Sunday, November 15, 2015

I feel great!

Did my Sunday morning workout. 40 minutes on the bike, then Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown level 2. My first time doing it and got through the whole thing! It was definitely a challenge, but I feel awesome for having done it.

I still have energy for the afternoon. No nap today!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday weigh-in

Weighed in today at 138! I am 12 pounds down since the beginning of September. My mini goal is to hit 135 this month.
Pounds lost is a quick metric to measure progress, butI realize that as I continue to shed fat and gain muscle the number on the scale will become less important.
My ultimate goal is to eliminate my tummy fat, and to become lean and strong. Dropping clothing sizes, seeing the visual changes in my body, and becoming stronger in my workouts will be the true measure of progress.

It's an exciting journey and I feel confident that I will meet my goals!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Back on track!

After a week of blahs, I'm back on track! Did Fat Burning Ab Attack last night. Weighed in this morning at 139.5! My calorie tracker projects that I will hit my goal of 135 on November 28, the day after Thanksgiving. This amuses me, as the day after Thanksgiving is the worst day of the year to weigh oneself!
Feeling healthy and energetic this morning. I think I got away with just a few days of aches and fatigue instead of the full blown nasty cold so many of my coworkers have. Perhaps the exercise is boosting my immune system?

Did 6 sets of biceps curls this morning!  3 basic and 3 zottman. I'm noticing new muscles!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Had a rough week or so, fitness wise. Last week of the month was period time, and I felt cruddy most of the week. Then I went away for the weekend. Then this week I've been fighting the cold going around work.

My workouts were lighter over the past week. I did not meet my October goal by the 31st. But....I hit it today!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Last time I did my kickboxing video was about three weeks ago. The first time I  did it it was Hard! It was the workout that pushed me and frankly, triggered some anxiety. Today it was a good and challenging workout, but it felt easier. I really see my endurance improving!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tuesday weigh-in: determination (and a little faith)

The scale had been stuck at 142 for the past week. 141 today!

This was the point wherein I tried not to get discouraged.  Exercising and eating right,  but no weight change. Instead of giving up, I dug in and had faith that the plan would work. Why did the scale stall out? I knew that the rapid weight loss would slow down as my body got used to increased exercise and less crap food. It could be that I'm replacing fat with muscle. I just know that if I keep it up, my body will continue to change.

I did see other signs of progress in the past week. I gave away two pairs of pants and a bra that were too big. And, last night during The Firm Cardio Sculpt, I noticed that push-ups no longer make me say bad words!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunday Buns-day

Just finished today's workout. 55 minutes on the bike, 5 minutes of weighted lunges, and 20 minutes of The Firm Body Sculpt Lower Body. Good day!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Scale stall out

Still consistent at 142. Need to cut out the weekday stouts!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Firm Body Sculpt

I did not have a great workout today, but I still did it. Last time I did this video I did 10 min. Today I committed to 25 and did just that. I wanted to quit around minute 17 but kept going. I thought I had strong legs until this video! I was distracted though, by a rough day at work, so I felt I was not fully focused. Oh well! I still did it, and tomorrow is another day.

Five Weeks Down, aaaand GO!

I do not write as prolifically as Rachael (as you can obviously see). I contemplate my ideas and wait until something is fully fleshed out to post it. I have a new gym schedule and have set some new goals for myself-

I am currently going to the gym 6 days. Here's what my week looks like:

  • Sunday: 30 minutes on the treadmill for Couch to 5K (yep!), 9am CrossFit, 4pm Restorative Yoga
  • Monday: 5:30pm Yoga
  • Tuesday: 30 minutes on the treadmill before work
  • Wednesday: 6am CrossFit
  • Thursday: 6am Yoga
  • Friday: 30 minutes on the treadmill before work
On Saturday I rest, but I get antsy, so I will often throw my yoga mat down and do a little stretching... feels so good!

I am not shedding pounds like crazy, but a few people have told me I look trimmer. My yoga instructor told me this morning that I look "lighter"- I love this, because part of my goal in all this was to reduce stress and improve my mental health overall.

