The Why

It has been ages since I last had a blog post.  I know.  I’m a slacker.  Shall I give you an update on where I am in life?

First, all of my awesome weight loss efforts from waaaaaay back were in vain.  Laziness got the better of me and I gained it all back.  (Insert sad face).  Don’t fret, though, I am NOT giving up!  Second, My financial situation has improved.  Not drastically improved, but improved.  I have less debt and am making a conscious effort to rid myself of it.  I still have a habit of overspending and am working to reign that monster in.

Now, here is what is on my mind at this particular moment.  For the last week, I have adopted vegan-eating.  As of 12:00 this morning I made it through an entire week of eating like a vegan.  I am pretty proud of myself, because I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it.  I love meat, and eggs, and butter, and cheese.  Oh goodness do I ever love cheese.  Despite my love of animal food-products, I persevered and made it through a full week without them, and I did it rather easily.  Don’t get me wrong.  This is NOT an easy lifestyle choice.  I find that I have to be very intentional with my eating (as in make a plan…ahead of time).  I have to buy food and prepare it, and then I have to eat it before it goes bad.  This is not convenient.  But, right now, it is worth it.

So many of my friends and family have asked me why I am doing this and I haven’t been able to articulate to them The real “Why”.  So here is my attempt to convey “The Why” to you.

First of all, I believe in GOD.  I am a Christian.  For those of you…most of you…really confused as to why I am starting with this, bear with me.  I believe that GOD designed our bodies to function a certain way and to be healthy.  I also believe that all types of food options were created for us to use to keep ourselves nourished and healthy.  Including plants and animals.  I was given the gift of life and a healthy body from the beginning of my existence.  I have not taken good care of that gift.  Right now I am not healthy.  I am overweight.  The very unhealthy type of overweight.  My cholesterol is too high.  I have started to see signs that my blood pressure could become a problem if I don’t make some changes.  These issues have been brought on by my lifestyle decisions and are not the way my body was intended to be.

Over the 31 29.2 years of my life I have abused my body by overindulging in food and drinks and not exercising enough.  This past year I have found myself dreading going to sporting events, concerts, and riding on planes (these are things I LOVE).  I have passed up free tickets to games because I know that I will be uncomfortable in the seat and will make the people next to me uncomfortable.  I have never felt like this before and it scares me.  I feel it is time to make a change.  So why Veganism and not some other way?  I do believe that animals were meant to provide food and can be part of a healthy life.  However, animal food products are the primary source of my overindulgence (that and sugar).  I am eliminating them until I can be healthy and learn to use them appropriately in my diet.

I am following Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live principles and am primarily eating vegetables, fruits, and beans/legumes.  This is a very different approach to health for me.  In the past I have focused on “diets” that make me lose weight very quickly.  That has not been the case this week, and I have been tempted to be discouraged.  I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t just about the number on the scale (although that is important), but about improving my overall health.  This isn’t about how much I will weigh a month from now.  It is about how much I will weigh a year from now, and that is a difficult concept for me to wrap my mind around.

So, friends and family, there is your why.  Hopefully I explained it in a way that you can understand.  I really believe that this new lifestyle change is a good one and I also know that I am going to be tempted to stray.  Encouragement from you all will be so helpful to me.  Also, exercise and gym date requests are appreciated.  Friend Jenny, I’m talking to you!

Currently:

Listening: “Hit ‘Em Up Style” by Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Eating: Oatmeal with berries and walnuts for breakfast.  Salad and beans planned for lunch.

Drinking: just finished my morning coffee and am sipping water.

Wearing: black pants, pink top, black shoes.

Feeling: a little sore, but ready for my workout tonight.

Weather: rainy and 72 degrees.

Wanting: to be able to fall asleep easily tonight.  The past 2 nights have been dreadful.

Needing: to clean my closet.  It is a complete disaster.

Thinking: about my parents.  I just love them.

Enjoying: my accomplishment.  It is a small first step, but everything starts with a first step, right?

