Work(it)out Wednesday – Spring into Summer!

Vacation, time to get away!

Vacation, time to get away!

So, with the lack of inspiration, I am going to steal like an artist and piggyback from a post by ChicFitChef  yesterday and talk about the summer time. Around this time the diet and fitness industry is really going into overdrive about bikini season and giving our collective body dysmorphic disorders a shot of adrenaline. Well, I can’t really help being unhappy with your body, as that is a personal journey that even my zen (yeah right) self struggles with almost daily. But, as far as self-improvement, there are a few things that we can all do to look our best for the beach:

1. Ditch the Booze
Spring Break is over, and you probably need a good detox as it were. Sure happy hours that turn into late hours are fun, but really do you need to add those extra calories. Clean eating is not easy but, IMO, teetotaling is. Okay, so you may have to become a hermit, at least that has been my experience in Austin, y’all love to drink! Also, once you give up the sauce, then I feel like it builds the better habit to do more stricter elimination such as sugar/processed carbs. Admittedly, I was going to recommend a Whole 30, but really a sensible diet plan can get you there, just takes more like 60 days versus 30.

2. C U later
So after some research, because I am truthful I decided to ditch my hypothesis about Vitamin C,  cortisol and weight loss because of this. I am not going to dismiss Vitamin C for weight loss however, because of this. Not to mention its many other health benefits, Vitamin C assists in collagen synthesis, and I think you know where I am going with this. Oh no, the c-word, dun dun dun.. CELLULITE. I don’t have any articles to back me up here, but it stands to reason, if collagen is the result of the breakdown of collagen, and you are taking something that restores it? (not sure if that is accurate, biologists help me out here) that Vitamin C would at least mitigate future attacks of this dreaded orange peel accessory. Anyway, I am trying it, and will let you know if that works out for me, do keep in my my confounding variables of other nutrition and exercise, for you more skeptical readers!

3. Sleepytime!
Feel like a big ole hypocrite for advising on this one because I had like 3 hours of sleep last night, but study after study after study has linked sleep with weight loss, and I feel like it needs to be repeated in this insomniac society we live that getting some shut-eye can greatly improve our health. Also, it just makes you feel better, and when you feel better, you look better, totally anecdotal, but probably true.

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Day Seventeen

Just gobbled a bunch of berries for breakfast. Day numero trois for the whole 30. Today, unlike yesterday was good for stress relief because I did make it after a 3 day break to yoga for the Metal (\m/) 60 class. Walking, walking walking to please my fitbit, but also snuck in some elliptical (it is all the same to its motion sensor). Would have done “Hot Cycle” but was a little bit too sweaty, so it was embarrassing , if you know what I mean. Still need to put in more strength training, as that always gets neglected, probably because I like to zone out and read articles/listen to music and you really can’t do that when you are pumping iron. Get it right, Lever.

Yesterday’s breakfast was easier than I thought it was going to be, given that it was at a local Mexican restaurant, but I managed to stay whole30 compliant by ordering the fajita omelet sans cheese, ranchero sauce on the side, and opting out of the tortillas, beans and potatoes that normally accompanies the dish. Still, I ate lots and lots of fruit, which probably means I am not becoming insulin adapted as the intention of the program is. It is all “good” sugar, though, and I move the equivalent of 5 miles everyday, maybe Melissa and Dallas would disagree, but I think I am counterbalancing the sugar with movement.  Speaking of sugars, namely the artificial ones, it is getting a lot easier to avoid the diet coke, and my beloved coffee is becoming easier to chug without diluting it with ice/cream/sweetener.  Overall, I say day two, despite the extra fruit was a success, and I have been eating a lot prettier to boot:

That was lunch: mashed avocados, strawberries, blueberries, and canned tuna. The tuna could have used some more seasoning, but overall a healthy and satisfying lunch. Ever battling the stress monsters, they seem to become less apparent when I bring order into my life. I do believe, again, that there is a certain harmonious atmosphere that order creates. Routine for me, is a bit blissful in that it creates a certain that limits the anxiety of having tasks/projects looming over you, also it brings about a sense of accomplishment even just completing certain tasks like straightening up. Maybe it is all in my head, but it certainly feels better to “take care of business” as it were.

