Tuesday, May 1, 2012

100 miles down, 30 hours to go!

I did it. Happy birthday to me- I went 100 miles in April.

That is like walking from London to Calais France. (Europe makes 100 miles seem a lot further than Canada)

And I feel great about it. The point of this challenge was to motivate me and make me keep going just a little bit more. The result was that I have maintained the 33 pounds that I have lost so far, and I am in way better shape to try to drop a few more!

I have a new challenge for May. 30 active hours. What I mean by "active hours" is hours in which you are doing intentional physical activity, like hiking. not hours where you are moving but not really, like shopping at the mall. The intention of this is to work less hard, but for longer. Instead of pushing myself to finish my miles, I will back off the speed and keep going. I chose 30, because that works out to an hour every day, but I have no intention of doing an actual hour every day.

Some days I will do a 30 minute walk and that will be it. Some days We will go on 2 hour hikes. As long as I get my but off the couch and move, I think I can make this 30 hour goal. I just need some fun way to measure it.

Happy May everyone! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

The final push.

4 days left and 15.48 miles to go. That is an average of 3.87 miles per day. Totally do-able!

I didn't really stick to my calendar at all, but I have stuck to my goal, and knowing that I went 100 miles in April, just feels amazing. I feel like I want a challenge to keep me going for May.  I am thinking something more hours based, maybe 50 hours? If I count things like hikes, and my lunchtime walks that might be a push, but it could be do-able! Maybe 40 is more possible? I want a goal that takes daily diligence, but that you can make up if you need a day off once in a while. That way it is achievable, but it will get my bum off the couch!

I just feel like I can DO this!

less than 16 miles to go before 100!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

83.52 down 16.48 to go!

I can't believe I am actually going to make this goal!

I have gone past Banff!

Last night my workout went so well, I am so glad I did this challenge! My endurance is so much better, and I can tell I am in overall better shape.

And for the first time in my life, I actually want to go to the gym.

I have always hated the gym before. Even in college, when I was using the amazing athletic facilities at the University of Oregon which are sponsored by Nike and are amazing. I always felt like I didn't really belong. Like the girls in fancy matching workout gear, who looked so determined, were the people who belonged there, not me who is so uncoordinated I had to get off the machine just to take a drink of water without pouring it on myself.

But after 6 months of being the type of person who goes to the gym, it has finally started to feel comfortable. And I can drink water while working out on the elliptical, without falling or spilling.

I just hope I can continue to channel this motivation into weight loss.

Monday, April 23, 2012

pretty miles

On Friday and Saturday I was a total slacker. This last week had just zapped my energy and all i wanted to do was to be cat furniture at home. (anyone who is still at my house runs the risk of being cat furniture)

But On Sunday I thought of my challenge, and I felt guilty. (Which is good, since that is the whole point of the challenge)

So we went to the gym, and I was just having a good workout day. We wound up working out for a full hour, and I logged in 7 miles. It felt great, and it made up for Saturday and Friday, but it still had me doing a 0 for Sunday.

So after lunch we decided to co on a walk around Calgary to get in our daily miles.

I snapped a few pictures on our walk, and you can see what a perfect day it was! Add to that the 70 degree weather, and you can see how it would be hard to stay inside.

I hope everyone had as productive and wonderful a weekend as I had!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Right on target

Thanks to my workout last night, I am right on target for my miles challenge. Luckily for me the weekend is scheduled to be sunny!

Since the 15th, when I realized I had more miles left than month, I have been pushing to get caught up. And now that I am, I feel great. It is like when you are all caught up on your homework, and it is Friday, and you have the whole weekend to go play.

That extra push of motivation to get off the couch is why I am doing this challenge, and part of that is the accountability of putting it all out there on the internet!

So let's see how far I have gone, shall we? (all map origins are my gym)

I have gone all the way from my gym, to Canmore!

Seeing this on a map, makes me feel so great about how far I have gone, and how a little bit every day can really add up!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thoughts from the elliptical

My love/ Nemesis

I think I am finally getting the hang of working out. For the first time in my life, I feel good when I work out, not just bored at the time then glad I did after.

