Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Guess I'm a slacker...

I was told yesterday that I was slacking on the blog.

Sorry about that.

Things have been really hectic and after 5pm, I just don't want to devote my time to the World Wide Web.  I have just needed some breathing room and have been taking time to enjoy my family and just relax (ok, pretend to relax...cause it never truly happens).

I have a family blog as well, and it's been neglected for about 3 weeks...but I'm not going to feel bad about it.  I'm spending time with my family, and that's what matters most.

I'm currently doing a "cleanse" or "detox" or something....so I'll tell you about my results soon and whether or not I actually lost any water weight.  I also made my first pie yesterday...a "healthy" pie.  I'm still running and logging my miles (see right sidebar).  I have changed my workout schedule a bit and am doing strength MWF & cardio T, Th & Sat/Sun.  That being said, I ran 3 miles before my strength workout yesterday, so I guess I'm flexible with the whole cardio part!  A little extra never hurt ANYONE!

I'll be back shortly...perhaps later this week.

Until then...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Boot Camp

Today was bittersweet.

I gave myself one really tough hour long workout that consisted of sprints (2 miles), lunges, traveling burpees (ugh), squats, lots of weights and TONS of sweat.

It was a Janna-type of workout.

Oh, you don't know Janna? 

Think Jillian Michaels but totally more lovable.

Janna was one of the trainers at my old gym.  She doesn't let up.  She keeps on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.  The girl never seems to run out of it.  She'll be pouring sweat....drenched...working just as hard (eh, harder) than the rest of us, yet she never seems to get tired...and never expected us to either!!! Oh, and her favorite exercise of all....BURPEES.  UGH. 

Janna came on board at my old gym right around the time I decided to really get serious and lose weight.  I signed up for a boot camp class that she led...knowing that people would probably just look at me and think I didn't belong...but I decided I didn't care.  I was going to give it my all....and I did....and so did everyone else.  It was essentially the same people every class, and naturally, there were a few of us that formed a little family.  For the next year and a half, we supported, challenged and pushed each other.

As I was working out today (probably harder than I have since I last took one of Janna's classes), I thought of her and my other friends at my old gym.  I am so very grateful to her for making me believe in myself and seeing potential in me that I didn't see in myself.  I sure do miss them though!!!

Now, the non-sappy Tessa speaks up:
This same family is suppose to be running the half marathon with me in February, but only 2 have signed up......I may be disowning some of that family soon....and Janna..... that includes you!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Up and running....literally.

Today:  5.15 treadmill miles

Word of advise:  if you want to do high intensity interval training, do it at the BEGINNING of your workout, not the END like I did today.  I don't know WHAT made me think doing HIIT was a good idea after already running for 30 minutes.....but I did it, and I'm still alive.

I haven't had Internet service since mid-day Friday (big shout out to AT&T for that).  I finally got them here and got it fixed yesterday afternoon....good thing since I work from home and Internet service is pretty much a job requirement.

I took Saturday, Sunday AND Monday off from working out.  I have a lot going on personally and have been super stressed out.  I decided to take a few days off and try to relax and get a little extra sleep in the mornings.  I'm not sure if it has helped or not!  My husband would probably still say I'm a crazy person...and I probably am!

I have every intention of working out the remainder of the week.  After all, it builds natural endorphins and just makes you feel good!

Won't you join me?!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Learning to eat new things

Today's Workout:  3.3 outdoor miles

I woke up yesterday fairly sore from my previous day's strength workout.  I knew I should probably go run and just work it out, but we had to be somewhere at 9am and I just didn't have time.  So I thought I might make it to the gym later...and well, that didn't happen either.  Since it was the 4th of July, I decided mid-day that I'd just let it be my rest day this week.  As the day progressed, my legs became increasingly sore.  By the time I went to bed last night, I could barely sit without grunting with pain.  I'm still sore today,  but I went ahead, sucked it up and went for an early morning run anyway.

Food Co-Op Update
I got this as my basket last weekend:
The regular basket ($15) consisted of grapes, bananas, canteloupe, mangos, butternut squash, grape tomatoes, celery, onions, cherries, lettuce.

I did the Mexican veggie add-on for $10 (I think), which included avocados, zucchini, green onions, bell peppers (yuck), more onions, jalepeno peppers, cilantro, poblano peppers, garlic, some long green peppers that I'm not sure we ever identified....and maybe some other stuff...it's been a few days, so I've forgotten!

Anyway, I'm so happy with everything!  I love how the majority of it is "normal" stuff, but there is always a few things that I've never had before.  It's forcing us to try new things.

I've learned that I'm not an enourmous fan of butternut squash.  It was "ok".  Tasted a lot like a sweet potato, and I'm not so much a fan of those either.

We tried this recipe for the poblano peppers.  Neither of us had ever ordered a chile rellano at Mexican restaurant, so we had no idea whether or not we would like it.

Turns out, this was pretty tasty!  I made a few changes to the recipe (omitted the mushrooms & salt, added chili powder, cumin, black pepper, used low fat cheese...and probably too much of it!).  I used fresh tomatoes in the stuffing, but several reviews said they used Rotel or canned diced tomatoes. I also served it on top of cilantro lime brown rice.  Would definitely make this again!

I find myself reaching for fruit for snacks because I hate to let all of this produce go to waste.  Jason has even started to eat a little fruit, which is a miracle.

One thing I always do when I have a lot of produce is to take the time to wash it all and prep it before sticking it in the fridge.  That way, it's ready when I am and I won't be tempted to grab some processed snack instead!

I like to fill the sink with a water/vinegar mix (obviously make sure your sink is clean first!), let my fruit sit for a while, then wash it off, dry it and it's ready to eat whenever!

The ice is added because it's so stinking hot in Texas that the cold water isn't even really what I consider to be cold anymore!  The pipes are too hot and we seem to only get warm water, so I add ice and make my own cold water.

Washing berries in vinegar is suppose to help them stay fresh longer too....not sure if it's true, but might as well try it!

If you do not have a salad spinner, I highly recommend purchasing one.  I finally bought a more expensive one from Pampered Chef, as I'd gone thru 2 cheaper ones in the past 6 years.  I'm hoping this one holds up better!  I not only use it to get the water off my lettuces, but also for fruit and berries. 

So, if this post were to have any points (and I'm not sure it does)....
1.  Wash fruits/veggies before storing to have ready-to-go snacks
2.  Buy a salad spinner to save hours drying with paper towels, which in return, saves our planet

Life-changing stuff right there.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Salads & Salad Dressing

A lot of people turn to salads when trying to lose weight.  When ordering in restaurants, it's important to remember to tell them to hold the croutons, cheese & bacon and always get the dressing on the side. When you start piling that all on a salad, you start to ruin the health factor and add all kinds of calories/fat.

Luckily, I'm not a huge salad dressing person.  I like it, but I don't need much of it.  In a restaurant, I always order it on the side and put on as little as possible (just dip your fork in and sprinkle it on top...add more as necessary).  At home, I do things a little differently.

I typically buy "light" salad dressings.  I do not like fat free dressings at all.  I would much rather have less of the real thing.  Besides calories/fat, bottled salad dressings also have quite a bit of sodium, so one more thing to watch for!

One suggestion I have for bottled ranch dressing (as it's a staple here in Texas):  add water to the bottle.  It thins out the dressing, which will spread easier on your salad without actually having to put more dressing on it.  Does that make sense?  Also, one reason I like restaurant ranch is that it is usually thin, as opposed to the thick dressings in a bottle.  It's just my own preference. 

Lately, I've been making my own salsa and put it on the salad.  I chop tomatoes, a little onion, jalepenos, cilantro & lime juice....put it in a container and it's ready for the week. 

In the past, I've also used the juice from cherry tomatoes as well as pepperochini juice (lot of sodium there too).  It helps the salad not be so dry, but without the calories/fat of the dressing.

I've been having to add a protein bar or shake in the afternoons because my salads have definitely not contained enough and I am starving an hour or two after I eat them.  This week I purchased Jennie O turkey burgers and have topped my salads with them.  It's pretty tasty!  Adding the turkey burger does add about 200 calories to my salad but also nearly 30 grams of protein....and it keeps me full longer so I am not snacking within an hour. 

So hopefully you now have a couple of alternatives to keep your salads healthy ones!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Goals & Maintenance

Today's Workout:  20 minutes HIIT, then 40 min weight training
Yesterday's Workout:  5.2 treadmill miles

I think I said I was shooting for 80 miles in June.....wow, did I really fall short of that goal!  The fact that I was out of town for 6 days and without a treadmill didn't help.  Even if I hadn't been on vacation, I am sure I would have still fallen short!  So I'm going to have to re-think this month's mileage goal.  I think I'll just try to increase last month's....even if it's just by 5-10 miles and I'll work for more lofty goals when this dreadful Texas heat subsides!

I did end up getting in 14 runs and 8 cross-training workouts in June. That's a total of 22 workouts.  Not bad.  This month, I'm just keeping track of my mileage.  Trying to keep up with the other stuff is too much...and really kind of pointless.  :)

I was talking to my husband last night about wanting to get rid of my final pounds....I've always heard those last 10-15 are the hardest.  For me, I'm sure I could lose it if I set my mind to it.  I think it's the hardest because you are somewhat comfortable and the sense of urgency to lose it has deminished.  For instance, when you still have 50 pounds to lose, you know you have to keep pushing forward as hard as possible or else you would never get there.  When you are only left with 10, it's like "oh, I'll lose it soon enough...".

In reality, I'm in maintenance mode.  I have been for the past few months.  Probably why the scale has stayed exactly the same!  I weigh myself (almost daily).  If I notice a couple of pounds increase, I usually blame it on water weight, I watch sodium for a couple of days and increase my water intake, and then I'll be right back where I was.  I really have no doubt that I will be able to maintain the majority of the weight I've lost.  So far, it seems pretty easy for me to maintain.  And I'm not depriving myself.  If I want something, I have it, but I don't go overboard.  The vast majority of the time, I don't even WANT to eat the stuff I used to eat.  People say they don't want to be deprived.  I've said it before and I'll say it again....once you stop putting crap in your body, you stop craving it!  I still crave sweets on occassion, but I rarely, if ever, crave anything fast food.....and believe me when I say I used to eat my fair share of Sonic and Whataburger!


It's how I lost 60 pounds and it's how I plan to keep it off, but I'm not sure moderation is going to work for my last few pounds.  I have a feeling it is going to require more commitment than I've ever had to have before....and to be honest, I'm just not sure I'm ready for it!!!