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…

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?

 

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 95: Hubbs

DSC_0165There’s one person who’s never failed at loving me through everything. And though this blog is about fitness, I’m making this post all about my Husband, Hubbs.

I met Hubbs about 6 years ago, and we have officially been together for 5 1/2. We dated for a long time, we’ve found that being married really suits us.

He a big, manly man with a smart head and a soft heart. Yknow those people who are good at everything they do? Well, things come naturally to Hubbs, but he also helps the people around him be better at those things too. What better way to explain why my dieting goes better when he’s on the wagon with me?

There’s no way I could do this without my Hubbs. He supports me, no matter how goofy, discouraged or confident I am at the moment. Thanks for being there for me Matt, and happy early birthday! I love you!

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 79: My G-Fruit

photo (7) copy

“Wow! That’s really big!”, was my friend B’s comment when I showed her the picture at right.

I made her clarify that she was talking about the grapefruit.

If there’s one way to beat the 2:30pm blues (and the 4:30 ones), it’s by eating grapefruit. Talk about a flavorful, guilt-free snack! I feel like I’ve found the panacea for afternoon downers!

Grapefruit is amazing. It speeds up your metabolism, wakes up your taste buds, and has tons of nutrients.

Of course, not everyone likes grapefruit. This blog about it is hilarious and hit’s home for pre-Skinny 365 me.

Yeah, grapefruit isn’t cake, but it is pretty awesome! I depend on it to get through the day, Thanks to God, farmers and the grocery store for bringing this delicious fruit to a store near me!

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 75: Film Inspiration: Happy

imgres-1Skinny-ness isn’t always happiness.

At least, that’s what the documentary “Happy” says. This movie is available on Netflix, and rentable and purchasable on iTunes and the movie website. I watched it this morning and enjoyed the inspiration throughout the day.

Basically, what I got from “Happy” was that once basic needs (food, water, sleep, shelter) are provided for, people have the same amount of happiness, no matter their financial status. When people are focused on intrinsic goals like helping other people and cultivating healthy relationships, they were happy.

Then “Happy” takes the viewer around the globe to the happiest and unhappiest nations in the world. The U.S. currently ranks 23rd on the happiness scale, right between Japan and Bhutan. Native african tribes, Denmark and Okinawa are also featured among the happy.

In Japan, karoshi, of death due to overwork is extremely common. The high pressure to excel has an extreme effect on the happiness of the country.

Bhutan, on the other hand has taken steps to help the country be one of the happiest in the world. The government has actually gotten involved and has chosen to fund schools, land, and other places that promote happiness instead of damming up valleys to make energy to sell to India.

Happy is narrated by experts and people who live happily every day.

I’m bad, bad, bad at thinking “I will be happy when I am skinny”. I also think that I will be happy when I make more money. In reality, I have all the tools I need to be happy: basic needs, a close family, and the opportunity to help other people every day.

One of the goals of Skinny 365 is to be happy, and more time on the treadmill isn’t going to do that. Being skinny doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be happy, but it does make you feel better.

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.

Measurements

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.

Motivation

“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 71: The 4:30 PM Blues

19090817263Even the best of intentions are combatted with the worst of temptations around 4:30pm.

For those of you who don’t work in an office, 4:30 pm marks the time of day when you beg the seconds to tick by faster, or where you pray for more time to finish your work. No matter how hard you’ve worked, you’re usually tired.

It was around this time today that I felt the need to nap. The droop of my eyelids, the pain between my shoulder blades, and the lethargy of prolonged sitting filled my head with thoughts of speeding home, flopping down and not getting up until I had to return to my desk the next day.

Sure. I could grab an energy drink, but I’ve found that the only way to liven up those 4:30 pm blues is to always have a gym bag on hand and always make a beeline for the gym.

My development of this habit paid off today. It was only after a nice bit of yoga that I let myself lay down. I was still dog tired, but I’d gotten in a workout and my back didn’t hurt anymore. It was worth it. It’s worth it every time!

So even if you got them 4:30 pm blues, I’m sayin’ it’s okay.

You put on them running shoes and sweat those blues away.