Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back from a Health Vacation

I'm proud to say that I went to the gym yesterday, started tracking my weight and food again, signed up for a few sessions with a personal trainer (starting Saturday) and am confident that I will stay on track this time around!

I've decided to go with wording in this post that will include pride and commitment - instead of shame and embarrassment for not exercising for three months, and definitely not watching what I eat.  I do work 7 days a week during the summer months due to holding two jobs, and I used that as my justification.  But now that it's over, I'm going to remain positive and get back into a good routine!

This routine will include working out (either a home video or at the gym) at least 3 days a week.  Ideally 5, but if I can get 3 in, I'll accept that as a starting point.  I'm also using MyFitnessPal again to track my food/calorie intake.

Surprisingly, I lost a few pounds over the summer!  Not sure how that happened...we'll explore that in a different post.

Also, I'll be utilizing the support system of fellow bloggers to motivate me!  By not keeping up on my daily blog readings, I simply stopped even thinking about staying healthy!  It made me realize that it really is a mindset, a way of life!  With all the billboards showing the newest juicy burger creations around town, it's easy to focus on that instead of a yummy vitamin-filled salad!

So here we go - back from my health vacation and ready to get my beach body (just in time for the winter, ha!).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Accept my apology for this apology post

I'm the type of person who gets annoyed at bloggers who keep making apology posts.  I've already had my fair  share of posts talking about lack of motivation, falling off the wagon, or simply giving in to the temptation that a few slices of pizza offers.  Posts like that are good at times, but in the long run too many of them provide the opposite of what I'm going for.  The mentality that forms is one that finds excuses to not change and not eat/be healthy.  And that's what I've done this past month.  A whole month!

I'm happy to say that I haven't gained any weight on the scale - but my body has lost what I worked three months to gain.  The definition that started to form in my arms are long gone.  The waistline on my jeans are now too tight again (whereas a month ago I was proud that I had to keep pulling them up, even with a belt on!).  I'm also a lot more tired and get worn out easily.  I've been using that tiredness as an excuse not to blog.  I'm still working over 40 hours a week, trying to get everything together to apply for grad school in a few months, and having those serious conversations with the hubby about starting a family in my lazy state of mind, I convince myself that I have no time to write, no time to work out, no time to prepare a healthy meal, on and on!  And that's just not true!

This is the result of too many excuses - nope, ain't gonna happen!

So, here we go again.  Down the path of being healthy and allowing this blog and the community that surrounds it to hold me accountable!  Summer is here, so I have no more time for excuses!  This will be the last apology post for this blog - challenge accepted!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Food Matters!

In the past week I came across numerous blogs raving about the two films Food Matters and Hungry for Change.  Since I had some time off work thanks to the kidney stones, I was able to watch both...and I think they were just the motivation I needed to not only keep going with eating healthy, but to realize how important it is for my body in the long term!  I have not resigned to the common thought that I will most likely have a heart attack in my 50's and be lucky to ever hit my mid-60's.  I don't feel entitled to stuff harmful food down my throat.  I feel a responsibility to this planet that gave us life.  These films educated me and helped solidify my desire to eat healthier!

 Here's a preview for Food Matters - go to to watch and learn more!

It's one thing to read about the pink slime in our ground beef, or the arsenic that is in our chicken breast...but somehow images from films stay with me longer.  Quotes stated by professionals will stay in my memory and randomly pop up like a song stuck in my head.  If you're the same way, I definitely recommend watching these films - don't worry, there are no grotesque images trying to sway you to become vegan.  Instead they show how we can prolong our lives and end most of our suffering simply by choosing healthier, fresh, organic options!  I have no desire to become dependant on medications as I grow older - I do believe my body can heal itself, and I'm going to join in this revolution!  I will give my body the best fighting chance I can!