The Dawn of a New Phase

I am almost done with week 3 of P90X!  Hooray!  Next week is a recovery week, which means there is no weight lifting.  Then it is on to phase 2.  As of this morning I have lost 15.4 pounds!  I am so excited about that.  It is a little bittersweet, since this is weight that I had already lost last summer, but I am trying not to dwell on that.

This week I have upped the weight that I have been using in my workouts and holy smokes has this made the workouts harder!  Apparently I was coasting the first 2 weeks without even realizing it.  I have remedied that and can now proudly say that I know what it means to do 12-15 reps to failure.  12 reps…failure accomplished.  I actually had to let out some grunts during my workout last night (something that I hate and usually laugh at other people for) just to get the last couple of reps done.

This past week has had a lot of fun activities in it (with more to come).  On Saturday, the girls and I threw Kendra a baby shower.  There was plenty of yummy food, lots of socializing, and absolutely no corny shower games.  It was great!  I saw the movie The Vow (major letdown), and the movie This Means War (so good that I want to see it again).  Saturday is Mardi Gras and I am really looking forward to it.  I am trying to be incredibly good with my diet and exercise this week so that i can make up for some of the ridiculousness that will be Saturday.  Most importantly, though, I purchased my copy of Breaking Dawn Part I and have proceeded to watch it constantly (really I just put it in when I go to bed and fall asleep with to Edward).  Mmmm…Rob.  I think I may have a serious problem.

Currently:

Listening:  “Chocolate Easter Bunny” by The David Mayfield Parade.

Eating:  salsa chicken with Kale.

Drinking:  high quality H2O (must hydrate for Saturday)

Wearing:  black pants, orange top, black shoes.

Feeling: completely uninspired for work today.

Weather: overcast and 43 degrees.

Wanting: Mexican food.  I have been craving this for 2 weeks!  I want queso dip!

Needing: to finish checking these budgets.  Ahhh…the exciting life of corporate accounting!

Thinking:  about a really fun 5K that my friend Emily e-mailed me about.

Enjoying:  the feeling in my muscles after last night’s workout.  It’s nice to enjoy the slightly sore feeling rather than dread it now.

Superbowl Cheat

I cheated on my diet last week, and I feel incredibly guilty about it.  On Friday I ate two small (think Imo’s) pieces of pizza.  Then, on Sunday, at a Superbowl party, I ate things I should not have.  PhewIt feels good to get that out.

I should have brought my own food to the party.  I had actually planned on doing that, but then I got a little self-conscious.  I was going to a party where I only knew one person and was acquainted with one other. ( FYI…this is one of my goals that I am working on.  Getting out and meeting new people.  So, when someone asks me if I want to go somewhere, I no longer immediately say “no”.  I simply think the word “no” while I consider the offer and then try to make it work so that I can say “yes”.)  I felt weird bringing my own personal salad and eating that in front of a bunch of new people (it seemed snobbish and stand-offish…yes that’s a word).  I ate some delicious pulled-chicken and some beef brisket, a very small portion of potato salad, some Tostitos with about 2 tablespoons of dip, and some veggies with hummus.  Then I had a bite of a brownie and a small rice-crispy treat.  I only drank water.  I am putting down 1,000 calories as my total game-time consumption, but I think it was less than that.

Not too bad, considering all the temptation that was there.  My strategy was to avoid the kitchen and drink as much water as I could possibly hold without causing myself to slosh audibly.  Success!  On the plus side, I had a great time and met some fun new people.

Currently:

Listening:  “Rocks and Daggers” ny Noah and the Whale

Eating:  2 hard-boiled eggs.

Drinking:  coffee…mmmm…

Wearing:  camel colored trousers, black sweater, black shoes.

Feeling: like working out (could possibly be feeling this as it would be avoiding actual work).

Weather: sunny (nice change from the crazy fog an hour ago) and about 30 degrees.

Wanting: to get a good night’s sleep.  It has been too long.

Needing: to make a chiropractor appointment.

