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The day was hectic. By the time I sat down for lunch, I had only 5 minutes to eat. (thanks for the tortellini, Mom!!) I took 8 minutes anyway, then dashed off to my next meeting. The rest of the afternoon flew by until it was time to clock out and head to training.
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I met with Jody. We started with resistance bands and really targeted the scapular muscles. I was collapsing my frame by the end of the sets and didn’t realize it, so I’m glad she was there.We also used the bands to do a rotating like motion to target the muscles between my shoulders.

We moved into the studio, and did some floor exercises. Trunk twists, guided crunches, pelvic rotations, pelvic rotations with marching motion, bridge, calf raises/flex and point, adductor and abductor exercises with a resistance bands, and kick backs.

I felt the burn, but I feel good, now. Jody said that I’ve got a better foundation than I give myself credit for, and a greater range of motion than she was expecting. I credit iaido for that.
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At this point, I’m glad to be getting started.

First day of physical therapy

Posted in Emotional Eating, Fitness, Food, Life + Living, Menu Planning, Self-Reflection, Strength Training, Weight Watchers

Weekend update

http://wp.me/p3h2ti-jY

Posted a blog that was supposed to just be a which hit, but it was longer than I thought. Check it out…

Posted in Fitness, Food, Life + Living, Measurements, Overeating, Strength Training, Weigh Ins/Progress Photos, Weight Watchers

Guess who is almost 240 again? :(

I have a scale in my bathroom and, occasionally, I will weigh myself to make sure that things aren’t getting totally out of hand. Well, I’ve been hovering around 233 for the longest time.  I was STUNNED to step on the scale this morning and see 237.6.  I’m so distraught.  I don’t know of any solid reason for what feels like such a sudden gain.  Sure–I could cover it with a blanket statement about holidays, but I really didn’t feel that off the rails this season.   What’s more is that I’ve actually worked out 3x so far this week with a 4th planned for later today.

There’s nothing to it but to do it, though.. here’s to starting over.  Again. 😦

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I’ve already got Iaido to keep me busy on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  I’m adding more workouts throughout the week, and I need to track again for a while.  Tracking is going to include measuring until I can actually fit into my jeans again.  This is a bit ridiculous.

Posted in Life + Living, Strength Training

Big news: we’re scheduled!

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We received notice of action in the mail on Saturday letting us know that we’ve got an interview appointment set up in about a month.

As soon as we realized what it was, I was drilling Jeff with questions; what side of the bed do I sleep on! What’s my favorite color! What size does do I wear!?

Lol

With the joking over, it kind of hit us that it’s really going to happen. We called our parents to ask for our birth certificates, I bought a book on the process, and we sort of paused while considering all of the evidence we’ll have to provide. Like entries from my blog, like this 😛

I heard they don’t like electronic records, though, so I can’t just drop off a USB with photos, entries, videos, etc.
I guess that means we have to set up a printer at home because that’s a TON of documentation.

In the mean time, though, it’s the holidays. The extent of my research today will be watching the movies “The Proposal” and “Green Card”

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Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine
Posted in College, Counseling, Emotional Eating, Fitness, Food, Life + Living, Overeating, Self-Reflection, Strength Training, Weight Watchers

Hard truths: a brief on why I need to lose weight

Reason one: Because this view is distracting when I’m trying to study:

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Now with problem area highlighted in blue.

Solutions currently in progress:
-iaido
-fitness 19 membership
-conscious eating
-weight loss support group (online)

I just need to keep working on my solutions and the problems will solve themselves.

Posted in Fitness, Gaming, Menu Planning, Strength Training

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

The age old adage of ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ has been used as the mantra for weight management (loss/gain/maintenance) for as long as I’ve been trying to manage my weight.  What I have noticed, however, is that the more I plan, the more I fail.  How terrible is that?  Maybe I just rebel against authority, even if it’s my own.

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Take, for example, the K.I.S.S. blog entry wherein I wrote about these easy workouts that I could and would do every single day.  Ever since that entry–I haven’t worked out once.

