Tag Archives: weight training

Healthy Habits I’ve Kept, and Healthy Habits I’ve Lost

27 Mar

After I lost the majority of my weight, I became obsessed with having as many ‘healthy habits’ as I could in order to maintain my weight. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve gained a bit of weight back. So, I thought I would highlight some of those healthy habits that I’ve kept and which ones I’ve lost in the past year or so. I would like to get most of these healthy habits back, so I’ll say it, then I’ll do it!

Healthy Habit I’ve Kept: Eating a healthy breakfast.

breakfast

I’m actually great about eating a healthy breakfast. I always manage to get a good balance of protein, carbs and fat, and I always get some fruit and/or veggies in there as well (definitely try peas on your eggs if you haven’t already). Unfortunately, it’s usually lunch and dinner when I fall off the wagon. I haven’t been very good at bringing snacks with me to work, so by lunch time and dinner, I’m starving and I end up eating way too much. I can definitely improve in this area by snacking smart.

Healthy Habit I’ve Lost: Taking the stairs

My office is on the third floor, and I used to be religious about taking the stairs every single time. Well, I’ve definitely lost this healthy habit. Starting today, however, I decided that I’m banned from the elevator. I think I can improve here by giving myself some sort of stair related reward. A star chart in my office? A weekly stair climbing goal? I’ll think on this, but in the meantime if you have any suggestions, I’ll take them.

Healthy Habit I’ve Kept: Running

So grateful for this one!

running

I’m training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati, and I’ve been pretty great about sticking to my training plan. I’m definitely going to stick with it! I’ve also purchased two five-class passes for a local yoga studio, so I’m definitely getting my yoga in. The only thing that is suffering fitness wise is weight training. I have no interest in doing even a short body weight or free weights exercise lately. I don’t know what my deal is. I can improve here by making a workout plan each week that includes a yoga class, running and one or two strength sessions.

Healthy Habit I’ve Kept/Lost: Counting Calories

This one is a toss up. Although I’ve been logging my food religiously, I’ve gotten in the habit of ignoring things like cocktails and sugary creamer in my coffee.

IMG_5789

Green beers on St. Patty’s Day

I know these things add up – to a lot – but I’ve been having trouble tossing them and not logging them at all is absolutely terrible. I can improve here by logging these things so I can see the damage I’m doing to my healthy lifestyle, and hopefully cutting back on these things.

Healthy Habit I’ve Lost: Walking

It’s been a long winter, huh?

image (6)

I used to walk Frank every morning and walk home from work every evening — and that was the very least amount of walking I would do every day. Since we’ve moved to the new house, I haven’t been walking to or from work because it’s a bit farther. But, as I learned during some nice weather we had last week, it’s not too far to walk. It turns out that it is exactly 2 miles from my office to our front door, and it’s a nice walk through the park and everything.

As for walking Frank, I’m going to commit to start walking him in the mornings again. The reason that stopped is mostly winter. It’s been dark until after we leave for work, and the evenings have been cold. I walk him when I can — but I need to do it more often. We both need the exercise. While I’ve kept up very long walks on the weekends (we usually do 3-4 miles most weekend days), he deserves a walk every single day.

Healthy Habit I’ve Kept: Drinking water all day

image (16)

I have a water glass at my desk that gets filled every time it’s empty. I’ve kept up with my all day drinking water habit, although I tend to slip a little during the weekends. Although I’ve kept up this habit, I could definitely improve.

I think, overall, I can see where I’ve been slipping in these healthy lifestyle habits. I need to keep up with these things in order to stay healthy and happy. I mentioned my weight gain at the beginning of this post, but really I just want to keep my healthy habits up so I can live my best life. I do feel that I became a little obsessed with these habits after I lost the weight, but now I feel like I’ve become too complacent with them. I’d like to find a happy medium. As I’ve mentioned before, I am perfectly content with my body right now.

Do you commit to healthy daily habits? Which areas can you improve on? Which habits are you keeping up with?

