Posts Tagged ‘health and fitness’

I have completed six weeks of eating clean and exercising on a regular basis, and I’m loving the results. I lost 4 pounds this week bringing me to a total of 11 pounds lost since making this lifestyle change. My jeans are no longer choking me at the waist. I can wear shirts I put in the back of my closet because they are no longer too tight. I am starting to see definition in my body. And, I feel better not just physically, but also mentally. I no longer feel sluggish or worn out. I have more energy, which makes me happy.

Even though Jackie Warner recommends doing her power circuits three days a week, I am dropping down to two days a week. Power circuits combine cardio and strength training. I’m increasing the number of minutes I’m running, and I don’t want to injure myself. So, I’m listening to my body. I will replace one power circuit day with regular strength training. This will also allow me to take off more days in between the power circuits for recovery.   

My plan for this week is to run/walk on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and possibly Sunday (bonus day). Last week I ran ALL four days. Woo-Hoo! This week may be a bit more challenging since a hurricane is coming our way. I’ll just have to adjust my schedule. I’ll be happy as long as I can complete three run/walk workouts. My run/walk workout this week: Walk 10 minutes, run 6 minutes. Walk 4 minutes, run 6 minutes (repeat twice). You may notice, I’ve upped walking at the beginning to 10 minutes. Since my running is increasing, I need to warm up my legs longer. It makes a big difference for me. I don’t feel so stiff when I start running.

Nutritionally, I must confess this week I started adding 1 tsp of light brown sugar to my oatmeal. This sets me back an additional 15 calories, which is not very much. There is no fat and 4g of sugar. I  had no negative effects from adding this to my breakfast. I also ate plain greek yogurt twice this week. Yuck! I just cannot get use to the taste. So, one day I added honey, and another day I added light brown sugar with walnuts and apple. It definitely made the greek yogurt more palatable; however, I have to figure out another alternative, or I’m nixing the plain greek yogurt from my diet. Believe it or not, plain greek yogurt contains 9g of sugar for a 1 cup serving. I can tolerate eating fresh fruit with a 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt. The solution may be to eat a 1/2 cup instead of a full cup. Perhaps, I could  incorporate oats or whey protein powder. Something to think about.

This weight loss journey is definitely a work in progress. I enjoy getting up early to run/walk, experimenting with strength training workouts, as well as discovering healthy foods and trying out new recipes. While at times, this journey can be challenging and a little frustrating to stay the course, it also can be energizing and very satisfying. 

“A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for.”       ~Albert Einstein


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A few years ago at a morning assembly at school, the principal was giving the student body, as well as the teachers information for the day. I cannot remember what prompted her to bring up the subject of expectations. However, she made the statement that expectations can lead to disappointment. When I first heard this, I was a bit confused. Shouldn’t we have expectations if we are to reach goals? The answer is yes and no. Since that morning assembly, I have encountered what the principal meant. I have been the one who has had expectations of others and even myself, and I’ve experienced people who have certain expectations of me. Expectations lead to disappointment when the expectations exceed a person’s best attempt at what is expected of them.

Since I have been eating clean (five weeks), I’ve had certain expectations about how this is going to turn out. Actually, every week I expect to lose weight. Therefore, imagine my disappointment when I weighed in yesterday and saw that I did not lose any weight, but had gained a pound. I was crushed. Intellectually, I knew the weight gain had to do with water weight instead of fat weight. Emotionally, I felt funky. There were no hoots and hollers when I had to take a marble out of the “pounds lost” container and drop it back in the “pounds to go” container. Technically, I should have been thrilled I didn’t gain more weight under the circumstances. Yes, this is the week of my monthly visitor. Generally, I gain between two and three pounds of water weight during the week of the wretched curse. And, let us not forget the added bonus of the huge red zit displayed on my chin. Ladies, you understand. This is an example of my expectations exceeding my best. I cannot control water weight gain caused by certain female conditions any more than I can control the weather. Yesterday, I should have expected to gain weight and should have been pleasantly surprised and pleased with the small amount I did gain. It is in perspective now.

