Nov 102014
 

I had a pretty good weekend. To be honest, the last few weekends have been a struggle for me. The weather was ugly, the darkness was making me tired and I was feeling very distressed about my weight. I was starting to get into the “must restrict” mentality and when I ate something I deemed to be “not healthy” I felt like a failure and would beat myself up about it. All weekend long. One slip-up, even if I hadn’t gone over my calories, felt like I failed. It sucked. It was kind of a dark place to be. I felt resentful of (seemingly) everyone else on the planet that could eat and drink whatever they wanted and not worry about their weight. I felt like I wasn’t making any progress. I actually broke down and bought some clothes in one size up because I was tired of crying every time I put on my pants and they felt skintight.

So that’s where I was the last few weeks. This weekend I didn’t feel like that too much. I was on track with my food. I was feeling more positive. I wasn’t feeling STARVING all the time like I had been for the last month and a half. And I had some good workouts. This was the Warrior Room on Saturday (and I went up in weight in the kettle bells!):

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It was a great workout and I am reminded just how important the Warrior Room routine is to my knee health. I noticed that when I took time off when I was sick, then the wedding, then the honeymoon, my knees started to bother me. But when I go to the WR consistently my knees are happier. It really does show how unbalanced my body is naturally. I need to work extra hard to keep those glutes strong to keep my knees strong!

This was Sunday’s workout — despite feeling a little stiff and sore I was able to get in a 2 mile run on the treadmill before yoga class:

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The yoga teacher seemed to psychically know that I needed extra hip stretching because most of the moves in that particular class worked on the hips (thank goddess!).

I also ate really healthy foods. I wanted to share one of the finds because it was so delicious. Years and years ago I was a vegetarian but I wasn’t very good at it and didn’t eat in a healthy way, I just didn’t eat meat. There also weren’t a lot of options for vegetarians 15 years ago. The faux foods weren’t good and I think the only option was Morning Star, which I’ve never liked.

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I got these veggie burgers at Trader Joe’s on a whim and I’m so glad I did! They were amazing! I loved them. For dinner on Sunday night I cooked up one of these veggie burgers and had some sauteed Brussels Sprouts with onions (cooked in coconut oil) with some cottage cheese on the side. It was a really filling dinner and it was only around 400 calories. I loved these burgers!

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If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I highly recommend you give them a try. I will be buying more of them and working them into my meal rotation. The only downside is that you have to cook them in a skillet. I don’t know if they’d turn out in the microwave, so I don’t know that it would be a feasible option for lunches at work. But on the weekends it would be a great lunch option.

The weather was also really nice on Saturday. I got so much stuff done–a lot of the usual chores in addition to a bunch of yard work (and planted some plants from a neighbor). I also went through a bunch of stuff and got a box and big bag full to donate. Plus, Michael and I took Bella to the dog park.

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(That picture was actually taken by our dog walker in the backyard but it’s too cute not to share.) The dog park was packed with dogs because it was so nice out! Bella had a blast running around playing and chasing dogs and there were two rambunctious puppies (one pitbull and one mutt) that were super spazzy and Bella loved them. They all had the same crazy energy.

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Once Bella was done playing (she stopped paying attention to the other dogs) Michael and I walked with Bella around the park. It’s a huge park with trails and a few different fields, there was even a fenced horse area! Crazy that this huge park is so close to our house and we had no idea.

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It was just a really nice way to spend the afternoon–sunshine, blue skies, fall leaves and a nice walk.

Back to the food. I was under my calorie goal every day for the weekend AND I had some leftover Halloween candy too. It just goes to show that I just do not do well with restriction and moderation is what works. For weeks I tried to restrict and NOT eat any of the foods that I deemed on my “no list”. No pizza. No dessert. No “fun” foods. Just eat whole foods, fruits and vegetables. But denying myself these things just made me want them more and made me feel more miserable and frustrated with my lack of progress. It just goes to show you how much of weight loss is MENTAL.

I haven’t weighed myself to check in for two weeks. I will do it this week and see if I’ve made any more progress.

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Jul 012014
 

Back in the early days of this blog, I used to write a lot about the workouts I did. I was focusing on running and I used to run the waterfront loop during my lunch hour (man, I have so many fond memories of that). On the weekends Michael and I used to ride our bikes on the 40 mile Springwater Loop around Portland. These were the focuses of my blog. Weight lifting was pretty non-existent on 110pounds.com. I just didn’t like it. I didn’t really spend much time on it and didn’t see any changes in my body as a result. I thought it was a waste of time. Boy was I wrong. Several injuries that sidelined me from biking or running meant I had to find SOMETHING I could do. That’s when I started lifting weights.

