris!)

I did get in 45 minutes on the elliptical yesterday morning. I didn't feel good while doing it, but I did it anyway. THAT would be my mind trying to overcome my body. And THAT probably wasn't the best choice, but oh well, it's done.

I'm going to finish drinking my garlic and apple cider vinegar tea (as gross as it sounds, it works) and take a nap.

Be well everyone! Talk to you soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 7

I just spent the last two days recovering from the butt-whooping Chris gave me on Friday evening. GOOD LORD! I was pretty much worked to the point of exhaustion and it felt great! The good news is that I'm 27% to my first short term goal and I've lost over 4% body fat! What the...? I know, right? In just 4 days...that's CRAZY. It's all about what I eat and following the program Chris has given me. Getting results like that is definitely a motivator to keep going!

Even better news, is that the soreness in my muscles has pretty much subsided. So my recovery time between workouts won't affect my running as much as it did last week. Yay!

I just signed up for the Pure Fitness 'Run For The Hungry' 10K on Thansgiving. That's 6.2 miles, 6.2 looooong miles. It's doable, I ran 6.5 last weekend, and will have an 8 miler under my belt this week, so I'll be okay. It'll be in my old stomping grounds (downtown), so that will be nice. Familiar territory and a flat course is much appreciated. I'm really looking forward to it..I need all the calorie burn I can get before the food shenanigans that will occur that afternoon. I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, it's the only way I can control ingredients that will fit into the 'healthy' realm. Although I won't subject my family to a stuffed ToFurkey like I did a few years ago. I think they'd disown me if I did again. Haha.

I had my 'cheat' day on Saturday. I was a good girl all morning and afternoon then splurged at dinner with friends. Hey, I figure, if I'm good for 34 meals a week, I can splurge on one and it won't do much damage. (That, and I'm ALLOWED to have a cheat day, how cool is that?)

But I woke up feeling like death yesterday (of course, on my only day off for the next 6 weeks). I laid on the couch ALL DAY. I definitely did not feel well, I don't know if it was exhaustion, sickness or that extra glass of wine I had for dinner. I almost lost my lunch a few times (which could have been attributed to the fact that the pasta I ate had been sitting in the fridge for a few weeks--woops). So, I stuck to eating pretzels for the afternoon. I never realized how salty pretzels are...but they were the only thing I could keep down, so I ate them. I'm definitely feeling a little bloated today from all that salt.

I work out with Chris again tomorrow night. I hope I'm feeling up to par...wish me luck! I have a feeling I'll need it. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day Four - My Elbows Still Hurt

Yesterday evening, while sitting at the stoplight at the 67 and Bradley I hear a faint, familiar ringing. MY CELL PHONE ALARM CLOCK. Apparently, I had my clock set 12 hours ahead of time, so my alarm went off at 5:45pm instead of 5:45am! So I didn't sleep through my alarm yesterday morning after all. Yup, I am an idiot! Haha.

I got up early this morning with the intention to run but my legs are still killing me and as much as I'd like to entertain the highway 8 commuters again this morning I opted for yoga. I have some great DVD's in my collection that I used to use back in the day. Let me tell's EXACTLY what I needed. (It's a good thing I didn't have to use my elbows for anything, because my rug burned elbows are still tender.) I think I may just incorporate yoga on the mornings I don't run rather than take yoga classes in the afternoon. That way, I don't have work or rehearsal as an excuse to skip class. (Not that I'd ever do that or anything. ;))

Then I had a nice fat (fat, as in large) breakfast. I LOVE BREAKFAST! I don't eat carbs after 4:00pm, and because of that, I seem to be ravenously hungry when I wake up. I'm not sure how that's going to affect my morning running as I typically don't eat before I run. Maybe my body will get used to it...we'll see. Back to breakfast: 1/2 cup of oatmeal (I ran out of Stevia, so I ate it plain with some pumpkin pie spice which wasn't bad at all), and an egg white omelet with spinach, shallots and diced Canadian bacon. Yum. It seems like a lot of food when it's sitting on the table in front of me, but it's only 322 calories. Sweet. Did I mention that I love breakfast?!

