Thursday, February 18, 2016

50 Shades of Cardio

Fact: Physical activity/working out should not be used as a form of punishment.

Confession: Just because I know it, doesn't mean I don't fall victim to it.

I know the REAL reason behind my motivation to make a change is that I wanted to go back to the lifestyle change I had made for myself and for my little family of 2 (2.5 if you count the fur baby) pre-baby.  I knew that in order to adult properly, we couldn't continue to live the way that we were: eating out every night instead of cooking at home, going out on weekends and eating whatever fast-food was quickest/easiest to pick up, sitting around at home after work and on weekends eating and watching movies or Netflix.  Don't get me wrong, it was super fun to do as DINKS, but that wasn't how I pictured life in the long term.  We joined a sports league and started cooking at home and slowly and surely, fitness was becoming a priority for us.  I was working at it slow and steady with the goal of sustainability.  No quick-fix diets or short-term "resets" or "cleanses".  And I think because I didn't really have any hardest goal in mind or was following any plan because I was in it for the long haul, it felt like it was more or less effortless when I look back on it now.  

I intended for the new year to start out on that journey again, and I still intend to, but of course life happens and I get carried away with things.  

When I started out again this past January, I thought it would be fun to get one of my co-workers to organize her yearly work weight-loss challenge.   She had done one right before I had gotten pregnant and a little over a year since I made that first initial change.  That last time, I was a little over a year and a half into the lifestyle change and had already lost about 50 lbs or so.  I remember it being super motivating as I am super competitive.  It helped me lose 15 more lbs before I found out I was pregnant and started eating for 80 (as opposed to 2).  

Now that I was starting out again, I thought it would be an added incentive and motivator to get that challenge going and to make sure my butt sticks to it this time since I'd had some false starts before.  

Now fast-forward to today and I'm starting to wonder if it's a good thing for me.  I want everything that I'm doing fitness and health-wise to be natural and something that I can maintain, but I think I'm letting my competitive side get the best of me and I'm losing sight of my original goal. 

When I say I want what I'm doing to be sustainable, I am really thinking a lot about my "diet" which I mean nutrition and overall food choices.  I wanted to clean up a majority of what I was eating but I never intended on being restrictive because I know I'll never be able to maintain that given my tendency to just go all in once I've started down the delicious fast-food path.  

I want a healthy relationship with food where I do not fear it or treat it as a rewards. However, it is also my goal to be able to make good choices a majority of the time a natural habit and not a chore or something that I am forcing myself to do.

Today was not the easiest days for me food-wise.  A lot of things going on including celebrations and of course with celebration comes food.  My department had a birthday, and with a staff of 7, it was kind of hard to duck out on birthday cake or decline even though I'm sure my coworkers would have understood.  And at the end of the day, I want to live a life where I can participate in the fellowship that usually comes with celebrations, so I didn't even protest when I was handed a plate.  With it, the boss treated us to coffees and everyone knows my love affair with iced coffee so I was handed one that was made as per usual.  

After this, an E-Mail update was sent out about the challenge and the places were announced for the first time.  Everyone (including myself) was surprised to learn that I was currently in second place.  ("WHAT?!?!") 

So of course, after a moment of allowing myself an indulgence, I was left feeling guilty about "giving in" and I worrying about the fact that it's my Dad's birthday and we're going out for dinner but tomorrow is the weekly weigh-in day.  

Fast forward and I ate whatever I wanted at dinner (it was an all-you-can-eat sushi place that brings out small selections of whatever you order but I sure ate everything that was brought out!) and I get home and instead of just doing the scheduled workout, I also did a half hour on the treadmill.  

I wouldn't think anything of it if it was because I just had so much energy and just really felt like I wanted to workout.  But it wasn't.  

All of a sudden, I'm trying to workout to make up for what I ate.  While I recognized that that's not what I want to be doing, it didn't stop me from doing it anyway.  Halfway through the second workout (Insanity Max:30 - Sweat Intervals) I found myself thinking, "Hope that extra piece of cream cheese wonton was worth it!"

And now here I am feeling guilty that I felt like I had to do (and did) a double workout to just come close to making up for what I ate today because I want to win a 10-Week challenge at work.

I'm wondering if I'm overthinking things as usual and making too much of a big deal about something that isn't.  Should I just hammer down and do what I feel like I can take to try my best to win the challenge and when it's over then scale it back?  I feel like recognizing that I shouldn't be trying to work off a bad diet is already a good step and because I'm aware of it, I'll be okay to realize that I need to stop after the challenge is over?  

At the end of the day, I did an hour workout.  If I had done a regular Insanity workout that is over an hour long, would I feel as guilty as I do now for working out for over an hour because I ate out for an actual reason and not just because I felt like it? the end of the day, what's done is done and I can reset and restart fresh again tomorrow.  Perhaps after this challenge is over, it's a good idea not to join another one for a while until I establish some better habits.  At the very least, all this warring and over-complicating matters made a half hour run go by pretty fast with minimal suffering!  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Family Day

Today was an unintentional double workout Monday!

Started off the holiday Monday by sleeping in, thanks to the wonderful husband for getting up with our ever so punctual 7 am wake up toddler.  

As soon as I got up I knew I wanted to get a workout in since I couldn't get myself to get it in over the weekend.  So fasted Cardio Challenge workout followed by breakfast!  Had Bart snap a picture because I was just so happy to finally be able to hold my knees up to my chest.  First time in a while. Yay for NSVs!

Since the workout was done, we had the rest of the day to spend together, so we decided to visit Bart's parents and we were hoping to get Ava out on her skis that we got her for her birthday.  Lots of stuff going on and the skis were forgotten at home so we hung around indoors and watched movies!  Since I had my breakfast so late, I wasn't feeling hungry when everyone else ate so I missed lunch and was getting super hangry by the end of the day. 

Since some other plans fell through with my side of the family, we took Ava to a trampoline park to get some jumping in and by the time we were done, it was past dinner time and almost time to pick up her nanny so we grabbed some pizza and we pretty much inhaled it!

I was a little disappointed with myself for caving in for the pizza (I had considered bringing some protein powder but thought I'd be okay - not!) but meh, it is what it is! 

We got home and Ava had passed out on the ride back so it was a quick and easy bedtime so I thought I'd try another workout!  I was watching a bit of Max Cardio Challenge earlier for month two so I thought I'd give the moderator track a try.  No pre-workout meant that it was all me out there and it was super hard.  

When I do the workouts, I don't have anything set planned but I do a sort of Frankenstein-hybrid between the moderator and the plyo moves.  I count my max-out time when I can't even continue to do the moderator moves.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January Review

After two years of eating whatever the heck I wanted (and the choices always seemed to be bad!) it was finally time to consider reigning it in.

I had an idea that the scale wasn't going to reflect great things, so I don't know why the number surprised me anyway.  Stepping on the scale on New Year's Day and seeing that I was a mere 10 lbs away from my heaviest (known) weight was disappointing to say the least!

Despite knowing and accepting this, it still me a few more days to really commit.  The first day back to work after the holidays seemed like a good starting point.  All things new and all that jazz.  

I guess without going back and reading the past entries, it was easy to forget the early struggle.  Making a change is HARD!  

I was HUNGRRRRY!  Pretty much every second of those early days I was trying not to think about how hungry I was and how much I wanted to just decide I was happy being nice and round and always out of breath - even after sitting still.  

Tara and I just kept telling each other that we just had to get through the next three weeks food/diet/nutrition wise.  And by diet, I mean our food choices, not actually going on a diet of any sort.  Our first step was literally just reigning ourselves in and not cracking and running to Starbucks or McDonalds which was what we had gotten very comfortable with doing.  I was literally addicted to iced coffees which is probably the worst of any coffee addiction since it has the milk and all the sugar to sweeten it up!  I had a headache for the first week straight after going coffee-free cold turkey!  Also not rewarding ourselves with food after any kind of physical activity was a tough pill to swallow.  We used to work out so we could eat!

