Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finally Shredded Again

After my two short jogs on Saturday, I was all fired up to Shred early Monday morning. But Sunday night, our baby got sick with a high fever. He's still sick (Wednesday night), so it's been difficult to get any time at all to exercise. Baby (who is almost 2) woke up repeatedly Sunday night, and Monday morning I needed to stay in bed with him to cuddle until I absolutely had to get up to leave. Tuesday was much the same.

This morning I had to stay home with Baby while my husband went to the surgical center for a diagnostic test, and I did get a chance to Shred (Day 17, by the way). I ate mostly raw Monday and Tuesday, and today I woke up shaky and weak. I had a bit of my coconut chocolate pudding and a sip of almond milk. It didn't seem to make any difference at all. I tried to Shred anyway. Surprisingly, I was able to get through the workout quite well. I did mostly non-modified exercises. I felt much more shaky and weak after my workout. I ate some nuts/dried fruit and still didn't feel much better. I still hadn't had an actual breakfast at this point though. Then I went to pick up my husband from the surgical center. When we got the news that he was absolutely fine, suddenly my shakiness/weakness were gone. So it may not have been food related at all :-)

Sick baby calls again, so this post is over!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back in the Saddle (I Hope)

The last time I exercised (Shredded) was July 15th. Extra work, family, etc. kept me busy in the evenings, and since I was staying up so late, I was getting up late too. I finally managed to get some exercise in on Saturday the 25th. I jogged 1.5 miles (to work) and then a couple of hours later jogged 1.5 miles back home. Each time I was running at approximately a 12 minute per mile pace. I am pretty sure that on my past runs, I was running at a 15-minute per mile or slower pace. The main difference might be that I was running without a jogging stroller this time. While this running time is still pretty slow, it gives me great hope that I may be able to reach one of my exercise goals (which I still have not revealed on this blog).

Today I decided to start eating all raw. I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep up with it long term since I've put almost no planning into it, but I did OK today. I had:

- hot pink smoothie (coconut water, beets, carrots, dates, cashews [not raw], strawberries)
- Bubbie's naturally fermented pickles [100% raw]
- 1/2 cup almonds, walnuts, dates, dried apricots
- spicy sprouts
- green smoothie (greens, flax oil, bananas, peaches)
- raw stir fry salad (cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, bean sprouts, garlic, ginger, soy sauce [not raw], olive oil)
- a bite of chicken that the kids were warming up [obviously not raw]\
- chocolate 'pudding' (coconut meat, cashews [not raw], walnuts, cocoa [not raw], honey [not raw], agave nectar, vanilla [not raw?])

Friday, July 17, 2009


I thought about jogging today, but I ended up making excuses and slacking off. I didn't Shred either. Tomorrow our schedule is packed, and I'm not sure if I'll have time to do anything. We are going swimming (though I heard it was just a splash park) at our family reunion, so I will make an effort to walk around instead of just parking my bottom in one spot. I'll also try to only eat what I'm actually hungry for. I will be bringing Chandelle's Raw Peach Crumble for the potluck. I had been looking for potluck recipes, and she posted this in the nick of time. I had all the ingredients except peaches on hand, and I picked up some nice ripe peaches tonight.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Before Pictures (Kind of)

I took some true 'Before' pictures back in June, but I am too scared to post them. I wore a sports bra and bike shorts, and I NEVER exit my house wearing that little. Even when swimming, I wear a swimming suit with board shorts over it. So I'm not brave enough to post those yet. Since I couldn't post them, I took fully-clothed pictures on July 1, 2009. This is about 10 days after I started exercising.

(Side note: I am guessing that a lot of my body image issues could be solved by not wearing Mom Jeans. I thought the only way you could avoid Mom Jeans was by wearing low rise jeans. There is no way those would work with my body, and I would be very uncomfortable in them. So I figured it was a lost cause. But I stumbled across this fantastic post about wearing flattering non-Mom Jeans and my life has been changed! I actually know what to look for now! I keep waiting to be able to afford some awesome jeans, but I think I'll give up on that for now and go to the thrift store and see what I can find.)

Don't mock my awesome smile:

As I hope you agree, I don't have a weight problem. However, I would like to stop looking pregnant from the side and I would like to reduce some flab around my high hip area. All my excess weight goes straight to this area, and if it gets worse, it will look really bad.

Regardless of the above, I have decided that my primary goals with this exercise program are to be strong, feel full of energy, and feel healthy and joyful. I need to refine those a bit, but that's my main focus, rather than getting to be a certain size or losing a certain number of inches.