Another Cooking Me Skinny staff member, Justin Kent, has issued a challenge. We both started our programs this week and were going to see who can reach their goals quicker. There's nothing like a little friendly competition to keep us both on track and motivated. You should check out his blog. We'll have to figure out what to wager on this challenge...hmmm. Whatever we decide, it's ON Justin.

Speaking of goals--my short term goal is to get down to 170 pounds by the date of the Carlsbad Half Marathon (January 24, 2010). I'll be running it this year for charity and I'm sure my knees and ankles would appreciate the lighter load. That's 17.4 pounds down from what I weighed at my first training session. (That means I weighed 187.4, for those people who don't want to do the math.) 17.4 pounds in 11 weeks. Piece of cake. ;)

Oh, and if you'd like to help support me in raising money for Christian Youth Theater, click here. Any amount would be helpful, I unfortunately have had ZERO time to fund raise right now, so a dollar or two is much appreciated. (I'm serious...If I asked a dollar of everyone I know, I could TOTALLY reach my fundraising goal.) :D

It's morning snack time; a Boca burger and baby carrots are beckoning.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day Three

Boy, I was exhausted yesterday! I slept very well last night, though; so well that I slept through my alarm this morning and missed doing yoga. Gah! I was looking forward to it too because I’m still SORE. My quads are killing me! As I mentioned yesterday, part of my training is to strengthen the muscles around my knees to help with my chronic knee problems, so I have a feeling sore legs will become a regular occurrence. Bring it. Forget that I walk like I’ve been riding horses all day; it’ll be worth it in the end.

Yesterday was the first day of my new eating plan. I won’t call it a diet because it really doesn’t feel like it. In fact, I felt like I pigged out yesterday! It’s amazing how much you can eat when it’s ‘good for you’ food. I didn’t feel deprived at all. Well, I lie, someone brought a chocolate bundt cake into work yesterday and it kept calling my name every time I walked past the lunch room door, but I was good and didn’t give in (although I did stop and smell it a couple of times.) Oh, and there was that plate of yummy brownies that one of my cast-mates made for rehearsal last night. I sat there eating my salad, staring at the brownies, trying to imagine the lettuce was chocolate. It didn’t work. Oh well.

I’m looking at my calendar right now and my schedule from now until Christmas is going to be NUTSO! The biggest challenge for me through this program is going to be my schedule. Finding the time to prepare meals so I’m not forced to eat out constantly will be difficult. There are a few weeks before the holidays when I will be busy from 8:00am until 10:00pm every night! Fitting workouts in at that time is going to be nearly impossible! I may just have to do squats, planks and push-ups backstage between numbers and hopefully no one runs over me with set pieces. I’ll work it out somehow.

I hope ya’ll have a great day today! I’m going to see if there’s any of that bundt cake left in the lunch room so I can have a sniff or two!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day Two – My Elbows Are Killing Me

So…I wake up this early morning and roll out of bed to get ready for a run and I’m feeling alright. No soreness. But my elbows are killing me! Darn planks! I have rug burns on both elbows with some slight bruising behind them. I’m going to start bringing elbow pads to training. Haha.

I get dressed, put on my shoes, grab my iPod and head out. After a quick warm up, I start to attempt the most hilarious running session in my short running life. My mind is saying “Run!” while my legs are saying “No, but thanks for asking.”

But I WILL NOT let this get the best of me…I WILL run the 3 mile loop I have set to do today. So, I’m forced to do this funny shuffle-thing. I look (and feel) like a kid being forced to run by a parent who is pushing them from behind and believe me it’s not pretty. I can’t seem to lift my feet more than 3 inches off of the ground so trying to navigate curbs isn’t an easy task. (Why are these curbs out to get me?) I tripped at least half a dozen times because I just couldn’t pick my darn feet up!

On top of that, my pants wouldn’t stay up, so every 30 steps or so, I had to pull them up. At one point, I’m sure my belly was hanging out for all to see. I just stopped caring. (Yeah, that’s a pretty nice visual, I know.)

