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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday: NO!

Short post but had to give some quick updates:

Haven't posted a recent weigh-in for the last two weeks but that's because I'm taking a break from the scale. Focusing too much on the number has taken away from other things in life...

So I'm also stopping calorie counting. The every day/every hour/every minute thinking of food has, I think, actually done the opposite of what it's supposed to do and I find myself stressing over it. I've been doing it for over a year and half and rather than becoming routine, it's become a chore I don't look forward to.

Since following the BFL program, it's taught me portion control over counting calories so I'm gonna give it a try 100%. This week nutrition has been excellent and it helps that I recently joined a 20-day Eating Clean Challenge! That's right... clean eating, 100% for 6 days/week. It's nothing extreme and something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life so why not give it a try. I try to eat clean most of the time anyway but this will really help me focus on it more. Today is only day 3 but it's been perfect so far!

Join the Challenge here!

I'll be back later tonight or tomorrow to do a real post.

Friday, March 26, 2010

But I do eat healthy

Once again, Bloggies, you have come through and sent me some good advice after my post about eating like crap. =0) THANK YOU!

There was something I wanted to clarify though... I started this journey about a year and a half ago so these eating 'habits' aren't anything new to me but I'm still working on making them into habits... does that make sense. The biggest piece of advice people were sending was to take this one day at a time... change one habit at a time. But the thing is I thought I had done that already. I drink nothing but water. I get in more fruits/veggies than recommended. I watch my sodium/saturated fat/sugar/anything bad daily and I try to stick to whole foods. Besides this week, I rarely eat out and rarely have junk food. A typical day of eating for me looks like this:

Meal 1 - Shakeology, 2 c spinach, 1/2 c berries, chia seeds
Meal 2 - protein powder, 1/2 sweet potato
Meal 3 - 6 oz tuna, Laughing Cow wedge, two slices whole wheat bread, 2 c veggies
Meal 4 - protein powder, 1 apple, handful of raw almonds
Meal 5 - 2 c veggies, fish/chicken, 1/2 c brown rice
Meal 6 (once in a while if I'm still hungry) - 1 boiled egg, 1 boiled egg white

Basically I try to get in protein/carbs at every meal and keep them at a 40/30/30 ratio. I think I just kick and scream a lot more than necessary when I have an off day because it gets me totally stressed out... I'll try to control that! =0)

One of the comments left on my previous post really brought it into perspective: if I work out so hard why would I want to do anything to take away from my progress? GOOD QUESTION and I never really thought about it that way! I have been working out pretty hard yet my crappy nutrition is just stalling my progress... just keeping me at maintenance... well actually, I brought this up to my personal trainer (who's a nutritionist as well) and he said the only positive thing I might see come out of eating more calories than I should is muscle growth! Don't let that be an excuse to eat everything in sight but to build muscle, you do have to eat at a slightly higher calorie-range. And of course those extra calories should still come from good nutrition - not ice cream and pizza and friend chicken - but that's why my PT/nutritionist said it might be a positive thing.

Wishful thinking can't hurt right?!

Talking about building muscles, today completes day 12/84 for the Body for Life program and today was a tough one. I missed out on my upper body workout on Wednesday because I was sore from the trainer session on Tuesday so I combined my upper and lower body workouts today. This translates to almost 2 hours at the gym:

Upper Body Workout
  • Chest: chest press machine
  • Chest: push-ups
  • Shoulders: alternating shoulder press
  • Shoulders: lateral side raises
  • Back: wide-grip lat pull-down
  • Back: narrow-grip pull-ups
  • Tris: dips
  • Tris: tri extension
  • Bis: barbell curl
  • Bis: dumbbell hammer curl
Lower Body Workout
  • Abs: leg lifts
  • Abs: exercise ball crunch
  • Quads: leg extension machine
  • Quads: leg press
  • Hammies: lying leg curl
  • Hammies: sitting leg curl
  • Calves: standing calf-raise machine
  • Calves: angled standing calf-raise machine
Loved, loved, LOVED the barbell bicep curls - first time I did them - but I think I may have injured my forearm a bit. When it comes to any bicep work my forearms tend to fatigue much faster than my bi's and looks like I pushed them too hard. I blame it on being in the "big boy" section of the gym, as I call it, with the free weights and and big ripped guys and gals working out - can't look like a total wimp in front of them, right? Anyway, my right forearm KILLS when I bend my arm so I'll need to watch that. Next week I have three upper body workout days scheduled so not sure how I'll handle that. Any suggestions for a good bicep workout without using too much of the forearm (using more of the bicep brachii instead of the brachioradialis)?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Speaking of Vegas...