Ok - stepping off my soap box for now.  Give it a watch and I hope it motivates you in the same way!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Rocking" My Kidneys, Not the Gym

As you knew from my last post, I had big plans to step it up and not allow anything to get in the way of my fitness and health goals! Well, life can have a morbid sense of humor at times, and decided that I had to wait to start my journey again - against my will!  I went to the ER yesterday when a small back pain grew into the most excruciating feeling all over my midsection, from under my hip bone up to my lungs!  Within 30 minutes of the pain starting, I was curled up on the bed and unable to move or speak.  I have never felt anything remotely close to that type of pain!

My husband rushed me to the hospital, where they quickly checked me in and proceeded to play musical chairs on my arm with the IV needle.  Finally they started pumping some pain meds into me and after a cat scan and some blood tests, they determined that I had kidney stones - ONE IN EACH KIDNEY! I didn't win the mega-millions lottery, so my body thought it'd make it up to me by granting me double the stones, double the pain.

One of the three marks made by the med student fishing for my vein...

I've since read online that the pain of kidney stones is worse than child birth, and this was confirmed by a facebook friend who has had I guess I'm now ready for anything life can throw at me!  I'm currently towards the end of a cycle of percocet, so while the pain is pretty bad right now, my mind is clear enough to actually write an update post!  I won't be so lucky in about an hour...

So now my main goal is to drink as much water as I can until the pain on both sides goes away.  While I do have some fruit that I've been snacking on, it's not really a balanced diet that I'm on, and don't even mention doing something like running to me right now!  I think that if I could ignore the pain enough to do that, I'd probably get lost and disoriented with the meds that I'm on...

So, as soon as these stones pass, I'll get back into the healthy lifestyle again - hopefully it'll be sooner rather than later!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where'd the Wagon Go?

I haven't posted in a while because to be honest, I want to preach what I practice, and this last week I've been far from a saint. I started making excuses to not eat healthy...and they kept growing and growing!  Here are my top 3 excuses and the reasons I felt justified in breaking away from my diet:

1. A Going Away Party - I wouldn't see my friend for 3 months as he traveled for work, and since we took him out to a nice restaurant, I decided to get what everyone was raving about - the baked mac and cheese, topping over 1,000 calories...  I don't go out to fancy places much, so I wanted to treat myself (and I admit, peer pressure played a part...sigh).

2. Eating Dinner at the Mall Food Court - My hubby and I had just bought a couple new games. We knew that the rest of the night we'd be glued to our controllers and wouldn't take the time to make dinner, so we decided to eat at the mall. While looking at a BBQ place, McDonalds, Sbarro, etc, we went with Panda Express and ordered the steamed rice...but we cancelled out that healthy choice with the other options they offered...and that meal went over 1,000 calories as well.

3. Ordering Buttered Popcorn at the Movies - I only see movies in the theatre about 3-4 times a year at best, so I once again gave in to peer-pressure and ate a medium buttered popcorn while watching the Hunger Games.

So those are my three biggest sins for this past week.  These all tied in to not working out as well.  I didn't make the time to go to the gym on those days, especially since I was feeling stuffed and just wanted to chill on the couch instead. 

I'm surprised looking back to notice how past actions can have a domino effect.  It's easy to keep going down that familiar road, and keep stacking up the bad habits...and live with the consequences of weight gain and poor health.  But instead, I'm starting again today, full force!  I had my Fiber Once cereal for breakfast, and 0% fat Greek yogurt and granola for a mid-morning snack.  I have a spinach, mushroom and carrot salad packed for lunch with raspberry vinaigrette, and I think for dinner I'll do a grilled chicken breast on the George Foreman grill with some steamed broccoli and a glass of ovaltine for dessert.  I'll get back on the wagon that I fell off of, and stay on it this time around!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Don't flirt with me - I'm workin' out!

When do you feel the sexiest?  Possibly when you're wearing a cute little black dress with strappy heels?  Or riding a bull at the western bar?  Maybe just waiting for the bus, turning your head so that the slight breeze blows your hair like you're in a shampoo commercial.  But not at the gym...unless you're already in shape, which I am not.

