Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Post that Almost Wasn't

I am tired.  Oh so very tired.  In my quest to not feel like crap when I wake up beyond bright and early on Mondays, I now try to not sleep in too much on the weekend.  Today I got up around 6:30 in the morning.  Yep.  On a Sunday.

I started laundry.  I made a batch of my peanut butter baked oatmeal.  The hubbs and I went to Giant, and then to Wegmans, because Giant doesn't have bulgur.  At least, I couldn't find it anywhere, and when I used the little kiosk thing to search for it....nothing.  Then we went to LA Fitness for a short jaunt in the pool.  Then I made some cheesy Greek yogurt chicken and some bulgur/kale/chickpea stuff.  Went to the batting cages.  Came home, did more laundry.  Made some butternut squash/lentil stuff.  More laundry.  Oh, and  a ton of dishes.

Tired.  Achy.  Sore.  I had no urge to write a blog.  But, well, I have laundry in the washer and decided I might as well be constructive with my time.  Plus, I can't really justify going to bed at 6:30 in the evening.

Let me back up a bit.  Yesterday, the hubbs and I went to the gym for some lifting/treadmill action.  The lifting kicked my bootie!  Not while I was there, but today.  I am soooo sore.  I did some decent core/back/upper body stuff, and I certainly feel it today!

Which kinda sucks.  I really wanted to go for a bike ride today and enjoy the sunshine-ish weather.  But, well, I really didn't want to physically be on the bike.  I knew that getting in the pool for just a short amount of time would help stretch things out.  Plus, hitting the hot tub afterwards wouldn't hurt.  The pool it was.

So....today I'm sore.  And it is Sunday.  Which is what I now refer to as "cooking party day."  No.  There really isn't a party.  I just cook a ton of food so I don't have to worry about cooking during the week.  Cooking isn't something I particularly enjoy.  I tend to feel so drained after cooking.  Maybe its because I'm following the recipes, and doing the dishes sucks...who knows?  But I'm attempting it.

First, a recipe I made yesterday.  Only because it is so tasty it is definitely worth mentioning.  They are officially called "Healthy Eatmore Fudge Chocolate Bars,"  but could simply be referred to as chocolatey goodness.  My only complaint would be that the banana in the fudge topping is a tad strong...but hey....a healthy-ish chocolate dessert....I'm not complaining too much!



This morning was my baked peanut butter oatmeal.  I threw in craisins and a mashed banana.  (Yes, I know I've posted the recipe before.  But I keep having people ask me about it.)

I also made a bulgur/kale/chickpea concoction.  Mine isn't nearly as pretty as what is pictured on the blog.  (Which, by the way, I love!  Not the picture...the blog.  It is one of the few that I really follow.)  But it is kinda tasty.  I felt like it needed something citrusy to brighten up the flavors.  I didn't have any lemon juice hanging around, but I purchased some blood oranges when I was at Giant in the morning, and sqeezed some of that in there.  Just what it needed!


I had a bunch of mushrooms on hand, so I sauteed those bad boys and added them into the mix.

A SparkFriend shared with me a recipe for some cheesy Greek yogurt chicken, and this one is Chris approved.  (Which means extra yummy.)  Sub plain Greek yogurt for the mayo and add in a tsp of spicy mustard.  Plus, it is super duper easy.  Seriously.  My kind of recipe.

The chicken with the Greek yogurt concoction before baking in the oven.

And after.....mmmmmmmm!

The butternut squash/lentil stuff is okay-ish, but I'm not 100% certain it is a keeper.  My squash got more soggy than crispy.  But.....it is kinda tasty as a starchy side instead of a potato or pasta.  So I'll keep that in mind....I'm always looking for things to eat that give me that satisfying carb-y taste.

I didn't get a finished pic of this one.  I forgot, and right now, I'm too lazy to go in the kitchen and snap a pic of it.  But here's all the squash prepped and seasoned.  

In the midst of my cooking frenzy, we took a break to go to the batting cages.  This is honestly becoming one of my favorite weekend activities!  Today, we brought Kimberly along!  She's going to be on our co-ed team, and she's been a tad nervous.  Well.....she doesn't have much to worry about!  She was making all kinds of contact with the ball!  I told her that once it gets nicer out, we'll work on throwing/catching/fielding and running the bases.  Yay!

