Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Still Alive

After Wednesday's workout I did nothing on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday!  WOW!  Thursday I was just plain lazy.  Friday I was off work and went home for the night to help my Mom set-up for her yard sale.  Let me tell you, I definitely got an upper body workout in!  We lifted so many boxes from the basement to the garage, my right arm was killing me!  Saturday was another lazy day.  Since Scott was getting ready to leave we spent the afternoon being bums then went to the movies to see Bridesmaids followed by a late dinner at Uncle Julio's. 

Sunday we had plans to go to my parent's to watch the Memorial Day parade.  Before we left I hit up the gym to work off some of my guilty feelings from the last 3 days.  I ran a slow pace, 5.3 mph at a 0.5 incline for 60 minutes!  YAY!!  Total of 5.3 miles (duh) and 718 calories burned.  Those 3 unplanned days of rest really helped my body be able to run for 60 minutes straight.  I feel much better about running the 10k this Sunday knowing I can at least go slow and run the whole thing :)

Yesterday Scott and I went to a Memorial Day cookout at his parent's house.  It was nice to see his Mom especially since I wasn't able to visit on Mother's Day or last weekend. 

And onto my sad news ...

Scott left this morning at 4:30 am :(  I need to stop being sad because it's not like I won't see him again; I now have another count down of something to look forward to!  I'm a sucker for the small things.  For example, I asked him who will scratch my back for the next month?  I guess I'll have to invest in one of those "back-scratchers-on-a-stick" things.  Seriously, he's the bravest for heading out to the west coast, knowing no one, and living there for 3 months.  It'll be a tough summer, but I'm excited to create my workout calendar and my veggie-loaded diet.  Not that I can't eat veggies and workout when he's here :)

I did my weigh-in yesterday.  164.4.  Stupid scale.  Or stupid me, for not working out and going to picnics.  My serious focus is now on my weight loss goal.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hump Day

So tonight I went to the gym and ran for 30 minutes at 5.5 mph.  Then I hopped on the stationary bike for 15 minutes.  I'm still frustrated with myself and I'm not sure why. 

The only exciting part of my day?  I bought a shelf and put it together!  Woo!

I promise I will be positive soon, I'm just not really upbeat right now :(

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In a Funk

So tonight when I came home from work I went to the grocery store and stocked up on some more veggies for the week.  I get so mad at myself for not sticking to things.  I think about last week and how I did so well Monday - Friday afternoon.  Then I let myself eat carbs this weekend and it's like I allowed the flood gates to open.  You know what I mean?  I'm just frustrated.  I've wanted for so long to be in the 140's and I really thought this time would be different.  I'm by no means giving up, because I still have plenty of time until July 15th and even beyond that I have time.  I really thought the St. Thomas trip would be the final wake-up call to get my butt in gear.  I'm fine with the working out, if I go into the gym with no expectations.  I've found it's the times I tell myself what I have to do turn into me cheating myself.  Urghhhh, just really overwhelmed right now.

It doesn't help that I log onto Facebook and I see that one old friend has lost 20 lbs on the South Beach diet and another has lost 30 lbs on Weight Watchers.  I think I need to call the dietitian offered through the EAP at work.  Maybe that could be what really helps me to realize what it is that I need to do to change my diet to see the scale drop?

I did workout tonight.  I really wanted to run intervals again for an hour, but ended up calling it quits after 20 minutes.  What's up with that?  Then when I came back to my apartment I got on the stationary bike for 30 minutes.  So I can be happy I did something, just not what I was expecting.  See I should be happier and yet I just beat myself up.  No good. 
My sister shared this article on Google Reader today.  Not sure how it makes me feel other than sad that I am only 1 lb less than that horrible chunky drawing of the girl from 1990-1992!  Thanks, Meg!


When I got home from work I was shocked to see a beat-up Honda in my parking lot :)  Why?  Because Scott wasn't supposed to be home and he was!  Thankfully he was home because I'm not sure if I would have worked out!  Seriously.

So we laced up our sneakers and went to the gym.  Actually, neither of us lace our sneakers since we have those bungee cord shoelaces ... rambling.

