About Me

Thursday, June 24, 2010

i've been googled

Well Google Reader'ed that is. I've been a little low on energy the last few days, so I've been majorly slacking in the blog reading department. It probably doesn't help that I have over 40 subscriptions, most of which update regularly. I've basically left it alone for the past 2 days (except for my daily dose of crack info from my faves) and now i have 102 new posts! That's gonna take a while to get through :O) I think an afternoon of laying bed with Gilmore Girls (best show evaaaa!) and Google Reader might be in order!

Yesterday was a blasty! I went into the gym and did 30 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training) on the treadmill. I walked at 4.0 mph  for 1 minute and then sprinted at either 7.0, 7.5, or 8.0 mph. All at 2% incline. Plus 5 minutes on either side for warm up and cool down. In all honesty, I only ran at 8.0 mph 2 or 3 times because 1 minute is a long time to sprint that fast! By the time I was done I was a sweaty mess but I'd burned about 700 calories! Not bad at all for 40 minutes total. I'm usually the one that's in the gym for 1 1/2 hours, sometimes longer by the time I stretch and foam roll so it was nice to get in a quick but super sweaty workout.

Yesterday afternoon, I went hiking with one of my badass bootcamp chicas. It was a super steep climb, completely covered in loose slippery rock. My core must have gotten a bangin workout from trying to keep my balance! And of course my legs were practically jello by the time we got to the top.

I have to say that I adore hiking. I think it's a great workout and a lot of fun to get outside. I am blessed to live in an area that has tons of trails within a short distance. However, I am used to trail hiking. This "hike" was more like scaling the side of a rocky mountain- no trail whatsoever. For trail hiking, I just wear a pair of good tennis shoes. I've had hiking boots, but they were too ugly and uncomfortable to go anywhere near my feet. Which brings me to the interesting part of my saga. The hike was fine on the way up, if a little treacherous at points. However, on the way down, we slid almost halfway down the hill on the loose rock. It was actually a lot of fun until we hit really hard ground barely covered in loose gravel. My feet hit a slippery spot and whooshed out from under me, planting me straight on my heinie. It hurt (badly) but I kept on going thinking I was fine. When I got home and was getting ready to jump in the shower, I noticed a little bruise forming and it hurt a little. By the time I went to bed last night I had a giant black and blue bruise covering about 1/2 of my left butt cheek. TMI? probably, but it's so painful I had to share my misery with someone! I wanted to post pics but there is no way to do so without major exposure, so I won't! Not quite ready to get that personal with the bloggy :O)

Needless to say, I went out and bought hiking boots today :O)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

pancake adoration

So here's a not so secret confession. I adore pancakes. Growing up we rocked the Krusteaz like it was nobody's business. My momma regularly bought the Costco size. It was a typical Saturday breakfast, usually loaded with peanut butter and syrup. It was also one of the first things to go when I started eating healthy. I don't know if you know but that stuff is pretty much nutritionally deficient.

Imagine my absolute delight when I found a recipe for healthy pancakes. My friend made them for me one weekend and it was love at first bite! They were moist, fluffy (ish), and absolutely delicious. They were the closest thing I'd ever found to my former Krusteaz love. The updated version is packed with protein and no white carbs of the devil.

These have become a major breakfast staple for me. I'll make up a batch on the weekend and it will last me at least a week, sometimes longer if my pancake cravings are low that week (which rarely happens :O)) The ingredient list is a little odd, but you just have to trust me, they absolutely come out looking and tasting like a real pancake. They won't be taking down IHOP by any means but are way more nutritionally stacked.

The recipe was mildly adapted  from SparkPeople's Recipes

Cottage Cheese Oatmeal Pancakes
1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1 cup low fat cottage cheese (I use 2% because it's what Costco has in the jumbo container)
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2 pakets Stevia (I use Truvia)
2 scoops protein powder (I use Muscle Milk 100% whey protein powder in vanilla)

Throw all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. I usually have to take a spoon and stir it around to help it all start to mix. If the batter is too thick or won't mix, just add a splash of water to help it along. Cook and enjoy!

I love to eat mine topped with almond butter and syrup, some organic jam, or with a little yogurt butter and a sprinkle of stevia and cinnamon.

This usually makes about 10 good sized pancakes.  
Per pancake:  93 calories    2.3 g fat      6.7 g carbs     1g fiber       11 g protein

  • Cook over medium heat to avoid burning. Mine frequently turn a dark color on top but are still moist inside. These are pretty hard to ruin!
  • Add in fruit, coconut, or chocolate chips to make them extra special
  • I use a small ladle, pour about half the scoop in and let it sit for a minute and then pour the last little bit on. It seems to help make them a little fluffier.

Another pancake recipe I've come to adore is Gina's Perfect Protein Pancakes... although I'm still tweaking the recipe to get them to be less cake-y and more light and fluffy. These are perfect if you're trying to refuel from a workout. They are super dense and really fill the belly for a decent amount of calories.

Alright, I'm off to hang out with my cousin and enjoy the nice summer weather that's finally here! And maybe start to catch up on my reading??

I need to quit abusing my library's mail order system :O)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dear Trainer

Dear Super Awesome Trainer,

I would just like to take a moment to thank you for all of the hard work you've poured into me, errr, worked out of me. Without you the gym floor would stay much cleaner since I would be watching tv instead of sweating it out on the stairclimber. I would be much richer (training sessions, classes, supplements, heart rate monitors, food, etc. all really add up!) but also much fatter (which makes all of the above so much more worth it).  I would like to say thanks for showing me that it's not impossible for me to do a push-up from my toes (or 50 depending on your cruelty level for the day). I would like to say thanks for giving me the evil eye when I told you my favorite beverage was Diet Pepsi and making me do push-ups because I weighed myself in spite of what you said. And as a suggestion, I would like to ask that I never hear the words, "I'm going to time you" again while I'm sucking air on my 3rd set of reps. You have no idea what kind of torture that brings me. Thanks for all the "sweat equity" you've helped me put into that gym, by now there should be enough to build another one dontcha think? Oh by the way, the fact that you're not bad to look at sure makes it a little easier to survive those torture training sessions, although when the evil eye comes out all bets are off.



