Aug 152016
 

It’s funny, my blog is about weight loss and weight maintenance and the posts that I write now about weight loss get less comments than the ones I post about books or my baby! But maybe it’s not me; I see a lot of blogs these days are getting fewer and fewer comments. I know that there are a handful of blogs that I read and still comment on but that’s gone way down, too. Maybe it’s just the nature of things.

Anyways, I lost another pound this week! I was pretty excited to see the number on the scale – 170. ALMOST to the 160 Land!

Weigh-In 

When I stepped on the scale I was expecting the worst. I’d had a rough week last week. Some stress and major anxiety about something had me all out of sorts. I definitely turned to food for comfort, kind of like I used to in the “old days.” Stress eating sucks but I was so upset about something (and seriously, I was having panic attacks and breaking out in hives for four days) that I said “fuck it” and ate some junk food to make myself feel better.

So when I decided to weigh myself I was expecting to see a gain, or at least, no change. I was quite surprised to see that I was down another pound. It kinda made me feel a little bit better about life stuff that has me down (a little bit, not much though).

 

Eating

Despite the little stress eating here and there in the last week (and the splurge at Dick’s Burgers), I was actually doing really good with my food.

When I work at home (three days a week), I eat a healthy breakfast — usually eggs and an English muffin — and I do not have any snacks in the morning. The next meal is lunch. This is kind of the opposite of when I work in the office. I usually have a mid-morning snack of fruit or veggies and then an afternoon snack of string cheese or fruit, etc.

Lunches at home are pretty healthy — usually leftovers or salad or a sandwich. Lunches at work right now are a frozen meal. Not the best choice but I have so much CRAP I have to haul to work in order to pump that I just can’t pack much by way of food and it’s easier to do the Lean Cuisine instead. The upside to this is that it’s portion controlled and I know how many calories I’m eating. 

1700 calories a day is still my base.

Like I said in the last post about weight loss, I’m also limiting my liquid calories to only a few times a week. I drink coffee (it’s a must when you’re waking up at 1 am and 4 am to feed a baby!! and then he wakes us up at 6 am like clockwork!!) but it’s one cup. At work I make 1 cup of black coffee and add some creamer to it (so not a high calorie drink like a mocha or something). At home I walk to the nearby coffeeshop to get my iced coffee, so I’m burning some calories in order to get it. Bonus!

Exercise

I’m slowly getting back into running! I am slower than molasses–it really doesn’t even qualify as jogging, it’s more like speed walking for a block, then walk, then speed walk then walk and so on. But it’s something and it gets my heart rate up a little bit higher than just walking. Also, when Logan and I go for walks we do a route that is pretty hilly so I burn a little bit more than usual. There are tons of hills in our neighborhood.

Still doing my gym routine and getting back into weightlifting more (and having to increase the weights because they were getting too easy!).

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The above was a big calorie burn! It was weight lifting, PT exercises for my back, body weight exercises, and the elliptical.

On the running front, I did not make it to the 5k I signed up for. 🙁 I was bummed about that but it was for the best. I had gone back to running too soon postpartum, I think, and my body just hurt so I stopped and I’ve been doing physical therapy for my back to get back into shape for it. Since I didn’t get any training in for it I decided not to try and run.

Michael was signed up for the race, too, and so he ran it and gave my spot to a friend to run with him.

The last race Michael ran was his first one with me, last summer. When I was about 8 weeks pregnant, no one knew I was pregnant yet, I was recovering from hurting my back and I was suffering from horrible morning sickness! But still I was able to run it with him. Oh well. 🙁

Michael’s Run Time 2015: 29:18

Michael’s Run Time this weekend: 23:13

Wow! What a change! I’m so proud of him! I’m sure the 5k was super easy considering he’s now used to running like 7 miles a couple times a week.

I’m really hoping I can participate in the 5k we signed up for next month. Time will tell.

Jul 252016
 

How did treadmills and weight machines become the gold standard of fitness? Why have some of us turned our backs on the mirrors and gleaming devices of the traditional gym? What is the appeal of the stripped-down, functional approach to fitness that ís currently on the rise? In this captivating narrative, Daniel Kunitz sets out on a journey through history to answer these questions and more.

Lift cover

I was asked to read and review the book LIFT by Daniel Kunitz. The book sounded really interesting to me because I was curious about the changing culture of fitness.

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I remember growing up in the 1980s, my mom was really into jazzercise and aerobics. She was even a teacher for a long time. I used to go to the classes with her (not to participate but to go to the daycare) and I’d watch all these moms doing step aerobics in their leotards with their big hair and your typical 80’s music. 🙂 I think a lot of my readers probably remember that time!

