Strength Exercises

4 06 2010

So I’ve been slowly trying to add new strength exercises to the routine that my physical therapist has me on.

So far today I worked in push-ups, two sets of 10, I attempted a plank (I lasted 30 seconds…but I have to say my form was PERFECT) and I found a website that shows different strength exercises to do with your balance ball (YAY!)

I did this one:

I did 3 sets of 10.

And I plan on doing this one after I’m done with this blog (the plan is 3 sets of 10)

I tried to do this:

and almost DIED!  This move is way beyond my current fitness level…I’ll have to try again later…

What are some of your favorite strength moves to do at home?





Yesterday

4 06 2010

Yesterday was kind of a boring day…I wish it hadn’t been, since my boyfriend was off, but he hung out in his “man cave” and played on the computer and watched tv until he went to the gym.  I asked to go with him to try out his gym, since he HAD gotten me a 7 day guest pass, but he adamantly said no.  I think he was kinda embarrassed to take me with, last night was his second appointment with his personal trainer and apparently during the first session he spent a lot of it dry heaving and almost puking.  But seriously, I didn’t want to go watch HIM workout, I wanted to check out the facilities and get MY workout on 🙂

Didn’t happen, bummer.

I did about 15 minutes worth of my physical therapy exercises (which include a lot of work with resistance bands and my balance ball) and then my mom called and asked if I wanted to go for a walk and a light dinner with her (after we swung by the mall real quick).  Well we never left the mall, its what usually happens, but I wore my pedometer anyways and according to it and MyFitnessPal.com my four hours of “walking at a slow pace” burned over 900 calories for someone my weight…hmmm…don’t know if that’s 100% right but it made me feel better.

Being on a limited calorie diet I’m used to eating 5-6 times per day, usually 3 meals and some snacks, however when I met up with my mom yesterday, thinking that it was just going to be a “quick mall run” I hadn’t eaten my afternoon snack and was only sitting around 400ish calories consumed since I’d had a light breakfast and lunch (I haven’t been hungry at all lately and its really bothering me…).  So needless to say, after several hours of wandering the mall with my mom and watching her try on clothes my blood sugar was running pretty low and I was starting to not feel so well (light headed, irritable…) so I kinda snapped (sorry mom) and said I needed to eat something now and that she could keep eating but I had to eat.

Well, she felt bad about it and for the sake of the diet we skipped the food court and headed to one of the restaurants attached to the mall called McCarthy’s.  I was a little worried about going an Irish Pub style place (bar food..eep?) but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of healthy options they had available.  I was set on getting a salad until I saw a burger that they’re apparently “famous” for, their Iri-Shroom burger (a burger with mushrooms sautéed in Guinness, havarti dill cheese and a herb garlic spread) so my mom and I decided to split the burger and the salad so we could try it and be healthy at the same time 🙂

It was perfect, and unlike a lot of restaurants, their portions weren’t HUGE so I was just the right amount of full without feeling bloated.  I stayed within my calorie count so that’s a plus 🙂

I also got my mom to sign up for MyFitnessPal.com!  It’s a great tool if you’re trying to lose weight, or just want a way to track your food and exercise.  Yesterday I used the message board on the site to join a June weight loss group where everyone has to set their weight loss goals for June.  Even though I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks I decided to be ambitious and set a goal of 8lbs for June.  This will put me well under 200lb (w00t) and is an average of 2lbs per week which is totally attainable.  Everyone who set a “mini” goal set up a corresponding reward, mine is a spa pedicure, I haven’t had one in so long!

Do you use goals to motivate yourself?





My BMR

3 06 2010

So I’ve been playing around on My Fitness Pal (www.myfitnesspal.com), which is the site I use for my weight loss ticker, and for the first time I noticed that they have a BMR Calculator.  For those of you who are not familiar with what BMR is, it stands for basal metabolic rate and it is essentially the amount of calories your body would burn on its own even if you were just lying in bed all day.  For someone like me who is recovering from major surgery and can only undertake a limited number of activities I was quite curious to see what mine was.  Apparently for someone of my height and weight, my body burns about 1686 calories per day!  Thats pretty sweet, especially considering that I’ve been eating around 1000-1200 calories per day (I’ve consumed just shy of 1000 calories today) so I’ve burned more than I’ve consumed 🙂

I know that my calorie count may seem pretty low, but I assure you that I have eaten TONS of food today, 3 meals and 3 snacks to be exact 🙂