My weight loss has been stalled, but after dropping my initial 30 pounds, I have kept it off for over a month. I am going to call that a win, and push my self to get off this plateau.

I have also seen a huge increase in my fitness since we started this plan. In November we would go to the gym and do a 20 or 30 minute workout. I would get on the elliptical, set it to "please be nice" aka the easiest setting and just try to survive 10 or 15 minutes, then switch to the recumbent bike for 10 or 15 minutes.

Now I pop back and forth every 20 minutes when the gym is busy, limited only by the "20 minute limit when someone is waiting" rule. And I often get back in line to go back on the elliptical, setting it on 6 or 7.

I was getting pretty pleased that we had increased our workouts to 40-45 minutes, more than double what we were doing some days!

Then this last week I have had what feels like a "fitness breakthrough"; instead of being bored and tired and forcing myself to keep working, I have actually started to enjoy the workout itself. This doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of days where I would prefer to nap on the couch, and I know I have a long road ahead to fitness, but this big step forward is making me feel finally good at the gym.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Over the 1/2 way mark

April is more than 1/2 over! I am behind in the challenge, but I plan to catch up.

More than one night I have wanted to skip the gym but I have gone for the sake of my miles.

I know I can catch up, and make the 100 mile mark! I am also so happy for everyone who is doing this challenge with me!

Anyone care to share their progress?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The 9 day marathon

In 9 days I have gone 26.5 miles. Which someone pointed out to me- is a marathon.

Somehow putting it into perspective like that makes the whole thing feel incredible! I feel like I could do anything, even get into the kind of shape where I could run a real marathon!

When I started this project I said it was a birthday present to myself, I am turning 27 at the end of the month.

And now I am thinking, I want to run a real marathon, before I am 30.

I just need to work on my time, 9 days is a little bit too long.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Look how far I have come!

I know I rarely double post in one day, but I just had to see how far I have come in my challenge (assuming I started at the gym)

I have made it all the way out of Calgary! (you know, if I did this all at once, and not on stationary workout equipment!)

So How about you?
Add up all the miles in your workouts so far for April, and figure out how far you have gone!

Pinspiration- Dinner style

I know I posted a while ago about how great of a motivator pinterest can be, since you can pin gadgets you want, or sayings that help remind you that you don't really want to eat that cake.

It can also be home of drool worthy cupcake photos, so when using pinterest one must tread lightly.

However what I want to focus on today are all the healthy ideas you can find on pinterest!

One of our major downfalls is pizza. It is quick, and cheap and convenient, and delicious. Even if it isn't quick or convenient, it is so delicious that- well who cares! It is also LOADED with calories, which is why this onetime staple of weekends has been forced to be an occasional treat.

But here are some ways to help keep pizza in our rotation, without busting the calorie budget (and since they are recipes that you make at home they are easy on the dollars budget too)

I have not tried this one yet, but I am thinking it just might need to pop up on the menu for the week:
Cauliflower Crust Pizza: 
There is a whole blog post, that is totally worth reading, but here is the gist:
1/2 LARGE head cauliflower (or 2+ cups shredded cauliflower)
1 large egg
1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese (or try another kind!)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic (or fresh garlic)
1/2 teaspoon onion salt

(click the link for the step by step how to) 

I just love this idea! 

In a time pinch, I also love the crust alternative of zucchini! 

No recipe needed, since you just use zucchini in place of a pizza crust! It would be super easy to cut the zucchini in to circles and make pizza bites out of this too, perfect for a sports party in a calorie conscious way! 

So don't get too distracted by all the cupcake pins, there are healthy ideas too! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

100 miles of motivation

I think the 100 mile month is helping. Yesterday between a doctor's appointment and David having rehersal, we missed out on going to the gym.

Normally I would say "oh well" and just make sure I didn't go overboard on my calories, but thanks to the 100 mile month- I also made sure to take a good long 2.5 mile walk.

