Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's A Beautiful Day!

By my 7:00 p.m. training appointment with Alex, it was just the right temperature to do an outside workout. Which means training with the TRX system! I tell you, I really like it. It is hard, and I feel like a loser sometimes, but I get a serious workout! I am still wobbly in the arms and jelly-like in my legs, and I can feel every muscle in my shoulders. And it is a good, spent feeling.

I need to get in a run. My last one was almost a week ago. I am going to try to get all of my work done around the house tonight so that I can go out for a 5:45 a.m. run in the morning before work. Slow and hopefully at least three miles, but steady and serious cardio.

I have been following the eating plan for 11 days now, and I am down about 10 pounds. I haven't even wanted to deviate. As a matter of fact, I am looking at a very off plan day tomorrow because 1) we are taking a co-worker out for lunch to celebrate her return to the office after a leave of absence and 2) I am having a super-duper sleep over with my friend's two girls, my own girl-child, and my friend Joann and her son where we will be eating pizza and drinking Dark & Stormys (well, the adults will be... just some milk or juice for the kids). And I am honestly not really looking forward to two meals off plan.

I am going to minimize lunch, and try to order as close to plan as possible based on where we go. Hopefully we will do Mexican because then I will have some veggies and beans with guacamole and salsa. And for dinner Joann is bringing salad, so I am going to focus on that and minimize the pizza (Holy Red Light Food, Batman!). Maximum of 2 drinks, too.

I really feel so much better eating on this plan. I have lost my sugar craving, don't miss the artificial sweeteners at all, and am satisfied with less food. I dont' feel so panicked and desperate when I get hungry. I don't feel the need to stuff myself with huge quantities of food. If that means starying away from sugar and artificial sweeteners and processed food, I'll do it. It is so nice not to have it always be my focus. I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch, vary my snack between 3 or 4 choices, and base my dinners around veggies of some sort and a small bit of protein. I even go to bed a bit hungry sometimes and don't absolutely hate it. It's a good place to be with my eating, a middle ground that I have rarely experienced. Very freeing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Personal Training Session - TAKE 2

I had my second session with Alex tonight, and much to my great relief we did not have it outside again. I just cannot fathom a workout in this 90 degree and insanely high humidity weather. I am a fair weather exerciser, and once it tops 79 I am all about the inside!

We did a lot of jumping and springing work, a bit of yoga, work on my hips and glutes, VERY modified push-ups, work on my wrists and hands and forearms... basically, we did very different things than the last session. I really enjoy how he mixes it up for me because I would get bored with the same old same old pretty quickly.

I don't think that I will be as sore as I was from the first session, but I can already feel the workout in many areas. Now that I have two sessions under my belt, I am looking forward to them more and feeling less fear! But I do want to get some more time with the TRX soon. That was something!

I am still doing well with the food plan, and have basically reverted to my vegetarian ways. I had chicken once last week, and that was my only meat. Besides milk or half and half in my coffee and the occasional yogurt, I have also been vegan. I feel like I am back in college when I was totally vegan for 2 1/2 years! Once the frozen chicken is gone, I am going back to a vegetarian life here at home. As a guest in other homes I will make concessions if need be, but I have been wanting to go back to my vegetarian ways for a long time now. Just don't tell my surgeon because he thinks my protein levels are too low with that kind of diet now that I am "large intestine"-less. We will see what my next blood test shows, and then I will go from there.

So all in all a good week. My running seriously lacked, mostly because I have traded two of my standard running nights for the personal training, and also because I was seriously too sore to run all weekend after my oh-so-short run on Friday morning. But my goal is to get in at least two decent runs a week in addition to the training.

Onward to Session 3 on Thursday, and hopefully even more new moves!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Week 1 Results

I started following my trainer's meal program a week ago, and I have experienced some very interesting changes.

First and foremost, I am down 8.6 pounds. Yep, not a typo. I must have been retaining some SERIOUS water!

The second best change that I have noticed is that I am satisfied with less food. And I am not as ravenous as usual when mealtime rolls around. Sometimes I do not feel full after I finish a meal or a snack, but I wait for awhile and the next thing I know it is time for my next meal! That is downright miraculous as I always refer to myself as "The Bottomless Pit".

Third, I just plain feel better. I have more energy, I feel lighter, and I feel like I am nourishing my body in a healthy manner. Although I think I need more protein, so I am going to discuss that with my trainer this week.

Fourth, both my grocery bill and stress over meal planning have dramatically decreased. I only buy what I need for the week now, and I plan my weekly meals ahead of time so it is never a challenge to figure out what to bring for lunch or what to make for dinner.