Here’s my daily food diary from My Fitness Pal.  The site recommends that I consume 1200 calories, 165g carbs, 40g fat and 45g of protein daily.  As you can see I’m way below my carb count (which is good because I’m trying to limit my carb intake due to my PCOS) and have exceeded my protein by 28g.  I also kept under my fat and calorie goals for the day and I’m totally fine with that 🙂

Breakfast Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Eas – Advantedge – Carb Control Protein Shake – Chocolate Fudge, 11 oz 100 4 3 17 Ico_delete
Add FoodRemember Meal 100 4 3 17
Lunch
Homemade – Turkey Sandwich (4 Thin Slices) on Earthgrains Thin Buns With Light Mayo, 1 sandwich 185 23 8 14 Ico_delete
Add FoodRemember Meal 185 23 8 14
Dinner
Chicken Breast No Skin (Baked) – Baked Chicken Tenders No Skin, 1 oz 59 0 3 12 Ico_delete
Chicken Breast No Skin (Baked) – Baked Chicken Tenders No Skin, 1 oz 59 0 3 12 Ico_delete
Tomatoes – Red, ripe, raw, year round average, 2 slice, thin/small 5 1 0 0 Ico_delete
Alouette – Crumbled Goat Cheese, 1/8 cup 40 1 4 3 Ico_delete
Fresh Express – Heart of Romaine Lettuce, 2 cups 15 3 0 1 Ico_delete
Apples – Raw, with skin, 0.5 cup slices 29 8 0 0 Ico_delete
Cranberries – Dried, sweetened, 0.17 cup 62 16 0 0 Ico_delete
Generic – Slivered Almonds , 1 Tablespoon 40 1 4 2 Ico_delete
Pork – Cured, bacon, cooked, broiled, pan-fried or roasted, 0.5 slice cooked 22 0 2 1 Ico_delete
Trader Joes – Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette, 2 tbs 35 9 0 0 Ico_delete
Beverage – Red Wine (House Glass 300ml), 150 ml 111 0 0 0 Ico_delete
Add FoodRemember Meal 477 39 16 31
Snacks
Dannon – Yogurt – Light & Fit Nonfat Vanilla, 6 oz 80 15 0 5 Ico_delete
Nuts – Almonds, dry roasted, without salt added, 0.3 oz (22 whole kernels) 51 2 4 2 Ico_delete
Earthgrain – Multigrain Whole Wheat Bread – Double Fiber, 1 slices 100 14 2 4 Ico_delete
Add FoodRemember Meal 231 31 6 11
Totals 993 97 33 73
Your Daily Goal 1,200 165 40 45
Remaining 207 68 7 -28
Calories Carbs Fat Protein




B.E.A.C.H

1 06 2010

Its June!  Which in my book means that Summer is OFFICIALLY here 🙂

I enjoyed some great weather this weekend with some nice walks and swimming, but I had to make sure to slather on my super strong SPF since I unfortunately never tan, I only burn.

Since today might be the last day before I return to work, I decided to make an omlette for breakfast-YUM!  I kept it simple and just did three egg whites and in the center I mashed up a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese and topped with a some ketchup.

I also paired it with a Pink Lady apple, sliced extra thin, using the Iowa Girl Eats method.

See?

I love slicing apples that thin, its great for dipping and it makes it seem like you’re eating a lot more than you actually are.  I also LOVE pink lady apples by the way, those and honeycrips are my absolute FAVE!

So I’m not addicted to Oprah by any means, but I kinda like Dr. Oz.  I’m currently reading his book “YOU on a Diet” but I’m not really into it yet, its kinda a slow read.  I read an article today about Dr. Oz’s B.E.A.C.H diet for summer, apparently some housewives tested out this diet and over the course of 4 months each of them lost between 30-60lbs.  The full article is here but I can sum it up for you:

His plan uses some pretty basic concepts (if you’ve looked into healthy eating habits at all)

The B stands for breakfast, and he emphasizes how important it is that you have a nutritious one and not skip this meal (as so many people do).  Make sure that you choose a breakfast that is high in protein and fiber (like my breakfast 🙂 ).

The E stands for eliminate simple carbs (i.e. white rice, white potatoes, anything made with white flour and sugar, alcohol, etc…).

The E stands for exercise ALMOST everyday.  The women testing out this diet exercised six days per week doing a variety of activities from walking, dancing, kickboxing, etc…(apparently its BEEACH lol)

The A stands for add antioxidants to your plate.  Fruits and veggies are not only so low in calories that you can eat almost as much as you want to fill up, but most of them are full of antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation in the body which is directly linked to weight loss.

The C stands for indulge in dark chocolate.  Eat chocolate and lose weight? SCORE!!! However, you need to remember that moderation is key and look for dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacoa.  This will help keep your sugar cravings in check and is also full of antioxidants.

The H stands for hydrate yourself.  We all know how important water is not only for weight loss, but for over all health.  Stick to water especially if you’re trying to lose weight, the other stuff is just empty calories.

Pretty straight forward.  I was already doing everything on that list already (however, I’m not fully healed from my surgery yet so my workouts are pretty basic).

What are some of your favorite tips for weight loss?





Better Than I Thought…

30 05 2010

As you guys know I’ve been fairly disappointed in my lack of weight loss lately.  Granted I’ve been happy to lose inches, but not seeing the number on the scale budge has been frustrating considering the amount of effort that I’ve been putting into this challenge.  However, I found out after going to the doctor this week that I’ve actually lost more weight than I had originally thought (happy dance).  According to my chart I weighed in at 223.5lbs before my spinal surgery, which was March 2nd of this year and now I’m hovering around 202-203 pound range, which means I’ve lost 20lbs since my surgery!  Which is pretty impressive considering that I could barely walk to the end of the street and back for the first month after my surgery, actually its pretty amazing how far I’ve come since then period.  Granted I still can’t jog (my doctor said that the impact is bad for my spinal fusion) so my activities are limited to walking, swimming and my physical therapy exercises (which in the capacity that I can do them don’t burn as many calories as I would hope).

So my weight loss is mostly controlled by my diet, which is also a challenge due to my insulin resistance (a by product of my PCOS…sigh) so I’m trying to limit my carb and sugar intake as much as possible to maximize my weight loss.

Oh, I am happy to report (since so many of you were kind enough to inquire) that my boyfriend has decided to jump on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon.  He’s been eating better, and has gone to the gym almost everyday for at least an hour (he even hired a personal trainer) and he bought one of those electronic cigarettes to try and help him quit smoking!

It made me so happy when he told me all this, but sad at the same time.  Apparently some guys can’t handle talking about their health and fitness with their significant others.  But when our mutual guy friend stepped in and talked about how he was worried about his health and how great the personal trainer he was working out with was they became instant gym buddies.

I’m kinda jealous that he would rather go to the gym with another guy than with me (granted I just work out outside, at home or at the fitness complex that’s included in our association fees) and I’m also probably a little jealous that since he’s not on disability (he’s receiving full paychecks, I’m only at 60% pay) he’s able to splurge on a membership to a fancy gym, a personal trainer that costs $50/hr and even a fancy Polar heart rate monitor ($250).    But I need to put my green eyed monster in check and just be happy that he’s making these changes.  And I’m glad that he decided to do it for himself and not do it just because I wanted him to.

I did find out that I’ll be going back to work next week (my doctor’s decision, my physical therapist thinks its a horrible idea) but I’ll only be working 4 hour shifts.  I’ve been trying to get a hold of my manager to work out a schedule but no one has gotten back to me, must be the long holiday weekend.  Hopefully their okay with it, otherwise I’ll continue to be out of work until I have the endurance to work a full 8 hour shift.

My physical therapist has some concerns other than the obvious ones for someone who is recovering from a spinal fusion, apparently my right leg is pretty messed up from overcompensating for my back pain (through my leaning walk) for so long.  To give you an idea, I cannot put my right foot flat on the ground, it looks like I’m wearing an invisible high heel.  I also have ridiculous muscle tightness up the back of my leg, even after her stretching my hamstring for an hour we couldn’t get the leg to fully extend, it was always still slightly bent at the knee.  Her biggest concern in the complete lack of flexibility in my right ankle.  She has someone coming to our session next week to fit me for a custom brace that she wants me to wear at least once a day for twenty minutes.  It will have a crank and I’ll have to use it to slowly stretch it out to try and regain some range of motion.

I’ve been pretty active this weekend though, I’ve walked about 2.5 miles each day and I swam laps for about 40 minutes on Friday.  I have also been doing my physical therapy exercises at home.