Thinking:  about all the things I could be doing if I wasn’t at work (gotta love Mondays).

Enjoying:  that I have already lost 10.2 pounds!  Of course, I have yet to see the effects of the Superbowl festivities.

Morning Snapshot

I thought I’d mix it up a bit with a morning post.

It took me a very long time to fall asleep last night, so I did not get up with my 5:30 alarm.  I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to do the 1.5 hours of Yoga after work, rather than getting it out of the way this morning.  I re-set my alarm for 7:00.

Today is day 4 of my 90-day challenge.  It seems like I have been doing this for so much longer.  Dinner last night was a challenge.  I had a business dinner out at a restaurant.  While everyone else enjoyed their beer and wine and snacked on spinach dip I sat there drinking mass amounts of water with lime.  I was hoping that if I kept drinking the water, I wouldn’t want the dip.  The water kept me from being hungry, but I still wanted that dip.  I persevered, however, and left the restaurant having only consumed a 5 oz steak, steamed broccoli, and 4 gallons of lime water (approximately).

Currently:

Listening:  “New Slang” by The Shins.

Eating:  Hard boiled egg and coffee for breakfast, broccoli and hummus for snack.

Drinking:  coffee and high quality H2O.

Wearing:  black trousers, grey long-sleeved t-shirt and purple v-neck blouse, black shoes.

Feeling: relieved that I can do my walk at lunch and eat the food I brought.  I was almost required to take some people out to lunch and drive them to the airport.

Weather: sunny and 36 degrees.

Wanting: for my dad to get better right now.

Needing: to buy more soap from the store.

Thinking:  about borrowing some cardio intense workout DVDs from somebody.

Enjoying:  watching the number on the scale decrease!  I just love the first days of a new diet when the pounds melt off my body.

Just call me “Jello Arms”

Only 87 more days to go!  Yes, I am exclaiming this with a bit of sarcasm.  Actually things are going pretty well.  I managed to get out of bed this morning (even though it was 30 minutes later than I had planned) and got in a workout before heading to the office.  I didn’t leave myself enough time to do my abs, so I will do that when I get home tonight.

I have to say that I am not as sore as I expected.  Don’t get me wrong, I have to move carefully, and it hurts to laugh, but it isn’t quite as bad as the last time I attempted this workout routine.  My biggest complaint is that I have absolutely no strength in my arms.  They feel like jello.  I couldn’t even hold my coffee mug in the car this morning.  Cheers to muscle fatigue!

I haven’t made it into the gym yet, but I also haven’t skipped any workouts.  I have just been enjoying the nice weather outside instead of the inside of the gym.  I’m sure that I will make it to the gym once the weather turns nasty and my gym buddy returns.  Are you ready, Friend Jenny?

Currently:

Listening:  “Brown Trout Blues” by Johnny Flynn.  (I love me some Johnny Flynn)

Eating:  NOT chicken.  Shrimp with a salsa/guacamole mixture on a bed of lettuce.  YUM!

Drinking:  high quality H2O.

Wearing:  black pants, black cami with a white sweater over it, black shoes.

Feeling: like I need to jazz up my water.  Perhaps some lime (to prevent scurvy, right?)

Weather: sunny and breezy.  Upper 50s.

Wanting: to be outside soaking up as much of this sunshine as possible.

Needing: to save up some mad cash for my April vacation.

Thinking:  about how I am going to avoid going overboard at dinner tonight (first time at a restaurant on my new diet).

Enjoying:  the fact that my car seems to be working just fine.  It was touch and go for awhile.

Eat less chicken

Another day…another blog.  I don’t have too much to say except that I have successfully completed the first day of the 90-day challenge.  The muscle soreness from yesterday’s exertions is just now starting to creep up on me.  Still, I am excited to get home from work and do my P90X for today (Cardio X, baby!).

Currently:

Listening:  “All the Kings Horses” by Matthew Perryman Jones, playing on Pandora.  OOH!  It just changed to “He Doesn’t Know Why” by Fleet Foxes.

