It’s Smoothie Time!

Happy Thursday!

I know, I’ve done a sort of disappearing act in the last couple of weeks, but quite honestly, I haven’t had the time or motivation to post much. After the ‘Growing Up Alex‘ series was completed, I wasn’t quite sure how I could back to my own posting. I was so honored to have her story on here that I didn’t want to cover it up by my own silly posts.

So I took a breather, except for the Boston Strong post last week.

But I’m back, and trying to brainstorm some new posts for y’all. Telling Alex’s story has inspired me to tell me own story as well, except mine has to do with anxiety and depression. That will be coming.

As for today – see below for my latest obsession.

We bought a NutriBullet over the weekend and I’m obsessed. I love making new concoctions and healthy smoothies. I’m definitely jumpstarting my mornings with these delicious drinks and I know I’m giving my body plenty of good vitamins and nutrients it needs. This morning I created one that I’m lovingly calling ‘Everything But the Kitchen Sink’ because I literally threw like 8 different things into it.

  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 8 baby carrots
  • 8 cherry tomatos
  • 2 broccoli florets
  • 3 slices of pineapple
  • 4 raspberries
  • 4 slices of cucumber
  • 1 tsp of xanthum gum (for thickening)
  • Water

I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious this was. And super filling.

My favorite one that I’ve made so far was a Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie.

  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Teddie Peanut Butter
  • 8 oz of almond milk
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • ice (to make it nice and cold!)

photoIn other news, I’ve decided to stop tracking everything I’m eating and just focus on eating clean and good portions. I feel like I’m starting to focus to heavily on calorie intake and calorie burn, and instead just want to focus on being healthy. I know what makes me feel good when I eat and I know what makes me feel crappy, so we’re going to stick with that for now.

Anyways, I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday!

 

 

Clean your gym machines people (you never know who’s paying attention)

Happy Monday friends!

Today I’m all about the gym. Mainly because I had my first pain-free workout in nearly 6 months. I’m thrilled that the cortisone shot really seems to be working and doing what its supposed too! This morning’s workout was simply a ‘Let’s get used to being up before dawn and get your cardio back’. I did 35 minutes on the elliptical followed by some upper body lifting. I really like the nautilus machines, but since it’s been a long time since I’ve used them, I kept the workout small. I did tricep curls, bicep curls, the row and pulldowns – 3 reps of 10 at 30 lbs, except the bicep – I only did 2 reps.

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Anyways, on to the real reason for this post. Cleanliness at the gym.

We all know gyms are not the most sanitary places. People are constantly sweating all over everything. In reality, it’s pretty gross. But we all go, because we want to be in shape, or get in shape. Especially those of us in the cold arctic weather of New England who can’t work out outside basically from November until March (or evidently April this year). I mean you could… but it’s cold. And I just don’t like the cold.

I ALWAYS clean my machine when I get on it and off it. I’m not a germophobe by any means, but it’s one place that totally grosses me out. Just the thought of someone else’s sweat that I don’t know being all over me just makes me start gagging.

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After finishing my workout on the elliptical, over to the weight machines I went. I sprayed down my towel, cleaned the machine and hopped on the first. I did this for the four machines I did. By the time I got to my fourth (and what I would soon learn to be my  final machine), I noticed a woman behind me lifting really fast. I had just finished my second rep and was taking a quick break. She got up from her machine, passed by GLARING at me, and jumped ahead to the machine in front of me. It was obvious she needed MY machine and was mad that I was on it when she was on it.

Okay….

1. I was on the machine before you got over here so chill out and wait your turn and…

2. There is an identical machine directly next to me. Use that one. You don’t need to go in a straight line. It’s not going to kill your workout. I promise. Just use that one.

Anyways, as I started doing my final rep, I watched as she whipped out another set on the machine in front of me, got up and proceeded to go back to the machine behind me. I immediately wanted to throw up.

