Monday, October 24, 2011

Very Encouraging!

I have meaning to do this post for months now; I'm finally getting around to it! I am not quite to my goal weight, but I'm getting close. I have been kind of stagnant in my progress over the last couple months, but at least I haven't gained much either. Here is a photo timeline of my progress. I made a big drop when I joined the gym (late December) and then another bigger drop when I got serious about my calorie intake (mid May).
If you click on the photo you can see it larger.
Looking at how much better I look now is really motivating. I really recommend looking back at your old photos too.
I am determined to jump back into being really disciplined again so I can continue to reach my goals!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I am a Triathlete!

I'm finally getting around to posting about my triathlon I competed in a month ago. It was amazing! Here I am right before the race with my cousin.
Most triathlons are in open water, but I decided to do my first one in a pool. I am not a strong swimmer and am certainly not fast. I was worried I might get tired and have to back stroke, but I was able to achieve my goal of doing it all on my front, either freestyle or breast stroke.
The bike ride was my favorite part: 12.1 miles through beautiful Cache Valley.
This is moments before I crossed the finish line!
It may have only been a sprint (half the Olympic distance), but it was a great start. It was really so much fun and I wasn't even sore afterwards; I surely should have pushed myself harder. I definitely want to do another triathlon and hope to do the Cache Valley Sprint again next year! We're officially triathletes!

Friday, July 8, 2011

We Really Do Adapt

As I mentioned last post, I've finally been losing weight again. Since May 24th I've lost 12 pounds. I've been getting compliments like crazy and I've even had to buy some new "skinny" clothes. I'm still not as thin as I'd like, but one of the pants I bought was an 8. Sweet!
I've been going to the gym in the early mornings at least four days a week all year, but I wasn't seeing the progress I wanted. I finally decided to get SERIOUS with the diet. I used to be good for lunch and dinner and then make things like lasagna for dinner. I wouldn't eat that much, but I wasn't limiting myself to one serving.
I have actually been eating the recommended serving size of things. At first I was hungry a lot and had to chew sugarless gum all day to keep myself from munching. Sometimes I felt even a little weak like my body actually needed the energy. You know what happened after a few weeks of about 1400-1600 calories per day? My body adapted. It's not that I'm always satisfied with my one serving of oatmeal and a banana for breakfast or my tuna sandwich for lunch, but it's not too bad. I usually have a snack (apple or yogurt) or two between meals and that helps a lot. Really though, I've adapted a lot. Now if I eat a second serving of Special K, I feel like I just ate a Thanksgiving meal. Okay, maybe that's exaggerating, but the principle is true. I never really thought I ate that much before, but compared to now I did. I still eat a little of the good food at family parties, but at home I've been super-strict about it. I've lost almost two pounds a week so far, so I'm pleased.
When I say I've adapted, I mean more than just feeling full. I have enough energy to get a good workout at the gym. I'm still nursing and at first my milk started waning too, but now it's back up. It's pretty incredible that our bodies can adapt the way they do.
If you want to find some good meal ideas you can browse the sites below:

Good Housekeeping has some great meal plans for weight loss.

USDA National Nutrient Database has ALL of the nutrition information on foods.

Mayo Clinic answers questions about all types of things, including weight loss and fitness.

All types of free meal plans at

Free meal plans by total calories of meal type (i.e. high protein) at Changing Shape (look under freebies).

