Challenge Update – 2 months in

I’ve been really quiet, but that doesn’t mean I’ve totally fallen off the wagon.  I’m proud to say that July was a pretty kick ass month for me.  I’ve rocked my Super Summer Challenge sheets!  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go to Back to Her Roots blog and check it out!

In July I lost almost 8 pounds as well as several inches.  I drastically reduced my soda intake.  Like majorly, I was drinking several coke’s a day and now I’m probably averaging one a week.  That is many calories saved people!  I’ve been so happy with this challenge and how great it’s been at motivating me, that I’ve decided I’ll start a new very similar challenge at the beginning of September to get me through the end of the year.

So what changes have I made and what things do I really think the challenge has helped me with? There are lots of areas I think I’ve improved on, but these three are what have made the biggest impact in my opinion.

  1. As i mentioned I cut way down on the soda consumption.  I get 10 points for any day I limit myself to only one soda.  I get 50 points for each day I don’t have any soda.  And I get 75 points for no soda for a week. (that’s only happened once.)  Also, I get points for drinking at least 8 cups of water a day, that helps keep the soda at bay too.
  2. Planks.  I need to work on my core strength in a major way.  The challenge has really helped me with that.  I’ve set a reminder on my phone to do a plank every other day.  I’ve been pretty consistent with that and have even planked on the off days at time.  At the beginning I could BARELY hold a 30 second plank.  Now I can routinely hold a one minute plank and have worked up to 80 seconds so far.  Once I get up to a 90 second plank the point value goes up to 75 points!
  3. Tracking my food.  I get points for each day that I track EVERYTHING I eat.  I get more points if I stay within my calorie goal range.

This challenge is for body AND mind, and I haven’t done as great at establishing as many good routines on the mind side, that is something I will want to concentrate a bit more on for the fall.

Anyone want to join me for a fall challenge?  I could post copies of my fall challenge point sheets at the end of this month.

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Challenge update – 2 weeks in.

I spent the last week in paradise.  Seriously a week in an amazing house on the beach with my mom, my brother and his family and my little family.  It was GREAT and as I was tallying up my Super Summer Challenge points while I was there, I learned just how good vacations are for my mind.  My mind points for this week were at least 50% higher than last week. (If you have no clue what I’m talking about, I highly suggest you go check out Back To Her Roots and read up about the awesome challenge she created!)

The view from our vacation bedroom

The view from our vacation bedroom

Now, the body part of the equation?  That didn’t go quite as well.  I didn’t eat absolutely horribly, but i didn’t track one bite and I really didn’t think much about what I was putting in my mouth at all.  Aside from a few planks, a stretching session, playing around in the pool and a couple of strolls along the beach, there was little activity.  I’m still on track to be able to meet my goals for the summer. But I REALLY need to pick it up a notch to get the results I want.

Another revelation from vacation is just how big I’ve actually gotten.  When I see myself in the mirror, I know I’m woefully out of shape and need to do some serious work.  But seeing a picture of myself REALLY shows just how bad things have gotten.  I took most of the pics, so I’m not in many.  But as I was browsing through the photos my husband took today there were a few of me wading in the ocean with my little girl.  And wow, it was eye-opening for me.  I’m not “just a little chubby” as  I’d like to imagine.  I’ve well beyond that point.

With that in mind, I’m ready to jump back into things this week.  I went to a couple of  classes at the Y the week before vacation and really enjoyed them. (One was a Zumba class, the other a Hip Hop class.)  I definitely plan on going back at least twice this week.  And beginning no later than next weekend I will start the couch to 5k program as well.

Tomorrow will begin with a trip to the grocery so that I can have everything I need to eat well this week.  I made a small list of goals for the week,  (I get 25 mind points for that!) I created a menu of lunches and dinners for the week as well.  Hopefully this little time spent planning and prepping will spell success for the rest of the week for me.

How’s your summer starting off?

 

A Good Day

I finally feel like maybe I’m starting to get a bit of motivation back.  I have no idea why, but who cares, I’ll take it!

