Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Workout Wednesday 3/1/12

I have committed to losing weight a few times in my life but what I'm doing this time around is completely different, and I owe it all to having a trainer. This is not only a brand new experience but one that has come with many unexpected, happy surprises.

Happy Surprise #1: Crazy Awesome Conditioning

I used to watch a "trainer" who would simply watch and count as his clients moved through the fitness center using the machines, but my trainer is crazy creative, combining several moves into one and bragging about how every muscle is being worked. It took me a while to get used to this but now I like it (yes, even when I beg for it to be over).

Happy Surprise #2: Homework

I thought that training started and stopped with scheduled sessions but the reality is that guidance is given in regard to what I should do on my own. Because of this, I'm doing more and working harder than I ever would have on my own.

Happy Surprise #3: Stupendous Support

If I have a bad couple of days, need some questions answered or am seeking guidance regarding increases or modifications to diet and exercise, my trainer is there to offer fabulous support. This has been an amazing bonus!

Happy Surprise #4: Being Watched

Sounds creepy, right? Well I can assure you there's no stalker in clown makeup up here, just someone who is going to know what I do when on my own. This has helped the most with my diet. I have really struggled some days to stick with my eating plan, and the ONLY reason I didn't deviate is because I didn't want to face my trainer with less-than-stellar news on the scale.

Happy Surprise #5: RESULTS!!

I had no idea that results would happen so quickly :-)

If there is one thing I could change, it would be to work out with my trainer more often. It's the toughest physical work I've ever done, but I'm pushed to do more than I ever thought I could do, and let me tell you, the high that replaces the exhaustion (haha) is priceless.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Motivational Monday 2/26/12

This week's Motivational Monday video includes the underlying message of how important it is to show up, and how important it is to push yourself to be just a bit better than you were yesterday.

I've written about this before, about how we see the success stories but not the blood, sweat and tears that happened along the way to success. By only seeing the end results, we are cheated out of how success is typically achieved. We know it doesn't happen overnight, but it certainly can seem that way when we aren't privy to the struggles. Unfortunately many of us tend to expect quick results as we reach for our own goals. Because that rarely happens, we instead focus on where we aren't or how far we still have to go to reach our goals rather than how far we've come even since yesterday.

 I catch myself doing this as I try to transition from walking to jogging. There is a 5k in October that I want to run, but the very best I can do right now is a 2 minute jog. Thoughts creep into my head about how hard it's going to be to maintain a run for a full 3.2 miles. I even wonder how on earth I'm going to make it up the hills along the course without having to take a break.

Then I stop. I stop comparing myself to the future and start comparing myself to the past. A few weeks ago I couldn't walk faster than a 2.8 pace, but just last week I jogged for almost 2 minutes at a 4.8 pace. Today I walked at a 3.2 pace with a 2.0 incline. Those are hugely significant, and it has only taken about a month for those improvements to occur. So yes, I have a very long way to go, but not as far as I did a month ago.

I attended this high school, and even at
124 pounds I couldn't run one .2-mile
lap; I want to do this so badly!!

Every day I'm improving. Every day I'm a little bit better than I was the day before. At some point, all of these days will compound into one great mass of success on the day I cross that finish line. Until then I'll continue reminding myself to focus on how much better I'm doing with each passing day.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Food-day

Alrighty, this is the final structural change to my blog, so we've got inspiration to start the week, then thoughts about exercise and eating with writings in between about anything else that comes to mind.

The serious changes I've made started on January 13, just 6 short weeks ago (but man does it feel like longer, in a good way), and it has just been in the past two weeks that everything really started to click. Nutrition and exercise are habits for me now, and returning to old ways would be as challenging as it was to get to this point.

The main nutritional difference is how I choose my meals now--I think of what the ingredients can do for my body with taste coming in a distant second. I could certainly afford to splurge for one meal--a small frozen custard or a cheeseburger from my favorite diner--but I just don't want to. If the food is not going to put me closer to my goals then I'm not havin' it.

Here's one example--about a week ago I realized that I still had a lot of peppers in the fridge that needed to be eaten, so I put together a couple of things:

peppers and onions with scrambled
egg whites + 1 whole egg

Roasted the remaining peppers for
roasted pepper soup

And here it is: roasted peppers, onions, carrots,
celery, garlic and seasonings. Sooo good and
uber healthy! :-)

Because I'm so picky now, there are many days when I'll go for hours without eating because I'm so busy and on-the-go, and I refuse to eat anything from a drive-thru or convenience store. My trainer wants me to eat a minimum of 1,600 calories per day but I'm always in the 500-900 calorie range. It was fine until a week or so ago when I started feeling lightheaded, so I started making myself eat but that didn't work because I'd get sick to my stomache. Twice I wasn't even able to finish my Kind bar (a super healthy version of a granola bar), and that bothered me. On the advice of my trainer I'm trying something different--easing back into eating throughout the day. I was originally told that the bulk of the calories should come at breakfast with the lightest meal at night, but I've reversed that and so far it's working. I start with homemade fruit juice, move on to a Greek yogurt smoothie, a Kind bar for a snack, then salad or veggies with salmon or tilapia.

