Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday, February 29th Workout - Push Day - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Abs

So even though I haven't worked out in a week, I decided to go ahead with upping weights, bands and/or reps for Push Day. It was hard, it was exhausting and it was totally worth it!! My tank top was actually soaked in sweat front and back!

Here's what I changed...

Push ups went to 4 sets of 12 reps instead of 10 (well the last one had to be split into 2 sets of 6 but it's still upped), the tricep band pull down stayed at 60 reps, the seated press went up to 3 sets f 20 instead of 15, bent arm row (on the bench) went to 3 sets of 20 instead of 15, both the front raise and lateral raise went up to 3 sets of 20 instead of 15 and all the abs are at 3 sets of 20 instead of 15 with the obliques now using the heavier black band instead of the green one, except the actual crunch which stayed at 60 reps for now.

I definitely had to take more breaks during the sets but I feel like I got an awesome workout and I'm actually looking forward to leg day tomorrow!

Push Day - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Abs: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Warm Up:
Arms circles
Arms back and forth, up and down, etc
"Fists of fire"
Band Pulls with yellow band (2-4 lbs) - 3 sets of 20 reps

Workout:
Push Ups (against sink) - 3 sets of 12 reps, 2 sets of 6 (the final ones)
Tricep Band Pull Down with blue band (4-6 lbs) - 4 sets of 15 reps
Seated Press (in chair) with red band (25-30 lbs) - 3 sets of 20 reps going back and forth with
Bent Over Row (on inclined bench) with black band (15-20 lbs) - 3 sets of 20 reps
Front Raise with 3 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 20 reps going back and forth with
Lateral Raise with 3 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 20 reps

Abs:
Psoas - Leg Lift with 3 second hold - 3 sets of 20 reps
Standing Oblique Twists with black band (15-20 lbs) -  3 sets of 20 reps
Basic Crunch with hands reaching to knees - 1 set of 20 reps, 2 sets of 15 reps, 1 set of 10

Basic Stretch

Motivational Monday


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday...

Ohhhhhh... it's been a long few days!

I dropped Andy off in Hanover today to catch a bus to Boston for his audition to the acting school he wants to attend tomorrow morning. It's hard to get into, it's very expensive and its very, very far away (he wants to attend the L.A. campus) but he's incredibly talented and dedicated so I don't see any way he won't succeed.

We found out on Friday that the car needs like $800.00 worth of work that has to be done ASAP. That was a pretty big blow but at least what's left of the tax refund will cover it (that and a little out of savings). Still sucks though. I did tell them there's no way I'm driving a huge truck again while they work on our car and they promised me a loaner that I can actually drive so I'm setting that up on Monday.

Because of all the extra time I had to spend dealing with the car and then with everything today my workouts have been shifted by a few days but I AM doing Push Day and abs tomorrow no matter what and I did 8,400 steps yesterday and over 10,000 steps today so woohoo for me! My back aches, my ankles, knees and feet ache but I'm actually meeting my walking goals for the first time in a long time!

I also bought a new sports bra and ended up having to go down one band size... so yay for non scale victories! And it was on clearance so I saved some money.

And I'm back on the right path with food, carbs and protein, and generally feel like I'm done with my eating spree and things are getting back to normal diet and exercise-wise.

I think that's all I have for now. It feels really great to be getting back on track and accomplishing things instead of just spinning my wheels!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Week Twenty-One Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month Five)

Week Twenty-One Weigh-In:
02/25/2016:         + 1 pound
Total lost:             33.2 pounds
Current Weight:   196.8 pounds

Well, I'm up a pound but considering how my week went I'll take it! My food choices were horrible, my food amounts were horrible and there was no exercise at all.

Why?

Um, I'm not really sure outside of pain and feeling cruddy but if I'm to be honest here, and that's pretty much what I do, I just kind of felt like it. I wanted to eat all that crap and I wanted to sit on my butt and do nothing and that's exactly what I did.

Was that a  good decision? Of course not, but it is what it is, or what it was and things will get better from here on out.