Eating:  a salad with leftover salsa chicken.

Drinking:  high quality H2O (what else?)

Wearing:  camel colored trousers (I just really wanted to type trousers), brown 3/4 length v-neck sweater. Brown Njorns, again.

Feeling: a little sore.  Yesterday’s P90X is starting to creep up on me.

Weather: windy and cloudy, but still in the mid 60s.  I’ll take it!

Wanting: to be at home so I can finish my workouts for the day.

Needing: to stop blogging and get back to work!  Also, to get to the store so I can eat something besides salsa chicken tomorrow.

Thinking:  about how I stayed away from the birthday cake in the office today.  Go me!

Enjoying:  making some vacation plans.

Guess Who?

Yes, folks, it is true.  After an extended hiatus from the blogging world I have come back.  Try to contain your excitement.

Perhaps you are wondering what prompted me to come back.  It was friend Jenny (by the way, that is the shout-out I promised you Jenny).  She has been pestering me asking me when I would start blogging again.

Actually, she helped me realize that I was a much happier person when I was blogging.  I use this blog more as a journal, but it helped me make goals and stick with them.  I was losing weight when I was blogging.  I was exercising when I was blogging.  I was saving money and keeping a clean and organized apartment when I was blogging.

My life post-blog has meant that I am not exercising…at all.  I have gained weight.  You get the picture.  So I am re-entering the blogging world and starting a new 90-day challenge to get myself back on track.

My 90-day challenge consists dieting nd exercise.  I am attempting P90x yet again (I know, I know).  This time, though, I will have Stephie to keep me accountable.  She and I are both starting this program today.

To finish the blog today, I will give you a snapshot of me “currently”.  This is a new format that I plan to journal in and will incorporate it into my blog.  It is just a brief snapshot of me, right now.

Currently:

Listening:  Johnny Flynn radio station on Pandora.  “The General” by Dispatch is playing.

Eating:  Salsa Chicken with Turnip greens for lunch.

Drinking:  High quality H2O

Wearing:  My fat khakis, brown long-sleeved top with a cream colored short-sleeved top over it. Brown Bjorns.

Feeling: like I really need to get to the chiropractor.  My neck and back are a wreck and I am getting headaches again.

Weather: is absolutely gorgeous!  Sunny and mid 60s.

Wanting: to be rid of this headache

Needing: a Chiropractic adjustment

Thinking:  I really should have gotten my butt out of bed to do my P90X this morning / about my car that was having some issues this morning…hopefully the new battery is the fix for it.

Enjoying:  This lovely weather!

The Sun is Lazy

I’ve decided the sun is just lazy.  I mean, if I can get up at 5:00 in the morning and get a run in before the sun even makes an appearance you know it is just lazy.

The past two weeks have been really good.  I have stuck to my goals almost perfectly.  I say almost.  I have cheated twice.  On Sunday I had a fabulous meal with family and allowed myself to have wine with the meal.  Not too terrible, but then I also allowed myself to have shortcake with berries and cream and chocolate.  I have no excuses for my behavior and only offer this:  IT WAS DELICIOUS!

FYI…no one is allowed to publicly shame me or punch me in the arm for this indiscretion as it was not actually witnessed by any of you.  And no, Kendra, you can not punch me in the baby-maker either.

I have been doing really well on my P90X and stairs and diet this month.  I just started cardio back up this week, and it is going just okay for now.  It is amazing how much endurance you lose with just a few weeks off.  I also haven’t managed to hit the gym for sauna time at all.  I am hoping to remedy that for the 2nd half of the month.  So far I have lost half of the weight that I regained in my 2 or so months of laziness and indulgence.  I hope to have all of it off by the end of this month, then I will allow myself to get back on my bike.  I am not letting myself ride it until I do and I miss it!

