Tag Archives: exercise

Losing It

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Okay, okay, I’m not talking about the big “IT.”  I’m talking about losing some poundage!  If you’re a longtime follower of my blog, I’m sure you remember me mentioning multiple times over the last few years wanting to lose a few pounds.  I know I was far from alone in wanting this in the months leading up to my wedding.  I totally believe that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and I don’t agree with the immense amount of pressure put on brides to be a stick figure.  But on the other hand, I had been just a little over my ideal weight for years and I figured the wedding was the best excuse I would ever have to drop it!

So in January (along with millions of other New Years Resolution-makers) I commenced my very own Operation Flab to Fab!  The happy news I can now report is that I have lost 24 pounds!!!!!!

After a rainy hike almost a year ago…carrying a little extra weight!
On a recent hiking trip…trimmed it up a bit!

I don’t think the difference is too obvious in photos but people have been noticing in real life, which is nice!  Now you may be waiting with bated breath to hear my big, miraculous, easy weight loss secret…

Welp, I’m sorry to disappoint but I made this happen with the two classics: DIET and EXERCISE.  Since January, I’ve been using www.myfitnesspal.com to count calories.  This method works well for me because I can really eat anything I want, I just have to budget for it!  I also experimented with counting calories by the week, instead of by the day, so that I could have some extra treats (or beers) on certain days of the week.

Fitness wise, I’ve been pretty active!  On June 2 I will be running my first half marathon and training for that has definitely kept me moving.  I’ve also been going to yoga class once a week, biking, and hiking on days off.  I’m all for putting the effort into exercise in order to earn those extra calories!

I don’t want to make it sound easy, because it definitely hasn’t been.  I LOVE cooking, baking, eating out, going out to bars, and pretty much every other unhealthy hobby out there.  Thinking of the wedding, support from Zach, mental toughness, and encouragement from a couple other dieting friends has helped me get this far.  The thing is, I’m not done yet!  I have a mere two and a half months until my wedding and three weeks until my final dress fitting and I still would like to lose six more pounds.  Despite my success so far, I feel like I’ve hit a wall.  I’ve been making too many excuses and cheating on my eating far too much!  Getting close is not enough; I want to meet my final goal!  (Which is still in the middle of my healthy BMI range, FYI.)

So I guess part of my reason for writing this is to ask for some support and accountability!  The clock is ticking and I really need to recommit in order to get my body to truly FAB status by wedding time!

Does anyone have any tips for getting through the last few pounds?  Any other encouraging pre-wedding weight loss stories out there?

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#WEverb12: CREATE

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22: recharge [CREATE] What did you do to recharge your batteries in 2012?

As I’ve gotten older (argh….) I’ve gotten more and more dependent on two vital recharging mechanisms: exercise and sleep.

Running recharges me mentally those endorphins feel great!

Sleep…well, I am a sucker for a full 8 hours of sleep.  I miss the days of college when I could get only five hours a night for a week and feel fine.  Nowadays if I get less than six in one night I feel lethargic all day.  So, call me a grandma, but I love my sleep.

#WEverb12: Catching up again!

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18. soak [LISTEN]: What have you soaked in this year? (Baths, sun, ideas?) How did it affect your mentality?

This year I soaked in uncertainty.  Traveling, living in Ohio for a few months, and then moving out here.  It was constant motion, lots of changes of plans, and not knowing what to expect.  It was hard for me, as I’m very type-A.  But it was good for me.  Uncertainty and second-guessing and plans changing are all part of life.  You could also call it FREEDOM!

19. exercise [LIVE]: How did you live actively in 2012? What will you change in 2013?

While we were backpacking, I didn’t make any effort to work out or anything.  But most of our days involved lots and lots of walking, sometimes with all of our crap loading us down.  We also went on a lot of epic hikes, went surfing, swimming and ziplining!  Travel is the best because exercise feels like an adventure!

Since getting back, I’ve done something I never, ever expected I would do.  I started running.  Not just lame-o occasional 30 minute jogs either.  Over the summer, I actually followed Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan all the way through, although I never did run a half marathon.  Working my way up to running 10 miles without any breaks and without dying made me really proud.  It was weird how easy it was, too.  Unfortunately towards the end I got a weird muscle strain in my thigh and when we moved I had to stop running for awhile.  As soon as my leg healed, I started the plan all over again, making sure I really stretch and cross train a lot to try to avoid injury.  So far so good!  I’ve gotten faster (which means a 9:35 mile, still really slow!) than I was in Ohio and I love running along the Sunset Cliffs!  I’m about halfway through the plan this time and I’m hoping to run my first half marathon in January!

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The view helps me run fast!

20: reminisce [GROW] What distant memory/time did you find yourself longing for in 2012?

I’ve found myself reminiscing about college a lot this year.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve already been OUT of college for longer than I was IN it.  I graduated almost exactly four years ago.  College was just so much fun and so easy compared to real life.  It’s funny because when you’re in it you think life is so hard!  It’s pretty awesome that you get to live with your friends, learn about things that interest you, do whatever crazy clubs and activities you want, and you somehow still have enough energy to party it up!  More than anything, I miss my old roomie Erica.  She truly “gets me” and is one of the best friends I will ever have!  It sucks because we’re on opposite coasts and rarely get to see each other, but sometimes we’ll still text each other random, “Remember when…” texts.

Roomies for life!

Roomies for life!

(Hey Erica, remember when we met Mr. Belding?)

Runnin’ Runnin’

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I read a lot of blogs.  My Google Reader is always wayyy too full of blogs of all different types: weddings, travel, cooking, lifestyle.  I don’t ever read magazines though.  I think I just find real life stories, written in first person, much more interesting than celebrity gossip and what-have-you.

Strangely, one type of blog I find really fascinating are running blogs.  This is strange because I’ve never liked running.  Yet I read about these amazingly buff women running 20 miles a week, training for marathons, RUNNING marathons, and seeming to love it.

I read them and I think, “MAN, I want that!”  I am jealous of their awesomeness at exercise and their amazing high-mileage accomplishments.  Then, one day I found this training plan…

I think you know where this is going.  I’m trying again.  Although it’s never worked for me in the past, I just can’t give up.  I have no money for a gym membership right now, and I have a wedding dress to fit in next year!  Plus, I’ve got the jealousy of these awesome ladies whose blogs I read.

So I found this: Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Program.  And it seemed strangely doable, and strangely exciting.  This is not a promise, because running 13.1 miles, for practically TWO HOURS, still seems insane to me.  But I am officially beginning Week 3 of this program, and so far so good.  Today I did my second “long run”, four miles, and it kinda sucked, mostly because it was so freakin’ hot outside!  The Ohio summer may not be the best time to be attempting this.  But attempting it I am, so far.

The thing is, races are expensive, and running an actual race just sounds kinda “meh…” to me.  However, if I really manage to get through this whole program, I should probably celebrate by running an actual race.  Maybe.  What do you think?  Should I be researching early-September 1/2 marathons in this area?  Or should I wait a little longer to see if I can stick to the program?  Am I just being crazy?

Physical Challenge Life List

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As our time here is winding down, I’m overwhelmed with mixed emotions.  Partly happiness about going home to friends, family, grocery stores and farmers markets, microbrews, and a kitchen!  But a big part of me is very very sad to be saying goodbye (for now) to all the adventures, the constantly-changing scenery, the daily challenges of travel, the cheap street food, and the gorgeous hiking.

Feeling victorious after climbing the highest peak in El Salvador!

I do feel like I’ve matured a lot on this journey, and one of the ways I’ve matured is in regards to my outlook on health.  I used to say that I wanted to die before I get old.  I don’t want that anymore, but I do want to be a super healthy, on-the-go old person.  I think it makes sense to say that accomplishing that goal depends a lot on the investments I make towards it now.  I’ve preached about the organic, vegetarian diet on here before, so I don’t need to go into that again.  And yes, I will always have a sweet tooth and a baking addiction, but moderation is the key.

