Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Week 3 Recap: Results!

What a huge milestone for me! Finally ACTUALLY hit the 70lbs lost! 70.25 to be exact. I've been sitting around 68lbs down and rounding up to 70 for the longest time that this feels like less of a milestone than the rest. However, I have NEVER been happier to get to a weight. I'm in a weight zone I honestly cannot recall being in in the past.

Now how I got here is a little suspect? I had a wedding this weekend. It was a really topsy turvy weekend for me emotionally (on several fronts). A lot of highs and a lot of lows. I binged. Twice. I went to the wedding and though I danced a lot ... I ate a lot of dessert without much thought or regard.

So honestly... maybe the carb counting was working? Maybe all the calories were such a shock to my system that all my body could do was dump them?

Whatever was/is going on I will take it.

March Madness Weight Loss: -1.25lbs

I know I owe you a picture. I'll get one up soon.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Oh Carbs!

My head is swimming in carbs. I actually donwloaded an app to help. It's called MyFitnessPal and there's also a really good website it goes along with! If you're on there already, we should connect. It seems to be concerned I have no friends! My screenname is FoxyGazelle.

Here is what I ate yesterday along with my guestimates of the carbs.

Breakfast 17
FiberOne (11)
Emergen C (6)

Snack 41
Banana (27)
PB2 (5)
Mini Babybel light cheese (0)
Celery (4)
PB2 (5)

Lunch 40
Lentils with chicken sausage (40)

Snack 1
Light Mozzarella Cheese Stick (1)

Dinner: 35
Salad with chicken, cheese, hard boiled egg, corn teensy bit of creamy Dijon on the side  (14)
Green beans (6)
Orange (15)

133 carb for the day.

That was a lot of work and it was still just the middle of my range. You will also notice my many servings of vegetables on fruit. March Madness competing! Not letting that up yet. I've been to the gym three times this week (didn't go Monday because I saw Christine... I feel like I should get points for that too!). I am on the prowl for satisfying lower carb snacks. Christine suggested the 100-Calorie snack packs but I sort of feel like those are unsatisfying pockets of air. Do you have anything you like?

I'm sore and hungry from working out (I went to a Total Body Conditioning class on Tuesday that just started hitting me this morning). I'm trying to keep the eating in check though! It hits a certain point in the morning and late afternoon where I just want to eat. I'm trying to make it things like ... lite string cheese. Or a hard boiled egg. Enough to tide the hunger over. Snacking is the name of the game right now.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 2 Recap: Counting counting counting

Saw Christine again this morning. Weight stayed the same from last week.


Though considering I had a bachelorette party AND a rehearsal dinner this weekend maybe that should be viewed as a success. However I did, once again, hit the gym 5 times this week.

I was whining to a wonderful, lovely, tolerant friend this morning (you know who you are!!) and she said I should really view weight loss and exercise independently. They both effect your body in different ways and to appreciate the toning/shrinking/strengthening from exercise as a reward separate from weight loss. The two are so intertwined in my head, but I think that's a really wise way of looking at it. I do feel smaller. I feel more toned. I'm not losing weight but can all that really be considered a failure?

I did whine a lot to Christine this morning again and she sat me down and basically said. COUNT CARBS. I feel like in the beginning I was counting calories and then stalled. Then Christine stressed fat. Count fat grams. So I did. Now stalled again and it's time to count carbs.

Never in my whole life have I counted carbs. I did South Beach way back when but that was a more feel-it-out kind of method (or at least how I interpreted it). I don't have a good way to estimate this either. Christine and I went through a "normal" eating day for me and counted out about 185 carb. She said that that amount of carb equals a small weight gain. Add in exercise for the day (you can subtract 25 carb for exercise ... per Christine anyway) and 160 carb is maintenance (hello!). She said in order to lose I need to be eating somewhere in between 125 and 145 carb per day.

So after weeks of her telling me this, I'm going to actually try and COUNT carbs. The issue is I can't even guesstimate (like I can with both fat and calories at this point). The veggie burger I bought is 3 while 8.5 baby carrots are 5? The logic isn't there for me. Though, likely, the more I do it, the more I can figure it out. So... now to do it.

To help myself I'm making a google document with the nutrition info for the foods I eat a lot of. I also downloaded an app that saves your google documents to your phone. SO theoretically I will be able to have this list wherever I am. Smart no? Let me know if you want me to add you to view it. It's pretty short now but theortically will grow as I gain speed and momentum. Most of the nutrition info I've been getting has been from FreshDirect.com. So... thanks guys! Unfortunately a lot of the serving sizes are in grams. Which I don't really understand either. So I'm thinking about acquiring a food scale (sigh) just go get a sense of what this all means.