I am headed to Houston this evening for a family wedding over the weekend.  I am very excited about seeing my family and having a four day weekend.  Most of my extended family arrived in Houston earlier this morning.  It wasn’t long before my nephew noticed I wasn’t among the visitors, so he gave me a call.  “Why aren’t you here yet?”, he demanded.  Literally, demanded.  He was so angry.  I explained to him that I was at work and that my plane will come in later tonight.  “Oh, okay”, he replied.  A nice simple explanation for that 7-year old boy was all it took.  I was amazed and hung up the phone laughing.  I am very much looking forward to spending time with him and his brother and sister.

Alrighty, enough rambling.  Later gators!

Confession

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Forgive me friends, for I have not been diligent in my weight-loss efforts.  Forgive me, self, for letting me down.

I haven’t stepped on a scale in quite some time.  The reason?  I knew that I had gained a considerable amount of weight and I figured that if I didn’t see the number, then I was okay.  Well, I stepped on the scale yesterday, and I am NOT okay. 

I know you are asking how it is possible to gain a considerable amount of weight while one is training for and participating in triathlons.  Well, let me tell you.  Towards the end of May, my good diet came to a screeching halt when I let myself get out of hand and blamed it on all my travels.  At the same time my training scaled back quite a bit.  I was still training, but not like I had been up to that point.  Think “maintenance” instead of “improvement”.  I was doing just enough to get by.  Well, it has all caught up to me and I am just sick over it (not really, but I wouldn’t say no to a stomach virus right now).

The number on the scale plus the fact that a cute new dress that I bought just a couple months ago no longer fits me (I mean, I can get it on but it is rather snarsage-like) means that I MUST get back on track.  Enter the August goal.  EAT RIGHT, EXERCISE, LOSE WEIGHT!!!!!

Here is my plan of attack: 

  • P90X classic routine (subbing Cardio-X for Plyometrics so that my downstairs neighbor doesn’t have me kicked out),
  • Some form of triathlon related cardio 6 days a week (running, biking, swimming..focus on running),
  • Cleansing diet recommended by nutritionist (no gluten, alcohol, sugar, or dairy…keep telling self it is just one month)***allowed to break for cousin’s wedding***
  • Sauna 3 days a week for at least 20 minutes
  • Climb the steps at work 2 times for each hour I am at work.

Pretty good plan, huh?  Even better, is that I will be so busy that I won’t have time to go out and spend a bunch of money.  I really need to put my spending on a freeze.  Especially since I am looking at a fabulous week in Northern California September!

Friends…I apologize now for being lame during the month of August.  Please don’t exclude me from plans, though.  I will make an excellent designated driver and documentarian (that’s a word, right?).  For those of you who need to be lame like me, let’s hang.  We can drink water, talk Tony Horton, and go for a jog…followed by more water and maybe (dare I suggest it?), a movie in!  Crazy!

If you catch me breaking any of my rules above, a punch in the arm is appropriate and well deserved…or a public shaming…just not both.

 

 

 

The One Where I Start Blogging Again

I went to Cardinals’ game with a friend yesterday.  Somehow, in the sweltering heat and between drops of sweat rolling down our backs, she managed to get enough strength and focus to shame me into blogging again.  I have meant to update my blog for sometime now, but I just haven’t gotten around to it.  While I was training for my first triathlon, I was actually keeping another blog…and two blogs just got to be too much.  I am back down to one, though.  Let the updates commence.

First, you might notice that my blog looks different.  No?  Well, let me assure you it does.  In honor of le Tour de France, I have changed my theme to Chateau.  I think it is fitting.  Plus, it’s pretty.  I love watching the Tour.  It is exciting and inspiring and, occasionally, horrific (yesterday’s crashes). 