Yes, the workouts are taped RIGHT TO THE FRONT DOOR.  They are literally in my face whenever I go to leave the apartment and whenever I pass into the kitchen, and yet, I’ve turned a blind eye and ignored them completely.

The fitdecks and resistance bands, too, are gathering dust.

This is a pattern that I have noted more than once about myself.  I start off with the best of intentions and I plan and plan and plan… but that’s as far as my motivation gets me.  I finish up with the last detail of the diabolical weight loss scheme and my motivation goes (with a thick Minnesota accent) “Oof-da! That there is enough work–you betcha!” and my motivation just clocks out.

2013-01-09_12-38-38_427My latest endeavor is to participate in this 8 week book-learning course (through work, of course) that details healthy eating habits for all (not just people looking to lose weight, but really the right way to eat as a regular ol’ human being).  I like to think I know it all, but the pre-test showed that I’ve got a lot to learn.  I’m hoping that the structure of that class will help to keep my mind on fitness and that having a variety of OPTIONS available to be active and healthy will help me to succeed.

One of the healthy-minded girls that I interact with on Facebook posted a pin from pinterest that showed using post-it notes to set daily goals with daily rewards, so I decided to give it a whirl:

2013-01-10_11-39-17_593I liked the idea so much, actually, that I put the template in a frame with the post-it notes on top.  In case it’s too difficult to read, the first goal is to “Clean up/off desk at work: wall, surface, files.”  The reward for completing this task is “new batteries for my butterfly

The second goal is to “Set limits for gaming: pre-requisites, curfew.”  The reward for this task is a new set of batteries for my kitchen scale (CR2032).

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The last goal is to “Check out/join community center.”  Because of the area that I’m in, and the agreements that the localities have with each other, I can actually join any of three community centers in my area for about $30/month.  The one I was looking at last night would let both Jeff and I join for $50/month for both of us.  They have access to a 24 yard (I think?) lap pool, sauna, whirlpool, tennis courts, cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, and group classes including aqua zumba–whaaat??  I really want to check that out this weekend.  The reward for checking out the community center is a walk outside with Jeff.  D’awwe 🙂  He’s already agreed to be a part of my reward system hehe.

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Posted in Fitness, Self-Reflection, Strength Training, Wedding Planning

K.I.S.S. — Having a work out plan

Along the same lines of the cooking related “I don’t feeeeeel like it” there’s also the exercise demon named “I don’t wanna.”  He’s a fiendish thing, sneaking up and stealing the best of your intentions and leaving you as a gelatinous heap on the couch.

The “I don’t wanna” excuse comes out after a long day at work and although you *meant* to go to the gym after work, somehow you ended up at home eating funyuns and watching re-runs of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  Or Dr. Who, either or.

“I don’t wanna” also comes around early in the a.m. when the alarm is set nice and early to allow you time to work out–he sneaks up and slaps the snooze button for an hour until you cannot possibly squeeze in a work out before you have to squeeze into your shrinking work clothes and get your bum to the office.

The good news is that “I don’t feeel like it” and “I don’t wanna” are both trumped by “it’s too easy NOT to.”

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In the last K.I.S.S. entry, I told you about Campbell’s Skillet Sauces.  In this entry, I’m going to tell you about a number of tools and resources that you can use to make a quick work out too easy NOT to do.

1. The first, and my new favorite, are resistance bands.  My mom got both Jeff and I resistance bands for Christmas and I have been using them quite a bit ever since.

You can still partially give in to your couch potato ways and sit in front of the TV while using an exercise band to do seated rows, arm curls, chest presses, etc.  Get a door anchor for the resistance band and you can do even more workouts–single leg abductors, kick-backs, squatting rows, etc.  The band should come with a booklet of ideas, but then that’s where a couple of other resources kick in:

2) Fit Deck.  These handy-dandy cards let you shuffle up any and all exercises you might be interested in and then choose as many exercises at random as you’d like to do.  Originally, we sorted them out into specific areas of the body to target because I really need to focus on my arms, upper back, chest, and torso so I can make sure to rock it in my wedding dress in May.  I realized I was defeating the purpose of the cards by targeting them, though, so recently they’ve been mixed together again so that we can have a spontaneous work out any time.  Right now, we can use the body weight and resistance band cards thoroughly.  Stairs are optional depending on how embarrassed we’d feel if a neighbor were to catch us.  We’re looking into getting a medicine ball at home, too.  If you like to work out at home, but DVDs are too predictable for you, definitely look at picking up some Fit Decks.

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3) Spark People’s Work Out Generator.  Answer a few simple questions in this free tool and it will spit out a fitness plan that works with where you’re at in your fitness journey and the equipment that you have available to use.  I am a member of spark and value their community so much.  A few of my spark buddies have recently gotten engaged and so we will be able to get together (virtually) to do wedding dress work outs.  I’ve taped a few to my front door so that as I leave for work, I know what’s coming up and I can stay motivated.

4) Pinterest for Fitness Motivation.*  I love pinterest.  Granted, not as much as I used to when it was new and shiny, but it’s still a great place to find new ideas and inspiration.  My fitness board is my place to dump ideas that I come across for fitness info online, funny quotes about working out, self-image, self-acceptance, reasons to work out, etc.  It’s a one-stop-shop for workout ideas and inspiration to do them.  I love to laugh, so there’s a lot of humour thrown in.  I have some body image issues, so there’s a lot of self-acceptance thrown in.  All in all, my board is my place for fitness inspiration.  Your board, might be different!  Pinterest user Emily has more workout plans and how-tos than inspiration.  The point is that you can use pinterest for whatever you want to use it for.  *The caveat is that it can be addicting.  Don’t get sucked in to pinterest for so long that you lose the time to actually go do something. 

Pinterest

My S.M.A.R.T. goal for fitness is:

S – Specific – I want to lose 12 pounds by the end of March, 2013.

M – Measurable – I will weigh in every other Saturday and report it to The Last Stand girls (spark people)

A – Attainable – 12 pounds in three months is l pound per week gone, doctors recommend 1-2 pounds per week weight loss in order to keep it off in the long term.

R – Relevant – Losing weight is relevant because being at a healthier weight will reduce the cost of food, clothing, and medical bills in the future, plus it has the potential to increase my happiness and self esteem.

T – Time-bound – Weigh-ins are bi-weekly with a milestone check-in in March.

So there you have it.  The cure to “I don’t wanna” is to make it too easy not to.  How do you defeat the “I don’t wanna”‘s?  

Posted in Emotional Eating, Fitness, Life + Living, Self-Reflection, Strength Training

Bootstraps – pick yourself up by them

“Spend your lazy, endless crazy days, inside my head,
You’re so selfish, you’re not the only one who thinks he’s dead
I’m paid to smile, now I’m on trial for what you think I said
But I never said that everything would be ok,
And I never said that we would live to see another day..yeah..yeah..”

Sometimes a song comes along and it’s just *that* good at describing what’s going on that you listen to it every time you need to drag your arse out of bed. For me, that song is the Motivation Proclamation (aptly named) by Good Charlotte.

“Motivate me, I wanna get myself out of this bed,
Captivate me, I want good thoughts inside of my head,
If I fall down would you come around and pick me right up off the ground?”

I just realized I’ve been going to that song for over a decade when it’s dark outside and my hair is greasy and I’d rather call in “sick” to work than move a muscle (like today). It’s 27 degrees (F) and I was honestly considering asking if I could just work from home for 1/2 a day–the first half–so I could stay inside just a bit longer before getting cold. I abhor being cold. The song has got me out of bed this morning, but now I’m cozied up in my bathrobe. If Jeff hadn’t handed me a smoothie I probably wouldn’t even be thinking about breakfast yet.

“I’m realistic and narcissistic,
You say I’m selfish and absurd
You try to change me, you try to save me
You say I’m gonna learn, I’m so blind,
I’m out of time, You’re so unkind sometimes,
I never lied, I never lied, I never lied
Cuz I never said that everything would be ok,
and I never said that we would live to see another day..yeah..yeah..”

Originally he wasn’t going to make me a smoothie. My response when he inquired if I wanted one was decidedly neutral. But then I confessed that it’s the “right” choice and that I hardly ever make those and I’m not going to lose weight if I don’t.

He didn’t reply, but he handed me my smoothie, brushed my dirty hair away from my face with a caress and gave me a big hug.

“Motivate me, I wanna get myself out of this bed,
Captivate me, I want good thoughts inside of my head,
If I fall down would you come around and pick me right up off the ground? [x2]

(Right up off the ground.. Pick me right up off the ground.. Yeah..Oh)

Yeah, ‘Cause everything, it’ll be ok,
You know we’re gonna live to see another day,
Yeah…yeah…yeah…yeah…
Motivate me…yeah,
(I wanna get myself outta this)
Motivate me…yeah
(I wanna get myself outta this)
Motivate me…yeah
(I wanna get myself outta this)
Motivate me…yeah
(I wanna get myself outta this bed!)”

So with the combined powers of a song I’ve been rocking since high school, and an amazingly supportive man, I’m off to take a shower. And use a blow-dryer for my hair. And then I’m going to go face my day. I might even make it to work on time. I set my goals for the day:

1) Complete driver surveys
2) take my math test at work
3) exercise after work

Posted in College, Fitness, Gaming, Life + Living, Strength Training, Wedding Planning

A picture is worth 1000 words. This must be a 6k word entry…

TL:DR – I’ve been busy. Scroll through pictures 🙂

[On the subject of expanding my gaming know-how]
I did some World Vs. World Vs. World last night with a few guys from the guild (Yezhik, Starry, Krew). I didn’t die nearly as often as I usually do. I die often enough, though, that I’ve proposed a story idea to Hellrazor entitled “Leveling as a lowbie: oops I died.” I pitched it as a humour piece using a format of either “dear diary” type entries or straight up story-telling. I’ve been mulling it over for a bit but I’m just not sure yet where I want to go/start with that. I think it’ll definitely include the time that I grouped up with Fibbi to “go exploring” and I got bit by a mosquito and it got me TKO with one hit. Better get some better repellent.

[On balancing gaming vs. studying vs. other stuff]

My schedule has been pretty saturated lately.  I get up around 6:30-7am, go work out, work work work, come home, cook dinner, study from about 6-9pm and from 9-11pm I’ve been playing GW2.  This is why I haven’t been blogging @_@;  Tonight, I got home at 7 from work, and I’ve been studying ever since.  No GW2 today… It’s 11:27 and I have to be at work early tomorrow for career-based training.  It’s a GOLD course on Facilitating Effective Meetings.  So far, I’ve picked up a few strategies for gathering information, synthesizing data, narrowing topics, and making decisions.  The end of the course today involved an hour and a half about how to build a meeting agenda that really defines what is going to be accomplished, lays out roles, and identifies the tools that will be used in each portion of the meeting.  The instructor is just great.  Her name is Candyce Penteado and she actually owns her own business in corporate training and leadership.  http://www.thepeopleside.net/candyce-penteado

So I have that to look forward to tomorrow…

[On college stuff]

I’ve been hitting the books pretty hard, too.  The Accounting class that I am taking has an excellent tool from McGraw Hill that lets me practice creating balance sheets, t-charts, adjustments etc. without it being scored.  The testing program on there, too, is pretty helpful.  Instead of just blinding going forth and filling in what you expect the answers to be based on your careful study of the curriculum, you can actually select a link that lets you check your answer.  I don’t know how other people use this tool, but, for me it means two things: 1) I can learn in the last stages of the coursework because I can fill in the blanks with how I *think* it works and be shown that it just does *not* work. That makes me revisit my strategies, make changes, and try again until I get it right.  2) I pass every test with 100% because I don’t quit until it’s right.

Tonight in my Business Management course, I started reading about Ethics/Decision Making and thought that with a good moral compass that I’d be able to face any decision that came up because obviously it would be clear cut.  Then they throw the hypothetical trolley incident at me:

“A runaway trolley is heading down the tracks towards five unsuspecting people. You’re standing near a switch that will divert the trolley onto a siding, but there is a single workman on the siding who cannot be warned in time to escape and will almost certainly be killed. Would you throw the switch?”

