Sunday, November 3, 2013

Burgers and candy...Conquered!

I conquered the candy dish at work! Yay! It was not easy and required careful planning.

My current choices are not necessarily "diet" food, they are choices I've made to avoid the candy dish and the plethora of restaurants that surround my office.  I'm sure at some point I'll have to change my choices, but for right now they are working for me.

I've carefully planned my snack drawer at work.  I'm pretty blessed to have a tiny but fully functional kitchen at work.

Contents of my snack drawer:

  • Canned soup - I buy soups that are about 220 calories per can.  I try to keep the cost per can at about $2.00 per can, this means I usually buy them wherever they are on sale.
  • Granola/Protein bars - I usually stick to either Luna, Kashi or Trader Joe's brand.  Mainly because I like them and I also buy these on sale.
  • Trail Mix -  I keep a glass jar in by drawer filled with some sort of nut mix.  I try to avoid mixes with a lot of peanuts and dried fruit.  I usually use the lid as a serving size (not accurate but works for me).
  • I just discovered Snapea Crisps at Trader Joe's that are simply divine and satisfy my need for a crunchy treat. 
  • Peanut Butter - good shelf stable protein 
  • Greek Yogurt - I keep this in the fridge.  
Once a week I'll pick up some fruit and keep it on my desk.  I find if I can see it I'll usually eat it around 3 p.m. when I'm getting the munchies.

I try to bring my lunch to work everyday; however, if I forget it in the fridge at home (which I do way to often).  I have a satisfying back-up at my desk.  

I'm quite aware I could be making better choices; however, this is currently working and I'm happy with the results.  Whenever I find myself eating out more than once a week or snacking from the candy dish, I'll have to evaluate my choices. 

What are your tricks for work meals/snacks?


Saturday, June 15, 2013

What's your number?

Hehe...I'm not trying to pick you up.  I ask/get asked this question multiple times a day from co-workers and friends. I finally broke down and purchased a Fitbit! I LOVE IT!

I was a bit leery about spending that kind of money on...a pedometer.  However, once I purchased it I regretted not purchasing it earlier. It is really easy to wear, you can tuck it into your bra or your pants pocket.  I usually tuck it into my bra first thing in the morning and totally forget about it during the day.

It calculates my steps and how many miles I'm walking.  The best part is it likes to talk to my other electronic equipment.  It shares my information with my iphone, computer, and MyFitnesPal.  It sends me a weekly update with fun statistics, such as most active day and least active day.

It has made a huge difference in my activity level.  The first couple of days I wore it I barely reached 1,500 steps (I'm so embarrassed about this number).  The most I've walked is about 9,855 steps.  On my typical work days I tend to walk about 6,000 steps.   I now walk about 1,000 steps in the morning before work.

This is my favorite and most often used fitness tool.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Slim and Beautiful"

This ticked me off, and I thought I should write about it. I've been neglecting this blog something fierce.

Over on Go Kaleo (you know I love her, right?), there's a comment thread that is still going on from a January post. The post is about Amber's weight loss/progression pictures.

Sometime last night or today, some man posted,

You look extremely slim and beautiful now.
This struck a nerve in me for several reasons. Ok, more than that, it pissed me off.

1. She's beautiful in all her pics.

2. "Extremely slim"? Hardly. In fact, even when she was below 15% body fat (and starting to experience health problems because of it), she thought she was a bit "thick".  Like here, in November 2011, when she wrote, "A Thick Girl's Manifesto". In that post, she says:

I’m beautiful because I love my body and appreciate it for what it’s capable of.


This! So much THIS!

Love what you can DO with your body. This is so important.

She has added a bit of body fat back since that point.

She is beautiful because she is strong, physically and mentally/emotionally.

She is beautiful because she appreciates what she can do with her body.

She is beautiful because she fuels her body properly for her activity level, and doesn't starve herself.

She is beautiful because she is wicked-smart and backs up her opinions with research (and/or formed her opinions with research and experimentation with her own body).

But "extremely slim and beautiful"?

Fuck that.

And now it's time to get off my ass again, and get back to teaching my body to pick up heavy things.

I need to start all over again, at the beginning, with just the bar for now.

But I'll be back where I was in no time.

Off to the gym.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Back On The Weight Watchers Wagon

Hey everyone! I'm trying this out on my phone. If it works, I will become a posting fiend!

Ok, so I am back again. This time for keeps! Several times I have fallen off of the Weight Watchers wagon and several times I have picked myself up by my bootstraps and climbed back in. Losing weight is not easy. It is a long and bumpy road to travel. The good thing about Weight Watchers is that they know how hard of a struggle it is but they are there to help. I chose them because of their fantastic support! WW also has fantastic recipes too! I'm going to try some this weekend and share the outcome! Can't wait!!!

