Tag Archives: goals

What to do When Your Pants Won’t Fasten

2 Jan

Wear a dress and tights. Done and done.

….just kidding. Honestly though, it’s the first (ok, second, but yesterday doesn’t count, right?) day of the year, and it’s time to be brutally honest with myself: My pants don’t fit anymore. The ironic part of this is that when I got out of the shower this morning, I thought I looked pretty good, but as soon as I pulled on the Gap khakis (size 8) that I purchased just a few months ago, my self esteem took a nose dive. Not only did they not fasten, but I could barely pull them past my hips.

I've fully embraced the "leggings as pants" trend anyway

I’ve fully embraced the “leggings as pants” trend anyway

I’ve said this on some social media site recently, so forgive me for repeating myself, but the Newlywed 15 is more nefarious than the Freshman 15 because I have less free-time than I did in college and I don’t have 24 hour access to a fitness facility. I’m afraid to step on the scale, because I think the Newlywed 15 is more like the Newlywed 20 and if you’re anything like me, seeing those numbers is a recipe for feeling terrible about myself.

I’d like to make a disclaimer here about weight loss. It’s a tricky subject, isn’t it? On one hand, we all want see a certain number on the scale or fit into a certain size, but on the other hand, we all want to enjoy life and not have to worry about cutting portions or watching what we eat. It’s important to keep that balance. I firmly believe that it’s important to not obsess about weight — it never leads to a good outlook on life. However, it’s also important to not let your weight get out of control, because health.

The good news is that it’s January, and that means that everyone is trying to get healthy. New apps are emerging, my beloved Weight Watchers just introduced a fun new plan, and there will be a lot of people to share with me a commitment to getting healthy. So, without further ado:

Six Ways to Fit in My Pants Again

  1. Limit alcohol — Things have gotten a little boozy in the Browning household, and that’s got to stop. Not only for my waistline, but for my health. Last night, I couldn’t sleep , so I started reading The Hormone Cure by Sara Gottfried, which is an excellent book. If you have trouble sleeping, losing weight, have a low sex drive, are losing more hair than you think you should — pretty much anything — you should probably pick up this book. Hormone imbalance is more of a problem for women than men and Dr. Gottfried’s holistic and medical approach to balancing your hormones is pretty fascinating. Anywho, what this has to do with limiting alcohol is that I took some of the quizzes in the book and the hormone imbalances that I seem to fit into (high cortisol, low progesterone, high estrogen) all recommend severely limiting alcohol. Good for my health, good for my waist.
  2. Keep a Food Journal — Ugh, this. This is where I’m going to struggle. Listen, I kept a strict food journal for years people, so every time I think I should start again I get this little voice in my head that says, “NO! NO! Please don’t maaaaaake me!” — but here’s the thing: The years that I kept the journal? I lost 70 lbs and kept it off. So guess what? It works. Suck it up, Browning! (aww, isn’t that cute — it’s the first time I’ve derogatorily called myself by my new last name)
  3. Learn to sleep again — Good health and weight loss isn’t JUST about food and exercise. I’ve struggled with insomnia in the past, and up until recently, I thought I had it licked — but about one to two nights a week, I’m laying in bed wide awake until 1 or 2 in the morning. The specific way I’m going to handle this is no more phone in bed. I’m the worst about staring at my phone while I’m laying in bed, and although usually I can fall asleep despite that, I know it’s not good for my sleep patterns. So, from now on the phone isn’t going to even be by my bed — I’m going to plug it in across the room. However, I’m allowing myself the Kindle in bed. I need to read in bed.
  4. Drink more water — I used to be very good at this too, but I’ve noticed that while I still drink water while I’m at work all day, I don’t drink nearly as much at home.
  5. Move more — I haven’t put any exercise related steps in here, because I’m pretty happy with my current exercise level – I’m working out 3-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes. I don’t want to push it more than that because I want to be able to run without injury. I do need to incorporate more yoga and strength training, but that will come in time (especially since I don’t want to run on non-training days). By move more, I mean taking Frank for more walks, getting out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off for some light calisthenics or stretching, taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work, and making sure to get out of my desk chair every 30 minutes.
  6. Keep myself accountable — I need to keep blogging. I need to keep blogging. If you read this (maybe nobody does) and you notice me slacking off, ask me about it. Liz, if you’re reading this, you are the reason I started back up again 😉 Even if nobody reads my blog, it works to keep my honest about my healthy efforts.

