Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Post-Milwaukee Weigh-In

Weigh-in Wednesday!

Last Week's Weight: 172.6
Current Weight: 170.6
Change: -2.0
Total Loss: -57.4

I won't even pretend like I deserve this loss because for real I ate TERRIBLY in Milwaukee. As I mentioned last week, I planning on not indulging the entire time I was there. I actually got a healthy breakfast before we hit the road (usually I turn off my diet brain beginning with breakfast on the day I leave). The very first restaurant we went to in MKE didn't even have salads on the menu (LOL), so I split a burger with a friend (restraint!). But it was pretty much downhill from there including tacos, cheese curds, late night pizza, and McDonald's on the way back. 

Ergo, I have absolutely no explanation for this week's loss. None. I do, however, have a renewed appreciation for fruits and vegetables after a weekend of WAY more fried foods than I ever normally eat. For real.

Sorry for the short and sweet post, but I'm off to FITBLOGGIN' in Denver this afternoon! I'm actually headed there for work, which is the most perfect collision of my two worlds: work life and work OUT life. We've been planning this trip for months and I've kept the cat in the bag the entire time, but I'm so so excited for the conference. I'll be back next week with a proper update.

Have a good weekend friends!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Weigh-in Wednesday!
Last Week's Weight: 170.8
Current Weight: 172.6
Change: +1.8
Total Loss: -55.4

Today's weigh-in in sponsored by the letter REGRET. As in, regret that I basically made 0 effort to control my eating between Sunday and today, even though I wasn't doing too bad before then. 

In this journey I have learned many things about myself and about this process. And, two major things continue to still be an issue for me: 1) portion control and 2) social eating. 

Now, portion control I've mooooostly gotten a handle on when I'm at home. Basically because I don't buy anything that I know I will not be able to control myself around. Nutella? Nope. Ice cream? Don't even think about it. Pasta? Hahaha no. Stacy's Pita Chips? That's a negative, ghostrider. So, while I'm an excellent avoider and actually couldn't even tell you the last time I bought any of those things, I do still continue to struggle with portion control.

Which leads to 2) social eating, when portion control most often rears its ugly head. I'm not sure what it is about my brain that says "Oh, we're at a party - LET'S EAT EVERYTHING," but that is pretty much my mindset in social situations. Hence, me eating way too much chips & guac, and a burger, and dessert on Monday. Then, this happened on Tuesday:

I'm in a monthly restaurant club, and yesterday's theme was eat ALL the meat. So, I did. As a former all-the-time overeater, I used to eat to the point of discomfort pretty frequently. Like, it was the girl who ate so much Halloween candy I was sick pretty much every year. I'm better about not doing that so much now, but I definitely did that yesterday, resulting in me being extremely uncomfortably full for the rest of the night.

I'd like to say that the rest of the week will be made up for with salads and carrot stick snacks, but I actually have dinner plans tonight that will also be an indulgence (we've waited 3 months for these reservations... I won't even pretend I'm not going to indulge). Then, I have dinner plans tomorrow that I already paid for (WHAT WAS I THINKING?), followed by a weekend getaway to Milwaukee. So, realistically I'm letting myself indulge tonight, but then I am going to be very conscious of my food decisions both tomorrow night and through the weekend. The goal is to CHOOSE when to indulge, and I can't make that choice for every single meal.

Hopefully next week's weigh-in will be sponsored by the letter LESSONS LEARNED.

How was your weigh-in Wednesday?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Becoming a Morning Worker Outer

If you told had college Carolyn that adult Carolyn would learn to wake up and work out before work five days a week, I would have laughed in your face. And yet here we are.

