Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Whip it or Skip it?

I am looking forward to this movie... I am planning to see it on Sunday. I bet Roller Derby is good exercise. I bet they wouldn't sit on the sidelines because their thighs hurt.

If you haven't already guessed I am sore today... either from Tabata or the Tabata/Zumba combo I tried yesterday. I am avoiding getting into a sitting position because I know it will ache to get back up. Tomorrow morning I am planning on running (probably with some walking too) 4 miles and right now I am wondering if that is a good idea. What do you do when you are sore from working out? Do you push it through the next workout anyway or do you take an extra day to rest your muscles? So what would you do? Whip it or Skip it?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


One word... WOW! Tabata kicked my ass. I had mentioned earlier that I wanted to try tabata after reading about it at log my loss and it seems like a simple concept. Work out in 20 second intervals for four minutes. Since I have always enjoyed circuit training I thought I might enjoy tabata. So I found a Tabata timer online and a couple songs. I started thinking about what exercises I should do... squats, jumping jacks, stepper... then at the last minute I decided to add an arm exercise using my yoga ball. I have been ready to try tabata for about a week now but I just could get motivated to try it... mostly because it sounds really hard. I decided to bit the bullet and give it a try today. I did good through the squats, my legs were sore and I slowed down a lot in the last two intervals. Then I rested and moved onto jumping jacks, which went ok but they are a lot harder then I was expecting. Then I moved onto my arm exercise (which is kind of like a push up only the yoga ball is at your feet and takes off some of the weight) by the last minute I thought I was going to fall on my face. I made it through but my arms were like string and I think I only did two in the last twenty seconds. I started the stepping but I was exhausted. I only made it through the first minute and then shut off the timer.

I was expecting this to be hard... but it was even harder. Maybe I am trying the wrong exercises. I will have to give this some thought.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week 12

Today is weigh-in day... and the scale said 223.4 pounds that is a 3.4 pound loss. That also means that I hit the "40 pounds gone" mark today (40.6 to be exact). How exciting is that? I have also decided to use my weigh-in day as a reminder to account for my "Hot 100" goals for the end of the year.

Goal #1: Be 200 pounds or less by the end of the year (that is a 2 pound a week loss). Doing good on that one so far.

Goal #2: Be able to run 10K. I ran 5k yesterday and I am planning on expanding my morning runs from 3.5 to 4 miles in the next week.

So far so good!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Peshtigo Fire Tower 5k Run

I ran the Peshtigo Fire Tower 5k Run this morning, above you can see the t-shirt I got (one of my favorite things about running these races are the t-shirts). I had two goals when I arrived at this race; first was to run the entire race and second was to finish in under 40 minutes. I had to slow down and walk at about mile 2 for a little but I did finish the last mile fast and I did the race in 38 minutes, so goal number two was a success. However, I had an almost embarrassing moment at the finish line but made it through with my dignity. I had really pushed it my last mile but especially the last half mile and I didn't realize it at the beginning of the race but our Congressman Steven Kagen was giving out the commemorative wooden medallions... wait is that the right word? Can a medallion be wooden? Anyway, he was giving them to the runners as they crossed the finish line. You would run past the clock, someone would rip off the bottom portion of your number and then Steven Kagen would put medallion around your neck. Well since I had been pushing it so hard across the finish line when I stopped running I really felt like I was going to be sick. I wanted to get out of that area ASAP just in case I did lose my breakfast I didn't want to do it on the track. While attempting my hasty exit the Congressman steps in front of me, offers me a congratulations and puts the medallion around my neck. All I could think was, "If he doesn't hurry this up I am totally going to barf on my Congressman." Well I made it through and after getting a drink of water I felt much better and I didn't actually lose my breakfast. For the next run my goals are to run the entire race, finish faster than I did today and don't barf on a Congressman.

Where I work there is a college student that works part-time and over the summer she took time off to participate in an internship. She came back a couple weeks ago but yesterday she and I were the only people in the lab and I was telling her something when right in the middle she interrupts me and says, "I just have to say I can tell you are losing weight, ok go on with what you were saying." I tell you this story for two reasons, first, this is the first time someone that didn't know I was dieting has commented on my weight loss and it made my day. Secondly, I felt like she was uncomfortable paying me that compliment. Do people find it awkward to comment on a persons weight even if it's complimentary?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Going out with a bang!

