Wednesday, September 26, 2012

90 Day Challenge - 30 day update

So I'm 30 days into my 90 day Challenge. Time for some results!

To recap - for exercise I have been doing a Beach Body program called Chalean Extreme, and running 3 days a week. The program is divided into phases. There are two ab DVD's in the Chalean program, and I've been doing those as well. I've tried one of the two cardio DVD's, and liked it but am depending on running for cardio right now. 

For nutrition, I'm using Shakeology for one meal a day and following  a lower-carb, lower fat, higher protein diet. I'm not counting calories, exactly, but I am logging my food into My Fitness Pal for accountability. 

I have a Beach Body coach, Lindsay, as well as a Facebook support group with other challengers of like minds and similar goals. The Facebook  group is really awesome. Our Coach Lindsay is attentive and supportive. She really wants to see each of us succeed in our health journeys.

I enjoyed the first month of Chalean Extreme. The first phase is called "Burn".  There are three Burn Circuit programs for each week. And most of the exercises certainly do burn - in  the best kind of good way. I splurged and bought a set of adjustable dumbbells.

These are the ones I ended up getting:
They adjust from 3 pounds to 24 pounds, had great reviews and were mostly in my price range. I got them just in time. to up from 10 to 12 pounds, and they worked great. I like them very, very much.

My running has improved - the squats and lunges have really helped me with hills and endurance. Our running club is hosting a Half Marathon in November. I will be doing a Color Run the same day with my two sisters, but am still training for the 1/2 because I want to improve both my distance and speed.

So, Results!

I weighed, measured and took update photos.

30-day Weight loss - 3.5 pounds
Total weight lost from start of 10 day challenge - 7.5 pounds

30-day Inches lost - 4.5
Total inches lost - 7.25

Photos: I can see a slight difference, hopefully next month will be more, uh, "dramatic".

The main thing is my clothes are fitting better than they have in a long time, and that's a great feeling.

At the beginning of our challenge we had to come up with 30, 60 and 90 day goals. My 30 day goal was to PR (get a personal record) in a recent 8K race. And I did it!! You can read about that HERE. Meeting a goal like that is so empowering!

We have to come up with "Can, Will, Did" goals each week. The last two weeks my goals were about the number of sweets I would/could eat each week. It helps to have the goals because they keep us focused and accountable, and sugar is one of my weaknesses.

This week we had to come up with a theme song that described our life at this point. My song is "On top of the World" by Imagine Dragons.

This is one of the Color Run 5K theme songs. The first time I heard it I loved the happy music beat. Then I listened to the lyrics and realized they spoke to me where I'm at right now.

"I’ve tried to cut these corners
Try to take the easy way out
I kept on falling short of something

I coulda gave up then but
Then again I couldn’t have ’cause
I’ve traveled all this way for something

Now take it in but don’t look down

‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take it with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world."

With my weight loss journey, I have definitely tried to cut corners and take the easy way out, but kept falling short. And that way may work in the short-run, but in the long run it really does take focus, discipline and hard work to become a healthier version of ourselves.

I've learned a few things this month.

  • I've been crushin' on my calves lately, which is funny because I've never liked them. Thought they were too think, too stubby. But now I just really like them. I like standing on my toes and seeing definition in them. Muscles! I don't really know if they look any different, or if I am seeing them different. When I look at them now they look strong. I'm still courting my thighs and my upper arms, but I think we might have a thing going on by the end of 90 days.
  • I really can control what I eat. It's hard sometimes, especially on those days where I think I deserve something, or when I think food is going to help me feel better or comfort. But it really is in my control. I am learning to eat to live, and not the other way around.
  • Lifting weights is awesome. I was one of the people who thought I would bulk up with heavy weights. Not true. Building muscle helps you burn calories longer...muscles burns fat.....bring it on!
  • Having a support system of people who are doing the same thing is invaluable. It's  wonderful to have support of friends and family. But being able to converse with others about temptations, successes, ups and downs really makes a huge difference! I have never met any of the girls in my support group face-to-face (except my dear sister), but I feel like I've known them a long time. Some of the most helpful, supportive women I've come across.  And, by the way, my sister is blogging her experiences too over at Forty By Forty.
If you are interested in joining a similar challenge, please contact me or check out Lindsay's website by clicking HERE. She is starting another one on Oct 22. Lindsay lives in another state, so you do not have to be close geographically to be involved!