Whenever I mention working out before work, the #1 response I get is ooohs and aaaaahs of admiration. Just kidding. People usually tell me that I'm nuts and that they could never do that. Or, some people ask why in the hell I would want to do that. Why did I become a morning worker outer?
  • To get it out of the way 
  • So staying at work late doesn't cause me to skip the gym
  • Because there's never a conflict with other plans when you work out at 6:30am
  • So I can go to happy hour daily (just kidding)
  • Because I'm a much more pleasant person to be around after a morning workout
  • It's satisfying to rack up a couple thousand steps when everyone else is sleeping
  • The gym is less crowded
  • When work is over, I can do whatever I want for the rest of the night (usually exciting things like going to Target and then home to watch reality TV)
  • Because a Saturday morning workout is a really good excuse to get brunch afterward
I'm not exaggerating when I say that I was a night owl and non-morning person my entire life. My mom still tells people that I would stay up until midnight reading books in my room when I was just a little rugrat. I basically went through high school and college on 5-6 hours of sleep a night, a habit I carried into my adult life when my first post-college job was waiting tables at a restaurant. So, converting myself to a morning worker-outer was a serious challenge. All this to say, if I can do it, anyone can do it. Here are a few tips:

Pack the Night Before
You know what's more annoying than packing a gym bag at night? Packing a gym bag at night and then having to UNPACK it because you skipped your morning workout and are now getting ready at home, and then having to REPACK it in the morning to work out after work instead. Ain't nobody got time for that. If you pack the night before, you're one step closer to taking away your excuses for not working out in the morning.

Give Yourself a Bedtime
This one was definitely the hardest for me. I used to routinely go to bed at 1am and snooze my alarm (x4) in the morning, getting out of bed at the last possible second. Now, because I'm typically waking up between 4:45 - 5:45am, my bedtime is 10pm. Shockingly, it's easier to wake up in the morning when you plan your sleep schedule to get in a full night of sleep. So if you find yourself snoozing on morning workouts because you're tired, that's probably a good sign that you should go to bed earlier.

Bribery Works
As I have said time and again, I am not above bribing myself because bribery works. So, on days when I know my morning workout will be a struggle (say, I am really sore or it's been a long week at work), I set a bribe. Maybe I can only stop at Starbucks if I make it to the gym first. Or, I can partake in bagel Friday as long as I get in a morning workout. If you're just getting started, I'd give yourself a target number of morning workouts in order to earn a reward, so you can better focus on building a long-term habit. So, maybe if you hit six morning workouts in two weeks, you can #treatyoself to a pedi. Hit 15 morning workouts in a month and reward yourself with a new workout outfit. Bribery. Embrace it because it works.

This is basically all of my favorite workouts all at good times this week. YES.
Do What You Love
You're 876x more likely to get up for a workout you don't hate (that's science). So, when planning your morning workout routine, pick something you actually like doing! Then, at least when you have to peel yourself out of your comfy bed at the crack of dawn, at least you will have a workout you actually enjoy to look forward to.

Tag Your Alarms
I cannot underscore enough the importance of this tip enough (and sorry if you're sick of me repeating it): change your alarm labels to say what time you need to leave the house to work out! Just because I wake up early every morning does not mean I am a perky happy morning person. So, I use the alarm labels to remind my half-asleep self when I need to leave, depending on my workout that morning.

How do you motivate yourself to work out in the mornings? Any other tips to share?

Friday, June 12, 2015

What I've Learned in 100 ClassPass Classes

Exactly 20 weeks and 1 day after I jumped on the ClassPass bandwagon, I hit my 100th class! If you harbor a secret love of numbers and statistics like I do, you'll appreciate the following breakdown of ClassPass by the numbers:
  • 104 classes complete (to date)
  • 5 classes per week, on average (more than that if you factor in the 10 days I was on vacation)
  • 25 different studios visited 
  • Most visited studios: 
    • Barre Code (14)
    • FlyWheel/FlyBarre (13)
    • Core Power Yoga (13)
    • GoRow (10)
  • Number of accidental dance classes attended: 1 (still haven't recovered from watching myself dance in a full length mirror in the sober light of day)
  • Classes missed: 1 (womp womp, but it was a conscious decision, not an accident)
  • Average cost per class, regular price: $25
  • My cost per class: $5 (or $2.50 if you factor in the portion of ClassPass my work covers with a gym stipend)
Now, I started this whole thing as a girl who a) hates gyms, b) hates paying to work out, and c) is afraid of group fitness classes. Suffice to say joining ClassPass has completely changed my outlook on all of the above. In fact, now I get really excited on the weekends to plan my workout schedule for the week ahead. I've even become that girl who goes to bed early so I can wake up early to work out before work and even *GASP* on Saturday mornings. But hear me out, because if I (a former night owl and perpetually lazy person) can do it, I promise anyone can do it.

