Monthly Archives: April 2013

You are more beautiful than you think

This article was floating around my Facebook newsfeed yesterday, about how, typically, a woman’s description of herself is more harsh than a stranger’s description.  Dove hired an FBI sketch artist to draw the women as they described themselves, then draw the same woman as described by a stranger.  The women’s self described drawing often centered around the things they dislike about their appearance, and the stranger’s drawing was more beautiful and more like the women.

Source:  realbeautysketches.dove.us

Source: realbeautysketches.dove.us

The video brought me to tears.  Why are we our own harshest critic?  Why can’t we see ourselves the way other see us?

I know I am guilty of this.

One of the lines in the video says something to the effect of “we spend so much time trying to fix the things that aren’t quite right when we should spend more time appreciating the things that we do like.”

Instead of tearing ourselves apart, we need to build ourselves up.

Stop the negative nitpicking; work on positive self-esteem.

I was moved by the video, and I felt I needed to share.  I spend a lot of time thinking and blogging about my attempt to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.  I think a healthier perception of myself needs to be included in that.

I want to challenge anyone who reads this and struggles with this – the next time you start to tear yourself apart, instead, find something that you like about yourself and focus on that.   The next time someone pays you a compliment, accept it graciously and BELIEVE it.  The next time someone wants to take a photo with you in it, let them.

You are more beautiful than you think.

Visit realbeautysketches.dove.us for more on the article.

Weekly Weigh-In #8…and Tabata

Down .6 pounds.

I have mixed feelings about this weigh-in.  On the one hand, any downward movement is progress, and that’s all I can ask for.  Weighing in at 150.6 puts me less that a pound the 140’s – and that is exciting.  But dang, progress is slow.  I know I deserve it – especially this week because I didn’t give it 100% this week.  Honestly, with the way work is keeping me busy and stressed…and the way allergies have my head in a fog, I don’t even feel like I gave it 50% this week.

Getting up in the mornings has been a struggle this week, but I have been keeping up with the April Arm’s Challenge.  It is from here that I have just learned what a tabata is (though the husband says we did these when we were doing Crossfit…but I don’t remember a Crossfit workout ever only lasting 4 minutes).

So if you don’t know what a tabata is, it’s a 4 minute interval workout (but you should warm up before!).  The intervals are 20 seconds of a high intensity move followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times (which totals 4 minutes).  The moves in the intervals usually alternate so you’re not just doing one move 8 times.

Now it you’re like me and are thinking “4 minutes?  That sounds ridiculously easy” or “10 seconds of rest between moves seems like a lot of time” – get that out of your head right now.  10 seconds basically gives you time to get in position for the next interval, not time to fully recover.  And remember I mentioned these were high intensity intervals?  It’s 4 minutes of burn.  Don’t be like me and set the timer automatically for 8 minutes on your first tabata ever; I WAS BEAT.  But I liked it so much, I did this week’s Thursday tabata for 8 minutes again.

Last week’s tabata moves were bench hops and mountain climbers; this week’s were medicine ball slams and burpees without pushups.  I added the push-up, as best I could.  I hate burpees…and thrusters…and anything that requires me to jump on to or over something (box jumps, bench hops, etc)…and by hate I mean I curse doing them until after they’re done when I feel amazing because I overcame a huge physical and mental challenge.

Alright – I feel pumped up to make next week better than this week.

Why I’m breaking it off with Jillian Michaels

Ever been in a relationship so long that some of the things that initially attracted you to the other person begin to be the very things that annoy you?  Like initially you may like your partner’s dedication to his/her job…but as time goes on you begin to see that as being a “workaholic”.

Don’t worry, I’m not referring to my husband here.  I’m refering to my “relationship” with Jillian Michaels…or at least her DVD’s.