At the gym I decided to try intervals of walking/jogging/running again.  This time I was hoping for a better outcome than the last time I tried and ended up with major underwear issues.  So I started off by walking at 4.0 mph for 2 minutes, jogging at 5.0 mph for 3 minutes, then running at 7.0 for 2 minutes (I kept a 0.5 incline for the entire time).  I did this until I reached 30 minutes, 4 intervals with an extra 2 minutes of running.  Trust me, the sweat was dripping!  I think I will be incorporating more of these workouts.  I finished and felt like I could keep going!  My knee didn't hurt either :)

Scott has mentioned several times that interval training is what helps you gain speed.  So when I do my longer runs, it's okay to go a little slower because I'm building endurance and I'm able to sprint it out in the end. 

When we got back we did DAY 8 of the 30 Day Shred.  Yes, I skipped yesterday's Shred, but it's still Day 8!

I forgot to mention how my morning weigh-in went.  Last Monday when I had my first weigh-in, well first serious weigh-in since I made my "lose 15 lb goal", I weighed a little heavier than I normally do.  I'm taking it as a sign that if I am going to lose 15 lbs I needed that extra water weight last Monday! All kidding aside, last Monday I weighed 165.1.  This Monday I weighed 163.5.  So about 1.5 lbs lost! Gosh, I hate revealing numbers!  But if I'm serious and want to be honest with myself, I have to. (side note, I definitely calculated in my head that it was 2.5 lbs lost and just realized I was wrong, not as exciting now)

Since I told myself I could have carbs, I'm a little nervous that I won't lose anything.  When I get home tonight I have to take a good look in my fridge and whip up some veggie snacks for work, and see what I have for dinner.  If I want to reach 150 lbs, I can't sabotage myself!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekend Recap

My weekend turned out to be really great :)

Friday after work, Scott and I headed off to Buffalo Wild Wings for what he thought was a family graduation party to celebrate me earning my A.A. in American Sign Language.  Little did he know (well, he says he knew something was going on) some of his friends from high school, college, and work were there for a "send off" party.  I know it was a little silly to throw a going away party for him, he'll be gone for just 3 months, but I failed at throwing him surprise 25th birthday and felt the need to redeem myself.  I felt it turned out okay, he said he had a good time.  I guess that's all that matters!  To my "readers" who helped me out with reserving the tables and baking the sweets, thanks! 

Saturday morning we got up a little late and headed out for our run around 11:30.  We ran the "ASHA loop" approximately 3.3 miles total.  I was proud of myself for not asking to walk!  We came home and finished DAY 7 of the 30 Day Shred.  Before we left for our run we went out to Dicks Sporting Goods and bought 4 lb weights.  I decided it was time to graduate from my 3 lb weights.

That afternoon my sister came over and we went to the Montgomery mall and then headed to VA to visit our friend.  It was a lovely evening of girl talk, chips and salsa, and beautiful weather!  Then to complete the night we went and got frozen yogurt.

This morning, what should have been a 45 minute drive home turned into a 2 hour "try to make it out of VA/DC alive"!  So we got a little lost on the drive home.  Thankfully, I was not the one behind the wheel.  To celebrate my graduation, my family went out to Matchbox for lunch.  It was a good time with great food.  This was the first time my Dad has had a beer since his heart attack.  Leading up to lunch I was nervous that he wouldn't have a good time.  Like my Mom said, "everything in moderation".  He said his sandwich was great but did feel guilty for eating a pickle because of the amount of sodium.  Again, it was one day.  He doesn't eat like this everyday.

I just got back from the gym where I ran for 45 minutes at 5.4 mph with a 0.5 incline.  Approximately 550 calories burned and 4.06 miles.  Not to bad considering I ran on a full stomach.  I'm not doing The Shred today, I just want to relax.  You can bet tomorrow morning I will be sweating away to the DVD.

Now to check in with the diet side of things.  I was following the South Beach diet pretty well.  Focusing on eliminating sugars, carbs, fruits, etc.  Friday I started to feel lightheaded and wasn't sure why.  I convinced myself that I had made myself nervous over the surprise party that was to happen in the evening.  All day I had a pounding headache and a nauseous feeling.  I decided I was going to have a carb and not feel guilty.  A co-worker and I grabbed frozen yogurt (sugar-free for me) and I put a few pretzels on mine.  I love the sweet and salty taste together!  I don't know if it was the pretzels, the frozen yogurt, or the relief of taking a break from work but, it worked!  At dinner I had 1 beer and I did get a salad with chicken on it.  I should have been better about my choice and ordered the grilled chicken, but I got the chicken tender pieces.  Saturday morning at breakfast I had an egg white omelet with whole grain toast.  For dinner that night I had chips and salsa and for my main course I had soft chicken tacos, minus the tortilla.  Today, I allowed myself to have 2 slices of pizza, half of crab cake (didn't eat the roll), and a beer.  I don't regret any of my choices.