I’ve already started some changes that I’d like to tell you about:

training journal

 

Sorry for the dark iPhone photo, but I purchased the Runner’s World Training Journal. I’ve found digital mile tracking (with apps like Nike+, a Garmin watch and/or just keeping track of my treadmill miles on my phone) to be incredibly convenient, but with so many different methods of tracking, it’s hard to see the big picture of my training. So I’ve decided to try to keep track of all of my miles in this book for 2014. I’ll do a full review of this training log once I’ve used it a  bit more.

green smoothie

Green smoothies! These are all the rage, aren’t they? (P.S. I maintain that you can be successful in weight loss and still eat bagels, thank you very much #notafraidofcarbs) My bestest friend Allison was generous enough to give me a Ninja blender for a wedding gift and man, I love that baby. The above green smoothie had banana, apple, cucumber and collard greens if you can believe it. Plus half a squeezed lemon and some water to thin it out. It was delicious (and nutritious). I’d really like to start incorporating more of these into my diet.

run with Frank

Outdoor running! Yesterday, the weather was amazing — 50 degrees and sunny — the perfect outdoor running weather, so I took Frank out for my training run and then we walked to the dog park and home. We both got a good amount of exercise in and we felt great afterwards. The weather is supposed to take a turn for the worse here in the next couple of days, but I’d really like to take advantage of these good weather days when they come around.

So, that’s that. My pants don’t fit — but I have a plan. To be honest, I don’t really care about looking “hot” or getting a “beach body” — my priorities have changed. I figure if I can keep myself feeling comfortable in the clothes I have, then I won’t have to worry about my weight spiraling out of control.

Question of the Day:
How do you know when you’ve gained a few pounds? 

 

Failed New Year’s Resolutions (and why that’s ok)

30 Dec

I’ve found a trend in the healthy living blog-o-sphere lately, and that is the non-resolution. Several blogs I read are bucking tradition and opting instead to focus on little changes. I totally get it, because statistics show that only 8% of people who make resolutions stick to them! New Year’s resolutions have gotten to be some what of a joke, and I myself have fallen into the trap of planning big on December 31st only to fall flat by March.

Image source: http://ideas.time.com/2013/12/30/new-years-resolutions-are-bad-for-you/

Click image for image source

However, I do feel there is something to be said for New Year’s Resolutions, even if you don’t always stick with them. If you’ve read this blog before (or you go back in the archives) you can see that one of my resolutions last year was to run 600 miles. Well, to make a long story short: I didn’t. However, I did run a lot more than I would have if I hadn’t made the resolution. You see, somewhere around June, my priorities changed and it didn’t seem as important — I joined Crossfit, and I wouldn’t change that experience. My fitness interests wax and wane, and now that I’m no longer a member of a Crossfit box, I’m more focused on running and yoga — and I’m enjoying every minute of my fitness pursuits.

Another New Year’s resolution I had last year was to run another half-marathon, shooting for a PR. Another failure, but again – I’m ok with it. I saw my opportunity to run a half-marathon this year come and go, and I think I made the smart decision to abstain this time. I hadn’t trained properly, and although I probably could have finished the 13.1, I wouldn’t have gotten a PR and I might have aggravated my IT Band injury from 2012.

So despite these failed resolutions, I’ve still progressed. And both of those goals are still within my reach, and here are three reasons why:

1. I got a treadmill!

<3 <3 <3

My awesome husband got me this baby as a Christmas/Birthday present and it’s wonderful having it in the house. It’s so much easier to hop on the treadmill if the weather is bad, and if I just don’t feel like working out, it’s easy enough to hop on and try it out. Usually I’ll just end up finishing a mile or two and that’s better than nothing. I’ve set my yoga mat out right next to the treadmill to remind myself to always stretch afterwards!

2. New shoes!

Hello, lovely.

Hello, lovely.

I love these shoes. They are the Asics Gel Nimbus 15, which is the same model I got last  year, but these feel so much better somehow. The man at the running shop really showed me how they will bring my knees in and help with my IT band issues.

