Exercise, Life

Daily Decisions

Hello, and happy Tuesday!

How was everyone’s weekend? I didn’t have the most productive weekend in the world. But I did get a new iPhone on Saturday morning, so I’m pretty sure that gives me a free 24-hour pass to be anti-social and gadget-obsessed (and to take selfies).

No, I did not wait for the new iPhone to come out. I don't want to discuss it.

No, I did not wait for the new iPhone to come out. I don’t want to discuss it.

After the Ducks got done undressing Virginia Continue reading

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Life, Weightloss

September and I

September is my favorite month to crack open; Tis a month of new beginnings! I’m so glad I didn’t have to go to work today. Usually when blessed with a day off I would “reward” myself with some sort of over-indulgent breakfast combination like french toast, bacon, eggs, AND potatoes — but not today. I was kind to my body this morning while also throughly enjoying my breakfast. Isn’t it weird how healthy food can actually be enjoyable? I think it’s totally weird.

peachesOatmeal

If you can’t tell, those are sliced peaches on the left there, and on the right we have oatmeal with Continue reading

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Life

Priorities After Bieber Mania

Bieber Mania ended on August 11th. For those who don’t know, “Bieber Mania” is what I call all my trips dedicated to seeing, meeting, and touching Justin Bieber–I was very successful.

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 5.16.25 PM

Bieber Mania is also the reason why I have been so incredibly neglectful of No Moore Muffins (#SorryNotSorry). Continue reading

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Food, Mind and Body, Weightloss

Discipline isn’t, discipline is.

Today was one of those days when I REALLY did not want to work out. I was tired from work, blah blah blah.  (Eight point five hours at The Duck Store during football season can be fairly exhausting).

Miraculously, I mustered up the nerve Continue reading

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Mind and Body, Weightloss

I made a decision

Hola, readers! I hope everyone is enjoying the early September vibes. Personally, I am having a very leisurely three-day (YES, THREE DAY!) weekend. I thought that this particular Sunday called for an indulgence at brunch time. You know, to celebrate my leisure.

Post-meal verdict: Try a towering slice of hazelnut pound cake at Ken’s Artisan Bakery on NW 21st.  Continue reading

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Uncategorized

Mini challenge

When I sat down to write this post, I was everything but inspired. I felt sleepy, over-heated, cranky, and brain dead. The fact that I have been writing for four hours in a hot room – which frankly feels more like an oven – is surprising to me.  Finishing it will be the result of some scant amount of discipline and nothing more. You might say that the process of writing this post is a microcosm example of Michael Phelps’ somewhat lacking preparation before this years’ Olympics! I’m getting the job done, but it’s not my best work. Summer 2012 is kicking my ass.

Okay, maybe comparing Continue reading

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Weightloss

The pressure is off

Don’t you just love fall? I do.

 It has gotten to be a very brisk fall night in my house and although I am chilly, sleepy and sweaty from my workout, I have to write now. I accidentally clicked on my bookmark to Orangette and received one of those little whispers in my ear Continue reading

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Exercise, Health, Mind and Body, Weightloss

My heart is smiling

Okay, so I’ve been busy. Busy working. Busy working out. Busy with life.

Between work, errands, chores, and a social life, it can be a struggle to squeeze in a fitness class that you’re not familiar with. But despite life’s many complications, I would like for everyone to make a solid effort at taking a hot yoga class. I did, and I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision.

Call it what you want: hot yoga, Bikram yoga, Continue reading

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Exercise, Health, Weightloss

Day 1

Whether we’re ready or not, we’re halfway through April. Before we know it–in a little over two months–it’s going to be summer!

Last night, to kick-off my summer fitness plan, I went out and got myself a one-last-horrah-dip-cone from Dairy Queen. Did you know that they discontinued the butterscotch flavor? Rude. I got chocolate instead.

So today, April 13th, was Day One of my plan (it’s also exactly one month until my Birthday). I took ‘before’ pictures and everything. My goal is to lose a significant amount of body fat and tone muscle in time for summer. Ideally, I’d like to lose 15-20 pounds. Since I’ve heard that 90% of body fat loss is attributed to diet, that will be the most important aspect that I focus on during the next two months. I’m sure you’re all wondering what exactly my plan is, so let me give you a quick run-down.

Eating:

  • No more muffins, no cookies, no ice cream, no candy. Nothing in the junk food zone.
  • Small meal portions.
  • Snack (healthily) often.
  • Limit of one diet soda per day. Drink water in its place.
  • Eat mostly fruit, vegetables and lean protein.

Exercise

For Month 1:

  • Any level of Jillian’s 30-Day Shred (I want to see if it works), 5 days a week.
  • A different workout of my choice 1-2 days a week.
  • Me and my friend Kenzie are going to try a FREE week of yoga classes at Core Power in Portland.

For Month 2:

  • Challenging workout of my choice 6 days a week.
  • Take various fitness classes (spinning, zumba, yoga, aerobics).

