Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekly Highlights

This week was a great one for the most part. I ran 5.6 miles last Sunday and hadn't run that far in a little while so I took Monday off. We have a Shape Up Challenge starting at work soon, and my team is getting super excited. Some of the women on my team have started doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred during the day, so I joined in on the fun two times. I was a bit tired on Tuesday from working late, but I managed to squeak out 2.5 miles on the treadmill. That was a triumph given that all I wanted to do was collapse on my couch! Plus, my iPod had died so I did it with no motivation in SILENCE. Ugh.

The personal training workouts were great! We did some stuff I had never done before, which is always fun. On my upper body day, we spent a lot of time on clean and press. I had never done that, so it took FOREVER for me to get the technique right. I use a 45 pound bar when I did it, and I was shocked I could even lift that. For those who don't know what it is, you have the bar on the ground in front of you and you squat to pick it up. Then you basically squat again and flip it up and over so you can then do a shoulder press. Seems like a pretty advanced exercise for me, but from what I understand, it's a Crossfit favorite and people of all levels go there. I felt slightly Globo Gym-ish but it was cool once I finally got the technique right.

My other favorite move of the week (really a few moves) was on lower body day. He had me stand in the middle of the cable machine (the one you do tricep pushdowns on etc). He had one side strapped to my right ankle with 10 pounds on it and the other side strapped to my left ankle. From there, I did knee lifts across my body to work my hips and abs. He also had me do forward lunges from that position which was tough! He's still focusing a lot of work on my hips and stabilizer muscles since they're obviously weak compared to some other muscles in my legs. Should help the running a lot! I also balanced on one foot on an upside down Bosu ball. Definitely had a wobbly foot until my leg figured out what was going on. By my third set, I was doing a single leg squat (with no weight) instead of just balancing. Fun!

Food for the most part was great. I took Saturday off though. ;) Probably not a good idea, but I'm human! I was coming in around 1750 calories everyday and sticking to my higher protein breakfast. It's a habit now. It looks like I'm down 2 pounds, which is an accomplishment for me! I'm not sure I'll lose much since I'm at a healthy weight. I'm just looking for body fat reduction.

Must motivate to go on my long run! Too bad it still feels like winter where I live! Have a healthy week!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dietary Changes

At the suggestion of my trainer, I've made some minor tweaks to my diet that have been going quite well. Here's a breakdown of my before and after.

Breakfast Before:
2 slices of whole wheat bread
2 T peanut butter
2 T berry jam
2 cups coffee
1/2 cup soy milk
Nutritional Breakdown: 435 calories, 9 g fiber, 18 g protein, 22.5 g fat

Breakfast After:
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 T peanut butter
2 sliced strawberries
1 egg
2 egg whites
2 cups coffee
1/2 cup soy milk
Nutritional Breakdown: 390 calories, 5 g fiber, 24 g protein, 16.6 g fat

Overall Satisfaction - much more with the new breakfast! I'm less hungry as the morning goes on, and I am starting to believe what people say about eggs for breakfast... people who eat eggs tend to eat less later in the day. Huh.

I've made a few other changes, but nothing as major as breakfast. I've started to have rolled up turkey breast for one of my snacks during the day with fruit. My other snack is usually an ounce of almonds plus fruit as well. I recently stopped eating dairy because it was causing problems with my skin, so I've had to be creative with my snacks.

For one week, I've been eating this breakfast, and I have in fact eaten less during the entire day. My lunch and dinner have not changed much. I usually have homemade soup/chili for lunch and a piece of protein with veggies for dinner. Here's the breakdown:

Average Daily Intake Before:
1900 cal, 102 g protein (21.5%), 190 g carbs (40%), 36 g fiber, 66.5 g fat (31.5%)

Average Daily Intake After:
1720 cal, 108 g protein (25%), 184 g carbs (43%), 31 g fiber, 30 g fat (16%)

NOTE: I also have wine or beer with dinner everyday, so some calories are from alcohol.

It's still a work in progress as I figure out the right snacks for me. Overall, I'm very happy with the changes! My goal with the trainer is to lose a few percent body fat, and I think this will really help. Can't wait to see the end results!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Personal Training -Two Weeks In

So far, I am loving personal training! It's really done a lot for me in terms of variety and showing me my strength. I've had the chance to work with two trainers, each with different styles. The first trainer had me doing much more "traditional" weight lifting with weights that brought me to failure at 10-12 reps. Having somewhere there to push is invaluable! I was able to move up to 15 pound dumbbells for shoulder press, which I'd never do alone. He forced me to do biceps and triceps too, which I HATE! I avoid them at all costs. :) My favorite variation he gave me to add challenge to my workouts was the use of the BOSU ball. I've used it many times before but this time he had me kneel on it without my feet touching the ground while I did shoulder raises, bicep curls, etc. It is HARD to keep your balance!! Awesome core work!

I had trainer number 2 tonight, and his style is what I'd call "exploit your weakness." He had me start with one-legged squats on a high step, and he noticed that my stabilizer muscles were weak because my ankle and my knee wobbled. Soooo, we worked on that for a whole hour. We did some lunges on the BOSU, some outer thigh raises while balancing on a stability ball, and single-leg calf raises. All of it made my legs shake, and I'm pretty sure I'll be super sore tomorrow. The good thing is that I need to work these muscles. When I get pain, it's all IT band related, and he says that working on these muscles will help. My left hip is soooo tight compared to my right so we talked a lot about balancing strength and flexibility on each side. Loved it!

They had me change my diet a bit too, but I'll write about that in another post soon. In other news, we're starting a Shape Up Challenge at work, and my coworkers nominated me to be their team lead. Fun!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's official!

I start personal training tomorrow. I'm going to a place called Excel Fitness in CT. I was sore for over 3 days from my first session. Sounds a little weird, but it was mostly the pullup training we did. My arms and back have never worked so hard. I'm really excited to start my training though! I'll keep you posted on my progress. Hopefully I won't be sore 6 days a week... at least not forever!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Personal Training Session

I had a personal training session tonight that I got for free for attending a local event... great workout! I told him I wanted to be able to do an unassisted pullup, so we started with some bar hangs that I slowly lowered myself from. Slowly is really not the best description in some cases... but I tried! We did one leg squats after that. Next up was incline chest press, but I used one arm as I slowly lowered the bar and both as I pushed back up. Pretty cool! The last exercise I did was using the exercise ball. I started in plank with my arms on a bench and my feet on the ball so I was planking. Then I piked my body so I was in a V with my butt in the air. I'm considering doing more sessions for the variety.

We also tested my body fat and weight, and I'm holding steady on the weight. My body fat could use some reduction. It was on the border of too high and normal. I think that's another reason why I'm considering the training. We can work one on one to drop fat and increase muscle. I need to swap out about 8 pounds, which sounds completely reasonable to me.

Will keep you posted!