So I guess it is working! Anyone else have a success story?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

7.3 miles down

Last night at the gym I was able to start making up for missing my hike! Thanks to my e reader and the recumbent bike, I made it 4 extra miles last night. I can already tell that this 100 mile challenge is going to be good for me. The miles seem to accumulate faster than the minutes do, and it is nice to feel like I have gone somewhere!

I made a new page that I plan to update with my 100 mile month progress (Up in the navigation bar) and I think I will check in here weekly.

I hope everyone else's April is off to a fit start!

Monday, April 2, 2012

How far have you gone lately?

With the start of the 100 mile challenge, I am excited!

This weekend I got a present, which I am hoping will help me fight off the boredom of working out inside a gym!

A Kobo e-reader!

My hope is that I can zone out while reading and trick myself into working out for longer.

Because I have a confession- I am already behind in my challenge.

This weekend we went to the mountains and my plan was to do a nice long hike on Sunday, but when we got up on Saturday the weather was so nice we decided to hike right away! So I did the miles, but since Saturday was technically still March, I am behind.

Good thing I have all night to bike it out at the gym!

How are you doing so far?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Almost April!

Hey everyone! It is almost April- here is a reminder that April is the 100 mile month! Just to recap here is the challenge:

Go 100 miles this month on your own steam, for the purpose of exercise.

It can be walking, running, hiking, swimming, or even the mileage from a stationary workout machine. If you do zumba, clip on a pedometer and count each step! If you bike count those miles up! You are earning them.

My plan is scheduled to start on Sunday and I am so excited to do this. It will be so nice to look back at the end of the month and feel like I have gone somewhere!

One of the ways that I push myself, is by earning a reward. If you knew my family you would say this is an "apple doesn't fall very far from the tree" scenario, since I was raised by a dad who believed we should earn everything, even if it meant walking past a bike every day, until all the chores were done! What that taught me, is that things feel great when you earn them. They mean more, and have infinitely more value.

This translates to two things that are helping me lose weight; In the short term there are calories.

 If I think of calories like money, something that must be earned before it is spent, then it makes the trade of workout for snacks much easier. The reason i gained all the weight in the first place, is that there is no credit limit on calories, you can borrow from your future until things are so out of control. And there is no declaring bankruptcy- you have to earn your way back out. But any financial planner can tell you, with a good plan and responsibility, you can pay down debt, so that is what I do at the gym every day. It makes the slice of pizza taste so much better, knowing that I earned it. The same way it felt great the first time you bought yourself with something from your babysitting money.

Things you work for, are worth more.

The other way the lifestyle of earning things is helping, is that once I want something, I know I can find a way to get it. If I tell myself that I can have something once I have lost a certain number of pounds, I know I want that thing. My latest motivation is skydiving.

I know, the thing that is motivating me, is a desire to jump out of an airplane. But I have done it before, and if you think you get an endorphin rush off a treadmill, you should try the adrenaline of skydiving. It is life changing. Last time I went, I was quite a bit thinner, and the place we want to go has a weight restriction. I was 50 pounds too heavy to skydive in November. Now I am 18 pounds to heavy.
I have 6 weeks, to drop those last 18 pounds, and I know it won't be easy, but I also know I can do it.

So Happy April! I hope you join me in this challenge, and I hope you share your results!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Junk Food isn't going anywhere

Weight loss is mostly not fun. The endorphin rush after a workout is nice, but mostly the partI like the most about this weight loss thing is I weigh less in the morning, and my clothes fit better, or new ones look better.

The actual not eating junk food on the couch part, is kind of lame. I mean, I love eating junk food on the couch!

But the reward of seeing the scale go down in the mornings is finally starting to feel better than a bowl of marshmallow mateys (Don't even Google them, they are the opposite of weight loss).

The view, thinking of junk food as something that will hurt later- like drinking too much booze, is helping me to say no. In fact- the alcohol analogy is a really good one, because just because you don't want a hangover, doesn't mean you cant have a glass of wine with dinner, it just means you can't have a bottle.

 And The mantra that has helped me the most, is that the junk food will still be there when I have lost all the weight. 