I pretty much have most of my food and meals planned for this coming week and I'm shooting for lots and lots of protein with as low carb as possible. The food is in the house and ready to go, I have everything I need for homemade coffee and I'm stocked up on lots of high protein choices.

My exercise plans are also complete for the week. I'm going for 5-6 days of weights and I want to work on getting 10,000 steps a day again.

I've figured out over the last year or so that I do much better when I jump into things the whole way or quit doing something cold turkey so I'm planning to just go for the 10,000 steps and not build up to them like I've tried before.

I've done it before and it's worked really well for me. My basic plan is 5-10 minutes of walking every hour of the day when I'm awake and anything extra like parking further away, taking every aisle in the grocery store and walking around while talking on the phone.

I know it's doable but at the same time I'm going to listen to my body and see how my ankle and knees react and go from there.

So that's the basic plan and I'm pretty happy to have things planned out and ready to go!

Let's do this thing!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday - A Small Update

This has been a long, painful week so far (my week starts on Thursday since that's my weigh-in day). I haven't done well with food even though I'm back on track now and I haven't done well with exercise outside of simple stretching because everything hurts, especially my joints and my back.

The weather is partially to blame for all of this (well, not the food part) because every time the barometric pressure has a big change or anything like that, it affects my body. I make plans for a good workout and then my knee or hip or ankle or all three feel like I have huge needles being driven though them and I have to change my workout plans. Add my back, wrists, elbows and any other joint you can think of into that and I haven't been having any fun.

Basically my workouts for this past week (and probably a few days this coming week) have been gentle stretching. That's about all I can handle right now and it's better than nothing.

Also, I fully expect to gain weight this week because I kind of went a little crazy with food, and not good food, and I'm not quiet sure why. Probably a combination of pain and annoyance and just a "I don't care" kind of attitude but, like I said, I'm back on track now and plan to stay that way.

I think that's all I have for now. Will hopefully write more later!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday in the Kitchen - My Homemade Iced Coffee

I kind of feel like I'm flaking on posting a "real" recipe but it's getting late and I'm tired and not currently doing well with food or exercise or tracking so it is what it is.

This is very basic. I, personally, don't like strong coffee and once I actually added up how much I was spending on Dunkin Donuts iced coffee I decided to start making my own. The coffee would be stronger if I had a coffee maker that made more than 4 cups at a time to be mixed into a 32 oz glass but I don't so this is how I currently drink it.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp ground coffee
4 cups water
2 tsp half & half
1/4 tsp white granulated sugar
as many ice cubes as you can fit into your cup

I usually take a full tablespoon of ground coffee to make 4 cups of coffee in the coffee maker. I like flavored coffee so I usually use French Vanilla or Caramel Cream or Southern Pecan or whatever I have on hand. Then I pour it into my 32 oz glass (it fills up about half the glass), add the half and half and sugar and add as many ice cubes as will fit into the glass and raise the level to the top of the glass. Drink and enjoy! Yes, the coffee gets majorly diluted by the end but I like it that way plus it gives me more water in my day.

I'd like to get to the point where I'm not suing any sugar at all but I'm just not there yet.

Nutritional Facts:
1 serving equals 53 calories, 3 g fat, 27 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Week Twenty Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month Five)

Week Twenty Weigh-In:
02/18/2016:         - 1.4 pounds
Total lost:             34.2 pounds
Current Weight:   195.8 pounds

Yes! Down another 1.4 pounds! I'm soooo close to a 35 pound loss which is my most recent short-term goal. The last time I was at this weight was March of 2009!

I did well with exercise this past week and plan to continue that and to make my workouts harder because I'm not being challenged as much.

And, once again, I need to focus on upping that protein some more, to take progress pics and to take measurements.

That's basically all I have planned right now but will write more later.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday, February 16th Workout - Pull Day - Back, Biceps and Abs

I've really been feeling like my workouts weren't challenging me enough so I decided that it was time to make them harder starting with today's workout.