She looks like a pro!


That's all I have for now!  Hope you had a happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Big Sigh of Relief

Just a warning, this post has very little to do with weight loss, and more to do with my work life.  It happens.

A little background.  Ok, actually, a lot of background.  Some of you might know that my degree is in English/Professional Writing and that I have a minor in Public Relations.  (Ha.  I bet you never guessed my degree is in writing, especially considering how I like to blab on here.  But I promise, when situations call for business appropriate written ramblings, I can deliver!)  I graduated college in December 2004, and have worked for the County since.  Trust me, I tried to get a job in my field.  I interviewed all over the place...I went as far as Iowa!  But no one wanted me.  (That's a post for another day.)  So at the County I stayed.

After working for the County for a couple of years, I realized that looking for a job in my field wouldn't really be worth the effort anymore.  Sure, I wasn't getting paid a lot, but I was making decent money, I have really good benefits, a pension, I participate in a deferred compensation plan, I get a bunch of vacation time, sick time, personal time, and there are a bunch of holidays us County people celebrate....most places in the private sector couldn't offer most of that.

Anyways, most of you know that last year I changed jobs not once, but twice.  All still within the County.  Up until February of last year, I had worked in the Courthouse, but decided I needed a change.  I was in the office for five years, doing essentially the same thing every day.  I felt as though my skills were not recognized, and I also realized that I had no future staying in that office.

So I transferred to the prison.  (Tomorrow, actually, would be a year to the day that I started at the prison!) I thought I could handle it.  You have to have that "off" sense of humor to work there.  You have to be tough.  You have to not take any crap.  I thought I could deal.

Ha.  That was probably the most miserable seven months of my life job-wise.  I felt like I constantly had to prove myself.  There was so much bickering among the workers, and administration refused to step in.  (Trust me....there was a ton of other crap that I'd rather not get in to here.)  But it was a raise in pay, so I sucked it up.  And looked for a way out.

Thankfully, the job I have now opened up.  (Lookie there, I'm actually, finally, getting to the point of all this.) And I've jumped in wholeheartedly.  I've taken on more responsibilities than I ever thought I would in a county job, and I'm making this one my own.

I contacted our Information Services Dept., and they're going to install Publisher on my computer.  I'm working with the Volunteer Services Coordinator to design invites for a recognition ceremony that is hosted yearly.  He has a theme in mind, and I'll be able to design invites for him and have the programs mirror the invites so everything matches.  Previously, they picked a design online and ordered everything.  I am GIDDY with excitement about this.  Document design was one of my favorite things in college, and I took just about every class that addressed it.

I'll also be able to use Publisher for different events that I help coordinate, like the Employee of the Month Luncheon or the Employee Anniversary Recognition.

So. Flipping. Excited.

Anyways, more about the job.  I'm now a member of the Wellness Committee, and one of my duties was to try and bring Lunch & Learns to the building where I work.  (A lunch and learn is funded by our insurance company.  We offer interested employees a free, healthy lunch, and while they're eating they listen to a presentation on a health related topic.  Today's topic was "Heart Disease," and next month is "Back to Basics.")  The nursing home is in an entirely different town than the Courthouse, and the employees where I work have been unable to participate in a lot of the activities the Wellness Committee offers.

I'm trying to bridge that gap.  And let me tell you, it hasn't been easy.  We have contracted employees, part time employees, employees lunching at different times, some getting half-hour lunches, others getting full-hour lunches.  How the heck was I going to manage offering a Lunch & Learn?

After some coordination with our insurance company, I was able to get a speaker to offer two 30 minute presentations instead of one hour-long presentation.  I contacted our dining services director and together we came up with a healthful menu (1/2 and oven roasted turkey sandwich, some really tasty veggie soup, fruit cup and a little pasta salad).  I contacted our housekeeping department and they had the room set up with tables and chairs, and handled switching out the table cloths in between sessions.  I contacted our IT Dept for a projector, and Staff Development for a projection screen.

I had been stressing all this weekend, hoping everything would work out.  That I didn't miss anything.  That the presentation wouldn't last too long and that people could get back to their units on time.  I was a nervous wreck this morning.

Turns out everything went well, I got a ton of positive feedback, they loved the food, and they're looking forward to next month's Lunch & Learn.

Holy crap.  If that isn't Public Relations, I don't know what is!  And this is all extra....on top of my normal job duties.

I've really come to believe that things work out.  It took me eight years since graduating college, but I'm finally doing stuff I really enjoy.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Eeeps! of Excitement

I've had a little bit of fun going on lately, and I just wanted to share.  My blog post this past weekend was a tad on the serious side, and after I posted it, I realized there were so many other things I wanted to bring up, but didn't.  Although I do have to admit, I'm happy I was able to stay so on topic on that last blog.  It needed to be done.

(Note....if you're a facebook friend, you've seen most of this on my feed.  But, well, I have peeps who read my blog who aren't on facebook.  Just humor me.)

Back to business.  Last Friday was a quiet afternoon at work.  I know....I shouldn't complain.  I'm not.  It gave me time to finally resurrect my bling board!  Yippee!  I've actually had a lot of people stop to look at it and ask me about it.  Some even told me they want to run/walk a 5k, and I have a co-worker who is signing up for a Tough Mudder.  So I think it is cool how the bling board is once again serving as a conversation starter.


Sunday was food prep day.  I have to admit, cooking/chopping all my stuff for the week on Sunday (and portioning it out) helps me so much during the week.  I don't have to think about what I'm eating for breakfast, or what I'm packing for lunch.  I just grab a bunch of containers and go.  This is what my fridge looked like once I was done.  I made my peanut butter baked oatmeal with craisins; cut strawberries, kiwis and clementines (the cuties are finally in season!); portioned out cottage cheese; made a sweet potato and chickpea stew (super yum); and defrosted chicken breasts and a peppercorn pork loin for Chris to grill.  


Some of you might know that I'm going to be playing co-ed softball this Spring.  (On a side note, I really gotta figure out who all said they were interested in joining....need to organize!)  Anyways, I've been going to the batting cages, and even asked Chris if we can go to the fields and work on sprinting/running the bases once the snow melts.  (I know....who am I?)  Well, you know a girl has to look cute while she's playing softball....at least, this girl does.  So Chris let me get a pair of turf shoes!  I was going to just use my trail shoes that I have for running, but b/c it was softball related, Chris had no problem letting me spring for these bad boys!


During the weekend, before my cooking extravaganza, I had purchased a ginormous bag of almonds at Sam's club.  I wanted to attempt to make almond butter, so I asked around and was given this recipe.  I've known people who tried to make almond butter with great results, and others who had epic fails.  I figured I'd give it a shot.  (But would be thoroughly pissed if I had to toss a nasty batch of almond goopiness.)

My first question was this:  How do I know if the almonds are roasted or not?  The bag didn't say they were, so I stuck them in the oven for ten minutes at 350, hoping that would work.  I then followed the recipe, but had to mix it quite a bit longer.  Also a note....it definitely takes on more of an almond butter texture after adding the salt (I used half a tsp) and letting it mix forever.  This was the finished product:


The four cups of almonds made a decent amount.  This is a two cup container, and it was filled to the brim before I put some in a little container to take to work tomorrow.  Plus, I had to try it out and ate some with a granny smith apple (while doing a happy dance).


That's been my past couple days in a nutshell.  Tomorrow I'm shooting for a swim in the morning, and I'm going for a massage after work.  Ahhhhhh.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Some Clarification

Uh Oh.  So apparently, some of you think I took the trainer's words to mean, "Eat 2900 calories and call it a day."  Or something to that effect.  I guess I owe you all an explanation?  Even though I thought I was pretty clear about my intentions in my last blog, here I go again....

I am not focusing on losing weight.  I still plan on weighing myself, but weight loss is no longer my primary goal.  Heck, it isn't even a secondary goal.  Sure, I'd be tickled pink if I lost some weight during this process, but if I don't, I'm going to have to be okay with it.

