Monday, August 31, 2015

Back from the dead & new workout schedule

Wow, so I'm finally back on my feet after my cold turned into an ear/sinus infection (and I had a reaction to the antibiotics). Antibiotics (when they're not so strong that they make you sick) are pretty amazing. Just a couple hours after my first dose, I was feeling at least 50% better.

favorite movie ever #noshame

During my 2 weeks of being bed ridden, I came up with a workout schedule that will give me a little more flexibility while maintaining my 5-6 workouts a week.

Monday- 2 30 minute workouts at home (most likely run + walk)
Tuesday- Zumba
Wednesday- 2 30 minute workouts at home (most likely run + walk)
Thursday- Zumba 
Friday- Zumba + Group Fight
Saturday/Sunday- hiking or run

I will definitely be adding strength training back in there but am not sure what the plan will be. I love Group Power (like Bodypump) but am trying to avoid being at the gym every single day, so something had to go. I might get a kettle bell and do strength training at home. Let me know if you have a weight program you love!

I am practically giddy looking at our lows this week- our Arizona summer is slowly wrapping up and our nights are once again in the 70s. I went for a walk this morning because it was only 92, which I get is still pretty damn hot, but it was almost breezy compared to the 110+ we've had this last month!

The temperatures cooling off also means my family and I can get back to our weekend hikes! We usually find that the temps are bearable the 2nd week of September or so. I know there are some hard core athletes out there hiking throughout the summer, but I like living and prefer to avoid hiking in 100+ degree heat.

Phoenix, I still love you as much as Sam loves Frodo

Do you stick to a workout schedule?
Do you still workout when you're sick or are you a wimp like me?

Friday, August 21, 2015

My Strange Addiction...

When I first joined the Y, I fully intended to go to group exercise classes.
Then, I went to Zumba a few times.

That, my friends, is exactly what I looked like. (Psst- if you have an ad blocker that video may not play for you and you'd seriously be missing out)

I went once or twice but my complete lack of coordination combined with the full size mirrors showing my full size reflection, and I just couldn't deal. #ihaveissues

So I stopped going and stuck to the machines. Then a friend I'd gotten to know through the Y started teaching a fight class, and having taken kickboxing, I braved the wall-o-mirrors again, at least confident that I'd know the moves. And I had so much fun!

Then Y friends started tagging me on Facebook for upcoming Zumba classes and I was getting SO SICK of the elliptical and I just thought, 'what the hell" and went to a class. I stuck to the back so I wouldn't have to stare at the clumsy girl in the mirror and I had such a good time!  

So the next time I had the urge to be hermit-like and go back to the machines, I reminded myself of how much fun I had and forced myself to go again. And again. And again.

Suddenly I was going twice a week. Then three times. Before I knew it I was ordering Zumba shoes. Now I go at least 3 times a week (sometimes more), and I've even doubled up on classes (Zumba + Fight, or Zumba in morning + at night)!!! And I am started to learn the basic steps which makes it a little easier to pick up new routines (although my moves still far more resemble an awkward hippo mating ritual more than anything dance-related).

this basically sums up my whole post

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Star crossed lovers back together. and a new injury

Since my suspected stress fracture in February, I have been doing all my working out at the gym. I told myself that once I dropped a little more weight, I'd get back to running. Like I mentioned in my last post, it's been harder to get to the the gym, and it's way too hot to do anything outside, so on a whim, I decided to run a few weeks ago.
And it. went. AWESOME.

Runner's high is the only excuse/explanation for posting a sweaty selfie

It actually happened to be on the one year anniversary of my ankle surgery so it felt extra amazing!

I was able to do 2 miles with barely any effort! I'm down around 15 pounds since my last run and I've been doing a crapton of cardio, and honestly, it didn't feel like 6 months had passed.

I've had a few more runs since and they've also been great, but I want to really focus on keeping a good balance to avoid injury. I'm planning to limit my runs to 2-3 a week for the foreseeable future and balance my workouts with classes at the gym.