South Beach Steve at Log My Loss has come up with a genius idea. Make goals for the last 100 days of 2009, aka "going out with a bang." It is kind of like New Years resolutions, only the opposite. Does that make sense? Goals you want to complete before the new year. I think it's a great idea. I have decided to accept the challenge because I like to have goals... and I really do love jalapeno peppers (the possible challenge award).

One popped into my head right away, I want to run 10K before the end of the year. That isn't to say I want to compete in a 10K race I just want to be up to running 6.2 miles so I can run a 10K race next summer. I had a few other goals in mind like not eating any of the holiday cookies but I want to avoid goals I can easily forget. When I was member of Curves they had a list of challenges for the members to complete for a week and you got a prize at the end of the week. So I signed up to not drink any soda... well my first lunch break I mindlessly grabbed a diet soda out of fridge and was about half way through before I remembered the challenge, (Dang) then I felt bad all day. I would like to avoid that. I considered the 100 push up challenge, which I have been thinking about lately, but I don't want two fitness goals and I am not really sure I can do it so I will just try that silently on my own... just in case I fall on my face. Originally when I started this blog I said I wanted to be down to 200 pounds by the New Year so I think I will stick with that goal (that's about 2 pounds a week).

So the recap:

Goal #1: Be able to run 10K.
Goal #2: Be 200 pounds or less.

Good luck to everyone in the challenge I look forward to reading your updates.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Squash and weigh-in

I did my weigh-in this morning, for those of you keeping track it is a day late. Yesterday I had a rather strange scale experience. When I got home from work I had a headache, I used to get them all the time but hadn't had one in over a year so I was surprised by it. I got on the scale and it said 224 pounds. I was not expecting to lose over five pounds this week so I got off the scale thinking perhaps there was an error, so I tried it again, and again it said 224. I wondered if I was dehydrated. I tried to think of the last time I had some water and the last time I could remember drinking water was at least 12 hours prior. I thought that would explain my headache too. So I didn't count that weigh-in, instead I drank some water and went to sleep. I made sure I stayed hydrated today and did a weigh-in again this morning. It was 226.8, that's more like I expected, a three pound loss (seems to be the trend I have had lately). So that is the one I am counting this week. With the three pound loss I also tried on the size 18 jeans I had from the last time I lost weight and they fit! Yippee! I am wearing them to work tonight.

What do you think; can being dehydrated cause a 3 pound difference in your weight?

Today I also made spaghetti squash... first I went to the thrift store to find a small baking dish (all I have are big ones). So about 31 dollars later after I also found a pair of pants, a measuring cup, some toys for my niece and a very cool cake stand I also had my baking dish. Now that I had my two serving size baking dish I went home to prepare my first spaghetti squash meal. I layered the squash, a low-fat cheese mixture, and marina sauce in three layers (kind of like lasagna) and baked it for 30 minutes. I wasn't sure what to expect. I have had squash before and it always seemed to be more of a sweet taste, but that could have been the butter, brown sugar and marshmallow fluff. I wasn't sure what to expect. When I took it out of the oven it looked beautiful. I served up half with a side of salad. It was delicious. I will definitely be trying more things with spaghetti squash.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Spaghetti I think

I was reading a website yesterday about the wonder that is a spaghetti squash. Innards like spaghetti strands and way better for you than white pasta. Lets take a quick tally... for regular white spaghetti 240 calories, 1 gram of fat, 47 carbs, and 2 grams of dietary fiber. Compared to the spaghetti squash 40 calories, 0 grams of fat, 10 carbs and 2 grams of dietary fiber. Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner in the nutrition category.

However, I have been eating pasta all my life and know exactly how to buy it, cook it and eat it. I can not say the same for the squash. When I entered the automatic doors of the local grocery store I was a completely naive squash buyer and I didn't even know it yet. I go the produce department and find a giant cardboard bin labeled "Assorted squash 69 cents a pound." Assorted squash? How long have they been selling food like this? Well it's amazing how many varieties of squash there are and how different they aren't, I felt like I was playing a round of squash roulette. I had a vague image in my head of what I remember a spaghetti squash looked like from the website. I was standing over the bin saying, "Ok, just look for something that looks pumpkin-y but yellow." I narrowed it down to two and decided to buy the smaller of the two... if I choose poorly at least it didn't cost that much.

