Thursday, January 31, 2013

Foot Fault

Thursdays are usually a workout day for me. But my bad ankle has been giving me trouble over the past week - causing me to stumble going downstairs, giving out on me mid-step, etc. Truthfully, I think I have been pushing it a bit to hard. Since New Year's, I've been working out around 4 times per week - maybe a bit too much 4 months post-surgery when I'm still battling swelling and instability.

Message received. So today, I focused on watching my food intake to stay in my target range, and came home from work and put my feet up.

So I don't have a workout to share, but I do want to share one of my favorite breakfasts with you: peanut butter cup CoCo Wheats. Be prepared - this one is a hard one! :-P

3 Tbsp CoCoWheats
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp PB
1 cup water

Microwave the CoCo Wheats and sugar in the water in 30 second increments until it reaches your desired texture. Stir in peanut butter and enjoy! (Once it cools - this stuff gets HOT!)

And the best part is, this tastes like you're being really bad, and it's not bad at all - less than 300 calories for one bowl. Love!!!

Mmmm, peanut butter cup-y goodness!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

No I Can't Run

Remember that old Phil Collins song? "I can't dance. I can't walk." Well I can't run.

The winter after Nicholas was born (what was that 2010? gah), the husband and I decided to do a 5k to help us get back into shape. So we started a Couch to 5k training plan. About 3 weeks in, I stumbled on the treadmill, and stumbled again the next day. That started a 2.5-year cycle of pain in my right ankle, orthopedic surgeons, X-Rays, MRIs and one evil cortisone injection, all culminating in a foot surgery to remove an extra bone that was jabbing into a cyst caused by - you guessed it - the stumble on the treadmill.
Scars are awesome. Ignore the cankle-esque look of this picture - I do have foot bones.

Along the way, I kept saying that I wanted to run. I wanted to be a racer - the race culture seemed so awesome, with people in costumes and crowds cheering you on as you push toward a goal. But in the end, I have to admit to myself that I hate running. What's more, I have a hard time doing it. Between the surgery and the tendonitis running rampant through my foot, a couple of miles on the pavement often  = a couple days of pain. And maybe that will change as the pounds drop off. But in the meantime, I need to focus on what I do enjoy.

And what is that? Swimming. And cycling. I have taken Spinning before, and I will again. And I'm happiest and most at peace when cutting through a cool pool. And maybe that's ok. Maybe I need to come to terms with who I am and what I enjoy, not what other people decide is fun. Accepting myself - a novel concept!

Are there any workouts you enjoy, and any that you avoid like the plague? Want to come to Spinning with me?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Workouts a la Pinterest

Typically, I work out in the gym. I'm one of those people who likes the atmosphere, and finds it easier to focus on working out there rather than churning on the treadmill in the basement. But yesterday, I couldn't make it. It would have been so easy to blow it off with some jalapeno Tostitos and salsa, but instead, my mind went to the 800 workouts I've pinned to my Fitness Pinterest board. Specifically, the Tone It Up Lean Arms Pyramid.

I pinned this via Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers, originally from here
I like the sound of a pyramid workout - start out with a set of reps, change exercises for each set of 10 on the way up, then repeat in reverse. I changed it up to make it work for me (aka, my free weights were buried somewhere in the basement, so I had to make modifications, and did one pyramid for each body part I wanted to focus on - arms, legs and abs).  In the end, it was a solid, sweaty, 30-minute workout.

10 pushups
20 dips
30 uppercuts (both arms punching = 1 count)
40 cross body jabs (both arms punching = 1 count)
50 count plank
**repeat in reverse**

10 calf raises
20 squats
30 lunges
40 toe touches (1 set standing, 1 set sitting)
50 count wall sit
60 jumping jacks
**repeat in reverse**

10 standing knee raises
20 reverse crunches
30 plank jacks (when I couldn't finish the last set of these, I supplemented with 10 count superman)
40 crunches
**repeat in reverse**

I love that I can swap in exercises that work the areas I need to focus on most. And today? I'm sore. Like SORE. Successful at-home workout!

Your turn: Do you exercise at home? Or are you solely a gym rat?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lucky Number Seven

I've had a couple of good weeks on the scale - down 1.5 last week and 1.9 this week. Grand total, as if you couldn't tell from the title of this post? Seven pounds! Around five since I started this blog, but seven since I registered with My Fitness Pal. So rather than quibbling over the timing on a couple of pounds, I'm going to just go with seven. Sah-wheet!!

What have I learned? Well, as much as I enjoy watching the scale go down, I can't be overly strict. I know, you hear it all the time - if you don't allow yourself to indulge once in a while, you'll go overboard and binge. So I'm still trying to strike the right balance for me. It's a learning process. I think I said before that I was getting pretty cocky with WW, and it's easy to do in general, to think that you can splurge more often than not and still keep it in check. But it's a delicate balance, and I'm still working on mine.

But for now, I'm going to enjoy my -7. Whoot!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WW vs.s MFP: The Battle Rages On

As I said in my About Me post, I did Weight Watchers for a few years with great success. I lost around 30 pounds, and when I was following the program, it mostly stayed off. But the key to that sentence is following the program. I paid them a lot of money to run well over my weekly points allowance and gain and lose the same 2 pounds over the course of a year or so.

So now I'm using the My Fitness Pal site/app to help me on this phase of my journey. Why MFP vs. WW? Here's a lowdown of my reasons. Remember, these opinions are mine and mine alone, so don't carve them into your arm take them as law.

The Price
I like shoes. And saving money to buy more shoes? I like that even more. The thing is, if I was struggling to stay on track, I'm not going to donate money to the WW bottom line. MFP is free. So the only thing getting padded if I don't follow it is my rear end.

As weird as it sounds, I started to consider myself somewhat of a Points expert. I thought I knew enough about WW Points values to estimate what I was eating without looking it up. Every day I was on track, yet I never seemed to lose. Hmmm...something's not adding up there.
The Plan
At the risk of offending Jennifer Hudson, I didn't like the new Points Plus plan. The shift away from calories and toward macronutrients, I didn't care for. I don't like low carb, and that was definitely pushed on the PP plan, at least at the meetings I attended. Couple that with what came to be known to me as "punishment points" for alcohol (e.g., giving booze more points to discourage you from drinking it and eating a mozzarella stick), and it didn't suit my lifestyle before. Momentum worked for me; PP didn't.

I miss WW, because I felt safe and successful there. And maybe some day I'll go back when I'm tired of MFP. But for now, that's where I stand in the never-ending battle between weight loss plans.

Your turn: Do you prefer WW over MFP, or vice versa? Or do you even track at all? 


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pick Up...Dust Yourself Off

So as I said, yesterday was a rough one. How rough? See for yourself.


Yes, you see that right, I was 809 calories in the red yesterday, according to My Fitness Pal. Why? Because I ate my feelings in the form of Red Robin. I knew I was doing it, and I knew that I was going to feel guilty for not choosing one of the healthy options they have, but I did it anyway. I was having a rough day mentally and emotionally, and I did it.

But today is a new day. And I had a healthy eating plan, culminating in Greek stuffed peppers - orzo, feta, chickpeas. Delicious, right?

So pretty!
 Negative. Too much oregano and too much red wine vinegar combined to make me feel like I was licking a cologne bottle not that I've ever done that. Ick. So scrap that and we're having pita pizzas. An old Weight Watchers standby, but it got the job done. And I'm under calories for today, so I'm happy with it. Although I'm starting to feel like I'm in a funk about traditional "healthy" food. I need to find something amazingly delicious and decadent feeling, but that will still allow me to stay on track. 

Any suggestions? I'm a fan of SkinnyTaste - I need to check and see what Gina has. But does anyone have any other recommendations?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rough One

Today was a rough one in my journey. I knew it would be. I'll go into more detail about the derailment tomorrow, but suffice it to say, chocolate chip pancakes with my little man were just what I needed.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Emotional Eating

[Warning: heavy stuff ahead.]

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the hardest weekend in my life - the sudden death of my nephew, JT. He was only eight years younger than me - like the little brother I never had. And one Saturday morning, the phone rang, and he was gone. No farewell, no chance to say goodbye. Just gone. And it has been a long year, full of emotional eating. And I think that brought on some of the weight I'm battling today. Not all of it, but certainly some. And I often struggle with it - I'm sad, I want to eat something that will make me feel better. But it's just food. It doesn't control how I feel, and it can't heal the pain, no matter what that pain is from.

As my family marks the solemn one-year anniversary, it would be easy to fall back into that pit. But from that perspective, I consider today a success. I started the day with Starbucks' Perfect Oatmeal topped with brown sugar and nuts...

...and a grande nonfat latte. No syrup, no white chocolate mocha topped with whipped cream (my one-time drink of choice). Nope, just a plain latte with a packet of sugar and some cinnamon sprinkled on top. And it felt good. What's more, it tasted amazing.

Lunch was a vegetarian chili from Aladdin's Eatery, with feta and half a pita. Chinese takeout sounded amazing. Pizza? Awesome. But the bad food would only have fed the bad feelings, and I resisted.

This weekend will continue to be difficult. But my goal is to stay strong. Maybe I'll throw in a Spin class - I have extra emotion to burn. Better there than at the bakery.

What about you? Do you "eat your feelings?" Or do keel your emotions separate from what you put in your body?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Healthy Decisions - On the Fly

So how's this for a weird injury: Today, I pulled a muscle in my bum. Well, more my hip, but it's all that general bum-ish area. So what started out as a plan for stuffed buffalo chicken breast a la SkinnyTaste turned into me calling my husband and saying, "Can you grab something?" My first thought was something nice and unhealthy - if I'm going to blow my plans, then I'm going to blow them right. But then I remembered something I saw in Self's December issue on my Kindle Fire: The No-Cook Diet.