Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The touch, the feel of cotton...

...is NOT a good thing when running.  I should know.  That's pretty much all I own.

I sweat when I work out.  A lot.  Cotton gets sopping wet and sticks to your skin.  It's not exactly pleasant.

I was bumming around the mall yesterday and talked to a lady from Dick's Sporting Goods about how I've started running, but their gigantic selection of clothing was really intimidating me and I had no idea what to look at first.  She pointed out some things and we talked about sports bras.  I tried on a few things, but left empty handed.  Over $50 for a good sports bra?  Seriously?  That purchase will have to wait until I'm no longer in a transitional phase as far as my weight is concerned.  Also aggravating is the fact that apparently, as a woman, you get either shorty-shorts, or capris.  Can I get some mid-length please?  Like just above the knee would be great.  I have thighs, folks!  They rub together!  It's called chafing?  It's not good!  Chubby ladies wanna work out too!

So, I am in search of cheap tech workout clothes.  Screw cotton.  And where does one go when she's in search of anything cheap?  Walmart, of course!

Okay, so now I sort of look like a cat burglar.  It's not my fault all the had in the proper size in the very limited Danskin 'performance' material selection was black!

I just did today's run in this and I definitely did feel less distracted by my copious amounts of sweat.  I always take a towel with me on the treadmill to mop myself off periodically, and I did again today, but I wasn't concerned about doing it quite so often.  Also eliminated was the distraction of the bottom of my shirt flapping around since this is very stretchy, fitted (obviously...say hello to my rolls) nylon/spandex.

And for the record...I bought a size LARGE in both pants and top.  No X's people!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's Saturday...

...and you know what that means!

Weigh in: Saturday, 6/25/11 - 207.0 - 1.8 lbs lost, 43.2 total

Not too shabby!  I earned 41 activity points in the last week and used 9 of them.  (I don't generally use my weekly points, I have my tracker set to take from AP's first.)

Definitely stayed on track again, but I did miss one workout.

I've lost another point off my daily allowance.  That's a good thing and a bad thing all at the same time.  It means I'm lighter, making progress...but it also means less food!  Back in January, I started with 41 points, now I have 34.  29 is the minimum.

The treadmill is fixed (for the time being...and the repair guy didn't charge us for it!) so I'll be jogging later.  And Zumba tomorrow!

I started a Facebook page for the blog, you can 'like' it using the box in the upper right corner here. :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Why is everything breaking?!

The cable was out from Monday morning to Thursday afternoon.  My tv (old school tv, not flatscreen) has gone wonky in one corner, and the color is all off.  And, the worst...the treadmill is broken again!  The belt seems to run smoothly, but once someone gets on it, it's all you can do to stay on and not be thrown when it jerks randomly.  Repair guy is coming tomorrow.  We already did this back in March for the exact same problem!  Replaced parts and everything.  I need my treadmill!

Okay, done whining.  Workouts for this past week:

Saturday, 6/18/11 - 10k plan, Day 11 - 3.14 miles in 45:00 (14:19 pace) - 5 min warmup/cooldown walk @ 3.5, tempo jog - 10 min @ 4.3, 15 min @ 4.5, 10 min @ 4.3

15 minutes at 4.5!  Still slow, but I'm getting faster!!  And another 5k distance in under 45 minutes.

Sunday, 6/19/11 - Zumba+Abs class, 1 hr

There were only 5 people in class.  Only reason I can come up with:  it was raining and no one wanted to leave their house and get their butts to the gym.  Ah well, it was fun anyway!  The ab workout was killer though...I really cannot do planks to save my life.

Tuesday, 6/21/11 - 10k plan, Day 12 - 4.78 miles in 1:10:00 (14:38 pace) - 10 min walk @ 3.5, 45 min run @ 4.3, 10 min walk @ 3.5, 4x100m strides @ 5.1

45 minutes!  My longest one yet.  And I jogged in between my strides rather than walking.  Progress!

