Monday, January 28, 2008

Something to be Happy About

I can't believe I forgot to mention this! Guess I was just so glad that Frost Ride was over!

It's no secret that I get extremely frustrated by the scale. It just doesn't move for me, in spite of doing everything right (well, okay, I'm human... 95% of the time).

I haven't had anyone do my measurements for a while, so as you might imagine finding out on Saturday morning that my waist is now under 40" inches was something to behold. I was surprised at the 2.5" difference because the scale had not moved. At 39" I know I'm no Barbie, but my waist has not been 39" since probably 8th grade.

My new trainer is excited for me. He's going to put me on a very specific food plan to see if the change will yield some new results. I'm also going to try to add some mid-day cardio to mix things up.

All other measurements stayed the same, but that's perfectly fine with me :)

Frost 50 = Done!

Yesterday I rode in the Houston Frost 50 bike ride. Let me just say, that the title is literal. It was a foggy, 42 degree morning in North Houston and I felt every bit of the cold. When the fog's dew accumulates on your face and then freezes, it looks like you have a frosty beard. It was so wild to see!!!

I just have share this too. There was a guy there who actually had his dog with him. HIS DOG. He had a covered basket-type thing that he carried him in (of course he was wearing a sweater... the dog, that is) and would walk him at every rest-stop. Oiy! I understand pet-love, but yesterday was borderline abuse for an animal.

What's next? The Gator Ride! 43 miles of hopefully warmer weather and a challengeing climb over over the Fred Hartman Bridge.

Oh, and it goes without saying how grateful I am that I can even ride a bike comfortably now. It's amazing how shedding almost 90 lbs. can make you feel. I take nothing for granted.

The ride itself was not challenging climb-wise, though there was one hill in the lat 4 miles. Average speed was only 13.2 and a average cadence of 69.8. My riding partner has a metal plate in her leg, so needless to say the cold weather was more than a challenge for her, but she was a trooper. We did not focus on speed or Cadence, but stayed together (especially since my partner was struggling); misery loves company, you know? That's not to say I didn't fire my legs from time-to-time, but I really believe that when you sign up together, you stick together.

If you're at all interested...here's a couple tips (from personal experience) for cold weather riding:
  • Not all leg warmers are created equal. My riding partner had purchased some Nike leg warmers and they were not friendly to her fuller thighs; clearly they are cut more for men's peg-legs. She had to keep slowing down and stopping to pull them up. Let's just say they served better as ankle warmers. The Pearl Izumi brand though, were nice and long with friendly elastic and stay up.
  • Personally, I chose to skip the leg warmer challenge and made a relatively modest (compared to other brands) investment in a pair of cycling pants. I purchase the Canari brand ($52.99). They were nice for a 25 mile ride, but at 45 miles their high-tech gel pad was less than comfortable. That said, I really do like the material they are made of and perhaps their more "spendy" Elite series would perform better.
  • Layer, layer, layer. 'nough said."Twinkie Toes" work, but invest in a good pair of wool socks as well that will wick the moisture from your feet and keep the cold to a minimum.
  • Assos chami butter -- OMG this stuff leaves you feeling cool on your bottom and friction free. At first I was surprised, it kinda has a cool, mentholated feeling, but doesn't burn; just feels cool and comfortable. No chafing happened on this girl.
  • Wear gloves over your cycling gloves. Don't underestimate the wind. When you're riding, even a 5 mph wind feels like more than a challenge. I swear I thought my finger tips were going to fall off. Worst part is, I had a pair my hubby gave me to borrow, but I chose NOT to wear them. I was cursing a blue-streak the whole ride.
    Lastly, a headband to cover your ears!
  • Deerfield Farms Snackin' Flax and Turkish Apricots make for great fast-fuel. I had no problems keeping my energy. My riding buddy is actually an RD, LD and said the snackin' flax find was a good one -- so try them! The Turkish apricots are low on the glycemic index, but still pack some fuel in them. Just a couple of good options for those who can't do GU, or GU-like alternatives.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Your Help -- Please???