My wise friend from before said after all of this I will be as good as a nutritionist. I think that's crazy true.

I really hope this is actually the ticket to the last 10lbs. Because if it isn't, I honestly have no idea what I am going to do besides sit here. Christine assures me that this happens to her all the time. She gets many new clients who just cannot for the life of them lose the last 10lbs. She usually puts them on 90 carb diets. I said no way, Jose. 90 carb!? As it is, it seems like this restriction to 145 carb will be cutting my intake. So we'll start with that.

March Madness Weight Loss: +1.5

Friday, March 16, 2012

In the HeightsI

I love In the Heights (for those who don't know it's a musical about living in Washington Heights... and super terrific. Spotify it!). I also love working out to In the Heights. The opening is a great start to a routine. 96,000 is great for the really difficult time-to-push-through-this parts of the fat burn section of the ellpitical. When You're Home is great to jam to. And there are countless others.

A line that keeps reappearing is "No pare! Sigue sigue!"

It translates to: "Don't stop! Keep going, keep going!"

I have the t-shirt. Yes, really.

And in the second week of my March Madness Healthiness Challenge and my 9th day at the gym in two weeks, it was great to hear. I really jammed through my workout today.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


This month will be a test of time. As you know, my job is a 9-5 position. It's great. It allows me to get a lot done/live my life/be active/be social. As many of you also know, my dream is to be a director/producer. So when another aspiring director at work asked if I wanted to be involved in assisting him on his latest project, I jumped at the opportunity and said yes!

Fast forward a few weeks. I start my March Madness health challenge. Part of this challenge is excercising up to 5 days a week.

Now you may start to see the problem I'm having.

The show is in Brooklyn so I've been crashing at my boyfriend's apartment since it's considerably closer than mine. He has to be at work at 8, which is actually really condusive to working out.

I also brought a bunch of groceries to his apartment so I could still be prepared for work. He even packed me a lunch for today.

My schedule is as follows:
6:30am Wake up
7:05am Get on train
8:00am Arrive at gym
9:00am Arrive at work
5:00pm Work ends, run and find food
6:00pm Rehearsal begins
10:00-10:30pm Rehearsal ends
11-11:30pm Arrive at Brooklyn crash-pad
????pm/am SLEEP

I'm tired. This isn't sustainable but the show is over April 7. Hopefully I can make it until then with some semblance of sanity.

Wish me luck!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Week 1 Recap

Well. I saw Christine this morning (keep in mind, I don't usually see her in the morning) and I was up 1.5lbs. Disappointing considering I feel like I've eaten a ton of vegetables and fruits (and not a whole lot else!). Not to mention I went to the gym 5 days this week! I know muscle builds and all of that. And honestly I feel my body composition shifting a little. I feel more compact. I don't feel larger at all. However, Christine thinks it's BS that if you exercise you "gain" muscle mass. Honestly, I kind of agree. Though I whined to her this morning that EVERYTIME I start an exercise routine, I don't lose weight. Which is the appeal of this 8 week thing. I have to commit to it for 8 weeks! NO BACKSIES. One week down. Seven to go. I already have gym clothes in my bag ready to go for after work today (and before rehearsal).

Ideally my body will adjust, figure out what's going on, and drop some poundage. And if not, it's 2 months and I'll reevaluate at the end. I haven't lost significant weight since CHRISTMAS. Christmas. So what's another two months of flailing around?

It does feel bad though. Not getting that reinforcement. Almost like my actions are not being rewarded ... but actually sort of punished. 1.5lbs in the morning is at least 3lbs in the afternoon (when I usually get weighed).

Christine predicts a 3-4lb drop next week. She thinks I might be retaining water due to all the exerise (and added water). I am not so sure considering I ALWAYS drank a lot of water. I'd say MAXIMUM I'm drinking 2 cups more than I usually did. Maximum.

I will keep this up though. I will commit to this 8 weeks. It's also good to be diligent when I have a LOT of unhealthy events coming up (bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, wedding, dinner at my aunts etc etc). I'm also starting to assistant direct a musical in BROOKLYN which goes on from 6-10 on most evenings, meaning I'll come home tired and be automatically up past my bed time, which will also make getting to the gym a little tricky. But I am still going to aim for that 5 days a week. (Even though... let's be real... I almost slacked today. The thought of going from work, to the gym, to rehearsal was WILDLY unappealing to me. And it's going to be worse when I have to wake up early after a late rehearsal to get it done!)

