Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Operation Red Bikini Goal

Wednesday! The day I talk about my weigh-in on Saturday! :)

This week was notsuhgreat. I gained .6 pounds, weighing in at 147.8. I'm not THAT upset by this because I knew the week leading up to weigh-in hadn't been stellar. I'm just going to put it out there: period.

Anyway, this week's off to a rocky start as well. Bad weather, a crazy schedule, plain forgetfulness ("Where's my gym ID? Oh, just in my coat pocket. At home."), side aches, and some sort of attitude problem have ganged up on my poor little motivation and beaten it bloody. So my workouts for the week have been:
  • Monday - 2 miles on the treadmill. 
  • Tuesday - "tank top arms" workout (10 min) and then about another 15 min of abs and butt exercises from Pinterest. Nothin' to write home about. Oh, and a late-night Chicago Mix popcorn binge for good measure. Lots of "arm curls" there.
  • Wednesday - 20 min on the treadmill (I think I got 1.75 miles in), more abs, a few sets of bicep curls. 
I'm hoping to do some more focused weight training tonight after teaching my class, but we'll see. Boot camp is tomorrow morning, thank goodness. It better not snow overnight or anything--I need a good kick in the pants!

So who needs motivation? This girl. And what better way to get revved up than talking about the thing that gets more resolutioners sweating than anything else? That's right, today I'm focusing on swimsuit season.

So Kassie and Leigh Ann, two awesomesauce ladies, have organized a little challenge. It's called Operation Red Bikini. Here's the gist: Pick a goal (clothing or otherwise). Hit the goal by May 31. Write about your transformation in a blog post and submit it for voting. Vote for your favorite transformation story (pretty sure everyone will vote for themselves, am I wrong?). I've already asked if this transformation has to start when the challenge started and was informed that it can be from when you first started losing weight. Whoop whoop!

Anyway, I've yet to commit to a specific item of clothing for this challenge. When it began, I knew I wanted to be in a bikini by May 31st. Over the past few weeks, I've been stressing over this. Because here's the thing: my stomach? It is like…what do the kids say? A busted can of biscuits? No. It's like a train that was pulling 12 freight cars full of busted cans of biscuits when it crashed into a fiery mess. That's my stomach. Cascades of loose skin and stretch marks as far as the eye can see.
For serious, it is like a Christmas tree and my belly button's the star
I've read up on this phenomenon. It's pretty common, so I should take heart, right? Generally, your skin does tighten back up after losing weight. Usually. Probably. The factors that determine this are:
  • How much weight you gained 
  • How quickly you gained it 
  • How long you kept it 
  • How quickly you lost it 
  • How old you are 
OK, so when it comes to age and weight-loss speed, I'm doing pretty well. But those first three factors? They make me nervous. I'd say I gained about 45 pounds in two years and then another 30 in the following three years. Yup yup. That's a lot. And it's quick. And as for keeping it? This was no "college beer gut," folks. This wasn't a fling. It was a committed relationship. My fat and I cohabitated. We looked at promise rings. 11 years. That's a long time to be fat. I know it's not THE longest relationship--there are plenty of people who go much longer being obese, but those people aren't on my stomach. My skin is, and that's what I'm stressing about.

I want to wear a bikini. I've never been able to rock a midriff-bearing two-piece. There was one time in college when I thought I could get away with one (I couldn't). And then there was the bikini with the ruffles that I wore on vacation when I was 7. That's it.

I just don't think this mess will get cleaned up by May 31. I'm trying to focus more on ab work and trying to cut down on carbs ("trying" being the operative word). I'm also using more moisturizer and oil and I'm making homemade wraps, which I hope to write about in a future blog post titled: "How I smoothed out my stomach." But still, I'm worried.

So I haven't purchased a bikini. For a while, I thought that maybe I should just get a high-waisted one, but I didn't want to settle. And I'd like to go shopping after I lose a little more weight, so I can fit the suit to my body. This would be my first bikini ever and I want to look good in it.

I still might do a high-waisted one. 'cause this is super cute. 

Source: http://www.nastygal.com
I'm also trying to manage my expectations. Because there's no way I could get a 6-pack in 4 months. One thing that is helping me IMMENSELY is this blog: The belly project.

I can't even explain why this is so therapeutic. But it is. It makes me feel so much better about my busted biscuit train wreck. Maybe I'm not such a freak? If you're tummy obsessed, you have to check out this blog.

Another thing I did was follow these two boards in Pinterest:
I'm almost embarrassed sharing these boards because I don't want you to think that I'm following them to feel smug. Really, please don't think that. I follow "For the big girls" to get an appreciation of how beautiful curves can look (because lets be honest, I'll never have 10% body fat). I follow "Don't compare yourself to celebrities" to keep some perspective. Because I'm afraid that when I get to goal, I'm going to be disappointed by what I see I the mirror, and I really don't want that.