3. The biggie — I did this this weekend:

flying pig

My first out-of-town half marathon! This could be the PR that I’ve wanted for so long (2:00 or under) — although I’ve heard it’s hilly! I’ve got some friends (including veteran marathoners) who I’m training with and we’ve already started (we’ve got 19 weeks). I’m super stoked to be doing this.

I guess the moral of the story is this: Even though you may not reach your goal by December 31, 2014, don’t give up on it. The other moral of the story is: Don’t be afraid to fail, because you might learn something if you do.

Question of the Day:
Do you make New Year’s Resolution? Why or why not? What’s your resolution for 2014? 

Turn That Frown Upside Down

1 Apr

I woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning. I slept great, however, I woke up and couldn’t get it together. I took the puppy outside, fed him and played with him and then before I knew it was time to go to work. I hadn’t made breakfast, my hair was only halfway dry and I was not in a good mood. I’m having some trouble coordinating my mornings with Mr. Franklin. I really need to make a morning schedule and stick with it. Because I was hurrying to work with a wet head and I had to buy breakfast which has been a regular occurrence lately.

I’m trying to shake my no good, terrible mood because I know my day won’t get better until I do.

Let’s talk running, shall we? It’s time for a #600in2013 update!

600 miles in 2013 March

 

I once again failed to hit that 50 mile marker for the month. Sigh! Considering the weather we’ve had this March, I’m not really surprised. I clocked a total of 2.39 outdoor miles all month! Looks like the weather is starting to finally warm up, so I’m sure I’ll be pounding the pavement in no time. This brings my 2013 total to 141.46 miles — 8.54 miles short of the 150 miles I should have for this quarter, but I’m really not worried about it. I have a few 5k and 10k races planned in the spring, summer and fall, so training alone will make up some miles. One thing that the #600in2013 challenge has taught me is to get out there get those miles in. If I ended up at the end of the year short of my 600 mile goal, I might be bummed, but the good thing is even if I lose, I win, because all this running definitely has its benefits. For example, I’ve noticed that I’m getting faster! All this treadmill time makes it easy to monitor my pace, and I’ve noticed my fitness level increasing quite a bit. I can hold faster paces for longer amounts of time and my walk breaks have become rare. I’m really seeing benefits from all this running! I like it!

One goal I have for April is to get some strength training workouts in beyond Crossfit. I’ve been counting on Crossfit for all my strength training, and that’s no good. I need to keep up with a full body strength session a couple times a week after my run, so I’ll focus on doing that this month.

Question of the Day:
What’s a good source for full-body strength workouts? 

Brrr!

1 Feb

Hello, winter. snow

I took this from the relative warmth of my office. It’s freezing out there! It snowed a bunch overnight, and there is ice everywhere. Do. Not. Like. What is it with winter not showing up until well after Christmas? I want snow in December!

I had planned to try out a new treadmill workout this morning to share with you all, but I just didn’t feel like trudging to the gym in the dark in the snow. Sorry! I think I’ll try to get a quick run in before Crossfit tonight. Maybe not the best idea, but I’ve got to log those miles! Speaking of logging miles, I’m ready to unveil my fun new mileage counter graphic that I made:

600 miles in 2013 January

In order to complete 600 miles in 2013, I will need to run at least 50 miles each month. I run just a touch over in January. February is a short month, so I’m definitely going to need to get those miles in. My hope is that I’ll be logging more miles when the nice weather appears, slow down a bit in the dog days of summer, and then pick it back up again in Fall. Running outdoors in spring and fall is probably my favorite thing ever, so hopefully I can cover a few extra to carry me through the dreaded treadmill weather (like today!).

I realized that while I made some New Year’s resolutions early last month, I didn’t really cover monthly goals. That’s something I’d like to talk about today. I think making smaller, more attainable goals helps you achieve your long term goals. So let’s get to my February Goals, shall we?

Run 50 miles. Pretty predictable, huh?

Attend Crossfit 2x/week. My original NY resolution mentioned strength training 3x a week. Crossfit fits into the strength training genre, so this will work out nicely for me. I’ve definitely noticed some new muscle definition that I didn’t have before I did the Jamie Eason LiveFit Trainer, and I’m glad that my strength training is evolving. I’d like to keep that going.