Oh how I miss Vegas... it's been over a month since I was there and I was trying REALLY REALLY hard to go this weekend with my parents but flights are so expensive right now!

So anyway, remember there was a dress I wanted to fit into and wear in Vegas but didn't cause we didn't make it to dinner up there? Then remember I promised a pict of it when Anthony and I celebrated our anniversary this month? Well that said anniversary was celebrated yesterday so I finally have pictures of the dress... and me in it!

The dress was still a little tight and not as cute as I remembered it... but for a price of $6.97 (yes, six dollars and ninety-seven cents on clearance!) it was fabulous! We went to dinner at a local steakhouse and there was so much food and it was all yummy!

I started out with a baked potato soup.

He's sad cause he got stuck with salad...
but the salad was better than my soup.

My perfect medium-rare petite fillet mignon with veggies on the side.

Complimentary vanilla bean panna cotta for our anniversary.

What was left of it...

And the apple cobbler that we originally ordered.
Don't you hate when you order something and then they bring out the complimentary dessert... wish they brought it out before so you don't have to order anything!

Cobbler was really sour because of the apples so we didn't eat it all.
Better believe we whacked the ice cream though!

Crap... you would have thought I'd have some kind of self-control after my post the other day, right? No... none at all!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why is it so hard?!

It's so easy to wake up and have the best intentions in mind. But as the day goes on it can get hard to keep those intentions.

Every morning I wake up with the motivation to stick to my nutrition and exercise plan but the nutrition part - the part that counts the MOST - is the hardest for me! Right now I have a week off from work (mandatory paid leave days) and my eating has been out of control... AGAIN! It started from late last week and the week isn't even close to being over:

Thursday: two servings of ice cream
Friday: some of the best Chinese food
Saturday: Italian food
Sunday: Vietnamese food
Monday: Taco Bell and Japanese food
Tuesday: Fried chicken and pizza - yup, I'm making the call as I finish this post!

Seriously, people! S.E.R.I.O.U.S.L.Y! The good news is I haven't missed a day of exercise yet (knock on wood) so that makes 9/84 days of the Body for Life program - minus the good eating part. I hit my lower body workout at the gym yesterday and tried out some new machines... I LOVED IT!! A few of my new loves:

Lying leg curl... now to only get her hammies!
Incline leg press.

Standing calf raise machine.
To date this is the only machine/exercise to get my calves burning!

Still getting an awesome pump in my muscles and now I believe it has to do with the routine rather than me just being away from lifting. I love it!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

You made me cry!

Blogger world, YOU are awesome!

After yesterdays revealing picture post, I never, NEVER, N.E.V.E.R. expected the comments many of you wrote.
I didn't want compliments.
I didn't want to be told I've come so far.
I didn't want you to be nice.

But you were and your words touched my heart in every sense... I actually teared up reading over the comments. SERIOUSLY!

You have made me realize that I have come a long way and that I should be proud of myself. It's so easy for me to forget that even though I'm struggling now, I'm struggling at a place (weight) where I haven't been in almost 10 years! Thank you for reminding me of that.

Today, I look at the picture and see a totally different image than when I first posted it a couple days ago. Although it's lost a little bit of it's motivational strategy the picture is still an honest reflection of my body and I feel there's still a lot of work to be done.

Speaking of work to be done, yesterday I completed day 3/84 of my new routine and it was a lower body lifting day. I don't know if it's because of the new lifting sequence or because I've been out of my regular weight routine for so long, but I am SORE today! It's really hard for me to get a good pump in my glutes and hammies, but trust me, today I can barley stand from a sitting position... I love it! Entire upper body is still sore from Monday's workout too. Loves it even more!

So a couple of people emailed me to ask what routine I was doing... was I following a workout program or just doing it on my own? Well to answer their question, I'm doing the Body for Life (BFL) program.

