Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Well, a wrench has been thrown in my fitness plans, which is always irritating and makes me really unhappy and anxious.

I felt fine until Sunday night when some imaginary knife started stabbing me in the stomach, which continued throughout the night, accompanied by lovely vomiting and a hundred other terrible stomachy symptoms.

Much of yesterday was spent in a frenzy trying to find a comfortable position to lay in and self-diagnosing on WebMD which I'm sure is the medical field's biggest pain in the ass. Several symptoms pointed toward appendicitis, which of course freaked me out, so I consulted my friend who had his appendix out a few weeks ago, who asked me a bunch of questions and concluded that it may be that. I decided if it didn't get any better or if it got worse I'd go to urgent care today.

Anyway, I highly doubt it's that as I'm finally getting better, not worse. I'm only in pain when I move around. I'm guessing it's gastritis again, which can have similar symptoms. I'm just really tired.

I haven't worked out in three days, though. I'm regretting not working out on Sunday during the day when I was feeling fine.  I can walk around okay now, but jumping or running is out of the question. I made a tiny venture out of the house yesterday because my mom is out of town for a couple days and wanted me to cat-sit. It totally exhausted me, just scooping the litter box, so... I'm HOPING I will feel well enough to work out tomorrow, but I don't think I will be. Uggh.

The only positive thing to come out of the situation is that I've lost weight due to dehydration and a complete loss of appetite. I'm down 36 pounds, though I know the loss won't stick once I start eating again. I'm trying to re-introduce food and my body isn't a huge fan. Currently drinking a tiny green smoothie and a piece of toast and hoping that will make me feel slightly less weak.

It's just killing me that when I go on SparkPeople, it says my weekly fitness minutes are at zero. ZERO!

If I get the courage, I might push this issue with my doctor when I see her on Friday (for something unrelated). I told her that I frequently got sick and she really didn't see all that concerned about it. But this can't continue. I've only had this particular set of symptoms twice (and I don't remember the first time being as bad as this) but it can't be good. I just don't want to have to go through a bunch of tests because I can't afford it. I have insurance, but even a normal yearly physical (which I thought was fully covered, silly me) cost me $85 and I am really pinching pennies right now.

Well, gonna lay down again. SO FRUSTRATED!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26th

I was doing so well. Feeling really good. I went and ruined it yesterday.

I had a great workout and was having a great day. Then I got some bad news. And, long story short, I didn't handle it well and I drank and ate a lot.

Today is a new day. And the start of a new week.

I gained 3 pounds over night after being so excited to have finally hit that 35 lbs mark. I know it won't stay, but I'm disappointed.

I'm taking a rest day today because I didn't get anything done yesterday that I wanted to get done, including going to the grocery store, which I did today.

Good thing is I did reach 250 fitness minutes last week.

Here's my menu plan and workout plan for the week.

Baked crisp chicken burritos
Rest day

Chinese Chicken Salad
Cardio Kickbox, 25 mins

Beef and broccoli
Spark Cardio Blast, 35 minutes

Step Aerobics, 63 minutes

Cali BLT
Rest Day

Salad Wrap
Frontside circuit training, 43 minutes

Decide next week
Backside circuit training, 53 minutes

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I finally, finally, FINALLY reached the 35 lb mark today!

I kept getting really close and then gaining.

I've worked hard the past couple weeks and resisted a lot of temptations so I'm happy to have finally reached this.

Starting the day with a good breakfast and then I'll do an hour of circuit training and a trip to the grocery store.

Hoping to weigh even less tomorrow on my official weigh-in day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Who just burned 300 calories doing a workout on her *rest day*?
This girl.

I've racked up 150 fitness minutes so far this week...
I might try to hit 300 by the end of the week. Not sure I've done that before this year. I probably won't get there, but I can hit 250, easy.

This all feels pretty good.

I'm feeling inspired lately.

Also, this is TMI, but I think I'm at that point where I should be PMSing pretty hardcore, and... I feel fine. I know the medication my doctor gave me is supposed to help with PMDD, so who knows? I don't want to undermine other people's experiences with PMDD by thinking I may have it (one of my big pet peeves working in the mental health field!) but now I'm wondering.

