Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2 weeks of updates

Things have been BUSY!

Luckily, I've stayed on track with my fitness and nutrition goals for the most part.  Since my last post I gave up on watching the balance of carbs, protein, and fat I eat each day. It's still saved in my LoseIt! app, but it doesn't seem to be giving me any useful information. I try to be mindful about eating enough proteins and choosing "good" carbs, but right now trying to strive for a certain balance doesn't seem helpful.

Two weeks ago (May 8th week) was my first week of it, which included my trip to NC - so I had to double up on some workouts before I left and once I got back to fit everything in.  However, when they are only 30 minutes long and some of them are lower impact (e.g. yoga), that's not impossible.

May 9-15
As you can see, I was sticking on track with all my goals until I flew down to NC on Friday morning. 500 calories over budget (and who knows what Saturday) isn't ideal, but to be honest, I wasn't that unhappy about it either. My app aims for me to lose 1.5 pounds a week, so my daily caloric deficit is around 750. Which means if I eat 500 calories over budget once or twice, I'm still not likely to gain weight. Also, Durham food... yum. My MIL took us to one of my favorite restaurants, Harvest 18, for dinner on Saturday after the hooding ceremony, and it was INCREDIBLE. They strive to have at least 80% of their foods locally sourced and have an amazing style of fresh southern food.  We also went to brunch at Rue Cler, home of my favorite beignets and a duck confit crepe that is to die for.
Hooding Ceremony
We flew back Sunday night and had a relatively uneventful week last week, except that my grant was due this week so I was stressing out about that and working all weekend.  Often times, when I get stressed about work I'm likely to decide I don't have time for exercise or time to cook, so I eat take out and don't work out. I think one of the reasons P90X3 is going well so far is that it's only 30 minutes and can be done at home easily, so I have an easier time telling myself I do have the time to workout even if work is insane.  I also keep trying to remind myself that exercise helps me de-stress, which makes it MORE likely that I'll be able to focus on work later.

May 16 -22
Usually food would be a different story and I would have eaten lots of takeout last week/this week before the grant went in. I think having splurged so much in NC curbed that a bit - I was ready for "regular" and healthier food. I also had a pretty good plan of attack. I made two dishes that had leftovers (three-cheese chicken penne primavera and shrimp pad thai) and threw in Taco Tuesday to mix it up. Both dishes were relatively easy - I made them Monday and Wednesday - and that gave me Thursday through the weekend to focus on work and not cooking. I have noticed a decline in the past week of my fiber intake, so I think I'll need to keep an eye on that to ensure that I maintain around 25g per day.

You might have noticed I didn't go to spin at ALL those past two weeks. That's probably the side effect of the stress and getting used to P90X3. I went last night - hooray! and will try to keep going 2x/week best I can. I also think I'm changing my water intake goal from 75oz/day to 100 oz/day, because I sweat a LOT with my workouts, and because it's obviously achievable based on how I've been doing.

This weekend will be another test - going to the lake means having less control over what I eat and needing to really watch portion control. BUT, I have a plan in place to get all my workouts in and there is a lovely 1.5ish mile loop to walk the dog on, so I should be able to get all my exercise in... fingers crossed I might even get to swim if it's nice enough!

Monday, May 9, 2016

weekly update

Recap of week one of being super committed and attempting to use public sharing as a means to keep my self accountable!

I've decided I'll share some weekly stats in chart format for you, so here's the breakdown of what you'll be seeing:

-Calories: I'll share how far over or under I was for my daily caloric target, taking into account how much exercise I did, so if I get in a lot of physical activity, I get a calorie bonus from my Jawbone fitness tracker
-Breakdown: just reporting this as I try to find the right balance
-Fiber: 25 g per day
-Water: 75 oz per day
-Exercise: 30 minute HIIT-style workouts 5 days per week + -2 spin classes per week
-Steps: 10,000 per day

My week, May 2-8:

Are there any other stats you think would be helpful for me to track, or things you'd enjoy seeing? Not sure if the carb/protein/fat breakdown is telling me anything useful... essentially, I eat 3 servings of fruit most days and then have a carb as part of my dinner (rice, pasta, quinoa, couscous, tortillas, etc.).

Some food I ate this week:
-Szechuan broccoli and beef, from the Biggest Loser Cookbook. This was DELICIOUS. We used store bought Scezchuan sauce, which although high in sodium, didn't have 1,000 random ingredients and wasn't too high in calories. It was quite spicy, but if you love spicy, this comes highly recommended
I swear there's spinach hidden down in there
-Fruit smoothies: For breakfast, I've been doing 1.5 cups frozen fruit, a handful of baby spinach, 1/4 cup Greek fat free plain yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, Splenda, and Vanilla extract.  I've been varying the fruit with a mix of berries - sometimes all one berry, sometimes a variety. So far it's going well and keeps me full until around 10-11:30am, depending on the day.
Mostly strawberries in this one I think
I currently have a free 30 day trial to Beachbody On Demand, so that's what I've been trying a range of workouts. So far I like the 21 Day Fix (regular and extreme) and P90X3. The other ones I've tried have been okay, but I think the combo of SO. MUCH. JUMPING. with not being in the best-ever shape made them less desirable. 21DF Regular (the sample workout was cardio) reminded me of Jillian, but finally I didn't have to listen to Jillian tell me not to phone it in. For the Extreme sample, it was Plyo, which was a significant amount of jumping, but somehow more tolerable than 22 min HC or T25... maybe because there were weights involved? I'm not sure.

I'm doing an accountability group with some ladies right now and we check in daily with #sweatyselifes, so here's my best from week 1:
Hello, early morning workout
While I have this free trial I'm going to take full advantage and I'm going to be trying the P90X3 workouts (the 21DF, you have to pay extra for the full program, which I'm ambivalent about, because, $60 for DVDs with a total of 6 30 minute workouts? seems expensive, yet, who am I to judge how much these things are worth). Anyway, for the time being, I'm going with the "Lean" block of P90X3 (there's classic, lean, mass, doubles, and elite blocks) so for the first three weeks I'll be trying:

  • Accelerator
  • The Warrior
  • X3 Yoga
  • CVS
  • Isometrix
  • Agility X
  • Rest, or Dyanmix 
This week is going to be tough because I'll be out of town Friday-Sunday and getting in a workout at all looks very unlikely, so if Sunday was Day #1 with Accelerator, I think I'll realistically only get through Isometrix this week.

I think that's all for now... wish me luck with week 2 of being on track (...ish, because with my trip I definitely won't be nearly as regimented). 

Monday, May 2, 2016

blog reset.

Hello, dear friends! It's been a while.  I stopped blogging nearly two years ago.  Life got so busy, and I wasn't doing much running, and this just kind of fell to the wayside. However, I've recently decided to get things going again on here. I think having a place to report on my successes & failures at maintaining a healthy lifestyle is good for me - it helps me feel accountable.  To that end, a few updates and goals I'm working towards:

Cooking continues to be something I enjoy quite a bit, and the more I cook the easier it is for me to eat healthy. Primarily, I'm trying to stay in a certain calorie budget each day by tracking my food intake on LoseIt!, but I've also been trying to pay more attention to my ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. My focus has been on increasing my fruit & vegetable intake and to do so I've begun relying on fruit smoothies (with frozen fruit, milk, and Greek yogurt) as my breakfast staple, I'm packing fruit as a snack/side for lunch, and I'm eating a side salad with dinner each night, but I think I might be eating relatively too many carbohydrates, and not enough proteins and fats, and am trying to figure out fixes for that. I've continued using the Betty Crocker cookbook that started this blog, and have also been using a Biggest Loser cookbook quite a bit, in combination with recipes from Cooking Light's website or random internet searches.

Food-Related Goals:
-Stick to a daily caloric budget I've chosen on LoseIt!,
-Incorporate fruits & vegetables regularly
-Eat plenty of fiber (25 grams per day),
-Try to find the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (I'm thinking 40/30/30%, but I'm not as committed to that yet).

From that first twinge of pain in 2013 until today, I've never really been able to get back into running. Physical therapy was helpful while I was doing it as a means to treat acute pain, but I never got "better." I've tried to restart several times, using the Couch to 5K plan, but I've never gotten to a point where I could run more than 1-2 miles without pain, so I've temporarily decided that running is not on the table for me and am focusing on other types of exercise.

Since moving to CT, I found a gym near my house with spinning  classes. My goal right now is to go twice a week - Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I'd love to also go once on the weekend, but have yet to make it to a weekend class. In addition, I'm trying to incorporate HIIT-type workouts - recently I was doing the 30 Day Shred, but I'm now trying to learn about some of the Beach Body options. My ideal would be to find 30 minute HIIT-style workouts I could do before work.

Also, about a year ago, I purchased a Jawbone UP!, which is very similar to a FitBit, just a different brand. My Jawbone tracks my steps and sleep, and helps me to estimate how many calories I'm burning. I don't have the fancy one that includes HR monitoring (see: my wish list), but I do like tracking my steps.

Physical Activity-Related Goals:
-10,000 steps per day
-30 minute HIIT-style workouts 5 days per week
-2 spin classes per week

Sadly, I've gained a lot of weight since I had to stop running in 2013. At first, I think the significant decrease in physical activity coupled with not changing my eating habits contributed to weight gain. Then I went through a period of time where I was traveling a lot and didn't have a very structured schedule, so finding ways to eat healthy and incorporate non-running workouts was difficult. Then in 2014, I moved to Mississippi where I never really found a good workout regime and continued gaining. Since moving to CT, I've lost a bit of that weight, but mostly have just maintained.

Weight Loss Goals:
-Return to the weight I was in late 2012 / early 2013 (that's about 20 pounds from where I am today)
-Fit comfortably in clothing I was wearing in late 2012 / early 2013 (typically size 4)

I've taken some measurements and weighed in this morning, so I'll try to update how I'm doing on my goals, share successes and failures, and let you know about any yummy recipes I discover.