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Posted on Jan 15, 2014 in Dear Diary | 6 comments

Sore Loser

I’m not a particularly competitive person when it comes to games, sports, and the like (unless we’re talking Disney Scene It, of course, and then it is ON), so the title of this post does not, in fact, have anything to do with being a sore loser in the traditional sense. No, instead, I was just trying to figure out a cutesy, clever way to title a post in which I am basically planning in complaining nonstop about how physically sore I am.

I cashed in my free personal training session at the gym the other day, and it definitely put me through the ringer. It was a great workout, where I learned how to use the TRX tension straps (or whatever the official wording is), which I’d never used before. I left feeling most definitely worked out, and knowing that I would be sore in the morning. But boy, oh boy, I tell you what, I did NOT really know HOW sore I would be. I definitely don’t miss delayed onset muscle soreness, no sirree. And I know that I’m only so sore BECAUSE I’m so out of shape, and it’ll get better, and blahdeeblahdeeblah. But still… when it hurts to sit down on the toilet, you know that it’s gotta be a little bit bad, eh?

Anyway, I took yesterday as a rest day to recover a bit, which ended up working out because I had an appointment to get my hair re-did anyway, since my pre-Thanksgiving fabulous purple locks had faded into more of a pale blue, semi-purple mess (although actually, given that it’s been almost 2 full months, it actually didn’t look TOO bad, right? RIGHT?!)

Since my amazing hair stylist (I see Linh from Be Scene Hair Studio, for those that are in the market for someone incredible!) is located in Bethesda, AND because it takes a few hours to get hair as unnaturally vibrant as mine currently is (squeeee!), it took a pretty big chunk out of my day. So looks like the whole rest-day timing worked out for me. Plus, pretttyyyy:

If I’m being honest, guys, now that I’ve gone purple, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back.

Anyway, I’m still feeling pretty sore today, especially in the quads/glutes region, but (be proud of me!) I went ahead and did some light cardio and as much stretching as I could handle to help shake things out. The calorie counting has been going strong for the past couple of days as well, and while my diet is not 100% cleaned up yet, at least I’m being very good about tracking everything that I eat. It’s all about getting back in the habit, right?

Here’s to hoping that my weigh-in on Friday (I’m going to be doing Fridays for the next little while since that’s the day when we have to report our percentages for Yelp’s Biggest Loser) reflects my new (old) habits. Remember how in August 2010, at my very first weigh-in, I lost 11 pounds in one week?! I’m not quite that hopeful this time around, but still, it’s nice to remember the good times.

Here’s hoping!

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Posted on Apr 5, 2011 in Weight Loss, Weight Loss 101, Working Out | 15 comments

Weight Loss 101: Get Movin’

Hello all! I hope you’re having a grand morning so far. In the first two posts of my Weight Loss 101 series, we discussed resources to help prepare you for embarking on your weight loss journey, and the steps you can take to really get your new, healthier life started!

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So at this point you’ve probably started to revamp your eating habits a little bit. Maybe you’re just looking at what you’re eating more conscientiously, maybe you’ve calculated your BMR and are seriously calorie counting – whatever level you’re at, you’re doing it right! Knowing is half the battle (thanks PBS!) so just being cognizant of your eating habits goes a really long way in terms of weight loss!

Today’s post really only has one theme, and I’ll admit that this is the part of my journey to health that I continue to struggle with the most: exercise.

1. Move.

That’s it. Just move. One bullet point. That’s my big message for today.

Don’t get me wrong, guys. I hate to exercise. Like, really, really don’t enjoy it. So I feel your pain, and I see your eyes rolling, and I see that finger just itchin’ to X out of this window because you’ve heard it so many times before. I really, truly get it. ‘Cause that was me! I mean, shoot, let’s me honest: that’s still me.

I don’t like being sweaty, I don’t like feeling out of breath, I don’t generally like the thought of being in pain… I’ve just always been this way. The last time I played a sport was in 8th grade. And only because when I was younger it was “strongly recommended” by my parents that I play a sport (read: I was forced.)

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Exercise has never come easy to me. But I do know that in order to live a truly healthy life, exercise has to be a part of it. So I’ve tried really hard to broaden my horizons and test out different things: Zumba, running, yoga, Bikram, and even a VERY misguided attempt at P90X.

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I still haven’t discovered exactly what it is that I LOVE doing, but I am enjoying being able to try out new things, be active, be social, and be healthy! I’ve been surprising myself lately by actually wanting to go out and do something more active than catch up on overflowing DVR some afternoons. And admittedly, it is pretty sweet to be able to say that I’ve completed not one, not two, but THREE 5Ks (something that I would have outright LAUGHED IN YO’ FACE if you had suggested it to me 9 months ago.)

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Nobody’s asking you to train for a marathon, or even to start running at all. Start walking. Or swimming. Or biking. Or dancing. Join a meet-up group that has kickball tourneys. Or an ultimate Frisbee team (as it continues to warm up, that’s my plan!) I’m still trying to find the things that I love to do while getting some exercise in, but I really do believe there’s something out there for everyone, and it just takes a little experimenting to find it! 🙂

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I know I say this a lot on my blog, but seriously. If I can do it, anyone can do it. It just takes a little determination, a little willpower, and a LOT of willingness to look silly. But it’s worth it when you can pick up a 50 pound weight and say:

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Holy crap on a stick! This amount of weight used to be ON me! And it is REALLY frackin’ heavy!

Or, you know, the same sentiment in a much classier way. 😉

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Posted on Feb 9, 2011 in Dear Diary | 1 comment

This feels like a two-post day

So I’ll try to keep this one short. I’m feeling much better today, for those of you who were worried about my ailing health. My sister thinks I had a mild case of food poisoning and it seems like a likely scenario, so we’ll go with that. I am feeling much, much better this morning however, and am ready to jump back into all the work that I missed and start up my 5k training up right.

I haven’t stepped foot on a treadmill since the cruise and I’m a little scared as to how my endurance has tanked. But I figure, I’ll start back small and work my way back up. Now that I know that I CAN run a 5k already I don’t envision it being that hard to get back to that place. Before, the furthest I had ever run was from the car to my front porch on especially cold days, haha.

Anyway, I think I’m feeling well enough stomach-wise to make it to the treadmill this afternoon, so I’ll let you all know literally how far I can get later on. In the meantime, because I think that every post should have at least one photo in it (plus, how else am I going to get something to pop into that super cool scrolly header bar thingy at the top?) here is a cool but totally irrelevant picture of me that Ben took of me a little while ago for his Project 365 Photo-A-Day self-challenge:

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Posted on Nov 14, 2010 in Dear Diary, Working Out | 3 comments

Weekend Update

Sorry, I can guarantee that this won’t be as hilarious as the SNL version. I do crack myself up, but even I can admit that I’m no Seth Myers. 🙂 I figured I’d try to catch you up on the weekend hijinks anyway. Away we goooo!

Friday after work, I had a doctor’s appointment to follow up about my kidney stone, and then I spontaneously decided to get my hair cut. Instead of going to my usual hairdresser at Bubbles in Tysons (Aleese, I’m sorry! Forgive my traitorous haircutting ways!) I popped into the Hair Cuttery in Falls Church (walk-ins welcome, after all! Haha.) I’ll definitely be going back to Aleese next time, since the elderly Ukranian woman who ended up cutting my hair didn’t really know what I was asking for, but I mostly just wanted to get it cleaned up – I was looking a li’l scruffy, hehe. I wasn’t too thrilled with my experience there, but I think the cut turned out okay in the end! You be the judge:

Before

Er, still before. I had a little too much fun.

After!

I took the “After” picture awkwardly inside Chipotle so I was trying to be inconspicuous by not smiling, hahaha. Anyway, I think in the end it’s not too shabby. I think I’m going to grow my hair out a bit and get an A-line bob (reverse bob, concave bob, whatever you call it) next time so I can try my hand at being super trendy.

Friday night a whole bunch of my friends and I ventured out to the Tortoise & Hare bar in Crystal City to see my friend’s band Flow in the Dark. It was a lot of fun! I had a couple of drinks, which probably wasn’t great for my weekly caloric totals (not to mention the waffle fries I split with Taylor and Ben… oops.) but I did stick to shooters as opposed to full on drink-drinks so I think I saved myself a few unnecessary ones there… small victories, hahaha.