But that is the silver lining on a shitty, shitty thing that happened last week...I've been having an issue when working out- now matter what it is, if I do it for 15 minutes or longer, the outer toes on my right foot start to go numb and cramp up to the point where I have to take a short break or stop altogether (which I rarely do, because I associate quitting a workout with my old, obese self and am very stubborn about it). I finally saw my doctor about it and he thinks it's likely a nerve issue, more specifically a neuroma or tarsal tunnel syndrome. So I have a referral to go back to the team of doctors who operated on my ankle (FML) and get it figured out.

what I said to my foot

So there it is, the good (running again!!!), the bad (my effing foot), and the ugly (sweaty workout pic).

Sweet tooth and the realization that losing weight is not my full time job

I am back with an upgraded computer (no more 20 minute post uploading times!!) so I am happy to say I will be posting with regularity again!

ooh shiny

And now that I have a super speedy machine, this post (and those to come) will be especially gif heavy!

I have been sick the last few days with a cold.

It's been so long since I've had a cold that I feel like it's worse than I remember?

We've had reports of valley fever so of course my neurotic self had to do research to make sure that's not what I have (I'm still not convinced).

I've been working so hard on losing weight and putting so much pressure on myself that honestly, having to take a break feels strangely nice, even if it feels like my head's about to pop off. I've been indulging in binge watching all my favorite true crime shows and taking naps, two things that I used to do all the time when I was morbidly obese but rarely do now. (Well, I still watch enough true crime to convince my husband that I'm plotting his demise, but I usually do it at night. You know, there's nothing like stories of dismemberment and unexplained disappearances to unload the day's stress.)

true story

We went to San Diego at the end of July for a long weekend, and I ate my way through the city's vegan fare like it was my last weekend of eating. Ever.

normal people don't get this excited about nachos, do they?

By my third desert in two days (maple pecan cupcake, mmmmm), my sugar addiction reared its ugly head again and it's been so hard to get it back under control. I haven't been indulging in desert every day or anything since, but it's been so hard to not have a little something sweet every day!

I've also been increasingly busy with work (yay!) but the downside is actually having a life and obligations beyond the gym makes it harder to work out consistently. I know I just have to get used to this new schedule and make time for it, but it's been a reminder that, hey, losing weight is not my full time job! As much as it feels like it sometimes...

I will talk more about what kind of workouts I've been doing in a future post, and I have a pretty epic milestone approaching (did somebody say [almost] 90 lbs lost?!?!?) so expect more from my little corner of the internet!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Back by popular demand...

I've had a few people reach out to me since I disappeared off the face of the earth this blog.

What's funny is that I have at least 5 drafts going that I haven't finished and published!!!

Just because I haven't checked in here doesn't mean I've been slacking on my workouts. I'm still working out at least an hour 5-6 days a week. I had a surge in weight loss at the end of May/beginning of June, but (as my body likes to do) I am in another plateau. We went on vacation for a week in June and eating out nearly every day (regardless of how careful I was) didn't help. Water weight comes on overnight but takes a week to come off- how the hell does that even makes sense?!?

My current workout schedule looks like this:

Mondays: Group Power (basically the same thing as BodyPump and holy shit do I love it)
Tuesdays: Zumba or cardio machines (preferably Zumba, because I am getting super sick of the elliptical)
Wednesdays: Group Power or Zumba (depending on what time of the day I can get to the gym)
Thursdays: Zumba
Fridays: Group Fight (MMA/kickboxing)

As you can tell from the above schedule, I have joined the cult of Zumba. I got over my self-consciousness in class when I realized how much freaking fun it was to just stop worrying about perfecting the steps and just move (more on my new Zumba addiction in a later post)! According to my  Fitbit Charge HR, I burn between 700-800 calories in a class. I've been going to Group Fight for a couple months and it is SO. MUCH. FUN. I burn a crapton of calories during that class too.

Last Friday, for the first time ever, I doubled up on my classes- I did 40 minutes of Zumba followed by an hour of Group Fight. And I felt pretty freaking badass.

Hopefully this surge in activity (I'm only on week 2 of this schedule, before that I was piecing together time on cardio machines with a few classes here and there and not getting as good of a workout as I am now) will help me push past this new plateau.