I got home and set the squash on the table until this morning. It takes about 45 minutes to cook in the oven and that is just about how long it takes for my morning run. I think I will quickly cut this open and put it in the oven while I am running. Well there doesn't seem to be such a thing as quickly cutting this thing open. I take the few jabs at it and I can't move my knife... hmmm... I grasp the closest solid object which happens to be a can opener and start using the knife and can opener like a hammer and chisel. I am just about ready to get out the blow torch when the thing finally cracks down the middle. At this point I am still uncertain that I even bought the right squash... so I slowly peak inside and I still have no idea. This is not what I was picturing but I throw it on the cookie sheet anyway and head out for my run (On a side note I recorded my fastest mile this morning... as my niece would say "I kicked asphalt). When I get home the innards are nice and soft and I scoop them out, and guess what? They actually look like spaghetti. So I bought the right one. Yeah me! Now the spaghetti innards are in the refrigerator for a recipe I am going to make tomorrow I will let you know who wins in the taste category... squash or pasta.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bloggers block

Is that a real thing? I am not sure but this week I just haven't had much to say. I considered writing about eating, but I only got a sentence out before running out of things to say. I started writing about "triggers" but didn't get past the title. I thought about writing several other things but nothing that I could get out of my head and into a Google Document. What do you write about when you have nothing to write about?

So today (while attempting to stay awake during a very boring night at work) I figured I would just sit down and start writing and not worry about where I end up.

Hmmm... did you know it's talk like a pirate day?

Hmmm... I sometimes think I want a different job.

Hmmm... I would like to travel for a full year. Is that crazy?

Sometimes I think I like change too much. I like my job and I like being close to my family but I always get this itch to change things... move to a new city, start a new job, make a new friend, get a new style. Then I say to myself... "Hey self! You're an adult now it's time to settle into a job and plan for your future."

That's probably a good idea.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Great work out day

Yesterday was the season premier of The Biggest Loser, and I had never seen the show before but since many people have mentioned the show on their blogs I figured I would watch it. It's an interesting show and by the end I was literally cheering them on from my living room sofa.

When I woke up this morning I was motivated to work out, I ran 3.5 miles then brought my bike in to get the tires fixed so I could ride my bike around town again (it has been sitting on my deck with a flat tire for weeks), and then I decided to give Zumba a try again tonight... and I rode my bike to the gym. It's a good thing that I did all that exercise because my eating wasn't great today, it wasn't terrible but I really wanted to eat anything and everything. I have always been a bored eater, when I can't think of something else to do I look in refrigerator. While sitting on the couch channel surfing to kill time (since I had the afternoon off from work) I wanted nothing more than to eat... eat chips or ice cream but I don't keep that around anymore so I had some grapes. When I finished those I wanted something else so I decided it would be a better idea to get out of the house for a while.

Came home in time for dinner and my urge to empty the refrigerator (much like Cookie Monster emptying a cookie jar) had passed and I am ready to settle in for the night.

PS... if you ever try Zumba and feel lost after the first class give it another try, it gets much easier the second time around.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My hips won't do that

I tried a Zumba class for the first time today. I was surprised by the number of people in the class ,there must have been about 40 and they were every age, weight and gender. I was kind of surprised by that. For some reason I pictured 20-40 year old fit women doing this. Anyway... about two minutes into the warm-up I started noting exits for the quickest and least noticeable exit... because I can not move like that. I am not sure what the instructor is doing with her hips but I am pretty sure I can't do it. Before making a hasty exit I decided to watch other people in the class too, and guess what, about 90% of the class sucked at least as bad as me (if not more). I didn't feel so bad after that. I just tried to follow along as best I could and not worry too much about it. It is pretty fun and the instructor is perky and cute (don't you just hate people like that?) I am just kidding she was actually pretty great and easy to follow, my moves looked more like repetitive aerobic movements and less like dancing but I think it's a good workout. I am pretty sure I will try it again.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weigh-in Day - a day early

I decided to weigh-in a day early because I am leaving town for the weekend and do not plan on traveling with my scale. The results this week... 229.8, that is a 3.2 loss for the week and a total loss of 34.2 pounds. :-)

I had a fun day with my family yesterday celebrating my birthday... we went to lunch at my favorite place. If you ever find yourself in Marinette Wisconsin (I am not sure why you would, but if you do) stop at Blue Bike Burrito it is very yummy and not only that but the guys who own it will let you do anything you want with the menu, so being on a special diet isn't a problem. You want grilled veggies on a taco shell with salsa and beans? No problem! Even though no one in their right mind would eat a taco that way, but then again, I have never claimed to be in my right mind. In the photos you can see two of my gifts, a hat that I can wear running when the weather turns cold and a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my sisters garden.

