Friday, September 30, 2011

what I will and will not do (click for full post)

Even though today isn't the "official" start date of my next 12 week program, I figured it couldn't hurt to get a jump start on the new cooking/eating routine I will be on.
In case I haven't mentioned this before, I am following Jamie Eason's 12 week training course on She has a few really delicious recipes that I have tried and I highly recommend her pumpkin protein bars. I made a batch yesterday and they are a little slice of healthy heaven!

Today I'm making her turkey muffins for dinner. They are in the oven as I type this and smell wonderful! (it's later, and I just ate 2 of them, they are amazing)
Yesterday I also cooked up a batch of brown rice, boiled a bunch of chicken tenderloins and steamed broccoli and made ready containers for my lunches. I'll have these turkey muffins to add to my ready made list as well. It's really going to be something different I need to get used to, preparing the week's food in advance for the occasions where I won't feel like cooking from scratch or don't have time (this is to prevent hunger slip ups and will ensure that I can stick to my clean diet). The planning and prep is a lot of work, but in the end, it will simplify my week and make it way easier to stick to my whole food diet.

Today was perfect. I'm looking forward to the day when my craving for sugar is gone. The first two weeks will be crucial.

I've dedicated most of this week to rest and recovery, a the much needed break before starting a fresh new program. I feel really lazy but it's going to be one steps back then two steps forward.
I've started and stopped countless programs and every time, I have failed. I have not seen one single thing through to success. So for me to sit here and say "yeah, I'm starting a new program and I'm really going to stick with this one" makes me feel a bit stupid. But I feel it in my soul, it's MY turn. I know, I'm 110% positive, that the ONLY thing standing between me and the figure I want is how I eat. I just have to eat whole unprocessed foods ALL THE TIME to see the change I am after. No question about it. I'm done working so hard and throwing it all away so I can eat chips and crackers and tons of other stuff I know is keeping me from my goal. A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips - it's just not worth it.

I'm going to put pounds of muscle on my body and I'm going to nourish myself with only the most nutritious foods. My body will be running like a smooth machine and I'm going to look defined and fabulous, just like the women I admire so much on bodyspace. There is no reason I can't do it. They had to sacrifice. I'm sure it was super tough. But they did it, and so can I. My mind and will is strong enough.

I'm not going to buy into any other "quick fix" idea or be under the delusion that anything other than strength training is going to produce the body that I want. I'm not going to buy another workout that promises "results" in X amount of time or your money back. I'm not going to explain to everyone who sees me eat (or not eat) something, the reasons for which I am doing so. It's a waste of my time. I'm not going to pay attention to those who misunderstand what "body building" is. They have a picture of a manly looking women with gigantic biceps and a bad tan in their head. That is not my goal. And I'm not going to justify to anyone the reason my goal is important to me. Being skinny is not my goal. I'm not going to set a time limit on my goal. I know I want to drastically improve aesthetically in a certain period of time, but I also know that it is cumulative work. It is "building". It takes lots of time. It takes consistency. And it takes heart.

There will come a day, when the cardio junkies and junk food junkies are wondering why their bodies aren't changing even though they workout all the time, and I'm going to have the smokin' hot body they wish they had. Those are some pretty big words and a pretty cocky attitude. But I believe in myself and I know that I can do it. I'm tired of wanting it. Knowing it's been right there within my grasp the whole time but not giving it 110% like I know I need to. If it's worth having, it's worth working and sacrificing for. I know that I deserve to give my body the best and get the best in return.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I've got the magic in me (click to read full post)

Alright, I'm officially fed up with trying to go go go like a hamster on a wheel with all the cardio and getting nowhere. When they say it doesn't work for fat loss, they mean it! Plus, the added "bonus" of trying to eat less than I need to maintain and then getting wild cravings and pigging out on the wrong foods later, just isn't adding anything but misery to the mix. The thing that irritates me the most is I know better! I've read about it time and time again. Still, every once in a while there is some conflicting literature that will say "no no, all you need to do is burn more than you take in and use to maintain. Simple as that." Oh, and workout like a crazy friggin animal, as if there was nothing better to do with your time.

No. It's not that simple.

Your body processes foods differently. That is why I can't stuff myself with sweets all day - as long as I exercise it all off, stay below my caloric requirement for the day - and still be fit. Oh, I'll be fit if I get my heart rate up the suggested amount for heart health. But I won't look fit. And if I'm eating crappy foods, I'm still at risk for health issues later on. But my point is, if I'm going to workout to have a better body, I might as well eat the way I'm supposed to and back it up. Otherwise, I'm just wasting my time.

So, my long term goal is 6-8 months from now. I guess I will shoot for 8 months so that puts me right at the end of May (again). I'm not waiting for November. Screw that. I'm ready...NOW. I just can't take this nowhere-bound train any longer. I'm getting off at Realityville. I'm eating like a bodybuilder and I'm working out like a bodybuilder. No more pissing away my time. It's on!

And now a thank you....