I am sooooo close to 90 lbs lost that I can practically taste it! And it tastes like cake. Just kidding.... sort of.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stronglifts update

Today I logged my 6th Stronglifts 5x5 workout. I totally love the program and have become more comfortable in the "scary" free weights area of the gym. And, surprisingly, I've only embarrassed myself twice! The first time I did deadlifts I used the 70 lb barbell. My set went great but when it was time to put the weight back, I couldn't lift it up to re-rack. I left it on the ground hoping no one would notice.

Eventually I went to my instructor and asked for her help (she does Crossfit and is way stronger than I am). She was still laughing about it halfway through circuit training class.

On Monday, I got to the gym and picked out a bench for my bench presses...completely missing the fact that someone was already using it until he came over to move his stuff to a new bench.

Awkwardness aside, it's been awesome to see the amount of weight I can lift increase! I've only been doing it twice a week (supposed to be 3x/week), but am planning to eventually bump it up, probably when I'm done with this 6 week cycle of my circuit training class. If you're wanting to add strength training to round out your exercise, Stronglifts 5x5 is a good place to start!!!

Monday, May 18, 2015


As I've mentioned ad nauseum over the last few months, I have been working my butt off to break through a weight loss plateau. Finally after 10 months of bouncing around in the same 5-10 lb range, the plateau is definitely broken!!!

I'm down 4 lbs from my lowest weight. Even though a 4 lb loss over the course of 10 months is slightly depressing, I am so unbelievably relieved and happy that things are moving along again.

Also, I've lost 1-2 inches over most of my body over the last month! That's made a huge difference in my clothes. I had a couple dresses that were too small that I've been hanging on to (one I've had for so long that I don't even know if I still like it) and they now fit.

I've been tracking my weight and inches lost throughout the last 2 years on a massive excel spreadsheet, and I've finally been able to start tracking on there again. It's insane to look at how much I had to lose when I started and how much lower that number is now.

I have changed my workout a little bit over the last few weeks, so I will write about that in my next post!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fitness trends

Am I the only one around here who loses track of the fitness trends? I'm pretty sure I've tried most of them, and I definitely have my favorites. Like I mentioned in my last post, I still have an undying love for kickboxing (hello, 2001).  Some of the newer trends I've tried over the last couple years have included HIIT (high intensity interval training)- although I was never part of the Crossfit camp, I've done T25 and some of Jillan Michaels' videos that use HIIT concepts. I really enjoy the short bursts of intense work! And of course, you've heard about my (awkward) Zumba attempts...

In my circuit training class, the instructor often incorporates bodyweight training. These are great exercises to have in your roster for when you are unable to go to the gym (like when you're traveling or in jail) and still want to fit a good workout in.

it's a thing

I recently came across this article by Bankers Healthcare Group (they're a provider of financing for healthcare professionals) regarding the top fitness trends to watch in 2015. I was shocked to realize that I am, for once in my life, on trend! Apparently, 2015 will be the year of getting "back-to-basics" when it comes to fitness, with old-school bodyweight moves as a highlight. Love it!

not this old-school

With so many die-hard Crossfitters out there, I doubt it will disappear completely... but according to physical therapists, working through the pain (as certain HIIT programs endorse) can lead to injury.

What's awesome about bodyweight fitness is that you don't need equipment or a gym membership.
Some of the bodyweight exercises I've done in my circuit training class are push-ups, tricep dips (you can use a chair or bench), lunges, bridges, and squats. Actually, we've done everything in this adorable infographic:

I really don't care what kind of workouts people do, be it Crossfit, bodyweight fitness, aqua Zumba, step aerobics.... as long it makes you sweat and feel badass, do it! But don't get hurt...

P.S. My favorite part of that article? Adult. Jungle. Gyms. How much fun would that be?!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Workout plans

I swear I haven't neglected you guys on purpose. I've been super busy with real estate stuff. Not actual selling yet (unfortunately) but training and business planning and fun stuff like that.

But I have NOT been neglecting my workout efforts!

I stuck to my regular gym schedule last week, aside from Friday which I spent in a zombie state after staying up most of Thursday night taking care of a sick kiddo. The only thing I had energy for that day was binge watching Million Dollar Listing New York.

It was the last week of my circuit training class (it's a 6 week cycle), and I'm leaning towards re-signing for the next session. HOWEVER, that may change because the instructor has agreed to meet with me and help me conquer my biggest gym fear: weights. I'm totally comfortable with the weight machines but the free weights are very intimidating. That being said, it's something I really want to overcome because I know that lifting can transform your body and help with plateaus.

I've decided to start with Stronglifts 5x5. I like the simplicity of the program:

My instructor is also going to check my form so I can avoid getting into bad habits from the start. I haven't decided yet if both the circuit training class and Stronglifts would be too much weight training... if anyone has any insights, comment and let me know!

While I still miss running and plan to get back to it once I drop 10 or 15 lbs, having workout goals and plan really helps keep me motivated!

I've been staying away from the rest of the group classes (even though I do love Zumba) because I love my quiet time on the machines. I watch old episodes of 48 hours on Youtube or listen to podcasts (currently really into Snap Judgment and old episodes of This American Life). That being said, my Y is adding a group fight class (kickboxing with other martial arts elements) and I am really excited for it! I loved kickboxing when it was a big workout trend 15 years ago. In fact, I even did a speech on it in college because I am that cool.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Workout Log

I had to deviate from my regular workout schedule this week because I felt really crummy on Wednesday and Thursday. I felt really run down, like I was getting a cold but thought that whatever respiratory issues usually come with a cold were masked by the multiple allergy meds I took (allergy season is in full bloom in Arizona right now). Ultimately, I don't think it was a cold because I felt fine on Friday.

Monday I did around 40 minutes on the elliptical and took a 30 minute walk. Tuesday I was running late, so I didn't get a chance to warm up on the elliptical before my circuit training class, but all our squats and lunges really kicked my ass and I was sore for the rest of the week!! I took a 30 minute walk that day too.

On Wednesday I woke up feeling like crap, but, convinced that a little fresh air would perk me up, I ended up taking a few walks (around an hour total). It didn't help. Probably made me feel worse, in fact.

Thursday I decided to officially take a rest day, so I didn't go to my circuit training class. Friday I was desperately missing the endorphins and got my butt to the gym for 40 minutes on the elliptical, and around 20 minutes on the weight machines (also took a 30 minute walk later). I did the one legged leg presses and lifts that I used to do in physical therapy. I've been neglecting my ankle exercises, so I'm really trying to work that back into my workouts. Although my calf is finally the same size as my left leg again, I can definitely tell my right side is weaker when I do balance exercises.

The scale has been inching down at an extremely slow rate, but at least it's going in the right direction! Proof that the scale is not always the best way to gage your progress? The fact that I've dropped two pant sizes in the last month!

It was surprising, to say the least!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Night Owl to Early Bird Update

Way back in January, I pledged to go to bed early and get up early. I'm happy to report that it has gotten progressively easier to get up when that alarm goes off! I'm asleep by 10:30 most nights (give or take), and my alarm goes off at 6:45. It is really nice to have more time during the day to accomplish all that I need to. I do usually stay up a little later on weekends, but I've found that it's a lot harder for me to sleep in late... I'm up around 8 am most weekends.

All in all, I'd say this experiment has been a success- I may never be a morning person naturally, but at least I've made it easier for myself!

On a related note, we got this sticker out of the vending machine at the grocery store, and I had to laugh because it's so me (at least before coffee):

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What defines us

The other day I was thinking about the things that define us. Many of these things we choose, like clothes we wear, our hairstyles, our hobbies.

 Then there are things that define us without even having to be declared. Being overweight, for example. Unfortunately, someone's excess weight often defines them to others, whether it's with disgust, pity, or disdain. I consistently get treated better than I ever did at my highest weight.

