Posts Tagged With: eat better

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 13: Getting Back on Track Edition

First of all, my prayers are certainly with Jennifer during this dreadful, uncertain time.¬†Let’s petition all of Heaven for the protection and care of the Fulwiler family!

I’ve been absent from the blogging world for the last few weeks. The holidays were busy, busy! In addition to endless Christmas shopping, and running around, I decided about a week before Christmas to get a jump start on my fitness goals for the new year. So, instead of blogging, I’ve been using what precious little time (and energy) I could muster to jump around the living room like a maniac so I could feel the burn! The result? Now, 5 days into 2013, I’ve already increased the length and intensity of my workouts . Woot!

I did so well last year. For 6 months, I worked out, and I was training to do a 5K, but…life got in the way and I got off track. Then, I started having health problems and didn’t want to risk making things worse. Well, not working out hasn’t made my health any better, so I’ve decided to work through the pain. In the 6 months that I did manage to stay on track last year, I learned a lot, so I’ve decided to pass on some of those lessons with 7 things I recommend for getting in shape.

1: Shoes. Proper ones.

When I started working out, I wore 10$ sneakers from Walmart. Within a few weeks, I was on cloud nine. Every day, I could feel myself getting stronger, I had more energy, and I just felt….better! Then came the pain. Shin splints. The worst part about shin splints is that there is no gradual progression. One day, perfectly fine, the next you’re in screaming agony at the slightest exertion. Walking becomes strained, squats and lunges become painfully difficult, and jumping jacks? Jogging? Butt kicks? Ha! No way! I ended up having to decrease the intensity of my workouts for a few weeks to allow myself time to heal. At a time when I was moving forward so brilliantly, to have to step back was a slap in the face. Not knowing very much about shoes, I bought a pair of Skechers Sport sneakers for 50$. After some heavy mileage, I recently ordered a replacement pair through Amazon, that are pretty much identical, but with pink trim! They came with pink laces, too! ūüėÄ



I’m sure a good many people would say they weren’t up to snuff since they didn’t cost an arm and a leg, but the difference was amazing. My feet not only felt supported, they felt loved. I also used a calf support, and continue to use it to prevent further injury.

Bottom line: GET SOME DECENT SHOES!!! And using a calf support from day one probably isn’t a bad idea. Having to dial down your intensity when you’re making progress sucks.

2: A Fitness Plan

You simply can’t just jump around your living room doing random exercises and expect consistent results. Last Christmas, I bought my husband an XBox 360 (which he was DYING to have) and I bought a Kinect as nice little add-on for the both of us. Oh. My. Gravy. It was money well spent, let me tell you! I bought a bundle that included my choice of game, and since I was being such a generous Santa, I chose a game for myself!

I highly, highly recommend The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout for Kinect! ¬†Having Bob as a virtual personal trainer is just fantastic, and there are just so many ways to customize your program. You choose the length, (As little as 20 minutes. I mean, come on. You can start out at 20 minutes, right?) the intensity, and the muscle focus. You can also set it to utilize equipment you have, but I don’t actually recommend that. I set it to use my resistance band, but it didn’t use it for a few weeks, and then when it did, I was scrambling through the house searching for it while Bob was screaming at me to get with the program.

Overall, it’s fantastic. It’s like having 100 workout DVDs in one, but better. Bob constantly gives me feedback (sometimes quite unwelcome) when I fall behind, when I’m not kicking my leg up high enough, and when I’m nailing the routine. Really, it’s also safer than regular DVDs because if I’m arching my back when I need to keep it straight, Bob always lets me know so I can avoid injury.

If you don’t have an XBox, you can still make a plan! Here are some ideas:

  • Workout DVDs:¬†I’ve used “The Firm” workouts in the past and they’re great.¬†
  • The Gym:¬†I’m way too introverted to work out in front of people I don’t know and take the chance of running into people that I do know! However, it’s the best way to get access to a wide range of equipment. A few hints: Do some research online and build a plan for what machines you want to use and what kind of routine you want to do. Also, be sure to utilize the staff and don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s what they’re there for! It’s better to risk looking silly for not knowing what you’re doing than to get hurt or not get what you’re paying for.
  • Spark People:¬†Whatever your plan is, tracking it via Spark People is a great way to track your success, get motivation, tools, and support.
  • My Fitness Pal, My Net Diary, and probably a bajillion other smartphone apps:¬†I really love My Net Diary, but it’s not available on my Kindle Fire tablet! So, I’ve been using My Fitness Pal, which is working out pretty good for me so far. The bottom line: look around and try a few out and see which one works best for you.¬†
  • Endomondo:¬†Endomondo doesn’t track your meals, strictly fitness, so I put it in a different category. If you’re running, biking, hiking, walking, Endomondo will track how fast, how far, and how many calories you burned. It’s great for competing against yourself, and seeing how far you’ve come.