Yesterday at CrossFit, a large part of our WOD was running, which is still not a strong suit for me, but I was out there and while other people from my class were zooming past me I realized that 5 weeks ago (just 5 short weeks) I would not run 4 feet, now I can run 400 meters and recover within a couple minutes. Also, I love CrossFit- all those people zooming by me were also cheering me on, and their encouragement reminded me that I have already come so far- I will continue to improve.

Let's talk Couch to 5K- I am in week 3, so the running time is getting a little longer, rests and walking a little shorter. I started this program partly because I'd like to run a 5K, but my ultimate goal is Spartan races. A Spartan is first and foremost a 5K, so if I am going to make it through one, I need to get my Cardio function in shape. I have to simultaneously improve my ability to successfully complete a set of burpees- this is not a "one thing at a time" kind of challenge- I have to crush it all!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wednesday workout

No video tonight - I did a full hour on the bike! Feeling pretty sweaty now, so it was a good workout!

Tuesday weigh-in and catching up

I skipped a few days of posting, sooo....
Monday night I did Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown level 1. It is not normal yoga, but an 'aerobicized' version, so one gets calorie burn and strength training. I committed to 15 minutes and did 20. I really felt it!

Tuesday weigh-in in: 142. 3 down for October, 2 to go! I can do it!

Tuesday night I did the entire Firm Ab Sculpting. It was a good workout and I felt my abs, but after a string of Jillian Michaels workouts, it felt like a walk in the park!

Noticing my pants getting looser. Yay!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday weigh-in


Halfway to my October goal. I think I will make it!

Trick or Treat

It's the time of year wherein baskets and buckets of candy randomly appear. I overheard Casey ask someone today, out of curiosity, what they are eating. The response: "Candy. I have no self control."

This really got me thinking about our attitudes toward food. Food is an object. It is a tool to keep us strong, healthy and energized. Food is not imbued with the forces of good or evil.

I've been changing my attitudes toward food. I don't think about food in terms of what I can't eat (except in the case of my allergies). I'm not even thinking about what I should eat. Instead, I've been looking at food as what I choose to eat. If I thought of the candy bucket as a forbidden temptation to avoid, it would haunt me all day. Instead, I look at the candy as something I can choose to eat, or not.

I have a certain calorie goal for the day, and I try not to exceed it. I can choose to make candy part of the calories I consume for the day. But I have found that I choose not to. Not because candy is bad or forbidden, but because I'd rather have something else.

The roommates and I used to share meals. Our meal plan for the week was based on what we received in our farm share. We've stopped doing so and now I completely control what I eat. I've only been choosing recipes and food that I love. I've found that I am more satisfied and eating less.

Eating healthy is a choice, not a burden. I choose to eat well, and choosing not to have candy during the day means I choose a beer at night!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sore in my Core

And hips, and thighs.....

I woke up feeling stiff, but after moving around just feel sore. I think the difference between level 1 and level 2 isn't the level of exertion I feel during the workout, but how my muscles feel afterwards. I really did get a good workout last night.

In other news... weigh-in this morning. 143! Two pounds down for the month, three to go!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Level 2

My first time doing this level. I was nervous, but committed to doing the whole thing. And I did! It was challenging, and I got really sweaty, and I DID it!

#torchittuesday and Wednesday Weigh-in

I did NOT do a video last night, but I did 60 minutes on the stationary bike so I think that's fair.

The scale remains stable today, but that's ok!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Feeling good

I'm feeling good this morning, much less stiff and sore than I anticipated after my video. I think I can attribute it to a cold beer (hey, much more enjoyable than popping ibuprofen), a hot shower, and sleeping with four fuzzy heating pads against my various muscles  (i.e., cuddling with three cats and a dachshund).

I weighed in at 144 this morning, one pound down and four to go for the month. I've noticed that most of the change on the scale occurs at the end of the work week,  so I hope, and think, that I will see more progress by the weekend!

Also, I don't miss takeout at all!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Level 1

Last time I did this I did 5 min. Today I did the whole damn thing! It is advertised as a 20 min video, but by my timer it was 27 min. It really worked my muscles and was good cardio. The best part is her tough yet encouraging demeanor. I especially loved when she said I could feel fear leaving my body. The best best part? I earned enough calories for a beer!