OK. This has been a long post. I've given you some really fun links. Quit wasting time here and go check them out! :)


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Monday, January 28, 2013

Let's Get Depressing

Do you know about Danskos? Do you wear them? So they're definitely a "sensible shoe." I think that they might be meant for women older than me, but I still wear them. Actually, almost all of the women on my mom's side of the family do. We're obsessed with them. Listen, they are so damn comfy. If you care about support, you'll love them. If you want to look hott, you'll probably pass. :)

I had a pair of Danskos--red clogs--that were looking worse for the wear. The red got brighter and brighter over the years and the leather on the toes was scuffed off in spots. This weekend, a bunch of my aunts and cousins came to visit from Wisconsin for a girls' weekend. Obviously, this included a trip to The Mall, so I took this opportunity to pick up a new pair of Danskos. They're certainly an investment, but I wore the red clogs for about 5 years, so I'm pretty sure I'll get my money's worth.


The weekend was a LOT of fun. Pete and I had done a lot of preparation for guests…
New railing from Pete (railing #2) and blueberry scones from me

...and only one cousin stayed with us. Womp. But hey, more scones for Pete (at 6 points a piece, I split one with him if I want a taste).

It was a little rough because we talked and talked and talked and talked into the wee hours both nights and then I woke up pretty early both days. But I had a great time. Not a lot of sleep, but a lot of fun.

One of our favorite things to do when we get together is to tell stories. My uncle Bob passed away two years ago last week and he provided a LOT of fodder for stories over the years. We also hear a lot of stories about my Uncle Jim. I love laughing at these stories, but it's always a little hard because no one has many stories about my dad, who passed away almost 7 years ago. I mean, I can't blame my family for talking more about my uncles because they're awesomely ridiculous, and I don't even have many stories about my dad. He was a great guy, but he was pretty normal. He was extremely funny and teased everybody. That's one thing I love about Pete--he's a good teaser, just like my dad. But teasers and jokers don't really make stories. You have to take yourself just a little too seriously and flail just a little too much to produce a "Bob" story.

But it's hard that we don't talk about my dad much. I remember at his funeral--well, really, after his funeral back at the house, the stories revolved around other members--living members--of the family. That was really rough. That really hurt. And it's really not their fault; there's just not enough content to spend the whole night on my dad. My family likes to laugh, and it was much easier to laugh with my dad than at him. His words made you laugh. And now that he's gone, it's hard that we can't laugh much on his account.

I wish we talked about him more. I love hearing stories about him. That's what I crave--tell me something about my dad I didn't know. I was only 20 when he died and you really don' t know jack when you're 20. I still saw him through a kid's eyes. I never got to know him as an adult. I want to hear about him being compassionate and irritated and uncertain and brave. I want to hear about his thwarted plans, his best day ever, his biggest sacrifice. I want to know how he really felt about God and religion. I want to hear about how he handled the pressure on his wedding day and what he thought was the most important feature when looking for a house.

But most of that would be inference. I know that. And I know that no story will make it easier that he's not here. And anyways, I already know all the best stories. They're in a book of Rob stories my mom compiled a few years ago after reaching out to friends and relatives . It was the best Christmas gift I ever received. I learned about the time that my dad accompanied my Uncle Bob to Radio Shack to buy a Walkman for my Aunt Kathy and convinced Bob that what he really needed to buy was a telescope. And about how they then spent the rest of the night tracking a "star" that turned out to be a weather beacon. I learned about the time my dad took on the dictatorial leader of the association board in our first neighborhood and then became friends with him. And how he solved the problem of people not paying their association dues by spray painting a giant boulder international orange and dropping it in front of their garage with a note that said it would be removed as soon as they paid what they owed. I learned about how he went home with a friend from the Honor Guard on a visit and ended up driving his British sports car into the poor mining town where his friend's family lived. And about how they all absolutely loved him by the end of the visit despite this ballsy move.

Since he died, I've struggled with the fact that the world didn’t stop turning. It was hard to see people--strangers--go about their days as if nothing was wrong when everything was wrong. So it's hard when my family doesn't talk much about my dad because I still think about him a lot. I guess that's just a part of missing someone. It's an inherently lonely activity.

I'd like to end this post on a bright note, but I'm not sure how to circle this back to anything fun. Let's just snip this train of thinking…

[snip]

And talk about the fact that Pete and I are meeting with "Roger the floor" guy tonight to talk about installing wood floors upstairs. Finally, we'll be able to get rid of our forest green floral carpet! After a very fun weekend (really, it was fun...I did not spend the entire weekend mourning my dad, as this post would lead you to believe), this is a great way to start a new week!


