Month: March 2017

Weekly Recap and Weigh-In

Ok, so I might have overreached just a wee bit.

It looks like my dream of posting three times a week and all that other fancy blog stuff I had planned might not be happening for a while.  I do plan on keeping a weekly entry for my personal use (and the other four people who will most likely read it) but I don’t see actually getting much of a blog schedule going right now.  So much has changed over the past two weeks!

I received a terrific (and surprising) promotion at work!

It just so happens I start my new job…on a new team..the same day I start my MBA classes.

In addition, I managed to get selected for a really amazing project in my PMP class.  However, even though it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever worked on it’s also very time consuming…and very intimidating.

So…I’ll work on the website sometime around mid-2019.  😉

But enough about that for now and on to the weigh in and the recap from last week!

Lets get the bad news out of the way first.

(Like how I made the picture black and white so you can only see about 90% of my horrible paint job?)

I’m still at this stupid 226 number that I can’t seem to get past these days.  I’m, technically, down half a pound since last week so I suppose it could be worse.  I’m still trying to focus more on getting back on track and less on what the scale says.  I worked out three times last week and was under my calorie goal 5/7 days and only had one real “binge” episode.  It isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly an improvement.

So far, this week has gone really well.  I made a really cute Weekly Health Tracker printable to put in my bullet journal and have managed to stick to it for THREE ENTIRE DAYS (I haven’t filled out Wednesday, but I will be doing that shortly).

After my epiphany about gym anxiety I canceled all my memberships and started riding my spin bike and doing Fitness Blender workouts at home.  Just a week or so after I canceled, Cliff we decided to invest in an elliptical for our home gym and I couldn’t be happier with it!

Why yes that IS Willow from Buffy.

I’m so sad that the happiness of watching this only lasted two episodes.  I still adore the show but it just isn’t workout material.

Having an elliptical at home again has really helped us step up our exercise game.  It makes it  much easier to exercise when all I have to do is walk into the basement and do whatever workout we want whenever we want.  It saves a ton of time (which isn’t something I have a lot of these days).

Speaking of saving time, we signed up for Hello Fresh!

We just finished our second week and our third shipment will be here on Friday.  So far we’ve made:

I have loved every single one of these recipes!  We’ve both had foods we’ve never had before (or foods we’ve never cared for in the past like peso and cooked kale).  My favorites were the Sweet-as-honey Chicken and the Mustard Pork Chops, but the rest are about evenly delicious.  I even roasted my first-ever chicken!  All of the recipes were surprisingly easy and brought back a passion for the kitchen that I haven’t felt since before I went back to school (almost 4 years ago!)  The portions are perfect for two people and the ingredients are very high quality.  I would highly recommend Hello Fresh to anyone looking to save time on home cooked meals or just looking to change things up a little.  We’ve both been super impressed!

Oh, and we painted some pictures this weekend.

That’s pretty much it for this week.  Next week I’ll have some really exciting stuff to share.

We’re headed to see Neal deGrasse Tyson at the Louisville Palace tomorrow night and I’m painting my bedroom this weekend.

(The levels of excitement between the show and getting to paint are closer than you might think).

Friday Faves

I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that I’m a little bit of a list fanatic.  Lists are my answer to everything.  Taking a trip to an unknown place?  Make a list.  House needs to be cleaned?  Make a list.  Feeling overwhelmed in ANY capacity?  Make a list.

You get the picture.

So it was only natural to start a series based on lists.

Welcome to Friday Faves where I will discuss some of my favorites things each week. This week we’ll be talking about five of my favorite health and fitness blogs.  Each of these sites has been a tremendous help to me over the years and they are always at the top of my list of suggestions whenever someone asks me how they can get healthy or lose weight.

I decided to order these by when I discovered them because it’s impossible to pick a true favorite among the five.

#1 – Runs for Cookies

Runs for cookies is about the life of Katie Foster who lost 125 pounds through running and dietary changes that worked for her.  I began reading Katie’s blog in mid-2013 and have followed her accomplishments and struggles for almost four years now. Katie’s promise to herself to not make any changes she wasn’t willing to stick with for the rest of her life was a train of thought that really stuck with me.  It gave me hope to know I wouldn’t have to give up all my favorite foods in order to be healthy.  She has an amazing “everything in moderation” approach that has been super beneficial for me and countless others.

