Mar 10, 2010

30 Day Shred - Level 2

I finally tried level 2 of the 30 day shred, and I'm ashamed to admit that I couldn't finish it. It's packed with lunges and squats, both of which really kick my rear. This is because I have NO muscles in my rear, or thighs for that matter, and I NEED these lunges and squats desperately. I think I'm going to enjoy this level far more than level 1.

I've done level 2 twice now, and haven't finished it yet. The first time, I couldn't even do the third circuit. The second time (last night), I managed the third circuit with some breaks but couldn't manage that last burst of cardio.

It's pretty obvious that I need this level, badly.

Tonight is night three - and I'm going to try to finish strong. But if I can't, that's okay too. I'll just keep trucking along until I get there.

Mar 8, 2010

Put a fork in me, I'm done.

Dinner was AWESOME. Grilled chicken burgers loaded up with avocado, feta, arugula and spinach. Roasted lemon broccoli (I forgot to add the garlic, doh!) that was to DIE FOR, and a small salad of arugula and spinach topped with baby carrots, tomatoes, lemon hummus and a splash of Newman's Own Asian dressing. 


My hamburger bun of choice

Since it's another warm, sunny day in Atlanta, I figured the husband and I would go for a walk or run, but that was a no go. I tried out the DVD that came with my medicine ball and it was a serious workout. I was kind of surprised. I think I'll do it three times a week, mixing in with 30 Day Shred and regular cardio in the form of walks and runs, when I can fit them in.

You are what you eat. No, really. You are.

It is AMAZING what a difference my eating habits have made in my life, already. I woke up veritably sprang out of bed at 8am on Saturday morning, feelin' good and ready to just do STUFF. I honestly have not felt like that in probably six months... not even for one day.

And then......

We screwed it all up. It was like falling off the wagon, only also pulling all of your supplies and the horses down on your head. We ran out of time and ended up eating junk (Zaxby's is horrible for you. Why? Why did we go there?), and it started a rumble in my tummy almost immediately. Then, we went out to meet up with friends, which we rarely do anymore for cost reasons and to avoid potential dietary disasters (although we love hanging out with our friends... just usually at our home or theirs). Plus, I hate smoky bars. We ended up in a smoky bar. Where we polished off a giant piece of the richest chocolate cake I've ever had. And I didn't have time to exercise that day. And we stayed out til 2am. No bueno.

So Sunday rolls around, and I wake up too early, and I feel like three kinds of crap. We had already made brunch plans with good friends, so I rolled my butt out of bed and hit up Cracker Barrel. Noooooooo. BAD. Someone slap my hand. I felt like eighteen kinds of crap by the end of the day. Zero energy. Nothing felt good. I couldn't pinpoint what felt sick.... just everything. My tummy hurt, I was exhausted, lethargic, unhappy. So I didn't exercise that day, either.

It's now Monday, and I didn't feel well this morning. I only managed about six bites of my oat bowl before giving up. But I've slowly made progress, and have eaten a banana, some soup, and a snack of walnuts, almonds and butterscotch chips. I realized I didn't drink nearly enough water this weekend, so I'm putting some of that down, too. And you know what? After a little health injection, I feel better! I think I'll be just fine after another night of good sleep, a heck of a lot more water, some exercise and a nice healthy dinner full of greens and fruit. Maybe a chicken lime burger topped with tomato and spinach, with a side of fruit? Sounds good.

It really is true - YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. You will only put out quality if you are taking in quality.

So how good is your food? Do you know? Do you even know where it comes from, down to the seeds? Do some research.  It may surprise you. No, I know it will surprise you.

Mar 5, 2010


It was a GORGEOUS sunny day in Atlanta yesterday, so I grabbed my husband after work and headed outside. We took a long walk and had great conversation. I love it when I can incorporate a workout into time spent with him!