And, yeah, I was definitely challenged! And felt a little pukey :/ but it a good way lol.

Most of the exercises went up by either weights or reps or both and the thing that I'm most proud of what that my my chair pose went from 2 minutes each time to 3!

Basically the one armed row went up to 10 pounds instead of 8 and I was able to do more reps a set for all but the last 2 sets, the trap flies weights remained the same but went from 3 sets of 15 reps to 3 sets of 20 reps, Bicep curls are still at 8 lbs but went from 3 sets of 15 to 3 sets of 20, "falling leaf" went from 3 sets of 10 to 3 sets of 15, standing obliques and Psoas went from 3 sets of 15 to 3 sets of 20 and I got the basic crunch to 20 reps a set instead of 10. That still leaves the crunch at 60 reps but it upped each set by 10. I hope all that makes sense lol.

Pull Day: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Warm Up:
Band Pulls with yellow band (2-4 lbs) - 3 sets of 15 reps - lats, traps and rear delt

Workout:
Prone Row with 10 lbs dumbbells - 1 set of 20, 4 sets of 15 and 2 sets of 10
One Arm Row with 10 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 15 reps
Chair Pose - 3 sets to Failure (3 minutes a set)
Trap Flies with 3 lbs dumbbells - 3 sets of 20 reps
Bicep Curls with 8 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 20 reps
"Falling Leaf" - 3 sets of 15 reps

Abs:
Standing Oblique Twists with blue band (4-6 lbs) -  3 sets of 20 reps
Psoas - Leg Lift with 3 second hold - 3 sets of 20 reps
Basic Crunch with hands reaching to knees - 3 sets of 20

Cool Down:
full body stretch

Monday, February 15, 2016

Motivational Monday


This is absolutely true! I've found that I stick to my workout plans much better when they are pre-scheduled into my day!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday, February 14th Workout - Push Day - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Abs

Push Day - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Abs: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Warm Up:
Arms circles
Arms back and forth, up and down, etc
"Fists of fire"
Band Pulls with yellow band (2-4 lbs) - 3 sets of 20 reps

Workout:
Push Ups (against sink) - 4 sets of 10 reps
Tricep Band Pull Down with blue band (4-6 lbs) - 3 sets of 20 reps
Seated Press (in chair) with red band (25-30 lbs) - 3 sets of 15 reps going back and forth with
Bent Over Row (on bench) with black band (15-20 lbs) - 3 sets of 15 reps
Front Raise with 3 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 15 reps going back and forth with
Lateral Raise with 3 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 15 reps

Abs:
Psoas - Leg Lift with 3 second hold - 3 sets of 15 reps
Standing Oblique Twists with green band (10-12 lbs) -  3 sets of 15 reps
Basic Crunch with hands reaching to knees - 1 set of 20 reps, 3 sets of 10 reps

Basic Stretch

Rethinking, Replanning and Revisions... All About "Cheat Days" and More

Every plan, good or bad, can use revisions. Sometimes you need to step back and take a look at what you planned to do and see if it's really what you want and how you wanted to do it.

Basically this all comes back to cheat days and the 30-day non-cheating thing. Honestly, I think I made a mistake there so I've been doing a lot of thinking and a lot of going back and reading old posts and this is where I am now.

The whole idea of a cheat day came about because, in all honesty, dieting and "changing your lifestyle" is hard. If it were easy, anyone could do it but it is hard. Getting through every day while temptation calls out your name is hard. Passing up foods you absolutely love is hard. Giving up certain foods is hard. But having that once a week cheat day allowed me to get through the hard days by thinking "Thursday is coming and you can have one small yummy thing. You can make it through today because Thursday IS coming."

And what I did by taking away the cheat days was to also take away my day to look forward too and the thoughts that kept me going. And maybe those thoughts shouldn't keep me going but they do and it is what it is so I am bringing that day back as of this coming week.

