A Morning Workout

Mind over matter, mind over matter. Part of pushing yourself is prioritizing the goal in your mind and ignoring the pain. Mind over matter. This definitely works on the treadmill, but when it comes to getting my body out bed, matter outweighs mind 9 times out of 10.

On the days that I do complete a morning workout, I feel amazing. A recent article in health magazine said that morning workouts burn 20% more fat than gym sessions done later in the day.

Morning workouts to do few things:

  1. They get a fitness goal done for the day
  2. They get your circulation going
  3. They help you burn calories throughout the day
  4. They set your expectations of yourself higher – so you’re more likely to make good choices throughout the day.
  5. They get your endorphins going – so you feel better about life.
  6. They give your bragging rights (but you feel so good about yourself, bragging isn’t even necessary.)

I really, really love morning workouts. Hopefully my love for them will soon soak into my subconscious so that it’s easier to get up and do them..

I need workout inception…


Post 133: Goodbye Mom

DSC_0016It’s inevitable that on any mission something is bound to knock you flat on your back. I knew it. I knew I something would happen that would push me down so hard that I wouldn’t want to get up. But never, never im a million years did I think it would be this bad.

It was supposed to be a plateau. It was supposed to be a vacation of bingeing. It was supposed to be a broken toe. But it’s not, and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever known.

Last week, my mom, the woman who gave everything and loved unconditionally, passed away. She was the best person in this world, and a life without her is inconceivable. If I could paint a picture for you, I would, but I really don’t feel it would do her justice. The best I can do is teach the many things she taught me as I carry out the rest of this year.

Let me tell you a little bit about my mom, health wise. She was petite, and she owned it. I never heard a bad comment about body image from her – ever. In my most critical moments, she saw the beauty in others. She was always well put together. She was never really on a diet, and she didn’t have a gym membership, but she ate in moderation, allowed herself culinary indulgences, and exercised with her friends.

She did express concern as I grew more rotund, but was kind. She wanted me to be healthy, and I dismissed her too often.  Both she and I would have liked to see me fit and healthy, but these last few months I think we were just excited to see each other period. One thing she was always proud of: my writing.

So here’s where I recommit myself to the blog that she never got to read. It’s been 181 days and there are 184 left. I’ve written 132 posts and need to catch up on 49. So this is it.

After all, mom always told me to finish out my commitments. I miss you mom, and I’m finishing what I started.

Day 124: Paid in Full

“You want to pay the full amount?! WOW!”

Or course, Mr. Credit Card man, I do want to pay off my debt! So I’m using my tax refund to clear my name and be in good financial standing for the first time in my adult life.

Turning a blind eye on how little of my minimum payments was being attributed to the principle amount was too easy until I got married. It was the worst feeling to bring three maxed-out low-limit cards into my marriage. All the stories about money being one of the leading causes of divorce, and I thought for sure that my minor debts would break us.  But just a little bit of weight loss has has taught me that losing a burden is literally liberating.

Sweet freedom!

I paid off Discover and Capital One yesterday, two cards I quickly signed up for upon college graduation. They’ve been on my mind for five years. Today, I paid off my Wells Fargo card of nine years and received the above response.

So..here’s to getting out of debt and having healthy finances.

Now, what will I do with the money I was spending on those minimum payments?


Post 115: Hiking


It was my first decision to go to Utah this weekend for my nephew’s baptism. The threat of being stranded in Salt Lake when I needed to be at work, even with a standby plane ticket  reserved, made me extremely paranoid. Stupid common sense.

So instead I got to go hiking with Tabbs and some of her friends. It. Was. Awesome!! We hiked the siphon draw trail almost to the foot of the flatiron on Superstition Mountain. The Flatiron is true to its name: heated by the hot Phoenix sun, it towers above the east valley. From what I’ve heard, the Flatiron trail will straighten you out.


It also kind of looks like the bow of the Titanic..

We didn’t make it all the way, but it’s a good goal! I haven’t been hiking since I was a Girl Scout, but I plan to do a lot more of it in the future.

Related Articles:

Summit Post

Hiking in Arizona

Voices Behind Me

Day 98: Better Tomorrow

38d74cd5c6bdc78a1cdcfb15030f2dd7My gym experience today was less than hardcore. My cold is holding on, and the strain of cardio on my airway left me gasping for air. When Tabbs joined me, I settled for a walk on the treadmill while she pounded out a workout.

As we were leaving the gym, we agreed that we would do “Better tomorrow”. It’s probably the smartest thing we’ve said to each other. Ever.

I did my best today. It wasn’t that great, but at least I made it to the gym. I can always do better tomorrow. As long as you’re not putting off to tomorrow what can also be done today, why not shoot for better and better tomorrows?

That’s how progress works. You can always eat cleaner tomorrow, especially if you ate clean today. You can only run farther and faster tomorrow than you did today. You are stronger tomorrow after lifting today. Tomorrow you are older, wiser, stronger, and more attractive than you were yesterday.

So today wasn’t the best. So what? There’s a hard workout waiting tomorrow.

Day 94: What Not to Wear

As much as I want to, I don’t buy clothes. It’s been part of my life for years. Do I have the desire to shop? Yes. Try new trends? Of course! But when I try doing these things, do they pan out the way I want them to? No!

So as much as I would love to have new clothes, I don’t go near clothing stores. And I won’t- until I lose weight. Telling myself that a particular item “Just looked better on the hanger”, isn’t excuse enough for me.

Here are a few things I’ve learned about dressing while being overweight.

Avoid horizontal stripes. You know how discouraging the tape measure can be? Wearing stripes is like wearing a bunch of tape measures around your middle.

Go for long tops that draw attention to your skinny parts- the more your middle is covered, the better. I like tops that draw the eye away from my middle.

Pick ascending necklines. When I get bigger, my boobs follow suit. And like it or not, boobs are fat. When they are big and visible, it’s a little too much for the average eye. I have to admit, this is where I do wrong most of the time.

Accessorize- This is another one where I do wrong. I’m in too much of a hurry most of the time to remember to change purses or earrings or shoes. Good accessories draw attention to and make you feel more put-together.

i don’t think I would have any trouble putting outfits together did I have a better foundation (i.e. body). But in the meantime, I can do what I can with what I have.

Day 86: Like I Love Cake

I love you like fat kid love cake.

When I asked my SFAM (sister from another mother) Julie what I should blog about, her text came back quickly: Talk about how much you miss cake. So smart- because parting with body fat also means parting with many edible luxuries.

Until recently, cake really was a luxury. When my grandparents were married during World War II, their family, friends and neighbors all contributed their sugar rations just so they could have wedding cake. And my grandma was skin, skin, skinny.

In the days before every grocery store had a bakery department and convenience stores sold moon pies, you actually had to make your own cake. Depending on the type of cake , it can be pretty labor intensive to make, so at least the baker could enjoy a slice, knowing they had burned off the calories used to prepare the treat.

Cake isn’t a treat anymore. It’s cheap and easy and has a dozen TV shows dedicated to it.  People may still be happy to eat it, but it’s not as special as it used to be. This is one of the reasons obesity is so common.


Okay I’m stopping myself- poor cake! It’s not cake’s fault that people want to eat it. It can’t help that it’s so delicious!

But we can help it. Julie- you are right. I miss cake. I miss a lot of things. But it’s that missing that’s going to make it so much sweeter to get to my goal and finally be able to allow myself those luxuries again.

Day 77: 27 Signs that Your Workouts are Working

  1. Your clothes are looser
  2. You can feel some muscle underneath that fat
  3. Your arms hurt so much that it takes 5 minutes and a lot of twisting to get out of your sports bra
  4. pinterest-inspirational-quotes-motivationYour mood is directly dependent on if you made it to the gym the previous day.
  5. When Nike commercials come on- you know what they are talking about
  6. 2 hours at the gym turns from a marathon into completely normal
  7. Post-gym exhaustion is now post-gym energy
  8. You can be half-asleep when you leave the house and STILL remember your gym bag..WITH everything you need in it
  9. There are callouses on your hands where you hold your weights
  10. You have welts on your knuckles from kickboxing
  11. You can run faster for longer
  12. Every song you hear is evaluated for its workout playlist potential
  13. You come up with reasons to move around…sitting still feels weird
  14. You are more likely to try new forms of exercise
  15. You start counting reps, sets and weights
  16. You no longer get winded after a few flights of stairs
  17. Goals seem so much more attainable
  18. You feel better about yourself..as a person
  19. People comment on your weight loss
  20. Feeling sick and lethargic happens less and less frequently
  21. You’re okay with being in pictures
  22. You are the one inviting your friends to the gym
  23. You feel beautiful after a workout..(okay- after a workout and a shower)
  24. You start abbreviating the names of muscle groups
  25. You naturally stand up straighter
  26. You are willing to spend money on more fitness clothes, gadgets and experiences
  27. You identify with fit people

Day 72: Nike Fuelband

Nike-Fuel-FeaturedI LOVE my Nike Fuelband.

It’s more than one week after Hubbs gave it to me for Christmas, and by this point I feel I can give an accurate review of it. Here’s what I’ve found so far.


Nike Fuelband tracks the number of active calories burned. It’s also a pedometer and a watch. Sync your Fuelband with your smart phone app (iPhone for me) to see these numbers crunched.

photo (3)Fuelpoints Decoded

Nike Fuelband converts your active energy to Fuelpoints. Now, from what I can tell these Fuelpoints are “burned” based on Nike’s movement algorithm. Basically, it can tell how much you move and the intensity of your movement and measures it on a point system. Set your Fuelpoint goal for the day and try to reach it.

I’ve found that 1,500 Fuelpoints is more than enough to make it through a day at the office. Another 1,500- 2,000 Fuelpoints equals a moderate to hard workout.  My 1/2 hour commute to work is good for about 130 Fuelpoints. So, as a working stiff with a gym membership, my average goal is 3,500 Fuelpoints per day.

For more information about how this works, check out A Blog to Watch.

Fuelband Sensitivity

I’m really impressed with the Fuelband’s ability to track the intensity and amount of my movement. One sleepless night I removed it from its charger (power lasts about 2 days), put it on and then fell asleep. The little bit of motion that happened while I was unconscious  registered on my activity report the next day. Of course, my 5K runs registered much, much higher on the scale.

Wearing the Fuelband

My hesitance to want the Fuelband was based off of a few bad reviews, one which said that it was flimsy and broke easily. This is soooo not the case. I’ve found it to be pretty sturdy and even water and sweat resistant. Not that I’ve taken it into the shower or anything- but it’s gotten through hand and dish washing.


“If anything, it’s a good motivator.” That’s what the rep at the Apple Store told me, and he was right. (Hubbs did buy the Fuelband at the Apple Store.) On days when my goal was set too high, or when I decided to skip the gym, I had to make up for my inactivity in other ways. As a result, my house is very clean, my laundry is very folded, and my couch is less sat-on.) I move a ton more now that every movement counts toward something.

What Doesn’t Work

Yoga doesn’t work with the Fuelband. Not that it inhibits your ability to power pose, but it just doesn’t track your calories or Fuelpoints burned, even though you’ve worked hard. Since a chose my left and also dominant wrist on which to wear the Fuelband, I found that when I am holding things or writing, it doesn’t track that activity. It makes me wonder if my activity level or Fuelpoint conversion would change should I move it to my right hand.

photo (3) copyAchievements

I love the achievement factor of video games. They encourage you to push yourself farther and try new things. Nike+ awards achievements for Fuelpoints earned, goals reached and goals exceeded. An achievements addict like myself will reach for the sky.

What Definitely Works

Since the Fuelband encourages me to move more, I feel like I have more energy. I also have automatic validation for the work I have done. The reports on the Nike+ website and App let me SEE my activity throughout every day I have used the Fuelband.

So, the Nike Fuelband is definitely worth it! Get one and be my friend!

Day 68: The Best Life Diet

best-life-diet-revised-updated-bob-greeneSince hindsight is 20/20, I can only say that I wish I had read this book closer to the start of Skinny 365. On Day 29: Holy Books, Batman! I asked for book suggestions, and Holly told me to read “The Best Life Diet” by Bob Greene.

But it takes time to request books from the library, get them and read them during the holidays. I just finished it today.

Bob Greene breaks down healthy diet to simple, easy-to-digest information. For people who are more experienced with healthy eating, a lot of the stuff he covers is repetitive and kind of “no duh”. But for people who are new to health food and healthy lifestyle, I can see where it would be helpful.

Not only does Greene point how HOW to change lifestyle habits in a three phase program, but he approaches the physical and psychological reasons WHY abuse their bodies by overeating. He also talks about the results of prolonged good behavior.

A great portion of this book tackles the subject of hunger. Why we eat, where we eat, how often we eat, how we feel before and after meals, and the differences between good and bad eating. He covers how to change the way hunger affects you.

Another great thing Greene does is to encourage you to do more and more to improve your health. Upon getting to “Phase 3”, he emphasizes that this is supposed to be the diet for the rest of your life. It is realistic, and covers the “instead ofs” that you can incorporate into your life. He also looks at the different levels of activity and encourages you to move to the next level.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is debating their own weight loss, or has just begun trying to lose weight. The Best Life Diet is no-nonsense, great advice.