Friday was the last day of school for the kids around here.  And summer break definitely feels like it has started, even if mother nature hasn’t got the memo yet.  I really want to just do more with the kids this summer and I started that this weekend.

Today was a pretty day, overcast and a little cool, but not so much that we needed jackets.  Sky was outside playing with the neighbor girls when she came in and asked me if I would take them to the park.  I’m ashamed to say, that normally, I would just say no without even really thinking about it.  But, in an effort to “do more”, I thought about it for a moment, realized the weather was nice and I really didn’t have any plans and said yes

A walk to the park

The girls were SO excited.  Turns out hubby and my 15-year-old stepson were up for coming along also.  YAY!  I gave the girls the option of walking to the park or driving to the park.  If we drove we could bring their bikes along in the back of our van.  I don’t have a bike of my own and wasn’t feeling comfortable trying to keep up with 3 girls ages 5,7, and 9 on bikes riding to the park.  They chose to walk, and I was happy with that option.  I decided to turn on my CardioTrainer app on my phone so we could see how far our walk was.  The girls were great and only the youngest pulled the “are we there yet?” questioning a couple of times. lol  Turns out the park is almost exactly one mile from our house.  We definitely weren’t power walking.  We chit chatted, looked at broken bird’s eggs, pine cones, and leaves along the way.  It ended up taking us about 20 minutes to get there.  It wasn’t a hard-core workout, but it was a heck of a lot better than sitting on the couch.

In fact, I felt pretty good about getting up and being active, so much so that once I got home I got on my pinterest account and looked through the pins on my “Fitness” board and tried out two new workouts.  The first was an arm workout.  I really liked this workout.  It was challenging for me, but not so hard that I couldn’t keep correct form.  As I hopefully get stronger, I can easily increase my weights and still use this workout.

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The second one I tried was an ab workout.  Ya, this one wasn’t so great for me.  My core is WEAK.  I just flat-out could NOT do some of the moves *ahem side planks ahem*.  I just did what I could and called it a day.

Overall a good day.

challenge time!

The last few weeks I’ve been a sloth pretty much.  Zero exercise, poor food choices, and lots of soda.  Guess what that means?  I weigh WAY too much.  I know I need to get back on track, but I’ve had troubles with motivation.  Well, i ALWAYS have trouble with motivation, but it’s been especially bad.

If you read my last 14 by 40 update then you may have noticed that I have registered for a 5k in September.  Well, I didn’t just register for it, I’ve also annoyingly harassed fellow high school alumni to run or walk the race too.  The 5k is in my hometown and in the last year or so I’ve noticed that there are quite a few runners among my Facebook friends that are from my high school.  I thought it would be fun to get a big group of us to do the race together.  I’ve had lots of interested parties, not many have registered yet, but there is still plenty of time for that.   What I’m trying to get at, is now I have a goal race that I’d really like to be in better shape for.  Think high school reunion in running clothes.  Yikes!  I’m hoping that will be a motivator to get me eating better, and start tackling the couch to 5k program yet again.

Something else I’m taking part in to help me reach my goals is this awesome Super Summer Challenge that Cassie from back to her roots has created.  I think it’s a great match for me.  I’m not going to explain it in depth, because she already has on her blog, but it’s basically a way to work in all sorts of healthy choices into your summer.  Here’s why I like this challenge.

  1. It’s totally customizable.  Cassie has her tasks listed, but they are totally personal for her.  Her task list is a fantastic starting off point to create your own list.  I’ve deleted some of her tasks, added some of my own, and moved some things around to different point levels.
  2. The tasks aren’t just exercise and diet related.  There is a list for “body” points, but there is also a list for “mind” points as well.  I need that right now.  Yes, I definitely have work to do in the exercise and food realm, but I also have some work to do in the basic “taking-care-of-myself” category as well.
  3. It’s very flexible.  There isn’t a strict workout schedule or diet to follow.  I have a list of almost 100 tasks that I can choose to do whenever I want.  I think this may help me keep from getting that “well, I didn’t do my workout today, I’ve messed it up so f*&# it, I’m going to go eat an entire cheesecake now” attitude.
  4. Cassie made super cute printables.  I mean, who doesn’t love a cute graphic thermometer  to color in as you reach your goals???

The official challenge begins June 1st, so if you’re interested there’s still time to download her awesome printables and customize your own list.  You can even sign up for peer accountability on her blog.  Cool right?  If you decide to join in on the fun, let me know so we can check in with one another!

December Dozen Day 13 – AKA My Arms are Jello

Thursday, Dec 13

Day 13: Today was a scheduled day off work for me. (I LOVE these days!) It started bright and early with hubby and I working at our daughter’s school selling yo-yos of all things. Weird eh? They went along with this program they had on Tuesday. It was a bit crazy and a TON of kids bought yo-yos. school_assembly_with_yo-yo
I REALLY wanted to run today, I had a partner I could go with, the weather was PERFECT for running. (Sunny and 37deg) but I knew there was just no way this chest cold was going to allow it. And I’ll be honest, my hamstrings and butt are SORE from yesterday’s leg workout. So I’m not sure how a run would have gone even if I’d been able to.
Between grocery trips, dinner, reading with my daughter, taking care of some “cookie mom” duties with my daughter’s brownie troop, and just having some lazy time, I didn’t budget my time as well as I could have today. The walk I planned on taking today turned into a VERY short walk (less than a half mile! whoops!)I guess something is better than nothing though.

I did the PUSH portion of my strength training routine I talked about yesterday. I have some tweaking to do to get the most out of the workout. Some changes I had to make are because I’m really weak. I had to modify the push ups. I knew I’d have to. I can MAYBE get two “real” push ups at a time, that’s it. I had read somewhere once about using your stairs as a way to work your way into push ups. Basically you stand firmly at the base of the steps, not on a stair but the floor beneath, then place your hands 4 or 5 steps up and do your push ups at that incline. Once you can do 12 solid push ups with good form, the next time you move down a step. You continue working your way down the steps until you are doing “real” push ups on the floor. I will be majorly proud of myself when I get to that point. But I’ve got a long way to go for sure!
chairdip
The next exercise was chair dips. Uh, Ya, apparently I’ve never tried these before. It’s HARD, again, I just wasn’t strong enough to push my full body weight up more than a few times. I replaced them with triceps kickbacks. The rest of the exercises went okay. I wish i had a bench and some heavier weights though. I had to use 10 pound weights for the chest press, which is really light.

I didn’t eat great today, but wasn’t horrible either. My water consumption sucked, I’m really so much better about drinking water when I’m at work. Need to work on that!

Unless I get on the treadmill in the late evening, I doubt i’ll get cardio in tomorrow. Friday’s are hard for me. But I have a 5 mile run/walk planned for first thing Saturday morning. I’ll plan on doing core tomorrow night and the Pull exercises on Saturday.

December Dozen Update Days 10-12

Just a quick update of how I’ve done this week. (Sorry, this post got way longer than I intended)

First I’ll let you know that I’ve changed my strength training plan from what I originally posted here.  A friend of mine that’s like transformed her body gave me some pointers. Basically rather than doing so many exercises multiple times a week, I’ll be doing super sets for different areas one time a week. Here’s my new plan.

strength training schedule-page-001

So  here’s what I’ve done the last few days.

Monday – day 10: Didn’t start off the week too well, I spent this entire day unshowered, in my jammies, lounging on the couch totally sick.  No exercise today, but I did okay with food and water.