I know that seems like a strange thing to say, since obviously Cadbury is doing just fine, but one of the excuses I use to eat junk food is that it is a special, one of, etc etc. It makes me feel like if I eat the birthday cake today, it will be OK because tomorrow I will get back on the wagon aka elliptical and burn it off. But let's look at the year shall we?

Jan 1- hangover food (doesn't count)
Feb- Valentines day- chocolate and fancy dinner
March- David's Birthday/ Our anniversary
April- My Birthday/ Easter
May-whatever fun you do for the may long weekend, plus cinco de Mayo oh and Mother's Day
June- Father's day (maybe a brunch?) Graduations, birthdays, celebrations all over the place!
July- Independence day, summer BBQ's Popsicle season etc.
August- long weekend events in Canada, Birthdays, etc
September- Fall- seems like a good reason to grab a chai, and some baked apple treats
November- Thanksgiving- so much pie!
December- Chocolate Santa Month/ NYE!

And before you know it, another year has gone by, and the diet you meant to start didn't get started, and the cycle starts over.

I'm having a really hard time right now, saying no to Easter candy, because chocolate wrapped in pink shiny foil is all kinds of kryptonite for me. But telling myself- it will be there next year, and next year you will be thinner and maintaining, and it will be OK to have some. So don't think of it as not having any, but putting the treats off till later. Just like I used to do with my diet.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gadgets and Gizmos

With my 100 mile month challenge coming up starting on Sunday, I thought I would mention some gadgets that might just make it easier.

The first is technically an app, I mention all the time. My Fitness Pal (which can also be used online- no smartphone required!) This free website is how I made the plan that has helped me lose 31 pounds so far. I love this site!

Another handy gadget for helping, is a pedometer. I have this one:

And it is nice to know how far you walk! If you are using a pedometer to gauge your steps for the 100 mile challenge, just estimate your stride length!

The last item on my list is actually an item on my wishlist. A heart monitor.

This one from Amazon is pink, and it doubles as a pedometer, so score!

Keeping track of your heart rate is a great way to monitor your fitness and weight loss, and gauge how hard your body is working.  The way to use it is really simple- take your resting heart rate first thing when you wake up.

Then calculate your "max" heart rate. You can pay for someone to calculate all this for you with a treadmill and stuff, or you can use a basic formula. A good rule of thumb is 220- your age is a rough estimate of your max.

Then all you need is a little math, to tell you what your zones are.

Zones 2-3 are where you want to be for aerobic fitness and 4 &5 are anaerobic (basically you build muscle not burn fat) 

The easy/ free way to monitor your heart rate (which is what I do now) is the talking/ singing rule. 

If you can sing, you aren't working out hard enough, if you can't talk you are working out too hard.

For me a sign of fitness is how hard I have to work to get into a certain heart rate zone. At first- just thinking about the gym made me sweat, and 5 minutes on the elliptical got my heart rate up there. Now I have to be seriously rocking out with the resistance up to get my heart rate going when I fist start to work out. That little bit of progress helps me keep going, and push just a little more. 

Regardless of which zone you are in for your 100 miles, even if you do the whole month in zone one, Just think of how far you will have gone! And you will see how fast your body gets used to the work! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

100 mile Challenge- The Plan

So my last post was about the April 100 mile challenge...

I actually made the plan!
I know it is a lot, but I think I can do it, and like I said, this is my birthday gift to me. 
I gave myself a few days off, that way if I miss one, I can make it up later. It's like I have met me or something. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

100 mile month

Boy this fitness thing can really be addictive. The thing is, that for people who aren't into fitness, it can be really annoying. I spent a lot of years being annoyed by the "exercise junkies", preferring the much easier form of "cookie junkie" and I truly perfected the art. In fact, if you head over to my other blog, addtova.com, there are some cookie recipes that might just knock your socks off. 

Next month is my birthday month, and it is so tempting to start thinking about all the yummy ways one could celebrate. Between those evil and amazing cadbury mini eggs for Easter, and the promise of cake at the end of the month, April might as well be December for all the calories I typically eat. 

But not this April. 

This April my gift to myself is going to be some self control, and the adrenaline rush from seeing the scale stop on a lower number every week. 

