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Back in the Saddle Again August 12, 2009
As Jack Nicholson famously said, “I’m baaaaaack!” After a few weeks off, I started back on some semblance of a workout routine this week. So far, I have done the evil Jillian’s dvd, weightlifting, a 3 mile run/walk, and an hour power walk. I have NOT begun tweaking my diet again. I figured I would see how my body reacts to the activity once more, before I start torturing eating healthily again.
One thing to note: I had heard that if you take about two weeks off from exercise, it feels like starting all over again when you do resume. And boy, was that rumor correct. My first day back, I thought, “Oh, I won’t do an hour of walking/running/etc., I’ll just do a half hour or so. Jillian’s tape is only about 25 min., so I’ll just do that.” Sweet Lord. The next day I sounded like cavewoman, grunting and groaning while moving about the house. How could I have forgotten that bitch woman and her kickass approach to fitness??? The day after, I had to take off because of soreness. Not a great re-entry into my routine.
So far, I have not gotten back into working out every day, but I figure 4-5 days a week is a good start. Once that becomes comfortable, I’ll have to start worrying about the diet (or I guess I should call it nutrition, not the D-word). I have slid back into old (bad) habits that can easily derail the good I am doing with the exercise. Picking at plates after the girls, eating on the road (hard to curtail THAT one, with volleyball practice every night from 6-8!), not having time to do some healthy grocery shopping…..all combine to make this another hurdle to overcome.
My job begins in just a couple of weeks…..and I know I need to get a handle on this routine before getting back into the swing of lesson planning, grading papers, making school lunches, etc. Once that starts, I will be “Back in the Saddle Again” in more ways than one!
Weight Loss Update…. February 3, 2009
Thanks to all the encouraging comments and workout advice I received after my plateau post, I am proud to say that I busted through that !#&* plateau and lost two more pounds! That brings my total so far up to 8 pounds.
I know what you’re thinking….eight pounds? That’s not a lot for a workout regime that’s been ongoing since November! But really, for a woman who’s over forty and only 5 foot 1, eight pounds translates into almost two pants sizes. Yesterday, I almost embarrassed myself in public with plumber’s crack. My favorite low rider jeans won’t stay where they’re supposed to, and as a thong-wearing officianado, it wasn’t pretty.
Officially, I only have 4.5 pounds more to go (and to maintain it there for an undisclosed period of time says hubby) before he takes me on my promised tropical getaway. I may be getting ahead of myself, but for purely motivational purposes, I felt a new bikini was in order. I found a really cute Lucky Brand green, blue, white, and brown tie-dye suit that is just adorable. I even got it in a size small, and for the last five summers or so, size medium was the norm!
Hopefully, the new trend will continue, and I will see my weight gradually inch its way down into the college years numbers. (And NO, I am not posting actual numbers…too many people will read weight numbers and try to figure out where they themselves stand….NOT healthy to compare yourself to anyone else I feel). It’s exciting to think that at this year’s annual female-hating-life-wish-I-didn’t-have-to-freakin-come-here visit, that I may not even threaten the nurse’s life when she asks me to step on the scale. And that’s progress.
Recipes for the “Fit” at Heart January 6, 2009
I decided to take a different approach for my post-holiday return to blogging. Despite my best efforts, I managed to gain two pounds between turkey day and New Year’s. Perhaps it was because I was getting rather disgusted tired of the limits of the food choices on www.bodybuilding.com . There’s only so much you can do with the ingredients I have since come to loathe. I spent the last week or so searching for new ideas on foods I could eat and still lose weight, while maintaining muscle for my lifting days. I thought that today I would share a couple of my new faves I’ve discovered. These are all healthy, low in fat, high in protein, and quite tasty!
New breakfast favorites: Top one half (sorry, you can’t have the whole thing!) of a whole wheat English muffin with a thin slice of tomato and a whole fried (in Pam) low cholesterol egg–I use Eggland’s best. Best open-face breakfast sandwich around. My other new favorite is to broil a half of a Florida grapefruit (for some reason, it brings out the sweetness!) and eat it with a half cup of lowfat yogurt. I first saw broiled grapefruit on Sanibel Island, but of course they topped it with brown sugar to carmelize it. This way is lots healthier, but still yummy!
New snack favorites: Okay, this one sounds awful (I thought “yuck” when I first read about it), but it’s actually one of the tastier things I’ve tried for a snack. You have to plan a little ahead, because you need a hard-boiled egg. There’s nothing worse than starving between meals after a workout, and having to wait or cook your snack! If you boil it ahead of time, you just have to assemble this. Take a large lettuce leaf (romaine or iceberg works best) and put 1/2 tsp of lowfat mayo and 1 tsp of mustard inside the lettuce. Put in the hardboiled egg and roll it up. Sounds nasty? Try it, you’ll be surprised at how pleasant the crunch of the lettuce is with the bite of the mustard, and creaminess of the yolk and mayo. My other new go-to snack is a light Laughing Cow wedge with a cup of green grapes.
Best new lunch: Most of my lunches, unfortunately, are still some version of a meat and veggie salad, which can start to get rather boring. I had this one, and my taste buds sat up and begged for more! Fill a bowl with your favorite prepared lettuce mix (God love those bags of salad). Top it with four ounces of grilled chicken–leftovers are fine, or those prepared cuts in the deli are okay as long as they’re not full of sodium. Sprinkle on one large tablespoon of chopped green onions, one tablespoon of sliced almonds, and one tablespoon of an orange/citrus oriental salad dressing (I used Drew’s All Natural Sesame Orange). Toss it, and goodbye boring salads. Another favorite is to top the greens with Mexican chicken (pre-prepared), one ounce lowfat shredded Mexican cheese, salsa, and 2 tsp of fat free sour cream. No salad dressing necessary when the salsa and sour cream mix!
New dinner favorite: I only have one new recipe to share for this. Most evenings, it is still broiled meat, brown rice, and some veggie, but I am learning to try different meat preparations. The other night I had some skewered shrimp kabobs that I basted with the above orange salad dressing, and it was great. This recipe for “Moroccan Stewed Chicken” came out of Women’s Fitness magazine….
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, not breasts, although they are o.k.; 1 med. can diced tomatoes; 1 med. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas); 1 large zucchini; fresh cilantro; couscous (prepared acc. to directions); 2 Tb. golden raisins, 2 Tb. toasted pine nuts (sunflower seeds work as well); olive oil; 1 cup chicken stock; 1/2 tsp cayenne (or according to your taste!); 1 tsp cumin; 1/2 tsp cinnamon (sounds weird in a chicken dish, but this is Morocco).
Saute the salted/peppered chicken on both sides in a little olive oil. Add the zucchini, chopped in 1/2 in. cubes. Stir often. When zucchini pieces have begun to brown, add garbanzo beans, tomatoes, chicken stock, cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon. Turn to low and simmer 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
While the chicken cooks, prepare the couscous and when done, fluff with a fork and add raisins, pine nuts, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Serve the couscous alongside the stewed chicken. (4 servings)
Hopefully, I will continue to find new and tasty recipes like these to keep me on track for the new year. My hope (Deanna B., this one’s for you) is that I will rid myself of those two pounds ultra fast and continue on to reach my goal in the next three months. Happy New Year to all!
Muscles, Muscles, Wherefore Art Thou, Muscles? September 24, 2008
As anyone knows who has undertaken the torture, hell challenge that is bodybuilding, muscles don’t come easy. And they certainly don’t come quickly. Observe: two weeks on a crappy diet (no pasta, bread, starch to speak of), daily workouts consisting of at least one hour of pumping heavier than usual weights for five sets instead of three, and at least three/four days of strenous cardio….I half expected to be sporting Arnold-size muscles by now. But NO. I can barely discern any noticeable difference in my bicep size. My hams and quads continue to jiggle, only slightly less than before. My booty is smaller…yes, Jeff noticed that one. Could it be that I will have to (gasp) actually work a little harder at this? I guess since I stay at home I could do cardio five days a week. I suppose that those ten pound weights could be fifteen by now. But hell, no, I won’t give up my wine/prosecco/sparkling sanity-keeping tonic anytime soon. I know that they say that the fruit of the vine is not conducive to getting “ripped”, but a life without vino is more like getting ripped off. I will tweak my cardio and weights accordingly, but friends, I won’t give in on the wine. Those muscles will come eventually, maybe just not as quickly as I had imagined.