I'm sure you've heard on the news recently the story of B@by Gr@ce (I am mispelling the name intentionally so as to not get hit by drive-by's searching on the topic). The child was murdered by her stepfather and subsequently stored in a plastic storage tote by for months, by her mother, before being dumped off the Galveston coast here in Texas, not far from rom my home.

Residents of the Galveston/Hitchcock area are asking for signatures on a petition to have the unnamed island named in memory of the child, and to bring child abuse awareness to a higher level.

The petition is here. Please consider electronically signing it.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Got Lemons... Make Lemonade!

So if you haven't noticed already, I now have a Lemonade stand on my blog. In it are some of the things I enjoy and "have to have", like my Nectar Proteins, Benefit and other things as I find them.

Of course, if you need any of this stuff yourself, use my Lemonade Stand as a portal for your purchase. :)

Only if you want, of corse... no obligation. :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

I had a killer training session on Saturday (which I need to track!). I also got out to check out the new 24 in our area yesterday for some cardio, which was pretty nice.

No gym today -- the Cassinator has dance class this afternoon and Daddy is traveling all week. Besides that, Mondays are usually an "off" day for me. I will, however, resume tomorrow with a training session.

I've been watching the Discovery Health Channel's National Body Challenge. It's been interesting. Ironically, it has helped put my own perceived weight loss in a different light, as far as percent body fat is concerned. I mean, I know for a 40 year old woman, body fat percentages should be between 23% and 33% percent. I'm currently sitting at 36%, still with 70 lbs. to lose to achieve a a healthy BMI. Just makes me realistic about what my goals need to be, and how I really need to stop comparing my body to others. Of course, I know this. I really do. Until it sinks in though, I'll just keep moving forward.

5:30 am
Fage FF Yogurt
Coffee w/Protein
FF 1/2 and 1/2

7:30 (
4 oz. 2% Cottage Cheese
1/2 C. Light Mandarin Oranges

2 oz. Turkey Breast
1 oz. light swiss

3/4 large Tortilla
4 oz. Turkey
1 oz. light Swiss

Snackin' Flax

Light Mayo
Wasa Light

Saturday training session:

Barbell bicep curl to overhead press 1 set of 18 - 20 lbs.
Plank - 1 minute, 10 seconds
Barbell bicep curl to overhead press 1 set of 18 - 20 lbs.
Plank - 45 seconds
Barbell bicep curl to overhead press 1 set of 18 - 20 lbs.
Plank - 40 seconds

Crunches on balance cushion - 15
Barbell chest press - 1 set of 20 at 45 lbs.
Crunches on balance cushion - 15
Barbell chest press - 1 set of 15 at 75 lbs.
Crunches on balance cushion - 15
Barbell chest press - 1 set of 12 at 75 lbs.

Closed hand cable row - 1 set of 20 at 40 lbs.
Tricep cable pull-down - 1 set of 20 at 40 lbs.
Knees-to-chest - 1 set of 15 reps
Closed hand cable row - 1 set of 18 at 70 lbs.
Tricep cable pull-down - 1 set of 18 at 60lbs.
Knees-to-chest - 1 set of 15 reps
Closed hand cable row - 1 set of 15 at 70lbs.
Tricep cable pull-down - 1 set of 18 at 60 lbs.
Knees-to-chest - 1 set of 15 reps

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Kids do the dangest things.

Just for Dirk (since some of us insist on remaining youtube free). By the way, until I had a kid, I had no use for it. I've moved to the dark side. LOL

Vintage video of the Cassinator, who chose the diaper box over the plethora of intellectually stimulating toys that surrounds her daily. I think she's almost 2 year.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Prayers and Thanks...

If you know of Melting Mama, but haven't visited recently, then you may not know that she had an "episode" while in the hospital for a post-op ps check for her husband. According to her Mom, who made an entry for MM, MM is fine and they are working to get her answers. MM is a terrific spirit and I love her candor. Get well Mama! Our prayers/vibes/karma are with you!!

Now, on to the thanks part of this entry...

A brief e-mail discussion with one of my favorite bloggers is prompting a message outside of my recent boring food and workout journal entries -- imagine that! LOL!