While there are lots of things that I do like about her style of training (as I mentioned before), this morning I was just completely annoyed with the workout.  It was my second workout of Level 2 of Ripped in 30 – having completed the Level 1 workout 5 times last week (and completed the 30 Day Shred before that).  In the Level 1 video, she mentions that no moves will be repeated in this series.  You do regular push-ups in Level 1, and you’ll won’t do regular push-ups in the other levels.  At first I thought that would be great, but as I was working out to Level 2, I just feel like some of these moves are strictly incorporated just to have different moves.  Don’t get me wrong – they are great workouts, but if I haven’t quite mastered a push-up, I don’t feel like I should be doing crow push-ups.

I know there are all sorts of options – just do the regular push-ups or repeat Level 1 until I’m more comfortable with all the moves…but here’s what I really think:  I just need a break from Jillian for a little while.  There are a few other things that are annoying me – particularly that I don’t feel like I’m getting the strength training I desire out of these videos, my lack of desire to get up in the morning and do these, and boredom from the same style of workout over and over.  Part of me wants to push through and finish the other levels – thinking that having one bad workout is not a good enough reason to quit –  but the greater part of me thinks I will continue to half-ass the workouts, like I did this morning.  They’re just not enjoyable anymore and I have to force my way through them.

So with that being said, I am going to put Ripped in 30 on hold for a little while and do some other, more varied workouts for at least the rest of this month.  I haven’t quite figured what exactly I’ll be doing yet…but I will by tomorrow morning.  I’ll come back to Ripped in 30…when I’m not quite as annoyed.

Weekly Weigh-In 7 (and 6)

I skipped posting my weekly weigh-in last week.  Not because it was a gain (though it was), but because I didn’t weigh-in until Saturday, and I don’t usually get on the computer on the weekend since I sit in front of it all week.

So weekly weigh-in number 6:  153.4 (up 2.4 pounds).  It was a bad week.  I didn’t track, and I out-ate my workouts.  It sucked, but I didn’t dwell on it.  I had created my April menu and I’ve stuck to the first week so far this week and today’s weigh-in showed.  151.2 (down 2.2 pounds).

We all have bad days/weeks/meals.  I think the key is realizing what you’re doing and then correcting it – but not giving yourself a bunch of grief or beating yourself up about it.  I definitely could have wallowed in self-pity and shoveled tons of sweets into my mouth Sunday (as I had given up sweets for Lent).  And many times in the past, this is just what I would have done.  But instead, I stayed in control of my mind and emotions – had one piece of pie, and then started focusing on following the plan I had made for this week.

Today I feel good.

On another note, I mentioned yesterday that I would be going to Zumba class after work – for the first time in a year-and-a-half.  It was exactly what I expected:  a great cardio workout, tons of fun, and me looking completely uncoordinated – as I had forgotten the steps/routines/how to shake it.  Can’t wait for next week.

National Walking Day

It seems like every day has some special theme attached to it these days.  My Facebook friends are always posting something like “It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day” or “It’s National Pancake Day”.  I don’t feel like we need a day to celebrate everything, but I do like today’s theme:  National Walking Day, as declared by the American Heart Association.

A couple of years ago, I read this article that mentions people who sit for most of the day are 54% more likely to die of heart attacks.  Granted this article does not go in depth on the research and does not mention if there are other factors, but taking it at face value – desk jobs are scary!

I’ve been trying to get out and walk at lunch anyway, but I’m pretty finicky.  If it’s too cold or too hot or looks like it might rain, I skip the walk.  Today’s it’s cold and gray…and I was planning to work through lunch.  But I think I will get out and take that walk.

(On a similar note, Blue Cross Blue Shield declared April 24th National Walk@Lunch Day so if you aren’t prepared today, you can be for the 24th…or for tomorrow…)

Will you take a break today and get in an extra walk?

 

Ripped in 30: Day 3 and April Arms Challenge

This morning, I was a little crunched for time so I only did the first two circuits of Ripped in 30 Level 1 (plus the warm up and cool down).  I know, in theory it’s only 6 more minutes that I left out – but with all of Jillian’s talking in between sets, I bet it’s more like 8 minutes….plus since I had to place a hold on the DVD from library, I’m using a video I found online until it’s available, and it was stopping to buffer at least once per set.  So it was more like 10+ minutes.