Instead, I am focusing on building muscle.  "But what about bulking up?" some of you ask.  Screw that.  Girls usually have a hard time "bulking up" because they don't have the necessary hormones to allow for it.  That being said, my body type lends itself to bulky-ish muscles.  I certainly don't get those long lean muscles lots of girls get....I mean, hello...did you look at my thighs in my progress pictures?  Big.  Muscles.  I'm embracing the fact my body isn't meant for little bitty muscles.  Maybe it is meant to be strong and muscular?  Maybe I've been fighting what my body wants by focusing on losing weight and long-distance running for these past two years?  Who knows.

The 2900 calories.  I highly doubt I'll get up to 2900 calories.  If you remember what I said in my previous blog, I need to increase my calories a bit over time.  This past week, I was around 2000 for three days and around 2400 for three days.  On the lower calorie days, I woke up at night with my stomach growling.  I have honestly never had that happen before.  So from my experience, I'm thinking hitting the 2400 is a step in the right direction.  (Notice what I said there?  "my experience")  I'm going to be adding in one more heavy lifting day a week, so I may have to tweak things.

The 2900 calories.  (Yes, again.)  I'm not using this as an excuse to go out and eat crap.  I could easily get in higher calories if I went and ate a Whopper.  (Which I would probably instantly vomit, so I guess that would actually be counter-productive.)  Instead, I'm using this as an excuse to feed my body the best possible things I can.  Granted, I still eat some prepacked foods, just because convenience wins out in some instances, but I'm making a strong effort to not feed myself junk.  I keep telling myself that I owe it to me to see what my body is capable of through lifting.  Trust me.  Between now and June, I'm certain I'll have slip-ups.  I'm not perfect.  But I really want to give this my best possible shot.

The 2900 calories.  (Yep.  More.  I've gotten some flak about this, so I really need to explain all my reasoning.)  I've had to change my way of thinking.  Before, if I was hungry in the morning, I'd try and push off eating again until lunch.  Or I'd maybe have a small piece of fruit.  Mainly because I was working with a limited number of calories.  Now, if I'm a little hungry (yes, even a little) I eat.  Not only does this help with getting in the calories, but it also helps me not feel so hungry at night.  This also helps keep me from overeating.  I'm not starving at lunch/dinner time (because I've eating a substantial snack before), so I don't overeat at my main meals.

This is just a little experiment I'm doing.  I've told people that I'm either going to put on muscle or gain a bunch of weight.  But  I want to try it.  To see what happens.  I kinda thought sharing about it would be interesting, especially since most of the people I hang out with are runners.  Sure, runners want to be overall-strong, but when it comes down to it, they would rather run.  Few would cut back on their running to seriously focus on muscle building.

I doubt I've addressed every issue/topic/question that was presented to me in the past week.  So if you have questions, ask.  I've said it before....I'm an open book.  I'd much rather you come right out and ask me about what I'm doing then surmise shit and talk about me behind my back.  Leave me a comment or two, and I'll tell you what I'm doing/why I'm doing it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Holy Calorie Craziness

I was honestly going to wait until tomorrow to blog.  I wanted to wait until I had all my lifts done so I could put all the numbers in here.  But, well, I needed to share something first.

Remember that nutritional seminar I went to?  Well, in the presentation, there was a formula to calculate how many calories we all should be eating.  I honestly don't remember the name of the formula; there are tons of them out there.  Previously, my stuff was all calculated by lovely SparkPeople.  With Spark, I was eating between 1810-2160 calories a day, and that included the fact that I burn roughly 2750 calories/week with exercise.

The formula from the seminar:
BMR = 655.1 + (9.5663 x weight in kg) + (1.85 x height in cm) - (4.676 x age)
And yes, I was able to do the math.  I hate it, but when it has to be done....well, it has to be done.

This is what I got for me, using the above formula:
Sedentary (BMR x 1.53): 2499
Active (BMR x 1.76): 2874
Vigorous Active (BMR x 2.25): 3675

WTF?  Seriously?  No wonder I was starving by Fridays and felt like I could eat everything and anything.

Anyways, I asked Trainer Frank where he thought I should be within those ranges.  I mean, if you count my working out (which with these calculations, you also consider your workouts), I'm definitely not sedentary.  But, well, 2874 is a shit ton of calories.  That's 1000 more a day than what I'm I was currently eating.

