Posted in Challenge, Fitness, Strength Training, Weigh Ins/Progress Photos

Team Doge – Week 1 Update

Good morning!

The 1st mini challenge is off to a great start.  Nicky made use of her social network to draw in many votes yesterday, and I’m proud to report that we are in

*drumroll…*

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Ninth place!  At the beginning of the day yesterday, we had only about 8 votes, so to have 40 votes at this point is quite a feat!  Way to go, Nicky!

Now, some people are wondering, why do we care about votes?  What’s the point?  Well, the point is motivation and accountability.  If you’re asking people for votes, you’re explaining what it’s for—and the more people that know you’re part of a challenge, the more people who will help you meet your goals or cheer you on in your efforts.  For example, someone yesterday gave me a Cadburry Crème Egg.  I told them I was part of a 12-week weight loss challenge, and gave it back to them—and asked them for their vote!  Now, this person knows what’s up and won’t offer me chocolate any more, and we added 1 vote to our total.

How are you doing with your personal goals?  Please comment with ONE or more successes from the past week 🙂

If you would like to vote, here are the three easy steps:

1.       Access the HealthyWage website: http://www.healthywage.com/leaderboards/team_standings/?team_challenge=80&secondary_filter=1

2.      Using the drop-down menus, select “GE HealthAhead’s Lose Weight, Win Big 2014”  and “Mini Challenge #1: Best Team Name and Before Photo”

3.      Click on “Team Doge Wow Such Weight Loss!” and follow instructions to cast your vote.

Posted in Fitness, Life + Living, Measurements, Strength Training, Weigh Ins/Progress Photos

Team Doge Wow Such Weight loss! Please Vote

I have joined a team challenge at work, and it’s off to such a fun start.  I’m on a team with a group of four women at work and we have dubbed ourselves “Team Doge Wow Such Weight Loss!”  The twelve week challenge kicks off with a mini-challenge to come up with the best team name (check!) and best team “before” photo (check!)

I would love it if you could check out our submission (below) and vote for us on the HealthyWage website (http://www.healthywage.com/leaderboards/team_standings/?team_challenge=80&secondary_filter=1).  This site is just like Diet Bet and Biggest Loser, except you cannot lose more than 1.5% of your weight/week and no more than 16.75% of your weight over the course of the challenge.  I’m really excited to have a team of co-workers to tackle this with.  They’ve been instrumental in my motivation this week 🙂

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[EDIT: added directions –  access the link, and then select “GE HealthAhead’s Lose Weight, Win Big 2014” and “Mini Challenge #1: Best Team Name and Before Photo”]

Posted in Fitness, InBody230, Life + Living, Measurements, Self-Reflection, Weigh Ins/Progress Photos

Day 1. Again. How many Day 1’s does one person get?

Day 1. Again. How many Day 1’s does one person get?

As many as a person needs. (I have 10 results that come up when I search for the key phrase “day 1” in my blog…)

I had another Day 1 today.  This time, I was sized up (literally–I gained 10 lbs since my back injury, and had gained 15 lbs due to a situational depression prior to that.. eep!) and figured out.  I met with Jody from the fitness center and asked her to be my trainer.  I talked to her about my back injury and what I’ve been through…

I let her know that we (Jeff and I) are at a point where we’re willing to try anything really.  The cool thing is that in addition to being a personal trainer, she actually has experience with physical therapy and rehabilitation.  She was really nice about figuring out whether I care more about form or function at this point.  I had let her know about a friend’s wedding coming up in October and how the dresses she admires are more like sausage casings at this point.  More important, though, is my functional ability to move and be myself.  I can wear an A-line dress if it comes down to it.

With functionality in mind, my day 1 is going to start on Friday with some resistance band exercises to figure out where my muscle imbalances are.  We’re going to go through a rehabilitation program for my back/core, I’m going to keep up with chiropractic care, and we’ll see how it goes.  Jody said that we’ll be able to transition from the therapy to actual fitness workouts once my strength is rebuilt.

After about 3 weeks, she wants to see a food journal.  Guess the photo tracker is making a resurgence 😉

Day 1 Weigh In:

InBody230 – Weight: 240, Lean Body Mass 118, (body fat 122), BMI 50. (ugh!)
(Previously)  Weight: 220, Lean Body Mass 117, (body fat 103), BMI 43.

Posted in Fitness, Food, Life + Living, Menu Planning, Self-Reflection

Iaido and groceries (cross post)

Yesterday was spent cleaning house and practicing iaido.  Since class us across town, and an hour and a half on its own, going to iaido takes up 3 hours. Add in getting ready to go and cooling down, well, half the day is shot.

