Fifty Nifty!

November 11th, 2012

A lot has happened in my life over the last month – good things, like deciding to buy a new house and sell our current house, and my daughter’s first birthday – but things that have made staying on track with my goals not only difficult, but seemingly unimportant. I haven’t made it a priority to cook the majority of my meals, or run, or blog. Instead, I spent my time cleaning (soooo much cleaning), driving around aimlessly while strangers traipsed through our house deciding if they wanted to buy it, dealing with paperwork (soooo much paperwork), planning a birthday party, hosting out-of-town visitors, etc.

Amazingly, even though I’ve eaten out a lot (though NO fast food!), I haven’t run in weeks (until last night!), and I haven’t blogged since September 30, my weight is still down 5 pounds from the beginning of my Hot 100 Challenge. It must be the stress eating away at the fat :)

Recently, I have started to feel lethargic and just blah physically… 5+ weeks with very little exercise (I still played softball and did Kung Fu) can take its toll on a person! So rather than continue to skate and get myself into a downward spiral of feeling more and more lethargic and blah, I’ve decided to do my best to get back on the right track. So last night I ran for the first time in weeks – it felt wonderful! I’m going to run again tonight after my daughter goes to bed. Yesterday I only ran 2 miles; tonight I’m going to go 3. I have to work back up to being able to run 5 by Thanksgiving!

I’ve also started logging my food and exercise again, this time using an app called LoseIt. It’s similar to My Food Diary, which is what I used faithfully for about a year – and how I was able to lose 75 pounds in that year. LoseIt is basically a mobile application of My Food Diary, though made by an unaffiliated company. What’s neat about LoseIt, is that you can link to friends who use the same app and share your progress while you follow theirs, and in so doing, motivate each other to stay on the right track. So far, I’m only linked to my sister, which is great, but if any of you decide to start using it, too, add me as your friend and we can motivate each other there! My email address is kimberly dot werner  at gmail dot com (you need to know that to add me as a friend).

How are you all doing on this challenge? Has anyone stuck with it even though I have been MIA for 42 days? Even if you’ve completely fallen off the wagon, it’s never too late to dust yourself off and get back on. Reset if you need to: There are FIFTY days left in 2012 – adjust your goals accordingly and end this year with a bang! Here’s hoping, right?!

Cooking up a Storm

September 30th, 2012

This week I’ve been hugely successful with my cooking goal. With the exception of yesterday’s lunch, every single meal this week has been prepared at home by either my husband or myself. We had things like roasted chicken, pork chops with sauerkraut, tilapia with quinoa and broccoli, stuffed pepper with turkey sausage, and other delicious eats.

It wasn’t all that hard, either. I went grocery shopping early in the week and really thought about the meals we would make. Then we froze all of the meats that we weren’t going to have that day or the next, and each morning (or the night before) we would decide what we were having for dinner and pull out the necessary food from the freezer.

This worked beautifully! What often trips me up is not being able to decide what to make, and not having things in the house to cook (or them being frozen, which I hate). There were 2 days when I almost gave in and said “Screw it: Let’s order Chinese” but my über-supportive husband stepped in and made dinner those nights. It really helps to have a sidekick!

Yesterday I was down something like 4.5 pounds from the beginning of the week. That’s absolutely absurd! Luckily, today I was only down 3 pounds, which is much more sane, lol. I really think that cooking more regularly is going to help me achieve my weight-loss goal of 20 pounds by December 31 (for those keeping track, that would put me at 156.5, as I was 176.5 at the beginning of The Hot 100). 

Regarding my other goals: I ran twice this week (not bad) and only blogged once (fail). I’ll have to work on those two more this week!

A lot of you said you were in on this challenge but had to consider your goals first. Have you come up with anything yet? You’re losing days! We’re down to 92 days left in 2012 – let’s do this!!

The Hot 100 – The Sequel

September 23rd, 2012

Since the half-marathon I ran two weeks ago, I have done very little in the way of exercise. I’ve been saying that I need to start a new workout regimen or train for something new, but I just haven’t had the motivation.

Well screw that: I need to get with the program. Rather than taking another few weeks wondering what I want to do next, I’m going to start doing something!