I do have a little problem though. Sadly I am struggling to get off my butt and exercise. I have a great Zumba CD, a cool YouTube channel I found, and I have a bike. Now I just need to use them. Bike ride on Saturday? Sounds nice!

So ladies and gents, how are your weight loss plans going? I'd love to hear some! It gives me encouragement! :)

So who wants to go bike riding with me?

Monday, January 28, 2013

FINALLY, a gym post

I went back to the gym today.

I haven't been since the beginning of December.

I tweaked my knee at some point. I know I didn't do it squatting; I twisted it at home. But I couldn't squat with it sore and weak.

I could have done other exercises, but I didn't. I walked some, but not consistently, and I did a little yoga, but again, not consistently.

I haven't stepped on a scale in a couple of weeks, because I'm afraid of what I'll see.

But I went to the gym today.

I almost didn't.

I had everything ready to go this morning, got dressed early, put everything in the car. Took C to school and headed to the gym.

And realized I left my ipod home.


While the ipod is not essential for my workout (I tend to zone out anyway), it does help keep people from talking to me too much, and keeps me in my own head, instead of being distracted by other people's conversations (and my own paranoia, "Is she talking about me?").

So, I went home to get it.

And ate a donut.

And checked the stats on my other blog.

And checked email.

Wrote a little something.

Checked and posted on a couple of forums.

Then, a little after 1pm, I got back in the car and went to the gym.

And realized I forgot my ipod AGAIN, dammitall.

Went back home, ran upstairs, grabbed the ipod, sighed very loudly, and got BACK in the car and went to the gym - for the third time.

This time, I actually got out of the car and went inside! And since I was inside, I lifted.

Now, my best lifts were in the summer, when I was squatting almost 130 lbs.

In December, that was down to 120 lbs (after a few weeks of working back up from 100).

But now I just had almost two months where I didn't do CRAP, and I didn't lift a damn thing.

I had to have lost strength.

So, I gave myself permission to go all the way back to just the bar (45 lbs) if I had to on all my lifts.

I didn't have to, but I only squatted 85 lbs (for 5x5), bench 55 lbs (5x5) and cable row 55 lbs (5x5).

I lost my balance on my first warm up rep. I didn't drop the bar or fall, but it was an almost on both things; I had re-rack and start over. I think I was timid because of my knee.

I was shaky half-way through the squats, but that could be because I didn't eat lunch before I went.

And damn, knowing that not that long ago, I considered these weights low and easy, and I was struggling with them today (even though I made my 5x5) pissed me off.

I know it won't take that long to get back to where I was strength-wise, but I could already be at my 150 lbs squat goal, maybe even pretty close to my body weight if I didn't keep stopping.

Yesterday, I posted a Vlog (video blog) on Life Uncalculated about how we should just do stuff to reach our goals even when we don't feel motivated to do it.

Hence, my THREE trips to the gym today. At least one was finally productive!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Guest Post: What is this CrossFit Stuff The Kids Are Doing, Anyway?

This is a Guest Post from my friend, Diana at Sincerely, Diana. I've known Diana for quite awhile now, virtually. We've hung out on the same forum now for more than a decade. She sent me an awesome gift when I graduated from college, and I'd be lost in the gym without it. :) 

She has had her own challenges with fitness and weight loss. Along the way, she discovered functional training and CrossFit. I wanted to do a post on this, but I have no direct experience, just stuff I've read and watched. I thought D could give us her perspective. She's also recently wrote a couple of posts about her changing view of herself through this process. Check it out! She writes well. 

When most people think of CrossFit, if they have any clue what it is, they think “Holy shit, that is for crazy people.”  But I’m here to tell you if you are able bodied enough to get out of bed and get in and out of a chair each day, you can do CrossFit.

My name is Diana, and I’ve had the good fortune to know Ishtar through an online community for over 10 years.  I’m 38 years old, have been fat for about 16 of those years, and until recently was never an athlete. About 3 years ago, my world got turned upside down when my husband died. At the time of his death, I weighed 277 pounds and hadn’t darkened the door of a gym in years, but I also had a strong feeling that it was disrespectful of me to continue ignoring my health when my husband lost a battle to cancer.

The first couple of years of my health and fitness journey, I worked out at a regular, garden variety gym with a personal trainer a couple of times a week. I managed to lose about 40 pounds in this time period, but I was highly dependent on a trainer for guidance and motivation – if I hadn’t had the financial resources to afford that, I am truly not sure where I’d be today. Because I had success on the scale, enjoyed a lot of what I did with the trainer, and managed to make some friends at my gym, I felt pretty good about what I was doing and was content to carry on.