I am so thankful for the blogship I have with some of you. You dish it out straight up, you keep me believing and just when I'm feeling like this effort is just one challenge after another -- which it is, but at least one of you says something that just brings me back to the moment.

13 years ago I started "online." To this day I have still have friendships with those first few I've met, albeit at a distance. (Kim F. in Ohio, if you're out there girlie, email me -- we need to catch up by phone!).

As a kid we moved around a lot, so I don't really have any life-long friends. There was a time I used to envy that in others, but as an adult I realize that it's quality, not quantity. I'd rather have just a few close friends who are true, than life-long friends who are fair-weathered.

Anyway, just a note of thanks for all of you who help me to believe in me, even when I find it a daunting challenge.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hump Day Training

Yesterday I had an awesome training session. I started on something new, barbell squats, and I did pretty good. My trainer teaches these in a progression, and by the end I was doing them full-out and technically correct. :) He hadn't planned on doing them full out during this session.

However, my humility was fully restored with single-legged squats. I can't believe how hard they are to do, and I'm not even doing them with weight yet! I will get these down; it's my new challenge. In fact, trainer says that the only person he knows that nailed these the first time 'round was his 9 year old niece. Nice, huh? LOL

5:30 am
1 C. Mootopia
1 Scoop Nectar Cappucino Protein

8:30 am
Small Apple
LF Cheddar Cheese

4 oz. Turkey Breast
Wasa Light Crackers
Laughing cow Light

4 oz. 2% cottage chs.
Snackin’ Flax

Chicken Breast

Monday, January 07, 2008

Calories are a little low today -- Not really sure why; seems likes more than enough food!

Cass goes back to dance class tonight, but I'm going to try to squeeze in some cardio today; if I leave work on time and all the planets are aligned, I think I can squeeze in 40 minutes of intervals. :)

6:00 am - Coffee w/Protein
8:00 am - 2% Fage LF Yogurt & ½ C. Pumpkin
11:30 am - Tuna Cup, Light Mayo, 1 C. Spinach
2:30 pm - Laughing Cow Light, Kashi Crackers
Pre Workout: ½ Lg. Apple, 2 oz. LF Cheese
5:30 pm - Chicken Breast, Broccoli

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Progress Pics

November 2007 / July 2007 / January 2008

^^^^ Okay, this one looks like I received an ass lift! ^^^^

Saturday, January 05, 2008

It's about 62 degrees today with a high of 70-something. It's warmer than it's been in the past week; it's been 34+ in the morning. This Houston weather is crazy.

This morning I'm heading out for a 28 mile bike ride with a new friend. She's taken an interest in cycling and is training for the MS-150. I might be tempted to do the MS-150 if I knew I had a friend who I could count on to ride with. She actually lives not far from me so it would be great if this works out, and we can continue to motivate one another to ride.

She's going to register for the Frost Bike 50 at the end of January -- I pretty certain that I will too. :) As much as I like riding, it's more fun when you have someone to ride with.

Hubs and I actually get to have date night today -- I'm excited at the chance to have dinner without saying "sit down on your bottom", or "don't play with your fork." :)

Not much else is going on.

Update: No riding shitty Houston weather -- rain on and off all day. Crud.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Time is Now!

So with the new year comes some renewed faith, not only in others, but in my self. I'm not sure why it has to be the "New Year" to feel more motivated towards achieving goals, but whatever works, I guess.

My goal this year is the get rid of fear. In particular, the fear of doing something and failing. I want to eliminate the negative thoughts (even if small) that are in the back of my mind tell me, "I can't..." or "you won't..." or even "don't even bother, you'll never..." These thoughts are self-defeating (and I know this!) before I event start. This fear has held me back from doing the things I am truly passionate about -- by the time I'm 45 I want to be doing something, working in a field, that I am truly passionate about. I say 45 because I know that what I want to do, if I want to do it right, will require me returning to school for an altogether different career path.

So in the name of facing my fear, I will share what it is I want to do: I want to become a personal trainer (and nutritionist in some form). I want to help others who are obese believe that they can exercise and that they do deserve a good quality of life.