He is working tonight (and I had to work late then stop at the store) so I did the usual - the 30 Day Shred, and some Wii Yoga. Felt good to stretch out.... I need to stop during the day and stretch my muscles more often. I tend to be a tightly wound little hunchback while at work. I need someone to tie me to my chair with an Hermes scarf (any movie dorks out there? No? Just me? Awesome).

The oat bowls and whole food eating has just made the biggest difference in my energy level throughout the day, and I've noticed I'm far less hungry than I used to be. I also realized today that I CRAVE whole foods now, instead of junk. This morning I had an oat bowl with flax and then stirred in some pumpkin and almond butter. I ate the crap out of that oat bowl. I didn't have time for lunch (oops!) but I did have two snacks at work - a Kashi bar and a sliced granny smith smeared with almond butter and sprinkled with coconut and butterscotch chips. I also just realized I haven't eaten dinner yet.... and it's 9:12pm.... and I worked out for about 45 minutes straight.... TWO HOURS AGO. I should be absolutely famished right now. Hm.

And I am BEYOND proud of my husband, who went to the grocery store and bought hamburger (instead of going out to lunch on his day off) and then bought the whole wheat thin sandwich bun things.... instead of regular white bread hamburger buns. And he proclaimed that they were GOOD. And, he said that they were the only ones there without high fructose corn syrup. He looked!!  :D

I really think he just needed a good influence in his life, as far as diet and nutrition go. He grew up eating whatever he wanted and thinks that because his dad isn't fat, that he's healthy. Soooooo not the case. I'm glad he's starting to see the difference between "not fat" and healthy.

Mar 3, 2010

Time to get back to it!

Finals week is finally over! Huzzah! 

And I wasn't being such a good girl either. I have the muffin top to prove it. Nah, I wasn't that bad (the muffin top was already there) but I didn't really have time to exercise amidst that many assignments, papers and tests. 

It's a new week and I'm ready to get back on track! 

I've recently become interested in whole eating. I've been eating a lot of organic food, and everything else I eat has to at least be natural and have ingredients I can pronounce and identify. I've been doing well with this and not just because I want to do well - I really like it. The food, 95% of which is home cooked or raw, is just GOOD. I don't overeat, I don't feel sluggish or bloated after eating it...what is the new concept in eating??? 

Well, it's what we are supposed to be doing, duh! Eating REAL FOOD that is GOOD FOR YOU. 

I'm kind of shocked when I think about what I used to eat. Not just the junk from fast food restaurants or the vending machine, but the "health food" (bwahaha!) I was eating for the sake of weight loss. Really? I was loading my body with as few natural items as possible, full of chemicals that I can't pronounce, in the interest of losing weight. Geez, um... that sounds healthy.... yeah *blushes*. 

So what have I been eating? Well, remember, I'm new to this so I've started slowly. However, I've gotten a TON of inspiration from Kath Eats Real Food and Oh She Glows (I'm seriously addicted to these blogs, as well as Bites + Bowls - check them out, you will be too.) Anyway, I've been eating: 

Oat Bowls for breakfast - Oatmeal, ground flaxseed, and various additions. I've got bananas, walnuts, honey, almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanut and almond butter, cranberry apple butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, granola, raisins, pumpkin... the options are endless! I'll start taking pictures, but I have a crappy point + shoot, so they won't look very cool. Still, it'll be neat to see what combos I come up with. 

Snacks have been greek yogurt with a bit of honey, or plain fruit, or a jazzed up piece of fruit - like a sliced banana with organic peanut butter, unsweetened organic coconut, organic raisins, and a few butterscotch chips on top! Yum. I do like to nosh on Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax bars, as well.

For dinner tonight, I took inspiration from somewhere (can't remember where, but probably one of the aforementioned blogs) and threw together an organic, vegetarian enchilada bake and it. was. AWESOME. Inexpensive (due to being meatless), easy, one pan, ample leftovers and incredibly TASTY. What more do you need? I'm pleased. I can't wait to eat leftovers for lunch tomorrow. :) 

I also found a yoga studio nearby (that is also part of a health foods store - bonus!) and am looking into taking some classes, but I'm still weirded out by being so sucky at it. Why can't I just be coordinated?