Okay so 95% of that would never come out to my trainer (ha! Blogging anonymity at its best) it's still kind of funny to read. Truth is I adore my trainer. I've made no secret of my adoration for him. In fact, with some mad Google skills you can find a video testimony that I did for him awhile ago where I sing his praises for 3 minutes straight. I will have you know that all that praise did not get me out of a seriously brutal workout afterwards!

My trainer has not only pushed me further than I ever thought I could possibly go, but he's also showed me how to push myself. For the first time in my life, I am healthy. I am well within a healthy weight, bmi, and body fat percentage. I am eating. I am eating enough, I am eating healthy, and most importantly I'm eating. I've never been able to say that before when I was losing weight. I have learned so much since I started training with him. My brain is a wealth of knowledge about all sorts of food and fitness related tips, tricks, websites, articles, and other various information. I have started to create my own workouts and adapt old ones in new ways. I am starting to figure out how to use what I know to inspire and push my friends and family to become healthier and more balanced. Who would have thought that I, the princess of disfunctional eating habits, could be a healthy resource?

All of these good habits have combined to help me lose a total of 15 lbs. since December 2009. This has equated to over 30 lbs. of fat. Wow, that's a lot of nasty fat to come off of one body! I've dropped over 15% body fat since I started training with him, including 4 inches total since I started his bootcamp class in February. I have never, ever, been proud of my results until today. I've never taken the time to slow down, and listen to my body and do things the slow and steady way. Throughout this experience, I have become more in tune with my body and what it needs. In doing that, I lost any need for the latest diet fad or exercise craze. I know me better than I ever have before both physically and emotionally. I know what I'm capable off, and exercise has released a powerfully confident girl.

The best part? I'm not finished. The trainer told me once that until I can stand on an exercise ball, on one leg, while doing kettlebell presses (or something wacky like that) that there is always room for progress. I love that mentality, because while I am incredibly proud of my progress, I want to keep pushing myself further. I am standing at about a 25% bodyfat and now that I know I can go there, I want to see if I can hit and maintain 20%. I want to keep getting stronger. Instead of going to the gym because I feel like I have to, I go because I want to; because my body craves it. 

Fitness for me was a life changing experience. When I started to figure out the physical stuff I had the confidence to take charge in other areas of my life. Now that I've got that, I'm not stopping until I've pushed myself as hard as I can. It's going to be quite the journey, but I'm finally healthy enough to be up for it :O)

me vs. the stairclimber

Fyi... I won :O) ohhhhh yeah! This morning brought a serious sweat sesh with the momma. That's been one of my favorite things about this summer (aside from the copious amounts of fresh fruit I've been consuming)... working out with my momma :O)

Reason number 6,983 why I adore her... Today she told me I'm her go to girl for fitness info and advice... aww! Good to know all that research is helpin someone besides myself :)

Me n my momma last summer

Today we started with a brief foam roller sesh (this thing saves my muscles during my runs!)

Then did about 15 ish minutes of warm up on the Treadmill. I walked at 4.0- 4.5 mph and 1.5% incline. I've found that walking and running at a little bit of an incline has saved my knees, calves, and ankles from pain. Bonus: inclines burn more calories.... To start I did 8 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running at 5.5 mph and then walked for about 2 ish minutes.

Then we went on to do the ab circuit of doom.

Ab Circuit of Doom
Figure 8's: Using a cable machine (like the one pictured below) hold onto 1 of the handles (with cable up at top of the post just like in the picture). Bring the handle down to the side of one knee (you'll be slightly bent over) and then around and up over your head in a figure 8 motion
Do for 30-45 seconds.

Cable oblique crunch on ball:  Lie down on an exercise ball so your shoulder blades are resting on the ball but not your entire head. Grasp handle with both hands extended over your head. In one smooth motion, pull cable over your shoulder towards your opposite knee until you are in a crunch position. Relax back until extended but not so far that the weight touches the stack (maintain tension through the entire exercise)
Do for 30-45 seconds.
  • I use the rope attachment for this one but it could be  done with any handle. Make sure the cable is positioned all the way at the bottom
  • I know it sounds complicated but it's not that bad! I use the other side of the cable machine (since I did it with a partner) but you could easily just move the cable to the bottom.
  • Make sure you get good diagonal motion to really hit that oblique.
  • You will move around on the exercise ball a little bit, that's okay! It just means you're a little unstable and your core is working harder.
Planks: Start with 30 seconds of plank up/downs. Then hold a regular plank position (on forearms) for 30 seconds.

Medicine ball crunches: Hold a medicine ball overhead and simultaneously bring arms and legs up together. Same as a V Up except with a medicine ball in your hands. Do for 30 seconds. Then, lay flat on the ground with hands (holding med ball) over head. In one smooth motion sit up into a crunch and bring 1 leg up. Drop medicine ball around the back of the leg that's up and then lay back down. Rotate between each leg for 30 seconds.

We did 2 sets of each exercise split into 2 circuits. 2 sets of the first 2 exercises and then 2 sets of the last 2. By the end we were both in major abdominal pain! Next time, I think we'll switch it up so that we aren't doing 2 back to back oblique exercises, that was way too tough.

I followed that up with 20 minutes of HIIT on the stairclimber. I did 40 seconds at 60 steps a minute and 40 seconds at 140 steps a minute. By the end I was one majorly sweaty beast. Me and the stairclimber, we have a love/hate relationship. I love it at the end when I'm all sweaty and exhausted but in the middle I absolutely hate it. It's one of those machines I would NEVER do without tunes.

I finished up with 10 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill. I did 40 seconds @ 7.5 mph and 1 minute 20 seconds @ 4.0 mph... the entire thing at an incline of 1.5%. I cooled down with a 5 minute walk and then dragged my sweaty body over to do the foam rollin and stretchin thing before bustin outtta the gym.