P.S. My triathlon is tomorrow. I hope it goes well!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dirty Dash

At the beginning of this month I ran the Dirty Dash race, which is a 5k mud run. Our team name was "Cruisin' for a Bruisin'".
There were photographers throughout the race taking professional photos. I don't love these photos enough to purchase them, so that's why there just the samples. The race was up at Soldier Hollow in Midway. Some of the race was just a dirt road, but they had obstacles like hay bales and these walls you had to climb over.
There were sometimes fans spraying our huge amounts of water to make everything a muddy mess. There were tires to step through and tunnels to crawl though. Some runners slopped themselves with so much mud that they were brown from head-to-toe. I actually didn't get too dirty considering the mess I was running through. Near the end they had this huge blow-up thing. I tried to slide, but it didn't have enough air, so I had to jog down it instead.
At the very end there was this huge mud pit.
I decided to wear clothes that I don't care for so that I could just throw them away afterwards. Good riddance! I wore some old running shoes that were still great. After the race I washed them off and donated them to charity. I'm glad that people in Africa can benefit from them. Climbing out of that slippery pit was seriously an accomplishment.
Here is our team Cruisin' for a Bruisin' with the Dirty Dash stuffed pig.
It was really fun! It's definitely the kind of thing that is way more fun with a team than it would be by yourself. They're doing a 10k Dirty Dash in September if you're up for it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finding Balance

Okay, so I kind of took a hiatus from this blog for a while. It wasn't intentional; I just have been busy with other things. I thought I'd catch you up on few decisions I've made.

For a while I was training very seriously for the Olympic distance triathlon. I was going to the gym five or six days a week for two hours a day. I was going on 20 miles bike rides and swimming ten million laps...okay, maybe like 75 lengths. The trouble was that I felt like it wasn't as fun anymore. I was starting to feel overwhelmed that even with all of the training, I still wouldn't be able to do all of the events back-to-back. I have three young children- very young, as in my oldest just turned five. I feel like my first priority needs to be a good wife and mother. Going to the gym and being fit helps me be better, but wearing myself out training hard for hours every day is just not my priority right now.

So, I decided to go back to a sprint triathlon. I feel really good about it. I'm sure I can do it and I don't have to stress out about training for it. I feel like I can enjoy everything more without so much pressure to stick to a training schedule. So, because I am only doing a sprint instead, I figured I'd save fifty plus dollars and sign up for a different race. I'll be doing one in Cache Valley. It's less than half the price and some of the money actually goes to charity, which is sadly rare with triathlons. Also, I don't have to rent a wet suit since it's in a pool. I can always do another one later, but this will be a good introduction to tris. Also, I have some cousins doing it with me, so that will be super-fun!

Some people might say that I'm a quitter. I honestly don't think so. I am still doing a triathlon, but for my priorities in life right now, this is a better fit.

P.S. On a side note, I fell off the eating right wagon a while ago. A week ago, however, I recommitted myself. I lost three pounds since. Sweet!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Imbued With Confidence!

I have been getting up early to go workout at the gym five or six days a week. Depending on the class I'm headed to, I have to set my alarm for between 4:45-5:50. Yeah, it's early. You'd think I'd adapt and it wouldn't seem so early, but I haven't- yet anyway. It's nearly always a battle to get up, but luckily my self-discipline has proved conquerer and I pretty much always get up.

The other day, i had stayed up too late again and the kids had kept me up a bit again. When my alarm went I was so tempted to just fall back asleep, but I ripped myself out of bed and headed to the gym. I have been nervous about the swimming portion of the sprint triathlon. It's not that far, but I get tired swimming freestyle lap after lap. In talking with some friends, I learned that it's not necessary to front crawl the whole time. With that in mind, I decided to just see how many laps I could go without touching the bottom or pushing off the sides. I tried to go freestyle for the most part, but nearly half of the laps ended up being breast or back stroke. With switching off, however, I was able to go the sixty laps to make 1500 meters. I didn't do it fast, and my technique was sloppy, but I swam the distance of an Olympic triathlon!

Well, that sealed the deal. If I can swim far enough, then I'm determined to bike and run far enough. It's going to be tough, but I am going to do an Olympic distance triathlon! I'm so glad I got out of bed so I can be filled with confidence. . . not regret.

I'm a little crazy to be doing the Olympic distance tri. Swimming across a cold reservoir for nearly a mile, then biking a full marathon on mountain roads that have big elevation changes and then running a 10K when I'm already tired from the swimming and biking. . . Yes, I am crazy!