In one of these gossip magazines that my mom gets (even though she never bought a subscription for it), they do these "20 things you didn't know about me" interviews with random famous people. Anderson Cooper did one not too long ago. And if you don't know who he is, he is a journalist and CNN anchor. I don't watch him but know who he is because sometimes, if my husband gets the itch for news, I might catch a glimpse. Anyway, he's a pretty lean looking guy. One of his "20 things" was - "I workout nearly every day. Yes, I know how annoying that sounds." And this statement (or the tone of it) is sort of the same reason I typically don't boast on Facebook about the workout I've just done. People don't care. They don't like to hear it. I think it's because they don't like to be reminded about their own personal lack of exercise or want to feel inferior. I would personally love to see more comments about a good workout then all the complaining and drama that is usually the case on Facebook. But then again, I workout so..... But, in my own experience, talking to people who don't have the bug like me, just don't want to hear it. And maybe even some that do, don't want to hear it all the time. That is why I have a fitness blog. Because I like to talk about it. It's a HUGE part of my life, it's a passion not everyone understands. I know only people who have a like mind about fitness and health will read it. And if you don't like what I have to say, you don't have to read it. So I don't feel like I have to hold back on my opinions and my take on certain issues pertaining to health and fitness. Because even though I research and read a LOT, most of the stuff I rant about is still just MY opinion. And I love my readers because they have open minds and their own opinions, which might be completely different from mine. And that's ok! It's what makes us all unique and interesting to each other. So thank you to my loyal readers (all two of you) for listening to me vent and complain and whine. For seeing me through failures and successes. For knowing exactly when to lift me up before I fall. For caring enough to leave comments, every one of them are precious to me. I'm lucky to have a network, however small, to connect with. Because it's hard to go it alone.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

say it, do it (click to read full post)

A cat "lifting" an invisible barbell. So cute.

It makes me think of what is in store for me in a short while. I'm actually a little nervous about it. It seems strange to be nervous because weight lifting is my thing. It's what I do. It drives me. It motivates me. It empowers me. It makes me happy. It challenges me. Maybe it's the challenge that scares me.

It's not the soreness. I am so used to being sore that it almost doesn't seem right to me if I'm walking around without some sort of soreness going on. With the exception of last Friday's workout, that was ridiculous.

But the challenge is a little scary. When I lift weights, I don't just grab some random dumbbells and crank out a few sets and done. I carefully research and plan every workout routine. So that when I go to my weight room, I know exactly what exercises I will do, how many sets I will do, the rep range to shoot for, the poundage I will use, the amount of resting between sets I need, etc. I write everything down before and after. I keep a meticulous journal (I've got dozens of them - or at least I did have until I tossed most of the full ones). And I need to push myself to lift more weight or go for more reps every single week.

And even more than the physical challenge involved, the mental challenge is hard. Because I will get to a point (as I'm sure everyone does) when it feels like I just can't improve. I remember last year, feeling like I would never hit the 40lb mark with my bicep curls. I was stuck at 35 or 37 pounds forEVER! And I really struggled with that. I thought, how are my arms going to get any bigger if I can't progress to a higher weight? So I'd start obsessing about it and getting more and more frustrated. I know you plateau and I know you can't just keep going up and up and up forever or pretty soon you'd be lifting 1000 pounds, and obviously that's not possible.

And I would get nervous before doing pullups. I would be scared that I wouldn't be able to do one more than last time and I knew how important it was for improvement to get at least one more rep each time. It was scary because pullups are incredibly taxing. I would literally stand there and think to weeks ahead and get scared at the weight I was going to have to lift or the reps I was going to have to push.

This year, I'm going to roll with the punches. I'm going to try not obsessing so much. ( stop obsessing? who am I kidding.) Live for the day. The here and now. I'm going to go slow and steady. I'm going to use perfect form and get a good pump every time. And if I eat my protein and carbs and do what I know I need to do, I will make the progress that I am after.

Easier said than done.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

booty beatdown

I thought about not posting. I thought about sparing you. But I thought it would be kinda fun to bore you to death.

I'm just kidding. I don't want you to die. Please don't die.

But alas, I must bore you to death. I don't have anything to talk about really. My ass went through a punishing last Friday like none I've EVER experienced. Ever. I mean it. I'm doubting anyone who has said they've been sore. You don't KNOW sore!! Saturday and Sunday I was a quivering disaster. I couldn't walk, I couldn't sit, and forget about going from a walking to sitting position and vice versa. Oh. My. Goodness. I knew it would be bad. I knew. But I wasn't prepared for what it actually was.

At first when I woke up in the morning, I thought "ok, I'm stiff and sore. Oh, I'm reeeally stiff and sore." But continued on downstairs. And this is where I messed up. Bad. I actually tried running around the corner. I don't know why I did this. I was happy to be awake. It was a Saturday. Whatever the reason, I don't know. But that's when I felt it. Where my butt cheeks used to be, there were now two very heavy bowling balls. At least, that's what it felt like when I tried to run. My ass literally felt like bowling balls. I don't know why, but that's how I'd describe it. Pain. And bowling balls.

Anyway. Sunday was NO better. At all. I bet you can guess what I did for exercise those two days. That's right - nothing. Monday, I was finally starting to feel the soreness subsiding. I probably could have worked out. But I had a lot of other stuff to do and figured it wouldn't be that bad to take one more day off. And today, I was going to do it all over again but because it was so unbelievably nice out this morning, I ran instead. My master plan is to do the butt routine tonight, but we'll see. I just got all the carpets in my home steam cleaned today and as of now, they are still very wet, despite them telling me it would only be another hour until they were dry (that was two hours ago).