It sounds like I’m feeling guilty about it since I just rationalized it, but I’m really not.  On top of Ripped in 30, I’ve been participating in the April Arms Challenge by Athena at  Fitness and Feta, and after work this afternoon, I’m going to Zumba (which I haven’t been to Zumba class in a year-and-a-half…this should be fun).  Plus, I won’t make a habit of leaving out a circuit – no matter what’s in store with the next 3 levels.

I’m feeling super sore today – pretty much everywhere…except my abs.  Glutes, thighs, back, chest, arms – all sore.  Even though the Arms Challenge has repeated moves that I’m doing in the Ripped in 30 workout (or a slightly modified version), I’m enjoying the short extra workout in the evening.  I’m trying to use heavier weights in the evening, since it’s just an arms workout and it’s quick.

On the food front, so far I like the modified meal plan.  Since I’ve already done most of the leg work ahead of time – to know what size portions to eat to be at about 400 calories per meal – I’m not tracking it Weight Watchers style.  I feel a little like a fish out of water, but I wasn’t tracking like I should have anyway. We’ll see how this month goes.

Ripped in 30: Day 1 and 2

It has begun!  Bring it, Jillian.

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I wasn’t able to get up yesterday morning, so I did the first workout yesterday afternoon.  I always struggle working out in the afternoon, tired from working all day and thinking about all I need to do after the workout.  As I struggled through, I loathed Jillian, even though about half of the movements are repeats from the three levels of the 30 Day Shred; I was exhausted…and she looks phenomenal in the video.  Her arms are my motivation.

I did manage to get up this morning and repeat the workout.  This time, while still challenging, it was much better.  To me, I think this routine is equally as hard as Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred – mostly because she ramps up the speed for the “bad-ass” version on most of the cardio…plus some new cardio moves that definitely get the heart rate up.

Now, I am feeling a little sore – mostly in my upper arms, glutes, and hips.  I love it.  I’ve always loved the slight ache of sore muscles after a good workout.  Maybe that’s weird, but it makes me feel like I really did something.  So far, I like the video.

A couple of changes I noticed in this series is that instead of two moves for the strength circuit, there are three; I like that change.  And I watched the intro part (which I never did for the 30 Day Shred); she tells you to do the workout 5 or 6 days a week, not 7 like I had been thinking.  Thank you for the rest days that I would have taken anyway!  And there’s a free downloadable nutrition plan.

The nutrition plan is based on 3-400 calorie meals and 1-200 calorie snack.  Most of the recipes sound pretty good.  But I am not following the plan 100% for several reasons – the main ones being too many ingredients per week and too much food going to waste (b/c of partially used ingredients). Plus the recipes repeat every 10 days or so, and I like a little more variety than that.  So…I made my own meal plan, using a lot of Jillian’s recipes, my own recipes, and recipes from another 30 day challenge that I had downloaded previously.  I will stick with the basis of her plan – 3-400 calorie meals and 1 snack (though yesterday I didn’t eat it…).  I’m incorporating a few other things – Meatless Monday, using the slow-cooker once a week,  larger portions for the husband and leftovers for his lunch the next day, a night off every now and then, and a meal out with friends after church, as is our routine.  The nights off are for events that we already have planned, and I feel like as long as I don’t go overboard, this should be okay.  I’m no nutritionist, but I feel like these modifications make a plan realistic for my husband and I.

Here’s what this week looks like:

Menu

I was so disappointed that there were no good avocados at the grocery store last night.  No avocado on my turkey avocado wrap tomorrow.  This week includes a lot of tacos and burritos – to use up the tortillas that I would have been buying for some of Jillian’s recipes anyway.

I’m excited to see how this month goes!