Me, Erin, and Taylor out for the night!

Steve and his friend Jordan even came down from Delawhere? for the show, and I got to see some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Doubleplusbonus? Lots of people told me that I looked noticeably thinner, which is always nice to hear. 😛 It was a good night, but I was POOPED by the end of it (I don’t have the stamina to go out after working an entire day – don’t know how you people do it!)

Saturday I lounged around for a while before heading over to my parents’ house to embark on my greatest training challenge yet: Attempting to run 2 miles outside. My fitness coach and sister extraordinaire was there right alongside me as we ran, jogged, and shuffled (but never walked!) through the super-dee-duper hilly terrain of Falls Church. Verdict?

2.15 total miles! I had a super slow pace, but I don’t care – I didn’t walk at all, and there were a LOT of hills. I feel so accomplished! I know that 2 miles isn’t THAT much, but it’s definitely the most that I’ve ever run at all, let alone outside. It makes me feel like maybe running this 5K isn’t totally unrealistic (it’s a flat course, so I hear that alone makes a huge difference, haha.)

I definitely feel a little sore today, but it’s actually not as bad as I thought it would be. And to boot, while we were running, I definitely felt like running the first mile was, well, easy. Who would have EVER thought that I would use the words “run a mile” and “easy” in the same sentence?! Three and a half months ago, this would have been a crazy pipe dream. I really feel like I’m making progress here, in more than just the numbers way.

Saturday night I went to a Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner at my brother’s friend Lauren’s house. She and her husband John have an annual Thanksgiving potluck, and this year she was nice enough to invite me, too! It was a lot of fun, although I really wasn’t as good as I should have been. I tried to load up on salad and turkey first, but there was definitely some stuffing and mashed potatoes that slipped in there too. Sigh. I’m trying to view this whole week as a fitness victory, rather than a food victory though. I lost 4.6 pounds last week, so I was never counting on losing a lot, if anything, this week. I just wanted to get back on form, and ramp up my 5K training, which I think I’ve done. We’ll see how tomorrow’s weigh-in pans out, but in the meantime, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. 🙂

Alright, that about sums up the major points of the weekend, plan for the day is to do a whole lot of lounging. Hopping back on the treadmill tomorrow and continuing on training for the 5K, which is soooooooo close I’m starting to freak out just a little bit more. Weigh-in tomorrow!

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Posted on Nov 12, 2010 in Dear Diary, Working Out | 5 comments

Morning Routines and a Few Lessons Learned

So Anne P. is doing a giveaway on her blog for Quaker’s Amazing Morning Kit, which is a really sweet box of things that are supposed to help you start your day right. I obviously want to win said giveaway because the kit has some really awesome stuff (yoga mat!) in it, but in a bigger-picture sort of way it also just got me started thinking about my morning routine in general.

When I started my weight loss journey back in August, I had established a pretty solid routine. Woke up, showered, took care of the pupsters, got some breakfast in there (even if I had to force myself to eat it, I was still downing some oats or yogurt or something) and was off to the races! Since time has gone on, along with the added influence of shorter, colder, darker days, I’ve been getting admittedly complacent. I do still eat a little something first thing in the morning (most of the time) because otherwise I am ravenous by lunchtime and will make poorer choices. However, I’m not getting the filling, wholesome breakfast that I know I should. You hear that breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, and that contrary to popular custom, it should also be the biggest meal of the day. I’m not exactly sure what the facts behind that reasoning are, so if you do know something about it feel free to enlighten me. That being said, I do think that it’s an effective way to ensure that you’re able to make better food choices for lunch and dinner if you start off the day satiated.

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day, so I had the day off. As such, I tried to sleep in (as much as Daxter would let me, that little devil) and as such, I ended up with a really wonked out schedule. In fact, I didn’t really get out of bed until 10 AM, and then didn’t eat anything until 1 PM. The Old Gretchen used to have the habit of regularly not eating anything until noon or later, and I don’t know if that was a contributing factor to my weight gain or not, but I just know that I don’t want to slip back into any Old Gretchen habits.

So I’m finding today I’m in a sort of no-man’s land between Old and New Gretchen. This morning when I woke up, I dragged myself out of bed and proceeded to stare into my pantry for a solid 4 minutes while the dogs were, er, taking care of business in the backyard. I finally decided that yes, I would eat something. And just what did I end up consuming for breakfast, the most important meal of the day, you may ask?

One plain Whole Wheat Eggo waffle
One spoonful of mint chocolate chip ice cream
Seven raw almonds
One cup of pumpkin spice coffee from the Keurig at work

Ummmmm… yeah.  Who am I? I bypassed the giant bag of raw oats and english muffins that I have in the pantry, the greek yogurt and almond butter in the fridge for that? Maybe I’m bored with eating the same things now? Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons or Daylight Savings Time messing with me? But if anyone has any suggestions for how to revamp my morning routine so that I’m actually staying on track, I would really appreciate it. I want to be able to do this right, to stay the course, to keep setting myself up for diet success, but I’m not really doing that, am I?

Speaking of staying on track, I’m trying to literally get back on track for the upcoming SOME Thanksgiving Trot for Hunger 5K that I am running on Thanksgiving Day. The whole kidney stones debacle put a serious dent in my training schedule, so I’m just trying to make up some lost time. So Wednesday I went for a run on the treadmill and banged out 1.5 miles nonstop. I was hoping to get up to 2 miles, but I developed a side-stitch pretty early on that was right where my kidney stone pain had been the week before, so I couldn’t will myself to press on after a while. I guess I needed to stretch more? Not really sure, I’m still quite the running neophyte.

Anyway, yesterday I decided to go for a very short run outside because I really need to start accustoming myself to running outdoors (that 5K ain’t gonna be on a treadmill!) It’s only 0.6 miles from my house to my parents’, but in those 0.6 miles I learned a few very valuable lessons:

Lesson #1: I have no idea how to pace myself when running outdoors. I definitely took off way too fast, and wanted to die after like, 2 blocks. Bad, bad Gretchen. On my sister’s recommendation I downloaded the Runkeeper app for my iPhone so hopefully that will give me something to base my pace off of in the future.

Lesson #2: Cold air ruins my life (and my throat.) I went out for my jog around 7 PM, and it was frigid outside. After just a couple minutes, my throat was burning like a brothertrucker from sucking in the cold, winter air. I guess I just need to always breathe through my nose? How do I combat this? I was swallowing mucous for an hour after I got to my parents’ house, too (TMI? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.)

Lesson #3: Pants falling down makes running even more miserable (as if it were possible.) The UnderArmour capris that my sister got me a couple months ago do NOT want to stay up outside. Even though I wore them the day before in the gym and didn’t have any problems with them slipping down, apparently all bets are off when it comes to running outside. Does my body expand in the gym or something? I don’t get it! Admittedly, they might be a size too big now anyway (though they weren’t when she got them for me – yay for progress!) but since they’re compression capris (read: meant to be super tight) I figured it was okay. Maybe not so much now. Might need to convince sissypoo for another pair ::winkwinknudgenudge:: 😉

Conversely, the UA Escape Longsleeve 1/4 Zip that she got me just last week worked out great. It’s super thin and lightweight, but keeps your surprisingly warm (I layered it over my Victory Burnout T – yes, I was a walking, er, running UnderArmour ad, hahaha.) I’m definitely going to wear it for the 5K. My fingers were freezing though. Is there such a thing as running gloves? Or running mittens? I’m a big mitten fan. 🙂

Okay, enough product placement, hehe. Final lesson that I learned last night: running outside is soooooo hard! I still have high hopes for the 5K, but I’m becoming less confident about it too… well, can’t psych myself out about it. Need to stay positive! I hope everyone has some fun weekend plans (or not! My favorite weekends consist of lounging and laying and dog-park-going.) My friend’s cover band, Flow in the Dark, is playing a show tonight at the Tortoise and Hare bar in Crystal City, so if anybody is looking for some good times tonight, come on out!

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