This is something that I've wanted to do long before I ever had RNY, but would never admit to. Back in 1997 I registered at my first gym. I was 347 lbs. The owner of the gym battled morbid obesity and lost almost 200 lbs. She left her career as a school teacher and opened the gym. Meeting her, feeling her impact on me and seeing how she helped others was inspirational.

Sadly though, in spite of all her inspiration I just couldn't move forward. After all, how could someone who hasn't "arrived" yet possibly forge this path for themselves? Maybe it was the fear of dealing with my own issues?

In any case, if I always do what I did, I will always get what I've got. So it's time for change.

I will be kinder to my self, believe in my self and know that if I set out to achieve something I can and will. And so what if I haven't "arrived" yet, why should that keep me from working towards my goals? I will look at this path as an opportunity to further explore my issues while I learn.

I'm thinking being my own lab rat will be pretty convenient. :)


6:30 am
1 Egg + 3 Whites
Coffee w/FF 1/2 n 1/2

9:00 am
2% Cottage Cheese
½ C. Light Fruit

11:30 am
1 Tuna Soft Taco with:
- 4 oz. Tuna
- 1 Whole Wheat Tort.
- 1 T. Sour cream
- 1 T. Shred Cheese

2:30 pm
½ Lg. Apple
4 oz FF Yogurt

Snackin' Flax

6:30 pm
6oz. Ham Lean
Artichoke Hearts

Total Calories: 1396
Total Fat: 36 g.
Total Carbs: 141 g.
Total Protein 124 g.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Same old thing happening here. Surprisingly the "resolutionists" haven't hit the gym that hard yet. Yesterday I had my choice of treadmills -- typically at this time of year I'm lucky to find any available. They did open a new 24 in the area, so I suspect that one is jam-packed.

6:00 am
1.5 oz. Ham
Nonfat Latte

9:00 am
1 oz. LF Cheddar Cheese

11:30 am
Chicken of the Sea Salmon Cup
Wasa Light Bread
Italian Wedding Soup

2:30 pm
Snackin' Flax
4 oz. 2% Cottage Cheese

6:30 pm
Freash Tuna Soft Taco (recipe below)

Total Calories: 1366
Total Fat: 36 g.
Total Carbs: 114 g.
Total Protein: 136 g.

Fresh Tuna Tacos

1/3 cup lowfat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chilies (in the specialty ethnic foods sections)
1 8-ounce ahi tuna steak, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 whole wheat tortillas

Mix first 4 ingredients in small bowl. Place tuna in medium bowl; sprinkle with taco seasoning. Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add tuna; sauté to desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in sour cream mixture. Cook just until heated through, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes (do not boil).

Heat tortillas in microwave 20 seconds; fill shells with tuna mixture.

*Chipotle chilies canned in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes called adobo, are available at Latin American markets, specialty foods stores and some supermarkets.

Some tips we have learned after making these a couple of times:

- Add toppings: chopped tomato, cheese, avocado, more chopped cilantro, etc. for taco filling
- Add ½ the package of taco seasoning to season tuna and then add the remaining to the sour cream mixture.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Back to work. Not another holiday off until May, I guess? LOL

The New Year was good and if there is any truth to the foods that bring luck, then 2008 should be a good one for us. Our best friends came over and I made dinner for all of us -- including those things called black-eyed peas. They're not my favorite, but a bit won't kill me... nor would the luck they supposedly bring hurt me! I know, negative vibrations will cancel out the positive the black-eyed peas could potentially bring. :-P

Today's plan:

6:45 am
2 eggs
4 oz. 2% Cottage cheese

9:30 am
Small Apple
2 oz. LowFat Cheddar

1 C. Boiled Shrimp
1/4 C. Cocktail Sauce

3:00 pm
1 Svg. Snackin' Flax
4 oz. 2% Cottage Cheese

6:30 pm
Chicken, Spinach & Shiratake Sautee

For Coffee Throughout Morning
4 T. FF Half and Half
4 T. Half and Half

Calories: 1454
Fat: 48
Carbs: 93
Protein: 158

Exercise: Cardio - Intervals 60 minutes