Feb 22, 2010

Such a busy thing.

I'm just trying to survive this coming week, then I'll be back in all my blogging glory. It's the last week of this semester, and I have way too much reading, homework and oh yeah - a few papers that I put off - to do. I love to write. I don't love to write papers. And when I do write, it has to be when I'm good and ready. Seeing as how that doesn't always jive with a college schedule or a full time job, I procrastinate papers until the very end, because I write better under pressure.

So this next week will be monster for me, then I have two glorious weeks off of school before the next term begins. After that term, I'll be taking the summer off to relax, work a second job, learn American sign language, write, read, and  generally bask in happiness (until fall semester starts).

See ya in a week!

Feb 15, 2010

That one time that one lady thought I was prego...

And I WASN'T.  Eeep. 

Wanna hear about it? 

About this time last year, my stomach was doing some pretty odd things. I would wake up with a totally flat stomach (not defined, mind you - just flat) and by the time I went to bed, I looked like I was about six months pregnant. I'm not exaggerating. Seriously - six months. I assumed it was food related, but couldn't figure out what the cause was. I didn't have any other tummy problems, for the most part. No gas (TMI!), no pains, and I certainly wasn't incubating a fetus to six months of age every day then magically and painlessly giving birth to it while I slept, so what the hell? I did notice that I had zero energy by the end of the day, was horribly grouchy (food babies will do that to you, I guess), craved desserts like a CRAZY woman and was horribly emotional. 

I went to a gastrointestinal specialist, and he very dismissively diagnosed me with IBS, by just looking at me. That's it. Told me to eat fiber, take imodium. Neither of which did a thing to help my phantom six month food fetus. 

I started spending way too many hours on line doing research on my symptoms, and after about two months of dealing with this, finally started getting somewhere. It looked like I might have something called SIBO, or small intestine bacterial overgrowth. I started taking pics of my belly when I woke up, at lunch time, and when I went to bed. I tracked what I ate and when, and after reading a bit on SIBO, discovered that the only real "cure" is to eat as low carb as possible, since the bacteria that have taken over your gut thrive on carbs. Huzzah! It worked. But still... wth was I going to do the rest of my life? Live low carb? I still needed a doctor to figure out what caused it and how to make it go away. 

More internet research brought me to a specialist at Emory Hospital. He was an endocrinologist that had started researching nutritional issues in endocrinology patients and was only seen after an interview. Yep, I had to interview to see this doctor. My case had to be special enough. It was. 

I brought my pics, my diet, my argument to him, ready to fight vehemently that I did NOT have IBS. I didn't have to. He said it was 100% SIBO, and he didn't even have to perform a hydrogen breath test to know that. He told me to stick to serious low carb for three months (NO SUGAR), take heavy probiotics, take gas-x even though I had no gas (it did help), and gave me a prescription for Xifaxin, an antibiotic that was only recently approved by the FDA for travelers diarrhea which is absorbed directly into the intestinal lining instead of the blood stream, thereby killing the bacteria in a more vicious, gladiator manner. And it DID. Now, months later, I still notice that if I eat too many carbs in a day, my stomach will bloat up to about four months phantom food baby. I have an emergency stash of Xifaxin in case I have issues again. 

What caused this? I have thyroid disease, and flip flop back and forth between hypo and hyper. When you go hypo, your body sloooooows dooooown, including your, uh, motility. That is, you don't poop often. Slowed down motility = bacteria hanging out too long = multiplying like a mofo = SIBO.

So what happened at the nail salon? Well, the nail technician asked if I was pregnant. This was in the very early stages, when everything first started, so I was aghast that someone would ask that! After yelling WHAT?!?! at her, she then acted like she didn't speak English. Awesome. I never went back there. 

What did I learn from this? a) a big belly doesn't always mean someone is pregnant, b) but neither does it mean that someone is fat - sometimes it's an underlying problem that needs to be checked out. Don't ignore stuff like this. SIBO is a miserable little bastard of a problem, but at least now I know how to handle it, should it reappear and c) sometimes, you really do have to do have to take control of your health and research your symptoms and present a case to a doctor. If you can't get a doctor to listen to you, go to another one. Don't accept a dismissive  diagnosis if it doesn't feel right or sound right to you. Take charge of your health. No one cares about it as much as you.

Feb 14, 2010

But pizza IS my box of chocolates!

Just because I don't celebrate Valentines Day, don't think I'm working out like it's any old day. I'm totally not! I still deserve a treat on fake holidays, even if I don't actively participate in them. So I'm eating pizza, typing this, and wondering what's for dessert. I can already see that vein in Jillian Michaels head while she screams at me to NOT GIVE UP! Sorry Jillian, today is eat pizza day. I'll not give up tomorrow.

See ya then. :)

Feb 13, 2010

Jillian Micheals is my homie.

Before my wedding back in November, I was doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred regularly, and I really saw results. I did it for about two months, never leaving level 1. I was bored with level 1, but didn't feel I had "mastered" it, and she doesn't really tell you when you're supposed to move on.

Now that I'm a few months post wedding and have lost whatever definition I had worked so hard for (damn consecutive fattening holidays!) I decided it was time to give it a try again. Actually, I decided to book a Caribbean vacation for the hubs and I to take in a few months, and realized I'm in no shape (or mood) to wear a bikini at this point, so I decided to give it a try again.

Even though it's been a few months since I've done level 1, I decided that today I would give level 2 a try. However, I accidentally hit the button for level 3 and decided to just go with it. 

I completed it, and it wasn't that bad, I just had to do the modified version of anything that could be modified. And there were a few things that I flat out could NOT do (holy traveling push-ups, what!??!) so I did extra crunches with my medicine ball during those. I really want to get back into P90X, but I think I should start with the 30 Day Shred for a month, at least. 

So I've decided that I'll do level 1 of the Shred for one week, then move to level 2 the second week, then split the 3rd week between level 2 and level 3, then graduate back into P90X. These are 6 days a week workouts, with either extra lunges or extra arm workouts alternating days, along with extra ab workouts w/the medicine ball. At least three days a week, I'll run on the Wii Fit and continue to do Wii yoga every night before bed.

30 Day Shred - Day 1
  • Completed (a very modified) Level 3
  • Medicine ball ab workout
  • Arms
  •  Ran 
  • Yoga

Feb 9, 2010

Why Wii Fit is full of crap.

I received a Wii Fit with Wii Fit Plus for Christmas from my awesome MIL, and so far, I really enjoy doing yoga on it. The moves aren't that difficult, you can select which moves you want to create a routine of, and it even has a little guide on screen to show if you're stabilizing yourself properly during the move (along with a blue orb to follow to ensure proper breathing). I haven't tried any of the strength training exercises, but the basic balance "games" are fun and I LOVE the island running (as a matter of fact, I'm going to go home on this rainy day, and run around my Wii island). I have decided to do the yoga routine nightly, as I find that it really does relax me, relaxes my wonky leg (more on that one day), and allows me to kind of give up any angst of the day. I plan to do this in addition to any strength training or cardio I do throughout the week. This is more of a stretching, relaxing, breathing thing for me. I don't really look at it as exercise (my friend Jeremy would smack me silly if he heard me say that).

Wii Fit is a crazy little robot thing that will do all kinds of things for you: weigh you, check your BMI, allow you to input the number of steps you've logged that day (it doesn't come with a pedometer. It should, and it should be wireless and feed it back to the Wii for you. Are you listening, Nintendo? I have the most brilliant ideas ever. Two words for you: Brand Ambassador. I'm just sayin'.) and create a goal and track it.