Trainer Frank got back to me with this:  2900.

I about had a heart attack.

How the hell am I going to eat that much?  His advice...add on slowly.  Add 100 calories to breakfast and post-workout.

Ok.  That I can handle.

He said maybe I'll feel okay when I reach 2400 calories a day.  Maybe I'll still feel hungry and need to up things a bit.  Who knows?  For now, it is an experiment.

And before you all go, "holy moly....I thought this chick was trying to lose weight, and here she is eating all kinds of calories," I have finally come to the understanding that trying to lose weight and build muscle do not work together.  I've been told that by a bunch of people, but stubbornly thought....I can do it.

I need to feed the muscles.  I learned that the hard way earlier this week.

Monday I did some of my baseline lifts...these were my maxes

Hex Bar Dead Lift: 185# 5 reps
Military Press: 65# 5 reps
Rack Row (inverted): bodyweight 14 reps (failure)
Bent Row: 95# 6 reps

I ate like I normally do on Monday, both before and after the gym.  (Plus, I took a spin class in the morning. Mondays are double workout days.)

I woke up around midnight to my stomach growling.  Yep.  Growling.  I have this huge aversion to eating at night, so I sucked it up and went back to bed, but I paid the price on Tuesday.  I was hungry.  All. Freaking. Day.  I ate before I went to run at the gym in the morning (I hate eating before I run), I ate after I ran, I ate all day.  Simply because I didn't fuel myself properly on Monday for those heavy lifts.

So I realize I really do have to up my calories.  Yesterday I was around 1900, and was hungry again last night.  Today, if I eat my planned evening snack, I'll be at 2350.  And since I'm starting to feel hungry, I'm going to eat.  I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night hungry again.

It is just so weird to adjust my brain to this way of thinking.  Previously, my goal was to stay below a certain number.  Now, I'm trying to reach a number.  I understand that the scale probably won't move a whole lot while I'm doing this (be prepared for some whining on my part), but I'm hoping my body will respond favorably to building muscle, and that things will be redistributed.  (If that makes any sense.)

Tomorrow I'm running in the morning, and doing the rest of my baseline lifts at Death Gym after work.  Once we have that done, we'll set some goals and see where I can get by the beginning of June.

Hopefully, I'll be lifting like a man!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Frank Conversation

My trainer's name is Frank.  And I conversed with him yesterday.  Get it?  A Frank conversation!  Ha.  I crack myself up.

I've been aimless lately. (Who am I kidding, lately?  More like the past year and a half.)  No goals.  No ambition.  No ideas.  Sure, I would still work out.  Run/lift/whatever.  But with no end product in sight.  Nothing to work towards improvement-wise.

That is all going to change.

I know I already stated that I have a 5k goal of less than 30 minutes by May.  I'm pretty certain this is doable.

But I need some strength goals.  Yesterday, I benched 95# for 6 reps.  (Yes, I'm still living on that high.  Leave me alone.)  That was without shooting for a heavy lifting goal.  I know, I know.  I've been saying I want to lift heavy; I want to lift like a man.  But I've never really done anything about it.  I go to Death Gym, Frank gives me weights and tells me what exercises to do.  Most of the time, he gives me the weights with the number sides down, so I have no clue what poundage I'm lifting.  (Which is good.  When the weights look heavy, I'd rather just concentrate on the motion, instead of psyching myself out.  If I see 30# on a dumbbell, and then he tells me to do something with it, I tend to think more about the fact that it is 30#, and that it is going to be hard.  If I don't have a number, I just do it.)

But approaching lifting with that attitude isn't working anymore.  Because I have no clue about my progression.  On Monday Frank is going to set up 5 different lifting moves for me, so we can measure where I am.  I'll set goals based on where I currently am.  Each month, we'll measure my progress.  Yay!

I also spoke to him about heavy lifting goals combined with the shorter distance (5k) running, and he thinks it will be a good combo.  I'm going to focus on intervals 2x a week, with a "longer" run on the weekends.  I think most of my runs will average 45 minutes between walking/running, and I don't want any of them to last longer than an hour.