Emotional Eater

I'm definitely an emotional eater. I don't go crazy with it, but food definitely helps soothe me or energize me. If I get a difficult assignment at work, I always want chocolate, immediately. This evening I had a rough time emotionally and was left feeling drained. I didn't think I would be able to move my body enough to exercise. So I made some brownie batter and ate that instead. I know that working out would have lifted my mood instantly, but I chose the less healthy route instead. If I ever feel like that again, I will take the middle route and go on a walk. A walk is easy enough that there's no excuse not to do it, and it's much healthier than downing a ton of sugar.

No More Ow!

I didn't want to leave that last post hanging so long.
After last Thursday I continued to Shred every other day, but doing only low impact exercises. By yesterday, I felt like I was healed enough to try the full impact again. I did it last night and as of this evening, I still feel great!!

Yesterday was Shred Day 16, and Calendar Day 26.

Food is going kind of well. I used to have to bring loads of sugar to work or buy 2 candy bars during the day. I haven't done that in a while now. I am still weak if sugar is presented to me, and sometimes I'll really pig out, but overall, it's not the constant day-to-day thing that it was.

Today I had to drive 170 miles, and no matter how far I drive, I get SO TIRED. I picked up a shake at Arby's to keep me awake on the way back. I figured Arby's would be a lot lower in calories than Baskin-Robbins. Turns out I was wrong. I should've just gone to Baskin Robbins - it tastes much better. The Arby's shake had 640 calories! Oh well, I'd rather be alive and drinking a 640-calorie shake than dead in a car crash!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Today is Shred Day 13. Everything from my knees down aches or is very tender. It doesn't feel like muscle pain. It doesn't hurt badly, but it is very, very tender, and I'm a little worried. The outer sides of my knees, the fronts of my knees (right below the kneecap), down the outer sides of my calves, and my ankles all hurt. The calf muscles themselves don't hurt. This seems to be bones, tendons, or ligaments.

If I knew what exercise specifically was causing the problem, I would modify it, but I'm not sure what it is. It does hurt to do jumping jacks. But it would make very little sense for them to be the culprit now. I did tons of them with no problem in Level 1. There are only a few as part of the warmup in Level 2. Maybe it's the high-impact of the high knees? The high impact of all the cardio? I don't know. I think I'm going to need to rest tomorrow and do something else. And then after that maybe I'll try running in place instead of some of the cardio exercises.

Despite what I said two days ago about just wanting to take the easy way out, I'm starting to want to master this thing! So having to modify heavily is quite disheartening rather than relieving.

Food today:
1 oz. pepper jack cheese
1 piece toast with little butter and honey
2 C green smoothie
BBQ beef on white roll
gross Wal-Mart potato salad
baked beans (with tons of kinds of beans, from garbanzos to limas!)
Fat Boy (I should have resisted; I picked it up literally on the way out the door from work!!)
delicious homemade potato salad

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Checking In

It feels like it's been days since I last Shredded, but I only skipped one day. Yesterday we went on a 'hike' to a waterfall, but it was a nearly level trail, so it was more of a saunter/walk.

Anyway, today is Shred day 12, calendar day 19. Today's Level 2 workout was so much easier than Monday's. Kind of. The difference may have been that I'd only had 5 hours sleep before Monday's workout. Also, today I did some of the modified lunges from the beginning, knowing that otherwise I'd die at the end. I thought that by the end of Level 1, I was the cardio master. But the Level 2 cardio exercises really do me in! Today I felt a lot more interested in taking on the challenge and beating the DVD!

As for food:
peanut butter/honey sandwich
tortilla + squash/chickpea salad
a tiny bit of trail mix (almonds + raisins + M&Ms)
single scoop of Baskin Robbins ice cream
rotisserie chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad

For me, that was actually a VERY good sugar day. The trail mix had maybe 5-10 M&Ms in it, and usually I prefer eating a huge bowl of ice cream, not a single scoop :-)

3 cups green smoothie
squash + chickpea salad
2 tortillas
small apple
3/4 Kit Kat
a bunch of rotisserie chicken
3-4 bites of ice cream

Monday, July 6, 2009

30-Day Shred, Level 2

Today I started the first day of Level 2 of the 30-Day Shred. I think this is Shred Day 11 and calendar day 17.

I think I died. I don't really remember much of what I did this morning. My DVD stopped working right in the middle of a strength exercise, and it took 4 full minutes to transfer it into the other computer and get it going again. During a 20-minute workout, that's quite a long break. Even with that break, I was still dying. I took full advantage of the need to watch the exercises so I would know how to do them. I can't even think of which exercises I did full-versions and which I did modified. I don't want to think of them!!