But, with bringing back that day, I was still facing the same issue that I faced when I talked about giving it up. My cheat snack turned into a cheat day turned into a cheat binge and then into a 2-day cheat binge and I had to end it. So in the last few days I've sat back and thought about how I could end everything getting out of control while still keeping the basic premise of something small to enjoy that one day a week.

And I figured out where I went wrong...

1) I stopped getting one thing and started getting two, then three, then four and so on.

2) I didn't plan ahead... just grabbed whatever looked good in the store and, trust me, EVERYTHING looked good!

3) My biggest downfall.. I stopped tracking the cheat food which opened up the door to saying... "hey, I'm not tracking it anyway so I can eat as much of it as I want!" I know that's a reaction that really doesn't make sense but that's how my brain works. If no one can see how much I ate, did I really eat it all?

4) I would just shovel in and gulp down the food. I would barely taste it and barely enjoy it and because there was so much of it I would just keep eating and eating until it was gone. Even if my stomach hurt and I felt like throwing up from all that crap I would keep going because it was there in front of me.

5) I let one day extend into two just because I had something left over.

6) I turned that one left over snack the second day into a full day binge because "I already ruined today so why not keep going."

So here is how I am changing things...

1) I get ONE small cheat snack. Not a meal, not a day, not a binge. One cheat snack. Yes, if I want I can have one of those Little Debbie snack fudge cakes. Not the whole box but one serving. That's it. And if I know I will eat the box it if it's in the house then I do not bring it into the house!

2) Plan ahead. What will I buy? Choose a couple of different things and see what the store has available. Buy just one thing. If I want both, buy one for this week's cheat and keep the other in mind for next week's, but do not buy them both!

3) Track, track, track. The food must be tracked and entered into My Fitness Pal before it ever makes it into my mouth. If I don't track it then I don't eat it.

4) Take small bites and savor the food. Really taste it and really enjoy it. Don't just gulp it down but really savor it. Make it worth the extra calories and carbs.

5) One snack. No extending into two snack. No extending into two days. One day, one snack, that's it!

6) If there is something left over, it's still off limits to me the following day and if I cant handle the thought of that then I need to make sure the kids eat it while I'm at work or I hide it in the big freezer or something. If I know I'll eat it if I see it then it needs to be somewhere where I won't see it. And if I do give in and eat it (which I will hopefully not but I have to be ready for anything) that does NOT open the day for me to eat even more. Eat it, track it and move on.

I've been able to handle a cheat snack before for a long time so I know I can do it. I just need to pay attention to how I'm doing it and keep myself on track. What I'm doing here is not a "diet." I'm not going back to eating the way I used to when I reach my goal weight. This is my life and this is a lifestyle change and, frankly, if this is my life then there has to be a spot for dessert-type food in it. It's worth it to me.

Also, I'm stopping my once a day small piece of chocolate. I could fit it into my calories and macros and I was able to keep it at one piece BUT I was also making poor choices with it. For example, I could have blueberries or a piece of chocolate for the same amount of carbs... guess which one I would choose every single time? Here's a hint... it wasn't the blueberries.

I started to get into the habit of eating the chocolate first, before anything else, and using up macros that could have gone on healthy food so that stops today. I'm obviously not ready for a daily treat but I firmly believe that I can bring back the weekly treat and do okay with it as long as I follow the rules.

So there it is. Everything that's been buzzing around in my head for days and days. I believe I can get this back in control and this is how I want to do it. I'll obviously keep you guys updated because it's something I write about and I'm not going to lie on here about how I do things and what I eat.

I think this is the best decision for me right now so let's go with it and see what happens!!

Sunday in the Kitchen - Bread Machine Herb Bread

This is another Taste of Home recipe. I used to use my bread machine all the time because homemade bread is so, so delicious but since starting low-carb in October I haven't had any bread at all and I don't think I'm strong enough to turn down a slice if I actually make it. Anyway, this has always been a yummy one to make so enjoy if you're not low-carbing!

Ingredients:
1 cup warm milk
1 egg
2 tbsp softened butter
1/4 cup dried minced onion
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tsp active dry yeast

Place all the ingredients in your bread machine following the machine directions. For example, my current bread machine states that all the liquid has to go in first but my old one called for the liquid to be added last so make sure you follow your machines' directions. Select the basic bread selection. Choose crust color and loaf size. Check the mixture 5 minutes after starting the machine. You can add a little more flour or a little more water depending on how the dough looks. Bake and enjoy!

Nutritional Facts:
1 serving equals 1 slice: 125 calories, 2 g fat, 248 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Saturday, February 13th Workout - Leg Day - Thighs, Butt and Calves

Woooo for a great lower body workout! It was really hard today because it's been at leats a week since the last time I did it but I got through it! Now I'm taking a break to rest all the parts that hurt.

Leg Day: 65 Minutes

Warm Up:
hamstring kicks
quad back kicks
calf raises

Workout:
Ball Squat - 3 sets of 15 reps with Swiss ball
Hamstring Curl (sitting on bench) using black band (15-20 lbs) - 3 sets of 15 reps
Quad Extensions (sitting on bench) with 10 lb ankle weights - 3 sets of 15 reps
Monster Walk (toes in, elbows up) using  black band (15-20 lbs) - 3 sets of 20 steps in each direction
Glute Bridge (with 10 lb dumbbells on hips) - 3 sets of 15 reps
Split Squat (lunges) -3 sets of 12 reps

Cool Down:
Full Body Stretch

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday, February 12th Workout - Pull Day - Back, Biceps and Abs

It felt so, so great to work out again! Things still hurt a lot, mostly my joints and some parts of my back, but I decided that since they were hurting no matter what I did, I may as well work out and just go slowly and carefully. So it took an extra ten minutes or so but I feel so good now!

Also, I need to take measurements again soon because my workout bra is definitely NOT fitting well anymore and not holding things in the way I need it too. It's gotten kind of too big I guess. I'll be in Wal-Mart Monday and will probably grab a new one because it was really annoying to have to keep tucking things in :/ Also, it really sucks that you lose weight in your boobs faster than anywhere else!

I added some more reps to a lot of the exercises and dropped the bicep to 8lbs from 10 but upped the reps from 10 to 15 so it evened out in the end.

Pull Day: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Warm Up:
Band Pulls with yellow band (2-4 lbs) - 3 sets of 15 reps - lats, traps and rear delt

Workout:
Prone Row with 10 lbs dumbbells - 1 set of 20, 9 sets of 10
One Arm Row with 8 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 15 reps
Chair Pose - 3 sets to Failure (2 minutes a set)
Trap Flies with 3 lbs dumbbells - 3 sets of 15 reps
Bicep Curls with 8 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 15 reps
"Falling Leaf" - 3 sets of 10 reps

Abs:
Standing Oblique Twists with blue band (4-6 lbs) -  3 sets of 15 reps
Psoas - Leg Lift with 3 second hold - 3 sets of 15 reps
Basic Crunch with hands reaching to knees - 2 sets of 20 & 4 sets of 10 reps

Cool Down:
full body stretch

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Week Nineteen Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month Five)

Week Nineteen Weigh-In:
02/11/2016:         - 0.8 pounds
Total lost:             32.8 pounds
Current Weight:   197.2 pounds

I am absolutely shocked that I lost anything this week! After that two day cheat/binge I was fully expecting a gain and was just hoping to still be under 200 lbs. I guess when you do everything right for 5 days out of 7, someone cuts you a break lol.

The last time I was at this weight was June of 2010 and yesterday when I was changing for bed I was actually able to tell that my body was getting smaller. Like, I could feel it in my stomach and my thighs if that makes any sense.

Anyway, despite feeling like I got away with something, I''m still continuing on with the 30 days of no cheating no matter how hard that feels right now. Today is day 6 and my normal cheat day and it was really, really hard to go through the grocery store and not buy something I was craving. But I did it and I will keep doing it!

