Who Runs the World? Me!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a true blog post, so let’s catch up!

We have to go all the way back to Wednesday, which included a veggie scramble, fruit, and waffles for breakfast.

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My obsession for the week was a Thai chopped salad. Romaine and spinach mix, with peppers, carrots, cucumber, tomato, and chicken mixed with feta and a sesame ginger dressing that was oh so good! Some pickles on top for something a little different.

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My workout on Wednesday was a four mile run in the rain. I’ve been digging running lately and it’s making me very excited to see how far I can go with it. I finished with a body strength circuit of squats, lunges, push ups, hip lifts, and sit ups. Whew.

For dinner, I enjoyed grilled shrimp, spinach rice, and a vegetable medley of cauliflower, asparagus, and red peppers.

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I woke up Thursday ready for a pancake breakfast. Peanut butter makes the world go round.

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Lunch was another delicious Thai chopped salad with the same ingredients. A few chips on the side for crunch.

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Thursday’s workout started with a mile swim. I’ve been keeping pace and feeling strong! I also fit in a kettlebell strength circuit along with some core work.

Dinner was a spinach salad with chicken and a side of leftover rice.

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I was still hungry when I finished, so I made myself half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a cup of hot chocolate for a treat!

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Friday morning, I made quite a feast for myself and it’s a good thing I did because I had something big to fuel up for. First, a whole wheat waffle with berries and then, scrambled egg whites with cheese.

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When I headed out for a run on Friday, I expected to do about 2-3 miles before a strength workout I had planned. Instead, I was feeling strong and decided to go for as long as I could. 10 miles later and I was finally heading in the direction of home. I ran 10 miles! Just a few weeks ago, I feel like I was complaining about how it was hard to run 5 and now I’ve busted past that plateau. Hard work and determination does pay off, friends!

My recovery lunch was a ton of water, an english muffin with peanut butter, and most of this salad. The bad part about running include my lack of desire for vegetables and all the cuts along my panty and bra line. I need to figure out what to do about that problem in particular.

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On Saturday, I started off with an egg, cheese, and chicken sausage sandwich on an english muffin before opening at work. That afternoon, my college roommate Stephanie and I headed out to an amusement park for the day. We decided to leave our phones in the car, so there is no documentation of our adventures. Including all the rides- I love roller coasters!!- we split a chicken finger and waffle fry dish for lunch, slurped down ice cream, then went through the haunted houses the park offered after dark. I won’t be rushing back to those anytime soon, but I did love the rides.

Once we got back, we shared a pizza and salad while watching The Grudge, since neither of us saw it before. It was tame as far as scary movies go, but still fun.

On Sunday, I made my pumpkin waffles for a nice fall breakfast.

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For my workout, I headed out for another run and went 6.25 miles, the length of a ten k. I was feeling so good once again, except my foot kept falling asleep. This happened a few runs ago too, but luckily it doesn’t seem to be consistent. It’s quite the nuisance though when you’re trying to hit your stride!

My sister and her husband came over for dinner that consisted of barbecue chicken, ribs, Brussel sprouts, baked beans, and banana bread. I forgot to take a picture, but it was a masterpiece! I had higher hopes for the Brussel sprouts as it was a recipe of my own creation, but I think I got heavy handed with the maple syrup and everything turned gooey. It included sprouts, chopped apple, chopped walnuts, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Yummy, but gooey.

And here we are to today! For breakfast, I chowed down on scrambled egg whites with cheese and a chicken sausage and grilled up a piece of banana-zucchini bread with butter and a smear of jelly. It hit the spot!

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Now I’m ready for a workout and for the rest of the day!

Traipsing About: Words and Workouts

I’ve been watching quite a bit of Gilmore Girls lately, thanks Netflix, and I’m really enjoying it. When it was on, I would watch an episode here or there, but it was never one of my core shows. The dialogue moves fast, but that’s one of the aspects I like about it. As a writer, I am trying to learn more about how dialogue flows and pertains to certain characters, so really, it’s a learning process when I watch…

One thing I’ve noticed is how frequently they use the word “traipsing.” This might seem like an odd stand-out, but the emphasis stems from the fact that I learned how to properly pronounce traipsing from the show. It’s difficult to convey to you my history of mispronouncing words, mostly because the element of humor and appreciation would be best viewed from hearing it. There was the “compromise” situation that started it all, pronounced by me, “com. promise.” Most recently, I learned that the word “acquiesce is not pronounced in the manner I always assumed (and to be honest, my pronunciation is far prettier). I tended to stretch out the word when apparently it’s just a jumble. I can’t even explain how I would say “traipsing,” but I’ve learned and now Gilmore Girls won’t let me forget it. Lesson learned!

Onto some exercise talk, which starts with the swim I did last Thursday where I last left you. My incorporation of sprints in my swim time is fun, necessary, and exhausting. It does make swimming, which has the tendency to be boring and repetitive lap after lap, move more quickly and adds another challenge. It wipes me out in a good way and I feel more satisfied when leaving.

The more I exercise and it has been an ingrained habit, the less effect exercise has on my body. In order to do real “damage,” and I mean that on a positive level, I need to keep upping the challenges and this becomes difficult. Sprints are one way I blast through a plateau. I add them in my swimming, running, biking, and jump roping and I’m planning on including them in my strength workouts for this month as well. I’ve mentioned quite a bit about Tabata intervals, which means you perform one move for twenty seconds, rest for ten seconds, over a course of four minutes. This is an effective workout and should be included with the more stable exercises, such as a longer, steadier run, swim, bike ride, etc. Having the body go from a resting state to a high intensity state has an awesome effect on your body and fitness level. I like to leave my workouts with a thick glaze of sweat coating my body, which has proved more difficult than it has in the past. Having to up the ante may seem like an annoying, difficult process, but I see it as an accomplishment and challenge to go even further.

