March 2010 Recap

March was a month in which i learned a lot about myself. i learned that my legs and cycling butt will never fit into my jeans again, and i learned that i totally burnt myself out on cycling. towards the end i switched to P90X workouts, but the damage was still done- today is the 31st, and i’m totally wiped. next month will be dedicated to finding a routine that i can stick with. one that won’t burn me out, or drain me. i’m thinking a 3-4 day rotation between cycling and the P90X dvds might do the trick… we’ll see, eh?

*as a side note, please keep in mind that every time i cycle, i cool down with Yoga stretches for at least 15 minutes, but don’t record it as such. i think it’s a given that i need to stretch after cycling.  over all, i get a decent 1 hr workout on those days.

March 2010

1- 45 minutes of cycling

2- 45 minutes of cycling

3- 45 minutes of cycling

4- 50 minutes of cycling

5- 45 minutes of cycling

6- 45 minutes of cycling

7- 45 minutes of cycling

8- 45 minutes of cycling

9- 45 minutes of cycling

10- 45 minutes of cycling

11-  X

12- 45 minutes of cycling

13- X

14- X

15- X

16- 45 minutes of cycling

17- 45 minutes of cycling

18- 45 minutes of cycling

19- 45 minutes of cycling

20- 45 minutes of cycling

21- 45 minutes of cycling

22- X

23- X

24- X

25- 35 minutes of cycling

26- X

27- P90X Yoga, 1.5 hrs

28- P90X Cardio, 45 minutes

29- X

30- P90X Cardio, 45 minutes

31- P90X Yoga, 1.5 hrs

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p90x Rave- again.

a couple days ago i was preaching the importance of adding some variety to your workout routine to avoid burnout. yesterday, i followed my own advice and did the p90x Yoga routine. i already knew it was a great workout dvd, so there were no surprises there.

today, i decided to dust off the P90X Cardio DVD.

i know that P90X is designed to be a total body makeover using a very rigid system, controlling everything from heart rate to what you eat every day. i just can’t do that. all the measuring and recording and little gadgets needed for the full program make my head spin. i prefer to workout at my own speed, at my own time. no, i’m not getting the full benefit of the P90X program by doing it my own way, but it’s better than nothing.

SO.

i began the DVD having no idea what to expect, but still managed to be pleasantly surprised in the end. i did the Banana/Superman, Wacky Jumping Jacks, Kempo, Yoga, and through it all i sweated like a pig. i was afraid i wasn’t going to get as good a cardio workout as i do on my bike but i was wrong. at the end of the DVD i thought about doing some quick ab toning exercises, but my whole body had suddenly turned to jelly. it was wonderful.

i feel like i did something good for myself today.

if you don’t want to invest in P90X because you don’t want to have to follow such a structured total health routine, guess what! you don’t have to. invest in it because it has really great at-home workouts. yesterday i did Yoga, today i did the Cardio DVD and i feel the way i should after taking those classes at a gym. that’s a really good thing. i’ve been through tons of workout DVDs, from Tae-Bo to Pilates to Aerobics, and none of it measured up to P90X. it’s fun without being cheesy, it gives you a great workout without killing you, and if you need the extra help in other areas, it’s got the full round of directions on what to do.

P90X Cardio is definitely going into my workout rotation!

Beware the Burnout

today, i’ve learned a very valuable lesson about exercising.

BEWARE THE BURNOUT.

i’ve been cycling a lot this month, but lately i just don’t want to. the idea of jumping back on my bike and huffing and puffing and sweating up a storm just so i can feel better about my body makes my brain want to run under the bedcovers and hide.

i am sick of cycling. i’m sick of the music i play during it, i’m sick of my back being hunched over for 45 minutes and i’m sick of feeling the way my belly fat scrunches up in my cycling shorts while i’m riding. i’m just sick of it.

i am totally burnt out.

i suppose a large contributing factor is that i’m not fitting into my favorite clothing any better. in fact, in the past few months, my legs have gotten more muscular and i can’t wear my favorite jeans anymore. it doesn’t matter if i’m fit and trim, i still can’t fit into my favorite jeans. the other two pairs of good jeans i have are getting real snug around the tops of my knees and thighs too. it’s depressing to be doing all this work towards being healthy and slender, then to have myself grow out of my jeans anyways- even if it is the good kind of “growing out”.

it makes me think “what’s the point???” i was exercising to fit into my jeans, but that plan totally backfired.

i’m sick of cycling. why the hell should i do it if it’s not going to do any good?

the lesson involved here, is that variety really is the spice of life.

