Thursday, January 27, 2011

30-Day Challenge #2: Paleo

I have been keeping up with my Fitness Challenge, though you would only know that if you are also my Facebook friend. Last week, we went to St. John in the Virgin Islands and it was fantastic! We were active for multiple hours of every single day. I discovered that open water swimming in a still ocean bay is kind of amazing and I wished I had brought my goggles with me. I told Jason if we lived there, I would pop down to the beach every morning and do some ocean laps before work. Rhode Island has nice beaches, but not so much in January.

Because of the cruddy weather since we've been back, I haven't made it to the gym and I can't really run or walk outside because the plowing and shoveling in this town is dismal at best. Walking anywhere = dodging traffic. Jason and I have been jogging in place inside to get our daily step counts up to 10,000. I would like to note that my ankles hurt just as bad when I fake indoor jog as they do when I jog outside on the path.

Basically, yesterday was the first time in almost 2 weeks that I haven't had 30 minutes of activity. Today is day 29 of my 30-day fitness challenge, and even though I wasn't perfect, I know that challenging myself made me more aware of fitting activity into my day, even if it was just a walk. I think I only missed 3 or 4 days of activity in the past 29, and that's pretty great, in my opinion.

So I've decided on my next challenge, and this will focus on my overall health, rather than just fitness. February I'm going to go Paleo - or pretty close, at least. It's pretty much how I eat anyway, when I'm focused on eating healthy. Whole foods, no grains, no sugar, no processed foods. They also say no dairy, but I'll probably weave some in here and there (what is my roasted broccoli without the parmesan? Well, probably pretty tasty, but I do love the parmesan.) I'll shoot for carbs under 100 g per day.

I'm also focusing on Paleo exercise. Strength training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and some low level cardio (meaning long walks). I'm still going to try to get in 30 minutes of activity a day.

Ideally, I would like this to be the way I eat and live forever. But I'm setting it up as a month-long challenge right now to really focus on it and get myself into these good habits for 4 weeks.

Day 1: Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bad Blogger

That would be me. I'm starting to reach that point again of wondering if I should just end the blogs altogether. I just don't have the time to dedicate to them and I've learned that in order to have a blog that people will read and comment on, you have to be consistent and you have to be interesting. I know I have my interesting moments, but sometimes I'm writing just to have something up here since it's been 3 weeks since my last post.

Also there are times when I really do get a lot personally from writing it all out. Which begs the question, why not just write in a journal? I think I have a bit of an exhibitionist inside me, but since I'm also a prude, it only comes out in publicly writing about my life and weight loss/health efforts. And I like to show off my knitting (see other blog).

I'm also a fairly regular Facebook updater and lately that has been satisfying my narcissistic urge in brief, pithy bursts.

In the end, I'm sure I'll just keep on with my blogs, though I make no promises of consistency. Or of being interesting.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Walking To and From Work

Day 13: 3-mile walk home from work.
Day 14: 3-mile walk to work.

Walking to work wasn't really my plan this morning. But when my alarm went off at 5:30, I was in just the perfect dream-state to convince myself that it wasn't the right alarm going off, it was some other alarm. I actually remember the rationalization in my head: "Oh, that's ok. That's not MY alarm." Then I turned it off in my sleep and kept doing that every 10 minutes when the snooze alarm came on. For an hour.

There's a snowstorm coming tonight and I want to get to the grocery store before it showed up and I wasn't really sure what time it was coming (turns out, kind of late, but better safe than sorry). So I walked to work. My legs were big popsicles by the time I got here, but I'm pleased to already have 7400 steps logged on my Fitbit.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Days 11 and 12: Fail

Day 11:
I woke up a bit later than I wanted to, but figured I still had time to go to the gym for an hour. The BIL, SIL and niece were leaving that afternoon, but I thought it would take everyone some time to get up and ready to go. Jason told me I shouldn't go to the gym because it was our last day with our guests. He said I could go later.

Only, here's what really happened. We went downstairs and found Sarah, the SIL, sitting on the couch doing some work on her computer. Brandon, the BIL, and the niece were still asleep. So we sat around for awhile, talking vaguely of going out for breakfast once everyone was up. I wound up getting on my computer and doing some work too, which was good, but, really, there would have been plenty of time for me to work out.

This is probably the 3rd or 4th time I've been getting ready to go to the gym and Jason has insisted there isn't enough time, but then it turns out there is PLENTY of time. Moral of the story: ignore Jason.

Once everyone was awake and showered, we went to brunch, then drove our guests to the Boston airport. On the way back, we stopped at Costco because there are no Costcos in Rhode Island or in any of the southern Mass. shopping meccas, so we try to go if we happen to be in Boston during shopping hours. Then we got home and I had to write a talk and a Young Womens lesson for church on Sunday morning, plus get some more work work done. Oh, I also baked a birthday cake for one of the YW.