The author goes through the history of exercise–Roman times, event ancient Chinese history. He also discussed his own transformation through exercise.

One morning the author was sick and hungover after a rough night of partying when he had a realization. “It dawned on me that the state of your body isn’t something you either choose to care about or leave be, for your body never just is–it is always either decaying or getting stronger. Not choosing is still a choice. [pg 7]”

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The 70’s happened and “people began to shake off the smoking-drinking-drugging hangover of the previous era in unprecedented numbers by joining in the new fad for jogging. Twenty years later I did the same. Of course, by that time some things had changed. The terminology, for: what was once a mellow jog became running. [pg 8]”

The author then realized that smoking and running didn’t really go well together and he quit smoking.

“Running is monostructural: it improves your endurance but not your strength, balance, explosiveness, or flexibility. It might make you skinny, but it won’t produce muscles. [pg 10]”

I found that interesting and very true. In my own experience I was very much a cardio-junkie. I ran, I did the elliptical, I biked, I swam and did the stairmaster. I LOATHED weight lifting. It was slow, it was boring, I didn’t see the calorie burn I saw while doing cardio. Then I started getting injuries and I realized that what I was doing wasn’t working.

“Over time, as I noticed that even those who showed up each day to the gym didn’t make any visible improvements. I had to wonder if this was due to their perfunctory attitudes or the cause of them. [pg 12]”

How true is that statement?? It is very true for me! Being a gym rat I see the same people at the gym when I go and they all look pretty much the same. There is one guy that I saw on a regular basis and then I took a break from the gym a few weeks before my baby was born, then about 6 weeks off postpartum–I came back to the gym and saw that guy and did a double take. He was HUGE. His muscles had quadrupled! I was shocked. I don’t know what he did but he is the only one that comes to mind that made a very real difference in his body.

It’s easy to go to the gym and get into ruts and do the same thing every time, and your body doesn’t change or improve. The author talks a lot about the “new” crossfit phenomenon and the concept of FUNCTIONAL fitness–which I wholeheartedly agree is the better way to work out.

“I’d never seen anybody make a bicep-curling motion outside of the gym. [pg 13]”

Re-thinking the way we do fitness, the way we lift weights is making changes. I learned that going to the Warrior Room. I became SO much stronger MUCH faster doing functional things like flipping tires, carrying sandbags, swinging kettlebells, etc, than I EVER did lifting weights at the gym.

“So why did weight machines continue to flourish in gyms? Aside from the gleam of technological novelty, they offer the untaught user a way to lift. Properly training with free weights requires some skill, while the Olympic lifts–the snatch and clean and jerk–are highly technical, demanding extensive, long-term coaching to master. It wasn’t until quite recently, with CrossFit, that significant numbers of people came to grasp the importance of skill-based work. [pg 248]”

I admit, I often use the weight machines at gym. When I first started getting into weight lifting I did the machines because I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t have the skill set yet. Then having some training sessions with a personal trainer and eventually joining The Warrior Room, I learned those skills and got better at free weights and realized it was more FUN using kettlebells and free weights. No wonder I thought weight lifting was boring–sitting in a machine and going through the motions IS boring!

“By removing skill, machines essentially turn strength training into a low intensity activity: you might look better by using them but you’re not challenging who you are today to become a better version tomorrow. [pg 248]”

I never thought of the weight machines like that, but it makes perfect sense to me. You sure don’t get your heart pumping sitting in a weight machine and passively pushing, not like you do with dramatic movements like kettlebell swings!

“But what’s the point? To what end do we train and eat right and get enough sleep and learn new physical techniques and then relax by watching other people doing these things? [pg 39]”

It was really interesting reading about the history of exercise and weight lifting.

“Weightlifting refers specifically to the sport of shifting loads from the ground to overhead. Although it was included in the first Olympics in 1896 as a field event, it was excluded from the 1900, 1908, and 1912 games. It returned as its own event at the 1920 Olympics and over the course of that decade evolved into something like the sport we know today. Weightlifting was codified in 1928 as three lifts: the snatch (pulling the bar in a single motion from the ground to overheard), the clean and press, and the clean and jerk (cleaning means hoisting the bar to the shoulders, where the athlete can either press it overheard or jerk it, using the leg to provide momentum). [pg 163]”

This book is perfect for the reader that likes history and is interested in reading about the evolution of fitness. It was fascinating reading about the different trends and how things changed–and how ideas and values changed.

I personally would have liked more personal anecdotes from the author’s journey from unhealthy to fit, because what he did share was interesting and I could relate to a lot of it. The book felt more history-heavy than personal. I think there could have been more of a balance between the two. If you’d like to read this book, check it out here:

HarperCollins | Amazon Barnes & Noble

Happy reading!