The weekends are just hard when it comes to eating because eating is such a social thing.  All of my encounters with friends and family on the weekends involve food in some way.  I think the biggest problem I have is obsessing over the things I eat.  That's why making healthier selections and eating less of the meal help me to walk away from the table with a satisfied feeling.  I am trying harder to tell myself to stop when I am no longer hungry.  During the week it is much easier to eat only vegetables and lean proteins.  I am still trying to find out what works best for me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Short and Sweet

Yesterday the exercise bug did not bite me!  I managed to force myself to 20 minutes on the stationary bike and then complete DAY 5 of the 30 Day Shred.

Today I didn't have to go into work until 9:30, so I woke up and went to the gym.  I had every intention to run 40 minutes however, I was sweating so bad I couldn't take it.  I don't think it helped to see the lady next to me wearing long sleeves and pants - she made me even hotter.  I ran for 20 minutes and called it quits.  I was actually a little afraid I might pass out.  When I got off the treadmill I tried to adjust the thermostat in the gym, but it was locked.  When I walked outside I realized how much cooler it was and how a run around the community would have been nicer and probably more productive. 

I did DAY 6 of the 30 Day Shred this morning and again, cried myself through the push-ups.  I even managed to hit my foot on a speaker while jogging in place.  That really hurt! 

Honestly, who likes push-ups?  I can't do anything but a girl push-up and even then I feel I am doing it wrong.  My wrists feel as if they are going to snap!  Maybe I need to try the 100 push-up challenge and work myself into them.  Right now, I just hate them!

If the World doesn't end tomorrow, I plan to do a long run outside.  If it does, nice knowing ya! :)  I think I will be lacing up my sneakers ...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yesterday I walked into my apartment to what looked like the set from Bubble Boy.  Maintenance is doing construction on our patio and the one above.  Apparently, the damage to our patio was more than just the support from the door frame, there was something wrong with the baseboard/foundation.  So they had to tear up part of our carpet.  My living room was a complete mess!  Even the cable/Internet was unplugged and the outlet was inside of the plastic bubble, blocked off from my reach!  *gasp* 

I had plans to come home and clean, but that idea went out the window.  I did try to pick up my bathroom/bedroom but I felt weird in my apartment with the crew around.  I could have gone to the gym.  I should have gone to the gym.  (ONLY 16 LEFT TO TRAIN FOR THIS 10K)  Instead, I found myself driving to Bed, Bath & Beyond to buy a much needed (riiiiight) duvet and duvet cover.  So I probably spent as much money as I would have calories if I had gone to the gym - trying not to focus on that!  When I got back around 6:30, the crew was gone and I was free to do as I pleased.  So I decided to pick up my room a little more and put together the duvet cover. 

The guilty feelings sank in and the "Jillian, you'll be upset at yourself tomorrow" mantra began to chant in my head.  So I did Day 4 of the 30 Day Shred.  No, I did not cry this time doing push-ups.  So happy I did it.

Tonight, I tutor and then plan to go run at the gym.  Target is 40 minutes with either a 0.5 or 1.0 incline.  Scott tells me that will help to simulate outside running. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

White Flag

I almost flew my white flag today, almost.

Before I decided I was starting the South Beach diet, I had made plans to go to lunch with a co-worker today.  Total sabotage on Day 2?  Not quite.  I think I did pretty well!  For breakfast I had grilled chicken breast (weird) and snacked on celery and guacamole.  For lunch my co-worker and I headed to California Pizza Kitchen.  I browsed the menu before we got there and I knew what I wanted before I walked in the door. 

I decided on the half Roasted Vegetable Salad minus the corn.  Everything on the salad is approved in Phase 1 of SB.  I was a little shaky about ordering the Dijon Vinaigrette dressing, but found in my SB book that there was a recipe for the same dressing so I figured it couldn't be that horrible for me.  I added grilled salmon to my salad and topped it off with an unsweetened iced tea.

