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Posts Tagged ‘MyFitnessPal’

Autumn has (almost officially) arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler, which means that those wonderful fall fashions will keep me motivated. Plus, crisp temperatures mean that it’s never “too hot” to workout. I’m going to relish my nightly cup of steaming hot tea as another way to keep my water intake up. I look forward to all those hearty, satisfying and wls-friendly soups, stews, and crockpot meals that I’ll create for myself. This year, the changing season will mark new milestones that I haven’t seen in 5, 7, 10+ years! Bring on fall 2014 – it’s time to reach new heights! Wednesday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the work week, and will give me a positive outlook for the weekend. Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Wednesday weight loss updates called WonderFALL Weigh-Ins.

Week 66 was really good.  I’m getting into the swing of this new schedule, and making it all work with my food prep and workouts.  When I can, I’m working out in the morning; when that’s out, I workout after work.  Add to that lots of fun with family and friends over the Labor Day weekend, and it was a nice week for sure.

So, how’s the scale looking?

When I weighed in this morning, I was 172.2, which is a loss of 1.4 pounds this week, and a loss of 104.8 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 142.8 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 22.2 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really happy with this loss because I had a similar loss last week.  It’s nice that I’m back on a losing streak, even with so many changes in my work life.

This week I have been pulling out some old recipes to enjoy, including the Lowfat Curry Chicken and a new stir fry, which had tofu, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, sugar snap peas, and edamame.  It’s nice to make big pot meals that I can eat several times throughout the week.  I can’t wait for the weather to get cooler so I can start making my favorite crockpot meals.  So hearty and easy!

Workouts have been really good this week: spinning, elliptical, biking, walking Sofi, and of course, my Tone It Up routines.  The other day I had a hair appointment, and my stylist asked me what races I have coming up.  I told her that I’d taken the summer off from my C25K training, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to run anymore, that it was so hard for me.  And then I stopped myself and said, “you know, that’s not like me at all.  I never give up on something just because it’s hard. I really need to get back with my C25K training and make my goal to fully run a 5K happen.”  And so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  The Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving is about 11 1/2 weeks away, which is more than enough time to complete the C25K training and continue afterward so that I can improve my runs before the 5K.  So, starting next week, I’m going to get back to running intervals, working my way up to full 5K runs, and I’m excited!

I watch TrulyJess‘ vlogs on YouTube almost every night (if you’ve never seen her videos, watch them, she’s such an inspiration!), and one of her sayings is that weight loss, training, etc is You vs. You.  In other words, I’m not in competition with anyone else, except myself.  And the 5K training is a perfect example of this philosophy.

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Until next Wednesday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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Autumn has (almost officially) arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler, which means that those wonderful fall fashions will keep me motivated. Plus, crisp temperatures mean that it’s never “too hot” to workout. I’m going to relish my nightly cup of steaming hot tea as another way to keep my water intake up. I look forward to all those hearty, satisfying and wls-friendly soups, stews, and crockpot meals that I’ll create for myself. This year, the changing season will mark new milestones that I haven’t seen in 5, 7, 10+ years! Bring on fall 2014 – it’s time to reach new heights! Wednesday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the work week, and will give me a positive outlook for the weekend. Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Wednesday weight loss updates called WonderFALL Weigh-Ins.

Week 65 has been wonderful! I had a great weekend, filled with bike rides, walks with Sofi, spending time with friends, watching my 49ers win, and relaxing after a very busy first week on the new job.  So far this work week has been really productive.  I’m finding my rhythm as I meet with new teachers, gather resources for them, and keep track of all the notes and paperwork. I can already tell I’m going to love this new position, and I’m so glad that I took the chance and went for one of my goals.  Monday I rewarded myself with a shopping spree at Dress Barn, buying tons of new clothes for my fall wardrobe.  The neat thing about this shopping trip was that I think these clothes might last for more than one season.  I’m wearing tops/sweaters in size medium and small (SMALL!!!!!), skirts in medium, and 2 pairs of pants in a size 10! I got a great camel-color water-resistant hooded trench in a medium that I can’t wait to wear because it’s so flattering. 

So, how’s the scale looking?

When I weighed in this morning, I was 173.6, which is a loss of 1.6 pounds this week***, and a loss of 103.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 141.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 23.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. ***The cool thing about this loss is that it only reflects the last two days, because my last weigh-in was on Sunday.  1.6 pounds in two days is phenomenal!  I’m on a losing streak, and I’m loving it! Especially considering how busy my days have suddenly become.