For today's workout we were at the gym for almost 2 hours, whew! I burned a massive 1418 calories with a max heart rate of 181 and average of 151. Not bad at all :O) It always feels good to get a super sweaty gym sesh in on Monday mornings; it helps me set the week off on a good foot. Plus after today's workout I didn't feel bad indulging in a couple of these bad boys

 Homemade oatmeal raisin cookies... yum :O) And since it has oatmeal AND raisins, they are totally healthy right? Yup I thought so too :O)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Ahhh Sundays... I am thoroughly enjoying ending you with a large glass of riesling and a movie with my daddy. Happy Father's Day!!! I have to say that I am exceptionally spoiled by my daddy, he's pure amazing :O)

Today was very enjoyable and spent honoring my wonderful father. We started off going to church, then came home to a huge barbecue with steak, chicken, homemade potato salad, fresh watermelon, corn on the cob, cake and fresh brewed ice tea. This afternoon I played fetch with the puppers until they were too exhausted to run,  went on a walk with the fam, cooked dinner, and then brought out the vino. Overall, a great day :O)

Tomorrow's plan looks like back to normal, ie: no more cake. I am rather proud of myself because I have enjoyed a regular sized piece of cake as well as a large glass of wine today and no food guilt. Reading that sounds a little silly, but this is a big step for me and I'm proud of it :O) Who knew a little glass of vino could mean so much? Tomorrow will be back to normal eating and exercising. The trainer has encouraged me to work on adding more activity to my day outside of the gym, so that means I'll have an excuse to play with the puppers and go on more walks. No complaining here!

I'm off to make some not so vegan overnight oats ala Oh She Glows (I use fat free milk, skip the vanilla-because I usually forget- and use vanilla Muscle Milk whey protein). In the morning I usually mix in about a 1/2 ish teaspoon of cinnamon and sometimes some fruit (frozen the night before, fresh right before eating). Sooooo yummy!! I'll try to post pics sometime.

I think that's my body's way of saying "yup cake was nice but lets get back to normal okay?" In spite of the massive sweet tooth I used to have, a lot of sugar and "off" eating really messes with my system and my body just can't handle it anymore. Weird how things change huh?

I'm also going to try planning my lunches for the week. My momma is super organized and plans out our dinners at least 2 weeks in advance (helps cut down on her  grocery bill) but since school's been out our schedule has been a little bit wacko. Sometimes that means no lunch till 1 pm (Ack!!!) and lots of Cliff Bars to satisfy hunger. Not the best nutrition or  foods. So this week, we are going to try to plan out our lunches in advance to help us stay on track with eating healthy, whole foods. I'm hoping it avoids the way I've been putting off eating until I'm dizzy and weak... not good!

Alright bloggy, I'm off to finish the glass of vino and hit the sack for an early morning devotional time and then a serious sweat sesh at the gym. Peace out yo!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

blogging accountability

As is very obvious from the lack of consistency in posting, I've been having some issues with maintaining this blog. Often times I'll sit down to write an entry and nothing will come out. I don't want anything I write about here to feel forced or contrived so I'll bail after a few minutes and head to Google Reader for "inspiration" aka to waste hours and hours of time being immersed in other peoples blogs.

Tonight while I was on a mission to conquer my Google Reader and read ALL of the posts (I had over 150) I came across an old post from Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit. It's from awhile ago (here if you're curious). It's all about what would happen if you did certain things and one of the bullets was "What would happen if you blogged to hold yourself accountable?" Of all the points in that post that I related to (and there were many) that one hit close to home.

I didn't start this blog to have millions of readers who come to me for all things health and fitness. I started this blog to share my journey, to hold myself accountable, and to use it to help push me towards my goals. Just putting that down on "paper" feels like a weight has been lifted. I don't have to find interesting topics to post about. This is my space. I don't have to post everyday, this isn't supposed to be another thing I can beat myself up over. I can change my mind about what goes up here and most importantly, have fun with the bloggy.

I really do love blogging. This is completely different from my personal blog that I've had for years. It's new, and fresh, and fun. I love sharing things even if nobody else reads them and so I'll be doing just that whenever the urge strikes me :O)

Friday, June 18, 2010

trusting myself

All I can say is HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!! Seriously I love Friday's (especially now that I'm done teaching for the year, ha!), not as much as I love Saturday's, but that's okay. A couple glasses of Polka Dot Riesling (Side note: I only bought it because I collect cute/unique wine bottles but this stuff was actually good! Two large glasses worth :O)) I'll just use that as my excuse if anything in this post doesn't make sense!

I've been putting this post together in my head all week now and it just hasn't been coming out right but it's something I need to have down so that I can read it over and over again in the future. I've been talking a lot about listening to my body lately and trying to figure out what that means exactly. I'm pretty sure if I let it, my body would "require" lots of Reeces peanut butter cups and lengthy midday naps in the sun.

However, this past weekend I was proven wrong. I was out of town for a girlfriend's birthday fiesta and ended up staying with her for a few days. It was a blast! Buuuuut, she doesn't eat the same way I do. She's perfectly fine having a bowl of fresh fruit fuel her workout and skipping meals. Her body just works with it. Mine doesn't. Last weekend I fueled my body with a lot of processed crap. No I'm not proud of it, it's just how they eat and I didn't want to be rude and say "ewww, no" plus I was in splurge mode and ready to loosen up my eating habits.

Something funny happened over the weekend though. My body revolted. I was rarely hungry, even though I was eating only 3 times a day (and not large meals) and occasionally munching on a few things here and there. When I did eat, it was usually processed foods or foods that I don't normally eat (cookies, desserts, etc.). By the time I left Monday morning, my tummy was very angry with me. I was craving veggies and grilled chicken breast. Tuesday, I ate normally and was surprised at how hungry I was all day. It was literally like I couldn't fill my body up with enough good food to satisfy it.

My epiphany came that afternoon. My body knows what it wants and what it needs to be healthy. Think about that statement, such a small sentence but for me it was earth shattering. My body craves fresh, organic, unprocessed foods. It craves fruits, veggies, nuts, and lean protein sources. It does NOT crave junk food and processed crap.