I hope I'll survive! Finishing and not being last are my goals. I have been exercising daily, but I really need to to step up the training. I haven't been running more than two miles at a time and I've just been doing the spin classes, not any on the road biking. I've decided though and I'm a DETERMINED SOUL when I put my mind to something.

That swim filled me with confidence and I'm going to work hard to keep it! Wish me luck!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Calorie Gallery

My sister just told me about the Calorie Gallery. They have taken pictures of hundreds of foods in 200 calorie portions.

You can see how much of a fast food burger or pizza you can eat (not much), how much butter (2 Tablespoons) or how much lettuce (2 1/2 heads). They also have drinks too. It's all about choices. Sometimes, it's worth it to eat the 3 1/2 Oreos, but you certainly fill fuller eating two pears. Check it out!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Overload Principle

A cousin just posted something great on her blog about the "Overload Principle". I had actually just been thinking about the concept anyway. One of my gym instructors is an incredible athlete. She does Boston-speed marathons and century rides on her bike. She teaches cycling and runner's bootcamp at the gym and gymnastics as well. Anyway, she said, "If I don't wake up a little sore, I know I didn't push myself enough." Even though she is definitely in-shape, she continues to push her limits daily. I am not yet a true athlete, but I have tried to incorporate the principle of pushing myself daily. I try to cycle faster with more resistance, sprint faster, run farther, jump higher, increase my lifting weights, etc.

I am going to copy what my cousin wrote on her blog because I feel it so well explained:

Overload Principle: the requirements necessary to bring about improvement in the various systems of the body. As the body is subject to loads greater than they are accustomed to, the systems adjust and increase their capacity to perform physical work.(Definition from Strength Training 4th ed. by Philip Allsen)

This principle applies to cardiovascular and muscular training. Basically, if you do the same exact workout all the time, your body will not adjust and increase its capacity. Here are some ways you can mix up a workout so that you can continue to challenge your body and improve.

Muscular Training

•increase the resistance
•increase the number of repetitions
•increase the number of sets
•decrease the time of rest between sets for a given exercise (rest time should still be at least a minute, however)
•increase workout frequency (go from 2 to 3 days per week)
•switch up your routine (don't do the same exercise for each body part all the time)
•try circuit training (alternating resistance exercise with short bouts of high intensity aerobic exercise like rope jumping, jumping jacks, running, etc.)

Cardiovascular Training

•increase your mileage/time
•increase your intensity by upping your pace
•increase workout frequency (start at 3 days and gradually increase to 5 or 6 days per week)
•incorporate hills into your workout (or increase the incline or resistance on machines)
•interval training (where you alternate between high and low intensity)
•try circuit training (alternating resistance exercise with short bouts of high intensity aerobic exercise like rope jumping, jumping jacks, running, etc.)
•try a new mode of exercise (if you're a runner, mix in some biking, swimming, aerobic dance, etc.)

Let's all try to apply the "overload principle" into our exercise routines.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Helping Others and Yourself

In case you haven't heard about the Pound for Pound Challenge (or have forgotten to sign up), it's not too late. Every pound you pledge to lose will be one pound of food given to your local food bank. It's an easy way to help others while helping yoursef. Even if you are only maintaining your weight, you can pledge to do that and Feeding America will donate five pounds of food.
Check it out!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm Determined to be the Master of my Fate