I made a KILLER dinner the other night too, I pan seared some chicken until it was lightly browned on both sides then brushed it with some marinade that I made from BBQ sauce and a mix of spices (black pepper, garlic, crushed red pepper, parsley) put it in a casserole dish, covered with tin foil and baked in the oven at 375F for about 30 minutes.  While the chicken was cooking I sliced two ripe plantains nice and thin and pan fried them to make some nice, crispy, delicious plantain chips.  I served both with a simple side salad.  Oh, and I love to season my plantain chips with a liberal sprinkle of Adobo seasoning 🙂

Its nice outside so I’m going to go walk before I enjoy some more BBQ later.

Hope you guys are having a great Memorial Day Weekend!!!





Its Almost That Time

24 05 2010

It’s almost time for my local Farmer’s Market to start back up and I couldn’t be more excited!

Just the thought of all the local grown veggies and homemade cheeses and other goodies is making my mouth water.  I know that recent studies have shown that frozen fruits and veggies can be just as good for you as fresh, but there is just something about produce that was picked within 24 hours that just makes me go Mmmmmmm…..

Fit Sugar (www.fitsugar.com) posted a great article today about how many veggies you could eat before you hit 100 calories (like you needed more reasons to eat yummy veggies?)

Check it out below ( via Fit Sugar)

Food Amount Calories
Asparagus 32 spears 106
Avocado 1/3 of the fruit 106
Beets (sliced) 1 1/2 cups 94
Bell Pepper (green) 4 medium peppers 95
Bell Pepper (red) 3 and 1/3 medium peppers 103
Broccoli (raw) 10 (5-inch long spears) 105
Brussels Sprouts 14 heads 106
Carrots (baby) 28 98
Food Amount Calories
Cauliflower (raw) 30 flowerettes 98
Celery 18 (8-inch stalks) 101
Corn (sweet white) Kernels from two ears 118
Cucumber 2 (8 1/4-inch cukes) 90
Green beans (cooked) 2 1/4 cups 98
Kale (cooked) 3 cups 109
Lettuce (Romaine) 1 head 106
Mushrooms (raw) 20 large 101
Onions (raw) 2 medium 92
Peas (cooked) 3/4 cup 94
Potato (russet) 3/4 small 100
Potato (sweet) 2 small 108
Radishes (raw) 70 large 101
Spinach (raw) 45 leaves 98
Summer Squash (raw) 3 medium 94
Tomato (grape) 48 108
Tomato (Roma) 3 medium 105
Zucchini 3 medium 94

How awesome is that!?!?! I’ve always had a thing for bell peppers, but I had no idea that I could eat 4 whole bell peppers for less than 100 calories!

For those of us watching our caloric intake this is valuable info, fill up on those veggies so you don’t end up splurging on high calorie food, and since most veggies have a high amount of water in them it can help keep you hydrated 🙂

Dinner tonight was fantastic!  Super filling and tasty 🙂

I made Chicken Pomedoro from Trader Joe’s and put it over a bed of quinoa with some Green Giant Immunity Blend mixed veggies on the side

Sorry so blurry, its my camera phone

The mixed veggies was a combination of broccoli, bell peppers and carrots-YUM!

I give this meal two thumbs way up, Trader Joe’s never ceases to amaze me.

I had physical therapy today and I was talking to my therapist about Wii Fit and she smiled and pulled out a piece of paper that was a Wii Fit workout routine (with the activities I can do that are safe for my level of recovery), how AWESOME is that?!?!  I love my physical therapist, I really do.

So last night was the series finale of Lost and I really liked it, I have to be honest at first I was a little disappointed that Jack was the one to replace Jacob (too obvious) but I’m not going to say any more than that since I don’t know how many of you have seen it.

And tonight is the season finale of Chuck so I’m going to go watch that, and my boyfriend asked me to make him a workout playlist since he’s going to start going to the gym effective tomorrow (woot!) so I better get on that.

How was your weekend?





Weigh in Wednesday…Yes I Know It’s Thursday

20 05 2010

As I mentioned earlier, yesterday was kind of a bad day for me.  On top of that its “that time of the month” and I am SOOOOOO bloated!!! So while I didn’t lose this week, I didn’t gain either.  So thats a win.  And my measurements stayed the same from last week (including the two inches I lost last week) which I will take as another win since I feel like I’ve gained 10lbs of water weight this past week.

So we’ll just continue healthy habits, drink lots and lots of water (and cut down on the wine…) and be more active (my physical therapist finally cleared me to resume SOME of my Wii Fit activities YAY).

I’m going to share some cool articles I found with you guys…after dinner 🙂