I need to trust my body more. For years I've been telling it to eat this, don't eat that, starve, run faster, eat this many calories, ban this food, blah, blah, blah... only to find out that it actually knows what it wants. I am giving calorie counting a break. I have been to obsessed with hitting my macronutrient ratios and only eating certain foods. I am truly committing to listening to my body, letting it tell me when its hungry, when its full, when I need to ease back on the workouts a little.

I've done this all week. My SparkPeople account has been very lonely this week. And in doing that, I dropped the 2 lbs. that all the crap food put on my body. I feel more relaxed about food and about my body. I feel mentally and physically healthier because I am letting my body dictate what it needs and not my mind dictating what it thinks I *should* need.

Truth? I'm a little scared. This is the most I've ever *let go* of control with food. Ever. I'm afraid I'll gain weight. I'm afraid my body fat will go up. I'm afraid my body wont know what it wants. In spite of all that, I'm committing to finding out. Because for the first time, I feel like that controlling OCD eating disordered girl is just a little bit further away from me. And that feels good.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Hello bloggy! I've missed you so :O) I took a few days longer than planned off to visit the bestie for her birthday. I had a blast staying up way too late, running, playing, pedicuring (is that even a word? Don't know but my toes look perrrty!), eating way too much junk food, and just generally having a good time.

This trip took me through not 1 but 2 birthday parties which means double the party food. Plus being at her house I didn't want to be my usually picky self. To me nothing says rude like "nope I won't eat that because it's not organic/vegetarian/flour free, etc. I gave myself leeway to relax the eating rules and be okay with it. It was easier to say at first because I was only planning on staying 1 night but that quickly turned into 2 plus a whole day :O) What can I say, I love me some Lizzy time!

Even though I was out of town, I managed to get some good workouts in! We went and played beach volleyball for a couple hours Saturday afternoon which was actually a lot of fun! I made the best of my new running shoes and her cute neighborhood to get in a good run Sunday morning. I ran the better part of 3 miles and then walked 2 just because it was too nice to be inside. And then Monday we hit the gym for a nice sweaty treadmill sesh and some brutal ab moves that left me hurtin. It helped me feel a lot better about what I had ate :O)

We did a bit of shopping, got our toes done (pics to follow!), and spent hours on end talking about anything and everything. Somehow by the end of it she had me almost convinced to move down there! I left laaaaate Monday afternoon and it felt so good to sleep in my own bed last night!

Today started off with a sweaty bootcamp sesh with the super trainer, it was tough after the weekend but so worth it at the end. After he finished us off and left us in a pile of sweat and ab pain on the floor, he told us to go do a 20 minute stair challenge to see how many floors we could do in that time. Man it was brutal! But I hit 124 floors which is 4 more than last time woohoo! It was so tough mentally, but helped me switch over from splurge mentality to normal mode. I already feel better and more energized after the weekend.

I could definitely tell my eating had been off this weekend because once I started putting good food in it, I was starving all day long. I literally felt like I couldn't eat enough, it was crazy. And all I was craving was veggies, fruits, nut butters, and protein. I filled my belly with lots of whole, raw foods and maybe a chocolate chip cookie :O) It's like my belly was saying "Hey, remember when you used to feed me good food last week??? Yeah lets go back to that and never stop okay? Thanks, your tummy" Yup, my tummy sends me messages... especially when I don't fuel it properly.

I had a lengthy post all planned up in my noggin but even after a day of recuperation (including a nap!) I am still exhausted so it will have to wait until tomorrow. Coming up this week (hopefully):
  • My epiphany from this weekend
  • Foods I can't live without
  • Giving my body a break/ My life as a cardio addict

Saturday, June 12, 2010

facing fear

Fear is a funny thing isn't it? It's completely intangible and yet one of the most crippling things possible. I must admit that even though I am physically strong, I am still mentally weak and often plagued by fear. I won't go into my list of quirky irrational fears but trail running is one of them.

I have not the slightest clue why I was  scared to run outside or even if fear is really the correct term for it. Several times this spring I've planned to hit the trail for a run outside and break away from the treadmill for awhile. I love me some treadmill runs and get a great workout on them, but when the only thing there is to look at is the sweaty guy lifting weights in front of you, it gets boring quick. Especially because no cute boys work out at 5:30 in the morning. I've been excited to try running outdoors and even bought cute new running shoes and gear but for whatever reason could never make myself actually go out and do it.

However, today that all changed :O) I had a free morning and it was beautiful and sunny so I told myself that I could either go for a trail run or I would have to go to the gym and workout. Running outdoors won by a long shot. Instead of heading out around my neighborhood where I could quit at anytime I went down to the trail that runs by the river, warmed up and started running. I was shocked at how easy it was right off the bat, much easier than any treadmill run. Before I knew it, I had run 2 miles without stopping. I thought I would have needed to walk a lot but I took my time pacing myself and slowing down when I needed it. I had been hoping to hit 3 miles total but 2 miles in I still felt good so I went another 1/2 mile before turning around.

The second half was definitely more mentally challenging. I knew what was ahead of me this time and by now, I was starting to get a little tired and very sweaty. I kept pushing through and told myself walking breaks were okay but whenever I stopped to walk my legs just kept pushing me forward. Kind of like that feeling you get when you don't slow down on the treadmill before jumping off? My legs always feel like they should still be moving much faster, that's how it felt. So I kept running and hit 5 miles right at the trailhead. I walked another 1/4 of a mile to cool down and then stretched out and headed home.

I felt so good afterwards. It was definitely very mentally challenging on the way back. I never wanted to give up because my lungs were burning or my knees hurt, only because I felt like I would never make it back or just started freaking out about the distance. I am definitely going to keep working on my mental toughness as I increase my mileage and speed.