Cliff and I were even fortunate enough to appear in her 100th edition of Motivational Monday!  You can read our story and so many awesome others here.

Katie is also a member of the Ragnar Relay team recently featured in the documentary From Fat to Finish Line and is responsible for my current obsession of running a Ragnar once I’ve built my base back up.

#2 – Hungry Runner Girl

I’m starting to feel like HRG is a household name in the fitness world.  It could also be that I stalk follow her on all my social media because her life is crazy interesting.

Janae is one of the most open people I’ve ever met…without actually meeting. She has an amazing way of making thousands of people feel like they’re her best friend.  When I first started reading her blog I felt like she was a super hero.  I spent weeks going back and reading every single post she had written over the years and was blown away at her ability to overcome any obstacle life threw at her.  She has been instrumental in helping me to take a more positive approach to my own fitness struggles.

in the beginning, I read her blog to learn more about the technical components of running and how to continuously improve.  Now I read her blog because she inspires me to be a better person in general.

#3 – Skinnytaste

You know all that food prep I’m constantly talking about?  90% of those recipes come from Gina.  Her Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole is a top 3 meal for me (I replace the Italian sausage with chorizo).  I really want to read more of her actual content, but I can’t seem to get passed the amazing array of delicious (and healthy) recipes!  If you’re looking for a great source of what I’ve dubbed “bridge recipes” (comfort foods with a healthy spin) then look no further than Skinnytaste.

#4 – Yoga with Adriene 

With all the stress of the past 18 months, I really needed something to calm my mind.  I knew yoga could be super beneficial, but it was also equally intimidating for me.  I’m not…bendy enough for yoga.  I tried a couple of classes and just felt really out of place.

Enter Adriene and her mantra of “Find what feels good.”

Her laid back approach made me completely fall in love with yoga.  Her 30 Days of Yoga series is my jam

Actually, I think I might just go ahead and do that again…

#5 – Fitness Blender

Fitness Blender has quickly become one my most used websites.  Now that I’ve been cleared to get back into running, I’ll be using them even more for cross-training days.  They have a HUGE collection of FREE home workouts for every fitness level.  In addition to their free workouts, they have several plans available for purchase (at the super reasonable price of $14.99).

They also have a blog where they share information about health and fitness and announce new program releases.  As is the theme with all my other favorites, they have a very low stress approach and are great at making you feel like a badass while you’re working out with them.

.*Disclaimer – I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they are simply a few of the tools I’ve used along our journey.  

Comeback Kid

A friend sent me a very bittersweet text today.

Facebook reminded her that, 2 years ago today, we ran our first 5K together.  That was also the first time I had ran an entire 5K without stopping and killed my goal time.

That reminder would have stung a whole lot worse if I hadn’t just received some amazing news.

Guess who just finished their first run in…umm..I really don’t know how long to be honest.

This gal.

Cliff and I just finished Day 1 of Couch to 5k.  It was perfect to help get me back into the swing of things.  My physical therapist released me last night as long as I agreed to take it super slow and to only do jog/walk intervals for no more than 20 minutes.

It makes a ton of sense that the first time I’m told I can run in months and this is what it looks like outside.

We managed to make it about 2 miles in the the time limit, so I’ll take it.  I am still kind of sore, but it’s hard to tell if it’s my brain being a big fat liar or my body just not being used to the movements anymore.  My PT and I have talked a lot about the mental aspect of chronic pain and I’ve started reading books about meditation and mindfulness.  It’s amazing how your brain will trick you.

Always remember one thing.  Your brain is a total asshole.

There are numerous studies showing that meditation is one of the most effective ways of managing chronic pain and illness.  The study below focuses primarily on low back, neck, and shoulder pain.  It reported that, after 10 weeks of practice, 65% of patients showed more than a 33% improvement in pain and over half had a decrease of more than 50%.

If nothing else, it certainly can’t hurt to try.  I already know that certain mindful practices help with anxiety, so there’s really no con to stepping up my game.

I have the rest of the week mapped out and I’m actually feeling really good about things.  I would love it if I could just walk out my door tomorrow and run a 5K, but my sore bum tells me that’s probably not going to happen.  I’m ok with that though and I’m ready to face a long, tough road of getting back to where I was.  I know none of this is ever going to be easy for Cliff and I, but I refuse to give up and I’m determined to find my own perfect…whatever size or weight that might be.