“Sh$t just got real”

This is what Aaron said to me this afternoon after work when he saw the results from the week one weigh in for “The Hungry Games” weight loss challenge we’re apart of. I hadn’t seen the results yet of the 50+ people who are competing for a chance at some serious cash.

When I weighed myself this morning, I was very surprised and happy that I weighed two pounds lighter than my initial weigh in. I was hoping a day of horrible eating and six days of not so perfect eating mixed with some workouts here and there didn’t leave me disappointed. But after seeing that some friends had lost an impressive amount of weight the first week and seeing several people losing three and four percent (weight loss), I became not as proud of my success. Then I started thinking about all the things I didn’t do enough of or could have not consumed. I could have pushed myself more to workout on the days I just wanted to loaf around (thank you polar vortex). I shouldn’t have had that piece of cake at work on Monday. But, then I looked back at all the small changes I made and stuck with since the start. I’ve tracked my food intake every day since the new year, which has helped me make myself more accountable for my food choices. And, by doing so I did hit the goal of losing two pounds a week that I have My Fitness Pal set to. And I’ve been hitting my water intake goals while at work all week. (96 oz of water a day minimum)

20140109-213816.jpg

So, after hearing Aaron say we need to buckle down and get serious (not that I haven’t been, but I definitely knew I can improve in areas), I felt like doing this wasn’t going to be this daunting and impossible task. If,individually and together, we focus on collectively eating even better and working out more, we can continually have success over the remaining 11 weeks.

I have to constantly remind myself that this is only the first week. Weight loss isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. I’m not on The Biggest Loser and am working out with professional trainers 10 hours a day. I live in the real world. I have to schedule and plan my workouts and meals. It’s gonna be hard work, and I know that I will feel like caving in and giving up when times get tough. But I need to remind myself that I once before shed 50lbs. I can do this again and reach my goals.

So, this next week I am challenging myself to get the workouts in (no excuses) and get back on the running bandwagon. Hoping this, along with continuing to track my food intake, I can have another successful week on the scale!

20140109-213622.jpg

What motivates you to keep going to reach your goals? Do you evaluate your progress and modify your strategy?

Revealing my “secret”

Okay, so in my last post I said that I had a secret that I wasn’t quite ready to reveal because I didn’t want to jinx it.

Well today I can confidently reveal that I, Anna, gave up junk food for 40 days! Say what?! The girl who has the biggest sweet tooth this side of the Mississippi went without all those tasty treats for 40 wholes days? Without a meltdown?
Why yes ladies and gentleman, I managed to kick my sweet tooth for 40 whole days without caving.

After failing miserably during “no sweets” February, I knew Lent would be the perfect time to redeem myself. And after I saw that Jess said she was embarking on a no junk food challenge during Lent, I put myself up to that challenge.
Basically, the challenge stated no:
-white bread
-potato chips
-peanut butter or similar type spreads
-pastries
-fast food
-chocolate
-candy
-soda pop
-ice cream/froyo
-cake/cupcakes

I modified my list by allowing peanut butter since I use it sparingly in fueling my workouts. I do not eat white bread or drink pop, so these two were easy not to consume. Chocolate, I only like in moderation so going 40 days without it wouldn’t be a problem. The toughest part in my eyes would be eliminating the froyo, cupcakes and sweet, sugary candy I love. But, I started out in the right frame of mind so I knew I could make it through without caving in this time.
My secret was all in the thought process. I would find myself wandering up and down aisles at stores aimlessly just looking at what I couldn’t have and didn’t feel the urge to buy anything and pig out. I knew even though my favorite things taste good, but the ever lasting effects on my body weren’t worth the instant satisfaction.
I was put in several positions where food was available in a social setting or the things I couldn’t have we’re offered to me. I could have easily cheated because no one there knew I’d given junk food up for Lent. But I knew I would feel guilty for giving into temptation. After the first two weeks, I noticed that I wasn’t craving the sugary things I once longed for. My taste for them had disappeared and I was getting my sugary fix through fruits with their natural sugars.

As Easter approached, I did start planning what I was going to indulge in and what Easter candy I was going to buy.
20120408-201202.jpg
But also as Easter approached, I was very nervous about being “allowed” to have the junk I gave up again. Would I just fall back into old habits and this bit of progress would be for nothing?

But today, I can gladly (and surprisingly) say I didn’t go hog wild like I thought. I can thank that to a grumbly stomach I’ve had all day thanks to consuming 3 bud light platinums last night without having dinner.
My first indulgence was an apple fritter from Kiedrowski’s Bakery. O.M.G! So. Good! I ate it slowly and savored every bite!

20120408-201045.jpg

After church, we (Aaron and I) had Easter Brunch with Jess and her family. I brought PACZKIS and snoogles from Kiedrowski’s to share. I only had half of a half cut and a view Starburst jelly beans (the best!). I filled up on awesome egg bake, stuffed french toast and fruit.

The amount of available sweets in the house right now is crazy! But I am perfectly confident they will be able to last for a long time because I’m not planning in going on a binge fest.

So where do I go from here?

A couple weeks ago I decided to continue on my no junk food quest indefinitely. With one exception. I will allow myself one day a week ( Sunday) to pick a treat to indulge in. A serving size of something, not the entire amount of something. I know I can easily kill a bag of Twizzlers, Sour patch kids or any other sugary candy, but I’m trying to teach myself portion control. Enjoy a little of something to satisfy without going overboard. This is something I believe I can achieve now that I’ve gone an extended period of time without.

Trying to retrain my brain how to think in certain situations where I would reach for the junk to calm or comfort myself and replace those bad habits with positive, good habits. 🙂

Day 1

Today was the first day of the year of 27. Which I have deemed, the year of commitment and transformation.

Today was the first of my new year. I woke up with a purpose and a plan.
A plan to start a new work out program and a new bootcamp. A plan to forget all the negativity and thoughts from the past three weeks.

I have really struggled in these first few weeks of 2012. I’ve struggled to start again with a workout regime and get back on the healthy eating track. I’ve struggled a lot internally with my emotions regarding things in my personal and professional life. I’ve wasted a lot of tears over these last three weeks on the same old same old, and some new feelings and emotions I’ve never felt before. There was a point in the past few days where I have felt like I hit rock bottom and didn’t know what to do next. But as I wiped away my tears and steadied my breath, I knew that I needed to not focus and dwell on the negative and the things I can’t change right now, and get back to what I know makes me happy and puts me in a good place.

I decided that I needed to refocus all the negativity into my fitness again, especially running. I don’t know if I’m necessarily scared to start running and training for a race again, but I need to get back at it. I’ve got a half marathon PR to set and Ragnar to complete with some pretty kick ass runners. I want to put as my time and dedication into this training as I did for my very first half marathon. Which is kind of a hard mindset to put myself in since this will be my third. But I know I am basically starting over, so I need to take everything in stride and celebrate my small achievements.

So day 1 was pretty amazing. After my dr appointment this morning, I headed to the gym to get in my day 1 workout in the 12-week challenge. Today’s workout focused on chest and shoulders. Wide pushups, dumbbell bench press, flat bench dumbbell flys, narrow pushups, standing dumbbell tricep extensions, and tricep push downs. You do 12 reps of each three times with 1 minute rest in between. By the time I reached the narrow pushups, I thought my shoulders were gonna fall off. I know my upper body is my weak point, but man, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to finish the rest. I conquered through it and my shoulders felt like Jell-o. My goal by the end of the 12 weeks is to be able to do 12 regular pushups on my toes and not on my knees.

The rest of the afternoon was spent spending gift cards from Christmas, getting a shellac mani and throwing together an impromptu crockpot dinner before I headed off to my first bootcamp at a new place.

I purchased a deal from Living Social for a month of unlimited bootcamp sessions at Strong Fitness in Avon Lake. I really like bootcamp workouts because you burn tons of calories and work a variety of muscle groups. I was excited and pumped for to be able to go to two of the three classes offered a week.

The class was small, 10 of us. We warmed up with cardio for 6 minutes changing every minute or so between high knees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and squats. By the end of those 6 minutes I had sweat rolling off my face and tore off the long sleeved shirt I had on.

Next we partnered up and rotated through 5 different stations that had two elements to them, switching on the 30 second or so mark. Think Biggest Loser in a circuit 5 times through. By the end of the third circuit, my right side was aching and my head was pounding. My favorite circuit was the ropes. We picked up two thick ropes that you would climb up and gym class and waved them up and down while the other person held on to the other end and acted like a shock absorber. Remember my chest, shoulder workout from the morning, yeah, my shoulders hated me!  My least favorite was probably the bullfrog/burpee circuit. Half the time we jumped up back and forth like a frog and the other half we did burpees, or what I like to call HELL! This was the hardest circuit to keep your momentum and speed up in and I tired quickly. Luckily side planks followed hell and it was ALMOST like a breather, until my body started shaking holing myself up.