Day 12: Well, I gave a talk and taught a lesson at church, made a roast, frosted the cake, cleaned the kitchen twice, worked on a contract for several hours, and just never made it to the gym.


Anyway, I planned to wake up this morning and go to the gym, but I was exhausted for some reason. I brought my workout clothes with me and I'm going to the gym after work instead. No excuses!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

I'm Not Very Sleepy, Either

Despite going to bed at 12:30 last night, I woke up peacefully at 5:50. This has been something I've noticed since I started working out again - I feel satisfied on less sleep. That doesn't mean I'm not tired when 10 or 11 PM rolls around, but in general, I'm feeling active and able to do more after an average of 6-7 hours of sleep per night rather than needing 8-9 hours of sleep.

Might also be related to cutting out the caffeine and the highs and lows from that. And the sugar.

The point is, I'm feeling better.

Day 9 of the Fitness Challenge was 25 minutes of weights and 30 minutes on the elliptical. Then just to be obnoxious, I went for a 45-minute walk on my lunch hour. I was just too antsy to sit still any longer. I originally planned for 30 minutes, but didn't want to come back inside yet.

It's kind of amazing how quickly doing the consistent activity makes my body crave the consistent activity.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I'm Not Hungry

Today I realized that my lunchtime keeps getting later and later. I eat my breakfast when I get in at 9ish, then work all morning, sipping tea and water as I work. Then I think, oh, a walk would be nice. So I go for a walk at around 1. Then I get back to work and realize I should probably eat lunch. Yesterday I ate at 2:30, today at 2.

I'm just not hungry.

When it comes to actually eating the food, I'm excited about it because, frankly, I'm a good cook, and I know whatever I bought is going to be super yummy. But I'm not really hungry.

I know I need to keep my calories up or I'm not going to lose weight, but my incessant need to find something to snack on has just vanished. I did a little Googling and I think this may be a low-carb side effect.

I have a little confession - I've had a couple chocolates. Jason's grandparents make these divine homemade chocolates and toffees and our package from them arrived on Monday. So Monday I had 2 and last night I had 2. I made a point to savor them because I knew that was all I was getting.

Even if I count the grandparent chocolates as Godiva truffles in my SparkPeople nutrition tracker, my carbs are still under 100 g per day. I'm only weighing myself once a week, so I don't know if my weight has gone down, but I think this no hunger thing is a definite positive side effect of limiting my carbs.

Fitness Challenge:
Day 7: Sore from Day 6's weights! I had a lunchtime walk, then did a ton of cleaning when I got home last night.
Day 8: I was going to go to the gym, but company came into town last night and we were up late. It was so nice to sleep. So I did another lunch walk. Tomorrow I'll be back at the gym for more strength training.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Day6: Weights!

This morning I did 25 minutes of weights and 30 minutes on the elliptical. I haven't done weights in, well, ages. I can't really remember how long it's been. I like thinking about how I'll improve in the coming weeks and be able to add more and more weight (and get more and more toned).

Once I feel like I'm not struggling so much just to do the hill program on the elliptical, I'm going to implement some HIIT. The fat is coming off this time!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Day 5: Cleaning

Despite only walking 5,000 steps according to the Fitbit, I worked up a genuine sweat tonight doing some cleaning in preparation for a visit from Jason's brother and family. I cleaned the bathrooms, bedroom and kitchen for about an hour and a half and walked up and down the stairs at least 40 times. Totally counting it.

(I just realized I forgot to record Day 3 here. 30 minutes on the elliptical. I made it to the gym twice in one week. Go me!)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

And I'm starting the year off right!

Because I'm a nerd, I showed up at the gym at 10 AM. Too bad they didn't open until 12. I could have sworn that sign said 10...

So I didn't get to do the weights and elliptical I wanted to do, but instead came home and walked a loop on Blackstone Boulevard. The walking path is actually still covered with snow (though today's 60 degree weather should take care of most of that), but both sides of the street have huge parking lanes and bike paths so me and about 50 other people were out there walking or jogging.

I have a big pot of black eyed peas on the stove, which I will be eating without the rice tonight. My eating has been great. I've been caffeine- and sugar-free since Tuesday and I haven't even had any cravings.

I weighed and measured myself yesterday and the numbers freaked me right out. Is it really possible to gain 16 pounds in 3 months? Is it? Because that just seems wrong to me. Somehow that's exactly what I've managed to do. So now instead of having 20-25 pounds to lose, I have 36-41 pounds to lose. Sigh.

Jason was as befuddled as me since neither one of us could really remember my eating being super out of control. Anyway, it's a little alarming. Maybe my metabolism decided to completely shut down on my 34th birthday in October?

Well, I'm trying to reverse this gaining trend now. Fingers crossed that it works.