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It’s worth it, though. It’s a really enjoyable pastime. It just means Sunday becomes the chore day instead of Saturday.

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Today I got the menu planning done for the week and the grocery shopping, too. I got our budget up to date, ordered my text books for school, cleaned the kitchen, visited family, and even made time to work on a drawing for a friend.

On Pinterest today, I found the idea to make your own instant oatmeal packets. To that end, I bought oats and chia seeds at the Co op today.

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 Emotional Eating, Fitness, Life + Living, Self-Reflection

And then there’s me: seeking fitness friendship

It may just be the exhaustion talking, but I almost feel like giving up on the Facebook page AND the photo tracker. I’d also be “giving up” on my fitness group on Facebook, and instead start thinking of it like a secret group of occasionally fitness minded friends instead. We’ve all been friends online for so long that we share all of our secrets there. Love, life, even.. You know.

The secret group has about 9 “active” members–a couple are so busy they don’t really post too often. Of those nine, 5 are growing their families, so it’s less about fitness these days than it is about life.

And then there’s me. I love these girls and they’re great to be around. I love being involved, and I’ll appreciate their support when my husband and I start our family, but that’s so far away. What do I do in the mean time? I need a fitness support group. Should I join spark people and blog there again?

Are there other online support groups (preferably on Facebook) that I could join?

I’m mulling these questions over while I get ready for work. Hopefully this will clear up by new year–especially with people getting a renewed fitness inspiration.

If you have ideas, share them in the comments below 🙂

Posted in Fitness, Life + Living, Self-Reflection

Enter, enter, the first of November…

I can’t believe I left this blog hanging with my horribly embarrassing story about my trip to Arby’s.  *hangs head in shame*

It kind of makes my Nov 1st declaration ring hollow.  I have a size 14 dress in my closet right now that I can’t wear.  It’s a gorgeous gray number…

from 2010, trying to choose a dress to wear to a wedding.
from 2010, trying to choose a dress to wear to a wedding.

I’ve got another one whose size I don’t even know that I can’t wear right now, nor ever.  It’s been my goal dress for 3 years, now…

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I never felt completely confident in this one

So, I’m just done.  I’m tired of being tired.  Since the clocks just shifted back, it should be a lot easier to wake up at 6am… since my body feels like it’s 7am, after all. 🙂  I’m going to use my time wisely and exercise in the a.m. again.

 

Posted in Life + Living, Wedding Planning

Crunch Time: (not abs)

So, we’re really heading into “crunch time” for the wedding and things are heating up at work, too.  There are 7 weeks left until the wedding and a lot of loose ends are getting wrapped up.  Jeff’s parents came to visit over the weekend recently and we had a wedding shower (hosted by my lovely sister and my equally awesome Grandma) to celebrate.

Wedding Shower Gifts

There are lots of pics I WISH I could’ve taken, but I did not have my camera and the available photos are mostly focused on myself and Jeff.  We did get a few great shots, though, thanks for my friend and bridesmaid Gloria, and Jeff’s Mom Sarah:

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We got our invitations mailed out weeks ago and I think people have had a chance to appreciate their beauty before we posted them online… check ’em out:

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The damask pattern was really pretty and doing the printing in black ink really helped us save on costs.  It’s a delight to check the mail these days in the hopes of receiving another RSVP.

We’re using Google Drive to manage our guest list, vendors, gifts, and everything.  It’s been really handy to have everything in one spot online–I was able to make a new tab and move folks over to that tab and share it with my sister so that she could get the invites out for the shower.

I just took a look at the spreadsheet and realized that so far we’ve got

125 unknown
92 accepted
32 declined

google-drive-guest-list

If you’re planning a big event and coordinating with people that may not be local, I highly suggest using a data system such as Google Drive to keep it organized.  My sister liked the idea so much that she has her guest list imported now, too.  Since she moved out of state, this will be a great way for us to keep in touch and coordinate about all the goings-on.

I’ve also been wrapping up a lot of the other details for the wedding, like crafting these adorable bookmarks and getting the vendors all squared away as far as a payment plan goes:

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I had one of my last dress fittings before the wedding on Friday and it’s going to be pretty close.  I need to drop at LEAST five pounds before the wedding, more if at all humanly possible.  That means any and all stress eating needs to go out the window.

Maybe I’ll de-stress by gaming instead, now that I’ve got my rig back up and running… If you play GW2, look me up 🙂 I’m in JQ and my sn is Aminarra Westin.