3: A Heart Rate Monitor

The Biggest Loser Ultimate workout estimates calorie burn, and so does Endomondo. But there were times when I felt like my efforts weren’t accurately recognized. Especially when my Kinect sensor couldn’t see me doing my hiplifts because my living room is so small it couldn’t see me on the floor. At the end of the day, I wanted to know for sure. I looked at different products, but my research led me to the conclusion that the heart rate monitor was the best way to check my calorie burn.

It’s so much more than that!

Just knowing my target heart rate zone and where I am has made a big impact on my workouts. I can just glance at my wrist and know when I need to dial up the intensity. It’s also nice that an alarm will sound if I’m about to have a heart attack. We fat people worry about that. Knowing when my intensity level is dropping and knowing I’m not actually dying has really helped me to give my best at every workout.

I use an online calculator to check calorie burn based on average heart rate because the monitor seems to calculate calorie burn based on me being male. And it’s pink.¬†It turns out, though, that I do burn more calories than the game and apps tell me.

‘Cause I’m intense like that.

5: Nutrition

Last year, I was dead set on dropping pounds. I used Weight Watchers at first, because that’s what’s always worked for me in the past. As the weeks went by, however, despite sticking to my plan and working out regularly, the pounds were lingering, and I started having trouble getting enough energy to do my workouts. I looked over my food journals and checked the details. Turns out, points aren’t enough. It needs to be a little more complicated than that.

I wasn’t getting enough calories, for one thing, even though I met my points goal. I also wasn’t getting enough protein, hence the workout lag. I upped my calories, upped my¬†protein¬†and dropped some pounds!

The last few months, however, I’ve learned a lot more than that. Since I’ve been having health issues, I’ve started looking at food a lot differently, and focusing on getting the right nutrition. I only eat meat once a day, and make sure to get at least 5 servings of vegetables daily and 3 servings of fruit. More energy? Absolutely. Despite pain, pain, and more pain, I have the get up and go to get through my workouts because I’m cutting out the crap and cramming in the good stuff. There are some exercises I couldn’t get through before even after months of working out that I can do now. Eat your veggies! Cut out the processed crap! No sugar!

Well, that and…

6:QUIT SMOKING!!!!

I have not once had to stop while working out because my lungs were searing. I still need a break after an intense exercise, but I no longer need a break after every exercise.

7: The Right Motivation

Vanity is a powerful motivator, but it’s not strong enough for most people, and the rewards aren’t very meaningful. Focus on improving your health, your mobility, and extending your life. Do you want to walk with the greatest of ease when you hit 80 or do you want to hobble around at 50? Do you want to die at 50? Or do you want to run your 50th 5k at 50? I’ve lost a lot of weight since I was my all-time heaviest and the biggest victory I had wasn’t fitting into a pair of jeans or turning heads. It was the day I realized I could get in and out of my car without struggling.

I know my 7 must-haves are hardly exhaustive, but I hope they help you on your journey to better health! And head over to Moxie Wife for more quick takes with Hallie!

Note: While writing this post, I realized I was linking to a lot of Amazon stuff. So, I joined the affiliate program. If you should click on one of the fine products featured here and buy something, I’ll make a tiny bit of money that I’ll probably just spend on more stuff from Amazon.¬†Anything recommended here is the exact product I own. (Except the calf support. I have it in EXTRA large, not large as featured.)

Categories: 7 Quick Takes Friday, Everything Else | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Gluten Free Challenge Pt 2: Days 5-7

These are events that transpired about 2 weeks ago, but I’ve just not gotten around to posting. I went gluten free for about 2.5 weeks, at which point, my pain and numbness continued to get worse, so I decided it wasn’t doing me any good. It was worth ruling out, though!

Day 5: Gluten free on the road

I worked at a store in Oklahoma City for the day to help out with coverage. It’s tempting to just “wing it” when you’re working out of town, but I try to pack a lunch and stick to my routine as much as I can. I packed a bowl of beef & cabbage soup, a gluten free biscuit, an applesauce and a yogurt. Since I wasn’t sure when I would be able to eat my lunch, I packed a Bolthouse Farms Blue Goodness smoothie for the ride up. I think I’m starting to get the hang of this!

The guys I worked with decided to order wings and they offered to order me some as well. As sweet as the offer was, I said no. I didn’t have any idea what kind of gluten content I’d be getting myself into, so I decided to play it safe. Oh, it was tempting, though, especially when the wings arrived!

Day 6: PIZZA!!!