Rather than drinking water, I tried some G2 since this was a "long" run.  I didn't have any nausea issues, so maybe that helped.

It was Tuesday that I noticed the treadmill was really starting to jerk.  I noticed it before, but tightened the belt and it got a bit better so I wasn't terribly concerned.  But I told my dad about it, and went to show him the issue and practically got thrown off the thing.  So no more treadmill this week...

Wednesday, 6/22/11 - 3.2 miles in ~44:40 (13:57 pace) - lots of alternating walking and jogging

Went to the local park which has a running/biking path of 1.6 miles.  I did 2 loops.  This should have been 30 minutes straight of jogging on my 10k plan, but I really failed to pace myself and just couldn't keep it up.  I ended up alternating walking and jogging each time a new song started on my mp3 player after the first 10 minutes of jogging.  Whenever I decide to regularly run outdoors, I'm definitely going to have to get a Garmin or something of that nature that can tell me my pace.  On this run, my pace was faster than ever, even though I walked half the time, so I was definitely jogging way too fast.  Not maintainable at all for me.

Funny story...I used G2 during my park run.  Seemingly unrelated:  I'm a mouth-breather when I work out.  Yucky dry mouth + bright blue sports drink = blue teeth.  I didn't realize this until I was in the car to head home.  I smiled at almost everyone I passed on the running path.  Whoops.

No workout yesterday or today because the repair guy was supposed to come today for the treadmill and I figured I'd be able to use it by now, but then he rescheduled.

Lastly for today, here's my dinner from last night:

Weight Watchers PointsPlus total for dinner:  11

Yes I eat on a tv tray.  Don't judge me.  

The big pink thing is my Bubba Keg.  34 oz, filled with water.  I also frequently use a purple Nalgene bottle.  I drink a gallon or more a day usually.

I'm going to try to keep posting meals and recipes from time to time, hopefully the ideas will be helpful to someone!  :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yay spaghetti!

I have never liked meat sauce on my pasta...or bolognese like the fancy Italian folks call it.  Call me weird, but it's one of the very few things that I don't like.  Another thing on that list is canteloupe, but I digress.

I make a lot of spaghetti, and this is generally what I put on top of it.  I threw it together again for lunch today, so I thought I'd post it here.  Very simple, super fast, and much more point-friendly than meat sauce.

  • Small amount of olive oil in a skillet.  
  • Artichoke hearts.  I use canned in water.  Going for convenience here.  Drain off the liquid before putting them in the pan.  I also break up the pieces a little bit before or during cooking.
  • Mushrooms.  Again, canned, liquid drained.
  • Capers, and a generous splash of the brine because I like the flavor.
  • Season to taste.

I don't really "cook" this concoction, just warm on medium-low while I'm boiling my pasta.  I also sometimes add canned oysters or clams if I want to add some protein.  It would look a lot prettier with more colorful veg, but I promise it's good!

After the pasta is done (I use Barilla Whole Grain Thin Spaghetti), I put a little olive oil on that, and season it - usually with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Fresh herbs would be nice too.

Then my veggies go on top and get mixed in.  That's it.  I used about half of the vegetables I prepared...I'll make some more pasta in a couple days to use it up, or maybe mix it with some Eggbeaters for breakfast.

You can of course use fresh ingredients if you wish, and whatever veg you like.  It would even be a decent way to use leftover veggies that have already been cooked.  Bulking up pasta with veg is a good idea in general if you're trying to watch your caloric intake.

Some people think it's not pasta without the sauce, but I beg to differ.

Here's what it looks like when it's done.  On the right is some leftover salmon from dinner earlier this week that I had for my protein.

Weight Watchers PointsPlus (for pasta dish only): 7

2 oz uncooked pasta (about 1 cup cooked) - 5
2 tsp olive oil - 2
artichoke hearts, mushrooms, capers - 0

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Can we talk?

Excuse the terrible picture, I was trying to show size.
Seriously.  Fiber One brownies.  Go buy some.

