I found several tasty-looking recipes on here — enjoy!
I found several tasty-looking recipes on here — enjoy!
Since I completed NROL4W last weekend, this past week has been a ‘rest’ week from weight training. It may be the rest, it may be some naughty food choices, or it may be hormones…but this week I just didn’t feel my best. Kind of pudgy… kind of blah. I probably don’t look any different to others, but I guess since I just feel kind of sluggish and lazy, and I feel like it shows. Oh well… all I can do is just move on and stick to the healthy food choices.
Since this past week was resting from weights, I tried something new: a group rowing class. It’s kind of like a spinning class… an instructor leads the class through a work-out, with varying intensity/resistance. The class instructor was a young guy who looked pretty in-shape, but the two other students aside from myself (yes, there were 3 students total) were a middle-aged man and woman, both of whom looked to be in decent shape, but not super athletic.
So the class began. The instructor did some one-on-one time with me to explain how rowing works, the proper form, etc. I appreciated the help, and he said I caught on quickly, so that’s cool! We rowed for a while, varying in intensity by the instructors commands. After some time rowing, we did some bodyweight lunges from one side of the room to the other. We also did a lot of core/ab exercises… crunches, planks, etc. I’d say that was the most difficult part of the class.
We finished off the rowing work out with 3 sets of 500 m distance rows, striving for personal best times. Since it was my first time, obviously I was going to get my personal record that day… haha. My sets got faster with each time — my last one I was able to do in about 1 min 58 seconds I think… which I felt pretty good about.
Overall, the class was pretty cool. It’s fun to try new things — and when you’re generally in good shape, trying new things is a lot less intimidating. I may do the rowing class again this week, since I think I will hold off on starting the new weight lifting program until next week.
Also on this week’s agenda is to try a TRX class. I’ll try to remember to write about it after I try it out… but it looks like a fun twist on strength training.
I know I just posted earlier today about crossing off sky-diving from my bucket-list, but I’ve got another completed item to report. Today was my very last work-out from my New Rules of Lifting for Women.
This is a big deal for me. I’ve been working through the book’s program since early August 2012. That’s about 8 months! I’ve come a long way since stepping into that squat-rack for the first time, and I feel like I got some very good results from the book/program. The final phase (“the final cut”) was brutal… high reps, supet-sets with only 30 seconds of rest between sets… I wanted to die every time. But I got through it!
So now what? Well first I’m going to take at least 1 week off from weights… possibly 2 weeks. I plan to try out a TRX class at my gym, and I’ve got a groupon for pole dance classes I also plan to redeem this week. Weights are great and I plan to keep strength-training in my fitness regimen…but I could use a little break. I still plan to run/swim as normal during my 1-2 week break from weights.
I do well with programs, so I plan to start another as I continue on. I have New Rules of Lifting for Abs in electronic format and thought about doing that next… but today I received Warrior Cardio in the mail, which I had actually intended to take on next.
Alright I’ma be real wit you: the book fucking scares me. I flipped through and looked at the work-outs… they talk about “hurricanes” and shit. I mean, I knew this program was probably going to be intense since it’s for warriors and all… but this program seriously intimidates me. Upon flipping through, it felt like a program that was geared towards males/MMA fighters or something.
I always get intimidated by change though… and whenever I have to learn new moves I get nervous about doing them at the gym (where everyone can watch me try to figure out my own work-outs).
I don’t know. I guess I’m trying to decide which program I will proceed forward with. But finishing my New Rules of Lifting for Women feels GREAT. I’m proud!
Sky-diving in San Marcos, Texas!
Last weekend, I checked off another bucket-list item: SKY DIVING! Finally! I’ve wanted to sky-dive a long time… To be honest… I think it stemmed from the opening scene of the Power Rangers movie from the 90s. Here it is if you feel like watching a shitty quality video:
Here’s a fun fact: I told one of the sky-dive dudes that the opening scene for the power rangers movie implanted my desire to sky-dive myself…and he told me that the actor who played Tommy regularly sky-dives at that place! He also said he was there THAT DAY. I didn’t believe him, so I didn’t ask too many questions…but I just researched this myself online and apparently the actor is into sky-diving. Damn I wish I got to meet him and take a pic…that would have been so weird and awesome. I had no idea that actor actually sky-dived… thought it was just stunt doubles!
I saw that movie as a kid, so I decided that when I turned 18, I’d sky-dive and do crazy flips in the air. Well, turning 18 came and went… but no sky-diving. When I turned 18, I was on crutches after breaking my ankle and I was a broke high school student who didn’t have money for sky-diving anyway. Then I gained weight through college (and was also a broke college kid), so it just never seemed like the time was right to do it. I didn’t want to sky dive when I was obese, because weighing over a certain amount meant you had to pay extra…that was humiliating! So I decided to sky-diving to celebrate my weight-loss.
