Friday, March 18, 2011

Weigh In and Vegetarian Diet

First off, let me just say that I have been sick for the past week and I'm finally feeling normal again! I weighed in this morning at 170.6! I love seeing that number go down. I finally hit 35 lbs lost! The big change for me is that I've decided to start eating vegetarian a few days a week. I would have thought it'd be hard, but it really wasn't. I love fruits and veggies, so it's not like I had to choke down what I was eating. It was really just the mental shift of deciding that I was eating vegetarian and not letting it be an option for me to talk myself out of it. Plus I wanted to see if it would make a difference in my weight loss. I only did it for the past 2 days, so I'm going to see what a difference a few more days in the following week makes. I'm not ready to go full veg, but for the most part I'm perfectly satisfied. Mentally, this is a great thing, because I feel so good knowing the great choices I'm making.

I wanted to share a few of the great meals I've made. For lunch on Wednesday I had a salad with cucumber, red onion, grape tomatoes, cider vinegar, olive oil (which I think was unnecessary) and sweetener. The recipe is slightly different from what I made, I added in the tomatoes, used sweetener instead of sugar and only used 1 Tbsp of olive oil (although, like I said I don't think it was necessary). It was so good. Then for dinner I made a big pot of vegetarian taco soup. Check out the link for the recipe. It had pinto beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, hidden valley ranch seasoning mix, taco seasoning, morning star crumbles and onions. For the canned items I got no sodium and for the taco seasoning I got reduced sodium. It would have been healthier, obviously, if I had used fresh beans and spices but I still think it was decent. Plus I split it into 6 really good sized servings for 316 calories each. That with a little sour cream (although it was good without it too) is great for lunch or dinner. Plus now I have some in the freezer for meals over the next week or so when I don't feel like cooking. Here's a picture:

Then last night for dinner I made a veggie stir fry. It had onion, mushrooms, zucchini and broccoli slaw. I had enough for 3 servings and I added a little sweet chili sauce to the portion I had for dinner last night. The whole thing with the sauce was just 150 calories and very filling. I'm going to try it with peanut sauce next and see how that tastes. I like how the broccoli slaw gives you this visual of it being like a noodle dish when it's all veggies. It really was the bomb.

Last, but not least, I cycled last night on my stationary bike (I need to take my road bike outside now that it's warmer) for an hour and I had a really good "glow" going so I had to take a pic. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thank God For My Trainer!!

I've learned so many new exercises by working with my trainer. If nothing else I'll take some of these exercises with me to use in the future and also working with her made me more comfortable utilizing all my gym has to offer and that's priceless. I wanted to mention an exercise that I did last night that I'm in love with (and that has made me sore today). I'm the kind of person that really loves exercises that challenge me and that I know are going to make me sore. I'll always have to work hard on my core strength and balance because that's where I lack. Yesterday she had me do squats on a bosu ball.

Here's a video demonstrating the exercise. Let me tell you, it was HARD! But that's why I liked it. Every time I did a squat the ball was shaking like crazy. And after just a couple squats I could feel my butt and abs were fully engaged. Those are my two areas I want to work on. My abs to just have a stronger core and get rid of my spare tire and my butt because...well I have no butt, lol, so my hope is that by getting more fit I can make it look a little more shapely and not so non-existent. While my trainer said yesterday that I had "skinny girl limbs", which was great to hear, she was also quick to agree with me when I talked about having no butt, lol, ah well what can you do. You have to work with what you've got.

One other exercise we did yesterday that's something I've done a million times before, but forgot how beneficial it can be is dumbbell flys. Or "tree huggers" as my trainer liked to call them. My trainer made a comment about how this is good for your "bra fat" you get right by your armpit. That's not the main draw for me, though. I'm fairly large chested and I'd just like to strengthen my chest muscles to get my "girls" looking as perky as possible. Having a large chest can sometimes make me look heavier than I am, I believe, so I feel if I strengthen my chest then not only might I shrink a little but I'll just look more toned and that's my main goal. Also, I was using just 10 or 12 pound weights and I was literally shaking like crazy! I definitely worked my pecs to the max. (Did I really just say "to the max"? That reminds me of something from some 90's TV show or something...) Also, to kick this exercise up a notch I had my legs up in the air. So you lay down on the bench, put your legs straight up so that they're at a 90 degree angle to your body and just hold them there while you do your flys. This way you're incorporating your core while you're working on your pecs. This is one of my favorite things about my trainer, pretty much all of the exercises she has me do work multiple body parts at once, if not my whole body, so I get the most out of my workouts.

I really enjoyed sharing these exercises with you guys! I wish I had started this sooner and shared more of the exercises I've done with my trainer. I've got one more session with her, so I'll pick out a few of my favorite exercises I do with her in that session and I'll think back to some of my past sessions and see what other exercises I can remember and share the wealth. :-)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Telling Tall Tales?

Wow it has been a loooooooonnnnng time since my last post. Honestly my weight has gone up the past 2 weeks and it's made me not want to blog. I feel like if I'm not losing weight that I don't have much to talk about. I hate feeling like I'm coming off like I'm just spinning crap to whoever reads this dang thing. I'm certainly not telling tall tales, but that's just what it feels like when there isn't tangible progress. I've really made an effort in a lot of different areas of my health. I'm venturing outside of my comfort zone in my diet. I actually made salmon! And I didn't hate it! Don't get me wrong I don't hate salmon or any fish for that matter, but whenever I've tried cooking fish at home it's always turned out...fishy. I was at Trader Joe's last week and they had salmon that was marinated in honey mustard (I think?), so all I had to do was pop it in the oven. It was decent, nothing spectacular but I was able to eat it and I didn't hate it. I didn't really love it either, though. Any good salmon recipes out there? I tend to prefer honey glazed or teriyaki type salmon dishes. I have teriyaki marinade so maybe some day I should just try marinating a piece of salmon in it and then baking it. Anyway, I made this for dinner last Tuesday and took a picture of it. It's just the salmon and a bunch of fresh green beans cooked with garlic and nonstick butter spray.

I've also been working my ass off with my trainer. I really love every second of working out with her. I work out with her on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then on Fridays I meet up with a friend at the gym and I usually get one more day in on my own. I average about 4 days a week working out. Last Thursday my trainer decided to box with me and I LOVED it! There's definitely something very empowering about boxing. My arms were looking really toned afterward, so after I showered I had to take a picture. ;-)

I worked out with my trainer today as well and I have one more session and then I'm on my own. I'm really happy I did the training sessions, but it's not something I can afford to do over the long run. I've definitely gained a lot of strength and learned some new exercises that I'll use. I really need to kick my cardio into high gear. I think if I do that and really focus on my eating I'll start to see some major progress. The last two weeks I haven't done as much cardio as I should be doing. My trainer said I have "skinny girl limbs" - gotta love that - and that if I really focus on cardio while maintaining my strength training workouts I'll really start to see more changes in my midsection, which is where I carry all of my weight. I know I haven't been doing enough cardio and she definitely confirmed that I should be putting more work into that. With the weather warming up I'm looking forward to bike rides and walking my dogs and hikes and all of the fun warm weather things that I haven't been able to do for such a long time. But not far off is bathing suit weather and I really want to get closer to my goal weight before it gets here. It would mean so much to me to feel confident in a bathing suit and just in clothes in general. I've done a lot and made so much progress, but I'm capable of so much more if I just focus.

Also, I've discussed with my trainer eating vegetarian two days a week. This will definitely be a challenge for me, since I'm a very meat focused eater. It helps to branch out and try new things and I know this would be a very healthy thing for me to do. I started by making a list of possible breakfast, lunches, dinners and snacks. I looked online for meal recipes and I also looked to some of the blogs I read for people that are vegetarian/vegan for ideas. It's very doable if I just think outside of the box of what is "normal" for me. I love fruits and vegetables, so that's not the issue, I just need to plan ahead.

Anyway, that's an update on what's going on with me. I will be posting my weigh-in again on Friday, good, bad or ugly. Also, on Thursday my trainer's going to weigh me in and do a body fat test to compare where I'm at versus where I was when I started with her. It's been approximately 4 weeks, so I'm interested to see if my body fat has gone down. We shall see!

***I just wanted to add this picture of me I took after I posted this. I did lots of shoulder work with my trainer today. :-)