I've also started packing a lunch bag no matter where I go so that I always have something to eat. This really paid off yesterday, a day packed with back-to-back appointments, but I actually had over 1,400 calories. :-)

These are becoming my staples:
homemade soup, Kind bar, Greek
yogurt smoothie and homemade
fruit juice.

Finally, I've started dining out again. For weeks I didn't trust myself to make good choices so I banned myself until I could manage it. I'm happy to say that, because I choose meals based on nutritional benefit, I can even go to a buffet and make great choices.

I went to a buffet last weekend and I took the following pictures; guess which dessert is mine and which is my friend's:


 Wow, the volume alone is crazy!

I went to another restaurant and spent a lot of time perusing the menu for a meal that would round out my nutritional needs and goals for the day, and this is the fabulous meal I had:

 Grilled salmon, potatoes, spring mix salad
(dressing on the side of course)
and pineapple salsa (yuck! LOL)

Just 6 weeks into this life change has moved me through several challenges and rewards. There were several days when all I could think about was picking up some takeout and vegging out in front of the T.V., and the only thing that kept me on track was knowing that I'd have to answer to my trainer, no joke. I don't think he actually looks at my online food journal anymore, but he will use the scale to measure my progress. Thank goodness for him or I'd never be where I am now :-)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Workout Wednesday 2/22/12

So this is the second part of my blog's revamp, Workout Wednesday, during which of course I'll be writing about all things related to exercise.

When I hit the gym on my cardio days, one of the things I look forward to the most is blasting high energy music in my ears; it turns the treadmill into a dance floor as my steps match the beats. I love, love, love this music because it pushes me to move faster and work harder, and wakes up a sexy, fierce lady that has been silently waiting her turn to come out and play. A year ago my car was broken into and my stereo was stolen, and because I can't find the right wire to put in the new one, I haven't had the joy of blasting tunes for far too long. I love music. All kinds. Yes, even John Denver has a place in my melodic heart (boy I hope I don't regret sharing that). I play what fits my mood, and when I workout my mood is all about feeling strong and powerful, so my music has to match.

The songs I choose first and foremost sound amazing; many even give me goose bumps! Then there are the lyrics--I love the stories of some of them. When I hear Usher telling me to dance like it's the last night of my life, I am so there (and the pace on the treadmill ALWAYS increases).

So here they are along with some of the best lyrics:


  • Inception soundtrack:
    • The etherial songs are great for cooling down, and the rest . . . well, have you seen the movie? Pow-er-ful!
  • Almost anything by Hans Zimmer:
    • Inception, The Dark Knight, love, love, love
  • Enrique Iglesias:
    • Rhythm Divine: "All I need is a rhythm divine/ lost in the music your heart will be mine" Can you say hot?!
    • Bailamos: "Let the rhythm take you over" Oh yes, I will
  • Kevin Rudolf feat. Lil Wayne:
    • "Let it Rock" So powerful!
  • Ke$ha:
    • Blow "It's time to kill the lights and let the crazy out/This place about to blow!" A song about dancing, love it!
  • Black Eyed Peas:
    • Rock That Body, the perfect storm of sexy, powerful and dancing
  • Paramore:
    • Decode: Whether or not you like the movie, this song is strong, deep and takes me away from myself for 3 minutes, 35 seconds
  • Shinedown:
    • Devour: this song is cra-zazy strong!
    • Sound of Madness: "I created the sound of madness/Wrote the book on pain/Somehow I'm still here to explain/That the darkest hour never comes in the night/You can sleep with a gun/But when you gonna wake up and fight/For yourself." Brent Smith is clearly singing this to me ;-)
  • Usher:
    • DJ Got Us Falling In Love, "Cuz baby tonight/DJ got us falling in love again/so dance, dance like it's the last, last night of your life, life." I jog, jog like there is no tomorrow ;-)
    • More, "If you really want more/Scream it out louder/Get it on the floor/Bring out the fire/And light it up/Take it up higher/Gonna push it to the limit/Give me more." This directly speaks to my workouts, and I do give more when I hear it
    • OMG: sexy, sexy, sexy *fans self*
  • Rihanna:
    • Please Don't Stop the Music, "It's gettin' late/I'm makin' my way over to my favorite place/I gotta get my body movin'/shake the stress away." About dancing but it sure sounds like my workouts
    • Only Girl in the World: just hot, hot, hot. Nuff said
    • What's My Name: this is slower but the music is perfectly dreamy, especially the East Indian influence, and the lyrics are . . . sexy ;-)
  • LMFAO:
    • Party Rock Anthem: Super fun, high energy, makes me wanna dance hard!
  • The Muse:
    • Uprising: "They will not force us/They will stop degrading us/They will not control us/We will be victorious." Clearly all about being strong, LOVE IT!
  • Chris Brown:
    • Yeah 3X, a fun dance song with soo much energy; O.K. I admit it, I've loved this since I heard it in the New Year's Eve promo :-)