I’ve kind of gotten over drinking on this trip.  I think an occasional, special-occasion, in-moderation drinker is what I would like to be.  I’m just getting too old for the college-type shenanigans!  The less I drink, the healthier, happier, and more alert I feel.  I’m sure this is a normal transition that most people go through, otherwise there would be a lot more 40-year-old running around doing kegstands.  But still I read what I’ve written and think, “Oh my gosh I’m becoming a lame old lady!”  C’est la vie.

Also, all the hiking, pack-carrying, and occasional surfing we’ve done here has gotten me into better shape than I’ve ever been in.  I’ve still got a spare tire but I am stronger than I’ve ever been in my life.  And it feels great!  What sucks is that with our return to Ohio looming, I’m already missing all the awesome hikes, mountains, beaches, and activities available here.  I really want to maintain, and hopefully improve, my fitness level once we get home.  It’s going to be hard in Ohio, because I’m not a big fan of running, and gym workouts are just so boring compared to mountain climbing!  Our time in Ohio will be brief, however, and I’m committed to finding ways to stay moving somehow.  Once we head west again, fitness can become a lot more fun.

Because I love lists so much, I came up with a new goal list of all the “physical challenge”-type activities I would like to accomplish in my life.  This will probably get added to a lot as I think of new things.  Not all of them are super-physical, some are just outdoorsy activities.  Hopefully I can check one or two within a year of getting home.  These are the things that get me excited and motivate me to work out hard (well, other than wearing a wedding dress next summer)!

Physical Challenge Life List
1. Master surfing

2. Master rock-climbing

3. Master snow-boarding

4. Climb Cotopaxi (Ecuador)

5. Climb Mt. Whitney (California)

6. Climb Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)

7. Hike the Grand Canyon, to the river and back

8. Bungee jump at Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe/Zambia)

9. Ride in a hot air balloon

10. Really give yoga a try

11. Learn to swing dance

What do you think of my list?  Way too ambitious or do-able?  Has anyone else ever made a list like this?

More on my strange obsession with trampolines…

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I accomplished one of my life-long dreams the other day. (Well, I’d dreamed about it ever since I learned of it’s existence.)  I WENT TO ONE OF THOSE HUGE TRAMPOLINE PLACES!!!!  It was amazing.  Trampolines all over the floor, up the walls (yes, you could literally jump OFF THE WALLS), even a trampoline dodgeball court (which I lasted about 2 seconds on).

The place we went is called Jump Street and it’s in Denver.  Every Tuesday and Thursday they have a special:  only $10 for 2 hours of jumping.  So we went with Zach’s cousin Michelle and a bunch of her friends.  It was super fun, but we felt super old.  All of us got so tired and kept having to take breaks.  It is really great cardio!  The next day we were all sooooo sore!  Despite my love for trampolines, I had actually never manned up enough to do an actual flip on one, even in all my years of gymnastics.  Everyone at Jump Street was flipping like crazy so I knew I had to try it by the end.  I am such a chicken!!!  (“Ka-ka-koo!  Ka-ka-koo!  Ka-ka-koo!”  If you get that I love you.)  It took me forever to actually just do it but then it was easy!  I didn’t land on my feet of course.  And the only one captured on video was the worst one I did.  But at least I did it.

So here you are, a horribly filmed and horribly edited montage of the only steady video we got on our little flip cam.  Don’t jump and film, people.  It doesn’t work.  This amuses me at least.

So long, Arizona

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Do me a favor.  Start here.  Meg’s post about doing things we’re afraid of is so well written and TRUE.

There was a short but bright rainbow in the sky tonight.  A sign of good luck for the start of our journey tomorrow!  It’s been a weekend of goodbyes and wrap-ups.  Packing sucked.  As usual, I found myself with a way-too-big pile of “essential” clothes and a way-too-small suitcase.  Trying to convince myself that I don’t need these, I really don’t need these, I don’t!  Who cares about variety?  The car is packed to the gills with camping supplies, clothes, food, and camera equipment.  But I’m sure we’re still forgetting something.  The rest is in boxes in a closet here.  So of course I’ll come back, because after a year of only what I stuffed in one suitcase, I’m gonna want to see the rest of my clothes again!