Here are some of the biggest lessons I've learned in 100 classes:

Sound the Alarm
For my fellow morning worker-outers (*crickets*), here's a tip that has been a game-changer in keeping me on time in the mornings. Every night before bed, I use Google Maps to determine how long it will take me to get to class, and then I plan to leave at a time that gets me there roughly 10-15 minutes early (there are few things I hate more than late class enterers -- that is rude!). Then, when I set my alarm, I change the "alarm" label to remind me when I need to leave in order to be on time. Something like "Leave by 5:25 for BRAWL!" Now I have an alarm clock full of pre-set reminders for all the morning classes I go to -- I haven't missed one yet!

Pull the Trigger
The more I hem and haw over signing up for a class, the more likely I am to chicken out of signing up. I might spend 20 minutes on a Sunday morning scanning the day for yoga classes, only to talk myself out of every single one (what if I grocery shop at 4pm? shouldn't I do laundry instead? what if I accidentally take a nap and miss class?). So what's the cure for "what if-ing" yourself to death? Just pull the damn trigger and commit! If you're anything like me, you'll MAKE the class work in your schedule, because you're too cheap to fork over the $15 cancellation fee and that's a lot of money to pay to NOT work out. And while you're hemming and hawing over class options, just remember to... 

This is the only face that can appropriately describe the trepidation
that accompanies signing up for a Hike45 class.
Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
There's a range of emotions that comes with signing up for ClassPass. First, the excitement: so many classes to choose from, so many fun ways to work out! Then, it can become a little overwhelming and intimidating: TOO many classes to choose from! What if I have to go to a new class alone?!

What happens if you have to go to a new class alone? Absolutely nothing. In fact, probably almost everyone else in the class is alone! You find someone who looks like they know what they're doing and follow their cue (shoes or no shoes? are there sweat towels? where is everyone setting their water bottles?). Or, introduce yourself to the instructor who I can guarantee wants you to have a good time so you come back AND tell your friends what a good sweat sesh you had! Are you going to have a great time in every class? Maybe not. In 100 classes, there have been only three that I wouldn't return to. But if you never try anything new, how are you going to discover your kickass kickboxing skills? 

Always Double Check
Just as I was patting myself on the back one morning for making it to yoga with plenty of time to spare, I realized that not only had I A) gone to the wrong location, I had also B) signed up for completely the wrong class. Brain fart? Thankfully I had just enough time to cab it to the actual location, just in time to get whooped with an inversion-heavy class that I was definitely not prepared for. C'est la vie. Which is why it pays to ALWAYS double-check the class time, class location, and the class you've signed up for (so you have any equipment you may need to bring along!)


Push It! (Push it Real Good)
My favorite instructors are the ones who remind the class that being there is a choice. If you choose to come to class, why wouldn't you push yourself and get the most out of your time in class? This is why I just took the plunge to order a HRM (heart rate monitor), so I can really make sure I'm pushing myself as much as I can, and also to get a better sense of my caloric burn. There's one instructor in particular at Exhale who always tells her classes, "If this is the hardest hour of your day, you're lucky," which is something I always try to remember when I'm tempted to phone it in. Amen. 

Never Underestimate the Power of Restorative Yoga
The first time I went to restorative yoga, I had no idea what kind of class I was getting into and I almost kind of fell asleep (okay I actually did briefly fall asleep). But, since beginning my heart-pounding legs-shaking arms-trembling weekly workout regimen with ClassPass, I have discovered a deep deep love of restorative yoga. If you haven't tried it, restorative yoga (sometimes called yin yoga) is basically glorified stretching with zen music. And, if you're lucky, the teacher will even come around and give you a mini-massage during class. Is there anything better than a long-held pigeon pose accompanied with a shoulder rub while Enya plays in the background? I think not. The perfect way to relax and rejuvenate before a new week begins.