Hardest workout I’ve ever had, but I can’t wait to go back for more!

I just hope I can function well enough to get through Day 2 of my workout tomorrow and a 2-mile run! 🙂

Day 1= success! 🙂

A new year, a fresh start

2011 was an absolutely amazing year! I ran a marathon, something I thought I would never dream of doing or completing! My personal life ended pretty crummy in 2010, but got amazingly better in 2011 when Aaron entered my life. 2011 wouldn’t have been the same without him. 2011 was the year of 26 and love! 🙂

Now with 2012 ahead of me, I’ve got some new goals for myself.

I want to keep running as a part of my life for as long as my knees will allow me to. With that said, I want to get back to the reason why I started running in the first  place: to stay fit and lose weight. I want to get back on track with running regularly and work in other aspects of exercise into my life while getting back on to the healthy wagon of maintaining a healthy diet. Its no secret that I fell off that wagon a month  before my marathon which resulted with a spare tire around my waist. Definitely not acceptable. I know how it happened and won’t let it happen again.

So, I am using 2012 to start over and get back to the basics. That means starting over with my running. I am going back to the beginning with EVERYTHING! Pace and mileage mainly. The mileage is going to start out small and slowly increase as my body gets back on board with running longer distances. Speed. I really want to regain the speed I had last spring and slowly lost as I was building endurance for my first marathon. My goal is to finish the Cleveland Half Marathon in 2:10.  I know this is an attainable goal.

 

2012 running events:

Catch a Leprechaun 15k

Cleveland 10-miler

Rite-Aid Cleveland Half Marathon

Officer Kerstetter Memorial 5k

Fort4Fit Half Marathon

Ragnar Relay -200 mile 24 hour team relay

 

When my #dirtyrunner crew threw out the idea to participate in this 12-person 200 mile relay, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity! Its all about running as a team, bonding, and having a great time! Legs of the race ranges from 8-22 miles, each person running three legs. I know with the marathon maniacs in the group, the 22 mile legs will be handed straight to them and I can handle any legs between 8-12 miles. I can’t wait!

Team #dirtyrunners will dominate Ragnar PA!

 

Overall, I just want to regain control of my health and fitness, learn new, healthy habits and finally being happy with myself!

 

Here’s to a year of health, running, and happiness!

 

Cheers!

Project Refresh Week 1

So this past week was the first week of my fresh start.

It was definitely a challenge, but I think I did a really good job. I made MUCH better food choices and writing down what I put into my mouth definitely helped me be accountable for my choices. There were some not so perfect moments, aka Friday afternoon, but I chalk it up to my job and not being able to feel full and content.

 But something I AM  very proud of myself for doing is working out EVERY day this week. I made it to the gym three days this week and run 5 days. Working out every day is something I haven’t done since my senior year of college. I think that time I’ve taken for myself has allowed me some sanity when I struggled quite a bit this week mentally with other aspects of life.  I am definitely thankful I have running and working out as my outlet to escape from the real world and focus on myself.

Yesterday (Saturday) I ran my first race since the half in Cleveland. It was a 5-mile race I decided to sign up for on Wednesday. I had no goal for this race, just to finish and get the miles back under my feet. Saturday morning when my alarm went off at 7 am, I had no motivation to race and wanted to just sleep. I’ve never had that feeling the day of a race. But, I went to the race and ran it anyway. Two minutes before the race started, I went to sync my Nike+ on my iPod and realized that i left my receiver that I plug into my iPod at home. So, no big deal, I’d just run to music and not worry about pace times, etc. The race was d-chip timed anyway so I’d get my official time and pace that way. Just bummed because I wouldn’t be able to log the miles on Nike.com. But the race went well and I set a new PR for a 5-mile race.

50:06 (10:01/mile).

Not too shabby for not having any goals set for the race.

Now, tomorrow is the real test. I will step on the scale for the first time in 7 days and see if Project Refresh has helped. I am actually scared that when I will step on the scale and the number will be the same, or worse, higher. I’ve never been so terrified in my life to weigh in.  If one week of change and hard work doesn’t pay off, what will it take for me to shed weight?