-mix up your workout routine so that you aren’t focusing on a single muscle group all the time.

-mix up your routine so you don’t get burnt out on a single routine and stop all together.

-mix up the sights and sounds of your workout routine if you have to stick to the same one. if you like to jog, change directions or areas every once in a while to keep it interesting. same with outdoor cycling.

-if your workout is indoors, mix up your music and try something new every once in a while. rotate between 3 different routines.

Beware the Burnout.

Healthy Snacking

one of the hardest things about trying to incorporate healthy eating habits and exercise into my life, has been the “hunger issue”. i’m always hungry. i’m sure you’ve heard before that i love to eat. i love the way food makes me feel, i love the way food feels. rather than limit myself to a carrot stick (yuck!) between meals, i’m trying to find healthy ways to continue enjoying food.

i’ve found through personal experience, that in order to get the most natural flavor and satisfaction out of food, is to consume it raw. NOW, don’t get me wrong. i’m not saying you should go out and eat a raw steak, or eggs. (can you say: food poisoning?) i mean the little things. eat a tasty salad topped with nuts. personally, i LOVE almonds… it’s amazing how much flavor a simple nut can pack. fresh fruit slices as well of different types of flavorful veggies can also pack a mean mouth-watering punch of craving-satisfying flavor. even sushi, from a trust-worthy establishment is filling and very healthy for you.

if it just has to be processed sugar, my personal rule is “make it from scratch”. if baking up cookies, muffins, breads, cakes and brownies are made just a little more complicated by HAVING to make them from scratch whenever you want them, it’s a lot easier to resist the temptation. if you’re like me, and you actually like baking from scratch, then have your single serving, and freeze the rest in individual baggies. having to thaw out your snack in order to indulge also creates an extra step that can keep you from over-indulging.

one of my favorite healthy snacks is trail mix. it doesn’t even have any chocolate in it *gasp* but with the flavorful dried fruits and nuts, it’s full of fiber, vitamins, protein, and that blessed flavor that i love so much. my personal trail mix is made from Walnuts, whole Almonds, Dried Cranberries, and Dried Blueberries. i get one bag of each from the baking section at my local grocery store, and when i get home i dump it all into a container, mix, and toss in a 1/3 cup scoop so that i don’t over-indulge on my favorite tasty treat.

that’s another thing… put all your snacks in a small bowl or baggie or something… DON’T eat straight from the main container. you’d be surprised how much you can consume while not paying attention. at least, i was.

that’s it for my healthy snacking tips. if anybody else has any tips/recipes to add, i’d welcome them in the comments section!

Muscle vs. Fat

if you have implemented an exercise routine into your weight-loss routine, you may reach a point where you gain a few pounds, and you have no idea why. don’t freak out. review the past week. have your eating habits stayed the same? has your exercise stayed the same? do you do muscle building/toning exercised regularly?

if the answer is YES, then it’s quite possible that you’ve reached the point where you’re just putting on muscle. muscle weighs more than fat, so if your body switches into muscle building mode, you will appear to have gained weight… when in fact you’re still losing fat, you’re just gaining muscle as well.

my husband asked me today if maybe my weight gain is just me putting on muscle. i will admit, when i slide my legs into my jeans, the jeans are hugging my calves like their life depends on skin contact. yes… that is the glorious toned muscle i have finally built from 7+ months of regular cycling.