What am I doing differently?  Lately I’ve been concentrating on making sure to get several servings of veggies in with most meals, and I think that’s making a big difference.  I’m still allowing myself the popcorn I love, but only a few times a week.  And of  course, protein is at the heart of every meal I eat. And I’m still getting plenty of exercise and drinking lots of water. Still, I’ve also been having a few glasses of wine on the weekend, but that doesn’t seem to be affecting my weight loss in the least, which is nice.  I love this lifestyle that I’ve created!

In terms of exercise, I’ve been really proud of the workouts I’ve been fitting in.  I did wake up early on Monday to get in a before-work sweat session, which left me feeling super energized and positive all day long.  Most days I’ve worked out in the afternoon, and I enjoy those after work sessions as a way to transition from work mode to relax mode.  As long as I’m getting a workout in, I’m ok with whatever time of day it is.  I actually enjoy working out now, so I look forward to moving my body, rather than dreading it as I used to.  I really think one of the reasons is the communities of support that I’m part of on MyFitnessPal and Instagram.  I love snapping post-workout pics and tagging them with with my ToneItUp hashtags, and seeing all my #TIUsisters’ posts, too.  On MFP, every time I workout it posts a status, and the outpouring of love I get from my pals spurs me on and makes me smile.

As much as I’ve absolutely enjoyed this summer, I have to admit I’m really looking forward to the true start of autumn.  The crisp, cool mornings and evenings.  The sunny days that aren’t ever too warm.  The changing colors of the leaves, the decorations, and the outfits.  Not to mention all the fun that comes with football season, pumpkin patches, Halloween, and simply sipping cups of coffee, tea, and maybe even a pumpkin spice latte or two.  This year I think I’d like to go apple picking, because it just sounds like so much fun and I’ve never done it before.  What are some quintessential fall things you love to do at this time of year? Help me create a fall bucket list.

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Until next Wednesday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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Newjojie, Bella, & Tinkerbell

Newjojie, Bella, & Tinkerbell – A smiley selfie before the race!

This morning, despite losing an hour of sleep to Daylight Savings Time, Tinkerbell, NewJojie, and I all met at 7:30am to head to the Mardi Gras Madness 5K, which benefited the Leukemia & Lymphoma society.  NewJojie is a wonderful lady I met on MyFitnessPal who has been supporting me (and Tinkerbell) for over a year.  After Tink and I did the Jenny’s Light 5K, NewJojie emailed me and said to let her know when our next 5K was, because she’d drive the two hours from her house to meet us and join in on the fun.  Can you believe that she was willing to drive 4 hours total (2 hours here, 2 hours back) just to meet us and do a 5K?!  How special!

It doesn’t take much for Tink and I to plan a cute race outfit, but knowing that NewJojie was putting in that much effort, we had to make these extra special.  Tink found these awesome, purple, sparkly running skirts from Rock City Skirts, as well as a cool iron-on Fleur-de-lis that said “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll!) on it, and because Mardi Gras colors are purple and green, she found cool green Calvin Klein Jeans tanks at Marshall’s (mine’s a L!!). We were all set to turn heads for this race!

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You can’t tell from this pic, but the skirt is sparkly, adding just the right amount of Mardi Gras bling to the morning.

Everyone who saw us told us how much they loved our skirts, our matching outfits, our entire look. It was fun to hear before the race, and even better as we were running the 5K.

But enough about fashion, let’s get to the details of the race…

I woke up way before my alarm, probably because I was so worried that I’d have a hard time getting up and losing the hour.  So I had a leisurely morning starting at 4:30am – time to shower, get dressed, begin writing my weigh-in blog post, and have half a cup of coffee before I left.

2014-03-09 07.25.09 It wouldn’t be a race day if I didn’t take my ritual bathroom selfie before leaving the house for the race.

Since they were handing out bibs and shirts on race day, we wanted to make sure to get down to the race with plenty of time to spare.  What would we do with the extra time? Take pre-finish photos, of course!  Our thinking was that we wanted make sure we got a good shot with the Finish line in the background.

I love the cool angle Newjojie used for this pic!

I love the cool angle Newjojie used for this pic!