Well, no sense of freaking out and worrying now. I’ll worry about that tomorrow once the three-digit number stares back at my face.

Here’s to a weight loss tomorrow.

Fingers crossed.

Two months jammed packed into one super-sized post

I haven’t updated since I registered for the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of the end of February. Lots of things have happened since then.

I have began dating someone. Well, not just anyone. His name is Aaron and is definitely the best guy I’ve met in a long time. I think he’s a keeper. 🙂

My training for my second half marathon (Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon) is quickly winding down, 15 days until zero hour. And while this training has been a rough one (nasty winter weather, battling illness, nasty winter weather that wouldn’t go away), I’ve managed to get my miles in and should be a go come May 15. Whether the race will be as pretty as the first, that is yet to be determined. My goal is to beat my first half time of 2:28-we’ll see if I can push it out.

Ran my first ever Hermes Cleveland 10-miler. The weather was amazing. The course was amazing.

My race friends were amazing.

My mind-set, not so amazing. But my time, was kind of amazing: 1:50.  But I definitely kicked my butt, deserving the shirt that reads “Run like a God” on the back.

But the biggest thing that has happened in these last two months-ish. I’ve put on some lbs.

Like 6.5 lbs.

While that’s not a TON, it feels like it and it makes me hang my head in shame. Proving like a couple of other runners I know, it is possible to train for a big race and gain weight. How does that happen one asks? Its called slacking MAJORLY on your eating habits and thinking because you’re running several times a week you can eat whatever you please, and lots of it.

WRONG!

In fact, you can’t. You still have to burn more calories than you take in. Simple science really. It is tough to lose a significant amount of weight when you are in training mode because your body is in need of fuel (food). I’ve just not been smart about it. Call it being happy, comfortable and invincible to packing on the lbs., but I CAN’T eat whatever I want whenever and still expect to see results. I definitely have felt the negative effects in my training-running can be a bit more challenging at times with the little bit of extra weight I’ve gain (which I feel like is going straight to my mid-section, the one part of my body I absolutely hate and wish I could afford lypo.).

So, I’m not gonna whine and complain about this set back. I’m going to suck it up and move forward getting back into good habits, kicking the old ones, and get my ass back into better shape. It truly is a 95% mental struggle for me when it comes to food. I know I can survive a day without the bad stuff-I proved that to myself yesterday. While it really was challenging at times, and I was close to breaking down and giving in more than once, I was able to pull it together and change my thinking. That’s really what I need to do to be successful with this. While its hard not to stress about my food intake, I really want to reach my 100-pound weight loss. I am so close (well, a little further off now with this set back), and I want to achieve this. If it takes me another year, so be it. It has taken me five years to get to this point and I’m not gonna let it slip away from me. My short term weight-loss goal is to lose 10-15 pounds before I begin my marathon training. Use the time between my half marathon and beginning of marathon training to hunker down and focus on slimming down. I feel like losing this small amount of weight will help me get a great start to my big goal for the year: running 26.2 in Washington D.C. Oct. 30. I really want to start seeing a nutritionist to help me figure out a good combination of food to help me slim down and help me fuel my body during my training this summer/fall.

I will NOT go through another training session and pack on lbs.! I will NOT!

I’ve come too far to lose now!

Now this is (self) love

A healthy, home-cooked dinner for one on Valentine’s Day! Lemon peppercorn grilled chicken, fresh steamed broccoli, and a spinach and tomato salad with crushed walnuts and a little raspberry vinegarette dressing.

I am on my second week of eating healthy, fresh meals with smart snacks between meals and skipping out on the ‘crack’ (aka candy). It wasn’t easy and my mind was screaming at me for some sugar lovin’, but I did my best to resist. Okay, so maybe I had some Twizzlers at a girls basketball game, but sue me, I needed something to munch on before the game and to curb my hunger until I could have dinner. Eating well combined with pushing myself in my workouts last week resulted in major confidence and feeling good about myself. Gotta love endorphins! 🙂

So on this Valentine’s day I will not stuff my face with candy and other garbage because I don’t have a Valentine (although it was really tempting to order pizza from lorenzo’s for lunch today because my room mate’s leftovers would stare me in the face every time I opened the fridge), I am going to show myself some love and fuel my body with healthy and nutritious goodness!

Here’s to week two of healthy eating and ass-kicking work outs!

Cheers!