SHE DIDN’T WIPE DOWN EITHER MACHINE! I was getting ready to get on the machine she was just on (the identical machine next to it was being used) and was absolutely disgusted. Okay, I know I wipe down machines before and after I use them, but I do it partially because I don’t know who used it before me. Watching someone as they use a machine and sweat all over it, and then leave it without cleaning it disgusted me so much I left. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I wasn’t about to clean the machine she just sweated all over. Maybe subconsciously, I didn’t want her to get the benefit of having someone else clean her machine, but come on people. How hard is it to clean a machine after you use it? It takes 10 seconds. I keep my paper towel with me and just re-wet it when I need it.

So thank you to the woman who didn’t clean her machine in front of me. I ended my workout early because I decided I’d rather be a germophobe then finish my workout and have to clean your sweat off of the machine. (I know. I’m insane.)

Moral of the story: Gyms are dirty places… even the cleanest ones, and you should all clean your machines. You never know who’s watching and ready to use your machine next. And who would rather leave than have to clean the machine you just sweated all over 🙂 (AKA me.)

Things I’m Saying to My Personal Trainer

My good friend, and health guru/coach Molly,  wrote a fantastically awesome post about all the things she’s tired of hearing as a personal trainer. This is my response to said post.

Here’s the thing, you may be tired of hearing it, but I can guarantee that us folks who are still trying to maneuver around the healthy-living/gym-stratosphere, are probably going to continue saying these things. And we’re going to keep wondering if what you’re telling us is really true. Because, for most of us, we don’t really know what we’re doing or talking about, but we think we do because we read tons of fitness magazines. And aspire to be healthy.

And I know that I’m going to keep saying these things to you. So be prepared to keep rolling those eyes…

“I don’t want to use those weights, I’m afraid of getting bulky.”  – Let me start here by saying, when I say this, it’s not out of fear of getting bulky. It’s because I don’t really feel like lifting 15 lb dumbbells over my head in a fly motion or whatever you feel like calling it. They feel wicked heavy, and I’m tired. Bottom line. So, you’re going to keep hearing this. And you’re going to have to keep telling me I’m not going to become a she-hulk. And I’m going to keep pretending I don’t know that, just so I can try to get out of lifting weights. Or at least the heavier ones. Give me a 5 lb dumb bell and I’ll go to town. 15 lbs… no flippin’ way.

And for the record… maybe I’ll start sneaking a little bit of testosterone into my diet just so I DO bulk up and I can be like ‘I told you so… the 15lbs was way too heavy. Now I look like a man.”

On another note – if you google She-Hulk. It’s a real thing; like actually a comic book character.

“Can we just focus on my abs? I want to lose the weight there.” –  Yep, I know that there is no way to spot reduce fat (remember, I read fitness magazines), but I’m still asking because I’m hoping that you’ll know a way to make it happen. I’m also testing you to see if you’re lying to me. IF you tell me yes, then I know you’re just appeasing me because it can’t happen like that. If you tell me no, then I’m going to cry and decide that I don’t want to work out anymore. Because it’s too hard to lose weight. Seriously, just tell me I’m going to do 50 sit ups and immediately have super model abs. It will make me happy. And if you tell me this every time I ask this, eventually I will have awesome abs and the problem will be fixed.

“I don’t want to do this exercise. Can we try something else?” – Let me first tell say, I pay you to get me in shape. Having said that, I should have full control over what we do in our training sessions. And if that means, I want to sit on a recumbent bike, barely peddling, while reading a book, you’re going to let me do that. Remember, YOU’RE STILL GETTING PAID. Sure, I know, you secretly LOVE making me want to cry as I do ten more pushups and a 5 minute plank, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m only paying you so I can say ‘Yeah, I get to work out with my personal trainer today.’ It makes me sound like I’m a beast at the gym.  Let me do this occasionally… especially if I’m exhausted. And then occasionally I won’t complain about the masochist exercises your about to make me do.

“I don’t get how I’m not losing weight! I only eat Greek yogurt for my breakfast!” – We’ve been brought up in a culture where we’ve heard reducing calories and eating healthy helps up lose weight. Now we’re hearing that we should be eating more to lose weight. Quite honestly, I’m eating Greek Yogurt for breakfast because I’m so overwhelmed with the millions of options that it seems like the quickest and easiest when I have to work. Let’s be serious. I don’t have time to make anything in the morning. I barely have time to get a workout in, and get ready for work.  Greek yogurt with fruit sounds like a grand breakfast to me. And it’s high in protein. And lower in calories. Sounds like a win/win to me!

“I’m not seeing any progress. Nothing is changing!” –  In my one session a week with you, on the weeks where I’m not demanding to sit on the recumbent bike, I expect you to work miracles. And by miracles I mean, lose 10 lbs without lifting a finger the rest of the week. That’s how this whole weight loss thing works right? I work out once and WHAMMO the weight comes off. No? Oh. Okay. I guess I should probably start at least walking on the treadmill when I’m not working out with you.

“I’m going on vacation in a few weeks and I want to lose 10 lbs.” – I know. I probably should have thought of this before my vacation snuck up on me. Like 4 months ago. But let’s be honest. Pizza and beer were way more fun than working out and eating healthy. So now it’s time to crash diet until vacation when I can gain all of it back. That works right? You can totally help me do this right? I mean, 10 lbs is only 10 lbs right… it shouldn’t take THAT long.

So there you go personal trainer Molly. The reasons why we say the things we do when we’re working out with you.

*Disclaimer – I’m not stupid and I know half of the things I said in my responses sound absolutely ridiculous. The point is just a fun response to the things personal trainers are sick of hearing. This is more about the things that come to my mind when hearing these things;  I don’t speak for the population or majority.

**Disclaimer 2 – I’ve known Molly a really long time. We totally poke fun at each other all the time. It’s normal. She knows my eating and workout habits. She knows I’m a lazy bum most of the time, but also knows how long it’s taken me to lose 10 lbs (I hit it today and it’s been almost 3 months!). I trust her 100% with her advice and know that she’s not lying to me when she tells me these things. I just don’t always like to listen to her. She will totally agree with me on this too.

A day of updates

Don’t worry – I didn’t disappear. My week got busy, so needless to say, the blog took a back seat.

I figured since my last post was all about the ‘Ups and Downs of Weight Watchers‘, I would start of this post by mentioning, that I’m no longer doing Weight Watchers. Before you freak out and wonder ‘Should I not be doing it?’, let me explain.

1. My 3-month of pre-paid membership was coming to a close and quite honestly, I hadn’t lost much weight in those three months because of a lack of motivation. I wasn’t about to spend more money to rejoin and have the same thing happen. Weight Watchers is an amazing program and when you follow it exactly, it works wonder. I should know. I lost 20 lbs on it before.

2. I found out I was getting to wrapped up in the fact that fruits and vegetables were zero points that I was literally eating as many fruits and vegetables as my stomach could hold, and then gorging myself on carbs because I was so hungry I couldn’t stand it. So I rejoined MyFitnessPal and am focusing on eating a good range of protein, fats and carbs each day. I’m still eating plenty of fruits and veggies (fruits more in the AM because of all the natural sugars and carbs!), but making sure I’m incorporating more protein and carbs as well. Let’s just say I’m a much happier person now.

3. I have learned that I need to see the actual calorie number. I need to see how much I’m using in a day and how much I’m burning off with exercise. And then I like seeing the number change on the scale. I hate math, but it’s a simple math equation and it makes me happy. I’m not focusing all on the numbers, but it’s nice to see such a simple math equation paying off.

Oh and the Shakeology challenge has ended. I didn’t keep up with my end of the bargain with updates. In the end, I lost maybe 3 lbs since starting with it, have drastically reduced the amount of coffee I drink (like 3 cups a day to 1) and my hair is softer and stronger (it has Biotin in it). Right now, the debate is on it if I want to purchase more, or find something similar.

And for current weigh in stats:

Starting Weight (1/2/14): 199.3

Last Weigh  (1/31/14): 191.6

Current Loss to Date: 7.7

Anyways, just a quick little update today. I plan to have a few more posts coming this week and also a super awesome friend will be making some guest appearances on the blog soon! Stay tuned to meet her!

Have a great rest of your day!

The Ups and Downs of Weight Watchers… literally

If you’ve ever done Weight Watchers, or really any weight loss program for that matter, you know that for every 5 lbs you lose, you’ll probably see your weight fluctuate at least 1 or 2 pounds throughout the week. Am I right?

If you’re like me, that means you weigh yourself every morning and have a total meltdown when you discover that you’ve gained a pound since yesterday.

Pretty much.

Pretty much.

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Yes. I know. This isn’t healthy. I’m slowly driving myself crazy by weighing myself everyday. But I tell myself, it totally keeps me on track that whole day knowing I have to work THAT MUCH HARDER to make sure the scale goes in the other direction.

I’ve been officially back on Weight Watchers for almost three weeks. You all know this. This is old news. It’s also old news that this like attempt #5,568 to lose the 40+ lbs I gained in college and after (I don’t have any excuse anymore… I graduated almost 6 years ago.) For the first two weeks, my weight went down every week. I was pumped. I could say I had lost almost 7 lbs in the first two weeks and that made me oh so happy.

Tomorrow is weigh-in day. So like every morning, I hopped on the scale to make sure I would be semi close to under last week’s number. HOLY CRAP I WAS UP ALMOST 2 LBS! Yep – pure panic mode. The first thought that went through my head was… I have to lose 2 lbs over night. This is not going to go well.

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After panicking, fretting, prepping today’s food, and then talking to Molly (my go-to health guru) and getting a bit of tough love, I came to the conclusion that a) I was literally driving myself insane by checking my weight every day and b) I needed to be stricter when counting points.

Yep – you read that right. I slack about counting points on the weekend. I let Friday (my weigh-in day) be my splurge day, and then I tend to be lazy and not count for the rest of the weekend. I tell myself I’ll watch what I eat/drink and I’ll be okay. Which is never the case. I’m always up on Monday AM instead of down, or the same as Friday.

So for all of my freaking out, I know she’s right. I can’t eat clean and in portions, while counting points for 4 days a week and then just assume I’m doing the right thing for 3 days a week, and expect to see my numbers change. I have to be fully devoted 24/7 in order for this to work. If I stay devoted, the number will go down. If I go off track, the number will go up. It seems so simple. So, time to make some more changes.

So what is my plan of attack?

1. Stop weighing myself daily – it seems so minor, but it’s become part of my routine. My scale is next to me every morning. It’s become a no-brainer to step on it in the morning. THIS HAS TO STOP. Weigh in’s will only be on Monday AM (for a competition at work!) and Friday AM (for weight watchers).  That is it.

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2. Count points ALL week, not just 4 days –  to make WW work, I have to stick with it every day and stop assuming what my points will be during the weekend. It’s Thursday, and I’m OVER my points by 16. As in, all of my weekly additional points are gone. And I didn’t even finish tracking my food for Friday or Saturday. So yeah, I think it’s time to suck it up and be good about the tracking thing.

3. Fit the gym in – this has been the biggest struggle. Not because I don’t enjoy working out, but because I’m lazy. I should get out of bed in the AM and hit the gym with friends. But I like to sleep until 7. So if I sleep in, I should go after work… but then it’s just to damn crowded. So starting Monday, the gym or some form of exercise, will be making a regular appearance in my life again.

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Needless to say, when I don’t track points, I’m only hurting myself. No one else cares whether I track or not throughout the weekend. They aren’t going to stop me before I devour 4 slices of pizza and say ‘Did you track that yet?’ (Although maybe someone should!).

So tomorrow, I’m preparing myself for the upside of Weight Watchers (and not the fun upside when you lose weight, but the side where you’ve gained a pound!) knowing that tomorrow is also the start of a new ‘week’ and I’ll just rock it next week.

Weight Watchers Update and Foto Friday

Happy Friday all!

Before I jump into Foto Friday, I wanted to do my weekly Weight Watchers update. Today was my weekly weigh-in and I am happy to report I was down 2.8 lbs! Here are the totals so far.

Starting Weight (1/2/14): 199.3

Last Weigh In for WW (1/17/14): 192.5

Current Weight (as of this AM): 192.5

Current Loss to Date: 6.8

My goal is to be down 15 by Valentines Day – just over a month to lose about 8.2 lbs. I think I can do it! Especially getting the gym back in the equation this week.

Okay – now for something I’m hoping to bring back. FOTO FRIDAY! As many of you know, my side profession is a photographer. I have loved photography since high school and began eryn e photography in 2011. While the business has become a lot of amazing families, I still love getting out there and snapping random scenes. Since my camera is currently in the shop for some repairs, I decided to have some fun with my iPhone 5S this AM on my way into work. I edited it with ‘Filtergram‘.

Usually I post a little blurb to go with the photo, but today – I’m not. I want to hear what comes to mind when you look at this photo! And for the record,  I did pull over and stop my car to take this. Always be safe when taking pictures on the road 🙂

Please no stealing :)

Please no stealing 🙂

Check out my instagram account for more pictures!

So I want to know, what does this image mean to you? Tell me below in the comments! Looking forward to hearing your responses!

Shakeology Challenge – Day 1, 2 & 3!

Happy Thursday my friends.  Today is simply a Shakeology update post. Nothing too spectacular, but I promised updates on the Shakeology challenge I’m currently participating in.

Today is Day 3 of Shakeology. So far. So good. I used it as my breakfast meal replacement on Tuesday and Wednesday, and today, I used it as my mid-morning snack replacement to see how it curbed my hunger and such.

Day 1: Breakfast shake.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the taste. I’m not a fan of protein shakes, but I’ll chug them down, but this was actually quite yummy. I drank it as I was getting ready to leave for work, right around 8 AM. When I got to work, I had my morning tea and went about my day. My hope was that it would hold me over until lunchtime, but I was starving by about 10 AM. I held off to eat until about noon-time, and by that point, I literally could not wait any longer.

My energy levels definitely seemed to be a bit better throughout the day, but overall, I didn’t notice too much a difference. It was Day 1 after all.

Day 2: Breakfast shake.

I did the same thing as Day 1 and today, I wasn’t really hungry until closer to 11. WIN! By lunchtime though, I couldn’t eat enough. Thankfully I brought my salad, fruit and my LaraBar, and I devoured that pretty quickly. Unfortunately, I was RAVENOUS again by about 3 PM. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything left so I just chugged water and tea to no avail. By the time I got home, I was ready for dinner.

Energy level was definitely low yesterday – but I think it was just the weather… and my sinus infection still going away!

Day 3: Mid-Morning Snack Shake

I switched up today and decided I would try the shake as a snack replacement. I brought my Kellogg’s Smart Start cereal for breakfast with blueberries and had a black coffee when I got to work. I got hungry right around 11:30 AM and had the shake. Unfortunately, it didn’t taste nearly as good as when I drink it right after making it (lesson learned), but I chugged it down. I was STARVING an hour later.

Energy seems to be okay too. But it’s raining and gray and foggy, so I’m not expecting miracles.

What I’ve learned so far – using the shake for breakfast works the best for me thus far. I at least stay fuller for longer having it then!

Alright – time to eat lunch!

Enjoy the day.