Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 18/365

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 17/365 Push-ups

I hit 100 push-ups today!  Now, the goal isn't to do 100 push-ups in a workout, the goal is to do 100 in 1 set, right in a row, no breaks.  

For instance, today's workout had 5 sets with 120 second break between sets. The first set was 20 push-ups, the second had 25, third 15, fourth 15, and the final set at 25.  Every day, the numbers of push-ups in each set increases with the final goal of being able to do 1 set of 100 push-ups by week 6. 

Today I started to feel some soreness in my shoulder joints.  Never a good sign to have joint pain.  Luckily, by the time evening came and I started the workout, I didn't notice anything.

This is a lofty goal.  I am not sure if I can do it in 6 weeks, but I am going to try my best. I have nothing to loose, so why not!  

More information on the 100 push-up training: http://hundredpushups.com/

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 3 Day 2 (100 push-ups)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 16/365 Rough day=chocolate?

Today I absent-mindedly took my crew with me to the grocery store.  My hubby wasn't home before we had to leave so I took everyone with me to drop one of the kids off at a Boy Scout event.  Having some time to kill and needing a few groceries I thought I would hop over to the local store and grab a few staples.  For only having to grab a few things, it was one of the most difficult trips I have had yet to date with kids.

My two girls wanted EVERYTHING, pointing at this, grabbing at that.  It wasn't too terribly distracting, I have learned to just ignore their pleas and press forward.  It wasn't until we got to the end of the trip where I just about lost it.

We got to the whole foods isle.  You know, the area where you fill up your own bags from the bulk bins.  Each daughter had an idea what they wanted and I was letting them get one item.  Suddenly, just as I noticed one of them reach in and grab a peanut butter malt ball thingy with her bare hand (I am a germ-o-phobe.  So it was grossing me out to think that others probably do the same) and I was telling her that you can't do that and to put it into a separate bag so we could buy it, my baby decided to shot put a jar of grape jelly out of the cart!

Dumbfounded, I started to pick up what I could have of this shattered, sticky jar with a handful of plastic bags.  I picked it up the best I could and then grabbed a clerk to get a mop to do the rest.  Frustrated, and realizing that I may have a shard of glass in my finger, I marched over to the chocolate section.  After a day like that at the store, I surely deserved some seriously yummy chocolate.

So we went over to the section with varieties of chocolate, the GOOD chocolate.  I looked at the different flavors and realized that I really didn't want to eat it.  I didn't want to thwart my plans, just because I was a little (okay a lot) frustrated. So the idea came that I should tweet about the frustration and walk away.  So I snapped a shot of my two most favorite flavors, tweeted on Twitter, walked away and I felt a whole bunch better. 

Baby shotput a jar of jelly-I think I have glass in my finger. Nothing this stuff http://twitpic.com/1iztxf can't fix. Seriously. :0)

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 15/365 Sugar is Addictive & Artificial Sweeteners Kill

I know I have blogged about this in the past, but it's worth repeating.  I love the taste of sugar.  Who doesn't?  But if we eat it all the time, we pay dearly for it.  Diabeties, weight gain, cravings and cavities, are some of the most common side effects when we consume too much sugar.

Sugar is one of the reasons why I had a hard time getting it in gear at the first of the year. During the holidays, I enjoyed more sweets then I usually do.  Once it's in your system and you are getting regular "fixes" it's really hard to stay ahead of the cravings without a lot of hard work.  And the harder it is to get into a routine, the more likely the routine will never solidify.

So the beginning of last week, I wasn't feeling very good.  I felt slightly nauseated so I didn't eat much.  I drank a lot of Pero with milk and just enough peanut butter filled pretzels so I wasn't hungry.  Light on the stomach, a little protein and a good number of carbs.  It kept my stomach calm and I was able to do my daily routine.

So at the end of the week, when I started to feel better I noticed I wasn't craving a thing.  My appetite came back, but the craving for something crunchy, sweet, salty, smooth, savory, gooey, etc.wasn't there.  It's ALWAYS there, so I thought about what was different?

For the whole week, eating like a bird, I didn't have anything sugary.  It reminded me that when we can get the sugar out of our system (which takes a few days) we don't have that pull to get more.  Why can't I just remember such a thing and ward off sugar for the rest of my life?  Weight control would be a cinch!    Because life is made up of sugar moments.  That's how we celebrate, through sweets.

Some say, "Well that's easy.  You can have your sweet without the effects of sugar by consuming sugar-free foods."  Yes, that is a solution, but not one I am willing to take.  Sweet chemicals are worse on your body than the real thing.  They're chemicals and there are many ramifications for putting such gunk into your body.  A great article HERE that shows the positive/negatives of many artificial sweeteners.