I never really mentioned it before however I did hint about a new book I picked up here. After talking to a friend about it I decided it was something I knew I wanted to do. Don't get me wrong, P90X is still my fave (I'm a little biased since it was the program I lost majority of my weight on) but I really liked the workout routines in BFL. Basically you workout 6x/week switching between weights and cardio.

Two Week Schedule
(odd # week = blue, even # week = red, both weeks = black)

M: upper body/lower body
T: cardio
W: lower body/upper body
Th: cardio
F: upper body/lower body
S: cardio

A little more details on the routine can be read in my previous post here, but basically it's a routine with 5 or 6 exercises. Each exercise targets a major muscle group and with each set you increase the weight but decrease the rep number. It gives your muscles a super good burn!

Nutrition wise, I found the BFL program easy to follow. No counting calories needed - I'm still wearing my Bodybugg and logging food but only estimates. BFL is more about portions: one portion of complex carbs and one portion of protein at every meal... that's 5 to 6 meals a day btw. Since I'm already on a 5 to 6 meals a day plan, this wasn't hard to adapt to. And of course lots and lots of veggies!

The book does push the use of their company's suplements (EAS) but I don't use any of it since I have my own favorites. Plus I like to get most of my nutrtion through veggies and lean proteins rather than a bottled shake. But that's just me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesdays: 134.6 + OMG pict

Last Wed. weight: 137.0
Today's weight: 134.6

TOTAL Lost: -41.8

Okay summer is officially 11 weeks away - I count the beginning of June as summer - and I am not even close to being beach ready! Are you?!

Every year since my parents were in college, they planned a two-week long fishing trip to Moloka'i with their friends. They still do it and now all us kiddies get to go too! We stay at a pavilion right on the beach and last year was the first time I went in over 5 years! Why? Because before last year I looked like this and didn't want to be seen in a bikini...
February '08... I felt as gross as I looked.

Last year I decided to go because I had lost about 35 lbs. from my heaviest and I was feeling good about myself. But the pictures from last year's trip weren't that flattering either...
July '09... better but so far away from goal.

So this year I am determined to go fishing looking better than ever. And to help me stay motivated and honest about my body, I'm posting a picture of myself that I really don't wanna post. I figured if I put myself out there it'd be really good accountability because I'm not taking the picture down until I reach my goal of being 25% body fat. Not so concerned about how much I weigh, but just to get the BF% down...

WARNING: Skin exposure! I couldn't bring myself to wear only a bikini so I only did half... bathing suit bottoms but it's still pretty bad. I have so much more work to do! Anyway, this will be the picture that stays posted at the top of my blog until I reach goal...

Getting rid of that belly once and for all!

11 weeks and couting! I better get moving... and F.A.S.T!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Starting and totally pumped!

Today was day 1/84 of my new workout and nutrition program and it was almost perfect! Over the weekend I finally bought me a bench so I can a ton more exercises at home now... YAY!

And although my one-bed apartment now looks like a make-shift gym - I have an elliptical, Power Blocks, resistance bands, exercise ball, a step and now a bench - I can now seriously think of canceling my gym membership! So anyways, getting back to my new program, last night I planned out exactly what exercises I would do...
  • bench press
  • bench fly
  • seated dumbbell shoulder press
  • lateral side raises
  • one-arm dumbbell row
  • weighted pull-overs
  • lying tricep extensions
  • bench dips
  • incline dumbbell curl (my new favorite exercise, btw!)
  • hammer curls
... and planned out my meals for the day...
  • Shakeology + blueberries + chia seeds + 2 handfuls spinach
  • protein bar
  • chicken breast + mixed veggies + sweet potato
  • protein powder + milk
  • shrimp + brown rice + salad
  • protein powder + 1/2 banana
But then I went to work this morning. How do you say "no" to your little old coworker who baked red velvet cookies especially for you since you had a conversation with her last week about how red velvet is your FAVORITE thing in the world?
Oh TRUST! The pictures don't do the cookies justice! They were chewy and soft, like a mix between brownies and cookies, with cream cheese frosting in the cookie!
Wish I had the will-power like my friend Kyle!

EXACTLY!! There is no way... so I ate them and they were worth it!