As for the rest, my body is still seriously exhausted and in pain. I don't know if I'm getting sick, if it's because of how cold the weather is getting or a combination of those plus who knows what else, but I feel like absolute crap and I haven't worked out at all this week. Today will probably be another rest day but I'm going to work very hard to get back on track as soon as I can.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"No Cheat Days" 30 Day Plan

Okay, so after rereading my post on the extra cheat days and thinking back to my last few cheat days I have decided to do 30 days with no cheating

Why 30 days? I don't know but it seems like a good number and something I can handle. I want to see what the scale does, how my body feels and how I feel in general when I cut out the cheat crap. It will be interesting to see and feel the changes and I also want to see if how I physically feel will be affected by what I'm eating.

To be totally honest, these cheat days have been been getting longer, more extensive and more out of control. Instead of one fudge cake serving I eat two or three or maybe a box. Instead of one cheat food I'm ending up getting three or four. Instead of one cheat meal it's turning into a full cheat day and I need to cut it off before it gets completely out of hand.

What is still going to be allowed is one small piece of really good dark chocolate during the week. Not a full bar but one small square and it has to fit into my calorie count and my macros. If it pushes my carbs over then I can't have it.

I'm actually looking forward to this in a very strange way. I need a challenge and this will definitely be that!

Also, I'm not going to have my regular cheat day this Thursday and then get started, I'm going to start now but officially start the count as of the last cheat which was on Friday so... it's been 3 1/2 days so far. And, yes, I will probably be counting days daily. The more I rack up the easier it will be to stick to this!

I know I can do this... just watch me!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Let's Talk Cheat Days...

This may be more of a confession than a blog post :/

So this past week I had two cheat days. Yes, I said two. I had planned for one (I've been able to have small cheat days lately and still lose weight) but this got out of control.

Let me rephrase... I allowed and even welcomed things to get out of control.

It was all my own choices and decisions.

No one held a gun to my head. There were no special occasions, I wasn't eating my feelings, I just decided to eat crap and then keep going and eat more crap.

And honestly, it was freaking delicious!

Here's how it all went down... Thursday's are my weigh-in days and my grocery shopping days so the last few weeks I've been grabbing something little that I really want and counting it as a cheat day. Some Thursdays I grab what looks good and some Thursdays I know exactly what I'm getting because I spent all week thinking about it and planning for it. It also helps that I've been getting away with it on the scale. Well, maybe "helps" isn't the right word.

In any case, I enjoyed my yummy, crappy food (Little Debbie Fudge Cakes if it must be known... you would think I'd go for something better but they are amazing frozen) and then I was done. In my head I was all done and ready for the new week. But I made a crucial mistake. I left one unaccounted for in the freezer. I should have made sure a kid would eat it or something but normally I enjoy my cheat and I'm done so I didn't really worry about it.

I came home from work on Friday and I went right to the freezer and there it was. I didn't even think, I just picked it up and ate it. And then the floodgates of sugar opened up and said... "Ahhhhhhhh eat everything you can possibly find because you've already 'ruined' your day so go all out and enjoy it!!!"

And trust me, I know how stupid that it. The day isn't ruined if you eat one unhealthy thing. You didn't mess up all your hard work with one thing... but when that one thing becomes ten things and you just keep on going... well, you get the idea.

So I ate, and ate and ate and ate. I'm not even going to list everything I ate but it was a nice sampling of stuff I rarely, if ever, touch anymore. I still maintained my stance on not having bread or pizza but pretty much everything else was up for grabs. It was delicious and it was exhausting and it was sickeningly sweet and I ate so much more than my stomach could really handle anymore but once it got started it just kept going and going and going. And then, just like that, it was done. There was still junk left over and I wanted nothing to do with it. The floodgates had slammed shut and I was strangely satisfied. And feeling incredibly full and sick but I was honestly done.

Now I'm in the process of very much detoxing (I think) which is why I feel like crud but, somehow, I'm almost okay with what I did. I'm not beating myself up over it and I'm not swearing off all junk food forever. I'm just moving on and moving forward.

