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Weekend Review: A hike, a few stings and some other things.

It feels good to say I have officially completed my Summer Push Challenge. 90 Day, 6 workouts a day and then add at least 12 more workouts (to count for my weekly TurboKick class i teach) and you have the minimum of workouts I accomplished over the last 12 weeks. That’s right, about 84 workouts! Mega proud? Absolutely!

In order to “celebrate” my accomplishment, I only thought it fitting to do something active as a way to say “YAY me!” We went for a hike at a near-by trail where my husband often rides his bike or trail runs. Because of the never ending rain and thunderstorms this past week, we didn’t want to risk driving somewhere semi far away with both dogs in tow only to find that it was too muddy to hike. The trail wasn’t too bad, even though the humidity made it feel like we were swimming through warm water the whole way. We only did about 3 miles (our dogs aren’t ready for much more than that – I know, shame on us!).

It felt good to just be doing something good for us as a way to celebrate an accomplishment. So often, my celebration would be food related or going and having a drink somewhere fancy. But this way way better, and I think we are going to try and make it a weekly event with the pups. It’s good for them, healthy for us – and gives us a chance to be outdoors and together. Win, win, win, right?

Unfortunately, I was attacked by some bees on our hike – so as my co-worker so eloquently put it today – “You look like someone socked you in the face, what happened?” So, apparently it’s pretty noticeable to someone other than me. But it feels like my jaw has a growth on it and it’s sore to touch. The little suckers also got me on my side – so that is super pleasant as well. As if I don’t have a constant case of the “itchy- scratchies” (NEOpets, anyone? No? Just me, I guess) due to allergies and skin issues anyway – these stings are like icing on a not-allowed in the first place cake.

Apparently, my husband “did not believe me” that there were bees swarming around me as he was trying to clear a tree from the trail. It went something like this:

Me: “Ahhh! There’s a bee!” (dancing around trying to wave a bee away from my face piece)
Him: “I don’t see any bees” (as he continues to move a giant tree from the trail)
Me: “Ahhhhh – there are MORE bees! Go!!!”
Him: “I really don’t think there are any bees.  I don’t see them.”
Me: “They are on me, they are on Peach (me swatting them away from my dog and myself trying to run)”
Me: “Too late! Too late! They got me!” (grabbing my face and side and running away).

I guess he believed me then.

He is always excited about something! Treat! Frisbee! Water! Bedtime! Really.

 

Other than a brilliant reminder that bee stings really freaking hurt, the hike went well. I only slid in the mud a few times, and we got a laugh out of watching how different our dogs are. Yoshi, our big brown lab, could hardly be restrained from jumping into the creek whenever we crossed. Muddy pathway? No problem – he plowed through. We even had to go a different way once because it was a small ledge over a creek and we were SURE he would jump in and take us all with him.

Doesn’t she look so regal?

On the other hand – we have (princess) Peach (a lab/pit/boxer/whoknowswhat mix) who did everything she could to walk around any watery areas, and pranced across the bridges avoiding that filthy creek water as quickly as she could. She is seriously ridiculous. The last week I’ve been trying to catch her when she “goes to do her  business” because she is so prissy she won’t go and pee (or poop) in the yard when it’s wet and muddy. So where does she go? On our cement porch area. FAIL!

Anyway – the dogs had a good time, and other than the bee attack, I did, too. And now my hubby feels really bad that he didn’t believe me about the bees. And there is a certain satisfaction to being right, no matter the cost, right? 🙂

I did a self assessment test today during lunch at the gym for my “new workout program” I am starting. I’ll have full details on that tomorrow for anyone who is interested. It’s cool because for about 99% of this program – you can do it at home, outside, or in your gym with basically no equipment.

Currently Reading..

 

I’m also still reading more about the Paleo/Primal lifestyle and I’m currently soaking up information from Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint. He has an EXCELLENT website with tons of great articles on nutrition and exercise called: marksdailyapple.com

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The Final Results (Summer Challenge)

So glad I finally stopped dreaming about it – and just started working on it instead.

It’s time to reveal my final results for my TurboFire program. I started it 3 months ago – and the time has flown by. Technically, I still have one more workout to do – and it’s a 40 minute long stretch, so I’m guessing that one more workout isn’t going to dramatically change my results. Rest assured, I will do the last workout though!