Anyone else starting home improvement projects in February?

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Cosmo Confessions

You're not supposed to yell at your dog because it makes them think you're unstable and scary. But sometimes, when Cosmo was in his more destructive youth, we needed him to know we were angry with what he was doing. So Pete would yell, "DO YOU LIKE ROLLER COASTERS, MOTHER FUCKER?"

One time, Cosmo ate an entire bowl of another dog's food, on top of his own dinner. Our response was to flip him on his back so we could take pictures of his giant belly.

brother-in-law
We don't feed him people food, but sometimes we give him veggies to see if he'll eat them (he does). Also, we call him over to clean up spills and make him eat bugs so we don't have to kill them.

Everyone I've ever met who knows a shiba has told me never to let him off his leash because he will run away. But when we come back from a walk, I drop the leash and let him go nuts in our yard. He just runs in circles until I call him to the door. It's funny as hell.

Speaking of which, he hasn't had a walk in over a week. 'Cause it's really cold out. 

Cosmo loves ice cubes as much as treats. We taught him to think they're called "treasures" When we say, "Cosmo, do you want a treasure?" he sits down in front of the refrigerator.

I'm thinking about dropping him off at the grooming center in PetSmart and saying, "Just brush the eff out of him."



We don't let Cosmo on the furniture because he sheds and it's good to set boundaries with a dog. But when I'm cold, I have him sit on my lap. And one time I was really sad and I pulled him up onto the bed with me so we could cuddle. Don't tell Pete.

Speaking of that chump, I'm still really upset Pete wouldn't let me spend $25 on a red hoodie for Cosmo. Like, really upset. OH MY GAWD, YOU GUYS, I JUST FOUND IT ON THEIR WEBSITE FOR $13. SURELY THAT'S ACCEPTABLE?

Cosmo's afraid of everything. Pete likes to play a game where he picks up random objects and holds them out to Cosmo to see if he'll shrink back. He does every time.

I'm against Invisible Fences on principle and so we put Cosmo on a long line to a tree in our backyard. But sometimes every day, Cosmo wraps the line around the tree and gets "stuck" in a Cosmonaut. Then one of us has to go get him to run around the tree the other way to unwrap it. When this happens, I call Cosmo names and swear a lot. Our neighbors think I have turrets. Don't make me put on mah boots, boy.

I don't clip Cosmo's nails because I did it once when he was a puppy and made him bleed. It freaked me out and I haven't attempted again. This is really bad. I know.



Pete saw this video, so now every once in a while this happens: 

Pete - "Cosmo, say aroo. "
Cosmo - ::stares at him::
Pete - "Good boy."
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Some Stern Words

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Since I sneaked a peek at the scale last Wednesday, I wasn't too surprised this Saturday when I saw 147.4. Fingers crossed that my weigh-in this upcoming Saturday shows some more progress!

I was finally able to stay for the meeting last Saturday after a hiatus of nearly 2 months. Due to poor timing, I'd been weighing in and then leaving. I thought a meeting might give me a boost of motivation, though, so I was excited to be (mostly) on time for once.

Man, the attendance had exploded since my last meeting. I was in a packed room.

I really like the leader of the 7am meeting, but the meeting this week made me impatient. We were talking about the very basics of the plan (I guess you have to talk basics in a WW room in January). And I just wasn't feeling it.

I got annoyed by the questions and frustrated by the people who nodded when one member said she just doesn't track on Saturdays.

I pulled out my phone and started tracking my points from the night before.

Spaghetti squash? Yawn. Been there. Cooked that.

Exercise4weightloss.com? Dude, I've been using it for a year.

With my points entered, I checked Instagram. Can't wait for this meeting to end so I can go to the community center and get my sweat on.

The meeting ended and I rolled my eyes at the woman donning her many layers in the aisle. In my way. Shake a leg, lady. I've got to make it to a cardio class.

Two women behind me were gesturing excitedly about roasting broccoli in the oven with a little bit of olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Roasting vegetables is old news. And I don't have to rely on cheese for flavor.


...


You know what? Just exactly where do I get off thinking like that? Who died and made me a size 4?

It took the cardio plus and yoga classes kicking my butt and making me fall over for it to sink in that I'm not above newer members of Weight Watchers. I haven't reached goal and I certainly haven't figured everything out. If I had, I'd be more in control of my body. I wouldn't be polishing off two servings of cinnamon roasted almonds in 5 minutes flat. And yes, Kate, points for tracking it accurately, but NO. DON'T binge.

These newer members have vim and vigor. They get excited about new healthy recipes and explore the lesser-known veggies in the produce aisle. What, just because I've had kohlrabi and jicama means I'm a diet guru? Bish, please.

They just might do it. They just might fly right past me and hit their goal weight and then some. They might have already locked in the new behaviors and attitudes that will make them successful. They might not settle at an average of .9 lbs lost a week (and falling) like me. I'm no better than them, just because I joined before they did. In a few months, I might be reading about their incredible transformation and messaging them, "Hey, just stopping by. Wow, your weight-loss is so impressive! I can't wait until I hit my goal! Slow and steady wins the race, you know!" 

Or they might drop out. They might fizzle on the plan. But I should give them the benefit of the doubt and learn from them what I can. My high horse certainly isn't doing me any favors and I could do with a good ol' perusal of the WW Getting Started Guide. There's a reason the devout read religious texts every day. They're not hearing anything new--they're reminding themselves of the important fundamentals. 

So this week I'm listening and nodding and sharing my own revelations and helpful tips. I'm going to learn something from these new members. It might not be a new recipe or fitness tip, but if I can get some perspective, I'll be better off than Ms. Judgy McJudgerton was walking out of the meeting last week.
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Running Fashion Show

Today I'm linking up with Mel and Laura to talk about my favorite running attire. Basically, I treated this post as an excuse for a FASHION SHOW!!


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I'm going to focus on my layering, since my summer running attire is nothing special. First of all, you should know I'm not doing much outside running these days. 15 degrees is my limit. Below 15 degrees, my face starts to sting and go numb and I get paranoid about frostbite. I'm happy when it's 20 degrees and above and ecstatic when we're in the 30s.

I started running last February with the c25k program. Last winter was very mild, which meant Minnesotans talked about how mild it was for the whole year I was able to get away with wearing sweats and a sweatshirt. This year I knew it would be different. I'm running faster and longer and working up more sweat. In the fall my sister and I went to a cold weather running class and learned that sweat-wicking, lighter layers are key. Layer as much as you want, but try to keep them light so you can easily carry them if you get overheated.

So, I start with a base layer of running tights (I prefer thermal lined) and a close-fitting shirt (I perfer thermal lined).

Top and tights from Target

If it's in the upper-30s or above, this is pretty much what I wear, plus a light-weight T-shirt or something to hide my tummy. :) If it's in the lower-30s, I'll throw on something like this vest:


Vest from Old Navy ages ago

When it starts getting closer to 20, I'll wear the socks pictured above. They're not compression socks or anything fancy. Those are actually my snowboarding socks. But hey, they work!

When we hit mid-20s and below, I throw on a second pair of pants.

Men's pants from TJ Maxx. I could not find women's pants that tapered at the ankle and I wanted some I could also wear biking.

I add a second top layer, too.

Top from Marshalls (yeah, thumb holes!)

Lower 20s and below, we pull out the third-layer jacket.

Jacket from Marshalls


With the headwear, I'm pretty much the biggest wimp. My ears get cold and achy very easily, so I wear a headband fall through spring. Probably upper-40s and below, I've got on at least one head band. This fall, I bought one of those ear warmers that goes behind the head. So in the winter, this is what I do:

I start with the ear warmer.

Ear warmer from Walmart. I hate my hair line and huge forehead.


Then I add the headband.

Why am I making this weird face? This headband came free with my winter jacket last year.
I top it all off with a hat.

Hat was free swag for the Get Lucky 7K I'm running in March
There you have it. Running in Minnesota. It gets frickin cold. Of course, not as cold as Kayla's home, but if I lived there I bet I wouldn't even try to run outside. Yikes!

By the way, half-marathon training is going well. I'm rocking the cross training aspect of it. I went to five classes at the community center the first week I joined: Indoor Cycle, Tone and Stretch, Boot Camp, Cardio Plus, and Yoga. I loved each and I've been perpetually sore since last Tuesday. Tone and Stretch might be my favorite--it's like yoga with push-ups and dumbbells. I was impatient for my class this morning ever since I walked out of the class last week!

As for the running part of training...well things aren't going so well. I'm still struggling with side aches and I'm at my wit's end. I missed one 3-miler last week because of tendonitis, but hit my long run on Sunday and my run on Monday no problem. But the entire time I'm running, I have a side ache and it is KILLING my pace. We're talking 11:30 min/mile on a good day. When I ran my seven miles, my overall pace was 10:53 min/mile. I did six miles at 10:30 min/mile. And yesterday it took me 33:42 minutes to bust out three stinking miles.

I'm heartbroken and frustrated. If I were just starting out it would be one thing, but I've been running 4-6 days a week for almost a year and I've come too mother-flipping far to be struggling so much. I feel cheated. I feel like my evil, cruel body is thwarting me once again. It's so unreliable. And I know it's just a problem that I haven't cracked yet. There has to be a solution I just haven't found. When I lived in Madison, I remember working out after work every day--and I worked hard. I got down to like 180 lbs, but I was so frustrated I couldn't get any lighter. I just needed to track my calories and watch my weekend splurges, but it just hadn't hit me yet. My anthem those days was "My Body is a Cage" by the Arcade Fire. I used to listen to it on my way home from the gym and tear up, feeling so sorry for myself. I was really unhappy in Madison.

Now that damn song is back in my life. Where's my emo hoodie?

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday

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Normally I do my weigh-ins on Saturday at the WW clinic and then post my "Saturday Stats" here on Sunday or Monday (or not at all), but today I'm so stoked to be linking up with Erin and Alex for Weigh-In Wednesday! I'm a new follower of these ladies. I'd seen that little Weigh-In Wednesday button crop up on a bunch of blogs the past two weeks and I knew I wanted in, but I didn't get my act together to look at the rules (which include following the two link-up hosts) until yesterday. When tried to click "follow" on each of their blogs, I realized I had already followed them without realizing they were the Weigh-In Wednesday Girls!

I found Alex through a link on Lora's blog and my introduction to her was this tremendously touching post in which she poured out her heart about regrets and disappointment. I knew I had to follow her story.

I found Erin through a link on Holly's blog and read a brilliant analysis of parenting techniques and a call to ignore second-guessing and provide the unique things your unique family require. I don' t even have any kids and her post had me saying, "YEAH. Take that, WORLD. I know what's best for my babies." Er...well...You know.

I just love well written blogs.

But enough with the glowing reviews. Let's get down to brass tacks. This Saturday was my first WW weigh-in in three weeks. You see, I was too sick to go to a meeting and then it was the holidays and "why would I torture myself?" I weighed myself on my bathroom scale shortly after the New Year and saw that I was up to 149--about a 1.5-pound gain. On that day, I was relieved. It wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting.

I don't know just what number I thought I'd see this Saturday, but when I saw 148.2 lbs, I was disappointed. What?? What did I think: was I really going to lose more than that after a few days of good eating? I should have been happy. Or that's what I tell myself. But I was disappointed that I was a pound higher than my lowest weight a few weeks ago. I was disappointed that I let the holidays derail me. I didn't gain that much (thank goodness), but think about where I could have been by now if I hadn't gone off plan.

This morning, I weighed myself again on the bathroom scale and saw this:


I think that's like 147ish. I'm happy to see some progress. I'm not quite that ecstatic to be clawing my way back to a weight I'd already hit, but dwelling on the past won't help me. I need to look forward, and that I can do. I can tell you that once I see a number on the scale under 147, I'll be thrilled. I'm so ready to see that number start to plummet. I feel motivated lately, what with the half training and the new gym and the classes. My eating has been much better (excepting the two bowls of Kix I had on Monday night... wish I could CTRL + Z that midnight snack). I need to ride this motivation and feed off of it. Success is motivating, too, so I'm going to try hard to keep it up for as long as possible.

Then, when the motivation fades, it's your determination that sees you through.




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Monday, January 14, 2013

Girl with a plan

This Saturday morning I took my first class at the community center. It was the Indoor Cycle class and it was tough! I think my first mistake was bringing my old skool Nalgene water bottle, which didn't fit into the holder on my stationary bike. So when the instructor called out, "OK, water break!" I could only look longingly at the cubby holding my stuff and keep peddling. At one point we hopped off to do a few squats, so I dashed to the back of the room and took a long swig, but that was my only drink the whole hour. I really pushed myself and felt like puking at the end of class. Great work out! Ha! (I didn't, by the way)

Even though I was dying during the whole class, I loved it! We were facing a long window that overlooked the "grounds" of the community center and it started to snow halfway through the class--just a flurry, bit it was a pretty distraction. I felt like I got a great cardio workout in and they even incorporated some arm strengthening ("bike push ups" and supporting ourselves on one arm to engage the triceps). The class was fairly small and most of the participants were at the same level of intensity. This next Saturday I'm planning out checking out two other classes, but I could definitely see myself hitting up the Indoor Cycle class again!

Now. Onto more important things...I'm doing it. I'm running a half marathon.

The race
Earth Day Run Half Marathon (in St. Cloud )

The company



Abbie

Twin sister, biggest cheerleader, most likely to trip over nothing five seconds into the race

Nikolai

Abbie's BF, old as f*ck (JK, BFF!), most likely to randomly jump and spin while running


The Training 

Hal Higden's half marathon Novice 1 program

With a few exceptions, each week will look like this for the three of us...
  • Monday: Strengthen and Stretch 
  • Tuesday: Run 3-5 miles 
  • Wednesday: short run or cross training 
  • Thursday: Run 3-5 miles + strength training 
  • Friday: Rest 
  • Saturday: Cross training 
  • Sunday: long run 

source: pinterest
I'm going to try to run outside as often as possible and use the indoor track at the Community Center when it's not. I have to keep Cosmo in mind because he needs his morning exercise and I just don't feel right making Pete walk him every day. I'm also trying to work some classes into this schedule. This week is a test run, but if all goes well, here's what my schedule will look like:
  • Monday: Run 3-5 miles (Pete walks Cosmo) 
  • Tuesday: Walk Cosmo, 6 a.m. Tone & Stretch class 
  • Wednesday: Short run with Cosmo 
  • Thursday: Run 3-5 miles, 6 a.m. Bootcamp class (I'll have to be in the 4:30 a.m. club these days) 
  • Friday: Walk Cosmo 
  • Saturday: WW meeting at 7 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. (we'll see which works best), 9 a.m. Cardio Plus class, 10:05 a.m. Yoga class 
  • Sunday: Long run with my homies 
I expect I'll have to make adjustments here or there. Saturday back-to-back classes may not be feasible, and there's the Indoor Cycle class at 8:10 a.m., which I may choose from time to time. But this is the general outline and I'm thrilled to have a plan! It's so much easier for me to force myself out of bed when I have a schedule to keep.

The tools

I created a Google calendar with the Hal Higden 12-week schedule plus 2 weeks I repeated because we have 14 until the race. I shared the calendar with Abbie and Nik and we've all synched it to our iPhones. Abbie and Nik may have discovered today that I set up alerts for each training item to go off every day at 5:30 a.m. :-D Hope they enjoyed that!

I'm using MapmyRun for my outside runs, but indoors I have no way to track my pace. For the past few weeks, I've just been starting my timer when I run and then calculating my average pace at the end, but I'd like something a little more precise. I'm guessing I won't find that in an app (right?), so if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears!

I got some great outdoor running gear for Christmas: thermal running tights, a new headband, a water belt, and some super sweet road IDs. I'm hoping I'll have many chances to use them!

The start

Today was training day 1: a 3.5-mile run. I ran it on the indoor track because it was 1 degree this morning. Tomorrow I'm taking the Tone and Stretch class and I'm really hoping I like it as well as the indoor cycle class. Classes are the way to go, I think. The perfect way to push yourself!
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Friday, January 11, 2013

Just Pay for the Damn Membership

I've been fretting for a while now over whether I should join a gym. Pete built me a beautiful workout room, we scored an amazing deal on a set of dumbbells off Craigslist, and I like running outside. This summer and fall, a gym seemed like a huge ol' waste of money. But now...well...now it's icy and cold out, and I've got the itch to get into yoga.

I discovered that our Community Center has fitness facilities and amazing prices. A membership is only $35/month--that's just $5 over what we paid at Snap and this gym offers FREE classes AND an inside jogging track AND basketball courts AND it has a cute little café.

I felt guilty bringing up the idea to Pete. He'd worked so hard on the workout room and now I was turning my nose up at it--"That's great, Dear, but I prefer yoga."

I mean, I still wanted to use the workout room for strength training and the occassional dreadmill run--I just wanted to use the track and classes at the gym--but that still meant an extra monthly expense that theoretically we shouldn't have to worry about.

What's more, I already pay for a monthly WeightWatchers membership. Then there's the running tights, the shoes, the sweat-wicking underarmour shirts, the headbands, the foam roller…

As I pondered the numbers, I thought, "Damn. Getting fit is EXPENSIVE." But you know what? Staying fat costs more.

In 2010, George Washington University issued a report in which they analyzed the costs of being overweight and obese. Check it:

Overall, tangible, annual costs of being…
For...
Are…
Obese
Women
$4,879
Obese
Men
$2,646
Overweight
Women
$524
Overweight
Men
$432

Obese women get scuh-rewwwed.

With the gym and WW memberships, I'll be spending $924 annually to go from overweight to normal. But subtract the cost of being overweight and that's still $400 I can't justify.

Oh wait, yes I can. 

Because I was obese. My WW membership brought me down. That membership and any non-recurring get-fit fees I may have paid didn't come close to $2,646. And I get to be not-obese for the rest of my life, if I play my cards right. If I live to be 83 (average life expectancy for women in the US), that's $148,176 I'll have saved us.

If my math is muddy, if I've overlooked some cost to health, well, feeling comfortable in my own skin is priceless worth $924 annually.



And you know all my math? Not even necessary. It's just to make myself feel better. I talked to Pete about the gym membership last night, laid out my half training plan and showed how the group classes would help me. I counted on my fingers how many times a week I'd likely need to use the indoor track. I told him about the January special where you get the first month for just $10 and they wave the activation fee. He responded with, "Sure. Can I turn Portlandia back on?"


I'm joining the community center this weekend, and I'm going to try out their "Indoor Cycle" class!

source: http://www.musclequotes.com




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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

You sank my battle shot

Pete has been throwing an annual New Years' Eve party for 7 years now. "Annual New Years' party"...that's a little redundant, isn't it? What I mean is he hasn't missed a year. The last few years or so (basically, when I came onto the scene), we've had a few more girls in attendance, which means the party got classier and the food got  better.

It can be a thankless job, and sometimes we talk about not hosting it anymore. I mean, who wants to clean their whole house only to clean it again the next day? But we generally enjoy it and we're pretty proud of how big and fun the party is. So we always pull it off.

For the last few years, we've set up a beer pong table in the garage. This year, we added a Battleshots board constructed by my handsy handyman. I love having Pete post on this blog, so I asked him to write a bit about the project. Here's what the man himself had to say...




Q. How did you come up with your design?
A. I wanted to make it as cheap and as sturdy as possible. I knew that wood studs were like $2/piece and then partical board was like $15 a sheet. And that's all I really needed to build it (aside from paint). I had the partical board cut down to a size where the boxes on the grid were just as wide as a 2x4 so I didn't have to do much cutting.

Electrical tape looks like paint, but it's easy!

Q. How did you design those adorable boats?
A. There was absolutely no thought at all. I just took the mini plastic ones from the game and set them on the workbench and cut them to look vaguely like the plastic models. They started out simple, but then a friend was home for the holidays and with the build time for each ship cut in half, we started to get more and more creative as the night went on. Working on this with him was fun because there's really no way to screw it up because we were making a board game out of scraps of wood.

Condiment cups from Walmart served our shots


Q. So how was working in the garage?
A. Winter in Minnesota can be pretty damn cold, even in an insulated garage. We had to keep the door to the house shut because the spray paint fumes would get in the house and it would stink like spray paint (which it kind of did anyway, really). So we had to take breaks to go buy a pizza, to preheat the oven, to cook the pizza, and to eat the pizza. That was awful pizza, but we were laughing because we hadn't seen each other in a while and it was 2 in the morning, so it was OK.


We used the original game to track our hits and misses on the other side

Q. Were you satisfied with the reaction the board got?
A. Everyone was really impressed with how good it looked. Usually people like to point out what's wrong with my projects and no one did that. It was pretty much used all night.

The garage was not pretty the morning after!
 
Q. And then you switched from beer to something harder in the shotglasses.
A. What you forget about the game Battleship from when you were eight is that it takes a hell of a long time to complete a game. We had to switch from beer to mixed drinks because we were playing on teams and by the time the game ended you'd only drank half a beer and it'd been 45 minutes.

____________

While grabbing pictures off my camera for this post, I ran across a couple that I thought would be fun to include. These are not regarding Battleshots, but I think that's OK.

First, my dress and hair from this weekend's wedding:

 
Second, us all gussied up:
 
 
Cute pic of my boys New Years' Day (no, I didn't make Pete sleep on Cosmo's bed that night):
 
 
And finally, some amazing pictures of Pete's other project over holiday break...
 

Pete Decorates a Cake

 
 
 
Cosmo ate sprinkles that fell to the floor
 
Happy Birthday Mark!
 
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My Favorite Running Shoes Link-Up

This weekend while I was in Des Moines for my friend's wedding, I talked to three different people about marathons and half-marathons. I picked each girl's brain about training and got fired up about running. I started the Hal Higden Half Marathon Training - Novice 1 program yesterday. I'm beginning with week 4, because I'm comfortable with this week's distances and I thought I'd be training for a half in Las Vegas at the beginning of March. That's not the case anymore--but my half plans are for another blog post.

While chatting with some of the other girls in the bridal party about running this weekend, we ended up on the subject of running shoes. How appropriate is it that Sarah and Mel are hosting a blog link-up today about them?

button

I run in a pair of Sauconys. They've got about another 100 miles in them before I should switch them out. I bought them last May and wrote about the experience here.

Because of the HUGE difference they made in my running, because the experience was so helpful, I will probably only buy running shoes from a running store. I just think it's worth it to have your stride analyzed and be paired up with a shoe that matches your gait and foot shape. I'm not much of a snob when it comes to brand--I'm still a penny pincher--but I do think that the shoes you find at a running store are higher quality than what you'll find in a department store.

For example, we were talking about Asics this weekend. Almost everyone loves Asics (although, those who don't love them hate them). I tried on a pair once and felt like I was walking on a cloud. They are NOT cheap, however. One of the bridesmaids told me she bought a pair at Kohls once. But they were awful and wrecked her feet. She believes Asics must have a few levels of shoe--those they ship to Kohls and the like, and those they ship to the Running Room. This would explain the dramatic difference in price, right?

To conclude my rambling, I'm never going to be the person who spends $100 on a pair of shoes, but I will definitely come close with my running shoes. I use them almost every day. So I buy my flats at Target, my heels from the clearance rack at DSW, my boots once in a blue moon, and my running shoes at an actual running store.
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I'm back! Momentarily!

Way-all. That was kind of an extended absence, wasn't it? I was in vacation mode these last two weeks and took some time out from blogging (and eating right and exercising regularly, incidentally). I have to admit, I really enjoyed my time away from Blogger and Instagram. And that gave me something to think about. I think, for a while, at least, you'll be seeing fewer posts from me during the week.

Especially over the next few days because my schedule is crazy! I'm at work today and tomorrow, teaching tonight and driving to Des Moines tomorrow night for my friend's wedding. I've got to get to town early for the bachelorette party and the rehearsal. This is the first wedding I've ever been in besides my own (let's just say I'm not really the bridesmaid type and leave it at that)! I'm really excited for this wedding and I'm very happy to be a part of it, so I plan on soaking up this experience!

Anyway, before I skip town, I wanted to get out a recap post and talk about a little something I like to call falling of the wagon.

The Wagon


Ladies, I've got road burn.

No tracking, no WW meetings, hardly a work out at all. I'd like to say it was glorious, but I was miserable. Being off of my routine led to a lax attitude, which led to guilt. I was eating holiday treats and not even enjoying them. I think I did it for the sake of doing what I shouldn't be doing. I was eating for emotional reasons and not for hunger. People who hadn't seen me for a while kept telling me how amazing I looked and that made the guilt even stronger! I felt like a piece of crap and I couldn't pull myself out of it. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, why I couldn't do anything. Then Pete pointed out that I was a routine-oriented person who'd been off her routine for a week and a half. I'd gotten used to the endorphins from my workouts and the good feeling of a job well done. I'd traded that in for a few Christmas cookies and, shockingly, it didn't work out.

Today is my first day back on my routine and it feels AMAZING. My coworkers are all despondent that the vacation has ended, but I'm happy as a lark! I got up early this morning and ran without any side stitches!!! I ate some Greek yogurt and drank some coffee. I packed myself a salad, blueberries, an orange, and cucumber slices with a wedge of Laughing Cow. I got back on the wagon. It feels amazing. My routine will get messed up all over again tomorrow when I drive to DSM, but I'm actually looking forward to the challenge of staying on plan while I'm there. I'm going to use the hotel gym and the pool and order salads and drink water!

The Recap


When I wasn't wallowing in a cookie-induced depression like a huge loser this holiday season, I did have some fun experiences.

I made chocolate covered cherries with my sister and her boyfriend. And made sure to keep some in our house. You know. "For Pete."


I went dress shopping with my sister and fit into my FIRST SIZE 8 DRESS! (pictures taken pre-holiday bloat)

Size 8! And a little "mother-of-the-bride"...


This is the dress I bought for my friend's wedding. Here, I'm wearing a size 10, but I brought home a size 8.


We went snowboarding!


I worked from home a bit and got distracted by my adorable puppy.


I made champagne jello shots for our annual NYE party, which looked like barf when the pop rocks melted on them. I ended up jamming them into actual shot glasses and force-feeding them to our guests. Pinterest fail!


I got all dolled up for the party...








Only to abandon the party at 10pm with my first migraine ever. It sucked. Pete woke me up just before midnight so I could celebrate with everyone and get my NYE kiss. Then I went back to bed. So painful! I blame my poor diet.

It was a shame because it was a ROCKING party, complete with BATTLE SHOTS. Pete promised to do a post on how he made this game soon!


At least my sister was there to get some pictures...

Of the main room


Our beautiful guests



My freaked-the-F-out antisocial dog


Who spent most of the night glued to Grandma Ruth and eating ice cubes



And me with my handsome husband



Hope your NYE was a night to remember!
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