Next up is level 2. Groan!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October goals

I am actually really pumped to start my second month of fitness!

Starting October at 145 pounds.

My October goals are to continue my healthy eating and commitment to exercise. I specifically want to push harder on the videos (see my post from earlier today), so I am going to start posting my progress on them.

The results I am aiming for this month- goal weight of 140 pounds, and build muscle and definition in my arms. I can do this!

On Exercise and Anxiety

I've been mulling this over for a few weeks and am ready to write about it. I have panic disorder, which is well controlled, thank you very much. But, my biggest challenge in working out is overcoming my anxiety. Sometimes when exercising,  anxiety raises its ugly little head. Not a full blown panic attack, mind you, but it is there in the background. See, the very signifiers of a good workout- increased respiratory and heart rates, and in challenging strength workouts, muscle fatigue or even muscle trembling  (hello side planks), can mimic the physical sensations of a panic attack and/or be the trigger for one.

Avoidance is a classic coping mechanism within those with panic disorder, and I think my lack of commitment to working out stems from this. Don't exercise hard, and you avoid those sensations.

In my treatment for panic disorder, I learned to stop avoiding and face the world. Now I am doing the same with exercise.

I find that I can push myself hard on the stationary bike and not feel anxious, probably because I am in a sitting position (anxiety is weird and irrational). I do ok with strength workouts from my magazines. But, it's those exercise videos that get me.

I have a number of videos that I cycle through, they are almost all from The Firm, Jillian Michaels, and Crunch. They are all designed to really make you work, which is what I want, but sometimes they trigger those anxious feelings. Anxiety, but not panic, which itself is a victory.

I've got my own formula for working through it. First is that I HAVE to do a video every workout day. But here's where the formula comes in. I don't necessarily have to do the whole thing. Before starting, I commit myself to a certain number of minutes. This is based on whether and how long I rode the exercise bike that day, and how much I did on the said video the previous time I did it. Once I hit that minute goal, I have permission from myself to stop, or I can keep going for as long as I want.

If I start feeling that I can't do it, I remind myself that each time I workout I get a little stronger and build my endurance a little more. Then I think about Casey pushing herself through Cross Fit and HIIT. And, I remind myself of when I went to surf camp. It was so physically demanding, but at the end of the weekend I felt like I could do ANYTHING. (except catch waves consistently, but hey, that's my main motivation in getting strong and fit).

Today I did a new video, Crunch Fat Burning Ab Attack. I promised myself 5 minutes. (I had done 40 min on the bike). I got to the 5 min mark and kept going, and going. I did the whole video. It will probably hurt to laugh tomorrow  (it really did attack my abs), but I feel great! Strong and accomplished. I really can do anything!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Staying positive

So, I weighed in yesterday and was still one pound shy of my September goal. Instead of getting discouraged, I thought about the reasons why the scale stalled out. I came up with two reasons- over the weekend was a little over enthusiastic about my favorite beer, a seasonal, being released  (extra calories), and I had my period, which can cause weirdness with water weight. I thought about what I could do better, (track those beer calories), and moved on, sticking to my plan of exercise and healthy eating.

I weighed in this morning, and, like magic (or determination),  that last pound was gone! I'm ready to take on my October goals!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday Weigh-in

There are so many conflicting theories about how often you should weigh in. If you have an eating disorder, or disordered eating, it is said never. Some say once a week, the same day and time, to track progress. Some research, however, says that those who weigh-in every day lose the most and keep it off.
The benefit of a daily weigh-in is that you get a great sense of how your choices affect your goals. The downside is that you don't see such dramatic changes.
I've opted for a daily weigh-in, every morning. I have been less anxious and more excited about seeing my progress. The funny thing is, the change sometimes is dramatic. After no movement on the scale since last week, I am down another pound and a half!  I'm still on track for my goal of 5 pounds down this month. One week and one pound to go!

Tuesday Trouble

My department went out last night for margaritas and dinner. I'd been anxious about this outing for days. Firstly, what about my 'no drinking on work nights?' Then, there are the general perils of eating out. And, finally, I would miss a workout!