I Heart Veggies

12 Dec

I haven’t talked about #Elf4Health on the blog in a few days, but I’ve definitely been following the challenges!

I have a great new elf, Kim (you can find her here), and she’s been pretty awesome about tweeting at me and keeping me on task. I may have mentioned that I’m feeling a bit under the weather lately, so it helps!

Today’s challenge was to eat 3 servings of veggies before 2:00 PM. Now, I am the queen of the veggie breakfast scramble, but with the addition of cardio into my daily LiveFit Training, I was running late this morning and totally forgot about the challenge.

almost called it a wash until some leftovers appeared in the kitchen at work from a party last night. There was a big green salad with carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes that looked really good, so I loaded some of that into my to-go container from breakfast and carried it home for lunch, where I loaded up on the veggies in my fridge:

veggie overload

A salad topped with a lentil veggie burger (the salad also had carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes), roasted brussels sprouts from last night, and raw broccoli with a side of cheese. Yum! So, I definitely had my 3 servings before 2:00 PM! Success!

The above image was created by me in Gimp. I’m trying to teach myself to use it, because I can’t afford to pay someone to redesign this blog when I need it. As you can see, I have quite a bit of work to do!

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In other news, the LiveFit trainer workouts are getting pretty intense. I’m turning into a pro of the weight room…with some help. The guy who works the early shift in the weight room has basically become my new BFF. He doesn’t shy away from showing me how to do the exercises I’m doing wrong, and this morning he was my spotter. I had to do 5 sets of bench press: The first set as a warm up, three regular sets of 8, and then one negative set of 3-5. Uhhh, I had no idea what a negative set was before today!

Negative Set: A negative set loads the weight beyond your maximum and only performs the exercise in the muscle lengthening (or eccentric) movement. 

FUN! That’s what a negative set is. I did my warm up set with just the bar (45 lbs), then loaded it with 10 more pounds for my regular set. For the negative set, we put another 10 on (65 lbs!!), and started at the top of the movement. The goal was to lower the weight as slooooowly as possible, and then he would raise the weight again for me. It was awesome! I felt like the strongest girl in the world!

Question of the Day:
Have you ever done negative training? 

Hello, Friday!

7 Dec

Today’s post is going to be a mish-mash of randomness!

You know that feeling you get after a tough weights workout, when the muscle(s) you’ve worked feel like jelly and you just know that you’ll be sore the next day? That happened to me yesterday on leg day. All day, anytime I moved around (yesterday was a crazy day at work, so I was moving around a lot), I felt that jelly feeling. Then, by the time I was cooking dinner last night the first of the muscle ache started to set in. By the time I sat down after dinner, I was in full-on sore muscle mode!

Because of the sore muscles, I was glad to wake up early (even after a bit of fitful night of sleep — sigh) to hit the 6:15 AM yoga class at the gym. I did my Day 23 workout of LiveFit after yoga:

day 23

Back and biceps! I felt pretty strong today, even using 15 lb dumbbells for the hammer curls. I’m definitely upping my weight, and I feel stronger every day. Since I was at the gym a little longer than usual, I had to rush home, shower and cook breakfast super quickly so I could get to work on time. My breakfast turned out great though:

breakfast

I basically just warmed up some roasted veggies (sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower) topped with a little cheese, put a slice of turkey bacon on top, and then made a dippy (aka overeasy) egg to go on top. Then I drizzled it with Sriracha, the condiment of the Gods. I paired it with a piece of whole wheat toast. Oh my yum. I wanted to make the egg overeasy so when I cut into it, the yolk would drip down onto the veggies. Good decision. I also ate one of the best pears ever. I used to be all about apples, but lately pears have my heart.

Speaking of breakfast, yesterday’s oats didn’t hold me over long. I was digging for a snack by 10 AM 😦 It’s such a bummer, because I really love oatmeal!