The 100 mile month

I have decided to do a 100 mile month- to challenge myself to really feel like my working out is accomplishing something. 

Here is the challenge: In the month of April, on your own steam, travel 100 miles, just for the purpose of exercise. April has 30 days, so if you plan to do it daily, that is 3 1/3 miles per day. (5.4 kilometers for you metric folks) 

You don't have to run, walking or biking, or hiking  is totally acceptable. They can be actual miles, outside, or figurative miles in a treadmill in the gym. 

Document your progress, however you want. Link here to your blog, or keep a note in your phone. Make a chart and hang it on your fridge, or take notes on the back of an IKEA receipt from your purse. 

You can make a plan, make a calendar of all the different ways that you can travel, or just play it by ear. I am doing this as my birthday gift to myself, why are you? 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

It isn't always easy to keep going at the gym. There are a lot of days when I am tired, or want to be lazy but David makes me go. 

So what motivation is there for me to keep going? 

It's Dory, from finding Nemo. There is just something highly motivating, about the "just keep swimming" song.

I am hoping that motto- can keep me going on the path that I am on, because I actually had to go to the mall and buy a few new things. My favorite skirt was literally falling off of me the other day. 

Seeing the change is good, and that motivates me too.  
So tonight when I am at they gym, I just hope people won't laugh if they notice me humming my little motivation song, cause boy is it working! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

"free" food- how to discount your calories!

One of the techniques that has helped me lose 30 pounds since November, is trying to eat as much that is "free" as possible. Not monetarily free, but caloricly.

By my definition, caloricly free (or um on sale) is a food that takes work to get, so you burn all the calories (or at least some) in the process of getting it.

My favorite way to do this is to walk to subway on my lunch hour.

A 6 inch veggie sub, with no cheese and only mustard as a condiment (Since mayo= yuck anyway) is 230 calories.

I have to walk about 13 minutes to get to Subway, so I round down to 25 minutes for calories. 168
That burns 168 calories, so my lunch only "costs" 62 calories. 

That isn't bad! Throw in a diet coke, and some sunshine and it is a pretty good lunch! 

Another great way to get a calorie "discount" is to go on a picnic over the weekend. For me, the weekend is a dangerous time, because I have less of a schedule, and boredom eating is a huge pitfall. So packing a picnic lunch and hiking it to a nice spot to eat is a great way to lower that calorie count. 

Especially if you have a craving you just HAVE to satiate, walk or run or bike to wherever you have to go to  satisfy that craving! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Trim Plan

In order to keep up the weight loss, and still eat healthy, I have started to appreciate soup more and more.

You have to be careful with store made soups, since they tend to be high in fat and so so so full of salt.

But making soup at home is as easy as throwing random things in a crock pot.

David and I have decided that we are going to make a "soup of the week" on Sunday, and each get a thermos to take to work.

(note to self- get permanent work spoon)

Here are some links to some great light soup recipes that will make your tummy full and warm!

(tip- bouillon cubes often contain MSG- so sub with some low sodium broth if you can!)

Gingered Carrot Soup

Minestrone winter warm-up

Low-Fat Potato and Leek Soup

Or try some free-form soup creative fun- courtesy of the NY Times!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Veggie Flush- Results

I think the veggie flush went really well! I saw the scale move for the first time in a while, so hopefully it got things going. Because I missed carbs.

But hey 1.5 pounds in 2 days isn't bad!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Breakfast- Veggie Flush Day 1

POM Blueberry

The smoothie was a little bit tart- I might try more banana tomorrow.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Managing the plateau

The most frustrating part of trying to lose weight, is doing everything right and seeing zero results.

We hit the gym minimum 5 days per week, and do a hard 40 minute workout every time. I go on walks on my lunch hour, and I have restricted my calorie intake to pretty darn low- enough to keep my energy up and to keep myself out of starvation mode, but low enough that I should be seeing a change after 2 months of this. But this week, I weigh a pound more than I did last weekend, and the frustration is totally kicking in. In order to keep my motivation going, I need to push past this plateau.