Let me here your body talk, your body talk. If I haven’t mentioned this already, I had to hide my scale in the closet because I would weigh myself multiple times a day, and the Whole30 forbids that. Don’t know if the program is making me lose weight or not, but I definitely thing my stomach is looking more toned.  Struggling through my own insecurities in yoga this morning. This is super silly, but I get really self-conscious about going to the class with all of these skinnier chicks. I am no Moby Dick, but even the teacher today was rather svelte and I felt like a giant Pear in comparison.  Hips, for crying out loud, what the hell is wrong with hips??? Could just be the caffeine on an empty stomach giving me strange fixations, but now that I am not in the room focused on looking at these other chicks, quick where is the tumblr thinspo??,  I feel a bit better. As obnoxious as I am sounding right now, I’d like to have a smaller trunk, hopefully I will be nice and tiny like a dancer at the end of this program.

 

Day Nine

After a wrenching of emotions, the saga continues.  Focus Pocus, the brain fog clouds the way of any concentration these days. More poses, very sweaty, little motivation other than this blog, however. I keep hoping that one day I will wake up one day excited about working out, but you are doing well just getting me out of bed at 6am. As it turns out, walking 10k steps requires a lot more than just walking around the work building every day once an hour. It really takes an effort to get over 5 miles. I did it yesterday just in the morning by walking around the apartment complex I don’t know how many times, and ultimately I got 15,000 steps by the end of the day. Yay for me!

Plenty of hydration, diet has kinda sucked. Not eating enough calories, but what is new. Not much insight into that, really. Day 2 or 3 without having a diet coke. No smoking. Eating lots of yogurt, which reminds me that I haven’t had a proper lunch today. Could be the cause of this mysterious cloudy mind.  Sleep has been easy. Experts say you should have an electronic curfew, but what if you actually like going to sleep with the TV on, I find the antics of Micheal Scott and Dwight Shrute to be a charming way to drift to sleepyville, yes, zzzzzz, indeed.

I have no affiliation with BodyRock, but I have been following this as a plan pretty rigorously, hey the price is right!  One of the hosts, Lisa, posted a video on her fanpage about being consistent with your diet and workout plans. It really is simple but it requires a habit shift. I have been doing a lot more with yoga and walking, but for these workouts it is just a matter of wanting or not wanting to. Again, I can’t really say that I want to, but I want to write, and other than this journey, things are just not that exciting for me, so this is something that maybe people will want to listen to or maybe not, either way, typing along like an exercise machine!

Today’s BR workout was pretty boss, could not seem to really get as high as I wanted on the jumps. Here are my scores:

1) Surfer kick out 2 jump squats 2 tuck jumps [4, 2,2]

2) 5 Mountain Climbers 5 Star Jumps [3, 2,2]

3) 2 Forward Lunges 2 squat and press 2 upright rows (no sandbag) [6, 3,3]

4) 2 pushups come up to a burpee 1 tuck jump [2., 2, 3]

Every day I am getting better.

Day Six

Oh so exhausted, and it is barely 9:30. Who has two thumbs and worked out twice today? This gal! Feeling really accomplished from getting up at 6:30 am this morning and then getting my cycle on in spin class. The most effective way to do something is really just to do it. Writing about what you plan to do is no good, and psychology affirms this. Wish I had more things to say. Need to put a point by point outline. Organization. RaRaRa.. Fitness! Just real tired, *yawn*.

The FitBit arrived and pretty excited to use that. 10 floors of steps seems like a lofty goal, but it would be achievable for restroom breaks and the ridiculous amount of water I have been drinking lately, but probably sweated out a least a liter this morning and evening. Oh, the 5:15 wake up will be awful tomorrow, but if I make it to the bed by 10:30 tonight, will get a good 7 hours of sleep. Not sure about other people, but it seems like I only need about that much lately, even with achieving beast mode status at the gym.

I really can’t say enough good things about the classes I have been taking. Super motivating and super challenging, but I don’t think I am over-training. Emergen-C has really been a life-saver after the workouts and only has about 30 calories, which makes it a lot smarter to have as opposed to the typical sports drink which is comparable to a damn soda. No diet sodas for me today, btw. Another small victory, but still a long way to go.

So, really going to get more experience using the FitBit before giving a thorough evaluation from my oh so authoritative position. It’s funny because it isn’t true!

Day Three

It is a beautiful morning in Austin TX, you know before it approaches triple digits during the middle of the day! 14 more pounds until my GW, as suspected just needed to do some penance from my Sunday brunch to get the weight back down to desired. No drinks or dining this weekend (nevermind the fact that I would be too broke anyway!) “CHAOS” class from CGArena was terrible wonderful. Strangely enough way more sore in the hamstrings then the upper body, but really achey all over, that’s good, right?

