Monday, September 29, 2008

Fight Gone Bad

What a CRAZY weekend! I was feeling ambitious on Thursday so I decided to give Level 2 of the Shred a go. It wasn't NEARLY as bad as I had imagined. It was definitely challenging, but not at all impossible. I was proud of myself for getting through the entire workout with my 5 pound weights! Level 2 is harder in the cardio aspect, for sure. There's a lot more jumping and hopping around which helps keep the heart rate up. Level 1, while challenging, has several moves that allow for the heart rate to drop (or maybe they're just getting too easy for me?). Either way, I survived and it was great. I went back to Level 1 on Friday in preparation for my Fight Gone Bad workout on Saturday.
Saturday's workout with Jill's Crossfit group ( was a fundraiser for Athletes for a Cure and the Wounded Warrior Project. The workout was done in pairs and consisted of three rotations of 5 1-minute stations (with 1 minute rest in between rotations). The stations were the erg, wall ball squats (squat, throw a medicine ball up against the wall catch it and repeat), sumo dead lifts (basically a squat lift with weight to the chin), box jumps and push up lifts (raising a bar from your chest up over your head).
After the first 4 minutes, I was pretty sure I would puke. It was WAYYY intense. I rocked on the erg, which was great. The points for the erg were based on how many calories you burned and since NO ONE uses the erg correctly, they were all killing themselves to burn 9 (or less) calories in a minute. When done properly, you use a LOT less energy and burn more calories because the correct motion is more efficient. Anyhow, that minute was my recovery. I just chilled on the erg, rowing away for a minute, with my splits barely under 2:30 and i was still burning 13-15 calories each minute. I was laughing to myself on the inside :-)
All in all, it was a GREAT workout. (Both Andrew and I are STILL sore though).

We had to rush home because we were late for Oktoberfest and we had VIP passes to get in an hour early. It was a GREAT time and we tried so many beers, new and old. Emily and I fell in love with a Berry Wheat. Delish! The only downside was the mile long line for 6 porta potties. SIX!? There must have been 250 people there-ALL drinking- and they get SIX porta potties? Not very well planned out, if you ask me. It led some people to desperate measures, like peeing in trash cans.

Next weekend is the opening of the new Bella Vista beer distributors and there is a definite possibility of it being a lot like this weekend, but without free beer steins and a lot more parking lots to pee in.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

First Week Weigh In

Its officially been one week with my Body Bugg and I weighed in this morning. I lost 4 pounds this week! I'm really excited and motivated! Don't get me wrong, it has been hard work and many, many instances of Andrew laughing at me while I measure out my cereal and salad and dressing and almonds, but its worth it! I even worked a cheat day into it! When you weigh in from week to week the Bugg tells you how many calories you actually ate based on how much you lost. I must have been overestimating my intake a bit (I did that in purpose) because my average deficit was about 1500 calories. I'm just really energized and I'm getting better and faster at knowing how many calories are in things and measuring portions. I think with enough practice, it could become a habit (and therefore, less of a pain in the neck). Only 39 more pounds to go!
I'm still on Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred. Its STILL challenging! Especially the side lunges with weights! I'm almost too scared to try level 2! My friend Emily said that the 30 Day Shred levels 1 and 2 are on demand, so if you don't want to buy the DVD, you can try it for free! Emily did level 1 the other day and really liked it, I swear its the best workout you can get in 20 minutes!
I have noticed a definite improvement in my abilities since I've started it. The first time I did it, I was panting, sweaty and barely made it through. Now, its still challenging (I wonder if I'll EVER be able to do regular push-ups) but I can get through the whole thing without stopping and without compromising the quality of the exercises.

This weekend is Oktoberfest here in Philly. I'm doing a fundraiser workout with Jill's Crossfit group on Saturday to raise money for Athletes for a Cure and the Wounded Warrior Project. I figure I should burn enough calories there to make up for all the beer I will be drinking this weekend. And the pizza I have promised myself :-)
If I can walk on Sunday, I hope to do our weekly bike ride on West River Drive...but I'm not making any promises! The last time I was at Crossfit, I couldn't move for 2 days!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Body Bugg + Weekened= UGH