Second, I am officially 29.1 years old.  That’s right, I have decided to 29.1, instead of 30.  My birthday was fabulous.  Celebrations lasted for a week.  I had a fancy dinner with my parents, brother, and my Uncle and his family.  That was two days before my birthday.  Then we had another dinner the day before my birthday.  My parents had to head back home on my actual birthday, but my TNT friends took me out for some celebrations that night.  Thursday was dinner with my good friend Kylie.  Friday was dinner and drinks with “the girls” (in quotes because Thom and David were there too).  Saturday kept on rockin’ with some Fair St. Louis action, and Sunday was almost perfect.  I managed to score backstage passes to the Maroon 5 concert (thank you Engmans).  I got a group of fun peeps together and we headed downtown, where it proceeded to thunder, lightning, rain, and windgust like mad.  The concert was cancelled!  My plans of stealing Adam Levine’s clothes and running like a mad woman were dashed!  Instead I watched Steel Magnolias, and A Knight’s Tale with my cousin while we drowned our sorrows in homemade brownies.  Also, the people at my work got together and decorated my cubicle with tin foil and gave me this present:

My faux-autographed picture of Robert Pattinson

My Napa trip was absolutely fantastic.  We were 6 girls in a blue minivan (affectionately known as Bessie) having a blast!  We visited some fantastic wineries…and some not so fantastic ones.  We ate a lot of really great food…and a little not so great food (ahem: crappy Chinese restaurant).  And of course there was wine in abundance and inappropriate jokes (also in abundance).  Seriously y’all, we had an incredible trip.  I will have to dig out my journal and do a proper post on the whole experience. 

Finally, I will talk about my BIG triathlon.  As I mentioned, my parents came in town especially for this.  It was great to see them and spend time with them.  They got in on Thursday, and we were to leave on Friday for Innsbrook, where we had a condo.  (Backstory:  I had been having trouble with my foot since my last long training run about 2 weeks prior to event weekend).  I woke up on Friday and could barely walk.  My bottom of my foot hurt so bad!  So, we made an emergency trip to sports injury doctors prior to heading out of town.  After several minutes of poking and prodding the doctor determines the issue.  He then proceeds to torture me with graston.  I’m serious here, it was torture.  I’m not convinced it is even legal.  Basically the doctor took a smooth metal tool and some kind of lotion-y stuff and proceeded to use the tool to scrape along the bottom of my foot and up my calf.  It hurt so bad and left me with visible bruises on my leg.  Magically, though, I could walk without any pain when he was done.  My parents and I got to the condo where we were met by Friend Jenny and Friend Kendra.  We basically had dinner and then went to bed.  The next morning I woke up with a slight ache in my foot.  I knew it would only get worse, so I made the tough decision to drop from the full distance to the half-distance.  After I got my transition area set-up and got ready to start I was amazed to see all the people who came out to support me!  I have the most wonderful friends and family ever.  In addition to my parents, Jenny and Kendra, Stephie was there, and Kylie and Dave, and my Uncle and Aunt and their 3 kids.  They were all there, with signs, to cheer me on the whole time.

This is me (green swim cap on the right) and my family and friends pre-race

 

The actual triathlon part was a lot of fun…after about the 5th mile of the bike portion.  I didn’t feel very well during all of the swim and the first part of the bike.  Thankfully, though, it all went away and I wa able to finish strong.  I did have to walk a good portion of the run because my foot was in pain, but I still beat my goal time by almost two minutes!

The friends and the signs

The above picture is post-race.  I will have more pictures to share as soon as my dad learns how to get pictures off of his camera and onto the computer!  Post-race was an absolute blast.  We had a lunch for all the supporters, and, when they all vacated, I took a nap.  After the nap was the victory dinner with my TNT peeps…and we kept the party going all night.  I had so much fun, and so did my dad.  He was the life of the party! 

That’s it for the updates.  In July I am looking forward to competing in two more triathlons (New Town and Ballwin), going to the Fleet Foxes concert, and going to the midnight release of Harry Potter!

I took a break from goal-making for a couple weeks…but I have decided that later is better than never.  I am recycling last year’s July goal.  A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise 6 days a week.  I really want to improve my cycling abilities and I have a 1/2 marathon I need to train for!  This goal should help me with both of those.

Sorry for the super long post…but it’s been awhile.  I’ll try to do better about posting more frequently.  Later!

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