Day 6 Quick Update: I lost weight!

I’m not sure what amount of weightloss is really reasonable to celebrate but I’ve officially lost two pounds as of this morning. I did a pretty light workout today because the last few days have been so hard. Tomorrow is the last day to meet my updated weekly goal of running one full mile in one go. Maybe the rest will help and I can do it all in one go. Either way, progress is progress.

I feel like I’ve kind of been skimping on blog content and I don’t have anything ready for today. Lots of ideas and partially completed projects, but none worthy to put up quite yet. Among my plans include: more healthy recipes, healthy meal plans, workout schedules, and motivational pieces. If you guys want to see anything specific, please let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, I promise to have some new content for you soon.

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Day 5 Update: Wins and Losses

It’s post workout and I’m EXHAUSTED. The good news is, I was able to run a whole mile today, even thought it was broken up a bit. I did .75 miles in one push and then the last .25 broken up with walking in between. It doesn’t seem like much but for me, it’s HUGE. Once I get a mile to be my norm, I can start working on improving my mile time and increase the distance a bit more for a higher intensity day. The ideal I’d like to build up to is running a mile 6 days a week, building heavy and light workouts around it.

Once I got home from the gym, I moved onto my HIIT workout that I posted this morning. I’m curious if any of you tried it and if so, how it went? I won’t lie, even though I made that workout to be lower intensity, I still had to modify the burpees. For one, jumping like that is just super hard on my knees. Additionally, I still am a little weak on my pushups so I still do the modified ones. Even so, I did all three reps and I feel super tired but awesome.

I think in the next few days I may make a post on how to modify some exercises for beginners. I see a lot of them for stretches but it’s less so for at-home exercises.

I’m super happy with this blog. It’s motivated me a lot to keep pushing myself and I enjoy being able to talk about what’s working for me. I hope that it’s helping someone else, even just to see that they’re not alone in struggling.

I do think I’m pushing myself a bit hard so tomorrow I’m going to have a really light day. I’m not sure what I’ve decided for that yet.

I also intend to put together a more formal plan so that A. I have a solid outline to follow and B. anyone else can follow along with me.

My legs and arms feel like jell-o and I still have a lot to do today! Wish me luck.

Let’s Try: HIIT Workout!

I’ve heard of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts before and am definitely interested to try them. It’s supposed to be great cardio because pushing your heart rate up and then taking short rests in between makes your body crave oxygen and boosts what a lot of experts call “The Afterburn Effect.” Most articles I’ve read on HIIT attribute part of the fad to a survey the American College of Sports Medicine on Fitness Trends for 2017. But I’ve seen some date the trend back to 2014.

Here’s why I’m interested in it:

  1. No equipment
  2. Supposedly boosts metabolism
  3. Increases your heart rate without running

I have a gym membership but so far I’ve been focusing more on the cardio machines. For some reason, I’m slightly hesitant to have people watch me grunt out a 50lb bench press. I intend to get up to it soon, I just want to build up my confidence mostly.

I’ve seen a few HIIT workouts online but I’m interested in piecing together my own, in part because some of them seem past my ability right now and in part because since I already am running, I’d like to pick out a few lower-impact exercises. So below is the HIIT workout I’ll try after my cardio today. I’d love for you guys to try it with me and tell me what you think!

Day 4: I Feel Like I’m Doing This Wrong

I have a tendency to go into things really headstrong and end up kind of sizzling out really soon after I start. I actually don’t know that I’m really doing that this time, but I definitely am expecting more than is realistic. For one thing, running. I haven’t run in literal years. I get out of breath going up stairs. I don’t know why I expected to just be able to bust out an easy mile (especially because a mile has never been easy for me).

I’ve been trying to slowly increase my distance up to a mile this week and while it was going well, today I was the captain of the Struggle Bus. I decided today that I’d be increasing my total running distance to a mile and just break it up with walking in between. For some reason, I also decided to increase my speed as well. Honestly, I don’t think that was the nail in the coffin. I feel like I wouldn’t have hit a mile anyway. In fact, I barely did three-quarters.

The lesson to learn from me is to set reasonable goals. My dad has been telling me that this whole time, but I’m so anxious to already be healthy and active and lose weight that it’s hard to be patient. Really, it’s about finding a balance between pushing yourself and knowing your limits. I still think that by the end of the week I can do a whole mile, but I need to approach it a little slower.

I think this goes for dieting too. I’ve been eating whatever I want for the past year and I can’t expect myself to immediately adjust well to only having 1300 calories. It’s a fine line, folks. But we’ll just keep on walking it (and maybe run).

Chicken Kabobs!

Today is Day 4 on my health journey. So far I’ve been consistent in going to the gym, running, and tracking my eating. I definitely could improve in how much water I’m drinking but other than that, I feel like I’m doing well. I’ll be posting an update on my workouts a little later after I get back from the gym.

I thought I’d share the recipe for last night’s dinner: Chicken Kabobs!

The awesome thing about Kabobs is that they’re totally customizable. You can easily sub in or out healthier items. The most complicated part of this recipe, which is not complicated at all, is the marinade.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar
  • Garlic salt
  • Onion powder
  • Chili powder
  • Any other desired seasoning
  • 1-2 chicken breasts
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • Any other vegetables
  1. If you are using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for at least an hour before you put them on the grill. If you don’t, the skewer will catch fire and you’ll end up with a really charcoal-ly mess.
  2. Chop all chicken and vegetables to about 1 inch cubes. Marinade chicken in the soy sauce, orange juice, and vinegar for at least 1 hour.
  3. Thread the chicken and vegetables onto each skewer and sprinkle garlic salt, onion powder, chili powder, and any other desired seasoning onto the whole skewer.
  4. Cook for around 10 minutes, making sure the chicken is cooked to 165 degrees. Serve with rice for a delicious and filling dinner!

This recipe, even when you serve it with 1/4 cup rice, only comes out to about 280 Calories per serving. You may want to brush a sauce over it in the last minute or so of cooking. 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce will add about 67 calories and 2 tbsp of Teriyaki sauce will add only about 34 calories.

My Bullet Journal Trackers

Good morning friends!

I’m constantly bad about using my bullet journal, but since we’re on a mission for improvement, I made a few layouts to help me keep track of my progress this month.

I use apps to help me count calorie intake and steps, but I don’t love how they compare day to day. This way I can see my progress and find outlier days that I don’t do well on. Here’s my pages:

Day 3 Update: What I’m Struggling With and What I’m Not

In the past I’ve used a calorie tracker to just get a general idea of what I’m eating. When using it casually, a lot of the time I wouldn’t actually go far above their suggested 1300 calories (their recommendation was based on my height, weight, age, and activity level). Now that I’m A. consistently working out and B. trying not to go above it at all, I’m actually struggling to stay within my limits.

April 1st was my boyfriend’s birthday and he requested homemade pizza rolls. By the end of the day, I had over 2000 calories. I think it’s having so many days like that has increased my appetite so much. Even today, it’s only just past breakfast but I’m already almost to 500 calories. I remember sitting with my parents at IHOP the other day looking at meals that would have maxed me out for the whole day.

I think part of this has to do with how we as a country eat as a whole. For one thing, food is a really big part of our culture (as it is with most). In a lot of countries you don’t eat quite the same portion sizes as we do, particularly in European countries. I’ve heard a lot of stories about people coming to visit and being just astounded at our portion sizes. And with so much of our food being heavily processed, it really packs a lot of calories into everything we eat. As well as a bunch of stuff we should probably be limiting. I’m not trying to blame the country for my weight and eating habits, but I do thing it normalizes it, making it easier to fall into bad habits.

On a different note, the things that I’m doing well with are:
1. Remembering to track my food
2. Running!
3. Meeting my step goals

With running, I’ve been starting off very small. I’m not really supposed to run because I have some problems with my knee. But most of the stuff I do anyway is pretty high impact so if I stick to some of my PT exercises, I don’t think running is going to be much of a problem. That said, I haven’t really gone running in years.

When I was younger, every few months I’d get this idea that I was going to join the military (which I really just don’t think is a good fit for me at this point but that’s not to disrespect those who do choose to serve). Every time I would get into this mindset, my dad and I would go running together. I never really could consistently keep up with it but it was always my place to start.

Having not run in a few years, I can’t even run a mile. That’s why one of my goals for this week is to just run half a mile each day and build up to three-quarters. I’m surprising myself though. Day one I ran half a mile and broke it up in half with walking in between. Yesterday I ran half a mile in one go and after cooling off with a walk for a few minutes, tacked on an extra tenth. Today I did three quarters of a mile broken up by .6 and .15. I think I’m going to change this weeks goal to doing a full mile in one spurt. Next week I can focus more on my mile time but for now, baby steps.