I talked myself through it (with a little help from Casey). The no drinking on work nights allows for a drink if it is a special occasion, and this fit the bill. My department NEVER goes out. And I wouldn't be over indulging, because I am an adult. The food- I checked out the menu online and chose what I would order ahead of time. Mexican is tough for me as I don't eat meat and am allergic to shellfish. And my workout? My 6 days a week plan is designed to absorb the occasional skipped workout.

I ended up getting the sangria instead of a margarita. Restaurant margaritas can be super sugary, and besides, I'm a booze snob and was not impressed with the tequila list. Yes, sangria can be sugary too, but I decided to take my chances. It turned out to be more fruity than sugary (yay!), and it was not a generous pour, probably 5 oz.

I completely ignored the table chips!  They looked good, but I don't love chips so it really didn't seem worth it just because they were there.

For my dinner I ordered off the appetizer menu. (This is a classic diet trick). I got the Ceviche de Pescado. I was a bit nervous about ordering raw fish at a restaurant I'd never been to before, but it turned out to be fantastic. It was made with haddock which is my favorite.

I had a lot of fun out with my work friends, AND stayed under my calorie goal for the day. TUESDAY TRIUMPH!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Note About Routine

I try very hard to stick to habits. I typically find it hard- I hate the feeling of being in a rut, or trapped. That being said, I have had to change a lot of things in a short amount of time in order to maximize my workouts. 

Here's what a typical post-work evening looked like for me a few weeks ago:

  • Commute home on the MBTA (if you live in Boston, you know what this entails)
  • Get home feeling drained from commute, pour wine or fix cocktail
  • Consider dinner, run dogs out
  • Feed dogs
  • Shower
  • Eat... something... cereal? cheese and crackers? sandwich? ehhh, whatever
  • Get in bed and read until I fall asleep

What does an evening look like now?
  • Go to yoga at 5:30pm
  • get home around 7:15pm
  • Make some dinner, this week it's 1/4 roasted spaghetti squash with spinach and marinara
  • Walk Huxley
  • Shower and get ready for bed
  • Read and try to be asleep by 10:30pm
Sleeping is hard for me. I struggle with insomnia, and I think I have more sleepless nights than restful nights. I am able to fall asleep, but I usually wake up around 2am and will be awake until my alarm goes off at 5:30am. This is the one thing that has not improved with exercise, and I had hoped it would be one of the benefits. I am spending more time keeping clear and focused in my classes, in hopes that will carry into the nighttime hours.

I am going to try meditating next- does anyone have suggestions?

Monday, September 21, 2015

How HIIT almost kicked my ass. Then didn't.

On Saturday I went to a class sponsored by PopSugar Fitness in collaboration with Target and C9. It was led by celebrity trainer Adam Rosante- I knew nothing about him, so did a quick search and learned that in addition to being a generally cool guy, he has done primarily Boot Camp classes. "Cool!" my brain said, we got this, CrossFit/Boot Camp... close enough.

The class turned out to be HIIT, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It was hard, probably the hardest class I have taken since starting this journey. But post workout I felt amazing.

After I hung out and talked with some other people from the class (Hi Trevor from LA!), I decided to head home for a much needed shower. I was waiting by the elevators and Adam walked by, so I stopped him and thanked him for the class. I told him I just started working out two weeks ago, and that I felt great after his class. His eyebrows shot up and he said "really?! I saw you out there, you crushed it!" He gave me a high five and then pulled me in for a hug.

You know what? This feels pretty good. I find inspiration around me every day, there is always a reason to keep going- just remember to keep going for the reasons that are right for you.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Competition vs. Support

Casey and I have embarked on this journey together in a spirit of mutual motivation and support. The other day, a mutual friend heard me speaking of my latest weigh in. She knew that Casey was going to Cross Fit and working out, so she asked if we had a bet or contest going. "No," I said, "we are just being supportive of each other."

Competing seems silly and counterproductive. For starters, we have similar, but somewhat different goals. I want to be a strong surfer girl, with a dash of Jillian Michaels thrown in. Casey wants to be cut.

We have different approaches. Casey prefers going to classes, and I like working out at home.

We have different ways of measuring progress. Old fashioned weigh-ins still work for me, as well as seeing the visual difference in my body. Casey is seeing her progress in how her body is changing, and also in her being able to go harder in her workouts.