When I was in school studying Holistic Nutrition, one of our texts was: "Excitoxins:The Taste that Kills" by Russell L. Blaylock.  After reading this book, I was convinced to NEVER touch another artificial sweetener again.  It explains that certain additives in our food excite our brain so much, that it kills the neurons.  Makes sense when the sweetener you are consuming is 160-220 times sweeter than sugar.

So if you want something sweet, by all means, choose something made with sugar!  Just know that it will cause cravings and that to rid yourself of cravings, you'll have to avoid it for a bit until you get control of your system.  You don't get something for nothing, everything has consequences.  You just need to be responsible with it like anything else we consume, and you'll be fine.  Understanding our bodies and how sugar effects our efforts, is half the battle in the weight lost journey.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 10 
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 3 Day 1 (80 push-ups)

Day 14/365 Sunday - Oops!

Went to the computer last night to blog my day, and I must have been distracted by something...

Later today, I am going to blog about the addictive pull of sugar and how it effects our healthy efforts.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 10 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 13/365 A Habit

I am grateful.  My daily routine is a habit again.  I don't have to think about it, I just do it.  It feels great to feel in control again.  It amazes me how creating a positive habit in your life can change your outlook.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 30 min @ level 10 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 12/365 Illness

The family has been sick so I spent most of the day doing what moms do when their family is sick.  I also had a chance to start a new book that really make the time fly while on the elliptical.  It's called MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner. 

So far it seems like a guys version of Hunger Games.  Lots of questions, a fight for survival, suffering, death, teenagers and certainly a page turner because the book keeps you wondering what is going on.

A little food for thought here.  I also got the virus that attacked my family.  The others in the family that came down sick, were very sick.  Me on the other hand, only got a touch of it.  I contribute this to the fact that I am working out everyday.  I have noticed that when I regularly workout, my immune system is stronger.  This is another motivation to create a regular routine.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 30 min @ level 10 
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 2 Day 3 (81 push-ups)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 11/365

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 30 min @ level 10 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 10/365 - The Power of Perception is Underestimated

It's been 10 days.  I feel like I am back in a solid habit again and it feels GREAT!!

I noticed in the mirror today and I noticed something had changed.  I looked at my self from all sorts of angles and I swear there was a huge difference.  Seriously.  It looked to me like I lost about 10 pounds in my thighs alone.  Could that be possible in only 10 days?

My reflection had changed, I was sure of it.  So I hopped on the scale, there was a little difference in numbers, but nothing to declare yet.  So I looked at myself in the mirror again, and I wasn't repulsed by my reflection in my jeans, I was actually surprised that I was pleased.  What had changed??

In 10 days, my body couldn't have changed that much, it's impossible to have great physical change in such a short period of time.  But 10 days can make a HUGE difference in perception.  After having 10 positive days, my self image is changing.  I am feeling confident, strong and positive.  I have faith that I am going to have an "after" picture sometime this year to be proud of.  The power of perception is certainly underestimated.  Perception is powerful and it can also work in the other direction as well.

When we have a negative perception of ourselves, it works the same way.  We feel inferior, weak and unable to do anything positive.  How can we ever expect to be successful in our weight loss/health efforts, or anything in life, if we are working against ourselves?  We can't.

How is the perception of yourself?   Is it working for you, or against you?

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 10 
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 2 Day 2 (71 push-ups)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 9/365 - Feeling lame but doing it anyway

This is where a goal really helps a lot on one's journey.  I think there may be a bug in the house and I haven't been feeling 100%.  My stomach is off and I feel a little weak.  You know how you feel when you aren't eating or drinking enough?  I know I made a goal, but when you aren't feeling well, you should rest. It's a great excuse (I mean reason) to take a break and then get back to it, right?


Listen to your body in times such as these.  I did't feel good, but I wasn't bed ridden.  I didn't feel strong enough to go all gusto, but I got on my elliptical anyway.  I didn't really have a plan on how long I would go, just thought I would play it by ear.  So I grabbed a book, and got to it.  I got into the book, checked the timer, and it said 15 minutes, so I ended it there. No. More. Excuses.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 10 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 8/365 - Pictures are certainly deceiving

So I was looking at my blog today and I noticed that my head shot doesn't really show my weight issues, it actually hides them quite nicely.

My toughest weight challenge starts at my belly button and goes down to my knees.  If you would like an idea of what I look like today, just add 5 pounds to that area in the "during" photo on the side.