Then temptation really sank in when we were across from 16 Handles.  I know they serve no sugar added flavors so I was super excited to see which ones they were offering.  The only flavor that was sugar-free was Praline, which was great.  However, I was secretly hoping for Mint!  I was ready to pay for my no-topping frozen yogurt when I realized there were nuts on the toppings bar!  SCORE!  I was able to add some chopped peanuts and almonds to my yogurt.  Absolutely AMAZING :)

When I got back to work I realized I didn't feel stuffed but I was completely satisfied.

Working out tonight made me want to throw up my arms and surrender.  I was just not in the mood.  I started off on the stationary bike for 20 minutes.  I wasn't feeling it.  I then went to the gym and decided I would do jogging/running/walking intervals.  I did 3 min jogging, 3 min running, 3 min walking, 3 min jogging, 3 min running, then 5 min walking.  I wanted to go more but I just couldn't.  Not because I didn't want to but because I had the worst case of underwear riding.  TMI?  I came back to my apartment and finished Day 3 of the 30 Day Shred.   So glad to be done!

Now to shower, clean, and watch Glee! 


This picture makes me really happy:

Yesterday was my Uncle's birthday and he and my Dad went fishing.  I can't tell you how great it is to see this smile on my Dad's face :)  When I saw my Dad last Friday (May 13th) I thought, "WOW!  He looks so much younger!"  He's officially lost 20 lbs since he went to the hospital. 

That night my Dad prepared salmon for dinner and it was really good.  It was great to see him moving around and grilling outside.  After dinner my family went to my grandparent's house to celebrate my Grandfather's 83rd birthday!  It must be the medicine but I noticed my Dad wasn't acting like he used to.  Typically my Dad doesn't mind if you rest your head on his shoulder while sitting on the couch.  When I tried to do that he immediately pushed me off and told me not to touch him.  Maybe he was just irritated and thought I was pitying him - I'm not sure. 

My Grandmother had a spread of snack food on the counter.  Everything I looked at were all things the doctors said were on the "NO" list.  I'm proud of my Dad for not snacking and even prouder he wasn't drinking alcohol.  Not to say the temptation wasn't there; he did have a few sips of my Mom's wine.

Call me sappy, but I teared up a little when my cousin sent me this picture.  Here he is doing the one thing he really loves to do!  I really hope he is feeling better as he sits at home waiting to go back to work.  He told me the days were really long and sometimes his medicines leave him with no appetite and drowsy. 

*I'm sure my father released this fish*

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday :)

I plan to officially sign up for the ZOOMA 10K tonight.  The race is on June 5th; just around the corner!

Instead of doing walking/running intervals on the treadmill, I decided I would run.  My pace is still slow but like the quote I posted the other day, time is more important!  I ran for 30 minutes at a 0.5 incline.  Distance was about 2.6 miles for about 350 calories.  Then I hopped on the stationary bike for 10 minutes at level 5.  Distance was about 2.7 miles and calories, I think, was about 60.  I can't remember, nor can I read the picture I took of the screen.

After the gym I came home did 2 loads of laundry and folded all of the clothes I had lying around the apartment.  I unloaded the dishwasher, only to load it back up, swept the kitchen floor, and wiped down the counter tops.  After cleaning, I decided I needed to make another mess.  I went ahead and cut up celery to go with my guacamole, then put some chicken on the George Foreman grill.  With my South Beach cookbook, I whipped up one of the chicken recipes (chicken stuffed with spinach and provolone) and called it a night in the kitchen.

I just finished DAY 2 of the 30 Day Shred - woo!  Here's to consistency!


I turned in my revised INTENTION CARD today. 

Goal:  Lose 15 lbs by July 15th


Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Loot

Here's all of the yummy things I grabbed at the Farmer's Market yesterday:

Holy Kale!
I made sure to cut up my kale right away for kale chips.  I decided to play around and try out different flavors:

1. Garlic infused olive oil with kosher salt and pepper
2. Garlic infused olive oil with red chili pepper flakes and a little kosher salt
3. Garlic infused olive oil with garlic salt
4. Garlic infused olive oil with parmesan cheese and rosemary

Today has been great so far.  Scott and I went to Dunkin' Donuts for much needed coffee and breakfast followed by a trip to GoodWill to drop off some clothes.  We then split and did our own things for the morning.  I made my way to Bed Bath & Beyond for a salad spinner then headed over to Ulta to get new makeup brushes and spend way too much money on other girly things.  I've been wanting to get a french manicure for awhile and figured today was the day.  I tried out Nails by Sean, which happened to be a nice little salon.  Then I made my way to Whole Foods to stock up on fresh veggies.  I plan to stick to the South Beach diet for the next couple of weeks.  I've finally decided that my refined wellness goal will be to lose 15 lbs by July 15th.  That's about 9 weeks, very achievable if I maintain focus.  I think I might have to ask Scott if I'm allowed to paint "St. Thomas" on one of the walls to remind myself! 

