A bad week for fitness

What a week!

Apologies for the lack in content, folks, but I have been one busy kid.

Remember when I mentioned my big girl job? Well, I “started” on Monday. (By “start,” I mean “I’m just going in to learn stuff” because I don’t actually work full-time until December.)

And, now, you are asking yourselves: “How will she work while teaching and finishing her master’s degree?”

Good question. I made a decision not to teach next semester. I made another decision not to write a thesis. I made yet another decision not to apply for doctoral programs next fall.

Why?

I have been a student, in school, for the majority of my time on earth. All of it, actually.

It is time to grow up. It is time to leave academe.

No worries, though, I will be employed! And I will finish my master’s degree next semester sans the teaching gig.

And, now, back to your regularly scheduled Shae Day!

And it is confession time…

I missed Shocker Fitness Monday, Wednesday and Friday (today), and I ate straight crap food all week like pizza, donuts and French fries.

Problem. Serious problem.

For the past two weeks, and especially this past week since my mentor/teacher/friend passed away, I have felt fatigued, sick and downright depressed.

Since I am so tired… I do not want to wake up early and workout. After a long day of working, teaching and school, I do not want to leave home and workout.

Since I am so busy… I have not eaten on a regular schedule. Breakfast at 10 a.m., lunch at 3 p.m., dinner at 8 p.m. Sleep(?) between 11 p.m.-1 a.m. What kind of schedule is that?!

In between all the eating, not sleeping and working I do, at some point, I have to study… It’s not going well.

I have three papers to write, loads of data to analyze, a few tests to study for and a presentation to prepare for a “conference” (It’s at WSU) – all of which must be done by Thursday, Dec. 8.

Three weeks.

I have three weeks.

I have never feared nor anticipated the end of a semester as much as I do now. PLEASE END. NO PLEASE I NEED ONE  MORE WEEK.

Ridiculous.

If you could read my mind: “Should I stay up all night and sleep early tomorrow evening? Should I work on my papers tomorrow evening? How much sleep do I really need to function tomorrow? Is three hours enough? I have to get that paper done. Holy crap! It’s almost Thanksgiving! I have time off next week to get work done. When is that paper due? I think it’s due after Thanksgiving. Wow. I really need to workout. Have I gained weight? No. But I’m all squishy. Is that a new stretch mark? Man, I want some fries.”

And this is why my husband thinks I’m crazy.

Because I am.

After work, I went for a 10-minute run around my neighborhood after doing this 7-minute warmup. I notice I run faster when I’m alone at night. I also did a 10-minute strength circuit when I got home.

IN MY NEW SHOES! Review to come soon.

I hope that, until the semester ends, I will be able to work out for 20 minutes in the morning and 20-30 minutes in the evening.

I also hope I can stuff less food in my face.

Wish me luck! (Or stitch my mouth shut. Husband will appreciate less talking.)

Announcement!
skinnyshae turns 1-year-old on November 23! How should we celebrate my birthday? ;)

Fitness + Food: My turning point?

I missed my workout on Wednesday from sheer exhaustion. I did not wake up until 7:30 a.m., and Shocker Fitness began at 6:45 a.m.

Wednesday FAIL.

Wednesday WIN? I weighed in at 130 pounds! OMG! Ten to go! :)

Fortunately, I dragged myself out of bed this morning and got ready for Shocker Fitness (after unloading the dishwasher and picking up the bathroom), and then pumped my muscles in a relay circuit and running up stadium seats four times totaling an hour-long workout.

All on a half cup of coffee.

(Not on purpose. I only had time for a half cup. I’m drinking more now, no worries.)

What I am saying is… Because I missed Wednesday, I made up for it today, while attempting to promote this thing, and now my body HURTS.

Hurts in a good way, no more of that nonsensical pained butt muscle.

I’m excited about this particular soreness, which is strange. Usually, I hate that I’m sore. It annoys me… But I am enjoying these workouts!