Besides the cookies, everything else was on-point today. Had one of the best workouts in a long time and I attribute it to they type of lifting I'm doing. For each exercise, 5 sets of increasing weights/decreasing reps, with a final but different balls-to-the-walls exercise targeting the same muscle group. For example, 5 sets of bench presses:
first set = 12 reps, 15 lbs.
second set = 10 reps, 20 lbs.
third set = 8 reps, 30 lbs.
fourth set = 6 reps, 40 lbs.
fifth set = 12 reps, 20 lbs.
final exercise = chest flies, 12 reps, 20 lbs.

AMAZING! And you're doing these sets with very little rest in between so it's only suppose to take you 45 minutes... took me 70 minutes tonight to figure out the correct weights to use. Tomorrow is cardio for 20 - 30 minutes... all out HIIT on the treadmill till I die!

Motivational Mondays: A grave and a rut

"The only difference between a grave and rut is the depth and the length of time you spend in it."

Please remember this the next time you're in a rut... it's only temporary and you can totally get out of it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Totally random but...

... here's more Vegas picts that I promised weeks ago!

So I started out in Vegas pretty good... I had self-control and ruined all the "good food" so I wouldn't stuff it all in my face! Example: mustard covered brownie and sugar, half-and-half, and hot sauce laced hollandaise sauce.

Pictures of the suite at The Signature Tower at the MGM.
Full kitchen and even a blender!
These pictures really don't do the rooms justice.

And since The Signature Tower is so far from the main MGM hotel, they have hallways lined with moving sidewalks just to get you there!

These stairs were absolutely beautiful! So we sat down in the middle of them, held up traffic, and took a picture.

City Center was really nice too...
Huge ice towers inside the City Center mall.

Cutest light fixture ever at the Venetian.

Had to stop at Coca-Cola to sample the international flavors.
Flower garden at the Bellagio was totally decked out in Chinese New Year stuffs but this mama and baby panda were so cute!

And in case you missed it, that's me with my skinny jeans and boots!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

'P' is for Pumpkin

... as in pumpkin pudding!

Now, this recipe uses tofu as one of main ingredients but don't knock it till you try it! I promise with the right tweaking of pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon/sugar, this tastes exactly like pumpkin pie filling! EXACTLY! I didn't include it in the recipe, but I topped my pudding off with vanilla almond crunch granola and it was SOOO yummy!

(this recipe makes 1 serving)
  • 0.5c pumpkin puree
  • 0.5c soft silken tofu
  • 0.25 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 0.25 tsp cinnamon
  • stevia/agave/sugar to taste
1.) Combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend till smooth.

2.) Pour into your container and sprinkle a little more pumpkin spice on top and ENJOY!

I know I just posted a pumpkin pie oatmeal recipe, but this is so good... I always make it! I'm gonna add in some vanilla protein powder to boost the protein amount but this is good as is! Maybe I'll try chocolate protein too!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The secret to $1,000,000.00

If there was a book - instruction manual, if you will - that could guarantee you'd make $1,000,000.00 by end of a year, would you do it?

I'm talking straight, legitimate, legal, no strings attached, no money-down-way to make a million bucks... would you do it?

Imagine being given an instruction manual that had the answers, the research, and the thousands of satisfied customers as proof that it works. Would you do it?

All you had to do was follow that manual.

Now imagine an instruction manual that guaranteed you a better body and better health. Imagine that someone else did the years of scientific research to find the optimum nutrition and most beneficial exercises for your body. Imagine that this manual told you exactly what to do day by day to get the results you want. Day by day! Would you do it?

Again... all you had to do was follow that manual?

Well let me tell you this super-fantastic manual does exist - the great body and better health one, not the $1,000,000.00 one, sorry! Our local bookstores are loaded with tons of books on fitness and nutrition and I understand there are TONS and T.O.N.S. of diet books out there but I'm talking about the sound, can-do-it-for-life type of diet books - no quick fix will ever keep the weight off!

Don't worry, I'm not doing a shameless diet book review or anything, but it just hit me that diet books are instruction manuals to a better body and better health. Normally I don't read diet books, instead I read a ton of nutrition books as well as lots of fitness books and magazines, but how cool is that? Most diet or fitness books map out a plan to get you to better health... maybe not to your goal weight or fitness level but it gets you closer to it... guaranteed! They normally give you a day-by-day nutrition and exercise plan and all you have to do is...
follow it!
And by follow it, I mean stick to the nutrition plan laid out and
work hard at the exercises(as the manual would say) not just go through the motions.