And finally, I have found the most scrumptious breakfast that I have had in oh-so-many years. Avocado Toast. I lightly toast 2 slices of Ezekiel 4:9 Bread, spread a teaspoon of honey mustard and 1/4 avocado on each slice, drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil across the both of them, layer them with fresh basil leaves and a thinly-sliced roma tomato, and top them with some freshly ground sea salt. Food of the gods, in my opinion. And I eat this every morning!

I am also drinking much more water now that I have cut out the artificial sweeteners. This also makes me happy, and my skin is feeling pretty happy, too!

I have my second training session tomorrow night (right as the last twinges of pain are leaving my body from the first one!), and I'll be back to report on it as soon as I can!

Friday, June 18, 2010

He Hurt Me!

That's been my response to the question "How did your first personal training session go yesterday?" Although it is a bit untrue, as he did not actually hurt me but instead made me hurt myself! I am sore sore sore and getting more sore by the minute. Advil, take it away!

As I pulled my van into the fitness studio, Alex was waiting for me in the parking lot. No sooner did I lock the van doors than he had me in the first move. He had a TRX system attached to the outside of the building, and we spent most of the first 40 minutes working with that. And let me tell you, it was HARD! I felt like a wimp, and was panting like a dog half of the time. The rest of the first 40 minutes was spent doing a workout using metal rails in the parking lot... jumps, push-ups, wall sits, knee lifts, lunges... oh my.

With shaky arms and legs, we went inside for the last 10 minutes and did some legwork. We never touched a weight (other than my own body weight), but I got a serious strength workout. I am hooked.

I will say that it was harder than I thought it would be. He timed my breaks and only allowed them between every two exercises. I even felt like crying at one point (sissy!) and had moments of the "I can't do this" feeling, which I promptly swallowed and kept hidden. But it gave me a real wake-up call to see how out of shape I am on the strength side. I can run for 3 hours straight, but I can not even do a single real push-up. How sad.

I will be meeting with Alex on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I really think that this is the push that I need to take my goals to the next level. I am also following the food plan that he recommended, and I love it. I even turned down bakery cake at work and popcorn at the movies tonight, and I really did not feel bad about it. You will find a typical day's menu below to see the kind of food that is on the plan, and it is whole and healthy food and not the protein-laden fare that I expected (thank goodness!).

In addition to radically changing my diet this week, I also cut out almost all artificial sweeteners... and once the Light & Fit yogurt is gone, I plan to cut it out altogether. I changed from Splenda to stevia in my coffee, and it has been just fine. I did have a crazy-tired detox day on Wednesday, and had to talk the child into going to bed with mommy at 8:00 p.m. I slept until 5:45 a.m., felt rested, and have been feeling better ever since.

I had a run planned for this morning, a five miler, but frankly my poor body could only handle 2 so I cut it WAY short. I felt like the walking wounded both from the workout (and sore muscles from) the night before and from the early morning workout time (5:45 a.m. instead of my typical 6:30 p.m.). Can you say BOINK???

I am really excited about working with Alex. I am in for 24 more sessions, which should take me right up to the weekend of my next half marathon on September 12th. Which brings me to my big concern, that I will not have enough time to properly train for the half. If it comes down to it and I have to make a choice, my choice is working with Alex. I am not giving up the ghost, but as a single mom who works full-time and commutes 2+ hours a day on top of that, I just do not see how I am going to be able to fit two training sessions and three runs in each week. But I am going to try.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Calories Protein Fat Carbohydrates
Bread - Ezekial 4:9 (1 slice), 2 serving 160 8 0 30
Average Roma Tomato, 1 serving 16 1 0 4
Avocados, California (Haas), 0.5 fruit without skin and seeds 144 2 13 7
Olive Oil, 1 1tsp 40 0 5 0
Basil, 4 leaves 1 0 0 0
Honey Mustard, 2 tsp 20 0 0 2
Milk, nonfat, 0.5 cup 43 4 0 6
Meal Totals 424 15 18 50


Calories Protein Fat Carbohydrates
Bird Eye Steamfresh Broccoli Florets, 4 cup 120 4 0 16
Orange Pepper (bell pepper - 3-3/4" long, 3" dia), 186 gram(s) 50 2 0 12
Taboule Salad, 10 tbsp 150 5 5 15
Apples, fresh, 1 medium (2-3/4" dia) (approx 3 per lb) 81 0 0 21
Almond Butter, 1 tbsp 101 2 9 3
Meal Totals 503 14 15 67


Calories Protein Fat Carbohydrates
Asparagus, fresh, 20 spear, small (5" long or less) 55 5 0 11
Olive Oil, 1 1tsp 40 0 5 0
mushroom, portabella cap - 1 cap-3 oz serv, 1 serving 20 3 0 4
Onions, raw, 0.5 small 13 0 0 3
Peppers, sweet, red, fresh, 0.5 medium (approx 2-3/4" long, 2-1/2" dia) 16 1 0 4
Grapes, 2 cup, seedless 120 2 2 57
Dates, 1 date 23 0 0 6
Tyson Grilled Chicken Breast Strips, 4 oz 133 25 2 4
Meal Totals 421 37 9 89