Next thing…

Remember I’m addicted to yogurt?

Snack timeWell, I also might be addicted to eggs.

These rather new yogi and eggy obsessions come as a surprise. (And by new I mean that, while I have always enjoyed both yogurt and eggs, I have never enjoyed them as much as say… French fries.)

Why is this even relevant?

Well, the good news is that I enjoy eating healthful foods, such as protein-crammed eggs and calcium-loaded yogi.

More good news: French fries and fried thing appeal to me less and less, as when I go out with friends, I tend to order a salad.

(Unfortunately, when I was hurt, I snarfed some fried things like a crazy person. Le binge.)

I suppose I feel better about myself because I finally enjoy exercise (for the most part) and because eating healthy food isn’t such a chore anymore.

I is gettin’ healthy! :)

I suppose since I feel healthier, my skin and hair will become healthier and my face might just clear up from this I-am-a-teenage-boy thing it’s doing…

Who knows? Issues with the way you look don’t always just clear up when you clean up your act, but it sure is helping.

Where was your turning point? When did you feel what you had been doing for so long was actually working?

Today… Maybe, it happened over some time.

P.S. Husband and I decided on Heidi Klum hair.

I made the appointment for Wednesday at Sabo Salon in my hometown, only 15 minutes from Wichita – not a long drive.

My mother’s or my aunt’s (I don’t know who knew who first) friend has cut my hair for a while now, and I really like her, so I do not want to jinx (knockin’ on wood) it by going to someone else! She is responsible for this cut, which I loved…

(I think my hair was thicker then… I’m thinning out… seriously… I might go bald.)

Skinny shopping list

Today is grocery day! Another chance to save money, use coupons and still eat healthfully.

Let me tell you… Not easy, but I’ve got to do it, and I usually don’t do the best job. I just keep trying.

I found a skinny shopping list – the groceries of skinny people – to “follow” on my trip today. I wonder how well I’ll do…

Skinny Shopping List
Apples… are full of fiber and uber delicious. Similar to the sugar boost of a large candy bar, apples can boost your energy while filling you up with enough fiber to keep your full for far longer than a Snickers. Pears have more fiber, but “they’re ripe for half an hour!” (Eddie Izzard). Both fruits are rich in pectin, which lowers blood sugar.

I pick up five or six green apples every shopping trip. Better or worse than red or pink? I’m not sure. Green apples are sweetly tart!

Berries… are high in fiber and packed with antioxidants. Naturally sweet and filling, berries are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Plus, Women’s Health Magazine once advised that you should stuff your face with them.

Berries are expensive and do not come in portion sizes that I desire. For instance, a package of blueberries QUICKLY rots from the bottom up. If I do not eat ALL of the berries (huge package) the same day I bring them home, I cannot eat any of the berries.

Crunchy veggies… such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, are low in calories, high in fiber and full of potassium and calcium. Green leafy veggies are loaded with calcium – some even more than milk.

Broccoli and cauliflower are pretty much “banned” from the house. Husband hates broccoli, and I hate cauliflower. I’m willing to eat as much cabbage as I possible can, though. LOVE cabbage. Green cabbage on the list!

Mushrooms… blech! Low in calories but unfortunately disgusting. No mushrooms in my house!

Nuts… awesome! Protein, fiber and healthy fat found in almonds, walnuts and peanuts! LOVE! However, I cannot keep nuts in the house for very long. Husband covers them in peanut butter for double the yum and devours them in one setting. All of them.

Have you ever fed a behemoth? It’s hard. (Behemoth is one of my GRE words!)

Oatmeal… We have oatmeal, I just need a recipe for oatmeal that doesn’t taste like cardboard.

Beans… are not glamorous, of course, but they are super nutritious. Dana @mylittlecelebration puts them in brownies! My next mission in baking? Putting protein and fiber filled beans in something sweet and sneak feeding it to my family or husband.

Beans on the list!

Quinoa… is too expensive for my wallet, but it is a protein-filled whole grain of goodness! No quinoa for us this week.