After my 5k in May, I'll switch gears.  I'm eyeing a friendly olympic tri in September.  Nothing competitive, just friends having fun.  The swim part freaks me out, but I'm pretty certain, with training, I can handle the bike/run portions.  Chris (who is like a pro swimmer, seriously....his nickname isn't Flounder for nothing) is going to show me how to do a flip turn so I can work on building my endurance swimming-wise.

I am also planning on a half marathon in the Fall, but have yet to choose one.

Since I'll be working on more endurance-type events in the Summer/Fall, my training at Death Gym will shift focus as well.  We'll work on more high intensity interval training (HIIT).  It will keep my heart rate up, but still allow me to retain a lot of the strength I'll have built up during the Spring.

We also talked a bit about nutrition.  I'm going to pay more attention to when I eat in relation to my workouts.  I'm going to record it all in a notebook, so that way I can include the times I'm eating/working out, what I'm eating, and how I feel.  I've noticed that when I stay in my calorie ranges, I tend to feel starving and crave carbs by the end of the week.  Frank is going to re-calculate my recommended allowances (he thinks I'm either not eating enough, or I'm not timing my meals correctly) and we'll go from there.

I'm just really excited about all of this.  I feel like I have a plan.  I feel like I'm focusing on making positive changes.  I'll still weigh myself weekly, with the understanding that the scale is simply a tool to help me monitor my progress.  I know that if I'm working on strength goals, chances are good that I won't lose tons of weight.  But hopefully my muscles will grow, my clothes will fit better, and I'll be healthier.

(I shared this pic on Facebook the other day, and loved it.  I wanted to share it with all of you as well.)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Broken Promises

Well, they say promises are meant to be broken.  And I definitely broke two big ones today.

I blame the hyena.

First, a little background.  Many moons ago (okay, back in November) I promised my physical therapist that I would not run outside until Spring.  She said the uneven ground, debris on the path, etc. is just not good for my knee.  She said sticking to the treadmill throughout the winter would help strengthen it....get it used to running.  Plus, the cushion of a treadmill would help keep extra pressure off of the knee while I was working on building up my running.

So....this morning was the weekly meet-up with the Breakfast Club Runners.  I had fully intended to bike this morning.  (I've been itching to take out the bike...it has been far too long.)  Until I saw that they wanted the temp to be around 14.  That is too freaking cold for biking.

The hubbs and I changed gears, and we decided we'd walk and bring along the hyena.  But I know the hyena, at least when I'm around, doesn't simply walk.  He gallops.  And it has been a while since he's been able to gallop.

I, as a responsible mother to him, couldn't deny him that pleasure now, could I?

I laced up my running shoes (their virgin journey outdoors), put on my lined running tights, a pair of sweatpants, an underarmour-type base layer and a hoodie over that.  I waited for the group to take off, and the hyena and I followed.

We mostly ran.  There was stopping for sniffing, marking and dumping.  But mostly, there was running.  I have no clue how far we went, but it was somewhere in the 3+ mile range.  The knee felt pretty good.  A little sore to start but once I finally warmed up (takes much longer outdoors than it does inside on the treadmill), I really started to feel comfortable.  And the hyena loved it.  Plus, now he's calm and not being a pain in the ass.

So obviously, the promise to my PT has been broken.  And by running today, I broke a semi- (unspoken) promise to myself: that I would not run two days in a row.  I know from past experience that my body really doesn't like me to run multiple days in a row.  I kind of decided that for now, while I'm working on coming back, I would definitely not run two days in a row.

I blame the hyena.

In other news, I also went to Death Gym today.  (Oh, by the way, they have a deal on Living Social.  Check it out.)  Yes, I know I'm a bad ass.  Run with the hyena, scarf down some breakfast with the running group, and then go lift.  I warned Trainer Frank that I had literally just eaten, so we'd be lifting instead of interval-type stuff.  (Although having one of the minions that works there clean up puke would have been kind of funny.  Mainly because I'm not the minion.)

