What Am I Doing?

Okay, so a month ago I posted that I was doing the ketogenic diet. I was really excited. I weighed myself for the first time in a few years. I had it going on.

And then I didn’t.

I was so excited about what I was doing and I did it well. I kept track of everything for a while. I ate fat like it was going out of style, which is hard for me because I don’t eat cheese, butter, or other high fat dairy things. Fat, yes. Dairy, no.

I went on vacation in the middle of October, and during that vacation I wondered what would happen if I started eating dairy. Vacation is a great time to find out, since I can sleep off any negative effects. I got some cream to put in my coffee (I was trying to do the bulletproof coffee but that stuff is so nasty) and cheese to eat. I basically OD’d on cheese while I was on vacation, which totally threw my ketosis off. I spent the next couple of weeks figuring out how to get back on track with dairy in my diet, since I didn’t seem to have any ill effects. It was nice to be able to eat cheese again.

After that, my fiance began to read a book about low-carb diets and what they ultimately do to your metabolism. The ketogenic diet is extremely low-carb, even more low-carb than most low-carb diets. There was a chapter just about the Paleo diet, so I read it. I had to at this point. Nothing I was doing was working out that well, and apparently I was doing something majorly wrong since I gained back pretty much all of the weight I had lost. I was pretty frustrated, but the chapter was enlightening. It reminded me of what this whole thing is about – eating real food. It isn’t about the fat that I eat or the carbs that I eat or any of that. It is about eating real food, period. I have been demonizing carbs this whole time, and it hasn’t helped anything. Weight hasn’t been falling off and I haven’t gotten any healthier because of it. Its all about real food.

So I started adding carbs back in, in the form of vegetables. I don’t care what this book about carbs says; I will not go back to eating grains. I already know how I would feel after I eat those, so I’m not even going there. I’ve upped my carb intake purely through adding a lot of vegetables into my diet. I’ve been doing this for about a week now.

On top of that, I decided that it was time to get serious about getting some more activity into my life. This sitting on the couch thing that I have been doing for so long isn’t cutting it. Yes, I’ve been doing yoga fairly regularly, but it isn’t enough to see any lasting change. What I need to do is get out of the house, move around more. I looked into a gym, one that seemed to have a pretty dedicated, supportive staff. I figured I could get some really good personal training and actually make some progress. And then I got an even better idea.

I got a dog.

I have been wanting a dog for quite a while, years even. But this is the first time that I’ve lived close enough to home to be able to take a dog out on my lunch break. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve had this low stress level in my life. This is the first time that I’ve thought that I could probably handle it.

I didn’t want just any dog, though. I wanted a beagle. I have wanted a beagle since I was young. I think they are the prettiest dogs. So I started looking at beagles, and I found the perfect one. When I was a kid I had a stuffed animal beagle that I named Roxy. I have always wanted to have a real beagle that I could name Roxy, ever since that stuffed animal. When I was searching for the perfect beagle, I came across one that was perfect in every way, including the name. Her name is already Roxy. She is completely house trained and has been a joy. She is an amazing dog. And the best part is, she is motivating me to get out of the house and walking around. She loves being outside. I have been motivated to track my steps ever since she came along, and she is definitely helping me be more active. We have gone for walks twice a day ever since I got her last weekend.

So two life-altering things: I added in a lot more vegetables to my diet (by the way, I’m not nearly as hungry all the time as I used to be, and that seems counter-intuitive), and I’m a lot more active since I have a really good reason to be. In the last seven days I’ve lost seven pounds. I don’t know what is up with that, but it is interesting. Probably water or something, but it is still awesome. I even had someone comment and ask if I had lost weight today.

I know, this whole journey has been more about health than weight, but when you lose fifty pounds in six months and then, without really changing how you eat, you gain it all back, it is frustrating and my tendency is to focus on that. But I’m gaining healthy habits from my quest to lose weight, so I’m not going to beat myself up too bad. I just hope that I remember what I’ve learned as far as the food stuff goes: Adding more vegetables is the way to go. More updates to come.

Onward Toward My Goal

So last weekend I posted about my new fitness-related goal, and after the post, I worked really hard to do some research into what I need to do to correct my squats. Inevitably I ended up on a CrossFit website and discovered that there is a CrossFit gym not far from where I live. Their website was phenomenal, and I was able to link to the CrossFit journal from the website. The journal has a lot of great information about beginning CrossFit, how to improve squats, and recommendations related to CrossFit. After reading and reading and reading, mostly about beginners in CrossFit, I asked myself: “Why am I holding myself back? Why can’t I do the CrossFit thing now?”

Before my shopping adventure last weekend, I swung by CrossFit Decree – the gym not far from where I live. There was no one there because it was early afternoon on Saturday, but it was tiny. I got excited. After the frustration that I felt after my first CrossFit experience,  I felt like a smaller gym was just what I probably needed. And I was right. After talking to a wonderful coach named Renee on the phone on Thursday (haven’t met her yet, but I can’t wait to!), I went to CrossFit Decree and participated in their 6:00 class.

It was amazing. It was everything I had dreamed CrossFit would be.

I had explained to Renee my experience with the other CrossFit gym, and she said that they would work with me to make sure that I didn’t overdo it and burn myself out too quick. They did a great job. I have been to two classes so far and am about to hit my third in an hour. Then I will have two days off, during which I will probably not be able to walk from being so sore (I have been fighting soreness like crazy today!) before I do it all again next week.

The coaches at CrossFit Decree have been awesome with showing me how to modify the exercises so that I will be able to do them, and working with me to make sure that I don’t overdo it. And the other people there are just as awesome. I can’t wait until I don’t feel like a newbie any more!

So, I need to go get ready for my workout. I will probably post again this weekend!

School is OUT!

Okay, so I have finished up school, and I will be taking some much needed time off. I am hoping to use this time to catch up on some things that I have let slide while I was handling school, and one of those things is my health. I have actually done very well with my eating, considering all of the stress that I have been under, and have lost about five more pounds since the last time I weighed myself. But I need to start working out again and focusing on getting myself into shape.

To that end, I went to the gym with some friends of mine yesterday. I know, I know – I sang the praises of EPLifeFit and why in the world am I trying to go back to the gym when I have a perfectly good workout program that I can do at home? Well, for starters, I haven’t felt like I am getting a full, well rounded workout from EPLifeFit. Granted, I am a beginner so I need to start slow, but I felt like I was accomplishing more with Body by Science than I did with EPLifeFit. But EPLifeFit was targeting areas that I felt Body by Science wasn’t covering, so….

….I basically combined both workouts when I went to the gym. And boy, am I tired!

One of the things that I found out through doing introductory workouts with CrossFit was that I desperately need to work on my squats. I am finding out that I have no strength in my hamstrings or glutes – I’m willing to bet that there is nothing but fat back there! Just doing a minimal amount of squats per how I was told to do them by my EPLifeFit trainer wears me out, so I know that it is something that I need to concentrate on. I am going to put in the work to get it right, because eventually – when I get in better shape and feel that I can better handle it – I want to give CrossFit another shot.

My eating has been better – I have been concentrating on keeping it clean. Today I made Asian Fried “Rice” – a recipe that I found on Nom Nom Paleo. And speaking of Nom Nom Paleo, this blogger has a new iPad app that is totally awesome and definitely worth your time to check out. I have been telling everyone I know about this app because it is so sharp and so well done, and it has tons of recipes on it, one of which is the Asian Fried “Rice” recipe. Check it out!

My Rough Week

Well, as I started typing this post, I wasn’t sure what the title should be. But then I realized that all I am going to type about is how much this past week sucked. For starters, the Crossfit gym that I was going to changed their schedule starting at the beginning of the week, and the new schedule made it impossible for me to attend regular classes. So I am stuck going back to my old gym. Don’t worry, though – I am still working on my squats because I feel that it is important to be able to do those right. I keep thinking about it and I think that my doing them wrong has nothing to do with how long I have been sitting on my butt. I really think that I have been doing them wrong my entire life.

So I was bummed about the Crossfit thing. Still am. Any time that my fiance and I look into any type of activity like that, it never works with my schedule. I guess that means that I have a really crappy schedule. And it also means that it is back to my old gym for me. My workout partner said that she’ll finally be able to go with me. I may throw some burpees in for good measure.

I had mentioned that I started feeling sick after my very first Crossfit workout, and I fought it all last week, but by this past Thursday I felt like I was about to die. I went to the doctor and found out that I had a sinus infection. I’ve got antibiotics now and this morning I was actually able to smell stuff for the first time in over a week. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but I do know that the meatloaf that I made for dinner sure smelled good.

I was going to post about my wild weekend last weekend, but the week was so rough that I never did. I spent almost the entire day last Sunday shopping – most of it was for groceries. It really was entirely unintentional because I had a plan and knew what I needed, but there were two items that the stores close to me just didn’t have. So rather than change my plan, I drove all the way across town to another store to get my stuff. Remember, I was sick. I get really stubborn and bitchy when I’m sick, so no one was even suggesting that we change the plan, lest they get their heads bitten off. I did get everything that I needed, though, and I made my pork chili again, and some chicken soup that I thought was going to be awesome but turned out kind of tasteless. Either that or it was the fact that I couldn’t taste anything since I was all stopped up. Not a good week for experimenting with new recipes, anyway.

It is incredibly hard to stay Paleo when I am sick. I did it, but I craved all kinds of stuff. If you’re like me, all you want when you are sick is some kind of comfort food, and by comfort food I mean CARBS. You know, the stuff that will increase the level of endorphins in your body so that you will feel happy and warm and loved and can forget for a moment that your head is about to explode from all of the crap in your sinuses. Whenever I did low carb diets before, I always fell off the wagon when I got sick. Now I see why, because this diet has been the easiest change of my life, but I still craved all kinds of stuff that I couldn’t have when I got sick. It is probably a good thing that I haven’t gotten sick very much since I started doing Paleo, and it is also probably a good thing that I’m not going to be doing Crossfit, since I think that had a lot to do with why I got sick in the first place. I hate that. I hate not being able to do the cool, intense workout stuff. But whatever.

I’ll be back at Crossfit. You just wait and see.

On a more positive note, I lost a couple more pounds, bringing me to a total of 40 pounds lost. I am very happy about that!

 

Crossfit Workout #1

So last night was my first Crossfit workout, and I have to say that….

I’M NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO WALK TOMORROW!!!

I am actually surprised that I could walk today. I have NEVER done as many squats at one time as I did in my life. And I know that tomorrow night I am going to have to go back and do it again…

I started feeling like I was getting a cold as SOON as I left the gym, which was aggravating to me because it is the same problem I was having with Power 90. I haven’t felt sick since I started this diet, so feeling like I am getting a cold is not fun! But I looked it up on the internet, and so far as I can tell, I may just need sleep and food. The symptoms I am experiencing now are very mild, so hopefully I will be okay by tomorrow.

Losing…What?

I have been doing a bit of online research this morning, and I came across a blog post about weighing yourself when on a diet. A woman named Deb is featured in the post, with pictures of her at 155 in the before picture, looking very unhappy, and at 155 in the after picture, looking much more fit.

Wait…what?

Yes, you read that right. She weighs 155 in both pictures. She is on a Paleo diet.

Reading this is great for me, because my scale hasn’t budged an inch in a few weeks, which is usually pretty frustrating for me. It would be this time, too, but I feel so great eating this way that I have stopped caring about the scale. Not to the point where I won’t get on it, but I get on it less. And still it hasn’t moved.

And yet coworkers tell me that it already looks like I have lost more than the scale tells me I have. I look at them unbelievably when they tell me this because I can’t believe it. But I go on eating this way because of the way it makes me feel. And I work out, too.

But then came another blog post.

What? No cardio?

Now here is the point where my fiance is going to get a little frustrated with me. He and I are very big into researching things. I usually research along the way (hence the reason for all of the “along the way” blog posts) and he researches beforehand. He’s been telling me about the no cardio “thing” for a couple of weeks now, and telling me I need to read “Body by Science” by Doug McGuff and John Little. He has formulated a workout that he does every time we go to the gym that incorporates weight lifting and no cardio. And he finishes his workout while I am still struggling along on the elliptical machine, usually finishing his whole workout at about the same time that I stagger off of the machine, about to die – when I am ready to begin my lifting. So I am happy to report to him that the book is the next thing on my immediate reading list. I will let all of my droves of readers (ha ha, joke) know how the book was.

So Deb achieved this amazing feat without losing a pound and without doing cardio. Not only that, but one part of the post says that she counted her calories for one day and ate….(wait for it)….”slightly over 3900 calories per day.”

WHAT???

Oh wow. This Paleo thing isn’t a diet – it is a freaking miracle! One of the most wonderful miracles that I have found, and I am taking advantage of it! (Or I will be when I get myself off of that elliptical machine – I have been telling my fiance that it is no joke, and now I’m starting to be convinced that it is of the devil!) I can’t wait to be able to blog about the information I find out about these new finds of the day!

*I must also throw in a disclaimer. I am not a religious person, so any mention of devils or miracles in the above post should not be construed as religious zeal, whether positive or negative, toward any particular diet or workout machine.

*I must also throw in another note: While Deb is eating 3900 calories a day, I believe from some of the tags on the posts that she is doing Crossfit, which to me means that she is also burning a heck of a lot of calories. Using common sense, I do not advocate or think it wise to start eating calories like nobody’s business simply because Deb is eating 3900 calories a day.

Getting It Together

So I’ve been doing well with my diet for about two months now. I’ve only had two cheat days – one last Friday and one in May. My boyfriend and I went to the beach, where he asked me to marry him. And so, since we are getting married in two years, at the beach, I need to start getting really serious about getting into shape.

I said something to my trainer about being bored with P90, the same two workouts over and over and over and over again. It gets old quick. And he recommended that I try a different program. And so I have started the Master Series today, in the hopes that I won’t get bored and it will keep me engaged long enough to accomplish something.

I have also started doing Balintawak training with my boyfriend on the nights of the week that he is home. It is very low-impact, and very fun. I have fun, anyway. I wish we had some more drills to work on, though. We work on the same ones over and over again. The only thing we have to work on with them is speed. Hopefully we will be working on that soon.

I’m tired, though. Sometimes I think that this is probably how people in boot camp feel. I have been trying to take it a little easy at work, since I’m doing so many workouts, and so far it isn’t too bad. I’m hoping I can hold out, though. I’m trying not to go too hard on the workouts, since I’m not used to doing them.

And so that is how things are going so far. I will check back soon and we will see how it is going from here.