Category Archives: fitness

Weigh-In Wednesday, Week 6

Before I dive into Weigh-In Wednesday, I have some sad news to share.  My friend from graduate school, Sara, passed away yesterday.  I wrote about her in my Get Lucky 7k post.  I didn’t know Sara well, other than our trip to Brazil for school and chatting on facebook about running.  But, she was one of those people so full of energy and kindness that it felt like I knew her well.  I met her Dad at the Get Lucky 7k and I can see where she got her positive attitude.  My heart goes out to Sara’s husband and family.  I don’t really know what to say, other than it’s so sad to see someone tragically taken from this world at a young age because of a split-second decision by someone to drive drunk.  I know a lot of us have probably driven at times where we were borderline, but this is an important reminder that it is better to be safe and just take a cab. 


Happy Hump Day!  The weeks have just been flying by.

Progress!  Yay! 

I’m sure this has become as interesting as watching paint dry, but I think this slow progress is what I can expect.  As I get closer to the wedding, I might consider a 30 day challenge or cutting out certain foods and beverages to help lose weight temporarily.  But, the reason I’m not doing that now is because those things are usually only a temporary solution for me (do you really think I’d give up Crispin for life?  I don’t even want to joke about something like that).  I want to figure out the happy medium in my lifestyle where I can maintain at 135.  I know my goal is 130 but that is mostly to give me some wiggle room :)  

The Food

It is easier and easier to eat healthy Sunday through Friday afternoon because it is becoming a habit.  We keep our fridge well stocked with fruits and vegetables for snacks, and I stick to soup and salad even when I buy lunch at work (which has been more often than I like the past few weeks).  I don’t completely let myself go on Friday and Saturday night, but I allow myself to relax a little and enjoy the weekend.   

I went on a really fun party bus on Saturday night to celebrate my friend’s 30th birthday.  We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner.  I ordered chicken fingers with mild sauce, which came with fries.  I ignored the fries (yes, still going on that New Year’s resolution!) and ate four of the six chicken fingers.  I know that wasn’t the healthiest choice on the menu, but I had eaten healthy 90%+ the rest of the week so I was OK with it. 

As I continue to make progress, I expect the food portion to get easier and easier.  I will always crave burgers, fries, and other deliciously unhealthy food.  What it comes down to is being able to make the conscious decision to eat these things in moderation.  That decision gets easier every day. 

The Workouts

I work out about 4 times per week.  I’d prefer if it were 5-6 times per week while I’m training for Tough Mudder, but 4 times per week is still good.  Last night, I modified part of a treadmill workout I found on Peanut Butter Finger’s blog.  I have limited running to 3 times per week to allow myself at least a day to cross-train.  My first run of the week is intervals, my second is a tempo run and my third is a long run.  This is the workout I did last night.  The first 20 minutes is the workout from Peanut Butter Fingers and I modified the last 10 minutes for extra challenge and because I think it will help my speed more to run at 1 minute intervals.  I have no science behind why I think that :)

I was dripping sweat by the end of 10 minutes, but it wasn’t too challenging from a cardio perspective until the last 10 minutes.  This is mostly because I’ve been building up my running.  I did the first 20 minutes of this workout a month ago and couldn’t go beyond that.

I decided to put a lot of focus on my arm strength since that is what I’m most worried about for Tough Mudder.  I did a workout that Bess Be Fit posted this week.  She recommends going through this twice so you do a total of 200 reps for each move, but I could only do once.  I also could only do 30 tricep extensions.  I have a lot of work to do!

  • Bicep curls: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat.
  • Overhead tricep extension: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat.
  • Upright rows: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat.
  • DB rows: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat. 

I used 5 pounds and 7.5 pounds because that is what I have at home.  I tried our 15 pound weights for the last 10 reps and couldn’t do more than 2-3.  The 7.5 pound weights were probably a little light so I’d recommend going with 10 pound weights if you have them.  I could definitely feel this workout in my arms afterward.  I was actually a little worried about dropping the water pitcher as I was refilling my water!  When I try this workout again, I will probably do timed intervals instead of reps (1 minute with 5 pounds, 15 seconds with 10 pounds… or something like that).  I tend to get bored with counting so I think the timed intervals will be easier for me.

Ok, off to work I go!

What are some of your favorite workouts for arm strength?  How do you strive for moderation in your diet?

How is your week going?

Weigh-in Wednesday, Week 5: Feeling Good

Happy Hump Day!  Wow, I can’t believe it has already been five weeks!  Thanks everyone for the kind words last Wednesday.  Rayna posted this video on my Facebook wall that I’d like to share as motivation for others who have a hard time fitting workouts into busy days:  Zuzana – Don’t Give Up!. I can’t get the You Tube imbed to work so click on the link to see it.

Despite very minimal results, I have felt great the past few days (other than crying through the eulogy at my grandma’s funeral).  My legs feel lighter when I run and my clothes definitely feel better.  I can always tell when I am gaining momentum with my weight loss because I have less thigh jiggle :)

I love this point where I start to feel great because it becomes easier for me to make healthy decisions.  If I feel good and my clothes fit better, I want to keep them that way.  If I’m not at that point, I get down on eating healthier and squeezing in exercise on a busy day (“it won’t make a difference, anyway.”)  Ok, I confess – there are still some things I can’t easily turn down.  I found these in our freezer a few days ago:

I thought they were gone, but it turns out they were just hiding from us in our freezer… those sneaky thin mints.  Nom, nom, nom… I’m like Cookie Monster around those things.  Overall, I am pretty happy with how my eating went this past week.  These were some of the highlights:

  • Today, I had an all-day work meeting that involved catered food and a dinner at Stella’s Fish Cafe.  I had my own healthy breakfast at home, avoided the glazed donut that was trying to seduce me with it’s delicious frosting, and I didn’t have an alcoholic drink at dinner.  This is usually tough since everyone else is having a drink and it is the end of a long day so a beer or wine just sounds really good.
  • There was a lot of tasty-smelling potato chips at the VFW after my grandma’s funeral  yesterday.  I gave these up for 2012 and I still haven’t had a potato chip or french fry!
  • Matt and I ate a healthy dinner at home on Saturday night before meeting our friends at the bar to celebrate our engagement.  (we did have a late night sushi happy hour though)
  • The best part is I didn’t really miss all of this stuff I turned down.  There was a second of thought, but overall I didn’t obsess about how difficult my decision was to say no.

My week of activity looked like this:

  • Wednesday –  I had about 45 minutes to work out between work and meeting a friend so I did a 3 mile temp run & short walk with Macy.
  • Friday – Tough Mudder circuit
  • Saturday – 5 mile long run.  I ran my a 7k 1:30 faster than when I ran the Get Lucky 7k just one week earlier!
  • Sunday – Nice, leisurely 2 mile walk with Matt and Macy while wearing my Vibram Five Fingers
  • Tuesday – I had a work dinner and didn’t get home until 8 so I just did a quick workout.  It was a 25 minute treadmill interval run (15 minutes alternating between 10:00 mile pace and 7:30 mile pace, 15 minutes alternating walking and running an incline of 8).  I also did as many push-ups and squat/shoulder presses as I could to kill my arms.

I have 53ish days until Tough Mudder.  I am most concerned about my upper body strength, so my focus over the next is to get back on the 2-3x/week routine I had going before my grandma got sick.  I know I’ll be fine with the running portion, but I am not sure about my ability to do things like lift myself over a wall or get across monkey bars!

I’ve been slightly hard on myself lately so this week I’m not going to post about what didn’t go well.  It is killing me not to point out my “opportunities”.  Not to sound like a complete nut, but I do this at work a lot too.  I had my review last week and started it out by taking over the meeting and telling my boss what I think I could have done better.  Yep, true story!  Obviously you can tell I am a Type A person.  My job is basically all about process improvement and sometimes that extends a little too much into my personal life.  Luckily, I have Matt to balance me out.

So, how do I feel at Week 5?  I wish I had more drastic results, but only because I am impatient.  I’d like to have better results over the next five weeks than I have this past five weeks, but I am still really happy with my progress.  I am comfortable I will see better results in the next five weeks because life should become a little more stable.  I mean, what are the odds I can have two major life events (my engagement and grandma’s death, for the new readers) happen in the next five weeks too? ;)

Are you ever too critical of yourself?  How has your week been going?  Anything positive you want to share with us?

Weigh-in Wednesday, Week 4: Measurement Success

I was not looking forward to weighing myself this morning.  Then, when I stepped on the scale… ugh, utter disappointment.  I knew it was coming though.  I had a crazy week with my grandma being in the hospital and then passing away (not to mention the half a bag of tortilla chips I’ve eaten over the past few days).  Then, I was even more down on myself because this was my excuse two weeks ago – I had a crazy week that was totally unusual when I got engaged. 

But, after I measured myself I realized I was being too hard on myself.  I’ve had a lot of success with my measurements, which is something I always overlook (to the point where I never even take them when I’m trying to lose weight).  I’ve lost three inches from my waist and almost five inches from my hips!  I know some of this is from bloating (and possibly measurement errors on the hips), but even losing bloat weight means I’m eating healthier overall and the workouts are working.  So, enough talking about them… here are my stats:


I was about 145-150 pounds and a size 10 when I graduated from college.  Today, I am 141 pounds and a size 6 (or 4 at some stores!  gotta love those stores that cater to my self esteem).  That isn’t a big difference in weight, but it is a big difference in size.  So, I know it isn’t all about weight but sometimes I don’t remember that it isn’t all about weight.  I still think weight is a good indicator of success, but this is a good reminder that it isn’t the only indicator. 

My success of the week:

  • I worked out at least every-other day, including running in the Get Lucky 7k.
  • I completed the Tough Mudder training after my treadmill intervals on Monday.  I was so sweaty that I was sliding all over my yoga mat and will need to break out my mat towel when I do the circuit tonight.  I don’t remember it being this intense when I did it last week!  By the time I got to the decline push-up, I couldn’t do them.  I had to do the girly knee push-ups and even those were pushing it for me.  The best thing about this workout is you can do it at home! The only equipment required are dumbbells and a pull-up bar.  We don’t use our pull-up bar up anymore so I skip those and do them at the gym (I say “them” like I can do multiple pull-ups… ha!).
  • Other than the half bag of tortilla chips, I ate healthy about 70% of the time.  It helps a lot that the salad bar at my work actually looks appealing this time of year and they’ve really stepped up the sandwich section.  We haven’t been able to grocery shop much the past week so I’ve been buying lunch at work the past few days.  I really need to get to 80%+ to lose weight so expect to also see something about this in the “what didn’t go well” section of this post. 

What didn’t go so well:

  • My 30% was mindless snacking.  I really didn’t need those tortilla chips, but they were there so I ate them.  We also gobbled up the rest of our Girl Scout cookies (if you saw how we inhaled them, you’d know gobbled is the right term).  We decided that next year we’ll buy one box (because we can’t completely deprive ourself!) and donate money to the Girl Scouts. 
  • I didn’t start my BODYPUMP routine that I wrote about in last week’s post.  I was at the hospital three nights last week and on Sunday so I am ok with this one.  I created a workout schedule that includes BODYPUMP every Friday night until Tough Mudder and stuck it on my fridge.  I know that doesn’t sound like an exciting thing to do at 6:30 on a Friday night, but it will keep me away from happy hour for a while and is the least stressful night of the week to fit it in. 
  • I’ve pretty much abandoned my WW points tracking.  There is seriously no good excuse for this.  I have an app and know the points of most of my food so I should just write it down!  Next week, you will read that I tracked my points every day.  I promise. 

Ok, so there it is… four weeks into my journey!  How do I feel about it?  Ok.  I’ve made decent progress.  I know it could be better.  Normally, I would have gotten frustrated and quit by now.  I give myself props for that, but I also don’t believe in getting points for just showing up.  It’s not enough to show up to the gym or sort-of eat healthy, you have to work hard and make it a priority to make progress.  I know what I need to do.  Now I just need to be consistent about following through. 

What is your advice for me after reading this week’s post (or all of them, if you’ve been following since the beginning)?  Be honest!


Striding for Sara at the Get Lucky 7k

It has been both an exciting and emotional week, punctuated by a really great St. Patty’s Day race and beautifully warm weather this morning.  We booked our venue and photographer (which I will write about in a separate post tomorrow), my grandma is in the hospital and her prognosis has been anywhere from “she may be going home tomorrow” to “she might not make it through the night” (now, if she leaves the hospital she will need 24-hour hospice care), and this morning I ran the Get Lucky 7k in honor of a graduate school friend, Sara, who has been in the ICU at HCMC because of a car accident two weeks ago.  This was one of those weeks where you realize that life shouldn’t be taken for granted.  First, I’ll give you my public service announcement on donating blood and then I’ll tell you about the race.  (side note: the craziness of this week is also why I didn’t post my update picture for Weigh-In Wednesday.  I will make sure to do it next week!)


I met Sara when we both traveled to Brazil in January 2009 for a short-term study abroad.  She is a very warm and friendly person.  But, as odd as it may sound, I really got to know her better this past year over Facebook.  She became an avid runner so we started corresponding more and more, and planned to run some of the same races this year.  It’s weird how Facebook friends become real friends (if that makes sense).  She is just one of those people who is so warm and friendly that, even over a social media site, makes you feel like you’re a friend.  Judging by the number of hits to their Caring Bridge site, I think a lot of people feel this way about Sara and her husband.

Anyway, when our mutual friend Robin told me about the accident, I was really sad and wanted to help in some way.  But, how can you really help in a situation like this?  You can give blood and raise awareness about blood donation.  (visit the Red Cross blood donation website for more information).  Sara and her husband both benefitted from blood donations after their accident and my grandma had a blood transfusion this week to improve her pain level.  All three of these people benefitted from the generosity of others who have donated blood.  To be honest, I haven’t donated yet.  But, I plan to.  I know it won’t go to Sara, Chris, or my grandma but it will go to someone else’s friend or loved one.

The thing about runners is we like to use running to spread messages, so Sara’s friend Angela had t-shirts made to help us spread the “Save Lives, Give Blood” message at the race.  This is me in my shirt:

There were 6 of us who ran the 7k and 8 people who ran the half marathon to honor Sara.  The effort is growing via the Strides for Sara website, where many runners are logging their miles and more information about donating blood can be found.  I have a list of the races Sara planned to run this year, so Angela is coordinating a group of us that will cover all of her races.  If you’d like to join the community rallying around Sara and/or the effort to raise awareness about blood donation, visit Strides for Sara to log your miles or get information on future races.


IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL DAY!  I ran the Get Lucky half marathon last year and it was in the 20′s.  This year, it was in the 60′s when the race started.  Of course, all of us Minnesotans were loving the weather!  This was my first time running the 7k and I loved the course.  The half marathon is held in St. Paul and the 7k is in Minneapolis.  I definitely prefer the views during the 7k run.  I carried my camera with me to document some of the course:

Toward the back of the starting line – there were 7k people running the 7k!

This is my wave running to the starting line…

Running behind the Guthrie…

It is hard to tell in the picture, but there are still runners at the starting line waiting to go (just past the buildings) and the street below is about .5 miles into the race.  Lots of people!

An Irish band singing along the route…

This is me about 2.5 miles in (yep, I look scary while exercising)…

The people at the finish line (and I was in the middle wave so this isn’t even everyone!)

Matt and I at the end of the race (he finished ahead of me)…

I was very under-prepared for this run so my goal was to finish without stopping, which I did!  I was a little sad that I averaged 10:30 pace for a 7k, but completed a half marathon last October at an average pace of 10:00.  I guess that is the difference between the beginning of race season and the end!  My goal for this season is to run a half marathon in 2:04 or less, which is a far cry from my very first half marathon time of 2:30 in 2008.  I guess I am getting faster, even if I still feel like I’m running in slow motion.

I don’t have many races lined up for this year yet so I better get moving on my training if I want to hit my goal!  When I picked up my Get Lucky packet, I signed up for Team Ortho’s first annual Women Rock half marathon on September 1.  It is 1 week before my wedding, so it will force me to stay in shape!  As a prize for being one of the first 100 people to sign up, I got this:

Matt said he will use this as motivation this year! (he doesn’t need to – he is already in good shape) I’m honestly not sure what to do with this calendar but I found it funny anyway.  Ok, this has been a long and somewhat rambling post so I’m going out to enjoy this wonderful weather.

What races are you signed up for this year?  Do you have any activity goals this year?

Weigh-in Wednesday, Week 3: Shock!

Happy Hump Day!  I know I’m later than usual with this post.  Somebody (me) decided a 7am meeting sounded like a good idea so my morning routine was a little hectic today.

Let’s start with the stats:

I promised a picture every five pounds so I will update the post tonight with a picture.

Yes, I am shocked.  Pleasantly shocked, but still shocked (and excited so I celebrated by wearing a skirt I haven’t fit into since late 2009, when I was 135 pounds for about 5 weeks).  I am shocked because I was 144 on Monday.  My Monday weight was most likely due to the sodium from the hibachi on Saturday, but I normally don’t fluctuate so much within a few days.  I think what really helped me was cross-training and more consistent exercise, but it was still a week of ups and downs.

This is what went well:

  • Cross-training.  I struggled through a weight circuit, used the elliptical, raced the lady next to me on the rowing machine, went for a run, and tackled the scary Stairmaster at the gym.  My normal routine is basically running, running, and more running so I’m sure my body didn’t know what to think.
  • Food.  I had to buy my lunch at work this week and I got a salad both times!  I also re-discovered a meal Colleen taught me last year – adding protein powder to Oatmeal.  I was in too much of a hurry to make a shake and needed something fast.  It was fast, but also delicious and I was satisfied until lunchtime!

    Before I mixed it together

  • Water.  I didn’t drink 3 Camelbak bottles every day, but I did at least five of the days.

This is what I struggled with:

  • Food.  Yes, this was a success but also a struggle.  Yesterday, my grandma went into the hospital because her lung cancer has spread rapidly and she is having heart problems.  I needed something comforting and that something was Doritos with my salad (not on it though, that would be taking my Doritos love one step too far):

    Cheesy goodness.

  • Dessert.  I ate way too many sweets this past week (which is weird, because I normally don’t struggle with dessert).  We still have a lot of Girl Scout cookies, I had more than a few slices of a Papa Murphy’s cinnamon wheel, and we received a free cake sampler at Bellagala last night (but we only ate the carrot cake and we split it!)
  • Points/food tracking.  I only tracked a few days this past week.  I listed this as a challenge last week too.  This is important for me to establish a consistent routine; otherwise I will eat too little one day and way too much the next.  I don’t have a good excuse for why I’m not consistently tracking since I have an app on my phone that makes it really easy.  My plan is to put a daily reminder on my iPhone to get my points down.

I’m excited about dipping below 140, but concerned it is more a factor of stress from my grandma’s situation than my habits over this past week.  I feel this way for a two reasons: my measurements didn’t change much (even went up in some cases) and my body can do strange things when I’m under stress.  The good news is the challenges over the next week are much more manageable than the past two weeks, so I’m going to fight like crazy to continue my success for Week 4.  This is a preview of what this next week will bring:

  • The weather is unseasonably warm for MN so I expect to go on a lot of walks and runs!
  • Get Lucky 7k is on Saturday.  I am completely underprepared but it will still be fun
  • We are getting together with friends on Saturday night to celebrate
  • I am going to start my weekly BODYPUMP routine (and this time, I’ll check the schedule first!)

How are you enjoying the warm weather that seems to be sweeping the nation?  What is your go-to comfort food when you are stressed?

Maybe I should practice what I preach about cross-training

I haven’t been to the Y in over a month because I do most of my workouts at home.  But, I need more intense weight training for Tough Mudder than my 20-30 minute home circuit so I decided to start going to BODYPUMP weekly.  I checked the Y schedule that I hung up in my office at work (two months ago, as a way to motivate myself to take the classes), blocked off my calendar so I could get out of work by 4:30, and made it to my 6:00 BODYPUMP class.  This is what I found:

Yep, I was 30 minutes late because I had an old schedule.  Oops.  (also, to be completely honest, I found this picture online – but it happens to be the move they were doing when I peeked into the gym!).  I guess I should have checked to make sure my motivation schedule was accurate.

I took it as a perfect opportunity to cross-train, which is something I always say is important but never actually do.  I started running four years ago and my use of other cardio has been rare.  Last night, I started my cross-training session with rowing 2200m.  Yes, I was secretly racing the lady next to me and she kicked. my. butt.

Next, I moved on to the elliptical.  I haven’t been on an elliptical machine for three years.  I am the first to admit that I am a treadmill snob.  I used the elliptical exclusively unit I got into running.  Then, Treadmill Anna felt bad for Elliptical Anna for wasting all those years on a sub-par cardio machine.  Aww, poor Elliptical Anna for thinking she was actually working out.  :(

The Africa course on the Life Fitness elliptical proved Treadmill Anna wrong yesterday (and I’m going to stop talking in third person now because it is borderline creepy).  It was like I was running hills for 20 straight minutes and, at the end, my  legs were a little wobbly.  I had an epiphany – maybe I didn’t get a good workout on the elliptical because I never pushed myself!  I’m so smart to discover that about 10 years into my exercise journey.

Next, I moved onto the stair master.  Not the kind where you walk on pretend stairs that are about 3 inches tall:

The scary kind that look like real stairs:

After 8 minutes on the Stairmaster, I was sweating like I had just run 5 miles.  I am a sweaty person, so that it A LOT.  Today, I swear my legs are smaller from cross-training.  I guess, rather than talk about the importance of cross-training, I should actually practice it more often :)

Today, we are going to look at a few more wedding venues and then heading out of town so I took the day off to get some stuff done.  That will include my first Tough Mudder workout.  I do these workouts for one minute each, with 15 seconds of rest between each (full descriptions can be found here):

  • Tough Mudder push-up… related obstacle: Boa Constrictor
  • The Fist and the Fury… related obstacle: Berlin Walls
  • Scissor Kick… related obstacle: Fire Walker
  • Bent Rows… related obstacle: Hold Your Wood
  • Dumbbell Side Lunge… related obstacle: Swamp Stomp
  • Push-Up + Row… related obstacle: Devil’s Beard
  • Lunge & Twist… related obstacle: Sweati Yeti
  • Shoulder Press… related obstacle: Cliffhanger
  • Decline Push-Up… related obstacle: Kiss of Mud
  • Quick Feet… related obstacle: The Bastard
  • Tough Chin-Up (I will have to skip these since we haven’t figured out where to put the pull-up bar since we painted)
  • Superman Plank… related obstacle: Greased Lightning
  • Drunk Superman Side Plank… related obstacle: Walk the Plank
  • Angelina Jolie… related obstacle: Ball Shrinker
  • The Tough Squat… related obstacle: Death March
Are you currently training for a race or other event?  What are your big plans for the weekend?

Weigh-In Wednesday, Week 2: FAIL.

Obviously I had a very exciting event happen last Thursday that was cause for a lot of celebration!  Unfortunately, it didn’t bode well for Weigh-In Wednesday.  I’ll accept it as a good excuse for this past week, but if I want to gain momentum I know it can’t be an excuse after this week.  Besides, now I have more motivation to move the butterfly (see right toolbar) – dress shopping!!!

What didn’t go well:

  • I didn’t track any points four of the days.  Even if I go over or have to use generic foods to estimate, I should track to maintain awareness of what is going into my body.  I am not at a point yet where I can abandon tracking, even if I feel like I know the healthiness of what I’m eating.
  • I ate a baggie of black licorice in one day!  My coworker found out I like black licorice and brought me in some that his wife ordered from Europe (you know, someplace where they have good black licorice).  It was so good that it was gone by the end of the day. 
At least I ate them one at a time and not by the fistful?
  • I had wine or beer Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday night.  I know there will be a lot of celebrating over the next month but I need to reign it in if I want to gain momentum.

What went well:

  • My measurements didn’t move, despite my one pound gain!
  • I incorporated weights into my workout on Sunday (thanks to Matt!).  I have been feeling it in my legs ever since.
  • I did 25 minutes of a great treadmill interval workout that Peanut Butter Fingers posted on her blog yesterday.  It kicked my butt!
  • I made a few food tradeoff decisions I wouldn’t have previously made.  I had a big salad for lunch on Thursday was balsamic vinaigrette in anticipation of going out to dinner that night to celebrate Matt’s new job (which turned out to be an engagement celebration!).  I had a protein shake for breakfast instead of pancakes.

Said no to these!

... and yes to this!

I know I will have my ups and downs throughout this process.  I didn’t expect it to happen the second week, but reflecting on what went well and didn’t go well will help me adjust my habits this next week.  My challenges this next week will be:

  • Fitting in workouts on top of looking at wedding venues and going out of town.
  • Cutting back on the celebration alcohol.
  • Making good choices when we are out of town this weekend.  We will be helping Matt’s dad move so I expect we will be eating out a lot.  Portion control, portion control, and more portion control!

Sunny wanted to have a body shot this week since Macy had one two weeks ago:

"I'm not fat, I'm just fluffy."

How do you manage through times when eating healthy isn’t convenient?  How do you balance alcohol into your diet?  I bet I sound like a complete lush asking that question!

Weigh-In Wednesday, Week 1!

I’ve been waiting all week to see if I could make the butterfly on the right toolbar move!  The results are in (picture to be included every 5 pounds)…

I was sick last week and retaining a lot of water so I expected a 2 lb loss, but 3-1/2 feels even better!  I know I might have some measuring issues to work through with my right thigh but I think this week’s measurement is more accurate :)

Yesterday, we had to get physicals for life insurance and the guy weighed me in at 139 (which is definitely NOT what my scale says!) but he rounded down to 135.  I wish that actually worked in real life!  Overall, it was a good week and, luckily, I didn’t face too many obstacles.  We have guests this weekend and I’m going to a Gopher hockey game on Friday night so the next week will be more of a challenge.

Even before my quest, we’ve been trying to cook more often and eat healthier.  We’ve found a lot of new foods that we really like.  Last night, we revisited a favorite of ours from our gluten elimination last March – Udi’s pizza crust!

(I did an elimination to see if gluten could be causing some of my intestinal issues.  You can read more about gluten-free living in a previous post of mine)

The pizza crust is 4 points for half (which is plenty if you pair it with a salad), the veggies are 0 points, the cheese is 1 point, and the canned tomato is 1 point (but you could get rid of that point by using fresh tomatoes).  We simmer the tomatoes in a pot, drain some of the excess juice, put it on the pizza, add the toppings and bake per the instructions on the Udi’s wrapper.

Yesterday and today were both weird days for my points consumption.  After dinner, I still had 10 points left for the day!!!  So, I ate 6 thin mints.  Ugh.  I had the points for it, but I could definitely feel those on my run.  When I got off the treadmill, I still had a few points left and was craving something salty.   I spread 1 point of peanut butter onto a rice cake, which was the perfect post-workout treat (total points = 2).

I usually snack on fruits and vegetables during the day so I’ll need to find heartier snacks so I don’t end up with so many points at the end of the day.  I want to make sure I end this challenge with healthy, sustainable habits and part of that is figuring out my pacing of meals throughout the day.

How do you spread your meals throughout the day?  Aren’t you happy it’s “hump” day?!  We’re halfway through the work week!

Those last 15 pounds…

Happy Weigh-in Wednesday!  Ok, I know today is Thursday but that is so much catchier :)   Weigh-in Wednesday is my quest that I will share every Wednesday (after this week) to finally get rid of the last 10-15 pounds.

I know I don’t need to lose weight.  I wear a size 6 pants and small shirt so that alone tells me I don’t have a weight problem.  But, I’m also only 5’3” and I’m at the very top of the healthy weight range for my age and height (ok, maybe a few pounds over some days).  I’d feel more comfortable if I dropped the extra fluff and, more importantly, kept it off!  Besides, I do invest a lot of time into running so it’s a little frustrating that I still have the fluff hanging around.

I have tried, and failed, many (MANY!!!) times over the years to get rid of this weight.  This is why I think I’ve failed:

  • Food.  I would rather work out than have to worry about eating healthy, but I need to finally accept that 70% of it is diet (which is SO depressing! but also SO necessary to accept!).
  • Running.  This is all I do.  I probably ran over 1,000 miles last year and only lost two pounds.  This is what my friend Tony, who is a personal trainer and former Marine, had to say about that, “I am sure you already knew this but running is probably the least effective way to try to lose weight, especially when you are good at it. Your body is just like a car, when you keep running your body becomes more efficent to the repetitive nature of the exercise. That is why switching it up is so important…”  Apparently I didn’t already know that!
  • I don’t build it into my lifestyle.  When I train for a race, it consumes my life.  When I am done, I completely fall off the wagon because I am so burned out from training.  I do the same with food.  I am either very healthy or eating a whole sleeve of Do Si Dos.  I need more moderation.

Based on my self-analysis, I have put together this plan to help me reach 130 pounds within 16 weeks:


  • I am going to follow Weight Watchers.  I chose Weight Watchers because it is realistic with my work travel schedule and it will help me learn about portion control, while still allowing for small indulgences.
  • I will eat 2 “clean” meals per day at least 5 times per week.  I think it’s important to eat natural foods whenever possible.  This should be relatively easy since Matt and I have been eating mostly “clean” dinners since the beginning of January.


I drink a lot of water as it is, but I’d like to make it a rule to have 3 Camelbak’s per day.  I own six of these water bottles and usually have one with me.  Best. waterbottle. ever.   It must be the chewy straw.


  • Diversify.  This should be easy to do since we are training for Tough Mudder and a sprint triathlon.   This will include strength training 2-3x per week, biking, swimming and running.
  • Focus on intensity.  I tend to get too comfortable in my workouts.  Working out with Matt helps a lot since he motivates me to work harder.
  • Incorporate morning workouts.  This will allow me to enjoy more evenings cooking dinner or taking care of errands so I won’t feel burned out at the end of this.

I welcome feedback, tips or suggestions!

Baseline measurements

  • Weight: 145 pounds
  • Waist: 32”
  • Hips: 38 ¾”
  • Bust: 34”
  • Arms: R – 11 3/8”, L – 11 ¼”
  • Thighs: R – 24 ½”, L – 23 ¾”
…and here I am!  (in case you’re wondering — yes, Matt thinks I’m a weirdo for wanting to broadcast this on the internet.  However, he has learned by now that I’m a “sharer” so he just goes with it.)

 Macy wanted to take a body shot too:

Have you achieved a weight loss or healthiness goal that was very important to you?  What approach did you take and what advice do you have for me?

What I’ve learned about training

We finally got snow in Minne-snow-ta.

(this would actually be a laughable amount any other year)

So, what do I do?  I decide that today is the day to break out these bad boys:

My coworker was so nervous I was going to fall on the sidewalk that he offered to walk next to me so I would fall on him and not the ground.  What a nice guy.  But, walking in high heels is actually one of my many talents (except that one time I completely “biffed it” at work… but, hey, nobody is perfect).

I actually wore these because I have a two-day meeting for work and was presenting today.  My practical footwear just wouldn’t do for such an occasion.  Maybe tall heels make me look smarter?  I don’t know, but it is worth a try.

Anyway, I like to doodle when I have a lot on my mind.  While I was mulling over my presentation, I doodled this:

It is a rough draft of our Tough Mudder/sprint triathlon training schedule!  (that big scribble is our trip to Cancun for our friend’s wedding).  I was a little impressed with myself that I could put together a rough outline for our upcoming events :)

It got me thinking about my very first half marathon training experience in 2008.  My coworker sent me a link to an online training schedule and helped me modify it to fit my schedule since I was working full-time and going to school part-time.  I was so nervous and diligent about following that schedule that I gave myself bronchitis two weeks before the race.  Fun times.

It was the worst race ever (but still completely awesome because it was my first race ever).  My knees killed, my hips hurt and I missed a lot of my last two weeks of training.  I figured I wasn’t meant for running, but I really just didn’t know how to train well.

After six half marathons, two 10 miles, two 20 miles and a marathon, my approach to training is much more laid back (which also makes the process a lot more fun!).  These are some of the most important things I’ve learned through experience, talking to my doctor, running stores, or my running books and magazines:

  • Start small.  I know the idea of starting at only one mile isn’t very sexy, but sitting out because of knee pain isn’t sexy either.
  • Build supporting muscles.  Most likely, your knees hurt because you don’t have good supporting muscles, not because you are predisposed to have bad knees (but please see your doctor to verify).  My knees hyper-extend when I run and I wore a really cool knee brace when I played soccer in middle school, but I’ve gotten knee pain under control by doing squats, lunges and biking.  Colleen and Matt both got their knee pain under control with a runner’s knee strap.  Click here for good information about runner’s knee and how to prevent injury.
  • Put your training plan somewhere you will regularly see it.  It will be easier to stick with.
  • Rest if you need it.  If I would have rested for a few days, my cold probably wouldn’t have led to bronchitis and I would have enjoyed my first race much more.  A good rule of thumb is you can run if the sickness is neck up, but you should rest if you have body aches.
  • Get fitted for good running shoes.  I know most of the cool-looking shoes aren’t bulky, but if you have frequent knee or hip pain you probably aren’t wearing the right shoes.  Go to a running store and have them fit you by watching you walk.  I was over-pronating, which was contributing to my knee and hip pain.
  • Vary the speeds of your runs throughout the week.  Each run serves a purpose.  Enjoy the recovery run and push yourself during the interval runs to build up speed.

Ok, I guess that was more than “some” tips.  There are a lot of good resources available about how to prevent injury and put together a good training plan.  Whenever I have a quick question, I check out the injury prevention section of Runner’s World online.

Here are a few links to training plans online:

Do you also like to run races?  What are important tips you’ve learned about training and injury prevention?