Soooo, anyway, that's my boring life story these days. And if you think I'm sharing my booty boosting secret, you've got another thing coming! ha...just kidding. I think it's called booty beatdown or something to that affect. The cool thing is you get a list of many different exercises and circuits to choose from and you put your workout together yourself. You can change it. No need to get bored. But I'm thinking I'll be good for the next month. If I can stick to this, I'm pretty sure my rump will rise again!

I'm preparing to really cut back my calories over the next month. I've got to try to get a jump on this fat loss thing ONE LAST TIME. Because it's crunch time. I don't know if it's possible but I would love love love to have 5 pounds of fat gone by end of October. I know, I know, good luck. I've got a little strategy that might help. Only time will tell.

Friday, September 23, 2011

health tip for you

Want a FUN way to burn TONS of calories?


You heard me! Get up, crank up the music (you know, the kind that really makes you want to shake your groove thing) and go for it! No one is watching!

I have been doing this almost daily and I am AMAZED at what a great workout it is. I think I'm going to wear my heart rate monitor next time just because I am curious as to how many calories I burn in an hour. I danced with my kids for two hours tonight. TWO. HOURS! And I could have kept going and going....but it was bedtime.

I swear, this has become one of my favorite things to do lately. Sometimes, during the day when everyone is gone, I just go downstairs to crank up the music real loud and I can't help but move. It's even better in the dark because then we can turn the disco ball on, put our wigs on and really have fun!

This morning, I really punished my butt and legs. I did 50 minutes of circuit training with weights and incorporated some explosive moves with my medicine ball (think moving jump squats and jump lunges). My legs were so rubbery when I finished I could barely walk up the stairs. Between that and all the dancing I just did, I will be lucky if I can walk tomorrow!

I noticed (already) how easy it is to get into a cardio rut. I call it a rut because I get too comfortable with it. This morning, it was so gorgeous out and would have made for a really enjoyable run, but I forced myself to get down in the basement for some weight training. That's the hardest part after so long. Running is easy. Training with weights requires more focus. It requires a plan. And it's hard work! But I love the way I can FEEL when I've worked my muscles. I love imagining the tiny tears happening and the rebuild process that makes them bigger and better than before.

Although, I'm not in "build mode" yet. I'm just sort of slowly getting myself acclimated again so that I'm ready to hit it hard in November. I get excited thinking about it. And I get excited thinking of the future. I can't say for sure what it holds, but I know it will be something great!

Hope you all had a great first day of fall! I know I did!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Picture pages, picture pages, now it's time for picture pages.....

I'm going insane trying to remember what that little tune is from. Some sort of childhood tv program.

Anyway, I wanted to take some pictures today since it has been a while and also since I plan on improving the shape of my body within the the future. At some point. I really honestly don't have a clue when it will happen since I do almost everything humanly possible to change and never do. But I still hold on to hope.

*please note these pictures were taken after I went for a run so I'm not looking particularly hot. At all.

Picture one: flexing upper body. I'm most proud of the work I have accomplished on my upper body. Although I would really like to pack on more muscle this winter.

Picture two: I'm trying to flex my quads here. They aren't very big. I'm hoping to change that.

Picture three: quads again.

Picture four: and again

Picture five: Now we come to the part I am the most frustrated with. My outer thigh. Extra fat just hangs there and refuses to leave. I don't know if it's mostly fat or a combination of fat and sagging skin (I am almost 37 you know, I'm entitled to have some sagging skin, aren't I?) but I really REALLY wish it would just go away.

Picture six: You see the white line I've drawn? I wish I could just shave off that excess.

Picture seven: this is how I would pose to make it look as if I have no outer thigh problem.

Picture eight: as the picture says, trying to flex here

Picture nine: I don't like this picture and I'll tell you why. I look too skinny. Ok, mom, are you happy? I like the fact that I have definition in my arms and abs but I really want to be more filled out. The only problem is when it comes to fat loss, you can't pick and chose where the fat comes off. It just keeps coming off my upper body until I look near skeletal but my thighs won't budge. Nothing pisses me off more. NOTHING.

Picture eleven: I don't really know how to properly flex back muscles. But I know I have them. Really I do. Also, my pants are very unflattering. I hate my butt.

And there you have it. Some bad, some not bad, but all me. Take it or leave it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Energizer bunny, that's me!

I worked out 3 times today. Yes....3 times. Am I insane? I think I just might be. I don't know what's gotten into me, but I'm overflowing with energy and I can't help myself.

I set up my stereo in the basement that had previously been collecting dust in a corner for two years. It's pretty old school but the big Yamaha speakers really sound great. And there isn't much I like better than cranking some good music and cutting loose. So that's what I did today. I did my "official" workout which was 30 minutes of hill climbs, 4 sets of weighted squats and step ups and then I did a lot of dancing around to loud music. There was no one around to be bothered by it, so why not!

It was so much fun, I brought the girls downstairs later on to show them what I had done and they immediately wanted to dance too. We spent an hour and a half dancing (and yes, I counted it as a workout because I was dripping sweat). I was the last one standing. They were all sprawled out on the floor exhausted and I was still bouncing around. LOL! We made it fun - I took out some Halloween wigs and microphones and we pretended to be Lady GaGa. I was singing every word to every song, dancing around in a wig, and Eden looked at me and said "I have such a cool mom" made me feel awesome.

Then I went for a run outside after dinner. What an awesome day! The only thing I don't like about having so much energy is that I need to eat more. But that's ok, as long as I eat smart.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunny Sunday Afternoon

Just in case you want to ruin your diet.....

Chocolate chip cookies from the Breadsmith. Oh heaven. TONS (I mean it) of chocolate chips in a thick and scrumptious cookie. I dare not look up the calorie content.

I have been taking turns over the past week with the good and the bad. The angel and devil in me are definitely duking it out. Sometimes, delicious sweet treats are just too heavenly to pass up.

However, since I feel like a hefer at this particular point in time (because I just ate this huge heavenly cookie), I have decided that it would probably be in my best interest to take it easy on the sweet treats for a while. At least for the next week. Small steps. We bought a new grill so I want to spend the week perfecting my grilling skills and eating more salads alongside of our beautifully grilled meat. Grilling is my least perfected cooking skill. Probably because I don't do it enough. And that was because our old grill sucked. It was old. It was way past it's prime.

I feel like I'm getting a bit tighter and I want to see if I can really capitalize on that with clean eating. I'm still plugging away with as much cardio as I can fit in. Most days, twice a day. Although yesterday I mixed it up. I got my cardio in and did high repetition squats and lunges AND extra ab work. And let me just say that I can't wait to sit down without yelling "OWIE!!!!" and I pray I don't have to sneeze because my abs are screaming too.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's Saturday night and I feel alright

Was a good girl all day so that I could enjoy a dumpling dinner with a glass of wine and then a scrumptious donut for dessert! Mmmmm! I typically would skip the donut and just watch everyone else enjoy but not tonight! I am in such a great mood, I don't even care about the calories. I have been sleeping SO much better (thanks to Maletonin and possibly my nightly walks??), which has helped my mood AND energy level.

As soon as my husband gets back from dropping off Hanna at her sleepover, I'm heading out in the cold and wind for my regular nightly walk. And then I think I'll paint my nails =) Ah, I love a Saturday night!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Friday!

I've toned down my crazy, balls to the wall exercising attitude this week. I've only done two super hyper intense and crazy cardio/plyometric sessions, ran a few times and walked every night. And I got some morning walks in there too. It's been cold....too cold for mid September, but I've been getting my butt out there anyway. Just because it feels so good. I am kicking myself in the ass for not doing this all summer long. But it's not quite as enjoyable when it's still 90% humidity at 9:00pm. The cooler air is much nicer when it comes to walking.

I bought some new walking shoes. Although they weren't the ones I wanted. The place I bought them didn't have much for sizes, but I was all about getting the sale so I ended up with my 3rd or 4th choice. Yes, they were very much in need of new stock. I probably should have waited and checked around at different stores but whatever. They work I guess. Next on my 'wish list' is a new pair of running shoes. The ones I have are getting pretty old and my toe is starting to poke through the mesh. I don't think I'll get those until the spring since I don't plan on doing a ton of running after next month. We'll see....

I'm really just enjoying myself lately. I love going for power walks. I take the same route I usually take when I run. Which is different from the route I took during the summer months because that road is under construction (of course). Always road construction. It's never ending around here. But since it's starting to get darker earlier, I think I'm going to use another route. The bike path isn't lit up and it's super creepy in the evening when it's dark. I'd rather be on the lit sidewalks. I know that sounds really paranoid. This area is pretty safe for the most part, but I am extremely jumpy lately since reading this book "Every Breath You Take".

This morning, when I took Lizzy for her walk, this guy in a van pulled up next to me and said, "I was dropping my kid off at school and I saw you walking your dog. We were wondering what kind of dog it was." So I told him. He put his van into park. He was really chatty, "We thought she looked like a Spaniel. Is this your first big dog? How old is she? Is she friendly? Can I pet her?", and he started to open his door. And I was like, "uh......I don't know." And he said, "Oh, do you have time? Never mind, that's all right.", and he closed his door. Phew! I felt so stupid. So I recovered with, "It's just that she is really excitable and gets hard to control." He was very friendly and understood. But I thought to myself, good lord woman! It's broad daylight at a time when tons of people are bustling to work, what was he going to do, wrestle you into the van with all the neighbors watching?? This is how paranoid I am. But sometimes the nicest seeming people are the ones that get you. That's how they lure you in. Not that I think he was trying to do that, but it was kind of creepy that he actually went out of his way to turn into Rose Creek just to ask me what kind of dog I had because he'd seen us walking 40th.