Things I learned:
  • I could be a runner and I love running
  • Trail running is better than treadmill running- the scenery distracted me and made it more enjoyable
  • I am tougher than I thought
  • Fuel properly- first thing I did when I got home was make a HUGE salad best loaded with protein and veggies followed by a Clif Bar. I was starving to the point of dizziness- not good at all
  • Hydrate properly- I am definitely going to have to start bringing my water backpack. I guzzled my water bottle (I had it in my car to free up my hands) by the time I was out of the parking lot and proceeded to drink at least 7 more within the next few hours (without a bursting bladder I might add). Thats 192 oz of water!!
  • Good shoes make all the difference- a day later and no foot or knee pain at all
  • Cardio can be just as effective outside as on a gym machine- I burned 1218 calories in 1 hr 8 minutes! That's insane (and also explains the ravenous hunger)
  • I don't have to live my life in the gym to be healthy- greatest revelation of all :O)
 Post run/pre-crash happiness

Happy Saturday bloggies! I'm off to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday out of town so I'll be MIA for a few days. 

love love love :O)

Friday, June 11, 2010


Sometimes things just hit a little to close to home for my comfort... I had a great post started about my first ever outdoor trail run today but truthfully, as I was finishing it up I just wasn't feeling it. Today was a day that I broke through some mental barriers. It felt great at the time but it left me feeling a little raw and unsettled, like I don't quite know where to go next.

"What if I told you that I was going to not let you judge yourself on
the scale number
what food you ate
how much you exercises
what your inches are
what clothes you fit in
Then….what would be your focus? Where would you find validation? Where would your happiness come from?" 
 Mish @ Eating Journey
As I was reading this post (quoted above) @ Eating Journey, things just kind of hit me. I've had such a complex (about a lot of things) but especially about running. See even though I'm physically strong now, I'm still mentally weak. I'm still often crippled by self doubt and negative self-talk. I'm working on it, but it's a tough battle. Today I broke through one of those barriers in running 5 miles straight. And I loved it, it felt good to feel so strong. But pushing through that block, left me feeling a little unsettled. I kept thinking "what now? I've been so wrapped up in "I love to workout but I'm not a runner" and various other "I can't" statements that now that I can't say that, what am I? In the past I've spent so much of my life wrapped up in disordered eating habits, compulsive exercise, binge eating, dieting, failing, getting healthy, and exercising that my mind instantly started searching for something else to identify with. Not just anything, but something negative; something else that I couldn't do.

After seeing that post, I do wonder who I would be if I wasn't ruled by the scale. If I could live by how my jeans fit instead of that number. What could I do if I wasn't ruled by the desperate need to only consume healthy, whole foods? How much more relaxed would I be if I wasn't consumed by trying to lower my body fat percentage or by dropping inches each month? How much more enjoyable would shopping be if I didn't have to judge my happiness by the pants size? Where would my anchor point be?

There's a fine line between control and obsession and I've been dancing on that line for awhile now. Friends and family say my 6 day a week gym habit is dedication but they don't see that it's the fear of being overweight again that drives me there every day. I'm applauded for my meticulous healthy eating habits, but nobody knows that it's driven by an irrational need to distance myself from the girl who binged herself to 30 pounds overweight in 6 months. I have friends who gape over my salad love at restaurants but they don't know that it's only because I'm terrified of what's really in whatever they're eating. I am struggling to find a balance between becoming healthy and becoming obsessed with becoming healthy. And yes, it is a struggle.

Who would I be if my life wasn't ruled by irrational fears and an insane need for control? I really don't know... yet. But I am going to find out. Because I am tired of letting these fears eat away at my happiness. Because life is more than food and exercise and being healthy. Because none of this means anything if I can't enjoy it. Because I deserve more. Even if I don't believe that right now, I know it's true. I'm on a journey to find freedom in a healthy lifestyle and I'm strong enough now to know that I can't let these demons beat me. This time, I'm fighting back.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

exercise and illness

Tonight's post brought to you courtesy of The Fitnessista's bootay kicking butt and back SSU workout (day 3 if you're looking at that page). Yowza, my heinie is going to be in pain tomorrow... so happy :O)  Last week, I tried to do both of her week 2 strength routines, together. Yes I am crazy in case you were wondering. And while it brought great results, it was seriously difficult to make it through 2 sets. Today, I knew very well that my slightly sick body just wouldn't have that so I did just the butt and back (which is per usual on Thursdays). I played it smart and listened to my body and went in this afternoon when my energy was better than this morning.

However, I did a running warm up and was sucking air after running for only 10 minutes. I had intended to do a 5 minute walking warm up and then 15 minutes of HIIT but after 1 interval I was seriously winded. I brought it down to a jog and sucked it up for the next 10 minutes and then walked the last 5. I checked my heart rate monitor, and the numbers were good, definitely nothing high enough to exhaust me. I continued on with my weight workout and everything just felt a lot more difficult. I was getting frustrated but kept pushing through and ended up having a great workout.

I know that my workout was so hard because I'm still not physically 100%. I still have many cold-like symptoms but nothing contagious at this point. I know that being sick just sucked out all of my energy and that I should be patient until it returns, but its so frustrating to attempt a workout that I did just a week before and have it be way more difficult this time. I probably should have listened to my body and lightened up the weights a little but I was so gung-ho about being back in the gym on a regular basis that I just pushed through.

Was I healthy enough for a workout? absolutely. Should I have pushed myself that hard for that long? Probably not. Is it better to stay home or get a good sweat sesh in when you aren't feeling 100%? Truthfully I don't know. I take it on a case by case basis. 2 weeks ago I had a bit of a head cold and managed to sweat it out in the gym (until I lost my voice). This time, I knew that I needed a break to rest up and heal. I've heard people who swear by both methods. I'm trying to listen to my body and let it tell me what it needs but sometimes that is way easier said than done.

why i believe in personal training

Before I jump into the goodness of my love and adoration for my personal trainer, I just have to give a big WOOHOOO because I am finally feeling better! I'm still a little congested but my energy is picking up and very little coughing still left, thank goodness! In fact, I was feeling so good last night that I decided to hit the gym for some light cardio. Well apparently, my "I'm feeling better" hormones kicked into overdrive because I started off with a 20 minute treadmill run and finished it off with a 35 minute "bike blast" spin class... aka how much can you sweat in 30 minutes of fast and furious spinning. I tried not to push myself too hard, and could definitely tell that I hadn't been in for a few days but I still burned  918 calories! I was really hoping to hit maybe 400 total so I was thrilled to see this number. I'm headed in again today for some much needed strength training, but I'm going to wait until this afternoon when my energy seems to be better.