If anyone was driving the 8 near Hotel Circle this morning and you spotted a pathetic looking runner, shuffling along, pulling her pants up while laughing hysterically, THAT WAS ME!

Anyway, task accomplished. My not-so-pretty run will go down in history as a reminder that I need to make sure to schedule my runs on mornings after I DON’T have a training session.

Update: 12:15pm. I’M DYING A SLOW DEATH! The soreness has kicked in and every squat, push-up and crunch is doing its job. It doesn’t help that I’m sitting most of the day, so when I DO get up to use the restroom or refill my water bottle, I definitely feel it. I feel (and look) like I should be using a walker to get around. I love it…

But my elbows still hurt more than anything else. Darn planks.

Day One – And It Begins

Forget that I had just run over a curb and heard a sound from the underside of my car that had me seeing my front right wheel rolling down the sidewalk in my mind, I had made it to my training appointment with Chris Law! (And I’m seriously thinking about getting my eyes re-checked soon…I think my night vision is deteriorating.)

Chris and I met earlier in the day to discuss my training program. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to be working with Chris. We’re very much on the same page with what will work for me when it comes to fitness. The program he’s put together for me is going to challenge me, help me reach my goals and help alleviate some chronic conditions I’m currently dealing with (knee problems--UGH). I'll continue to run three times a week, train with him twice a week and incorporate stretching into my routine. (Where I'm going to find the time for all of this, who knows? But I'll make it work.)

The plan is SO simple (I said simple, not easy), that I kind of feel dumb seeking help from a trainer. From my past experience with training, I know what to do, I know what to eat, but If I try to do it on my own, I’ll go hardcore for a month or so, and then fall off of the wagon. I need motivation, focus and a swift kick in the butt twice a week. That’s where Chris comes in. After one training session, I know he’s going to be great at it!

Speaking of the training session--I would like to thank Chris for taking it easy on me for the first time. Getting back into it is very much like riding a bike. But right now, I feel like I’m riding a Huffy with streamers on the handle-bars in a Pinarello world (sorry for the biking jargon, I’m sure ya’ll get my drift).

I got through Day One, virtually unscathed, and I look forward to my next training…hopefully that curb won’t jump out at me next time.

And I Just Donated All of My ‘Skinny’ Clothes…

…dang it. But they’d been taking up 25% of my closet space. I’d been holding on to those suckers for a long time, six years to be exact. I suppose I had hoped to fit into them again one day. I had come pretty close a few times, but this last July, I moved, and decided that I didn’t want to move things I hadn’t used in awhile, so off to the Salvation Army they went.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy that I don’t fit into those clothes anymore. I love who I am, no matter what size that may be. But sometimes I can’t help but think that this is the only body I’ve got, and I really should take care of it. I eat well. I drink a lot of water. I run three times a week. I don’t have any nasty drinking, smoking or sugar habits. (Although from time-to-time I like to have a date with a plate of Buffalo wings and a pint of Guinness…that’s normal, right?)

All in all…I feel great…but I know I can feel BETTER.

I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Cooking Me Skinny program. I’ll be working with the best group of fitness experts, trainers, chefs and all-around rad people.

For me, this is about renovating my lifestyle. The weight loss will come secondary. I can’t wait

"Who Is That Girl?"

One day, my sister was in my apartment looking at photos I had framed and hanging on the wall.

“Who is that girl?” she asked.

I had my back to her when she asked this and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out who she was talking about because I knew she would know everyone in any if those pictures. I turned around and walked toward the picture she was referring to.

“Uh, that’s me dork.”

“OH! I didn’t even recognize you! That doesn't even look like you!”

It was a picture taken backstage when I was competing for Miss California USA in 2000. At that time, I was the most fit I have ever been (well…so far). My own sister didn’t even recognize me. Ha. Good times.

Actually, now that I think about it...when I look at those pictures, I don't even recognize myself. Check it out:

Crazy right?! Talk about motivation. I will get back there again. Soon. Oh yes. Soon.