More than ever – this summer challenge has reminded me that I am capable of completing what I started. I wouldn’t say that a few years ago – but perhaps a person can truly change, after all.

This week I’m down 1.8 pounds from my weigh in on Thursdays (since I weighed in a day early due to my traveling last week). I’d like to share that I had an “emergency” weight number previously (before I gained 15 pounds) and that was always my number that made an alarm go off in my head even when nothing else would. It was a number that would typically stop me cold in my tracks and help me get my head in gear. The last time I saw it and just kept  gaining weight, I felt helpless in the struggle to stop gaining weight. I felt like I was doing everything right – and yet, the pounds kept coming on despite my workouts and calorie counting.

Today, I got to see my emergency number again – but this time, I’m going the RIGHT way…back down below it. That is an an amazing feeling!

Totals for Program:

Chest: down 2 inches

Hips: down 2.5 inches

Thigh: down 1 inch

Waist: Down 1.5 inches

Arm: Down .5 inches

And as for my weight: Down 8.8 pounds!

Not too shabby, right? Especially since I really don’t feel like I was really committed to trying to eat better during the first half of the program. I mean – I was still trying to do well (eating most of my lunches and dinners at home), but I had what seems like 50000 events where I let myself cheat for whatever reason.

I’ll be taking my “after” pictures this weekend. So I’m curious to see how my body shape might have changed. I’m assuming I’ll be a little less pudgy as I do feel like I’ve put on more muscle! The other day when I was doing my workout – there is this one section where you have to put your hand on your thigh as you touch down and I was like “whoa!” because my leg felt rock solid when flexed. I’ve always been muscular – but this is a new level.

This is also the completion of week 2 for my Food Challenge, so I’m excited to see what changes continue to happen for me over the next few weeks. I am, of course, already researching my next physical challenge and I hope to be ready to share that with you on Monday! We’ll just say I’m feeling very primal about it!

 

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Summer Challenge: Lessons Learned Part I

I have four more workouts on my plate before I can officially claim completion of my Summer Push Challenge. My goal was to do the 90 day program (TurboFire) which required workouts 6 days a week.

It was a major change from what I was doing before which almost never included an intense workout on the weekends. Now that I only have 4 more workouts to complete – I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned during this experience and what I’ll take with me into my next challenge, whatever that may be.

I hear a lot of people say that pushing yourself is more mental than physical. I often think we don’t give our bodies enough credit -we are built to last. We are built to run, jump, swim, lift heavy things. Yet, we don’t do a lot of these things on a regular basis – so our bodies aren’t conditioned for their true nature. So getting BACK to my bodies original purpose has been a major fight for me over the last few years. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

We battle with making better food choices, trying to push our bodies to endure long workouts, build muscle, lose fat. Do more. Do more. Do more. It’s pretty exhausting.

Lesson #1: Decreased Recovery Time Continue reading

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View from the Hill

A little scenery along the way…

 

I had a great weekend visiting my friend in DC. We did basically the opposite of any sightseeing. The picture you see here was literally taken from the car window as we were driving back from a lunch place down on H street.

I have been to DC a few times before, and we did some of the touristy stuff during that trip – and once was enough for me. So many people!

Instead, we spent the weekend checking out some local bars and restaurants, watching “Once Upon a Time” via Hulu Plus, and waiting for a server to notice us at the restaurant across the street during the 3 times we went there this weekend. It was awesome (well, not the terrible service, but the low key weekend in general!).

Mainly, I just relaxed. It was nice to get away for a weekend and not have chores or any major responsibilities. No schedule and really nothing to keep me from doing whatever/whenever with the exception of my 2 workouts that had to happen during the 3 days I was there.

I realized a few things while I was there:

1) Eating no wheat and therefore very little carbs and drinking wine during happy hour = not good. I was literally in bed by 9pm on Friday night. WINNER! Right?

2) Bringing your water bottle with you on a trip is the best idea ever. I stayed totally hydrated (with the exception of our happy hour bar hopping afternoon). I will be doing this for my next trip for sure.