I'll post again in 30 days with my 60 day update. Hopefully my results will be as good or better than these first 30 days.

Do you have fitness or weight loss goals? Have you written them down? Do you have a plan to achieve them?

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Ache or Break - Ache Around the Lake 5K 2012

Beautiful Lake Lanier
This was the 7th Annual Ache Around the Lake. A great fundraiser race for our small, local hospital. Every one wins with this race. There are two options - the certified 8K Ache (and it is an Ache) or the 2-mile fun/run/walk Ouch (it still hurts too).

My goal going into the Ache 8K this year was to PR (get a personal record). This was my third consecutive year, and each year I've improved. A good sign. Last year's time was 58:07 minutes. So all I had to do was get 58:06 or better and I would PR.

I trained a lot for this race, followed the Tryon Running Club beginner training plan almost to the "T". I surprised myself with my determination and focus.

Then a week and a half before the race, I started thinking that I wasn't going to be able to beat my time. It is an awful head game. I didn't think I had run enough, or run fast enough, or far enough. The Saturday before we had a training run around the lake. My friend, Laura (who blogs her own experiences at My Healthy Challenge) was my coach for the day. She gave me super racing advise and made me sprint up the hills. Not just attack the hills, but then we ran a little bit more over the top. "I've. got. to. stop." I would gasp. "Not, till the sign", or fence, or mailbox, she would say. Pushing us to go farther. At one point I truly thought I was going to vomit. I mentioned this in passing. She said something like "it's okay to throw up, then keep going"...something like that. Thankfully I didn't toss my cookies, and I did bust the hills, at least in the beginning. I got a little too zealous on one particular hill and I hit a wall for 1/2 mile or so.

She told me to go with the downhills, use the pull of gravity to my advantage, putting time in the bank. I usually slow down at the top of hard hills, to catch my breath, but I started going faster downhill, and practiced catching my breath at the same time.

After this training run I was pumped, I was going to PR! Awesome.

Then about 3 days later, I was worried again. Thinking I wasn't going to make it. My head was messed up. I was driving my husband crazy, so I just let it go. That night we watched the movie "The Vow". I was stressed thinking about the race, and a few other things on my mind as well. The movie was emotional, I cried through just about all of it. And boy, did I feel better when it was over. I slept great, decided I was going to have a good run, and it would be enough. Settled.

I had family coming in, so took Friday off to clean my house. That's the best time to get your cleaning done - when people are coming. I should invite people over more often.

After registration, sporting my fabulous Bia shirt.
Team Leaphart
Saturday morning came really early, like 4:50am early. And I could not go back to sleep. So about 5:30am I got up, dressed, made hot tea and started my breakfast - 1/2 bagel w/ peanut butter, 1/2 banana slices and drizzled honey. The same thing before every race. My sister and nephew were up, fed, and we took off. Met my parents at registration and went to the start.

Just a brief side note -- thank goodness for the porta-potties!

My biggest question early Saturday morning was "Where is the 58 degree weather we had Friday???" It was 70 degrees and humid! Not great at all. I was congested, and had trouble breathing the first 2 miles.

At the race start I was among friends. That is one of the best things about our running club - such a nice, 

supportive community. I honestly don't feel competition with anyone, I was there to beat myself. And to my surprise I was not nervous. I normally feel slightly agitated and anxious before a race. I was the calmest I had ever been before a race, maybe because I had cut the mind game off mid week.

At any rate, my plan was to run my ass off for the first mile and get time in the bank. Then run strong on the hills and fast down them. I ran the first mile and a half without stopping. Up and over "Grunt Hill" - which is one of the worst first hills on a race course EVER. My first mile was 10:26. My second 10-something mile, ever. I was rockin it. Then about mile 2, I hit a wall, had to ease up a bit. But kept going, kept strong.

I caught up with a 60-something guy and we were together for the last 2 miles or so. We'd pass one another, catch up, walk a bit together. He looked over at me and said, you look familiar - what's your name? I told him. Then I said "I think you've probably cleaned my teeth a couple of times." I knew who HE was - a local, retired dentist, who also lived on the lake. We chatted of and on about the course - gasping and grunting through our conversation. At the end I pulled away, seeing that I had very little room to make my PR. I busted the last quarter mile and he came in shortly behind me. When we could breathe, we congratulated each other. Later I checked the finishing times from last year, and he and I were within the same amount of time last year as well. Both finishing a little bit faster this year.

One of my nephews did the 2-mile Ouch - his first race. He started walking, then the running bug hit and he ran/walked the rest of the way. He SAYS he wants to do it again next year with his brother, we'll see. But I'm thrilled that he was there and had a great time!

Here I am - almost to the finish and SMILING! I love the way my hair is catchin' some air.

I can see the end, digging in!

My official time was 57:18.44 - so I beat my time by 49 seconds. I was elated! I saw the clock with 57-something on it and I ran as fast as I could. My friends and family were rooting for me, calling out my name and taking pictures. What more could a girl want? It was a beautiful way to end a race.

What's next?

Have you met a fitness goal lately? Do you need to set a goal? Do you have any races on your "bucket list'?
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Confessions 9.21.12

Well, it's time to 'fess up again. Time flies - seems like I just did this!

I confess that I'm borderline nervous about my 8K tomorrow - Ache Around the Lake. I'll be glad when it's started. Once I start I can focus on my steps, my breathing and getting up and over the hills (they are pretty torturous). It's not called an "Ache" for nothin'. 

My 90 day challenge is going well, and in fact today is day 30 - so there will be an update post soon, hopefully by the end of the weekend. I'll retake my sexy porn photos (my before, during and after photos), take my measurements and weigh myself. I confess, although it's been a good month, I'm not keen on taking those pictures!

Yesterday was baking day at work, and since the first day of Fall is almost upon us - we celebrated the Great Pumpkin with "Pumpkin Dump Cake". 

Oh. My. The recipe makes one 9X13 pan, so we doubled the recipe and made 4 8X8's. We have a reputation on Thursdays that we have to live up. Lots of goodies for whomever (almost) wants some. And the group I have is not interested in watching me do all they work, they actually want to stir, mix, crack the eggs and be involved in the process. So we have to make lots of whatever we make.

Our group went over time, so I confess that this is not a picture of the one we baked, but it's really close.

It was super-easy - has to be for us to use it in our baking group, and EVERYONE loved it. I myself could have eaten an entire pan, but limited myself to a semi normal sized portion. 

The recipe I had printed out read "serve with whipped topping or ice cream", and the resident I had reading the recipe for me kept going to that. "Caroline, this says 'serve with whipped topping or ice cream.'" The first time or two I am very patient - "Yum, wouldn't that be good?" After 4 times I say "Well, sorry, we don't have any of either." So there. After we all tasted it though, it didn't matter anymore. It was really good. This would wonderful for Thanksgiving. 

Here's the recipe if you are interested for yourself:

Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 (18 oz.) box yellow cake mix
1 - 1½ cups chopped pecans 
1 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease bottom of 9x13″ pan.  

Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Pour mixture into greased pan.  Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture and top with pecans.  Drizzle melted butter over pecans.  

Bake 40-50 minutes or until edges brown.

Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

What are you confessing this week? What's your favorite fall-season food?

If you want to join in - hit the button to head over to High Heeeld Love. She's hosting while Mamarazzi takes a bloggy break.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Confessions 9.7.12 & 9.14.12

It's that time again! Fess up!

I confess that most of this is from last Friday's confessions! This week has been crazy. 

My biggest new confession is that I was hoping to make it to age 45 before needing glasses (reading), but didn't quite make it.

Do I look smarter??
For my baking group at work yesterday we made S'mores Stuff Brownies. I got the recipe from Picky Palate. They were delicious!! Her pictures are beautiful, but you can see ours too:

Well, I confess that I have been mesmerized by my new washer & drier that my sweetie bought me last weekend.

It did not start out all that great. We got the beauties home, in the house (thanks to my wonderful neighbors) and hooked up. It was late on Sunday, so I waited until Monday to start my first load - washing my king size comforter in the depths of that huge washer cavity. Well, I watched the water go in, watched the drum spin round and round, and didn't see any water filling the drum. I could hear it splashing, then I could see it - all over my laundry room floor. All. Over. And I have a large laundry room. Oh No!!

So my sweetie (and my neighbors) got the washer out - turns out it was completely busted underneath. We think it must have been dropped before we purchased it. Of course the store we bought it from didn't have another, long story short, he returned the damaged and came home with new #2. We got it in, hooked up, and I held my breath. But, no worries, it was all good. I still check on it while it's running though, just in case. But I do love them! They are Whirlpool Cabrios. And my laundry room, especially my floor is really, really clean Here they are, all cozied up:

They have a huge capacity, with no agitator in the washer. It actually uses less water than my old washer. Love them, and love the color!

I confess that I love, love my dog, Rusty - he is the cutest thing EVER! He just showed up one day, about 9 years ago. We three- Rusty, hubby and me, decided we were right for each other and became a family. Rusty is about 11 years old now - can't imagine life without him.

I confess that I've finished week 2 and 3of my 90 day challenge - no blog post on that yet, maybe for the end of the first 30 days. All is going well. I do find myself getting really hungry some afternoons. My coach suggested another light snack, if I feel I need it. I upped my activity level with lots of running, and lifting heavier weights so maybe my metabolism is kicking in. I have lost a 1/2 inch off my hips, and that is a nice place to lose too, as I am quite hippy. And someone at work asked me how much weight I had lost - not really that much so far, but the clothes are fitting better. Since I'm measuring, I know that I'm losing inches. I'm pleased with my progress to date.

I confess that I believe dreams can speak to us. Sometimes our dreams are messages, emotionally or spiritually. Or sometimes they are just crazy. And once in awhile they are crazy and still speak to us. I had such a dream this week.

I was going to do my 5 mile run last Monday, since it was a holiday and I would have extra time. With the washer fiasco, that didn't happen. So plan B was Tuesday. Well I woke up at 3am and it was raining, pouring. Went back to sleep. Dreamed that I was to meet a running club friend, M, at 6am to run 5 miles around the lake. Well, it was raining at 6am, so I didn't go. When I woke again (still in my dream), M was just finishing and I felt bad that I didn't go with her.

Then I woke up for real at 5:50am, and it was raining. What to do??!! I got up and ran 5 miles in light rain. If I hadn't had that crazy, real dream, I don't know if I'd have run at all.

I confess that I'm still following my training plan for the upcoming Ache Around the Lake 8K, Sept. 22. And I'm loving it! Last Saturday was 5 miles, Tuesday was 5 miles, Thursday was 4 miles. And tomorrow, Saturday, will be 6 miles. Woo Hoo! Then the mileage drops a bit the week before and week of the race. Here's a nice view from last Saturday morning at the lake. Beautiful!

Beautiful Lake Lanier, SC

What about you - have you ever had a crazy message dream?

What are YOU confessing this week? Hit the button to join the party!

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