I started off with kettlebell swings, did some push-up/core row combos, some more back work, and then moved on to the bench.  We started out with the bar and 10# on each side (65# total) for 8 reps.  Added another 20# for 6 reps.  Took those plates off and put a 25# plate on each end.  95 freaking pounds....for 6 reps.  I was jacked!  Afterwards, Chris pointed out that 95# is a smidge more than half my body weight (188#).  I think that is pretty freaking impressive.  I think I'm well on my way to lifting like a man.

After my beast of a lifting session, I had a nice conversation with Frank about goals, food, etc.  I'll blog about that tomorrow.  Which, by the way, is going to be a much needed rest day.  These muscles need a break so they can  G R O W.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Tracking

Usually when I refer to tracking, I'm talking about food.  Monitoring my calories, carbs, fat and protein intake.  Making sure I get enough fruit/veggies, shooting for a reasonable amount of calcium/iron....you know....all that good stuff.

But today, I'm going to talk about a different kind of tracking.  Tracking my exercise.

I think I've tracked my exercise online ever since I started this whole trying to live better thing.  I've used SparkPeople online and I've use the SparkPeople app.  I would enter in the exercise and how many calories I burned, and that would be the end of it.  Poof!  Off into cyberspace it went.  I never really gave it any more thought.

Now, however, I've also been tracking on a calendar.  (You know, the friendly little competitions the hubbs and I have each month.)  Well, I have noticed something.  Tracking on a visible, monthly calendar really makes a difference.

Remember last month, when I said I started out strong, petered out towards the end of the month, but managed to finish strong?  (If you don't remember, I'm cool with it....I really don't expect you to remember every little thing about my life.  Don't feel bad.)

Pretty much the same thing happened this month.  And November.



I'd call that a pattern.  (I also decided I'm not planning out my workouts a whole month in advance.  See all that white out?  Yeah....I like listening to my body and adjusting things as needed depending on how I feel.)

You know what else happens towards the end of the month?  *Men, feel free to stop reading here.*  Lady loveliness.  (Yep, I just went there.)

Lately, the lady loveliness has been draining me.  Seriously exhausting.  This time, I was in bed and asleep by 8:00 twice when it came around.  And proceeded to sleep in until 6:00 am.  (That is a ton of sleep for me.)  I felt achy and sore all over.  Honestly, I was a tad nervous that I was coming down with something.

They say that knowing is half the battle.  Now that I realize this problem, any tips from the ladies out there on how to work with it?  Is there anything I should be doing nutritionally to help things?  Am I missing something?  I don't remember ever feeling so freaking exhausted for several days during the lady loveliness.

In the past, I've been able to work through cramps and the other crap associated with the lady loveliness.  But the past couple of months I've been knocked on my ass.

*Men, feel free to join back in here.*
Anyways, today's treadmill run felt awesome.  Usually, I take Fridays as a rest day, but I got adjusted at the chiro on Wednesday evening, which meant a run Thursday morning was not happening.  (Death Gym Thursday afternoon certainly did though.  Deadlifts, tire flips and kettlebell swings....oh my!)  Anyways, I opted to run.

3 min warm-up walk
1 min 5.6 mph
1 min 5.8 mph
1 min 6.0 mph
1 min 6.2 mph
1 min 6.4 mph
2 min walk
repeat till you hit about 45 min total (with a 3 min cool-down walk)

Felt flipping great!  Plus, I was on a treadmill that they replaced the belt....super cushy.  Plus, it made me happy to see them putting money back into the gym.  I mean, it isn't like the LA Fitness is crappy or anything, but it is nice to know they are maintaining their machines.

Right now though, my legs are sore.  (Hello, did you see what I posted about Death Gym yesterday?)  Tomorrow I am going to attempt a morning bike ride with the Breakfast Club Runners (I have my layers of clothing sitting out), then breakfast, then I have a Death Gym appointment at 10:00, and after that Trainer Frank and I are going to talk about goals/nutrition.  I printed out all my food tracking stuff from the last week, and we'll go from there.

Stats for the month of January
Starting weight: 199.1
Ending weight: 188.1
1,310 minutes (Not including 40 on January 1st.  Chris didn't want to start keeping track until the 2nd.  Me, being the anal retentive person I am, tracked it all.)