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Even though I haven’t been posting because life/work has been crazy busy, I have not fallen off the fitness wagon. I have been consistent in working out 4-5 times a week and eating right about 80-90% of the time. At least what I think is eating right. I’ll get to that a little later…

First a little update of what I have been up to. In the past few months, I have really cut back on my running and have been doing other cardio instead. I usually work out over my lunch hour at work so that my workout time doesn’t cut into family time or precious sleep time. The community center that I work out at has lunch hour fitness classes, so 99% of the time I do those. The regulars in the class now all know me by name and they kind of help keep me accountable because they ask me why I didn’t make it to class if I skip a day. Peer pressure really is a motivator! I am also on a co-ed sand volleyball team and we practice one night a week and play one night a week.   So, if I’m perfect with my workout schedule (doesn’t happen often, but I almost always get in 4-5 of the 6 planned workouts) it looks like this:

Monday: 45 minute Zumba class, volleyball practice.

Tuesday: 45 minute Cardio Interval class

Wednesday: 45 minute Zumba class

Thursday: 45 minute Interval class (lower body), volleyball games

Friday: 45 minute interval class (upper body & core)

Saturday: Run

I’m definitely getting stronger. I can tell that my legs are stronger and I have better form when doing things like lunges and planks, so I know there are changes happening for the better. My endurance is good as well, and can keep up with the more athletic looking (not fat) people in my classes.

The problem is the scale isn’t budging. at. all. I’ve been gaining and losing the same 3 lbs for months. I’ll track my calories and eat 1600-1800 a day for a couple weeks, and nothin’. I’ll add a little more calories on days that I’m working out to make sure I’m getting enough, and nothin’. Then I give up on tracking and just eat intuitively and nothin’. No ups or downs (withing the 3 lb range). I don’t get it. I can’t tell if I’m eating too much or not enough. The numbers just aren’t adding up for me, and it’s getting incredibly frustrating.

So, I’ve decided I’m going to invest in a Bodybugg. They claim to be 90% accurate in calculating how many calories you are burning throughout your day. I’m hoping this will give me a better sense of what is going on with my body so that I can eat to fuel it while losing weight. I will be ordering it after my next payday, and it honestly can’t come soon enough. I can’t wait!

In other related fitness news, I have a 5k adventure race coming up this weekend! It is Team Ortho’s Go Commando adventure race. I ran this last year and had a blast, so I’m very excited to run it again this year. Since I haven’t been focused on running, I’m not aiming for a 5k PR by any means, but I would like to beat my time from this race last year. Regardless, it will be lots of fun!

P.S. I promise to try and post more often! Hopefully with my new gadget there will be more progress to post about 😛

During my workout last night I decided to take some pictures to illustrate what a workout at home is like for me…

First off, we have Zoe (my sometimes-outside-running-partner) standing vigilant next to the treadmill. She will stand there and stare at my feet/the treadmill the entire time. The only reason she is looking up in this picture is because she heard the click of my phone right before it took the picture.

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Next is the TV. Most of the time I will watch a show while I’m on the treadmill to help pass the time. Occasionally I will just listen to my iPod and keep the TV off. Last night I was watching The Biggest Loser. It was a pretty good episode as far as The Biggest Loser goes. Oh, and please ignore the random Wii-motes on the bookshelf…

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And finally, the aftermath of my workout. Oh how I love my new Polar HR monitor.  Those 46 minutes and 438 calories were BRUTAL. I was tired and sore from my workout the day before, so it was just extra rough. Note the sweaty gleam and the gnarly scars. I’m badass.

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Yes, I know I’m pale, leave me alone. I’m Irish and Norwegian, I pretty much never had a chance.

I’ve been sick the past week with a wicked cold that turned into a wicked sinus infection. Fun times. Have I mentioned that I hate the winter yet?

Even through the illness, my back was feeling better so I decided to get a few workouts in. On Thursday, I hopped on the treadmill for 30 minutes, but was able to work in a few running intervals at a slow 12:00/mile pace. My back felt fine afterward. Yay! Two days later on Saturday, I hopped on the treadmill for 45 minutes, and did more longer (more longer?) running intervals at the same pace. I worked up a good sweat and it actually felt like a decent workout. I’m happy that I was able to run without pain, but a little sad that my endurance has gone down the crapper. I guess not running for a month and a half-ish is enough to start me back at (almost) square one. Hopefully I’ll be able to build my endurance back up quicker than than it took me when I first started running. At least I have the mental road blocks broken already.

On Sunday, I was feeling a little better and my back was feeling pretty good, so I went on a cleaning spree. I was like a whirlwind of vacuums and mops and laundry and vinegar water. I got quite a bit done, but my back paid for it. It was quite sore by the end of the night, and all day yesterday it was a throbbing mess. Thankfully, today it is feeling better, but I have learned my lesson. Cleaning = bad. Guess I’m going to have to let Ben take the reigns on that for awhile 😉

In fitness related news, I bought a Polar FT7 and I am LOVING it so far. I’ve already found that it is a motivation to work out just to see the calories burned count. It’s good to see my average heart rate and maximum heart rate during a workout as well so I know how hard I am working (or how out of shape I have become this last month…).

Tonight I think I will do another walk/run interval workout on the treadmill and perhaps try some p90x yoga. That yoga routine is killer and I’m really curious as to how many calories I can burn doing it… Sounds fun to me!

 

PT Report

Hopefully today marks the beginning of a pain-free back for me! I had my first physical therapy appointment and it went really well! The therapist was very thorough, and we pinpointed the source of the pain the the L4 and L5 vertebrae. There is also some SI joint tightness/pain. She used an ultrasound on my back to help increase blood flow, and she showed me some exercises to do at home. The only thing I’m kind of bummed about is that I am restricted to those PT exercises and walking for 10-30 minutes (no incline) for the time being. She was very reassuring that I would get back to my normal activities in time, she just wasn’t sure how long it would take. It looks like I’ll be going in twice a week at first and we will reevaluate later.

As far as my food today goes, I was pretty good with calorie count, but not so good on calorie balance/timing. I woke up late, so had a quick breakfast bar and some coffee before my appointment. Then for lunch, I grabbed some Chipotle on the run (*drool* I’m seriously addicted to this stuff), then made a healthy dinner of fish, brown rice and green beans. In my planner, I wrote “tilapia”, but we actually ended up eating salmon because we were out of tilapia. Oops. That switch plus the fact that I added about a tbsp of parmesan cheese to the salmon makes the dinner calorie count about 100 higher than reported, but I can deal with that. It’s still within my range, and my weight is trending down again, which is also a good sign.

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The salmon was really good. I seasoned it with black pepper and parmesan cheese, and baked it in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes. Yum. It came out looking kind of weird because the fat from the fish plus the melty parmesan cheese mixed together, but I assure you it was tasty!

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Weird looking parmesan salmon, brown rice and steamed green beans.

And now it’s time to hop on the treadmill for a lame walk and to do my PT exercises. I may throw some TV in there as well. I think Biggest Loser is on tonight. Even though it makes me angry most of the time, I just can’t stop watching it…

Do you like watching weightloss shows like The Biggest Loser?

I Hate Snow

It’s official. I am DONE with winter. Minnesota saw another blizzard yesterday and today, and it wasn’t pretty.

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Our backyard at the start of the snowstorm.

The snow started mid day Sunday, and it was coming down sideways at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour. At about 7pm, Ben went out to snowblow. Our ancient (30 year old) snowblower made it about halfway through the driveway and decided to die. Apparently this was one snowstorm too many for the poor thing. Ben attempted to shovel the rest (I would have tried to help, but I’ve been having back issues), but with the rate that it was falling and the 3-4 foot drifts at the end of the driveway, he didn’t make it real far before calling it quits. I was resigned to calling today a snowday. I just didn’t see how we’d be able to get out of the driveway.