Fish… is on the menu at least once a week at our house. Easy to flavor and quick to thaw and cook. Check out my baked tilapia! It’s so yummy.

Our frozen store is running low. Tilapia is needed!

Lowfat yogurt… is filled with all the good things you’re supposed to get from dairy products. Buy plain or Greek yogurt and sweeten naturally with berries or nuts.

Husband and I tried Greek yogurt… twice… and we really wanted to like it, but it’s just so gross. We have Yoplait Lite! in the fridge. No yogurt this trip.

Eggs… Oh. My. Goodness. I love eggs. Eggs are good with everything, just like apples or crackers. Spicy eggs, sweet eggs, savory eggs, you name it, I’ll eat it. And we’ve only got three left! :( Eggs on the list.

Olive oil… should be used to cook everything. It’s just that awesome. But we’re stocked so no olive oil for me this week.

What’s the first step?

Finding recipes/food that we’ll eat for the next two weeks, and then I will gather my coupons, make my list and go hunting for the best and healthiest deals.

Wish me luck! Update when I get back from the store.

Clean bill of health!

On Monday, I went back to my doctor to get this checked out. (Caution Male Readers!)

For the past six weeks, I struggled to reduce the (overly) large amount of caffeine I drink on a daily basis by MORE THAN HALF.

Well, I did it!

My doctor told me she could really tell I cut back on the caffeine, and then she said that I had to keep it up.

I believe her exact words were: “And not a pot of coffee a day.”

And she said it with a “doctor glare.” You know the one.

Weird thing: We discovered I have one big rib on the right side. It’s just larger than all my other ribs. (I checked.) Fantastic.

I promised. Of course, I might have to break that promise come August.

School is soon! I’m excited, but only because I need to accomplish things. I need to accomplish papers and speeches and teaching.

Ugh. I’m not good without school, I suppose!

Unfortunately, with school comes Ramen Noodles and all-nighters, which leave me too exhausted to workout.

I’m gonna get fat. Boo.

Currently, my workouts and diet are going… OK.

Dieting is just no fun, and daily I learn that I eat too much by counting calories. Counting calories is impossible.

I did Pure Cardio of Insanity today, and it went well. I pushed my body until my legs went out and I fell on my butt.

Twice.

Yeah, I went back for more.

And I died! (Eddie Izzard)

Well, my computer is acting weird, and I have studying to do… Hate on the GRE with me!

Also, I have a gross giant zit on my face. I would show you but the picture wouldn’t turn out right.

WEIGHT DROP!

While I truly believe that I will gain weight by the end of Insanity instead of lose weight…

I LOST 4 POUNDS!

Woo hoo!

I’m so excited! Can’t you tell?

I feel good today! Good workout today! Still bites on the dieting front. :)

I’m a busy bee right now, but when I get a break, I’ll let you know how my six-week checkup for this problem went.

Have you sought pleasure today? Food and feelings

I just love articles like this…

Livestrong reporter August McLaughlin reflected on German philosopher Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach’s comment: “Man is what he eats.”

After I just lost the battle to half a bag of Grandma’s cookies, I agree. (As in Grandma by Frito Lay. My grandmother makes amazing oatmeal raisin cookies that I will never feel bad about eating. Scrumptious!)

McLaughlin called that statement the mantra of modern-day fitness and nutrition gurus in describing the effect that food has on the body. But she believes that dietary habits can affect more than just the physical self; they can also make or break a person’s self-esteem.

I agree. When I’m faced with the decision to get a turkey sandwich from Subway or a greasy cheeseburger from Sonic, I always feel better about myself when I choose a fresh sandwich instead of a fast food burger.

No matter how badly I wanted that burger, I never regret NOT eating it. Sometimes, I also don’t regret eating it. Depends on the day… and I’m working on the guilt thing.

In Nourish Your Body, Nurture Yourself, McLaughlin describes several guidelines and opinions about nourishing your body to nurture your own life.