I got some different protein bars this week. Their called Oh Yeah! and they sort of look like a Twix with the inside of a Kit Kat. But they don't taste like much. They aren't really sweet at all. Which I don't mind. I liked the crunch and texture. I gave them a thumbs up. I also got some PowerCrunch to try. They look good too, but I haven't tried them yet. Very low sugar on these bars, like 1 or 2g. I usually eat PureProtein, when I do eat them, and they are good but very dense and it's like work to chew and swallow them. And when I bought them, the guy at GNC gave me a bottle of Yok3d to try, which is some nitric oxide enhancing stuff I'd never heard of before. But he asked me if I worked out a lot and I said that was an understatement and so he smiled and threw in this bottle for free. I'm not going to turn down free stuff! I just took them for the first time this morning and so I'm going to see how they do. The sucky thing is you are supposed to take them 60-90 minutes pre workout. Perfect time to get a blog post done while I'm waiting for my super hero pills to kick in ;)

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Ok, my hard work is paying off. I've shrunk, ever so slightly. I went through my closet and tried on all my 'tight' stuff and it's all good. I did a happy dance. I jumped around. I did standing oblique crunches.

Either I'm losing fat, or I've lost a lot of water. I am in the non bloat portion of my cycle. So I'm not going to celebrate too loudly....yet.

In any case, it gives me just enough motivation and energy to KEEP IT UP!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Number two

Sorry to post twice in one day, but I wanted to get this typed up before I forgot.

Ok, so I figured out what fat burn vs fitness was on my HR monitor. My numbers from the last workout were:

fat burn - 1:27
fitness - 36:37

In other words, I only spent 1 minute and 27 seconds in my fat burning zone. The remaining 36 minutes and 37 seconds, I was conditioning my heart and increasing my fitness level.

What this means to me:

There is a lot of debate about the 'fat burning zone'. According to where you find your information, the fat burning zone is somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of your max heart rate. And to find your max heart rate you subtract your age from 220.

According to this calculation, my max heart rate is 184. Therefore my fat burning range is between 110 and 128. This is hard for me to wrap my brain around. Because I just don't feel like I'm "working out" if my heart rate isn't at least in the 150s.

The theory is you burn more fat in the fat burning zone than you would doing a higher intensity workout. But overall, the harder you work, the more calories you burn. And so if you workout for 30 minutes at a higher intensity, you would end up burning more calories overall than if you just stayed in your lower fat burning zone. And in the end, it's about intake of calories and calorie expenditure. BUT, if you burn 50% fat during 30 minutes of exercise in your fat burning zone and only 40% fat during the same 30 minutes of higher intensity exercise, where are the extra calories being burned coming from if not from fat? I am confused. Are you strictly burning off carbs from your last meal? Or worse, muscle? How does this work? And what about after burn? Doesn't recovering from higher intensity exercise burn off more calories? Here's a chart from explaining calorie burn and fat burn at different intensity:

Low Intensity - 60-65% MHRHigh Intensity - 80-85% MHR
Total Calories expended per min.4.866.86
Fat Calories expended per min.2.432.7
Total Calories expended in 30 min.146206
Total Fat calories expended in 30 min.7382
Percentage of fat calories burned50%39.85%

On the other hand, since I have been exclusively using high intensity exercise and not seeing one iota of difference in my body composition, that might be telling me something. There might actually be some truth to that fat burning zone, thing. Maybe I should try taking nightly brisk paced walks for a few weeks and see if that theory holds water. But in any case, at least I know that I am really doing something wonderful for my heart and overall fitness.

more mindless drivel

[typed yesterday so the info is a day behind...]

We were blessed with yet another simply GORGEOUS day outside today. I've heard the temps are about to drop this coming week so I've made it a point to get outside and enjoy it while it lasts. I am looking forward to the crisp fall air. It is such an exciting time of year, despite the colder weather warning you of the harsh winter that is yet to come. The colors on the leaves after they change make the perfect backdrop for a shutterbug like me.

And since it's been so nice out, I've been going on a lot more walks and taking some evening jogs too. I'm very surprised at how active I'm able to stay seeing as how I don't sleep worth a darn anymore. Still, I'm grateful that I haven't had a total system crash yet. Last night I got out a tad later than I wanted and by the time I was at my halfway point it was already dark. So I took the most lit streets home. It was good. I could have gone longer than I did

[finished typing this morning...]

I've been trying to not eat past 7pm. It's one of those debatable topics. But recently I read that we should NOT eat past 7pm because it's harder for our bodies to digest the food properly....yadda yadda....fat storage....blah blah. So, I have been trying. The first 3-4 days went surprisingly well. Yesterday was just a good day in terms of diet. Had my morning workout - it was awesome. And I was going to hit the pavement last night around 7pm when the girls got back from their dad's. However, they didn't show up until almost 7:40 (grrrrr) so my plans were shot. Because we have things to do to get ready for school the next day, bags to unpack, and so on. Of course my husband is in his usual spot, in front of the computer on his 9th hour of Empire or Civilization or whatever the heck game he is playing these days {note my frustration here}, so I can't expect much help from him. Anyway, all of a sudden, I got really dizzy and sweaty and shaky so I figure, 'crap, I better eat before I pass out'. Even though it was 8pm, past my 7pm deadline, there are just times when you have to listen to your body. So I ate (rather, inhaled) some food. Then some more. Then some more. Until I ended up eat probably half a day's worth of calories. DAMN IT! I had such a great day too. I was finally starting to feel as though I must be making some headway. Instead of burning an extra 300 calories like I should have been doing around that time, I consumed probably twice that.

Oh well.

This morning, I put my running clothes on before I walked with Emma to school so that I could just take off from the school and get a fasted run in. It was lovely. According to my spiffy new HR monitor, my average HR was 155 and my max was 173. Usually, when I am on the last quarter mile or so, I push it to get my heart rate up. Hence, the 173. I have no idea if that's good for me or not. Still new to tracking my heart rate. I didn't even know it kept track of average HR until I accidentally pushed the wrong button when I got home and there it was! Cool! It also gave me a read out of my fat burn and 'fitness' - whatever that means. I'll have to look it up.

While I was running, this woman just blew past me, from out of nowhere. She had legs up to my shoulders, I swear! She looked like she was older than me (from what I could tell, but I have no way of really knowing), and so I was thoroughly impressed. She kept up her stride for a quite a while before she had to stop and walk. And then I passed her and didn't see her again. It takes me about 35 minutes to run 4 miles. I don't run for speed at all, I just run at a comfortable pace. So when she passed me I remember thinking, wow, I must run incredibly slow. That's typically why I say I'm going for a 'jog' not a run. But then again, it wasn't a pace she could keep forever, obviously. Who knows, maybe she was interval training. Maybe that's just how she rolls. I generally run the entire time. Very rarely do I stop, only at stop lights. No, I do not jog in place at stop lights. I would feel dumb. Mainly because when I see people do that, I think they look dumb. I get why they do it. But it still makes me giggle. I'm immature. I know this.

Speaking of immature, I hate getting yelled at or whistled at while I'm jogging. I'm actually surprised at how often this happens. Once, when I was jogging and Eden was with me on her bike, some guy at the stop light yelled, "nice ass" out his window. And for a split second I thought about turning around and smacking him through the window but I didn't feel like ending up in jail. Really? You're gonna yell obscene things at me with my 8 year old daughter next to me? Classy.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Campfire Mocha is the devil

Yesterday I took my mom on a couple of errands. We ended up at the grocery store to get some groceries and to get some pictures developed of her dog. She finished her shopping faster than I did (first time ever) and went into Caribou Coffee to wait for me. She called me to let me know she had gotten a coffee for me to and I said, "Aw, mom, I really wasn't planning on getting a...

"You'll drink it!" she barked.

I said, "Well, ok, did you make it a non-fat...{YOU'LL DRINK IT!!! - she cut in}

"Ok ok!" I said, a little scared of her now.

When I met her, she greeted me with a giant cup some fancy cold coffee with a mountain of whip and marshmallows on top. Oh. My. God. Not only did she not get me my regular non-fat mocha, she got me a very large cup of fat and sugar.

"MOTHER!" I said, "What did you do?"

"What?" - she's acting all innocent here.

"I don't typically like to drink my entire day's worth of calories. I might as well go guzzle a two liter bottle of coke, this thing probably has as much sugar!" - yes, I was freaking out because she was adamant about making me drink this thing. And I was scared. Remember when I said how she's always trying to fatten me up? Case and point. This is what she does.

"You drink it." she said again.

"Why didn't you get hot coffee?" I said.

"Because it's hot outside." she said

I had two sips and said, "I'm sorry, mom, but I just can't. I know you don't understand and you are probably mad now that you bought this for me and instead of showing appreciation I am refusing to drink it. But I don't want to erase a week's worth of workouts just to drink this. I'm really sorry."

She did look disappointed but I think she was eventually happy because I had brought it home and put it in the freezer so that my husband could have it later. And he loved it. And nothing pleases my mother more than making my husband happy.

FYI - a large Campfire Mocha is 700 calories, 37g fat, 79g sugar me crazy for not wanting to drink THAT.

Friday, September 9, 2011

just, dang it

Did you ever notice how unforgiving the fitting room mirrors are? The lighting is so bad and every single flaw stands out and screams at you. Every lump. Every dimple. Magnified. It's horrible! If you ever want to feel bad about yourself, that's a sure fire way to do it. My mirrors at home make me look like a goddess compared to a fitting room mirror. Oh, the horror.....

As if you couldn't have guessed, I was in a fitting room yesterday. Actually, I was in a fitting room the day before too. At a different store. And I was hoping the second one might be different, that way I could just blame it on the lighting in the first store. But nope. Same deal. Now that I can't blame it on the light, I have to blame it on myself. And the sad reality is, it's not pretty. Honestly, I don't know how I ever dare wear anything less than cropped pants again.

It really just pisses me off too. Because I work so hard and I actually think I look worse. I'm not kidding! I'm on the warpath now. I'm seriously thinking of just starving the fat off my body. Because obviously no amount of exercise is going to do it. That just doesn't sound fun, but neither does killing myself with exercise, especially when it doesn't do any good. Well, I shouldn't say that. It does keep me thin and it does keep my heart healthy. But DANG IT....just, dang it.

I'm whiny today.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

heart beat

I got a few really exciting pieces of equipment yesterday.