I've been wearing the Body Bugg since Thursday and I have to admit, it is seriously a LOT of work. Measuring every bit of food, counting every calorie-its hard work. And most of the time, I'm STARVING. My body is definitely not used to running on a 1000+ calorie deficit. But I am learning a lot about my body and my lifestyle. For one, I am a LOT more active than I thought I was. On an average day, I have no trouble at all burning my target calories. In fact, I've been over my target by about 800 calories pretty consistently since Thursday. I'm also learning how many damn calories are in the things that I love the MOST (like bread and cheese). I made us a homemade pizza for dinner on Friday. Andrew laughed as I weighed and measured every single ingredient and then divided it into portions. Everything I used was organic and natural and one tiny slice still ended up being 228 calories! UGH!
Friday I skipped my usual "with dinner" beer altogether and on Saturday had 2 glasses of wine with dinner (100 calories each). But yesterday was football day and it was REALLY tough. The Tap Room has the greatest beers ever (Miller Lite and Coors Lite do not exist here) so I couldn't go there and order wine. But our cable went out and I HAD to watch the Eagles beat the Steelers, so I settled in at the bar and had a delicious wheat beer. To be fair to me, I drank it pretty slow and only had 3 the entire time I was there. (I would usually put away 6 or 7 during a game). So I drank about 600 of my calories yesterday and even with the beautiful looooong 15 mile bike ride Andrew and I went on yesterday, I was STILL under my target calories to burn for the day. I had a breakdown because I was STARVING (thats what happens when you DRINK all of your calories). I felt like such a failure for not meeting my target. The only reason I drank was because I had been going over my target by so much, I figured I would make up for it. But I didn't. And I got seriously upset. Andrew took my Body Bugg away and told me I could have it back in the morning. I started crying because I know that this is why diets and plans and things of the sort never work for me: because I get too rigid and they become unsustainable. Andrew pointed out that for anything to work long term it has to be sustainable and then he also pointed out that it was Sunday and I deserved some down time. He took the Bugg and we watched the Emmy's. I put it back on before bed, but not after promising myself to chill out a bit (or be less crazy, according to Andrew). Of course i want this to work, but I don't want to kill myself in the process (or end up bulimic again).
Eventually, I will find my balance. For now, I just need to focus and not be so damn hard on myself.
Tonight we are going for a run downtown and then tomorrow I'm back to the Shred. My goal is to be up to level 2 by the end of the week. I've heard its KILLER, but I'm determined. Like Jillian always says, "nothing comes for free.."

Friday, September 19, 2008

This Could Become An Obsession...

Yesterday was my first day with my body bugg. It is SO awesome! I found myself getting creative at work trying to find ways to burn calories while sitting at my desk. The digital display is really helpful in showing me where I'm at and it lets me see how many calories I'm burning during each activity. For example, I did my 1.5 mile run and the 30 Day Shred again last night. In my 1.5 mile run, I burned 200 calories, and in the Shred, I burned about 180-200 more. My target calories to burn is 2450 a day and my target calories to eat is 1450, which leaves me with 1000 calorie deficit, which I thought would be challenging. We went out to dinner at my most favorite restaurant, Amada, last night for restaurant week. I was sure that I would completely blow my calories with the dinner. I mean, I must have eaten/drank at least 1000 calories in that meal alone. But even so, I still had an 850 calorie deficit. So, not as much as I was trying for, but I still ate a fantastic meal and burned almost 3000 calories yesterday with minimal effort. All I did was my usual bike to and from work, my usual run and the Shred (which takes about 35 minutes total) and then Andrew and I took Summer for a walk. Oh, we biked to and from dinner too. But none of this was above and beyond my normal activity level. For me, the challenge is going to be keeping my calorie intake on target. Its tough work that I am NOT used to doing. But having to log every little thing is sure keeping me from having a bite here and a little snack there...and all of those little calories are what add up the most. That, and beer.
All in all, I think I can do this. I mean its not easy, but Andrew is totally supportive and encouraging and that helps a TON. I just keep focusing on fitting into my old Rock and Republic jeans again....that is really the best motivator.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pushing Through the Pain

