Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thank You Fitness Magazine

I had to give a quick shout-out to for doing something I've never seen before. A fitness company actually showing normal people in pictures! Today I got an email with my daily tip. Included was this picture (shown left). It looked perfectly normal at first, until I noticed the slight belly shadow, and the little pudge on the arm, and the slightly larger thighs. And then I realized - this is no model, no professional athlete, no "perfect-weight-all-my-life" person. She was NORMAL! She's like me! Working on getting fit... not the embodiment of what I'm not: the perfectly tan, perfectly toned, perfectly thin people that I envy automatically. She was normal. Thank you....
And since they blessed my morning I'm going to bless them right back. Go to and get a full year for only 5.99 plus a free gift. I just did!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Seeing Results

I've noticed a few changes lately. YaY! I've got a couple muscle bulges in my arms that weren't there before. I've noticed my calves getting slightly thinner and leaner looking. And just this morning I noticed my upper thigh-line on up to my waist looked a little smaller. Very exciting! Although I haven't seen much progress on the scale... my weight has been fluctuating a lot.
On the flip side - I haven't gotten to workout in about 3 days and probably won't tomorrow either. Thursday I felt bad so I decided to take a break. Then Friday it started snowing and I didn't want to dare the roads. Today was the same - more snow, ice, and sleet. Tonight it's supposed to drop below freezing again and harden all the sludge that melted this afternoon. So Monday will be my best bet. But I guess it's for the better.
I took a half for fun, half serious quiz yesterday on It was supposed to determine if your workout is too hard or too lax. I can't remember the questions exactly but the gist was: yes, I am having trouble falling asleep; yes, I have been more cranky than usual; yes, my appetite has dwindled even though I'm working hard; and yes, .... well I can't remember that one. But it all came back to I was working my body too hard. But it's so hard to slow down! I know if I slow down a little... I'll want to slow down A LOT. It's my cycle. I skip a day, a day turns into two, then three, and before you know it I'm back to my old self again. Not this time! Plus I'm having so much fun while I'm at it... why stop? I have tried to include a few "fun" days for working out. For example Tuesday I went and just walked on the treadmill. Didn't incline or speed up, just walked at a steady-moderate pace - about 3.2 mph. And yesterday I played in the snow for about an hour, and counted that as my workout, lol. So I'm getting a little break without "stopping."
I have yet to start those ankle/knee/hip exercises I talked about earlier. But I still plan to.
And I think I've run out of things to talk about, so I'm going to go!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Readin' Up

Spent a few hours last night meandering over I found it linked on a friend's blog and thought it worth my few evening hours to read a couple articles. I am so glad I did! I learned so much about myself, how proper running/walking shoes are VERY important, and a few tips on keeping my ankles, knees, and hips healthy (all body parts I have issues with).
One thing I learned is that I underpronate. You can watch a short explanation video here. In short - my ankles don't have the ideal curve when I land on my foot. Instead, I land more on the outside of my foot and roll heal to outside toes instead of to my big toe area. Unluckily for me, I also have weak ankles from so many injuries, which means even when I'm walking slowly, I have a tendency to roll my ankle. I do it all the time! Sometimes if I don't catch myself, I also hurt my knee in the process.
Luckily, mine is not an uncommon problem. It's not a common pronate, but enough people suffer from it that they make shoes specifically for it! Yay! Running shoes with extra cushioning are on the menu for me. Without it I have too much shock going through my legs leading to joint problems... (sound familiar??)
I also found some videos showing special moves to keep your ankles, knees, and hips in proper working order. They improve their strength and flexibility to prevent injuries. You KNOW I'm all over that. I'm starting today! Many of them remind me a lot of the Pilates moves I used to do; so I think I could chalk it up as exercises in my workout log. :) Woot!

Check it out!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Can Do It!!

