Slow and Steady

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Motivation: Drive Thru Closed

Ice cream is exquisite. 
What a pity it isn't illegal. 

Tonight was my second weigh in for the 90 day challenge at the gym. It's day 27, I have only lost one pound and I am calling it success! The middle of this month I actually had started gaining mad amounts of weight. Staying up late and eating late were the prime factors there. I am happy to report I pulled it together these last two weeks and started drinking more water, eating healthier snacks at work and not eating after 8:00PM. Overall good, but just doesn't seem like enough. The problem with easing into a solid health routine is that the results are also going to ease on. I wish I could just wake up skinny, strong, well rested and energized. I wish. I wish. I wish. Damn it, my wishing thingamajig is broken.

After the gym weigh in where I lost my one pound and wait for it.... gained .3 on my body fat percentage (lame), I decided I needed an ice cream sundae. I went straight to the Mc Donald's drive through where my emotional eating plans were foiled by a sign that the drive thru was closed during construction. Annoyed, I drove away as I am far to lazy to park the car, go into the dining room and order a sundae. Instead, I went home, did a little Insanity warm up and a weights and core routine. Oh and to top it off I drank my one of my Amazing Grass Samples.

Have you tried Amazing Grass? I just started on Saturday and I have a week's worth of samples. On Saturday I tried the Lemon Lime Energy one and really felt a boost, Sunday was the berry flavored superfood, not really noticeable feeling that day and tonight was the regular superfood. So far I have just had them with water and they are pretty... um... interesting? The powder doesn't dissolve and while I don't mind the flavor, I can't say most would be able to tolerate drinking this mixed with water or juice. I plan to blend the chocolate flavored one into a smoothie tomorrow and see how that goes. I like the product, but don't envision myself mixing with water in the future, it may become a smoothy only supplement. I am looking forward to trying the "amazing meal" versions of the powder which pack a bigger nutritional punch.

Why I Kick A$$: Because I hit the gym yesterday morning when I realized I had an unexpected break in my morning when I was out of town. Gotta love having a gym bag in the car and a "all club" 24 hr fitness membership.
The Big Picture: I still have 63 days to to achieve more noticeable results in the 90 day challenge.
Thankful Three
  1. For the health and well being of my family
  2. For the wonderful French Toast Muffin Recipe from pinterst, it made for a great treat today
  3. For my bag of gala apples Super Hubby surprised me with today, I love him

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Five: Scratch that and make it Eleven

Thank you Christi for the tag! Here's what we've got for the 11 Random Things:

1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people! (This has made it's way around quite a bit, so I am willing to look the other way if you accidentally don't tag folks in your post)

Now here are my questions from Christi:
1. Which actor played James Bond the best? Is this even a question? Sean Connery
2. Are you a cat person or a dog person? Both
3. What is your favorite race to date? Pirates Cove by Pacific Coast Trail Runs
4. Do you prefer beer or wine? Both
5. What is the first race that you ever completed? Shamrock 180 Run in Baltimore 2005
6. Do you have a coach to help you with your training? No, but some day
7. If you could compete in any long distance triathlon and race fees were not a factor would you choose IM or Rev 3 races? IM Kona
8. How many blogging friends have you met in person? 3
9. Who is going to win the Superbowl, New England Patriots or New York Giants? Patriots
10. If you could meet one person alive or dead, who would it be? My grandma Carmen
11. And finally the big question, do you prefer Star Wars or Star Trek? LOL, why Star Wars of course

Now here are my questions for those that I tagged:
  1. What is your favorite TV show?
  2. What is your favorite cheese?
  3. What is your favorite post race body restoration type activity?
  4. If you had to jump right now would you prefer side-to-side or up and down?
  5. FroYo or Ice Cream?
  6. Sticking with the James Bond question I got, Martini: shaken or stirred?
  7. What is your worst chaffing area on a long distance run?
  8. Do you barefoot run as part of your training?
  9. What is your favorite book of all time?
  10. Now for the fun stuff, forget what you are doing now, if salary wasn't an issue what would your dream job be?
  11. Oops, forgot #11-surprise me (updated 01/27/12 at 2:58 PM)

MCM Mama

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Turn Around: Fake It 'til You Make it

Don't be afraid to give your best 
to what seemingly are small jobs.  
Every time you conquer one 
it makes you that much stronger.  
If you do the little jobs well, 
the big ones will tend to take care of themselves. 
~Dale Carnegie

I am not progressing as quickly as I'd like, but I am moving forward. Saturday I started having a 8:00 PM cut off time for eating and I am down 2lbs. It is a small step and it's only been a few days, but I know it makes a big difference. I have also been really good about drinking water. I need to be more consistent with the gym, but I am struggling with working as much as I need to lately and still hitting the gym. I find that those two things don't quite fit into the schedule at the same time. Must find balance.
I went shopping last week with some friends from work and was completely sold on the idea of Spanx. I bought my first pair and they are pretty fantastic. While I won't use them as suggested below, I will go ahead and fake fitting into my pants until I actually do.

Why I Kick A$$: Not eating after 8:00 is way harder than one might think, yay me for each day I can stick to it!
The Big Picture: Like Carnegie, if I focus on the little things the big ones will fall into place. Drink water, don't eat after 8:00, feel good in my clothes even if it takes's all in the little things.
Thankful Three
  1. For my chiropractor
  2. For my sweet kids who are having a great week at school
  3. For The Duder having a great first trip to the dentist today.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Sampler: Habit Forming

The easier it is to do, 
the harder it is to change. 
~Eng's Principle

A few weeks ago I decided I would move slowly into building some good habits. I thought the first one to tackle would be working out consistently. I wasn't going to go any where near diet or food restriction figuring it would be harder to do. While compartmentalizing can be a successful method, I am three weeks into this and realizing while I have increased my workouts (still far from consistent), but I have moved from regular eating to irregular eating, normal sleep to irregular sleep. I have been working a ton, and the bad habits were almost formed out of my one good one. I had gone to the gym a few times at 8:45 PM which lead to eating late and being up late. Super Hubby is a late bird. He can stay up past 11PM or 12PM without a problem. I on the other hand can be in bed by 8:30 with the kids. Back to the story, ok so these few occasions of eating and watching TV after a night work out made me realize I could stay up late and that I enjoyed hanging out watching the Parenthood TV series on Netflix with my hubby. Next thing you know I am skipping the workout and just staying up late watching TV and around 10 or 11 deciding it is snack time, or full on 2nd dinner time. Screech! Time to put the breaks on that one. In my mini defense my shoulder thing has prevented me from feeling up to any kind of workout lately, but I digress.

Now in addition to trying to make working out a more consistent part of my life I will also add not eating late. What does that mean exactly? Most days it is not a problem to not eat after 8PM. I know there are different schools of thought regarding when to stop eating, but I think 8PM is very reasonable for me. On a great day I'll decide that I won't eat after dinner and that may push the time to closer to 7PM. I will deviate from time to time say for example if I go to the gym late or am out late with friends (rare occasion). This should help as the last 2 weeks have been filled with any thing from Weinerschnitzel at 10PM to chocolate-chocolate chip cheesecake at midnight or a bowl of cereal at 11PM.

At my chiropractor this week I got a nice little lecture on hydrating and a really nice tip. He said, attach drinking water to something you already do. A specific action. He chooses meals. He drinks a glass of water before he eats and a glass of water after. It may not be his daily goal in take, but it helps. This activity usually provides him with support via friends and family who know that is what he wants to accomplish at each meal. I am pretty consistent about having lunch with Superhubby so I am going to try and have a glass of water before and after lunch. I already just drink water at dinner, but as it turns out, it is usually the only time of day I drink water. I keep a water bottle at my desk at work, but rarely use it. I may shift to trying to drink a glass of water before I leave the house for work each morning. Maybe fill it the night before and set my car keys next to the glass, something like that.

On a positive note I am doing well taking my multivitamin and B complex everyday and recently added a probiotic. While I have a jug of Keifer in the fridge, a little probiotic boost has helped. The vitamins I am not so consistent with are my Omega-3s and my Calcium. Both are in chewy form and don't fit into my pill box. I 100% understand and agree that nutrients should come from a clean and natural food source, but I am not there yet and vitamins help bridge that gap.

Why I Kick A$$: Because I keep trying.
The Big Picture: Health is work, it takes effort and re-evaluation to be successful.
Thankful Three:
  1. For FB friends and family who encourage me to active
  2. For my kids who are being so cooperative today
  3. For waking up feeling ready to add to my healthy habits by not eating late

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday: Krispy Kreme is not diet food

Bigger snacks mean bigger slacks. 
~Author Unknown

I have been on pause for the last few days. I got treatment for my shoulder Wednesday and it is getting better. I wish it was just 100% already. I am hoping for a good weekend of workouts, but have a sneaking suspicion that if I don't turn my week day work out schedule around next week I will slowly be going down the path of the weekend warrior. Not a good idea.

