Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Week 1 of SparkPeople Challenge

It feels like it’s been forever since I posted. Sorry about that. I’ve been really preoccupied with the challenge group on SparkPeople. One of the daily goals is to post to the group once every day, so it’s kind of time consuming to keep up with everyone else’s posts.

The challenge is going awesome. Today marks the start of Week 2, so I weighed in this morning to find a 5, yes FIVE, pound loss!!! I’m totally excited. I have been very diligently meeting the daily and weekly goals, so I really feel like I earned those 5 pounds.

The one thing that really frustrates me about the challenge is that there are several other people who have put in 90+ minutes of exercise every single day of the challenge so far. I seriously do not have the energy (or most days, the time) to work out that much. I almost don’t believe that they are really doing it. Or maybe they are counting activities that I don’t count as exercise. I have no idea. But, it just doesn’t seem realistic for the long term to me. I’m used to a 4-5 day per week workout schedule and I have always looked forward to and relished my rest days. But, I’m now realizing that there won’t be many rest days on this challenge. And, maybe this is a good thing. I mean, a challenge is supposed to push you out of your comfort zone, right?

Yesterday afternoon when I got home from work, I mowed our lawn. We have a push reel mower, so mowing the lawn is more of a workout than it used to be. It took me 50 minutes and I definitely was sweaty, so I counted that in my activity for the day.

I also realized that I have a 5 minute walk to and from the bus stop every day, which I have never counted as activity. This morning I thought, would I count it if I was on my treadmill instead of outside? YES! So, from now on, I’m counting those minutes.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

10 lbs!

FINALLY! After over two months of trying to lose this weight, I am finally down 10 pounds! I fully give credit to the commitment I made on StickK AND the challenge group I joined on SparkPeople. Thanks to the challenge group, I have been within my calories for 4 days in a row now AND gotten 4 days of good activity in. The competitive nature of the challenge has really motivated me to push myself and I couldn't be more pleased.

Next Saturday, I'm going to get a pedicure to celebrate my hard earned success. :) :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Night Lite

Happy, happy Friday! I feel like this week just dragged.

So, I told you that I’m participating in the challenge on SparkPeople right? Well, it’s going awesome. It’s been a great motivator for me to track my calories, and amp up my activity. I hope that once my honeymoon phase dies down, my successes will keep me motivated through the whole 12 weeks. They have set out a weekend challenge for this weekend to get 60 min of cardio each day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It will definitely be a challenge, but I’m up for it. I’ve already got in a 30 min walk today, and in a few minutes I’m heading out for 30 min on the elliptical.

Today a bunch of people are getting together for happy hour after work. I’m really proud that I’ve scheduled myself to do a workout before I meet them. I’ve also planned the calories for the glass of wine that I’m going to enjoy. Yay me!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Commitments & Competition

Happy Monday, everyone! I had a really fun weekend and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Friday was a really busy day at work for me, so that evening my husband and I went out to dinner with some friends to blow off some steam. We ended up going to Il Gatto in Uptown. I had the scallops, which were phenomenal. It was just a really nice dinner out.

After dinner we couldn’t really decide what should be done, so we tried out a couple of the patios in Uptown. First we went to Stella’s Fish CafĂ©, which is great fun, but the patio was packed with lots of young girls and there was just no great place for the five of us to sit and talk. So, we decided to head over to Moto-I and try out their patio instead – it was perfect. Not too crowded, we got some great drinks and had a really nice time.

Saturday was our lazy day. We slept in, watched movies, and relaxed. I did a treadmill workout in the afternoon. It was a really nice day. On Saturday morning, we got an invitation to go to a beer festival over at the Saints Stadium on Sunday afternoon. I am so glad we went. We met a couple of friends there and had 4 hours of beer tasting fun. The weather was beautiful, but I was very unprepared and had no sunscreen with me, so I am lobster red today as a result. Will I ever learn?

We didn’t get home from the beer fest until around 6, and still hadn’t done our weekly grocery shopping. So, I sent my husband to the store and I took an ice cold shower for relief after being in the sun all day. When he got home, I made some waffles for dinner and we went to bed very early.

But, there was one really bad thing that happened this weekend. I had done pretty well on my 5 days of workouts goal, but I needed to work out both Saturday and Sunday in order to meet my 5 days. On Sunday, I thought, “Oh, we won’t be out too late at the beer fest, so I’ll work out when we get home.” Well, by the time we were home and had eaten dinner, working out was so far from my mind, I just totally forgot about it and now I’ll fall 1 day short of my goal. I’m really bummed about this. I don’t want to give up my $20 to that awful “charity” this week. But, that is what I committed that I would do. So, I guess I need to take my lumps and learn from my mistake.

I will say that this commitment has been a big motivator for me to get in my activity. I worked out last Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and today (Monday) will be my fourth day this week. I doubt Tuesday or Wednesday’s workouts would have happened if I hadn’t made my contract with StickK.