First, Seek Pleasure
What excites you? Makes you laugh or smile? When is the last time you “played?” These are not questions you ask when considering your diet and physical health.

In her book – The Emotional Energy Factor: The Secrets High-Energy People Use to Beat Emotional Fatiguepsychotherapist Mira Kirshenbaum explored energy and emotional fulfillment. Her conclusions found that 70 percent of a person’s total energy is related to emotion. (Makes sense to me!)

Feeding your emotional self with activities, relationships and practices you enjoy is more important than any other factor in promoting energy and well-being.

And your diet should promote pleasure. Stanley J. Gross, a psychologist and author of Pathways to Lasting Self-Esteem, said developing the ability to experience pleasure when you desire it.

How in the world do I do that? Getting past the point where I find THAT impossible to the realm of “can actually happen” sounds hard.

I still have problems enjoying chocolate after I’ve eaten it.

 Don’t Let DIET Be a Verb
Are you eating a healthy diet, or are you dieting?

According to the article, dieting typically promotes deprivation of favorite foods, entire nutrient groups or sufficient amounts of calories. It can pose serious damage to self-worth.

 I believe it. No matter how badly I want to try a raw food diet, I know I never could. I love cooked food too much and feel that taking it away would be counterproductive even if it’s healthier for my body in the long run.

So what do I do? What would you do?

Try it? Half it?

Registered dietician Ellen Reiss-Goldfarb warns dieters to avoid deprivation because it leads to disordered thinking and, possibly, bingeing. Instead, tell yourself you are worthy of healthy foods but also have the right to enjoy occasional indulgences.

I still don’t know how to make the raw food thing work. Ho-hum!

Breakfast for a Better Life
(Finally, something I am good at!) Skipping breakfast is NOT a sign of self-control, Gross said. However, the low blood sugar levels, moodiness and excessive hunger that follow do not promote a healthy life.

Starting each day with self-care (breakfast) might strengthen your willingness to care for yourself the remainder of the day. (Nutra Grain bar commercials?)

While the article recommends something amazing – old-fashioned oats topped with low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit and toasted almonds – I will probably stick to my shredded wheat, skim milk and sliced banana.

Although, lately, it’s been honey nut something or other.

Take Aim at Toxins
Do specific foods trigger poor self-esteem?

French fries.

According to the article, no specific food does. A generally unhealthy diet rich in added sugars, saturated fat and preservatives, however, does not fuel positivity. Every meal and snack provides an opportunity to make a healthy or unhealthy decision and to seek pleasure or not. What you choose makes a difference.

For example, consider the balance of two vital nutrients in the typical diet: omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids – both of which are essential to human health. However, we tend to consume too much omega-6 and too little omega-3, which leads to increased inflammation and may dampen hormonal levels and moods.

Vegetable oils – safflower, corn and sunflower – and meat are loaded with omega-6. Fish, flaxseed, walnuts and canola oil may help relieve depression, hormonal imbalances and infertility and are also loaded with omega-3.

Get this! By eating primarily fresh, whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you are taking care of your body AND bolstering self-esteem because those foods boost feel-good brain chemicals.

Raw food diet? I might have to now. I could use some more self-esteem.

Reach Out to Rise Up
The article said that focusing on the internal aspects of physical and emotional health can lead to neglecting external factors like support. Emotional support – from a spouse, family member, best friend or therapist – is important to make lasting healthy changes.

J. Scott Shonka, personal trainer and lead drill instructor at Extreme Boot Camp in Santa Monica, Calif., said, “Eat and exercise with a friend with similar goals who cheers you on. Anyone who puts you down is bad news.”

Finally, the article offers this: “Addressing underlying emotional issues before or while making dietary changes is also important. If you carry excess body weight, diet compulsively, have disordered attitudes about your body and food or frequently turn to food to cope with emotional stress, seek therapy that addresses your emotional and behavioral health.”