When I got home Scott was on the stationary bike and he motivated me to go to the gym.  The back of my knee has been bothering me so he suggested I try biking instead of running.  Last night I slept with an ice pack and didn't feel any pain when I woke up.  After I biked for 30 minutes (Level 10, 9.03 miles, 250 calories), Scott and I did Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.  Consider this my Day 1

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lazy Saturday

This morning I did as I promised myself, I went to the Farmer's Market: 

Off of 28 and Monroe St.

This was the first time I had ever gone to one of these events with the intention to buy whatever I wanted.  I was surprised by the amount of flowers and herbs for sale.  Next time I think I might purchase some herbs and then go to Home Depot to buy a pot to plant them in.  I think the smell of the herbs and the bright green would really spruce (pun, ha ha) my kitchen!  I ended up buying a bunch of kale, a gallon size bag full of spinach, two containers full of snow peas, and a loaf of spinach-provolone bread.  $19 spent.  Things I learned about going:

  • Make sure to bring cash
  • Mingle with the people selling their crops
  • Bring recycled bags/totes
  • Getting there an hour after it starts isn't as horrifying as I thought it would be, I thought I had to be there right at 9 am if I wanted a chance at the good stuff

I might have lucked out because the weather was dreary out, but I was able to get the things I wanted and there was a decent size crowd of people doing the same.

Today's workout was the same as Thursday's workout.

I started off running at 5.3 mph at a 1.0 incline for 10 minutes. 
Walked 10 minutes at a 4.3 mph and a 8.0 incline
Ran 10, walked 10, Ran 10, Walked 5, and finished the hour workout off by running the last 5 minutes.

Total distance 4.9 miles, 715 calories, 60 minutes.

Friday, May 13, 2011

"The biggest mistake that new runners make is that they tend to think in mile increments--1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles. Beginning runners need to think in minutes, not miles." --Budd Coates, four-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier/coach

Pardon my French but,

DAMN that EMERGENCY STOP!! I hit it again!!

Despite hitting the stop, I was still able to see where I was at when the machine stopped.  I was running at a pace of 5.3 mph with a 0.5 incline.  Calories was 110 and distance was 0.86 mile.

I decided I would try and run intervals tonight.  I know I should have done short intervals but I went for running 10 minutes then walking 10 minutes.  When I walked I walked at a 8.0 incline and at a rate of 4.2/4.3 mph.

Total workout 4.86 miles and 700 calories burned. 

*this is from yesterday, I couldn't get blogspot to work*

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm Free!!!!

Let me show you how I celebrated ....

Decisions, Decisions
I indulged in a Peanut Butter Cup shake from Cheeburger Cheeburger.  I even got the regular size! *gasp*  Better ice cream than a beer, right?  People say you should never drink alone ...  :)

In all honesty, I needed to celebrate!  I finally finished my A.A. in American Sign Language!  It was a tight squeeze, working full time and being considered a full time night student but, I DID IT!  I understand that I went about things a little backwards, first the B.A. then an A.A.  Hell, maybe I'll try for my GED next?  I kid.

I really hope to stay involved in the Deaf Community and find someone who I can mentor with on the weekends.  I would love to do some part-time interpreting.  A little extra cash?  Yes, please!  I have to stay motivated about this and I have to remind myself that I didn't give up my social life for the last two years for nothing!

Tonight I am opting for an exercise free night.  I know that exercise is a great way to relieve stress but another personal favorite is scratching things off my to-do list.  I don't know, there's nothing better than the sense of accomplishment and a clean apartment!