Those first three weeks have passed now and we aren't weeping of hunger or spending an entire day hangry.  We still talk about being hungry and describe the foods we used to eat at very great detail, but for me, it seems like the struggle is less.  I've had a cheat meal every week and I've steadily lost 12 lbs as of Monday.  

I guess the mind is a beautiful thing when it comes to struggling and memory retention.  I know that I've worked out almost every day since January and I've had a hard time making better food choices, but sitting here, I half feel like the scale must be wrong because the weight seems to be coming off at a steady, effortless pace.  I don't know why I say effortless...looking back and it doesn't feel like it's been effortless.  But at the same time it does.  

I think it's looking back and knowing that the changes started with cleaning up my diet alone.  The answer is easy, it's a no brainer which gives it that effortless feeling, but actually living it is a different story.  

Don't get me wrong, those smiling photos are ALWAYS post-workout.  Just because I'm seeing changes doesn't mean I all of a sudden just love working out or NEED to work out.  Every day it's still a constant battle to lace up and press play or head out for a run.  I will choose to do one less lap or one less set of stairs if given the option, but at the end of the day I'm still moving.  

The added motivation of a work weight loss challenge is helping since my competitive spirit has got its eyes set on beating just one person (but still hoping I win, of course! LOL). 

Everyone pretty much made themselves sick a couple weeks ago trying to get as much in as they could for initial weigh-in (I drank so much water before I stepped on the scale that I was literally burping up water back into my mouth later on!)

At the next weigh-in, I had lost 7.2 lbs beating out the person who was in first place at the time by .2 lbs.  The places are calculated based on percentage lost as opposed to lbs so at 9 weeks left to go, it's still anyone's game!  I have really high hopes of winning but am also recognizing that my sole goal is not to lose weight but to get fit and strong.  I am doing strength exercises as opposed to just cardio to help with that which means I am expecting (and hoping) to build muscle which may offset the results I see on the scale.  But we'll see! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fitting In

There are two garment bags hanging in my closet for some time now.  Basically, when I'm out and see something I really like, the part of my brain that processes how things would look good on me is overly optimistic and it just assumes that it will look good on me regardless the size, I'll buy it with the intent that I'll try them on at home.  Of course, the fitting room in my head that tried on the outfit before purchasing is complete different from the "fitting room" that is reality.

So, in a roundabout way, I'm trying to say that I have two garment bags full of nice clothes that more so than not, have the tags still attached because when I tried them on at home, they didn't fit or look quiiiite like the way my mind imagined it would look.  Then I never return them because I tell myself that it (shirt, pants, dress, etc.) will just be my goal shirt/pants/dress, etc. and into the garment bag it went.

I took a bit of a pre-workout today before starting Max:30 and I guess it carries on long after the workout.  I was still wired at 11, so apparently that was a good time to decide to clean out my closet.  You know, to make room for new clothes that I'll need because after 4 days doing Insanity, I must be super skinny by now LOL

Whilst cleaning out the closet, I happened upon the garment bag and even though I started a task super late and it was already closer to midnight than now, I thought it would be fun to try on some of the things that didn't fit me at all a few months ago.

The good news is, I got really excited and giddy because there was a lot of things in there that I was finally able to just get on and off without my fearing that I'd have to get it cut off.  so much more so than the scale, these are the kind of changes I love seeing.  When last month, I couldn't pull a shirt past my boobs and now I can!

CONFESSION: It still resembles a stringed up pork loin which means it wasn't pretty, but I'm looking at baby steps.  Scale numbers may lie and vary depending on so many different factors, but fitting into clothes when I couldn't before is a non-scale victory for me for sure.

It's encouraging and I'm hoping it will continue to act as such to get me through the next 10 weeks and beyond.
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