So if you're kinda in a rut like me, just pick up something, anything, and just get moving and eating right again. Again, please stick to an "instruction manual" that isn't too extreme in the diet area... you want to be able to incorporate some, if not all, the things you learned into your lifestyle and make it last forever.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday: 137.0

Last Wed. weight: ??
Today's weight: 137.0

TOTAL Lost: -39.4

Kinda happy, kinda not happy with that weigh-in.

Happy cause it's actually less than what I was expecting from all the bad habits over the last month. Not happy because the weight's still up but I'm not complaining and I already know what to do about it! =o)

After my great "epiphany" post the other day I didn't get in any exercise yesterday, however it was planned from about lunch-time that I wouldn't have time to exercise because I did prepping/cooking for my meals for the week and to me that is just as important as exercise itself. I did however get in a 20 minute walk at lunch so that counts for something, right?

As far as meals go, remember I was all intent on 'cooking' up frozen dinners for the next week or so? Well I changed my mind and would like to go back to creating simple, homemade meals with simple ingredients: lots 'o veggies and lean proteins. So last night I spent my time cutting up veggies, sauteing them in a bunch of different seasonings, and packing them up in containers. I love cooking, just hate the clean up!
Also bought a bag of mixed frozen veggies and giving them a try today with my lunch. Frozen veggies might be my answer to get in WAY more veggie servings! YAY!

In other exercise news... I'm super excited about something I'll be starting in the next week or so! I'll blog about it more when I'm really hitting this exciting new thing hard. Why so motivated today when I was so bummed out over the past several weeks?

Well over the weekend I realized there's only about 11 weeks left before summer so I'm so motivated to get into the best shape of MY LIFE! Not just the best shape of this weight-loss journey... my life! As you may or may not know, I was a tri-athlete in high school: volleyball, basketball, and soccer. And I was in the best shape of my life then but still not in great shape if you can believe it or not. Yes, multiple 2 - 3 hour a day practices kept me lean, but eating whatevers kept me "skinny fat". So I'll say it again...

I'm ready to get into the best shape of my life!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

4.2%. That's all it takes

4.2%... isn't that a really good number any way you look at it?

People would kill for a 4.2% interest rate on a loan.
To be in the top 5% of your class is awesome, so being in the top 4.2% is even more awesome right?

You know what else is awesome? What if I told you that you could change your life and body with only giving 4.2% of your time? SOUNDS GOOD right?! Well that's all you need to give... 4.2% of your time! There are 24 hours in the day and exercise only requires at most 1 hour - or 4.2%.

When I thought about that percentage, it sounded so silly to NOT exercise every day... hell, eating takes up more time than that... so what's been my excuse these past several weeks? The truth is I just didn't want to exercise, it's not cause I couldn't or I didn't have time...








I wake up every morning and do things I don't want to: fight traffic, go to work, pretend to do work, actually do my work, etc. But I still do these things! Why can't I have that same consistency when it comes to my health? Well no more! I'm tired of feeling guilty, blaming myself, and then bitching about it.

So you know what I did yesterday? I exercised! That's right, I turned on the tv, jumped on my elliptical and did a solid hour of interval training with two-minute jump roping during commercials. It felt so good to get the heart pumping and sweat flowing... gotta remember this the next time I don't wanna do it!

Hope today's just as successful!

'O' is for oats

... as in pumpkin pie oatmeal!

  • 1 cup old-fashion oats
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 banana, mashed up
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. stevia/agave (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp. maca powder (optional)
1.) Combine milk and oats the night before and store in the refrigerator.

2.) In the morning, microwave oats enough to warm them but they shouldn't need cooking due to the long milk bath. Add all other ingredients to warmed oats.

3.) Mix and enjoy!

I love pumpkin! And I love oatmeal! So this was super yummy and really convenient if made ahead of time. I usually double the recipe which makes enough oatmeal to last me three to four servings. I think a little more sweetness and pumpkin pie spice would have been perfect!