I pulled out the food I brought for 9-5 this morning when I saw her. She was sort of surprised at the amount of food. I will break it down for you.

Breakfast: Oatmeal, grapes
Snack: Baybell light cheese (those wheely ones!) and a cup or so of raw carrots
Lunch: Chicken chili (white beans, corn, chicken, swiss chard)
Snack: Orange and Fiber One

I guess I see how that seems like a lot of food? But really how caloric are we talking. Maybe 200 calories for breakfast, no more than 100 for snack, 300 for the chili, and 150 for the afternoon snack? So, what 750? Want to round up to 800? And I have plenty of room for a respectable dinner!

She started giving me grief about the amount of carbs I'm eating. Saying that it was 2 carb per grape and GASP look at all those carrots AND CHEESE ON TOP OF THAT? That is a LARGE ORANGE.

But... really folks? Let's break it down. Carrots!? Carrots and grapes are the difference here!? How can that be? I feel like I'm not doing anything destructive. I feel like I'm eating like a skinny person!! Do you have thoughts? Is Christine right and I'm totally crazy? Is that WAY TOO MUCH!? I am going to exercise after work but I firmly believe that even that shouldn't make a difference!

Anyway. That's that.

I did make a really delicious dish somewhat adapted from this recipe. I basically chopped up a bunch of Brussel sprouts (not as finely as they did on the blog but I ran out of time!) mushrooms and one link of a fully cooked chicken sausage. I sprayed a pan with Pam, cooked down the sprouts and mushrooms, and then added in the sausage at the end (just to heat through). Add some salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and PRESTO. It was delicious. I think if/when I do this again I'll add some soy sauce too just to get it a little wetter.

March Madness Weight Loss: +1.5

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 2!

I. Am. In. Pain.

Woooweeeee. I hurt. That stupid full body conditioning!!! Grumble grumble grumble. At least it worked, right? I'm going to aim to make that class every Monday. Today I spent half an hour on the elliptical in the morning. I wasn't sure I was going to make it because I woke up totally paralyzed. Though I limped into workout clothes, hobbled down the steps and made it to the gym. The original plan was to do the stairmaster, however considering the great amount of pain I experienced going DOWN stairs, a half an hour of climbing into oblivion was just not going to happen. So I put on In the Heights, hopped on the elliptical and it actually went by pretty fast. I did whatever their basic fatburn workout was and I made it through. Sweaty but accomplished!

There was a time my sophomore year of college where I went to the gym pretty regularly and I remember sometimes having trouble with the preset, so I was pretty proud of myself for being able to get through it despite my muscles being pretty unhappy.

The walk home was much more difficult than the walk there. Oh well. Tomorrow I am going to go to a yoga class in the morning which I hope will help stretch out my muscles because they are feeling tiiiiight. I'm still undecided on Thursday. I guess it depends on the level of pain I'm feeling. Maybe an easy go on the elliptical again.

Now technically we only get 5 points for 30 minutes of exercise ... but I did walk to and from the gym (16 blocks total) so I kind of want to give myself points for 45 minutes of exercise. Is that acceptable?!

I also didn't realize how difficult it would be to not eat after 9pm. Perhaps the issue is that most of my mindless eating happens at night and so I don't think about eating at night. HOWEVER, I think I usually do. So 9pm hit and I was like... what? I can't have a VitaMuffin??? But I resisted and instead watched The Biggest Loser on nbc.com.

It's kind of nice to be starting my exercise journey and watching The Biggest Loser. If they can go from a sedentary life to going to the gym and working that hard, so can I! I did note that none of them really talk about soreness!! I'm sure they're all DYING of soreness. Where's the mention??

I also think I'm going to look up fruits/vegetables that help with soreness (banana is one right? strawberries?). Two birds with one stone there. I actually realized at like ... 7:45 last night that I had only had one serving of fruit and all I had at home were apples (and I didn't want another one) so I ran out and got strawberries, grapefruit, oranges, a peach and a nectarine. I'm excited to eat all of these!

I sent Christine my food diaries and she said it's the best dieting she's seen from me in a while. Success!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 1!

So I'm really excited about my March Madness plan. You can tell because I took a lot of pictures. Now the issue is to really focus on this being an 8-week event! Not two weeks. No burning out. Just strength and sugar free life for a MEASLY 8 weeks. My boyfriend mentioned (over some big ass pancakes... of course) that that means I can have sugar again in May. That was a realization that seemed a little intimidating, honestly. MAY?