I realized that I really don't like to do hard things. Some people revel in the challenge and they want to push themselves to win, to beat the challenge. Not me. I just want to skate through, calm and relaxed and easy. Or, I want to improve so slightly that I don't even notice it getting harder. Not this sudden death by pain thing. I haven't written about it here yet, but one of my exercise goals involves a running race. I am seriously questioning that now. Races are hard! You HAVE to push yourself. I don't know if I have that much character yet.

I took my measurements this morning:
Neck: 12.5"
Upper arm: 11"
Ribcage/chest: 27.5" (-1")
Waist: 27.5" (-0.5")
Hip: 37.75"
Thigh: 21.5" (-0.25")
Calf: 13" (+0.25")
Weight: ? (no scale)

That's very little change. I am surprised about the loss of 1 inch from my ribcage. I may have had some back fat that I am losing, or maybe I am just not measuring consistently. I expected and hoped to get bigger calves, since mine are like toothpicks. I expected to see a lot of changes to my hips/waist.

I guess the lack of loss means that I need to consider improving my diet for real, instead of just talking about it a lot. To this end, I brought only the following foods to work today: green smoothie, really raw almonds, an apple, a tortilla (white flour, unfortunately), and Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad. I am having S'mores tonight (at least 1) when we go up the canyon. My new goal, as of today, is to limit myself to 1 treat per day. So if I am having the S'more later, I won't have anything the rest of the day. That had better be a very good S'more!!

Food over the weekend was not the best* and since I've been eating this way all along, that likely explains the lack of inches lost:

Saturday: 1 piece pizza, a carmel, strawberries, 2 eggs, 2 toast, bite hot dog, green smoothie, 1/4 funnel cake, corn flakes/strawberries/bananas/milk, chocolate covered ice cream bar, 3 big pretzels, 7(!) Fudge Stripe cookies.
Sunday: 2 pretzels, 2 Fudge Stripe cookies, corn flakes/bananas/milk, chocolate truffle (300 calories), part hot dog + ketchup, rocky road ice cream, butternut squash chickpea salad, potato salad, BBQ chicken, potato/butter/sour cream, and green smoothie.

*I refuse to beat myself up over poor food choices or assign extremely negative words to them. I think that's far more unhealthy than just eating them and moving on, or eating them and enjoying it!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mornings are Best

It seems that it is easiest for me to exercise in the mornings. I am getting to the point where I'm dreading exercising throughout the day. What's the point? I want to have a perfect body and feel 1000% better and have perfect health instantly. I get bored when I don't see instant results. If I exercise first thing in the morning, I avoid most of this process. If I exercise after work, I think about it and dread it half the day.

I don't think that any exercise DVDs will hold my interest long term. I am definitely going to finish the 30-Day Shred and then use that and other DVDs on days I don't want to get outside, but I think that a variety of exercises, particularly outside exercises like running and biking will hold my interest better in the long run. But the problem with outdoor exercises is that I hate the heat and the cold. So that leaves about 4 weeks out of the year where the temperature is just right :-)

I did Day 8 of the Shred yesterday morning. Today we left the house at 6:30 a.m., so I put off exercising until later. I thought about doing it all day kept putting it off and didn't see any way I would ever get through the workout, if I even got started. I got about 5 hours sleep last night and I was beyond exhausted. Finally it got late and I started Shredding at 8:45. Suddenly everything was great! I made it through the workout just fine.

I realized that I am having trouble with my pushups because I am doing them way too slow. I went faster this time and was able to do 18 for the first set and 12 for the second. They are still the modified (on knees) pushups. I might be able to switch to real pushups but only do a few.

Today was Shred Day 9 and Calendar Day 14. That makes it sound like I've skipped a lot of days. I skip Sundays no matter what. The first and second weeks I skipped a day and did no other exercise, and then there was 1 day that I did other exercise.

I wasn't sure if I would be ready to go to Shred Level 2 after 10 days, but I think I will try it. I would still like to MASTER Level 1 though. I want to get to a point where I can do all the exercises easily. I guess there is no point to doing that more than once though -- if it's easy, it's not going to be doing much for me.

I have heard some people say the Shred is hard on the knees and shins. I haven't noticed that at all until today. The outer left side of my knee is a tiny bit tender. I'll keep an eye on it.

Tomorrow we will be leaving early for the 4th of July parade, and I don't want to Shred in the morning since I just Shredded tonight. So I'll have to psych myself up to do it tomorrow afternoon or evening. Maybe it will be a nice pre-fireworks activity :-)

Food yesterday: 10 strawberries, 2 cups green smoothie, 1 Kashi cracker with cream cheese (from co-worker), 1/2 orange roll with frosting (from a different co-worker), a little curry soup (from a third co-worker), 1/2 Quizno's Honey Bacon Club, 1 almond cocoa ball, tortilla + cream cheese, rotisserie chicken and lots of extra skin, peas, rice, about 2 T M&Ms. Well, obviously I got plenty of calories, but still tacked all the treats on top. Sugar fail. Well, actually, Sugar Win. It's Getting Off Of Sugar Fail.