Do you think you have the answer?  Was it “yes” because the lives of many are greater than the life of one?  According to The New York Times, if you answered this way then you’re in the good company of 97% of respondents. Now consider the following:

“Now, what if the workman were standing on a bridge over the tracks and you would have to push him off the bridge to stop the trolley with his body in order to save the five unsuspecting people? (Assume his body is large enough to stop the trolley and yours is not.) Would you push the man, even though he would most likely be killed?”

Wut.  I think, personally, I would freeze and not know WHAT to do!  In that type of instance, you need to have your ethics and actions ingrained so deeply that your reaction is instinctual.  The more time I have to think about it, the more time I have to think about “what if the workman is Jeff?  What if the five on the tracks are thugs looking for things to spray paint?”

The good news is that my assignment is not to actually answer this question.  It is used as a tool to illustrate that not all ethical dilemmas are cut-and-dry.  Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to reading about strategies for decision making including the utilitarian approach (for the greater good), individualism approach, moral-rights approach, justice approach, and virtue ethics approach.  It should be intriguing for sure.

[On working out]

I don’t have a great transition from ethics to working out.  If you made it this far, we’re now going to look (briefly) into my fitness update.  I don’t think I’ve lost any weight.  I blame it on sweets (still, always).  I am, however, making strides in my strength training.  I’m actually getting calluses on my hands.  The above is my attempt at showing you my calluses, but I’m realizing they didn’t actually show up, lol.  Basically, I did/do the following 1-2x/week in addition to another routine:

[2x, 30 second break in between]

  1. Plank on a balance ball, 0:00:45

[4 rounds, 6x reps per]

  1. squats, 35lb dumb bell
  2. overhead press, 2x 20lb dumb bells
  3. cable cross-over pulldowns, 25.7 lb
  4. RDL, 55lb barbell
  5. static lunges, 2x 15lb dumb bells
  6. incline push-ups
  7. single-arm farmer’s carry

I’d say any calluses are well-earned at that point 🙂

[About Wedding Stuff]

Wedding planning stuff is coming along great 🙂 I think a lot of people might be critical of me for getting things done so far in advance (the wedding date isn’t until May), but the way that I see it–the more I can get done now, the less I have to do in the weeks leading up to the wedding.  I want to savor the process as much as possible and that means reducing stress prior to the event.  It’s supposed to be fun, so I’m trying to space stuff out.  Jeff is interested in invitations so I’ve been working on that when I find a few minutes, but the leaves on the trees are starting to change so photography got bumped up in front of invitations.  While we were in Colorado, we also picked out some awesome tuxes to rent from Men’s Warehouse.  All in all… he’s probably feeling overwhelmed, but I am feeling accomplished about the progress.

[Kittehs!]

Last but not least are the furbutts.  Toby had a round of illness recently that set us back another few hundred dollars but we’re hoping that his eye issues are finally cured.  We’ve got rounds of eye-drops to run for about a week or so and then we’re actually going to start both of the cats on an anti-histamine regimen.  We joke that Taz is allergic to cats because he’s sneezing all the time and Toby has been absolutely miserable since we moved and we’re thinking that he’s got allergies triggered by the woods that we now live so close to.  They’re both indoor cats, but with the number of windows that we have here, and the acres of woodland that we have now compared to the more urban environment that we were in before… I’m just thinking that they have allergies acting up.  Our vet made a good recommendation that should cost less than $10/month and make both of the cats more comfortable.

Now all I need is someone to photoshop a cheeseburger in front of Toby’s mouth, lol…

Posted in Fitness, Life + Living, Strength Training

Cuddles vs. Muscles – an infinite battle

Cuddles

versus

Muscles

These two options are ALMOST equal to each other. I adore cuddles and would snuggle all morning if given the option. But muscles, man. Hoo boy! Those are pretty freakin awesome too. And the woman pictured above? CURVY MUSCLES! Sign me up! Except, there’s cuddles here… Ooh, and more sleep! I like sleep.. Maybe if I just…