But it's not a very accurate little robot thing.

For instance, I weighed myself and checked my BMI when I first received the Wii Fit, on Christmas day. It said I weighed in at 119.2 lbs, with a BMI of 18.04. This seemed to be correct, as I had started eating total junk shortly after our wedding in November, and had probably gained a few pounds. However, I decided to update it last night, and it said that I had LOST weight and now weighed 113 lbs (lies!) and had a BMI of 17.11.


I knew this wasn't true. I had just been to the doctor two weeks prior and weighed in at 125 lbs. I had not dieted, exercised, or had a stomach virus in the past two weeks, so there was no way I had lost 12 lbs in that time. Plus, it took several months of a seriously strict regimen of no sugar, healthy eating and exercise to get down to about 115 for my wedding (from about 140 lbs), so I KNOW it wasn't just snap my fingers easy (god, I WISH). So I went and calibrated the scale in my bathroom, the one I swore I'd never use again (it's not about weight for me, it's about being healthy and happy) and it said I weigh about 121 lbs, which sounds closer to what it should be. So the moral of the story is, Wii Fit Plus appears to be a useful little exercise tool, I just wouldn't use it  as an actual scale. I could just be pissed that it told me my Wii Fit age back in December was 38, and now it's telling me it's 48 (I'm 32). Stupid Wii Fit.

A note on my weight and what I'm working toward:
When I'm not working out or dieting, I stay right around 120-125. If my thyroid gets out of whack AND I'm not dieting or exercising, I have gotten up to 145. Which ironically enough, is my alleged "ideal" weight. I'm calling BS. I was fat at 145 (not that 145 is fat - it was on ME, because that ideal weight standard does not account for body type, just height and age). I feel most comfortable at 120. My clothes fit well, I don't feel bulky or like I'm dragging anything extra with me. It is my ultimate goal to be simply happy with how I feel, no matter my weight. However, feeling my best happens to coincide with my weight being around 120 lbs.

So my goal is to maintain a weight of around 120 lbs, but to increase muscle tone without adding bulk. I can do this.

Feb 8, 2010

Dusting off my boots and getting back on the horse.

I started this blog a few years ago with a friend that lived in another state, as a way for us to keep track of our dieting/exercise goals and to hold each other accountable. We both found that we do better with our health goals when we have a partner in crime, or at least someone to make us feel guilty about skipping our workout. Life got in the way, and we both fell off the face of blogger world.

But after stumbling upon Whatz the Skinny, I'm once again motivated to not only get my arse up off the couch, but to make my goals, successes, and yes, even my failures, known to the whole word. This time, I'll be going solo.

My large scale or long term fitness goals:

  • Break the sugar addiction. Again. Yes, I've accomplished this once before and fell right back into it. I'm an all or nothing person, what can I say.

  • Turn the gelatinous material in my thighs into muscle. As a matter of fact, turn every bit of gelatinous material in my body into muscle. Bye bye, bat wings. No more jiggle butt. NO MORE jiggle butt.

  • Increase my strength, stamina, and athleticism. I'm no athlete. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But I firmly believe that I can become one, even if I can't become an exceptionally graceful one.

  • Wear shorts this summer. And a bathing suit. It has been years since I've worn either, and it's time. Oh, it's time.

  • Be the person I WANT to be. Okay, so that sounds a bit cheesy. But it's true! I want to be an athletic, toned, peaceful on the inside person. I wasn't born that way, so I''m going to have to work at it.

My short term goals:

  • Start an exercise routine. I get bored easily, feel judged in gyms, and am broke as a joke. So I work out at home. I own P90X, the 30 Day Shred, and a Wii Fit. I have a medicine ball, a medicine ball workout DVD, weights, resistance bands, yoga mats and an Ab Lounge. I have no excuse.

  • Lower my caloric intake. It's out of control.

  • Blog about it here. And find some readers to hold me accountable.