Why I Kick A$$: I made a pretty fantastic mushroom barley soup tonight.
The Big Picture: It is the 3rd week of the year I am not freaking out about my schedule...but I reserve the right to freak out about my pants being too tight.
Thankful Three
  1. For tickle time with my munchkins
  2. For decaf and doughnuts
  3. For finishing a project that has been nagging at me

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday Sampler: Another Epic Weekend

A good friend is cheaper than therapy. 
~Author Unknown

I had to use Epic, because my husband was recently entertained by how frequently this term is thrown around. This weekend is epic in that I have a lot of friend time built into one weekend. It is no secret that being social is not my strong suit, nor is having enough time to really do many of the things I'd like to do. With this three day weekend again babysitter, a lot is going down:

Friday Night: Started the weekend off right by leaving work relatively on time, getting McDonald's Happy Meals and watching Tangled with munchkins.

Saturday: Leisurely wake up with my very cooperative kiddos, laundry, Noah's bagels and then off to the office for a couple hours of catch up. Phew, I definitely needed that. Then a trip out to Knights Ferry for a run, that turned into a dip in the freezing cold river. Lovely place to visit, great covered bridge and behind the house in the photo you can see a trail. That trail is only .9 up, but is a 100 ft elevation gain in that .9 on sandy, rocky trail. Great hill workout if you can make it up. I made it up twice, coming down was another story. After a short run and hike my cousins and I took a nice refreshing "recovery" dip in the Stansislaus River.....BRRRRR. Very, super duper, like a lot, cold.

After a hot shower, I got a chance to meet up with my friend W who is seriously a ray of sunshine. We had dinner a pub, had some Starbucks where I may or may not have eaten a birthday cake cake pop and watched The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo movie at the theater. Dark movie, some creative liberties, but not too distracting if you take it for a movie.

Tomorrow is a day in San Francisco with W and my other friend AW. What's on the docket, walking and eating. LOL we are simple girls, it doesn't take much. Monday I get to head East Bay and do a little shopping and eating with some friends from work and I am really looking forward to that too. Have I completely abandoned my family you ask? No, my hubby is up north fishing, but will be home tomorrow and get his one on one time with the kids Monday. My kiddos today and tomorrow are having an amazing time with their grandparents and I can't wait to see them tomorrow tonight. A quiet house while lovely just seems a bit too quiet for my liking.

On the training front, I obviously got my workout in today. Earlier this week I laid off the efforts to give my shoulder some down time. If I don't sleep too late tomorrow, I may hit the gym before we head to SF. Monday is also a gym day for me and I am feeling good with my running mileage. Slow and steady.

The Big Picture: Friendships require time and I am very fortunate for the time this weekend to reconnect with some amazing people.
Why I Kick A$$: I dunked completely underwater in freezing cold water....well I thought that kicked A$$.
Thankful Three
  1. My Husband...I love him to pieces
  2. My Kids...they are just so wonderful
  3. A three day weekend

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thoughful Thursday: It takes effort

Success is dependent on effort.

I am not ready to start watching what I eat. I figure I need to start with one thing at a time and a fitness routine is my primary goal...eating is a much harder thing to tackle. That being said, at some point in the near future I need to have a jump start and plan for maintaining.  
Why do these things take so much effort?
The Big Picture: The weight didn't come on overnight and it sure as heck ain't going away overnight. 
Why I Kick A$$: Because I left work on time today. Major accomplishment.
Thankful Three:
  1. For my new chiropractor
  2. For my Duder who survived his Kindergarten wellness check and vaccinations
  3. For no wanting Oreos tonigh.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday Tidbit: Two at a Time

Happiness lies, first of all, in health. 
~George William Curtis, Lotus-Eating

I think two workout days in a row is my max right now. High five for me for recognizing it early and reacting. While I wanted to go to the gym tonight, I started to feel tired and my left shoulder was acting up again. Instead of feeling lame for not hitting the gym and sitting on the couch watching TV, I attempted some CORE but only survived a couple planks. I got in 2x20 sec reg. planks, but my shoulders couldn't stand much more and I skipped the side planks.

