Monday, February 23, 2015

Fit by Fitbloggin' Progress Report Week 2: Exhaustion

Yesterday's post was a pretty good indication of how I'm feeling lately. The way-below-zero temps we have been having have made it hard to get outside to exercise, which really impacts my mood. I feel like a mole person. My allergies have really flared up, maybe because I'm inside so much. I have red, itchy eyes and I'm all stuffed up.  I missed my workouts yesterday because I just didn't have the energy. I'm going for my shot today in the hopes that that will calm things down.

Work has been stressful in the last two weeks and I know it probably won't let up anytime soon. I just have to try to keep my focus on the work I need to do and not on all the other turmoil going around the office.

Enough moaning. Here's the progress report:

Weight change from last weekl: down 1.6 pounds
Days tracked last week: 4 days
At least 3/5 Good Health Guidelines met: 3/7 days (with 2 of those days 7/7)
Average hours of sleep: 6h, 11m (worse than last week)
Average steps: 6,524 (better than last week)
Hours of training: 6h, 4m out of 6h 30m (felt terrible on Sunday)

My food for this morning is tracked, and I'm getting dressed to go get my shot and work out after I finish this post.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Enough, already!

I am really tired of extreme cold, snow, and road salt on my car and clothes.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Going old-school

I am a gadget girl -- I was an early adopter of the electronic calendar since it's the only way that I ever make it to meetings on time. But when I saw the video for The Passion Planner, I really wanted to try it. I think there is some power to pen and paper. 

It was obvious that the Passion Planner people had not planned for the kind of crazy success they had because their shipping was very late -- I finally got my planner this week, a gift from my Fitbloggin' Secret Santa Sharla (thank you!). 

I'm going to keep my appointments electronically, but each week I will add them to my Passion Planner and look at the week ahead.  

I'm doing something similar with Weight Watchers -- I do track on my phone, because that's the easiest way to get the points, but there is something about tracking on paper that helps me, so I bought a new spiral-bound tracker.  I didn't have a great weigh-in yesterday because I didn't track on Fat Tuesday -- it was a terrible day at work and there were treats everywhere. I didn't go crazy, but I still indulged too much. I was up 0.8.

I'm no longer Catholic, if I ever was, but Lent still feels like a time to focus on being a better person to me. My husband and I are returning to using our HomeRoutines app because we want to be more organized and less messy at home. I'm also going to add extra focus to my "Fit by Fitbloggin'" food and exercise tracking.  No Facebook until my meals are tracked. I'm also going to try to catch myself when I'm worrying/obsessing about the things I worry and obsess about. If there isn't something constructive I can do, I need to distract myself from them.

Are you using Lent to give up/add in anything to your habits? 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Fit by Fitbloggin' progress report week 1: Not stellar

Pounds to Weight Watchers goal weight: 30.4
Pounds to my Fitbloggin' goal: 11.4
Days tracked last week: 7 days
Good Health Guidelines met: 2/7 days (need to get better with healthy oils and multivitamin)
Average hours of sleep: 7h, 1m
Average steps: 4,872
Hours of training: 8h, 40m out of 11h 15m (woke up sick on Sunday)

I made backward progress on every measure except one: I tracked every day. Some of those days, though, I had to track late in the day or even the next morning -- I need to get better on this measure too.

Last week at work was stressful, one of the worst I have had in a while. I am letting myself worry about things that are not under my control, and I need to put a stop to it. Even all the workouts didn't help the way they usually do.

My body fat measure was the one thing that went down -- but even that, as you see above, suggests that I'm making adequate progress to reach my goal weight in 13 years. That's a little later than I hoped.... 

All I can do is try to do better this week. I'm tracked up until now for this morning and am going to take my multivitamin after I finish this post. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Great training week spoiled

I started to feel bad around 2:00 yesterday. My throat hurt, no matter how much I tried to drink water. My energy was starting to crash. I thought it was my long bike ride yesterday, but in the middle of my Valentine's Day dinner, I wanted to fall asleep.

I definitely have a cold, and I'm not going to be like the woman sniffling next to me on the yoga mat on Monday (hmmm) and go to the gym to share it.  I also don't think swimming would be a good idea. I have to settle for 8:40 instead of the 11:15 planned for this week.

I should have done that 35-minute workout in the middle of today's plan earlier in the week, and I won't leave more than 2 hours for a Sunday again.

Hoping I can be back at it by Tuesday for my "down" week. Only 6:30!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Win a Fitbloggin' conference pass and hotel stay!

Wish you could come to Fitbloggin' and see me (and some other people) present but feeling a little light in the wallet? Well, the fabulous Roni has a chance for you to win most of your way there.  Three lucky people will score a conference pass, two nights in the conference hotel, and a swag bag from last year's conference with all this stuff:

If you'd like to enter, you have until March 16, the day that begins the 100-days-till-Fitbloggin' countdown. Head over to the Fitbloggin' site to find full details on how to win.

Of course, I'd like to win this stuff too, so I'm going to make my pitch.

I want to come because the Fitbloggin' community has become like a family to me. It wouldn't be the same without me because even though I'm not a big blogger name, I'm willing to play my part and be a cheerleader and fangirl. I like making people feel included and comfortable.

Plus, did I mention that I'm speaking?

The winners will be randomly selected, so don't miss your chance to enter. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

How to remove Shellac/Gel manicures the easy way

Note: This is an unsolicited, uncompensated review. I found a product that worked for a difficult task and decided to share it with my readers. There are Amazon affiliate links in this post. 

I love and hate Shellac (or Gellish, or OPI Gel) manicures. I love them because I can leave the salon with my nails completely dry and not worry that I will ruin my manicure before I get home.

I hate them because my nails are soft, so they bend and cause big chips a little more than a week after the manicure. As soon as there is a chip, I want this stuff off my nails, and I don't usually have time to run back to the salon for a professional soak-off.

I hate sitting with my fingers in a bowl for ten minutes. I have also tried the cotton-and-aluminum-foil method without great success.  I decided to see if Sally Beauty Supply had anything that would work better, and found these  for $35 (). I also bought some pure acetone (regular nail polish remover won't work on gel manicures) and enough cuticle pusher sticks to last me the rest of my life, assuming I don't lose the whole bag.

These wraps are really cool. I thought they would be just gauze with tape strips at the end, but they are actually small elastic bandages with a cotton pad attached.  That means if you don't put it on right the first time, you can easily readjust it.  I soaked the pad in the pure acetone, and then placed the wrap on my finger so that the pad was tightly pressing on the surface of the nail.

I was glad I decided to do only one hand at a time. I was going to do both, but then realized I wasn't going to have much luck doing anything with my fingers all bandaged up. The wraps stayed on very well, but I also didn't try to do much during the time I was waiting. 

I set my iPhone timer for 10 minutes after I finished the last nail, but 15 minutes might have been even better.  Once the timer went off, I firmly pushed down on the pad and slid the whole wrap off my nail and onto a paper plate to contain the mess.  Some of the polish came off with the wrap, but the rest had to be pushed off with the nail stick, and I scraped the polish into the plate as well. A little more time might have made the polish come off more easily. 

Most salons will charge $10-15 for a soak-off procedure, so even at the inflated price I paid I think these nail wraps are a bargain. Though they are a little more expensive than aluminum foil, they have the advantage of being perfectly suited to the task. There are 100 wraps per box, which is enough for 10 manicures (or pedicures). 

I'm annoyed because I have a couple of chunks of polish on my fingers that I missed because I didn't see them last night. I'll just buff those off with a nail buffer.  I need to keep reminding myself that picking at them ruins my nails, because I'm a little OCD about things like this. Next time I will leave the wraps on for a little longer and take the time to repaint my nails so I don't keep noticing these bumps. 

Monday, February 09, 2015

Fit by Fitbloggin' Progress Report: Starting point

Good morning! As promised, here's my first Monday Fit by Fitbloggin' post:

A photo from our snowshoeing adventure this weekend

Pounds to Weight Watchers goal weight: 29
Pounds to my Fitbloggin' goal: 10
Days tracked last week: 4 whole days, 2 half days
Good Health Guidelines met: Didn't track
Average hours of sleep: 7h, 23m
Average steps: 9,031
Hours of training: 10h, 55m out of 9h 30m (did the wrong training week by mistake)
As you can see, definite room for improvement here. I'm ready to get started.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Fit by Fitbloggin'

Brooke posted a link in the Fitbloggin' community on Facebook to a blog post in which she gave herself some tough love. It reminded me that there is time to be a lot fitter by Fitbloggin'.  I have a little less than 20 weeks until I get on that plane to Denver, which is plenty of time to make a difference. And yes, I'm mostly talking about behavior changes, but part of it is about weight loss.

I don't usually like to set big weight loss goals, but here goes: I will be at least 10 pounds lighter when I take the stage for my Ignite presentation. That's averaging a little more than half a pound a week.

My steps to this goal:

  • Tracking: I have been paying for a Weight Watchers membership and attending meetings. Might be a good idea to track my food every day and not just sometimes. 
  • Good Health Guidelines: Remember those? When I follow them, I lose weight.
  • Planning: Meals for next week are already planned and the grocery list is written. Tomorrow I will go to the store to get the ingredients for everything. This is something I tend to do well for a week or two and then slip.  The next step should help with that. 
  • Pre-cooking: We have a great rice cooker, so we're finding it easy to make big batches of our oatmeal or brown rice to use all week. I also want to work on pre-cooking meat and beans. 
  • Support: My husband also wants to lose weight, about the same 30 pounds I eventually want to lose. Both of us know that being lighter will help us with our race goals. So we need to support each other instead of leading each other astray.  We also need to work together to plan and cook.
  • Training: I'm training for a big race, so I just need to stick to my training plan and I'll be getting plenty of activity.
  • Sleeping: Less iPhones in bed and more sleep.

I'm weighing and measuring myself at home tomorrow morning. I'm going to take Brooke's lead and post weekly progress reports and goals for the week.

Friday, February 06, 2015

I'm going to Fitbloggin' 15!

I had started a post about how tired I am of winter, but even I was bored by it. So instead, I have some exciting news to share: I'm going to Fitbloggin!

I wasn't sure about my ability to go this year, so I didn't apply to be a speaker, but when the call for Ignite Fitness Sparks went out, I decided to leave it up to fate. I applied. Ignite talks are 5 minutes with 20 auto-advancing slides, and I thought it would be fun to try speaking in that format. Here's Kia giving a sample:

When the first set of Ignite speakers, chosen by popular vote, was announced and I wasn't in it, my desire to leave it up to fate slipped a little. I wanted to go!

The second round of speakers were going to be picked by Kia and crew, who invited us to give "compelling reasons" that our talk should get chosen. My compelling reason was, essentially, "pick me!" Either it worked, or they liked my talk, because I was chosen in Round 2.

I am rooming with Margo again, in keeping with what is now Fitbloggin' tradition. She's considerate, she doesn't snore, and she and I both have similar early-bird sleep habits, even if we live on opposite sides of the time-zone map.

So even if , I can dream of summer in Denver.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

What is the #WomensLives campaign all about?

Public Radio International (PRI) and SheKnows Media, BlogHer's parent company, have joined in an effort to increase the impact of coverage of serious women's issues, including gender inequity, in the news.  As a member of BlogHer, I was invited to help publicize the stories PRI shares to help give equal coverage to news about women (beyond what Katie Perry was wearing at the Super Bowl).


Look for blogs displaying the badge above and posts and other social media shares with the hashtag #womenslives. Then, I hope you will also share, think about, and discuss these news stories. If we want serious news about women's issues, we have to seek it out and help make that content a good investment for media outlets.  Together, we can make sure that stories about #womenslives get the attention they deserve.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015


See it larger
Not bad -- there is some logic in it, though a few of the lines don't make much sense because the @ tags were removed. Make your own here.

Accountability and helping others

It's interesting that Roni posted about people who are "all talk, no action," because I had a discussion about this with a friend last night.  Her sister has signed up for a marathon. The friend thinks her sister won't train for it, as she has signed up for and done other races without adequate training.

I have seen people do things like this myself, but it's their path, not mine. Either they find a way to be accountable to themselves, or they don't. No amount of pushing from the outside will make a difference. No amount of reasoning will either. Whatever is stopping them from doing the work is not a lack of information. Maybe signing up for the race was an impulsive decision that they regretted later. Maybe they really don't like running, but they feel like they should do it.

The most common question that I hear weight-loss gurus and other so-called experts getting is how to motivate friends and family to change. I don't think that motivation can come from outside. I think it has to come from within. I also think that sometimes the path is just a little longer than outsiders want it to be, and that's okay.

My friend's sister might find some spark and start training hard for this race. She might struggle through and finish and feel terrible. She might DNF, or even not start.  In the grand scheme of things, the sister is going to have to find her own way, and that's okay. I think the best way to help is to trust others to do what is right for them, even if it takes a while.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Triathlon training: A down week

I'm probably not going to hit my training hours this week. This was supposed to be a rest week, with 6 hours, 30 minutes of workouts, but I'm going to be about an hour short if my swim is cancelled, which looks likely.  I think that's okay, I'm just getting even more rest than planned. No outdoor workouts are happening today, but I moved a DVD yoga workout I had planned but not completed earlier in the week to today.

I thought this down week would feel good, but to be honest, I have been tired all week. My husband said that was because of the delayed reaction of last week's training catching up to me.  I also noticed that on Monday and Tuesday, when I didn't work out, I felt more stressed out at work than usual, and had more trouble sleeping.  In some ways, working out harder is more restful for me than taking the time off.

I was so intimidated by the idea of yesterday's 2-hour bike/run workout at my triathlon coach's house, but I did it anyway and had fun. I really like the people who work out in that group and there is something cool about doing something so hard.  Sometimes the trick is not to think about it and just do it.

I'm going to enjoy my day of being snowed in. I'm already lobbying my husband to switch from the Superbowl to Downton Abbey at 9:00 pm.  Neither of us likes either team anyway.

Happy Sunday!

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07