Friday, March 30, 2012

Endings and beginnings

So Wednesday night was the party at Chick-Fil-A for the Slimdown Challenge. We got the announcement of the results from our final weigh-in and the winner. I ended up in last place with 11 pounds lost overall and a total of 15 inches lost. I ended up having a bad gain (9 pounds) due to bloating and monthly timing. It would fall on that week wouldn't it??? The overall winner was Mike. He lost 52 pounds and over 30 inches! I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was hellaciously impressive.

The party was fun and I was even happier because my parents came down from Wyoming to be there for it. Dad had surgery just a month ago and has been going stir crazy. He was glad for an excuse to not only get out of the house, but out of the state! Even if it was just for a day. A friend/coworker came to the party as well as my boyfriend. There were a lot of people there. There were our guests, the families of the ladies who had put together the contest, our trainers and their spouses. It was kind of crowded in that little restaurant

As soon as I can I will post my before and after photos from the contest. I got a nice set that I can put on my mantle or something. Until I saw the pictures I didn't realize how much I had lost. I can really see it in my face, but my body looks narrower. Until I can get them up though, here are these:

The 2012 Slimdown Challenge Contests and Leaders. From Left to Right: Rob, Melanie, Theresa, Laura, Angela, Debbie, David, Me, Tyler, Megan, Mike, Bridget.

My trainer Sandy and I

Now I am wondering what to do in some ways. All I can do is keep on keepin' on, but it helped so much to have goals and focus point the last 9 weeks. Granted my goals were still vague, but they were there. But I am off to such a good start and already feel so much better, that I can't lose the ground I have gained in this journey.

Here are the goals I have so far:
1) Make it at least 3 times a week to the gym for a minimum of 30 minutes. I have found that if I go for 30, I will usually just make it 60 because I am already there and in a groove.
2) Keep up the jogging I have started!
3) Meet with Sandy at least once a month!! Having a trainer is so worth the money. That and Sandy is just awesome! I love her.
4) Keep logging my food in my daily food journal, and exercise too

I have more that I need to work on. I am thinking of doing a list of 32 by 32. I turn 31 in June so there's no point in doing 31 by 31! I just need to figure out 32 goals!! I started a list a few nights ago, and it is hard! There are other goals besides fitness on there, but they will make up a good deal of the list I am sure.

What have I done so far to keep up the good work? I made it to the gym this morning and worked out for about 45 minutes. I have to say I am damn proud of what I accomplished too!

I walk/jogged a mile and half on the track

I jogged half of it.

I jogged 4 laps without stopping to walk.

I leg pressed 110 pounds today...up 40 pounds from when I started with Sandy. And from how it felt I will be adding more weight soon!

I am feeling good....real good....and I never thought I would say this....EVER....I am enjoying jogging right now. And for those who know me well, you know how big that statement is coming from me!

With that, I am off to bed! Have a great weekend!


Inspirational quote: "The only thing I can change is myself, but sometimes that makes all the difference." Unknown

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Clean eating challenge - Day 6

I thought I would do a general update on this week and the clean eating challenge. Mostly it has been a pain in the arse. Without having had time to plan and cook foods ahead of time I have been flying by the seat of my pants. I have eaten a lot of Amy's Organic brand frozen foods. Mostly her burritos. I have tried a few other things that I really didn't care for. I really should know better too. I know I don't like tofu or cooked spinach, so why buy things that have them in it??? I guess I just got caught up in the excitement of trying something new and trying to stay on the positive side.

Overall the foods I am eating are good. I am eating a lot of stuff I already like anyways. Nuts, berries, spinach salads, oatmeal, and eggs. I went to Sprouts Farmer's Market today and I just have to say I LOVE Sprouts. Their produce is phenomenal and there is always something on a decent sale. We spent around $30 and I got a ton of food. Avocados, a couple pounds of oranges and apples, blackberries, blueberries, and I am just drooling over this fruit. I also picked up some stuff I hadn't tried today. I got some quinoa and goat cheese. Sprouts has a nice section of bulk foods and the quinoa is so much cheaper out of the bulk bins than prepackaged. By around $2/lb! So I bought a little of that to try. As for the goat cheese, I have no idea what the difference is between the log of goat cheese I bought and feta to be honest. They both of have kind of the same bite, but a bit different texture. I tried the goat cheese a little bit ago and I was pleasantly surprised by it. It has a sharp bite, is very rich, crumbly, but creamy. It went very well with the sweet blackberries I bought. I had to stop myself from eating the whole package of blackberries. I could easily make myself sick on them I love them so much.

So here are some things I have tried this week that I have liked and will probably keep buying in the future:

Dark chocolate goodness
- Almond milk - both chocolate and vanilla flavors. I but the Silk Pure Almond brand. Both flavors are very rich. The vanilla almost tastes like a shake. I can't wait to try it in a smoothie tomorrow!

-Steel cut oats - a bit heartier and more flavorful than regular quick oats. They have a more nutty taste.

-Goat cheese - surprisingly delicious. I just wish I knew why I could have goat cheese and not regular cheese, but I am not complaining. At least I still get some cheese!!

-Amy's Organic - I am not a big advocate of eating organic for several reasons, but these are surprisingly least some of them are. There are a couple that were disgusting in my mind.

Epic spinach and tofu fail! YUCK! I only ate 2 bites.
- Natural Peanut Butter - I have never had natural peanut butter and it is a bit different texture than I am used to. I tried the Earth Balance brand...and since it is a "treat" for me this week I got some made with coconut oil. Just on the spoon this tastes like candy! It is very rich! But with an apple it is a semi-tropical treat. I like it

And while I have enjoyed some things about this challenge, and bitched most heartily about it general, I will be glad when it is done on Monday. I have lots of yummy things in the fridge to try. We picked up some sausages at Sprouts today as well. They make them all in house everyday. So we have some Chicken Italian Parmesan, Chicken apple, and Pork English bangers. I do love trying new foods.

And no I am not hungry (at the moment)....I'm just missing eating meat!


Also, I have to add this. I NEEDED to go jeans shopping Friday morning after work. Thanks to how my thighs rub together right now I wore through the thighs of one of my last pair of wearable jeans. I was not happy because I loved that pair! So I went to Lane Bryant to see what they had since there was a massive sale going on today.

I bought 2 pairs of jeans.

Both size 22s.

The last time I tried on jeans at Lane Bryant I was trying on 26s because 24s were just too snug.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New challenge: Clean eating

Ok. I am going to get this all out before I crash from a 12 hour shift at work. 

So this week at weigh-in our nutritionist offered up a challenge for this next week. It is voluntary to participate, but the winner gets a $100 gift card to the mall here. Sounds pretty nice, right? Well the challenge this week is eating clean. Everything we eat this week is supposed to be foods that are as close to the source as possible. Nuts, seeds, grains, fruits and veggies (fresh, frozen, or canned). Nothing processed or refined. No meat. No cheese or dairy. For any of you who know me, I am a carnivore. I love meat. I love my cheese and milk. So this is a big challenge for me. I didn't think that it would be that big of a deal really. I like trying new foods and some of the stuff I can eat are things I have been wanting to try, so this seems like as good a time as any to try them out.

Here are the details of the contest:

Everything we eat is on a points scale. The closer to being a "whole food" the fewer points. We want to be as close to 0 at the end of the week as possible. Here are some examples (this is straight from the email we got later in the night):

You will receive 0 points for food that are whole and not processed, other than blending or mashing.
You will receive 1 point for minimally processed foods.
You will receive 2 points for processed food with additives.
You will receive 3 points for rebellious foods.  (foods that you cant even identify the source at all)

0 Point Foods
Fresh or frozen fruits
Fresh or frozen vegetables
Nuts and nut butters with no sweeteners
Whole grains - steel cut oats, barley, amaranth, quinoa,, brown rice and any other whole grain in its original form.
Good fats - cold pressed oils including olive oil, grape seed oil
Protein powder, no additives and only sweetened with fruit sweeteners (technically this minimally processed, but I will allow for 0 points)
Vegetable broth
Canned vegetables with no additives or sweeteners.
Almond, coconut or rice milk

1 Point Foods - Minimally processed
Sweeteners - honey, stevia, maple syrup, molasses, agave
Whole grain bread, not enriched - wheat, rice, teff, sprouted grains
Whole grain tortillas, not enriched - wheat, rice, teff, sprouted grains, corn
Whole grain pasta, not enriched - wheat, rice, sprouted
Meat & fish- whole cuts, not processed and lean
Dried, unsweetened fruit
Juice made at home with no added sweeteners

2 Point Foods
Ground meats
Prepared, frozen foods
Health Bars, protein or meal replacement
Cheese, low fat
Milk - cow
Sour cream
Sweeteners - brown sugar, raw sugar
Dark chocolate

3 Point Foods
Sweet breads
White breads and pastas
Little Debbie anything
Anything from a gas station
I think you get the idea.....

The exception to this is our meal from Chick-fil-a. That does not count against us in this contest. So basically the only meat I will have this next week is in a chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a, if I don't go get breakfast after work. And after 7 weeks of eating Chick-fil-a 6 days a week, I am more than a little tired of chicken!!! I foresee a LONG week.

Last night wasn't so bad. I found out I was able to get Amy's Organic brand of frozen burritos (they are minimally processed) and take those with me for dinner. I also got some chocolate almond milk. Both were surprisingly good. The problems came when I got up last night to get ready for work. I wasn't able to shop Tuesday morning after work because I trained with my trainer for an hour. After that I was dead and just wanted to sleep. I had all kinds of issues last night wandering the grocery store.

1)  Eating this way is EXPENSIVE. For any vegans/vegetarians/health nuts out there, I am glad you make enough money to feed yourselves this way. For example. I couldn't find quinoa at King Soopers so I figured I would try another grain, Amaranth. I left it there. A 2 cup bag of whole organic amaranth costs $9!!! No way in hell am I going to try and work that into my food budget this week! Where I just found out about this Monday night I had no opportunity to look at ads and see who has the best deal. I am hoping to get to Sprouts later this week and buy some grains from their bulk area.