I get "relax the shoulders" as a theory, but how do you do that during planks?
I busted out the foam roller and tried to open up my shoulders...good, but not great. I really need to figure this one out. Feels yucky. Tomorrow is chiropractor day....YAY!! I might need to get a massage in there this week too.

The Big Picture: A routine doesn't have to be everyday, just consistent.
Why I Kick A$$: Because I am excellent at playing ice cream store...I had a great time having some one on one time with my Bug tonight.
Thankful Three:
  1. For my foam roller
  2. For reduced price registration Survivor Mud Run
  3. For Super Hubby-he agreed to do the mud run with me!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Motivation: Perfect Intentions

There are no perfect men in this world, 
only perfect intentions. 
~Pen Densham, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

This weekend I had every intention of working out Saturday and Sunday, but Saturday I was hurting. I must have pinched a nerve or something, my left neck shoulder area was killing me. I tried to suck it up, but by 4:00 I was frantically calling massage therapists to no avail. I put out a plea on FB for a chiropractor and got a great lead from my TRI Club. I have an appt on Wednesday and I am so hopeful that with some progressive treatments I will be back to my old self. So what did I do Saturday instead? Well we had a fabulous family day at the Sacramento Zoo. Then spent lots of time stretching, using the foam roller to regain some mobility and a little yoga. My little Bug tired to get in on the action too. Yes I know my form is bad in this picture, but I was trying give my baby some room on my mat.

Sunday was pretty close to a dream day. I woke up pretty leisurely, dropped my son off at Temple preschool and went with one of the preschool moms to the gym. The Bug stayed home for Sunday football with Super Hubby. We finished our workouts, hit up Peets for a latte and ran into another set of parents from preschool. It was so fun! Then it was time for a little Costco run with my munchkins while my hubby slept off his headache.

Today was a great scheduled day. I took a couple hours off work this AM, dropped the kids off at school, met with our loan officer after work, hit the gym, had another meeting, Top Ramen and grilled cheese for dinner and play time with the kids. I even added the side planks to my routine, from the Hard Core workout regime.

The Big Picture: A little bit everyday really adds up.
Why I Kick A$$: Because I am still on track with the gym workouts
Thankful Three
  1. For homemade trailmix
  2. For Parenthood on Netflix
  3. For the treadmill...I kind of like it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Five: Selfish

Selfish: I run for me.
A late night five, but five!
  1. I put out a plea on Facebook and totally scored. My son goes to religious pre-school on Sunday's and one of the mom's has a member ship at the same gym I go to and we will be hitting the gym together on Sunday's while our kids are in school. Super excited!
  2. While I took Thursday off for a family night with my aunts & uncles from out of town and tonight to hang out with my husband, I am not at all feeling like I am derailed because I am so excited that I have plans to work out both Saturday and Sunday.
  3. I talked with my cousin who is just getting into the workout scene and we both registered for a half marathon in March. Shamrock'n. I am so excited, and I got to personalize my bib too! iRun4Me. Since this is her fist it is going to be all about the experience and I am so excited I get to run her first half with her.
  4. Discovered a new flavor of tamale! The local market made cherry flavor masa and my family added sweeten dried coconut, pineapple and raisin. The freak'n bomb! Yes I just said the bomb.
  5. I am going to try for a sitter tomorrow so hubby and I can go on a date. I am thinking matinee and sushi lunch.
The Big Picture: A new take on fitness this year is going to be great for me. Less about successes and "failures" and more about moving forward.
Why I Kick A$$: Because I feel pretty great about myself this week. It is amazing what a couple workouts can do for my week... maybe it was the tamales.

Thankful Three
  1. For time to blog
  2. For the tamale I am about to eat
  3. For the weekend

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Turn Around: 90 Days

Goals are dreams with deadlines.  
~Diana Scharf Hunt

Wednesday Hump Day sounds funny. Like an out and back run, Wednesday marks the turn around to the work week. This week it is even better since I had Monday off. Yesterday I wrote about the new fitness challenge I am doing at the gym. I'll have to admit that I am a little disappointed at the organization of the event at my first weigh in today. I am optimistic though and realize that I am not going to win any prizes so need to be too annoyed. I went to "weigh" in which consisted of a stand in trainer who asked me how much I weighed. There was no scale. Then had me hold the hand held body fat percentage machine. He also measured my neck, waist at the belly button and hips. They didn't have the gym camera available so he said I could come back to another weigh in or email a photo. I opted to email a photo. OMG, my hubby took the photo and when I looked, I really felt bad. It was a bit worse than I had realized. All the more reason I need to do this.

Today is DAY 1 of the 90 Day Challenge. I went to the gym again tonight and took it easy on the treadmill, 5 minute walk, 25 minute jog, 10 minute walk. I did a few step ups and 3 sets of planks. Not a big work out, but a work out nonetheless. Tonight I struggled, as I did last night, with not pushing myself. I need to take this Challenge slow and not burn out. I want to complete the 90 days and not give up in a week or two. I don't want to go so overboard that I am awesome 1 week and back on the couch the next. What I find difficult is that I know how to do all the exercises everyone else is doing at the gym, I have run faster and longer than I am doing now and used to spend more time in the gym than I am now. It is tough to block those things out and stay focused on just rebuilding a routine and rebuilding my body.

The Big Picture: Who cares if the weigh in was less than organized, I went and having that motivation to participate is really key for me right now.
Why I Kick A$$: I hit the gym for the 2nd day in a row.

Thankful Three:
  1. For Chobani being on sale
  2. For a nice visit with my niece
  3. For a short work week

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday Tidbit: Biggest Winner?

When you want something, 
all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
~Paulo Coelho

Today seemed to be the day I wanted to make a change. Sometime after 3:00 I took a walk during my break. This is the first time I have done this in months. I talked to a friend over the phone during this 15 minute break and I walked about 10 minutes of it. I told her I really wanted to do something, but couldn't figure out what. I left the office around 6:00 and thought I would hit the gym....uh, so did everyone else in town with New Year's Resolutions. I drove into the parking lot, did a u-turn and headed home. While at home I received a call on my cell from an unknown number. It was the customer service rep for one of my gym memberships. He called to tell me that our gym was holding a "Biggest Winner" contest. It is free to sign up. All I had to do was register, take a before picture, weigh in and commit to weighing in 2x per month. The challenge runs 90 days from the first weigh in date and all contestants must weigh in by 1/31/12. A game player might pack on pounds before their weigh in, me, I have enough packed on already that I don't need anymore. The challenge is based on body fat percentage which is different than percent of weight loss. I have an athletic build, am a bit top heavy and pounds lost on the scale do not always accurately reflect my fitness level. I have no delusions that I'll win anything, but I am pretty excited about the challenge. Talk about timing!

I couldn't shake wanting to do something and so I did what I almost never do. I went to the gym. I went to gym alone. I went to the gym at 8:45 PM. The timing couldn't have been better. The Biggest Loser was on TV and I just trucked along. I started with a 5 minute walk and was hoping to do 30 minutes total of a walk/run combination. I looked down and realized I had been jogging for 10 minutes straight, so I challenged myself to run 5 more minutes. Then 5 more and 5 more until at some point I felt too uncomfortable. The result? A 5 minute warm up, 45 minutes jogging and a 10 minute walking cool down. I didn't run fast. Most wouldn't call it running. Whatever label you slap on it, I moved for 1 hour then did a nice round of strength training exercises including 3x 20 second planks as recommended by The Hard Core Club.

I am so excited I was motivated to do this today, I sure hope I am as motivated tomorrow. Goals for now:
  1. Get to the gym as often as possible
  2. Drink more water
I am fighting the urge to tack on too many goals like a daily calorie limit, food restrictions and specific training goals. I do have a half marathon training plan that I am following starting today. It is very basic and designed for a novice runner. On the schedule today was 2 miles. Having run my fair share of half marathons I know that this plan is too simple for me, but I also know that I am not running this half for time, I am running it to complete it with my cousin who is running her first half. I am treating this plan as a "minimum" training commitment. My plan is to see how I feel each workout and not up my mileage more than is incrementally appropriate to avoid injury. Depending on this "Biggest Winner" commitment I may re-evaluate my training plan in a month and modify.

The Big Picture: I am excited to weigh in tomorrow and start my 90 days. This is just a small challenge, but one that can set the tone for the remainder of the year and I appreciate the free accountability.
Why I Kick A$$: Today I got it done.

Thankful Three
  1. For the call from the gym rep
  2. For a supportive hubby who told me he was proud of me
  3. For The Hard Core club