There are a few more but these are the main ones. I've got a loop of 20 songs (aside from the Inception soundtrack--that one has to be played all on its own) but it will certainly change in a couple of weeks. :-D

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Motivational Monday 2/20/12

A couple of nights ago I was watching videos online about jogging techniques when I ran across this advertisement about the Spartan Games. I have to tell you, it took my breath away. I really wish I had seen this a few years ago when external negative forces were strongest in my life, but after fighting so hard against people who used my existence to make themselves feel bigger, after overcoming a lifetime of feeling worthless, I can use the words in this video as a reminder to keep reaching up and to push hard against those who would push me down.

I am in the best part of my life right now, and by no means is that an exaggeration. If I die today, I die a winner with absolutely no regrets. I look at the people who are in my life today and am amazed at their strengths. I see them pushing back against forces that are trying to keep them down as they fight to get to the best parts of their lives, and awe doesn't begin to describe how I feel about them.

Wherever you are in your life right now--in need of hope or already living like a champion--take 5 minutes to watch this with no interruptions. Soak in the words and I guarantee you will find at least one thing that is meaningful to you. If you are so inclined, I'd love to know your reaction to it.

As for me: I am successful, I am a winner, and I am no longer ashamed of it.

Our deepest fears is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
Playing small does not serve the world
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you
We were all meant to shine as children
It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone
As we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same
As we are liberated from our own fear
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure

LL xoxo

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dreaming for a Day

I am at such an amazing place in my life right now that I stand stunned trying to comprehend it all. I have finally dealt with all the bad from the first half of my life and have finally, FINALLY, moved past it. I have removed from my life the negative elements that would never support all the things I want to do and all my future achievements. I wouldn't have much of a chance with those influences in my life and I'm tired of lowering my standards just to protect myself from being in the shit-line of fire.

Now I'm seeing all sorts of possibilities and have a lot of things that I want to try, such as rock climbing, jogging and taking a solo vacation. I'm also very excited about dating because for the first time in my life I'm going to look for the type of man I've always wanted but didn't believe I deserved. Just for fun I took a look at a dating site and specified the criteria that are most important to me: college degree, active, loves to travel, enjoys live theater, is a nonsmoker, light- or nondrinker, et al. As I read the bios these men had written, I started imagining the possibilities for dating such as intelligent conversation, someone who can cook with me (or even for me!), and . . . there are no words, just a feeling that can't be explained. I have always, always, always settled in the worst ways possible when it comes to men. I've had the helpless, the addicted, the cruel, the manipulative and worse. I've fought so hard to make those relationships work, but all along the key has been to fight for myself before the first hello.

I'm really looking forward to dating because it will be an entirely brand new experience for me. Until then, I'll keep working on me and and will enjoy the wonderful experiences that I'll have in the next few months. In other words, I'll be Livin' Large.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

182 Weekends or 12.13 Months

It's Saturday, and it's my first weekend of being single. I really wish the sun was out because it instantly lifts my spirits (why do I have to be so kinesthetic?), but it's O.K. because, wow, this is weird--I have the entire weekend to myself. I can't even grasp the enormity of that because for the last 182 weekends I've had to shift my focus from my home, school, child, yard, pets and so forth to being a full-time caregiver to the person I really wanted to be my partner. The lightbulb finally went on that he was never going to be my partner because it's not what he wanted. What he wanted was to be taken care of, but I really want to be taken care of sometimes too, and that was never going to happen.

Breaking away from him is definitely what I wanted, and I've been on cloud 9 ever since I did, but, this is the first weekend and I admit it feels a little lonely. I don't know what to do with myself, with all this free time. It hit me yesterday that I had the entire weekend off . . . wait, let me explain before I go any further . . . I don't work weekends but as this weekend approached I had the same emotional feeling that someone gets when they have a couple of unexpected days off of work (excited, thrilled). The fact that I felt this way yesterday means that in the past I've emotionally entered my weekends utterly stressed and overwhelmed. Yes, I have a chaotic life but now I see the difference between my life's chaos and the all encompassing dependency he brought with him and dumped into my lap.

Well, no dumping this weekend, or any future weekends.