Found a cute blog this morning called Feel Good Eating: ~Link~ I haven't read too many of the posts, but the ones I did were inspiring. :) His latest post is about a half-marathon he did recently. It got me so pumped since one of my personal goals is to be able to run like that one day. To feel that runner's high... I can do it!
Last night Matt and I got Chinese for dinner. Not the healthiest of things at all, but I did try to focus my plate on broccoli and seafood. I'd like to think it helped, though I know the seafood had tons of butter in it and the veggies were in sugar/salt sauce. Kinda makes it unappetizing when I say it that way... But a couple things I've started doing to at least move in the right direction are: 1. Always get to-go boxes. I always eat too much at a buffet trying to "get my money's worth." Lasting side-effect from poor college days I guess. 2. Spread my to-go box into two or more meals. I know this makes the biggest difference. Think of how many calories I'm saving per meal! Practically cutting in half - or more! And 3. I get way more veggies and seafood than I used to. Still not as much as I should, I'm sure... but like I said, I'm going "in the direction." I'm not there yet. ;)
While walking out of the Chinese place I had my first look in a full length mirror and actually 'liked' it. Haven't done that in a while! I know this has more to do with my mental self-image than actually losing weight (because I haven't lost that much yet), but who cares! I'm feeling better about myself! I can't tell you how many times I just think in my head, "way to go me!" It's many times a day now... I just can't get over it. Unbelievable. For a girl that has always had self-esteem issues, this is huge. Yay!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spring Projects

Today was rainy, cold, and generally nasty. But my mind was far far away; thinking of warmer temperatures and green leaves. So I took some time to research a few of my Spring projects.
Project one is a French drain in the front yard. Unfortunately, during the rain storms we've had the past few weeks, our front yard has the added bonus of a water pond! Well, it's not that deep, but it does get too close to the house foundation; a little too close for comfort. So Matt and I want to install a French drain to transport the water to the back of our land. I was worried about the complexity of it all, but I found a good video that explains it well. ~Link~
Project two is a raised vegetable bed. The benefits of raised beds for vegetables makes it such a no-brainer for us: the ease of mowing, the ease of weeding, the ease of soil care, etc, etc, etc. Eventually we want to have a few beds with a planned layout, but for now we want to build one. I found a cute video series from a girl who uses raised beds in an urban setting. ~Link~
Project three is a shed. Our house that we bought has absolutely no outdoor storage. I have plenty of storage indoors for clothes, linens, etc. But nothing outside! We still have yet to buy most of our yard maintenance tools; it's been nothing but winter so far! But when we do, we gotta have somewhere to put them. The shed I want is FAR too expensive, but hopefully we can build something similar ourselves for much much less. ~Link~
And project four is my patio. Even though it's the last one on the list, it's the one I'm most excited about. Because it's something that's not as needed it's ended up farther down the list. I haven't decided what I want it to look like, but I'm leaning towards a natural-looking concrete stone. I want my patio to flow right off our deck and rest in between my dogwood and small maple trees. I also want a pathway leading from the front porch, around the house, leading back to the patio. Halfway through I plan to place our arbor from our wedding. It's going to look awesome, I can't wait.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Feelin' Good

So I never did make up that workout, but I'm doing good not beating myself up about it. I needed to skip it anyway to let my calf muscle heal. It was bothering me all weekend, but today - perfect! I was able to jump right back. I laid off the elliptical and stuck to the treadmill today. But I did 45 minutes and tossed in 15 minutes of weightlifting. Woot! A very productive workout if I may say so. :)
I was reading some articles at and ran across a workout plan to lose a pant size in 28 days. Funny, that's how long my Valentine's Day Challenge is! They recommended 2 days of weightlifting and 3 days of cardio. Funny, I'm doing 3 days of weightlifting and 5 days of cardio! Big difference is they have a diet plan along with it, and I'm not watching too much, but still! Maybe I can shed off a pant size by the end of this month! ;)
By the way, I had a sneaking suspicion that some of that 10 pounds I lost was missing water weight (I'm bad about drinking all my water). So I weighed myself again, and sure enough, I had gained 5 pounds. But DUDE! I still lost 5 pounds!! WOOOOOO!
I'm so proud of myself for sticking this long! Yeah, I missed a day on my first week... but I've started back up and plan on going so much further!

Favorite song on my Workout Playlist right now: "I've Got A Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas. It's the very first song I listen to, and it pumps me up so much! It gets me in the mood to workout, ya know? Plus it gets stuck in my head all day - which makes me so excited to workout at the end of the day!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Baby!