We also took some photos with the masks that they had surrounding the finish line:

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Notice that I had to stand on my tippy toes just to fit my face through the eye hole of the mask. #shortie

Then it was time to put down the phone cameras and get ready to race.  Newjojie and Tinkerbell are both more experienced runners than I am, but they were sweet and agreed to run at my pace, which was 2min run/1min walk.  On the treadmill my pace for the run is 4.5mph and the walk is 3.5mph and it’s a great pace. I feel strong and comfortable.  Outside, it’s a whole other story.

I always start out too quickly when I’m running outside, and today was no different.  In fact, I’d shot ahead so fast that Tinkerbell told Newjojie, “just let her go” with a smile.  I’d warned them both that the momentum and adrenaline gets to me at the beginning of a race and I go much faster than I can sustain for an entire race.  And within a minute or so, I realized I needed to slow down and go at a more moderate pace. Tinkerbell matched my pace, and Newjojie was leading our way, a few paces ahead of us.

We were running for what seemed like forever, and I was wondering why my interval timer hadn’t beeped to indicate we should start walking when I looked down and discovered it wasn’t on.  Doh!!  I apologized, turned it on, and we started the true run/walk.

The beginning of the race, until about mile 1.3 was good.  I was running well, and felt strong.  And then right before the turnaround, my breath became more labored and I was having a much harder time with the runs.  Being outside is just so much more difficult, and I probably should’ve paced myself even slower so that I didn’t get that slight burning feeling in my lungs when I ran.  But all it took was Tink holding my hand and encouraging me during one of the walking portions for me to know I was going to keep this up, even if I had to slow down a bit to do it.  Twice, I stopped my run portion about 30 seconds early, apologizing profusely to Tinkerbell and Newjojie, as I told them to run ahead without me and I’d catch up. Tink told me I had nothing to apologize for, and she and Newjojie actually did a loop around to meet me at my pace when I was back to my run.  What awesome running pals these two are!

Newjojie snapped this action shot of us.

Newjojie snapped this action shot of us.

Once we hit 2.85 miles, I felt a renewed energy.  We agreed we’d continue the run/walk pace until we could see the finish line in sight, and then we’d run into the finish line, as Carina taught me.  It must be a surge of adrenaline that comes with that FINISH sign, because I felt amazing as we ran into it!!

The race organized captured this great shot of the three of us running into the finish line.  They loved our outfits so much that they used the pic on their FB wall.  How cool is that?!

The race organizers captured this great shot of the three of us running into the finish line (bottom left). They loved our outfits so much that they used the pic on their FB wall. How cool is that?!

After the race, with water and banana in hands.

After the race, with water and banana in hands.

All told, I hit another PR today!!  I completed the race in 42:21.44, which is a pace of 13:39/mile! That’s 3.87 minutes quicker than my pace at the Hot Chocolate 5K in SF!!!!! I’m so proud of myself!  It goes to show that I’m much too hard on myself when I’m running.  I was getting so down on myself and frustrated that breathing was getting challenging and that I had to add 30 seconds to my walk a couple of times.  In reality, I had my best time yet, so I need to cut myself a break on the next 5K and really just enjoy the day. I would’ve never been able to do any of this 126 pounds ago, so I need to relish that fact!

Beyond my personal accomplishment, the best part of the day was doing the 5K with these amazing ladies.  Tinkerbell is one of my best friends, and now Newjojie has become an “in-real-life” friend, too. We’re already planning our next 5K, when Tink and I will drive up to Newjojie’s neck of the woods.  I can’t wait!!

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bilbl_superSince the Squat Challenge in August went so well, I thought that for September I’d start my own 30-Day challenge. Since we worked on legs last month, I thought it might be time to focus on core, which means PLANKS. I find planks uber-challenging, which is all the more reason to participate in this 30-Day Challenge.

To get all the details, view the full 30-Day Plank Challenge. This page has great tips on technique, including the 3 different types of planks you can choose from. It even has a great video! I also really like this FitSugar Plank Variation page because  the photos and descriptions make it easy to understand.

basic plank

basic plank

plank jumping jacks

plank jumping jacks

Reverse Plank w Leg Lift

reverse plank
reverse plank w/ leg lift

side plank with leg lifts

side plank w/ leg lifts

circlingplank

circling plank
5 done clockwise, 5 done counterclockwise as one set

Photo Credit

As always, I enjoy variety, so as the month continues, I think I’ll attempt each type of plank. Looking at some of them, I know I’m crazy for typing that.  Which kind of plank do you usually do?

Planks are really important because they work the core muscles, and help with overall stability and support of the body. Planks force muscles to work together, rather than in isolation, which means you get more “bang for your buck.” Let’s use the hashtag #plankaday. From 30 seconds on Day 1 to 300 seconds on Day 30 – we can do it!!