On Friday, I headed to the gym to do a series of strength workouts. I started on the barbells doing a series of key moves like deadlifts, bench presses, squat presses, and leg presses. Since I was crunched for time, I moved onto a couple of kettlebell circuits that get in both strength and cardio exercises.

Before the fun adventures on Saturday night, I went out for a run. I started off feeling ambitious about the hills, but my body was tired and not on the same page, so I took a few of them at a slow run or even a fast walk. Hill runs are another element I want to include in my workout a few times a week. I’ll start at one and see how it goes and hopefully add more the better I get at it.

I do love working out and it is my biggest stress relievers, however, I have no shame in informing you that I planned my rest day last week to fall on my birthday. I was too busy celebrating with friends and family to fit in any time at the gym. The effects of a relaxing, fun rest day was just what I needed to rejuvenate and I headed into the gym on Monday raring to go! I got through a strength workout that incorporated some moves using medicine balls and the stability balls, including that burpee move I couldn’t get through last week. I followed up my strength workout with another swim and felt nice and tired, but energized on my way home.

I renovated my strength workouts a bit and on Tuesday, I tried out my new dumbbell routine using the stability ball. This helps my core while strengthening my muscles. I did a circuit that included shoulder presses, lying tricep extensions, shoulder flies, and bench presses. I was once again a bit overly ambitious and attempted to perform some plank rows with my feet on the stability ball. This will have to be an accomplishment I work towards and instead had no trouble balancing on the ground. After four sets of twelve, I moved on to do two kettlebell circuits that focused on strength and core work. To end, I tried to jump rope, but for some reason, I wasn’t in my groove and couldn’t keep a consistent pace.

I’m headed now to do a Yoga sequence before traipsing* out for a run. Here’s to hoping I don’t slip on any wet, gross leaves. You’ll hear about it if I do!

*I realize that traipsing means moving without care, but I couldn’t resist the pun!

A Love Letter To Weight Watchers And Why It’s Time To Say Goodbye

Dear Weight Watchers,

It’s not you, it’s me. And I mean that. You see, it’s been quite the past year between the two of us. You changed my life for the better and words will never be able to describe just what you have helped me to do.

90 pounds down in one year. Life lessons learned. You saved my life.

What’s the problem then? Well, you see, 90 pounds lost is amazing. Incredible. Much more than I ever thought possible. But I still have a bit more to go. How much? I’m uncertain, but right now I’m focusing on those last ten pounds.

This summer, I didn’t gain one ounce and I can’t say I wasn’t a little heavy-handed on the ice cream scooper. See, summer is my hard time. For some people, it’s the holiday season but for me it’s the warmth. I so much as sniff a flower growing and I want ice cream. But because of what I learned from you, I knew to take what I wanted and didn’t overindulge elsewhere like I would have done in the past.

But the problem is, I didn’t lose an ounce either. Now, I know that once I get down to a certain point, weight loss will be slower. But I haven’t lost a pound since June 1 and it’s time I stop thinking that my pace has slowed naturally and start realizing that there’s something deeper I need to address.

It’s not so much that you’re the problem as you are aiding my problem. As I have discussed before on this blog, lately I can’t get out of my own way. I now know why that is. I’m being obsessive. I’m regressing into past issues with obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety and I’m obsessively following a plan without realizing what I’m doing.

I’m not living in the moment. I’m not realizing me in that moment.

Changes must happen now and I think it’s time I try it on my own. I’m giving it a month to measure how I do. If I start gaining back weight or feel like it’s not working, then I’ll come back to you in an instant. But I’m really hoping that’s not the case.

See, it’s not an issue at all. You did all I asked of you and more. Maybe you were a little too good at your job. You taught me how to eat right, to exercise more, and have portion and self-control. You kept me in line and made me aware of my habits. You helped me lose 90 pounds, but we both know that the depth of what losing that 90 pounds means is much deeper than my weight.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it 1,000,000 times more. You saved my life. You gave me hope. You made me realize me and my potential.

I think it’s time I start listening to those instincts you helped me hone on my own. I need to listen to my body, mind, and soul. I need to do it without the points and without the system. I need to just feel. And because of you and because of me, because of what we did together, I know I can do this.

The fact that I stopped losing weight at 90 pounds is not the biggest issue. Yes, I’d like to lose a bit more and get more toned, but that’s not the most important thing to me.

Being at this standstill and blindly following without the awareness has made me lose sight of what I have done. I’m too focused on the end result and to be honest, I still don’t know exactly what the end result is.

I need to focus on the journey. I need to be aware of every moment. I need to listen to my instincts, signals, and feelings.

Just know that without you, none of this happens. Not the beginning, the middle, nor the end. I’m not saying you don’t work because clearly you do. It’s just time, like any great parent/mentor-child/mentee relationship. You need to let me go. And I need to be confident that I can do things on my own.

My journey has not ended, it’s just taking a different path. And maybe there will come a time when our paths meet again.

But I think we’re both hoping that won’t be the case.

Goodbye dear friend, and thank you for my life.