So I got a call Thursday, just after I got back from the gym, that my aunt was in labor and my uncle wanted to know if I wanted to see the birth! I was so excited, exhausted from working out, but excited. I won't get into many of the details, but everything went beautifully.
I got to the hospital around 8pm and the baby wasn't born until 8:45 the next morning. So I was up all night waiting. I managed to get a few hours sleep, maybe 3. So needless to say I was so friggin' tired. I came home the next day and slept 6 hours - until around 6pm. Then I went back to sleep at 2am and then up at 10:30. And here I am. :)
I told you all that to tell you this: I have found out my amounts of sleep effect my willingness to be healthy a LOT. Yesterday was definitely my "bad eating day." Good to know, good to avoid. I also didn't go to the gym either, which I'm glad I didn't. No need to push myself that much. O.O But I do plan on making it up today.
In other news I think I've hurt my right calf a little. :( That darn elliptical pushed me to the max! And my poor calf muscle is really taking it hard. It's been two days since I've been to the gym and my leg is still very much sore - but not just "sore," it's "hard to walk without limping" sore. I've been stretching it as much as I can and massaging too. I think I'll skip out on the elliptical for the next few days and just do the treadmill.
Did I tell you I lost 10 pounds so far? Well, I did! Thursday night I showered before leaving and thought I'd weigh myself for kicks. (I'm not watching my weight very closely, I'm focusing on just being healthy and not pushing "results" down my own throat) So the scale said I've lost 10 pounds. I felt like on cloud 9 after that. Now, those 10 pounds definitely aren't from this week alone. I've been working up to this point and I haven't weighed myself in a good while... but still very happy news!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hurry Up Spring!

Oh I can't wait for Spring to be here!
Since buying our first house I've written down so many projects I want to do when the weather gets warm again. I have all my landscaping to do, flower beds to make, a garden to fix-up, furniture to paint, stones to lay out... the list goes on and on. And when it's rainy out, like it is today, it makes me miss it that much more; the warm sunshine, the green grass, the flowers...
I have so many fond memories of Spring. One of my favorites would be the Easter Egg Hunts my church would have when I was a kid. One year I found the Prize Egg - that was friggin awesome. I got a huge chocolate bunny all to myself. I don't think I ever finished it actually...
One awesome Spring moment is the first day you get to roll the windows down in the car. To me, THAT is the first day of SPRING. And taking the car down to give it its first wash in months. Then letting it dry in the warm rays...
Another personal favorite of mine is when Matt and I first got married. Around April we had gone to his little cousin's birthday party. I got a bubble party favor - oh yeah. I took that sucker home and played with it, nevermind I'm not 12 but more like 22. I sat on the hill behind our very first apartment and blew bubbles onto the cars passing on the road down below. Then we got out a huge tent we got for Christmas and tried it out. We slept and played in that thing all afternoon; trying out all the little gizmoes. That was a great day.
Oh I can't wait for Spring to be here...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Working Out

Going to the gym has always been one of those "oh, the cool people who live in big cities do that... not me" kind of thing for me. But since we've moved much closer to a local gym, I figured a try-out was in order. I was very surprised to find out that I LOVE it. I find myself wanting to go back a couple hours after I've already gone.
The only problem I'm having is I have the typical "I'm trespassing on beautiful people turf" feelings. And you can't very well help it. There are practically no other people there trying to get in shape - they already are in shape. And when I'm fumbling with machinery, doing things wrong and generally making a fool of myself, you get paranoid of little eyes looking your way and judging. But I guess it's just something I'll get over. The feeling I have after I'm finish - of accomplishment, confidence, and general pride in myself - overpowers any little fears I have of other people's thoughts. It's well worth it.
My solution to this was to go to today and put a few cute workout clothes in my wishlist. When I've lost a pant size or finish my current 28 day goal, I can buy myself one piece. :) Not only am I rewarding and motivating myself but I'm getting something useful in overcoming those little fears above. If I look cute doing it, I'm not so worrisome. :p
I've also NOT been dieting. Well, maybe a little bit, just general smarter choices and eating less fast food, but that's hardly a strict "diet." My brother agreed with me on this - but letting myself still "indulge" on foods I like will help me overcome the mental battle of simply COMMITTING to an exercise routine. I'm a classic quitter when it comes to exercise. But I'm confident THIS time will be when I surprise my family, friends and myself - I CAN do this.