I track my moods each day on a scale of 1-10 (usually I give myself a range, like 3-4 or 5-6) and I haven't dropped below a 5 in a week and a half. 3s and 4s littered early August, but every day since then has been 5-6 or 5-7 or 6-7.

So... bring it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

quick mid-week positivity

I'm going to try to be more positive in this blog, so I can look back and congratulate myself on all the tiny, tiny victories I've had.

Tonight was one of them. I was kind of annoyed because I'd gained two pounds over the past couple days. I ate way too much on Sunday night, several hundred calories above my range, but I'd had such a hard workout and the dinner I made was so delicious.

So I was a bit frustrated with the gain, I'm SO CLOSE to the 35-lb mark and I just keep hovering around the same 3 pounds.

Work was busy today and I came home tired, and was just sitting on my couch doing nothing after I ate dinner. I really wanted some wine, and almost considered getting some, but the thought flew away pretty quickly - I've done so well with sticking to my no-alcohol rule and I want to keep it that way (I am going to allow myself to indulge after my 21 day challenge is over!)  I went over my calories by about 50 or so today (I had a BIG dinner) and was just sort of being lazy. I had planned to do a 35-minute workout that generally burns 250-350 calories depending on the day, according to my heart rate monitor. But I was watching The Biggest Loser (a very guilty pleasure for me -- I'm not a reality TV fan and I hate the entire premise of TBL, but man, put something on Netflix Instant and I'll watch it!) Anyway, it's hard to sit and watch TBL without feeling guilty for sitting on the couch. I've felt a little defeated the past few days because I've pretty much gone over my calories every single day. Not by a lot, but I've been slacking. And my body has been responding to that. I know I can't be eating the same amount of calories I did when I was 35 pounds heavier. But it's hard to keep cutting back.

So I got off my ass and instead of my 35-minute, easier workout, I did my hardest DVD - my hour long step aerobics (which I skipped on Sunday, my normal day to do it, cuz I went running instead). My stupid heart rate monitor was being a brat and gave out 20 minutes in so I don't know how many calories I burned, but I've never in my life burned less than 500 doing that workout, so... woohoo.

So I avoided the wine temptation after a tiring day, had a great workout, drank lots of water (I've been eating too much salt recently, too) and now I feel better and more energized (not great, since it's 10:30 pm right now.) I was SO sore from my run on Sunday, but after warming up for step aerobics today, I got through it just fine and stretched properly afterwards, and hopefully I won't be as sore tomorrow. (That run I did was the hardest workout I've done in a long time, and I did NOT cool down or stretch properly after because I thought I was going to puke and I basically just collapsed in a chair with a bottle of water.)

I want to write when I do crap like this. I don't write about small successes often, except maybe mention it on my weekly Sunday post. But I want to have a bit of motivation and inspiration for myself, because I have these days often. I'd be a lot lighter now if I'd found a way before to avoid the temptation of relaxing with booze (a Friday night ritual for me my last two years of college) and instead had worked out and watched or read something inspiring. So I just want to be able to look back and remind myself to do something proactive instead of passive, to do something hard instead of something easy.

Also, although I HATE winter and I hate that it's getting darker and darker earlier and earlier, I'm sort of pumped for fall. I definitely want to get out and run more. I tend to do a lot more of that in the fall and spring and I avoid it completely in summer. Last year I ended up being able to run 2 miles without stopping which I'd never done before in my entire life, even as a kid. I don't know if I could do that on flat surface right now or not, since I only run on a really hilly route. I think I could do it on a treadmill, but running on real ground is a LOT harder. I might try it this weekend - going on a flat route - and just see what I can do.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19th

This may be a bit longer than my usual updates, because I have a lot to say this week, and a lot to brag about.

I had a pretty great week - emotionally, and health-wise. I was dreading coming back to work after my vacation, but it turned out I actually missed my coworkers and the routine of going to work. Don't get me wrong, I'd take vacation ANY day, but I was starting to feel anxious and unproductive.

I did well every single day this week. I did go over my calories a couple times, but only by 100-200 or so, and I allow myself to do that when I'm legitimately hungry, particularly if I've worked out that day. I'd like to stop eating after a certain time at night, and I'd like to also eat more during the day. I know that optimally breakfast should be the biggest meal, followed by lunch and then dinner, but I've always done the exact opposite. I've always wanted to change this, but I've never really liked eating a bigger breakfast and a smaller dinner, so ... who knows if I'll really make a legitimate effort to change that. I just probably shouldn't be eating the majority of my daily calories in the 2nd half of the day.

I did skip one workout - a 43-minute circuit training workout - and so I only reached my bare minimum of 175 minutes for the week. I am completely forgiving myself for that, though, and here's why...

I had a major blast of willpower this weekend. Friday was the day I was scheduled to do my circuit training workout. It was also the day that I knew I'd be going out to a bar with my coworkers after work. I planned to stay at the bar for a couple hours, since I knew due to my 21-day challenge that I shouldn't drink, and every time I go there I end up indulging in greasy bar food. So to plan ahead, knowing I'd be hungry, I packed some raw vegetables, and ate them with some coffee and water before I headed out of work.  Well, the two hours I planned on staying ended up being six hours. And I am very proud to say that with the exception of one, single, lone delicious French fry and a couple sips of drinks that people wanted me to try, I stuck to water - nothing else. I felt a little odd because I really didn't want to go into the reason WHY I wasn't eating or drinking anything, because I don't like to broadcast my weight loss plans, but they finally gave up trying to get me to order a drink eventually and I had a total blast. I had a ton of fun and didn't need to worry about driving or finding a way home, and I had the option of being a DD for anyone who needed it (which I almost did, but they ended up going to another bar.)

I got home around 11 at night and I ate the dinner I'd planned - a really delicious turkey burger - and went to bed. The best part, I woke up without any guilt, and without any semblance of a hangover. I did skip my workout, since it was late when I got home, but I don't mind. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be - I usually have fairly good willpower, and I'm fine with declining sweets and other stuff, but when I don't have anything else to eat, and everyone around me is drinking, it's hard to keep from partaking.

Then, Saturday came around. A few years ago, we lost a good friend of mine, and Saturday would've been her birthday. A few of us get together each year to hang out and spend some time together. Two of my friends and I went out to a bar. I planned ahead and ate a pretty big dinner beforehand. And again, I had a ton of fun, and was DD for the two friends I was with. It was a bit easier this time as we didn't go out until much later and I'd already eaten dinner, and I had the good excuse of being the driver to not partake. It was still difficult, though, as I am always sad on her birthday, and it was definitely tempting.

Anyway, it doesn't sound like a lot, but these kind of events are the places where I tend to lose my fairly decent willpower, I've given in every other time.

I've been rewarded for my efforts this week. Today, I am 2.4 pounds lighter than I was last week. Yesterday I hit my lowest weight again - I'd reached it a couple weeks ago but gained some back. I'm .4 lbs heavier today than I was yesterday, but I am SO CLOSE to reaching my 35 lbs lost mark.

As I mentioned, emotionally I've been a lot better this week. I am really hoping that my medication is working. Every few weeks I just have a really good week for whatever reason, and this time, I'm hoping it's related. It's supposed to take 4-6 weeks to work, and I just finished 4 weeks on it. I have an appointment with my doctor in a couple weeks to discuss it. I haven't had any problems with it like I did the first couple weeks, so that's good too.

I did a killer workout today that my legs are still jiggly from. 3.6 mile walk/jog. I haven't done it in a long time but I've kept my (little) endurance. The route I do is just so HILLY! There are only a couple blocks that are flat, and depending on how I'm feeling, I either walk/jog them. I jog on all the downhills and walk on the uphills. According to my heart rate monitor, I burned over 600 calories doing that today!

Here's my menu/workout plan for this week.

Baked Crisp Chicken Burritos
Walk/jog, 53 minutes

Rest day

Feta-basil turkey burgers
Spark Cardio Blast, 35 minutes

Spinach, mushroom, and ricotta stuffed shells
Rest day

Cardio Kickbox, 25 minutes

Spicy baked falafel
Frontisde circuit training, 43 minutes

decide next week
Backside circuit training, 53 minutes

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 12

I'm sad to say the second half of my week wasn't as productive or healthy as I'd wanted. I've gained two pounds since my mid-week entry, making my grand total lost 32 lbs instead of 34. I'm pretty disappointed in myself, because it's all stuff I could have prevented.

I only eked out 187 fitness minutes this week, and while that does meet my minimum of 175 that I like to reach each week, I had planned on doing a LOT more, since I had the entire week off. I did drink one night, fairly heavily, with a friend of mine, and while I had a ton of fun with her, I have felt kind of awful ever since. I skipped a workout because I was hungover and spent an entire vacation day just watching TV on my couch, which made me feel really guilty. It also rained for two days. And what I SHOULD have done was nixed my original workout plan (which would have been on a muddy, messy trail) and instead done a rainy jog on the concrete (which I actually love doing, my fastest runs are always in the rain!) OR just done an indoor workout. Instead, I didn't.

I then had some crappy stuff happen involving a different friend of mine and my anxiety has been incredibly high ever since. I've had a lot of trouble sleeping, moreso than usual.

After feeling so crappy about drinking I decided to commit to another 21-day challenge of no alcohol at all, not even cooking with it. That'll take me through the end of August. I think it really screws with my emotions, as well as being generally a toxic substance. I kind of picked a funny time to do it, because on Friday I ended up going to a brewery with my dad, and they make my favorite beer in the world, and I didn't even have a taste of it. Then yesterday was a family reunion, and every other single person (aside from my mom, and my younger cousin, who is 17) was downing beer after beer or glass of wine after glass of wine. I was there for nearly 8 hours, and at some points was bored out of my wits (some of my older relatives are hardcore bigots and it brews up a lot of anger in me) and at one point I actually literally reached my hand into the cooler to get a beer, but then got a diet Coke instead. Still not a healthy option by any means, but that would've been a really pathetic end to a 21-day challenge.

The family reunion was a bit of a disaster diet-wise which is why I think the two pounds I gained are probably here to stay for a bit. Usually I am really good in these situations and I stick to the fruit and veg tray with very minimal dip and some healthy sides, but I went all-out and got a burger from the grill. I also indulged in my favorite potato salad from Jacobson's. Tortilla chips and guac, too. I still ate less than I would have a year ago, and still had a lot of veg, but I didn't even try to track it because I knew it would be a disaster.

Back to it today, though. Made it to the grocery store and did my step aerobics workout. Things always look better after that workout. I burned 584 calories doing it today. I keep thinking that workout will gradually get easy, but it never does. Nothing else I do burns that many calories except running.

I'd like to keep a more positive outlook, so I will say this: when I read over this blog, it's generally the same story each week. I screwed up once or twice. But nearly every Sunday, I am right back up there, doing my hardest workout, eating healthily and re-committing. Sure, my re-committing doesn't always amount to a whole lot. But I've lost 32 lbs so I'm doing something right. I'm really aiming for that 35 lbs lost mark - I was only .2 pounds away from it at one point this week, so I know it's there!

Here's my plan for the week. I'm only planning four meals because I've found that I've ended up with way too many leftovers recently and I can't afford to keep doing that, financially. I think I'm going out with some coworkers on Friday so I may eat wherever we go and another day I may be getting falafel from a food cart so ... this is flexible.

Almond-crusted chicken and broccoli
(this actually ended up being sunflower-seed crusted chicken with broccoli because the grocery store I went to today didn't have the right kind of almonds - it was super delicious!)
Step Aerobics, 63 minutes

Spinach and artichoke stuffed mushrooms
Rest day

California BLT with tomato and avocado
Spark Cardio Blast, 35 mins

Rest day

Feta and Basil Turkey Burgers with snap peas
Cardio Kickbox, 25 mins

Frontside, 43 mins

Leftovers or decide next week
Backside, 53 mins

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I finally finished doing my little reviews page! It should be up and running now. I just have some cookbooks, workout DVDs, etc. that I use regularly and wanted to share them.

My week's going pretty well, though I did have kind of a bad day yesterday - oops. But I'm losing weight, so that's great! I'm down 34 lbs as of today.

I'm loving my staycation and I can just say that I don't think I will ever get bored if I ever retire! It's kind of a dreary day today because it's raining, so I'm not doing the walk I wanted to do, but I can always go tomorrow.

Hope everyone's (all two of you) doing well!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August 5th

It's been an okay week. I had one bad day eating-wise. I've pretty much been hovering around the same weight. Got 197 minutes of exercise in. I'd aimed for more but I skipped one 25-minute workout. 

My anxiety was pretty bad all week. Don't know if it's because of my medication or just me in general. I've had some nasty bouts of nausea too, which I'm blaming the medication for. I almost had to stop my workout yesterday because I thought I was going to puke. My anxiety has diminished slightly now that I am on vacation, which is really nice. I think a big part of it is that I've been sleeping better… I've been having some major insomnia and that makes me unbelievably cranky and irritable. I have the entire week off from work, and I'm going to do my hardest to not even THINK about work. I'm hoping nothing goes wrong or awry so that no one has to call me or text me or e-mail me. I don't want to spend ANY time thinking about it. I just really need some time away from that place. 

Trying to have a productive staycation. Trying to get everything in order these first couple days so I can just relax the next week. Went grocery shopping yesterday and spent the majority of today deep-cleaning my apartment. I still have a lot more cleaning to do (I'm trying to dust/organize everything too.) 

I've got some mild, relaxing plans that I'm looking forward to. I'm planning to go up to Devil's Lake tomorrow, which should be nice. Most of my plans for the week involve hiking or walking around so I'm kind of happy to get that sort of natural, outdoor activity in. I'm getting pretty bored of my workout DVDs. It's been so hot out that I haven't been running in a couple months. I made my favorite light chicken salad for dinner tonight, with a whole-wheat pita, greens, and some carrots, and I'll probably bring that for a picnic lunch tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be great all week.

I also made a DELICIOUS recipe for Trail Mix Balls by one of my favorite food bloggers, Jenna at  Eat, Live, Run. They're calorie-dense but you don't need a lot. I devoured one after dinner because I couldn't even wait for them to chill. I didn't change anything at all in the recipe except that I didn't have quite enough honey so I had to replace about a tablespoon of it with agave nectar instead. I also used mini chocolate chips instead of regular ones. The only thing I think I would change is that I'd chop the dried cherries up a bit so that they are more evenly dispersed. I also might cut down on the chocolate a little bit, but that might be because I used mini chips so it looked like they were everywhere! Jenna says it makes about 14 balls, but I made 12 so it was easier for me to divide up the mixture. There's no nutritional info on the blog but I calculated it myself and for 12 balls, each one has 122 calories, 20g carbs, 4g fat and 3g protein. 

Here's my menu plan and exercise for the week:

Rosemary chicken salad with whole-wheat pita, greens, and carrots
Step Aerobics - 63 minutes

Spinach and Tofu Enchiladas with Spicy Ancho Chile Sauce (this might get moved to Tuesday depending on how busy I get tomorrow!)
Hike at Devil's Lake - ??? minutes

Rest day

Vegan burritos with Spanish Rice and Black Beans
Cardio kickbox, 25 minutes, OR a walk at a park… probably the latter?

Spinach Strudel with goat cheese and mushrooms
SparkPeople Cardio Blast, 35 minutes, OR a walk outside

Rest Day, or a walk...

Probably eating at the family reunion… not sure
Not sure about exercise, we'll see how many minutes I have in the week, I don't know how long I'll be at my reunion.