But, we woke up to a little miracle. One of our fabulous neighbors snowblowed the end of our driveway for us.

It is almost 1pm and the snow is still flying.

I’m just sickovit.

Ok, whine over.

I’m going to try a new way of tracking my food intake. I bought a planner a few weeks ago to keep track of my appointments/workouts/meal planning/whatever else I want, and thought this could be a good place to keep track of my food. There is something gratifying about writing something down in ink. I love it. I’ve tried the electronic planner thing (I have a smart phone afterall) and it just doesn’t do it for me.

So, here is my first day of writing down intake. I’m not going to keep track of macro-nutrients, I’m just going to try and eat healthy and stay within my calorie range.

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Yay for fun pen colors!

I feel good about today’s food. I got (am getting) in lots of protein and fruits/veggies. All the food is relatively low calorie and really filling. I forgot that I bought string cheese, so that will be added to a snack for a bit more protein in the future. The oreos are a nice sweet treat to have, even though they are so not healthy. I actually did measure everything, so the calorie counts are pretty accurate, and I actually rounded up on a few things just to make it an even number (because I’m anal like that). Once I am cleared to exercise and I know what is safe to do with my back injury, I will also be tracking and reporting that as well.

Speaking of the back injury, I have my first physical therapy appointment tomorrow (yay!). I’m excited to talk to the therapist and get some rehab exercises that I can do to strengthen my back without hurting it worse. It has been feeling quite a bit better the last few days, thankfully. I’ve really been babying it and taking ibuprofen like my life depends on it, but at least I feel almost normal.

On another positive note, the few pounds that I gained over last week have disappeared thanks to eating pretty healthy over the weekend. Sodium bloat is crazy!

Injury Report

As you know, I’ve been MIA for a little while. I aggravated a back injury last week that has pretty much put me on my ass. After my lifting workout that I was so happy about last week, by back was feeling pretty sore. Not injured sore, but sore nonetheless. On Saturday, we had my daughters first birthday party, and I was on my feet running around like a chicken with my head cut off for most of the day. Back was starting to hurt. Then, when I bent over to pick her up at one point, my back completely tweaked. I instantly couldn’t move without intense pain. Bending over or squating down was out of the question. Later in the evening, I laid down on the couch with a heating pad. I needed help getting off the couch because I was in so much pain.

On Sunday morning I could barely get out of bed. I think it literally took me 5 minutes to be able to sit up and another 10 to get out of bed. Getting dressed was an ordeal as well. It hurt to move. It hurt to stay still. I was so close to telling Ben to take me to urgent care. I took 800mg of ibuprofen and a couple hours later the pain was dulled enough that I was able to walk almost normally.

I finally got to the doctor on Wednesday. She thinks that the pain is related to my pregnancy. Basically, the pelvic and back muscles are stretched and weakened during pregnancy and delivery (I had a lot of back pain when I was pregnant as well, including sciatica) and it can put a lot of strain on your spine. So, she prescribed 800mg ibuprofen 3 times a day for 10 days, plus a referral to see a physical therapist.

The ibuprofen is helping, but there is still pain. It’s not “OMG I CAN’T MOVE I’M GOING TO DIE” pain, but it is nagging and annoying. I’m going to call the physical therapist today to set up an appointment. I’m hopeful that it will help me correct the cause of the pain so that it doesn’t come back.

So, needless to say, I haven’t been working out the past week and a half. The back pain in addition to the lack of activity has made me extra grumpy and frustrated with my lack of weight loss. What I wouldn’t give to lace up my shoes and just go for a run…

Mood Booster

Nothing like a good workout to boost the mood a little.

I had the best workout I’ve had in awhile tonight. 15 minutes of sprints on the dreadmill followed by squats (3x8x105), dumbbell bench press (3x8x25), lawnmowers (3x8x25), barbell hip thrusters (3x8x85) and some ab work. I worked up a really good sweat and I know I’m going to be sore tomorrow. Now off to take a bath and read before bed!