Category Archives: Morning Exercise

Morning Exercise Challenge

I know that I’ve bemoaned it many a time on the blog, but to say that I am not a morning person would be a gross understatement.

Source

I am a night person.  I have not gone to sleep before 11pm, since I was 12 years old. When I was little (like under 5), my parents would dress me in the morning while I lay in bed, a bunch of dead weight.

Anyway, I have decided to challenge myself to start doing morning exercise.  Since we are busy with the dog and enjoying each other’s company (like Friday night date night), it’s hard to find time in the evenings to get to the gym.  I know that by going in the morning, I am essentially freeing up my evenings to perhaps clean my house (it’s seriously disgusting), work on wedding projects, or just snuggle with Matt.

Therefore I am challenging myself to go to the gym every weekday morning (except Wednesdays, since I have my trainer Wednesday evenings) for the next three weeks!  What’s at the end of those three weeks?  Why, my second dress fitting of course!  (Ah, there’s the real motivation!)  When I told Matt this, he scoffed and gave me a skeptical face.  So now I’m doing it to prove him wrong.  If I complete my challenge, he will give me lots of hugs.  If I don’t, I still get hugs.  :D

So what did I do this morning?  Well remember my goals for 2011?  One is to run a 5k in 30 minutes.  I did W1D1 of C25K with my walking at 3.8mph, and my running at 6.2mph.  I made it!  HA!

Are you a morning exerciser?  Want to join my personal challenge?

Wedding Things and the Return of Morning Exercise

First a few wedding related items:

MY DRESS ARRIVED!!  Yup MY dress, the one that belongs to me (and only me) and I will be wearing on May 21, 2011 when I marry the incredible Matthew!  Actually, it arrived three weeks ago, but there were scheduling issues, so I didn’t get to see it until Monday evening.  But that made it even more special.  Why?  Because my grandmother, Aunt Therese, and cousin, Elizabeth, came too! (along with my mother)  My grandmother actually wore a Priscilla of Boston dress back in 1953.  I need to get a picture of it for posterity.  And little 12 year old Elizabeth could barely sit still due to excitement.  It was a great time.  Since I won’t show you a picture of the dress, here’s a picture of the Priscilla of Boston in downtown Boston (on Boylston):

Well, with the sun and greenery, that is what the store looked like when I bought my dress in May.  Now that it’s November, imagine it being dark at 4pm.  Boo!

The other exciting wedding news:  we received our first gift!

My mom’s cousin, Linda, got so excited, she sent us some dishes early.  She gave the go ahead to use them for some “romantic dinners” before the wedding.  Perhaps they will be featured with some home-cooked goodness.

Morning Exercise

Yup, that dreaded word “morning” is creeping its way back into my vocabulary.  With our canine addition, our evenings are typically spent either taking a long walk or attending tap class.  So I know that if I want to go to the gym 3 times per week, I have to start getting my butt out of bed on Mondays and Fridays.  Since Matt wakes up at 6:15 to take April for her morning run, I figured this shouldn’t be too difficult.  However I had yet to actually accomplish my morning exercise goal.  Finally, this past Sunday, I informed Matt of my goal and told him to make me get up.  It worked!  I had a great 45 minute sweat session before work (it could have been longer, but I really like our comfy bed).  Now to make it a habit!

And speaking of hard workouts, let’s revisit box jumps!  How scary are they, I tell you!  For those who may not be familiar, a box jump is when you jump from the ground to a box (or the bench) in one single movement, like so:

(Source)

If you haven’t tried one, I think that they are truly as much of a mental exercise as a physical exercise.  When my trainer told me to do them, I spent a good five minutes testing the height with my right leg, before I went for it.  Have I fallen?  Yes.  Was I hurt?  Only a bit of a bruised ego.  I think the fall looks worse than it is.  And all of the other people ask if you are ok.  Whatever, I’m doing a box jump!  I rock!

Oh The Times They Are A-Changing

Did you hear that Massachusetts elected a REPUBLICAN senator yesterday?  While this may not be historic (wow, another white man Republican in government), it is significant coming from a very democratic state.  But I won’t talk about politics on here, since it’s definitely not my favorite subject!

You know what is a good subject . . . FOOD!  Natural food to be exact.

So in regards to other changes, in reading “In Defense of Food” and NUMEROUS healthy food blogs, I’m trying to move toward more whole foods and natural products.  First up, let’s try some peanut butter! 

Peanut butter is truly my favorite food.  I think I could subsist on it for the rest of my life.  While I wouldn’t exactly be “healthy”, my mouth would be happy.  So at the grocery the other day I picked up two peanut butters and decided to do a taste test this morning:

Jif (my usual go-to) and Teddy’s All-Natural.

Taste test:  a bit on a piece of apple.

Can you guess which one is which?

Well, in licking the knife after putting the peanut butter on the apple (who doesn’t do that?) I noticed right away that Teddy’s tasted much more like actual peanuts and was less sweet.  This should be obvious, since Jif has added sugar, and the only two ingredients in Teddy’s are “peanuts, salt”. 

BUT THEY BOTH TASTED GOOD ON THE APPLE!  I didn’t notice too much difference actually.  I think my apple to pb ratio may have been too high. 

VERDICT:  tastes pretty okay so far.  Now we have a jar of each at home.  Decisions on the morning/afternoon/anytime to be made at the time.