Running/Walking Schedule   

It rained ALL day yesterday, therefore, I did not get my fourth run/walk day in for the week. I admit I was disappointed because I had this expectation I need to run/walk four days a week. I realized the fourth day needs to be treated like a bonus. So, I adjusted my workout schedule, as well as my attitude and did Jackie Warner’s Xtreme Timesaver Training DVD in the morning rather than in the afternoon like I originally planned.

This week I plan to run/walk on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and possibly Sunday (remember…bonus). My run/walk workout this week: Walk 5 minutes, run 5 minutes. Repeat three times

Food Finds

This week I made three new discoveries of yumminess:  Newman’s Own Lite Raspberry & Walnut salad dressing (2 Tbsp contains 5g fat; 70 calories; 5g sugar), Toufayan Bakeries Whole Wheat Pita Bread (1 Loaf contains 1g fat; 150 calories; 2g sugar), and Athenos Reduced Fat Feta Cheese (1 ounce contains 3.5g fat; 50 calories; 0g sugar).


I only have one expectation of myself, and it is to do my best in all circumstances. I acknowledge that my best today may not equal my best tomorrow. However, I will do my best. I will be enthusiastic about the possibilities surrounding this week. Life is an adventure, so expect the unexpected because anything can happen.

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”                 ~ Alexander Pope

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What an exciting week for me nutrition and fitness wise! I lost another two pounds [applaud, please]. I did not feel deprived at all this week eating clean. Actually, I enjoy the fruits and veggies, look forward to my daily whey protein/almond milk drink, and love the extra energy. There are some minor challenges; however, nothing that a little more organization, research, and a DVD player can’t fix. I met my strength training and cardio goals, as well as most of my nutrition goals.  

Here is a brief recap of my week:


  • Monday-Friday ate clean.
  • Saturday ate clean. Enjoyed a treat meal for dinner (Asian cuisine). *
  • Sunday ate clean. Enjoyed a treat meal for afternoon snack (skinny mocha latte at BAM) *

*Treat meals will be discussed in a later post, especially that Asian cuisine also known as a Chinese/Japanese buffet. This explanation will be for the benefit of mon frere, Moonius Maximus.


  • Monday-Sunday did cardio each morning. Walked with intervals for 30 minutes for 6 days. Completed a Kathy Smith Cardio-Burning DVD on 1 day.
  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday did Jackie Warner’s Power Circuit Strength Training for 30 minutes (book).
  • Monday-Sunday stretched after every workout. 


Challenge #1 is planning my meals for the week ahead of time. I have not carved out the time to plan a weekly menu. This would help me in two ways. First, I would be guaranteed to meet my daily caloric goal, as well as my food group servings goal. Second, I would have a better idea of the foods I need to purchase at the grocery store.  I’ve done really well writing in my food journal; however, some days I am under 1, 500 calories. Or, I don’t eat the suggested amount of servings from the food groups. A couple of days, I went over on my fat grams because I ate walnuts (breakfast) and almonds (mid-morning snack) OR nuts (breakfast) and 1/2 of an avocado (dinner). Nuts and avocados are great for you, and I love them; however, they are high in fat (good fat).  Yes, you do need some good fats in your diet, but not all on the same day per se.

Challenge #2 has to do with the Power Circuit routines in Jackie Warner’s book. For me, watching someone perform an exercise is easier than looking at a picture with directions in a book. Some of the exercises are difficult, and are definitely not for a beginner. I cannot perform a V-Tuck (core). I fall over and roll around. Perhaps, it is because I have no core strength. Despite that fact, I have to improvise.


Obviously, I will have to set aside some time to plan a menu. My goal is to have one in place for next week, but before I go to the grocery store this weekend. To solve my strength training dilemma, I ordered 3 of Jackie Warner’s DVDs. They are similar to her power circuit routines in her book. I already own one of her DVDs, and love it.  I will continue using the routines in her book until I receive the DVDs.