Wanna get organized (some might say anal) like me? I’ve already entered the entire challenge into my iCal. Taking the time to do that insures that I won’t make any excuses. It’s scheduled, and I’m going to complete it each day. You should, too!

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So….who’s in?!

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bilbl_superThis morning when I logged into MyFItnessPal, as I do first thing every morning, I saw that Tinkerbell was taking part in a 30-Day Squat challenge that one of her MFP friends posted about.  I’m always up for a challenge, being the competitive girl that I am, so I decided to join in.

And you guys know me, not only did I join in, but I jumped in with both feet!  I Googled  “30-Day Squat Challenge” and found a couple of great sites.  This one has a bunch of awesome 30-Day fitness challenges, so you know I’ll be coming back to it again and again. (In fact, I’d love to get votes on which challenge I should complete in September, so put your vote in the comments). Google also showed this FitSugar article that shows lots of different ways to complete the squat challenge.  I’m all about variety in my workouts, so these moves will come in handy and help me keep things interesting.

Squats are particularly interesting to me because the results are almost immediate.  Or should I say, the pain is.  It’s that great, sore feeling that let’s you know you worked your body.  And without sounding conceited or full of myself, I have been complimented on my butt in the past (maybe the very distant past, but I’m getting back to it slowly but surely), so anything that helps me get it in better shape is something I’m all about.  I came up with the hashtag #rockhardassbyAug31, and the MFP challenge came with the #getlow hashtag.  And of course, as a SweatPink Ambassador, I’ll be repping the #sweatpink hashtag.

Being the organized (some might say anal) person that I am, I’ve already entered the entire challenge into my iCal.  Taking the time to do that insures that I won’t make any excuses.  It’s scheduled, and I’m going to complete it each day.  You should, too!

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So….who’s in?!

(I’m seriously so pumped about this that I’ve decided to complete a challenge a month for the rest of the year (and beyond)).

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bilbl_mainLast week a friend of my on MyFitnessPal wrote about how she had just purchased a great new machine for her home gym.  It was a ProForm Elliptical/Recumbent Bike Hybrid that HSN was selling for $399.  The thing that got me to look at it was that they were offering it for 5 payments of $80, which is much more manageable on my budget.  Plus, free shipping!

I was SO tempted, but could I justify buying it? I already have a great membership to 24 Hour Fitness that I have at such a great deal ($99/year) that I will never give it up.  Plus, I really like the classes (Zumba, Aqua, among others that I want to try) and the interaction with people that the gym offers.  But the thought of being able to roll out of bed, put on my sneakers, and just hit this machine was really too much.  And those two machines are my favorite cardio machines at the gym.

I  checked out all of the reviews I could find online, and the only negative people found was the time it takes to put it together.  All the other reviews were positive, mentioning how solid the machine was, how smooth, how much they enjoyed it.

I’m sure you can guess where this is heading.  I’m not one to deny myself much if I can help it. And after all the factors mentioned above, I was sold.   So I ordered it, and as of today, I am the proud owner of a great new piece of workout equipment.

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I can concur that it is a b!tch to put this thing together.  My dad is a master at stuff like this and it took us about 2 1/2 – 3 hours to put it together.  It wasn’t difficult to follow the directions because everything was outlined and organized so perfectly, but it just had SO MANY STEPS.  Luckily for me, my dad is a patient man who will do anything for his daughters, so we got it done and all it cost me was a 49ers sweatshirt.  (Yesterday as I was purging and organizing my closets I found a sweatshirt that I’d purchased for myself long ago but never worn.  Now it’s too big for me (:)!!) and so I gave it to my dad).  Yes, I know just how special my dad is.

After recovering from putting it together, grabbing some lunch, and answering some school emails, it was finally time to give it a go!

I loved it!  It’s not as easy as the machines at the gym, but it does work really well.  The elliptical mode especially got my heart rate up in no time.  The bike was great, too.  This machine is really built solid, and is worth much more than the $399 price tag.  I’ve seen ellipticals on Craigslist selling for $400 – used.  This is a MUCH better option. All told, I was on the elliptical for 15 minutes and the bike for 25 and I burned 570 calories, which is great!  I can definitely see myself using it in the morning before school.  That way, my after school workouts can be more focused on strength training/C25K (more on that in another post).