Instead of sky-diving near my own city, I decided to drive down to Austin/San Marcos. It seemed like maybe the scenery would be prettier, plus the two friends who sky-dived with me live in Austin. It was great catching up with friends… I even had friends who were not jumping and didn’t live in Austin make the trip out to San Marcos to be there. That really meant a lot. It was a very fun trip, but a very fast weekend that left me pretty tired!
Overall the sky-diving experience was awesome. The amount of air going up your nose and in your mouth really over-powers you… it made it hard to breath! It almost felt like water going up your nose… it was a crazy experience during the free-fall. Never once did I wonder if I was going to die… I was so over-whelmed by the fall, I wasn’t even thinking about anything. I didn’t get to do any crazy flips in the air, but the fall itself is crazy enough.
For the record — I would gladly do it again.
I don’t recall posting about this in any of my previous entries… but back on Black Friday 2012, I braved my local mall (like an idiot) to go check out some deals. I figured that since I was wide awake when midnight hit, I may as well go. Well it was crazy-nuts… and not worth it if you ask me. But this isn’t the point of the story.
The point of this story is that I went to Express on Black Friday to go try on a dress and some clothes. The larges did not look good when I tried them on… and I literally got STUCK in a dress. The difficulty I had getting it on over my chest/shoulders should have been my first clue that things were not going to end well. But I was set on getting the dress on… I had already lost a lot of weight at that point, and I guess I just thought I should be able to fit into a size 12 dress (when I clearly couldn’t). Well after 10 minutes of shimmying and bending in various ways, I managed my way out of that damn dress. I left Express on that cold sad night with a bruised ego and empty hands.
Flash forward to today. I found myself at Express… which was having a 40% off sale on everything in the store. I found a few cute tops… I initially grabbed larges but after I looked at them…they just seemed kind of big to me. So I decided to grab mediums. I also selected 2 dresses to try-on (I chose larges). Well I tried stuff on and guess what bitches! I’m a size Medium at Express. Hell yeah! Victory! The size large dresses I tried on were clearly too big for me. I didn’t go get the mediums to try on since I didn’t really need to buy dresses and was only trying them on for fun/curiosity.
I enjoy clothes shopping now. I never thought this would happen!
It’s taken me a week to make this post, but here it finally is: my post-5k write-up!
Last weekend (Saturday March 16, 2013), I ran my first 5k: the St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville in Dallas. I was excited to sport my super festive, hand-made tutu. I even took a personal day the day before so I could stay home and make it! Well that wasn’t the only reason… I felt like I needed a personal day to just relax and get some things done.
By the way, if you need directions on how to make a running tutu, I used this one. Super easy.. and pretty fun. But word to the wise: if you’re using tulle that has glitter in it (cus who the fuck doesn’t want to sparkle?), the glitter WILL get EVERYWHERE. And the glitter will ALSO ruin your brand new compression shorts that you’re wearing under said tutu. JUST SAYING.
Back to the 5k. The race started at 8 AM (well, not really… that’s just when it was scheduled to start), and registration began at 7 AM. I had planned to pick-up my race packet the day before, but then I learned that it was already too late and I’d have to pick it up before the race. Whoopsies.
With the goal to arrive around 7 AM for registration, I got up at 5:30 AM so I could eat a yummy breakfast of greek yogurt + frozen berries + flax meal, and get myself ready.
My mom came with me to the 5k. I wasn’t running it with anyone, and I appreciated having someone with me for my first race to hang out with. I know my mom liked showing her support, and I know she’s proud of me. I definitely won’t drag her to any more races though!
We left the house around 6:15 to catch the light rail train that went to the event. No way in HELL was I going to deal with driving/parking in that area. I am so glad we took the mass trans option of getting there. It seemed to be a very popular choice… the train was PACKED full of people going to the 5k.
We got to the station of the event and trekked over to the registration/event site. I got my bib (and felt sooooo official). We had plenty of time to just stand around and chill for a while… eventually time grew close to the start of the race so I went to go stand in the assembly of other runners while my mom went off and did… I have no idea what.
I didn’t really talk to any of the other runners around me… nobody was particularly talkative. I was kind of nervous before the race started… I guess I just didn’t know what to expect. I had my music with me, but had realized on the way to the race that I accidentally left the mp3 player on and connected to my computer all night (while the computer was on standby), resulting in a dead mp3 player. I was pretty pissed about having to run without my music, but to to be honest… I’m glad I didn’t have it on during the actual run. It was cool to just hear everyone around me — other runners breathing hard, the jingle-jangle of crazy outfit components, and the cheers of people watching from the sidelines. I think I’ll leave my mp3 player at home for future 5ks.