Sure I'll probably seriously regret it come weigh-in day but it is what it is. I'm not perfect and I never will be. Some weeks my tracking and exercise will be right on point and some weeks it won't. Some weeks I'll eat a little something I probably shouldn't and some weeks I won't. And some weeks I'll obviously go absolutely nuts and eat anything I can get my hands on.

Now, that's not saying that this will keep happening or that it was a healthy thing to do or anything like that. I just don't want to make stupid excuses for my choices. I chose to eat and I chose to keep eating. It was bad for my brain and for my body and I'm admitting it. I did it and now I'm just going to move forward and do my best not to do it again.

This is how life works. My life anyway and I'm okay with that. I'm on track 98% of the time which is awesome and so much better than I've ever done before in my life and as for the other 2%? Like I said, no one is perfect and honestly, that's okay.

Sunday in the Kitchen - Charles' Organic Grass Fed Grilled Burgers

This is a very basic grilled burger recipe that Charles threw together. It's absolutely delicious and has no carbs at all in the burgers themselves. We use Black River Farms ground beef from the local coop. This is for just the burgers, not anything that goes on them or with them. I normally eat mine with cheese, mustard, a tiny bit of ketchup and pickles but all that has to be added to the nutrition info separately. Enjoy!!

Ingredients:
2 pounds organic grass fed ground beef
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Set up your grill using real charcoal with wood chips for a smoky flavor. In a small bowl mix together the salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Divide the beef into six patties, then sprinkle each patty with a portion of the spices mixture. Grill to however you want your burger. We grill them until there's no pink or blood left to be seen. Add the toppings you want and enjoy!

Nutritional Facts:
1 serving equals 321 calories, 23 g fat, 197 mg sodium, 0 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 28 g protein.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday, February 6th Workout - Push Day - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Abs and Cardio

Today's workout started out great! I was finally able to do 20 reps a set for triceps which I haven't been able to do since I got started as well as adding an additional 5 reps a set for both the front raise and the lateral raise.

Then came cardio. I was shooting for 30 minutes of a Leslie Sansone walking workout but I guess I picked a tougher one than before and had to cut it short at 20 minutes because, of all things, my freaking ankle was starting to ache and feel weak and I'm not about to sprain it again! Still 20 minutes is better than nothing and for the rest of today it's being iced/warmed and in it's boot thingie.

Push Day - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Abs: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Warm Up:
Arms circles
Arms back and forth, up and down, etc
"Fists of fire"
Band Pulls with yellow band (2-4 lbs) - 3 sets of 20 reps

Workout:
Push Ups (against sink) - 4 sets of 10 reps
Tricep Band Pull Down with blue band (4-6 lbs) - 3 sets of 20 reps
Seated Press (in chair) with red band (25-30 lbs) - 3 sets of 15 reps going back and forth with
Bent Over Row (standing) with black band (15-20 lbs) - 3 sets of 15 reps
Front Raise with 3 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 20 reps going back and forth with
Lateral Raise with 3 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 20 reps

Abs:
Psoas - Leg Lift with 3 second hold - 3 sets of 15 reps
Standing Oblique Twists with green band (10-12 lbs) -  3 sets of 15 reps
Basic Crunch with hands reaching to knees - 1 set of 20 reps, 4 sets of 10 reps

Basic Stretch

Cardio: 20 Minutes
Leslie Sansone "Walk It Off Fast - 'Big Burn'" - Fitbit info:
time: 20 minutes, distance: 1.19 miles, steps: 2,441 calories burned: 133

Full body stretch

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Week Eighteen Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month Five)

Week Eighteen Weigh-In:
02/04/2016:         - 1.4 pounds
Total lost:             32 pounds
Current Weight:   198 pounds

Woooo for a great weight loss week! I was expecting a much smaller number so I'm really happy with this!

This has been a good week in terms of tracking and exercise. I did have some pain issues yesterday, as I posted, but my neck and upper back hurt a lot less today so that's progress.