This weekend will be filled with fitness! I have two workouts planned for my LiveFit trainer, but I also plan to hit up my favorite Boot Camp class, which is held every other Saturday at  my gym, and Ashley’s yoga class, of course. I also plan on cheating on my no cardio rule to go for a very easy jog on Sunday if the weather is nice. Afternoon jogs when we’re having cool weather in December just can’t be avoided, I’m afraid!

Today, Haley at the Saucy Apple posted a great blog about how to make your weekend seem longer. This post really struck a chord with me, because I tend to get a little stressed on the weekends. There is so much to do, so little time to do it, and then Sunday comes around and I spend the whole day feeling bummed out that the weekend is over. But recently, I’ve been trying to really live in the moment on the weekends and, as my good friend Ashley said, “Not let my Monday ruin my Sunday”. It’s great advice, and every time I find myself getting the Sunday Blues, I remind myself of that little adage and it helps a lot.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the Day:
I need to make a vegetarian main course for my book club this weekend, any suggestions? 

 

LiveFit Trainer: Week 4

6 Dec

I woke up this morning feeling a bit groggy, but after two rest days in a row, I was eager to get back to the gym. After a cup of coffee, half of an apple and some pistachios, I was ready to go!

week 4 day 22

I can’t help but be very proud of myself today. This is the first time I’ve really stuck with a weight training plan. I’m also on my final week of “no cardio” – I’m excited to start back up, but I haven’t necessarily been missing it. The one thing I do miss is being a sweaty mess after a workout. Although I do huff and puff, sweat and feel shaky muscles after these workouts, I’m not dripping with sweat and I kind of miss that.

The #Elf4Health challenge for today was to lift weights, and do an exercise you’ve never done before. Although I’ve done all of these exercises, I did do something new: I used the Smith Machine rather than just using a free barbell for my squats. I had a discussion with my friend Shane last week about how I used a 50 lb barbell for squats, and even though I knew I could use more weight than that, I was intimidated by the Smith Machine. He said that if he were me, he would be more afraid of using a heavy barbell that he had to lift over his head, and it was a good point, so I went for it. So much better! I was able to really feel the burn on my squats, and it turns out there was no reason to be intimidated.

I’m seeing some great improvements in my body from the LiveFit Trainer — I’ve noticed that my arms are looking more toned, and I definitely think I’ve lost an inch here or there. I haven’t measured myself yet (I was going to re-measure after week 4 is over), but I have lost about a pound and a half. I don’t really put my weight (pun not intended) on the number on the scale though, when you’re trying to build muscle mass and lose fat, the scale can be deceiving.

One really happy thing that happened today was when I walked into the weight room, several people said “Hi!” and greeted me by name. It’s clear you’re becoming a regular at the gym when people remember you. 🙂 Here’s the plan for the rest of the week:

Friday: Back/Biceps
Saturday: Chest/Triceps (and then I’m going to cheat and go to my Bootcamp class, because I love it and miss it)
Sunday: Legs (again!)
Monday: Shoulders/Abs
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: Phase 2 Begins! Cardio + Back

I’ll try to post another update on Wednesday, after I’ve done my measurements. I can say that if you have thought about doing this program, you should give it a try! I know a lot of people shy away from it because of the “No cardio for 4 weeks” thing, but I think it’s a perfect training plan for right after a big race or something, when your body could use a break from all the cardio. I also think people are afraid of ‘losing’ their cardio conditioning, but I don’t think 4 weeks is going to make you slower or take your endurance down! In fact, I really feel like I could run fast and long right now 🙂

After the gym, I prepped my second breakfast, lunch and snacks for the day. I was in the mood for something different for breakfast today, so I decided to break out the old Oatmeal. I haven’t had oatmeal for breakfast in ages, because eggs have more staying power in my opinion. So, I added an egg white to my oatmeal:

oatmeal

This was delicious! I cooked the oats in a cup of almond milk and pumpkin pie spice. I stirred in the egg white and the apples and let it cook a while longer. Then I sprinkled it with some stevia. Yum! Hopefully I won’t get hungry again in an hour 🙂

