Friday, January 30, 2015

Five Things Friday {Gym Edition}

So a quick five random things because this Mama is tired.  It's been a very long week and I have just a few minutes before I need to rush out to the door to take my boys to school.

1.  I had a lot of very frustrating moments  at the gym last night.  It's coming to the end of January and my classes are not thinning out much.  I'm really happy for the people that are sticking with it but there is such a thing as gym etiquette.  I arrived to Barbell class half an hour early.  Set myself up close to the door next to a couple of other girls in the corner, allowing myself plenty of room for my lunges and such.  After I headed out to the treadmills to finish getting  my steps in for the day (I'm a bit obsessed).  When I came back to class at the start two other girls had squished themselves in behind me leaving me very little room.  To top it off the one closer to the wall had a good two feet on her opposite side while overlapping on top of me on the other side.  SO SO irritating.

Side Note:  The two girls who were in the room when I first went in there to set up just sat there atop their benches for 30 minutes waiting for class to start.  Girls you're at the GYM .. go walk or ellipticize or cycle for 30 minutes.  Why are you just SAT there?

2.  Another gym related random.  We have a new instructor for the Thursday class.  She's getting better and I like her.  The Tuesday instructor is a veteran and awesome.  Long story short the Vet will very pointedly and specifically tell people when we get to abs and stretching at the end NOT to put their weights away.  Well Newbie doesn't do this and she always asks at the end of class for feedback.  I'm thinking next week I might suggest to her that she take the Vet's approach.  Because it never fails EVERY week as soon as we get to ab work 1 or 2 people start climbing over everyone else to put their crap away.  I can't stand it and get really pissed off if I'm being honest.  #1  I don't want a weight dropped on my head or a step bench thank you very much.  #2 MORE IMPORTANTLY it's incredibly rude to the instructor in my opinion.  As well as the other class participants.  And what you're saving yourself is all of 10 minutes tops!

3.  Texting!!  Why .. oh why do people feel the need to text in the middle of barbell class?  I know it has zero impact on me but I just don't get it!  Put the phone down people.

4.  People who don't take it seriously.  I'll be the first to own up to the fact that I am a Type A personality.  I get accused of being "too serious" or not being able to take a joke.  But last week, again in Barbell class, I had this couple next to me.  They aren't married, clearly they're dating.  The stupid girl was doing the whole giggly / flirty thing through the entire class.  Truly bugging the shit out of me.  Talking when the instructor is talking, which again is incredibly rude and distracting to people around them.  Especially when we've still go so many resolutioners in the class and they really need to HEAR what the instructor is saying.

As if that wasn't enough the same annoying girl actually bent down in front of me as I dropped to my mat for my ab work.  I'm holding a plank position bristling with annoyance because she and her boy toy are climbing over people to put their weights away after talking through the whole class .. her face in front of mine and she asks me if I'll put their mats away and the rest of her equipment.  I look at her and my face must have spoken a thousand words.  She says, "I'm sorry.  Is that okay?"  I'm dumbfounded.  My answer is "sure" because I'm not rude so what am I supposed to say?  But HOLY HELL I couldn't believe it.

5.  Parking.  There is a time and a place for little men in big trucks to pull in and out and in and out (and IN and OUT again) of a tiny parking spot just because it's a little closer to the door.  Not only am I trying to stop my 8 year old from getting run over, he doesn't know whether to go in front or behind the truck.  Is it coming or going??  But you are also squeezing your big ass truck into a teeny tiny space meaning that the cars on either side of you are now going to have a HELL of a time getting in their doors.  And HELLOOOOO  you are at the GYM for crying out loud!  You are at a place you go to to get exercise, improve your health.  Of all places don't you think that's somewhere you could go park your big ass truck out in the back nine where there's plenty of space??  Hoof it 30 feet further.  I'm thinking you're already wearing your walking shoes!

And in order to end this on a good note I was thrilled to see that the North Face Endurance Challenge will be coming back to Utah again this year!  This was my first trail race last year and I LOVED it!  Absolutely gorgeous and still SO hard.  To get the party started they're offering 20% off the lowest price registration until Feb. 2nd.  The code is 2015ECSUT20.  I get nothing for sharing this or anything, I'm not cool like that. But the email I got (since I was a past participant said to share the code with whomever).  So there you go.  I'll be signing Jeramie and myself up.  It was so awesome!

                              2014 North Face Endurance Challenge - perhaps my best race photo ever. 

                              The furball in blue cut off is my bro, followed by my husband, myself
                               and in white my sister in law.  


What is your biggest gym pet peeve?

Do you buy race photos?

     --  I bought these because I just loved them so much.  But normally I don't.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend Round Up {1.19.2015}

The theme of this week was, "I'm tired!" scrolling through my brain for just about every work out.  So let's jump right in shall we.