A couple of items I’ve discovered in the grocery store that have made eating salad more enjoyable: Paul Newman’s Low Fat Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing (2 Tbsp contains 1.5g fat; 35 calories; 4g sugar) and Almond Accents (1 Tbsp contains 3.5g fat; 40 calories; 1g sugar). Sometimes, I use the Almond Accents in my oatmeal.  

As you know, I love coffee. I have not been drinking coffee on a regular basis because I stopped using sugar and was trying to use one packet of Truvia. Since I had been blending it with sugar, I didn’t realize Truvia has an aftertaste. I did a little research this week, and it seems that 1Tsp of sugar has 4g of sugar in it. So, I experimented with coffee yesterday morning and happily discovered that if I added 1 packet of Truvia and 1/2 Tsp of sugar (2g sugar), as well as 1 Tbsp of half & half to a 10 oz cup of coffee, it tasted wonderful. Thus, my love affair with coffee may resume.  

Overall, I feel like I’m off to a good start. I have more energy, which I have been using to clean out and organize my scrapbook room/office  and the exercise room. I’m hoping to be finished with both rooms by this weekend. I’m eating the good foods in place of the bad foods, and surprisingly I don’t feel restricted or deprived. I look forward to doing some kind of exercise every day. I’ve been getting up earlier to fit in my workouts before dropping my little guy off at Drama Camp. This past Saturday, I went to my favorite running store, Phidippides, located in Metairie and bought a new pair of running shoes. Next week, I will be starting my run/walk plan so I can get back to running 3 miles at least 3 days a week. Running is my favorite exercise and a great stress reliever. Happiness!

“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” ~ Jordan Belfort

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Frustrated…that is the word that best describes me at the moment. Frustration does not equal happiness; however, it can motivate oneself to make a change or two. What is the source of my frustration? Well, my weight. My goal weight on September 26th was 140 pounds. I weighed in Monday morning to the tune of 144 pounds. UGH! Now, I have not been eating like a sparrow, but I also haven’t been eating like a Spartan. All month my weight has fluctuated between 141 to 144 pounds. I find if I exercise and have a good poop before I weigh in, I get a much better result. Needless to say, I had neither this past Monday. So, I have decided to abandon a goal weight until I can really make a commitment to change my eating habits.

I eat out of anxiety and my peak time seems to be in the afternoon after picking up my little guy from school. The key is getting back to my original resolutions. Part of not keeping my resolutions in the “eating better” department is not being a good time manager. I’m working on being a better time manager. I have been drinking more water. Getting up earlier has not been a problem since school is back in session. Going to bed on time has also not been a problem since I have been working every day.

While my weight has not decreased, my running has increased. This has brought much happiness to my life. I have been moving every day. I am running at least three days a week whether it is in the heat, fog, or rain. Today, I registered for the Middendorf’s Manchac Run, which will be held in October. It is a 5K (3.1 miles). This week I am walking for 2 minutes and running for 8 minutes…repeating this three times for a total of 30 minutes. Of course, this does not include my 10 minute walking warm-up, cool-down, and stretch. Next week, I am walking for 1 minute and running for 9 minutes…repeating this three times for a total of 30 minutes. The following week I will be running 30 minutes with no walk breaks. My goal is simply to finish this race in 30 minutes. The only exercise resolution I have not been keeping up with is strength training two days a week. It has been hard fitting it in; however, I know it is important. Again, being a better time manager will help with this resolution, as well.  

Even though I am not hitting the mark on all my resolutions, I’m still happy with myself for making the attempt. It really is a journey. The real goal is to find as much happiness along the way.  If anything, this happiness project has made me rediscover the joy I get from running.  Running puts things in perspective for me. This is one resolution I’m trying very hard not to break.

“Remind yourself that a run will make you feel better mentally and emotionally.”         ~ Howard J. Rankin

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