Monday, March 12, 2012

Kind-of weekly update

I haven't updated in a while because there hasn't been much to report. I went to the gym a few times in the all the days that have passed. Not as many times as I wanted to go, but not zero times, either.

My diet kind of went to hell last week due to having an inaccessible kitchen (read: no counters, no sink, no dishwasher, no kitchen table)...renovations happen. So does eating out for almost every meal because one can't adequately prepare anything in a kitchen without a sink. You don't realize how necessary it is until you don't have it...

Excuses aside, this new and wonderful weather that rolled in has inspired me. I love the smell of the air and the temperate warm/cool balance. So perfect.

Yesterday marked my first bike ride of the season. I did a round trip of 6 miles @ the Vernon Rail Trail and it was a tid-bit on the chilly season, being 5:30 pm (thank you, daylight savings for even making that ride possible!) but enjoyable, nonetheless. It felt good to get back on the literal saddle, though I am sad my muscle memory is in shambles and my bod is like "Girlfriend, you have got be kidding me that you think you can just jump back up here and back into your end-of - summer shape."

Touche, body.

Yesterday also marked the first of a most-likely short-lived but still fun slow-carb diet type thing. What this means is that I am not eating: bread, breading, fried stuff, pasta, anything gluten-y, really. I am still eating: fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy products etc.

Do I think this diet is realistic for my life? Not really. I love carbs.

Is it fun to try and be creative and feel semi-good about myself for trying and being creative? Sure.

Sunday Dinner:

- Tomatoes topped w/ fresh basil, garlic, mozzarella
- 1/4 fresh pineapple
- Mint green tea

Monday Breakfast:

- Nectarine
- Almonds
- Gatorade

Monday Lunch:

- Spinach salad w/ mozzarella, roasted red peppers, corn & black bean salsa, tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette

Monday Dinner:

- Lentil soup
- Nectarine

Today also marked my first outdoor run in a million years. And I didn't even leave until nearly 11 p.m. for said run.

Nothing clears the mind (or lets you dwell on things) quite like some alone time getting sweaty and listening to the sweet sweet beats of African Celtic music. Right.

I circled the condo complex a few times to warm up and then headed to the main street. It was surprisingly dark (don't people leave their house lights on anymore??) and a little bit terrifying. I wanted to see if I can run/walk the entire stretch of road from here to the end, but I think it's pretty far. I will odometer-ize it when I drive to work tomorrow. I could def bike it.

Instead, I ran down to ye old elementary school, did a loop through their parking lot and headed back up Overlook Drive and back down Paddock Ave.

In all, I think it was approx 3 miles. I walked less than I thought I would and more than I wanted to.

I didn't feel terribly windy, but those DAMN SHIN SPLINT JERKS are really ruining my style. I must be one of those unfortunate souls who is prone to them. I seriously run for like .1 miles and they start hurting. Lame.

Tomorrow marks my 2nd bike ride of the season and I believe I'm riding the Manchester Trail. I'm hoping for at least 10 miles, but we'll see where the road takes me.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weekly Updates

Well, friends, I had yet another unsuccessful gym week. I admit it: I've been slacking. Unfortunately for my waistline, I believe it is finally starting to catch up with me. Let's take a look at the last week...

Monday: did the 30 minute shred

Tuesday: had dinner made for me

Wednesday: went to a Happy Hour after work and drank 3 beers and ate french fries and buffalo tenders [fail]

Thursday: had dinner made for me

Friday: went to Azteca's in Manchester and ate delicious Mexican food

Saturday: had Frank Pepe's pizza for lunch and ate late night McDonald's chicken poppers and french fries during a long road trip

Sunday: had Panera for lunch and then went to a tea party and drank at least an entire pot of tea and a bunch of assorted cheeses, fruits and pastries

Ugh, I feel revolting just writing those things. In fact, writing that down has helped put things in perspective. The only thing I am exercising is my wallet. And my lack of resolve.

So while I clearly had a super fun and delicious week, my body was most likely cringing while I shoveled those useless calories into my face.

And the results? I gained two pounds. I deserve it. I can't even bear to re-read that list.

This week, I am trying to be better.

And so far, I am succeeding. Then again, it's only Tuesday.

In more positive news, my ongoing attempt to IML is going VERY well:

1) Reduce Stress: I am certainly hitting my stride at work and working longer hours to keep myself from feeling overwhelmed - while this may sound more stressful, I actually enjoy being able to buckle down and get work done w/ no phone interruptions. I had a very low key week otherwise spent in good company and I don't believe I felt much stress at all!

2) Maintain exercise goal of 3x a week: womp womp.

3) Make more conscious food choices: I consciously decided to eat SO MANY DELICIOUS THINGS. And I only somewhat regret those decisions.

4) Enjoy my hobbies: Did a bunch of shopping this weekend, hung out with my lady friends, listened to great tuneage, bought tickets for the Newport Folk Festival :)

5) Keep my close friends close: I spent a bunch of time with my sis and Kate and Addie this weekend and it was wonderful. I <3 my girlfriends. Where would one be in life without them? Depressed and alone, I imagine.

