Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Future

Y'all.  I know.

Obviously it's been awhile, so I felt like I needed to write a post to talk about things.

In the past when there was a blogging lag, it always meant that I was failing/off the wagon and was too ashamed to blog.  I'm happy to report that the opposite is true here, I've been actually doing really well and feel like for the first time in my life, I have it figured out.  I know how to eat, I don't have a toxic relationship with food, I'm learning to be nicer about my body, and I found workouts I really like.  Like anyone else on a long weight loss journey, I have my days where I'm just legitimately exhausted with it and am ready for the losing process to be over, but I don't have the urge to just 100% throw in the towel anymore.  I just process my feelings and deal with it then move on.

As of today I'm at 183 pounds (highest weight was 250 in 2009), and I am 44 pounds lighter than I was in 2014.  Here's a couple of side by sides for comparison, the left was in 2013 at probably 220ish pounds, the right was this weekend at the Oregon State Fair at 183 pounds.


Here's a bonus closeup of my face with my goat BFF for the day:




Things are really good.  I'm healthy, inching ever closer to my still to be determined goal weight and I am passionately in love with my workouts.  I feel pretty, strong and depending on the day, I feel so tiny compared to where I was!  My job is really good.  My marriage is awesome.  Life in general is really good and I have tons to be thankful for.

So why am I not blogging about all of this stuff?

For one, my life hasn't been very interesting lately from a blogger perspective.  It's my life and I love it, but my day to day is pretty standard and isn't exactly going to keep you on the edge of your seat.  We go to work, come home, I work out, I make dinner, we watch TV.  We're doing less trips/concerts these days, so there's less of that stuff to chat about.  And my HIIT/strength training stuff, while amazing and working for me, is quite different than the running thing.  With running there was always plenty to talk about with training runs, and there was always a big buildup to some race or another.  With my new workouts, gains are harder to quantify and write about.  It's more like "hey I can do 45 seconds of burpees without dying and 2 weeks ago it was only 20 seconds", or "two weeks ago I was using 10 pound weights for bicep curls and now I can comfortably do 15 pound weights."  I mean is that interesting to anyone, or do I just sound like a douche?  I kind of feel like I sound like one of those gym bros when I talk about that stuff.

The second part is, I just don't feel a spark to blog and it just doesn't legitimately occur to me anymore.  I have plenty of time to do it, I just don't.  I don't know what the future of my blog is at this point.  Part of me feels weird/guilty that I have my shit together after all these years and am doing well, and could be sharing the love with others so to speak.  I always feel good when people say they've been inspired to make changes in their diet or exercise stuff due to seeing my weight loss or whatever.  Then another part of me, much like what happened with my relationship with running, just isn't feeling it and keeping up with it feels exhausting.  It just feels like I'm forcing things at this point, and I also feel like a hoseweed lately when I'm all like "oh I'll be better about blogging, I promise" and then of course don't.

So for right now, the status quo is that the blog is staying up, but will be updated when and if I feel like it.  There is so much history here, and it's so fun for me to look back on my old posts and see how far I've come physically and mentally.  (Plus I have apparently educated hundreds that Vega One protein powder will make you puke and crap yourself into an out of body experience....that post is STILL my most popular and most commented on after all these years!)  And again, I will do updates, but they may be more like every 3-6 months instead of every week.

I hope this doesn't bum people out too badly.  I realize that not having fresh content means a loss of readers and interest, I totally don't blame you guys if you jump ship.  I truly have appreciated the support I've gotten over the years, and the blog has been such an amazing way for me to process feelings and finally get it together.  I made some of the best friends of my life due to my blog (shout out to my Lovely Ladies!)  I don't take that for granted at all, I just think maybe I need a break.  Hopefully people will still be around for the updates when they happen.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

FB Mass Results

So my FB Mass program wraps up today (schedule today calls for optional stretching, hopefully I can fit it in), so I thought I'd update my progress and talk about what's coming next!

This program was a weird one for me, and in hindsight I wish I'd chosen to do the abs or glutes/thigh programs they have, or maybe just curated a schedule geared towards fat burning.  I am just so new to the weight lifting thing that I read "mass" and interpreted as "strength".  Dumb on my part because there really is a difference, mass building is exactly that, getting huge ass muscles.  I was surprised in 4 short weeks that my arms went from being flabby but kind of sort of thin, to them being bulky with muscle.  Now being muscular isn't a bad thing but my goals right now are to be smaller, so this program wasn't a good fit for me now.  I'd love to revisit it later when I am at goal weight and have (hopefully) less body fat.  For now though, I want to focus on actual weight loss and getting lean muscle.