This is a good opportunity to talk about the nutrition plan that goes along with LiveFit. I’m not following it. I feel like I could give you a better assessment of the plan if I were following the nutrition and supplement guide, but it’s unrealistic for me. First of all, I don’t eat like a fitness model, and I don’t really have any desire to do so. I like carbs, and I feel like you can eat healthy, and build muscle, with a carbohydrate rich diet. Secondly, I don’t have the money to spend on the endless supplements that serious weight trainers use. So, that part of the plan isn’t realistic, but I think it’s important to note that I am seeing the results I desire. I can feel the muscle that I’m building, my clothes are fitting better, and I feel great.

One last note, and I apologize that this post is getting lengthy. Last night, I got my new Oxygen magazine (hooray!) and there was an article about how weight training can help you stave off the common cold. I certainly hope that is true, because Zach has been sick with a bad cold all week and I have managed to stay away from it (so far!). Knock on wood!

Question of the Day:
Have you ever followed a weight training plan? 

Surprise!

4 Dec

Today was a surprise rest day! I woke up to my 5:25 alarm, got out of bed, put on my workout clothes and sat down with my glass of water, first breakfast…

First breakfast

….and Sportscenter, to jot down my LiveFit Trainer lifting plan for the day. Surprise! Rest Day! All of the days of this plan are starting to blend together, so I guess I didn’t have a firm grasp on when my next rest day would be.

I’ve got to be honest, one of my favorite things (next to more sleep) is being awake super early with nothing to do. I enjoyed my breakfast, which was a piece of whole-grain, flaxseed toast, a thin spread of Sunbutter, some apple slices and a few dollops of peach preserves. It really hit the spot! After I ate, I decided to roll out the old yoga mat and get in a good stretch:

yoga

I did a little 20 minute routine that I found on my Comcast OnDemand — Yoga for athletes. My legs feel great right now! I’m ready to run! Oh wait…

I’m still on the self-imposed running moratorium. I am really getting the itch to run, especially because I recently got some very good running related news. I hate to be that girl, but that announcement is going to have to wait until it’s more real. Luckily, I only have 9 more days of no running! I can’t wait!

Question of the Day:
Do you get up early on rest days anyway? Or do you sleep in? 

I Just Want to Run!!

15 Nov

Yesterday, I got this email in my inbox:

 

…and the longing began. I had originally planned to sign up for the Turkey Trot after I finished the half-marathon, but then I injured myself in mile 8 of my half. Obviously, on Monday, when I was barely able to walk, I had written the run off completely. But now, after a few days of rest, my legs feel fine, so I’m seriously considering signing up for the race. I love Turkey Trots! Two years ago, after I finished my first half marathon, I ran the Turkey Trot and got my best 5k time ever. Also, today is payday, so I’m itching to pull out the old credit card and sign up. Let me know if you think I should do it or not in the comments below.

Today was Day 3 of Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer:

 

I was definitely out of my comfort zone today, because instead of just going upstairs to use the Nautilus machines, I stayed down in the weight room and used the machines that you have to add your own plates to. I even had to ask the guy who was working at the gym to show me how to use some  of them. This is something I would have never done before. Usually I just stick to what I know, or just wait until someone else uses a machine so I can see how they do it.

Ok, so I looked ahead a bit in the plan, and after tomorrow I have 3 rest days!? In a row! I don’t know if I can go three whole days without working out. I know I’ve committed to this program, but I might be sneaking in a little something something during those three days. The dance DVD’s I won from Cait Plus Ate are calling to me, and to be honest, I really want to try running. Jamie is very clear that you are to do no cardio for 4 weeks, but I honestly don’t think I can follow that to a T. Running and working out to DVD’s is fun to me, and I can’t imagine just not doing anything at all for 3 days. We’ll see how it goes.

One more quick update! I’ve been sleeping amazingly well the past couple of weeks. My secret? Ear plugs! I was a bit afraid that I wouldn’t wake up to my alarm because I couldn’t hear it, but that hasn’t been an issue for two reasons: 1, because I actually can hear my alarm through the ear plugs, albeit faintly, but my body knows what that sound means, and 2, because I usually wake up without my alarm because I’m so well rested! Amazing, huh?

Question of the Day:
What is the maximum amount of rest days you’ve taken in a row? 

 

Operation: Zip the Wedding Dress.

13 Nov

I got my wedding dress in the mail last week! It’s beautiful. I wish I could share it on this blog, but it’s a secret until the big day. However, there is a slight problem. It fits perfectly everywhere, except right around my rib cage, it won’t zip! I really don’t want to return it for the bigger size, considering that might require a lot of alterations because the rest of the dress fits so well. Also, if I’m being honest with myself, I’ve gained a few pounds that I can stand to lose anyway.

So, Operation Zip the Wedding Dress starts today.

Considering my wedding is still 10 months away, I have plenty of time. So here is my plan:

1. Start Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer

I started this today! Luckily, you do no cardio for the first 4 weeks of the program. This is good, because walking the one block to the gym brought me pain in my knee and Achilles tendon. I think no running or jumping for 4 weeks is just the rest my poor right leg needs. Luckily, today and tomorrow’s workout is upper body. Here’s what I did today:

Wide push-ups — 3 sets of 12
Dumbbell bench press — 3 sets of 12; 12 lb dumbbells
Flat bench cable flyes — 3 sets of 12; 20 lbs
Narrow push-ups — 1 set of 7; 1 set of 6; 1 set of 7 — narrow push-ups are my nemesis
Standing dumbbell extension — 3 sets of 12; 8 lb dumbbells
Triceps pushdowns — 1 set of 12; 60 lbs; 2 sets of 12 40 lbs

It felt weird to just go to the gym, knock out that workout (in 30 minutes) and then leave. I don’t know if I’ve ever done that! But, I definitely feel it. My arms are still jello!

2. Log food with My Fitness Pal; Eat Clean

hate logging my food, but there is no doubt that it works. I actually solidly logged my food for probably 2-3 years, and about a year ago I just got so sick of it and stopped. The Jamie Eason Trainer has an eating plan as well, but I’m not sure I will follow it exactly. I know I need to eat clean to see results, so my main goals are to eat clean at every meal, eat about 6 times a day, drink plenty of water, and log all my food, even if I slip up.

One thing Jamie says to do is to eat your first meal within an hour of waking up. Usually, I just have coffee before the gym and then eat breakfast once I get to work. That means I’m not eating until about 3 hours after I wake up! Probably not good. So this morning, I made some sauteed kale with 3 eggs, toasted a piece of whole wheat bread and cut half an avocado. I put half of the breakfast on a plate and the other half in a Tupperware container to take to work.

I ate this right after getting back from the gym, just about 1 hour after I had woken up. I mashed the avocado onto the toast. It was delicious. I also had a cup of coffee with almond milk and stevia. Yum.

Then, I had the other half of that breakfast when I got to work. I’m nice and satisfied, and will hopefully stay that way until lunch.

…and that’s it! Yep, just exercise regularly and eat right. That’s all it takes to lose weight!

Weight loss can be a touchy subject, so I just want to be clear that I’m not just losing weight to fit into my dress, although it is the motivating factor at this moment. Since I got back from vacation at the end of August, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been off track. Not only have I seen some higher numbers on the scale (not always the most accurate tell of weight gain, by the way), I’ve also noticed that some of  my clothes are a little more snug than they usually are, and I’m getting that icky feeling when I see certain photos of myself (my finish line photos from the half were NOT flattering — and not just because I was clearly in intense pain). I am not an advocate of constantly trying to fit a certain ideal, but I am an advocate of feeling good about yourself. When I don’t feel great about myself, it’s important to me to adjust accordingly.

Question of the Day:
How do you adjust accordingly when you aren’t feeling happy with your body?