6) Do what I can for my health: I suppose my mental health is in great shape these days. I am happy. I am feeling more confident and feeling better about myself, despite my crappy diet this week. Oh! And I got a super fetch haircut that I think is quite dashing (and super easy to maintain). I'm also gonna go out on a limb and say that now my hair is more healthy than it's been in quite some time, so that has to mean something..

And now, to continue the rest of this week with hopefully sunnier results (and the loss of those 2 miserable pounds that reglued themselves to my figure).

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekly Update

In the last week, I:

- Went to the gym Monday
- Had dinner made for me on Tuesday
- Didn't feel well on Wednesday and slept all evening
- Didn't feel well on Thursday and skipped the gym yet again
- Went out to Barcelona's in New Haven and ate about 15 tapas and a dessert on Friday (SO GOOD)
- Went to the gym on Saturday....and then went to Plan B in West Hartford and ate a delicious burger and blue chips (warm chips smothered in blue cheese, bacon, onions, peppers, tomatoes...mouthgasm!)
- Went to the gym on Sunday and then had Subway (I am seriously addicted to Subway right now)

So all in all, not a fantastic week exercise-wise.

Still, I'm happy to report that I made my goal of gym 3x this week. And I am also relieved to report that the scale is still exactly where I left it (at -7 lbs) last time I checked! :)

And a much needed I.M.L Update:

1) Reduce Stress: Not so good on this front. I felt swamped at work this week. And emotionally I as kind of a hot mess. But I got over it.

2) Maintain exercise goal of 3x/wk: DONE!

3) Make more conscious food choices: well, I consciously decided to eat a bunch of delicious foods!

4) Enjoy my hobbies: Didn't really practice the piano this week or do any crafting. I have also kind of stopped reading at work. My eyes have been getting too tired from staring at the screen, so I've started leaving to run errands. The one thing I have been doing (and doing well!) is socializing. And spending money. Lots of money.

5) Keeping my friends close: I must say I am doing a damn good job with this one.

6) Do what I can for my health: I have been having some severe body issues this week. My eyes have been hurting, my stomach has been upset, my throat has been sore, my head has been pounding. My sleeping schedule has been super erratic, so I'm sure that is a big contributing factor. Which is why I plan to be in bed by 10 p.m. tonight. I'm also going to look into getting my prescription checked, just in case.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Good measure

After a day of feeling good, I decided to see if the way I felt would at all be reflected in the scale. I did not have high hopes. All of my clothes still fit more or less the same. I can't really see a huge change in my body.

And that's when the miracle occurred. For the first time in about a year, the needle moved definitively closer toward my goal weight (which is still 15ish pounds away, but I will not let that ruin this moment).

In the last few weeks,

I HAVE LOST 7 LBS!!!!!!!!!

Heck. Yes.

How did I do it?


- I injured myself and stopped working out for a week
- Did a few random gym sessions
- Ate pretty much whatever I wanted
- Stopped tracking my diet and exercise on MyFitnessPal

Okay, body. Whatever you want.

That being said, I think the change in my appearance is a result of fitness rather than weight loss. The weight loss isn't really obvious at all to me. It is the tightening of my muscles that is more obvious. Still, I'll take it!

I am very suprised and quite pleased. I am 1/3 of the way there!


Sunday, February 12, 2012


I apologize for not updating more frequently. This is not to say that I have been slacking; quite the opposite, really!

I have jumped right back into the gym and have been supplementing non-gym days with the 30 Day Shred. I decided that doing the 30DS every single day just isn't realistic -- especially since I have to do it in Becca&Hoz's room, which isn't always convenient for everyone.

I was very shocked (and relieved) to discover that I was able to go right back to the weights/reps/cardio endurance that I had pre-injury. I am back in the game, bitches!

On Saturday, I did the 30 minute circuit and at the end of my workout, an older woman came up to me and said "You had a great work out today." It made me feel really good...because I DID have a great work out and it was awesome that someone noticed that I was working my ass (literally) off.

After that, I did 20ish minutes on the elliptical and headed out. I put on a clingy sweater dress and I felt pretty great. It's been a long time since I have felt that confident. And I think I am finally coming to terms with some deep-seated body image issues that I've been carrying around since I hit puberty. I am *gasp* starting to appreciate my curves.

To top things off, I spent all night Saturday/all morning Sunday being complimented...and I didn't hate it.

AND, as if I needed any more of a boost, my sister and mom both commented - independently - that I look like I've lost weight.

So all in all, this week has been a huge ego win. I feel good. I feel stronger and healthier and more fit and more attractive and just overall pretty darn happy.

Now if only I could take my emotions to the gym and learn to whip them into shape...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

30 Day Shred - Days 1&2: Do Over

So I decided to re-start the 30 day shred, since the last time obviously didn't go so well. And I've already broken a personal record by actually completing it 2x in 2 days!

Yesterday was the first time I hopped back on the horse and did the full work out. I was worried my ankle would be too weak to do some of the more stressful moves, like jumping jacks and jogging, so I modified them slightly.

The work out went really well. Of course, I was puffing like a steam engine and my abs and arms hurt like a bitch at the end of it, but all's well that ends well, I say. And I even did a bonus of 20 minutes on the elliptical.

Today I was ready to duke it out for the second round. I didn't feel sore at all today. But as soon as I started doing those exercises, my muscles were screaming. They were pissed off.

You would not think that a 20 minute work out could wear your muscles out so entirely. Well that damn Jillian Michaels knows what she's doing, let me tell you. I have muscles that hurt in my arms that I didn't even know existed. I mean, I have been doing 1.5 hour workouts at the gym pretty consistently for the last 3 months, and I wouldn't think that one minute of reps with a 3 lb weight would cause any sort of pain, but it does.

After I finished my 2nd shred, I could DEFINITELY feel it. Right now it hurts to sit and stand and walk and change positions. And, of course, go up and down stairs. I am a little bit concerned about what I'll feel like when I start my 3rd day tomorrow, but I must persevere! As Jillian says, if you want results with only a 20 minute workout, you have to work really hard. So I will.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekly Update

Here's a recap on this weeks Resolve to I.M.L

1) Reduce stress: well, my long-term boyfriend and I broke up on Sunday. Which means a huge temporary spike in stress but probably an ultimate reduction of stress due to less travel and strain etc. I also sprained my ankle on Friday, which was a spike in stress, but a reduction of physical stress (which isn't exactly what I was aiming for). Not to mention that I was home alone for the entire week, which was less stressful than usual because I did whatever I wanted whenever I wanted without complaint from anyone else, but which aggravated my emotional need for human contact. So all in all, a rollercoaster of a week, stress wise.

2) Maintain exercise goal of 3x a week: epic fail. I pretty much from work to couch to bed every night. Mostly because I could barely walk for a few days. And the rest of the week, I suppose I gave in to laziness, boredom, and a short bout of depression.

3) Make conscious food choices: I had a pretty good week in the food department. I didn't go food shopping for the entire week, and my daytime meals went like this: fiber bar and tea for breakfast, garden vegetable medley side for lunch, can of soup for dinner. My calorie intake was very low, which was necessary due to my very low level of calorie burning.

4) Enjoy my hobbies: I played a shit-ton of Monopoly, read a lot, watched a lot of Parks & Rec, did some crafting and some cleaning and piano playing, and hung out with a bunch of friends. I would say I definitely made good on this resolution.

5) Do what I can for my health: I had a horrible sleep pattern last week. I was mentally and physically exhausted the entire week. Oh, and did I mention crippled? Yet I think I took pretty good care of myself. I called out of work when I knew I was at a breaking point and needed a day to recover. I made sure that I wasn't straining my ankle before it was ready. I tried as hard as I could to catch up on sleep and keep myself occupied and as happy as I could be.

Overall, a pretty crappy week.

And yet, this week has a beautiful rainbow at the end of it.

I do not know how this is possible, but in the last week I:

- lost 2 lbs
- lost .5 inches from my bust
- lost 1.5 inches from my waist
- lost 1 inch from my hips
- lost 2 inches from my midsection (navel)

Good job, body! I shall slack off more often!

In other news, back on the elliptical today! I did a home work out for 30 minutes while watching Dexter. Of course, I made sure to eat a stupendously healthy grilled turkey and cheese sandwich with french fries and pickles for dinner first, but least I made some kind of effort.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I have had an awful and sedentary week over the last 7 days. I did not exercise from Monday through Saturday. I certainly could have continued with the modified 30 day shred, but honestly, it wasn't terribly fun without being able to really do the cardio exercises. And on top of that, I was lazy.

Lucky for me, I also didn't eat a whole hell of a lot last week. I subsisted on mostly frozen veggies and soup until the weekend.

So the good news is that the jeans I bought two weeks ago are too big for me already.

The bad news is that I'm probably out of shape.

The worst news is that I probably won't be able to start up with the 30 day shred for another week or so until I'm fully healed (today was the first day I was able to walk without a brace, and I still had some pangs of pain when I stepped the wrong way) and I certainly won't be running for at least another 2 weeks.

Easing in seems to be the way to go.

I was able to go to the gym on Saturday, and it felt so damn good to be back. I was a little pressed for time, so I did a thirty minute circuit and 15 minutes on the elliptical. It wasn't too strenuous, but it was just the right amount to have me feeling good and working up a little bit of a sweat.

I've decided that I am going to keep wearing my brace at the gym for a little while, just until I can be sure that there is no imminent threat of re-injury.

I am looking forward to resuming my normal schedule of 3x/wk this week and rebuilding my routine. It won't be the same, but it will absolutely be better than nothing.

Stay tuned for my next weigh in tomorrow! (I am not entirely optimistic, as I spent the weekend indulging in Starbucks, sushi, Subway, and other assorted goodies. But. The jeans are still too big, and that means something. I think.)

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Those of you who know me know that I have no patience for physical impairment. I hate being sick or annoys me.

I was on the couch for less than three hours with my leg elevated before I started feeling boredom creep in. Not a good sign.