I've decided that I am definitely going to be competing in my first sprint triathlon this summer. I am no where near fit enough right now, but I'm determined. I may or may not have the opportunity to train in future years, but the stars have aligned for me now and I'm seizing the opportunity.
The swim is definitely my hardest leg. I know how to swim, but my technique is really sloppy. For the last few Saturdays I've been swimming laps after my regular workout. I did 14 and 16 laps respectively, and probably could have kept going, but it wasn't a pretty sight. I started out okay, but after a few laps I had to switch it up with breaststroke. A sprint tri requires a half mile, or about 33 laps. Most likely, however, the triathlon will have me swimming in the middle of some lake, so that's an added challenge. Lucky for me, I have access to some swimming instruction. My mother-in-law was a swim coach and my husband is a great swimmer. With their tips and my hard work practicing I'm sure I can pull it off.
Part of the reason that right now is a good time to train is that I have this gym membership. It expires in 6 months and I will probably no longer get the killer deal I've got now. The gym provides access to a pool, which is vital for training. They also offer incredible cycling classes that can get me in great shape for the bike leg. The running is the easiest part to do. With the runner's bootcamp and other cross-training classes offered at the gym, I should be able to improve my times significantly.
Even though it hasn't been very long since baby #3 for me, I could probably finish a triathlon if I had to, but it would take criminals chasing me or the offer of a million dollars to push me through and it wouldn't be fast. My desire is to get to where I don't "just finish" a sprint triathlon, but do it in a reasonable time.
It's a battle to get up at 5:45 every morning to go to the gym. It's a bigger battle to try to eat right, especially measuring to get small portions.
Despite the challenges, I'm determined to be the master of my fate.
That fate will be that I will be a triathlete in five or six months.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Free Classes

I have been going to the gym 3-4 times per week so far and am loving it. I really enjoy all of the classes I've tried. I love the group exercise setting. This week Gold's Gym is launching all of their new routines on their new classes, so anyone can try them, even if they don't have a membership. Here's the schedule for the Ogden location: (Click on it to make it larger.)

Today I tried Runner's Bootcamp. It was really tough. I had to modify it and will still probably feel the ache in my quads for a few days. A lot of the people in that class are marathoners and triathletes, but they made me feel like it was great for me to be there. I loved the BodyAttack class I tried last week and still enjoy the RPM spin class.

For those of you who don't own a gym membership, you can try it out for free. I'm sure the other Gold's locations (and other gyms) have free classes too. You can call or check online for information. I know that Gold's also offers a free 7-day trial pass. I tried that out first before buying a membership. If you are like I was and still working out at home, keep at it. If you're dedicated, it is possible to get a great workout at home as well!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Yay! I Joined a Gym

After my second baby, I lost over 40 pounds (after the six weeks postpartum). I did it at home and around my neighborhood. My baby was born in December, but starting in January I bundled up my kids and started running out in the cold. I also did workout videos at home and lifted 5 and 10 pound handweights. Yes, it can be done at home, by yourself, without equipment. It isn't easy though.
Three kids, none of whom yet go to school, gives me a dilema. I can't fit all three in a stroller and I can't ask my four-year old to ride his bike on the icy streets. Getting up in the early hours to go out and run in those icy streets myself isn't very desirable either. I was trying exercise videos, but I was having a hard time staying motivated. The solution for me was joining a gym. Luckily my husband's company has a corporate discount and so I am now the excited owner of a Gold's Gym membership.

I just got a membership a couple of days before Christmas, but I already love it! With my husband off for the holidays I was able to go during the day sometimes, but I've already made a few 6:00 AM trips. On New Year's Day it was absolutely freezing here. I went to the gym at 8:15 and it wasn't even 20 degrees outside. It was so nice to come into the climate-controlled gym and enjoy my workout instead of bemoan my misfortune in the cold. Instead of only having my few free weights for equipment, now I have this and more at my disposal:
I haven't swam laps in a decade, but I've been contemplating a sprint triathalon. Luckily Gold's also has a pool, so it's now a possibility. We'll have to see how it goes. My favorite room so far is the spinning cycle room. I have gone a few times and can't quite keep up yet, but I'll get there. Right away I feel the burn in my legs like my quads are on fire and I'm dripping sweat. Despite that, I'm actually enjoying myself-love it!They have a whole slew of classes that I'm excited to try. The only thing that would make my trips more enjoyable would be a friend to go with. My husband has a membership, but with the kids we can't go at the same time. If you live near me and a have a membership, please let me know.

Hooray for finding a way to make things work!