Calories Protein Fat Carbohydrates
Medjool dates, 2 date, pitted 133 1 0 36
Almonds, 24 almond 166 6 15 6
Dannon Light & Fit Nonfat Vanilla Yogurt, 6 oz., 1 serving 80 5 0 15
Strawberries, fresh, 1 cup, halves 46 1 1 11
Meal Totals 425 13 15 67
Daily Totals 1,772 79 57 273

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Making A Healthy Choice After a Stressful Morning

Last night I went out and had some fun with Delane and her friends in the city. We saw Sex & The City 2 and then went out to Martini Ranch for a few drinks. Having a fun evening always makes me wake up in a good mood the next morning (as long as a hangover is not involved!), so today started off on a good note.

Good things continued to happen as I heard from our board president that my roof repair had been authorized and would begin soon. No more leaking in my daughter's room... YIPPEE! And no more money out of my pocket to fix it.

Then it was off to the doctor for a follow up appointment. I needed to have my Vitamin D level rechecked after a 12 week course of high dose prescription supplementation. This is where the day took a turn for the worse. First of all, I *hate* being weighed at the doctor's office in the middle of the day, fully clothed, after a huge lunch and several cups of coffee. Yuck, but whatever.

Then the doctor was running very late, about two patients behind. So I waited. Until a knock came on the door to the exam room where I was waiting. It was the woman from the front desk at the office, asking me if I owned a silver minivan (which I do). Because someone had hit it in the parking lot.


So I went out there to see the damage and trade information with the woman (another patient of my doctor). She asked that we not call the cops or handle it through insurance, and told me that it was her fault and that she would pay for the repair herself. My poor crushed bumper... but at least the van was still operable. I agreed to handle it that way because I had several witness from the office to whom she had admitted fault, so I felt protected if things went wrong.

I waited for an hour for the doctor, had my appointment, and then headed home. All I wanted was something sweet. Lots of something sweet. A bathtub full of it, maybe. So I started to scour my cabinets to find something , but instead introduced a supreme intervention on myself.

I decided to call a personal trainer whose name I got from my hair stylist instead of binging on sweets. And after a 30 minute conversation with him, I have my consultation with him on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. And I am so damn excited!!!!

I never get vacations because I have no time off from work because my every vacation day is used to care for my child when she is sick or school is off and I cannot find alternate care. So I have decided that I am going to spend my "summer vacation" money on a trainer this summer. An investment in me!

His hours are very flexible, and he will let me bring my daughter to the studio to play quietly in the corner if need be. And did I mention that I am so excited?!?

I'll report more after our first meeting on Thursday. I am looking forward to being whipped into shape!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Month, Fresh Start

I don't know why, but I am one of those people who put a lot of emphasis on beginnings... new days, new weeks, new months, new years. And for some reason June feels like all of them rolled into one! Maybe it is lingering happiness over school ending and summer beginning coupled with long days and warmer weather. The opening of our pool. More light. No more snow for awhile (well, this IS Chicago so you never know, but...).

I went to bed last night knowing that June was going to be good. Even though I felt crummy today, I knew that I was having a fresh start after a slack-off month in May post-half marathon. And that's what today has been. Fresh, yummy, and happy.

Here's what I ate today:

1 cup of fresh blueberries
1/2 cup of Fiber One cereal
6 ounces of vanilla yogurt

Morning Snack
Huge cup of coffee with a splash of skim milk and some Splenda

Grilled chicken breast (that had been marinated in a yummy salsa)
Mediterranean orzo pasta salad (more on that later... yum)
Fresh pineapple

Afternoon Snack

Light string cheese

Boca burgers on a sandwich thin with Vivi's Original Carnival Mustard and fat free cheese slices
More of the orzo pasta salad

A healthy and delicious day of eating, along with 4 cups of fresh water and 4 cups of green tea. And then a 45 minute swim in our pool after work to top it all off. What a day!

The Mediterranean orzo pasta salad was left-over from a BBQ at a friend's house yesterday. I made up my own recipe and I just love it! I cooked some orzo, added cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, capers, baby spinach, fresh basil, reduced fat feta, fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, Greek seasonings, and ground sea salt & pepper. Amazing! And even better the next day. This may become a signature dish.

I also tried the Vivi's mustard for the first time and I LOVE IT!!!! It really jazzed up my Boca burgers, and I can't wait to try it on other foods. Now if I can just figure out where to buy it locally because mail order shipping costs on glass jars are crazy!

So, here's to a wonderful June with lots of fresh food, good swimming, and getting back on track with my running. Family & good friends and outdoor fun NOT optional!