On another note:

Had another 6:30am training session this morning.  Again, didn’t sleep very well.  I stayed up watching the Purdue basketball game (it came down to the wire).  But luckily the session wasn’t very cardio intensive.  That’s what usually gets me (especially if I’m tired).  STATS:  47 minutes, 390 calories, Max HR 177, avg HR 139.  Not too shabby. 

And exercise put me in a great mood!  I came home, cleaned the dishes, and put dinner in the crock pot!  So productive before 9am, it’s scary!

To Count or Not To Count

Well, Christmas, New Years, and the Wedding are all over.  That means it’s back to regularly scheduled programming here in Boston.  I originally intended for this blog to help document my journey to becoming a Fit Bridesmaid.  Well, I may be more fit than I was, but I’ve still got a long way to go.  And no more weddings (at least that I will be in) any time soon!

Over the past 2.5 months, I have really gotten my exercise down (which isn’t that unusual for me!).  Unfortunately, as I was just reminded on Caitlin’s blog “what we look like is 80% nutrition, 10% working out, and 10% genetics” .  Thus I really do need to focus on my foods.

This is where my question of “counting” comes in.  I did Weight Watchers for about 5 years.  The first year I totally changed my eating habits and lost 20 pounds in six months.  Then I graduated from college, went to grad school, started my job, etc.  and I let my eating slide.  Confession time: I have not gone to WW in about 4 months.  The reason is:  I wanted to stop focusing so much on food.  I mean BEING OBSESSED with food.  Every bite I just knew it was “good” or “bad”, how many points it was, etc.  I couldn’t STOP thinking about food.  Then I would binge.  Then I would be mad at myself and say “Okay, now I will be perfect!”  Oh, until the next time I did the same thing.  I had an all or nothing mentality.  You know that story about the carton of eggs?  Why would you drop all 12 if you only had dropped 1?  YUP I WOULD SMASH ALL TWELVE INTO THE GROUND!  (and then some!)

Anyway, for the past few months, I have been trying to just eat normally.  I have tried out some new healthy recipes, and began to read about nutrition and educate myself.  The good news is that I haven’t really binged (aside from an over indulgence in white wine) in the last few months.  Unfortunately, I haven’t lost weight either.

So I decided to count calories for the last two days.  I joined Sparkpeople (although I could just do it myself).  I didn’t want to count calories to the point of food obsession again, just for some information.  And it was interesting.

Here are my foods from yesterday:

Breakfast: 2 slices of canadian bacon + 1 c. of pineapple spears ~~ 162 calories

Morning snack: carrots + hummus ~~183 calories

Lunch: apple + peanut butter ~~ 508 calories

Afternoon snack:  chocolates + bark ~~ 180 calories

(I had to walk down the hallway to get my camera before devouring these pieces of chocolate.  How’s that for self control!) ;-)

Dinner:  Southwest Shepherd’s Pie + 1/2 c. peas ~~ 472 calories

Evening snack: popcorn + almonds ~~ 272 calories

(I only ate a bit of popcorn, since the almonds filled me up.  I’ve decided to add them to my snacks.  They truly are so filling!  Weight Watchers had me shying away from nuts, at least when I was concentrating on Core/Filling Foods, since they weren’t “on the list”.  I understand that it’s very hard to have self control and “eat to satisfaction” when nuts are involved, but they are still so nutritious and filling when used correctly!)

So my total for the day was 1,777 calories.  In looking at my total for breakfast, no wonder I was STARVING by 10am! Therefore I decided to switch things up for today and eat more calories in the morning:

Breakfast:   apple + peanut butter ~~ 508 calories

Morning snack: carrots + hummus ~~183 calories

Lunch: New Orleans Chicken + 1 c. pineapple spears ~~ 329 calories

Afternoon snack:  almonds ~~ 173 calories

Dinner:  Southwest Shepherd’s Pie + 1/2 c. peas ~~ 472 calories

Now in reading “The New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women”, for me, he recommended about 1800 calories on non-workout days and 2100 calories on workout days.  So these should be about right on target.

Again, I was only doing this to gauge what I had been eating and see where I might be lacking.  The other thing I noticed, in looking at my two days, was that I don’t have a lot of carbs/whole grains.  I have been so afraid of breads and pastas, etc. for so long, I just don’t think to eat them.  I will try to add some in.  And according to spark, I have a bit too much fat, but it’s all from nuts, so I’m okay with it.

I think I might try to count calories some more and get myself “back to reality” and “back on track”.

Do you “count” calories or try to “eat intuitively”?  Any thoughts on my two days of eating?

Again, I should mention that all of these foods never left me feeling hungry (okay, except for my measly little breakfast on the first day, but I’ve learned)

By the way, I went to the gym this morning.  I’m switching my training sessions to Wednesday mornings in order to get at least one morning in.   I ate my apple and peanut butter before I went and was doing great until midway through the third round.  Then . . . nausea!  I got through it, but I had to sit down a minute!  Also, despite the fact that I was IN my bed by 10:56pm, I tossed and turned until at least 12:30am.  So I took a little nap after the gym this morning before work, which turned into an hour!  Oh well, hopefully I’ll get this sleeping thing down soon.  I need to replace the light bulb in my little lamp so I can read a bit before sleeping.  Hopefully that’ll help!

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