It was a lovely day. I hope you are having a lovely day too.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Birthday Thanks

Happy Birthday to me
my cake is fat-free.
My clothes are all baggy
get me a shopping spree.

Today is my birthday and since I accomplished my birthday goal weeks ago I am feeling pretty darn good about myself. So I started poking around some of your blogs and I just have to say it... I love you guys! Not in a I-am-watching-you-through-the-window kind of way but in a hand-me-a-drink-I-want-to-make-a-toast kind of way. You guys are awesome and awe inspiring! I don't know how many times I have been reading a blog and said "I want to try that" or "I want to do that" or "I want to be just like that." From "South Beach Steve" and his Tabata to "AM I Really That Fat" and her Zumba class . From "A Forty-somethings Weight Loss Journey" shopping for size 10 pants to "Fat-Free Me" running a 10K. BTW, I am going to try a Zumba class next week and I just downloaded some Tabata songs.

I feel so motivated by all your stories and success. Of course I also love your posts when they are about how frustrating it is to have the same number appear on the scale every week and how difficult it is to get through the parties and cravings. I can relate and it makes me feel less odd to know I am not the only one.

Thanks to everyone... maybe I could do it without you but I don't really want to find out because I am having too much fun reading all your posts.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

plaid pants

I love these pants... ok ok I know you hate them. Most people do. The guys at work pick on me mercilessly when I wear them. Today one guy said, "It's nice that you get to wear you pajamas to work." He snickered at me and I just said, "These pants are cool! What do you know about cool anyway?"

When I first dropped from a size 22 to a 20 I got these pants at Goodwill, and now they are getting a little bit big on me. I just have to say I am going to miss these pants when they are too big for me. I probably wouldn't even think about it but I don't really have a lot of clothes that I really like. Typically when I shop for clothes it goes like this...

Do they have it in my size?
Does the marked size actually correspond to my size?
Does it cover all the curves and bulges?
Is it at least not hideous?

If I answer yes to all these questions I buy it.

One of the things I think about while I am working out is how great it be to go shopping when I can go to any store and buy clothes off any rack. I do love these pants but even better will be loving all my clothes when I can actually wear what I want.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Week 9

Today was another weigh-in day... 233 pounds, a 3.2 pound loss from last week and a 31 pound loss total. I made the 30 pounds lost mark! Yippee!

A happy start to the day although it was a slow start to the day.

This morning I was less than ambitious when I opened my eyes and saw 6:30 in red illuminated numbers on my alarm clock. I was supposed to get up and run by 7:00 o'clock but that didn't really seem all that appealing as I laid curled up and cozy under my comforter. I did some quick reasoning with myself trying to think as many reasons as possible why it was acceptable, even preferable to stay in bed and have a lazy Sunday morning. Well let me just say it wasn't a hard sell and I drifted off to sleep promising myself that whatever time it was that I finally got out of bed I would run. The next time I opened my eyes the clock was telling me it was 9:00... ok that's late. I got out of bed and feed the cats and did my weigh in and checked my email and on and on. By the time I put on my running shoes it was almost 10:00. As is typically the case there was a price to pay for my procrastination. The sun was high in the sky and with was getting warm outside, I hate running when it's hot. There was quite a bit of traffic especially at the park I run through (when I run early I typically have the place to myself), I hate waiting for traffic at the corners. There were people everywhere, walking dogs, kids on bikes, and couples out for a stroll, I really prefer the solitude of morning runs. I will have to remember how much nicer it is to run early the next time I don't want to get out of bed.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The pants story