It’s been a year.  A seemingly quiet one compared to last year, but I still can’t believe all that’s happened.  I’ve learned how to live with someone in a real, day-to-day, “in this for the long haul” relationship, survived our first real fights, and found myself more in love than ever.  I’ve worked two new jobs and started my own business.  I’ve learned to snowboard, tried rock climbing, hiked long distances, cliff jumped from 50 feet, and climbed my first two mountains.  I’ve been to Mexico for the first time.  Biked many miles, saved many dollars, made new friends, started to integrate into a whole other family.  Tasted western microbrews and Spanish wines.  Shared so many homemade pizzas with couchsurfers from around the world.  What a year.

The next one is going to be even better.  A circular journey that will take us through two continents and back.  The western US, Ohio again, all of South America, and back to Ohio by August 2012.  After that, who knows?  These next six weeks we’ll be living out of the car, couchsurfing, exploring new national parks, and going to Burning Man.  I do have several goals for our time on the road:

1. Study Spanish every day.

2. Hike or run every day.  Work my way up to running a 10k.

3. Dumpster dive.

4. Keep the car clean and organized.

5. Take amazing photographs.

6. Keep up this blog.

7. Eat healthy.

8. Enjoy myself!!!!!

So tomorrow we begin.  First a quick stop in Las Vegas, for Zach to sell some of the scrap copper wire he’s collected at work.  Yes, we really are that poor.  And as Zach said “What great story doesn’t start with driving to Vegas to sell something?”  Lol.  Then to Death Valley NP in California, where apparently the highs can be over 120 degrees this time of  year.  Yikes.  Now it’s time to share a bottle of wine in hopes of being able to sleep tonight.  I’ll catch up with you again from somewhere in California!

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”-Christopher McCandless

Urban Rebounding

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You know who I hate?  People who DON’T SWEAT.  I CANNOT understand those magical girls I see at the gym who run treadmill marathons or do hardcore kickboxing and BARELY GLISTEN.  How do they do that??????

Me, I’m a sweater.  It’s disgusting.  I can’t even believe I’m writing about it on the Internet.  But the fact is, I sweat A LOT when I work out, and my face gets really red.  It’s not like, an unhealthy/I’m-gonna-die level of sweating, but it’s a lot more than these magical sweat-free women.  And I HATE people seeing me sweat like that.  This is why, all through college and beyond, I have always preferred to work out by myself.  Running buddies are not for me because God forbid I make one of my friends witness my sweaty, nasty, red-faced glory.  I also have always avoided any type of workout classes (aerobics, yoga, etc.) because I just don’t like feeling like people are watching me sweat!

But, yesterday I FINALLY overcame my self-consciousness and WENT TO A CLASS!  There was finally one offering at my gym that just sounded too FUN to pass up, despite my sweat-a-phobia.  What was it, you ask?

URBAN REBOUNDING…otherwise known as Trampoline Class!!!!!!The idea of working out by jumping on a trampoline brought back memories of my favorite part of gymnastics when I was in elementary school…the trampoline!  Seriously, bouncing like Tigger is SO FUN!!!  So despite my apprehensions, I finally tried out the Urban Rebounding class last night.  And it was really fun!!!  It’s basically like aerobics and tae-bo type moves while bouncing on your “rebounder.”  There were only 4 of us plus the instructor, who was super-peppy and fun (despite being one of those crazy non-sweaters) and blasted hip-hop music as we bounced around for half an hour.  The moves weren’t hard but definitely got your heart rate up there.  I certainly felt like I had don’t just as much as I do in 30 minutes on the elliptical, if not more.  My legs really felt it.  It was so nice to have my brain engaged in trying something new for a change rather than just busting out a tedious 30 minutes on a machine.  And yes, I did sweat more than the other girls in the class but they both took breaks and I didn’t which I told myself meant I am still in better shape than them despite my sweaty pits.  Score!  I’m so glad I finally went to a class and took one step toward getting over my silly self-consciousness.  It was so fun that I’ll definitely go back, and I even feel inspired to try more classes.  Maybe Justine will take me with her to hip-hop dancercize when I’m back in Ohio and I can get all sweaty there too while finally learning some rhythm!