Tuesday – day 11: Went to work today, and coughed ALL DAY LONG.  I felt generally pretty crappy still. Tuesdays are supposed to be a run day for me, but just trying to take a deep breath sent me into coughing fits, so no cardio today.  But even though I REALLY didn’t want to, I made myself do core exercises.  60 seconds of plank (I can’t hold 60 seconds yet, so I held as long as I could, rested a few seconds, then did another plank to get to 60 seconds) and 100 crunches.  I broke the crunches up into smaller sets with short rests in between and they were pretty pathetic, I kept coughing which makes any sort of ab work nearly impossible.  Overall, I’m just feeling pretty good that I did anything today.  I didn’t let the coughing and feeling like crud be used as excuse today.  Go me!
Wednesday – day 12: I got really crappy sleep last night due to a ridiculous amount of coughing. Unfortunately I kept hubby up too. Anyway I went to work with barely any voice. I creaked, crooked, sniffled, and coughed most the morning. I’m sure my coworkers were glad I was there. (sarcasm) By afternoon I had my voice mostly back, but was still coughing and a little wheezy (does that make anyone else think of The Jeffersons?) so no cardio again today.  My abs are slightly sore today, I think I didn’t work hard enough last night though, I feel like they should be a bit more sore. I’m chugging water right now so that I can get my 8 cups in for the day.  I keep forgetting to take my lunches into work, so I ate at the cafeteria at the hospital. wompwomp.  After spending time with my Skybaby (she talked my ear off for seriously an hour straight, then we worked on a few education software programs she uses, did her advent calendar, and read a chapter of Harry Potter – The Order of the Phoenix) and getting her tucked in to bed I once again forced myself to do some of my strength training.  Today was legs (see workout above).  I’ll be honest, I thought that looked pretty easy when I saw it on paper.  OMG, this chick is frickin weak! I actually did pretty well with the squats.  I watched a video on YouTube about how to get the correct form and that was helpful, in the past Squats have often hurt my knees, I wasn’t pushing my bootie back far enough was the problem.  The lunges were killer though, I know I wasn’t dipping down nearly as far as I should have been, but honestly, I just don’t think I’m strong enough to do it yet. I was afraid I wouldn’t make it back up!  I just did the best I could and tried to pay attention to my form.  By the end of the lateral squats (also called lateral lunges i think?) I was dying!

Tomorrow I have off from work.  I have every other Thursday off and I usually try to run on those days, if I have a miraculous recovery tonight I’ll run, but I’m thinking it will just be a walk.  Hopefully my legs are crazy sore, but they feel like jello right now, so I’m guessing they will be.  And I think I’ll shoot for the Push workout tomorrow night.

Hows your week going?

Girls on the Run

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Skybaby and I volunteered at the local Girls on the Run 5k. Girls on the Run is an awesome organization. Never heard of it? You should totally check it out. We worked the water station with 5 other volunteers.

water station at Girls on the Run

water station at Girls on the Run

The temps were in the upper 40’s/low 50’s, so great running weather. There were SO many girls there running, some smiling, some looking like they may puke soon. I really enjoyed volunteering, and working the water station was great, but I wish I could have seen some of those girls crossing the finish line.

I definitely need to volunteer to help out at more races though, it was a great time!

In other news, lookie what came in the mail today!! Amazon had an awesome cyber Monday deal on Garmins. I got the Forerunner 410 for $159. That’s like uber cheap. I’m geeking out and reading through the manual. I’ll have it all charged up and ready to go for my long run tomorrow.
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Today is also December 1, which means it’s the first day of my December dozen! I’ll try to give an update every couple of days on how I’m doing with sticking to my plan.

Here’s my plan for the week:
Sunday: run 7.5 miles, biceps,triceps and plank
Monday: sit ups, plank
Tuesday: run 30 minutes. I’ve got a meeting Tuesday evening, so yay I get to run before work. (That’s sarcasm, I do NOT like to get up early.)
Wednesday: squats, plank
Thursday: Yet another early morning run. boo! (30 minutes), plank, push ups
Friday: walk, plank
Saturday is still up in the air. I’ve got 3 miles on the schedule for this weekend. I may even go ahead and register for the Reindeer Ramble 5k this weekend… We’ll see.

So what’s your plan for the week? Have you gotten any new geektastic gadgets?