I spent a mostly sedentary day yesterday and had some friends over for dinner, so I obviously was not even close to staying under my calorie goal for the day, especially since I was very limited in the mobility department. I suppose if I was going to be snowed in anyway, I guess I might as well have an excuse to lay around.

Well by the start of today I was feeling very restless. I have learned how to manage my limp a little better and the pain has somewhat subsided. I hopped onto the elliptical to test it out, but my flexion isn't good enough to do a normal workout on there. I'm hoping it will be better by tomorrow evening so I can get at least 30 minutes on there and keep myself from going nuts.

I decided to do the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred today with modifications to most of the cardio portions. It was a bit challenging, but I pushed through it. I had a problem with the lunges and ALL of the cardio exercises that are impact-heavy (jumping jacks, jump rope, jogging). I hopped on one foot for a while but when my ankle and knee started cracking, I decided to give that up and substituted some cardio kick-boxing moves using my weights.

I was still able to work up a substantial sweat and at least burn a few calories and I definitely feel better about myself for having done so.

I am so thankful that this strain does not even compare to my last one in terms of severity. I mean, I was crippled for weeks before I was even able to bear any weight. And here I am right now moseying along and still getting 'er done.

Tomorrow I plan to do the do the 30 Day Shred mod again and try out ye old elliptical. If that doesn't work out, I'm okay with it. At least doing one thing - even if it's only for 20 minutes and I have to bastardize most of the exercises - makes me feel like I'll at least be able to maintain some of my momentum.


Friday, January 20, 2012


I seriously hate my life right now. I am so pissed at myself.

So today started off alright. I was a little sore from the previous day's efforts, but nothing too terrible.

I headed to PF after work and the parking lot was surprisingly crowded to the point where I almost said Screw it, I'll just go home and use the elliptical for an hour. But I decided against it because I was already there and I wanted to get a more well-rounded full body work out and get my $10 worth.

I really really really wish I'd gone home.

It all started so well. I was half way through the 30 minute circuit, running in place and feeling good when I guess I ended up moving backwards a little bit and I stepped right on the edge of the weight machine behind me and snapped my ankle.

Yes, the same ankle that I severely sprained in July and that also had a horrendous disgusting infection in August. Wtf.

So I immediately tested it out to see if I could bear weight, realized that I could, and took a few more steps. Ouch. I went over to one of the weight machines and elevated my leg on it and rotated my ankle to see how it felt. It hurt in a different place than my previous sprain but it didn't seem to be swelling, so I stood up again, went to a weight machine, and did some arms, thinking I would finish the weight portion and maybe just do a little elliptical before leaving, as it is low stress. Stupid.

As soon as I stepped away from that machine I realized I definitely needed to head out. I had developed a serious limp and the pain was spreading and my toes were starting to feel numb. *expletive expletive expletive expletive*

As I hobbled my way out of PF, one of the usual attendants asked me if I was okay and I said I had wrenched an old injury and he said "Yeah it looks like you'll need to take at least week off."

Once I got to my car, it all hit me. My god, I am once again a cripple. I can't walk normally, I can't work out, I probably can't even get up the stairs at home, and I am home alone with nothing to do for the next eleven days. *expletive expletive expletive expletive*

I then started to cry, called Art and asked him to bring me my stupid crutches which I had eagerly abandoned at the end of the summer and called my mom for sympathy.

It's a good thing I learned how to drive with my left foot over the summer, because I then drove myself home, legitimately crawled up the stairs to the family room and my bedroom, packed a backpack and crawled back down.

Now, here I am with my foot propped on a bag of frozen peapods and things ain't looking good.
The only positive is that this re-sprain is not as severe as my original sprain. I can put enough pressure on my heel without pain that I don't have to hop around like a one-legged pirate. But I can't do the stairs and my inside ankle hurts like a bitch whenever I move my leg. In fact, by the time I managed to pry my shoe off, my whole foot and ankle were swollen. Hurray.

Why is my body against me?


Every time I start getting into a groove, something stupid hinders me. And the timing couldn't be worse. I was SO looking forward to spending the whole week working out and doing the 30 day shred and entertaining myself with fitness while Becca & Hoz are gone. Well that is clearly out the window now.

And so, I must reiterate: FML.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Double Duty: Day 1

So many things today!!

First off, I used my brand new shiny $8 scale today and it informed me that I have lost 1 pound since my last weigh in a few weeks ago.

What this means is that I am back at square one: I am pretty much EXACTLY at the same measurements and weight that I was on June 5 2011 when I first started my most recent exercise binge. Of course, a sprained ankle, a foot infection, unemployment, and then a new job certainly put a wrench in things. So I'm okay with being back at square one. Because it's better than square -5? Or something.

Anyway, I also took my measurements today for the first time since July. Here they are:

Bust: 38.5"
Waist: 32.5"
Abdomen (navel): 38"
Hips: 45"

And...I feel super embarrassed posting these (but I think that's good...I think it will force me to continue to hold myself accountable), here are my pictures from Day 0 of the 30 day shred:

I think I was most shocked by the back picture. It isn't often that one gets to see what one's back looks like. I am not too fond of mine.

I think I certainly have a distorted image of myself and these pictures help put me in my place. I plan on taking new ones every 10 days just so I can monitor my progression and (hopefully) feel better about myself as I see real changes start to mold me into a better me.

Today: I went to the gym and did the 30 minute circuit and then 25 minutes on the elliptical while watching Parks & Rec.

I then came home and had Progresso Light Chicken Noodle Soup, spring mix salad, and reduced fat cheez-its for dinner.

And for dessert, a nice 20 minute torture with Jillian Michaels.

I had no idea what do expect from the 30 day shred video. I know that it has yielded some amazing results for many people and I so desperately want to be one of them. I have also heard that it really kicks your butt, but I thought Eh, I've been working out consistently for the last 3 months...I don't think it will be that bad.

Well, it was somewhere right in the middle of those two extremes for me. I had a harder time keeping up than I hoped I would, but it wasn't awful, either. Some of the ab exercises are super hard and so are some of the weights for the arms - which was surprising. Arms is the one thing I have seen a huge change in since I started working out in that I've been able to increase my poundage by 15+ in the circuit room, so I thought using 3 lb weights would be nothing. I was wrong. Those exercises must be triggering totally different muscles than the ones I normally exercise, because - eek - they were tough!

I am guessing I will be super sore tomorrow after a day of double duty, but I plan on doing it all over again tomorrow! Wish me luck :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I'm not going to bore you with the details of why I didn't start the 30 Day Shred today, but I will tell you what I DID do:

- buy 2 sets of weights: 1 set of 3 lb and 1 set of 5 lb

- buy a scale

- receive my Samsung Galaxy Nexus sports armband in the mail

- spend 60 minutes on the elliptical while watching Dexter

My sister and Hozay are leaving for Florida tomorrow and will be gone through next Sunday. I am going to go to the gym after work tomorrow and do the 30 minute circuit / 30 minutes on the elliptical, come home for dinner, and then start the 30 day shred tomorrow night (it's only 20 minutes....I know it's going to kick my butt, but I have nothing else to do with no one home, so I might as well do double time with the working out).

I figure that by the time they come back from Florida, I will be nearly half way through the 30 Day Shred and will have really developed a knack for it. I'm hoping to be able to increase from 3 lbs to 5 lbs at day 15 of the shred.

The shred is interesting in that you do the same routine every day but there are 3 different levels. So essentially, you could do the 30 day shred on level 1, another 30 days on level 2, and another 30 days on level 3...making it a 90 day super shred. Or you could just keep rotating them. Or do the 30 day shred on level 1/2/3 for longer than 30 days...vary it however you want to meet your needs.

I am thinking that I will stick to the book and do the 30 day shred on level 1 for 30 days and then see how it's going and move on from there. I also plan on continuing going to PF a few times a week (have to make my $10 a month fee worth it!).

Also, I had a NSV (non-scale victory) today! My pants actually felt a little saggy and big in the waist/back.

And speaking of scales, tomorrow I will be doing my first official weigh in on my new scale and taking my measurements. I am planning on doing a weigh in one time a week but for the Shred, I will do an update every 10 days (on weight changes, photo progress, and measurements), as this seems to be the most fun way to track results.

Wish me luck! Tomorrow is going to be a sweaty day :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I had planned to do my first weigh-in on Sunday. I haven't weighed myself
since I've started hard-core gym-ing a few weeks ago, but alas, it was not meant to be. The scale had dead batteries, and with those dead batteries came shattered dreams of a smaller number.

I have done a lot of self-reflecting in the last week and have also made some upgraded plans:

1) I am going to buy a scale so I have a consistent one to measure my weight on rather than using other people's scales and getting all different readings. Even if my new scale isn't the most accurate, having a consistent number to base my results on will be better in the long run.

2) I am going to start Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred tomorrow. I have been looking at Success Pictures on My Fitness Pal and I am so impressed wit
h the results! I am going to take my "Before" picture tomorrow and do my measurements and I can't wait to see the changes after 30 days!

3) In order to start the shred, I am also going to buy some weights (a set with a few different weights, that way as I progress to the 2nd and 3rd

shred videos, I can increase the weights).

4) I bought new sneakers and a new armband for my new phone. I want to be able to run a 5k by the end of this year. Some day soon I will write a post about me + running. Be advised: it ain't cute. But I'm excited to try out my new Reebox Real Flex sneakers and write a (hopefully stellar) review!

Resolve Review

Reduce Stress: I did pretty okay in this department this week. I stayed on top of my tasks at work and I was surprisingly able to wake up at least 20 minutes earlier than I have been (on work days) every day this week! However, my stress level went through the roof last night on my drive home from Boston. Scariest car ride I've ever had in my life. I seriously must have had like 20 heart attacks. Damn snow!

Maintain Exercise Goal of 3x week +: I was really good in this department! I went to the gym/worked out 6 out of the last 7 days. And the only day I didn't work out, I did a ton of walking (in subzero windchill - yay!).

More Conscious Food Choices: You win some, you lose some. I officially have no more food in my desk drawer aside from my breakfast bars and tea. No more stress eating at work! I also gave myself a few indulgences over the weekend and I don't feel too badly about it, considering I also made some healthy choices. They balance out, right?

Enjoy My Hobbies: I only played the piano 1x last week, but I have been keeping up with the blogs I like to read, went to a concert for one of my favorite bands, and spent a bunch of time with some of my favorite people. I am also in the middle of a great book - The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood. I consider this a win.

Keep My Close Friends Close: I was lucky enough to be able to see a bunch of wonderful people in the last week. I just wish they all lived closer...

Do What I Can For My Health: I kind of slacked off in the water-pik department this week. I always forget to refill it before I get in the shower. I did use it 2x last week, which is an improvement over the week before. I'm aiming for every day this week.

Thus sums up my first week of attempting to I.M.L. So far so good, I say!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


With the except of my sister, Hoz and assorted work acquaintances, every single one of my friends lives at least one hour away. And Art certainly takes the cake in the distance department, living over 3 hours away. What this means is that I hardly ever spend a weekend at home. What this means is that I hardly ever work out on the weekends.

And the weekends are almost inevitably full of a few things: friends (duh), food (read: restaurants), shopping (always spending money on something or other), and sedentary activities.

Not that I'm complaining. I love every single one of those things.

But what gets to me is that the weekend can singlehandedly destroy all of the effort that I put in for an entire week. Which is probably just another reason why I am not seeing very many results from my work.

During the week, I try to limit myself to going out for one meal only, whether it be a sister-date with Becca @ Panera or a happy hour with work people @ Sliders.

The weekend, however, is a horrible mess of zillions of calories and zero physical activity.

Which is why I've started making a concerted effort to incorporate my weekly routine into my weekend routine.

For the last two weekends, I have managed to get at least two work-outs in.

Last Friday, I went to the gym after work, went to the gym Saturday morning, and went as a guest @ Natalia's gym on Sunday. This weekend I was originally planning on heading to the Cape directly from work, but I decided to head there on Saturday afternoon instead, thus allowing myself ample time for gym-ing.

After work yesterday I headed to the gym and I spent the evening at home doing various chores like cleaning and laundry. I opted not to go to Hibachi with my sister and Hoz and instead made myself a turkey-pepper jack melt w/ banana peppers on Healthnut bread, a pickle, and reduced fat cheez-its. Not a totally healthy dinner, but certainly less caloric than a hibachi dinner!

This morning, I went to the gym for a 1.3 hour session, tried a sample size of the new Starbucks blonde (delicious!) and made myself a bowl of vanilla yogurt with pear, blueberries, and Kashi go-lean crunch.

And now, I'm finally ready to head to the Cape for a gluttonous rest of the weekend.

My one consolation: knowing that I worked out 2x more than I would have if I'd left on Friday makes me feel so much better about myself. Annnnd I plan to hike Walden Pond/go to the gym with Kate on Monday [day off].

So all in all, I'm going to consider the last two weekends a success.

Stay tuned for my weekly update (and 1st weigh in 2 wks!) tomorrow :)

Friday, January 13, 2012


So I'm sure many of you have seen this Planet Fitness commercial where an employee is giving this ridiculously muscled man a tour of PF and he is shown the door due to douche-cockery.

Well, I am now a member of said gym and they have a sign over the mirror near the weights declaring PF a "lunk-free" zone. What is a lunk? PF made the word up, and it is intended to refer to those who grunt, drop weights, and judge.

The walls are plastered with images that proclaim PF is a no-judgment zone. And sure, I appreciate it. Doesn't mean we're not all silently judging one another, though. And I've found a few groups of gym-goers to be more annoying than lunks:

1) People Who Don't Read Directions: My favorite room at the gym is the 30 minute Express workout. The room looks like this and is basically a big circle with alternating weight machines and stair steppers. It is my go-to work out and I do it every time I'm at Planet Fitness. There are signs everywhere, including a giant white board at the entrance to the room which reads "EXPRESS WORK OUT ONLY." And yet, the amount of people who completely ignore every single one of these signs baffles me. I HATE HATE HATE when random people jump into the room on random machines, getting in my way, ruining my circuit. Um, hello? If you were paying attention, you would see that according to the NUMBERED SIGNS, the machine you're using is next in my sequence. But now I'm forced to skip over it because you, who haven't already been sweating your ass off for the last 20 minutes in here, have lumbered in and decided to plop down right where I need to be. Rude.

What bothers me the most about this is that the same exact machines that are in this room are available (2 each) right outside. Seriously?!

2) People Who Don't Clean the Machines: This is a no-brainer. When you work out, you sweat. When you sweat, you excrete dirty oils from you skin. Gross. I hate when people use a machine and then just walk away from it like it never happened. Nuh-uh, bro, I see your moist and sweaty butt cheeks outlined perfectly on the seat you just vacated. And I want to vom.

I have to give PF some credit in the cleanliness department, though. Every time I go in I see employees vacuuming and doing other such maintenance. Not only that, but there are literally more than 10 stations in that place with rolls of paper towels and spray bottles with cleaning solution. It would be a very clean facility if it weren't for its unclean clientele staining the equipment with their nasty bodily secretions.

The bottles are not there for decoration, people. Wipe your shit down when you're done.

3) People Who Squat On the Equipment So They Can Text or Talk on the Phone: As a rule, I do not take my cell phone with me out onto the gym floor, and if I do, it is only so I can watch something on Netflix while I work out. Which is why it drives me NUTS when I see people (usually teeny boppers) lounging around on machines or weight stations texting their little hearts out or chatting away as if they're sitting on a couch. You're at the gym to work out. So work out or go home and sit on your actual couch if you want to chat w/ your bff.

4) New Years Gym Members: I avoided the gym like the plague the week after New Years. The parking lot and gym were so overrun with people determined to shed their holiday weight that it was overwhelming. And annoying. Even though I only joined the gym three months ago, I had gotten into a really great routine. I get out of work at 4:15, which is pretty early for a standard work day, and so normally the gym is nearly empty when I go. Nowadays it is buzzing with activity and you have to fight rabid soccer moms with fanny packs and fupas for 30 minutes on the elliptical.

Let's just be honest: if you didn't work out before the New Year, chances are you won't be working out by the end of the year, either. This isn't to say that no one ever makes good on their resolution, but incorporating a regular gym routine into your lifestyle requires a certain devotion that most people just don't have in them. And while they're wasting their money and time pretending that they're actually going to do something about their muffin top, they're also keeping people like me - who do genuinely make an effort - from getting parking spaces or being able to keep up the routine we had already developed.

In conclusion, maybe I'm the asshole here, but I'm being realistic. More than 80% of those people will stop going by the end of the year, if not more and sooner.

5) People Who "Can't" Put Their Arms Down: you know the dude. The one who walks with a swagger like he owns the place. The one who is completely delusional in believing that his muscles are so large that he cannot lower his arms to his sides. You are not cool, bro. You look like a straight up douche.

6a) People Who Make Up Their Own Parking Spaces: I get it. It's winter and it's cold and you are a lazy American. But seriously, if you are going to the gym, you can spare the few extra calories to park in a real space and walk to the door like the rest of us, rather than making your own space on the grass or behind another car or making your own row along the driveway to the place.

6b) People Who Park in the Handicapped Spaces: If you are at the gym, you are most likely not in need of a Handicapped Parking Sticker (unless you are going for physical therapy purposes). Therefore, you are most likely one of two types of assholes: the one who stole a handicapped parking sticker from someone else because you want the privilege of primo parking or someone who received a handicapped parking sticker by lying about your abilities. Either way, shame on you.

There are many other kinds of assholes at the gym and I'm probably one of them in some way or another. What it comes down to in the end is that working out is about you. It is about improving yourself and it has nothing to do with anyone else. You wanna walk on the treadmill at a pace of .03? I might want to shake you and scream "WHY GOD WHY?" because I think that walking that slow is absurd and useless, but you're trying, I guess... So go for it, knock yourself out. Try not to lose your breath.

The one thing I truly believe is that you can't really judge anyone when they're at the gym. Because they're at the gym. So regardless of whether they're morbidly obese or anorexically thin, they are, at that moment, attempting to make their bodies better. And I can't hate on that because I'm doing the same exact thing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Where it's at

I suppose this post is more about where I'm at, but I had the Beck song stuck in my head at the time and it seemed aptly named.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am trying to I.M.L. And since I've been on this path for nearly 3 months now, I figured I'd give you a brief recap of what it's been like since I started.

I've been going to the gym for an average of an hour a session and an average of 3 sessions a week since I moved to CT and joined PF. This is the most consistent routine I've had since Sophomore year, which was 7 years and 30 pounds ago.

Since I've gotten back into the routine, I have made some pretty big strides for myself. My average work-out consists of a 30 minute circuit (which alternates between weight machines and cardio) and then a 20-30 minute session on the elliptical (while watching Portlandia, obviously).

I have definitely seem some improvement in the way I feel. I have more energy. I don't feel like I have to drag myself to the fact, most days I am looking forward to it, which is mildly terrifying (is that really a source of excitement in my life?).

The most important change I've seen has been in my stamina. When I first started the circuit, I was doing between 10 to 15 lbs less on each weight machine than I am now...and I'm feeling about ready to up the pounds on a few of the machines, which is fun.

I am also getting winded less frequently and sweating less (yum). Running up and down the stationary steps for 1 minute may not sound tiring, but just give it a go and see how those 60 seconds stretch on and on. I seriously glare at the Green light the entire time willing it to flicker into Red so I can move back to the weights and away from the exhaustion.

But the bad news here is that my body isn't reflecting the way I feel.

I feel like I lost 10 pounds, but it is just wishful thinking. In reality, I haven't lost squat. I don't need a scale to tell me that - I just put on my pants and note with dismay that they fit exactly the same way they did nearly three months ago. Why, body, why?!

I'm sure I am more fit. There is no way I'm not more fit. But would it be so hard for my body to give me a glimpse of hope, to pare down a few centimeters, or at least flatten out a few rolls?

I guess it is. Traitor.

I keep looking in the mirror hoping to see slimmer lines, the glimmer of a muscle, the firming of flab. And what I see in the reflection is disappointment.

I know I will most likely have to change my diet to make a real difference in the way I look. I know I would see some real results if I were to start dieting. But honestly, I'm not willing to put that kind of restriction on my life. Isn't making a drastic change in my physical activity enough?

I am not eating more than I was prior to this change. I am also not eating less, but I am eating (somewhat) healthier.

You would think this would surely lead to great victory! Alas...

I am going to do my first weigh-in on Saturday and I am curious to see the results. I am hoping to be down at least 2lbs from my last weigh-in 2 wks ago, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

So that's where it's at. (And so is this).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


It has been a long time since I logged into this site, but I assure you, friends, that the rest of my summer and start of my fall was full of long and laborious bike rides and trial gym memberships, which I used to fill my time while I was unemployed.

A lot has changed since then and I now find myself in an alternate universe: I live in CT, I have a full time job, and my life - for once - is normal [read: regulated]. So what better time to muster up my resolve and make some resolutions?

No, this has nothing to do with the New Year. In truth, I have been trying to better myself for the last few months. Since the end of October, I have been going to the gym for 1 hour sessions at a minimum of 2x a week and an average of 3x a week. This is the most consistent schedule I have ever had. And yet, I am sad to report that I have met with less than stellar results.

I am not the heaviest I have ever been, but I am certainly not happy with my self as-is. This sentiment applies not only to my physical self, but the whole shebang. And so, I resolve to Improve My Life.

Improving One's Life can take a variety of vague forms. I'm done with vague. I need resolve. Here are the steps I am taking to I.M.L.:

- Reduce Stress: sounds like a standard resolution. For me, it takes the form of waking up earlier so I don't feel rushed in the morning and have enough time for breakfast. It also includes cutting out interpersonal conflict when possible, managing my finances so I don't feel overwhelmed with debt, and maintaining strong relationships with my friends.

- Maintain exercise goal of 3x a week: I have been pretty damn good about dragging myself to the gym. In 2012, so far, I've been killing it. In the last 7 days, I have worked out 7 days.

- Make more conscious food choices: I've tried to diet and I simply do not have it in me - or rather, I the form of calories. I find that the more I tell myself I can't have something, the more likely I am to binge. I have been using My Fitness Pal again to monitor my daily food intake and pinpoint my trouble areas. As per usual, the glaring issues tend to be snacking and portion control. When I am stressed or bored, I equate that with hunger. I can be really good all day and then totally crumble when I'm sitting at home and decide I want potato chips and ice cream and coffee with cream and soda. Work is just as bad. When I feel overwhelmed or anxious, I open my desk drawer and pull out some candy or chips. The obvious solution here would be to not keep this kind of temptation around. Just try to refrain yourself while you're grocery shopping! It's hard. In terms of portion control, I often find myself going back for second helpings. It's not that I'm still hungry, exactly, but I'm also not full. I need to learn to reduce my portions and refrain from grabbing the ladle once I've had my fill.

- Enjoy My Hobbies: this is something that I really lost touch with while I was in school. Now that I have a "real life" I find that I have re-fallen in love with reading. I am reading on average 2 books a week, which is insane for me. Prior to this year, I was reading maybe 2 books a year (aside from school books). And I love every second of it. I spend every lunch break nestled in the break room reading for 45 minutes and savoring each word. Right now, I'm addicted to Margaret Atwood and compulsively reading every single novel she's ever read (and trust me, there are a ton). I had also lost touch with my musical side. But since I moved my piano over, I've been trying to play/sing 3x a week to keep myself in tune. And finally, crafting and cooking have always been near and dear to my heart. I am so happy to have a full kitchen at my disposal and to live with people who appreciate food. We have set up a dinner schedule and each one of us cooks one meal a week. It's fun to plan! And I have also been keeping up with my creative side, though I need to get back into scrapbooking, as I have tons of pictures collecting dust.

- Keep My Close Friends Close : I have a select few people who have really stuck with me in my life, despite the changes in location and self. I am making a concerted effort to keep in touch with them and see them when I can. I made a ton of acquaintances while I was at school, and although I considered many of them to be friends at the time, I realize that many ended up being convenience friends, and those relationships have since dwindled. The people I keep in contact with are the people I need to pour my energy into: they are the ones who will be in my life always. And I intend to keep them there.

- Do What I Can For My Health : now that I'm working in disability claim and coming into contact with so many people who have awful afflictions, I have a new found appreciation for my own immune system. I am hardly ever sick and I intend to keep it that way if I can help it. Reducing stress, exercising more, trying to eat healthier, and being happier are certainly going to contribute to my overall health. I have also started using an Aquapic (better version of flossing) to keep my mouth health, am getting at least 6 hrs of sleep a night, and am drinking green tea/tons of water every day. And honestly, I can't remember the last time I even got a cold. Now i just to have set myself up with some doctors in this area; it will be good - and strange - to have a primary care physician.

So there you have it. My life plans. Here goes nothing...