Another bonus, the cracker binge of 2010/ being ridiculously pitifully sick helped me lose another 3.5 lbs! Which means that I am exactly 1.6 lbs from my lowest weight ever! Pretty excited about that, I never thought I would be able to get down that low the healthy way :O)

Which leads right into my post topic of why I believe in personal training. My super amazing trainer is directly responsible for how great I feel and look today.... However, I haven't always had the best experience with trainers.

When I was going to college, I joined a gym nearby the restaurant I was working in. I thought it would be easy and convenient to hit the gym there since I was working so much that I wasn't making use of my free membership to the campus gym (stupid mistake!!!) So I signed up for a membership with Oz Fitness. I was sweet talked into a pretty expensive membership with a very expensive training package by a tanned, heavily muscled, sweet-talkin sales rep. I started working out there and it was a really nice facility; I actually enjoyed working out there. I started on with a trainer who was very nice and genuinely cared about my goals. He put me through workouts so rigorous that I nearly passed out on several occasions. Keep in mind that I hadn't been working out regularly or eating very healthy at this point; I didn't really know how to do either very well. No matter how nice the trainer was, the workouts were so intense, that I physically couldn't get through them on my own. I really wanted to get healthier but he gave me no tips on what to eat, how to workout on days when I wasn't doing the strength routines of torture. Ultimately I spaced out my sessions further and further to put off the torture and ended up not using half of my sessions when I canceled my membership (I was moving out of the area).

Fast forward about 6 months later, I was even more overweight and unhappy. I still didn't really know how to workout effectively. Actually, I wasn't working out at all. I was in the midst of a stressful internship for the last part of my degree and didn't think I had the time to exercise. My wonderful parents intervened and offered to pay for my membership at Gold's Gym where they had just started working out.

I loved it, everbody was so welcoming and supportive! Plus I had both of my parents by me for support. I took this quote to heart every single time I walked into the gym...

Because for me, my journey started there. I tried group exercise classes
Pictured above is BodyPump but my favorite was a brutal Functional class and Zumba :O)

And sweated my way through many hours of cardio (not all at once!) I dropped about 5 pounds instantly, but I was nowhere where I wanted to be. Enter super trainer #1... He came along and listened to my frustrations, understood and took to heart what my goals were, and gave me strength routines that helped me push myself. He was gentle and caring, and very concerned with my progress. It was the first taste of exercise success that I had and I loved it. I did ST #1's workouts for a couple months but eventually stagnated and didn't know what to do next.  

Enter Super Trainer #2 :O) He saw me working out one day and walked up to me and just said "hey, I saw you working out the other day and I think I can help push you to the next level, are you interested?" I said yes (not knowing AT ALL what I was getting myself into) and said that I was frustrated and if he could promise me results I would do whatever he told me to do. He looked at me and told me "good, that means you're ready and if you do what I say, I will promise you that I will get you into the best shape of your life." And I never looked back. His workouts were intense. More intense than Oz Fitness Trainer's were but he told me every step of the way how each exercise was working my muscles and why it was beneficial for me. He told me exactly what to eat and why it was good for me. He told me food to avoid and why I didn't want them in my body. He gave me homework assignments to research food, make my own meal plans, research exercises that I wanted to try, find fitness inspiration. He didn't just give me killer workouts, he armed me with knowledge about my own body. He empowered me and showed me how strong my body could be. He pushed me harder than I've ever been pushed, but saw when I went from exertion to failure. He kicked my butt when I was slacking, motivated and encouraged me when I was defeated, and supported me in every way possible to make sure that I met my goals. With him I gained 11 lbs of muscle and lost 15 lbs of fat in one month. Results I never thought possible.

Since then, he convinced me to do a bootcamp class that I never would have even contemplated before. I tried it, and loved it. It pushed me in ways I never though possible. He's taken me and 2 other badass chicas on for group training in the kinesis room-- a lot of smooth functional movements.

Looks unassuming doesn't it? I can assure you, it's not :O) It's about 1000 calories an hour brutal. Full of enough rows, lunges, plank crawls, bear crawls, burpees, pushups, ab moves of death, and squats to make you want to puke. But I love it.

My experience with personal training has empowered me. I feel like there is nothing I can't do, and that is all because of my personal trainer. Even though I'm in great shape now, I keep going to him because he keeps pushing me. He told me until I can do one legged kettlebell swings on an exercise ball (yeah try to picture that! Craaaaazy!) that there is always room for improvement. I now know how to push myself harder even without him, fuel my body with the right foods for me, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

So if you're thinking about personal training, try it! Don't be discouraged if the first one doesn't work out, it's like the perfect pair of jeans... sometimes you have to go through a few duds before you find the perfect one. Believe me, it's worth it :O)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

bring out the violins

because I'm ready for a pity party.... I'm sick. With another rotten cold. You heard me right another cold. I'm not one to get sick very often but this is the second time in 2 weeks that I've been down for the count with a cold. Last time it was a stuffy nose and sore throat turned laryngitis while substitute teaching in a busy classroom of 54 kindergarteners (not all at once thank God!). I mean you try teaching a bunch of active, busy, talkative 5 year olds when all you can do is whisper... not fun.

Now, I'm down with the stuffy nose, watery eyes, sneezing, cough from hell. It is no fun, no fun at all. And ironically, I'm still substitute teaching, but in PE (hello, whistle!). I don't tend to get sick very often but when I do, I'm usually down for awhile. Last time, I pushed through and managed to sweat it out with multiple torturous sessions on the death machine stair climber. This time no such luck, I even had to miss bootcamp for the second time ever :O( (First time was because of vacation, since I know you're wondering :O)) All that means, that I haven't been in the gym since Saturday's killer strength training workout ala The Fitnessista and I'm a little cranky about that. I'm trying to "listen to my body" because it is screaming at me that it's not ready to go back yet. Mentally, I need a good workout. Physically, I still need daily naps to make it through the day. I try to keep telling myself, "you've only missed two workouts, you'll be fine" but there's a not so tiny part of me that is dying to get back in there and make up for lost time.