An interesting thing happened this morning while I was running... I had run for about half mile when I had to yank up my pants. I didn't think much of it but then after another few minutes I had to pull them up again and then again, it was starting to get a little frustrating having to pull up my pants every other minute. When they started to slip for about the fifteenth time I rolled my eyes and pulled them pack up and I grumbles "stupid pants" under my breath. As soon as I said it a light bulb went on... Wait. If my pants are falling down it must be because they are getting too big. And if my pants are getting too big that must mean that I am getting smaller.Yippie ! Suddenly I wanted to shout to passersby "Hey my pants are falling down." I wanted to shout it at cars and the that guy who passed me on the bike. "Hey! Guess What. My pants are falling down." I wanted to tell that lady walking her dog and those kids walking to school...ok maybe that's not a good idea ... I didn't want my weight loss joy to turn into a lewd conduct charge. Suddenly this thing that had made me so frustrated for the first half of run had me smiling and cheerful for the second half. I was so exited about it that later, to treat myself, I went to the store and bought a new pair of running pants.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pizza review

Pizza is one of my favorite foods on the planet. I don't know who invented it but I sure hope that guy got a Nobel Prize or something. I have been craving pizza lately but (insert sigh here) my favorite local pizza joint is definitely on the "avoid these foods while dieting" list. So I decided to take another route. I went to the grocery store and found several varieties of frozen pizza that were vegetarian and in a box labeled, light, healthy, lean, or whatever. Over the past three days I have tried all the brands my local grocer carries in an attempt to find my favorite healthy substitute for those days when I just really want pizza. I decide I would do a little review of all the pizzas I tried.

They first Day I tried the "Smart Ones four cheese pizza"
(370 calories 7 g fat)Definitely not my favorite, on a scale of 1 to 10 I would give this one a 1. The pizza had very little sauce on it so it was kind of dry. There was a lot of cheese but it didn't taste like cheese it tasted like nothing. I think the person who taste tested this pizza must have been skinny and figured that fat people will eat anything. Not going to be my pizza replacement.

The second day I tried the "Healthy Choice French bread pizza"
(350 calories and 5 g fat)
Meh... it's ok. I would eat it someone offered me a free one but I don't think I would buy it again. I would give it a 5 on the diet pizza scale. The crust didn't cook evenly so the ends were very hard by the time the middle cooked enough to melt the cheese. I like the texture in general and the sauce was really yummy.

The third day I tried the "Lean Cuisine Four Cheese Pizza"
(360 calories and 6g fat)
I like this one a lot... I would give it a 9 on the diet pizza scale. Cheese was abundant and yummy and the sauce was yummy. What more can I say? I think Lean Cuisine pizzas are going to be my healthy alternative during those pizza cravings.

But with three consecutive days of pizza for dinner it may be a while before those cravings hit again.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy morning

What an absolutely cheerful morning.

When I got home from my morning run I checked my refrigerator to plan the meals for the day and found the contents to be less than appealing. Either frozen Smart Ones Lasagna Florentine or canned soup. Hmmm neither of those sounded great and I didn't have any fruit at all (an absolute necessity). So I decided a trip to the grocery store was in my morning plans... but then I remembered it's Farmers Market Day! Is there anything better than a farmers market?

While I wandered around the booths of tomatoes, potatoes, jams and flowers I decided vegetable soup sounded wonderful. It got me thinking about the chicken dumpling soup my mom used to make when I was a kid. It had these great dumplings and I thought they were the best part of the soup. When I would go back for a second helping I would always skip the soup and just steal a couple more dumplings. I had to be sneaky about it because my Dad would always say that's cheating (like only picking the M&Ms out of the trail mix). I picked up the rest of the ingredients I needed and a gorgeous bunch of organic flowers to make my kitchen pretty while I cook. Since I have been avoiding white flour I couldn't make dumplings... or could I?

I wondered how dumplings would turn out using wheat flour. I did a quick search online for recipes and found a few... one that even called for raisins in the dumpling. What? Raisins? First they take over cookies and now dumplings. None of the recipes online sounded all that great. So I decided to make my mom's recipe (or what I think it was anyway) with a few substitutions to make them more diet friendly. Wheat flour for white flour, egg beaters for eggs, skim milk for 2% milk and so one.

It turned out great! The dumplings didn't hold together as well as Mom's did but they were really good with the right texture and everything. Now my kitchen smells like soup and is so cheerful with a bright bunch of flowers on the counter.

Wishing you all a cheerful day!