Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Athletics Update

Remember this?
Time for another physical fitness goal. Not because I'm terribly out of shape, but because over the past year I've slipped slightly from my desired health and accompanying appearance. Like I said, nothing dramatic here, but I don't want to let all that hard work slip any further! It helps me to focus on a goal. and it just so happens that the first week of June my BIL is getting hitched (to a really fabulous gal, btw) and I'd like to look (and feel) AWESOME for their special day! To be clear, this is NOT my before picture. :)

Being accountable helps me a ton. I can earn 4 points every day, which I record alongside weight. So here are my objectives (I'm not sharing my ultimate weight loss goal because I don't want anyone to judge me):

  • sugar only 1 bite a day: I opted for the 'one bite' rule rather than 'zero' or 'only once a week' options. I found that the sugar once a week thing became a binge day (I found myself saying, "hey, today's my sugar day, I can have that and that and that"). I think it is better for me to discipline to 1 bite, well-chosen, to savor each day. "Sugar" includes sugary kids cereal, regular sugary yogurt, jam, and obviously dessert. 
  • carbohydrates 2 1/2 servings a day: I have often indulged in way too many slices of fresh homemade bread. Yes, it is complex and healthy, but calories are calories. 2 servings means I can have a good cereal for breakfast and a carb for lunch or dinner (salad, protein smoothie, etc are options for the other meal). The extra 1/2 means I can have pita with hummus or something else as a snack, but can't overdo it. No extras for second helpings at meal time. If I'm still hungry, have second helpings of veggies. :)
  • water 4 large glasses a day: I found the 64 oz rule was way too much water for me. maybe tmi, but I spent way too much time running to the restroom. 4 glasses is realistic for me: 1 in the am, 1 with lunch, 1 in the pm, 1 with dinner. I don't count the water I drink during exercise towards my 4 glasses.
  • exercise 5x's a week: This is intentional, 45 minute exercise. Walking doesn't count unless it is looong, like 2 hours pushing a stroller at the zoo. I actually plan to exercise 6x's a week, excluding Sunday, but the 5x goal is what I'll hold myself accountable for. 
There is no individual reward for the points, those are just tools to get me to my weight loss goal. When I reach that, the reward is a new item of clothing. 

Eric and I have also been talking at length for some time about how little I've been able to utilize my gym membership this winter bc Caroline has had a cold pretty much since October. I think I've averaged about 3x's a week all winter, because I can't bring snotty noses along and keeping the kiddos healthy has proven a challenge. Also, this is NOT an announcement, but sometime this year we would like to begin expanding our family. That means a few months of ZERO gym-use because I usually get too sick to do much of anything. Then there are the last few months of pregnancy that also get less use from a gym and the first 3 months when a baby can't go to the gym. Finally, Eric does not have time to go to the gym unless he goes late at night after the kids are in bed, which doesn't appeal to either one of us. He'd like to work out at home. So. We were looking at quite a bit of money to pour into a membership that wouldn't really go to any good use. With all those things in mind, we've decided to cancel the membership at the end of the month and instead invest in a few basic exercise equipment purchases that we can use at home. during nap time. workout date night. that kind of thing. It just makes sense for our family at this time.

Thus, in addition to my revamped healthy goals, I have been working on designing an exercise plan. The cardio and yoga are easy, actually, thanks to youtube. But I also wanted to have a circuit-training "MIX" class, like the one that kicks my butt every Saturday at the gym. I'm still getting it figured. I understand how to design circuits, have all my possible exercises written out and categorized... what I'm lacking--and please don't laugh if you don't think this isn't an integral part of exercise-- is a way to get my MUSIC to coordinate with the high intensity-low intensity switches. What I mean is, I like to do high intensity when the music is most intense, generally the chorus. Verses are great for build up or low intensity. But the circuit thing is typically "30 seconds high intensity 30 seconds rest" between 6-8 exercises then repeated for 5 sets with a 3 minute recovery between each set. You see my challenge? How do I get my music to coordinate with 30 seconds on 30 seconds off for basically an hour? Or, alternatively, do I just follow the music and switch to high intensity when the music does? Which would give me some exercises lasting WAY more than 30 seconds and some rests lasting way more than 30 seconds. Also, if the music doesn't coordinate, then I am forced to watch the second hand on the clock, which I don't like. I'd rather just pour all my energy into the exercise and push through to the end of the time without craning my head to watch each second drag by. Know what I mean? It would really help if the music could cue me. Any suggestions? If you've got experience with this, please share!

Well, there you have my fitness update and goals! Keep me accountable. I'll be reporting back after the first month. I'd love to play along with you! If you decide to design your own healthy goals, I'd love to hear about it!


  1. You are amazing. Let me know how the new rules work out for you.

    If you're looking for a good at-home workout, I have a suggestion. I've enjoyed/got-my-butt-kicked doing the Jillian Michael's "Ripped in 30" DVD. It was around $7.50 on Amazon.

    I didn't know what I was getting into when I bought it. I went for it 'cause it was cheap and had four different circuit-training workouts (so I knew I wouldn't get bored after just a few weeks). It is plenty difficult!!! A lot of room for growth.

    Jillian can get annoying, but the workouts are killer. Once I've gotten the form down on the more difficult moves, I plan to mute the TV and listen to my own music while doing her workouts.

    Anyway. Just an option to consider. I have some fitness goals of my own I'm working toward but I haven't posted about them yet. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Wow, you are a gal with a plan! I never thought about YouTube for exercising, but that's a great idea! You go, girl!

  3. I'm not sure how to coordinate music with the workouts--I'm still working on getting the right tempo in my music for running--nor do I know much about circuit training, but there are watches and timers that will beep every 30 seconds if you want to switch back and forth between high-intensity and low-intensity workouts. Look for interval training watches, like those used for running. I know there are some at jeffgalloway.com or setstarter.com That would keep you from staring at a clock each second and maybe you could just keep on high-intensity music. Just a consideration! :)

  4. Good for you Elisa! I'm sure you will do great. It's pretty obvious you are a motivated and determined person. I have to say I LOVE working out at home! It's almost like my down time. I hop on the elliptical in teh basement and plug in my headphones and watch a 42 minute show on Netflix from the ipad (I'm currently re-watching Psych). The kids play and I'm there if they need me to pause, but I get in a nice, solid cardio workout while vegging a little too. :) It's a win win. It helps me stay consistent too because I'm always looking forward to watching my show.

    I also use My Fitness Pal for tracking my calories. I don't have any super strict food rules since I find I don't do well with that but I try to eat healthy foods and keep my calories under a certain amount. I still have a ways to go until I hit my ultimate goal weight, but I have smaller weight goals on my way there. Good luck!

  5. You inspire me to do better for myself. Thanks for the wonderful post.