These things might the best packaged good-for-me food I've encountered.  I was at Costco on Sunday and on a whim got a giant box of 36 of these babies.  I was not disappointed!

Mine are the Chocolate Fudge brownies.  They also come in Chocolate Peanut Butter.  *drool*

5g of fiber (that's 20% of your daily recommended value), 90 calories, and a measly 2 WW Points+.  Delicious.

Also on my trip to Costco, I carried a 40 lb bag of cat litter through the store.  Carried, without the aid of a cart.  I figured, I used to carry that much extra weight around every day of my life, what's 2 minutes?  A good illustration of what I've accomplished.  I was sweating a little by the time I got to the front.  If you haven't done this experiment with a bag of potatoes at the grocery store, or dog food, or whatever heavy item equates to your personal weight loss, I highly recommend it!

Another small milestone:  I've graduated to wearing medium unisex/men's t-shirts again!  I've been wearing L or XL for a few years, but this week I've been pulling shirts from the back of my closet that I used to wear in high school!  My wearable t-shirt collection has grown. :)
Insane smile...can you
tell I was really excited?

I also discovered I can squeeze into the sparkly dress I wore in my junior and senior years as a member of my high school women's showchoir.  It's tight across the bust right now, where as back in the day the whole thing was always a little big on me because they cut it a size or two too large and had to tailor it down.  I have 2 other sparklies that are smaller, so I'll keep using showchoir dresses as an indication of my progress.  Ultimately I'd love to be able to get into the one that I wore during my sophomore year!

Last thing for today:  I finally got new running shoes!  I've been wearing a pair of Brooks' Ghost 2 for well over a year.  The treads are worn down and I've noticed my arches cramping during Zumba.  I have a big problem with underpronation, which is when most of your weight falls on the outside of your foot when you walk/run.  I had the painful beginnings of plantar fasciitis before I bought my first pair of Brooks', and once I started wearing them it cleared up almost immediately.  So rather than trying on endless styles I stuck with what I know works for me and ordered a pair of Ghost 3 from Zappos.com.  Helpful tip:  If you have tried on shoes/been fitted for running shoes and know what you need, Zappo's often has last year's models on sale, unlike your local sporting goods store.  I got them $20 cheaper because Zappo's already has the Ghost 4 in stock.

I'll leave you this evening with a picture of my new pretties!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A wee bit frustrated

Workouts for the past week...I left off at Monday's run.

Tuesday, 6/14/11 - 10k plan, Day 9 - 2.37 miles in 35:00 (14:44 pace) - 5 min warmup/cooldown walks@ 3.5mph, 25 min jog @ 4.3

I had a rest day scheduled on Wednesday, but I got bored and felt like I needed to do *something*, so I browsed the exercise videos on demand on cable.

Wednesday, 6/15/11 - Yoga video, 15 min

I enjoyed some of the exercises, but planks can kiss my ass.  I must have done them sort of correctly in the millisecond that I could hold them, because I was feeling it in my abs the next day.

Thursday, 6/16/11 - 10k plan, Day 10 - 3.05 miles in 45:00 (14:44 pace) - 5 min warmup/cooldown walks @ 3.5, 35 min jog w/ incline intervals: 2.5 min incline @ 4.3, 5 min flat @ 4.2

I took a break on Friday because I'd checked the scale and was getting a bit discouraged.

And now, on to today's weigh in!

I did better than I have in weeks, possibly months, with exercise and staying right around my daily allowance on points this week.  I know 'a loss is a loss' is a great mantra, and I try to remember it, but given my dedication in the past week I really expected it to be a little more.

Weigh in:  Saturday, 6/18/11 - 208.8 - 1.4 lbs lost, 41.4 total

I know over a pound in a week is great, but I'm confused.  In weeks when I haven't been on plan at all (namely right after I got back from vacation),  I lost 4 pounds...two weeks in a row!  And when I really try it's 1.4.  Meh.  It leads me to think that I should be using some of my 'extra' activity/weekly points.  So I'll try to do that in the coming week and see where it gets me!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Santa Fe Chicken from skinnytaste.com

I made this for dinner on Tuesday.  It was delicious and very filling!  Added a small salad on the side and it was a well-rounded meal.  Everyone in the house loved it despite the 'healthy' factor.

Weight Watchers PointsPlus:  11

1 cup brown rice - 5
1 cup Santa Fe chicken - 4
1/4 cup 2% shredded cheddar - 2

I doctored my bowl up a little bit by adding salsa and hot sauce to my brown rice, and then spooning the chicken mixture on top.  Finished with a bit of cheese and chopped scallions.

Here's the recipe. (found here

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 8 servings Size: 1 cup Old Points: 3 pts Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 190 • Fat: 1.5 g • Fiber: 5.6 g • Carbs: 23.1 g • Protein: 21 g
  • 24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
  • 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • salt to taste
Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning. Serve over rice (extra pts).

A few personal notes on preparation:

I used canned tomatoes w/ jalapenos instead of the kind w/ mild green chiles.  And I used the whole teaspoon of cayenne.  I like my food spicy, but you could definitely use less if you don't like the heat.

I drained the beans and tomatoes, since it wasn't mentioned either way in the recipe.  I also rinsed the beans to get rid of the some of the extra sodium.

I found that the 10 hour cooking time was a bit long.  I had it on low for 6 hours, and turned it up to high for the last hour to make sure the chicken was cooked through.  After that I tried to get the chicken out of the pot with a fork and it fell apart, so it was definitely ready for shredding.  I put the shredded chicken back in just long enough for my 5 minute rice to cook and called it done.

There will still be a lot of liquid in the crock pot at the end of cooking.  You could use a slotted spoon to serve it if this bothers you, of course.  I did not, and found the rice soaked up the majority of the excess broth quite nicely.

I definitely recommend this if you're a fan of Mexican flavors!  Very yummy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Beast mode!

There was this guy on Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition last week who kept saying he was on 'beast mode' when he was working his butt off and doing really well.  I've decided I like the phrase, and that it applies well to this week because I'm doing awesome!

I've been tracking everything and making good decisions.  A preview step on the scale today shows that I should get rid of my gain and then some.  I've also put all my workouts for the week into my tracker already to give me a little more incentive to finish them all and earn those activity points (49 total for the week!).

I worked out on Thursday and Friday so I gave myself a rest day on Saturday, which is the first day of my Weight Watchers week. 

Sunday was Zumba day!!!  It had been over a month since my last class.  Out of town for two weeks, busy with yardwork the next, then class was cancelled for Memorial Day weekend, and last weekend I was just off plan and didn't really have a good excuse.  This week there was a substitute instructor, and she kicked our butts!  She was very big on isolating one area of the body for a whole song.  I am still hurting today!  Shoulders and quads mostly.

Sunday, 6/12/11 - Zumba class, 1 hr

I was a bit confused while at the class, because there was a girl behind me who was NOT into it.  She looked fairly thin and fit, but she was barely moving in the way the instructor was asking us to and just looked bored.  She half-assed it the whole time.  The instructor even went right up to her and stood in front of her to get her to shake it, and she would have none of it.  I don't understand why one would pay for an exercise class and then not even try to work out.  Not to mention Zumba is supposed to be fun!  I may be drenched in sweat, and my chub is jiggling all over the place, but I'm smiling most of the time I'm in there!

Moving on...I was absolutely dreading Monday's scheduled run, but I did it!

Monday, 6/13/11 - 10k plan, Day 8 - 4.33 miles in 1:05:00 (15:00 pace) - incline work - 10 min walk @ 3.5, 40 min jog @ 4.2, 10 min walk, 4x100m strides @ 5.1

When my training calls for incline work, I've settled on 5 minutes flat, 2.5 minutes incline on the treadmill.  I've tried 5 flat/5 incline intervals and I end up having to walk because I get winded during the incline portions.  I alternate the inclines between 3-5%.  More daunting than the incline work itself was the fact that I was supposed to jog for 40 minutes straight!  Logically, I knew my body could do it - I've done 35, why not 40?  But it was still intimidating.  I did have an unexpected stop for about a minute right in the middle, because I was toweling off my face while jogging and lost an earring.  I wanted to make sure to find it so it didn't get stuck in the works of the treadmill, but once I did I was right back to work.

I have another (much shorter) run scheduled today, and then I'll have another rest day on Wednesday.

I've been having an issue when I push myself past 'normal' during my workouts, like I did last night.  Maybe anybody who's reading that is a fitness guru or has experience with running/cardio can help me.  I feel fine right after, tired, but fine...then about an hour later I am intensely nauseated.  I thought I was gonna lose it last night, I ended up just laying down while sucking on peppermint and going to sleep because doing anything just made me want to vomit.  It's happened to me a couple times before; I don't know if I'm depleting myself by sweating so much or what.  Any ideas?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I'm still alive!

I know everyone was worried.  ;)

I never posted weigh-in from last week, so I'll do that and yesterday's right now:

Weigh in:  Saturday, 6/4/11 - 209.4 - 1 lb lost, 40.8 total

Weigh in:  Saturday, 6/11/11 - 210.2 - 0.8 lb gain

I had my bad few days before the first weigh in, and then the few directly after it I still wasn't on track, so the last couple weigh-ins were a wash.  I did get my next 5 pound loss star sticker for losing 40. 

As of yesterday I am cracking down on my nonsense and will be tracking everything!  I've also started tracking bottles of water (about 16 oz) rather than cups (8 oz) on my Weight Watchers etools.  It has 8 check boxes on the tracker  I'm trying to drink a gallon of water every day, so that's 8 bottles - works out well.

Here are my recent workouts:

Tuesday, 6/7/11 - 10k plan, Day 5 - 1.97 miles in 30:00 (15:11 pace) - 5 min warmup/cooldown walks @ 3.4, 20 min jog @ 4.2

Thursday, 6/9/11 - 10k plan, Day 6 - 2.68 miles in 40:00 (14:54 pace) - 5 min warmup/cooldown walks @ 3.5, incline work/jog @ 4.2

Friday, 6/10/11 - 10k plan, Day 7 - 3.16 miles in 45:00 (14:14 pace) - 5 min warmup walk @ 3.5, 30 min jog @ 4.3, 6x100m strides @ 5.1

I did 5k in under 45 minutes!  Pleased with myself on that one. 

I'm trying to increase my speed a tiny bit.  I get a little discouraged because one of my ultimate goals is to run a Disney half marathon, and they require a 16 min/mile pace.  I can barely keep up a 14-15 min pace for more than half an hour or so.  I won't even consider signing up for a race at this point first off because I don't have the funds, but mainly because the last thing I want to do is pay all those entry fees and not even get a medal because I didn't finish!  Once I get through this 10k program I'll probably move on to a half marathon plan to see if I can even cope with the distance.

Friday, June 3, 2011


I have REALLY dropped the ball this week.  Scratch that...not so much dropped it as raised it over my head and hurled it away from me with Herculean strength. 

It was a conscious decision, though WHY I would do this to myself I can't even begin to grasp.  I'm at the lowest weight I've been in years...is that scary?  No, I don't feel nervous about it.  But somewhere in my mind I justified screwing myself over with the fact that I've lost 8 pounds in the last 2 weigh-ins, and am "only" 0.2 lbs away from -40.  Well, that 0.2 just got a lot bigger. 

I haven't worked out since Sunday, and I've been gorging myself on fast food and random snacks in large quantities for the past couple days.  Not as bad as it would have been before, I suppose, but bad enough.

I'm definitely going to be up at weigh-in tomorrow.  The question is by how much?  I have not been drinking my water, so I'll be chugging like a madwoman today, and sticking mainly with fruit and veggies.  My body is definitely telling me - by way of tummy gurgling and irregularity - that I need to get with the program.