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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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Exercise, Weightloss

A call for help

I really like cheeseburgers. I have been eating an awful lot of cheeseburgers this month and I can’t say that I’m all that sorry about it. They’re just so appropriate in this beautiful (kinda) weather we’re having.

While burgers and sweet potato fries have been frequenting my plate, I have also been Continue reading

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Food, Recipes, Weightloss

A good weird

Even though I’m only five days into my summer weight loss journey, I feel like there’s so much I could talk about. So in order to keep this post focused, let’s just discuss food for today.

Cutting out junk food really feels like a cleanse. Of course I’ve been drinking more water, snacking on fruit, and eating smaller portions, but what has been so significant is making the distinction between wanting to stuff my face and actually being hungry. I had become so used to regularly allowing myself things like pizza, burgers and ice cream, so now it feels kind of weird restricting those foods again. But it’s a good weird. It feels good to make healthy choices at restaurants and pack myself a healthy lunch to take to work. And It gives me a reason to come up with and try new recipes.

Since I remembered having 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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Food, Weightloss

Goodbye Summer, Hello Life!

At the end of the third month of my plan to get bikini ready, I realized that I have actually missed bikini season altogether. As I was looking at the weather report for the last days of August on the Oregon Coast, I found that it was actually predicted to be rainy. Translation: I will not be able to enjoy even one day at a warm and sunny beach this summer because our hot summer days are done for. Consequently, I will not be engaging in your stereotypical summer activities which usually involve being half-naked in a body of water. Am I upset by this fact? I’m not entirely sure.

Mom on the grill for one of the last times this year.

My first emotional reaction to this fact is to be bummed that my efforts, specific to summer, have been pointless. Why make a plan to get skinny in the summer when I’m not even going to be squeezing myself into a bathing suit? But the other part of me is a little relieved. Shopping for swimwear is stressful and grueling to say the least. Trying on swim suits usually tears down my self esteem when my body isn’t quite where I’d like to be. And since the hot weather forces us to wear revealing tank tops and short shorts, I still had reason enough to slim down in the summer. And it’s not like I have to be in a bikini in order to enjoy results.

And beyond the demands of the summer season, I was ready to shed the 10 or more extra pounds that I have been carrying around since Christmas. Furthermore, this has been a lifestyle change that will help me to maintain the weight I’ve lost so far (I’m not entirely sure of the exact number of pounds).

While we’re on the topic of a lifestyle change, I would just like to add that I am aware that in my life I will make mistakes with my eating. I will have days that I do not work out, and my weight will most certainly fluctuate depending on the week. But life is about making mistakes and overcoming them.  I’m a bit nervous for what my next number will be, as I have been a bit lax on my eating lately. I don’t know if it’s because I feel  liberated by the spirit of summer, or if I just need to be reminded of why I don’t eat fast food, but I definitely have not been strict about my food rules. Obviously, I still make healthy choices and am not binge eating, but my diet hasn’t exactly been low-carb. Oh, and by the way, the other day I allowed myself…REAL LIVE ICE CREAM. And a week later, BURGERVILLE.

I’m not excusing my behavior, but my cheek and gums were sore from my dental appointment the other day (I had a filling replaced), so this was the justification I repeated to myself as I allowed Philip to treat me to Baskin Robbins. As for the Burgerville, I really have no excuse. I was desperate, weak, and completely out of line when I had the Seasoned Turkey Burger and a regular serving of french fries. I have taken the liberty of researching the nutritional content of my order, and I’m not happy with my findings: A grand total of 880 calories, 37g of fat, 1060g of sodium. Yuck.

It’s strange because I find that summer is a relatively easy time to go light on fatty foods and fill up on fruits and vegetables instead. All the best produce is in season: peaches, corn, blueberries, raspberries, summer squash, nectarines, lettuce, pineapple, rhubarb, and watermelon!

But sometimes shit happens.

I’ll reach my potential when I get there. I’m in no rush. Besides, my ultimate goal is to figure out how to get to a weight that I am happy with, that I can maintain in the long run, and to figure this out by the time I go to Maui in January.

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