If you can't tell, I would strongly recommend anyone try out ClassPass, as it's made a HUGE difference both in my body and in my attitude toward working out. Cheers to the next 100 classes!

Have any questions for me about classes? What's your favorite group workout class?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sticking to the Plan

Pretty Strong Medicine

Last Week's Weight: 171
Current Weight: 170.8
Change: -0.2
Total Loss: -57.2

LOL. Inch by inch, for real. I will drag myself back into the 160's kicking and screaming. At this rate, I might get there by  Christmas :) 

I definitely could've done a better job with my eating, because in addition to my 49 extra points, I ate 30 of my 56 activity points (oops). In my defense, my office had our annual Service Day yesterday where we spend the whole day at a kids' summer camp cleaning and scrubbing and organizing and moving and sweeping. So when they laid a giant spread of Portillo's out for us for lunch, you better believe I went for the cheeseburger (and then later the ice cream drumstick yummm). So, given that I ate more APs than I usually like to, I will certainly take this teeny tiny loss. 

The good news is that I've been sticking to the workout plan, and have had a really killer last few weeks of workouts. Last week looked like this:

  • Monday - GoRow
  • Tuesday - FlyWheel
  • Wednesday - Ropes Gone Wild (HIIT with jump ropes and heavy battle ropes)
  • Thursday - Brawl (kickboxing)
  • Friday - Power Hour Yoga
  • Saturday - Iron & Oar (rowing circuits)
  • Sunday - Restorative Yoga (aka glorified stretching with zen yoga music and sometimes the teacher gives you a mini-massage and it's wonderful)
And this week looks like this:

  • Monday - GoRow
  • Tuesday - FlyBarre (+ several hours of scrubbing building exteriors at our service day)
  • Wednesday - Brawl
  • Friday - Power Hour Yoga
  • Saturday - TBD, but I'm leaning towards Hikeology because I guess I'd like to not be able to sit down on Sunday
  • Sunday - likely yoga

Work/life has been a little crazy the last few weeks. But I hit a huge milestone on Sunday when I went to my 100th Class Pass class!! I'll be checking in later this week, with a roundup of things I've learned in 100 classes. Until then, keep fighting for those inches.

How was your weigh-in Wednesday?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Inch by Inch

Pretty Strong Medicine

Last Week's Weight: 172.2
Current Weight: 171
Change: -1.2
Total Loss: -57.0

YASSSSS. [Insert praise hands emoji here].

While weighing in this morning, I was glad to see progress. Not as-fast-as-I-would-like progress, but inch by inch, I'm getting closer. That thought reminded me of Al Pacino's "Inch by Inch" speech in Any Given Sunday. I've never seen the movie, but when my high school soccer team made the playoffs, one of our captains planned for us to listen to that speech before every playoff game. If you've never listened to the speech and want a serious dose of motivation, here ya go (if you don't have time to watch the whole thing, it gets really good around the 2-minute mark):

The part that really gets me is this line:

A major roadblock to my weight loss attempts my entire life until the last few years was that I mistakenly thought that all I needed was a quick fix:

"Okay I will just follow the three-day diet for a few weeks and then I will be skinny."

"I will do atkins and lose 20lbs in 2 months and my problems will be solved."

"I can just not eat until the pool party to drop a few pounds."

I thought making extremely major (and usually unhealthy) changes for a short period of time was the trick. If I could just do something drastic enough for a short time, I would for sure lose weight for the long term! Unsurprisingly, this never worked. And now, the inches speech is a good reminder as to why.

The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're when we walk past the candy bowl and say "no thanks, not today." They're when we get a non-fat latte instead of a frappucino. The inches are when we pass on Potbelly macaroni salad because it's ELEVEN POINTS for a tiny portion. The inches are when we go for seconds of broccoli instead of for mashed potatoes. They're when we put down the cookies in the grocery store, because we know we suck at portion control. They're when we drag ourself out of bed for a morning workout, even though our legs are sore.

Life's a game of inches, it's not just one big play. To truly be successful, we need play for those inches, because that's going to make the difference between winning and losing. 

And in this game, I'm fighting for that inch.

How was your weigh-in Wednesday?