I have one more, big thing I want to share with you all: I have joined a weight loss challenge group on SparkPeople! A friend told me about it and I’m so excited to get started. It starts this Wednesday. Basically, I will earn points for doing healthy stuff (like drinking all my water, staying within my calories, working out, etc). There is a $10 buy-in, and then at the end of the challenge, the top three finishers split the pot. And, I’m pretty competitive, so I’m excited to see how the competition helps motivate me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

StickK with it!

First of all, let me just say, I am a HUGE fan of this new blog template. Ok, now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

I’ve been struggling to get on track lately. I’ve only run once since the race and it wasn’t a very pleasant experience. I’ve been really sporadic with my food tracking on SparkPeople as well. And, I totally binged yesterday.

I would like to say that today was better, but I skipped breakfast at home this morning and also had Arby’s for lunch.

I’m feeling like I need a kick in the pants. Right now I’m living the pattern that I’ve always lived and I’ve just got to break through it. Without the fear of the race looming over me, I haven’t had any motivation to get my body moving. Yesterday my friend’s 5 year old little girl said to me, “You should exercise more and get thin.” Yeah, it hurt. But actually, she’s right.

So, today I made a contract at If you haven’t heard of StickK, it’s a website that you use to set up contracts with yourself to meet your goals. The really cool thing about the site is that you can tack a financial incentive on to your contract that can be used as a penalty for not meeting your goals. The penalty can be sent to a friend, a charity, or an anti-charity (a charity that you hate).

I signed a contract to exercise 5 days per week and put $20 per week on the line with an anti-charity. I absolutely hate the idea of giving this charity $1 let alone $20, so I think this will be a good motivation for me. Also, I recruited my husband to be my referee and keep me honest. I have a 12 week contract, and you know I’ll keep you updated too.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Turkey Burgers

Hey everyone. Happy Thursday! This week has felt so long to me. Things have been really slow at work, so that doesn’t make it easier, I suppose.

I ran on Tuesday for the first time since the big race. It went okay. I upped my speed a little bit and as a result, my distance wasn’t what I had hoped for, but that’s ok. I’ve been having some heel pain that I am moderately concerned about. I strike with my heel, and even though I try to consciously land on my forefoot, I know I’m not doing it all the time. But, I’m working on it.

I made some awesome turkey burgers the other night. I modified a recipe from They turned out so good, I thought I’d post the recipe for y’all:

Cranberry Turkey Burgers:

1.25 lbs ground turkey breast
1/3 C dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 C plain bread crumbs
1/4 C diced onion
1 egg white, beaten
1 T dried parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
5 light hamburger buns
5 slices reduced fat Swiss cheese
1 onion, caramelized (to caramelize, slice 1 yellow onion and sauté over medium heat with 1 T vegetable oil, stirring occasionally until a deep golden brown color ~ about 20 minutes)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl and form into 5 patties. Grill until internal temperature reaches 180˚ F. Top burgers with cheese and caramelized onions. 360 calories, 9.7g fat, 4.6g fiber.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Big Me

Hey there, y’all! I’m back like fashion!

The celebration trip to Vegas after the race was fantastic. Exactly what the doctor ordered. It was one of those vacations where you don’t *have* to do anything. I read a terrible book, drank lots of calories, and soaked up as much sun as I could handle. It was great.

I was actually very surprised, incredulous, really, that I didn’t gain about 20 pounds on the trip – I came home to just a one pound gain and then I dropped down after a few days back at home! Amazing. So, now I’ve *almost* officially lost 10 pounds from my starting weight. What a nice round number 10 is...and it's so close...

It’s very liberating to be done with the race, actually. Now, I feel like I can do other workouts besides running and there’s no pressure. Tonight will be a treadmill workout at home, but tomorrow I’ll bring in my Y clothes and get in an elliptical workout for the first time in a while.

I’m tracking again on SparkPeople, too. So, hopefully these next 5 pounds come off more like the first 5…

It’s hard to believe it’s only Tuesday. Feels more like a Thursday…maybe it’s because I’m really looking forward to the weekend. We are having a Filipino party at our house on Saturday. My husband is Filipino, so he’s planning the festivities. It should be really fun.

Well, I don’t have a whole lot else for you. I’ll check in tomorrow with a report of how my first run back in business goes tonight.

When I was about 1/3 of the way through the 10 miler, this song came up on my MP3 player. I had barely started the race and I was tired and pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to finish and these lyrics really struck me:

Big Me to talk about it
I could stand to prove
If we can get around it
I know that it’s true
When I talked about it
Carried on
Reasons only knew

I just couldn’t help thinking how I had talked a big talk about this damn race and now I might not follow through. So, today, for your listening pleasure, I leave you with Foo Fighters: