Thursday, May 26, 2011

I gave into a chocolate-covered carb

My workout/eating habits seem to get worse with colder temperatures which explains why I succumbed to a chocolate-covered cinnamon bun today at work and traded my 7-min walking commute to the train for a one-stop ride on the El.  The nicer weather WAS making me eat better/stay active, and then the temperature dropped to 46 degrees.  And it's a week before June i.e. summer!   To keep doing my workouts, I need sunshine, not cold rain with a light mist.

Cyn vs. the Cinnamon bun:  It was love at first sight.  I saw it. I wanted it.  It was free. It was easy.  I ate it.  It wasn't even that good and was a second-hand treat leftover from another department's lunchtime meeting. It was presented to me through the ultimate test: a co-worker literally handed it to me.  I didn't refuse.  Eating the chocolate-covered 7-11 quality bun was a one time splurge on my weight loss journey and next time (hopefully) I will choose to walk away from it, after I take a quick peek, or only eat half.  Or at least hold my hands behind my back the next time a co-worker offers free junk food.

In terms of weight loss, it has been a Lovely May.   Overall I've lowered my carb and sweets intake (ignore today's falling off the horse) and  I'm down 4.5 pounds from the beginning of May.  I attribute this to somewhat nicer weather earlier in month, and a trip to Denver where my diet consisted mostly of seafood and veggies, and I walked a lot considering I could've chosen not to walk at all.

The weather is looking up for the next week - 70s and 80s.  Bring it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Denver - The city of Seafood

Since I re-committed to eating better and exercising more consistently I've lost 3.2 pounds!  It was a slow start but as the Chicago weather brightens, so does my progress.  On a recent business trip to Denver, I stuck with my exercise goals and maintained my weight while there.  This is SUPER since normally domestic travel adds 3+ pound gain.

Over the 4-day trip I walked for a combined total of about 60 minutes and a completed a 2.52-mile run, all without stepping foot in a gym. I'm not sure how well I stayed within my 1,416 calories/day range considering I ate out 95% of my meals. Even though I didn't count a single calorie, I made relatively good food choices (not including Denver’s amazing brewery beverages). I avoided fast food, went to bed earlier than I do at home and also managed to fit a lot of activities in – Wynkoop Brewery twice, a Rockies game and a concert featuring The Cars.

After a run through downtown Denver.  Huffed and puffed through 2.52 mils.

Denver trip = lots of seafood and coffee = I want to return!  In 4 days I consumed clam, shrimp, crab, octopus, lobster and muscles. I think that’s a personal seafood record.

Day one

Shared shrimp fajitas, chips and queso
Day two

Seafood Eggs: My friend made a protein rich breakfast – A blend of eggs, feta, shrimp, imitation crab, Spinach and Sriracha hot chili sauce

Pastry, Fruit, Guacamole and Chips, Tea, Coffee, Water

Jimmy John’s Pepe Sandwich (ham, cheese, tomato, mayo, lettuce, avocado, sprouts) with BBQ Chips

Shared Calamari appetizer, Sausage Plate appetizer and ordered a Lobster Tacos appetizer for my meal

Day three

Shared huevos rancheros and Sweet Potato Pancakes. Side of coffee. <-- Best meal of the trip, courtesy of Snooze, an AM eatery.

Snacked on a pastry, Yogurt covered pretzels, tea, coffee, water

Shared Spanish Paella (muscles, shrimp and sausage yumminess), Grilled shrimp, bread

Day four
½ Huevos Rancheros breakfast wrap, grande Soy White Chocolate Mocha

½ Huevos Rahceros breakfast wrap, ½ grande soy caramel macchiato (Starbuck’s messed up my order and gave me a free drink!)

Shared shrimp sushi. Meal was Clam Chowder soup with a Caesar Salad.

Pastry, Frozen yogurt with chocolate chips, water

Dear Denver, 

I'll be back!


Oprah's amazing Weight Loss Stories - 100 pounds!