3) Avoiding grains/wheat wasn’t really that bad, even while eating out over the weekend. I had things like steak and eggs for breakfast, a gluten free turkey meatloaf and broccoli for lunch. The only place that gave me a bit of trouble was a bar – but I just ordered a hamburger and removed the bun. I felt like a lot of places offered potatoes as the side option – so I probably indulged in potatoes a bit more than I should. But – these are a “in moderation” food, so I’ll just lay off them this week.

I drank wine instead of beer (even though they had some wheat beer that I would have loved to try), I woke up and exercised in my friends living room while her cats hid from me in total fear.

When I stepped on the scale this morning so I could assess the damage of “vacation weekend,” my jaw dropped when I didn’t gain any weight. Wow.

So I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for not letting vacation totally derail me from my healthy habits as it normally does. I’m hopeful to see another loss on the scale on Friday (my formal “write it down” weigh in day).

I’m a little tired at work today. My flight was delayed last night several times – and I didn’t end up being home until about 10pm.

In other exciting news – this is WEEK 12 of my Summer Push Series. So I’m embarking on my LAST week of the TurboFire 12 week program. I can’t hardly believe it. The time has flown. It really makes me think about the difference between just DOING something versus thinking about doing something. I’m so glad I made the choice to do my summer challenge…and it led me to yet another challenge in the midst of it. So exciting!

I am excited to share with you my final report over the weekend as I take my 90 day photos and measurements. I know that i FEEL way better, and that is a major takeaway.

I guess it’s time to start thinking about…what next for my work outs?

 

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Trip & Tip

Tonight I’m flying out to our nation’s capital to see one of my very best friends. I am so excited to see her because it’s been too long. Plus, it will be fun to have a girls weekend because I don’t do that too often (love you hubby!).

I’m gearing up for my first trip since we are doing the Food Challenge. I am just always timing things wrong these days – because I’m still figuring everything out and being out of town for a few days is going to make it even more challenging! But my goal is to be as good as I can be – and avoid wheat and processed ingredients.

Since I’m going to be without my scale (no i am NOT packing my scale in my carry on), I decided to weigh in this morning. Now – this is a reflection of 3 days on this new plan. I’m still doing my TurboFire workouts as per usual (2 more weeks until my exercise challenge is COMPLETE!). I also decided to enjoy some wheat products (i.e. homemade mac&cheese & cookies – or 5) this past weekend as I was “saying goodbye” to all that for the next 30 days.

So 3 days of being totally wheat free and avoiding processed ingredients as much as possible! Drum roll please:

I’m down 2.4 pounds.

I’d also like to mention that I’ve had delicious bacon for breakfast every morning along with some scrambled eggs and veggies. I’ve had pork tenderloin and curry dishes for lunch, fajita salads with chicken and filet mignon for dinner. I’ve  been snacking on whole mozzarella cheese and olives as well as raw nuts (cashews & walnuts to be exact) and I’ve enjoyed a square of 85% dark chocolate every night before bedtime.

This doesn’t feel like a diet, really (and it’s not supposed to!). Even though I have to do a bit more “thinking” when it comes to snacks and things to help round out our meals (i.e. the curry dish was tasty but too light – we needed more food!) – I get to enjoy things that I wouldn’t have allowed myself before and that is pretty awesome.

Basically what I’m saying is that any lifestyle that allows me to eat bacon – I’m in. 🙂

I’m pretty impressed with my 3 day results – and I’m looking forward to seeing results on the scale next Friday so i can see what a full 2 weeks of avoiding wheat and non-processed foods can do for me. Granted, I’m just going to put it out there that I’m totally going to drink some wine and probably indulge in those bottomless belini’s I’ve been dreaming about since my last visit to DC – but I think I can make it work.

I’m bringing my work out stuff with me so I can do my 2 workouts that are scheduled for Friday and Saturday (Sunday is my day off). And i’m going to be working out this afternoon before I fly out so I’m staying on track.

As I was driving home yesterday – it dawned on me that I’m really changing for the better. And that I’ve actually developed a habit of working out 6 days a week. How amazing is that? I’m looking forward to feeling like I’ve made it a habit to pay more attention to the quality of foods that I’m eating (hence the ban on non processed junk!) and excited to see these results as I really combine the working out with this new Food Challenge.

Best Tip Ever.