Then, in early 2012, my trainer, Brian, told me some news that almost made me distraught.  Brian had been leading the CrossFit classes at my gym for quite some time – classes which I never attended because I thought they were for crazy people, mind you – and had decided that it was time to move on.  He had grown tired of trying to convince management to take CrossFit more seriously and had decided to open a CrossFit gym (or box, as they are known in the CrossFit world) with his wife. This announcement put me at a crossroads – there wasn’t any other trainer at the gym I was interested in working with, but I was scared shitless of CrossFit because I didn’t understand it. 

Brian planned to continue working at the gym for a couple of months while he and his wife got plans for their new box in order, and during this time he educated me more about what CrossFit actually is and who it is for. 

What is it, you ask?

CrossFit is a regimen of constantly varied (CV), functional movements (FM) performed at high intensity (@HI) in a communal environment that leads to health and fitness.
Now, if you are like me, you probably think that sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo.  I damned sure did when I first heard it, but really – that’s one of the best short descriptions I’ve read of CrossFit. Let’s break it down.

Continuously Variable: We don’t do the same thing every workout, or even from week to week.  Sure, there are common movements that show up fairly consistently, but other than benchmark workouts, it’s typical that you will do a particular workout once and then never do it again.

Functional Movements: We do stuff that people do in real life.  You know the hamstring curl machine at your gym? The one where you might decide to curl 80 pounds, so you put the pin under the plate that says 80 and then contract your hamstrings a thousand and four times? We don’t do that, because it’s not really a functional movement. When was the last time you strapped 40 pounds to each ankle and then curled your hamstrings in your regular life?  Never, that’s the last time.  We squat, because you have to get in and out of a chair every day.  We deadlift because you have to pick stuff off the floor every day.  We row or run because you need to be able to move your body through distance every day. 

Performed at a High Intensity: We go as hard as we reasonably can.  The goal is improvement, and if you do the same thing today you did yesterday, at the same intensity, you’re not going to get better. This is not to say that we end up killing ourselves every workout – after all, the concept of rest is just as important in CrossFit as it is in any fitness discipline. But we don’t screw around either. And one of the most important things to know is that the high intensity aspect of CrossFit doesn’t pertain to what is high intensity for your coach, or for the athlete standing next to you.  It pertains to YOU and YOU ALONE, and you can scale any workout to suit your skills.  Can’t do a pullup? Try a ring row.  Can’t run because you have a crappy knee? Try the rowing machine. Can’t clean and jerk 95 pounds? Great – try 45. Can’t do 45 pounds? Grab the 15 pound technique bar, or maybe that piece of PVC pipe over in the corner.  I’ve been doing CrossFit for months and I don’t think I’ve ever done a single workout exactly as prescribed.  But I do ALL of them better than I did when I started, which is what it’s about.

In a communal environment: CrossFit boxes tend to be small and focused on workouts rather than amenities. They don’t have thousands of members, they don’t have saunas, and they damned sure don’t have a place to get your friggin’ nails done like a few gyms in my neck of the woods. And they are filled with people who have a burning desire to be better than they were yesterday – they want to lift more weight and have more endurance, but they also want to be better employees, parents, friends, and spouses.  And they will encourage you to do the same every time you show up. At the elite level of CrossFit, the community aspect is seen when the athlete that finishes first in his heat at the Games doesn’t go hit the showers, but instead he goes back to cheer on a fellow competitor struggling to finish the WOD. [From ishtar: that's "Workout of the Day", folks.]

I got a taste of this personally during a recent workout on a day that I was just sucking all around.  The very last part of the workout was to do something like 40 kettlebell clean and presses, and I felt like I had drained every last ounce of energy on the previous exercises.  A girl from my box that I had worked out with maybe twice, and whose name I wasn’t even sure of, had finished the workout about 3 minutes before I got to the last part.  She didn’t just cheer me through those clean and presses – she picked the damned kettlebells back up and said “Diana, you are going to finish this workout. I’m going to do the rest of it with you.” and proceeded to clean and press with me until I finished.  THAT is community, and it happens every day in CrossFit.

There you have it. A fitness regimen where you are guaranteed not to be bored, where you can tailor your workouts to suit your needs, and where your fellow athletes will cheer you on every time you show up.  What’s not to like?

To learn more about CrossFit, visit

To read more about Diana’s adventures in life and in CrossFit, visit

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lift Like a Girl on sale!

Nia Shanks'  Lift Like a Girl program is now on sale for only $29.99 (normally $77).

So if you're interesting in learning about lifting beyond what I've linked to in previous posts, check it out.