My food goal this week is to keep doing what I've been doing but to also focus more of protein again because, once again, that's starting to fall by the wayside. As for exercise I'm going to keep up with what I've been doing but add in at least three more cardio days this week.

I'm also going to have Charles take new 10lb progress photos but I haven't picked a day for that yet.

My other big goal for this week is to get some serious work done on the "Bailey" dog portrait I started last week. My back is a little iffy with art work right now so I'm going to do more heat and a lot more gentle stretching and see how it goes tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How My Life Works...

I have some great workouts and then mention my fear of getting hurt and messing them up... so what happens the day after I mention that fear?

I'll give you three guesses...

It's not even a real injury. It hurts to move my head and turn it to the left and right along my neck and on top of my shoulders but it's already way better than it was this morning and the pain level is at a 5 or lower depending on how I'm moving. Oh, and what did I do to get this? NOTHING. I was driving and one moment all is good and the next moment there's pain.

I spent a lot of today with heat on it (the thing Sarah gave me that can be frozen or heated specifically for this is perfect and smells amazing) and stretching carefully. I'm not working out today (and maybe not tomorrow depending on how it feels) but I'm hoping to be back on track by Friday or Saturday.

It's just so freaking annoying to have this happen when I haven't done anything to cause the pain but that's just how my body works right now. I'm really hoping that as I continue to lose weight and strengthen my core and my muscles that things will improve.

In other news, I'm not hoping for a big weight loss tomorrow because I had one last week and usually I have one big loss week and then one small loss week but we'll see what happens and I definitely need to focus on upping my protein again in the week to come!

More tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tuesday, February 2nd Workout - Leg Day - Thighs, Butt and Calves Plus Cardio

Woooo for a great lower body workout and cardio! I'm feeling stronger and firmer but I have a constant fear at the back of my head that I'll somehow get hurt and lose everything I'm gaining :/

Leg Day: 65 Minutes

Warm Up:
hamstring kicks
quad back kicks
calf raises

Workout:
Ball Squat - 3 sets of 15 reps with Swiss ball
Hamstring Curl (sitting on bench) using black band (15-20 lbs) - 3 sets of 15 reps
Quad Extensions (sitting on bench) with 10 lb ankle weights - 3 sets of 15 reps
Monster Walk (toes in, elbows up) using  black band (15-20 lbs) - 3 sets of 20 steps in each direction
Glute Bridge (with 10 lb dumbbells on hips) - 3 sets of 15 reps
Split Squat (lunges) -3 sets of 12 reps

Cool Down:
Full Body Stretch

Cardio: 30 Minutes
Leslie Sansone "Walk Away the Pounds Ultimate Collection - 2 Mile Brisk Walk" - Fitbit info:
time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.84 miles, steps: 3,721 calories burned: 200

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday, February 1st Workout - Pull Day - Back, Biceps and Abs

Felt great to work out again! I didn't get any cardio in today but I plan on it for tomorrow along with leg day.

I went up to 10 pound weights on biceps but I think next time I may go back down to 8 lbs and do more reps just to mix it up. I also added a few more reps to a couple of exercises and was able to do more reps a set for the prone row which is awesome!

Pull Day: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Warm Up:
Band Pulls with yellow band (2-4 lbs) - 3 sets of 15 reps - lats, traps and rear delt

Workout:
Prone Row with 10 lbs dumbbells - 1 set of 20, 2 sets of 15 & 5 sets of 10
One Arm Row with 8 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 10 reps
Chair Pose - 3 sets to Failure (2 minutes a set)
Trap Flies with 3 lbs dumbbells - 3 sets of 10 reps
Bicep Curls with 10 lb dumbbells - 3 sets of 10 reps
"Falling Leaf" - 3 sets of 12 reps

Abs:
Standing Oblique Twists with blue band (4-6 lbs) -  3 sets of 15 reps
Psoas - Leg Lift with 3 second hold - 3 sets of 12 reps
Basic Crunch with hands reaching to knees - 1 set of 20 & 3 sets of 10 reps

Cool Down:
full body stretch

Motivational Monday