my ass, on the other hand, is a whole other box of chocolates. (har har)

yes, it is looking perkier than it’s looked in ages, thanks to my cycling… but the love handles on my sides never lie. where i was only grabbing small finger-tips full before, i can now grab nearly a handful. same with my abs. i can feel the muscle toning up underneath a soft layer of blubbery fat that is definitely thicker than it was a few months ago.

in a word?

no.

i am not just putting on muscle. which is why i’m also on a diet… because if i continue to build muscle underneath fat without getting rid of the fat (or, goodness forbid, build more fat) i will just look thicker, rather than more toned.

but that’s me.

you’re probably better with your eating habits than i am, so if, during your weight loss/exercise regimen, the numbers start to drop more slowly, or even start to go up just a little- don’t freak out.

The Food Diary

my problem is with controlling my eating. i love to eat, and i would do it all day, non stop if i could. unfortunately for my cravings, i have to get a handle on it. it’s time for desperate measures. i’ve only done this once before, and it was a success, so i am implementing it again.

the food diary. (not dairy, diary. big difference…)

as i was shopping for fruits, salad and skim milk at the grocery store yesterday, i also went to the school supply section and picked up a small fat notebook called “the chubs”. no really, that’s what it was called. it’s purple, cheap, and has a fat name… it was a match made in heaven.

in that book, i am dedicating a page a day to recording every bite of food i eat. somehow, knowing that i have to write down that extra cookie, the bite of my daughter’s banana bread, or entire sleeve of crackers i just ate helps me resist the temptation.

it’s something i highly suggest if you also have the same problem with over-snacking like i do.

New Year’s Resolution

how’s this for irony? just before i began writing this post, i commented on another bloggers page. the captcha phrase was “foode”.

now for the real post.

okay, so i know i’m a little late with my resolution. i figure since i have all year to succeed in a resolution, why can’t i have all year to make one?

i am going to lose five pounds.

not just “i took a really big crap today then skipped dinner” five pounds either… i’m going to lose five pounds around my waistline. have you ever gone to the grocery store and held five pounds of butter in your hands? try it some time. to truly lose five pounds of fat (that probably weighs a lot less per inch than buter) is quite a feat. especially for someone like me, who has never intentionally lost weight. oh sure, i’ve lost weight before… but it’s all happened because i got sick, or was breastfeeding, or had to walk 3 flights of stairs to get to my dorm room every day without enough $$$ to feed myself.

this time around, i will succeed.

why?

it’s not as shallow as you think, although it’s still shallow.

personally, i don’t care if i have a little extra fluff on my midsection. i just happen to think that a luscious, womanly figure is beautiful. women aren’t intended to be athletic hard-bodies like men are. women are soft, pliable, and secretly strong. i think a woman with confident, sexy curves looks better than a skinny model every time.

so why do i want to lose 5 pounds? i don’t look bad with the extra weight. it doesn’t affect my athleticism, and i am still far from obese.

simply? i want to fit back into my jeans.

last year, as a reward for losing my baby-weight, my husband sent me on a shopping spree for some new clothes. i bought 3 pairs of jeans. for the first time in my life i allowed myself to go somewhere other than the Target sales rack for jeans, and i spent between $80 and $90 on each pair. those jeans don’t fit me anymore, because my hips have expanded too much to squeeze into them.

i am absolutely devastated.

i feel like an alcoholic who accepted her 20 year sobriety award, then fell back into drinking just before she reached the 21 year mark.

you may think that my expanding waistline and alcoholism is a pretty poor comparison, but to me food is my alcohol.

i am addicted to food, and unless i want to weigh 200 lbs by the time i’m 50, i’m going to have to change the way i live. i’m going to have to make a new years resolution to change my life and my way of eating and stick with it.

i’m sticking to eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. no snacks.

i will eat from a small plate, no seconds.

no eating after 6:00 pm.

i am upping my cycling time to 45 minutes every other day, and i will try to be more vigilant with my Yoga DVDs now that i can’t go to classes anymore.

i will lose this weight.

i will fit back into my good jeans by this summer.

i WILL.