I'm still sore. I'm frustrated because I feel like I'm in good enough shape that I shouldn't be. I don't know when its going to end, so I've decided to just suck it up and push through it. Doing squats and lunges with burning quads is kind of a good time, but I'm kind of a masochist when it comes to my workouts.
Yesterday, I did a 1.5 mile run before I did the shred. It was good for 2 reasons: I was totally warmed up when I started, and it extended my cardio by about 15 minutes or so. The running warm up actually loosened my sore muscles a little bit so that I could wince through the workout. My only complaint about the program so far is the lack of stretching. Having been a competitive athlete, I am disappointed by how the program brushes over the most important part of a workout. The stretches Jillian does are great, but she doesn't hold them nearly enough. There's no glute stretch, no back stretch...I've begun doing some yoga stretches afterwards and it has definitely helped ease the next day soreness. That, and a shit ton of Ben Gay. I'm taking today off though. As an athlete, I know that soreness often indicates small tears in muscle tissue. It's okay to push through it with light workouts (at around 60%) but I don't want to do any more damage. My muscles need a night to repair a little. SO tonight, just a long walk with the dog. And a good night's sleep!

My Body Bugg arrived today! FINALLY! I'll be strapping that on tonight and starting logging my food first thing tomorrow. My friend told me that her brother just got one and already lost 10 pounds in his first 10 days!! I can't wait to begin!!! My goal is 12 pounds by Halloween. Here we go...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Holy Soreness

I did my first run of the 30 Day Shred on Friday. I was sore afterwards and throughout the day. Mostly in my quads. The pain was rough, but manageable. Then I woke up Saturday morning. I could barely move!! Who knew 25 minutes could kick my ass so bad? I will admit that the strength training part of the video is heavy on knees and quads, and since I have bad knees, it was probably tougher for me. But still...whew!
I took the weekend off and, even though I was still a little sore, gave it anoter go last night. It was much less painful the second time around. I like it a lot and I feel great afterwards. I'm used to doing 30-40 minutes of cardio though (not 6 minutes) so I am going to try adding a short run to my workout before I do the video. It should keep my heart rate up longer and make it more challenging.
Andrew ordered us a new fancy scale yesterday so I can track my progress. I don't really like scales (I usually get obsessed with them if they're too accessible), but I can't see any other way to measure my progress, except for using measuring tape around each of my body parts which is too much work for not as much satisfaction). The scale also measures body fat, which I thought was kinda cool.
Tonight is day 3 of the shred, plus a little far, so good!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thank You, Jillian Michaels!

I started the 30 Day Shred today. I actually woke up at 7:30 (this is HUGE for me), rearranged my living room and worked out. (Naturally, I began just as Andrew and Ben were getting back from their run so I had a little audience). I did level 1 because I was using 5 pound weights and some people in reviews had said that 3 pounds were the best place to start. But I only had 5-ers. I have to admit that even level 1 was challenging. I'm in decent shape so it wasn't impossible, but those 5 pound weights really kicked it up a notch. My legs were burning by the time I got into the shower and, hours later, I'm still a little sore. The whole workout is only 25 minutes so its something I should be able to squeeze in everyday, and eventually, twice a day. But I'll be on level 1 this week. We'll see how long it takes for the shredding to start.

Still no Body Bugg, but it should be here soon...maybe Monday??? I was hoping to have it on for our big bike ride out to Valley Forge this weekend. Boooooo!

Publish Post

Thursday, September 11, 2008

F*ck You, Highland Park

As most bloggers do, I have several blogs that I read daily. This one is Jen Lancaster's who is a super hilarious writer based in Chicago, I believe. Anyhow, she got wind of this issue in Highland Park, IL and man did it piss me off!
The long story short: these two pretty pit bulls are about to lose their home.

From Jen's blog:
"The condensed version is this - a family just moved to a lovely neighborhood in Highland Park, IL. But apparently it's not so lovely because as soon as the neighbors caught sight of these two beautiful bullies, they began a petition to ban them. For a couple of different reasons, the new homeowners don't have the ability to fight the town and they're being forced to give up their dogs and they are HEARTSICK."

Then I go on to discover that Ohio is trying to pass a law banning pit bulls. Then I hear that Ontario already has. WHAT!?!?! Is this even LEGAL?