I doubt that I’ll be posting again until next week – but you never know. Until then (here’s the tip!)  stay strong & make one BETTER decision every day for yourself. You just might form a good habit!

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You’ve Got Questions? I have some answers…

Making a commitment to a new way of eating is a lot to get your mind around.  Today marks Day 1 of my 30 day Food Challenge. And yes, I’m still in the midst of my Summer Push Series as well (completing 3 months of TurboFire workouts) – so this is going to be quite the month!

I’ve gotten a few questions (okay, a lot of questions) both on my blog, facebook and just in “real life” as people learn about what I’m taking on. It’s funny, because you never realize how personal making decisions about what you eat (or don’t eat) can be. I never paid much attention to it before because I wasn’t really in a situation where I tried to avoid specific foods (other than a general attempt to eat healthier foods!). But as I’ve been reading articles, books, blogs, and talking to others who are following a wheat free or Paleo style diet – the variations and levels of dedication are all over the place.  Some people do it for major health reasons (like being allergic or sensitive to ingredients) and others do it to try and just be healthier (like me).

I didn’t expect my harshest critic of this new challenge to be my husband. But he is about 99% questions and 1% enthusiastic about these next 30 days. I can appreciate the questions (some of them), but in the end he just wants me to make him a list of things we’re not eating this month. So if he’s confused, perhaps you guys are, too, so I’ll attempt to make sense of this challenge on my blog, answer your questions and provide resources so you can check out the research and opinions for yourself, too.

I’m still learning as I go here – so I’d like to put it out there that what I’m doing the next 30 days isn’t officially Paleo and it’s probably not a perfect match up with Wheat Free, either. It’s sort of a combo of the two..but it’s important to note that Paleo eaters are ALSO wheat/grain free. But being Wheat Free doesn’t really mean you are Paleo. Does that make sense? A few things before I lay out my foundation for the next 30 days: Just because this is what I’m doing doesn’t mean it’s right for you. And just because you DO eat wheat/grains doesn’t mean I’m judging you for eating it. I’m just trying this out for a while to see how I feel without it. Maybe it will change my life, maybe not. My biggest goal is to lose some weight and feel like I have more energy so some of my choices reflect that end goal for me in the following list.

So – here’s the drill down for my 30 Day Food Challenge

1) Avoid wheat as much as possible (I am not going to NOT buy something that says “processed at a facility that may include soy, wheat, etc.) But this means that we aren’t cooking any recipes that include wheat. If you have questions about why – click on the link above for some good information.

2) Avoidance of most grains actually – so trying to avoid corn based products (because corn is actually a grain – not a vegetable!) and things like rice, too. We are putting these items on the “extreme modification” list. As in, it would be better to have eaten a corn tortilla than a flour one, or, it would be  better to have an ear of corn at a BBQ instead of potato chips but we should do our best to avoid either situation. If you are interested in learning more about rice and how it fits into (or doesn’t) a Paleo lifestyle, this is a good article to check out.

3) Potatoes also go on the extreme modification list. But sweet potatoes can be used because of our level of working out. Paleo athletes often use sweet potatoes as a good recovery snack/meal. Since the hubs & I are very active, I think it’s good to keep this as an option.  Here’s a good article on why I’m choosing to limit our potato consumption.

4) Eat clean food. This means avoiding products that have ingredients that aren’t natural. So – if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t buy it.  Ways to make sure you are doing this? Buy fresh veggies and meat – avoid frozen foods or pre-packaged items as much as possible. I will say that there is a decent amount of pre-packaged items out there that don’t have a bunch of trash ingredients in them. But make sure you flip over the box/wrapper or whatever and check out the ingredients list. A good rule of thumb is that if the ingredients list has more than 5 ingredients – it’s probably not all that natural (unless all the ingredients are “whole” types of food).

5) Avoid foods that are marketed as “low fat” “fat free” “low calorie,” etc. Typically these foods have been stripped of any nutritional value and trash ingredients have been added to fill in the blanks.  A lot of times in place of fat/calories – you’ll find lots of sugar instead which can be just as bad. The idea here is to eat products that are as natural/unprocessed as possible.

Seriously – don’t eat this.

6) Re-evaluate all Dairy Products:  It’s in my nature to opt for the low fat cheeses or fat free sour cream versus the “real stuff.” But again, if we are going for more natural/unprocessed things – you need to buy dairy products in a more natural state. Some good tips for identifying “the good stuff” when it comes to dairy (cheese, yogurts, etc) is here. I even bought some coconut milk creamer for my coffee. Looks at me, I’m all fancy!

I’m sure I’ll be figuring out MORE about all this as I go…but this is the basic list and reasons why for those who have asked (or are secretly wondering WTH I’m doing). Perhaps my husband will read this, too and I’ll kill 2 birds with one stone.

I’d still love to hear more about your ideas for your 30 Day Food Challenge – be creative, this is your time to explore something totally new!

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Respect the Results

Totally worth it.

Today is Friday of course, so that means it’s a morning where I actually write down my measurements. I seem to always run into the misfortune of having a “can’t miss it” occasion the night before a weigh in and last night was no different. But I got to see my nephew and niece (on my brother’s side) for the first time in a long time. Getting to spend just an evening with them was amazing – I, of course, miss them all the time – but never am I reminded of just how much until I see their cute little faces again. They are growing up so fast, and I just want them to know how much I love them.

So anyway, my family went on vacation this past few days – the hubs & I couldn’t go with work schedules and what not, so we drove down to meet them for dinner last night and I stayed overnight with them before they left to go home to KY this morning. So we ended up eating at FATZ last night. Such a great name for a place to eat right?

I mean, with a name like FATZ you are sure to find lots of low calories options right? 🙂

Actually, I did a bit of research before we went and they DO have all their nutrition info online, so I went with something from their lite menu – but I still indulged in 2 of their delicious rolls. And i tried a bit of my mom’s chicken meal. But I didn’t overdo it as I had a pretty light day yesterday anyway and I worked out first thing in the morning.

I am a complete psycho and brought my scale with me to my parent’s house so I could weigh myself. I also brought my measuring tape. So first thing this morning, I did the deed – and I’m proud to say that I was down 1.2 pounds from last weeks weigh in even after having an “out to eat meal.” Did I mention I also ate a chocolate chip cookie my mom made when we got home? Serious – cookies (especially freshly made ones) are my kryptonite.

So I promised I’d do a run down of my results since beginning turbofire. Here we go (this represents total loss since start of the program:

Total Weight: Down 5.2 pounds since day 1

Chest: Down 2 inches
Hips: Down 2 inches
Thigh: Down 1 inch
Waist: Down 1 inch
Upper Arm: Down.5 inch

Okay – so totals would be down 5.2 pounds and 6.5 inches in 2 months. I know it’s more like slow and steady win the race vs. a miracle weight loss of 15 pounds in 2 months – but I’ve had several other people comment on me looking slimmer in the last week. And I’m just feeling more confident. And stronger – especially when I’m trying to make it through my Tone & Sculpt workouts in TurboFire. I definitely think my endurance has improved – I can tell when I’m teaching my TurboKick class that I’m just feeling better and can talk more through the class than I could in the beginning.

So I’m proud of myself so far. My boss who is also a good friend of mine (we’ve worked together for about 7 years now) asked me how many weeks in I was on my turbo program now. I told her that this week was Week 9, and I mentioned I had only missed on workout so far (this program is 6 days a week PEOPLE!). And she looks at me with this sense of amazement and says- “I can’t believe you have been getting up early on a regular basis to work out. I mean- this is YOU we are talking about. Miss Don’t Talk To Me in the Morning.”

And she’s right. I don’t ENJOY waking up early on those days, but I do it -because the end result is worth the sacrifice of getting my arse outta bed and downstairs to get my sweat on. In the end – that’s what I’ve learned most so far: You will do whatever you make your mind up to do.

I’m getting really excited about the next phase of my journey where I really dive into the food part and change some things up with my food choices. The hubby says he is on board – so that’s the green light I needed to really embrace this next phase. I may not be able to wait for 3 more weeks. As soon as I finish this book I’m reading I may be ready to jump in. I guess I better eat all the “wheat treats” I want this week because I have a feeling that once I detox, it might be painful to add them back in to my diet regardless of how delicious it might be.

Enjoy your weekend – I have one more workout tomorrow and then Sunday is my day off. No excuses – you are the only one who can make good or bad decisions for yourself – so start right now.

 

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