Remember when I did that Hot 100 Challenge a few years ago? Well, YESTERDAY marks the start of the final 100 days of 2012 and I’m going to use that fact to my advantage: I’m going to do another Hot 100 Challenge and make the rest of the year really count, so I’ll be right on track and feeling great when the new one comes along.

Oddly enough, my goals for this Hot 100 are basically the same as 3 years ago. I’m not going to dwell on that…

Kimberly’s Goals for The Hot 100

  1. Keep running! I just ran a half-marathon and it would be really sad if I let all of that hard work go to waste (been there, done that) So, I’ll be doing a 5k on November 3, and an 8k on Thanksgiving. I should be able to run the entirety of  each race without any trouble, so I’m going to work on my speed and try to make get a PR for each of those distances.
  2. Lose some more weight. Like, 20 pounds more. That would put me at 157 on December 31, soooo close to my goal of 150. I’ll save those last few pounds for 2013 and feel awesome when I reach it by February! [Sadly, this goal was copied almost verbatim from 2009. I changed the year, and the weight I'd be at on 12/31,  because I'm 1.5 pounds more now than I was at this time 3 years ago. Since I've also gained a child, I guess that's not too bad!)
  3. Eat out less – cook more. Specifically, eat restaurant-cooked food no more than 3-4 times per week. This should be very doable, and will be exceedingly helpful toward my weight-loss goal, as well as make a marked difference in my wallet. [This goal is verbatim, too!]
  4. Blog more. Accountability is very important. When you have people asking you how you’re doing with your goals, it makes you try harder (because you don’t want to look/feel like an ass if you’ve given up lol), so when I blog, I’m better about keeping up with my healthy habits. I should be able to blog at least twice a week, so that’s my goal: A minimum of 2 posts per week through the end of the year.

 

And that’s it! Who’s with me?! Let me know if you’re going to join in, and what your goals are so we can hold each other accountable! Here’s to a Hot 100 – er, 99!

13.1

September 8th, 2012

This morning was the half-marathon that I started training for 12 weeks ago. Even though I never got around to blogging about my training past that first run, I kept up with it! It was hard, and took a lot of time and a lot of people helping with Alexandra (mostly my awesome husband and helpful nanny), but I completed the vast majority of the training runs. I wasn’t as consistent (re: obsessive) about it as I was when I trained the first time, but I had a lot more going on this time around.

Unfortunately, my performance during the race reflected my somewhat half-hearted training.

In training, I worked my way up to 11 miles, which I did this past Sunday without too much trouble (meaning I didn’t walk, which is always my goal). And yet, today, I had to walk shortly after I passed the ten-mile mark. And I walked quite a bit, I’m sorry to say.

It started pouring soon after I resorted to walking, and that didn’t make me start back up with running (or run faster, as it did my training buddies – my sister, and my two best friends). Instead, it made me walk MORE and start feeling sorry for myself: All three of my cohorts were long ahead of me, my entire lower body was tired and sore, I was cold and wet, and I was having some digestive distress… if you know what I mean.

I ended up walking/running/walking/running a lot in miles 10 & 11, and then ran solidly from 12.25 to the finish line.

And when I finished, I wasn’t all that happy (except that it was over) – I was cranky. I was really hoping for a better performance, and I feel like I put in the work to have had a better performance, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, I guess.

My friends did GREAT and I’m super proud of them all! My sister has been having shin splints all through training, one friend had a baby 6 months ago AND was dealing with an ankle injury from a few weeks ago, and my other friend has a weird toe/foot issue wherein he feels a stabbing pain and goes numb after a few miles of running. They were all able to overcome these obstacles and post damn fine times! Like I said: I’m super proud of them :)

As for me? Well, I did it: I finished, and really, that’s the important thing. I was hoping to beat or match my time from two years ago, but I missed that by a good amount. For my first half, my time was 2:24:39, and my time today was 2:41:07. Oh well! At least I did it, and that’s what the main goal was! And now I’m warm, dry, have resolved my digestive distress, and can say that I completed a half-marathon today, and that’s pretty cool.