I’ve been on approximately 1,000,000,000 diets in my life. My goal for as long as I can remember has been perfect moderation. To know when to say yes to the deliciousness of pizza and when to say no. To be able to eat two slices and stop there.

This is where gluten fasting is wildly different from dieting. The time to say yes is never. The time to stop is at 0 slices of pizza.

I had a work meeting at our business office in OKC Sunday evening. The main focus was getting more business accounts at The CellPhone store, and blah blah blah, statistics on our business customers, blah blah, strategies for gaining new businesses, blah blah blah, dinner will be provided.

In case you hadn’t guessed, it was pizza.

Smarty-pants here assumed eating dinner at the meeting would be out of the question. Since I had to drive to the meeting immediately after my shift that day, I packed another Bolthouse Farms Blue Goodness smoothie. I’ve got to figure out how to make those myself or this habit could get a bit spendy! Having a belly full of smoothie sure was helpful when I arrived.

There was pizza as far as the eye could see.

Now, my vision is awful, so for me, maybe it wasn’t that far, but still. It was devastating. There were a few baskets of snacks scattered about, but I couldn’t have any of that either, and no one else was interested in anything but PIZZA. There’s just something particularly horrifying about the prospect of saying “no” to that greasy, cheesy goodness. Not just for now. FOREVER.

Meanwhile, my coworkers are reveling in their new-found pizza heaven. Plates were piled 4 and 5 slices high, no one was chewing, just steadily cramming the gooey goodness into their faces. The guy sitting next to me flipped one slice over on top of another and made a pizza sandwich. The wild gorging was like some Babylonian feast and I, I alone resisted the siren call of PIZZA!!!

I had a bottle of water.

On the way home, I started planning the hash brown quiche I would make when I got home. The 45 minute drive seemed to last forever, until finally, I was home! Out of courtesy, I asked Scott what he wanted for dinner before I got to cooking. His response ignited a fury in me the likes of which I could have never imagined.

“Don’t worry about me, I already ate. I had a pizza.”

ISN’T THAT JUST WONDERFUL FOR YOU?!?!?! AND EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD?!?!?!? EVERYBODY GETS PIZZA TONIGHT BUT ME!!!!!!!

My favorite place in the world to eat pizza is Mazzio’s. I know Mazzio’s isn’t available everywhere, but it’s the best, hands down, as far as I’m concerned. There is no chain, no mom & pop brick oven¬†pizzeria¬†that can top Mazzio’s as far as I’m concerned.

After my considerable hissy fit, Scott insisted on going to Mazzios, where they are now serving gluten free pizza.

Even without the gluten, it’s still better than any other pizza place.

It’s so beautiful!

*Single tear rolls down my face….*

Day 7: You have donuts, I have a smoothie…

Tuesday means early morning meeting at The CellPhone Store. I fixed my breakfast in advance. I was quite proud.

Introducing Rebecca’s Blue Awesomeness! Why, yes, you may have the recipe!

1 banana

1/2 cup blueberries

1 cup apple juice

1/2 cup milk

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smoothie. Enjoy!

 

I’ve decided to try to transition from 2 cups of coffee a day to 1 and then just have a smoothie to go instead of a coffee to go. This was an experiment in mixing the day before, and it was a mad success.

Then I got to work.

There was a box of donuts sitting on the table. Staring at me. Literally

Okay, so I took this picture at the end of the day. It looked much yummier and less plaugey at the beginning of the day.

I stayed strong. I’m jealous of their donuts, yes. But certainly they’re jealous of my delicious smoothie.

Throughout the day, The donuts continued to stare at me. But I had my soup for lunch and my chicken salad roll-up. I tried to throw the last donut away to avoid temptation completely but one of my coworkers stopped me. “Someone might want it!” she said. I WANT IT!!!!

But I didn’t have it.

A much better option, in fact, the number one option for sandwiches is the roll-up. Corn tortillas are much less expensive than specialty tortillas or even regular flour ones. It is, however, very difficult to make a sandwich wrap out of them because of their size and texture. So, what I did was warm the tortillas up on my countertop grill, spread the sandwich mix on them, and roll them up! To increase speadability, I threw everything I wanted in my chicken salad or tuna salad in my mini food chopper and mixed it up like that. Very yummy! Two roll-ups and a bowl of soup make a wonderful lunch!

The Results

By the end of week 1, I was pretty much in the habit. By the end of week 2, it was a no-brainer. However, a few days after the 2 week mark, I started having trouble getting out of bed due to the numbness and pain in my arms and legs. So, it obviously isn’t a gluten intolerance. But, it was an eye-opening experience, that’s for sure!

Categories: Eat Better, Everything Else | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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