Stick with counting Weight Watchers points for the full month of February. This is going fairly well. However, I have noticed that some of my regular eats haven’t been fitting into my alotted Weight Watchers points very well, so I’ve needed to find some substitutions. For example, the microwave english muffin came into play again this morning:

breakfast

…and that’s not to say that a regular english muffin wouldn’t fit into my daily points, but I didn’t have any, and this has less points than two slices of whole wheat bread, and more protein, so it’s a better fit for me right now. This one turned out better than my last one, and it’s so easy to make.

Complete 4 books this month. My goal is to read 50 books this year. Last month, I finished 6, so I guess my goal is to read over 50 books this year! Last year I was able to finish 36, and I read so many great books that I wanted to surpass that this year.

Do a little cleaning each day throughout the week. This one is huge. I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving housecleaning until the weekend. While that’s a good plan in theory, because I’m not at work, in practice it’s kind of a bummer that I have so much to do on the weekends. If I would just keep up with the small bits of cleaning, I could just focus on the big things, like cleaning the floors, scrubbing the bathroom and dusting on the weekends.

Write 5 blog posts a week. Preferably Monday – Friday. I’ve been pretty good about this so far, so I’m sure I can reach this goal.

…I think that’s enough to focus on for this short month!

Question of the day:
Do you set monthly goals for yourself? 

Saturdays are for Rest, Right?

6 Oct

I was feeling a little bummed earlier because today is Homecoming at my Alma Mater and I’m not there. I’m not tailgating, I didn’t run in the Alum Run, I didn’t go to the parade — despite still living in the same town!! I know, but I just have so much on my plate today, it wasn’t possible. I was up super early this morning and I’ve been going ever since. So now it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and I’m already worn out. I’m typing this on my oversized recliner, football is on TV and my eyelids are getting heavy. I think a nap is in my very near future.

But first, I wanted to update my many, many readers (ha!) on my October Goals progress so far this week. I still have one more day to fit some miles and fitness in, but so far I have had:

    1. 2 yoga sessions — my goal is three, but I’m thinking of doing some yoga tomorrow. I’m planning a 9 mile long run, so I’ll definitely need it. I’ll probably do this 25 minute Yoga for Runners session on YouTube, which I love. I was a little nervous about getting all my yoga in this week (I pledged 3 sessions), because by Friday morning I hadn’t done any! But I went to the early class Friday and then again today, so I’m pretty caught up.
image

Penny greets me after yoga

  1. 3 weight training sessions — 1 at home, 1 on my own at the gym and then I went to a really great Weighted Workout class at the gym this morning. Feeling strong!
  2. 7 miles — ok, not so hot, but like I said yesterday, I’ve been having some hip/back/leg pain that I’m trying to work through, so I don’t want to push too hard on the running front. If it gets worse, I’ll go to the doctor, but for now, stretching and rolling my back muscles on a tennis ball (I NEED a foam roller) seems to be helping.

So far, so good! I’m proud of myself. My eating has been mostly under control. I’ve still reached for the sweets maybe one too many times this weekend, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’m planning to make a healthy pumpkin bread today or tomorrow that will satisfy my sweet tooth but still get in my healthy fats and whole grains. I’ll post the recipe soon!

image

Breakfast this morning was healthy and delicious! – Sweet potato has with egg, half an avocado, salsa and a whole wheat tortilla

The reason I’m so tired is that I woke up at 7:30 this morning and hit the gym for three hours! Don’t worry, I didn’t go overboard. I wanted to go to the early yoga class, and I wanted to go to the Weighted Workout class, so I just stayed for Zumba, which happens between the two. Zumba is less a workout and more just fun. I did sweat a bunch though and I’ve been drinking water like crazy since. I’ve also been hungrier than usual so I think I burned a ton of calories.

Now, there is a pork loin in the crockpot (making pulled pork sandwiches for dinner), football is on TV (my alma mater plays their Homecoming game this afternoon — Go Herd!!), and I’m relaxing in my favorite chair with some cats. Nap time!

I graduated from Marshall University, home of the Thundering Herd. You may have heard of the team from the movie We Are Marshall, starring Matthew McConaughey. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it! And I’m not just saying that because it’s my Alma Mater!