Here We Go Again…Again!

June 19th, 2012

For the last year or so, I’ve been telling anyone who would listen that my plan to really get back in shape following my pregnancy and baby-having was to run another half-marathon. I took it a step further and committed to a specific half-marathon, which takes place on September 8th.

I’ve been saying this so frequently and confidently, that I don’t think I really realized what I was getting myself into.

Until today, the beginning of the 12-week training program.

For starters, WHEN am I going to be able to run? I have a 7-month old baby for whom I am a full-time caregiver, I am a sole proprieter, and – in all my spare time – I try to keep the household running smoothly and spend a few minutes with my darling husband. Oh, and read The Hunger Games.

Besides that, what am I going to do if I actually make it out there? I haven’t run more than 1.75 miles since last summer, and the training program STARTS at 3 miles. Of course, I could walk some of it, but you’re supposed to do in training what you want to do in your actual performance, and I don’t want to have to walk during the race.

Over the last year, I’ve managed to convince 3 other people to run this half-marathon with me: My sister, Friend #1, and J-Rock. My sister just ran her first 5k last month (her furthest distance to date); Friend #1 ran a half last year, but just  had a baby in MARCH; and J-Roc hasn’t run further than a 5k in his life, either (though I’m convinced he’s a natural-born runner). So these three people are committed to running this race with me, and all three of them reached out to me today to tell me that they ran and find out if I had yet.

The answer was no each time.

Until 10:00 this evening, when I finished my run.

I went out after I put Alex to bed, the only possible time to go today. I almost talked myself out of running a dozen times, too. But  I went, and I did the best that I possibly could, pushing through the hills, the cramps, the fatigue, and the boredom. I ran the whole way – slowly, but successfully.

I simply have to make the time. I have to push myself. It’s the only way if I want to do this, and I do (I’m pretty sure I do, at least, lol)

So there it is: Week 1, Day 1 complete! Huzzah!

Btw – Since it’s been so long since I’ve written anything here, I’d love to know if anyone is reading this so that I don’t waste my precious time writing for no one. If you’re reading this, please leave a quick comment here or on my facebook page so I know. If people care, I’ll do my best to document the experience. Thanks!

Constant Craving

January 7th, 2012

All throughout my pregnancy, people kept asking me if I was craving anything ‘weird.’ I wasn’t. The most I could say is that I always wanted spicy food – the spicier, the better! – and I was really enjoying sushi (either fully-cooked or from a reputable place, not a grocery store or buffet).

But now? Oh my, there are cravings. Not for anything weird. In fact, what I’m craving is so boring and cliché it’s almost embarrassing to admit it.

Chocolate. And ice cream.

Geez, I sound like Deanna Troi from Star Trek.

And now I sound like a geek…

Anyway, I find myself wanting ice cream frequently, but since it’s not in the house – I can’t trust myself around it! – I don’t give in to that one very frequently.

Chocolate, however, is a different story. Even though I almost never buy chocolate (or if I do, it’s a single piece of chocolate – like an individually wrapped truffle), it has been in the house in one form or another, since Halloween. It’s awful.

First, there was the devil’s holiday itself. I call it that not for any religious reason, but because of the prevalence chocolate and candy. What an evil day. My husband bought a few bags of candy for trick-or-treaters, and the proportions were off just a little. As in, we could have given each trick-or-treater an entire bag. I indulged a bit over the next day or two, but honestly, I would only have a few pieces. I never dug in and ate more than say, four pieces in a day. And we’re talking about the super small York Peppermint Patties and the SUPER small Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. In fact, we still have some of those Peanut Butter Cups, and they don’t really call to me (though I’d like them to be out of the house already…)

Then there was my husband’s holiday party with work. Normally, this wouldn’t be an ongoing problem: Just a single night to indulge. But not this party. They had a CANDY TABLE. It was adorable, really: A very long table loaded with large, clear glass containers housing a wide array of chocolates and candies wrapped in Christmas papers and foils. They also provided small, red boxes (like Chinese food leftover boxes) so that you could load up! And indulge for days…

Once my box was gone though, no problem, right? Except that my husband had a box, too, which he hasn’t finished yet because he does not suffer from the same infliction that I do, so I’ve been dipping in to that from time to time (sorry, honey!).

The other problem is that at this candy table, I discovered a new variety of Hershey’s Kiss which I LOVE – Candy Cane! It’s peppermint-flavored white chocolate with tiny, crunchy, pepperminty, balls inside. I liked them so much, I hinted to my husband that it wouldn’t be an awful thing if a bag of them showed up in my stocking on Christmas. He dutifully obliged, and now I have those sitting around. Staring at me. All. The. Time.

Interspersed with the holidays have been gifts from lovely clients. Gifts of delicious chocolate in many forms: Chocolate-covered popcorn. A box of mixed chocolates. A tin of chocolate toffee. Chocolate-covered strawberries. I love my clients. And I love the thought behind the gifts. I even love the gifts themselves! But after a few days of eating way too much of them, I end up throwing the rest out. Wasteful, I know. But necessary. For my own good.

You see, I don’t have willpower. Willpower is overrated. I simply keep things out of reach, and then I don’t NEED willpower. But lately? With the gifts of chocolate that have been perpetually available for the last few months? I’m flailing.

It doesn’t help that when my daughter is crying incessantly for seemingly no reason (misfiring sensor), I feel… compelled… to eat chocolate. And it’s available. And so I do.

Hopefully, with the last of the chocolate on its way out, I can get back to craving chocolate, and not actually eating it.

At least, not every time my daughter cries without purpose.

 

New Year, New Baby!

January 2nd, 2012

I’m back! And I had my baby! Her name is Alexandra Constantina, and she surprised her father and I by arriving over 2 weeks early. She was born on October 28, 2011 and weighed just 5lb 10oz. We’ve decided to keep her :)

Since this is a health, fitness, and weight-loss blog, I’ll try to keep my posts centered around that – even though so much of my life these days is about feeding this little creature and less about feeding myself…

Prior to getting pregnant, I weighed 178. At my last doctor’s appointment before having the baby, I weighed 224. Riddle me this: If the baby weighed less than 6 pounds, and the rest of the fluids and birth ‘stuff’ weighed about 10 pounds, how did I gain 46 pounds?

Answer: Eating whatever the hell I wanted to eat and not exercising. Shocker.

Since giving birth, I’ve gotten down to 199 pounds (finally, yesterday morning, after weeks of hovering around 201 – how about THAT for a good way to enter the new year?!). That  means I’ve lost 24 of the 46 pounds I gained, and I have 22 more to go to get to my pre-pregnancy weight. Sure, there’s another 10 pounds to get back down to my lowest, and then another 18 to get down to my ultimate goal of 150, but I’m taking baby steps. (Ha – “baby” steps – get it?)

I entered a Biggest Loser Contest that started 2 weeks after Alexandra was born. I felt a little bad at first because during the first 2 weeks of the contest I lost 5 or 6 pounds, which I attribute to the loss of fluids from the pregnancy. However, now I’m struggling to lose weight again (ie: I have to WORK for it) so I no longer feel like it’s unfair. I just got a little head start.

My goal is to get back down to pre-pregnancy weight – 178 – by May 3rd when the contest ends. That gives me 4 months to lose another 21 pounds. I figure if I do that, I might actually win! And if I don’t win but I reach that goal, well who cares about the bragging rights and a little bit of cash?

For the first 6 weeks after giving birth, I wasn’t supposed to exercise. Some days I felt really good though, so I took Alex for a number of walks in those weeks. I felt sore afterward, but it was wonderful getting outside and doing something again! And so nice to have some company, even if she’s less sentient than my cat at this point :)

Two weeks ago I was cleared for exercise by my doctor. I was so excited to get that news, but did I start exercising? No, not really. Not right away at least. I don’t want to be one of those people who uses their kid as an excuse for not exercising, but seriously – a newborn requires a LOT of attention! And when she’s sleeping, I feel like I should either get some sleep myself, do some client work, or do some housework. I’m going to start making more of an effort to schedule it in, though. It’s just as important as those other things.

Last week I exercised a little – I went for a run and I did a 25 minute workout video, both of which I’m sad to say were quite difficult. The run was just under 2 miles and I couldn’t even make it that distance without walking. I walked frequently, but not for long each time. When I returned home, the recovery took a lot longer than it used to. For a few hours, every time I tried to take a deep breath, I coughed. I think much of that had to do with the cold weather, but I’m clearly very out of shape, so it’s likely a combination.

I’m not going to let it get me down, though! It just gives me a good idea of where I am right now. A baseline, if you will. I’ve decided to run another half marathon in September of this year, so I have a long way to go, but I’m confident I can do it. I did it before!

So there you have it: I’m back to eating right. I’m back to exercising. And I’m back to blogging.

I hope you’re all doing well! Here’s to a fantastic 2012! 

The (Temporary) End of an Era

August 15th, 2011

I’m now in my third trimester. In fact, my due date is exactly 3 months from last Saturday!

That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’m worried. Not about the pregnancy, or the baby, or even that we won’t be ready in time. I’m worried that for the next three months, I’m going to be lonely. I know: So pathetic, right? Sorry.

As it turns out, Saturday was my last day of Kung Fu for a while – likely 6 months at minimum. My husband and Kung Fu instructor are both concerned about me continuing, so even though I feel okay to go for at least another week or two, I’m just going to call it quits rather than worry them both. I’m okay with not taking classes anymore – I knew it was coming and I was prepared for that. Plus, it’s only temporary: If I miss it, I’ll go back when I’m ready. (I suspect I’ll miss it!)

But here’s what I wasn’t prepared for: The overwhelming panic that I’m not going to see my friends anymore. 

Kung Fu for me has always been more about the social aspect than the physical. It’s particularly important to me because I have my own business and work out of the house – meaning no coworkers. My cats are great and they do their part to keep me company, but there’s not a lot of give-and-take there. So Kung Fu began as a way for me to be around people and get the social interaction that I was lacking.

Over the last 6 years though, it’s become much more than that: Many of the people there aren’t just training buddies, they’re my friends. In fact, they’re among the best friends I have in Pittsburgh.

Of course, we get together outside of Kung Fu, but, most frequently, those activities are tied to class: Dinner after class in the evening, coffee after class in the afternoon. I can certainly still join them for dinner and coffee even though I’m not in class – in fact, 2 of my friends stopped taking classes in December and they still get join us for food + drink pretty frequently. I usually coordinate these get togethers, too (they’ve dubbed me the “Social Chair”), so it shouldn’t be too difficult to maintain, but I still worry about it. Without them, I won’t see anyone much at all (except my husband who is wonderful and with whom I love spending time – but that’s a lot of pressure on him! To be my ONLY social interaction? Ouch.)

I don’t know. I’m probably overreacting. Let’s blame it on the pregnancy hormones. But when I realized I wouldn’t be going back to class for 6+ months, I was really upset. The friends I’ve made through Kung Fu are essential to my sanity. I guess I’ll have to make a concerted effort to maintain those friendships even though we won’t have the convenience of class to keep us together.

Wish me luck!

And if you know me in real life, throw me a bone and invite me to do something with you. I don’t want to live in a cave.

Mission Accomplished!

August 7th, 2011

Today is Day 7 in my little 7-Day Challenge, and I’m proud to say that I worked out each and every day this past week! This challenge has caused me to remember what it was like when I was training for the half marathon or doing P90X – when, in both cases, I worked out every day, or nearly every day. Here are my insights:

• Planning is essential. In order to fit in a workout every day – or even just on a day that you intend to work out – it’s necessary to think ahead and fit it in when you can. This week, I’ve had other commitments like client meetings, taxi-ing husbands and friends (just one of each) to the airport and back, dinner with friends, etc, and in many cases, if I hadn’t thought ahead of what my day entailed and squeezed in my workout when I had the chance, I would have missed my only opportunity and ended up missing that day.

• I hate doing laundry. After one of my long-term fitness commitments which meant working out on a daily basis, I purchased enough shorts, tank tops and sports bras to get me through 4-5 days without having to wash clothes. But now that I’m pregnant, only a few of those things still fit, and I haven’t bought more of that type of clothing that will fit my new shape, so I’ve had to do laundry at least every other day. It sucks. I hate it. I need more pregnancy-friendly workout clothes. Period.

• When I work out, I feel good. I don’t generally feel good DURING the workout, though some days, I do. And I don’t generally feel good (or excited about working out) BEFORE the workout, but after the post-workout shower? I feel great! And then for the rest of the day! And not just physically, but also mentally. I can look back on my day and say that I did something positive and healthy for myself (and my baby!). Right now, after 7 days of working out, I feel much less like an amorphous blob than I did a week ago.

• Some days I feel better than others. With the exception of Saturday, when I counted my Kung Fu class as my workout for the day, I did Suzanne Bowen’s Long and Lean Prenatal Workout. Overall, I progressed quite nicely with this workout: I was able to do more and more of the workout (today I did damn near everything without  having to pause at all), and generally felt better doing the moves – like I had better form and wasn’t going to die from them. However, Thursday was a bad day. A rather lackluster workout. I simply wasn’t in the mood to do it in the first place, and that didn’t go away even though I pushed myself to do it anyway. I don’t know if it was something I ate (or didn’t eat) or the weather, or what, but I just didn’t have as good of a workout as the other days. In fact, I may have skipped a few moves altogether. But then on Friday? Great again! Ebbs and flows, people: Don’t let it get you down.

• Being physically active makes me want to make healthier food choices. After working out, the last thing I want to do is eat a heavy, calorie-laden meal. I’ve had more salads this week than I have in ages, and I ate them because I wanted to, and they tasted great. Focus on one area of health, and the others seem to follow!

I know at least a few other people were doing this challenge with me – how did you girls end up? Did anyone else do it in secret? That’s cool too – I hope anyone who attempted it was successful. Even if you didn’t work out every day, if you worked out more than you usually do, I’d call that a success.

Now time to schedule my massage reward!

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August 2nd, 2011

I’m two days into my 7-day challenge and I’ve stuck to my commitment thus far! I like the new workout video I bought (Suzanne Bowen’s Long and Lean Prenatal Workout), though it’s not really yoga. In fact, it’s not yoga at all. I don’t know why I *thought* it was yoga, except that I found it on Amazon after specifically searching for “prenatal yoga dvd” – but probably after clicking on a few links.

Anyway, there are 3 sections to the workout: The first is 20 minutes of standing work which I would have laughed at prior to my pregnancy – it looks so easy! – a lot of slow, controlled movements like leg lifts and squats. But seriously: Now? After how many months of doing very little exercise, gaining nearly 30 pounds, and circulating roughly 4 extra pounds of blood? It’s tough! Not too tough to do, for the most part, but I feel like I’m getting a good workout – I certainly work up a sweat and get my heart rate pumping!

The second section is also 20 minutes, and is mat work. It starts out with pushups, which have never been my thing, but I can power through most of what she asks here, since they’re knee pushups and she breaks them into sets of 8. Very manageable. After that there are some leg lifts and some arm strengthening moves all of which make me feel like I’m doing something, but not so much that I ever feel like I’m endangering the baby. There’s no jumping or jarring movements at all.

The third section is 10 minutes, and is just a bunch of stretching and relaxation moves. I didn’t love this section – I always balk at stretching, I always have. I did it yesterday, but skipped it today. Is that bad? Hmm… now I feel bad for skipping it. Maybe I’ll add it back in tomorrow.

There are a few little things about the video itself that bug me. For instance, the instructions are a voice over, which is fine, except that a few times she says right leg but actually uses her left leg and vice versa. It’s a little confusing at times, but overall, I’d give it two thumbs up.

Of course, this is only Day 2, and I’ve committed to doing it seven days in a row. I’m a bit concerned that I’m going to be sick of it by Day 5, because it’s hard for ANY workout video to feel fresh after doing it over and over again. Hopefully, I’ll see improvement in what I can do in short order which will keep me motivated.

I’ve also decided to treat myself to a massage at the end of the week if I stick to my plan as extra incentive. I *love* massages, and boy could I use one!