So I don't know about you, but when I'm sick, my appetite goes to zero. I am rarely hungry and when I am, all I want is carbs. So I've been fueling my sick body with Ezekiel toast, whole wheat wheat thins, pancakes, graham crackers, and ice cream; with some peanut or almond butter thrown in for some fats and proteins. Oh yeah, and I had some overnight oats this morning. That's it. That's been 90% of my diet for the past 2 1/2 days. Gee, I'm sure the trainer would looooove to hear that. Funny thing was, I stepped on the scale today (fully clothed) and am down 2 lbs. from my lowest (non-clothed) weight. I can't quite decide if that's because I'm not eating as many calories as I usually do, or if my body is trying to tell me that I need to be incorporating more carbs from grains than I am now, (usually most of my carbs are from fruits and vegetables with about 1 to 2 servings of grains a day). I'm chalking most of it up to being sick. I definitely don't think I'm one of the lucky ones who needs to eat ice cream and crackers all day to lose weight. I wish!

Which brings me to today... I got off work (half day woohoo!!) and wasn't completely exhausted (like yesterday) so I stopped by Fred Meyer to pick up a prescription. I was told that it would be ready in 20 minutes. Now I didn't really need anything (especially after my natural foods splurge last week) but I swear the pharmacists know that if they leave you hanging for 20 minutes, you will buy something. Plus I can't be left alone in a store when I'm all sick and pathetic, bad things happen... And of course it did.

First thing that caught my eye (and the attention of my very sore throat) was the ice cream
I've heard ammmmmazing things about this ice cream so I decided to give it a shot. And it was so worth it! I don't really like the milk-y taste of dairy ice creams and this was perfectly sweet with tons of cookie chunks, without that milk-y taste. Perfection! Plus they donate to help save sea turtles... yummy, organic, and eco friendly!


Doesn't it look delicious? And no, I didn't eat half the
container by myself... My momma helped me too!

But ice cream alone wasn't enough... plus I found that in the first 5 minutes... So I kept looking, and found this...
All natural mango sorbet... the first ingredient is 
mango puree :O) And all the ingredients were
pronounceable and recognizeable... oh and did
I mention it tastes like heaven????

 Look at that yumminess :O) Yes I had help here too,
from several people (since I know how worried about my
waistline you are :O)) I don't count sick calories anyways :O)

Mmmm.... I took 2 test shots of me eating the sorbet
just to make sure I had it perfect :O)

But that's not all... I mean Fred Meyer has everything... so while I was wasting away the last 10 ish minutes, I headed over to the beauty department in search of some adorable pink/coral nailpolish (couldn't find anything I couldn't live without) and then peeked into the workout clothing area to see if they were sporting any good sales, and oh boy were they ever!

I found my all time favorite Nike workout capris, in my size, on sale  for 40% off!!!

They look pretty much like this. Fairly generic looking,
but they fit so amazing! It's like giving my lower half a hug,
in breathable fabric of course!

I also found these adorable shorts, also from Nike
I've never been one to workout in shorts, but these
were so comfy and fit so well that they were worth it,
even if the were only 20% off :O)

And also these super cute shorts from New Balance. 
They were on a super sale for about $15 which totally
made up for the fact that the Nike ones.... weren't :O)

And after doing some damage to my bank account and sufficiently doing my part to support the local economy, I picked up my prescription and headed home to indulge in enough ice cream to ensure that those shorts won't fit tomorrow :O) All in all, not a bad "sick" day at all.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lazy Sundays

Today was one of those unplanned lazy Sundays that I didn't realize how badly I needed it until it happened. Yup, try saying that sentence three times fast :O) I woke up around 7:30 (woohoo for sleeping in!) and laid in bed until about 8:30 before dragging my heiny outta bed to get ready for church, only to discover that it was pouring down rain here... So much for the sunny, warm weather we were having!

I haven't been feeling good (again). I just had a cold/laryngitis 2 weeks ago and never 100% healed from it, and now it's back as a head cold, so I decided to stay home from church and rest up. I crawled back in bed, popped in some Gilmore Girls (Best show ever!), and proceeded to spend the next 3 hours Facebooking, catching up on Google Reader, and enjoying some mindless TV entertainment... all while in bed. It was a pretty great morning, and desperately needed as I am exhausted from teaching all week. Only 1 more to go until summer break!

I am a bit curious if part of this was attributed to my monster workout yesterday. I was feeling really brave so I walked to the gym with my daddy and then did both of The Fitnessista's week 2 SSU strength workouts (Days3 & 6). In my defense, I only did two sets of each exercise but it still took over an hour. When all was said and done, with the walk there and back I had burned a whopping 1,584 calories!!! In 1 hour and 53 minutes.... CRAAAAAZY!! That is most definitely a record, and the highest number since I got the Polar HRM. It was amazing, and I felt so good; exhausted but good.

This morning, I was SUPER sore. My inner thighs are dying thanks to the sumo deadlifts, my chest/arms are completely sore from chest fly's on the exercise ball and pushups. Side note: Post workout, they were still shaking 2 hours later, so badly that I couldn't blow dry my hair because I couldn't lift them up! Now that's what I call a good workout. I am totally in love with the renegade rows... I feel like a badass doing them! Overall, the workout was amazing (obviously) but I definitely won't attempt to do both strength days at once again. That was pure insanity!

I'm off to bake butterscotch cookies with the sister and play with the puppers. Toodles!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Loves

So I'm having one of those days where I just need a reminder of all the good things that I have in my life. I've been feeling kind of "off" today and like my cold that rendered me voiceless two weeks ago is coming back, blech. As I was thinking about what to blog about today while simultaneously trying to come up with something for dinner (barbecued chicken and bean salad it was!), I was thinking about how there are many things that I absolutely ADORE now, that I didn't pre-healthy. So here, in completely random (ie: however they pop into my brain) order, are things that I absolutely love right now.

My puppies.... oh wait, I've always loved them
so I suppose that doesn't count :O)
But really, who couldn't use a little more adorable puppy???
And yes, I did buy them Snuggies for Christmas :O)

1. Protein Powder (This is the brand I'm using right now)
Before, I haaaated protein shakes and would never eat them 
Now... I drink at least one a day, and use the powder in
everything imaginable.