In other news, we had our first St. Thomas meeting today.  It was nice to see faces of everyone taking this challenge.  We learned some valuable information and watched two YouTube videos about creating goals and motivation.  It's made me want to rethink my goal.  At first I wrote, "weight loss with a focus on heart healthy eating" ... do I dare change it to my silly goal of "to look good in a bathing suit"? The competition ends July 15th, so right around the time my family is going on vacation.  It would be great to have met my full goal at that time, but I want this to be more long time.  I don't want to approach July 15th and call everything off.  I think a lot of my goals are more long term.  When I posed this question at the meeting, it was brought to my attention that my goal needs to be what I want my outcome to be by July 15th.  Is wanting to be down 15 lbs unrealistic?  I mean that's about 2 months from now.  I think that's healthy ... thoughts?

I was thinking just making a simple goal of "to lose weight by exercising and eating healthy".  My behavioral changes will be to exercise at least 5 times a week, incorporate more fruits and vegetables (Farmer's Market this weekend!) in my diet, and ... hmmm ... I can't put my finger on it, but I want something that hits close to home.  I mean, altering my diet and exercising more are great preventive steps against heart attack, especially if it's genetic, but I want my goal to be more personal and that's why I think the bathing suit goal would be good.  However, I will not be doing any before or after photos for public display!  I'm not sure if I'm ready for that :)

Off to clean, goal think, and sleep!

P.S. I only took the stairs today!

Article about LDL

I'm snagging this article to share.  It came from my work's Wellness Blog that is posted to Facebook.  Interesting read, especially because I did share some of the same thoughts about LDL.  My Dad's LDL was at 121 after he was tested in the hospital.  Since he has had a heart attack, it is required that his LDL be under 70. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Do you know how hard it was to tell myself to exercise?  VERY HARD!  Especially after going to California Pizza Kitchen with my ASL class.  So when I got home I debated what I was going to do.  I sat and sat and sat some more.  Finally it was 7:30 and I had to make a decision.  So I decided to pull out Scott's stationary exercise bike.  Let me tell you, not the most comfortable thing in the world!  I'm half tempted to purchase a seat cover to make it softer.  Even though I only biked for 20 minutes, it was still something. 

Goals that I want to focus on while at work:
1. Only use the stairs - no elevators!  How easy is this and how often do we take the easy way out?
2. Say no to foods brought in and put in the "usual place".  Today alone I ate about 6 donut holes, hello that equals about a whole donut, Jillian!
Yesterday I left work early to go home and finish studying for my final exams.  I decided I would go to the gym and study while running.  I started off at the usual pace of 5.3 mph and then decided to add a little bit of an incline.  Things were going quite well until I tried to change the page on my study guide.  The paper slipped off of the ledge on the machine, as I went to grab it I hit the dreaded emergency stop!  I hate that!  I had an idea of how far I ran and was able to catch the time before the machine turned off.  This is not the first time this has happened to me.

Since I was only planning to run for 30 minutes, I turned the machine back on and went for another 13 minutes.  I wish I could report my total distance and calories, but I have no idea!

After showering and completed two final exams, I headed to the grocery store.  I picked up some kale leaves, egg whites, turkey sausage, spinach, shrimp, and salmon kabobs.  I am such an impulse shopper!  I decided I was going to make more kale chips and I think they turned out a lot better!  The trick?  Use flavored infused olive oil!  I used roasted garlic olive oil and I feel they taste so much difference.  Scott even said he thought they were better :) 

Since I frequent Dunkin' Donuts about two times a week for iced coffee and my egg white flat bread, I decided I would try making my own.  With the turkey sausage, white eggs, and spinach, I created my own concoction of scrambled eggs.  I added about a cup of low fat cottage cheese to help act as a binder.  I put everything in a casserole dish since I wasn't planning to take the time and create individual sandwich patties.  This morning I was able to scoop what I wanted and microwave.  I threw an Arnold roll thin in the toaster oven.  Not the same, but close enough for me!

The salmon kabobs and shrimp were our dinner last night.  I love having my parent's foreman grill!  I have grilled a lot on it over the last 2 weeks.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

This weekend was great!  Like I mentioned in the last post, Saturday morning Scott and I woke up and went on a run.  We decided to grab pizza for a late lunch and ended up eating outside in the beautiful weather.  After getting home, we cleaned up a bit, relaxed, and then got ready to head to Frederick for my cousin's 17th birthday party.  Her birthday was Friday, but that was the same night as her prom.  I can't believe she's 17 already and I can't believe how beautiful she looked at prom!

My cousins Jordan and Sarah

My sister (Megan) and her fiance (Ben) were already at my parents' house when we arrived.  Dad and Mom both looked good.  Mom has even lost 5 lbs - I have no idea where she had 5 lbs to lose!  You can tell that my Dad is weak despite looking good.  He went to the doctor the day before and found out they had given him the wrong dosage of the medicine that helps to slow down his heart.  Apparently he was taking a double dose, two times a day!  Hopefully by reducing to the right amount, he'll be in better spirits.  The doctor nixed his fishing trip to Canada at the end of May.  I can tell he is disappointed; he loves going fishing, especially to Canada with his friends.  He's officially off work until June 6.  I hope he doesn't drive himself crazy in the meantime.  Once he returns to work, he'll be on light labor for 2 weeks. 

On Mother's Day, my Dad, Mom, and I met up with Megan and Ben at Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast.  Before you think, "WHOA, Dunkin' Donuts?!?! Didn't your Dad just have a heart attack???", simmer down!  At first we were trying to decide where we wanted to go.  Dad suggested the restaurant down the block, Mom wasn't a fan.  Although Dad wanted a pancake and he is allowed to have that, I think Mom was apprehensive about the other temptations of the restaurants.  Since it was Mother's Day, Mom decided to go with my suggestion of Dunkin' Donuts for iced coffee and a flat bread breakfast sandwich.  Let me tell you, I absolutely love Dunkin' Donuts' breakfast.  It's almost a bad habit!  However, I never feel guilty about my selection.  I typically get the turkey sausage, egg white, and spinach flat bread - no cheese.  If you follow Weight Watchers, the sandwich is 6 points - not bad considering in a day you are allowed 29 points.  If you don't want turkey sausage you can get a veggie egg white, not bad either.

I was nervous at first that my Dad wouldn't enjoy his sandwich and think too much about why he was eating the sandwich instead of a large pancake.  Verdict?  He actually enjoyed it!  See, you don't have to go to Dunkin' Donuts and indulge in a half dozen donuts or a greasy sausage sandwich!  Even without the cheese, the sandwich still has a lot of flavor and is filling, thanks to the whole grain flat bread.

My Dad's mother is a diabetic and my grandfather helps in tremendously in administering her medicines, taking her blood sugar each morning, and making sure her prescriptions are filled.  While visiting them yesterday, my grandfather pulled out his new electronic blood pressure cuff.  Of course, my Mom has to volunteer my father to have his blood pressure taken.  It turned into a blood pressure party, with each of us taking a turn putting the cuff on and taking each other's blood pressure.  I'm pretty sure mine was 116/78.

I can see in my Dad's mannerisms that he is experiencing a little depression.  He claims he's just tired but I think he is spending too much time reminding himself that he had a heart attack.  It's noticeable in the things he says.  My grandmother was telling a story about someone she knows with horrible eating habits.  As she detailed what her friend consumes in a normal day, my father made the comment that he never ate like that before and yet he's the one who has the heart attack.  If there's anything I've learned, genetics plays an important roll in ones' risk of heart attack. 

By the time I got home yesterday and began studying for my final exams, I decided I wasn't going to pressure myself into a gym trip.  I had ran the 3 previous days and planned to run tonight (Monday).  I decided to take the day off.  I have 2 finals tonight that I cannot wait to be over with!  I still need to study a little more, so I will be leaving work a little early to cram some more, then take my exams.  Hopefully I finish early and can get home before 7.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New Snack

Exercise recap:

Yesterday I got home from work and went straight to the gym.  I ran for 35 minutes, distance of 3.10 miles, and 410 calories burned.

Today, Scott and I woke up late and went out for a run.  The weather was beautiful.  We ran for about 2 miles and walked for about 1.25 miles.  Our route was from our apartment and making a loop around ASHA.

I decided to try something new the other day - KALE CHIPS.  My mom and sister had been talking about how they were seeing kale chip recipes everywhere.  So I decided to make my own Monday night when I came home from class.  Really easy!  For about $0.68 I was able to buy 4 huge kale leaves.  I found a recipe that said to drizzle with oil and kosher salt, bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes.

Just cut the leaves away from the stem.  I would recommend bigger "chips" because they shrink

After, not too bad!
I was able to get Scott to try a few.  Overall, not too bad.  Very light, almost so light you feel like you are eating nothing!  Next time I am making sure I only use 1 Tablespoon of olive olive, I think I may have used too much.  Lucky for me, the Farmers Market starts up next Saturday and I can't wait to go and buy bunches of kale and other fresh fruits and vegetables!

Apparently at Wednesday's Wellness Fair at work, someone was there making healthy, quick recipes.  I went to her blog the other day and saw she also had a recipe for kale chips.  Same idea - kale, olive oil, and salt.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Update on my Dad

So for all who care to see, here is a picture of my Dad.  Notice the cake in his hand, justifiable because he is celebrating his 50th birthday:

From talking to my Mom, she's let me know that he is doing okay.  He has been off work for the last week and will be meeting with his Cardiologist tomorrow at 2:30 pm.  He's currently on a couple of medicines to help his heart slow down and heal.  The side effect to the medicine is it makes him feel weak.  He has already lost 15 lbs!  GO DAD!  His starting weight was 228 lbs.

I'm really proud of him for choosing to listen to the doctor and do everything in his power to stay in good health.  I'm even more proud of him for being able to sit at home alone, knowing that he would much rather be out doing something.  From what I know, the doctors told him he won't be able to lift more than 15 lbs for the next 3-6 months.  As far as going back into work, I'm not sure how soon that will happen.  His job requires him to lift things much heavier than 15 lbs and climb (he does heating/AC/plumbing work for the county government).

2011 has proven to be a very challenging year and it's only May!  My boyfriend's mother had a stroke in early January and she is still recovering.  She spent almost 2 months in the ICU at Baltimore.  She is still regaining her short term memory and impresses me every time I see her.  My boyfriend and I have had a lot on our plate this year and I think it's important to remind everyone of the warning signs for stroke and heart attack.  Scott's Mom experienced stroke symptoms of sudden vision problems and a severe headache.  My Dad's heart attack symptoms were intense jaw pain and a minor pain in his left arm pit.  You can find a lot more information about the warning signs by visiting the American Heart Association .

Did you know May is Stroke and High Blood Pressure Awareness month?  Let me get thinking about something I can do, since both issues have hit close to home.

If you want to read more about Scott's Mom's story you can visit her Caring Bridge website.  I can't describe the emotional roller coaster we were on in January but, Scott does a good job detailing what happened.  When I received the call about my Dad's heart attack, I couldn't help but feel the same emotions.  I am so fortunate that both my Dad and Scott's Mom are alright. 

So what about me?

Let's see ... I found out today that there are 31 participants in the Wellness challenge.  I decided that this means there is no more playing around!  There are 72 days left til July 15, 2011.  That means 72 days of physical activity and 72 days of incorporating more heart healthy meals into my diet.

When I left work today, I went straight to Target and bought a new scale.  We already have one in the apartment, but Scott has complained that he doesn't think it weighs right.  So I've decided I want consistency and I want a scale that can help me measure body fat and all sorts of other functions.  I also bought two CDs of workout music.  This makes me so excited because I typically run on the treadmill listening to my Pandora radio station but sometimes I get stuck on sad songs that really don't motivate me.

Tonight's Workout:  30 minute run, 360 calories burned, 2.72 miles

I've really been taking things at a slow pace.  I ran the first 20 minutes at 5.3 mph.  For each minute more I bumped it up another 0.1 mph.  For the last 2 minutes I ran at 6.5 mph.

I also had the opportunity to map out some races I want to do this summer.  Since Scott will be away in Seattle from May 31 - August 27, I want to stay busy.  My sister agreed to run the Zooma 10K with me.  In August, my Mom has agreed to walk the 5K  with my sister and I.  I want to look for more things that involve my Dad.  I am definitely interested in biking with my Dad this summer, once he is cleared to exercise again.

Goodbye MC

Almost what ...

Almost done school! 

You cannot understand how happy this makes me! 

To be able to come home and get back into a routine of going to the gym, fixing healthy dinners, and having a little more free time! 

So long to working 6:30 - 2:30 then having class until 8:00! 

I have so many ideas in my head of the things I want to do, starting with training for this:  Zooma 10K ... now to ask my sister to do it with me!

(Holy (!)'s in this post!)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Video Blog

If you want to know what's been going on with me, I decided to do a video post to explain ... 

Video Part I - From April 28, 2011

Video Part II - From April 28, 2011