Archive for February, 2012

Update for 2/16/12

Posted: February 16, 2012 in Goals, Heroes, Stats

So, I meant to update this yesterday. Wednesdays is when we weigh in for Weight Watchers and it seemed like a good day to deem “update day,” but updating from work is probably not the best idea for my productivity and I spent zero time at a computer after work ended.

I went up a whopping .8 lbs. .8! Oh no! Whatever will I do?

But in all seriousness, I was pretty bummed out at first. See, a .8 gain isn’t bad, but it isn’t a loss. I was hoping for a loss. Even a little. I did so well my first week – what happened!

Well, first and foremost, I drank far less water and ate far fewer veggies than the week before. My mom-in-law made some turkey that I ate two days in a row and we got some Weight Watchers snack bars that are low in points, but are still sugary treats. This may not seem so bad – turkey can be good for you and the snacks are low in points and calories – what’s the big deal about that?

Something you should know about me is that I am what I call a “replacement” person. I cut out soda (with exception for the occasional energy drink and rare bottled cream soda) just so I would drink more water. Trying to get in more H20 while still drinking juices and sodas all day just wasn’t happening. So, in a similar fashion, I’m mostly just cutting back on meat and processed foods to get more fresh veggies in.

Anyway, I went over all of this in my head, about where I went wrong and what I could do better. I think that’s helpful – it was a minor bump to keep me on track – but more importantly, I got over it. I got over it because I’ve been strength training quite a bit. I can’t lift as heavy as some people, but I lift enough to challenge myself and I can feel muscle developing in areas where I didn’t have muscle before. My stomach looks a little flatter, my legs and arms more solid. I haven’t lost that much in pounds, but I’m still making progress. 

The focus on pounds shouldn’t be the pounds lost or gained on the scale – it should be on the pounds added to my gym routine. Here’s one mighty lady who helped me remember this: 

Her name is Staci, and she’s one of the success stories over at I’d like you to take a moment, whether you are male or female, regardless of fitness goals, to read this article. This girl is a freakin’ badass. [Link]

She’s tiny, she’s ferocious and she’s a reminder that a) that number on the scale means very little once you’re on the right path to strength and health and b) weight lifting does not make you “bulky.”
No stats update today – most of my numbers are close to the same and I haven’t started measurements yet. I might have to do that for next week’s stat update.
Instead, I’m going to leave you with some non-scale-victories (NSV) and non-scale-goals (NSG):
  • Multiple compliments this week about how good I look.
  • One of my favorite fitted jackets went on without a fuss this morning. I didn’t have to hunch forward to get the hook snapped under my boobs. I have slightly more room to move than the last time I put it on.
  • A shirt that my husband has had to help me zip up in the past at the widest part of my ribcage zipped up without any help, on the first try. All this time, I thought the zipper stopped working properly because it was broken!
  • To wear shorts this summer. I’ve worn skirts, but no shorts above the knees, in years.
  • To wear a bikini at the beach and feel comfortable in it – even if I’m still a little jiggly, I’m determined to have built enough muscle and lost enough fat and have gained enough confidence to just do it.
That’s it for today, folks!

Small Victories

Posted: February 8, 2012 in Food, Goals, Stats

Two accomplishments to note!

  • Today marks the end of the first week of Weight Watchers with 3.2 pounds lost.
  • A shirt that previously took some tugging and the assistance of my husband to zip, because I had put on just enough weight to make it difficult to zip near the top, now fits properly! I got into it without any additional assistance, on the first try.

My first week of Weight Watchers was a little rough. I wasn’t really fully prepared for it and I had told myself I was going to give myself plenty of room for error since this is all new eating, but I ended up being determined to not go over my “point” allotment for the week. I was fairly hungry off and on the first few days, but near the end of the week I was feeling quite a bit more comfortable.

If absolutely nothing else, I will say this much – I have eaten more vegetables and fruit (mostly veggies) in the last week than I think I did in all of any one month in the last few years. I’ve also had a lot more water and notably less meat. Previously, I would eat more than one serving of meat in a meal, often times for two meals a day, pretty much every day. I mean, I know I need complete proteins in my diet, but that seems, I don’t know… excessive? I’ve been trying to get more beans, rice [and soon] quinoa in my diet and eating a max of one meat meal a day.

I’ve tried very hard to not set body weight goals for myself because what I want more than a stupid number is physical proof that my body is healthier and more efficient… but I admit, I’m really looking forward to having 10, 20 fewer pounds to have to carry around once I get back into rock climbing!

Of veggies and meat.

Posted: February 5, 2012 in Food

So, I started Weight Watchers. I know that some people find food programs “extreme” or gimmicky, but hear me out.

I am terrible at adding more to my diet. I can eat more mass, but when it comes to drinking more water and eating more vegetables, it doesn’t happen unless something else comes out. After doing a bit of reading, watching Forks Over Knives and doing a lot of thinking about my cholesterol, I had decided it was time to adapt a mostly whole-foods plant-based diet. Basically, less pre-made foods, more fruits and veggies. I had seen a lot of success with Weight Watchers in other people and after going to a meeting, I realized that their portions program would force me into eating more plant, since they are “zero” points.