Operation Bikini: Update 3

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Remember I said I’d write again after I weighed myself today?  Well, I’m doing it!  Accountability, eh?

I feel great today because not only did I do a great job eating right and exercising through the weekend, but I weighed myself today for the first time in months and it was not as high a number as I expected!  I don’t want to write out the official digits on the Internet, but suffice it to say, I actually lost 4 pounds since the last time I weighed myself despite my sporadic eating ways!

So, instead of the 20-24 pounds I thought I had to lose, I really only have 18!  So this whole shebang could be accomplished in only 9 weeks!!!  9 weeks ain’t so bad!!  Woohoo!!!

I’m feeling happy and in control today!  September 12 is the official goal date.  (A little past bikini season in the US, but not in Colombia!)  I know I can stick to this and get the “freshman 15” off for good!!!

Operation Bikini: Update 2

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Everyone falls off the wagon sometimes, right???

Right????

‘Cause I definitely did.  Gulp.

Despite my best intentions, I have kind of sucked at my eating recently.  Our trip to Mexico, having lots of couchurfers, and actually doing stuff with friends recently has led to me not following my rules and eating/drinking way too much bad stuff recently.

But, I’m back, because I am not a quitter!!!  However, it is time to seriously get my butt in gear.  I’m hoping that the time ticking down to our road-trip departure will serve as good motivation for me.  If I get serious now, I can still lose 14 pounds by the time we leave on August 22 and be almost done by then!!!  My goal is to lose 20-24 pounds total.  So, in drastic measures, I’ve decided to eliminate the flex days.  I knew I would abuse them, and I certainly did.  Achieving this goal is about sacrifice, and I just need to get my mind around that.  Of course if it’s a truly special occasion or something I will still let myself go a day without counting.  But by allowing myself 2 flex days a week I was just waiting for those days and then stuffing my face to the max.  Not good for learning moderation.

So this is it: 1000 calories per day, exercise every day.  I can totally be at my goal weight by the time we get back to Ohio!!!!!

Now let me celebrate some small victories:

-I have been doing consistently pretty well on my exercise.  Climbing, hiking, biking, gymming it up.  I finally bought new running shoes that actually provide support so I’m not hurting my feet anymore.  Now I’ll be able to keep running outside once we’re on our trip and I don’t have gym access.

-Last night I had a couple glasses of wine with girlfriends but kept within my 1000-cal limit!  I just had a light snack instead of a meal when I got home, then went to bed.

-Today I got a 6-mile bike ride and a bunch of crunches/push-ups in all despite the heat and before 11am.  Getting exercise done early is a great way for me to make sure I get it done!

-I baked something that DIDN’T INVOLVE CHOCOLATE!  Shocker, I know.  Tomato Rosemary Scones.  We’ll see what Zach thinks of them.  I am getting better at baking for him but not indulging myself.  Not having chocolate-filled goodies definitely helps though.

-I’m making these Chipotle Squash Fritters for dinner tonight.  I love trying new, inventive recipes; plus this sounds delicious and super-healthy!  I have been doing a good job making dishes that are heavy on the veggies and light on the cheese and dairy lately.

Must make myself update more on this un-fun topic.  I think I have to get back on the scale too.  That’ll happen sometime next week, after I continue my good habits for the rest of this one.  Then I’ll post another update.  I CAN do this.  Positive thinking, yeeehaw!!!

Yay for a productive day off!  Of course I wish I was working since we desperately need $$, but I’ve used today to bike, bake, blog, (hahaha alliteration!) and now I’ll be studying some Spanish and reading my awesome book about the Colombian drug trade.