Funny, when you lift weights FOR REAL, like it’s your main focus, several times a week for months on end–you DO see results! Who knew? That started the love affair with weight lifting. Once I saw a change and felt a change, I was convinced. I haven’t done a post in a long time about what kind of work I’m doing in the gym. I wanted to share what my favorite workouts are lately in this post.

Kettlebell High Pull

This is one that I learned at The Warrior Room but with two kettlebells. At first it was hard and I didn’t quite get it. I kept dropping my elbows but once I practiced a bit and found my rhythm it was easy and FUN. Check out this video on how to do the High Pull. Fast-forward to about 45 seconds in to see a demonstration of the move. The video is only using one kettle bell and when I do it, I use two. Currently I’m using two 15 pound kettlebells. This isn’t a great picture, but it gives you an idea:

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Kettlebell Swing

This is the basic swing, one move you learn on day one with kettlebells. I’m currently using a 30 pound kettlebell. I could probably go up to 35 but I tend to air on the side of caution when it comes to increasing my weights. I know, I know, if I want to see progress I need to up the weight! I try my best but my history with injury has made me overly cautious and as such, I tend to get stuck in ruts for awhile before I go up in weight.

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One Leg Romanian Dead Lift

This one can be done with free weights or with kettlebells, whichever feels most comfortable with you. I love this exercise because it reminds me just how imbalanced my body is. One side is ALWAYS more wobbly than the other. I also notice that if I take a break from doing this exercise I lose whatever balance improvements I’ve gained pretty quickly. I am currently using two 15 pound weights for this exercise. I’d like to go up to 17.5 pounds soon but I keep having setbacks and have to start over again.

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Chest Press

There is nothing flashy or fancy about this exercise but it’s functional and I notice a difference when I do it consistently. I lay down on the bench and then do a few sets of presses with a 30 or 35 pound barbell. I could probably increase to 40 pounds any day now if I’d stop being so cautious. :) This is a move that helps me with day to day life. For example, Michael and I recently bought a new bookcase and had to move the old one into the office and then move the new one to the living room. These were very large, very heavy pieces and while there was no way I could life it all by myself, it was certainly easy with the both of us and I did not struggle with carrying the weight. Yay for weightlifting!

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Leg Abductions/Adductions

This exercise is something I’ve been doing for awhile, on and off depending on what kind of resources I have handy. My physical therapist suggested I do this to strengthen my glutes (when I was trying everything I could to fix my knees). It works. I can feel it! I use one of the machines at the gym and do both legs. If I don’t have access to the machine, or I’m at home, it can be done with those stretchy bands, but I like the machine better.

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Bird Dog

This one is a suggestion from my physical therapist, as well as a yoga move. It’s a funny name but it is so beneficial–for runners, for anyone with muscle imbalance or chronic injury. It works on the core as well as the glutes and hamstrings. I work this move into my abs workouts.

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The Result

A recent workout included all of the above moves, plus a few other various things (some balance exercises, ab exercises and weight machines), 15 minutes of the elliptical and 10 minutes of stretching. This was the calorie burn:

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Not bad, huh? I’m working on strengthening my core and still working on my glutes. I know they are a weak part of my body and if I’m going to be serious about getting back to running I need to focus on my weaknesses or this will never stick! I’m glad I’ve been sticking with the weight lifting. The focus may change (I go back and forth in focus between the glutes, triceps and abs) but the bottom line doesn’t: lifting weights makes me feel better and stronger. Read these two interesting articles I found:

7 Strength Training Myths Every Woman Should Know

Why Women Don’t (But Should) Lift Weights

If you’re on the fence about starting a strength training program, I recommend you give it a chance–at least for a few weeks. Give it four weeks of 2-3 sessions each week and you WILL see a change. It might be a change on the scale (most likely a loss!), you might notice you are stronger, you might feel better or you might notice some muscle definition you never had before. Sure you won’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger after just a month of lifting weights, but trust me. If you stick with it, you will see a difference. Ladies: don’t be intimidated! You have every right to be there with the guys and show them what you got! Don’t be shy! I let my shyness keep me away for far too long. I am so glad I learned to love weights!

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