I’m only on day three but already I can say it’s a success. I’ve eaten more fruits and veggies in the last few days than I probably did in all of January. A lot of water has been consumed as well (I have been peeing like mad!) and while I’ve experienced some hunger, I feel like that’s mostly because I had a really bad start. I think once I get the hang of what staple foods to keep in the house and have learned a few new recipes, I’ll settle in nicely and shouldn’t be hungry as often.  WW offers a lot of mass-produced pre-packaged foods but other than popcorn, I’m trying to avoid them as much as possible. I’m also attempting to cut out dairy due to lactose intolerance and knowing that dairy foods tend to cost more points, this has been fairly easy so far. I think the one thing I won’t leave out is greek yogurt.

So far my staples seem to be bananas, berries, celery, spinach, red/orange/yellow peppers, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, eggs, almonds, cashews, and greek yogurt.  I’m open to any other fruits or veggies that would make a good part of a regular diet. I’m obviously still eating a little bit of everything else I used to eat, just in stricter moderation.

After a couple of weeks, I’m going to see how I feel. If I’m feeling weak or like muscle recovery has taken a hit, I’ll have to re-examine my diet and consider my caloric and protein intake and readjust accordingly. I’m excited to see how the next few weeks go!

Stats for Week 1, Friday, Feb. 3 2012

Posted: February 3, 2012 in Stats
Weight: 172.5 lbs
Pants: ~14 (depending on the brand, of course)
Bra: 38C
Weights: Since I’m just starting out, these numbers are going to be pretty low. They don’t represent how much I can technically pick up and put down but are the weights at which I can comfortably do multiple sets but still struggle during the last set.
  • Bench: 50lbs
  • Squat: (in smith machine) 20lbs

Health concerns: 
  • Periodic breakouts and blackheads.
  • Dry skin on legs, face, scalp (dandruff).
  • Digestive issues; frequent upset stomach, cramping, bloat. 
  • Misc. mysterious abdominal pain. (Have been to various doctors, gotten ultrasounds, a colonoscopy, all inconclusive) 
  • Frequent back pain.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Allergies, stuffy sinuses.
  • Winded relatively easily, occasional bouts of coughing. Am incredibly susceptible to prolonged coughing/lung pain whenever sick.
  • Itchy underarms (I know, this is a weird one – but I can rarely shave and break out into rash, despite trying a variety of techniques and types of soaps/deodorants. This only developed within the last few years).
  • Frequent headaches. 
  • Fatigue/general sleepiness.
  • Scapular alignment/sore shoulder and back. 
Notes for this period: To date, a number of the issues above were worse a year ago. Over the course of 2011, my husband and I went in and out of the gym and tried to spend the warmer months being active. The digestive stuff comes and goes but some specific abdominal pains have become less frequent. 
To comment specifically on the scapular alignment problem, I did see a physical therapist for this for a few months. Long story short, my right scapula, from years of misuse (heavy purses, bad computer posture) doesn’t move properly (along its “track”) so the muscles function poorly and thus hurt and cramp often. The solution to this is a combination of stretching and learning to properly engage the muscles while strengthening them. Even though I’m no longer in physical therapy and I still experience pain often, I can feel some improvement and the sharp, burning pain that I used to get (typically any time I had to lift anything, even something light like a plate, overhead) is less frequent. 

I am going to kick my ass’ ass.

Posted: February 3, 2012 in General

So originally, I started this blog in 2010 to document getting into better shape and cooking. A series of family deaths occurred and I also had the stress of planning my wedding and buying a house – the perfect opportunity to make a million excuses and treat my body like crap. I’m done with that.

So, I deleted the few posts that were already here, because I had no idea what the blog was really going to be anyway. Now, I have a plan and I’m starting fresh.

At this point, I have been going to the gym 2 – 5 days a week to strength train in the gym at work and have been doing a little training at home. My weight fluctuated a bit for the first month but I’ve now comfortably settled into and have been maintaining at about 172 despite small but apparent (to me, at least) muscle growth. This last Wednesday, I enrolled at Weight Watchers and am working my way into a primarily plant-based diet and am slowly cutting out processed foods.

I do have “before” pictures, but I’m holding onto them until I feel more comfortable with posting progress photos. My starting stats are going to be a little shaky because I don’t have a tape measure, but expect actual measurements in the coming weeks.

Alright, so the important thing – what I must keep my focus on: Goals. These are both short and long-term goals. I’ll update them as I break them (obviously the weight goals will change as I break them).

  • Deadlift my weight
  • Bench 80 lbs
  • Squat 80 lbs
  • Start climbing regularly again.
  • Destroy a V4 difficulty at the climbing gym (might not seem like much to some but for somebody starting over, I have a ways to go).
  • Be able to do pull-ups, with proper form, by the end of 2012.
  • Complete a full mile run without stopping.
  • Bike 20 miles without stopping.
  • Drop at least three pants sizes and/or reach the 140lb range for my weight (I have no idea what is a realistic pants size, esp since I’ll be gaining muscle and losing fat).
  • Feel comfortable on the beach in a bikini. Superficial, I know, but while health and strength are what I’m the most excited about, I’d be a liar if I said I weren’t looking forward to the aesthetic benefits.
  • On that note, my butt currently looks very nice in jeans. I want it to look fucking awesome in a swim suit.

LET’S GET GOING! *flex flex*