2. Fish- Gotta love Costco's jumbo pack!
Before- I said I hated all seafood
Now- I adore fish and try to eat it 1-2 times a week. I enjoy a 
variety of seafood (that I've tried) except...
Shrimp... bleck!! It's a texture thing

3. Trying new recipes- even interesting ones like "sweet potato
pancake with strawberries" (pictured) from Healthy Tipping Point
Before- I stuck to the same old boring recipes out of fear
of trying something new in case it wasn't healthy enough
Now- I love trying new recipes! They are all from amazing
blogs on healthy eating, or from cookbooks I love.
I know so much more about what's good for me now, that I'm
more confident in cooking with those yummy nutritious foods

3. Hiking
Before- I wasn't in good enough shape to go on long hikes,
especially not in the heat.
Now- I do it almost every weekend, and it's a breeze.
In fact, I've decided to take up trail running and will hit up
these same hiking trails this summer for running instead
of walking :O)

4. Water- This is my adorable pink waterbottle that I am never without.
Before- I rarely drank water, preferred beverage of choice
was Diet Pepsi
Now- I drink at least 16- 8 oz. glasses a day and haven't had Diet Pepsi 
in months... in fact I think it tastes yucky now.

5. Bread- I am in loooove with Ezekiel bread these days!
Before- Years of low-carbing it had ingrained in my brain
that bread was the devil and to be avoided at all costs
Now- I eat Ezekiel bread as part of my daily amounts of healthy
whole grains. I also eat cream of wheat, oats, and some crackers.
I'm not scared of bread anymore! Welcome back toast :O) I've missed you!

6. My Protein Shaker (From GNC in case you're wondering)
This thing has become a staple in my life now that I workout at 5:30 a.m.
I would be lost without it, perfect for toting protein shakes anywhere.
The blendy-ball (really scientific name!) makes sure there are no nasty
protein chunks (ew) and it's not a HUGE shaker either which I love.

7. Clif Bars- Especially in the carrot cake flavor... YUM!!
Before- I never would have eaten anything with this many calories in it
Now- I use it for a quick snack when I need something to get me through
between meals. I adore them!

8. Super cute workout clothes (sorry no pics... it's laundry day)
Before- I worked out in baggy men's t-shirts and black cap
Now- I love wearing cute t-shirts and tank tops and more form
fitting things. Plus I've found it helps me move better during a workout.
And great motivation too :O)

9. Exercising- It sounds simple, but it's taken me a long time to enjoy
working out. 
Before- I worked out so I could eat more and because I hated my body
Now- I work out because it keeps me sane, and helps me feel at peace with myself.
Plus, I love doing something that's good for me, and I'm addicted
to the endorphins :O)

10. Vegetables- cauliflower and bell peppers are my faves :O)
Before- I didn't mind veggies, but rarely ate them, usually doused in ranch
Now- My favorite way to eat them is raw, sometimes with hummus. 
I eat at least 4 servings a day and really enjoy it. In fact, when
I don't eat enough, I start to crave them!

11. Running- I NEVER EVER thought I would say that I loved to run.
As a child, I haaaated it and avoided it at all costs. About 3 months, I decided to
give it a shot and I can't get enough of it now. It's my favorite way to do 
It makes me feel strong, and confident, like I can do anything if I just keep running.

There are many more things that I love now but my stuffy nose is getting the best of me, and I'm just about relaxed enough to fall asleep. This was the perfect way to end a very busy day. Night bloggies :O)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

And breathe...

What a week. It's been one of those exhausting weeks and even having Monday off didn't seem to help. I am so exhausted but in such a need of some good happy things that I had to come back to the bloggy. I purposefully stayed away from posting this week because I didn't really have anything positive to say. I was having what my mom calls a "Thumper Moment." Thumper (from Bambi... remember? :O)) said if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.... So suffice to say:
Hormones: 1
Christina: 0

But I'm baaaaack, and instead of posting about what I like to eat, I've got pictures to share! Much more exciting than talking about the ridiculously boring informative Paleo diet book I'm reading.

 Fresh pesto from the other day.
I had it on Ezekiel toast with two scrambled eggs... yum!

I have also been obsessed with overnight oats!
I didn't think I'd like them but I've ate them every day this week... nuff said.
Ps. This version has cinnamon, fresh strawberries, and almond butter

All mixed up... looks a little bit like baby food, but makes
my insides dance and sing :O)

It was pouring down rain here yesterday so of course that means I need to go shopping! I hit up two of our local natural foods stores in search of a couple things that other bloggers have been raving about.
 All thanks to Heather Eats Almond Butter and her yummy sounding 
recipes with these ingredients!
Check out what these are all about here

I am in love with Chia seeds! They are so yummy!
So far I've put them in overnight oats, can't wait to try more!

I also bought some nutritional yeast, I've heard its amazing.
Haven't tried it but will tell ya when I do :O)

Organic blueberry jam.... wow, my tastebuds personally
thanked me after  feeding this to my mouth.
Yup, it was just that good.

I'm ready for more overnight oat making!

Millet & Flax crackers... seriously, one of my best food finds
EVER! I adore these things so much.
In fact, I may or may not have eaten half the bag of cinnamon
chips in one sitting... I'm just saying

Cocounut spread... I tried a little bite and wasn't impressed
which is a bummer since it was a little spendy.
I'm going to try it on a few different things and see how it fares.

Overall not bad finds at all... I am seriously getting addicted to buying all of these healthy obscure items only found in natural foods stores... I just can't help it, they are so yummy!

Once I did the food shopping then it was time for the shoe shopping. I was out in search of a good pair of running shoes (never bought them before) and found some pretty cute ones that also feel like I'm hugging my feet. Sweet sweet lovin for the tootsie :O)
Oooooooh loook!!!

Too bad it looked like this outside: 
I know it's impossible to see, but it was pouring hard when I was taking this picture.
Crazy weather we're having!
Also sucks because it means no outdoor runs :-(

 The puppers don't care that it's raining, they still want 
to go for a walk... silly dogs!

Happy Thursday!!!