1) Ab slings - I already have a pull up bar and last time I was at Scheels they were out of the slings but this time I snagged them! Now I can really see what my abs can do. Usually when I'm doing hanging leg raises, my hands give out way faster than my abs would. I'm hoping the slings will let me fatigue my abs properly.

2) Barbell Pad - one thing I always hated about squatting is that damn bar is hard on my upper back. So I got a padded cover for it. With this season's heavy lifting around the corner, it will come in handy. Now if I can just convince my husband that I need a squat rack....for safety reasons.

3) Heart Rate Monitor - I was getting really sick of taking my pulse every so often during my cardio workouts so I finally got one. It is so slick! I entered my stats and it gave me a good readout after my workout this morning. Maybe around 100 calories less than I had been figuring though :( The only problem is, as far as I can tell, the strap is fitted at the smallest possible setting and it still feels like it slides down. So I'm constantly checking it, which is annoying. But I'm sure I'll get over it.
Now, hopefully my husband won't be mad after he sees the bill for my new toys. I need them, come one!

Incidentally, I took my resting heart rate a few weeks ago and it was 50 bpm. My mom said if it were any lower, I'd be dead. haha

Here's an interesting chart I found: (for women)
18 -25
26 -35
36 -45
46 - 55
56 -65
I guess I can officially call myself an athlete :)

Info taken from

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

knock knock.....

Who's there? Emma. Emma who? Emma boring you yet?

Today, I'm sick...again. I don't know WHAT is going on with me. Of course my husband says to me this morning, "Are you sure you aren' know......."

"preggers?" I said.

"yeah" he said.

"um no. I take my pills faithfully every day." I said.

"well, you know they aren't 100% effective" he said.

Well, gosh, what the heck do I take them for then?? No, I'm pretty sure that's not it. But I can buy a test to rule it out. In some ways, that would be such a lovely surprise. In others (many others) it wouldn't really be ideal. How selfish is it of me to just NOT want to be on bed rest for 10 weeks again? But seriously, can you even comprehend how awful it is to lay in bed for 10....weeks.....straight??? Horrible. Awful. Plus, there's the added stress that you don't even know if you're poor uterus will even cooperate that long. Long story.....let's just say that having babies and my body aren't friends. I've not had a single normal pregnancy. I've miscarried too, although that is pretty common.

Blech....let's not talk about it anymore. It's not the problem, I'm 99.9% certain. So there.

And I'm STILL not sleeping. Last night was my 3rd night on Melatonin and I STILL woke up every 45 minutes (average). I think that I'm just very, extremely, overly exhausted. And I need a solid night of sleep. On top of not sleeping, I'm trying to workout like a crazy maniac (except over the labor day weekend where I gave myself a good break). Probably not smart, but I've become slightly addicted to it.

Today I decided not to take ANY supplements. As much as I hate to do this, I have to find out if something I'm taking could be the reason for my sleepless nights. So I am off them for at least 2 days. Maybe 3. I'll see how long I can stand it. IF I end up having a full night of sleep during that time, I will slowly start adding them back into my daily routine, and see if I can pin point any sleep disturbances during that time. Again, not sure if I'm patient enough to go through that mess, but I have to try. This just can't go on.

Yesterday's high: Had an AWESOME diet. Worked out, went for a long walk, bought a new book to read. Great day. Only 1 tiny snag....
Yesterday's low: My husband forgot to bring the rest of the brownies to work. I had one last night, even though I PROMISED myself I wouldn't eat sugar anymore. I don't blame myself. I blame him. I told him they needed to be out of the house where I couldn't eat them. I stressed how important this was. He thinks it's funny. It's not funny. Then my daughter says, "why didn't you just NOT eat it?" hmmmm.....she's very wise.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jumping back into the loop

I can't decide how I'm feeling. After the last few weeks of brutally agonizing workouts, trying to remain strong on calorie limitations, then letting it all hang out for 4 days in a row. I don't know if it was relief, elation, or guilt....

4 days with no "scheduled" workout. I ate the greasiest pizza known to man. Brownies. Cake. Cupcakes. Chips. With wild and reckless abandon. The funny thing is, after doing all that for 4 days, I literally feel unchanged. As though it did nothing harmful whatsoever to my body. Oh, I'm sure my innards are working double time to rid me of toxins and what-have-you, but today, I am no worse for wear.

I stepped back into reality with a 'sweaty as it gets' workout this morning, followed by a lovely 50 minute afternoon walk and 3 - 200 calorie meals (so far). I've burned far more than I've consumed already today. I wish every day was like that.

The only real "exercise" I got over the weekend was tossing the football around with my daughters and nephew (and Bigs for a little while, which I gotta be honest, surprised and excited me). Today my arm was quite sore. And I have to say, I'm not bad at throwing a football. But get me behind a glove and a baseball and I'm wicked! Inside this "dainty" little shell lurks a sporty little competitor. Just thought you'd like to know that.

We went for walks and even a bike ride. It was a great weekend. The only disappointment was not walking up the big hill at Maplewood. That is always a fun mini workout. But as the family suddenly started packing up from our picnic, it seemed that I was the only one interested in the walk so we just went home.

I've started taking Melatonin for my serious bout of sleeplessness. So far, the last couple of nights have improved. I've been exhausted to the point of puking and so something needed to be done. I'll keep you posted.