But there I was, stepping off my elliptical after 20 minutes and wiping the sweat off my forehead, uppper lip, everything! My face looked like a 3-day long sunburn was pasted on it, and my mouth was hanging half-way open.  Oh baby. Oh baby.  I grabbed my water bottle to head over to the weights when the guy who was on the  elliptical next to me told me he liked my shirt.  What?  Did I hear that right?  And he said, yeah, that the shirt looked really good on me.  He stopped and leaned closer to read what it said....

The logo on my shirt - just not as dirty!

"Average Joe gym, huh?  Well, you're anything but average!" I smiled and said thanks, and promptly turned to get over to the weights as soon as possible!  Why would he be hitting on me at a time like this, with a shirt like that, AND a ring on my hand!?  There's definitely something that he's seeing that is absent when I look in the mirror.

I head over to the weights and start on the one at the end that works your triceps when you push the handles forward (example below).  I'm on my last rep of 10 when sweaty creeper guy comes over to the machine next to me and starts to tell me how I'm wasting my time going from one machine to the next when I could just focus on the machine that he's on.  I let him know that I'm fine doing my machine migration, but he insists that once I try his machine, I'll be hooked.  He even offered to show me how to do the exercises! 

Apparently this machine has sex appeal.

I finally pry myself away from the conversation and keep going down the row of weight machines, farther and farther from the wanna-be-boyfriend.  I end up only doing a few machines before being ready to go home.  It threw off my groove for the night, and I couldn't get back into "the zone" of working out.

My husband found the whole thing pretty amusing, and said that I held my own fairly well.  I know that I should find it flattering, but instead I was annoyed the whole time.  The gym is my zen place of sorts, and I don't like distractions.  I get home from work after 10 hours and all I want to do is focus on my body and how far I can push it.  I don't want to worry about keeping advances at bay.  Plus, there's the sexy factor.  There isn't one, and if I don't feel sexy while I'm doing an activity, any sort of attempted flirting is baffling to me!

I hope that he got the hint that I'm not interested and I don't have to play keep-away at the gym tonight!  But, I will give him props for giving it a try.  Maybe the next chic that he says hi to will be a little more receptive that I was.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eating Healthy - Mexican Style

Is there really such a thing as a healthy item on a Mexican restaurant's menu?  This is a dilemma to me, because living in Colorado gives me access to numerous Mexican cuisines on a daily basis!  In fact, the building I work in has a burrito place, and a Chipotle and Qdoba are each  within two blocks of this building!

I know there is healthy Mexican food - in fact, I could simply throw some rice, tomatoes and black beans into a tortilla and call that a healthy burrito!  But that's in the comfort of my own home.  When I eat out, I'm faced with a menu filled with items that are fried, smothered with cheese and chili, and topped with sour cream - AND all served in larger portions than we should ever encounter!  There is no option to have steamed veggies on the side, nor is there a salad menu (yeah, a taco salad is NOT healthy...).  I feel doomed every time!

I cannot find it in me to recommend cutting back on the tequila though....

So I did a little research online and created a list to share with you guys!  Here's some tips for finding healthier options at a Mexican restaurant:

- NO queso/cheese dip for an appetizer
- No more that about 10-12 chips dipped in salsa (that is one serving size that equals around 200 calories).
- Nothing deep fried (taquitos, chimichanga, etc)
- Black Beans instead of Pinto or Refried
- Brown instead of White Rice
- Grilled Chicken instead of Beef
- Soft Shells instead of Hard (hard=fried)
- Corn instead of Flour Tortillas (less calories)
- Or even better, go naked!  No Toritlla at all!
- Hold the cheese, sour cream and avocado/guac (avocados are healthy, but are high in calories which you won't want with a meal that's already bursting at the seams!)
- And, of course, only order water with your meal instead of a soda:)

I'm hoping this will help for the next time you go out for Mexican!  My next time is in about 50 minutes with some co-workers...wish me luck!