8 weeks. No big deal. I can do 8 weeks. And then reevaluate.

I know I was being wishy washy about the gym. Per usual. But I think if I can actually get into a routine and STICK WITH IT for 8 weeks, I might feel better.

Way back when I bought The New Rules of Weightlifting for Women. I am determined to actually read it. There. I put it on my blog, can't take it back. Right? Right???

I found the link for the March Madness plan from one of my friends from lower/middle school (her mom was my girl scout troup leader!). And she invited me to jump on her 8 week challenge starting ... today! So I took it into my own hands to get some people in on it with me. I have two co-workers, my dad, my roommate and one of my best friends all doing this with me. I feel like I'm covered in ever aspect of my life! Lots of partners to keep me honest.

I weighed in with Christine yesterday and I maintained my lowest weight from last week. I was almost a little sad that I didn't gain a little (higher weight ... easier to lose... twisted logic but there you go), but I'm going to use this program to PUSH MYSELF. For 8 weeks.

Basically the program is that you get points for the following behaviors:
  • Drink 64 oz of water - Monday-Friday I pretty much do this already. I get bored at work and drink water. Done.
  • Eat 3 (1/2 cup) servings of vegetables. This is also not a really challenging one for me. If I eat a salad for a meal. Done!
  • Eat 2 (1/2 cup) servings of fruit. I usually have one piece of fruit per day. I'm thinking that I'll substitute out a snack for a piece of fruit to get these points.
  • Nothing with added sugar. This is the CONTROVERSIAL category. I'm taking it to mean nothing that isn't DIET (my instant oatmeal is sweetened... but also a healthy choice... and I buy the LOW SUGAR variety so...). I'm interpreting this to be desserts and sugary cereals and those little nibbles that I know I shouldn't take but "It's just ONE bite!" Cut that shit out. (You can only get points for this 6/7 days)
  • No eating after 9pm. Only exceptions are fruit, vegetables and water.
  • Contact with your partner every day. Considering I have 5 partners I don't anticipate this being an issue whatsoever.
  • Go to the gym. You get points for 30 minute workouts and 45 minute workouts. (You can only get points for this 5/7 days.) I plan on going Monday - Friday and take the weekends off. Or use the weekends to make up workouts I missed Monday - Friday.
  • Keep a food journal. I already do this. Christine gets to read about every oz of food I put in my mouth. So another non-issue.
You pony up $15 dollars. There are two winners: the person who lost the greatest percentage of weight and the person who racks up the most numbers of points and they end up splitting the final pot. Also if you get at least 80% of your points, you get back $10 dollars. And realistically I think my best shot is to go for those $10 dollars (I think there are somewhere around 35 people participating!). My roommate asked me what my weightloss goal was. I told her 5lbs (which considering it's taken me MONTHS AND MONTHS to lose this last 5lbs I thought that was pretty reasonable. If I could lose 10 I would be the happiest person. But I'm going to shoot for 5lbs.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and bought a ton of veggies for snacks and salads along with some low-sugar oatmeal, tuna and capers. I need to go back and pick up some fruit but my arms were hurting me.

Last night I prepped a salad for myself (I have this awesome 5-cup tupperware that I seriously love and keeps salad frsh so you can make them the night before).
Then this morning I got my butt out of bed at 6:00am to go to a 6:30 Full Body Conditioning class at my gym. It was run by this beefy beefy sadistically funny man who had an affinity for 80s pop music. I really didn't get through all the sets/reps but I worked really hard. I had trouble climbing the stairs to my apartment right after the gym. I can't imagine how I'm going to feel tomorrow. Tomorrow I'm going to do a basic cardio workout on the elliptical. Wednesday I'm going to get to yoga and then we'll see if there is a class I feel up to on Thursday. 8 weeks! Full throttle.

I packed myself a whole lot of healthy looking foods for work today including a spinach salad with celery, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and some grilled chicken on top. I brought celery with 4tbs of PB2 for snack. An apple for early morning hunger and some FiberOne for post work.

Alice (the girl running the challenge) suggested we take before pictures now. So we can have after pictures later. I never did this while losing weight (I wanted to kep my weight loss on the DL for about the first 40lbs). So I decided it would be fun. I'm also 1lb away from 70lbs down so I (hopefully) will need to update the sidebar pictures soon. But here's me from last night! My before SLASH after pictures.