Maybe I should back up and explain why this pisses me off so much. Andrew and I had our house broken into last week. Naturally, it was a very stressful and anxious time for us. We both lost sleep, were terrified and felt completely violated and unsafe. So we got security doors for the front and back of our house, put up some motion sensor lights and then went out to our local shelter to look for a dog to foster. We have fostered both kittens and dogs from PAWS before and have had great experiences. Wehen we got there, we asked the guy who works with all of the dogs if he knew of one who was okay with cats (we have 3 little pain in the asses at home). Even dogs that are familiar with our kitties tend to chase or bark at them, so we weren't hopeful. But he said "i have the perfect dog." He went in the back and brought out Summer. She was pulling in her makeshift leash like a crazy woman and jumped on Andrew before he could even bend down to pet her. I was apprehensive. Her old owners had brought her back because they said she wasn't housebroken. The shelter had her listed as being 2-4 years old, and I was totally panicking about having to train a 4 year old dog. But we were sure that, if anything, just having her in the house would make us feel safer. So, we brought her home. Its been a week. not only is she housebroken (stupid old owners) but shes crate trained. She walks beautifully on a leash (doesn't even need one when we're not on an actual walk), comes when she's called, sits, lays down...the list goes on. I'm not kidding, this is the most well behaved, sweetest, loving dog I've ever met. Did I mention she's a pit bull?

My two sisters both have pits. Two of them live with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. They are gentle, friendly and well behaved. The other is just as well behaved (but not as bright).

What is wrong with these states? How is it possible to ban an entire BREED of dogs? Ontario has even gone so far as to ban any mixed breed dogs. I'm learning that some insurance companies won't cover people who have "agressive" breed dogs (rottweilers, terriers, chows, akitas, huskies, pits and dobermen to name a few). Are we really so far beyond the loss of our basic rights that our governments and private companies are trying to dictate what kinds of dogs we can own? Seriously?
Yes I know these breeds are aggressive and that pis are involved in over half of bite or attack incidents each year. But this data set doesn't include any information about the owners of these pits. Demographic factors are key in determining how a dog is raised and behaves. Was it raised in a urban or rural area? Is the dog registered and vaccinated? (in many low income areas, they aren't). Is the owner aggressive? Was the dog abused? There are SO MANY factors that determine a dog's behavior that it just seems impossible and ridiculous to euthanize an entire breed of dogs because their owners are irresponsible. My friend had a little black dacshund lab mix that is without a doubt the most aggressive dog I've ever seen. And he's a foot tall and weighs 20 pounds. I bet if Golden Retriever were cheap enough that low income city folk could afford them then even they could be fought to become aggressive.
You know what? I like that my dog looks scary. I like that people will cross the street to avoid her. If she gets close enough, she'll just lick them and then our badass cover is blown. Maybe she'll prevent those fuckers from coming back for our tv.
Basically, this is just bullshit. Straight up bullshit. Punish the owners, not the animals. And enough with trying to legislate our damn lives! I'm a democrat and all, but this has really gone too far.

And here's a link to the Ohio petition against the law, if anyone is interested in signing it.

Also, I'll get some photos of Summer up soon. And I got my 30 Day Shred video today, so we'll see how tough it really is!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Body Buggin

I have a friend who I've known since forever who has been using this thing called the BodyBugg to lose weight. Its a monitor that you wear on your arm and it measures how many calories you burn each day. When you sync it up to their web-based program, you can calculate how many calories you've burned vs. eaten. They use it on the Biggest Loser. Ordinarily, I would scoff at something like this, but she's lost a shit ton of weight so I thought I'd give it a go. The idea of calories eaten vs. burned makes total sense to me and it seems like the easiest way to balance losing weight with eventually maintaining a weight. (Although my friend assures me that this thing does take serious work). It's my early Christmas present from Andrew and it should be here by the end of the week. In order to hold me more accountable for it, I'm going to blog about the experience. Don't worry (the zero people who read this), I won't ramble on about it every day. But I will give updates on the equipment, my workouts and my progress. My goal right now is 40 pounds, which seems like a ridiculous amount to me since even when I was in the throws of an eating disorder, I only lost like 15 pounds (this is not a complaint, just a basis of comparison. I'm trying to demonstrate that being healthy is more effective than puking 15 times a day). I'm hoping to drop at least 10 pounds by Halloween and 20 by Thanksgiving, but I'm keeping those deadlines loose. I've also gotten myself a new workout DVD, Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, which I have read awesome things about. I'm hoping this will keep me active on the days that I don't want to exercise at the gym or go for a run. Its only 25 minutes and is supposed to be super tough (I LOVE hard workouts. LOVE LOVE them). The DVD should be here by Monday, Amazon willing. So here goes...wish me luck!