My weight loss (and for those who've known me for a long time, my weight gain) is a huge defining factor for me. Probably bigger than I'd like it to be. I'm so entrenched in it right now that it comes up constantly in conversations. Part of it is that I'm still self-conscious of the weight I need to lose, and I like to make it clear that I'm still working hard. And there's also the fact that it's a huge (cheese alert) journey that I'm on, and if I lose touch with that and let it fade to the background, I'll never reach my destination.

On a related note, my veganism is also a large part of who I am, as it heavily affects my day to day life. I find myself often putting these two facts I'm qualifying being an overweight vegan with the fact that I've lost 80 lbs already (side note for anyone interested: Colleen Patrick Goudreau talked about this in a podcast a while ago).

I'm looking forward to that point in time where I find myself content with where I'm at weight-wise (whatever that number may be)...maybe then I can let the things that truly matter define me: my family, compassion, kindness, success, the things that make me unique.

If I let myself reach contentedness at this point in my weight loss, does that mean I give up?

Can you be happy with who you are while simultaneously working on improving yourself?

Here's a final deep thought for you to mull over...

Friday, April 10, 2015

Workout Log + Fitbit love

So the reason I haven't posted any workout updates is because it's been pretty much the same every week. I've been doing really well sticking to my workout schedule- I've been doing a minimum of 60 minutes, 5-6 days a week.

Mondays are elliptical and Stairmaster, and usually a walk around the neighborhood.
Tuesdays are 20 minutes of elliptical and the circuit training class. Sometimes I fit in a walk also.
Wednesday I've been staying home from the Y and getting my 60 minutes of exercise in at home, usually in the form of a walk or bike ride.
Thursdays are like Tuesdays.
Fridays are either a Zumba class or like Mondays.

Having the Fitbit to track my progress has been awesome, to say the least. I only ever wore my Body Bugg to workout because it was way too ugly and bulky to wear all the time. The Fitbit is great because it's sleek, neutral, and doubles as a watch (apparently I can even get caller ID on it but have yet to get that going, because, let's face it, I always have my phone with me).

I very much respond to positive reinforcement and because of that pesky quality, I was super motivated to get my 10,000 steps a day this week! I achieved that goal every day but Thursday (although, at 9,280 steps, I came pretty close and had over an hour of exercise).

Friday was my best day by far!

As much as I love my circuit training class, I haven't decided if I'm going to sign up for the next 6 week block. I'm considering switching my strength training focus to using the weight machines (circuit training uses resistance machines) and barbells. My favorite exercises in class are the ones where we use the ViPR and do squats, deadlifts, lunges or the clean and jerk. Those are classic weight lifting moves so that tells me it's time to overcome my fear of the barbells and that area of the gym.

Are you intimidated by the weight equipment at the gym? Do you do strength training and if so, what do you do?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Sorry about the radio silence over here. There has actually been a lot going on!

Over the last few weeks I have:

Purchased a Fitbit Charge HR to replace my bulky old Body Bugg (more to come on my Fitbit love later)

Gotten my realtor headshot taken so I can finally start actively marketing myself (instead of accosting random strangers at Walmart that make the mistake of mentioning their rental search. In their private conversations. True story. But she did contact me, so I must not be too creepy.)

Finally had my tattoo worked on and made totally awesome

And, best of all, I broke my 10 month long plateau!!!!

I think a combination of two things led to me finally registering a loss: mixing up my exercise routine and eating more.
Yes, that's right, I've been eating more and I think it's helped me lose weight. For months, various people (most of whom I feel are pretty knowledgeable on nutrition) have been telling me that I'm not eating enough. And as much as I know about TDEE and BMR and blah blah blah, I just couldn't get past the less is more diet mindset. But I was pretty desperate to break this plateau and decided to increase my calorie intake to 1600 a day vs the 1200-1400 I was consuming before. The NEXT WEEK I was down 4 lbs. I've been making sure that those extra calories are quality calories, and I've been eating more protein.
Of course, changing up my workout routine and adding strength training in last month had a hand in it, I'm sure. It was pretty freaking awesome to update my weight loss tracker (an epic spreadsheet that I've been tracking my stats in for the last 2 years) for the first time since June.