2) Eating this way takes a lot of preparation. Buying veggies and cutting them up when you get home so they are all prepared and ready for eating/cooking. Making a crockpot of steel cut oats so you don't have to boil them for 30 minutes. Meal planning so you can plan what you need at the store and how much prep time you need. Grains take time to cook. Where I work four 10 hr. shifts on the night shift I am pretty dead all week long. This means my first chance to prep for this week is Saturday! That doesn't work so well when I need to get through Tuesday-Friday!!

3) Eggs are going to be my friend and go to protein in this. I know there are sources of protein, but eggs are easy. I think tofu is disgusting (yes I have tried it, and no i don't like it.). I do want to try quinoa. As for beans and legumes, well Beano was created for a reason!

I am frustrated right now too. I tried doing some research on this last night and all the clean eating stuff I could find had recipes containing MEAT and CHEESE!! What the hell?!?!? I feel like I am being cheated.

And with that I am going to go to bed. I am making the choice her to go get some precious sleep instead of bitching about my challenge that feels like a diet punishment.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pride and the importance of having a trainer

I really wish I had been with it enough to post this blog yesterday morning after my workout with my trainer, but I was dead after work and working out. It also didn't help I was still on the edge emotionally after my workout. It was a great workout, and Sandy definitely knows how and when to push me. She definitely pushed me and we reached a major milestone yesterday.

I hate running. I always have and probably always will. I can think of a million other things I would rather do than run. Part of me even wants to say I would rather go through a double root canal again than run. But having done a double root canal, I think it might be a toss up as to which sucks more in my mind. That being said, I admire runners. I admire those (even though I think they are bat-shit crazy) who run for fun as well as health. Especially those that regularly run 5Ks and 10Ks. Although I think Marathoners are their own breed of crazy. Who willingly puts themselves through that?!? And being overweight most of my life, especially the last 10 years, I would love to have the ability to run. To be able to jog a mile or two for a workout and not feel like my I am going to die. To not have every bone in my body ache the day after a jog would be incredible. Well yesterday Sandy had me jog for the first time in about 13 years when I was a junior in high school.

Sandy had me working on upper body strength training and then said we were headed upstairs to the track to do intervals. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't jogging. We walked about half a lap, jogged about a third, walked a third, jogged some more, walked a quarter, and jogged about half. I was pretty happy with that and feeling good. I told Sandy as we headed down to work on my lower body strength training that that was my first time jogging and she said that was good and we would have to do it some more. Me and my big mouth! The last thing we did for the day was to head back upstairs and take one last lap on the track. I jogged a full lap on the track without stopping!! When we finished the lap Sandy gave me the biggest hug and I couldn't help tearing up. It was more than I expected of myself. When I pulled back there were tears in her eyes too. I know we talked and she said how proud she was of me and then she had to go meet with her next client. Its a blur because I was so tired for one, and because I was in shock. I wish I had could say I had been thinking on that lap. But I can't. I just did it. I remember in high school having all kinds of hateful thoughts towards my coaches and running, but yesterday I just went with it. I am so proud of myself that I can't even begin to say. It shows just how far I have come in just two months.

There is something to be said for having a trainer. Sandy does stuff to me I would never willingly do to myself. And I will teasingly tell her no, but I don't fight her (too hard) on most things she wants me to do. I am doing this for myself (and the blasted contest), and I am getting stronger. I am feeling so much better physically and mentally. I know that I will hate her later (like right now due to very sore legs and arms!) but everything she does is worth it. She knows when to push me, when to back off, and always tries something new. I could go on and on about how awesome she is and how much I appreciate what she has done. And after the contest is over I will be making a point to still workout with her. Yes, personal training sessions are a bit expensive, but I never realized until working out with her how valuable it can be. I always thought personal trainers were for those training for marathons and the like. Not true! I attribute a good portion of my success so far this year to having Sandy helping me.

For those out there wondering if you should get a personal trainer or not all I can say is look into it. A trainer has so much to offer. Accountability is a big one for me. Also they help make sure you have good form, that you are using the correct weights, and mixing it up to keep you from getting bored. The biggest thing for me though is Sandy is one of my biggest motivators. On days like yesterday when I walk in feeling very down about my fitness and weight loss, she reminds me of how far I have come. She also pushes me to go just a little bit farther and do 20 reps when I would have easily stopped at 12.

If you do decide to look into different trainers at your gym here are some of my tips:

1) Find someone who has a similar personality. You won't get good results if you get someone who is more drill sergeant and you do better with gentle encouragement.

2) Make sure they understand your physical limitations and strengths. What are you good at? Do you have back/knee problems? You don't want someone who will ignore these things and tell you to work through the pain. Pain isn't good!

3) Make sure you are on the same page with fitness goals. No need to be training for a marathon if you just want to look good in a bikini!


Now a couple quick questions for you all:

I feel like I should be posting more pictures or something. Do you want to see pictures? What of?

Is there anything in particular you want me to write about? What I'm eating? What I wish I was eating? (Mmmm steak)

Any and all suggestions are welcome!

Whew....and for those that made it through this post here is a motivational poster I found to be funny:

Reader question: What milestones have you reached?