Food today: 3 C green smoothie, McDonald's Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit, 1/2 C orange juice, bits of tortillas with cream cheese, Snickers, chicken/rice/peas/cream cheese, 2.5 slices pizza. Unless I forgot something, I did better on sugar today. But the McDonald's and the pizza more than makes up for that.

I don't think I am going to track calories at this point. I think it will start making me crazy. But if I input my food into FitDay, it automatically calculates the calories. The main problem is the sugar. But I am not ready to release my grip on it. When I'm exercising, I feel really powerful, and I want to give up sugar. But when I'm done, I start thinking about all my favorite treats - oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, dark chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, brownies, ice cream, M&Ms, Nestlé Crunch Crisp, Twix PB, . . . OK, I'll stop there!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


My post titles are getting really annoying. The idea was that someone doing their own 30-Day Shred would be able to easily see where I was in the program without having to read through every post. But it's annoying me now, so I'm ditching the 'Day 7' title but will include the information in the post.

I got up early to Shred today. (Shred Day 7, Calendar Day 12) It went very well. I am doing the full versions of every exercise except those darn pushups!! They completely kill me. Kill. There are 2 sets of pushups in the workout. Each lasts 30 seconds. On the first one, I did 12 modified pushups. The first 8 or so were very good pushups. I only got to 4 in the second set! My arms were about to collapse/die.

This time I paused the video for about 45 seconds to stretch out my quads before starting the stationary lunges. And I started with the opposite leg I usually do. When I switched over to the leg that has given me trouble, it was fine.

The only other exercise that really does me in is the lateral lunges with shoulder raise. You are holding dumbbells and as you go down into a lateral lunge, you keep both arms straight and raise the dumbbells out in front of you to eye height. My arms/shoulders are dying by the end of that one, but I'm able to do the full (non-modified) lunge.

As for food -- I usually don't count calories. I've had an account at since 2002ish. I have tracked my food probably 20 times since then. And some days I apparently left off after lunch and didn't even finish tracking the whole day. So I'm not really obsessed with calories. But seeing that yesterday I only ate 1900 calories, and 1/3 of it was sugary treats makes me think I need to be eating more food! If I ate more good-quality foods, I probably wouldn't have such strong sugar cravings. I've always tied my cravings to the types of food I was lacking (not enough protein or not enough fat), but maybe it's simply not enough calories.

I also think that counting calories could get pretty dangerous for me. I was already a little freaked out that 1 date had 66 calories. My Hot Pink Smoothies have 1/4 cup dates in them. This is about 4 pitted dates. That is 264 calories, over half the calories in the entire quart-sized smoothie, just from the tiny amount of dates. I just thought the concept was ridiculous. I didn't realize dates were a calorically dense food. My other struggle is worrying about the calories in sugar. I love my sugar! I don't want to go crazy worrying because I ate a 500-calorie treat. I do want to 'get off' sugar, but not in a crazy-making way.

Back to eating more food. I am not able to eat a lot at one meal without feeling uncomfortably full. Oh, I can pack it in if I want/need to (mostly on holidays, if the food is free, at Chipotle, or at Tucanos/Rodizio Grill), but if I actually pay attention to how I am feeling, my body doesn't want me to eat a lot at once. But I don't want to be a grazer either. I think there is something to the idea of only eating 3 times per day. Supposedly your leptin levels get all messed up if you're constantly eating.

To help add more calories today, I had a homemade tortilla with about 2 ounces of cream cheese on it. I heated it up and ate it as an appetizer to my lunch of rice + beans/tomatoes/corn/onions/garlic/chilies. Usually I would have just had the rice stuff. For breakfast I had the leftover 1/3 of my Hot Pink Smoothie and 1 pint (half) of a Green Smoothie. Today's green smoothie had lettuce, spinach, chard, flax oil, bananas, and peaches. If I get hungry again this afternoon I'll have the rest of the green smoothie or another tortilla + cream cheese. I brought 1/4 cup M&M's to work, so I may end up eating those at some point.

Dinner tonight will probably be salmon, a potato, and vegetables. I'm trying to get my kids to like quinoa, but they are hating it so far. Maybe if I give it to them every single day they'll eventually give in and realize they won't die if they eat it. It really does sting when I carefully plan and cook a healthy dinner and they come to the table and their faces fall, or they burst out crying. I guess it's my fault for not feeding them this way all along! We are all sugar addicts together.