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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 Food, New Food, Weight Watchers

K.I.S.S. – having a meal plan

When it comes to dinner, sometimes my good intentions go right out the window.  It’s been a long day of doing [x, where x=working, cleaning, or doing nothing] and when it comes to dinner time, even if there’s a “plan” in place, the excuse of “I don’t feeeeeeeeeeeeeel like cooking! *huff/stomp/pout*” comes out.

In this moment, it seems like it would be easier to just pick up the phone or go online and place an order for some sort of sustenance to fill the hungry hole. But what does that sort of decision cost in the way of time and money? And is it REALLY worth the effort?  Let’s break it down:

Our top three options for ‘I dont wanna’ usually include Domino’s, Jimmy John’s, or Wendy’s.

Domino’s: 
1 – Large Specialty Pizza, + taxes and delivery, +tip ~$25.00
1 – Side order of parmesan bread bites because we just can’t resist ~ $3
Total: ~$28.00, 30 minutes of waiting, 10 minutes of eating, hours of guilt for spending money we didn’t need to, eating bread bites we didn’t need to, and loading up on greasy cheesy pizza that is essentially nutritionally void. Worth it?

Jimmy John’s: 
2 – Bootleggers, + taxes and delivery, + tip ~$14.00
2 – side order of chips because they’re too good to resist, ~$3.00
2 – side order, giant chocolate chunk cookie, ~$4.00
Total: ~$21.00, 10 minutes of waiting, 10 minutes of eating, up to an hour of guilt for spending money we didn’t need to, eating almost 400 calories worth of mayo because I always forget to tell them to leave it off, upset stomach due to the kettle chips and the chocolate chunk–and why? Because we didn’t feel like cooking. Worth it?

Wendy’s
2 – Asiago Chicken Ranch Clubs
1 – 1/4 lb. Classic
1 – side of chili
2 – Softdrinks (small)
Total: ~$15-20, depending on prices and variables in choices; prices are not published online. Wendy’s doesn’t deliver, but they’re up the road from us, less than a mile so we take the time to go down to the car and drive there (yep. you read that correctly), go through the drive-through, and then drive home because we don’t feel like cooking. But we feel like getting dressed, putting shoes on, waiting in line, paying money for food that (again) is nutritionally void, going back home and disposing of all the trash.  Worth it?

See?  When you really take a look at how ‘convenient’ convenience food really isn’t it becomes easier to make meals at home.  One of our new discoveries is from Campbell’s and it’s called ‘Skillet sauces‘ – you just add chicken (or beef, or shrimp) and serve over pasta or rice.  So, the box of rice is a couple bucks and it lasts us a couple months.  This is the first one that we tried, but, we were pretty impressed with it. The skillet sauce packets likely goes on sale, so if you get a chance, you could stash them in the cupboard for days when you just don’t feel like it.

Last night, we were tired and unmotivated and having one of those ‘don’t feel like it’ moments.  I felt the urge rising to call for pizza, but, my new year’s resolutions are to lose weight, save money, and get better at my job.  Well, heyo!  Ordering in goes against two of those objectives.  Keep it simple, stupid–cook at home!  Save time, save money, control portions and nutrition.

I defrosted chicken in the microwave while setting a pot on the stove to boil water for the rice.  I measured the rice and sliced up a cucumber while those two finished.  While the rice started cooking, I sliced up the chicken and browned it in the skillet.  Add the toasted sesame ginger sauce on top and heat through–voila, meal is done.  We went from frozen chicken and two packets of ingredients to a nutritionally sound meal in approximately 20 minutes for a cost less than $3/person.

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When making your new year’s resolutions, flesh them out a bit.  How does having a meal plan or back-up plan take my KISS goal and make it a SMART goal?

S – Specific – I want to save at least $100/month for the next year.

M – Measurable – I saved (by not spending) net $17.00 by not ordering in.

A – Attainable – If I can continue to make decisions to eat at home like this, I can definitely save over $100/month.  This would include brown-bagging it for lunches and eating breakfast at home, too.

R – Relevant – Preparing and eating food from home, let’s say 4/5 work days, is relevant and applicable to my goals to save money, lose weight (remember I can control portion and nutrition), AND to become better at my job – when I stop to pick something up on the way to work, I usually scoot in a few minutes late.  Being punctual will improve my perception at work, and, perceptions are realities.

T – Time-bound – The time is weekly, adding up to monthly, adding up to the entire year of 2013.

What are some other ideas that you have for quick back-up plans for when you don’t feel like cooking?  Crock-pots are always good because you can just toss in a few ingredients and it does its thing while you do yours.  What else?