There wasn't a fitness test with this one so I have no comparison for strength, but I have lost 2.8 pounds and 1.5 inches since the end of my FB Fit program.  Not super amazing, but you know, I guess I'm chipping away at it.  I do feel very confident when wearing sleeveless shirts now and find that that's a majority of what I wear these days!  Here are some progress pictures.  I don't feel like I look much smaller, but maybe that's me being insane.

Creeper Molly Alert!



Obligatory Flexing Picture
So what's next?  Well we actually leave tomorrow for Los Angeles, so I will get somewhat of a respite from working out.  We will be walking around a lot, and if time permits I will squeeze in short HIIT workouts in the hotel, but I'm sure we'll be eating a lot too.  I'm just going to be as balanced and sane as I possibly can be while also enjoying my time down there.  Once I get back I am going to be doing the FB Abs program, which is another short 4 week thing like the Mass program was.  I really want to focus on strengthening my core and hopefully tighten up the tragedy that is my stomach.  I feel so slimmed down and toned everywhere else, but my stomach just really bums me out.  I'm hoping that between a core work focus and shifting back to focusing on HIIT, I'll be able to reduce fat in that area and see a difference.

I've also dropped back to 1400 calories for the past week and a half or so.  It kind of blows honestly, not because I'm hungry really but because I really have to be on top of tracking in order to make sure I stay where I'm supposed to be, and it also really cuts out various little extras I like to have.  I did see my weight finally drop a little so I think the stalls I was seeing was definitely a calorie thing.  

I got a couple of questions about my side project, so I'm happy to share a teensy bit about it.  Long story short it's kind of a music project and I'm advocating for someone to get into the Rock Hall.  It was something I started as a hobby back at the end of January, but it grew much, much faster than I'd anticipated.  Website, social media presence, contact with the person's family, that sort of thing.  As it stands no one knows anything about me or who I am, they just know me as Project Name.  Since there are so many eyeballs on it (certainly more than here), I guess I'm just being cautious about my privacy so that's why I haven't spilled many details.  I just don't want to link the two because then any rando could find my blog and bam, here's where I live, what I look like, what my husband looks like and hell, even what my dog looks like.  There's some stuff that happened in the beginning that made me jumpy, so I'm just being careful I guess.  There's going to come a point where I think I'll forced to let people in that world know who I am, and then I'll have to make some decisions about the blog.  I'd never get rid of it, but maybe would set it to private or something.  We'll see what happens!

I am so incredibly excited about our LA trip.  Everything in life is generally going very well, but it's always nice to have a break and a change in the routine.  I will be posting plenty of pictures!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I'm Alive, I Promise!

God almighty y'all, I am so sorry.  I've been a horrible blogger, I don't really know why I can't get back into the swing of it, especially since I could easily give little updates here and there, but it honestly slips my mind.  I used to take breaks due to shame of not being on point with working out/weight loss, but thankfully that's not the case here, I'm just literally spacing on blogging and getting caught up in other stuff.  I'll try to be better, but no promises!

Things are actually pretty good on the fitness front.  I finish my Fitness Blender mass program next Thursday, and after LA I'll begin their abs program.  I've got mixed feelings about the mass program, I definitely am a lot stronger and am very happy about that, but my body has changed very little, so that's been a disappointment.  While I'm not so obsessed with the scale at this point, it is still disappointing to see my weight maintain or even bounce up a few pounds.  While of course muscle is denser than fat and all of that noise, the fact remains that number wise I'm sill in the overweight category and I'm awfully tired of steadily hovering in the mid 180s.  Some of that is on me, my diet is not always as on point as it could be, but I do think focusing on lifting heavier has thrown things out of wack too.  Who even knows, maybe it's just strictly diet and all my fault.  I'm hoping that the abs program will help out my belly area, which is the main source of my stress and aggravation.  I'm just so tired of having a roll all the time and my pants not fitting right.  I know I'll figure it out, it's just frustrating to have cut arms, somewhat cut legs and then a flabby belly.  It drives me crazy!

I am still trying to navigate what my food life and eating habits ultimately look like long term.  Higher FODMAP foods have inevitably crept back into my diet and my digestive system is out of wack again and my stomach is puffier  than I would like.  I definitely don't look as slim as I did a month ago.  The worst of it happens when I ingest gluten, so whenever I throw caution to the wind and have something like pizza, bread or regular beer I immediately regret it.  I seriously feel like I'm going to die for about an hour afterwards.  A little bit seems to be fine, so if I have something like croutons in a salad or a small piece of cake it's ok, but a big portion is just not good times for me at all.  It's just so hard, there's this urge to just be a normal person and to not be fussy when we go out to eat, so it's difficult to reconcile the fact that I simply can't really have many things that I used to really enjoy without hardcore paying for it.

Things have been a bit hectic with preparing for LA, but once we get back I want to sit down and really come up with a good meal plan for myself and also create a good stock of freezer meals.  It's just going to be helpful from a dietary and a budget standpoint, it's just kind of getting the will and the organizational prowess to do it!

As far as life stuff, things are pretty mellow and mundane, although our trip is coming up next week and I am VERY excited!  It's been awhile since I've been down there so it'll be good to see all the usual haunts and friends, plus we're checking out some new places.  Specifically Eric is indulging me in a Beach Boys pilgrimage, so I'm quite excited about since I'm obsessed with the Beach Boys to put it mildly.

Other than that it's been the same old same old.  We hosted our friend Kevin over the 4th of July weekend because he ran three marathons, yes THREE, in as many days.  And if your eyes are bugged out at that, he casually informed us that no, that was not the most marathons he'd run consecutively....he once did 8 in a row.  Hey, he enjoys it and it makes him happy, so I say go for it.  He's almost at his goal for 300 marathons for all time, which is incredibly admirable.


Anyway, he was a great house guest and we had a lot of fun.  Probably the funnest thing we did over the weekend was go see Jaws at a brewpub in Portland.  For a whole $2 we got to see the Roy Scheider hotness and also indulge in some pizza (which I immediately regretted) and cider (which I also regretted).  It's always so fun to see a movie like that on the big screen, everyone is so into it and the audience always claps at the end.

What wasn't fun were the fireworks, and yes, I am one of those curmudgeonly people who despises fireworks.  God I hate them.  Assholes in Oregon go across the border to get illegal ones in Washington and it's an absolute nightmare.  From 8 pm until 2 am (several days in a row I might add), our neighborhood turns into a war zone of M80s and other loud, douchey fireworks that people shouldn't have.  Molly goes absolutely out of her mind, the cops don't do squat about it despite the fact they're illegal, we don't get any sleep and it just sucks honestly.  I had to make an emergency call to the vet to get Molly drugs which ended up not helping really, so it was not a fun weekend on that front for me.  I was ready to go back to work by the time it was all said and done!

Other than that it's kind of been work and basic home stuff on the day to day front, then the shelter on Sundays.  My side project is still going steady and well.  Things are just good you know?

Here's a random smattering of pictures from recent stuff!

My main squeeze (and a new top I got for $9!)
I was very excited about the 2 for 1 deal on sunglasses at RiteAid. Molly, not so much
Resting better post fireworks!

Monday, June 27, 2016

10 Minutes

So I had a bit of excitement this weekend and believe it or not, it had to do with running!  I am not sure if you caught it when I posted my PFT results, but I had a TBD next to my "after" timed mile.  I guess I should have mentioned this but I waited until the weekend to do my timed mile because it was simply easier that way.  I technically could run during lunch at work, but didn't feel like dealing with taking a shower here and dealing with the 58 comments about it, so anyways, I did it Saturday.  And wow, is all I can say.

When I began the FB Fit program April 30th, my timed mile was 12:48, which was disappointing since I'd expected more like a 12 minute mile even though I'd taken such a long break from running.  I think some of what affected me was my piss poor attitude about having to run at all, and as anyone who runs knows, the mental stuff is about half to 70% of the battle.

On Saturday my feelings towards running were less volatile I suppose, though I definitely was dreading it.  There was a moment on Saturday morning when I was sipping my coffee that I was doing mental gymnastics with myself, rationalizing that I could totally put it off until Sunday.  It's just so funny, I never have that stuff about my workouts that I do now, I just go do them without thinking about it.  I finally just told myself that it was at worst going to be 12 minutes of my life and that I wouldn't have to do it again until I did another PFT in the future.  (In hindsight I'm so happy I didn't wait because Sunday was flaming hot, and you know how much I loathe that!)  So I laced up my shoes and went to get it over with.  I even decided to run by my house to make it as painless as possible, though I really hate running around my hood and don't feel safe, but at least I wasn't driving a 30 minute round trip to the safe spot where I used to run.  The very first thing I noticed was how much energy and power my legs had, despite not running since my last timed mile 8 weeks ago.  The feeling of my quads actually propelling me forward was noticeable!  The next thing I noticed was how much lung capacity I had, which is not typical of me at all.  There were many times in the past with running where I felt my lungs were about half inflating, but on Saturday I swear I was able to take never ending inhales and things didn't feel as hard as I expected them to.  Suddenly before I knew it I'd hit the half mile point, then I turned around to go home.  I ran until my lungs were burning, and then suddenly it was over and done.

I'd hit a mile.  In 10:02.  I went from running a mile in 12:48 to 10:02.

I have probably at some point in my travels hit a mile in the 10 minute range, I can't even remember honestly.  Saturday felt special though because of the power behind the mile, and I was SO close to getting a sub 10.  I don't know when I'll do a PFT again, but I'm assuming the next time I'd be able to hit a sub 10 mile, and that's crazy.  The experience didn't awaken any deep seated love for running, but I did feel a sense of happiness and accomplishment afterwards that was pretty great.  My body was not quite as happy with me, my feet are still super angry about everything and my legs are still very sore.  (That did not make for a fun leg workout yesterday, let me tell you.)  In general I was left with a lot of muscle fatigue over the weekend that is still resolving itself.

When I was running I always scoffed about strength training, but I'd say it's pretty clear that strength training works!

The rest of the weekend was pretty chill, just a couple of happy hours and of course the Game of Thrones finale.  We usually watch GOT on Mondays because if I watch it before bed on Sundays I have trouble sleeping, but we wanted to watch the finale live.  To give the evening a little more pomp and circumstance I pulled out my newest cooking toy, my cast iron tortilla press, so that I could make fish tacos.  I've used it a couple of times now and while I still feel like I have some learning to do, making tortillas is pretty fun.  They taste a lot better than the store bought ones, that's for sure.


Not much else to report so I will leave you off with a picture of Molly being her beautiful, glamorous self!



Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fitness Test Results and What's Next

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to update you with the results of my personal fitness text after completing my 8 week Fitness Blender program.  If you want more details on the PFT and exactly how to perform the exercises, you can find them here on Fitness Blender's site,.  You could use this fitness test to measure results with any program you choose to do!


I cannot tell you how pleased I was with the results, especially the push ups.  (For the record, they were push ups on my knees).  I have always had a very weak upper body and have never really been able to do push ups unless they were against a wall!  Doing the 7 at the beginning of a program was a big feat, and I was only able to do them because I'd already been working on strength previously.  To be able to do 15 push ups felt so empowering!  I was also blown away by my squats improvement, and also quite shocked by how much my flexibility improved!

As far as physical changes, I regretfully didn't take good before pictures for me to show you guys the difference in my body.  I mean I took some, but I was shirtless and only wearing a sports bra in them, and as much as I love ya'll, I'm not trying to be like half nude on my blog lol.  I did take some after shots, since I feel like I haven't done any types of pictures of myself on here lately.




Here are some stats for you.  I lost 5 inches total:  1.5 from my bust, 1 from my waist, 2 from my hips (!), and a random 0.5 inch from my right thigh.  I get quite giddy when I lose anything from my bust, it's always been a huge source of shame and frankly tons of back pain, so getting rid of 1.5 inches there made me stoked!  And yeah, you can bet your sweet ass I'll take that 2 inch loss on my hips!

The other amazing thing about this whole program?  I went for 8 damn weeks, working out 6 days a week and did NOT get injured.  It was a huge morale boost after constantly being injured in my training for the Seattle half last year.  My body finally no longer feels like the enemy, it finally feels like we're on the same page!

I led with all of that information because if we were going on just the scale alone, things were not impressive.  I lost 2 pounds since beginning the program but I have to be honest, I'm not disappointed nor do I care really.  How can I be disappointed when I am physically fitter and can clearly hit my workouts harder, lift more weight and can see with my own eyes that my body has changed shape and is smaller?  I am dropping my calories to 1500 for the next month just to kind of play around with things, but other than that I'm going to continue healthy eating with foods that will keep my IBS in check, and eat when I'm genuinely hungry.  I'm not too stressed on the eating part really.

So what's next for me?  Not surprisingly I am so happy with Fitness Blender that I have purchased another one of their programs called FB Mass.  This one focuses on strength training, which is something that I've really come to love more than anything I've ever done.  I've always thought I was doomed to a certain body type and that fat was never going to budge from certain places, yet I'm finally seeing the changes I've always desperately wanted since I started picking up weights.  I'm definitely excited to get started (officially on Saturday).  This particular program is only 4 weeks and ends the day before our LA trip, so the timing is perfect.  Once THAT program has ended and we're back from vacation, I'll start their FB Booty program to try to help my tragic cans.

If you guys have any specific questions on the FB Fit program, leave them in the comments and I'll answer them as I can!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Whoops!!!

OMG you guys, I am so sorry!  I didn't post at the beginning of June because I was in Minneapolis, then once I got back I became consumed with both work and my side project and my blog/reading other people's blogs just kind of fell by the wayside!  My side project has kind of become a monster, I say that with love because it's growing in the best of ways, but it is incredibly time consuming and like a second job at times.  Keeping up with the social media involved with it plus doing my actual job is a feat some days!

Anyway the good news is that the blogging break did not equal a break from being healthy and keeping up with my fitness.  While my eating isn't as tight as it could be post FODMAP, I am still going strong with my FB Fit program and actually only have TWO days left.  Kind of blows my mind, the 8 weeks really flew by!  On Wednesday I get to go through that fitness test again to see what improvements I've made, so of course I will have to share the results of those.

I have taken a bit of a break from the scale just out of mental necessity.  I am finding that between my stomach trying to regulate once I've reintroduced certain foods coupled with strength workouts, my weight fluctuates wildly day to day, and it always magically seems to be on an upswing on weigh in days.  It was becoming a point of frustration for me, and finally I had to pull out my tape measure to prove to myself that no, I'm not getting fat, it's actually the opposite.  My body has changed really nicely from an inch standpoint, and judging by people's reactions I definitely am slimmer, it's just not reflecting on the scale.  I decided to just take a break for a bit from weighing, though I am going to weigh in this Wednesday and take full measurements just to record how the FB Fit program has changed me.  I'm actually pretty excited to take my measurements and see what changes have happened.

I am still grappling with food and how to eat now.  I am eating more high FODMAP foods than I probably should, and it definitely shows.  I've got some more bloating going on, my issues are flaring up again and I just physically don't feel as good.  It's just very difficult because I'm enjoying the flexibility at restaurants and not feeling self conscious and fussy as a dining partner, but I hate that I don't feel as good.  My experiences with gluten have really not been great, pizza made me feel like I was going to die and beer feels like a lead balloon in my stomach.  Gluten is easy enough to avoid so I honestly do 95% of the time.  Other things don't necessarily cramp my stomach or make me feel bad, but make the constipation issues immediately flare up.  It's incredibly challenging and I'm still trying to strike what the best balance is for me.

Anyway, sorry again for the gap in posting, I'll try to be a bit better and post on a more regular basis!  I will definitely post again Wednesday to let you guys know my program results!


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

FODMAP Challenge Week 6: Fructans

So yeah, fructans.  They kind of sucked about as much as I thought they would.

I was super squirrely this week with the challenge foods and definitely overloaded my system with high FODMAP foods, but even at the beginning of the week when I was being all scientific and good, my stomach wasn't that happy.  Pizza felt heavy, garlic powder caused some cramping and heartburn and I just generally didn't feel good at all.  And I started the week off stopped up, and let's just say things didn't improve.  We had a super wild weekend food-wise, so my poor system is thrown into another dimension level out of wack.  I pretty much did it all:  Lactose, Sorbitol, Fructans (also known as ice cream, metric ton of avocado, salsa and tequila.  So much tequila).

This whole thing has been a bit disappointing, but in may ways I feel fortunate.  I could have a life threatening allergy or celiacs, so I'm fortunate that the worst thing that will happen to me is that I'll get stomach cramps/bloating/constipation if I overload on FODMAPs.  I mean it could be worse, I could have a situation where I have to carry an epipen around.  In some ways I'm grateful that I had to do this diet.  I feel like I make better choices now, am happier with less food, am in the habit of packing my breakfast and lunch every single day and am more in tune with how my body feels.  I'm just trying to stay positive about it all, and there are definitely positives to be had!

My game plan going forward indefinitely is to just pretty much eat low FODMAP most of the time and avoid triggers, but to not stress if I'm in a situation where I have to ingest something high FODMAP.  Yes, I'm even going to try to stay gluten free where I can.  I honestly don't miss it that much, and when I've had it over the last few days I feel gross afterwards.  I also notice my desire to snack goes through the roof.  Coincidence perhaps, but I find it odd that whenever I had any fructan stuff that I would get weirdly snacky and overeat.  Anyway, there's no reason to mess with what's working.  Once I get back from my travels, I'm going to go back to 100% low FODMAP for at least a week to try to get my poor system working properly again.

I leave this week for Minneapolis to see my friend M, and I am SO excited!!  It will be amazing to see her after so many years, plus it will be cool to see a new city.  I leave Friday so I will get my Thinner Thursday post up.  I'm honestly not expecting great things after hoovering down delicious fatty things all weekend, but you know, I guess we'll see!