Because I quite enjoy the before/after weight loss stories, I wanted to share stories of Oprah's viewers who have lost 100 pounds each --- including an 11-year old.  Although my personal journey includes only half the amount of weight, I'm inspired!

Check out the pictures of their New Bodies/Lives here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Lovely May

"Saying you don't have enough time is a bad reason to not run.
There's always time for a run."
-Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary

*          *         *         *        *        *

-WATER - At least 64 oz/day
-WEEKLY EXERCISE - At least 150 mins/week
Keeping the above quote in mind as I keep plugging away at running this month. It's been 63 days since I committed myself to losing 55 pounds.  Moving forward little by little, day by day.   May calorie goal: 1,416 cals/day. Last month I overshot my running goal by saying I'd run 100 miles and I didn't make it. This month I've trimmed it down to 20 miles. That's doable for easing back into running.

Also, drinking enough water is very important.  Somehow, after months of absence, Diet Soda and juices crept into my January thru April 2011 diet.  One of the main reasons - my water was only coming from water 16.9 oz bottles.   I was buying 24-packs of bottled water every other week, grabbing a bottle a day, re-filling that same bottle throughout the day with fountain water and not getting as much water as I think I was.  In March I made note that I needed a Brita filter and I finally got one!  I found a $4 off coupon online for Target and ended up paying $20 which I thought was a good deal, only to later discover that Walgreens has a basic Brita pitcher for only $10!   Since I like to refill so much (it makes me feel like I'm conserving resources) I also dug out my aluminum water bottle from last summer and fill it up several times at work.  End result - more water drinking during my work and home life!
I've incorporated Yoga into weekly fitness routine which is easy to do since my office provides free Yoga classes every Tuesday until the beginning of July.  Yoga is no joke.   Not as easy as it looks.  I've also dusted off home fitness videos from my DVD collection and sampled some from Netflix. A week ago I streamed Crunch: Cardio Dance Blast via Netflix. It was super fun and seemed more like I was re-incarnating dance moves from Genie In a Bottle and Hit Me Baby One More Time. When I finished my whole back was wet from the constant hip-hopping and I was in a fabulous mood. It's great when workouts don't really feel like workouts. I will have to explore more Netflix videos. I've also been doing Wii Sports which burn more calories than watching tv online.

Hoping the weather stays warm so I can get back to outdoor running. Call me a wimp, but it's still too cold for my liking. I can walk for 5 - 30 mins, but I ain't so keen on running in this chilly wind quite yet. Overall, I'm just trying to stay as active as possible - walking one el stop instead of taking the el, walking 10-30 mins during my lunch break, taking the stairs up/down at work. :)

This year has proven to be difficult weight loss-wise. Too much eating out and too much dessert!   Last week I had 3 scheduled lunches/dinners with friends, all of whom I hadn't seen in quite a while, some years. It was easy to plan to meet up at a restaurant. This lead me to eat cheeseburgers. One a half to be exact. What happened to my one cow a week rule?

Being good with a lunchtime salad at work.
Mother's Day dinner was a healthier choice.  I'm used to going out to eat but this year my family stayed in and cooked healthy foods - grilled chicken, crab cakes w/o the filler, salad and a fresh-picked green bean/carrot medley.  It was a nice change of pace from the cow and much needed.  Day-to-day I'm trying to eat as much greenery at work as I can!  I found a bag of Turnip Greens Medley at Jewel and a yummy receipe that involves garlic and a turkey leg.  That's what I'm making tonight.  :)

Despite slight weight gain, I'm staying motivated by hearing friends/family talk about their own weight loss efforts -- Weight Watchers, Elliptical Training, Calorie Counting, P90X or whatever.   Seeing before and after pics is amazing.   I stumbled across a workout contest for Venus Index.   Before/After pics of this Mother = AMAZING!

The first ever Venus Index Transformation contest was a huge success and Alisha McGinn took it to the house, her transformation was amazing.  See more photos at:
New song of the moment:  Lovely by Sara Haze