That’s really important advice. Eating and dieting disorders can cause serious self-esteem problems and health problems.

The article proved to me how much my happiness with myself – my body, my self-esteem and my attitude – really depends on the choices I make, especially with food. I want my choices to reflect my happiness, and I really want to try this concept of seeking pleasure. Sounds fun…

No more Grandma’s cookies. Sheesh.

On the fitness front I am doing well!

How do you seek pleasure?
I might steal your ideas.

Workout hiatus

I am on a workout hiatus – and I’m not even sure I am using that word correctly.

How long has it lasted?

Almost a week.

I feel bad. I do not have a good reason. I am simply lazy.

When I workout next, it’s going to hurt…

Why is exercise the only path to weight loss? (And diet… diet and exercise.)

According to an article by Livestrong, weight loss requires cardiovascular exercise, such as Insanity, which is practically nothing but cardio. The Mayo Clinic recommends 30-60 minutes of cardio daily.

Problem: Link to the article is broken… Sorry…

That 30-60 minutes must run outside of our normal daily cardio activities, such as climbing stairs in the house, vacuuming and walking to and from the car everywhere we go, which burn barely enough calories to impact our fitness regime.

We have to do more, but it doesn’t have to suck… of this I beg to differ. The following exercises are based on calories-lost by a 160 pound person in one hour.

Running is the best exercise you can do to burn the most calories in the least amount of time. Running at 8 mph –roughly a 7.5-minute mile –you can burn 986 calories in one hour. If you add hills (incline on the treadmill) or sprints (book it!), you can add even more calories burned.

However, who in their right mind runs for an hour at that pace? Break in up into 30- or 15-minute intervals, which also sounds pretty terrible.

Rollerblading –much more entertaining than running –ranks among the highest calories burns at 913 burned in a one-hour session.

I haven’t been rollerblading since I was in middle school.
I was in better shape when I was 12.

Tae Kwon Do is a total body workout that builds cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, movement, coordination and strength (but, then again, so does yoga). In one hour, you can burn 730 calories.

Jump rope, which I hate, can burn 730 calories in an hour.

Why do I and many other women of my category of… size… hate jumping rope? It hurts the chest area. Ouch!

The resistance of a stair-climber machine can burn 657 calories in one hour as well as build lower-body strength. Horse calves! Don’t let the Stair Master be your only cardio activity.

Jogging, much like running, burns a lot of calories. Some are not so hot at running a mile in 7.5 minutes –namely me –and jogging at 5 mph for a 12-minute mile sound way better! One hour can burn 584 calories.

Basketball and football also burn 584 calories in an hour.

What about soccer and softball? What about tennis? I don’t know. You’ll have to check those on your own!

Swimming is a great total body workout because you use almost every muscle in your body. All strokes increase cardio and muscular fitness while burning 511 calories an hour. Swimming is not simply for leisure. Have you ever felt exhausted after taking a few laps around the pool?

Floating doesn’t count.

Cardio can be fun! You can do cardiovascular exercises you actually enjoy, instead of continuing to stamp out miles on the track.

However, there is a form of exercise you must do that is only as fun as it can be.

WEIGHT TRAINING.

Women especially need to get into the weight room to build muscle tissue. We are not naturally inclined to build lean muscle like men –who can build muscle like little protein machines. (Well, hulky protein machines.) Good example: Women body builders have to use some kind of hormone therapy to build all that muscle.

What? You don’t think it’s important? Here are 12 reasons as to why you should.

  1. You’ll lose 40 percent more fat.
  2. Your clothes will fit better.
  3. You’ll burn more calories.
  4. Your diet will improve.
  5. You’ll handle stress better.
  6. You’ll be happier.
  7. You’ll build stronger bones.
  8. You’ll get into shape faster.
  9. Your heart will be healthier.
  10. You’ll be more productive.
  11. You’ll live longer.
  12. You’ll be even smarter.

Boot camp workouts? Yes. Please.

Insanity?

…Tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow.