Thursday, April 27, 2017

Aloha and all that stuff

It's entirely possible that starting my 100 days when I knew I had a trip to Hawaii scheduled was unwise, but I kinda don't think so.

I was gone for eight days, and for the most part I logged what I ate. Some days I was way over on what I ate, but ... um ... vacation. But my activity was off the chain. The one day I didn't run, I hiked up a mountain, so I totally win at vacation.

I'm currently bitter that there is very little really good fresh fruit in Schaumburg. It has been days since I've had guava. Not to mention the fact that I am in the freaking Midwest, so fresh seafood is becoming a distant memory. Oh, sadness.

The breakfasts. The dinners. The running along Diamond Head Road. Oh, Hawaii, you get me.

So like I said, I almost logged all the food. I missed a few meals. A few days. And I haven't lifted weights in a week. But I hiked up a mountain. I ate all the fresh fish. I feasted on fruits. And I will jump right back into my full 100 days starting ... nnnnnow.

(But that doesn't mean I feel like I blew it. I did not. One cannot blow it when one averages 17,000 steps a day.)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

We were made to Move

Well, friends, I did it. I had a one-on-one Pilates session at Move Studio in Lincolnshire. Everything else I have to say should be prefaced with "ow ow ow ow ow."

Pilates is tricky. It requires time under tension; you rarely let your muscles relax. It isolates muscles that are otherwise hard to isolate. But all that could be learned from a Google search. Let me tell you about my specific experience at Move with the amazing Emily.

Emily's background as a personal trainer comes through in her attention to form, not to mention her clients. She finds a way to make you feel like you can do whatever she asks of you, and mostly you believe it. We began the workout with simple moves that became more difficult as the muscle woke up. The Pilates Bench of Torture (I'm told it's called a "reformer") helps you a bit with springs, but you're mostly working against them. And with each repetition (say, when you're isolating one tricep) that familiar burn seeps in.

And stays.

And then Emily says something like, "Just four more."

And she tells you you can do it, after which you do.

The studio is gorgeous, and it feels good to know that hockey players and soccer moms - and everyone in between - are among the clients.

Truth is, Move is for anyone and everyone. It's for middle aged "fit fat" people like me, it's for lithe dancers, avid runners, yogis, cyclists and anyone who wants to work hard.

And potentially not feel their legs in the morning.

100 Days update: Haven't missed a workout. Haven't missed logging food. Have met my challenges head on. And still haven't regularly photographed my food. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Does the scale matter?

First off, let me tell you ... I still suck at photographing my food. Maybe in another 25 days I'll have that one mastered.

Anyway, it's Day 25! Can you believe it? We're a quarter of the way through 100 Days. It's a little weird to think about it.

So, 25 days ago, I got on the scale. Not a normal scale, mind you, but this one. It doesn't tell me what I weigh; it tells me how much my weight has changed (plus or minus) since my first weigh-in. And wow, what a difference it makes. It puts the focus on change, rather than some far-off end result. (I don't mind telling you, I'm seeing the number trending ever so slowly in the right direction.)

I get on the scale once or twice a week, just to check in. No big deal. But this is about so much more than weighing in.

It's logging my food. Guys, I haven't missed a meal. Not one. In 25 days. (Disclaimer: I leave for Hawaii a week from tomorrow. I'm going to try and log while I'm on vacation, but ... I'm human. And how do you log hula pie?)

It's veggies, it's berries, it's lean protein. And it's the occasional glass of champagne. I am not a barbarian.

It's not missing a workout. It's trying different workouts. I've gotten myself back to yoga class since starting my 100 Days. I got back in the pool for a swim last weekend. I haven't missed a run on my training plan. And this Thursday, in an absolute fit of lunacy, I'll be visiting Move Studio for a one-on-one Pilates lesson. It might kill me, but I'm going to try it!

The thing is, there is so much to consider, to try, to work on here. I've been at it for 25 days, and I'm ready for the next 75. Goals: maybe take a photo. Keep doing workouts that are fun and different and maybe a little scary.

But mostly just keep going.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


I ate two cookies yesterday.

That felt a little bit like I imagine it feels to be a young Catholic headed to her first confession. But here's the thing: cookies aren't sin. And if they are, man, I'm a sinner.

They were delicious.

I'm not prohibiting any foods during my 100 Days, but I am trying to cut back (and eventually eliminate) processed foods. The cookies came from catering here at the university, and I know they were packed with more sugar than I should have in any given day. But seeing as there are no "rules," I didn't break any. So I ate them, and I logged them, and I moved on.

Dessert lately has been some honey yogurt in a martini glass (fancy!) topped with some shaved dark chocolate. For a girl who used to enjoy a Klondike bar (or two?) each night, this is an odd indulgence, but it does indeed feel indulgent. And a couple of cookies (one white chocolate macadamia, one snickerdoodle) did not derail the train.

Nope, last night I was right back at the gym. Dinner was sushi (thank you, Trader Joe!) and my treat (did I need one after two cookies?) was ... you guessed it ... berries and yogurt. That's what I want at the end of the night. Not ice cream, but yogurt. (With a little shaved chocolate. I'm not a barbarian.)

So here I am on Day 20. DAY 20 I SAID! Crazy. I suck at taking photos of my food. I thought that would be the easiest, but it turns out I'm an epic failure. Think I'm kidding? This is literally all the food I've had this week, if you trust the photos on my camera:
Sunday's bloody mary

Sunday's post-race breakfast. (And dinner.)

Berries and yogurt from I think Monday

Monday breakfast shake and coffee

Monday second breakfast

Monday dinner. Hey, I did pretty well on Monday!

Tuesday lunch. Be jealous; it was fabulous.

Wednesday dinner

Wednesday dessert

But hey, I have 80 days left; I can improve.

I have done at least five days of working out each week. I haven't missed a run. And I've logged all my food with the exception of BaconFest because how the hell do you log 75 bites of weird food that has no entry in MyFitnessPal? Get real. I even logged my bloody mary (okay, two bloody marys) last Sunday. This, my friends, is progress.

And that is the real essence of my 100 Days project; to find progress in unconventional ways. I struggle when I don't see progress on the scale. The weight moves away from me slowly, but the other changes? Those are already happening.

I'm feeling strong. I'm feeling confident. I don't let myself talk myself out of a workout. I even look forward to my workouts like I did back in the day.

I missed that version of me; it's good to know she hadn't strayed far.

But it's also good to know that I can have a cookie (or two) on occasion and not feel like I've lost the wagon entirely.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Left field

Sometimes, life surprises you.

For a long time, I understood how differently I felt when I worked out regularly. It made a huge diffence in my emotional state, and I was in a great routine.

Then, well over two years ago, I got sick ... and that brought with it a downward spiral that I just couldn't find my way out of.

I'm not sain' I'm out of the woods, but I feel like I'm on my way back. I'm trusting myself to take a rest day and not derail my everything. It's different. It's good. The realization sorta hit me out of nowhere.

Speaking of which, tonight I ran into a friend in the locker room who asked me if I was still considering becoming an instructor. I'll be honest; it's something I'd love to do, but I know I need to get closer to my goal weight in order to be a credible instructor. So from here on Day 18, that's something I'm letting myself think about again.

And yeah ... all of this hit me out of left field.