So my plan is a 48 hour fruit and veggie flush- as in only fruits, veggies (and probably a bit of oil and vinegar dressing) and some tiny fancy potatoes, that i consider on the borderline of starch and veggie, because they are purple.

Davis is kind of doing this with me, he is cutting out dairy and starches, but eating meat still, because if we are using the broiler we might as well throw a steak under there.

This is the spoils of our trip to the grocery store:

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

48 hour veggie flush

This post is going to be short but sweet-

I am down 23 pounds since November, which is very nice.

BUT I am burning a lot of calories and working hard to do so, so I would like to do something to kick start the weight loss.

So On Monday and Tuesday I am doing a 48 hour fruit and veggies only flush.

I would love for people to join me, the plan is to eat all the calories I am supposed to, but only eat fruit and veggies. I think all the nutrients will boost my energy and get the weight loss going.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I challenge you to a Dual Challenge Duel

From now on I am going to post a 2 part weekly challenge on Thursday or Friday. The weekend portion will be focused on activity, and the weekday portion will be focused on diet. I think that a little peer pressure goes a long way, and that if I feel like my blog readers expect me to do something, then I am more likely to do it.

So for the inaugural weekly challenge:

Weekend challenge: This weekend I challenge everyone to do a "slow burn" type of activity in addition to whatever they were planning on doing for exercise. To me a "slow burn" is something where you are marginally more active for a long time, like a nice long walk, or a slow swim, or even the extra calories you burn from cleaning the house. (See how I'm trying not to interfere with the stuff you have to get done?) Add one extra hour of slow burn activity to your weekend each day.

The week challenge is to add something healthy to your meals this week, that is not a part of your diet. If you don't like lentils, try a lentil curry, if you don't typically go for zucchini, try some broiled with a hint of pepper. Add something that is on my super healthy foods list to your diet, even just one night this week. It doesn't have to be something you don't like, just something you rarely eat!

Here are some ideas:
Acorn Squash
Bell Peppers

These are just a few ideas for things that some people don't eat on a regular basis. Try adding walnuts or blueberries to your pancakes, replace cold cereal with oatmeal, or try adding lentils to a soup.

I hope this inspires someone to join me in trying to add one little thing per week, to help get in shape!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Groupon FTW and a side on Pinspiration.

In case you are my mom and you are reading this, FTW means for the win.

2012 is going to be my year.

I signed up for a groupon that got us a month of gym membership for $40 for the 2 of us.

We start as soon as David's show ends on monday.

I am also using Pinterest to help motivate me. I used to look at yummy baked goods and pin them, but now I am using it as a source of motivation to eat well and drop the pounds. Here are some of the things I have pinned:

As well as 100's of recipes for healthy food and workout ideas. 

I know finding motivation can be difficult and I know everyone finds it in a different way, and Pinterest is a great way to boost your motivation factor when you are trapped at a desk.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The scale is lying to me.

I guess it is time for a new scale.

I stepped on it this morning and it told me I was down 5lbs from my "over the holidays" weight (15 down total) I was so happy, but I wanted to step back on to check and make sure. Then it told me I was 4 pounds heavier.

Since all I did was breathe near the scale for 30 seconds, I think it might be having some issues.

Also it seems to think the air in our bathroom weighs 10 pounds.

So I guess it is time for a new one.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back to it and "Resolutioners"

New year means being back on the bandwagon. I know I ate poorly and sat around too much over the holidays.
So the new year is a food chance/ excuse to get myself back on track with eating right and working out. The downside to the whole "healthy new year" concept is the frustration of a jam packed gym, full of new years resolutioners.

This year I'm just hoping they buy a lot of home use equipment, then give up early and sell it for cheap on the internet. We got an elliptical machine, but i can totally see why the last owners sold it, it is squeaky and definitely not as great as the ones at the gym.

But this is my year. I'm back on My Fitness Pal (which I highly recommend) you don't need a smartphone to use it, and there is no special diet. You just tell it your weight and your goals, and it reinforces every positive thing you do. Oh and it's free. So if you are a resolutioner, definitely check it out! (www.myfitnespal.com)