After my first 30 days are over on May 13th (my Birthday), I plan on taking another set of ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures and going out for a celebratory Birthday dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Oh yes, I will be eating cheesecake and pasta on my Birthday. Then, I will proceed on with the next 30 days and take more pictures at the end of round two. Don’t worry, I’ll post all my results pictures despite how unsightly they might be.

I’ll be trying plenty of new recipes and exercise routines so be sure to check back. Also, I’m interested in hearing about healthy recipes and good fitness classes in the Portland area. If you have any suggestions feel free to leave them in a comment.

Wish me luck…actually, don’t wish me luck. Wish me strength and will power.

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Exercise, Weightloss

My Spin on Cycling

I’m not a pro at bicycling by any means. My boyfriend Philip will tell you that I ride like a girl. Maybe he’s right, but then again, he hasn’t seen me in spin class.

Cycling, also known as spinning, is one of those activities that is really hard if you’re not in shape. So even though I was in a hurry to get out of town yesterday, I decided to squeeze in a class before hitting the road. And as usual, I’m glad I did.

The experience of a cycling class is always fun–and also amusing. I can always count on the one or two newbies–usually a guy and a girl–that hide out in the back. Right off the bat, they’re recognizable by the way they aimlessly wander around the seat-less bikes. About 10 minutes into the ride, they look to the instructor with fear, as if pleading for a break. It’s funny to me now–watching the noobs. But I vividly remember being a clueless wreck when I entered the room of my first cycling class.

Maybe it’s the fact that I knew overweight people don’t look all that attractive on a bike. Or maybe it’s that I was conscious of the way my butt would look on that groin-smashing bicycle seat, bouncing up and down in the saddle for the person behind me to observe. Or MAYBE it’s the fact that my instructor was a very blonde, very lean woman in a hot pink tank top whose genuine hardcore-ness practically attacked me at the door. Either way, I was particularly nervous to try this thing. Her name was Jackie Brooks, and she is the most intense fitness instructor I have ever had. In fact, she was more of a coach than an instructor. When I think of her, I envision her large eyes, full of fire, drilling intensely into the back wall, (I like to think she was envisioning a race track ahead of her). She would yell things like “Don’t you quit on me! Gear-UP!” and “On a scale from 1 to 10, you better be at a sixTEEN!”

Since I took her class, no other cycling teacher has been able to come close. I’ve had enough bad cycling teachers to know how to value a good one. The worst one was an old hippie lady, very Eugene. She played awful music that seemed to make me sleepy rather than energized.  She forced us to put our cycles in a large semi-circle, so we we disabled from checking ourselves in the mirror. But worst of all, the hippie lady did not challenge us one little bit. Instead, she provided us with excuses to take it easy. “Don’t push too hard now,” she would say. Why on earth would I pay 5 dollars per workout so that I can take it easy? I’ll give you a hint: I wouldn’t.

I’ve also had a couple 20-something brunettes who put on a decent, but not spectacular, class. The first one was pretty tough, but she was also really interested in making sex noises while she egged us on. She was always moaning and saying things like “stay with me, and I’ll stay with you,” in a breathy voice. The other brunette was a peppy and talkative girl who was probably my age. She pushed us and gave good instruction, but she couldn’t compare to Jackie Brooks. She kicked my ass.

After that first day of cycling, I was hooked. I had never felt more victorious after a workout, and I couldn’t have been hungrier. I could physically feel the impact of this phenomenal activity. A massive amount of calories had been sucked from my system, and were replaced by void in my stomach. (Now I like to eat peanut butter granola bars immediately after class.)  According to Glamour Magazine’s handy health calculator, one can burn anywhere from 750-915 calories from doing 50 minutes of moderate to rigorous spinning. So it’s really no surprise that I have found cycling to be the best cardio workout I have ever had in my life. Yes, even better than running.

Similar to running, cycling is the kind of activity that you don’t want to push yourself too hard at. If you do, you could end up sitting in a pool of your own sweat while dizzily hovering over a toilet in the Student Rec Center bathroom…or something. (I think I was dehydrated). So as tempting as it is to push it to the max, it is also important to prevent yourself from hurling. Drink plenty of water throughout your day, so that when you show up to class you are ready to sweat it all off. Also, you should use proper form to protect yourself from injury, AND to get the most out of your workout.

I can’t stress enough just how important it is to bring a water bottle and sweat towel to class. After each drill, whether it be a seated hill or a standing run, you will be panting heavily and desperate for agua. (Luckily, your instructor will be blasting the music loudly, and masking everyone’s heinous breathing sounds.) I usually go through a whole bottle of water in one class, and there is frequently a decent amount of sweat on the floor when I’m done.

My recommendations are:

1. Take a cycling class.

2. Really listen to what your instructor says about proper bike set-up, and proper cycling form.

3. Push yourself hard, but not too hard.

4. Drink lots of water before and during your class.

5. Use a sweat towel.

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