It sucks that they are so expensive, though, the LivingSocial deal allowed me to have 20 classes for only $29, but it would normally be around $65, so that is obviously a bit out of my budget. At any rate, I will be able to take 19 more classes this month and enjoy the benefits and then continue with my at-home fitness. Following my motto, “sweat every day”, looking forward to some strength training plus boxing at 6:00 pm. Yay, the fitbit finally shipped, hopefully Monday it will finally be here.

Sleep, what can I say about it that is interesting? Weird dreams and waking up thorughout the night. Getting 7ish hours is pretty good, wish I could have made it to the 6am cycle class, but I felt like nailed to my bed this morning, gotta love those DOMS. As I have gotten older the idea of waking up at 5:00 actually does appeal to me. The night owl thing is okay when you are in college, but really what is there to do after midnight besides watch Netflix or drink (or both)? However, being an early riser is challenging, especially in the summer. There is daylight until 9 pm, and so you get to enjoy about one hour of nightfall before you have to sleep at 10, and with that schedule you only get 7 hours, so it is tough, but this may be all that I need.

So, I need to get back to work, and I guess tomorrow after hot yoga/cycling, I will discuss stress reduction!

Day Two

What a bummer, most of the weight which as I had feared was mostly water is creeping back up on me. Yuck yuck yuck. 126 lbs read the scale, a far cry from the 110 that comes naturally at being 18, but you can’t live your life for 12 years ago. Pish posh, at the very least I want to get back under the 20’s.  One thing that was very striking to me this morning at my work’s breakfast was my boss’s remarks about weight loss. (Yes, I talk about it way more than I would like, obsession might be a word to use).  Anyway, his advice and he is lost 20 pounds, so I will take it, was to approach it holistically. This is so true, and with that I have noticed five themes that keep repeating in my research for becoming more fit and sexy, and these are: hydration, nutrition, sleep, stress reduction, and movement.

The big three, ahem, the ones that people can make the most money on are respectively movement, nutrition and stress reduction. Think gym memberships, gimmicky diets, and overpriced yoga classes. The other two sleep and water, well I guess there is money to be made in those with special beds and water filters. Regardless of how money is to be made on it, I just don’t have the money to spend and the journey I am taking is frugal, but I have the luxury of not having anything pressing like a wedding to lose my weight, just wanting to be able to eventually fit in my Skinny Pants, and of course that means getting skinny. Plain and simple, skinny. Oh, say “fit is the new skinny” all you want, but most chicks just want to be skinny and that is the truth. It may be a struggle and it may never happen, so I guess I will settle on being fit and sexy. Oh, wait, already sexy!

But, back to the health aspects of it. The thing about exercise problems, is that I can’t help feel a little bit cynical about any workout program that promises results without an extreme amount of exercise. We are talking fitness model dedication, not that this wouldn’t be an admirable goal, but I am not sure if I can achieve it. Fear of failure is the ultimate de-motivator, and perhaps that is what I am struggling to overcome. Regardless, I purchased a LivingSocial deal for CG Arena to see if getting in with a group exercise will help me with my asocial problems as well as helping me rid myself  of the breakfast taco belly acquired from living in Austin for five years.Because my apartment provides a shoebox gym, I do not have a real gym membership, and been working out with the BodyRock routines in my living room (sorry downstairs neighbors for the jumpy plyometric earthquakes).

Nutrition is such a challenging thing. It is all about balance. You don’t want to be a calorie depleted psychopath even though from my experience it really sheds the pounds, but the right way takes patience and dedication, and even then you are going to feel hungry. The best thing I have done this year is swear off buffets. Those things are a chronic dieter’s nightmare. It reminds me of the move “Spirited Away” where the parents turn into hogs stuffing their faces with food. It frankly disgusts me. Again, I am no model of a healthy lifestyle, just yet, but it is almost impossible to track what you eat in that quantity, despite my professed disgusted, I do miss a good Chinese buffet. Today’s lunch is going to be nonfat yogurt with three tablespoons of non-salted sliced almonds. Okay, a buffet sounds awesome right about now. Nutrition, girl, you and I need to get a better relationship.

More about water, sleep and stress reduction in the next post!