Although I did my last challenge 40 pounds heavier, it's often harder to get the last bit off and so this time around, I will have some great challenges to blog about I am sure.

Evenings are the best time for be to workout for so many reasons:
  • It's the toughest time of day to stick to my goals, because at the end of the day, I am tired and I start to not care.  
  • I am an evening snacker.  
  • Exercise curbs my appetite and my cravings.  
  • The kids are in bed so I can do it without any distractions.  
Evening time for me is a win all around.

I haven't been sleeping well and I am exhausted right now.  I could crash if I went to bed, but I have a challenge to attend to...

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 20 min @ level 10 
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 2 Day 1 (63 push-ups)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday - THIS.IS.IT.

This is the day.  The day I am laying it all out.  The day that I am making the commitment to:


  • I am going to be open and share what I am doing/eating/learning.  
  • I am also going to get the "after" picture that I have been promising.
  • I am feeling strong, positive and pretty much ticked that I haven't done this already.  
  • No amount of stress or illness is going to get in my way.  
  • This.is.going.to.happen!!
For those who have been following me, you know that I did this goal last year and that I succeeded in working out for 365 days in a row.  I lost 40 pounds in the process by exercising daily and eating real food in smaller portions. Last year though, I only started to blog about it mid-way through, after most the big challenges of getting started had passed.

After my goal was met, I found that I slowly slipped back into the behavior that I had prior to the goal. (Didn't help that it was the holidays) Excuses aside, I am human, with human tendencies, habits and behaviors. 

Even this time around, I wasn't quite sure I could make the commitment and that is why I am making this commitment on day 7 and not day 1, I had to prove it to myself first.

I originally wanted to take Sundays off, but that just doesn't work with my perfectionist personality right now.  I will try to do something different on Sundays, but I may have to work up to that.

I welcome you to follow me on this journey of mine.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 10 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday - Feeling in Charge

So it's been 6 days in a row that I have worked out.  Week 1 is completed on the push-up challenge.  This has been a good week and I feel like I am in control of things again.

When having a hard time with my weight, I can tell that I am, not just by the obvious signs of the scale, but by how I feel.  It's harder to pass buy the things I really shouldn't eat and hard to get the things I should.  Often times, out of frustration I may even eat more just so I can do better the next day.  What has recently been the saboteur for me is thinking, "If I can just get rid of it today, I can have a better day tomorrow."  So I find myself eating "one more bit of ice cream" or "another half of cookie."  I can safely say my eating habits hadn't returned to what they were, but they had gotten to a point that I would have slowly gained back every bit of weight I lost last year.

I am feeling like my head is back in the game.  That I am able to think before I eat.  Just taking that moment to really THINK about what you are doing before you do it can make the difference between feeling on top of eating, or feeling consumed by it.  It really is that simple, although sometimes it doesn't feel that way.  You have to have faith in yourself and know that you can do it if you choose to do it.  Really CHOOSE to do it, not just passively agree to do it.  That's not a strong enough conviction, and without real conviction, you can't permanently make change.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 30 min @ level 10 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday - Getting it into gear! What I learned this week...

This has been a GREAT week when it comes to my exercise routine!!  I've hit every day this week and I feel strong!  Push-ups are a lot easier then they used to be and this time, I am going to meet that challenge and do 100 push-ups in ONE SET.  Yep, I had doubts before, but I am going to think positive this time.  Week 4 seems to be the week where you hit the wall.  I will go into week 4 prepared.

 Last year, I did 365 days in a row and needless to say, it was a habit.  But even good habits can go by the wayside if not nurtured.  This year, I haven't been as regular as I would like to be, I've taken too long of breaks for illness and it's been hard to get that conviction again.  Life gets in the way and it will every time unless we make the conscious decision to work out regularly.  For me, regularly has to be daily because my perfectionist attitude messes with me if I try to be "regularly" exercising.  (I easily turn into a saboteur and my excuses become valid.)  

I have noticed that after a week of my regular routine, it's easier to make it a daily thing.  Much easier than it was last year when I started my 365 day challenge.  So, this week I have learned that when you create a solid habit, if something comes up in life and you loose the habit, it's easier to find it again the 2nd time around.  Create that solid habit now, so it will stick with you even through the times when life gets in the way.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15 
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Level 1 Day 3 (58 push-ups)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday - My Favorite Dressing

I wanted to share my most favorite dressing.  We mostly use it on our salads, but it's great to dip in after the salad is gone!  It's all natural, easy to make and you can use this for a couple of salads which saves time in the kitchen.  If you are Italian or like lots of garlic, or both like myself, you will especially like the following recipe.

Yummy Italian Dressing
3/4 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar or Apple Cider (less muddy looking)
1 clove garlic
1 T. dried basil or Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

I make this so often I don't even measure any more so the measurements may be adjusted for your taste.

I LOVE balsamic, but I have to admit, it doesn't make a very pretty dressing. (But does it matter?  You will only be looking at it for a short bit, it's all about flavor, right?)

Since olive oil is used, when refrigerated, the dressing will solidify.  So, take the dressing out of the fridge for 5-10 minutes before you plan on using it OR you can add 1/4 cup of all natural ranch (Not the stuff that has a bunch of unpronounceable words.  I find some great, all-natural dressings in the refrigerated produce section at the store).  The ranch will make the dressing a "Creamy Ranch" and will keep it from solidifying in the fridge as well as separate like oil and vinegar dressings tend to do.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Wednesday - It feels GREAT to be SORE!

Most of yesterday I was suprised that I wasn't feeling any soreness from Monday night's push-ups.  I thought I would feel something.  I was starting to feel a little impressed with myself when it started to set in.  The muscles in my lower abs, around my shoulder blades and along my rib cage started to feel a little tender last night.  It was a welcomed pain because it means I accomplished something with my workout on Monday.  Today, I am full blown sore and it reminds me that I do day two of the push-up challenge tonight.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Level 1 Day 2 (58 push-ups)

This is what I did tuesday:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday - Me, repeating myself.

"I pray that this isn't the same, old, stupid cycle so many find themselves in where you end up blogging the same feelings in a few weeks."  There it is, I am quoting myself from last Sunday, April 4th, because that is exactly what happened.  I am a bit reluctant to say that I am going to make today "Day1" because I honestly, don't want to quote myself again!

So I am going to act like today is day 1, and that tomorrow is day 2, but I am not going to proclaim that I am back on it until I know I am back on it!! Maybe on "Day 10" I'll say something, better yet, maybe on "Day 21". (Don't they say it takes 3 weeks to create a habit?)  Because I don't want to have to type, "I pray that this isn't the same, old, stupid cycle so many find themselves in where you end up blogging the same feelings in a few weeks."  No one wants to read that any more than a person wants to live through it. I am not bitter, just a little frustrated and a wee bit hopeful!  :o)

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 30 min @ level 10 
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Level 1 Day 1 (45 push-ups)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Making this blog more user friendly

This blog has mostly been a journal for me while on this lifelong journey of health.  What I have found is that it's a bit of effort to navigate the site to get specific posts about a specific thing I did or blogged about in the past.  So over the next few weeks I am going to work on this blog so it's a more user friendly reference not just for myself, but for others as well.  :o)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hitting the wagon hard on Monday

Easter is over and if I look at another chocolate anything, I am going to die.  I think it's safe to say that my virus is entirely dead and I am ready to get back into a routine.  

It's amazing how quickly your body goes down hill when you stop exercising.  Mind you, I was sick for the most part of my break, but still.  I am a bit more flabby than before, my clothes aren't fitting the same, and my joints are feeling a wee bit, elderly.  Y-U-C-K!!  

Last year I got very close to a shape I wanted.  I was happy to be where I was, but I needed to do better.  My initial thoughts were accurate.  Although I was happy where I was health and shape wise, I was too close to being where I wouldn't want to be.  Some setbacks, a couple of virus' and I find myself in a dark place again.  Don't get me wrong, the same clothes still fit,they just feel and fit....differently.   

So here I am on the eve of getting back on the wagon.  I pray that this isn't the same, old, stupid cycle so many find themselves in where you end up blogging the same feelings in a few weeks.  I have faith and I am ticked.  (Never underestimate the power of being ticked)  It can be a strong motivator and if harnessed properly, it's enough to get you out of a rut.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My, that wagon is high...

It always dumbfounds me how we get into cycles in our lives.  All the different habits we have.  Some habits we just have and are indeed habits.  Other habits are newly founded and short lived.  Why do some stick and others so easily disappear?  When I was working out daily during the 365 day challenge I gave myself, it was such a habit I couldn't believe ever breaking it.  But the new year came, I soften up on my routine and the first virus I get wipes me out.  Please don't think I am complaining, I am not.  I am just in awe about how I find myself making excuses. I thought I was over that. Even tonight I find myself thinking that Monday would be a great day to get back on the wagon. Seriously?  I am using the "Wait until Monday" thinking? Just goes to show you that you can never be complacent. 

I am so very grateful for my earlier posts last year.  They are a great kick in the butt for me.  My blog is serving it's purpose, to remind and motivate me.  :o)