Now I need to do the daunting and tedious task of coming up with a menu for the week. Does anyone have any ideas for fast, delicious and HEALTHY meals? I would welcome any ideas since I seem to be lacking in creative cooking lately.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My info-packed post for the week

First of all, shout out to my girl, Amanda, for the virtual slap the other day. I needed that. She wasn't mean or anything, she just gave me the encouraging words I needed to hear. A hands on the shoulders shake that sort of says "pull yourself together"! I stress out over this stuff far more than I should. It should be enjoyable. I should like the ride. But I'm an impatient person and when I don't get the results I think I deserve RIGHT NOW, I get a little whiny.

Anyway, I thought I'd share my "at this moment" ritual - or things I often do lately.

First of all, as far as training goes, I've been in the cardio zone for...oh, I don't know, a few months now. Mostly higher intensity circuits and plyometrics. I want to have more power, strength and stamina for the building months to come. If my legs are stronger, I will lift better. I was running in the evenings pretty religiously but I haven't done any running at all this week. Probably due to my "why do more when it's not getting me anywhere" attitude. I'll go out if I feel like it - for the mental benefit - not because I think it's going to change my body.

Second, I've been trying to keep my calorie intake below maintenance. If I hit between 1200 and 1500 net calories per day (which means after calorie burn from working out), I'm satisfied. If you've read Tom Venuto's book at all, you know that he promotes eating more and working out more. The two are supposed to complement each other. And while I have the highest respect for Tom and love his book, it seems a little like defeating the purpose (if fat loss is your goal) when the law of physics says fat loss is simply a matter of calories in vs. calories out. But whatev....

My favorite meals lately are as follows:

1) egg & turkey bacon English muffin (and if you read my other blog you know how much I like them.
2) scrambled egg wrap (using a low carb wrap - only 50 calories, with egg, onions and peppers)
3) kashi go lean cereal (high protein, low sugar) or fiber one cereal or shredded wheat & bran cereal with unsweetened almond milk
4) boneless skinless canned sardines - but only if I like eating alone because no one else except Lizzy can stand the smell
5) Ezekiel sprouted grain bread with Parker's natural peanut butter and Polaner all fruit jelly
6) plain nonfat greek yogurt mixed with apple chunks and walnuts
7) progresso light soups (especially beef pot roast)
8) turkey chili with beans
-although I would typically stay away from canned foods like these due to sodium levels, once every couple days is ok in my book
9) plain rolled oats
10) prograde post workout recovery drink
11) I try to get a tablespoon of coconut oil in every day but if my calorie content is already hovering around the max range by dinner time, I skip it. I hate to skip it for the calories though because it is SO beneficial for your body in so many ways.

And I guess that's about it. I cycle through the same stuff a lot. I haven't had a spinach and protein powder smoothie in a coon's age. But that's because I'm opting for the recovery drink post workout. I'll probably switch back once I start lifting.

I had a donut last night. I went to the store, bought the donuts with the intention of eating one, and ate it without feeling the least bit bad about it. It was tasty, I enjoyed it, end of story.

I also had a bowl of soy ice cream a couple nights ago, just to try it. Why soy? Andreas (of all people) wanted to try it. You're probably thinking....what? Andreas? I know, right? I don't believe it either. But it was his brother's influence. And I'm pretty sure if his brother started to tell him about the benefits of weightlifting, he'd do that too. You can see where I rate in this equation ;)

I'm on the fence about soy. At least consuming it daily. "Soybeans and certain other plant foods (such as whole grains, seeds, fruits) are rich in isoflavones, a plant chemical in the class known as phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are natural chemicals that can mimic some of the effects of estrogen in the body."

*Let me cut in here - have you read about estrogen dominance at all? Did you know that if you are estrogen dominant, you can gain fat on the belly and hips despite dieting and exercise? And did you also know you can correct this by eating properly? Bing it sometime...

Continuing on...
"a small number of studies have suggested that susceptible women who consume high levels of purified soy protein and/or foods containing high amounts of isoflavones may have an increased risk of breast cancer."

Info taken from

Like Andreas says, he takes these findings and newer studies with a grain of salt. Just like the way he feels about eggs. For so long we were told of how bad eggs were for us. Now more recent studies show they do more good than harm. I'm a VERY big pusher of eating eggs. I eat eggs daily and have the best HDL levels of anyone I know. I don't have high cholesterol either. Of course other factors come into play here, like the fact that I exercise daily and eat right most of the time. That being said, a person who does not exercise and has already high cholesterol levels will probably still be told to not eat too many eggs so as not to aggravate their condition.

And as far as soy goes...Asians have been consuming soy for centuries. But what if we begin eating far higher amounts than is normally found in the Asian diet? In a 1999 press release, the Canadian Health Coalition stated that consumption of soy formulas could lead to a host of health problems, including thyroid dysfunction. There has also been concern over whether or not soy consumption can have an impact on thyroid function in adults. But like many MANY other debatable topics, there just aren't enough studies that significantly prove one way over another. I just won't eat tofu and drink soy milk every day - which is why I stick to whey protein shakes instead of soy based powders ;)