We are different people with different body types. What is the same is that we are both getting up and doing it. Knowing that Casey went to HIIT today made me push myself on the exercise bike and one of my Firm videos. Together we encourage each other in our food choices and celebrate each sucess, large or small. Support is when I look at Casey and tell her she looks slimmer, or when she congratulates me on a healthy food choice. I'm finding this lifestyle change so much easier with support. I don't think a competition would keep me as motivated.

Friday, September 18, 2015

It may be a day off from formal exercise....

But I can still do a dinner time dance for the dogs while I feed them!

Observations on the week

I'm so glad it's Friday! Friday night I get to have a drink. I really do see a difference in skipping the weekday beer and wine.

It was a good week. I  worked out everyday, and made healthy food choices. Next week I want to push harder on the exercise videos.

Some changes I've noticed: I can tell that exercise is becoming more of a habit because I am actually disappointed that it is a rest day! I declined a slice of cake at work on Tuesday. I  don't really like cake all that much, so it seemed silly to have some just because it was there. I weighed in a pound lighter this week. I want to lose 2.5 more this month. I think my biceps look a little more defined, and today I wore my top tucked in!

Looking forward to a drink tonight and a workout tomorrow!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How every workout starts

Why Start Now?

I think it's important to start by pointing out that this blog will not tolerate or promote fat shaming, nor will we encourage the pervasive diet culture women can feel so oppressed by. Personally, this journey is about my health. I am not trying to get skinny, obtain a thigh gap, or look "perfect" to suit another person's ideal.

I sit at a desk all day, hold tension in my shoulders and back, and have noticed a distinct softening of my body since changing careers a couple years ago. I used to work on my feet doing an active job that was, in all honesty, no healthier for me than my currently sedentary position.

I have set personal goals regarding my health and well-being. I expect my goals to change and evolve over time as my habits change.
  • Reduce my sugar intake
  • Improve my cardio function
  • Strengthen my core
  • Lengthen my body through improved flexibility
And, most importantly
  • Get cut so people look at me and feel intimidated by my raw power
I am also trying to center myself mentally, though this tends to be a more difficult task for me. I am anxious by nature, and my mind almost never stops. This leads to insomnia, overthinking, and generally missing the moment. 

I have started CrossFit  and Yoga, alternating days. I have been at it for two weeks, and already I have noticed some changes in how I carry myself, my flexibility, my recovery, and my mental state. I chose group classes because it forces me to be accountable to other people, not just myself. My Coaches know my name, say good morning, welcome me back to class- I know they look for familiar faces, I know they want the best for everyone who takes time to be present. I am terrible at just going to the gym and working out- I get bored and don't feel motivated if I am just going to run on a treadmill. 

Today I went to sunrise yoga. Nope, I am not flexible. I can barely hold the poses because I don't have enough strength. 

Yesterday at CrossFit, I was the last person to finish the WOD (workout of the day), but it is such a great environment- the entire class cheered me on, helped me count, and kept me going.

Find the right fit for you. And remember, raw power.

My Plan

I have dabbled in fitness and diet forever, but have decided to commit. I want to be fit and healthy, instead of how I feel now-lumpy.  My long-term motivation is, of course, to look better and be strong and fit.  I also want to improve my stamina, core, and upper body strength.  My greatest dream is to surf.  I went to a mini surf camp last summer and it was great, but I need to get stronger to really do it!

(I'm the big girl.)

My immediate goal is to adopt new habits.  My SEPTEMBER goal is to lose 5 lbs.  I'm halfway there, so right on track!



-No more takeout!  This saves money too!
-Choose my food carefully.
-Portion control.
-No alcohol on "school nights." (meaning if I work the next day.)
-Count calories.


-get into a regular exercise habit overall.
-Exercise 6 days a week.  Friday is a day off!
-Workouts are a combo of my exercise bike, strength routines from magazines, and DVDs.
-Find ways to sneak in a little more activity into my day.


I'm really into metrics so I am using the Lose it! app to track my meals and exercise.  It really helps to keep me on track with my calorie goal.

Having a partner in crime really helps too!