I love that I was able to reward all of my hard work and success on the scale with a piece of equipment that will spur me on to even greater success.

What’s a reward you’ve given yourself recently to celebrate a success or to motivate you?

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stethoscope1 Yesterday I had my 6-Week Post Op VSG appointment, and the news was all good.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my blood pressure was in the normal range, which felt great.  I used to worry about putting that cuff on, but now I’m confident that the numbers will be good from here on out.

First I met with the surgeon, who told me that I looked great.  He said my incisions are healing beautifully, that my workouts were really impressive, and that my weight loss was going at a good pace.  It was the last time I’d be meeting with him, which was bittersweet.  He pushed me, challenged me, and motivated me to reach the pre-op weight requirement.  He told it to me straight, and showed a bit of tough love, which I really appreciated. It’s going to be strange to head up to the Fremont Bariatric department and not see him.  But I guess it shows that I’m moving on into the rest of my life.

Then I met with the nutritionist, who was extremely impressed with my detailed food logs; I printed out the past two weeks of diaries from MyFitnessPal. She complimented my organization and meticulousness, and I told her that I actually really liked putting as much info as I could into my entries. I really recommend MFP to anyone who wants to keep track of what they’re eating and how they’re exercising. Plus, I love the support I get from all my friends on there. It’s really amazing.

She checked my vitamins, and recommended that I make a few changes.

  • Multivitamin: I bought a more complete multivitamin, which now includes iron. Because of the iron, I now need to take my calcium separately from now on.  (Iron blocks the body from fully absorbing calcium).
  • Calcium Citrate: The soft chews I’ve been taking are good, but I’m only getting in 1000mg of calcium, instead of the recommended 1500mg.  So I’ll still be taking 4 of those, but I also bought another chewable that will get me to my 1500mg goal. Since the soft chews are 15 calories each, I didn’t want to add in two more a day.  For me, “spending” 60 calories on the soft chews are worth it, especially with the workouts I get in, and they’ve been great to take as a treat because they satisfy my sweet craving.  The chewable is perfect because it’s only 7 calories.  Who knows, if I like it, I may just take 3 of them a day instead. All of these vitamins also include Vitamin D, since it helps the body absorb calcium better.
  • B1: I haven’t been taking B1, but the nutritionist recommended that I put it back in my daily routine, because among other things, it promotes a healthy metabolism.  No arguing with that.
  • B12: I’d been taking the sublingual B12 three times a week, but the nutritionist said that I could drop it down to twice a week.
  • Vitamin D: I’d been taking a daily does of 5000mg of D, in addition to the 1000mg I’m getting in the soft chews, and she told me it was too much.  She recommended buying a 1000mg to take daily.
  • Iron + C: The chewable I’d been taking wasn’t the correct form of iron, so I bought another one that will be correct.

In addition, I’m also taking a preventative gall bladder medication, and Pepcid for heartburn prevention.

When I complained that I didn’t feel like I was losing weight quickly enough, she took a close look at my logs, and said that while she thought my weight loss was steady, she did think that I might want to try cutting carbs a bit.  It’s been something I’ve been thinking of, too, so I’m glad that she recommended it.  She said she’d like to see me eating 600-800 calories/day (which I have been) and getting in 60-75g protein (which I have been).  She wants me to try to get the protein in with real food, rather than protein shakes, and now that I’m on Stage 4, which increases my protein portion from 2oz to 3oz, it should be easier.

Stage 4 is going to be wonderful! I really think it’s going to be where my weight loss thrives.

  • All sources of protein are now open to me.  The only thing they say to hold off on is steak, which they recommend trying after 6-9 months. I’m looking forward to turkey burgers, shrimp, chicken, and ground beef.  (Along with the tilapia, salmon, etc that I’ve been enjoying).
  • Raw veggies!!!! Hello, SALADS, I’ve missed you.  Along with cucumbers and bell peppers.  The crunch that raw veggies offer are going to be a perfect substitute for the carb-heavy crackers/wasa bread I’ve been having.

Since I want to take full advantage of the “sweet spot” the first 6-9 months offer me to lose the largest amount of weight, I’m going to keep the non-produce carbs very limited for now.  I’ll still have some carbs once in a while and on special occasions, but as a general rule my daily food plan won’t include them.

I’m happy that I’ve received a clean bill of health, and I’m looking forward to improving from here.

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BTW, this is my 1400th blog post, which seems like cause for a bit of fanfare, so if you’ll indulge me…

celebrate

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