The Workouts:

Monday  -  5m Easy.  Didn't feel so easy.  My legs were tired after the weekends 18 miler.  I was just glad to survive.  I went on to Weight Watchers that night and gained 1.4 pounds.  This is about when I struggle the most with marathon training and losing weight.  When I'm peaking with 18-20 miler runs.  They just mess up my body.

Tuesday  -  Barbell Strength class.  Felt good.  I also walked for 40 minutes and then used the stair climber for 20 minutes before class.

Wednesday  -  8m Pace.  I had been dreading this workout all week.  It is my last longer pace run.  I had felt worn out all week already and I just knew this wouldn't be pretty.  And it wasn't.  But at this point I'm happy to look back and know that that was the worst of it for mid week runs.

Thursday  -  Barbell Strength class.  My husband called and cancelled meeting me.  It took all my mental strength to go anyway.  I really wish there was a better 6pm Yoga class on Thursday's.  But at the end I was glad I went. I know the strength workouts are going to help me in Phoenix.  I also walked 50 minutes.

Friday - 5m Easy.  This was the easiest run of the week.

Saturday  -  13m LSD.  These lower mileage step back weeks ALWAYS mess with my head.  I feel like they should feel easy.  They are often some of my worst runs.  As I mused this over during my run I came up with two explanations.  (1)  13 miles is still a very long way.  It should still feel like a long way, because it IS.  (2)  It's a step back week on the tail of a build up. Meaning my body is TIRED and this is supposed to be allowing for recovery.  However, don't forget that you're running on a tired body.  (Listened to 2 episodes of Serial and then moved on to Unbroken on Audible)

          Jordan River Parkway, the inversion finally cleared to a beautiful Utah day.

Sunday  -  Rest.  I did my grocery shopping and then took Boston for a 40 minute walk along the river.  It was a first for him!  He loved it.  I have diligently waiting for him to hit 1 year old before I start running with him (this happens in March).  So I figured now might be a good time to start getting him acclimated to the trail itself and the traffic we'll see down there.

          Boston on the trail, Jordan River Parkway. 

I finished up the weekend with a birthday party for my sweet niece on Sunday evening.  She was very particular about chocolate cake, pink frosting, black polka dots.  I'm capable of better than this but this was the best my impatient (post long run) self was capable of on Saturday.  She was pleased with it, so I guess I did okay.


I did much better this week than last week.  For lunches I ate BBQ chicken salads.  And I'm to the point that I'm tired of them.  So this coming week I need to mix it up.  But I stuck with them every weekday lunch.  We lucked out with 2 boys at birthday parties on Friday and my daughter at a Camp K activity, so we just had my youngest and decided to try and take advantage of the opportunity and go OUT to dinner.  We ended up at Texas Roadhouse and by the time we were seated (8pm) I was starved!  I got my usual prime rib, not the best choice, mashed potatoes (not the best choice) with a Caesar salad (700+ calories, I learned later).  So basically for the day I went over by almost a thousand calories.  Shoot.  (followed up by Cold Stone ice cream)  Oops.

I feel that I recovered a little from that large meal by only getting a Subway sandwich after our long run on Saturday.  No crazy fast food this week.  So while not perfect, I feel better about my choices.  then a home cooked meal for dinner.  Sunday I had a big home cooked breakfast which held me over until dinner.  So overall, not perfect but better.

With all the running I find it incredibly hard to find the perfect balance.

The Plan:

2 days BBQ Chicken Salad
2 days Chicken & Sweet Potato
1 day left over soup

Monday - Steak, Sweet Potato Fries, Veggies
Tuesday - Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (crock pot) It will be ready for me to eat when we come home from the gym.
Wednesday - Dinner at my Mum's
Thursday - Left over Chili
Friday - Spaghetti and salad (hoping to fuel that 20 miler)
Saturday - I'm thinking we may eat out.


Tell me one thing you did over the weekend?

What are you having for meals this week?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekend Round Up

Keeping it real.

Confessions of a 4:21 marathoner.  I committed to myself that I would clean up my eats again starting this week.  From Monday until dinner on Friday things went pretty great.  As I was on my way home from work on Friday my husband buzzed me.  He wanted Panda Express for dinner.  Because we "always" have it the night before a long run.  But we'll get to that in more detail in a minute.

The Workouts:  (aka The Good)

Monday - 5m Easy on the treadmill, followed by a .2 gain at Weight Watchers.  Awesome.

Tuesday - Walked 45 minutes on the treadmill, followed by Barbell Strength class.

Wednesday - 8m Easy on the treadmill, it was long and boring.  Mentally hard, not physically.

Thursday - Was going to go to Barbell Strength again (like normal) then Jerm decided he wasn't going to make it to the gym.  So I opted for Yoga instead.  I've been wanting to add Yoga in somewhere.  It was Restorative Yoga (I'd never done it before), and it was more like stretching in the form of Yoga poses.  Sure it felt good and all but it wasn't a workout and I won't be going back.

Friday - 5m Easy on the treadmill, I felt strong and it felt pretty easy.

Saturday - 18m LSD.  I listened to a couple episodes of Serial (I'm trying to spread them out so I don't burn through them all too quickly).  Then at the turn around point I switched over to Unbroken on Audible.  I'm really enjoying this book.  Listening to books really helps the time fly on the long run I think.  As we hit mile 17 my husband needed to take a walk break. He doesn't train midweek so when the long runs get really long he starts to struggle.  I kept going and finished up my 18 feeling super strong and SUPER hungry.

          Seen from Jordan River Parkway.

Sunday - I'll call this "Active Rest" since I spent 3 hours walking around Costco and Target getting my groceries.  Followed by putting them away.

The Eats:  (The Bad AND The Ugly)

I did really well during the week.  Had BBQ chicken salad for lunch every day.  Kept my dinners on point with what I had meal planned.  And then ... shit just fell apart Friday night.

Confession #1  --  I have been known to eat Panda Express the night before a long run. Thing is, it's carby for one thing.  Noodles and rice.  And I pretty much have a stomach of STEEL.  The majority of my really bad long runs were preceded by a dinner of just soup.  Or a salad.  So apparently I went to the other end of the spectrum and go with greasy .. fatty .. yummy Chinese food.

Confession #2  --  After we finished our run we were both starved.  And we didn't have time to go sit down and eat breakfast like we often do.  After some back and forth we stopped at Sonic and ended up downing a footlong Coney Chili Cheese Dog.  (This is the UGLY category).  WITH onion rings.  It tasted so good though.

See I told you it fell apart.  And thus I'm up .5 this fine Monday morning.  Awesome.

Marathon training is hard!  It can make you irrationally hungry.  Not all the time.  But sometimes.  And I fully admit I went with the I just burned a bunch of calories I "earned" this mentality.  And I'm frustrated with myself.  I really really want to lose another 10 lbs before Phoenix.  I need to try harder. I need to do better.

The Weekend:

After the sinful chili dog on Saturday I got busy!  Rotated all the seasonal clothing for my boys.  I should have done this like 2 months ago. But I just now got Jerm to bring the boxes down from the attic.  I did a crap load of laundry.  Why EVER to I let it stack up like that?  I cleaned out my closet and all together had 5 bags of donation clothing to get rid of.  So I felt like I had a really productive day.

Then Sunday it was grocery shopping and dinner at my parents.  Before I knew it I was wrestling kids into bed.  OH .. I also finished "The Affair" on Showtime.  I know some people don't like to watch/read about people having affairs. It's a little racy.  But it's also decently written. I would recommend it.  I'm already looking forward to next season!  It ended with a great cliff hanger!


What are you watching right now?

Do you binge watch TV?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Keys to Sustained Weight Loss

I am 5'5.  Almost.

The healthy weight range for my height is 120 to 150.  I think I've topped out around 170.  So I've never been more than 20 lb over the maximum healthy weight for my height.  Sometimes I think that the fact that I don't have a 50+ lb weight loss story means that my story isn't worthy of telling.

           Jackson Hole, WY

But maybe I'm wrong about that.  It's still MY story.

I spent my high school years around 128 lbs.  Size 5 (back then I think it was a smaller size 5 than it is today).  And for whatever reason they don't even have size 5 anymore. It's either 4 or 6.  Either way that was and still is the lightest / thinnest I've every been.  (note I did NOT say fittest)

As an adult I've been all over the place.  I've birthed 4 children.  Up down, up down on the scale.  Since I started running I can honestly say this is the FITTEST I've ever been, in the more recent years.  I've joined Weight Watchers every time I've really committed to losing weight.  I've only been truly successful when I've attended meetings.  I've watched friends join online and some have been a little successful but never to the degree that I've seen people reach success from my meetings.  So I guess we'll start there.

                         Around my fittest.
                         Those pink shorts are my current motivation!

How have I lost weight and kept it off?

1.  Group Support.  Like I said, I joined Weight Watchers and attended meetings.  I've heard people give a million different excuses as to why this won't work for them.  Each time I think in my head, "You're not ready."  (I've said this to myself as well, when I forego the meetings and "Do it on my own, because I know how the plan works.")  Don't hide the fact that you're working on your weight.  Tell people.  Tell your loved ones most importantly, they are who you eat many meals with.  They have huge influence over your mental well being.

2.  Drink your water.  Do it like your life depends on it.  Get yourself a fancy and cute water bottle.  I love Nalgene and Sigg for these purposes.  Be prepared to fill it and carry it with you everywhere.  At least a 32 oz size one.  For ME, this meant that I would not "allow" myself to eat my lunch until I had finished my first bottle of water.  Then my next goal would be to make sure I finished my second bottle before I left work for the day.  Another game changer .. learn to like water that ISN'T ice cold.  I know .. I know .. if I had a dollar for every time someone told me they "HAVE" to have their water with ice.  Yeah .. you don't.  Just get used to it without ice.  Without ice means you can guzzle it quicker (no brain freeze).  I don't sip on my water, I gulp it.  And while you're at it, get used to drinking just plain water .. without adding all the Crystal Lights and crap.  (but if you can't do that and the only way to get it in is to add something, give Nuun a try).  I happen to love the Energy flavors, all of them.

3.  Meal plan.  I know what you're thinking, "But I don't have TIME to meal plan!"  Umm, yes.  Yes, you do.  It's a choice people.  Choose to MAKE the time.  The first time might take you a little while, but I literally spend 30 minutes TOPS planning meals for my family for the week.  We eat probably the same dozen meals all year long.  Or at least variations of those meals.  Research shows that this is pretty common for most households.  But you need a plan for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.

4.  Track your food.  This is where things get dicey in my opinion.  Dicey in the respect that you are flooded with options. You can go old school and track with paper and pen.  Weight Watchers has their eTools app.  The only downside to their app is it doesn't talk to other apps first of all.  Secondly the majority of people are "doing their own thing" with regards to their weight loss plan, so you can't engage with people who aren't on WW's without logging in another third party app (MyFitnessPal, Lose It, etc.)  I log in the WW's app to keep track of my points.  But I often will also log my food in my Jawbone activity app (their food section).  It's kind of overkill.  But my point would be that you need to track EVERY single bite of food that goes into your mouth SOMEWHERE.  Even the bad days.  It keeps you honest.

5.  Focus on your whole foods.  Fruits, vegetables and lean protein.  I don't eliminate carbs but I do look to them last.  I rarely make a carb side with my dinners ever.  But we'll occasionally have a pasta type dish.  I'll have toast with my eggs on the weekends (always whole wheat).  But then on Friday's we'll often have sweet potato fries with our steaks.  So yeah, I limit them.  

6.  I tend to eat the SAME thing for lunch every day.  Until I get tired of it and then I switch to something different.  I realize that this may not work for everybody.  For about 2.5 months last year I ate a spinach salad every single day.  And then I couldn't even stomach the sight of it.  So I moved on to BBQ Chicken salad.  Which I have revamped this week.  If nothing else maybe you can find a few things to rotate between.  The advantage to the same lunch is I know exactly what to buy and if I'm feeling overly ambitious I can meal prep a little.

7.  Avoid restaurants.  Again, I realize this is a bit extreme.  But when I'm going hardcore, and for someone new I think it's good to get some momentum with the stuff you can control before venturing out to making good choices in the minefield known as Chili's (or wherever).  Even once I've got momentum I will limit eating out to one meal a week if possible.  

8.  Waistline is made in the kitchen, not the gym.  Ok .. sort of.  You've heard a variation of this mindset though right?  This may be controversial as well, BUT I don't believe that exercise really helps all that much with weight loss.  Physical activity is absolutely good for you, don't get me wrong here.  But don't use activity as an excuse to eat all the cupcakes.  This is where that 80/20 split comes into play.  Losing weight is 80% what goes in your mouth.  I don't believe in swapping activity for more food points in WW's.  Just consider the activity EXTRA!  Only on long run days do I allow myself a little extra.  That comes way of some fried potatoes after and the untracked fuel I take during the run.  

9.  Cheat Meals / Weekly Points Allowance.  Whatever your version is of this.  My balance in this is again on long run day.  My husband and I will often go out to breakfast after our long run. I tend to get the mushroom and avocado omelette (egg whites only with light cheese).  I eat all the homestyle potatoes and have wheat toast WITH the butter on it.  I still track it.  All of it.  And I often go over my points that day. But I consider it a wash with the 1700 calories I burned running double digit mileage.  

That's pretty much it.  I try to avoid "saving my points" for special meals and then gorging.  I focus on whole foods spread throughout the day.  I generally eat a big ass salad for lunch during the week. And that salad usually runs me about 10 points plus values.  With a mid afternoon snack I'm plenty satisfied until dinner and don't feel the need to eat more than a reasonable sized dinner.  I've found that eating whole foods really does keep me full longer.


What strategies have you used to lose weight or even maintain?

Do you feel like exercise plays a role in weight LOSS?