The experience of the run was overall good. There was more up-hill than I’m used to, so that made it a little difficult. But having a huge group of people with you, also running the same course, made it an enjoyable experience.
My time ended up being 32:51 according to my chip. I don’t think that’s too bad, considering how crowded the run was (which slows you down in the beginning especially), and the up-hill parts.
Overall, my first 5k was pretty good! I plan to run more in the future. I celebrated with a burrito from Chipotle, and a 3 hour nap. Both were GLORIOUS.
Everyone makes mistakes… that’s life. And throughout my fat-loss journey, I’ve done things (or neglected to do things) that I wish I hadn’t. I thought I’d take a moment to collect my thoughts on what I wish I’d done differently. The point isn’t to dwell.. but to share advice and reflect on mistakes so I can learn from them (and maybe help others too). Here we go:
1. I wish I knew exactly where I started.
When I tell people I’ve lost at least 100 lbs, I am a little annoyed with myself for not knowing my true start weight back in April 2012 when I started this whole thing. The 100 lb weight loss is based off a weight that my doctor recorded in 2010. I am pretty certain I gained weight since 2010, so I may have started off at 300 lbs or something. Now, I know that weight is just a number, and the importance we bestow on it is from our own minds. But I still wish I had honestly recorded my starting weight and starting measurements when I finally decided to make the changes.
Lesson learned: If you’re serious about making changes… be honest about where you are starting. I know this can be straight-up fucking scary. In fact, I’m pretty sure the reason I didn’t record my starting weight/measurements is that I was in denial about where I was, and I think I also expected myself to fail. I didn’t know how seriously I should take myself because I never followed through in the past… so I didn’t approach my journey in the organized, honest way that I wish I had.
2. I wish I did a better job at recording my journey.
I wish I posted in this blog more throughout this process. I’ve gone through a lot of changes, done a lot of things… but I did kind of a lazy job of posting in here. I had visions of this blog being way cooler and more filled with helpful/exciting things than it currently is (I AM SORRY, READER).
This is kind of similar to #1 in being honest about where you’re starting… but this goes beyond the starting point and requires honesty in the rest of the journey. I really admire people who take body measurements at regular intervals to track their progress. I wish I did this as I worked through my weight training program.
Lesson learned: If you want to have a good, clear view of your progress (or realize when there might be a lack there of), plan weekly weigh-ins, take regular measurements, take clear photographs (at various angles), and set goals for yourself on recording other things like food/calories, or thoughts in a blog/journal.
3. I wish I got more sleep
If you’re trying to lose weight, not getting enough sleep can really screw you over. I usually get around 6 hours a night during the week. This isn’t enough, and I really need to put a little more importance on getting at least 7 (preferable 8) hours each night. Too bad I love the internet so much.
Those are the three I’ve got so far. I’ll probably add more.
Estimated 100 lbs lost
I know it’s kind of hastily done. I wish I had a better set-up to take body shots… but oh well…this gets the point across. Plus I’m sure I’ll do this again next month when I hit my official ANNIVERSARY of putting health as a top priority.
I can’t believe I’ve lost an estimated 100 lbs in under 11 months. Exciting!
I find 180 bpm to be quite helpful in keeping my strides quick. This looks like an excellent resource for getting more songs to run with.
Today I ran 4 miles! It went pretty well — no need for walking, and the last mile actually felt pretty good!
I am trying to diversify my running work-outs now. Tuesdays are my 3 mile runs where I just try to run a good steady pace — I guess as fast as I can really. Thursdays will be my interval days where I alternate sprints with either walking or jogging. And Sundays are my distance days — where I will add .5-1 mile each week. The emphasis isn’t on time, but distance.
I did my first interval run on Thursday last week, and I’m not sure if I really pushed myself enough. I alternated 30 seconds of sprinting with 2 minutes of walking, repeated 6 times. That only came out to about 15 minutes, and I don’t think I even really got sweaty… but those last couple of sprints really killed me. I couldn’t even last the entire 30 seconds giving it 100%… so it wasn’t easy. I guess next time I might try jogging between sprints instead of walking…but jogging is hard enough as it is!
I’m planning to run my first 5k next month and I’m hoping that incorporating sprints/intervals and increasing my distance will improve my 5k time so that I can finish under 30 minutes. The 5k is a St. Patrick’s Day one, so I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about my costume/outfit. Probably more time than I should…hehe. I’m Irish, it’s my first 5k, so I feel like I gotta look cute and put the ROCK in shamrock, you know? I am seriously thinking about making one of those tutus I see so many runners wear for 5ks. If not, then I need something else that’s cool… like a cape.